Tag Archives: Middle East

Can Nuclear War Be Avoided?

Op-Ed Contributor

Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts

Two factors are driving the world to nuclear war. One is the constant stream of insults, false accusations and broken agreements that the West has been dumping on Russia year after year. The other is Russia’s response, or, perhaps more correctly, the lack thereof.

Articles documenting Washington’s betrayals and provocations of Russia are available online and on my website. There is no point in repeating them here.

I have pointed out that the Russian government’s factual, diplomatic, and legal responses actually produce more provocations and insults. See, for example, https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/03/17/war-is-on-the-horizon Stephen Lendman agrees (http://stephenlendman.org/2018/03/russia-expelling-23-uk-diplomats-way-inadequate) and so does Peter Koenig ( https://thesaker.is/russias-reaction-to-the-insults-of-the-west-is-political-suicide).

Russia has two alternatives to the self-defeating response the government has chosen. One, recommended by Peter Koenig and myself, is to turn her back on the West, cleanse herself of all Western embassies, businesses, media, and NGOs, and cease relying on Western communication systems and bank clearing mechanisms. The West has nothing Russia needs. The West is exhausted and corrupt. The future lies in the East of which Russia is a part. Russia should focus on the partnership with China and relationships in the East and simply stop responding to blatantly false accusations and provocative insults.

Russia can be part of the West only if Russia surrenders to Washington’s hegemony. One would have thought that by now the Russian government would have figured out that Washington is determined to marginalize and isolate Russia, discredit Russia’s government, dislodge Putin and install a puppet like May, Macron, and Merkel, and failing these efforts to push Russia to the point that her only alternatives are to surrender or go to war.

Did it ever occur to the diplomat Lavrov and low-key Putin that the President of Russia would be called a murderer by a British foreign secretary on the basis of a fabrication created by the British government?

Are Lavrov and Putin finally getting the message that it is self-defeating to appeal to facts and law when the West has no respect for either and regards recourse to facts and law as signs of weakness and fear?

What is Russia going to do when Lavrov or Putin travel abroad on some diplomatic or state mission and one or the other or both are seized and charged with war crimes or some other fabricated offense? It can’t happen, you say? Yes it can happen. Preparation for such an event is one of the reasons that Washington crafts the portrait of Russia’s President as “the new Hitler.” Pre-emptive arrest and execution are US policy.

For years Washington has been kidnapping Russians in other countries outside US legal jurisdiction (Israel is the only other country to get away with imposing the extra-territoriality of its illegal edicts). Roman Seleznev, son of a member of the Russian Duma, was kidnapped in the Maldives in the Indian Ocean by the US and put on trial in the US for hacking credit cards. Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot was kidnaped by Washington in Liberia and charged with cocaine smuggling, a principle activity of the CIA. Evgeny Buryakov was sentenced for gathering economic intelligence, a routine activity of economists and diplomats. Victor Bout was seized by Washington in Thailand and sentenced for selling weapons to rebels, an “offense” the US has committed throughout the world and is committing today on a large scale in the Middle East. Considering the high frame-up rate of US “justice,” we have no way of knowing if these trials are anything more than show trials to teach Russia the lesson that Russian citizens are safe nowhere.

Russia’s other alternative to the self-defeating one the government has chosen is to hit back hard. Lendman suggests that when US or Israeli attacks on Syria kill Russians, Russia should destroy the bases from which the attacks originated and simply quit worrying about whether the necessary retaliation kills Americans and Israelis. Why are Americans and Israelis more important than Russians and Syrians? Does the Russian government believe the propaganda about Americans being “exceptional and indispensable” and the Israelis being “God’s chosen people?”

Perhaps a better way of showing force would be for Russia to call a meeting of the UN Security Council at which Russia could make a presentation along these lines:

Confront the US and its vassals with the long list of the treaties and agreements broken and ignored by the US and now by the UK.

Confront the US and its vassals with the long list of hostile and unsupported accusations against Russia and the West’s refusal to resolve the issues on a factual, evidential basis.

Confront the US and its vassals with the fact that neither Russia nor the US and its allies believe one word of the accusations which are intended to serve Washington’s hegemony by marginalizing and isolating Russia.

Confront the US and its vassals with the fact that similar demonizations of Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, and Assad led to military invasions of their countries. Ask if the US and its vassals are preparing their populations for a military attack on Russia.

Confront the US and its vassals with the fact that the tension between the nuclear superpowers is far higher than during the Cold War of the 20th century and that the lies and mendacity of the US government have completely destroyed Russian trust in Washington.

Confront the US and its vassals with the fact that during the Cold War there were numerous false warnings of incoming enemy ICBMs, but that as the two governments were working to reduce tensions, neither side believed the warnings, whereas today the situation is far different. In view of the extraordinary hostility displayed toward Russia by the US and its vassals, Russia cannot take a chance that a warning is false. As the US and its vassals are targeted by Russian nuclear forces, the West has the world on a course of destruction. Is this what Washington and its vassals want? Is the choice Washington’s hegemony or death? Ask Washington’s vassals why they support this insane choice.

For so long Americans have laughed at the cartoon picture of the bearded man holding his sign, “The End Is Near,” that Americans probably cannot intelligently respond to a warning no matter who gives it.

Similarly, Western policymakers are so demented and the presstitute media so corrupt that the response to a Russian approach to the UN as outlined above would be used as proof of the West’s anti-Russian propaganda. The headlines would read: “Russia Threatens the World With Nuclear War.”

Therefore, it seems that the only alternative is for Russia to turn her back—but not her eyes—on the West and to find her future in the East.

All indications are that Russia is unwilling to do this. For the Russian government, being a part of the West is more important than life itself.

UK Sends Strong Royal Navy And Industry Team To DIMDEX 2018

'Collaboration in future technologies' is the main message from the UK as they send a strong delegation to DIMDEX 2018 in Qatar

RFA Cardigan Bay

RFA Cardigan Bay

Fleur Thomas, Regional Director in the Department of International Trade’s Defence and Security Organisation (DIT DSO), is leading the UK delegation. In addition, ships from the Royal Navy are attending. This strong UK presence reiterates the importance of the strategic defence and security relationship between the UK and Qatar.

The UK government delegation will be supporting UK companies displaying and demonstrating a range of world-leading defence and security technologies. The UK’s capability themes include:

  • maritime security
  • technological support to operations
  • disaster relief
  • cyber

The United Kingdom has supported the DIMDEX exhibition since its inception and has a proven track record in delivering capabilities and solutions, with significant transfer of technology, to allies across the world. The UK team will be also be building on their international reputation for establishing successful partnerships and international collaborative arrangements and seeking to develop closer links with governments and industrial partners across the region.

Fleur Thomas said:

I am delighted to have the opportunity to visit DIMDEX 2018 to highlight the UK’s important defence and security relationship with Qatar.

DIMDEX 2018 is an important regional maritime forum and provides real opportunities for the international naval maritime community to work together and learn from each other.

I am at DIMDEX 2018 to encourage ever greater industrial cooperation and to press forward in identifying new areas for cooperation.

The UK has a significant range of world-class technologies across the air, land, maritime, security and cyber sectors and DIMDEX 2018 presents an excellent opportunity for us to show the best that Britain has to offer and find common ground on which partnerships can be built.

Middle East Minister Alistair Burt Issues Stark Warning As The Number Of People Affected By Humanitarian Crises Doubles Over Decade

At a time of almost unprecedented humanitarian need, the UK urges other countries to follow our lead to deliver better and faster humanitarian responses



The UK has renewed calls for the international community to reform the global humanitarian system to ensure aid continues to get to the 100 million people in desperate need of help right now.

Speaking on a visit to the Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum in Saudi Arabia, Middle East Minister Alistair Burt warned that the number of people affected by humanitarian crises has doubled over the last ten years. By 2030 more than half of the world’s poor could be living in countries affected by conflict.

He demanded that global leaders act now to better support those affected by brutal and relentless conflict.

Alistair Burt said: “Whilst the number of conflicts is in decline, those that persist are becoming more complex, harder to resolve and lasting significantly longer. From Syria to South Sudan, merciless conflicts rage on and over the last few years, we have seen that people who are forced to flee their home countries become refugees for over ten years on average.

“The UK’s focus is on bigger, better and faster humanitarian responses. We are already improving preparedness in emergency including investing in financial programmes such as disaster risk insurance schemes that help provide cheaper, faster and reliable finance when crises hit. But this is not enough, and international coordination is vital if we are to continue getting aid to those most in need together with an urgent examination of the failure of current intended processes to prevent, or bring to a conclusion, the conflict doing so much damage.

“Alongside this we must all take a longer-term approach to protracted crises, including supporting those countries and communities which host significant numbers of refugees who have fled relentless violence. This will help foster stability and security which is firmly in all our interests.”

Mr Burt’s comments come on a visit to Saudi Arabia’s launch of the inaugural Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum. The UK welcomes this initiative by Saudi Arabia, permitting global leaders to discuss a range of humanitarian demands.

The Minister raised the dire humanitarian crisis in Yemen with his counterparts, reminding all parties of the need for permanent unhindered access to the critical ports of Hodeidah and Saleef to ensure lifesaving food, fuel and medical supplies continue to enter the country. He also pressed for renewed engagement with a political process, underlining that there is no military solution to the conflict.


  • The Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum, hosted by King Salman, is the first conference of its kind pulling together high level humanitarian representatives from across the Middle East region and further afield.

Export Win For UK Food Producers As Lamb Market Reopens In Saudi Arabia

British lamb will soon be back on the menu in Saudi Arabia as part of a revitalised market agreement worth an estimated £25 million over the next five years

British Lamb

British Lamb

British sheep farmers and meat producers will now have the opportunity to take advantage of the increasing demand for our high quality, delicious food and drink in Saudi Arabia – where total UK exports were worth over £152 million last year. Top exports in 2017 included sweet biscuits (£13m), chocolate (£10.9m), butter (£6m) and cheese (£5.1m).

The eagerly awaited deal has been secured by the government, working with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP) lifts a 20 year long ban on exporting British lamb after the BSE crisis.

The deal follows the Prime Minister’s announcement last month that the Chinese government has agreed to progress lifting the BSE ban on UK beef exports to China, and is another boost to the UK’s flourishing food and drink exports – which reached a record level of £22 billion in 2017.

Food minister George Eustice said:

This is a significant development for our British lamb farmers and meat producers, with the potential to boost jobs and bring millions of pounds into an industry which guarantees quality from farm to fork.

As the global appetite for the UK’s delicious food and drink products grows, we are supporting more of our farmers, fishermen and producers to take advantage of the world of opportunity that export markets have to offer.

AHDB International Market Development Director Phil Hadley said:

This is great news for the sheep industry and for lamb processors and producers in the UK who are keen to look at new, non-EU markets.

The announcement is the result of ongoing and detailed work between all parties and is a testament to the high regard and quality of UK lamb.

The news comes as British businesses promote their products at Gulfood, the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade show currently being held in Dubai.

A team of the Government’s leading trade experts continue to provide guidance to UK businesses as they enter into overseas markets for the first time or consider expanding their current global customer base – ensuring they are poised to take advantage of the increasing opportunities Brexit presents.

This is complemented by the government’s Food is GREAT campaign, which highlights the success of current exporters and showcases the UK’s top quality food and drink. And in January industry representatives and government officials held the first meeting of the newly created Food and Drink Sector Council, who will work together to increase productivity and help exports grow further.

Minister For The Middle East Meets With Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister

Minister Burt met Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi in London on 21 February

Minister Burt and Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi

Minister Burt and Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi

Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt met his Iranian counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, in London yesterday for talks on bilateral issues, including the Iran nuclear deal and cases of British dual nationals detained in Iran. During the meetings, held at the Foreign Office, the Ministers also discussed Iran’s role in the Middle East.

Speaking following the meetings, Minister Burt said:

Continuing constructive engagement with Iran is vital on issues ranging from the preservation of the Iran nuclear deal to the ongoing detention of British dual nationals in Iran. The Foreign Secretary had useful meetings on these areas when he visited Tehran in December last year, and it was good to have an opportunity to build on this with some positive discussions in London today.

Iran is, in addition, a pivotal actor in the wider Middle East. In my meetings I urged the Iranian Government to play a more positive role in the region, particularly in the conflicts in Yemen and Syria.

« Older Entries