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On Tradecraft: When Slippery Eels Swim With Sharks They Often Get Eaten

Gregory Sharkey
21st Century Wire

The attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, last week, has provided the UK a penalty kick, as they now take on the baton from the US, in this preposterous demonisation of Russia.

Let us first examine what we know for facts: Skripal was a Russian spy who became a double agent, working for British Intelligence, in the 90s. He was arrested in 2004 by the Russian Federal Security Service and later convicted of high treason. He served four years of a eighteen year sentence, before being part of a high profile swap with the US. He has lived in the UK since 2010.

It would be fair to assume that whatever damage he did to Russia, had already been done, and that he’d never get the same access to sensitive material, directly. I know little about intelligence agencies, or how they operate. But what I know of, is the psychological profile of an average spy, double agent, or informer.

Cold, calculating, fearless, charming are attributes or personality types required for such a career. These are also strong characteristics of a person with a psychopathic disorder. Such individuals hold no loyalty to family, friends, association, ideology or country.

Those who defect or become double agents, and informers do so for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s a matter of survival, and they are forced to make choices. For others, it’s the honey trap, and offers of money or lifestyle pleasures. For those who are psychopathic, the mere power and adrenaline that comes from playing games, or playing one against the other, becomes the drug. Risk takers such as this swim in chaos, and risk, and the greater the heat, the greater the cerebral reward. The sense of self-importance and being in control is the desire.

The war/conflict in the North of Ireland is another example were we saw this behaviour, with IRA volunteers switching sides and working for the Brits. Some will have done so out of fear for themselves, or their families lives. For others, it was so simple to lure them, as the intelligence services knew they had no backbone, and could fold easily. It was only a matter of finding a point of entry, by finding a weakness in their personality, or a vice, or a honey-trap. There’s a plethora of reasons why someone would sell out their cause, their community, their comrades; and jeopardise operations, and risk the lives of loved ones, and former comrades.

Then there were the others, like Raymond Gilmore, Martin McGartland, Dennis Donaldson and Sean O’ Callaghan who appear to fall more into the personality type of a psychopath. Their desires and impulses may have been driven by self-importance; an ability to do harm; being centre of attention; and all the trappings associated with power.

A lesson to be learned in all of this, and we’ve seen it time and again, when the services you sell your soul to (if you have one) are the very services you should fear most. Because they too, are psychopathic by very nature and ethos, and when you become surplus to requirement, they’ll hang you out to dry. They, like their informants/agents hold no allegiance to anything other than their self-advancement.

This brings me back to the case of Sergei Skripal. He most likely served no more purpose for the British or US, and him dead was his only benefit to them. By framing the Russians, he was worth his weight in gold, and as we are witnessing, the geopolitical spin-off from all of this is massive.

We don’t have an idea as yet of who this former spy associated with, and who wanted him out of the way. Did he have dealings with the criminal underworld? Was he able to expose those non-Russian agencies, which he had worked for? The US, UK, Israelis and Saudis all have motive to frame Russia over their thwarting of regime change in Syria. Even the Ukrainians have motive. However, the thought that this action would have been done by foreign actors, without the authorisation by the Brits, is highly unlikely.

Just like the blaming of Assad in Syria, for allegedly attacking his citizens with chemical weapons works to shape the western narrative and public consensus; so does this attack on a former spy and his daughter.

For one moment, can anyone reading this simply apply cui bono – Who stands to benefit. With all the (manufactured) heat on Russia; with this daily onslaught upon them; just think, why the hell would Russia offer the West a penalty kick in such circumstances? Why would they try to kill someone they already released, who was not privy to anything that would threaten the Russian Federation. Why Why Why, and why over again?

If you have not being paying attention – For the last twenty years, plus, since the fall of the Soviet Union, the US and their allies have been running amok, with their dismantling of the former Yugoslavia, then Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen; and their on-going support for Israeli advancement and war crimes against the Palestinians.

Are we not witnessing their threats against DPRK, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and the hostilities towards China. These are all, or where, sovereign states, independent from US control and subjugation.

With every year, the US ups its rhetoric, sanctions, demonisation and threats against Russia; and with every year, Russia strengthens and consolidates it’s power, and resistance to US global hegemony, which threatens to destablise their country.

There is a very warm war going on in front of our very eyes, and it threatens our very existence. In the words of Neil Clark, speaking in Derry, in January.

“I think it’s so important that we see these wars as all part of the same war. The war on Yugoslavia, on Afghanista, on Iraq, on Libya, on Syria is part of the same war. They are simply stages in the same war for total domination by the US and it’s closest allies for a neoliberal world order. They are not stand-alone conflicts.”

These allegations and actions which are blamed on Assad and Putin are part of that same war war for global dominance.

Don’t fall for all this anti-Russian hysteria, and actions most certainly conducted by the very forces who are salivating to take us all to the Apocalypse. If you are believing mainstream nonsense, sharing it, spreading it, you’re doing exactly what the intention is. And you’re probably the same people who believed the intelligence reports and media lies about WMDs in Iraq.

Author Gregory Sharkey is an antiwar activist and the organiser of Imperialism on Trial.

READ MORE ABOUT THE SKRIPAL AFFAIR AT: 21st Century Wire Skripal Files




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