Guardian’s role in Russian regime change

This is a piece in the Guardian about Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Notice:

The usual smears against President Putin. Personalizing all attacks on the Russian state onto Putin is characteristic of Western media propaganda. Demonizing the leader is a central feature of regime change campaigns.

Anyone who is anti the current (elected) government in Russia is inevitably described as an “anti-Putin critic”. The fact that they criticize the Kremlin seems to automatically elevate them to the status of Sainthood. Any critical questioning of the critic’s own past is therefore not required.

Using characteristic techniques of Western media propaganda the Guardian casts aspersions. Putin “suddenly” pardoned Khodorkovsky in 2003. As if there was something suspicious about it. (The Russian side explained that it was connected to Khodorkovsky’s mother’s illness). We are also told that the current re-opened investigation into Khodorkovsky “seems” to be connected to the original 2003 fraud case. In fact not “seems”. There is nothing mysterious and secretive about it as this text suggests. It is quite straightforward; the searches are connected with the 2003 fraud case. [1] In another piece on the same story, the Guardian tells its readers that Khodorkovsky’s offices in Russia were raided by “armed Russian police”. According to the Wikipedia article on the Russian police they routinely carry arms. [2] This appears to be another dramatic flourish intended to fuel the narrative – liberals being intimidated by the Russian state mafia.

We are told that the current charges against Khodorkovsky are being brought by the Russian Investigative Committee which “reports directly to the Russian President”. As always with the Western liberal critique of Russia anything which is different in the way that Russia organises itself is not accepted as just that, different, but is portrayed as something sinister. Russia is a Presidential Republic. It is not really surprising that the country’s main investigative body reports to the President.

The piece is entirely devoted to the comments by Khodorkovsky and those close to him. Since the Guardian omits the background it is worth pointing out that Khodorkovsky was sentenced by a Russian court for fraud and subsequently with embezzlement and money laundering. Khodorkovsky had been a Communist youth party member in the Soviet Union. In the period immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union he acquired the rights to multiple oil fields in Siberia. This was during a period when there was little central government regulation – and it was easy for those with contacts and/or access to capital to acquire significant state assets. During this period Western oil firms signed lucrative contracts to exploit Russian resources on favorable terms. Under Putin’s Presidency a new policy was developed which aimed to control these excesses and secure Russian national interests. Khodorkovsky did not play ball. [3] Arguably his arrest and detention were therefore ‘political’. But the context is that of an elected President pursuing a policy of national interest. This is the side of the story that the Western propagandists don’t tell.

Western liberals – and a few Russians -Â want a regime change in Russia. In this piece Khodorkovsky calls for a ‘revolution’. They talk the language of “human rights”, “democracy” and “open government”. In reality they want money.

Notes

1. https://www.rt.com/politics/326744-searches-conducted-in-homes-of/

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militsiya

3. Russia. Robert Service. 1997 Penguin. p550

 

Hogwash on Syria from John Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry was interviewed on Russian TV about Syria.

Incidentally this is a fact (that he was given a platform by Russian state TV) difficult to fit into the Western narrative about how the Russian people live in a Kremlin controlled media bubble.

John Kerry explained that the US is not trying to do a regime change op in Syria. He justified the Libya regime change op but accepted that not enough was done to facilitate the transition afterwards. This is the quote in context, from Russian state broadcaster RT:

As for the ongoing chaos in Libya since the NATO air campaign helped the rebels oust Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Kerry insisted that removing the dictator was a right thing to do.

However, he added that he agreed with President Obama that “not doing enough afterwards to make sure that the transition and the building of a legitimate government took place – that was a mistake” by the US and its allies [1]

Who could believe this? Even with the best will in the world it is not possible. Iraq was (illegally) invaded in 2003. The Libyan op. took place in 2011. They had 8 years to learn the lessons from Iraq before the Libyan op. (The Libyan operation was justified by a twisting of UN resolution 1973. This permitted military action to defend civilians. This clause was used to justify the toppling of Ghadaffi and his government on the grounds that by remaining in power he was a threat to civilians. A strange claim to make given that the EU at least had been supplying him with arms right up to his departure). [2]

The problem with Kerry’s explanation is that this same explanation was trotted out over Iraq. Following the 2003 invasion Iraq descended into chaos. Al-Qaeda emerged in Iraq. (As predicted by British intelligence [3]). And has now evolved into the even more grisly ‘Islamic State’. And eventually it has become widely accepted that ‘not enough was done in terms of planning for the re-construction of Iraq’. One

The Guardian’s incapacity to tell the truth!

Honestly. We have only been looking at the Guardian for a few days. On every page a new fiction.

This is a story about the Russians opening the flight data recorder from their SU-24 which was shot down by Turkey on November 24th. The Guardian says:

Turkey said the Su-24 fighter-bomber, part of Russia’s Syria-based strike force, strayed into its airspace and ignored repeated warnings to leave

The Turkish version is that the Russian jet was in their air-space for 17 seconds as it over-flew a narrow strip of land which juts into Syria. In fact they claim that they gave numerous warnings to the pilots before the jet entered Turkish air-space.

This is not disputed. Our source for this. Well; how about this Guardian article from 25th November. [1] In which the Guardian correctly reports:

A Turkish official said his country stood by its version of events. The Turkish military has said it delivered multiple warnings to the plane as it neared the border and shot it down after it entered the southern province of Hatay.

A few weeks later and the story has morphed into “repeated warnings to leave”.

Given that – according to the Turkish version of events – the plane was only in their air-space for 17 seconds it is difficult even logically to consider how “repeated” warnings to leave could have been given. (How many times can you say “you are violating our air-space leave now” in 17 seconds?). Logic aside it is a fiction. The Turkish version is that they gave the warnings as the jet approached their air-space. Once in it they shot it down.

This isn’t simply a moot point. Refusing instructions to leave once you are already in is obviously a greater crime than ignoring instructions not to approach. It would make a shooting down more justifiable. What has happened here is that the Guardian “journalist” (in fact the piece is attributed to Reuters) has inflated the story so as to dramatize it and make the Russians look really bad – and to show NATO member Turkey in a good light. Reuters is one of the prime instigators of anti-Russian propaganda. Here they create a narrative which anyone with any access to the Internet can check is false in 2 seconds and which could not even by true by the laws of physics. It is a testament to the sheer hubris of the Western media that they produce such blatant propaganda fictions.

The Guardian might say that this piece is news-wire copy. Still. They’ve published it. Given that on such questions a world war could hang one would have hoped that someone somewhere would try to stick to the facts.

Notes

1. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/25/second-russian-pilot-shot-down-turkey-alive-ambassador