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Skripal and Syria… The Imperative of Criminalizing Russia

The reckless haste by which the British authorities are accusing Russia over the Skripal affair, can plausibly be explained by the urgency of the NATO powers to free up their military plans on Syria.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham of the Strategic Culture Foundation:


There is a direct link between Britain’s sensational allegations against Russia in the Skripal affair and NATO’s losing covert war in Syria.

That’s not just the opinion of critical observers. Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations made the explicit link when she called an “emergency meeting” of the Security Council earlier this week.

The Security Council meeting was convened only hours after British counter-terrorism police released video images claiming to identify two Russian men, whom it said were responsible for the alleged poison assassination attempt on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in England earlier this year.

The council meeting also followed swiftly on the heels of British Prime Minister Theresa May telling her parliament that the culprits were Russian military intelligence officers acting on orders from the Kremlin. May did not give supporting evidence. It was bald assertion.

In this short clip, Britain’s envoy to the UN Karen Pierce tells reporters the rationale of the British government in convening the emergency session at the Security Council. The envoy reveals more than she intended.

She says that the United Kingdom and its allies would “continue to contest the Russian view of the world in which their state operatives can carry out these sorts of attacks [in England] and can encourage and support the Syrian authorities in their attacks on civilians.”

Pierce added: “So this is actually a continuum, if you like, of contesting that view of the world where you can act outside the norms of international rules and civilized behavior.”

Evidently, the British government is trying to criminalize both Russia and Syria at the same time, over the same alleged crime – unlawful use of chemical weapons.

That would account for why the British authorities have been unduly hasty in accusing the Russian state of culpability in the Skripal affair. By undermining and smearing Russia as a “pariah state”, it is then possible to stifle Russia’s crucial military support for Syria. This is especially urgent given the juncture in the Syria war where NATO-backed militants are staring at final defeat.

The US, Britain and France have all recently threatened to use military power against the Syrian government forces “if” the latter launch chemical weapons attacks. That of course is a cynical pretext for the NATO states to find a legal cover for aggression against Syria.

The allegations of “imminent” chemical weapon use by the Syrian government are also baseless since Damascus no longer possesses any such munitions, or indeed has any military need for such weapons.

What the Skripal affair is therefore trying to do is inculcate in the public mind that Russia has no scruples about using chemical weapons to kill people, which in turn reinforces the notion that Moscow’s Syrian ally also has no scruples about killing people with toxic materials.

The NATO claims of Syrian national forces using chemical weapons have been shown to be false. In recent days, Russian envoy to the UN Vasily Nebenzia demanded that the US present details of a Pentagon target list of chemical weapons sites in Syria. The US balked.

By contrast, there is a healthy skepticism among the Western public about official allegations against the Syrian government. Pink Floyd’s legendary singer-songwriter Roger Waters speaks for many when he recently called out the NATO-backed so-called rescue group, the White Helmets, as being implicated in orchestrating chemical attacks for propaganda purposes.

In order to overcome the propaganda problem of demonizing the Syrian government and giving itself a pretext for launching military strikes on Syria, the NATO powers therefore have to boost their flagging “false flag” narrative of chemical weapons responsibility.

By criminalizing Russia for allegedly using chemical weapons “on the streets of Britain”, it is a ploy to augment the dubious narrative criminalizing Syria.

Here is British envoy Pierce speaking again: “The reason the Security Council has not been able to act on CW [chemical weapon] use in Syria is because of Russia. There is a circularity here. Russia is the key to upholding the universal ban on CW use. And the world would be better if Russia would join us in making that ban absolutely watertight.”

Britain’s use of the word “circularity” is certainly apt – albeit for a completely different reason. The actual circular logic is to criminalize both Russia and Syria over chemical weapons. Russia, it is calculated, will then not have the authority to use its veto power at the Security Council in order to prevent the three NATO powers on the council from launching their much-desired military attack on Syria to salvage their losing covert war.

The reckless haste by which the British authorities are accusing Russia over the Skripal affair – a haste which makes a mockery of legal due process and diplomatic norms – can plausibly be explained by the urgency of the NATO powers to free up their military plans on Syria.

How can the release of video images allegedly of two Russian nationals in Britain be possibly attributed to the Kremlin? Two Russian men – if indeed that is genuine information – are supposed to be “compelling evidence” that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an assassination. It is a preposterous leap of imagination and a travesty of legal process, but it is revealing of an execrable British prejudice of Russophobia.

One possible theory in the Skripal affair is that the two alleged Russian men were members of organized crime. Reports emerged this week that former Russian intelligence agent Sergei Skripal was working with Spanish state security services to crackdown on Russian underworld gangs. It is possible that the gangs uncovered Skripal’s meddling in their illicit business model, and simply sent a couple of heavies over to Britain to deal with him. But how such a hypothetical account can be twisted by the British authorities to be “proof” of Kremlin involvement is a telling question.

