International Forecaster Weekly

From Poisoned Spies to WWIII

if there is a bright side, is that this incident probably won't lead to WWIII. Directly. Yet. But it is one more step along the path to outright conflict. And however much some might take solace in the fact that this is all a stage show between two sides that are being controlled by the same deep state forces...

James Corbett | March 16, 2018

So you know the poisoning of Sergei Skripal? The incident that is causing British Prime Minister Elizabeth May to start a war of words with the Russians that could potentially lead to World War III? Well, imagine explaining the story to your MSM-addicted, normie friend: YOU: Hey, did you know the US government has a top secret bioweapon that they use to kill their political enemies? Well, no one has actually proven it exists much less collected any samples of it, but trust me, it exists and they use it. FRIEND: What? Secret bioweapon? No evidence? Ugh! Shut up, burglary theorist! . . . errrr, I mean, Shut up, conspiracy theorist! YOU: Oops, did I say the US government? I meant the Russian government. FRIEND: Oh, the Russian government, you say? Well, then, this sounds perfectly believable.

Yes, believe it or not, that is essentially what we are being told by the powers-that-shouldn't-be. "The Russians are using a super secret poison that may or may not exist but we're too busy to provide any evidence for this. Just trust us. Oh, and let's threaten a world nuclear superpower based on this non-evidence, too!"

For those not in the know, the case revolves around Sergei Skripal, who the media disingenuously refer to as a "former Russian spy." In this case, "former Russian spy" is a euphemism for "ongoing MI6 double agent." Or, more accurately, "recently poisoned MI6 double agent." That's because Skripal and his daughter were admitted to hospital after passing out on a shopping center bench in Salisbury, England earlier this month. They remain in critical condition. (Or maybe they're already dead. Who knows?)

Naturally, in this era of Russiagate hysteria, it took precisely no time at all before the UK government began intimating it was the Russians, and, despite not providing a shred of evidence for that claim, the mockingbird media naturally followed along. "Of course the Russians did it!" we are told by the MSM repeaters. "Evidence, schmevidence. I mean, come on! Poisoning . . . Soviet Union . . . Russians. Do we have to draw you a map?"

Now Macron, Merkel and Trump are jumping on board with the narrative. "It's the Russians! Time to start WWIII!"

Thankfully, there are some sane voices (even in the MSM) pointing out the absurdity of the idea that Russia's top-secret-super-stealthy assassins poison their enemies in ridiculously obvious ways that will inevitably be traced back to the Kremlin. Unsurprisingly, however, when Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn dared to suggest that it may be a good idea to wait for, you know, actual evidence pertaining to this crime before starting WWIII he was naturally accused of being a Russian spy himself. (Bonus laugh: The Grauniad accidentally opened comments on an article about Corbyn's remarks for 10 minutes, just enough time for the public to show overwhelming support for his position.)

But the real intrigue at this point surrounds the agent that was allegedly used on this so-called "former Russian spy." We are told that Skripal and his daughter were poisoned by a "Novichok" (Russian for "newcomer"), which may be "the most deadly nerve agent ever made" if bastion-of-truthiness Wikipedia is to be believed. This class of nerve agent was allegedly developed in the Soviet Union's chemical weapons program in the 1970s and 1980s, but details remain sketchy because knowledge of the chemicals source exclusively to two ex-Soviet scientists who claimed to be part of the program that developed them.

The latest theory about how this deadly agent ended up in Salisbury posits that Skripal's daughter unwittingly (or maybe wittingly?) brought the poison from Moscow in her luggage. The basis for that theory? Well, none has been presented, of course, just: "British investigators are working on the theory that the toxin was impregnated in an item of clothing or cosmetics or in a gift that was opened in Skripal’s house in Salisbury, the Telegraph said, citing the unidentified sources."

Oh, unidentified sources say that investigators are working on a theory, eh? Well, that's all the evidence I need, and if you say otherwise, you're a dirty Russian!

But even more intriguing than the details of how these alleged Novichok agents allegedly ended up in Salisbury is a more fundamental question: Do they even exist at all? This is not a trivial question, and, until last week, most scientists would have said "probably not."

This is a point made by Craig Murray, the former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan who blew the whistle on the UK's complicity in obtaining and using torture testimony. He now writes a fascinating blog, and, in recent days, has posted some bombshell articles about the Skripal case and the evidence-free assertion that Novichok agents were used on Sergei and his daughter.

In "The Novichok Story Is Indeed Another Iraqi WMD Scam," Murray notes the rather remarkable fact that both Porton Down (the UK's only chemical weapons facility) and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW] have openly expressed doubt about the very existence of Novichok agents. As Murray points out, the head of the detection lab at Porton Down admitted in 2016 that "No independent confirmation of the structures or the properties of such compounds [Novichoks] has been published" and the OPCW's Scientific Advisory Board [SAB] concluded in 2013 that "it has insufficient information to comment on the existence or properties of 'Novichoks.'" And yet we are being asked to believe on the basis of precisely no publicly-presented evidence that the chemists at Porton Down have accurately determined that the substance in question is a Novichok agent.

And wait, it gets worse! We are also being asked to believe that those chemists were somehow able to determine the origin of that agent that they've never seen before, and have determined it came from Russia. This despite the fact that (as Murray notes), the original Novichok program supposedly took place at the Nukus chemical weapons site in Uzbekistan, far away from modern-day Russia. And in Murray's latest post, "Of A Type Developed By Liars," he reports that a source in the UK government has confirmed "that Porton Down scientists are not able to identify the nerve gas as being of Russian manufacture, and have been resentful of the pressure being placed on them to do so." In other words, Iraqi WMD 2.0.

But hey, would the government really lie about something so important? That will eventually be exposed as a transparent fraud? That could cause large-scale warfare and the loss of untold lives?...again?

Sigh. I wish that wasn't a rhetorical question. Oh, and here's the kicker: the Salisbury shopping center where Skripal and his daughter were found is just a few miles down the road from...(drum roll please)...Porton Down. What a coinky-dink.

Oh, and there's this headline as a kind of kicker to the kicker: Porton Down laboratory to get £48m boost after Skripal attack. But there's probably nothing to see here, folks. Just scientists being pressured with carrots and sticks to produce shoddy intelligence for the government, right?

If only that were the end of it. But sadly, of course, this whole ridiculous conspiracy yarn is unfolding in the context of one of the longest and most concentrated periods of geopolitical tension in recent memory, namely the four years of simmering/boiling tension between Russia and NATO that kicked off (or boiled over) after the western-backed coup in Ukraine. We now have Russia unveiling a whole new generation of nuclear missiles and top level officials saying that the current situation may be worse than the Cuban missile crisis. This is not a game.

Now the bright side here, if there is a bright side, is that this incident probably won't lead to WWIII. Directly. Yet. But it is one more step along the path to outright conflict. And however much some might take solace in the fact that this is all a stage show between two sides that are being controlled by the same deep state forces, we have to remember that all sides were funded and controlled by the same forces in WWI and WWII and the cold war and every other major conflict in living memory, but those conflicts happened, too.

If ever there was a time for the reminder of the public's role in refusing to grease the skids of the war machine, now is the time.

In the meantime, the OPCW has just received a sample of the alleged Novichok so the issue will be coming to a head soon. Stay tuned...