The Struggle Is The Meaning 326


There is no conceivable interest of the ordinary people of the Western world being served by the crazed decision of their governments to firmly take the Sunni side in the Sunni/Shia tensions of the Islamic world, and to do so in a fashion which deliberately exacerbates points of armed conflict across the Middle East.

It is even more extraordinary that, in doing so, the West is deliberately forwarding the interests of two nations which have philosophies that are entirely antithetical to the supposed tenets of Western philosophy. Those states are Saudi Arabia, an unrepentant despotism, which promotes and finances a theocratic ideology directly responsible for the major terrorist attacks on the West, and Israel, which is now an openly apartheid state. The USA/Saudi/Israel alliance is underpinned by the identification of a common enemy in Iran and other Shia communities.

Of course the patent absurdities of the alliance point directly to the fact that the real motive is entirely different; this is all about the financial ties of the 1% and the permanent interest of the military industrial complex and their financiers in stoking the flames of war.

Which is an opportune moment to mention – as I have several times over the years – that if I had to recommend one single book to illuminate your view of the world it would be Imperialism by J A Hobson. His brilliant perception that empire had been a net disbenefit to the ordinary people of both the colonial power and the colonised, with the advantages reaped purely by the military, financial, armaments and political classes, and his groundbreaking methods of proving his thesis, is one of the great works of human thought. Lenin plagiarised Hobson extensively.

You can indeed find in Hobson a reflection of the anti-semitism that was regrettably common in his time. It is a problem in many of the great books of the past. Trollope is notably anti-semitic, but when John Major as Prime Minister repeatedly told of his love for Trollope, there was none of the manufactured outrage we saw over Corbyn’s recommendation of Hobson. In reading literature of the past there are inevitably notes that jar with the mores of these times, but they do not invalidate all the other qualities, once noted and appropriately analysed. I confess to being with John Major as a serious fan of Trollope. The Way We Live Now is also a great book, whose dark anti-semitic undertones are not necessary to its critique of rampant capitalism.

To return to Iran, I have no confidence whatsoever that apparent limpet mine attacks on shipping are Iranian in origin – in fact the narrative seems to me distinctly improbable. We have the intelligence community frantically signalling that John Bolton is making up his intelligence assessment of enhanced Iranian military activity. Jeremy Hunt has just put out a quite ludicrous advisory against dual nationals traveling to Iran. My wife Nadira was recently in Iran together with several dual nationals filming a comedy feature film. They met with nothing but friendship and cooperation from Iranian officialdom.

However, I remain hopeful that Trump can outplay John Bolton and prevent any immediate escalation. However bad his domestic agenda, one thing to be said in Trump’s favour is that, unlike every American President since Carter, he has not fed the military industrial complex by starting a needless war. I have no doubt whatsoever that Hillary would have started one by now. Trump, a monumentally flawed individual, is the only thing that today stands between the world and a Middle East conflagration that would make the last three decades seem like peace. That is hardly a comforting thought.

Nor is it comforting that Chelsea Manning is once again in jail, in terrible conditions, for refusing to testify against Julian Assange, himself in Belmarsh maximum security prison. These two heroes showed us more truth than the World’s professional journalists combined ever have or ever will. The American “justice” system is shown up yet again for the farce that it is. What value should be placed on testimony physically coerced from Chelsea Manning, who has already spent a lengthy prison sentence for her actions in leaking the truth about US military aggression? Either Chelsea provides damning testimony against Julian, or Chelsea gets tortured. That the world stands by and watches – and that the cowards of the mainstream media line up to applaud – I find rather hard to take.

Two other actions are worth noting here. The United States violated the Embassy of Venezuela, against the will of its government and in stark contravention of the Vienna Convention, to break in and seize materials and individuals, based on the farce of recognising the impotent US puppet Guaido as the legitimate government able to give permission. If any government wishes to recognise me as President of the United States, I happily give them my gracious permission to trash the US Embassy in their country.

There is no doubt that Guaido, with the entire world watching on, attempted to launch a military coup in Venezuela, and failed dismally. He has since addressed rallies in which his supporters have been numbered in scores. In the vast majority of countries around the world, specifically including the United States of America, Guaido would have been arrested and executed for his military coup attempt. Maduro has the power to do it. The fact Guaido and his violent antics are tolerated gives the lie to that false picture of Venezuela as authoritarian dictatorship which the mainstream media daily present to us.

Finally, in a country which the CIA has succeeded in reducing to puppet government status, Ecuador has, entirely illegally, compounded its illegal refoulement of a political refugee by handing over all of Julian Assange’s personal effects to the United States of America, on no legal basis whatsoever.

I had some difficulty in writing this post because the chain of these and other events over this past few weeks has been so thoroughly depressing, and can easily lead to a feeling of helplessness. On a more cheerful note, Part 2 of my interview with Alex Salmond is now out

RT have blocked the video from functioning in embedded form, you have to click again on the link that comes up. Or for those with Facebook

Here are three cheerful thoughts. Firstly you can declare your determination to work to destroy the United Kingdom, as I do here, and if you have a nice gentle voice and friendly personality nobody gets upset. Secondly, Part 1 had over 122,000 views on Facebook alone, plus those who watched on Russia Today TV and those who saw it on YouTube. When you compare that to the audiences of 7,000 for the flagship Nine news on the BBC’s new anti-Scottish propaganda channel “BBC Scotland”, that is pretty impressive. My third thought is this. I think the lesson of my life as revealed over the two interviews, is that no matter what the state throws at you, it is essential to continue to struggle for social justice. The struggle is in itself a good. Which is something I first learnt from Sartre’s Iron in the Soul trilogy when I was 15. I don’t seem to be getting far with intellectual development. It now being 3.25am, I shall bid you goodnight.

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326 thoughts on “The Struggle Is The Meaning

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  • Paul

    “These two heroes showed us more truth than the World’s professional journalists combined ever have or ever will.”

    Craig,

    This is extremely denigrating towards a great number of professional journalists around the world, many of whom are incarcerated and/or die each year simply for doing their job, and without a hint of the narcissism of Messrs Assange and Bradley. Most great journalists focus, unlike those two, on reporting the news, not being it.

    There are many recent examples including 19 journalists who were murdered for their work in Mexico last year, Daphne Caruana Galizia murdered in Malta, Jamal Khashoggi murdered in Turkey, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo incarcerated in Myanmar, Lu Guang (amongst many) disappeared in China, …

    That list stretches to dozens every single year.

    Your assertion demeans you.

    • Ros Thorpe

      I don’t agree. He hasn’t denigrated journalists at all but the media which is happy to scrutinise certain regimes but not others. There is a lack of balance when it’s reported that Khashoggi was persecuted and murdered for his views but Chelsea is equally persecuted and Assange. What do the Americans want? For Chelsea to repeat some script that implicates Assange? How is it justice to imprison someone for not incriminating another? Vile

    • Monster

      None of those journalists you mention has ever appeared on the international media radar, so they are irrelevant to the conversation about professionalism. They are only involved in local prejudices, whereas western mainstream media employs thousands of high quality and experienced journalists who regularly ignore or distort key events which affects the stability of the world; these are the people Craig refers to and Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning are the torch bearers in these darkening times.

      • Paul

        “None of those journalists you mention has ever appeared on the international media radar”

        What is this “international media radar” of which you speak, and where may I watch it?

        To say that the actions of China in many areas (not least Xinjiang where Lu Guang disappeared, or in the South China Sea) or of Saudi Arabia throughout the Middle East and the Islamic countries of the world are “local prejudices”, displays an astonishingly narrow view of what constitutes “the World”.

        I regularly speak with professional journalists and I have yet to find one who holds up Messrs Assange or Bradley as role models. For example, yesterday I had lunch at the same table as Maria Ressa, a renowned journalist who is being hounded by Duterte and his cronies for trying to shine a light on what he is doing to democracy in The Philippines. She was agonising about how to achieve this and yet avoid her (and Rappler, her publication) from becoming the news rather than investigating and reporting it. She is truly a professional journalist.

        • Anthony

          “I regularly speak with professional journalists and I have yet to find one who holds up Messrs Assange or Bradley as role models”

          Confirms what Craig says. They are in the misinformation business, manufacturing consent for a bankrupt order. The last people they see as role models are those who risk everything to expose the crimes and corruption of the powerful.

          • Paul

            Do I understand correctly that what you are saying is that the only journalist worthy of the name in the entire world is Julian Assange and that every other journalist in the world is in the business of misinformation?

          • Grhm

            No, he’s obviously just referring to the ones you “lunch” with.
            (I wonder who pays the bill?)

          • Paul

            I paid for my lunch and for that of my companion.

            The lunch was at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong as a follow on from the Human Rights Press Awards the previous day, at which Maria Ressa had been guest of honour. Should you actually be interested in the work of real journalists then start here: https://humanrightspressawards.org/

          • Paul

            I’m only suggesting that you read the site, not that you pass any information to it, so the lack of https in parts has no security implication whatsoever, except that anyone intercepting your IP traffic could see which parts of the site you read.

        • Reg

          Paul, you are a liar.
          Real journalists such as Seymour Hersh who broke My Lai, Pilger who broke year zero, do hold up Assange and Manning as role models.Either the ‘professional’ journalists are lying propagandists for US imperialists or you are. That these cheerleaders for war and war criminals are considered journalists at all is itself a terrible indictment.
          It is people like you who degenerate journalism in turning it into US imperialist prpoanda.

          • Paul

            I cannot speak for Seymour Hersh or John Pilger – I have not met them. I can only speak for the journalists to whom I have put the question. All I asserted was that of the ones I have met and asked the question, none has held them as role models. Obviously I have only met a very small subset of the world’s journalists. They are not cheerleaders for war or war criminals; several of them have been imprisoned for their work.

            If you care to look at the link I gave above you will see examples of some of the work they do.

            I am a sponsor of the Human Rights Press awards, and a Patron of the Hong Kong Free Press. Neither of these has anything to do with “US Imperialist propaganda”.
            http://humanrightspressawards.com
            http://hongkongfp.com

            I really feel that some of the commentators here need to get out of the echo chamber they appear to be in and explore the world a bit more. It’s a big and complex place.

          • Sharp Ears

            …oh and I have met John Pilger and have the greatest admiration for him and for the work he has produced over decades.

          • Curiouser & Curiouser

            I believe that you can add Robert Fisk to that esteemed list of Assange supporting REAL journalists you give. Pilger and Fisk constituted and largely probably still do, the two best journalists in the World. I guess you could say the ‘new’ crowd, their upcoming replacements, so to speak, are the likes of Eva Karene Bartlett, Vanessa Beeley, as well as, indeed, Julian Assange.

          • Paul

            In “the world”? Really? Can you even name a single journalist from Asia?

            Really people please stop using terms like “in the world” when what you mean is something which is a very small fraction of the world.

            (Hint: more than half the population of the world is in Asia, not Europe or North America)

    • J

      Your subsequent supporting comment “I regularly speak with professional journalists and I have yet to find one who holds up Messrs Assange or Bradley as role models” validates Craig’s argument about the state of journalism today and actually undermines your initial thesis.

      You dismiss Hersh and Pilger, possibly the two most highly recognised journalists still working today, both of whom are entirely shunned my the mainstream precisely because they do their job so well, but cite a string of journalists who have been showered with praise by the same establishment which shuns Hersh and Pilger. As an exercise in circular reasoning, you have excelled yourself.

      You argue that narcissism is the defining characteristic of journalists who subsequently themselves become news stories then present Daphne Caruana Galizia and Jamal Khashoggi as examples of good journalism apparently denigrated by Craig, both journalists who became news stories themselves, largely as a result of the same international criminal network which Julians work has sought to reveal and undermine since Wikileaks began to publish.

      Your argument is self contradictory, narcissistic and denigratory of Craig, which somewhat undercuts the assumed moral dimension of the position you’ve taken.

      • Paul

        Eh? I in no sense dismissed Hersh and Pilger. Of course they are highly regarded journalists. I simply said that I have never met them and I have no idea what their views on Assange and Manning are.

        Nor did I argue that narcissism is the defining characteristic of journalists who subsequently become the news, but it seems clear to me that Assange in particular revels in the attention in a way that most journalists do not. Are you seriously suggesting that Daphne Caruana Galizia and Jamal Khashoggi becoming the news by being blown/chopped into little pieces is somehow attention-seeking?

        • Grhm

          Obviously not.
          Are you seriously saying that Assange and Manning’s unjust incarceration is somehow attention-seeking?
          I ask again:
          What would you have them do? Ask people to stop campaigning for their release?

          • Paul

            No, of course not. But at least they are subject to some sort of rule of law and have access to lawyers etc. It’s really much much worse in other parts of the world and there are many similar cases deserving of our support.

          • Grhm

            Have you ever come across the term “whataboutery”?
            It’s the rhetorical equivalent of the distraction techniques used by conjurers.
            What you say is true, and important, but irrelevant to the question you were asked.
            So I ask yet again:
            How exactly would Assange and Manning have to modify their behaviour in order to satisfy your demand that they not be “narcissistic”?

          • Paul

            Narcissism is a mental illness, not a behaviour choice.

            A Forensic Psychologist appearing in Manning’s defence at his August 2013 trial testified in court that he diagnosed him as suffering from narcissism and obsessive-compulsive behaviour. It’s a medical diagnosis by a doctor “on his side”. I am not a doctor so I don’t presume to know better.

            It seems likely to me that Manning’s recent actions resulting in his further detention are driven at least partly by narcissism given that he has been diagnosed as suffering from it.

            As for Assange I need to do a little more research – off to watch Risk on Netflix now…

            And again, my core point is not to do with the rightness or wrongness of Manning’s or Assange’s cause. My core point is that Craig was absolutely wrong to assert that “These two heroes showed us more truth than the World’s professional journalists combined ever have or ever will.”

    • Dungroanin

      The only indy investigative I know well had no idea of IoS / II. Ditto the Panaroma lies. Surprising since she worked regularly on investigations. Her excuse? It’s not in the news and none of my peer group have mentioned it on the boards…

      Kashoggi btw can not be classified as a genuine independent investigative journalist – like others mentioned here and eminent others not.

      As far as msm goes heres the latest from the Swiss propaganda researchers media map of publishers place in the neocon world.
      https://swprs.org/contact/
      (Their article on the cfr is also a must read).

      As for potus – i stick to my long held perception that he can only be judged in hindsight (can we have an honest assesment of the Obama era yet?); btw Trump has had the nuke codes for nearly 3 years when the anti-deplorable mobsters and media were scaremongering that he must not be allowed to get anywhere near such decision making power! The orange one really wants hotels and golf courses with his name on them all across the world – now with genuine Presidential suites!

    • Borncynical

      In view of your apparent belief that the name of Julian Assange isn’t worthy of mention in the same breath as Daphne Galizia and others, I take it you don’t see the irony in the fact that he was last month awarded the Galizia Prize for Journalists, Whistleblowers and Defenders of the Right to Information, sponsored by European left-wing parliamentarians in memory of Daphne Galizia.

