EU States Combined to Force Down Snowden Flight 290

The USA, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Austria combined to force down President Evo Morales’ jet in Vienna in 2013 after the CIA falsely reported whistleblower Edward Snowden was on board. The monumental cynicism of these nations in sanctioning Belarus for a directly comparable action is sickening, even by the standards of western hypocrisy. Indeed, to force down a Presidential jet covered by diplomatic immunity is a greater offence to international law than Belarus forcing down the Ryanair flight.

Both actions are wrong. You will excuse me also for pointing out that there is no sanction on Israel for targeting over 30 news organisations in Gaza and bombing them.

Perhaps I might go still further and mention that as I am about to go to jail for dissident blogging, I see the western powers as having limited moral authority to complain of Belarus jailing dissident bloggers? That is even without mentioning the long term persecution and entirely false accusation of my friend and the world’s greatest exposer of war crimes and government corruption, Julian Assange.

Apologies for the very short post. Am not too well and have been confined to bed since yesterday. I have an MRI scan in the morning, but hope and intend to bounce back very soon.

In the event I am put in jail at short notice, I wish to make plain that I am absolutely happy with my family and in fighting form, raring to get to the Supreme Court and there is no chance whatsoever that I will voluntarily commit suicide.


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290 thoughts on “EU States Combined to Force Down Snowden Flight

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  • Ken Garoo

    The ‘Belarus blogger’ is another expendable regime change artist. His blog is hosted in (and funded by?) Poland. He joined one of the Ukraine neo-Nazi battalions (Azov) trying to ethnically cleanse east Ukraine. Even there he draped himself in Poland’s flag. He incited violence against police in Belarus, doxxing some of them.

    He is in no way comparable to Snowden or Assange. He is, in fact, their antithesis.

  • Goose

    Boris Johnson warns of consequences for Belarus over ‘deeply distressing’ video of seized journalist.

    Johnson tweeted:

    “As a journalist and a passionate believer in freedom of speech I call for his immediate release.

    “Belarus’ actions will have consequences.”

    Why is it so easy for those in power to designate this guy a ‘journalist’. Contrast this to how Assange is being completely denied that description by TPTB and MSM? Hypocrisy at all levels. Assange has a better claim to being a real journalist.

    If Johnson really cared about freedom of expression and journalistic rights he’d denounce J.Assange’s and C. Murray’s treatment.

    • M.J.

      “Johnson tweeted:

      “As a journalist and a passionate believer in freedom of speech I call for his immediate release.
      “Belarus’ actions will have consequences.””

      Well, if journalists weren’t free to make up lies and BS like Boris, how could he become a world king, fulfilling his childhood ambition, and make Brexit happen? How could Trump get elected?

      Hmmm. Maybe journalists should NOT be free to make up lies and BS. Maybe they should be censored, like – like Assange? Like Craig? Like that Belarusian? Woe, this is getting out of hand! As the Roman saying goes,

      quis custodiet ipsos custodes?   How is power bridled and made accountable?

      Maybe journalists SHOULD be free to make up lies and BS like Boris. After all, we can kick them out at the next election – in Western democracies. Dictatorships like Belarusia’s Lukashenko – forget it!

      • SA

        Boris never had a childhood ambition to achieve Brexit it was a last minute tossup for him as to which line to take to achieve his ambition to become PM.
        In theory your democracy can get rid of ‘elected’ representatives and make you feel smug in the knowledge that you can theoretically change governments at the flick of a vote every 4 or 5) years. But when the system is rigged elected dictatorships become the norm and make people like you very smug to live in such utopia based on democratic lies.

        • zoot

          we know that when real political choice arrives in the west these people become much less enthusiastic about democracy. they’ve shown their ass for all to see.

          • Goose

            Cummings today : Mark Sedwill told Boris Johnson he should go on live television and encourage people to infect one another with Covid – “It’s like the old chicken pox parties”, he explained.

            As Cabinet Secretary, Sedwill was the most senior civil servant in the country at the time, so doesn’t sound like the advice Boris was getting was up to much if these claims, are true.

            Surprised Cummings can even reveal these discussions in such detail. I don’t like it, but we have 20-year rule and 30-year rule, for cabinet records.

          • Kevin Cargill

            Thinking of you Craig. Keep your chin up. It’s so sad that our only recourse to real justice in Scotland is to reach out to the UK Supreme Court. The political influence over our justice system is as corrupt as Belarus or any other dictatorship.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        Perhaps Lukashenko’s winning elections does not rely on postal ballots.

      • Bramble

        But we can’t kick them out at the next election. The People love Boris (who got them Brexit) and the Establishment will only allow a challenger who signs up to the: “Press the nuclear button; worship the free market; never question the morals of ‘our’ side, only ‘theirs'” mantra. Vote Tory; or Tory. That’s our fate. “Democracy” is scam to hide that truth.

        • M.J.

          “But we can’t kick them out at the next election..” Look what happened in 1997. But it is true that voters have to be persuaded, and that means evolution, not revolution.

          • M.J.

            Mind you, I’m talking about democracies. Lukashenko might go the way of Ceaucescu.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            “Look what happened in 1997”

            We got another neo-liberal. Now we have a choice of three neo-liberals for every elected office.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            “Lukashenko might go the way of Ceaucescu.”

            Only if the West’s neo-liberals have their way.
            I suspect he is quite popular, but not as much as he claims to be.

          • Tom Welsh

            Er, are you referring to the glorious triumph of electing Tony Blair and Gordon Brown? Whose policies were more or less the same as the Conservatives, but decorated with some fresh young(ish) faces?

            And who went on to help Washington murder 3 million Iraqis?

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        Journalists should be free to make up lies and BS like Boris. This guy in Belarus was not arrested for making up lies and BS. Calling him a journalist is just a red herring from the BBC.
        He got arrested for being an agent of a foreign power seeking to violently overthrow the government and for organising the terrorising of ordinary Belorussian people.

  • Tatyana

    Btw, in the interview Goblin mentioned that Protasevich was not in Athens ‘on vacation with his girlfriend’. He was visiting there to attend the meeting of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and the US Ambassador.
    Well, this background explains the hysterical reaction of the EU 🙂 I almost believed that the European Union has turned into a book club for elderly ladies who are hiccuped by the word Russia. But no, the loyal vassal is still strong and continues to serve his master

    • Goose

      It’s plausible this was planned and they wanted this to unfold exactly as it did. Maximum publicity and maximum denouncement of the regime. The way the entire European media seemed ready and primed to ‘go big’ on this is also disturbing.

      Life in exile as a dissident, trying to foment revolt back home, all while being tailed by the Belarusian KGB officers, well, it can’t have been much fun.

      He may have made himself a kind of sacrificial offering for the cause. The huge international interest will secure his ultimate safety.

    • Goose

      Lukashenko is presented by our UK media, as being Putin’s best buddy. But in June 2020, reuters were reporting how Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko was accusing Russian and Polish forces of meddling in his country’s presidential election campaign and trying to discredit him.

      Russian – Belarus relations have in recent times been far from cordial.

    • Tom Welsh

      “I almost believed that the European Union has turned into a book club for elderly ladies…”

      Certainly if you look at any of the classic photographs of EU defence ministers.

    • Tom Welsh

      The irony is that, if you try to solve all your problems by threats and violence, you are bound to fear anyone who has the strength to defend themselves against you.

  • david

    Belarus diversion echoes prior Ukrainian incident involving Belavia 737

    Ironically Ukraine did almost exactly the same to Belarus’s state airline in 2016 – Air traffic control told the plane to divert to land in Ukraine in order to arrest a passenger. Ukraine also threatened to send fighters if the captain did not comply. Oddly this has received no mention in the West.

  • Jo

    Is someone anyone eg Kevin Goztola going to cover the Spain trial Assange situation…..can Craig appear by video link as a witness…..has Spanish Court any powers to insist that he does submit his evidence as a witness? Would it be reported in UK press?

  • mark golding

    The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights today ruled that the UK’s mass interception programmes, disclosed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, unlawfully breached citizens’ rights to privacy and free expression.

    Documents provided by Mr Snowden revealed that the UK intelligence agency GCHQ was conducting “population-scale” interception, capturing the communications of millions of innocent people. The mass spying programmes included:

    TEMPORA, a bulk data store of all internet traffic;
    KARMA POLICE, a catalogue including a “web browsing profile for every visible user on the internet”;
    Black Hole, a repository of over 1 trillion events including internet histories, email and instant messenger records, search engine queries and social media activity.

    • Courtenay Barnett


      Here is the problem:-

      1. Is NATO/EU with the US? or
      2. Is Britain on her own with NATO/US? or
      3. Is there to be a rapid reconfiguration wherein the EU wakes up and begins to understand that it can’t have either number 1 or 2 all at the same time?

