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When is the World Going to Impose Sanctions on America?
| July 31, 2017 | 7:13 pm | Analysis, Cuba, DPRK, Fidel Castro, Imperialism, Iran, Russia | No comments

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When is the World Going to Impose Sanctions on America?

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John Wight
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Only when we are living in a world in which sanctions are imposed ‘on’ the United States rather than ‘by’ the United States will we know justice reigns.

The decision taken by the US Congress to “punish Russia” for alleged meddling in the US elections with the maintenance of existing sanctions has been followed by a bill to weaken the ability of President Trump to “weaken sanctions on Russia,” thus presenting a direct challenge to the President’s authority. The bill was passed in the House of Representatives by an overwhelming majority and at time of writing awaits a hearing in the Senate, which along with the House makes up the US Congress. The legislation also includes new sanctions against not only Russia but also Iran and North Korea, thus maintaining the pattern of waging economic war against states which refuse to accept that Washington’s writ should run wherever it decides whenever it decides.

Economic sanctions are not the benign instrument that some might assume. On the contrary, they are tantamount to an act of war, a means by which economic might is wielded as club to bludgeon ‘recalcitrant’ nations and states into submission. And though sanctions may not evoke the same sense of potency of cruise missiles, they kill just the same. The experience of the Iraqi people leaves no doubt of it.

Between 1990 and 2003 sanctions on Iraq, imposed by the UN, are estimated to have been directly responsible for the deaths of 2 million people, half a million of them children according to Unicef. Multilateral sanctions were imposed on the country in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. Under UN Security Council Resolution 661 it was mandated that UN-member states should prevent all imports originating in Iraq and Iraqi-occupied Kuwait, business activity between nationals of member states and Iraq, and should undertake an embargo of funds or “economic resources” to Iraq or Iraqi-occupied Kuwait, except for medical or humanitarian purposes.

As journalist John Pilger wrote in a March 2000 article:

“Under economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council almost 10 years ago, Iraq is denied equipment and expertise to clean up its contaminated battlefields, as Kuwait was cleaned up. At the same time, the Sanctions Committee in New York, dominated by the Americans and British, has blocked or delayed a range of vital equipment, chemotherapy drugs and even painkillers. ‘For us doctors,’ said Dr Al-Ali, ‘it is like torture. We see children die from the kind of cancers from which, given the right treatment, there is a good recovery rate.’ Three children died while I was there.”

The sanctions imposed on Iraq were so draconian and sustained that two UN Humanitarian Coordinators in Iraq, Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, resigned in protest. Yet even with the evidence of the role of the sanctions in killing half a million Iraqi children, Washington remained unrepentant. The by now infamous words of former UN Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in 1996, when in response to a question during an interview about the infanticide that was taking place as a result of the sanctions she said “the price is worth it,” exposed the barbarity that lies behind the mask of Western civilization.

The fact the sanctions were only lifted from Iraq after the devastating war unleashed on the country by the US and its UK ally in 2003 had killed countless more children tells its own story.

Cuba has suffered under the iron heel of US economic sanctions and embargo longer than any other country on the planet. A raft of economic sanctions were originally imposed on the island in 1960 by the Eisenhower administration after the Cuban revolution of the previous year succeeded in toppling the US-supported dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, after which US corporations and businesses that had been operating without restraint in Cuba were expropriated and nationalized.

Miniature flags representing Cuba and the United States are displayed on the dash of an American classic car in Havana, Cuba.
© AP Photo/ Franklin Reyes, File
Miniature flags representing Cuba and the United States are displayed on the dash of an American classic car in Havana, Cuba.

Relations between Havana and Washington turned even more sour two years later when Fidel Castro defied Washington in forging close ties with the Soviet Union. In response, the Kennedy administration imposed complete economic sanctions, which have remained more or less in place over succeeding decades.

As French journalist Salim Lamrani pointed out in a 2016 interview on the history of US sanctions against Cuba:

“The sanctions are anachronistic because they date back to the Cold War. They are cruel because they affect the most vulnerable categories of the Cuban people, not the leaders. Finally, they are ineffective to the extent that the initial goal of overthrowing the Cuban Revolution has clearly failed.”

