Yulia Skripal Is Plainly Under Duress 777


Only the Russians have allowed us to hear the actual voice of Yulia Skripal, in that recorded conversation with her cousin. So the one thing we know for certain is that, at the very first opportunity she had, she called back to her cousin in Russia to let her know what is going on. If you can recall, until the Russians released that phone call, the British authorities were still telling lies that Sergei was in a coma and Yulia herself in a serious condition.

We do not know how Yulia got to make the call. Having myself been admitted unconscious to hospital on several occasions, each time when I came to I found my mobile phone in my bedside cabinet. Yulia’s mobile phone plainly had been removed from her and not returned. Nor had she been given an official one – she specifically told her cousin that she could not call her back on that phone as she had it temporarily. The British government could have given her one to keep on which she could be called back, had they wished to help her.

The most probable explanation is that Yulia persuaded somebody else in the hospital to lend her a phone, without British officials realising. That would explain why the first instinct of the British state and its lackey media was to doubt the authenticity of the call. It would explain why she was able to contradict the official narrative on their health, and why she couldn’t get a return call. It would, more importantly, explain why her family has not been able to hear her voice since. Nor has anybody else.

It strikes me as inherently improbable that, when Yulia called her cousin as her first act the very moment she was able, she would now issue a formal statement through Scotland Yard forbidding her cousin to be in touch or visit. I simply do not believe this British Police statement:

“I was discharged from Salisbury District Hospital on the 9th April 2018. I was treated there with obvious clinical expertise and with such kindness, that I have found I missed the staff immediately.
“I have left my father in their care, and he is still seriously ill. I too am still suffering with the effects of the nerve agent used against us.
“I find myself in a totally different life than the ordinary one I left just over a month ago, and I am seeking to come to terms with my prospects, whilst also recovering from this attack on me.
“I have specially trained officers available to me, who are helping to take care of me and to explain the investigative processes that are being undertaken. I have access to friends and family, and I have been made aware of my specific contacts at the Russian Embassy who have kindly offered me their assistance in any way they can. At the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services, but, if I change my mind I know how to contact them.
“Most importantly, I am safe and feeling better as time goes by, but I am not yet strong enough to give a full interview to the media, as I one day hope to do. Until that time, I want to stress that no one speaks for me, or for my father, but ourselves. I thank my cousin Viktoria for her concern for us, but ask that she does not visit me or try to contact me for the time being. Her opinions and assertions are not mine and they are not my father’s.
“For the moment I do not wish to speak to the press or the media, and ask for their understanding and patience whilst I try to come to terms with my current situation.”

There is also the very serious question of the language it is written in. Yulia Skripal lived part of her childhood in the UK and speaks good English. But the above statement is in a particular type of formal, official English of a high level which only comes from a certain kind of native speaker.

“At the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services” – wrote no native Russian speaker, ever.

Nor are the rhythms or idioms such as would in any way indicate a translation from Russian. Take “I thank my cousin Viktoria for her concern for us, but ask that she does not visit me or try to contact me for the time being. Her opinions and assertions are not mine and they are not my father’s.” Not only is this incredibly cold given her first impulse was to phone her cousin, the language is just wrong. It is not the English Yulia would write and it is awkward to translate into Russian, thus not a natural translation from it.

To put it plainly, as someone who has much experience of it, the English of the statement is precisely the English of an official in the UK security services and precisely not the English of somebody like Yulia Skripal or of a natural translation from Russian.

Yulia is, of course, in protective custody “for her own safety”. At the very best, she is being psychologically force-fed the story about the evil Russian government attempting to poison her with the doorknob, and she is being kept totally isolated from any influence that may reinforce any doubts she feels as to that story. There are much worse alternatives involving threat or the safety of her father. But even at the most benevolent reading of the British authorities’ actions, Yulia Skripal is being kept incommunicado, and under duress.


777 thoughts on “Yulia Skripal Is Plainly Under Duress

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  • kathy

    You would think that she would want to say something reassuring to her house-bound grandmother, especially as her father was reportedly very close to her.

  • artful dodger

    There are technologies that could convincingly alter/simulate/copy someone’s voice to mimic Yulia over the short duration of the released telephone call!
    Printed official statements are not convincing either.
    Neither Nick Bailey nor Yulia Skripal have been seen publicly since March the 4th so virtually every element of the Salisbury Novichok story is probably fake.
    What concerns me much more is that the Salisbury story was an obvious prelude to the narrative about the gas attack in Douma.
    News items showed images of a gassed dead Syrian family that looked horrifically realistic.
    Presumably it was our “advisers” who guided the moderate rebel allies towards gassing a whole family just so this propaganda video could be created?

  • Paul

    Thank you for your commitment to the truth. What I read in Julia’s “statement” was originally written by a non-Russian person or this non-Russian heavily formatted text. And he formatted this text not in human language, but in bureaucratic, police, etc.
    And the cat:
    Deadly nerve agent?
    The cat ‘may have been contaminated with the deadly nerve agent’,
    but he was dying of thirst and hunger for a month.
    He survived.
    But was killed and burned.
    Deadly nerve agent…
    Certainly… Certainly…

    • BarrieJ

      A cat might easily live without food for more than three days but only in the most exceptional circumstances would a cat live for more than three days without food and water.
      A cat does not have the reasoning to ration a limited source of water, once it was gone it was gone.

  • mike

    The Skripals and the rush to bomb Syria is the UK state’s play to kill the Corbyn threat. If we are at war the local elections will be cancelled, or at least the Maybot will have wall-to-wall coverage as a dignified, statesmanlike something-or-other, and the peeps will vote accordingly. However, everything the Maybot touches turns to shit. It’s time the 1922 Committee realised that. They’ll request a meeting with her after 3rd May, if the election does go ahead and her attempts to look like she isn’t weak and volatile (the truth of strong and stable) still mean Corbyn has swept London. Hate Week (every week) just isn’t doing it for her.

    Unfortunately for the Maybot, the Skripals and the rush to bomb Syria is all based on very obvious lies. Even a lobotomised reading of both “attacks” by our supine media cannot disguise those lies. And wheeling out Barking Blair to sell Neocon War # 6 just smacks of desperation.

    I wonder what George Monbiot feels when he sees TB on TV, pushing for another war? Maybe he’s learned to love Big Brother.

  • Harry Law

    The authorities say of Julia Skripal ‘she is free to go’ and ‘She does not want to speak to Journalists or Russian Consular officials’ and that ‘she wants her privacy’ it is possible that the authorities are giving opinions here [in the third person] which may, or may not be in line with what Yulia actually wants. What is unbelievable is Yulia’s apparent reluctance [she is a human being isn’t she] to phone her friends and relatives including her fiance, informing them personally of her wishes and desires. Even category ‘A’ prisoners in British jails have daily access to telephones.

    Then today Sputnik News put out this statement by the Metropolitan Police inter alia..

    “I have access to friends and family, and I have been made aware of my specific contacts at the Russian Embassy who have kindly offered me their assistance in any way they can,” she said. “At the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services, but, if I change my mind I know how to contact them.”

    Acknowledging that she isn’t up to the task of giving a full interview on the matter, she urged others to not speak for her or her father.

    “I want to stress that no one speaks for me, or for my father, but ourselves,” Skripal said. “I thank my cousin Viktoria for her concern for us, but ask that she does not visit me or try to contact me for the time being. Her opinions and assertions are not mine and they are not my father’s.”

    Something is definitely not right here, what kind of a person does not want to contact friends and family including her fiancé.?
    I wrote to the Russian Ambassador A V Yakoventko yesterday 10-04-18 recorded delivery, asking him if he could he explain why his Embassy have not engaged counsel to go to the High court for a writ of habeas corpus or Mandamus.

