Archive | April 18th, 2018

Attacking Syria: Thumbing Noses at Constitution and Law

NOVANEWS

It was a sad spectacle to see U.S. brass rubbishing the Constitution and trying to silence critics of the U.S. strike on Syria, says Ray McGovern in this commentary.

The U.S. Constitution and international law suffered a stinging blow last night at the hands of an odd coalition that might be called Goldilocks and two moral dwarfs posing as Marine generals, together with a “Right Dishonorable” harridan and a young French poodle.

As was the case 15 years ago when the U.S. and UK launched a war of aggression against Iraq, the pretext was so-called “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD) — this time the claimed use on April 7 of chlorine (and maybe the nerve agent sarin — who knows?) in Duma a suburb of Damascus.  And this time French President Emmanuel Macron was allowed to join, as junior partner, the gang that can’t lie straight.

The attacks by the Gang of Three came hours before specialists from the UN Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were to arrive in Syria to study soil and other samples in Duma. The question leaps out: Why could the Gang not wait until the OPCW had a chance to find out whether there was such an attack and, if so, what chemical(s) were used?

Sentence First, Verdict Later

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis could only say that he believes there was a chemical attack and that perhaps sarin, in addition to chlorine, was involved. Serving until now as the only available “evidence” are highly dubious reports from agenda-laden “social media.”  What is clear is that the U.S./UK/French Gang wanted to strike before the OPCW investigators had a chance to ascertain what happened.  Hmm.  All the earmarks of “Sentence first; verdict afterwards.”

Former Secretary of State John Kerry made a habit of advertising how “extraordinarily useful” social media can be.  He got that right.  Of the main alleged “chemical attacks” by Syria — on August 21, 2013; April 4,2017; and April 7, 2018 — the primary, if not exclusive — source of information was the “extraordinarily useful,” but notoriously unreliable, “social media.”

Marine Martinets

Mattis: Giving a new meaning to “flaming” on social media.

Briefing the media last night, after Goldilocks had set the stage announcing “retaliation” for the (unproven) use of chemicals by the Syrian government, were two four-star Marine generals, one of them (Mattis) retired, who seem to have mistakenly thought that the Marine motto had been changed to “Semper Lie.”  It was a very sad spectacle.

In 1961, when I was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, I took a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.  Also drummed into the heads of us newly minted officers was the obligation to tell the truth — always.

I had assumed — apparently naively — that Marines took the same oath and obligation.  The attack on Iraq 15 years ago destroyed that assumption.  I will cite just two examples that scandalized me.

Hear No Evil, Speak No Truth, Get Rich Quick

Marine Gen. Zinni was receiving an award at the Veterans for Foreign War convention on August 26, 2002, and decided to play Brer’ Rabbit as he listened to the main speaker, Vice President Dick Cheney, set the meretricious terms of reference for war with Iraq.

Zinni: A relatively straight shooter who remained quiet nonetheless.

Zinni had been commander of CENTCOM and had retired two years before, but his continued role as fully cleared consultant had enabled him to stay up to date on key intelligence findings for Iraq.  Zinni later said he was shocked to hear Cheney’s depiction of intelligence (Iraq has WMD and is amassing them to use against us) that did not square with what he knew the accurate intelligence to be. “There was no solid proof that Saddam had WMD. … I heard a case being made to go to war,” Zinni told Meet the Press three and a half years later. (Emphasis mine.)

Earlier, Zinni enjoyed a reputation as a relatively straight shooter with a good bit of courage. And so, the question lingers: why did he not go public when he first heard Cheney’s lie?  THAT might have stopped the war.  What seems operative here, I fear, is an all-too-familiar conundrum at senior levels where people have been conditioned not to rock the boat, not to risk their standing within the Washington Establishment or their prospects for lucrative spots on the corporate boards of arms manufacturers.

Semper Fraud

Without the full cooperation of former Marine, Senator Pat Roberts (R, Kansas), who was Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee before, during, and after the attack on Iraq, Bush and Cheney would have had far more difficulty perpetrating that crime.  Because of Roberts’s participation in what easily qualifies as a criminal conspiracy, Bush and Cheney were able to run amok — until, finally, the Senate changed hands in 2006.

On June 5, 2008 Roberts’s successor, Sen. Jay Rockefeller announced the completion of a five-year Senate Intelligence Committee investigation — a study that had been continually sidetracked by Roberts.  Rockefeller introduced the study’s bipartisan findings with these words: “In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.”

Fellow Marine and UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter found Roberts’s behavior shameful.  Ritter was unable to resist writing: “Semper Fraud, Senator Roberts.”

Against that background, it was particularly painful last evening to watch two Marine four-star generals peddling at the Pentagon a bogus casus belli for another unprovoked armed attack — this time on Syria.

Media people favored with a Pentagon pass were too timid to ask pointed questions about the evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, for some strange reason known only to him, picked a time of near victory to “use chemical weapons against his own people” on April 7.  No one asked why the rush to judgment; why the gang of three (the U.S., its aging British cousin, and its young French poodle) could not have waited just a day or two for UN inspectors to arrive and discover whether the so-called “chemical attack” amounted to a true casus belli, or a casus belly-laugh.

Following Orders

Defense Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford remind me of the generals of the Third Reich in “just following orders,” lying through their teeth about the pretext for attacking Poland — er, I mean Syria — as though the solemn oath they took was to the Fuehrer — er, I mean President — not the Constitution.  It seemed, at first, that President George W. Bush’s dictum still reigned at the Pentagon; i. e., “The Constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper.”But President Donald Trump and Secretary Mattis did not go as far as Bush. No doubt under White House orders, Mattis dutifully recited the key tenet of constitutional scholar Dick Cheney’s dubious “unitary executive” theory; that is, that the President is somehow not bound by Article I (Section 8) of the Constitution.  That Article I section may have been in mothballs since the attack on Pearl Harbor, but remains a very important part of the Constitution.  And the U.S. has gotten into a peck of trouble by those —administrations and members of congress, alike — who have chosen to circumvent this key provision, which reserves to Congress the power to declare war.  Our Founders wanted this to apply, if a King — er, I mean President — got it into his head to attack another country.  Syria, for example.

At the beginning of his speech, Mattis employed this dubious variant, without the slightest demurral from those wishing to retain their Pentagon passes:

“As our commander in chief, our President has the authority under Article II of the Constitution to use military force overseas to defend important U.S. national interests.”

Bush: ‘A goddamned piece of paper.’

