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Britain has yet to identify the assassin who tried to murder the double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, England.

But Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson knows who ordered the hit.

“We think it overwhelmingly likely that it was (Russian President Vladimir Putin’s) decision to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the U.K.”

“Unforgivable,” says Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov of the charge, which also defies “common sense.” On Sunday, Putin echoed Peskov: “It is just sheer nonsense, complete rubbish, to think that anyone in Russia could do anything like that in the run-up to the presidential election and the World Cup. … It’s simply unthinkable.”

Putin repeated Russia’s offer to assist in the investigation.

But Johnson is not backing down; he is doubling down.

“We gave the Russians every opportunity to come up with an alternative hypothesis … and they haven’t,” said Johnson. “We actually have evidence … that Russia has not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purposes of assassination but has also been creating and stockpiling Novichok,” the poison used in Salisbury.

Why Russia is the prime suspect is understandable. Novichok was created by Russia’s military decades ago, and Skripal, a former Russian intel officer, betrayed Russian spies to MI6.

But what is missing here is the Kremlin’s motive for the crime.

Skripal was convicted of betraying Russian spies in 2006. He spent four years in prison and was exchanged in 2010 for Russian spies in the U.S. If Putin wanted Skripal dead as an example to all potential traitors, why didn’t he execute him while he was in Kremlin custody?

Why wait until eight years after Skripal had been sent to England? And how would this murder on British soil advance any Russian interest?

Putin is no fool. A veteran intelligence agent, he knows that no rival intel agency such as the CIA or MI6 would trade spies with Russia if the Kremlin were to go about killing them after they have been traded.

“Cui bono?” runs the always relevant Ciceronian question. “Who benefits” from this criminal atrocity?

Certainly, in this case, not Russia, not the Kremlin, not Putin.

All have taken a ceaseless beating in world opinion and Western media since the Skripals were found comatose, near death, on that bench outside a mall in Salisbury.

Predictably, Britain’s reaction has been rage, revulsion and retaliation. Twenty-three Russian diplomats, intelligence agents in their London embassy, have been expelled. The Brits have been treating Putin as a pariah and depicting Russia as outside the circle of civilized nations.

Russia is “ripping up the international rulebook,” roared Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson. Asked how Moscow might respond to the expulsions, Williamson retorted: Russia should “go away and shut up.”

Putin sympathizers, including Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, have been silenced or savaged as appeasers for resisting the rush to judgment.

The Americans naturally came down on the side of their oldest ally, with President Donald Trump imposing new sanctions.

We are daily admonished that Putin tried to tip the 2016 election to Trump. But if so, why would Putin order a public assassination that would almost compel Trump to postpone his efforts at a rapprochement?

Who, then, are the beneficiaries of this atrocity?

Is it not the coalition — principally in our own capital city — that bears an endemic hostility to Russia and envisions America’s future role as a continuance of its Cold War role of containing and corralling Russia until we can achieve regime change in Moscow?

What should Trump’s posture be? Stand by our British ally but insist privately on a full investigation and convincing proof before taking any irreversible action.

Was this act really ordered by Putin and the Kremlin, who have not only denied it but condemned it?

Or was it the work of rogue agents who desired the consequences that they knew the murder of Skripal would produce — a deeper and more permanent split between Russia and the West?

Only a moron could not have known what the political ramifications of such an atrocity as this would be on U.S.-British-Russian relations.

And before we act on Boris Johnson’s verdict — that Putin ordered it — let us recall:

The Spanish, we learned, did not actually blow up the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor in 1898, which ignited the Spanish-American War.

The story of North Vietnamese gunboats attacking U.S. destroyers, which led to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and 58,000 dead Americans in Vietnam, proved not to be entirely accurate.

We went to war in Iraq in 2003 to disarm it of weapons of mass destruction we later discovered Saddam Hussein did not really have.

Some 4,500 U.S. dead and tens of thousands of wounded paid for that rush to judgment. And some of those clamoring for war then are visible in the vanguard of those clamoring for confronting Russia.

Before we set off on Cold War II with Russia — leading perhaps to the shooting war we avoided in Cold War I — let’s try to get this one right.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2018 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Media, Britain, Russia 
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  1. Cui bono is the right question to ask. This attack on a former Russian double agent was not in the interest of Russia or President Putin. The opposite makes sense. The profiteers of this onslaught are the warmongers in NATO and in Washington that have been demonizing Russia since Putin took over and stopped the plundering of Russia by the CIA and American plutocrats.

    Several countries produce this nerve agent such as Israel, Great Britain, the US, Uzbekistan and many others. It’s in the Western interest that the relationship with Russia deteriorates further. Mr. Buchanan has rightly hinted at several staged incidents by the US and its Western allies to instigate wars. Perhaps the Brits should look at their chemical factory that is just around the corner where the incident happened before blaming Putin. So far, the claim against Russia is fact free.

    Looking at history, why should one trust the Western alliance, the US and the Brits at the helm? Haven’t they screwed up the whole Middle East? Don’t forget the coup in the Ukraine that was doctored by the CIA and its Western friends. The only reliable political figure is Vladimir Putin. The Western leaders are servants of the military-industrial-financial complex. Cui bono is the right question to ask.

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  2. Realist says:

    Some 4,500 U.S. dead and tens of thousands of wounded paid for that rush to judgment. And some of those clamoring for war then are visible in the vanguard of those clamoring for confronting Russia.

    Miniscule compared to the number of American lives needlessly lost in the Korean and Vietnam wars…..to make the elite wealthy and powerful. But that is not to say the lives lost and maimed in the Iraq war are not also tragic.

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    • Replies: @Herald
    Not to mention the millions of Koreans and Iraqis that were murdered in these US led onslaughts.
    , @Bill Jones
    The number of American dead and wounded are both trivial and well deserved compared to the two million plus Iraqis dead.If it were not for low-IQ low-rent thugs, the world would be a better and safer place.
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  3. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    “If Putin wanted Skripal dead as an example to all potential traitors, why didn’t he execute him while he was in Kremlin custody?”

    Because it has been alleged that Skripal posted the names of several Russian FSB agents on a public website sometime AFTER having left for England. If so, he signed his death warrant. There’s no conspiracy here. The guy crossed the line and foolishly pissed off Russian security after he was given a second chance. Regardless of whether Putin knew about it or approved it, the FSB was definitely going to have it’s revenge. Sucks for Skirpal. Snitches get stitches.

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    • Replies: @narrenspeise
    Because it has been alleged that Skripal posted the names of several Russian FSB agents on a public website sometime AFTER having left for England. If so, he signed his death warrant. There’s no conspiracy here. The guy crossed the line and foolishly pissed off Russian security after he was given a second chance. Regardless of whether Putin knew about it or approved it, the FSB was definitely going to have it’s revenge. Sucks for Skirpal. Snitches get stitches.

    Well, even if there was such a motive, why do it in a manner that was sure to create the greatest possible backlash? Not likely.
    , @Lot
    You got the first part right. Multiple sources say Skripal cooperated with UK Intelligence AFTER he was released. Skripal probably was holding back what he told us before he was arrested because revealing some of Russia's secrets could have cast suspicion specifically on him. Once he was "safely" back in the UK, he did not need to hold back.

    There is also the fact that a lot of rich anti-Putin Russians have settled down in England. Showing they are not beyond Putin's reach is a good way to keep them in line. So it doesn't have to be specific to Skripal.

    I am not rushing to judgment either, motivation does not equal guilt. But the idea that Russia has no motivation is just plain wrong.

    Where I agree with Pat is that we need to try to change our increasingly adversarial relationship with Russia, who for many reasons should be one of our allies, and on other areas we should just keep out of each others business (Crimea, Syria).

    Boycott of the Russia World Cup games is a nice, proportionate response. Do that, and then leave it at that. Also because soccer sucks and FIFA is so corrupt.
    , @Fidelios Automata
    I simply don't think Russia would do this in such a sloppy manner. It's downright embarrassing.
    , @bluedog
    Lol your a real cracker with your mentality of making the crime fit the evidence, rather than the evidence fitting the crime,and speaking of evidence where is it, all the Brits have done is spread their normal lies which they are very well known for, and wash and repeat wash and repeat until they even believe their own propaganda...
    , @Paw
    Frankly , what everyone deserve when , when he/she turns to be traitor his own country...?
    Other traitors of british population , then try to make political capital from his case...
    I do not know what fuss is about it...
    Hysterical traitors make mess of that , but it is too dirty as they are... May, Scripal.
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  4. Buchanan writes: “We went to war in Iraq in 2003 to disarm it of weapons of mass destruction we later discovered Saddam Hussein did not really have.” Correction: that Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction was known before the US attacked Iraq, not something “we later discovered”. The US was lying all along.

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    • Agree: Byrresheim, bluedog, L.K
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  5. 22pp22 says:

    This is horsedudu and Theresa and Boris know it.

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  6. Nawi says:

    “All have taken a ceaseless beating in world opinion and Western media since the Skripals were found comatose, near death, on that bench outside a mall in Salisbury.”
    Question >>> Were the Skripals REALLY found comatose, near death, in Salisbury ? or they are now sitting on a beach in Thailand ?

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  7. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Columnists like Pat Buchanan and Andrew Napolitano may help people find this website, but week in and week out they show themselves as sloppy, at best. (There may be something to be said for putting them up here, where they can be compared to Dinh, Giraldi, Hopkins, Sailer, Whitney, et al.). I read their columns closely when it comes to Russia, and comment when I see them serving the Establishment line.

    As usual, Mr. Buchanan here repeats enough bu****it to keep his place at the imperial court.

    > He accepts at face value the assertion that “Novichok” was involved, and that the substance can only have been of Russian provenance.

    > “The Americans naturally came down on the side of their oldest ally…”

    > “The story of North Vietnamese gunboats attacking U.S. destroyers, which led to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and 58,000 dead Americans in Vietnam, proved not to be entirely accurate.” Not entirely.

    > “We went to war in Iraq in 2003 to disarm it of weapons of mass destruction we later discovered Saddam Hussein did not really have.” Yep, just another good faith mistake.

    After so many years in Washington, even “Mr. Paleoconservative” can’t conceive of a distinction between the American people and their rulers. Just count the uses of “we,” “us,” and “our” that keep people marinated in the sense that, because they live in Oklahoma, they must root for Uncle Sam.

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    • Replies: @jack daniels
    Just as the first duty of a politician is to get elected, the first duty of an opinion columnist is to get read. Pat Buchanan has built up a following sufficient to put his ideas before millions of people. No columnist to his right can boast of anywhere near that kind of exposure. The cost of this is that he cannot speak with complete candor. Not only must he avoid giving the networks an excuse to bounce him, but he must put his ideas in words that will not scare or alienate the average reader. Pat's columns are not written primarily for Unz but for mainstream publications, though they are eagerly reprinted by more ideological websites. Pat is certainly one of the most knowledgeable columnists His writing deserves to be respected. He is unique, really. I can't think of any other columnist who combines nationalist, populist, Christian, and libertarian influences and manages to get published in major venues. And believe me, he has been dropped and denounced on many occasions for stepping "over the line" but has never quite been driven from primetime.
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  8. Herald says:

    It seems clear that Cold War 2 is already well underway and has been with us for some considerable time. Cui bono? Look no further than the psychopathic cold war warriors that are found on both sides of the Atlantic. Qui fecit? It stinks to high heaven of false flag.

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  9. tyrone says:

    like the Syrian chemical “attacks” almost certainly a false flag ,is gormless twat a job requirement for high level UK government service too?

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    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
    Maybe it is:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5ba1OKY7Xc
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  10. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Add Lincoln’s calculated deception at Fort Sumter to those phony was episodes.

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  11. Skripal was a close associate of Steele and about Steele’s only real contact in Russia. That might explain the car. If the Iranians could make Novihoks almost anyone could. Leonid Rink the inventor thinks so.

    Much more here.

    https://waleseuroperussiafuture.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/revenge-of-spies-how-to-become-target.html

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  12. TheOldOne says:

    Pat needs to retire; Fred Reed needs to go also. We all wear out at the end.

