RUSSIA, THE BRITISH MEDIA AND THE SALISBURY ATTACK

By: Michaell Lange,

London, 08/03/18 –

Last Sunday (04), Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were victims of a chemical attack in Salisbury, England. Both are critically ill in hospital. A police officer which helped when they collapsed near the restaurant they were in, was also hospitalised, but thought to be now, out of danger.

Last Sunday’s attack reminds us of a similar case when another double Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned at a hotel in London in 2006, which investigators concluded it most probably had been carried out with the approval of the Kremlin.

Soon after the identity of the victims of this attack became public, the media jumped at the speculation that it was just another case of state style assassination. Both Alexander Litvinenko killed in 2006, and Sergei Skripal, now fighting for his life after Sundays chemical attack, were accused by the Kremlin to have passed information to the British Secret Service, the MI6. Although, the agents always denied these accusations.

It is not a surprise that the British media was quick to assume that Russia must be behind the attack. However, we also know now that Sergei was working on cyber security, which will almost certainly give more food for thoughts to the investigators. It seems the British media loves any opportunity to criticise Russia and its president Vladimir Putin. But, how much different from other states Russia’s behaviour really is?

The first thing one must understand is that we cannot analise Russia differently than the way we analise any other country. Countries behave in a way to protect and pursuit their interests. Realism thinking explains well state behaviour. States compete against each other and they never trust each other. Even within the so called Five Eyes, a group of countries made by The USA, The UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, there are mistrust and competition. States always compete for power and therefore, against each other!

Russia, like any other country in the world, has the right to defend itself. However, the media appears to treat Russia in a different way as if Russians should follow a different rule from the rest of the world. The Media poses president Vladimir Putin as a bad guy who wants to invade the whole world and make Russian the world’s number one language. But, let’s be honest, to believe that Putin has the will or even the power to take on the rest of the world is nothing but a bad joke.

The state of Russia behaves just like any other country in the world. They want to stay alive, protect their interests and when possible, yes, pursuit their importance in the world stage.

Here in Britain, just a few weeks ago we were debating whether we should kill British nationals or non-nationals abroad, whenever they pose a threat to the UK. The fact is, when we identify a threat we send a drone to blow them up, and in many cases, we blow up innocent women and children together with our target. We invade other states air space to kill people we don’t like, so if Russia is doing the same we should not be surprised. Of course we are all horrified with the possibility of Russian agents killing people on the streets of Britain. It’s totally unacceptable! But, this is just the way International Relations works. Diplomacy followed by, or together with, direct or proxy actions.

States will do whatever they need to do to defend their interests, either for instance, by arresting Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, or killing, using secret service agents and drones. Dr kelly’s death still causing questions as wether he killed himself or was assassinated for exposing the truth about Iraq weapons of mass destruction.

If Russia is found to be behind this attack, we must respond with actions such as visa restrictions, and possibly banning Russians from buying property, companies or invest in the UK, though it is very unlikely since conservatives receive hundreds of millions of Pounds in Russians donation.

Although, so far we know very little about last weekend attack in Salisbury, most of us would agree that there is a high probability that Russia could well be behind this attack. Nevertheless, no matter how unacceptable this behaviour might be, we should not judge Russia’s behaviour any differently than the way we judge ourselves. All we know so far is that Sergei is a former Russian spy and was victim of a chemical attack. Anything beyond that is pure and simple opportunistic speculation.

 

TRUMP IS THE BIGGEST THREAT TO WORLD PEACE SINCE WWII

By: Michaell Lange,

London, 26/02/17 –

Firstly, when Trump challenged the main stream media, I thought it was a good thing. The media is too powerful and don’t like to be challenged. The media protect their interests and must be challenged. So, criticism coming from an American president was the perfect match. There is no doubt that fake news is a huge problem throughout the media spectrum, and it was clear that the media, especially in America, did everything they could to destroy Trumps campaign. It didn’t work. The media was in fact, pivotal for Trumps victory. They were the victims of their own rating ambition. But, the way Trump has carried out his anti-media campaign went from what should’ve been positive criticism, to an outright full force attack. That’s not only bad for democracy, it’s highly dangerous!

Secondly, I thought he was going to challenge the so called establishment, and in doing so it would be normal to see the entire structure of the system shaking to the core. But, Trumps speech at CPAC is so far, the clearest evidence that Trump has decided to live in his own echo chamber by allowing in only people he likes. He completely disregards everyone else who don’t agree with him. Moreover, his plans for America Army is toxic and can drag the world back to the Cold War. That’s also not good for America!

Thirdly, when Trump had his Ban on citizens from seven muslims countries overturned by a federal judge, he should’ve appealed and followed the legal process of justice, instead, he attacked one of the core foundations of the Nation, by referring to the Judge as “the so called judge”. To any American citizen who praise their Constitutional rights, this should be enough to realise that Donald Trump isn’t really worried about their citizens rights and the Rule of Law.

Now, Trump announces he is doing another thing he promised during his elections campaign. He said during the CPAC, he believes in Peace by strength (a concept that never worked), and that he will make “American Military, bigger, better and stronger like never before”. He also said “it will be one of the greatest military buildups in American history”. The fact is, American military power is already the biggest military force the world has ever seen. The second best is centuries behind. But, his speech at CPAC has made me think about Vladimir Putin. The guy whom the West like to refer to as “the crazy guy”, “the dictator”, “the dangerous man” etc. I watched Trumps speech imagining what would be the reaction of the West if that exact speech was coming from the mouth of Vladimir Putin, under the ovation of the Russian people? Imagine Putin saying he will make Russia win again and no one will dare to mess with Russia again. Imagine that?

On the other hand, I was waiting for Vladimir Putins reaction to Trumps speech, and like most of us, I was waiting for something strong as like many of you, I also believe Putin has indeed a couple os loose screws in his head, though he’s far from being stupid. But, there was nothing from the man itself. The only response coming from Russia was from a concerned Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, saying that an American military buildup could restart the cold war, and that’s very true. It is also true that a replay of an arms race will again, ends with no winners.

What also concerns me is the efficacy of Trump’s “Peace by Strength”. In fact, an American military buildup will not make America greater or safer again. The risks of total armageddon during the cold war should have been a lesson for Donald Trump. More military power does not mean more security. Buildup the military, specially the nuclear power, will increase the chances of accidental war as well as nuclear terrorism. It will make nuclear countries to feel even more nervous, and it will be used as justification for other countries to develop their own nuclear weapons. It’s a mad idea! And, there is another big problem. Money! The US total debt stands as a colossus $66 trillion Dollars, or $809 thousand Dollars per family, which in return has only $10 thousand Dollars in savings per family. Where the money will come from Mr President? That’s a question only an adviser with balls can dare to ask Mr Trump. I don’t think Mexico will pay for that too.

I can’t stop looking back in time, more precisely to the beginning of the 20th century and draw parallels to what is happening today. Nationalism rising rapidly all around the world especially in America and Europe. The Arms race that will follow a buildup of American military. The Political and Military Alliances between Russia and China to face NATO. The conflicts in North Africa as well as the Ukraine crisis can be compared to the conflicts in the Balkans, and a possible collapse of the European Union could be the catalyst for total disaster. Frankly, we are heading that way!

In the 1930s when Hitler came to power, the Germans saw him as their saviour, just like millions of Americans see Trump today. The Germans had no idea that in 10 years time, their saviour would be dead and their country would be devastated by war and hated by the world. The Brits and millions of Americans would never believe Brexit and Trump had any chance to happen. The Germans would never thought their saviour could bring so much devastation to the world and to themselves. In fact, the Germans believed Hitler would be good to all German people. If you think I am comparing Trump to Hitler, that is exactly what I am doing. The potencial to world disaster under Trumps seems just as equal. There is a lot of similarities between Trumps atitude to Hitler and Mussolinis. They share the same mix of selfishness and egocentrism which is characteristics of all dictators. Like Hitler, Trump negotiates by intimidation. The violence is different of course, but the time is different too. However, the rhetoric is the same. The thing is, the less we believe that very bad things can happen again, the bigger is the chance it will happen again. Its important to consider that the comparison between Hitler and Trump must be regarded to their moment in time. Therefore, the comparison here is limited to the rise of Hitler and not to the end of his regime. Hitler cannot change his past, but Trump can still change his future.

It seems that American government is following exactly everything they criticise about authoritarian governments. The arrest of Journalists during Trumps inauguration, the censure of CNN, BBC, NYT and other, from White House as well as the rhetoric promoted by Trump in just over a Month in power, is very similar of those of dictators we criticise so much. The White House never looked so similar to the Kremlin. Perhaps similar to an early Hitler or Mussolini, ruthless dictators nevertheless. Trump is dividing America and the world. He is creating a lot of tension and division in just over a month of his first term. This cannot be good for America. His ultra nationalistic approach and attack on immigrants and religion, has created chaos around the world. This is not the American way! Trump could have been the American president of the century, but he blew everything in just over a month. God knows what he is going to do in the next 4 years. God Bless America! and God Bless us all!

THE BAN ON FULL FACE-VEIL IN EUROPE (opinion)

By: Michaell Lange,

London, 02/02/17 –

Austria has banned full face-veil in public places following similar decisions in France and Belgium. The Dutch parliament is analysing similar action, and in Germany, Angela Merkel is in favor of the ban. But, what is really behind this measure and why Europeans feel so threatened by a woman wearing a burka or Niqab? Fear of multiculturalism seems to be one of the reasons, and the rise of far-right politics in Europe is surely another clue. In Austria, the reasons given by the government to justify the ban was that, the veil stood in the way of an open communication, interfering on the process of an open society. How contradicting is that? The same rule can be interpreted exactly the opposite way. An “open communication” means that what you wear can tell about who you are, or what is your faith. It’s not different for Nuns, Priests, Rabbis, or a Punk or a hippy. However, only the burka has been affected by the ban. It seems that fear might be the main reason behind these measures. If that’s the case, we should hold our heads in shame. Fear of terrorism is the most shallow of all arguments to ban face-veil. Most of the terror attacks in Europe and indeed in the US, were carried out by men wearing western clothes. So what the Burka has to do with it? Ban the Burka is clearly a discriminatory action. European governments are supposed to combat discrimination, but they are in fact promoting it, and that’s utterly unacceptable! Muslim women are very vulnerable. They have little or no rights in many Middle East and Africa countries. In many cases they are forced to marry and are subject of exploitation, and when they come to the “free world” the discrimination continues. It must stop!

Europe is giving in to the same far-right ideas that caused so much destruction in Europe in the past. politicians like Angela Merkel from Germany, should never agree to ban the burka. She might be going against her own ideals and values to counter the rise of the far-right in her country, but this decision will come back to haunt her in the future. For those playing the argument that multiculturalism has failed, it’s important to remember that Europe today is a big pot of mixed race, religion and culture. It seems however, that what concerns Europeans is fear of Islam. Yet, fear of Islam was not caused by terrorists, but by the Western media propaganda. Americans for instance, should be more worried of toddlers than Muslims. Young babies cause more death by fire arms accidents in America than Islamic terrorism. That’s not to mention the Islamic State that have killed far more muslims than any other people put together. So what is this fear about?

Nick Ferrari, a LBC radio presenter based in London, has said in the past that he would not allow a doctor wearing burka to examining him. I ask why not? What is his fear all about? Did he ever asked a doctor to provide a doctor certificate before he let them check him up? have anyone of us done it before? isn’t it a doctor certificate more important for you to worry about than a face-veil? So why Mr Ferrari would ignore the dangers of a possible false doctor exam him and instead, fear the burka? He also said in the past that a person facing a panel of judges should never be allowed to wear a burka so the judges could see his/her face and judge his behaviour. Well, I thought the judges should judge the evidence not the person. So, maybe all people facing trial should actually use burka, so the judges would have to judge the facts and the evidence only instead of the colour the skin or how the suspect behave in court. After all, we all know that black people are more likely to be convicted of a crime than a blue eye white person. So please, burka for every person facing trial!

I can only see one reason for the ban on the Burka in Europe, and that’s discrimination! States are promoting discrimination which goes against European values of liberty, freedom of expression and tolerance. When the state starts to dictate what kind of clothes we should wear, it’s time to be scared and worried. We must not forget what happened to the Jews in the 30s and 40s, and we must not allow anything like that to ever happen again. Muslims in Europe are in a path very similar to that of jews in the 30s, which tragically ended with the holocaust. European people should not allow their governments to pass laws or regulations designed to discriminate people or their culture and religion, unless we want the horrors of the past to become the horrors of the future. I don’t believe anyone wish that. So, we should not fear Islam or muslims. But, we must fear people willing to hurt other people just for the sake of their ignorance and hatred. We should fear people who doesn’t like other people just for what they are. I’m not afraid of Europe been taken over by islam, but I’m really afraid of Europe been taken over by the same radical people who caused the worst humanitarian disaster in the history of Men kind. We should not fear a face-veil, but we must fear hatred. We should not fear people just because they are different, but we must fear people disliking others just because they are different.

Since the end of World War Two, Europe has become a place of refuge for freedom and democracy, where people from all back grounds can exercise their beliefs freely and in Peace. Europe has also been an example in the fight for women equality as well as for the protection for minorities and vulnerable people. We cannot allow European leaders to promote hate and endanger everything Europe has achieved in the fields of human rights since the holocaust. No country has the right to dictate the way you should dress or live! If that is happening in Europe today, it’s time to act quickly and stop these radicals from steer Europe back to the 1930s again.

 

AMERICAN ELECTIONS:THE DEVIL OR THE DEMON? YOU PICK.

