Azov Again 305


Yet again, the Guardian’s Hillary cult irrationalism leads it to a wrong analysis, this time in relation to Russian actions at the Kerch strait.

To quote the Guardian:

Russian forces seized the vessels and their crew and Moscow’s refusal to return them was the reason Donald Trump offered for his decision to cancel a bilateral meeting with Putin, which had been planned for Friday morning.

As Russian actions in the Sea of Azov had been known for days, there was speculation in Washington that the real reason for the change of mind was the court appearance of Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, on Thursday in which he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the extent and duration of negotiations with the Kremlin about a possible Trump hotel in Moscow, continuing up to July 2016, at the height of the presidential election campaign.

This is a deliberate misreading of the situation, and actually Trump’s actions have been correct and no doubt guided by the State Department’s maritime law experts.

As explained in my last post, under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea the Ukrainian navy, and any other vessel, has an absolute right of innocent passage to the Ukrainian coast through the Kerch Straits and the Sea of Azov. They do however have an obligation to comply with sea lanes and notification regimes established for reasons of navigational safety.

It appears Ukraine may not have observed the navigational safety regulations, so Russia had a right to take proportionate action for enforcement. The Russian action was a bit heavy handed, but probably did not stray over the proportionate boundary.

However Russia did not have a right to detain the vessels or the crews, other than briefly. This is specifically not allowed. So at some point in Russia’s continued detention of the vessels and crews, Russia’s actions switched from legal to illegal. The timing of Trump’s decision to cancel the Putin meeting makes perfect sense in terms of the stage at which Russia went from being in the right in the incident, to being in the wrong. In taking prisoners to Moscow Russia is very, very definitely in the wrong.

The situation is complicated by their being military personnel. Russia has to make a decision. If the claim is this was not innocent passage and the Ukrainians planned to attack the bridge, there is no legal option to treat that as terrorism. These were military ships and that would be war. Russia has either to accept that this was not an attack, or accept that it is in a state of war with Ukraine. You can’t treat military personnel from military vessels as terrorists. And Russia very definitely acted illegally in parading foreign military personnel to make statements on TV.

As expected, my last posting brought howls of protest from those of limited intellect who style themselves radicals, and who essentially take the view the Russians are the goodies and the Ukrainians the baddies, and therefore Russian actions must be legal. All of their arguments were intellectually abysmal.

The rule of international law is a very tenuous concept. It has great achievements, but has never been more under attack. There are proponents of the USA and UK, of Russia, of China, who plainly prefer a might is right approach. The hypocrisies are sickening. For example, there is no significant difference in the legal justification nor in the method of achievement between the realisation of “self-determination” in Kosovo and Crimea. Yet the people who believe the West wear the white hats will argue that Kosovo was legal and Crimea illegal, and those who believe the Russians wear the white hats will argue that Crimea was legal and Kosovo illegal. It is a sorry task to try to argue for impartial rule of law in these circumstances, as the partisan idiots will prove in comments below almost immediately.

With the secession of Kosovo and Crimea, I take the view that both were illegal, though I can see a respectable argument that both were legal. That one was legal (either one) and the other not, I can see no sensible argument whatsoever.


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305 thoughts on “Azov Again

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  • Paul Spencer

    Okay. I’ll take the bait as idiot #1. Realpolitik is ascendant once again, and all of the wishful hair-splitting over international rules of any kind is strictly for home consumption among the partisans. The rest of us are simply watching this horror show roll out with little to do or say of any effect. We are still allowed to worry about consequences, but that’s about it.

  • J Galt

    From a distance and I have to admit with no great knowledge of international law I can see that in this powder keg of a region Russia is generally behaving with restraint (although willing to take action when required) and the other side is behaving as if it wants to throw petrol on the fire.

    Does that make me a partisan idiot?

    • Andrew Wilson

      No, not an idiot. I agree with Craig about the relative legality of the secession of both Crimea and Kosovo and that, on the whole, is the position as I understand it, of the Russian government.

      If Russia had allowed the Ukrainian vessels to proceed then it would have broken the agreements made years ago and the precedent set by previous Ukrainian actions. They had to act.

      While no war has been declared, in practice and planning, I am pretty sure that Russia regards itself as being involved in an undeclared war with the current Ukrainian regime. Words and actions from the Ukrainian regime make it clear that Ukraine is in the same position. The demand from Ukraine that the crew members and intelligence officers on the vessels be treated as prisoners of war makes this absolutely clear. Neither side wants to make the first move in moving to a declared war but Ukraine seems, to me, to be trying to provoke such a move from Russia. I see this action as being part of a series of actions against Russia, not just from Ukraine.

      The grey area in which both parties find themselves makes it almost impossible for Russia to do the ‘right thing’. Almost anything that Russia does is going to be wrong – or portrayed as such outside of Russia in the European or U.S. political and media spheres.

      My guess, and it is only a guess, is that Russia acted as they did for two main reasons:
      1) The necessity to act to not allow Ukraine to break precedents set, precedents set to keep the Kerch Bridge safe and to keep the passage to the Azov safe and clear.
      2) This is where the guessing comes in: because the Russians had intelligence that led them to suspect that not only where the vessels engaged in an action to break precedent but had other, more immediately destructive, goals in mind.

      The intelligence about the exact nature of the incursion may have been incorrect, but even so, if the intelligence was taken as being genuine then the Russian actions seem to be reasonable and restrained. It may well suit the Russians to NOT make it public that any intelligence collected was genuine. They do not want to be at war with Ukraine and so it may well suit them to keep quiet about the results of their investigations – at least for the time being.

      • craig Post author

        Andrew,

        You are ignoring the key point. Russia had the right to take the initial action it did to force compliance with the agreed navigational regime in place. Russia does not have the right to take men and vessels prisoner. They should now be let go. I genuinely do not understand how that very simple position can be unclear to you – or anyone.

        • Andrew Wilson

          As I noted, both countries are now in a grey area. I am sure that you have dealt with grey areas before now. I was referring to your point, sorry for not having been more clear. The point is not a simple one, it is very complex. I think that neither you nor I are in a position to know the ‘right’ thing at this moment. I doubt that we ever will, but time will be the sole judge of the matter.

          Matters, in this context, would be more simple had the Russian government acceded to Ukraine’s request to treat the prisoners as prisoners of war. Had this happened, I am sure that, although more simple, none of us would have been content with the outcome.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            The right thing for Russia to do in this undeclared war would be to return the prisoners so as to not appear as the aggressor. That would also make them right in law. Didn’t the Ukraine president publicaly threaten to blow up the bridge? That would be reasonable cause for a stop and search on its own.

