John Bolton’s Dismissal 222


The power of identity politics as a tool of the Establishment to divert and derail opposition to the wealthy elite was demonstrated to me in a stunning and graphic way back in January 2013. I was entering the Oxford Union to attend the presentation of the Sam Adams award for Integrity to Tom Fingar, a senior American intelligence officer who had successfully blocked a push for military action against Iran by insisting on the barring from assessments of highly exaggerated accounts of Iran’s nuclear programme. A person of integrity in the right place had been able to stop a repeat of the extreme horrors of war engendered by the Iraqi WMD scam perpetrated by Blair and Bush.

You would hope that some of the points Fingar made would be of interest to Oxford’s students. One point that struck me was that he said he was extremely glad if his actions had prevented a war but that:

“Preventing a war was not the goal. Our only goal was to present a full and accurate assessment of Iran’s nuclear capability. Decisions about what to do were for the policy makers.”

You can see Fingar’s full talk here:

You can see a fascinating series of very brief contributions by major whistleblowers made at the event here. I had not really watched my own speech since giving it; I have to say I think it is one of the most powerful I ever made.

More interestingly, there was an extremely thoughtful and insightful talk by Julian Assange, delivered by videolink.

It is worth watching that, not only for the fist rate content, but also to remind ourselves of the quiet and questing actual personality of my friend, who has been demonised by the media on a massive scale.

Which brings me to my point on identity politics. I had to push my way into this event through a crowd of angry students who were picketing the event in protest against the appearance of Julian Assange.

Yet the very night before, serial war criminal John Bolton, one of the most evil men of power in the world, had spoken on the very same platform in the Oxford Union and not one single student had demonstrated against him. His reception inside was also on the fawning side. (Remember this is the venue that spawned the careers of David Cameron, Boris Johnson, William Rees-Mogg and others).

That incident is to me is a microcosm of the use of identity politics by the state. Through self-evidently flimsy allegations, the state can mobilise feminists to silence the world’s most important dissident voices, while warmongers are feted. Enough “progressives” favoured Clinton’s faux-feminism to help ditch (aided by some cheating) Bernie Sanders’ bid for a better life for the mass of people. Here in Scotland the energies of the SNP are routinely diverted into gender and trans issues instead of getting on with Independence, while precisely the same tactics are employed against Alex Salmond as against Julian Assange, to take another major threat to the status quo out of the political game.

I am delighted by Trump getting rid of Bolton as National Security Advisor. The warmonger always appeared entirely at odds with Trump’s professed isolationism, and it appears that Trump no longer feels the need to appease the part of the Republican Party establishment who were placated by Bolton’s appointment. I know that my failure to see Trump as the incarnation of pure evil upsets some people, and I do detest many of his domestic policies. But it remains the case that Trump has not destroyed a state nor initiated nor escalated a war, and by recent US standards that makes him a big improvement. The dismissal of Bolton gives hope that may remain the case.

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222 thoughts on “John Bolton’s Dismissal

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  • Monteverdi

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTo0crpK8Zs

    i agree wholeheartedly with CM’s comments on how identity politics have captured students ‘ innocent ‘ minds. I can’t stand Katie Hopkins and reject most of her political positions, I hope with rational debate not based on the identity politics of the new left. I came across this debate from the Cambridge Union between Katie Hopkins and the students by accident [ 1 hour 1 minute ]. It drew me in as I watched Katie Hopkins forensically destroy each students question highlighting their pitiful debating skills based as they were on identity politics.If this is the ‘ creme de la creme ‘ of the student community God help us all !! I write as an old fashioned socialist who has witnessed the creeping growth and damage inflicted by the false belief that the adoption of identity politics is ‘ progressive ‘. You may wish to watch just a few minutes of this debate and wonder at the inarticulate state of the then Cambridge Union.

  • Paul Davidson

    Dear Craig, whilst I support and value the excellent work you generally do I think you are dead wrong in this case. You make an argument against ‘identity politics’ based upon the way such issues can be exploited for reactionary ends and in so doing you cite gender and sexuality as examples of identity politics. You say that by such politics our aims are ‘routinely diverted’ by the state.

    Gender politics are not a diversion. But we need to look at this word ‘identity.’ What does it mean? As a Scottish nationalist you favour Scottish independence. This means you identify as a Scot and you fight for solutions for your fellow Scots on the basis of that identification. And it would be similar were you a worker, fighting for social solutions based upon your identification as a class. All social struggles are based on identification. All political programmes are as well. Boris Johnson identifies as a Tory. What would politics be without identification? To identify means to say, we are the same according to our shared interests.

    The exploitation of gender issues is not exceptional. Trump exploited the class issue to get elected. He appealed to the ‘blue-collar’ worker with slogans such as “I dig coal.” The EDL mix class and race identifications to exploit the social contradictions. The global anti-migrant wave is based on national and racial identifications.

    If the real issue is not identification then what is it? Does one not have to find the common source of all our misery, the wars, the discontent, the environmental disaster, the hatred, the poverty and ill-health, the racism, misogyny, corruption and so on? Does it all not come down to human greed and in particular the canalisation of that abhorrent emotion by an economic system, capitalism, that is existentially based upon that greed?

    I do not think the fight for Scottish independence is a diversion from the fight against capitalism, though it could be exploited as such. But once you talk of ‘diversions’ you become opened yourself to that very same accusation. Julian Assange is a hero. The rape allegations are false to the core. But rape exists and is endemic to our society. The fight against rape and rape culture is not a diversion from anything.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Gender politics are a diversion because women cannot be criticised the way white men can be without the wimmins brigade crying foul. It is not a level playing field. It is just the same with Jews, blacks, Muslims, gays and now the insignificant transgender population.

      I worked under several women and they ranged from the best boss I ever had to absolute scum. But if a man complains about a womans behaviour he ‘has issues with women.’ I have no issues with women, I simply judge them the same way I judge men. One revolting woman does not make all women terrible….and revolting women undoubtedly exist….

    • George McI

      “To identify means to say, we are the same according to our shared interests.”

      This has nothing to do with “Identity politics” which is a divisive manouevre operating to split the only groups that might be politically effective i.e. groups that acknowledge class as the fundamental matter.

    • Tatyana

      I think one can find a plenty of opinions in every society. I’m grown up on the scientific fiction and I share the ideas of social humanism, so, in the terms of the whole humankind –

      some groups have relatively few “identity bases” like ‘Scots’, other groups may be larger like ‘liberals’, and nearer to the end of the scale one can find as vast “identity base” as ‘gender’.
      If we were facing an attack by extraterrestrial beings, so we could find ourselves identifying as ‘earthy humans’, mind you, it is still not the very end of the scale. One may probably eyewitness the battle of ‘carbon-based-life-form’ against … well, I don’t know what 🙂
      Every identification brings the idea of the ‘enemy’, idea of some ‘opposing options’. It is the basics of division in every society.

