The Gulf of Credibility 718


I really cannot begin to fathom how stupid you would have to be to believe that Iran would attack a Japanese oil tanker at the very moment that the Japanese Prime Minister was sitting down to friendly, US-disapproved talks in Tehran on economic cooperation that can help Iran survive the effects of US economic sanctions.

The Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous was holed above the water line. That rules out a torpedo attack, which is the explanation being touted by the neo-cons.

The second vessel, the Front Altair, is Norwegian owned and 50% Russian crewed (the others being Filipinos). It is owned by Frontline, a massive tanker leasing company that also has a specific record of being helpful to Iran in continuing to ship oil despite sanctions.

It was Iran that rescued the crews and helped bring the damaged vessels under control.

That Iran would target a Japanese ship and a friendly Russian crewed ship is a ludicrous allegation. They are however very much the targets that the USA allies in the region – the Saudis, their Gulf Cooperation Council colleagues, and Israel – would target for a false flag. It is worth noting that John Bolton was meeting with United Arab Emirates ministers two weeks ago – both ships had just left the UAE.

The USA and their UK stooges have both immediately leapt in to blame Iran. The media is amplifying this with almost none of the scepticism which is required. I cannot think of a single reason why anybody would believe this particular false flag. It is notable that neither Norway nor Japan has joined in with this ridiculous assertion.

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718 thoughts on “The Gulf of Credibility

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  • Carl Gedye

    What I find deeply disturbing is just how quickly the Tory leadership contenders have lined-up to condemn Iran without a moment’s hesitation. This is not because they believe Iran to be guilty, it is simply, predictably, to glean votes. And following on from that, nothing would suit the new PM better than to have the UK joining in a nice, headline-grabbing war, distracting the public from all their Brexit woes. Put another way, they would all benefit personally from another bloodbath on someone else’s soil. Self- interest is the main priority and sole concern of these would-be leaders.

    And while I’m here, can someone explain to me Iran’s supposed purpose in attacking those tankers and then going on to deny having done so?

    • Goose

      That is a good point .

      A country as large and populous as Iran wouldn’t go around sabotaging for no reason then denying it. Were it Iran’s intention to cause trouble and show an area can and will be mined, they’d do it openly and take responsibility as a statement of intent, otherwise what would be the purpose of such a statement.

      It’s like someone accusing the UK sabotaging its own North sea oil rigs because of Brexit, i.e., an utterly ludicrous proposition.

      • N_

        If the governments of Norway and Japan believe Iran has attacked them their options include retaliating militarily, probably with support from their allies, and seeking a resolution by the UN Security Council.

        The point of these attacks was propaganda. Iran was absolutely nowhere near this, despite what that cokehead prince MBS says, parroting the US State Department.

        Russia should announce that they will defend Iran against any aggressor.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Carl Gedye June 16, 2019 at 08:03
      The Tories, and indeed the West in general, don’t ‘do’ evidence, the just make accusations and allegations.
      Hardly surprising, really, seeing as the vast majority of ‘terrorist attacks’ or hoaxes are False Flag set-ups, so providing ‘credible evidence’ would be rather difficult.
      But things could change, now they don’t even have to torturefalse confessions out of innocent people:
      ‘Watch: Scientists Create “Deepfake” Software Allowing Anyone To Edit Anything Anyone Says On Video’:
      https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-13/watch-scientists-create-deepfake-software-allowing-anyone-edit-anything-anyone-says?They have been able to morph voices for some time, but the technology is getting more sophisticated.
      Expect a video of Ali Khamenei admitting the ship ‘attacks’, any day now; he will probably also admit to killing JFK and Elvis.

    • Deb O'Nair

      “This is not because they believe Iran to be guilty, it is simply, predictably, to glean votes.”

      Cart before the horse. By showing fealty to their political and financial overlords they hope to be chosen to lead the country should the current choice of the US falter due to some unforeseen circumstances. They are literally using the media to fight it out for ‘second preferred candidate’ status. Any votes the next US Tory Boy Puppet obtains in a general election will in large part be because the political and financial overlords tell the public who to vote for.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Never seek logic from Iran, seek bloodthirsty warmongering from DC.

      Iran in a UK courtroom Iran is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

      In US diplomacy, Iran is ALWAYS declared guilty without the chance to prove themselves innocent.

      That is the world we live in until we decide as a species to treat the US as Global Enemy Number One.

      • Andyoldlabour

        As far as I am concerned, the US is the single largest state sponsor of terrorism in the World, by a very long way.

        • Borncynical

          Andy…

          I’ve just seen a video clip on RT of Trump piously pontificating that “Iran’s leaders sow death, chaos and destruction [throughout the Middle East]”. What I had to give him credit for was that he managed to keep a straight face.

          • Andyoldlabour

            Borncynical

            Unfortunately we have got to a point that all the lies become truths to them.

          • Jo Dominich

            Borncynical, OMG!! I thought Israel was the Government in the Middle East that did that!

          • Borncynical

            Jo D (@22.29)

            I think there are four or five primary qualified candidates but you can confidently say that Iran isn’t one of them!

    • Tom

      That was my thought too, Carl. I thought Hunt’s playground language, denouncing Corbyn’s doubts as “pathetic” was very telling. Hunt and Javid are clearly trying to curry favour with the American military and intelligence establishment, and their Israeli allies, and the question arises – why would that be a priority for an aspiring British leader?

    • N_

      @Carl – It’s little to do with votes. And in what election (or selection) do you mean anyway?

  • Harry Law

    There will be no war with Iran, too many losers, Saudi Arabia/UAE, Israel, the US fleet [in Bahrain] the US bases all over the Middle East, of course Iran and its friends could be destroyed [but at what cost?] The Strait of Hormus is bristling with Iranian anti ship missiles, the first sign of war would see the US fleet depart from Bahrain, the lumbering giant and vulnerable B52’s based in Qatar would not get off the ground. As for any US carriers in the area, just read why the ‘war nerd’ thinks the carriers are obsolete and have had their day……

    “Every single change in technology in the past half a century has had “Stop building carriers!” written all over it. And nobody in the navy brass paid any attention.
    The lesson here is the same one all of you suckers should have learned from watching the financial news this year: the people at the top are just as dumb as you are, just meaner and greedier. And that goes for the ones running the US surface fleet as much as it does for the GM or Chrysler honchos. “The purpose of the Navy,” Vice Admiral John Bird, commander of the Seventh Fleet, tells me, “is not to fight.” The mere presence of the Navy should suffice, he argues, to dissuade any attack or attempt to destabilize the region. From Yokosuka, Guam, and Honolulu
    That’s the kind of story people are still writing. It’s so stupid, that first line, I won’t even bother with it: “The purpose of the Navy is not to fight.” No kidding. The Seventh Fleet covers the area included in that 2000 km range for the new Chinese anti-ship weapons, so I guess it’s a good thing they’re not there to fight”. http://exiledonline.com/the-war-nerd-this-is-how-the-carriers-will-die/all/1/
    I suppose most leaders in Iran do not want war, unlike many US politicians, but I can’t help thinking that if war is inevitable there are some who may just say ‘Go ahead make my day’.

    • Dungroanin

      Israel definitly does not want a war on Iran – the assymetric blowback would be immediate, multidirectional and lethal – a tactical nuclear threat on the ancient seat of Eurasian civilisation, Tehran, would be suiicidal for Tel Aviv and even the far-off US bases of the warmongers. Florida, New York, Utah …

      Nah, i’m pretty sure the Israelis and the B team won’t risk actual Armeggedon even as they have preyed on the second coming believers (liars) demented priests, rabbis and rich donors. There is no such thing as a survivable MAD.

      • Doodlebug

        “Israel definitely does not want a war on Iran”.

        It may well be the case that Israel does not wish to wage war on Iran. Standing aside while others do so however is another matter altogether. They did not want to wage war on Iraq, and eschewed joining the ‘coalition of the willing’; a war some would argue Israel provoked.

        • Dungroanin

          If Iran is attacked. Israel will face immediate retaliation. They know it. Everbody knows it.

          • N_

            If Iran is attacked. Israel will face immediate retaliation.

            And then what? The whole point of the “anti-Semitism” rubbish and lies that have been built up in Britain and in France too – to a point where no political party of left, right or centre has the guts or the required autonomy and control over itself to say “this is all lies, and this is who is behind it” – comes down to support for Israel. What’s the point if war is not being prepared? From the Zionist point of view war is already being fought.

          • Tony

            So why is John Bolton, who works for the same guy as Bibi Netenyahu, so utterly obsessed with starting a war with Iran?

          • Dungroanin

            Bolton has run out rope and is mid-choke and will be swinging shortly.

            Does anyone here really believe that an attack on and invasion of Iran is actually achievable in a caccoon?
            That Tel Aviv, Riyadj, Abu Dabhi, Dubai, Bahrain etc would not be instantly targetted – remember the ancient Scuds that Saddam used? The Iranians and their allies have much more munitions.

            Anyway the main reason for the little firework display appears to have been to divert attention from the monumental development in World politics – the SCO meeting and its new leadership and that leaderships statement of intent.

            I’m sure you will all catch up in a few days.

          • Tony

            Everybody knows it would be the bloodiest war of the century Dungroanin, including the psychopaths currently running Israel. And Trump is beholden to the psychopaths currently running Israel. As an anecdotal aside, to emphasise the lack of rationality in this, I have a very good friend who is Jewish. I would trust my life with him, he is such a good friend. We share common ground on just about everything except middle-eastern politics, where he is off- the-scale right wing. He thinks that Bibi is too left wing, and the Palestinians should be hit with a ton of bricks like they have never been hit before. I am unable to rationalise with him about this. Go figure (as the yanks like to say).

