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21
For Your Information / The West's New Front-Line State
« Last post by nestopwar on March 26, 2018, 05:38:45 PM »
The West's New Front-Line State
German Foreign Policy
https://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/news/detail/7572/
03/22/2018


   LONDON/BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) - Fierce power struggles over EU foreign policy orientation and leadership accompany western threats against Russia following the Salisbury poison assassination attempt. With its accusations of Russia, London has succeeded in imposing "a united western foreign policy approach under British leadership," a leading German daily has noted. Great Britain has become the "West's new front-line state." After leaving the EU, the UK is presently setting course for its ensuing European policy, by focusing not only on a military treaty with France, but also another with Poland, aimed against Russia. Berlin is maneuvering: On the one hand, it is closing ranks against Moscow and, on the other, it is not willing to cede leadership of EU foreign policy. "Good and close collaboration between Russia and Germany" is very "important," the German president declared, thus marking a first counterpoint to British policy.

German-British Military Cooperation

Shortly after the Brexit referendum, the UK government began restructuring its future foreign and military relations with the EU27. London is, to some extent, seeking military policy cooperation with Berlin. This is met with approval in Germany, because it is well aware that future European military forces can hardly do without the UK, which - alongside France - is currently Western Europe's strongest military power. Already in February 2017, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen declared that also in the future, Berlin and London "want to maintain very close ties" in the field of armament and military policy.[1] In July 2017, Britain's defense ministry announced that an agreement had been reached on a "Joint Vision Statement" for future cooperation, which will be signed officially by the German side after the new government is formed.[2] Following her meeting with her British counterpart Gavin Williamson, in late February this year, von der Leyen confirmed Berlin's desire to continue cooperation.[3]

The New Entente Cordiale

On the European continent, however, UK military policy is relying primarily on cooperation with France, rather than with Germany, also because, for many years, Berlin has strictly followed the plan to establish an EU-Army demanding military deployments in regions of Germany's interests - the first being in contradiction to British, the latter to French strategy. Due to the conflicting interests with Germany, London and Paris were seeking to open alternative options for military policy and military cooperation and signed the Lancaster House Treaties on November 2, 2010, initiating a close bilateral cooperation in armament and military policy. This cooperation was put to a test in the aggression against Libya, mainly led by France and Great Britain. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[4]) The new British-French cooperation soon began to worry Berlin. The German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), for example, wrote in an analysis that "a new Entente Cordiale" is obviously being formed in the West - alluding to the 1904 British-French alliance during World War I.[5] Since then, Germany attached increasing importance to close ties with France. In mid January 2018, however, the UK and France consolidated their armament and military policy cooperation with a new agreement. In their joint communiqué they alluded to the First World War, "when our troops fought side by side in defense of our shared belief in freedom and resistance against aggression."[6]

World War Allies

Alongside the bilateral cooperation agreement with France - hitherto the only one with an EU country - Great Britain has concluded a bilateral treaty on military cooperation with Poland in December 2017. This treaty not only includes defense industry cooperation but also cooperation in areas such as joint military training and intensive information sharing.[7] It also includes cooperation in enhancing cyber security and to launch a joint propaganda war against Russia, which will also be directed against Belarus: London and Warsaw announced their support for the improvement of Belsat, a Polish-funded TV channel, providing pro-Western orientation for the Belarusians. London is placing its treaty with Poland also in a historical context: "We will never forget the Polish soldiers who fought with our troops in North Africa and on mainland Europe in World War II, nor the Polish pilots who braved the skies alongside us, standing up for freedom and democracy in Europe," Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement on the signing of the treaty.[8]

Old Strategies

The new military agreements also reflect old basic elements of British strategy. On the one hand, Great Britain has always sought to prevent the emergence of an integrated continental power, which could pose a basic threat to the British Islands. On the other, London has always sought to prevent a close German-Russian cooperation that could also pose a threat to the UK.

Under British Leadership

The Salisbury poison assassination attempt offers London the possibility of rallying the support of EU powers behind its foreign and military policy, in spite of the impending Brexit. Immediately following the attack, the British government called on its EU and NATO partners to declare their solidarity and systematically intensified the pressure with unprecedented accusations against Moscow. "The allies' reaction" has been perhaps "the most important (side-?)effect of Britain's resolute stance," according to an editorial of a leading German daily. Berlin, Paris, the EU and Washington quickly backed the government in London. "A joint foreign policy approach of the West under British leadership," that is more than London could have dreamed of in Brexit times."[9] Great Britain has thus become the "West's new front-line state."

The First Counterpoint

Berlin is maneuvering: On the one hand, it is closing Western ranks against Moscow and, on the other, it is unwilling to cede leadership of EU foreign policy. Whereas London is escalating its accusations against the Russian government - regardless of the fact that the Salisbury poison attack has not yet been solved - German heads of state and government are already again signaling to Russia the possibility of some extent of cooperation. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was the first western head of state to congratulate Vladimir Putin on his electoral victory. "The bilateral relations between our countries have traditionally been close, relying on a solid foundation," he wrote. "We have always seen close cooperation between Russia and Germany ... as an important pillar for common European efforts to establish and strengthen a long-term common world order on our continent."[10] He "hopes and wishes," Steinmeier writes, "that we will be able to counter alienation on our continent." This marks the first counterpoint to the current, presumably only short-term, British leadership in EU foreign policy.

Please read also: More Aggressive.

[1] Patrick Donahue, Matthew Miller: Germany Forging Post-Brexit Defense 'Road Map' With the U.K. www.bloomberg.com 19.02.2017. See also A Dangerous Game.

[2] Andrew Chuter, Sebastian Sprenger: Amid Brexit, Germany and UK to expand defense cooperation. defensenews.com 21.07.2017.

