Poison is as poison does

Certainly by now everybody knows about what seems to be, now there is no doubt, the attempt to eliminate the Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yuschenko by poisoning.

Juan Cole reminds us that "the annals of modern history are replete with failed poisoning attempts that backfired," and gives an overview. It includes the Wile E. Coyote-worthy CIA schemes against Fidel Castro. It also includes that fascinating poisoned umbrella tip used against Georgii Markov in 1978, apparently the only success on Professor Cole's list.

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