Russian Spy poisonings

It is hard to trust the word of either government.

Britain has a government that pursues an extreme agenda saying it is the “will of the people” when that is clearly untrue. The accusation against Russia, in this case, does appear logical but the photos of two men is hardly enough evidence to take Putin to the Hague or for reparations. It could feasibly be a “false flag” incident.

Putin’s statement that they are civilians is not very well supported by the two men’s story, which sounds rather silly, especially their statement that men would not carry women’s perfume on a plane without arousing suspicion. Who else would target enemies of the Russian state?

The UK has already spent millions on this. Due process is expensive. Russia has lost far more due to sanctions.

You got to ask, who benefits? Who are enemies of both states?

See also: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/13/skripals-russia-putin-salisbury-poisoning-suspects-interview

Problems with Russia

Which problem is it? 

If the Russian government is absolutely innocent in the Novichok poisoning even if nobody believes them, it implies their criminal community must own some dreadful weapons.  Seems horribly possible.

Or, Putin is lying.  Also horribly possible.  Or even a coup could be forming.  Good lordy.

The world needs to step-up in the recovery of illegal stocks of chemical weapons that Russia obviously is or has been a source of, from Governments and criminals before they end up in the hands of insane terrorists.

It is a reminder that there is a reason for political stability.  Reagan may have broken the USSR, but a new form of Empire may now rebuild around a stronger Russia.  If the Government can build trust where America may be failing to do so.  These poisonings are very damaging to Putin, the need to exterminate a spy only appeared to have value as punishment, but who knows?  

Now that Britain seems determined to deconstruct their best defense from Russia.  The EU with Britain is stronger as a reason for the growth of what we understand as “democracy” (if only we could live up to it ourselves!).

Britain leaving the EU could mean Russia taking back some Eastern European allegiances because the power balance shift will create a vacuum and Russia could evolve into a very competent democracy overnight.  Volatility has consequences.

British Human Rights Abuses

The UK government has not done enough to prevent another Grenfell style disaster.  They appear to leave this in the not as important as Brexit basket, and unfortunately for the citizens of this once proud country can expect the same kind of disregard for Human Rights in all (in)actions by this horribly ineffective Government.  They have demonstrated how they have no concern for the citizens they rule over, except where it comes to removing human rights by not only departure from the executive functions of the EU (the British contribution is a UKiP majority in the EU Government – in other words, intellectual pollution, a spoiler, a non-contribution) but to leave the economically stabilising single market and the good sense of trading within the rules of the Customs Union so we can become subject to American demands.  This America that does not want a world to prosper to any degree if it means that 350 million people can not lord it over the rest of the planet.  

Guardian article
The commission said it was concerned that the consultation omits any reference to the government’s duty to protect lives under article 2 of the European convention on human rights and schedule 1 to the Human Rights Act 1998. “This paramount duty requires the state to take appropriate steps within its power to effectively protect the lives of individuals and groups in situations where there is a known real risk to life, or where the authorities ought to have known that,” the commision said in its response to the consultation, shared with the Observer. The response continues: “Unfortunately, over a year after the catastrophic loss of more than 70 residents’ lives, many of the very systemic failings that led to the Grenfell Tower fire still exist now, giving rise, in our view, to an ongoing violation of article 2 ECHR/HRA by the state.”

The Fall of Great Britain

The Government is failing. There seem to be two types of Government: overactive or inactive. The UK Government is inactive, devoid of progress and it is not evolving a better world but one that has progressively been failing.

The increase of violence in London, the increase of the homeless, the treatment of the victims of Grenfell, the Windrush scandal. The continuous nonsense of discussing how to inflict damage that could undo the Union that they want to protect, the complex degradation of Brexit.

The dull mediation of outrageous statements followed by calls for the resignation of front bench ministers for failure or ignorance – this government appears to teeter between mild offense and mild rebukes rather than create any real waves. Their own negotiations about Brexit seem to swim in ever decreasing circles, and then suddenly bad decisions pop up and the public is sick of the ineffective bickering so ignore the carefully worded statement of progress. Over time the tide turning appears incidental. This is mass mesmerism hiding the dysfunctional democracy.