      I belive that the task of every government is to find compromise between opposing ideas, it is the core of the politics, to make everyone comfortable, at least tolerant. That is why I hate the governments going the way of division, be it based on ‘rich vs poor’, or ‘cons vs libs’, or ‘men vs women’ etc.
      Governments must make people live in peace.

      • John2o2o

        Your ideal of government Tatyana sounds like the model that might perhaps exist in China, where one central governing elite makes the important decisions affecting society and can therefore – in theory – engineer effective social solutions for all. Of course, we here would probably view that as authoritarian governance and undemocratic.

        Politics and government here in the UK has always been adversarial.

        Put very simply, the Conservatives representing the interests of the rich and the Labour party representing the interests of the poor. It developed in that way as 150 years ago workers – who had no representation in government – were often cruelly exploited by rich
        business owners and therefore formed unions to fight for their rights and interests and in turn the Labour party was formed out of the unions and eventually came into government.

        It seems that in Russia the post industrial revolution class struggle went further and the Bolsheviks representing the interests of the workers took complete control of government in 1917. So they had no opposition. Perhaps it was the same in China with their revolution.

        The idea of government in the UK not being adversarial seems unimaginable 🙂 It would be wonderful if government worked in the interests of all, but it seems unlikely to happen here any time soon.

        • Tatyana

          a very curious observation, but I’d like to object.

          My family in other circumstances would probably be a union of an army man and a teacher woman 🙂 Very common family seen in every country, a marriage of a military male and an educator/medicine female, in general terms.

          But since the state system has changed, and our education has not allowed us to earn our living in the new post-Soviet reality, we became the class of entrepreneurs and perhaps started a dynasty of businessmen.

          We both (my husband and me) see our lives as changes for the better.

          my point is – let the society adjust by itself. One can find a lot of examples in the history that the people adjusted to the new reality, it is a driver for growth. And, in this case, the government has ‘places’ for both ‘poor’ and ‘rich’ (I see you use these terms to indicate people working for salary and people working to enlarge their capital). How can a society develop, if it doesn’t allow changes?

          The examples of 100 or more years old do not fit to the contemporary image of Russia, btw 🙂

          • John2o2o

            Thank you Tatyana, I perhaps misunderstood what you were saying before.

            My example was very simplistic as I’m not sure how well you understand the UK and it is only my view anyway. (I’m not sure how well I understand the UK either by the way) 🙂

            My notions of the USSR was of a communist society, which I understood to be a more authoritarian version of a socialist society. So that would mean high rates of employment but also high taxation.

            It seems more as though the Russian Federation no longer tightly controls the people of Russia and so they have become more autonomous. Employment is no longer guaranteed, but taxation is lower.

            Do you think that’s an accurate assessment?

            If that is correct it sounds closer in some ways to a libertarian society of the sort desired by people in the United States like Ron Paul. I would tend to think of that as more right than left wing in political terms.

            In the UK we have never had a libertarian style government, though generally it is the the Conservatives who would tend to espouse low taxation and more individual freedom, while the Labour party would tend to be more socialist and espouse high taxation.

            These days the Conservatives seem more sympathetic to big businesses than small businesses and have become corrupted by money and lobbying by big business interests.

            There’s never been a time when people have been happy with their government here. There is always conflict in politics and politicians are not regarded as trustworthy on the whole.

            One of the few things that the majority here agree on is the National Health Service (NHS) introduced under a Labour government in 1948. At one time all medical care in the UK was free. Now we have to pay for some medicines and people fear that the NHS is being eroded, especially as there is now private healthcare available to this who can pay for it.

            In my personal experience my parents generation was slightly better off than mine. Certainly my father is better off than me – at least financially – though he was not educated to any great extent.

            Much more I could say on this subject. With Brexit being the main focus of politicians in the UK for the past three years, everything else is being set aside though! 🙂

          • Tatyana

            the assessment is close.

            In the Soviet period the state guaranteed a lot besides the employment, e.g. housing; absolutely free medical care at any level of complexity; absolutely free education of any type; state welfare for people with disabilities, single mothers, orphans, etc.
            The phenomenon of “homeless” appeared only in the post-USSR period, during ‘perestroika’. And then and now citizens did not pay taxes personally, this function was performed for them by the employer, so the question of high / low taxation for most Russian people is vague.
            In short, a person in USSR was born, attended a kindergarten for free while his/her parent were working (that is where grannies come to help :-), then went to school for free, attended art/sport/craft additional education schools, spent summer at health resorts, entered a colledge or institute (for free), got employed by the state for 5 years in the place where this certain type of specialist was needed, got the right for free housing (the area of a housing depended on single or married and the number of children) and always was employed untill he/she reaches the age for state pension with still free medical care.

            Now it looks like this – kindergartens, schools are free of charge untill they are full and have no places for pupils. Additional education no longer free. Higher education are free for talented pupils, but mostly the places are sold for bribes. Free medical aid is very narrow and it takes you ages to get it, but we have an option of commercial medicine. Free housing is only for servicemen, like army, and is granted only at the end of the service term. State guaranteed support for health issues is quite not enough to cover all the cases. Support for mothers is greater then ever.
            Taxation is affordable for small business, it is 13% of you ‘raw income’ or you may choose 6% of ‘income minus expenses’, or you may buy a licence for most popular self-employments like car-rapeir service or hairdressers, also they test a 4-6% taxation for self-employed individuals (like hobbyists, lawyers, tutors) we wait implementation in all country the next year.

            Comparing to the USSR period it is more ways one may choose, and bank loans make it easy to build a decent life, but one must be a smart person, because many try and fail and end up with alcohol, drugs and so on. We still have a lot to learn about financial part of life, I’d say we have to develop some financial habits that we had no opportunity to learn from our USSR parents.

            As to the state control, the state stopped to quarantee some vital needs of the population. Now it’s everyone’s own responsibility and I cannot say it is better. In many cases I just can’t understand why at all we need a state. If not politics, the state would be unnecessary, simple treasury for social purposes would do.
            —-
            I don’t know much on politics, but one word you use is known to me, it is ‘Libertarian’. I came across it while translating the news on Moscow opposition protests for Kempe 🙂 maybe it is another libertarianism in your country, but what we have here in Russia is quite disgasting and inappropriate for the most part of of the Russia’s population.

          • John2o2o

            Wow, thank you for that very full answer Tatyana. I very much appreciate it 🙂

            The USSR does sound quite appealing with everything free, but personal freedom may have been a bit limited. If you wanted to do something that the state did not cater for?