        • mikjall

          Yes, that’s clear enough, and doubtless correct in itself; but you went way beyond that: “Russia has to make a decision. If the claim is this was not innocent passage and the Ukrainians planned to attack the bridge, there is no legal option to treat that as terrorism. These were military ships and that would be war. Russia has either to accept that this was not an attack, or accept that it is in a state of war with Ukraine. You can’t treat military personnel from military vessels as terrorists.” This escapade was obviously manipulated to take opportunistic advantage of the law of the sea. How was Russia supposed to divine the intentions of military vessels of a hostile government without arresting the Ukrainian crew members? OK, now that we know that they were under orders to create a provocation, you can let them go, and you shouldn’t have paraded them on TV. If that’s your point, fine. That’s a far cry from the rest of what you said.

          • Tom Welsh

            “These were military ships and that would be war. Russia has either to accept that this was not an attack, or accept that it is in a state of war with Ukraine”.

            Very plausible as it stands. But the issue is clouded by the fact that the US government and its allies have for decades been committing terrorist atrocities on a vast scale – indeed, they have accounted for at least 99% of the world’s terrorism since at least 1990.

            Technically then, the USA and many of its allies are in a state of war with literally scores of nations. Yet the entire Western media and establishment conspire to pretend that is not the case.

        • Yevgeny Goncharov

          You might ignore an important point as well. If, as Russia claims, ships were detained in Russian territorial waters, they have all legal rights to detain ships and crew.
          https://www.rt.com/news/444948-fsb-intelligence-ukrainian-ships/
          Quote: “FSB noted that the territorial waters entered by Ukrainian vessels belonged to Russia even before 2014, when Crimean citizens voted to reunify with the country. It also said two officers from the Ukrainian Security Service, or SBU, were embedded with the intruder ships to coordinate the incursion.”
          Is this claim true or false? I don’t know, but given reporting style (if…. assuming….), this fact could not be ignored.

      • Ralph

        The USG IS fighting a proxy war with Russia, there is more than enough proof of that, using ukraine as the ‘thorn in the flesh’ against Russia, as part of PNAC & the original (neocon & PNAC signatory) wolfowitz doctrine of containment, etc: ‘The U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors [Russia, & to a lessor extent China] that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. In non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. We must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional [on Russia’s western border i.e. ukraine] or global role.’

      • Ray Raven

        The secession of Crimea is more akin the secession of East Timor, both regions being previously separate from the forces that were subjugating them (the Ukraine and Indonesia respectively). Kosovo has never been separate from Serbia.

  • Mikhail

    So CM continues to completely ignore the facts of the Kerch strait incident (in that Ukrainian ships were arrested for their violations of Russian law after and independently with their excercise of right to innocent passage) and continue to advocate a false notion that Russian forces had, at any point, denied innocent passage to Ukrainian ships…

    Either the blog has been hacked, or the appeal of the “Integrity Initiative” funding is too great… Or i don’t know what to think.

    • Ray Raven

      Yes, CM continues to use weasel words “If the claim” & “may not have observed” to obfuscate
      No “ifs” or “mays”. They are known facts.
      And to further deflect his weak argument, he name calls people who oppose his ideas (wrong as they are) as idiots. Very mature composition of an argument (for grade 3).

      • Tatyana

        +1 Ray Raven
        I would never tell my vis-a-vis is idiot, when he simply lacks experience. Ah, never would I.

        Several russian ministers lost their positions this year, because of disrespectful sayings. Some people (like Alexey Navalny) don’t understand why they lose elections. The reason is very simple – don’t you name your electorate idiots.

        Mr. Murray, the vessels and men were taken to Simpheropol, Crimea, which Ukraine belives is ukrainian territory. Not to Moscow.

  • Molloy

    .

    CM. . .
    Seriously. Wise and valuable advice. Yours. imho.

    Re “Yet again, the Guardian’s Hillary cult irrationalism. . .”

    Fwiw, my view is that words occasionally are ‘too nice too polite’. . . . Gurn / UK$US MSM ps$$y ops, in fact complicit with the deliberately evil agenda of the 0.1%. Strong argument for crime of aggression by aforementioned!! i.e. what do they seek to entitle themselves too? land and resources which belong to others (who literally possess – as a State – nothing else.

    If the ICC cannot be reliable, obvs requires more thought (but deffo not an aircraft carrier or weapon of any kind!!).

    Call me naive and idealistic. Goodness. I admire your work. Sláinte

    .

    • Molloy

      .

      . . . . . so yes, for me, frequently letting ‘evil’ be aware, maybe frightened when on its own in the dark. . . is a good thing. (Plz excuse afterthought.)

      .

  • Blue

    “For example, there is no significant difference in the legal justification nor in the method of achievement between the realisation of “self-determination” in Kosovo and Crimea.”

    There is. In Crimea, there was a referendum whereby the people were able to express their desire to separate from the Junta in Kiev. This was not the case in Kosovo.

    • SA

      There is a major difference. Crimea was historically part of Russia until given to Ukraine by Kruschov in 1953 when both were parts of the Soviet Union. The majority population has been mainly Russian and before the coup of 2014 there had previously been another referendum in 1994 that approved greater autonomy for Crimea within Ukraine and also that Crimeans should be allowed to have dual citizenship with Russia. I also believe that there had also been talk of a second referendum before the coup to join Russia. Now to equate this post coup referendum and secession to the situation in Kosovo unfortunately tells me that Craig has been rather hasty here and has not followed the facts. Kosovo has a special place in the Serbian national history and was the birthplace of the Serbian Orthodox Church. After the invasion and occupation by the Ottoman Empire for three centuries it was ceded back to Serbia. The secession of Kosovo was achieved and assisted by force with the help of NATO. So call me intellectually inferior if you like that sort of banter but I am not sure Craig is right on this point.

      • Blue

        There is another interesting aspect. When Russia appears to transgress international law. It seems always to beunder compulsion and in in self-defence, quite unlike the deliberate agressive violations of human rights and international law that the US, Uk and Israel engage in.

        The fact is the US and its allies seem to be immune from facing any consequesnces for serially violating international law; whereas Russia makes serious efforts to stay within the law. Indeed, to have not accepted Crimea into Russia would have left the Crimeans at the mercy of the US and its Nazi thugs in the Ukraine. Because Crimea is a part of Russia, Crimea is at peace. Donesk and Lugansk are not.

