Emails reveal White Helmets tried to lobby ex-Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters

Emails have emerged revealing how the controversial Syrian activist group, the White Helmets, tried to lobby Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters with Saudi money. The revelations have been published on Max Blumenthal’s project.

In an email from October 2016 Roger Waters is being invited to a fundraiser organised by Saudi billionaire Hani Farsi – to honour the work of White helmets. In it, he’s also being encouraged to watch a documentary about the group.

And it didn’t stop there – just days before his recent concert in Barcelona Waters was contacted by a French journalist working for the White Helmets. The reporter was asking Waters for a few moments on stage – to deliver a message to the children of Syria.

Waters declined both the requests, and instead publicly denounced the White Helmets at the concert.

READ MORE: Ex-Pink Floyd singer denounces White Helmets as propaganda tool during Barcelona concert (VIDEO)

Roger Waters hit out at the White Helmets group, calling it a ‘fake organisation’. He added it exists ‘only to create propaganda for jihadists and terrorists’. The White Helmets were the first to report on the alleged chemical attack in Douma. Although it’s been widely praised in the West for its rescue work, its members have repeatedly been accused of having links to extremist groups.

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‘Faux national twit!’ Nigel Farage blasted as he admits his sons have German passports

Nigel Farage has been slammed as a “hypocrite” after he admitted that his two sons have German passports, meaning they – unlike millions of UK citizens – will be able to retain the right to free movement in Europe post-Brexit.

Farage has been one of the chief architects of Brexit, which will see the UK effectively drop out of the EU in 2019 and lose its right to free movement – one of the fundamental principles of the bloc. But now he has stunningly admitted that his own children will retain that right, and many other liberties, because they have German passports as well as British ones.

The Brexiteer has four children; two with his wife Kirsten Mehr, who is German. The couple reportedly separated last year.

READ MORE: Anti-Europe Nigel Farage under fire for saying he will still take £70k EU pension

In an interview with former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, Farage was asked if his children had dual citizenship. “Yes. Yes. And that link to the German side of their family is clearly important to them but their identity, when it comes to a football game, it’s pretty clear which side they’re actually going to support,” Farage said, adding: “Their mum may not.”

Furious Twitterati have now taken to the social media platform to blast his “hypocrisy.” One user branded the Brexiteer as a “faux national twit.”

During the interview with the former Liberal Democrats politician, Farage then expressed bafflement at the amount of young people who decided to vote Remain in the 2016 EU referendum. “I’m astonished that the young people look upon the European Union as being this bright, shiny future.

“They will change their minds. What you can’t see is that the European project is disintegrating before our eyes,” he told Clegg on his podcast ‘Anger Management.’

Farage then went on to talk about the UK’s current standing in the world, and claimed Britain had been the loser in 1945 because World War II had “bankrupted” Britain. “We were the ones who lost everything. In many ways, I am very bullish about Britain as it is right now. Yeah, we’ve got our problems, our divisions, we’ve always had them. But there’s a great feeling,” he added.

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US debt load ballooning, set to outpace some African countries in 5yrs – IMF

The US debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to jump to 116.9 percent by 2023, leaving behind Italy, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In five years, the American debt burden will also be worse than some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, such as Mozambique or Burundi.

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© Chris Helgren

“In the United States, the revised tax code and the two-year budget agreement lead to an expansion in the level of economic activity until 2020. These measures will give rise to overall deficits above $ 1 trillion over the next three years, which is more than 5 percent of GDP. This adds to the rising trend in government debt, bringing it to 117 percent of GDP in 2023,” the IMF said in its report.

The IMF says its forecasts are similar to those recently published by the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO said the US debt “is far greater than the debt in any year since just after World War II.”

The office also predicted that the debt held by the public will rise from 78 percent of GDP (or $ 16 trillion) at the end of 2018 to 96 percent of GDP (or $ 29 trillion) by 2028. As of Monday, the US national debt stood at $ 21.4 trillion.