It is significant that the British authorities have flatly refused requests from the Russian side for information to identify the alleged Skripal hitmen. For example, British regulations require fingerprints to be submitted by all visitors to the country. Why have the British refused to give fingerprints to Russian authorities which could then lead to an identification and perhaps explanation of the two alleged suspects?

The British don’t want to know the truth, because their official narrative of criminalizing the Russian state is the imperative one. And that is because of the urgency for NATO to find a legal, political cover for its military aggression against Syria.

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TjoeWayne BlowTheCelotajsHideo WatanabeCicero Recent comment authors
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Norwegian
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Thanks for following up on this case. I made the original GIF of the 2 russians at Gatwick airport mentioned in this Duran article http://theduran.com/gatwick-airport-timestamp-cover-up-or-much-ado-about-nothing-video/ I have since reprocessed the same 2 images and produced a better animation, see https://postimg.cc/image/pw7t667ch/ In my opinion, it shows the 2 russions entering the same “tunnel” at different times, implying the evidence was fabricated by the UK authorities, since the time stamps are identical. Notice the metal bars are different on each side. This was obfuscated by image mirroring and rotation. In the GIF processing, one image has been flipped horizontally and rotated, then… Read more »

Normski
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Normski

USA, UK and France are getting really desperate to bomb Syria for any reason they can think of – legal or not!.

a.f.
Guest
a.f.

Russia destroyed Syria, now the West must destroy The Russia

voza0db
Guest
voza0db

If only you were in the piece of land that Russia “destroyed”!

Sean
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Sean

Moron!

Cicero
Guest
Cicero

Are you deluded – it wasnt Russia that imported scores of jihadis to overthrow the government. Russia with Iran & hezbollah have saved the country from what would have been another Libya. US/Israel/Saudis/Turks bear a lot of the responsibility.

Tjoe
Guest
Tjoe

Israel trolls have found Duran again….here we go with the hate and division.

Hideo Watanabe
Guest

Heather Nauert said this yesterday and I took it as a cue to release the staged video by White Helmet. My question is whether FUKUS can really attack Syria or not. I don’t think it will happen because Israel would fall into the most vulnerable situation. To take Israel as a hostage would be a viable strategy for Russia, Iran and Syria to prevent further possible escalation. Israel could be a piece maker to save the face of all parties. “Next, and this is also related to Syria, I’d like to highlight this: The Assad regime and Russia continue to… Read more »

Wayne Blow
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Wayne Blow

You call these scum-bags “heroes”, you are no better than this pile of “shit” GO FU%K yourself ash”hole, like to meet you, “pig slime” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TheCelotajs
Guest
TheCelotajs

What I want to know if this is a picture on them in public from a CCTV Camera where is the Date and Timestamp at? All CCTV Cameras have a Date and Timestamp located some where on every frame and some even have a GPS location on them also.

Tjoe
Guest
Tjoe

I notice in the interview of them that they repeat several times that it was sleeting and snowing, so they cut their visit short. Is this picture real…there is no snow and I don’t see it sleeting…or are they in a building?

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Clinton-Yeltsin docs shine a light on why Deep State hates Putin (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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Bill Clinton and America ruled over Russia and Boris Yeltsin during the 1990s. Yeltsin showed little love for Russia and more interest in keeping power, and pleasing the oligarchs around him.

Then came Vladimir Putin, and everything changed.

Nearly 600 pages of memos and transcripts, documenting personal exchanges and telephone conversations between Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin, were made public by the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Dating from January 1993 to December 1999, the documents provide a historical account of a time when US relations with Russia were at their best, as Russia was at its weakest.

On September 8, 1999, weeks after promoting the head of the Russia’s top intelligence agency to the post of prime minister, Russian President Boris Yeltsin took a phone call from U.S. President Bill Clinton.

The new prime minister was unknown, rising to the top of the Federal Security Service only a year earlier.

Yeltsin wanted to reassure Clinton that Vladimir Putin was a “solid man.”

Yeltsin told Clinton….

“I would like to tell you about him so you will know what kind of man he is.”

“I found out he is a solid man who is kept well abreast of various subjects under his purview. At the same time, he is thorough and strong, very sociable. And he can easily have good relations and contact with people who are his partners. I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the nearly 600 pages of transcripts documenting the calls and personal conversations between then U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, released last month. A strong Clinton and a very weak Yeltsin underscore a warm and friendly relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

Then Vladimir Putin came along and decided to lift Russia out of the abyss, and things changed.

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Here are five must-read Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges from with the 600 pages released by the Clinton Library.

