Just Who’s Pulling the Strings? 1205


March 4 2018 Sergei and Yulia Skripal are attacked with a nerve agent in Salisbury

March 6 2018 Boris Johnson blames Russia and calls Russia “a malign force”

March 7 2018 Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia arrives in London for an official visit

March 13 2018 Valeri Gerasimov, Russian Chief of General Staff, states that Russia has intelligence a fake chemical attack is planned against civilians in Syria as a pretext for US bombing of Damascus, and that Russia will respond militarily.

March 19 2018 Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia arrives in Washington for an official visit

April 8 2018 Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia arrives in Paris for an official visit

April 8 2018 Saudi funded jihadist groups Jaysh al Islam and Tahrir al-Sham and UK funded jihadist “rescue group” The White Helmets claim a chemical weapons attack occurred in their enclave of Douma the previous day – just before its agreed handover to the Syrian army – and blame the Syrian government.

April 11 2018 Saudi Arabia pledges support for attack on Syria

April 14 2018 US/UK/French attack on Syria begins.

I have always denied the UK’s claim that only Russia had a motive to attack the Skripals. To denigrate Russia internationally by a false flag attack pinning the blame on Russia, always seemed to me more likely than for the Russians to do that to themselves. And from the start I pointed to the conflict in Syria as a likely motive. That puts Saudi Arabia (and its client jihadists), Saudi Arabia’s close ally Israel, the UK and the USA all in the frame in having a powerful motive in inculcating anti-Russian sentiment prior to planned conflict with Russia in Syria. Any of them could have attacked the Skripals.

Today, Theresa May is claiming -astonishingly – that the UK attack on Syria is “to deter chemical weapons attacks in Syria and the UK”. I don’t think the motive for a Skripal false flag could be more starkly demonstrated.

We do not yet know how many children and other civilians have died so far in what the media always pretend are magically “pinpoint” attacks on Syria. Denying the “collateral damage” is part of the neo-con playbook. The danger is that they will not stop but continue to push, testing how far they can go in weakening Syrian government forces to promote their jihadist allies on the ground, before they spark a real Russian reaction. That way madness lies.

It is also worth noting that the most ardent supporters of this military action, outside Saudi Arabia and Israel, are the Blairites in the UK and the Clinton Democrats in the USA. The self-described “centrists” are actually the unhinged extremists in today’s politics.

This attack on Syria is, beyond doubt, a huge success for the machinations of Mohammed Bin Salman. Please do read my post of 8 March which sets out the background to his agenda, and I believe is essential to why we find our nations in military action again today. Despite the fact the vast majority of the people do not want this.


1,205 thoughts on “Just Who’s Pulling the Strings?

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  • APOL

    No indeed the French didn’t fire any missiles in the Damascus chirade. Putin told Macron that they woudn’t make it through and that would be bad for future sales to MbS .
    France can be perfide too..
    That way it let the current Hitler rubbish the English missiles which went astray and which wont be selling like hot cakes in the ME.
    Russian payback, so not cricket …

    • _

      Though it actually states: “We have no doubt that Porton Down has identified Novichock. PD – like Spiez – is a designated lab of the OPCW. The standards in verification are so rigid that one can trust the findings.”
      That very much seems to suggest that the Spiez Lab did not identify Novichok themselves, but trusts Porton Down when it states that it did.

      • IM

        That’s patent word-riddle formulated to divert from the actual question though, so one has to look past the verbiage 😉

        • Crackerjack

          If the document that Lavrov is commenting on was leaked then the official statement is largely irrelevant. You would hope he has something to back up his statement!

        • _

          But it’s actually quite informative: ‘we have no doubt’ is already a signal that doubt might be possible (whereas when I read ‘confirm’ in your paraphrase, no criticism intended, I really took that to mean that they too had identified Novichok). They double-up on that doubt by pointing out that PD is a designated OPCW lab, in case anyone doubted PD’s status, and then feel the need to remind us of the OPCW’s standards of verification and, again, emphasize that PD’s findings can therefore be ‘trusted’, implying that someone might otherwise distrust them. So there’s a lot of emphasizing just how trustworthy PD is, when the issue, as you suggest, is actually something else: the finding of BZ, which the tweet completely ignores. Had Spiez Lab found Novichok, surely they would have stated so, rather than reassuring everyone that the OPCW clearly trusts PD. And if they hadn’t found BZ, surely they would have said so too. Of course, all of that is purposefully left to be inferred between the lines while issuing an apparently anodyne statement, designed presumably to say something and deflect any questions to the OPCW, rather than the lab, and to pass any issues about the finding of Novichok to PD. Not their problem in other words.

          • IM

            They did identify A234 as well (according to Lavrov), and according to Lavrov they questioned A234’s presence given A234’s volatility and the time between the persons getting intoxicated and the samples being taken.

          • _

            True, my mistake. I still find the wording strange, why the emphasis on doubting PD if they too found Novichok? Maybe just clumsy.

          • IM

            I don’t think there’s clumsiness — sometimes people just get caught in their own verbiage when they try to get out of a rather uncomfortable situation; sometime you try to be too clever denying something you end up confirming it albeit implicitly. If I was saying that Lavrov was wrong in a diplomatic way I would say something along the lines of “[The lab] has passed all of its findings to the OPCW and has no reason to question OPCW’s conclusion. OPCW’s report reflects our findings and we are not aware of any basis for third parties to disagree with the published report.” Now, how far from what I said does their “statement” read?

    • N_

      What a peculiar hearsay statement, and not at all a denial by Spiez that they found BZ.

      • _

        Not at all. I read that as saying they didn’t find Novichok, but did indeed find BZ. And then they pass the buck to the OPCW to explain the discrepancy.

    • SA

      The tweet creates more questions and is problematic on severak accounts:
      1. It states that only th OPCW can say what it is but then goes on to say what they think it is.
      2. The OPCW report never mentions novichok but just says it confirms the findings of PD. This is a serious flaw in a supposedly scientific report because PD themselves have said that it was a novichok or novichok-like agent, which is not exact science.
      3. The OPCW never mention a nerve agent in thier excecutive summary that is publicly available.
      4. The hashtag #Skipal (sic) is misspelt and adds an air of sloppiness to this pronouncements.

      It really surprises me that the OPCW and Spiez can issue such documents that would not pass muster if properly peer reviewed and it also makes me wonder why Lavrov does not get one of his scientists to make some of these points and seek explanations from the OPCW.

      • IM

        I think you’re overlooking that you can scientifically confirm a finding without being fully open. Neither the Swiss lab nor OPCW have said that Skripal was poisoned by A234. All they said was they concur that A234 was present in the samples. They weren’t asked to evaluate the sample and provide a detailed break-down of any high-res mass-spec they might have done. “Confirming” results is easy: take a known sample and do a high-res mass-spec on it, then take an investigation sample (or whatever the nomenclature for that is) and do a high-res mass-spec. Then if the peaks of the known sample match up with the peaks in the investigation sample then presence of compound is confirmed.

        What I think happened was that the Russians have gotten their hands on the high-res mass-spec printout from the Swiss lab and matched all the peaks that were present in that against the mass-specs that OPCW library has; and now there are questions to be answered.

