Why Would Iran Attack Tankers In The Gulf – They Have Nothing To Gain?

Cui bono? Iran has ‘no reason’ to torpedo oil tankers in Gulf of Oman & ‘go to war’
Oil tanker in The Strait of Hormuz, betwen Iran and the United Arab Emirates (Picture source) Reuters / Hamad I Mohammed

Whenever we at Boggart Blog / The Daily Stirrer read or hear of an international incident that raises tensions between east and west and for which the official news story makes no sense at all, all three of us being the kind of old gits whe had to lean Latin at school, ask ourselves “Cui Bono? (who benefits.)” It was not having to learn Latin that made us so cynical but learning about Marcus Tullius Cicero who always began his analysis of political events in Rome by asking that very question.

So I asked myself “who benefits?” on hearing that two oil tankers had been attacked and damaged, and by the time Washington, with is usual incredible alacrity (think of 9/11, flight MH17 and the alleged chemical weapon attacks in Syria for starters,) had accused Iran of being responsible for the attacks I was aware of certain  significant factors not mentioned in mainstream media reports.Despite the lurid accusations from Washington, led by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who accused Iran of attacking the two ships and linking the latest incident to two other recent tanker attacks, drones hitting Saudi oil pumps, and a missile hitting a Saudi airport earlier this week. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was quick to pin the blame for the incident on Iran, claiming that the Islamic Republic was “lashing out” in frustration over Washington’s draconian sanctions regime.

There is absolutely no evidence that the government of Iran is involved. Lack of evidence does not necessarily prove innocence of course, but unsubstantiated accusations do not prove guilt so we should keep our minds open to other possibilities   But if nt Iran then who did this and why? And what does that say will happen next? Logically, it was either Iran, or the US, or a third party:

Iran is suffocating under US sanctions, it is a known instigator of such actions via proxies, and has been threatening the EU that it will walk away from the nuclear deal if they won’t help it break the US economic stanglehold. An attack like this would be incredibly stupid (as stupid as Syria’s President Assad launching illegal chemical weapons attacks on rebel held areas when his forces were on the brink of crushing the IsIS rebellion,) … unless they are desperate enough to give The White House an excuse to attack, hoping the Trump adminidtration will back down with the 2020 elections looming and the president’s core voters being averse to further humiliations in the middle east.  If that is the case there will be more provocations even as Iran calls this all “beyond suspicious”, “economic terrorism”, and “sabotage diplomacy”.

The US is divided between neo-cons champing at the bit to take on Tehran, war-averse Trump and the isolationist voters who put him in power, and a Pentagon now looking at China and Russia as the real threat. CENTCOM has said a war with Iran is not in the US strategic interest – and after the humiliation of Syria it clearly isn’t. Donald Trump is no fool, no matter what bitter Hillary Clinton supporters say about him. Sure he’s a loudmouth, an egomaniac, and a crass, bombastic bully, but he is not stupid enough to order an attack on Iran, a far more militarily powerful nation than Syria, and equally good buddies with China and Russia.

Third parties ‘state – actors’ to use the words of Secretary Pompeo, are in short supply. Mainstream media will no doubt follow murky social media to point a finger at the Saudis and Israelis but would either want to precipitate a major regional war that would drag them in or would they prefer to sit back and watch sanctions destroy Iran’s economy?

‘Why would Iran do it?’

Tehran has nothing to gain from attacking the oil tankers, defense analyst and retired Lt. General Amjad Shoaib said.

“Why would Iran do it? They have no reason to go to war and they have no reason to escalate the situation,” he stressed.

Tehran has adamantly denied any involvement. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif described the incident as highly suspicious given that it occurred on the day Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Tehran, according to mainstram reports to act as a mediator in a bid to ease tensions between Iran and the USA. He added that Washington’s evidence-free accusations are designed to “sabotage” Iran’s diplomatic efforts.

According to reports from India, Iran and Japan however though the possibility of Japanese mediation has been discussed there is no plan for Abe to mediate between Iran and the U.S.” ISNA reported.

A member of the Iran’s foreign policy committee also made similar remarks, saying Abe’s trip is not aimed at playing a mediatory role between Iran and the United States.

“The aim of the visit is to expand bilateral relations,” Alaeddin Boroujerdi told Mehr news agency on Monday. “In the years that followed the [Islamic] Revolution, Iran and Japan have enjoyed good relations.”

Boroujerdi said. “The talk of mediation is mere speculation and is not true.”

According to Boroujerdi, Israel is afraid of Japan’s cooperation with Iran and therefore is making efforts to undermine this development.

Though the official line is that the tankers were damaged by mines, Japanese firm, Kokuka Sangyo Co, said on Friday that its tanker had been attacked by two “flying objects” but that there was no damage to the ship’s cargo of methanol.

Added to that is the fact of Iran’s rescue operation which lifted 44 sailors from the two tankers, ‘Front Altair’ and ‘Kokuka Courageous, which could feasibly have been an attempt to divert suspicion after the attack on  the two vessels. Similarly pictures produced by Washington purporting to show Iranian military personnel removing an unexploded mine from one of the tankers begs the question why would Iran do such a thing if it was behind the attack.

Kourosh Shamlou, an attorney and Middle East specialist commented that it would be completely illogical for Iran to quite literally torpedo such a historic summit, especially since doing so would play into the hands of Washington’s anti-Iran hawks.

“I’m an attorney. You have to know for whom a crime is beneficial. We can see the geopolitical situation of Iran and the US in the Persian Gulf. We can say that the Iranians are not going to torpedo a ship that will lead to the Americans attacking them. It’s going to give the Americans an excuse to attack Iran. So it cannot be the Iranians.”

In fact, the incident has already had negative economic consequences for Iran, Hamed Mousavi, professor of political science at the University of Tehran and visiting professor at Carleton University, noted on RT.

“Iran’s currency lost five percent of its value today just because of talk of escalating tensions as well as perhaps the possibility of war. I think right now Iran wants to de-escalate the situation with the United States,” said Mousavi.

Conspiracy theory’

It’s not surprising that media outlets are dutifully relaying Pompeo’s accusations against Iran without questioning his logic – or asking for evidence, commented political analyst Shabbir Razvi. He has a point, that is exactly what they did in the case of all Assad’s alleged atrocities, the shooting down of Flight MH17 over Ukraine, the Boston marathon bombers and most other recent outrages.

Razvi stressed that without evidence, it would be irresponsible of Washington – or anyone else – to put forward theories about who was responsible for the attack. However, there’s at least one country that has a documented history of fabricating scenarios to justify military action, Shamlou noted.

“All of a sudden, an accident happens, and [the United States] starts saying ‘it’s the Vietnamese, it’s the Iraqis, it’s the Iranians.’ And then they have a legitimate cause for their people to attack.”

A Non State Actor?

Now I am as sceptical about blaming the USA for every mishap as I am about blaming Russia, China, Israel, Iran or Bogmondorovia (I just made up that name,) for everything that happens. People in Washington have said the attack was too sophisticated and too well organised to be the work of terrorists, only governments would have the human and material resources to organise and execute such an operation. But are they?

On Monday last week, crude oil prices tanked to below $50 per barrel, and driven down by the threat of global recession, some frankly silly commitments by desperate politicians to phase out fossil fuels by 2050, the effects of the esacalating trade war between the USA and China, a less developed threat of a trade war between the USA and EU, threatened to go as low as $40 per barrel. This caused quite a lot of consternation in oil producing states and also among oil extraction companies and processing companies.

And oil companies are the largest customer of paramilitary private security contractors. Oil companies have the finances to mount very sophisticated operations while paramilitary security contractors, recruiting from the elite forces of US, British, French, Australian and who knows what other armies have the personnel capable of carrying out sophisticated covert operations. So on Monday the price of crude oil bombs, Tuesday sees panic in the oil markets and among oil producing nations and oil companies, on Wednesday two tankers get hit in one of the busiest waterways on the planet, a vital route for oil from the Gulf States to the west. And almost immediately oil prices jump, wiping out recent losses.

