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Thread: The Drums of War (Russia vs World)

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    The Drums of War (Russia vs World)

    I was just about to post this in Trumps First 100 days, following up on the news of American airstrikes in Syria... committed - supposedly, in retaliation for Assad unleashing chemical weapons on his own populace... (I call bullshit on that narrative) ...But I wanted to bring Hansard into it, in order to better demonstrate the immovable, irrational and undemocratic rhetoric of the UK's foreign policy towards Russia.

    As we know, recently in a complete U-turn in foreign policy the Trump administration shocked the international community when he brazenly and prematurely sanctioned somewhat significant airstrikes on an unassuming Syrian airfield , killing at least six civilians. It's equipment was outdated, but it played a key role in local defense against ISIS.

    The rhetoric of the western establishments today is:

    May & Trump agree to press Russia on breaking ties with Syria’s Assad


    UK PM May and US President Trump have agreed to press Russia over the crisis in Syria, saying a “window of opportunity now exists” to persuade the country that its links with Syrian President Bashar Assad are no longer in its strategic interests.

    UK Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump spoke about Syria over the telephone on Monday evening, May’s spokesperson said.
    Last week, an alleged chemical attack on a rebel-held area in Idlib killed up to 90 people, and Trump ordered a “retaliatory” missile strike on a Syrian airbase.

    Damascus and Moscow have consistently denied that Syrian forces used chemical weapons, insisting the incident at Khan Sheikhoun was caused by a strike on a rebel chemical weapons plant.

    “Theresa May spoke with US President Trump to discuss last week’s chemical weapons attack in Syria and the US response,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.
    “The president thanked the prime minister for her support in the wake of last week’s military action against the Assad regime.

    “The prime minister and the president agreed that a window of opportunity now exists in which to persuade Russia that its alliance with Assad is no longer in its strategic interest.”




    Russia are cutting the bullshit and getting straight to the point:


    Idlib ‘chemical attack’ was false flag to set Assad up, more may come – Putin


    Russia has information of a potential incident similar to the alleged chemical attack in Idlib province, possibly targeting a Damascus suburb, President Vladimir Putin said. The goal is to discredit the government of Syrian President Assad, he added. We have reports from multiple sources that false flags like this one – and I cannot call it otherwise – are being prepared in other parts of Syria, including the southern suburbs of Damascus. They plan to plant some chemical there and accuse the Syrian government of an attack,” he said at a joint press conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in Moscow.

    The incident has not been properly investigated as yet, but the US fired dozens of cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase in a demonstration of force over what it labeled a chemical attack by Damascus.

    “President Mattarella and I discussed it, and I told him that this reminds me strongly of the events in 2003, when the US representatives demonstrated at the UN Security Council session the presumed chemical weapons found in Iraq. The military campaign was subsequently launched in Iraq and it ended with the devastation of the country, the growth of the terrorist threat and the appearance of Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS] on the world stage,” he added.

    A separate report of a potential false flag operation in Syria came from the Russian General Staff, which said militants were transporting toxic agents into several parts of Syria.




    Parliamentary Record
    UK-Russian relations:


    Spoiler: ...

    House of Lords - Russia
    January 31st 2017


    Question
    Asked by:

    Lord Balfe
    To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of the change of administration in the United States, they intend to re-evaluate United Kingdom relations with Russia.

    The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con)
    My Lords, the Government’s objectives on Russia have not changed. They remain to protect UK interests and those of our allies, uphold the rules-based international order in the face of Russian challenges, engage with Russia in key areas of shared interest, promote our values including the rule of law and human rights, and build stronger links between the British and Russian peoples. The new Administration in the US do not alter these objectives.

    Lord Balfe (Con)
    I thank the Minister for her Answer. Do the Government understand that there was considerable anger in the United States at what was seen as Europe—not Britain, but Europe—not pulling its weight, particularly in defence matters? People in Louisiana cannot see why they pay 3.3% while people in Latvia, in return for an Article 5 guarantee, pay 1.1%. Therefore it is not unreasonable that the new United States Administration may be seeking a further means of détente. Will we support them in so far as we can?

    Baroness Anelay of St Johns
    My Lords, when my right honourable friend the Prime Minister met President Trump last week, she confirmed not only that they had agreed to lay the groundwork for a future trade deal but that he had confirmed that he was 100% behind NATO. However, it is right that all members of NATO pay their fair share. We shall certainly encourage other members to do so. My right honourable friend the Prime Minister also advised clearly that in relations with Russia, it is a matter of “engage but beware”.