        • SA

          IM
          I take it that you are a scientist. So please show me where in any place does any official report state what you have extrapolated that they have stated?
          The word novichok is not one of a specifically determined compound and in fact is not mentioned in the OPCW document. No report clearly states they found A234 as far I can see. The executive summary first refers to what they found as ‘this toxin’ later on saying that they confirm the findings of PD but without saying what these are.
          Sorry but this document is so imprecise that not only would it not pass a scientific peer review but nor would it be useful as a legally binding document.
          Also remember that none of us really know what PD found. The only statement publicly available is the statement by the government and by Gary Aetkenhead, the CEO of PD who is not even a chemist. I am sure all these documents are issued by apparatchiks rather than scientists who would never be that sloppy.

          • IM

            I go off what WaPo et al reported as said by Lavrov. The latter said the Swiss lab identified BZ *and* A234 but questioned A234’s presence given its chemical properties and the passage of time. You can’t take one part of the statement by Lavrov and overlook anything that isn’t convenient for one’s argument, so yes, presence of A234 was apparently confirmed by Lavrov, but there was also BZ and its precursor.^

            ^: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precursor_(chemistry)

          • IM

            PS: I suspect the “note for public consumption” from the OPCW which we all read didn’t even come from an apparatchik but a PR-bod with a heavy input from the UK, and that’s based on the discourse of the note- the language is not beuqacratic but exceptionally dumbed-down and vague.

          • SA

            IM I was talking about the OPCW official report not Lavrov who is a politician. As far as I know we have no proper identification. What Lavrov has been provided with I don’t know and feel skeptic about. He should get his scientists to critiques this.

          • IM

            Neither of us have seen the “official report,” I, and, I suspect, you saw a dumbed-down note for public consumption. If we are to go with what Lavrov said, we can’t dismiss a part of what he said and pretend he didn’t. If you have the actual classified report, please forward it to Craig Murray (his details are in the “Contact” menu above). Now, out of all of the parties, Lavrov is the one who said the Swiss lab identified an abnormal, in the circumstances, sample of A234, given that he’s being very specific I have no reason to doubt presence of A234 in the sample given that that information is potentially adverse to Russia.

            PS: Lavrov is not a politician, he’s a career diplomat, he’s most certainly not elected.

          • Paul

            Sorry, but did the initial public OPCW report say they were confirming PD’s findings or “UK findings”–which could be any public or private statement made by someone at least vaguely official in the UK.

          • IM

            @Paul,

            10. The results of analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people.

          • SA

            IM
            You are quite right. I haven’t seen the full report but was referring to the executive summary expecting it , naively, to be a scientific document but as you stated it is just a OR document.
            So if Lavrov, whom you again quite rightly say is a career diplomat( and in my opinion an excellent one) has a copy, why doesn’t he get his scientists to do this? I find that despite having s lot of cards in thier hands, the Russians are very poor at OR and translating these into killer facts. That is one of the reasons why we have all this nonesense.

          • IM

            @SA,
            I can’t remember when it was said or by whom (I think by the Russian Ambassador to the UK in his press conference on Fri) but the Russians are taking that report apart and “people who know what they’re talking about” are putting specific questions to the UK and to OPCW. Apparently there’s already an official request to the UK under CWC Art. 9(2) so the 10-day clock is ticking…

  • Tony M

    I can’t understand why the surrendered irreligious crazies and mercs, blood-drenched and not fully disarmed, are being funnelled towards Idlib and the Turkish border and from there onwards probably to Europe. It would make more sense surely to evacuate them towards the Jordanian border and Syria’s Golan region occupied illegally by Israel, to make trouble there and to burden Israel with their temporary accomodation and transit onwards to their final destination, which if it existed I hope would be an earthly form of hell.

    Final resolution of the Golan situation, its return to Syrian control and ownership it is fair to assume in the just world we all hope to live in, would involve restitution of loss of income to Syria to the tune of possibly $50 billion or so dollars equivalent and rising as the dollar plunges in real value and the occupation, exploitation and theft continues, which have fed and nourished the pariah-state for some time, before considering at all the few billion barrels or so oil known to be found in the region, which Murdoch and his cronies have fastened their beady eyes and grabbing hands upon. A similar situation is likely to arise like that which existed with the return of Egypt’s few small oilfields in the Sinai, when it was returned to its rightful owners when almost all the easily extracted oil had been stolen and the mineral assets senselessly depleted by rapacious rates of extraction during a period in Carter’s time when US aid was cut to the bone to bring them to the negotiating table, ever in bad faith, to negotiate ‘peace’ with the victims of their genocidal and unending aggressions.

    Income from the large Golan region’s rich agricultural lands, along with copious foreign aid from western – mainly US and its satraps taxpayers – are what has sustained Israel for many decades, especially with the large areas of former Palestine stolen from the Palestinians turning to desert amidst super-intensive ill-judged and ill-managed, lazy agricultural methods and over-use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides to the point that the Israeli produce is all but inedible and tastes abomnible and is hardly even fit for feeding non-human ‘cattle’.

    • Crackerjack

      My view is that it has been a deliberate policy of the Syrian and Russian military to bottle up the remaining terrorists in Idlib so they can wipe them out in a single operation. Now Ghouta has been liberated they can go for it. What’s left after that is Sanna (? Apologies for spelling) and the really tricky areas of Al Tanf and the oil fields in the NE. Both infested with Yanks. That will be problematic

      • SA

        I think you mean Dara’a not Sana’a which is in Yemen. I think the rational is probably twofold. One ad you state but the other is evacuation of rebels rather than a fight to the bitter end will save lives of civilians in urban areas.

        • Crackerjack

          Thanks – yes I did mean Dara’a.

          And true. Many civilian lives have been saved by the actions of the Russian and Syrian military. In stark contrast with the US and its Allies in Mosul and Raqqa

  • Jones

    all this reminds me of the US bombing of the Al-Shifa factory in Sudan 1998, they claimed to have evidence it was a processing plant for VX nerve agent but later admitted they actually had no proof and it was in fact a medicine factory. US is consistent in such actions.

    • SA

      There was major health implication for the Sudan as this was a major local drug producer and no doubt led to unnecessary deaths. This is the sort of crime that people like Clinton should be prosecuted for war crimes, unprovoked and mendacious.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Assuming the chemical that Yulia was poisoned with is as described by The Swiss, she should make a full and complete recovery, unless has gone over to The Dark Side, and is working British Government

    In fact she is my kind of girl, she looks almost exactly like my other ex, who I am still in contact with and is even more pissed off that she is not receiving her Government Pension, that she also paid into all her life.

    In fact she even goes on demos in Central London, demanding her Pension.

    Even a Private Company wouldn’t get away with such fraud as The British Government

    They are a Total Disgrace.

    They are Thieving off their own most vulnerable people.

    Whilst spending all that money on dropping bombs on the innocent in foreign lands.

    Tony

  • SA

    Tony
    I am glad she is better. I am impressed that she can do 10 Miles, I can’t do a quarter of that.
    As to NHS I am so pleased you had a good experience. Whenever things go wrong in the NHS because of political meddling, the government of the day likes to turn the dedicated NHS staff into scapegoats and to remedy that to try and privatise more of it. I hope we never loose our NHS, it is one of the few things we can be truly proud of.