[3] George Allison: Germany seeks 'stronger defence relationship' with UK amid German armed forces crisis. ukdefencejournal.org.uk 28.02.2018.

[4] See also The New Entente Cordiale.

[5] Ronja Kempin, Jocelyn Mawdsley, Stefan Steinicke: Entente Cordiale. Eine erste Bilanz französisch-britischer Zusammenarbeit in der Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik. DGAPanalyse No. 10. August 2012. See also The New Entente Cordiale.

[6] United Kingdom-France Summit Communique. Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, 18 January 2018.

[7] PM announces landmark new package of defence and security cooperation with Poland. gov.uk 21.12.2017.

[8] PM press statement in Poland: 21 December 2017.

[9] Jochen Buchsteiner: Die Würde der Demokratie. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 21.03.2018.

[10] Bundespräsident Steinmeier gratuliert Wladimir Putin. bundespraesident.de 19.03.2018.

22
For Your Information / Teetering on the Edge of Nuclear War
« Last post by nestopwar on March 20, 2018, 01:19:20 PM »

Teetering on the Edge of Nuclear War
 
Column: Politics

Region: Middle East


This isn’t the first time. As this is written, the US, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense, is bringing carrier battle groups into both the Red Sea and Mediterranean to attack both Syrian and Russian Forces inside Syria.

According to a March 16, 2018 article in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, Israel is preparing for Russia as well and expecting mass casualties.

Russia has warned the US and Israel that it will retaliate on any platform that launches attacks on Syrian Arab Army or Damascus government defense centers which are all shared with Russian personnel. This simply means that American ships are subject to obliteration and Russia is more than capable of doing so. Why have we come to this point.

From Israel’s Haaretz, dated March 16, 2018:


“The army conducted an exercise this week which simulated a multi-front war in which Russia intervened to prevent Israel from attacking Syria.

‘Throughout the exercise, we examined various implications of the Russian presence’ in Syria, a senior Israel Defense Forces officer said. “We practiced everything that could be coordinated with the Russians and also what couldn’t be, how we would operate without harming their interests in the region, and on the flip side, scenarios in which the Russians made trouble’ for instance, by sending a message that Israel was undermining their regional interests”.

To understand, we can go to news stories from March16, 2018 and statements made by the Russian government. From Sputnik News:


“Jabhat al-Nusra militants along with the White Helmets are preparing a staged chemical attack in the Alghabit and Kalbb Lusa communities situated 25 km (15 miles) to the North-West of Idlib. There are 20 chlorine containers in their possession,” said the Russian General Staff.

The American and British press refused to carry this statement or any of the others though the general public has every right to know their lives are being played with. Many of us who work in journalism or the intelligence and security sectors say it is “about time” that someone called out the White Helmets and their role in killing civilians on behalf of Western intelligence agencies.

Then these statements came from Russia Today, same date:


“Russia’s Defense Ministry says “US instructors” are training militants to stage false flag chemical attacks in south Syria. The incidents are said to be a pretext for airstrikes on Syrian government troops and infrastructure.

‘We have reliable information at our disposal that US instructors have trained a number of militant groups in the vicinity of the town of At-Tanf, to stage provocations involving chemical warfare agents in southern Syria,’ Russian General Staff spokesman General Sergey Rudskoy said at a news briefing on Saturday.

‘Early in March, the saboteur groups were deployed to the southern de-escalation zone to the city of Deraa, where the units of the so-called Free Syrian Army are stationed’

‘They are preparing a series of chemical munitions explosions. This fact will be used to blame the government forces. The components to produce chemical munitions have been already delivered to the southern de-escalation zone under the guise of humanitarian convoys of a number of NGOs.’”

Russia has warned that the US media is part of this ploy, fully complicit and that media assets working with the CIA but mostly under control of the Israel lobby, which seems to be the driving force behind Trump’s foreign policy.

Further complicating the situation and showing the depth of what is clearly a plan to provoke war is the situation with Britain over the alleged killing, and there is no evidence presented of any kind, of a former Russia agent, that British Prime Minister Theresa May blames on Russia.

Veterans Today editor, Gene Khrushchev, a former Colonel in the Soviet and Russian military and Russian diplomat had the following to say on this in a May 16 article in Veterans Today, in particular tying Ukraine and a desire to fight Russia over Crimea to the situation in Syria:


“The revelation of UK-OUN unsavory liaison was helpfully revealed by British prime-minister during her harangue, when she connected the dots between perpetrators’ joint motives with oh-so-sincere concern about Crimea reunification, which had been, mind you, a deep cover deal in the works before 2014 to sell out the true-blue Russian peninsula – with 90% plus of deep-rooted Russian population – for NATO entrance ticket. Read my lips –no more and will never be at stake again, fat chance, the hell or high water!

If I may to paraphrase Theresa May, I’d say it’s “highly likely” that Mother of all poisonous provocations against Moscow, English style, has been upstaged this time by London in cahoots with Lvov extremists in Kiev:

• Age-old tradition of Perfidious Albion anti-Russian paranoia.

• Decades of clandestine partnership in crime, sealed by Waffen-SS genocide legacy and Cold War subversive collaboration against the USSR.”

It is not unreasonable to see the Mueller investigation of alleged Russian interference in the US elections as part and parcel of a broader smear campaign against Russia and that, rather than being an attack on Trump, is actually an oblique attack on Russia by forces willing to push the US and Russia to war on behalf of a yet unnamed “third force.”

Will the East Ghouta offense in Syria lead to war? A major US built chemical weapons facility has already been discovered and filmed but those films are censored in the West and censored from the internet by Google Corporation and Facebook.

Similarly, evidence that the White Helmets and news agencies like Reuters, Fox and CNN fabricate reports of chemical attacks as well are censored.