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    • Replies: @David
    Your comment is pointless and rude. Why not just point out what you think is wrong, or where his mind seems to be failing?
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  13. bjondo says:

    English most likely. Maybe Boobis Johnson and Terry May-I-Speak wanted wet hands. Possibly Telaviva. Some portion of US thug state also in on it.

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  14. David says:
    @TheOldOne
    Pat needs to retire; Fred Reed needs to go also. We all wear out at the end.

    Your comment is pointless and rude. Why not just point out what you think is wrong, or where his mind seems to be failing?

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  15. Anon • Disclaimer says:
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  16. @Anon
    "If Putin wanted Skripal dead as an example to all potential traitors, why didn’t he execute him while he was in Kremlin custody?"

    Because it has been alleged that Skripal posted the names of several Russian FSB agents on a public website sometime AFTER having left for England. If so, he signed his death warrant. There's no conspiracy here. The guy crossed the line and foolishly pissed off Russian security after he was given a second chance. Regardless of whether Putin knew about it or approved it, the FSB was definitely going to have it's revenge. Sucks for Skirpal. Snitches get stitches.

    Because it has been alleged that Skripal posted the names of several Russian FSB agents on a public website sometime AFTER having left for England. If so, he signed his death warrant. There’s no conspiracy here. The guy crossed the line and foolishly pissed off Russian security after he was given a second chance. Regardless of whether Putin knew about it or approved it, the FSB was definitely going to have it’s revenge. Sucks for Skirpal. Snitches get stitches.

    Well, even if there was such a motive, why do it in a manner that was sure to create the greatest possible backlash? Not likely.

    Read More
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  17. Herald says:
    @Realist

    Some 4,500 U.S. dead and tens of thousands of wounded paid for that rush to judgment. And some of those clamoring for war then are visible in the vanguard of those clamoring for confronting Russia.
     
    Miniscule compared to the number of American lives needlessly lost in the Korean and Vietnam wars.....to make the elite wealthy and powerful. But that is not to say the lives lost and maimed in the Iraq war are not also tragic.

    Not to mention the millions of Koreans and Iraqis that were murdered in these US led onslaughts.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Realist
    Yes, indeed, but my point was Western governments will kill their own if it serves the wealth and power of the elite. The Deep State is amoral.
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  18. Lot says:
    @Anon
    "If Putin wanted Skripal dead as an example to all potential traitors, why didn’t he execute him while he was in Kremlin custody?"

    Because it has been alleged that Skripal posted the names of several Russian FSB agents on a public website sometime AFTER having left for England. If so, he signed his death warrant. There's no conspiracy here. The guy crossed the line and foolishly pissed off Russian security after he was given a second chance. Regardless of whether Putin knew about it or approved it, the FSB was definitely going to have it's revenge. Sucks for Skirpal. Snitches get stitches.

    You got the first part right. Multiple sources say Skripal cooperated with UK Intelligence AFTER he was released. Skripal probably was holding back what he told us before he was arrested because revealing some of Russia’s secrets could have cast suspicion specifically on him. Once he was “safely” back in the UK, he did not need to hold back.

    There is also the fact that a lot of rich anti-Putin Russians have settled down in England. Showing they are not beyond Putin’s reach is a good way to keep them in line. So it doesn’t have to be specific to Skripal.

    I am not rushing to judgment either, motivation does not equal guilt. But the idea that Russia has no motivation is just plain wrong.

    Where I agree with Pat is that we need to try to change our increasingly adversarial relationship with Russia, who for many reasons should be one of our allies, and on other areas we should just keep out of each others business (Crimea, Syria).

    Boycott of the Russia World Cup games is a nice, proportionate response. Do that, and then leave it at that. Also because soccer sucks and FIFA is so corrupt.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    What reason did Putin have for killing Skripal so visibly? Especially for killing him in such a clumsy way? He’s still technically alive, for example, while a police responder is in coma. It’d scare the shit out of rich Russians if only one rich Russian was murdered silently. But even Berezovsky’s suicide happened when he was already no longer a billionaire. (And no longer rich, apparently, which is the most likely reason for his suicide.) It’s also interesting why Putin didn’t conveniently wait until after the FIFA World Cup.

    So your motives look on the surface perhaps somewhat plausible, but they don’t really explain such a visible murder at that time.

    There are also many other possible culprits. For example anyone wanting to frame Russia, obviously. This includes all countries with access to chemical weapons and in an overt or covert conflict with Russia. Like Israel. The poison is probably possible to obtain for any sufficiently rich person or with most chemists with access to a well-equipped lab (its formula is public, after all), so it need not be a state actor.

    A possible private culprit is Orbis or Christopher Steele. They might have wanted to get rid of their collaborator on the dossier. Oh, if Skripal really had something on Trump, that’d be doubly good for Israel: helping Trump and framing Russia. Or just as retribution for harming the US president who officially recognized Jerusalem, a nice side effect of framing Russia.

    Anyway, it’s all just idle speculation either way, and the British government has currently no evidence whatsoever. They don’t even know how or where exactly the poison was administered.


    Boycott of the Russia World Cup games is a nice, proportionate response.
     
    It might be proportionate (I’m unsure) if there was a shred of evidence.

    Now go back watching your Sub-Saharan heroes.

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  19. @Anon
    "If Putin wanted Skripal dead as an example to all potential traitors, why didn’t he execute him while he was in Kremlin custody?"

    Because it has been alleged that Skripal posted the names of several Russian FSB agents on a public website sometime AFTER having left for England. If so, he signed his death warrant. There's no conspiracy here. The guy crossed the line and foolishly pissed off Russian security after he was given a second chance. Regardless of whether Putin knew about it or approved it, the FSB was definitely going to have it's revenge. Sucks for Skirpal. Snitches get stitches.

    I simply don’t think Russia would do this in such a sloppy manner. It’s downright embarrassing.

    Read More
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  20. @anonymous
    Columnists like Pat Buchanan and Andrew Napolitano may help people find this website, but week in and week out they show themselves as sloppy, at best. (There may be something to be said for putting them up here, where they can be compared to Dinh, Giraldi, Hopkins, Sailer, Whitney, et al.). I read their columns closely when it comes to Russia, and comment when I see them serving the Establishment line.

    As usual, Mr. Buchanan here repeats enough bu****it to keep his place at the imperial court.

    > He accepts at face value the assertion that "Novichok" was involved, and that the substance can only have been of Russian provenance.

    > "The Americans naturally came down on the side of their oldest ally..."

    > "The story of North Vietnamese gunboats attacking U.S. destroyers, which led to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and 58,000 dead Americans in Vietnam, proved not to be entirely accurate." Not entirely.

    > “We went to war in Iraq in 2003 to disarm it of weapons of mass destruction we later discovered Saddam Hussein did not really have." Yep, just another good faith mistake.

    After so many years in Washington, even “Mr. Paleoconservative” can’t conceive of a distinction between the American people and their rulers. Just count the uses of “we,” “us,” and “our” that keep people marinated in the sense that, because they live in Oklahoma, they must root for Uncle Sam.

    Just as the first duty of a politician is to get elected, the first duty of an opinion columnist is to get read. Pat Buchanan has built up a following sufficient to put his ideas before millions of people. No columnist to his right can boast of anywhere near that kind of exposure. The cost of this is that he cannot speak with complete candor. Not only must he avoid giving the networks an excuse to bounce him, but he must put his ideas in words that will not scare or alienate the average reader. Pat’s columns are not written primarily for Unz but for mainstream publications, though they are eagerly reprinted by more ideological websites. Pat is certainly one of the most knowledgeable columnists His writing deserves to be respected. He is unique, really. I can’t think of any other columnist who combines nationalist, populist, Christian, and libertarian influences and manages to get published in major venues. And believe me, he has been dropped and denounced on many occasions for stepping “over the line” but has never quite been driven from primetime.

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    • Replies: @anonymous
    Or, to borrow Tom Woods' description, the right edge of the 3x5 card of acceptable public discourse.

    Mr. Buchanan is especially Establishmentarian when it comes to Uncle Sam's so-called "foreign policy." Do you think he would lose his place in "primetime" if he were to stick to domestic issues?
    , @anonymous
    I'm also interested in your take on Mr. Napolitano. (I have been commenting negatively about his columns here for several months, too.)
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  21. Realist says:
    @Herald
    Not to mention the millions of Koreans and Iraqis that were murdered in these US led onslaughts.

    Yes, indeed, but my point was Western governments will kill their own if it serves the wealth and power of the elite. The Deep State is amoral.

    Read More
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  22. Renoman says:

    It’s crap, if Putin wanted the man dead he would be dead, not this sloppy public mess. Besides, he’s a double agent, a traitor, that’s what traitors get but I’m sure Russia had nothing to do with it.

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  23. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @jack daniels
    Just as the first duty of a politician is to get elected, the first duty of an opinion columnist is to get read. Pat Buchanan has built up a following sufficient to put his ideas before millions of people. No columnist to his right can boast of anywhere near that kind of exposure. The cost of this is that he cannot speak with complete candor. Not only must he avoid giving the networks an excuse to bounce him, but he must put his ideas in words that will not scare or alienate the average reader. Pat's columns are not written primarily for Unz but for mainstream publications, though they are eagerly reprinted by more ideological websites. Pat is certainly one of the most knowledgeable columnists His writing deserves to be respected. He is unique, really. I can't think of any other columnist who combines nationalist, populist, Christian, and libertarian influences and manages to get published in major venues. And believe me, he has been dropped and denounced on many occasions for stepping "over the line" but has never quite been driven from primetime.

    Or, to borrow Tom Woods’ description, the right edge of the 3×5 card of acceptable public discourse.

    Mr. Buchanan is especially Establishmentarian when it comes to Uncle Sam’s so-called “foreign policy.” Do you think he would lose his place in “primetime” if he were to stick to domestic issues?

    Read More
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  24. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @jack daniels
    Just as the first duty of a politician is to get elected, the first duty of an opinion columnist is to get read. Pat Buchanan has built up a following sufficient to put his ideas before millions of people. No columnist to his right can boast of anywhere near that kind of exposure. The cost of this is that he cannot speak with complete candor. Not only must he avoid giving the networks an excuse to bounce him, but he must put his ideas in words that will not scare or alienate the average reader. Pat's columns are not written primarily for Unz but for mainstream publications, though they are eagerly reprinted by more ideological websites. Pat is certainly one of the most knowledgeable columnists His writing deserves to be respected. He is unique, really. I can't think of any other columnist who combines nationalist, populist, Christian, and libertarian influences and manages to get published in major venues. And believe me, he has been dropped and denounced on many occasions for stepping "over the line" but has never quite been driven from primetime.

    I’m also interested in your take on Mr. Napolitano. (I have been commenting negatively about his columns here for several months, too.)

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  25. Tulip says:

    I don’t know, assuming the contrary thesis, that the Kremlin is behind the assassination, I think we can presume the following:

    1.) The Kremlin conducted operations at a sufficiently professional level that any culpability will never be established, or will only be established years later, creating plenty of plausible deniability while the diplomatic storms rage.

    2.) The Kremlin sends a clear message to traitors and would-be-traitors about the consequences of betrayal.

    3.) May looks like an ineffectual and incompetent idiot, I mean, even more than she did before.

    4.) May has condemned Trump and peddled the Russian election conspiracy theory narrative, and is hardly in a place to demand anything from the Trump administration.

    5.) Putin probably knows that the Donald is not particularly outraged by hard-ball tactics deployed by authoritarian leaders (see Duterte’s Drug War), and won’t go to war with Russia because UK got their hair mused.

    This is really between May and Putin, and Putin looks strong, and May looks weak. Hopefully, the fall of May will begin to demonstrate to the fake Right that they will get no quarter from either side soon.

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  26. @tyrone
    like the Syrian chemical "attacks" almost certainly a false flag ,is gormless twat a job requirement for high level UK government service too?

    Maybe it is:

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  27. Rurik says:

    Who, then, are the beneficiaries of this atrocity?

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  28. Ando says:

    Mr Buchanan,
    You have missed the 500,000 Iraqi children that died as a consequence of the sanctions who’s death our own then Secretary of State termed as”worth it”, the 1,000 ,000+ Iraqis ,to say nothing of the complete distraction of the home of “biblical ” paradise . Are Iraqi deaths any less tragic?

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  29. bluedog says:
    @Anon
    "If Putin wanted Skripal dead as an example to all potential traitors, why didn’t he execute him while he was in Kremlin custody?"

    Because it has been alleged that Skripal posted the names of several Russian FSB agents on a public website sometime AFTER having left for England. If so, he signed his death warrant. There's no conspiracy here. The guy crossed the line and foolishly pissed off Russian security after he was given a second chance. Regardless of whether Putin knew about it or approved it, the FSB was definitely going to have it's revenge. Sucks for Skirpal. Snitches get stitches.

    Lol your a real cracker with your mentality of making the crime fit the evidence, rather than the evidence fitting the crime,and speaking of evidence where is it, all the Brits have done is spread their normal lies which they are very well known for, and wash and repeat wash and repeat until they even believe their own propaganda…

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  30. Svigor says:

    Buchanan writes: “We went to war in Iraq in 2003 to disarm it of weapons of mass destruction we later discovered Saddam Hussein did not really have.” Correction: that Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction was known before the US attacked Iraq, not something “we later discovered”. The US was lying all along.

    Obvious nonsense. You can no more prove that a country doesn’t have WMD than you can prove Santa Claus doesn’t live at the North Pole; you can’t prove a negative.

    That said, saying you know a country has WMD and using that as a pretext to invade, when you in fact do not know, is still lying one’s way into an aggressive war.

    “All have taken a ceaseless beating in world opinion and Western media since the Skripals were found comatose, near death, on that bench outside a mall in Salisbury.”
    Question >>> Were the Skripals REALLY found comatose, near death, in Salisbury ? or they are now sitting on a beach in Thailand ?

    Yeah, I was wondering about that, myself. If the Skripals haven’t been recovering in a rather publicly verifiable way, it doesn’t bode well for the Brits’ story.

    Add Lincoln’s calculated deception at Fort Sumter to those phony was episodes.

    Yankees didn’t even need a fig leaf to wage aggressive war against their fellow Americans. “They killed our mule and we killed our gunner” was enough for them.

    Your comment is pointless and rude. Why not just point out what you think is wrong, or where his mind seems to be failing?

    Fred’s an inveterate asshole. There’s no such foul as being “rude” to him. But Pat’s always been a gentleman, AFAIK.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    You can no more prove that a country doesn’t have WMD than you can prove Santa Claus doesn’t live at the North Pole; you can’t prove a negative.
     
    To any reasonable person it was obvious that Iraq didn’t have much of a working WMD program. It was technically impossible to know if it had any, but a sizable program it obviously didn’t have.

    By the way it’s possible to prove some negatives, e.g. that there are no Mercedes-Benz cars in my garage. You just need to open the garage door during the day or turn on the light and see for yourself. A Mercedes-Benz would be visible, were it there. It’s also possible to prove to any reasonable person that I have no such cars at all, though it’d be a more complicated process and the person to whom you want to prove needed to be reasonable.
    , @FB

    '...you can’t prove a negative...'
     
    Sorry...that's an old wives tale that has nothing to do with formal logic...

    '...A negative claim is a colloquialism for an affirmative claim that asserts the non-existence or exclusion of something.

    Saying "You cannot prove a negative" has been called pseudologic because there are many proofs that substantiate negative claims in mathematics, science, and economics including Arrow's impossibility theorem...'
     

    A philospophy professor debunks this 'folk logic...'

    '...Among professional logicians, guess how many think that you can’t prove a negative?

    That’s right: zero.

    Yes, Virginia, you can prove a negative, and it’s easy, too.

    For one thing, a real, actual law of logic is a negative, namely the law of non contradiction...'
     

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  31. Paw says:
    @Anon
    "If Putin wanted Skripal dead as an example to all potential traitors, why didn’t he execute him while he was in Kremlin custody?"

    Because it has been alleged that Skripal posted the names of several Russian FSB agents on a public website sometime AFTER having left for England. If so, he signed his death warrant. There's no conspiracy here. The guy crossed the line and foolishly pissed off Russian security after he was given a second chance. Regardless of whether Putin knew about it or approved it, the FSB was definitely going to have it's revenge. Sucks for Skirpal. Snitches get stitches.

    Frankly , what everyone deserve when , when he/she turns to be traitor his own country…?
    Other traitors of british population , then try to make political capital from his case…
    I do not know what fuss is about it…
    Hysterical traitors make mess of that , but it is too dirty as they are… May, Scripal.

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    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
    I just have to ask: WTF are you struggling to say?
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  32. @Svigor

    Buchanan writes: “We went to war in Iraq in 2003 to disarm it of weapons of mass destruction we later discovered Saddam Hussein did not really have.” Correction: that Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction was known before the US attacked Iraq, not something “we later discovered”. The US was lying all along.
     
    Obvious nonsense. You can no more prove that a country doesn't have WMD than you can prove Santa Claus doesn't live at the North Pole; you can't prove a negative.

    That said, saying you know a country has WMD and using that as a pretext to invade, when you in fact do not know, is still lying one's way into an aggressive war.

    “All have taken a ceaseless beating in world opinion and Western media since the Skripals were found comatose, near death, on that bench outside a mall in Salisbury.”
    Question >>> Were the Skripals REALLY found comatose, near death, in Salisbury ? or they are now sitting on a beach in Thailand ?
     
    Yeah, I was wondering about that, myself. If the Skripals haven't been recovering in a rather publicly verifiable way, it doesn't bode well for the Brits' story.

    Add Lincoln’s calculated deception at Fort Sumter to those phony was episodes.
     
    Yankees didn't even need a fig leaf to wage aggressive war against their fellow Americans. "They killed our mule and we killed our gunner" was enough for them.

    Your comment is pointless and rude. Why not just point out what you think is wrong, or where his mind seems to be failing?
     
    Fred's an inveterate asshole. There's no such foul as being "rude" to him. But Pat's always been a gentleman, AFAIK.

    You can no more prove that a country doesn’t have WMD than you can prove Santa Claus doesn’t live at the North Pole; you can’t prove a negative.

    To any reasonable person it was obvious that Iraq didn’t have much of a working WMD program. It was technically impossible to know if it had any, but a sizable program it obviously didn’t have.

    By the way it’s possible to prove some negatives, e.g. that there are no Mercedes-Benz cars in my garage. You just need to open the garage door during the day or turn on the light and see for yourself. A Mercedes-Benz would be visible, were it there. It’s also possible to prove to any reasonable person that I have no such cars at all, though it’d be a more complicated process and the person to whom you want to prove needed to be reasonable.

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  33. @Lot
    You got the first part right. Multiple sources say Skripal cooperated with UK Intelligence AFTER he was released. Skripal probably was holding back what he told us before he was arrested because revealing some of Russia's secrets could have cast suspicion specifically on him. Once he was "safely" back in the UK, he did not need to hold back.

    There is also the fact that a lot of rich anti-Putin Russians have settled down in England. Showing they are not beyond Putin's reach is a good way to keep them in line. So it doesn't have to be specific to Skripal.

    I am not rushing to judgment either, motivation does not equal guilt. But the idea that Russia has no motivation is just plain wrong.

    Where I agree with Pat is that we need to try to change our increasingly adversarial relationship with Russia, who for many reasons should be one of our allies, and on other areas we should just keep out of each others business (Crimea, Syria).

    Boycott of the Russia World Cup games is a nice, proportionate response. Do that, and then leave it at that. Also because soccer sucks and FIFA is so corrupt.

    What reason did Putin have for killing Skripal so visibly? Especially for killing him in such a clumsy way? He’s still technically alive, for example, while a police responder is in coma. It’d scare the shit out of rich Russians if only one rich Russian was murdered silently. But even Berezovsky’s suicide happened when he was already no longer a billionaire. (And no longer rich, apparently, which is the most likely reason for his suicide.) It’s also interesting why Putin didn’t conveniently wait until after the FIFA World Cup.

    So your motives look on the surface perhaps somewhat plausible, but they don’t really explain such a visible murder at that time.

    There are also many other possible culprits. For example anyone wanting to frame Russia, obviously. This includes all countries with access to chemical weapons and in an overt or covert conflict with Russia. Like Israel. The poison is probably possible to obtain for any sufficiently rich person or with most chemists with access to a well-equipped lab (its formula is public, after all), so it need not be a state actor.

    A possible private culprit is Orbis or Christopher Steele. They might have wanted to get rid of their collaborator on the dossier. Oh, if Skripal really had something on Trump, that’d be doubly good for Israel: helping Trump and framing Russia. Or just as retribution for harming the US president who officially recognized Jerusalem, a nice side effect of framing Russia.

    Anyway, it’s all just idle speculation either way, and the British government has currently no evidence whatsoever. They don’t even know how or where exactly the poison was administered.

    Boycott of the Russia World Cup games is a nice, proportionate response.

    It might be proportionate (I’m unsure) if there was a shred of evidence.

    Now go back watching your Sub-Saharan heroes.

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  34. Anon[117] • Disclaimer says:

    “What reason did Putin have for killing Skripal so visibly? Especially for killing him in such a clumsy way?”

    One of the greatest errors people make is assuming that others base their actions on logic or the desire for some reasonable outcome. In reality, people often act in accordance with emotion. It is also not unreasonable to assume that Putin ordered the man killed simply because he was angry…or to quell those in the Russian government who desired action.

    Further, Skripal’s poisoning wasn’t clumsy. It was calculated and deliberate. They wanted everyone to know who was responsible. Litvinenko was murdered in a similar manner: via a radioactive substance only produced in a few countries. They did this as a show of strength – that they could do this and get away with it.

    “There are also many other possible culprits. For example anyone wanting to frame Russia, obviously. This includes all countries with access to chemical weapons and in an overt or covert conflict with Russia. Like Israel.”

    That’s extremely unlikely as the consequences of being found out far exceeds any possible benefit. If Israel, for example, did such a thing, the fallout would be enormous – and public. I could then easily imagine BDS getting support from major political parties in Britain. The Israelis wouldn’t be so foolish.

    “The poison is probably possible to obtain for any sufficiently rich person or with most chemists with access to a well-equipped lab (its formula is public, after all), so it need not be a state actor.”

    I don’t agree. To make this substance at weapons-grade quality (not simply produce it) and do so without getting caught by colleagues and without leaving a clear paper trail or killing yourself in the process requires a state actor. A major research university could perhaps make it, but not in a manner that fulfills all the criteria mentioned. A simple chemist probably could not have done so either because the equipment necessary is likely too expensive, and buying it would leave a paper trail as certain items can only be purchased by a reputable, credentialed institution; they don’t sell to just anyone.

    “A possible private culprit is Orbis or Christopher Steele. They might have wanted to get rid of their collaborator on the dossier. Oh, if Skripal really had something on Trump, that’d be doubly good for Israel: helping Trump and framing Russia. Or just as retribution for harming the US president who officially recognized Jerusalem, a nice side effect of framing Russia.”

    Democracy has failed when otherwise intelligent people embrace obvious nonsense.

    1. It would be terrible for Israel as Trump has been far more pro-Israel than even your average American president. If Israel had anything on Trump, it’d be in their interest to bury it very deeply.

    2. If Israel’s intent was to do as you suggest, they are nuts as the cost of getting caught far outweighs any meager benefit to them (hurt your best friend in order to frame another country that you have friendly relations with?).

    3. Steele is already in hot water after having been alleged to have inappropriately leaked information to the press after stating to Congress that he had not done so. Also, Steele isn’t a chemist and has to know that intelligence services keep tabs on him and his communications. He’d be a fool to be involved.

    “Anyway, it’s all just idle speculation either way, and the British government has currently no evidence whatsoever. They don’t even know how or where exactly the poison was administered.”

    You don’t need a confession to know the Russian government was involved. Often enough, common sense will suffice.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS
    A very good post, IMHO.

    I'd add to

    One of the greatest errors people make is assuming that others base their actions on logic or the desire for some reasonable outcome. In reality, people often act in accordance with emotion. It is also not unreasonable to assume that Putin ordered the man killed simply because he was angry…or to quell those in the Russian government who desired action.
     
    just an idea that it could've been just some high level"aparatchik" simply wishing to please Putin and the top echelon in Kremlin.