While the US economy has been growing steadily, it won’t be able to control the skyrocketing debt, according to Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at Chicago-based asset management firm Northern Trust.

“An honest accounting finds US debt headed to shockingly high levels,” he said, as quoted by CNBC. Tannenbaum added: “Sometime in the next decade we’re going to have a recession which is really going to throw us off that trajectory.”

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London systematically destroying evidence in Skripal case – Russia’s UN envoy

The UK continues to conceal and destroy evidence relating to the Salisbury incident and have crossed all boundaries in their rhetoric by alleging President Putin’s personal involvement, Russia’s UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia has said.

“The British authorities are engaged in the systematic destruction of evidence,” Nebenzia told the United Nations Security Council, which held a session, called by UK on Wednesday, to discuss the OPCW report and other developments in the Skripal case.

“Skripal’s pets were killed. No samples were obviously taken. The places attended by the Skripals – a bar, a restaurant, a bench, park ground, etc – are all being cleared,” the diplomat said, pointing out that, despite some loud statements about the alleged contamination of the area, “people continue to live in Salisbury as if nothing happened.”

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Officials in protective suits attend to the Skripal incident scene in Salisbury © Peter Nicholls

The envoy also reminded the council members that Sergei and Yulia Skripal, who, according to London, are now both recovering from the poisoning by a deadly military grade nerve agent A-234 (‘Novichok’), are kept hidden from the public eye ever since the March 4 incident. In the meantime, London categorically refuses to provide Russia any access to the investigation, and so far has left 45 out of 47 questions addressed to British authorities about the case unanswered.

In a summary of its report, the OPCW didn’t not independently identify the nerve agent used in the Salisbury case nor its origin, but instead only confirmed “the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury.”

The conclusions made by OPCW were based on samples provided by the UK investigators and do not prove London’s claim of Russia’s involvement in the poisoning, Nebenzia noted. “The main thing that the report lacks, and what the British side was so eager to see, is the conclusion that the substance used in Salisbury was produced in Russia,” he said.

The UK Ambassador to the United Nations, Karen Pierce, however, downplayed the lack of technical evidence and urged the council members to look at “the wider picture which has led the United Kingdom to assess that there’s no plausible alternative explanation than Russian State responsibility for what happened in Salisbury.”

Extensively using the ‘highly likely’ argument, the UK envoy once again claimed in her address to the UNSC that only Russia had the “technical means, operational experience and the motive to target the Skripals.” At one point she even claimed that “President Putin himself was closely involved in the Russian chemical weapons programme.”

“London apparently thinks the Russian President has a hobby of running chemical weapons programs in his free time. I don’t know whether you appreciate that you’ve crossed all possible boundaries,” Nebenzia replied.

While the UK is yet to produce clear evidence of Russian involvement in the alleged poisoning of the former double agent and his daughter, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley once again attacked Moscow during the council meeting, parroting its ally’s narrative.

“As we have stated previously, the United States agrees with the UK’s assessment that Russia is responsible for the chemical weapons in Salisbury,” Haley said. “Whether that is in their direct act, or irresponsibly losing control of the agent, which could be worse, our support for our British friends and colleagues is unwavering.”

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Russia & Iran drop dollar trade by extending oil-for-goods supply agreement

The first delivery of Iranian crude oil to Russia under the oil-for-goods program has been completed and the sides aim to extend the deal for five years, according to Russian Energy Ministry Aleksandr Novak.

“The agreement is effective; it has been extended for the year, but in general, we think it should be extended for five years,” he said.

The oil-for-goods deal was initially reached in 2014 when Iran was under Western sanctions over its nuclear program. Last year, Moscow and Tehran ratified the agreement, under which Russia would initially buy 100,000 barrels a day from Iran and sell the country $ 45 billion worth of goods.

Current Iranian oil supplies under the program amount to five million tons per year. The first delivery was made in November 2017 and totaled one million tons.

Novak said earlier that the oil-for-goods program was expected to boost trade between the two countries. The nations have also signed six provisional agreements to collaborate on “strategic” energy deals worth up to $ 30 billion.

Presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said this month that Russian investment in developing Iran’s oil and gas fields could total more than $ 50 billion.

According to Ushakov, Iran may enter the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) within months. The free-trade zone deal is expected to “trigger further development of our bilateral trade and expansion of investment cooperation.”

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Russia's OPCW envoy exposes 'eight UK lies' in Skripal case

The UK’s narrative in the Skripal case is a “story woven with lies,” with London continuously trying to “deceive” the international community, Russia’s OPCW envoy said, highlighting eight examples of such misinformation.

“We’ve tried to show that everything our British colleagues produce is a story woven with lies,” Russia’s permanent representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Aleksandr Shulgin told reporters on Wednesday, following the organization’s meeting on the Skripal case.

“And, unlike the British, who aren’t used to taking responsibility for their words and unfounded accusations, we showed specific facts why we believe our British partners, to put it mildly, are ‘deceiving’ everyone.”

The official provided eight examples of UK-pushed misinformation, surrounding the March 4 events, when the former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in the town of Salisbury.

#1. Russia refuses to answer UK ‘questions’

“In reality, they’ve asked us only two ‘questions’… And both were worded in such way that the existence of an undocumented arsenal of chemical weaponry at Russia’s disposal was presented as an established fact, beyond any doubt.” It was effectively an ultimatum, pressing Moscow to either confess that it “attacked the UK with chemical weapons,” or to admit that it had “lost control over the chemical warfare arsenal.”

Moscow answered both of these ‘questions’ immediately, stating that it had nothing to do with the Salisbury incident. Apart from that, the official emphasized, it is an established fact that Russia destroyed all its chemical weaponry stockpile ahead of schedule last year.

#2. UK abides by Chemical Weapons Convention rulebook

The OPCW procedures clearly state that if one member state has issues with another, it should send an official request, and thus the other party would be obliged to respond within 10 days, Shulgin said. However, instead, the UK allegedly “instigated by their colleagues from across the pond,” disregarded the established mechanism and came up with a dubious “independent verification” scheme, which violates those very OPCW rules.

#3. Russia refuses to cooperate

While the UK and a number of its allies accuse Russia of “refusing to cooperate to establish the truth,” the situation is exactly the opposite, Shulgin insists. Moscow is interested in a thorough investigation of the incident – especially since the victims are Russian citizens. Moscow repeatedly insisted on a joint probe and urged London to release data on the Skripal case, but all efforts were in vain. Many requests went unanswered by the UK, while others received only a formal reply.

#4. Russia invents versions to distract attention

Despite numerous speculations and allegations by questionable sources, cited by the UK’s own domestic media, it was Moscow that was eventually accused of coming up with some “30 versions” of the Salisbury events, allegedly to “disrupt the investigation,” Shulgin said.

“In reality, the picture is different. In fact, it’s the British tabloids, the so-called independent media, which is multiplying those versions,” the official stated, recalling some of the narratives, most of which entirely contradict each other.

#5. Exterminating traitors is Russia’s official state policy

“They claim that the Russian leadership has, on multiple occasions, stated that extermination of traitors abroad is a state policy of Russia,” Shulgin said. “This is slander, of course. The British cannot produce a single example of such statements, since the Russian leadership has never said anything of the kind.” 

#6. Experts pin the blame on Russia

The head of the OPCW mission has clearly said that it was impossible to determine in which country the toxic substance used in Salisbury had originated. Yet the OPCW findings were once again used by the UK officials to claim Moscow was “highly likely” responsible. “Look, the head said it was impossible and they, abandoning all common sense, said ‘They’ve confirmed our evaluations that it was Russia.’ How else can you evaluate this but as a lie?” Shulgin wondered.

#7. ‘Novichok’ is a Soviet invention, so it has to be Russia

The development of the so-called Novichok family of toxic agents more than 30 years ago in the Soviet Union was one of the main cornerstones in the UK narrative, pinning blame for the Skripal incident on Russia. Publicly available sources, however, indicate that “the West has been and still is conducting research and development into such substances,” Shulgin said, giving a fresh example of such activities.

