Friday, June 16, 2017

Jo Cox fell short of Sainthood

Jo Cox, the former MP for Batley and Spen, was cruelly murdered by a fascist admirer a year ago. No doubt she was a popular MP and an all round nice person, and as Jeremy Corbyn often said, “any killing is unacceptable”. All of it! So, on the anniversary of her death, the media uniformly offer up eulogies for her as a promising MP and a great humanitarian.

She spent time as an aid worker for Oxfam in such places as Darfur, Uganda and Afghanistan before being selected as a Labour MP in 2015, and yes, she supported Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East, and called for the lifting of the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, as well as opposing efforts by the government to curtail the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, correctly saying:

I believe that this is a gross attack on democratic freedoms. Not only is it right to boycott unethical companies but it is our right to do so.

She also said:

I opposed the war in Iraq because I believed the risk to civilian lives was too high.

But, for all these humanitarian credentials, she seemed to be oddly gullible in other ways, which ought not to be forgotten, particularly in regard to Syria. Because of her background with Oxfam, she seemed to speak with some authority when she said she had met Syrian doctors, humanitarians and activists and heard that they wanted a stop to the aerial attacks that she said were the biggest killer of civilians. She maintained these attacks came, most notoriously in the form of barrel bombs, a concept manufactured by the terrorists in the areas under attack from the Syrian Arab Army to hide or excuse their own shrapnel shells fired into Syrian areas from their aptly named “hell cannon” and “hellfire rockets”. UN envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, described them as “basically gas canisters full of nails, stones and iron, which are being thrown in a rudimentary way across the other side of the line and to kill civilians”.

She wanted what the US and British themselves wanted to be able to duplicate the blood and mayhem spread in Libya in another Arab country troublesome to US/NATO power grabbing—a “no-fly zone” allegedly simply to make it harder for Assad to bomb what she made out were his own civilians—in reality the areas fortified by ISIS/Al Qaida. She abstained on the 2013 vote on air-strikes in Syria, not out of a desire to stop civilian deaths, but because she wanted action to deal also with President Assad, not just ISIS, adding:

I am not against airstrikes per se, but I cannot actively support them unless they are part of a plan.

The majority of legal scholars agree that enforcing a “No Fly Zone” is an act of war because it violates an independent country’s sovereignty, in direct violation of fundamental principles which underpin authentic humanitarian work. But she must have known what the “no fly zone” meant in Libya—a merciless continual bombing to cover the terrorists who had been shipped into the country from elsewhere in the middle east to unseat Gadaffi in support of US policy. It led to many deaths indeed in that country, far more than the Libyan leader was supposed to have had caused. She co-authored an article in The Observer with Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell, arguing that British military forces could help achieve an ethical solution to the conflict, including the creation of “civilian safe havens” in Syria (Andrew Mitchell and Jo Cox, 11 October, 2015). It seems to follow logically that an extension of a no fly zone in Syria must also lead to many many more deaths of Syrian people, the very thing that Jo said appalled her.

These Syrian people and doctors also could not have be the ones that Jo Cox claims to have been meeting because the fake news that fake journalists had been passing off when legitimately allowed in Syria had led to Assad banning all western agents, so she could not have been speaking with “Syrian” doctors, etc, but only with those in areas not governed by the Syrian authorities and so who were supporting Al Qaida and ISIS, the terrorists opposed to Assad. She confirmed her view that Assad and ISIS were no different from each other, something that proves she had no knowledge of the views of ordinary Syrians who were very sure that however bad the West likes to paint their “dictator”, they knew from direct experience that he was infinitely preferable to the terrorists. And that, of course, is why Assad has been able to lead the Syrian people in a war that has lasted longer than WW2 against a brutal invasion of foreign mercenaries financially and militarily supported by Saudi Arabia whose armaments we and the US were supplying at great profit to the arms manufacturers.

Supporting her argument, she claimed as true the Western propaganda that Assad has killed 600,000 people, everyone that had died in the intervention, seven times the number of civilians as ISIS, had helped nurture ISIS and been its main recruiting sergeant, absurd statements that any Syrian would consider laughable if it were not so dangerous. She would not or could not see that the USA were the actual “recruiting sergeant” for ISIS!