            Here in the UK basic education has been free for a very long time. However, those people with a lot of money can send their children to “public” schools (not the same thing as in the US) where their children get perhaps a guaranteed good education. Schools like Eton, though they dress in very old fashioned clothes and speak with archaic accents.

            There used to be grammar schools for the best children, but they were abolished in the 1970s as they were viewed as elitist. My school was a “comprehensive”, but a lot of the teachers were not very good, especially in the sciences. I did very well though and was able to go to university when I was 18 at a time when only a small number of people went there. We had a grant of money given to us then, but about 20 years ago this was abolished in England (not Scotland) and now students in England have to take out loans or work while studying.

            Free housing! Nobody has ever had that here. People either rent or buy with a mortgage. Unemployed or disabled people can get financial aid though – in theory. Local councils used to have a lot of council houses, but they were viewed as poor quality. In the 1980s people were given permission to buy their council houses if they wanted and a lot have done so. Housing is generally of a good standard though. 🙂

            Similarly there has never been a guaranteed job for anyone, though if you know the right people sometimes you can get a better job. Generally most can find work, but I prefer being self employed. Personal tax, known as income tax here is not charged unless you earn over about £12,000 (which most people do) and then at 20% unless you earn over £50,000 and that is 40%. So it can be a lot of your money if you earnings are high.

            To be fair and while life is far from perfect, I think we are for the most part left to get on with our own lives here, unless we commit crimes. I don’t know if it is so much that we need a state, rather that they developed out of ancient kingdoms and empires which existed before them. Generally in human culture strong men and sometimes strong women like to run our lives for us 🙂

          • John2o2o

            “Libertarian” is an American term as I understand it.

            https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/libertarianism/

            The do oppose military interventions, so are the sort of Americans that tend to be most sympathetic to Russia and Russians. Dr Ron Paul is who is an American libertarian is also a supporter of Julian Assange.

            https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkJ1N-7g9Q6n7KnriGit-Ig

            Maybe a different sort of libertarian that you have come across before 🙂 These sort of libertarians are the good guys!

          • Tatyana

            well, with all those state guaranteed benefits the people of USSR felt much less stressed than they are today. The other problem was – the basic level guaranteed by the state was good help for ordinary people, and did not suit those who want more. One could get more than ‘basic level’ through one’s talent and merits, but there were a lot of simple people with no outstanding talent who only could earn money and wanted to spend this money but have no legal mechanism to do it.

            My father says that it is artificial system, non-natural for human beings, because people should have motivation to develop. But I’d prefer both state guaranteed basics plus legal mechanisms to improve what I want to. Now Russia is slowly moving this way.

            It is hard for me to assume personal freedoms, because I was a child then and my parents also are very simple people with no extra needs for personal freedoms. I mean we are not criminals, not LGBT, not religiuos, so we do not passionately care what is going on in prisons, in public toilets or in churches. We are more concerned about education, medicine and financial well-being and we hope to leave in peace.

            our libertarians are like anarchists 🙂 https://archive.libertarian-party.ru/nashi-printsipy/programma

            This is how they understand the freedom of speech:
            “Freedom of speech may not be restricted by the state, even if the statements contain incitement to intergroup hatred and enmity, slander and insults.”
            I wonder if they understand it is multi-cultural and multi-religious country?

            Their idea about families – they think it must be a union of any number of partners of any gender – together with their idea to remove the ‘age of majority’ (it is now 18 years when a child becomes an adult) and to substitute it with emancipation procedure – and emancipation implies the ability to earn a living – and you can work from the age of 14…

            A pedophile’s dream to collect a harem of young children will become legal in this case.

            here is another passage from their scheme:
            “The institution of adoption should be completely removed from the control of the state and exempt from state regulation… In the long term, the maintenance of orfan’s homes is completely shifted to private charity.”

            I think Jeffrey Epstein would be happy to have one or two private charity orfan’s homes, then.

            It is one of the reasons why the russians do not like those ‘oppositioners’, especially when they go to protests together with Navalny and demand to let their candidates into the government.
            It is not that “Putin prevents them” or “Russia is a police state” as they say. No. It is because their candidates really don’t get people’s support. They are seen as… as a teenage protest, children want more freedom and zero responsibility.

          • John2o2o

            Yes, I would think that having guaranteed basics would have suited a lot of people. I think the idea of everyone having a basic income has been suggested in some countries. Finland. Motivation to develop is a very good ideal, but in my country I regret to say the main focus is simply on money. Education is not valued as it should be, especially in England. It is traditionally valued more in Scotland. I’ve always been more interested in learning than in money. (Maybe that’s why I don’t have a lot of money! 🙂 )

            I don’t think we are especially restricted in our freedoms, but a lot of people feel now that basic free speech is being eroded. It’s interesting though that you mention these Russian libertarians. To me they are not desiring liberty, but an escape from a state that they consider is oppressing them. I would not want the sort of freedoms that they seem to want! I don’t want the freedom to insult people.

            Adoption has to be in the state’s control to protect mothers who give up their children and also to protect the children. Anarchists are not good people in my opinion!

            People reach legal adulthood at 18 here. It was 21 until (I think) 1971.

            A lot of people here consider that the family is no longer as it should be. Women are almost always these days in full time employment even with children. Many older women worry that mothers do not have enough time with their young children, but most men here no longer earn enough money to support a wife and family. And many women would consider it an affront for them not to be able to earn as much money as their partners or husbands.

            A lot of men in the UK fee like “spare parts” as though they no longer have a role in life. I certainly feel that way a lot of the time, but I suppose it’s hard to tell if this is just me or if I am typical of a lot of men. I’ve never been married as I think I’ve said before.

            I think a lot of us here are unconsciously led by what the media tell them. I cannot understand why I am always alone when I walk in the English countryside on Saturdays. It is so beautiful. People just seem to be unaware that it is right on their doorsteps! Like sheep they just follow the crowd.

            I would love to understand more about Putin. People here – even pro Russian people – often say that he is a despot. He always seems alright to me though. No worse than and certainly preferable to many Western leaders in my book.

    • Hatuey

      Paul Davidson, I’m not saying you are wrong but you’re definitely not right.

      You can’t look at any of this out of context and expect to make sense of it. For example, if you were on a ship that was imminently expected to to sink, would you agree that a heated debate about gender and sexuality was a diversion?

      That is a good metaphor for the situation that we regard ourselves in as supporters of Scottish independence, and more generally as people who want to stop things like wars, address poverty, and other more pressing issues.

