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7 points which expose Western governments’ hypocrisy on the issue of Catalan independence

Western policy towards independence movements is cynical and based on expediency rather than principle

Alexander Mercouris

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In my opinion the secession of Catalonia from Spain would be a disaster for the Catalan and Spanish people.  However there is no moral or legal principle behind the opposition to it of Western governments.   Here’s why

(1) The Western powers say that any declaration of independence by Catalonia would be contrary to international law because it is contrary to Spain’s constitution.

However in its Advisory Opinion on Kosovo the International Court of Justice, accepting legal arguments made by the US and the other major Western powers, said that declarations of independence such as the one just made by Catalonia are not contrary to international law even if they are contrary to the terms of the constitution of the country being seceded from.

79. During the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, there were numerous instances of declarations of independence, often strenuously opposed by the State from which independence was being declared. Sometimes a declaration resulted in the creation of a new State, at others it did not. In no case, however, does the practice of States as a whole suggest that the act of promulgating the declaration was regarded as contrary to international law. On the contrary, State practice during this period points clearly to the conclusion that international law contained no prohibition of declarations of independence. During the second half of the twentieth century, the international law of self-determination developed in such a way as to create a right to independence for the peoples of non-self-governing territories and peoples subject to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation (cf. Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1971, pp. 31-32, paras. 52-53; East Timor (Portugal v. Australia), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1995, p. 102, para. 29; Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 2004 (I), pp. 171-172, para. 88). A great many new States have come into existence as a result of the exercise of this right. There were, however, also instances of declarations of independence outside this context. The practice of States in these latter cases does not point to the emergence in international law of a new rule prohibiting the making of a declaration of independence in such cases.

(bold italics added)

On what grounds do the Western powers now say that Catalonia’s declaration of independence is contrary to international law when the International Court of Justice in its Advisory Opinion on Kosovo says otherwise?

Given that the Western powers themselves argued the case to the International Court of Justice which led to the Advisory Opinion on Kosovo, on what grounds do they now say that in the case of Catalonia these very same arguments which they made on behalf of Kosovo do not apply?

(2) The Western powers often say they support the right of national self-determination, which they all too often take to mean the right to secession from another state.

The Western powers have insisted on the rigorous application of this principle to the former republics of the USSR, to the former republics of Yugoslavia, to Kosovo and Montenegro when they seceded from Serbia, and to South Sudan.

In each and every one of these cases the Western powers vigorously supported the secessionist or ‘independence’ movements that achieved the independence of these countries.

However they deny this very same right of national self-determination (as they interpret it) to the Serbs of Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo, to the Abkhazians and South Ossetians who have seceded from Georgia, to the people of Crimea, to the Russian speaking people of eastern Ukraine and the Baltic States, and now to the people of Catalonia.  Why?

(3) Further to (2), the Western powers vigorously condemned the use of force by the state authorities of the USSR, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Russia and Sudan to suppress the secessionist movements in the Baltic States and in Slovenia in 1991, in Chechnya and Kosovo during the 1990s, and later the secessionist rebels in South Sudan.

However they have supported Georgia’s use of force against South Ossetia in 2008, Ukraine’s use of force against the people of the Donbass since 2014, and the Spanish authorities’ use of force in Catalonia now.

Interestingly, in both the Donbass in 2014 and in Catalonia during the current crisis the authorities of respectively Ukraine and Spain have attempted to use force to try to stop independence referendums from taking place.

Why is the use of force in the former cases to be condemned and in the latter cases to be supported?

(4) On the subject of the use of force, in the winter of 2013 to 2014 the Western powers vigorously condemned the ‘use of force’ by the Ukrainian police acting on behalf of President Yanukovych’s government, even though the protesters occupying Maidan Square in Kiev and government buildings across Ukraine whom the police were pitted against were not at all peaceful but were on the contrary extremely violent.

In the case of Catalonia during the current crisis the Western powers have by contrast supported the use of force by the Spanish authorities against Catalans who were trying to vote peacefully in a referendum called by the legally elected local government.

