UK Rejects International Court of Justice Opinion on the Chagos Islands 884


In parliament, Alan Duncan for the government has just rejected yesterday’s stunning result at the International Court of Justice, where British occupation of the Chagos Islands was found unlawful by a majority of 13 to 1, with all the judges from EU countries amongst those finding against the UK.

This represents a serious escalation in the UK’s rejection of multilateralism and international law and a move towards joining the US model of exceptionalism, standing outside the rule of international law. As such, it is arguably the most significant foreign policy development for generations. In the Iraq war, while Britain launched war without UN Security Council authority, it did so on a tenuous argument that it had Security Council authority from earlier resolutions. The UK was therefore not outright rejecting the international system. On Chagos it is now simply denying the authority of the International Court of Justice; this is utterly unprecedented.

Duncan put forward two arguments. Firstly that the ICJ opinion was “only” advisory to the General Assembly. Secondly, he argued that the ICJ had no jurisdiction as the case was a bilateral dispute with Mauritius (and thus could only go before the ICJ with UK consent, which is not given).

But here Duncan is – against all British precedent and past policy – defying a ruling of the ICJ. The British government argued strenuously in the present case against ICJ jurisdiction, on just the grounds Duncan cited. The ICJ considered the UK’s arguments, together with arguments from 32 other states and from the African Union. The ICJ ruled that it did have jurisdiction, because this was not a bilateral dispute but part of the UN ordained process of decolonisation.

The International Court of Justice’s ruling on this point is given at length in paras 83 to 91 of its Opinion. This is perhaps the key section:

88. The Court therefore concludes that the opinion has been requested on the matter of decolonization which is of particular concern to the United Nations. The issues raised by the request are located in the broader frame of reference of decolonization, including the General Assembly’s role therein, from which those issues are inseparable (Western Sahara, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1975, p. 26, para. 38; Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 2004 (I), p. 159, para. 50).
89. Moreover, the Court observes that there may be differences of views on legal questions in advisory proceedings (Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1971, p. 24, para. 34). However, the fact that the Court may have to pronounce on legal issues on which divergent views have been expressed by Mauritius and the United Kingdom does not mean that, by replying to the request, the Court is dealing with a bilateral dispute.
90. In these circumstances, the Court does not consider that to give the opinion requested would have the effect of circumventing the principle of consent by a State to the judicial settlement of its dispute with another State. The Court therefore cannot, in the exercise of its discretion, decline to give the opinion on that ground.
91. In light of the foregoing, the Court concludes that there are no compelling reasons for it to decline to give the opinion requested by the General Assembly.

As stated at para 183, that the court did have jurisdiction was agreed unanimously, with even the US judge (the sole dissenter on the main question) in accord. For the British government to reject the ICJ’s unanimous ruling on jurisdiction, and quote that in parliament as the reason for not following the ICJ Opinion, is an astonishing abrogation of international law by the UK. It really is unprecedented. The repudiation of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention over Julian Assange pointed the direction the UK is drifting, but that body does not have the prestige of the International Court of Justice.

The International Court of Justice represents the absolute pinnacle of, and embodies the principle of, international law. In 176 decisions, such as Nigeria vs Cameroon or Malaysia vs Indonesia, potentially disastrous conflicts have been averted by the states’ agreement to abide by the rule of law. The UK’s current attack on the ICJ is a truly disastrous new development.

I have taken it for granted that you know that the reason the UK refuses to decolonise the Chagos Islands is to provide an airbase for the US military on Diego Garcia. If Brexit goes ahead, the Chagos Islands will also lead to a major foreign policy disagreement between the UK and US on one side, and the EU on the other. The EU will be truly shocked by British repudiation of the ICJ.

I have studied the entire and lengthy ICJ Opinion on the Chagos Islands, together with its associated papers, and I will write further on this shortly.

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884 thoughts on “UK Rejects International Court of Justice Opinion on the Chagos Islands

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    • Sharp Ears

      Not forgetting the millions of Iraqis and Afghanis killed and injured, this is the toll on the British military.

      Help for Heroes: Up to 75,000 British scarred by Iraq and Afghanistan
      More than 220,000 British personnel served in Iraq and Afghanistan and more than a quarter could have been left sick or injured, a new analysis warns
      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/11138811/Help-for-Heroes-Up-to-75000-British-scarred-by-Iraq-and-Afghanistan.html

      ‘MoD figures show that on top of 453 British deaths in Afghanistan, more than 7,300 were treated in field hospital for battlefield injuries, non-combat wounds or disease. In Iraq, there were 173 deaths and 5,800 were treated in field hospitals.’

      ‘British fatalities during Operation Telic. Operation Telic was the codename for British operations in Iraq, which lasted from 19 March 2003 to 22 May 2011. During the campaign, 179 British service personnel and at least 3 UK Government civilian staff died. (6 of them female) Many more were wounded.’

      Many of those who survived are now homeless and with addictions.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    I think this is not an indication of Britain freely deciding to ignore International Law, it is rather a measure of how supine HMG is the face of US pressure.

    I came to the conclusion several years ago that The Special Relationship was no longer in British interests, and the US is entirely incapable of allowing any close economic ties without servile military vassaldom.

    I want Britain to break that vassaldom and I challenge Goldman Sachs et al to prove they are bankers, not CIA fronts, by not immediately threatening to leave London.

    It is clear that South American nations are showing greater ability not to bow uncritically gefore US pressure than the UK, which does not suggest Britain is a very worthy UNSC member.

    Surely the implication of UNSC membership is the ability to formulate independent foreign policy?

    It would nice to see such capability just once in the 21st century……

  • BrianFujisan

    O.T. I Think the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists were Too Scared to tell the Truth about where the Doomsday clock stands Today – Two mins to midnight – One Min 30 secs would seem more accurate.. Maybe not near that long for Pakistan, and India

    ” “I ask India: With the weapons you have and the weapons we have, can we really afford a miscalculation?” “If this escalates, it will no longer be in my control or” that of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    Khan closed his speech by saying, “Let’s sit together and settle this with talks.”

    https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/south-asia/article/2187883/kashmir-conflict-india-urges-no-escalation-after-pakistan-air?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR0Rr_FhtO4RV2bLvXvaGOxdxTyXvuF0twbOAd40BWa9d-89ngc3VEqKGGg#Echobox=1551295974

      • BrianFujisan

        Wow J. That’s Horrifying Stuff .. Thanks for the Link.. Where do these people come from.. We Know about Nuclear Winter, but that’s very much a Global Nukes War. Just WTF.

      • Clark

        The Washington Examiner headline is misleading. An exchange of nuclear weapons would do nothing to remove carbon dioxide etc. from the atmosphere, so it would not “reverse global warming”. It would merely lower the temperature temporarily.

        J, who’s this “group of human beings set the task of soft selling nuclear war”? The only culprit I can suspect is whoever decided upon the headline, which usually isn’t the writer of the article.

  • Dennis Revell

    :

    “UK Rejects International Court of Justice Opinion on the Chagos Islands”

    Well, slap me sensible, I’m fucking gob-smacked.

    .

    I believe the United States of World Horror also still owes the $million it was fined by the World Court for the mining of Nicaragua’s harbours, back in the Latin American Dirty Wars organising, Einsatzgruppen (death squads) supporting and genocide excusing heyday of Elliot Abrams – oh, wait a minute.
    🙁

    .

    .

  • Sharp Ears

    Failing Grayling’s foul ups cont’d

    1. Eurotunnel v HMG
    The government is facing a court challenge over the contracts it awarded to three shipping firms as part of its no-deal Brexit preparations.
    Eurotunnel, which operates railway services between the UK and France, says the contracts were handed out in a “secretive” way.
    The firm says it was not given the chance to compete and wants the contracts quashed.
    The case, which starts on Friday, is expected to conclude next week.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47403653

    2. He privatised the probation service when he was Justice Secretary

    Now: Probation: ‘Rushed’ reforms cost MoJ extra £500m, report says.
    The NAO report also said the number of people returning to prison for breaching their licence conditions after serving short sentences had “skyrocketed” – costing the taxpayer even more money.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47409350

    • Sharp Ears

      I heard on the radio that Eurotunnel are being paid £33m to drop the case.

