The deadly recurrence of Russophobia bears comparison to the psychosis of the Salem witch trials, several centuries ago, and with the pathology of McCarthyism in the USA in the 1950’s.
In 1692 the Massachusetts Bay Colony executed fourteen women, five men, and two dogs for witchcraft. The sorcery materialized in January. The first hanging took place in June, the last in September; a stark, stunned silence followed. Although we will never know the exact number of those formally charged with having ‘wickedly, maliciously, and feloniously’ engaged in sorcery, somewhere between a hundred and forty-four and a hundred and eighty-five witches and wizards were named in twenty-five villages and towns. The youngest was five, the eldest nearly eighty. Husbands implicated wives; nephews their aunts; daughters their mothers; siblings each other. …Few probed the subject of witchcraft as intently as did Cotton Mather, who had entered Harvard at eleven and preached his first sermon at sixteen. He knew that the hidden world was there somewhere. He would relinquish no tool to exhibit it. (The New Yorker, September 7, 2015)
Today the atmosphere at the UN Security Council resembles the insanity of the witch hunts in Salem, Massachusetts only several hundred years ago. There is a witch hunt, and according to eleven members of the Security Council, the birthplace hatching these witches is Russia (and North Korea). The atmosphere of hysteria, irrationality and demonization overtaking the majority of the members of the Security Council is accurately described by Russian Ambassador Nebenzia as a “collective psychosis.” This primitive behaviour is totally inaccessible to reason, and is perilous.
For the second time since April 5, the UN Security Council, April 18, has squandered its time on the absurd UK allegation that Russia is responsible for the chemical weapon poisoning of Sergei and Julia Skripal in Salisbury on March 4th. Of course, both Skripals are alive and recovering very well, thank you very much, and except for the unexplained deaths and immediate cremation of two cats and two guinea pigs, the entire affair resembles the theatre of the absurd, except that, once again, Russia has been smeared and defamed, and accused, with insultingly flimsy arguments, of an attempted murder with chemical weapons.
Hoist on its own petard, the UK obviously intended to impress the Security Council with the scrupulous care with which they treated the Skripals, and indeed the Skripals’ entire community, and repeated on both April 5 and April 18 that:
Following Sergei and Yulia Skripal’s poisoning in Salisbury on 4 March, the United Kingdom has launched one of the most comprehensive and complex investigations ever conducted of the use of a chemical weapon. It involves more than 250 police detectives, who are supported by a range of specialist experts and partners. They are trawling through more than 5,000 hours of closed-circuit television footage. They are examining more than 1,300 seized exhibits and interviewing more than 500 witnesses.
However, the UK’s repeated litany, instead of highlighting exquisite concern for human rights, on the contrary, reveals the UK’s criminal negligence of the human rights of their own citizens, at least 80 of whom were burnt to death during the fire at Grenfell Tower this past year. Friday, July 28, 2017 The New York Times reported:
Investigating London Fire, Police Invoke Manslaughter: The London police investigating the fire at Grenfell Tower that left at least 80 people dead have told survivors that there are ‘reasonable grounds to suspect’ that the organizations managing the high rise might have committed corporate manslaughter…The Grenfell blaze began on the fourth floor of the tower and raced up the building. The fire became a political crisis and a symbol of inequality in a wealthy neighbourhood after cladding used on the outside of the building was found to be flammable. More than 100 other buildings in the city were tested and found to be sheathed in similar material. Many of the survivors grew angry and frustrated with what they saw as the slow response and uneven performance of the local government council in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in resettling and compensating them. The anger, which boiled over into protests, spurred the government to intervene. The police also began a criminal investigation.
While Russia had absolutely no motive for committing any attack against the Skripals, spies who had fully served their prison sentences, and were then released, Russia, on the contrary, prior to an election and the hosting of the World Cup, would have every reason to avoid any action which would cast aspersions upon their own country, or discredit their reputation in any way.
Considering the crudity of the UK’s projection onto Russia of responsibility for the Skripal’s dubious indisposition, the glaring discrepancy between the UK’s negligence of the more than 80 deaths of its own citizens at Grenfell Tower, and their fixation upon the two Skripals, in addition to the UK’s unsubstantiated and obsessive repetition that it was “highly likely” that Russia was responsible for the still unidentified cause of the Skripals’ illness, the UK’s unfounded accusations against Russia for use of chemical weapons in the Skripal incident must have an another motive entirely.
This UK manoeuver is, in fact, an attempt to “sheepdip” the Russian government. In the words of US District Attorney James Garrison:
In the intelligence community there is a term for this kind of manipulation of circumstances designed to cause a desired image: ‘Sheepdipping.’
And accusing Russia of the use of chemical weapons in the Skripal affair is intended to create a climate conducive to belief in the accusation that Russia, and its allied Syrian government are responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Douma, in Syria. Again, the Assad government is succeeding in recovering control of the greater part of Syria, and there is absolutely no reason, especially at this crucial time, for Assad to launch a chemical attack against his own people, which he is fully aware will unleash savagery upon his country by the “opposition,” consisting primarily of the US, the UK and France.
