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21
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.
22
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.




23
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
24
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.

25
For Your Information / British Betrayal of Its Own Convoys Carrying
« Last post by nestopwar on February 01, 2018, 09:36:34 PM »
 
British Betrayal of Its Own Convoys Carrying
 Supplies to Help the Soviets

- Nikolay Starikov -

Source with photos  http://cpcml.ca/Tmlw2018/W48003.HTM#8

The following is excerpted from the book Proxy Wars (St. Petersburg, 2017) by Russian historian, writer and political activist Nikolay Starikov.   


Part I




 Photo of PQ 17 convoy in Iceland in May 1942, before it sailed.

The disaster that befell Great Britain's legendary PQ 17 convoy, which was carrying military aid to the Soviet Union in July 1942, remains a mystery only to those who do not understand London's true agenda during World War II.

The second front, which the Allies had promised Moscow in 1941, was not opened either in that year or the next. After all of Stalin's diplomatic efforts and battles, assistance to the USSR came in the form of military supplies. The simplest and most efficient way to deliver that cargo was by sea. Polar convoys were assembled in Iceland and then sailed around Scandinavia to wind their way to Murmansk or Arkhangelsk. Each of them was guarded by British warships. The Germans attacked the polar convoys from airfields inside Nazi-occupied Norway. German submarines and surface vessels were based there, at military installations in Narvik and Trondheim.

Before July 1942 the convoys had experienced few casualties -- the first occurred when convoy PQ 12 (March 1942, consisting of 12 merchant ships) lost one vessel and one destroyer escort. PQ 13 lost four vessels, PQ 14 -- one vessel, PQ 15 -- three vessels, and PQ 16 -- seven merchant ships.


But out of the 34 merchant ships and tankers in the PQ 17 convoy, which set sail out of Hvalfjörður fjord on June 27, 1942, only 13 made it to the shores of the Soviet Union -- 21 vessels were sunk! Out of the 297 airplanes included in that cargo, 210 went to the bottom of the sea, as did 430 of the 584 tanks, 3,530 of the 4,246 automobiles that were secured to the decks and stored in the holds, plus so much other military cargo that was so badly needed by the USSR, which was embroiled in fierce, heavy fighting on the Don and Volga. In all, 122,000 tons of cargo were lost out of the original total of 188,000 tons, in addition to the hundreds of human deaths ...






But it was not these enormous losses that gave the PQ 17 convoy its own page in the history books -- it was because of the reason why they happened. This reason had a human face.  The fact is, the British warships ... simply abandoned the convoy to the mercies of fate. They sailed away, ordering the convoy to scatter and for all its ships to make their own way to Soviet shores. Afterward, those defenseless vessels were easy prey for German submarines and aircraft ...

The convoy's military escort and covering forces consisted of six destroyers, four corvettes, four armed trawlers, three minesweepers, two submarines, and two anti-aircraft auxiliaries. Commander Jack Broome was in charge of the expedition and would later publish quite a remarkable memoir, Convoy Is to Scatter.

On July 3, 1942, after successfully fending off several German air attacks, the flagship of the escort received a coded cable from London, claiming that "photographs of Trondheim show that [German battleships] Tirpitz, Hipper, and 4 destroyers have left."

On July 4, 1942, there were renewed German air attacks on the convoy. This time the Germans had much better luck: two ships were sunk and three damaged, but the Luftwaffe lost six planes. And then "something strange" happened. Early in the morning of July 5, Rear Admiral Hamilton gave his First Cruiser Squadron orders to retreat, withdrawing its protection from the convoy, and Admiral Pound, the Admiral of the Fleet, commanded the merchant ships to "scatter." This decision was based on information that had allegedly been received regarding a threat of attack on the convoy from the battleship Tirpitz. It would be an understatement to say that Commander Jack Broome found this order to be utterly baffling and bewildering:




The best descriptive parallel I could think of was an electric shock. The order to SCATTER is the prerogative of the senior man on the spot when, and only when, an overwhelming force attacks his convoy, which would be more difficult to massacre spread out than if it remained concentrated. It is the last straw, the ‘sauve qui peut' and it is, of course, irrevocable ... Upon obtaining these messages, separated by an interval of only 13 minutes and arriving with increasing urgency, we could draw only one conclusion. The Admiralty had received confirmation that the Germans were ready to strike, and these confirmations were sufficiently reliable for them to decide that, in the event of unrelenting attacks from above and below, defenseless merchant vessels would thus be safer than they would in the convoy ... PQ 17 was the first convoy in the history of the Royal Navy to be ordered to scatter by an officer who was not on the spot.







 Admiral Dudley Pound, who was responsible for the destruction of convoy PQ 17, resigned on Oct. 5, 1943 and was dead by Oct. 21
 of that year ...
 

The official British story insists that the PQ 17 convoy was the victim of a tragic mistake. Supposedly, as soon as Lord Pound made his fateful decision and saw it through, it emerged that the German squadron had not gone anywhere and was still at its base in Norway!



But what really happened? Immediately after the treaty of alliance was signed with the USSR on May 26, 1942, British leaders, most likely Churchill himself, issued a secret order that the next convoy must not make it to the shores of the Soviet Union. All of Admiral Pound's later actions, which are without parallel in naval and military history, are nothing more than his efforts to carry out the instructions he had been given. This not only made it possible to "help without helping" the Red Army, but also gave the British leadership a free hand to do their best to end the convoys altogether, on the pretext of having suffered "huge casualties." This was a cutoff of assistance to the Soviet Union, right at a critical moment during the Battle of Stalingrad. What's more, because the British practically surrendered the convoy and handed over their sea route to the Nazis by withdrawing the protecting warships, this amounted to directly abetting Hitler's continued surge toward Stalingrad to finish off Soviet Russia. In order for the Führer to be made to see that his only way out was to crush the USSR, or in other words, to escalate the war, he needed irrefutable evidence that the British were prepared to betray Russia. And although they were officially allies, the British would be ready to make peace with the Reich if the USSR could be defeated. The British betrayal of their own convoy was proof offered to the Germans that this time a deal with them was possible.

