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Initial Thoughts on Novichok Agents, Sergei Skripal, Russia and UK: 2

April 6, 2018 2 comments

About two weeks ago, I wrote a post about the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his adult daughter by an organophosphate compound– allegedly by “russian agents” in UK. At that time, corporate MSM outlets in the west were busy concocting increasingly outrageous stories about that incident. As it turns out, pretty much every single story promoted by the MSM about that incident turned out to be unsubstantiated by evidence. For example: initial reports of twenty other people being accidentally exposed to that compound proved to be incorrect. The only other person allegedly exposed to that compound has since recovered and we still are not sure about how he got exposed to it in the first place.

More tellingly, none of the first responders and medical personnel got ill from handling Skripal and his daughter. Initially, British authorities had claimed that the poison was found in the car ventilation system, then they claimed it was on the door handle and now they are considering the possibility that it was in a gift brought over by his daughter from Russia. They also initially said that Skripal and his daughters had little to no chance of recovery and we now learn that his daughter is recovering and will leave the hospital soon. Today, we are told that Skripal will also make a ‘miraculous’ recovery.

In other words, the “official” narrative put forth by the British government about that incident has been unusually vague, ever-changing and too dependent on having uncritical belief in their honesty. Some of you might recall how similar and totally made up claims by British “intelligence” services at the core of’Iraq Dossier‘ were used by Tony Blair’s government to justify support for the failed american invasion of Iraq in 2003. There is also a strong parallel between this incident and the attempt by German intelligence agencies in 1994 (with approval by USA) to implicate the then Russian government in a fake plot to smuggle plutonium into the west.

To make matters even more peculiar, the British government still has not been able to provide evidence that it knows the identity or structure of the compound involved in that incident. As I wrote in my previous post, indirect identification of organophosphate compounds by their ability to inhibit cholinesterases and other related esterases is pretty straightforward. Definitive identification of the compound, though easy nowadays compared to 30 years ago, is substantially more complicated. Having said that, the apparent inability of multiple government labs in nearby British biological and chemical warfare laboratories at Porton Down to provide objective data to support their claims of identifying the compound is odd.

Based on the many peculiarities and oddities of this case in addition to the past history of those making the accusations, it is worthwhile considering another possibility. Maybe the British government, or some faction within its “deep state”, is behind the poison attack on Skripal and his daughter. False flag attacks to generate public sympathy for, or unity behind, a cause are not unknown. Similarly, there is a rich history in the “west” of using false flag attacks to demonize another country. It is also hard to ignore that the “deep state” in UK and USA is the biggest beneficiary of such an attack. Let me explain that point in some detail..

Skripal was an ex-Russian spy who betrayed his fellow officers in the KGB for purely financial reasons. You probably know that he was caught and tried in 2004 and imprisoned for a few years (2004-2010) in Russia before being part of a spy swap deal with UK and USA in 2010. If the government in Russia really wanted him dead, he would not have lived long enough to be part of the spy swap deal in 2010. Then there is the question of why this incident occurred days before the presidential election in Russia. Think about it.. how does such an incident benefit Putin in his reelection campaign? The simple fact is that it does not help him.

Such an incident does however provide the “deep state” in UK and USA with more ammo in their ineffectual campaign to demonize Putin. It is no secret that the USA and its old crippled prison-bitch aka UK are not adjusting well to the emerging world order- an order in which they stand to further lose whatever real or imagined global influence they possessed. It is no secret that the many recent global military misadventures by USA (and UK) such as the failed invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan have been humiliating and expensive failures. Their attempts to extend NATO right upto Russian borders and generally behave as if the world is still stuck in 2000 have not gone as planned.