Most cogently, Lamrani makes the point that “Rather than isolating Cuba internationally, these sanctions have instead isolated the United States.”

The sanctions imposed by the US and its European allies/vassals on Russia, meanwhile, have been justified as a response to ‘Russian aggression’ in eastern Ukraine, along with reunification of of Crimea with Russia in 2014. As I have written previously, this is a false and tendentious rendering of what has occurred in Ukraine and why.

But regardless of the whys and wherefores, the idea that the largest country in Europe with the second most powerful military in the world, whose economy is stable and built on solid foundations, could ever be brought to its knees by economic sanctions is so preposterous it is laughable.

However the mendacity and arrogance behind Washington’s history of imposing economic sanctions against other states is certainly no laughing matter, not when we consider the ineffable human suffering they have caused and continue to cause.

Moreover, a history of subverting, destabilizing, and destroying one country after another is all the evidence needed to label the US a country so drunk with power and a corresponding sense of exceptionalism that the rest of the world would be more than justified in uniting to impose sanctions on it. In fact, given the brutal history of US imperialism the world needs to as a matter of necessity.

As Fidel Castro said, “The United States tyrannizes and pillages the globalized world with its political, economic, technological, and military might.”

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Imperial Folly Brings Russia and Germany Together
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Imperial Folly Brings Russia and Germany Together

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Pepe Escobar
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The Empire of Whiners simply can’t get enough when it comes to huff, puff and pout as the Empire of Sanctions.

People walk amongst US national flags erected by students and staff from Pepperdine University as they pay their respects to honor the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, at their campus in Malibu, California
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With an Orwellian 99% majority that would delight the Kim dynasty in North Korea, the “representative democracy” Capitol Hill has bulldozed its latest House/Senate sanctions package, aimed mostly at Russia, but also targeting Iran and North Korea.The White House’s announcement — late Friday afternoon in the middle of summer — that President Trump has approved and will sign the bill was literally buried in the news cycle amidst the proverbial 24/7 Russia-gate related hysteria.

Trump will be required to justify to Congress, in writing, any initiative to ease sanctions on Russia. And Congress is entitled to launch an automatic review of any such initiative.

Translation; the death knell of any possibility for the White House to reset relations with Russia. Congress in fact is just ratifying the ongoing Russia demonization campaign orchestrated by the neocon and neoliberalcon deep state/War Party establishment.Economic war has been declared against Russia for at least three years now. The difference is this latest package also declares economic war against Europe, especially Germany.

That centers on the energy front, by demonizing the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and forcing the EU to buy US natural gas.

Make no mistake; the EU leadership will counterpunch. Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission (EC), put it mildly when he said, “America first cannot mean that Europe’s interests come last.”

On the Russia front, what the Empire of Sanctions faces does not even qualify as a hollow victory. Kommersant has reported that Moscow, among other actions, will retaliate by banning all American IT companies and all US agricultural products from the Russian market, as well as exporting titanium to Boeing (30% of which comes from Russia).On the Russia-China strategic partnership front, trying to restrict Russia-EU energy deals will only allow more currency swaps between the ruble and the yuan; a key plank of the post-US dollar multipolar world.

And then there’s the possible, major game-changer; the German front.

The Fools on the Hill

Even without considering the stellar historical record of Washington not only meddling but bombing and regime-changing vast swathes of the planet — from Iraq and Libya to the current threats against Iran, Venezuela and North Korea — the Russia-gate hysteria about meddling in the 2016 US presidential election is a non-story, by now thoroughly debunked.

The heart of the matter is, once again, energy wars.

