That’s how long Russia has to explain how a military-grade chemical weapon found its way from Russia into the United Kingdom. The attempted assassination on a former Russian double agent resulted in 21 UK citizens being hospitalized.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has given Moscow until the end of the day Tuesday to prove --- if they can --- those rogue elements of the Russian intelligence community did this without the approval of the Kremlin.
If they are unable to prove it, or if they choose to deny this entirely, May has threatened “extensive measures.”
So the $64 million question is, what are “extreme measures?” I don’t know whether to laugh or be frightened at the political football Putin is playing with the West. Consider that this attack was ordered and executed by Russia, 21 UK civilians were caught up in the middle, and everyone knows who did it.
In using a chemical nerve agent that’s produced and stored ONLY in Russia, Putin basically put his autograph on this. It’s the equivalent of a Putin smiley emoji with the words LOL, as he knows there’s nothing substantial the UK or NATO will do in retaliation.
It definitely sounds as if the UK is getting NATO all on board for whatever response they’re planning.
So how do the British respond? Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced last night that the attack “clearly came from Russia” and that it will “trigger a response.”
It definitely sounds as if the UK is getting NATO all on board for whatever response they’re planning. At the very minimum, the UK could kick out a few Russian diplomats. That’s how they responded the last time Russia was fingered in an assassination on British soil, BUT there was no collateral damage in that attack.
Their next option would be to pop every Russian spy known in the country and severely downsize Russian diplomatic staff. This could include expelling the ambassador.
It would be mutually assured destruction, however, as Putin would respond in turn by doing the same thing to the British ambassador in Moscow. Russia, UK and NATO relations would sink to an all-time low.
A military option is obviously off the table. You really have to feel sorry for our cousins across the Atlantic. Their hands are tied, and the bear in Moscow knows it AND he’s probably amused.
A military option is obviously off the table.
The world has to figure out a way how to get tough with Putin. We obviously botched it when not one, but two presidential administrations failed to respond when they attempted to influence the election. Maybe the British will finally figure it out and discover the meaning of a proportional response.
Oh, and one more thought....
The British identified the chemical agent used in this attack, fingered the nation responsible for it, AND did all that in just a matter of a few days. It has now been TWO WEEKS since a letter was opened at a military base in Arlington Virginia, leaving 11 people sick and hospitalizing 3 United States Marines. The poison used has officially been called “an unknown substance,” but the symptoms sound very similar to a chemical nerve agent.
We’ve reached out to the Army and NCIS... They won’t tell anyone jack-squat. Our Marines were attacked on US soil, and we STILL haven’t heard anything about it. We can’t even get a basic update. Are the British better at investigating than we are, or is our government purposely keeping this a secret?
Demand transparency AND justice for our men and women in uniform.