The Skripal Affair and skullduggery
Unacceptable to poison people in public places? Sure. Unacceptable to point the finger without the proof? Also. Stupid to give a 24-hour time limit for a reply?
The entire Skripal affair stinks. First off, nobody likes to see people being poisoned or murdered, much less in public places, much less an innocent young lady and much less a policeman going about his work. Much less also, seeing people living their lives in a sleepy countryside city of rural England terrified as all hell breaks loose among them and with the Portland Down bio and chemical weapons factory around nine miles out of town.
Strange coincidence that.
Now let us all sit down and talk some sense here. The human being is a stupid animal, totally unable to be at peace with this planet, that is why in the Third Millennium after Christ or Augustus Caesar or the Hijri Year 1439 or whatever calendar we choose to use, we are spending more money on weapons to kill each other than on medicines to save lives "because it's good for the economy, eh what?" and we continue to see our children jacked up to the eyeballs on drugs because some bastard has sold them to him/her because the authorities are too inept to wipe out the illicit drugs trade "because it simply cannot be done, eh what?" Give me one hundred well-trained employees and I would end it within 5 years and for free.
And now back to Skripal, you know, the guy who shopped his colleagues, put their lives in danger, spilt the beans, gave secrets to the enemy and was engaged in all sort of dubious relationships meeting several "handlers" apparently from several "sides", gleaning Christ knows what type of information on the USA, on the UK and so on. In plain English, he was a bleat. A grass, a snitch, a sneak, a nark, a snout, a rat. Not much to rat on Russia because he left it over a decade ago and in the world of espionage a decade makes you unsexy. Grassing your colleagues out when you are a paid officer, being a traitor to your country does not make you a hero, only in the eyes of those who shelter such an individual.
I know! Let's play a little game. Now, after working with the Soviet Union and Russian Federation for decades, I claim to know a little more about Russia than most, so let me here and now "rat" and "snitch" and "grass" on Russia in public. Three deep breaths, OK here goes. "So, I work in the Press. Today I am one of the senior staff members of the English version, am Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version and I place my articles directly in the newspaper without anyone vetoing or editing out anything whatsoever. I am free to write what I choose, whether it is opinion-editorials on international affairs, I do the sports pieces, simply because I was and am a sportsperson, I do the cultural pieces, some on society and cover the Russian Federation, Business, Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (8 countries) section, World, Society, Sport and Science in the Portuguese version. Nobody censors out anything. I know Vladimir Putin is respected in Russia and wins elections not because he is a dictator, as a commentator on SKY News said this morning but simply because Russians trust him and vote for him because he is a patriot, he is competent and most people have done better under him. He stands for Russian dignity, Russian resources owned by Russians managed by Russians for Russians. Shucks I know that sucks in London and Washington but...
The so-called (Western) "Leader of the Opposition" in Western countries is the leader of the second largest Party, which in this case is the Communist Party but nobody mentions them. So with Putin's United Russia getting 75% plus of the vote and the Communists some 15-20, it leaves some 5 to 10 per cent for the other figures on the fringes of Russian society whose campaign goal is not to lose their deposit. ONE of these the West calls the Leader of the Opposition, stating that Putin's "regime" is a "dictatorship" and is not democratic. So much for politics. And for Western claims.
Putin's da man!
What else can I spill the beans over? Russians are in general decent, conservative people who enjoy their family lives and like to celebrate around a table, they have a penchant for fresh salads and vegetables and adore nature and animals. Getting outside for them having a Barbecue or a picnic in Summer or going mushrooming in the forests in Autumn for the Russians is second Heaven; they are direct but not impolite, they like to have fun together, as a rule they mind their own business and do not stick their noses into everyone else's. As a country the Russians react when they are provoked after showing tremendous degrees of patience. The West instigated Georgia to attack. They started it, Russia ended it. The West invaded Iraq illegally. Russia did not. The West cavorted with terrorists in Libya. Russia did not. The West provoked Ukrainian Fascists to stage demonstrations in Kiev and turned a blind eye when hordes of Fascist murderers chanted Death to Russians and Jews and carried out massacres of Russian-speaking Ukrainians in Eastern Ukraine. The Crimeans voted in an open democratic process to rejoin Russia and they did. An election is an election. And for those who state Russia is active in Eastern Ukraine, if Russia was involved in Ukraine, Kiev would have fallen years ago. Most Russians couldn't give a flying toss about Kiev anyway. Or London. And today the West is again cavorting with terrorists in Syria while Russia is conducting an anti-terrorist campaign.
