by John Ward
A YouGov study released today shows that only 1 in 5 British citizens support a missile strike against the Syrian régime.
In turn, the Hague-based Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has just produced a report ‘at the invitation of the British government’ – three weeks ago, it seems – based on blood samples allegedly taken from Yuria and Sergei Skripal.
Being mere citizens, we are not allowed to see the full report….which is classified. Imagine that. But you can read the summary here. I suspect you will agree that it provides more questions than answers. But before I highlight those questions, let me make one overall point.
The Establishment MSM media have all led with reports of the OPCW findings that are shamefully misleading in relation to actual summary content. The Telegraph, for example, claims:
‘….an international watchdog confirmed that Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a “high purity” nerve agent in Salisbury. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said that it had been able to “confirm” the findings of British scientists about the nerve agent….’
It did no such thing. It confirmed what the British authorities say, not what the Porton Down scientists said.
The Torygraph goes on to say that the OPCW identified the nerve agent as ‘a strain of Novichok’.
It did not such thing. There is no mention whatsoever of Novichok anywhere in the summary report.
The agent is named in the full classified version. As the name is now a household word around the Globe, if it was Novichok the OPCW would surely have had no hesitation in naming it as such publicly.
Boris Johnson has issued a statement saying the OPCW document “leaves Russia with serious questions to answer”.
It does no such thing. The report doesn’t mention Russia at all, for the simple reason that – as many chemweap experts have already attested – this type of nerve agent could be made by anyone.
And so to my list of questions:
- Did you know anything about this British invitation to the OPCW? No, neither did I. It was kept secret. I wonder if we would have heard anything about it if the findings didn’t suit the May Government?
- The summary report describes the nature of the sample in an odd manner: ‘the toxic chemical was of high purity. The latter is concluded from the almost complete absence of impurities’. No shit Sherlock? If it was of such highly pure toxicity, how come all three victims survived?
- In relation to the three victims, the OPCW summary asserts that the nerve agent ‘severely injured three people’. That is not true: the detective was discharged from hospital after 36 hours and was never in any medical danger from exposure to the chemical. The OPCW is here recycling the lie offered to the House of Commons by Theresa May. Wasn’t this a little careless?
- The British Government was happy to secretly invite this agency to produce a report, but not to accede to a full UN enquiry. Why?
The truth is, the OPCW report changes nothing beyond the now (for me, anyway) established fact that in one way or another, the Skripals and the detective were exposed to a nerve agent. Ergo, their illness was not faked. That’s it.
There remain the lies told by Johnson about what Porton Down had uncovered, the lies about Salisbury residents admitted to hospital, and the sexing up of what was (I think) a routine espionage revenge killing of the kind carried out every day of the year by the military intelligence personnel of all leading nations.
We are still asking the two obvious questions: why the demonisation of Russia, and why now?
I confess to being somewhat rhetorical with the interrogatory there, because within days of the Salisbury affair reaching a peak of hoo-haa, it was pretty damned obvious why: the need for a warm-up pretext to The Big Pretext on Syria.
Spookily enough – having suggested that Russia and Russia alone uses chemical weapons – it involved, um, the use of chemical weapons.
But the OPCW itself admits that it is currently engaged in negotiations with both the RF and the USA about onsite destruction of chemical weapons.
The major problem Washington still faces is that the lead up to the chemical attack in Douma was forecast by both Russia and Syria….and took place in the only unliberated part of Damascus. How jolly convenient.
Last but not least, Yougov has finally done a research study on British citizen attitudes to intervention in Syria. The results are striking.
Fewer than a quarter of Britons (22%) say they would support missile attacks on Syria, with almost twice as many opposing (43%). The remaining 34% don’t know. In short, 4 out of 5 UK citizens do NOT support the Government on the issue.
I think the priority for the 4 in 5 Brits is to make it clear to their MPs that they are going to be angry if May and Johnson intervene without a debate in Parliament.
In particular, given these findings, I expect and hope that Corbynista Labour will stop shying away from this issue and get stuck in on behalf of the People.