Why is the use of force in the latter case being supported when in the former case it was condemned?

(5) The Western powers say that the independence referendum which has just been held in Catalonia has no legal effect because it was held contrary to the laws and constitution of Spain.  The Western powers have also said the same thing in relation to the independence referendums which were held in Crimea and in the Donbass in 2014.

However in their submissions to the International Court of Justice on the subject of the declaration of independence by Kosovo, the Western powers argued that the court should disregard the fact that Kosovo’s declaration of independence in 2006 was made in disregard of Kosovo’s own legal procedures and without an independence referendum, this being allegedly something which was unimportant.

Why was following legal procedures so important in Crimea and Donbass in 2014, and why is it so important in Catalonia now, and why was it so unimportant in Kosovo when it declared independence in 2006?

(6) Why in fact is the question of constitutional legality and of legal procedure so important at all when it was completely disregarded by the Western powers in the case of the various independence declarations of the former Soviet and Yugoslav republics and in the unconstitutional stripping of power in 2014 of Ukraine’s President Yanukovych, who was ousted from the Ukrainian Presidency with Western support despite the fact that the impeachment process set out in Ukraine’s constitution was not followed?

(7) Lastly, in light of the fact that the Catalan crisis is being blamed – predictably enough – on the Russians (though the evidence for that seems to amount to no more than the fact that the Russian news agency Sputnik has retweeted some of Julian Assange’s pro-Catalan independence tweets), why condemn Russian alleged ‘interference’ in Catalonia (and in Crimea and Donbass) whilst acquiescing in Germany’s unilateral recognition in December 1991 of the independence declarations of Croatia and Slovenia, and overt support for the independence movements in those countries?

Why should Russian support for the independence movement in Crimea, and the alleged Russian support for the independence movements in Donbass and Ukraine be condemned at all, when in 1999 NATO carried out an aerial bombing campaign against Yugoslavia for 78 days in support of an independence movement in Kosovo, which ultimately led to the separation of Kosovo from Serbia, something which goes far beyond anything Russia has done or is alleged to have done?

Setting out these seven points, the reality reveals itself.

The Western powers can be relied upon to support secessionist movements and to condemn the use of force to suppress them when this happens in countries which the Western powers consider their adversaries eg. the USSR, Russia or Yugoslavia.

The Western powers can however be equally relied upon to oppose – and support or acquiesce in the use of force to suppress – secessionist movements either in one of themselves – such as Spain – or in a state allied to themselves such as Croatia or Ukraine.

There is no principle or morality involved.  It is purely a question of geopolitics and expediency.

At this point let me reiterate again that I do not support the cause of Catalan independence.

I do not find either the arguments which are made for it, or those in Catalonia who make those arguments, at all convincing. I believe it to be overwhelmingly in the interests of Spain’s and Catalonia’s people that Spain – one of the historic states and nations of Europe – should remain united.

I would add that I felt exactly the same way about the USSR, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.  I opposed the break up of all three of these countries.  Moreover nothing which has happened since to the peoples of those countries has made me change my mind or think I was wrong about doing so.  In no sense do I think that the people of these countries are living better today when they are separated from each other than would be the case if they were still living together in one country.  On the contrary I believe the opposite is the case.

I would add that I think exactly the same applies to Britain and Canada as they contend with the problems of demands for Scottish and French Canadian independence made by people in Scotland and French Canada who seem to me very like the nationalists in Catalonia.

Nor I would add did I favour the break-up of Ukraine until the extremist actions of the Maidan movement – another nationalist movement whose outlook reminds me strongly of that of the nationalists of other places, though with a militancy taken to the extreme – made Ukraine’s break-up both necessary and unavoidable.

In saying this I appreciate that there are many people who will disagree with me, either as a matter of principle or because of what they say are the facts in a given case.

My position however, whether agreed with or not, is at least simple and consistent.

That of the Western powers – cynical and based on expediency and one laced moreover with a large dollop of false moralising and hypocrisy – quite obviously is not.,

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“Foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails (Video)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx): Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails was hacked by foreign actor, and it was not Russia.

Alex Christoforou

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A stunning revelation that hardly anyone in the mainstream media is covering.

Fox News gave Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) the opportunity to explain what was going on during his questioning of Peter Strzok, when the the Texas Congressman stated that a “foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Aside from this segment on Fox News, this story is not getting any coverage, and we know why. It destroys the entire ‘Russia hacked Hillary’ narrative.

Gohmert states that this evidence is irrefutable and shows that a foreign actor, not connected to Russia in any way, intercepted and distributed Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails.

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Via Zerohedge

As we sift through the ashes of Thursday’s dumpster-fire Congressional hearing with still employed FBI agent Peter Strzok, Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller plucked out a key exchange between Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) and Strzok which revealed a yet-unknown bombshell about the Clinton email case.

Nearly all of Hillary Clinton’s emails on her homebrew server went to a foreign entity that isn’t Russia. When this was discovered by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), IG Chuck McCullough sent his investigator Frank Ruckner and an attorney to notify Strzok along with three other people about the “anomaly.”

Four separate attempts were also made to notify DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to brief him on the massive security breach, however Horowitz “never returned the call.” Recall that Horowitz concluded last month that despite Strzok’s extreme bias towards Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump – none of it translated to Strzok’s work at the FBI.

In other words; Strzok, while investigating Clinton’s email server, completely ignored the fact that most of Clinton’s emails were sent to a foreign entity – while IG Horowitz simply didn’t want to know about it.

Daily Caller reports…

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found an “anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list,” Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said during a hearing with FBI official Peter Strzok.

Gohmert continued..

“It was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia.”

Strzok admitted to meeting with Ruckner but said he couldn’t remember the “specific” content of their discussion.

“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert said, “but you were given that information and you did nothing with it.”

According to Zerohedge “Mr. Horowitz got a call four times from someone wanting to brief him about this, and he never returned the call,” Gohmert said – and Horowitz wouldn’t return the call.

And while Peter Strzok couldn’t remember the specifics of his meeting with the IG about the giant “foreign entity” bombshell, he texted this to his mistress Lisa Page when the IG discovered the “(C)” classification on several of Clinton’s emails – something the FBI overlooked:

“Holy cow … if the FBI missed this, what else was missed? … Remind me to tell you to flag for Andy [redacted] emails we (actually ICIG) found that have portion marks (C) on a couple of paras. DoJ was Very Concerned about this.”

Via Zerohedge

In November of 2017, IG McCullough – an Obama appointee – revealed to Fox News that he received pushback when he tried to tell former DNI James Clapper about the foreign entity which had Clinton’s emails and other anomalies.

Instead of being embraced for trying to expose an illegal act, seven senators including Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca) wrote a letter accusing him of politicizing the issue.

“It’s absolutely irrelevant whether something is marked classified, it is the character of the information,” he said. Fox News reports…

McCullough said that from that point forward, he received only criticism and an “adversarial posture” from Congress when he tried to rectify the situation.

“I expected to be embraced and protected,” he said, adding that a Hill staffer “chided” him for failing to consider the “political consequences” of the information he was blowing the whistle on.

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Donald Trump plays good cop and bad cop with a weak Theresa May (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 55.

Alex Christoforou

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US President Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK was momentous, not for its substance, but rather for its sheer entertainment value.

Trump started his trip to the United Kingdom blasting Theresa May for her inability to negotiate a proper Brexit deal with the EU.  Trump ended his visit holding hands with the UK Prime Minister during a press conference where the most ‘special relationship’ between the two allies was once again reaffirmed.

Protests saw giant Trump “baby balloons” fly over London’s city center, as Trump played was his own good cop and bad cop to the UK PM, outside London at the Chequers…often times leaving May’s head spinning.

Even as Trump has left London, he remains front and center in the mind of Theresa May, who has now stated that Trump advised her to “sue” the European Union to resolve the tense negotiations over Brexit.