    • Tom Welsh

      “The mere presence of the Navy should suffice, he argues, to dissuade any attack or attempt to destabilize the region”.

      That’s roughly what Churchill said when he sent “Prince of Wales” and “Repulse” to Singapore to deter any Japanese attack. Surely those short-sighted, bandy-legged little Orientals would never dare come near a British capital ship?

      In the event, of course, the Japanese – showing no discernible signs of poor vision – immediately detected the two ships, and sank them in short order with 20 minutes of bombs and torpedoes. Precisely analogous to what US carrier task groups will get should war break out with any serious enemy.

      • N_

        China more or less said so with regard to the possibility of US aggression against North Korea. And the US has not attacked North Korea. I wish Russia would say the same in respect of a possible US attack on Iran.

    • Jack

      Harry Law

      Ridiculous, war might very well come, everything is in place for a war.
      Anyone believing Iran has a chance against US, Israel, Gulf states, UK, France and other western nations have not grasped the dire situation we live in right now.

      • Harry Law

        Jack “Ridiculous, war might very well come, everything is in place for a war”. I don’t agree, everything is not in place for a war, an extra 1000 troops and a carrier battle group is insufficient for a war on Iran, remember it took many many months to build up forces for the war in Iraq, which is one third the size of Iran and less well armed, even then the numbers were insufficient. How many millions of men could Iran field? The Iranians could easily close the Strait of Hormus, then oil might rise to 200/300 dollars a barrel, causing a world wide recession. Don’t get me wrong the US might win such an encounter [but at what cost] remember a few thousand Hezbollah forces held off [some say they won] the full might of the Israeli army and air force in 2006. Iran [approx85 million] is not Granada [90,000].

        • Carl

          Harry

          That is a sane, sober assessment of the prohibitive cost of attacking Iran. But remember we are now talking about dedicated fanatics in Pompeo and Bolton. Their ringmaster also has some ill-formed serious beef with Iran going back decades. What has deterred DC war hawks from attacking Iran in the past will not necessarily deter them. And the likes of Bozo or Hunt would offer them maximum encouragement.

        • Jack

          Harry Law
          US dont have to have troops, they could take out Iran in days from the air. Did Nato have troops when they made a regime change against Khadaffi? That is how its done – with covert and with bombings by air.

          Closing Hormus? I dont know where this illogical claim comes from.
          Why would Iran, in that dire situation close the only lifeline to upheld their economy? Not to mention they will be under a naval blockade so the argument makes no sense to begin with.

          • Glasshopper

            Jack

            What do you mean “take out Iran”?

            Iran has massive influence all the way from Afghanistan to the Med. An attack on Iran would be considered an act of war by Israel which would find itself fighting in Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza simultaneously. Shia areas in Iraq would be involved too.

            And the regime in Iran would not fall.

            The reason for the attack on Iran’s economy via sanctions has come about due to the fact that the military option is not worth the damage it would cause.

          • Harry Law

            President Rouhani has said on a number of occasions that if Iran cannot sell its oil through the Persian Gulf then no one can.
            “The most transparent, complete and prompt response was given by Mr [Hassan] Rouhani, the Iranian president, in his last trip to Europe. The response was clear: if Iran cannot export oil through the Persian Gulf, no-one will do this,” Velayati said, speaking at the Valdai discussion club in Russia. “Either everyone will export, or no-one,” he added. https://www.rt.com/business/432937-oil-iran-hormuz-strait/
            Air defence forces of the Iranian Army received new 15th Khordad SAM system.This is further development of Talash systems with new target radar and already known Sayyad-3 missiles with 120 km range. With the new radar each complex can simultaneously fire at 6 targets. https://www.rt.com/news/461437-iran-new-missile-defense/
            The Iranians also have the S300 and their own improved copy called the Bavar 373.

          • Jack

            Glasshopper

            Take out, as in winning over Iran.
            We have heard the same thing repeatedly that war with Iran (or Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya) would be impossible.
            I dont believe it for a minute and frankly I think it is ridiculous to believe Iran could win over their enemies.

          • Jack

            Harry Law

            While you have yet to tell why Iran would close its resource line there is in your quote no explicit mention of closing the Hormuz.

            S-300 technique is old, it is of no match of today by great military forces. Look at Syria which have S300, they cant even take down a israeli plane,why would Iran, with a greater adversary be able to do just that?

          • Harry Law

            Jack you have been watching too many John Wayne movies, The US fled Vietnam, Libya has been a disaster, Iraq has been called one of the greatest foreign policy blunders in the history of the United States and the US has been fighting a losing battle for 2 decades against sandal wearing Tailban, I do concede the US did beat Granada, population 90,000. The US military know the score with Iran and have counselled against it.

          • Jack

            Harry Law

            You dont think closing Hormus would be a blunder then? What could possible come out of it for Iran as far as positive things?

          • Tom Welsh

            Harry, I know the de facto rulers of Afghanistan are very strict observers of the islamic law. But I don’t think they have ever gone so far as completely to ban tail. That would, after all, lead to a precipitous decline in population.

            They are just against sex outside wedlock.

          • Harry Law

            Jack, “You dont think closing Hormus would be a blunder then? What could possible come out of it for Iran as far as positive things?”
            These unilateral sanctions, as are the secondary sanctions are against International law. They are in fact acts of war, please remember that sanctions against Iraq caused the deaths of 500,000 children, to which Sec of State Madeline Albright said was a price worth paying. Iran cannot let the same thing happen to them, this time millions starving to death. they have no other option they can capitulate, or force the issue through threatening to close the Strait, therefore pushing the price of oil through the roof, which would be blamed on Trump. There are no good options, you capitulate or you resist, the Iranians have chosen to resist, who can blame them?

          • Jack

            HarryLaw

            But what do Iran benefit from cutting their own port to export?

            More likely, Iran will be blamed for stopping causing a world economic crash.
            Nations will go to US/West not Iran in that situation.

          • Laguerre

            Jack
            “US will win not Iran.”
            Definitely not. The US will fail to win. And no, the US can’t win by air action alone. Iran is too big. Trump can’t risk ground forces of any size, as in Iraq, as it would go down badly with his electorate. Whether Iran will be able to be described as winning, is a different question. The Iraqis won against Bush in 2008/11 by manipulating the politics (and then wasted the victory). It’s the only way you can win against the US in the present situation.

          • Glasshopper

            Jack

            None of those countries you mentioned were defeated by an air campaign. Iraq was invaded at astronomical cost, and still emerged an Iranian ally. Libya was plunged into civil war that has still not been resolved.

            An air attack on Iran will not remove the regime and an invasion is out of the question.

          • Jack

            Laguerre

            Who is even talking about “ground forces”? No one. US learnt that lesson in Iraq.

          • Jack

            Glasshopper

            The idea of occupations is long gone, the models used now is the one used in Syria and Libya. Aircraft and small special forces operations.

          • Glasshopper

            Jack

            The Syria model is not relevant. Iran is not run by a minority or on the cusp of a civil war. There is no meaningful comparisons with any of the countries you mentioned.

          • Jack

            Glasshopper
            I am not so sure there even have to be a difference (atleast for the US military), I think the same tactics will be used but bigger of course when it comes to Iran due to the stronger military force than Syria.

            You cannot phantom at all that US would strike Iran in any way?

          • Glasshopper

            Jack

            Oh they could drop some bombs, but it wouldn’t change the regime and would cause many other problems in the wider region. Within weeks Trump would look like a ridiculous president who’d fallen into the same trap as his predecessors with even less to show for it. I don’t see him going for it.

      • N_

        Agreed, Jack, but are you sure those would be the sides?

        To change the focus slightly, but regarding the same overall possibility: the feeling of looming catastrophe is deliberately being ramped up in Britain. That is why murder in London is getting spun how it is. Don’t expect the petrol stations to keep on shifting existing amounts of petrol over the next year. Or for that matter, supermarket shelves to remain stocked. The path does seem to be towards financial crash and major war soon.

    • lysias

      The current Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, is a submariner. So was his immediate predecessor, Adm. Greenert. The last naval aviator to be CNO was Jay Johnson, who left office in 2000. The days when carriers and aviation ruled the Navy are over.

    • Deb O'Nair

      I think the most likely outcome will be some limited attacks on IRGC installations, which have been receiving a massive profile as chief trouble makers since the US, followed by subservient European states, declared them a terrorist organisation. The media spin will be phrased as “US attacks regional-peace-threatening terrorist targets in Iran” and it is unlikely that Iran will directly respond if they are limited attacks.

      • N_

        Knocking those out won’t be the US war aim. Why would it be?

        Back in 1987 it was a small conflict between the US and Iran at sea and rumours that a land invasion had started that crashed the US stock market.

        The world needs Russia to draw a red line for the US.

    • Spencer Eagle

      When answering questions from Congress in the 70’s regarding how long US carriers would last in a war with the Soviet Union, Admiral Rickover famously replied, ‘two or three days, maybe a week if they are in port’. I know Iran isn’t the USSR, especially when it comes to submarine warfare, but things have changed and anti ship missiles have changed the game. Of course air defence systems have become very capable also, taking on twenty or more missiles at a time, the problems come when there’s more than that incoming. This all came to the fore in the 2002 Millennium Challenge war game, where it is alleged a rather crafty Marine Corp general playing a fictional Iran managed to sink an entire US battle group.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9b1DG86a4k

  • Iain

    US release a grainy video they claim shows the removal of a mine from the side of a ship they use as groof of Iranian guilt..

