Crime fiction never seems to go out of fashion, as opposed to just about everything else, so we all know that to find the culprit we have to examine who had the means, the motive and no alibi. Whether or not he or she confesses is neither here nor there, as we all know, so when the Russians dismiss the accusations of being behind the nerve gas incident in Salisbury, there is absolutely no reason to believe them. After all, Clinton never had sex with …. etc., etc., and etc. Likewise, when Assad says the accusation about his use of chemical weapons is “madness”, there is no reason to believe him either.
I do not doubt that the Russians and Assad had and have the means to do what they are being accused of and goodness knows what else, as well, but I most definitely wonder what their motives for such acts would have been.
Unless the perpetrator is psychotic, his or her motives for committing the crime in question tend to be recognisable, the most notable being on the one hand jealousy, revenge and/or ideology and, on the other, a lust for money, sex and/or power, or so we are given to understand.
As for the motives of international players, they may ostensibly be more complex, but no matter how misguided the players’ moves are, you can always see the motive, the driving force: They want the upper hand, i.e. power.
For some decades now we have seen any number of international conventions, agreements and treaties according to which all signatories agree to follow certain rules of the game, such as that of not using chemical weapons.
Twice in the course of a very short period of time, this rule has apparently been deliberately and insolently flouted. Now why on earth would Russia and then Syria want to tell the world that “we don’t give a damn about international conventions”? What on earth is won by such a tactic? If the Russians wanted to kill their former agent in Salisbury, there would have been any number of ways of doing so more or less discreetly. As for Syria, the war is basically won for Assad. A chemical attack is unbelievably redundant. (True enough, so were the bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.) Why would Assad, on the threshold of winning his ugly war, risk having all eyes of the world turned on him in outrage?
There are, however, players out there who most definitely would benefit from ‘framing’, as it were, Russia and Assad.
I cannot possibly know who done it (though I know very well where my suspicions lie). However, it is pretty clear that while the US and the EU have been busy isolating Russia, Iran, Turkey and of course Syria, these countries have drawn closer together and are forming some sort of informal alliance. With Mr Trump at the helm in the US, China, too, may well find itself in league with them.
Consider, then, an alliance between Russia, Iran, Turkey ( a NATO member, no less) and possibly China. That’s pretty heavy stuff. Consider, also, what such an alliance would mean for NATO, for Israel, for the EU and US, and for Saudi Arabia… I say no more.