“Not long ago, namely on 1 December 2015, the US Patent and Trademark Office filed a request to its Russian colleagues asking to check patentability … of a chemical weaponry-filled bullet, which could be equipped with Tabun, Sarin or the Novichok family of agents,” the official stated.

#8. Yulia Skripal avoids contact with relatives & refuses Russian consular support

While such a statement was indeed produced by the UK authorities “on behalf” of Yulia, Moscow believes it to be false. According to Shulgin, the situation with Yulia is starting to look like a Russian citizen is effectively being “held hostage” by the UK authorities.

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Castro stepping down: What comes next for Cuba?

Cuba’s president Raul Castro is expected to step down this week after two 5-year terms. RT looks at what may change under Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel, the only official replacement candidate, after six decades of Castro rule.

Since the revolution of 1959, the Castro family has held power in the socialist nation. After Fidel retired from office in 2008, his brother Raul took up the reins. Now, the party’s hand-picked successor, Diaz-Canel is all but assured to succeed him when the party votes on Thursday.

READ MORE: Trump administration curtails travel & trade with Cuba

Diaz-Canel will face economic difficulties, as well as the challenge of maintaining relations with US President Donald Trump, who took steps last year to undo the diplomatic thaw between the two nations under the Barack Obama administration.

‘No turning point in Cuban policy’

However, while the sun may be setting on Castro’s direct rule, his political involvement is not over. Castro will remain the head of the ruling Communist party until 2021, working to shape policy from behind the scenes.

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“Raul Castro is turning into Cuba’s own version of Deng Xiaoping and, as such, he remains at the helm of the party and will keep the situation under control,” Zbigniew Ivanovsky, head of the Center for Political Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute for Latin American Studies, told RT.

Ultimately, Cuba’s new leader is unlikely to steer the country in a radically new direction, Salim Lamrani, Professor of Iberian and Latin American Studies at the Paris IV-Sorbonne University, noted.

“There will be no turning point in Cuban policy because the people of the island wish to maintain [Castro’s] model of society,” Lamrani told RT.“Cubans want to preserve their independence and all the social gains, such as free education and healthcare, culture for all, the security that the Cuban Revolution brought.”

Cuba’s healthcare system ranks 23rd in the World Health Organization’s rankings, ahead of first world countries like New Zealand (40) and South Korea (58). Cuba’s literacy rate also ranks joint third in the world.

Can Diaz-Canel kick-start Cuba’s economy?

While Cubans enjoy free access to healthcare and education, as well as subsidized food and housing, consumer goods are hard to come by. A state salary in Cuba is just $ 20 per month, and there are only 173,000 cars between the country’s 11 million people. Economic growth has slowed in recent years, since an initial spike after Raul Castro introduced some free market reforms in 2011. Diaz-Canel will need to work towards remedying Cuba’s stagnant economy – but is unlikely to find relief from Washington.

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A tank of the Cuban Armed Forces near the site of the Bay of Pigs invasion, 19 April 1961 © Prensa Latina

“Cuba needs to improve the economic situation, even if the principal obstacle to Cuban development are US economic sanctions,” Lamrani told RT. “Cuba also has to face the hostile policy of the Trump administration, who canceled the small progresses made by Barack Obama, and got back to a policy of confrontation.”

Since 1962, the United States has maintained a comprehensive trade embargo on Cuba. After attempts by Barack Obama to normalize relations with Cuba, President Trump tightened sanctions even further last November, and prohibited most Americans from visiting the island nation.

In the absence of free trade with the US, Cuba will have to improve agricultural production so the country can be more self-sufficient. Cuba currently imports 80 per cent of its food – so Diaz-Canel certainly has his work cut out for him.