      Your perspective.

      • SA

        Very pertinent. The EU initial concept was of a balancing independent bloc from US and Russia and mainly as a trading organisation. It became entangled with NATO after the fall of the Soviet Union and it then all new applicants from the Soviet bloc were lured in with little regard for equalisation and with the opportunity of enlarging NATO to the borders of Russia. The RU and NATO have now become indistinguishable politically. Brexit has not in any way weakened NATO as the U.K. still has a major role there but may have weakened the EU politically and at the same time strengthened UK’s ability to act independently of either when it suits.

      • mark golding


        The ‘problem’ has played out I believe over the last decade. Formally an EU facet moved towards a security model based on the democratic peace theory, according to which integration transforms the security environment among the members into a pluralistic community where the issues of security have been transcended. This differed from NATO’s attraction of the mutual benefits of military security.

        Over that time period decoupling Europe’s security from the U.S. was in the cards while NATO Alliance had to survive the collapse of it’s major adversary and raison d’être, the Soviet Union.

        It is at that point I put on my titanium hat and tell you these were major considerations at Northwood responsible for planning multinational overseas military operations in 1998 years before China’s rise as an international actor. I say that because at the time UK/US/IS were musing another ‘Pearl Habor’ at a time when Baghdad counts most while Belfast and Berlin lost importance in Washington and International terrorism amd weapons of mass destruction became necessary adversaries.

        That said NATO is still the most important expression of the transatlantic relationship while economic cooperation factors in as well to form an imperative. I hope the EU will wake up and reconfigure closer to Russia and forget about energy diversification.

        The danger for the transatlantic relationship, including NATO, from the dispute over the use of force against Iraq is still profound and now the recent massacre by Israel in Gaza will increase an ecletic intention that will dim the light of America for all time while the EU and Britain will be compelled to transcend issues of war and security.


  • Susan

    Protasevic is not a journalist. He is an agent provocateur, whose role is to stir up dissent and insurrection in Belarus.

    The rulers of the world are apoplectic that one of their assets was seized (and in such an audacious way). I must say, I did a little jig:))

  • Tatyana

    I have Telegram installed and I visited that channel the BlackBookBelarus. Looks like that
    As you see, they publish photos, home address, phone number – everything.

    At the moment I visited the channel, the most recent posts were featuring a judge, a stomatology teacher and 2 another judges – all females.
    @John Cleary, you were mentioning FEMALES in your comment

    Now you may try to compare the ‘crime’ committed by Mr. Murray and that committed by Sofia Sapega.

    * the stomatology teacher was signed into the Black Book because she asked if any girl student of her faculty can attend the presidential graduation ball
    ** are you THAT SAME John Cleary?

  • Jon Cofy

    It is hard to imagine a more disgraceful morally bankrupt act that jailing Julian Assange for aiding the truth to be told.
    Jailing people for publishing court proceedings may just trump the Assange disgrace.
    The world laughs at the western government hypocrites espousing freedom of speech and democratic rights.
    Perhaps Switzerland and a few USA states can still claim to be democracies.
    The test of a democracy is the constitutional ability of the voters to over rule the executive as is the case in California.

  • Tatyana

    Mr. Murray talks about hypocrisy, but Mr. Murray himself looks at events superficially, catching only external similarities.
    Yes, the state was hunting for a person. But what kind of person is this?
    In the case of Assange or Snowden, I see real human rights activists exposing state crimes against society. In the case of Protasevich or Navalny, it was a fight against the current leader in order to take the throne.

    And now I believe that both Russia and Belarus are really far from democracy. We won’t soon be raising our own Assanges and Snowdens to stand up for ideals. More often we have petty tsars, greedy for power, who don’t mind foreign funding.
    It is sad.
    The hypocrisy of the West, oh, this is not new. In order to come to this conclusion, “moderate rebels” were already enough.

  • Squeeth

    Morning Craig, you put that very well, especially the point that you are far from suicidal. I hope you don’t get banged up but am sure you’ll be OK if you are. Regards.

    • nevermind

      Well said Jaggy and great blogs you and Ian Lawson are keeping.