The pathetic attempts by USA, UK and France (waning western powers) to interfere in other parts of the world such as Syria and part of Africa has been unsuccessful. Furthermore, their dream of turning Russia into some vassal state ruled by west-friendly oligarchs has been a miserable failure. It does not help that the financial crash of 2008 has exposed the many failures of western neoliberalism to their own domestic populations. It is no wonder, therefore, that average people in the west have in the recent past voted for concepts such as Brexit and people such as Trump and other fake right-wing populists. To make a long story short, the traditional elite in the west (especially the USA and UK) are feeling their power slip away irreversibly.

It is therefore not surprising that these mediocrities are trying to reboot the Cold War. The general thought process behind their actions is as follows.. The cold war was good for establishment elites as it allowed them to consolidate their power in western countries and suppress dissent and challenges to their undeserved power. Perhaps, rebooting the Cold War (they think) would let them use the same playbook and turn back the metaphorical clock. Of course, any objective person can see that this hare-brained scheme is going in failure since the underlying conditions across the world have changed a lot since the late 1980s.

Then again, establishment elite have never been the sharpest tools in the shed (link 1, link 2). I mean.. look at how they are reacting to Trump’s election in USA. Not a minute goes by when these idiots are not breathlessly talking about another leak from the “Mueller team”, another “new” link between Putin and Trump or some other similar absurdity. In fact, I have written more than one post about this in the past, including how this obsession is a symptom of a much deeper intellectual bankruptcy among establishment elites in USA.

All of this in addition to the “deep state” fondness for hare-brained schemes which look amazingly impressive on paper strongly suggest that the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter in UK was a false flag operation, which did not work out as originally planned.

What do you think? Comments?

Initial Thoughts on Novichok Agents, Sergei Skripal, Russia and UK: 1

March 20, 2018 13 comments

About a couple of weeks ago, a former Russian military intelligence officer named Sergei Skripal and his adult daughter were found unconscious on a public bench in Salisbury by a passing doctor and nurse. They were taken by paramedics to a nearby hospital where their condition was determined to be the result of exposure to an organophosphate compound, most likely a nerve agent. Within a day or two of the event, the British government was openly blaming Russia for this incident. The Russian government has, so far, officially denied any involvement in whatever caused Skripal and his daughter to end up in the hospital.

While there is no shortage of alternative narratives, speculation , trolling and changing stories by all sides involved in this incident, especially UK, we are still not close to anything approaching a somewhat reliable account of how Skripal and his daughter got exposed to whatever chemical they were exposed to on that day. To complicate matters further, a lot of scientifically illiterate liars who happen to write for supposedly “respectable” news outlets such as the NYT, WP and Guardian have muddied the waters even further with their bullshit and.. face it.. propaganda.

In this post, I will try to de-convolute a lot of the bullshit, lies, exaggerations surrounding this incident and the chemicals allegedly used. I will also talk about some of the peculiar, and largely glossed over, facts of this case.

1] While definitive diagnosis of poisoning by cholinesterase inhibitors such as organophosphates is relatively quick and easy, identifying the compound responsible for that intoxication is often difficult- especially if the compound is present in minute quantities. But why? Well.. it comes down to the nature of tests necessary for reaching each endpoint. It is fairly easy to run a small sample of blood and plasma through an assay which measures RBC and serum cholinesterase activity. While not identical to neuronal acetylcholinesterase, these enzymes are similar enough to each other as a family that compounds which inhibit one will inhibit the others.

Ready-to-use kits for measuring both red blood cell and plasma cholinesterase are available in the diagnostic laboratories of almost every major hospital. In contrast to that, rapid and definitive identification of an organophosphate compound is harder- especially if the compound is present in very small quantities or is uncommon. While modern mass-spectroscopy based methods can detect minuscule amounts of any chemical compound, preparing samples for testing can often take more than a couple of days- especially if you do not know which test specimen contains the compound of interest.

2] While the government in UK still maintains that the compound they identified is a Novichok agent‘, we still have not seen any of the evidence which led to their conclusion. You might remember that in 2002, the UK government made a similarly bold claim that they were certain about Saddam Hussein possessing large stockpiles of WMDs. We all remember how that one played out. It does not help that their stories about where Skripal and his daughter might have gotten exposed have kept on changing. Also, we do not have any definitive evidence about the extent of exposure to other people in their vicinity or those involved in their subsequent medical treatment and investigation.

