Skripal affair: A counter view


CARTOON/Carlos Latuff/Latuff Cartoons

If one were to anchor a TV programme with the archival revelation that it was Benazir Bhutto who introduced Theresa May’s husband to the future British prime minister at an Oxford reunion ball in 1976, many of us would perhaps happily spend a lot of our precious time glued to the looped and re-looped discussion.

On the other hand, if one were to ask whether Prime Minister May posed a bigger threat to a stable world order than does President Donald Trump it would likely pass for a precipitous canard. This despite that fact that we are ever so often cautioned about the rear view mirror in the car: the objects one sees may be closer at heel than they appear. The warning can be easily applied to international politics.

What we see, or believe we are seeing, can be different from what is afoot. What seems distant or remote could be the trigger for what passes for domestic turbulence. Astute social scientists call it dialectics, whereby everything in the world can be connected with everything else.

Take the poisoning of the double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury or consider the latest chemical attack near Damascus in the rebel-held region of Douma. There are legitimate ways of seeing a link between the two. But the way the avenues of news and information have been dumbed down, it would be a challenge to engage an average citizen in a discussion on what to them would be a distant blip on their mirror, if not an imagination of a foggy mind.

What seems distant or remote could be the trigger for what passes for domestic turbulence.

So let us quickly come to the facts at hand, and we can crosscheck them too. It is a fact, after all, as distinct from false news, that Trump was elected US president in November 2016. Wasn’t he? Then his election was soon declared to be the handiwork of Russian agents. Right?

Indeed, Trump continued to annoy the deep state. He wanted to befriend Vladimir Putin and questioned the purpose of Nato. He went a step further. He began to question intelligence reports passed to him or leaked to the public.

Then came Theresa May to the rescue of the deep state with its roots on both sides of the Atlantic. When Trump in his pre-political avatar was misbehaving with women, May was already her country’s home secretary. She held that position from 2010 until she was elevated to lead her party and country in July 2016.

Dawn for more

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