Government sources say the country’s leaders want to contain the fallout from the tariffs tit-for-tat to ensure the process of reform and opening up continues
President Xi Jinping has told Chinese officials that the country must pick its battles carefully amid the increasing trade tensions to ensure that nothing derails the country’s process of reform and opening up, government sources have said.
Xi has repeatedly reminded aides that while Donald Trump’s provocations mean Beijing must retaliate, they must try to contain the damage to prevent the stand-off from compromising its chosen path, a government source told the South China Morning Post.
“The message from the top is that ‘nothing can stop China from opening up’,” the official, who was briefed on the president’s instructions, said.“It is particularly important for 2018 when China is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its ‘reform and opening up’ policy.” Although Beijing was frustrated by Washington’s rejection of its offer to buy more US goods as a way of easing tensions last month, its response has been measured so far. In the three weeks since Trump indicated he would push ahead with his plan to impose tariffs, Xi has met multinational executives to tell them that China’s doors will only open wider in future and the government said it would increase the number of sectors that foreign businesses can invest in.
Beijing has also tried to manage the news to avoid provoking American ire. State media has been told to keep quiet about Made in China 2025 – a state-backed plan to promote the hi-tech sector which Trump’s administration has frequently criticised – and the customs agency released figures that showed Chinese exports to America weakening ahead of schedule. Despite speculation that China would pre-empt the US 25 per cent tariffs – due to come into force on US$34 billion worth of products Friday – by announcing a similar set of countermeasures first, the Ministry of Finance insisted on Wednesday that China wouldn’t “fire the first shot”. These olive branches are part of a broad strategy decided by the top leadership that the trade row with the US, which could alter the trajectory of China’s economic development, must not be allowed to distract it from the policy of reform and opening up. In 1978 the former paramount leader Deng Xiaoping decided to embrace market reforms and integrate China into the global capitalist economy, unleashing a nearly uninterrupted four-decade boom that transformed China from an economic backwater to the world’s second biggest economy. It is a legacy that Xi is trying to continue and he has highlighted the significance of the anniversary on a number of occasions this year.
Although Beijing has introduced tit-for-tat tariffs on some US products, ranging from cars to soybeans, it has refrained from releasing specific and qualitative countermeasures. Instead, it has tried to emphasis its free trade stance. At a press conference on Thursday, Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng, when asked about whether Beijing would target US firms in China, replied that the government would protect the “legitimate interests of all foreign businesses in China” and help firms relieve the possible impact from any trade war.
Trump has threatened punitive tariffs of up to US$450 billion worth of Chinese products, which could prove a major drag on the country’s exports and growth. This threat has fanned speculation as to whether Beijing would shelve its drive to curb risky lending – one of Xi’s flagship policies – and embrace fiscal stimulus and monetary easing instead. The decision by the People’s Bank of China to unleash US$100 billion funds into the banking system, effective from Thursday, has only served to amplify such speculation. But Vice-Premier Liu He, Xi’s right-hand man, this week made it clear that any easing would be tactical and the policy of curbing debt would continue. He told the first meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Committee, that China had “favourable conditions to win big risk control battles and cope with external risks” and its debt reduction efforts would continue “as planned”. It would not be in Xi’s interests to rush into a full-blown trade war with the US as it could cause unwanted disruption to its economy and the president’s “Chinese dream” of transforming society and increasing prosperity, according to Henry Chan Hing Lee, an adjunct researcher with the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore. “There is no doubt that China must chart its own path of development when it is moving towards the goal of the Chinese dream and challenging the US on global leadership,” said Chan. The “collision between America First and the Chinese dream will take years if not decades to resolve”, he warned.
Although it is relatively easy for China to open its domestic markets further or promise to import more, analysts say it will be harder to move away from its state-led growth model and claw back the government’s omnipresence in the economy. The US increasingly views Chinese state-owned enterprises with suspicion. Earlier this week a US government agency recommended that the state-owned operator China Mobile should be barred from the US market as national security threat. But Xi views these companies as the backbone of the economy and the foundation of China’s future economic might, Ding Shuang, chief Greater China economist of Standard Chartered Bank, said. The Communist Party’s fondness for state-owned enterprises is “unlikely to change under Xi although it’s possible Beijing will introduce more market competition,” Ding said.
Additional reporting by Zhou Xin
This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: China will hit back at Trump tariffs … but not too hardChina will hit back at Trump, but not enough to disrupt reform process
China’s President Xi Jinping to US Defense Secretary James Mattis: “We are not colonialists and cause no chaos” Chinese President Xi Jinping received US Defense Secretary James Mattis in Beijing on Wednesday. We will not go the way of expansionism and colonialism and cause no chaos in the world, “Xi assured the US minister. The vast Pacific may house China, the United States and other countries. China and the United States should promote the development of bilateral relations according to the principle of mutual respect and win-win cooperation. Xi Jinping said at the meeting that the Chinese people want to build a large, modern socialist country. The People’s Republic will undeterred tread the path of peaceful development. The good development of China-US relations serves both peoples and the peoples of other countries as well as peace, stability and prosperity in the world and in the region. Both countries have common interests in many areas. There is more common ground on both sides than there are differences of opinion. Both sides should promote bilateral relations according to the principle of mutual respect and the cooperative win-win situation. Regarding the question of Chinese sovereignty and territorial integrity, China’s position was resolute and clear: any land left by the ancestors should not be abandoned. We will not go the way of expansionism and colonialism and cause no chaos in the world, “Xi assured the US minister. “The vast Pacific can host China, the United States and other countries. China and the United States should promote the development of bilateral relations according to the principle of mutual respect and win-win cooperation. ” Xi also said that the relationship between the two armies was an important part of the bilateral relations between the two countries. Both sides should strengthen contacts at all levels and build mechanisms. In addition, both sides should strengthen mutual trust, deepen cooperation and promote relations between the two armies, China’s president continued. Mattis said the US attached great importance to relations between both armies and both countries. Washington wants to strengthen strategic exchanges with Beijing, increase mutually beneficial cooperation and avoid conflict and confrontation.
transl. from. german to english by alfonso
The unipolar world of US hegemony is over.Not all have noticed.So, before we discuss what the rise of China means, we should quickly take off the blinders and look at the world as it looks when viewed from a global perspective, not the provincial gaze of a West that continues to be the navel of the WestWorld holds.Those days are over.
Is the rapprochement of North Korea and South Korea a diplomatic coup by Donald Trump?Does this show the power of the USA?No.This shows only the total lack of understanding of Western observers for the balance of power between China and the United States.
Instead, the essence of the development is a rapprochement of South Korea to China, a liberation of South Korea from the status of an anti-Chinese front-line state of the United States.And this development has been apparent for some time.There is a process of diplomatic approach.On the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, the two heads of state Xi Jinping and Moon Jae-in declared their common intention “to normalize exchange and cooperation in all areas as quickly as possible.” 
