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Corbyn would probably agree that a foreign policy based on subservience to the United States is a source of deep shame for many Britons

A reader sends this link to an article by Peter Oborne. The following highlights may tempt readers pressed for time to open it.

With barely two weeks to go until the election of a new Labour leader, a British establishment project has been launched to stop Jeremy Corbyn at any cost. Most of the mainstream media as well as the majority of Labour MPs and party donors are part of this conspiracy to nobble the front-runner.

The Western powers always assert that they support democracy. But the truth is different. Mr Corbyn’s critics always claim that they want democracy. But do they really? They only want democracy, so long as it does not threaten the interests of their powerful backers.

Some Labour strategists envisage that Jeremy Corbyn should be duly defenestrated if he becomes Labour leader in 15 days time – so that Labour supporters can be made to vote again. I am not a Labour voter, let alone a member of the Labour Party with a vote in the current election. However, I am certain this would be a disaster for British public life.

If he wins, he must be allowed to lead his party and to make his case.

Mr Corbyn is the most interesting figure to emerge as a leader of a British political party for many years. This is because he stands for a distinct set of ideas and beliefs which set a new agenda in British politics. If he wins on 12 September, he will be the first party leader to come from right outside the British mainstream since Margaret Thatcher in 1975.

Corbyn is mounting a direct and open challenge to the British system of government of international alliances as they have worked since Tony Blair became Labour Party leader.

For two decades both main parties have shared the same verities about British foreign policy. They have regarded Britain as automatically subservient to the United States. This in turn has meant that we have interpreted the partnership with the Gulf dictatorships – such as Saudi Arabia and UAE – as central to Britain’s Middle East focus, while taking the side of the Israeli state against the Palestinians. In the Middle East this approach has ensured that we are confronting a growing terrorist threat in the region with an ever-decreasing base in popular support, and actually hated by an ever-growing population who identify Britain with their oppressors.

No matter which party was technically in power, British foreign policy has remained unchanged. David Cameron is indistinguishable in foreign policy terms to Tony Blair. (Indeed, the former prime minister has become one of Mr Cameron’s most valued foreign policy advisors.)

Jeremy Corbyn would smash this consensus.

Most people would agree that on the most intractable foreign policy issues of our time Corbyn has tended to be right and the British establishment has tended to be wrong. What Corbyn does or thinks today is likely to be vindicated a few years later. Hard though it is for the British establishment to stomach, Corbyn’s foreign policy ideas have generally been more balanced and far-sighted than those of his opponents.

This certainly does not mean that he is always right. I believe that he has been naïve about Vladimir Putin, ruler of an authoritarian state which is founded on corruption and violence. He has been unwise to contemplate British withdrawal from NATO.

Corbyn is our only current hope of any serious challenge to a failed orthodoxy. Blair and Cameron have both adopted a foreign policy based on subservience rather than partnership with the United States, which has done grave damage to British interests.

Media 37: the most misrepresented major story of 2014 – the gathering crisis between Russia and the West

malcolm fraserOn August 7th, J Oksana Boyko interviewed former Australian prime minister, Malcolm Fraser, known for his opposition to apartheid in South Africa, his humanitarian commitment to the resettlement of refugees and legislation to give indigenous Australians control of their traditional lands. More recently he has criticised the growing infringements of human rights, the basing of U.S. military forces in Australia, the concept of American exceptionalism and US foreign policy in general.

The nub of the problem according to Fraser – and others: the Ukraine was a traditional area of Russian interest preceding communism and Stalin; however, the United States decided it was going to become an area of western influence, of NATO influence.

Fraser recalls: “President Gorbachev believed that the first Bush administration had agreed that NATO would not move east. NATO had, after all, done its job”.

bush gorbachev 1989

From the website of Pietro Shakarian, an MA graduate student at the University of Michigan: “George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev in Malta in December 1989 (ITAR-TASS). The Bush administration informally promised Gorbachev that NATO would not expand “one inch” beyond East Germany. The promise was never fulfilled. To defuse the Ukraine crisis, a formal, written promise not to expand NATO by Washington to Moscow would do much to build mutual trust and confidence between both countries”.
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Fraser continues: “But then it pushed ahead to the borders of Russia, and I can understand Russians believing that’s a provocative move. There would have been other ways, less provocative ways, of ensuring the security and independence of eastern European states. I think the West then lost an opportunity to really begin to make Russia a collaborative partner . . . I can understand Russia being greatly disturbed about this . . . when (the Soviet Union) disintegrated, the West should have done everything it could to build a collaborative world . . . pushing NATO to the boundaries of Russia, in my view, was bound to do the opposite . . .”

Christopher Booker breaks the silence on evidence that the West has been pouring billions of dollars and euros into Ukraine: not just to prop up its bankrupt government and banking system, but to fund scores of bogus “pro-European” groups making up what the EU calls “civil society”. He cites Richard North’s report on his EU Referendum blog that the true figure, shown on the commission’s own “Financial Transparency” website, approaches €496 million:

“The 200 front organisations receiving this colossal sum have such names as “Center for European Co-operation” or the “Donetsk Regional Public Organisation with Hope for the Future”. The first page found shows how many are in eastern Ukraine or Crimea, with their largely Russian populations – the snapshot below shows 6 of the 30 donations on that page alone.

eu donations ukraine table

Booker believes that the West has brought about this crisis, rousing fears that its only warm-water ports in Crimea might soon be taken over by Nato – “a crisis . . . more reminiscent of that fateful mood in the summer of 1914 than we should find it comfortable to contemplate”.

