Monomania

What is the underlying reason for the West’s antagonism towards Russia? What is the problem?

The basic outline of the problem is relatively simple. The West – by which we mean the centres of power in Washington, London, Paris and Bonn – are not able/willing to tolerate an independent Russia.

When they say they want Russian to be a “responsible member of the International Community” what they mean is that they expect Russia to align its policy with theirs. This is exactly what they mean. They expect Russia to adopt the same policy as them on all questions of the day: to go along with the disposal of the ‘Assad regime’; to accept the coup in Ukraine and the integration of Ukraine into the Western power structures; even to accept their current tastes for gender politics.

There are cultural and economic dimensions to this. The ever expansionist nature of the economy of the Western Empire requires that it continually create new markets and source new and cheaper raw materials. The project aims at transforming the globe into one integrated capitalist system. Power will be in the hands of large concentrations of financial and military power – well beyond the reach of anything which could be called democracy. Nation states will exist as hollowed out shells to provide an illusion of citizen participation. Anything which stands in the way of this; independently minded regimes (Assad, Gaddafi) will be opportunistically toppled if the chance arises. The countries of the ex Soviet block will be snaffled up – with no consideration for the possibility that some at least of their citizens still look to Russia not the West for protection. The process of overcoming obstacles is as messy and unprincipled as the system itself. The project of the West is trans-national and anti nation-state. Russia (and China) are both countries which still base themselves and their development on the idea of the nation state – a political centre which guides the country on behalf of the people. The economic project of the West is at odds with the political projects of Russia and China.

Culturally it seems, Western Europeans and Americans, for different reasons (the Americans because they are some kind of religious fundamentalists, the Europeans because of deep-seated fears about invasions by hordes from the East) cannot accept a strong Slav state which is different to them.

Were Russia to do what the West requires of it one couldn’t even call Russia a pussy. It would be a shameful act of surrender – to wilfully eliminate yourself as an independent nation. Who is going to do that? Certainly not the Russians. And (contrary to a widespread miscalculation in the West) this is the attitude not just of the Russian state but of the Russian people.

The West (that is the political, financial and military leaderships) are monomaniacs. They cannot tolerate difference. That cannot accept being part of a club which has room for its members to have different views on some questions. Ironically that is they cannot tolerate the very principle of democracy. But then the West is an Empire not a coalition of democracies as we are told. Empires cannot tolerate constituent parts which are independent from the centre. Russia then can never be part of the Empire. When the West talks about the “International Order” this is a kind of code for their Empire. It is thus inevitably true that Russian can never be part of this “International Order”, which is one and the same as the Empire of the West.

Empires always feel threatened by strong, independent states on their borders. By being outside of the Empire Russia, without especially doing anything, is a threat. This is why the West is continually rubbing the sore and stirring up trouble.

Where this goes is not yet clear. The West is no doubt banking on a change of leadership in Russia. They will do what they can to ferment that. But that may be a miscalculation based on dreams. Russia is not (any more than say Iraq or Syria or Libya) a country where 99% of the population are suppressed Western liberals who will rapidly emerge once the dictator who is suppressing them is removed. An attempt by the West to manipulate the government of Russia, Ukraine style, could get very messy. This scenario aside the most likely scenario between Russia and the West is simply a long standoff. Though this standoff contains the small but actual possibility of a  mistake leading to war.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Serious talk on UK-Russia relations

https://www.rt.com/shows/crosstalk/422754-russia-west-hysteria-conflict/

The highlight may be Conservative peer Lord Balfe saying that after they attempted to stitch-up Lord Heath for historical child abuse he wouldn’t trust Wiltshire police to find his cat.

Otherwise give or take some assumptions about MH17 (does anyone apart from a few intelligence services actually know who was responsible?) this is an excellent programme.

Of note is the point that the current path of the West is a dead-end and headed nowhere but towards confrontation. What is alarming is they don’t seem to care.

There’s no point being alarmist but matters are almost getting out of hand. After you’ve run out of diplomats to expel and run out of accusations – what then?