USA loses, China wins: This was preceded by a violent conflict between the two states after South Korea decided to install a US-made missile defense system called THAAD. China relinquished this relapse into old front-line behavior with the use of its strongest weapon: the power of the Chinese economy. Even a Chinese boycott of tourism cost South Korea between 6.8 and 8.5 billion dollars within a year. Tourists from China make up half of 17 million South Korean travelers annually. In the wake of the THAAD conflict, the state tourism authority ordered Chinese travel agents to stop offering group travel to South Korea. As a result, the number of Chinese tourists fell by 60 percent. In addition, China attacked the South Korean economic conglomerate Lotte. The Group was penalized for its advertising practices. A large number of Lotte supermarkets in China have closed due to fire safety regulations. 
Since then, South Korea is rowing back. It is a difficult tightrope walk for the country to keep its balance between ever-expanding China and its traditional ally USA. The trend, however, is clear. For many years there have been conflicts over US military bases in South Korea. At the same time, the South Korean’s most important trading partner by far is China. South Korea exported $ 124 billion worth of goods to China in 2016.
At the same time, South Korea imports twice as much from China ($ 93.7 bn) than it does from the United States ($ 42.3 bn).  The export nation South Korea thus achieved one third of its foreign trade surplus from trade with China. To misunderstand the reunification overtures between North and South Korea as Donald Trump’s demonstration of power is, in this context, a first-class analytical donkey. In the case of a unification of Korea, China would gain a powerful ally, and the US would lose its usual strategic position in an allied state.
Asia booming! All of Asia is forming a gigantic economic area: Indonesia’s most important export destinations (265 million inhabitants) were in this order in 2016: China, USA, Japan, Singapore, India. In terms of imports, the United States then completely smeared off: China, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia and South Korea delivered the most goods to the gigantic Indonesian market.  In almost all of the other 48 nation-states of Asia with its 4.5 million inhabitants, the most important trading partner is China, with a rapidly rising trend. An exception in the wider area of China is only India, with 1.3 billion people and its robust economic growth. But even this situation is about to change dramatically: In 2017, the Indian-Chinese trade volume reached a historic high, but still fairly clear $ 84.44 billion. However, exports from India to China increased by a whopping 40% within a year,  The third economic elephant in Asia besides China and India (still far behind) is still Japan. And this country is firmly on the side of the Western alliance. With China threatens war rather than cooperation.
Oh yes?As so often, this general knowledge is outdated and wrong.Japan is working hard to improve its relations with the People’s Republic.
There is talk of a restart of relations .Again, one main reason for the rapprochement is the rapidly increasing trading volume with China.Although Japan’s largest export market in 2016 was still the US ($ 130 billion).But China ($ 113 billion) is catching up to overtake, while the Chinese economy already exports twice as much to Japan as the US.[8th]
In fact, China has outstripped the USA in industrial production.In 2011, the 111-year dominance of the United States ended, and China took the lead in global output.(Martin Jacques: “When China Rules the World.”, P. 186)
China is building fiscal institutions. The irrevocable shift of world economic weights from west to east is the most significant fact of contemporary history. The pace of modernization in Asia is breathtaking – and no one should believe that the consequences are purely economic. So far, we are talking about a world built according to the will of the West. With the partial
exception of the UN, which pays that special status with the greatest incapacity to act, all the major institutions of the world are created and dominated by the West. It is simply silly to believe that this institutional dominance will persist as China ascends to giants. And the big chairs have already begun. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank AIIB  is a China-initiated response to the IMF and the World Bank. The list of “regional” member countries participating in the AIIB is already impressive , although the “region” of the AIIB appears to be very broad. Also, Israel and Australia are listed there. Russia is of course, but also Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman. Sensational is the list of” superregionals” member countries. Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Holland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, Norway, Malta, Luxembourg, Ireland, Iceland, Hungary, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland …
Great Britain is also there. The British were sensationally the first to get in, although Obama had expressly forbidden it. On the waiting list for a recording are currently Kuwait, Bahrain, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Kenya, South Africa, Sudan, Greece, Romania, Armenia and many other countries. And so only the USA is missing today in this Who’s Who of the global economy. Even without the United States, the AIIB is” of America” - many American nations are already member countries! – suddenly became more important than the World Bank and IMF. It is also equipped with more capital. The show runs without the Americans, who are once more offended in the corner. Another strategic feat of Barack Obama. Chinese sunflower seeds for Tehran We should finally begin to grasp the following: No region and no land of the earth will remain unaffected by the rise of China – and even now the Chinese factor is far more powerful than we realize. Take Iran. The US and Israel are massively pressuring a war with Iran. Europe is slowing down. What is China doing? Nothing? Because it does not speak in this conflict situation? Because it does not exclude any sanctions against anyone? Because China is not shifting troops or raising drones or fighter planes? China could do all that. It would have considerable military potential. But that China does not do that does not mean that China is inactive in the conflict over Iran. China’s answer once again was infrastructure and trade. A few days after Donald Trump abandoned the nuclear agreement with Iran, China announced the opening of a new railroad and was the first to ship a freight train carrying 1,350 tons of sunflower seed. The runs from the city of Banyannur in north China’s Inner Mongolia via Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan 8,352 kilometers to Tehran.  The trade distance from China to Iran is being shortened by 20 days compared to container ship transport as a result of this massive new infrastructure project. And while the US is putting pressure on its allies and many companies to stop working with Iran, and it is already clear that the Europeans will grumble, but once again follow Big Brother, China is doing just the opposite. Beijing sends an unequivocal message to Washington: We will continue to maintain normal trade relations with Iran.
In the past, Chinese companies and Russia have also been very effective in undermining Western sanctions.And the reluctance to submit to the US sanction dictates is increasing internationally.The Washington Post fears that China might even act as an intermediary for the Europeans this time to help them avoid US sanctions, and warns, “Trump’s Iran decision could weaken US sanctions threats in the long term.” The former US diplomatCarlos Pascual fears trouble-free oil sales of the Iranians via China and Russia in the whole world.
Of course, a war in which the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia attack Iran together could also affect rail traffic to China and other trade.However, Chinese policymakers could also undermine the ever-waning wartime fortunes of US-led alliances …
China dominates that Internet Apart from that, the total fixation of the USA on its military trump card is no longer a sign of strength. The Americans are trying to make up for the fact that they are increasingly falling behind financially. But on the Internet, the US is the world’s number one powerhouse? That just looks like if you do not know anything about the world because you live in the West. Does Alibaba tell you something?  The Chinese Internet giant is one of the ten most powerful companies in the world and had a market value of $ 527 billion in January 2018. Its online sales and profits in 2015 already exceeded the combined (!) Result of Walmart, Amazon, eBay and all other US competitors, In the media sector, Alibaba has recorded growth rates in the three-digit percentage range for years. Alibaba’s cloud operation is bigger than Google, Amazon or Microsoft.  Recently, Alibaba also went on a shopping spree in Germany and got two big, fat companies from Rocket Internet’s portfolio.  Meanwhile, we only discuss censorship in Germany when it comes to China and the Internet. This is a fundamentally legitimate, but of course completely hypocritical debate, which should distract from the increasing online censorship in our home. But most of all, we miss the actual story once again: The Internet is not purely “American”, it is increasingly an Asian event globally.