    • FobosDeimos

      Very good comment! I share Craig’s views but there is so much more that the Russian Embassy could be doing, aside from issuing repetitive statements. As Harry Law points out, the Embassy should have “availed itself” (to quote “Yulia”) of the legal and judicial means that the British Court system still provides (at least for now). I don’t understand their stance. If the Russian Embassy or Consulate is denied any access by the Courts, then at least they would be able to expose the court process as a sham. They could also push for an interview with Yulia Skripal through the auspices of the International Committe of the Red Cross. It is everything very depressing, on the eve of what will certainly be a criminal attack on Syria by Trump, May and Macron.

      • Iain Crawford

        How do we know the Russian Embassy has not “availed itself” (to quote “Yulia”) of the legal and judicial means that the British Court system still provides (at least for now).?

        • FobosDeimos

          Because that information would have been made public, just as Justice Williams’ ruling on March was made public. I believe that England does not have secret courts YET, the way the FISA courts operate in Amerikka

          • Robyn

            FobosDeimos, by coincidence I have just finished reading The History Thieves: Secrets, Lies and the Shaping of a Modern Nation, Portobello Books, 2016, by Ian Cobain. Quite a bit in it about England’s secret courts.

  • Mark John Maguire

    Very well said – the narrative the UK Government and authorities are trying to force feed us is plainly absurd. Yulia Skripal is a prisoner and the only thing we can be sure of is that neither of these statements were issued by her, but are the work of the UK authorities. The only contact with the outside world she has had was with her cousin in which she sounded stilted and clearly under duress. It is shocking that she has not been seen by an Embassy official, that members of her family and her friends are being denied access to her.

    • CanSpeccy

      “the narrative the UK Government and authorities are trying to force feed us is plainly absurd.”

      Absolutely.

      But Britain is still run by weird people like Theresa May who think that the plebs still have a deferential attitude toward plummy voiced upper middle class people like Theresa May. Quite possibly, they, the plummy voiced upper middle class people like Theresa May, are right.

  • Elena Blue

    Many thanks to the brave person who lent Yulia a phone. Yulia comes across as very resourceful; certainly no fool. We cannot abandon her.

    • Ophelia Ball

      Unfortunately I very much doubt that the kind person who let Yulia use her phone survived her stay in Salisbury hospital (even if she wasn’t a patient at the time).

      Dangerous places, hospitals. As Dr Stephen Davies would perhaps once have been able to tell you, before his unfortunate disappearance

  • Ahimsa

    It would be insightful to have a statement from her fiance as to the state of their relationship before Yulia left Russia.

    It seems really odd to me, that she would choose to ignore him and her relatives at this time, in the knowledge that they will be deeply concerned about her welfare, if they’re relationship was truly intimate.

    The only other plausible scenario for me, is that she was somehow in on this stageplay before setting off from Russia, along with her father and they’ll be allowed to settle in USA with a new identity and a couple of million quid in the bank.

    • Neil

      I read somewhere that her fiancee has showed little interest in her since her poisoning. I’ve seen nothing in the media about him kicking up any fuss in Russia about not being able to visit her.

      I’ve found Craig’s comments on this affair interesting, but sometimes a little fanciful. I’m pretty sure Yulia had the help of a police officer to craft her statement, hence the native-English diction. I also find it unlikely that Yulia would be able to remember her cousin’s phone number by by heart, especially after waking from an induced week-long coma, and also given that no one remebers phone numbers these days, we just click on a contact from a contact list. I also remember seeing reports of her health improving rapidly prior to her making the call, which is not quite the picture Craig paints above.

      Anyway, the truth will come out, no doubt.

  • Madeira

    I think we can now take it for confirmed that the original recorded phone call on 5 April was genuine. Reviewing the transcript, in light of subsequent developments, I am struck by the following statements:

    Yulia: I think no, here the situation is now…we’ll deal with it later

    Yulia: Later, yes, we better sort it all later. Everything is good, and then later we’ll see what we see, we’ll sort things as we get to them

    Yulia: In other words, everything is normal, we’ll see it all later as we go along. You know what kind of situation is here.