      • Paul

        I would be very happy if Daphne Galizia were regularly mentioned in the same breath as Julian Assange. My issue is simply that he (and Manning) are really not very different from hundreds of other dedicated and professional journalists around the world who risk incarceration and death every day just for doing their job.

        • Sharp Ears

          So why are Assange and Manning being targeted? Because they expose some of the West’s crimes?

          Most of the others can be described as ‘stenographers-to-power’.

          • Paul

            Since the beginning of 2019 RSF reports 12 journalists having been murdered for doing their job, and 172 imprisoned.

            Assange and Manning are no more being targetted than any of those people.

            You denigrate the many hundreds and thousands of good honest journalists around the world by describing them as mostly stenographers-to-power.

    • Merkin Scot

      ‘….Jamal Khashoggi murdered in Turkey,….’ lol. That would be ISIS fighter, Khashoggi?
      .
      Your mendacity defines you.

      • Paul

        I will not claim to be an expert on the writings on Mr Khashoggi, but I have seen no evidence that he was an ISIS fighter. Could you please provide some links for my education?

      • Blue

        Khashoggi was Muslim Brotherhood. One of the reasons that Erdoğan was so miffed at his being assasinated in Turkey

    • pete

      Re Paul and “These two heroes showed us more truth than the World’s professional journalists combined ever have or ever will.”
      This is not hyperbole, it is literally true. Craig is talking about the information that they have released. Knowing that there was a price to be paid for this makes them also brave. Neither of them are responsible for how the MSM came to respond to them as people, or how they were characterised in the media. Nor is Craig or they responsible for how the MSM fail to venerate or draw attention to brave journalists from elsewhere who cover different pressing human rights abuses, or indeed for MSM failure to cover human rights issues generally in any depth adequately.
      No journalist in particular was denigrated, to read Craig’s comments as such is to over egg this particular omelette, of course there are other brave journalists. Manning and Assange have been focused on because they have particular interest to us here in the west, where our concerns are with the main agents fomenting discord and conflict and who subvert the democratic process for selfish and pecuniary gain, that is what has been highlighted by Craig.
      If you are annoyed because Craig is concerned with wanting to halt the dangerous game of brinkmanship being played out in the middle east rather than your own pet project, why not start a blog of your own and let us know how that turns out?

    • FranzB

      Also from the Guardian on 28/2/18 – “The Slovakian journalist Ján Kuciak was investigating political corruption linked to an Italian mafia group at the time of his murder, according to a summary of his “last investigation” published on Wednesday. Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kusnirova, were found shot dead in their home last weekend in a killing that police have said is likely to have been related to his investigative work.”

  • giyane

    Craig, divide and rule. It doesn’t matter if it’s pro EU against anti EU or sunni/ shi’a or football, we are many they are few so we have to be divided. Nuff said.

    The industrial military complex employs thousands of agents in the Muslim world to fabricate division as fake imams in a world of western created illiteracy about their religion.
    In communities where the Qur’an is universally read and understood like Somalia or Iraq it is impossible to cleave the community on sectarian lines however much fancy pasty work was tried by the US with sectarian bombs.

    As an Englishman I regard Christians who speak my first language as my own culture and community even though the Qur’an has verses of hate against Christians when and only when they attack Muslims. Asian Muslims and Sikhs are intermixed in culture and language in exactly the same way whatever the Qur’an says about imposters or hypocrites.

    John Bolton is out of date . He’s working the dividenrule sectarian rhetoric in spite of the fact that two years ago the U.S. used Iran to clear Daesh. Obama had promised Daesh land and then vTrump used Iran to flush them out.
    Now Iran is a menace , maybe next week they will use them for something else. USUKIS will never attack Iran. It’s like Al Queenida helping Israel to get the Golan.

    I have a shed full of tools , like a steel conduit bender I only used once. It’s heavy and it takes up space. Iran is currently being used to wreck Yemen and upset Saudi Arabia . You just never know when that pipeBending ayatollah might be useful so you keep it in the shed….

  • Grhm

    So, Paul, you reckon the crimes that Assange and Manning revealed… they made them all up as a ploy so that they could feed their narcissism and get their pictures in the paper?
    Yeah, right.
    YOUR assertion unmasks you.

    • Paul

      Eh? I said no such thing. It seems clear that their actions contributed to unmasking wrongdoings. I have no problem with that. It’s the personality cults that have subsequently grown up around them that I have a problem with.

      • Grhm

        You’ve shifted your criticism of them now from ‘narcissism’ to ‘personality cults’.
        They are both wrongfully imprisoned, I hope you agree.
        To avoid your disapproval, then, do you think that they should ask people to stop campaigning for their release?
        Or somehow to find a way of doing so without naming them?
        If not, what?

        • Anthony

          Do you not appreciate how enraging it is to see “personality cults” built around Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange? The media should be doting on and fawning over far more deserving personalities, like the royal family.

          • andic

            “These two heroes showed us more truth than the World’s professional journalists combined ever have or ever will.”

            There is plainly a certain amount of poetic license in this statement & that is Craig’s prerogative. Assange and Manning have certainly shown how vindictive and corrupt the establishment is, even if only by their situations now. But it is not more than the sum of journalism to date.
            I don’t think the statement is worth debating but it is plainly an exaggeration and some journalists may feel quite offended. Is Paul wrong or has he just offended you by calling Craig on it?

          • Anthony

            I have no idea what passes for journalism in most countries so cannot comment on wheher Craig erred in roping them all in. But I certainly see mainstream “quality” journalism in the UK today as a sorry excuse for a profession. It may have had some golden age in the pastwhen it held the powerful to account. But since I can first remember it has been pumping out fake news that promotes war and austerity, demonizing certain countries and character assasinating select anti-establishment politicians. I’d be almost certain it is this element Craig has in mind.

          • Grhm

            No, how he’s offended us is by dismissing Assange and Manning as “narcissists” and dismissing those of us who value what they have done and campaign for their release as victims of a “personality cult”.
            These are vacuous smears, which are almost universally upheld by the class of corrupt career hacks with whom he “regularly meets” (in what capacity is not stated) and whom he professes to admire as unimpeachable paragons of virtue.
            Any questions?

          • Paul

            I don’t “dismiss” them as narcissists, I simply feel that it is unfortunate that they have become the news, which is a situation which Mr Assange in particular appears to revel in. They have clearly done the world a service by disclosing information which the US and others would have preferred to remain hidden.

            What I have something of a problem with is them being put up on some sort of pedestal ahead of many hundreds of other journalists around the world who find themselves in similar situations (or worse) for their own valuable work, a few of whom I have met through my membership of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong (where I am essentially retired).

          • Grhm

            Those journalists you mention are doubtless very brave and their causes worthy.

            But, sadly, the fact of their persecution is largely unremarkable because of who it is that is doing the persecuting: reprehensible régimes from which, regrettably, we expect no different.

            Assange and Manning, however, are being persecuted by the United States and its spineless lackeys in the current British government.

            We are suposed to be better than that.

            This is the reason for the disproportionate attention their cases receive among progressives in the US and UK.

            It’s nothing to do with narcissism or pedestals.

          • Paul

            Grhm,
            I have sat and pondered this comment at length:
            “Those journalists you mention are doubtless very brave and their causes worthy.
            But, sadly, the fact of their persecution is largely unremarkable because of who it is that is doing the persecuting: reprehensible régimes from which, regrettably, we expect no different.
            Assange and Manning, however, are being persecuted by the United States and its spineless lackeys in the current British government.
            We are suposed to be better than that.
            This is the reason for the disproportionate attention their cases receive among progressives in the US and UK.
            It’s nothing to do with narcissism or pedestals.”