      In last nights dream, and I blame the late night cheese sandwich for it, I volunteered to give Nicola and her rabble the Protasevich treatment received under Lukashenko’s goons. I interrogated her under the hate against free speech bill, which was designed by ‘collateral damage aid’ , a collective of Indy journalists and bloggers fed up with the nasty fascist streak running through her party and her followers who protect her like Goebbels protected Adolfs worst excesses.

      Every time she mentioned the word Scotland I made her drink a glass of Forth water, and when she complained about her treatment it was explained with her own hate crime bill which she used against free speech and the people of Scotland. After three days of thinking about it, she confessed to her crimes and blamed a transvestite for having jinxed her at a yoga session.
      Do dreams fall under the new hate crime catch all you don’t like legislation?
      I wish you all the luck in the world Craig for your appeal to this macabre persecution by a self interested SNP and her political police/law courts, rest assured, you have already been vindicated by the greater public who does not understand most of what has been going on, but, oh boy, wait for what will happen when they finally do.

    • S

      it was going ok until they said a “recording of a pilot’s call with the dispatcher was released, proving they were not forced to land in Minsk”. Proving?!

        • S

          I’ve read the transcript. It doesn’t mention the fighter jets. Are you claiming that there were no fighter jets? There would have been separate communication with the fighter jets, possibly non-verbal. The transcript is just a transcript with ATC. So it proves that _ATC_ didn’t force anything, but that’s all.

          • S

            Thanks Tatyana, That is interesting. So the bbc quote from a pilot might be accurate but might not be relevant. It’s difficult to know who to believe.

            “If a military aircraft intercepts you – and gives you command – you obey. You can’t not obey command. You have no option but to follow orders. It’s like on the ground, when police tell you to do something,”


            By the way, once the plane landed, I suppose they _had_ to arrest him? (I don’t actually know.)

            Then if there was no scrambling until the pilot agreed, the question is, who called in the bomb threat?

            Could have been Belarus. Could have been US or Europe. Could have been Russia. Sounds like no-one thinks it came from the Middle East.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            ” It’s difficult to know who to believe.”

            Well you can start by ruling out the BBC.

          • John A

            Sending up a fighter jet in the event of an airline terrorist incident has been standard operating procedure in all countries since 9/11. There was a case in Britain a year or two ago when fighter jets were sent to escort a passenger plane to Stansted due to some scare.

          • Tatyana

            I see it is some Simon Browning, who wrote that BBC article. He starts with “the view of one pilot who spoke to the BBC”
            The right questions to Mr. Browning should be:

            • Was that pilot from Ryanair flight or that was some other pilot?
            • Was that pilot describing Ryanair flight events or was he generally reasoning about how things looks like IF a military jet intercepts a civilian plane?

            When you have the answers you understand WHAT you have read and WHY was it written like that.

  • DunGroanin

    I echo Jeremy Corbyn – the legitimate PM of the U.K. ousted by an electoral fraudulent coup – that any such acts of hijack, kidnap and extraordinary Shanghaiing rendition is illegal.

    Happy Birthday Mr PM.

  • fishnishandchips

    just attempted to post about the double standards re Craigs situation and dissident blogging on BTL Guardian ‘article’ about Belarus and not only was it modded it was removed totally. Fucking farce. It was an experiment. I suppose i am now on a list *sigh*. If you cannot post about press freedom in the press then what does that say.

    • Bill Marsh

      There’s little point in trying to say anything BTL on comment pieces on the Guardian if it contradicts the official Guardian line. The Mods appear to be wet behind the ears and totally unnuanced and will delete or ban you for saying the most innocuous things.
      I have noticed recenty that it opens fewer and fewer articles to comments, which of itself is a reflection of the bankruptcy of its views.

  • House MD

    The first skyjacking of a civilian airliner was conducted by Israel on 12th December 1954 when a Syrian Arab Airlines Dakota was intercepted by Israeli P-51 Mustangs and forced to land at Lydda, now Lod. Moon of Alabama made a brief reference to this incident, quoted in an earlier post. A more detailed account here:

  • John

    How many actual journalists has NATO member Turkey locked up in the last year?

    Turkey is also militarily ensconced on the land of an EU member in Cyprus.

    When will the EU be doing something about Turkey rather than sticking their nose into the business of countries that are not in NATO and who are not illegally installed on the land of an EU member as Turkey is?

    • Bruce H

      The answer is simple, never. All they are concerned with is pushing the NATO border ever Eastward until it hits Russia itself. What happens afterwards is best not to think about.

