Skripal, poison gas, hacking, doping – strategies of tension and the great silence afterward.

(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 alfonso

 

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The Russian V-Day Story (or the History of World War II not often Heard in the West)

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.”

Michael Jabara Carley

Source
Strategic Culture Foundation (Russia)

by alfonso

 

Is Israel playing a dangerous game in the Middle East?

 

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 alfonso

The Skripal Affair: A Lie Too Far?

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 [1]. 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.

Michael Jabara Carley

Source
Strategic Culture Foundation (Russia)

by alfonso

The old Colonial Brittan and France plus the US are on the go again.

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.

by alfonso

 

On the way to the World War III

04/15/2018

BERLIN – The Federal Government praises the attacks of its closest allies on Syria in violation of international law and reiterates its support for the Western war course. The bombardments on early Saturday morning by the US, French and British forces were “necessary and appropriate,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said. In fact, the attack, which is declared as a punitive action for a poison gas attack allegedly committed by Syrian troops, is a Western power demonstration in the first Middle Eastern country where the West has lost supremacy to Russia. Syria is already the fourth state that the West covers with acts of war contrary to international law; In this way, the Western powers have definitively replaced the law in international politics with the “law of the strongest”. US President Donald Trump had urged to attack Russian targets in Syria as well; The world was on Saturday just before an uncontrolled escalating war between the two largest nuclear powers.

The international law nihilism of the West

The Saturday morning bombing was carried out before the OPCW could at least make an official confirmation of the alleged use of poison gas – a disregard of elemental legal rules that only evidence, not unproven allegations, can trigger punitive measures. In addition, Syria is now the fourth state after Yugoslavia (1999), Iraq (2003) and Libya (2011), which the western powers override with anti-war activities in violation of international law; In doing so, they have finally replaced the law in international relations with the “law of the strongest”. This fact exposes the cynicism of the assertion that international law should be enforced against Russia, as it has taken over Crimea under breach of law. In fact, international law no longer serves the West, including Berlin, as a guideline for its own actions, but above all as an instrument for the delegitimization of – not infrequently defensive – measures by opposing states.

Not for the last time

At the same time, Western aggression increasingly steers towards triggering a war between major powers. Yesterday’s Saturday, a further escalation could only be prevented by the fact that – mainly due to pressure from US generals – the bombing limited to purely Syrian targets and previously communicated to Russia. Especially US President Trump had demanded to attack Russian targets as well. Had he prevailed, the world would be in these hours probably in a barely controllable armed struggle between the largest nuclear powers. Concerned voices even in Trump related US media yesterday openly warned of a third – and probably last – world war. It must be assumed that situations like yesterday will be repeated in the future. Influential US politicians, such as Senator Lindsey Graham, are calling for an aggravation of the aggression against Russia, as Trump most recently. Graham also speculated on the replacement of US generals, whose pressure was due to Moscow being informed in good time of the targets of the bombardment and thus being stopped by self-defense attacks.

Translated from german

by alfonso

The End of International Law?

Do the Western powers hope to put an end to the constraints of International Law? That is the question asked by the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sergueï Lavrov, at the Moscow conference on International Security [1].

Over the last few years, Washington has been promoting the concept of « unilateralism ». International Law and the United Nations are supposed to bow to the power of the United States.

This concept of political life is born of the History of the United States – the colonists who came to the Americas intended to live as they chose and make a fortune there. Each community developed its own laws and refused the intervention of a central government in local affairs. The President and the Federal Congress are charged with Defense and Foreign Affairs, but like the citizens themselves, they refused to accept an authority above their own.

Bill Clinton attacked Yugoslavia, blithely violating Internal Law. George Bush Jr. did the same by attacking Iraq, and Barack Obama by attacking Libya and Syria. As for Donald Trump, he has never hidden his distrust of supra-national rules.

Making an allusion to the Cebrowski-Barnett doctrine [2], Sergueï Lavrov declared: « We have the clear impression that the United States seek to maintain a state of controlled chaos in this immense geopolitical area [the Near East], hoping to use it to justify the military presence of the USA in the region, without any time limit, in order to promote their own agenda ».

The United Kingdom also seem to feel quite comfortable with breaking the Law. Last month, it accused Moscow in the « Skripal affair », without the slightest proof, and attempted to unite a majority of the General Assembly of the UN to exclude Russia from the Security Council. It would of course be easier for the Anglo-Saxons to unilaterally rewrite the Law without having to take notice of the opinions of their opponents.

Moscow does not believe that London took this initiative. It considers that Washington is calling the shots.

« Globalisation », in other words the « globalisation of Anglo-Saxon values », has created a class society between states. But we should not confuse this new problem with the existence of the right to a veto. Of course, the UNO, while it declares equality between states whatever their size, distinguishes, within the Security Council, five permanent members who have a veto. This Directorate, composed of the main victors of the Second World War, is a necessity for them to accept the principle of supra-national Law. However, when this Directorate fails to embody the Law, the General Assembly may take its place. At least in theory, because the smaller states which vote against a greater state are obliged to suffer retaliatory measures.

La « globalisation of Anglo-Saxon values » ignores honour and highlights profit, so that the weight of the propositions by any state will be measured only by the economic development of its country. However, over the years, three states have managed to gain an audience to the foundations of their propositions, and not in function of their economy – they are the Iran of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (today under house arrest in his own country), the Venezuela of Hugo Chávez, and the Holy See.

The confusion engendered by Anglo-Saxon values has led to the financing of intergovernmental organisations with private money. As one thing leads to another, the member states of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), for example, have progressively abandoned their propositional power to the profit of private telecom operators, who are united in a « consultative committee ».

« Communication », a new name for « propaganda », has become the imperative in international relations. From the US Secretary of State brandishing a phial of pseudo-anthrax to the British Minister for Foreign Affairs lying about the origin of Novitchok in the Salisbury affair, lies have become the substitute for respect, and cause general mistrust.

During the first years of its creation, the UNO attempted to forbid « war propaganda », but today, it is the permanent members of the Security Council who indulge in it.

The worst occurred in 2012, when Washington managed to obtain the nomination of one of its worst war-hawks, Jeffrey Feltman, as the number 2 of the UNO [3]. From that date onward, wars have been orchestrated in New York by the very institution that is supposed to prevent them.

Russia is wondering today about the possible desire of the Western powers to block the United Nations. If this is so, it would create an alternative institution, but there would no longer be a forum which would enable the two blocks to discuss matters.

Just as a society which falls into chaos, where men are wolves for men when deprived of the Law, so the world will become a battle-field if it abandons International Law.

Therry Meyssan, Voltair

by alfonso

The Iraq War and the Crisis of a Disintegrating Global Order

The following is a statement given by Inder Comar at a side event of the 37th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 15, 2018.

By Inder Comar

Democracy is dying. As we convene to remember the 15th year anniversary of the Iraq War, the fundamental lesson of that war is that our democratic norms are at grave risk when judges and courts fail to hold government leaders accountable for a patently illegal war.

Inder Comar delivers the statement at a side event of the 37th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 15, 2018.

It is impossible to understand the lack of accountability over the Iraq War without understanding the defining crisis of our time. And that is the crisis of Empire; of a disintegrating global order where the rule of law is now being replaced with the rule of might.

Aggression: the supreme international crime.

A crime that was banned at Nuremberg.

A crime which sent Nazi leaders to the gallows.

The prohibition against aggression is a jus cogensnorm of international law, meaning a norm from which no derogation is permitted, and which states are obligated to uphold.

There is overwhelming legal consensus that the United States and the United Kingdom committed the crime of aggression when they launched their invasion in 2003. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan concluded that the US-led war was “illegal” in 2004 and in contravention of the UN Charter.

The Charter only allows acts of violence against another State under two circumstances. The first is in times of self-defense. The second is with explicit approval from the Security Council. Neither circumstance applied to the Iraq War.

There was no Security Council resolution that authorized the war.  Language in Resolution 1441, passed in November 2002, threatening Iraq with “serious consequences” for failure to disarm was not enough.

The U.S. and the U.K. knew they needed a specific Security Council resolution to authorize an invasion. This is plainly evidenced by their frantic attempts to obtain a second resolution immediately prior to the war. That effort was abandoned when it became clear that a second resolution would be vetoed. The U.S. and the U.K. invaded Iraq anyway.

Where would we be if all States acted like this? What would be the purpose of the resolution process? What would be the purpose of the U.N.?

It is also clear the war was not conducted in self-defense. Self-defense is generally an immediate action against an imminent aggression. Iraq, which had been subject to more than a decade of crippling international sanctions, was not in any position to invade the strongest country on Earth. Iraq had no connection to al Qaeda, and had disarmed its weapons program—two truths the Bush Administration did not want to believe, and which they tried to cover up as they pushed for war.

In the 15 years since the U.S.-led invasion, there has been only one serious attempt to hold the responsible leaders accountable for this “supreme international crime.” Private Iraqi civilians who were affected by the war tried to hold Bush-era officials accountable in U.S. courts under a theory of aggression.