            And I’m really struggling with how to respond. My initial reading of it is:

            “These are non-white people in countries run by non-white people who are inferior to us, so what do you expect?”

            I can’t believe that’s really what you mean, so would you care to rephrase it for me? Specifically who do you mean by “we”? Are you asserting some sort of differentiation between people who are deserving of a humane, open, tolerant society and some other who are not?

          • Grhm

            Be ‘we’ in that sentence I meant ‘we British’.
            Are you imputing that it’s racist of me to use the word ‘we’ to refer to the nation in which I was born and have lived my entire life?
            If so, you have just outnuttied even the very nuttiest of the regular commentators here… and you are up against some very stiff competition.

          • Paul

            Thanks for clarifying that.

            As you may or may not be aware, this blog is read throughout the world.

            But I am still struggling to understand why you believe that we British (I’m British by birth too) are somehow deserving of something better than other people.

          • Borncynical

            Paul (@16.10)

            I apologise in advance for ‘butting in’ to your exchanges with Grhm but on reading your unfair response to him I felt obliged to put pen to paper (metaphorically of course 🙂 )

            @Grhm wasn’t saying that at all (nb. for one thing his use of the term “disproportionate attention” reflects that). And he says “We are supposed to be better than that” with an implicit facetiousness because that is what is constantly implied – if not stated directly – by those hypocrites at the top of the pedestals in Western Governments who actually have much to learn from what THEY would term “inferior” countries, in terms of moral and diplomatic behaviour.

            But following on from that I have to wonder why professional journalists in the West – who presumably you are speaking on behalf of as much as worthy Asian journalists – do not make much of the revelations and risks taken by fellow journalists in other parts of the world. If we, as onlookers and absorbers of journalistic work through the mainstream media, have not heard enough of the sacrifices made by other worldwide journalists can the finger of blame really be pointed at us? Do their fellow journalists not have a responsibility to spread the word? Perhaps from your insider knowledge you can suggest why that fails to happen?

          • Paul

            Thanks for that.
            I’m not speaking on behalf of anyone except myself. And I am not, and never have been, a journalist. I do, however, support what I believe to be good journalism through the Human Rights Press Awards, the Hong Kong Free Press, and my membership of the HK FCC.
            Isn’t it the responsibility of all of us to seek out different viewpoints and not just accept what we are fed by the “mainstream media”? That’s certainly why I pay a small amount each month in support of Craig’s website despite not agreeing with some of what he writes.
            There are plenty of places to go to read about the work and sacrifices of journalists around the world. Of course you’re not going to read about it in the Daily Mail, but they are not hard to find.
            Here are a few examples:
            https://rsf.org/en/ (if that isn’t already on your bookmarks then shame on you!)
            http://humanrightspressawards.org (again)
            https://www.amnesty.org/en/
            https://www.fcchk.org/press-freedom/ (because the FCCHK still tries to be a beacon for press freedom in Asia)
            https://freedomhouse.org/

            I think it is incumbent on all of us to make an effort not just to stay within an “echo chamber” of people who always agree with us. It’s really not hard to take a broader view via the internet these days.

          • Borncynical

            Paul (@17.08)

            And thank you for your comments as well. I don’t really want to prolong this debate much further but…

            …just to make clear, I understand your position overall in terms of seeking the warranted acknowledgement of the role that many un-feted journalists play throughout the world. I totally agree with you that if there was any justice in the world this would be a ‘given’. But I just think it’s inappropriate to seek to diminish the achievements and aims of Assange (and Manning) themselves for a situation in which they appear to be receiving more publicity – whether you perceive that they ‘milk it’ for their own ‘narcissistic’ purposes is immaterial to the point at issue.

            With regard to us all taking responsibility for adding information to our own personal knowledge banks (sounds a bit pretentious of me but I’m sure you know what I mean!), again I agree with what you say and I shall indeed make more use of the links you provide. I personally no longer refer to any mainstream media as my ‘go to’ serious news source.

            Nevertheless, if you take the generality of the population they would be entirely dependent on the mainstream media for anything resembling serious news …hence my suggestion that journalists from those publications could, if they want to be taken seriously and be seen to acknowledge the endeavours and sacrifices of their fellow journalists, do better at providing more wide-ranging, informative and objective reporting.

            J.

          • Grhm

            Paul,

            (1)
            I’m bemused that you seem to have got the idea that I believe Britons to be more “deserving” than people of any other nationality.
            By no stretch of the imagination could anything I wrote be interpreted that way.
            It’s not what I wrote, it’s not what I meant, and it’s not what I think.

            (2)
            I’m also bemused by your apparent refusal to recognise that some governments have better human rights records than others.
            If you consider it is racist to observe that it is more remarkable that a jounalist is being persecuted by the British government, than by the governments of Myanmar, Mexico, Turkey or China, then there is really no reasoning with you.

            (3)
            Are you going to apologise for calling Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning “narcissists”?

          • Paul

            (1) Borncynical’s response (18/5 @ 16:43) clarifies this as well. Fair enough. I was reading “supposed to be” in the sense of “required to be” rather than in the sense of “presumed to be”.

            (2) Of course some governments have better human rights records than others. However, I don’t see why that means that the journalists campaigning for human rights in say China (which impact far more people than North America and the EU combined) are therefore somehow less worthy than Assange and Manning. Again, my key point is simply that Craigs assertion that “These two heroes showed us more truth than the World’s professional journalists combined ever have or ever will.” is simply false.

            (3) As noted in another thread here, a psychologist called in Manning’s own defence at his trial made that diagnosis. Narcissism is a medical disorder, so I defer to the doctors (particularly those “on his side”). On Assange I am digging further.

      • nevermind

        Sorry Paul, many of these journalists you talk about, some who had awards given to them for wrting from WL hymnbook, are now cowering, saying nothing to help JA and Chelseas case nor their own profession.
        where are the Sirens that call out this madness and harassment for what it is?
        Thanks for this Craig, take heart from the Canaries and their future prospects, at 1000/1 they might just do a Leicester.

        • Paul

          You may be surprised to know that that there are many other things going on in the world, and them some people believe that some of these things are more important than the fate of Assange and Bradley. Are you suggesting that every single journalist in the world should be focussed on Assange and Bradley? What about all the other hundreds of journalists around the world who are imprisoned (or murdered) for their work?

          • nevermind

            No I am not saying that Paul, what im saying is that free speech is under attack worldwide and it is a shame that mainstream journalism is controlled by the whims of those who pay their wages.

          • giyane

            Paul

            Of course there millions of interesting things to talk about, as in Lewis Carroll’s sstiricsl poem about eating all the little oysters, a metaphor for colonising the world – they don’t matter!!!!?

            We are about to get a second Cameron who destroyed Libya and tried to destroy Syria but was prevented in the shape of Boris Johnson . Apparently his main attraction to the British public is his blonde hair and sexual irreverence.

            Journalists have groomed this liar, seller of public assets and narcissist as the best thing for us since sliced bread.

            So you reporting on many things like shops and candlewax is your deliberate attempt not to challenge the Zionist neocon world order which is imho your real job.