Now Russia is offering evidence that US backed NGO’s using the pretext of “aid convoys” is smuggling chemical weapons to terrorists. Such evidence has existed since 2012 and has been offered to investigative agencies under UN control repeatedly to no avail.

It is known, however, that former US Secretary of State Kerry personally viewed evidence of US complicity in gas attacks on Syria and stopped a Pentagon attack, this was 2013.

This postulates that within the US there is a divergence of command, where rogue operators, allegedly under Israeli or “other” command, are able to stage provocations, even influence policy, outside of normal procedures.

Veterans Today editor, Colonel James Hanke, former Military/Diplomatic liaison to Israel and former chief intelligence officer of the US nuclear command in Europe, has stated repeatedly that that US Army is largely infiltrated with “rogue operators” and that several top commanders have been “off the reservation” for years. Hanke has cited that the Pentagon has seized policy initiative from both the State Department and Presidency on several occasions.

This leaves us with some broader questions:
•Is Israel provoking a war between the US and Russia?
•Is the Kiev cabal working with them?
•What is their agenda?
•What roles to Saudi Arabia, India and other nations, such as Britain, nations with compromised governmental operations, play in this threat scenario?

Beyond this, does the public have the right to know what is really going on and that the term “fake news” in itself is a deception. We have been well beyond “fake” for some time and too many, it seems, even those capable of starting wars that can kill us all, no longer know what is real and what is not.

Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of  Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
https://journal-neo.org/2018/03/18/teetering-on-the-edge-of-nuclear-war/
23
Gibraltar – The Real Reason For Brexit Finally Revealed
Seth Ferris, new Eastern Outlook

17 March


   Once again the naked truth has shown itself while everyone was looking the other way. Analysts have been giving all sorts of reasons as to why the Brexit scenario has developed as it has. But the truth has been staring us in the face, all the time – which is exactly why these debates have been encouraged.

Whichever way they voted, British people are no longer primarily arguing about the EU itself. The issue is whether the consequences of leaving, which are becoming increasingly burdensome, are a price worth paying. The pound has tanked and the promised quick fixes on immigration, employment and opportunity have not materialised. Problems no one ever expected have also arisen, such as the impact on the Irish border, the possible grounding of flights and significant employers in Brexit-voting areas threatening to relocate to the EU.

The Brexit camp have gone from crowing about their victory to telling everyone they will survive somehow, and worrying that the government might not deliver Brexit after all. The Remain supporters believe they are being proved right, gaining traction by presenting Brexit as a con imposed on the electorate by newspaper magnates and politicians wanting to protect themselves from tax demands.

But all of a sudden, the real reason Brexit is being pursued in the face of political logic has come out. The media owners may have facilitated Brexit, but it is another dimension of a very familiar story. If we had understood this before we might have seen who all those tax dodgers are really working for – and what the consequences will be for a rich, developed country which has sold itself into Third World-type slavery.

As bad as our friends

Great powers, whether countries or individuals, are always tempted to behave badly simply to show they are different. Absolute monarchs often had a succession of mistresses just to show they were special people, above the moral codes of ordinary mortals. Powerful nations do whatever they can get away with just to show they are part of the club, as the centuries of walking into other countries to create empires testified.

We have all seen how the same process works nowadays. The great powers exert control through military partnerships and energy dependence. If these methods don't work, first propaganda and then brute force are used to force recalcitrant countries to obey their master's will. When it gets to that stage, there is no way out for those poor countries. All the "wars of liberation" we have experienced since World War Two have left their supposed beneficiaries even more dependent than before, with only the oppressors changing, if they even do.

So it is no surprise to now find that there was a military dimension to Brexit few had noticed. Brexit should not affect the UK's membership of NATO or its network of operational agreements with other countries, as the Common European Defence Force is not yet a reality. But it does change the status of Gibraltar, that isolated bit of rock which is a British Overseas Territory due to a long-forgotten dispute of little relevance today – and this presents both a problem and an opportunity for its notorious fairweather friend, the US, which it is now seeking to exploit.

Your future not ours

Gibraltarians were given a vote in the EU referendum, and 96% of them supported remaining a member. Only 823 voted to leave. But this is hardly surprising, given the abundant benefits EU membership has given this tiny enclave of around 30,000 people.

Though a strategic military location guarding the narrowest stretch of the Mediterranean, Gibraltar has prospered more from the open border with its former owner, Spain, than it ever did from being a prominent Royal Navy and Royal Air Force station. The people may be famous for being "more English than the English", but the local economy, and that of southern Spain, benefits greatly from the open border between the two. This is a situation the UK and Spain's common EU membership made possible, as Spain, which joined the EU later, was only allowed to do so on condition the border was opened.

Madrid has never got over losing this rocky outcrop in 1704, during the War of Spanish Succession, the contemporary equivalent of the Yemen conflict. It still claims it as its own, and closed the border between the two in 1969 when Gibraltarians voted to remain under British rule. The British invested further in the Rock's military dimension, and promoted it as a tourist destination, but with military cutbacks and the rise of more exotic holiday destinations it faced an uncertain future. Only the reopening of the border, and the rise of online gaming, have given the locals a reason to have a more than sentimental attachment to the British state.

Brexit will close that border again. It will also give Spain 27 allies in its claim to sovereignty over the Rock. Spain is demanding that Gibraltar remains with the Customs Union if the UK does leave the EU, and is apparently winning that battle. As Gibraltarians support this step, this creates a division between the UK and Europe in which the British subjects on Gibraltar support the other side.

