And by "they" and "it" I mean, respectively, the neocon corporatists and the fact that they don't want Russia to trade oil in rubles. Just like they didn't like the fact that Iraq traded oil in euros (consequently invaded), and they don't want Iran to trade oil in euros (much talk of bombing or invasion).
This whole spy-poisoning story is debunked pretty well by Raimondo at Antiwar.com, and I want to quote him here, as he cites all the reasons (except the one above) why the "powers that be" want to mix it up with Russia:
"The attempt to portray the Russians as mad poisoners intent on assassinating their political opponents no matter where they try to find refuge is a powerful propagandistic theme that, although unsupported by any facts, winds its way through the media narrative on the wings of pure supposition. These people don't care about facts: it's all speculation, unsupported by evidence that passes the most perfunctory smell test...
Here is yet another link in the long chain of manufactured incidents meant to provoke a confrontation with Russia. An aggressive propaganda campaign aimed at the Russians has been in high gear for quite some time, and it appears to be reaching a crescendo with this Litvinenko nonsense...
U.S. intervention in Russia's internal affairs is deeply resented by most Russians, i.e., those not on the American payroll, but this matters little to the Russia-haters in our midst. Their message is not directed at the Russian people, who support Putin and his policies overwhelmingly: it is aimed at Western elites, who can be prodded into taking a harder line against those resurgent Russkies, flush with oil money and failing to toe the American line when it comes to Iran and Syria."
Achilles Heel of the U.S.
Our dependence on the dollar as the reserve currency of the world because the dollar is the international standard for oil purchases is our Achilles heel. All oil-producing countries--i.e., Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, Russia, etc.--have to do is set up their own oil bourses and exchange their precious natural resources for their own (or a non-U.S.) currency, and suddenly the U.S. is in a world of hurt--just look at the news today--"US fears spark dollar sell-off":
"The dollar suffered a steep sell-off this week amid expectations of a further slowdown in the US economy.
The greenback fell most sharply against the euro as the prospect of rising European interest rates contrasted with forecasts of easing US monetary policy...
'The current euro rally/dollar sell-off . . . is unlikely to end in the short term as the fundamentals and market flows are increasingly stacked up against the US currency,' said Ashraf Laidi, analyst at CMC Markets US."
The corporatists and the neocons would say that the answer to this problem is to "Bomb Iran" and to bring "peace and stability" (read as "death and domination") to the Middle East.
And speaking of oil and dollars, this AP story was a real shocker--"AP Analysis: Firms Crimping Oil Supplies." But the headline chosen by my local paper for the same story is, in my view, more accurate: "Study: Oil companies drive up gas prices."
And this is how they manipulate prices:
"Whatever the truth in Bakersfield, an Associated Press analysis suggests that big oil companies have been crimping supplies in subtler ways across the country for years. And tighter supplies tend to drive up prices.
The analysis, based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, indicates that the industry slacked off supplying oil and gasoline during the prolonged price boom between early 1999 and last summer, when prices began to fall."
They close down refineries or don't build new ones under the pretense that "market pressures" and "business judgments" are causing them to do so. Whether or not the companies' intentions are to manipulate prices (and you'd have to be a fool to believe otherwise), the effect is, as the story says, that "tighter supplies tend to drive up prices."
Oh, and another neat by-product of closing down refineries or only using existing ones no matter the volume of demand--when the huge profits from the supply "crimp" come rolling in, they're not reduced by having to pay for facilities that might allow the supply to increase to meet the demand and thereby reduce monstrous profits.
Good night and good show, jolly good show!