Join up the dots as they saying goes. Cone on, it isn’t hard – there are only two dots to join. And if you get stuck ask yourself “Cui Bono?” Who benefits from the threat of war in the world’s largest oil producing nations, whose profit margins will be boosted by an oil famine, whose future prospects would be boosted by reminding the world, amid all the talk of sustainable, clean energy, just how dependent on oil our civiliation is?

Pro-war trolls resort to smears as their ‘rebels’ lose miserably in Syria

Bureaucrats, Politicians and media talking heads who have consistently supported military intervention in Syria, and championed Obama’s stated aim, that the priority was not to defeat ISIS terrorists but to remove the Assad rgime have gone apeshit following the collapse of the rebels final strongholds. The war loving ‘liberals’ are throwing everything they have at the level headed people who counselled against intervention …

Is World War Three Really Kicking Off This Time?

The airstrikes by a US led coalition that killed many Syrian soldiers fighting for the legitimate government of Bashar al Assad against the terrorist forces of ISIS has raised the level of hostile rhetoric between the USA / NATO coalition and the Russia / China / Iran alliance. The likelihood of war seemed to have receded through the summer, after it seemed possible early this year, that one stray shell or bullet could spread the war beyond the middle east.

Only 5 Percent Of Russian Air Strikes Hitting Islamic, British Defence Secretary Lies

After an amazing outburst from the delusional Brack Obama left the United Nations General Assembly in stunned silence because Obama has accused Russia and China of all the recent breaches of international law of which the USA is demonstably guilty, the propaganda departments of western governments seem to have totally lost their grip on reality.

Have US tactics only helped to make ISIS more powerful?/b>

We have questioned the US led efforts to defeat ISIS in the middle east many times, pointing out that every time the western alliance steps up opposition to the establishment of a news Islamic Caliphate, Islamic State seem to get stronger. ‘Conspiracy Theorists’, our critics yell. So let’s look at opinion from around the world that concurs with ours.

 

EU and US talk of war with Russia

 

The European People’s Party (EPP) the largest political group in the European Parliament, nominated Luxemourgeois nonentity and alcoholic (allegely) Jean-Claude Juncker as President of the European Commission. The party has the support of some of Europe’s most powerful leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Made up largely of centre Social Democrat parties and centre right Christian Democrats they command an automatic majority in any vote taken by the European Parliament and are unerringly federalist, globalist and anything but democratic.

And they are unerringly supportive of America’s efforts to start a war with Russia.

“The time of talk and persuasion with Russia is over,” MEP and Vice-President of the European People’s Party (EPP) Jacek Saryusz-Wolski told a meeting of the European Parliament on Tuesday, 21 April, “Now it’s time for a tough policy, a realistic policy, and concentration on defence and security, because the eastern flank of the EU feels vitally, existentially threatened.”
Read More:
EU and US talk of war with Russia

The Difference In Voting For Hillbillary or Trump Is Only One Promises War With Russia

Essential reading for our american readers who must soon decide who they want as their next president. Important too for non Americans who cannot influence the outcome of the election but are entitled to know why their arses might be blown from here to eternity sometime in the next few years.