So, as an MP, Jo Cox repeatedly appealed for the UK to lead international efforts to airdrop aid to “civilians” besieged by Assad, but really enclaves of ISIS beheaders, while the innocents who really suffered were the villages of Syrian loyalists besieged by ISIS, Kafarya and Foua. These are two Idlib villages under full siege by Ahrar al Sham and Nusra Front (Al Qaida in Syria) since March 2015. But Jo Cox had admitted she could not tell the difference.

She was also a founder and co-chair with Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell of the All Party Parliamentary Group, Friends of Syria. It was a gross misnomer for the people whom the group were friends of were not Syrians loyal to Syria and its elected leader, but were so-called “rebels” who were a front for the foreign mercenaries encouraged by the US in their task of overthrowing Assad whom the US regarded as the real enemy, rather as Jo Cox did. She in turn was supported by the Syria Campaign, supposedly a non-political solidarity NGO but one set up to push the US into toppling another formerly stable Middle Eastern government, according to Middle East authority, Max Blumenthal.

Jo was a passionate advocate of the White Helmets—supposedly a self-sacrificing voluntary NGO to help the casualties in war zones—writing to the Nobel Committee praising their work, and nominating them for the Nobel Peace Prize:

In the most dangerous place on earth these unarmed volunteers risk their lives to help anyone in need regardless of religion or politics.

In fact they were a US, UK, EU creation established in 2013, and not an independent NGO. The White Helmets receive assistance from the US government’s Agency for International Development—something they have not denied—so it is a multi-million dollar US Coalition funded organisation. In short, it is funded by the governments involved and invested in the Syrian conflict, and not at all a grass-roots Syrian organisation. The White Helmets funding was, from the UK ($65m via UK Foreign Office), the US (US State Dept via USAID $23m), Holland ($4.5m), Germany ($ 7.87m) and Japan (undisclosed sum from the International Cooperation Agency), Denmark (undisclosed sum)—all via the Mayday Rescue “foundation” set up by James Le Mesurier, a former British Army officer working as an adviser on Syria civil defence at the UAE. They are based in Gaziantep, Turkey and largely trained in Turkey and Jordan not inside Syria.

Curiously, the White Helmets are embedded exclusively in areas of Syria occupied by listed terrorist organisations including Al Nusra Front and ISIS, along with various so-called “moderate rebels” such as Ahrar al Sham (JFS) and Nour Al Din Zinki. CBC Canada now tells us, curiously enough, “Al Qaida’s affiliate in Syria, formerly known as Al Nusra Front and then Jabhat Fateh Al Sham, has been removed from the US and Canada’s terror watch-lists, since July 2016, after it merged with fighters from Zenki Brigade and hardline jihadists from Ahrar al Sham and rebranded itself as Hayat Tahrir al Sham (HTS) in January this year’. The US gradually reveals its previously officially undisclosed associations with the terrorist groups. Even so plenty of investigators have discovered and attempted to publicise these links but the main stream media have kept them hidden from the general public in the interests of fomenting war.

The US State Department is hesitant to label Tahrir al-Sham a terror group, despite the group’s link to al-Qaida, as the US government has directly funded and armed the Zenki Brigade, one of the constituents of Tahrir al-Sham, with sophisticated weaponry including the US-made antitank TOW missiles.

Adulatory publicity about the White Helmets is the result of a multimillion dollar sustained commercial marketing and social media promotional campaign via a network that is funded by George Soros and various US, UK and Middle Eastern enterprises. The PR network is as follows: Avaaz–Purpose–Syria Campaign–White Helmets.

The White Helmets claim to be neutral and “non-aligned”, yet they actively promote and lobby for US/NATO state intervention, including the “no fly zone”. The White Helmets are also referred to as the “Syria Civil Defence”. However, there is an existing Syria Civil Defence—the REAL Syria Civil Defence—established in Syria in 1953 and recruited and trained inside Syria. It operates in both terrorist and government held areas.

