Craig Murray: The Drive for War

In the West, any deviation from any point in the architecture of neoliberal beliefs is a challenge to the entire system, and thus must be eradicated.

Prime Minister Róbert Fico at the E.U. Parliament in Strasbourg in July 2016.” (European Parliament, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND)

By Craig Murray

The collective shrug with which the Western media and political class noted the attempted assassination of Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico has been telling.

Can you imagine the outrage and emotion that would have been expressed by Western powers if not Fico but a pro-Ukraine, anti-Russian leader within the EU had been attacked? The new orders for weapons that would have been presented to the arms manufacturers, the troops that would have been deployed, the sabres that would have been rattled?

Instead we have the media telling us that Fico opposed sending arms to Ukraine and opposed threatening Russia. We are told he did not accept the mainstream narrative on Covid vaccinations. The media do not quite say he deserved to be shot, but they come very, very close.

Fellow EU leaders followed correct form in making statements of shock and disgust at the attack on Fico, but they were formal and perfunctory. The “not actually one of us” message was very clear.

There are now an ordered set of neoliberal beliefs to which anybody in a Western nation participating in public affairs must subscribe, or they are beyond the pale.

Not to subscribe to all of these beliefs makes you a “populist”, a “conspiracy theorist”, a “Putin puppet” or a “useful idiot”.

These are some of the “key beliefs”:

No. 1) Wealth is only created by a small number of ultra-wealthy capitalists on whom the employment of everybody else ultimately depends.
No. 2) The laws governing financial structures must therefore tend to concentrate wealth to these individuals, so that they may deploy it as they choose.
No. 3) State-created currency must only be concentrated in and distributed to private financial institutions.
No. 4) Public spending is always less efficient than private spending.
No. 5) Russia, China and Iran pose an existential threat to the West. That comprises both an economic threat and a physical, military threat.
No. 6) Colonialism was a boon to the world, bringing economic development, trade and education to people of inferior cultures.
No. 7) Islam is a threat to Western values and to world development.
No. 8) Israel is a necessary project for spreading Western values to the uncivilised Middle East.
No. 9) Security necessitates devoting very substantial resources to arms production and the waging of continual war.
No. 10) Nothing must threaten the military and arms industry interest. No battle against corruption or crime can override the need for the security military industrial complex to be completely unchallenged and internally supreme.

Dependent Orthodoxies

TikTok. (Solen Feyissa, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Within this architecture of belief, other orthodoxies hang dependent, such as the correct way to respond to a complex pandemic, or support for NATO and impunity for the security services. (Support for Israel is probably better portrayed as a dependent point, but with the subject of Gaza so prominent at the moment I have figuratively moved it into the main structure.)

Any deviation on any point of belief is a challenge to the entire system, and thus must be eradicated. You will note there is no room whatsoever, within this architecture of thought, for values like freedom of speech or freedom of assembly. They simply do not fit. Nor is it possible within this architecture to incorporate actual democracy, which would give people a choice of what to believe.

If you accept this architecture of thought, then you must argue that the genocide in Gaza is a good thing, and it threatens the entire structure if you state that it is not a good thing. That is why we have witnessed the spectacle of politicians defying and then repressing their own people, willing to place all of their political capital at the service of genocidal Zionism.

Words struggle to convey the horrors we have all seen from Gaza, and in no way does it lessen the terrible suffering nor the extent of the crime to observe that it has caused a major rift in the neoliberal belief system which cannot be hidden from the people.

Gaza has ramifications leading to questioning throughout the system. Why is Tik Tok being banned, to stop people getting information on Gaza? Why is it a problem that the platform is owned by China?

What has China done that makes it an enemy? China has no military designs on the West. Of recent purchases most of us have made of physical goods, a high proportion have come from China. Why is an important trade partner an “enemy”?

Why is Russia our enemy? The notion that the Russian army is going to land on the Wash is utterly implausible. The Russian state, over centuries and wildly differing regimes, has never had the slightest desire to invade the British Isles. In the U.K., under various governments, for almost three centuries charlatans have been claiming a threat of Russian invasion to justify higher defence expenditure.

Why the need to have “enemies” at all?

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. His coverage is entirely dependent on reader support. Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.

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The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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38 comments for “Craig Murray: The Drive for War

  1. hetro
    May 26, 2024 at 11:54

    In other comments recently, Craig Murray has emphasized “reducing hegemony,” or “shrinking hegemony,” and that the liberal facade of democracy has cracked open, as with college students realizing they face conditions of a police state, not a democracy. With these we see growing world rebellion, as indicated in ICC and further ICJ actions, an increasing BRICS block, and what seems clearly a shifting globe movement that is causing that “shrinking” and disgrace of nations who once disowned Nazism picking up its mannerisms. All this does not bode well to avoid further war and false flags. A hysterical shrieking has emerged as with Russia purported to be intent on ravaging Europe, and a Lindsay Graham suggesting Gaza should be nuked to get on with the project. With the absence of critical voices coming to the mainstream this is the lowest point in America I can remember. However, alternate media voices are plentiful, and powerful, and are surely having an impact on revealing what is going on, especially on the fraudulence and propaganda. Shrinking the hegemony and tearing up its neoliberal prescription Craig outlines must continue–and without further war.

  2. anon
    May 26, 2024 at 11:29

    Washington and its cronies have lost. All they have left is terrorism. Dugina, Circus Concert, Fico, Raisi – and there is a lot more to come. Putin himself is a very likely target, maybe trying to shoot his plane down. Plenty of loudmouth US neocons have already threatened this. Look at their track record, Soleimani, Nordstream, false flags.

    Just consider their long list of losses.

    Iraq Libya Afghanistan Syria Ukraine Belarus Georgia Yemen Gaza Niger Mali Burkina Faso Senegal.
    And now New Caledonia – “f*** off you baguette eating b*st**ds.”

  3. Larry McGovern
    May 26, 2024 at 09:04

    Thanks, Craig Murray, for laying it all out there. More confirmation of your friend (and my brother) Ray McGovern’s “expansion” of the MIC, with his MICIMATT, the Military Industrial Congressional Media Academia Think Tank Complex. While I had not paid much attention to the Academia component of the complex, isn’t it instructive that this spring the college and university administrations have shown their true colors by cracking down on peaceful student protests.

  4. anon
    May 26, 2024 at 08:35

    What passes for leadership in western countries is the worst in its history. Arrogant, brazenly corrupt, irredeemably ignorant, delusional and ideologically driven. An odd rag bag of billionaires in an orgy of nepotism and cronyism, superannuated generals, religious nutjobs, chancers, grifters, conmen, halfwits, and certifiable lunatics.

    And they are desperate. All their cunning plans, endless scheming, and wizard wheezes, have fallen apart one after another or are on the cusp of doing so. Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Palestine, the same pattern of bungling and disaster plays out everywhere. All they know is to double down – like Hitler in his Bunker sending non existent armies to vanquish his armies, raging like latter day King Lears. So far we have avoided Global War by the Grace of God and the skin of our teeth, but how long our luck can last is a moot point.

    We live under a kakistocracy, the rule of the worst. The most corrupt, the most arrogant, the most stupid, the most dishonest, the most immoral. Any decent or reasonable people are ruthlessly weeded out and destroyed by the system. They are in charge of everything and responsible for nothing, with zero accountability for one catastrophe after another.

    They are even now beavering away to gin up further wars against Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and God knows who else. Attacking civilian targets deep inside Russia with weapons supplied courtesy of the western taxpayer, their operators trained by western countries, with western staff officers planning and directing operations, based on western supplied intelligence. Serially poking The Bear and complacently expecting to get away with it forever. Spending $600 million a year on terrorism and subversion directed against Iran, killing 17,000 Iranians. Provoking a war over Taiwan.

    Before long, something has to give. Looking at these people is like watching primary school children on crack playing with a live hand grenade.

    • A. Pleb
      May 26, 2024 at 12:44

      That is capitalism you describe.

    • firstpersoninfinite
      May 27, 2024 at 00:44

      Well said, and perfectly reasonable as well. It was a pleasure to read.

  5. Tony Pasqualoni
    May 26, 2024 at 08:13

    ‘Why the need to have “enemies” at all?’

    “National security” — a euphemism for war and conflict — is the raison d’être for the system. It serves as a justification for the ten values and beliefs listed above.

  6. WillD
    May 25, 2024 at 21:41

    I like the term ‘morally bankrupt’ to describe western group think. To me, it is utterly devoid of compassion, empathy and humanity.

    I can’t imagine what these individuals think they are as human beings. Whether they think they are normal well-adjusted individuals with good morals and values. Many of them appear to genuinely believe they are doing ‘good’, that their statements and actions are actually good, kind, compassionate, etc.

    Yet they seem capable of holding contradictory views, ignoring obvious conflicts of interest, ignoring actual demonstrable reality and irrefutable hard facts, and maintaining illogical and irrational beliefs as if they were perfectly reasonable.

    If I didn’t know better, I’d say they were in the early stages of madness, losing touch with reality and reason.

  7. wildthange
    May 25, 2024 at 20:57

    As to orthodoxies we also have a battle of the 2 one true churches. These cult-ural relics are the Roman and Russian orthodoxies as the Russians version claimed after the fall of Constantinople and the move from Kiev to Moscow.

    Guess which one the US President and NATO sides with in a specifically western divine right for full spectrum world dominance and fear of Asia. One behind the scene of many genocides so much so that after WWII and the failed attempts on the USSR as well as genocide has to stay quiet. That actually caused the loss of Eastern Europe and failed to stop Mao and had to hype fears of communism to hide its consequence and fear others soon getting nuclear weapons for defense..

    The absurdity of human civilization at this juncture risking all for male military and economic dominance and religious cult-ural control is a sad statement of human ingenuity to keep the profits of warfare operative even if it kills us all.

    • Joy
      May 27, 2024 at 11:36

      It’s a patriarchal death cult that rules us. What else can we expect from them? What, then, more must we do to stop them?

  8. Joe Brown
    May 25, 2024 at 17:50

    The Leaders of the G7 just collectively announced that the G7 is not a democracy, and that they as national leaders are not leaders of democracies.

    The leaders of the G7 just announced their unending support of Ukraine. Leaders of a democracy could never to this.

    The leader of a democracy can announce their personal support for Ukraine, and swear that it will never end. They can swear that for as long as they are a politician within the democracy they will fight for support for Ukraine. They can say as the elected President that they will come to the G7 and advocate for continued support for Ukraine. The G7 can say that as long as enough of their democratic elected leaders support Ukraine, then they will do so. These are the pledges that the leader of a functioning democracy who respects democracy can make.

    Within a democracy, they can pledge their personal support, and that it will be unending. But they can not pledge the nation’s unending support. In a democracy, the people always get the last word. That’s what democracy looks like. A leader of a democracy who personally respects democracy would always acknowledge this basic fact.

    And yet, we are told that we must give all the money to the military, that we must be willing to die, that we must be willing to risk Armageddon, all for a war of The Democracies against The Authoritarians. But, is this really what democracy looks like? Is it worth dying for?

  9. julia eden
    May 25, 2024 at 17:10

    why have enemies at all?
    because the war mongers of this world,
    who call the shots and make a killing or two in
    the process, know so well: “peace does not pay!”

    i believe, j.f. kennedy was serious when he advocated
    “peace for all time!” for, in the final analysis, “our most
    basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet.
    we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s
    future and we are all mortal.”

    he held his speech in june 1963 –
    and was killed in november 1963.

  10. Carolyn L Zaremba
    May 25, 2024 at 16:42

    When you write “We are told he did not accept the mainstream narrative on Covid vaccinations,” do you mean that he opposed lockdowns and vaccinations (pseudoscience) or that he supported lockdowns and vaccinations (real science)?

    • Fiona Dominguez
      May 27, 2024 at 08:42

      Are you up to date with your ninth mrna booster shot? If not, your argument – or was it a hint? – pro real science© is invalid.

  11. Linda, in California
    May 25, 2024 at 15:09

    Again, to the max, the eternally insightful Consortium News readers have their fingers on the pulse of US’ foreign policy heartbeat. Bless you, and watch your backs.

  12. Anaisanesse
    May 25, 2024 at 13:48

    What???? Sky news insists that not following the big members of the EU means you are wrong, authoritarian, cast off from the perfect democracy of the free speech and freedom of action of the
    EU !!!

  13. Martin
    May 25, 2024 at 13:40

    i wonder if islam would be accepted if they’d submit to all the other commandments (like evangelicalism does). gay- and gender-movements might be thrown a temporary bone (like being welcomed into the cia) if they accept these articles of faith.

  14. CaseyG
    May 25, 2024 at 13:35

    Oh America, you seem to love wars—-unfortunately all that money goes overseas—and the people, or should I say WEE the people become ever less important to those in power.Israel has been murdering Palestinians since 1948—Yet the news parrots words like—-HAMAS has killed Jews.—– Really? Oh Hamas is guilty of murders since forever? What about YOU, Israel?

    sigh—the Native Americans said that the white man speak with ,”forked tongue.” Yes Native Americans —I believe you . Unfortunately—wee the People of all races are experiencing the same things. sigh—I wonder what the Earth would be like—- if for just ONE MONTH—-if wars were stopped completely—-?

    A thought can actually define a dream , become a reality! Maybe it’s time for that , you war makers of the world.

    : (

  15. Cal Lash
    May 25, 2024 at 13:19

    There are only 5000 people in the world. They are called Bankers. Everything else is a commodity.

  16. John H Corr
    May 25, 2024 at 13:14

    Historians often surprise us with the research-revealing real story of foreign policy decisions. The Vietnan war story is a good example. It takes time to establish the facts. Another good example, is the present Ukraine story, still unwinding – too soon for traditional historical analysis, which we should speed up to avoid disaster, which this comment tries to do.
    Most Ukraine media comment revolves around the Russian invasion. But there is much to the story – documented information that we need for rational analysis: In Kyiv, February 2014, a friendly-to-Russia, democratically elected (narrow margin) President, Viktor Yanukovych, was deposed in a bloody coup involving paramilitaries who attacked off-guard police during a truce and continued killing the pro-Russian opposition afterwards. As Yanukovych faced coup violence, “The White House said Joe Biden, the vice-president, spoke to Viktor Yanukovych on Thursday by telephone and warned him that the US was preparing to sanction officials responsible for the violence”, See hxxps:// In coup prelude, the German and Polish (Radek Sikorski, husband of career-Russia-critic Anne Applebaum) Foreign Ministers were in Kyiv negotiating with Yanukovych on behalf of his enemies. The EU’s foreign policy chief, Lady Catherine Ashton, had already encouraged opposition demonstrators in the Maidan, as had the State Department’s Victoria Nuland, wife of Neocon figure Robert Kagan, who gave them sandwiches, and the then German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. See the online 2013-2014 Guardian (UK) for these and other daily coup details. Zelensky is coup heir. Post coup, the anti-Russia group repressed the pro-Russia group, See Time magazine, hxxps:// Post coup, Vice President Joe Biden, President Obama’s Ukraine representative, who had failed to talk Obama into a Russia hard line, See hxxps://, which also states Biden eventually helped sell Obama on training Ukraine’s military. Immediately Post coup, the CIA began secretly training the Ukraine military, See www(dot)aol(dot)com/news/exclusive-secret-cia-training-program-090052594.html. For U.S. satellite-sharing of Russian troop invasion movement, See hxxps://

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      May 25, 2024 at 16:38

      We know the true story of events in Ukraine. We’ve known it since it began.

    • Joe Brown
      May 25, 2024 at 18:28

      When you tell me that ‘most media’ refers to ‘Russian invasion’, what you tell me is what media that you let into your mind. Corporate media.

      You seem to be reaching something that looks like reality, but you probably need to cut back on the amount of corporate media you consume. Consuming media that is built on a foundation that says that profits matter more than people is always dangerous to your health. They openly tell you that their profits matter more than your health.

      BTW, the “facts” about Vietnam were known by many at the time. By everyone, after Daniel Ellsberg, Great American Hero, published The Pentagon Papers, in IIRC 1971, This was the insider Pentagon history of the war, compiled by the Rand Corp, now leaked and printed on the front pages of newspapers. Including the Gulf of Tonkin Big Lie. For the people already in the mass protests against the war, this was just confirmation of what they already knew.

      If you are interested in the Vietnam War, Daniel Ellsberg’s “Secrets” is a good history. Pentagon insider, former Marine officer who was on the ground in Vietnam, but also had high level access inside the Pentagon, before he became one of America’s most famous leakers …. all of that describes Mr. Ellsberg during Vietnam.

      Keep Tuning in to what you’ve tuned into, but please consider doing more Dropping Out from corporate media.
      Welcome Home.

    • firstpersoninfinite
      May 26, 2024 at 00:30

      A good overview. The question which remains for us all is this: having gotten all it wanted, what would the US have done if it hadn’t? And how stupid must the people perpetrating this anomaly of reason be to put themselves (and by definition, all the citizens of the so-called, “free-world”) into such a dangerous situation for no other reason than their own hubris? Then add the Doublethink of the Israeli government’s genocide being sold in this country as “sufficient retribution” for what is ultimately a decades-long period of apartheid against Palestine, and you begin to wonder what is coming down the pike for the rest of us? Jimmy Carter told everyone twenty or so years ago what we already knew: that Israel is an apartheid state. The mass response was to defrock his opinion unceremoniously once again from serious consideration. Like a finished history, we are on a course which has no end in sight but sight of the end itself. It’s too bad – we could have fulfilled the Enlightenment, rather than raining down darkness to fill our pockets with the false light of gold.

  17. Gregory Herr
    May 25, 2024 at 12:31

    The neoliberal “belief system” is propagated by charlatans, hypocrites, & worse—thankfully our young see that and are already asking the right questions and conveying a proper sense of our common humanity.

  18. Charles E. Carroll
    May 25, 2024 at 11:39

    Well said! Free Palestine!!

  19. Vera Gottlieb
    May 25, 2024 at 11:17

    I reside in Europe and totally shudder at all the war talk that can be heard. It is as if war is actually wished. How is that saying…be careful what you wish for? A deranged society.

    • Joe Brown
      May 25, 2024 at 18:44

      World War 1. The Great War. And every nation marched happily into that war. Even the socialists who had been against war before it began, all became “patriots” when the war began. Lemmings marching to the cliff, chanting cries of hatred towards everyone else.

      It sounds to me like the EU “leaders” are trying to say the war is just about to begin, but since they are all liars in a system built on lies, they can not come out and just say it. They apparently feel as the leaders of the Democracies that they have to trick and fool their people into war in order to get the war that they so badly want and apparently need.

      Don’t forget, NATO currently has mass forces on Russia’s borders in the name of “exercises.”
      The Ukrainian front is collapsing, and all these “leaders” keep saying “Russia must be defeated”. That can only mean one thing, as it sure ain’t gonna be Ukraine that defeats Russia.

  20. Riva Enteen
    May 25, 2024 at 11:12

    Excellent analysis of their flawed, if not evil, logic. He provocatively ends with:

    “Why the need to have ‘enemies’ at all?”

    Because war is good for business, and that is accepted as valid policy.

    • Vera Gottlieb
      May 25, 2024 at 15:33

      A ‘big shot’ at the Pentagon is supposed to have stated…”if we don’t have an enemy, we invent one”. Ahhh…such creativity, n’est-ce-pas?

    • Joe Brown
      May 25, 2024 at 18:46

      “Imagine there’s no countries
      It isn’t hard to do
      Nothing to kill or die for
      And no religion too
      Imagine all the people living life in peace, you

      You may say I’m a dreamer
      But I’m not the only one
      I hope some day you’ll join us
      And the world will be as one”
      — John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band.

  21. mgr
    May 25, 2024 at 10:51

    Thank you. “Why the need to have ‘enemies’ at all..?” Exactly.

  22. Jeff Harrison
    May 25, 2024 at 10:39

    To justify ceding authority to the “elite” class.