            If you were doing your job as a journalist , I could get on with mine as a craftsman.
            Journalists not doing their job puts them firmly inside the neocon NWO, along with bankers businessmen bosses politicians and other national disasters

          • Grhm

            No, Paul, nobody is suggesting that every journalist in the world should focus on Assange and Manning.
            But you started this.
            It was you who asserted in this thread without evidence that they are “narcissists” at the centre of a “personality cult”.
            Craig Murray, whose blog this is, is a prominent supporter of Julian Assange.
            You have a heck of a cheek to throw that remark into this forum like a hand grenade and then expect us immediately to move on and talk about something else.

          • Borncynical

            Paul

            You just don’t seem to get it. It is precisely through the sacrifices made by Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning that awareness is significantly raised of the rights of all these other journalists to do the work they do without fear of imprisonment or worse. Presumably this point has never come up at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong, which can only be a sad indictment of their judgement and awareness.

          • Paul

            I do get it. The problem I have is that these two are somehow stuck up on a pedestal as if they are somehow better than all the other professional journalists in the world who make similar sacrifices and suffer similar hardships.

            I apologise for using the term “personality cult” – that was not correct – what I meant was that they have be lauded as heroes somehow more deserving than more deserving of support that all the world’s journalists, past and present.

            My entire point is that these two have simply not “showed us more truth than the World’s professional journalists combined ever have or ever will.”

            There are hundreds of equally deserving journalists throughout the world.

          • Grhm

            Thank you for that apology.
            If you now also apologise for calling them narcissists, we can move on.

      • Borncynical

        Paul (@06.36)
        “…it’s the personality cults that have subsequently grown up around them that I have a problem with.” ??

        Perhaps I am missing something but, from what I have seen, the Assange/Manning supporters have never shown tendencies to focus on their personalities. Their vocal and tenacious support and outrage is based entirely on what they stand for in a world where attempts are constantly being made to erode freedom of information. None of us know or care about their “personalities”.

        Now, on the other hand, it is those who try to smear Assange by using terms such as “narcissist, ungrateful, untidy, unwashed, rude etc” who are trying to contrive an unpleasant “personality” in order to engender disgust and hatred for Assange. That is the “personality cult” that we should all be condemning.

      • Ingwe

        Paul, applauding journalists who do their jobs properly i.e. hold those in authority to account, does not make it into a personality cult. Perhaps you could give us a link to your articles calling out abuses of human rights and applications of arbitrary power?

  • Mayeaux Wren

    Sorry Craig, you’ve put the cart before the horse. Finance doesn’t exist to promote the interests of war. Rather, war exists to promote the interests of finance. Between the Military Industrial Complex and those who control money, it’s the latter who are the masters. Think about it – the latter can easily buy the former but can the former bomb the latter into submission? Eye roll. QED.

  • craig Post author

    It has just been pointed out to me on Twitter that Iron in the Soul is not the name of the trilogy, but the third book in the Roads to Freedom trilogy. I stand corrected!

  • Peter Presland

    “You can indeed find in Hobson a reflection of the anti-semitism that was regrettably common in his time. It is a problem in many of the great books of the past.”

    So, why do you suppose they were “anti-semitic” – according to our confused and agitated modern understanding of that much-abused term that is; and bearing in mind that it was originally coined as a way to avoid using the word “Jew” ?

    Could the phenomenon have had just a little to do with the collective behavior of Jews? or is it all the fault of us Gentiles?

    Taboo subject I know but one eminently worthy of cool rational discussion IMHO

    • Shatnersrug

      The problem with your suggestions is that it supposes all Jews collectively or not conspire and connive to ends that are not in keeping with the collective interest. That is a fundamentally prejudicial outlook. How can you know what any Jewish person is up to at any time based on prominent ones that annoy you?

      Jews in Germany between the wars were an extreme small minority, ones who as immigrants had worked hard to send their kids to universities as a collective group of fresh immigrants often do and had reached a certain amount of success whereby they tended to – not always – occupy positions of influence – again as immigrants do. This was not true of the much larger population of Jews in Poland – who away from the cities tended to be farmers, factory workers and generally speaking poor – the Nazis executed while villages of Jewish peasants in poland on the pretext of the supposed connivencies of people who were no more or less than German. You can see this happening all over Europe again. Not with Jews this time – who tended to have buggered off to America – who can blame them – but with Muslims.

      No one should be pre-judged by the supposed sins of others who they have no way of knowing – not even you or I.

      • Peter Presland

        “No one should be pre-judged by the supposed sins of others who they have no way of knowing – not even you or I.

        I am not pre-judging individuals. I am pre-judging the teachings of their post-New Testament sages which is grossly and offensively anti-Christian in direct line of development from the Pharisees and Sanhedrin of biblical times. I further consider it self-evident that those teachings will affect self-identifying Jews – and those brought up as Jews – and manifest in identifiable behavior traits – to a greater or lesser extent. That is all.

        • giyane

          Peter Presland

          You rightly elide historical pro semitism prejudice with contemporary Israel

          One might also elide historical Islamophobia with contemporary British foreign policy.

          To me this suggests that all religious sectarianism is immune from learning by mistakes, or education or human pity. Unable to evolve.

          The only way for us to evolve I’d for us to steadfastly ignore all attempts by any religious group whether it be US fundamentalist Christians or supporters of Daesh.

          They put the match to war and we extinguish their malice by ignoring their calls from the pulpit media or parliament to jingoistic violence.

          We survive the hot-heads through patient and consistent common sense. Trump has, as Craig points out , resisted hot-headed calls for war but he is unable to resist the Zionists.

          One would hope an old man would have learnt how to resist hot-headed road rage when confronted with lies from any source…

          • Peter Presland

            “To me this suggests that all religious sectarianism is immune from learning by mistakes, or education or human pity. Unable to evolve.”

            If confined to ‘Sectarianism then I guess that is reasonable; but to extend it to all (ie any) manifestations of adherence to religious belief is most certainly not – and especially so without reference to core teachings. My contention is that hatred (and I use the word advisedly) of Christianity is foundational to post-New Testament Judaism and has remained so right up to the present day, as evidenced most luridly in the Babylonian Talmud, completion of which post-dates the Christian Gospels by several hundred years. Note that my censure is confined to Judaism by which I mean the teachings of its foundational texts.

            The problem today is that civilized discussion of this and related ‘Jewish Power’ issues has become absolute taboo, with the term antisemite> the lead epithet used to smother any such discussion in the mainstream. I have no problem with absolute taboos per se, provided that they are confined to actions and remain open to civilized public discussion (pedophile abuse is an obvious case in point). But this is clearly not the case where post-WWII Jewish sensibilities are concerned where it is public-discussion itself that has become taboo.

        • Sharp Ears

          I see the connection to the link (Wikispooks) you give:

          ‘Wikispooks:History – Wikispooks
          https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Wikispooks:History
          10 Jan 2019 – Origins. Wikispooks was started by retired UK businessman and Deep Politics Forum administrator, Peter Presland. After a couple of months ..’

          but why can’t I load the Wikispooks page? A directory appears and then the page goes blank?? Who and why is doing the censoring? Microsoft?

          • Peter Presland

            Tx Sharp Ears. We are aware of the problem.
            Site stats remain buoyant so it seems to be a small minority of potential visitors that are affected. We think it is an obscure browser/OS/Javascript combination problem but have been unable to get to the bottom of it this past month or so. Also, our SSL certifying authority (Letsencrypt) is not recognized by some browsers yet – though this should only produce a security warning.
            Development of the site is ongoing. We could use a few more capable editors though.

    • .Peter

      https://www.uni-trier.de/fileadmin/fb4/prof/SOZ/APO/WindolfMS577June10.pdf

      “In the early twentieth century, a dense corporate network was created among the
      large German corporations (“Germany Inc.”). About 16% of the members of this
      corporate network were of Jewish background. At the center of the network (big
      linkers) about 25% were Jewish. The percentage of Jews in the general population
      was less than 1% in 1914

      Max Weber has shown that – through a particular
      reshaping of the original doctrine of predestination – economic success becomes a
      sign of being chosen. This is why it is so important for Puritans to be able to show
      noticeable economic success. Possibly, the fear of eternal damnation in the next
      world was a weaker motivating factor than the discrimination and humiliation in this
      world that the Jews in the Diaspora experienced daily. Economic success and wealth
      then become means to counter this threat. ”

      It seems the pressure exrted by the majority on the minority and their internal cohesion increasing in response to that pressure lead to a response to seek security in economic success under all circumstances.

      • giyane

        Peter

        ” economic success in all circumstances”
        Sounds familiar in the Muslim world as well.

        In direct contravention of the teachings of all the main monotheistic faiths.

    • mog

      There clearly has been a long history within Western thought which has been ‘anti-Judaic’, or more accurately, critical of the ideas within Judaism and the culture that has grown around the religion (rather than the individuals or ‘races’). Such critique pre-dated any concept of ‘anti-semitism’ (i.e. as a defined racist predisposition) by many centuries. This continues to this day. The defenders of the fundamental ideas at the centre of Judaism and Jewish identitarianism more broadly, openly and admittedly rely on the conflation of such moral argumentation with the kind of barbarous racism common within the German National Socialists and their affiliates. Most ethically minded people are too scared and brow beaten to entertain that there might be valid criticism of Judaic philosophy and religio-political intent which might stand on its own merits in opposition to all forms of racism.
      To distinguish such critique, we might consider alongside Hobson, characters like Solzhenitsyn, Dostoevsky, Jung, Neitzsche, Marx, or go back in time to Spinoza, Jesus of Nazareth…..or many others, all of whom stood by beliefs that nowadays would be denigrated as ‘anti-semitic tropes’ in the identity politics driven liberal zeitgeist.
      If one spends some time contemplating a comparison between the moral framework of the Old Testament books and that of, say, the Sermon on the Mount or the moral philosophy of ancient Greece, then, for many, the history of Europe and West Asia comes into a clearer focus.
      Hobson was not just writing from the ‘mores of his times’, and to say so is either ignorant or a fudge.
      Increasingly, any such theological/ philosophical discussion of this subject matter is being criminalised or demonised or litigated out of existence.

      • giyane

        Mog

        Jesus pbuh himself tried to wean them from their feelings of racial and personal superiority. Most Brits get non-judgementalism from studying him, but all politics needs to take the shaytan back out of the bottle to get people to fight.

        Now we use ultra pharisaical proxies to do that for us and sometimes have to eat our own vomit when that pharisaical element gets turned against us.

        We tolerant Brits didn’t ask our politicians to trash the Muslim countries for z30 consecutive years. Nor was it the Zionists who decided to do that.
        Our very own colonizing Anglo-Saxon race which trashed north America and the entire British Empire knowingly flouted the specific teachings of Jesus Christ pbuh.

        That’s why I continue to be outraged at the massacre of practising Christina in Sri Lanka in revenge for the deeds of the non-Chritian political class.

        Two false flags Christchurch and Sri Lanka, both perpetrated against innocents by fundamentalists definitely don’t make two rights.

        I was so appalled at my mosque praising Islamic State I phoned Prevent.
        No apology from the mosque yet.
        HMG is so busy with brexit it seems to have mostly gone into rigor mortis.
        Tory Party Rest in Piece (s)

        • mog

          The ultra proxies have surely been a feature since the days of Babylon.
          How much of the colonising Anglo-Saxon zealotry was driven by, or ‘justified by’ the allotted sacred status of the Old Testament (and its characters) ? And how much finded by usurious courtiers?
          The Europeans have rightly been slammed for wrecking this world, but if you persistently ask ‘Why did they do it?’ then there is a wider story that is strictly off limits.
          etc.

          • giyane

            Mog

            If there was no satanical political malice, there wouldn’t be anything to struggle against.

            The struggle is the meaning, at least according to Islam and Craig . How those two parties came to be the same is not explained in the blurb at the top. Maybe God knows why He created satanic evil for us to struggle against.

            I was listening to a lady talking about Milton’s Paradise Loston Radio 4 this week. She said it was thin on moral content. Yes, but most English scholars of his age had learnt Arabic and converted secretly to Islam at a time when saying God is One got your head chopped off.

            I takes an extreme kind of genius to publish any kind of head-choppable truth in any age. This is the light in which we should see Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning. The sheer audacity of publishing the superpower’s indescribable atrocities to their faces or under their noses.
            While other journalists are pursuing everything else apart from the monstrous wickedness of the elites of the Times.

          • mog

            I fear that Manning and Assange bearly scratch the surface.
            May peace be upon them too.
            And you.

  • Johnny Rottenborough

    *It is even more extraordinary that, in doing so, the West is deliberately forwarding the interests of two nations [Israel and Saudi Arabia] which have philosophies that are entirely antithetical to the supposed tenets of Western philosophy*

    Not so extraordinary, given the influence of Israel and the diaspora. Joseph Sobran wrote in 1996:

    ‘One isn’t supposed to say this, but many people believe that Israel now holds the White House, the Senate, and much of the American media in its hands. This is what is known as an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. The odd thing is that it is held by many Israelis. In an essay reprinted in the May 27, 1996, issue of the New York Times Ari Shavit, an Israeli columnist, reflected sorrowfully on the wanton Israeli killing of more than a hundred Lebanese civilians in April. “We killed them out of a certain naive hubris. Believing with absolute certitude that now, with the White House, the Senate, and much of the American media in our hands, the lives of others do not count as much as our own…”’

    http://www.sobran.com/columns/2005/050414.shtml

  • .Peter

    I confess to being with John Major as a serious fan of Trollope.

    Thanks for pointing to a Victorian writer that has more insight into human psychology and the workings of Victorian Society than any of the others like Bronte, Elliot, Dickens etc.

    • Dungroanin

      Come on – more insightful than Dickens!
      Ever read Barnaby Rudge?

      Remember it was widely taught until very recently in Christianity that all jews were responsible for killing the jew Jesus and should therefore be hell bound. The fallout of that indoctrination in recent days has destroyed the great sporting career of one Israel (ironic?) Folau, because of the missionary prosletysing of christians in the Pacific Islands to his ancestors.
      He is accused only of repeating by rote what he has been brought up to believe. It’s only one of the list of sinners who have objected – presumably no one has asked him what he thinks of the peoples of his eponymous country!

  • TJ

    You missed the most important book regarding the government and the Sunni takfiris, Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam by Mark Curtis, I would encourage everyone to read it to gain a good understanding of how we got here.

  • Stonky

    I’m surprised and a bit disappointed that you didn’t find room in this piece for a reference to what seems a particularly relevant event – the revelations about the Douma chemical attack.

    There is a growing body of hard evidence that:

    1. The rebels faked the attack.
    2. The missile attacks on Syria were unjustified as well as being illegal.
    3. The OPCW Investigation Team concluded that gas cylinders supposedly dropped from helicopters had in fact been placed manually.
    4. The OPCW Leadership lied in its published report and claimed the opposite.

    There is also evidence that the ‘victims’ of the attack were in fact killed by chlorine, leaving the questions “Who killed them, when and where?”

    What is encouraging is that there appear to be individuals at the grassroots of the OPCW who are prepared to defy their leadership.

    This is a massive crack in the edifice of Western lies about the Middle East. As many people as possible should be shoving their crowbars in and pulling.

