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A Tory War minister has accused Jeremy Corbyn of being a collaborator of “Russian aggression” after the Labour leader called for a de-escalation of tensions and “de-militarization” along the Russian border — following the recent buildup of NATO and Russian forces in the region.
The Tory minster’s comments echo what is now becoming a familiar narrative: anybody who opposes the buildup of NATO forces is accused of being supportive of Russia, and therefore a traitor to the west or a risk to national security.
Russia is increasingly being portrayed as a dangerous threat to the West, as was evidenced by last week’s debacle with President-elect Donald Trump — and forms the basis for what could become a disastrous nuclear conflict.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for a “de-escalation” of tensions between NATO and Russia during a recent interview with the BBC, saying:
I want to see a de-militarization of the border between them.
Corbyn’s comments follow the recent announcement that the UK is sending another 800 troops to Estonia as part of the ever-intensifying military buildup in the Baltic region.
In response, Russia has moved its own troops within the country closer to those borders — causing serious tensions to rise among multiple nuclear-armed forces. Last year saw both the Russian and US military take part in increasingly hostile and provocative behaviour towards each other, and this week the US started deploying 4,000 troops to Poland, a move which has been described by military officials as:
The largest armed U.S. military brigade to be deployed to Europe since the end of the Cold War
Corbyn went on to explain what he sees as being the best solution to this potentially lethal crisis, saying it is:
unfortunate that troops have gone up to the border on both sides,
he wanted to see better relations between Russia, NATO, and the EU.
Corbyn explained that while Russia has taken part in serious human rights abuses — both domestically and in Syria, there must be:
better relationships between both sides … there cannot be a return to a Cold War mentality.
However, Corbyn’s sanity and desire to avoid nuclear conflict, and a return to the dangers posed by the cold war was met with intense hostility by the Tory Minister who said:
These comments suggest that the Labour leader would rather collaborate with Russian aggression than mutually support Britain’s NATO allies. As with Trident, everything Labour says and does shows that they cannot be trusted with Britain’s national security.
This is the predictable response we’ve come to expect at this point. Because Corbyn is calling for peace — this apparently means he is a “collaborate with Russian aggression”. Of course, the bulk of the mainstream media ran with this ludicrous assessment and subsequent narrative.
It is the latest in an ever-increasing array of propaganda designed to manufacture consent for a possible conflict with Russia. The US presidential election was fueled by “red scare” tactics, such as the accusation that Russia hacked the billionaire lobbyist and head of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign John Podesta’s emails, in a bid to “subvert” American democracy. The evidence for this has so far been scarce, and even if Russia did hack Podesta’s emails, this is unlikely to be the reason that Clinton lost to Trump — she was always an incredibly unpopular candidate, second only to Trump in this regard.
The repeated allegations of Russian interference in the US election led to the release of “secret” documents by a former British M16 operative, put online in their full glory by Buzzfeed. The documents were supposed to show evidence that Russia had helped to get Trump elected, and that he was working as some sort of Russian operative at the threat of being blackmailed by Russia over a lurid sex tape. This led to a press conference in which Trump denounced Buzzfeed as being a “failing pile of garbage” and called CNN “fake news”. Unfortunately I have to agree with Trump on both of those statements, and it seems quite obvious that even if the claims were true they wouldn’t be enough to stop the man — the same man who is already on tape bragging about being a pussy grabber, and has already been in a soft porn (if anything it would probably make him more popular.)
In this country only a few months ago, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw threw out some wild accusations about Russian interference in western democracy, speaking in the commons during a debate about Syria, Bradshaw said that:
I don’t think we have even begun to wake up to what Russia is doing when it comes to cyber warfare.
Not only their interference, now proven, in the American presidential campaign, probably in our own referendum last year.
With regards to Brexit, Bradshaw went on to clarify that:
We don’t have the evidence for that yet, but I think it’s highly probable.
Certainly in the French presidential election, they will be involved, and there are already serious concerns in the German secret service that Russia is already interfering in the elections coming up.
We’ve got to wake up to this.
There is so far (to my mind) no credible evidence to suggest that Russia is hacking elections in the West: the CIA, FBI, and British intelligence services have yet to provide anything beyond unnamed sources alleging that the Russians are behind the hacking of Podesta’s emails, and the other accusations.
Even if they are true, they are of no great consequence and certainly pale in comparison to the fact that the US (whom we avidly support) has not only interfered in foreign elections — but actively and brutally removed democratically elected leaders across the world, often replacing them with brutal dictatorships.
The charge that Russia hacked the US election is particularly ironic when you consider the mounting evidence that the US helped to overthrow the democratically elected leader of Ukraine in 2014 — leading to an intensification of their ongoing civil war.
Given the recent hysteria around Russia, it seems inevitable then that Corbyn’s comments would be treated this way. This is an indication of how criticism of the NATO build-up will be framed in the future: if you do not agree with it or if you want a peaceful solution, that makes you a Russia supporter and a threat to national security.