UK government survives key Brexit parliamentary vote

Britain’s Conservative-propped-up-by-Northern-Irish-DUP government survived a move to strengthen parliament’s power to intervene if no divorce deal is reached with Brussels by the end of this year. A rebellion by pro-EU MPs was headed off after they were promised a “meaningful vote” on the outcome.

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s position would have neen under threat had she not won the vital parliamentary vote on Wednesday. The victory will allow her government to offer lawmakers a take-it-or-leave-it decision on any final Brexit deal.

MPs voted by 319 to 303 to reject an amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, which sets the legal framework for the UK to leave the European Union.

Pro-EU politicians spent months lobbying for parliament to be given the opportunity to stop Britain crashing out of the EU without a future trade deal, which they say will be a disaster for the British economy.

May offered parliament a vote on the final terms of any deal with Brussels, but has rejected what she sees as any attempt to undermine the chances of a strong Brexit deal. Those opposed to a hard Brexit wanted the option to return negotiators to talks with the EU, rather than crashing out with no trade deal at all — something the government says will weaken its position in the eyes of Brussels.

Read an analysis by European commentators in Deutsche Welle: ‘Armageddon’ Brexit: ‘No deal’ scenario could hit fuel and food

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As G8,7,6 declines Putin and Xi build alternative global economy


Putin and Xi (Picture: RT)

 

While Germany’ Merkel and France’s Macron lecture the world on politically correct globalism and  President Trump turns his back on Obamaesque arse kissing and lectures former foreign partners of the US on common sense, ahead of a G-7 (or rather, G-6+1 and soon to be 5 + 2 as Italy’s Eurosceptic government sides with Trump,) summit in Quebec, exposing the very real fragmentation of the western liberal consensus continues.

If the US, isolated by the other, quits G7 (as Trump, based on his track record, well might,) that will leave Germany, Japan, UK, France, Italy and Canada. All of these have their own problems which eventually must override the airy – fairy ideas of academics about global approaches to problems. Global approaches may justify lost of expensive jollies for politicians and academics and look great on paper but seldom have any effect on local problems.

Trump’s controversial imposition of import tariffs signals a US crackdown on unfair foreign trade practices, such as dumping cheap, shoddy goods from low labour cost areas in western markets at prices with which domestic manufacturers cannot hope to compete. Meanwhile, almost unreported by mainstream media (link goes to Bloomberg, I picked it up from a financial services news feed that I should not be accessing without a subscription, but hey, ‘fair use’)  an important meeting between China’s leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin is of far greater significance than the posturings of the G6 minnows, as, like bad tempered lap dogs, they yap at Trump.

Putin and Xi held their first meeting this year on Thursday ahead of the June 9 Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting – an eight-member group led by China and Russia – which will be held in the port city of Qingdao. The two governments are in constant touch however. China and Russia are of course leading the move to replace the Petrodollar as the global reserve currency and are playing an increasingly pivotal role in international crises such as Syria and the South China Sea.

Macron Tells Trump:New World Order Starts Here

macron20trudeauMacron and Trudeau – the Canadian leader is taller but more stupid looking
Picture: Zero Hedge

Standing side by side with the other Globalist puppet world leader, Canada’s PC PM Justin bin Trudeau in Ottawa, French Grand-mère baiseur Emmanuel Macron said that he is ready to work with the six other Group of Seven members if U.S. wants to stand alone.

Responding to reports that US President Donal Trump does not care if he is isolated among the group from which Vladimir Putin is already excluded for not following the policies laid down by The Bilderberg Group, Macron commented: “You say President Trump doesn’t care. Maybe. But none of us are eternal and our countries, the commitments taken, go beyond us. None of us who have been elected by the people can say ‘all prior commitments disappear.’ It’s just not true, there is a continuity in state affairs at the heart of international laws. Sometimes we’ve inherited some commitments that weren’t core to our beliefs, but we stuck to them, because that is how it works for nations. And that will be the case for the United States – like for every great democracy”, Macron is reported by Bloomberg to have said.

Macron said he cannot rule out a G-6+1 situation at the upcoming G-7 meeting: “Maybe the U.S. President doesn’t care to be isolated but we don’t care being with the six together,” Macron says, adding they represent the values of a “global force” and an economic market.  Macron, a former Goldman Sachs office boy clearly fancies taking the mantle of globalist in chief from Barack Obama. Like Obama, his achievements now in power are falling way short of promises made when he was campaigning.

The French president then emulated another Obama trick by making a thinly veiled threat that he cannot possible carry out: “the combination of the six markets of the G-7 group is bigger than the U.S. market” and cautioned Trump that “there is no global hegemony if we can organize” adding he will “fight against hegemony”

Russia, China, Iran, India and Brazil may be fighting against US hegemony but the EU is dependent on the US for security and far more vulnerable in a trade war than the US. And Trump is not a man to be intimidated by threats.

