On November 14, over 40 members of Congress–both Democrats and Republicans–wrote to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, warning him of their concerns about Iran establishing a permanent presence in Syria, and thus completing a Shia Corridor, running from Iran through Iraq and Syria into the Mediterranean coast of Lebanon.  The signers of the letter, we learned, had just returned from a visit to Israel, "our regional ally," and the views "they" expressed were, for all intents and purposes, word-for-word from the mouth of the Israeli government.

To say that the members of Congress who signed on to this Made in Israel tract are brainwashed may be a bit strong.  They were surely intoxicated by the experience of hearing the briefings from the Israeli Defense Forces, the Mossad and the Office of the Prime Minister.

I cannot say with 100 percent certainty, but I presume that these US elected officials were in Israel during a recess "CODEL" (Congressional Delegation), which means they were there are US taxpayers funds, soaking up the Israeli propaganda on your dime.

Some visits by members of Congress and other American influential are directly financed through the Israel Lobby, through organizations like AIPAC, the ADL and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA).  ADL brings American law enforcement officers to Israel, while JINSA concentrates on retired US military flag officers.

The letter was such a flagrant piece of Israeli propaganda that it reminded me again of the overreach by the Israeli government and its vast lobby.  

In his latest article for Unz Review, Phil Giraldi reported that a US tax exempt organization called Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces FIDF) just conducted fundraisers in Los Angeles and New York, which generated $70 million in contributions.  The organization had a bank account with $190 million in reserve, going into those events.  How can the Treasury Department grant tax exempt status to an organization that is a lobby for a foreign military institution?  

How did the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith retain its tax exempt status after the 1992 revelations that they were recruiting US law enforcement officers to spy for Israel.

When President Dwight Eisenhower demanded that Britain, France and Israel withdraw from the Suez Canal in 1956, it was only after he threatened to strip away the US tax exempt status of the Zionist Lobby organizations that Israel agreed to withdraw (after Britain and France had already agreed to pull out).  With perhaps one or two exceptions, that was the last time that the Israelis and their lobby were genuinely put in their place by an American President.  That was 61 years ago.

Look where coddling to Israel has gotten us.

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  1. Clueless Joe says:

    But remember, it is Evil Russia which is influencing US politics, and Russia Today which is the propaganda arm of a foreign power. You’re only a traitor if you speak to Russians, not if you speak to Israelis.

  2. ann says:

    I believe The Oslo Accord was signed after GHWB withheld funds from Israel in order to stop the settlements. This would be a small intervention. Other than that, they take our money and do as they wish, and we do as they wish also. As for “where coddling . . Israel has gotten us”, Looks a lot like war in the ME. And I am sure our money and the U.S. Military will be there.

  3. outthere says:

    How tough was Ike on Israel, really?
    In 1958, CIA flew U2 over Israel and took pictures of nuclear weapons plant(s) being built. CIA and Ike buried this information, did nothing about it at all.
    Read Hersh, “Samson Option”.

  4. outthere says:

    Hersh, Samson Option
    There was no way that Lundahl and Brugioni could wink at
    the imminent construction of a secret nuclear reactor. They
    and their colleagues in the U-2 shop believed strongly in Is-
    rael’s right to exist, but were equally convinced that an Israeli
    bomb would destabilize the Middle East. They also knew that
    they were dealing with political dynamite, and chose to wait;
    speculation would be deadly. “Whenever you get something on
    the Israelis and you move it along,” said Brugioni, “you’d bet-
    ter be careful. Especially if you’ve got a career.”
    The pouring of concrete footings for the reactor’s circular
    dome was all the evidence Lundahl needed. Lundahl rushed
    the early raw photographs to the White House; it was late 1958
    or early 1959.* Lundahl understood the rules: he carried no
    written report — paper was never to be generated in the U-2
    briefings. “Ike didn’t want any notes — period,” recalled Lun-
    dahl. . .
    Lundahl anticipated a Phase Two or Three request on the
    Israeli intelligence. Instead, he recalled — still amazed, more
    than thirty years later — there was “no additional requirement.
    No request for details.” In fact, added Lundahl, over the next
    years, “nobody came back to me, ever, on Israel. I was never
    asked to do a follow-up on any of the Israeli briefings.”
    But no one told him not to do so, and so the U-2 continued to
    overfly the Negev. Lundahl also relayed the findings on
    Dimona to Lewis L. Strauss, chairman of the Atomic Energy
    Commission, and a few AEC aides who were among the hand-
    ful of officials in the Eisenhower administration cleared for U-2

  5. Only 40 Senators? AIPAC must be losing their grip. They used to claim they could get 60 Senators to pass any bill that AIPAC wrote on the back of a napkin.
    And today Bibi claims Israel will “go it alone” to get rid of Iranians in Syria. That seems pretty much a declaration of war. Especially since he has no intention of “going it alone” as the referenced letter pretty clearly shows. He’s expending considerate effort to get the US to attack Hizballah in Lebanon and then carry it over into Syria – a reverse of the previous plan to take out Syria first and then Hizballah apparently…
    Some of this might be a desperate tactic to get another war going so he can dodge his legal difficulties, but I doubt it.

  6. Mishkilji says:

    “The letter was such a flagrant piece of Israeli propaganda that it reminded me again of the overreach by the Israeli government and its vast lobby.”
    It’s only overreach if the propaganda fails.
    There is zero evidence that has occurred.

  7. FourthAndLong says:

    The historical roots of zionism, of the so-called jewish homeland on American and British thought and policy go back to the puritans of the 17th century. The jews did not originate the present day zionist nonsense, it dates to the days of the Protestant reformation. The phenomenon of Christian zionism is not to be ignored:
    It accounts, to no small degree, for the tenacity with which the delusion maintains its grip.

  8. Yeah, Right says:

    Hard to see how this can be neutered via legislative or administrative changes – the lobby is too powerful and the politicians too in thrall to it.
    It would require an external shock – an FBI sting, perhaps, that leads to a number of CongressCritters being led away in handcuffs, or a Harvey Weinstein-style outing that makes associating with the Israel Lobby so toxic that any self-serving politician will have no choice but to run a mile.
    Money be damned in that case, just as all of Harvey Weinstein’s undoubted $millions can’t buy him out of the hole he now finds himself if.
    But an internal, legislative reform intended to break the back of the Israeli Lobby?
    Or a President with the courage to force all Israeli “charities” to register as agents of a foreign government?
    Nope, neither is going to happen. They’re politicians, after all….