China dominates High-tech China will also technologically storm to the top. In the field of Artificial Intelligence, the Wall Street Journal warns Google and Intel of the impending Chinese dominance just a few days ago.  While the west is slowly dawning that the old pole position could soon come under pressure, the train has long since left. Forty percent of Huawei’s 170,000 employees work in research and development. In the province of Guizhoe, there is now a 500-meter-wide radio telescope for the search for extraterrestrial life. The Sunway Taihu Light supercomputer is by far the fastest in the world. Similar sensational reports, which of course do not reach us in the German valley of the unsuspecting, exist in stem cell research or in the development of new batteries. And the tech giants of the West are just beginning to come under pressure. China is currently attacking the drone market in the USA. The drone Mavic Pro, produced in China, flies faster and twice as high as the comparable product GoPro Karma, weighs 25 percent less, can fly 30 percent longer and costs $ 50 less.  Trump now reacts with punitive tariffs and a trade war. For example, there has recently been a 25 percent penalty on Chinese robots.
At the same time, the Chinese robot industry is just starting to make a difference. The government plans to produce 150,000 industrial robots per year by 2020, from 260,000 to 2035, and it does not seem unrealistic to talk about 400,000 robots a year by 2030.  In the context of these efforts, the Chinese Midea Group has bought for 4.5 billion euros 95% of the shares of Kuka, the German pride in robotics.  Will Kuka from Augsburg now be punished with US punitive duties? Trump’s trade war is a miserable reaction to an unstoppable Chinese dynamic. The US will crash the war.
World power China: Good or bad? Is the rise of China good news or bad news? What does this shift mean for the world? Well, before we talk about the consequences, we should recognize the fact: The unipolar world of US hegemony is over. Not all have noticed. So, before we discuss what the rise of China means, we should quickly take off the blinders and look at the world as it looks when viewed from a global perspective, not the provincial gaze of a West that continues to be the navel of the West World holds. Those days are over. If we understand that, we can go on a hard journey to understand China. A country with 5000 years of history. Lao-Tse and Kung-Tse (Confucius) continue to shape Chinese governance today. They lived 2500 years ago. We are dealing here with an independent civilization, with an incredibly rich cultural heritage. I therefore recommend that you first read a few books about China, its history, its culture and philosophy.
And in everything that is behind the Chinese development model, one can still rightly criticize: In itself, a democratization boost is unparalleled if the billion-dollar mass of Asians finally gains the weight in the world that the 200-year-old dictatorship of the West has deprived them of.
 THE DIPLOMAT: South Korea and China Make Amends. What Now? <Https://thediplomat.com/2017/11/south-korea-and-china-make-amends-what-now/>
 QUARTZ: China inflicted a world of pain on South Korea in 2017, <https://qz.com/1149663/china-south-korea-relations-in-2017-thaad-backlash-and-the-effect- on-tourism />
 OEC (The Observatory of Economic Complexity), Visualizations, South Korea, <https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/kor/>
 OEC (The Observatory of Economic Complexity), Visualizations, Indonesia, <https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/idn/>
 THE HINDU: India-China trade hits a record $ 84.4 billion, <http://www.thehindu.com/business/india-china-trade-hits-a-record-844-billion/article22970857.ece>
 South China Morning Post: How a long-awaited hotline could pave the way for calmer China-Japan relations, <http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2145811/how- long-awaited hotline-Could-pave-way calmer china>
 THE DIPLOMAT: China-Japan Reset Continues With High-Level Economic Talks, <https://thediplomat.com/2018/04/china-japan-reset-continues-with-high-level-economic-talks/>
 OEC (The Observatory of Economic Complexity), Visualizations, Japan, <https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/jpn/>
 The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): Home, <https://www.aiib.org/en/index.html>
 The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): Members and Prospective Members of the Bank, <https://www.aiib.org/en/about-aiib/governance/members-of-bank/index.html>
 XINHUANET: New freight train links Inner Mongolia and Iran, <http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-05/10/c_137170361.htm>
 The Washington Post: China’s New Train Line to Iran Sends Message to Trump Well Keep Trading Anyway ?, <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/world/wp/2018/05/11/chinas-new- train-line-to-iran-sends-message-to-trump-well-keep-trading anyway /? noredirect = on & utm_term = .074af95153e8
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 FOUNDERS: Another Rocket startup sold to Alibaba, <https://www.gruenderszene.de/business/daraz-rocket-internet-alibaba-verkauf>
 THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Google and Intel Beware: China Is Gunning for Dominance in AI Chips, <https://www.wsj.com/articles/google-and-intel-beware-china-is-gunning-for -dominance-in-ai-chips-1515060224>  South China Morning Post: Be afraid: China is on the path to global technology dominance, <http://www.scmp.com/business/global-economy/article/2081771/be-afraid-china-path- global-technology-dominance>
 Internet of Business: China’s plan for global robotics dominance gather pace, <https://internetofbusiness.com/chinas-long-march-to-global-robotics-dominance-gathers-pace/>
 Augsburger Allgemeine: That’s why the Chinese have bought Kuka, <https://www.augsburger-allgemeine.de/wirtschaft/Deshalb-haben-die-Chinesen-Kuka-gekauft-id40256182.html> This text was first published on 05/05/2018 on http://www.rubikon.news under the URL <https://www.rubikon.news/artikel/es-geht-um-asien- damammt>. (License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
Article was published in Free21, written by Florian Ernst Kirner.
Translated from German by alfonso.
(Nachdenkseiten) https://www.nachdenkseiten.de/?p=43960 May 15, 2018
In many recent affairs, medial repetition has produced a non-evidence-based version of the events. Once the desired image had been installed, reporting – without considering new developments – was abruptly stopped and the generated message “parked” in the collective memory. There, the campaigns can be reactivated whenever needed. By Tobias Riegel.
It was only a few weeks ago that it seemed that no topic on the international scene was more significant than a suspected poison attack on UK-based Russian double agent Sergei Skripal. Building on the Skripal media campaign, economic sanctions and military aggression against the alleged perpetrator could be demanded of Russia and a worldwide atmosphere of tension – and distraction – created for weeks.
And then? No sooner had the prejudice of Russia been reinstated by the repetition of unjustified accusations and the misinterpretation of investigative reports, a sudden silence remained, which continues today. That’s why German media consumers do not learn that British intelligence agencies, for example, have recently admitted they cannot name a single suspect in the Skripal case.
Although the German media had spread the opposite, they did not say anything about the admission of British National Security Advisor Sir Mark Sedwill. Emotions replace insights – facts are not handed down It was similar with the sniper shots on the Kiev Maidan Square in 2014, the shooting down of the MH17 passenger aircraft over the Ukraine in the same year and, to a large extent, in the campaigns for Russian doping and computer hacking medial repetition generates a largely not evidence-based, but emotions-based version of the events. Once the desired message was installed, reporting was abruptly stopped and the generated image “parked” in the collective memory. If there are findings that contradict months later a media campaign, they are often not communicated. And such findings – in addition to the above-mentioned admission to the case Skripal – there were some in the recent past, without that they would have received a proper appreciation in the major German media: So were new developments to the Maidan massacre of the main media largely concealed, a press conference of Russia on the alleged poison gas attacks in the Syrian Duma not reported, but maliciously distorted, it was the embryonic (non-Russian) origin of the “telecom hacker” largely suppressed and a recent judgment of the International Sporting Court in Lausanne (CAS).
