The Drive for War 293

The collective shrug with which the Western media and political class noted the attempted assassination of Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico has been telling.

Can you imagine the outrage and emotion that would have been expressed by Western powers if not Fico but a pro-Ukraine, anti-Russian leader within the EU had been attacked? The new orders for weapons that would have been presented to the arms manufacturers, the troops that would have been deployed, the sabres that would have been rattled?

Instead we have the media telling us that Fico opposed sending arms to Ukraine and opposed threatening Russia. We are told he did not accept the mainstream narrative on Covid vaccinations. The media do not quite say he deserved to be shot, but they come very, very close.

Fellow EU leaders followed correct form in making statements of shock and disgust at the attack on Fico, but they were formal and perfunctory. The “not actually one of us” message was very clear.

There are now an ordered set of neoliberal beliefs to which anybody in a Western nation participating in public affairs must subscribe, or they are beyond the pale.

Not to subscribe to all of these beliefs makes you a “populist”, a “conspiracy theorist”, a “Putin puppet” or a “useful idiot”.

These are some of the “key beliefs”:

1) Wealth is only created by a small number of ultra-wealthy capitalists on whom the employment of everybody else ultimately depends.
2) The laws governing financial structures must therefore tend to concentrate wealth to these individuals, so that they may deploy it as they choose.
3) State-created currency must only be concentrated in and distributed to private financial institutions.
4) Public spending is always less efficient than private spending.
5) Russia, China and Iran pose an existential threat to the West. That comprises both an economic threat and a physical, military threat.
6) Colonialism was a boon to the world, bringing economic development, trade and education to people of inferior cultures.
7) Islam is a threat to Western values and to world development.
8) Israel is a necessary project for spreading Western values to the uncivilised Middle East.
9) Security necessitates devoting very substantial resources to arms production and the waging of continual war.
10) Nothing must threaten the military and arms industry interest. No battle against corruption or crime can override the need for the security military industrial complex to be completely unchallenged and internally supreme.

Within this architecture of belief, other orthodoxies hang dependent, such as the correct way to respond to a complex pandemic, or support for NATO and impunity for the security services. (Support for Israel is probably better portrayed as a dependent point, but with the subject of Gaza so prominent at the moment I have figuratively moved it into the main structure.)

Any deviation on any point of belief is a challenge to the entire system, and thus must be eradicated. You will note there is no room whatsoever, within this architecture of thought, for values like freedom of speech or freedom of assembly. They simply do not fit. Nor is it possible within this architecture to incorporate actual democracy, which would give people a choice of what to believe.

If you accept this architecture of thought, then you must argue that the Genocide in Gaza is a good thing, and it threatens the entire structure if you state that it is not a good thing. That is why we have witnessed the spectacle of politicians defying and then repressing their own people, willing to place all of their political capital at the service of genocidal Zionism.

Words struggle to convey the horrors we have all seen from Gaza, and in no way does it lessen the terrible suffering nor the extent of the crime to observe that it has caused a major rift in the neoliberal belief system which cannot be hidden from the people.

Gaza has ramifications leading to questioning throughout the system. Why is Tik Tok being banned, to stop people getting information on Gaza? Why is it a problem that the platform is owned by China?

What has China done that makes in an enemy? China has no military designs on the West. Of recent purchases most of us have made of physical goods, a high proportion have come from China. Why is an important trade partner an “enemy”?

Why is Russia our enemy? The notion that the Russian army is going to land on the Wash is utterly implausible. The Russian state, over centuries and wildly differing regimes, has never had the slightest desire to invade the British Isles. In the UK, under various governments, for almost three centuries charlatans have been claiming a threat of Russian invasion to justify higher defence expenditure.

Why the need to have “enemies” at all?

One designated “enemy” is David McBride. He is the latest whistleblower to be jailed for serving humanity. An Australian military lawyer, he blew the whistle on war crimes by Australian forces in Afghanistan.

Now there is no dispute that the war crimes were real. There is no dispute that they were being covered up. There is no dispute that McBride released true information that was being hidden from the public.

But that does not matter. McBride was sentenced to five and a half years for leaking documents. As is the case in both the US and UK as well as Australia, there was no public interest defence allowed in McBride’s whistleblowing.

The case is slightly complicated by the fact that McBride claimed he did not leak the documents to expose the war crimes, but rather the opposite; to prevent the heavy-handed investigation of individual soldiers. Whatever the motive, nobody has in fact faced any punishment for the war crimes revealed by McBride, while McBride is in jail for exposing them.

The slavish worship of “national security” is of course similarly at play in the case of Julian Assange, who has another court date on Monday. He has already served five years in a dreadful maximum security jail, after seven years detained in the Ecuadorean Embassy, for his exposure of extensive war crimes for which nobody has been punished. Again, no public interest defence is permitted.

I am for once hopeful that we shall see Julian free very soon. Asked to give an assurance to the court that Julian Assange will not be barred from claiming First Amendment freedom of speech rights on the grounds of his nationality, the US government has replied that he will be able to argue in court that he should not be so barred.

That is of course not the same thing.

The “rules-based order” that has replaced international law in the neoliberal mind, depends on ad hoc rules designed to enforce the neoliberal thought construct outlined above. In the International Court of Justice in South Africa vs Israel, we will witness whether the established legal system retains enough self-respect to uphold actual law against these “rules”.

At the High Court in London we shall witness the High Court of England and Wales face the same test. In the face of blatant refusal by the United States to comply with the stipulated assurances, will the High Court maintain its intellectual self-respect? Or will it bow down to the dictates of the neoliberal world order?

It is a key moment. I believe the neoliberal structure is cracking. Who can be saved?



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293 thoughts on “The Drive for War

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  • Doute

    As a matter of fact, Covid may have given us another couple of “key beliefs”: you have no more right to leave your home as you please and freely move about, including going to in-person classes. I have noticed that in my corner of the world, Guatemala, when there is any health or environmental scare, classes in publics schools are moved online by decision of the Education Ministry. It is still limited in its application, but there is no theoretical limitation to it.
    More generally (I borrow this from Spanish lawyer Aitor Guisasola, “Abogado contra la demagogia”), another key belief might be that:
    In the past, you could do anything that was not prohibited by law. Now, the new tendency (or key belief) is: you can only do what is explicity allowed. Corollary: the police can prohibit you from doing anything as they please, there is no need for a law making your behaviour illegal.
    Conclusion: the final key belief, to top all the rest and summarize them into one nice, short principle: the ruling class says: we are your masters, and you’d better obey us, or you’ll be sorry.

  • Allan Howard

    I was sorting through some old newspapers and came across an article in the Express from March 19th, 2013, headlined ‘Fury as party leaders agree deal on how to regulate Press’, which takes up over half of page 4. Anyway, save me typing out some passages from it I thought I’d do a search on their website but, as I suspected, it didn’t come up. So I then checked the archives and found it. Here are some passages from it, which speak for themselves:

    David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband came together to back joint proposals for a powerful new media watchdog.

    The deal was stitched up at 2am yesterday in the Labour leader’s Commons office in the presence of several members of the Hacked Off lobby group.

    Mr Cameron yesterday insisted the move would curb “utterly despicable” wrongdoing such as the newspaper phone-hacking scandal without curbing Press freedom.

    He said: “It is right that we put in place a new system of Press regulation to ensure that such appalling acts can never happen again.”

    Under his plans, a new law will be passed by Parliament to “protect” a Royal Charter setting out the powers of the new watchdog.

    The body will be able to issue newspapers with fines of up to £1million and force them to print apologies for blunders. But critics were concerned the move signalled unprecedented meddling by politicians into media freedom.

    As far as I’m aware, no newspaper has ever been fined by IPSO, not even a penny. As for the ‘fury’:

    Kirsty Hughes, of the freedom of expression campaign group Index On Censorship, said the move marked “a sad day for Press freedom in the UK”.

    She said: “The involvement of politicians undermines the fundamental principle that the Press holds politicians to account. Politicians have now stepped in as ringmaster and our democracy is tarnished as a result.”

    Tory MP Douglas Carswell said: “This is an appalling deal and a very bad day for democracy. It is a depressing milestone on the road from democracy to oligarchy.”

    Needless to say, they both know damn well that the primary job of the MSM is to subvert democracy and protect the interests of the ruling elite/establishment. In other words, there is no democracy!

    Anyway, fingers crossed for Julian.

    • AG

      With the McBride conviction of 5 1/2 years (which is a scandal no question) lets hope however the court at least reckognizes the obvious double standard regarding what Julian did do vs. did not do and what his profession is and who he was working for (and not working for.)

