The Skripal poisoning: What lies behind UK-US ultimatums against Russia?

HELP ENLIGHTEN YOUR FELLOWS. BE SURE TO PASS THIS ON. SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON IT.
 “THE RUSSIANS DID IT! THE RUSSIANS DID IT!
Latest Anglo-American false flag given full-throttle treatment.
If you repeat a big lie often enough it becomes a truth. Basic rule of disinformation. The US and its partners in the NATO club have made this dirty trick into an art form. 


ALEX LANTIER, WSWS.ORG

British Conservative PM Theresa May: Doing her filthy part in the latest false flag concocted by the anglozionist deep state to further inflame tensions with Russia. What does this abject stooge for imperialism want—drag her country into an all-out war with Russia?

In little over a week since the mysterious poisoning of former Russian intelligence agent and British spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, Britain, on March 4, a campaign has emerged in ruling circles of the NATO alliance to pin blame for the poisoning on Moscow. Backed by top officials in Washington and in Europe, the British government is using this poisoning to concoct accusations against Russia with the most far-reaching implications.

On Monday, Prime Minister Theresa May issued an ultimatum, which expired at midnight today, declaring that absent a “credible response” from Moscow, her government will conclude there has been “an unlawful use of force by the Russian State against the United Kingdom.” During the parliamentary debate May was urged to invoke Article 4 of the NATO treaty, forcing the alliance to confer if the “territorial integrity, political independence or security of any [NATO member state] is threatened.”

These are issues over which states go to war, and top NATO officials are clearly putting together a case for war with Russia, a major nuclear-armed power. Yesterday, as May prepared to return to Parliament today with proposals for action, reports emerged in international media that ruling circles in London are discussing also invoking Article 5 of the NATO treaty. This article compels all NATO countries to “assist” any NATO member state that says it has been attacked to take “such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force.”

Faced with such drastic threats raising the danger of nuclear war, one must ask: what is the basis of the allegations that it was Moscow that poisoned Skripal and his daughter, who are now very ill?


Breaking! Another Western false flag in the making, the plotting of an excuse
to attack Damascus government facilities. Russia issues a warning.

The World Socialist Web Site holds no brief for the kleptocratic business oligarchy that emerged in Russia from the previous bureaucracy’s restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union in 1991. It cannot be ruled out that a faction of Russian intelligence, acting with or without the knowledge of President Vladimir Putin, may have poisoned Skripal.

But London and NATO have neither produced physical evidence of Kremlin involvement, nor established a motive for a hypothetical Russian attack. Nor has London explained why, if the Kremlin wanted Skripal dead because he spied for Britain in the 1990s and early 2000s, it did not execute him after convicting him of spying in 2006, and instead sent him to Britain four years later in exchange for Russian spies jailed by London.

Instead, a simplistic narrative accusing Moscow has emerged: If a crime appears to target countries or individuals hostile to the Russian government, NATO governments and media conclude within hours that it is self-evident that the Kremlin is responsible.

In fact, in international politics, the simple and obvious answer all but inevitably fails to reveal the complex web of political and economic interests that produce a given event or policy. Were the Skripal attack to be a Le Carré spy novel, the accusations so far would likely take up the first 10 pages of the book, after which the real story would unfold over the next 400 pages. The questions that must be posed in such cases are: what is the credibility of the accuser, and, above all, cui bono (who benefits from the crime)?

To those who say it is obvious that Russia poisoned Skripal, it is worth recalling the 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States, in which a deadly strain of anthrax was mailed to many US officials in Washington, killing 5 people and infecting 17 more, shortly after the September 11 attacks. There again, media immediately blamed the attacks on obvious targets of US-UK war threats—the Iraqi regime’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program and its alleged ties to Al Qaeda. These all proved to be lies, serving Washington’s foreign policy interests as it sought to go to war in Iraq.

And, after the US invaded and occupied Iraq, as it became clear that Iraq had no WMDs and was not responsible for the attacks, it emerged that the particular anthrax strain used in the attacks had in fact been created by Washington’s own WMD program at Fort Detrick, Maryland. A US scientist, Steven Hatfill, was rumored to be responsible, investigated, and ultimately cleared.

It still remains unclear to this day which US officials were involved in carrying out the anthrax attacks. The FBI closed the investigation in 2010 after pinning the blame on another scientist, Bruce Edwards Ivins, who had committed suicide in 2008. However, the US National Academy of Sciences found in 2011 that the US government did not have sufficient scientific evidence to definitively assert that the anthrax used in the attacks came from Ivins.

In the Skripal attack, it is unclear how Moscow would benefit. The attack took place shortly before this weekend’s elections in Russia, and as the NATO powers ramp up a confrontation with Russia over their failed war for regime change in Syria that has seen US forces attack and kill Russian military contractors in Syria in recent weeks. The Skripal attack hands Putin’s enemies inside NATO an ideal diplomatic and political weapon to use against him.

The benefits flow to sections of the British and European ruling class who are stoking war hysteria against Russia, and sections of the American ruling elite, particularly around the CIA and the Democratic Party, working with them to discredit Trump as a supposed agent of Russia. The Skripal attack allows these factions to place enormous pressure on rival sections of the European ruling class, notably in the French and German governments, who are calling for a European military policy independent from the United States and closer ties to Russia.

Thus, on Monday, former French President François Hollande issued a sharp if barely veiled attack in Le Monde on his successor, Emmanuel Macron, who is working closely with Berlin. Asserting that current NATO policy allows Moscow and the Syrian government to “liquidate its opposition and massacre its own people,” Hollande called for a confrontation with Moscow: “Russia has been rearming for several years, and if Russia is threatening, it must be threatened.”

Yesterday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States has “full confidence” in the British assessment of the attack—a statement he implicitly contradicted by then declaring that Russia was only “likely responsible.” Despite firing Tillerson shortly after he made those statements, Trump echoed Tillerson’s accusation of Russian complicity, declaring, “It sounds to me like it would be Russia, based on all the evidence they have.”

Under these conditions, and after the experience of the anthrax attacks, it must be said that factions of the British and American states themselves are prime suspects in the Skripal attack.

London has based its allegations against Russia entirely on the shifting analyses of its Porton Down biochemical warfare facility, located coincidentally only 10 miles from Salisbury. Initially, London alleged that Skripal had been exposed to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid more powerful than heroin. On March 7, however, British officials alleged that the poison was a nerve gas like sarin or VX, without explaining why Porton Down, a facility that has for decades specialized in producing nerve gases, failed to correctly identify one after it was used.

On Monday, May alleged that the nerve gas in question is in fact “novichok,” a special chemical weapon initially produced by the Soviet government. However, London has refused Moscow’s requests to actually provide it with samples of the substance used in the Salisbury attack for analysis, as required by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). As of now, at least, the case against Russia is based on the say-so of the Porton Down facility.

Porton Down is not a reliable source, however. It has a long record of illegal or covert testing of biological and chemical weapons on British citizens. These include the 1942 contamination with anthrax spores of Gruinard Island, which the British government was compelled to decontaminate in 1986; the unlawful death of Ronald Maddison in 1953 during trials of sarin gas on British servicemen; and the 1963-1975 spraying of biological weapons in Lyme Bay. The British government paid out 3 millions pounds to victims of such tests in 2008, without admitting liability.

None of the allegations directed by such sources against Russia on the still-murky Skripal poisoning case have a shred of credibility. Only a full, objective international public inquiry, whose findings are published in real time as the inquiry progresses, can establish the truth of what took place. In the meantime, it is a critical measure of self-preservation for workers in America, Europe and around the world to oppose the ruling elite’s stoking of war hysteria against Russia and the danger of an all-out confrontation between the world’s main nuclear-armed powers.

SELECT COMMENT(S) FROM ORIGINAL THREAD

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Its pretty clear in my mind what is going on here .

The more one looks at this forensically, and unpicks the logic to this then the spotlight falls on those with a wider anti Russia agenda, regardless of whether it is within the Russian state or elsewhere .

For starters Putin or pro Russian interests would not elect to assassinate ”anyone” amidst the anti Russian hysteria that is being pumped out by the West, and they would be even less likely to do it with a chemical agent that can be traced back to ”being a Russian invention.”

So called ”crafty Putin” now making the biggest gaff of his political life by a pointless assassination is simply not a reality .

As the above article makes clear, we have to look at objective reality to see whose interest is served here. Only then can we arrive at a meaningful generalisation to which all specifics have to be understood within.

The US is an Empire on the wane, that has lost its crown, both as a producer and increasingly as an arbiter of World affairs . It stands teetering on the cusp of a financial meltdown, that more and more bourgeois economists let alone ourselves see as potentially imminent in 2018 .

Under such conditions and with its back against the wall it has ‘no choice’ but to invoke all its forces of controlling the perception of the masses both at home and abroad, for to wage a war it must carry ”the people with it .”

The US has a long history of sculduggery , and to pick just one example we can go all the way back to the murder of Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro and the involvement of Gladio, a US inspired and funded network of provocateurs throughout Europe. http://www.truthmove.org/co…

Once framed within the context of ”whose interest and agenda is served” then the smoke clears. Teressa May the hapless nodding dog for US Imperialism can come out with nothing else. Her script is as predictable as the Sun coming up in the morning for it coincides with her own desperate position and that of British imperialism in its scrap with Europe.

The only significant truth the working class needs to focus on here, regardless of any and all specifics is that the world remains divided , and all the warnings of Lenin and Trotsky are coming home to roost .

That if the working class Internationally does not take responsibility for unifying world economy in ‘its International interest”, the latter will smash itself to smithereens for a ”third time” on the rocks of nation state rivalries that cannot be resolved by peaceful means .