The statements of the Russian doping leniency Grigory Rodchenkov strongly relativized, largely hushed up. Media consumers are cheated out of their own opinions. The fact that an event is embezzled medially does not mean that it has proven something. For example, the Russian press conference on the Duma should not be presented here either as propaganda or as an example of the brilliant truth. But if media consumers do not even learn about the existence of a new development – even if it is doubtful – they are cheated out of the opportunity to form their own image. The issue of doping will develop strong media momentum in the coming weeks in view of the approaching World Cup in Russia.
In addition, ARD and its doping correspondent Hajo Seppelt have arrogantly ventured on the subject of “Russian state doping” in comparison to the international media landscape.
Now, the CAS has determined that the statements of the anti-Russian leniency Rodchenkov would be largely based on hearsay, so are largely worthless in court. In the ARD and other large German media one does not learn of it. Courts threaten the emotional basis of media campaigns. The example of the CAS ruling on doping makes it clear why the German mainstream media does not insist on legal approaches, why ordinary court rulings are not awaited and also not demanded by the media: Firstly, no court is needed for medial convictions, only pure power is enough range and repetition. On the other hand – as the CAS judgment shows – legal “subtleties” and meticulous investigations of the processes in the construction of an enemy structure are disturbing. Judgments made in the dry rational atmosphere of a court run the risk of dragging the ground under the feet of media-based media campaigns. The lawsuits inherent
Courts threaten the emotional basis of media campaigns
The example of the CAS ruling on doping makes it clear why the German mainstream media does not insist on legal approaches, why ordinary court rulings are not awaited and also not demanded by the media:
Firstly, no court is needed for medial convictions, only pure power is enough range and repetition. On the other hand – as the CAS judgment shows – legal “subtleties” and meticulous investigations of the processes in the construction of an enemy structure are disturbing. Judgments made in the dry rational atmosphere of a court run the risk of dragging the ground under the feet of media-based media campaigns. Accuracy inherent in court proceedings threatens the sphere of what is created and loved by the editors. As soon as this accuracy threatens to break into the vague, the emergency brake can be pulled, and the topic can be buried medially – but only for the time being. When needed (when the citizens only vaguely remember), it can be introduced as an additional “argument”, sometimes in the clenched form of numerous combined allegations, to make the confusion complete. If necessary, campaigns are reheated Green MEP Rebecca Harms has recently used this tactic to perfection in order to drum up a boycott of the World Cup in Russia: “The poison gas attack in Salisbury is just the latest chapter in Vladimir Putin’s mockery of our European values: arbitrary bombing of schools, hospitals and residential areas in Syria; the brutal military invasion of Ukraine; systematic hacker attacks; Disinformation campaigns; Optional interference; Attempts to weaken and destabilize the EU – all this is not on the calling card of a good World Cup host. ” None of the allegations stacked here can be described as proven by proper standards. Harms can, however, aim at the remains of the former media campaigns stored in the minds of the citizens. The strategy of intense emotional media campaigning, which stops at the moment facts threaten its self-generated version, thus fulfills two criteria: it creates a state of shock during which unpopular decisions or revelations can be concealed. And she leaves the emotionally charged and unenlightened processes in the background to warm them up in the near future. However, there are signs that this type of indoctrination is losing its effect.
by Michael Jabara Carley
How many of you have not seen some Hollywood film in which the Normandy landings are the great turning point of the war? “What if the landings had failed,” one often hears? “Oh…, nothing much,” is the appropriate reply. The war would have gone on longer, and the Red Army would have planted its flags on the Normandy beaches coming from the east.
Every May 9th the Russian Federation celebrates its most important national holiday, Victory Day, den’ pobedy. On that day in 1945 Marshal Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov, commander of the 1st Belorussian Front, which had stormed Berlin, received the German unconditional surrender. The Great Patriotic War had gone on for 1418 days of unimaginable violence, brutality and destruction. From Stalingrad and the northern Caucasus and from the northwestern outskirts of Moscow to the western frontiers of the Soviet Union to Sevastopol in the south and Leningrad and the borders with Finland, in the north, the country had been laid waste. An estimated 17 million civilians, men, women and children, had perished, although no one will ever know the exact figure. Villages and towns were destroyed; families were wiped out without anyone to remember them or mourn their deaths.
Ten million or more Soviet soldiers died in the struggle to expel the monstrous Nazi invader and finally to occupy Berlin at the end of April 1945. Red Army dead were left unburied in a thousand places along the routes to the west or in unmarked mass graves, there having been no time for proper identification and burial. Most Soviet citizens lost family members during the war. No one was left unaffected.
The Great Patriotic War began at 3:30am on 22 June 1941, when the Nazi Wehrmacht invaded the Soviet Union along a front stretching from the Baltic to the Black Seas with 3.2 million German soldiers, organized in 150 divisions, supported by 3,350 tanks, 7,184 artillery pieces, 600,000 trucks, 2,000 warplanes. Finnish, Italian, Romanian, Hungarian, Spanish, Slovakian forces, amongst others, eventually joined the attack. The German high command reckoned that Operation Barbarossa would take only 4 to 6 weeks to finish off the Soviet Union. In the west, US and British military intelligence agreed. Besides, what force had ever beaten the Wehrmacht? Nazi Germany was the invincible colossus. Poland had been crushed in a few days. The Anglo-French attempt to defend Norway was a fiasco. When the Wehrmacht attacked in the west, Belgium hurried to quit the fight. France collapsed in a few weeks. The British army was driven out of Dunkirk, naked, without guns or Lorries. In the spring of 1941, Yugoslavia and Greece disappeared in a matter of weeks at little cost to German invaders.
Wherever the Wehrmacht advanced in Europe, it was a walkover… until that day German soldiers stepped across Soviet frontiers. The Red Army was caught flatfooted, in halfway measures of mobilization, because Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin did not believe his own intelligence reports warning of danger, or want to provoke Hitlerite Germany. The result was a catastrophe. But unlike Poland and unlike France, the USSR did not quit the fight after the expected 4 to 6 weeks. The Red Army’s losses were unimaginable, two million soldiers lost in the first three and a half months of the war. The Baltic provinces were lost. Smolensk fell and then Kiev, in the worst defeat of the war. Leningrad was encircled. An old man asked some soldiers, “Where are you retreating from?” There were calamities everywhere too numerous to mention. But at places like the fortress of Brest and in hundreds of unnamed fields and woods, road junctions and villages and towns, Red Army units fought on often to the last soldier. They fought out of encirclements to rejoin their own lines or to disappear into the forests and swamps of Belorussia and the northwestern Ukraine to organize the first partisan units to attack the German rear. By the end of 1941, three million Soviet soldiers were lost (the largest number being POWs who died at German hands); 177 divisions were struck from the Soviet order of battle. Still, the Red Army fought on, even forcing back the Germans at Yelnya, east southeast of Smolensk, at the end of August. The Wehrmacht felt the bite of the battered but not beaten Red Army. German forces were taking 7,000 casualties a day, a new experience for them.
