When a dramatic event or trauma occurs to a person that fundamentally changes their life or life course, friends and often psychologists will immediately look to what was happening in the person’s life that may have provoked this major change. That’s called looking for context. Over the past 2.5 years, I’ve listened to, read, and watched many pundits and politicians expound on the topic of Brexit, what it means and the reason it came about. Yet not once did I hear any of these ‘experts’ mention the most important aspect of ‘Brexit’: the context in which it came about. Read More →
Billed as a ‘referendum on Trump’s presidency’, the US Midterm Elections drew an unusually high number of Americans to the polls yesterday. The minor loss, from Trump’s perspective, of majority Republican control of the lower House of Representatives, suggests, if anything, the opposite of what the media and establishment want you to believe it means. Read More →
Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared from the Saudi embassy in Istanbul 2 weeks ago and is presumed dead, is (or was) a Saudi journalist and author. His grandfather (of Turkish origin) married a Saudi woman and served as the personal physician to King Abdulaziz Al Saud, the founder of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He is the nephew of the late, high-profile Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, known for his part in the Iran-Contra scandal, and his cousin was Dodi Fayed, Princess Diana’s paramour when the two were likely assassinated in a deliberate car crash in a Paris tunnel in 1997. Read More →
As examples of egregious abuse of power and general immoral behavior in high places, how does Donald Trump’s common or garden sexism (there’s no evidence he’s a racist – calling someone ‘dumb’ doesn’t count) compare to the CIA funding, training arming and generally facilitating the existence of al-Qaeda and ISIS terrorists? It’s an important question that everyone should consider as a means to getting their priorities straight. It’s also important to consider to achieve a more objective understanding of what has been happening since Trump was elected, and why he was elected. Read More →
The Russian president said at a plenary session of the EEF in Vladivostok that Moscow had identified the two people suspected by London of poisoning ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury. Putin also said that the suspects are civilians and encouraged them to talk to the media.
Sputnik discussed the latest revelations made by Vladimir Putin with Joe Quinn, a political commentator. Read More →
When you read that title what was your instinctive response? Perhaps you think: ‘How terrible it is that a child of 9 years old could so despair as to take his own life?’ Or: ‘How horrible this world can be where some children would bully another to such an extent?’
Both of those thoughts and feelings struck me immediately, but quickly a third question/thought came into my mind: ‘why is a 9 year old boy openly expressing his sexual identity to other school children?’ Read More →
In the aftermath of Boris Johnson’s “letterboxes and criminals” characterization of Muslim women who wear the burqa, and the calls for censorship of hate speech that resulted, supposedly level-headed social philosopher types have again made the point that censorship of such ‘hate speech’ will just push those opinions underground and embolden those that hold them. The correct response, indeed the solution to the problem (we’re told) is not less speech but more speech; all opinions should be allowed so we can ‘get them out there’ and debate them and come to a sensible consensus.
This line of argumentation assumes that if racists, and in particular Islamophobes, are allowed to have their say, not only will their arguments be easily exposed for the ignorant diatribes they are, but that it will quickly become clear to all that such people are in the extreme minority in the civilized West. In that way, the theory goes, these people will be effectively silenced without resorting to restricting free speech. But there’s a problem.
The problem is that it’s not reasonable to suggest that the majority of ‘Islamophobes’ in Europe today are knuckle-dragging throwbacks to the pre-Enlightenment era who are instinctively suspicious of anything with which they are unfamiliar, hence their Islamophobia. The average Islamophobe in Europe today is, rather, a person who has been paying very close attention to the words and deeds of Western politicians and media pundits over the past 17 years. And what he/she has been hearing from those authoritative sources is that Muslims are terrorists with a rather strong aversion to Western people and their ‘way of life’.
Obviously that is not true, but it has, obviously, been the dominant narrative pounded into people’s heads for almost two decades.
From 9/11 and Osama bin Laden to Saddam Hussein’s WMDs targeting London in 45 minutes, to ordinary Iraqis taking up arms and killing US and British soldiers, to the Madrid train bombings, to the London tube bombings, to Gaddafi “killing his own people”, to multiple brutal ISIS terror attacks on European soil and graphic beheadings (etc.) in the Middle East, to Assad “gassing his own people”, to the Western press informing the European people that among the influx of mostly Muslim refugees, there are likely ISIS terrorists; we have all been provided with enough evidence that could lead an otherwise reasonable person to conclude that Islam tends to produce (in at least some of its adherents) a hatred of all that we in the West hold dear.
So while it’s obviously not a good idea that some form of sectarian or race war be ignited in European countries with significant immigrant or Muslim populations (UK, France, Germany, increasingly the Nordic countries and Southern Europe), it’s not at all obvious that the rise of nationalistic and anti-immigrant/anti-Muslim sentiment in these countries can be blamed on simple and uninformed intolerance, racism and ‘white supremacy’. What is much more clear is that, consciously or not, Western governments and the mainstream media have conspired to create the conditions where major social/sectarian conflict – between ‘right wing’ and ‘left wing’ Europeans, between right wing Europeans and immigrants/Muslims (or all of them combined) – is just one ‘aggravating incident’ away.