According to a Middle East-based US energy source not hostage to the Beltway consensus, “the message in these sanctions is the EU has no future unless it buys US natural gas to cut out Russia. To deny Russia the natural gas market of the EU was the goal behind the just lost war in Syria to put the Qatar-Saudi Arabia-Syria-Turkey-EU pipeline in and the opening to Iran for an Iran-Iraq-Syria-Turkey-EU pipeline. None of these plans worked.”The source adds as evidence the 2014 oil price war against Russia, orchestrated by “the dumping of Gulf States’ surplus oil or reserve capacity on the world market. Since this has failed to bring Russia to its knees, the destruction of the Russian natural gas market in the EU has become a national priority for the United States.”

As it stands, 30% of all EU oil and natural gas imports come from Russia. In parallel, the Russia-China energy partnership is being progressively enhanced. Russia is already geared to increase oil and gas exports to China and Asia as a whole.

The leadership in Berlin is now convinced that Washington is jeopardizing Germany’s energy diversification/energy security via the  sanctions war. Russian natural gas and oil is secured by overland routes and is not dependent on the oceans, which, as the energy source stresses, “are no longer under United States control. If Russia in response to United States belligerency drops an Iron Curtain over Europe, and redirects all its natural gas and oil exports to China and Asia, Europe will be utterly dependent on largely insecure sources of natural gas and oil such as the Middle East and Africa.”

And that bring us to the “nuclear” possibility in the horizon; a Germany-Russia alignment in a Reinsurance Treaty, as first established by Bismarck. CIA-related US Think Tankland is now actively discussing the possibility.Another US business/political source, also a practitioner of thinking outside the (Beltway) box, stresses, “this is what it’s all about. That is the true goal of Russia, and the United States has fallen into the trap. The United States has had enough of Germany and what it considers dumping of German products on the United States through rigged currency. They are now threatening Germany with sanctions, and there is nothing Germany can do with the EU on their back facing vetoes from Poland, who is giving them trouble once again. The fools in Congress are really going after Germany, and throwing Germany in the arms of Russia.”

The US as the New Carthage

A possible Germany-Russia alliance, as I’ve written before, rounds up the China/Russia/Germany entente capable of reorganizing the entire Eurasian land mass.

The Russia-China strategic partnership is extremely attractive to German business, as it smoothes access via the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). According to the business/political source, “the US is at war with China and Russia (but not Trump, our President) and Germany is having second thoughts about being nuclear cannon fodder for the US. I have discussed this in Germany, and they are thinking of renewing the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia. No one trusts this US Congress; it is considered a lunatic asylum. Merkel may be asked to leave for the leadership of the UN, and then the treaty would be signed. It will shake the world and end any thought of the United States being a global power, which it isn’t anymore.”

The source adds, half in zest, “we think that Brzezinski died under the pressure of the realization that this was coming and that all his hatred of Russia and his life work to destroy them was becoming utterly undone.”So, in a sense, it’s “welcome to the 1930s all over again and the rise of nationalism in Europe. This time Germany will not make the mistakes of 1914 and 1941 but will stand against their traditional Anglo-Saxon enemies. The United States has truly become today’s Carthage and the disorder in Congress reflects the same stupidity of Carthage facing Rome. Legislators undermined their genius Hannibal as they are undermining the greatest president of the United States since Andrew Jackson. As Sophocles wrote in ‘Antigone’, ‘God first makes mad those he wishes to destroy.’ This Congress is mad.”

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

US Lawmaker Opposes Russia Sanctions Citing Cooperation on Syria
| July 27, 2017 | 7:57 pm | DPRK, Iran, Russia, Syria | No comments

https://sputniknews.com/politics/201707271055914402-usa-lawmaker-opposes-sanctions/

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US Lawmaker Opposes Russia Sanctions Citing Cooperation on Syria

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Congressman John Duncan says that new US Sanctions against Russia should be rejected because Moscow is helping the United States battle Daesh.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — New US Sanctions against Russia should be rejected because Moscow is helping the United States battle the Islamic State terror group (Daesh or ISIS) in addition to assistance in maintaining a ceasefire in Syria, Congressman John Duncan told RIA Novosti.