This is taking place against a backdrop of the US trying to reduce its commitment to NATO, despite its ongoing involvement in expensive foreign conflicts. Despite this, it has always objected to the creation of a European Defence Force controlled by Europe itself, more independently of the US. With Europe increasingly united and belligerent in the face of Brexit, contrary to expectations, this creates a military division between the US and EU which has not existed since the EU was founded.

So the US has to bypass the EU to retain military control of Gibraltar via an ally. Brexit achieves this, provided the UK can be brought on board.

With few other friends who prefer it to the EU, the UK is desperate to recreate its old "Special Relationship" with the US to try and limit the economic impact of its own decision, though with limited results. It will have little choice but to sell itself to the White House in the bleak world it is now offering its people, who are realising they can't all be fooled, all of the time.

When the US takes control of a country it builds military bases there. The British still have a sizeable military presence on Gibraltar, but have scaled its back in recent years because the Rock's strategic significance is more commercial, as the gateway to a major maritime trading route, than military. But now it is intending to establish a new base there, bigger and better than anything seen before, even as its trade declines as a result of leaving the EU.

Why? Who is the UK at war with? Who does the Gibraltar base protect the UK from? It is hard to see the answers to these questions until you substitute "US" for "UK". Then the importance of Gibraltar looms as large as the Rock itself, as it would have done long before had we not been encouraged to look in other directions.

One boot on one foot

Gibraltar has gained a new military dimension thanks to US actions in Libya, Syria, Egypt and other countries with a Mediterranean coastline. The US, and particularly the Trump White House which has always supported Brexit, doesn't want those pussies in Europe remaining in charge of it.

The biggest obstacle to creating a European Defence Force is the reasonable unwillingness of national parliaments to abandon their sovereignty over the troops they are sending to their deaths. They may support the idea of a European force in principle, but in practice they make it difficult to achieve by insisting on local control of decisions affecting their own citizens. This is understandable, as fighting for your own country makes a lot more sense to potential recruits than fighting for somebody else's, as the US itself found in a place called South Vietnam.

The US doesn't have that problem. It doesn't even have local control in practice – while presidents and congressmen come and go, the US military-industrial complex remains, with most of its senior personnel serving longer at their levels than any politician. It does pretty much what it wants, but for political reasons tries to present everything as "allied action", a joint response to a crisis recognised by all "right thinking" nations.

If the EU can no longer be trusted to be right-thinking, or agree to support the unilateral actions of unaccountable US military or intelligence brass, the US has to have Gibraltar to keep the naval supply route going. It can't do that if the UK, which owns it at the express request of the natives, is part of the EU.

Leaving the EU is causing the UK hardship which no politician wants to be held responsible for – even senior Brexiteers can see what is happening, despite their public bluster. But the British government is insisting it has to respect the "Will of the People", even though those people never voted for the consequences they now see daily.

More than the monkeys we don't give

Gibraltar might be considered an insignificant issue, a smaller piece of a much bigger puzzle. Until you look at the power relations between the US and UK. Who offers what to whom, exactly?

When the UK joined the EU in 1973 its Prime Minister, Edward Heath, specifically stated that it was doing so because the UK could no longer rely on its special relationship with its former colonies to ensure prosperity. As his government was later driven to introduce the notorious "Three Day Week", in which a three day working week was effectively imposed to conserve energy, this idea resonated at the time.

However it also upset former empire nations such as New Zealand, whose own agricultural industry relied on this special relationship, as the UK is being reminded now it runs to these countries looking for trade deals and signing none.

The US, the great superpower, was one of these former colonies the UK could no longer rely on for its welfare. The UK was consciously preferring the EU to it. As long as the Western alliance was still a reality this didn't matter so much. Now it is increasingly a verbal construct that changes things dramatically.

The US doesn't need anything from the UK it can't make at home, in the industries Trump keeps saying he wants to revive, or get from other countries it takes more seriously. The UK desperately needs US patronage however, as leaving the EU will leave it with no trade deals at all, with anyone, for a period and few countries are interested in the UK on its own rather than a member of the EU. The only thing the UK does have is Gibraltar, and that is the one thing the US wants.

It would be politically impossible to tell the British public that the future of the UK now depends on letting the US effectively take over Gibraltar via its UK "partners". But unless the UK can find other significant countries who prefer it to the EU, that is the reality. The UK can't survive at the back of the queue when its wage levels and social infrastructure are designed for a nation at the front. It's giving the US what it wants or nothing, and that is a reality any future administrations in both countries will have to face.

Taking back control

British people are generally pro-American, and even more pro-Western. But the US-UK relationship has long been a source of irritation to many of them. The US claims to speak England's language and gained all its institutions from the UK. Yet the former colony now sets the international standard in everything, and its old masters don't see why they should change their ways and standards to fit in with the US, even if non-English speaking countries are more willing to do so.

During the Iraq War there were frequent complaints that Tony Blair and George W. Bush, who was widely regarded in the UK as an embarrassment to the US, were working so closely together that Blair had his tongue lodged in a certain part of Bush's anatomy. US commentators often felt it was the other way round. But it was ultimately that perception which fuelled public interest in how that war had started, and ultimately to the Chilcot Report, which effectively stated that Blair had misled parliament to involve the UK in a US scheme.

It will therefore be interesting to see what the declassified government papers tell us, 30 years from now, about who first raised the Gibraltar issue with whom, and how this related to the timeline of the EU Referendum and the Brexit campaign. Particularly as this decision may make those government papers a historical relic, as the long-suspected US plan to make the UK its 51st state may be much nearer fruition by that time, in fact if not in name.