But we can all take solace in the knowledge that, if and when things go ‘kaflooey’, those that created this situation for us will be on hand to tell us – with full authority – who to blame.
On last Sunday’s ‘NewsReal’ vlog, I expanded on the point made above, in case anyone is interested.
A Russian national has been charged in Washington accused of being an agent of the Russian Federation at the same time as Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin were meeting in Helsinki, a summit that has angered American politicians.
Maria Butina was charged Monday by the US Department of Justice with conspiring to act as an agent of the Russian Federation within the United States, a criminal allegation that may be designed to draw attention away from Monday’s meeting between the US and Russian heads of state.
The charges are not related to the Mueller probe that is examining alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election. She allegedly worked at the direction of a high-level Kremlin official. Sputnik spoke to political commentator Joe Quinn about the fallout from the Putin/Trump summit.
Sputnik: What do you make of the arrest situation in Washington of Maria Butina, the accusations and the motivations behind it?
Joe Quinn: Well this is another nothing-burger, like CNN described the Russian hacking of the US election last year. Given the timing, it’s an attempt to push the supposed ‘reality’ of Russian interference in the US election in support of Trump. The story of this Butina woman are two-a-penny in Western politics. What she’s doing is called lobbying: getting access to politicians to push particular policies.
The accusations that she was working for the Kremlin appears to be baseless – it’s the silly idea that any lobbyist in any country, anyone working to influence politicians in any country, only ever work for foreign governments. That’s obvious nonsense.
There’s probably dozens of American citizens in Russia attempting to garner the same kind of influence in exactly the same way as she has done.
Sputnik: The US president has also come under scrutiny in America following the Helsinki summit, how could this impact the President and Washington’s interactions with Moscow?
Joe Quinn: To say he’s come under scrutiny – or that this summit yesterday has come under scrutiny – is a bit of an understatement! This brief meeting of two hours that he had with Putin yesterday has been met with such a level of screaming and baying at the moon, from the usual suspects, that you’d think we’re back in the heyday of McCarthy.
To give you an example, Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted yesterday – in all seriousness – that the football that Putin gave to Trump at the end of their meeting was probably carrying a listening device and should not be taken to the White House! I don’t know what to say to that kind of thing. You just roll your eyes…
I’m sorry to have to say that we can’t really expect the hysteria to diminish. Most of the Western media are now committed to this ridiculous campaign and have internalized the idea that Russia is a threat to the entire globe. Of course, the truth is that this situation has been deliberately provoked by elements of the ‘deep state’ as part of their ongoing war against Russia, who they see as an existential threat to their global power and control. They also seem to be quite happy to have as many people around the world – but particularly in US and Europe – believing complete lies.
Sputnik: The international accusations against Russia are mounting with the US elections, meddling and the Skripal case but with lack of evidence is the Western continuing anti-Russian rhetoric damaging any hope of improving international relations?
Joe Quinn: I don’t think that its damaging any hope – certainly it’s damaging them – but I don’t think it’s damaging any hope. Ultimately I think this campaign that’s been waged is not going to be successful. The problem for them is that history is NOT on their side. They’re not really fighting against Russia but against reality itself. The world has changed radically in the last 20 years – and it’s only just begun. The time is obviously ripe for a new global order based on multi-polarity rather than the sole dominance of a superpower, but the stewards of the empire are VERY reluctant, shall we say, to accept these necessary and inevitable changes, and unfortunately, we have to deal with chaos that they are causing as they try to forestall those changes.
Last week, I had a chat with Andrew Korybko of Sputnik News. Enjoy!
Trump’s been sending signals all week that he plans to either ignore the main principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO) or pull out of the body entirely, with this possible scenario representing an existential threat to the same liberal globalization model that the US created.
The crescendo of chatter about Trump’s intentions towards the WTO has all the hallmarks of a brewing conflict, one which would exacerbate the Crisis of Liberalism that’s engulfed the world ever since Brexit and the American President’s election.
Joe Quinn, senior editor and political analyst at Sott.net, spoke with Radio Sputnik’s Andrew Korybko about the stand-off.
Full discussion between Andrew Korybko, Joe Quinn and David Hungerford available here: WTO: World Trade Minus America?
Had a quick chat with Press TV recently on the above topic. Sputnik interview coming later.
Iran has summoned the French ambassador to protest France’s move to allow an anti-Iran terror group to hold its annual gathering in Paris. Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said the French ambassador was told to prevent the gathering of groups of a terrorist nature. Bahram Qassemi said such gatherings will lead to the promotion of extremism and terrorism. He also said Iran blasted the presence of a number of former U-S radical officials at the event. On Saturday, Mujahedin-e-Khalq terror group held its annual meeting in Paris. A number of U-S officials including Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, participated in the event.