  9. kooshy says:

    The Judiciary, Law, Finance, Entertainment, Media, Congress, Medicine, etc. and even the underwear we wear (garment) are majority owned by rich American jews or Christian zionist, they believe in protecting Israel project with all they can. To make this changed to real America first, will take generations of hard working real American firsters patriarchs. US congress ( currently Knesset west) needs to be taken back before any reform can happen to other sectors and distributions. WWW and Sites like this and your post are the best hope, if not the only hope, to inform the younger generations what and who has made this country to lose her moral stand, that correctly or not, was the pride of being American .

  10. turcopolier says:

    40 members of the House. Try to read more accurately. pl

  11. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think it unrealistic for Protestant Christians to say good bye to all of that.
    What is potentially possible a JCPOA-like cease fire in Palestine which could mitigate the Cold War between the Shia and the Protestants; between Western Fortress and Iran and her allies; a 99-year long one

  12. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think only a conversion to Catholicism could alter this; a healing of the schism in Christianity.

  13. The Beaver says:

    demanded that Britain, France and Israel withdraw from the Suez Canal in 1956, it was only after he threatened to strip away the US tax exempt status of the Zionist Lobby organizations that Israel agreed to withdraw (after Britain and France had already agreed to pull out).
    And to stick it to France and Britain, Ben Gourion later produced the Israeli signed copy of the Protocole de Sèvres (The Brits and French supposedly burned theirs when the existence of the signed copies of the secret protocol was leaked)

  14. The Beaver says:

    There is an article here also :
    and then Yvet said this:

  15. Anna says:

    “Tobias Schneider, an international security analyst based in London, told The National that “while the US [with Russia] has made the south-west de-escalation zone a priority in its Syria policy, it has no realistic means of actually rolling back Iranian influence across the border.” https://www.thenational.ae/world/43-congress-members-urge-tillerson-in-a-letter-to-counter-iran-in-syria-1.676143
    The tribal delirium comes to light after the western world had produced the Nuremberg Protocols more than half a century ago. At least, there is no more cover left for the morally bankrupt Jewish state and the Lobby. The ziocons are busy with replaying the Nazi story, and the whole production looks and sounds like a sadistic farce.
    It is unfortunate that Jewish intelligence is so significantly overrated. The obnoxious fools want their toys by any means – even for a price of destruction of the world. Let’s see how much the US taxpayers’’ money are going to be allocated by “western Knesset” in DC for the defense of Jewish Lebensraum.

  16. Yeah, Right says:

    It is a bizarre concept, isn’t it: Israel claims a right of veto over whom Syria can and can’t enter into an alliance.
    The Israelis apparently have a serious problem with their English-to-Hebrew dictionary, insofar as someone must have substituted the definition for “Suzerainty” under the entry for “Sovereignty”, and the Izzies have been confused over the difference ever since.
    Still, suzerainty is a very 18th – 19th century concept, so it is no surprise that it is so appealing to a Zionist mindset.

  17. Harper,
    Apologies to you and to our host for breaking in. I heard this morning, BBC “Today” around 8.50, an interview with a Guardian journalist Luke Harding. Harding has a book coming out on Trump. It is called “Collusion” and details the contacts Trump and his team have had with the Russians.
    In the BBC interview it is taken for granted that the Steele dossier is genuine. Also taken for granted is the suspicious nature of Trump’s contacts with the Russians, the inference that Russian financing had political consequences, the Russian release of the DNC files to further Trump’s election prospects and the claimed Russian operation to influence the US election. Also inferred is that Wikileaks had a pro-Trump political agenda. The interview is a hit piece of considerable force. All proof by inference and expertly put together.
    It will have been very effective with most of those hearing it. The notion that Trump and the Russians were up to no good is now firmly lodged in the minds of most people in the UK who take the UK media seriously. Which I’m afraid might still be many of us.
    This is a straight information campaign – the use of the BBC to further a political agenda, the use of the London press to run a campaign against the US President. Any idea about what’s going on here?

  18. eureka says:

    Bibi cannot bring Israel to war on his own, especially as he is facing an almost imminent criminal indictment, along with his wife. He must get the backing of the security inner cabinet and then must get the support of the IDF command and the intelligence services. This is not likely to happen. The Israelis cannot defeat Hezbollah alone, and the military commanders know that. They have had eleven years of relative calm on the Lebanese border, and they have recently been using Lebanese air space to fire off-set missiles into Hezbollah targets inside Syria. The big play is to draw the US into such a conflict in which the US effectively goes to war against Iran. That is the shared goal of Saudi Arabia and Israel. That too has a big hurdle to overcome–namely, the military advisers to President Trump, who are not newcomers to the Middle East (Mattis, his most trusted military adviser was CENTCOM commander and both Kelly and Dunford, JCS Chairman, know the region well also. Despite his signals of pro-Saudi leaning, I do not believe President Trump will order some flight-forward military action unless Iran does something really stupid and provocative. While that cannot be 100 percent ruled out, it is not likely at this time. And lurking in the background of all of this is Russia, which has re-emerged as a regional factor since the September 2015 intervention into the Syrian war, which turned the tide.

  19. eureka says:

    It appears that the British were more flipped out over the Trump victory than Hillary and the Hillary-cons. A recent timeline by Byron York of the Washington Examiner strongly suggests that it was the first of the Christopher Steele “reports” that triggered the FBI investigation in the first place in July 2016. If that proves to be the case (and there is pressure on AG Sessions to appoint a second special counsel to probe the collusion between the FBI, the Hillary campaign, the DNC and Steele from a foreign intelligence service) we will likely learn more about the bizarre goings on between Steele, Comey, Hillary’s campaign and how the “narrative” of Trump being a Russian tool got going. The move evidence that comes out showing the underlying fraud behind the Trump-Russiagate business, the more the mainstream media in both the US and the UK pour it on to preserve the narrative. It becomes almost a survival issue. If the whole thing is shown to be a hoax, the backlash would be pretty significant.