“I recently voted against a bill to increase the sanctions already in place against Russia and Iran,” Duncan said on Wednesday. “The increased sanctions against Russia were based on alleged meddling in our presidential election. However, if they did, it was totally ineffective, and Russia has aided us recently in the fight against ISIS and reaching a cease fire in Syria.”

The congressman said he also thought it was unwise to expand sanctions on Iran after the US State Department twice verified that the Islamic Republic has complied with the terms of an international nuclear agreement.

“I just did not think we should slap them in the face when they are doing what we wanted them to do,” Duncan said.

Likewise, the lawmaker said he thought sanctions on North Korea would do nothing to hurt the ruling elite in Pyongyang, while the measures would almost certainly hurt impoverished North Koreans.

“Overall, though I think we should stop trying to rule the whole world. We are $20 trillion in debt, and we have enough problems at home,” Duncan said.

Duncan was one of just three lawmakers in the US House of Representatives who on Tuesday voted against a bill to sanction Russia, Iran and North Korea and limit President Donald Trump’s ability to lift restrictions on Moscow.

Another 419 lawmakers voted in favor of the legislation, which will now be passed onto the Senate for a vote before being sent to Trump for final approval.

More on Energy Imperialism
| July 26, 2017 | 7:32 pm | Analysis, Economy, Russia | No comments

https://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/2017/07/more-on-energy-imperialism.html

More on Energy Imperialism

– from Zoltan Zigedy is available at:
http://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/

Literally days after my last post on the changes in US energy policy and its influence on the trajectory of US imperialism, President Donald Trump and his energy secretary proclaimed those changes in their customary blunt and bombastic way. On June 29, Trump declared a US policy of “energy dominance” at a meeting at the Department of Energy. Reuters‘s headline on their coverage perfectly captured the meaning of this policy: “Trump Seeks to Project Global Power through Energy Exports.Bloomberg News’s Gennifer Dlouhy quotes Trump: “We are a top producer of petroleum and the No. 1 producer of natural gas. We have so much more than we ever thought possible. We are really in the driver’s seat.”