      When is May going to get rid of this incompetent Grayling? He is worse than an idiot. To think he has an upper second BA on History from Cambridge, was a member of the SDP and worked in PR and television. I should think they were all pleased to see the back of him.

      Controversy after controversy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Grayling

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        The £33M figure being splashed around by the media for attention grabbing stakes appears to be a little disingenuous. The figure is inclusive of reserving additional freight capacity on the tunnel, so the compensation element for the Government being sneaky is an unknown. That said, the lawyers fees go into the “pissed up against a wall” column as does some of the £800K paid out to an unknown consultant for conducting due diligence on the nonexistent ferry company. It should be noted that the consultancy conducting due diligence failed to spot that the ferry company’s terms and conditions were copied and pasted from a pizza delivery firm.
        Genius has its limitations, stupidity is not thus encumbered.

        • N_

          Genius has its limitations, stupidity is not thus encumbered.

          Haha! I like that! 🙂 So the name of the “due diligence” consultant is being kept quiet. I wonder how well the government would fare in a FOI case with the ICO or in court if they relied on “commercial sensitivity” as the reason for keeping shtum about the said consultant’s name. How many hours did he charge for? Or was the fee arrangement – the horror! – not on a per-hour basis? That £800K smacks of an “I knew your brother at Corpus – didn’t you get a gentleman’s third? Enjoying working in the City?” operation. Or perhaps it went to a major firm such as Cazenove’s that always, no matter what, always has to “get paid”. Somebody should pull on these strings. I mean keep pulling. Who knows what might fall out? Is there any royal family connection?

          Ben Sharp, head of Seaborne, links to various places including military contracts.

        • Dennis Revell

          😉

          Reminds me of the Einstein quote:

          “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former”

          .

      • Paul h

        Point well made but I think both George Osboune and HRH both got Cambridge desmonds in history, so, umm…..

      • Hmmm

        Shame lots of you falling for the “It’s not the system it’s just the middle-management running it” crap. You need to get rid of the tories and then the problem will be eased, not solved. But it’ll be a step in the right direction.

  • Sharp Ears

    There is protest about the presence of Elliott Abrams on the Holocaust Museum’s Conscience Committee,

    ‘A dozen survivors of genocides from the Holocaust to the 1980s’ US-backed slaughter in Central America have demanded US diplomat Elliott Abrams be removed from the US Holocaust museum’s “Conscience Committee.”

    “We cannot fathom how Abrams – a proven supporter of some of the world’s most nefarious perpetrators of genocide and mass murderers for nearly 40 years – could be a member” of the US Holocaust Memorial Council and Committee on Conscience, they wrote in a letter to the museum on Tuesday, adding that “his presence on that committee and his affiliation with the Museum runs contrary to everything that you and your mission stand for.’

    Genocide survivors demand violent coup master Elliott Abrams’ removal from Holocaust museum board
    https://www.rt.com/usa/452707-genocide-survivors-elliott-abrams-holocaust/

    Chertoff, Bush’s Homeland Security Director, is on it too. Burns, Bush’s Ambassador to NATO also. Many gangsters-in-charge in fact.

    https://www.ushmm.org/confront-genocide/about/committee-on-conscience-members
    There are 42 members!

    • Dennis Revell

      :

      I’m not surprised that the Holocaust Museum’s Conscience Committee includes Elliot Abrams – it looks like it’s just another American or even another neocon Zionist American outfit that most likely only REALLY recognises ONE true holocaust – which must be kept holy above all others, and is a jealous holocaust, that will not permit the “worship” of any other.

      With Abrams as a member this “Conscience Committee” reminds of the also very pro-American misnamed “Human Rights Watch” – which outfit hasn’t seem to minded that its pontifications over the years has been used as at least fhe part-basis for the destruction of one coutry after another by the United States of World Horror and its poodles. This is NOT at all surprising when considering that over the years its membership has included “luminaries”, or do I mean “illuminates” (pronounced as a latin word: illumen-ahh-taze) of the US foreign policy establishment: including US Ambassadors, and CFR members. It is a SHAM organisation, one of many that claims independence, but which serve AmeriKKKan foreign policy goals – this is the reason Ramsey Clark founded the “Helsinki Human Rights Watch” outfit – in opposition to the similarly named sham organisation.

      Can’t leave this without mentioning that Craig Murray’s good pal and provider of Pizzas, the utterly odious destroyer of countries George Soros was/is a leading force behind Human Rights Watch – so no suprise there.

      Certainly out of date, but Paul Treanor did a critical piece on Human Rights Watch a couple of decades or so ago; this indeed illustrates that Human Rights Watch members indeed at least did (and probably still do) comprise members who had a not so indirect hand in the destruction of target countries:

      http://web.inter.nl.net/users/Paul.Treanor/HRW.html

      .

    • michael norton

      Ahmed was a member of the Labour Party for most of his career. In 2013, Ahmed was suspended from the party following allegations of antisemitism. It was reported that he blamed a Jewish conspiracy for a prison sentence he received following a fatal motorway crash, resulting in immediate suspension from the Labour party, from which he resigned later in the year.

      Look like he is the first friend of Tony Blair to be accused of anti-semitism

      • N_

        Ah so the sexual offences allegations against Nazir Ahmed may have a different result than the ones against Greville Janner who avoided a much deserved lengthy jail sentence by means of a Pinochet manoeuvre.

        The allegations against Ahmed are for when he was aged 14 to 17, in the period 1971-74. I have no idea whether he’s guilty, and if there’s sufficient evidence against him he should be prosecuted. Am just saying the police must have been busy and you gotta wonder whether they had some help.

  • Charles Bostock

    Meanwhile, any developments re George Galloway’s application to be re-admitted into the Labour Party?

  • Charles Bostock

    Donald Trump really got a drubbing frpm his former lawyer Michael Cohen the other day (racist, liar, etc). Not that I care much one way or the other, but is it true that Trump is of (recent) Scots and German ancestry?

    • Ian

      Why don’t you do a bit of elementary research for yourself, instead of trying to bait people with faux questions?

    • N_

      To start you off: Donald Trump’s mother was Mary MacLeod from the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, and his father was the notorious thug of a slum landlord Fred Trump, son of Elizabeth Christ (I’m not making this up), the German woman who founded what is now known as the Trump organisation.

      Donald Trump used to lie about his father’s ancestry, claiming it was Scandinavian, because he considered being of German ancestry would handicap him in the New York business world.

      • Deb O'Nair

        “because he considered being of German ancestry would handicap him in the New York business world.”

        So he would rather be considered a schmendrick? The man’s an idiot.

    • Dave

      Trump is in the all clear regarding Cohen’s testimony, Cohen is just doing what he can to get a lighter sentence for his own crimes, but will it work? You tell me!

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile Tom Watson praises his benefactor Max Mosley.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tom-watson-max-mosley-donation-labour-deputy-leader-racist-leaflet-privacy-campaigner-a8234676.html

    Talk radio:

    George Galloway imploring Corbyn to be more pro-active, or Tom Watson will become leader very soon of the Labour party. Galloway Tweets, that the removal of Chris Williamson (pro-Corbyn) from the Labour party marks the end for Corbyn.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/hashtag/georgegalloway?lang=en

    • Jo1

      RoS

      He’s very much the darling of the media, Tom Watson, eh?

      He’s declared, “I have my own mandate.” thus also suggesting he has the authority and the approval of the membership to:-

      Undermine the Leader
      Undermine the General Secretary

      It’s astonishing stuff.

      He’s announced a meeting with Corbyn next week to “demand” that dealing with anti-Semitism becomes the “number one priority”. (Less than a month before Brexit day!)

      He’s forming a new group made up of selected MPs to form and agree “policy”.

      No one is saying anything because if they do they will presumably be labelled anti-Semitic.

      Watson is surely breaking rules all over the place here! By rights he should be bloody suspended himself! It’s almost hilarious to imagine what would have happened to anyone who’d pulled a stunt like this on Blair!

