'Skripal case plays amazingly into Britain’s campaign to isolate Russia'
At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Thursday, Russia said that Britain was playing with fire by accusing Moscow of poisoning of former double agent Sergey Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. The UK reiterated its allegation that it was “highly likely” that Russia was responsible.
RT spoke to political analyst Dan Glazebrook, who believes that the UK's evidence is crumbling.
RT: The Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzia described the UK allegations as a "theater of the absurd." Is that an accurate description?
Dan Glazebrook: Absolutely. There have been three pillars of the UK case and they are crumbling away one by one. The basic three pillars are: first, this pseudo-scientific argument that this is Novichok, this chemical that no one ever heard of until three weeks ago, this nerve agent, and it is only Russia that is capable of producing it and using it. And the second [has] to do with this idea that Russia has form and the motive. But the first case is really crumbling away now that the head of Porton Down has come out and admitted, “We can’t verify that this is Russian-manufactured.” Two very important facts are totally obscured and neglected in the mainstream media. One is that in September 2017, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) actually verified the destruction of Russia’s entire chemical weapons program. The US and the UK have never put forward any reasons as to why they doubt the OPCW’s verification here or any evidence that Russia still is producing Novichok. But that is a very important piece of information that is never picked up on. And secondly, the Russian chemist who revealed the existence of Novichok published a book with his formula in 2008, saying that it could actually be made with fairly simple bits and pieces you get in pesticides and fertilizers. Far from the idea that Russia is the only power capable of producing this stuff, it turns out that actually anyone with access to a decent lab and Amazon.com could produce this stuff. So, that holds that pseudo-scientific argument that it could be only Russia completely crumbled away.
First of all, we have to start with the premise that in recent months, Russia has been blamed for everything from the kneeling scandal in the NFL to the Charlottesville protests. Russia seems to be the first country that is blamed for anything. That makes me very skeptical when people rush to judgment against Russia, especially the US, which Russia seems to be the punching bag for… right now, but frankly, for many decades. There is no evidence Russia was behind this and frankly, the motive doesn’t appear to be there. Why would Russia wait for 8 years to go after this spy and his daughter? […] This smells like a set-up of Russia, and people have to be skeptical of what is happening. – Dan Kovalik, human and labor rights lawyer, author of The Plot to Scapegoat Russia: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Putin
RT: Vasily Nebenzia also said on a practical level it would make no sense to carry out such an attack before the Russian election and the World Cup. Is it fair to say the UK has failed to come up with a convincing motive?
DG: Exactly. With the crumbling away of this pseudo-scientific part of the argument, Boris Johnson [and others] are left really revealed that actually they don’t have evidence as such but Russia has the form and has the motive. This is now basically the case that the UK is making. If we look at form, Boris Johnson really needs to learn a bit of his own history before he starts accusing Russia of form in this regard. Not only has Britain invaded 90 percent of the world’s countries, not only has Britain committed active genocide on most of the world’s continents, but actually we know from a report by the Independent newspaper two years ago the extent of the British state’s testing of chemical and biological warfare on its own population is much bigger than anyone ever realized. Over 750 experiments carried out on unsuspecting, non-volunteers, members of the population in coastal towns in Britain, on the Tube, or London Underground, having chemical or biological agents released on them during the Cold War from the ‘40s to the ‘50s. And including testing sarin nerve gas on British soldiers right up until the 1980s. So, if we are going to talk about form, Mr. Johnson, Britain has form on using nerve agents against British citizens on British soil. So, then it is reduced down to ‘motive’… I get the idea that you want to send a message to the so-called traitors, that Putin wants a spat with the West in advance of the election. I understand that. But what about what Britain has gained of all of this? Britain has got 28 countries to expel Russian diplomats. Hasn’t Britain been trying to wage this campaign of isolation against Russia for years now? Hasn’t this amazingly played into this campaign? If we are going to reduce everything to “which country’s got the form and the motive,” then Britain is on a very shaky grounds accusing Russia. And that is why it is so important to have evidence rather than just talking about motives.