The smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn
The March edition of Village reported why claims by Jan Sarkocy, a former Czech spy who had served as a diplomat in the UK in the 1980s, that Jeremy Corbyn had been recruited by the Soviet Union as a spy, were groundless. It pointed to an official statement issued by Radek Schovánek, a Czech Republic Defence Ministry official, who has responsibility for examining the old StB spy files, which confirmed that Corbyn was not a traitor.
At the time, it did not look like Sarkocy’s allegation had gained traction except with the Tory yeomanry in the shires. However, the combination of Sarkocy’s smear and the subsequent controversy about the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, in Salisbury, England, saw Corbyn’s ratings take a tumble in the polls. The Labour leader was made to look unpatriotic in the eyes of many middle-ground UK voters for questioning the line being put out by the Conservatives that the Skripals had been attacked by the Russian intelligence service, the FSB.
Subsequently, the astoundingly inept performance of the Russian agents who visited Salisbury on Russian TV was as good as an admission of guilt on the part of the FSB. Unfortunately, before the FSB men shot themselves through their feet, MI5 had gone into overdrive trying to prove that another Russia agent ‘Gordon’ had perpetrated the attack.
While there is now only a small element of lingering doubt that the Salisbury FSB duo did it, Corbyn can be forgiven for having had his doubts.
A lot of BZ
One of the unresolved issues lies in the fact that Novichok was not the only compound involved in the attack on the Skripals. According to the independent Swiss-state Spiez laboratory, traces of a toxin known as 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate, or BZ, were found in the substance which felled the Skripals.
The sample taken from the Skripal attack was collected by British scientists who turned it over to the Organisation for the Prohibition of the Chemical weapons (OPCW) which then passed it to the Spiez laboratory in Switzerland.
BZ (sometimes referred to as ‘Agent 15’) is a hallucinogenic and incapacitating chemical and is regarded as one of the most potent of all psychoactive chemical agents – the resultant coma can last for several days and the mortality rate is very high. Bearing in mind that both of the Salisbury victims have survived, it would appear the dosage level was low.
Let’s return the focus now to Novichok. It is a nerve agent and is designed to kill. There would be no point in deploying BZ alongside it. Mixing BZ and Novichok would be like dipping a bullet in LSD before aiming at the heart of a target.
The right-wing media in the UK ignored this puzzling aspect of the story, something that indicates that strings were being pulled by the Establishment in the background to keep it quiet.
FSB OR NOT FSB
Were there reasonable grounds for Corbyn to have had his doubts before the laughable Russian TV interviee.
The Tory version of events supported by ‘evidence’ from MI5 was that the Russians attempted to kill Skripal because they were angry that having caught and sentenced him to a term of imprisonment for espionage in Russia, he later had to be exchanged to secure the release of one of their agents held by the West, ‘Anna Chapman’. The message to potential traitors is that no matter what happens, you will never be forgiven.
Yet, logic would dictate that if Skripal was killed by FSB assassins, the West might retaliate by murdering Anna Chapman, or a suitable alternative. Would the FSB have wanted to set this sort of precedent just to get at a washed-out traitor of no consequence; a man they were prepared to let go to the West who clearly had no secrets worth sharing anymore? Was Skripal worth the entirely predictable outcome that an assassination attempt on him on UK soil would lead to waves of expulsions and weaken the FSB across the globe?
There were further problems: the FSB did not have the reputation as the type of organisation to botch an assassination attempt and there would have been far easier ways of murdering Skripal, such as pushing him out in front of a moving car late on a Saturday night with no one really any the wiser that it was murder.
Yet another problem was that nine alleged ‘hot spots’ in Salisbury had been closed off to the public so that they could apparently be decontaminated, something that the papers were being told would take months. Yet, if even one or two sites had been contaminated with anything other than a minuscule dosage, lines of sick and dying people would have been forming outside the hospitals in Salisbury for weeks. Nothing of the sort happened.
Another puzzle was that someone referred to as ‘Gordon’, a 54-year-old ‘former FSB spy’ and a team of five or six accomplices, were initially blamed by MI5 for the Salisbury attack. Apparently, ‘Gordon’ had used the alias ‘Mihails Savickis’ but his real name was not revealed. Did he ever exist? And why would the FSB send a ‘former’ spy to do its dirty work in Salisbury? The British media also reported that ‘Gordon’ had fled the UK and would probably never be caught.
With the benefit of hindsight the laughable TV performance by the two Russian agents indicates the FSB was not only responsible but that the operation was an inept fiasco. However, before their appearance, MI5 & Co., rushed to the papers with a nonesensical fiction about ‘Gordon’, a story that now looks like a complete MI5 fabrication. The BZ issue remains puzzling and unresolved. Overall, Corbyn had good reason not to accept the initial (i.e. ‘Gordon’ did it) version of events. He should not have been condemned as unpatriotic for his skepticism.
There is a stink in Douma too and it’s not the chlorine-sarin gas
Meanwhile… is it credible that President Assad of Syria gassed his own people again in early 2018? Only a few weeks before the 2018 attack, Donal Trump jad tweeted that he was about to pull his troops out of Syria because ISIS has been defeated.
In April of 2017 Assad was meant to have deployed gas on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in north-western Syria. The response by the US was a barrage of rockets directed at Assad’s forces. Why, with this precedent established, would Assad have engaged in an act of unimaginable knuckle-dragging stupidity – the deployment of chemicals in Douma – a year later? Trump then bombed Assad with aid from the UK and France.
One person who has his doubts about the official narrative is Major General Jonathan Shaw, the former head of Britain’s Special Air Force (SAS) and the Parachute Regiment. “Why would Assad use chemical weapons at this time? He’s won the war. That’s not just my opinion, it is shared by senior commanders in the US military. There is no rationale behind Assad’s involvement whatsoever. He’s convinced the rebels to leave occupied areas in buses. He’s gained their territory. So why would he be bothering gassing them?”.
It is equally likely that the anti-Assad resistance – which is on its last legs – either faked the attack or got their hands on some sort of chlorine gas and used it in a desperate and deranged attempt to stave off inevitable defeat.
Major General Shaw’s opinion is shared by Admiral Lord West, the former head of the Royal Navy. “If I was advising President Assad”, he has said, “why would I say use chemical weapons at this point? It doesn’t make any sense. But for the jihadist opposition groups I can see why they would”.
Suffice it to say, the right-wing media in the UK also exploited Corbyn’s reluctance to act as a cheerleader for the bombing of Syria to make him look unpatriotic. He was also portrayed as an anti-Semite.
In late 2019 it emerged that the UN had its own doubts about Assad’s guilt as the cannisters which were meant to have been delivered by aeroplanes did not have damage consistent with having been dropped from the sky.