Fraser is constructive: “Great powers very often, too often, interpret international law as what is in their particular interest at the time. Now, we need to try to make rules that everyone will support.

“If the United Nations is ever to work, great powers and lesser powers are all going to have to abide by the rules of the organisation. But it’s the great powers that tend to push the rules aside when it suits their national interests. And therefore, when the United States says that what Russia has done is in defiance of international law, well, that can’t be taken as gospel. The government and the change of power in Ukraine itself was surely in defiance of democratic principles.

“The Ukraine should be told that it can never join NATO, that other means will be found to make sure that the Ukraine remains secure. The West should be persuading those who are now in government in the Ukraine that within Ukraine they must learn the art of compromise. And those who are more inclined to Russia in the Ukraine, should also be persuaded by Russia – you must also learn the art of compromise”.

Will the voices of reason prevail?

Will the British government have to choose between two ‘special friends’?

Saudi security analyst: “We are learning from our enemies now how to treat the United States”

WSJ logo

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Saudi government has made no public comment so far on the phone call between U.S. President Barack Obama, whose country Saudi Arabia sees as the main military protector of its interests, and new Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, whose country Saudi Arabia sees as its main threat.

Its journalist, Ellen Knickmeyer, alleges that Sunni-dominated Gulf Arab governments, especially Saudi Arabia, fear that Shiite-ruled Iran wants to use Shia populations in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Yemen to destabilize Gulf Arab governments and try to throw the regional balance of power toward Iran.

Saudi Arabia wanted to do more to boost the power of armed Sunni rebel groups on the ground in Syria but the U.S. declared Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra to be a terrorist organization, while many in the Gulf consider the rebel faction to be a legitimate, predominantly Syrian fighting force against Mr. Assad.

prince saud al faisalPrince Saud al Faisal, speaking to the Friends of Syria group, a coalition of Western and Gulf Arab countries and Turkey, said that Saudi Arabia wants “intensification of political, economic and military support to the Syrian opposition . . . to change the balance of powers on the ground” in Syria.

Ms Knickmeyer reports that the state-run Saudi Press Agency carries a transcript of his remarks.

The Gulf Research Center

The Geneva-based Gulf Research Center is said to ‘maintain cooperation agreements’ with major partners such as Emirates Bank, Shell, Glaxo Smith Kline, the University of Queensland, the Saudi Arabian Marketing and Agencies Company (SAMACO) group, Pakistan’s National Defence College and the FRIDE Foundation.

mustafa alani gulf researchEllen Knickmeyer  reports that Dr Mustafa Alani, Saudi security analyst and Senior Advisor and Director of the National Security and Terrorism Studies Department at the Gulf Research Center, said that Saudis now feel that the Obama administration is disregarding Saudi concerns over Iran and Syria, and will respond accordingly in ignoring “U.S. interests, U.S. wishes, U.S. issues” in Syria:  “They are going to be upset—we can live with that. We are learning from our enemies now how to treat the United States.”

Saudi leverage

Gulf security analysts are reported to have said that Saudi and other Gulf Arab countries have little leverage to advance their aims in any U.S.-Iran diplomacy. Michael Stephens, researcher at the Royal United Services Institute think tank in Qatar, is quoted as saying that Saudis have only a few other means, such as directing more of their arms or energy deals to Asia.

In an ill-judged article by John Stanton (October 30’s English edition of Pravda), he asked, “Why does the world’s most powerful nation bow down before the House of Saud even as it becomes less dependent on Persian Gulf and Saudi oil?”

Other commentators are now saying that the American administration now evidently does feel freer to act, now that its new energy resources have been developed.

Read the full article here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303643304579104910000148876.html

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The new chairman of the Reserve Bank of India calls for an end to his country’s version of ‘crony capitalism’

 

raghuram rajanRaghuram Rajan, professor of finance at the University of Chicago, is the new Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. He has good credentials: a former Chief Economist at the IMF, he warned about the dangers of the US financial bubble as early as 2005. He also described the failings of India’s financial sector in 2008 and the country’s credit bubble in 2012.

The Financial Times reports that he has long called for an end to ‘cronyism’ and last year the NDTV website reproduced an article on this subject from the New York Times, describing “a brazen style of crony capitalism that has enabled politicians and their friends to reap huge profits by gaining control of vast swaths of the country’s natural resources . . . “.  Sounds familiar . . .

Though acknowledging Mr Rajan’s record as a critic of cronyism, the Economist believes that he will “have his work cut out to prevent licences going to well-connected tycoons”.

Rampant also in Britain and the United States, there is little hope for a decent life for the ‘man in the street’ in these three countries unless people like Mr Rajan combine to eliminate this ‘brazen style of crony capitalism’.

Adapted from sister site: http://www.chs-sachetan.org/?p=2231