The Germans really did know the names of each of the ships in the convoy and even the cargo each carried! The German submariners had no reason to hide. They surfaced and, not wasting their torpedoes, easily sank the defenseless merchant ships with artillery fire. The rescued Allied sailors later claimed that the Nazis were surprisingly well informed as to what each vessel was carrying. To explain this astonishing fact, the British later circulated the information that the Germans had allegedly found the code books and ship list aboard the merchant ship the SS Paulus Potter, which had been left adrift after having fallen under attack (the crew had abandoned the vessel but never scuttled it). Another oddity in the Germans' behavior that was noticed by the eyewitnesses was their surprising nonchalance and confident sense of impunity. They did not seem to be fighting as much as ... enjoying themselves, on a pleasant, innocent outing:

They were virtually handed a licence to bomb, torpedo, and photograph us, then shoot off home to photograph themselves putting on their medals! ... Seldom can so much film footage have been taken of a single action at sea, all from an enemy standpoint, which reaped such a rich harvest in propaganda. (Paul Lund, PQ 17: Convoy to Hell)

One more curious detail: the radio cable ordering the convoy to retreat was sent by the British "in the clear," in other words, without encryption! There is to this day still no rational explanation for why every basic rule of secrecy was suddenly violated. The only logical reason for sending a crucially important radio message in the clear when there was no pressing need to do so (!) would be that there was a desire for it to be immediately read by the enemy. The British openly informed the Germans that the convoy was now defenseless and could be easily attacked, but that there was no need to strike at the retreating cruisers and ships from the convoy that could fend for themselves. From that perspective it is immediately clear why the Germans behaved with such nonchalance and were so utterly confident of their impunity.

Another important fact: on July 5, 1942, the British warships received yet another radio cable, the meaning of which is difficult to interpret as anything other than a desire to cover their tracks:


Please note that the Admiralty's message ... to the ships escorting the PQ 17, to the commander of the 1st Cruiser Squadron and the Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleet ordering the convoy to scatter was transmitted in naval encryption, and not in the clear, as was noted on the copies in circulation." (Jack Broome, Convoy Is to Scatter).


In other words, the ship captains were asked to forge an entry in their ship's log and to note that the telegraphed order "convoy is to scatter" was sent in encrypted form, rather than in the clear, as it actually was! Later, the Admiralty decided to destroy all the radio transmission logs from that campaign.

Is it not surprising that, after learning of the tragedy of convoy PQ 17, Stalin asked, "Do British naval officers even understand the concept of honour?"

Part II

On July 28, 1942 Stalin issued his famous order no. 227: "Not one step back!" And this was not because he had forgotten to do it in 1941, but because the state of affairs on the front lines of the war had become much more dangerous and the prospect of a Soviet military defeat seemed far more possible than it had at the beginning of the war. That is why on Oct. 19, 1942, Stalin wrote to the Soviet ambassador in England, Ivan Maisky:




All of us in Moscow have gained the impression that Churchill is aiming at the defeat of the USSR, in order to then come to terms with the Germany of Hitler or Brüning at the expense of our country. Otherwise it is difficult to explain Churchill's behavior either in regard to the second front in Europe or the arms shipments to the USSR, which continue to dwindle.



The PQ 17 tragedy occurred in early July 1942, and Stalin's telegram was sent in mid-October. In the interval Churchill had sent letters of "explanation," the British had attempted to scale back the convoys, and Churchill had visited Moscow from August 12-14. As a result -- Stalin became convinced, as he expressed in his telegram to Maisky, that Churchill was conspiring with Hitler.


 Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin at the Kremlin in August 1942.[1]

You can judge for yourself the feebleness of Sir Winston's "explanations" about the PQ 17 tragedy by reading the correspondence of the two leaders in its entirety, so we'll just offer the highlights here. The British prime minister's entire letter to Stalin on July 18, 1942 can be boiled down to one sentence: we cannot fight the Germans, because it will cost us dearly. And therefore, writes Sir Winston, we have no choice but to end the convoys to the USSR. Stalin's letter of response on July 23, 1942 sheds a clarifying light on what was happening at that time:

I have received your message of July 18. I gather from the message, first, that the British Government refuses to go on supplying the Soviet Union with war materials by the northern route and, secondly, that despite the agreed Anglo-Soviet Communique 20 on the adoption of urgent measures to open a second front in 1942, the British Government is putting off the operation till 1943. According to our naval experts, the arguments of British naval experts on the necessity of stopping delivery of war supplies to the northern harbours of the U.S.S.R. are untenable. They are convinced that, given goodwill and readiness to honour obligations, steady deliveries could be effected, with heavy loss to the Germans. The British Admiralty's order to the P.Q. 17 convoy to abandon the supply ships and return to Britain, and to the supply ships to disperse and make for Soviet harbours singly, without escort, is, in the view of our experts, puzzling and inexplicable. Of course, I do not think steady deliveries to northern Soviet ports are possible without risk or loss. But then no major task can be carried out in wartime without risk or losses. You know, of course, that the Soviet Union is suffering far greater losses. Be that as it may, I never imagined that the British Government would deny us delivery of war materials precisely now, when the Soviet Union is badly in need of them in view of the grave situation on the Soviet-German front. It should be obvious that deliveries via Persian ports can in no way make up for the loss in the event of deliveries via the northern route being discontinued. As to the second point, namely, that of opening a second front in Europe, I fear the matter is taking an improper turn. In view of the situation on the Soviet-German front, I state most emphatically that the Soviet Government cannot tolerate the second front in Europe being postponed till 1943. I hope you will not take it amiss that I have seen fit to give you my frank and honest opinion and that of my colleagues on the points raised in your message.