Has Everybody Forgotten Obama’s War

The American military machine has just chalked up the grim statistic of its 2,000th fatality since America troops first surged into Afganistan to defeat “insurgents” whose families had lived in that country for many generations. The invasion was justifed in the aftermath of September 11 by the myth that Afghanistan was a …

Just How Close Are We To World War Three

Have you read or heard in your news supplier of choice of the recent massive troop movements in Israel, the massive build up of British, French and American warships around the approaches to the Persian gulf or just how badly the situations in Egypt and Libya have deteriorated since …

Ignore The warmongering Left’s Calls For Intervention In Syria

Morons to the right of me, idiots to the left. What are us libertarians to do as we find ourselves in our customary position, clinging to a raft of common sense as we try to navigate a course through a sea of insanity. My stance on the trouble spots of the middle east has always been the same, firmly non interventionist and I am not shifting as the propaganda …

Obama Talks The Talk But Dare Not Visit Afghanistan In Daylight

Todays mainstream news papers and broadcast bulletins are full of the Superhero Barack Obama’s daredevil visit to Afghanistan. The man who liberated Libya single handed and took out Osama Bin Laden (or a Pakistani pensioner with a beard) in a daring solo raid behind enemy lines stormed into the Afghan capital, Kabul, made a speech that left hundreds of Taliban fighters dead and saw others fleeing for the mountains with their arses on fire then left again all in the space of …

Syrian Rebels Say West Is Already Aiding Thier Uprising.

The mainstream media are all agog today over something The Daily Stirrer and other libertarian blogs have been telling you for weeks. There are already western military personnel on the ground in Syria, aiding the uprising against the government of President Assad.Western powers have been providing military support and equipment to the Syrian rebel fighter, one of …

Syrian Rebels Say West Is Already Aiding Thier Uprising.

As the troubles stirred up in Syria by the meddling of the American idiot President Barack Hussein Obama and fuelled by the west’s determination to intervene and effect regime change in another middle eastern nation escalate into civil war, the rebels show they are as unfit a government in waiting as those fanatical mobsters the western powers have catapulted into power in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. We conclude that Obama wants World War 3. …

Israel Will Not Warn USA Before Launching A Strike Against Iran
Israeli officials say they won’t warn the U.S. if they decide to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, a U.S. intelligence official familiar with the discussions has ytold Associated Press. The prediction, delivered in a series of private, top-level discussions raises tension in the middle east ahead of meetings in the coming days at the White House and Capitol Hill. Israeli officials said that if they eventually decide to launch a strike is necessary, they would not …

The Business of War: Defense Sales Keep Economies Of Manufacturing Nations Afloat
Tens of thousands have been killed and millions displaced due to ‘humanitarian’ interventions by the developed nations (led by the USA, France and the UKm the FUKUS axis) in the domestic politics of third world nation. Usually the interventions support rebel groups who if they came to power would be far more oppressive and brutal regime than the one they replaced.

 

Second bomb Attack In Six Months Targets Tourists In Egypt.

News feeds are telling us that earlier today (Sunday) a terror attack was made on a bus full of tourists travelling to see the Pyramids at Giza, near the Cairo, the Egyptian capital. Egyptian official news sources said the blast wounded at least 16 people, with no reports of fatalities so far.

The Egyptian government described the attack as having been by means of a roadside bomb placed on a heavily used stretch of road that in the tourist season is packed with busloads of sightseers en route to the famous World Heritage site, which leads security forces to believe it is the work of Islamic extremists intent on crippling Egypt’s vital tourist trade — the second to target foreign visitors to the pyramids in under six months.

in December an explosion ripped through a tourist bus in Al-Haram area south of Cairo, which killed two and left a dozen injured, in what was the first such attack in two years.

Aftermath of Sunday’s attack near the pyramids. Picture: The Times of Israel

Eye witness reports suggest the bomb was a relatively small explosive device, and photographs of the aftermath show the bus suffered impact damage, but is intact.

According to Bloomberg:

Some of the wounded were foreign nationals, according to Mohammed El-Saghir, head of police investigations in Giza’s al-Haram neighborhood. The blast occurred in front of a museum that’s under construction, and there was not immediate claim of responsibility.

In the hours following the incident, reported numbers of injured people rose to 18, with police saying they’re attempting to track the source, which a number of reports have linked with Islamic militant groups engaged in a long running conflict with Egypt’s security services.