        .

      • Ray Raven

        The secession of Crimea is more akin the secession of East Timor, both regions being previously separate from the forces that were subjugating them (the Ukraine and Indonesia respectively) and both holding secession referendum. Kosovo has never been separate from Serbia.

        I wonder why the situation of Crimea is not compared to East Timor ?

  • Ort

    Sorry, but essentially repeating yourself in service of insisting that you’re so right, and everyone else is so wrong, is doubling down– or petulantly attempting to dig yourself out of a hole.

    You’re simply determined to ignore or downplay the abundant bad faith demonstrated and admitted by the Ukrainians in order to insist that Russia obviously and unequivocally– and illegally– overreacted to this obvious provocation.

    But it’s helpful; along with your positive regard for George Soros, it illuminates your perspective of Russian matters; I’ll keep the salt handy!

    • craig Post author

      Ort,

      If I provoke you until you get really angry and throw a brick through my window, you have still broken my window. Russia may have been provoked in some way to break the law, but plainly has broken the law,

      • CanSpeccy

        “Russia may have been provoked in some way to break the law, but plainly has broken the law”

        Has Russia broken the law if Ukraine was engage in a hostile military act?

        Not if they treat the Ukrainian sailors as prisoners of war, you say.

        But if they treat the Ukrainian sailors as prisoners of war, you say, that means acknowledging that a state of war exists between Russian and Ukraine.

        This Russia has not done for the obvious reason that, if a state of war were declared, US-NATO would side with Ukraine and likely precipitate a real war, which is what US-NATO apparently want.

        So Russia had the option of failing, on a technicality, to adhere to international law and thus receive a stern rebuke from Craig Murray, or risking a major war.

        Russia, bad, very bad.

      • Ross Stanford

        You are still ignoring the fact that prisoner of war status is not applied to foreign spies. As I said before, if, as seems likely, a significant proportion of the sailors were spies, Russia has no obligation to do anything other than perhaps chop them in to small pieces and mail them back.

  • nevermind

    The needs of the Crimea for fresh water should also be a consideration in this incident. How do you weigh up a possible health and safety issue versus the rights to innocent passage?
    Especially when threats were uttered to destroy this water supply, when water was deliberately cut off, weaponising it, using it like a lever.
    I agree with copydude, there is more to come, not just an election. Russian cyber interference will be assumed as of normal, when all signs point to western monies fuelling the age old same same empire wars.

    Should we get the high vis vests out of the shed and sharpen the pitchforks?

    • craig Post author

      Nevermind,

      If this was an attack on the water supply by the Ukrainian navy, that is an act of war. War should be declared and then the men can be held as prisoners of war and the vessels can be taken as prizes.

      Or if it was not an attack, they have to be let go.

      Those are the legal choices. There is no legal route for Russia simply to seize the Ukrainian ships and men.

      I honestly don’t understand how people can find that hard to understand.

      • nevermind

        Lets not.get confused the erratic nature og these Ukrainian vessels, which should have announced themselves, but ignored all attempts to contact them, according to their own accounts,eans that some kind of malice, planned or otherwise was afoot.

        I do not agree with seizing vessels and or sailors, unless they were really soldiers on a mission, equipped with mines of sorts, as yet we dont know if this was the case.

      • Ralph

        The ukrainian military fired (Grads) at the Donetsk water filtration plant earlier this year & also last year; Russia is dealing with WAR CRIMINALS, they could have simply blown those boats out of the water, then you wouldn’t have had anything to say about the captives.
        Russia declaring war plays right into the hands of NATO, with a very real possibility – nobody can say it wouldn’t – of it escalating to a full nuclear war, something that Putin has very wisely tried to avoid for years now.

        • Hmmm

          I’m saying it won’t. It can’t. That’s because I’ve read Akio Nakatani’s book. You should too, you’d sleep easier at night.

          • Tom Welsh

            @Hmmm:

            I’m saying it can and it would. I don’t need to read any book, because it’s perfectly obvious.

          • Hmmm

            Well then live in ignorance and fear. A quick read would change all that. But if you know better that’s your loss.
            There’ll be no nuclear war. I’ll take your wager any day. £1000 pound enough for ya?

          • Tom Welsh

            “There’ll be no nuclear war. I’ll take your wager any day. £1000 pound enough for ya?”

            Ha ha, I see what you did there! 😎

      • mikjall

        I don’t think that anyone finds that hard to understand. What they find hard to understand is your reduction of the relevant aspects of the situation to this one point. The men and the vessels have to be released. The media parade was illegal. Aside from that, no government would have acted differently from the Russian government in a comparable situation — nor should they. In fact, probably most would have gone a lot further than the Russians did here. I agree, of course, that that doesn’t make it legal, if that’s your momentous point.

      • Tom Welsh

        Craig, you are obviously aware that the US government has been trying to start a war between Ukraine and Russia since the illegal coup in 2014. Washington would give their eye teeth to see Russia do anything to acknowledge a state of war, even if Ukraine is wholly in the wrong.

        As Noam Chomsky wisely said, violence is the USA’s strong suit – so it always strives to settle matters by force. When it comes to legalities, negotiation and diplomacy, weaker nations have a chance to make their voices heard. As the Athenian spokesman declared in the Melian Dialogue, questions of right come into consideration only between equals in [military] power. Otherwise the strong do what they will, and the weak do what they must.

        The difficulty today is getting Washington to understand the glaringly obvious fact that Russia and China are its equals in power – in the sense that if it tries to defeat them in a war, everyone in the world will die. Therefore, Washington must resort to diplomacy – even if it is severely handicapped by having no real diplomats.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Craig,

    Your knowledge of history is far greater than mine, but so far as I am aware, recently – like say over the last 100 years or so, Russia has not attacked, nor invaded any foreign country, except in defence during WW!! and maybe Afghanistan since, which was obviously a tragic mistake. I suspect they were goaded into it by the CIA.

    Meanwhile us lot “The West”, have been doing it for at least the last 500 years or so, on a very regular basis, and seem to be finding it, really hard to give it up.

    I just read this elsewhere, which is totally brilliant, and very related.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/30/savage-capitalism-back-radical-challenge#comment-36358701

    Tony

    • Andrew Wilson

      Russia did not invade Afganistan. The Soviet Union was present at the request of the government of the country to help put down an insurrection. Parallels with Syria here, in more than one way!