      Thus, context is all important and we are left to continually make judgements as to what issues are the most pressing. I believe Chomsky hammered out an essay on this sort of thing entitled “The Responsibility of Intellectuals”. We are all intellectuals if we think things could be better and, assuming we do, it follows that we must prioritise issues accordingly.

      This is all very basic stuff to my mind. 52% of the world’s population is malnourished. We aren’t short of causes and if I was to compile a list of the top 1000 most important issues facing us, transgender rights (as an example) wouldn’t be on it.

      The self indulgence of pampered westerners, fretting about their hair and their precious sexuality, makes me sick on a certain level. It’s quite obscene.

      I’m sure some will argue that they can multitask and address more than one issue at once. The people I see shouting about things like ‘gender fluidity’ and TERFs never do that though. Even if they did, they’d still be distracted and distracting.

      • George McI

        Spot on Hatuey, I would say that “identity politics” is an inevitable outcome of the capitalist demand to create new demographics as market opportunities e.g. in fashion and music, mods, rockers, hippies, punks etc. – this being an infinitely expandable process that generates new avenues of profitability while having the handy side effect of dividing society into smaller and smaller groups.

    • RandomComment

      Bolton goes – good thing for world peace. Or at least, Bolton never met a war he didn’t like (as they say). Most people on the planet don’t want war, or even annihilation, so this is a Good Thing.

      Whether some people can square with their ideological biases, is something else. I’m beginning to see why Planet of the Apes was such a powerful movie.

      Then some stuff about Identity Politics, which appear to be a MIC distraction from the Right. Haha

  • Yonatan

    “Trump has not destroyed a state nor initiated nor escalated a war, and by recent US standards that makes him a big improvement.”

    The relatives of the 10 innocent women and children killed as a result of Trump’s cruise missile strike against Syria may disagree. The attack was marked by his ‘beautiful piece of chocolate cake’ comment, and the event marked his crossing over to the dark side.

    • Wikikettle

      Yonatan. I hold the same thoughts. I was however cheered by the news that Bolton had been sacked. Cause for cheer, much needed. I think Trump is walking a tight rope. The modern day Hoovers at home and foreign state actors, have all the dirt on him. Russia Gate was the poilcy of Maximum Pressure to make sure he does not go rogue.He, I very much hope, wants a legacy unlike his predesessors. The brain, character and integrity might be missing, but I feel this oaf does want to stop more wars. He has won his first battle against the MI6,CIA and FBI.
      Lets hope he feels emboldened now, to carry out his election promises to leave other countries alone. Or as I fear they will bring him down.

  • Brianfujisan

    Great to see Bolton Gone, a few more should be following

    Yonatan has a point too

    in that Trump tried to start a war with Syria..Still is. What would Syria look like now if it were not for Russia.

    the U.S. government–along with NATO allies France and the United Kingdom–fired in excess of 100 bombs and missiles at sites alleged to have been valid Syrian military targets. These attacks qualify as hostile uses of force and they are undeniably acts of war.

      • Courtenay Barnett

        Maybe the same people as here:-

        ” I think this and U.S.A. bombing last week in Idleb Province, possibly shows that the U.S.A. really does not want these people talking, who put them up to it, who trained them, who funded them and who provided their weapons”

        • giyane

          Courtenay Bennett

          USUKIS had to silence the terrorists but don’t forget that the terrorists are forbidden in the Qur’an from taking USUKIS as allies in their power struggle to wrest control from the tradition mullahs to their sect.

          The terrorists are as much in blatant contravention of the rules of Islam as the so called Christmas are in breach of the rules that govern them. The risk the terrorists took of disobeying Allah in order to get raw power were imho much more shameful and Have destroyed the Syrian muslim population.

          My local imam is still blagging about going out in jihad but of course he forgets to mention the command not to tske the enemies of Islam as allies . Sin of ommission but people like power don’t they, especially if they can do it sitting on their hands on MI6 benefits in a safe Western land.

          Also, when USUKIS bombed the Damascus chemical depots tjhey were destroying the evidence of their previous chemical brainwashing programme using Assad. Backing both sides and creating deadly war in ?Muslim countries is the only UsUKIS zionist plan.

          Bolton or no Bolton Trump is a zionist so you wil see him fomenting wars by backing different people. Bolton is devil enough and clever enough to instruct Trump when it might be propitious to sack him in this evil double game.

          • giyane

            CB

            One after thought about backing both sides. The disgusting spectacle of the BBC trashing Mugabe’s legacy was the typical outcome of wester countries backing two sides to foment war.

            The sanctimonious South African white supremacists whose blood was boiling at Mugabe’s crimes conveniently ignore the fact that satanic Britain backed his opponents insurrection against him.

            What we now know from Putin’s masterclass in Western Hypocrisy in Syris
            was not fully understood in Mugabe’s time. We now know thanks to the web whistleblowers much more about how rich nations divide and rule., only to use their propaganda machines like the BBC to wring their hands and shed bitter tears like the walrus and the carpenter.
            While pontificating about important things in the World News.

            Disgusting.

  • RandomComment

    I class myself as a liberal. But words are weaponised – and therefore so are [is] communication and thought. Many people, like myself, are happy to pursue our own individual freedom as long as it does not impinge on anyone else’s freedoms.

    Problem is, we do spend our lives thinking what’s best for other people, based on your own experiences 😉

    • RandomComment

      I am thinking the subtext here is you’d rather be ruled by the Germans (Sorry Eu *cough*) than the English. This is your choice, and I will not dissuade you 😉

      • Deb O'Nair

        The subtext that Merkel may be alluding to is that of an authoritarian state mainly serving the interests of capital, where chewing gum in public is illegal.

        • RandomComment

          No worries Hatuey – I’d be a hypocrite to enforce my worldview on you in the name of “knowing what’s best for you”

          At least you admit the country that is at the heart of the project,

          • Hatuey

            Yes, but are you willing to admit who calls the shots at the heart of your project? Talk about elephants in rooms.

      • nevermind

        No the subtext is that people defraud and cheat in deals, then park their money in offshore havens damaging economies and the rule of law, and i do not mean tax law.

        So looking forward to losing the dreaded European VAT, said the Brexiteer adding a few empty slogans about WTO and massive deals in Monaco, the Cayman islands and or the Turks and Caicos. Sadly all the monies in the Bahamas got soggy and they will have to pause until their electronic money hiding is back on form.
        Mind there is good Royal examples set of this filthy tax avoidance in Jersey and the man of all men, Jeremy I can drive any car, Clarkson swears by the isle of Man.
        Knowing what goes on in eastern Europe, with a free to all oligarchs immigration policy, will fuel the city of London Corp., a country just as the Vatican, just with more clout and islands available, Britain’s destiny is to kowtow to crooks fraudsters and pirates, history repeats itself, from robbing Spanish Galleons to today’s robbing anyone, we will be their closest friends.
        That’s what the Snolly G. Johnson has planned for this country.
        To right wing applause all round. I wish I could spit in words.

