Transitioning to democracy with the usual lies

The UK has backed the US in supporting Juan Guaidó, head of the parliament in Venezuela, against the elected President Nicolás Maduro. Even if Maduro fixed the election it is a short-circuit to go from there to intervention – as we have now.

The UK’s Foreign Secretary has said: “This regime has done untold damage to the people of Venezuela, 10% of the population have left Venezuela such is the misery they are suffering”. “Regime” is a keyword. Despite doubts over the integrity of the recent elections in Venezuela the current President still has more claims on democracy than, say, the leaders of Saudi Arabia who we are unlikely to find the UK Foreign Secretary calling a “regime” (bad for business). “Regime” legitimises intervention. And we know where that ends up… Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya. No stand-out success stories there. Just lots of corpses.

As for people leaving because of the economic problems caused by the “regime”. It may be true that the government is partly responsible for the economic crisis in Venezuela. However; US sanctions have played a significant part. These sanctions include prohibitions on US citizens financing government debt or investment in the state oil company in Venezuela. The effect of this will have been to make oil production more expensive which means in turn less government revenue. The crisis, the “misery”, which Jeremy Hunt cites as a reason to conduct a regime change operation in Venezuela is in fact something which has (at least partly) been caused by them. (US and UK are synonymous in Foreign Policy terms). An enormous lie. And one which will most likely pass by 100% unquestioned by the media – as it does, for example, in this Guardian article.

 

 

 

 

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The Guardian and the demonisation of Russia

Writing about a theory that the recent tragic collapse of a block of flats in Magnitogorsk in Southern Russia was actually a terrorist attack one of the Guardian’s pseudo-journalists has felt compelled to regurgitate the stories about how Putin organised the 1999 apartment bombings in Russia.

I wonder if Marc Bennetts has any idea how revolting this is?

Continue reading “The Guardian and the demonisation of Russia”

A recipe for war

In 2014 the EU and the US supported a ‘revolution’ in Ukraine. They produced a fanciful narrative about Ukrainians yearning to join the EU. The US was a bit off-tune with the “fuck the EU” comment [1] – they wanted to fix Ukraine themselves – but everyone agreed that the violent overthrow of the elected government of Viktor Yanukovych was a blow for freedom and democracy.

Continue reading “A recipe for war”

More Guardian anti-Russia prop.

Sadly I don’t have much time to update this site at the moment. However I cannot let the Guardian continue its shameless and dishonest anti-Russia propaganda pass without registering some kind of protest. Not because I am a Russophile (though it is quite possible I am) but because I care about truth and I think the media should tell the truth.

This is an article by someone called Andrew Roth – one of the many people who appear to be employed by the Guardian solely for the purpose of writing propaganda about Russia.

Russia holds de facto control over the waters of the Kerch strait. It is bound by a 2003 treaty to allow Ukrainian ships access to the Sea of Azov. But since completing construction of the Crimean bridge, which took three years and cost $3.9bn (£3.05bn), Russia has implemented draconian checks on ships bound for Ukrainian ports, sometimes holding them for days.

The treaty referred to makes the Azov sea a common sea shared between Ukraine and Russia. Both countries can access the sea and both can run regimes of checking navigation in the sea. The “draconian checks” carried out by Russia are lawful under this treaty. Ukraine can also carry out such checks.

After Russia’s coastguard engaged three Ukrainian ships, Russia swarmed the strait with military jets and helicopters, and even parked a container ship in front of the bridge under which ships pass, effectively shutting down the strait in a show of force.

The Russian version is that the cargo ship was used to block passage under the Kerch bridge after two separate groups of Ukrainian military craft approached it – one from the Black Sea side and one from the Azov sea side in what must have clearly looked like a provocation of some kind.

Russia may or may not be actively trying to interfere with Ukrainian trade to ports in the sea of Azov as the article claims. – The article is strong on claims from the Ukrainian side and weak on any objective data. In any event Ukraine and Russia are engaged in a sanctions war – which has seen Russian ships impounded in Ukrainian ports. This is necessary context.

Journalism requires evenhandedness. Journalists should get “both sides of the story”. They should also be diligent in separating out claims (especially by one side in an argument/conflict) from facts. In reality of course all facts are contested. But all sources are not equal. For example a UN office may be more reliable than a government spokesperson when it comes to providing information about a war. On Ukraine though the Western media (in this particular case the Guardian) has an established pattern of treating information provided by the regime in Kiev as unquestionable objective truth. The Russian version is – as is the case in this article – often simply omitted altogether, or, if present, is treated with the utmost scepticism – with liberal use of quote marks and so on. This isn’t journalism. It is war propaganda.