    Lord Davies of Stamford
    (Lab)
    Would we not send the most dangerous and perverse signal to Russia, and indeed to any potential aggressor anywhere in the world, and greatly undermine the credibility of the western world if we were to lift sanctions without Russia having begun to fulfil her obligations under the Minsk agreements?

    Baroness Anelay of St Johns
    My Lords, my right honourable friend the Prime Minister has made it absolutely clear that we will support the continuation of sanctions until and unless all the aspects of the Minsk agreements are met. That is essential.





    Spoiler: ...

    House of Commons - Russian Federation
    18 October 2016


    Question
    Asked by:

    Chris Bryant (Rhondda) (Lab)
    What recent assessment he has made of the UK’s relations with the Russian Federation.

    The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Boris Johnson) (Con)
    Of course it is right that the UK and the Russian Federation should continue to co-operate and to engage in all the areas where we have common interests, but in view of the ruthless and brutal behaviour of the Russians in Ukraine and in Syria, I hope the House will agree that it is right that the UK should be in the lead in keeping the pressure on sanctions, and it cannot be business as usual with Russia.

    Chris Bryant
    I agree. Putin’s behaviour has been despicable: murdering his own opponents—assassinating political opponents such as Boris Nemtsov—as well as the invasion of Georgia and Crimea, and now the despicable behaviour in Syria, where he tries to draw a moral equivalence between British and American bombing of military installations run by Daesh and Russia’s and Assad’s bombing of innocent civilians in hospitals in Aleppo. This is immoral. I am not sure that demonstrations outside the Russian embassy will make any odds, but what might make a difference is if we stopped Putin’s cronies coming to London. Why on earth do we still allow those who were involved in the murder of Sergei Magnitsky to come to this country? Will the Foreign Secretary go and demonstrate against the Home Secretary to make sure she changes the rules?

    Boris Johnson
    I am grateful for the question, because the hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to point out that there is no symmetry whatever between the actions of the Russians and the Assad regime, and the Americans and others on the other side. Just in the last 11 months, Russian bombing alone has been responsible for the deaths of 3,189 civilians, of whom 763 were children. In those circumstances, it is absolutely right that we should be keeping up the sanctions regime not just on Russia but on key members—key associates—of the Putin regime.

    Mr Julian Brazier (Canterbury) (Con)
    Does my right hon. Friend agree that the particularly vile activities, which he has so eloquently described, of Russia in Syria have been allowed to happen because of several years of weakness and inconsistency in western policy towards that area? Does he further agree that if we want to hold the ring, the importance of being seen to be absolutely solidly behind NATO has never been stronger?

    Boris Johnson
    My hon. Friend is of course absolutely right to say that the vacuum left by the decision of, I am afraid, this House and, indeed, the Obama Administration in 2013 not to oppose the Assad regime has allowed the Russians to move into that space. It is vital that we keep up the pressure not just with sanctions but with the threat of justice in the International Criminal Court.

    Mr David Winnick (Walsall North) (Lab)
    Is it not unfortunate that, in Russia itself, print and social media are being gagged? Hence the reason I have little sympathy for the complaints made today by Russia Today, which is undoubtedly a form of propaganda constantly used by Putin and his gang. What is now happening as far as the media are concerned is surely the same as happened under communism and, before that, tsarism: repression at home, and hostility and aggression abroad.

    Boris Johnson
    I am afraid that the hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. I noted the decision of NatWest bank to withdraw support for RT. That was a wholly independently taken decision, I wish to assure the House, in spite of what we may have heard this morning from Moscow. One of the things we are doing to promote free and fair information in Russia is, of course, to support the BBC World Service.

    Mrs Maria Miller (Basingstoke) (Con)
    Oleg Sentsov is a Ukrainian film maker imprisoned for 20 years in Russia for his pro-Ukrainian views. Will the Government send a strong message to the Russian Government condemning Sentsov’s imprisonment and demanding his immediate release?

    Boris Johnson
    We are indeed concerned by the number of Ukrainian nationals who have voiced their opposition to what has happened—the illegal annexation of Crimea—and who face lengthy jail sentences, including Mr Sentsov and Mr Oleksandr Kolchenko. We are appealing to the Russian authorities to release them immediately.

    Douglas Chapman (Dunfermline and West Fife) (SNP)
    Last March, President Putin was praised for his ruthless clarity in retaking Palmyra. By August, the Foreign Secretary had said that he wanted to normalise relationships with Russia, and last week he called for the people to demonstrate outside the Russian embassy in London. Where is the political consistency, and how does this approach build trust in the diplomatic community?

    Boris Johnson
    I think the House will have heard very clearly that on matters where we can co-operate with Russia it is absolutely vital that we do so. On the point about demonstrations outside the Russian embassy, I merely draw attention to the paradox and the peculiarity that the Stop the War Coalition has never seen fit to demonstrate against the barbarism taking place in Aleppo.

    Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsborough) (Con)
    Will the Foreign Secretary take this opportunity to welcome the visit this week of Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, who is meeting the Queen? I know a bit about Russian Orthodoxy, having been married within the Church. The Russian Orthodox Church has suffered appallingly, particularly in Soviet times, but it is growing now. This is an opportunity for the Foreign Secretary to make it clear that whatever our differences with the Russian Government at the moment, we have absolutely nothing but support for the Russian people and her faith, and their perseverance in times of trial.

    Boris Johnson
    I defer to my hon. Friend’s knowledge of the Russian Orthodox Church. It is important that we keep open all lines of communication. Archbishop Kirill may have some interesting points to make. It would be even more important if he took back a message from the UK that we do not tolerate what is happening in Crimea, in eastern Ukraine, and, above all, in Syria. I hope that his visit will be a factor for change in the Kremlin.





    Spoiler: ...

    House of Commons - Russia: Implications for UK Defence and Security
    07 July 2016



    [Not available]



    https://hansard.parliament.uk/Common...nceAndSecurity


    Spoiler: ...

    House of Commons - Anglo-Russian Relations
    04 May 2016


    Daniel Kawczynski (Shrewsbury and Atcham) (Con)
    I beg to move,

    That this House has considered Anglo-Russian relations.

    It is, as always, a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Davies. I called this debate because I am very concerned about the growing anti-Russian sentiment in the House of Commons. Even for having called for the debate, a senior member of the Government today called me “Comrade Kawczynski”. I have been accused of being an apologist for President Putin and criticised for even daring to raise this subject, so I have prepared a personal statement, which I hope you will allow me to make, Mr Davies.

    Of all the Members of this House, I have deep and personal reasons to dislike and distrust Russia and its actions. As many hon. Members know, I am of Polish heritage. Poland suffered terribly at the hands of the former Soviet Union, and like so many Polish families, mine was no exception in experiencing that suffering. My grandfather was a successful landowner and farmer whose life was ruined by the interference of the Soviet system, which was often brutally unfair, corrupt and flawed. It would be easy to cling to prejudice and allow it to colour my view of the world today, yet as a British citizen and a proud Member of this House it is my job and my duty to argue strongly in favour of what I believe will best serve Britain’s long-term security, stability and prosperity, even if that means encouraging détente and dialogue with a country that was born out of the remnants of the oppressive regime that so crippled my grandfather in Poland.

    I could not go back to Poland to begin with, because of martial law in the Soviet-imposed regime and what was happening in Poland, but when I first went back in 1983 and met my grandfather, he spoke to me at great length about what it was like living under communism. He spoke about the oppression during the second world war from the Soviets and the Russians. He died in 1986—just three years before the fall of communism—but before he died, he said to me, “I will never see the end of communism, but you will.” He knew that the financially illiterate and politically Orwellian system that the Soviets had imposed on us was completely incompatible with the human spirit and soul.

    When I think of the period in which my grandfather died, during those early years of détente, I think of the extraordinary lengths Reagan went to to meet Andrei Gromyko in 1984; I think of how Margaret Thatcher met Gorbachev for the first time in December 1984, despite all the difficulties that we had at that time with the Soviet Union—it was still in Afghanistan and was posing a huge threat to our country. It saddens me that today there does not appear to be the same level of ​good will and determination among our Government Ministers to engage in the same way with the Russian Administration.

    There is a one-sided debate, and it is all negative towards Russia. My experience over the past 11 years—you and I have been in the House for the same amount of time, Mr Davies—is that when we do not have proper debates in this House, that is when tactical and strategic errors are made. That is why it is so important that we debate this issue.

    Mr John Baron (Basildon and Billericay) (Con)
    I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing this important debate. May I suggest another reason why we do not understand Russia well enough? It is that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office needs greater resources to better understand events on the ground generally. It is a known fact, now widely recognised, that there were, for example, no Crimea experts in the FCO at the time of the Russian intervention in Crimea. Since the end of the cold war, the FCO has continuously wound down its Russian coverage. Does he agree that that needs to be put right, so that we understand events on the ground better, including the complexity that is Russia?

    Daniel Kawczynski
    I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend. It is a privilege to serve with him on the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs. I very much hope that the report that we are starting on Anglo-Russian relations will delve deeper into some of the shortcomings and lack of resources available to the Foreign Office to understand Russia and our engagement with it better.

    Julian Knight (Solihull) (Con)
    Will my hon. Friend give way?

    Daniel Kawczynski
    I will, but briefly. Then I would like to make some progress.