The day after Cox died, 17 June 2016, her husband set up a GoFundMe page named “Jo Cox’s Fund” in aid of three charities which he described as “closest to her heart”: the Royal Voluntary Service, Hope not Hate, and the White Helmets.

She was also a friend of Staffan de Mistura, a man of dubious affiliations in this connection. Thus, in January 2010, Richard Holbrooke, the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, revealed de Mistura had been offered the job as the UN special representative in Afghanistan, suggesting if, indeed, he was not the USA’s own nominee, he was regarded as a politically safe pair of hands from their viewpoint. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, himself a US puppet, confirmed the appointment soon afterwards. He was similarly regarded by the EU a little later in late 2011 when it obliged Italy to accept an EU government of technocrats headed by Mario Monti, Mistura being nominated Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs. Then, in May 2014, de Mistura was named president of the board of governors for the European Institute of Peace (an EU-backed NGO) in Brussels. The EIP is the putative facilitator of the European Union’s global peace agenda, pursuing “multi-track diplomacy” and promoting conflict resolution. Yet the EU is multiply involved in NATO which is the USA’s main military ally in everything it does wherever it does it, like Syria, the member states being obliged to help each other! Mistura therefore was practiced in the art of seeming to be what he was not—a peacemaker—when he was really covering for militarism via NATO. On 10 July 2014, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that he had appointed de Mistura as the new special envoy tasked with seeking a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Syria. Can we be sure he was actually ever intent on peace or was ever fair in his assessment of the warring parties? Plenty of evidence suggests not. Thus, he stated in one of his briefings:

To defeat Islamic State, you have to have a political approach that also includes those that feel disenfranchised, the Sunnis.

Yet the terrorists who are trying to bring down the Assad regime are Sunnis, and Sunnis of the extreme and odious Saudi sect called Wahhabis—the ones fond of punishment by chopping off bits of the human body, including heads! Mistura does not sound at all objective in this statement, but it does suits US/NATO/Saudi policy of bringing all dissident nations in the middle east to heel.

To end the successful Syrian/Russian air campaign against the terrorist stronghold of Aleppo, the UN special envoy wanted to give the 900 or so head-lopping fighters from Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly linked to al-Qaida and known as al-Nusra Front, safe passage to leave Aleppo for another Syrian city. At the same time, the Syrian government had to agree to recognise the current anti-Assad political administration in eastern Aleppo, led by Brita Haj Hassan, and leave it in power at least in the short term—effectively allowing the terrorist rulers of the city to remain in power though they had lost the power struggle! De Mistura even offered to accompany the terrorists personally if they were willing to leave Aleppo, but reneged on his offer when a humanitarian lane was actually opened to let them leave. He plainly thought it a risky business.

De Mistura explained in a briefing that President Assad had discussed with him the issue of his concerns about Da’esh, and his feeling that he himself was concerned about terrorism—ISIS and basically Al-Nusra. He said he had been listening to that and hearing that this could be an opportunity for him [De Mistura] also to prove whether he [Assad] was, as he [de Mistura] wanted to believe—against Da’esh and Al-Nusra. Since those terrorist organisations were trying to eliminate Assad and the secular Syria he was defending, and de Mistura had admitted, “Syrians overall emphasize their own vision for a united, sovereign, independent—they’re very proud people—non-sectarian, multi-confessional, all-inclusive state with territorial integrity...” it is remarkable, indeed unbelievable, that de Mistura could have doubted that Assad was “against” the terrorists! Emile Hokayem of the International Institute for Strategic Studies thought de Mistura should resign.

Finally, Cox was a “Remain” supporter in the campaign leading to the 2016 referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, which working people largely rejected. She and fellow MP Neil Coyle both nominated Jeremy Corbyn as leader, then when he did better than they had exppected, regretted it. Well she did say:

I never really grew up being political or Labour.

So there we have it. A promising talent but with deep flaws of discernment and judgement regarding imperial military designs, little internationalist human feeling despite her experience in disaster zones abroad, and no soundly entrenched political convictions to give her a solid basis for it anyway.