In the run up to what looks like being the most confrontational and acrimonious G-7 meeting since the series began in 1975), it is being reported that Germany chancellor Angela Merkel  was already laying down plans for the Toronto showdown among the world’s top political leaders, vowing to challenge Donald Trump on virtually every issue, from trade to climate, and warning that the lack of room for compromise means leaders may fail to agree on a final statement, an unprecedented event at a summit of the world’s 7 most advanced nations.

Addressing German lawmakers on Wednesday, two days before the G-7 summit is due to begin in Toronto Canada, Merkel said that Trump’s “America First” doctrine shows that “we have a serious problem with multilateral agreements.” She added that failure to find common ground could lead to the highly unusual step of host Canada issuing a concluding statement not agreed by all participants, according to Bloomberg. We the punters should not be unduly worried about this, ‘common ground’ at these jollies is usually a meaningless and mealy mouthed compromise which commits everybody to doing absolutely nothing except hammer us for more taxes.

 

Battered Italy, Bruised Europe

Sometimes we all need a break so, back from Mallorca I’m going to continue my vacation by borrowing a few posts from elsewhere. Italy has been the main subject or my sporadic blogging and the posts from the blog’s occasional contributors this past couple of weeks. Here’s an excellent analysis of what has been going on in Italian politics and what it might mean for the future of the EU from RT contributor Dr. Sreeram Chaulia. (published under fair use terms for public education, as a counter to the fake news and propaganda fed by Brussels via mainstream media.)

Battered Italy, bruised Europe: Italian saga reveals deeper problems facing EU
Rome was neither built in a day and nor did it decline instantly. Italy has been crumbling over the last two decades under the weight of structural malfunction.

The fall reached precipitous levels in recent days with institutional gridlock and economic panic threatening another Europe-wide meltdown.

Since March, Italy lacked a government amid extreme uncertainty and confrontation between firebrand right-wing populists and their liberal opponents. Constitutional principles like the ‘will of the majority’ and ‘checks and balances’ wrestled with each other in a nerve-wracking contest of wills.

Notwithstanding a last-minute deal to finally stitch together a government, the saga has revealed deeper underlying maladies. Italy is on the frontline of a fissure gnawing at the heart of the contemporary Western world—­ nationalistic reassertion vis-à-vis supranational globalization.

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Italy's PM-designate Giuseppe Conte looks on as President Sergio Mattarella signs documents © Presidential Press Office

 

The electoral success of two anti-establishment populist parties, the Five Star Movement and The League which will together govern Italy in a coalition, is premised on the same idea that hoisted Donald Trump to the White House and pushed the United Kingdom to Brexit, i.e. ‘us’ simple folks of the nation versus ‘them’ scheming distant elites.

In Italy, down-and-out citizens who are unemployed and frustrated blame the European Union and global financial forces for their misfortunes and believe that big powers like Germany and the international investors are caging and exploiting ordinary Italians.

Lay Italians rant about how taxes and prices keep rising, wages never keep up, and all the funds from the EU for local development are swallowed by Italian politicians and mafia bosses. One small business owner in Salerno told this author: “We have no state. It collapsed long ago and was taken over by the ‘Eurocrats’ based in Brussels and their Italian lackeys who have been ruling us.”

The perception of loss of people’s control over their own destiny is compounded by condescending attitudes of the EU’s top brass towards ill-performing and mismanaged economies like those of Italy, Greece and Spain. Comments from the EU’s budget chief, Gunther Oettinger, that the global markets will ‘teach’ Italian voters a lesson to abandon extreme options, have stirred outrage and nationalistic passion among Italians who say they are tired of being treated as a “colony of the Germans”.

Like Greece, Italy has not emerged from the global economic crisis that began in 2008. Worst-hit citizens are asking why the EU and foreign credit rating agencies should be imposing their will on fiscal spending limits and even on who should be Finance Minister in the next Italian government.

For commoners, the only ‘markets’ which matter are the physical ones dotting Italy’s streets and lanes where customers are scarce and profits are thinning. Privileging of interests of international bond and stock markets over real markets that determine livelihoods of simple people is a core problem that populists highlight and promise to overturn when they take power.

 

The idea of European integration was once championed by Italian Communists like Altiero Spinelli as an escape from narrow nationalistic rivalries and wars. Today, as the working classes in Italy suffer under fiscal austerity and breakdown of governance, the EU and bond investors are being painted as instruments of foreign big businesses to crush the nation’s poor.

If being yoked to global markets is riling the grassroots, the other factor driving the populist ascent is immigration. Throughout Italy, there is a noticeable presence of migrants from Africa and Asia who entered as part of a wave via the Mediterranean Sea in recent years. Populists blame them for crime and terrorism, channeling racial desires about restoring ‘national purity’, and vowing to deport the foreigners who are seen as “invading” Christian terrain.