As the Wehrmacht advanced, Einsatzgruppen, SS death squads, followed, killing Jews, Gypsies, communists, Soviet POWs, or anyone who got in their way. Baltic and Ukrainian Nazi collaborators assisted in the mass murders. Soviet women and children were stripped naked and forced to queue, waiting for execution. When winter came freezing German soldiers shot villagers or forced them out of their homes, dressed in rags like beggars, robbing them of hearth, winter clothing and food.
In the west those who predicted a speedy Soviet collapse, the usual western Sovietophobes, looked stupid and had to eat their forecasts. Public opinion understood that Hitlerite Germany had walked into a quagmire, not another campaign in France. While the British everyman cheered on Soviet resistance, the British government did relatively little to help. Some Cabinet ministers were even reluctant to call the Soviet Union an ally. Churchill refused to let BBC play the Soviet national anthem, the International, on Sunday evenings along with those of other allies.
The Red Army still retreated, but kept fighting desperately. This was no ordinary war, but a struggle of unparalleled violence against a murderous invader for home, family, country, for life itself. In November the Red Army dropped a pamphlet on German lines, quoting Carl von Clausewitz, the Prussian military theorist: “It’s impossible either to hold or conquer Russia” That was real bravado in the circumstances, but also true. Finally, in front of Moscow, in December 1941, the Red Army, under Zhukov’s command, threw back the spent forces of the Wehrmacht, in the south by as much as three hundred kilometer. The image of Nazi invincibility was shattered. Barbarossa was too ambitious, the blitzkrieg had failed, and the Wehrmacht suffered its first strategic defeat. In London Churchill agreed, grudgingly, to let BBC play the Soviet national anthem.
In 1942 the Red Army continued to suffer defeats and heavy losses, as it fought on nearly alone. In November of that year at Stalingrad on the Volga, however, the Red Army launched a counteroffensive, which led to a remarkable victory and the retreat of the Wehrmacht back to its start lines in the spring of 1942… except for the German Sixth Army, caught in the Stalingrad kotel or cauldron. There, 22 German divisions, some of Hitler’s best, were destroyed. Stalingrad was the Verdun of the Second World War. “It’s hell,” a soldier said. “No… this is ten times worse than hell,” someone else corrected. At the end of the winter fighting in 1943, Axis losses were staggering: 100 German, Italian, Romanian, Hungarian divisions were destroyed, or mauled. The president of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, reckoned that the tide of battle had turned: Hitlerite Germany was doomed.
It was February 1943. In that month there was not a single British, American, or Canadian division fighting in Europe against the Wehrmacht. Not one. It was sixteen months before the Normandy landings. The British and Americans were then fighting two or three German divisions in North Africa, a sideshow compared to the Soviet front. Western public opinion knew who was carrying the burden of the war against the Wehrmacht. In 1942, 80% of Axis divisions were arrayed against the Red Army. At the beginning of 1943 there were 207 German divisions on the Eastern Front. The Germans tried one last hurrah, one last offensive against the Kursk bulge in July 1943. That operation failed. The Red Army then launched a counteroffensive across the Ukraine which led to liberation of Kiev in November. Further north, Smolensk had been freed the month before.
The spirit of the Soviet people and their Red Army was formidable. War correspondent Vasilii Semenovich Grossman captured its essence in his personal journals. “Night, Snowstorm,” he wrote in early 1942, “Vehicles, Artillery. They are moving in silence. Suddenly a hoarse voice is heard. ‘Hey, which is the road to Berlin?’ A roar of laughter.”
Soldiers were not always brave. Sometimes they fled. “A battalion commissar armed with two revolvers began shouting, ‘Where are you running you sons of whores, where? Go forward, for our Motherland, for Jesus Christ, motherfuckers! For Stalin, you whores!’…” They went back to their positions. Those fellows were lucky; the commissar could have shot them all. Sometimes he did. A soldier volunteered to execute a deserter. “Did you feel any pity for him?” Grossman asked. “How can one speak of pity,” the soldier replied. At Stalingrad seven Uzbeks were found guilty of self-inflicted wounds. They were all shot. Grossman read a letter found in the pocket of a dead Soviet soldier. “I miss you very much. Please come and visit… I am writing this, and tears are pouring. Daddy, please come home and visit.”
Women fought alongside the men as snipers, gunners, tankists, pilots, nurses partisans. They also kept the home front going. “Villages have become the kingdom of women,” wrote Grossman, “They drive tractors, guard warehouses and stables… Women are carrying on their shoulders the great burden of work. They dominate… send bread, aircraft, weapons and ammunition to the front.” When the war was being fought on the Volga, they did not reproach their men for having given up so much ground. “Women look and say nothing,” wrote Grossman, “… not a bitter word.” But in the villages near the front, sometimes they did.
In the meantime, the western allies attacked Italy. Stalin had long demanded a second front in France, which Churchill resisted. He wanted to attack the Axis “soft underbelly”, not to help the Red Army, but to hinder its advance into the Balkans. The idea was to advance quickly north up the Italian boot, then wheel eastward into the Balkans to keep out the Red Army. The way to Berlin however was north northeast. Churchill’s plan was a failure; the western allies did not get to Rome until June 1944. There were approximately 20 German divisions in Italy fighting against larger allied forces. In the East, there were still more than two hundred Axis divisions, or ten times those in Italy. On 6 June 1944 when Operation Overlord began in Normandy, the Red Army stood on Polish and Romanian frontiers. A fortnight after the Normandy landings, the Red Army launched Operation Bagration, a huge offensive which stove in the center of the German eastern front and led to an advance of 500 kilometer to the west, while the western allies were still held up on the Normandy Cotentin peninsula. The Red Army had become an unstoppable juggernaut. It was just a matter of time before the destruction of Nazi Germany. When the war was over in May 1945, the Red Army had accounted for 80% of the losses of the Wehrmacht, and that percentage would have been far higher before the Normandy invasion. “Those who never experienced all the bitterness of the summer of 1941,” wrote Vasily Grossman, “will never be able fully to appreciate the joy of our victory.” There were many war hymns sung by the troops and the people to keep up morale. Sviashchennaia voina, “Sacred War” was one of the most popular. Russians still stand when they hear it.