  • Andrew H

    I have never liked the delay of 4 hours. Perhaps the novichok placed on the doorknob failed to do the job, either because of the rain or because they avoided touching the handle when leaving. Then perhaps they were followed, and after lunch they sat on the bench. This would have given opportunity for the assailant to spray them with BZ to knock them out and give time to apply novichok to their hand (presumably novichok doesn’t come in spray form, and its not something you would be wanting to spray into the air anyhow). Now along come the policeman and tries to take their pulse which would have transferred some of the novichok onto him….

    • Andrew H

      Getting into deeper speculation, perhaps part of the reason the CCTV footage has never been released, is that the UK has identified the assailant, but doesn’t wish to publicly reveal this fact. (if the assailant has returned to a country where the UK would be unlikely to be able to extradite, then there might be some logic in keeping the lid on this)

    • TJ

      BZ has a latent period, BZ on it’s own explains everything, no need for Novichoks, or families or related chemicals, that appears to be a Red Herring of gigantic proportions.

  • Sean Lamb

    It is worth pointing out that there is nothing in the scientific literature regarding the toxicity or otherwise of the structure of A-234 as published by Mirzayanov. And it is a common anti-proliferation tactic to publish data spliced with misinformation. Vil Mirzayanov himself said he been contacted by the CIA advised on the dangers of publishing WMD information

    If you check the wikipedia page
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-234_(nerve_agent)

    You will see that prior to Salisbury another structure had been proposed as A-234

    “An alternative structure for A-234 and the related Novichok agents has been put forward by Western chemical weapons experts such as Steven Hoenig and D. Hank Ellison.[7][8] These structures are supported by Soviet literature of the time and were tested as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors,[9][10][11] however Mirzayanov claims that a number of weaker agents developed as part of the Foliant program were published in the open literature as organophosphate pesticides, in order to disguise the secret nerve agent program as legitimate pesticide research.”

    On a lighter note, the great British press is burying Lavrov’s remarks over claims the Skripals were saved by good old British rain and a bungling Russian assassin that resulted in almost all the Novichok being washed off. Oh and of course it was the Russians who killed the guy who asphyxiated himself in a bag.

    • Sean Lamb

      So what I am saying is there are two alternatives.

      Perhaps A-234 in the Mirzayanov version is not lethal and hence genuinely in the Skripals’ blood. Or another alternative is the British have been spiking the blood samples.

      At any rate, the great mystery of why the British refused to provide the Russians with a blood sample appears solved. Because while it is possible to spike a blood sample with a chemical and it is very very difficult to remove a substance that is already there.

      • Tom Smythe

        Totally bizarre tweet coming out of Spiez Laboratory — two typos and a grammatical error in one paragraph (Novichock, Skipal, comment [on], some nonsense about how we should just trust secret findings, no mention of BZ one way or another, no response to dozens of commenters asking for clarification.

        Note first their twitter site is rarely used, perhaps 3-4 tweets a month and those are all banal. So it looks like a PR intern doing the tweets dug them deeper into a hole. I would guess chemical weapons tests are a huge — if not only — current source of income for the lab and if Porton Down is somehow antagonized, referrals could drop to zero.

        Grasping at straws on their behalf, the tweeter could have meant that Porton Down properly determined the actual structure of the novichok-type compound whereas Speiz settled for just its formula and presence in the Skripals and Bailey biomedical samples. A lot of people commenting here are not aware of the difference between determining a chemical formula and (much harder) determining a chemical structure. For example C11H26O2PSN could be plain vanilla VX but just as well novocheboksarskiy.

        Ask yourself, why did the 2016 Iranian paper in the Journal of Spectroscopy go to such incredible lengths (deuterated analogs, meticulous synthesis, 4 types of nmr, all the gc – mass spectroscopy) in studying the five novichoks? Answer: because chemical structures doesn’t always follow from just mass spec fragments alone, they can (and did) rearrange in flight, there can be issues with isomers and chirality, how the fragments are connected up to each other and so forth.

        It is very wrong to think mass spectra can be accurately intuited be looking at a structure — this work would never have been funded and the paper would never have passed peer-review if that were possible.

        The other very widespread confusion among non-scientists: Val Mirzayanov never worked in a Foliant lab at Volsk-17 — he had no training as an organic chemist nor as analytic chemist. He was there all right but as chief of counter-intelligence: the Russians did not want a huge investment in R&D lost to espionage. Mirzayanov did have the very top clearances and knew who was doing what but had nothing to do with synthesizing experimental compounds. That was the work of Vladamir Uglev (who synthesized 3 of the best 5) and later Leontid Rink (who stole and sold novichok vials), who followed the lead of an brilliant original organic chemist (now deceased) who made the first ‘new guys’ and several hundred of them in total. See 30 June 1993 interview at http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a333126.pdf page 18

        • Sean Lamb

          Yes, but you have to careful with the Swiss. They are not like the Germans, they sometimes have a very dry sense of humor.

          That tweet could be read a number of ways. It may be that Porton Down told them what to look for. Or maybe it is just that you can trust the leaked report (“standards of verification are so rigid”)

          Anyway I reckon there is a sub-text or sub-tweet if you like to the tweet, even if only the inscrutable Swiss know what it is. Remember, the Swiss refused to expel any diplomats.

          • Ultraviolet

            The most significant thing about the tweet is that they don’t deny they found BZ.

            If their findings were all in line with the official narrative, they would undoubtedly have done so.

    • Sean Lamb

      Oh yes and one more thing

      March 27 Swiss lab issues report

      March 28 British Government calls Julian Assange a miserable little worm

      March 29 Ecuador cuts off Assange’s internet.

      All entirely coincidental I have no doubt. But there are those awful conspiracy theorists out there who will connect dots…Not to mention Kremlin Troll Bots – whose activity as been measure as up by 2000% according to the Pentagon.

      • Radar O’Reilly

        Any guesses SL how much overtime typing warfare these guys/gals are putting in at present?

        https://www.facebook.com/BritishArmyPSYOPS

        British Army 77th Brigade Fan Club – Psyops/Cyber FB Warriors is on Facebook. To connect with British Army 77th Brigade Fan Club – Psyops/Cyber FB Warriors, join Facebook today.

        er, no-thanks. Just keep-on, keeping the UK safe from {external} aggressors. Can you lot arrest {internal} wayward PMs & FORNsec’s?

    • TJ

      Yes, for all we know Novichok, A-234 etc are as harmful as baby powder, BZ on the other hand has been characterized and fits the symptoms described, the government has committed perjury at the Court of Protection. As Al Capone was taken down for tax evasion, hopefully we can take down the whole criminal organisation that masquerades as a government from PM to lowest civil servant for perjury, conspiracy, aiding and abetting, acting on concert etc etc

  • Keith

    That humiliating moment when US NATO and little boy Gavin realized they were defeated by an air defence system produced before Macron was born…..

  • Billy Bostickson

    BZ recovery after 3rd or 4th day, When did Julia check her vk.com account???