  20. David Rosa says:

    “Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can’t help but think that before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East.” — John Sheehan, S.J.
    To understand the wars of the 20th century, wars in the Middle East, present-day Russophobia, abortion, pornography, gay marriage, transgenderism, third-world immigration, the tearing down of Christian culture, et al., you must turn to the work of a (tenured!) professor of evolutionary psychology at Cal State, Professor Kevin MacDonald. Once you read his seminal work, The Culture of Critique, you will no longer see world events and movements in the same way. You can find this book free on Internet Archive in various formats (PDF, ePub, Kindle, et al.): https://archive.org/details/TheCultureOfCritiqueKevinMacDonald1998

  21. JohnB says:

    I heard the Harding interview. I am surprised that his Russiaphobia still gets air time or maybe I shouldn’t be surprised!
    May’s speech at the Lord Mayor’s Dinner is all part of a major campaign for Cold war 2. It justifies increased defense and intelligence budgets and of course allows the PM to deflect away from her disintegrating govt.
    Maybe it will give May the chance to cancel Brexit if she can build a case for Russian interference.
    I don’t just see this as a campaign against Trump it has far wider targets in its sights mostly of a domestic nature.
    That said I think the British view on trump has more to do with his maverick tendencies.The FO likes American Presidents who are on message and reliable not wild cards.

  22. JohnB says:

    The Israeli influence of British Politics is another area worthy of further research.
    Whatever ones views of Jeremy Corbyn are. It’s hard to think how he could ever become PM of the UK given his views on Palestine and nor could anyone else.
    If you want to see what interference in a democratic election looks like, wait until the next GE in the UK.

  23. jpb says:

    The slick agitprop campaign against Russia vectors the American intelligentsia on PBS Frontline: Putin’s Revenge 2017.

  24. Imagine says:

    The previous Senate has already unanimously pledged to back Israel with the full might of the Pentagon, and the Treasury, once Israel goes to war against Iran in righteous self-defense:
    Iran does not need to attack. The US-AID-backed White Helmets could be doing literal human sacrifices of babies to Great Chaos, and not even the U.N. would blink twice:

  25. turcopolier says:

    the US Senate has no power to commit the US armed forces to anything. pl

  26. kooshy says:

    Yes, You are right I left the church out, but I agree the church mostly if not totally supports the Israel jewish homeland. IMO, if they didn’t Israel had no chance to become a state or even survive. Generally They don’t mind the lost blood from either side. Ironically this mind set is similar to “ no matter what side is killed, it benefits Islam”

  27. Bandolero says:

    Here is a copy of the letter producing also the names and signatories of those who signed it.

  28. EO,
    The Harding book clearly marks another escalation at the British end of the campaign by corrupt elements in the leadership of the intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic to subvert the constitutional order in the United States.
    Christopher Steele is a dirty disinformation peddler, and serial fabricator of evidence, who has now got into bad trouble because the more absurd claims with which he attempted to support his portrayal of Trump as a ‘Siberian candidate’ have provoked lawsuits from Aleksej Gubarev and the Alfa oligarchs.
    This makes it necessary to corrupt legal processes, which in turn requires that everyone is operating in ‘full McCarthy mode.’ Only by fuelling hysteria so it completely distorts the capacity of people to assess evidence – and we are long way to getting there, not simply over ‘Russiagate’ but many other matters – may it may prove possible to save both Steele himself and BuzzFeed from being torn to pieces in the courts and – hopefully – made to pay really serious damages.
    And if this happened, of course, then some very awkward questions not just about the activities of MI6 but also their collaborators in your country might become much harder to avoid.
    Among the most contemptible of the MSM journalists who have been happy to act as stenographers for Steele and others who orchestrated the cover-up over Litvinenko is Luke Harding. To demonstrate this, I am attaching the text of an e-mail I wrote him on 20 January 2016. This was then copied, with further comments, to the ‘readers’ editor’ of the ‘Guardian’, Chris Elliot, their diplomatic correspondent, Patrick Wintour, their Moscow correspondent, Shaun Walker, and Jonathan Freedland, then executive editor of the opinion part of the paper.
    The only response I received was from Wintour. As I had reminded him that the disgraced former LibDem Cabinet Minister Minister Chris Huhne was once a mutual friend, he clearly felt he had to produce some kind of reply. It was: ‘I think this is for Luke.’
    Given that I had produced evidence suggesting that the investigation by Counter Terrorism Command into the death of Litvinenko, and Sir Robert Owen’s ‘inquiry’, were both completely corrupt, this was a somewhat remarkable abnegation of responsibility: a bit like the FBI leaving the investigation of the DNC servers to ‘CrowdStrike’, perhaps.
    As it now seems clear that Steele must have involved up to the hilt in this corruption of the processes of British justice, and he has been trying to corrupt democratic processes in your country, and seemingly still is, these matters seem rather relevant to Americans.
    Particularly given that it appears that leading figures in your ‘intelligence community’ have treated the ludicrous dossier Steele produced seriously, it is important that people on your side of the Atlantic realise how quite how squalid and contemptible he is.
    If anyone wants the links to the articles and books mentioned in it, I am happy to post them. And if, having looked at them, someone – TTG perhaps – can refute my argument that the contradictions involved point to systematic corruption, I am happy to ‘eat humble pie.’
    The original e-mail read:
    Dear Luke Harding,
    In the Guardian report published yesterday under the title ‘Alexander Litvinenko: the man who solved his own murder’ you wrote:
    ‘Scotland Yard would later precisely fix Litvinenko’s movements on the afternoon of 1 November: a bus from his home in Muswell Hill in north London; the tube to Piccadilly Circus;’
    Actually, according to the version presented to the inquiry, he arrived at Oxford Circus, not Piccadilly Circus. The more salient point is that this account of Litvinenko’s journey into central London on the day he was supposedly deliberately poisoned with polonium, and how it was established that he was clear of contamination when he arrived there, appears to be quite new.
    I had never seen it presented in public prior to the inquiry, and it contracts all the versions I can trace which had been provided previously, most of which in turn contradict each other.
    First, Litvinenko was supposed to have travelled by car, then a number 134 bus identified by a £1.50 ticket, then a 134 bus identified by an Oyster Card, then a 134 bus and an unspecified tube. The combination of the 234 bus and tube which has been presented to the inquiry is, as far as I can see, wholly original.
    At the outset, the journey was supposed to have been completed by midday. According to the – vivid – description provided by the former BBC Moscow Correspondent Martin Sixsmith in his April 2007 study ‘The Litvinenko File’, the 134 bus brought Litvinenko in to Tottenham Court Road at 11.30am.
    Now we are told that, right at the outset of their investigation, Scotland Yard had established, from an Oyster Card – of which there appears to be no mention prior to the Sixsmith study – that he did not board the 234 bus until 12.29 pm, and left the tube at Oxford Circus at 13.34 pm.
    I am forwarding an e-mail I sent on this subject in August last year to David Leppard, who with his colleagues at the ‘Sunday Times’ produced the first of these many contradictory versions, that according to which Litvinenko travelled into central London by car.
    Attached to this is e-mail is a PDF which goes through the various versions in detail, and speculates on the implications of the positively Orwellian transformations in the claims made about the nature of the evidence which is supposed decisively to refute claims that Litvinenko had been contaminated prior to the morning of 1 November 2006.
    This PDF was also sent to other individuals and organisations who had been involved in disseminating the various mutually contradictory reports discussed. In all cases, as with Leppard, I was concerned to give them the opportunity to clarify matters, if in fact they had misreported what their SO15 sources had told them. In no case have they done so.
    Most of the information in this PDF has been repeatedly presented by me to the team in charge of the inquiry, starting with an initial memorandum sent in September 2012. They have chosen to ignore the flagrant contradictions I have identified in the accounts given of how and why Litvinenko travelled into central London on 1 November 2006, and simply proceed on the basis that the integrity of the police investigation can be taken for granted.
    I am happy to forward to you copies of the relevant memoranda, which were sent to, and acknowledged by, the Solicitor to the Inquest/Inquiry, Martin Smith.
    Unless the contradictions I have identified can be explained away in a convincing fashion, a strong prima facie case exists that the account of how and when Litvinenko travelled into central London presented to the inquiry is a fabrication. Anyone seeking to discount this possibility, I submit, needs to provide a cogent explanation as to why the current version was not presented at the outset, and of the various changes in the versions that were presented.
    If in fact the current version is a fabrication, then it follows that all the evidence that has been adduced to support it has to be under suspicion of being unreliable. It also follows that the crucial contention that Litvinenko had not knowingly had contact with polonium prior to his poisoning by Lugovoi and Kovtun in the Pine Bar of the Millennium has not been validated by credible evidence.
    And if repeated attempts are made to validate an argument by evidence which will not withstand serious examination, then a question has to arise as to whether that argument is false.
    Kind regards,
    David Habakkuk

