I blame Jared Kushner for the Syrian fiasco. As I warned in my last column sacking Ambassador Bolton was a disastrous mistake. The first result was an Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia’s most important oil facility, driving up oil prices and increasing tensions in the Middle East. Then Turkey invaded Syria. The Trump Administration are now playing catch-up, but it’s too late to save the life of Hevrin Khalaf, the very nice joint leader of the Syrian Future Party. Who else is on the Turkish hit list?
I don’t think that pulling out of Syria, reviving ISIS and increasing Russian and Iranian influence in the Middle East was President Trump’s idea. I’m calling this ‘Jared’s War’ because I think the advice came from Jared Kushner, the Svengali-like figure who has done so much damage to the Administration, the West and the cause of freedom. I suspect that Kushner was also behind John Bolton’s sacking.
Is Kushner evil? Was he in the loop on Ankara’s plan to murder and mutilate poor Hevrin Khalaf? I don’t think so. He’s sleazy (no offense intended), but he’s no killer.
In the German agent Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s telling phrase, Kushner is a useful idiot, again no offense intended. When the side they’re backing loses an election in a major democracy the DVD always have a back-up plan. If they can’t bribe or blackmail the other guy (the President is too rich to bribe and if the Bad Guys had anything meaningful on him it would have been in the New York Times long before now) they look for a weak link. Jared Kushner is that weak link.
I don’t think Kushner’s aware of it, indeed he’s so intelligence illiterate that I doubt he’s even heard of the DVD, with respect, but he’s taking advice from a known DVD agent. Germany’s strategic intent is clear – with the help of their Turkish ally they want to revive ISIS. In return the Turks are being allowed to crush the Syrian Kurds.
The DVD will want an ISIS surge into France and Britain. ISIS terrorists will be let out of camps and permitted safe transit through Turkey, from where they will make their way west. The killing has only just begin, sadly.
Should Britain aid the Kurds?
The answer is yes, absolutely. We should declare war on Turkey and go into battle alongside our gallant allies the Kurds, who bore the brunt of the fight against ISIS. Declaring war on Turkey would involve UK withdrawal from NATO, since Turkey is a NATO member, but so what? President Trump killed NATO as soon as he gave Turkey the green light to become the first NATO member state to mount an open war of aggression (France was not a full member of NATO when she became a co-belligerent with Argentina in 1982, and she acted covertly). It’s not just Turkey which has blood on her hands, it’s NATO.
An aggressor organisation, NATO is now an open sponsor of terror. We should have nothing to do with it, and I speak as a former Fellow of the Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom.
The brutal Turkish-sponsored assassination of Hevrin Khalaf is sufficient casus belli for a British declaration of war on Turkey. Hevrin’s murder hasn’t been the only atrocity committed by Turkey or its surrogates. Turkey’s willingness to free ISIS terrorists also gives Western state sufficient just cause to wage war on her.
We haven’t fought Johnny Turk since 1918, so it’s about time we had another go. The RAF know the way to Istanbul! The Royal Navy won a glorious victory against the Turkish fleet in the Battle of Navarino in 1827 and it would be great to see them sink the Turkish fleet again. We also have a score to settle from the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915, where Turkey was aided by warnings from Germany’s David Lloyd George. (Johnny Turk knew we were coming.)
The Turks have had their fun. They’ve put the Kurds to the slaughter and now it’s our turn to put the Turks to the slaughter. The alternative is to let Turkey smash the Kurds and revive ISIS. The best place to defeat ISIS is in Syria. Hammering the Turks in battle will also send a timely message to Brussels, since Turkey wants to join the EU. The EU needs to see cruise missiles whistling by its southern frontier. That would put an end to any thoughts of defence ‘cooperation’ with the UK!
Iraq and 9/11
I hope those who have held Spyhunter back from the President are happy. One of the causes of President Trump’s desire to surrender American leadership and retreat from the world is his belief that the Iraq War was a mistake. No one has told President Trump why Britain and America went to war with Iraq. It’s because Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11 up to his scrawny little neck, around which a noose was eventually placed. The facts are set out in my book, and a very good little book, The Terrorism Game, by former Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Dr Hamid al-Bayati. Dr al-Bayati’s book was so explosive that the CIA intercepted John Bolton’s copy, which I gave him in London, when we last met, and which he entrusted to the diplomatic bag.
Completely unaware of Iraqi sponsorship of 9/11 (the al Qaeda pilots were trained at Salman Pak, near Baghdad), President Trump thinks that if America retreats and leaves a power vacuum in the Middle East the Bad Guys won’t go after her. Wendell Wilkie and the Republican isolationists made the same mistake in 1940. They were proved wrong at Pearl Harbor and the isolationists will be proved wrong again.
Boris’s bad deal
Leaving Ritter ‘von’ Sedwill in charge in charge of the Cabinet Office has turned out to be a fatal mistake, as I feared. Sedwill is bitterly opposed to Brexit and wanted to revive Theresa May’s deal, minus a UK-wide backstop. Sedwill’s plan is to keep the UK so closely aligned to the EU that it will be easy for them to capture us again.