  • lysias

    “b” of Moon of Alabama concludes that there’s a D-notice on the connection between the guy being held and the Azov Battalion.

    • laguerre

      A “D-notice” is not necessary. He is presented as a hero of democracy, and the fascist relationships are not mentioned.

  • Tatyana

    I’ve brought you a long video with English subs!
    It’s about NEXTA (‘someone’ in Belorussian), the main opposition media.

    September 2020 Yuri Dud visited them in Poland and made this report. It is just amazing!
    Protasevich and Putilo aka Svetlov with his naïve eyes of a religious fanatic telling about their methods, about ‘good’ propaganda;
    confessing on some fake news, like Russian military in Belorussian protests;
    explaining what they meant when they said ‘to burn the police’;
    you can even see Polish nationalists supporting Lukashenko etc.
    Just amazing!

    вДудь (Blow): NEXTA – the main media of the Belarusian protest – YouTube (1hr 34m 24s)

    • Tatyana

      Thanks for editing, just a few remarks:
      The name is NEHTA, the russian version is ‘некто’. The word has no meaning relative to the ‘the next’, it’s just that the russian sound ‘h’ is written with the russian letter ‘x’.

      The name вДудь sounds the same as the russian word ‘вдуть’ and of course, may be sometimes used in its direct sense ‘to blow into smth’. But common phrases with it are ‘вдуть кому-то’ – *to, eeeerrr… have sex as active male partner, to penetrate.
      Another common phrase is ‘дуть в уши’ – *to tell lies, to talk alot in order to disperse attention.

      No sense in a D notice, actually. The guy says himself in the video about Azov and Maidan.

      Thank you, but it’s not my work, I’m only sharing the link 🙂

      [ Mod: Thank you for the language lesson, Tatyana. However, the text in the link is intended to represent the title of the YouTube video, which was created by a fluent Russian speaker and was reproduced correctly in this case. Furthermore, the name “NEXTA” is used in English language news reports worldwide. ]

      • Tatyana

        No objection, I understand how trademarks and brands are created. I just shared my remarks, as I find these additional shades of meaning amusing and of course for a fuller context.

        Overall, I want to say that I am proud of this new generation. Their competent speech, education, manners, observation, ability to highlight the main thing and excellent communication skills – it seems to me that we have raised a brave and not stupid generation. If we compare with the older one, for example, with the Goblin I shared the link on the previous page, then his manner is usual for my generation, but is perceived by the young as too aggressive.
        And this fact is also good, it means that new ones don’t feel the need to always stand in a boxing stance. And this is just wonderful!

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        “No sense in a D notice, actually. The guy says himself in the video about Azov and Maidan.”

        The D notice would still keep most of the population in the dark even though the information is available in an obscure part of the public domain.

  • Giyane

    If we were the EU BoJo would have joined in the EU hypocrisy. , but he is now isolated from both the EU and the Biden US. That’s worth losing a lot of rotting shellfish imho. To manage to piss off both the EU and the US in one fell swoop justifies Brexit , eveh though we lost fee trade and free movement.

    The British electorate disposed of War criminal Cameron and playboy Johnson by ploughing the Tory furrow of Brexit. Did they realise that populism is pass the parcel children’s game which can explode in your own face at Any time?

    I hope Nicola Sturgeon’s populism gives her an Afro haistyle and complexion very soon. Two rats have already left the sinking SNP ship already. I can’t wait to see the Supreme Court declare that every single aspect of the prosecution’s of Alex Salmond and Craig Murray were vindictive and illegal.

  • KR

    “Indeed, to force down a Presidential jet covered by diplomatic immunity is a greater offence to international law than Belarus forcing down the Ryanair flight.”

    I think you are wrong. Unless expressly declared civilian flights, state vessels with HEAD status are treated as military flights and always require special authorisations (unlike civilian aircrafts which may fly wherever ATC’s let them).

    Now, you’re arguing that forcing down a military flight is a “greater offence” than to force down a civilian airliners. Well, I beg to disagree. Targeting civilians is a much worse act.

    • bevin

      The “civilian” in question is a Nazi terrorist employed by state sponsors of terrorism.
      The government of Belarus has acted properly in removing this man from circulation. The facts are quite clear: Protasevich is not only a mercenary in the employ of his country’s (and humanity’s) enemies but fought in the ranks of the criminal Azov Battalion in its campaigns to ‘cleanse’ the Donbas of its Russian speaking population. Had he been an opponent of the Ukrainian regime or any of the many other governments supported by the US he would have been assassinated or ‘disappeared’ without ceremony by one of the many terrorist militias that Washington sponsors and Protasevich promotes and supports.

