Lavrov Dismantles UK-Led Sarin ‘Investigation’ in 30 Seconds

Lavrov Dismantles UK-Led Sarin ‘Investigation’ in 30 Seconds

Lavrov blows the whistle on the OPCW and its ‘investigations’ in Syria

Tue, Apr 25, 2017

Lavrov is not amused
Lavrov is not amused

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has a simple message for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons: Stop with the bullshit.

Speaking with journalists in Moscow on Monday, Lavrov pointed out that the OPCW has taken more than four months to ‘analyze’ chemical samples from Aleppo, which would likely implicate Syrian ‘opposition’ forces in war crimes. And surprise, surprise — the OPCW needs even more time before it can release a report.

Meanwhile, it took this prestigious organization only four days to declare that Sarin was used in the April 4 attack in Khan Sheikhun.

Lavrov is not amused:

Four months ago, together with our Syrian colleagues, we sent samples that we got from Aleppo, after it was liberated. We believe these samples are evidence of the fact that opposition armed groups used chemical weapons.

Four months later — no results. And they say they need more time.

But this other unit, that processes complaints about the Syrian regime, as we were told, released a statement several days after the Idlib incident. And that statement confirms the initial allegations, allegations by NGOs and the White Helmets, that it was Sarin. So in one case we have 4 months — nothing happens, no information is released. But in the other case the other unit issues that statement in just 4 days. But there’s no data — what laboratory was used, what were the samples like, where were they taken?

How can this be? Lavrov knows:

The mission should provide for geographical diversity. As I said, this mechanism is comprised of two units, one receives applications and complains from the Syrian government, and the other processes complaints about the Syrian government.

And both of the units are chaired by UK citizens.

Lavrov then delivers the final blow:

Jokes aside, it’s an attempt to create a distorted perspective, and then to use this distorted reality to in an attempt to avoid an inclusive dialogue and switch to regime change operations. Another regime change operation in this region.

Okay, we lied. It probably took Lavrov 45 seconds to completely demolish this fraudulent organization and its benevolent ‘investigations’.

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/lavrov-dismantles-uk-led-sarin-investigation-30-seconds/ri19679

Invoking Bobby Sands and Mandela, 95 Israelis endorse Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike

Invoking Bobby Sands and Mandela, 95 Israelis endorse Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike

Berlin, 19 April 2017

Dear Comrades, friends, and partners in the struggle,

We, a group of conscientious Israeli-Jews, would like to express our deep respect and solidarity with you – the 1,500 or more Palestinians who embarked on a collective open ended hunger strike to demand your basic rights.

Given the brutal measures inflicted on political prisoners around the world, be it in the former apartheid regime in South Africa, the imperial British rule over Ireland or in present-day Palestine-Israel, hunger strikes remain a peaceful, non-violent, and legitimate tool of resistance.

The Israeli prison authorities employ mass incarceration, solitary confinement, administrative detentions, torture, and even the incarceration of minors as a matter of state policy. These unlawful practices of imprisonment are used as a tool of political repression and are carried out with the full backing of Israel’s apartheid judicial system. This system deprives the Palestinian society of its voice, identity, and collective hope of liberation from the chains of colonialism.

Caged under inhumane conditions, Palestinian prisoners who fight the “battle of empty stomachs” demonstrate once again that the active Palestinian leadership is the one located behind prison walls. From the confines of their prison cells, the prisoners embody the voice of Palestinian unity and struggle, along with the millions of exiled refugees who struggle daily for their right to return.

We draw inspiration from your courage and determination as well as from past hunger strikers such as Nelson Mandela, Bobby Sands, Alice Paul, and other outstanding figures who had confronted their oppressors to liberate themselves and liberate others. We stand with you in the struggle for freedom, equality, and justice, until the fall of apartheid.

In solidarity,

Zohar Atai, Shir Hever, Shajar Rachel, Barith Ball, Guy Hirchfeld, Shira Ramer Wittlin, Ronnie Barkan, Tammar Hoffman, Adi Raz, Ronnen Ben-Arie, Lihi Joffe…

CLICK HERE to view the full list of signatories and endorsers. 

– See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2017/04/israelis-palestinian-prisoners/?utm_source=Mondoweiss+List&utm_campaign=e878ef207e-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b86bace129-e878ef207e-398536869&mc_cid=e878ef207e&mc_eid=189b366097#sthash.mpavqMoV.dpuf

How The Australian Labour Party Elites & US War Hawks Put The “Fix” In For Ex PM Rudd in 2010 To Hasten Confrontation With China.