    Yulia: Everything’s fine

    Yulia: Everything is fine, everything is solvable, everyone is getting better, everyone is alive

    Yulia (small pause): Everything is normal, he is resting now, sleeping, everyone’s health is normal, no irreversible things happened

    Yulia (continues): I am checking out soon. Everything’s ok!

    • Ophelia Ball

      If that call was not genuine, Yulia would surely have explicitly disavowed it by now

      Similarly, how is she aware of the interest shown by her cousin and the Russian Embassy, given that neither has been able to contact her: it’s obvious that communication is being filtered by her British handlers, and for all we know she could have been told that Viktoria has disowned her as a traitor and that the Russian Government has applied to extradite her for tax evasion. Just ascwe know so very little about what has happened to Yulia, you can bet she knows very little indeed about what is actually going on around her

  • Barden Gridge

    “obvious clinical expertise”
    “that I have found I missed the staff immediately”
    “investigative processes”
    “my specific contacts”
    “I do not wish to avail myself of their services”
    “Her opinions and assertions”
    “whilst I try”

    I don’t speak Russian, but my immediate reaction is that this is a translation done by a Jane Austen fan no younger than 60.

    For me, it’s too precise, too specific, too unnatural to have originated in that form. This has been written by someone who is very keen to convey the precise meaning of something that was originally produced in another language.

    But it’s so unnatural, I wonder if it was originally written in English, translated into Russian (let’s be optimistic – for approval by Yulia who might have suggested changes) and then translated back into English by someone under orders to make the translation clear and painfully accurate. The misguided thinking behind this would be that an English translation from Russian will sound more authentically like Yulia than something written in English by a native English speaker in the UK security services.

    This process could also have been performed without any reference to Yulia at all.

    • EoH

      It seems to be standard bureaucratic legalese that dutifully checks the boxes mandated by the government’s story. As Craig Murray points out, it is not idiomatic speech in tone, diction, flow or choice of topics. It is so far from it that the writer must be a fan of Yes, Minister, and not much fun at parties.

      • EoH

        I have always found this site replete with such literary and technical expertise and with such kindness that when absent from it I immediately miss it.

        The writing could well have come from M’s bumbling third cousin once removed. With his LL.B. pass degree from King’s and employed with the family firm as a legacy – sitting in the corner of the club library, to avoid other members’ eyes and demands for payment of his gambling debts – he could not have written a more obvious missive. I can imagine why M gave him the assignment. I cannot imagine why he would publish something so obviously not from Yulia.

  • Joyce Thow

    Who is her statement for ? I would have thought it was to inform the Russian government and her relatives. So why is it not in Russian ? The version for the UK should have been a translation from Russian if this were genuine. With regard to her phone call to Viktoria, did the Russians not trace the precise location of the mobile call ? Was it in fact from Salisbury Hospital ?

  • Chain Break

    Bloody obvious the security services wrote it.

    What isn’t so obvious is why they made that so obvious!

  • Ort

    Thank you for this analysis and keeping the issue of the Skripals’ fate alive, so to speak, in the burgeoning multiplicity of geopolitical crises.

    Here is part of a comment I posted at the excellent “Moon of Alabama” site that relates to this topic:

    As far as I can tell all of the primary/direct information about the Skripals and the alleged crime comes from dubious and/or manifestly untrustworthy sources– which is to say, “official” sources.

    In a bygone past, a vigorously skeptical mass-media might have appropriately challenged official narratives, and ferreted out inconvenient facts that would expose these narratives as mendacious cover stories for some heinous government skulduggery.

    But nowadays, the “watchdog” tradition in journalism has been vitiated; the “watchdogs” are either complicit government consent-manufacturers, or neutered, pampered show dogs and lap dogs.

    So, why should we believe any official statement or disclosure, including the fragmentary and contradictory “forensic” details– the sinister doorknob, the “traces” of… chemicals, the sketchy clinical progress reports, etc.?

