What is to be done?

Russia’s attempted murder of former Russian spy Serge Skripal and his daughter Yulia on British soil is an act of war, isn’t it? Austin Bay takes up the question here. I take it that if it’s not, it may be close enough for government work.

Someone remind me. What did President Obama do about Iran’s attempted assassination of the Saudi ambassador to the United States in Washington, DC. Whatever it was, I think he followed up by secretly delivering pallets of cash to Tehran. It must not have been that big a deal after all.

The Russian attack is said to have been committed by use of a binary Russian nerve agent. The nerve agent is “Novichok,” with respect to which the Washington Post’e Will Englund has an interesting backgrounder here.

Prime Minister May called for the response of Vladimir Putin to provide an explanation or face extensive retaliatory measures. According to May herself speaking in Parliament yesterday, Putin has responded with “sarcasm, contempt, and defiance.” It has certainly served him well so far, and not just with May. I’m embedding the Post’s video on the case below.

Prime Minister May has expelled 23 Russian spies working under diplomatic cover. She has given them a week to leave. That hardly seems proportionate to the offense. She threatens more, but I wonder what would be proportionate to such a state sponsored act and at the same time exact a price steep enough to deter the Russians. To ask a Russian question about a Russian menace, what is to be done? One thing that is not to be done is turn to Jeremy Corbyn for advice.

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