    • will moon

      Alan you got me going with the quote from the Tory MP. I don’t think I have heard a Tory MP talk about “oligarchy” ever

      The world does seem to changing or maybe it is just me lol

      • Lapsed Agnostic

        Douglas Carswell defected to UKIP the following year, Will – and unlike all other defecting MPs in modern times, bar his fellow Tory-to-UKIPer Mark Reckless, he gave his constituents the chance to dismiss him for no longer representing his original party in a by-election. He was re-elected with a thumping majority against the ‘dishy vicar’ from Bread:

  • Tatyana

    For those who feel inclined to dive into conspiracy theories, I suggest connecting Fico assassination attempt and CK ( Russian Investigation Committee, not to be mixed with Calvin Klein) recent action.
    CK found connection between Burisma, an Ukrainian energy company which was famous for having Hunter Biden as their Board member, and terrorism funding.
    CK reported that they forwarded docs to the US Congress, as well as to some other Western governments. That was about a week or so ago.
    I guess nothing of that kind was reported in Western media.
    Instead, we had news on Fico and today we have news on Iranian president’s helicopter crash.

    • JK redux


      Certainly Russian state organs like CK (Russian Investigation Committee) should be given the attention that they deserve.

      I hope that we can all join the women of Iran in mourning the death of or perhaps serious injury to the President of Iran.

      A much maligned advocate for the rights of women.

      • Tatyana

        I think certainly Hunter Biden should be given the attention that he deserves.
        We can also join CIA and US Congress in mourning serious injury to Hunter’s laptop 🙂

        • JK redux


          Yes Hunter Biden is a flawed individual.
          A drug addict I think.
          And he appears to have leveraged his father’s position to enrich himself.

          I doubt if that has ever happened in Russia?

        • Alyson

          Kolnoyski is the prime mover. He funded Zelensky starring as a fictional president. He funded Hunter Biden in his nefarious positions and he is a dual national Israeli Ukrainian billionaire.

      • Frank Hovis

        You’re on very shaky ground there, Mr. Kinsella, critcising any other country’s record on women’s rights, hailing as you do from the land of the Magdalen Laundries. “Let he who is without sin” and all that.

        • JK redux


          Seriously, are you upset at the death of the late President of the Islamic Republic of Iran?

          Perhaps some study of his life and work will help you realise that many Iranians (women in particular) will celebrate his passing.

          • Frank Hovis

            What part of my reply to your post above gives you the impression that I give a flying fuck about the demise of the Iranian President? Comprehension is obviously not one of your primary talents. He’s a politician and like the overwhelming majority of politicians, is lower than whale shit, or as is the case with him now, was lower than whale shit.
            Do you have any views on the subject actually mentioned in the post, i.e. the atrocious treatment of young girls and women in your country by its politicians/clergy which lasted from before its foundation until the eve of the 21st century, surely it can’t have just passed you by? In fact, it could be argued that the Irish Republic had many of the diagnostic characteristics of a theocracy (just like Iran) until just a few decades ago. Glass houses and stones spring to mind.

  • nevermind

    If weather conditions in North Iran/Azerbaijan can have forced the helicopter to the ground with a bump, maybe in fog in a hilly mountainous zone, we should wait to see what happened.
    Making up something when this could be a pilot error, or mechanical failure in a heavy sand storm, does not help.
    Let’s wait and see who says what and what signs are coming up of the helicopter.

    • JK redux


      Hopes and prayers that the bump is gentle and that His Excellency the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran is not long distracted from his attention to the welfare of his people.

      • will moon

        Your regard for human life marks you out – you give yourself away.

        I suppose it has happened many time before for you?

        I wonder how many are like you.

        I think we shall soon find out.

        • JK redux

          Will Moon

          The Iranian regime is a theocracy. Their leaders presumably welcome death as a transition to eternity.

          Good luck with that.

          • will moon

            “ death as a transition to eternity”

            And what about you, do you have any thoughts on death or eternity or are you all mouth and no trousers?

    • Blue Dotterel

      “heavy sand storm” in a heavily forested mountain area? More than likely a mechanical issue, but we don’t know, yet.

      • nevermind

        Thanks RoS, tomorrow morning we will know more.
        I hope it is not another provocation to fan a useless war that will not serve humanity’s survival.
        Killing people in war is not going to stop environmental degradation or global warming: it accelerates it, as what is destroyed needs building up, at high energy expenditure.
        Good morning to you all. Have a great day.

    • will moon

      The Israelis are operating in Azerbaijan with a “broad remit”, which is very much a factor here.

      I am not addressing directly the cause or causes of the crash.

      If your mortal enemy is operating freely in a bordering country, war is one or two steps away.

      • Republicofscotland

        Will Moon.

        Again I tend to agree with you, I’ve read some analysis that says Raisi is dead and that the search for him is staged to deliver the death of Raisi to the Iranian people gently as in delayed, the analysis also hints that the strike area is perfect for the perps to melt away after carrying out their mission.

        We’ll see if that analysis bears any fruit or not.

        • will moon

          Prof Marandi on MOATS tonight. He walked a very tight line. I note your point was not contradicted in any way by his responses. He gave a little information but trod lightly

          My real concern is the weapon transfers to Azerbaijan and the region generally. Weapons are made to be used, as we see all over the place ATM. What is the difference between a bluff and a policy? If the country is an armed camp, we are back to pre-1914 – the same moment endlessly repeating costing tens of millions of lives and massive transfers of wealth to the very few

  • AG

    As the entertainment industry is concerned, Irish actress Nicola Coughlan is an honourable exception. (No clue who she is.)
    But apparently she is one of the stars of the NETFLIX hit series “BRIDGERTON” (which I have never seen).

    She gave an interview to THE INDEPENDENT last month:

    “Nicola Coughlan was told support for Palestine would cost her Hollywood work
    Coughlan says advocacy for social justice has always been part of her life”

    Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan has spoken about her support for Palestine and how she was warned that it could affect her career.
    “I think it’s important to me because firstly, I’m a very privileged person,” she said in an interview with Teen Vogue.
    “I’m so lucky I’ve gotten to this point in my career, and I’m privileged as a white woman, first off. Then the fact that I get to do the job I love and travel the world and meet amazing people, I feel a moral responsibility to give back.”
    She recalled how her late father, who served in the Irish army, went into a “lot of war-torn regions after the conflict and try and help rebuild”, and the impact that his work left on her.
    “My family lived in Jerusalem back in the late ‘70s, early ’80s, before I was born, so I heard first hand stories about them living there,” she said.

    On the point of PR and soft power, we have often argued that RU has done a bad job in contrast to NATO. Some were of the view that it wouldn´t have helped had the RUs invested more into a better public appearance. Because especially in EU prejudice is too stong anyway.
    On the other hand decade-long PR by Israel has given them overwhelming advantage over the Arab nations in dealing with the West while Arabs neglected this part of their cause.

    An argument Rashidi Khalidi makes.

    So if massively used for a long time, PR , i.e. entertainment industry, can achieve a lot.

    May be that´s an asset of the Chinese. In contrast to RU, CHINA by the average European is more respected, even if only due to lack of any serious knowledge. But as long-standing clichés are concerned, CHINA might have a much better standing. They have no unique-quality story available like Israel. But to a certain extent, I guess for the moment, they are granted the benefit of victimhood and “high value culture”, the way Israel has been using it, and the Arabs, and the least of all RU, have not.

    Which is odd, if one looks at the sacrifice those peoples have suffered at the hands of European powers which are higher than the one inflicted on China – or? – China mainly being a victim of Japanese imperialism. And if one looks how much interwined RU and EU are on a cultural level it makes even less sense. However latter is mostly elite culture. Not concerning masses here.

    That´s why image vs. reality shouldn´t be underestimated.

  • AG

    recommendation from the forum:

    A long interview with a Palestinian activist who argues that international/humanitarian law has been abused for imperialistic goals and to dehumanize Palestinians and is therefore meaningless. He also suggests, that it makes no sense to talk to the West. Over and over – as we too have observed – resolutions have been passed for decades without any result.

    In this sense he does grassroots work in the communities in Palestine and is against the Western style nation-state which was imposed after WWII and which caused the entire tragedy in the first place. “We have to move beyond such solutions”, aware that Israel will never cede any territory.

  • Cornudet

    If a theocracy involves having the head of state as the leader of the official state religion, to my mind fatally compromising the distinction between what is to be rendered unto caesar and what is to be rendered unto God, with caesar now able to grab as much as he likes, and where the legislature reserves places for senior members of the said religion, then any comparison between the UK and Iran smacks to my mind of the old saw about a teapot and a kettle

  • Blue Dotterel

    So, Raisi and the rest on the copter passengers and crew are dead. Either a mechanical failure or, more likely, the fog and rain obscured any view and the copter ran into the mountain. Condolences to the people of Iran and the families of the departed.