    If something was removed it was more likely to have been a magnetic mooring point used by the Iranian boats to stay close to the ships hull while rescuing personnel.

    Likely to be pretty standard equipment for the sort of jobs done with these boats

    They are an “Off the shelf” product
    https://www.offshore-technology.com/contractors/environmental/miko-marine/

    • N_

      What intelligence regarding the attack that supposedly took them by complete surprise (were they watching porn or something?) was in US hands BEFORE they ordered an increase in their own armed forces’ presence in the area?

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      And why is the footage so grainy? The timeline according to a posting on The Saker has the Iranian patrol boat reaching the tanker at 16:10, a full two hours and twenty minutes before sun set.

    • Pyewacket

      Iain, thanks magnetic mooring point has more credibility than the assertion that the Iranians were attempting to remove unexploded ordinance with their bare hands while stood at full stretch on a rocking and rolling boat.

    • N_

      Cui bono” should be the first question not the third, and the answer is obvious.

      Am I right that no “evidence”, actual or faked, has been adduced or referenced to suggest that Iran carried out these attacks? No claim to hold communications intercepts? No suggestion of allegedly incriminating military movements?

      That’s how moronic the “sheeple” have become. Not even a rudimentary “A because B” logical inference is involved. C***s tell them that Iran did something (how many could identify Iran on a map?), so they believe it. That’s where anyone who wants to erode false consciousness has to begin. I don’t want to watch some retired US politician’s video that he has made available through a US advertising company, thanks Fredi.

      Here’s the second question: which of the world’s special forces have the capacity to carry out attacks like these and the vanish into the night?

      There’s a very short list: Britain, United States, Israel. Anybody else? France couldn’t get away with blowing up the Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand, so I doubt they could attack shipping in the Sea of Oman and then disappear. Could Russia even do it? As for Iran or the UAE or Saudi, I doubt it, unless someone who reads every issue of Jane’s can tell me otherwise.

      So who’s on the list of possible perps?

      • N_

        Everybody’s going to be an expert on details now, as they were regarding cladding after Grenfell. And strangely the ruling class doesn’t get weaker for all this “If I were a journalist I’d be a better one” crap that frankly is akin to watching the football and imagining yourself as the manager giving a team talk at half-time.

        • Tom Welsh

          “If I were a journalist I’d be a better one”…

          Well, you could be a (much) better journalist as long as you didn’t expect any luxuries such as payment, publication or recognition.

          Many are.

          “Aujourd’hui un journaliste c’est soit un chômeur soit une pute”. (“Today a journalist is either unemployed or a prostitute”).

          – Alain Soral https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyEB60hz3zM

          • Iain Stewart

            Quoting the likes of Alain Soral doesn’t do much for your own credibility, Tom.

          • Tom Welsh

            Ian, I don’t quote someone’s words as an appeal to authority or as any kind of virtue signalling. I do so because, in my opinion, their words are better than mine could be.

            As far as I can see, Soral has said and written a lot of very sensible things. I couldn’t care less what names people choose to call him.

          • Iain Stewart

            Well, in that case, I wonder which of your two “very sensible” categories of journalist would describe Craig Murray?

          • Iain Stewart

            “Ian, I don’t quote someone’s words as an appeal to authority or as any kind of virtue signalling.”
            Quoting this nasty little fascist Soral is more like vice signalling.

  • Ron

    I agree that it is unlikely to be Iran …. but any country is capable of treachery. Were the Japanese not in negotiations when they launched the attack on Pearl Harbour? Karma?

    • Tom Welsh

      Just as in the game of Go, the Japanese launched what was seen as a treacherous attack because they themselves had been ensnared in the web of a far greater, more cynical and more skillful treachery.

      The attack was carefully timed to go in just minutes after the declaration of war was delivered to the US government. For a variety of reasons, the delivery was accidentally delayed so that the attack happened first – giving FDR a juicy bonus in addition to the huge emotional kick that Pearl Harbor gave the American people.

      By the time the attack took place, however, FDR’s elaborate plot had been running smoothly for over 18 months. To avoid tedious repetition here I refer anyone interested to this good review of Robert Stinnett’s definitive book, “Day of Deceit”: https://www.unz.com/article/pearl-harbor-unmasked/

    • Wikikettle

      Ron. The Japanese had tried and failed to get agreement from US, which had no intention of lifting its blockade. The White House knew of
      their attack plans in advance. They kept them secret from the head of the Pacific fleet and the base commander at Pearl Harbour. Roosevelt
      needed Pearl Harbour to break the Neutrality Act, which stopped US entering another war in Europe. We and the US had broken Japanese codes. A few day before the attack the the aircraft carriers were withdrawn. Dusko Popov tried to warn Hoover of the attack. Watch Sacrifice at Pearl Harbour on youtube. The Japanese knew they would awake a giant and did not want war with US. They attacked only after they failed to get a deal. The rest is history.

  • Crispa

    When Hunt, Gove and other Tory Trump apologists lay into Jeremy Corbyn for daring to ask for clear evidence for Iran’s culpability they should be reminded not just of the infamous dodgy dossier presented to the UK Parliament, but also of Colin Powell’s brazen attempt to mislead the UN, when he said pre – Iraq invasion.

    “POWELL: My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence.”

    And every statement he went on to make was a lie.

    • michael norton

      Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Hunt reiterated that the United Kingdom’s own intelligence assessment had concluded the Iranian Regime was “almost certainly” behind the attacks on 13 June.

      “We have got videos of what happened, we have seen evidence. We don’t believe Anyone else could have done this,” he said.

      Mr Hunt said there was a “great risk” of war.
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48652290

      I would suggest Mr. Hunt is unfit to be our next Prime minister, he is too stupid.

      • Tom Welsh

        “I would suggest Mr. Hunt is unfit to be our next Prime minister, he is too stupid”.

        Why do you suggest such an abrupt departure from precedent? Hitherto a considerable degree of stupidity has been considered an indispensable prerequisite for the post.

        Otherwise, no PM would properly be able to represent the great majority of the electorate.

      • Ort

        I believe that the Ghost of Theresa May’s message to the living is similar to Margaret Thatcher’s “there is no alternative”.

        In May’s case, the message is that for the position of Prime Minister, there is no “too stupid”. Indeed, stupidity is an asset because it reinforces, nurtures, and exacerbates the predilection for narcissistic tenacity that is the, er, prime prerequisite for the job.

      • N_

        What is a video of what happened? If it means a video of the action, what does it show? Guys in frog suits? Has SBS involvement been ruled out? Talking of flags, by the way, one of the SBS’s favourite flags is the skull and crossbones. If it means a video of the results of the action, so they’re wasting public money on taking videos when still shots would be sufficient? And they still us to keep ’em going with tax money. Right?

        Or is it a matter of whatever the SITE intelligence Group gives to the liaison at MI6, with a little label saying “provenance has been officially verified by SITE”, MI6 don’t dare tell their political masters is fake or misinterpreted, and the political masters then feel obliged to follow what SITE says?

        What do Norway and Japan have to say? Are we about to get a military attack by country A against country B for an alleged attack carried out by B on country C, even though country C doesn’t say it was B that carried out the attack?

        Does smartphone-mediated stupidity mean there are only about three people left in Britain who understand that point?

        What precedent is there for such “retaliation” against a country that the attacked country doesn’t say carried out the attack? Did I miss that episode of the wrestling? Or was it on Game of Thrones? This is a step forward in the craziness.

      • Borncynical

        “We have got videos of what happened, we have seen evidence”.

        Why does this sort of rhetoric sound familiar? Oh, yes, I remember. Skripal. The UK went to great lengths to get all its EU/NATO allies together purportedly to provide a presentation displaying the ‘incontrovertible evidence’ of Russia’s guilt. Immediately after the session some of those present were asked about what they were shown and whether it convinced them of Russia’s culpability. I recall the common reaction, including from Jens Stoltenberg, was to say that the UK told them that they weren’t permitted to see the truly revealing evidence as this was still part of the ongoing investigation. Really? Even during an investigation of this nature, UK officials weren’t in a position to share evidence of such significance with their peers from other countries at a summit, the sole purpose of which was to convince allied countries and NGOs of Russian guilt? Each representative interviewed was then transparently forced to declare that following the presentation they “nevertheless had trust in the UK’s assessment of the situation.” “Trust” being the key word. I bet they’re all still waiting for the irrefutable evidence and possibly feeling rather foolish to have been treated with such disdain by the UK.

  • Jo Dominich

    Anyone who remembers the lies Colin Powell told the UN about the reasons why the invasion of Iraq was necessary despite not a shred of bona fide evidence to support the information provided, will clearly see this as yet another false flag because it is a well known fact that Trump (I’m not going to say the USA) Bolton and Pompeo are gagging to invade Iran for their oil obviously. What deeply concerns me though is that, having regard to Barnier’s recent comments (and they are true) that this Government’s (yes this Tory Government) stance towards Brexit negotiations and its refusal to enter into genuine negotiation about shifting on some of the red lines has been all about this Government believing that they can make Britain great again by securing world domination so to speak by hanging on to the coat tails of the POTUS and his warmongerers. However, the only thing that will happen is Britain’s reputation in the world, already dire and a laughing stock thanks to this Government’s mishandling of everything, will plummet further. Which nation in the world would want to do trade with the UK after their chronic mishandling of Brexit, the lies, the corruption, the dishonesty and their serious mishandling of foreign and home policy. Nobody. Who wants to do business with a bunch of corrupt liars? Nobody. Trump is a megalomaniac who has no idea about diplomacy, politics, consultation, working in collaboration. He operates on threats, sanctions, an aggressive and deeply disturbing foreign policy and is presiding over a USA which is basically, like the UK, a debt economy.

