Theresa May has just semi-officially pronounced the Skripal case a Russian state-sponsored hit. No evidence was presented for this conclusion of course, but we are getting used to that now. Belief is the new evidence. And in this case we do seem to have belief in large quantities.
Russia now effectively is being called upon to prove its innocence by tomorrow (Tuesday) or face Theresa’s wrath.
We’ll see how that goes over.
Of course there’s the immensely handy fact the “nerve agent” allegedly used is “Russian” too. Novichok no less, a Soviet-era toxin from the 1980s, described on Wikipedia as “the most deadly nerve toxin ever made.”
Though it wasn’t only produced in Russia, but in Uzbekistan.
And by the way the US has been “helping” Uzbekistan clean up its chemical weapons sites since 1991.
And of course Russia had destroyed all its chemical weapon stockpiles by 2017.
But the US still hasn’t (see MoA link above).
Still, so, as far as the state machine is concerned the alleged use of Novichok about clinches it for Putin. He dunnit. Verdict pronounced, let’s hurry on to the sentencing. What will it be? More sanctions? A Skripal Act to rival Magnitsky’s? Moving UK troops closer to Russia’s borders? Driving Russian money out of London? Messing with the World Cup?
While the UK establishment shoots its wad fantasising about all these glorious possibilities, let’s take a quick reality check.
Russia has absolutely nothing to gain from initiating the poisoning of Skripal, and even less to gain from leaving a calling card made of Novichok.
This is so obviously true even spokespeople for the UK establishment admit it openly, for example Andrew Wood, former UK ambassador to Moscow, is quoted in the Guardian saying
it’s very hard to see what profit they can get from this
Though of course this hasn’t stopped the same people who admit this to be true also claiming to be absolutely sure Russia did it.
Absent sane motives they have had to invent insane ones instead. Russia are just crazy, bent on vengeance, spoiling for a fight. Their blatant and self-destructive action, says Wood:
advertises the fact that they are vindictive and dedicated to pursuing revenge.
Reliably deluded and fact-defying Luke Harding adds his own pulp spy-thriller spin:
The use of novichok in Salisbury not surprising but remarkable. Developed by Soviet Union in 70s and 80s, and more deadly than VX nerve agent. A brutal calling card that would inevitably be discovered. Conclusion: Putin and FSB wanted this row now
— Luke Harding (@lukeharding1968) March 12, 2018
You see? Russia must have done it (even though they had no motive), so they must be driven by crazy notions of revenge or wanting a “row” that defy self-interest.
The obvious consideration – if they had no motive maybe they didn’t do it has no place in this mad little universe.
This is simply gaslighting.
Motive is a first consideration in solving any crime. Absence of motive is also a primary argument for innocence. Cui bono? is a legal as well as a rational question. But it’s one the Western powers do not want anyone asking in this case.
Because the answer is obvious.
The timing of the alleged poisoning – the day before a prime mover in promoting UK Russophobia, Bill Browder, was due to testify at the Parliamentary Inquiry into alleged Russian “fake news”, and two weeks before the Russian election – is enough of itself to make the UK and its security agencies prime suspects.
Will be testifying tomorrow at the British Parliament on Russia’s use of fake news and propaganda at 10:30am U.K. time. Lots of examples from the Magnitsky case to educate lawmakers on Putin’s modus operandi https://t.co/lsI9tMXLJ2
— Bill Browder (@Billbrowder) March 5, 2018
And who can deny this tragic event is being fully exploited by the state machine? In just the last three days the poisoning of these two people in still murky circumstances has been used to
- add fresh weight to the push to have RT blocked in the UK
- justify moves against Russian holdings in the UK
- reinforce calls for implementation of new sanctions
- increase UK defence spending
In contrast, what has Russia or Russia’s narrative gained from this?
To bring a small amount of balance and sanity to the current situation we’re going to be reminding readers of some of the mysterious and possibly politically motivated deaths that have occurred in the UK. Unlike the Skripal and Litvinenko cases the media never claimed any of them were “state-sponsored murder”, because the only state they could possibly have been pinned on was our own.