Historians often debate about when the decisive turn of battle came in the European theatre. Some propose 22 June 1941, the day that the Wehrmacht crossed Soviet frontiers. Others point to the battles of Moscow, Stalingrad, or Kursk. During the war western public opinion seemed more supportive of the Red Army than some western leaders, Winston Churchill, for example. Roosevelt was better, a more pragmatic political leader, who easily recognized the preponderant Soviet role in the war against Nazi Germany. The Red Army, he said to one doubtful general in 1942, was killing more German soldiers and smashing more German tanks than all the other allies put together. Roosevelt knew that the Soviet Union was the linchpin of the great coalition against Nazi Germany. I call FDR the godfather of the “grand alliance”. Nevertheless, in the shadows lurked the usual haters of the Soviet Union, who were only biding their time before emerging again. The greater the certainty of victory over Nazi Germany, the more vocal and strident became the naysayers of the grand alliance.
Americans can be touchy about the memory of the Red Army playing the lead role in the destruction of the Wehrmacht. “What about Lend-Lease,” they say, “without our supplies, the Soviet Union could not have beaten the Germans.” In fact, most Lend-Lease supplies did not arrive in the USSR until after Stalingrad. Red Army soldiers facetiously called the Lend-Lease food tins the “second front” since the real one was late in coming. In 1942 Soviet industry was already out-producing Nazi Germany in major categories of armaments. Was the T-34 an American, or a Soviet tank? A polite Stalin always remembered to thank the US government for the jeeps and Studebaker trucks. They increased Red Army mobility. You contributed the aluminum, Russians famously replied, we contributed the blood… the rivers of blood.
No sooner was the war over than Britain and the United States started to think about another war, this time against the Soviet Union. In May 1945 the British high command produced Operation “Unthinkable”, a topsecret plan for an offensive, reinforced by German POWs, against the Red Army. What bastards, what ingrates. In September 1945, the Americans contemplated use of 204 atomic bombs to destroy the Soviet Union. The godfather, President Roosevelt, had died in April, and within weeks American Sovietophobes were reversing his policy. The grand alliance was only a truce in a Cold War which had begun after the Bolshevik seizure of power in November 1917, and which resumed in 1945.
In that year the US and British governments still had to contend with public opinion. The everyman in Europe and the United States knew very well who had carried the load against the Wehrmacht. You could not resume the old policy of hatred against the Soviet Union just like that without blotting out the memory of the Red Army’s role in the common victory over Hitlerite Germany. So memories of the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression in August 1939 were brought out of the closet, although the memories of prior Anglo-French opposition to Soviet proposals for collective security against Nazi Germany and especially of the betrayal of Czechoslovakia were omitted from the new western narrative. Like thieves in the night, Britain and the United States burgled the true account of the destruction of Nazi Germany.
Already in December 1939, the British planned to publish a white paper blaming Moscow for the failure of Anglo-Franco-Soviet alliance negotiations during the previous spring and summer. The French objected because the white paper was more likely to persuade public opinion that the Soviet side had been serious about resistance to Nazi Germany while the British and French were not. The white paper was shelved. In 1948 the US State Department issued a collection of documents attributing the blame for World War II to Hitler and Stalin. Moscow fired back with its own publication demonstrating western affinities with Nazism. The fight was on in the west to remember the Soviet Union for the non-aggression pact and to forget the Red Army’s preponderant role in smashing the Wehrmacht.
How many of you have not seen some Hollywood film in which the Normandy landings are the great turning point of the war? “What if the landings had failed,” one often hears? “Oh…, nothing much,” is the appropriate reply. The war would have gone on longer, and the Red Army would have planted its flags on the Normandy beaches coming from the east. Then there are the movies about the Allied bombing campaign against Germany, the “decisive” factor in winning the war. In Hollywood films about World War II, the Red Army is invisible. It is as if the Americans (and British) were claiming laurels they didn’t earn.
I like to ask students in my university course on the Second World War, who has heard of operation Overlord? Everyone raises a hand. Then I ask who has heard of Operation Bagration? Hardly anyone raises a hand. I ask facetiously who “won” the war against Nazi Germany and the answer is “America” of course. Only a few students—normally those who have had other courses with me—will answer the Soviet Union.
The truth is uphill work in a western world where “fake news” is the norm. The OSCE and European Parliament put the blame for World War II on the Soviet Union, read Russia and President Vladimir Putin, as the subliminal message. Hitler is almost forgotten in this tohu-bohu of evidence-free accusations. Behind the bogus historical narrative are the Baltic states, Poland, and the Ukraine, spewing out hatred of Russia. The Baltics and the Ukraine now remember Nazi collaborators as national heroes and celebrate their deeds. In Poland, for some people, this is hard to swallow; they remember the Ukrainian Nazi collaborators who murdered tens of thousands of Poles in Volhynia. Unfortunately, such memories have not stopped Polish hooligans from vandalizing monuments to Red Army war dead or desecrating Soviet war cemeteries. Polish “nationalists” cannot bear the memory of the Red Army freeing Poland from the Nazi invader.
In Russia, however, the west’s mendacious propaganda has no effect. The Soviet Union produced its own films, and the Russian Federation also, about World War II, most recently about the defence of the Brest fortress and of Sevastopol, and the battle of Stalingrad. On 9 May every year Russians remember the millions of soldiers who fought and died, and the millions of civilians who suffered and died at the hands of the Nazi invader. The veterans, fewer each year, come out wearing uniforms that often do not fit quite right or threadbare jackets covered with war medals and orders. “Treat them with tact and respect,” Zhukov wrote in his memoirs: “It is a small price after what they did for you in 1941-1945.” How did you manage, I wondered to myself observing them on Victory Day some years ago, how did you cope, living constantly with death and so much sorrow and hardship?
Now, each year on Victory Day the “immortal regiment”, the bessmertnyi polk, marches; Russians in cities and towns across the country and abroad, march together carrying large photographs of family members, men and women, who fought in the war. “We remember,” they want to say: “and we will never forget you.”
Being at nuclear atomic power and traying to control the middle east, together with the American imperialists, Israel things it can play this game with the support of the US.
In this world nothing seems to mater any more, even if you agree to things through negotiations, nothing is sure that, even if all parties agree, that there would not be a little man that want to interfere in the agreement.
The US, EU, Russia and Iran sitting down in 2015, to negotiate a treaty where Iran agrees on not to develop nuclear missiles, and the US and the EU will at the same time stop the long lasing trade war against Iran. Now Israel who has been the dominant power in the region is not satisfied to play the second fiddle, and will do everything to destroy this agreement, even if they are using their own nuclear weapons to destroy the Iranians. Israel should not forget that the rest of the middle east is not in favor of the policy Israel is trying to put on the Iranians. Israel have to have the US behind its war mangling against the Iranians. At the same time the Iran has a lot of friends who will be prepared to assist the country in their development, which not includes nuclear or chemical weapons. It is so obvious that Israel would like to be the dominant power in the region. It has supported the war in Syria, in Yemen and in other Arab countries.
Israel is already mistrusted in the region, as being the aggressor against the Palestinians and its present government which has not even giving it a thought to negotiate for a two-state solution, with the Palestinians, in the occupied areas. That has sat back the peace process for a two-state solution to zero.