Clearly, Russia is a target of the emerging policy. The Administration’s Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry said that “… the entirety of the EU totally get it that if we can lay in American LNG [liquefied natural gas] … we can be able to have an alternative to Russia…” “The US will be able to clearly create a hell of a lot more friends by being able to deliver them energy and not being held hostage by some countries, Russia in particular.” (Reuters)
Lest anyone fail to get the message, Trump told cheering Polish people in Warsaw on July 6: “We are committed to securing your access to alternate sources of energy, so Poland and its neighbors are never again held hostage to a single supplier of energy.” (CNBC) Instead, they will be held hostage to the US.
Bloomberg’s Dlouhy notes that negotiations have begun to sell more LNG to the Republic of Korea. And Reuters’s Timothy Gardner comments that the US exports more petroleum products to Mexico than does any other country. In fact, according to Gardner, the US is already the world’s largest exporter of refined petroleum products.
Despite the near total neglect of the foreign policy implications of this emerging policy by US commentators and, especially, the left, they have not gone unnoticed in important circles internationally. Writing in the largest circulation UK paper, The Sunday Times, Irwin Stelzer stated on July 2: “LNG has created a new Great Game, with America’s ‘yuge’ reserves of natural gas giving Trump a weapon with which to offset Russia’s early lead.” Talk of “Great Games,” of course, invokes memories of the imperialist rivalries and clashes of the late 19th and early 20th century. While the “Russia-gate” controversies uncritically consume many US observers, even conservative Europeans are identifying the material interests, the imperialist interests standing behind the hysterical anti-Russia campaign.
Further, Stelzer sees the recent Gulf States’ aggression against Qatar for what it is: “… the Saudi royal family believe now is the time to wring a total surrender from Qatar… The implication for the global LNG market of a potential isolation of Qatar [the world’s largest exporter] could not be more consequential.” And it could not be more beneficial to the emerging US LNG shippers.
The recent Trump European trip was a sales trip for US LNG as much as it was participation in the G20 summit.
OPEC ‘Monopoly’ versus US Hegemony
It appears more and more likely that the era of OPEC dominance of energy markets is dwindling, broken by US energy production. Saudi Arabia attempted to reverse the expansion of US production by over producing and driving the price of oil below a level that would allow US shale producers to be profitable. Consequently, US operators lost $130 billion since 2015. But Wall Street has subsidized the shale industry by ploughing $57 billion back into the industry over the last 18 months, a move that shows both no fear of a price war and a determination to dominate the markets. The Wall Street Journal (7-8-2017) likened the investments to the tech boom of the past.
At the same time, the US is using political sanctions to hinder competitors. The recent Senate vote on Russian sanctions is one obvious example. But Iran is another competitor that the US hopes to discourage. The European sanctions are now lifted, but EXXON MOBIL and CHEVRON, as US companies, are still deterred from investing in Iran because of remaining US sanctions. BP is afraid of those sanctions and only French TOTAL has dared to invest, along with CHINA NPC. Where Iran is seeking $92 billion in energy investments, it has only secured $1 billion.
Worldwide, most energy investments have channeled to US shale oil.
The monopoly price-manipulation model enforced by OPEC discipline is eroding. Since competition is intensifying, pricing has become extremely volatile. With Chinese imports of crude oil up 13% this year, the Saudis have sharply cut the price of super light crude to Asia to garner a greater share of this burgeoning market.
The Future
Of course, it is impossible to spell out all of the foreign policy implications of the new energy imperialism. But it appears certain that the US drive toward energy dominance will reshape US imperialist designs and generate a strong international response.
The House of Representatives companion bill on sanctions passed 419-3, demonstrating again the ruling-class consensus on punishing oil and gas producers– Russia and Iran. The European Union wisely interprets this and its Senate companion as a challenge to existing energy relations. As The New York Times reported (July 25) immediately after the vote: “…the new sanctions have important implications for Europe because they target any company that contributes to the development, maintenance or modernization of Russia’s energy export pipelines.” It notes that: “Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, the bloc’s bureaucratic arm, has called for an urgent review of how the European Union should respond.”
Speaking to the “principles” behind the House bill, Russian “Alexey Pushkov, a legislator and frequent commentator on international relations, wrote on Twitter: ‘The exceptional nation wants to block Russian gas supplies to Europe and to sell expensive shale gas from the U.S. to its European servants. That’s the entire ‘morality’ of Congress,’” as reported by The New York Times (7-25-17)
And the price war between the US and OPEC along with its friends has left OPEC unity in danger and its policies in shambles. At the most recent meeting in St. Petersburg, disputes over production and exports have combined with frustration over the effectiveness of agreements. States are conflicted over protecting prices and earnings or fighting for market share.
Where unbridled competition arises, conflict is soon to follow. With economic interests joining with political maneuvering, as the US-contrived hysteria over Russia and Iran instantiates, the danger of aggression and war grows exponentially.
The new US imperialist “Game” is played to dominate energy markets, an even more perilous project that threatens friend and foe alike.
Zoltan Zigedy
Empire of Whiners
| July 24, 2017 | 8:51 pm | Analysis, China, DPRK, Iran, political struggle, Russia | No comments
People walk amongst US national flags erected by students and staff from Pepperdine University as they pay their respects to honor the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, at their campus in Malibu, California

Empire of Whiners

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As a new report by the Army War College tracks the loss of “US primacy” around the world, it prescribes more of the same; propaganda, surveillance and war.

It’s public knowledge that from the point of view of the Pentagon, the United States faces five existential threats: Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and terrorism, in that order. Way beyond rhetoric, all Pentagon actions should be understood and analyzed under this framework.

Now global public opinion may have access to an even more intriguing document; a new study by the Army War College titled  At Our Own Peril: DoD Risk Assessment in a Post-Primacy World. Readers are actively encouraged to download it and study the fine print.Researcher Nafeez Ahmed has proposed some helpful decoding of this “post-primacy” predicament, that took virtually ten months to be put together.