 

MORE ON TERROR

The Daily Stirrer archive April 2019

Saudi-Led Coalition Sends Over 10,000 Troops To Prepare For Assault On Yemem Port

<img src="https://www.thetimes.co.uk/imageserver/image/methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2Fb3fbbaa6-746d-11e8-a4b0-c06c25e9bae2.jpg?crop=2555%2C1437%2C0%2C133&resize=1200.jpg&quot; alt="Hodeidah defenders prepare for Saudi assault” hspace=10 vspace=10>

The Saudi-led military coalition which has been waging a genocial war on Yemen has now sent more than 10,000 troops towards a strategically important rebel-held port city ahead in preparation for a new assault on what is descriobed as Yemen’s humatitarian lifeline, Yemeni government officials said on Tuesday.

The Sunni Muslim coalition deployed the reinforcements to the Red Sea coast ahead of a new offensive on Hodeidah that will be launched “within days”, a military official told the AFP news agency. He said they would also “secure areas liberated” from the Houthi rebels, and that forces from Sudan, part of the coalition, had moved in to “secure” areas around the city.

The aim of this latest assault is to starve the people of the Shia – dominated nation into submission. Saudi coalition boming and artillery assaults have already reduced much of Yemen’s vital infrastructure, including transport systems, hospials, water and sewerage sytems and the electrical grid and communications network to rubble.

Houthi rebels have for the past 10 days been stationing fighters on rooftops of buildings in Hodeidah city, government military officials told AFP. The port is the entry point for three-quarters of imports to the impoverished country, which is teetering on the edge of famine and suffering epidemic levels of infectious diseases due to lack of medicines.

Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi’s government after the Houthis ousted it and took swathes of territory including the capital Sanaa. The coalition has used air power to push the rebels back from much of Yemen, but the Houthis have held onto Hodeidah and Sanaa.

Sources: Middle east Eye, Reuters

RELATED POSTS:
UK ‘complicit in Yemen’s destruction’ – activist attacks government on eve of Saudi visit (VIDEO)
US Aiding Massive Genocide in Yemen at Behest of Saudi Arabia
Humanitarian Crisis Unfolds in Yemen, As US-EU-NATO backed Saudi war destoys another nation.
British Lawmakers Demand Inquiry Into Saudi / US War Crime In Yemen
Saudi Arabia Bids For Islamic Globalisation
What’s Really Happening With Saudi Arabia and Qatar Will Not Be Televised

US Lobbying Group Accuses UK of ‘Attempting to Silence Criticism of Islamism’


Tommy Robinson – picture: Huffington Post

Controversial British activist Tommy Robinson was arrested on contempt of court charges earlier this year for filming inside Canterbury Crown Court while four suspected rapists were being tried. Robinson,  real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, has been invited to the USA to speak at a closed-door conservative event and publicly address Americans in Washington.

The Middle East Forum, seven members of congress, and the David Horowitz Freedom Center, invited Robinson on Wednesday to give a talk at the Conservative Opportunity Society in November, provided legal proceedings against the activist end favorably and permit him to travel abroad.

While Robinson’s political views may be a tad extreme for most, he has a point in accusing the UK government and legal system of failing to act properly and justly in failing to prosecute the predominantly Muslim members of gangs that for many years groomed and abused vulnerable, under age girls in British towns. Police and care authorities were pressurised by politicians to ignore reports of these crimes until a wave of public presure, led in part by Robinson, forced then to act.

 Supporters of Tommy Robinson Gather Outside Central London Court (VIDEO)

United Nations set to impose global ban on criticism of Islam
We have reported before on The United Nations (UN), a supra – national organisation made up of elitists appointed by other elitists, overreaching its mandate and trying to act as a global government, imposing policies that nobody voted for, formulated by bureaucrats that nobody voted for, for on the sovereign nations of the world.

In a press release, the ME Forum accused the British government of “attempting to silence criticism of Islamism”, adding that Robinson will shed light on the matter and his work confronting Islamist extremists during his visit to Washington. There is a lot of evidence to support the allegation, and similar behaviour from the ruling elites of Europe have been one of the drivers of resurgent nationalism. Multiculturalism does not mean giving Muslims a licence to rape.

