Skripal Incident a Diabolical Plot to Demonize Russia
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Likely cooked up by dark forces in London and Washington, the Skripal incident escalated a long-running campaign to politically and economically marginalize, weaken, contain and isolate Russia.
The scheme recklessly heads things toward possible East/West military confrontation - especially after Trump's capitulation to extremist neocons in charge of US foreign policy.
Bipartisan Russophobic hardliners in Washington want tougher tactics used against the Kremlin - including full implementation of the so-called "Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATS).
Enacted last August, it calls for imposing tough sanctions on Russia relating to cyber security, its energy and defense sectors, its operation in Syria, and other activities.
It directs the US Treasury and National Security Council to develop a strategy for countering Russia. The measure targets Iran and North Korea the same way.
Within 180 days of enactment, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, the Director of National Intelligence and National Security Advisor are required to submit a detailed report to Congress to include "identification of the most significant senior foreign political figures and oligarchs in the Russian Federation, as determined by their closeness to the (Kremlin) and their net worth" - along with an assessment of their relationship to Putin and other top Russian officials.
Last summer, Trump went along with the measure reluctantly, saying:
"While I favor tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed," adding:
"In its haste to pass this legislation, the Congress included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions," including restrictions on executive branch authority over foreign policy.
"My Administration will give careful and respectful consideration to the preferences expressed by the Congress in these various provisions and will implement them in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations."
Appointing Mike Pompeo for State and John Bolton as new national security advisor showed Trump's capitulation to hardliners in Washington wanting toughness imposed on Russia, China, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and other countries targeted for regime change.
The orchestrated Skripal false flag provides greater ammunition for hardline neocons to pursue their hostile Russophobic agenda - in Washington, the UK and other EU countries.
Britain began the latest toughness on Russia by expelling 23 of its diplomats. At least 10 other EU countries are expected to take similar action, perhaps as early as Monday - along with further anti-Russia steps by UK Tories.
Trump is expected to expel Russian diplomats, along with perhaps additional anti-Kremlin actions this week.
According to State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, the Trump administration is considering a "range of options to respond to Russia's outrageous actions in the UK, both to demonstrate our solidarity with our ally and to hold Russia accountable for its clear breach of international norms and agreements" - with no further elaboration, hostile outrageous remarks.
On Sunday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova blasted what she called unacceptable global "mud-slinging and adverse publicity" against the Kremlin, adding:
"What do we see? A colossal failure from the point of view of evidence. London simply has no evidentiary basis to hide behind."
'(T)he only thing that can save Theresa May, and the United Kingdom in principle, I mean the political establishment, is global support, first of all from the European Union and NATO partners" - especially from Washington.
Moscow intends responding in kind to hostile actions against its government.
Russophobia is at a fever pitch, likely to escalate ahead, not subside, risking unknown consequences.
Clearly Moscow had nothing to do with the Skripal incident, nor is any falsely claimed "Russian aggression" ongoing in Syria, Ukraine or anywhere else.
Western sentiment is almost entirely Russophobic. Escalating anti-Russia actions risks heading things toward something much more serious.
Lessons from two world wars weren't learned. A third one with today's super weapons could doom us all.
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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."