Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog
Craig Murray, a whistleblowing UK Ambassador who was then fired from UK’s Diplomatic Service and became instead a great independent investigative journalist specializing in foreign-policy issues, has one of the most-read blogs on the internet (if not the most-read of them) dealing with international relations, generally from a progressive political standpoint, but occasionally from a liberal standpoint (mixing progressivism with conservatism) instead. Even when I disagree with him (because I reject liberalism and am 100% progressive), the issues he raises are extraordinarily potent, because of his uncompromising honesty, which places him amongst the real trailblazers regarding global issues. A blog-post from him on December 19th stirred me to vigorous objection against his liberal standpoint concerning national separatism-issues that intensely affect many countries and regions, such as Israel and Palestine; and also Russia and many of its regions such as Crimea and Chechnya; and also China and Tibet. I posted there my thoughts disagreeing with his posistions on some of the instances he cited, but especially on the thought-proocess which guided his allegations there. I present below both his blog-post and my string of responses to it, so that readers here may consider the deep national and international issues which Murray was trying to tackle, and which I, in my responses to it, argue that he dealt with from a liberal instead of a progressive perspective, and that he addressed with false assumptions. (I highlight in boldface the passages in Murray’s article which had immediately struck me as being either, at least, questionable, or else particularly important and truthful; but, in either case, quite striking and thought-provoking.)
“Indigenous Eurasian Islamic Populations”
19 Dec, 2019
This blog was defending the human rights of the Uighurs a decade before the neo-conservatives for whom they are now a fashionable cause even knew of their existence. The Uighurs are the closest linguistic and cultural cousins of the Uzbeks, and the populations are contiguous. (China is not contiguous with Uzbekistan but Osh and the eastern Ferghana Valley in Kirghizstan are Uzbek majority areas).
The dynamic spread of Islam northwards and eastwards under the Abbasids, (much less commented that the expansion of its early centuries) and the temporary patronage of Islam by the Mongol Yuan conquerors of China, left very substantial Islamic populations throughout Eurasia, which later became subsumed into non-Muslim polities, including by the expansion of the Chinese and Russian empires. The persecution of the Uighurs is a historic continuation. For decades from the mid eighteenth century they were subjected to one of history’s most sustained and organised campaigns of mass rape of the female population by Chinese occupiers. In a historical perspective, it was the period of comparative tolerance that preceded the current massive attempt at cultural genocide which was the aberration.
I do despair of those on the left who excuse the mass imprisonment of hundreds of thousands and the extrajudicial killing of thousands, because it is China doing it and not a CIA aligned power.
The Uighurs are a people with the right of self-determination. They are not Chinese; their language, culture and religion are completely different. They have a clearly defined territory they have occupied continuously for many centuries. One of the problems with the British is that as an island, we tend to only think of colonies as places you sail to. Colonies you walk to is a concept we have not grasped. That is one of the reasons the left in the UK have such difficulty recognising that China is an Empire and Kashgar is a colony. The other reason is that whole “West Bad, Opponents Good” thing.
It is excellent to recognise that the Western powers have done a huge amount of evil in the world. It is a completely illogical step to assume from this revelation that they have a monopoly on evil. All major governments do evil.
Kashmir is the other pressing issue of a Hindu minority population under pressure. Six years ago I annoyed rather a lot of people when I warned that my personal experience of living then some months in India was that it was changing into an an “increasingly oppressive and rabidly conservative Hindu society”. I have viewed the rise of Modi and his Hindu nationalists with great concern, while Western governments have been much more concerned with seeking to benefit from India’s economic boom.
The revocation of the autonomous status of Kashmir and Jammu was a reckless and aggressive act of centralisation that was grossly insensitive to both the population and the history of the region – and I write in full awareness that there have been not only Muslim but also many Sikh victims of intercommunal violence over the years. The incorporation of Kashmir into India was a dreadful British error, semi-apologetically enshrined in its special constitutional position, now destroyed by Modi. It is only the statesmanship of Imran Khan which has averted a hideous war.
The Supreme Court of India’s firmly anti-Muslim ruling in the Ayodhya dispute, and the new immigrant citizenship law excluding Muslims (which has outraged the remnants of liberal India), are evidence of intercommunal policy which is all pushing in an anti-Muslim direction. Modi has been portrayed in the West as a moderniser. This is a fundamental error – he is just a populist in the Trump and Johnson mode who succeeds by stirring up feelings against the “other” in the population. The situation in India is destabilising and I fear more violence against the Muslim population is bound to ensue.
The Muslim populations of Central Asia now live in autonomous republics, none of which has transitioned to effective democracy, all of which have been more or less looted by oligarchs, all have continuing serious human rights problems, and all are increasingly under the economic sway of China (which is not, in itself, a bad thing). China remains something of an enigma. Its economic success continues to be staggering, if severely pollution creating. As I frequently assert, there has never been a power in the world of such economic dominance which has shown such a comparatively tiny appetite for military dominance. If you compare China to the USA in this regard the difference is striking. China has very few military bases outside China, the USA has eight hundred.
But the Central Asian “stans” only contain a minority of the Muslim colonies in Eurasia which Russia acquired in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, simultaneous with the expansion of the British Empire. Many of these colonies, with their overwhelmingly Muslim populations, remain part of the Russian Federation which – make no mistake about it – is still an Empire.
The Tatar are the most widespread of the colonial peoples within Russia. Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Cherkessa, Kabardino Balkaria and Karachai are all areas of Russia where I believe the original Muslim population, absorbed into the Russian Empire by conquest, will in the fulness of time achieve independence, in addition to the better-known Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia. The astonishing brutality of the Russian repression of the perfectly justified Independence movements of the latter countries cannot hold back the tide of decolonisation forever. Crimea, of course, should belong to the Tatars who were deported from their land by Stalin. Not Russia, not Ukraine, but Krim Tatar.
As I said earlier, even though Russia’s colonies were colonised contemporaneously with the British ones, and even though the indigenous populations are Muslim, we in the UK have difficulty perceiving them as colonies because they are contiguous with Russia by land and have been institutionally absorbed into the metropolitan. It is also worth noting that, largely but not entirely as a result of the Soviet period of running its Empire, Russia did a much better job of providing education, health and other public services to its colonies that the British ever did.