    • JK redux

      Blue Dotterel

      I expect that the people of Iran will quickly recover from their grief.

      Condolences to the families of the pilot and crew.

    • Laguerre

      Until they find the fragments of US-made missile in the wreckage…. The site is not very far from the Azerbaijani border, and Israeli relations with the country are notorious. Not that I think it was that, but it isn’t outside the bounds of possibility.

    • Townsman

      more likely, the fog and rain obscured any view and the copter ran into the mountain

      That’s the least likely possibility; haven’t you been in a modern car in the last 5 years? … unless, of course, someone was jamming the GPS signal. The CIA or Mossad are capable of doing that.

  • Brian Sides
    “Earlier this month, the United Nations halved its assessment of the numbers of women and children killed in Gaza. Then: 9,500 women and 14,500 children dead. Now: 4,959 women and 7,797 children. In a further seven months’ time, perhaps another few thousand will be resurrected.”

    So just 4,959 women and 7,797 children, or maybe less, dead. The number maimed for life, homeless, or starving not estimated.
    So absolutely not genocide, more business as usual. So let’s send Israel some more bombs, need help targeting? no problem.
    Personally I would rather they stopped killing defenceless civilians, but I guess that makes me anti-Semitic.
    Not that I know any outwardly Jewish people, although I have heard that quite a few of them would rather wish fewer civilians were killed.

    • Jack

      No, this is a myth/disinformation that pro-israels spread past week and that I unfortunately myself bought into.

      No, UN/Gaza authorities have not cut the death toll, in short they have simply separated the 1 confirmed identified deaths with 2 the mangled, slaughtered corpses that have not been able to be identified as of yet and/or people under rubble and so on.

      No, the death toll in Gaza has not suddenly been reduced
      The United Nations has clarified a report from one of its agencies that has been used to spread misinformation about the Gaza Health Ministry’s figures.

      • Clark

        The widely reported 35,000-ish death toll, which stagnated months ago, is almost certainly massively underestimated, because it’s the hospitals that count the deaths, but Israel has destroyed most of Gaza’s hospitals and seriously damaged the few that remain, and has killed the relevant staff and officials or they are missing, probably dead.

        Ralph Nader, on March 6th this year:

        “From accounts of people on the ground, videos and photographs of deadly episode after episode, plus the resultant mortalities from blocking or smashing the crucial necessities of life, a more likely estimate, in my appraisal, is that at least 200,000 Palestinians must have perished by now and the toll is accelerating by the hour. “

        Jeffery Sachs has suggested something similar on May 1st:

        (The above link is actually an interview on YouTube, but I have linked via ‘Invidious’, a YouTube ‘front-end’, to protect viewers’ privacy from Google’s data mining.)

        Reuters, December 9th, on how death tolls were being compiled:

        But Omar Hussein Ali, director of the Ramallah ministry’s emergency operations centre, said that of the four officials who ran the Shifa data centre, one died in an air strike that hit the hospital while the other three went missing when Israeli forces seized the premises as an alleged Hamas hideout.

        – “The kind of casualty recording required to understand what’s going on is getting harder. Information infrastructure, the health systems that existed, are being systematically destroyed,” said Hamit Dardagan of Iraq Body Count, set up during the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq.

          • Clark

            Yes; it relays YouTube videos through a simpler, less demanding, less invasive on-line interface. Like Nitter, various hackers run instances of it.

          • Clark

            All of these front-ends that I have seen so far use the same format – users must simply replace the original domain in the URL with the domain of the front-end. So in my example above, I replaced [www dot youtube dot com] with [inv dot tux dot pizza] leaving the rest, including the video identifier, unchanged.

          • will moon

            Thanks again

            I have noticed I won’t watch YT, it gives me “the horrors”. This physical change began when I would listen to a music track, a very rare event, and YT saw fit to interrupt the song with an advert right in the middle of it – bastards lol

    • Squeeth

      Not sure but isn’t that because bodies that can’t be identified as male or female are being counted separately?

    • Townsman

      The Daily Telegraph used to be a somewhat respectable newspaper – heavily biased to the right of the Tory party, but still with some regard for truth. Those days are long gone. In 2024 the Daily Telegraph is complete rubbish; to call it “far right” is an insult to the far right. There may be members of Netanyahu’s war cabinet who are more moderate than the DT.

  • nevermind

    So it was an accident in heavy fog, not any outside interference. Condolences to the dead’s family and friends for their loss.
    I don’t know how much the public liked these men, but there is likely to be many mourners.

    • Pears Morgaine

      As we’ve already seen that won’t stop the conspiracy theorists. I guess the US and Israel will be favourites with Ukraine and the UK trailing somewhere behind.

      • Laguerre

        It’s a justified question to ask. The crash site is not far from the Azerbaijani border (within missile range). Israel has a real and overt interest in an assassination; the US actually does it, as in the case of Sulaimani. But nothing-to-see Morgaine insists of course that it cannot possibly be attributed to known villains. Not that I’m saying it was that, but it’s a real possibility after all that Israel and its vassal the US have done in the past.

        • Pears Morgaine

          I guess you’ve seen the images and video footage from the crash scene and seen how thick the fog was. Bad enough to hamper search efforts. It’s not as if no helicopter has ever flown into a hillside in poor visibility before. Fog would also make it difficult to aim a MANPAD.

          • Laguerre

            I didn’t say MANPAD. It would have been a ground-to-air missile fired from the Azerbaijani side of the border with a certain range, well within current capabilities. Lots of them around. But, I repeat that it’s not more than a possibility that needs to be explored, but cannot at the moment be excluded.

        • JK redux


          If Netanyahu is a villain (he is) how would you describe the late President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi?

          • Laguerre

            Netanyahu has murdered 35K civilians in the present war, let alone the previous wars he’s launched, that’s far more than even the most Iranophobic troll could accuse Raisi of. Raisi must have been a beginner in murder, that’s all one can say. 2 or 3 women according to the opposition, and a couple of hundred gays.

          • Urban Fox

            Preferable to the treasonous degenerate Pahlevis or the treasonous deranged MEK (Mojahedin-e-Khalq).

            Both of whom are supported by NATO counties, with the latter being gratuitously vile.

            Point is for all that Iranian women are the “current thing” in western propaganda. It all falls rather flat in the knowledge, that no-one moaning about it from the establishment actually gives a f**k about their fates.

            Plus if the current Iranian regime got replaced, by western proxies, the country would go from ‘functions, if repressive’, to failed state. In short order.

      • David Warriston

        The conspiracy theorists are still contesting the unfortunate accident that befell Dag Hammerskjold in 1961. Some outrageous claims even link MI6 to the plane crash. JFK was a great admirer of Hammerskjold but when he unfortunately died, after a lone nut shot at him, the conspiracy theorists had a field day.

        Mind you, there are conspiracies. I was reminded of one last week when the UK PM laid out a Russian/Chinese/Iranian plot to invade the UK. It was scary stuff but luckily under the next PM, Starmer, we will have time to double our munitions production.

        • Tony

          A ‘lone nut shot at him’.
          I do not think so. Would a lone gunman really wait until his target has gone past before he started firing?

          Did the ‘lone nut’ really have the power to ensure that all the tall buildings were not searched by the Secret Service?
          I do not think so.

        • Johnny Conspiranoid

          “Hammerskjold but when he unfortunately died, after a lone nut shot at him, the conspiracy theorists had a field day.”
          He gets around that lone gunman.

    • Vivian O’Blivion

      Assumptions are dangerous.
      We are told that the helicopter came down while flying;
      * In fog
      * In a mountainous area
      * Near the border with Azerbaijan

      The first of these may be true or may be cover. Flying at low altitude for security reasons in fog is extremely dangerous, see the Mull of Kintyre, Chinook crash.
      If heavy fog was present, external targeting of the helicopter is less likely. A MANPAD system like a Stinger would be less likely to lock on target. Similarly mountainous terrain gives the helicopter protection as line-of-sight for initial targeting is required. There would be no shortage of operatives to conduct such an operation including Mossad’s happy little assassins cult the Mojahedin e-Khalq.
      Theoretically the helicopter could have been targeted by an offensive, high altitude drone operating outwith Iranian airspace. The higher the altitude the less protection the helicopter achieves by “ground skimming “.
      Again if fog was actually present this is less likely. Fog will interfere with all targeting systems including heat signature (the Laws of Physics apply despite what Hollywood would have you believe).