By: Michaell Lange

London, 01/11/16 –

Let’s be honest, we are living in a world where Democracy is just a word used to promote a set of common interests that seems to benefit everyone but it benefits only a few. Its like other words such as Republican, Democrat, Socialism, right and left. Although they are different in theory, the fact is that no matter where the choice goes or whoever is in power, the world continue the same path of being controlled by an ever smaller group of people. The election in the United States is a very good example of that. The media makes the people worried about the possibility of Trump winning the election and become the new president of the US. The fact is, doesn’t matter who wins this elections, very little will change for you. You might feel good if you found yourself in the winner side, but that will be it. I say that because Barak Obama was the closest  America ever came to real change, but look to America today after two Obama mandates. Very little changed. America is today, not very far from where Bush left the country. To me, the inability of Obama to really change the country tells a lot about Democracy and voting, and it’s evidence that whatever the results this time, little will change for ordinary Americans.

The central problem might be the people’s mentality towards governments. We are very easily influenced by the media propaganda, and the media is, unfortunately, part of the government. We love a show, and the media gives what we want and we forget how serious elections are. The power of the media to influence people means that vote becomes almost irrelevant because most of the people will follow the media instructions and vote for whoever they want you to vote for. It’s not a problem limited to America though. It’s the same all over the world, and it shows how fragile democracy can be. If you are influenced by propaganda, it means that your vote isn’t really yours. If you vote based on political party or poll results, your vote actually belongs to someone else, and someone else will decide who you should vote for.

The media will take any opportunity to make elections a big show to sell news by making people exited and scared. Donald Trump in this case, is golden card. Whatever you call Trump, it will sell. He is the devil, the monster, and at the same time, the saviour. The more controversial he is, the better. Last week for instance, The American TV channel NBC published a poll showing Trump 1% ahead of Hillary. The entire world media picked up that news, but in fact, 1% difference is inside the margin of error of NBC poll, which means Trump isn’t in front, but in a technical tie with Hillary. The media knew it, but  who cares? NBC’s public relations saw a great opportunity to sell and went for it. The fact that it might influence the elections result don’t really matter as long the channel is making the most of it. The morning after Brexit, Britain supposed to be gone in thin air. Well, we are still here. Of course there will be trouble, but for ordinary people, not for the big ones. They never lose whatever the results. The Brexit itself was won based on lies, and even the people who voted for it, realised they were fooled. We all were. Even I, a remainer, knew that the argument for remain were flawed. I did my own research and voted with conviction. The Americans should do the same.

In general, people will vote in whoever makes the biggest show and attract more attention, as if it’s a game of seduction instead of electing the people who will manage your money and your life for the next 4 or 5 years. If the candidate is funny, good looking, and controversial, it has a good chance of winning. Little matter how prepared he or she is to become president. The fight is for appearance, no matter how dumb he or she is. That’s why Trump has a good chance to win. In the battle of the dumbs he is in front. That’s why Boris Johnson is loved in Britain no matter how incompetent and a convicted lair he might be.

I see people very worried about the possibility of Trump being elected. I have no doubt that, if elected, Trump will be no different than the other American presidents. It’s important to remember that the way the president looks, doesn’t really translate how good or bad he or she will be. George W Bush and Tony Blair are good examples of that. They looked smart, intelligent, competent, charming and credible, but they made the whole world a very dangerous place and were responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths including Americans and British people. There is no doubt Trump is a stupid man, but he is rich, and in a world where life is less important than money, he can be whatever he wants. On the other hand, if you think Hillary is any better, forget it. She has a history of disaster policies not to mention she is the establishment in person. Trump has no history in government jobs and that is positive for him. However, either candidates will do little for the average American struggling to meet ends meet. It has been this way since Ronald Reagan, and after Obama failure, I doubt change can ever be achieved. Certainly, not with these two. Whatever the results of this elections, Bankers and big corporations will continue to profit, while the average men and women will continue to struggle. I don’t want to sound pessimist, but look back 30 years and you will see the pattern. Very little changed within the social infrastructure, and I am sure neither Trump or Hillary will do anything to change it.

We must stop this carnival, and stop glorifying these people as if they are Gods. They are not! They are just opportunist people wanting to be more famous and more powerful. They don’t give a damn to your family. We must stop following our masters and start thinking by ourselves. Individualism is a force against us. We must think like a society where everyone helps each other instead of compete against each other. The actual system benefits only those in power and slave everybody else. Unfortunately, it seems that Americans once more, fell for the snake seduction skills. If I was an American, I would refuse to vote for these two. The American people deserve better. The whole world deserve better!