 Moscow Conference, August 1942: Winston Churchill, U.S. Ambassador Averell Harriman,
 Joseph Stalin, Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov.




During Churchill's visit to Moscow a few days later, Stalin would tell him quite pointedly, "The Germans do not have a large fleet, and it needs to be destroyed, rather than scattering the convoys." Stalin knew who he was dealing with. He knew who had raised Hitler to power and the reason for that. He understood that England's ultimate goal was to drag out the Soviet-German war for as long as possible. This was why he was so affronted by the excuse of these "circumstantial factors" that his "allies" were forced to send the PQ 18 convoy to the USSR in early September 1942. Interestingly enough, the military escort ships accompanying the PQ 18 convoy were also ordered to focus on protecting themselves, rather than the supply vessels. (Paul Lund, PQ17: Convoy to Hell ). But this time that order was ignored, and the British sailors successfully safeguarded the transports. The fact that the PQ 17 could have been protected is also evident from the fact that despite a fierce battle in the Barents Sea north of North Cape, 28 out of 41 vessels of the PQ 18 arrived safely in Soviet port, causing a dramatic loss to Luftwaffe (around 40 aircrafts piloted by the best German aces were hit by the escort during the voyage).

The history of the PQ 17 is only a small fragment in the mosaic of the elaborate games that the British establishment employed during the Second World War to achieve its elusive goals. To that end they sacrificed their own citizens and soldiers. For example, as part of the Operation Fortitude campaign of disinformation in the first half of 1944, British intelligence sent agents into various countries of occupied Europe who, for one reason or another, "knew" the place and time of the Allied landing in Europe. According to the information they provided, that landing was to occur in Pas-de-Calais. The directors of the operation also saw to it that these agents fell into the hands of the Gestapo and that the poison capsules they were given to use in the event of their arrest turned out to be worthless. But the evidence of those suicide attempts would make the information that the Gestapo obtained by torturing the captured agents seem more reliable. As a result, the credulous Germans were awaiting the Allied landing in entirely the wrong place. Moreover, after Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, Hitler, who was expecting a landing in Pas-de-Calais, failed to move several tank divisions south that would have been capable of repelling that invasion.

And what about those unfortunate agents? Some of them survived the war, and, realizing what had happened to them, demanded an investigation. But, like the logs of the arctic-convoy radio cables, the archive of the Special Operations Executive had been destroyed just in time. In response to attempts to discover what really happened, the British government has donned an expression of affronted dignity. They claim that such a course of action would have been beneath them and they are outraged by the very suggestion.

No documents exist. That means it never happened ...






TML Note

1. It was after that meeting in August 1942 that Churchill, in a speech to the British House of Commons on September 8, 1942, had the following to say about Joseph Stalin:





It was an experience of great interest to me to meet Premier Stalin ... It is very fortunate for Russia in her agony to have this great rugged war chief at her head. He is a man of massive outstanding personality, suited to the sombre and stormy times in which his life has been cast; a man of inexhaustible courage and will-power and a man direct and even blunt in speech, which, having been brought up in the House of Commons, I do not mind at all, especially when I have something to say of my own. Above all, he is a man with that saving sense of humour which is of high importance to all men and all nations, but particularly to great men and great nations. Stalin also left upon me the impression of a deep, cool wisdom and a complete absence of illusions of any kind. I believe I made him feel that we were good and faithful comrades in this war -- but that, after all, is a matter which deeds not words will prove.

(Adapted and translated by Oriental Review, October 24, 2017.)
26
For Your Information / Who Is Responsible for Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar?
« Last post by Roger on October 10, 2017, 10:09:54 PM »

 Who Is Responsible for Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar?
 Gearóid Ó Colmáin, American Herald Tribune 
Sept 30


 On the 15th of September the dead bodies of a family were discovered by Burmese security forces In Mayu Mountain Rakhine state. The family are believed to be Daingnet minorities. The murders have been blamed on the Arakanese Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA, formerly Harakah al Yakin) a terrorist group with links to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Myanmar's Rakhine State has experienced a wave of violence since ARSA (Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army) terrorists attacked security forces on the 25th of August killing 10 police officers, 1 soldier, 9 security officers and several civilians.

The ARSA attacks were clearly timed to coincide with the report before the UN General Assembly of the Advisory Committee on Rakhine led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Dr Annan was appointed by the Burmese government to oversee an independent investigation of violence in the troubled region.

Numerous eyewitness reports in Myanmar say terrorists set fire to villages provoking an exodus, while others, including the Western corporate media, say the fires were lit by the Burmese military (Tatmadaw). There is no conclusive proof of who is responsible for the tragic exodus of Myanmar's ethnic Bengali Muslim communities from North Rakhine State. But former US chargé d'affaires at the US Embassy in Burma, Pricilla Clapp contradicted US agencies when she told France 24 News that she believed the Takfiri terrorists were responsible for the burning of villages as well as laying land mines.

If Clapp's claims are true, it strongly suggests that the terrorist insurgency in north Rakhine state is gaining in strength. The Islamist insurgency is estimated to be between 20 and 30,00 fighters. There are many accounts by Buddhist Muslim and Hindu villagers of being surrounded and attacked by the Takfiri terrorists.

According to American Burmese researcher Rich Heizman, almost all the inhabitants of Ye Bauk Kyar village, three miles from the Bangladeshi border, were hacked to death with machetes, swords and axes by the "Bengali" Islamist terrorists. 92 Hindus were also slaughtered in Kha Maung Seik village.