  29. JamesT says:

    Corbyn has softened his stance on Israel specifically to make himself more electable. He is a bit far left for me, but I’m ready to back almost anyone who will stand up to The Borg. Anyone who thinks Corbyn is unelectable should remember that we were all told Trump couldn’t win. I think Corbyn is going to win the next election in the UK – the question is will he get a majority. It is worth remembering that a Prime Minister with a majority in the British system has far far more power than a US President. I hope he stays off light aircraft.

  30. Frank says:

    The interview would be a hit piece of considerable force if written by someone with an ounce of credibility.

  31. Imagine says:

    True and an interesting point.
    Would Israel start a war of aggression against Iran if it had Congress firmly in its pocket but factions at the Pentagon and the U.S. President were mostly not in favor of the concept?

  32. Sylvia 1 says:

    I am very interested in this subject. I would like to take you up on your offer to post the items your referred to. ”
    If anyone wants the links to the articles and books mentioned in it, I am happy to post them.”
    Please do.

  33. Anna says:

    Russiangate is all that is left for Luke Harding to make some butter on his bread. He has already crossed the limits of decency when betraying Assange. Luke Harding, a perfect presstitute.

  34. Yes, it’s all a bit of a freak show at the moment, the way they’re going for the new American administration. More than a bit when you see DH’s comment above on the activities of our Mr Steele; and more like ferrets in a sack if one skims through, as I have just done, the extraordinary PBS video linked to by jpb.
    But it could be worse. It may be that both sides of the Atlantic we’re getting off lightly. Look at what the the unfortunate MEP’s have to put up with. I wouldn’t listen to more than a fragment or two but here, at 3.10, is the inimitable Guy Verhofstadt, the Maidan star turn, showing just how bad it can get –
    At least I hope it’s inimitable. I’m not sure the planet could cope with more than one.

  35. Keith Harbaugh says:

    David Rosa, I couldn’t agree more with your statements.
    Kevin MacDonald’s The Culture of Critique is absolutely key to understanding what has driven the radical transformations in America since at least 1950.
    It is good that you provide a link to the full book,
    but a good idea of the thrust of the book can be obtained by a smaller download, from the author’s website,
    of the preface to the 2002 paperback edition, a 69-page PDF:

  36. “The big play is to draw the US into such a conflict in which the US effectively goes to war against Iran.”
    Which is precisely why Israel HAS TO take out – or at least try – Hizballah in Lebanon. Israel can NOT afford to have Hizballah (and possibly Syria) enter an Iran war against Israel. Hizballah alone has the capability to put most Israeli citizens in bomb shelters 24×7, which will devastate the Israeli economy and enrage the electorate against Bibi, resulting in his and his party’s ouster in the next election. Bibi can’t afford that.
    So Israel MUST take out Hizballah – or at least degrade it enough that its missiles will no longer be an effective threat.
    If Bibi wants the US to attack Iran, he has to take out Hizballah and Syria first. He has no choice whatsoever except to give up the plan for an Iran war. And I don’t think he’s capable of doing that.

  37. Sorry. I was too busy remembering the 60 Senators bit… 🙂

  38. Relevant to Israel’s current moves, here is the video and transcript of the Speech of Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, on November 5th, 2017, after the resignation of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
    Hassan Nasrallah: are Saudi Arabia and Israel preparing a war against Hezbollah?
    As usual from him, it’s an impressive piece of analysis which concludes that no one is sure what is going on between the Lebanese PM, Israel, Saudi Arabia, but that any “attack” by Saudi Arabia on Lebanon is militarily unlikely, and that Israel and Israel alone will be the one deciding on any attack on Lebanon by Israel.

  39. Walker says:

    Thanks for posting that.