      • Bramble

        Ms Merkel has realised that it is the interests of the financial elite being catered for in Brexit (those dreading regulations due to come in 2020). The rest of the country has been bribed and conned and befuddled into supporting it, in the name of English Nationalism. Always expect Nationalism to be at the root of self-harming foolishness on the part of ballot-box-cramming classes. Pretty normal for such a fundamentally unequal and poorly educated country.”

        • Adrian Parsons

          “Always expect Nationalism to be at the root of self-harming foolishness on the part of ballot-box-cramming classes.”

          But…but…our English host is a Scottish nationalist! Away you with your rational arguments!

      • Dungroanin

        The ancients of The City are being pincered and for the first time in centuries, they may not be able to buy, lie or kill their way out of finally being brought to heel.

        Trumps not playing, the EU is holding, the SCO is thriving and here at the centre of empire , the unowned politicians are FIGHTING.

        Only shills for the City would object.

    • wonky

      “The best leader in the world”
      Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhrrrrrrrrrrrrgggg!!
      If you are serious about this statement, I recommend a very long and very cold shower.
      The woman is a childless witch who has brainwashed her people into calling her “mother”..

      By the way, the direct German translation of “leader” is “Führer”..

    • Ishmael

      I just find it ramble’y & never quite know what he’s pointing to, & this kind of lost world he references? Though imagine him personable.

      I think Grace Blakeley one of the few kind of getting around actual issues atm, & it’s surely the best you can hope for people understand where they are a bit. I find many who I kind of broadly support have a tendency to play to the crowd more, & I don’t entirely think he’s not doing that.

  • Ishmael

    People with an identity? Isn’t that kind of thing outlawed in such circles?

    Seems a sense of propriety based on little but presentation & costume are part & parcel of these institutions. …..While they all play the markets with accumulated stolen wealth. Reminds me of Shelley at Oxford, “The Necessity of Atheism” …Not much seems to have changed since then.

    Profiting from such harm ? …? Who the hell would go along with that? Who needs that ff–? …That’s one bet i’d be happy not to win.

    “Ye who suffer woes untold,
    Or to feel, or to behold
    Your lost country bought and sold
    With a price of blood and gold–“

    • Courtenay Barnett

      Ismael,

      When Murray says:-

      ” Yet the very night before, serial war criminal John Bolton, one of the most evil men of power in the world, had spoken on the very same platform in the Oxford Union and not one single student had demonstrated against him. His reception inside was also on the fawning side. (Remember this is the venue that spawned the careers of David Cameron, Boris Johnson, William Rees-Mogg and others)”

      Simply stated there is a dominant narrative in UK society and all the more so at Oxford. Stated in other terms:-
      He – or – she who has the gold makes the rule ( sometimes termed – THE GOLDEN RULE).

      • Courtenay Barnett

        Or – as stated by Michael Norton at the head of this thread:-

        ” I think this and U.S.A. bombing last week in Idleb Province, possibly shows that the U.S.A. really does not want these people talking, who put them up to it, who trained them, who funded them and who provided their weapons.”

        • michael norton

          Courtenay, in common with that theme; in South West Syria, nestled against the Israeli held Golan, for several years an Islamic State Enclave magically remained more or less unscathed.
          From this position a three way movement was possible, into Government held Syria, into anti-Syrian Government Jordan
          or into Israeli held Golan.
          Priti Patel visits The Golan, some say to offer money and other help to secure a hospital/refuge for people opposed to the Syrian Government.
          The White Helmets were extracted through the Golan.
          Some think the Coalition of the Willing Special Services were extracted through the Golan.

          My question is,
          what happened to the people of the Islamic State Enclave?

          The answer to this question may be rather revelatory.

          • Courtenay Barnett

            Michael,

            ” what happened to the people of the Islamic State Enclave?”

            I observe as well:-

            1. In relation to Turkey – large open spaces from Turkey before one gets to the Syrian occupied areas( no bombing) – conveys ( converted and large gun armed Toyota pick-up trucks (i.e. someone bought them so every one gets a piece of the Islamic terrorist pie money – and move into Syrian villages and towns and cities and then terrorists terrorise): aided and abetted by whom is the question.

            2. Iraq seems not to be a ‘good little boy’ post- US/NATO invasion – so safe havens for the former terrorist occupants of Syria ( is my guess).

            3. Where does the money come from to support this ISIS grouping – and as you point out – why are their geographical locations selectively not bombed – and then who keeps funding them?

            Some deadly and awful and catastrophic shenanigans go on in our world mate.

          • giyane

            Courtenay Barnett

            Where there is terror and violence journalists and honest people cannot go.
            But global capitalists who extract oil from these terror spots and are linked to scrum of the earth politicians like Blair and Cameron , are free to come and go , fully protected in their executive abides.

            This is the sordid trade of political Islam obviously nothing to do writhe the religion of Islam.
            But Hey, Islam makes a good slogan and logo!

  • Whatever

    Although you say that protestors did not obstruct John Bolton’s attendance at the Oxford Union, other speakers such as Steve Bannon have been. All should be able to speak freely, from across the spectrum. Please do not diminish the value of your message with cheap jibes against institutions such as Oxford University & the Oxford Union simply on account of some attendees.

    • S

      You’re right that protesters outside the Union are not confined to anti-left. Nonetheless I am somehow not that surprised that Assange and Bannon are widely regarded as people to protest against, while Bolton somehow flew under the radar. Although I can’t put my finger on why.

  • Antonym

    “The power of identity politics as a tool of the Establishment” – see the Guardian etc. BTL
    But also of many in its opposition: racist! Islamophobe! xenophobe! are some of the same most used shouts to shut down other views around here.

    • Doghouse

      Fair observation.

      And the science, never forget the science – that’s ‘in’ apparently. Don’t think it’s ever been found to be faulty, biased, manipulated, misinterpreted, cheated or generally scandalised in any way since Newton was practising alchemy behind everyone’s back. A mighty righteous club. And if right is might and might is wrong, what is might and what is right?

      One thing becomes patently apparent from this and other boards and that is the inability to step back and view aside from belief, whether you are pro independence, anti independence, globalist or nation state, climate change or not convinced, Brexit or remain, ad infinitum, how otherwise rational people can be so ready and willing to embrace the opinions of people they would otherwise consider scandalous on the instances they confirm their strongly held beliefs. Hopeless really.

