skripals five eyes
Another chemical weapons masterpiece, brought to you by the Five Eyes, producers of such hits as 'Iraqi WMDs', 'Syrian Chemical Weapons', and 'Libya Kills Its Own People'
Having gone this far with their absurd theater of staging a chemical weapons attack and blaming it on the Kremlin, the British government has apparently decided that... it may as well keep going.

Thanks to Victoria Skripal having the wherewithal to record her phone conversation with her cousin once she got through to her, we now know that the Skripals are doing 'fine' enough that they expect to be discharged from hospital soon. We also learned from the cousin that she overheard someone coaching Yulia on what she could and could not say on the phone. When Victoria told her she'd apply for a visa in order to come to the UK and visit her and her uncle, Yulia foresaw - correctly, as it turns out - that it was unlikely her application would be successful.

In addition, the British continue to refuse Russian embassy staff in London permission to visit her - as they are required to do under international law.

The British now have a serious problem on their hands: what to do with the Skripals? If they let them return to Russia, they'll almost certainly divulge details embarrassing to the British government.

Today the British Sunday Times reports that:
'Sergei and Yulia Skripal offered new identities with CIA help - Poisoned daughter refuses to meet Russians'
The Times cites MI6 sources as saying they've discussed relocating the Skripals out of the UK with the CIA, and that the Russian nationals are to be "offered new identities and a new life in America", ostensibly to "protect them from further murder attempts." Are they to be 'offered' this choice, or manipulated and effectively forced into accepting it?

If not the US, then to one of the other 'five eyes' countries in the Anglosphere - Canada, Australia or New Zealand:
"The obvious place to resettle them is in America, because they're less likely to be killed there and it's easier to protect them there under a new identity. There's a preference for them to be resettled in a five-eyes nation because their case would have huge security implications."
In other words, they would want to keep a close eye on them, lest the Skripals ever attempt to speak with the press or, God forbid, the Russian government. What else can they do but accept? They're practically in captivity, beholden to British military-intelligence.

The Times' sources assure us that the Skripals will "soon begin helping investigators with their inquiries into the nerve agent attack on March 4." Furthermore, Yulia has allegedly "rejected demands by the Russian embassy in London that it provides her and her father with consular support," a move they characterize as a signal on her part that she is willing to 'defect'.

We have only Britain's word that that is indeed the case. And Britain's word - with zero proof demonstrating the whereabouts and well-being of the Skripals - is completely worthless.

In an apparent PR move to blow smoke over the fact that he was last week caught lying about the alleged 'novichok' nerve agent "definitely" being of Russian origin, the Sunday Times also ran an op-ed today by Britain's blathering buffoon of a foreign minister. Boris Johnson launched a demented tirade against Jeremy Corbyn, accusing the Labour Party leader of being "the Kremlin's useful idiot" for "playing Putin's game" by refusing to say "unequivocally that the Russian state was responsible." Johnson also accused the Kremlin of peddling "an avalanche of lies and disinformation" about the attack and says Corbyn is endorsing this "torrent of absurdity."

You won't read a better description of the British government's actions in this bizarre affair.

Johnson next accused Corbyn of treason:
"There is only one thing that gives the Kremlin succou­r and lends false credibility to its propaganda onslaught. That is when politi­cians from the targeted countries join in. Sadly, I am driven to the conclusion that Jeremy Corbyn has joined this effort."
Just as in the US, Russian media has a relatively tiny reach in the UK. The only "avalanche of propaganda" we have witnessed over this past month has come from the UK's propaganda arms, which are globally dominant.

Johnson next veered into psychoanalyzing Corbyn, theorizing that his "infantile leftist background" had led him to sympathise with "any country, any movement, however unappealing, that is hostile to Britain," before concluding:
"Corbyn shames himself by lending it succour. Truly he is the Kremlin's useful idiot."
Besides the vile, accusatory flavor of Johnson's rant, I find his recourse to characterizing Corbyn as 'infantile' interesting. There's a strong element of projection here, of course, because it is in fact Corbyn who is being the adult and Johnson the petulant child. Johnson's contention is so clearly reversed from the truth that we might even describe it as psychopathic projection.

But this contradiction by Johnson perhaps speaks to something that is more widely, culturally ingrained in British society. For the longest time, British political theory with respect to its empire and international relations contained at its core a belief that the natives they were plundering and abusing were 'child-like' because they were 'ruled by their passions', rather than by 'rationality', as the British elites believed themselves to be. Much ink was spilled arguing the case that the British - and western Europeans more generally - had 'moved beyond emotions', which are, in their view, an evolutionary throwback, a kind of residue from 'primitive societies'.

We now know, of course, that the reverse is true: healthy psychological development requires developing one's emotions into maturity, not amputating or eviscerating them as if they are some redundant appendage. In addition, it has been established that there is no such thing as 'pure rationality' because everyone is subject to subconscious, emotionally-based drives. Rigid belief to the contrary may in fact foster psychopathy and other pathologically self-referential tendencies, such as the belief in one's own superiority over others, and mask the unconscious predatory instinct that appears to be a hallmark of British 'back-room' politicians and 'high level civil servants'.

Where does that leave people like Johnson? 'Evolved above the fray', developmentally stunted beyond redemption, or lacking something essentially human?

Finally, the Times also reported that Russia's ambassador to the UK has asked for a meeting with Johnson, which its intelligence sources framed as the Russians "seeking to muddy the waters using a diversionary tactic."

Those damned Russians with their open calls for transparency and due process! What kind of mind even conceives of such anti-democratic tactics??

I can't even imagine where Corbyn, assuming he ever becomes prime minister, would begin with the monumental task of draining the British swamp.