Seth Ferris, investigative journalist and political scientist, expert on Middle Eastern affairs, exclusively for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook". https://journal-neo.org/2018/03/17/gibraltar-the-real-reason-for-brexit-finally-revealed/


24
For Your Information / Of A Type Developed By Liars
« Last post by nestopwar on March 16, 2018, 08:15:57 PM »
Of A Type Developed By Liars

Craig Murray

16 Mar 2018

I have now received confirmation from a well placed FCO source that Porton Down scientists are not able to identify the nerve gas as being of Russian manufacture, and have been resentful of the pressure being placed on them to do so. Porton Down would only sign up to the formulation “of a type developed by Russia” after a rather difficult meeting where this was agreed as a compromise formulation. The Russians were allegedly researching, in the “Novichok” programme a generation of nerve agents which could be produced from commercially available precursors such as insecticides and fertilisers. This substance is a “novichok” in that sense. It is of that type. Just as I am typing on a laptop of a type developed by the United States, though this one was made in China.

To anybody with a Whitehall background this has been obvious for several days. The government has never said the nerve agent was made in Russia, or that it can only be made in Russia. The exact formulation “of a type developed by Russia” was used by Theresa May in parliament, used by the UK at the UN Security Council, used by Boris Johnson on the BBC yesterday and, most tellingly of all, “of a type developed by Russia” is the precise phrase used in the joint communique issued by the UK, USA, France and Germany yesterday:


This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War.

When the same extremely careful phrasing is never deviated from, you know it is the result of a very delicate Whitehall compromise. My FCO source, like me, remembers the extreme pressure put on FCO staff and other civil servants to sign off the dirty dossier on Iraqi WMD, some of which pressure I recount in my memoir Murder in Samarkand. She volunteered the comparison to what is happening now, particularly at Porton Down, with no prompting from me.

Separately I have written to the media office at OPCW to ask them to confirm that there has never been any physical evidence of the existence of Russian Novichoks, and the programme of inspection and destruction of Russian chemical weapons was completed last year.

Did you know these interesting facts?

OPCW inspectors have had full access to all known Russian chemical weapons facilities for over a decade – including those identified by the “Novichok” alleged whistleblower Mirzayanov – and last year OPCW inspectors completed the destruction of the last of 40,000 tonnes of Russian chemical weapons

By contrast the programme of destruction of US chemical weapons stocks still has five years to run

 Israel has extensive stocks of chemical weapons but has always refused to declare any of them to the OPCW. Israel is not a state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention nor a member of the OPCW. Israel signed in 1993 but refused to ratify as this would mean inspection and destruction of its chemical weapons. Israel undoubtedly has as much technical capacity as any state to synthesise “Novichoks”.

Until this week, the near universal belief among chemical weapons experts, and the official position of the OPCW, was that “Novichoks” were at most a theoretical research programme which the Russians had never succeeded in actually synthesising and manufacturing. That is why they are not on the OPCW list of banned chemical weapons.

Porton Down is still not certain it is the Russians who have apparently synthesised a “Novichok”. Hence “Of a type developed by Russia”. Note developed, not made, produced or manufactured.

It is very carefully worded propaganda. Of a type developed by liars.

UPDATE

This post prompted another old colleague to get in touch. On the bright side, the FCO have persuaded Boris he has to let the OPCW investigate a sample. But not just yet. The expectation is the inquiry committee will be chaired by a Chinese delegate. The Boris plan is to get the OPCW also to sign up to the “as developed by Russia” formula, and diplomacy to this end is being undertaken in Beijing right now.

I don’t suppose there is any sign of the BBC doing any actual journalism on this?
25
For Your Information / The Novichok Story Is Indeed Another Iraqi WMD Scam
« Last post by nestopwar on March 15, 2018, 03:27:56 PM »
The Novichok Story Is Indeed Another Iraqi WMD Scam 401
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/the-novichok-story-is-indeed-another-iraqi-wmd-scam/

14 Mar, 2018  in  Uncategorized   by Craig Murray

As recently as 2016 Dr Robin Black, Head of the Detection Laboratory at the UK’s only chemical weapons facility at Porton Down, a former colleague of Dr David Kelly, published in an extremely prestigious scientific journal that the evidence for the existence of Novichoks was scant and their composition unknown.

In recent years, there has been much speculation that a fourth generation of nerve agents, ‘Novichoks’ (newcomer), was developed in Russia, beginning in the 1970s as part of the ‘Foliant’ programme, with the aim of finding agents that would compromise defensive countermeasures. Information on these compounds has been sparse in the public domain, mostly originating from a dissident Russian military chemist, Vil Mirzayanov. No independent confirmation of the structures or the properties of such compounds has been published. (Black, 2016)

Robin Black. (2016) Development, Historical Use and Properties of Chemical Warfare Agents. Royal Society of Chemistry

Yet now, the British Government is claiming to be able instantly to identify a substance which its only biological weapons research centre has never seen before and was unsure of its existence. Worse, it claims to be able not only to identify it, but to pinpoint its origin. Given Dr Black’s publication, it is plain that claim cannot be true.

The world’s international chemical weapons experts share Dr Black’s opinion. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is a UN body based in the Hague. In 2013 this was the report of its Scientific Advisory Board, which included US, French, German and Russian government representatives and on which Dr Black was the UK representative:

[The SAB] emphasised that the definition of toxic chemicals in the Convention would cover all potential candidate chemicals that might be utilised as chemical weapons. Regarding new toxic chemicals not listed in the Annex on Chemicals but which may nevertheless pose a risk to the Convention, the SAB makes reference to “Novichoks”. The name “Novichok” is used in a publication of a former Soviet scientist who reported investigating a new class of nerve agents suitable for use as binary chemical weapons. The SAB states that it has insufficient information to comment on the existence or properties of “Novichoks”. (OPCW, 2013)

OPCW: Report of the Scientific Advisory Board on developments in science and technology for the Third Review Conference 27 March 2013

Indeed the OPCW was so sceptical of the viability of “novichoks” that it decided – with US and UK agreement – not to add them nor their alleged precursors to its banned list. In short, the scientific community broadly accepts Mirzayanov was working on “novichoks” but doubts he succeeded.

