Very dangerous news...
A Russian who was a British spy against Russia – oh, he was a double agent ...he got paid by both Russia and Britain, each to spy on the other. A real sweetheart. He seems to have settled in Britain, probably because Russia would have hanged him if he had returned. But, in Britain, he and his daughters were attacked and severely injured with a chemical poison. And, guess what, it was a chemical poison made in Russia.
The British P.M., Theresa May, immediately said this was proof the Russian had done it, expelled many
Russian diplomats in Britain, loudly threatened reprisals that amounted to warlike acts. Trump immediately supported her with his own threats.
(Just hours earlier, the Palestinian premier narrowly escaped death when his car was blown up – but nobody seems to give a damn about that.)
So let’s think about a few facts. Just about every country in the world has spies. Spies routinely kill each other. I have read of many cases of American agents killing spies in other countries, and I’m quite sure Britain has done the same. Indeed, when Britain does it, it’s heroic. (Think of all the James Bond flics you’ve seen.) And here is a spy whose usefulness is probably long gone for either side.
So why would the Russians kill him? Oh, I know. Because Russians are evil, unlike Brits and Americans who never spy and never, ever kill anybody. No, they don’t.
And the poison was one that could only be made in Russia??? How very specialized. So the Russians who could have shot the guy or used a British poison decided it would be more fun to use a Russian poison so the British would immediately know who did it?
Donne-moi un break.
This looks very much like a set-up. And that may explain why the British opposition leader, while expressing the required indignation, did NOT support the prime minister’s retaliations.
This has a strong smell. We may be being set up for a war which would be the final one.
This is closely related to another dangerous problem. Historically, international diplomacy has relied heavily, almost entirely on threats and bluster and war. Historically, the role of most of the population has been to kill and/or die in order for the authorities (usually members of an aristocracy) to take land and other forms of wealth. To this day, threats and bluster and war are still the basis for most diplomacy. (Listen to any speech by Trump.) The ones who give the orders now are not those of the old aristocracy. But today’s major capitalists maintain exactly the same power. And the rest of us retain our old role – to kill, to die, to pay for it all.
There appears to be no understanding that the world has changed so that threats and bluster and war are no longer feasible. It’s not the advent of democracy that has changed anything. Indeed, democracy lies in ruins in most of the world. Real power in the world does not rest in the hands of the people. It rests in the hands of any aristocracy of wealthy. And the rest of us still have to fight their wars and pay for them. But there’s a bigger change.
The destructive power in this world has become monstrous. Much, perhaps most, perhaps all of the planet can now be destroyed in minutes. Some day, the threats and bluster will be challenged. That is inevitable if we continue this course.
After World War 2, we were told this would never happen again, that there would be a form of world government in which issues would be discussed. We have never done that or even shown any interest in it. It was the crowning betrayal of all those who fought in that war. In the years since, the only change has been to spread nuclear weapons, and to make them much, much more powerful.
Haaretz has a good headline on this story of the murder of a double agent. And it’s quite true. Britain has no power whatever to threaten Russia. But the P.M. immediately contacted Trump, and he at first seemed (see below) gave her his full support. And that makes me wonder this was all planned some time ago.
The story gets curiouser and curiouser. Members of the Trump cabinet have strongly supported the British P.M.
But now, Trump, of all people, is waffling.
Russia Times takes a fairly neutral position on the controversy.
Meanwhile, the president has first ridiculed the British claim, but now changed to become a real hawk on the issue.
And all of this still leaves the big question. With the simple job of killing a man, something governments all over the world (notably the U.S.) do every day, why on earth would the British choose such an exotic way to do such a simple job – and why oh why oh why would it choose a method of killing that would point the finger straight at Russia?
Here’s another look at troubling elements in the nerve agent story.
Since all the major powers have been carrying out intensive chemical research for war purposes for over a century, it seems odd that Russia would be the only one on this one. Indeed, several powers have chemical weapons stocks – and the U.S. is a leader. Remember Agent Orange in Vietnam. As well, the U.S. does have a record of lying about such things to justify a war. Remember how Iraq was supposed to have terrible weapons of mass destruction, etc.? Amazing how nobody has ever found those weapons. And even if it’s proven that the chemical came from Russia, that’s scarcely proof that the order to kill that spy was given by the Russian government. Canadians, like Americans, are usually killed by American guns. That is not proof the American government ordered it.
The British P.M. blamed Russia immediately – certainly without the time to check all these points. And she did it without even proof that the chemical came from Russia at all.
