Lost in the Mire 12

Mon – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman begins a visit to the U.S. He’s due ed to meet President Donald Trump in Washington tomorrow. Itinerary also includes stops in Boston, New York, Houston, Seattle and San Francisco.

Mon –  EU Foreign Affairs Council meets to discuss the UK-Russia poisoning case, Ukraine, Syria, the Korean Peninsula and Iran.

Tues – Deadline for Poland to comply with European Commission recommendations on the rule of law.

Tues – US Federal Reserve meets. News conference follows.

Tues – 2 weeks long Chinese National People’s Congress ends.

Weds – US/Japan/S Korea hold Defence Trilateral Talks.

Thurs – Summit of EU leaders expected to approve guidelines for the future EU-UK relationship. Continues Fri.

Thurs – Maldives government expected to allow the ongoing state of emergency to expire.

Fri –  US tariffs on steel and aluminium set to take effect.

Fri – 1st session of the new Italian Parliament, and appointment of the presidents of Parliament’s two chambers.

Sun –  Deadline for the formation of parliamentary groups in the Italian Parliament.

Sun – Opposition in Belarus to hold an unauthorized march in Minsk.

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11 Comments on "Lost in the Mire 12"

  1. With regards to the Salisbury attack I thought the revelation that Iran successfully synthesised Novichok over a year ago made interesting reading. Given almost the entire rationale for blaming Russia so far has been that they developed Novichok, and that it would be extremely difficult for anyone else to produce it, this would seem to blow a rather large hole in the British governments argument. In itself it doesn’t prove Russia isn’t culpable any more than the fact that they developed it first proved that they were, but it just goes to show that perhaps Corbyn wasn’t being entirely unreasonable when suggesting the government try to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Russia was guilty before acting.

    I dare say an explanation will be forthcoming on why this is irrelevant but increasingly the whole British response is starting to resemble a circus. If the government are indeed absolutely sure that Russia carried out this attack then the measures taken so far are wholly inadequate in my opinion.

    http://www.spectroscopynow.com/details/ezine/1591ca249b2/Iranian-chemists-identify-Russian-chemical-warfare-agents.html?tzcheck=1,1,1,1,1,1&&tzcheck=1

    • Interesting but troubling. This is a story I find inherently worrying: that those on the left (in this instance but, at other times, those on the right) can selectively discount the opinions of government experts. If we fundamentally can’t believe our government on this, then we can’t believe then on anything. Myself, I have to go with the simple solution: that Russia, a gangster state, attempted to kill a man they believed was a traitor and it was done to cause tensions with the West when it most suited Putin, who could look like a strong leader during an election.

      • The government are their own worst enemy David, they come across as shifty in the way that they present their case (not just on this either). Their repeated use of “of a type developed by Russia” when describing the nerve agent reminds you of some shyster lawyer. Former ambassador Craig Murray has claimed he has information that they are using this phrase because government scientists would not agree to endorse wording saying that the agent was made in Russia. Whether this is true or not, they have left the door open to speculation as it is not definitive, why not just say “Russian nerve agent”. Then you get the whole “no other plausible explanation” nonsense from them. There are clearly other plausible explanations, less plausible certainly, but still not beyond the realms of possibility. Given the track record of previous governments they have to do better when putting forward a case than they have done so far. Russia is the most likely perpetrator, but if I was 90% it was Russia on the day the attack was carried out, I am far less certain now after listening to the governments case and seeing the attempts to crush any who have the temerity to question it or call for a more methodical approach.

        • Talk about rabbit holes. Until I see evidence, my suspicion remains that it was a Russian operation. I just fail to see what May gains by making an enemy of Russia. Governments Labour and Tory have spent years trying to turn a blind eye to this stuff.

          Wasn’t Craig Murray suggesting that Israel was more likely to blame, just like he also claims to be the source of the DNC email leak? This is the world we live in, I guess, where nothing is believed and yet people are willing to believe almost anything… Not that I can prove or disprove anything. Sometimes it feels like doing higher-level maths, except you can’t accept any previously established proof and you have to derive everything from first principles.

          • Yes, who knows when you get into this level of murk. Your right about there not being a huge amount to gain on the British side. Then again on the face of it there isn’t really a lot of percentage in it for Russia either in killing the guy. If they wanted him dead then why did they let him go and then leave him alone for years?. Putin was going to win a landslide whether he was killed or not.

            I just wish the British government had put forward something stronger before proceeding. For years they have accused Russia of various wrongdoing against the UK. Either Russia is launching cyberattacks on us or it isn’t. It is either using 40% of it’s embassy staff to spy on us, or it isn’t. It is either an enemy and a threat to this country or it isn’t. If it is, then why are we even hosting it’s embassy and allowing it’s citizens into the country. If it isn’t then we really ought to shut up. Sorry but thats my philosophy on Russia in a sentence there, put up or shut up. If we do neither then you have to ask yourself why that is.

          • Agree on both points. I see that Putin gains by looking like the strong defender of Mother Russia but, like you say, he was always going to win. At the same time, trying to read the motives of a man like Putin is probably not wise either…

            Regarding the government, I still think it comes down to money. They’ve been in thrall to oligarchs and their money for so long, our politicians don’t look like they want to be convinced that Russia is to blame.

  2. Well so much for solidarity. Merkel, Macron, JCJ and even Victor Orban have all sent their congratulations to President Putin on his victory. Trump and May, so far at least have not.

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