Given that the OPCW has taken the view the evidence for the existence of “Novichoks” is dubious, if the UK actually has a sample of one it is extremely important the UK presents that sample to the OPCW. Indeed the UK has a binding treaty obligation to present that sample to OPCW. Russa has – unreported by the corporate media – entered a demand at the OPCW that Britain submit a sample of the Salisbury material for international analysis.

Yet Britain refuses to submit it to the OPCW.

Why?

A second part of May’s accusation is that “Novichoks” could only be made in certain military installations. But that is also demonstrably untrue. If they exist at all, Novichoks were allegedly designed to be able to be made at bench level in any commercial chemical facility – that was a major point of them. The only real evidence for the existence of Novichoks was the testimony of the ex-Soviet scientist Mizayanov. And this is what Mirzayanov actually wrote.


One should be mindful that the chemical components or precursors of A-232 or its binary version novichok-5 are ordinary organophosphates that can be made at commercial chemical companies that manufacture such products as fertilizers and pesticides.

Vil S. Mirzayanov, “Dismantling the Soviet/Russian Chemical Weapons Complex: An Insider’s View,” in Amy E. Smithson, Dr. Vil S. Mirzayanov, Gen Roland Lajoie, and Michael Krepon, Chemical Weapons Disarmament in Russia: Problems and Prospects, Stimson Report No. 17, October 1995, p. 21.

It is a scientific impossibility for Porton Down to have been able to test for Russian novichoks if they have never possessed a Russian sample to compare them to. They can analyse a sample as conforming to a Mirzayanov formula, but as he published those to the world twenty years ago, that is no proof of Russian origin. If Porton Down can synthesise it, so can many others, not just the Russians.

And finally – Mirzayanov is an Uzbek name and the novichok programme, assuming it existed, was in the Soviet Union but far away from modern Russia, at Nukus in modern Uzbekistan. I have visited the Nukus chemical weapons site myself. It was dismantled and made safe and all the stocks destroyed and the equipment removed by the American government, as I recall finishing while I was Ambassador there. There has in fact never been any evidence that any “novichok” ever existed in Russia itself.

To summarise:

1) Porton Down has acknowledged in publications it has never seen any Russian “novichoks”. The UK government has absolutely no “fingerprint” information such as impurities that can safely attribute this substance to Russia.
 2) Until now, neither Porton Down nor the world’s experts at the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were convinced “Novichoks” even exist.
 3) The UK is refusing to provide a sample to the OPCW.
 4) “Novichoks” were specifically designed to be able to be manufactured from common ingredients on any scientific bench. The Americans dismantled and studied the facility that allegedly developed them. It is completely untrue only the Russians could make them, if anybody can.
 5) The “Novichok” programme was in Uzbekistan not in Russia. Its legacy was inherited by the Americans during their alliance with Karimov, not by the Russians.


With a great many thanks to sources who cannot be named at this moment.
26
How Britain has become a world leading manufacturer of the products of war

https://aoav.org.uk/2017/britain-manufactured-state-war/
27
For Your Information / The Elephant In The Room
« Last post by nestopwar on March 12, 2018, 10:44:15 PM »
The Elephant In The Room

7 Mar, 2018  in  Uncategorized   by craig murray | View Comments

Nerve agents including Sarin and VX are manufactured by the British Government in Porton Down, just 8 miles from where Sergei Skripal was attacked. The official British government story is that these nerve agents are only manufactured “To help develop effective medical countermeasures and to test systems”.

The UK media universally accepted that the production of polonium by Russia was conclusive evidence that Vladimir Putin was personally responsible for the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. In the case of Skripal, po-faced articles like this hilarious one in the Guardian speculate about where the nerve agent could possibly have come from – while totally failing to mention the fact that incident took place only eight miles from the largest stock of nerve agent in western Europe.


The investigation comprises multiple strands. Among them is whether there is any more of the nerve agent in the UK, and where it came from.

Chemical weapons experts said it was almost impossible to make nerve agents without training. “This needs expertise and a special place to make it or you will kill yourself. It’s only a small amount, but you don’t make this in your kitchen,” one said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commanding officer at the UK’s chemical, biological and nuclear regiment, said: “This is pretty significant. Nerve agents such as sarin and VX need to be made in a laboratory. It is not an insufficient task. Not even the so-called Islamic State could do it.”

Falling over themselves in the rush to ramp up the Russophobia, the Guardian quotes


“One former senior Foreign Office adviser suggested the Kremlin was taking advantage of the UK’s lack of allies in the US and EU. He said the British government was in a “weaker position” than in 2006 when two Kremlin assassins poisoned the former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko with a radioactive cup of tea.

The adviser said the use of nerve agent suggested a state operation…”

It certainly does. But the elephant in the room is – which state?


There is a major difference between Alexander Litvinenko and Sergei Skripal, which is not being reflected in the media. Litvinenko was a good man who attempted to expose abuses of power within Russia, in defence of the rights of Russians. Skripal is a traitor who sold the identities of Russian agents abroad to the UK, in exchange for hard cash. This may very well have caused the deaths of some of those Russian agents operating in conflict zones. If this is indeed a poisoning, there are a great many people who may want Mr Skripal dead – nor in this murky world should we overlook the fact that he must have known interesting things about his MI6 handlers. “Litvinenko II” is rather too pat and obvious, and could be a false flag set-up.