However, in 2017 a court of appeals ruled in the case Saleh v. Bushthat former President Bush and other high officials were immune from civil investigation. The appellate court relied upon a domestic law that grants U.S. officials immunity for alleged crimes, including heinous international crimes.

This shows that, in the United States today, international legal obligations are inferior to the protection of government leaders, even when those leaders have committed grave offenses against others.

The Coalition also committed numerous other war crimes during the Iraq War that I would like to address:

o   First, the Member States of the Coalition directed attacks against civilians who were not taking part in hostilities—a direct breach of the Geneva Conventions.

o   Second, human rights organizations, news agencies, and official military inquiries found that U.S.-operated detention facilities used various forms of torture during the occupation.

  • For instance, the torture at Abu Ghraib prison included common physical abuse like punching, slapping, and kicking detainees, as well as arranging naked male detainees in a pile and then jumping on them.
  • There is a documented history of sexual abuse and rape at the prison.

These acts of torture are grave breaches under the Geneva Conventions. They are war crimes and should be addressed as such.

The U.S. has never prosecuted any high-ranking government employee for these war crimes, including for torture. And in light of that 2017 judgment in Saleh v. Bushthere is virtually no chance that a civil inquiry will produce restitution for victims, or change anyone’s behavior in high office. In fact, just this week, the woman who helped oversee the Bush-era torture program has been rewarded for her complicity and is now the nominee to run the Central Intelligence Agency.

A world in which government officials are immune from judicial scrutiny is a world of despotism and tyranny. The essence of the rule of law is that no one is above the law; and that the actions of all people, including chief executives, can be scrutinized by a judge.

Today the rule of law, everywhere, is in grave danger. And we are dangerously close to living in a world where imperial norms are ascendant—even in Western countries.

Fifteen years after the U.S. invasion, what chills me the most has been the rapid acceptance and glorification of Empire in the United States.

In matters of foreign policy, and increasingly, in matters of domestic policy, the American president is totally unaccountable, immune from inquiry, and hostile to inalienable freedoms.

Today, President Trump claims the authority and the power:

  • To invade any country at will, or destroy it completely with nuclear weapons;
  • To assassinate any person with a robotic drone;
  • To gather and collect any and all electronic communications;
  • To hold any suspected terrorist indefinitely, without charge, in Guantanamo Bay;
  • And to disregard preexisting laws, constitutional rights or judicial review.

The powers of the American president today are greater than that of any English king, or any Roman emperor.

Like the ancient Romans, who were fed a steady diet of bread and circus, modern Americans are subject to some of the most pernicious forms of propaganda ever developed. Concentrated media power has resulted in corporate news programming which demonizes Muslims, foreigners, and people of color.

Meanwhile, concentrated economic power has resulted in the greatest systemic inequality of wealth in American history.

And concentrated political power has resulted in a neo-fascist and openly racist Republican Party, and a neo-liberal and systemically racist Democratic Party.

More than ever, Americans accept the slaughter of people in the Middle East in the name of their security. In Bagram, Guantanamo, and elsewhere people are indefinitely detained, without trial, and are subjected to torture.

Imperial garrisons encircle our planet with more than 800 American military bases in 80 countries on every major continent, from Diego Garcia to Okinawa to Rammstein to Samoa to the Azores. Just in the last month, the American Government announced its plans to develop a new class of nuclear weapons, furthering an arms race with the Russians, the Chinese and the North Koreans. It also seeks a 13% increase in its arms budget from 2017.

Not since Rome has the world borne witness to so few controlling so many.

But, “these violent delights have violent ends.” American society—my society—is ever more crippled by moral, ethical and humanitarian crises that routinely shock visitors from other countries.

Students are drowning in student debt, unable to start their careers or build families.

Lack of affordable health care and an addiction crisis is dragging American life expectancy downward. America’s obsession with war has now turned inward, as a gun violence crisis results in the weekly sacrifice of children, to the cult of the Second Amendment.

De facto apartheid keeps power in the hands of a privileged white elite, who have destroyed labor unions, created enemies out of Muslims and blacks, have crippled millions of people into lives of debt servitude and destitution, and who buy and sell their favored elected officials by caprice and whim.

The country that produced the Iraq War 15 years ago is in far worse shape today.

There are three important reasons we need to urgently create accountability for the Iraq War.

First, we must restore an international order based on the rule of law.

Second, we must confront the bias of international law—holding only poor and non-Western countries liable for international crimes, while ignoring the crimes of Western powers. This bias is underscored and exacerbated if the international community declines to investigate and prosecute the Coalition’s crimes in Iraq.

