The new Cold War

Orwell was right. States which lie to and control their own populations need an external enemy.

The UK and the US are clearly intent on setting Russia up as the devil incarnate. There has been a slew of anti-Russia articles in the UK liberal press recently including one rather horrible one which rhetorically suggested that the sole purpose for the Sputnik vaccine was to enable Russia to play ‘soft power’ games around the world. But then, we already know that the lives of ordinary Russians matter not one jot to these people and they would be quite happy if there was no vaccine for Russian people and tens of thousands more died.

It seems that the UK wants to get as many possible countries as possible to gang up against Russia. That this move is a rather naked attempt by the UK to position itself as an important power post-Brexit does not seem to have registered with the Guardian’s diplomatic editor. (And of course predictably enough the only way the UK can do this is by attaching itself to the coat-tails of the US). In general it seems that one way the UK plans to ‘establish itself as a major independent power’ is by leading the way in Russia-bashing.

Raab presents a very lop-sided perspective on Russia:

Raab said the door to diplomacy was always open with autocracies, but also warned the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, to end his “brinkmanship sabre-rattling on the border of Ukraine, the cyber-attacks and misinformation and the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, that was not just a human rights abuse but a use of chemical weapons on Russian soil”.

Point by point:

“autocracies”. Well; Russia has a democracy. The OSCE for example noted that in the 2012 Presidential election for example “candidates were allowed to campaign unhindered” [1]. The same mission also reported to have found evidence of vote tampering though they only mentioned a limited number of examples. Russian parliamentary and Presidential democracy is far from ‘perfect’ – but unlike many of the UK’s allies e.g Saudi Arabia it is not an autocracy.

brinkmanship sabre-rattling on the border of Ukraine“. Nothing here about the suppy of US arms to Kiev [2] or the UK military ‘training’ role. And I don’t recall any pressure from the Foreign Office on Kiev to implement the Minsk peace agreements it has signed.

cyber-attacks“. He may mean SolarWinds. That may have been Russia. Who knows – as usual even the intelligence agencies seem to lack any concrete proof. But assuming it was – it was not in fact a “cyber-attack”; it was a piece of espionage. I don’t know for sure but I would be very surprised indeed if the UK was not spying on Russia. In fact don’t they have a whole department under Mr Raab for just this purpose (spying on other nations)?

“misinformation”. I’m not sure what this means exactly but presumably anything which doesn’t mesh 100% with the propaganda line put out by the Foreign Office and its paid journalists on the ‘Integrity Initiative‘. If it means RT it is simply wrong. RT doesn’t (or very rarely) misrepresent facts. It does follow an editorial line which is clearly designed to sow discord in the West. But then, has Raab seen any ‘Radio Free Europe’ websites recently? This US State Department funded project available in Russia in Russian (and in the Tatar language) provides a constant stream of stories designed to stir up ordinary Russians against their government.

poisoning of Alexei Navalny“. To the best of my knowledge the only ‘evidence’ about this is provided by an unreliable and scientifically illiterate blogger and amounts to no more than a claim that Navalny was under FSB surveillance. At any event Raab seems to have what psychologists call boundary problems. He is the Foreign Minister of the UK not Russia. Meanwhile Assange rots in jail in London for the crime of reporting on US war crimes.

The “rules-based order” which Raab wants to use apparently as a banner to unite the world against Russia is a synthetic concoction which has meaning in the context of propaganda not actions. Tens of thousands of Iraqis would attest to that if they were alive to do so. They ignore or circumvent the “rules” they claim to respect whenever and wherever it suits them. They organised a regime change in Libya with disastrous consequences – by twisting a UN Security Council Resolution which permitted limited action to defend civilians to mean “kill Gaddaffi”. (He was then brutally tortured and murdered on the battlefield – possibly with the help of British special forces). [4] They are currently breaking international law by carrying out military operations uninvited in Syria. During the Libyian debacle UK ally France blatantly dropped arms into Libya in flagrant violation of the UN embargo (Resolution 1970). [ 5] Arms which have fuelled subsequent conflicts in the region.

In reality the “rules based order” which Raab is talking about means “we make the rules and you obey them”. It is precisely not the “multilateral” world order he claims to be interested in.

Just as in 1984 Big Brother engages in double-speak as he dresses up the enemy in his own crimes. The Guardian plays its role broadcasting the propaganda to the people as “news”.

Notes

  1. https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/90461?download=true
  2. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-56720589 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-ukraine-arms-russia-idUSKBN1EH097
  3. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/defence-secretary-announces-extension-of-uk-training-mission-to-ukraine
  4. https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-16573516
  5. https://www.france24.com/en/20110630-russia-accuses-france-crude-violation-rebel-arms-drop-libya-un-embargo / https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/sanctions/1970

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer