Saturday, 17 March 2018

French Ruling Elite Brays For War in Syria Amid US-UK Threats Against Russia

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By Alex Lantier
15 March 2018
As British Prime Minister Theresa May moves to cut off relations with Russia after the mysterious poisoning of former British spy Sergei Skripal, a debate over war policy is erupting in the French ruling elite.
This debate constitutes a warning to youth and workers in France and internationally. As French President Emmanuel Macron pushes for the draft, NATO is creating conditions for wars in which large draftee armies could be deployed. And as May’s threats show, events are moving towards not only war in the Middle East, but also a clash with a nuclear-armed opponent, Russia.
The debate in France also points to political issues behind May’s decision to escalate a confrontation with Russia before any serious investigation of the Skripal affair takes place. Behind the rush to judgment in this as-yet unclarified case, powerful factions of the European ruling class are working out how to mount a military escalation aimed at Russia, Turkey and Syria.
The first signal came on Monday evening from ex-President François Hollande, who pushed for a NATO war with Syria in 2013 despite Russian opposition, and then had to make a humiliating climb-down after Washington decided not to attack. Having abandoned public life last year, after taking the unprecedented decision not to run for re-election due to his unpopularity, he emerged from retirement to call for war in Le Monde.
Hollande laid out a stunning list of targets. Implicitly taking Macron’s policy to task, he warned about Russia and its ties to Turkey and Syria: “Russia has been rearming for years now, and if it is threatening, it must be threatened. By allowing Ankara to bomb our Kurdish allies in Syria, Moscow is also trying to divide NATO. Barely a year ago, [Russian President] Vladimir Putin could not find harsh enough words for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now, these two countries have agreed on a partition of Syria.”
Hollande stressed that what is at stake is not just Syria, but the world order and French imperialism’s position in it: “The issue is how to respond to Vladimir Putin, not so much how to respond to [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad. … The West must realize the true scope of the danger.” Implicitly referring to Macron’s calls for dialog with Putin, Hollande added that “talking to Putin” should not mean “letting him advance his interests unchecked,” and that since Trump is unpredictable, “it is up to France, Europe, NATO to take action.”
Beyond Russia, he called for enforcing no-fly zones in Syria against Syrian and Turkish planes in Ghouta and Afrin—that is, shooting them down if they were in these areas—asking, “What sort of ally is Turkey to launch strikes against our own allies?” Targeting Macron, he added, “If I supported the Kurds in context of our coalition, it is not to leave them in their current situation. If I was very hard on Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and I was consistently hard, it was not to let him liquidate political opposition and massacre his own people.”
Hollande’s comments drew a bitter retort from Macron defending his record since his election: “Since last May, France has pursued a consistent and coherent policy, without being complicit but trying to be effective, by restoring dialog. These last years in Syria, has the absence of full dialog with Russia allowed us to progress further?”
Without naming Hollande, Macron attacked him for calling for ground war when Hollande did not launch one himself in 2013: “We must be clear, France will not intervene militarily on the ground in Syria. I say that very firmly. And I believe some people who are giving lessons today took the same decisions.”
Nonetheless, Macron soon found himself facing an advocate of confrontation with Turkey in his own cabinet. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who was Hollande’s defence minister, criticized Turkey’s intervention in Afrin, declaring: “The struggle against the Islamic State is the principal reason for our military intervention in the Levant. It is a national security priority, and we fear that the Turkish action there will ultimately weaken the pressure on the remaining IS forces in Syria.”
And the Journal de Dimanche called for a “European response” to the Skripal case, pressing for the European Union (EU) to adopt London’s line against Moscow. Paris and Berlin, it wrote, “discuss rather ‘frankly’ with Vladimir Putin, and cannot afford to remain silent. We cannot let Russia sink deeper rifts into the EU with such behavior. Italy, Greece, Hungary and other smaller countries are being wooed by Moscow to be more indulgent. If Europe wants to defend itself, and not only on cyber or energy issues, it must do so in unity.”
A bitter battle is raging in the ruling elite. Yesterday, right-wing ex-prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin criticised May and warned of the potential for military escalation.
He said, “I believe Mrs Theresa May went too far in this reaction before having any results of the inquiry, before having very precise elements to make a firm accusation. … When Mrs Theresa May appeals to British public opinion in order to alert it, to say ‘If we are attacked we will respond,’ naturally the Russians will answer, ‘If you respond, we will respond to your response’. That is called escalation, and that is what is dangerous.”
Youth and workers must be warned: none of the politicians in this debate want peace. All are willing to send masses of people to fight overseas. Macron is calling for a return to the draft and stepped-up war in Mali; as prime minister, Raffarin oversaw the early stages of France’s intervention in Ivory Coast and participation in the NATO occupation of Afghanistan. They disagree not over whether to wage imperialist wars, but over the best strategy to wage them.
The debate reflects bitter conflicts between Washington and the EU over US threats of trade war against EU products and plans for an EU army independent from NATO and Washington.
Hollande’s criticisms reflect the views of sections of the ruling class concerned that Macron’s plan for a German-French axis leading the EU antagonizes allies like Britain and the United States. Macron speaks for those that view US policy against Russia, like the threat of arming Ukrainian militias to attack Russian-backed forces in east Ukraine, as very dangerous, and believe the EU must be able to take independent military action.
The obstacles to Macron’s plans for a Berlin-Paris axis are rapidly coming into focus. They will face a test later this week, when officials of Germany’s newly-installed Grand Coalition government visit Paris for talks.
Macron spoke to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung yesterday, appealing for aid from Berlin. “If Germany does not move, part of my plans are condemned to failure,” he told the FAZ. “We totally depend the one on the other. I do not believe for a second that a European project can be crowned with success without or against Germany.” Macron also made clear that an EU led by Berlin and Paris would be a militaristic, anti-refugee bloc, declaring: “We cannot each year bring in hundreds of thousands of migrants.”

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Novichok And Theresa May’s ’45 Minute Moment’

15th March 2018 / United Kingdom
Theresa May's '45 Minute Moment'
By TruePublica: On the 8th March we reported that the story of double agent Sergei Skripal was not what it seemed at first sight. We reported that there was a major difference between Alexander Litvinenko and Sergei Skripal, which is not being reflected in the media.  Skripal is a traitor, a double agent who sold the identities of hundreds of Russian agents abroad to the UK, in exchange for hard cash. He is even a traitor to Britain. He may very well have caused the deaths of some of those Russian agents operating in conflict zones. Skripal had many, many enemies.

We also reported unlike the mainstream media (at the time) that Nerve agents including Sarin and VX are manufactured by the British Government in Porton Down, just 8 miles from where Sergei Skripal was attacked with a so-called Novichok.
Today, we have reported that an ex UK Ambassador has confirmed that the Novichok Story Is Indeed Another Iraqi WMD Scam

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On 12th March we exposed what Skripal did for a living with confirmation from a former Russian intelligence officer who now lives in exile in Britain. He said Skripal was still working with Russian military intelligence.
 “You have a Russian military intelligence officer working in the Russian diplomatic service, living after retirement in the U.K. working in cybersecurity and every month going to the [Russian] embassy to meet military intelligence officers.” 

Full work up – Just like Blair’s Iraq

Security minister Ben Wallace, who mentioned Britain’s “powerful allies” said the Government was ready to respond with “the full force of the United Kingdom’s resources”
There are lots of things that the United Kingdom can do,” Mr Wallace threatened.  “It is a powerful country with a powerful economy, powerful allies, powerful military and powerful other capabilities – and we shall look at all those.”
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson told MPs: “Vladimir Putin has made it quite clear that he has hostile intent towards this country. We have to wake up to that threat and we have to respond to it.”

THE 45-minute doom dossier lie promoted by many all of the mainstream newspapers in Britain prior to the attack of Iraq
The FT reports that the US believes that Russia is responsible for the nerve agent attack in Britain. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wades in, just prior to being sacked by the chaotic Trump administration.  He told reporters the attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal “clearly came from Russia” and “would have consequences.”
Nikki Haley, the permanent US representative to the UN – “has blamed Russia for the attempted murder of double agent Sergei Skripal, saying it stands in “absolute solidarity” with Britain on the matter.”

The mainstream media across the West are mobilised into frantic propaganda mode. The headlines are predictable

Evening Standard: Rex Tillerson says Russia is ‘clearly’ behind spy poisoning and ‘must face serious consequences’
BBC: Highly likely Moscow behind attack, says Theresa May

The original 45 Minute Claim

In 2002 Tony Blair and his government was looking for a valid reason to join with the United States to invade Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
An intelligence report published No. 10’s full approval stated that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction which posed a clear and present danger to the West. The report headlined the claim that Iraq could deploy and activate chemical weapons within 45 minutes of an order being given.
The result, Britain went to war in March 2003 with the general public and the rest of parliament hoodwinked. The document was eventually called “the dodgy dossier” or “September Dossier.” After the war, nobody ever found any weapons of mass destruction. It then became obvious that the war and its terrible consequences that included a million Iraqi casualties had been justified by a government whose prime minister, Tony Blair was prepared to do anything for his own aims regardless.

Unauthorised war

Fast forward to August 2013 – MPs reject UK military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government to deter the use of chemical weapons. David Cameron said he would respect the defeat of a government motion by 285-272, ruling out joining US-led strikes. And then didn’t. The MoD admitted UK personnel were already carrying out Syrian bombings, despite Parliament not authorising action.
November 2015: David Cameron has signalled he will ask MPs to approve Britain launching air strikes on Isis targets in Syria by Christmas. George Osborne confirmed that the cost of extending air strikes against Islamic State into Syria would run in the “low tens of millions of pounds”. It has since spent nearly £2billion of taxpayers money who have not given a mandate for more war in the Middle East. Search the Internet and poll after poll reveals that the British public are not in favour of more conflict in the Middle East.

America, Israel, Syria and Russia

Washington (CNN) March 13: America’s top military officer, Gen. Joseph Dunford, spoke with his Russian counterpart Gen. Valery Gerasimov, on Tuesday, the same day Gerasimov threatened to target US forces in Syria should they retaliate against the regime’s use of chemical weapons.
Gerasimov warned the US against any retaliatory strikes over Syria’s chemical weapons use, claiming that anti-regime rebels were planning to stage a regime chemical weapons attack and saying any US strike against Damascus would threaten Russian troops.
Craig Murray – ex British Ambassador: “while I am struggling to see a Russian motive for damaging its own international reputation so grieviously, Israel has a clear motivation for damaging the Russian reputation so grieviously. Russian action in Syria has undermined the Israeli position in Syria and Lebanon in a fundamental way, and Israel has every motive for damaging Russia’s international position by an attack aiming to leave the blame on Russia.
Will the US and Israel attack Syria together? The Kuwaiti daily Al-Jarida on Saturday reported that the US and Israel are working on a plan to attack Syria. According to the report, Jerusalem and Washington are disappointed in Russia’s involvement. Sources close to Washington told Al-Jarida that the Trump administration may present such an attack as a response to claims of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s recent use of chemical weapons.

Heightened conflict in Syria

Israel have grown weary of the Syrian conflict. They see Iran and Russia as a threat. America is weary of the Syrian conflict. Donald Trump wants this conflict over as soon as. The war in Syria has been raging now for seven years with no end in sight.
With Iran and Russia supported by China essentially fighting the US led coalition forces, the tension has now reached boiling point and with so many international forces operating in such close proximity, the danger now exists that any mistake could trigger a larger conflict outside Syria.
A final push to end the conflict begins a very dangerous stage. Allies on both sides have been called to arms.