  • N_

    John Hobson’s Imperialism is here.

    Hobson was a eugenicist. He was a member of the National Birth-Rate Commission in 1916 (instituted with state recognition by the National Council of Public Morals) which recommended reforms and security of income for “efficient” human stock, so as to improve their birthrate, while considering that the birthrate should be restricted among low skilled and casual labourers. Michael Freeden’s 1979 article “Eugenics and Progressive Thought: A Study in Ideological Affinity” is a useful source.

    Practically everybody who comes from a privileged background in Britain finds it hard or impossible to leave the idea behind them that the poor, if not stopped by the “socially” conscious rich, will breed like rabbits.

    • pete

      Thanks for the link N_, I had failed to realise the book was in the public domain. Eugenics had a big fandom back before WW2, few people realised the dangers it could lead to.

    • Clark

      “Practically everybody who comes from a privileged background in Britain” [or anywhere else for that matter] “finds it hard or impossible to leave the idea behind them that the poor, if not stopped by the “socially” conscious rich, will breed like rabbits.”

      That is because fecundity is an adaptive response to insecurity, ie. programmed into everyone by evolution, but activated only in those who encounter the appropriate stimulus. By definition, the privileged are those who are most secure. They are therefore very unlikely to experience this emotional drive; the best they can do is recognise it through rationality.

      This could also also go some way to explaining why crime thrillers, slash movies, horror movies, disaster movies etc. are so popular – by stimulating fear they act as aphrodisiacs.

      • Tom Welsh

        Indeed, Clark. That is why, almost incredibly until you understand the reasons for it, almost every war results in an overall growth of population.

        An outstanding example is Iraq, in which it has been clearly documented that over 3 million people have died as a result of the illegal wars since 1990. Yet the population of Iraq has actually increased.

        When insecurity and stress reach the levels caused by war and terrorism, the survival instinct goes into overdrive.

  • remember kronstadt

    I am always bemused by the notion of books of the faith and eagerly anticipate religions of the Netflix. In my hungry teens I fortuitously stumbled on The Golden Bough by Scot Sir James Fraser, yes another Scot, which was a revelation beyond Revelations. It’s very likely shunned with shame for its incorrectness nowadays where there is more interest in judgment and not development through struggle.

  • Clark

    Craig has posted about Hobson previously, and at more length, with quotes:

    The Consequences of Imperialism:

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/01/the_consequence/

    J A Hobson – Imperialism: A Study:

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2007/08/j_a_hobson_impe/

    …and a short practical study, highly illustrative, and with such an unforgettable title that it has to be included:

    There’s Good Money in Death:

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2007/08/theres_good_mon/

    Craig wrote – “There is no conceivable interest of the ordinary people of the Western world being served by the crazed decision of their governments to firmly take the Sunni side in the Sunni/Shia tensions of the Islamic world, and to do so in a fashion which deliberately exacerbates points of armed conflict across the Middle East”

    According to Seymour Hersh, that decision was taken over a decade ago:

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

    A document obtained under FOI would seem to confirm it:

    https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/secret-pentagon-report-reveals-west-saw-isis-as-strategic-asset-b99ad7a29092

    https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/ex-intel-officials-pentagon-report-proves-us-complicity-in-isis-fabef96e20da

    • SA

      Clark (and Craig)
      The historic Sunni Shia divide is perhaps best looked in the historical context in a similar way as the 100 years war in Europe but perhaps far less bloody. It’s modern reincarnation is an imperialist construct that has been foisted through the agencies of the Wahhabis of KSA as a divide and rule tactic. Therefore it is strange to say that we should not be meddling since it is an invention of imperialists designed to justify interference. Mark Curtis has written some good articles and books on this.

      • Clark

        “…has been foisted through the agencies of the Wahhabis of KSA as a divide and rule tactic”

        Agreed. It is also very effective at priming countless thousands of mostly young people to become potentially murderous zealots, well beyond Saudi Arabia itself, who can then be aimed and launched via a few religious whispers, relieving political and military structures from accountability. It is a covert weapon of Gulf monarchism, a projection of religious/monarchist power, and the Western alliance frequently makes use of it.

      • Tom Welsh

        The historic Sunni-Shia divide – like all the other catastrophic divisions that have rent societies and caused wars throughout history – has been assiduously encouraged and reinforced by those who wish to sow dissension and death – and to profity thereby.

        The Romans knew the technique of “divide et impera” (“divide and conquer”) and used it to very good effect. Such good effect that one of their victims was moved to complain

        “Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium; atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant”.
        (“To plunder, butcher, steal, these things they misname empire: they make a desolation and they call it peace”).

        – Calgacus, as quoted by Tacitus

  • SA

    What is evident is that Assange is being punishment is far in excess of the norm. According to the CPS website the crime he committed, on conviction, is punishable by a prison sentence of up to three months.
    https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/bail
    Even so he is now being incarcerated in a high security jail for 9 months. Presumably the conditions of incarceration should really take account of how dangerous the original charge was, in this case, merely skipping bail for not wanting to be questioned by Swedish authorities by being extradited to Sweden but willing to be questioned in this country, or herring assurance that in going to Sweden he will not be further extradited to US.
    But the way that he is now being treated implies that he is not imprisoned for this but in fact in the same way that a terrorist suspect is.
    Is this not in itself a miscarriage of justice?

    • james

      exactly how i see it too sa… thanks …. and thanks criag for your post here and the many comments addressed to paul up above…

    • Kempe

      ” If sentenced in the Crown Court (whether dealt with as a contempt of court or committed to the Crown Court for sentencing) the maximum penalty is 12 months’ imprisonment and/or fine. ”

      Julian got ten months out a possible maximum of twelve. In normal circumstances he could be out in five however the extradition hearings could drag on for years and he’s unlikely to be granted bail a second time.

      • Borncynical

        Not sure where you get “ten months” from. I thought he was sentenced to 50 weeks. Presumably this would have been the maximum 52 weeks but they had to take account of the two weeks he had already been in custody for.

      • SA

        And the high security bit Kempe is normal for those who skip bail for questioning and not even being charged? How many people who skip bail get this treatment?

  • Sharp Ears

    ‘… Israel, which is now an openly apartheid state.’…

    I maintain that Israel is not a state as it knows no borders and knows no law(s). Palestine was occupied.

  • Bibbit

    Why did Julian not try to get to Scotland for political asylum? As shown by Carla Ponsati & Al Magrahi, surely Julian, at the very least, would not have faced the injustice of the recent London kangaroo court bourach? Nor, I suspect, would a Scottish court have sentenced him to such a malignly lengthy prison term, if he had allegedly ‘jumped bail’ conditions in Scotland?

  • JMF

    I agree, the mine attacks could simply be the initial phase of the plan, to get the media buzzing, before the arrival of the much more serious event to facilitate the start of major hostilities.

  • Robyn

    Craig writes, ‘…the chain of these and other events over this past few weeks has been so thoroughly depressing, and can easily lead to a feeling of helplessness.’ Many in Australia will join him in feeling helpless as, contrary to all opinion polls over the past few years, the Australian voters have re-elected the nastiest right-wing government we have ever seen here. We now look forward to continued torture of asylum seekers, destruction of the environment, coal mines, tax advantages for the wealthy, nothing for the marginalised or homeless or unemployed, sending our troops to whatever war the US decides to launch, acting as Deputy Sheriff in the South China Sea, enthusiastic cooperation with the Five Eyes Mass Surveillance system, Russia-phobia, and Julian Assange can rot in a US prison.

