The wacky reaction of Western leaders and pundits to the curious case of Sergei Skripal suggests that they're experiencing mass psychosis and are obsessed with unreasonably blaming Russia anytime something scandalous happens. The convicted traitor was released from prison and sent to the UK as part of a spy swap years ago, but he's all of a sudden in the news nowadays because of what the media alleges was a chemical weapons assassination attempt that the British government is pinning on Russia. Theresa May, Boris Johnson, and Gavin Williamson — the country's premier, foreign secretary, and defense secretary — all humiliated themselves and embarrassed their nation by parroting ridiculous accusations that President Putin was personally behind this incident.
Moscow hasn't been allowed to participate in the investigation, nor has it received any evidence to back up London's claims, though that hasn't stopped the British government from imagining that a Russian spy ring was behind this conspiracy and expelling 23 of the country's diplomats as a result, which saw the Russian side respond reciprocally. Poland recently jumped into the fray and said that they were considering following the UK's lead, and while Germany refrained from going as overboard as its neighbors have, Berlin nevertheless pledged solidarity with London. The US hasn't played an active role in this affair, but it presumably enjoys watching its EU partners team up against Russia once more.
In fact, the manufactured hysteria over this mysterious attack has set the backdrop for an escalation of the New Cold War which might see NATO tightening its intra-organizational coordination in order to present a united multilateral and multidimensional "containment" front against Russia. Furthermore, the resultant furor being fanned by the Mainstream Media provides a convenient excuse for the EU to continue sanctioning Russia even if it eventually repeals its Crimea-related restrictions. In addition, the possibility exists for the Turkish Stream and Nord Stream II gas pipelines to somehow get caught up in the fracas and become the casualties of this anti-Russian hybrid war if antagonistic forces get their way in driving a deeper wedge between the EU and Russia.
Sufferers of psychosis can be unpredictable, but at the same time they might also be easily manipulatable, meaning that the West's wacky reaction to the Skripal case might be more stage-managed than it seems at first glance.
Michael Walsh, International political journalist who writes for the Euro Weekly News Group, and Nedka Babliku, host of an online weekly geo-political show Digital Divides and contributing editor at Eurasia Future, shared their views.
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