It is important to state that these colonised peoples are not Russians but separate peoples in the sense of the UN Charter, with very distinct cultures, histories, languages and religion, and thus they do have the right of self-determination. I do not deny that at present, outside the colonies of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia, there is little evidence of separatist desire. But I expect that to change over historic time.
It is of course a personal irony that I am very often accused of being a Russian agent because I debunk ludicrous anti-Russian scares like the fake Skripal narrative, or the totally unfounded narrative that Russia has any desire to attack Western Europe. These scare stories about Russia are of course essential to the profits of the western military-industrial-security complex, and I debunk them because they are nonsense, and because of their propaganda power in controlling western populations. But while I have a deep-seated love for Russia, its culture and people, I know of no other commentator who calls for the Russian Federation to be divorced of its internalised colonies, an opinion the Kremlin would find outrageous.
The Eurasian Muslim populations were overtaken by history from around the seventeenth century and, Islam having expanded itself in Eurasia by conquest, the Muslims were generally themselves absorbed into larger Empires by conquest. In Central Asia they have in the last thirty years regained a kind of independence, but are still dominated by foreign imposed institutions and the colonial subordinate administrative and political class. In China and India the conditions of Muslims are worsening markedly. In Russia the brutal crushing of Independence attempts in some areas has led to the current position where the colonial status of the Muslim sub-polities within the Russian Federation is shunned by the entire world as a Pandora’s Box.
This is of course not in any sense a comprehensive survey. But sometimes it is useful to step back and try to see current events in a broader perspective, both historically and geographically. I do hope this gives some food for your own thoughts. I do hope that some of those thoughts are more profound than the notion that Russia and China, as diplomatic opponents of the West, are beyond criticism.
Though I know of no one with whose political and ideological views I agree more than I do with yours, Craig, I disagree with some of the views that you have expressed in this article. Your idea that any Tatars in Russia who descend from Tatars in Crimea should be forcibly relocated to Crimea strikes me as stupid. “Crimea, of course, should belong to the Tatars who were deported from their land by Stalin. Not Russia, not Ukraine, but Krim Tatar.” What about Russian Tatars who don’t want to, and refuse to, relocate to Crimea? Just consider: https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/aljazeeraworld/2012/05/2012517132318999379.html says “In 1944, Stalin deported 218,000 Crimean Tatars to Central Asia .” The entire 2013 population of Crimea was 1.967 million. You want all descendants of the 218,000 Crimean Tatars of 1944 to be forced to relocate to Crimea and to take control of Crimea’s government and of the existing two million Crimeans? That’s just one example of the low intellectual level of this article from you, and I was shocked to read it. While I agree with some of the allegations in this article, the thought-processes it displays stunned me.
December 19, 2019 at 13:31
Furthermore: The October 2011 Gallup poll of Crimeans showed 8% self-identifying as “Crimean Tatar,” 28% as “Crimean,” 14% as “Ukrainian,” and 45% as “Russian.” In Gallup’s May 2013 poll, the percentages were 15% as “Crimean Tatar” (pehaps because oif the hea vy pressures then in Ukraine to join the EU and leave association with Asia), 24% as “Crimean,” 15% as “Ukrainian,” and 40% as “Russian.” ( See page 8 of this for both poll-results: https://web.archive.org/web/20190726020220/http://www.iri.org/sites/default/files/2013%20October%207%20Survey%20of%20Crimean%20Public%20Opinion,%20May%2016-30,%202013.pdf ). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tatars says that “The number of Crimean Tatars is estimated by UNPO to be between 240,000 and 300,000. The Crimean Tatars emerged as a nation at the time of the Crimean Khanate (1441–1783). The Crimean Khanate was a Turkic-speaking Muslim state that was among the strongest powers in Eastern Europe until the beginning of the 18th century.”
December 19, 2019 at 13:39
I therefore ask you, Craig: Would you really want the roughly 10% of Crimeans who consider themselves to be “Tatar” to be ruling over the roughly 40% of Crimeans who consider themselves to be “Russians” and over the roughly 25% who consider themselves simply “Crimeans” and over the roughly 15% who consider themselves to be simply “Ukrainians”?
December 19, 2019 at 13:45
The more that I think about this article from you, the more you are seeming to me to be a liberal (placing inter-ethnic conflicts above inter-class conflicts) and the less you are seeming to be a progressive (placing inter-class conflicts above inter-ethic conflicts) in determining your recommendations for governmental (political) policies. So, I now doubt whether I agree with your basic view, because I am progressive, not liberal.
craig Post author
That is a peculiar and deliberate mischaracterisation. I have nowhere advocated moving anybody compulsorily. Unlike you, I know quite a lot of deported Tatars personally and many are very keen to return to their ancestral lands.
It amuses me that people who are very keen that the British should, for example, restore the Chagos islanders to their land, are opposed to restoring the Krim Tatars to theirs. Such people do not actually care about human rights, they have just chosen a different big government to cling to.
I therefore again ask you, Craig: Would you really want the roughly 10% of Crimeans who consider themselves to be “Tatar” to be ruling over the roughly 40% of Crimeans who consider themselves to be “Russians” and over the roughly 25% who consider themselves simply “Crimeans” and over the roughly 15% who consider themselves to be simply “Ukrainians”? and: What about Russian Tatars who don’t want to, and refuse to, relocate to Crimea? Since Tatars never were anything close to being a majority of residents of Crimea, how do you operationalize your “Crimea, of course, should belong to the Tatars who were deported from their land by Stalin. Not Russia, not Ukraine, but Krim Tatar.”? Wouldn’t that necessitate ALL of the descendants of Stalin’s 1944 relocated-to-Siberia Tatars to be relocated into Crimea? If not, then in what way would your plan NOT demand that the two million Crimeans would be ruled by just a very tiny minority of Crimeans who are Tatars?
It seems to me that in order for democracy to be able to function, at all, there needs to be a majority of the population that are actually in control over the given land-area. The rights of minorities — i.e., of individuals who disagree with the majority — need to be respected so that the same laws apply equally to each individual. Ethnic (including religious) minorities should be counted in censuses only in order to be able to tabulate whether or not there might be prejudicial enforcement of the laws, but for no other reason than that; and individuals who disagree with any given law need to have uninhibited freedom to engage politically in changing or eliminating any law. This is what democracy means — it is rule by the majority, but only with equal application of the laws to each and every individual (regardless whether majority or minority).