Mass graves of mostly Hindu villagers have been found near the Bangladeshi border. They are believed to have been murdered in August 2016 terrorist insurgency.

Hundreds of Hindu villagers remain missing. Some Hindu's, captured by the terrorists, have been found in Bangladeshi refugee camps.

None of this evidence has been mentioned in the mainstream media reports. The horrific suffering of thousands of people has been deliberately and callously ignored. Instead, we are fed a constant, lachrymose refrain about ‘the world's most persecuted minority' and ‘genocide against the Rohingya'. The soundbites mask what may be a far more disturbing reality, namely that those screaming genocide are the very people behind the mass killing! The modus operandi is familiar to followers of the Syrian and Libyan wars where false-false terrorist atrocities, designed to gain maximum media attention in order to blame the targeted government, have been the norm.

The discovery of the massacre in the Mayu Mountain comes after the Asian Human Rights Centre (ACHR) recently called on the UN to dismiss its current Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Professor Yanghee Lee, due to serious violations of the UN Human Rights Council's Resolution 5/2 ‘Code of Conduct for Special Procedures Mandate-holders of the Human Rights Council- article 3 General Principles of conduct.'

Professor Lee is accused of omitting to mention the terrorist groups who are responsible for atrocities. Lee has also been accused of grossly inflating the figures of Bengali (Rohingya) deaths.

The ACHR accuses the UN Special Rapporteur of failing to name the Takfiri groups for the killing of 3 Mro villagers on the third of August, 2017, 5 ethnic Daingnets in Kyandoe village on the 26th of August and 7 Mro people in Kan-Taing village, Maungdaw on the 28th of August.

The anti-terrorist operation in Myanmar is far from over with reports of thousands of terrorists still hiding in the jungle of the Mayu Mountains.

The whereabouts of thousands of victims remain unknown. Some Buddhist and Hindu refugees who fled to Rakhine State capital Sittway after the violence, have been transported by the military back to their villages. Many Buddhist refugees, who are a minority in Maungdaw township in north Rakhine State, have said they will never return to the area due to fear of more attacks.

Thousands of Muslim refugees remain in Bangladesh. Many of the community leaders are refusing to cooperate with Myanmar's identity verification process, making repatriation impossible. Many Muslims in the refugee camps are also coming under pressure from terrorist groups such as ARSA. Half of North Rakhine's Muslim community have remained in Rakhine State. But ARSA terrorists have also been murdering Muslim's accused of collaborating with the Burmese military (Tatmadaw). All Myanmar Islamic Religious Organisation has condemned the terrorists and urged all Muslims to collaborate with the government.

The Burmese military has been accused of torturing and decapitating children. The claims are highly unlikely. In fact, it is far more likely that such atrocities are being committed by the Takfiri terrorists themselves. The Tatdadaw are highly trained soldiers who are armed mostly with Browning Hi-powder, Heckler & Koch G 3s and MP5 submachine guns. The photos of thousands of slaughtered victims have been released by the Burmese government. The bodies are badly mutilated with deep gashes from machetes, swords and knives – the main weapons of the Takfiri terrorists. The Western press is trying to play down the savagery of the ARSA terrorists, claiming that they are ‘lightly armed'. There is nothing ‘light' about a machete or a sword in the hands of a lunatic Takfiri terrorist!

Since communal violence in 2012 where Mosques and Buddhist temples were attacked leading to the murder of Buddhists and Muslims, Myanmar has been targeted with a growing foreign-backed Islamist insurgency in north Rakhine State, where Bengali Muslims are the ethno-religious majority.

The Buddhist majority in Myanmar fear that if illegal Bengali immigration is not curbed, they may one day face the same persecution as their co-religionists in Bangladesh. Murders and rapes of Buddhists by Takfiri terrorists are regularly documented in Bangladesh, where the growing Wahhabi death cult is receiving copious funding from Saudi Arabia.

Since the destruction of the ancient statues of Buddha in Afghanistan by the Taliban in 2001, there have been growing religious tensions in South East Asia. The strategic objective of Western imperialism in Asia is to exploit those tensions by stoking sectarian hatred – a Huntingtonian ‘clash of civilisations' which provides the pretext for ‘humanitarian' intervention' or ‘anti-terrorist' counter-insurgency operations by the United States and its allies. The growing Buddhist/Muslim tensions provide Uncle Sam with the pretext he needs to counter the rise of China. Only in that context can one begin to understand imperialism's new humanitarian cause- the Rohingya.

Gearóid Ó Colmáin, AHT Paris correspondent, is a journalist and political analyst. His work focuses on globalization, geopolitics and class struggle. His articles have been translated into many languages. He is a regular contributor to Global Research, Russia Today International, Press TV, Sputnik Radio France, Sputnik English , Al Etijah TV , Sahar TV Englis, Sahar French and has also appeared on Al Jazeera. He writes in English, Irish Gaelic and French.
27
For Your Information / THE RISING OF BRITAIN'S 'NEW POLITICS'
« Last post by Roger on October 10, 2017, 10:04:11 PM »
THE RISING OF BRITAIN'S 'NEW POLITICS'
 JohnPilger.com - the films and journalism of John Pilger 
6 October 2017

 Delegates to the recent Labour Party conference in the English seaside town of Brighton seemed not to notice a video playing in the main entrance. The world's third biggest arms manufacturer, BAE Systems, supplier to Saudi Arabia, was promoting its guns, bombs, missiles, naval ships and fighter aircraft.

It seemed a perfidious symbol of a party in which millions of Britons now invest their political hopes. Once the preserve of Tony Blair, it is led today by Jeremy Corbyn, whose career has been very different from Blair's and is rare in British establishment politics.

Addressing the Labour conference, the campaigner Naomi Klein described the rise of Corbyn as "part of a global phenomenon. We saw it in Bernie Sanders' historic campaign in the US primaries, powered by millennials who know that safe centrist politics offers them no kind of safe future."