    He is gagging for Iran’s oil because the USA economy is on a seriously downward spiral and by gaining this oil, the USA will become the largest oil producer in the world and will be able to control global oil prices. It is essential that the UN and the EU and other countries around the world support Iran to the hilt.

    With Trump’s antics with China and now Russia if he is re-elected, which it is likely he will be, and with our irresponsible, power hungry, corrupt, grossly incompetent Government, there is likely to be a hot war in the next 5-10 years if not sooner. My view is that China and Russia, with the only two responsible Statement in this sorry mess, will prevail over the USA and the balance of power will shift. The sooner the better.

    Another thought, the only Government that has said it will blow oil tankers out of the water is the I——-I Government – Bibi I believe, described it as being a pleasure to do this. However, although he said Iranian Oil Tankers, the point is to take the action to blame the Iranians as Bibi considers them to be one of I——–I’s enemies.

  • Goose

    There’ll be another ‘provocation’ planned, as sure as night follows day.

    What form that’ll take, who knows? This tanker nonsense isn’t enough though.

    Much like events we’ve witnessed in Syria’s civil war in which the media prime the public to ‘expect’ the Assad regime to do something absolutely crazy, for no reason whatsoever, something giving Assad’s forces no strategic or territorial advantage; something that make no sense whatsoever. The people behind this stuff assess they just need to persuade as sizeable chunk of our population. Of course, the more discerning/skeptical will know it’s a fabrication immediately – built to suit the hidden objectives and agendas, but those people i.e., most of us here, can be safely ignored provided they get that sizeable chunk of the population to believe.

  • Jack

    These people have no shame,

    Intel Shows Iran ‘Almost Certainly’ Behind Tanker Attacks, UK Foreign Secretary Hunt Claims
    https://sptnkne.ws/mEGV

    Either Nation x did it and you have “intel” showing that or you dont and should shut up!

    • Goose

      I watched it. It was left until the last few minutes so there wasn’t much time.

      But, it’s annoying that Marr didn’t challenge him on either the Japanese tanker crew’s reports of seeing a flying object, nor did he ask him what possible motivation could Iran have for sabotaging itself? Hunt and the FCO are meant to be defending the JCPOA as it’s clearly the best solution to a difficult containment problem, not rah-rah -ing and whooping and hollering, for the hyper-aggressive hawkish types in the US who think war is a video game.

      • Deb O'Nair

        “it’s annoying that Marr didn’t challenge him on either the Japanese tanker crew’s reports of seeing a flying object, nor did he ask him what possible motivation could Iran have for sabotaging itself?”

        It’s not annoying that privileged multi-millionaire BBC ‘journalist’ Tory supporters do not ask obvious, let alone difficult, questions of the people they personally hope remain in power for perpetuity, it’s an affront to democracy.

        • Tony

          The fact that Marr is presented to us as the height of inquisitive journalism says it all. He is currently the gatekeeper-in-chief for the beeb.

    • N_

      Have they given the intel assessment to Jeremy Corbyn on Privy Council terms yet? What about giving it to the United Nations Security Council?

      When Theresa May became prime minister, one of the first things she did – this was after she’d been to dinner with the chief rabbi on learning she would become prime minister – was to tell the House of Commons in response to a prearranged question that she’d be willing to murder 100,000 innocents with a nuclear strike. (Click here to watch her do it).

      What’s a step up from that? Because there’s going to be a new prime minister soon. And it will be a man who went to a Clarendon school, so he will have much more authority in the ruling class than May.

      • Goose

        Yes, I found that boastful readiness in stating she’d order as nuclear strike pretty sickening. As were the stupid ‘hear, hear’ responses from the benches around her.

        It suggests she has little to no empathy and next to no comprehension of the magnitude of such a fateful decision. Totally unfit for high office. And if she did it merely to score a cheap political point , even more so.

        • Tom Welsh

          Luckily some of the new Russian weapons appear to be precise enough to wipe out the government and Parliament while leaving most of us decent citizens more or less unscathed.

          Whenever I hear a Western politician foaming and slavering about his (or her) lust for war, I always think, “One word for you: ‘Burevestnik'”. It’s the flying Terminator.

  • fuddledee

    Crispa indeed they should, but political lessons are not learnt from past events.
    I seem to remember Bolton shouted loudly a while back that they have evidence whatever that meant.

    I get the impression these government/intelligence lackeys are fighting a war based on pre-Social Media days (daze?)
    What appears to be happening is a deliberate ramp up in tension. The information about the incident has been placed and the MSM lap it up without any real analysis. It will all be forgotten about in 6 weeks and thereafter it will not matter.

    Weather wise it is too hot to start a conflict in the region so everything is aimed at September. This also gives time for the lackeys to have a summer holiday. Meantime the incidents will have been blurred by time and Bolton and UK Government will start pointing to facts demonstrating Iran has a history of attacking shipping. The US government is exploiting the political vacuum in Europe as Merkel’s influence fades and relying on the support from the swivel-eyed looney UK politicians. This gives us a time frame before, at the latest the end of September. Germany will start their power transition in October and of course the Untied Kingdom will be falling over the cliff-edge
    Amidst all this noise the Israelis will formally annex the Golan Heights and burn more crops.

    These lackeys have forgotten that yesterday’s “news” no longer ends up wrapping tomorrow’s lunch.
    I suspect if we start looking at stuff removed from social media under the “fake news” banner we may well find an algorithmic trend to support the current US Government view. There already appears to be a strong trend based on omission. Very gently and carefully social media is being massaged.

    It is quite interesting that grainy, indistinct videos are publicly released on certain events when the US has the technology to produce very high quality and high resolution multi-spectral streamed output. Clearly this is what has raised the alarm bells of many.

    A final thought and maybe someone with more up to date references may be able to help, is Tehran beyond the range of the current crop of US cruise missiles?

    Yet another zone of the world the US will have trampled and destroyed the archeology

    • Goose

      Precisely the reason why concentrated media ownership is dangerous, these billionaires and their mega-corps owning everything from cloud capacity through and including network infrastructure. Surveillance obsessed Govts have leverage in the form of threatening antitrust investigations(they are monopolies), as Microsoft were once threatened with, that threat often mysteriously vanishes and you don’t have to be a genius to guess why.

      • N_

        Control is what’s important, not legal ownership.

        The “cloud” is when you let big business and the CIA keep your documents for you. Is there an “app” to tell punters how to wipe their bums each time they take a crap? Many deserve what’s coming to them.

        • Goose

          After reading a report on the register about a major US company that’s being buying up most of the European core network infrastructure, I looked where it was HQ’ed : Langley Virginia.

          It may be just coincidence, but…

    • N_

      So long as “social media” keeps its strength, the ruling class have got things the way they like them and they’ve got little or nothing to fear.

    • JImmeh

      “we may well find an algorithmic trend to support the current US Government view”

      Would you mind explaining your usage of the word “algorithmic” here? An algorithm is a well-defined mathematical procedure that can be implemented in various ways, all of which will produce exactly the same result. Did you mean a trend of that sort, or did you mean something else?

  • Hatuey

    Trump hasn’t started a war yet. He’s defused a couple though. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear he was being manipulated and pushed towards confronting Iran. The deep state hawks have been circling over Iran for years.

    • SA

      “Trump hasn’t started a war yet”.
      But not through lack of trying.
      1. He has bombed Syria twice on false pretences and it was only through Russian restraint that a war did not start.
      2. He recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which has inflamed the oalready tense situation, leading to increased killing of Palestinians.
      3. He has torn up an international treaty and made a lot of beliferent noises towards Iran and a war may yet be in the offing.
      4. He proposed regime change in Venezuela but luckily there was not enough military support for it to go ahead.

      • Hatuey

        And he’s done lots of other terrible things too. But when it comes to starting wars and levels of material aggression, he compares favourably with almost all of his predecessors.

        • Wikikettle

          Hatuey. Trumps pre election talk convinced many Bernie supporters not t vote for Clinton and even vote for him. He has has fallen prey to the Israel and MIC Lobby. The Russia Gate pressure was designed to make him be a hawk abroad. The deep state has to show him who is boss. They still cant believe he beat their own chosen Clinton.

          • Hatuey

            I think there’s a lot of truth in the idea that the embedded forces of deep state darkness want to push Trump towards a war. I think they already succeeded to an extent in Syria, forcing him to be seen to respond to fabricated Syrian aggression, etc. Trump in Syria, as I see it, used the minimum force possible and he even forewarned those on receiving end.

            I don’t think he has fallen prey, as you say though. I think he is simply in a position where he can’t ignore these people and is looking to take paths of least resistance in terms of appeasing them and creating room for manoeuvre for himself.

            If he didn’t play along to an extent, they’d be calling him weak and cowardly, accusing him of standing idly by as Syria used chemical weapons, of being antisemitic, unpatriotic, and a million other things. That’s almost exactly what they have done with Corbyn.

      • Sharp Ears

        Jonathan Cook on the slow crucifixion of the Palestinians via Trump’s son-in-law, Kushner, and with funding from the Gulf States.

        Trump Enjoys Bipartisan Support for His Plan to Eradicate the Palestinian Cause
        The US seeks to engineer a suitable regional environment before it begins implementing the ‘deal of the century’
        June 15th, 2019
        https://dissidentvoice.org/2019/06/trump-enjoys-bipartisan-support-for-his-plan-to-eradicate-the-palestinian-cause/

        I have just read that an Israeli ‘settlement’ in the Golan has been named Trump Heights, ‘Ramat Trump’. This is on land that was stolen from Syria half a century ago.
        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/17/minefields-and-ruins-israeli-settlement-called-trump-built-on-conquered-land

        • JImmeh

          “Stolen from Syria”

          Actually the Heights were occupied in a war of aggression launched by Syria, Jordan and Egypt against Israel. The Golan Heights overlook large parts of Israel, forming a quite magnificent position for artillery emplacements, and it’s hardly surprising that Israel has been reluctant to return them to a hostile power.

          On the other hand, of course, the Heights also overlook the land between the Occupied Territories and Damascus, which is itself out of artillery range from the Heights, but not by far. It’s hardly surprising that this is disputed territory. It’s extremely strong ground, militarily, for whoever holds it.

          (NOTE: I hold no torch for Israel – if find it increasingly difficult to see how peace can be achieved in the Middle East without the destruction of Israel as a fascist apartheid state.)

      • Laguerre

        SA
        “But not through lack of trying.”

        Nah, Hatuey is right, to a degree. Trump likes showy big bangs, over in a night, but lacks the commitment for real war. He hasn’t really encouraged the warmongers, Bolton and Pompeo et al. It’s not hard to see why. While stuck in the war-room like Obama, he’d miss his weekends at Mar-a Lago, or the days spent in front of the TV watching Fox News, and tweeting.

    • michael norton

      It should be remembered that Iran and Russia and Syria have combined to defeat America in Syria.
      Iran and Russia are joined by the Caspian Basin.
      During the Syrian Campaign, Russia got permission from Iran to over-fly Iran to bomb targets in Syria with their supersonic strategic Tupolev
      Blackjack. The Russians also fired Naval rockets from the Caspian into Syria.

    • nevermind

      Please do search for “how many tons of ordenance used since Trump came into power”
      I think its something tidiculous like 40.000, could be 400.000, Hatuey.

      • Hatuey

        nevermind, since it’s your point, I think you should substantiate it. What I would say you need to bear in mind is that about 80% of his military interventions were geared towards destroying ISIS in Iraq and Syria. He succeeded where others failed there.

        I personally don’t think the US should be dropping bombs on anyone, especially in the middle east where it has caused untold damage, but I also understand the argument that it would have been irresponsible to leave the area and its people in the hands of those crackpots.

        Including those and other interventions, though, Trump inherited these problems. Obama was deeply involved in Yemen well before Trump stuck his nose in, for example. If he ignores US strategic interests in those places, he gets called a coward, unpatriotic, dangerous, appeaser, etc. We know how it works.

        The guiding principle of US foreign policy going back about 100 years is only to fight when victory is virtually certain and the target country has little hope of hitting back. If there’s any reason to hope and believe the US won’t launch an attack on Iran, it’s on the basis that the Iranians might actually be in a position to do serious harm in response.

        • SA

          “ What I would say you need to bear in mind is that about 80% of his military interventions were geared towards destroying ISIS in Iraq and Syria. He succeeded where others failed there.”

          You make this sound like a true fact but it is not on two accounts, it is a change of US policy to attack Daesh after the Russians started showing the duplicity and inactivity and that reversal was pre Trump. Also it is not true that the US and proxies where the only ones to having succeeded in defeating Daesh because Russia Syria and Iran played a major part. What may be true is that Trump never DS aid, as Clinton said that it was desirable to have a ‘Salafist’ principality in Syria.
          My original point also was that just because the fact that we have not had a major war is not nescessarily due to Teump’s restraint but due to other factors such as the West being more aware that populations are against war. And also that the adversaries did not respond in a way to make escalation inevitable.

        • Tony

          The USA didn’t destroy ISIS. Russia did. The USA trained and funded ISIS in Syria, and lost special forces personnel to Russian attacks (which nearly led to major confrontations) whilst doing so.

      • Tom Welsh

        Be reasonable, nevermind. They can’t keep stopping the production lines just because there’s no major war, now can they? Think of the jobs!

  • Doodlebug

    @mark golding
    June 16, 2019 at 00:33

    “Why (and how) was an encrypted signal from an Israeli nuclear armed submarine in the Gulf of Oman received by a British Type 23 frigate? If this is true I personally will be all ears.”

    Can anyone else shed light on this?

    • Al Dossary

      I would imagine the Israelis have at least one sub in the Sea of Oman at all times. To cross into the Gulf through Hormuz would be rather difficult but Sea of Oman achievable.

      • Doodlebug

        Not difficult to imagine, but I am specifically concerned with Mark Golding’s comment. Intercepting an encrypted signal is not the issue (it’s done all the time), decoding it is the challenging bit. But when exactly is this interception said to have occurred? I should be very glad of Golding’s (or A. N. Other’s) enlightenment in that regard.

  • Harry Law

    Back in 2007 the US were being hit with explosively formed projectiles [EFP’s] a very simple device consisting of a short length of pipe filled with high explosives with a concave copper disc at the end, this could propel the disc in a molten form through a modern tank from front to rear, the US spent billions on research to counter this threat with grants to universities, research institutions etc, they did in fact have some success, when an armoured column followed behind a truck bristling with electronic devices, sometimes they succeeded in countering the triggering mechanism usually an electronic garage door opener or something similar, then the insurgents won the battle simply by using ‘a piece of string’, game over for the US. Of course the Iranians were blamed for this, the US said the Iraqis could not put together such a device, then many workshops in Iraq were raided and thousands of these discs were discovered. Nothing unusual in that since the Iraqis have been supplying services from these machine shops for the oil industry for generations. But oh no, the US propagandists said it was the Iranians.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Harry Law June 16, 2019 at 13:13
      The Yanks had this sort of device last century, and used them under buses, placing them under the fuel tank. This sent the blazing fuel into the bus, incinerating it and any passengers almost instantaneously.

  • Tony

    Let us not forget that there is no real evidence, as Scott Ritter has pointed out, that Russia has violated the INF missile treaty.

    And now comes the suggestion by William Nitze that the US might be violating the treaty. But this has not stopped Hunt from swallowing the Trump administration lies on this subject. And now Hunt is prepared to help promote a war with Iran in order to improve his Conservative Party leadership election chances.

    Nitze writes:

    “The United States may be seeking to avoid scrutiny of our own possible noncompliance with the treaty. The Aegis ashore systems deployed in Romania and planned for Poland could be modified to have the ability to launch nuclear-tipped cruise missiles in excess of the range limitations set by the INF and could be armed with these missiles very quickly.”

    https://www.thenation.com/article/trump-inf-treaty-russia-national-security/

    • David

      so, a potential imminent first strike doctrine outrules the old M.A.D. balance which has held peace since the ‘fifties

      well the current generation of eminent western politicians, militarists and strategic thinkers know how to do things with such flair and élan that nothing could possibly go wrong, eh?

      • Hmmm

        You have to be MAD to believe the fairy tale of nukes. They plan wars as usual because nukes don’t exist. There will be NO nuclear war. Chill out mate.

        • David

          Hmmmm, you might be right or you might be typing your comments from inside a working bunker

          I used to spend just Thursday evenings inside the ‘non-existent’ nuclear bunker under the small british market town Town-Hall, testing the slapdash post ‘non-existent’ nuclear war observer and communications disaster recovery systems, in the nineteen seventies. We had a hot Cold War then, and I did my bit.

          I will accept your well argued & deeply analytical assurance to humanity that Strangelove is not imminent, as we seem to have not just a President Merkin Trump Muffley but also a General Mike ‘buck’/’ripper’ Pompeo Turgidson et al leading the mad/bad hordes of renewed project for the new ‘merkin century, trying desperately to remain no.1 trading nation, even if it means the prompt annihilation of the ten million muskovites, (which is fine by me, I don’t like Москва , but if you could spare St.Petersburg from attack (with those non existent INF nuke capabilities) for a while , I’d quite like to visit the Hermitage again, later this year)

          снilli enuff?

          • Tatyana

            David, my sister lives in Moscow, she is a school teacher of English. Her son Nikita, my nephew, is a student. He studies medicine and meets a nice russian girl Nastya, perhaps soon they will marry and I’ll get some grandchildren 🙂
            So, what is fine for you, is quite not fine for me.
            Nuke me and I nuke you back.

          • David

            Thanks for your sensible comment Татяана , I was being ironic about Moscow – pointing out perhaps to those who seem to have crazy open loop planning, withdrawing from treaties that were hard won and balanced at the time, that we seem to be ignoring the potential for even accidental disaster (Василий Архипов, Станислав Петров; heroes). I have no friends or families in Moscow (yes in Krim & other ex-republics), and my last formal visit there was in mid seventies. (The ice-cream was amazing)

            I think that when actuality is being bypassed and credibility is being stretched, it’s important to remind the authors of these criminal acts what their cyber & political games can/might still lead to. I wish you and your family all the best for the summer holidays, and beyond.

            (And I really do wish to return to ‘Peter, so much to see, I do prefer it to the bigger city, and I can make do with plombir)

  • michael norton

    Russia and Iran have become quite good friends and partners because of the Syrian War.
    https://www.sana.sy/en/?p=167527
    Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the depth of cooperation between Russia and Iran in various fields, including combating terrorism and regional stability issues.

    Speaking about bilateral relations, the Russian President, during a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Bishkek on Friday, stressed that they are comprehensive. “It concerns economy, regional stability issues and our joint efforts in the fight against terrorism, including in Syria,” Putin said.

    Just because Putin is reported to have said
    Russia is not the World’s Fire Service,
    does not mean he will back up Iran, if American tries to take out Iran.
    Iran is more important to Russia than Syria, Iran has Indian Ocean access.

      • Goose

        Tatyana

        It was reported in the UK press that Putin said Russia couldn’t be the region’s fire service. Clearly Putin thought Assad had been egregiously wronged in 2013 when action was planned over CW use. If he believes the Iranians are being framed now, who will Russia side with? I ask because Russia seems very friendly with both KSA and Israel at the moment ,Netanyahu even attended the Moscow Victory Day Parade.

        • Hatuey

          Russia and China will side with Iran. That’s in stone. And it’s also why the US will not attack Iran. They might take out a few navy boats or at a stretch some alleged weapons sites, but if they try doing to Iran what they did to Iraq, we’d be talking about a world war.

          The risk here is that we are accidentally sucked into an exchange or that the Israeli government sets a trap of some sort.

          • Jack

            “Russia and China will side with Iran.”

            There is zero evidence of that. These parties are not allies in any military sense.

          • Goose

            Hatuey & Jack

            My view, for what it’s worth, is it probably depends what the US has planned and whether it’s deemed excessive. An Iranian regime change attempt via waves of B-52 bombers hitting Tehran would meet the ‘excessive’ criteria.

          • Tom Welsh

            “There is zero evidence of that”.

            Jack, there are none so blind as those who will not see. Of course you are unaware of evidence that you choose to ignore.

          • Jack

            Tom Welsh

            My comment was clear (there is no evidence), why are you not accepting this? Read Tatyana’s comments here also, she is laying it out better than me.

          • Jack

            Hatuey That is not a definition of allies military. Read what Tatyana said below:
            “We only get military involved (in the normal sence of this term) when our own homeland is attacked.”

          • Hatuey

            Jack, as much as tatyana is an agreeable sort, I have no reason to tether my views to hers, as you appear to be doing. History informs us that Russia has never been shy when it comes to aggression beyond its borders — even when there’s no direct threat to Russia itself — and I can provide a list if you really think it necessary.

        • Tatyana

          It is easy, Goose, Russia will not take this or that side. Russia will look for the way to make peace.

          Really, while I read this Mr. Murray’s blogs and discussions I always notice the dual choice. As if there’s nothing beyond it.
          Either Assad or rebells, either Trump or Clinton, either USA or Iran, either Russia or Ukraine, either Tories or Labour, either Brexit or Stay, etc. As if people are urged to take this or that side, without noticing that if you chose a side, so you have to accept the whole “side’s” ideology along.

          There are more then only 2 parties in every conflict and this is most true regarding the Middle East.
          I belive that Russia would look for and make efforts to establish peace in the region, rather then simply back up this or that side. You can never find someone totally white or totally black, you know. There is always difference, every party has its own interests, and its own motives, and its own system of values.
          The trick is to find enough balance to cease fire and to make the parties negotiate in civilised manner.

          • Jack

            Tatyana

            Great post that is how I see it too to large extent on what Russia (and also China) would act – by not getting physically involved on any side of a war.

          • Goose

            Thanks for the reply.

            I agree, everything is very polarised, lots of black and white thinking: good vs bad, no shades of grey. Little good diplomacy left and the US has corrupted the UN as a place of serious discussion and conflict resolution. The US dresses everything up in talk of ‘liberation’ and ‘freedom’, but in reality they are just serving their own economic interests, seeking compliant leaders who’ll do their bidding. Friendly relations with the US involve subservience and surrendering your sovereignty, as people in the UK are waking up to now there’s someone in the White House they don’t actually respect or like, for the first time in a long time.

            My view of Russia and China isn’t one with any hostility. They seem to be the grown-ups diplomatically – trying to calm situations. That is not a statement on the political situation in either country, there’s a hell of a lot I’d disagree with no doubt, if I lived in either.

          • Tatyana

            Jack, in fact maybe physically involved, why not? But that engagement would not exceed
            the legitimate frames. As we do in Syria, we were lawfully invited by legitimate Siryan government TO HELP their armed forces, not to wage war INSTEAD of them.
            Thus, we add to balance, because actually Siryan party must be supported to reach the balance.
            I wish that the western countries stopped to be so infantile and easily convinced into taking this or that side. We are not talking of kids conflict in the kindergarten, or teenagers conflict over girls or whatever. It is the question of well-being for the whole generations of humankind.

          • Jack

            Tatyana I just think, or could claim almost confidently – that Russia wont be military allied with,- or come helping Iran militarly in a conflict with US-Saudi-Israel-Western states. They will be as you said, trying to create a peace between the parties.

          • Tatyana

            ah, Jack, I don’t think it is possible.
            We only get military involved (in the normal sence of this term) when our own homeland is attacked.
            I can recall Sweden, France, Germany invading in my country. But I can’t recall a russian leader saying “we are exceptional nation, so let’s go to that remote country and defend our values and beat that bloody tyrant Someone”.
            To russian ear it sounds a sort of ‘delirium tremens’

          • Jack

            No no read what I said (“Russia WONT be military allied”. I agree with you you know.

          • Tatyana

            Jack, you know English is not my native language. I’m sorry if I misunderstood your idea.
            —-
            What you’ve got for your Sunday eveneng, by the way? I’ve got today is the 56th annyversary of the first woman in the Space – Velentina Tereshkova in 1963.
            Btw, it is also the birthday of ”Pepsi-Cola’ “Ford Motors’ and ‘Artek’ children summer camp in the Crimea, which Tereshkova visited in 1925. A legendary kid’s camp of the Soviet Union, primarily it was organised to cure kid’s tuberculosis, it was visited by Jawaharlal Nehru, Benjamin Spock, Gagarin and Indira Gandhi.
            It is Trinity holyday, it is day of medical employees (congratulate your doctors and nurses), it is Bloomsday in Ireland, and the International Day of the African Child.

          • Borncynical

            Tatyana (@20.38)

            “We are not talking of kids conflict in the kindergarten”

            Unfortunately when it comes to the UK Government and their international relations and diplomatic skills, there is no better way to describe it!

            J.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Tatyana June 16, 2019 at 20:09
            In many cases, the issues are black and white. For instance, Assad v ‘rebels’ (or rather, proxy Western mercenary headchoppers). To blow the ‘narrative’ of Assad’s forces firing on ‘peaceful demonsrators’ you only have to count how many police were murdered (as in Maidan Square, Kiev). Watch this very short video, where an ex-French Foreign Minister explains how he was told two years before the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ (a better name would be ‘Soros and NED Spring’) by high British officials that Britain was going to overthrow Assad with the use of mercenaries:
            https://www.mondialisation.ca/roland-dumas-les-britanniques-preparaient-la-guerre-en-syrie-deux-ans-avant-les-manifestations-en-2011/5571641
            The Yanks did the same in Libya, importing and arming Jihadis into Libya, then the West acted as their Air Force, destroying the most successful country in Africa (they had slipped the clutches of the international banksters, and were trading in gold dinars, rather than fiat US dollars.
            This is not to say Assad’s or Qaddafi’s rule was without blemish, but that the armed insurrections against them were clearly instigated, completely contradictory to international law, by outside ‘Regime Change’ forces.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Tatyana June 16, 2019 at 20:09
            Imagine a scenario – the West and their rich Arab ‘friends’ send hordes of well-armed, mobile Jihadis into Russia to cause mayhem. Would Russia accept a massive UN(?) force coming into Russia, to force ‘negotiations’ between the Russian government and the Jihadis? I don’t think so.

  • giyane

    Is it because the Tories left the manhole covers
    Off that the stink of UK hypocrisy is so overpowering? The BBC gives intensive coverage of China wanting to extradite political protesters from Hong kong while at the same time dlavrring over the extradition of Julian Assange from Hunt Pong to King Kong.

  • Kim Nguyen

    THIS is serious MISINFORMATION: “US-disapproved talks” It is well known that Abe was in Iran at the behest of Trump and ,in fat, carried with him a letter from Trump to Kamenei to try to open new talks. (That letter was rejected out of hand and with some humiliating words of rejection, too. )

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Pompeo has been on Fox News. “unmistakable ….. attacks by the Islamic Republic of Iran … ”

    https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/16/mike-pompeo-iran-tankers-attacks-1365855

    Just a possibility and one suggested by Cenk Uygur, but would the MEK have the capacity to mount the attacks? They received heavy weapons training in Iraq under Sadam. If the CIA furnished them with fast boats and anti-tank rockets could be a possibility. They’s certainly crazy enough.

    • Goose

      The crew said there were “flying objects.”

      Let’s hope it wasn’t a UK drone strike, operate out of the huge base in Oman. UK politicians would be the last to know.

  • Hmmm

    So. Iran sells oil in other denominations?
    China not happy with sanctions?
    This is as much about China as Iran I would think…

    • Wikikettle

      Hmmm. China, like Japan was, can easily be blockaded. That pivot to SE Asia under Obama was all about that. Obama thought he could do a ‘Nixon in China’ with Putin and split them. Putin rejected Obama’s overtures. For US domination to end, India has to make peace with China and Pakistan. What will Modi do ? Will his form of Hindu Nationalism save US hegemony ? If you know what I mean.

      • lysias

        How do you block the inland routes that China has been constructing? It’s not a bunch of islands like Japan.

        As long as Soviet Russia remained allied with Nazi Germany, the blockade of Germany was ineffective.

        • Wikikettle

          Iysias. Most of all the trade China exports and imports is done via ships. The land routes are very long and expensive. See a map. Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany were never allies ideologically. Hitler thought the Russians were sub human. He and everyone knew he was going to expand Eastward for land, resources and oil in Baku. Stalin and his spy’s knew of his plans.
          The problem was Soviet Russia was not ready for war. The alliance with Germany was a time saving gambit for Stalin.

          • Tatyana

            I wish I could write a reasoned comment on this, but actually I find I was taught some prejudiced version of history of the USSR 🙁
            My generation has little knowledge of real events, we don’t know much of Stalin, KGB, WW2 surprisingly the western people have established views on these.
            Too many sources with too many opposite opinions, I’m confused.

          • J Galt

            What’s Soviet/German relations in the lead up to 1941 got to do with China’s attempts to establish overland trade and communications routes with her trading partners and allies?

            And as for Barbarossa in 1941, it was clearly a scratch operation and colossal gamble as the more intelligent of the Wehrmacht officers knew. The Wehrmacht was not equipped for a war of conquest in the east, however the Worker’s and Peasant’s Red Army was most certainly set up for a war of conquest in the west.

            Hitler lost the war before it had even started in August 1939 when Stalin outwitted him, in 1941 Hitler merely bought himself a couple of more years when he interrupted the long planned soviet invasion of Europe with barely a few weeks to spare.

            What are your thoughts on this Tatyana?

          • J Galt

            Tatyana
            Google Victor Suvorov author of Icebreaker and The Greatest Culprit – interesting reads. His books are not easy to obtain which would indicate they have merit – unlike the establishment drivel churned out by the likes of Max Hastings for instance.

  • Jackrabbit

    Why hasn’t Iran shown us what was taken off the ship?

    USA claims it was a limpet mine. That should be easy to refute, if Iran wanted to. Unless it actually is a limpet mine that can be traced to Iran!

    Would that mean that Iran/Iranian proxy did the attack as per b’s theory? No! Just the opposite.

    The grainy video released by USA would now makes sense: USA could be holding a clear, high-def video in reserve that shows that it’s a limpet mine with Iranian origin. If Iran attempts to show a different object than the limpet mine that was attached to the ship, then USA would use the high-def video to catch Iran in a lie. And that lie would be sufficient in most people’s eyes to “prove” that Iran did the attack.

    Iran probably realizes the setup and that’s why they haven’t displayed the object that was attached to the ship. Better to remain silent than to 1) confirm USA claims, or 2) be caught in a lie.

    If Iran, or an Iranian proxy, was attacking ships then they would take pains to ensure that it could not be traced back to them. That an Iranian limpet mine was attached to the ship would clearly be contrary to Iran’s interests. It would have to have been placed there by some organization(s) or group(s) that is an Iranian adversary.

    Once again, this is just a theory. But it explains why the US released a grainy video and why Iran has not shown the world the object that was removed from the ship.

    • Goose

      Netanyahu staged a a presentation in 2018 with archives stolen out of a warehouse in Iran:

      “The prime minister pulled back two black sheets covering a shelf of what he said were 55,000 documents in several binders and a case with what he said were 183 compact disks that contained another 55,000 files.”

      Iran’s nuclear scientists are frequently targeted and blown up in Iran. The idea some spy agency couldn’t get hold of Iranian mines is laughable. Iran is a huge country and spy networks operate there.

        • Goose

          Not that I can discern.

          But the fact they could drive a van load of sensitive stuff out of Iran, kinda lays to rest the idea stealing or buying a few Limpet mines from a corrupt Iranian officer or official is out of the question.

          • Borncynical

            And who’s to say what was genuinely in those items displayed by Netanyahu? Could have been anything. Might have been the Iranian version of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. We’ve seen these little display games before. If anybody reputable asked to look at them they were probably told they were strictly classified as ‘Top Secret’, and only to be viewed on a ‘need to know’ basis. Convenient.

        • pete

          Re gematria

          Well, I had to look that up, but for anyone else who was baffled see: https://www.gematrix.org/gematria.php
          Numbers in propaganda are usually used either to minimise or maximise a particular state of affairs. Peculiarly precise numbers can lend a element of credence or veracity to an assertion providing you can make the origin of the source particularly obscure or difficult to check. Netenyahu’s theatrical presentation had all the appearance of something mashed together to convince a gullible Trump, knowing that Trump was unlikely to investigate further.
          According to the Gematria Calculator “55000 files” = 130 in the Jewish Gematria = Iran.

          But I think this is all superstitious gibberish.

  • RandomComment

    If war starts between Iran and the US, it will be the end of Trump. I wonder who would want that?

      • Goose

        Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner appears to be the one pulling the strings on US ME policy.

        Look how Netanyahu and Kushner greet each other, how they look knowingly at each other.

        Kushner is the one presenting his own peace plan, he’s already dismissed a two-state solution and the Palestinians don’t trust him as far as they could throw him.

        • JImmeh

          The”Two-State Solution” is a dead duck,and has been for years. A single-state solution is the de-facto state of affairs; all that remains is to dismantle the roadblocks, evacuate the illegal settlements, abolish discriminatory land-ownership regulations, end the barricade of Gaza, and to tear down the walls. And remove from that part of the state currently known as the Occupied Territories the IDF.

          This is the only solution, and it is inevitable, in the long run.

          Of course, about 300,000 Israeli settlers will then need to find new homes; I suspect it might be hard to accommodate them on traditional Israeli land. Perhaps Jared Kushner could come up with a solution? He seems to be quite handy at producing solutions. There is a lot of unoccupied wilderness in the USA.

          Then we shall have a majority-Palestinian state with equal rights for all.

      • RandomComment

        No Dom. Because you live in a Left-Wing bubble (I suspect) and probably don’t realise how strongly the US public feel about this. Why did he get elected in the first place? How many Presidents have got elected on the promise that they wouldn’t start wars? How’s Obama’s record here, btw? It’s 2020 suicide for him (Trump) if he does this.

        That’s not to say the US won’t start a war, but that it won’t be of Trump’s choosing.

        • Dom

          The US has never gone to war without it being led by the president. Donald Trump is a raving Iran hawk of longstanding and personally selected other raving Iran hawks to front his foreign policy. If America goes to war with Iran, it is entirely on him. Not his son in law, Barack Obama, or any hidden dark actors of your fevered imaginings..

          • Goose

            Trump was elected preaching a message of ‘bringing the troops home’; no more costly, in terms of blood and treasure interventions.

            I remember this, because our BBC Newsnight programme toured the poorer Rust Belt States, where much US army is drawn from and many voters there stated they were backing Trump because they thought Clinton would embroil the US in more wars.

          • Andyoldlabour

            Goose

            Trump was elected on whatever lies he could spin to the US voters to get elected. The fools believed his lies and now the narcissistic orange blimp is free to do whatever he pleases, which is the worst possible scenario for the World at large.

    • remember kronstadt

      Donald Trump got a job for which he had no experience or talent and has gratefully fallen into the purposeful hands of characters with real power and a shopping list. Unlike the other actor president who was already a signed up ideologue. For the US war has always been a business opportunity and now technology has reduced the home boy body bag count the reality of war is now viewed heroically as well edited cinema. Preferably far far away. In previous big wars the US has been a late arrival but it’s grown up now and is eager to direct history – regrettably not in a Bernie direction but in a pettily vindictive one. Ergo Julian.

      “We have done our own intelligence assessment and the phrase we used is almost certain”
      or equally credible ‘almost true’

  • RandomComment

    If Trump was a neo-con, he’d receive far better press. And deep down I think know know that.

    • Flak Blag

      In my humble opinion…

      Trump is a shit-magnet, he’s a decoy, none of this is about Trump. The position of celebrity in chief is mostly a PR position. Trump’s job is to be an object of blame and derision, to give the public somewhere to direct it’s anger and righteous indignation. The princes of darkness continue to commit their vile deeds unmolested.

      It’s very apt that the POTUS is a reality TV star, in the same way it’s apt that a fish is wet.

      • lysias

        It’s not as if the American people had much of a choice. The only alternative they thought they had was psychopathic warmonger “We came, we saw, he died” Hillary. (I voted for real alternative Jill Stein, but the bulk of Americans, for reasons I do not understand, refuse to vote third party.)

      • RandomComment

        Flak B, I think that is a very perceptive comment; I agree. But why go to all the trouble (with Trump)?

  • Goose

    Can you understand how someone like Sajid Javid was on a reputed salary of £3.4 million per annum at Deutsche Bank? Taking a 98% pay cut to become an MP.

    The guy appears to have all the intellectual depth of a street puddle.

    • Tom Welsh

      One vital prerequisite for being popular in the boardroom is not to be too intelligent, educated or thoughtful. Or cultured.

      Nobody likes a smartarse until their lives depend on him.

      • RandomComment

        Shurely there are female smartarses who could save the world also?

        Brie, where are you?

      • Goose

        He must be savant-like with numbers or something?

        Because his political limitations are glaringly obvious.

        • Tatyana

          There’s a simple task from russian 9th grades chool exam. Math and cybernetics.

          “In the zoo 32 monkeys live in two enclosures, A and B. One of the monkeys is albino (all white). The message “albino monkey lives in the enclosure A” contains 4 bits of information. How many monkeys live in enclosure B?”

          This task has real solution. If you think that it has no, so you’d bettter quit your mystical view of life and realize that many things can be actually calculated.

      • Goose

        What do you make of the crazy amount of attention Rory ‘Rod’ Stewart is getting?

        I don’t despise him or anything, but personally I find his style irritating, he’s a deeply pretentious individual, maybe some would say I am, but I’m nor running for office. It appears he’s backed by the entire establishment too? Maybe they think the union(UK) is genuinely under threat from no-deal Brexit and are justifying the blatant interference in the democratic process on that basis? Whether the union is under threat I don’t know.

        Power tends to isolate those who hold too much of it. Eventually, they lose touch with reality… and fall.