Furthermore, the US organization has vowed to “continue to support Mr. Robinson personally, as well as the general right to publicly discuss controversial subjects – including those related to Islam – without facing legal jeopardy.”

The group has lobbied the US government to pressure the UK throughout Robinson’s recent legal proceedings, also issuing numerous statements in support of him and his activism.

SHOCK (not): Khashoggi Remains Discovered In Garden Of Saudi Consul General’s Home: Sky News

Jamal Khashoggi

Shortly after Turkish President Erdogan demanded that Saudi Arabia disclose the where the body of (allegedly) murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s had been dumped, body parts thought to be from the dismembered body of Khashoggi have been found, according to Turkish and Greek sources, though the exact location wasn’t revealed. According to anonymous sources, including one cited by Sky News, the writer had been “cut up” and his face “disfigured.”

One report claimed Khashoggi’s remains had been discovered in the garden of the Saudi consul general’s home. “Why has the body of someone who was officially said to be killed not been found yet?” Erdogan asked during his speech at Turkey’s parliament on Tuesday. He added that the Saudi nationals arrested by Turkish police and security forces in connection with the killing should stand trial in Istanbul.

The circumstances surrounding the discovery of Khashoggi’s body parts make nonsense of Saudi Arabia’s explanation for his death. According to the Saudis, Khashoggi’s body was handed off to a local fixer being wrapped in a rug after he was killed by ‘rogue elements’ trying to discredit the Saudi Government. Though Erdogan didn’t mention Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (a fanatical Islamist known as Mad Mo, who has been the director of the Saudi genocidal war on Yemen,) in his speech, the kingdom and the prince have denied his involvement.

Amnesty International: “US & allies war of annihilation” in Raqqa, Syria had devastating toll on civilians.

Note: The direct link to the Amnesty report contained in this post is at the time of writing blocked by the EU and hidden by search engine filters elsewhere. People who think internet censorship is a conspiracy theory please take that on board.

The four-month military operation carried out by the US-led Coalition to oust the Islamic State from Raqqa (Syria), killed hundreds of civilians, injured many more and destroyed much of the city. This report from human rights group Amnesty International documents the experiences of four families whose cases are emblematic of wider patterns. Eight months on, the Coalition remains in denial about the human tragedy resulting from its military campaign.

Amnesty International is urging Coalition members to promptly and impartially investigate allegations of international law violations and civilian casualties, and to provide reparation to the victims and adequate assistance for the desperately needed demining and reconstruction work.

DOWNLOAD & READ the Full Report IN eNGLISH (pdf)

The military-industrial-humanitarian complex: Western hegemony spread by virtue signalling?

 

The terms ‘humanitarian’ and ‘democracy’ were once used to describe honourable behaviour and just causes. Now they have become contenders, along with science, socialism and liberal for the dubious honour of being the most abused words in the English language, routinely deployed to justify politically motivated acts of aggression which lead to death and destruction.
Words such as ‘humanitarian’ and ‘democracy’ have acquired a darker and more cynical meaning following their misappropriation to justify the invasion of sovereign nations, effect regime change and promote the spread of Western military, economic and cultural dominance around the world. The mainstream media and many human rights activists, assist these ventures by broadcasting and publishing propagandised news and by tapping into negative emotions such as fear and outrage to soften public opinion and make interference in the political affairs of sovereign states appear justified.
If you remember 2001 and the lies of western politicians and media about Saddam Hussein’s Weapons of Mass Destruction, supposedly capable of being deployed against western targets within 45 minutes, the strategy was used to swing public opinion behind the US / EU / NATO push for a war that would rid them of a maverick leader.  The public were deceived into accepting the invasion through attention-grabbing headlines crafted to abhor readers with ‘evidence’ of Saddam’s butchery and to generate strong emotional reactions which would cause people to think with their hearts rather than their heads.
One story was written by UK Labour MP Ann Clwyd, and published by the one time newspaper of record The Times  two days before the US-led Coalition of the Willing began pounding Iraq’s cities and infrastructure with carpet bombing attacks. Clwyd claimed that Saddam had demonstrated a ‘human-shredding machine’ into which adversaries were fed and reduced to fish food. It is of course a variation on a scence in the Coen brothers film Fargo in which a wood shredder is used to render a corpse unidentifiable.
The article, under the title “See men shredded, then say you don’t back war” was quoted by other newspapers and by TV and radio news and caused readers to feel revulsion towards Saddam and his regime, and made the anti-war lobby appear sympathetic to a murderous regime dubbed by one tabloid, “The Butchers Of Bagdhad,” and indifferent to the plight of the Iraqi people. The story was challenged by anti – war campaigners and no evidence of such a device has been found. And for the record Saddam was supported by more than half of Iraquis, a popularity he achieved by the simple expedient of using a significant proportion of his country’s oil revenues to provide generous welfare payments.