    Simply as with "will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest". Same principle.
    , @reiner Tor
    You seem to have misunderstood a lot of my points. I never wrote any definitive explanations, only threw in some half plausible theories which fit the data (basically, someone killing the Skripals using a Novichok agent) which might be true. I don’t think it’s my job to prove any of them to be true, but I think it was impossible for the British authorities to examine each one of them, and I doubt they have any more evidence at hand. Apparently they are still unsure how exactly it was delivered.

    Here’s some detailed answer after the “more” tag:


    One of the greatest errors people make is assuming that others base their actions on logic or the desire for some reasonable outcome.
     
    The point was that contrary to what the commenter Lot asserted, it was not very logical for the Russians to act in such a way now, right before the World Cup. I accept the possibility of illogical behavior, or of hidden logic which we don’t understand, but the assertion was that it’s easy to understand their motive. No, it’s not.

    Skripal’s poisoning wasn’t clumsy.
     
    The intended target didn’t even die (yet). Just search for Soviet spies who managed to get out of the USSR together with their families. Some were victims of accidents. (They all died.) People are suspicious... Or the death of Gareth Williams. The latter was definitely murder (and probably the Russians, to boot), but no one has a clue how to even start to prove anything. The lack of a clue is a strong clue that it was an intelligence service.

    It was calculated and deliberate. They wanted everyone to know who was responsible.
     
    I don’t deny that anyone doing it wanted the whole world to know that it was the Russians. I also didn’t deny that it could, indeed, have been the Russians. But it’s not a proof that it was them.

    Litvinenko was murdered in a similar manner: via a radioactive substance only produced in a few countries.
     
    The Litvinenko murder was a very clumsy case for an intelligence service. For example the most likely culprits (Lugovoy and Kovtun) were both contaminated (though, luckily for them, they both survived without any apparent health problems). Then Lugovoy went on to appear dozens of times on Russian TV, often live, often contradicting his own previous words, and then used his new celebrity status (which he reveled in) to gain a seat in the Russian parliament. (For a nationalist opposition party.) I don’t know a lot about intelligence services in general and the Russian services in particular, but it doesn’t sound like a typical operation of them. Nor do I think it would be typical of intelligence services to allow their agents on live TV to talk about their hit jobs. Could you perhaps point to such a visible “show of strength” murder done by the Russians outside the UK? And, while you are at it, a Russian operative who was allowed to become a tabloid celebrity?

    Again: my point is not that Russia could not have done the Litvinenko murder, just as they could have done the Skripals in. But the Litvinenko case is also just a probable case according to the British commission, and I don’t even think it’s impossible for a reasonable person to disagree with their findings. So it’s definitely not beyond reasonable doubt.

    They did this as a show of strength – that they could do this and get away with it.
     
    If they did it, then that’s a likely explanation. I still wouldn’t understand why they didn’t wait until after the World Cup, but as you point out, people don’t always act in a logical way. You just have to admit it’s not very logical to spend a fortune on a PR event and then risk it at the last moment just to “show strength.” (Which could turn into a show of weakness if, as proposed by some in the UK, the WC was moved out of Russia.) Possible, just not obviously logical.

    the consequences of being found out far exceeds any possible benefit. If Israel, for example, did such a thing, the fallout would be enormous
     
    Which I guess is the reason Israel never murders anyone abroad. Just too risky.

    Look, I don’t know for sure it was Israel, or even if it’s likely or not, I just didn’t find this an obviously worse explanation than the Russian theory. Maybe it’s less likely.

    By the way you completely misunderstood what I wrote about the possibility that Skripal had something on Trump. If he did, and was intent on harming Trump (he was obviously working against him with Steele), then Israel (for whom Trump is very good) would have a double motive: they’d have an enemy of Trump out of the way and they could also frame Russia. Even if he had nothing on Trump, he would still be his enemy, so his death would certainly be an acceptable collateral damage of framing Russia.

    weapons-grade quality
     
    How do we know it was weapons-grade quality? The weasels never said it was. They only said that it was “of a type developed by Russia.” It didn’t manage to kill its intended target, yet it managed to seriously harm a police responder. In other words, the poison wasn’t strong enough to kill the intended target, despite there being enough of it to harm people arriving hours later. It doesn’t scream “weapons-grade quality,” does it?

    To make this substance at weapons-grade quality (not simply produce it) and do so without getting caught by colleagues and without leaving a clear paper trail or killing yourself in the process requires a state actor.
     
    Or there is a paper trail at the University of Oregon (not to mention any one of the thousands of institutions with chemistry departments in the more corrupt parts of the world like Bulgaria or India), just no one yet bothered to look into that. Or maybe the paper trail is not very obvious. Novichok agents (if they exist) were developed with the explicit goal of misleading inspectors, so that the precursor materials are supposed to be normal precursors of things like insecticides, without raising eyebrows of international inspectors - or perhaps of colleagues at universities.

    Let me repeat: it’s possible that people with more knowledge will dismiss all of these as unlikely (though unlikely things often happen and their probabilities add up, eating into the likelihood of the “Russian theory”), but you don’t publicly accuse a head of state of murder simply because you find it likely. I’d say that even a 90% likely is not enough: at the very least you’d need to wait for the investigation to conclude. Unless you really had foolproof evidence.

    I have no reason to believe either side, but so far only the British have clearly violated the rules of CWC. (The Russian side also said some weasel words when they denied they ever had a chemical weapons program “under the title of Novichok.” What about a different title?)
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  35. Anon[117] • Disclaimer says:

    “Well, even if there was such a motive, why do it in a manner that was sure to create the greatest possible backlash? Not likely.”

    It is completely likely as they have already done something similar.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisoning_of_Alexander_Litvinenko

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  36. “We went to war in Iraq in 2003 to disarm it of weapons of mass destruction we later discovered Saddam Hussein did not really have.”

    He did have WMD. He had chemical weapons, which we destroyed, and he had a nuke program which he quickly disassembled and shipped to Syria as we were coming from Kuwait.

    You really need to keep up Pat.

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    • LOL: FB
    • Replies: @bluedog
    Oh thats's right the chemical weapons that old man Bush shipped them when he was the head of the C.I.A. the chemical weapons we urged him to use on the Kurd's and Iran, have pictures of those large tents with endless stacks and cases of chemical weapons(first Gulf war), and all marked point of departure U.S.A.....
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  37. @Realist

    Some 4,500 U.S. dead and tens of thousands of wounded paid for that rush to judgment. And some of those clamoring for war then are visible in the vanguard of those clamoring for confronting Russia.
     
    Miniscule compared to the number of American lives needlessly lost in the Korean and Vietnam wars.....to make the elite wealthy and powerful. But that is not to say the lives lost and maimed in the Iraq war are not also tragic.

    The number of American dead and wounded are both trivial and well deserved compared to the two million plus Iraqis dead.If it were not for low-IQ low-rent thugs, the world would be a better and safer place.

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  38. Anon[211] • Disclaimer says:

    “He did have WMD. He had chemical weapons, which we destroyed, and he had a nuke program which he quickly disassembled and shipped to Syria as we were coming from Kuwait.”

    He did not have WMD.

    1. What was found was spent, left-over material from the first Gulf War. There is no indication that Hussein knew about it. In any case, it was not present in either a high enough quality or amount to be useful.

    2. Hussein did not have a capacity to produce WMD, chemical or otherwise. There were no mobile biological weapon facilities, no nuclear capacity. What you have quoted is a BS myth floated on talk radio. And Hussein did not have anything close to a capacity to build a nuclear weapon.

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  39. peterAUS says:
    @Anon
    "What reason did Putin have for killing Skripal so visibly? Especially for killing him in such a clumsy way?"

    One of the greatest errors people make is assuming that others base their actions on logic or the desire for some reasonable outcome. In reality, people often act in accordance with emotion. It is also not unreasonable to assume that Putin ordered the man killed simply because he was angry...or to quell those in the Russian government who desired action.

    Further, Skripal's poisoning wasn't clumsy. It was calculated and deliberate. They wanted everyone to know who was responsible. Litvinenko was murdered in a similar manner: via a radioactive substance only produced in a few countries. They did this as a show of strength - that they could do this and get away with it.

    "There are also many other possible culprits. For example anyone wanting to frame Russia, obviously. This includes all countries with access to chemical weapons and in an overt or covert conflict with Russia. Like Israel."

    That's extremely unlikely as the consequences of being found out far exceeds any possible benefit. If Israel, for example, did such a thing, the fallout would be enormous - and public. I could then easily imagine BDS getting support from major political parties in Britain. The Israelis wouldn't be so foolish.

    "The poison is probably possible to obtain for any sufficiently rich person or with most chemists with access to a well-equipped lab (its formula is public, after all), so it need not be a state actor."

    I don't agree. To make this substance at weapons-grade quality (not simply produce it) and do so without getting caught by colleagues and without leaving a clear paper trail or killing yourself in the process requires a state actor. A major research university could perhaps make it, but not in a manner that fulfills all the criteria mentioned. A simple chemist probably could not have done so either because the equipment necessary is likely too expensive, and buying it would leave a paper trail as certain items can only be purchased by a reputable, credentialed institution; they don't sell to just anyone.

    "A possible private culprit is Orbis or Christopher Steele. They might have wanted to get rid of their collaborator on the dossier. Oh, if Skripal really had something on Trump, that’d be doubly good for Israel: helping Trump and framing Russia. Or just as retribution for harming the US president who officially recognized Jerusalem, a nice side effect of framing Russia."

    Democracy has failed when otherwise intelligent people embrace obvious nonsense.

    1. It would be terrible for Israel as Trump has been far more pro-Israel than even your average American president. If Israel had anything on Trump, it'd be in their interest to bury it very deeply.

    2. If Israel's intent was to do as you suggest, they are nuts as the cost of getting caught far outweighs any meager benefit to them (hurt your best friend in order to frame another country that you have friendly relations with?).

    3. Steele is already in hot water after having been alleged to have inappropriately leaked information to the press after stating to Congress that he had not done so. Also, Steele isn't a chemist and has to know that intelligence services keep tabs on him and his communications. He'd be a fool to be involved.

    "Anyway, it’s all just idle speculation either way, and the British government has currently no evidence whatsoever. They don’t even know how or where exactly the poison was administered."

    You don't need a confession to know the Russian government was involved. Often enough, common sense will suffice.

    A very good post, IMHO.

    I’d add to

    One of the greatest errors people make is assuming that others base their actions on logic or the desire for some reasonable outcome. In reality, people often act in accordance with emotion. It is also not unreasonable to assume that Putin ordered the man killed simply because he was angry…or to quell those in the Russian government who desired action.

    just an idea that it could’ve been just some high level”aparatchik” simply wishing to please Putin and the top echelon in Kremlin.

    Simply as with “will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest”. Same principle.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    I wondered about that at first. If this was the first such incident in the UK , it might be credible that is was an excess of zeal by the FSB, but after Alexander Litvinenko? Not a chance.

    Admittedly, it does seem incredible at first blush that Putin would have authorised something certain to turn the whole West against Russia, but if that outcome is his objective, assassinating Skirpal could be a means to an end.

    , @reiner Tor

    Simply as with “will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest”.
     
    But it doesn’t explain the method, which caused a major international scandal. As the anonymous commenter (with whom you seem to be in agreement) mentioned, it was designed as a show of strength, so that the whole world would know that they did it and could get away with it.

    Nor does it explain the timing.
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  40. bluedog says:
    @Quartermaster

    "We went to war in Iraq in 2003 to disarm it of weapons of mass destruction we later discovered Saddam Hussein did not really have."
     
    He did have WMD. He had chemical weapons, which we destroyed, and he had a nuke program which he quickly disassembled and shipped to Syria as we were coming from Kuwait.

    You really need to keep up Pat.

    Oh thats’s right the chemical weapons that old man Bush shipped them when he was the head of the C.I.A. the chemical weapons we urged him to use on the Kurd’s and Iran, have pictures of those large tents with endless stacks and cases of chemical weapons(first Gulf war), and all marked point of departure U.S.A…..