    Julian Knight
    I thank my hon. Friend very much for giving way. He is clearly passionate and knows a lot about the subject. However, one shadow hangs over all this: the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. Speaking as an observer who comes to Anglo-Russian relations from a different angle—or from an angle that is not too used to them—that was a crime carried out on British soil, seemingly with the connivance of the Russian state, so until it is dealt with, our relationship will always be poisoned to a certain extent.

    Daniel Kawczynski
    I will come on to that later in my speech, but it is important that my hon. Friend also reads the Russian submission on the subject, which was made to the inquiry on Anglo-Russian relations being undertaken by the Foreign Affairs Committee. I very much hope that he reads it.

    President Putin is now being treated almost as a pantomime villain in this House. I would like a pound for every time someone says, “The only person who wants us to pull out of the European Union is President Putin, because that will destabilise the European Union and cause difficulties.” In fact, the Russian Government are one of the few Governments that have not made any statement on the matter. Unlike certain people I could mention who have come to our country and tried to interfere in our domestic referendum, the Russians have ​not made any official statements on whether they believe we ought to continue to be a member of the European Union.

    I debated this issue at the Conservative party conference against a close friend, my right hon. Friend the Member for North Somerset (Dr Fox), who is very hawkish towards Russia and has a very different view from mine. I respect him greatly and I voted for him to be leader of the Conservative party in 2005, but we disagree fundamentally on Russia. Amazingly, it was the one time at a Conservative party conference when I have been mobbed—in a nice way—by young people, because they were so surprised that a Conservative Member of Parliament was challenging the situation and talking about how to lower tensions with Russia and to improve relations. They were so pleased that someone was doing that and they wanted to engage with me.

    The Foreign Affairs Committee is now undertaking a report on Anglo-Russian relations. We started to take evidence yesterday with two leading academics, Dr Derek Averre, senior lecturer in Russian, foreign and security policy at the University of Birmingham, and Dr Andrew Monaghan, a senior research fellow at Chatham House. They gave us a very enlightened view and a very different perspective from the one given by our Government. I am pleased to say that, later this month, as part of our inquiry the Foreign Affairs Committee will be visiting Moscow and spending five days there, meeting our Russian counterparts. To get the most balanced perspective, we will be returning to the region in July to meet people in countries that neighbour Russia—Ukraine will be one and Moldova another, but I will be participating in the second leg, which is a visit to Poland and Latvia.

    I am pleased that I have managed to convince the Committee to visit Poland. Anyone who thinks that the distrust of and hostility towards Russia are bad in London should try Warsaw. The Poles are even more sceptical and antagonistic about Russian motives, and to a degree I am becoming very unpopular in certain Polish political circles for daring to challenge that. Why do I do it? I do it because I still remember what my grandfather said to me and the complete destruction of Warsaw in 1944 and thereafter. We must do everything possible to avoid war, and to avoid war for future generations. I am greatly worried about the ramifications further down the line if we continue this abject hostility towards Russia.

    My intention is to make the report as robust as possible in order to highlight FCO mistakes in dealing with the Russians and to put forward constructive proposals on how our Government should be going the extra mile and showing the British public that they are straining every sinew to ensure that no stone is left unturned in our determination to seek a constructive relationship with the Russians and something we can work on towards peace.

    As a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I had the privilege—I am not sure that it is a privilege—a few weeks of going to Brussels as part of the Committee’s delegation. There were 28 representatives from the 28 countries and we had an opportunity to meet Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary-General of NATO. I posed the question to him: “What are you, as the Secretary-General of NATO, doing specifically to lower tensions ​with Russia?” In a public way he said something very constructive—much more constructive than I have heard from any British politician. He said, “Well, you know, I was Prime Minister of Norway. We have a border with Russia and I had to engage with the Russians on all sorts of different issues, whether to do with fishing, security or the Arctic circle and exploration. We built quite a good relationship with the Russians and we found it very constructive to engage with them.” Needless to say, I am delighted that the Secretary-General of NATO spoke in those terms in such a public way to me and other representatives during our meeting in Brussels.

    It is not the politicians who suffer from the ongoing sanctions—we politicians will continue to receive our salaries and to do our jobs—but the small and medium-sized enterprises who have tried to work with and export to Russia and seen their exports blocked or destroyed. I represent an important agricultural community in which cattle farming is one of the main sources of income. As I could not make an official delegation to Bryansk in Russia, I sent a cattle farmer from my constituency to represent me. Those discussions went so well that ultimately the Russians sent 15 of their top agronomists to Shrewsbury to meet with us and spend time with our cattle farmers to try to understand the cattle industry in Shropshire. As a result of those discussions, I am proud to say that we struck an agreement with the Russians to lift the ban on British beef imposed after the BSE crisis. That is potentially worth hundreds of millions of pounds to the British cattle industry. My right hon. Friend the Member for North Shropshire (Mr Paterson), who was then Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, signed the agreement in Moscow, which would have led to great export opportunities in the cattle industry. Of course, all of that has been washed down the plughole as a result of the sanctions.

