The Russians Are Flabbergasted
(originally posted with the Unz Review)
President Trump is so pissed off by the Stormy affair that he is likely to prefer a good old war to another humiliation. This suits his enemies and friends (though not his voters) to a tee. He has a choice of doing a difficult manly act that needs all his courage, but which one? Should he put the well-being of his country at stake and brave Russian missiles, or risk the displeasure of the elites and sack Mueller? He is tempted to do the easy thing. Thus he has been maneuvered into deep waters by a powerful coalition of Brits and Jews, the same people who delivered you the last two world wars.
His attempt to make sense and drop the Syrian hot potato (“I strongly wish for the withdrawal of our forces from Syria”, he tweeted) has been rebuffed by the indomitable Mr Netanyahu. Don’t even think of doing it, the big man from Tel Aviv said to Donny in the tense telephone conversation. Don’t leave Syria, you still have to fight the Iranians and Russians. And don’t forget the Syrian kiddies, added the man still covered with the gore of 2,500 Palestinians shot on his orders last week. The Pentagon and US intelligence agencies take their orders directly from Tel Aviv, or via AIPAC; they are already preparing for an extended stay in Syria, despite Donny’s declarations.
The Jews went ballistic when they heard of Trump’s intention to leave Syria. The scribes of WaPo and NY Times condemned the step as playing into Russian hands. “Washington Post columnist and CNN commentator Catherine Rampell said that “Putin must be ecstatic” with Trump’s instructions to begin planning for withdrawal from the region. Forget the fact that it’d be odd for a president to base all of his foreign policy decisions on what would bother Russia — why isn’t Rampell focusing on how delightful it must be for American soldiers to finally reunite with their families, or how the resources this country has spent overseas can now be used domestically?”, – noted a media reporter. This was the cue for Mueller’s raid of Cohen’s office. The old fool has to be pushed, if he does not want to go by his own will, they decided.
America with its Puritan background is the only country where sexual mores are so strict that they lead to war. Clinton went to war in Yugoslavia because of a blow job, while Trump will possibly destroy the world because of a one-night stand.
An attack on Syria is likely to bring a Russian response. At the least, it will be a local conflagration, a joust, a trial of forces and wills. Who knows how it will end? This had been postponed in 2013, when the US armada sailed to Syria’s shores to avenge some other alleged chemical attack. I wrote about that fateful encounter, perhaps over-optimistically, in a piece called The Cape of Good Hope.
“It was touch and go, just as risky as the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. The chances for total war were high, as the steely wills of America and Eurasia had crossed in the Eastern Mediterranean. The most dramatic event of September 2013 was the high-noon stand-off near the Levantine shore, with five US destroyers pointing their Tomahawks towards Damascus and facing them – the Russian flotilla of eleven ships led by the carrier-killer missile cruiser Moskva and supported by Chinese warships. Apparently, two missiles were launched towards the Syrian coast, and both failed to reach their destination. (We shall return to these two missiles later).
After this strange incident, the pending shoot-out did not commence, as President Obama stood down and holstered his guns. This was preceded by an unexpected vote in the British Parliament. This venerable body declined the honour of joining the attack proposed by the US. This was the first time in two hundred years that the British parliament voted down a sensible proposition to start a war; usually the Brits can’t resist the temptation. This misadventure put paid to American hegemony , supremacy and exceptionalism. Manifest Destiny was over.”
As we see now, the high noon was been postponed by five years, and now it is being re-run. The British Prime Minister Theresa May decided she does not need parliament’s approval, President Trump decided he does not need an approval of Congress. So these brakes had been removed.
And now back to those two missiles of 2013. They were sent by the Israelis, whether they were trying to jump-start the shoot-out or just observe the clouds, as they claim. The missiles never reached their destination, shot down by the Russian ship-based sea-to-air defence system, or perhaps rendered useless by Russian GPS jammers.