Similarly, their contention that this compound must have come from a “Russian chemical laboratory” is not supported by available evidence. The structure of more than a few of these compounds is readily available and while their synthesis would be highly risky, a large corporation or government program in any country with a half-decent chemical industry could synthesize them without much difficulty. Furthermore, these compounds were developed to be especially easy to synthesize- in addition to being highly toxic. Unless they can show that isolated samples contain some signature reaction side-products or they apprehend those who poisoned Skripal and his daughter- definitive attribution to Russia is basically impossible.

3] There is also the question of why Russia would target Skripal and his daughter in 2018, as opposed to anytime after the 2010 spy swap with UK. Why wait eight years to do something that is certain to get negative international attention? Sure.. Skripal was seen as a traitor by the Russians, but that has been the case since he was arrested by them in 2004. It is actually somewhat odd that he did not die in a Russian prison sometime between 2004 and 2010. Also, why go after him when there are other more target-worthy Russian expats living in UK.

And then there is the vexed question about why his daughter was still working in the US embassy in Moscow. Think about it.. why would a person whose father was imprisoned for high treason in a country continue to work in the embassy of an adversary nation in that country? Why did she not work in a similar position in another country? Why flaunt her presence in Moscow by working at the US embassy, when the government there saw her father as a traitor. Clearly, there is a lot more to this story than has, so far, been made public.

Will write another post on this topic based on future developments and comments.

What do you think? Comments?

More Thoughts on Aziz Ansari “Sexual Assault” Scandal: Jan 20, 2018

January 20, 2018 42 comments

In my previous post on this topic, I wrote that latent racism and a miscalculation about the social standing of white womanhood in 2017 were major factors contributing to the accusations leveled by that woman against Aziz Ansari. The woman in question would not have dared to make those accusations unless she felt it was possible to get away with making them, given the significant amount of contrary evidence in her own testimony. In some respects, this case is eerily similar to another recent backfire for the ‘MeToo’ and Time’s Up’ movement.

How many of you have followed the aftermath of similar accusations against a journalist known as Jordan Chariton? To make a long story short, one of his female colleagues cheated on her husband with him and later accused him of sexual assault. The result of this malicious rumor and its dissemination by an other journalist, or two, resulted in him being fired by TYT- who was his main employer at that time. He has since sued HuffPost, which was one of main redistributors of that libelous report. As of time of writing this post, Jordan has reached a settlement with ‘The Intercept’ (for republishing that libelous claim) and TYT.

Now, some of you might say that this supports the idea that such claims against more well-known men are not inspired by racism- since Jordan Chariton is white. Well.. I never said that such claims were always due to racism. However, for reasons which I shall go into soon, race played a major role in the claims made by the accuser of Aziz Ansari. To start with, she accused Aziz of sexual assault even though her own account of that event did not support her contention. The woman who accused Jordan Chariton of sexual assault kept on altering her story to the point where later versions of her story clearly contradicted her initial version.

The point I am trying to make is that the woman who accused Jordan Chariton at least tried to change her story to make it sound like a sexual assault. In contrast, the woman who accused Aziz Ansari tried to extend the definition of sexual assault to new and highly problematic levels- specifically withdrawing consent after the encounter was consummated. In case you have not read her original account, it is clear that she never verbally communicated her desire to end the encounter to Aziz. Nor did he force her to participate in an act (such as penetrative sex) when she overtly refused to do so.

In other words, she accused him of sexual assault largely because the encounter failed to live up to her expectations. If that seems too harsh, consider that she by her own accounts went to his apartment on the first date, got naked with him and then engaged in repeated oral sex with him. Perhaps more importantly, she continued the encounter even after her allegedly felt that he was not “listening to her non-verbal communications of distress”. She was therefore a willing and enthusiastic participant in that encounter- when it occurred. So what happened afterwards? Why did she later start representing it as sexual assault, after the fact, rather than a date marred by poor sexual chemistry?