I certainly hope that Skripal, his companion, and anybody else affected, recover fully from whatever has attacked them. But I moved long ago past a world view where my country are the “goodies” and Russians are the “baddies”, and instead I reached an understanding that those in power oppress the people, universally. The idea that the elaborate spy games between world intelligence agencies are a battle between right and wrong, is for the story books. They are all wrong, all part of a system where power over people is controlled for the benefit of the wealthy, and battles are over hard resources, whichever “side” you are on.
28
For Your Information / Boris Johnson resumes subsidizing Al Qaeda through the CSSF
« Last post by nestopwar on February 23, 2018, 01:51:09 PM »
Boris Johnson resumes subsidizing Al Qaeda through the CSSF
Voltaire Network

20 February 2018

   Without making a big deal about it, Boris Johnson, British Minister of Foreign Affairs is now resuming subsidizing Adam Smith International (ASI) following a two-month break.

In December 2017, the BBC programme Panorama had shown that the ASI, supported by Her Majesty's government to train police in the "liberated areas" (sic) of Syria, was actually funding Al-Qaeda.

Other investigations have shown that this NGO had also funded lobbying in the UN to convince diplomats that Bahrain is respecting human rights.

Put under pressure by the Labour Party, the Conservative Government had then cut the funding of the most important "humanitarian" NGO in the country.

Several scandals - from the sky-high salaries of its several of leaders to stealing confidential state documents, had then arisen, challenging several people holding key positions within the NGO. Several directors of the Adam Smith International had then resigned.

Her Majesty's government has created a fund for security and stabilization (Conflict Stability and Security Fund— CSSF) which is funding Al-Qaeda in Syria via three humanitarian NGOs: Adam Smith International, Integrity Global and Tamkeen. The funds have been paid to the so-called "Mayor" of Aleppo (in actual fact a mouth piece for the Saudi jihadists who occupy the East of the city) and to the White Helmets (which claims to be a local organization, led by an MI6 officer which has organized both military operations and propaganda operations). Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon confirmed before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons that CSSF had pledged £66 million to Syria in 2015-16, £64 million in 2016-17, and had given £69 million for tax year 2017-18 [1].

Translation Anoosha Boralessa

1. "Syria : Conflict, Stability and Security Fund:Written question - HL1251", House of Commons, September 20, 2017.




29
For Your Information / War’s Workshop: Exposing Britain’s War Industries
« Last post by nestopwar on February 22, 2018, 07:21:35 PM »
https://aoav.org.uk/2017/wars-workshop-exposing-britains-war-industries/


War’s Workshop: Exposing Britain’s War Industries

By Matt Kennard and Iain Overton on 17 Oct 2017

Action on Armed Violence is undertaking an investigation into how the United Kingdom has become the world’s primary designer and exporter of the machines of war.

In the past decade, the UK has effectively become War’s Workshop. Between 2006 and 2016, the UK  – a country with a population of just 65 million people – was listed as the world’s second biggest arms dealer in absolute terms, second only to the USA. In that same period, this island nation established itself as the global hub for companies involved in manufacturing cyber weaponry, surveillance gear, and other spyware sold to governments and corporations around the world. Such equipment was often for use for internal repression. Finally, in this decade, the UK became the global centre for private military and security companies (PMSCs). According to AOAV’s research, there are more surveillance companies and PMSCs headquartered in the UK than any other country in the world.

To find out more about this, please go to ‘How Britain has become a world leading manufacturer of the products of war‘

How did this happen? Why have successive governments done nothing to stop this? Indeed, how did they, in fact, encourage these industries of violence to take off? How have they helped this industry grow? These are the questions AOAV will be investigating over the next ten months.

We will being doing extensive interviews with key players in the industries, as well as recording the words of critics and analysts.

We will tell an unknown history: how the UK’s war industries were given the same boost by the Thatcher Revolution as that given to the financial industries.

As deindustrialisation and the loss of manufacturing imperilled the UK economy in the 1980s, the government moved to make UK, particularly London, the finance capital of the world through loosening regulation. This is a well known story. But at the same time it appears that this was also a plan as regards the war industry, whether that be arms companies (BAE specifically), as well as cyber technology and PMSCs. The regulation was kept light touch or not updated – and in so doing the UK aimed to attract such business to our shores. All of this was given a fillip with the War on Terror, which put the UK at the centre of global conflict in the modern era.

Starting in October, 2017, our first job will be publishing in depth human rights reports on the countries the UK is exporting conventional weaponry to. The UK is complicit in the worst human rights abuses around the world, and these reports will show that the export licensing system the government uses is largely meaningless in restricting exports to human rights abusers.

For more information on this project, please contact AOAV’s Executive Director Iain Overton – ioverton@aoav.org.uk.

The total numbers of licenses sold by the UK from 2008-2016

Did you find this story interesting? Please support AOAV's work and donate.
Donate


AOAV is working to reduce armed violence - please help
30
For Your Information / 75th Anniversary of Victory of the Battle of Stalingrad
« Last post by nestopwar on February 01, 2018, 09:41:08 PM »
75th Anniversary of Victory of the Battle of Stalingrad

All Glory to Those Whose Heroism
 Defended Stalingrad and Changed
 the Course of World War II 

Red Army soldier raises victory flag over Stalingrad, February 2, 1943.
 (Colourized by Olga Shirnina)

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

 
 

• Importance of Discussion on Significance of the Victory
- Louis Lang -
• Anti-Communist Renderings
- Yi Nicholls -

For Your Information
• Turning Point of World War II
- George Allen -
• Stalin's Assessment of Battle of Stalingrad and
 Course of Patriotic War in Its Third Year
• Brief History
• Reparations from Second World War
- Valentin Katasonov -
• British Betrayal of Its Own Convoys Carrying
 Supplies to Help the Soviets
- Nikolay Starikov -

Source Communist Party of Canada (ML)  http://cpcml.ca/Tmlw2018/W48003.HTM#8

 
75th Anniversary of Victory of the Battle of Stalingrad

All Glory to Those Whose Heroism Defended Stalingrad and Changed the Course of World War II


On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the victory of the Battle of Stalingrad on February 2, 1943, the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) sends its heartfelt congratulations to all the descendants of those who fought and defeated the Nazi invaders who attacked Stalingrad on August 23, 1942. The battle concluded with the encirclement and surrender of a German army of 300,000 troops. This dealt a crushing blow to the Nazi Wehrmacht. Followed by a decisive victory at Kursk, the victory of the Battle of Stalingrad began a powerful counteroffensive that drove the Hitlerites steadily back from whence they came, until the final demise of the Third Reich in Berlin in May 1945. The battle changed the course of WWII in favour of the Soviet peoples and the peoples of Europe and the world.

