11:32 GMT04 August 2020
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    It's not just the right-wing Donald Trump who is being bullied into toeing the "War Party's" line on Russia. In Britain, exactly the same thing is happening to the left-wing Jeremy Corbyn.

    The Labour leader, quite sensibly, has criticized the provocative NATO military build-up on Russia's borders and has called for a de-escalation of tension between the West and Russia. Which sane person (whose salary isn't dependent on promoting a non-existent "Russian threat"), doesn't want that?

    Corbyn — who, unlike his critics, strongly opposed the disastrous and illegal Iraq war and the Western military assault against Libya which turned that country into a haven for radical terror groups — should be applauded for his efforts to improve East-West relations. Instead, he's being attacked by the endless war hawks.

    UK Armed Forces Minister Mike Penning thundered: "It is unprecedented for a Leader of the Opposition to attack the defensive deployment of British troops on NATO territory. These comments suggest that the Labour Leader would rather collaborate with Russian aggression than mutually support Britain's NATO allies."

    So there you have it. Jezza — the man who was right on Iraq, right on Libya, and right on a whole range of foreign policy issues, is a "collaborator." 

    My Concise Oxford English Dictionary has two definitions of the word. The first is "work jointly esp. with literary or artistic production." The second is "co-operate traitorously with the enemy." We all know which meaning Mike Penning was referring to. 

    The word "collaborator" conjures up — and is meant to conjure up — images of those who betrayed their countries to work with the Nazis, with the strong implication, when used to denounce those who oppose NATO deployments, that Russia is the modern equivalent of the Third Reich.

    Oppose a "tough" line on Russia — and British troops being sent to Poland and Estonia? Well, you're just like those right-wingers who urged peace with Germany in the 1930s. Don't you know it's 1938 all over again and that Vladimir Putin is "The New Hitler"?

    That's the War Party's narrative and what utter tosh it is. 

    Nazi Germany was quite clearly an international aggressor in the 1930s. There is no comparison with how Nazi Germany acted and how Russia acts today — and anyone who tries to argue that there is, is either lying, or is in serious need of medication.

    In fact, when it comes to using the tactics of the Nazis to try and get support for their policies, it's the West's Russia-bashers who have the form. Back in 1946, Hermann Goering boasted:

    "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    The corpulent founder of the Gestapo would no doubt raise a smile at seeing how how Jeremy Corbyn's criticism of British — and other NATO forces being deployed on Russia's borders, has been spinned as "Corbyn attacks British troops," thus creating the impression that JC is an unpatriotic traitor.

    But Corbyn most certainly is not attacking British troops. He is criticizing their deployment on Russia's border. In November he said:

    "I do think there has to be a process that we try and demilitarize the border between what are now the NATO states and Russia so we drive apart those forces, keep them further apart… we can't descend into a new Cold War."

    Have we reached the stage when no-one can question where British troops are being deployed without their loyalties being called into question by "The Thought Police"? It would appear so.

    The Russophobes will be hoping that their "collaborator" attacks force Corbyn into conformity, but the problem they have is that public opinion, despite their very best (or rather very worst) efforts, is not on their side. The average American and the average Brit doesn't want war with Russia. They want their governments to concentrate on domestic bread-and-butter issues, not starting more international conflicts. 

    In Britain, it's the crisis in the NHS that people want the government to sort out and not "protecting" the Baltic States and Poland from a Russian invasion that just isn‘t going to happen. If there is a threat to British and European civilians, the public can see that it comes not from Russia, but from the aggressive interventionist foreign policies of NATO countries which have led to the rise of terror groups such as Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL). 

    After all, it wasn't Russian special forces which slaughtered British tourists on the beach in Tunisia, or which blew up civilians at Brussels airport in March 2016, was it?

    In fact, Russia has been fighting against such groups in Syria, to the consternation of Britain's neo-con Establishment, which seems to prefer al-Qaeda and their head-chopping affiliates to succeed in Syria rather than a secular President who studied ophthalmology in London and has a British-born wife.

    Again, remind me who are the "collaborators" with the country's enemies?

    It's not difficult to find evidence of the massive disconnect between the out-of-touch anti-Russian Establishments and the views of ordinary people. Compare, for instance, the wave of embittered Russophobic comment pieces in the "liberal" and Establishment-friendly media — with the letters pages of the same newspapers and the BTL comments.

    For example, underneath the story entitled "Corbyn the Collaborator" in the Sun, there was just one reader comment:

    "Do not agree with the majority of the things Corbyn has to say, although with this one he has it correct, a build up of military in Eastern Europe can only be classed as an aggressive move by NATO by moving this ever closer to the Russian borders, and will only serve to bring further tension to these countries, I am more than sure many of the people in these countries will feel the same."

    Last weekend, the Observer ran a feverish rant entitled "Russian treachery is extreme and it is everywhere" — which ended (I kid you not), by saying that Britain "may have to regard the United States as a potentially hostile foreign power" — because of Trump's stance towards Russia.

    The newspaper kept the comment section closed — no doubt because they knew the article would be torn to shreds by readers.

    The fact is that anti-Russian elites are teetering on the brink across the West. President-elect Trump offers the prospect of improved relations with Moscow, while in France, this year's presidential election is likely to result in a run-off between Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen, both of whom represent a break with the bear-baiting policies of the past.

    In Britain, Jeremy Corbyn, despite all the neocon attempts to undermine him, remains Labour Party leader and UKIP, who also want better ties with Moscow, continue to do well in the polls. 

    It doesn't help the anti-Russian cause that the same people who screech "Russian threat!" most loudly today are the same discredited bunch of neocons and "liberal interventionists" who screeched "Iraqi WMDs threat!" most loudly back in 2003.

    Next time you come across a politico or "pundit" trying to scare you witless about the "New Hitler" Vladimir Putin and the "threat" he poses to the West, just Google their name with "Iraq": it's usually instructive.

    All the Russophobes have left now is to denounce those who oppose their endless warmongering of being traitors and "collaborators."

    Desperate stuff from some very desperate people.

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

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    "Russian threat", Western accusations, NATO buildup, collaborators, NATO expansion, leadership, military, NATO, Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, Britain, United States, Russia, West, United Kingdom
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