      • Clark

        I rather like Corbyn’s leadership style. He’s just unfazed. They all lather themselves up into a frenzy around him with this concocted nonsense – storm out of the party, make out there’s a massive anti-Semitism crisis – and it seems to affect him in proportion to its substance, which is next to nothing. A calm hand on the tiller, straight down the centre of the channel as the frenetic outliers dash themselves against the rocks 🙂

        • Reg

          Clark, but the problem is it is not working as Corbyn has any supporters systematically removed from him particularly those like Ken and Chris who can take critics head on, It maybe his style but he has to change it or fail.

      • Reg

        Good god what is wrong with the left?
        The left play fair stick to procedure where Tom Watson and his evil empire are allowed to play as dirty as possible with personality assassination, why? Why don’t all the labour members labelled as anti Semtc sue, it is obviously no coincidence that those labled anti smtc are left wing when Boris Johnson is left to make racist comments whenever he is awake. Where is the personality assassination against Tom Watson to destroy any credibility, its not even that the left have to make anything up.

        For example:
        Tom Watson had to resign in 2009 as an advisor to Gordon Brown due to an expenses scandal after having to resign for running a dirty tricks campaign against Tony Blair in 2006. He is an odious person, and a crook, as indicated by his record.

        He spent the maximum allowed per yr on expenses for food £4,800 as reported in the Telegraph below. He also exceeded the maximum allowable in expenses for a table and a set of chairs. He also charged £150 to expenses on a single outing to M&S for food, where he got a free gift for being such a good customer. Even though he voted in favour of the benefits cap in 2014 (maybe there was a buffet), and regularly abstained on Tory welfare bills such as the Welfare Reform and Work Bill in 2015. He spent £100,000 with Iain Wright on a central London flat.between the election of 2005 and the Telegraph article of 2009. Both men claimed half of the legal expenses for acquiring the Westminster mansion flat and the fees to acquire the freehold.

        It is then quite legitimate to call him a F.B. without prejudice.

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5429883/MPs-expenses-Tom-Watson-to-resign-from-Government.html

        Why do the left not mount a vicious campaign concentrating on these personality failings of Tom Watson, Mandelson, Blair et al, and the inconsistently of Chuka previously supporting leaving the single market to restrict free movement and being against 2nd referendum, before cynically doing a 180 only as a way of attacking Corbyn, and the same for all Labour MPs indulging in using a set of contrived measures to attack the left, as it is not about Corbyn it is to ensure no left wing government is elected. Would a set of posters with pictures of these people setting out these financial failings be useful?

        Tom Watson relaxes after filling in his expenses account.

        https://www.ozpolitic.com/cgi-bin/album.pl?photo=forum-attachments/mike-myers-fat-bastard-austin-powers-goldmember.jpg

        • Jo1

          Reg
          I think it was Williamson’s own style that let him down. There is indeed a defence to be made against the poisonous attacks on his Party but he didn’t do it well. It will be interesting to see how his case goes because what he said wasn’t anti-Semitic. He was actually deeply offended that wild claims like, “Labour is institutionally AS”, are being made by current and former Labour MPs and are not being challenged. Such claims smear the entire Party from top to bottom. He is right to be furious but there’s a right way to go about it.

          Ordinary Party members will need to be very careful at their meetings. The media is anti-Corbyn and will have eyes and ears everywhere. That’s how Williamson ended up in trouble.

          It’s good to see Jennie Formby officially challenge Watson today by reminding him and all Labour’s MPs that his decision to set up a parallel Complaints Procedure is a breach of his authority. It’s to be hoped that Party members demand that the NEC deals with Watson’s blatant attempts to set himself up as a dictator who is accountable to no one.

          • Reg

            Jo1, No this is nonsense, you can not appease unprincipled s**m like Tom Watson.
            You cannot appease the blind will to power.
            However careful people are, even if nothing exists they will manufacture it, as they are liars like Watson.
            The media need to be denounced as the lying s**m that they are.
            In a political inclusive progressive party freedom of expression is essential to democracy, this is not possible while being careful, it also allows the middle class sideline the working class as the middle class grab the levers of power.

            Appeasing them by carrying out investigations into ant-smtsm only gives these groundless claims credibility. These antismtsm investigations have to be boycotted until these quislings are removed. Support for a racist state carrying out war crimes on a daily basis is incompatible with labour values so any supporting such a state have to be removed from the party.

            In a Mccarthyite witch-hunt the very worst thing you can do is being careful as this only encourages them. No they need to be crushed. Being careful will not help you, the complaints procedure has to be abandoned until the right of the party stop abusing it, everybody shuld refuse to cooperate with the complaints procure.These people need to be removed forthwith for bringing the party into disrepute (not just removed from their posts and deselected). John Landsman’s collaboration with the process means he has to be removed as head of Momentum.
            So Jennie Formby has used harsh words against Tom Watson, so what the only way to deal with Watson is to kick him out of the party, why is he still here?

    • FranzB

      Chris Williamson hasn’t been removed he’s been suspended. But if the inquisition follows the usual kangaroo court formula he will be removed. Labour against the witch hunt are trying to rally CLPs in favour of Williamson. Given that Watson wanted the Wavertree CLP suspended because they wanted to smoke out Luciana Berger, CLPs are going to have to decide what sort of Labour party they want – one that is against racism, or one that supports zionism which is a racist ideology.

      http://www.labouragainstthewitchhunt.org/
      http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2019/03/murder-in-gaza-un-film-of-israeli-war.html

      • giyane

        Zionism a racist ideology.

        Yes. Zionists will be Zionists. That’s their job. How does that affect us?

        Empire 1 was built by using our enemies against their own kind. The religious Jews are no different in this from any other potential target of ‘divide and rule ‘.
        The political classes of all denominations and none are the direct enemy of the ordinary people.

        Europe is currently full of refugees who the Empire2 perverts want to weaponise and use to form the new USUKIS empire.

        Jewish people are being radicalised by the fake slogan of AS in the same way as the Muslim diaspora is being radicalised.

        The target of AS slander is not the UK population .

        • Jo1

          “Jewish people are being radicalised by the fake slogan of AS …..”

          Oh I think they were already radicalised. It’s in the DNA of any group with a history of suffering and persecution. The fact is that they are being shamefully exploited in this internal war within Labour by MPs of their own faith. It’s just a shame that so many are willing to be wheeled out for demonstrations and protests and used abominably for an entirely separate purpose.

          We now have a group of MPs who are virtually untouchable when it comes to criticism by virtue of their faith. Watson decreed that Berger wasn’t to be criticised when she left. He attacked her CLP, prior to her departure, for asking valid questions about the smears she was sending out about the Party. He wanted them suspended. She was involved in setting up a new Party. They wanted to know about that too…. it’s grounds for expulsion after all….but Watson still defended her.

          I was thinking recently about every MP whose constituencies I’ve lived in. There are six. Five Labour, one SNP. I could not tell you the religion of any one of them. Yet, in our politics now we have a huge, and worrying, change where certain MPs seem to wish to be described as, not MPs, but Jewish MPs. This apparently allows them to hurl poisonous allegations at people in their own Party without being called to account. Anyone who challenges is called AS.

          Witness Hodge’s appalling behaviour in the Commons when she verbally abused Corbyn in front of other MPs. She was to be disciplined but the case was dropped. We know why. She got away with it. She laughed her way through interviews about it, lied about what she’d said…. she knew they wouldn’t touch her because her “faith” means she’s protected from the rules. What a sorry state of affairs.

    • Deb O'Nair

      When’s he going to wax lyrical about his many donations from LFoI honcho and Israel lobbyist Sir Trevor Chin, who has also been generous to leading anti-Corbynists Tony Blair, Ruth Smeeth and Liz Kendell.

  • Republicofscotland

    Watching parts of the UNSC meeting yesterday, I was struck at just how devious the USA’s Elliot Abrams can be.

    Abrams, tried whitewash a massacre of thousands of civilians including children by US funded death squads in El Salvador in the 1980’s. Yet yesterdayTrump’s Special envoy, attempted, albeit failing miserably, to take the moral high ground on Venezuela. However his Russian counterpart, exposed Abram’s for the charlatan he is.