Part of the answer to that question can be found sprinkled throughout her account. To be specific, it is clear that she felt that Aziz did not live up to her sexual expectations after the encounter had started. Now, we can make all kinds of guesses as to why she felt like that- but it is clear that she knew who Aziz was and his general physical attributes before initiating said encounter. I mean.. if she did not want to have sex with short brown-skinned men, she did not have to approach him in the first place and then go on a date with him. And yet, she did all that and more. So why made her change the way she felt about it- after the encounter?

Let me put forth another idea about her motivations- specifically, that she is a ‘starfucker’ or ‘groupie’. I am sure most readers are aware that even pretty ugly men who are famous, or infamous, seem to get inordinate amounts of female sexual attention- which they would not receive if they were not famous. I can bet you that this woman would have given Aziz the time of the day if he had approached her before his entertainment career took off. Yet, after getting his own series on NetFlix and an award or two, it was she who approached and flirted with him.

But what went wrong? Why don’t other groupies (especially of musicians) complain about sexual assault regardless of the quality of sex? What made her answer the solicitation for such a story about Aziz Ansari by that webzine?

Here is what I think happened.. She correctly guessed that having sex with Aziz Ansari was a sure thing given his known preference for white women and his relatively newfound fame. Maybe she wanted it to be another notch on her proverbial ‘celebrity’ bedpost. However the combination of a lack of sexual chemistry between them and the less than enthusiastic reception from her friends after confessing to casual sex with a non-white guy made it necessary for her to reframe that incident as a sexual assault. She got her chance when the webzine that published her account began soliciting for such stories about Aziz Ansari.

She could now try to rewrite her less than stellar sexual encounter with a semi-famous non-white guy as sexual assault- thereby freeing her (in her mind) from any personal agency or role in that encounter. But perhaps, the single most important factor behind her willingness to share her story with that webzine was the following calculation- who would the public support.. an anonymous young white girl or a swarthy non-white man? As it turns out, she miscalculated pretty badly since 2018 is a very different from 1998 or even 2008- when that calculation was last viable.

Change in american society, racial demographics and communication technology over the last two decades have made the tired “wholesome young white girl sexually abused by swarthy non-white guy” shtick fundamentally nonviable. Furthermore, most men and more than a few women seem to have realized that and attempts to legitimize withdrawal of sexual consent after the fact would be highly problematic and quickly thin out most male support for other feminist causes- which is something they cannot afford, at least for now. Might write another part in this series depending on future developments and reader comments.

What do you think? Comments?

First Thoughts on Aziz Ansari “Sexual Assault” Scandal: Jan 16, 2018

January 16, 2018 37 comments

By now, most of you might have come across one or more articles on the Aziz Ansari “sexual assault” scandal. In case you have not, here are a few takes- Aziz Ansari Is Guilty Of Not Being a Mind Reader; Before We Burn Aziz Ansari Perhaps Some Self-Reflection Is in Order and The Humiliation of Aziz Ansari. Of course, there are also the white feminist moron types pushing this incident as yet another opportunity to push their agenda even further- #MeToo hasn’t gone too far—it’s just getting started; Aziz Ansari Is The Creep Every Woman Deals With; No, the woman’s story about a night with Aziz Ansari isn’t the worst thing to happen to #MeToo and How the Aziz Ansari Allegations Opened Up a New Frontier in the #MeToo Conversation. To put it another way, every mediocre female journalist with an opinion, or axe to grind, is writing about this news item.

