This Week in the Guardian #15

These past weeks the Guardian has (sort of) decided we shouldn’t break international, and Covid19 might be racist.

Every now and then (it used to be weekly, but then a pandemic happened) we like to highlight three or four stories that go full-Guardian, but don’t require an entire article of refutation.
We encourage reader-participation here, so if you come across something you feel should be included in the next edition either post a link below, or send us an e-mail.

Breaking International Law is Bad…Sometimes

This story fits in this long-delayed edition of TWitG, because it’s a slow burner.

Back in September it was revealed that the UK’s proposed Brexit deal would breach the Good Friday Agreement, and thereby technically break international law. This proposal was met with fury by people who a)Didn’t know we break international law everyday or b) didn’t care.

Of all the hollow condemnations of Boris’s blow to Britains “international reputation”, The Guardian’s probably rang the most hollow (well, maybe second most…OK, fine, third most. Geez but there’s a lot of monstrous hypocrites out there.).

Jonathan Freedland, for whom hypocrisy is a natural habitat, ranted about the UK’s reputation at length. Talking about “international law” quite a bit, but somehow managing to not use the word “Iraq” even once.

More directly, a Britain that declares its willingness to break international treaties – including one it signed only a few months ago – announces itself as a rogue state, by definition. As the former Tory leader Michael Howard argued, such a country will never again be able to scold, say, Iran if it breaks its nuclear promises, or China when it reneges on its commitments to Hong Kong. We will have amputated the finger we like to wag in the face of others.

That he managed to squeeze out this turd of a sentence without being struck down by the gods of hubris is a very real argument in favour of atheism.

However, The Graun’s newfound love of international law was – as love affairs so often tend to be – shortlived and insincere.

Just two weeks later we were treated to a review of the kinds of missiles that the US military use to carry out “targeted assassinations” in Syria. Apparently they’ve got blades on the front which kill people nice and fast, which is just lovely.

The fact these military operations are entirely illegal under international law, and in fact constitute a war crime, somehow didn’t merit a mention. Much less three of four opinion pieces about what such extra-judicial murders do for America’s “international reputation”.

Most glaringly, on the very same day that good old Jonny Freedland was waxing lyrical about the UK’s international reputation, the Guardian also published a podcast interview with Alastair Campbell where he talks about battling his depression.

The good old Graun actually regularly publishes columns by Campbell, where he gets to talk about how sad he’s feeling, rant about Jeremy Corbyn and just generally go about his day without being indicted for war crimes. Which is a pretty good result for a man complicit in the murder of 100,000s of innocent people.

This week the UK Parliament passed the second reading of a bill permitting agents of the British government to break any law they deemed necessary in pursuit of “intelligence”. Two weeks prior they passed the Overseas Operations bill, which essentially legalised torture

Despite these bills being condemned by Amnesty International, none of the Graun’s editorial staff were moved to make remarks on the topic, and there was certainly no further eulogizing of Britain’s “international reputation”.


Covidentity Politics

OffG’s view of the coronavirus “pandemic” is that it is nothing like as dangerous as we are being told it is, that the numbers support this view, and that the entire situation is being worked into public hysteria to excuse an authoritarian crackdown and unprecedented reductions in personal liberty.

The mainstream view is that this is a very serious disease, with the potential to severely damage our entire society, overwhelm our struggling hospitals, leave millions of people dead and tear apart our civilisation.

Whichever of these is the case, the whole situation is certainly far too serious to be distracted by shallow and ridiculous.

For example, focusing on whether or not “female voices” are being “drowned out” of the Covid conversation is totally absurd. Likewise, concerning yourself with whether or not a skin rash website has an appropriate number of ethnic minority examples would seem to be rather…silly.

You could argue that adding this kind of vapid political distraction to the “pandemic” narrative is evidence it’s nothing more than a psy-op policy roll-out.

After all, if it was really serious, we’d all have more important things to talk about, wouldn’t we?


Western spies privately blame Russia’s FSB for Alexei Navalny poisoning

Apparently the Western intelligence agencies have all “privately” decided that Russia was responsible for the “attempted poisoning” of Alexei Navalny. This will surprise literally nobody, what else were they ever going to say?

Of course, the reason they’ve decided this “privately”, is that they have absolutely no evidence it’s true. But having no evidence has never stopped The Guardian reporting anything, especially when it comes to Russia.

It’s been around 60 days since Alexei Navalny was allegedly poisoned with “novichok”, and in that time The Guardian has published over 40 articles and videos on the subject. All of them, obviously, toeing the party line that Putin was responsible. None asking any of the obvious questions, and none less accurate or more obviously propaganda than this piece.

You can probably already guess who it was written by.

There’s no real need to get into the details except to point out how far the novichok narrative has fallen. Remember 2018, when novichok was one of the deadliest nerve agents ever created? The New York Times called it “the nerve agent too deadly to use”.

Well now, three failed assassinations later, it turns out novichok:

can cause a heart attack or asphyxiation if administered in a high enough dose.”

Oh, sorry not “failed assassinations” because – unlike the Skripals – the Russians didn’t want to kill Navalny:

the operation was designed not to kill Navalny but to send him an unambiguous warning and to force him into exile […] If [the FSB] had wanted to kill Navalny, it could have done so.

So we have a story about “deadly nerve agent” (that never kills anyone), being used in an assassination (that wasn’t an assassination) written by a journalist (who doesn’t do journalism) in a “newspaper” (which is anything but new). Very neat.

BONUS: “Goodbye civil rights…”

In “This Week in the Patriarchy”, Arwa Mahdawi is concerned about civil rights in America. She doesn’t mean because of the lockdowns and or medical martial law or the censorship, or Julian Assange being put on trial for simply being a journalist . She means because the newest member of the Supreme Court is a Catholic with *gulp* differing political views.

It’s dumb and shallow and it really ticks me off. There are bigger problems than one Catholic in a group of nine judges.

* * *

All told, a busy few weeks for The Guardian. And we didn’t even cover the covid sniffer dogs or this unspeakable weak act of moral cowardice.
Did we miss anything? Tell us about it in the comments below, and keep an eye out for articles that should go in the next issue.


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