Fast forward to 2018. On the night of April 10, in the small hours, the Syrian air field T-4 had been attacked by eight air-to-ground missiles; five were downed by the Syrian defence, three (or two) reached their goal and killed a few personnel. For a while, it was thought this was the American attack, but rather quickly, “Russia outed Israel”, as Haaretz reported. Israel tried to dissimulate, at first claiming they warned Putin and got his okay. When Putin’s spokesman denied that, they said they did it by the US request. Most probably they again tried to bring the confrontation to the fore.
Now, with the US Navy in place, with the support of England and France, the countdown to a confrontation has apparently started. The Russians are grimly preparing for the battle, whether a local one or the global one, and they expect it to begin any moment.
The road to this High Noon had led through the Skripal Affair, the diplomats’ expulsion and the Syrian battle for Eastern Ghouta, with an important side show provided by Israeli shenanigans.
The diplomats’ expulsion flabbergasted the Russians. For days they went around scratching their heads and looking for an answer: what do they want from us? What is the bottom line? Too many events that make little sense separately. Why did the US administration expel 60 Russian diplomats? Do they want to cut off diplomatic relations, or is it a first step to an attempt to remove Russia from the Security Council, or to cancel its veto rights? Does it mean the US has given up on diplomacy? (The answer “it’s war” didn’t come to their minds at that time).
The astonished Russians responded all right. They also expelled 60 diplomats, and they made it painful: all US diplomats engaged in the political department of the Moscow Embassy were on the non-grata list. The Political department consisted of three sections, dealing with foreign policy, internal Russian politics and military analysis; the most important centre of data collection, of liaison with Russian politicians, of military consequences, of Syria and Ukraine, of North Korea and China, experienced first-class intelligence officers and field hands – all gone, including their Political Officer Christopher Robinson (POL). The Russians expelled Maria Olson, the Embassy’s well-known spokesperson, and the Ambassador’s interpreter. They closed down St Petersburg Consulate, an important centre for connecting, influencing and interacting with the opposition in this ‘second capital’ of Russia. The US has lost many of its Moscow hands, people who knew Russia and had developed personal relations with important Russians. It will take a lot of time and effort for the US State Department and intelligence agencies to get back to the positions they had lost. The Brits who initiated the deportations also lost about fifty of their Moscow Embassy staff.
Surprisingly, the mass deportation of so many Russian diplomats had little effect on the Russian people, as this strike had been neutralised by another painful event, by the Kemerovo Mall blaze killing 64 cinema-goers including over 40 children. The blaze, even if it weren’t arson (it has not been proven yet), triggered a massive onslaught of fake news and internet trolls on the people of Russia. A million underfed Ukrainians were deployed by the Western psywar on the web to tell the Russians that hundreds of their children had been incinerated, and that their authorities lie to them. This operation revealed the level of influence and integration the Western spy agencies have in Russia.
Kemerovo was a good choice for the operation: it is the only ethnic-Russian region ruled by an old-style local hero who had outlived his wits, the only region that reported indecently (and unrealistically) high support for Putin in the recent elections, a depressive region of mines and miners with big potential for trouble.
Putin managed it rather well by coming down personally and dealing with the situation hands on. He has been learning the ropes since 2000, when, at the dawn of his first presidential term, the Kursk submarine went down with all hands. Putin stayed away from the sailors’ families, and acted callous, people said. “It had sunk”, Putin replied to the question “What happened to Kursk?” (It is said USS Memphis had fired a torpedo at the submarine, causing the disaster, while the new president had been reluctant to aggravate relations with the Clinton Administration). Now, in 2018, he was very good, full of empathy and consideration, conveying strength and decisiveness.
Whatever American agency carried out the psyop around Kemerovo, it was very successful, but its success undermined another operation, that of the Russian diplomats’ expulsion. The Russians did not pay it sufficient attention.