Trump had mentioned to reporters on Friday at a joint press conference with Theresa May that he had given the British leader a suggestion that she found too “brutal.”

Asked Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show what that suggestion was, May: “He told me I should sue the EU. Not go into negotiation, sue them.” May added…

“What the president also said at that press conference was `Don’t walk away. Don’t walk away from the negotiations. Then you’re stuck.”‘

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris summarize what was a state visit like no other, as Trump trolled the UK PM from beginning to end, and left London knowing that he got the better of a weakened British Prime Minister, who may not survive in office past next week.

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Via CNBC

It wasn’t exactly clear what Trump meant. The revelation came after explosive and undiplomatic remarks Trump made this week about May’s leadership — especially her handling of the Brexit negotiations — as he made his first official visit to Britain.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper published Thursday — just as May was hosting Trump at a lavish black-tie dinner — Trump said the British leader’s approach likely “killed” chances of a free-trade deal with the United States. He said he had told May how to conduct Brexit negotiations, “but she didn’t listen to me.”

He also praised May’s rival, Boris Johnson, who quit last week as foreign secretary to protest May’s Brexit plans. Trump claimed Johnson would make a “great prime minister.”

The comments shocked many in Britain — even May’s opponents — and threatened to undermine May’s already fragile hold on power. Her Conservative government is deeply split between supporters of a clean break with the EU and those who want to keep close ties with the bloc, Britain’s biggest trading partner.

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Deep State poster boy Peter Strzok gives bizarre testimony that goes viral (Video)

The face of the Deep State.

Alex Christoforou

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If you were not convinced that the Deep State exists, then look no further than Peter Strzok’s bizarre, yet revealing, congressional testimony, showcasing the arrogance and smugness of a powerful FBI agent who worked diligently to push a fake Trump-Russia narrative onto the American public.

Via Zerohedge

While Peter Strzok’s marathon Congressional testimony was full of bickering, chaos and drama – mostly between members of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees – a clip of the disgraced FBI agent’s seemingly giddy reaction after answering a question is creeping people out.

Some have suggested that Strzok’s reaction was “Duper’s delight” – a hidden smirk that slips out at an inappropriate moment when a liar celebrates a successful manipulation.

Watching Peter Strzok, its hard, if not impossible to believe that this man is not a psychopath, who hated Trump so much that he was willing to forward a collusion story that has cost American taxpayers millions, and torn American society apart.

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The video clip even had Donald Trump Jr retweeting it, as he labeled Strzok “the creepiest person in America.”

Via RT

One particular moment from Peter Strzok’s raucous congressional hearing left Twitter users confounded and disturbed, even prompting Donald Trump Jr to label the FBI agent “the creepiest person in America.”

Strzok faced the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees on Thursday to answer questions about his conduct during the 2016 investigations into Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

The lengthy hearing quickly descended into a partisan shouting match, as Republicans and Democrats interrupted each other’s questions, heckling or applauding Strzok.

Strzok’s peculiar reaction to one question caught the eye of viewers and many took to Twitter to confirm that their eyes weren’t deceiving them.

Strzok’s facial expressions were also noticed by the congressmen in the room and prompted one of the most dramatic moments of the hearing when Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) accused Strzok of outright lying.

“I can’t help but wonder when I see you looking there with a little smirk; how many times did you look so innocent into your wife’s eyes and lie to her about Lisa Page,” Gohmert told Strzok, referring to the agent’s extramarital affair with his former colleague Lisa Page, with whom he exchanged anti-Trump text messages. Gohmert’s comment sparked vociferous objections from Democrats.

The hearing evoked a significant reaction, with many describing it as a farce. Former New York mayor and current attorney to US President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, labelled it a “disgrace” and said it “taints the entire Mueller witch hunt.”

“President Trump is being investigated by people who possess pathological hatred for him. All the results of the investigation are ‘fruit of the poison tree’ and should be dismissed,” he added.

Democrats seemed to agree with that sentiment, as California Congressman Ted Lieu said it was “a stupid and ridiculous hearing.”

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