Chem Tales: Noxious Attacks Against Russia Creating Toxic Political Landscape
The PyeongChang Winter Games, Syria and London. What do they all have in common? Each place provided the backdrop for the vilification of Russia by Western powers with unsubstantiated claims of chemical abuse in one way or another.
Propaganda and poison share some interestingly similar characteristics. Both are tasteless, scentless and invisible to the naked eye. Yet both are oftentimes fatal to the victim. No surprise, then, that these two lethal weapons are being used against Russia in tandem to achieve a particular agenda or agendas.
On March 4, Russian double agent Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia were discovered unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury, England. British authorities said the two were stricken with a so-called Novichok nerve agent, the type of which was produced in the Soviet Union, specifically in the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan. But that is where the connection to Russia and the nerve agent ends; more on that in a moment.
On March 14, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, saying it was “highly likely” Moscow was to blame for the attack, which left both Skripals in serious condition in the hospital, gave the Kremlin 24 hours to explain its purported actions. Vladimir Putin responded, saying he was “extremely concerned” by the “destructive and provocative” stance of the British government.
Meanwhile, Moscow requested that London send samples of the suspected nerve agent so Russian specialists could examine it; London’s refusal to do so, which, aside from looking very strange, violates the requirements set down by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), of which both Russian and Britain are members. As such, London is required to cooperate with Moscow in the investigation.
Many other things do not add up, primarily that Russia destroyed the last of its chemical weapons in Sept. 2017, and despite the fact that the US, citing “financial restraints,” failed to do the same.
“This is a major achievement,” commented Ahmet Üzümcü, the director general of the OPCW, after the 192-member body had supervised and verified the destruction of Russia’s 39,967 metric tons of chemical weapons.
In fact, all things considered, the United States would make a more believable suspect than Russia in the Skripal case considering that it was Washington that supervised the removal of the chemical weapons cache at the Soviet-era Chemical Research Institute in Nukus, Uzbekistan.
In May 1999, “the U.S. and Uzbekistan negotiated specific terms for the cleanup of the Chemical Research Institute in Nukus…U.S. officials visited the facility to gather information that will be used to develop a strategy to safely dismantle the plant,” Radio Free Europe reported.
It went on to say that the “U.S. Congress has allocated $6 million under its Cooperative Threat Reduction program for the cleanup and the possible conversion of the facility for civilian use.”
With this in mind, wouldn’t it make more sense for Theresa May to issue a 24-hour ultimatums against Washington in the quest for answers? In addition to the United States, Moscow said the chemical agent may have originated from those countries that have been studying its properties and applications, including the UK, Slovakia, Sweden and the Czech Republic, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Finally, Russia had absolutely no motive to carry out an assassination attempt on Mr. Skripal, 66, who had already served 13 years in a Russian prison following his 2004 conviction for treason. The damage had already been done, so to speak, while any information Skripal could have provided was already squeezed out of him long ago. Moreover, why on earth would Russia waste its time on such a senseless and risky adventure with the World Cup is just months away, and the presidential elections on March 18? The only reasonable answer is that it wouldn’t.
Despite such glaring holes in May’s case against Russia, and the fact that even the rascally British media is starting to buckle under the weight of the bogus claims, London nevertheless announced it would be expelling 23 Russian diplomats working in the UK. Moscow responded in kind, declaring 23 British diplomats stationed in Russia personae non gratae.
But the mad dash to insanity does not stop there. The Western powers are clearly determined to milk this fiasco for everything they can; thus it becomes painfully obvious this is not part of some investigation but rather a carefully hatched anti-Russia agenda. First, the UK blocked a UN Security Council statement drafted by Russia that called for an “urgent and civilized” investigation into the incident. Second, the West seems hell-bent to eventually have Russia removed from the UN Security Council.
“The West has launched a massive operation in order to kick Russia out of the UN Security Council,” Senator Sergey Kalashnikov said, as cited by RIA Novosti. “Russia is now a very inconvenient player for the Western nations and this explains all the recent attacks on our country.”
Thus, it can be argued that in all of the recent ‘chem tales’ being hurled at Russia – from the alleged doping of Russian athletes, which turned out to be a fantastic lie; to gas attacks in Syria, where Russia is thwarting the machinations of Western-backed, anti-Assad forces, many of which are affiliated with bona-fide terrorist groups; to the latest incident in Salisbury, England, where Russia is even being denied the right to examine evidence of its purported wrongdoing, a classic reversal of the age-old dictum, ‘innocent until proven guilty’ – the agenda is crystal clear: the sidelining of Russia from the geopolitical stage, something which Vladimir Putin, as he emphasized at his recent presidential address, will never allow to happen.