    It is not just the beef industry. There are not any representatives from Scotland here, but the Scottish fishing industry is losing a great deal.

    Philip Boswell (Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill) (SNP)
    indicated dissent.

    Daniel Kawczynski
    I am sorry. As I am sure the hon. Gentleman will come on to say, the Scottish fishing industry is suffering greatly as a result of the sanctions imposed, as is the dairy industry. The Shropshire dairy industry is on its knees as a result of bovine tuberculosis and the lowering of prices that our farmers are paid by supermarkets. My Shropshire dairy farmers are going out of business in unprecedented numbers and all their exports to Russia—not just cheese and milk, but other dairy products—have been wiped out as a result of the sanctions.

    I direct the Minister to some information I received from France the other day. Last week, the French National Assembly adopted a non-binding resolution inviting the French Government to lift the economic sanctions and other retaliation measures imposed on Russia by the European Union. The resolution was presented by a conservative Member of Parliament called Thierry Mariani. Although non-binding, several of his fellow conservative Members of Parliament have welcomed the move—in particular, former French Prime Minister François Fillon—and it will clearly put pressure on the French Government ahead of the next review of sanctions in July 2016.​
    Through their Foreign Ministry, the French Government factually stated that EU sanctions remain linked to the implementation of the Minsk agreements, and expressed their willingness to ensure the unity of the EU on this matter. That is very important. The French National Assembly’s resolution gives me the impression that many in the French Parliament want sanctions to be rescinded, and that they could be lifted if the Minsk agreements are implemented. What is the British Government’s perspective on that? The key question I would like the Minister to answer is: were the Minsk agreements implemented, would the British Government support the removal of EU sanctions? Or do they have an extra requirement, as I have been led to believe in the past: that Crimea would have to be returned to Ukraine before they would support the removal of sanctions?

    In all my interactions with Foreign Office Ministers, I have been given the impression that the British Government would not support the removal of sanctions unless the Minsk agreements were implemented and Crimea were returned to Russia. As somebody who has visited Crimea on several occasions, I have to say that there is not a cat in hell’s chance of the Russians returning Crimea to Ukraine during the course of my political or biological life, and I will eat my hat if they do so.

    Sanctions should be in place only with something tangible and achievable as the end result. I genuinely believe that, if the implementation of the Minsk II agreement were secured, that would be the sensible moment for us to start to talk to the Russians about getting rid of sanctions. If the Government’s attitude is, “No, we want Crimea returned,” they are doing us a great disservice by putting our constituents, ourselves, our prosperity and the likelihood of improving relations in jeopardy and peril.

    I know others want to speak, so I will try to wind up quickly, but I want to say how pleased I was with the Iran agreement. We were facing the insoluble, difficult and highly complex problem of nuclear proliferation in Iran. I pay tribute to the Foreign Office and its diplomats for the leadership they displayed in securing the agreement. There is no doubt in my mind that the agreement would not have been achieved without the unique contribution of British diplomacy, but Russia was also a part of the agreement. It made an extraordinary contribution and is doing the heavy lifting on the agreement to protect the region and to protect peace.

    The American Secretary of State, John Kerry, said in a press release:

    “A number of commercial transactions made this shipment possible, with many countries playing important roles in this effort. Russia, as a participant in the JCPOA and a country with significant experience in transporting and securing nuclear material, played an essential role by taking this material out of Iran and providing natural uranium in exchange.”

    That goes to show that, if we work with the Russians constructively, they can bring different things to the table. They have different experiences and different contacts. If we can work with the Russians on securing this vital deal with Iran, why can we not work with them in other important theatres such as Syria?

    Mr Mark Hendrick (Preston) (Lab)
    I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on securing this debate. He has spoken at some length about his background and heritage and, indeed, about the welfare of cattle and the potentially ​lucrative nature of the cattle business in his constituency. He mentioned the Minsk agreement but said nothing whatsoever about the reasons for that agreement, which were Russian aggression, the conduct of hybrid warfare and thousands of lives being lost in eastern Ukraine and, to some extent, Crimea. That cannot be simply brushed under the carpet. The Minsk agreement and the sanctions are there for a good reason. Will he address those points?