Another function of ethnic issues in politics is to distract the public from class-issues, which the billionaires who fund national politicians’ careers always want the voters not to be paying attention to. After all: if voters will try to avoid voting for politicians who are funded by billionaires, then the corruption of democracy, to turn it into ‘democracy’, will become much more difficult to achieve.
Every magician’s trick succeeds by getting the audience to pay attention to the wrong things. When a democracy degenerates into that type of operation, it become fascism. This used to be called “feudalism,” but it’s the same thing in any era: rule by the wealthiest. It might be right-wing populism, or left-wing elitism, but it is rule by the wealthiest, either way. (During the feudal era, it was always just right-wing elitism — the ‘nobility’.)
What appears to me to be the basic defect in Craig Murray’s article is his internationalizing what actually are intrinsically local instead of international issues. I have elsewhere addressed, from a progressive (i.e., pro-democracy) standpoint, what “democracy” means when applied internationally (as a global democracy of nations), and also the reasons why the “Responsibility to Protect” or “R2P,” in an international context, belongs ONLY to the United Nations to determine and legislate and not at all to any individual nations; nor can international corporations participate in the relations between national governments except in an intrinsically corrupt manner that’s fundamentally fascist and destructive both of national and of international democracy; but this article by Murray crossed and confused boundaries between, on the one hand, issues that only individual nations should have authority over, versus, on the other hand, issues that only the U.N. should have authority over. In addition, of course, his article’s focus on sectarian issues as being the basis for rights and obligations, is neither equalitarian nor class-focused, and therefore distracts from the actual issues.
Regarding, specifically, the question of whether the residents of Crimea should have the authority to determine whether to be ruled by the national Government of Ukraine, the national Government of Russia, or instead to be an independent nation, I have addressed that question here (arguing that though a libertarian would say that the Government of Ukraine should rule the residents of Crimea, a democrat — a person who is committed to democracy — would say that only the residents in Crimea should rule the residents in Crimea). A progressive, being a supporter of democracy, would not frame that issue in a libertarian way, as Barack Obama did there. (Craig Murray’s view makes no sense from either a libertarian or a progressive standpoint. His view, instead — as expressed on December 19th — is minoritarian and ethnocentrist. It’s the opposite both of majoritarian, and of equalitarian, and it also isn’t libertarian. It grants special rights and obligations to a particular minority — Russia’s Tatars who descend from Crimea.)
Murray’s view also ignored that the U.S. Government, in June 2013 — well before Ukraine’s Maidan demonstrations started, and before the consequent breakaway of Crimea from Ukraine — published a request for proposals (RFP) from U.S. contractors to reconstruct a building in Crimea for a U.S-planned takeover of Russia’s naval base there and transformation of that base into yet another U.S. naval base. In fact, Murray’s view ignored the uniquely rogue nature of today’s U.S. Government and its craving to control the entire world. So, Murray’s article ignored much of the most relevant recent history regarding Crimea, and — more broadly — regarding many of the other issues that his article dealt with.
So: back to the original question here, “Which are more important — ethnic or class-differences?”: ethnic conflicts (and this includes religious ones) are used by the aristocracy in order to expand their empire while exploiting their nation’s mass as soldiers and taxpayers to serve them militarily in expanding the economic and political empire those aristocrats control. Or, at least since 26 July 1945, the U.S. aristocracy has been functioning this way. (On that date, effectively, the owners of America’s giant armaments-firms — the individuals who control America’s Military-Industrial Complex — took over the post-FDR White House, in the persons of both Truman and his immediate successor Eisenhower, and thus made impossible FDR’s vision of international law emerging from the U.N., and continued instead the pre-FDR might-makes-right imperialistic order, which would have FDR spinning in his grave.) And this means that the basic distinction is class, not ethnicity. The cause of all these wars — not only international but also civil conflicts — is the unlimited greed of the wealthiest. Ethnicity is merely used by them in order to expand their own wealth.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.
Murray is not a liberal or a progressive. When he was in the uk diplomatic biznus, he was a tory. I don’t know what his personal politics are, but his outward expressed views are a mixed bag. I used to comment on his blog years ago, around the time of the zionazi litvenenko false flag. Murray propagandized the zionazi-gay version (bad, bad Russia). At the time he was supporting all the zionazi-gay propaganda against Russia.
His support for Assange really surprised me. It may actually be for real. Assange isn’t a Russian or Chinese. It’s possible to hold views against the most extremist of the west, while still support the the basic propaganda against their multipolar rivals. Even tories, and ex-tories, are capable of this line of psywar. It’s not just just the pseudo left who have learned to incorporate left concepts, a surprising number of rightwingers do this, as well, now. The trump critter also being one of them when on the campaign trail.
Murray should be considered unreliable, as all rightwingers.
As for ethnic or class being more important, it’s a nonsense choice. Apples and oranges comparison. Both are important in their own ways.
Anglo propagandists wear many different political masks.
The most dangerous are NOT the obvious ones who openly peddle psywar memes against the Anglosphere Empire’s designated enemy nations.
The most dangerous are the ones that present themselves as anti-establishment dissidents, antiwar critics, etc.–while also (selectively) peddling the very same psywar memes.
Craig Murray is likely an example of the latter.
I also doubt that it is a wild coincidence that Murray has chosen to focus on Russia, China, and India as the targets of his crocodile tears …. I mean… benevolent humanitarian concern for their Muslim citizens.
These three nations comprise an essential component of EURASIA.
And the Anglos–especially former British imperialist “diplomats” like Murray–damn well understand that Eurasia is the leading obstacle to the perpetuation of the current unipolar Anglo World Order.
In order for Anglo domination to continue, Eurasia must be weakened and preferably dismembered.
Multiethnic and multi-confessional nations must be balkanized into more easily controllable ethnically homogenous statelets and rump states.
In Orwellian fashion, the Anglos will hail this development as examples of democracy, freedom, human rights, autonomy, or self-determination!
See Kosovo, the former Yugoslavia, or South Sudan as examples of this Anglo geopolitical stratagem. Or, Syria, Iraq, and Libya as examples of not-so-successful attempts to apply this Machiavellian tactic.
Never forget this: the British in particular—and Anglosphere nations in general–are consummate promoters of ethnic division and separatism in the world.