Is This Theresa May’s 45 minute moment

Knowing that David Cameron failed to obtain parliamentary approval for yet more war in Syria, Theresa May needs to provide the reason for entering the fray with none other than – a Donald Trump who has Britain over a barrel with a trade deal.
In the meantime, Theresa May herself is in big trouble back home. Our report just two days ago “The emerging picture of a desperate government” highlighted how a desperate government was at work to save itself from a chaotic implosion.
We said – The evidence that Novichok can only be from a state laboratory is false. Just like Tony Blair’s dodgy dossier, Novichok is not what the government is telling us.
We wrote “From cabinet chaos, bitter feuds and political backstabbing, where even the pro Conservative  Times newspaper warned recently that Theresa May’s government “has shown signs of tipping into anarchy.”
We reported that – “Lord Bridges, former Brexit minister, was urging Mrs May to get a grip as civil servants, desperately seeking some kind of political lead, have tried to fill the policy vacuum as the government is engulfed in crisis.”
Theresa May’s government is in chaos, over a barrel with America, whilst Brexit negotiations with the EU27 go from dire to disastrous.
We said that given that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has taken the view the evidence for the existence of “Novichoks” is dubious, if the UK actually has a sample of one it is extremely important the UK presents that sample to the them. Indeed the UK has a binding treaty obligation to present that sample to OPCW. Russia has – unreported by the corporate media – entered a demand at the OPCW that Britain submit a sample of the Salisbury material for international analysis.
Yet Britain refuses to submit it to the OPCW. Why? Because if indeed it was in possession of that sample – it would have been presented as irrefutable proof.
We said three days ago that “it is just as likely that this is Theresa May’s “45 minute attack warning” – just as it was for Tony Blair, which was one of the most fraudulent claims ever made by the British government, supported of course, by the mainstream media.”
In the meantime, just three weeks ago Reuters reported that “Britain would consider joining U.S. military strikes against the Syrian government” as did all the other corporate news outlets. Is Britain off to war to save the government from all sorts of disasters back at home? Challenging a Prime Minister in the midst of an international conflict is always difficult – just look at the vitriol thrown at Jeremy Corbyn for doing so yesterday – who was proved right in the face of the same accusations with Blair.

Lastly, some let’s not forget some awful facts and figures about the disaster in Syria.

  • More than half of Syria’s 20 million, pre-war population has been displaced.
  • 5.5 million Syrians have fled abroad — 95% of them in just five countries (Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt), according to humanitarian groups.
  • 400,000 civilians are trapped in opposition-held suburbs of Syria’s capital Damascus.
  • Of Syria’s estimated 10 million children, 8.6 million are in dire need of assistance, up from about a half-million after the first year of war. Nearly 6 million children are displaced or living as refugees, and about 2.5 million are out of school.
  • About a third of Syria’s housing and half of its educational and medical facilities have been destroyed, according to a 2017 World Bank report.

Watch this vial while I talk a load of bollocks

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Britains Porton Down – A Gruesome Secretive Past

16th March 2018 / United Kingdom

‘Since 1916 more than 25,000 servicemen took part in tests at Porton Down, where scientists developed chemical weapons and protective equipment. It is the longest-running programme of chemical warfare tests on humans in the world.’ (source)

It is home to two UK Government facilities: a site of the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) – known for over 100 years as one of the UK’s most secretive and controversial military research facilities, occupying 7,000 acres
The laboratory’s remit was to conduct research and development regarding chemical weapons agents used by the British armed forces in the First World War, such as chlorine, mustard gas, and phosgene.
When the Second World War ended, the advanced state of German technology regarding the organophosphorous nerve agents, such as tabun, sarin and soman, had surprised the Allies, who were eager to capitalise on it. Subsequent research took the newly discovered German nerve agents as a starting point, and eventually VX nerve agent was developed at Porton Down in 1952.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, research and development at Porton Down was aimed at providing Britain with the means to arm itself with a modern nerve agent-based capability and to develop specific means of defence against these agents.Tests were carried out on servicemen to determine the effects of nerve agents on human subjects, with persistent allegations of unethical human experimentation at Porton Down.
In 1942, Gruinard Island, Scotland, was dangerously contaminated with anthrax after a cloud of anthrax spores was deliberately released over the island during a trial.

“From 1945 to 1989, Porton exposed thousands of human “guinea pigs” to nerve gas. It seems probable that Porton has tested more human subjects with nerve gas, for the longest period of time, than any other scientific establishment in the world” – reported The Guardian in 2004.

Two other nations have admitted testing nerve gas on humans, but nowhere on the scale the Britain has: the American military exposed about 1,100 soldiers between 1945 and 1975, and Canada tested a small number before 1968.