  40. JohnB says:

    Yes, beware light aircraft or walking in the Highlands.
    I hope your right about Corbyn winning Your correct when you talk about the power a PM has. Added to the UK not having a written constitution and you can see why Marx saw Great Britain as the best opportunity for socialism in Europe

  41. Sylvia,
    In fact, since I wrote to Harding, I have realised that the police evidence contradicts itself. The ‘Chronology’ on which the whole of Owen’s argument depends is presented as ‘Appendix 4’, starting on page 271 of his report. The events of 1 November 2006 are covered on pages 278-80.
    (The report is at http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090324/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/report .)
    A key part about this chronology is that in it, supposedly, the only visit by Litvinenko to Berezovsky’s offices occurred after the meeting with Lugovoi and Kovtun in the Pine Bar of the Millennium Hotel in Grosvenor Square, which is timed at 4.00-4.30pm, following his meeting with Mario Scaramella at the Itsu sushi bar in Piccadilly, timed at 3.10-3.40pm. According to this version, ‘12.29-1.34pm. AL travelled by bus and tube to Oxford Circus’.
    This chronology sustains the claim that Litvinenko and Berezovsky had no conscious contact with polonium, and that the former was not contaminated, until Andrei Lugovoi and/or Dmitri Kovtun poured the substance into the teapot containing his green tea in the Pine Bar. The whole version presented in Owen’s report depends on the premise that the contamination on the photocopier in Berezovsky’s office can be explained as a result of Litvinenko having been poisoned immediately before in the Pine Bar.
    If however you scroll down to page 315, in ‘Appendix 8: Key documents’, you will find ‘INQ018243 Maps showing the movements of Alexander Litvinenko on November 2006.’ The link does not work, but the document can be accessed in the ‘Evidence’ section at
    In addition to a range of puzzling discrepancies with Owen’s chronology, which could conceivably be the result of sloppiness, one finds the following, which I think clearly is not:
    ‘SECURITY GUARD AT 7 DOWN STREET OFFICES OF BORIS BEREZOVSKY STATES LITVINENKO VISITED BETWEEN 1PM AND 2.30PM.’ The evidence credited is ‘Statement S82 Stephen Brown’, and the estimated date/time given is ‘13.40 approximate.’
    A plausible explanation is as follows. When Litvinenko made it impossible for Steele & Co to suppress what had happened by pointing the finger at the meeting with Scaramella on Zakayev’s website, they first attempted to suggest he had been poisoned there, then at a meeting prior to it in an upstairs hotel room at the Millennium involving Lugovoi – which now everyone wants to suppress. It was only when it became evident that the scale of contamination at the Pine Bar could not be suppressed that the focus was shifted there.
    As is clear from the witness statements from the time by Berezovsky, which Owen distorted in his report, this meant that at earlier times the visit by Litvinenko was placed either shortly before or shortly after the meeting with Scaramella, while it then had to be shifted again so that, supposedly, it came after the Pine Bar meeting. Someone, I think deliberately, alluded to a statement by the security guard which would have ‘meshed’ with the version of an earlier poisoning in the maps document.
    The death of Berezovsky, in what could have been suicide but might have been murder, occurred on 23 March 2013. The deadline for his new witness statement, in which he would have had to choose what account to stick by, and which was never found, was 22 March. If anyone had an interest in seeing him removed from circulation at this point, it wasn’t Putin or Patrushev.
    As to the changes in the accounts given of the journey and how it was established that Litvinenko was clear of contamination when he arrived in central London.
    It helps to understand some things about travelling in to the centre from the suburbs – Litvinenko lived in Muswell Hill, some way out to the north, as did his close collaborator and neighbour the Chechen insurgent leader Akhmed Zakayev, who drove a Mercedes, and is known to have done so on 1 November 2006.
    If one was using public transport, one might either take a double-decker no 134 the whole way into Tottenham Road, or take either that bus or a single-decker local no 234 to get to an appropriate tube station. How one travelled would depend on precisely where one was going. Back in November 2006, it was still possible to buy single tickets for journeys, but anybody who regularly used public transport bought an electronic ‘Oyster Card’ – which leaves a record of one’s journey.
    Actually, the version presented by Counter Terrorism Command to the Inquiry is quite as preposterous as the BuzzFeed dossier. If the interviews supposedly recorded with Litvinenko by Detective Inspector Brent Hyatt are to be believed, the strange nature of what went on at the Pine Bar meeting on 1 November – centering on the teapot – immediately made him suspect that a poisoning attempt might be at issue.
    Although one of his agents was soon displaying the most serious symptoms, and suspected the Russians, we are given to believe that the then head of the MI6 Russia Desk, Steele, knew nothing until 20 November. Moreover, it was only on 18 November that DI Hyatt began interviewing Litvinenko, and elicited among other things his account of his journey into central London.
    The description of his journey into central London supposedly given by Litvinenko to DI Hyatt, including the crucial reference to the Oyster Card, can be accessed in the ‘Evidence’ through the link INQ016528, with the relevant pages being INQ01536/7. The supposed print-out from the Card record is INQ006491. The witness statement supposedly identifying the no 234 bus, dated 26 November 2006, is INQ019248.
    The police witness statement describing the supposed testing of that bus by scientists from the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston on 27 November 2006, establishing that it was clear of contamination, is INQ007670.
    Let us then look at the claims that were made earlier by journalists who would have been briefed by Counter Terrorism Command, MI6, or both. Added to these are my guesses as to why Steele and his merry men chose to change the story.
    The first major attempt by these people to produce a coherent account was in a ‘Sunday Times’ investigation published on 3 December 2006 entitled ‘Focus: Cracking the code of the nuclear assassin’.
    (See http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1747654/posts .)
    Although, supposedly, the evidence about the no 234 was available almost a week earlier, the ‘Sunday Times’ authors wrote:
    ‘On the morning of November 1 Litvinenko was given a lift into the centre of London by car. No trace of polonium has been found in that vehicle – an indicator that Litvinenko had not yet been poisoned.’
    However this version depended upon the argument that Litvinenko was given a lift home in Zakayev’s Merc, which was found to be contaminated. If he was given a lift in by car, it was likely to be the Merc – and it couldn’t both be contaminated and not contaminated.
    So Steele and his merry men tried, again, with a report in the ‘Daily Mirror’ on 11 December, which opened:
    ‘A £1.50 bus ticket proves that murdered Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned in a London hotel. The ticket for a No 134 London bus was found in Litvinenko’s coat pocket after he was dosed with deadly polonium 210.’
    (See http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/the-bus-ticket-that-proves-where-spy-was-poisoned-706466 .)
    This version was restated in a 22 January BBC ‘Panorama’ programme, which unlike the other articles I am citing was admitted into the ‘Evidence’, as HMG000467:
    ‘Litvinenko caught the 134 on November the 1st; no trace of polonium on his ticket or the bus; he was clean.’
    It probably occurred to Steele & co, however, that nobody who travels regularly on public transport uses single tickets. So on page 216 of the study ‘The Litvinenko File’ published by the former BBC Moscow Correspondent Martin Sixsmith in April 2016, one finds the following:
    ‘The first measurement for 1 November was taken from the Oyster card Litvinenko had used to pay for the journey into central London … In the case of Litvinenko’s ride on the number 134 bus the card allowed detectives to trace which vehicle he had travelled on and who was driving it. They tested both Litvinenko’s card and the bus itself, and found no radioactivity on either. This was a strong indication that Litvinenko had not been poisoned before the time his bus journey ended, at 11.30a.m. on 1 November.’
    To access this one needs either to search in ‘Google Books’ or spend $2 plus postage on a second-hand version of the book. However, the relevant section of the August 2008 study ‘The Terminal Spy’ by the ‘New York Times’ correspondent Alan Cowell was published by ‘USA Today.’ It reads:
    ‘He took a bus to start his journey, then the subway, using an electronic blue plastic ticket the size of a credit card called an Oyster card. For most Londoners, the cards were a commonplace, a device for discounted travel on the public systems, linked to a central computer through terminals on buses and in subway stations. For Litvinenko, the card would offer a vital clue to the timing of a murder.
    ‘The 134 bus route burrowed through the palimpsest of bleak and cosmopolitan modernity that time has spread over the Gothic frame of Victorian London …’
    (See (See http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/life/books/excerpts/2008-08-14-The-Terminal-Spy_N.htm .)
    Apart from the account by Cowell, all the others have been pointed out to me reportedly to Owen’s team, in memos which I was assured have been read in e-mails which I have safely stored.
    If anyone can provide me with an explanation of this evidence which does generate a strong ‘prima facie’ case that ‘perversion of the course of justice’ is at issue I will be glad to hear it. Of course, I cannot be sure that Steele was directly involved in producing the final version, as he stood down as head of the MI6 Russia Desk the year after the Cowell study was published. But, given his intimate involvement in the earlier efforts to obscure the truth, it seems likely he had a good deal to do with the later ones.