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Andrew Wilson,

        I am not disagreeing. There is a seriously brilliant Russian war film about it, in Russian

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_9th_Company

        It’s even better than the US Version “Apocalypse Now” in English(US)

        Harold Wilson (who I have seen on a fruit box in Oldham Market in 1964) told the Yanks to sod off, which almost certainly saved my two older brother’s lives and sanity who had joined The Territorial Army to defend The UK.

        They just played silly games instead…..over the mountains and far away in the hills of Derbyshire, and Scotland, and were told if a bloke comes up to you with a strong Irish accent, and asks to inspect your gun – don’t give it to him.

        Tony

      • Ray Raven

        Yes !
        And the the USA and its minnions actively started funding, arming and training the insurrection (via Pakistan).
        The USA and its minnions are still there, sowing and reaping opiod benefits.

    • J Galt

      I think you’ll find that Russia started WW1 by invading East Prussia. The invasion met with disaster at Tannenberg with destruction of the second army and the suicide of the Russian commander. However their sacrifice may have saved Paris as German forces had to be swiftly shifted east to repulse this threat to the Reich.

      Solzhenitsyn’s “August 1914” is a brilliant evocation of this epic drama played out amongst the whispering pines and lakes of Ostpreussen.

      • Andyoldlabour

        @J Galt,

        I was under the impression that the first action of WW1, was the shelling of Belgrade (Serbia) by Astro-Hungarian forces in retaliation for the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand. Two days later Russia declared that it was allied to Serbia, and Germany threatened Russia, and then declared war in support of Austria – Hungary two days later. France allied itself to Russia one day later.

      • CanSpeccy

        Yes, it was the idiot Tzar, who the previous winter had promised the King of Serbia that “Russia will do everything for Serbia” who made war inevitably by ordering mobilization against Germany’s only ally, Austria.

    • craig Post author

      Tony,

      If I have never committed a crime and you are a terrible criminal, but then I suddenly come and put a brick through your window, I am still committing a crime.

      • SA

        Three boats refusing to engage and to follow international norms for hours in a highly sensitive area cannot be equated with verbal provocation leading to throwing a brick after verbal provocation. False analogy.

        • craig Post author

          It is Tony’s original analogy which is wrong. I was adopting it for the sake of argument. SA I am going to say this to you again. It was the Ukrainian Navy, not a drunken pleasureboat. The Russians were entitled to use force to stop their non-compliant behaviour, and they did. But there are no legal grounds for which you can detain a foreign military vessel or crew for a navigational infringement – and that is all that has been alleged. A navigational infringement. Now they have to let them go, or declare it was an act of war. Continued detention is illegal on Russia’s part.

          That is the law. It seems to me entirely sensible. Otherwise, as I keep pointing out, NATO would close the Dover and Bosphorus Straits to Russia. Are you really too thick to see that?

          • Banquo

            ” A navigational infringement.”

            You allege, possibly more will be unveiled at the trial, or possibly not.

          • SA

            Not thick at all. This was not a simple naval infringement and you know that. You seem to be keen that Russia should have responded to this planned provocation by declaring war, a far more dangerous situation than what has happened. In fact what the Russians can justifiably claim is that they could not rule out that this was an act of attempted sabotage which would be a declaration of war by Ukraine. The fact that one of the vessels was a tug, and I am not sure of the true facts here, may also indicate illegal military activity under the cloak of a civilian vessel activity, itself illegal.
            In this murky situation involving national security it is not surprising that Russia has behaved the way it did. Again you use another false analogy. If a Russian flotilla behaved in the way these three vessels did, in the channel or the Bosphorus then yes, it would be justifiable to detain them until you make sure they are not going to blow you up. Another false analogy you make is between Crimean peaceful secession and the bloody. NATO assisted forced secession of Kosovo with its consequent ethnic cleansing of Serbian Kosovars. Context is everything here especially pertaining to an erratic Ukrainian regime.

          • Tatyana

            I’m sure that Russia will let the vessels and men go, as soon as we get guarantee word fron Ukrainian government and their allies that such provocations would not happen again.

            Until now we see the military men saying they had direct order to do what they had done.

            As soon as Ukraine guarantees save innocent passage of its vessels, russians will stop detaining her vessels and men.

            It is not question of legal / illegal action. It is about safety and peace.

            That is why people object your point, Mr. Murray. We are not experts in law, we just feel un-fairness, the law is somehow wrong. May be it is not applicable in this case?

          • Tom Welsh

            Craig, you have never answered my question, although I have posed it several times.

            Given that the Ukrainian vessels manoeuvred for many hours while pointing their guns at Russian ships and ignoring legal commands – and of course that they were apparently trying to pass the strait without having given the legally necessary notification – if the Russians immediately released them, what would stop them setting out for the strait once more? And possibly firing those guns (and their missiles)?

          • Tom Welsh

            Craig, you are being remarkably obtuse in cleaving to your argument about any hostile act by uniformed naval personnel being an act of war.

            Have you not noticed that the legal concept of “war” has silently vanished away since 1945? Do you know how many countries the US government has attacked – savagely and with extreme violence – since 1945? Yet it has not declared war once. It killed at least ten million people – mostly civilians – in Korea, South-East Asia and Iraq alone. Yet it never declared war. Referring to the vile murderous assault on Libya, President Obama even told the American people that it was not a war at all – because no American was likely to be hurt.

            Everyone knows very well that Kiev regime has been waging a one-sided war against the Donetsk and Lugansk republics since 2014, killing tens of thousands of civilians. The republics’ defenders have limited themselves to fighting back, and have killed a number of Ukrainian soldiers and their Nazi auxiliaries. The US government and its allies have resolutely ignored those massive war crimes, pretending that nothing was happening. Of course, what Washington wants is to lure Moscow into declaring war on Kiev – or even launching a formal military campaign to defend the republics. Wisely, Moscow has refrained from doing so, which of course explains the increasingly flagrant provocations being carried out by Kiev.

            Last but not least, it is very doubtful whether the crews of the “Ukrainian” ships are legitimate members of the Ukrainian armed forces. They are serving, and carrying out orders from, a wholly illegal junta which seized power in a violent, bloody, illegal coup d’etat – as you very well know. Poroshenko and his crew are not a legitimate government – just a gang of oligarchic bandits who have seized control of the Ukrainian state machinery.

          • Tom Welsh

            “Otherwise, as I keep pointing out, NATO would close the Dover and Bosphorus Straits to Russia. Are you really too thick to see that?”