The intellectual firepower concerned involved all sections of the Pentagon scattered around the world, as well as the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Intelligence Council, and proverbial neocon-heavy think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the RAND Corporation, and the Institute for the Study of War.

All that for what? To enounce the obvious – that the US has lost its “primacy”; and to propose more of the same, as in Orwellian surveillance; “strategic manipulation of perceptions”, a.k.a. propaganda; and a “wider and more flexible” military, as in more wars.

If this is the best US military “intelligence” can come up with, peer competitors Russia and China might as well grab a gin and tonic and relax by the pool.

Oh you damn revisionists

The study is a classic piece of myopic Exceptionalism – which might at least allow for some entertaining value if presented with some rhetorical flourish.

Russia and China are duly described as “revisionist forces” (doesn’t that sound like Mao in the 1950s?) which should be prevented from pursuing their own legitimate national interests. Why? Because that represents a threat that undermines US hegemony.

Readers of the study should desist from finding any concrete evidence that both Russia and China pose a serious threat to US national security. They should rely on US corporate media, which blares all these “threats” 24/7.It gets curioser and curioser when it comes to Iran and North Korea – both also demonized non-stop by media and US Think Tankland. The problem is not that they pose a nuclear threat; the problem is they are obstacles to the smooth expansion of the “US-led order.”

In parallel, what really irks US military intel are “murkier, less obvious forms of state-based aggression”. As in the “threat” represented by Sputnik and RT, for instance.

“Facts”, any real facts that challenge the legitimacy of the hegemon are considered by the study as a major driver of US decline. OK, the Pentagon does not do irony, so don’t expect any expert to acknowledge that these real facts simultaneously unmask the Empire’s actions and debunk its rhetoric.

The study’s circular logic is a hostage of – what else – imperial logic; US military power is essentially depicted as a key tool to coerce and force other nations into following the Empire’s diktats.

Which leads those “experts” to bomb the concept of defense to smithereens — and turn it into offense; the Empire always reserves itself the right to go heavy metal when it pleases. If any actor questions this sovereign imperial right – for instance, North Korea launching a missile or China creating facts on the South China Sea – this becomes a threat, and it must be eliminated.Even progressive US analysts still don’t get why, after a short 70 years of hegemony, American geopolitical primacy in Eurasia is at an end. As much as the internal war between Trump and the deep state may be accelerating the process, this is still all about the post-9/11 world.

The adventures of the War Party – from Afghanistan and Iraq to Libya and Syria; the US government’s astonishing, unpayable debt; the steady erosion of the petrodollar; the inexorable march of Eurasia integration – reflected in US military obsession with the three key vectors, China, Russia and Iran.

These are only some of the factors involved.Beijing and Moscow don’t need to be reminded by studies like this of the real game – as in US proxy wars deployed from Ukraine to the South China Sea with the ultimate target of disrupting the 21st century’s top story; Eurasia connectivity.

Same for Tehran, which identifies very well the multiple machinations, instrumentalizing the GCC petrodollar gang, aimed at perpetuating a Sunni-Shi’ite fratricidal war.

Which brings us to “the next war” insistently monopolizing the rumor mill in the Beltway. Were the US government foolish enough to provoke a war against Iran, that would be due to the Exceptionalism mindset; an economy where endless war is the only tool to boost GDP and pay off debts; deep state hegemony; and the eternal Return of the (Neocon) Living Dead inside Think Tankland, the CIA and the Pentagon itself.

“Post-primacy”? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Most Russians support Stalin monuments, poll shows
| July 20, 2017 | 8:55 pm | J. Stalin, Russia, USSR | No comments

Interesting website:

https://www.rt.com/politics/396935-most-russians-support-idea-of/

Scandalous! Corbyn Eats Pizza With ‘Russian Agent’: New McCarthyism, 2017-Style
| July 14, 2017 | 8:08 pm | Analysis, Jeremy Corbyn, Russia, Syria | No comments
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn talks to the media after meeting European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (not pictured) at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium July 13, 2017.