 

 

 

Boris Johnson shows that he is a philistine

An expensive private education cannot make a cultured and sensitive human being out of a philistine.

This is Boris Johnson showing that he has not understood (maybe not even read) Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky, as reported by RT:

Johnson said Russia’s complicity in the Salisbury incident was “rather like the beginning of ‘Crime and Punishment’ in the sense that we are all confident of the culprit, and the only question is whether he will confess or be caught.”

But the novel is not in fact a ‘whodunnit’ at all. We know who committed the crime because the first part of the book is all about the criminal planning his crime and then carrying out his plan. We are not ‘confident’ he did it. We know.

The novel is about the purging of his soul. Being Dostoevsky it also works at the level of a thriller. It’s not a game of cluedo.

Mr Johnson completely misreads and mis-represents the novel. He is yet again an unfortunate embarrassment for Britain.

(Interestingly, we can add, Mr Johnson unwittingly also gives away that Russia has not yet been caught. This means in fact that Russia has not yet been identified via evidence as having been responsible. Yet Mr Johnson has just led a campaign which is based precisely on the idea that Russia has already been ‘caught’. Oops. Narrative glitch. Never mind – the ‘free press’ isn’t going to question anything).

Demonizing Russia

The UK has apparently issued a ‘briefing’ to foreign ambassadors in Moscow in an attempt to whip up anti-Russia feeling to a new high.

The main problem with this is that it is all totally immature. It is pathetic, the act of an immature child, to deal with someone with whom you have a problem by disengaging from them and demonizing them. But this is precisely what May and Boris Johnson are doing… And, not content with doing it themselves, they are “leading the world” in doing it. (No doubt they see themselves as carving out a position for post-Brexit Britain and as taking a lead etc. etc.)

The briefing contains a ‘timeline’ of “malign Russian activity”. This is a piece of mythology. Here is the list with the factual corrections inserted:

 

November 2006

Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko

Russian traitor working for British intelligence in the UK. UK government ‘inquiry’ did not produce evidence that he was killed by the Russian state. British intelligence thought he probably was – on the basis that nothing happens in Russia without the Kremlin agreeing to it.

Quite probably it was a Russian hit.

 

May 2007

DOS attack disables Estonia’s internet

DOS attacks are simple and can be carried out by teenagers using freely available programmes.

It appears that the attack could have been carried out by Russians acting spontaneously rather than a planned act by the government.

(Indeed why would the Russian military give away their capabilities in this way?)

August 2008

Invasion of Georgia

In fact Georgia started this war. Even the EU agreed to that. This is a plain lie. [1]

(The more sophisticated version of this narrative is in fact the one in the EU document [1]. In this account the war was started by Georgia by an action in South Ossetia but Russia then unnecessarily attacked Georgia. This narrative distortion depends on avoiding the simple military fact that in war it is normal tactics to attack your enemy’s supply lines and bases. This is presumably why Russia did attack Georgian bases etc. Nothing unusual about. This is what the West does – at least – when it wages war. No permanent presence was established. There was no ‘invasion’ of Georgia).

February 2014

Occupation of Crimea. Destabilisation of Ukraine

Following a violent coup in Ukraine which ousted a democratically elected President the people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia – something which they have wanted to do since the fall of the USSR. The results of the referendum have been confirmed by multiple Western polling organisations  including Gallup. These polls  confirm that the majority of Crimeans prefer to be part of Russia. Who is trying to deny them their wish? Who, in fact, is being malign? The polling also confirms that the majority of people in the East of Ukraine did not share the wishes of those who organised Maidan to turn Ukraine into an EU and NATO country. The same question. Who is trying to suppress these legitimate voices? Who is being malign?

The EU signed a political agreement with the coup-appointed government in Kiev even before they attempted to legitimize the coup with new elections.

By being completely blind to the fractured and divided nature of this county the EU at least as much as Russia precipitated the current crisis in Ukraine.

This web site has written extensively on these matters. These are all checkable facts.

The claim here is another lie.

17 July 2014

Shooting down of MH-17 over Ukraine.