    “Paradoxically, one of the most reliable indications of recovery is the return of awareness by the subject that he is not as proficient as he should be. Subjects who received an incapacitating dose usually regain this awareness by the third or fourth day. By this time, their objective performance on addition and word recognition tests has generally risen to 80 or 90 percent of their baseline level, and the principal symptoms are some residual lassitude and blurring of vision…”
    https://www.erowid.org/chemicals/bz/bz_article1.shtml

  • Billy Bostickson

    MOD’s PORTON DOWN AND SECRET EXPERIMENTS
    Eye Spy Magazine 2002

    Priest Claims Top Secret Base Injected Dying Patients With Killer Viruses

    The police are to investigate gruesome allegations that military scientists at a top secret Ministry of Defence
    research facility used old and sick people as guinea pigs in germ warfare experiments. Porton Down is already at the centre of another police investigation – Operation Antler – which concerns the duping of servicemen with the deadly sarin and tabun nerve gas, mustard gas, CS and CR riot gas, LSD and another mind-binding drug believed to be known as BZ. According to intelligence sources, more than 400 complaints and allegations have been made from surviving servicemen and women covering a period of time from the 1950’s right up to 1989.

    Faced with a huge catalogue of “illegal” experiments, they have now learned of the new evidence. The information implies that the dying patients – many suffering from dementia – were without relatives who could and almost certainly would have protected them from MOD scientists.

    What is clear is that a major breakdown of communication happened, for the Monsignor’s claims were passed to the then Liberal Party leader, Sir David Steel. The material referred to as “official documents” was originally
    handed to the priest in 1970 by conscience-stricken members of his congregation in Scotland. He then chose to reveal the information in a speech to the Edinburgh Business Club in January of that year. “I have seen the
    evidence which I think is genuine,” he said. “There is a certain section of the Ministry of Defence which uses
    elderly people as guinea pigs for experiments and quietly puts them to death afterwards. It is all carefully hidden by the Official Secrets Act.”

    The new allegations may strengthen the belief that there has been yet another major cover-up by the British Government and intelligence services.

    https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2002/02/22239.html

    • giyane

      Billy Bostickson.

      The government is labouring under the illusion that its powers of people control are greater than the powers of government control which the www hands to the people. Thank you for publishing an example of where a tiny amount of that deadly nerve-cheek agent truth, wiped by conscience onto the government’s door knob will leave them lying on their backs with their legs sticking up in the air like dead cockroaches. A truly deadly poison for all pests, from Winston Churchill to Gavin Williamson.

      Not for nothing has the religion of truth, the sole worship of our Creator, been attacked by both the political classes of Islam and Christianity for the last 300 years. even the lesser truth of socialism, caring for the people, which is equivalent to the Skripal poison, like a nasty form of food poisoning, is constantly attacked. The socialist truth and the truth of Islam have to be eradicated before the pure evil of the political mind can prevail. We are many. They are few.

      Most contributors to this blog, but by no means all, have been brain-washed into thinking that socialism and Islam are the problem, not the solution. In this country as in nature , there is a large degree of immunity to these deadly toxins , truth and compassion. The Gospels say that compassion is the highest truth, but that is only because the Bible has been completely Bowdlerised. In fact the understanding that God Alone created and micromanages the universe is the novichok, which kills all known lies in 15 seconds. Here endeth the lesson.

      • Billy Bostickson

        Nice Rant, I like it! However, I stick to a simple more “Taoist” philosophy myself:

        ‘We are convinced that Freedom without Socialism is privilege, injustice; and that Socialism without Freedom is slavery and brutality.’ – Mikhail Bakunin

      • Ophelia Ball

        try this from our American cousins:

        That’s not the way the world really works anymore. We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

        Karl Rove, Deputy Chief of Staff in the Government of George W. Bush.

        Airstrikes on Syria – DILLY DILLY! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8Cb5Wk2t-8

        • Rhys Jaggar

          Karl Rove lost in 2008, he was not as special as he thought he was.

          Americans create illusion not reality and they never fight like men against tough opponents.

          They are quite good at Hollywood, even if Hollywood is filled with gropers…..

    • John Goss

      This is why I fear for Yulia Skripal’s life. If she is allowed to speak we might learn something of what has happened, when she woke up, how long she was conscious in hospital, what ‘care’ our spooks have given her, why she has been deprived of communication facilities and what, if any, bribes or pressures have been put on her regarding her sick father, and why they have been physically separated at a time when they most need family support.

  • Sean Lamb

    The other question that springs to mind is what did Nick Bailey’s blood contain?

    Just A-234? Just BZ toxin? Both?

    If it just A-234 it might confirm my “work accident” theory – that Nick Bailey got ill from spraying all the places the Skripals visited that morning with A-234 for Porton Down to identify.

    • John Goss

      “. . . that Nick Bailey got ill from spraying all the places the Skripals visited that morning with A-234 for Porton Down to identify.”

      That is a far from from silly suggestion. He is another person who has, according to a police statement, requested privacy. The whole game stinks.

      • Dan

        I can’t remember another occasion when our scumbag tabloid press has respected a request for privacy from central playes in a major news story, can you…?

    • Christine

      Pity he didn’t set their pets free before he did that. The state has the power and they act in secret whilst publicly mouthing lies and platitudes. Almost the whole Scripal family have, over time, been almost extinguished. Everyone else including police and pets just props in this sinister pantomime. They play a part and disappear. We, the audience are not supposed to ask questions. Nevermind, TM will have gone to church today. Asking for forgiveness? I doubt it. Just promoting the illusion. The pantomime continues.

  • Basil Fawlty

    Regarding the possible use of BZ on the Skripals and the fact that BZ is more Western-derived, I assume people are aware of the potential connection between daddy Skripal and the shenanigans occurring in the US? In short, an ex MI6 agent called Christopher Steele put together a (dodgy) dossier of Russian-sourced dirt on Donald Trump which was then used to obtain a FISA warrant which allowed the FBI to spy on Trump. Steele works for Orbis Business Intelligence. Someone else who also works for Orbis Business Intelligence is Pablo Miller, also an ex MI6 agent, who just happened to be the guy who recruited daddy Skripal as a double agent . And guess where Pablo Miller is believed to live…….(drumroll please)……Salisbury.

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/03/spy-posions-spy-and-the-anti-trump-campaign.html

  • Den Lille Abe

    There are many fine analyses of the current events here on this site. I would like to point out one glaring thing though:
    Since the incident, there has been no verified communication with anyone involved. Not the Skripals, not the policeman, not Dr. Davies, not any of the first responders, none of the clean up crew, firefighters, no one at all. No one at all. Complete blackout of all and any information from the involved.
    If this is not indication of Government involvement and heavy handed clampdown, I am not me and this is not 2018, and T.May is not PM. When a government resorts to this type of clampdown, it is usually coined “Damage control”. “Damage control” is an situation a Government reverts to, when Governments risks falling or could be damaged irreparably.
    And yes, they have the Legalese to do that, including ruining your life and handing out 30 year sentences all under some “Secrets Act”.
    We will never, have the truth, as no one dares speak.

      • Bayard

        “But now vee have zee Internet!”
        Yes, but how come none of the first responders, none of the clean up crew, firefighters, none of the medical staff of Salisbury Hospital, none of the many bystanders equipped with ‘phone cameras, nobody involved has availed themselves of it?