Via RT

Clinton sends ‘his people’ to get Yeltsin elected

Amid unceasing allegations of nefarious Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, the Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges reveal how the US government threw its full weight behind Boris – in Russian parliamentary elections as well as for the 1996 reelection campaign, which he approached with 1-digit ratings.

For example, a transcript from 1993 details how Clinton offered to help Yeltsin in upcoming parliamentary elections by selectively using US foreign aid to shore up support for the Russian leader’s political allies.

“What is the prevailing attitude among the regional leaders? Can we do something through our aid package to send support out to the regions?” a concerned Clinton asked.

Yeltsin liked the idea, replying that “this kind of regional support would be very useful.” Clinton then promised to have “his people” follow up on the plan.

In another exchange, Yeltsin asks his US counterpart for a bit of financial help ahead of the 1996 presidential election: “Bill, for my election campaign, I urgently need for Russia a loan of $2.5 billion,” he said. Yeltsin added that he needed the money in order to pay pensions and government wages – obligations which, if left unfulfilled, would have likely led to his political ruin. Yeltsin also asks Clinton if he could “use his influence” to increase the size of an IMF loan to assist him during his re-election campaign.

Yeltsin questions NATO expansion

The future of NATO was still an open question in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and conversations between Clinton and Yeltsin provide an illuminating backdrop to the current state of the curiously offensive ‘defensive alliance’ (spoiler alert: it expanded right up to Russia’s border).

In 1995, Yeltsin told Clinton that NATO expansion would lead to “humiliation” for Russia, noting that many Russians were fearful of the possibility that the alliance could encircle their country.

“It’s a new form of encirclement if the one surviving Cold War bloc expands right up to the borders of Russia. Many Russians have a sense of fear. What do you want to achieve with this if Russia is your partner? They ask. I ask it too: Why do you want to do this?” Yeltsin asked Clinton.

As the documents show, Yeltsin insisted that Russia had “no claims on other countries,” adding that it was “unacceptable” that the US was conducting naval drills near Crimea.

“It is as if we were training people in Cuba. How would you feel?” Yeltsin asked. The Russian leader then proposed a “gentleman’s agreement” that no former Soviet republics would join NATO.

Clinton refused the offer, saying: “I can’t make the specific commitment you are asking for. It would violate the whole spirit of NATO. I’ve always tried to build you up and never undermine you.”

NATO bombing of Yugoslavia turns Russia against the West

Although Clinton and Yeltsin enjoyed friendly relations, NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia tempered Moscow’s enthusiastic partnership with the West.

“Our people will certainly from now have a bad attitude with regard to America and with NATO,” the Russian president told Clinton in March 1999. “I remember how difficult it was for me to try and turn the heads of our people, the heads of the politicians towards the West, towards the United States, but I succeeded in doing that, and now to lose all that.”

Yeltsin urged Clinton to renounce the strikes, for the sake of “our relationship” and “peace in Europe.”

“It is not known who will come after us and it is not known what will be the road of future developments in strategic nuclear weapons,” Yeltsin reminded his US counterpart.

But Clinton wouldn’t cede ground.

“Milosevic is still a communist dictator and he would like to destroy the alliance that Russia has built up with the US and Europe and essentially destroy the whole movement of your region toward democracy and go back to ethnic alliances. We cannot allow him to dictate our future,” Clinton told Yeltsin.

Yeltsin asks US to ‘give Europe to Russia’

One exchange that has been making the rounds on Twitter appears to show Yeltsin requesting that Europe be “given” to Russia during a meeting in Istanbul in 1999. However, it’s not quite what it seems.

“I ask you one thing,” Yeltsin says, addressing Clinton. “Just give Europe to Russia. The US is not in Europe. Europe should be in the business of Europeans.”

However, the request is slightly less sinister than it sounds when put into context: The two leaders were discussing missile defense, and Yeltsin was arguing that Russia – not the US – would be a more suitable guarantor of Europe’s security.

“We have the power in Russia to protect all of Europe, including those with missiles,” Yeltsin told Clinton.

Clinton on Putin: ‘He’s very smart’

Perhaps one of the most interesting exchanges takes place when Yeltsin announces to Clinton his successor, Vladimir Putin.

In a conversation with Clinton from September 1999, Yeltsin describes Putin as “a solid man,” adding: “I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

A month later, Clinton asks Yeltsin who will win the Russian presidential election.

“Putin, of course. He will be the successor to Boris Yeltsin. He’s a democrat, and he knows the West.”

“He’s very smart,” Clinton remarks.

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New Satellite Images Reveal Aftermath Of Israeli Strikes On Syria; Putin Accepts Offer to Probe Downed Jet

The images reveal the extent of destruction in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport.