    At the moment, the most egregious open question is why the recovered and discharged Yulia Skripal is still being kept under wraps. With all due respect, I wouldn’t trust Christine Blanshard, Medical Director at Salisbury District Hospital, as far as I could throw her.

    Every time Blanshard piously said “Yulia asks…”, it made me shudder. It’s obvious enough that these are exactly the kind of vague, and frankly dodgy reassurances and platitudes a kidnapper would make on behalf of a still-missing victim.
    __________________________________________

    Since writing the above, the official statements about and “on behalf of” Yulia have proliferated on the same theme: justifying Yulia’s virtual disappearance.

    Alfred Hitchcock never filmed a more chilling and sinister series of plot twists.

  • Baalbek

    The media and government spin doctors deliberately sow confusion by mixing truths, half-truths and outright lies into an opaque brew that makes it impossible to know exactly what is going on. Motives remain hidden. The best we can do is construct plausible scenarios with the information we do have and take care not to delude ourselves into thinking we actually know which one is true.

    Sometimes I think this is exactly what they want us to do. Get lost in minutiae and piecing together probable scenarios while combing official statements for contradictions, retractions and weasel phrases. And, of course, arguing with others over which “truth” is really true. We are in the midst of a psyop that never ends.

    • Syd Walker

      Exactly right.

      The Skripal case is a psyop intended to manufacture a climate for new aggression against Stria and more pressure on Iran and Russia

      Details of the bizarre Shripal case are a distraction for the masses – those of us at any rate who aren’t fixated on sport and other trivia.

      This seems to be a crude use of the Dead Cat Strategy (literally!) – see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_cat_strategy

      “There is one thing that is absolutely certain about throwing a dead cat on the dining room table – and I don’t mean that people will be outraged, alarmed, disgusted. That is true, but irrelevant. The key point is that everyone will shout, ‘Jeez, mate, there’s a dead cat on the table!’ In other words, they will be talking about the dead cat – the thing you want them to talk about – and they will not be talking about the issue that has been causing you so much grief.”

  • Finn McCool

    Serendipity comes just when you least expect it.
    The Tory party is accused of accepting money from Russian oligarchs.
    Boris plays tennis with a rich “friend” of Putin for a couple of £100k.
    Trump is accused of using Russian influence to win the Presidency.
    The Tory government is in complete disarray over the Brexit process.
    The Tory government is seen to be controlled by the “Military Industrial Complex” over the promotion and facilitation of arms sales to the Saudi monarchical autocracy to commit crimes against humanity in Yemen.
    The Syrian government are close to winning war against foreign backed terrorists.
    Most importantly. The Chinese have decided to abandon the USD for foreign trade. Especially in oil. Followed by the Russians and Iranians.
    The Saudi dictator makes “diplomatic” tours to the UK and USA.
    And then. Two Russians are attacked by a “nerve agent” which could only have been produced in Russia, which is the first of this kind of attack on foreign soil……blah blah, woof woof.
    It is the classic magicians trick of distraction. The more you look, the less you see.
    The Daily Mail (of all fn publications) broke a story implicating Yulia Skripals fiance as the main protagonists in this baffling story. The amateurism of the attempted “assassination” now starts to make some sense. A mother who is angered and ashamed of her son being engaged to a traitor to Russia (which Sergie Shripal is) who has links to the Russian mafia takes matters into her own hands. A human story, without need for spies and shadowy government agencies. Now that makes sense. And has happened before!! With “nerve agents”.
    The first rule of magic: Always be the smartest person in the room.

    • CanSpeccy

      Was Skripal a traitor? Maybe he was a triple agent, and was convicted of treason and gaoled briefly to convince the Brits of his absolute reliability. Then the Brits realized their mistake and decided to rub him out in a way that would make the Russians look bad, but the job was botched as are most things in the world of politics and bureaucracy.