In fact, at the end of the US primary elections last year, Sanders led his followers into the arms of Hillary Clinton, a liberal warmonger from a long tradition in the Democratic Party.

As President Obama's Secretary of State, Clinton presided over the invasion of Libya in 2011, which led to a stampede of refugees to Europe. She gloated notoriously at the gruesome murder of Libya's president. Two years earlier, she signed off on a coup that overthrew the democratically elected president of Honduras. That she has been invited to Wales on 14 October to be given an honorary doctorate by the University of Swansea because she is "synonymous with human rights" is unfathomable.

Like Clinton, Sanders is a cold-warrior and an "anti-communist" obsessive with a proprietorial view of the world beyond the United States. He supported Bill Clinton's and Tony Blair's illegal assault on Yugoslavia in 1998 and the invasions of Afghanistan, Syria and Libya, as well as Barack Obama's campaign of terrorism by drone. He backs the provocation of Russia and agrees that the whistleblower Edward Snowden should stand trial. He has called the late Hugo Chavez - a social democrat who won multiple elections - "a dead communist dictator".

While Sanders is a familiar liberal politician, Corbyn may well be a phenomenon, with his indefatigable support for the victims of American and British imperial adventures and for popular resistance movements.

For example, in the 1960s and 70s, the Chagos islanders were expelled from their homeland, a British colony in the Indian Ocean, by a Labour government. An entire population was kidnapped. The aim was to make way for a US military base on the main island of Diego Garcia: a secret deal for which the British were "compensated" with a discount of $14 million off the price of a Polaris nuclear submarine.

I have had much to do with the Chagos islanders and have filmed them in exile in Mauritius and the Seychelles, where they suffered and grieved and some of them "died from sadness", as I was told. They found a political champion in a Labour Member of Parliament, Jeremy Corbyn.

So did the Palestinians. So did Iraqis terrorised by a Labour prime minister's invasion of their country in 2003. So did others struggling to break free from the designs of western power. Corbyn supported the likes of Hugo Chavez, who brought more than hope to societies subverted by the US behemoth.

And yet, now that Corbyn is closer to power than he might have ever imagined, his foreign policy remains a secret.

By secret, I mean there has been rhetoric and little else. "We must put our values at the heart of our foreign policy," said Corbyn at the Labour conference. But what are these "values"?

Since 1945, like the Tories, British Labour has been an imperial party, obsequious to Washington and with a record exemplified by the crime in the Chagos islands.

What has changed? Is Jeremy Corbyn saying Labour will uncouple itself from the US war machine, and the US spying apparatus and US economic blockades that scar humanity?

His shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, says a Corbyn government "will put human rights back at the heart of Britain's foreign policy". But human rights have never been at the heart of British foreign policy -- only "interests", as Lord Palmerston declared in the 19th century: the interests of those at the apex of British society.

Thornberry quoted the late Robin Cook who, as Tony Blair's first Foreign Secretary in 1997, pledged an "ethical foreign policy" that would "make Britain once again a force for good in the world".

History is not kind to imperial nostalgia. The recently commemorated division of India by a Labour government in 1947 - with a border hurriedly drawn up by a London barrister, Gordon Radcliffe, who had never been to India and never returned - led to blood-letting on a genocidal scale.

Shut up in a lonely mansion, with police night and day

Patrolling the gardens to keep the assassins away,

He got down to work, to the task of settling the fate

Of millions. The maps at his disposal were out of date

And the Census Returns almost certainly incorrect,

But there was no time to check them, no time to inspect

Contested areas. The weather was frightfully hot,

And a bout of dysentery kept him constantly on the trot,

But in seven weeks it was done, the frontiers decided,

A continent for better or worse divided.

W.H. Auden, 'Partition'

It was the same Labour government (1945--51), led by Prime Minister Clement Attlee - "radical" by today's standards - that dispatched General Douglas Gracey's British imperial army to Saigon with orders to re-arm the defeated Japanese in order to prevent Vietnamese nationalists from liberating their own country. Thus, the longest war of the century was ignited.

It was a Labour Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, whose policy of "mutuality" and "partnership" with some of the world's most vicious despots, especially in the Middle East, forged relationships that endure today, often sidelining and crushing the human rights of whole communities and societies. The cause was British "interests" - oil, power, wealth.

In the "radical" 1960s, Labour's Defence Secretary, Denis Healey, set up the Defence Sales Organisation (DSO) specifically to boost the arms trade and make money from selling lethal weapons to the world. Healey told Parliament, "While we attach the highest importance to making progress in the field of arms control and disarmament, we must also take what practical steps we can to ensure that this country does not fail to secure its rightful share of this valuable market."

The doublethink was quintessentially Labour.

When I later asked Healey about this "valuable market", he claimed his decision made no difference to the volume of military exports. In fact, it led to an almost doubling of Britain's share of the arms market. Today, Britain is the second biggest arms dealer on earth, selling arms and fighter planes, machine guns and "riot control" vehicles, to 22 of the 30 countries on the British Government's own list of human rights violators.

Will this cease under a Corbyn government? The preferred model - Robin Cook's "ethical foreign policy" - is revealing. Like Jeremy Corbyn, Cook made his name as a backbencher and critic of the arms trade. "Wherever weapons are sold," wrote Cook, "there is a tacit conspiracy to conceal the reality of war" and "it is a truism that every war for the past two decades has been fought by poor countries with weapons supplied by rich countries".

Cook singled out the sale of British Hawk fighters to Indonesia as "particularly disturbing". Indonesia "is not only repressive but actually at war on two fronts: in East Timor, where perhaps a sixth of the population has been slaughtered ... and in West Papua, where it confronts an indigenous liberation movement".

