Tuesday, 3 March 2015

In Whose Interests?

by Martin S. Gilbert
WHAT is in the interests of those in power as opposed to 'the public interest' ?   If you believe we have democracy they are synonymous others see a big gap.  When, for example will we see full publication of Chilcot’s enquiry into the Iraq war?  He does not want to embarrass certain people too much but is that caution 'in the public interest'  if so, how?  Also, while definitions of torture change over time, there will not be a Public Enquiry into how IRA suspects were treated during 'the troubles' (1)  The states torturers may have extracted relevant information. In doing so they created hatred, fear and reprisals, aiding IRA recruiters.  It all delayed what became 'the peace process' which was hailed as a victory for office holders. An explanation of such torture would pose the 'one bad apple in the barrel' idea, there being at its height some 22,000 troops in Ulster at that time.  The truth will remain hidden.  A main cause of the present tensions between Russia and NATO has also escaped general attention.

America’s 'missile defence system' has caused much unplanned-for, unreported trouble. In theory such missiles are directed by “spy satellites” space-placed hardware. Dubbed 'star wars' by its critics it has control centres is at Fylingdales and Menwith Hill Yorkshire. A problem for it’s boffins and American tax payers is that this system has never actually worked in spite of it’s vast budget.

Records released by the Kremlin showed that the Cuban situation was resolved by quiet diplomacy, not by “nuclear deterrence”. Removal of NATO bases on Turkey’s border with Russia helped that process. Such facts got little attention in the media, maybe they were “not in the public interest”.

Subsequently, a major cause of tension was America’s plans to build a star-wars base in Poland by 2018. On 15.10. ’09 Reuters International News reported that Russia “was worried about” (such plans) that could hinder efforts to 'improve their relationship with America.' (2)  That year Obama’s administration cancelled these plans but without making Putin feel any safer.  Military hardware was 'rolled out' in Poland and the Czech Republic in response to perceived problems with Iran (3)  Again, NATO had placed heavy weaponry too close for Putin’s comfort.

It does not help that the Russian premier has a foreign policy based on unpredictability.   Putin needs to keep his macho image, so no official complaints were made internationally.   Any major leak could have alerted the Russian public to this potential threat on their door step, detracting from Vlad the athletic horseman’s P.R.  The crisis in Ukraine and Crimea can be seen as an attempt to show military muscle, preserving Putin’s image and those close to that leader. 

Linked to these events are the recent revelations about the death of spy - defector Alexander Litvinenko. Although he was murdered in 2006, the enquiry into his death has finally been published. Delay also seems to be due in an effort not to embarrass a public
figure – Mr. Putin. In whose public interest was that lengthy concealment? Certainly not that of the Russian people.

martin s. gilbert, Cumbria, March . ’15

references:- 1. John McGuffin, “The Guinea Pigs” Penguin Special, 1974

2. Conor Sweeny, “Business and Financial News, Breaking US &
International News / Reuters.com page 1

3. Richard Weitz, World Politics Review, 29.4.’14 www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/13739/nato-s-missiledefense-counteroff  

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