They instinctively will sniff out ethnic, religious, or sectarian division in a targeted nation and then shed copious crocodile tears for these divisions in order to foment, exacerbate, and encourage them—all the while rationalizing their behavior with the most noble-sounding pretexts and moralistic figleafs.
Divide and Conquer is a British tradition. It is just as British as tea and crumpets, football hooligans, fawning over British royal parasites, or waging wars of aggression based on lies.
There is a damn good reason that the French coined the phrase Perfidious Albion.
One further observation about murray. He, from his writings, appears to be a rare example of a brit conservative type who is not pro-zionist. IE: old school brit conservative. Fred Jane was another. There are a few on the right who are not zionazi-gay, a very few…
”But while I have a deep-seated love for Russia, its culture and people, I know of no other commentator who calls for the Russian Federation to be divorced of its internalised colonies, an opinion the Kremlin would find outrageous.”
Craig, I can list hundreds of ”other commentators” pushing precisely this line, screaming angrily till their faces turn blue. Dismemberment of the Russian Federation and the accompanying ”Human Rights” show trials against its patriotic government in Western kangaroo courts are the top priorities of the entire drooling, panting swamp of Western presstitutes. What makes your take somewhat ”special” is that you claim to love Russia. Touching, yes. Convincing, nah.
Craig Murray is an archetypal Anglo imperialist posing as a what? – liberal, sometimes progressive, sometimes conservative, sometimes this, sometimes that – all things to all men depending on the weather. Bottom line on him, & any commentator who professes to take a moral stand against such things as oppression, exploitation, & other by products of imperialist chauvinist politics, is, are they consistent? Craig Murray is as inconsistent as they get, he reminds me of a slightly better version of the lunatic Peter Tatchell, that MI6 gave a side gig to a few years back as a protester against oppression of homosexuals – so Tatchell turns up at airports when say, I don’t know, Robert Mugabe happens to be passing through. Coincidence? Logistics? Hotel? Taxis? Information? Comms? Intel? Money? And what does Tatchell do when say, our friend Mugabe turns up in somewhere like, Egypt? Tatchell physically attacks him. That is right. Mr Human Rights attacks the great oppressor of mankind. If it wasn’t underlying sinister, it would be one of the more amusing stunts the empire has pulled. Like the famous White Helmets & their antics, another of MI6’s comedies. Divine comedies. Except my laughter stops when I get a vision of a 12 year old boy having his head cut off by White Helmets affliates Muradin al-Zinki. So Craig Murray, were he a genuine opponent of his establishment’s imperialism & the antics of the FCO & its nazi operational wing that calls itself the Secret Intelligence Service or MI6 or James Bond & his friends, Murray would be shut down & certainly not permitted to blog. GCHQ can do that, but they do not need their technicians to take Murray’s blog off the net, a phonecall would do the job, tell Murray he won’t be receiving his full FCO pension & his blogging days are done. But no, as long as Murray churns out bull about Russia & China & the right of self-determination of various ethno-religious communitues, he is still on the team assisting the Anglo imperial war on Eurasia. So he is permitted minor excentricities like a bit of critique here & there, even of the Skripal set up, because… because no one cares man. But he can be seen for what he is. One of the many Anglo imperial atrocities of recent years has been the kidnapping of Serbs in NATO occupied Kosovo-Metohija & the extraction of their organs, murdering them in the process, for the organ to be as fresh as possible the victim has to be kept alive for as long as possible, so the victim will die in full knowledge of what it is that is being done to them – & then in this fine world of commerce & not so free enterprise, a Serbian organ is sold to say, I don’t know, a wealthy German, with a few mil in the bank man. Has Craig Murray had anything to say about this? Or Russians ethnically cleansed from Chechnya in the 90s? Or Chinese murdered by Uighur jihadists? Or Uighurs murdered by Uighur jihadists? Or Kosovo Albanians accused of being loyal to Serbia & sumarilly excecuted? Nope. Craig Murray don’t talk about such things boy. Why would he? That FCO pension is going to set him up. He can holiday in St Tropez & blog about the rights of eskimos in the Arctic who the nazi-bolsheviq-russiski empire is about to wipe off the map. While Native Americans in Nebraska die of alcoholism & despair as a legacy of Anglos robbing them of everything, their lives included. Murray remains deathly silent on such matters. St Tropez calls, maybe a hooker or two, courtesy of Epstein’s nephew.
Murray claims so called self determination of people in Caucasus. Tell me, in Dagestan there are at least 30 completely different ethnic groups. Should each of them start fighting for its independence?
Crimea was scythian once then it became greek then Byzantium … territories and borders tend to be fluid historically. Even before uncle Joe’s deportation of tatars the majority population of Crimea was (as saker calls for lack of a better term) northern slavs i.e. Russians.
So, should we start looking for scythian descendants and relocate them to Crimea because they were there first? Or perhaps the greeks? Crimea is a multi ethnic place. There Greeks, slavs ( Ukrainian, Russian etc) tatars, and even Germans going back some generations. They all consider themselves to simply be Crimeans.
The independent stans he talks about. Why ignore the fact that they got this independence against their will. They were simply told the country they knew was no more.
Am l the only one who sees the near identical parallels between chechen wars of the 90’s and the Syrian war? Insurrection followed by support from the ‘international democratizers’ followed by international “volunteers ” wanting to establish the Islamic caliphate of ichkeria.
Dagestan is even more interesting, it was th locals themselves that fought for all Russia in Dagestan refusing to be seduced by the propaganda of the terrorists and their PR partners of the west long before federal forces arrived. If this is what Russian repression looks then it seems weird indeed.
Apparently Russia oppresses its minorities so well that they would rather die than gain independence.
No decent person who knows something about the Caucasus can start advocating special status for ethnicities there. The North Caucasus alone has some 130 ethnicities. Each of them ancient. Do you really think ethnic nationalism can end well at all in a place that small?
Craig Murray is a SCOTTISH NATIONALIST (as anyone who reads his stuff should know). Eric is of course right on all the main points he makes.
Both Eric Zuess and Craig Murray are out of touch with reality.
Both are discussing such issues from their western upper class extraction (being social or cultural) pov.
So called “Rights” are only obtained through bielief, willpower and force.
Humans do not have more rights to a land than dog have rights over their kennel.
