False Western Narratives Have Caused a Real Russia-West Split

Tony Kevin

We have a situation now in which two major world governments, UK and Russia, both nuclear powers and permanent members of the UNSC, are upholding entirely opposed and contradictory narratives on two issues – the alleged Salisbury/Amesbury Novichuk poisonings, and the alleged nerve gas attacks by Assad Government forces on 7 April in Douma, Syria (on basis of false White Helmets-staged evidence). The latter allegation led to a US/UK bombing attack on Syrian Air Force bases.

On both issues, the US and French governments – also UNSC members and nuclear powers – have in solidarity supported UK government- sourced narratives , though in the former case there has been no UK judicial process, and in the latter case OPCW inspectors have found no physical evidence of use of nerve agents in Douma , and nor do local people’s accounts support the allegations.

In the Salisbury case, OPCW technical reports made public in Moscow on 14 April by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, detailing results of the Skripal samples analysis by the OPCW Spiez Laboratory in Switzerland, support a finding that the Skripals were probably poisoned temporarily with non- lethal BZ toxin , found in the Skripal samples, and that quantities of Novichok (A-234) lethal toxin had twice been added to the samples before they passed from British Govt to OPCW custody, in two clumsy attempts some weeks apart to create a false Novichok chemical trail. Lavrov commented, in strong language for him, that the fact Spiez Lab found these two doses of A-234 in the samples “appears to be utterly suspicious.”

Nevertheless, two days later on 16 April, the OPCW Executive Council , under Western pressure, decided unprecedentedly not to release the full reports of the samples testing by the four OPCW laboratories in Switzerland, thereby casting serious doubt on the professional reputation of OPCW. See here and here.

The second document contained a manifestly untrue statement by Mr Marc-Michael Blum, the Head of the OPCW Laboratory and leader of the technical assistance team that was deployed to the United Kingdom, that

The Labs were able to confirm the identity of the chemical (Novichok, or A -234) by applying existing, well-established procedures.

*** There was no other chemical that was identified by the Labs ***.

The precursor of BZ that is referred to in the public statements, commonly known as 3Q, was contained in the control sample prepared by the OPCW Lab in accordance with the existing quality control procedures. Otherwise it has nothing to do with the samples collected by the OPCW Team in Salisbury. This chemical was reported back to the OPCW by the two designated labs and the findings are duly reflected in the report.’

This is simply laughable. The OPCW defence was that Britain had requested a very restricted test looking only for Novichok, and that it was therefore correct procedure for OPCW to withhold publication of the full laboratory results. So there is no official confirmation or denial of Lavrov’s statement that the Spiez Lab had found that A-234 had twice been improperly added to the Skripal samples. And a blatant lie was told on BZ.

Lavrov on 14 April had stood just short of accusing the UK government of concealing evidence and tampering with samples. But his imputation was very clear. Clearly he was appealing to Britain and the OPCW to do the right thing on 16 April. They did not do so. His words, recorded on the Russian MFA website, went unreported in the West. They are the essential basis of the Russian counter-narrative.

On the alleged use of CW in Douma, an alleged child victim Hassan Diab testified in The Hague three weeks later on 27 April that he had never been gassed, but he had been cruelly used in a White Helmets staged propaganda film.

Then, much later, the OPCW reported on 6 July their inspectors’ findings that they had not found any organophosphorous nerve agents or their degradation products in Douma.

These are facts. But it appears that facts no longer matter. In the UNSC, the weight of numbers is with the three Western permanent members and their allies. China has been circumspect on the issue, saying almost nothing except calling for proper procedures to be followed in OPCW.

Russia and China continue to have rights of veto on any future UNSC resolution that might try to condemn Russia for allegedly behaving as an international outlaw in these two contested matters.

Is there any legal way Russia could be expelled from the UNSC over either or both of these sets of allegations? America and Britain seem hell-bent now on portraying Russia as an international criminal, but surely this should carry no credibility now with the majority of the UNGA membership outside the compliant NATO/EU/Australia grouping.

There seems no way in which the facts of Salisbury/Amesbury can be publicly established, as long as the UK Government continues to suppress and tamper with evidence, and as long as its Western allies and the OPCW Executive continue to give to the UK Government cover and support. Only the election of a Corbyn Labour Govt might offer prospect of change, because Corbyn is a decent man who would refuse to sustain a UK government lie.

Russia will continue to press for consular access to their citizens the Skripals. They cannot let the issue be forgotten. So it will go on being a cause of major Russia-UK tension and bad blood, as the histories of the two series of events recede into mythology and contested narratives, and as distracting myths and legends accumulate around Salisbury-Amesbury.

Now, the US government is resorting with increasing recklessness to unilateral sanctions outside the UN system, announcing two tranches of increasingly severe sanctions against Russia, in August and November, unless Russia admits its crimes and promises not to repeat them. Russia has of course rejected these demands out of hand, as internationally illegal and without any justification.

If the US pursues this course it will lead to further distancing between the US and Russian economies. As Lavrov points out, many other countries will draw their own conclusions about the US’s reliability as an economic partner and reserve currency.

The most likely medium-term scenario is continued simmering anger and resentment on both sides , encouraging further polarisation of a ‘3 versus 2’ situation in UNSC. But I don’t see how Russia could be expelled or suspended from the UNSC.

The current situation suits Western Russia-hating elites. It is in their interest to delay and impede any moves to Russia-West detente, keeping tensions high but at a level just short of war, and keeping Trump on a tight leash for as long as he remains US President. So far, sadly, it is all working out according to this plan.

Tony Kevin, former Australian diplomat and author of ‘Return to Moscow’ (2017, UWA Publishing).

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Cherrycoke
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Cherrycoke

The author quotes: ” The Labs were able to confirm the identity of the chemical (Novichok, or A -234) by applying existing, well-established procedures. *** There was no other chemical that was identified by the Labs ***. The precursor of BZ that is referred to in the public statements, commonly known as 3Q, was contained in the control sample prepared by the OPCW Lab in accordance with the existing quality control procedures. Otherwise it has nothing to do with the samples collected by the OPCW Team in Salisbury. This chemical was reported back to the OPCW by the two designated… Read more »

vexarb
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I think this headline mistakes the effect for the cause. It was the estrangement (“West’s Russophobia) that inspired the Novijoke.

Jo
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Jo

Usa has no problem continuing to threaten Russia at UN… because it is a public forum used by west especially usa and uk to lambast Russia there ….giving voice to such as Powers and Hayley and these create headlines western media so loves to continue the planned russophobic bogeyman hysteria. Russia keeps appealing to UN eg recent converstations between Lavrov and UN General Secretary on Syria and upkeeping of international law so consequently has dug itself a moral hole that it cannot leave it…..even though UN is powerless and does very very little even to hold up its own charters.… Read more »

Big B
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Big B

Another aspect that blurs the old West v East narrative (a ‘Western imperium’ v a fictive ‘Eastern anti-imperial bloc’) is that Russias response to the new Cold War provocations is inhibited by the fact that they believe that they need (transnational) capital (FDI) to expand their economies. They do not: a fact PCR, Michael Hudson and the Saker have been pointing out for a while now. The real Fifth column in Russia (and China) is neoliberalism. Trying to attract $$$$ capital destroys economies: witness, the entire fucking world! In return for a faux-initial-growth period (an illusion caused by monetising debt)… Read more »

Norman Pilon
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“Why Russia would want to integrate in a subservient vassalised semi-peripheral position within the neoliberal world system – that has been the ruination of the whole fucking world – is beyond me.” The logic of capital is ‘concentration,’ and there is a threshold beyond which the accumulation of wealth and power — if the accumulation that is the sine qua non of capital is to continue ( . . . and it must) — manifests in cultural or ideological terms among the ruling elites as neoliberalism. This isn’t a ‘choice,’ moral or otherwise. It is the result of and dictated… Read more »

BigB
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BigB

Hi Norm, where have you been! Capital accumulation is a tyranny of dispossession by violent means: a totalising crime of ultra-violence inflicted by humanity – not just on humanity, on biodiversity, but also inflicted on the very fabric and metabolism of Nature. It is a crime against the Unborn and the dispossession and monetisation of their future. Yet is such a ubiquitous crime that it has become normalised and internalised as socially necessary (in the imperial heartlands, at least). Ones wealth, wellbeing, and status within a capitalist society are functions of imperial violence. One expects the superclass to betray humanity,… Read more »

vexarb
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@BigB: “It is a fundamental and continual denial of who we are: something the young Marx focussed on. We are alienated from our work; from each other; from our environment; but also fundamentally alienated from our ‘species essence’ …our own true (and co-operative) nature”. This para fits in with something I noted about young Karl: born in 1818 he belonged to the same Mid-to-Late Romantic generation as Heinrich Heine (b.1810), Robert Schumann (and Richard Wagner (b.1813); the 1848 generation. Like Wagner and Heine, Marx was exiled for Revolutionary Activism. Unlike them, he persevered and turned himself into the iron-grey intellect… Read more »

rtj1211
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rtj1211

Economies of scale is actually an interesting study: you find that as you scale up beyond a certain size, the economies turn into inefficiencies.

I am not sure whether anyone has considered ‘economies of scale’ in investment management, but I would posit that beyond a certain concentration of wealth, decision-making becomes poorer.

Something to do with fewer and fewer minds actually taking decisions and morevand more wisdom being excluded.

Norman Pilon
Reader

Right. Perhaps ‘economies of scale’ is not the correct term for what I meant to express.

Better, perhaps: ‘large economies’ — countries like the U.S. or Russia or any another nationally designated unit, and trading blocs, like NAFTA or the European Union.

Point well taken.

rilme
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rilme

Who was behind the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia?
The USA, and, of course, “israel”:

https://americangoy.blogspot.com/2008/08/you-knew-this-was-coming-israeli.html

tutisicecream
Reader

It is still a subject of continuing concern that the Media is so easily influenced [infiltrated?]by what are blatant lies and fake narratives which form an increasing media echo chamber of deceit. The current wave of Russophobia arguably started back at the time of the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia. That blatant provocation by the US educated and groomed stooge Saakashvili against Russia was the first total inversion of the facts. It was possible to trace the inversion from the first reporting of fact into the established narrative, that Russia invaded Georgia. A narrative which was revived recently in the… Read more »

Big B
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Big B

I think the roots go back as far as 2001 when a young upstart called Vladimir Putin called time on the Yeltsin era ‘Family’ of oligarchs. He dared to jail Khodorkovsky and Glushkov. Around 2003 is when I think the oligarchy (who had put VVP in) decided he had to go, IMO. The fact that this decision was made among (all bar one) Jewish Russians negates the West-East narrative; or certainly blurs the hard demarcation of boundaries. In fact, that the oligarchs who were ultimately behind the Russophobia agenda were themselves Russians, requires a more nuanced narrative. In fact, those… Read more »

Harry Stotle
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Harry Stotle

The public is being softened up for the next phase in US acquisition of territory and the gas, oil and mineral resources that go with it. The US clearly wants to crush Iran: a goal complicated for them by Iran’s alliance with Russia, and the joint success of Iranian and Russian forces against the western backed coup in Syria. The recent poisoning and ‘chemical weapons’ scares are both transparent psych-ops with the media playing its customary role of acting as mouth piece for amoral security forces. The failure to hold to account any western leader responsible for mass murder in… Read more »

Mulga Mumblebrain
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Mulga Mumblebrain

Tony Kevin’s hope that a Corbyn Government would clean up the Skripal Augean stable of lies seems to me misplaced. Corbyn has already endorsed the ‘Magnitsky’ economic warfare on Russia, at the behest of Browder, and, in any case he will NEVER be allowed to become PM, unless he has made pledges to CHANGE NOTHING. The dying Western Reich will cause a thermo-nuclear war in its rabid death-throes-there is no way they will EVER give up their determination to rule the world, every square inch of it.

rtj1211
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rtj1211

I really do not understand why politicians need to kowtow to Browder. He is one man.

richarda
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richarda

One man among Billions?

