All posts filed under: UK

Joining some dots on the Skripal case: Part 1: An Official Story That Doesn’t Hold Water

I have asked a lot of questions in relation to the Skripal case and many, if not most, are still unanswered. However, I want in this piece to go further than asking questions, and to start to join a few dots together. There is much to say, and rather than doing it in one long piece, which only three people will have the attention span to sit through, I want to do it over a number of articles. Probably four or five. We shall see.

Lift the ban on communications! Free Julian Assange!

by James Coga, via WSWS June 6 will mark 10 weeks since the Ecuadorian government blocked all communication by WikiLeaks’ editor Julian Assange with the outside world, including personal visitors. Assange has been trapped inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, when Quito granted him asylum in the face of a legal witch-hunt by the governments of the United States, Britain and Sweden. Britain was moving to extradite Assange to Sweden on trumped-up allegations of sexual abuse as the first step in transferring him to the US to face charges of espionage, which carry a possible death sentence. Washington had vowed to punish Assange for having exposed before the world war crimes committed by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as US intrigues against other countries. In remarks last Wednesday, Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno attempted to defend the silencing of Assange. He sought to deny—unconvincingly—that this action was the outcome of his government’s capitulation to pressure and threats by the United States. Moreno put forward an Orwellian conception of freedom of speech …

Whose words was Yulia reading?

Yulia Skripal’s surprise video statement and walkabout yesterday has, as usual in this case, raised more questions than it has provided answers. The MSM has predictably addressed none of those questions and been content to simply air the video along with portions of her statement, laced with anti-Russian commentary and distorted summaries of the backstory (see here and here and here). Fortunately those in the alt media are free to try to do a little better.

What Would Sherlock Holmes Have Made of the Government’s Explanation of the Case of Sergei and Yulia Skripal?

by Rob Slane from The Blogmire In an article on 3rd May, the Guardian journalist, Luke Harding, made the following rather amusing observation: Since the Skripals were found stricken on a park bench, Downing Street has stuck to one version of events. Theresa May says it is ‘highly likely’ Moscow carried out the attack using a Soviet-made nerve agent. Only the Kremlin had the motive to kill its former officer, she argues.” The funny part, in case you didn’t spot it, was his claim that Downing Street has stuck to one version of events. He is of course correct, but what he doesn’t tell his readers is that this one version of events has had a plethora of sub-narratives attached to it, none of which have been able to remotely support the main thesis. Sticking to one version of events is reasonable only inasmuch as that version can be supported by facts. On the other hand, if the version of events being stuck to is not supported by the facts, or if the “facts” constantly …

Anti-Semitism. Orchestrated Offensive against Jeremy Corbyn in the UK

by Jonathan Cook For months, a campaign has been aimed at destabilising British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, accused of anti-Semitism. The right-wing party, Tony Blair’s heir, and pro-Israel circles are targeting both Corbyn’s left-wing line and his support for the Palestinian people. Britain’s opposition leader should have plenty on his plate at the moment, but Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is spending much of his time instead putting out fires as he is attacked from within and without his party for failing to get to grips with a supposed “anti-semitism crisis” besetting Labour. Late last month leading Jewish groups organised a large “Enough is enough” march on parliament, attended by prominent Labour MPs, to accuse Corbyn of siding with anti-Semites. In response to the rally, Corbyn issued a statement acknowledging that “anti-semitism has surfaced within the Labour Party,” apologised and promised “to redouble my efforts to bring this anxiety to an end.” Under Media Attack But there are no signs that Corbyn’s problems are about to end. On April 17, he had to endure the …

WATCH: More Skripal-weird: even head of OPCW doesn’t seem to have a clue what Novichok is

Raising the serious possibility even the director-general of the OPCW doesn’t really know what Novichok is supposed to be, Ahmet Uzumcu, incumbent of that post, claimed May 4 that a “quarter cup to a half cup” of Novichok had been used to attack the Skripals in Salisbury. This, of course, would be enough to kill every man. woman and child in the city. This led into an even odder “clarification” from the OPCW within hours, which didn’t so much correct Uzumcu’s strange claim as pretend it had never happened and replaced it with the statement that the amount used in Salisbury was presently unknown but would be measured in “milligrams”.

Reality Check – the Tories DID NOT win the local elections.

We were never supposed to be here. This was never supposed to happen. Corbyn keeps ruining plans and breaking rules and gaining votes and making sense. He says reasonable things, queitly, and people listen. This is not how politics is supposed to go.

The bottom line is that the establishment is getting more and more frustrated with Corbyn because he simply won’t do what he’s told. He won’t bang the war drums on command, betray the unions, sell off the NHS or resign in disgrace. He won’t even lose when he’s supposed to.

Corbyn should learn his lesson: compromise with the devil is not an option

Corbyn’s team decided to play soft and weak, in the hopes that letting a little blood would sate the thirst of the media. But you don’t abate a feeding frenzy by chumming the water. You don’t compromise with the devil by selling a piece of your soul.

Douma: Part 1 — Deception in Plain Sight

by Media Lens, April 25, 2018 UK corporate media are under a curious kind of military occupation. Almost all print and broadcast media now employ a number of reporters and commentators who are relentless and determined warmongers. Despite the long, unarguable history of US-UK lying on war, and the catastrophic results, these journalists instantly confirm the veracity of atrocity claims made against Official Enemies, while having little or nothing to say about the proven crimes of the US, UK, Israel and their allies. They shriek with a level of moral outrage from which their own government is forever spared. They laud even the most obviously biased, tinpot sources blaming the ‘Enemy’, while dismissing out of hand the best scientific researchers, investigative journalists and academic sceptics who disagree. Anyone who challenges this strange bias is branded a ‘denier’, ‘pro-Saddam’, ‘pro-Gaddafi, ‘pro-Assad’. Above all, one robotically repeated word is generated again and again: ‘Apologist… Apologist… Apologist’. Claims of a chemical weapons attack on Douma, Syria on April 7, offered yet another textbook example of this reflexive warmongering. …

The Timeline of Shame

by Thomas G. Clark, Another Angry Voice, April 16, 2018 In March 2018 the Saudi tyrant Mohammed bin Salman began a month-long tour of Western nations, securing new arms deals with Britain, the United States, and France. In early March 2018, the brutal Islamist tyrant received a warm Tory welcome in London. Against a backdrop of widespread criticism of the repressive Saudi regime and their ongoing campaign of war crimes in Yemen, Theresa May agreed a new arms deal with the Saudi regime to supply them 48 Typhoon jets. This deal was signed off by the UK government despite their full knowledge that the Saudis have been using British-manufactured weapons to commit horrific war crimes. Later that month Bin Salman rocked up in the United States to meet Donald Trump. The President of the United States demeaned his office and his nation by begging the Saudi tyrant to “share the wealth“ by buying more American-manufactured weapons. The trip concluded with a new $670 million deal to supply the repressive kingdom with anti-tank missiles and spare …

Alexander Shulgin to the OPCW

The following is the unofficial translation of the statement made by Alexander Shulgin, the head of Russian delegation at the OPCW, at that body’s April 18 Executive Council meeting at the Hague.   The text is provided by the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Netherlands. Mr. Chairperson, I would like to start my speech with the words that belong to the great thinker Martin Luther, “A lie is like a snowball: the further you roll it, the bigger it becomes”. This wise aphorism is fully applicable to politics. He who has chosen the path of deception will have to lie again and again, making up explanations for discrepancies, spreading disinformation and doing forgery, desperately using all means to cover the tracks of the lies and to hide the truth. The United Kingdom has entered this slippery path. We can clearly see all of this on the example of the “Skripal case” fabricated by the British authorities, this poorly disguised anti-Russian provocation accompanied by an unprecedented propaganda campaign, taken up by a group of countries, …

WATCH: Russian ambassador to UK presser on eve of “allied” strikes on Damascus, April 13 2018

Ruptly broadcast of the presser held by Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko on Friday, April 13 regarding the alleged Skripal poisoning and the alleged chemical weapon attack on Douma. Worth watching for the video comparison of Tony Blair, lying about WMDs in 2003 to promote war in Iraq, and proclaiming his support for war in Syria in 2108, based on the lies about the certitude of Russian culpability promulgated by the current UK govt. The statement took place the day after the release of the report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which backed the U.K.’s assessment that a military-grade nerve agent was used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury. The US/UK/French air strikes took place the night of 13-14 April, just hours after thi​s

Spiez Laboratory, the Skripal Case, and the OPCW

The OPCW has, to date, made no comment and issued no rebuttal of Lavrov’s assertion concerning the full findings of Spiez Laboratory and the presence of BZ and its precursors in the March 23 blood samples taken from Sergei and Yulia Skripal. If Lavrov’s statement accurately reflects the actual findings of the Spiez Laboratory, and if the Skirpals were indeed given BZ in some form, this would account for both the state in which they were discovered on March 4, one of them unconscious and the other spaced out on a bench in Salisbury, and for the length of time Sergei and Yulia Skripal were comatose.