      • Kempe

        I hope you washed your hands after all that smearing.

        Even if true, and it’s not what he’s been arrested for, it doesn’t justify his kidnapping under false pretences, the danger the other passengers were put in, the detention of his Russian girlfriend or the torture which he’s probably already been subjected to and for which the Belarusian authorities are notorious.

        Standing by for the predictable ‘poisoning of the well’ regarding the OHCHR and ‘whataboutery’ regarding Julian Assange.

        • Tatyana

          there was a criminal case against him, he was wanted by the police long before they took him off the plane.
          Also I advise you to install Telegram and visit the black book of Belarus channel, maybe then you stop saying ‘his girlfriend’
          Or, you find it quite normal that they publish personal data of their compatriots together with the words ‘to burn’?
          Sikorsky’s entry even contains his car model and number.
          Also I worry about that stomatology teacher, what sort of revenge do they intend for her ‘crime’ of inviting students to the graduation ball?

          • Kempe

            In your book that justifies torture does it? Public ‘confessions’ under duress are rightly regarded as a breach of human rights. Oh but Belarus is the only country in Europe that isn’t a member of the ECHR. No doubt the UIs will find justification for that too. They did however ratify the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and would appear to be in breach of that; on several counts.


          • Giyane



            How can the fatuous neo-cons compartmentalise their tiny brains so neatly as to accuse Belarus of Rendition when they invented the word rendition to describe their own Dr Mengele torture kidnap brainwashing of 100s of thousands of innocent Muslims?

            It’s their own word for their own crimes. They invented it to describe the process of scrambling the minds of Muslims out of Islam.
            Distilled fatuousness of Western hypocrisy.

            Now they use it to describe their fake bete noire of socialism.

            Thank God the majority of us have not yet embraced their Worship of Mammon. If every household in Birmingham owned a Mercedes E class or Audi Q7, our varicose back streets would be blocked with affluence and nobody could get in or out of our city. From June 1, Birmingham will be closed to all vehicles not using 19th century spark plug technology or Lithium.
            Get your crank handles ready.

            Lithium might not be stinky, but it’s one of the most toxic substances to human psychology. Bonkers beyond bonkers foaming Tory madness.

          • Tatyana

            Hello! An interview where the guy says he attended Maidan to learn the method, or was in Azov and even was shot several times, he is obviously proud of it – is that torture? That was actually a public confession, it was hardly made under duress 🙂

        • zoot

          the term ‘whataboutery’ was put into circulation very cynically by the CIA in the 1950s in an effort to shut down irritating citations of worse behaviour by the west.
          btw the only point of craig’s post is the audacious hypocrisy of your heroes in relation to this incident. have a read.

          • Kempe

            What heroes would these be? I don’t have any heroes.

            Each incident has to be judged in isolation. Trying to justify one because somebody else did something worse or even because you imagine somebody did something worse is nonsense.

          • Giyane


            No it’s not nonsense, it’s called conscience. Loving others as you love yourself. Not making one rule for us exceptionalist ponces of capitalism.and another rule for those untouchables of socialism.

            Basic tenets of Christanity, Islam and agnostic psychology.

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          “kidnapping under false pretences,”

          Pretences of what?

          ” the danger the other passengers were put in,”

          What danger?

          ” ‘whataboutery’ regarding Julian Assange.”

          Whataboutery is a good thing as it lets us assess the credibility of a source. For instance if the source has a known and admitted history of torture and human rights abuse we know that their accusations of torture and human rights abuse by other is not motivated by a genuine concern about such things and therefore that there will be a hidden agenda which probably involves lying.

          • Kempe
            1. The false bomb alert.
            2. Aircraft diverted and diverted to an airport the crew may have been unfamiliar with, the presence of a military jet in proximity with the threat of a shoot down and the risk of a mid air collision. Also stress.
            3. Whataboutery, responding to an accusation or difficult question by making a counter-accusation or raising a different issue, is nothing but a way of avoiding proper discussion.
          • Ron Soak

            Indeed. The generic observational metaphor contained in the Biblical verses of Matthew 7:1-5 encapsulates why this argument of treating this in isolation from any similar event has zero credibility.

