On Ukraine, it is extremely difficult to get any airing for anti-war opinions. On the mainstream media, it is simply impossible to get a hearing,” Craig Murray said.
The human rights campaigner and former diplomat sat with “MintPress News” to discuss forever wars, whistleblowing and a future conflict with China.
“There’s a universal media consensus on stoking the proxy war, pouring in billions and billions of dollars, pouring in more and more advanced weapons systems. And anybody on social media who attempts to counter that narrative is marked as disinformation or a Russian state asset,” Murray lamented, noting that even during the Iraq War, there was more space for dissenting opinions.
Upside down World
2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the disastrous Iraq invasion launched by President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. A recent study by Brown University estimated that the West’s 9/11 wars led to the deaths of at least 4.5 million people and the displacement of up to 59 million. Murray reminded “MintPress” that almost no one in power had faced consequences for their actions.
“The people who were behind the war in Iraq that resulted in deaths of literally millions of people…are walking around treated as respected political elders,” he noted, “But [whistleblower] Chelsea Manning has been in jail, and [WikiLeaks co-founder] Julian Assange is in jail for exposing war crimes…that is an astonishing blot on our society!”
Murray previously served as British Ambassador to Uzbekistan between 2002 and 2004. However, after he exposed human rights violations perpetrated by the Karimov administration in that country, he was removed from his post.
No to NATO
NATO was established ostensibly as a defensive alliance to safeguard against a Soviet land invasion of Europe. Yet once the USSR disbanded, NATO did not do the same. In fact, it rapidly expanded eastwards and began to widen its remit worldwide, looking for new enemies, including in Asia. “Why is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in conducting operations in Afghanistan?! It has become simply a vehicle for United States hegemony worldwide,” Murray told “MintPress.”
Today, NATO is increasingly looking past even Russia to position China as its number one enemy. In 2021, the Atlantic Council, NATO’s think tank, released a 26,000-word report laying out its strategy for stamping out Beijing’s rise, something that it called “the single most important challenge facing the United States.”
Since the Obama administration’s “Pivot to Asia” in 2012, the United States has built up a network of nearly 400 military bases encircling the East Asian nation, relocating huge military resources from the Middle East towards the South China Sea. Washington has supported Taiwanese secessionists, bankrolled protests in Hong Kong, and stoked tensions in Xinjiang and Tibet. Today, the large majority of Americans see China as a threat. Only 13% see China in a favorable light – something that was a majority opinion as recently as 2018.
For Murray, ordinary Americans seeing China as a foe is absurd. As he said:
Why would China be an enemy? China has no territorial claims. China has not attacked any other country. There has never been in history a country so economically dominant as China, which has no territorial ambitions and isn’t attacking any other country. This demonization of China for no particular reason and this new arms build-up to prepare for conflict is really the next big worry.”
Yet Murray also noted that the U.S. is losing its hegemony around the world, with the rise of the BRICS economic bloc and the dropping of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. “BRICS is just a symptom of the irreversible shift of power away from the United States,” he said.
The management of the decline of the United States will be one of the most important and concerning issues worldwide in the coming century. Anti-war activists must hope and organize to ensure that it will be a peaceful one.
Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles. He has also contributed to FAIR.org, The Guardian, Salon, The Grayzone, Jacobin Magazine, and Common Dreams.