      Why the delay in releasing news? The radio communication with the pilot post crash was disinformation. Was this agreed protocol within the Iranian state? Was someone in Tehran getting their duck-in-a-row for a palace coup?
      The Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian was killed. There has long been rumours of rivalry between the Foreign Ministry and the IRGC, Quds force. Elements within the IRGC were said to be frustrated with President Raisi’s “cautious” approach to facing down the Great Satan and his little devils. Most impartial analysis has Raisi and the Foreign Ministry playing a blinder regards handling recent developments.
      Did agents of Quds Force plant a bomb on the helicopter? Given the 24 hour delay in releasing news of Raisi’s death, who’s in charge in Tehran? Who’s in charge of the crash investigation?

      Occam’s razor in descending order:
      * The helicopter really was skimming the mountains in fog as a security protocol, the President and the Foreign Minister being on board was just spectacularly bad risk and succession management, it really was an accident.
      * The IRGC (Quds Force) just staged a coup.
      * Foreign malfeasance (US, Israel, Azerbaijani, MEK) is responsible.

      • will moon

        “ the Mull of Kintyre, Chinook crash.”

        Any suggestions for sources worth reading on this event Vivian? It has been coming back to my mind for about the last 18 months. Without suggesting any sort of conspiracy I have always wondered about it. As I remember a large number of security specialists died who had been concerned with Irish issues. Like with this crash and the Prigozhin/Utkin crash – who does the flight rosters for these events?

        Forgetting about the details of the Mull crash. – logically speaking it could have been a house clearance. Not that I think it was but a whole lot of info/material/experience disappeared of a particular sensitive nature, which is always of interest

        I would place foreign malfeasance at the top, then local causes second

          • will moon

            Stevie Boy, we have all heard of backdoors in software engineering etc but how long have backdoors been around, as an idea?

            I knew some people once who were attempting to bring to market an innovation using multiple patents, which they owned and had developed themselves

            The first thing that happened after all the talk – commercial lawyers, investors, project design etc, ie they had a functioning management structure, was the hiring of several expensive engineers, who specialised in technology which sabotaged or destroyed machinery if the buyers attempted to interfere with it. Apparently this was a growing thing back in the 80’s, maybe it still is.

            The product was being marketed in a large rectangular structure, with only a control panel and input and output points, everything else was hidden. Several techniques were used to make each unit “tamper-proof”. I was told that eventually, committed well resourced bad actors or “hackers” (which wasn’t a thing back then) would probably get most of the design information, maybe enough to replicate, maybe not, depending how many units containing the patented technology the buyers were willing to destroy to unlock it’s secrets.

            So why wouldn’t complicated machinery have backdoors built in, in the sense of the gargantuan amount of data generated during prototyping and implementation revealing an image the customer will never see, even if they build an industry around supporting the machines, as Iran has done with American helicopters.

            I am NOT referring to this crash in anyway, merely the suggestion that if one knows how to make a machine malfunction, because of privileged inside info, I would imagine this would be quite an asset, when one considers the life span of complicated engineering technology such as flying machines and weapons.

          • Stevie Boy

            Backdoors are always a possibility. For example, it was an Israeli ‘backdoor’ that sabotaged the iranian nuclear centrifuges years ago. And Israeli/CIA backdoors make most smartphones highly risky for at risk politicians.
            And, where were the UK/SAS lapdogs in all of this ?
            However, I suspect the cause of this crash, whether innocent or nefarious, was something simpler.

          • will moon

            Tony, a structural win-win, or more sensitively, making the best of a bad job

            Even I, a very infrequent flyer, am aware that planes crash because of pilot error – mostly

            A testament to my credulity and the power of the “media”

          • Clark

            Will moon, your comment of May 21, 01:36 is a strange story. Patents are a way of using law to prevent other parties replicating specific functionality unless they purchase a licence. To be granted a patent, the method by which something works must be described to a patent office. The patent office is a public body, and it publishes that which is patented. The party that was granted the patent can then manufacture and market the device exclusively, or can permit third parties to do so for an agreed fee.

            So there is no point trying to hide patented functionality as it has already been published by the patent office. If some uninvolved party produces something similar, the patent holder can sue them for patent infringement. The design, as published by the patent office, is then used as a legal document to determine whether the third party had really copied the patented technique, or had marketed their own independent idea.

            By contrast, a trade secret relies on attempting to hide or obfuscate the method by which something works.

            Pretty obviously, built-in back doors are basically trade secrets; patenting them would require disclosure and thus be self-defeating. Often they exist in plain sight e.g. forced updates of proprietary software, but in such cases it is the added malicious functions that remain hidden or obfuscated.

            “how long have backdoors been around, as an idea?”

            Undisclosed master keys? Centuries. Secret tunnels? Millennia.

          • Clark

            Stevie Boy:

            “it was an Israeli ‘backdoor’ that sabotaged the iranian nuclear centrifuges years ago. And Israeli/CIA backdoors make most smartphones highly risky”

            Those were exploits of vulnerabilities, not backdoors. Manufacturers embed backdoors; the CIA and Mossad are not manufacturers.

            The Stuxnet attack on the Iranian centrifuges was covered extensively in comments on this site as it unfolded; you may still be able to find those comments with site-specific searches at (as opposed to, though my attempts just now proved difficult.

          • mods@cm_org

            Here is the first mention of Stuxnet on this blog:
              •  Clark (24 Sep 2010 at 11:13am), in the article entitled “Julian Assange Gets The Bog Standard Smear Technique”

            Other significant mentions and discussions of the topic can be found here:
              •  Clark (29 Sep 2010, 1:46pm) in “Julian Assange wins Sam Adams Award for Integrity”
              •  Rob (19 Oct 2010, 10:16am) in “A Defence Review”
              •  Sunflower (15 Jul 2011, 6:37am) in “The Joys of Being an Amateur”
              •  mary (2 Nov 2011, 4:33pm) in “Assange and Sweden”
              •  Komodo (3 Nov 2011, 11:09am) in “Tent City University”
              •  Clark (29 Jul 2012, 11:09am) in “Rolling Stone”
              •  Clark (3 Jun 2012, 6:03pm) in “Why Eurosceptics Should Back Assange”
              •  Clark (8 Jun 2012, 1:49pm) in “Only Sweat the Small Stuff”
              •  Komodo (28 Aug 2012, 2:43pm) in “On Being Angry and Dangerous”
              •  Zoologist (24 Sep 2012, 6:36pm) in “Leave of Absence”
              •  Jives(28 Jun 2013, 3:16pm) in “Pandering to Racism”
              •  mark golding (7 Aug 2013, 8:18am) in “Feile An Phobail Belfast”
              •  Clark (27 Jan 2014, 12:34pm) in “Syria and Diplomacy”
              •  lysias (15 May 2016, 10:41pm) in “Laura Kuenssberg Meet Barbra Streisand”
              •  kief (6 Nov 2016, 2:33pm) in “Not all Americans are Barking Nutters”
              •  lysias (24 Jan 2017, 3:04pm) in “Locked In”
              •  MJ (15 Nov 2017, 12:35:pm) in “One of the Following is True”
              •  Al Dossary (7 Jul 2019, 6:09am) in “Huawei Hypocrisy”
              •  Alyson (24 Jun 2019, 11:01pm) in “The Question of Character”

          • will moon

            Clark you know far more about patents than me – the story I recount is my only personal knowledge of them, so forgive me if my story seems wonky. It is true in its breadth, maybe not exact on the point you make concerning patents/trade secrets.

            The focus of these people was to sell this tech in Malaysia and China, At that time these countries were notorious, apparently, for not respecting patents. If you remember back then the enforcement arm of the patent racket was America. It was not dominant then, so patent enforcement was much weaker The box’s cost about £1 million per unit. The Malay government, through its development arm, purchased several, which they destroyed. At that point the inventor sold the patents to one of the largest international chemical combines who buried them. One of the projected uses involved crucial intervention in natural disasters, particularly earthquakes, through the provision of emergency shelter

            The process turned a low value commodity into one of much higher value so it is a shame it is not being used but that I suppose is capitalism

      • Tatyana

        Dangerous fog turns out more mysterious than dangerous.
        In fact, there was a convoy of 3 helicopters, two of which landed safely, only the helicopter with Mr. Raisi crashed. A mysterious fog allows two helicopters to pass safely and destroys the third where the most experienced pilot is expected to be.

        • Vivian O’Blivion

          Indeed. The US President and his Vice President famously never travel together for this very reason. Iran is a large country but Tehran is generally consider to be in the North and the Azerbaijani border is only a couple of hundred miles away. Why fly at all in poor conditions? Why put two, top “targets” in the same chopper? It seems that Quds Force were sufficiently unimpressed by the response to the fatal attack on their senior Officers in Damascus to initiate an operation to place a more “robust” regime in place.