  • Sharp Ears

    It is always denied by Israel’s supporters that the US is its poodle.

    This is an instance of US interference in other countries’ affairs on Israel’s behalf –

    ‘US politicians and lobbyists applied pressure on the Irish government before it passed a bill banning goods from illegal Israel settlements, including threatening the immigration status of Irish people in the US.

    Documents obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request by the TheJournal.ie reveal lobby groups and US politicians sought to influence the Irish government to stop the passage of the Occupied Territories Bill, banning the sale of goods from illegal Israeli settlements. The bill passed in both houses of Ireland’s parliament in December and January.’
    https://www.rt.com/news/459677-us-pressure-ireland-israel-settlements/

    How dare they! Good for Ireland on standing up to the bullies.

  • Tom Welsh

    I have always pointed out that the US government has placed itselfat the apex of the Axis of Fundamentalism.

    Saudi Arabia epitomises Muslim fundamentalism. in its Wahhabi/Takfiriu form.

    Israel embodies Jewish/Judaic fundamentalism.

    And the USA itself is run by and for two distinct but closely related forms of fundamentalism: Evangelical/Apocalyptic “Christianity” and the worship of Money (mammon).

    As Jesus warned us, “No man can serve two masters: for either he. will hate the one, and love the other; or else. he will hold to the one, and despise the other, Ye cannot serve God and mammon”.

    It is fascinating to observe how closely the four types of fundamentalism agree, and how they all unite and work together against everything that decent enlightened people hold dear.

  • MJ

    “no matter what the state throws at you, it is essential to continue to struggle for social justice”

    An excellent and edifying sentiment.

  • N_

    Part 1 had over 122,000 views on Facebook alone, plus those who watched on Russia Today TV and those who saw it on YouTube. When you compare that to the audiences of 7,000 for the flagship Nine news on the BBC’s new anti-Scottish propaganda channel “BBC Scotland”, that is pretty impressive.

    Better 10 among those who reject Facebook, Youtube, Russia Today and the BBC than 100,000 among those who don’t.

    • U Watt

      How would those ten get to watch it and what makes them more important to reach than the 122,000 who did see it?

  • Stonky

    What is the original and proper definition of a ‘troll’?

    Someone who deliberately posts an inflammatory comment in order to completely derail a discussion.

    Craig wrote: “These two heroes showed us more truth than the World’s professional journalists combined ever have or ever will.” Some no-mark had a go at him. Craig’s comment was obviously hyperbole, and not meant to be taken literally. And that is all that ever needed to be said to the no-mark. Once. Instead, dozens of people pile in with their “valuable” opinions, and we end up with most of the first page of what should be a really important thread about the West and the ME degenerating into a useless pissing-contest about this journalist and that journalist.

    FFS wise up and use a bit of common sense next time. Do not feed the troll.

    (And a grudging hat-tip to ‘Paul’. Whoever’s paying you definitely got their money’s worth. You did a great job.)

    • Paul

      Please stand back and read all of my contributions to this thread. I am not, and will never, be paid by anyone for expressing my opinions.

      I apologise for the fact that I haven’t spent enough time in your echo chamber to understand what a “no-mark” is.

      And I suspect that I have done much more in real terms to support independent journalism (through my sponsorship of the Human Rights Press Awards and my patronage of the Hong Kong Free Press) then you will ever do. I also make a modest contribution each month to support Craig.

    • Charles Bostock

      Stinky

      ” and we end up with most of the first page of what should be a really important thread about the West and the ME degenerating into a useless pissing-contest”

      And here you are, several hours later, returning to the subject……

  • Sharp Ears

    Interview of Chelsea Manning by Charlie Savage.

    Chelsea Manning interview: ‘I’m opening myself up to some really intimate things in this book’
    The former Army intelligence analyst, who was jailed for leaking military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks in 2011, speaks to Charlie Savage about telling her own story for the first time
    18th May 2019
    https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/chelsea-manning-julian-assange-wikileaks-president-barack-obama-a8913431.html

    This is Savage. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Savage
    At the NY Times currently so bear that in mind. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_York_Times

    The NY Times is still under the management of our very own Mark Thompson. He is their CEO. He worked at the BBC as Director General. See ‘Controversy’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Thompson_(media_executive)#Controversy .

  • Jack

    The threats against Iran by US keep on,

    “The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has warned US commercial airliners flying over the wider Persian Gulf faced a risk of being “misidentified” amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran.”
    https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/05/18/596267/US-FAA-airliners-Persian-Gulf

    Where is the resistance against US in Europe today?
    EU elections coming up. Alot talk about Russia. No talk about the actual threat by US that have spent last 2 months threatening and interfering in Venezuela and Iran.

    • Jimmeh

      I’m not a muslim, and I don’t know many muslims. ButI have been informed by a reliable Sunni source from Palestine that hardly anyone on the “Arab street” gives a toss about this 600-year-old Sunni/Shia split. The essence of the so-called split is a difference of opinion about who should be the second Caliph, I think. And about the assassination of one of the candidates.

      But there is no longer a Caliph, nor has there been for centuries. The shia believe in saints, and they erect shrines to them; I gather Wahaabi fundies regard such beliefs as heretical, and so they destroyed many such shrines in Timbuktu. I gather Wahaabis also have a problem with Sufis, who follow a mystical Sunni tradition. But these crazy fundies are not the core of Sunni Islam. Most Sunnis have no problem with Shia muslims, and vice-versa.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if there are Shia fundies too; but please don’t point to Hamas or Hesbollah. Neither of these groups is sectarian in the sense that they hate or despise Sunnis. Both of those groups are essentially self-defence organisations, Hamas for Gaza and Hesbollah for Lebanon. Their only real enemy is the IDF, and on the whole they don’t attack; they retaliate.

      Someone spoke a few comments ago about “divide and rule”; the flames of this so-called split have been fanned by Western interests, especially the British and the French. We made this bed.

  • John2o2o

    “However, I remain hopeful that Trump can outplay John Bolton and prevent any immediate escalation.”

    I do not share your optimism Craig. I think it is Trump who is being played. The only positive in this for me is that Trump is still the president and would not be shy of firing Bolton if he displeased him. However, I think Bolton is too clever to get himself fired.

    I hope I can still comment here despite my sitting on the fence over Scottish nationalism. I do not want to see my country (however you may want to define that) “destroyed”, but if enough Scots wish to cede from the rest of the UK then, as with Brexit, I would support it. My main beef over the vote is that Scots who are not resident in Scotland (such as my mother, born and raised there no less) are not allowed to vote. I consider that an injustice.

    I enjoyed your interview with Alex Salmond, nice to see civilised discourse, though I think I knew most of the story already.

  • SA

    Paul misses the point completely. The cases of Assange and Manning are pivotal in that they affect the very basis of the principles of free journalism. All the other tragic and worthy causes are the usual practice in many countries and although very deplorable are not pivotal in the way the freedom of the press is being threatened.

    • Paul

      Perhaps I am old-fashioned or something here, but I believe that if journalists are fear of their lives (which, frankly, I don’t think Assange and Manning can reasonably be) then that undermines the principles of free journalism pretty badly. 12 journalists have been murdered so far this year just for doing their jobs. It’s a pretty good way of shutting down a free press – just shoot them!

  • Rod

    In Scott Morrison’s victory speech he assures all Australians he will put them first – presumably he includes Julian Assange and will seek to prevent his extradition to both Sweden or America and bring him safely home to his native country.

    • Charles Bostock

      I’m very pleased that Scott Morrison won. Australia did not need his hand-wringing, uber-politically correct Labour Party opponent, no Sir.

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