  42. Anna says:

    I am afraid that this solution, along the religion line, is not feasible: The western society has been leaning towards atheism.
    However, the cumulative effect of the Jewish Lobby meddling into the US foreign/internal policies, as well as the aggressive and unfair suppression of any criticism of Israel and ziocons, could eventually translate into acts of anti-Zionism. The US is not the first country experiencing the tribe’s psychopathic supremacism. The (Jewish) bolshevism in Russia and the Jewish extortions re holocaust are good examples to ponder the roots of anti-Semitism. Add to that the genocidal policies of Israel towards Palestinians.
    Here are the hard facts of today: Israel cooperates with Wahhabists (the 9/11-designated terrorists) and the US policies in Eastern Europe, which were implemented by ziocons such as Nuland-Kagan et al, have strengthened neo-Nazi movement in Ukraine (to the effect that the neo-Nazi are currently present in the US-propped government in Kiev), as well as in Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania. The collusion of zioconism with neonazism is quite an achievement.

  43. Anna says:

    It is amazing how people could be so careless with the legacy of their family names. According to the available facts, Mr. Owen and Mr. Steel are whores.
    “Sir Robert Owen Cocklecroft, sitting before the court in a full nappy, denounced Putin as a pervert, weirdo, and Commie, with ideas above Russia’s station. “He has also ruined our plans for regime change in Syria, which is little short of outrageous.” https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Robert_Owen
    “In the Easter term of 1986, Steele was President of The Cambridge Union. He was known as a “confirmed Socialist” and graduated with a degree in Social and Political Sciences in 1986. Steele was recruited by MI6 directly following his graduation from Cambridge…” — Sounds like a petty trotskyist and committed provocateur.

  44. Anna says:

    Saker: Israelis “are offering to share intelligence (read: targeting data) with the Saudis. How touching it is to see these two medieval, backward and generally evil regimes are so willing to work together. At least they are both now showing their true, ugly, faces!” http://thesaker.is/a-ziowahabi-attack-on-hezbollah-and-iran/

  45. Croesus says:

    Don’t hold your breath.
    The Roman Catholic church is 110% zionist occupied.
    -Callista Gingrich, third wife of Newt Gingrich, protege of Sheldon Adelson, recently took up her appointment as US Ambassador to the Vatican.
    -Juan Carlos Zarate was a charter member of Stuart Levey’s “guerrillas in grey suits.” Here’s the (cut & paste) Borg-think version of Levey’s innovations at Dept. of Treasury, beginning in 2004:

    Levey is credited with developing and executing financial strategies to counter threats to U.S. national security and protect the integrity of the international financial system. [and also] leading the U.S. government’s efforts to disrupt financial networks supporting terrorist organizations; developing and implementing financial measures against proliferators of weapons of mass destruction; and playing a central role in U.S. strategies to pressure the regimes in North Korea, Iran and elsewhere.

    In real terms, OFAC/ Office of Terror Finance, Levey’s shop at Treasury (now headed by Levey’s former law partner, Daniel Cohen), monitors international banks and corporations and imposes penalties in the hundreds of millions of dollars, on those institutions that violate US law by doing business with, i.e. Iran.
    Zarate’s book, “Treasury’s War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare, discusses the Treasury Department’s war on terror following 9/11. The Treasury Department uses various means to put financial strangleholds on terrorist groups and enemy states around the world.” https://www.c-span.org/video/?314958-1/treasurys-war
    Zarate has moved on from Treasury to a stint at CSIS to principal in his own financial consultancy to an appointment on the Vatican’s Institute for the Works of Religion (“IOR”), a move announced by Cardinal Pell of the Vatican Finance Ministry as part of Pope Francis I’s efforts to clean up the finances of the Vatican.”
    not finished yet, Babak; there’s more:
    The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) met in Baltimore last week to discuss the proper words for Baptism, and to receive a message from the ad hoc committee on racial tolerance, formed on Aug. 23, 2017 in the wake of “Charlottesville,” (the name of that lovely city having been reduced to an epithet). The committee is chaired by Bp. George V. Murry, SJ, bishop of Youngstown, Ohio, my home town. (I lived and worked in Downtown Charlottesville for nearly 10 years.)
    Murry, who is Black, said the committee will

