Here’s a reasoned response to the brouhaha about Russia

As the Skripal theories abound, I’m reminded of when I visited Iraq at the time of the dodgy dossier

This is authored by Kim Sengupta who was a journalist in Iraq at the time Bush and Blair concocted an excuse to attack that country. He makes some valid points.

In the Iraq case, there was no evidence that it had weapons of mass destruction. It was all made up by the US and UK governments, and skeptics on the ground, including the author, who had visited the facilities mentioned in the dodgy dossier, were accused of treachery by government hacks.

In the Skripal case, no-one is disputing the nerve agent came from Russia, developed years ago in the Soviet Union. The question in this case, which has not been answered by the UK government, is one of provenance. Whither came the nerve agent to Salisbury, and why? Who is actually responsible? From Downing Street, all we get is screeching, “it’s Them, it’s Them!!!” We get retributive action before any investigation is complete.

Sengupta also makes the point that Skripal was not engaged in any anti-Russian activities, so far as anyone knows. He’d been imprisoned in Russia, where they’d had plenty of opportunity to off him, then came to Britain in a spy swap, and apparently lived harmlessly ever since. So why try to off him now? There’s been no answer to that question, just the assumption that the Kremlin is krazy.

Theresa May is in political hot water over her calamitous Brexit policy, so she needs a distraction. What better than Vladimir Putin? So no wonder May, Johnson, Rees-Mogg and the rest of the insane Tories go off half cocked (or henned) when this golden opportunity appears. Pile it on, and no-one will look at the Brexit disaster.

This has not been handled judiciously, let alone well. When you make serious accusations of aggression, you really ought to provide serious evidence, which the UK government has conspicuously failed to do.

It’s not that I think Putin didn’t do it, he’s a mobster. He’s perfectly capable of it. It’s that there’s good reason to think May is taking advantage of that view of Putin to further her own ends. Given her Brexit policy, there is no reason to think she is doing anything in the interests of the UK, just in the interest of her own survival in Downing Street.

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