    • Radar O’Reilly

      some of the “Disappeared”
      USA 1971 D.B. Cooper – ransom + parachute?
      USA 1975 J. Hoffa – union + mafia?
      USA 1937 A. Earhart -aviation + spying?
      USA 1872 Marie Celeste 10 crew ?
      UKRAINE 2010 V. Klymentye journalist
      BELARUS 1999-2000 4 journalists KGB.by
      ALGERIA 1990s 17,000 – state vs. headchoppers
      BANGLDESH 2010-2014 300 – opposition politicians
      ARGENTINA 1976-1983 20,000+ Proceso de Reorganización Nacional + CIA
      UK 2018 Skripals and many witnesses, false-flag cover-up

      According to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which came into force on 1 July 2002, when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed at any civilian population, a “forced disappearance” qualifies as a crime against humanity and, thus, is not subject to a statute of limitations.

    • Ultraviolet

      On top of all that, no footage on Facebook, or stories from the peripheral players.

      It is utterly unprecedented. It feels more like the story is happening in a made for TV drama for all the impact it is having in the real world outside the official version as reported without deviation in the MSM.

    • Dan

      – which could explain why the press is respecting all those requests for privacy and not doorstepping every central player as they normally would.

    • Christine

      You know I believe you are “spot on ” in this analysis. Do you knowanything about the neighbours of Mr Scripal? Have they not been interviewed? Where are they?

  • Sarge

    I know there are no palatable alternatives in Conservative ranks, but May really is a diabolical excuse for a prime minister. There has been nothing coherent about anything she’s said or done since assuming the role. An utter mediocrity caught bewildered in the headlights.

    • quasi_verbatim

      Dodgy Doorknob Dossier notwithstanding, this is our fifth war-criminal Prime Minister, in succession.

    • Doghouse

      ‘Diabolical’ being the operative word. Those eyes are vacuous, doesn’t appear to be anything behind them to me. To knowingly lie about a poisoning to demonise another world leader, to knowingly collude in that ‘fitting up’, to use that lie in conjunction with another, where a simple analysis of the video footage involved showed the meta data had been removed, to ignore the statements of hospital staff and then to favour ‘social media’ statements as a justification of proof to bomb another nation state is nothing short of demonic in my book
      Right from the outset I applied the following criteria –
      Q – How can we be sure the Russians were not involved?
      A – They are still alive aren’t they?

  • John Goss

    This morning on the Andrew Marr Show – Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn on the legality of military strikes against Syria – allegedly.

  • Christopher Dale Rogers

    Funny old world, just swung by The Guardian/Observer online, which I now only infrequently visit to check the Football Tables, so was surprised to check out both its International front page & UK front page and note that no comment whatsoever is open for readers to give input – even Rawnsley’s lies are now off limits. Of course the noble Andrew was moaning at the lack of intervention by the West in Syria, which, and if anyone has a single brain cell, is easily undermined by the fact that the West has been sponsoring the head choppers, both financially & ordnance wise, since the Arab Spring of 2011 – little wonder Comment Ain’t Free anymore at the neocon Guardian Media Group.

    • Den Lille Abe

      The Guardian should change its name to The Gauleiter.
      What ever it once was it certainly is not anymore.

    • David Littlewood

      I have asked the question twice in recent days on comment threads that were opened. The cartoon section, always a hotbed of excellent comments, has also been tampered with, and no comments allowed for a week now.

  • SA

    A possible scenario is that part of Toxic Dagger was supposed to use BZ as a realistic substitute for A234 but through a misunderstanding both were issued. Confusion then ensued and the coverup was used as an opportunity to stoke Russophobia.

    • quasi_verbatim

      The more pertinent question is what was smeared on Mrs. May’s broomstick?

    • intp1

      Here’s another one:
      The Schripals are given/slipped BZ on the day of their “attack” This induces all the symptoms seen since. A Novichock titre is added to samples tested by PD and OPCW (It is not clear if the chain of custody started at the actual blood being drawn). PD is bullied into fudging the ID. The OPCW has to agree to keep the ID secret before they accept the samples and therefore there is another fudge whereby they must say the ID is a secret but it is what the UK Govt said it is. The Swiss lab has said there is something funny about the Novichock results – consistent with tampering. The OPCW leave that out of their compiled report.
      The Skripals are cloistered with statements issued that are dictated by MI6 then whisked away to a secret location for ever after. The police eventually issue a statement with investigation results that do not contradict the narrative.
      There is never a trial because Putin does not present himself to the Salisbury PD Desk Sergeant for questioning.
      End of story. Truth, Justice, Science subverted again.

  • Smiling Through

    A small example of the nonsense put out by The Observer today in this “news story”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/14/parliament-and-public-split-over-theresa-may-decison-to-support-airstrikes-against-syria?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Twitter

    is this:

    ‘The strikes drew support from some non-political quarters. The London-based foreign policy thinktank, the Henry Jackson Society, praised May for “taking resolute action” that would help deter further use of chemical weapons. However, executive director Alan Mendoza said the airstrikes should be the start of a wider military campaign, instead of action the US has described as a “one-time shot.”’

    The Henry Jackson Society is “non political”?

    • quasi_verbatim

      With half of the British Army guarding the Eastern Approaches and this new proposal to send the other half to fight the fuzzy-wuzzies the question now arises — who remains to garrison Salisbury?

    • joel

      Further confirmation, were any needed, that the Guardian/observer is a deeply dishonest neocon propaganda sheet. Btw is anybody aware of a foreign policy “think tank” that even mildly reflects public attitudes and doesn’t advocate endless ‘intervening’ in the mideast, confronting Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, etc.?

    • D_Majestic

      I’m pretty sure that there was a clip on Youtube, in which a presenter welcomed a Jacksonite ‘Dr’. saying ‘From the right-wing think-tank the Henry Jackson Society’. Which Jacksonite, quick as a flash, replied ‘Cross-Party Think-Tank’. And the lady interviewer apologized and corrected herself.

      • Ophelia Ball

        Here is actual footage of the US intervention into the Syrian civil war, highlighting the principled moral stand (high ground), compassion towards those involved, and the remarkable effectiveness of its weaponry https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr4md5OqL60

        All absolutely true, by the way
        (c) 2018 White Helmet Films Inc.

  • Mary Paul

    I actually knew a serviceman ( he is dead now) who claimed he was one of those originally used as a guinea pig fir chemical weapons testing by PD, and he talked to me at length about what happened to him, about the subsequent cover up and his doomed fight for justice. So I know bad things have happened at PD. And I agree that BZ is a convincing explanation for the Skripsls symptoms – although I should like to see the actual Swiss report. And I totally agree the UK MSM news clamp down has been sinister.

    Where I am struggling, is with the idea that a retired Russian double agent living in Salisbury , would be targeted at the centre of a massive false flag conspiracy set up by Mi6, using nerve gas,in an English city, just to raise anti Russian feeling to justify bombing Syris. I just cannot see the point of MI6 saying: “ok we need a diversion to justify bombing Syria, so we’ll pretend poison this old Russian spy and his daughter living in Salisbury with nerve gas, spread it all over Salisbury, and blame the Russians , that should do the trick..”