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This is another western false flag. There is no hope that the case will be investigated properly. But the western so-called elites already achieved their aim: to convince the population that Russia is totally bad. The continuation of one lie after the other about Russia and especially President Putin influences the minds of the population extremely. That is brainwashing at its best.

The agenda to overthrow Assad in Syria was upended by Russia which was invited to assist Syria with the US backed terrorists invading their country. We all know about the zero tolerance of the NATO organisations to socialism or communism and because of that War has to be raged at all levels against Russia and North Korea. The elites cannot allow socialism or communism to be successful as they know it will be the end of them, this is why the war drums are sounding. The other benefit for them is their secondary campaign to silence internet media news, it is a means for the masses to spread real news and waken the masses. They are terrified of a global uprising. Russia gate is the excuse to adopt massive censorship and shut down real news. I am hoping the resistance has now grown to critical mass, to big too stop.

 

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      Yes, if “The Russians” or Putin had it in for Skripal, why didn’t they just pull his daughter’s passport on National Security grounds to punish him/her? Or just bump her off in Moscow where she lives? A “car accident” is easy to arrange.

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    Also unmentioned in the Western Media coverage of whatever actually occurred in Salisbury is the fact that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW),the UN body in charge of investigating reports of chemical weapons use, as well as inspecting chemical stockpiles of countries signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention , and verifying their compliance with the treaty, apparently makes no mention of “Novichok” in it’s listing of all known nerve agents.

    Russia is a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention and undertook to destroy all its chemical weapons under international inspection and verification. This was completed in September 17th, 2017, and reported by RT and the Russian media at the time, but unmentioned in the Western Media.

    From RT: “What about the chemical watchdog confirming Russia destroyed its stockpiles?

    “In autumn last year, the OPCW confirmed that Moscow – a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention – had completely destroyed its stockpiles. The organization’s inspection teams verified the destruction at seven chemical weapons destruction facilities in Russia, and, on September 27, 2017, the last of these facilities officially ceased its operations. The six other facilities were closed between 2005 and 2015.”

    “The completion of the verified destruction of Russia’s chemical weapons program is a major milestone in the achievement of the goals of the Chemical Weapons Convention,” the organization’s Head Ambassador Ahmet Uzumcu said at the time. He praised countries that assisted Russia with its destruction program, as well as OPCW staff who verified the destruction.”

    “Russian officials say the timing of the allegations is particularly notable. “Presidential elections are looming in Russia, and the country is accused of committing every mortal sin,” Sergey Stepashin, former FSB director, told Interfax. “Tell me, which idiot in Russia could carry out such an attack? Where is the logic in that?”

    So, both Russia and Syria have already destroyed their entire chemical weapons stockpiles and production facilities in compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention under the inspection and verification of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an international body created to verify compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention.

    Meanwhile Britain and the United States haven’t even started destroying their chemical weapon stockpile and production facilities as required by the treaty. The US has now pushed its compliance date back another five years to 2023. And as the article notes, the incident in Salisbury is right adjacent to Britains main nerve gas production, research, and testing facility at Porton Down. Coincidence? Who is the real suspect here?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 Alex Lantier is a senior political correspondent with wsws.org, a Marxian publication. 

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ALL CAPTIONS AND PULL QUOTES BY THE EDITORS NOT THE AUTHORS

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Things to ponder

While our media prostitutes, many Hollywood celebs, and politicians and opinion shapers make so much noise about the still to be demonstrated damage done by the Russkies to our nonexistent democracy, this is what the sanctimonious US government has done overseas just since the close of World War 2. And this is what we know about. Many other misdeeds are yet to be revealed or documented.

Parting shot—a word from the editors
The Best Definition of Donald Trump We Have Found

In his zeal to prove to his antagonists in the War Party that he is as bloodthirsty as their champion, Hillary Clinton, and more manly than Barack Obama, Trump seems to have gone “play-crazy” — acting like an unpredictable maniac in order to terrorize the Russians into forcing some kind of dramatic concessions from their Syrian allies, or risk Armageddon.However, the “play-crazy” gambit can only work when the leader is, in real life, a disciplined and intelligent actor, who knows precisely what actual boundaries must not be crossed. That ain’t Donald Trump — a pitifully shallow and ill-disciplined man, emotionally handicapped by obscene privilege and cognitively crippled by white American chauvinism. By pushing Trump into a corner and demanding that he display his most bellicose self, or be ceaselessly mocked as a “puppet” and minion of Russia, a lesser power, the War Party and its media and clandestine services have created a perfect storm of mayhem that may consume us all. Glen Ford, Editor in Chief, Black Agenda Report

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One thought on “The Skripal poisoning: What lies behind UK-US ultimatums against Russia?

  1. “French and German governments, who are calling for a European military
    policy independent from the United States and closer ties to Russia”. — Really? How?

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