Syria Strike

Trump, Macron and May strike targets in Syria and avoid hitting Russian targets. The fog of war instantly rises, the Russians say the majority of missiles were shot down and the Americans say each one hit their targets.

If they degrade Bashir al Assad’s ability to use chemical weapons, then they have achieved a goal. If they hit any Russian targets, they have achieved something else.

In an excellent analysis, Andrew Adonis has this to say about it. He sees Theresa May’s action as avoiding an embarrassing vote in the Parliament which may not agree that taking non-effective action is a priority. Alignment with Trump may demonstrate to Putin that the UK is to be taken seriously however laughable the net balance of actions by this government are.

Green MP, Caroline Lucas points out that acting before the OCWP can inspect is ridiculous.

The problem with this kind of military gesture is that the powers that order it have no real idea of the consequential effect. Right-Wing Tories keep trying to point out that a vote in Parliament got David Cameron a defeat but is not the scrutiny of the parliament desirable before we run into accidental war with Russia? Our lack of preparedness for war is obvious enough. Is the Government expressing a fear that protection by Trump is entirely necessary

Trumpism

The Trump Doctrine is to lash out and then realise that was not a very good idea. A prime example is his reaction to Syria’s use of chemical weapons. He calls the leader of that stricken country an “animal” for killing a number of people with “nerve agents” and Chlorine gas and plans to send in the missiles. Except that Russia threatened him back and now he has to negotiate for fear of starting a firestorm and losing major assets as Russia threatened.

The legal point that it is an internal matter for Syria and that independence is the very heart of sovereignty that other nations have no business undermining. Oh, but if “we let Syria use chemical weapons” then “they will again, with impunity”. Understandable sentiment. The world would be a better place without weapons that kill people indiscriminately. Gassing the civilian population is not necessarily as evil as dropping an H Bomb, but it causes unbelievable suffering and only with effective action can their use be stopped.

But the May government in Britain believes that Syria’s sponsor, Russia, used a Novichok nerve agent in the UK to remove a retired spy. She has acted as though it were proven with evidence and it seems “the right thing to do” to most conservative idealists.

But is it? And is her plan to attack the government of Syria going to result in a war between the UK and Syria, or more significantly, with Russia?

Theresa May

Why did the UK choose to be governed into an inevitable compromise instead of taking up the gauntlet and reforming the EU? The trouble with her leadership is that the negotiations are a waste of time. Of course, Britain has to pay its dues before it departs. Of course, the rights of citizens cannot be removed. Inevitably, common sense will resist Trump’s reactive and manipulative form of protectionism as it is simply not us.

We holiday in Spain rather than Texas, Italy rather than California. For exactly the same reasons. A compromise is the only result of weak leadership, the bullock in a china shop negotiations waste valuable time.

I am afraid that “very difficult woman” may or may not steer Britain into Brexitland, but that is a minor problem compared with the lack of sustained policy success against the debt. It is not vision but fear that drives the Conservative leadership. What new ideas from the Tories during all these years? Austerity? It’s golden goose slaughter. I see a crumbling society that has forgotten Grenfell too quickly. Sure, the very very rich have taken your wage growth and poured it into the stock market, overheating it while the economy is stalling?

No. I would prefer a leader with vision and clarity.

Slavery, The West’s Crime

Slavery reparations are due from the West to countries where it stole labor and the lives of many to extract progress for itself.

Nothing short of a massive transfer of wealth from the developed to the underdeveloped world, and to the descendants of slavery and colonialism in the west, can heal the deep wounds inflicted.

We now enjoy the fruits of our forefathers. Is it not entirely logical that these fruits falling from trees planted from the purloined heritage should now recognise the enforced investment by the ancestors of one group of people to another? Or should the boundaries of an undeclared war be respected?

This is a difficult and divisive question but the answer depends on what your situation is vis a vis “The West”.