The Iraqi dictator was certainly no angel, but he did manage to keep down the extremist elements in his country ,and of course, his removal by the the western military powers, USA , UK and France (The FUKUS axis,) facilitated the rise of ISIS some years later. Saddam’s real crimes were well known to US and NATO intelligence services, who kept him informed about the locations of Iranian troops during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, in the knowledge that he would use mustard gas and sarin against them.

The US also provided Saddam with cluster bombs and helped him acquire chemical precursor agents. US-based Human Rights Watch estimated that Saddam killed at least 290,000 of his own people while in power.  However, this figure is dwarfed by the number of Iraqis believed to have died in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion, due to occupation forces, sectarian violence or ISIS – this figure is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands, if not in excess of a million.

The psychological shock-and-awe strategy was again employed in the lead up to NATO’s bombing of Libya, as the US and UK’s on-off relationship with Gaddafi took a turn for the worse after he planned to start selling oil in dinars (a new gold-backed pan-African currency) instead of US dollars or euros, and encouraged his African neighbors to follow suit.

The release of emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server in late 2015, just as the 2016 election campaign was getting under way revealed that such a move would have strengthened African economies and led to competition between the dinar and the dollar or euro. In fact there is in progress now a move led by Russia and China to dump the US$ as reserve currency and move to a system of settling cross border trades in the vendors currency. And earlier this year, China launched the Petroyuan, a gold-backed contract for trading oil futures, on the Shanghai stock & commodity exchange. So old Mad Dog Muammar was just unfortunate enough to be ahead of the game when he had no powerful allies to back him up.

On this occasion, we were treated to the excuse that bombing Libya and supporting the anti-Gaddafi rebels, including Al-Qaeda-affiliated elements, was necessary as Gaddafi was about to commit a massacre against the people of the rebel-controlled city of Benghazi. Another emotive claim designed to mould public opinion into accepting the war affirmed that Gaddafi was giving his soldiers Viagra so they could commit mass rape. An investigation by Amnesty International found no evidence to support this allegation and revealed that on several occasions anti-Gaddafi forces in Benghazi had made false allegations or manufactured evidence of human rights violations.

Without any sense of irony American, European and British politicians and the media now try to justify censorship of news and opinion, seeking to justify this illiberal and undemocratic activity by claiming it is necessary to silence those who spread ‘fake news’. Do we really believe governments and the media are going to censor themselves? Do we believe Google are suddenly going to cease and desist from suppressing factual information and opinions critical of their cronies in Washington? Do we believe Facebook are going to remove the globalist bias from their algorithms and give equal prominence to news and ideas that do not support Zuckerberg’s world domination agenda? Do we look as though we were born yesterday?

The concern of governments and their corporate friends about fake news is that with the rise of new media real news will leak out into the public domain and expose the fact that governments have been feeding us fake news since the modern era began with the protestant reformation.