Speaking in November 1943 at the celebration of the 26th anniversary of the Great October Revolution, Joseph Stalin assessed the battle as follows:


The battle of Stalingrad ended in the encirclement of a German Army 300,000 strong, its rout and the capture of about one-third of the encircled troops. To form an idea of the scale of the slaughter, unparalleled in history, which took place on the battlefields of Stalingrad, one must realize that after the battle of Stalingrad was over, 147,200 bodies of killed German officers and men and 46,700 bodies of killed Soviet officers and men were found and buried. Stalingrad signified the decline of the German-fascist army. After the Stalingrad slaughter, as is known, the Germans were unable to recover. [...]

All the peoples of the Soviet Union have risen as one in defence of their Motherland, rightly regarding the present Patriotic War as the common cause of all working people irrespective of nationality or religion. By now the Hitlerite politicians themselves see how hopelessly stupid were their calculations on discord and conflict among the peoples of the Soviet Union. The friendship of the peoples of our country has withstood all the hardship and trials of the war and has become tempered still further in the common struggle of all Soviet people against the fascist invaders. Herein lies the source of the strength of the Soviet Union. (Loud and prolonged applause.)

As in the years of peaceful construction, so in the days of war, the leading and guiding force of the Soviet people has been the Party of Lenin, the Party of the Bolsheviks. No other Party has ever enjoyed, or enjoys, such prestige among the masses of the people as our Bolshevik Party. And this is natural. Under the leadership of the Bolshevik Party, the workers, peasants and intelligentsia of our country have won their freedom and built a Socialist society. In the Patriotic War the Party has stood before us as the inspirer and organizer of the nation-wide struggle against the fascist invaders. The organizational work of the Party has united and directed all the efforts of the Soviet people towards the common goal, subordinating all our forces and means to the cause of defeating the enemy. During the war, the Party has increased its kinship with the people, has established still closer links with the broad masses of the working people. Herein lies the source of the strength of our state. (Loud and prolonged applause.)




 Painting of Battle of Stalingrad (G. Marchenko)

The victory shows many things, from the depths of Nazi brutality and barbarity -- as well as arrogance and vainglory -- to the heights of Soviet bravery, heroism and innovation. But, perhaps above all else, the affirmation of Stalingrad's right to be in the face of Nazi aggression required the organization of a new kind which had been created in the Soviet Union in the form of the communist party of a new type and Soviet Power. The battle revealed the new quality of organization and resistance that emerged in war conditions as a result of Soviet Power, where the people and their communist leadership became one to realize the justice of their cause. The aim, determination and the expression of their motivation can be seen in their deeds as they rose to defend their city, their Soviet motherland and workers' state.







Today, too, in the new historical conditions, establishing an aim and the organization capable of realizing that aim are crucial to turn things around in the peoples' favour. To avert the dangers which lie ahead, peoples saddled with old forms of representation require new forms of organization in the form of anti-war governments where it is the people who take decisions in their own name. No longer will they hand over their decision-making power to others who act in their name but then betray the people's interests. Far from it, the peoples' so-called sovereign representatives represent a fictitious person of state who rules over the people to advance private interests, not those established by the people themselves.

The form of rule and the form of leadership must be consistent with the requirements of the new historical conditions which have emerged in the last 30 years since the fall of the former Soviet Union.

The forms used in the past, which was a period of flow of revolution, were consistent with a situation which required the containment and eradication of  Nazi-fascism, come what may, to safeguard the future of humankind. That was a period when the peoples of the world had the great Soviet Union on their side to spearhead the battle for victory and inspire the peoples of the entire world to do likewise.

But today the revolution is in retreat. The imperialists and reactionary forces have the initiative, not the peoples of the world. These counter-revolutionary forces have formed international cartels and coalitions comprised of powerful private interests that collude and contend for control of the world's resources and spheres of influence as well as the power to be sole decision-makers on a supranational basis. Whatever they cannot control they seek to destroy, as in the case of invasions of sovereign nations and untold crimes against humanity, which surpass even those of the Hitlerites in scale and brutality. All of this is carried out under the guise that they uphold the cause of freedom, democracy and peace -- the very things the peoples of the world fought for in World War II and made the supreme sacrifice to achieve.

Today, as we celebrate the victories of the past, it is necessary to discuss the significance of the victory of the Battle of Stalingrad so as to enable the peoples to turn the tide of counter-revolution which assails the peoples of the world at this time. The peoples need to seize the initiative and turn things around in their favour. The opposition of the peoples of the world to the neo-liberal counter-revolution and its attendant wars of aggression and crimes against humanity must be strengthened. From acts of resistance, a mighty force must emerge that is capable of ending the barbaric rule of the present-day rulers.

This issue of TML Weekly pays homage to the heroism of the defenders of Stalingrad and their leadership on the occasion of their glorious victory at Stalingrad. Click here for the calendar of events taking place in Canada on this occasion.

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