As Foreign Secretary, Cook promised "a thorough review of arms sales". The then Nobel Peace Laureate, Bishop Carlos Belo of East Timor, appealed directly to Cook: "Please, I beg you, do not sustain any longer a conflict which without these arms sales could never have been pursued in the first place and not for so very long." He was referring to Indonesia's bombing of East Timor with British Hawks and the slaughter of his people with British machine guns. He received no reply.

The following week Cook called journalists to the Foreign Office to announce his "mission statement" for "human rights in a new century". This PR event included the usual private briefings for selected journalists, including the BBC, in which Foreign Office officials lied that there was "no evidence" that British Hawk aircraft were deployed in East Timor.

A few days later, the Foreign Office issued the results of Cook's "thorough review" of arms sales policy. "It was not realistic or practical," wrote Cook, "to revoke licences which were valid and in force at the time of Labour's election victory". Suharto's Minister for Defence, Edi Sudradjat, said that talks were already under way with Britain for the purchase of 18 more Hawk fighters. "The political change in Britain will not affect our negotiations," he said. He was right.

Today, replace Indonesia with Saudi Arabia and East Timor with Yemen. British military aircraft - sold with the approval of both Tory and Labour governments and built by the firm whose promotional video had pride of place at the Labour Party conference - are bombing the life out of Yemen, one of the most impoverished countries in the world, where half the children are malnourished and there is the greatest cholera epidemic in modern times.

Hospitals and schools, weddings and funerals have been attacked. In Ryadh, British military personnel are reported to be training the Saudis in selecting targets.

In Labour's 2017 manifesto, Jeremy Corbyn and his party colleagues promised that "Labour will demand a comprehensive, independent, UN-led investigation into alleged violations ... in Yemen, including air strikes on civilians by the Saudi-led coalition. We will immediately suspend any further arms sales for use in the conflict until that investigation is concluded."

But the evidence of Saudi Arabia's crimes in Yemen is already documented by Amnesty and others, notably by the courageous reporting of the British journalist Iona Craig. The dossier is voluminous.

Labour does not promise to stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia. It does not say Britain will withdraw its support for governments responsible for the export of Islamist jihadism. There is no commitment to dismantle the arms trade.

The manifesto describes a "special relationship [with the US] based on shared values ... When the current Trump administration chooses to ignore them ... we will not be afraid to disagree".

As Jeremy Corbyn knows, dealing with the US is not about merely "disagreeing". The US is a rapacious, rogue power that ought not to be regarded as a natural ally of any state championing human rights, irrespective of whether Trump or anyone else is President.

When Emily Thornberry linked Venezuela with the Philippines as "increasingly autocratic regimes" - slogans bereft of contextual truth and ignoring the subversive US role in Venezuela -- she was consciously playing to the enemy: a tactic with which Jeremy Corbyn will be familiar.

A Corbyn government will allow the Chagos islanders the right of return. But Labour says nothing about renegotiating the 50-year renewal agreement that Britain has just signed with the US allowing it to use the base on Diego Garcia from which it has bombed Afghanistan and Iraq.

A Corbyn government will "immediately recognise the state of Palestine". But it is silent on whether Britain will continue to arm Israel, continue to acquiesce in the illegal trade in Israel's illegal "settlements" and continue to treat Israel merely as a warring party, rather than as an historic oppressor given immunity by Washington and London.

On Britain's support for Nato's current war preparations, Labour boasts that the "last Labour government spent above the benchmark of 2 per cent of GDP" on Nato. It says, "Conservative spending cuts have put Britain's security at risk" and promises to boost Britain's military "obligations".

In fact, most of the £40 billion Britain currently spends on the military is not for territorial defence of the UK but for offensive purposes to enhance British "interests" as defined by those who have tried to smear Jeremy Corbyn as unpatriotic.

If the polls are reliable, most Britons are well ahead of their politicians, Tory and Labour. They would accept higher taxes to pay for public services; they want the National Health Service restored to full health. They want decent jobs and wages and housing and schools; they do not hate foreigners but resent exploitative labour. They have no fond memory of an empire on which the sun never set.

They oppose the invasion of other countries and regard Blair as a liar. The rise of Donald Trump has reminded them what a menace the United States can be, especially with their own country in tow.

The Labour Party is the beneficiary of this mood, but many of its pledges - certainly in foreign policy - are qualified and compromised, suggesting, for many Britons, more of the same.

Jeremy Corbyn is widely and properly recognised for his integrity; he opposes the renewal of Trident nuclear weapons; the Labour Party supports it. But he has given shadow cabinet positions to pro-war MPs who support Blairism, and tried to get rid of him and abused him as "unelectable".

"We are the political mainstream now," says Corbyn. Yes, but at what price?
28
News Items / Syria demands immediate international action against US-led coalition
« Last post by nestopwar on October 01, 2017, 04:48:20 PM »
Syria demands immediate international action against US-led coalition
 Syrian Arab News Agency 
September 28, 2017
 

 The Foreign and Expatriates Ministry addressed on Thursday new letters to the chiefs of the UN and the international Security Council over the constantly repeated attacks of the US-led coalition against Syrian territory and civilians.

The recent crime committed by the coalition, within a series of repeated attacks on civilians and infrastructure in Syria for the past several months, took place on Wednesday, as the coalition's warplanes shelled al-Sout town in the countryside of Deir Ezzor with the internationally-banned white phosphorus , claiming the lives of a number of civilians and leaving others injured, the Ministry complained.

A day before, the coalition's air force committed a massacre in Markada town to the south of Hasaka city, killing Syrian civilians, including two women, and 6 members of an Iraqi family that had moved to Hasaka from Mosul, the Ministry added.