“Cuba’s economy can be said to be going through a transitional stage, with small businesses and small-scale trade actively developing,” Zbigniew Ivanovsky told RT. Like Lamrani, he sees the economy as one of Diaz-Canel’s primary challenges. “Overall, the public opinion is divided: Part of the society and of the party leadership believe that reforms must be pushed, while the more conservative circles believe there is no need for the rush and that it would be a deviation from socialism.”

Will US attempt another invasion?

Relations with the United States will largely depend on Washington’s position, Lamrani noted. “Cuba always expressed its will to have normal and peaceful relations with the US as long as these relations are based on sovereign equality, reciprocity and no interference in internal affairs,” he told RT.

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A man walks past a graffitti that reads

For Havana, US relations revolve around two critical issues. Cuba wants the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay returned, and the US-imposed trade embargo lifted. Washington’s position is that Cuba must undergo ‘democratization’ and make sweeping free-market reforms. Ivanovsky cautions that neither side is likely to get what it wants.

“Most likely, the relations will remain on the same level, as the key issues remain unresolved,” he said.

The American government has made many attempts to either overtly or covertly overthrow the Castro government since the 1959 revolution. In 1961, the CIA funded and orchestrated the Bay of Pigs invasion, during which defectors from Castro’s regime attempted to mount a coup with US military support.

The invasion was a complete failure and a major diplomatic embarrassment for Washington. Since then, Fidel Castro survived several hundred assassination attempts, according to Cuban officials. The CIA allegedly recruited a former lover to poison Castro, rigged a cigar to explode in his mouth, and planned at one point to dispatch the Cuban leader with a poisoned milkshake.

According to Lamrani, the United States is unlikely to attempt another reckless intervention – choosing instead a less direct approach.

READ MORE: US mulls embassy closure in Cuba with historic thaw in relations under threat

“The Trump administration will try to subvert Cuban society,” Lamrani told RT. “But the results will be the same as those of the other administrations: A total failure.”

Will human rights record improve?

While Diaz-Canel has previously voiced support for LGBT rights, expanding internet access, and loosening state control of Cuba’s media, he has given no indication that he intends to implement any fundamental human rights reforms.

The Cuban government routinely punishes dissent. Critics, independent activists, political opponents, and others are often subjected to arbitrary detention, harassment and beatings. Cuba has the world’s seventh-highest incarceration rate, and prison conditions there have been described as overcrowded and inhumane.

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‘Mature, trust-based partnership’: Moscow & Vienna keep ties level-headed as Austria FM set to visit

A phone conversation between Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Austria’s Sebastian Kurz this week highlighted Vienna’s neutral, constructive approach towards Russia. The call came on the eve of FM Karin Kneissl’s first visit to Moscow.

During their conversation, the Austrian Chancellor and Russian President agreed that the US-led missile strikes on Syria had “aggravated” the situation in that country, and discussed ongoing humanitarian and deconfliction efforts. Writing on Twitter after the call, Kurz said that Russia was a “superpower” and “important player” in finding a peaceful resolution on the conflict. He added that Vienna would always be open to dialogue and negotiations.

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© Hristo Rusev

His comments come on the day before Austria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Karin Kneissl, is expected in Moscow for a two-day working visit at the invitation of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Kurz himself visited Moscow in February – his first trip to a non-EU country after he assumed office.

While relations between Russia and the West might have plummeted to worse-than-Cold-War levels, diplomatic and bilateral cooperation between Moscow and Vienna have remained constructive and cordial.

“Despite the complicated situation, Russian-Austrian relations continue to develop positively and can be described as a mature, trust-based partnership that is immune to changes in the political climate,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement announcing Kneissl’s visit. “There are no serious problems between Russia and Austria. Their parliaments and ministries maintain an active dialogue, and their regions are developing cooperation.”

READ MORE: Russian, Austrian leaders discuss situation in Syria after US-led airstrikes

Austria’s level-headed attitude towards Russia became the topic of scandal last month, when Vienna refused to expel Russian diplomats over the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK. Over 100 Russian diplomats were expelled from western and EU states, in a coordinated “show of solidarity” with Britain over the incident, which was blamed on Moscow. Austria, however, fervently maintained its neutrality – and said it would not shut the door on dialogue with Moscow.