Although the EU’s flag flies alongside the Italian one in public squares and government buildings, native Italians fume at the ‘burden’ saddled on them through reckless immigration without sufficient financial support or sharing by other EU member countries. Conspiracies that Germany colluded with the corrupt traditional Italian elite class and thrust unwanted migrants on Italy abound.

Defenders of European integration cite statistics and objective facts to assert that Italy has benefited economically from staying within the Euro and the EU. Even the new governing coalition of Five Star and The League has lately disavowed any intent to abandon the Euro currency or pursue an ‘Italexit’.

But it is obvious that populists have retracted from their characteristically strident anti-EU positions for tactical reasons in order to form a government after being blocked by the pro-EU Italian state establishment led by President Sergio Mattarella.

With Euroskeptics having now battled their way to power in Rome, we can expect Italy to worsen the already weakened consensus within the EU over common fiscal, cultural and foreign policies. Together with Hungary and Poland, populist-ruled Italy will form an internal opposition bloc inside the EU to undermine Germany and France’s liberal internationalist agenda.

When populists throughout Europe envision a ‘Europe of nations’ rather than a European Union, it sounds like a catharsis to their constituents on the ground who feel abandoned and left out of basic decision-making functions owing to alleged machinations of foreigners sitting far away in Brussels and financial capitalist hubs abroad.

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Five Star Movement (M5S) leader Luigi Di Maio, Italy, Naples, May 29, 2018. © Ciro De Luca/Ropi

 

As long as economic stagnation and cultural anxiety continue, the ire against supranational entities will not abate and the hyperbolic ambitions of liberal leaders like the French President Emmanuel Macron to craft a more united and powerful Europe will remain unfulfilled.

Brussels is often scapegoated for failures brought upon at least partly by Italians, Greeks or Spaniards on themselves. Prevalence of a regional culture in southern Europe based on personal favors and cutting corners suit patronage-centric political systems rather than rule-of-law. The EU or Wall Street bankers did not invent these troublesome features which predate modern times.

Yet, the signals from below are clear— people in the West have had enough of hyper-globalization and dismemberment of what used to be a defined community and national identity. They are seeking a democratic change where sovereignty, administration and policies affecting their pocketbooks are not fixed by speculative capitalist bond yield ‘spreads’, which the Italian President cited to rein in populists, but rather by the people’s autonomous choices in each country.

Understanding the anger in the boondocks and accommodating demands for at least some extent of ‘de-globalization’ are necessary to bridge the social ruptures opened up by excess financial market-based hegemony. The cookie cutter approach to globalization and continental homogeneity in Europe has to adjust to national context and popular backlash.

History shows that the EU has weathered numerous crises before and the populist wave of rage may also pass after it starts governing in countries like Italy and commits its own blunders. But the quest for a humane alternative to the existing alienating order is essential for political stability and mass contentment. This search transcends the immediate questions of who forms a government and how shares and equities will react to ministerial picks. It is the only path for the West to save itself from implosion.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

 

Italy To Become The Hub Of The EU’s Change Or Die Dilemma

The Eurosceptic,  populist coalition that won the right to form a new government in Italy, Five Star Movement and Lega have agreed their government. The legislative program is very independent and nationalistics  And the bureaucrats in Brussels hate it.

At the moment Brussels is trying to scare the outsiders now in charge in Italy, just as they scared greece, Portugal and Ireland, to soften their stances on reform and maintain a status quo which is destroying a great country and culture. The problem is, excluding Britain which is on the way out, Italy is the third largest EU member nation by both population and economy. And the leaders of the coalition have made clear the position that what is good for Italy is their main priority and what’s god for Brussels and Germany (which are the same thing realy,) are minor considerations.

The League and Five Star Movement leaked demands for $250 billion in debt relief from the ECB.  There was also a demand for developing a mechanism for countries to leave the euro, according to a, now discredited, report from Reuters.

The final proposal doesn’t have any of this inflammatory language, but don’t think the leak wasn’t part of their negotiating strategy or part of where the are ultimately planning to take their country.

The rest of the proposal is hostile enough to Brussels (see below) to cause a major schism with other south European nations and possible the Visegrad group led by Poland’s Eurodissidents supporting the Italians.  And with ECB President Mario Draghi now signaling the need to consolidate European sovereign debt under its umbrella, the stage is set for a huge bust up.

Here’s conservative economist Martin Armstrong’s take:

So everyone else understands what this is about, the ECB President Mario Draghi has come out and proposed interlocking the euro countries to create a “stronger” and “new vehicle” as a “crisis instrument” to save Europe. He is arguing that this should prevent countries from drifting apart in the event of severe economic shocks. Draghi has said it provides “an extra layer of stabilization” which is a code phrase for the coming bond crash. [emphasis mine]

In effect Armstrong is telling us that Draghi understands how bad things truly are and that Italian leadership knows they have the upper hand in debt negotiations. They are prepared to push Brussels hard to get what they want.  And well they should.  League leader Matteo Salvini understands how ruinous the euro as administered by Germany has been for Italy and most of Europe, particularly Greece, Cypris, Portugal and Spain.

So, to him, if the price for Italy to stay in the EU is to force the northern countries to accept debt consolidation and write-down then so be it.

If they won’t agree to that, then Italy’s new leadership is prepared to back to the people and say, “We tried.  Screw them. Let’s walk.”

The rest of the coalition proposals are a mishmash of right and left policy prescriptions that will drive the IMF and Brussels mad.  But it is a credit to these very different parties that they have managed to agree the compromises they must make work if they are to take back their country from the insanity of the status quo in Europe, which serves no one’s ends except the globalist cartel which stands behind the public faces of the EU – Juncker, Merkel, Tusk, Macron, etc.

One is calling for lower taxes and regulation, the other wants generous pensions and universal income.  These are not easy differences to overcome. But they have, to no one’s complete satisfaction. Both leaders and their parties understand the main issues facing their government are immigration and Italy’s relationship with the EU.

The EU can go and F*** itself!’ Politician’s Outburst Rallies Support In Italy
The leader of the Lega party, Matteo Salvini claimed the European Union should stop interfering with Italian politics as measures taken by the bloc have crippled the Italian economy. Mr Salvini is the frontrunner in the upcoming Italian general election to become Italy’s next Prime Minister.

Quitaly? Will Italy follow Britain out of the EU? With a referendum in Italy, ostensibly on constitutional reforms but perceived as a referendum on the leadership of the ruling elite, looming in November and the anti – globalisation, pro sovereignty Five Star Party growing in popularity all the time. Should the constitutional changes be voted down, and the against campaign is showing a comfortable lead in opinion polls at the moment, it will put a Quitaly in-out referendum, similar to the so called Brexit vote that kick off the process of Britain leaving the European Union, at the top of the agenda.Threat Of Major Scandal Prompted Early Election Move – UKIP
Leaders of the (UKIP) have made astonishing claim that Prime Minister Teresa May’s calling an early General Election was done to pre-empt a series of by-elections that could be called following alleged electoral fraud. Accusing the Conservative government of “putting party before country”, UKIP appeared to suggest the scandal and ensuing disqualification of MPs could rob the government of its slender majority.
Nigel Farage Swipes Back At Irrational, Screeching, Crazy Clinton
US Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton launched a hysterical, irrational attack, filled with half truths and blatant lies, against the most prominent figure in the campaign to get Britain out of the EU (Brexit), UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, during a speech at a rally today. Mrs Clinton, responding to Farage’s address to a large and enthusiastic audience at a Donald Trump rally, may have been rattled at the prospect of having such a hihly effective campaigner in the rival camp …
Rebellion Against EU Authoritarianism Escalates As 8th Member Nation Threatens Referendum
Brussels went too far, they crossed the line in moving from an economic union to a political pan – European political empire. In the end it was a race as to which member state would quit first, Britain, Netherlands, Denmark or Italy. In the event it is Britain.
Is Brexit A Harbinger Of Doom For The ‘Experts’
The Brexit vote, the decision by a democratic majority in Britain to leave the European Union has sent shockwaves around the world. Not only does the EU now face a tsunami of departures, the usurpation of democracy by ‘experts’ ( technocrats ) has been challenged and exposed as a sham.
BREXIT vs. GREXIT – The Truth About The European Union And How It Treats Members
Unless the testicularly deficient politicians stand up for their nations he only thing that will halt the European Union’s push beyond Europe’s geographical borders to incorporate Asian, middle eastern and north African nations is war. Power is addictive and the bean counters of Brussels have ambitions far beyond Europe.
The Hypocrisy and Snobbery Of The Remain Campaign And The Antidote
When I had to defriend a Facebook contact because she was arguing in favour of the EU, it was not simply because I support Brexit that I had become pissed of with her, it was the snobbish and condescending way she dismissed supporters of LEAVE and their case. People are entitled to their opinion on the European Union, but they should check the ‘facts’ they post in support of their arguments.
The Labour Case For Brexit by Kate Hoey M.P.
After my short intro is a savage indictment by Brexit supporting Labour MP Kate Hoey of the way the Labour Party has abandoned the working class and is now trying to betray the party’s proud heritage and its roots in the industrial areas by taking Britain into an undemocratic, corporate controlled, capitalist friendly, elite dominated globalist control freak project.
Dutch Referendum This Week Shows why We Should Leave The EU.
Few of you were aware probably that there is an EU referendum vote in The Netherlands this week. As usual with anything negative about the EU barely a word has been printed in the topic in mainstream media and the silence from our notionally unbiased national broadcaster The Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has been deafening.
French, Belgians, Dutch, Italians Follow Britain in Euroskepticism
Europeans want us British to lead them out of Europe. Don’t be fooled by project fear, the European Union (aka the Euronazi Federal Superstate) is falling apart. There will not be chaos if we leave, there will be chaos if we stay.
Head Of European Institute: Brexit ‘Better’ For Everyone
Brexit would be the best result of Britain’s in / out referendum for both Britain and the EU i a Belgian professor who heads up the European Institute at the London School of Economics (LSE) has said.
Johnson’s article lines up his reasons why Britain must exit on June 23rd. It’s time to be brave
OK, I know a lot of you think Boris is most accurately described by a word many people find offensive, but he’s put together a very good argument here on why we must leave the EU. Published in part here under ‘fair use’ terms and conditions, in the public interest …
Cameron’s EU Package: Not A Deal But A Few Turns In The Spin Machine
As we and almost everybody else predicted, David Cameron’s deal to improve Britain’s relationship with the EU is worthless. It changes nmothing, and can be vetoed once we have voted to stay in.
Cameron Plays Deal Or No Deal In Europe
David Cameron, who was apparently up all night trying to make other European leaders understand why his country needs a better deal in order to poersuade the prople it is a good idea stay in the EU. Unless Cameron gets what will enable him to sell the idea of surrendering national sovereignty to a Federal European Superstate ruled by a committee of unelected bureaucrats in to the British public he will not campaign for the UK to remain in the bloc
EU Refuses to Block Eurozone Integration to Reach Agreement With UK
Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said at the E?U summit on British membership terms that the European Union wants to reach an agreement with the United Kingdom, but it is not prepared to compromise the banking union (financial integration) or the further integration of monetary union (UK being forced to abandon the pound join the Euro?) to achieve this goal.
Cameron’s EU Deal Worthless. It Can Be Vetoed In European Parliament?
Opinion polls show Britain is evenly divided on the question of whether to leave or remain in the EU, though it has been suggested up to 10 million other voters, many of them women, have yet to make a decision. How they cast their vote will shape the future of the world’s fifth largest economy and the EU itself. But what is really at stake is more important than economics …
Obama’s intervention in UK politics triggers angry backlash
Angry Britons have launched a petition calling for U.S. President Barack Obama to be prevented from speaking in the UK parliament on Britain’s forthcoming referendum on European Union (EU) membership.

Leaked Documents reveal UK gov’t secretly supports Saudi military action against Yemen

1035x690-06122015st03_sanaa
Yemenis defiant amid the destruction (Source: http://www.knownterrorists.com)

Last month the war in Yemen slipped, unremarked by mainstream media, unnoticed by the oh-so-politically-correct talking heads on television,  into its fourth year.If the war was simply a falling out between Yemen’s Sunni Muslim government supported by Saudi Arabia and the Shia Muslim Houthi rebels, supported by Iran, there would be s strong case for non intervention, given that western interventions elsewhere in the middle east have only tended to make things worse.

Unfortunately there being no FUKUS axis (France, UK, USA,) forces on the ground in Yemen does not mean the western powers are not involved. While Yemen is being pounded on a daily basis by bombs dropped by Saudi warplanes armed with missiles and weapons supplied by the three FUKUS axis powers, Iran’s support of the rebels is of a lower level. After three years of Saudi air attacks the rebels are still fighting, but the suffering inflicted on Yemeni civilians is not far from genocidal.

The country has a huge humanitarian crisis with many people now suffering from malnutrition, disruption of water supplies has led to disease epidemics because there is only contaminated water to drink and with many hospitals and medical centres having been deliperately targeted by Saudi airstrikes there is a chronic shortage of medicines.

Mainstream media likes to present wars as being fought between the good guys in white hats and bad guys  in black hats:Things are rarely that simple, and certainly not in this case. The Saudi Arabian government is an absolute monarchy that takes as its legal codex the medieval Sharia Law prescribed by the founders of Islam, the fundamentalist Wahhabi Muslim sect of the ruling Saud family exerts great power and the nation’s enormous wealth and vast oil reserves grant it immunity from United Nations censure.
Western leaders say the Saudis are the white hats because of their money and oil and because, when it suits them, they cooperate with NATO, the EU and the USA.

Iran is a theocracy run by Shia religious leaders. It too is under Sharia Law, in much of the nation women and girls are treated as property and punishments are harsh for what can seem to people in the developed nations, relitavely trivial offences. In western media Iran is represented by black hats. In both nations women can be publicly stoned or flogged for disobeying their husbands or fathers and the penalty for adultery is public beheading.

Both sides wear dark grey hats then. But what of the war, is anything being done to mediate between the two sides?

UN Security Council investigators have documented violations of international humanitarian law by all sides with human rights officials claiming the “leading cause” of civilian casualties are airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition, (Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates,) which backs Yemen’s President Hadi against the rebels, supporters of the more moderate and secular regime of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. Houthi artillery and missile attacks in reponse aremorally no different but are delivered with vastly inferior technology and less destructive weapons. The rebel strikes are also less numerous, Iran does not want an all out war with Saudi Arabia and probably cannot match what the Sudis are spending on armaments.

The  British involvement in a war the UK government has called the world’s largest humanitarian crisis is somewhat greater than government ministers are prepared to admit according to leaked documents.

Throughout the Yemen conflict and long before, Saudi Arabia has been by far the biggest  customer of Britain’s  armaments and military technology industry. Half of all UK exports of weapons and military equipment from 2013 to 2017 went to the Arab kingdom. Most sales were for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF), 151 of whose 324 combat aircraft are British-supplied, along with weapons, radar and other ground systems, parts and spares.

Faced with legal and political criticism, the UK government denies any responsibility for – and claims it cannot necessarily control or even know – how UK-supplied weapons are used by overseas buyers, Last July the High Court agreed with that view (though activists are now applying to appeal that decision).

The recent revelations about the UK’s relationship with the Saudi military challenges this ‘flog and forget’ theory of arms trade. Under a sequence of binding agreements between the two nations, the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and its contractors supply not only military ‘hardware’, but also software and “liveware” in the form of expert military personnel to train and advise customers armed forces. Around 7000 people – civilian employees, British civil servants and seconded Royal Air Force personnel – are present in Saudi Arabia to advise, train, service and manage British-supplied combat aircraft and other military equipment.

The government has repeatedly assured Parliament that these personnel are strictly hands-off: “there is no British involvement in targeting or weaponizing aircraft to undertake missions in Yemen” one of the leaked documents says. They also insist that neither UK military nor civilian personnel “are involved in the loading of weapons for operational sorties, nor are they involved in the planning of operational sorties“.

Over the past eighteen months, investigative reporters working with the support of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust,  have sought to map these British and British-employed personnel in Saudi Arabia, trying to understand their work and their experiences. The precise numbers and functions have remained obscure, even in liberal, democratic Britain people who reveal such details tend to disappear or become victims of ‘bizarre gardening accidents’ and such . The UK-Saudi agreements that govern their work are classified ‘UK Confidential/RSAF Secret‘ and are closed from public release until 2027. Even UK ministers say they “do not have full visibility of the prime contractor’s manpower footprint in Saudi Arabia.

As these agreements show, the umbrella contract between UK and the Saudis requires that “United Kingdom civilian and military personnel will remain available in Saudi Arabia for preparation, including arming and support, of the [Tornado fighter-bomber] aircraft during an armed conflict” in which Saudi Arabia is involved, though these personnel may not “participate” in the conflict directly. The clause makes no reference to the authorisation by parliament or lawfulness of such a conflict.

British diplomats have always been concerned about the implications of this commitment, and have lobbied both Conservative and Labour governments for the clause to be removed.

“At worst”, the Foreign Office’s Middle East Department warned the MoD  , “this clause could expose HMG (Her Majesty’s Government) to accusations that they were involved in an undercover role in  unlawful military adventures; at best, it might threaten to compromise British neutrality in armed conflicts between third States.” Papers elsewhere in the National Archives show that the commitment was removed from a draft version of the agreement circulated within Whitehall six weeks before signature. It nonetheless seems to have been re-inserted into the final agreement at some stage, thus bypassing they scrutiny of elected representatives.

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In a rare outbreak of common sense, a bill barring the US Federal Government from giving money and weapons to child murdering terrorists like the head amputators, slave dealers and human organ noshers of ISIS and Al Nusra (Barack Obama’s beloved ‘moderate rebels’,) garnered hardly any support from either the Democratic Perpetual War Party, or the Republican War Is Good Business Party.

Saudi Arabia Bids For Islamic Globalisation

soon after the suicide bomb at The Manchester Arena, I felt obliged to defriend someone on facebook, whom I have known online for around ten years. So what did this sweet lady, who writes books on medieval witchcraft and calls herself a pagan, do to piss me off? She showed herself to be a hypocrite by posting a whinge about people reacting with anger and ‘hate’ to this latest atrocity; “I’m all about compassion, I will not stand by and see Muslims victimised because of this.” Oh yeah? And what about the dead and injured victimised by a muslim extremist?

What’s Really Happening With Saudi Arabia and Qatar Will Not Be Televised

While mainstream media is in a frenzy over what former FBI chief James Comey will say to a Congressional hearing about Donald Trump’s alleged links with Russia and attempt to shut down an investigation into those links, the UK election, Islamic extremist terrorism, football’s latest multi – million transfer deals, etc., as usual the really big story is hardly being reported. We bring you the story from The Anti Media,

 

Have They Learned Nothing From Iraq?

A U S outpost, near the front line between the U.S-backed Syrian Military Council and the Turkish-backed fighters, in Manbij, north Syria, Wednesday, April 4. (image source: NYT)

After the debacles of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, not to mention the unfinished business in Yemen, one might hope the political establishments and the mainstream media might have learned something about military interventions to effect regime change in third world nations which are culturally millions of light years away from the liberal democracies.