          • Stevie Boy

            From MoonOfAlabama:

            “Iran will have acquired the Bell 212 before the 1978-79 revolution. While at least 45 years old it had never had access to manufacturer level maintenance or regular replacement parts. It is likely that the helicopter was not equipped for pure instrument flights but required visibility to navigate.
            The weather over the mountain range the helicopter was crossing was bad with video from the scene showing heavy fog.
            Under such circumstances the flight should not have taken place. But with very important guests on board, who run on a tight schedule, the pilots may have felt a need to fly despite unfavorable weather condition.
            I therefore see nothing that would suggest a conspiracy or foreign influence in the incident.”


      • will moon

        Well, America and Iran say it was an accident.

        Since the assassination of Soleimani, leaders from Iran are dying. In that same period of time how many Ami, Brit, French, Israeli, German leaders etc. have died or been assassinated. COVID hit early in Iran with many members of parliament dying in the first weeks.

        Azerbaijan and Iran seem good friends from the photos taken at the dam of Aliyev and Raisi. This is odd since Israel is very close to Aliyev and Israelis operate relatively freely in Azerbaijan. This seems to cut against the rhetoric we hear from Iran concerning Palestine and the attacks on their military leaders.

        Vivian, if you remember the successful coup launched by Cheney et al after the events of Sept 11, 2001. Anthrax was deployed to persuade two important Senators who were dragging their feet. I think it was called Continuity of Government (COG) leading to the Patriot Act and a drastic reduction in the civil liberties for citizens, are you suggesting the IRGC has begun the same type of long-term suppression of civil society that has been going on in America and the West generally since 2001?

  • Jack

    ICC order arrest warrant for only Netanyahu but 2 palestinians leaders! No genocide charge.
    Israel-Hamas War Day 227 | ICC Prosecutor Seeks Arrest Warrants for Israel’s Netanyahu, Gallant, and Hamas’ Sinwar, Haniyeh, Deif on War Crimes Charges
    Hamas official: ICC’s decision ‘equates the victim with the executioner’; will encourage continuation of ‘war of extermination’

    Regarding Israel’s leaders, Khan stated that “the crimes against humanity charged were committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack against the Palestinian civilian population pursuant to State policy.”

    He attributed the following war crimes to Israeli leaders: Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare, intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population, extermination, and crimes against humanity.

    He further stated: “The effects of the use of starvation as a method of warfare, together with other attacks and collective punishment against the civilian population of Gaza are acute, visible, and widely known, and have been confirmed by multiple witnesses interviewed by my Office.”

    I did not expect this to happen, I was wrong, but as I also expected ICC trying to even out the crimes, that both parties are as bad even though 40000 palesitnians deaths and the destruction of Gaza is way more than 1000 israelis died 7 months ago!
    Compare this with the ICC warrant for only Russians while ukrainians have obviously also commited warcrimes.

    • Anthony

      The ICC has issued arrest applications for Netanyahu and Gallant for the use of “starvation as a method of war” including “cutting off cross-border water pipelines from Israel to Gaza”.

      Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the UK Labour Party, told LBC that “Israel does have that right” to cut water and power off from Gaza. An erstwhile human rights lawyer who tried to give spurious sanction to Netanyahu’s collective punishment crimes against humanity.

      • Stevie Boy

        “Karim Asad Ahmad Khan KC … is a British lawyer specialising in international criminal law and international human rights law, who has served as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court since 2021.” Wikipedia.
        Any case where there is questionable legal issues, the Brits aren’t far away.

      • Jack

        This is pretty big:
        According to Khan, Netanyahu and Gallant are suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza such as intentional attacks on a civilian population, willful killing and causing of suffering, using starvation as a method of warfare, “extermination and/or murder” as well as other “inhumane acts.”

        I will be very interesting to see if the “RULE BASED WEST” will adhere to what the highest pro-western judicial body now have said today.

        • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett


          Seems to me that it is the kind of situation which both Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles could clearly see:-

          1. Attacks on civilian populations as a means of conducting warfare are impermissible as a matter of law.

          2. Attempting to starve a population is not a lawful means of conducting warfare.

          3. Relentlessly bombing and totally destroying residential buildings is not lawful.

          Over to you and let the warrants stand.

      • Tatyana

        Today is certainly a better day, AG, today is my birthday and every year something good happens on this day. Perhaps the Matrix have their annual reload day on May 20? 🙂
        Today also is the last day for Ze, I mean his presidential mandate ends today.

        • AG

          0 0
          | |
          0 |~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~| 0
          | | | |
          0 | H a p p y | 0
          | |/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/| |
          | |
          | B i r t h d a y! ! ! |
          | ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |

          (supposed to be a cake, since I can´t make you a real one – which I would if we were in the same town – but this one got crushed during virtual delivery – imagine it´s a pyramide structure.)

        • nevermind

          Happy birthday Tatyana, mine was yesterday. So you are just a Taurus, by a wee smidgen.
          Health and happiness to you

        • Tatyana

          Thank you, friends, you make my happy day even more happier! As it’s Monday I spent it in my workshop, absolutely happy to get congratulations from my family and friends from all over the world coming to my smartphone mixed with ‘money transfer received’ notifications from my small shop.
          I greet you all from here with a glass of gin-vermouth-campari drink and wish you all happy time and lots of joy!
          Looking into the future with much optimism, hoping humanity wins.

          • Frank Hovis

            Happy (belated) birthday, Tatyana, but don’t accept AG’s cake. Haven’t you heard the old proverb?
            “Beware geeks bearing gifts”
            I’ll get my coat.

        • Clark

          Happy Birthday Tatyana!

          And thanks for your comment about me flying the Palestinian flag; I didn’t feel like replying with that troll on the thread.

        • Tatyana

          Friends, I’m embarrassed to turn this thread into a “Tatyana Appreciation Day,” but it would also be impolite not to respond to your warm congratulations. Let me say thank you all so much again! and we’re done 🙂

          Nevermind, look at this full bag of warmth, I’m sending half of it your way for your birthday!

          Mighty Drunken, not exactly what you asked 🙂 but there are significant days on October 20-22. I believe that this is another period when the Matrix is ​​stopped for maintenance. People born these days greatly influence my perception of the world, I learn very important things from them. If there are any here, give me a wave!

          • will moon

            Here in this place Tatyana, everyday should be a “Tatyana Appreciation Day”

            Happy Birthday

      • AG

        Necessary rectifications to my optimism – of course these two decisions on the same Monday – turned out better than some feared. But in light of indisputable truth and facts they are laughable.


        “ICC warrants both historic and cynical”

        The political nature of the charges against the Hamas leaders is clear from the fact that Khan has charged more Palestinians with crimes than Israelis.

        A cynical view might be that Khan only charged the two Israeli leaders that Washington wants to see gone, while letting countless other Israeli political and military officials off the hook – at least for now.

        Moreover, Khan included the charges of rape and sexual violence, giving credence to Israeli atrocity propaganda that has been thoroughly debunked, and for which Israel has presented no credible evidence.

        It is notable that while Khan explicitly charged the Palestinian leaders with “torture,” that word does not appear in the charges against Netanyahu and Gallant, even though there are many credible reports of systematic torture against Palestinians on a horrifying scale, including in closed detention camps.

        Most glaringly, Khan failed to lay any charges against Netanyahu and Gallant under Article 6 of the ICC’s founding Rome Statute – the section that deals with genocide.

        He only charged them under chapters 7 and 8, which address crimes against humanity and war crimes – the same articles he used against the Hamas leaders.

        Khan could also have filed charges related to Israeli crimes elsewhere in Palestine, for example Israel’s construction of illegal colonies all over the occupied West Bank – a crime that has been ongoing for decades.

        By failing to do so, he is feeding the false impression that history began on 7 October 2023.

        p.s. and please also take note of this admission:

        “Israeli rights group admits it helped spread false claims about 7 Oct. rapes”


        “The Slow-Motion Execution of Julian Assange Continues
        The ruling by the High Court in London permitting Julian Assange to appeal his extradition order leaves him languishing in precarious health in a high-security prison. That is the point.”

  • AG

    Recommended via Scheerpost. I personally don´t watch documentaries, but most people do, so I recommend this about the relationship between Netanyahu and HAMAS:

    “The Forever War”

    For those who like me prefer to read it includes a transcript.

    It is a show from a series called “FOUR CORNERS” which I have never heard of.

    “In this Four Corners we go head to head with insiders at the centre of Israel’s defence and intelligence establishment – a former Prime Minister, two ex-intelligence chiefs, a current cabinet minister, and a one-time Israeli army commander. We challenge them about one of the most controversial wars in modern times.”

    I assume it would have been too much to ask for some Hamas people too and Palestinians. etc.
    But lets give this 45 min. piece a chance…

  • Republicofscotland

    The jist of Assange winning his appeal.

    “The free speech issue was more complicated because a decision about Assange asserting a First Amendment defense at trial will be up to a U.S. federal court and not the Department of Justice. Therefore the DOJ could not issue such an assurance on the free speech issue.

    That ultimately led the two judges, Justice Jeremy Johnson and Victoria Sharp, to allow Assange to launch a formal appeal of his extradition because of an apparent violation of British extradition law, based on the European Convention on Human Rights, that requires the receiving country to allow an extradited person the right to free speech.

    Johnson and Sharp did not buy the convoluted argument of James Lewis KC for the United States, on why the U.S. should get their hands on Assange despite being unable to guarantee his freedom of expression.

    Edward Fitzgerald KC, and Mark Summers KC, barristers for Assange, easily picked apart three pieces of Lewis’ somewhat desperate presentation:

    pointing out how Lewis had misled the court by saying the U.S. assurance would allow Assange to rely on the First Amendment, when in fact it says he can “seek to rely” on it;
    how none of a slew of case law Lewis cited to supposedly bolster his argument actually dealt with a trial, which of course Assange will, if he goes to the U.S.;
    that saying Chelsea Manning was not able to invoke First Amendment rights in defense of leaking classified defense information meant Assange shouldn’t either was “nonsense” because Manning was a government whistleblower who had signed non-disclosure agreements and Assange is a publisher.
    The judges apparently also rejected a drawn-out, arcane and overly lawyered argument from Lewis about the difference between citizenship and nationality that to most laymen was nearly incomprehensible. ”

  • Allan Howard

    Benny’s reaction to the ICC. Who would have thunk it:

    « Netanyahu: ‘Absurd’ ICC bid to arrest Israeli leaders is ‘the new antisemitism’

    In his first public comments on the arrest warrant sought against him by the International Criminal Court’s top prosecutor, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that the “absurd and false” decision is “directed against the entire State of Israel.”

    “It is directed against the IDF soldiers, who are fighting with supreme heroism against the vile Hamas murderers,” he said in a video statement. »

    Yes, the IDF have heroically dropped thousands of 2000lb-bombs on Gaza during the past seven months, and heroically destroyed most of the civillian infrastructue of Gaza.

    And the article continues:

    « “With what chutzpah do you dare compare the monsters of Hamas to the soldiers of the IDF, the most moral army in the world?” Netanyahu asked. “With what audacity do you compare between the Hamas that murdered, burned, butchered, raped and kidnapped our brothers and sisters, and the IDF soldiers who are fighting a just war that is unparalleled in its morality?” »

    And at the end of the article it says this:

    « Israeli politicians from across the spectrum condemned the ICC announcement on Monday, and 106 members of the Knesset signed on to a declaration against Khan’s decision to seek such arrest warrants.

    The declaration averred that Israel is fighting a “just war against a criminal terror organization,” within the bounds of international law, and the “outrageous comparison” between Israeli leaders and Hamas chiefs “is an indelible historical crime and a clear expression of antisemitism.” »

    • Jack

      Disgraceful west that hailed ICC when they issued an arrest warrant for Putin is now dead silent – instead they try to discredit their “own” western created international-rule-based court to the point that UK, US and other rotten regimes have declared that they will not follow the ICC demand at all!

      Keir Starmer is nowhere to be seen, he seems to be down in the bunker biting his nails awaiting talking point from the israeli regime. ICC point out exactly how starvation is a crime that Israel have reasonably committed, an act he explicitly defended and that, as human rights lawyer. You cannot make this up!

      Remember that Keir was involved in blocking arrest warrant for another israeli minister years ago:
      Tzipi Livni spared war crime arrest threat
      Foreign Office declares that the Israeli opposition leader enjoys temporary diplomatic immunity as she is on a ‘special mission’

      Censored: Keir Starmer’s emails about Israeli war crimes case
      The Crown Prosecution Service is refusing to release files on how Starmer blocked the arrest of former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni over alleged war crimes during the brutal bombing of Gaza in 2008.

      This is the friggin downfall of the west we are seeing now, they are morally , legally corrupt, beyond pale!

  • Republicofscotland

    The Tory government is trying to undermine the ICC on the possibility of warrants being issued for Netanyahu and his defence minister.

    “THE UK Government has said it does not believe the International Criminal Court (ICC) has jurisdiction in Israel after it announced it was seeking an arrest warrant for Benjamin Netanyahu.

    It was announced on Monday that the ICC is seeking arrest warrants for the Israeli Prime Minister, his defence minister Yoav Gallant and a number of senior Hamas figures.

    Speaking in the Commons, deputy foreign secretary Andrew Mitchell said the Government wants to bring an end to fighting in Gaza but that seeking these warrants was not the best way to do so.”

    Meanwhile what will Biden do if the ICC does issue the warrants? Apparently countries that have signed up to the Rome Statute cannot have anything to do with Netanyahu or his defence minister once the warrants go live.

    “The U.S. does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court”

    “U.S.: ‘Hague Invasion Act’ Becomes Law – Human Rights Watch”

    “Biden denounces ICC for ‘outrageous’ implication”

    • Republicofscotland

      A wee bit more on ICC process.

      The ICC relies on countries to make arrests and transfer suspects” to the court or subjects may also appear voluntarily. Israel is not a member of the ICC. However, the court does claim to have jurisdiction over Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank after Palestinian leaders formally agreed to be bound by the court’s founding principles in 2015.

    • Stevie Boy

      “The U.S. does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court”
      However, the USA claims jurisdiction over the whole planet.

  • Jack

    I fear that the arrest warrant may be a ruse because there is an odd caveat in the mix that could possibly rip the arrest warrant for Netanyahu into pieces:
    Even though the prosecutor has requested arrest warrants, it may take months of deliberations before a three-judge panel decides whether to issue them or not.

    So, perhaps Khan know that the three judges will turn down the arrest warrant and Khan could then claim/frame that he/ICC atleast “tried” to charge the israelis with the intent to not totally discredit ICC reputation?

    • Stevie Boy

      Khan is a plant.
      The only people to potentially ever be arrested would be the Hamas leaders. Then we would all be treated to another UN show trial like with Serbia, like at Nuremberg.
      IMO, This whole thing smells.

      • Jack

        Yes I got a bad feeling too that this is just a ploy, that we are getting played.

        By possibly/eventually turning down the arrest warrant against Netanyahu, ICC could “claim” to have satisfied all parties.
        Khan “tried” to get an arrest warrant for Netanyahu – Palestinians “should” be happy
        ICC judges turn down arrrest warrant against Netanyahu but not Hamas = Israel happy, US congress happy – West happy.

        Hopefully I am dead wrong.

      • AG

        Similar thought.
        Wouldn´t say plant (there would be a nice German dumb joke to be made there…) literally but it comes down to that.

  • Clark

    I think the application for five arrest warrants by the ICC shows signs of damage limitation.

    The ICC has long been compromised, but it couldn’t retain any credibility if it remained silent on Israel’s war crimes. It therefore applied for warrants against senior Israelis, but to cover itself it simultaneously applied for warrants against members of Hamas.

    Of course if the warrants against Hamas were genuinely motivated, they should have been issued months ago, promptly after the Hamas attacks of October 7th. Since then, Hamas has been fighting only within Gaza, against Israeli incursion. The fact that the ICC did not apply for arrest warrants immediately after October 7th further suggests that it was trying to avoid getting involved.

    The UK and US are denying the validity of the applications against Israelis. Someone should ask the UK and US if they regard the applications against Hamas as equally invalid. Let’s expose the hypocrisy of the Western governments rather than amplifying their attempts to invalidate the ICC’s application for warrants.

  • Peter

    The Drive Against War:

    Prime Ministerial or what?

    Original tweet here:


    Sorry I missed your birthday but may I wish you an equally happy 21st May.

    Regarding robust language, were you by any chance referring to the Maria Zakharova article that links from the one that you’ve linked to, because I can’t see a relevant comment in that one.

    Zakharova is great, she reminds me of CJ from the TV series ‘The West Wing’ though possibly even better. I wish we had political spokespersons a fraction as good.