Those interested should re-read Article II.  They will look in vain for anything like the Cheney/Mattis variant.  All that part of Article II says is: “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.”

A Common Error With Budding Officers Too

An experience I had teaching a class at the Naval Academy in Annapolis 12 years ago suggests that students at U.S. military academies are led to think that Article II supersedes Article I. Lecturing to a third-year class of about 50 students about political/military events, I referred innocently to the solemn oath required of military personnel and asked what that oath was all about.  “Well, it is an oath to the President, of course,” said the first student who threw up his hand, with several others nodding assent.  I said that was quite wrong.  And it turned out to be like pulling teeth to find one student who knew that the oath was to defend the Constitution.

Last evening I found myself wondering what Attorney General Jeff Sessions thought of Mattis’s messing with Article I, Section 8.  For, not too long ago, there was one shining moment when Sen. Jeff Sessions did his best to challenge then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who pretended to be unfamiliar with the bedrock fact that the Constitution reserved to Congress the right to declare war.

Libya: Precedent for Syria

At a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 7, 2012, then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, pursued this key issue with Panetta. Chafing ex post factoat the unauthorized nature of the war in Libya, Sessions asked repeatedly what “legal basis” would the Obama administration rely on to do in Syria what it did in Libya.

Watching that part of the testimony, it seemed to me that Sessions, a conservative Southern lawyer, was not at all faking when he pronounced himself “almost breathless,” as Panetta stonewalled time after time. Panetta made it explicitly clear that the administration does not believe it needs to seek congressional approval for wars like Libya. At times he seemed to be quoting verses from the Book of Cheney.

Sessions:

“I am really baffled … The only legal authority that’s required to deploy the U.S. military [in combat] is the Congress and the President and the law and the Constitution.”

Panetta:

“Let me just for the record be clear again, Senator, so there is no misunderstanding. When it comes to national defense, the President has the authority under the Constitution to act to defend this country, and we will, Sir.”

If you readers care about the Constitution and the rule of law, I strongly recommend that you view the entire 7-minute video clip.

Constitutionally, the craven Congress is a huge part of the problem. Only a few members of the House and Senate seem to care very much when presidents act like kings and send off troops drawn largely by a poverty draft to wars not authorized (or simply rubber-stamped) by Congress.

A Chill on the First Amendment

Secretary Mattis devoted his last minute last evening to a careful reading of the following warning:

“Based on recent experience, we fully expect a significant disinformation campaign over the coming days by those who have aligned themselves with the Assad regime.  And, in an effort to maintain transparency and accuracy, my assistant for public affairs, Ms. Dana White, and Lt. Gen. McKenzie, Director General of the Joint Staff here in Washington, will provide a brief of known details tomorrow morning — we are anticipating at about 9:00 in this same location.”A warning not so sotto voce: Criticize the craven behavior of Mattis, Dunford, or the Gang of Three, and you will be “aligning” yourself “with the Assad regime.”

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Attacking Syria: Thumbing Noses at Constitution and Law

Pantsir-S1 repelling US strikes on Syria showed 100% effectiveness – Russian MoD

NOVANEWS
__________

Al Masdar
Pantsir-S1 repelling US strikes on Syria showed 100% effectiveness – Russian MoD

According to Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov, Russian-made Pantsir-S1 air defense system deployed by the Syrian forces showed almost 100% effectiveness in repelling the Western missile strike.

“In anti-aircraft combat, the Russian-made Pantsir S-1 system that had been previously supplied to the Syrian armed forces was actively used,” he added.

Konashenkov went on to say that the Syrian air defenses used 112 ground-to-air missiles to repel the attack that targeted not only facilities in Barza and Jaramana, but also military facilities, including airfields.

Konashenkov further commented that the strikes had involved cruise missiles launched from the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, the Persian Gulf and the eastern Syrian city of al-Tanf. The attack targeted the facilities that were not bunkers protected by the Syrian air defenses, he pointed out, adding that those were facilities were built on the surface. He has reiterated that 71 missiles of those 100+ had been intercepted.

The spokesman also denied the reports that S-200 air defense missile system had underperformed while repelling the attack, saying the system is designed to hit aircraft, in the course of fending off the strike.

“However, not long ago, this system destroyed a fighter jet of one of the neighboring states, which tried to violate the Syrian airspace,” he added.

Konashenkov reiterated that Syrian air defense systems S-125, S-200, Buk, and Kvadrat took part in repelling the joint strike.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Pantsir-S1 repelling US strikes on Syria showed 100% effectiveness – Russian MoD

Theresa May’s Husband’s Capital Group Is Largest Shareholder in BAE, Shares Soar Since Syrian Airstrikes

NOVANEWS

Philip May, husband of the UK prime minister, works for a company that is the largest shareholder in arms manufacturer, BAE Systems, whose share price has soared since the recent airstrikes in Syria.

The company, Capital Group, is also the second-largest shareholder in Lockheed Martin – a US military arms firm that supplies weapons systems, aircraft and logistical support. Its shares have also rocketed since the missile strikes last week.

The fact has not gone unnoticed by some on Twitter, who agree that BAE Systems has done very well out of the UK-US-France allied airstrikes on Syria, which were sanctioned by Theresa May. It has been reported that the UK’s contribution to military strikes was to fire eight ‘Storm-Shadow’ missiles at an alleged chemical weapons facility, each of which cost £790,000 ($1.13 million) – totaling £6.32 million ($9 million). The missiles were manufactured by BAE Systems.

Theresa May’s husband has worked as a relationship manager for the research investment company Capital Group since 2005. The Tory-BAE links go even deeper, however. The former chancellor of the exchequer and present editor-in-chief at the Evening Standard, George Osborne’s other employer Black Rock is the fifth-largest shareholder in BAE Systems.

Mr Ethical

@nw_nicholas

£6.3m worth of BAE missiles were fired in Syria. May’s husband’s company, Capital Group is the largest shareholder in BAE

(((Neil Turner)))@chezzy51

May and husband in the swamp together. “How Philip May’s Company Benefits From the Syria Strikes: Lockheed Martin, the JASSM, and the Capital Group” by @vocal_creators https://theswamp.media/how-philip-may-s-company-benefits-from-the-syria-strikes-lockheed-martin-the-jassm-and-the-capital-group 

How Philip May’s Company Benefits From the Syria Strikes: Lockheed Martin, the JASSM, and the…

JASSM Strikes in Syria Creates a Conflict of Interest for Philip May

theswamp.media

Figures revealed as of March 31, 2018 reveal that the Capital Group has amassed over 360,000 shares in the company, up over 11 percent on the previous quarter, which may have contributed to a hefty rise in BAE’s share price, which currently stands at around 600p.