      The reality is that politicians, legal professionals, lawyers, judges, academics, scientists, police and law enforcement etc, etc all hold two things in common,….
      a) they all purport to seek / uphold / serve moral values and truth to the good of society as a whole,
      and
      b) they all contain in their midst some of the greatest liars, ne’er do wells, and self serving manipulators of anything that doesn’t personally enrich them or their ideals known to humanity.

      Beliefs eh? Who’d have ’em?

  • tunde

    As I’ve read ( from the Bureau of investigative journalism), the Trump administration has rolled back reporting about civilian deaths from drone strikes outside the official war zones of Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Apparently, such reporting was distracting to the droners “primary mission”. So we don’t really know how many people continue to be droned to dust. Also the reporting never covered CIA operations. We do know that the definition of “active” warzone shifts when Somalia, Libya or Yemen are concerned. My point being we are none the wiser whether more or less people are being droned under Trump than Obama.
    As to Bolton’s resignation/ sack, it’s been said the comings and goings of Team Trump are “comparable to the crazyness and dynamicism of a private enterprise, where no memory exists, people here today are gone tomorrow, utter idiots are promoted to management posts for friends & family reasons, wild promises, wild threats and wild objectives are surfaced and re-surfaced on a daily basis as underlings are getting the rap for showing “no progress”, piracy, tax evasion and law “ignoring” are rife, grandiloquent theatrics and Don Corleone machismo bring color and there is f*cking in the storeroom.”
    I put it in quotes because it seems very accurate to my mind. Perhaps Bolton clashed with “Javanka” once too often and had to go. Pompeo next I reckon.

  • Brian c

    Nobody is more reliant on vacuous “identity politics” and so-called culture wars than the self-styled hard men of the far right, the Trumps and Bolsonaros, Farages and Johnsons.These are the charlatans who most effectively deflect attention away from class politics by demonizing out-groups and minorities and portraying the white mainstream as downtrodden victims. Their dupes indulge themselves in whiny, self-pitying laments while these phoneys get on with the urgent business of looting their countries to the benefit of the millionaire and billionaire class.

    • Hatuey

      The worst people I know when it comes to being selfish and uninterested in wider societal issues, tend to be tradesmen — builders, joiners, electricians, etc. I meet these types on golf courses and they are always the same, all they care about is football and pretending they are rich, with fancy cars, expensive clothing, holidays, etc. They’re invariably as thick as shit too. I can’t stand them.

      • Borncynical

        Hatuey,

        Strangely, I have commonly found golfers generally, whatever their daytime jobs, to be vacuous, superficial and pretentious individuals! My (now ‘ex’) partner and I attended a quiz and meal organised by a local golf club in aid of funds for the junior members, only to encounter pointed criticism by a couple of said junior members, who were complete strangers to us, because we were wearing (smart) jeans. It took me a lot of persuasion to stop my partner from telling them where they could put their golf clubs. My partner was a self-employed electrician…not the most intellectual, excellent at his job but definitely not a victim of the consumerist society and, as you will have gathered, definitely not a golfer. 🙂

      • Courtenay Barnett

        Hatuey,

        Is it a bit like how Hillary Clinton observed about her solid Democratic working class base: they are the “deplorables” aren’t they?

        Tis common proof that lowliness is great ambitions ladder: right Hillary?

      • Brian c

        Golf clubs provide sanctuary from intolerable repression at the hands of students. In fact the 19th hole is one of the last refuges for society’s rebellious free thinkers and anti-pc resistance.

      • N_

        Most tradesmen lie all the time and don’t have the intelligence to realise that some people are skilled at knowing when they’re being lied to. Which isn’t to say great skill is required. Most of the scumbags have a very small box of techniques where lying and cheating are concerned.

        I can’t stand them either, @Hatuey.

        Shall we call them the lumpen petty bourgeoisie?

        I would include solicitors and medics under “tradesmen”.

        • Adrian Parsons

          “Most tradesmen lie all the time and don’t have the intelligence to realise that some people are skilled at knowing when they’re being lied to. Which isn’t to say great skill is required. Most of the scumbags have a very small box of techniques where lying and cheating are concerned.”

          Join the queue of reactionary toe-rags on this blog – un-fucking-believable.

          Marxist my fucking arse.

      • Deepgreenpuddock

        you say: I meet these types on golf courses and they are always the same,
        So what/who do you expect to meet on a golf course??I presume you are playin golf too.
        Construction workers seem to be your bete noire. Is this a rational generalisation, besides your description seems to apply to the huge majority of this country -consumerists whose thoughts and desires have shaped by endless advertising.

        • Hatuey

          It’s anecdotal, deep, based on my experience. I should say I know some tradesmen who are very thoughtful, and some golfers who are happy and able to discuss any subject with an open mind. Most golfers are plonkers though, I agree, and I could be one but it’s the only sport I enjoy.

          The point I tried to make and failed was that we automatically think of identity politics and think of the gay community, lgbt, feminists, etc. But the worst people when it comes to just shunning society and being selfish are, as I said, tradesmen types. That’s my assessment.

          I could give examples but they bore me so much I’d prefer not to.

      • Dungroanin

        Lol. Nice one H

        I think their brains get addled by listening to the radio propaganda they end up listening to all day and then confirming the opinion with their mates socially.
        ( i know quite a few tradesmen- yesterday one told me we voted to JOIN in the first referendum! – the brainwashing is deep.)

  • Ex Pat

    Gareth Porter has some information on the reason why Bolton was booted. –

    “Trump’s firing of #Bolton was inevitable and urgent. 3 times in 5 weeks, Bolton (and #Pompeo) tried to get Trump closer to or into a war with Iran — and Trump was angry about it. Pompeo better watch it, too. Trump wants to make a deal with #Iran now & Pompeo has to get on board.”

    https://twitter.com/GarethPorter/status/1171499151692976128

    “Insiders say the last straw for #Trump was #Bolton’s adding Iranian Foreign Minister Javad #Zarif’s name to the list of people to be sanctioned after Trump had approved the list. But he was already upset by Bolton’s three efforts to get him into a war with Iran in May & June.”

    https://twitter.com/GarethPorter/status/1171804983056117760

    MORE

    Gareth Porter was very highly recommended by John Pilger in a recent RT interview as one of very few remaining excellent American investigative journalists. He can no longer get published in the U.S., but he is on twitter.