    Meanwhile ex-UN Rapporteur, Alfred de Zayas, the most recent UN Rapporteur to visit Venezuela, in which he stated there was no mass misery or poverty in the country, only for his report to be sidelined, said after watching the UNSC meeting yesterday, that he believes the USA is now openly declaring war on International law.

    It has been announced that Maduro, the democratically elected president of Venezula, is to move the state oil firms (PDVSA) HQ in Lisbon Europe to Moscow Russia.

    • Charles Bostock

      How did you manage to watch parts of the UNSC meeting, RoS, is it on TV? CNN perhaps?

      A factual correction, by the way: you should have written “Maduro, the former democratically elected president of Venezuela”. That’s because the democratically elected national assembly removed him from office as allowed by the constitution.

      • Dennis Revell

        :

        “A factual correction, by the way: you should have written “Maduro, the former democratically elected president of Venezuela”. That’s because the democratically elected national assembly removed him from office as allowed by the constitution.”

        That is NOT true. Chavez intoduced the presidential recall option – which is not as you describe – it requires a referendum which can only be held if 20% of the voting populace vote that their should be such a referendum.

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

        .

        • Tony

          Not to mention that the relevant law only applies in the case of a permanent absence of the sitting president. Guaido used the law totally illegally. It’s not there to enable the national assembly to remove a sitting president with whom they disagree.

        • Ort

          Yes, Bostock’s understanding is the usual completely non-factual arrant nonsense.

          As anyone who’s not determined or programmed to swallow mendacious government and mass-media narrative knows, the assertion that the usurper Guaidó’s rationale justifying his preposterous self-election accords with Venezuela’s constitution is palpably false on multiple levels.

          Apart from the refutation you present, it’s also the case that if a president is lawfully removed from office, he is succeeded by the elected vice-president. Only the golpistas, their Western sponsors, and Useful Idiots believe, or pretend, that any Random Guy in the National Assembly can “lawfully” appoint himself president.

          • Dennis Revell

            ‘Like’

            & thanks for the clarification.

            No doubt there’s an english translation of the constitution s’where – I can’t be arsed, but continuing his tradition of including useful corroboration and original source material, and perhaps for one his future articles, Craig might want to hunt it out, or get such translated by one of his contacts (I don’t know – he may be able to do that himself – easy language compared to the Cyrillics he seems to be more used to).

            .

      • Herbie

        ” “Maduro, the former democratically elected president of Venezuela”. That’s because the democratically elected national assembly removed him from office as allowed by the constitution.”

        Nonsense. That mechanism is only for when the elected president dies or is otherwise incapacitated.

        And it’s only available for 30 days.The whole thing’s a con.

  • N_

    So…

    * enough previously anti-Deal Tories (such as Dominic Raab) flip
    * enough Labourites abstain
    * the Deal, tweaked and presented by Geoffrey Cox crying “Oyez, oyez, oyez”, passes next week
    * Brexit happens on 29 March
    * Theresa May ensures the DUP are paid to bring down the government and the Tories get a general election in April or May?

    ….Possibly with some big changes of personnel in the cabinet, because they gotta get JRM in there somehow.

    But no new Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has yet been appointed to replace George Eustice who mysteriously resigned. Is everything OK down on the biodynamic farm?

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Correct up to the early date for a General Election. May has allegedly committed to not fronting for the Torys in the next GE, so a leadership contest is required.
      Why has Rees-Mogg acquiesced to a NI backstop terminating as late as “the term of the current Parliament”? Because under the fixed term Parliament act this would imply mid 2022, but in reality there is going to be an early GE (Autumn 2019?).
      The new party leader has to be a fanatical Brexiteer due to the DUP situation. With the clinically optimistic Corbyn and McDonnell double act welcoming a GE on the grounds that they will repeat their polling gains of 2017 (they won’t be facing a robotic Theresa May and they will have to face the SDP reheated group that won’t take seats directly but will take votes allowing Tory gains from Labour), the Torys will gain an outright majority. Released from the DUP obligation, PM Rees-Mogg (other options are available) can initiate Customs checks at Belfast and Larne and fuck the DUP (remember, Rees-Mogg may have been playing at being the DUP’s bestest buddy for the last 6 months, but Rees-Mogg is very, very Catholic).
      The PM can then conduct the final settlement trade terms negotiations in such bad faith (wot, worse that already!) that the final result at the end of the transition period is Hard Brexit in all but name.

      • N_

        OK a Tory leadership change is possible before the next general election but how do things appear from the DUP point of view? They don’t want an election, whereas once the act of leaving the EU is out of the way the Tories do. With JRM as PM the DUP may not distinguish much between Dublin, the European Union, and Great Britain, essentially conceiving of all three as agents of the whore of Babylon drinking maggots from the Devil’s anus those with whom they have a difference of religious outlook.

        The creation of the TIG seems more about a GE than about Brexit.

      • Mighty Drunken

        I find one big problem with this plan. It requires Labour to vote for another GE. If was an MP I would vote against because the Conservatives caused Brexit. They need to follow it through and see the consequnces. Any new government will inherit an impossible situation not of their making. Even if you consider Brexit a good idea it will cause short term economic disruption and recession. Yet whoever calls it off will be pelted with vicous protest frpm the loudest tabloids.
        It would require for Labour to reach for the poisoned chalice.

  • Republicofscotland

    The oppressive apartheid state of Israels favourite son, might not obtain a record breaking fifth term in office.

    “In a decision that drastically shakes up Israeli politics less than six weeks before general elections, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be charged with criminal wrongdoing in three separate cases against him, including bribery in the far-reaching Bezeq corruption probe, pending a hearing.”

    “The decision marks the first time in Israel’s history that a serving prime minister has been told he faces criminal charges, and casts a heavy shadow over Netanyahu’s re-election campaign.”

    http://archive.is/itgFB

    • Sharp Ears

      Humphreys was acting as PR Agent for Bibi this morning on Radio 4 Today.

      1hr.34mins in on Radio 4 Today speaking to Dan Shapiro ex US Ambassador to Israel. An Obomber appointment.
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0002sn0

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_B._Shapiro

      ‘Does it worry you what’s happening in Israel. Will it damage Israel’s democracy? Whatever happens to Netanyahu, Israel will survive’ said Humphreys. YCNMIU

      Followed by a double dose of the emetic stuff with the Israel correspondent for The Economist, author of a biography of the crim PM, entitled ‘Bibi’, namely Anshel Pfeffer.

      Pfeffer is ‘British’ we are told and writes for Ha’aretz. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anshel_Pfeffer

      It was pure and simply prop for Israhell from our state broadcaster. It’s disgusting.

      • N_

        “Israel will survive”, indeed! One single word they don’t like – probably a single tone of voice they dislike, even if the word itself is OK – and Humphrys would be in deep sh*t, with his career over no matter how long he’s been in it.

      • Tom Welsh

        I actually find it very funny indeed that Haaretz is so much more honest and objective about Israel than the BBC.

        • Herbie

          Yeah. That’s the thing.

          They’re much more concerned to control Western media than Israeli.

          You get a much better understanding of what’s going on in the world, reading Israeli media.

          • Charles Bostock

            I very much agree with the last sentence of Herbie’s.

            That’s why I occasionally draw readers’ attention to the excellent “israel24news” TV station which you can receive by satellite. It is a must for anyone interested in what goes on in Israel and the surroundiong area.

          • Deb O'Nair

            Also, people in Israel can openly oppose their government without being branded an anti-Semite or, as recently witnessed on UK TV, a self-hating Jew by a Tory. If only the UK could be as progressive.

      • Charles Bostock

        “Pfeffer is ‘British’ we are told ..”

        Yes, and do you know (gasps of surprise from some, shouts of indignation from others), it’s possible for someone to be both British and Israeli. It’s called dual nationality.

        • Deb O'Nair

          Certainly not a precedent, especially for the two front mean of the leave campaign. Nigel Farage has (ironically) German nationality and Boris Johnson has (unsurprisingly) US.

  • N_

    C’mon Britgov, who is taking over as the new Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food? Is there a problem?