Third, we must provide justice to the victims of the Iraq War.

These three reasons are of course related.

The United Nations was manipulated as a tool to acquire wider support for the invasion—most prominently, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell’s 2003 speech falsely claimed facts about the Iraqi weapons program. In so doing, the United States abused the United Nations, turning these halls into a house of lies — lies spread to support the annihilation of another member state.

This abuse of the United Nations to further a perverse agenda—an agenda that stands in direct contradiction to the purpose of the United Nations—makes it essential to restore accountability.

Without accountability, we invite future abuse of this precious international system. And we exacerbate the divisions in our world where non-Western crimes are treated with far more scrutiny than those committed by Western Powers. A just world order depends on consistent accountability, for all nations, for war crimes and the crime of aggression. International law needs to be applied equally to all nations.

Without accountability, we leave Iraqi victims to fend for themselves. We fail them—as lawyers, as diplomats, and as ethical beings.

There is a choice facing our species at this very moment. Humor me when I tell you that I have glimpsed our future. And it is a future that is dark.

I foresee a world beset by environmental problems, with numerous species going extinct, with plastic choking our waterways and forests, and with climate change creating global chaos for which our world is simply not prepared.

I foresee displacement and refugee crises, as people flee their homes in the wake of rising seas, more powerful storms, and historic heat waves and droughts—people movements that will make the Syrian crisis seem like a child’s game.

I foresee a world where people, devastated by economic despair, turn to demagogues and authoritarians—as they are already doing—as ways of dealing with the desiccation of their ways of life.

I foresee a world where our democratic freedoms, already withering, are replaced with stark imperial values.

But this does not have to be our future.

There is another way.

And that way begins here, today, with each of us. It begins with imagining a world where the rule of law and democracy are the fundamental building blocks of our shared human rights, our shared freedoms, and our shared civilization.

It begins with us realizing that we deserve to live in a better world than one in which leaders who commit grave international crimes can walk free, while the victims of those outrageous acts are forced to recover in the solitude and pain of trauma.

There is a choice we face—a choice between civilization and chaos.

The Iraq War was the gravest international crime since the Second World War. It was a malicious act committed by leaders of the most powerful country in history, with the full resources of a multi-trillion dollar economy.

We cannot build a civilized future for ourselves and for our descendants unless we build a robust international legal order.

The people who commandeered my country and my government must be held to account before a judge—so that they know, and others may know, that the supreme crime cannot go unpunished.

Help me build that future. Help me in our shared quest for a civilized Earth.

I call today for the creation of an independent international tribunal, with jurisdiction to investigate and indict the British and American leaders who led the invasion, for the crime of aggression, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

I call for this tribunal to analyze, impartially, once and for all, the issue of immunity as it relates to grave international crimes.

I call for due process for the accused, that they be advised of the charges against them and be given access to counsel so that they may mount a defense. If convicted, I call for them to serve out their sentences in humane conditions, where they can reflect on what they have done. I call on the tribunal to order restitution to the millions of victims who suffered on account of their conduct.

I call for every nation concerned with justice to open their courts to claims of aggression on the basis of universal jurisdiction. Those who commit aggression, like those who commit torture, slavery, and piracy, are hostis humani generis– enemies of humanity, who may be prosecuted and held to account in the court of any civilized country.

The hope of our shared civilization rests on a renewed commitment to the United Nations and its vision of collective security.  World leaders must settle their disputes through dialogue.

Thus, I urge the Human Rights Council to appoint a Special Rapporteur for the human rights situation in Iraq. I urge the United Nations to condemn illegal acts of aggression, torture and mass killings, including those committed by powerful countries like the United States.

And I ask my countrymen and women, in America, to walk back from the abyss of Empire. We have a special duty to hold our leaders responsible, to make redress to the Iraqi people, and to promote and sustain the global peace.

This is the way back to civilization itself, towards a deep and fulfilling justice that enables all of us to live out our lives in dignity and in peace. This is a future worth imagining and a future worth creating. It starts with justice for Iraq.

Thank you.

by alfonso

100% Non Commercial, Fearless, Forthright & Independent 

“Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.” – Gore Vidal, Screening History

“The whole framework of the presidency is getting out of hand. It’s come to the point where you almost can’t run unless you can cause people to salivate and whip on each other with big sticks. You almost have to be a rock star to get the kind of fever you need to survive in American politics.” – Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72

“Around the world, the message received is that, whoever wins [the U.S. election], expect only more of the same – national narcissism disguised as altruism, corporate appeasement, and the arbitrary use of U.S. military and economic might.” – Greg Guma – Toward Freedom magazine