|It was Dr Samuel Johnson who famously declared in 1775 that patriotism was the last refuge of the scoundrel. The 2017 variant is to make unsubstantiated claims about the “Russian threat” to Western democracies.
In her speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in the City of London on November 13, British Prime Minister Theresa May escalated the anti- Russian rhetoric still further with
a deeply paranoid address that sounded as if it had been penned in 1953 by the late US Senator Joe McCarthy during one of his drunken binges.
Any psychologist watching Mrs May would have had a field day identifying examples of what mind doctors call “projection” – i.e. attributing to others what you are guilty of yourself. In fact, Mrs May's claims against Russia can be more accurately applied to the UK and its closest allies. In fact, every one of May's claims against Russia can be more accurately applied to the UK and its closest allies.
The prime minister stated, “It is Russia’s actions which threaten the international order on which we all depend."
”Really, Mrs May? Was it Russia who illegally invaded Iraq in 2003, causing the deaths of up to a million people and the rise of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL)? Was it Russia who destroyed Libya in 2011, turning the country with the highest Human Development Index (HDI) rating in Africa into a failed state and jihadist play-ground on the shores of the Mediterranean? Was it Russia who illegally bombed Yugoslavia, without UN approval, in 1999? Or Russia who backed radical jihadists – many of them linked to Al-Qaeda – to overthrow the Syrian government? In fact, it was the US, the UK and their allies who did all these things. But let’s not mention them, shall we, prime minister?
May says her aim is “to defend the rules-based international order against irresponsible states that seek to erode it.” That’s just like the American gangster John Dillinger saying his aim in 1933 was “to defend banks against individuals who seek to rob them.”
Eroding international law
The truth is that British governments, acting in tandem with the US, who have done most to erode international law in recent decades – not Russia.
The prime minister boldly declared that “Russia has fomented conflict in the Donbass,” but it was the Americans and their NATO/EU allies who fomented conflict in Ukraine in 2014 by supporting and bank-rolling an uprising against the democratically-elected government of Viktor Yanukovich, in which neo-Nazis and virulently anti-Russian ultra-Nationalists provided the cutting edge.
Concern over these developments among the Russian population of Ukraine led to a referendum, in which the people of Crimea overwhelmingly, and quite understandably, voted to return to Russia. The Maybot – who “consistently voted” for the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2002/3 – characterises this exercise in democracy as “Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukraine.” If you’re going down this line, you may as well talk about “Britain’s illegal annexation of Gibraltar,” or the “UK invasion of the Isle of Wight.”
May declared that “Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea was the first time since the Second World War that one sovereign nation has forcibly taken territory from another in Europe.” Well, that’ll be news to the people of Serbia who saw resource-rich Kosovo – the cradle of their civilisation – forcibly taken away from them following a NATO bombing campaign.
May, like the good neocon she is, accuses Russian “state-run media” of planting “fake stories,” but interestingly fails to come up with a single example.
Well, I’m a kind soul, so let me help her. Here are some examples of ‘fake news’ – all of which have appeared in the Western media:
As for unsubstantiated accusations of Russian meddling in Western elections, again the chutzpah of Mrs May is of the scale. Britain and the US have seen it as their right to meddle in elections around the globe for decades. Political scientist Dov H. Levin calculated that the US attempted to influence foreign elections 81 times in the period 1946-2000, and that figure does not include support for military coups and other “regime change” ops.
The UK has often been heavily involved in these nefarious anti-democratic schemes, too – for example, in Iran in 1953 when Mohammed Mossadeq was toppled, and in Yugoslavia in 2000. In his biography of Slobodan Milosevic, the ousted Yugoslav leader, Adam LeBor notes that more than $70-million was paid to the anti-Socialist Serbian opposition, with the Otpor youth movement receiving much of the funding. “And who was behind Otpor?” LeBor writes, quoting a “high-level Serbian source.” The answer: “The US and Britain.” What a surprise.
Again, being accused by a prominent member of the UK Establishment of interfering in other countries’ elections is like being accused of tax evasion by Al Capone, or being told to sit up straight by the Hunch-back of Notre Dame. The hypocrisy is truly mind-boggling.
The prime minister, having accused the Kremlin of trying to “sow discord” in the West then came over all Churchillian, by declaring she had a “very simple message for Russia.”
“We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed. Because you underestimate the resilience of our democracies, the enduring attraction of free and open societies, and the commitment of Western nations to the alliances that bind us.”
Well, I and millions of Britons, have a very simple message for Theresa May. We know what you are doing too. You are not “strong and stable” but a weak and wobbly prime minister who is trying to distract us from the domestic failings of your own government by trying to scare us witless over a nonexistent Russian threat. You are hoping that by raising the spectre of the Big Bad Russian Bear we will forget about your promise to cap household energy bills, the scandal of rip-of train fares and the impact of cruel and heartless austerity policies on millions of people across the country. And ignore the fact that you’re giving the country absolutely no leadership or direction on the issue of Brexit.
The safety and security of Britain is in-deed threatened, Prime Minister, not by the bogeyman Putin but by the disastrous policies that yours and other British governments have followed in recent years. Policies such as illegally invading Middle Eastern countries and backing violent jihadist groups to topple secular governments as in Libya and Syria. Or lifting control orders on terrorist organisations such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and allowing them to travel unhindered in and out of the country. Who was the British home secretary when that happened? Why, one Theresa May!
Ironically on the day that May was trying to give us sleepless nights about the Russian “threat,” the BBC – the national state broad-caster – had revealed details of something truly nightmarish. Namely a secret deal which allowed some 250 fanatical IS fighters to safely leave the city of Raqqa – under the gaze of US and British-led forces.
We know, too, that the British authorities have said that Britons returning from formerly IS-held territories in Syria and Iraq should not be prosecuted. The security implications of these policies are very clear. Once again, who is it that’s putting British citizens’ lives at risk?