  23. Bill Todd
    May 25, 2024 at 10:06

    ‘Why the need to have “enemies” at all?’ Please forgive me for trying to answer such an obviously rhetorical question.

    Why, to herd the less easily manipulable sheep, of course. Such is the job of our ‘leaders’ whom the sheep obediently vote for (if not in fact but at least in appearance). Such is the facade of the democracy which we so zealously defend when led to by our ever-reliable mainstream media. Perhaps the sentiments expressed in ‘God Bless America’ should be updated a bit to ‘God Help America’.

    • May 26, 2024 at 01:52

      “God Help America” definitely sounds better, and certainly at least a little bit more humble. Yes our nation certainly needs God’s help.

      I have in recent years come to be bothered by the song “God Bless America”, which to me seems to embody the spirit of American exceptionalism, particularly in the way the song invokes the name of God. The song seems to be telling God what to do; i.e. the song seems to be telling God that our nation of America is so great and wonderful and exceptional that God has no choice but to bless our nation.

      If God, in the commonly understood sense of the word, is really real and worthy of the name then God is concerned about all of humanity and is not at all concerned about or interested in blessing any one particular tribe or nation over other tribes or nations. (This includes both America and Israel.)

      I would agree that just knowing about all the atrocities and evils that America has been responsible for, it seems very presumptuous and offensive to tell God to bless our nation.

      And I will also say that as a patriotic song the song is very disrespectful of patriotic Americans, Americans who love their country, who are atheists, who do not believe in God, or who are of a particular religion that does not worship the Judeo-Christian God. A key founding American principle is that of religious freedom, the absolute right of a person to believe or not believe, to worship or not worship, as that person chooses. It is no part of the patriotic duty of any American to give any acknowledgement to either the Judeo-Christian God or any other deity.

      If I am in a setting where “God Bless America” is being sung I make a point of not joining in the singing and not applauding at the end of the song.

  24. Robert
    May 25, 2024 at 08:48

    The need to have enemies is more prevalent in DC than at any other time since WW 2. But with an $880 billion dollars per year Department of War budget, there absolutely has to be a steady supply of enemies. Russia/Putin is the current favorite, but not long ago that role was filled by Iraq/Saddam, and later Libya/Ghadaffi. We “liberated” the people of Iraq and Libya. Didn’t work out well for those people, but that didn’t stop DC from attempting to liberate the people of Ukraine. That is well on its way to the same level of success as Iraq and Libya. I view current day Washington DC as the headquarters of the worlds mafia. Trump by far provides Americans the best chance to break the forever war cycle but the Deep State will be a formidable opponent. My bet is that the Deep State stays on top for another decade.

  25. TP Graf
    May 25, 2024 at 08:02

    I’ve long understood that western European countries were lapdogs for the USA. I thought they were mostly benign, quiet lapdogs prospering internally while the USA carries on in its debt-financed warring madness. But the proxy war in Ukraine as proved they are the worst kind of yapping-snapping lapdogs. How willingly, they have forsaken their mostly prosperous and peaceful economies for full-bore Russiaphobia even as they act time and time again against the interests of their own citizens. One of the most annoying for me personally is the Swiss–my ancestors–who have piled on in the sanction and Putin evil madness, pulled immediately out of UNRWA support at the behest of Biden/Blinken and now proposes another ridiculous “peace conference” where (horrific and now ilegitimate) Zelensky is the guest of honor and Russia isn’t at the table. One ludicrous move after another. Any respect I had for any of these lapdogs has been lost.

  26. Tony
    May 25, 2024 at 07:15

    The deliberate killing of three UK citizens by the Israeli military is not seen as a problem by UK media or politicians.

    Also not a problem is the praise by a recent British prime minister of the neo-Nazi Azov battalion at a reception in the House of Commons.

  27. Francis (Frank) Lee
    May 25, 2024 at 04:23

    Interesting to note the buffoon figure of Morris Johnson Tory MP – along with 3 Azov soldiers – holding up a Flag of the Azov Batallion in the House of Commons. This was the same Morris Johnson who torpedo’d the Minsk agreements.

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