            Craig, although it’s a minor point,

            1. NATO cannot close the Bosphorus. That is the sole prerogative of Turkey; and whether the Turkish government would comply with such a request seems exceedingly doubtful. Indeed, I can think of few things more calculated to tip Turkey away from NATO and into the Russia camp.

            2. As for the Channel – so what? Russian ships have no need to use it. They are much safer, indeed, giving the UK a wide berth and sailing further out in the Atlantic.

          • CanSpeccy

            “Now they have to let them go, or declare it was an act of war.”

            You have repeatedly said that, but it is bollocks for the obvious reason that Russia does not want a war with Ukraine, whereas Ukraine, presumably backed by the US and NATO wants a war with Russia. Why would Russia oblige them merely to avoid criticism on legalistic grounds over a mere triviality. It’s not as if they made the Ukrainian sailors walk the plank or left them to die of their injuries. You pushing a tendentious and frankly ridiculous argument.

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Craig,

        You did commit a crime, by burrowing under the fence, and then staying in a hotel, and coming back the next day??? Don’t you like camping or what? I’m not suggesting that what you did was illegal, but it was hardly in the spirit of such things. My “Sis” who is a very good friend, and we are not related, except she comes from Lancashire like us, used all her holidays, whilst training to be a nurse, at Greenham Common, providing the best nursing care and facilities, that she could, completely free and independent, when she was a teenager. She never boasts about it, just mentions it in passing – and she is still just the same now.

        Both my older brothers were in the TA Royal Army Medical Corps. They didn’t want to shoot anyone either.

        Just look at the State of the current morons in control, who have probably never even been on a Scout Camp. I did, but it was called The St Vincent-De-Paul and I went with my friends from school when I was 10 years old.

        The girls came too.

        My Mum was in Scotland at the time, and I sent her a letter. She seemed really proud of me, and read it out to all her Scottish relations and friends. She told me, when she got back, and I got back home to Oldham from Mablethorpe

        I still think you are nice bloke, even though I have never met you.

        Tony

      • SA

        Don’t really understand what you are trying to say but these were events during the Soviet Era a regime now gone. However, the British and US regimes are the same as far as I know, and in response to your frivolous post here is my less frivolous answer: Iran 1953, Suez 1956, Chili 1973, Balkan interventions 1990s, Afghanistan 2002, Iraq 2003, Libya 2011, Ukraine 2014, Yemen 2015, Syria 2011? And the list is not comprehensive.

    • Hmmm

      You’re certainly no historian! And yet you always give beautiful accounts from many of the interesting times you’ve lived through.
      Russia invaded (basically took a stroll through) Georgia in 2008.
      USSR invaded Finland in 1939. Not long after invading Poland iirc. ..
      There are no good guys when it comes to geopolitical shenanigans

  • Steve Steglitz

    Russia has every reason to distrust the Ukrainian gangster government serving US geopolitical goals and its military. I’m not convinced that just this once the corrupt Kiev government led by Petro Poroshenko was acting morally.
    ;
    To quote Article 23 of the UNCLOS:

    “Foreign nuclear-powered ships and ships carrying nuclear or other inherently dangerous or noxious substances shall, when exercising the right of innocent passage through the territorial sea, carry documents and observe special precautionary measures established for such ships by international agreements.”

    There we have it, The ships were carrying guns, machine guns, grenades and other weapons and explosives — arms that were used prolifically against Russians in Donbass.

    But this time it’s nothing to worry about according to Craig? Sorry if this is exasperating you again Craig but I’m genuinely worried.

    • craig Post author

      You are exasperating me by being a complete and utter fool.

      They were military vessels. By definition they carry arms. But they are still specifically entitled to innocent passage. Otherwise Britain could stop every single Russian military ship from transiting the straits of Dover on exactly the grounds of your pathetic foolery. That is not what the passage means and that is very plainly understood.

      • Steve Steglitz

        The Ukrainian warships took precautionary measures (a condition in the article) at the same time as carrying out “dangerous manoeuvers” in the strait? OK, maybe the Poroshenko government had no intention of provoking war between US and Russia this week.

          • nevermind

            Thanks Andrew, but ‘ vicious annexation?’ How did you come to that conclusion? There was an overwhelming majority vote in favour of staying in Russia. Krutschevs unfinished business was.never ratified by any Ukrainian Government.

      • Tatyana

        No one doubts their right for innocent passage. Many vessels passed there since 2014. And many passed since May, when Crimean bridge had been opened.
        But really, these vessels did anything but innocent passage.

      • Ralph

        Is that the best you can do, Craig, call people fools???
        For some of us, myself very much in particular, it is VERY PERSONAL regarding what is happening in the independent republics, as I know people there; for me, I cannot argue abstractly & about legal technicalities – that helps no one involved in being subjected to daily shelling by war criminals – where there are no legitimate military targets – by the kiev terrorists who deliberately destroy village by village in a scorched earth manner with heavy artillery & mortars, even dropping explosives from uavs onto CIVILIANS.

  • Loony

    It is good to see that there are at least some issues where you believe in the rule of law. I guess it is just a random coincidence that applying the letter of the law in this case serves a main purpose of backing Russia into a corner and perhaps as a bonus initiating World War 3.

    It is possible that the Ukrainian vessels were intending to attack the bridge and that Russia intends defending its infrastructure. Maybe Russia does not fancy declaring war on Ukraine because it considers that doing so would play into the hands of the neo-con warmongers. Perhaps Russia considers that it is better to run the risk of being accused of acting illegally than to run the risk of initiating a major war.

    Given the genesis of the current regime in the Ukraine I am less sure than you that Russia lacks any legal option to treat Ukrainian actions as terrorism. It may not ultimately prove to be a compelling argument but nonetheless a case for terrorism can be made. Surely any sane person would prefer to make that argument and ultimately lose than to start a war where everyone loses.

    It is true that “good vs bad” arguments are simplistic and devoid of intellectual reasoning. It is also true that the Ukrainian regime was installed on an illegitimate basis and that its modus operandi owes much to the doctrine of Nazism. This being the case then it seems likely that any opposing forces to Ukrainian Nazism could be accurately described as at worst “less bad” It would not appear to require any great intellect to appreciate the validity of such a conclusion

    • craig Post author

      Loony,
      Even more unbelievably stupid. They were uniformed servicemen on military vessels. If you treat them as “terrorists” you have completely anulled every provision of the Geneva Conventions and every captured serviceman of every country will have no rights. That is unbelievably stupid, really incredible dumb.