The alleged reason for the expulsion, the poisoning of Sergey Skripal and his daughter, made very little sense. Even if the old spy were bumped off by his erstwhile employers, such a reaction would be excessive by all means. He was not a Napoleon (poisoned by the Brits 200 years ago), not a prince of blood, not a great inventor nor a successful spy. He was a retired ex-spy, a wash-out. Anyway he didn’t die, he was just sick for a while. Perhaps he ate something in the pub that didn’t agree with him. This is the opinion of his niece, Victoria, who is the only person alive who had been in contact with the Skripals since their alleged hospitalisation.
This affair is so obscure that it beats Rashomon anytime. Russian reporters went around Salisbury and noticed many incongruences. It is not certain whether the Skripals were poisoned at all, and where they are. Their pets survived the deadly poison, and they had to be destroyed. This piece of black Russian humour had been forwarded a lot around the net:
Skripal had been poisoned by a most powerful poison, 2 grams will kill half a country instantly! The Russians
– poisoned him in the restaurant
– no, on the bench
– no, in the car
– No, the door handle was smeared
– No, the suitcase was poisoned
– No, everything in the house was poisoned.
– Oh, and buckwheat was poisoned,
– but they did not die instantly, but walked around somewhere for four hours,
– but the policeman that discovered them almost died on the spot,
– but the poison was instantly identified,
– an antidote was instantly introduced, and Skripals and the policeman were saved;
– The policeman had been discharged next day!
– But they were in coma, and they will never recover!
– but no, the daughter had recovered fast!
– Oh, and dad is revived … a miracle!
– and they both are quickly recovering, your strongest poison is useless.
– the restaurant had been surrounded by police in spacesuits
– the park had been surrounded by police in spacesuits
– the house had surrounded by police in spacesuits
– they are in spacesuits, since the poison is deadly dangerous, but next to them are policemen without protection …
– The bench was cut down and removed: it’s such a terrible poison that the bench retained its toxic quality for two weeks;
– but the cat had survived in the poisoned house … the policeman had touched Skripal and nearly died, and the cat survived … and the guinea pigs would survive, but they were all forgotten, and died of hunger in the house;
– and their remains were immediately burned, as they are poisoned by the strongest poison;
– For two weeks they were poisoned by the strongest poison and survived, and now they had to be urgently cremated;
– Only guinea pigs died, the cat survived all this poison. It was stressful and hungry, so they killed it and cremated to make it certain nobody will find the secret etc etc.
The true hero of Skripal saga is the British ex-Ambassador Craig Murray, who followed the developments and unveiled many of its inconsistencies and outright lies. You may read his articles and tweets to learn the details.
Julia Skripal took a daring step: she called her cousin Viktoria in Moscow. Their conversation is an amazing document. Julia says that she and her father are in good health; she doubts Viktoria will be allowed to visit her. Indeed, the British government refused to grant her visa. The feeling is that Julia is imprisoned.
I spoke with a retired Russian counter-intelligence officer who is familiar with the subject. He told me Russia never had a Novichok toxic substance: this name was given by counter-intelligence to A-232 in order to trace the leaks. It worked: a man called Vil Mirzayanov, an administrator in the chemical labs, leaked the Novichok story, and thus he was apprehended and arrested. A-232 had been produced in small amounts in 1990s, and some of it could be stolen and sold in these horrible years, when a full colonel of Russian intelligence had to moonlight as a taxi driver to supplement his measly $46 monthly salary. In those years, the poison could be indeed made available, and in one case it was used by criminals.
Theoretically it is not impossible that some of this poison could have been saved and stored by some criminals; alternatively, it was available to the Americans who dismantled the labs in 1992. Anyway we have no independent proof that Skripals were poisoned by anything at all. If they survive, if the British and the American intelligence services don’t kill them, perhaps we shall know more. We can definitely exclude the possibility that Russian state agents would go to Britain to poison an old spy who had been pardoned by Russian president years ago. Even if he was active in producing Christopher Steele’s Trump (“Golden Rain”) file, the Russians would have no compelling reason to kill him at all, and in such an odd way in particular. “If we would kill him, he would stay killed”, concluded my interlocutor.
The details of Skripal case are very entertaining, but not necessary for our understanding. The case was used to install in minds the connection between chemical poisoning and Russia. It is unfair, for Russians destroyed all their chemical poisons under the eyes of Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inspectors, but life is often unfair.
The connection between chemical poisoning and Russia had been prepared for the forthcoming event. Eastern Ghouta was an important and well entrenched location of the Syrian rebels. Being within easy reach from Central Damascus, it provided the rebels with a chance to seize power in the Syrian capital. As the Syrian army with Iranian and Russian support advanced into Eastern Ghouta, they learned of the rebel plans to stage a false flag chemical weapon attack, as they already had done a few times in past. President Putin warned of such a possibility at his joint (with President Erdogan and President Rouhani) press conference in Ankara last week, a few days before the alleged attack.
The attack had never occurred at all, but it was duly reported by the pro-Western media. Thus the game came to a close. The Skripal Affair established the connection of Russia and chemical weapons, Eastern Ghouta allowed them to use this connection in order to attack Russia.
We should not overestimate importance of these media events. The leading Western powers and their media refused to consider different explanations, refused an open inquiry; they went for the jugular. Russia has been demonised in 2018, like Germany was demonised in 1940. It was a long and cautious labour. Have a look at this site theday.co.uk – it is a site for school children and their teachers. You’ll be amazed to discover its fervent hatred of Russia and Putin being pumped into hearts and heads of young generation. Such long planning can’t be dependent on an event like poisoning of an ex-spy or even on the fall of a Syrian underground fortress.
The planners of a war on Russia have utilised fear of anti-Semitism for their purposes. I called this method Anti-semitism Weaponised. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, has been blocked and contained by accusations of anti-Semitism. He was the only leader able to stop Britain’s descent into war with Russia. Other Labour MPs and activists have been attacked over alleged anti-Semitism issue, and – what a coincidence! – practically all of them were against demonising Russia; while Friends of Israel – whether Conservative or Labour – were viciously anti-Russian.
This is a correlation that will be discussed at another time, but it is a far from obvious one. Russia has no anti-Semitism; the Russian president is friendly to Israel and to the powerful Jewish Chabad movement. Russia has no white nationalism, and little of the alt-right. However, this correlation exists. Shall we explain it by Jewish hatred of the Orthodox Church, as this Church (active in Russia, Greece, Palestine and Syria) hasn’t been Jewified. Or should we prefer a more simple explanation: Jews are well integrated into Western elites, and they promote and support the goals of these elites.
However, people who can withstand accusations of anti-Semitism are the strongest enemies of the ruling power; they stand against the war with Russia and against attack on Syria, as the Haaretz newspaper explained in an article called White Supremacists Defend Assad, Warn Trump: Don’t Let Israel Force You Into War With Syria . The article continues: “Alt-right calls Saturday’s chemical attack in Damascus suburb a false flag operation, claiming it’s an effort by Israel and ‘globalists’ to keep U.S. troops in Middle East” It quotes David Duke and other untouchables as the only people who reject the Israeli narrative.
Not being a white supremacist (probably I do not qualify), I still applaud these brave men when they say and do the right thing. Sensitivity to an anti-Semitism accusation is a strong vulnerability of character. Though people like Corbyn have their heart in the right place, they are weak on this point, and the enemy uses this weakness to neutralize them. There are people in the left that are not afraid of any accusation, but there aren’t many who are resistant to metum Judaeorum.
Let us hope and pray we shall survive the forthcoming cataclysm.
ER recommends other articles by The Saker
Israel Shamir can be reached at email@example.com
This article was first published at The Unz Review
Image of the Skripals courtesy of Sky News
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock