Beneath Contempt 429


The ruling caste of Saudi Arabia present the most striking example in world history of the extreme combination of avarice and personal cowardice. They are gagging for a war with Iran so long as somebody else fights it for them. Due to a dispute over who ought to have been Caliph 1400 years ago they are absolutely champing at the bit for somebody to massacre the Shia in the Shia heartland, provided they don’t have to do the massacring. It is not that they object to blood on their pure white robes, they often get that when executing a bound prisoner or raping the housemaid. But the thought of their own blood being spilt is an abomination. Let some helpful young Israelis or Americans risk fighting the Iranians, while the Saudi rulers sniff their cocaine in their London penthouses.

It is not that Saudi does not have its own military – bombing civilian Shia Houthis from a great height with no chance of retaliation is great sport. And there were some actual Saudis in some of the tanks sent in to massacre the unarmed democracy demonstrators of Bahrain. But the world’s greatest spender per capita on weapons systems has no intention that its own elite should do any fighting. No matter how relentlessly Israel, abetted by the United States, persists in the slow genocide of the Palestinian people, Saudi will always remain a firm US and Israeli ally, because the biggest coward always hides behind the biggest bully. From that position Saudi Arabia will use all its money and influence to promote military action against Iran – by others.

The British government, having armed, supplied, trained and lent special forces to the enduring Saudi massacre of Houthi civilians in Yemen, is horrified and full of condemnation that the Houthis have the temerity to hit back at an oil facility. The attack by drones was a brilliant bit of assymetric warfare that shows money is not everything in war. For US Vice President Mike Pence, after meeeting Mohammed Bin “Chopper” Salman, to denounce this attack as “An act of war” is pretty otiose. There are many thousands of mutilated or orphaned Houthi children who could have told him there was a war on, had he bothered to talk to them rather than their oppressor.

It is an act of massive folly for the West to get drawn in to the Sunni/Shia small wars that rage across the Middle East and risk blowing them into something much larger. We do not have a “side” in an Islamic sectarian divide which everybody should be seeking to heal, not to exacerbate. There is no genuine western interest at play here other than a desire to bolster Israel and its Saudi alliance. The demonisation and crippling by sanctions of Iran, with its profound and ancient culture and massive human capital and economic potential, is a major mistake.

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429 thoughts on “Beneath Contempt

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  • Antonym

    “slow genocide of the Palestinian people”. The Palestinian populations was one of the fastest growing in the world and still grows. No genocide here. Some Palestinians getting killed, yes, but these percentages are nothing special in today’s world and never have been. Overtaking land, yes, but the same is happening also elsewhere. There is only one Jewish state, dozens Muslim and hundreds Christian states.

    • Hatuey

      Funny how extremely thick people immediately start talking about population growth when genocide is mentioned. How does that work in your small mind? If population growth is running at 4%, does that mean you can safely massacre 3% without being accused of genocide?

      Crackers.

      • SA

        Also genocide includes cultural genocide which is practiced by bantustanisation and mass destruction of agriculture and displacement

          • fedup

            Myopia of the mind cannot be corrected, as the endless “pearls” of wisdom spattered around this thread proves. “Cultural Genocide” do eruvs fall into this category?

          • Jonathan

            We could, but the petit bourgeoisie whose purpose in life is to put their meaningless personal brand on everything, and I don’t mean just Trump, but all the professional-management class, won’t have it. They like their station and their imported nannies way too much and will gladly have other people kill other people in order to preserve it.

            Liberalism can’t be buried soon enough for this tankie.

      • Notre Dame

        Number of Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces in 2018 — 260.

        Number of Palesrinian Arabs in Israel and the Palestinian territories — 5.8 million.

        Not a genocide.

        Crackers

        • Notre Dame

          It would take 22,000 years to genocide the current Palestinian population. It’s a slow genocide alright.

          • duplicitousdemocracy

            But at the current rate, much less to render huge numbers of Palestinians in Gaza reliant on prosthetic legs. Are you ok with that being the punishment for protesters getting too near (couple of hundred yards from) an imposed sequence of containment barriers?

          • duplicitousdemocracy

            Moreover, the putrid water they are forced to drink in Gaza will eventually conclude with a public health crisis the world has never seen inflicted by one group of people on another. It’s not just about the numbers of needless killings, it’s about quality of life and unnecessary suffering.

          • giyane

            Nostradamus

            I don’t suppose your 260 includes deaths from internally exploding butterfly bullets followed by lack of medical attention.

            Funny thing . If we had lost WW2 there would never have been a genocide of European Jews. The disappearances would have been disappeared.

          • Hatuey

            We don’t need to argue about the definition of genocidal — those smart guys at Oxford have done it for us.

            Genocidal (adjective): relating to or involving the deliberate killing of a large group of people of a particular nation or ethnic group.

            That settles it. Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians is genocidal massacre. It’s worse than that though, it’s cowardly and barbaric. Israel is using the most advanced killing technology in the history of mankind to attack essentially unarmed civilians.

            Anyone who knows a thing about this genocidal slaughter knows that the only reason the U.N. has done nothing about is done to the US veto. Thus the whole matrix of international law has been serially undermined to accommodate Israel’s illegal occupation and murderous behaviour.

            Nothing I have said above is in the least bit debatable or controversial. It gets a little controversial when we hear claims that Israel is also harvesting body parts from its victims. But let’s leave that aside for now. We have enough to contemplate here and I’m sure everyone reading this will want to go away and work out what can be done to stop the genocidal murderers.

            https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/dec/21/israeli-pathologists-harvested-organs

          • Hatuey

            Giyane: “If we had lost WW2 there would never have been a genocide of European Jews. The disappearances would have been disappeared.”

            Bang on, Giyane. Very insightful.

          • N_

            Israelis who support the Israeli regime boast about the “attrition” of the “Palestinians”, i.e. of Arabs from Palestine who aren’t Jewish. The Israeli government has praised US sanctions against Iran for causing food shortages. (Can we think of any other country in the world that is so open about things like that?) The Israeli regime has never pretended to care about the “human rights” of anybody who isn’t Jewish. It’s a KKK-type regime with a Star of David. This is the regime that while it’s supposedly “negotiating” likes to murder leaders of the other side, occasionally “only” taking some of them prisoner, and when it said it was going to murder Yasser Arafat in particular it got the US puppet state to veto a UN resolution condemning it and pointing out that murder is wrong including when your victim is outside your “ethno-religious” group.

        • Node

          Number of Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces in 2018 — 260.

          For the record, 56 of them were children. Israel is sickening.

          • Brianfujisan

            Sickening for sure.

            The very latest viral video is way beyond sickening..that innocent 15 year old girl..Evil cowards.

          • N_

            That roughly corresponds to about one Bloody Sunday massacre a fortnight, or counting only children it’s a Beslan massacre every four years.

            And the United Nations stands by and does nothing.

          • thewoodsbeyondthetrees

            In addition to the Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces directly, we must not forget the number of Palestinians needlessly dying in hospitals working under siege conditions, with hopelessly depleted stocks of medicines and associated medical equipment. Imagine a difficult pregnancy living under these conditions, or an operation that would be considered routine in the West for a relatively minor procedure (if it could be undertaken at all) – the outcomes must be so, so uncertain, the risks so high. Survivable conditions such as severe epilepsy or major, but treatable disabilities must have very uncertain outcomes in this hopelessly challenging environment.

        • Jen

          260 Palestinians killed by Israei security forces in 2018: how about counting the Palestinians imprisoned, injured and incapacitated, plus Palestinians injured or even lynched by born-again Jewish fundamentalist settlers, in 2018?

          And 2018 is only one year out of the 70+ years that Israel has been consistently carrying out a package of actions and policies that can only be called genocidal.

          Notre Dumb, your monicker is well earned.

    • Old Mark

      hundreds Christian states.

      WTF ?

      Europe is composed of around 35 ex Christian states; only in places like Poland (Catholicism) & Greece, Serbia, Georgia (Orthodoxy) does Christianity still have any traction politically. Compare that with the situation in Israel, where Shas, and some of the minor religious parties, are significant players in that state’s political arithmetic. The state is also (as even secular Israelis grudgingly admit) founded on the holy myth that the ‘Land of Israel’ (borders undefined) has been promised to the J*wish people by G*d.

      The Latin American states are about the only holdout of ‘Christian’ states left on the planet- and there aren’t that many sovereign states on that continent. Political discourse in these countries is, unlike most of Europe, still conducted in an atmosphere where Christian rivalries (in this part of the world between Catholic Liberation Theology on the Left, and mainly right wing Dispensationalist/Pentecostal Protestant sects) are important political markers.

      • N_

        You’ve been trolled, @Old Mark.

        In any case no state in the world presents itself as a state for all the Christians or for all the Muslims, each group numbering about 2 billion people.

        You seem to know a fair bit about Latin America. Have you got a number to hand for how many states make the Holy See’s nuncio the dean of the diplomatic corps? That’s one definition of a Catholic state.

    • Doghouse

      “. There is only one Jewish state, dozens Muslim and hundreds Christian states.”

      So along with condoning mass conscienceless murder you are in essence saying – why don’t they piss off back to their own sort, their own country? That’s the nub of it and the answer to the fool is because that is where they are, their own country, a land which is being stolen from them, upon which their blood is being spilled, living under strict segregation by a regime that refuses integration which would at least go some way to sewing seeds of harmony.

      Thank goodness I don’t live in your mind or have to endure the excuses it conjures…

    • Mighty Drunken

      Israel does not intend to kill all the Palestinians, I do believe they intend to eliminate all Palestinians. What I mean is Israel wants to remove any claim people may have over Palestine and the land occupied by Israel . The easiest way to do that is to simply exist for long enough that (hopefully) people forget their ancestors claim.

      By setling land and moving their Capitol to Jerusalem they inch slightly closer to their aim.

  • Daniel Messer

    Well said Mr Murray. I hereby name you the bravest journalist on the planet. Long may you wield your keyboard of light against the dark forces swirling.

    • Hatuey

      I kinda see Craig more as a whistleblower than a journalist. He has insider knowledge and through that an edge over ordinary journalists.

    • michael norton

      I do not see events on a hair trigger.
      It might be a simple as a re-balancing, now Bolton has been fired.
      Shutting down half of the Saudi Oil production, might not be all bad.
      Especially with yesterday being Green Day.
      We ought to be more careful how we use the riches of our Earth, we are told there are not nine planets, so let’s extract stuff more carefully, more slowly, more sparingly. Why not use less stuff, buy less stuff, Calm down dear.
      Enjoy the sun and the sand. Sun is better than Nuclear Winter.

    • Ishmael

      The doublethink is astounding. Both in sentiments expressed about anti terrorism (while actually doing it) & helping the american people, While these sanctions also harm them.

  • Ishmael

    How many Nations has America threatened & attacked lately ..By financial or proxy or other means?

    It’s all they seem to do. Fulfilling some perverse barbaric idea of Greatness no doubt. The city on a hill, defending poor little Israel.

    It’s some sick BS.

  • Goose

    Rex tillerson : Trump got ‘played’ by Netanyahu and Israeli officials.

    Speaking at Harvard this week, the fmr Sec. of State Tillerson said: “In dealing with Bibi, it’s always useful to carry a healthy amount of skepticism”.

    He stated Israeli officials “played” Donald Trump during talks, using “misinformation” to manipulate the president.

    “They did that with the president on a couple of occasions, to persuade him that ‘we’re the good guys, they’re the bad guys,’ Tillerson said.

    “We later exposed it to the president so he understood: ‘You’ve been played,’” Tillerson added. “It bothers me that an ally that’s that close and important to us would do that to us.”

    He described Netanyahu as “a bit Machiavellian.” Which seems like a huge understatement.

    Tillerson said he supported a two-state solution involving Palestinians, which Netanyahu opposes.

    Tillerson has in the past described how self described Zionist ultra Jared Kushner took complete control of US ME policy freezing him out of the process.

    • Sharp Ears

      The BBC was doing it’s bit for Israel this morning on Dateline London. Shaun Ley chaired the discussion. One of the participants was Jonathan Sacerdoti who was given first shout. He expounded on the glories of Israel and of Netanyahu etc etc. His propaganda was countered by Yasmin Alibhai Brown.

      The BBC had on in spite of this –
      ‘BBC News interview, 2012
      On 14 November 2012, BBC News interviewed Sacerdoti following the commencement of Operation Pillar of Defense. After a viewer complaint, a BBC investigation found Sacerdoti’s involvement on the BBC to be “in keeping with the requirements of due impartiality in such matters,”[25] whilst also noting that “Mr Sacerdoti was introduced as the Director of the Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy, and it was not made clear that he is an active proponent of the Israeli viewpoint.” [25]
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Sacerdoti

      There was no mention of his interests this morning. His attribution read ‘political commentator’.

      The topics under discussion were Netanyahu’s future and the Saudi/Iran/US affair
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0008txr

        • Goose

          Wonder if Trump has any idea how a war will play with his base.

          Doubt very much Pompeo is even interested in Trump being re-elected?

          Many assume Pompeo is only there by Trump’s side to protect the CIA, acting as an intermediary, so Trump knows as little as possible.

          • J Galt

            They’re not going to be set alight by some oil facility being slightly damaged, no, to get the doughboys queueing up to get splattered for interests not their own you need something a bit more spectacular – like 9/11 for instance.

        • Goose

          Given the total lack of warning, preventative systems failure and ease by which this alleged ‘attack’ took place.plus the failure to produce any missile flight path information. It makes you wonder whether an ‘attack’ really did take place? Or whether the damage is something done deliberately simply to make the allegation? That sounds totally messed up, admittedly, but things are messed up in that part of the world .

          An unprovoked attack by Iran on Saudi oil infrastructure with cruise missiles? Given the vulnerability of Iran’s oil infrastructure? Followed by denials? It seems completely absurd that any nation would do such a thing.

          • MJ

            Aerial photos of the damage do not support the contention that cruise missiles, or anything much, hit the sites. They were also repaired very quickly.

          • Goose

            It does seem odd.

            What is known about the infrastructure; was it old or due to be upgraded or replaced?

          • michael norton

            It can’t have been, what we normally call cruise missile, as the holes are so small.
            More like a shaped charge.
            Meaning an affixed explosive, quite difficult for Iranians to achieve.

          • michael norton

            It seems much more likely shaped charges were placed by hand, which would likely rule out Iranian involvement, in setting the explosions.

          • Goose

            It’s just about establishing ‘a pattern of behaviour’, the US officials even use those words., thus it’s about priming public opinion for kinetic military action.

            One incident after another and eventually, even if all the individual incidents are staged, the public , i.e., us , think military action is somehow justified because we believe Iran mist be responsible for some(or all)of them, I mean hell, the weight of evidence is overwhelming, right?

            It’s all a despicable game to the warmongers. How far this softening up goes before the final danse macabre, I don’t know?

            A US attack without any justification whatsoever would obviously be hugely problematic, even in the US.

          • giyane

            Michael Norton

            ‘Placed by Hand ”

            Yes from a extendable platform or boom.

            Not that kind of boom, silly.

  • Abdullah Yusoff

    His description of their holiness, the princes of the house of Saud….reminds me of Jabba The Hutt…

    • giyane

      Jabba

      Believe me CIA jihadists are thousand times worse than the Saudi rulers and the CIA.
      Double your money. Double your fun with jihadist, jihadist Jabba mint gum.

  • Hatuey

    In international law, one country attacking another for territorial gain is call a ‘war of aggression’. It is, as a matter of clearly defined principle and precedent, the highest order of crime. At Nuremberg we executed many people who were deemed to have been involved in wars of aggression. They were Nazis.

    Israel has been systematically engaged in a ‘war of aggression’ in the area once uncontroversial known as Palestine since the 1940s. Many thousands have been killed and millions displaced.

    Supported by the US and supplied with the most advanced killing technologies known to man, Israel has engaged in a premeditated policy of killing people for their land. Often they don’t even destroy their houses — the occupants are kicked out and “settlers” move in on that same day.

    Palestinians who have tried to defend themselves are routinely killed and imprisoned. Israel uses Palestinian attempts to defend themselves as an excuse to attack, claiming that israel has a right to “defend” itself from these “terrorists” — that’s right, in occupied or stolen territories, acquired through a war of aggression, they claim self defence.

    Right now a normal person would be imagining how he’d react if someone kicked his door in and at forced him to hand his house over at gunpoint to vicious strangers. Maybe you are imagining how you’d feel as you walked away with your family to live on the streets. Remember, if you resist they are going to shoot you and claim self defence. They might even say you were a “terrorist” and use you to justify future interventions, occupations, and violence.

    So far, so simple. It’s worth emphasising that none of this would be possible without support from countries like the US and UK who are always keen to sell arms and cosy up to their best customer in the region. The sales to a large extent are funded by US taxpayers who provide well-meaning aid to Israel in its war of “self defence” against the “terrorists”, as defined and described above.

    I know, you’re wondering how this could be allowed to go on. How do they get away with this? Well, that’s largely down to one of the key planks of democracy, the free press. A free press is allowed to report this as it likes. Great, isn’t it? Democracy is truly beautiful. Definitely worth fighting and killing for, but you know that already.

    Wait. There’s more. Just when you thought it could not get any darker, it gets darker still. Would you believe Israel is actually harvesting organs and body parts from its victims in the occupied territories? Right now you’re probably thinking this Hatuey guy is a crackpot. This is just too much…

    However; “Doctor admits Israeli pathologists harvested organs without consent”
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/dec/21/israeli-pathologists-harvested-organs

    • giyane

      Hatuey

      Not just Palestine. All the wars against Muslim countries already controlled by Usukis, and the destroyed by Usukis, we’re Zionist wars by empire2 red and blue Tories for the sole benefit of Israel and neo colonial expansion.

      Craig is right about the queen. If you sit on a throne and allow wars of aggression continuously to be waged in your name for the obvious benefit of a foreign power and your Own Empire, you are personally to blame.

      • giyane

        BBC Radio 4 is stating that 80% of religious persecution is against Christians. WOW! Thats a big Holy Cow load of finest British tripe.

        The obvious aim of the state propaganda machine is to force Muslim countries to permit the false worship of prophet and human being Jesus pbuh and a few dodģy saints.

        The Zionist BBC and its controller the sTory government do not define the continuous wars waged by the UK for Zion against Israel’s near and far neighbours.

        I’ve Never heard a bigger whopper in my life.It ranks with Darwin’s whopper justifying African slavery and colonisation by lying that Africans were closer to apes.

        Ok not many people around listening to the ZBC’s Sunday morning propaganda blitz. But in the revolving door of British propaganda the MP in charge of religious affairs can cite the bbc tripe as proof in HoC debate.

        Every single man woman and child Muslim in the Yugoslavia to Yemen program against Islam by USUKIS is a victim of religious persecution by the Zionist neocons.

        The progrom in which Pritti Patel ‘s Al Qaida Ansar ul Islam was fighting on the side of Israel for the Golan so that’s Islamist persecution of Muslims for their Faith.. I wonder if the Home Sectionary is the one who appoints the minister for faith????!!!

    • SA

      Hatuey
      This article is nine years old. Little has been done since about Israel’s illegal activities against the human rights of the Palestinians since. It is a case that the so called upholders of law internationally feel that this is not a universal law but that some countries can be exempt from them because they are an ethnically based democracy, itself a glaring contradiction.

      • Hatuey

        I know, SA. Nothing is ever done. And my lengthy comment which I apologise for, given that most people who come here know about this stuff, is another waste of time and effort that will result in nothing. I’m under no illusions.

        When I see people on here defending Israel, though, and excusing their genocidal attacks on innocent people on the basis of population growth, we have no option but to go through the routine of reminding them that we know the truth.

        Everybody with a conscience should be boycotting Israeli produce wherever they can and drawing attention to their crimes against humanity. Stealing the organs of kids that you murder is as sinister as you get in this world.

    • John2o2o

      “Right now you’re probably thinking this Hatuey guy is a crackpot.”

      No, not on this occasion. I am in general agreement with you on this issue.

      But I am more concerned about what the solution to all of this might be. It’s easy to rail at the injustice. More difficult to actually do something constructive about it. In my opinion.

  • Brianfujisan

    Why being dragged into WW III is A bad Idea..At the behest of Evil People in the West.. and Israhell is the West, Aint it ?

    Why is Israel not subject to the regulation and inspection of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the United Nations?

    Why is Israel not a party to the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

    Why is Israel not a party to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)?

    Why is Israel not a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)?

    Why is Israel not a party to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC)?

    Why is Israel allowed to ignore UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2334 which states that ‘Israel’s Settlements Have No Legal Validity and Constitute a Flagrant Violation of International Law’ and which requires the removal of all illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories?

    Frightening Scenario: Israel Has the WMD Capability to Start an International Nuclear Conflict
    Why is Israel allowed to maintain an inhuman, 11-year illegal blockade of essential goods and services against 1.8 million civilians in Gaza, now virtually without electricity 24/7 and kept near to starvation and collapse, in an Israeli bid to illegally force regime change?

    Why is Israel allowed to illegally occupy the Syrian Golan Heights?

    Why is Israel allowed to illegally occupy the old city of Arab East Jerusalem?

    Why being Lured into WWIII is a crap idea..

    Why is Israel allowed to have induced 600,000 of its citizens to illegally occupy the Palestinian West Bank in violation of the Geneva Conventions on Human Rights?

    Why is the state of Israel uniquely in the world today allowed to violate international law and United Nations Resolutions with impunity?

    Why is the Israel Lobby allowed to infiltrate the US Congress, the British Parliament and other legislative councils worldwide when Israel is in gross breach of international law on a daily basis? Why?

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/why-is-israel-not-being-held-to-the-same-international-standards-as-all-other-un-member-states/5647568?

    • Andyoldlabour

      Brianfujisan

      All very valid questions Brian, but like hot potatoes you will never see them picked up and answered in the Western MSM.

    • nevermind

      And Brian, just to end your list of why is’s,
      why is Israel undermining the foreign policy resolve of another country by the creation of FoI groups in political parties, especially MP’s, who are fettered with free perks and jollies, rather than the benign membership of a party?

    • Goose

      Yes.

      Simon’s articles on the Iran situation are more like those that appeared frequently under Rusbridger’s editorship. When Greenwald, Milne et al were columnists.

  • Sharp Ears

    Tightening the screws.

    US destroyer famous for ‘self-defense strikes’ on Yemen redeploys to Saudi coast as Pentagon prepares more purely defensive assets
    The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Nitze, armed with surface-to-air and Tomahawk cruise missiles, was redeployed off the northeast coast of Saudi Arabia, as part of the US effort to “plug the holes” in its ally’s air defenses.
    https://www.rt.com/news/469335-nitze-destroyer-yemen-saudi-iran/

    But, as we keep being told, Trump does not want war.

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

    • Hatuey

      Trump is no angel but so far he has shown reasonable restraint. He definitely has an odd way of doing things but to his credit he restrained himself in Korea not so long ago when many expected the worst, he restrained his forces in Syria when Clinton was talking about shooting down Russia planes there, and he’s trying to get out of Afghanistan on the understandable condition that the Taliban aren’t handed the country on a plate.

      My view is that the US shouldn’t be engaged and involved in these places but that’s just pointless idealism. It takes discipline to compare existing realities with likely alternatives rather than ideal alternatives. The likely alternative to Trump is another bastard who would probably do (or — in the case of Hillary — have done) much worse.

      • M.J.

        Trump’s reluctance to get involved militarily outside America is consistent with his “America First” policy, which he believes is what his base wants. The trouble is that it also constitutes an abandonent of international leadership when it is needed, for example furthering the end of dictatorships such as North Korea, Syria and Iran. I hope that the good influence of people like Hillary will continue long after Trump is gone.

        • Garth Carthy

          “…the good influence of people like Hillary…”

          You must be joking! The Clintons, Bush, Obama, and most other recent US presidents are absolute warmongers who are determined to enforce their ideas on the rest to the world (i.e.might is right).
          You talk about ‘furthering the ends of dictatorship’ in places like North Korea, Syria and Iran.
          No one disputes that these are dictatorships but what right has the US – the World’s greatest dictator wiith military bases all over the world – to interfere.

          • M.J.

            It was actually Obama’s reluctance to get involved in Iraq that allowed ISIS to arise. I regard the US as a democracy, not a dictatorship. That makes her better than dictatorships, but even so, to interfere in them is not always a good idea, and is always a difficult decision when people in them are suffering. This may be especially true for North Korea. Hillary and Obama are precisely the people ordinary North Koreans need. But since that is no longer possible, Elizabeth Warren may be the next best thing.

          • joel

            MJ
            “I regard the US as a democracy”

            That is not how former president Jimmy Carter regards it.
            https://theintercept.com/2015/07/30/jimmy-carter-u-s-oligarchy-unlimited-political-bribery/
            Nor do two of America’s most esteemed mainstream political scientists, Martin Gilen and Benjamin Page. They also conclude that the U.S. political system has become oligarchy, “where corporations and wealthy elites steer the direction of the country, regardless of and against the will of the U.S. majority and irrespective of which party holds the White House or Congress”. They report that, after two centuries of America’s Great Experiment, “Ordinary citizens have virtually no influence over what their government does in the United States.” (Democracy in America: what has gone wrong, Princeton, 2015, p. 312.)

          • Garth Carthy

            In no way is the US a democracy. It may be ostensibly a democracy but it dictates policy for the rest of the world.
            The US helps install dictators in other countries and has enforced failed Free Market policies everywhere.
            The US and UK invade other nations under the guise of ‘humanitarian intervention’ whereby the hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens they kill is called ‘collateral damage’.
            We all know that other nations like Russia and China are hardly paragons of democracy or human rights but it is both obscenely hypocritical when the West pretends it stands on the moral high ground.
            We may not be able to get rid of the psychopaths that rule the world but we should at least call them out for what they are.

          • Node

            No one disputes that [North Korea, Syria and Iran] are dictatorships …

            I dispute that Iran is a dictatorship.

        • SA

          M.J.
          I appreciate what you are saying and I would like to add also that Tump has broken the nuclear deal with Iran, introducing crippling sanctions on Iran plus increasing sanctions on Russia and Syria and of course has initiated a potentially devastating trade war with China. But I am surprised that you have omitted in your list the backward dictatorships of KSA, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, UAE and the only ethnic dictatorship in the world, just in that region.

        • giyane

          M.J.

          Obama paid for the Toyota 4 x 4 s for Daesh which they picked up brand new in Erdoganistan before driving down to Barzanistan and Mosul.

          Clinton was involved with the French company that built vast underground shelters for Al Qaida in Syria which Russia bunker bombed. Was there collusion between the Democrats , the Saudi cokeheads and Putin to destroy a large number of extremists?

          Very likely imho. Especially in the light of U.S. policy to finish them off in Trimp’s administration.
          How much did the retired jihadists of the Kosovo era now living in the nest of spies in London get paid per impressionable youth recruited for Al Qaida and Daesh? £20 K a throw? I saw a few on the plane to Kurdistan

  • michael norton

    very interesting Sharp Ears
    USS Bataan

    a not so mini-aircraftcarrier

    Apparently it still uses/used Harrier jump jets.

  • Republicofscotland

    Maybe I’m seeing it all wrong, but I think Trump really doesn’t want to go to war with Iran unless he’s forced into it.

    The attack on the Saudi oilwells infrastructure really didn’t look that bad, and all things aside it didn’t have a seriously negative effect for the US either.

    Of course Saudi investments in the States is high, and Trump needed to send military hardware to the region to bolster and comfort the Saudis and the Israelis, both have serious hardware of their own. However money does talk, and I’d imagine Trump is getting badgered from several very influential groups in Washington to go to war.

    I still say Trump is first and foremost a businessman, preferring to do advantageous business with other countries rather than attack them. A prime example of that in my opinion, is the launching of the 50 or so Tomahawk missiles into Syria, but giving Russia prior warning of the oncoming event.

    Another example might be the breaking of the JCPOA deal, a deal that Trump found loathesome, a typical outburst from a man who says he does deals everyday, yes Trump in my opinion is a businessman first, and not so much a politician second.

    If the US goes to war it will be because those influential people that want a war with Iran have backed Trump into a corner.

    • John2o2o

      “I still say Trump is first and foremost a businessman, preferring to do advantageous business with other countries rather than attack them.”

      – I completely agree ros and have said so myself. I view the seat of the problem as the complex interplay between the security services (CIA, etc), the American media and the American Military Industrial Complex.

      • Republicofscotland

        Indeed John, powerful lobby groups, politicians and businessmen/women with Israeli interests at heart, they want Trump to commit to war with Iran, and as you mentioned the Military Industrial Complex. War is a win win situtation for them.

        Worringly Trump has shown his appeasement to those who favour Israel, (lets not forget the huge amounts of money the US taxpayer hands over to Israel, the only clause I think is that they buy US military hardware in return) by endorsing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

        However a full blown war with a well equipped Iran with a population twice that of Iraq is another matter.

        Trump is between a rock and a hard place on this one having signed a deal with the Saudi king in 2017 that Saudi Arabia would purchase $460 billion dollars worth of armaments over a ten year period.

        By not at least taking some kind of military action against Iran, could he be jeopardising that deal? I think that’s why he’s sent a show of force into the region.

        What happens next is uncertain, I’m sure tensions will be running high, and any engagement no matter how small between Iran and the Saudis, or Israel, or even the US might call Trumps hand in favour of war, lets hope it doesn’t come to that.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_United_States–Saudi_Arabia_arms_deal

        • John2o2o

          “Trump is between a rock and a hard place on this one having signed a deal with the Saudi king in 2017 that Saudi Arabia would purchase $460 billion dollars worth of armaments over a ten year period. By not at least taking some kind of military action against Iran, could he be jeopardising that deal? I think that’s why he’s sent a show of force into the region.”

          – Well my feeling is that the deal would not be threatened by non intervention in Iran. Military sales do not necessitate action, but I think you make a valid point.

    • michael norton

      It is not that likely that Iran is directly involved.

      Iran does not want all out war, especially if they have not done this thing.
      However, Iran has offered all out war, including on the allies of America,
      one of the states that is an allie of America, is of course Israel.
      At the moment Israel does not have a functioning government.
      So no real war until the new administration in Israel is installed and up and running, then only if they give all out war the thumbs up, which they will not.

    • Courtenay Barnett

      REpublic of Scotland,

      ” Another example might be the breaking of the JCPOA deal, a deal that Trump found loathesome, a typical outburst from a man who says he does deals everyday, yes Trump in my opinion is a businessman first, and not so much a politician second.”

      In large measure I agree with you.

      The added point, I believe, is that by being primarily a businessman, Trump consistently fails to make intelligent and effective political calculations. By withdrawing from the JCPOA, he has again miscalculated and has no viable end game – which makes the war option a non-starter and leads then to a potentially disastrous end ( which even the Great Donald Trump does not want).

      • Republicofscotland

        “Trump consistently fails to make intelligent and effective political calculations.”

        Courtney.

        Yes I agree, in my opinion Trump looks at, we shall call them US endeavours, from a business point of view and not so much a political point of view.

        He’s arrogrant, egotistical, chauvinistic and brash, lacking decorum in the political arena and it shows, its not what we want to see from one of the most powerful leaders on the planet. However, if Clinton had won the US elections Iran would’ve been razed to the ground by now, and casualties on all sides would have been unthinkable.

    • tunde

      His insistence on a military parade during 4th July to rival the Red Square/Pyonyang parades, his enthusiasm for new nuclear weapons systems, his brow-beating of NATO members to increase their defence expenditure (preferably with US weapons), his creation of a “Space Force”, accelerating the militarization of space, his early bellicosity towards North Korea and his toying with the idea of intervening in Venezuela. I agree, he is a businessman. Just one looking for a khaki election gift.
      And the options on offer (Iran, NoKo, Syria, Venezuela or even Russia) seems politically unpalatable when viewed next to his re-election timetable. The quick wins are get out of Afghanistan and secure denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula. Iran still evokes images of Carter and the US Embassy hostage situation.
      Not to diminish their war fighting capabilities, but the US cannot afford a hot war with Iran. The asymmetric penalties are far too great, the effects of which would harm his base even more. I think Trump understands the limits of US power more than most give him credit for.
      My own view is that if the political calculus is right, Trump has no compunction in bombing brown skinned people any more or less than his predecessors in office. And I don’t see how Hillary Clinton wouldn’t have met the same strategic options.

  • SA

    In today’s Andrew Marr propaganda show, Dominic Raab was interviewed and asked about the possible UK response to the attack on the oil Facilities in KSA. He did not confirm that he thought it was Iran but at the same time felt that it was impossible for the Houthis to carry this out. But the Houthis have been doing just that since January 2018, trying to bomb distant Saudi Targets with missiles or with drones.
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/timeline-houthis-drone-missile-attacks-saudi-targets-190914102845479.html
    Is Raab not aware of this.
    Then there is the small question of how is it that American installed defences in KSA failed to detect these missiles wherever they originated from. Does that not tell you something rather worrying for those using those systems?
    I think that US retaliation on Iran is unlikely because of this uncertainty regarding the defences. If the Houthis did it then how much worse would it be if Iran started using their missiles and drones?

    • Courtenay Barnett

      SA,

      This would be an unwinnable war against Iran – even if Trump/US decided on a Hiroshima/Nagasaki type Truman attack. Simply would not work – even if viewed solely in military as distinct from political terms.

      • Hatuey

        Why would it be unwinnable? The US, Israeli, and Saudi airforces could systematically bomb Iran into the stone age in a matter of days. Israel alone has a more powerful airforce than the whole of NATO if you subtract the US from the equation.

        Be in no doubt, they could and would do that. And they’d keep Iran in that weakened state for a decade without a thought, watching millions die of easily preventable disease etc., just as they did with Iraq.

        The only thing stopping them is the risk of Russian and Chinese support for Iran and the possibility of freight passing through the gulf being affected. That’s what stopped them before.

        • Republicofscotland

          “Why would it be unwinnable? The US, Israeli, and Saudi airforces could systematically bomb Iran into the stone age in a matter of days.”

          That is a very strong possibility, however on the flip side of that coin is the other possibility that China and Russia have already sent (Iran purchasing military hardware) modern S-400 defence systems that Turkey has bought. The Economist magazine says that the S-400 defence system is probably one of the best in the world today.

          The unknown factor of course is does Iran posses nukes domestic or foreign? And would in the event of the Iranian regime falling, would the religious fanatics in Iran call on the ayatollah to launch them.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-400_missile_system

          • Hatuey

            Yes, in my last paragraph I defined Russian and China providing support as a possible deterrent. I don’t think any number of s-400 systems would be enough to deter or physically stop them either.

            The real risk is that Russia and China announce that an attack Iran would be considered an attack on them, taking it from proxy war to direct confrontation. They came very close to saying that about 3 years ago.

          • Republicofscotland

            I’m inclined to agree that no number of S-400 would stop the US for ravaging Iran, however, I doubt very much Russia and China would get pulled into a full blown war with the US.

            For one Russia doesn’t have the capabilities to defeat the US, and two like China I doubt very much they’d risk severely damaging their economies to save Iran.

        • Courtenay Barnett

          Hatuey,

          ” Why would it be unwinnable?”

          A number of points to ponder:-

          1. In Vietnam – the US had far superior fire power and used it and lost that war.
          2. In Iraq, by contrast to Iran, the people and the military were not squarely behind the Government ( read: Saddam Hussein); then contrast that with the people and military of Iran.
          3. There are nations in the world which have nuclear weapons which can annihilate entire countries – but the cost is so great that none will use said weapons. That is an option for the US – but, the cost.
          4. Iran in an asymmetrical way ( including – but not limited to the Straits of Hormuz) has the ability and capacity directly and indirectly across the Middle East to strike back in a most costly and effective way in a quite significant asymmetrical war via proxies.’
          5. There is a global strategic probability that the interests of China and Russia might obliged a siding and drawing of a line in the sand – so to speak.

          All reasons, I believe why there is unlikely to be the commencement of any symmetrical war against Iran. I say ‘symmetrical’ because there is already intense ‘economic warfare’ being waged by the US.

          So – how now do you see it Hatuey?

          • Hatuey

            I see it exactly as I did. A massive air strike that took out electricity, water, sewerage processing, airports, major roads, fixed communications like phone lines, railways, bridges, oil refineries, ports, etc., would completely disable Iran and eliminate its ability to influence the wider region.

            The US and its cohorts could do all that in about 3 or 4 days. They did almost all of that to Iraq in around 2 nights. They didn’t target oil fields and refineries in Iraq but Saddam did because he knew the war was over within hours of it starting.

            People underestimate the preponderance of power that the US has in the region. The Middle East is the most strategically important area on the planet from a US foreign policy perspective.

          • Hatuey

            Btw, Vietnam and Iraq don’t compare. I don’t expect the US would be in any hurry to send in troops on the ground in Iran. A win in the terms I’m using would mean hammering Iran back to the year dot.

    • Goose

      The most depressing thing living in the west, is our so-called free press and their willingness to believe without question everything coming out of Washington and Riyadh.

      Maybe Jamal Khashoggi launched the missiles from the Turkish Saudi embassy car park?

    • Hatuey

      SA, I listened to the interview carefully. You can be sure that the drones were of Iranian origin, nobody is disputing that.

      The US and U.K. want to violate the normal rules of proxy war and argue that by supplying the Houthis with these drone, Iran is basically responsible.

      If we were to take them seriously, the US and U.K. as the world’s top two arms exporters would be straightforwardly responsible for more violence and destruction than the rest of the world put together.

      But that would be a break from the normal rules of the proxy war game that the U.K. and US invented. Nobody in England or America who wanted to be taken seriously in the field of international relations would support that because proxy war is so central to everything when it comes to arms sales and foreign intervention.

      • Goose

        By that standard a certain Mr Kalashnikov would be responsible for every war on the planet.

        What is it Trump and the NRA are fond of telling us every time there’s a mass shooting : weapons don’t kill anyone, people do.

      • Michael

        Russia and China could change the nature of warfare forever. If drawn into a war by western gangsters they could use their modern missile systems to personally target western leaders. They must know several addresses these savages live and frequent. Take war to their own front door and ensure some of them are amongst the first to die in this one. Very soon they’d realise this is personal, where they’re at extreme risk of being wiped out in a missile strike. After which the survivors will no longer be so keen to start war.

  • Ishmael

    I do have significant issues with the extra parliamentary left.

    It reminds me of nazi Germany, The way they essentially go along under this ruse of not isolating ones self. How they have basically said nothing on Assange is quite appalling really.

    & how James Butler (James B @piercepenniless) said condescendingly of Craig Murray, That what he thinks of him is “unprintable” or “Unpublishable” (A phrase he’s used more than once with no explanation). …Well I do wonder where their head is at, frankly. Up their own ass I suggest.

    As iv said before, if Julian was a “Minority” figure, Black or female, I think it would be different,…that said, They say nothing about Chelsea manning either. It’s like these people don’t exist.

    Iv felt once before that id (politically) go after them for this, but the truth is there for all to see. …I will not be complicit with this fucking evil.

    How blatant does it have to be ?

    • Hatuey

      Corbyn’s Labour is basically Blairite. It surprised me to see so many on the left fall for Jeremy to be honest. I guess in England they don’t have much of a choice.

      When you argue with delusional Corbyn supporters about this, you soon end up in a sort of political twilight zone talking about his vibe, the culture of Corbyn’s Labour, and a bunch of other feelings that they get.

      It’s disappointing. After ten years of austerity that killed tens of thousands, imposed on us by a succession of the most rabid right wing governments we have seen in about 75 years, Corbyn isn’t even prepared to say he will cancel the Trident upgrade.

      Point this out and you end up right back in the twilight zone… “everyone knows Corbyn would not want to upgrade trident, it’s just a matter of political expediency… sometimes you need to do things you don’t like so that you can do good….”

      Truly pathetic. Trident is really low hanging fruit. The public don’t want to upgrade it either. A 4 year old could win that argument.

      • SA

        Hatuey
        I have to disagree strongly with you. Corbyn may not be as radical as how you may have wished him to be but Corbyn’s labour is anything but Blairites. Its just that the Blairites have not been completely expunged. If it was then why would Umuna, Gapes and Berger quit? The big weakness of Corbyn is that he would like consensus within the party and is a democrat who would like his legacy to be that he has restored the party to the grass roots. I advise you to listen to the labour party conference and what is being said there and you would immediately see it is not Blairite by any means

        • Goose

          SA.

          Craig has discussed this at length when he, quite rightly imho, urged CLPs to deselect the most recalcitrant Blairites.

          There is a regularly updated list on the Labourlist.org website and it shows that, broadly this isn’t happening, with the most problematic MPs not being triggered i.e., put to a full local membership ballot.

          What’s needed, is either mandatory reselection or better still open selection for all candidates. At that point and only at that point , will the CLPs and leftish membership have secured the party against another right-wing takeover. No more parachuting in Blairites.

      • Ishmael

        “Corbyn’s Labour is basically Blairite”

        That criticism of the “extra parliamentary left” wasn’t actually an invitation to spout whatever “basics” you care to assert. & as i’m sure your aware on Trident (& many other things) he has to go along with the party’s bureaucracy, all those invested in murder etc.

        You don’t really think most in the PLP are looking to be swayed by rational reasonable or humane arguments do you? Most are EXACTLY like Tories who vote that animals don’t have feelings because it protects their assets.

        Try it, go strangle a dog to death in front of them. It’s only that they can hide from the reality they create that enables them to function.

      • Ishmael

        & imo. Jeremy is one of the few who are not just basically despicable pigs with their nose in the trough of public money, all while spouting off about the evil of state spending. like Nigel & the EU.

        They are pigs…Worse, Worse values than animals.

        • Bramble

          Basically, the better the man (or woman), the more the media and Establishment will declare he is unelectable. You can tell their virtues from their enemies.

          • Ishmael

            Yea, amongst the self declared & nauseatingly repeated “honourable” gentle-men, or ladies. ..It’s such a twisted farce.

            & I was just thinking about isolation. This is clearly how they want him presented, But he will never be like they are, Bullies using perception management on people against their interests & promoting mob mentality.

            I don’t care what position they hold, the’ll still be remembered as shits. To humanity with eyes open.

      • Hatuey

        My comment above about Corbyn was something of a social experiment or test and you all failed, exactly as I expected you would.

        Everybody keeps telling me Corbyn is radical, the newspapers have him down as a communist, but nobody demonstrates why in terms of his policy proposals. I’m old fashioned, I guess — I think the why part is important. And I think the way they just shout “communist” and “radical” without explanation tells you quite a lot about Corbyn.

        Nationalising the railways wouldn’t be radical. And let me tell you, nobody at the EU level would care if they did; suggesting they would is fake news & spin. Even with the billions the U.K. pours in in subsidies, the train companies struggle to turn a profit. Nobody cares what we do with railways.

        Labour is going through the motions as it always does when in opposition, pretending it’s a socialist party that cares about people and blah, blah, blah. Nobody with the memory span of a goldfish could possibly take this pantomime seriously.

        Incidentally, I’m not disappointed about that. I remember the 1970s.

    • Goose

      Appalled to see another vocal Russian journalist, Arkady Babchenko, murdered. My thoughts are with his wife and young daughter. We must defend freedom of speech and it is vital that those responsible are now held to account.

      – Boris Johnson’s official Twitter account 30 May 2018

      He of all people should realise that sometimes things aren’t what they appear to be, and it pays to properly investigate the facts for yourself before pronouncing.

      The UK Parliament often sits in hushed silence for these statements too; as per Blair and the imminent and growing threat from Saddam’s non-existent ICBMs loaded with nuclear or biological payloads. May’s nonsense over Syria(Douma) and Salisbury (of a type developed by Russia). Literally no consequences for anyone who has misled parliament.

      • Tatyana

        if Mr. Johnson knew russian language, or if he knew the sence of Babchenko’s messages, perhaps he would avoid being mentioned in one para with this piece of shit.
        Margarate Simonyan said it all in several minutes (in russian)
        https://youtu.be/lp7UeMVxR0w

        *I tried to add english subtitles to this youtube video, but I failed to. I translated it all and sent for the approval, still no notiffication.

        • Republicofscotland

          Good Evening Tatyana, I wonder could you tell me if Russian politician Aleksei A. Navalny, is a Western funded agitator?

          And if he’s not, why then were there widespread raids by the Russian security forces on homes and offices across the country on those people affiliated with Navalny recently?

          From what I can gather the official narrative eminating from Moscow is a crackdown on money laundering by Navalny.

          Navalny said of the 40 cities raided, its the biggest police operation, in geographical reach, in Russia’s modern history, to intimidate and demoralise the opposition.

          Finally Tatyana, do you believe Navalny’s side of the story or Putin’s? Or is it not that clear cut?

          Thanks in advance. 😀

          • Tatyana

            Republicofscotland,
            I’ve got only my own opinion on Navalny and I can’t say for all the russians. As we say “я свечку не держала” = “I was not holding the candle” (funny russian idiom for saying ” I was not holding the candle while those two were making a baby, so I can’t tell it for sure it is the sure father of this baby*).
            I don’t know if Navalny is paid by western powers.

            But what makes me think it is very much possible, is that he is manipulating logics, manipulating language, manipulating concepts that have the same transliteration but different meaning in english and russian.
            He is famous here for his anti-corruption activity and this is really good. We also appreciate the mechanisms he has done to complain about misdoings of the officials.

            But he uses his popularity gained through this activity in some very weird way.
            E.g. Putin offered him a place and support and power, something like to head the anti-corruption activity in Russia. But surprisingly, Navalny refused it. He said he does not want to work with Putin.
            And this refusal puts a question – is he really anti-corruption, or is he anti-Putin? In other words, does he care about the country or does he care about something personal?

            We have a lot of news in russian media about Navalny, about his offices searched and people detained etc. *Me myself lived through 2 searches and investigations by tax-fraud service and by omon in my ex-employments, and if you have nothing to hide so you have nothing to fear, really*).

            Navalny makes himself all the things that he accuses Puting of doing of.
            He stole money, it is proved. He used scam schemes to get money.
            He criticised russian rich people for sending their kids abroad for education, and last year he sent his daughter to study in Stanford.
            He collects money from his supporters and spends it at luxuary resorts abroad, not forgetting to ctriticise Putin of doing the same 🙂
            His supporters are mostly very young people, as we say “scholars” – schoolboys and schoolgirls. They are under 18 years and have no right to go on protest or to sign petitions etc.
            What I can personally say – his brother took place in Russian Post and it was all very bad. They fired him and now the things are getting better, I send my packages abroad since 2009 and I can really tell it for sure.

          • Republicofscotland

            Thank you Tatyana for your thoughts on Navalny. Just one more if you please, if Navalny has amassed wealth from his followers, would it be fair to say that Putin has acquired vast wealth as Russian President ( and PM) over his 20 years in power?

            Or is that just Western propaganda?

            Again many thanks in advance. 😀

          • Tatyana

            Again, I didn’t hold the candle, but I’m pretty sure Putin did 🙂 I think he grabbed as much as he could.

            To make it clear – no one russian would be surprised to know it, as it is traditional way of gaining a big big and very big estate (in Russia and in many other countries around the world) – to take a high position. We understand it very well, that a person in power and especially a person at highest possible power, would enrich himself. The question is – will he do it in decent form or will he turn into a greedy dictator or will he be paid by foreign powers to sell all the country abroad? You can’t know untill you try, that is why (partially) we say “let him stay another term, he gained already what he wanted during his first term”. in russian it is “этот уже наворовал достаточно”

            as you can see, we have little illusion about powerful people and that is why we understand the importance of opposition and especially the importance of foreign media with their coverage and their opinion.
            They understand many russian processes wrong, and this is another question 🙂

          • Republicofscotland

            Tatyana again many thanks, it would seem that even though the West portrays Russia a some evil villain in a world pantomime, that in reality our politicians, and our people for that matter, are not that different from each other.

            I hope this is correct. 😀

            Алты́нного во́ра ве́шают, а полти́нного че́ствуют.

          • Tatyana

            It must be a very old saying, Republicofscotland, I’ve never met it in my country.
            But the meaning is right and live today. Ask anyone in Russia, you will hear that a poor man who stole a piece of bread would be jailed. But a rich man in high position, who stole several millions would stay free.

        • Tatyana

          here are some excerpts

          Margaret Simonyan:
          – Peskov (**Putin’s press-secretary) has an awful job, no one’s envy. Can you imagine: a man wakes up every morning, brushes his moustashe, turns his phone on, gets connected,and 50 journalists get in touch with him asking: “Mr Peskov, what’s your comment on the news leaked into British media that Putin drinks blood of Christian infants?”
          Peskov’s duty is to answer “No, he does not”
          And thus all the headlines of the British press are: “President’s spokesman reports that Putin doesn’t drink blood of Christian infants”.

          – Well, sometimes I write scenarios for different movies and TV series. I want to say that, the biggest trouble with writing a script is to invent something new. But to invent something of the sort of Ukraine does now, at all, to invent that what’s going on in Ukraine nowadays, one must be a script-writer of genius.May be working with Tarantino, I don’t know.

          – That one (**Babchenko murder script) is not as good because everyone is laughing at it – Because this is.. listen…some hieromonks… private weapons traders…some fund ordering terrorist attacks…Was there at least one terrorist attack in Ukraine? No? Thank God! I’m happy there were none. If you brought me such a scenario, I would say it’s a hoax.
          – You see, you understand me. – Incredible, isn’t it? – Will not pass (**the credibility test)

          – I want to remind you what is Mr Babchenko. I’ll just read out : “Our glorified satirist Zadornov has died.” – writes a so-called journalist Babchenko:

          “Dude contributed much into idiotization and affinity breeding of toilett-grade chauvinism. He gave his hand to building a shit-catapult. He died? Really well. Minus one piece of shit”.

          – God forgive me…
          This is… oh… I quote word-for-word, I’m sorry, I have to quote this, I’m sorry…I have to quote his several statements to understand the context of our further discussion.

          “Died? Really well. Rest in rock-wool. I’m not mourning” (*russian ‘let soil be fluffy in his grave’ = rest in peace)

          – Further, when TU-154 plane with our military, journalists and Doctor Liza saving children, plane crashed and no one survived… Babchenko wrote:
          “Do I feel any condolence on fatality of 80 military officers of a mad under-empire? No. I have no regret, no sympathy. I don’t send my condolence to relatives. The only feeling I have is disdain. The only one thought in my head, and it is exceptionally rational. In zombie-box (**TV) manpower, which is swinging the mechanism of jailing and killing my friends and colleagues, it’s nine units less now”.

          – Kemerovo, when our… – children … children died in fire (**Babchenko wrote)
          “If the only method to force your imperial ‘vata’ to think about the value of human life is fire and death, then set it ablaze and let it burn”
          .
          .
          .
          – I was amazed by the reaction to his fake death. First, I’m glad to see it (*reaction), because all decent people didn’t say a single unkind word (**about Babchenko). Although, now we know for sure this man is alive. Now we can say out our unflattering opinions. He deserved it. We didn’t say it because he was dead. Me neither.
          ** in russian tradition we keep to the point that no one bad word must be said about a dead persona, only good words one can say, otherwise it is better to be silent.

          • John2o2o

            It’s still a bit hard to follow Tatyana, but I remember the incident well. I’m not sure if even our gutter press have accused Putin of drinking the blood of Christian babies though … (lol)

            “in russian tradition we keep to the point that no one bad word must be said about a dead person, only good words one can say, otherwise it is better to be silent.”

            – It used to be the same here “never speak ill of the dead”.

            I didn’t know who Margaret Simonyan was, but she is apparently editor in chief of RT. She was born in a large southern Russian city.

          • Tatyana

            my latest understanding of what is going on in your ‘old Erope’ is –
            racism is not dead, it is transformed. Certain part of your population still needs the ‘vent’ to feel their ‘superiotity’. So, you’ve sabstituted the archeotype of ‘unworthy color people’ with the new archeotype of ‘putin’s people’. It is very generalised term and can be used where_ever 😉

            you’ve got no real understanding that all people are equal, you can only admit that all YOUR people, being the citizens of YOUR union are equal in the rights that YOUR government thinks are affordable for YOUR current historical moment.

            just call the thing their real names

          • Tatyana

            They also create artificial ‘vents’ for other ‘superiority needs’ in your society.

            You may have ‘straight vs gay’, or ‘natives vs migrants’, or “muslim vs christians’ or ‘males vs females’ – whatever type of superiority vent you can imagine – that type of vent is legal in your society.
            Ha ha ha, just do not say that you’re a communist 🙂 not that it is illegal, just mocked of as we have seen in USSR with churches.
            You see the whole situation as a freedom, I see it as an artificial vent created by ruling class to hold you all in your places and to prevent you from real freedom.
            Real freedom, independent of all gender, or religious, or racial prejudices. The freedom of naming the thing what they are.
            It is very simple. All people are the same everywhere. If you don’t allow politics or religious meddle into your affairs, so you’ll find that black and white people are happily get married and have healthy offsprings and those offsprings adopt different religions, and the basics is always – live, thrive, prosper and f*ck the priests and politicians.

          • John2o2o

            Tatyana, when I was growing up I was taught that communism was bad. Partly because in my mother’s religion (Catholicism) she had been told that religion was suppressed in the USSR. Her father, my Scottish grandfather I was told was a communist in the 1930s. When I was growing up he used to have a copy of the Gulag Archipelago in a cupboard as I remember.

            These days nobody thinks much about communism, because the USSR no longer exists. But still our media always demonises Putin. I don’t say he is perfect, but can we really say we are better than Putin when we jail Julian Assange for exposing corruption? I don’t think we can.

            My city in England (Leicester) is apparently only 50% white these days. It has a huge population from India and Pakistan and also these days increasing numbers of Poles. Generally there is a great deal of racial tolerance, though it is noticable that my part of the city is mostly white, while some other parts look like streets in India. I have to laugh, because one way in which racial tolerance has manifested itself is in food. There are hundreds of “curry houses” in my city. English (and Scottish) people love spicy Indian food 🙂

            I am sad to say that most people here are ignorant of Russia and it’s culture. This is one reason why you are so valued here Tatyana. So few of us know what life is like for Russians. 🙂

          • N_

            Except, Tatyana, most people in the world are religious to some extent and they don’t say “f*ck the priests (or equivalent)” when it comes to funerals and usually not at marriages either.

          • Tatyana

            N_
            I should have written it in more words to make my idea clear.

            They do it even with young children, you know, priests teach them what is right religion and others are wrong.
            Governments approve of school books for children, and there expounds the same harmful ideas.

            What I mean is – do not let them make division in society. Do not let them tell you who is bad and who is good.

            Without outside influence people quite peacefully live together. Normally people learn from each other, they are curious to know how this or that is done by their heighbours, people cooperate.
            Hatred does not arise by itself when you live side by side with a person. It is always someone who comes to you and says “look attentively at those people, beware of them” It is always the same, not the knowlege you gained yourself, but someone’s else ‘knowlege’.

          • Tatyana

            re. the blood of Christian babies. Margarita described a very specific way to ask questions.

            Imagine, that you are asked ” Mister John2020, have you already stopped to drink whisky from early morning and beat your wife?”
            Newspaper headline will be:
            “Today Mr. John2020 stated that he dosn’t drink whiskey early in the morning and doesn’t beat his wife”

            How do you like it?

          • John2o2o

            I know what you were saying Tatyana and I agree with you. I don’t agree with Putin being demonised in the West.

          • Tatyana

            in my case, I did not have to learn racial tolerance, we are a generation of those who lived in the Soviet Union and believed that all people are brothers by default.

            In my region, historically coexist two mentality, one of them descendants of Cossacks, mainly Ukrainian, white, Russian, Orthodox, and the second mentality is the indigenous population of the Caucasian peoples, southerners, Muslims, highlanders.

            As for food, traditional dishes of my region are very different from Russian sour cuisine. We are accustomed to pork and river fish. We cook and love many dishes of our neighbors Caucasians, who traditionally eat lamb, chicken, a lot of vegetables and herbs.

            Now many people come to my region from Asian ex-USSR countries – Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan… And we fell in love with tortillas from tandoor and their spices

            Today I intend to buy ribs of a young sheep, Devzira rice and cuminum seeds, I will cook pilaf a-la Fergana 🙂

          • Tatyana

            if people from India decided to come and settle in Russia, they would be very welcomed here. We belive it is a country of very rare ancient culture and philisophy, India is the symbol of spirituality for us. We love their music and dance art.
            https://www.instagram.com/p/BUUyx8Ohezk/
            It’s a pity we have little chance to know their food 🙁
            But we know indian cinema and it is incredible, everyone is singing and dancing, even zombies in the horror movie will sing and dance before biting the character 🙂

          • John2o2o

            “Today I intend to buy ribs of a young sheep, Devzira rice and cuminum seeds, I will cook pilaf a-la Fergana”

            Tatyana, I am hungry already 🙂 (my stomach is rumbling) … your family are so blessed 🙂

            There were a lot of fears that there would be widespread racial intolerance in my city with the large number of immigrants, but things have worked out quite well on the whole in that regard.

            England is not renowned for being a country with a strong tradition in cuisine. Traditionally, however fish was eaten on a Friday and on Sunday’s roast beef and Yorkshire pudding with vegetables was popular. (Indeed, it still is!)

            On Christmas Day (December 25th) a large roast turkey is traditionally eaten, but sometimes other birds are cooked, for example goose. A Christmas Pudding is eaten as a dessert, traditionally with a sixpence embedded in it 🙂

            There is an old joke here “like turkeys voting for Christmas” to indicate something very stupid.

          • Tatyana

            So you prove my idea that normally people are cooperating, they learn and share, and have no hatred to each other.

            There are traditions of hospitality and neighbourliness in every culture.
            For example, I go to my muslim neighbor to borrow a big boul for cooking. When I return this pan, I will definitely give her some cooked Lecho. It is because my granny and my mom taught me to never return an empty dishware.
            The same with my another neighbour, who is marrried to a Georgian. When she borrows a nutcracker, she will return it and treat me with a portion of Satsivi. Because her granny and her mom taught her the same.
            That is how we learn to help each other, learn to share and feel united and know we are sharing the same traditions.

            Now here comes politics and religion and tell me to hate Georgians and to hate Muslims 🙂 I say, f*ck the priests and f*ck the politicians.

          • N_

            I’ve never really understood what kind of group the Cossacks are. They seem to have had their origins – not in the distant past but in recent centuries – in a functional (and male only) organisation and then taken on some of the attributes of a nation.

          • N_

            @Tatiana – Generally it’s not like that in Britain. It’s horrible here. Mostly neighbours do not borrow cooking tools off each other, and most white people here are racists who wouldn’t for example want to receive a curry dish from Asian neighbours anyway (or go in their house) even if they eat at Indian restaurants. Nor would they take them some Yorkshire pudding for some cultural reciprocity. Of course you are right that people naturally take a live and let live attitude, but you have to realise that British society is very far from nature. Many people probably don’t know which way is north from their house. In most cultures for example a grandfather who has with his wife raised children who are now themselves parents is basically respected throughout society in his position as grandfather. In Britain, no way. There is nothing like that here. Those who are of a higher caste will view him as a burden on society, as a man who probably puts loud Christmas decorations outside his house and who isn’t worth much more than a farm animal, indeed probably less if he is retired. Take a good look at people’s faces in the footage of Boris Johnson being confronted by the parent of a sick child in a hospital. Imagine what is going through those face-pullers’ “minds”. That’s Britain.

          • N_

            In the EU elections in Britain earlier this year, 34% of voters voted for the “Brexit Party” or the “UK Independence Party”. If we assume they were all white (they weren’t, but the percentage who were white must surely have been extremely high), then using 82% as the white British proportion of the population (2011 census), and of course applying various other assumptions, we get 41% of honkies voting for “Enoch was Right”, which is approximately the same proportion as the combined percentage of the entire voting electorate who voted Labour, Conservative, or Liberal Democrat, all combined. Of course the turnout was low, but even so, the danger flag is well and truly up in this country.

          • John2o2o

            “So you prove my idea that normally people are cooperating, they learn and share, and have no hatred to each other.”

            Yes, Tatyana, I strongly agree with you on this.

            “For example, I go to my muslim neighbor to borrow a big boul for cooking. When I return this pan, I will definitely give her some cooked Lecho.”

            This is something that is wonderful about your culture 🙂 Unfortunately we no longer have this tradition here. People do not share in this way. It is a great shame in my opinion.

            Regarding priests, the Christian church is no longer very influential here, certainly not in England and not as it once was. A large city church in Nottingham has now been converted into a nightclub retailing alcohol. Many churches have closed due to lack of attendance. Many people say they are Christian, but never go to church.

            A lot of people still like to get married in a church in a white wedding. That might be the only time they ever enter a church.

            Each village used to have a church. The churches are still usually the oldest buildings in the village, but today usually one priest will serve several churches, because few people now train to be priests and attendances are so low. And very often (in the Church of England) the priest is a woman!

            The main problem, perhaps is that ethics and human values were the preserve of the Christian church in England. Now that the church is less important these ethics have not been taught in schools in recent years and so people have left school without any moral value system.

            Some people believe that this is why our politicians are so bad. They have no values, no morals.

            There is good and bad in the Christian church. It is probably fair to say that many people have been harmed by the guilt and anxiety that can be caused by traditional Christian religious teaching. (I would say there were things that harmed me, but not directly). But there is good in it too and it has tried to reform.

          • John2o2o

            Tatyana, this comment from N_ is not true.

            “most white people here are racists who wouldn’t for example want to receive a curry dish from Asian neighbours anyway”

          • N_

            In what other country than Britain could the creation be suggested of poor doors “access colleges” at its two most elite teaching universities? “Access” is code for “knuckle-dragger” – oh sorry, I mean a person of prole parentage who is believed to have registered far out on the tail of the “Bell curve” by some freak of genetic fate. (“We’re not classist or racist – it’s just that you don’t understand what a normal distribution is” sums up the ruling scum’s “thought” in this area.)

            In other countries, generally speaking you get into university if you’ve got the required qualifications, and sometimes it’s necessary for your parents pay a big bribe. In Britain they call you in before you’ve done your exams (!), listen to your accent, read what the f***wits at your school have written about you behind your back, and then THEY decide what “offer” they are going to make YOU, in other words what grades you in particular will have to get or exceed if they’re going to allow you in. I’m not making this up.

            Meanwhile in the state health system, most of the consultant medics run two lists of patients – one private, one state. It’s this that explains why they never give state patients an appointment at the moment it’s decided they need certain treatment or surgery – because private patients might appear and they have to go to the front of the queue.

            People who aren’t stuck-up middle class idiots will acknowledge the truth of both of the above observations, but there’s no public criticism or even recognition. Similarly there’s very little knowledge in Britain that these are peculiar arrangements which don’t exist, or exist very marginally, in most other countries.

          • John2o2o

            @ N_ what you are saying here is nonsense:

            “we get 41% of honkies voting for “Enoch was Right”

            Honkies?

            and Tatyana will have no idea who “Enoch” is anyway!

          • John2o2o

            @ N_

            Tatyana is a person who I consider to be a trusted and very much valued friend. To be honest I am trying to have a personal conversation with her. Not easy on a public forum I grant you.

            I am not interested in your angry, reactionary comments which I strongly disagree with.

          • N_

            @John2020

            Tatyana, this comment from N_ is not true.”

            >most white people here are racists who wouldn’t for example want to
            >receive a curry dish from Asian neighbours anyway

            Yes it is true, John. Don’t lie to yourself.

            And by the way why do you think so many people voted for Brexit and then more recently for hard Brexit parties? Because they cared about the Common Agricultural Policy, was it? Or was it that old favourite “straight cucumbers”? You need to get out some more.

          • N_

            Or maybe take a look at population movements in a city such as Leicester, John2020, to give a very clear example (in short, as Asian people moved in, whites moved out) but there are many others.

          • John2o2o

            @ N_

            In Leicester where I live there are no racially aggravated crimes that I am aware of. Certainly nothing serious. Racial tolerance is very high here and in Britain as a whole. I don’t say it is perfect, but it is strong.

            There are Asian shopkeepers in my district. They are not subject to attacks or racially aggravated hate crimes. This is a peaceful and tolerant city on the whole.

            People are tolerant and they do get along.

          • John2o2o

            @ Tatyana

            If you read this I just want to apologise for my reactions to N_ comments. He has just as much right to answer as I do.

            I do strongly disagree with him about race issues in this country, though he is entitled to his views. I do not have any Asian neighbours, but still we do not share things. I often think it is sad, but it seems to be the culture. I don’t know the cause of it.

            My mother, who is Scottish thought that the people in Leicester were unfriendly when she came to live here in the 1960s and that was before the large scale immigration from Asia and also from Africa. We had large numbers of Ugandan Asians settle here after Idi Amin expelled them.

            I hope that’s okay 🙂

          • Tatyana

            It’s amazing that you’re talking about tolerance when I’m talking about really normal human interaction.

            If my neighbor suddenly falls, I don’t just call an ambulance. I’ll run out to meet the car, show the right house, help the doctor with access, find some strong men in the neighborhood to carry the stretcher, and hold the doors of the elevator.

            My parents had a fire in the house, it’s a neighbor who alarmed, it’s neighbors, friends and relatives who came to help with their own hands to sort the burned things, who brought food, who gave money to repair the roof, and we are the children who paid for a new roof and returned the money to neighbors and relatives.

            If my Georgian neighbor has a stroke, I will iron the shirts for her son and cook dinner for her husband, until her relative came to help around the house.

            I don’t know what we’d do if we weren’t so united, if we didn’t help each other. We’d probably have to wait for state aid.
            Perhaps your society is divided in order for you to be more dependent on the state, than rely on each other.

          • Tatyana

            to add to the above comment – I don’t attribute it to religion, because I’m not religious, nor are my parents or relatives or neighbors, except for a couple of elderly grannies. It is just how we learned to behave from our parents.

          • John2o2o

            “If my Georgian neighbor has a stroke, I will iron the shirts for her son and cook dinner for her husband, until her relative came to help around the house.”

            This is just such a lovely attitude that you seem to have in Russia. Caring for each other like this. I truly think it is wonderful.

            I have often thought it sad that we do not behave a little more like this here. Actually, my neighbour did have a stroke about 18 months ago. He is 67 and lives alone, but he is very independent. He has carers come in every day (I don’t know if he pays for them) and struggles with a walking frame. (He would not have a wheelchair).

            When he had his stroke he used to have a lodger. The first thing that happened was that his lodger moved out. I thought at first I might be able to do something for him, but it seems inappropriate now somehow and besides I have my own life to live. I generally try to be neighbourly, but my other next door neighbours have three dogs. I had a terrible time earlier this year with sleeping as a result of their barking. I complained to them, but they were not interested. It’s not so bad now though 🙂

            “Perhaps your society is divided in order for you to be more dependent on the state, than rely on each other.”

            Yes, I think there may be something in what you say here. Or dependent on private agencies? Our elderly often go into care homes which are extremely expensive. I don’t know if you look after elderly relatives in old age?

            It’s not a religious thing, no. Religion is really not so important for people here now. “The milk of human kindness” is an old phrase, now not so often heard 🙂

          • John2o2o

            And just to add: regarding religion I have had a lot of inner personal conflict, but no bad experiences of any kind with any priests when I was growing up.

            I always wanted to be married and have a family, but I got it into my head that God wanted me to be a priest when I was about 13 and Catholic priests are not allowed to marry. So in my mind I was defying God by refusing to accept this calling and it caused me a great deal of personal distress and guilt which was not sorted out at the time. I was afraid I would be sent straight to a seminary if I told any one!

            I don’t know if I really believe in God any more, but I recently tried to make my peace with the church. And of course I am still unmarried.

          • N_

            A statistic for you, @Tatyana: in Britain, women’s death rate in pregnancy, childbirth or postpartum is FIVE times higher among black women than among white women.

            This is of course the country where the real ideology of the ruling elite is sociobiology and Social Darwinism.

            In Britain, Guardian readers may have heard about something called “faith schools”. Generally speaking the relevant issue for many white parents is nothing to do with religion or “education”: it’s to do with wanting their offspring to attend schools where there are fewer Pakistanis rather than more Pakistanis. The racial concentrations in schools are generally speaking even higher than in the surrounding areas. Admittedly it is true that this difference is tempered by the fact that whites breed less, but even so the biggest consideration for many whites is minimising their children’s contact with Pakistani children.

            In those areas where there has been a lot of black-white mixing, there is less racism, but in any case it is British Pakistanis who are the target of far more racism than the black British.

            In Britain, it is normal for the gang-connected organisations that run debt-pushing “door canvassing” (double glazing, energy switching, telecoms switching, etc.) to advise their door-knockers not to bother continuing if the person is Polish etc., and to concentrate on white British natives because the latter think the person who is claiming to be bending over backwards to “get them a good deal” is not patently obviously a scammer on whom they should close their door but is in fact really trying to help them.

            Simmering white racist anger is the background to the rise in the popularity of Brexit, followed by hard Brexit, to be followed by … ?

          • John2o2o

            @ N_

            “In Britain, Guardian readers may have heard about something called “faith schools”. Generally speaking the relevant issue for many white parents is nothing to do with religion or “education”: it’s to do with wanting their offspring to attend schools where there are fewer Pakistanis rather than more Pakistanis. ”

            This sort of language is really offensive N_ and absolutely not true. I attended a faith school, because my mother wanted me to be raised as a Roman Catholic. It was NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE.

            There are a lot of Asian Catholics. And a lot of them attended my school. I know of one who married a school friend of mine.

            Clearly N_ you have issues with race. Again, please, if you want to discuss racial issues start an off topic thread.

        • Goose

          Yeah, I know about parliamentary privilege.

          But the way they just serious matters go, when if say a public official misled them, or made such pronouncements they’d be demanding firings and calling for heads to roll. The HoC like one big gentleman’s club, you see this with the reverence in which they hold each other. All far too cosy and I guess it’s why someone like Corbyn is seen as such a political disrupter and there is so much vitriol for him across parties. Although, his power to contest anything is seriously limited due to a lack of PLP support.

          • Ken Kenn

            Tomorrow or a bit later the Supreme Court will pass its judgement.

            The legal experts say that due to the length of time for the SC to come to a decision and the discussion of remedies means that Johnson and his co conspiritors will have to recall parliament.

            As long as it ruins the Tory Conference then that’s fine by me.

            Raab was given a very easy ride by Marr this morning and Laura was hanging around the Labour Conference when she should have been asking her close friend (as the embedded BBC journalit )as to why a couple of Euro Ministers described the ‘ . Deal ‘ negotiations as ” going backward ” on Friday.

            Perhaps she was there to stick up for poor Tom?

            ” Drive by shooting ” that’s very dramatic use of words from a very lazy Deputy Leader.

            He’s been hanging out in the hood too long.

            Marr said he was up North somewhere.

            That’ll be Manchester Andrew- a big city famous for guns some years ago.

            Perhaps that was what was in Watsons mind.

            Can anyone think of any policy suggestions Watson’s come up with over the years?

            I can’t.

          • N_

            “i>The legal experts say that due to the length of time for the SC to come to a decision and the discussion of remedies means that Johnson and his co conspiritors will have to recall parliament.

            As long as it ruins the Tory Conference then that’s fine by me.”

            @Ken, you are not getting it here. From a Tory point of view, it’s great if the Tory conference doesn’t happen or is very short or otherwise doesn’t penetrate much into media consumers’ bonces.

            Why do you think the SC decision is being timed for between the Labour and Tory conferences?

    • N_

      Re. Qatar, how did the Barclays Bank fraud case end? Or is it still live?

      For another huge scam in Britain, see student loans. Over a period of several years, the Student Loans Company has lost several chiefs (I have lost count of how many) who “resigned as a result of financial irregularities”. One of their scams involved not paying students money at the beginning of the academic year, causing them to have to borrow it elsewhere. [1] The current story with the Student Loans Company is that they have been “accidentally” lending “too much” to students, then “discovering” what they’ve done, demanding it back, and coming down on the students like a tonne of bricks when they can’t pay. I’ve just heard some creep on BBC Radio 4 who sits on the relevant Commons select committee, saying the problem was “overpayment” because of “incompetence” and “bureaucracy”, that there had to be an “investigation”, and that paying every 1 month (as in Scotland) would be better than paying every 3 months at the start of term.

      What a load of cr*p that is!

      * What is the point of having an investigation if you’ve already decided that the problem is one of incompetence and bureacracy? The real problem isn’t anything of the kind! It’s a huge multibillion pound FRAUD involving state contracts and officials in the Department for “Education” – yeah, just like you get in other countries, but in those other countries the population have enough sense to know what’s going on, because they haven’t been indoctrinated to be intellectually deferential to everyone who speaks with a posh accent. And these weren’t “payments” either. They were LOANS. All across Britain, banks love lending to people who can’t afford to pay the money back as agreed. The Student Loans Company crooks and their helpers in the state have found a new twist on this – lend your targets more money than you agreed, without telling them it’s more than you agreed, and then come along later and say “Hey! Where’s our money?”

      * And stop blaming the students! They are the victims here.

      * Also absolutely typical is the way it’s framed in the media as a numerical issue of should the loans be paid every 3 months or every 1 month. How about whether the thieving moneylending scum should get 30 years in jail or only 10 years?

      Note

      1) A similar scam is often run by banks that hold money that belonged to former clients who died. Whenever they get away with it, they delay paying the heirs their own money but they are ever so helpful in lending some of it to them instead so that they can pay the inheritance tax – and, surprise surprise, solicitors too often get a piece of the action from the scam and they “forget” to advise clients that the heirs don’t have to put up with this.

      • N_

        I’ve just described some features of real Britain as it really is, and there are zero parts of the political spectrum which speak about this.

        • John2o2o

          Well, what you have just described are your own opinions N_

          Whether they are correct is open to question.

          “How about whether the thieving moneylending scum should get 30 years in jail or only 10 years?”

          Clearly you are angry. I have suffered from severe debt problems in my life, but I am not looking to jail anyone. I have to accept responsibility for my problems not blame them on others.

          namaste

  • bj

    Mr. Murray is going to do a crowdfunded film on the Skripal affair!
    Great news. More details soon.
    Thank you, Mr. Murray.

    • Hatuey

      Sorry, but I don’t regard it as great news. The role of Russia in international affairs is exaggerated enough. We are talking about a country with a smaller GDP than South Korea.

      And the Skripal affair is a trivial if murky footnote in the history of espionage that will never be fully understood by anybody that’s alive today. To tell the truth, I don’t even want to know what the intelligence creeps get up to.

  • Ishmael

    I think it’s true to say parliament is a world apart mostly. & it’s in London, another bubble. Like Tom Watson & his clap happy gang, Nobody seriously supports these people & most know it. …

    What I think matters is each individuals effects. & going by just what’s happened so far ? The political effects of the small group who ARE in a team with JC is huge, & positive in the main. Even if just the example of compassion & common sense in among all that mire… …The youth especially notice this.

    If it was me i’d come up with a plan to dismantle central government in short order, though it is just a sight of organisation & perhaps justifiable in the context of climate change, many of the functions it does are simply not, & are under no influence of the public in any meaningful productive way. So imo the more public understanding the better, as it’s clear to anyone.

    I think it’s kropotkin who used the example of the RNLA as an example of decentralised organisation.

    At the end of the day the public are being forced to support all kinds of thing against their interests. & it is a form of internal colonisation. ..As long as the system is organised around employer-employee, worker-investor, Even how we fundamentally see money, & property, All these issues will keep returning.

  • Michael O'Neill

    “No matter how relentlessly Israel, abetted by the United States, persists in the slow genocide of the Palestinian people, Saudi will always remain a firm US and Israeli ally, because the biggest coward always hides behind the biggest bully. From that position Saudi Arabia will use all its money and influence to promote military action against Iran – by others.”

    That has the terrible ring of truth about it.

    Is it this dawning realization in the wider world population – even in an unconscious form – that is driving the move away from fossil fuels and plastics, a form of ultimate economic sanction that will beggar the Kingdom and the Emirates and take away one leg of the Tripod that supports America?

    Guns
    Oil
    Drugs

    • N_

      To get a handle on how un-independent the British courts are, consider the big case that is currently before the Supreme Court. It’s an interesting “coincidence” that the decision will be announced between the Labour and Tory conferences. So media consumers will be served a dish as follows:

      * Labour is split, Labour is split, Labour is split
      * Big court decision, probably leading to recall of Parliament
      * The Tory conference won’t get much coverage, and it might not happen, or if it does happen it might be over in a single day.

      Parties that are viewed as split don’t win general elections. Never mind that it’s the 40-year long split in the Tory party, or 50-year long if you date it from Enoch Powell’s speech, that has played such a big role in the whole Brexit business. People believe what’s repeated, and in particular what has been repeated recently.

      Meanwhile it’s interesting that I have not heard a SINGLE commentator or interviewer put the obvious question to any Labour leader about Jeremy Corbyn’s policy of agreeing a soft Brexit and then holding a referendum between that and Remai. That queston is this: what if a large proportion of the electorate want a hard Brexit?

      Could those who are calling the shots actually want things to run as follows?

      * Labour wins general election
      * Corbyn govt negotiates soft Brexit deal
      * Govt holds referendum on said deal versus Remain

      Because if that happens, and if the Sun lights the touchpaper for the far right to go to the mattresses as Nigel “pick up a rifle” Farage promised, then you really get trouble that would make the current trouble look like a vicar’s tea party.

      • N_

        Meanwhile, it’s great that the Labour conference has voted in favour of seizing and redistributing the assets of private schools. At least I hope the policy actually goes into the manifesto in that form. And in government, do it fast. Don’t go in for any of this “royal commission” cr*p. Don’t let the scumbags “realise” their assets and take them abroad either. Don’t let them have any say whatsoever in what happens to them. They are enemies of the people. And don’t turn them into elite schools within the state sector. Are you kidding? The most powerful ones are already within the effing “state sector”, insofar as

        a) they were established by royal charter (like the BBC) and

        b) they are registered charities (and therefore under an obligation to serve the public good).

        Seize their assets. Redistribute. Proscribe. Send in the demolition teams with wrecking balls, bring down all the buildings, burn the ruins, and pour salt on the ashes. Am I being clear?

        That’s the most important policy. It’s like a massive whack over the head to the ruling class with a crowbar, followed by a flying kick to the cobblers. Believe me. I know what I’m talking about and so does Seumas Milne. It’s more important than Brexit. Most members of the ruling class would switch their position on Brexit in a flash if the alternative was to lose the right to pay to send their offspring to private schools.

        Next on the list:

        2) Abolish the monarchy
        3) Leave NATO

        There is also of course the issue of inheritance tax and the related issue of cracking down on the holding of “beneficial assets” (aka hiding wealth in trusts).

        Stick those 5 policies in the manifesto. Don’t keep going on about transvestites as the party manifesto did in 2017. I really do not want to hear about transvestites or transsexuals in the Labour manifesto. Cross-dressing doesn’t make the ruling class quake in its shoes in the slightest. The idea of abolishing private schools does.

        • Hatuey

          I don’t have an opinion on closing private schools. I have an opinion on state schools and education. No amount of money or changes in approach will improve the educational chances of the people who need education most. Everyone in the education industry knows that. If you want to improve education, eradicate poverty.

          • N_

            The culture we live in is anti-educational on all fronts. State schools are not in the slightest bit educational. It was Karl Marx who first referred to school as a sausage machine. Any child who shows a desire to think properly will get discouraged to the max.

            Attacking the inheritance mechanisms of the ruling class weakens the ruling class.

            Saying “eradicate poverty” is vague. Capitalism is based on the expropriation of the large majority. Saying “a problem won’t be solved by throwing money at it” is a classic sit-on-the-hands middle class copout. Of course the statement is true, but taking resources from the ruling class is a requirement if the resources are to be redistributed. (And I don’t mean sharing out the kind of thing that is done at Eton etc. – I mean the huge amounts of money that these institutions have. Obviously abolishing capitalism means abolishing money but I am talking about reform not revolution. If a person does not recognise the importance of these institutions in the British [largely English] class system then they don’t much about the same. A similar point can be made about the monarchy.)

          • N_

            “Education industry” is a revealing term. Most schoolteachers, headteachers and “educational” administrators know sweet Fanny Adams about real education.

          • N_

            What I just wrote is kind of obvious, and it’s hard to convince people of it who have dug themselves into not realising it. But to take a revealing example, consider how reading is taught. It’s taught far too late, and it’s taught using the absolutely ridiculous and sh*t-brained method called “phonics”. Ask any schoolteacher and their idiotic faces will glaze over and they will quack like a duck in defence of this muck, perhaps while asking the dimwit’s favourite question, “You think you know better than the experts?” They are totally habituated into not thinking for themselves, they pass their own stupidity on to the next generation, and they whinge all the time when they’re doing it. That’s what I think about the people in the “education industry” who you seem to believe have such a profound understanding of education and society.

    • N_

      Glenn_NL – You might consider it above your grade to think for yourself about big social matters, and feel if you ever got the urge that you were in danger of getting ideas above your station; some of us don’t.

      • glenn_nl

        If you postulated that as a thought I might have, then you thought wrong. (12:18 post)

        Kindly reference whatever you’re referring to (12:15 post)

  • michael norton

    The Supreme Court to rule on Parliament suspension on Tuesday.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-49795111
    Mr. Boris Johnson said there was a “very high degree of probability” Iran was behind the drone and missile attacks on two oil facilities,
    which Tehran denies.

    The prime minister declined to rule out military intervention and said sanctions were also a possibility.

    He is currently in New York with his chum Donald Trump.

    Boris doesn’t seem to be too bothered about
    The Supreme Court.

    • Seb

      Yes, Michael Norton, One may wonder what is planned on a global scale for the weeks without parliament. Also spasibo Tatyana, bolshoi!
      And to N=

  • michael norton

    The cost of oil keeps dropping.
    As 50% of Saudi oil has been removed from the market place, there must be reasons for the drop.
    Less oil needed?
    The Eurozone is in Deep shit.
    Essentially it is in recession but they will not mention it.
    Iran/Venezuela/Syria/Iraq all producing less than they used to, yet still the cost of oil drops.

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