Former Australian PM Rudd quits parliament

By Peter Symonds
18 November 2013

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced last Wednesday evening, on the first full parliamentary sitting day of the new Abbott government, that he was quitting parliament. In a move that was sudden, but not entirely unexpected, his departure produced an outpouring of nauseating accolades from his own Labor Party, the Greens and the ruling Liberal National Coalition. Numerous media commentaries dissected his career, but left the most obvious question unanswered: why was Rudd retiring from the parliamentary stage?

Relegated to the backbench after losing the September 2013 federal election, Rudd’s own explanation was that there was no point “being here for the sake of being here.” That only begs another question: why had Rudd become so marginalised just six years after winning a clear victory over the Coalition government of John Howard in 2007? According to conventional political wisdom, such a win should have assured Rudd at least two terms in office. Yet, in an unprecedented inner party coup, Rudd was ousted in June 2010 and replaced by his deputy Julia Gillard before even serving out his first term, setting the stage for three years of leadership infighting.

The media explanations for this turmoil focus entirely on Rudd’s “egocentric” personality, his “flawed” leadership style and political “bastardry,” as well as Gillard’s overweening ambition. These traits, however, are hardly out of the ordinary for bourgeois politicians and, in normal times, would have largely remained in the background, at least in Rudd’s first term. But the past six years have been far from normal. The upheavals in the Labor leadership have been the manner in which the deepening global crisis of capitalism, sharpening geo-political rivalries—especially between the US and China—and developing working class opposition to the agenda of austerity have been refracted in Australia.

Rudd has not been sidelined because he failed to carry out the economic dictates of the corporate elite. During the 2007 election campaign, he positioned himself as a “fiscal conservative,” echoing the criticisms of the corporate media that Howard had failed to press ahead with pro-market restructuring and had squandered the opportunities provided by booming mineral exports to China. Moreover, Rudd was the first Labor leader to openly embrace the legacy of the 1983-1996 Hawke-Keating Labor governments that ruthlessly deregulated the economy and presided over a massive shift of wealth up the income scale.

Labor, Coalition and Greens parliamentarians hailed what Treasurer Joe Hockey described, during Wednesday night’s parliamentary session, as Rudd’s “magnificent” apology to the Aboriginal people in February 2008. In fact, the “apology” was a cynical ploy designed to cover up the Labor government’s continuation of Howard’s military-police “intervention” into Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, aimed at enforcing punitive measures such as welfare quarantining. The “apology” epitomised the Labor government’s modus operandi—“progressive” window-dressing to implement the regressive policies of the corporate establishment.

When Rudd’s government was rapidly overtaken by the global financial meltdown that erupted in September 2008, he provided an open-ended guarantee to the banks and implemented stimulus measures designed to prevent a slide into recession. Speaking for sections of finance capital, former Treasury secretary Ken Henry last week paid tribute to the Labor prime minister. Rudd “was so far ahead of where the world was, and a long way ahead of where we were in the Treasury,” Henry declared. Moreover, in early 2010, as the demands of global capital shifted from stimulus to austerity, Rudd signalled that his government would rein back the public spending measures that were coming increasingly under fire in the media.

The real reason for Rudd’s decision to quit parliament lies in the growing tensions between the United States and China in the Indo-Pacific region. But the great unmentionable in Australian politics is the war preparations being made by the US, in collaboration with its allies, most particularly Australia, against China. That is why the past week’s commentary has totally ignored Rudd’s foreign policy. As a former career diplomat and fluent Mandarin-speaker, Rudd envisaged himself as a significant player on the international stage. But he took office as the worsening global economic crisis was producing sharp shifts in world politics. Significant sections of the American ruling elite, frustrated that President Bush had bogged the US down in unwinnable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan amid rising Chinese economic and political influence, backed Obama as the means for reasserting US dominance in Asia.

What became known as Obama’s “pivot to Asia”—a comprehensive diplomatic and military build-up against China—quickly came into conflict with Rudd’s own initiatives. Rudd enunciated a “middle power” role for Australia in mediating rising tensions between the US and China through the establishment of an Asia Pacific Community. The proposal was an attempt to resolve the basic dilemma facing Australian imperialism, increasingly dependent economically on China, but completely reliant on the US military alliance to prosecute its own interests in the Pacific.

Rudd in no way opposed the US alliance, even telling US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that war against China might be necessary if all else failed. The Obama administration, however, was intent on confronting, not appeasing, China, and was not prepared to brook any vacillation from a key American ally. Rudd’s ousting in June 2010 was orchestrated behind the scenes by Labor and union factional bosses, who, as WikiLeaks cables later revealed, were “protected sources” of the US embassy in Canberra. Immediately after her installation, Gillard emphasised her loyalty to Washington, holding a meeting with the American ambassador and a 20-minute phone conversation with Obama. In November 2011, Obama used the Australian parliament to formally announce the “pivot” in the Australian parliament and signed a deal with Gillard, behind the backs of the Labor party, the parliament and the Australian population, to station US Marines in Darwin.

Rudd returned to the cabinet as foreign minister in the unstable Greens-backed minority Labor government that emerged from the August 2010 election. But Gillard set the foreign policy orientation. Rudd patched up relations with the Obama administration, but he never resiled from his concerns that Washington and Beijing were heading toward a conflict that had to be avoided. Rudd continued to mount leadership challenges to Gillard—testimony to the continuing divisions within ruling circles over Australia’s close integration into the US war preparations against China. Rudd also forged relations with political figures internationally, such as former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, similarly worried about the lurch toward a catastrophic war.

Rudd stood down as foreign minister in February 2012 in a failed bid to wrest the leadership from Gillard. In March 2013, another abortive leadership attempt collapsed ignominiously. In both cases, the factional heavyweights who installed Gillard stood firm. By June 2013, the Labor Party was facing electoral oblivion. Reviled for her role in Rudd’s anti-democratic ousting and her government’s anti-working class policies, Gillard’s poll ratings plunged to historic lows. With a chorus of voices in the media warning of the collapse of the two-party system, Labor re-installed Rudd, the only political figure with any public standing, largely because of his status as the martyr of the 2010 coup.

The media and political establishment backed Rudd’s reinstallation, but only to retain the Labor Party as a viable opposition. The press, with the Murdoch newspapers in the lead, campaigned to ensure that Rudd had no prospect of winning the September election. Bill Shorten, head of the “praetorian guard” that ousted Rudd in 2010, and a trusted figure in Washington, was installed as Labor leader.

In Shorten and Prime Minister Abbott, the Obama administration has two leaders committed to the “pivot” to Asia. Former Labor ministers supportive of Rudd’s foreign policy have either quit parliament or been relegated to relatively insignificant posts. Ex-foreign minister Bob Carr, who was critical of Obama’s speech to the Australian parliament, has retired. Former defence minister Joel Fitzgibbon is shadow agriculture spokesman.

Since Rudd was ousted in mid-2010, US-China tensions throughout the Indo-Pacific have sharpened dramatically. Just how central Australia is to US war plans against China was underlined by a recent report by the US-based thinktank, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA). The report details the basing requirements and military support that Washington requires from Canberra for its naval and air operations in the Indian and Pacific oceans. It comments on the divisions in Australian ruling circles over the US “pivot” and concludes that the debate is all but over, because Gillard “crossed the strategic Rubicon” by agreeing to position US Marines in Darwin.

This conclusion is somewhat premature, not least because the discussion has been made largely behind closed doors. The working class—the overwhelming majority of the population—is yet to speak. Nevertheless, Rudd is quitting parliament precisely because he no longer has any significant open support within the ruling establishment for his foreign policy orientation. While praising Rudd in parliament this week as “an extraordinary person,” Abbott put the nail in his coffin by flatly ruling out appointing him to a diplomatic post, ensuring that Rudd has no official government platform from which to advocate his views.

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/11/18/rudd-n18.html

Note from blogger: The bolding is mine for those Brits who recognize the similarities to the British Parliament.  It’s rigging of democratic First Past The Post boundaries and the so-called democratic Labour Party – a socialist and democratic party who have systematically tried to silence it’s party members (who fund it) in order to remove the popular (with 62% of the members and only socialist) leader. They too(the elitist right wing majority of Blairites), in line with the fiercely class driven Conservative Party, have been chasing the colonialist and imperialist pursuit of class division and US/EU hegemonic warmongering in defiance of International Law and the will of the British people. The Murdoch Press is only equal in it’s propagandist misrepresentation of facts to other MSM in the form of the pro-Zionist, pro Israeli anti Russian bigots of  The Guardian, The Daily Mail who were Hitler supporters in the 30’s and 40’s along with other anti Russian bigots represented by the remaining MSM, to varying degrees, followed by pure theatre and lies from the BBC & Channel 4 propaganda platforms. etc.

One difference between the self serving Australian and British Parliamentarians is that, despite the British politicians giving themselves a hefty pay rise and a reduction in the age qualification for State Pension below the mere mortals who pay into that pension fund, the Australian Politicians have even higher salaries than their British counterparts.

Ain’t life grand eh?

Susan O’Neill.