Every year the very wealthy of this world hide trillions of dollars in tax havens. This is our money. The story that the rich create wealth in a country is pure rubbish. The create it only for themselves. Trillions of dollars that should be returned to us are taxes lost. And what happens when you take that money out of our world economies? It impoverishes all of us (except the very wealthy), creates monstrous suffering and, eventually, brings our economies down in a terrible crash – like 1929 or worse.
Too bad the editors and columnists at irving press can’t figure that out.
The U.S. trains children to kill. It’s like Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, but with an edge.
This is a surprising one. Apparently, the oil industry knew about global warning and the dangers of it before anyone else. And it didn’t tell anybody; and it didn’t do anything. Our heroes!
Like Einstein, Stephen Hawking was one of those people we all have admired enormously – without understanding him, a man who stood out among all the billions of this world.
I have known or read many military historians. And many of them are not really historians at all. They are propagandists for the military. When some military people objected loudly to a film series which was something critical of the army or which raised serious questions, they used their influence to set up a phony Senate investigation at which I testified defending the films. But I know that my testimony would get nowhere. (One of the films was about Canada’s role in the deliberate bombing of civilians in Dresden. They said it wasn’t true. I testified it was true (a truth now generally accepted). In fact, civilians today are the major targets of most military campaigns. This is particularly true of the U.S. air force. That does not reflect on our air force. They were simply following orders at Dresden. And the orders came right from the top – from Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt. And our bomber crews were very, very young. Another of the films was about Canadian soldiers killing large numbers of German prisoners. The Senate clucked that this was not true. I later met a Canadian soldier who saw it. I rather trust him on this because he was a general who had no reason to lie about it.
Usually, the Canadian military has done a good job. Indeed, in the last two years of World War 1, it was arguably the best-led military in the field. But there have been horrible periods, usually the result of higher command or of political bosses. There was the horrible decision to send unready Canadian troops to defend Hong Kong in World War 2, and the chaos of Dunkirk which was directly the fault of military planners in Canada and Britain – but which a recent military historian has portrayed as a great success.
Most of the military historians I have known or read have turned out to be puppets for the military. And instead of writing what war is about, they glorify it.
We are entering very, very dangerous times.
From 1945, instead of dealing with the planetary disaster that nuclear weapons are and instead of recognizing this means we have to change our whole system of diplomacy, we have happily strolled along making bigger bombs and selling them to more countries.
Canada is a colony of the U.S. As such, it is tied to the American economy and its bosses and it will fight American wars (as it has done in Afghanistan, Libya and (quietly) in Syria. We are also deliberately being positioned to fight in eastern Europe – in all cases in wars that have nothing to do with us.)
Despite his popular reputation, Winston Churchill was not a nice guy. He was the son of an aristocrat who care only for the aristocracy and who couldn’t have cared less for the general population. He was the pioneer of the deliberate murder of civilians in war. As for foreigners, he had even less respect for them than he had for the British working class and middle class.
Brief, but pointed.
The killing of a Russian double agent in Britain may be far more complex than the knee jerk reaction we are getting from our politicians and news media.
And a story you will not find among the propaganda journalists and trivialists of the irving press.
Well, who cares what Stephen Hawking thought? I mean, we have the word of irving press editors that there ain’t nothing happening.
And here is something not likely to make commercial news sources.
The people who make these nerve agents, by the way, are those folk, the White Helmets, praised by Hollywood for their goodness, and the subject of propaganda films that automatically get academy awards.
We are drifting...
This next is a long one. But it’s a look at American aggressions over the years that haven’t received the attention in history books that they should have.
I’m sorry that today’s blog is a little long. When it’s finished I have to take in my computer for emergency surgery. I’m hoping to have it back in time for Saturday’s blog. Failing that, I shall cry.
The summary for today is that we are living in an extremely dangerous time. Part of the reason is an uncontrolled capitalism. That has always been a destructive force; and it is getting much more dangerous. The NDP and the Greens have yet to understand that.
Added to that, we have a U.S. dedicated to world conquest. At a time when Americans cannot govern their own country with any intelligence, their capitalists and puppet politicians insist on ruling the world. At the same time, their capitalists are spending big money on nuclear shelters for themselves and their families. Presuming they survive a nuclear attack, what on earth can they think they will be coming out to?
We are living at a time when, if we hope to survive, we have to rethink our ideas about government, about diplomacy, about essential controls on capitalism. We aren’t doing it. And we don’t have much time.