    “listen to the needs of individuals who have suffered under the sin of racism and together find solutions . . .through listening, prayer and meaningful collaboration . . . to this epidemic of hate that has plagued our nation for far too long. . . .Through Jesus’ example of love and mercy, we are called to be a better people than what we have witnessed over the past weeks and months as a nation. “

    A reporter from EWTN network suggested to Murry that the Confederate statues being taken down were the reason that the rally and subsequent violence started in Charlottesville. He said: “I am much more interested in the underlying issues. … What I want to focus on is our responsibility as men and women of faith to respect each other.” https://clarionherald.org/2017/08/29/bishop-murry-appalled-by-racist-violence-across-u-s/
    Tell me again, Babak, why and how you think the Catholic church is the solution.
    nb. I started to pay attention to large political issues while I lived in Charlottesville. In April, 2001, I read Nicholas Lemann’s biographical sketch of Dick Cheney in New Yorker magazine. It mentioned Cheney’s favorite Yale professor, H. Bradford Westerfield. At a used book store I found and purchased a copy of Westerfield’s “Foreign Policy and Party Politics,” (c. 1955), which I assume, from notes in the book, was used as a course text. It appeared that one chapter was not assigned: Chapter 11, Palestine. Of that topic, Westerfield wrote:

    “Palestine is the classic case in recent years of the determination of American foreign policy by domestic political considerations. American Zionists showed themselves to be zealots, relentlessly determined to secure the intervention of the United States government on behalf of a Jewish state in Palestine. They had wealth to devote to the cause, and beyond that they had two peculiar advantages among the various pressure groups seeking to influence major American foreign policy.
    First, the Jewish population for which they claimed to speak was concentrated in urban centers in the big industrial states, especially New York, Pennsylvania, and California; [given the election system] . . .Zionists appeared to be a dedicated group who might be able to swing all the many electoral votes of those key states to one party or the other and thus decide a national election** . . .
    Second and equally important, they were virtually unopposed by any other pressure group [emphasis added] and faced an indifferent or mildly sympathetic public. Anti-Semites, e.g., preferred to have the remnants of Jewry go to Palestine than come to New York; American security interests in the Arab world were not understood widely enough or felt strongly enough to create substantial political resistance to Zionism.”

    My immediate thought when I read this, back in 2001, was that the Roman Catholic church was large enough and influential enough to bring to bear that counterbalancing pressure, but clearly, that was not happening: In 2003, 80-year old Vatican diplomat Cardinal Pio Laghi met with Pres. George W. Bush to urge him not to go to war in Iraq. Laghi had formed a personal relationship with Bush, Sr., and had engaged with Reagan to end the Cold War. Nevertheless, his diplomatic effort failed. From that point, Roman Catholicism in the USA has only deteriorated, from distracted (by pro-life) and marginalized (by pedophelia), to anti-intellectual and irrelevant today.
    Robert E. Lee was the issue in “Charlottesville,” which Murry might have known had he put away his pious aphorisms, Soros money, and sentimental whinging about racism, and dug just a little bit more deeply into what was really going on in Charlottesville, into Robert E. Lee, and especially Lee’s relationship to Roman Catholic Lord Acton; and Lee’s and Acton’s correspondence in which they agreed that State Sovereignty was THE issue, and that the failure to sustain State Sovereignty meant that a centralized state would aggregate so much power that it would become a tyrant at home and an unchecked aggressor abroad.
    THAT is what Rev. George Murry, SJ, PhD, and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops should have been grappling with in Baltimore last week.
    Meanwhile, the 52 Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, in concert with Benjamin Netanyahu, are maneuvering Trump and US Congress to wage war on Iran http://www.unz.com/jpetras/israeli-prime-minister-benjamin-netanyahu-leads-us-president-trump-to-war-with-iran/ From the USCCB we hear not a whimper.
    ** Benzion Netanyahu became Revisionist Zionist Vladimir Jabotinsky’s secretary in 1940, and took over his work after Jabotinsky’s death in August, 1940. In that role, Benzion observed that Jewish people in those swing-states that Westerfield mentioned were predictably Democrat voters. He believed that reduced the leverage Zionists held over Democratic policymakers, so he made overtures to Republican party candidates. Under Benzion’s guidance, both the Democratic and Republican parties included planks in their platforms that endorsed a “Jewish state in Palestine.” Those positions have remained in place ever since.

  46. You’d have to ask the experts on the Colonel’s site. This non-expert suspects 1, there was an error of judgement made about setting Steele to work on the Russian nonsense back in Cameron’s time and 2, it’s now got to the stage here where herd instinct is sufficient to keep the ball rolling.
    Whether my suspicion is justified, and however the nonsense started, the position our lot have got themselves into is that they are backing the anti-Trump faction in America against Trump. As are the Europeans. I think that’s damn silly. Interfering in the internal politics of our major ally is bound to backfire however it turns out.

  47. Anna says:

    “… there was an error of judgment made about setting Steele to work on the Russian nonsense back in Cameron’s time..”
    Actually, the unprincipled and vulgar Steele has been a perfect choice for the task.
    Another highlight of Cameron legacy is “Lord” Polak, a schmoozer on behalf of Israeli government; it is a common knowledge that Polak’s lordship “has been bought.” https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/11/15/how-israel-lobby-works-in-britain.html
    In this context, the ridiculous squeaking by Mrs. May about Russian danger only emphasizes the degradation of the ruling class in the UK. The profiteering Steele and equally unprincipled “Sir” Owen and “Lord” Polak make a sorry picture of intellectual feebleness afflicting political life in the UK.
    Here is Polak’s cowardly behavior that is eerie reminiscent of Browder’s attempts to avoid serving a subpoena. Both are scoundrels. https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=A0LEVi6Bkw9aVVcA1lUPxQt.?p=Lord+Polak&fr=yhs-aztec-default&fr2=piv-web&hspart=aztec&hsimp=yhs-default&type=hmp_174423_613#id=7&vid=775696b8afa3f233ef99a3f8e90ee55e&action=view

  48. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You have not established your thesis.

