Keep politics out! International bodies should not be used to further anti-Russian agendas

Neil Clark
Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66
Keep politics out! International bodies should not be used to further anti-Russian agendas
The recent hysteria over a Russian standing for the presidency of Interpol was only the latest example of how Cold War ideologues are seeking to politicize everything in pursuance of their obsessive anti-Russian crusade.

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). And now the election for Interpol president. These international organizations, which do valuable work, should be free from geopolitics. The representatives of some Western countries, I'm afraid, think differently.

The problem, for the US and its closest allies, has been that international bodies don't always do exactly what they want. Other countries, including horror of horrors Russia, also have a say in them.

READ MORE: WADA rules out naming experts visiting Moscow lab, wants them to work ‘without undue pressure’

That is most undesirable as only the voices of the self-righteous, self-appointed 'world policemen' should be heard. Then a geopolitical agenda can be pursued through these hitherto impartial and well-respected organizations.

Let's take WADA first. World sport needs an anti-doping agency which is independent and will apply the rules and regulations equally to all nations, including, if need be, against the US. But the anti-Russian countries want an anti-doping agency that will single Russia out for special treatment. In July 2016, Reuters revealed how the heads of the US and Canada's anti-doping bodies had drafted a letter to WADA calling for ALL Russian athletes to be banned from the Rio Olympic Games.

Just imagine if the Russian anti-doping agency had sought to get all US or Canada athletes banned, whether or not they had been found guilty of cheating. They would be accused of playing politics and being terribly unsporting. But it seems it's OK if Uncle Sam and his allies do it.

It was a similar story with the football World Cup in Russia. That really got the neocons hyperventilating. The process by which FIFA awarded Russia the World Cup had to be 'illegitimate'. The tournament must be taken away from Russia demanded John McCain and 12 other US Senators.

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Russia is a football-loving nation which had never before hosted a World Cup. Its status as host nation was actually long overdue, regardless of one's views of the policies of the Russian government. But for the Russophobes politics is everything. They never take a break from bear-baiting.

The OPCW has also been affected by the new outlook, whereby everything has to conform to the Western elite's foreign policy goals.

The UK has pushed (successfully) for a change in the role of the chemical weapons watchdog. Frustrated that the OPCW has, up to now, only been able to say whether or not a chemical weapons attack has taken place, the UK government has managed to politicize the OPCW so that it now will be able to attribute blame for an attack.

We can only imagine the enormous pressure, public and private, that will be put on it to declare 'guilty' those who the UK and its allies wish to bomb. "The OPCW is a Titanic which is leaking and has started to sink," Russian Industry Minister Georgy Kalamanov said. He wasn't being overly dramatic.

Having 'done' the OPCW, the hawks then turned their attentions to Interpol and sabotaging the election of a Russian, Alexander Prokopchuk, as the agency's president. Prokopchuk was regarded as the frontrunner for the job at the international police agency and rightly so.

He was already Interpol vice-president, the vice-chair for Europe since 2016, and well-respected by his colleagues.

But others were horrified at the prospect of a Russian winning. Financier Bill Browder tweeted a letter from twelve US Senators attacking the candidacy. Unsubstantiated claims were made that Prokopchuk was ex-KGB. If elected he would be 'Putin's puppet.'

"This is really quite an extraordinary situation, to find ourselves with the possibility of not just a fox in charge of the hen coop, but actually the assassin in charge of the murder investigation," fumed MP Tom Tugendhat, the chair of the UK's House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee and a former member of the Intelligence Corps.

There were threats to set up a rival organization to Interpol if Prokopchuk was elected.

But the smear campaign against him succeeded. Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin press secretary, spoke of "interference in the electoral process of an international organization". Of course, as it was interference from the UK and the US it didn't really count. Again, just imagine the uproar if Russian parliamentarians tried to block the election of a British or US candidate.

As if the interference was not enough, we've now got Browder calling for countries such as Canada to help kick Russia out of Interpol altogether.

If that sounds familiar, then think back to John McCain's calls for a 'League of Democracies' (i.e. the US and approved allies), to get round Russia's UNSC veto.

Russia's great crime is not 'human rights' abuses, but the fact that it has effectively blocked the Western elite's plans for regime change in Syria and has sought to reclaim its self-respect at home and abroad since the disastrous days of the oligarch-friendly Boris Yeltsin.

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As a response, the war against Russia, and we have to call it that, has been waged on a number of fronts. Neocon think tanks and commentators urge Russian media, such as RT, to be taken off air and for more sanctions to be imposed.

They call for increased military buildup on Russia's borders under the guise of 'protecting European security'. They urge European nations to pull out of beneficial gas pipeline projects with Russia and buy US LNG instead. They cheer on the most anti-Russian forces in Ukraine.

They also seek to get Russia banned or sidelined in international organizations. Which is inimical to the whole notion of internationalism. As Mary Dejevsky wrote last week in the Independent, "what happened over the Interpol presidency should not be dismissed so lightly. It raises questions that deserve answers – questions that may not even be asked, now that a result has been achieved that is deemed satisfactory by the vocal Western world."

Bodies that only include the US and its allies, or only follow the geopolitical agendas of certain countries, cannot be accepted as the norm. We need to hear all voices and not just the loudest ones.

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