    John Pilger on Gareth Porter being awarded the Martha Gelhorn Prize for Journalism (2012) –

    http://johnpilger.com/articles/top-uk-award-to-journalist-who-exposed-war-strategy-of-afghanistan

    John Pilger interviews the first woman into Dachau, renowned U.S. reporter Martha Gelhorn. “It was a total and absolute horror, and all I did was report it as it was,” she says. “I got out of Dachau in a state bordering on uncontrolled hysteria.” –

    http://johnpilger.com/videos/the-outsiders-martha-gellhorn

    Gareth Porter on twitter –

    https://twitter.com/GarethPorter

    Previously – “Tony encounters ‘Bonkers’ Bolton, with unfortunate results for ‘Bonkers’ ” –

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/09/john-boltons-dismissal/comment-page-1/#comment-892211

    • Ex Pat

      “I’ve interviewed John Bolton. John Bolton comes as close to a political lunatic as you can get.” … “Bolton is a man, and I don’t think I’ve ever said this about any politician, absolutely salivating for a war.”

      Kids, you’ll never believe it but once you could hear that style of comment on British media. Not in the last twenty (or more!) years obviously. (1970s?? Oh Dog !!) (Steady on there, old boy. Ed. ; ) ) –

      – @ 15.56 – John Pilger with Afshin Rattansi on ‘Going Underground’, RT –

      https://www.rt.com/shows/going-underground/466952-pilger-rt-assange-belmarsh-prison/

    • Rowan Berkeley

      @Ex Pat:

      Pilger interviews the first woman into Dachau, renowned U.S. reporter Martha Gelhorn. “It was a total and absolute horror, and all I did was report it as it was,” she says. “I got out of Dachau in a state bordering on uncontrolled hysteria.”

      But she reported that there were gas chambers operational there, and this was fantasy.

  • michael norton

    I expect there will soon be a return to normal relations, trading relations between U.S.A./U.K. Russia/Syria and possibly also Iran, now Bolton has left.

    • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

      @michael norton
      Leiia Awad of arabwomanblues.blogspot.com noted that Iranians saw Trump as a typical bazaar-wallah whom they could handle and deal/tradewith.Unfortunately,he seems to had this side of his severely constrained .

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Don’t see why posters are so relieved to see Bolton dismissed. He is such a successful hawk while out of office..

    I recall Thomas Reed citing him as the source for North Korea not likely to seek nuclear disarmament while Bubba was still POTUS, and setting him up as testing nukes.

    I preferred Adolf Light aka Donald Trump having him the NSA, and accomplishing nothing regarding policy.

    • jake

      What’s Bolton going to do now that he’s gone?
      Sometimes having a guy like that in office and out in plain sight is better than having him loose, free-lancing and working his agenda in shady secret places.

    • Laguerre

      Was Bolton ever really successful? He always seemed to fail, when given a post. How much better did he do when he was out of power? People will say Iraq, I suppose. But in that he was hardly alone. There were plenty of others also pushing for the invasion. And then he couldn’t get Congress to approve his appointment as ambassador to the UN. And now he’s out again, not having achieved very much. Monotone war mongering is just not that appreciated these days.

  • mike e

    You all need to go and look up ‘intersectionality’ which is the political philosophy behind identity politics and political correctness. It’s horrifying and explains why young people are acting like Mao’s Red Guard.

    You can track the appearance of Intersectionality into the mainstream from around 2010 by use of buzzwords in the media e.g. privilege, white supremacy etc.

    Intersectionality is basically a racist sexist Marxism, in that it divides people into groups based on immutable characteristics and tells them they are all being oppressed to various degrees by the group of people on top i.e. white cis males (‘cis’ is a word invented to replace ‘normal’)

    • Garth Carthy

      To mike e:

      Well however valid your points are, I don’t think we should be surprised. Newton’s ‘third law’ whereby every action creates an equal and opposing reaction seems to apply {loosely at least) to politics and current affairs.
      My point is that any silliness or extremism on the left is merely a reaction to the silliness and extremism on the right and vice versa.
      If some young people are acting like Mao’s Red Guard it should not be overlooked that some young and old people act like medieval supporters of the Inquistion.
      You simply cannot expect stability in society while the rulers of that society belong in the lunatic asylum.

    • N_

      @Mike E – Are you kidding? I haven’t tracked that particular word, but the idea was around – and in a big way – at least 30 years before 2010.

      Two parts of the background were:

      a) the traditional workers’ movement declined, and

      b) some middle class tossers with backgrounds on the left settled into jobs shovelling intellectual cr*p at universities – and some of them didn’t know what to write about, looked down, saw they had a pair of t*ts, a skin of this or that colour, or whatever, and that was what they concentrated on because it was easiest and they didn’t want to cause too much trouble or think too hard. (If anyone is offended by that sentence, good.)

      Advertisers and publishers of course love it.

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      cis comes from Chemistry-contrasts with trans. refers to bond arrangement where the bonds are parallel or crossed over(Trans).I’d do a diagram but awkward here. In gender terms cis means straight sexually and self identifies same as born sex.
      ie a male who believes he is male, and whose sexuality is directed at women.

  • Alan

    “But it remains the case that Trump has not destroyed a state nor initiated nor escalated a war…”
    How would the author describe Mr Trump’s economic sanctions, how many lives have been lost in Venezuela or Iran as a result? What of the ongoing genocide of Pashtuns, Yemenis or Palestinians, all perpetuated by Mr Trump and his administration?

    • Courtenay Barnett

      Trump continues in some spheres with past US foreign policy – then he wages economic warfare with a ‘trade war’ and a variety of sanctions imposed against countries that question, oppose and/or conflict with American foreign policy.

      That is the reality.

    • N_

      @Alan “how many lives have been lost in Venezuela (…)?

      I don’t know, but the number of refugees from Venezuela is in the area of 6 million.

      This is the largest flight of refugees in the history of the continent of America, and it is a direct result of actions by the US government.

      • N_

        The US sanctions against Venezuela began under Obama and were intensified under Trump.

        It is hard to characterise them as other than a crime against humanity.

        • Loony

          The logo that appears next to your name is a yellow flower emblazoned with the word “Marxist”

          Interesting that you think Venezuelan sanctions are a “crime against humanity” Seems fairly small fry compared to the crimes committed by such notable Marxists as Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot.

          Still you aways have the Marxist economic miracle worker of Robert Mugabe to rely on. Such was his devotion to equality that he made every single Zimbabwean a trillionaire.

          Ah say it aint so Joe.

      • Notre Dame

        This is completely untrue. The Venezuelan economy was destroyed by the gross economic mismanagement and incompetence of the socialist regime, most notably heavy borrowing and spending resulting in the accumulation of massive government debt that could not be paid once the oil price plummeted, causing the economy of what was once one of the world’s richest countries to crash to Zimbabwe levels. You could teach a child basic economics like this, but socialists are incapable of running economies.