    He!lo? And to achieve this, a vast complex conspiracy is wheeled into place, involving faked nerve gas findings, deliberately infecting a British city with novichok, organising rigged reports from the OPCW and reaching all the way from Mark Sidwell the UKs National Security Officer down to the local police. Why? just to justify bombing Syria, that simply isn’t necessary. We all know Russia does bad things in places like Syria. Images from the benighted country itself could justify intervention on their own. Why infect a beautiful old English city with nerve gas? I just don’t buy it .

    There must be something more behind the elaborate scenario currently being played out in Salisbury.

    • joel

      The official narratives about Salisbury and Dhouma are nonsensical. Why would Putin and Assad inflame the war hawks when the former is about to host the WC and the latter is on the brink of victory in the syrian civil war?

    • Robyn

      Mary Paul – you state, ‘We all know Russia does bad things in places like Syria’.

      From the sources I’ve been following, I was under the impression that Russia was working heroically with the Syrian Arab Army to defeat the terrorists (commonly known as rebels) so I’d appreciate some links to the ‘bad things’ they have done in Syria and ‘places like Syria’. I like to keep up. Thank you.

      • Mary Paul

        you are correct to pull me up – in this context should probably have said People already believe Russia does bad things in Syria . I will look out other sources.

    • Jiusito

      The murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher was not a simple operation either, surely, but it evidently did the trick. This time, I would guess, they must have been disappointed that the public reaction was more muted – partly, no doubt, because we’ve all learnt to be a little more cynical and sceptical, partly because we now have the internet. If there had been a lot more public outrage, perhaps their ambition was to “intervene” a lot more aggressively in Syria.

      • John Goss

        I agree. But not everybody sees it that way. As to:

        “If there had been a lot more public outrage, perhaps their ambition was to “intervene” a lot more aggressively in Syria.”

        the Russian-aided liberation of rebel strongholds made it impossible to smuggle in the “Novichok” they abandoned the more aggressive approach. And the way that story has backfired probably made them more cautious. Their masters in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem will not be pleased that peace is being restored to Syria and Assad is still there.

    • Dave Price

      Mary Paul, OffGuardian offers one possible answer:

      Excerpt:

      “So, could it be the Skripal event was never intended to last so long in the public eye? Could it be that it was indeed a false flag, or a fake event, as many have alleged, planned as a sketchy prelude to, or warm up act for a bigger chemical attack in Syria, scheduled for a week or so later in mid-March – just around the time Russia was warning of such a possibility?

      Could it be this planned event was unexpectedly canceled by the leading players in the drama (the US) when the Russians called them out and the rapid and unexpected fall of Ghouta meant any such intervention became pointless at least for the moment?

      Did this cancelation leave the UK swinging in the wind, with a fantastical story that was never intended to withstand close scrutiny, and no second act for distraction?

      So, did they push on with the now virtually useless “chemical attack”, botch it (again), leaving a clear evidence trail leading back to them? Did they then further insist on an allied “response” to their botched false flag in order to provide yet more distraction and hopefully destroy some of that evidence?

      This would explain why the UK may have been pushing for the false flag to happen (as claimed by Russia) even after it could no longer serve much useful purpose on the ground, and why the Douma “attack” seems to have been so sketchily done by a gang on the run. The UK needed the second part to happen in order to distract from the first.”

      The Skripal event and the Douma “gas attack” – two acts in the same drama?

      • Dan

        Perhaps the events in Salisbury were designed to allow May to say to anti-interventionist MPs “Chemical attacks don’t just happen in Syria, they happen in the UK too – therefore we must intervene militarily in order to demonstrate that chemical attacks are a red line that cannot be crossed”? And she did say something fairly similar in her statement after the bombing raid had started.

    • Blissex

      «be targeted at the centre of a massive false flag conspiracy set up by Mi6, using nerve gas,in an English city,»

      That it was a “gas” is very, very unlikely (it is alleged that it was smeared/rubbed onto a door handle), and that it was a nerve agent of the lethal variety is also quite unlikely.
      Also if it was a fake attack it was very easy to do: put together a lot of chemical A and a tiny bit of chemical B, and two people that for money are very willing to participate. Consider for example one of the many bizarre details: the alleged poisoning happened the day after the daughter arrived. What’s the point of targeting her too? The father was alone for a long time.

      The question rather is why ever would a russian spy agency try to kill S Skripal and his daughter after he had done 6-7 years in a russian prison, and after 6-7 years of residence in the UK, and do it in such a both crass and ridiculously stupid way?
      The usual answer that Putin is not just evil, but also mad, seems quite unsatisfactory to me.

      «just to raise anti Russian feeling to justify bombing Syris»

      Well, whatever was the intent of the incident, by whoever, it has been used to improve on Tony Blair’s “45 minutes”: the argument for attacking Iraq was “self-defense”, that Saddam has stockpiles of WMDs, they can reach the UK in 45 minutes, we need to stop him.
      In the current situation as evidenced by the articles of several “The Guardian” columnists, the alleged WMD attack against Salisbury provides a vital emotional immediacy to the threat of Assad’s alleged WMD stockpiles against english targets; the link is “proof” that WMD attacks don’t happen only on Syria, they happen also in suburban England. Since so many voters are frightful oldies (living in suburban England), english right-wing politics has devolved in a series of “Project Fear” editions.

      My current best guess is that both Skripals traded in black market “substances”, they mishandled a delivery, and got accidentally contaminated, and then some security services decided it was a golden opportunity to provide an emotional link between the soon-to-happen alleged chemical attack in east Damascus and english homes.
      Then they both got offered a large payment in “compensation” from the UK security services as long as they disappeared and they signed public statements written by a corporate lawyer. That’s pretty much what happens in the corporate world too when there is some unpleasant story: lots of money for an NDA.

    • N_

      Where I am struggling, is with the idea that a retired Russian double agent living in Salisbury , would be targeted at the centre of a massive false flag conspiracy set up by (MI6), using nerve gas,in an English city, just to raise anti Russian feeling to justify bombing (Syria).

      The defence review was shelved. When it is reopened, there won’t be cuts now.

      And the advance towards war with Russia has just taken a big step forward.

      Strategic orientation towards Russia – with perceptions engineered as required – isn’t just a functional thing that helped out with yesterday morning’s bombing raids against Syria, or that helps out with orientation towards Syria or even the whole Middle East generally. It’s more strategic than that. The physical conflict stage of WW3 is likely to start by this summer.

    • Bayard

      What makes your unlikely hypothesis much more likely is the possibility that the Skripals were targeted for quite another reason – it appears that Sergei was involved in the “Russians helped Trump be elected” narrative – possibly because he knew something highly likely to be embarrassing to the government and couldn’t be trusted not to capitalise on it. This could have been done completely silently, but someone thought of the “discredit Russia” idea and it all kicked off from there. That would also explain the two different poisons – BZ was part of the original and “Novichok” part of the later plan.