Philip May’s Capital Group was linked to the Paradise Papers scandal in 2017. News and current affairs magazine, Private Eye, suggested at the time that Philip May’s company used offshore law firm Appleby to devise investments in tax havens.

When asked at the time of the scandal about her husband’s role, a spokesperson for the UK PM told reporters: “Mr May is involved in the development of Capital Group’s retirement solutions. He is not an investor but consults with other Capital associates on retirement products and solutions for clients.”

The latest news comes on the back of a recent deal agreed by BAE Systems and the Saudi government for the provisional sale of 48 Typhoon jets to the kingdom. The deal was welcomed by the relevant government officials from the UK and Saudi Arabia, who say it would help safeguard jobs. However, it was criticized by arms campaigners worried about the ongoing war in Yemen.

Companies profiting from war – not a new concept, but many may question how this all sits with Philip May, the PM’s supposedly ‘closest political ally.’

Posted in UKComments Off on Theresa May’s Husband’s Capital Group Is Largest Shareholder in BAE, Shares Soar Since Syrian Airstrikes

Homebound: Hardship Awaits Internally Displaced Iraqis

NOVANEWS

Featured image: Civilians leaving old Mosul. This boy is going to fall of exhaustion just after this picture is taken. (Credit: Herve Jakubowicz)

With upcoming elections in May, the Iraqi government is urging Internally Displaced People (IDPs) to return home. After the defeat of ISIS in December 2017, an increase in security and number of returnees to their region of origin is expected; however, many IDPs see no way to leave the camps just yet.

While two million people have returned to their homes, three million people farther remain displaced. The eruption of ISIS in January 2014 and the following years of violence have led to a humanitarian disaster; on top of that, the number of IDPs displaced between 2006 and 2007 is still at approximately one million.

Nearly 9 million Iraqis require humanitarian assistance of which 5 million are in critical need of safe drinking water, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). A drastic reduction in armed conflict is anticipated for this year, however, the complex pattern of second displacements may continue to occur even though Iraq expects an increase in returns, according to UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children Report.

“There is an impetus for people to return to their area of origin ahead of elections in May,”Melany Markham, media coordinator for the Norwegian Refugee Council, told IPS. The May elections were originally scheduled for September 2017, but were delayed by six months due to the Iraqi civil war.

The Muttahidoon, the Uniters for Reform Coalition and Iraq’s largest Sunni political alliance, called for a further six months’ delay to allow enough time for IDP voters to return home, however, Iraq’s Supreme Court ruled a second delay unconstitutional.

In camps east of Mosul, the numbers of arrivals after their second or even third displacement now surpass the number of departures of returnees.

“We cannot go back to Mosul without guarantees and international guarantees to be safe and to be some people to protect us,” an unidentified IDP told NPR correspondent Jane Arraf.

A similar development can be witnessed in Anbar Province.

“At least one in five of the displaced people who left the Kilo 18 camp in Anbar Province in December returned back to the camp because they couldn’t go home. Sometimes it’s an issue of safety and sometimes they return because their homes have been destroyed or they are occupied by others,” said Melany Markham.

“In our consultations, it doesn’t seem to be ISIS that is posing the threat. The threat is of tribal violence or retribution towards people who have proven or suspected affiliations with ISIS. Other people are afraid or unexploded ordinances,” stated the spokesperson for the Norwegian Refugee Council. “In order to mitigate these threats, land needs to be decontaminated or cleared before people can go home. Those who fear violence from the community will need to be able to settle in other places – more permanent solutions for these people must be found.”

On April 3, Iraq’s Ministry of Justice published the country’s 2018 federal budget. After voting in favor of the $88 billion draft on March 3, President Fuad Masum ordered to publicly share the document after previous weeks of dispute over the reduction of Iraq’s Kurdish region’s share from 17 percent to 12 percent.

The tense relations between Baghdad and the regional government in Erbil worsened after Kurdistan’s September referendum with 93 percent overwhelmingly endorsing the secession from Iraq. The budget cuts will affect the region around Erbil and Mosul, where ISIS caused a tremendous devastation and a surge of refugees.

In retaliation, Iraqi forces closed Erbil International Airport, took disputed territories, including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, from Kurdish control, and shut down border crossings with Iraq’s neighboring countries. At Baghdad’s request, Iran closed seven unofficial border crossings with Kurdistan in support of the measures taken to isolate the Kurdish region.

The effects of Iraq’s political and financial crisis in retaken areas like Erbil and Mosul impact the establishment of a stable, safe environment for IDPs to return to. About $30 billion were pledged for the rebuilding of infrastructure at a recent reconstruction conference in Kuwait. Yet, the World Bank estimated that a total $88 billion dollars of damage has been caused.

Outside of refugee camps, Iraq’s public services such as water networks and health systems, essential but costly, remain overburdened in the war-affected regions, struggling to provide service to returnees. It will take time to restore Iraq’s infrastructure.

Posted in IraqComments Off on Homebound: Hardship Awaits Internally Displaced Iraqis

Exclusive Emails Show How the White Helmets Tried to Recruit Roger Waters with Saudi Money

NOVANEWS

During a Barcelona concert on April 13, Roger Waters denounced the Syrian White Helmets as “a fake organization that exists only to create propaganda for jihadists and terrorists.” Warning that the groups’ unverified claims about chemical weapons attacks across insurgent-held territory were aimed at triggering Western military intervention,

Waters cautioned his audience, “If we were to listen to the propaganda of the White Helmets and others, we would encourage our governments to start dropping bombs on people in Syria. This would be a mistake of monumental proportions for us as human beings.”

In fact, Waters had first hand experience with the powerful pro-war PR operation behind the White Helmets. Back in October 2016, a public relations firm representing the White Helmets called The Syria Campaign attempted to recruit Waters by inviting him to a lavish dinner organized by a Saudi-British billionaire, Hani Farsi. The rock legend and renowned activist was told that by signing on to the organization’s mission, he could help “elevate the voices of Syria’s peaceful heroes”

Just days before his recent concert in Barcelona, Waters was lobbied again to support the White Helmets, this time by an eccentric French photojournalist affiliated with what he described as a “very powerfull [sic] syrian network.” The activist demanded to join Waters on stage and deliver a message for the “children of syria.”

Waters did not respond to either request.

These emailed solicitations from White Helmets representatives and activists were provided by Waters to the Grayzone Project, and are published in full at the bottom of this article. The documents demonstrate how the organization’s well-funded public relations apparatus has targeted celebrities as the key to the hearts and minds of the broader Western public.

Unlike many other A-listers, however, Waters took time to research the White Helmets and investigate its ulterior agenda. 

“I was quite suspicious after I was invited to that [White Helmets] dinner,” Waters told the Grayzone Project. “And now my worst suspicions have been confirmed.”

The Syria Campaign’s initial approach

The October 2016 dinner invite was delivered to Waters by a representative for the Corniche Group, an international holding company belonging to the family of the London-based Saudi billionaire Hani Farsi. Farsi was seeking Waters’ presence at a fundraising dinner he had organized on behalf of The Syria Campaign.

The Syria Campaign is a well-funded public relations front established to promote The White Helmets as a group of heroic rescuers who require the protection of Western militaries. Through series of petitions and public demonstrations, The Syria Campaign has unsuccessfully pushed for a No Fly Zone in Syria that would have likely resulted in the kind of Western military intervention that toppled Libyan President Moammar Qaddafi and destabilized Libya.

The slick PR firm has also resorted to astroturfed public stunts like a pro-White Helmets flash mob and orchestral performance at New York City’s Grand Central Station where participants were paid up to $600 each.

Max Blumenthal

@MaxBlumenthal

This astroturfed interventionist extravaganza cost ~$30-50k to pull off https://twitter.com/alexr_dc/status/837722249977348096 

Max Blumenthal

@MaxBlumenthal

Participants in astroturfed White Helmets concert & flashmob were paid up to $600 each by a public relations firm, Ubers were paid for too pic.twitter.com/5KTkIUEv4g

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Farsi’s relationship to the The Syria Campaign had been kept private until now. A Syrian-British oil tycoon named Ayman Asfari has taken a much more vocal role with the PR group, providing it with seed money to advance his mission to stimulate US and UK support for regime change in Syria. Waters was informed that Asfari’s wife, Sawsan, would be on hand for the 2016 White Helmets fundraising dinner.

Over the past two years, The Syria Campaign has secured endorsements of the White Helmets’ work from actors including George Clooney, Aziz Ansari, Ben Affleck, and pop stars like Coldplay and Justin Timberlake. The Syria Campaign also helped orchestrate the production of an Oscar-winning Netflix documentary about the White Helmets in 2017. In the email to Waters, a Corniche Group staffer urged the singer to watch that film and provided him with a link to its trailer.

“I would encourage the celebrities who’ve signed to endorse the White Helmets to stop supporting them because we know what they are,” Waters told the Grayzone Project. “I don’t blame them for having bought in to it. On the face of it, it felt plausible that the White Helmets were just good people doing good things. But now we know they’re trying to encourage the West to drops bombs and missiles illegally in Syria.” 

Waters said he also concluded that The Syria Campaign — the PR firm behind the White Helmets — was not simply the humanitarian voice it purported to be, but a corporate outfit that represented much more prosaic interests.

The Syria Campaign’s top funder, Asfari, was described by the UK Independent as one of the “super rich” Syrian exiles poised to oversee the rebuilding of the country if Assad were removed, and to presumably reap lucrative contracts in the process.

In its invite to Waters, The Syria Campaign presented him with links to articles that read like press releases for the White Helmets: one from Time Magazine and another by The Guardian urging the Nobel Prize committee to honor the organization with its highest award. The Syrian Campaign appeared to be taking credit for generating both pieces.

Government funding, violent extremist activity

The reality of the White Helmets is much more disturbing than its hired PR guns have cared to admit. Not only have the White Helmets operated exclusively alongside Islamist extremist insurgents, including the local Al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS, its members have participated in several documented public executions, and helped extremists dispose of beheaded corpses of those they’ve killed.

Unable to discount the documented facts about the White Helmets’ ties to jihadist insurgents, The Syria Campaign published a lengthy report last year dismissing all critical reporting about the organization as the result of a vast Kremlin-directed conspiracy.

Max Blumenthal

@MaxBlumenthal

Tonight, @RefugeesIntl celebrates the White Helmets with human rights champions like Caterpillar, the Shah’s son, & the Blackstone Group: pic.twitter.com/KQgS7dXMCk

Max Blumenthal

@MaxBlumenthal

Not a scandal @RefugeesIntl, DC & Wall St elites are honoring the group ISIS hostage John Cantlie called “the Islamic State’s fire brigade”? pic.twitter.com/icBnKzWgN2

In its email to Waters, The Syria Campaign took credit for having “helped these rescue workers attract more than $15 million in government funding and turned them into household names.”

In fact, since the White Helmets were founded in Turkey by a former British MI5 officer named James Le Mesurier, the group has received at least $55 million from the British Foreign Office, $23 million or more from the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of Transition Initiatives — the State Department’s de facto regime change arm — and untold millions from the Kingdom of Qatar, which has also backed an assortment of extremist groups in Syria including Al Qaeda.

The White Helmets are routinely relied upon by the governments that fund them as a primary source on alleged chemical attacks, including the most recent incident in Douma. When Defense Secretary James Mattis cited “social media” in place of scientific evidence of a chemical attack in Douma, he was referring to video shot by members of the White Helmets. Similarly, when State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert sought to explain why the US bombed Syria before inspectors from the OPCW could produce a report from the ground, she claimed,

“We have our own intelligence.” With little else to offer, she was likely referring to social media material published by members of the White Helmets.

A final appeal from an eccentric activist

In the days leading up to Waters’ April 13 concert in Barcelona, an assistant received an email from a French photojournalist named Pascal Hanrion who described himself as “a militant with the syrian white helmets to denounce crimes against humanity in syria,” and part of a “very powerfull [sic] syrian network.” Unlike the corporate PR professionals of The Syria Campaign, Hanrion appeared to be a freelance activist.

Back in July, 2016, Hanrion ran a marathon-style race through the Swiss Alps wearing a white helmet presented to him as a gift by rescue workers from the town of Jisr al-Shugour, which is located in the Al Qaeda-controlled Syrian providence of Idlib. According to journalist Jenan Moussa, the homes of original Jisr al-Shugour residents have been handed over by Al Qaeda’s local affiliate to Chinese Uighur jihadists and their families.

In his email, Hanrion requested to join Waters on stage so he could send a message to the “children of Syria” reminding them, “you are not forgotten!”

Instead of allowing the eccentric activist on stage, Waters delivered a message of his own, urging his audience to deconstruct the wall of pro-war narratives brick-by-brick.

“What we should do is go and persuade our governments not to go and drop bombs on people,” Waters implored the crowd, inspiring gales of applause. “And certainly not until we have done all the research that is necessary so that we would have a clear idea of what is really going on. Because we live in the world where propaganda seems to be more important than the reality.”

Waters’ speech and the emails to him from The Syria Campaign and Hanrion are below:

See White Helmets Emails to Roger Waters by Max Blumenthal on Scribd.

Posted in Saudi Arabia, Syria, UKComments Off on Exclusive Emails Show How the White Helmets Tried to Recruit Roger Waters with Saudi Money

Washington Forces Its Allies to Accept a Bipolar World

NOVANEWS

By firing missiles on Syria with its French and British allies, President Donald Trump has managed to force the Western powers to accept the end of their unilateral domination of the world. The insignificant result of this demonstration of force drags NATO back to reality. Without having made use of its weapons, Russia now succeeds the Soviet Union in the balance of world power.

Over the last few weeks, and for the first time in their history, the United States and Russia have mutually threatened one another with a World War. The totally disproportionate character of the crisis in terms of the subject of the dispute demonstrates that what is at stake here today no longer has any connection with what has been happening in the Greater Middle East since 2001, but exclusively with an attempt to maintain the current World Order.

After the gigantic massacres of millions of people over seventeen years, from Afghanistan to Libya, the manner in which about fifty people in East Ghouta (Syria) are allegedly said to have died seems almost ridiculous. And yet on 14 April (local time), this was the pretext chosen by Washington, Paris and London to launch a three-party aerial attack.

Let’s avoid getting distracted by the circumstances, and get straight to the heart of the matter – the Western powers are attempting to maintain their domination over the rest of the world, while Russia and China are breaking free of it.

The President of the United States, Donald Trump, did not hesitate to tweet to Russia that he was going to fire missiles of a new generation on its soldiers in Syria. The Russian ambassador, Alexander Zasypkine, immediately responded that these missiles would be intercepted and the planes and ships that fired them would be destroyed. The Turkish Prime Minister, Binali Yıldırım, expressed his astonishment at this “street brawl” and called the participants to reason. All of the actors then began to back-pedal.

The naval group of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Trumanleft its base in Norfolk, apparently to take position facing Syria. It will take several weeks before it is operational. The question of the confrontation between the United States and Russia, in other words the Third World War, will then be raised again.

It goes without saying that the preparation of this naval unit and its 6,500 soldiers began well before the affair of the Ghouta which serves as a pretext for its deployment.

The question is therefore to understand whether, by firing a deluge of missiles on a few abandoned buildings, Washington and its allies have postponed the confrontation in order to occupy a more efficient position, or, on the contrary, have given up on direct warfare and are preparing for a new form of conflict.

The result of the bombing on 14 April is astonishing – 103 missiles are said to have been fired by the Allies. 71 of these are said to have been destroyed in flight by Syria. A decommissioned military laboratory was apparently destroyed, and the installations of two aerodromes were damaged. This deluge of fire allegedly wounded only three people and killed none. If Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron and Theresa May had intended to show their power, they in fact showed themselves to be powerless.

Seen from Damascus, the message was clear – Syria is in the process of freeing itself from the jihadists, but will not enjoy peace for all that, and will not be able to count on any help from the West for its reconstruction.

The Allies pretend that Syria kept stocks of chemical weapons, despite its membership of the Convention which prohibits them. They claim that they targeted only areas linked to these weapons. And yet, for example, they fired four missiles at the international commercial airport in Damascus, an exclusively civilian target. Happily, the Syrian Arab Army managed to intercept them all.

In total, the Syrian Arab Army, which was only in possession of S-125’s, S-200’s, Buk’s, Kvadrat’s and Osa’s, managed, single-handed, to shoot down two thirds of the Western projectiles. Finally, despite themselves, the Allies had just fought the first battle of their history in which they killed not one enemy. France, which tested its new naval Cruise missile for the first time in a combat situation, was unable to boast of a success to its potential clients.

Of course, the Allies limited themselves. They carefully avoided hitting Russian or Iranian targets, and these two states did not participate in the operation. Nonetheless, the Western armada no longer has the capacity to impose its will on middle powers as long as they are protected by Russia.

Everyone has understood that, as from now:

  • the United States and Russia – just as in earlier times the USA and the USSR – will refrain from any direct confrontation in order to avoid nuclear war;
  • and that the middle powers allied with Russia will not be significantly damaged by the West.
  • The only military superiority possessed by Washington, London and Paris resides in their capacity to manipulate armed groups and use them as proxies.

By bringing France and the United Kingdom into the fray, President Trump has forced them to accept the reality they were refusing to see.

This grand show, then, was no more than a futile gesture. After a quarter of a century of unilateral domination by the West, its three main military powers have just been down-graded. The world has returned to a bipolar situation like that of the Cold War, although the new rules still need to be defined. The Third World War will have to wait.

Posted in USAComments Off on Washington Forces Its Allies to Accept a Bipolar World

Syria: Nazi regime Supports Terrorists out of the Occupied Golan Heights

NOVANEWS

Israel Supports Syria “Opposition” Terrorists out of the Occupied Golan Heights. Sabotage of the Peace Process

It is well known that Israel has been supporting the so-called opposition operating in Syria in order to overthrow the legitimate government of Bashar al-Assad since the very beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2011. Another goal of Tel Aviv is to gain full control over the Golan Heights which Prime Minister B. Netanyahu is currently using to provide the militants from Syria with weapons.

Besides, the fighting, jihadists striving to break the war-torn country are receiving medical care in Israeli hospitals.

“Israel has been always stood by our side in a heroic way,” confirmed Moatasem al-Golani, the spokesman for the rebel group Liwa Fursan al-Joulan also known as Knights of the Golan. “We wouldn’t have survived without Israel’s financial assistance, food and weapons supplies.”

Moreover, the Israel Defense Forces have set up special paramilitary training camps, both in terms of imparting military, paramilitary and terrorist skills as well as radical jihadist indoctrination. According to Inside Syria Media Center’s military correspondents on the ground, the Israeli military has been providing weapons and ammunition as well as intelligence support as well as full-scale air support.

Thus, Israeli AF (IAF) have carried out more than 100 airstrikes on Hezbollah and the Syrian Arab Army’s positions. Moreover, the IAF have intensified their activity by conducting an air attack on the Syrian airbase T-4 on April 9, and also on the Ash-Shayrat and Ad-Dumayr air bases on April 17, 2018.

Furthermore, there is recent evidence of Israel increasing supplies to the rebels affiliated to the Free Syrian Army (FSA). This assistance mainly consists of providing arms and weapons as well as money to buy ammo on the black market.

Local activists report that in late March – early April the contacts have intensified between the Israeli intelligence officers and the representatives of the Syrian armed groups acting in the area of Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The Israelis handed over to the militants some bags, boxes and cases, contents unknown, probably ammunitions, medicine and food rations.

Tel Aviv, thus, seeks to maximize the support in order to get them ready for an offensive of the Syrian troops and Lebanese Hezbollah in the south of al-Quneitra Governorate.

Obviously, by supplying opposition groups in southern Syria, Israel aims to block and sabotage not only the peaceful settlement of the conflict but also the demilitarization of the Syrian-Israeli border in the Golan Heights in accordance with Agreement on Disengagement between Israel and Syria.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, SyriaComments Off on Syria: Nazi regime Supports Terrorists out of the Occupied Golan Heights

Gaza Deserves Our Support. Occupied and Impoverished, The World Must Acknowledge Their Fundamental Rights

NOVANEWS

Featured image: Protesters near the Gaza border fence (YouTube)

To say that the situation in Gaza is deplorable and desperate is an understatement. That impoverished strip of land on the Eastern Mediterranean has been deplorable and desperate for decades.

I traveled to Gaza many times during the 1990’s, in my capacity as co-Chair of Builders for Peace, which was a project launched by Vice President Al Gore to help grow the Palestinian economy. My colleagues and I were unprepared for what we found. Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown, who led one of these delegations, described what he saw as “worse than Soweto.”

During the first quarter century of its occupation, Israel pursued a policy described by Sara Roy as the, ”de-development of Gaza.” There was no investment in infrastructure, with the local population reduced to a cheap pool of labor working either as day laborers in Israel or as poorly paid sub-contractors working for Israeli exporters. The poverty of the place was palpable, as was the congestion. Gaza is among the most densely populated places on earth.

Because 70% of Gazans are refugees living in camps, they received education, some medical and social services thanks the UNRWA – the United Nations agency created to provide for Palestinian refugees. But not much more.

In Jabalya Camp, we saw little children walking through a pool of water in the middle of a dirt road. Since it hadn’t rained in days, we asked about the source of the water and were horrified to learn that it was open sewage – the result of the fact that there were no paved roads in that part of the camp and no sewage system.

The Strip’s best agricultural land had been taken by Israeli settlers.  Palestinians who farmed on the land that remained had difficulty exporting their product unless they worked with Israeli middlemen reducing their ability to make a sustainable profit. We heard the same complaint from small manufacturers.

A number of the American business leaders that Builders for Peace brought on our visits were interested in investing and developing partnerships with Palestinian businesses but were discouraged from doing so when they learned that there would be restrictions on their ability to import raw materials and export finished products.

A visit to the border revealed the hardships faced by the tens of thousands of Gazans who relied on day labor employment in Israel. Because, by Israeli law they could not overnight in Israel and they were forced to leave their homes before dawn to get to the border before 6 am in hopes of being selected for a day’s work in construction, agriculture, or janitorial services. The lucky ones were loaded on trucks taken to their jobs and, at the end of the day, they were driven back to the border. Exhausted, they got home late at night to sleep and then to repeat the process the next day.

In 1996, I was honored to be a part of the Carter Center’s team monitoring the first Palestinian election. The lines of voters were long and the excitement was real. I documented poignant scenes of men and women spending long hours waiting for their chance to cast their first-ever ballots in an election they believed was to be the first step to independence.

The last time I went to Gaza during the Clinton Administration, I accompanied President Clinton as he addressed a meeting of the Palestine National Council and cut the ribbon opening Gaza’s new airport. Despite Palestinian (and US) frustration with the Netanyahu government’s declared intention to end the Oslo peace process, there was still hope in the air.

As desperate and deplorable as conditions were in Gaza back then, in many ways, those were the “good years”.

Likud hardline policies, violence, and provocation, coupled with Hamas’ instigated acts of terrorism served to make a bad situation worse. Ariel Sharon’s decision to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza and his refusal (despite US Secretary of State Condoleza Rice’s entreaties) to allow for an orderly hand-off of the administration of the Strip to the Palestinian Authority, paved the way for an eventual Hamas take-over.

What followed was a complete Israeli blockade of Gaza, creating even greater Palestinian impoverishment. Three punishing Israeli wars on Gaza (in 2008, 2012, and 2014) left over 3,800 Palestinians dead, 15,000 wounded, and an already dilapidated infrastructure even more devastated by deliberate Israeli targeting of civilian sites, like a sewage reservoir and a chicken processing plant. In all three wars, there was clear evidence that Israel committed war crimes.

The blockade was especially cruel with the Israelis allowing in only enough food to provide for the minimum caloric intake to sustain life and no support to infrastructure repair. Ninety-five percent of Gaza’s water is contaminated and undrinkable and most residents receive only between two to four hours of electricity daily. Poverty levels have reached extreme levels as has unemployment. For the last three decades, youth unemployment has hovered between 70% to 80% – meaning that most young Palestinians in Gaza have never had a job and have no prospect of a job. It breaks my heart when I read of the despair of a young protester in Gaza who was recently quoted saying “No peace, no jobs, no unity, and no future, so what difference would death make? If we are going to die, then let it not be in vain”.

To their credit, the people of Gaza have during the past three weeks embarked on a mass non-violent protest, terming it the “Great March of Return”. Fearing a non-violent mass movement, the Israelis have, true to form, responded with overwhelming violence, while attempting to cover their unconscionable behavior with denial and deceit. They positioned 100 snipers on earthen mounds on their side of the border and during the past three weeks, they have shot and killed 32 Palestinian protesters, wounding another 1,300.

While the Israelis have claimed that those whom they shot were threatening to breach the border, Israeli human rights groups have documented that the overwhelming majority of those hit were hundreds of yards from the border fence and even those few whom the Israelis said were throwing incendiary devices were over one hundred yards away – their action being more symbolic then threatening.

The entire affair has been more like a “turkey shoot” then a military confrontation, with innocent protesters who are captives in the world’s largest open air prison being randomly picked off by sniper fire. Even more sickening was the recently released video of a sniper shooting and hitting a Palestinian while his fellow snipers cheered his success. The Israeli response to this video has been to call for punishing the maker of the video and not the sniper who killed the unarmed protester.

Some have dismissed the entire “Great March” as a Hamas ploy. But such a charge is both patently false and cruel. The effort was launched by civil society and while Hamas has embraced it, it should be endorsed by all Palestinian factions and not left to Hamas to be the effort’s only sponsor.

When Palestinians use non-violent means to make their case, whether in mass mobilizations or through the BDS movement, they should be encouraged and supported. To deny them this right is to say that they have no right to protest their conditions and they should, as one Israeli leader has cruelly suggested, “go home and get on with their lives.”

In the weeks ahead, I hope to see Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and Palestinians in Lebanon and Jordan join this “Great March”. Attention must be paid to this long-suffering people, whether they be the desperate in Gaza, or their compatriots who also long for and deserve that the world acknowledge their right to be recognized as equal human beings.

Posted in GazaComments Off on Gaza Deserves Our Support. Occupied and Impoverished, The World Must Acknowledge Their Fundamental Rights

France Is America’s New “Special Partner” in Europe, Washington’s Chief Ally on the Continent

NOVANEWS
 

The geopolitical dynamics of the New Cold War have made it so that France – and not the UK or Germany – is the US’ “special partner” in Europe given Paris’ much broader pan-hemispheric influence and its pivotal place in Washington’s developing Asian alliance system.

The days when the UK or Germany could be considered the US’ top European partner are gone and France has now emerged as Washington’s chief ally on the continent. The UK is mired in post-Brexit domestic political chaos and is decisively turning inward during the indefinitely long transitional period of recalibrating its foreign policy towards the EU and the British Commonwealth. This has made the island nation much less attractive of a strategic partner than ever before and compelled the US to urgently search for a replacement. Germany, which used to vie for this position during the Obama years, has totally lost its luster under the Trump Administration due to the two Great Powers’ ideological and economic differences. Moreover, the country is inextricably tied to Russia via the existing European pipeline network and the new ones being spearheaded under the Baltic and Black Seas, thus making it “strategically unreliable” from the perspective of long-term American policymaking calculations.

The time has therefore come for the US to replace its maritime and mainland “special partnerships” with the UK and Germany, respectively, and France fits the role perfectly because of its hybrid geostrategic nature as Western Eurasia’s mainland-maritime nexus.

The country is a continental power in terms of the influence that it wields over Southern Europe (particularly the “PIGS” countries) while it’s a maritime one because of its vast colonial legacy in Africa and parts Asia (mostly the Mideast and Southeast Asia). In fact, France can be regarded as an African superpower despite not having any actual mainland territory there simply by virtue of its financial and military strength through the two African Franc systems and the ongoing Sahel-spanning “Operation Barkhane” multinational anti-terrorist mission, to say nothing of its network of bases and historical tendency to intervene all across the continent at will. The US has no greater ally in Africa than France, and the two Great Powers cooperate extensively in hegemonically managing its affairs and attempting to “contain” China. In addition, these two countries could conceivably cooperate with the Indo-Japanese “Asia-Africa Growth Corridor” (AAGC) and even bring the UAE into this framework given its growing Horn of Africa influence.

This analytical angle brings the article to the point of discussing the Asian aspect of France’s strategic significance to the US. Paris is trying its hardest to regain its long-lost Mideast influence through Macron’s leading involvement in attempting to resolve last year’s Hariri affair and his country’s enthusiastic participation in the latest Syrian strikes. Prior to that, France opened a base in the UAE in 2009 and has since cultivated close ties with the Emirates’ GCC Saudi ally too. The Levantine and Gulf components of Paris’ Mideast policy give France the perception of greater regional weight which it has attempted to leverage in exerting influence over Iran. Of all the five Mideast states mentioned, the UAE is nevertheless the most important one for France because “Little Sparta’s” transregional influence in the Peninsula & its nearby Horn of African environs pairs well with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s mentor role over his Saudi counterpart and arguably makes it one of the world’s fastest-rising powers.

The UAE has also moved very close to India in recent years, as has France, thus allowing one to speak of a trilateral strategic complementarity that perfectly aligns with the US’ grand interests. The Emirates hosts a sizeable Indian diaspora community that provides low-wage labor for the developing powerhouse, and Abu Dhabi recently pivoted from its historical partnership with Pakistan towards India owing to Islamabad’s refusal to participate in the War on Yemen. India has since played an important role in this conflict by providing medical services to the “coalition’s” injured fighters, and its American-friendly Prime Minister Modi even visited the country and announced New Delhi’s intentions to take ties to the next level. It’s therefore obvious why the US and France’s UAE ally would make a logical addition to the Indo-Japanese AAGC given that it has plentiful resources to invest in the continent and the intention to do so after establishing itself as a Horn of Africa power.

France, on the other hand, has more of a military partnership with India than the UAE’s economic one, and the two Great Powers are presently exploring several weapons deals with one another. Relatedly, Paris and New Delhi also recently agreed on a LEMOA-like military pact that allows them to use each other’s bases, therefore theoretically giving India access to France’s facilities all across Africa and especially its crucial naval one in Djibouti. The convergence of French, Emirati, and Indian interests around the Bab el-Mandeb maritime chokepoint connecting EU-Chinese trade could become a powerful force in the New Cold War and represents an unfolding alliance system in line with American interests that neither the UK nor Germany can provide. It’s for these larger and far-reaching strategic reasons involving Africa, the Mideast, and South Asia why France is fast becoming the US’ new “special partner” in Europe and one of its most important allies anywhere in the world.

Posted in USA, FranceComments Off on France Is America’s New “Special Partner” in Europe, Washington’s Chief Ally on the Continent

2018 “Global Trust Barometer” Reveals New Crisis for Britain

NOVANEWS

The latest results from the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer now reads like an obituary column in the West for the very institutions that are supposed to support civil society. This is the 18th edition and annually involves 33,000 respondents from 28 markets around the world and it makes for uncomfortable reading. In this report, there’s a hidden warning for all the people of Britain about what its future is likely to be.

Its Executive Summary report starts with the headline – ‘The Battle For Truth’. Its very first sentence reads “As we begin 2018, we find the world in a new phase in the loss of trust.” Need I say much more! Well yes  – because the diagnosis gets worse than ever before.

The moorings of institutions have already been dangerously undermined by the three previous waves: fear of job loss due to globalization and automation; the Great Recession, which created a crisis of confidence in traditional authority figures and institutions while undermining the middle class; and the effects of massive global migration. Now, in this fourth wave, we have a world without common facts and objective truth, weakening trust even as the global economy recovers.”

One conclusion many of us arrived some time ago is that the mainstream media has become the least-trusted institution of all and for the first time it has fallen even lower than that of trust in government. The results here are not just dire – it’s truly disturbing when you read: “With trust scores of over 50 percent in only six markets, five of which are in the developing world,” you know the world is going to pot, well it is for those in the West.

The report highlights that half of the population read mainstream media less than once a week. Nearly six in 10 agree that news organizations are completely politicized, and 50 percent believe they are elitist. Nearly two-thirds agree that the average person cannot distinguish good journalism from falsehoods. There has even been a crash in trust between peers.

From here, this is where is gets really serious. You might be surprised to learn that China is showing the most extreme positive changes in trust and the U.S. the most extreme negative changes this year? The U.S. is enduring the worst collapse ever recorded in trust. In fact so bad has trust become in the U.S. – it has crashed to the very bottom of the entire survey, whilst China’s population see its nation slowly rising until 2018 when it ascends to the very top.

Mind you, overall results do not bode well globally. Twenty of the 28 markets surveyed now fall into the category of distrust, almost all linked to bribery, corruption and scandals of one sort or another.

Respondents have almost entirely given up on good government. Seventy percent say that building trust is the No. 1 job for CEOs. Nearly two-thirds say they want CEOs to take the lead on policy change instead of waiting for government and in today’s world that says something because just a few years ago trust had collapsed in them as well. The bar is now set so low that people are looking for any type of good leadership. This is perhaps the explanation for the rise of strong-men and political extremists.

Digging deeper into the report makes for depressing reading as there is no real good news. Nothing tangible is recovering from its new annual depths. The most trusted governments in the world are China, Indonesia, India and the UAE. The USA, UK, France and Germany sits in an ever growing category of least trusted. The world appears to be upside down.

The public’s confidence in the traditional structures of American leadership is now fully undermined and has been replaced with a strong sense of fear, uncertainty and disillusionment.” Just replace the country name with Britain – the same applies. Both are in freefall. Six country markets have seen extreme collapses in trust but nothing as bad as in America.

Fake news seems to be at the very heart of these collapses. Seven in 10 worries that fake news is being used a weapon against them. In contrast, technical experts make a recovery and are now the most trusted. Again, this must be a low bar because trust in ‘experts’ collapsed just a few years ago and is now ‘rebounding’.

The UK only has to lose four places in trust of all four institutions that uphold civil society and it joins a small band of just six desperados in the ‘extreme loss of trust’ category.

A full 70 percent believe they are targets of fake news and disinformation campaigns, with the UK ranking almost bottom in all markets for trust in the media. Trust in search engines and social media in Britain fared even worse – if that was possible. I’m sure the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook/Brexit debacle has something to do with this and as Britain now has the most right-wing and unbalanced media in Europe, this surely has just as much to do with it as well.

The one bit of good news was that trust in employers had increased globally, Britain included. But here’s the yang to the yin; 60 percent thought CEOs were driven more by greed than a desire to make a positive difference. The most negative attitudes towards business leadership were in Britain and America, with technology the most trusted and financial services the least trusted.

China hits the top five in trust of NGOs, business leadership, government and media – the last two of which, was the No1 slot globally.

Britain falls to the least trusted in three of the four categories, the US in all four. Trust in brands that were headquartered in their home country revealed that the USA was the biggest faller of all countries in all markets. The news simply could not get much worse for the USA.

It should be of no surprise that news rejecters in the UK cite that the news agenda is too depressing (40 percent), that the news is too biased, and that the news itself is controlled by “hidden agendas”. Distrust in Britain is endemic across the board and Britons are becoming more pessimistic about their economic outlook.

The trust barometer also shows where the biggest concerns are for the future of Britain. These include ensuring the NHS is able to provide care for an ageing and growing population (79 percent) and the worry of rising political or religious extremism (72 percent), whilst only 20 percent feel their standard of living will improve in 2018 and 36 percent expect it to worsen.

The end result is that Britain is lying fifth from the bottom of the 28 markets surveyed. This is driven by poor governance, supported by a deceitful media and NGOs (ThinkTanks) who seem able to drive divisive policies such as privatisation with such ease today. What an uninspiring performance from the sixth largest economy in the world.  But then again, looking around, is that really any news if you happen to be British? When you consider that in almost every metric including, health, education, poverty, standard of living, inequality and the like, life for half of Briton’s is a crisis of daily life. Who would you trust in an environment like that?

But there is something even more concerning. Britain still likes to think it stands shoulder to shoulder with America on the world stage and look where that has got us. Trade negotiations will degrade British standards in critical areas that support civil society, much as those reported in this article. Britain is following an utterly failed project. The “New American Century” as a policy document for extreme neoliberal capitalism has now shown what is behind its gossamer mask. All four of the main institutions in America are in collapse mode.

In Britain, we seem to applaud this American economic model, which, even when it’s working well, benefits very few ordinary people. Jeff Bezos, CEO at Amazon demonstrates how the world’s richest man ruthlessly exploits his employees at all costs. Zuckerberg and his shadowy surveillance organisation Facebook are in the dock for ruthlessly and illegally exploiting its ordinary customers to the benefit of its richest, whilst threatening the democratic principles of the West. Who would trust these guys, often paraded by the media as the cornerstone of modern-day economic super-heroes?

As a Briton, currently living abroad it is much easier to see Britain’s blind subservience to America, which has all but destroyed its international reputation. My country is now suffering the effects of this acquiescence. We should stop following their stupid global ambitions (that usually involves killing brown people in their millions) and costing us billions we don’t have. Brexit came about largely as a result of immigration. That came about largely as a result of uncorking the African migration trail by attacking Libya – another reckless foreign policy choice this ludicrous and self-serving crop of politicians got so wrong. And now, we could just as easily be dragged into a long, protracted, arduous and dangerous fight on the front lines of the war between East and West in Syria – because of what?

Britain should for once stand on its own two feet and fully focus on what its good at without the delusions of grandeur that the top table in No10 Downing Street seems to have. We should aim to be the great, mid-sized liberal country that punches way above it economic size to the benefit of us all. We should rebuild trust with global partners, contrary to what America has achieved in this ‘Trust Barometer’.

America has no friends, it has little more than the frightened and sycophantic following it around. We are one of them.

Will a leader please stand up for we need one right now.

Posted in UKComments Off on 2018 “Global Trust Barometer” Reveals New Crisis for Britain


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