Nobody have legitimacy to hold forth about so called rights of others.
Who are you to call the rights of others ?
What do you call someone who is giving lessons ro others from its high horse, comfort and position of power regarding its own system of bielief ?
The point is that nobody has “Individual” rights beyond what is socially authorized by its own civilization.
Therefore it is first a competition or respect between civilizations. It has always been such.
The point is that western liberal AND progressive alike always end up being either Supremacist or Globalist.
Trying to impose their own system of belief to others.
As a conclusion, please just keep out of others affairs. Others do not need your prescription. It either lead to intervention or useless babbling.
Just manage your own decadent and dying civilization. That would be a good start.
About western civilization decadence and death.
Take heed to Pope Francis speech.
And take care of your own clueless civilization.
“Pope Francis, in Christmas Message, Says Church Must Adapt to Post-Christian West”
“We need other maps, other paradigms that might help us change our ways of thinking. We are not in Christianity, not anymore!” the pope said Saturday.
We are not in Christianity, not anymore! We are no longer under a Christian regime because the faith—especially in Europe, but also in much of the West—no longer constitutes an obvious premise of common life. On the contrary, it is even often denied, derided, marginalized and ridiculed.”
Well sure… Where are you going and leading everybody to ? What is your western new Religion and system of belief ?
Surely you do not know it yourself.
The directionless blind capitalist civilization who wanna lead everyone in its nihilist course to nowhere and give prescription…
That is. The full point of Western decadence.
That would be a good place to begin your homework, articles and comments.
If another civilization was dying as you describe, wouldn’t be a beneficial service to those dying members to impose beliefs that permitted, at least their offspring, to be able to live much longer and healthier lives if the imposing offenders had truth to back their claims? Some might argue that it would be like snuffing out a cancer that was wanting to spread its beliefs simply b/c it can/or should be left to its own accords.
“As a conclusion, please just keep out of others affairs. Others do not need your prescription. It either lead to intervention or useless babbling.
Just manage your own decadent and dying civilization. That would be a good start.”
I must say, this is my main take-away from this tedious “dialogue.”
I am really surprised at the outpouring of bile re Murray here at the Saker’s blog.
That said, Zuesse’s go-round with Murray might be a bit more readable / useful if he would boil it down to a summary.
Murray is a very interesting character with a multitude of intellectual interests and personal history that affect his political positions. Obviously his views on Central Asian peoples have been influenced by his professional and also personal experiences in the region. He is the author of a most interesting book on Alexander “Sikander” Burnes.
Trying to shoe=horn him into “consistency” a la “moi” of various stripes is pointless. Murray has provided useful commentary, analysis, and also impassioned arguments on a number of issues that I deem important. Not just Assange, but also deconstructing the Skripal case. I also found his analyses and commentaries on Brexit, Johnson, the election, and Scottish nationalism to be valuable. You don’t have to go along with everything a person says or thinks to find their ideas interesting. Also his blog attracts some interesting commenters.
There is no question but that Murray has stood by Assange from the get-go.
You guys want everyone to fit into your narrow conceptions of “consistent positions.” The really interesting people do not fit into these cookie-cutter categories. Murray possesses a background in the Foreign Office, a sharp intellect, and zest for the countercultural life. Murray is a one-off. Murray actually has a life!
Craig Murray is not a fake or an agent of some kind.
For heaven’s sake, get a grip! Are ya’all on drugs?
I think Murray is more of a historian than an ideologue.
His book Sikunder Burnes: Master of the Great Game chronicles Britain’s first, disastrous, move in the Great Game of competing with Imperial Russia to get control of Central Asia. Which they basically launched from the East India Company’s stronghold in the subcontinent.
I have not read Murray’s book (have leafed through it when gave it to someone as a gift—it is heavily documented) but have read William Dalrymple’s on the same subject, The Return of a King, except Murray’s focuses on Burnes as the central figure, a classic scholar/adventurer type who went native, and paid with his life for straddling two cultures. Here is the Amazon description of the book:
“This is an astonishing true tale of espionage, journeys in disguise, secret messages, double agents, assassinations and sexual intrigue. Alexander Burnes was one of the most accomplished spies Britain ever produced and the main antagonist of the Great Game as Britain strove with Russia for control of Central Asia and the routes to the Raj. There are many lessons for the present day in this tale of the folly of invading Afghanistan and Anglo-Russian tensions in the Caucasus. Murray’s meticulous study has unearthed original manuscripts from Montrose to Mumbai to put together a detailed study of how British secret agents operated in India. The story of Burnes’ life has a cast of extraordinary figures, including Queen Victoria, King William IV, Earl Grey, Benjamin Disraeli, Lola Montez, John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx. Among the unexpected discoveries are that Alexander and his brother James invented the myths about the Knights Templars and Scottish Freemasons which are the foundation of the Da Vinci Code; and that the most famous nineteenth-century scholar of Afghanistan was a double agent for Russia.”
I think this effort explains in part some of Murray’s intellectual and other concerns and perhaps the primary lens through which he views developments in central Asia. He is basically sympathetic to the people of Central Asia, is my take, having lived among them and married a local woman, and that colors his political views.
Here is his current blog post, about his youthful radical rebellion when a schoolboy.
Crimea seem to one of the central issues in Craig Murray’s attack on Russian “colonial” rule..
One need to consider that it is a totally false concept, and that it is blatant propaganda.
Such propaganda are similarily attached to the palestinian mandate issue as well, a british occupation in that case which serves as a good illustration for propaganda regarding Crimea as well. In the case of Palestine, the western political elite often propagate argumentation based on 1967 borders and by that claiming to be taking into account the palestinian rights, being liberal and so on . Far from it, they are the very tools of the empire. And the facts are that there is not a basis in international law for a sovereign state of Israel at all when you look at it closely. The british empire made provisions for an autonomous state of Israel (the zionist organisations to lead and build an autonomous national jewish home in Palestine) by immigration from Europe, that is the (british) Mandate of Palestine, which was based on a several british corrupt stances, the Balfour decaration from Lord Balfour Lord of the treasury to Lord Rothschild owner of the Treasury , ( as from one hand to the other corruption ), the WW1 british war on the Ottoman empire (financed by the Treasury), then controlling the international agreements for the Middle East taking over everything from trade, communication and resources for a 100 years and installing a new royalty from Arabia as vassal rulers, to demand and give the authority of international law they dictate to include a jewish state in Palestine based on immigration ? Yes , that is what happened.
So, Crimea was historically a central piece of land in the Black Sea where various people met, lived and were empires exerted their influence. You can go back to the egyptian pharoes if you will, It is know that the egyptians had a colony near Georgia ca 9000 bc , probably the very Crimea. This is supported by maps (wallpainting) showing that they had traveled all the way up to the White Sea in the now Russian arctic.
And in later history it is known that northmen met with asians, indian, arabs in the black sea . Northmen have for millenia travelled peacefully and traded even settled as guests along these routes by boats. And the peoples living in the Crimea were originally not much different from the peoples living in Kiev. Empires however are more likely to fight over control over central traderoutes and territories establishing their own representatives as rulers and bring a population of their own.
What is central in modern history is Kiev Rus establishing control over Crimea for the slavic peoples of the region, effectively denying foreign empires. Local slavic leaders came together as Kiev had been conquered by foreign mercenary armies of Khazaria, and they decided to establish a common kingdom to be lead by an Aros king (the northmen kingdom). This was agreed by the northmen and instituted in Novgorod. Kiev was liberated by these armies and Kiev-Rus was born. Russia as we know it today. Not only Kiev was liberated for the slavic peoples of the regions, today’s Crimea as well . And Khazaria had to succumb to Kiev-Rus controlling its borders and extending their demands. This is a history of the peoples taking ownership of their lands and creating a country called Russia. Now, the history is not only a one-way street. Khazaria was aligned with other powers or sought such alignments. They had some influence in Europe by being a rich central power along the traderoutes to Asia. Rome became their ally. Now the roman empire had been divided into the Greek-roman empire and the russian tsar became a progressive wanting to go well in this brave new world he had become to dominate all the way to Constantinopel and Byzant. The russian king or tsar broke with his nordic religion and became a greek-orthodox Christian. Good relations with Byzant. Treaties with Constantinopel , rewarding them with a Varangian guard of his elite northmen .
Rome and Khazaria conspired with the Khan of the mongols to raid all of Kiev Rus to gain control for Khazaria revenge, for Rome to establish their church of Rome. This is the occupation of the Golden Horde. The Tartars were soldiers of the Khan. It is an occupation of Slavic lands that remained in Crimea and other regions of Kiev Russ. So they burned everything , the slavic kingdom of Kiev-Rus was in retreat to Moscovo and defended, but Kiev was burned to the ground. The rome sent his emmisaries to establish what is today the catholic churc control over what was turned over to Poland. Little by little Rus took back their lands by the peoples of the lands, the kosacks as they now were called, but western Russian remained occupied for hundred of years, and Crimea fell into the hands of the Ottoman empire as well.
Modern history however tell us that Russian regained all these lands they had lived on since time immorial back to the time when people lived in peace with each other, people could travel and trade and even live peacefully in other lands. Russia lost its connection to the northmen of course as the tsar naturally became slavic over the centuries, and evil empires took their turns ruling over the world.
To the question of tartars in Crimea the answer is quite obvious. They do not hold a claim or right to self rule over Crimea. Crimea has now more than ever become russian as it was way back in history, when the peoples of the land were just that, the peoples of the land living in peace and friendship. The tartars have a long history in Crimea though, but they are generally way better off within Russia than within the fascist Ukraine. The people of Crimea voted to keep the “ukrainians” out by more than 90 percent, and to join Russia with the same margins. Ukraine being another of the hidden british empires creation first a Soviet communist republic , then a rotten oligarchy of the crown, claiming to be independent country of which there are no historic record of being a country, Poland yes (released from the Golden Horde), later Poland Lithuania Commonwealth, partly the Ottoman Empire as well, all being foreign occupations. Sloboda Ukraine has nothing to do with it neither, it is a falsification since they took that name from the historic liberators homeland in Russia.
China occupied Tibet, another tradeoff from the british empire’s wars. The british establish a communication station in Kham to Lhasa “helping” the tibetans, in reality helping the chinese’s communist leader Mao to have a pretext to occupy Tibet as a ground for foreign interference in what China regarded as their sphere of influence (Kham), well known to the british. Perhaps the empire did not want a buddhist country on the top of the world to succeed in creating peace anywhere, or more likely not to have a peaceful country anywhere in the world. Anyway the chinese will control the indian continent if they control the roof of the world Tibet, and the british gave up their control of India, but keeping India from gaining a geostrategic upper hand. Tibet was very much a natural ally of India based on religion which is buddhist and historically linked to India (Mahayana buddhism of Tibet are based on indian mahasiddha teachings which are linked to hinduism pantheon). Lhasa trading with Kashmir, Ladakh, Nepal and China, Kham being the portal to China. Tibetan leader Dalai Lama reached a deal with Mao Tse Tung so that they occupied all of Tibet while he could remain in power, I think he was trying to save the tibetan people. The tibetans had no chance against modern weapons as they had been a peaceful nation for centuries and were being slaughtered in Kham . Dalai Lama later escaped to India where he leads a government in exile, while the tibetan people are under red army rule of the iron whip and gulags. They deserve to have their country back and this has been proven by international law, see Michael van Walt van Praag, for instance report at Tibetjustice
As for Tibet it is not a question of ethnicity, the fact is that Tibet is an established kingdom even an empire that once ruled over Asia as far as New Delhi in India, Xinjiang, Ladakh, Mongolia, and China. Tibet did not pursue the empire rather becoming a peacuful buddhist nations being a torn in the eye of the evil empire of the west.
What makes a nation? It’s its people. It is not just religious or ethnic affiliation in my opinion. What is ethnicity? Can anyone define it and honestly say it affects ( almost) every aspect of their life, especially today? Most people have only superficial understanding of the rites, rituals and traditions that make up their culture.
Russia is perhaps older than 5000 years old depending on your definition of ‘ Russian’. To my knowledge the oldest city in Russia is derbent at 5000+. A Russian is any citizen of Russia ( I don’t really believe in the term ethnic Russian. Rus comprised of slavic groups. Ethnically they wera/are slavs with Russian being their nationality). Any territory in the Russian federation is Russian. As long as the people of said territory are Russian their history becomes part of Russian history. After all a nation is a sum of its people; history, culture etc.
All the ethnic groups of Russia have a long shared history. They fought/fight together drunk/drink together made/make families together etcetera. They even celebrate ethnic cultural festivals together despite belonging to different ethnicities. Slavs celebrate tun pairam nauruz pairam sabantui ysyakh… together with the respective minority that celebrates the festivals.
You could say that Russian culture is the sum of all the different cultures of its people.
Do not underestimate the strength of a bond forged in blood. Russia has fought more devastating wars than most and its citizens regardless of religion gender ethnicity etc have fought those wars together.
For as long as Russia has strong and wise leadership there will be no serious ethnic nationalism.
In my opinion separatism is always if not injected then fostered and encouraged by external forces.
“Do not underestimate the strength of a bond forged in blood. Russia has fought more devastating wars than most and its citizens regardless of religion gender ethnicity etc have fought those wars together. ”
This is the point of Putin’s comment to the heads of the CIS.
He is drawing them together with all Russians in the circle of honor for achieving the Great Victory.
Which the BBC has appointed itself to ridicule and denigrated. All with the aim, I believe, of “pre-staging” a total denial of the validity of the “white paper” that Putin will be releasing sometime I believe this spring.
I found this BBC story puerile, wilfully ignorant, and disgusting—but also a manipulation of public opinion before the fact (notice that the story does not touch on the actual histoircal events that Putin alludes to but instead interprets his comments as nothing more than “whataboutism”):
Nice dismantling of Craig Murray by Eric Zuesse.
Craig Murray says: (quote from article)
“I do despair of those on the left who excuse the mass imprisonment of hundreds of thousands and the extrajudicial killing of thousands, because it is China doing it and not a CIA aligned power”.
Not sure what is he banging on about…it is actually the Uighers who are aligned with the CIA.
There are dozens of articles about this. Look up the biography of Erkin Alptekin. He was an activist of the Uighers who worked as an “advisor” to the CIA, and also for the US propaganda outfit Radio Free Europe. It’s on Wikipedia LOL! They haven’t even bothered to conceal the links between the Uighers and the US…
@ serbian girl
“I do despair of those on the left who excuse the mass imprisonment of hundreds of thousands and the extrajudicial killing of thousands, because it is China doing it and not a CIA aligned power”.
Sure. One should only see the incaceratiob rate in the US. And compare to China…
118/100 000 in China
655/100 000 in US
140 and 143/100 000 in England & Scotland !!
I do not even dare to compare violent death or suicide rates.
Let you see the figures here.
Idiotic propaganda and ideological bias.
That sum Mr Murray prejudice and supremacism.
Do you follow Murray’s blog, and is that why you welcome this “dismantling”?
If that is the case, ahve you ever posted comments to join in the discussion there? Many commenters on Murray’s blog disagree with both him and one another and that often makes for quite interesting threads.
Or are you just welcoming the “dismantling” on the basis of what you read here?
IOW, do you know anything about Craig Murray other than what you read here?
I have known for some time that Murray, as astute as he is on many geopolitical issues, especially those concerning the US Empire, has certain blind spots on other questions. This has always been a bit of puzzle though perhaps no man can be expected to be righteous and/or insightful on everything.
Neither would I rush to condemn Murray as “controlled opposition” as some seem keen to do. Once we rush to condemn any and all as insufficiently pure, there likely won’t be any left to hold up the resistance fort.
That being said, I am certainly puzzled by Murray’s pre-occupation with “ethnic” rights. Though this mirrors the position many otherwise champions of ethnic/religious enclaves in the once united sovereign Yugoslavia. To be sure, the Serbs overdid it under Tito – and afterwards, failing to use the tool of autonomy to ensure loyalty to the larger nation state, with Serbia one out of equals. But when the Balkans broke up into the statelets we see nowadays, from Kosovo to Montenegro etc. etc,, one would do well to ask – what did the break-up beget for the people of those lands? mostly depopulation as the young moved elsewhere in search of jobs and ghost towns full of ethnically “pure” older people shorn of economic vitality and bereft of new ideas of the kind that invigorate a people. The Balkans are an excellent model for what happens when ethnicity and common religion are allowed to triumph over both commonality and common sense.
As we see everywhere it happened, once a country composed of many different groups is allowed to disintegrate and self-divide along some artificial ethnic likes, what comes in to take over is not the happiness of citizens or the prosperity of the now smaller lands, but the bankrupt soulless models of neoliberalism which then suck all the life out of all, turning it over to the wealth barons and corporate entities. Which then begets inequality, exploitation and despondency. The elites don’t need no stinking ethnic purity or ethnic pride. They got money and power to comfort them, as they exert their own forms of insiduous “unity of wealth”.
In any case, what Murray is on about when it comes to a place like Crimea makes me a bit suspicious. It is way too convenient for the global elites to turn a profit on powerless small ethnic entities, masquerading as nations. The globalist model has always envisioned the world breaking into regions held together by some ephemeral ethnic threads – which tend to break apart as one looks a little closely. It is the ultimate world-wide oligarchy which seeks to turn all into wage slaves, while pulling the wool over their eyes using any and all identity “pride” rubrics. It has ever been thus throughout human history, and I am rather taken aback by Murray’s selective blindness to this ancient model.
Personally I have always believed that the strength of countries, like the strength of individuals, comes from being mongrels – a mix of many different strands of DNA – making them more resourceful, stronger in the aggregate and healthier than the pure breeds that compose it.
I give you as Exhibit A, the once great US of A (before it got taken over by financial/corporate/neoliberal interests). Its greatness came not despite but because of its diversity, which beget a people made of many, animated by a collective spirit of something we call “American”. And yes, it is the greatest tragedy – on historical scale – that the original Indians were exterminated on mass and their spirit therefore did not contribute enough to the whole. So we’ll never know what greatness American has missed by failing to assimilate with its own history, its own past. It could even be the “missing element” which allowed the country to ultimately degenerate into just another evil Empire.
Mind you, I am NOT excusing the bad things that happened in America, like slavery. But i will say that the black part of America has survived its horrific past to contribute a great cultural and spiritual vitality to the country (even as, alas, the majority of black descendants are still mired in poverty, but I blame neoliberalism for than more than I blame “racism”).