      • nevermind

        Excellent argument, so you argue that a gulf of Tonkin incident was legal as they were all in uniforms of sorts,
        Not some mercenaries acting as state terrorist.

        Btw. There is no bridge or vital water supply, only vital cables and gas mains connecting us to the continent.
        Should we be/not be concerned about it ?

      • Tom Welsh

        Craig, your language seems rather extreme. You disagree with Loony, but why call him “unbelievably stupid”? That’s uncivil.

        And your reasoning is vague. “Annulled every provision of the Geneva Conventions”? Hardly. Perhaps you meant “breached” or “ignored”. No one party can annul an international treaty (even though that’s exactly what Mr Trump has just tried to do with the JCPOA).

        Do you then contend

        (A) that the USA, UK, other NATO members and US allies have always strictly adhered to the Geneva Conventions?

        or

        (B) that it is incumbent on Russia to do so when its enemies do not?

    • Hmmm

      Loony, when you write “the Ukraine ” rather than “Ukraine ” you sound like a bigger idiot than normal. Save some energy and miss out the “the”.

  • Jo

    Ukrainian leadership is a party of war, and it will continue as long as they’re in power – Putin
    Published time: 1 Dec, 2018 20:57
    Edited time: 1 Dec, 2018 21:41
    Ukrainian leadership is a party of war, and it will continue as long as they’re in power – Putin
    © Sputnik / Mikhail Klementiev

    Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has branded the Ukrainian leadership a “party of war” which would continue fueling conflicts while they stay in power, giving the recent Kerch Strait incident as an example.
    “When I look at this latest incident in the Black Sea, all what’s happening in Donbass – everything indicates that the current Ukrainian leadership is not interested in resolving this situation at all, especially in a peaceful way,” Putin told reporters during a media conference in the aftermath of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    This is a party of war and as long as they stay in power, all such tragedies, all this war will go on.

    The Kiev authorities are craving war primarily for two reasons – to rip profits from it, and to blame all their own domestic failures on it and actions of some sort of “aggressors.”

    ALSO ON RT.COM
    Putin says Kerch Strait standoff is a provocation
    “As they say, for one it’s war, for other – it’s mother. That’s reason number one why the Ukrainian government is not interested in a peaceful resolution of the conflict,” Putin stated.

    Second, you can always use war to justify your failures in economy, social policy. You can always blame things on an aggressor.”

      • Ralph

        What about the MORAL position Craig, that is above ALL legal laws: ukraine is the aggressor party – with the backing of the USG & British Government.

        • craig Post author

          Ralph,

          Thank you for demonstrating my precise point. You believe the Russians wear white hats and therefore nothing they do can be illegal. The truth is that pretty well all who wield power are bastards, and the Russian 1% are just as corrupt and nasty as the British, American or Chinese.

          • Ralph

            In THIS case (the conflict involving the Donbass & Crimea), Craig. Nobody is saying Russia is snow white or perfect.

          • CanSpeccy

            To say that the Russian 1% are all bastards doesn’t prove your point that Russia should have declared a state of war with Ukraine rather than commit a technical infringement of international law.

        • Tom Welsh

          I don’t think we are going to change Craig’s mind, Ralph – or even open it one teeny tiny bit.

          Well, we tried. As I said, you can throw the man out of the civil service, but you can’t take the civil service out of the man.

  • Hieroglyph

    Actually, The Guardian’s Hillary cult turned me towards alternative, independent news, it was so blatant. A net positive, for me personally. And The Guardian is just utterly full of shit these days. CNN level fake news, with a radfem globalist at the helm, pushing all sorts of trannie nonsense down the throats of it’s audience. Ignore, avoid, laugh at.

    I expect Putin operates under a Cheney style 1% doctrine. That is: if it has even so much as 1% chance of being possible, act. Which suggests that Russian intelligence – not to be regarded as fools by any stretch – painted a particularly unpleasant scenario. I mean, why wold Putin trust the fascist Ukraine Government? I wouldn’t. Nobody would. Breaking international law would then be a small matter.

    As an aside, apparently some indictments and declassification are coming down. You Know Who will of course be in the firing line, and many others. A factor to be considered, though as usual internal games may stop the indictments.

  • Ralph

    The action in the Kerch Strait was obviously a provocation against Russia by the US Deep State using poroshitko (not that he needed much persuasion since it was also in his own political interests) to try and prevent Trump from meeting Putin, while making poroshitko look better should it have paid off. The boats had SBU (Security Service of ukraine) operatives on them to make sure the sailors complied – or else.

    So, it’s ‘illegal’ to parade the potential saboteurs, yet it is NOT illegal for ukrainian military forces – backed by the british and american military personnel – to daily break Minsk 11 by deliberately shelling residential areas with forbidden weapons, forcing children to be in fear while they are in school in the conflict areas?

    Who is doing the ATTACKING, Craig, and who is doing the (rightful) defending??? Have you even been in that war zone? What do you say to a young lady there, who asks you ‘Why are they trying to kill us?’ Or to the 75 year old lady, while standing in the public hallway of a block of flats in Donetsk, where the window had previously been blown in by kiev forces (backed of course, by the USG & British Governments) shelling it…for the THIRD
    time???

    I would love to take you Craig, to Donetsk, to get you off your chair and to face a dose of reality…with, hopefully, a huge amount of fear (which has resulted in many having nervous breakdowns, and deadly heart attacks from it there), such as those innocent civilians face day in and day out, going on for YEARS now.

    • craig Post author

      Ralph,

      Yet another argument of unbelievable stupidity. The Ukrainian government does illegal things therefore this action is not illegal? As a demonstration of partisan idiocy overriding logic you have done very well.

      • Ralph

        No, it’s because I recognise and know the reality as to why there is a war there, as I have proven, and that the kiev regime is made up of war criminals, backed up by American & British war criminals.
        You have shown no concern for the suffering of the innocent and attacked civilians there – where’s your compassion and humanity??? Would you expect others to show you any, if it were you who were living there?

      • CanSpeccy

        “The Ukrainian government does illegal things therefore this action is not illegal?”

        No, that was not the essence of the argument. The argument was that Ukraine committed (or may have) an act of war against Russia, in comparison with which, Russia’s refusal to treat captured Ukrainian sailors as prisoners of war is a rather insignificant and entirely rational departure from international law.