Scandalous! Corbyn Eats Pizza With ‘Russian Agent’: New McCarthyism, 2017-Style

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You are a man-of-the-people left-wing politician riding the crest of a wave of popularity. Members of the public regularly ask you to pose for photographs with them.

Do you: (a) Tell them to “Bugger Off!” (b) Say, “Of course, no problems, comrade,” and pose for the snap, (c) Hand the person a long questionnaire to fill in detailing their political views on foreign policy issues — including their positions on the Balkan wars, Syria, Russia, the NATO alliance, Israel, and the old Soviet Union, before consenting to be photographed with them.

Well, I’m sure you’ll agree that (b) is the answer most normal members of the human race would give. It’s certainly what Jeremy Corbyn does. But for Britain’s utterly ludicrous NeoCon Thought Police (b) is the wrong answer. The Labour leader should check first, in great detail, the political views on foreign policy before he agrees to be photographed with anyone.

Corbyn has come under ferocious attack from Establishment gatekeepers in both the “old” and “new” media for having his picture taken with one Dr. Marcus Papadopoulos in a London eaterie earlier this week.

“Jeremy Corbyn pictured enjoying pizza with controversial pro-Assad campaigner who denied the Srebrenica genocide” was one headline. “Corbyn spent yesterday evening with Assad-loving genocide-denier” was another. The news even hit the United States — with an added but predictable twist. “Jeremy Corbyn just met with a Russian agent,” the Washington Examiner dramatically declared. “Papadopoulos is much more than a sycophant for slaughter. He’s a Russian ‘active measures agent.’ ” Whoever said Senator Joe McCarthy was dead and buried?

Let’s get one thing cleared up first. Dr. Papadopoulos was wrong to state that a genocide did not take place at Srebrenica. It did. He has said it was a “war crime,” but not genocide. This is at variance with the 2007 ruling of the International Court of Justice which held that a genocide did indeed occur (and that the government in Belgrade was not directly responsible for it). But how on earth was Corbyn expected to know Dr. Papadopoulos’ stance on this issue when he was asked for a photograph? Is he expected to quiz all those wanting a quick snapshot with him on their acceptance of historical genocides? Just how absurd would that be?

Even if Papadopoulos had acknowledged that a genocide did take place at Srebrenica, the truth is that it wouldn’t have made any difference. For a start, you don’t even have to be a “Srebrenica genocide denier” to be accused of being one by the NeoCon Thought Police, as I know only too well. I’m in the process of suing an obsessed and very creepy stalker who has repeatedly defamed me as a Srebrenica genocide denier.

In the case of Dr. Papadopoulos and Mr. Corbyn, the New McCarthyites would have found other reasons to make a huge fuss about the men being photographed together — as indeed they did. Kate McCann, in the Telegraph, declared: “Mr. Papadopoulos is famously outspoken on the subject of intervention abroad, particularly on the UK and America’s record. Among incriminating “recent messages: from Dr Papadopoulos that were produced as “evidence” against him were:

“We stand with Syria against US aggression. And No to Western-backed Islamist terrorism. #Syria.”

“#Israel is not — and never has been — in the fight against al-Qaeda. After all, Israeli hospitals treat wounded al-Qaeda fighters from Syria.”

And, wait for it: “President Assad, the guardian of Christians in #Syria, celebrating Easter. I stand with him 100%…”

The implication seems to be that Dr Papadopoulos should be saying “Yes” to Western-backed Islamist terrorism in Syria and standing 100% with those massacring Christians — which is a strange position to find in a “Middle England” conservative paper like the Daily Telegraph.

In a straight fight between Daesh/al-Qaeda and Syrian government forces, which Telegraph readers wouldn’t prefer the latter to prevail? After all, its not “Assad” who’s been organizing and inspiring terror attacks on UK citizens in Manchester and London, is it?

Furthermore, is the Telegraph’s senior political correspondent really saying that it’s “controversial” to be “outspoken” on the “record” of Britain’s and the US’ “intervention” abroad — interventions which have seen Iraq and Libya destroyed and large parts of North Africa and the Middle East turned into jihadist training camps? If we can’t be “outspoken” about the illegal Iraq war — fought on a brazen lie about WMDs — and which led to the deaths of one million innocent people and the rise of Daesh, what can we be outspoken about?