  • Sharp Ears

    By Eva Bartlett

    Caught in a lie, US & allies bomb Syria the night before international inspectors arrive
    15 Apr 2018 | 04:33 GMT

    The US, Britain and France trampled international law to launch missiles against Syria, claiming to have “evidence” of the government’s use of chemical weapons. That evidence is based on terrorist lies.

    After a week of outrageous tweets and proclamations by POTUS Trump, which included continued accusations that Syria’s president ordered a chemical weapons attack on civilians in Douma, east of Damascus, with Trump using grotesque and juvenile terminology, such as “animal Assad,” the very evening before chemical weapons inspectors of the OPCW were to visit Douma, America and allies launched illegal bombings against Syria. The illegal bombings included 103 missiles, 71 of which Russia states were intercepted.

    /..

    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/424186-us-allies-syria-lie/

  • quasi_verbatim

    I’m not sure about the Skripals but the Swiss national laboratory has confirmed that the cat was doorknobbed with the incapacitating toxin 3 -Quinuclidinyl Benzilate or ‘BZ’ and this explains its ‘distressed’ state and why it had to be removed to Porton Down for treatment and disposal, poor thing.

    The other, missing, cat, having slept off the effects in a ditch for a few hours, and remaining confused, has I believe now embarked on a trek to the family home in Russia. Wonderful homing instinct, cats.

    • gremlins3

      Oh no, so not only are we risking WWIII but now the RSPCA could get involved…

  • Ophelia Ball

    Emboldened by their control of the Security Council. the May Junta, the American Mob and the French Poodle are now pressing for a further UN resolution pinning the blame on Assad and compelling him to cease using chemical weapons. When did you last beat your wife?

    It is by now clear that this is not about the Skripals – forget the Skripals, forget Swiss laboratories, forget Dr Ste[hen Davies – they have served their purpose, and you will not hear of them again

    This is also not about violation of the UN Charter – yada yada yada get over it already – let’s move on and, just in case anyone lags behind, every time a reference is made to the precepts of International Law, just sidetrack them with some waffle about how chemical weapons are against International law too, and the perps have to be brought to Justice etc etc etc. Some International Laws – those which aren’t documented and don’t require evidence – are more important than others (those such as the UN Charter, the CWC and the principles of Due Process and Customary International Law / Natural Justice)

    This is not about Chemical weapons: we trust the OPCW, don’t we, but if the say that Russia has none, and that Syria is clean well, we can just ignore that and claim those nations cheated. [email protected]? Oh, there you go on about [email protected] – let’s talk about “Butcher Assad” instead. And the USA being behind with disposing of its own chemical weapons stocks? – they haven’t got any money, silly – they just spent the last $100 million on bombarding a couple of derelict building in Syria. Do please try to keep up!

    This is not about poor innocent civilians – as Craig points out, we only care about them if to do so helps us advance some political agenda or other. Are you worried about deaths along the border in Gaza? – ok, well let’s manufacture some casualties in Douma to even the score up a little and distract your attention. And please, don’t start banging on and on and on and on about Yemen! That’s Iran’s fault, ok – they made us sell cluster munitions to the Saudi’s (and its not as if we don’t need the money – putting MBS up in 5 start hotels during his shopping trips to Paris and the USA doesn’t come cheap!)

    And finally, I think we all know now, this is not about Syria: Syria is just one of many raghead nations who were dumb enough to locate their sh1thole country on top of our oil, and in the way of our geostrategic ambitions: we don’t need Syria to be ‘villain du jour’ – we’ve got Iran, North Korea, any number of other “animals” we can seek to intimidate, and to be quite frank, who cares if we cant find them on the map – Google Earth probably has the coordinates of every cellphone in the area anyway, so we’ll just use those

    This, Ladies & Gentlemen, Boys & Girls, Children of All Ages, is about something far more important, far more obvious – we are just better than everyone else – more important, more bought & paid for friends, more guns, better films, bigger lies – resistance is futile. Why can’t the Russians and the Chinese just roll over an accept this – we are exceptional, they are not. End of.

    • Ophelia Ball

      apologies about the lapse in HTML taggery at the end there – the Putin Regime made me do it

      • Ophelia Ball

        That’s not the way the world really works anymore. We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

        Karl Rove, Deputy Chief of Staff in the Government of George W. Bush.

      • Hatuey

        I hope though that you and everyone else is aware that it could be about something else though. It really could.

        The western economies are broke, with a couple of exceptions. Something like 65% of world manufacturing output is from China. Western bankers and financiers are totally discredited after 2018 and there hasn’t really been a recovery — QE skewed the picture but it didn’t work. All they have is the laundering facilities they offer people like the Saudis and dissident Russian crime lords.

        The big one, consumer demand, hasn’t come close to recovery outside of a few overheated bubbles in places like London; wages and living standards in most western countries, measured in real terms, have fallen nearly every year for the last 10 years, in some places over a much longer period.

        When we say this might be about oil or pipelines, or underlining our exceptionalism, we are really expressing a hope.

        What if the real goal is Russia? We’ve all watched the way they have been picking fights with Russia in Ukraine and elsewhere over the last few years. Then there’s the sanctions, and constant lies about things like their Olympic team cheating, dark money, hackers, manipulating elections, etc.

        A massive conventional war would certainly fix a few economies, for a while at least. If there was some sort of limited nuclear exchange, well, regrettable but there would be huge reconstruction opportunities.

        • N_

          Something like 65% of world manufacturing output is from China.
          China is not that dominant. Perhaps 30%.

        • Doghouse

          I think it is difficult to see how Russia cannot be in the gunsights, metaphorically and literally. The constant demonization and vilification almost entirely without foundation, a bandwagon fully supported by feeble Western media, the sales of so called defensive missile systems to neighbouring countries, Ukraine, Rumania, Poland etc, missile systems which has been pointed out by Mr Putin himself that can have their warheads covertly altered to nuclear without the consent or knowledge of the countries in which they are embedded, changing from passive to aggressive in the blink of an eye, the build up of troops and military exercises, the list is endless, the conclusions seemingly apparent. Russia know it too, hence the intervention in Syria, a safety net to Iran, their front doorstep.

  • fred

    The UN resolution condemning Britain, France and America for an illegal attack on Syria last night was defeated, it only got three votes.

    The attack has the backing of the UNSC.

    • Ophelia Ball

      either that, or the UNSC is a busted flush

      watching the Meeting live, it immediately became apparent that every time the missile attacks were mentioned, attention was diverted to how outrageous it was of Assad to gas innocent civilians; the message is clear – if we decide something is more important, even without evidence, then the UN Charter can safely be ignored

      these are surely two entirely distinct issues and, to be frank, even of it ultimately turns out that Assad did in fact gas innocent children in Ghouta, I am far from confident that International Law provides any pretext for 3 states to attack Syria – certainly not before the OPCW team had reported its findings

      the credibility of the OPCW is now fatally damaged: both Russia and Syria were given clean bills of health, but we choose to ignore that; indeed, when there the risk arises that an OPCW mission is once again about to find that Assad is innocent, we need to get our ‘revenge’ in quick and then move the debate on as a fait accompli The USA and Israel have no intention of complying with the OPCW, the UN Charter or with international law – those precepts are only to be applied to designated Bad Guys

      history is not written in hours or days, or weeks or months, and in 50 years time it will be written not in English, but in Chinese, with the clear message that the early years of this century marked the decline and fall of Western pre-eminence and its contempt for “lesser tribes”

    • Roman_D

      But the good news is that China was among those three who voted for the resolution.