Libya, Syria, Yemen: Sectarian conflict threatens entire Middle East

Another failure of US foreign policy leads to threat of war as a coalition of 10 Sunni Arab states launches a military offensive against Shiite Houthi militants in Yemen, recently proclaimed by America’s president as a brilliant example of war on terror, but now catapulting the Middle East into the inferno of battle.

 

OPCW Chemical Inspection Team Reaches Douma After Issuing Statement Negating “Russia Cover-Up” Claim

In what must be a shock to the US, UK and French Deep State all of which were hoping for an escalation of the conflict in Syria, members of the OPCW Chemical Inspection Team finally eached Douma, scene of the latest alleged chemical weapons incident and issued a preliminary statement negating the FUKUS axis “Russia Cover-Up” narrative spun by the western alliance.

After many days of delay inside the security arch of Damascus’ city center, the international chemical weapons watchdog group’s team announced that it had finally entered the Damascus suburb town of Douma early on Saturday. The inspectors said the delay getting into Douma was not due to the Asad government obstructing the inquiry, as has been widely reported by mainstream media, but by United Nations personnel who refused to allow the OPCW team access ‘for safety reasons.’

In an official statement posted to its website, the OPCW confirmed the following:

The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) team of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) visited one of the sites in Douma, Syrian Arab Republic today to collect samples for analysis in connection with allegations of chemical weapons use on 7 April 2018. The OPCW will evaluate the situation and consider future steps including another possible visit to Douma.

The OPCW Fact-Finding Mission will initially study the collected samples at an OPCW lab in the Netherlands, with potential sample distribution to its other designated labs. In the past, it’s take up to multiple weeks or months for the OPCW to issue a preliminary report to the public.

The statement continues:

The samples collected will be transported to the OPCW Laboratory in Rijswijk and then dispatched for analysis to the OPCW’s designated labs. Based on the analysis of the sample results as well other information and materials collected by the team, the FFM will compile their report for submission to the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention for their consideration.

It is unclear if any of what was collected includes tissue samples from corpses as it’s now being widely reported that the jihadist group which previously held the area – Jaish al-Islam – hastily buried the bodies of alleged chemical attack victims.

Though the team was invited into the country by the Syrian and Russian governments – both signatories to the international body devoted to decommissioning global stockpiles of banned chemical weapons – there’s been much spin and obfuscation regarding why the team was actually delayed, with a number of media outlets in the West falsely claiming that Syria and Russia were attempting a cover-up.

The cover up narrative was based on the unverified claims of political leaders in the West, particularly Theresa (the appeaser) May and France’s pipsquesk president Emmanuel Macron who, in collaboration with the US Deep State, and continuing the policies of their predecessors, have long sought to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, to serve the interests of the tyrannical theocracy with rules Saudi Arabia, and who have given covert aid to various jihadist rebel groups.

Are Chemical Weapons Inspectors Investigating Anything in Syria?
From The Anti – Media Following on from our post yesterday on the findings of veteran British journalist Robert Fisk who was the first western reporter to reach the site of the alleged chemical weapon incident. April 17, 2018 at 9:10 pm Written by Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) — Syrian Ambassador Bashar Jaafari told the UN Security Council …

War Reporter Robert Fisk Reports From Syrian ‘Chemical Attack’ Site, Concludes “They Were Not Gassed”
The first report of the famous and respected foreign affairs journalist Robert Fisk has given us a bombshell first-hand account in The Independent which runs contrary to almost every claim made by US, UK and NATO propaganda machines concerning the alleged chemical weapons attack on April 7th in an embattled suburb outside Damascus: not only …

Syria airstrike: Russia warns US, allies of ‘consequences’.
April 14, 2018 middle east, usa, World politics and war bomb, chemical weapons, gas, ISIS, oil, russia, syria, usa Russia’s Ambassador in Washington DC warned the USA and its allies there will be “consequences” in the wake of the US, UK and French (FUKUS axis) coordinated air strikes on Syria. Russia feels threatened by the US decision to strike Syrian targets in retaliation for …

Trump Threaten Syria: Moscow Reponds ‘Are missiles an attempt to destroy alleged chemical attack evidence
With the supremacy of America’s trigger – happy, war – crazy ‘deep state’ in Washington increasingly evident in the belligerent rhetoric being aimed at Russia over the latest alleged chemical weapons incident in Syria, which is probably the most blatant false falg attack of many which were intended, but have faied, to provide a pretext for US …

Russia’s Surprise Withdrawal From Syria? “If We Don’t Go Away, We Can’t Come back Again.
There is no doubt that the withdrawal is not quite what it seems to be, but more likely a tactical move by the Russians. The Kremlin feels it has done enough to secure the regime of President Assad, the remnants of the Sunni Muslim Free Syrian Army are no longer capable of mounting a challenge and the Syrians, along with Shi’ite militias in Iraq and Kurdish irregulars, backed by Iranian Republic an Guard troops ought to be capable of dealing with ISIS

Propaganda War: US Officials Working to Keep Russia, Europe at Odds
Speaking to the US Senate Armed Services Committee this month, Breedlove said that ” Russia and the Assad regime are deliberately weaponizing migration from Syria in an attempt to overwhelm European structures and break European resolve.” These irrational remarks, and the mainstream media’s ability to convey them with a straight face, are an indication of a broken system, experts suggest.