“We want to keep the channels of communication to Russia open,” Kurz and Kneissl said, in a joint statement announcing Austria’s decision not to participate in the expulsions. “Austria is a neutral country and sees itself as a bridge-builder between East and West.”

While meeting last month with other EU foreign ministers to discuss the Skripal case, Kneissl cautioned against pinning the blame on Russia until a full-fledged investigation had been conducted.

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Police officers get dressed in protective suiting at a car recovery depot in Norton Enterprise Park, where Sergei Skripal's car was originally transported, in Salisbury, Britain, March 13, 2018. © Henry Nicholls

“Our position is: First there is the need to establish a full picture of events in joint cooperation with the Chemical agency [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)] and all those involved” the foreign minister said.

Having been recently accused by UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson of “personally” orchestrating the Skripal attack, Russia’s president undoubtedly values Austria’s even-keeled diplomacy.

During a welcoming ceremony for foreign ambassadors on April 11, Putin said that “Russia highly appreciates Austria’s permanent neutrality policy, its balanced stance on the topical issues on the European and global agenda.”

Kurz, the leader of the Austrian People’s Party, assumed the chancellorship in December after a right-wing coalition emerged victorious in Austria’s elections. The coalition government has taken active measures to push back against the EU’s open-door migrant policy and has sought to preserve economic ties with Russia, despite Brussels-imposed sanctions and political pressure.

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NATO bases upgraded under anti-migrant guise, US nukes now stockpiled in Greece – Communist chief

The leader of the Communist Party of Greece, Dimitris Koutsoumpas, has lambasted Athens for appeasing the US and EU governments, by allowing what he claims are American nukes in the country.

In an interview with ANT1 TV, the Greek communist leader has once again claimed that there are more US and NATO military facilities in the country than is commonly known-about.

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FILE PHOTO: The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Rhode Island  © U.S. Navy

He said that the US is reportedly stockpiling its nuclear arms in Araxos Air Base, has deployed drones to Larisa air field and keeps helicopters in Alexandroupoli. In addition to the joint US-NATO Souda Bay Naval Base in Crete, the alliance’s troops are also stationed in the east of the Aegean Sea under the pretext of countering a refugee influx, the politician claims. 

Koutsoumpas is accusing the Greek government of bowing to EU and US rhetoric. According to the communist leader, another example of this is that Athens is mulling over whether to allow American warships to dock at the Greek island of Syros in the Aegean Sea.

Questioning NATO’s ability to protect the country as it pursues its own goals in the region, Koutsoumpas called for Greece to leave the military block and close its military facilities there.

It is not the first time the politician has given such a speech. In 2017, Koutsoumpas said that the Araxos base in western Greece is being upgraded to receive US nuclear warheads from the NATO base at Turkey’s Incirlik.

Greek communist newspaper Rizospastis then dubbed the possible move as “playing with fire.” The news triggered rallies in the third largest city in Greece, Patras, where people protested the alleged plans to deploy US nuclear arms to the country.

The existence of such plans was firmly denied by the Greek government back then. The country’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias affirmed in public that the deployment of the US nukes was not even a topic to discuss.

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Meet the MPs who back ‘humanitarian’ bombing in Syria, but who have been silent on abuses elsewhere

Since rumblings late last week that Theresa May was likely to authorize British military intervention in Syria, numerous MPs have spoken out in support of the PM – but is there a whiff of hypocrisy in the air?

John Woodcock MP, Barrow and Furness

The former Labour Friends of Israel chair has been supportive of May’s decision to launch airstrikes in Syria, highlighting the need to remove the alleged threat of chemical weapons attacks on the civilian population.

In a tweet on Saturday, Woodcock told his followers that the UK was right to join forces with the US and France in Saturday’s airstrikes in Syria, saying: “It was right that the UK joined our allies in action to degrade Assad’s chemical weapon capability in Syria – we must act together to remove the threat of these dreadful weapons that indiscriminately slaughter civilians.”

However, Woodcock’s humanitarianism doesn’t seem to stretch north of the Syrian border. Take his support for Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who himself is prone to military intervention in Syria. In January, Turkey launched ‘Operation Olive Branch’ against the Kurds in Afrin, and the assault has resulted in over 500 civilian deaths, according to the Syrian Civilian War Map site.

Woodcock has, however, remained silent on those civilian deaths. Rather than speak out against the Erdogan government in the past, Woodcock has instead praised it. In a December 2017 interview, published in the Daily Sabah, a Turkish pro-government newspaper, the MP said he hopes that Turkey “feels able to come out of its state of emergency as soon as possible so that you can better project the plurality and the tolerance and the progressive changes that are happening right now in your country without the response to the security threat you are facing at the moment.”

Woodcock has recently returned from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he was there to learn more about the kingdom’s operations in Yemen. He tweeted some pictures of his little adventure.

Woodcock was one of around 100 Labour MPs who were missing or who deliberately abstained from the vote to withdraw support for the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, which has seen the death toll rise to 10,000, according to the UN.

Johnny Mercer MP, Plymouth and Moor View

Tory MP Johnny Mercer during this week’s ‘War Powers Act’ debate insisted that he backed the PM’s decision to authorize airstrikes in Syria based on his experience in the armed forces and to protect the citizens of the UK.

He went on to suggest that allowing Parliament to debate whether the country should engage in imminent military action would make the UK less safe, saying that “inaction while Syria burns is not acceptable.”

So Mercer is seemingly concerned about “Syria burning” yet is silent when it comes to civilian casualties in Yemen and Gaza? Furthermore, he voted against Labour’s motion to stop UK support for Saudi Arabia’s campaign in Yemen. The actions of a man concerned about human life?

Ian Austin MP, Dudley North

Austin famously heckled Jeremy Corbyn during the Labour leader’s speech on the Iraq war upon the publication of the Chilcot report, telling him to “shut up” and shouting “you’re a disgrace.” Austin has been an advocate for military strikes against Assad’s Syrian government since as early as 2013. He publicly revealed his regret that the UK government didn’t win a vote back in 2013 to militarily intervene in Syria. Tweeting earlier this year, he said: “Maybe we need a Chilcott-style inquiry on our 2013 failure to prevent the carnage?”

Austin is an MP so concerned with human rights that he joined Woodcock in abstention on the Saudi arms deal vote. Clearly the calls to suspend sales made by the UN secretary general, Save the Children, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch are apparently not enough for Austin to stop his backing of Saudi Arabia in the war in Yemen.

READ MORE: ‘It just doesn’t ring true’: The leading UK figures questioning ‘proof’ of Douma ‘gas attack’

According to a Labour Party source close to media news outlet the Skwawkbox, Austin is content to see Saudi Arabia continue its bombing campaign in Yemen.

“Ian Austin would personally drop the bombs on Yemen himself if you gave him a chance. If the devil is ever on leave Austin subs for him.”

Michael Fallon MP, Sevenoaks

The former defence secretary was famously ambushed by Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, when she revealed that in May 2007 Fallon was reportedly in Syria at a reception to celebrate the re-election of President Assad.

In December 2016, Fallon defended Britain’s support for Saudi Arabia over its use of cluster bombs in Yemen, insisting there was no breach of international law because they were used against “legitimate military targets.”

He claimed back in October 2017, while speaking to the Defence Committee, that criticism of Saudi Arabia in Parliament was hampering Britain’s ability to secure sales of typhoon jets to the kingdom, as he remarked: “I have to repeat sadly that obviously other criticism of Saudi Arabia in this Parliament is not helpful.” A case of money before morals for Mr Fallon?

The moral relativism shown by MPs knows no bounds; in one breath they decry humanitarian abuses, while in the next they obfuscate on those committed by allies.

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