        • Northern

          It would be hard to estimate the success of ‘Chavez brand socialism’ given the US has spent the last 2 decades doing everything in its power to restrict, discredit and disrupt it wherever possible. I think it speaks volumes of the propaganda efforts over the last 50 years that a good percentage of Americans are still more incensed by the word ‘Socialism’ than virtually any other explicitly political term I can think of. The irony of course being that many of those so virulently opposed to the ‘commies’ would be the same people in a position to improve their standards of living from a hypothetical wealth re-distribution.

        • Republicofscotland

          The US will use any trick in book, years of sanctions political imposters (Guaido) to try and return Venezuela to the days of Jimenez, who allowed the likes of Mobil and Exxon reap huge profits from its vast oil wealth.

          Jimenez, allowed the US oil firms to plunder so much wealth from Venezuela that he (Jimenez) received an Legion of Merit award from the US government.

          Chavez’s election in 1998 to president, put a stop to the US companies gravy train, and used the money from oil wealth that otherwise would’ve lined the pockets of the likes of Exxon and Mobil for social programmes, housing, schools hospitals etc.

          The Great Satan (US) is desperate to remove a socialist president and replace him with either a US puppet or a pro-US dictator.

    • Antiwar7

      You’re absolutely right: those sanctions are like acts of war. And those wars you mentioned continue.

      But it’s possible that those positions are all pushbacks from what could be happening.

  • Republicofscotland

    Heard on a radio show today which was focusing on Operation Yellow Hammer, that Yellow Hammer is actually an anagram of Orwell Mayhem.

    Coincidence?

  • Ex Pat

    M.K. BHADRAKUMAR

    “The one country that will regret Trump’s decision for sure will be Israel. Bolton was Israel’s “Trojan horse” in the White House. Israel watches uneasily as Trump lurches toward engaging Iran in negotiations.”

    “Bolton’s exit impacts US foreign policy. This is how,” 11th September 2019, by M.K. Bhadrakumar, ex-ambassador of India – MK Bhadrakumar blog –

    https://indianpunchline.com/boltons-exit-impacts-us-foreign-policy-this-is-how/

    MORE

    Previously –

    Gareth Porter on why Bolton got the boot –

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/09/john-boltons-dismissal/comment-page-2/#comment-892418

    “Tony Benn encounters ‘Bonkers’ Bolton, with unfortunate results for ‘Bonkers’.” –

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/09/john-boltons-dismissal/comment-page-1/#comment-892211

  • Antiwar7

    Yes, exactly. Just like when flimsily sourced “mass rape” claims were used to get feminists to endorse Nato warmongering in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

  • Baalbek

    Identity politics is definitely used by the state to divide and rule the proles but it also has a life of its own, independence of governments. The left abandoning class analysis and economic emancipation for lifestyle politics is a major factor in its rise and it really took off when the internet became ubiquitous so that probably plays a large role too.

    It’s also a very American phenomenon that has been exported to every western nation, primarily via university students and academics. It is heavily influenced by American liberal feminism, American “queer studies” and the history of racism against African Americans, hence the obsession with white privilege, male privilege and “whiteness” and making white, heterosexual males into caricatured monsters who are born evil and thus racist, misogynistic homophobes who are responsible for everything that is wrong with the world. Yes, that is literally the core “message”.

    It is a toxic ideology that permanently judges and divides people along racial, gender and sexual preference lines. It can never be the basis for a mass movement and the left needs to disown it and rediscover the politics of universal values if it doesn’t want to be sidelined for good.

    Identity politics of the “left” is the feminist maxim “the personal is political” on steroids. Which is why neoliberals love it. John Bolton can threaten to bomb, destroy and nuke the entire world and he is safe as long as he doesn’t misgender a trans person on Twitter. Julian Assange is picketed and shouted down because of the rape charge [sic] against him. Facts and nuance don’t matter, it’s all about the vicarious thrill of “empowerment” via ruining the lives of people who run afoul of the ever changing speech and language codes or who find themselves accused of making someone, usually a woman, feel “unsafe”. It is neurotic, dysfunctional and, yes, hysterical nonsense on stilts that trivializes misogyny, racism and bigotry of all kinds by making words more dangerous than actions, equating an accusation with a guilty verdict and excommunicating people for life if they make one ill timed or poorly thought out comment.

    On the positive side, I have noticed more criticism of this toxic mess coming from the left and that is a good sign. (To get an idea of the damage identity politics in the UK has done, look up what happened to Mark Fisher when he wrote a piece criticizing “call out culture”. This is one albatross the left can’t dump fast enough.)

  • mike

    Martin Geissler (BBC Scotland’s news programme last night) seems to be unaware that Idlib is crawling with Al Qaida-type terrorist groups. A wee backgrounder in Al Qaida might be useful for him, and also where the Syrian factions are getting all their arms and cash from.

    He’s about a year and a half late with the neocon propaganda that he passed off as reportage last night. Regime change in Syria is now off the menu, for the time being.

    You’re behind the curve, Marty! Never mind, keep going. The Pulitzer is in the post.

  • mike

    Get yersel tae HK, Marty!

    That’s where the next color revolution (the clue’s in the spelling) is being engineered. You won’t of course have to bother us with trivia such as where the main protest leaders get THEIR cash from. Oh no. Not that you’d think of asking those questions anyway – you’re a safe pair of hands, after all. Just focus on regime brutality and act as if Hong Kong is still part of the British Empire and you’ll be fine.

    You’d better hurry up, though, otherwise the hegemon’s carnival of chaos will have moved on elsewhere.

    Forget Syria, that’s so last year. Plus the food’s better in Hong Kong.

  • Oji

    ” But it remains the case that Trump has not destroyed a state nor initiated nor escalated a war, ”

    Given Trump’s sanctions on Ven. have killed an estimated tens of thousands, that is a distinction without a difference.
    Given his harsh sanctions on Iran, which, no doubt, have also contributed to deaths, not to mention withdrawal from the Iran nuclear accord which has increased the odds of a much larger conflict than the U.S. has had in decades, again, a distinction without a difference.

    Given his withdrawal from Paris, and reversals of environmental regs and protections almost across the board, and the delay of action on Climate Change overall, all of which will contribute to the deaths of millions more than would otherwise occur, at the very least, it’s hard to accept your claim as anything other than the narrowest statement of fact that bears little truth in it.

  • Glasshopper

    The thing about Bolton is that while the other slippery neocons pretended to be defending democracy and droned on about human rights, evil dictators etc, Bolton just said it was about American interests.

    I always had a grudging respect for him for that. You did at least know where you stood with him, and what he represented. He never sugar-coated his opinions.

    Even so. Very glad to see the back of him in high office.

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