The attacks on Corbyn for being photographed with a person with the “wrong” views on foreign policy are another example of the McCarthyite device of “guilt by association.” It’s not just the things you say (or tweet) which can get you into trouble, it’s who you’re seen in public with too — and who you engage with on social media.

Interestingly, as Evolve Politics reveal, Dr. Papadopoulos has interviewed — and had his picture taken — with other prominent politicians, in his capacity as publisher and editor of Politics First magazine, but it’s the only the snap with Jezza which has caused outrage. What we’re witnessing is a campaign waged by the stenographers for the powerful to enforce the “correct” i.e. pro-war views on foreign policy and intimidate people from speaking out — even if their opposition to “liberal interventionism” and disastrous regime-change wars is shared by the vast majority of ordinary Britons.

The Dr. Papadopoulos/Mr. Corbyn story is not the only example of McCarthyism we’ve seen in recent days.

Aaron Bastani, of Novara Media, issued an “apology” for the heinous crime of speaking to the antiwar former MP George Galloway. Galloway is “black-balled” for comments he made years ago in relation to the Julian Assange case — and which was drawn to Bastani’s attention. Yet the Novara head is quite happy to speak to pro-war Labour MPs like Chuka Umunna. In McCarthyite Britain, saying a crass politically incorrect thing is a worse crime than supporting brutal wars of aggression which destroy entire countries and leave millions dead. That’s just how the warmongering elite like it to be.

The New McCarthyism may be ludicrous and easy to lampoon, but the sad thing is that it does have an effect. I know of at least one prominent British journalist who won’t come on RT because people would say he was in the pay of the Kremlin. Note too how Jeremy Corbyn and his Director of Communications, Seumas Milne — who seems to be under 24/7 surveillance these days — were regular guests on RT in the past, but haven’t appeared on the channel since they started in their new jobs. They know that if they did, the neocon punditocracy would screech “Russian agents!” so loud, you could hear it from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
​The attacks on, and obsessive Twitter hounding of those who do appear in Russian media like Sputnik and RT is an unedifying spectacle, and needless to say is not reported by the mainstream media. The only victims of “online abuse” we read about are pro-war MPs and Establishment-friendly pro-war journalists. Again, only the powerful can be victims.

To paraphrase the late Malcolm X, if you read certain newspapers and media outlets, you‘ll end up hating the oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. The aim of the New McCarthyism is the same as the old 1950s variety: it’s to bully and intimidate those who do dare to think differently on foreign policy issues to conform. Those who don’t, like George Galloway, who is arguably the bravest man in Britain for refusing to buckle, are accorded pariah status. Despite having been totally vindicated in his opposition to the illegal western wars of the last twenty years, Galloway’s politically-motivated expulsion from the Labour Party for comments made about the Iraq war in 2003, still stands.

The New McCarthyism seeks to narrow the parameters of “acceptable” debate — and in doing so, make sure the UK’s foreign policy stays the same. The treatment of dissidents like Galloway, who always speak their mind on world affairs, is a warning to others not to step out of line. Stick to “uncontroversial” domestic issues and posting pictures of your dog on Facebook, if you know what’s good for you.

Make no mistake the New McCarthyism represents the biggest threat to free-speech and free-thinking that Britain has ever known. So what can we do about it? Strength in numbers is the key. We — those who oppose illegal wars and want to see a world of genuine internationalism and peace between nations based on mutual respect, are the many; they — those who want the regime-change wars against independent countries to continue — are the few.

But it’s about time we made our superior numbers count. So take a stand against the New McCarthyites by sharing this article widely on social media and asking high profile media figures — who claim to be in favor of “free speech” and “free expression” — to do the same. And make sure you have a big bucket of icy cold water ready for Senator Joe’s “Why are you re-tweeting that?” Thought Police, when they come knocking on your front door.

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The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.