No solid evidence. The claim presumably is based on the Joint Investigation report. The Joint Investigation relied heavily on evidence from Ukrainian intelligence – who are in fact one of the chief suspects in the case.

The truth is simply not known.

Even if there is some Russian involvement e.g. it really is the case that Russia supplied the BUK system to the rebels in Eastern Ukraine (the least likely of various possible scenarios) then it remains an accident. An accident is not ‘malign’.

June 2015 – November 2016

Interference in US election

If you read the detail the claims amount to:

a) Russian hacking of the Democratic party computer systems and releasing some information which caused them embarrassment.

b) A few social media posts

c) Bias in Russian state media.

None of this is very serious. The US itself certainly does c) with its Radio Free Europe project.

May 2015

Bundestag hack

And US and UK intelligence services don’t try to hack Russia?

Germany should perhaps be more worried about US hacking of their government communications….

 

January 2016

Lisa case disinformation attack against Germany

This relates to a Russian-German girl who made false claims that she was raped by immigrants in Germany. It was seized on by Russian media and politicians who used it to paint a picture of cover-up in Germany.

The girl’s claims were false. NATO sees this as an attempt by Russia to manipulate German public opinion. [2]

The joke is that British Intelligence specializes in manipulating public opinion. In the run-up to the illegal and devastating invasion of Iraq British Intelligence had a programme to plant stories in various countries around the world to manipulate public opinion in favour of the war. [3]

Radio Free Europe is a US State Department project (started by the CIA) to spread disinformation into Russia and alienate Russians from their government.

It may be malign but if you are doing it too then it is hardly a story.

2015-2016

Danish Defence Ministry hack

The New Observer doesn’t know if this is true. But the idea that US and UK spies are not continually trying to hack the Russian state is laughable. – The US hacks its allies; presumably they find time to hack their enemies as well?

 

October 2016

Coup attempt in Montenegro

Following Western pressure Montenegro narrowly joined NATO.

Western media ran stories about an alleged Russian plot to organise a coup. (Presumably planted by Western intelligence agencies).

There may have been something in it. Equally the claims may have been wildly exaggerated.

But then – why should only one side be allowed to organise coups?

June 2017

NotPetya cyber ransomware attack

 

 The claims that the Russian state was the party responsible for this attack which primarily targeted Ukraine were made by the US and UK. [4]
March 2018

Attempted assassination of Sergey Skripal and his daughter.

 

 As of now there is no information in the public domain which establishes that Russia was responsible.

The use of a Soviet nerve agent does not prove Russian involvement. Following the collapse of the USSR Soviet chemical weapons were available on the black-market. Furthermore  several states have the capacity to produce this substance. If such states wanted to discredit Russia this would be an effective way of doing so. The UK case appears to rest on ‘capability, intent and motive’. Stripping aside ‘intent’ which is a case of circular reasoning we are left with capability and motive. In reality many states have both the capability and motive to have staged this incident. The UK case is simply not proven.

 

The UK list is a mixture of lies, self-delusions, partial truths and probabilities presented as facts. All this is checkable.

(On the question of the poisoning of Sergey Skripal and his daughter Craig Murray makes a very pertinent point: the phrase used by the British government in relation to the nerve agent is “of a type developed by Russia”. They have not claimed that this particular substance as used in Salisbury was made in Russia. Presumably because they can’t).

If we were on the other hand to produce a list of UK government “malign activity” over the last 30 years it would be at a completely different level of seriousness. An illegal bombing of Serbia in 1999 leading to the deaths of the civilians. The illegal invasion of Iraq leading to the deaths of countless thousands and sowing chaos in the region for years to come. The destabilization of Libya in a botched regime change operation throwing a stable country into total chaos – based on a twisting of  a UN resolution which allowed for limited action to protect civilians.  (The UK tried to claim that regime change was justified because Gaddafi was a threat to civilians. However we can ask if Gaddafi had been a threat to civilians with whose weapons would they have been killed? The answer: EU supplied weapons). Illegal interference in Syria – leading to the prolonging of a civil war in which more than 200,000 human beings have died. Put beside this a little bit of computer hacking – even the assassination of an ex-spy – seems (not wishing to sound indifferent but comparing numbers) absolutely trivial.

The weird thing is that May and Johnson and the rest of them probably believe their own phantastic, phasmalogical, tales.

Notes

1. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/georgia/6247620/EU-blames-Georgia-for-starting-war-with-Russia.html

2. https://www.nato.int/docu/review/2016/Also-in-2016/lisa-case-germany-target-russian-disinformation/EN/index.htm

3. War on Iraq. Scott Ritter and William Rivers Pitt. Profile Books. 2002

4. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/feb/15/uk-blames-russia-notpetya-cyber-attack-ukraine

Manipulating the public mood in relation to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal

A quick glance at the tabloids shows anti-Russia hysteria in full-swing.

A careful bit of news management (MI5’s forte) has released into the public domain that Sergei Skripal was poisoned with a ‘nerve agent’. That’s enough to make everyone who thinks casually about these matters think ‘Russia’ and ‘state actor’. But not enough to enable serious observers to take any kind of informed view or even opinion. Was it ricin – which can be cooked up by anyone in a bedroom or a more sophisticated ‘nerve agent’, which might at least raise questions about state involvement? By this stage they (MI5 / No. 10) will know. But they aren’t telling us. So much for democracy.

The lack of details helps the tabloids who lost no time in linking the matter to the Kremlin. The 1950’s language of ‘Reds’ is making a comeback. Vladimir Putin becomes ‘Vlad’ (which itself makes him sound like something out of Star Wars – something evil from another planet).

Even slightly more balanced reporting is still twisted. For example one paper has it that Sergei Skripal ‘sold secrets to MI5‘. Well; yes he did. But it is likely that he was actively recruited for this purpose by British intelligence. A subtle wording manages to suppress the reality: this is a conflict between spy agencies. It is not ‘us – pure angels of white innocence’ v. those evil Russkies (always bad).

The Daily Telegraph provides a nice example  of the subtle but relentless way that the Western media acts as the propaganda arm for Western power. They have: “The Kremlin is being blamed for the assassination attempt”. Who by? Use of the passive voice is a convenient way of getting round the question. The paper can amplify the required narrative while bypassing the problem that there’s no evidence and at the moment it is simply speculation that this was a state attack.

When Sergei Skripal was active he was betraying Russian agents to the West. Those he betrayed who were based in Europe or the US may perhaps have been politely asked to leave. But if he was betraying Russian agents in other countries; perhaps some of them met a bad end. If he betrayed them to British intelligence and this subsequently happened then British intelligence is morally responsible. MI5 may well avoid assassinations and torture themselves. But British intelligence has partnerships with regimes who are far less clean. [1] Spying is a dirty game. When British intelligence was ‘running’ Sergei Skripal British intelligence was playing a dirty game too. It is a manufactured illusion that the West is somehow above all this; that we do intelligence in a clean way.

It’s impossible to comment on the poisoning of Sergei Skripal at this point because the facts are not being released to the public. This is likely to be motivated to help stage manage the response. As per 1984 the leadership scares the population with tales of the evil Other – denying them access to facts on which to form their own assessments.

Update 14/3/2018

After some days MI5/No. 10 finally came up with a claim. The agent used was from the Soviet Novichok programme.

Presumably the analysis (if it is that and not just a piece of fabrication) was done at the UK’s shady little chemical weapons facility at Porton Down. (Described as made up of ‘world-renowned’ scientists by one British minister in an attempt to gloss the sordid reality).

From this May/MI5 have ‘concluded’ that “there is no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian state was culpable for the attempted murder of Mr Skripal and his daughter” [2]. Reading the Financial Times story as it stands it appears that part of the basis for this conclusion is that Russia (while being denied access to the evidence on which the claim is made) has “provided no explanation for having an undeclared chemical weapons programme”. Did anyone say Ducking Stool? As has come to be usual in these cases the rest of the gang move swiftly from probability to treating the matter as an absolute fact. NATO has expressed  “deep concern at the first offensive use of a nerve agent on alliance territory” [2]. Hang-on – a moment ago Russian state involvement was only an inference. Now it’s a fact. Oh, well. This is Russia. In this game normal processes are suspended.

The absurd claim about “undeclared chemical weapons programme” is (they think) a clever piece of strategy in the war against Russia. Russia’s policy is to stick to international law. (Russia points out, for example, and completely correctly, that in Syria they are on the right side of International Law. It is the West who has illegally invaded Syria). By trying to smear Russia in this way they are trying to undermine Russian foreign policy. Russia’s foreign policy – of sticking to International Law is a big threat to the West – who, as a rule, do not. (E.g. illegal invasion of Iraq, illegally arming rebels in Libya, illegal interventions in Syria).  That’s why a claim (unproven – no evidence provided) about a Russian nerve agent being involved is exploited into this absurd claim about a ‘chemical weapons programme’. It is a strategic move to undermine Russia on the International stage – literally to obliterate Russia as a player.

This narrative (remember folks – this is the West, we deal in narratives not facts), also serves to cover the US who still has a live chemical weapons programme as opposed to Russia which has ended theirs. It may also be a sly threat to Russia, after all, we know what happens to countries who have chemical weapons programmes. In general ‘chemical weapons’ is used as a rallying cry by the ‘civilized’ nations of the West. Nations who think nothing of killing thousands of brown-skinned children with fuel air explosives, depleted uranium shells and all the rest of it for the sake of a theatrical show of force (as in Iraq).

Is there some clever (albeit dishonourable) strategy in all this? Sadly probably not. What we are witnessing with this present attack on Russia is really just the immature actings out of people who have zero grasp of history or politics or international relations. People who appear absolutely unable to analyse political reality. Over-schooled school-pupils  who’ve accepted all the contemporary ideologies of emotionalism and narcissism; people who’ve never got beyond the mentality of a first-year ‘Uni’ student; people who live in the ‘eternal present’ and in a world where only one world view is permitted. The over-schooled corporate kids are pulling the strings of government and it is not an edifying sight.

 

Notes

1. MI6 rendited two Libyans to Libya who were subsequently tortured.

2. https://www.ft.com/content/74d20e9e-2778-11e8-b27e-cc62a39d57a0

Why this fiction about “Russian aggression”?

Russia annexed Crimea following a Western backed coup in Ukraine. The coup overturned a democratically elected government which was strongly supported in the East of Ukraine. 80%, or more, of the population of Crimea wanted and still want, according to polling by Western polling organisations, to be part of Russia. Russia may be offering some degree of support for the rebels in the East of Ukraine. In as much as they are they are defending a Russian leaning and speaking population against, ironically, a Western backed regime which wanted to send tanks and fighter planes against them.

Russian actions can be explained by a limited rational defence of Russians and legitimate Russian interests. There has been no aggression – no falling on other countries – like Hitler on Poland.

In Syria, another bone of contention, Russia is acting, with the agreement of the government of the country to fight international terrorists. Western nations admit that they have a problem with Islamic terrorism in Syria being re-imported to their countries. Given that Russia has this problem ten times over with hundreds of fighters from its republics in the Caucuses Russian intervention in Syria is explainable, ironically, on exactly the same basis that the West justifies their actions.

In 2008 Russia fought a war with Georgia over South Ossetia. An EU fact finding mission found that this war was started by Georgia.

Recent claims about “Russian meddling” in US and EU elections are some kind of a hoax. People with serious faces denounce RT as being a propaganda station while forgetting that the US with “Radio Free Europe” does precisely what RT does. Radio Free Europe transmits negative stories about Russia in Russian into Russia. Most of the rest of the claims are no more than fuss about a few social media posts and a teenage hack, based, apparently on a simple phishing scam, of some interesting material about the democratic national convention and Clinton presidential campaign.

So – why the smokescreen about “Russian aggression”. It really is difficult to know. Here are some candidates:

1. The US economy / business

The US is a kind of business. Its brand is important. Part of its brand is that it is undefeatable. In protecting its interests Russia has shown that it is independent and that there are potential limits to US/EU power. This is simply bad for the image. Sanctions are a demonstration of power designed to reinstate the brand.

After 9/11 the US had to wipe out Iraq. Not because Iraq had anything to do with 9/11 but because the US needed to show the world that they are all-powerful. The US has to always be seen to be in charge. Crimea isn’t in itself a big deal but they don’t like that it happened without their permission. The annexation of Crimea showed that American (and EU) power has limits. This is what they don’t like.

2. The military-industrial complex

This is one of the more obvious rational explanations for the “Russian aggression” hoax. A new cold war is good business for arms manufacturers and the financiers behind them. It is also good for career officers in NATO.

2.5 The West needs war

The US in particular simply needs war. They need an enemy. This is for some kind of religious-psychological reasons. Puritans needed God and Satan. Modern Americans need Money and Russia.

3. Primitive group-think

A large part of the explanation has to be in terms of an analysis of the herd. People who outwardly may appear modern and rational in fact behave on a herd basis. It is simply safer to denounce “Russian aggression” and stick with the prevailing consensus than to offer an independent and rational analysis. (My tribe is right even when they are wrong).

Linked to this we can note the absence of any statesmen at the top of the EU or US. In the UK at least the elected government ministers appear to base their understanding of international affairs on worst-case scenario assessments by their military – with no room at all for diplomacy or conducting international relations on a rational basis. However; perhaps it has always been so.

4. Race hatred

Perhaps the Anglo-Saxons just need to push someone down. Perhaps they just can’t tolerate Slavs getting ahead. Perhaps deep down they still fear this alien culture from the East. Memories of Mongols. So; they hate them.

 

It is so irrational – that is at odds with any kind of clear historically informed analysis – it really is difficult to know the reasons for the fiction of Russian aggression. But then, we are dealing with people who really thought that bombing Libya would bring in – by magic and within a few weeks – a Western style parliamentary democracy. (Obvlious to the fact that it took several hundred years of complex negotiations between various power groups to arrive at this situation in England). And people who thought this after Iraq. It is a feature of the modern Western political class that they are ahistorical and apolitical. They are in effect babies. Overschooled “Uni” students who live in the eternal present where the only viable world view is their own. They are, in short, detached from reality.

The worrying thing here is that, as any psychotic can tell you, you cannot live detached from reality indefinitely. Sooner or later there will be some kind of a clash with reality.

 

 

Information correction on US war-games in Syria

The US has shot down a Syrian fighter jet in Syria.

The Independent reports the statement by the US military as saying that they:

The Coalition’s mission is to defeat Isis in Iraq and Syria. The Coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend Coalition or partner forces from any threat.

The Coalition presence in Syria addresses the imminent threat Isis in Syria poses globally. The demonstrated hostile intent and actions of pro-regime forces toward Coalition and partner forces in Syria conducting legitimate counter-ISIS operations will not be tolerated.

The Coalition calls on all parties to focus their efforts on the defeat of Isis, which is our common enemy and the greatest threat to regional and worldwide peace and security

This is a blatant lie. An extraordinary piece of double-speak even by the Empire’s usual standards. The CIA has a programme to arm ‘moderate rebels’ in the South of Syria. The aim of this operation is to build a force to fight President Assad. [1] (This link also includes the chilling admission attributed by the Washington Post to a ‘US Official’ that the aim of US policy in Syria is to “prolong the war”).

The above blatant lie is now the currency of the day and reported without question by the Western press.

 

Notes

1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/plans-to-send-heavier-weapons-to-cia-backed-rebels-in-syria-stall-amid-white-house-skepticism/2016/10/23/f166ddac-96ee-11e6-bb29-bf2701dbe0a3_story.html?utm_term=.3609e47d2e56
See also: http://www.stopwar.org.uk/index.php/news-comment/1490-how-the-uk-is-secretly-helping-to-stoke-the-flames-of-war-in-syria