  • Tom

    This is strange, it’s plainly obvious that they probably took her generic statements and editorialised them (no doubt they took some liberties on the interpretation too).
    So in effect, they are speaking for her.

  • Baalbek

    The intelligence service psychologists, PR hacks and establishment journalists that cook up the slop the media feeds us are laughing at the spectacle of intelligent adults divining ‘the truth’ about events and people they only know from the media and then arguing amongst themselves about which ‘truth’ is ‘more truer’ than all the other ‘truths’.

    ambiguity + tribal instinct + cognitive biases = delusions of certainty

    • BarrieJ

      Absolutely spot on.
      The only facts we think we know to be facts have come through the government mangle.
      The fact is, we know nothing.
      As Ms May so eloquently put it: ‘on the balance of probability…’
      In my experience that balance suggests our government of career criminals rely on lies, half truths, spin and propaganda to stumble from day to day, it’s a sad fact that for over a century their intimate friends in the security services have unfailingly backed their duplicity.

  • AAMVN

    I agree about the English. Somebody wrote it for her or heavily edited what she wrote.

    The May government have dug themselves a hug pit and are still digging. Who knows what desperate measure they will resort to next? Boris the buffoon is bound to pour more petrol on the flames sooner or later.

    I heard you on the Sky interview say a general election would be a good idea and garner widespread support. I just worry it would prove indecisive and leave us with an even weaker Tory coalition.

    • Chain Break

      Not to worry.

      Falklands V2 is coming soon… nothing like a remote war to whip up support for the Tories.

      After all, if you do not agree, you are a traitor!

      • Sharp Ears

        And the next financial crash too. The balls are just being kept in the air at present. Soon falling down.

  • Robyn

    Yulia couldn’t have been in on this scheme from the start – had she been, she would have made sure the pets were cared for.

    Further, she would know that any communication with friends or family or consular officials would be bugged by whoever is behind this entire cock-up. She’d be wise to wait until she can get a burner phone and take a walk in the park when using it. If she ever gets out, that is.

  • Igor Ahasheni

    “Yulia Skripal lived part of her childhood in the UK and speaks good English.” Not sure this is correct. According to the Russian wikipedia, in her childhood she could live in Spain (her farther worked in the Embassy of Russia in Spain in 90s). She is graduated from the Moscow University and lived in the UK starting from 2010, when she was 25 y.o.

    • Kempe

      It isn’t. She may have lived in Malta but started school in Moscow when she was six and only came to the UK when Sergey was exiled in 2010.

      We don’t know if the statement reflects the way she was taught n Russia, is a translation or a form of words agreed between her and her “handlers” but it isn’t proof she’s under duress.

  • Lestek

    I’m Slav like Yulia. Polish is very similar to Russian. And I share your opinion, Craig. This statement seems to be absolutely unnatural. Syntax, whole its ‘look’.I have no doubts that Russian citizen, Yulia Skripal, has been kidnapped by UK (and surely brainwashed, what – to my mind – is kind of torture). So, if we are looking for barbaric, international terrorist, here we have one of them. It’s UK.

    • acementhead

      Lestek
      April 12, 2018 at 05:16

      No torture required. Money. The apple don’t fall far from the tree.

  • giyane

    We need to march in London against war criminal Theresa May.
    We need to march in London against war criminal Abdullah bin Salman
    We need to march in London against war criminal Netanyahu

    This time President Trump will be marching with us.

    Our enemy has changed from USUKIS to ISUKKSA

    After our enemy has dropped their bombs on Syria , they will continue to be our enemy for as long as the consumers of MSM trash continue to vote for them. Nobody can wean the public from their dummies of the TV and Google, which probably means the next civil wars will be in the US and the UK.

  • jdman

    You can bet your life they won’t allow her in front of cameras in case she blinks too much!