While expressing its strong condemnation of the coalition's attacks, "war crimes and crimes against humanity", Syria regrets that some countries that claim to respect human rights and the international law remain acting members of this coalition, the Ministry said in its letters.

Syria "calls on these countries, which we got used to hearing their voices and demands for an end of all forms of aggression and for respect of human rights and the international humanitarian law, to withdraw from this coalition that has marred [these countries'] reputation and shed plenty of the Syrians' blood in their name," the letters read.

In its two letters , the Ministry renewed also its demand that the Security Council take immediate action to stop the "barbarous crimes" and "gross violations" of the international humanitarian law and the international human rights law repeatedly committed by the coalition.
29
Newcastle Stop the War / No War in Korea!
« Last post by nestopwar on September 16, 2017, 03:35:13 PM »
No War in Korea!

by Theo Russell
 About 90 people attended a meeting at Friends House in central London last Tuesday called by the Stop the War Coalition, with writer and film-maker Tariq Ali, CND General Secretary Kate Hudson, Stop the War convenor Lindsey German, and Owen Miller, a Lecturer in Korean Studies at the School of African and Oriental Studies, on the panel.
All of the speakers condemned the warmongering history and recent actions by the USA and NATO, and recalled in great detail the crimes committed by the US-led forces in the Korean War. The platform also showed how the history of the introduction of nuclear weapons into the Korean peninsula, the failure of attempts to negotiate any agreements because of US sabotage, and the recent history of wars and regime change, all explained why the DPRK had embarked on its nuclear and missile development programmes. The peace and anti-THAAD [Terminal High Altitude Area Defence; an American anti-ballistic missile defence system] movements in south Korea, and solidarity with them and with the DPRK, were also discussed. Tariq Ali summed up the feeling of the meeting when he said that thanks to its strong defences “North Korea is one of very few  genuinely sovereign states left in the world.”
30
Newcastle Stop the War / North Korea an Aggressor? A Reality Check
« Last post by nestopwar on September 07, 2017, 08:49:30 AM »
North Korea an Aggressor? A Reality Check

by Felicity Arbuthnot  (London Progressive Journal)

Tue 5th Sep 2017


 “ … war in our time is  always indiscriminate, a war against innocents, a war against children.”  (Howard Zinn, 1922-2010.)
 
 “All war represents a failure of diplomacy.” (Tony Benn, MP. 1925-2014.)
 
 “No country too poor, too small, too far away, not to be threat, a threat to the American way of life.”  (William Blum, “Rogue State.”)
 
 The mention of one tiny country appears to strike at the rationality and sanity of those who should know far better. On Sunday, 6thAugust, for example, The Guardian headed an editorial: “The Guardian view on sanctions: an essential tool.” Clearly the average of five thousands souls a month, the majority children, dying of ”embargo related causes” in Iraq, year after grinding year - genocide in the name of the UN - for over a decade has long been forgotten by the broadsheet of the left.
 
This time of course, the target is North Korea upon whom the United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously to freeze, strangulate and deny essentials, normality, humanity. Diplomacy as ever, not even a consideration.

The Guardian, however, incredibly, declared the decimating sanctions: “A rare triumph of diplomacy …” (Guardian 6thAugust 2017.)
 
As US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, the US’ top “diplomat” and his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-ho headed for the annual Ministerial meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Manila on 5thAugust, a State Department spokesperson said of Tillerson: “The Secretary has no plans to meet the North Korean Foreign Minister in Manila, and I don’t expect to see that happen”.
 
 Pathetic. In April, approaching his hundredth day in office, Trump said of North Korea: “We'd love to solve things diplomatically but it's very difficult.” No it is not. Talk, walk in the other’s psychological shoes. Then, there they were at the same venue but the Trump Administration clearly does not alone live in a land of missed opportunities, but of opportunities deliberately buried in landfill miles deep. This in spite of his having said in the same statement: “There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely.”
 
 A bit of perspective: 27thJuly 2017 marked sixty four years since the armistice agreement that ended the devastating three year Korean war, however there has never been a peace treaty, thus technically the Korean war has never ended. Given that and American’s penchant for wiping out countries with small populations which pose them no threat (think most recently, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya) no wonder North Korea wishes to look as if it has some heavy protective gear behind the front door, so to speak.
 
Tiny North Korea has a population of just 25.37 million and landmass of 120,540 km². The US has a population of 323.1 million and a landmass of 9.834 MILLION km². Further, since 1945, the US is believed to have produced some 70,000 nuclear weapons - though now down to a “mere” near 7,000 - but North Korea is a threat?
 
America has fifteen military bases in South Korea - down from a staggering fifty four - bristling with every kind of weapons of mass destruction. Two bases are right on the North Korean border and another nearly as close. See full details of each, with map at (1).
 
North Korea also has the collective memory of the horror wrought by the US in the three year conflict on a country then with a population of just 9.6 million souls. US General Curtis Lemay in the aftermath stated: “After destroying North Korea’s seventy eight cities and thousands of her villages, and killing countless numbers of her civilians … Over a period of three years or so we killed off - what - twenty percent of the population.”
 
 “It is now believed that the population north of the imposed 38th Parallel lost nearly a third its population of 8 - 9 million people during the 37-month long ‘hot’ war, 1950 - 1953, perhaps an unprecedented percentage of mortality suffered by one nation due to the belligerence of another.”  (2)
 
 In context: “During The Second World War the United Kingdom lost 0.94% of its population, France lost 1.35%, China lost 1.89% and the US lost 0.32%. During the Korean war, North Korea lost close to 30 % of its population.”.
 
 “We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea anyway, some way or another …”, boasted Lemay.
 
Gen. Douglas MacArthur said during a Congressional hearing in 1951 that he had never seen such devastation.
 