    Daniel Kawczynski
    We all know what led to the conflagration and the difficulties that ensued in Donetsk and Lugansk. I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his intervention, but I am focusing on trying to secure peace now. Implementing the Minsk agreement and getting back to normalised relations are more important than what specifically led to the conflagration in the first place. I am glad he intervened. As I discussed with him yesterday, as a fellow member of the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, he has said in the past that he thinks the British Government ought not to have ruled out military action over Crimea. He has stated that Britain should have potentially got involved militarily. Well, if he wants a third world war and nuclear destruction of both entities, he is going the right way about it.

    Mr Hendrick
    The point I made was that I felt it was unwise of the Prime Minister at the time to verbally rule out military action, not on the part of Britain but on the part of NATO or anyone else. Saying nothing is far better than saying we will not do anything.

    Daniel Kawczynski
    Let us agree to disagree on that. I think that that sort of sentiment is highly dangerous and could lead to significant destabilisation in our relations with Russia.

    The Russians believe we have acted unilaterally in the world, and they have seen some of the terrible difficulties we have got into with Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. They want to ensure we can work constructively with them to bring peace about in Syria. As I have said, the Russians bring different things to the table. We need to compartmentalise the relationship. We can still disagree with the Russians profoundly over Syria and Ukraine, but let us get back to dialogue over matters of security and energy security while we continue to disagree with them. [Interruption.] I will wrap up my comments because you have indicated, Mr Davies, that I have spoken for long enough.

    Russia has watched our disastrous intervention in Libya and our prevarication over Syria. Russians would argue that their intervention in Syria has helped to stop or temper the ongoing bloodbath of the past five years and that they have saved the European Union the misery and suffering of having to deal with hundreds of thousands more migrants coming across the sea to Greece.

    When I think of the tremendous work done in Tehran, which I visited recently, between Churchill and Stalin to put their differences aside in fighting fascism during the ​second world war—when we had even more differences of opinion with the Soviet Union than we do with Russia today—I think to myself that we ought to also have the courage and vision to put our differences aside and work with the Russians to fight modern-day fascism. ISIS poses a similar threat to both entities in Syria, Libya and on the streets of European capitals, with the bombing and terrorism that is taking place. Let us put our differences aside and work with the Russians to deal with that threat.

    My final statement is this. On 15 March, the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Edgbaston (Ms Stuart) said:

    “The Foreign Secretary said that he has not talked to Mr Lavrov. Is that because Mr Lavrov is refusing to take his call, or that he has not yet tried? If it is the latter, why not?”

    The Foreign Secretary’s response—I want you to remember this, Mr. Davies—was:

    “Again, experience is the answer. I have not tried to make the call, and I am in no doubt that I could predict quite confidently the outcome of such a call to Foreign Minister Lavrov. I have had many conversations with him over the course of our regular meetings at Syria-related events, none of which has been fruitful.” —[Official Report, 15 March 2016; Vol. 607, c. 800.]

    What a terrible statement to make: “None of my discussions with Mr Lavrov has been fruitful, so there is no point in making a telephone call.” No, no, no. The Government have got to change their stance and engage with the Russians, for the security of our country and the international community.



    Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsborough) (Con)
    Our relationship with foreign powers is, I believe, totally inconsistent. We chide Russia for abuses—and, by the way, nothing I say is pro-Putin; I am not getting involved in that. I am just talking about double standards. We chide Russia for abuses but kowtow to China, whose abuses are far worse. If we were outside observers looking at that situation, what conclusion would we draw? That there is a double standard; and that is the only conclusion that Russians draw. We in the west have failed totally to take into account the Russian mentality when dealing with these problems. I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham (Daniel Kawczynski) on the way he moved the motion, and on trying to understand how Russians think. That is important in framing our foreign policy.

    Ukraine is a perfect example. The country is ideally placed as a bridge between the two worlds—Europe and Russia. Indeed, in Russian, Ukraine means “borderland”. To Russians, Ukraine is not a foreign country. Russian orthodoxy, as far as they are concerned, was founded in the Kievan Rus 1,000 years ago. We may not agree with this, but for them Kiev is as much the spiritual home of Russian orthodoxy as Canterbury is to us the home of the Anglican Church. Clever Ukrainian statesmen could have held a fine balance, playing one side against the other for the good of their country, as of course India did during the cold war. Instead, Europe and the west had to barge in with, I believe, an insufficient understanding of Russian or, indeed, Ukrainian history, or people’s thinking in the region.​
    We in the European Union invested millions of pounds, euros and dollars to influence Ukraine away from Russia and towards the west. Because one side insisted on owning the bridge and the other side, naturally, would not let it, now the bridge is in tatters and burning; and it is the ordinary people of Ukraine—and of Russia, subject to sanctions—who are suffering. Of course, as my hon. Friend the Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham says, Russia will never in our lifetime give up Crimea. After all, the Russians believe and know that the overwhelming majority of people in Crimea want to be part of Russia. So they believe that we are playing with double standards. They all remember that Krushchev signed away Crimea to Ukraine with a stroke of a pen in the mid-1950s.