At the same time, with a leader as Netanyahu, which has only shown aggression against the Palestinian people, it will be very difficult to reach a peace agreement in the area. We can only hope for the future that the people of Israel are voting for a more moderate government in the next election, a Government which is prepared to negotiate with the Palestinians for a two-state solution.
by Michael Jabara Carley
Canadian historian Michael Jabara Carley summarizes the various arguments in the Skripal case. It shows that the British authorities probably hide some elements and did not hesitate several times to lie to accuse the Russian Federation. He then drew a parallel with an old English scandal, strangely identical to the present case.
On 4 March 2018 it was a nice day in southern England, and the MI6 Russian spy Sergei Viktorovich Skripal and his daughter Yulia stepped out for a stroll, stopped at the local pub in Salisbury, went to lunch at a nearby restaurant, and then took a walk in the park where they collapsed on a park bench. What had happened to them? Did they suffer from food poisoning? Or was Sergei Skripal involved in some dark affaire and the object of a hit by persons unknown, his daughter being an accidental victim? The police received a call that day at 4:15pm reporting two people in distress. Emergency services were despatched immediately. The Skripals were rushed to hospital, while the local police launched an investigation. It began to look like attempted murder, but the police urged patience, saying it could take months before they might know what had happened and who, if anyone, was responsible.
The Conservative government decided that it did not need to wait for a police investigation. “The Russians” had tried to assassinate a former intelligence officer turned informant for MI6. Skripal went to jail for that, but was released four years later in an exchange of agents with the United States. Now, “the Russians,” so the Tory hypothesis goes, wanted to settle old scores. Less than 24 hours after the incident in Salisbury, the British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, suggested that the Russian government was the prime suspect in what looked like an attempt gone wrong to assassinate Sergei Skripal. The police received a call that day at 4:15pm reporting two people in distress. Emergency services were despatched immediately. The Skripals were rushed to hospital, while the local police launched an investigation. It began to look like attempted murder, but the police urged patience, saying it could take months before they might know what had happened and who, if anyone, was responsible.
The Conservative government decided that it did not need to wait for a police investigation. “The Russians” had tried to assassinate a former intelligence officer turned informant for MI6. Skripal went to jail for that, but was released four years later in an exchange of agents with the United States. Now, “the Russians,” so the Tory hypothesis goes, wanted to settle old scores. Less than 24 hours after the incident in Salisbury, the British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, suggested that the Russian government was the prime suspect in what looked like an attempt gone wrong to assassinate Sergei Skripal.
The western modus operandi is the same in the Skripal case. The Tories rushed to conclusions and issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the Russian government to prove its innocence, or rather to admit its guilt. How was the so-called novichok delivered to London, did President Vladimir Putin authorise the attack, did Russia lose control of its stockpile? The prime minister and her foreign secretary had in effect declared Russia guilty as charged. No objective police investigation, no due process, no presumption of innocence, no evidence was necessary: it was “sentence first, verdict later”, as the Red Queen declared in Alice in Wonderland.
On 13 March the Russian embassy informed the Foreign Office that the Russian Federation was not involved in any way with the Salisbury incident. We will not respond to an ultimatum, came the reply from Moscow. The eloquent Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, Mariia Zakharova, characterised the British démarche as a “circus show”. Actually, Foreign Office clerks must have told Boris Johnson that Russia would not respond to such an ultimatum so that it was a deliberate British attempt to provoke a negative Russian reply. The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, stated for the record that “as soon as the rumors, fed by the British leadership, about… the poisoning of Skripal appeared, we immediately requested access to this [toxic] substance so that our experts could analyze it in accordance with the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.” After the British ambassador visited the Russian foreign ministry on 13 March to receive the formal Russian reply to the British ultimatum, the foreign ministry in Moscow issued a communiqué: “… The [Salisbury] incident appears to be yet another crooked attempt by the UK authorities to discredit Russia. Any threat to take ‘punitive’ measures against Russia will meet with a response. The British side should be aware of that.” The Russian government in fact proposed that the alleged poisoning of the Skripals should be examined by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, according to procedures to which Britain itself had agreed when the OPCW was established in 1997.
On 14 March the British government expelled 23 Russian diplomats, and a few days later the Russian side expelled 23 British diplomats and shuttered the offices of the British Council in Russia. At the same time, the British appealed to their allies and to the European Union to show solidarity by expelling Russian diplomats. Twenty-eight countries did so, though for most it was one or two expulsions, tokenism to appease the British. Other countries—for example, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal—refused to join the stampede. Going over the top, the United States expelled sixty diplomats and closed the Russian consulate in Seattle. The Russians responded in kind with sixty expulsions and the closure of the US consulate in St. Petersburg. Momentum seemed to be building toward a major confrontation. The British prime minister even alluded to the possibility of military action. In the meantime, President Putin weighed in. “I guess any reasonable person [has] realised,” he said, “that this is complete absurd[ity] and nonsense. [How could] anybody in Russia… allow themselves such actions on the eve of the [Russian] presidential election and the football World Cup? This is unthinkable.” In any police inquiry, investigators look for means, motive and opportunity. On these grounds did the trail of guilt lead to Moscow?
Momentum is sometimes like a balloon, it blows up and then it suddenly bursts. The British case against Russia began to fall apart almost from the time it was made. In late March the Russian newspaper Kommersant leaked a British PowerPoint presentation sent to eighty embassies in Moscow . It asserted, inter alia, that the British chemical weapons facility at Porton Down had positively identified the substance, which allegedly poisoned the Skripals, as a Novichok, “developed only by Russia”. Both these statements are false. On 3 April Porton Down stated publicly that it could not determine the origin of the substance that poisoned the Skripals. It also came out that the formula for making a so-called novichok was published in a book by a Russian dissident and chemist, Vil Mirzayanov, who now lives in the United States. You can buy his book (published in 2008), which includes the formula, on Amazon.com. In fact, any number of governments or smart chemists or even bright undergraduate chemistry students with the proper facilities could make this nerve agent. Amongst those governments having access to the original formula are Britain and the United States. The Russian embassy in London noted in a published report that “neither Russia nor the Soviet Union has ever developed an agent named ‘Novichok’.” The report further stated that “While Soviet scientists did work on new types of chemical poisons, the word ‘Novichok’ was introduced in the West in mid-1990s to designate a series of new chemical agents developed there on the basis of information made available by Russian expat researchers. The British insistence to use the Russian word ‘Novichok’ is an attempt to artificially link the substance to Russia.”
The British PowerPoint presentation did not stop with its two main canards. It goes on to refer to “Russian malign activity” including, inter alia, the “invasion” of Georgia in 2008, the “destabilisation” of the Ukraine and the shooting down of MH17 in 2014, and interference in the US elections in 2016. All of these claims are audacious lies, easily deconstructed and unpacked. The referenced events are also unrelated to the Salisbury incident and were raised in an attempt to smear the Russian Federation. In fact, the British PowerPoint slides represent vulgar propaganda, bourrage de crâne, as preposterous as any seen during the Cold War.