Slavery is a crime. War is a way to bury crimes. When a war happens in society rather than the battlefield, it is hard to know from the result, who indeed is the winner? Was the Cold War “won” by the collapse of the Soviet Union? How is that winning when now American Government domination of its culture is in the hands of the most wealthy. Will Trump now start to lash out with budgets at disasters or war provocations from North Korea? Or will he act like a surgeon and excise with exact and incisive negotiation, the exact words required to permanently solve the most dangerous problems in the world? Not so far.

The “we have excellent weapons” arguments only go so far before they result in escalation. But it worked for the slave masters who were our great-great-great-great-grandparents, possibly. One of the reasons for the Second Amendment is that it makes slavery less likely. One of the reasons for the First Amendment is it makes despotism less likely. The UK’s role in gathering slaves was not taught in English History at school. Not that I recall.

The British were involved and derived much wealth from the Slave Trade until it was made illegal in 1833 with “apprenticeships” an interim arrangement in which slavers were “compensated” with “20 million paid to the planters”.

Not many Slaves, the people who were harmed by slavery, remain as victims of the West’s social cannibalism. The descendants of slavery are now citizens proper and whether their lives have suffered or gained due to the upheavals of slavery, it is debatable, but the singular fact must remain, they have lives and share in the spoils of progress.

So are they owed a financial reparation for the crimes of our great great great great grandparents? I am not sure if that would make sense or even do good. But sure, why not? They bail out the slavery based banks so why not?

Slavery can never be fixed. It should not have been but it was. I think cases of reparation that hark back to the disadvantages present in 1833 are interesting, but it is a stretch to consider that it could be heard. But if they should, then, of course, the Justice system must hear such cases.

The one thing that the West could do however, without cost or pain, is to treat all citizens with absolute equality, no matter where they or their grandparents came from. That is something that America needs to do better. It is the very least we can do to repair the damage of Slavery. Treat each other right.

Nuclear Threat

Does North Korea pose a genuine threat to the USA with a handful of nuclear missiles pointed in its general direction?

Does the USA pose a genuine threat to North Korea?

Both bear the scars of a dreadful war in the early 1950s; a war that has not officially ended. In the intervening years, South Korea has emerged as a powerhouse exporting nation with advanced technology competing with Japan and China boasting companies such as Samsung. North Korea, in comparison, has locked itself into a military specialisation to the detriment of its own people who slavishly admire their leader or land up in a gulag, starved to death.

And now they are testing ICBM missiles and it is only a matter of time before they are able to use one against its enemy, the sponsor of South Korea, the USA. And now both countries have belligerent leaders who want to prove themselves with a “good war”.

The USA accuse Russia and China of responsibility here. Russia and China would rather not be at war with the USAA, so having a proxy threat is perhaps useful. All out nuclear war, of course, is in the interests of nobody.

What is the endgame for this terrible standoff? It seems unlikely that either party would not blink due to the nature of Nuclear weapons. If North Korea were to risk launching one, the retaliation could be complete and final. They will never have enough weapons to stop a systematic invasion let alone a nuclear response, but America would most likely have to live with the threat until it can justify action to China and Russia or better yet, engage with them to finally oust the military regime of North Korea.

Guardian article

Reunification turned Germany into a world leader. It is time for Korea to reconsider its path for mutual benefit between the North and the South. Is it in the interests of the West, Japan or anyone for North Koreans to suffer so and for the shroud of death to hang over the region? Does Trump style diplomacy help or is there a better way to help the Koreans to unify?

Fear drives North Korea to act

Happy New Year – from Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel, leader of Germany wishes all Germany a Happy New Year in this profound message that says why a United Europe is so important.

Yes, Europe is slow. It’s arduous. It has to suffer deep incisions, such as the departure of a member state. And – yes – Europe should concentrate on what it can really do better than the nation-state.

But no – we Germans should never let ourselves pretend that a happy future could ever lie in going it alone as a nation.

Read it here.