SKRIPAL GAMBIT BLOWS UP IN MAY'S FACE, TRUMP MOVES AHEAD ON DIPLOMATIC FRONTS

(This article is also available in the latest issue of EIR)

If the intent of the absurd charges flung at Russian President Putin by Britain's Prime Minister May and her Foreign Minister Boris Johnson was to drive a wedge between U.S. President Trump and Putin, they have failed miserably.  May not only accused Putin's intelligence operatives of poisoning former Russian spy and British double agent Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia, but demanded that governments accept her accusations, and join Britain in imposing sharp penalties against Russia.   While the U.S., fourteen EU nations and six other governments went along with May, expelling more than 130 Russian diplomats, the British were not pleased, as many governments, including some which did expel Russian diplomats, expressed doubts about the lack of evidence to prove the charges, and President Trump repeatedly refused to blame Putin, though his government did expel diplomats.

When it was subsequently announced that the U.S. will allow the Russians expelled from the U.S. to be replaced by others, and that Russia would reciprocate, demonstrating that the expulsion was at best a token gesture, it added to the British sense that they were being betrayed by Trump.

The doubts about May and Johnson's charges proved to be prophetic, with the announcement on April 3 by scientist Gary Aitkenhead from Porton Down, the British chemical warfare research center, that the investigating team was unable to determine where the chemical agent used against the Skripals came from, and specifically, that they could not prove it came from Russia.  The London Times was forced to admit that Aitkenhead's report "risks undermining the international coalition against Moscow."  

The Guardian, which had been one of the more aggressive media outlets in its attacks on Moscow (and in promoting the Russiagate narrative against Trump and Putin), complained that U.K. officials were "thrown on the defensive" by this report, while British opposition leader Jeremy Corbin went further, essentially accusing Johnson of lying.  He said that Johnson has "egg on his face", and has "serious questions to answer", given that he told German television -- as well as anyone else who would listen -- that Porton Down had assured him "categorically" that Russia was the source of the Novichok chemical agent deployed against the Skripals.  Corbyn said that Johnson "seems to have completely exceeded the information he had been given and told the world, in categorical terms what he believed had happened, and it's not backed up by the evidence he claimed to have gotten from Porton Down."   

That the Brits lied, in pursuit of an anti-Putin, anti-Trump agenda, is no surprise to readers of this newspaper, and supporters of the LaRouche movement, which has documented the rich history of war provocations coming from the defenders of the British Empire.  In the last fifteen years, British government and intelligence officials have been caught in repeated lies, to promote regime change wars, beginning with Tony Blair's lying dossier alleging that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, which could land in London within 45 minutes of being launched.  That dossier, produced under the direction of MI6 leader Sir Richard Dearlove, was used by the Bush-Cheney administration to justify the invasion and destruction of Iraq, which resulted in more than a million deaths, and the launching of ISIS.  The same networks lied that Syrian President Assad has used chemical weapons against his people, while they and their Obama administration allies were arming the "rebels" in Syria, and covering up their use of chemical weapons.  

And the same Dearlove has been exposed as playing a key role in the distribution of the fraudulent "dodgy dossier" produced by one of his proteges, "ex"-MI6 agent Christopher Steele, which has been at the center of regime change operations against U.S. President Trump.  It should be noted that there is a Steele connection to the Skripal case, as he was a key operative on the Russia Desk of MI6 when Skripal was functioning as a double agent.  Skripal's recruiter, former MI6 agent Pablo Miller, according to the Telegraph, was working for Steele's firm Orbis, leading to speculation that perhaps Skripal may have been involved in some way in producing the Steele dossier, and that's why he was targeted, not by the Russians, but by the British!

TRUMP'S DIPLOMATIC AGENDA

As the British effort to use the Skripal affair was unfolding, with demands that Russia be punished, President Trump made a high profile phone call to Putin on March 21, to congratulate him on his re-election.  The U.S. media highlighted the story that Trump aides told him NOT to congratulate Putin, and demanded that press secretary Sarah Sanders  explain why Trump did not question Putin about his alleged involvement in poisoning Skripal.  What Sanders reported shocked the anti-Trumpers in the press: Not only had the Trump not confronted Putin, but he invited him to meet in the "not-distant future."