BTW, check out “The Magnitsky Act : Behind the Scenes”

archie1954
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archie1954

Follow the money. Who benefits from such an estrangement? Why does such an estrangement benefit certain parties. Publicly name such parties and stop their dangerous game!

JJ139
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JJ139

Wow you really are pathetic now.

What is known as the Cradle (more properly Cradles) of Civilisation emerged from Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Ancient India, Ancient China and even parts of what is now Mexico. Looking at a map of the world, none of these areas could be described as being in the ‘West’. Which rather suggests the copying was the other way round.

Mulga Mumblebrain
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Mulga Mumblebrain

Yes, but the West rules ‘under God’, don’t forget.

comite espartaco
Reader

They were Westerners at that time… with respect to China… Western culture and civilisation never abjured from its Middle Eastern and Egyptian origins (that is what we just said), Greek civilisation is full of references to it. Of course, all these things are known thanks to Western Science… lefto-bot…!!!

JJ139
Reader
JJ139

This is a reply to the now firmly resident barking troll CE.

comite espartaco
Reader

It is a grave mistake to think that the ‘West’ is anti-Russian or anti-East or Anti-South. The West is the most advanced compendium of the knowledge of mankind, East, West, North and South. Indeed, many of the ideas and abstract concepts that non-Western peoples have about the world and themselves and their role in the world, are copies and modifications of Western themes or ideologies and, conversely, many ideas of the West have been ‘mined’ and elaborated by the sophisticated critical methods of the West. The West, should be understood not as its exploiters and political class of traitors, always… Read more »

frank
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frank

and still the sad bloke continues. LOL

Mulga Mumblebrain
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Mulga Mumblebrain

The usual racist, Orientalist, vicious swill-an absolutely undisguised Zionazi.

JudyJ
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JudyJ

Presumably ‘the simplistic ideologies’ you refer to are the fundamental ideologies of morality and integrity which, in spite of the West’s ‘advanced knowledge, development and progress’ which you are so proud to give us a history of, are sadly in limited supply among Western PTBs. It is the continued existence and dominance of such ‘simplistic ideologies’ that will ultimately determine whether mankind survives or self-exterminates, not a fatuous argument about who in the world can claim the right to call themselves the supreme source of knowledge.

Mulga Mumblebrain
Reader
Mulga Mumblebrain

The Zionazis hate the non-Western civilizations because of their innate racist supremacism, whereby they imagine themselves the supreme human type. They’ll never control China as they do the West, hence the hatred.

comite espartaco
Reader

That is a very simplistic view, indeed. In the first place you would have to define what is ‘morality’ and ‘integrity’ and which ideologies are the ones that uphold that ‘morality’ and ‘integrity’. For example, we maintain that Marxism, the real one that we represent, is ‘moral’ and ‘integral’ and our Marxist analysis has shown you that the ‘leftist’ ideologies are not, as they are based on false representations and misunderstandings that support exploitation. But there is more. You would have to demonstrate or, at least, give reasons, that mankind, as it is now, is worth saving from the supposed… Read more »

JudyJ
Reader
JudyJ

Thanks for your comments, c.e. All I can say in reply is that, whether or not it is a simplistic view, I have a problem with lying and deception – as per the essence of this article – whoever the protagonist is and whatever their ideological start point may be. It may well be that not all humans are scared of the concepts of ‘struggle’, ‘fight’ or ‘war’ but personally speaking I would rather that those people were not running countries. I live in hope that common sense will prevail in the end, if not in my generation then perhaps… Read more »

comite espartaco
Reader

In reality we coincide and we could agree with some of the things that you express but, as they say, the devil is the detail and that is what we have been trying to show. Our critique is directed to unmasking the apparent truths and accepted views adopted by most leftist militants, supporters of the left and exploiters in general, even if unconsciously. Lies and deceptions that prevent people from fighting properly and effectively against the main problems of mankind and that leaves the solution of those problems in the hands of a super-natural fate or the dubious moral conversion… Read more »