It is dismaying to see the 90% of the “free press” re-casting itself as a war propaganda machine totally voluntarily. Of course the fact that the Western press in largely owned by Western finance capital – an interested party in the contest with Russia – is a major part of the reason. However, the Guardian is owned by an independent trust – so it is strange that the Guardian cannot tell the truth. In this case it seems to be some kind of ideological group-think problem. Sad though for anyone who expects the media to tell the truth.

Update 2/12/18

This is another example. This one is interesting because it shows the desperation that these “journalists” have to produce anti-Russian stories at any cost. It is almost as if their careers depended on it. “Journalist” Julian Borger writes:

In his more detailed account, Putin also seems to concede that the Ukrainian boats were fleeing when they were fired on

This is his evidence:

“The border guard told them: If you go through the Kerch strait you should hire our pilot. They said no, and they went straight for the strait. And that’s when the ships collided after that, because our border guard started squeezing them out,” Putin said.

He added: “Prior to that they said they were going to blow up our bridge so what do you expect our border guards to do?” – an apparent reference to Moscow’s earlier claims that Ukrainian radicals planned to blow up a new bridge between Russia and Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.

Putin said the Russian coast guard “told them to stop and they did not respond”.

“They started running away, so that’s it,” the Russian president said.

But a second’s analysis of this text shows that Putin is saying that the collision (which preceded the firing) happened when the Ukrainian boats “went straight for the strait”. His “running away” doesn’t mean away from the bridge/strait. It means from the Russian vessels.

In this attempt to cheat and misrepresent Putin’s words journalist” Julian Borger betrays his anxiety to produce an anti-Russian story out of nothing. He then goes on to cite Bellingcat – a notorious blogger who produces scientifically flawed pseudo-forensic material which the Western press then uses to indict Russia – describing Bellingcat as an “investigative journalism agency”. (This coordinated use of Bellingcat by the anti-Russia Western press is something of an organised conspiracy). Shoddy journalism and supported by a “investigative journalist” who demonstrably does not understand the standards required of a proper forensic analysis. But – anti-Russia – and that’s the main point.

 

The Guardian talking sense on Skripal?

Finally – a link to a Guardian story – that I can wholeheartedly recommend. (Almost wholeheartedly – there is an anti-Putin aside based on a social media story about Putin confusing a video of US fighting the Taliban with Russian forces fighting ISIS – the writer probably doesn’t understand how documentaries are filmed and that using footage that can be talked about but which may not be the actual footage referred to would be a normal part of making a documentary film – there is no doubt that Russian forces have engaged with ISIS so the comment is off the point).

With that small caveat aside Alexey Kovalev makes the key point. It seems now that either the Kremlin authorised the Skripal attack – or it was an attack by some branch of Russian intelligence and this organ is not on the same page at all as the Kremlin in terms of political and diplomatic strategy for Russia. Neither is a good situation – the latter probably much worse than the former for the West.

Alexey Kovalev is a Russian journalist. He works in Russia. (Once again  confirming that it is quite possible to be a critical journalist and work in Russia).

Update

The UK government has said:

We have repeatedly asked Russia to account for what happened in Salisbury in March. Today – just as we have seen throughout – they have responded with obfuscation and lies. [1]

This is a crude lie. British propaganda. The British government has “asked” nothing. From the very start they pointed a loaded gun at the Russian government and said “confess or… confess”. This point-blank approach would have removed any room for manoeuvre that the Kremlin had at all. One effect of this pressure could (we are still in the realms of speculation) have been to make the Kremlin feel that they should back up whoever did this since they had nothing left to lose. Though this theory can never be tested.

Notes

1. https://www.rt.com/uk/438362-skripal-salisbury-foreign-office/

 

 

 

More babies than terrorists

The UK ambassador, Karen Pierce, said there were more babies than terrorists in Idlib, and named the Syrian forces preparing to attack the region, promising that they would be held accountable if indiscriminate attacks on civilians went ahead.

This is from the Guardian report on the possible assault on Al-Qaeda positions in Syria’s Idlib province by Syrian government forces supported by Iran and Russia.

This if of course an example of the current wave of babyish (even bestial at times) emotionalism which is sweeping (and swamping) all areas of UK life. To talk about “babies” in this context is an attempt to make some kind of emotional point. To “go for the emotions” – the modern tactic used by therapists, marketeers and now, it seems, UN representatives.

It is almost too obvious to point out but there were babies in Basra, and in Baghdad when the US/UK launched operation “shock and awe”. And there were babies in Libya in 2011 when NATO stretched a UN resolution to the point of absurdity to wipe out the stable government of that country. And there were babies in Raqqa in Syria when the US bombed it to free it from ISIS (see: Guardian report by Amnesty International researchers about the civilian death toll there). But the UK’s UN representative won’t be mentioning those babies.

What can those who don’t buy the government narrative do but continually point out that it is entirely selective in its professed humanitarian concerns? How does Karen Pierce sleep at night?