Apart from that Russians like reading and going to cultural venues. Western athletes can take doping and claim they "caint read no books in my math class cos I caint conssentrate" and that's kosher, or claim they are a high competition athlete with chronic asthma so can get away with taking the same substances Russians with asthma are banned for. So all asthmatics are equal only some are more equal than others.
And that is about it. Whoops, not very sexy was it, I bet MI6 or the CIA would never employ me now, oh dear what a pity never mind (sniff).
But ladies and gentlemen do you see the difference between myself and Skripal? Now to conclude, it is unacceptable that innocent people are caught up in murder attempts in public places. Being a martial arts enthusiast, if I wanted to, I could snap the neck of the majority of people walking down the street, but I do not and would not. Being a practitioner of Judo, Vladimir Putin could throw something like Theresa May through a double-plated window after tying her up in a ball and doing some slam-dunks... but he never would.
So to point the finger at "Putin" and claim he is guilty as everyone in the British Establishment and media, practically, have done, is puerile, insolent and in my opinion is libelous. Any civilized country, OK this excludes most Western nations, except perhaps Portugal and one or two others, any civilized country goes through a due legal process. You gather your evidence, you make your case, you present it and the one you have accused defends him/herself. You do not go into a hissy-fit waving your arms around screaming, issuing ultimatums of 24 hours when the international law stipulates ten days, then complain when the innocent party claims it is...er...innocent.
In these things I always like to see the motive, as in any crime. All criminologists look for a motive to justify the act. So what could the Russian President gain from such an act one week before his election, using a weapon which the West itself declared years back had already been destroyed because Russia unlike the West has destroyed the stockpiles of its chemical weapons and the West admitted that? The answer is nothing because there is nothing to be gained.
Which leaves Skripal's own networks of agents, the people he ratted on (if he had snitched on my son and got him killed I would not wish to tickle his backside with a feather duster either), it leaves any business/mafia links he may have had, it leaves his handlers in the West and anything he got too close to, in the West. So if I were the Brits I would look into countries which have a history of transporting chemical and biological weapons to Islamist groups, under cover of secrecy and investigate Skripal's links to these or to others intertwined in the complex web of espionage. Russia is not involved in any of this, could not be anyway and would not wish to be. I myself this morning was shown a copy of a page in a book easily available to the public written by Vil Mirzayanov on the Novichok chemical agent the British claim was used against Skripal and his daughter Yuliya and I have in front of me on my desk the chemical formula and means of construction of this agent. So what the F*CK are they talking about?
Mr. Putin is far happier off tagging bears in Siberia than playing silly little games with silly little fools who can't get their facts straight and who have a pathological fear or hatred of Russia and Russians, like what's WRONG with these po-faced creeps?
Britain has been behaving in an infantile and puerile way since before Brexit, in fact since Kosovo. Its foreign policy stinks and they know it, they have been involved in all the conflicts for the last 20 years, have used and abetted terrorist groups on their own lists of proscribed groups and now once again it is being insolent to Russia and its President without one shred of evidence, while Theresa May has painted herself into a corner.
May painted herself into a corner
That said nobody likes to see someone humiliated publicly so let us help her out of the problem of her own making. The decent thing would be to state that if it is unacceptable for British subjects to be at risk while going about their lives, and that is a fact nobody denies, then it is also acceptable to follow the rule of law, provide the proper time for an investigation and allow Russia to help Britain get to the bottom of this. The substance they claim was used, sorry after Iraq, nobody believes a freakin' word you guys say, I warned you at the time, you must provide to the Russian authorities to check. Some of this stuff is available outside Russia, check out the Caucasus and countries in that area, since you claim to know everything.
OK hey sorry, my colleague has just come into the office. Hey Sergei, you remember when I told you that they'd cook something up and use it as an excuse to ruin the World Cup? Well I was thinking...what? Yeah I know, who wants that marauding band of hooligans kicking in old ladies and smashing shop windows, well it's not all of them, most just want to see a football match, you know guys spitting at each other, swearing, bedecked with tattoos, trying to break their colleagues' legs and so on...
Oh and members of the Royal Family won't be attending. Shucks they never did give any autographs anyway. I bet Aunty Natasha will be upset.
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. A Vegan, he is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights. He is Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru.
By Agence Rol - Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie, EI-13 (531), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17866044