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  41. FB says:
    @Svigor

    Buchanan writes: “We went to war in Iraq in 2003 to disarm it of weapons of mass destruction we later discovered Saddam Hussein did not really have.” Correction: that Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction was known before the US attacked Iraq, not something “we later discovered”. The US was lying all along.
     
    Obvious nonsense. You can no more prove that a country doesn't have WMD than you can prove Santa Claus doesn't live at the North Pole; you can't prove a negative.

    That said, saying you know a country has WMD and using that as a pretext to invade, when you in fact do not know, is still lying one's way into an aggressive war.

    “All have taken a ceaseless beating in world opinion and Western media since the Skripals were found comatose, near death, on that bench outside a mall in Salisbury.”
    Question >>> Were the Skripals REALLY found comatose, near death, in Salisbury ? or they are now sitting on a beach in Thailand ?
     
    Yeah, I was wondering about that, myself. If the Skripals haven't been recovering in a rather publicly verifiable way, it doesn't bode well for the Brits' story.

    Add Lincoln’s calculated deception at Fort Sumter to those phony was episodes.
     
    Yankees didn't even need a fig leaf to wage aggressive war against their fellow Americans. "They killed our mule and we killed our gunner" was enough for them.

    Your comment is pointless and rude. Why not just point out what you think is wrong, or where his mind seems to be failing?
     
    Fred's an inveterate asshole. There's no such foul as being "rude" to him. But Pat's always been a gentleman, AFAIK.

    ‘…you can’t prove a negative…’

    Sorry…that’s an old wives tale that has nothing to do with formal logic…

    ‘…A negative claim is a colloquialism for an affirmative claim that asserts the non-existence or exclusion of something.

    Saying “You cannot prove a negative” has been called pseudologic because there are many proofs that substantiate negative claims in mathematics, science, and economics including Arrow’s impossibility theorem…’

    A philospophy professor debunks this ‘folk logic…’

    ‘…Among professional logicians, guess how many think that you can’t prove a negative?

    That’s right: zero.

    Yes, Virginia, you can prove a negative, and it’s easy, too.

    For one thing, a real, actual law of logic is a negative, namely the law of non contradiction…’

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  42. Sean says:

    Was this act really ordered by Putin and the Kremlin, who have not only denied it but condemned it?

    Or was it the work of rogue agents who desired the consequences that they knew the murder of Skripal would produce — a deeper and more permanent split between Russia and the West?

    Coming after the Polonium poisoning of Litvinenko, it is not credible that Putin’s secret services would be loose as a goose to do similar things he disproves of. Putin is responsible or at least he did not tell his goon squad not to which amounts to tacit encouragement. It is becoming clear that Trump is not the begining of the US treating Russia with respect, and the US sees Russia as a place in need of democratic intervention.

    Putin has said that his formative experience in the FSB during Yeltsin’s reign was listening in on surveillance tapes of Westerners saying how weak Russia was and how they must take advantage of this weakness. Putin is knows one day he will no longer be in power and then his country will fall under the sway of the politically and culturally dynamic west. Wealthy Russians, even Putin voters, prefer to live and keep their money in London.

    I think Putin is trying to force the West into an anti Russian antagonistic rut that will keep Russia from being co-opted by Western cultural and economic superiority after he leaves office. Putin is provoking the West, he wants to prevent the future Western political infiltration of Russia, and he is not only is prepared to accepts all sorts of sanctions, he is intentionally drawing the West into a new cold war. He would rather have Russia progressively paperised than ideologically subjugated.

    Read More
    • Replies: @FB

    '...Western cultural and economic superiority...'
     
    Interesting...would love to hear more...

    Here's two to get you started...

    Disneyland and Ponzi Scheme
     
    I'm sure you'll come up with something...
    , @dfordoom

    I think Putin is trying to force the West into an anti Russian antagonistic rut that will keep Russia from being co-opted by Western cultural and economic superiority after he leaves office. Putin is provoking the West, he wants to prevent the future Western political infiltration of Russia, and he is not only is prepared to accepts all sorts of sanctions, he is intentionally drawing the West into a new cold war. He would rather have Russia progressively paperised than ideologically subjugated.
     
    It's possible. It does make some sense. Ideological subjugation by the West is a much worse fate than having to face economic austerity.

    And clearly there is zero point in trying to negotiate with the Americans on any level.
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  43. @Paw
    Frankly , what everyone deserve when , when he/she turns to be traitor his own country...?
    Other traitors of british population , then try to make political capital from his case...
    I do not know what fuss is about it...
    Hysterical traitors make mess of that , but it is too dirty as they are... May, Scripal.

    I just have to ask: WTF are you struggling to say?

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  44. Sean says:
    @peterAUS
    A very good post, IMHO.

    I'd add to

    One of the greatest errors people make is assuming that others base their actions on logic or the desire for some reasonable outcome. In reality, people often act in accordance with emotion. It is also not unreasonable to assume that Putin ordered the man killed simply because he was angry…or to quell those in the Russian government who desired action.
     
    just an idea that it could've been just some high level"aparatchik" simply wishing to please Putin and the top echelon in Kremlin.

    Simply as with "will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest". Same principle.

    I wondered about that at first. If this was the first such incident in the UK , it might be credible that is was an excess of zeal by the FSB, but after Alexander Litvinenko? Not a chance.

    Admittedly, it does seem incredible at first blush that Putin would have authorised something certain to turn the whole West against Russia, but if that outcome is his objective, assassinating Skirpal could be a means to an end.

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  45. Nowhere do I hear about the five Russian diplomats who died from dubious causes last year. Nor is there any talk about the Russian ambassador Karlov assassinated late 2016 in Ankara, Turkey.
    The assassination had been perpetrated by a pawn of the NATO-Gladio act that is the “Fetullah Sect” (this sect is also the culprit for the US sanctioned coup attempt in Turkey in 2016, and its leader still lives in Pennsylvania under CIA control).
    Who ordered the assassination of ambassador Karlov?

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    the five Russian diplomats who died from dubious causes last year
     
    Interesting that you raise it, I only heard Churkin before. I would add the Russia Today founder who is supposed to have beaten himself to death.

    Now this sounds like a theory. The Russians visibly killed Skripal as some kind of retaliation and warning against further such murder. Still strange why they waited several months (over half a year) after the last death to retaliate, if they waited so long, then why couldn’t they wait another few months after the World Cup, and why they didn’t kill a Western official instead of a Russian traitor and his daughter.

    So it still makes no sense.
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  46. FB says:
    @Sean

    Was this act really ordered by Putin and the Kremlin, who have not only denied it but condemned it?

    Or was it the work of rogue agents who desired the consequences that they knew the murder of Skripal would produce — a deeper and more permanent split between Russia and the West?
     
    Coming after the Polonium poisoning of Litvinenko, it is not credible that Putin's secret services would be loose as a goose to do similar things he disproves of. Putin is responsible or at least he did not tell his goon squad not to which amounts to tacit encouragement. It is becoming clear that Trump is not the begining of the US treating Russia with respect, and the US sees Russia as a place in need of democratic intervention.

    Putin has said that his formative experience in the FSB during Yeltsin's reign was listening in on surveillance tapes of Westerners saying how weak Russia was and how they must take advantage of this weakness. Putin is knows one day he will no longer be in power and then his country will fall under the sway of the politically and culturally dynamic west. Wealthy Russians, even Putin voters, prefer to live and keep their money in London.

    I think Putin is trying to force the West into an anti Russian antagonistic rut that will keep Russia from being co-opted by Western cultural and economic superiority after he leaves office. Putin is provoking the West, he wants to prevent the future Western political infiltration of Russia, and he is not only is prepared to accepts all sorts of sanctions, he is intentionally drawing the West into a new cold war. He would rather have Russia progressively paperised than ideologically subjugated.

    ‘…Western cultural and economic superiority…’

    Interesting…would love to hear more…

    Here’s two to get you started…

    Disneyland and Ponzi Scheme

    I’m sure you’ll come up with something…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    Adam Smith, Malthus or Darwin could never have come up with their ideas in Russia.

    Kropotkin also specifically lectured in opposition to Thomas Huxley’s (the grandfather of Aldous Huxley) Evolution and Ethics lectures of 1893. Contrary to Huxley, Kropotkin believed that love, sympathy and self-sacrifice were more important than competition.
     
    Western culture and economies are like acid, and will destroy what Putin calls the "spiritual bones" of Russia.
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  47. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Sean

    Was this act really ordered by Putin and the Kremlin, who have not only denied it but condemned it?

    Or was it the work of rogue agents who desired the consequences that they knew the murder of Skripal would produce — a deeper and more permanent split between Russia and the West?
     
    Coming after the Polonium poisoning of Litvinenko, it is not credible that Putin's secret services would be loose as a goose to do similar things he disproves of. Putin is responsible or at least he did not tell his goon squad not to which amounts to tacit encouragement. It is becoming clear that Trump is not the begining of the US treating Russia with respect, and the US sees Russia as a place in need of democratic intervention.

    Putin has said that his formative experience in the FSB during Yeltsin's reign was listening in on surveillance tapes of Westerners saying how weak Russia was and how they must take advantage of this weakness. Putin is knows one day he will no longer be in power and then his country will fall under the sway of the politically and culturally dynamic west. Wealthy Russians, even Putin voters, prefer to live and keep their money in London.

    I think Putin is trying to force the West into an anti Russian antagonistic rut that will keep Russia from being co-opted by Western cultural and economic superiority after he leaves office. Putin is provoking the West, he wants to prevent the future Western political infiltration of Russia, and he is not only is prepared to accepts all sorts of sanctions, he is intentionally drawing the West into a new cold war. He would rather have Russia progressively paperised than ideologically subjugated.

    I think Putin is trying to force the West into an anti Russian antagonistic rut that will keep Russia from being co-opted by Western cultural and economic superiority after he leaves office. Putin is provoking the West, he wants to prevent the future Western political infiltration of Russia, and he is not only is prepared to accepts all sorts of sanctions, he is intentionally drawing the West into a new cold war. He would rather have Russia progressively paperised than ideologically subjugated.

    It’s possible. It does make some sense. Ideological subjugation by the West is a much worse fate than having to face economic austerity.

    And clearly there is zero point in trying to negotiate with the Americans on any level.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    But it still makes little sense to spend tens of billions of dollars on a PR event (the World Cup), and then endanger it a few months before the event. Why couldn’t he have waited a few more months and have Skripal whacked a week after the World Cup?

    I’m not saying it’s impossible for him to be illogical or to take unnecessary risks (or maybe it suddenly got more urgent to him for some reason which we don’t know), but it’s not a very good explanation. If we’re talking about less logical explanations, then maybe we can start entertaining theories other than the usual “Russia did it” theory.
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  48. @truth hurts
    Nowhere do I hear about the five Russian diplomats who died from dubious causes last year. Nor is there any talk about the Russian ambassador Karlov assassinated late 2016 in Ankara, Turkey.
    The assassination had been perpetrated by a pawn of the NATO-Gladio act that is the "Fetullah Sect" (this sect is also the culprit for the US sanctioned coup attempt in Turkey in 2016, and its leader still lives in Pennsylvania under CIA control).
    Who ordered the assassination of ambassador Karlov?

    the five Russian diplomats who died from dubious causes last year

    Interesting that you raise it, I only heard Churkin before. I would add the Russia Today founder who is supposed to have beaten himself to death.

    Now this sounds like a theory. The Russians visibly killed Skripal as some kind of retaliation and warning against further such murder. Still strange why they waited several months (over half a year) after the last death to retaliate, if they waited so long, then why couldn’t they wait another few months after the World Cup, and why they didn’t kill a Western official instead of a Russian traitor and his daughter.

    So it still makes no sense.

    Read More
    • Replies: @truth hurts

    Now this sounds like a theory. The Russians visibly killed Skripal as some kind of retaliation and warning against further such murder.
     
    The five deceased Russian diplomats are:
    Sergei Krivov, Petr Polshikov, Andrei Malanin, Alexander Kadakin, Vitali Churkin.
    Actually I did not bring this up to assert Russian complicity in the Skripal case.
    I brought this up to showcase the Western esttablishment media unbalance in handling issues.
    The assassination of ambassador Karlov was a clear false flag operation, trying once more to bring Russia and Turkey into a clash.
    So, my personal view is that the Skripal affair is just another false flag operation,
    this time to somehow unite and hone the western populace against Russia.
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  49. @Anon
    "What reason did Putin have for killing Skripal so visibly? Especially for killing him in such a clumsy way?"