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Via Zerohedge


An Israeli satellite imaging company has released satellite photographs that reveal the extent of Monday night’s attack on multiple locations inside Syria.

ImageSat International released them as part of an intelligence report on a series of Israeli air strikes which lasted for over an hour and resulted in Syrian missile defense accidentally downing a Russian surveillance plane that had 15 personnel on board.

The images reveal the extent of destruction on one location struck early in attack in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport. On Tuesday Israel owned up to carrying out the attack in a rare admission.

Syrian official SANA news agency reported ten people injured in the attacks carried out of military targets near three major cities in Syria’s north.

The Times of Israel, which first reported the release of the new satellite images, underscores the rarity of Israeli strikes happening that far north and along the coast, dangerously near Russian positions:

The attack near Latakia was especially unusual because the port city is located near a Russian military base, the Khmeimim Air Force base. The base is home to Russian jet planes and an S-400 aerial defense system. According to Arab media reports, Israel has rarely struck that area since the Russians arrived there.

The Russian S-400 system was reportedly active during the attack, but it’s difficult to confirm or assess the extent to which Russian missiles responded during the strikes.

Three of the released satellite images show what’s described as an “ammunition warehouse” that appears to have been completely destroyed.

The IDF has stated their airstrikes targeted a Syrian army facility “from which weapons-manufacturing systems were supposed to be transferred to Iran and Hezbollah.” This statement came after the IDF expressed “sorrow” for the deaths of Russian airmen, but also said responsibility lies with the “Assad regime.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to express regret over the incident while offering to send his air force chief to Russia with a detailed report — something which Putin agreed to.

According to Russia’s RT News, “Major-General Amikam Norkin will arrive in Moscow on Thursday, and will present the situation report on the incident, including the findings of the IDF inquiry regarding the event and the pre-mission information the Israeli military was so reluctant to share in advance.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry condemned the “provocative actions by Israel as hostile” and said Russia reserves “the right to an adequate response” while Putin has described the downing of the Il-20 recon plane as likely the result of a “chain of tragic accidental circumstances” and downplayed the idea of a deliberate provocation, in contradiction of the initial statement issued by his own defense ministry.

Pro-government Syrians have reportedly expressed frustration this week that Russia hasn’t done more to respond militarily to Israeli aggression; however, it appears Putin may be sidestepping yet another trap as it’s looking increasingly likely that Israel’s aims are precisely geared toward provoking a response in order to allow its western allies to join a broader attack on Damascus that could result in regime change.

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“Transphobic” Swedish Professor May Lose Job After Noting Biological Differences Between Sexes

A university professor in Sweden is under investigation after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded”

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Via Zerohedge


A university professor in Sweden is under investigation for “anti-feminism” and “transphobia” after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded” and that genders cannot be regarded as “social constructs alone,” reports Academic Rights Watch.

For his transgression, Germund Hesslow – a professor of neuroscience at Lund University – who holds dual PhDs in philosophy and neurophysiology, may lose his job – telling RT that a “full investigation” has been ordered, and that there “have been discussions about trying to stop the lecture or get rid of me, or have someone else give the lecture or not give the lecture at all.”

“If you answer such a question you are under severe time pressure, you have to be extremely brief — and I used wording which I think was completely innocuous, and that apparently the student didn’t,” Hesslow said.

Hesslow was ordered to attend a meeting by Christer Larsson, chairman of the program board for medical education, after a female student complained that Hesslow had a “personal anti-feminist agenda.” He was asked to distance himself from two specific comments; that gay women have a “male sexual orientation” and that the sexual orientation of transsexuals is “a matter of definition.”

The student’s complaint reads in part (translated):

I have also heard from senior lecturers that Germund Hesslow at the last lecture expressed himself transfobically. In response to a question of transexuallism, he said something like “sex change is a fly”. Secondly, it is outrageous because there may be students during the lecture who are themselves exposed to transfobin, but also because it may affect how later students in their professional lives meet transgender people. Transpersonals already have a high level of overrepresentation in suicide statistics and there are already major shortcomings in the treatment of transgender in care, should not it be countered? How does this kind of statement coincide with the university’s equal treatment plan? What has this statement given for consequences? What has been done for this to not be repeated? –Academic Rights Watch

After being admonished, Hesslow refused to distance himself from his comments, saying that he had “done enough” already and didn’t have to explain and defend his choice of words.

At some point, one must ask for a sense of proportion among those involved. If it were to become acceptable for students to record lectures in order to find compromising formulations and then involve faculty staff with meetings and long letters, we should let go of the medical education altogether,” Hesslow said in a written reply to Larsson.

He also rejected the accusation that he had a political agenda – stating that his only agenda was to let scientific factnot new social conventions, dictate how he teaches his courses.

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