            The reason people in glass houses should desist from throwing stones at others should not need explaining. Yet the do as I/we say not as I/we do exceptionalism contained in this faulty and deliberately self-serving line of reasoning is very obvious.

          • Pigeon English


            What do you mean by “airport crew may have been unfamiliar with”?
            They can’t find it or land the plane on the airport they have never been before?
            Why would fighter jet collide with passenger plane? They are trained to intercept and “engage”with enemy fighters.

          • Pigeon English

            MAYDAY MAYDAY
            Olga, hostess from Minsk, knows the way to Minsk but she can’t land the plane. None of us landed there before.
            We are stressed!
            We have Pigeon English on board and if he doesn’t get a cigarette soon he will explode!

          • fishnishandchips


            “Each incident has to be judged in isolation”

            Even with a passive understanding of nuance, metaphor and reductionism I have to contribute a response in a way of balance. Such a statement is really not healthy for the mind to accept. You cannot see the wood for the trees. The conditional supports of reality… there can be no isolation of each incident in any area of the mind. I fear your current method of analysis will render you mute when the time comes to explain each isolated act of your life when you reach the end of the ferryman’s passage and you are met with your higher self holding out the great mirror of the mother. Just accepting that nothing exists in isolation, a truth cannot be true if it is limited to the apprehension of an isolated ‘event’. You are not communing with truth. You are fearfully avoiding it. Even on the bog, probably. Was gonna say blog but that’s too specific, almost an isolated incident. You made me think though, so thank you!

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            The bomb alert looks suspect and the most likely suspect is Belarus.
            The aircraft seems to have made an emergency landing safely and in the usual way for a bomb alert i.e. with a military escort.
            When the topic under discussion is the humbug or otherwise of a party then that party’s actions on other similar occasions is part of the discussion.

  • Athanasius

    I don’t think it’s “cynicism” that the EU distinguishes between what it did with the Snowden flight and what Belarus did with Ryanair. I think it’s rather a case of “…but it’s different when WE do it”. I’m afraid that’s an occupational hazard within the leftist mindset.

    • Giyane


      The left carves up.power and wealth for their own party members, as do the right. Empires exist in both both left and right bollock.

    • ginger ninja


      “The leftist mindset”? Good grief, thank you for making me feel more intelligent. I normally see this kind of thing on American sites and just think aww, they’re just brainwashed or incredibly stupid bless ’em.

    • Andy

      Athanasius, for clarity, could you possibly furnish us with a full bullet point list of the make up of a leftist mindset. One for a rightist mindset would also be useful for comparison.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      “an occupational hazard within the leftist mindset.”

      What is leftist about the EU?

  • KR

    Once again – it’s a wrong comparison. Craig, you might have worked in the maritime department at FCO but definitely not in the aviation department: HEAD flights, carrying heads of state, are NOT covered by the Chicago Convention and are usually considered military flights (by countries of origin when filing the flight path).

    It was legitimate to refuse an overflight to Morales’s flight without a reason, although it could be viewed as a diplomatic scandal, too.

    On the other hand, the Chicago Convention grants freedom of the air to commercial aviation, and forcing a commercial airliner down is an indisputable violation of that international agreement.

    Also, you comparing the two incidents are simply playing the RT narrative.

    • T

      Right, so legitimate to force down a plane if a head of state is on board, but illegitimate if they’re not…

      Does this peculiar logic still apply if it’s a US or West European head of state forced down in Iran? And would your trusted news channels blithely accept the legality of such an incident?

      • Ron Soak

        Quite. Don’t you just love the smell of exceptionalism first thing in the morning.

      • Pigeon English

        To hear disident voice I go to RT America and RT Uk.
        As Lee Camp would say ” Americans in America covering American news are called foreign agents”
        I believe same apply to British in Britain covering British news are foreign agent.

    • Pigeon English

      To my understanding those flights are classified as STATE flights otherwise you would have right to shoot them down when they cross your airspace. I am not legal expert in aviation, are you?
      Article 5: The aircraft of states, other than scheduled international air services, have the right to make flights across state’s territories and to make stops without obtaining prior permission. However, the state may require the aircraft to make a landing.
      I am not sure what that means but there are more options than Commercial or Military

      • KR

        A presidential plane has to file a flight path well in advance and seek permission from every country it intends to overfly. Do you really think that, say, the US president’s plane can fly over Russia, China, Iran at whim, or the Russian president’s plane can overfly the US, China, Japan, etc?

        For HEAD flights, each country is also within its rights to block its airspace without notice.

        This is not the case for commercial aviation which by default can overfly any country through the approved corridors (unless individually blocked, only for reasons specified in the convention).

      • KR

        You are confusing “scheduled international air service” with commercial aviation. Article 5 does not apply to scheduled services but to so-called general aviation (Google up that term).

        • Pigeon English

          Article 5 mentions STATE flight and I can not find anything on HEAD flight.
          I got giving head on page 7
          I can not find either that PM or President flying on the air plane is classified as military jet/flight.
          Are saying that “scheduled flights” are not commercial flights?

          • KR

            HEAD is the vernacular term for a flight carrying a head of state or similar. You will not find anything about it in the Chicago Convention, because it is the “Chicago Convention on International CIVIL Aviation” (underlining mine).

            This is the international treaty that Belarus has violated.

            On the other hand, Austria by requiring Morales’ plane to land, has not violated any legal obligation; it only did not follow the customary norms of diplomacy. For this reason, the Vienna situation was a diplomatic incident and not a legal issue.

          • KR

            I should have repeated that Morales’ flight was outside the Convention’s scope, as are all flights of the US Air Force One, etc.

  • DunGroanin

    Are they really really really so dumb to put Nato boots officially on the grounds from Belorussia, Ukraine and further east to provoke the conflagration they cannot possibly win?

    • Giyane


      If you mean the Clintons, pulling strings in the Biden Democratic Party, they have unfinished business to settle in Syria. The US had promised a quick fix to the Saudis like Libya but they deceived them and collaborated with Russia.

      Anything they can possibly do to maintain the charade of hating Russia , dumb, dangerous or desperate, they need the Saudis to cough up more dosh to fund their hegemony push Eastwards. It isn’t dumb to pretend to hate your best mates . It’s dumb of the Saudis to be taken in by them. Imho

      Boris a Russophobe? Boris is an Islamophobic Zionist. He is made of Russian oligarch millions. At the time of Theresa May feigning Russophobia atvtgecLord Mayors banquet, Boris was doing the Skriplal charade..
      The Saudis are the Dumbos.

  • Reza

    Even when under the weather you have an uncanny ability to enrage neocons. Do consider their mental health though before reminding them of hideously iinconvenient facts. 😡

  • yesindyref2

    No, not blocked, in spite of disagreeing quite often with the host.

    Sorry Craig, not aimed at you, it’s, errr, elsewhere. No, not THAT elsewhere! Everyone’s blocked from there.

      • KR

        Yurlanov, wow, what an Arabic surname, ROTFL. And a ceasefire in Gaza was already in force in Gaza at the time. Poor provocation. The timestamp in the email sourcecode includes timezone offset.

  • Tatyana

    for you
    Video by Anatoliy Shariy. It’s in russian, no English subs, sorry
    But it contains enough visual evidence to understand.

    Shariy was challenged and that is the best way to make him do an excellent job 🙂 He found huge amount of evidence on Protasevich and Azov. That was not a journalist work as Protasevich claims now, that was shooting at people and Protasevich was proud of doing that. He also mentioned his some ancestors were Ukrainians, and others suffered under Kommunists, so it was his firm desire to join Azov.

    Maidan – Protasevich was not learning and making reports ‘for about a week’ as he claims now. He spent about a month there and left after his head was injured in a fight with Berkut.

    • Pigeon English

      Sorry Tatyana but
      a) Not for Kempe
      b) Too long for not Russian speaker
      c) Protasevich with machine gun, worth seeing.

    • Republicofscotland

      The people shot at and killed at the Maiden, a US coup, were killed by Lithuanian, Georgian, Ukrainian and a US snipers, they also killed the Berkut, Victoria Nuland handled the US end of it. The overall goal was to install an anti-Russian government and place US nukes on Ukrainian soil close to Russia. The EU knew about it but they were more concerned about their investors in the Ukraine than the coup. Nuland famously said when the EU found out about the US coup, f*ck the EU.

  • Pigeon English

    We had a guy (Hirst) using “Reap the whirlwind” accused of call to violence while this lot publish names and addressees of supporters of “Lukhaschenko” to be burned. Some of them were Riot Police other civilians.
    How would we feel if our names and addresses were revealed and someone called for vengeance or I published names and addresses of people I consider my enemies? Or CM publish the addresses of Unionist on this blog and ask us to burn them.

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