Beware The Ides of March
by Ian Greenhalgh
People are often told “beware the Ides of March” – a warning that something bad could happen, in reference to the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44BC. Maybe the ancient Romans warning should be heeded as March of 2019 is shaping up to be a month of truly momentous political, economic and social upheaval. Two events are scheduled for the fateful month, namely the election in Ukraine and the end of the BREXIT process that should see Britain finally exit the EU.
I chose my words carefully when I wrote ‘should’ rather than ‘will’ as it is by no means certain that Britain is going to leave the EU, given the lack of any deal at all between the British government and the EU mandarins. The prospect of a ‘no deal’ BREXIT has so frightened a large portion of the British people that the country has been thrown into turmoil with both businesses and individuals bemoaning the impending financial meltdown they insist will occur should the country fail to strike a deal with the EU.
The opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has stated that a ‘no deal’ BREXIT would be catastrophic for Britain; so much so that he intends to attempt to bring about a parliamentary vote of no confidence in Theresa May’s government. If such a vote were to pass the house, it would bring down the government and leave Britain facing the prospect of the date for BREXIT arriving at a time when the country is leaderless and unable to negotiate any kind of deal with the EU due to simply not having a government in place to do so.
Corbyn’s strategy seems to be to bring down the Conservative government and then force a postponement or even cancellation of BREXIT; there would then be a general election that Corbyn seems to believe he and the Labour Party can and will win. What he then intends to do about BREXIT is uncertain, perhaps he will hold a second referendum on the matter.
Should this course of events come to pass, it will cause a deep rift in Britain between those who will feel bitterly betrayed by the politicians for failing to deliver the BREXIT the people voted for and those who will feel deeply relieved that Britain has remained in the EU. No other issue has so deeply divided and polarised the British people in living memory, no period of such intense political and social uncertainty has stricken this nation since the dark days of the 1920s when a deep financial recession caused by The Great War saw Britain come within a hair’s breadth of violent social unrest and revolution.
I consider myself to be on the political left, an avowed socialist and to this point, a fairly enthusiastic supporter of Corbyn; however, on the issue of BREXIT, I find myself unable to support his attempt to derail BREXIT, if that is indeed his intention. Certainly I would celebrate the downfall of the Conservative government, but I fear that the outcome will be a political power vacuum that due to it’s timing – at the critical moment in the BREXIT process, will be nothing short of disastrous for Britain.
While the tribulations of Theresa May both amuse and satisfy my desire for a socialist government to replace her thoroughly incompetent bunch of squabbling Tories, it is the tribulations of another unpopular leader that is giving me far more cause for concern. Far away in Kiev, Petro Poroshenko is facing the prospect of an election that he fears he will lose, an election scheduled for March, to coincide with BREXIT, but like BREXIT, may not actually come to pass.
Poroshenko would dearly love to avoid having an election at all, or failing that, to postpone the election long enough for some nefarious plot to be enacted in order to retain his grip on the reins of power. We have already seen that he is eager to at least postpone the election, that was his prime motivation in declaring martial law in the wake of the farcical Straight of Kerch incident late last year.
Amidst hysterical and ultimately groundless pronouncements that the evil Russians were about to stomp over the border and invade poor little Ukraine, Poroshenko moved heavy weapons and troops up to the confrontation lines with the DPR in clear violation of the Minsk Agreement. When Mr. Putin failed to oblige by invading, martial law was revoked; however, I have little doubt that we will see further attempts by Poroshenko to provoke a renewal of the conflict in the Donbass as he sees such as being his best hope for holding onto power.
March will bring the thaw as the winter snows recede and the temperatures rise, it will also bring the prospect of a renewed Ukrainian offensive against the DPR, a desperate attempt by Poroshenko to retain power as he will doubtless cancel the election on the grounds that Ukraine simply cannot undergo a period of political upheaval while it is fighting a war for it’s very survival against it’s belligerent Russian neighbours.
Reports from the DPR side of the conflict give very strong indication that a renewed offensive is indeed being prepared as not only have heavy weapons been sighted on the Ukrainian side of the lines, but far more concerning developments have been noted. The DPR leadership announced in December that they had received intelligence that a trainload of blue plastic barrels containing toxic chemicals had arrived at a railway station close to the front lines and accompanying this deadly cargo were British and American intelligence agents who were tasked with training the Ukrainians to mix these noxious substances into chemical weapons.
If this scenario sounds familiar, it is because we have seen it happen before; not just once, but multiple times in multiple places, but not in Ukraine, in Syria, where blue plastic barrels of toxic chemicals have been discovered by Syrian and Russian forces as they overran and captured ISIS-held territory. These chemicals had been used to create chemical weapons that were then used on innocent Syrian civilians; the finger of blame for these outrageous crimes was pointed squarely at Damascus and by proxy, Moscow, by a corrupt western media.
The first time this was done, in the town of Ghouta in August 2013, the intention was to fool President Obama into escalating the conflict by launching reprisal air strikes against Syrian government forces; luckily, Obama didn’t fall for it. I say luckily because Russian forces are present alongside their Syrian allies and would inevitably have also been struck, which would have placed great strain on the most laudable restraint President Putin has shown when faced with repeated provocations.
The second time was in April of 2017, when the town of Khan Shaykhun was attacked with chlorine gas; however, this time, it was the far more reactionary President Trump who was the target of the false flag and he was all too willing to respond with force by launching over a hundred cruise missiles at Syrian targets. No doubt the intention was that Russian troops would be killed and the conflict thus escalated but once again, the plot failed.
We know that US-made equipment was used to turn the barrels of chemicals into the chlorine gas weapons that were used – the Syrian government forces discovered the equipment when they captured the makeshift factory where the weapons were produced. We also know that it was British and America personnel who taught the ISIS mercenaries how to manufacture and deploy these illegal chemical weapons.
Now we have credible reports that these British and American personnel have been sighted in Ukraine, accompanying more of those blue barrels of toxic chemicals, it is no great leap to come to the deeply unsettling conclusion that a similar false flag chemical weapons attack is being planned. Furthermore, it does not take a genius to figure out that it is Russia that will be blamed for the atrocity – is this why the Skripal farce was acted out earlier this year, to sow the seeds of the notion that Russia and chemical weapons go hand-in-hand into the collective minds of the Western populace?
This is most likely how the cassus belli for a renewal of the conflict will be manufactured, the Western media will decry how Putin has broken international law by using banned weapons on innocent Ukrainian civilians and Poroshenko will get to remain in power as he declares martial war and launches what he will undoubtedly call a defensive military campaign and cries out for help from his Western NATO allies.
Just as he did in Syria, President Trump will no doubt be all too willing to intervene militarily, US troops are already stationed in Eastern Europe & the Baltic region and it would surely suit Trump’s personal agenda to start a war as he would expect that the US populace would ‘rally round the flag’ and fall in line behind him, putting aside such obstacles as the Mueller Investigation into Trump’s criminal collusions in a show of patriotism during a time of war.
The leadership of the DPR chose to go public with the intelligence that the chemicals and accompanying Western agents had been sighted in Ukraine in the hope that by doing so, they were making it far less likely that the plans to use these weapons as part of a plot to reignite a shooting war would be able to go ahead. It is my fervent hope that the DPR leaders were correct in their assessment and they have indeed derailed the nefarious plans. However, there has been not a single mention of any of these machinations in the Western media, therefore I remain deeply concerned at what may happen come March and the arrival in the Donbass of warmer weather suitable for launching a military campaign.
President Putin will be well aware of the reports from the DPR, his advisors will be keeping him well informed about any developments in Ukraine, especially those involving trainloads of toxic chemicals and accompanying Western intelligence agents; therefore we can but hope that President Putin is once again able to outmanoeuvre Russia’s enemies as he has on many occasions during the Syrian conflict, thus avoiding an escalation into war with the US and their Western and Arabian Gulf allies. Such a war would be a disaster for the entire globe, therefore we can but hope that it can be avoided.