    The psychotic zeal for permanent expansion of the western European sphere of influence, at Russia’s expense, gains us nothing. Actually, all we have done is significantly destabilise our eastern flank; and what about the good of Ukraine? Crimea is now permanently lost to it. We know that—it is a reality. The eastern regions are enveloped in a low-level violent conflict. Whatever we may think of Mr Putin or the Russian Government, clearly our interference has not worked out for the benefit of people living in Ukraine. Russia can, we all know, with little effort or cost to itself—I am not defending it, just describing the reality—support and maintain a constant low-boil conflict in eastern Ukraine for some time.

    Therefore, any real effort to secure peace, stability and the rule of law in Ukraine—and peace and stability is what we should be about, is it not?—must of necessity take into account Russian fears and interests. That is the reality on the ground. If it does not, and if we just take an absolutist line, imposing sanctions, putting the Russian embassy in London and the Russian Government into deep freeze, and not talking to Mr Lavrov, we will achieve nothing and there will be no prospect of success. What would that mean for the relationship between our two countries? Our strategy for Anglo-Russian relations should be to engage, engage and engage. By all means be firm, but engage.

    Last week, I chaired an investment forum—I am chairman of the all-party group on Russia—and there is significant interest among British and European businesses in strengthening their presence in Russia. The Governments of Germany, France and Italy are actually increasing their business, unlike our Government. Given our historical alliances with Russia, the Russians cannot understand why our Government and our Prime Minister are outriders. They are way beyond the Americans, the Germans and the French in their anti-Russian stance. The Russians cannot understand it. Let us remember for a moment who, frankly, saved our bacon in two world wars. How many tens of millions of Russians died in Nazi Germany’s invasion? We should remember that, with the unfortunate exception of the Crimean war, Russia has for centuries been our natural ally. We are two powers on the eastern and western extremities of Europe.

    If we respectfully and confidentially engage with Russia, we will get the most out of that relationship and start making constructive advances. Blind and mindless Russophobia gets us absolutely nowhere. We should build economic links, strengthen cultural links and seek to work together on issues such as defeating Daesh, where UK and Russian interests overlap. Daesh is our ​enemy; Russia is not. Russia poses absolutely no strategic threat to the people of the United Kingdom. It does not and never has done in our entire history, but Daesh does.




    Daniel Kawczynski
    On 15 March, the Right Hon. Member for Birmingham, Edgbaston (Ms Stuart) said:

    “The Foreign Secretary said that he has not talked to Mr Lavrov. Is that because Mr Lavrov is refusing to take his call, or that he has not yet tried? If it is the latter, why not?”

    The Foreign Secretary’s response—I want you to remember this, Mr. Davies—was:

    “Again, experience is the answer. I have not tried to make the call, and I am in no doubt that I could predict quite confidently the outcome of such a call to Foreign Minister Lavrov.
    I have had many conversations with him over the course of our regular meetings at Syria-related events, none of which has been fruitful.”

    —[Official Report, 15 March 2016; Vol. 607, c. 800.]

    What a terrible statement to make: “None of my discussions with Mr Lavrov has been fruitful, so there is no point in making a telephone call.” No, no, no. The Government have got to change their stance and engage with the Russians, for the security of our country and the international community.


    https://hansard.parliament.uk/Common...ssianRelations


    The current UK Government headed by Theresa May is being run from top to bottom by totalitarian traitors, perhaps most characteristically exemplified in Mrs May's predecessors David Cameron and George Osborne , who ushered in the new Neo-Liberal brand of Conservative politics - which are subsequently, dramatically and rabidly transforming British society. Some obvious traitors and inepts come to mind, such as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Boris Johnson, a Bullingdon Club warmonger who should rightly have no business being in any office, let alone the Foreign and Commonwealth.

    What's happening is this; certain branches of the British government have (always) been compartmentalised in such a way that they are free to operate without democratic oversight. These secret committees are held unbeknownst to the rest of us and it's within these committees where the shadow government form their policies and then they dispatch their selected ministers across government to set those policies in motion from the top down. Conversely, our public committees, which typically function from bottom to top, often find themselves at odds with policy which has already been adopted by our top most offices - bypassing usual democratic procedures and discourse, resulting in democratic dissent falling on deaf ears, and motions being blocked by a seemingly invisible wall impeding the democratic will and rational thought of the people.