Fear and Panic: EU Defence Budgets Boom Amid ‘Russian Threat’ Paranoia
Sssssh. Do you hear that? The sound of two horses, their firey hooves drumming on the ground, eyes glowing like embers as at full gallop they draw the chariot of Mars, the war god. Their names are Phobos and Deimos, Fear and Panic. Paranoia over a supposed “Russian threat” and the fear of terrorism following the Paris attacks are causing panic among NATO and EU nations, causing governments to vastly increase their defense budgets:

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.

Turkey Blames Kurds, Assad For Terrorist Attack, Vows Swift Response
Yesterday came the first terrorist attack on Turkish soil. As this blog predicted President Erdogan of Turkey is blaming the Kurds and President Assad of Syria for yesterday’s bomb blast in the Turkish capital which killed and injured many people.It was predictable would the attack would be blamed on Assad and the Kurds, thus giving the nutter Erdogan an excuse to intensify his actions against Assad and the Kurds

Road To World War III: Turkey Shells Syria For Second Day As Saudi Warplanes Arrive
The geopolitical world was rocked yesterday when Turkey began shelling Syria’s second largest city, Aleppo, where the Syrian opposition has its back against the wall in the face of an aggressive advance by the forces of President Assad’s government and the Iranian Republican Guard supported, of course, by Russian airstrikes.

‘I’m back from Syria. The media are lying to you.’ Eva Bartlett
Eva Bartlett is a Canadian activist/freelance journalistst. Eva has lived cumulative 3 years in Gaza, spent time in Lebanon and visited Syria 3 times since April 2014. Anti-zionist, anti-imperialist, pro-justice. Find out more about Eva’s trips to Syria on her Websites: InGaza and Syria Solidarity Movement or watch the embedded video from YouTube at the web page linked above …

US Allies Now Fighting CIA-Backed Terror Groups In Syria
The idea that ISIS has very close links with the USA has gone beyond conspiracy theory, or anti US propaganda, the proof is out there. We have previously reported on the US government’s links to ISIS and revealed the vital role of NATO member Turkey in supporting the terrorists in their campaign which aims to create an Islamic Caliphate stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf

Turkey and Sadui Arabia Already Have Troops Fighting In Syria
Even mainstream media has been forced to concede that Turkey and Saudi Arabia are apparently ready to send ground forces to the Syrian battlefield as Assad’s forces, backed by Russian air power and Iranian elite troops but continue to grind down ISIS forces equipped with US made arms and ammunition via Saudi Arabia and funded by Turkey’s illegal oil trade with the terrorist group.

Crazy Obama Administration Claims It Brought Peace And Security To Syria In 2015
As fighting intensifies between ISIS, The Assad regime and its Russian, Iranian and Chinese allies and the FUKUS axis (France, UK, US) with support from Turkey as that rogue state wages a genocial campaign against the Kurds, the increasingly insane warmongers of the Obama administration is telling US voters they have brought peace and security to Syria Fortunately for Americans with enough nous to question the official narrative, new media is getting the truth out to ever increasing audiences.

Captured ISIS fighter says ‘trained in Turkey, ISIS thinks it’s safer than Syria’
Yet another report from the middle east offering more evidence that Turkey is supporting ISIS in every possible way and acting as the USA’s proxy in the Obama administration’s efforts to depose the regime of President Assad in Syria.

ISIS: Know Your Enemy – Who Of Those We Think Are On Our Side Is Helping ISIS
Who is funding ISIS, how has the terror group managed to assemble such a large, well equipped and (apparently) well fed fighting force and been able to wage a two year war against the Assad regime in Syria, the forces of the autonomous Kurds and the army of the Iraqi government, such as it is? Who is facilitating their illegal oil trade that is keeping Islamic State afloat.

ISIS: Know Your Enemy – Who Of Those We Think Are On Our Side Is Helping ISIS

Here at last is the story behind the shooting down of a Russian military jet by Turkey’s air force. It will also answer questions about how ISIS can afford all those Toyota pick up trucks, but it is not pleasant reading for people in the west who just want to hear that the good guys are winning

Turkish Warplanes Shoot Down Russian Su24 Near Syrian Border
Hot news from the middle east all day today, it looks like what we all feared is about to happen as Turkish and Russian warplances clash, with Turkey shooting down a Russian fighter and then a gang of insane religious fantatics (or moderate Syrian rebels as Barack Obama calls them) shoot down the helicopter Russian officers sent to rescue their downed planes crew.