Exhibit B: Israel, as an ethnically “pure” “Jewish state has turned into a querrolous, internally disintegrated, racist-to-the-core country, where the original injustice of dispossession has only grown to corrupt anything and everything in sight. That ethnic purity (even if artificially conceived) made the Jews of israel a far less successful species of the brand “Jewish” than say a similar ethnic grouping in the US, where the Jewish subset of the population has, by all accounts, thrived to become the new mandarins. They, like the blacks, like the hispanics, contributed vitality to the whole, as they assimilated into the collective. These days, the Jews of America – a rather well assimilated grouping – are far more successful on the whole than the jews of Israel, if one were to compare one on one criteria of “success”.
Disclaimer: of course, being “successful” and graduating into a mandarin class of power wielders, does not save American Jews from the ravages – intellectual and spiritual – of midwifing an Evil Empire, now in its declining days. I was just comparing apples to apples.
“In any case, what Murray is on about when it comes to a place like Crimea makes me a bit suspicious. It is way too convenient for the global elites to turn a profit on powerless small ethnic entities, masquerading as nations. The globalist model has always envisioned the world breaking into regions held together by some ephemeral ethnic threads – which tend to break apart as one looks a little closely. It is the ultimate world-wide oligarchy which seeks to turn all into wage slaves, while pulling the wool over their eyes using any and all identity “pride” rubrics. It has ever been thus throughout human history, and I am rather taken aback by Murray’s selective blindness to this ancient model.”
This is exactly template and agenda that is being pushed: the balkanization of entire swathes of the world into ethnically-defined entities masquerading as “sovereign nations”–ultimately ruled over by a imperial Oligarchy comprised of the Anglo Americans, Europeans, and other crime partners.
Wall Street and the City of London are licking their greasy lips in anticipation.
Of course, they cannot openly admit such a criminal agenda and must justify this neocolonial agenda with insistent propaganda about crusading for “freedom,” “democracy,” “self-determination” or even “anti-colonialism.”
Craig Murray is either an unwitting useful idiot for this agenda or he, as a former British proconsul to Uzbekistan, knows very well what he is pushing.
Call it Imperial Identity Politics, or more honestly Divide et Impera on a planetary scale.
“Craig Murray is either an unwitting useful idiot for this agenda or he, as a former British proconsul to Uzbekistan, knows very well what he is pushing. ”
Murray was the British *ambassador* to Uzbekistan. Since when is an ambassador called a “proconsul”?
First time I heard this term in modern times was in reference to Paul Bremer. “Coalition minister” to Iraq after the 2003 US invasion. “Lewis Paul Bremer III is an American diplomat. He is best known for leading the Coalition Provisional Authority and assuming the title of Interim President of Iraq, following the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States, from May 2003 until June 2004.”
Now in that context the word “diplomat” really is funny. The term “proconsul” seems to have been resurrected to cover Bremer’s role as a kind of military governor, a la ancient Rome. Bremer stomped around in shorts and engineering boots like an overgrown adolescent cowboy and paid out piles of &&& to groups he wanted to pacify or whatever from suitcases of bundles of bills that arrived from the USA.
” Murray was appointed as the British ambassador to Uzbekistan, at the age of 43, where he was formally in office from August 2002 to October 2004, when he was dismissed..”
It is interesting that Bremer’s tenure in Iraq kind of coincides with Murray’s in Uzbek. But Murray acquitted himself of his duties dramatically differently. Whereas Bremer is remembered for giving the order to shoot Iraqi looters a few days after he arrived in=country, disbanding the Iraqi military, and presiding over the collapse of Iraq into rebellion and chaos and generally creating a total FUBAR, Murray was dismissed from his post because he refused to go along with torturing prisoners to get confessions out of them and reported these abuses to his bosses in London. (Proconsul Paul Bremer is now a ski teacher in Vermont, per Wiki.)
Can we cool it with overheated descriptors such as “proconsul” for Craig Murray?
If we are gonna talk like that and want to give self rule and autonomy to ALL small ethnic groups, then we should also mention the hundreds of ethnic groups in Europe that also want independence and self rule: Gypsies, Catalonia and many, many others scattered all over Europe. How about then giving autonomy and sovereignty to all the native Americans in USA then too while we are at it? Hell, let’s give autonomy and sovereignty to ANY small ethnic group that stands up and asks for it, why not?
But the world doesn’t work like that. Nobody in UK or Spain or any place in Europe, and/or USA, the self appointed defenders of “freedom and democracy” will even for a second think of giving autonomy and sovereignty to any of the small groups there, so why focus on China and Russia in an article by a British?
Because it’s just veiled anti Russian/China propaganda and switching the topic.
So a bunch of Westerners deciding the moralities of decisions made long ago, all seeming to avoid the basic lay of the land. The defeat of the Khanate of Crimea was the culmination of a centuries long war initiated by Ivan III of Muscovy to wrest control of territories acquired by Geghis Khan circa 1225.
So you should move all the Mongol/Turks /Tatars back to Mongolia and Xinjang? By the way, the Uighurs were the administrators of the Mongol army having previously become literate in Persia Iranian schools. The Uigars were never conquered by China. They themselves conquered China and assimilated it. Funny old world?
Why did Stalin, the Georgian who spoke halting Russian, with Kruschef and Breshnef (neither one Russian) as his agents kick out the Tatars? Duh?!! Hint: Hitler occupied Crimea a couple years before.
I am a Western Anglo myself. I have enormous respect, gratitude? towards Craig Murray for a whole variety of reasons.
Wow, just wow.
With some 90% or more of the OPS here being pro-CIA narrative, for the reason of bait or comment, I know not.
So we talk about 2,000 years ago or 500? Let’s not even go there. The West brought Asia(China) to its knees with the Opium-Wars, and “East India Company”; The old Asia is long gone, what there is now is a tightly controlled ANZ narrative.
Two separate party’s once the Rothschild commies in Kunming, the bankers-boys in Shanghai ( Kou-ming-tang ), hardly was there ever a winning party that could or would have cared about Asian people.
The Great Re-Education to quote David Rockefeller “My greatest experiment, some 30M people killed, the elimination of all opposition”, Rockefeller felt that Mao had proved that Mass Control was possible with mass-murder of the ‘trouble makers’
“Which are more important — ethnic or class-differences?”
A trick question.
Ethnic differences are trivia,
class differences are non-essential.