There seem to be two distinct types of reaction to this story- even within the supposedly “liberal” media-sphere. On one side, you have the more pragmatic people who see that retrospective classification of bad or awkward sex into sexual assault would be disastrous for the long-term success of any worthwhile ‘MeToo’ type moment. On the other side you have more than a few young women fame-seekers.. I mean ‘third-wave feminists’ who are trying to use this incident to get their 15 minutes of fame and perhaps a career upgrade. The second group is, of course, willfully oblivious to the fact almost all male support for any ‘MeToo’ type moment would evaporate very quickly once they see other guys being accused of sexual assault for merely having less than stellar sexual chemistry- especially in the internet age.

What do I think about all this? And why did I wait for a couple of days before writting on a topic which I could have posted about within an hour of that story spreading on Twitter? To make a long story short, I have been through a similar situation many years ago- and yes, everything turned out well for me. But before we go there, let us talk about how the strategies which worked for me then can still be used, perhaps even more effectively, by somebody in Aziz Ansari’s situation. The very short version of what worked for me in such situation is as follows: a] extremely aggressive but plausible counter-allegations against the accuser invoking inherent white racism; b] making anybody involved in adjudicating such a situation tread very lightly for the fear of being exposed as a racist and c] researching and exposing anything said, written or implied by people adjudicating such a matter that shows evidence of even a slight racial bias.

So, here are my thoughts on this alleged scandal. Firstly, I think there is a strong racial component to this story. Some of you might disagree, but my considerable experience over all the years suggests that this particular incident would never have been publicized the way it was if Aziz Ansari was white. Some might say.. ” but, haven’t most of the celebrities shamed by the #MeToo movement been white?”. And my answer to that is- White celebrities exposed by this movement so far like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Charlie Rose etc did things which are either clearly criminal or were gross abuses of their power to employ the people they are accused of assaulting. Aziz Ansari’s “crime” was that the delusional white girl he hooked up with was not impressed enough by the sexual encounter- though she did (by her own admission) blow him a couple of times on her own free will.

Now tell me, how many white celebrities have been recently accused of sexual assault because the sexual experience was less than stellar (according to the woman). Now I am not saying that such a thing won’t occur in the future, but let us face the obvious.. what are the chances that one of the few semi-famous non-white people in the entertainment industry just so happened to be the first semi-famous person in USA accused of sexual assault by a white women because the sexual experience was not stellar- according to her. While I can certainly go into the theories put forth by other people, as well as my own, on why this delusional racist white women accused Aziz Anasri of sexual assault- let us instead focus on the far more important question. How did we reach the point where a woman can accuse a guy (even if he is non-white) of sexual assault just because the consensual sex was mediocre or awkward?

A simpler way to understand this issue is to consider the conditions under which people will provide false testimony. While some people might lie under oath to escape prosecution, others do it because they think or feel that doing so carries little to no personal downside. For example, accounts of medieval trials of witches and ‘secret jews’ by local authorities or the church are rife with blindingly obvious examples of ludicrous exaggeration, pile-ons by multiple witnesses, exhortations to protect the virtues of white christian women and an otherwise lack of anything which looks like due legal process. Paradoxically, accounts of common civil and criminal trials from the same era or even the same set of judges show far more consideration being given to contemporary evidentiary standards, detailed testimony, punishment for perjury and far greater adherence to something approaching due process. But why? Why were some perpetrators treated so differently from others?

In my opinion, it comes down to who is being accused and who is doing the accusing. To put it another way, an accuser who is a relatively higher position in that society as compared to the accused can typically get way with perjury, lies, bullshit, exaggerations beyond what he or she could get away if the accused was of a higher social station than her. Some of you might protest.. “but Aziz Ansari is a multi-millionaire semi-famous person in the entertainment industry”. And to that, my answer is- the delusional racist woman who accused him of sexual assault is white and still thinks that her relative social station is higher than that of a non-white man such as Ansari- as was the case twenty years ago. As it turns out, she miscalculated badly and her relative social position in relation to someone like Ansari is rather different in 2018 than 1998. But racist idiots will learn no other way.

I will probably write a second post on this topic based on future developments in that story and reader comments.

What do you think? Comments?