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|From: Irish Political Review: Articles|
|Date: May, 2018|
Britain's New Strategic Enemy!
|Britain's New Strategic Enemy!
The British Government declared in early April that it was the "strategic enemy" of Russia. The occasion for the declaration was that a "plausible" case could be made that a retired British spy living in Salisbury had been given a dose of poison, that nearly killed him, on the instructions of the Russian President.
There were also highly implausible elements in the contention that the Russian Government did it—nobody has been able to suggest a convincing reason that the Russian Government might have had for doing it. The plausibility of the argument that it did it depends on it being assumed that it is the kind of Government that does things for no reason, out of some impulse of wayward evil, regardless of whether what it does serves its own interest or the interest of others.
The Salisbury poisoning served no Russian interest that anyone has been able to think of. The only interest it actually served was that of the Brexitist British Government that was limping along from day to day, in danger of splitting and falling.
We are not suggesting that the British Government did the poisoning from which it has benefitted so handsomely. We are only applying the standard Cui Bono? test and pointing out that the poisoning restored the crisis-ridden British Government to rude health.
But, whoever did the poisoning, it was only the occasion—not the cause—of the declaration of war on Russia. The declaration only gave the finishing touch to the propaganda line that has dominated the British state media for a year or so.
Britain de-legitimised the Assad Government in Syria a few years ago, effectively outlawing it and making it fair game for all and sundry. It is not accustomed to having its will thwarted in such matters. Within the past year British news programmes have taken on the character of war propaganda with regard to Russia in both 'public' and commercial channels, and the same has been the case with newspapers without noticeable exception.
The leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has tried to strike a different note, but he has been savaged by the strong Blairite residue in the Parliamentary Labour Party over the Salisbury incident. He advised waiting on evidence before finding anyone guilty. But Sir Keith Starmer would not stand for that: he didn't object to the matter being investigated by the police but insisted that Russia be found guilty immediately on a priori grounds.
On the day after the Russian election, a defeated Presidential candidate, Ksenia Sobchak, was interviewed on BBC's Newsnight. It seemed a safe bet. But she gave the wrong answer. That's the trouble with idealists. She stood against Putin as an idealistic protest against the nature of things, rather than as a practical political rival. It seemed that her idealism was inspired by British propaganda, which reaches deep into Russia, and she judged Britain itself by the terms of the ideals she had learned from its broadcasts.
The wrong answer she gave about the Salisbury poisoning was that she was surprised that the verdict about the perpetrators was issued before any evidence was found. It was put to her by Emily Maitlis on Newsnight, March 19th, that, if Putin serves out this term, he will by the longest serving Russian leader since Stalin. She agreed, and said that made her sad. Then it was put to her that, by standing against Putin, she gave him credibility. Did she now regret that? Not at all.
"But you must accept that while Putin is in power there is now no effective opposition. Is that true?
"I will be trying to be effective opposition. We're forming a party.
"Let me ask you a question that is close to British audience's hearts this evening. Our Prime Minister has pointed the finger at President Putin over the poisoning of a Russian man who is a former spy in Britain. Do you believe Putin was behind that?
"Look, this is actually a very interesting point because, you know, I have very much respect for the justice in London… And I think that after twenty-four hours to make such conclusion is really something that breaks, you know, this independency of all the system where you have to go to make huge investigation, and then come to the Court, and do all those things. So my answer is, I don't know, maybe Theresa May is right, maybe she is wrong. But anyway in such an old democracy like Great Britain, Theresa May should not behave herself like Mr. Putin does… You can't say in one day that it's only Russia who is in charge… Because there should be a huge profound investigation. And I'm really surprised that this hasn't been done yet, but already such accusations appeared… I mean Russia is not right in many cases, but Great Britain should not behave in the same kind of manner. This would bring us to nothing. I mean soms are should be wiser. And I hope that Great Britain can be wise and be really profound on the investigation."
Putin's opponent was cut off abruptly at this point.
But Sir Keith Starmer is entirely right against Jeremy Corbyn, on the ground of British statesmanship, in taking a stand a priori, in support of the Government against Russia, regardless of facts. Britain does not wait upon facts. It takes a stand regardless of facts and then it causes facts for others to cope with.
It is a little over three hundred years since a British Government mended its ways in response to a factual argument presented to it. That was done by a Tory Government under the impact of the influence exerted on the limited public opinion of the time by Jonathan Swift's argument presented in The Conduct Of The Allies. But that was an unusual case. A Tory Government wanted to bring an advantageous conclusion to a War that it inherited from the Whigs but public opinion, shaped by the Whigs, wanted the War carried on to the utter destruction of the enemy so that Goodness might prevail in the world.
Swift showed the Whig notion to be delusional and enabled the Government to make an advantageous settlement—in which it gained a monopoly of the Slave Trade and prospered.
The third centenary of Swift's great, and unique, peace offensive, was not celebrated in Britain six years ago. It is, of course, possible that the Slave Trade element in the Peace Deal was a reason why it was not celebrated, but that is not a plausible reason. The plausible reason is that it is against the nature of the British political body to abort a war to which it has committed itself, and to make a sensible settlement with an enemy it has demonised, instead of carrying the war through to the bitter end regardless of consequences.
Tony Blair, in his retirement interviews, passed two pieces of wisdom to his Party. He told it that Britain was a war-fighting state. And he told it that an essential quality of leadership is an ability to dissociate yourself from the consequences of your actions. Sir Keith Starmer and his colleagues are now desperately trying to save that heritage of practical British wisdom for the Labour Party. And they have not baulked at the official declaration, before a declaration of war, that Britain has now marked down Russia as its strategic enemy.
This is something new in British statesmanship. The Government did not in the past officially declare the state that it intended to make war on to be the strategic enemy. For example, Germany in 1914 did not realise that Britain was its enemy until Britain (and Home Rule Ireland) suddenly declared war on it. If it had officially designated Germany as its strategic enemy, before declaring war on it, it would not have been so easy for it to arrange a 'moral' occasion for declaring war. The enemy, having been told he was the enemy, would have acted more warily, and would have been more prepared to meet Britain as an enemy.
The British purpose in declaring itself the strategic enemy of Russia in advance of a declaration of war on it is not easy to see. But it has been done. And it is is a virtual declaration of war. That means that British state broadcasting, and 'independent' broadcasters licensed by the State, now have the formal status of propagandists for war on Russia.
The effect is already evident in public opinion. The view is increasingly heard that Russia, having somehow got a Veto in the UN Security Council, prevents international law from functioning, and that something must be done to remedy the situation.
Russia has the Veto because it broke the Fascist order that most of Europe imposed upon itself in the chaos that followed the Great War. Europe did not free itself from Fascism. It devised Fascism for itself and settled down under it. Fascism was broken by the Russian advance that followed the failed Fascist invasion of Russia.
The post-1945 development of Europe was made possible by the Russian advance—that used to be called a Liberation, but is now increasingly described as a conquest, or Occupation. That, plus the dollar. And that new post-1945 Europe has yet to demonstrate that it is something substantial in itself.Britain's
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