  49. LondonBob says:

    Ike certainly treated Israel as he would any other country, but JFK was the only one who actively went about the task of dismantling the Israel lobby. He found the Israel lobby genuinely offensive to his sensibilities as a patriot, that American foreign policy should not be bought by a foreign power through campaign donations. My general impression is that Presidents, once in office, are seen as potentially going off script and that the lobby’s power in Congress is what matters. What I don’t understand is why there aren’t more Rand Pauls, popular politicians in safe seats who should be secure enough not to tow the line.

  50. outthere says:

    JFK spoke with forked tongue about many things, including Israel. Please read “Samson Option” linked above. Hersh goes through many documents and interviews that refute your gullible view of JFK.

  51. outthere says:

    Hersh, Samson Option
    The most memorable moment for Ben-Gurion came when
    he was leaving the hotel room. Kennedy suddenly walked him
    back inside to tell him “something important.” It was a politi-
    cal message: “I know that I was elected by the votes of Ameri-
    can Jews. I owe them my victory. Tell me, is there something I
    ought to do?” Ben-Gurion had not come to New York to haggle
    with the President about Jewish votes. “You must do whatever
    is good for the free world,” he responded. He later told his
    aides: “To me, he looks like a politician.” Ben-Gurion, known
    to his associates as B.G., made similar complaints to Abe Fein-
    berg. “There’s no way of describing the relationship between
    Jack Kennedy and Ben-Gurion,” Feinberg said, “because
    there’s no way B.G. was dealing with JFK as an equal, at least
    as far as B.G. was concerned. He had the typical attitude of an
    old-fashioned Jew toward the young. He disrespected him as a
    youth.” There was an additional factor: Joseph Kennedy. “B.G.
    could be vicious, and he had such a hatred of the old man.”
    . . .
    There was one major concession by Washington. Dimona did
    not have to be inspected by the International Atomic Energy
    Agency. Ben-Gurion had insisted in his private exchanges with
    Kennedy that such inspections would violate Israel’s sover-
    eignty. The White House eventually agreed to send a specially
    assembled American inspection team into Dimona. That agree-
    ment was further softened by a second concession that, in es-
    sence, guaranteed that the whole procedure would be little
    more than a whitewash, as the President and his senior advisers
    had to understand: the American inspection team would have
    to schedule its visits well in advance, and with the full acquies-
    cence of Israel. There would be no spot checks permitted.
    Ben-Gurion took no chances: the American inspectors — most
    of them experts in nuclear reprocessing — would be provided
    with a Potemkin Village and never know it.
    there is a lot more, and worse here:

  52. outthere says:

    Remember back in 2007, when Israel bombed Syrian building in the desert that Israel and Bush/Cheney claimed was North Korean nuclear reactor?
    Well, they lied, it was not a reactor, and they knew it. So what was really going on? Israel thought it was a missile storage building for HezB, and Israel tried to get USA to bomb it. And Cheney wanted everyone to believe it was a North Korean nuclear reactor because Cheney wanted to terminate the diplomacy that Sec/State Rice was engaging with North Korea.
    Gareth Porter explains here:

  53. LondonBob says:

    Well Hersh did break new ground in highlighting JFK’s clashes with Ben Gurion over Israel’s development of nuclear weapons, which Avner Cohen later further fleshed out with ‘Israel and the Bomb’. Of course it wasn’t just the nuke issue but JFK’s foreign policy in MENA in general. Perhaps RFK’s instructions to the ZOA to register under FARA was copied from Ike as just a negotiating tactic to pressure Israel over nukes, perhaps not though, it was after all an action entirely in line with his privately expressed opinions and policies enacted once in office.

  54. “Actually, the unprincipled and vulgar Steele has been a perfect choice for the task.”
    I don’t know about perfect, but as ever you have to take what you can get. I doubt any normal professional, ex or not, would have touched the job. As with Hamish de Bretton-Gordon in another area I suspect the choice was limited. Hope it was, anyway.
    That’s all an outsider can do mostly. Suspect. The thing may have been done quite differently. But even an outsider can get away from “suspect” sometimes and move to firmer ground. It’s firm ground to say that publicly backing Steele’s findings when they finally made it to public view was stupid. That was what was done and unless it was misreported we let it be known that we gave him a safe house for refuge just to underline the message. It’s an unprecedented snake pit, American politics at present, and it was an error of judgement for the UK government to have taken sides in it. It’s easier to make enemies than friends.
    Thank you for the links. I read one and skimmed the other – there’s only so much one needs to see of a man trying to get away from reporters. As you say, that’s a sorry picture there too but bent movers and shakers in the House of Lords or the Commons are two a penny. That’s taken for granted. The UK press regularly digs them out. So the Polak/Patel affair was bad all right but I doubt it raised many eyebrows.

  55. Laguerre says:

    As someone commented elsewhere, US-supervised SDF forces have recently taken over the Kibar site. Funnily enough there was no immediate announcement of the discovery of nuclear materials, or indeed anything at all.

  56. a says:

    Luke Harding used to be correspondent in Moscow. He is known to be very anti-Russian. More important was the speech of Theresa May, on, I think, 13th November, accusing the Russians, no doubt influenced by the book. This speech was taken as an attempt to divert attention away from May’s current Brexit problems. It didn’t work. In that sense, Harding’s accusations have disappeared into the ether in Britain. They’re all too obsessed by Brexit.

  57. laguerre says:

    Sorry, that post should have been laguerre

  58. Brexit. The only expert I’ve come across on Brexit, possibly the only man in England who understands the subject in all its eye-glazing detail, is Dr Richard North. He’s very gloomy. Apparently no one on our side understands the ins and outs of separation. I’ll link to his site and a glance at it will confirm we’ve got a lot to be gloomy about.
    Deal or no deal it’s likely to be a mess, therefore. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of brotherly love around either. Not at the moment. Brotherly love’s bound to be in short supply when a chunk of failing empire decides to wander off by itself. Looking at it from the German point of view we’re letting them down badly and can expect no favours. In fact, judging from a surprisingly frank BBC report on the German negotiating position I heard recently, Berlin’s quite prepared to cut off its nose to spite its face if that’ll teach us a lesson. It probably will.
    But all is not lost. Not quite. However much of a mess we make of Brexit – and Dr North predicts a shambles of monumental proportions – it can’t be as bad as if we’d stayed in.
    In a quite different context I suppose it’s the same as with Trump. He’s having immense difficulty making headway at the moment; but however it goes that also can’t be worse than what was there before.

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