So last week, we had ‘Chief of the General Staff’, of the UK Army, Sir Nick Carter, blasting out that Putin’s Russia is a ‘clear and present danger’ to the UK. Now, it’s one thing that senior UK officials are (on purpose?) just echoing popcorn Hollywood films, but in any case, what was the loud, intentionally headline-grabbing declaration of Sir Nick based on?
Well, have a read over the article yourself. It’s based on nothing other than the key sentence here ‘Using the dire warning to make the case for more money for the armed forces…..’ And there you have it. Now, you can scroll to the end and read the comments to see just how few people still believe this shit, and how much derision the rest pour on it.
But a key point, where was this striking, would be fear-instilling declaration made? It was made at RUSI, the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, the oldest defence and security think tank in the world, no less, set up at the behest of the Duke of Wellington. Apparently –
RUSI is a British institution, but operates with an international perspective. It promotes the study and discussion of developments in military doctrine, defence management and defence procurement. In recent years RUSI has broadened its remit to include all issues of defence and security, including terrorism and the ideologies which foster it and the challenges which we face from other man-made or man-assisted threats and from natural disasters.
Which all sounds very impressive. But what do RUSI actually do? Well, in recent times, they’ve given not only a platform, but extensive PR to Andriy Parubiy – in reality, a far-right, as in far-far right Ukrainian politician, who even set up the modern Ukrainian neo-Nazi party, Svoboda. Yet, in RUSI’s world, he is –
RUSI is delighted to welcome Andriy Parubiy, First Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Council of Ukraine) and former Head of the National Security and Defense Council, to discuss Ukraine’s experiences in countering separatist and Russian actions, with particular focus on assessing the role of hybrid warfare.
Quite. Anyway, what did Parubiy do? Used his RUSI appearance to tear into Russia, of course. Someone RUSI also gave ample platform to the rabid ‘evil Russia’ spouting former UK Defence Secretary, until he resigned in disgrace last November, Michael Fallon (pictured). And therein lies the purpose of RUSI (a registered charity no less) of whom is written in their own wikipedia entry –
RUSI receives no core funding from government.
Of course not guys, of course not. It’s surely just a coincidence then that the job of RUSI in recent times has been not so much a ‘think tank’ as a feeder for any anti-Russian hysteria going round. And no anti-Russian hysteria is too absurd for them. Really, it’s not. You may think it was just a bad dream, or from an old Bond film, but in December of 2017, there really was a story doing the rounds about how Russia apparently wanted to ‘attack Britain’s underseas internet cables‘. That was a real thing, and who was it giving a platform (to Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, chief of UK defence staff) to pump it up the news food chain, here BBC… of course, RUSI –
And back to recent events and what came after Sir Nick’s ‘clear and present danger’ broadside? Well, with the bandwagon rolling, set in play by RUSI, new UK Defence Minister Gavin Williamson jumped on, upping the ante with his quite simply staggering warning that somehow Russia could cause ‘thousands and thousands of deaths‘ in the UK, as well as creating ‘total chaos in the country‘, somehow. Exactly how Russia was going to ‘kill thousands of Britons’ in a ‘cyber attack’, even the ambitious, career-climbing Williamson couldn’t say, in his interview to the Telegraph. Just that it was definitely, probably going to happen, so lots of extra funding for UK defence is required…
Now in essence, what Williamson was doing here is nothing new at all, scaremongering, as his predecessor Fallon did, using the ever-reliable ‘bad guy’ Russia to attempt to leverage for funds for the British military, boosting his own status in the process.
However, despite being set up by Sir Nick’s build-up play at RUSI, for what should have been a simple tap in, Williamson, young, impetuous, only in the job since November, desperate to make an impression … well Gavin contrived to blast it right over the bar. Russia slapped the 41-year-old down by comparing his claims both to War of the Worlds, and Monty Python.
And actually, Russia’s put-down of Williamson was so bang-on that even a western media loathe to give any favourable coverage to Russia, covered it everywhere, causing considerable embarrassment for the former Chief Whip. Things got worse for Williamson when UK energy experts dismissed, and branded his claim ‘scaremongering’.And worse still when it emerged that Williamson may have gone so big to deflect from a breaking story about an extra-marital affair he had. And even worse when he was then accused of actually leaking British intelligence secrets in his sensational Telegraph interview.
All of which rather mean this latest RUSI-led wave of anti-Russian hysteria, aimed at promoting the UK government’s position, and pumping up the UK’s military spending, as well as encouraging other countries to buy weapons – the UK really loves to sell weapons, to anyone – well it’s all ended this time in a rather tawdry, lurid manner.
What will come of Williamson, we’ll all see, he’s a high profile figure after all. But come what may, RUSI will be there in the background, ready to launch the next wave of ‘Russia did it’…. some will work better than others, and Williamson’s over-reaching overkill is going to make the next one even harder to stick, as judging by comments in articles, the British public has very definitely smelt a rat. But, there will be more to come, and RUSI (among their various other activities) will be there churning the wheels. Is it really any wonder that Russia is now openly making fun of us Brits, on a diplomatic level, even in music videos?