    This is most apparent in our public select committees wherein we frequently witness lower policy makers and advisers who are at odds with and up against the preconceived narratives created and promoted by those at the top of government office. It has been obvious for quite sometime now that the secret policy makers embedded within the UK, USA and EU Governments are marching to the beat of the drums of war... that they are decidedly bent on destruction and folly.


    Resources:

    Foreign Affairs Committee:
    http://www.parliament.uk/business/co...irs-committee/

    Foreign Affairs Committee - UK's relations with Russia inquiry (2016/17)
    http://www.parliament.uk/business/co...-russia-15-16/

    Foreign Affairs Committee - UK's relations with Russia (Oral Evidence)
    http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/I...1-28434c26d979

    Foreign Affairs Committee- Russian-based media gives evidence on UK-Russia relations (Oral evidence)
    https://www.parliament.uk/business/c...vidence-16-17/

    Defense Committee:
    http://www.parliament.uk/business/co...nce-committee/

    Defense Committee- UK military operations in Syria and Iraq (2016/17)
    http://www.parliament.uk/business/co...2015/inquiry1/


    Encountered some technical difficulties with my source sites, to be picked up.
    Last edited by Sinny; 04-12-2017 at 10:25 AM.
    Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.

    ~ Robert Jackson, Statesman (1892-1954)


  2. #2
    Member Guess Who's Avatar
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    The US stated that it had the twin goal of defeating ISIS (fake goal) and removing Assad from power (real goal) from the very beginning of the conflict. There were a lot of calls for regime change in the Western media in the past when the Syrian army's fight against ISIS was resulting in collateral damage to Syrian civilians - Assad is butchering his own people, Assad must go. Calls in the media for Assad to go have died down now that the fight against ISIS is largely over.

    ISIS was created to wage a proxy war in Syria with the aim of achieving regime change. The proxy war strategy would have succeeded but Russia and Iran's intervention allowed ISIS to be defeated. Once it became obvious to the Western powers that the proxy war strategy had failed, they had to adopt a different strategy to pursue their goal of regime change in Syria. It looks like false flag chemical weapons attacks are being used to renew calls for regime change in Syria and justify Western military intervention. A second false flag chemical attack in Syria will definitely allow large scale US military intervention to be justified.

    They might attempt the same strategy they used in Libya of rendering the government non-functional through bombing then allowing "rebels" on the ground to capture and kill Assad. They could also adopt the same strategy they used in Iraq of sending in ground troops to occupy Syria then capturing and trying Assad in a kangaroo court.

    The US has been demonising Russia and Iran for a long time. Perhaps the US will use the Syrian conflict to initiate war against Russia and Iran to bring these countries into the fold to make the world even more unipolar than it currently is.
    On the wrong side of history

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    Senior Member Sinny's Avatar
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    Last edited by Sinny; 12-09-2017 at 01:02 PM.
    Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.

    ~ Robert Jackson, Statesman (1892-1954)


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    Senior Member Sinny's Avatar
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    Peter Hitchens - Why I like Vladimir Putin



    Hitchens - Perception of Russia in the West



    Hitchens - Russia isn't a Marginal Power


    Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.

    ~ Robert Jackson, Statesman (1892-1954)


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    Senior Member Sinny's Avatar
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    "Putin destroys 10 year old US plan for Syria"



    Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.

    ~ Robert Jackson, Statesman (1892-1954)


  6. #6
    Senior Member Sinny's Avatar
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    Russian Military: Syria completely liberated from ISIS


    Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.

    ~ Robert Jackson, Statesman (1892-1954)


  7. #7
    The older I get the more I realize that governments are no different than the average individual. Government propaganda = an individuals Facebook page, and accomplishing anything truly grande is trumped by how you look to the world. Call me @Ptah, but it makes me a bit more curmudgeon day by day.
    Quote Originally Posted by whatloveihave View Post
    I don't find you a potential threat to human society, you're not crazy. Feces.

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    so trump is sending people to the moon, isn't it a declaration of war?

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    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    On the who the US might get into a war with next - at least a significant war and not some flower pot breaking - Russia is pretty far down the list unless they do something quite reckless.

    But this plays well for Putin at home, so whatever.

    What's your guess for who is goosing along North Korea's rapid missile development - Russia or China?

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    Member Thoth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starjots View Post
    What's your guess for who is goosing along North Korea's rapid missile development - Russia or China?
    China. It creates instability in the region providing a great blind for the further militarization of their maritime reach. As an added bonus they get to make Trump look like a complete buffoon whilst simultaneously economically undermining his corporate constituency who are deep in China's pockets. Win-win if you ask me with my Machiavelli hat on.
    Last edited by Thoth; 12-11-2017 at 09:13 PM.

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