    • Ophelia Ball

      She won’t be able to blink – standard operating procedure is to tape the eyelids up before starting the strobe light and the white noise

  • Radar O’Reilly

    At least today’s newspapers & radio stations like LBC are reporting that experts are saying there might be a nuclear war

    As for the Brit Spook Committee pretending to write for Юлия , one has simply to run the old MS Word Flesch-Gunning readability tool over her previous writings, and ‘her statement’ – or make the two samples into Wordles http://www.wordle.net/create and compare the score/emphasis. It is trivial to debunk made-up sh1t with science.

  • Maria Begoña Corral

    I agree with you about the language, it´s not natural, it´s absolutely official

  • SA

    BBC 4 continues poor journalism, news and shaky propaganda. For two days Matthew Price has been reporting by interviewing an activist who has been evacuated from Douma called Moaeed who has a very funny accent who just keeps spewing lies. This supposed journalism does not get any other POV from anyone else in this very complex situation. The BBC is the sewers.

  • Jose Garcia

    “…seeking to come to terms with my prospects….” “I have specially trained officers available to me…” No one can write this good, so quickly, after going through what she went through. No way, Jose.

  • johnf

    US Defence Secretary Mattis – who has previously denied that there is conclusive evidence that Assad used chemical weapons in the past – seems to be continuing the good cop routine:

    “U.S. still assessing intelligence on Syria chemical attack: Mattis

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is still assessing intelligence about last weekend’s suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday, striking a cautious tone hours after President Donald Trump threatened missile strikes.

    Asked if he had seen enough evidence to blame Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces for the attack, Mattis said: “We’re still assessing the intelligence — ourselves and our allies. We’re still working on this.” He did not elaborate. ”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-mattis/u-s-still-assessing-intelligence-on-syria-chemical-attack-mattis-idUSKBN1HI2IO

  • John Monro

    I agree, Craig. Does nerve agent smell? Because there’s a very strong stink of decay and corruption in the UK. And anyone who doubts that Yulia may be being held against her wishes only needs to go to the Ecuadorian Embassy to find a man detained as a political prisoner or prisoner of conscience for the last five years – if the UK authorities can behave so badly to a Commonwealth citizen so openly how much easier to do so to a Russian citizen in secret.

    • Laguerre

      I’m surprised by your question, which I presume is rhetorical. It’s been true since 2012-3 that to be opposed to Asad, means to be supporting jihadis. Even if not ISIS, then the others such as Nusra, and all the other ever-changing groups. The British government, much like the US, does know that they are supporting Jihadis, but it is simply always omitted from the media accounts. It does not suit the policy, so the hypocrisy is glided over. They’ve been very successful in keeping truth out of the media.

      The point I was interested in is why Macron, i.e. someone from the new young generation with presumably a new young more penetrating logic, is still willing to go to war on behalf of the Jihadis, even when there are so many Islamist problems in France. I’ve always thought that the French policy is influenced by a cabal of Syrian exiled intellectuals, who make out that a democratic secular Syria is possible. I know some of them – they’re so obsessed by hatred of the Baathists that they blind themselves to reality on the ground.

      The Americans of course don’t care who they’re supporting, as they are not personally affected (though they will be, if there’s war with Russia, but it’s not part of the psychological make-up), so doing Israel’s work is not a problem, if they’re making money.

      • SA

        Laguerre
        Of course it was rhetorical. But I am somewhat surprised that you seem to only point the finger of influence on Macron to a Syrian lobby when there is a much stronger and more widespread lobby in all three countries preparing belligerence. I am pretty sure that the aim is to destroy any meaningful axis of resistance, and we both know what the components of this axis, all in the crosshairs of these powers.

        • Laguerre

          Well, I was interested in the different factors that might be affecting French policy, not only one. What is the peculiarly French aspect of their enthusiasm for the Syrian rebels, i.e. in effect for the Jihadis? It was already true since the beginning in 2011, so it’s not Macron working for Rothschilds for a couple of years. It’s probably more a sense of proprietorship, a heritage of the mandate. France should be doing something to show its place in the world, followed by the point about the Syrian intellectuals that I mentioned. But there’s also more.

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