    • David

      the new farm-minister might as well be a yank!…

      a p.o.v. from todays press …

      A glimpse of the kind of deal a post-Brexit UK might expect from the US. On Thursday Lighthizer (US trade representative) released Washington’s “negotiating objectives”, starting with “comprehensive market access for US agricultural goods in the UK”. Translation: they want the right to fill our supermarkets with their chlorinated chicken.
      [plus 88 different agricultural pesticides that are banned in the EU]
      [after everyone in the UK is made ill by the hormone-icide then…]

      There’s language in there that takes aim at the NHS, specifically at the health service’s power as a bulk purchaser to set prices, paying less for drugs than big pharma would like. The US demand for “procedural fairness” may well be an attempt to break that power, forcing the NHS – and everyone else – to pay more for medicine.
      Some of these are demands any US administration would make, but others are Trump innovations.

      Note the US insistence that, on services, Britain take down all existing barriers to American exporters, while the US be allowed to maintain barriers that keep out British exporters.

      [Well done GCHQ with the first 1946 UKUSA agreement, I can’t believe that all your staff are ‘itching’ to eat their fill of deliciou$ Brexit US trade-stuffs.]

      More striking is the US attempt to restrict Britain’s ability to sign a deal with a non-market economy such as China. So much for taking back control. If the UK were to sign up to these demands, we’d simply be trading one set of restraints on our sovereignty – restraints agreed by us and 27 other nations in Brussels – for another, dictated by Donald Trump in Washington.

      compliments!

      get the full story at Graudian here https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/01/brexit-trump-trade-hanoi

    • Tom

      I guess they are hard-working compared with the Royal Family. It would be interesting to know what their carbon footprint is, wouldn’t it? We’re told to car share while the Royals swan around in convoy. If we had a real media rather than an establishment mouthpiece they would find out.

  • Republicofscotland

    First we had the former Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy, claim on Wednesday, at Spain’s showtrial, of the twelve Catalan independence leaders, that no referendum took place in October 2017.

    Now we have Spain’s former Interior minster Juan Ignacio Zoido, deny in court that he gave the order to send the Guardia Civil, and the National Police, to stop the poll, a move that left over a thousand civilians injured their crime, democratically voting on their future.

    Zoido, blamed Diego Perez de los Cobos, who helped coordinate law enforcement agencies at the time. A game of ping pong as to who’s to blame, and thus negating the blame in the process looks on the cards.

    • michael norton

      Yet he lives in Switzerland
      Citizenship Belgium, Bolivia, United States, Israel, Spain

      why would anyone need so many identities?

      • michael norton

        The Rich family
        gave more than $100,000 to the Senate campaign of the president’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
        Sort of you lick my arse and I’ll lick yours.

      • Charles Bostock

        Norton

        Having 5 nationalities does not mean he had 5 “identities”. The name in all passports was presumably Marc Rich.

          • Charles Bostock

            And known to the world – as well as on all 5 passports – as Marc Rich. I think you still haven’t understood, have you.

    • Greg Park

      I imagine it’s down to how China practically impacts the world, providing investment, loans, aid and cheap goods to much of the developing world without enforcing neoliberal structural reform programs, economic sanctions, military bases or regime changes. The developing world’s experience of US corporate-owned “democracy” is very different. They ignore labels and judge solely on how they and others are treated.

      • Republicofscotland

        Thank you Greg for that reply, though China is building man made staging posts in the South China seas. Its using its might to claim the Spratly islands even though other nations contest this. China is also actively trying to halt capital flight from the country, and its terrible oppression of the Tibetan people doesn’t do it any favours.

        Then there’s Taiwan, which has received several veiled threats over sovereignty, and lets not forget the kidnappings in Hong Kong, and the put down of its independence movement.

        China’s Human Rights record is appalling, very few figures on imprisonment and executions are available. Lets not forget the citizens credit scoring system in China, where compliance sees better schools, housing, and jobs, and the ability to obtain a passport so much easier for those who obey without question.

        • Greg Park

          So how do you account for why China is viewed favourably by countries beyond “the international community”?

          • Republicofscotland

            I’d say on the international stage Chinese investment is the driving factor, in Pakistan, Africa, and around the globe in general.

            However I have read but can’t confirm that China is now applying a similar scoring system to that of the citizen scheme, to international firms that want to do business with it.

            Applying the Three Wise Monkey’s parable by international business’s to Chinese domestic affairs could see companies land profitable contracts with China.

        • Stonky

          China baaad… China baaad… China baaad…

          You make me laugh RoS. On every subject under the sun, from 9/11 through Scottish independence and the Skripals to anti-semitism, you can see perfectly well that the MSM are lying about pretty much everything they tell you.

          But serve you up some of their China dross, and you’re swallowing it down and bleating it back out along with the rest of the sheep.

          • Clark

            What China does is severely exploit its population, mainly to supply cheap manufacturing facilities to massive corporations such as Apple.

          • Stonky

            RoS’s criticisms are valid; maybe you have tunnel vision?

            That’s always a danger. Alternatively, perhaps I just value ‘lived experience’ over stories I read in the Guardian and reports I heard on the BBC…

            How much time have you spent in China Clark?

          • Stonky

            What China does is severely exploit its population, mainly to supply cheap manufacturing facilities to massive corporations such as Apple.

            ‘China’ doesn’t do anything. Chinese people who have worked their bollox off from dawn to dusk for decades have created businesses that offer employment to other Chinese people. Some of the work is low-skilled and low-paid, in poor conditions (although the Chinese aren’t interested in that kind of stuff any more, and it has been migrating to to other South-East Asian countries like Vietnam, or to India, since the turn of the century).

            It’s a shame that you’re not quite broad-minded enough to understand that every person on the planet relativises stuff from their actual point of view. So for you, looking down (from what I suspect is a very comfortable Western middle-class lifestyle) on a low-paid low-skilled job in a dirty factory, you see hell.

            Looking up at it as a peasant whose family have lived for generations as subsistence farmers, at the mercy of the elements, the landlords, and the invading foreign forces, and have died in their droves when famine struck without any hope of salvation, a job in a factory that starts and ends at a given hour, offers a steady wage, and leaves you a couple of quid to spare at the end of the week, actually looks like heaven.

          • Stonky

            Oh and by the way, the notorious ‘Foxconn’ (supplier to Apple and inflictor of mass suicides on its hapless workforce and the rest of that bullshit) is a Taiwanese company, not a Chinese one.

          • Clark

            “…bleating it back out along with the rest of the sheep”

            Ah, the enlightened conspiracy theorist and the Sheeple. A familiar perspective.

            I have never been to China. You’ve lived and worked there have you? Or been on holiday perhaps?

          • Stonky

            I have never been to China. You’ve lived and worked there have you? Or been on holiday perhaps?

            I’ve lived and worked there for most of the last ten years.

          • Stonky

            I must say China sounds like an absolute paradise…

            Wikipedia.

            Really, we mustn’t criticise anywhere but Israel. Oh, and potential Israelis before Israel existed…

            I’ve really no idea what point you’re making here, unless you’ve simply mistaken me for a poster called Wonky.

          • Clark

            Stonky, I had indeed mistaken you for “wonky”. Sorry.

            OK, I’ll accept your experience that China has better employment conditions than other “tiger economies” (I think that’s what they were called?), and has been improving in recent years. I’m actually quite impressed with some of what I hear about China (their nuclear power development and prototyping particularly interests me), but that doesn’t let it (or any other state) off the hook. I am also unsurprised that the BBC and other Western media paint a picture that’s uglier than the truth. It wouldn’t even surprise me if the some of the same media corporations are active in China, busy painting ugly pictures of China’s economic rivals for their Chinese audience. Media is the new opium of the masses.

            I think if you’d have addressed the points RoS made, rather than just comprehensively dismissing it as RoS falling for propaganda (which played the ball rather than the man), I might not have mistaken you for ‘wonky’ and not accused you of tunnel vision. But sorry for getting it wrong.

  • Charles Bostock

    re PM Netanyahu

    ““In a decision that drastically shakes up Israeli politics less than six weeks before general elections, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be charged with criminal wrongdoing in three separate cases against him, including bribery in the far-reaching Bezeq corruption probe, pending a hearing.”

    “The decision marks the first time in Israel’s history that a serving prime minister has been told he faces criminal charges, and casts a heavy shadow over Netanyahu’s re-election campaign.”

