Britain Should Be Facing Global Outrage Over Skripal Saga, Not Russia
It may be pure coincidence that in the same week as Britain and France entered discussions with the US government about appropriate measure in retaliation for a chemical weapon attack in Syria that has not taken place yet, the increasingly ludicrous story of the assassination attempt on former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia has come to the top of the news again.
Obviously the fires of Russophobia need to be stoked to get voters in any of the nations involved in the frustrated bit to overthrow the Assad government in Syria on board for a military intervention that could easily escalate into armed conflict between the western power and Russia, which will likely be supported by Iran and China.
Last week’s announcement by the British government that two named Russian suspects were being sought in connection with the alleged poisoning of a former Russian spy turned double agent, who after his release from prison in an exchange deal between the US and Russia may have been involved in private intelligence work for some very dodgy characters is more absurd drama in a long-running tawdry saga.
Skripal assassination suspects (they could be anybody) Picture: 247enquirer.com
As in all previous developments in this case, no verifiable evidence that these two ordinary looking men work for the Russian secret service, or even that they are Russian. News of their involvement has been presented, with more lurid innuendo against the Russian state and the usual refusal by the British authorities to abide by any due process and international norms of diplomacy. It is all scurrilous sound and fury aimed at smearing Russia.
This week, Britain’s Metropolitan Police released video shots of the alleged assassains, purporting to show them, each alone, walking down a corridor at London’s Gatwick airport on March 2.They were not together but according to the timestamp on the CCTV still has arrived in the exact same spot at the exact same time. When sharp eyed bloggers and alt_media journalists pointed this out, the government quickly claimed there are parallel corridors. That’s possible, but to be at the same point, maching in lockstep, not even a a yard apart should stretch our credulity.
Other video shots produced as evidence of their involvement show the same men walking the streets of a town that might be Salisbury. There’s no reason to believe it isn’t, but with no distinguishing landmarksthe street could be almost anywhere.
Still from I?TV news via The Daily Mail online
On March 3, the day before former Russian Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were apparently stricken with a powerful nerve agent. The two would-be assassins then allegedly flew back to Moscow from London late on March 4.
One of the most preposterous claim made by British security services, is that traces of the Novichok nerve agent used to poison the Skripals were found in the London hotel room where the alleged Kremlin agents stayed. The incompetence of these two supposedly highly trained super assassins is beyond belief . If the official narrative is correct, they seem to have spilled this stuff everywhere they went. Yet, we are told, it is one of the most potent nerve agents known and contact with a miniscule amount can be fatal. Leaving aside the potency of Novichok which seems to be in some doubt, it is amazing that of the five people affected by the poison as the Russian assassins splashed it about randomly throughout southern England, the two who have died were not the targets of this clowninsh operation.
More realistically clumsy, however, is the attempt by the British to lay an incriminating trail and now to name and blame two Russians who we are told were back in Russia or at least on their way back when the first victims were affected by the poison.
Former British ambassador Craig Murray and other astute observers have noted that the latest video shots released by Britain’s counter-terrorism police are highly questionable. The images could have been easily fabricated with modern digital methods. They are not evidence of anything. Yet, suspiciously, the British authorities are in unseemly haste to make their sensational charges of Russian state culpability.
The day after the Met police announcement implicating the two Russian culprits, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May stood up in front of her parliament and claimed that the two individuals were members of Russian military intelligence, the GRU. Rather predicably the Russian government denied ever having heard of them. UK government Home Office security minister, Ben Wallace, then accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of having personal responsibility for ordering the alleged assassination plot although there is no evidence for that and at a time of heightened tensions such outbursts are never going to be helpful.
Then on Thursday Britain summoned a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to reiterate its claims against Russia without providing any further substantiating details to back up the sensational accusations which are based on the belief that creating a bogeyman will swing public opinion in favour of military action against. The credulous British news media have obedienly pimped up the accusations giving the claims a veneer of credibility, holding the warmongers and military — industrial complex salesmen in government to account over the numerous irregularities in this narrative.
Vasily Nebenzia, Russia’s envoy to the United Nations commented that the whole aim of Britain’s accusations is to whip up more anti-Russian feeling in the international community. As envoy Nebenzia pointed out, it is entirely unreasonable for the British prime minister to make the categorical claim that the two allegedly Russian men in the video shots released this week are members of the GRU? Typically, she made the claim without providing any substantiating information as she has previously accused Russia of hostile acts without citing any evidence.
The British government is also teetering on political implosion from the Brexit debacle and growing public contempt for Prime minister May’s amateurish incompetence and lack of leadership qualities.
This was the same kind of plucking from thin air that Theresa May performed only days after the Skripals were apparently poisoned in Salisbury on March 4. Again, back then, May stood in front of parliament and dramatically accused Russia of a state-sponsored assassination attempt. The British authorities have cast, and continue to cast, a verdict without any legal case. That verdict relies entirely on Russophobia and prejudice of Russian malfeasance.
No sooner had Britain unleashed its latest allegations, than a joint statement was released by the United States, Canada, Germany and France supporting the British claims. All this comes at a time when it is widely known the Assad government, backed by Russia and Iran, is preparing an all — out assault on Syria’s Idlib province, the last stronghold of the various Islamic extremist groups that with the backing of the USA’s Obama administration, (Trump ordered the US to cease funding and supplying arms to the rebels,) the EU, NATO and Saudi Arabia, have been trying to overthrow Assad for four years. As I reported in mid August the Russian government predicted a false flag chemical weapon incident was being prepared to justify military intervention to prevent the final defeat of Islamic State.
Britain is now, stupidly, calling for more punitive economic sanctions against Moscow as it did earlier this year when the Skripals apparently fell ill on a park bench in Salisbury, a quiet Cathedral city in southern England. Russian diplomats have now been expelled from twenty eight nations over earlier and similarly unsubstantiated claims about Russian malfeasance. More sanctions are likely, with the intended effect of framing Russia as a pariah state only resulting in economically harming EU and NATO members that trade with Russia more that Russia itself.
The timing of this latest development in the Skripal saga is probably significant. As reported in my opening paragraphs, the US, Britain and France are threatening to launch military strikes on Syria just as the Syrian army and its Russian ally move to defeat the last-remaining stronghold of weatern-backed terror groups formed to effect regime change in that country.
The defeat of IS would bring to an ignominious end the criminal war against the Assad government in Damascus, a war which, according to very real evidence available in the public domain, was intended to impose a puppet regime in Damascus and facilitate the building of oil and gas pipelines from Saudi Arabia and the gulf states to the Easter Mediterranean, thus undermining Russia’s oil and gas trade with Europe.
Last month Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel held a productive, cordial summit with President Putin near Berlin, where the two leaders appeared to solidify a rapprochement over a crucial energy project between Russia the European Union. This news was not well received in Washington or Riyadh where the US government fears moves to dump the US dollar as global reserve currency, while the Saudis sense their ability to control the global trade in oil slipping away.