Between 1961 and 1966 Mr Nyman, who was employed at the centre, received 19 injections which he was told were immunisations. They included doses of anthrax, smallpox, polio and bubonic plague.
Between 1963 and 1975 the MRE carried out trials in Lyme Bay, Dorset, in which live bacteria were sprayed from a ship to be carried ashore by the wind to simulate an anthrax attack. The bacteria sprayed were the less dangerous Bacillus globigii and Escherichia coli, but it was later admitted that the bacteria adversely affected some vulnerable people. The town of Weymouth lay downwind of the spraying. When the trials became public knowledge in the late 1990s, Dorset County Council, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and Purbeck District Council demanded a Public Inquiry to investigate the experiments. The Government refused.
During the same time period Porton Down were investigated for another 25 deaths that surrounded the use of injecting anthrax, smallpox, polio and bubonic plague into unsuspecting volunteers. For 30 years the government refused any inquiries.

Porton Down has been involved in human testing at various points throughout the Ministry of Defence’s use of the site. Up to 20,000 people took part in various trials from 1949 up to 1989.

Ronald Maddison was 20 when he took part in what he allegedly thought was an experiment to find a cure for the common cold in May 1953. The leading aircraftsman died minutes later and the original inquest – held in private for “reasons of national security” – ruled he died of asphyxia but his fellow servicemen claim he had been exposed to the deadly nerve agent Sarin at the government’s chemical and biological warfare centre in Wiltshire
From 1999 until 2006, it was investigated under Operation Antler. In 2002 a first inquest and (source) in May 2004, a second inquest into the death of Ronald Maddison during testing of the nerve agent sarin commenced after his relatives and their supporters had lobbied for many years, which found his death to have been unlawful.
Most of the work carried out at Porton Down has to date remained secret. Bruce George, Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Defence Select Committee, told BBC News on 20 August 1999 that:

“I would not say that the Defence Committee is micro-managing either DERA or Porton Down. We visit it, but, with eleven members of Parliament and five staff covering a labyrinthine department like the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces, it would be quite erroneous of me and misleading for me to say that we know everything that’s going on in Porton Down. It’s too big for us to know, and secondly, there are many things happening there that I’m not even certain Ministers are fully aware of, let alone Parliamentarians.”
Different departments at Porton Down use animal experiments in different ways. The Biomedical Sciences department is involved with drug evaluation and efficacy testing including toxicology, pharmacology, physiology, behavioural science, human science, trauma and surgery studies. The Physical Sciences department also uses animals in its ‘Armour Physics’ research.
Like other aspects of research at Porton Down, precise details of animal experiments are generally kept secret. Media reports have suggested they include exposing monkeys to anthrax, draining the blood of pigs and injecting them with E. coli bacteria, and exposing animals to a variety of lethal, toxic nerve agents.

In a separate case in 2000, it was reported that Police were investigating chemical warfare tests at Porton Down and were examining at least 45 deaths. There is no further information as to the outcome of these investigations.

Hundreds of veterans who were subjected to tests at the Porton Down chemical warfare installation were awarded compensation totalling £3m, the defence minister, Derek Twigg, announced back in January 2008.
In a written statement to MPs, Twigg offered the government’s first full apology to the servicemen, saying: “The government sincerely apologises to those who may have been affected.”
The award was welcomed by representatives of the veterans, who say they were tricked into taking part in tests at the Wiltshire facility during the cold war. Many believed they were helping to find a cure for the common cold.
A group of 369 servicemen affected launched legal action against the MoD last March, arguing that tests – including being sent to gas chambers and being exposed to nerve gas, mustard gas and teargas – had left them with health problems ranging from respiratory and skin diseases to cancer and psychological problems.

Eric Gow, chairman of the Porton Down Veterans’ Group, said: “I am just so very sorry and angry that many of our comrades had to die before we reached this point – but I am sure they will be looking down on us today with some degree of satisfaction.”

Just six months ago, Animal-rights campaigners reacted with fury and shock after it emerged the Government’s warfare laboratory tested on almost three times more monkeys than the previous year. Freedom of Information requests found that 2,745 animals – including macaque monkeys, pigs and marmosets – were housed there.

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