Predictably, without any proof whatsoever, and in violation of international law and the United Nations Charter, the US, the UK and France criminally attacked a country, Syria that had not attacked them. These three countries are acting with the barbarism that their vast military arsenals makes not only possible, but tempting. The Syrian people serve as guinea pigs: on April 16, Business Insider headlined:
The US used 2 state of the art weapons for the first time in Syria—and it looks like they worked perfectly…Two new weapons were used for the first time during the operation—the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range, known as JASSM-ER, and the Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine.
Again, hoist on its own petard, the UK accuses Russia of using or abetting the use of chemical weapons, ignoring the fact that during the Iraq-Iran war its own ally, the US, supplied Iraq with a huge arsenal of chemical and biological weapons which were used against Iran in the 1980’s on an almost daily basis. The biological weapons the US supplied to Iraq for use against Iran included anthrax and bubonic plague, according to the Washington Post. These US supplied weapons caused horrific suffering among millions of Iranian civilians, and searing memories of this horror remain virulent in Iran today.
Among the most ludicrous allegations made by the UK was the statement:
We know that the Russian State has investigated ways of assassination through the use of nerve agents. The third reason is Russia’s record of conducting State-sponsored assassinations.
Aside from the UK’s heinous record, during centuries, for the most horrendous human rights abuses inflicted on their colonial subjects, throughout the British empire, the scandalous contemporary record of the USA in the use of assassinations of foreign leaders, and their subjects would consume a vast library. Suffice it to mention the more than 23 assassination attempts against Cuban President, Fidel Castro, to which the CIA has admitted, since 1950 the targets of the USA’s assassination attempts have included the Congo’s leader, Patrice Lumumba, Indonesia’s President Sukarno, the democratically elected President of Chile, Salvador Allende, Chilean General Rene Schneider, Bolivian President Torres, murdered in Argentina, Chilean General Carlos Prats, to mention only a few of the targets of assassination by the “intelligence” agencies of the USA.
On April 13, just prior to the US, UK and France’s violation of international law and the UN Charter, in their bombing of Syria, Bolivian Ambassador Sasha Llorentty Soliz (image on the right) delivered one of the most courageous and brilliant speeches in UN history, completely unmasking the criminality, hypocrisy and brazen lies which are now the daily tirade to which the Security Council is subjected.
For some reason, some members of the Security Council are avoiding addressing the main reason for convening this meeting, which is that one State Member has threatened the unilateral use of force in violation of the Charter of the United Nations…Over the past 72 years humankind has built a framework that is not only physical or institutional, but also juridical. Humankind has setup instruments of international law intended precisely to prevent the most powerful from attacking the weakest with impunity so as to establish a balance in the world and prevent grave violations to international peace and security….The Security Council must not be utilized as a sounding board for war propaganda nor interventionism. It should also not be made into a pawn to be sacrificed on the chessboard of war, geopolitics and petty interests…. We believe that this meeting is very important because we are not only discussing an attack on a Member State, or the threat of a military strike against a Member State of the United Nations, but rather because we are living at a time of constant attacks on multilateralism…Let us recall that there is a clear policy and mindset of multilateralism subversion. What happens is that for some the discourse on human rights is used until it no longer serves their interests, and then they violate those rights. My region is a witness to that. We endured Operation Condor, as it was called, during the 1970s, which was planned by the intelligence services of some Member States. When democracy did not suit them, they financed coups d’etat. When they were unhappy with the discourse on human rights, they infringed human rights. When the discourse of democracy was no longer enough, they were ready to finance coups d’etat. The use of unilateral practices leaves behind unhealed wounds, despite the passage of time.
Some of the members of the Council have spoken on the situation in Iraq and Libya, which I believe are some of the worst crimes that have been committed this century. The invasion of Iraq, with its dire consequences, left more than 1 million dead. The effects of the strikes against Libya and the regime-change policies imposed on it, which, as my colleague from Equatorial Guinea aptly said, they still feel, suffer and endure throughout the entire region of the Sahel and Central Africa. But no one wants to talk about the root causes of these conflicts, and no one will talk about the impunity enjoyed for those serious crimes. It warrants repeating. Those are the most serious crimes committed this century.
Bolivia’s speech unmasked the “interests” underlying the current witch hunt, the subversion of multilateralism, the abdication by the UK, the US and France of their responsibility for many of the horrific human rights abuses occurring today, and the attempt to foist responsibility for their own crimes onto Russia and North Korea, a demonization opportunistically endorsed by most Western mainstream media, and which will be deceitfully used in an attempt to disguise more horrendous crimes in the future. The cold war is indeed renewed with a vengeance, and in the current climate of chaos and savagery, flooded with more sophisticated nuclear weapons than ever before, we perilously risk the transformation of this cold war into a nuclear exchange with our newly re-created and demonized adversary, Russia, an act of insanity that would become inevitable if the mass hysteria unleashed today, and conspicuous at the United Nations Security Council, is not opposed and ended for all time. And the root of this mass hysteria is in the gross and exponentially increasing economic inequality plaguing the current world, in a global economic system which perpetuates misery and desperation.
Carla Stea is Global Research’s correspondent at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
This article originally appeared on GlobalResearch.ca.