  • Goose

    If we’d avoided starting WW3 over her crazy no-fly zone plans for Syria. Then at least the US would have stuck with the JCPOA. So maybe.

  • RandomComment

    As the Commander in Chief, the US, can’t. So your first sentence is legally and constitutionally correct. The rest is your bias.

    When it comes to hidden dark actors of my fevered imaginings, I prefer to defer to Eisenhower 😉

      • Tatyana

        ok, some comments were not meeteng the rules of the blog, so I have to repeat ones again.
        there’s a Math & Cybernetics task at russian 9th grade exam.

        “In the zoo 32 monkeys live in two enclosures, A and B. One of the monkeys is albino (all white). The message “albino Monkey lives in enclosure A” contains 4 bits of information. How many monkeys live in enclosure B?”
        Some people give answers, sometimes correct ones. Some people try to analyse this info. Some have vague understanding of that these pieces of info could possibly be analysed. Some people have mystical view of life and hardly realize that many things can be really calculated.
        This task has real solution. Information CAN be estimated and calculated.

        • RandomComment

          OK, I’ll byte. How does relate to my comment? Is it calculated or estimated?

          • Tatyana

            Ah, some deleted comments make it seem irrelevant now, i’m sorry.
            Both calculated and estimated. Just an illustration to how things can be laid in plain numbers and simple figures, while it may seem impossible.
            Please don’t byte too deep, I’ve got not so much flesh to survive deep bytes 🙂

          • N_

            @Tatyana – I doubt many readers will understand this problem, so I will explain it.

            The key is understanding what a “bit of information” actually means. I will assume there is only one albino monkey. If the information contains 4 bits, then it is telling you something that if you didn’t know anything would (from your point of view) have probability 1 in 16 of being true. Hence 1/16 of the monkeys are in enclosure A. That means two monkeys. So there are 30 in enclosure B.

          • Tatyana

            yes, N_
            A bit of information means 1 certain choice of 2 options, a slot which can be filled only by 1 of 2, binary choice, yes or no, true or false etc.
            so, 1 bit = 2 options = probability 1/2
            2 bits = 4 options= probability 1/4
            3 bits = 8 options = probability 1/8
            4 bits = 16 options = probability 1/16 = to 2/32

            In fact, students are to find the answer using Shannon’s formula involving logarithm. Those who study bad invent jokes 🙂

            “A new teacher walks into the classroom and says:
            – So, Children, here is a problem for you to solve. There are 2 apple trees in the yard. There are 4 pears on one of them and 6 plums on the other. The question is – how old am I?
            Vovochka answers:
            – You are 44
            – Right, but how do you know?
            – I’ve got a friend who is half-wit, and he is 22.”

          • RandomComment

            Tatyana – please don’t apologise. I tend to miss the odd bit sometimes.

  • michael norton

    It was always about Iran.
    Syria was to draw Iran into a trap.
    For this happen, it was necessary to draw in Turkey.

    5th November 2012
    Focus on Ford: The £80m EU loan for Ford’s Turkish Transit plant
    https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/10026411.focus-on-ford-the-80m-eu-loan-for-fords-turkish-transit-plant/
    Ford is an American company that has long been established in the U.K.
    This was more than just cheap labour.
    “Someone” persuaded Ford to move from Southampton to Turkey, to butter up Turkey for the forthcoming Syrian “Civil”War.
    Same as Turkey was buttered up with a slice of the F-35 contract, the largest military contract, in the history of the World, one and a half trillion $.

    The Deep State hate Iran.
    They have previously been humiliated by Iran, revenge may have taken a while but it is coming.
    Unforseen Turkey is going off-script.

    • Laguerre

      “It was always about Iran. Syria was to draw Iran into a trap.”

      Nah, far too simplistic. Syria was basically about f*cking up another Arab country, so that it couldn’t make trouble for Israel. Iran is similar, though evidently Persian and not Arab, but the question of regional hegemony is not very different. It’s a failing strategy, of course, but critics there have been warning the Israeli government about the dangers of their policy since 1948, and it hasn’t made any difference.

  • andic

    Pulling out of the JCPOA must have cost Corporate America big bucks; financialised capitalism needs new markets to prop up the Ponzi scheme, but on the surface of it hardly a peep. CEOs are not shy about lobbying, I was once in a room with Klaus Kleinfeld (remember him?) listening to him big up his clout in Washington. So what compensation do corporate America expect? If there’s anything better than a new market (in which you have to compete with European, Russian and Chinese companies) it would be a full rebuild of a war torn and devastated country where the plum contracts are awarded by the victors.

    I don’t think that this is the big WHY the US hawks are bent on taking Iran but I think it is the reason companies like Halliburton, chevron, GE etc are not so upset about JCPOA.

    • andic

      And if they are willing to bet on the prize then It’s probably going to go down like that

    • michael norton

      Maybe America would not care if the Gulf of Persia was shut down.
      America has fracked Methane and Fracked Oil.
      If the cost of Oil on the World market goes up, the viability of Oil/Methane in America improves.
      America is not a net exporter of Hydrocarbons.
      Actual Jobs have massively increased under Trump.
      America is quite keen to supply Europe with Fracked Methane.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Winners and losers. Boeing took a $20 billion hit (list price) on lost orders. Their order book at the time was healthy without the Iran deal so no impact on stock value. The same cannot be said about the 737 Max groundings. Stock value took a dive in March and has not recovered. FAA may approve the tech fix late summer but other national authorities will be reluctant to issue approval before the end of the year. Trump’s acting Secretary of Defence, Patrick Shanahan was a senior executive at Boeing. Wonder how many shares he has?

  • Jm

    Jeremy Hunt says the albino monkey is “almost certainly” guilty of something because someone else told him to say this and that all the other monkeys are pathetic because he was told to say this too.

    • N_

      Watch that Jeremy Hunt. More Britishist than Colonel Blimp when it comes to Huawei, he’s a man who made his fortune selling language courses for Chinese students, in particular backed by a huge contract with the British Council. His wife Lucia Guo, meanwhile, was the “recruiter of Chinese students” to Warwick University. That’s a much more interesting job than it sounds. Most of the private Chinese money in Britain is as dirty as most of the private Russian money, and many of the made-it-to-rubbing-shoulders-with-posh-Brits types from both countries want to send their offspring to British universities and are willing to pay large bribes to achieve it. MI6 love that attitude. They encourage it and so does the British Council. The universities love getting dirty money too, as do colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, and some British universities have set up special institutions to receive Chinese or Arabic money. Cambridge and Kent are awash with Chinese money, to name but two.

      Just look at the top three candidates:

      Boris Johnson (Eton) – got to Foreign Secretary while he was a US citizen, was accused of promoting the Kremlin’s position on the Ukraine, and was reportedly barred by MI6 from receiving the kind of information a Foreign Secretary would usually receive, which is another way of saying he is classed as a security risk. And he obviously is a security risk, given his heavy cocaine use and the non-disclosure agreements he has forced many young female victims to sign. The rumour at Westminster is that a huge financial scandal will cause Johnson to fall out of the contest. Interestingly many MPs and stupid journalists who think they are in the know are saying that “his sexual record is in the price”. Really? That is such a foolish thing to say. Has Danielle Fleet been mentioned much recently in the media? Which is not to say that Johnson is not a crook, just as Peter Mandelson is well known to be a crook. Look who owns the London Evening Standard. Cocaine isn’t “priced in” either. When he eventually gets on a TV debate, will he keep sniffing the way Trump did when he appeared against Hillary? Johnson is also obviously backed by the US embassy and the White House. I suspect Johnson has got former MI6 boss Richard “No Deal” Dearlove on his side, but the rest of the officer class of MI6, no way.

      Rory Stewart (Eton) – a “former” MI6 officer, or at least a man who has clearly worked closely with that agency, and who has played a role in a British royal family financial operation in Afghanistan.

      Jeremy Hunt (Charterhouse – head boy) – background in the area where the British and mainland Chinese elites overlap (hello MI6), and not only that but he made his personal fortune in that place, backed by Britain’s “unofficial second Foreign Office”, the British Council.

  • SA

    Great post by Tatyana about how many discussions are conducted with binary choices. “My way or the highway “, “You are either with us or against us” and so on. It explains how Putin manages to be at least on talking terms with Turkey, Israel and KSA as well as Syria, Iran and so on.
    But I guess ‘the third way’ has been given a bad name by a certain Tony Blair at least in Britain.

    • Tatyana

      thank you, SA
      That is why I put here the ‘question of albino monkey’. It is abstract and simplified task in school textbook, exactly about binary choices.
      I thought maybe people on here are good in choosing 1 of 2 options, since you often meet this.

    • Borncynical

      I recall President Putin explaining in an interview what his philosophy is to conducting international relations even with leaders whose policies fundamentally don’t accord with his. In adult and diplomatic fashion his reply was that, whatever political differences there may be, there is always something that you can find you have in common. It may be a minor political position or it may be a personal interest e.g. in his case a keen and active interest in wildlife conservation. The skill is in finding that common ground and using that as a platform for amicable discussions which will hopefully be a catalyst to progressive discussions in other areas.

      So even though Putin fraternises with many other leaders we shouldn’t necessarily assume that he approves of their policies. This just endorses the view that he is a very astute and broadminded leader who is eager to promote fair and peaceful relations around the world whilst, naturally, doing what he considers is in the best interests of the Russian people. If only his kind weren’t in such short supply in the West. Many books have been written about what motivates Western leaders so I shall leave it there!

    • Greg Park

      Triangulating 3rd way parties have collapsed in popularity virtually everywhere — Italy, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Spain. The con has run its course.

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