How Theresa May’s preferred US system to replace the NHS featured in the Nixon Watergate scandal

Pride's Purge

Theresa May’s secretive plans to replace the NHS in England with private US healthcare system Kaiser Permanente have been revealed just in time for the election.

Interestingly, Kaiser appears in a transcript of a conversation between disgraced US President Nixon and an adviser on one of the infamous Watergate tapes:

The secret conversation shows clearly that Kaiser’s goal is to make as much profit as possible by providing as little healthcare as possible:

February 17, 1971
5:26 pm – 5:53 pm
Oval Office
Conversation 450-23

John D. Ehrlichman: On the—on the health business—

President Nixon: Yeah.

Ehrlichman: —we have now narrowed down the vice president’s problems on this thing to one issue and that is whether we should include these health maintenance organizations like Edgar Kaiser’s Permanente thing. The vice president just cannot see it. We tried 15 ways from Friday to explain it to him and then help him to…

View original post 294 more words

Today, yet another lie came back to haunt the con artists who led the Brexit campaign.

Pride's Purge

Today, Nestle have announced 300 jobs are to be lost in York and Newcastle after production of Blue Riband chocolate is to be moved to Poland.

But on a visit to York last May, Boris Johnson claimed the city’s confectionery industry “will prosper” with Brexit.It won’t be the likes of Johnson who will be receiving their notices from Nestle …

View original post

ITV poll: 68% of 165,000 people vote #Corbyn4PM

The SKWAWKBOX

A poll by ITV’s This Morning asked viewers which party leader they would prefer to see as Prime Minister. The result was remarkable:

itv tmOver 165,000 people participated – and more than two-thirds chose Corbyn. Theresa May’s share of the vote was far less than a third of what Corbyn achieved.

Naysayers will say that the poll was not ‘scientific’. That’s true. But then, the methodology of official polls is rarely disclosed properly and vastly differing results suggest that those may not be too scientific either. It’s also possible, of course, that Corbyn supporters are simply more motivated to call or go online to cast their vote and influence the result – but again, that’s hardly a negative.

One thing that is certain, however, is that the result in no way supports or aligns with the prevailing punditry that claims the result of the General Election is a foregone conclusion or…

View original post 163 more words

Attack on UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over nuclear first strike By Chris Marsden and Paul Mitchell

To be honest, if the British people are that gullible in believing that a nuclear war, which would by necessity go global, is any kind of solution to US Aggression, then we will bring upon our heads, our own doom and the demise of millions of citizens around the globe as they fall victim to Washington’s genocidal pursuit of it’s own World Dominance. After millions in Europe/ Australia/Japan/Korea/ Israel/America and the ME are choking in radiation fallout as a result of wind shift, there will be few left to ask how and why and fewer still, it would appear, saying “told you so”. Thanks to all the numb nuts promoting war as a means of solving the many problems the US has instigated. You’ll be the death of me and many other Brits if you really are that stupid. So much for crocodile tears shed over the farcical BBC and Channel 4’s documentaries and “Saving Syria’s Children”. Hay ho, now we get to slaughter millions more children!

Attack on UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over nuclear first strike
By Chris Marsden and Paul Mitchell
25 April 2017

The systematic political offensive against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, portraying him as a threat to national security, reached new depths of depravity on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

Not only did Marr conduct the political equivalent of an ambush, but he did so on the obscene basis of demanding a pledge that Corbyn commit to waging nuclear war.

Marr’s interrogation had a deranged character. His first question noted that, should Labour win the June 8 general election, Corbyn’s first task would be to write four letters to the captains of Britain’s nuclear submarines “instructing them what to do if this country’s attacked in a nuclear strike. So what will you be telling them… You have to say fire or don’t fire… You have to give them in those letters a strict instruction.”

Corbyn replied that his “strict instruction” would be to “follow orders when given.”

This prompted Marr’s rejoinder, “Can I ask you directly; are there any circumstances in which you’d authorise a nuclear strike? Any circumstances?”

Corbyn replied that “any use of nuclear weapons is a disaster for the whole world” and that “nuclear weapons are not a solution to the world’s security issues. They’re the disaster of the world’s security issues if ever used.” He expressed concern at the build-up of tensions between the US and North Korea, as well as “the Trump administration’s trying to unpick President Obama’s deal with Iran.”

Marr followed this rather muted criticism of Donald Trump’s cabal of warmongers by questioning which “world leaders” Corbyn would “call first” after taking power.

He then returned more directly to topic, asking, “And do you tell … President Trump that we are no longer a nuclear-armed power … Would a Labour government cancel the Trident programme?”