    Can one imagine due process of this sort being carried through against the PM or President anywhere else in the Middle East, North Africa and Iran? Of course one can’t – and not because those other PMs or Presidents are not a hundred times more corrupt that Netanyahu might turn out to have been.

    Come to think about it, even Chirac had to cease being President before the law could feel his collar…..

    The reason of course is that Israel is a democratic state governed by the rule of law. History has shown that holding the highest offices of the state does not give those holders immunity from the law of the land. Were that this were so elswhere in the region!

    • glenn_nl

      The reason of course is that Israel is a democratic state governed by the rule of law. History has shown that holding the highest offices of the state does not give those holders immunity from the law of the land. Were that this were so elswhere in the region!

      Which makes it all the more revolting that they carry on with such murderous indifference to the lives of the people they have been occupying for the last 70 years. If it was the Saudis or China, we wouldn’t expect anything better. For a country that puts itself forward as civilised, and is an official friend of ours, their behaviour is utterly abominable and should be thoroughly condemned.

      After all, if they behave like this – as an Official Friend – what hope have we of persuading other countries to start respecting human rights?

      • Northern

        +1 on Glenn’s comment.

        I love how the Israeli first commentators immediately seize on this as an example of Israel being the middle east’s only democracy, but manage to simultaneously excuse it of the standards of behaviour expected of such countries – this statement will then be responded to with a whole barrage of what-about-ery in relation to other topics of discussion, followed by a hollow accusation of anti-antisemitism.

        Charles – would you agree that the ‘Friends Of Israel’ lobby groups appear to have an inordinate amount of influence over our democratic process for a foreign nation?

        • Charles Bostock

          Yes, I would agree with that, but only because you were sensible enough to use the word “appear”. That may well be the appearance – especially to those who wish, for various reasons best known to themselves, to believe it – but in reality that it is nonsense because the Friends of israel do not have the inordinate amount of influence you imply they do.

          Friendly feelings towards Israel are not the driving political force ispiring and guiding the all -party members of the HoC Friends of israel; they are incidental to what motivates, inspires and guides them in their political life and activities. To believe otherwise is to fall into the old and discredited trap of thinking that the Kews control everything.

          • Clark

            But this is like climate science denialists saying CO2 concentration isn’t important, when we can see the bloody icecaps melting.

          • Charles Bostock

            Clark

            The comparisson is not a good one. Measuring the icecaps is an objective procedure whereas claims about Israeli influence over the HoC through the Friends of Israel groups are subjective. You cannot for example say with certainty that the HoC would not have adopted a certain position (eg regarding Israel) but for the existence of those groups? In other words, the HoC may well have adopted that position even if the groups did not exist, and you cannot objectively prove otherwise.

          • Clark

            “The icecaps may have melted even if the CO2 concentration hadn’t shot through the roof”.

            Straight out of the blunderbuss.

          • Blunderbuss

            “The icecaps may have melted even if the CO2 concentration hadn’t shot through the roof”.

            Straight out of the blunderbuss.

            That’s clearly not a statement made by me. If I had said it I would have said “might” not “may”.

          • Deb O'Nair

            So you’re saying appearances are deceptive? What about the facts, e.g. the documented funding of UK politicians to promote, defend and support the Israeli government by pro-Israel lobbyists, and as reported, under the direction of the Israeli embassy? The effects of which we see practically everyday in the media. It’s a lot more than “friendly feelings” when these paid for representatives of a foreign government act in concert in an attempt to destroy the election chances of HM official opposition.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Charles Bostock March 1, 2019 at 15:56
      ‘…Were that this were so elswhere in the [email protected]
      Indeed. And were that this were so for ordinary Palestinians in Israel/Palestine, who don’t stand a snowball in hell’s chance of getting justice.

    • Garth Carthy

      @Bostock
      “The reason of course is that Israel is a democratic state governed by the rule of law.”

      Yeah, right. (I snigger)
      You must know that Israel is effectively a colony of the US and excels in breaking International law on numerous occasions.
      Like the US, Israel invades, occupies and subverts the functioning of other nations.

    • Ian

      It must make you so proud, to have fraudsters consistently in the highest office, with gangsters and terrorists making up much of the rest of the government. What democratic ideals!

      • Charles Bostock

        Not a question of pride or shame, Ian.

        My point – which you and the other respondents carefully avoid addressing – is that there is not a single other country in the Middle East (and probably not that many in Europe either) in which a head of government or head of state in office could have his collar felt by the law enforcement agencies and judiciary of that country.

        I take it you’re not answering the point because you know it’s true.

        • Ian

          You are missing the point, massively, as usual. Most countries in Europe do not have the problem of corruption which is endemic in Israel, and thus do not routinely charge their leaders with fraud. Israel has always had a gangster style ideology and state apparatus. Hardly surprising that they get their collars felt regularly. What is even funnier is that you hold that up as a virtue. Which demonstrates the inverted sense of ethics which prevails there, full of wannabe tough guys who fold on serious examination. Very Trumpian.

          • Herbie

            Yeah, it’s mostly financial fraud and sex crimes. Presidents and PMs both.

            Murder is treated much more leniently.

            I suppose the US and France are comparable, in a way. France much less so for sex crimes.

            The UK is much more tolerant of financial fraud and sex crimes within the upper political and financial classes.

          • Charles Bostock

            On the contrary, Ian. You are supposed to be responding to my point and you cannot do that by making a different point and then complaining I’m not respondng to that different point.

            The detail of your comment is severely flawed in that (1) it is incorrect to claim that corruption is endemic in Israel and (2) to claim tht there is more politico-financial corruption there than in neigbouring Arab countries and at least some European countries (France, Italy Belgium……) and (3) that I hold up the existence of politico-financial corruption as a virtue (but I certainly hold the state’s willingness to indict the powerful up as a virtue).

            I shall end by pointing to the essential contradiction in the following : “Israel has always had a gangster style ideology and state apparatus. Hardly surprising that they get their collars felt regularly.” If Israel were a gangster state (I speak of its internal persona) then surely its gangster politicians (as you would call them) would be ganstering away in full impunity, untroubled by the law?

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Charles Bostock March 1, 2019 at 21:20
          And ‘I take it you’re not answering the point because you know it’s true’, re Palestinians not having a snowball in hell’s chance of getting justice in Israeli courts.
          But, by all means, ignore my point…

          • Charles Bostock

            But certainly not thirded. All Israeli citizens, whether of Arab or other origin, stand equal before the law.

          • Deb O'Nair

            “All Israeli citizens, whether of Arab or other origin, stand equal before the law.”

            Utter tosh, what about under the ‘nation state’ law?

          • Clark

            All Israeli citizens, whether of Arab or other origin, stand equal before the law

            Even before the Nation State law, that was true only in theory, not in practice. Prejudice is rife, and gross imbalances were and are routinely ignored.

        • Clark

          Well let’s see; there are “our allies”, who smash Yemen with weapons we supply, or send troops across each other’s borders to cut down pro-democracy protestors with our nod and wink etc., and there are “our enemies”, which are either smashed, overrun by our allies’ terrorists, or completely paranoid that they will be unless they clamp down on everything. None of those is a propitious environment for law and order to develop, is it?

          • Ian

            “Israel is furious at the UN Human Rights Council most of the time, but they are particularly furious whenever the body offers a report, as Israel tends to violate a lot of human rights. In this case, the council has announced an “independent inquiry” into the protests at the Gaza border.

            Every Friday, for months now, Palestinian protesters have rallied near the Gaza border to protest the Israeli blockade. Every Friday, Israel shoots a large number of people. The investigation ruled that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe Israel violated international law.

            The report noted that 154 out of 183 people killed by Israel in that time were entirely unarmed. They noted Israel had repeatedly, deliberately shot children and journalists, as well as disabled protesters. International law, needless to say, frowns upon those sorts of deliberate killings.

            While Israeli officials reacted with typical fury, it is noteworthy that they didn’t deny any of the content of the report. Instead, Acting Foreign Minister Israel Katz argued Israel has a “right of self-defense and the obligation to defend its citizens and borders.” In essence, he is arguing that Israel had an obligation to shoot those unarmed children.”

