Allied solidarity on poisoning attack – but will anything change?

Message of defiance against Russia from UK allies may yet dissolve into inaction

Ok, Theresa May has managed to get the US, France and Germany to back up the allegations, so unless we are looking at another conspiratorial Iraq situation, apparently they think the evidence to accuse Russia of perpetrating this crime, the use of nerve agents in the UK against its population, is good enough to chime in, up to a point.

Not that we peons are going to see any of this evidence, we just have to take it on faith that our governments have our best interests at heart. I must admit I find it hard to have faith in governments, and I’ve seen a fair number come and go, though few as disastrously incompetent as May’s and Trump’s. Which is why I have little confidence in what’s happening next.

Of course, having Trump’s backing on anything is not unlike stepping off a cliff and expecting a parachute to magically appear to save you. And besides, he’s still under investigation for collusion with his buddy Putin, with more and more evidence emerging. Hardly a trustworthy ally. But Macron and Merkel are made of sterner stuff. Still, what are they actually prepared to DO, other than issue a statement of support?

Now, Skripal is not the first Soviet/Russian double agent to be liquidated, and it is reasonable to suppose that either the Russian state, or some person or entity related to it, is responsible for the attacks. It’s reasonable to accept the nerve agent came from Russia. However, reasonable supposition is never the same as proof. It’s only a just cause for investigation. What May has done is gone off half-cocked (or is it henned) off the deep end, trying to create a new Cold War, and asking us to trust her that it must have been Putin’s direct order, because she has information she can’t share with us. Pardon me for being sceptical.

Now if the Russian state is actually guilty of this, and it’s certainly a possibility, this may be inevitable anyway, if Russians are determined to use nerve agents in foreign countries to achieve their aims. That is certainly unacceptable, and a robust response is required.

But are we actually at that point? May inspires no confidence. It’s not that I think the Russians are necessarily innocent of anything other than negligence, they are a devious bunch of oligarchs and a dictator.  It’s I do not trust May or her government to get anything right.

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