It looks as though the alleged scandal with the nice American lady gave the Cabinet Office enough leverage over Number 10 to force Boris into a humiliating concession over Northern Ireland. At any rate he threw Northern Ireland and the DUP under a bus last week and caved in to Brussels.
I don’t think that the PM did anything wrong by having a relationship with a businesswoman who was receiving funding from the Mayor’s office, since I don’t believe that Boris as Mayor of London influenced that funding. However the Cabinet Office not only controls prosecutions in this country, it also controls Southwark Crown Court, where political cases are sent, and where GO2 maintain jury tampering arrangements. The ability to stitch up anyone they choose on trumpery charges is a powerful weapon in the hands of the Cabinet Office, a weapon which must be taken away from them.
Frankly, once Tory Prime Ministers become house-trained by the Cabinet Office it’s kinder just to take them out and shoot them, nicely of course. Boris’s premiership has been reduced to a joke in just three months. He’s even abandoned his commitment to protecting our soldiers in Northern Ireland from stale, bogus allegations, I assume at the ‘request’ of the Cabinet Secretary. There was going to be a statute of limitations in the Queen’s Speech, but it was quietly dropped, clearing the way for a vicious legal assault on our lads. Nothing was said at the Tory Party conference about it becoming government policy to put the boot into our veterans and put it in savagely.
As that nice man Nigel Farage said in his excellent speech in the QE2 Conference Centre this evening it’s not the worst deal in history. That was Theresa May’s. It’s the second worst deal in history. The only parts of the Withdrawal Agreement which have been reworked are the Northern Ireland protocol and the non-binding political agreement, which is worthless.
Essentially what Boris has done is to move the customs border into the Irish Sea. With the backstop gone the EU, desperate to keep dumping their goods and surplus labour on us, are now talking seriously about a free trade deal. Boris, as an ideological free trader, isn’t crunching the numbers, of course, any more than he costed this ruinous deal.
The DUP aren’t the only people Boris has thrown under a bus. He’s also thrown our fishing communities under a bus, not to mention our defence industry.
Tomorrow’s vote in the House of Commons looks tight, but without the DUP, thankfully I don’t think that Boris has the numbers. Ian Paisley Jnr, son of that great Ulsterman the Rev. Ian Paisley (for whom I once drafted a bill), gave a storming speech at the Brexit Party event this evening, which will have sent a shockwave through Number 10 and the Cabinet Office.
Assuming that the deal fails Boris will be obliged to crawl to the EU to ask for an extension, thanks to the Benn Act. Whether the EU27 would grant such a request is less clear. The European Commission are thought to be against, but ultimately they take their goose-stepping orders from Berlin. They still behave as though Belgium were occupied!
There are high hopes that the Hungarians will exercise their veto, although Jerry may have threatened Viktor Orban with assassination. We must never forget that the Jerries nearly won the 2016 referendum by having their people assassinate poor Jo Cox MP.
This is a serious incident, which has damaged Anglo-American relations. Anne is married to CIA or DIA officer Jonathan Sacoolas (it’s not clear which of the two agencies he works for), who was based at RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire. On 27th August she decided to drive on the wrong side of the road and hit young Harry Dunn, aged only 19, who was riding his motorbike on the right side of the road. Curiously Anne drove for some 400 yards on the wrong side of the road, long enough, surely, to have appreciated that all the traffic going in her direction was on the other side of the road.
It was evening, but still daylight. The CIA seem to have evacuated Anne and Jonathan out of the country, I assume on a Gulfstream or some such out of Mildenhall, within about 48 hours. The Foreign Office dragged their heels in telling the police and the police then sat on the news for a further 10 days or so before telling the dead boy’s grieving parents.
The arrogance of the State Department knows no bounds, frankly. Both State and the Foreign Office chose to lie to the British public, setting up the bogus claim that Anne Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity. Jonathan Sacoolas was a spook, not a diplomat, and never had diplomatic immunity as such. There may have been immunity under visiting forces or intelligence sharing arrangements but it could and should have been waived.
The UK should now press for Sacoolas’s extradition on death by dangerous driving charges. If she is not extradited we may need to review both immunity and extradition arrangements. Assuming that it was an accident, there is no obvious reason why road traffic offenses should attract immunity.
Movie review of the week – Ad Astra (2019, dir. James Gray)
If as much effort had been put into writing the script as the special effects this would have been a great movie. As it is, it’s very watchable, but it doesn’t quite live up to its billing.
This is no fault of the cast. Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones and Donald Sutherland all turn in fine performances. The special effects are admittedly superb and the depiction of space travel fairly realistic.
I don’t think it’s a particularly optimistic movie. I’m sure that travel to the outer planets could be made a lot more fun! It’s a thoughtful movie, however, and worth watching. Just don’t expect too much.
Michael Shrimpton was a barrister from his call to the Bar in London in 1983 until being disbarred in 2019 over a fraudulently obtained conviction. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counter-terrorism. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies at the American Military University.