As Minister Lavrov pointed out, the Skripal case should have gone for resolution to the OPCW in The Hague. Russia would then be directly involved in the investigation and would have access to the alleged toxin, and other evidence to try to determine what had happened and who were the perpetrators. The British government at first refused to go to the OPCW, and then when it did, refused to authorise the Russian government to have access to the alleged substance, which had sickened the Skripals. That idea is “perverse”, said British authorities. Actually, not at all, it is the procedure laid out in OPCW statutes, to which Britain itself agreed but has refused to respect. When the Russian representative at the OPCW proposed a resolution to the executive council, that it should respect its own statutes, he could not obtain the required vote of approval. The British were attempting to hijack the OPCW as a potential tool against the Russian Federation. Thus far, that stratagem has not worked. On 12 April the OPCW released a report stating that it had “confirm[ed] the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury….” The report said nothing about the origin of the so-called “toxic chemical”. The British accusation against Russia thus remained unsubstantiated.
What I could not understand when I read the OPCW communiqué, is why the Skripals were still alive. The OPCW says that the toxic chemical used against the Skripals was “of high purity”. Was it a nerve agent? Oddly, the OPCW published report avoids a straight answer. If it was a nerve agent, being of “high purity,” it should have been instant acting and killed the Skripals almost immediately. Yet both have survived at the time of this writing. Something does not make sense. Of course, there could be a simple explanation for this puzzling mystery. There may be a simple explanation. On 14 April, Minister Lavrov at a meeting in Moscow provided the answer. The substance used to attack the Skripals was laced with a substance know as BZ which incapacitates rather than kills and takes longer to work than an instant acting nerve agent which kills immediately. The United States, Britain and other NATO countries have developed this toxin and put it into service; the Soviet Union never did so. Traces of A-234 were also identified, but according to experts, such a concentration of the A-234 agent would cause death to anyone affected by it. “Moreover,” according to the Russian embassy in London, “considering its high volatility, the detection of this substance in its initial state (pure form and high concentration) is extremely suspicious as the samples have been taken several weeks since the poisoning,” Could Britsh authorities have tampered with the samples? The public OPCW report gives no details, and refers only to a “toxic chemical”. Nor did the report say that the OPCW had submitted specimens of the substance to a well-known Swiss lab, which promptly reported back its surprising results. The OPCW authorities thus lied when they said that the tests “confirmed” the British identify of the “toxic chemical”. Unless… Porton Down knew that the substance used against the Skripals was a BZ type toxin, and so informed the OPCW, or, unless the Tory government lied in claiming publicly that it was a novichok nerve agent. The British attempted hijacking of the OPCW has compromised its independence, for the public report issued on 12 April is misleading. Moreover, since the BZ toxin is made by the US, Britain and other NATO countries, it begs the same questions, which the Tories put to Moscow: how did the perpetrators obtain the BZ toxin and bring it to Salisbury, did MI5 or MI6 authorise a false flag attack against the Skripals, or was it authorised by the British cabinet or by the prime minister alone? Or did British authorities lose control of their stockpiles? The trail of evidence does not lead to Moscow; it leads to London. A prima facie case can be made that the British government is lying about the Skripal affaire. Suspicion always falls upon those who act deviously, who hide behind clever turns of phrase and procedural and rhetorical smokescreens. British authorities are now saying that they have other top secret evidence, which explains everything, but unfortunately it can’t be publicised. Nevertheless, the British government appears to have leaked it to the press. The Times published a story about a covert Russian lab producing nerve agents and it spread like wild fire across the Mainstream Media. The Daily Mirror put out a story about a Russian secret assassins’ training manual. These stories are laughable. Is the Tory government that desperate? Is the British “everyman” that gullible?
The secret assassin’s manual reminds me of the 1924 “Zinoviev Letter”, a counterfeit document produced by White Russians in Germany, purporting to demonstrate Soviet interference in British elections and planning for a socialist revolution. It was early days of “fake news”. Parliamentary elections were underway in October 1924 and the Tories used the letter to attack the credibility of the Labour party. It was whipping up the red scare, and it worked like a charm. The Tories won a majority government. Soviet authorities claimed that the letter was bogus and they demanded a third party, independent investigation to ascertain the truth, just as the Russian government has done now. In 1924, the Tories refused, and understandably so, since they had a lot to hide. It took seventy-five years to determine that “the letter” was in fact counterfeit. The Tories are again acting as if they have something to hide. It is déjà vu. Will it take seventy-five years to get at the truth? Are there any honest British cops, judges, civil servants ready to reveal the truth?
There is other evidence to suggest that the British narrative on the Salisbury incident is bogus. The London Metropolitan Police have sought to prevent any outside contact with the Skripals. They have taken away a recovered Yulia Skripal to an unknown location. They have until now denied Russian consular authorities access to a Russian citizen in violation of British approved consular agreements. Is there any chapter of international law, which the British government now respects? British authorities have denied access to Yulia Skripal’s family in Russia; they have denied a visa to Yulia’s cousin, Viktoria, to visit with her. Are British spooks grooming Yulia, briefing her to stay on the Tory narrative? Is she being manipulated like some kind of Manchurian Candidate? Have they induced her to betray her country in exchange for emoluments, a new identity in the United States, a house, a BMW and money? Are they playing upon her loyalty to her father? Based on a statement attributed to Yulia by the London Metropolitan Police, it begins to look that way. Or, is the message, sounding very British and official, quite simply a fake? The Russian embassy in London suspects that it is. What is certain is that British authorities are acting as though they have something to hide. Even German politicians, amongst others, have criticised the British rush to indict Russia. Damage control is underway. Given all the evidence, can any person with reasonable abilities to think critically believe anything the Tories are saying about the Salisbury affair?
“They are liars. And they know that they are liars,” the late Egyptian writer and Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz once wrote: “And we know that they are liars. Even so, they keep lying….” Mahfouz was not writing about the British, but all the same, he could have been. Are not his well-known lines apposite to the present government in London? The Tories are trying doggedly to maintain control of the narrative. Stakes are high for if it eventuates that the Tories have lied deliberately for political gain, at the risk of destabilising European, indeed world peace and security, the Tory government should be forced to resign and new elections, called. Then, the British electorate can decide whether it wants to be governed by reckless, mendacious Tory politicians who risk to provoke war against the Russian Federation.
Just look at this and you will understand what is going on in Syrie.
This is how the With Helmet work, it is all arranged to kill the Syrian people. It has to stop, we can not accept that the western world is just looking and complaining, when mor and more people know who is behind all this cruelty by US, Grate Britten and France.
Again, are the western powers lying to the public.
That is how wars have started in 1914 and 1939. Will their be a new one in 2018?
Listen to this explanation of the Russian foreign minister, concerning the poisoning in Salisbury.
Way is it that politician come out with so many lies, to manipulate their people, who have been voting for them, and who have trusted them to lead the country? It is time to asked them to explain them self to the voters in their respective countries.
Way have we an international court in den Haag who has been installed by all international member of the United Nation and convict all those liars and collaborators who want a world-wide war. Such criminals, Trump, May and Macron are not allowed to have power full positions in the world. For me it is incredible how the worlds military powers US, Brittan and France citizens can allow those people to continue to lead us into a nuclear war.