    One of the greatest errors people make is assuming that others base their actions on logic or the desire for some reasonable outcome. In reality, people often act in accordance with emotion. It is also not unreasonable to assume that Putin ordered the man killed simply because he was angry...or to quell those in the Russian government who desired action.

    Further, Skripal's poisoning wasn't clumsy. It was calculated and deliberate. They wanted everyone to know who was responsible. Litvinenko was murdered in a similar manner: via a radioactive substance only produced in a few countries. They did this as a show of strength - that they could do this and get away with it.

    "There are also many other possible culprits. For example anyone wanting to frame Russia, obviously. This includes all countries with access to chemical weapons and in an overt or covert conflict with Russia. Like Israel."

    That's extremely unlikely as the consequences of being found out far exceeds any possible benefit. If Israel, for example, did such a thing, the fallout would be enormous - and public. I could then easily imagine BDS getting support from major political parties in Britain. The Israelis wouldn't be so foolish.

    "The poison is probably possible to obtain for any sufficiently rich person or with most chemists with access to a well-equipped lab (its formula is public, after all), so it need not be a state actor."

    I don't agree. To make this substance at weapons-grade quality (not simply produce it) and do so without getting caught by colleagues and without leaving a clear paper trail or killing yourself in the process requires a state actor. A major research university could perhaps make it, but not in a manner that fulfills all the criteria mentioned. A simple chemist probably could not have done so either because the equipment necessary is likely too expensive, and buying it would leave a paper trail as certain items can only be purchased by a reputable, credentialed institution; they don't sell to just anyone.

    "A possible private culprit is Orbis or Christopher Steele. They might have wanted to get rid of their collaborator on the dossier. Oh, if Skripal really had something on Trump, that’d be doubly good for Israel: helping Trump and framing Russia. Or just as retribution for harming the US president who officially recognized Jerusalem, a nice side effect of framing Russia."

    Democracy has failed when otherwise intelligent people embrace obvious nonsense.

    1. It would be terrible for Israel as Trump has been far more pro-Israel than even your average American president. If Israel had anything on Trump, it'd be in their interest to bury it very deeply.

    2. If Israel's intent was to do as you suggest, they are nuts as the cost of getting caught far outweighs any meager benefit to them (hurt your best friend in order to frame another country that you have friendly relations with?).

    3. Steele is already in hot water after having been alleged to have inappropriately leaked information to the press after stating to Congress that he had not done so. Also, Steele isn't a chemist and has to know that intelligence services keep tabs on him and his communications. He'd be a fool to be involved.

    "Anyway, it’s all just idle speculation either way, and the British government has currently no evidence whatsoever. They don’t even know how or where exactly the poison was administered."

    You don't need a confession to know the Russian government was involved. Often enough, common sense will suffice.

    You seem to have misunderstood a lot of my points. I never wrote any definitive explanations, only threw in some half plausible theories which fit the data (basically, someone killing the Skripals using a Novichok agent) which might be true. I don’t think it’s my job to prove any of them to be true, but I think it was impossible for the British authorities to examine each one of them, and I doubt they have any more evidence at hand. Apparently they are still unsure how exactly it was delivered.

    Here’s some detailed answer after the “more” tag:

    [MORE]

    One of the greatest errors people make is assuming that others base their actions on logic or the desire for some reasonable outcome.

    The point was that contrary to what the commenter Lot asserted, it was not very logical for the Russians to act in such a way now, right before the World Cup. I accept the possibility of illogical behavior, or of hidden logic which we don’t understand, but the assertion was that it’s easy to understand their motive. No, it’s not.

    Skripal’s poisoning wasn’t clumsy.

    The intended target didn’t even die (yet). Just search for Soviet spies who managed to get out of the USSR together with their families. Some were victims of accidents. (They all died.) People are suspicious… Or the death of Gareth Williams. The latter was definitely murder (and probably the Russians, to boot), but no one has a clue how to even start to prove anything. The lack of a clue is a strong clue that it was an intelligence service.

    It was calculated and deliberate. They wanted everyone to know who was responsible.

    I don’t deny that anyone doing it wanted the whole world to know that it was the Russians. I also didn’t deny that it could, indeed, have been the Russians. But it’s not a proof that it was them.

    Litvinenko was murdered in a similar manner: via a radioactive substance only produced in a few countries.

    The Litvinenko murder was a very clumsy case for an intelligence service. For example the most likely culprits (Lugovoy and Kovtun) were both contaminated (though, luckily for them, they both survived without any apparent health problems). Then Lugovoy went on to appear dozens of times on Russian TV, often live, often contradicting his own previous words, and then used his new celebrity status (which he reveled in) to gain a seat in the Russian parliament. (For a nationalist opposition party.) I don’t know a lot about intelligence services in general and the Russian services in particular, but it doesn’t sound like a typical operation of them. Nor do I think it would be typical of intelligence services to allow their agents on live TV to talk about their hit jobs. Could you perhaps point to such a visible “show of strength” murder done by the Russians outside the UK? And, while you are at it, a Russian operative who was allowed to become a tabloid celebrity?

    Again: my point is not that Russia could not have done the Litvinenko murder, just as they could have done the Skripals in. But the Litvinenko case is also just a probable case according to the British commission, and I don’t even think it’s impossible for a reasonable person to disagree with their findings. So it’s definitely not beyond reasonable doubt.

    They did this as a show of strength – that they could do this and get away with it.

    If they did it, then that’s a likely explanation. I still wouldn’t understand why they didn’t wait until after the World Cup, but as you point out, people don’t always act in a logical way. You just have to admit it’s not very logical to spend a fortune on a PR event and then risk it at the last moment just to “show strength.” (Which could turn into a show of weakness if, as proposed by some in the UK, the WC was moved out of Russia.) Possible, just not obviously logical.

    the consequences of being found out far exceeds any possible benefit. If Israel, for example, did such a thing, the fallout would be enormous

    Which I guess is the reason Israel never murders anyone abroad. Just too risky.

    Look, I don’t know for sure it was Israel, or even if it’s likely or not, I just didn’t find this an obviously worse explanation than the Russian theory. Maybe it’s less likely.

    By the way you completely misunderstood what I wrote about the possibility that Skripal had something on Trump. If he did, and was intent on harming Trump (he was obviously working against him with Steele), then Israel (for whom Trump is very good) would have a double motive: they’d have an enemy of Trump out of the way and they could also frame Russia. Even if he had nothing on Trump, he would still be his enemy, so his death would certainly be an acceptable collateral damage of framing Russia.

    weapons-grade quality

    How do we know it was weapons-grade quality? The weasels never said it was. They only said that it was “of a type developed by Russia.” It didn’t manage to kill its intended target, yet it managed to seriously harm a police responder. In other words, the poison wasn’t strong enough to kill the intended target, despite there being enough of it to harm people arriving hours later. It doesn’t scream “weapons-grade quality,” does it?

    To make this substance at weapons-grade quality (not simply produce it) and do so without getting caught by colleagues and without leaving a clear paper trail or killing yourself in the process requires a state actor.

    Or there is a paper trail at the University of Oregon (not to mention any one of the thousands of institutions with chemistry departments in the more corrupt parts of the world like Bulgaria or India), just no one yet bothered to look into that. Or maybe the paper trail is not very obvious. Novichok agents (if they exist) were developed with the explicit goal of misleading inspectors, so that the precursor materials are supposed to be normal precursors of things like insecticides, without raising eyebrows of international inspectors – or perhaps of colleagues at universities.

    Let me repeat: it’s possible that people with more knowledge will dismiss all of these as unlikely (though unlikely things often happen and their probabilities add up, eating into the likelihood of the “Russian theory”), but you don’t publicly accuse a head of state of murder simply because you find it likely. I’d say that even a 90% likely is not enough: at the very least you’d need to wait for the investigation to conclude. Unless you really had foolproof evidence.

    I have no reason to believe either side, but so far only the British have clearly violated the rules of CWC. (The Russian side also said some weasel words when they denied they ever had a chemical weapons program “under the title of Novichok.” What about a different title?)

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  50. @dfordoom

    I think Putin is trying to force the West into an anti Russian antagonistic rut that will keep Russia from being co-opted by Western cultural and economic superiority after he leaves office. Putin is provoking the West, he wants to prevent the future Western political infiltration of Russia, and he is not only is prepared to accepts all sorts of sanctions, he is intentionally drawing the West into a new cold war. He would rather have Russia progressively paperised than ideologically subjugated.
     
    It's possible. It does make some sense. Ideological subjugation by the West is a much worse fate than having to face economic austerity.

    And clearly there is zero point in trying to negotiate with the Americans on any level.

    But it still makes little sense to spend tens of billions of dollars on a PR event (the World Cup), and then endanger it a few months before the event. Why couldn’t he have waited a few more months and have Skripal whacked a week after the World Cup?

    I’m not saying it’s impossible for him to be illogical or to take unnecessary risks (or maybe it suddenly got more urgent to him for some reason which we don’t know), but it’s not a very good explanation. If we’re talking about less logical explanations, then maybe we can start entertaining theories other than the usual “Russia did it” theory.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_one_likes_us,_we_don%27t_care

    What the West thinks is apparently of very little concern to Putin. The tournament is great PR for his Russian government which cares about its popularity with its own electorate, and the Russian team has home advantage and might even cover themselves and Putin in glory.
    , @dfordoom

    But it still makes little sense to spend tens of billions of dollars on a PR event (the World Cup), and then endanger it a few months before the event. Why couldn’t he have waited a few more months and have Skripal whacked a week after the World Cup?
     
    I don't believe for one moment that Putin was responsible. Or that the Russians were responsible.

    The hit seems to have been a shambles (with the deadliest deadly nerve gas they couldn't kill anybody) so that points to the British or the Americans.

    But in more general terms I can see that it might make sense from Putin's point of view to have Russia culturally isolated from the disease-ridden West. The West is basically a plague zone.
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  51. @reiner Tor

    the five Russian diplomats who died from dubious causes last year
     
    Interesting that you raise it, I only heard Churkin before. I would add the Russia Today founder who is supposed to have beaten himself to death.

    Now this sounds like a theory. The Russians visibly killed Skripal as some kind of retaliation and warning against further such murder. Still strange why they waited several months (over half a year) after the last death to retaliate, if they waited so long, then why couldn’t they wait another few months after the World Cup, and why they didn’t kill a Western official instead of a Russian traitor and his daughter.

    So it still makes no sense.

    Now this sounds like a theory. The Russians visibly killed Skripal as some kind of retaliation and warning against further such murder.

    The five deceased Russian diplomats are:
    Sergei Krivov, Petr Polshikov, Andrei Malanin, Alexander Kadakin, Vitali Churkin.
    Actually I did not bring this up to assert Russian complicity in the Skripal case.
    I brought this up to showcase the Western esttablishment media unbalance in handling issues.
    The assassination of ambassador Karlov was a clear false flag operation, trying once more to bring Russia and Turkey into a clash.
    So, my personal view is that the Skripal affair is just another false flag operation,
    this time to somehow unite and hone the western populace against Russia.

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  52. Sean says:
    @FB

    '...Western cultural and economic superiority...'
     
    Interesting...would love to hear more...

    Here's two to get you started...

    Disneyland and Ponzi Scheme
     
    I'm sure you'll come up with something...

    Adam Smith, Malthus or Darwin could never have come up with their ideas in Russia.

    Kropotkin also specifically lectured in opposition to Thomas Huxley’s (the grandfather of Aldous Huxley) Evolution and Ethics lectures of 1893. Contrary to Huxley, Kropotkin believed that love, sympathy and self-sacrifice were more important than competition.

    Western culture and economies are like acid, and will destroy what Putin calls the “spiritual bones” of Russia.

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  53. Sean says:
    @reiner Tor
    But it still makes little sense to spend tens of billions of dollars on a PR event (the World Cup), and then endanger it a few months before the event. Why couldn’t he have waited a few more months and have Skripal whacked a week after the World Cup?

    I’m not saying it’s impossible for him to be illogical or to take unnecessary risks (or maybe it suddenly got more urgent to him for some reason which we don’t know), but it’s not a very good explanation. If we’re talking about less logical explanations, then maybe we can start entertaining theories other than the usual “Russia did it” theory.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_one_likes_us,_we_don%27t_care

    What the West thinks is apparently of very little concern to Putin. The tournament is great PR for his Russian government which cares about its popularity with its own electorate, and the Russian team has home advantage and might even cover themselves and Putin in glory.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    If he doesn’t care what the West thinks of him, then why does he spend tens of billions of dollars on events which are only really popular in Europe and Latin America? Is he doing this for the Latin American audience?
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  54. @peterAUS
    A very good post, IMHO.

    I'd add to

    One of the greatest errors people make is assuming that others base their actions on logic or the desire for some reasonable outcome. In reality, people often act in accordance with emotion. It is also not unreasonable to assume that Putin ordered the man killed simply because he was angry…or to quell those in the Russian government who desired action.
     
    just an idea that it could've been just some high level"aparatchik" simply wishing to please Putin and the top echelon in Kremlin.

    Simply as with "will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest". Same principle.

    Simply as with “will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest”.

    But it doesn’t explain the method, which caused a major international scandal. As the anonymous commenter (with whom you seem to be in agreement) mentioned, it was designed as a show of strength, so that the whole world would know that they did it and could get away with it.

    Nor does it explain the timing.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Ge-ilEFgJ34/maxresdefault.jpg

    Vlad addresses an audience of insolent scribes and turncoat boyars .

    , @peterAUS

    But it doesn’t explain the method, which caused a major international scandal. As the anonymous commenter (with whom you seem to be in agreement) mentioned, it was designed as a show of strength, so that the whole world would know that they did it and could get away with it.
     
    People love to see those state outfits as super competent and omnipresent.
    No. People working there are the same as everywhere. They do make mistakes. All the time.
    I like to point to space shuttles, nuclear submarines etc.
    My take: not a major operation, but of a lower level->one moving part too many->that part malfunctioned.

    Nor does it explain the timing.
     
    It does if it meant gaining a favor from The Boss. Or getting funding. Or offsetting a competition.
    As soon as one stops thinking about Putin ordering this a lot of possibilities.
    And, funny really, people do think that this works as: Mr President we are going to murder, by poison, that guy and his daughter. And he says "Yes do that". No.Plenty of euphemisms there.
    I mean, when one watches platoon action today it's never "plain language". "Neutralize....engage.....deploy.....deliver....effect...damage.....collateral.....targets...".
    Higher up the chain that language gets more......interesting. Often not even spoken. Just a document signed. Sometimes even nod will suffice.
    Layer upon a layer of plausible deniability, obfuscation, and yes, often a willful ignorance. A lot of moving parts from up to down and on the same level.Takes just one to slip.
    Anyway.
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  55. @Sean
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_one_likes_us,_we_don%27t_care

    What the West thinks is apparently of very little concern to Putin. The tournament is great PR for his Russian government which cares about its popularity with its own electorate, and the Russian team has home advantage and might even cover themselves and Putin in glory.

    If he doesn’t care what the West thinks of him, then why does he spend tens of billions of dollars on events which are only really popular in Europe and Latin America? Is he doing this for the Latin American audience?

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  56. dfordoom says: • Website
    @reiner Tor
    But it still makes little sense to spend tens of billions of dollars on a PR event (the World Cup), and then endanger it a few months before the event. Why couldn’t he have waited a few more months and have Skripal whacked a week after the World Cup?

    I’m not saying it’s impossible for him to be illogical or to take unnecessary risks (or maybe it suddenly got more urgent to him for some reason which we don’t know), but it’s not a very good explanation. If we’re talking about less logical explanations, then maybe we can start entertaining theories other than the usual “Russia did it” theory.

    But it still makes little sense to spend tens of billions of dollars on a PR event (the World Cup), and then endanger it a few months before the event. Why couldn’t he have waited a few more months and have Skripal whacked a week after the World Cup?

    I don’t believe for one moment that Putin was responsible. Or that the Russians were responsible.

    The hit seems to have been a shambles (with the deadliest deadly nerve gas they couldn’t kill anybody) so that points to the British or the Americans.

    But in more general terms I can see that it might make sense from Putin’s point of view to have Russia culturally isolated from the disease-ridden West. The West is basically a plague zone.

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  57. Sean says:
    @reiner Tor

    Simply as with “will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest”.
     
    But it doesn’t explain the method, which caused a major international scandal. As the anonymous commenter (with whom you seem to be in agreement) mentioned, it was designed as a show of strength, so that the whole world would know that they did it and could get away with it.

    Nor does it explain the timing.


    Vlad addresses an audience of insolent scribes and turncoat boyars .

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  58. peterAUS says:
    @reiner Tor

    Simply as with “will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest”.
     
    But it doesn’t explain the method, which caused a major international scandal. As the anonymous commenter (with whom you seem to be in agreement) mentioned, it was designed as a show of strength, so that the whole world would know that they did it and could get away with it.

    Nor does it explain the timing.

    But it doesn’t explain the method, which caused a major international scandal. As the anonymous commenter (with whom you seem to be in agreement) mentioned, it was designed as a show of strength, so that the whole world would know that they did it and could get away with it.

    People love to see those state outfits as super competent and omnipresent.
    No. People working there are the same as everywhere. They do make mistakes. All the time.
    I like to point to space shuttles, nuclear submarines etc.
    My take: not a major operation, but of a lower level->one moving part too many->that part malfunctioned.

    Nor does it explain the timing.

    It does if it meant gaining a favor from The Boss. Or getting funding. Or offsetting a competition.
    As soon as one stops thinking about Putin ordering this a lot of possibilities.
    And, funny really, people do think that this works as: Mr President we are going to murder, by poison, that guy and his daughter. And he says “Yes do that”. No.Plenty of euphemisms there.
    I mean, when one watches platoon action today it’s never “plain language”. “Neutralize….engage…..deploy…..deliver….effect…damage…..collateral…..targets…”.
    Higher up the chain that language gets more……interesting. Often not even spoken. Just a document signed. Sometimes even nod will suffice.
    Layer upon a layer of plausible deniability, obfuscation, and yes, often a willful ignorance. A lot of moving parts from up to down and on the same level.Takes just one to slip.
    Anyway.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    A few people in a nuclear sub acting together can fire the nuke missiles, but there are protocols that have to be followed. A mistaken or negligent bungler crashing a nuke missile sub is far more probable that the launching of the missiles without any authorisation or order from the President . They shoot you for trying that kind of thing..

    Without a direct order from the head of Putin's secret service, no one agree to do or delegate, this or cooperate by handing over the nerve gas, which is surely held in a secure repository and requires special authorisation for drawing it (As Q says in Spectre "I have a pension and two cats"). Certainly not a second time, after the Polonium uproar. I mean the nerve gas could be for assassinating Putin for all anyone handing it over without top level authorization knew. It is difficult to see the Russian point of view but look at all the innocent people killed in Iraq as a result of the US pres ordering invasion. Putin ordered a couple of deaths to punish a mercenary traitor and deter others being tempted in the future. And he may actually want the West to boycott Russia.

    , @reiner Tor
    I outlined a similar scenario a day earlier than you did here in this comment. Some kind of screwup by the Russians (be it Putin or his security services) is not impossible.

    However, here a number of commenters asserted that Putin had a clear motive here. I guess you are in agreement when I say that no, he didn’t. You have to make clear what you argue with, because it all started with me responding to comments asserting how it was all in Putin’s obvious interest to order the killing, thus making him the obvious culprit.

    Where I’m in disagreement with you is that the simple fact that screwups can and do happen is not an evidence of Russian culpability. The British are now officially accusing Putin personally. You disagree with that assessment. Previously you wrote that there must be some secret evidence. Now, why do you think there’s no secret evidence for Putin’s personal involvement as well? Why do you believe them when they say it was the Russians, but not when they say it was Putin personally? Is it not possible that they lie for both? Or, for that matter, tell the truth in both?

    To summarize my position, I don’t know what happened, but I don’t think from publicly available evidence (which seems to consist of the type of nerve agent and the fact that the target was a Russian ex-spy) it’s possible to exclude the possibility that it was some other player. I agree that it could well have been the Russians (and have been arguing for this on many other threads), but it’s far from certainty.

    What is it that you disagree with in my last paragraph?

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  59. Sean says:
    @peterAUS

    But it doesn’t explain the method, which caused a major international scandal. As the anonymous commenter (with whom you seem to be in agreement) mentioned, it was designed as a show of strength, so that the whole world would know that they did it and could get away with it.
     
    People love to see those state outfits as super competent and omnipresent.
    No. People working there are the same as everywhere. They do make mistakes. All the time.
    I like to point to space shuttles, nuclear submarines etc.
    My take: not a major operation, but of a lower level->one moving part too many->that part malfunctioned.

    Nor does it explain the timing.
     
    It does if it meant gaining a favor from The Boss. Or getting funding. Or offsetting a competition.
    As soon as one stops thinking about Putin ordering this a lot of possibilities.
    And, funny really, people do think that this works as: Mr President we are going to murder, by poison, that guy and his daughter. And he says "Yes do that". No.Plenty of euphemisms there.
    I mean, when one watches platoon action today it's never "plain language". "Neutralize....engage.....deploy.....deliver....effect...damage.....collateral.....targets...".
    Higher up the chain that language gets more......interesting. Often not even spoken. Just a document signed. Sometimes even nod will suffice.
    Layer upon a layer of plausible deniability, obfuscation, and yes, often a willful ignorance. A lot of moving parts from up to down and on the same level.Takes just one to slip.
    Anyway.

    A few people in a nuclear sub acting together can fire the nuke missiles, but there are protocols that have to be followed. A mistaken or negligent bungler crashing a nuke missile sub is far more probable that the launching of the missiles without any authorisation or order from the President . They shoot you for trying that kind of thing..

    Without a direct order from the head of Putin’s secret service, no one agree to do or delegate, this or cooperate by handing over the nerve gas, which is surely held in a secure repository and requires special authorisation for drawing it (As Q says in Spectre “I have a pension and two cats”). Certainly not a second time, after the Polonium uproar. I mean the nerve gas could be for assassinating Putin for all anyone handing it over without top level authorization knew. It is difficult to see the Russian point of view but look at all the innocent people killed in Iraq as a result of the US pres ordering invasion. Putin ordered a couple of deaths to punish a mercenary traitor and deter others being tempted in the future. And he may actually want the West to boycott Russia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    You are correct.
    I am too, I think.

    You say how is that supposed to be done. Agree.
    I am saying that in this particular case it could've gone different.

    And I do believe you overestimate the "Russian setup". Or, better, post USSR setup. My point is that things there are much more "fluid" and plainly more disorganized than in the West, UK in particular.

    I don't believe, in this case, that Putin, personally, ordered this.
    Can't see any reason for that.

    That he approved, some time before, using those methods against those target types, yes, of course. Maybe even knew the names at the time. And then forgot. He is the Russian president after all. Many other things to think about.....

    Maybe, in this case, the couple were simply going to do something that was deemed too bad for Russia and somebody high up enough ordered the "implementation of the Presidential order xxxxxx" mentioned above.
    Putin was probably briefed about that. Say, 5 seconds in a meeting lasting 2 hours, with other people, discussing more important issues. Like Syria, Ukraine and such.

    There was probably a deadline involved, short timeframe, narrow window and mistake was made.

    We'll probably never know the full truth here. Well, as almost always in similar cases.
    Kennedy?
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  60. peterAUS says:
    @Sean
    A few people in a nuclear sub acting together can fire the nuke missiles, but there are protocols that have to be followed. A mistaken or negligent bungler crashing a nuke missile sub is far more probable that the launching of the missiles without any authorisation or order from the President . They shoot you for trying that kind of thing..