            Normally referred to as terrorism, or state terrorism in this instance.
            https://news.antiwar.com/2019/02/28/un-council-israel-intentionally-shot-children-and-journalists-in-gaza/

          • Charles Bostock

            Ian

            Let me put a theoretical question to readers. Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that Israel is guilty on all charges and deliberately shoots dead children who are demonstrating at the international border In those corcumsaynces, would you consider it incumbent on those who organise the weekly demonstrations to tell parents to keep their children from attending? And on the parents of those children to act accordingly?

            If the answer to that is “no”, then it could be argued that those who organise the demonstrations are happy to see children get shot because it enables them to whip up a storm internationally amoung those who wish Israel no good whatever it does or does not do.

            To be noted in fairness that this tactic was not invented by Hamas.

          • Ian

            For pity’s sake, you are really scraping your sordid little barrel. Yes, it is all innocent children’s fault for standing the paths of bullets. Grow up. What pathetic excuse-making. Those soldiers – the kids made them shoot at them. What drivel, and heartless stupidity.

          • Ian

            The commission of inquiry refutes Israel’s attempts to justify its use of lethal force against protesters.

            Israel continues to argue that the Gaza protests and its crackdown on them are “part of the armed conflict between the Hamas terrorist organization and Israel.”

            But the UN investigators echo what Palestinian human rights groups have previously stated: that the demonstrations along Gaza’s boundary with Israel are a civilian matter of law enforcement governed by the framework of international human rights law.

            The commission of inquiry affirms the civilian nature of the protest and their “clearly stated political aims.”

            The Great March of Return sprang from poet and journalist Ahmed Abu Artema’s January 2018 call for a nonviolent march to the Gaza-Israel boundary to bring international attention to Palestinian refugees’ right to return to the lands from which their families were expelled in 1948.

            ….

            Thirty-five children were killed during Great March of Return protests in 2018 (five more have been slain this year). Children were killed while posing “no imminent threat of death or serious injury to soldiers,” and four were shot dead “as they walked or ran away from the fence,” according to the commission of inquiry report.

            “Israeli forces caused permanent disabilities to many of the 940 children shot during the demonstrations,” the report states.


            Israeli snipers targeted children, knowing that they were children, paramedics and journalists marked as such were intentionally shot and killed, the commission of inquiry found.

            Their report states that the occupied Palestinian territory, comprising Gaza and the West Bank, “is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a health worker.”

            Three paramedics have been killed while on duty during the Great March of Return protests.

            Soldiers have shot four journalists in the abdomen, “just under their vests marked ‘Press,’” killing two of them.

            Persons with visible disabilities have also been intentionally targeted, including Fadi Abu Salmi, whose legs were amputated following an Israeli airstrike the previous decade. Two deaf protesters were also shot in the head and killed.

            Both men and women have been shot in the lower abdomen and groin, with victims telling the commission “that they were now unlikely to be able to have children.”

            Protesters have incurred horrific injuries, with an international doctor describing to the UN investigators “massive open wounds in the legs, with skin and muscles ‘blown out,’ bones smashed to pieces, and damage to blood vessels leading to vascular injury, putting the entire limb at risk.”

          • Charles Bostock

            Ian

            You’re doing a fine job of bmlustering but you’re not answering the ppoint, are you.

            To repeat : why do those who organise the (violent) demonstrations at the international border between Israel and Gaza not order parents to keep their children at home and out of harm’s way? Being aware that the children might just get shot?

            @ Clark – don’t come out with that crap about “blame the victim”. If they are victims they are victims which have been created, cynically, by those organising the demonstrations. As I implied in my last post, putting children in harm’s way is an old tactic used by “leaders” who carefully keep out of harm’s way themselves. Why doesn’t the head honcho of Hamas go and demonstrate at the border?

          • Deb O'Nair

            Charles Bostock
            March 2, 2019 at 11:20

            A quite astonishing and perverse comment. That is *exactly* why the Israelis are shooting the protesters, i.e. to stop them demonstrating. Don’t blame the Palestinians for getting shot illegally for no reason whatsoever other than to deter their protest.

            This could easily be spun the other way; Why are the IDF supporting the HAMAS propaganda campaign by shooting the protesters? Surely an own goal for Israel.

    • Tom

      John Humphrys even had the nerve to refer to Israeli ‘democracy’ on the Toady programme this morning. Israel is no more democratic than apartheid South Africa.

    • Stonky

      Can one imagine due process of this sort being carried through against the PM or President anywhere else in the Middle East, North Africa and Iran?

      Charles, if somebody was repeatedly punching you in the face and I was repeatedly booting you in the arse, I doubt that you would claim that I was a ‘good guy’ because the other one was repeatedly punching you in the face and I was only repeatedly booting you in the arse.

      If you need me to explain the analogy in simpler terms, I will.

        • Stonky

          I did Charles. Sadly it fell foul of the mods. It’s a shame as it was very easy to understand. It involved you being Palestine and Yemen, and me and a really good friend of mine being Israel and Saudi Arabia.

          I’m sure it would have helped you to clarify your thinking.

  • mike

    Barry Gardiner was nearly correct on QT last night.

    The Corbyn AS smear campaign IS a media conspiracy. If only he’d had the balls to say so.

      • Herbie

        In an era of Hybrid War, Chomsky and Herman’s model is woefully out of date.

        Doesn’t explain the incredible change in The Guardian from Wiggy to Viner, for example.

        When they knowingly make things up, they like kinda do it knowingly and with purpose.

        Doesn’t explain all the hacks on the Integrity Initiative.

        Orwell’s much better of this stuff than Chomsky and Herman.

        • Clark

          I agree that it’s moved considerably in that direction. But the corporate media is big; Integrity Initiative etc. are still a relatively small part of it. The two models are complimentary and mutually augmenting. Plus of course there’s the feedback from the media’s own hysteria; the loops, the echo-chamber. It adds up to a perfect cacophony.

          Orwell had the government controlling it. This thing frequently controls the government.

          • SA

            Clark
            Partly so but the consensus is built around plants from ex agents or hidden agents. The exposure of the II is so momentous that it was purposefully ignored by the MSM. I am sure that Luke Harding for example is an implant.

          • Clark

            I agree that the foreign policy consensus is built around “implants”, though they’re probably just self-interested dupes – Harding and Urban are clearly rather prominent.

            But don’t let this central nugget blind you to the surrounding body of promoting individualism, trivia, political apathy, internal division, pointless consumerism etc.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Jack March 1, 2019 at 17:05
      Well, they might as well come and feel my collar now, because I believe Hezbollah are fighting a just cause.
      Luckily the ‘Security Services’ don’t monitor this blog, so I’m safe as houses!

      • SA

        Nice one Paul. I think if this gets serious the whole blog will become illegal and shut down.

        • Charles Bostock

          I think that’s unduly pessimistic. One should perhaps not give too much importance to people expressing their views on blogs like this, no real harm is done and it probably keeps some of them off other more serious forms of mischief. Furthermore it’s probably quite useful for it to be known which people hold the various views popular on various blogs. It’s like the argument about banning political parties; some say ban them, others say that banning them just drives them underground and makes it more difficult to find out about their membership.

        • Clark

          Not easy to shut down a site; they could try to coerce Craig, or attempt to control the entire UK Internet. We saw what happened in the “Arab Spring”; governments shut down their country’s Internet by instructing the infrastructure companies, but each time, the economy went into a nosedive and they turned it back on within a few days.

      • Dennis Revell

        :
        ,
        “Luckily the ‘Security Services’ don’t monitor this blog … ”

        – I”m sure we’ve had our differences before, but that is stated with such matter-of-factness that it comprises beautiful almost occult wit, I have to say: KUDOS!!! A developing comic to MENSA?

        I don’t just say:

        VIVA HEZBOLLAH !!!

        I also extol the ONLY democratically elected non-Apartheid Governing Party in historical PALESTINE (aka the Zio-NAZI state of Israel):

        VIVA HAMAS !!!

        (though my enthusiasm for the former is greater, for reasons Craig has outlined).

        .