    From that article:

    “Washington’s statements in connection with the ICC charges against the leadership of Israel resemble the reaction of a scorpion stung by itself or a spider caught in its own web. That the catastrophic situation in the Middle East is the work of American political engineers, that the legitimization of the ICC, which is not recognized by the States itself, depending on the situation, is signature card of the Anglo-Saxons,” Zakharova wrote on her Telegram channel.


    • will moon

      Peter that’s a great photo – it radiates hope – a leader amongst the people

      I might get myself over to Blackburn, it is close to my location. One gets a different view when one is “on the ground” though I am not much of a traveller these days and I would have to tidy my “public image” lest I frighten the children lol

      I agree Zakhorava is better than “CJ” and , apparently, she’s real!

    • Tatyana

      Let me tell you a Russian joke:
      A linguist says to his son:
      – You upset me very much. I heard you arguing with your friend, and you told him “You’re a fucking idiot.” How could you? You offended a person, you expressed your disdain for him!
      – What should I have said?
      – You should have said “Oh, holy fuck!” Thus your friend would understand that you’re involved in discussion, but you are opposing.

      Maria represents diplomats.
      I think that she would probably like to use one (or both) of the expressions suggested by the linguist, but diplomatic rules most likely don’t allow this (I’m not sure, perhaps this is only the case in Russia). So she made a couple of cute comparisons, in a language that is appropriate even for communicating with children.

      Fortunately, I’m not a diplomat, so I could probably use any language, and perhaps I could offer a vide variety of expressions, in a fantastically beautiful style, inspired by my knowledge of the Russian, by my passion for creativity, and especially by my emotional attitude towards the Washington’s hypocritical position.
      However, I’m limited by moderation rules and manners. So I probably won’t 🙂

  • Allan Howard

    I caught about 30/35 minutes of this by chance on the Parliament Channel this morning – ie Israel and Gaza Statement from yesterday. It’s on BBC Iplayer (which I don’t have access to), but it’s not on Hansard yet (the transcript, that is), but a youtube channel called House of Commons Playback posted a video of the session three hours ago:

    House of Commons – Ministerial statement: Israel and Gaza – 20/05/2024 (1hr 13mins)

    • Townsman

      Thanks for the link. It’s clear that both Tories and Labour show a similar, strong, and disgraceful pro-Israel bias, but it’s also clear that the Tory party is significantly worse. Labour and Conservative are both bad – but not equally bad. There are still some decent people on the Labour benches.

  • Jack

    In this interview ICC’ Karim Khan claim that he was approached by politicians that claimed that ICC should only be for African leaders, Putin etc.
    I have such a bad feeling seeing/hearing Khan, I do not trust him, I believe ICC eventually will throw in a monkey wrench that will rip the arrest warrant against israel into shreds.

    The dire situation in Gaza is accelerated by the fact that there are no high-level politicians (beside like Jill Stein) that have taken a clear, vocal stance for palestinians, for peace etc. People like Tulsi Gabbard that have made sense on earlier conflicts past couple of years have proved to be a complete nutcase and Israel-firster.
    Just look at the video below where Tulsi Gabbard claim that pro-palestine demonstrations on Campus are lead by islamic organizations that are bent for world domination. She also repeat the debunked myth that Hamas ultimate goal is to exterminate all jews.

    • Brian c

      Senator Lindsay Graham it was who said that to Khan. He will state openly what other neocons only say in private.

    • Yuri K

      Any particular reason not to trust Karim Khan? I actually watched his whole interview on CNN, not just cut-offs on X and found no red flags.

  • AG

    From the ICC warrant text

    My Office submits that the war crimes alleged in these applications were committed in the context of an international armed conflict between Israel and Palestine, and a non-international armed conflict between Israel and Hamas (together with other Palestinian Armed Groups) running in parallel.

    What does this mean in terms of statehood?
    Can non-states have international armed conflict?
    (I thought Israel has no right to self-defense in this case. How can it then be an intern. conflict?)
    Or is this a different lower level? and if so what kind?
    What do you need to be eligible to sign the Rome Statute?

    p.s. the warrant text:

  • Republicofscotland

    What’s going on? The usually utterly pro-Zionist BBC propaganda machine had a Israeli/Jewish whistleblower on its lunchtime news programme, in which the discussion centered around the terrible treatment of Palestinians in custody and how they are handcuffed 24/7. Images of them were shown huddled face-down behind bars with their handcuffs clearly visible.

    Has the normally pro-Israeli BBC realised that Netanyahu must be removed before he does irreparable damage to the image of Israel, and could there be a concerted effort that’s thinly disguised to do so?

    I heard an interesting article today on the radio that it looks a distinct possibility that Israelis will go to the polls this year, and that Yoav Gallant and Benny Gantz will both leave office as well. Gantz (a hardliner) has threatened to quit Netanyahu’s cabinet by June 8th if Netanyahu doesn’t meet Gantz’s Six Strategic Goals – all detrimental to the oppressed Palestinians.

    • Stevie Boy

      As I said previously, Benji is not the problem. Israel is the problem. The great majority of Israelis (>90%) support the actions of their government and the IDF. So, any ‘new’ leader is going to be exactly the same as Benji: corrupt and genocidal. If you want true change in Israel you have to do more than just change the government, you have to change Israel, even if that means destroying it.

      And, here’s a great article from Jonathan Cook:

      • Allan Howard

        MediaLens posted the following article yesterday:

        ‘Extremely Harrowing’: British Surgeon’s Gaza Testimony Buried By The ‘MSM’

        If this had been evidence against ‘Putin’s Russia’ or ‘Assad’s Syria’, it would have generated huge headlines, in-depth reporting and anguished commentary across all major news media. Once again, we see the insidiously corrupt phenomenon of propaganda by omission.

      • Republicofscotland

        Stevie Boy.

        Yes, I’m well aware that it’s not just Netanyahu that’s the problem, and that the majority of Israelis support what is happening to the Palestinians.

        My points were: is there a concerted effort underway (in a somewhat subtle fashion) to try and remove Netanyahu; and is the British state propaganda machine the BBC playing its part in this?

        Netanyahu has a cloud over him with regards to genocide/warcrimes against humanity, and now the possibility of the ICC issuing an arrest warrant for him, in his western backers’ eyes would they prefer his removal?

        • Goose

          Credit where credit is due, the ICC have at least finally made a move.

          Alas, Karim Khan messed up by not predicting how the simultaneous applications would allow the US to deploy its defensive ‘straw man argument’ – that the ICC was ‘drawing some false equivalence’. The UK’s Sunak, also took this line, seeking to shield Israel’s leaders. The charge sheets were separate, and ICC Prosecutor Khan, really should have expressly stated the intention IS NOT to draw any equivalence, merely present the evidence against both. In hindsight, there probably should’ve been two separate announcements, preferably on different days. Because as stated, it’s allowed Biden, Blinken and Sunak to deploy the straw man argument. In reality, the ICC never stated there was such an equivalence.

          And even on the ‘terrorists (bad) vs state (good)’ argument, most right thinking people would judge Israel’s cumulative crimes now far worse than those on Oct 7th. Israel wishes to present itself to the world as a modern Western state with Western values. Killing and seriously injuring anything up to 100,000 people who are trapped in a small strip of land without access to medical facilities; subject the random bombings and the constant psychological drone noise torture, for over 7 months. And now starving them, all in response to a single day of terror? Well, it’s hardly the mark of a civilised society, is it.

          • Goose

            I don’t know how practical that would’ve been, as secrets do leak. And the US makes it its business to know everything important in advance. Look how they bugged the UN in violation of the supposedly sacrosanct rules.

            But if the ICC had revealed the application for arrest warrants for Hamas’ leadership, Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh, first. The whole Western political and media would’ve applauded the decision and lauded the wisdom behind it. Starmer responded instantly on Twitter remember, to similar moves being launched by the ICC against Putin. Yet he’s been strangely silent over these recent ICC decisions for some reason?

            If following those applications against Hamas’ leadership, the next day, similar warrants against Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant had been revealed. It would’ve been truly fascinating, not to mention amusing, watching the ultra hypocritical Western political class and their media lackeys, about-face and turn on the ICC.

          • Republicofscotland


            Yes it is good that the ICC prosecutor Karim Khan has asked for warrants t be issued, lets see if the judges issue those warrants, Khan I think was just covering his back by asking for warrants for the Hamas leaders, incidentally Karim Khan was born in Edinburgh.

            I agree that Israel’s war crimes are much greater than those of Hamas, but we must understand this is new territory for the ICC just asking for the warrants for Netanyahu and his Defence minster could see a plethora of folk at the ICC sanctioned or worse by the USA.

            Yes the ICC should be doing its job regardless of who commits crimes against humanity, however the likes of corruption, loyalty and realpolitik are at play here, basically with Israel’s allies it will be a minefield to get the likes of Netanyahu into court never mind achieve a conviction.

          • zoot

            the modern, civilised Western values of joining in the genocide, demonising anybody who disapproves? or some other imaginary West?

          • AG

            StevieBoy wasn´t wrong when pointing out how ICC warrants could “backfire” – since no NATO state will touch Bibi and friends.

            But now any state that took ICC seriously and as well tried to help Palestine by being fair to HAMAS has now – officially – a very difficult position if it intends to follow this policy.

            It would be breaching ICC statutes which to sign was a gesture of decency. Since now they´d break their own rules not arresting HAMAS.

            Once criminal law has been put into place normative powers are merciless. There is no “perhaps” any more. It´s either arrest or break the Rome Statute.

            You could say this is a trap of good-will naivité reducing HAMAS´ freedom of movement, but not that of Israeli politicians.

            (Somehow this reminds me of US proxy war in Ukr forcing RU to breach Art. 51. Maaaaan are these people annoying in their cynicism. Seriously, nothing has changed since the Roman Empire.)

          • Johnny Conspiranoid

            ” Israel wishes to present itself to the world as a modern Western state with Western values”
            Part of the problem here is the confusion of ‘Western States’ with ‘Western Values’. The values of The Enlightenment have always been an obstacle to profit and thus Western States have always been the enemies of those values. The very term ‘Western Values’ was probably dreamt up by some propaganda wonk a few years ago so as to confuse the issue.

          • Goose


            That may be the case for the US and UK, due to atrocious political leadership. But I think most Western states aspire to being better. See Ireland, Norway and Spain’s move on Palestine recognition today. The US and UK’s leaders are corrupt, and we tend to corrupt all states we come into contact with.
            Who’d have thought, for example, countries with solid constitutional, judicial and democratic traditions; countries known for constitutionally enshrined transparency, would’ve sullied themselves by involvement in a cover-up over the separate Nord Stream investigations? What have Germany, Denmark and Sweden gained, other than damaging trust and their reputations? Swedish state prosecutor, involved in this case, Mats Ljungqvist was also involved in the sketchy goings on in the Assange case too, iirc?

        • Johnny Conspiranoid

          “My points were: is there a concerted effort underway (in a somewhat subtle fashion) to try and remove Netanyahu; and is the British state propaganda machine the BBC playing its part in this?”

          Yes. I’m hearing much more about the suffering in Gaza than I would expect from the BBC.

      • Linda

        >If you want true change in Israel you have to do more than just change the
        >government, you have to change Israel, even if that means destroying it.

        Craig Murray himself said Hamas’ October 7 attack was a necessary prelude to much greater assertiveness.

      • Townsman

        The great majority of Israelis (>90%) support the actions of their government and the IDF.

        True, but what does it really say about Israelis? Most people in most countries, most of the time, believe what their government tells them to believe. There are decent newspapers in Israel (e.g. Haaretz) but most Israelis don’t read them (just as the Guardian used to be a decent British newspaper until ten years ago, but its circulation was tiny). Winston Churchill in 1940 told the British that Hitler intended to invade Britain – and probably >90% of Brits believed him, although it was a deliberate lie (a peace settlement at that time would have ended Churchill’s career).

        • Stevie Boy

          I take your point, however.
          What it says about Israelis is that they all knowingly live in an apartheid state. No Israeli, apart from young children, can claim innocence or ignorance. Regardless of MSM BS all Israelis are well aware of the background of their state. If they are ‘decent’ people they have two choices: either they leave Israel or they open up Israel to everyone (gentiles) on an equal basis.
          We shouldn’t conflate stupid people in the UK with stupid people in Israel.

  • Crispa

    As Juan Cole points out on the charges against Hamas on the one hand and Israel leaders on the other are not the same or equivalent making comparisons spurious. Minus the legal bits.
    Charges against Hamas (as crimes against humanity / war crimes)
    – Taking hostages
    – Rape and other acts of sexual violence
    – Torture
    – Other inhumane acts
    – Cruel treatment
    – Outrages upon personal dignity
    Charges against Netanyahu and Gallant (as crimes against humanity / war crimes)
    – Starvation of civilians
    – Wilfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health
    – Wilful killing
    – Intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population
    – Extermination and/or murder including in the context of deaths caused by starvation
    – Persecution
    – Other inhumane acts
    Perhaps the differences might be drawn to the attention of politicians who use Hamas’s actions as a smokescreen to defend the strikingly different Israeli alleged crimes which are levelled against whole populations rather than the more personally focused Hamas ones.

    • AG

      what rape? what torture? what sexual violence?
      where is the evidence, dear ICC?

      Of course it should start with policies equal to/ near genocide (if one follows ICJ)
      – push troops to commit acts of genocide and other war crimes
      – provoking hatred among IDF units
      – torture
      – planning and executing ethnical cleansing
      – assassinations of reporters and aid personnel
      – destruction of telecommunication to cover up war crimes
      – fabrication and spreading of false info about non-existent enemy war crimes
      the list is never ending
      This is Vietnam 2.0

  • Allan Howard

    Andrew Feinstein confirmed his candidacy yesterday to run against the Starmeroid in Holborn and St Pancras:

    « Our democracy is in crisis. The two main parties are virtually indistinguishable in their offers of permanent austerity, forever wars and environmental degradation.

    Keir Starmer, the MP for Holborn and St. Pancras where my family and I have lived for around 22 years, is emblematic of this crisis. His politics are mendacious, unprincipled and in the interests of his billionaire donors rather than the constituents he was elected to serve.

    I have seen real leadership in action: I was privileged to serve under Nelson Mandela as an MP in South Africa. His leadership was selfless, principled, accountable, transparent and honest. Everything that Keir Starmer is not.

    His almost immediate abandonment of many of the ten progressive pledges on which he was elected to lead the Labour Party is a clear sign he cannot be trusted.

    Starmer has now gone a step too far by refusing to support an unqualified ceasefire and a halt to arms sales to Israel amid the greatest human tragedy since World War Two: the genocide being committed in Gaza.

    How is it possible that a former human rights lawyer, who must see the horrific images that we all view on our screens every day, has not even commented on the highest court in the world’s interim ruling that Israel is likely committing genocide and ethnic cleansing?

    The ICC’s decision to seek….. »

    There’s plenty more, and well worth reading. Just imagine if he actually won (needless to say he deserves to). Would go some way towards the hiding KS deserves for being such a total arsehole and persecuting so many good, honest, decent, caring people etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.

    • AG

      think Feinstein has a chance?
      (I read some of his research when I was looking into arms trade in Switzerland couple of years ago.)
      Seems a principled and really respectable person.

  • Goose

    Did anyone have the misfortune of catching PMQs?

    Today, at PMQs, Labour MP, Zarah Sultana, asked about the ICC Prosecutor’s statement, and whether Sunak’s govt would respect any issued arrest warrant for Israel’s leader and their defence minister. Sunak’s response was to immediately reference alleged antisemitism under the previous Labour leader, by quipping “I thought this was a changed party?” The mythical beast that was Labour antisemitism under Corbyn, yet again rears its head. Starmer’s claim to have slain said mythical beast, really is a f**king joke.

    The fact Sunak’s response to a serious question about the ICC is to characterize any such question as inherently anti-Semitic. Just shows how totally unsuited to being PM he is.

    MPs had lots of sympathy for sepsis amputee, Craig Mackinglay MP, he received an ovation. Ask the same MPs to feel a shred of sympathy for the thousands Palestinians having limbs amputated without general anaesthesia, and you’ll be boorishly booed, as Zarah Sultana was. What a bunch of rogues they are.

    Sunak is everything wrong with the UK. A man worth hundreds of millions pretending to be PM. A man, who, as an unknown, was gifted the safest Tory seat in the country. As previously mentioned, He was dropped into William Hague’s former seat of Richmond, North Yorkshire after Hague stood down. I’m sure the meetings between his billionaire father-in-law(who Sunak worked for at the time) and then Tory leader, David Cameron, prior to being gifted the safest of safe seats, had nothing to do with it.

    Blame the father-in-law?

  • Adrian

    The other major element of the neo-liberal belief-system, not mentioned, is the two great fictions of orthodox macroeconomics. The myths of ‘taxpayers money” and ‘borrowing’. The ‘household budget’ view of Govt finance, the nonsense of ‘burden of debt on our grandchildren’. That there is a ‘shortage of money’ that *crocodile tears* makes investment in public services “unaffordable”. When in reality, UK Govts can no more ‘run out’ of sterling than Sainsbury’s can run out of Nectar points.

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