    Without a direct order from the head of Putin's secret service, no one agree to do or delegate, this or cooperate by handing over the nerve gas, which is surely held in a secure repository and requires special authorisation for drawing it (As Q says in Spectre "I have a pension and two cats"). Certainly not a second time, after the Polonium uproar. I mean the nerve gas could be for assassinating Putin for all anyone handing it over without top level authorization knew. It is difficult to see the Russian point of view but look at all the innocent people killed in Iraq as a result of the US pres ordering invasion. Putin ordered a couple of deaths to punish a mercenary traitor and deter others being tempted in the future. And he may actually want the West to boycott Russia.

    You are correct.
    I am too, I think.

    You say how is that supposed to be done. Agree.
    I am saying that in this particular case it could’ve gone different.

    And I do believe you overestimate the “Russian setup”. Or, better, post USSR setup. My point is that things there are much more “fluid” and plainly more disorganized than in the West, UK in particular.

    I don’t believe, in this case, that Putin, personally, ordered this.
    Can’t see any reason for that.

    That he approved, some time before, using those methods against those target types, yes, of course. Maybe even knew the names at the time. And then forgot. He is the Russian president after all. Many other things to think about…..

    Maybe, in this case, the couple were simply going to do something that was deemed too bad for Russia and somebody high up enough ordered the “implementation of the Presidential order xxxxxx” mentioned above.
    Putin was probably briefed about that. Say, 5 seconds in a meeting lasting 2 hours, with other people, discussing more important issues. Like Syria, Ukraine and such.

    There was probably a deadline involved, short timeframe, narrow window and mistake was made.

    We’ll probably never know the full truth here. Well, as almost always in similar cases.
    Kennedy?

    Read More
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  61. @peterAUS

    But it doesn’t explain the method, which caused a major international scandal. As the anonymous commenter (with whom you seem to be in agreement) mentioned, it was designed as a show of strength, so that the whole world would know that they did it and could get away with it.
     
    People love to see those state outfits as super competent and omnipresent.
    No. People working there are the same as everywhere. They do make mistakes. All the time.
    I like to point to space shuttles, nuclear submarines etc.
    My take: not a major operation, but of a lower level->one moving part too many->that part malfunctioned.

    Nor does it explain the timing.
     
    It does if it meant gaining a favor from The Boss. Or getting funding. Or offsetting a competition.
    As soon as one stops thinking about Putin ordering this a lot of possibilities.
    And, funny really, people do think that this works as: Mr President we are going to murder, by poison, that guy and his daughter. And he says "Yes do that". No.Plenty of euphemisms there.
    I mean, when one watches platoon action today it's never "plain language". "Neutralize....engage.....deploy.....deliver....effect...damage.....collateral.....targets...".
    Higher up the chain that language gets more......interesting. Often not even spoken. Just a document signed. Sometimes even nod will suffice.
    Layer upon a layer of plausible deniability, obfuscation, and yes, often a willful ignorance. A lot of moving parts from up to down and on the same level.Takes just one to slip.
    Anyway.

    I outlined a similar scenario a day earlier than you did here in this comment. Some kind of screwup by the Russians (be it Putin or his security services) is not impossible.

    However, here a number of commenters asserted that Putin had a clear motive here. I guess you are in agreement when I say that no, he didn’t. You have to make clear what you argue with, because it all started with me responding to comments asserting how it was all in Putin’s obvious interest to order the killing, thus making him the obvious culprit.

    Where I’m in disagreement with you is that the simple fact that screwups can and do happen is not an evidence of Russian culpability. The British are now officially accusing Putin personally. You disagree with that assessment. Previously you wrote that there must be some secret evidence. Now, why do you think there’s no secret evidence for Putin’s personal involvement as well? Why do you believe them when they say it was the Russians, but not when they say it was Putin personally? Is it not possible that they lie for both? Or, for that matter, tell the truth in both?

    To summarize my position, I don’t know what happened, but I don’t think from publicly available evidence (which seems to consist of the type of nerve agent and the fact that the target was a Russian ex-spy) it’s possible to exclude the possibility that it was some other player. I agree that it could well have been the Russians (and have been arguing for this on many other threads), but it’s far from certainty.

    What is it that you disagree with in my last paragraph?

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Well....apologize for not coming back earlier; simply moved of this topic, got here by an a wrong click actually.

    What is it that you disagree with in my last paragraph?
     
    I am not quite sure I understand the question so I'll simply comment your post.
    ..."culpability"...."culprit"...."evidence"....."personally".....
    Funny.

    Let's cut to the chase here.
    Putin, as president of one of two powers, that could destroy the life on the Earth, can and should order death of anyone he and his team deems "appropriate". That's his job.
    I think that's something majority of commentators here simply do not get.
    That's what states of that size and power do. ....That is state business.
    Americans "drone" full wedding ceremony to kill one man.

    The only interesting things here are the tools (weaponized poison, apparently) and targets. And all that from a simply 'professional" point of view.

    I, personally, simply do not get all this "moral outrage" thing.

    But, then, I do remember how all that worked in 70's and 80's.

    Anyway.
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  62. peterAUS says:
    @reiner Tor
    I outlined a similar scenario a day earlier than you did here in this comment. Some kind of screwup by the Russians (be it Putin or his security services) is not impossible.

    However, here a number of commenters asserted that Putin had a clear motive here. I guess you are in agreement when I say that no, he didn’t. You have to make clear what you argue with, because it all started with me responding to comments asserting how it was all in Putin’s obvious interest to order the killing, thus making him the obvious culprit.

    Where I’m in disagreement with you is that the simple fact that screwups can and do happen is not an evidence of Russian culpability. The British are now officially accusing Putin personally. You disagree with that assessment. Previously you wrote that there must be some secret evidence. Now, why do you think there’s no secret evidence for Putin’s personal involvement as well? Why do you believe them when they say it was the Russians, but not when they say it was Putin personally? Is it not possible that they lie for both? Or, for that matter, tell the truth in both?

    To summarize my position, I don’t know what happened, but I don’t think from publicly available evidence (which seems to consist of the type of nerve agent and the fact that the target was a Russian ex-spy) it’s possible to exclude the possibility that it was some other player. I agree that it could well have been the Russians (and have been arguing for this on many other threads), but it’s far from certainty.

    What is it that you disagree with in my last paragraph?

    Well….apologize for not coming back earlier; simply moved of this topic, got here by an a wrong click actually.

    What is it that you disagree with in my last paragraph?

    I am not quite sure I understand the question so I’ll simply comment your post.
    …”culpability”….”culprit”….”evidence”…..”personally”…..
    Funny.

    Let’s cut to the chase here.
    Putin, as president of one of two powers, that could destroy the life on the Earth, can and should order death of anyone he and his team deems “appropriate”. That’s his job.
    I think that’s something majority of commentators here simply do not get.
    That’s what states of that size and power do. ….That is state business.
    Americans “drone” full wedding ceremony to kill one man.

    The only interesting things here are the tools (weaponized poison, apparently) and targets. And all that from a simply ‘professional” point of view.

    I, personally, simply do not get all this “moral outrage” thing.

    But, then, I do remember how all that worked in 70′s and 80′s.

    Anyway.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    You are under no obligation to answer any of my posts. :-)

    Culpability - people in the British government say that it was Russia, and that it was approved at the highest levels of leadership, or by "the Kremlin," or by "Putin personally."

    I would define it as follows:

    Putin's personal culpability:

    - Putin knew of it before it happened
    - Putin approved of it happening
    - Putin could have stopped it from happening

    The Kremlin's culpability:

    - a top level government official knew of it before it happened
    - that top level government official approved of it
    - he could've stopped it from happening
    - he receives his orders from Putin personally, or at most from one of Putin's lieutenants (i.e. at most two steps removed from Putin in the chain of command)
    - he acted within what he perceived as general Kremlin policy (i.e. he thought that Putin would personally have approved of it)
    - he didn't try to hide it from Putin or his entourage
    - the Kremlin now knows that it was ordered from within the Russian services, but decided to protect them (i.e. instead of coming out with a statement like "it was rogue agent XY, and we're preparing for his trial of the attempted murder" etc.)

    Russia's strong culpability:

    - if it was done by members of the Russian intelligence services, using the resources of the Russian government, without the knowledge of the top leadership (i.e. by people with several steps removed from Putin within the chain of command), but believing to be carrying out the will or policy of the Russian government, especially if:
    - the Russian government subsequently decides not to cooperate with the UK authorities in solving the murder and instead decides to protect them

    Russia's somewhat weaker culpability:

    - if it was done by rogue members of the Russian intelligence services, believing to be doing something forbidden to them, yet using the resources of the Russian government, without the knowledge of the top leadership, especially if:
    - the Russian government subsequently decides not to cooperate with the UK authorities in solving the murder and instead decides to protect them

    I understood your opinion to be that essentially either the second or the third option is true, but you assigned a relatively low probability to the first option (i.e. Putin personally doing it). The fact that some British government members (like Boris Johnson) mentioned Putin personally being responsible, to me, indicates that you believe they were lying or at least bluffing when they said that. But if Boris Johnson was bluffing, what makes you think the whole thing was not a bluff itself? I.e. that the British government has no idea who did it, and they just accused the seemingly most likely culprit (Russia) because it seemed to be politically expedient for many reasons. From this, only one step to say that it could have been other players.
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  63. @peterAUS
    Well....apologize for not coming back earlier; simply moved of this topic, got here by an a wrong click actually.

    What is it that you disagree with in my last paragraph?
     
    I am not quite sure I understand the question so I'll simply comment your post.
    ..."culpability"...."culprit"...."evidence"....."personally".....
    Funny.

    Let's cut to the chase here.
    Putin, as president of one of two powers, that could destroy the life on the Earth, can and should order death of anyone he and his team deems "appropriate". That's his job.
    I think that's something majority of commentators here simply do not get.
    That's what states of that size and power do. ....That is state business.
    Americans "drone" full wedding ceremony to kill one man.

    The only interesting things here are the tools (weaponized poison, apparently) and targets. And all that from a simply 'professional" point of view.

    I, personally, simply do not get all this "moral outrage" thing.

    But, then, I do remember how all that worked in 70's and 80's.

    Anyway.

    You are under no obligation to answer any of my posts. :-)

    Culpability – people in the British government say that it was Russia, and that it was approved at the highest levels of leadership, or by “the Kremlin,” or by “Putin personally.”

    I would define it as follows:

    Putin’s personal culpability:

    - Putin knew of it before it happened
    - Putin approved of it happening
    - Putin could have stopped it from happening

    The Kremlin’s culpability:

    - a top level government official knew of it before it happened
    - that top level government official approved of it
    - he could’ve stopped it from happening
    - he receives his orders from Putin personally, or at most from one of Putin’s lieutenants (i.e. at most two steps removed from Putin in the chain of command)
    - he acted within what he perceived as general Kremlin policy (i.e. he thought that Putin would personally have approved of it)
    - he didn’t try to hide it from Putin or his entourage
    - the Kremlin now knows that it was ordered from within the Russian services, but decided to protect them (i.e. instead of coming out with a statement like “it was rogue agent XY, and we’re preparing for his trial of the attempted murder” etc.)

    Russia’s strong culpability:

    - if it was done by members of the Russian intelligence services, using the resources of the Russian government, without the knowledge of the top leadership (i.e. by people with several steps removed from Putin within the chain of command), but believing to be carrying out the will or policy of the Russian government, especially if:
    - the Russian government subsequently decides not to cooperate with the UK authorities in solving the murder and instead decides to protect them

    Russia’s somewhat weaker culpability:

    - if it was done by rogue members of the Russian intelligence services, believing to be doing something forbidden to them, yet using the resources of the Russian government, without the knowledge of the top leadership, especially if:
    - the Russian government subsequently decides not to cooperate with the UK authorities in solving the murder and instead decides to protect them

    I understood your opinion to be that essentially either the second or the third option is true, but you assigned a relatively low probability to the first option (i.e. Putin personally doing it). The fact that some British government members (like Boris Johnson) mentioned Putin personally being responsible, to me, indicates that you believe they were lying or at least bluffing when they said that. But if Boris Johnson was bluffing, what makes you think the whole thing was not a bluff itself? I.e. that the British government has no idea who did it, and they just accused the seemingly most likely culprit (Russia) because it seemed to be politically expedient for many reasons. From this, only one step to say that it could have been other players.

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