In a campaign-style rally several days later in Ohio, Trump reiterated his oft-stated position that he believes it is better to have good relations with Russia.  He stated this again on April 3, in a press appearance with the presidents of three Baltic states, saying "we want to be able to get along with Russia.  Getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing."  He said this while flanked by Presidents who have been warning that their countries might be targets of "Russian aggression"!

At the same time, Trump followed up his announcement from earlier in the week, that he intends to remove all U.S. troops from Syria.  "I want to get out," he said.  "I want to bring our troops back home."   The "primary mission" of our presence in Syria was the defeat of the Islamic state, which he said is "almost completed."  Left unsaid by the president, but obvious to all, is that the main work done to defeat ISIS was done by the forces of the Syrian government, backed primarily by Russia. 

Under Trump, U.S. military forces operating against ISIS engaged in regular consultation with the Russians.  His announcement that it is time to pull U.S. troops out of Syria completely conforms with his campaign pledge that, under his presidency, U.S. soldiers will not die in regime change wars, and U.S. taxpayers will not pay trillions of dollars to interfere in sovereign affairs of other nations.  This pledge was made in direct opposition to what his opponent, Hillary Clinton said she would do in Syria, enforcing "no-fly zones" which could lead to military conflict with Russian forces there.  It is one of the reasons that the "Deep State", which is the pro-war grouping of U.S. intelligence operatives closely aligned with the British, has been engaged so feverishly in trying to remove Trump.  Among the top officials deployed against Trump has been Obama's national security team, including former CIA Director Brennan, former FBI Director Comey, former Director of National Security and Russophobe Clapper, and the former President, Obama, himself.  All are now being investigated, by Congress and the Justice Department, for their role in coordinating the attacks on the Trump presidency with Steele and British intelligence.

In addition to a plan to meet with Putin, Trump is involved in ongoing discussions with China's Xi Jinping, on trade and economic relations, as well as the prospects for an upcoming summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, and will meet soon with Japanese Prime Minister Abe.  This schedule makes clear that British-directed operations against him, such as the Russiagate investigation and the Skripal case, have not deterred Trump from his stated intent to reverse the paradigm of the Bush and Obama years, when the U.S. functioned, in full collaboration with the Brits, as though it were the world's only power, capable of dictating terms to all, and carrying out provocations against Russia and China.

AND WHAT OF GERMANY?

It is important to raise the question, as Helga Zepp LaRouche has often done, of the role of the Merkle government, in the face of the British-neocon war drive against Russia.  Merkle has remained committed to sanctions against Russia over phony issues, such as Ukraine and the charge that Putin has "facilitated" Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons, and she was outspoken in support of the latest claims from Theresa May against Putin in the Skripal affair.

Yet, even in Germany, there has been resistance to the latest charges from institutional circles.  The most forceful attack on the blind obedience to Britain came from Willy Wimmer, the former Vice President of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.  Wimmer told Russia Today on April 5, "The U.K. is exploiting European solidarity and behaving like a mafia state by pushing forward warmongering accusations and excluding Russia from the Skripal poisoning probe."  He said that Britain's behavior in this matter has made it a "major danger to international peace."

Wimmer, who also served as state secretary to Germany's defense minister, said that he calls Britain a "mafia state" because "it is against all European and international rules and regulations" in its behavior against Russia.  He added, "We, as Europeans, have an experience with the British.  We only have to look back to Tony Blair.  They lie from one war into the next one."

With the exposure of Christopher Steele and MI6 in running the regime change operation in the U.S., and with the fallout just beginning in the Skripal affair, many Americans are now acknowledging that they were wrong to dismiss the insistence of the LaRouche movement that the British are at the center of geopolitical evil in the world.  It would be most useful for the future of Germany if people here were to learn that lesson.

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