Who is James Le Mesurier?

Who is James Le Mesurier, former British army officer and private military contractor who founded the White Helmets, the civil defence organisation operating exclusively in opposition-held parts of Syria? It is a question more and more people are asking as the function of the organization comes under increasing scrutiny.

Decisive Failure Of US Forces

by South Front, April 14, 2018 Early on April 14, the US, France and the UK carried out a massive missile strike on Syria justifying their actions with the alleged involvement of the Assad government into the April 7 Douma “chemical attack”. The Russian Defense Minsitry stated that 103 cruise and air-to-surface missiles were launched on different targets across Syria adding that 71 of them were intercepted by the Syrian Air Defense Forces (SADF). “According to available information, a total of 103 cruise missiles were fired… The Syrian air defense systems basically comprising Soviet-made weapons successfully repelled the strikes by aircraft and naval ships. A total of 71 missiles were intercepted,” Head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operations Department Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoi said. Rudskoi said that the SADF had used its S-125, S-200, Buk, Kvadrat and Osa air defense systems to repel the strike. The Syrian General Command said that the US, the UK and France had launched 110 missiles also adding that most of them were intercepted. The numbers provided raise serious questions. Some experts …

Labour’s commissioned Legal Opinion on legitimacy of UK Air Strikes on Syria

This is the text of the legal opinion by Professor Dapo Akande, commissioned by Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party on the recent airstrikes on Damascus by the UK armed forces

The Skripal case & the perils of a rush to judgment

by James O’Neill amended to remove reference to the Spiez laboratory, which is not mentioned directly in the OPCW summary The perils of coming to premature conclusions before all the facts are available has been starkly demonstrated by the latest developments in the alleged nerve gas attack upon the former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English town of Salisbury on 4 March 2018. Followers of this particular saga will be aware that British Prime Minister Theresa May and her Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson have made a series of statements to the United Kingdom House of Commons and to the media. They alleged, without qualification, that the Skripals were poisoned with a nerve agent of the “Novichok” class, of a type “developed by Russia.” That these statements were made before it was possible for the British chemical and biological research facility at Porton Down to have made an analysis and reached a scientifically valid conclusion did not matter. The object of the exercise was to demonize Russia in general and …

China must walk the talk and support Russia

by Ghassan Kadi , The Saker, April 12, 2018 This article was written before the most recent missile attack on Syria, carried out by the US, France, and the UK.  Its argument retains relevance. When Chinese Defence Minister, General Wei Fenghe visited Moscow on the 4th of April 2018 and made his historic comment that he was in Moscow to give a message to America that China stands by Russia (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-04/chinas-new-defence-chief-visits-russia-to-send-a-message-to-us/9616216), he put China in a new and unprecedented global position, because China had never made such direct statements about the USA since the early days of Chairman Mao; and that was a long time ago, when China was not an industrial power and an aspiring global power, and long before the rift between the USSR and Mao’s China began. A lot has changed since, and neither Russia nor China are today what they used to be a few decades ago, and as they changed, matured and developed, their relationship vis-à-vis each other and the United States seem to have gone the full circle. Today’s …

More on the Skripal/Douma alleged false flag connection

In regard to our suggestion the latest move against Damascus was predominantly a UK project, a link was sent to us today to an article by Thierry Meyssan on Voltairenet that’s certainly interesting. Published March 20 it puts forward the idea the Skripal affair was a false flag intended to be the launch pad for a wholesale diplomatic attack on Russia that Meyssan suggests would initiate a “new cold war.” While it’s possible to question this terminology (many would suggest we already have a “new cold war” and are on the verge of it becoming hot), his narrative offers a valid interpretation of recent events, and indeed looks more persuasive today that when it was written. What Meyssan suggests is as follows: Back in March a projected coup was planned between the UK government and the neocons in Washington to create an irresistible drive to a) launch a full blown assault on Damascus and b) get Russia removed from the UN Security Council. The means was to be first the Skripal incident and immediately thereafter …

How We Were Misled about Syria: George Monbiot of The Guardian

George Monbiot is an influential journalist, and his words on Syria over the past seven years will have carried weight in shaping public opinion. Some critical readers, however, have been concerned. For while Monbiot has declared himself morally opposed to military intervention, and is demonstrably aware of how the media can manipulate news reports, he has repeatedly published statements – in his weekly Guardian column and on Twitter – that lend significant support to key interventionist arguments