Opinion – Theresa May Expels Russian Diplomats. But Now Comes the Hard Part – NYT – John Gelmini

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr Alf is right.

The reality is that the poisoned ex spy was tried and then poisoned a long time ago, so the question then is who benefits all these years later from the poisoning of him, his daughter and the hapless British policeman.

We do not know but Mrs May whose political position is precarious and has the answer.
She has at best an 18 month shelf life and her measures against Russia will not work.
Expelling a few diplomats simply triggers a reciprocal response, freezing bank accounts of oligarchs simply gets those who have assets elsewhere to move them further offshore to tax havens not controlled by the UK.

Militarily, we have an army not much bigger than the Papal Guard, no coastal protection vessel, just 17 escort vessels for our shipping and less than 12000 cyber warriors, compared to 2 million in the GRU, and 5 million in Russia’s ally, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

We will want Russia’s assistance with the final settlement in Syria and we cannot survive as a modern economy without chromium. 75% of the world’s chrome comes from Russia and South Africa, so in a world where Vladimir Putin can tell South African Government ministers which ones to appoint and fire, whether we like it or not we have to deal with Vladimir Putin.

Mrs May has been out foxed and outclassed at every turn, so it is time we replaced her with a smarter operator along with her lacklustre cabinet. Before strutting about and calling people out, it is best to hold some high cards and be in a position to apply pressure that is effective. The UK is not in that position and Mrs May goes on making a fool of herself and making the country look stupid.

John Gelmini

Opinion – Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s Jewish Question – Social Europe – John Gelmini

Dr Alf is right to be troubled. There should be no attempt to conceal the past and the role of Poland, and for that matter Hungary and Lithuania, in the Holocaust. That said, the full context must be explored, including the roles of all participants.

In an earlier response to Dr Alf’s post about the Holocaust, I explained the culpability of the British and American governments, and thus Churchill and Roosevelt in their failure to order the bombing of the railway lines leading to the extermination camps and the crematoria.

There is more.

When my late Italian father was twenty-one, in 1944, and Italy had changed sides in the War, he was given a choice of working for the Germans or being sent to his certain death in a concentration camp. Sensibly, he chose the first option because it meant meals and a chance of survival. He was sent to Germany to clean up war damage and on his travels noticed mountains of human ash more than 35 feet high, suggesting that large numbers of additional people had been dispatched and then cremated so that who they were could never be established.

As the Allies were closing in, my father and his fellow Italian POWs, were assigned to burn everything in one particular camp, and then told by the German Commandant at that location to flee in the night because he had received instructions from the SS to shoot all the POWs in the morning.

Burning things in a location or locations was a way to reduce the enormity of what had happened to a total of six million Jews and one million gypsies, plus an unknown number of homosexuals, unemployed and the mentally ill.

How the ash, on which no plant will grow, was disposed of, where and by whom, is a different question which history has never answered.

My father, before he died in 1983, gave me another insight into the aftermath of one extermination camp being liberated, versus others that he had observed.

Of the Allies, the most effective and efficient at providing succour and relief to those concentration camp survivors who remained were not the Americans and the British but the Russians. As a result, more survivors actually lived as a result of the more swift action by the Russians than was the case with the British and American liberators who acted much more slowly.

Our accounts of World War II and the old black and white television series “The Valiant Years” tell us nothing about these events which is perhaps not surprising as victors in war always write the story.

John Gelmini