    • Bayleaf

      “The attack has the backing of the UNSC.”

      No it doesn’t. If that were so, then they would pass a motion backing the attack. Which won’t happen, of course.

      Therefore, the UNSC neither condemns nor backs the attack.

      • Ophelia Ball

        let’s do the arithmetic

        15 members of the Security Council, of which the USA, UK and France stand accused of playing fast and loose with the UN Charter

        Take our Russia and China, and that leaves 10 Lucky Winners

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/feb/08/usa.iraq1

        taking home $1 billion a piece, with enough small change left over for another bombing run and a party afterwards

    • N_

      Backing would require at least nine votes in favour, including from all five permanent members. Its absence of UNSC backing is what makes it illegal.

  • nyame

    The OPCW report still has the paragraph 12 (see below). With this paragraph actually the previous points are virtually obsolete and give the authorities (UK) the opportunity to not lose their face.

    What bothers me is the fact that the Swiss laboratory does not appear in the report (see paragraph 4), or are they mentioned as “subsequent analysis”? However, their results could be included in the final report according to paragraph 12. In this case the OPCW would have lied just a little bit. The report is actully still correct!

    Here are my thoughts:
    What if the blood samples (see paragraph 4) were sent to the Swiss laboratory. They find a BZ toxin with slight contamination by Novichok. To hide this result, it will be mentioned only in paragraph 12 of the final report (which is not public).

    The other two OPCW laboratories (Netherlands, Finland) receive the doorknob sample (fake) with Novichok. But since the fingerprint of this sample leads to Porton Down, only their (Porton Down) result is confirmed. And nobody was lying!

    Unfortunately, my story still has a hitch. How did the policeman get in contact with the BZ toxin? Questions upon questions, but I don’t want to continue speculating … Does anyone have an idea?

    We should know what is written in the full classified report mentioned in pragrah 12!

    Ectracts of the OPCW report:
    12. The name and structure of the identified toxic chemical are contained in the full classified report of the Secretariat, available to States Parties.

    6. The team requested and received splits of samples taken by British authorities for delivery to the OPCW Laboratory in Rijswijk, the Netherlands, and subsequent analysis by OPCW designated laboratories. This was done for comparative purposes and to verify the analysis of the United Kingdom.

    4. The team was able to collect blood samples from the three affected individuals under full chain of custody for delivery to the OPCW Laboratory and subsequent analysis by OPCW designated laboratories, and conducted identification of the three individuals against official photo-ID documents.

  • Buz

    Looking back into the history of the islands then known as United Kingdom it is still interesting to be reminded about the plot codenamed WW111 and shocking events of March and April 2018.The plot was hatched early in the 21st century or even earlier, but was finally put in place in April 2018 by a group known as “The Liar ,The Witch and The Schoolboy” .Backed by a sinister gang called “The rest of The War Cabinet” and the state operated media called “the BBC and the Guardian “they started their military adventure on the 13th of that month.
    Relying on co-operation in this plan by ” evil Dictator Putin of Russia” and notorious dictator “Trump” (and some Frenc h politician ) they started firing rockets into massive nerve agent factories in Syria.
    But something went wrong .The nerve agent factories didn’t release their poison and evil Dictator Putin decided not to join in. Dictator Trump lost interest.When the plot was exposed many people realised how close they had come to disaster
    The democratic forces in the UK eventually woke up, saw that the junta was extremely dangerous and had them removed.(I think they went to live in other parts of the world but did emerge occasionally under armed guard in an attempt to explain that they were just following orders or “it was the right thing to do” or it was in the national interest, or even ,absurdly,that it was to save lives and prevent suffering. )
    Many historians believed this was a turning point in world history.As WMDs were dismantled worldwide and wars were ended a long period of peace and prosperity began. Many generations worked hard to bring this about but we remember they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do so if WW111 had gone ahead.

    NOTE
    it has not been verified that this message came from the year 2525 but we do have secret intelligence to strongly suggest that it does.

    • Ophelia Ball

      … one of the initial successes of the May Junta was to distract the attention of the British public from the repeated and very direct demands by Latin American delegates – during a debate on attacks on Syria, of all things – for the UK to hand back the Malvinas

      it came up time and time again during yesterday’s debate and, were it known, would surely be sufficient to eject Elle Duce May from office

      • Ophelia Ball

        SACHA SERGIO LLORENTTY SOLÍZ (Bolivia), cited the United Kingdom’s refusal to return the Malvinas Islands* in describing a range of policies that undermined global peace and security. Bolivia understood that the United States had powerful aircraft carriers, satellites, smart bombs and a huge nuclear weapons arsenal, as well as nothing but scorn for international law. However, there were also the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter, which ultimately, would prevail.

        Mr. JA’AFARI (Syria) noted that he was Rapporteur of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, he said that body would continue to work to end the British occupation of the Malvinas.

        What goes around, comes around, and this isn’t over by a long chalk

        • Jim MacDonald

          Are you saying that the Falklands used to be part of the Argentine Republic?
          They never even existed in 1833.
          Prior to that they were a Spanish Colony, maybe Spain should make the claim?

          • Ophelia Ball

            I am saying that a storm is brewing

            my views on the merits of the Falklands issue are irrelevant: those of some of the delegates at the UN Security Council probably are relevant to the political future of the May Junta

    • N_

      the islands then known as United Kingdom

      There aren’t any islands known as the “UK”. The “UK” is not a geographical entity. It is not a country. It is a political regime, like the French Fifth Republic.

    • Buz

      2 errors in the above post

      1 they were not a junta just a regime
      2 Nerve agent factories should have been in quotation marks at end of para 1.
      Crucially the UK targets were not nerve agent factories and storage faculties just unimportant small industrial units. This is where the plot went wrong .The UK regime, relying on intelligence ,thought they were nerve agent facilities and by bombing them releasing toxins into the atmosphere there would be huge collateral damage which would have forced retaliation from Russia. When this did not occur they realised their plan had failed. Even though so called Scientists were found to explain that this wasn’t part of the plot and it was quite safe to destroy stockpiles of nerve agents with high explosives the populace didn’t believe them.This was because only weeks earlier they had been persuaded that the City of Salisbury had come under attack from a small amount of ,what they called Novichock on to a door handle.Even though they looked for another explanation nobody believed them anymore .This directly led to the death of the Conservative and Unionist Party and the trials for treason and planned genocide of some of its leaders.Many of them incriminated themselves during the notorious Parliamentary debates which began on Monday 16th April broadcast live on the state TV channel.

  • Roman_D

    Spiez Laboratory
    @SpiezLab
    Only OPCW can comment this assertion. But we can repeat what we stated 10 days ago: We have no doubt that Porton Down has identified Novichock. PD – like Spiez – is a designated lab of the OPCW. The standards in verification are so rigid that one can trust the findings.

    And what about BZ? Not a single word about the most important point. Speaks for itself. They try not to lie, but still they are obviously not telling the wole truth and avoid commenting on BZ.

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