        • Jack

          Unfortunately intelligence services are here monitoring not only the comments, topics itself but WHO is personally is typing them, i.e. snooping, spying, we live in 1984.

  • N_

    Two days ago (27 Feb) I asked “Is Santander about to collapse?”

    Today UBS announced a temporary suspension of trading in Santander’s shares “due to an internal static data issue”. What on earth is one of those?

    Also today, it was revealed that Andrea Orcel turned down the opportunity of joining Santander’s board after it withdrew its offer to hire him as its chief executive. Funnily enough, Orcel was at UBS. In fact he still is, on paper.

    Santander shocked the financial services industry in late January, when it announced it would not proceed with the hiring of Orcel, the high-profile dealmaker it had poached from his role as head of UBS’s investment bank. Orcel has been on gardening leave since the appointment was announced in September 2018.”

    “Santander said it changed its mind because of problems over Orcel’s pay packet, which included about €50m of deferred compensation and other benefits and awards related to the 55-year-old’s time at UBS. The Swiss bank previously indicated that it would withhold Orcel’s deferred compensation if he leaves to join another financial company.

    What shenanigans could possibly be afoot?

    UBS is an international bank and the world’s largest Swiss-registered banking organisation.

    Everything is squeaky clean. Right?

    You only have to walk down any British high street to observe that Santander has been falling over itself for years to lend as much money as possible to people with hardly any chance of ever being able to pay it back.

    • N_

      Santander UK has 14 million customers. It is Britain’s 7th largest bank.

      Anyone who has more than £85K in an account with Santander (or in accounts at any other bank, or in accounts at any group of banks under a single ownership) may find that they lose every penny in excess of that figure.

      The Financial Services Compensation Scheme says it will “aim” to compensate amounts up to that figure within seven days…and that if it doesn’t then it will pay compensation once hyperinflation has ensured that £85000 can no longer buy a bar of chocolate within 20 days.

        • glenn_nl

          Indeed – who is so daft that they don’t know about the £85K limit, and fail to shift cash elsewhere when it’s getting a bit close? After all, as long as you trust your spouse, you can each have an account up to the limit protected, allowing for £170K in any given institution.

          It’s also a good idea these days to keep a decent amount in a European bank.

      • Charles Bostock

        He’s probably trying to short Santander shares. Perhaps the Marxist is really a capitalist running dog, a kind of Woolworths-style Wolf of Wall Street?

  • Northern

    Anybody got any understanding on today’s announcement of 1 million USD for the capture of Hamza Bin Laden?

    Last I heard Ayman al-Zawahiri was being ordained as chief Al Q bogeyman and I’ve never heard of Hamza before today so the cynical bit of me is tempted to dismiss it as pure war on terror propaganda? Is this just a crude attempt at justifying boots remaining on the ground in Syria and Iraq despite the Orange one’s stated intent to withdraw or is there some more substance to the story to chew on?

    • Republicofscotland

      Northern, you’re probably right to be suspicious of this new found interest in Hamza Bin Laden, supposedly the favourite son of Osama, who according to the western media has been groomed by his now deceased father to take over the reins of al-Qaeda.

      Apparently Hamza is hiding out near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and that he’s married to a 9/11 Saudi suicide pilots daughter.

      Reports of his whereabouts in that particular region will of course give the US a carte blanche to go and get up to all kinds of no good under the guise of hunting down the so called terrorist.

      Hamza is a bokn for US arms firms.

      • Tom

        Perhaps the CIA should ask George W Bush. The Bin Ladens were family friends of the Bushes and were allowed to flee the US while other flights were still grounded in the aftermath of 9/11.

        • BrianFujisan

          Indeed Tom.. What was all that about. Stinks to high heaven –

          ” So why did the US authorities let the immediate kin of bin Laden escape on planes out of Dodge?

          “Even though American airspace had been shut down,” Sky News reported, “the Bush administration allowed a jet to fly around the US picking up family members from 10 cities, including Los Angeles, Washington DC, Boston and Houston.”

          “Two dozen members of Osama bin Laden’s family were urgently evacuated from the United States in the first days following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington,” CBS reported.

          The skies over America in the days following 9/11 were in lock-down mode yet the entire family of America’s number one enemy is released without due question. Furthermore, not only are these individuals duly released, they are released on commercial jets, the very mode of transport that bin Laden allegedly used to wreak havoc on the northeastern United States.

          This is truly amazing, and bears repeating: not a single American citizen could fly after 9/11, yet we give permission to the family of the evil mastermind who allegedly used commercial jets to damage four buildings to escape from the United States on commercial jets! This sort of irrational behavior on the part of the authorities almost makes it look as if the Bush administration knew that Osama bin Laden was not responsible for the attacks so releasing the bin Ladens would not mean much. Or maybe we are missing something here?..

          https://www.globalresearch.ca/bin-laden-family-members-evacuated-from-us-in-wake-of-the-9-11-attacks/15186

          • Kempe

            ” Or maybe we are missing something here?.. ”

            More than you could possibly imagine.

            The flight ban lasted until the 13th September and the bin Laden’s didn’t leave until the 20th. There were 26 members of the family aboard the flight, 22 of whom were interviewed by the FBI before being allowed to leave.

            A conspiracy theory made up of half truths and downright lies as usual.

          • Clark

            Kempe, I believe I have seen one of the flight documents associated with the, er, evacuation of the bin Laden family members, obtained by Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch. It names one Osama bin Laden – I’ve no idea if it was the Osama bin Laden. Have you heard of this? Was this Osama interviewed?

          • Clark

            https://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/new-fbi-documents-osama-bin-laden-may-have-chartered-saudi-flight-after-911/

            The document states: “ON 9/19/01, A 727 PLANE LEFT LAX, RYAN FLT #441 TO ORLANDO, FL W/ETA (estimated time of arrival) OF 4-5PM. THE PLANE WAS CHARTERED EITHER BY THE SAUDI ARABIAN ROYAL FAMILY OR OSAMA BIN LADEN…THE LA FBI SEARCHED THE PLANE [REDACTED] LUGGAGE, OF WHICH NOTHING UNUSUAL WAS FOUND.”

            Last time I looked I’m sure I saw the name on the document, but it’s now redacted. Page 4:

            https://www.judicialwatch.org/archive/2005/saudiflights.pdf

            Kempe, your dates and numbers seem a bit out:

            After 9/11, 160 subjects of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, “including but not limited to members of the House of Saud and/or members of the Bin Laden family,” fled the U.S. between September 11, 2001 and September 15, 2001

            https://www.judicialwatch.org/cases/judicial-watch-v-u-s-department-of-homeland-security-2/

            It doesn’t say they flew, but the funky one I cited above does and it’s a day earlier than the 20th.

          • Clark

            Possibly chartered by “Osama bin Laden” and “Nothing unusual was found”. Just fills you with confidence, doesn’t it?

          • Kempe

            At the time Osama was living in Afghanistan, in a cave according to the conspiracists, but even if he did charter the plane it doesn’t mean he was on it.

            As the report says not all the 160 Saudis were bin Ladens; the 26 family members may not even have been part of that number at all.

          • Clark

            “even if he did charter the plane it doesn’t mean he was on it.”

            Thanks Kempe, that’s really reassuring 😕

        • Charles Bostock

          Indeed Tom – but have you considered the possibility that not all members of the raher large Bin Laden family (you know, Muslims can be polygamous) were terrorists?

  • Sharp Ears

    David Hearst, ex Guardian foreign leader writer and now Editor at Middle East Eye. Who, what and when.

    The truth about Seumas Milne, Jeremy Corbyn and the new McCarthyism
    25 February 2019 17:54 UTC | Last update: 3 days 7 hours ago
    False accusations by yesterday’s spooks against Milne and Corbyn are a direct attempt to stop a popular and democratically elected leader from becoming prime minister

    This is of interest. He writes –

    ‘Milne went on the MEMO trip as a columnist. When pressure grew on The Guardian to acknowledge paid trips, Milne discovered that the British pro-Israel lobby, BICOM, had arranged over 50 visits for Guardian journalists to Israel in recent years without any paid visit being acknowledged by the newspaper.

    Many Guardian journalists had been on BICOM freebies more than once. I was one of them.’

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