        That you call all who challenge your position idiots seems to confirm the hopelessness of your position.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Clear as mud, as you conclude that Crimea’s secessuion from the Ukraine may be legal, making passage through the Kerch Strait a matter of Russian territorial control.

    • craig Post author

      That you for that demonstration of incredible ignorance. Innocent passage through straits still applies where both sides of the strait are owned by the same country. If, once through the strait, only Russia bordered the Sea of Azov the situation would be different, but much of the coast of the Sea of Azov is undisputedly Ukrainian and contains major ports. Which is precisely why there is a right to passage through straits, to stop countries from blockading each other.

      • J Galt

        Craig what would your advice be to the Russian government on how to deal with this situation?

        I see your point and agree with your view that Russia must be squeaky clean on this.

  • Ian

    good to see you taking you on some of the idiots who camp out on your coat tails here, Craig, imagining their armchair conspiracay theories have your imprimatur.

  • Michael Droy

    have you considered how the tug boat was armed? Or why the intelligence officer was there?
    How long were the sailors detained for? There seems to be an assumption it was long term.
    And surely the continued presence of US and UK naval ships in the Black Sea makes life more complicated.

    “With the secession of Kosovo and Crimea, I take the view that both were illegal, though I can see a respectable argument that both were legal. That one was legal (either one) and the other not, I can see no sensible argument whatsoever.”
    Well I’d say both were legal, and both were secession, not annexations. But the case of the “Autonomous Republic of Crimea” seems the stronger to me.

    • craig Post author

      Michael,

      The presence of UK or US ships in the Black Sea has no bearing whatsoever on the legal position. I have no idea what the tugboat was for. But it was under military command and either it was engaged in an act of war, or it wasn’t. Legally it’s a binary choice.
      It may well have been an act of war. I have nowhere said it wasn’t. But Russia has to choose to regard it as such, or to let men and vessels go.

  • Deb O'Nair

    Whatever the rights or wrongs on this particular incident, to cite it as grounds to refuse to engage in dialogue is a red herring. May was talking to MBS even though his country has been engaged in outrageous law breaking resulting in the deaths of people.

    This latest incident is just an excuse, and perhaps a manufactured one, by the neocons who infest DC to derail any form of dialogue in order to propel their confrontational agenda.

    It’s hard to accept but there are many policy makers in Washington and London that see a war with Russia/China as inevitable and would like it sooner rather than later, i.e. while they perceive they still have the upper hand. This is not posturing, there are very serious times ahead for the West economically and geopolitically, and war appears to be a preferred escape route from the consequences of a collapsing US dollar supported Western economic system.

  • FobosDeimos

    Theres is no such thing as a “state of war” under post- UN Charter International Law. And that is why there has been no “declaration of war” after 1945 from anybody. No country would be so stupid as to explicitly say that it intends to resolve a dispute with another country in a manner that is expressly prohibited by the UN Charter. What you unfortunately have are armed conflicts (whether international or domestic), and in that case the 1949 Geneva Conventions kick in, with their set of rules on protection of civilians, protection of combatants after they surrender, etc. This is called “jus in bellum”, or the law applicable when there is a “de facto” “war”. War is therefore no longer a legal way of solving disputes. It is banned by the UN Charter. Force may be legally used only as authorized by the UN Security Council or under very limited circunstances under self defense rules, but also under the supervision of the UNSC.When the press talks about a”war” they are actually meaning a factual situation where an armed conflict has erupted. The aggrieved party may then take up the matter to the UN Security Council, and again the Geneva Conventions become mandatory for all parties involved. Russia has announced its intention to bring the matter of the Kerch Strait to the UNSC. I know that the veto power conferred upon the “big five” is a major hurdle in the lawful resolution of disputes, but that is the status of present day International Law.

  • Robyn

    OK, I’ll bow to Craig’s superior knowledge on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and accept that Russia has crossed the line in this incident. And given that Ukraine-Russia situation is a tinder box, it’s a serious matter. But what is its comparative importance, given the innumerable and outrageous violations of UN Conventions and International Law and domestic law by countries which (I assume) most of the readers of this blog live in?

  • George C

    Hm, can’t we agree that: it was a provocation; Russia had to use force to stop it; it was better to do this without declaring war; and now that the situation is contained, it should let free the ships and the sailors. I hope they will do this soon. Looks like most people here agree on these points and there is no need to call each other idiots.

    • SA

      George
      I agree with you. It is somewhat disappointing to see that Craig does not abide by the rules of his blog, play the ball not the man. Of course that is his prerogative. People have different opinions especially in these complex situations where all the facts are not clear but to then call each other idiots and stupid and so on on means that logic is not being used in carrying out a civilised discussion.

  • Martin Crook

    Hi Craig. Big fan of your work and great admirer. Please keep it up! I’ve just been teaching about Kosovo on my international relations course and accursed to me an article comparing Kosovo with Crimea would be fascinating. I haven’t scoured the literature recently to see if there have been any comparative studies done but my suspicion is there aren’t that many of them if any.
    In solidarity,
    Martin

    • Ray Raven

      One should not compare Crimea with Kosovo. Different scenarios with vastly differing historical background.
      The secession of Crimea is more akin the secession of East Timor, both regions being previously separate from the forces that were subjugating them (the Ukraine and Indonesia respectively). Kosovo has never been separate from Serbia.

      • Tom Welsh

        The important difference is that there was a proper referendum in Crimea, whereas there was no referendum at all in Kosovo. (Although, almost unbelievably, President Obama publicly claimed there was. Apparently even he couldn’t believe that Kosovo could be wrenched away without any democratic process at all).

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I am just so proud of our Irish friend, who is even older than me.

    We had travelled together before, but not to where she wanted to go

    She comes round our house about 5 years ago, and had already booked her flight to Moscow on Easyjet for the Spring of 2014 and says. I want to do the Trans Siberian Express, and spend a few weeks with a family in China…

    Both my wife and I spent over 3 hours with her, trying to work out how to do this thing.

    I quickly realised, you are planning to go much too early – or you will freeze to death, but you can change your flight details, to a few weeks later.

    Whilst you do not need visas for Russia, you most certainly do for Mongolia and China.

    In fact you need to be invited by a family in China, to stay with them…

    I said to her, this is far too difficult, for either my wife or I to work out. You need to go and see a Specialist Travel Agent Face to Face

    So she did, and did it.

    It took about 3 months, and she occasionally sent us a text message

    This single young lady, had no problems whatsoever in Russia, Mongolia or China.

    She was travelling by herself.

    She has got more balls than me, but she does have the Irish Charm, and can pass though any borders whatsover.

    My son is a bit like that, though nearly 40 years younger and very English like me, but with far more charm and courage.

    Tony

  • Julian Wells

    “With the secession of Kosovo and Crimea, I take the view that both were illegal, though I can see a respectable argument that both were legal. That one was legal (either one) and the other not, I can see no sensible argument whatsoever.”

    Clive is his usual calm and sensible self here. However, whether thinks that both these event were legal, or the opposite, there are also reasonable arguments to say that one or the other might have been legal (or otherwise), but was a bad thing, while the other was, although equally legal (or otherwise) was a bad thing.

    Put another way, the fact that something is legal, or otherwise, is only one part of assessing its worth.

    • giyane

      Clive?

      As in the statue on a column in Shrewsbury Clive from the local sandstone village of Clive in the heart of the Shropshire countryside, or some other Clive unspecified?

  • Tony_0pmoc

    It seems some of the powers that be, are getting slightly annoyed with me, by simply changing a few things on my computer.

    No1 Well after I got it working again, the first thing I did, was to download this tiny liitle extension to Firefox, which got rid of the completely annoying messages dictated by the EU about Cookies, on nearly every website I visited.

    It was such a waste of time, and nearly as bad as the adverts.

    No2 I switched my default browser from Google to DuckDuck Go.

    It seems to work reasonably well, except I now keep getting a much smaller number of warning messages, like for example –

    “You are trying to access a video on Youtube. Google Owns Youtube, and we will not let you see it, unless you agree to us reading all the messages and content on your computer.”

    I replied fine. It’s about time you Americans got an education.

    I think they like me really, though I do tend to occasionally be a bit of an arse, and piss people off, by telling them the truth. I try and do it gently.

    eg

    “Tool – Hush [hq – fullscreen]”

    “Sign in to conform your age. This video may be inappropriate for some users”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EF_WKwbueG8

    Tony

  • giyane

    Clearly it’s Craig who is being deliberately stupid here. After NATO decimated Libya where Russia and many other countries had legitimate maritime interests through the Mediterranean sea, Russia refused to accept the next proxy jihadist war which was Ukraine and Syria.

    It was NATO that first decided to use proxies in order to avoid accusations of blatant illegality as in Iraq. As soon as one side is masquerading as innocent by the use of mercenaries, and refusing to face accusations of illegality in spite of common knowledge of their direction of the illegality, law flies out the window. That is plainly because NATO is in gross breach of international law. For Craig to point his legal finger at Moscow just shows him for the die-hard neo-con he really is. Trump has started to drain the neo-con swamp by destroying territorial Islamic State, which was constructed by Obama using Erdogan of Turkey and Barzani of Kurdistan.

    Barzani’s family actually said they were fighting terrorism while funnelling funds and weapons to Islamic State, and actually went to visit the Peshmerga who were being killed by Obama’s terrorists while he was assisting them, all recorded on TV for NATO propaganda purposes. So please, we live in a media age and anything which is used by the media is by definition downright lies , not massage of the truth.

    As for the Craig’s use of the word “intellectual”. The truth of the heart is always more accurate than the concoctions of logic from fake media pics , as he very well knows. Islam has a rule which is not to start a war. That is why it is totally indefensible for Saudi Arabia to start a war in Syria, Yemen and now Myanmar. But it was their allies in NATO who actually started the wars so that Saudi Arabia and Turkey ( Muslim Brotherhood ) could wreck them as Western proxies. Victoria Fuck the EU Nuland made it absolutely clear that Ona was not remotely interested in international law. Who lives by the lie, dies by the lie.

    So I’m afraid Craig’s military exercises will have to remain the level of spoons and forks and teacups on his kitchen table because it was NATO that first started to break international law.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Giyane. I know you are bright spark, and write really well, but that was far too strong and almost certainly wrong.

      “For Craig to point his legal finger at Moscow just shows him for the die-hard neo-con he really is.”

      Over the last 10 years, and especially during ths year, Craig Murray has written the most amazingly well researched and in depth articles, sometimes with knowledge and contacts with some of the people he used to work with.

      Whilst from and still somewhat with The Establishment, who may or may not still be paying his pension?

      He has revealed more in depth information in his articles and books about The Establishment, than can be considered safe.

      They really did try to kill him, and nearly succeeded.

      He is probably on the same Team as Julian Assange, but I think it highly unlikely he is working for the Americans,, though they still let him in to collect awards for whistleblowing, and make speeches, and collect stuff from the likes of Seth Rich, who I suspect , but don’t know is still alive, as I reckon is Jo Cox. Even if not on the same team, these spies probably know each other and occasionally drink and eat and chat together.

      If Craig is a Neocon, he is very critical of them. Still not come out about the banned subject, but he ain’t thick, nor lacking in courage, and I think Jo Cox is lovely, even though I don’t like her politics.

      Tony

      • giyane

        Tony

        There’s many ways to skin a cat. In Islam the rules are clear, if you suck up to the enemies of Islam you will be betrayed and instead of helping you will cause a calamity to befall the Muslims. That calamity is upon us now because the British infiltrated Islam in 1918 with the Muslim Brotherhood and they cancelled the rule about political friendship with the enemies of Islam.

        Russia no doubt with China’s help has redeemed the situation in Syria and temporarily overpowered NATO. Ukraine is an attempt to confuse and stretch Russia’s resources. There is no point in discussing tiny points of law here. If God sends you a lifeboat and you say ” I’m waiting for God’s help” and He sends you a helicopter and you say the same, you deserve to drown.

        No miracle has prevented the re-introduction of slavery to Africa, but a miracle of enourmous proportions has happened in Syria. Russia , with China, has temporarlily frustrated the evil neo-cons from wrecking and enslaving the Middle East. Craig swans in with his little book of international laws and tries to bog down the Muslims’ saviour, sent by the mercy of Allah.

        I draw two clear conclusions from that, firstly that Craig doesn’t care about the Muslims who have been rescued from the vicious violence of the neo-cons and second , that he is therefore in some core, concealed kind of way with the neo-cons, or at the very least been got at by the FCO or its Daleks the Muslim Brotherhood who have caused this catastrophe to happen.

      • George C

        Tony, I agree and this is why I still read his blogs, even if I disagree with some views or conclusions. In fact, I have been amazed by Craig’s bravery when he wrote things that I would be afraid of writing. No surprise they tried to kill him, hope he lives a long life. An example for me.

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