Corbyn, who has stated his personal opposition to the Trident nuclear programme, replied evasively that Labour is presently undertaking a strategic defence review—even though Labour reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining the nuclear arsenal last July, when 140 of its MPs voted for renewal, against 47 who voted no and 41 abstentions or absences.

Marr raised that the former head of NATO, General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, had described Corbyn as a threat. [Last September Rasmussen said Corbyn’s “refusal to clearly state that as a possible prime minister of the UK, he would not be sure that he would defend NATO allies,” would tempt Russian President Vladimir Putin “to aggression to test the resolve of NATO.”]

Corbyn replied that he “would want to work with NATO leaders in building up an effective, sensible relationship with non-NATO countries such as Russia” to “de-escalate tensions around the world. President Trump seems to be going very much in the opposite direction.”

Marr could not conceal his hostility, declaring, “Your enthusiasm for getting around the table with people and talking to people is well known.”

He then demanded that Corbyn answer for his opposition to the deployment of 800 British troops to Russia’s border with Estonia; whether he would tell President Trump “that we will no longer be taking part in air strikes in Syria and Iraq” and whether he would agree to “take out” Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, with a drone strike.

Marr’s performance will have cemented his standing in ruling circles as a reliable hatchet man.

It should be noted that the content of the four letters to Britain’s nuclear submarine commanders is, by tradition, confidential—Only Labour’s James Callaghan has ever indicated the contents of his. And they deal only with the UK’s response to a nuclear strike by a hostile power.

But this is no longer to be tolerated. Britain’s ruling elite is set on establishing that the fundamental criteria for leading the country is a readiness to launch World War III and end all life on earth.

This was already made clear when Prime Minister Theresa May was asked during the July 2016 parliamentary debate on Trident renewal, “Are you prepared to authorise a nuclear strike that could kill hundreds of thousands of men, women and children?”

May replied firmly, even enthusiastically, “Yes.”

The response to the Marr-Corbyn interview by the Tories was to up the ante.

Defence Minister Sir Michael Fallon not only denounced Corbyn for “questioning strikes against terrorists,” “refusing to back the nuclear deterrent,” and “querying our Nato deployment” in Estonia. Fallon told the BBC’s Today programme, “In the most extreme circumstances we have made it very clear that you can’t rule out the use of nuclear weapons as a first strike.” [Emphasis added]

Significantly, Fallon took pains to praise the “brave Labour MPs” who backed the renewal of Trident and who had “corrected” Corbyn.

He was referring to the immediate response of the Labour Party to the Marr interview. Within hours, a party spokesman insisted, “The decision to renew Trident has been taken and Labour supports that.” On Monday morning, Labour’s election campaign chair Andrew Gwynne told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that renewal of Trident would “absolutely” be in the party’s manifesto and was not part of a defence review. He concluded that “Jeremy knows that Trident is Labour party policy. … Jeremy has set out his views on defence and that is absolutely that we are committed to making sure that Britain is well defended.”

Whatever Corbyn may believe as an individual, when it comes to a readiness to uphold the predatory interests of British imperialism through militarism and war, there is nothing to distinguish Labour from the Tories—even if this means pushing the nuclear button. And Corbyn is incapable of waging a genuine fight against war, because this would demand a call for an insurrection by the working class not only against the Tory government, but against his own party.

The dangers this raises for working people are acute.

Behind May’s calling a snap general election is an attempt by the ruling elite to provide a veneer of democratic legitimacy to her government’s agenda of trade and military war through hopefully securing a large majority at the expense of Labour. Only this can explain the furious campaign against Corbyn, portraying him and anyone who supports him as a threat to national security.

However, the reality is that there can be no democratic mandate for policies that are antithetical to the social interests of millions of working people and which centre on plans for possible war waged in alliance with the US—in Syria, against North Korea and even the nuclear-armed powers of Russia and China.

This agenda requires brutal state repression, as is underscored by the gang-up of ex-military chiefs against Corbyn renewing demands that he should be prevented from coming to power at all costs.

Former First Sea Lord Alan West, formerly a Labour minister responsible for security and an adviser to then Prime Minister Gordon Brown, warned ominously that Corbyn’s views will lead people in the forces to ask, “Is this chap really fully supportive of us in the military?”

Former British Commander in Afghanistan, Colonel Richard Kemp, stated, “Quite literally if Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister enacted the policies he describes, he would have blood on his hands. These comments show why he must never be elected to lead this country.”

Former chief of defence staff, Lord General Richards, said, “Jeremy Corbyn, unlike many of his distinguished predecessors in the Labour Party from Clement Attlee through Denis Healey and beyond, has demonstrated why he should not be trusted with the ultimate responsibility of Government—that of the nation’s defence and security.”