 “I shrink with horror that I cannot express in words … at this continuous slaughter of men in Korea,” MacArthur said. “I have seen, I guess, as much blood and disaster as any living man, and it just curdled my stomach, the last time I was there.” (CNN, 28thJuly 2017.) Horrified as he was, he did not mention the incinerated women, children, infants in the same breath.
 
Moreover, as Robert M. Neer wrote in “Napalm, an American Biography”:
 
 ‘ “Practically every U.S. fighter plane that has flown into Korean air carried at least two napalm bombs,” Chemical Officer Townsend wrote in January 1951. About 21,000 gallons of napalm hit Korea every day in 1950. As combat intensified after China’s intervention, that number more than tripled (...) a total of 32,357 tons of napalm fell on Korea, about double that dropped on Japan in 1945. Not only did the allies drop more bombs on Korea than in the Pacific theater during World War II - 635,000 tons, versus 503,000 tons - more of what fell was napalm … ‘
 
 In the North Korean capitol, Pyongyang, just two buildings were reported as still standing.
 
In the unending history of US warmongering, North Korea is surely the smallest population they had ever attacked until their assault on tiny Grenada in October 1983, population then just 91,000 (compulsory silly name: “Operation Urgent Fury.)
 
North Korea has been taunted by the US since it lay in ruins after the armistice sixty five years ago, yet as ever, the US Administration paints the vast, self appointed “leader of the free world” as the victim.
 
As Fort-Russ pointed out succinctly (7thAugust 2017): “The Korean Peninsula is in a state of crisis not only due to constant US threats towards North Korea, but also due to various provocative actions, such as Washington conducting joint military exercises with Seoul amid tensions, and which Pyongyang considered a threat to its national security.”
 
 This month “massive land, sea and air exercises” involving “tens of thousands of troops” from the US and South Korea began on 21st of August and continue until 31st. ‘In the past, the practices are believed to have included “decapitation strikes” - trial operations for an attempt to kill Kim Jong-un and his top Generals …’, according to the Guardian (11thAugust 2017.) The obligatory stupid name chosen for this dangerous, belligerent, money burning, sabre rattling nonsense is Ulchi-Freedom Guardian.

It is an annual occurrence since first initiated back in 1976.
 
US B-1B bombers flying from Guam recently carried out exercises in South Korea and “practiced attack capabilities by releasing inert weapons at the Pilsung Range.” In a further provocative (and illegal) move, US bombers were again reported to overfly North Korea, another of many such bullying, threatening actions, reportedly eleven just since May this year.
 
Yet in spite of all, North Korea is the “aggressor.”
 
“The nuclear warheads of United States of America are stored in some twenty one locations, which include thirteen U.S. states and five European countries … some are on board U.S. submarines. There are some "zombie" nuclear warheads as well, and they are kept in reserve, and as many as 3,000 of these are still awaiting their dismantlement. (The US) also extends its “nuclear umbrella” to such other countries as South Korea, Japan, and Australia.” ( worldatlas.com )
 
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov who also attended the ASEAN meeting in Manila did, of course, do what proper diplomats do and talked with his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-ho. Minister Lavrov’s opinion was summed up by a Fort Russ News observer as:
 
 “The Korean Peninsula is in a state of crisis not only due to constant US threats towards North Korea, but also due to various provocative actions, such as Washington conducting joint military exercises with Seoul amid tensions, and which Pyongyang considered a threat to its national security.”
 
 The “provocative actions” also include the threatening over-flights by US ‘planes flying from Guam. However when North Korea said if this continued they would consider firing missiles into the ocean near Guam - not as was reported by some hystericals as threatening to bomb Guam - Agent Orange who occasionally pops in to the White House between golf rounds and eating chocolate cake whilst muddling up which country he has dropped fifty nine Tomahawk Cruise missiles on, responded that tiny North Korea will again be: “… met with fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which the world has never seen before.”
 
 It was barely noticed that North Korea qualified the threat of a shot across the bows by stating pretty reasonably:
 
(The US) “should immediately stop its reckless military provocation against the State of the DPRK so that the latter would not be forced to make an unavoidable military choice.” (3)
 
As Cheryl Rofer (see 3) continued, instead of endless threats, US diplomacy could have many routes:
 
 “We could have sent a message to North Korea via the recent Canadian visit to free one of their citizens. We could send a message through the Swedish embassy to North Korea, which often represents US interests. We could arrange some diplomatic action on which China might take the lead. There are many possibilities, any of which might show North Korea that we are willing to back off from practices that scare them if they will consider backing off on some of their actions. That would not include their nuclear program explicitly at this time, but it would leave the way open for later.”
 
 There are in fact twenty four diplomatic missions in all in North Korea through which the US could request to communicate - or Trump could even behave like a grown up and pick up the telephone.
 
Siegfried Hecker is the last known American official to inspect North Korea's nuclear facilities. He says that treating Kim Jong-un as though he is on the verge of attacking the U.S. is both inaccurate and dangerous.
 
 “Some like to depict Kim as being crazy - a madman - and that makes the public believe that the guy is undeterrable. He's not crazy and he's not suicidal. And he's not even unpredictable. The real threat is we’re going to stumble into a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula.” (4)
 
Trump made his crass “fire and fury” threat on the eve of the sixty second commemoration of the US nuclear attack on Nagasaki, the nauseating irony seemingly un-noticed by him.
 
Will some adults pitch up on Capitol Hill before it is too late?
 
1. https://militarybases.com/south-korea/

2. http://www.globalresearch.ca/know-the-facts-north-korea-lost-close-to-30-of-its-population-as-a-result-of-us-bombings-in-the-1950s/22131

3. https://nucleardiner.wordpress.com/2017/08/11/north-korea-reaches-out/

4. https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/08/sane-voices-urge-diplomacy-after-lunatic-trump-threatens-fire-and-fury
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