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    Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson speaks at the annual Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Britain, October 2, 2016.

    The Mendacity of Boris Johnson's Anti-Russian Rhetoric

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    Opinion
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    John Wight
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    Britain's Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson - with his anti-Russian invective and recent call in the British parliament for mass protests to be staged outside the Russian Embassy in London over Russia's role in the conflict in Syria - appears determined to rebrand himself as the modern incarnation of his political hero Winston Churchill.

    The problem for Boris Johnson, however, and those within the British political and British media establishment who take the same view, is that calling for demonstrations to be staged outside the embassy of a foreign government is more in tune with the politics of Mussolini than Churchill. Moreover, rather than bolster the Foreign Secretary's credentials as a tough, no-nonsense politician, it merely confirms that people such as he are living in cloud cuckoo land.

    For the question needs to be asked: 'How on earth does it benefit the British people to be the enemies of their Russian counterparts at a time when global terrorism is the enemy of both, when Brexit has engulfed the UK in a situation of unprecedented political and economic uncertainty, and when the world is more interdependent now than it ever has been?'

    There is no place in such an interdependent world for 19th century attitudes when it comes to dealing with international affairs and crises.

    The prospect of direct military confrontation between the West and Russia is surely too awful to be contemplated even for a second. Yet this is precisely the path along which Boris Johnson is embarked.

    Given that Britain's freshly appointed foreign secretary is not only an admirer of Winston Churchill but also his biographer, having published a book on him earlier this year, it is surprising to find that when it comes to engaging with the conflict in Syria and Russia, Johnson possesses none of his political hero's clarity.

    Let us put it another way. Though Churchill was an avowed ideological enemy of the Soviet Union from the second the Russian Revolution took place in 1917, he well understood the difference between an ideology that could be negotiated with and did not present a threat to civilization, and one that could not be negotiated with and did.

    In this context he had no hesitation in forging an alliance with the Soviet Union against the Nazis. As he said at the time, "Any man or State who fights against Nazism will have our aid. Any man or State who marches with Hitler is our foe."

    The Yalta (Crimean) conference of three allied powers on February 4-11, 1945. In the center (seating from left to right): British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Marshal of the USSR Joseph Stalin
    © Sputnik/
    The Yalta (Crimean) conference of three allied powers on February 4-11, 1945. In the center (seating from left to right): British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Marshal of the USSR Joseph Stalin

    He then went on to observe: "The Russian danger is therefore our danger and the danger of the United States just as the cause of any Russian fighting for his hearth and home is the cause of free men and free peoples in every quarter of the globe."

    Consider for a moment the profundity of Churchill's words, how they successfully penetrated to the very heart of the issue and threat at hand. And then compare them to the idiocy and duplicity and mendacity of Boris Johnson's depiction or Russia as an enemy of the West today, when Russia and its Syrian ally have been leading the struggle against the most brutal and merciless killing machine the world has seen since the Nazis, its adherents butchering and slaughtering men, women, and children without end, and whose very existence and ability to do so stands as an unequivocal indictment of western foreign policy. 

    Boris Johnson is no Winston Churchill. In fact, he isn't even fit to tie Britain's wartime prime minister's shoelaces.

    His vituperative attacks on a nation and people who've been risking all to clean up the disaster caused by the bungling, reckless, and disastrous actions of Britain, the United States and its allies in the Middle East over the past decade and more merely add grievous insult to egregious injury.

    In its efforts to liberate the people of eastern Aleppo from thousands of sectarian butchering fanatics, who can deny that Russia is doing more to defeat terrorism than Britain and its allies ever have?

    Indeed, with their refusal to place pressure on the aforementioned western regional allies — those friends of liberty, the Saudis, Qataris and Kuwaitis — to stop arming and funding these so-called rebels in Syria, the UK and other western governments are part of the problem.

    And speaking of the Saudis, where is the call for demonstrations to be staged outside the Saudi embassy in London, given its sponsorship of terrorism in Syria and its actions in Yemen, where it is engaged in the wholesale slaughter of civilians from the air?

    Until people such as Boris Johnson understand the difference between fighting terrorism and facilitating terrorism, the people of Syria, Iraq, and by extension Russia and the UK, will continue to suffer the consequences.

    The western objective of overthrowing Syria's President, Bashar al-Assad, and with it effecting the destruction of one of the few secular and non-sectarian states left in a region engulfed by religious extremism, at a time when every effort and sinew should be directed towards destroying the most potent menace the world has faced since the Nazis were rampaging across Europe, will go down in history as a monstrous blunder, if not crime.

    The enemy of people in Britain and the US is not Vladimir Putin. The enemy of people in Britain and US is hypocrisy — the very kind espoused by Boris Johnson and others like him.

    The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

    Related:

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    Johnson: UK Should Reconsider Military Intervention in Syria
    Protest at Russian Embassy Would Increase 'Hysteria and Jingoism' - Peace Group
    Boris Johnson's Call for Protests Outside Russian Embassy Embarrassing
    Tags:
    bad diplomacy, embassy, terrorism, conflict, diplomacy, Vladimir Putin, Boris Johnson, Europe, Syria, United Kingdom, London
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