Saturday, April 21, 2018

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Strange Little Girl, Where Are You Going?

Sean Mallory shares his thoughts on some latest twists in the world of international relations. 

– The Stranglers, Strange Little Girl – 1988
“I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favour of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare. It is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas.
I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected. - Winston S. Churchill: departmental minute (Churchill papers: 16/16) 12 May 1919 War Office

The UK sold several chemical weapons ingredients to Syria, back in 2012/13 – with explicit approval from then-prime minister David Cameron.

Air strikes in Syria were about saying "enough is enough" over the use of chemical weapons, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson – BBC – 15/04/2018.

Making the first defence of this claim since Porton Down scientists said they could only describe the agent as novichok, but not ascertain its country of origin, Johnson implied he had never said Porton Down told him Russia was responsible. – The Guardian - 15/04/2018

.....the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has confirmed the British finding that the nerve agent was that described by British scientists, but again did not say the agent could only have been made in Russia. – The Guardian – 15/04/2018

“I was with my family in the basement of my home three hundred metres from here on the night but all the doctors know what happened. There was a lot of shelling [by government forces] and aircraft were always over Douma at night – but on this night, there was wind and huge dust clouds began to come into the basements and cellars where people lived. People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a “White Helmet”, shouted “Gas!”, and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia – not gas poisoning. ... Before we go any further, readers should be aware that this is not the only story in Douma. There are the many people I talked to amid the ruins of the town who said they had “never believed in” gas stories – which were usually put about, they claimed, by the armed Islamist groups. - Robert Fisk – Independent – 17/04/2018.

Ignoring their own crude hypocrisy to recent approval of the use of chemical weapons and building upon the Skripal attack, May and Macron and under the directorship of Agent Orange – US President Donald Trump, continue to heap more accusations of using banned chemical weapons on the Russians through Bashir Assad's regime’s alleged use of gas to attack the people of Douma. Both incidents, backed by strong Russian denial, lack clarity of evidence and especially rational motives, but both do raise more questions than they answer.

The Skripal offense once the darling of the British tabloid front page and which slavishly and repeatedly printed unsubstantiated British Government press releases, echoed around the world the immoral and unethical aspects of such an attack – an affront to humanity!

But as the hysteria began to settle and more probing questions began to be raised, the Skripal case as first explained by the British Government began to unravel. Johnston, the British Foreign Secretary, began to flounder in his responses and earlier claims and comments came back to publicly deride and ridicule him.

Although initially portrayed by May as a crime against Europe, another clumsy attempt at seeking favour while trying to sow division among the 27 members, and the extended world (let us not leave out the USA) didn’t warrant attack on Russia's chemical weapons facilities but mere diplomatic expulsions. It's better to leave the Russian bear with some form of chemical relief for its foreign policy headaches than have it rampaging around Finchley.

Leo Varadkar, not one to be left out of the public eye and since Brexit has taken a back seat joined in the affray and expelled a Russian fruit seller from Moore Street market in Dublin.

Unable to state as to the exact nature of the diplomat’s expulsion or whether the diplomat was somehow involved in the Skripal affair or was involved in some form of illegal activity, Leo expelled him anyway basing his decision on EU support for Britain which in turn is based on Britain's evidence or lack there off.

However, Syria, not being a world nuclear power, allied to Russia and Assad's regime having won the war much to the Wests angst, having been accused of once again using chemical weapons in the Douma gas attack, did warrant such an attack, as Syria was incapable to respond in kind.

The UK, France and USA dutifully obliged with over 100 missile launches. But without the British public's approval through parliament and which indicates Britain's decline towards a dictatorship since dictators tend to rule by command while generally democracies rule by deliberation, arbitration and end with a vote.

Russian supplied defence systems reportedly shot down the vast majority thus reducing the potential effect of their concerted effort and greatly reducing the amount of destruction.

Destroyed in the bombing raid was what they described as Assad's chemical weapons laboratories. Russia vociferously complained and repeated the threats that it had issued before the raid.

But let us consider

The Skripals, father and daughter, Sergei and Yulia, and nothing to do with meerkats, having jumped back from the precipice of impending death and miraculously survived a deadly Novichok nerve gas attack, are improving every day and are recuperating in a secured environment. They are still as yet unseen by the public eye that these days seems to have a patch over it!

Assad and his regime have suffered no military setback whatsoever and are on route to full military success.

Russia, well Russia and her oligarch's are still here and so are the greater number of Her diplomats and Her bearish language. But one thing She has learned, based on the Skripal case is that Her much tabooed Novichoks are certainly nowhere near as virulent as they originally thought....Sergei and his daughter's survival prove this.

But we need to ask, did May and her chums agree to a ‘deconfliction’ notice being served on Russia and Syria before the most recent attack as had happened with the US bombing of the al-Shayrat military airfield near Homs last April 2017?

Corbyn once castigated as a traitor for questioning the validity of the evidence of the Skripal attack now finds himself vindicated and free to return to sort out the much hyped government pro Israeli driven media reports of antisemitism within the Labour ranks....
120. Despite significant press and public attention on the Labour Party, and a number of revelations regarding inappropriate social media content, there exists no reliable, empirical evidence to support the notion that there is a higher prevalence of antisemitic attitudes within the Labour Party than any other political party - House of Commons Home Affairs Committee: Antisemitism in the UK, Tenth Report of Session 2016–17.

Perhaps we should set aside the irrelevant question of where is Theresa May going with this since no-one including May has the answer but more relevantly we should be asking where is Roman Abromovich?

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich having proven in the past how little he suffers fools for managers has somehow allowed Conti unrestrained management of his precious Chelsea football club. A manager who would have the gall to declare to Abramovich that they were fighting for a possible 4th place but looking more realistically at Thursday night European football next season would have been quickly dispatched to the cold and hostile Steppes.

No, not this time for Conti who has ruled unchallenged. Abramovich, once courted by the press, has now seemingly resigned himself to a reclusive lifestyle and is rarely seen in public and this behaviour beginning long before the Skripal debacle.

Was Roman made aware by his Oligarch masters of what was about to befall the Skripals and the possible fallout from this action and subsequently ordered to get their money out as soon as possible leading on to May's empty threat of freezing the Oligarchs assets in London. Did the oligarchs, aware of what was coming down, suddenly appear on Roman's London doorstep and order him home.........with their money!!!!!!

Staying on football and despite the team's resurgence, Mike Ashley's sale of Newcastle also looks set to be dampened down ever so slightly as funding may prove problematic.

As the oligarchs flee back across the North Sea and as Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman has locked up all his wealthy rivalries and relatives and confiscated their assets, as he has laid siege to Qatar and in doing so split the Emirates and is in financial difficulties over his war crime actions in Yemen, Ashley may have to look west to USA...but what Yank wants to spend hundreds of millions in north east England!!!!!!!

One final thought

Based on current events and their crude Western hypocrisy isn’t it amazing what wins an Oscar these days!

Sean Mallory is a Tyrone republican and TPQ columnist