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A brief explanation of the crisis and coup in Venezuela

Based on extracts of an interview with Michel Chossudovsky.

Richard Galustian

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Prof. Chossudovsky is a renowned expert on Latin America and gave an important interview to broadcaster and journalist, Bonnie Faulkner (gunsandbutter.org) and the below is a summary of the key points of this very illuminating interview.


This is an extremely important explanation of the situation, summarised. It is a must read for anyone confused about what is going on in Venezuela.

Prof. Chossudovsky recently discussed the economic and political crisis in Venezuela, and with a good deal of expertise and authority having been a past Advisor to the Venezuelan Minister of Planning.

It is hoped the following accurately distils his views for readers to comprehend the basics of this rather disgraceful attempt at regime change by the US Government.

To start with one must explain the three key objectives of the US:

– Install a US proxy regime,

– Confiscate the country’s extensive oil wealth (Venezuela has the largest oil reserves Worldwide),

– Impoverish the Venezuelan people.

A few weeks ago, President Trump announced that the U.S. would recognize without an election, Speaker of the Venezuelan parliament, Juan Guaidó as the legitimate President of Venezuela.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Vice President Mike Pence called Guaidó the night before Trump’s announcement and pledged that the US administration would support him.

Ironically, Chossudovsky wryly points out, the position of Speaker of the National Assembly (Parliament) of Venezuela, held by Juan Guaidó, is comparable to that of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and, of course, the leader of the majority party, the Democrats, which is currently Nancy Pelosi. There are certain differences from the constitutional standpoint, but what President Trump has intimated in declaring that Guaidó is the interim president of Venezuela is tantamount to saying, “Hey, Donald Trump, what about unelected Nancy Pelosi for US President?”

Why can’t for example President Maduro of Venezuela say, “We would like Nancy Pelosi to be the President of the United States….and then, of course, we’ll go to the UN Security Council to have it endorsed.”

That illustrates the ridiculousness of such political discourse but also the shear fantasy of U.S. foreign policy.

Chossudovsky says it is ‘a novelty’ in relation to regime change. “We have military coups in Venezuela going back to the early 20th century – a whole bunch of military coups. We have color revolutions, which instigate protest movements. That is already ongoing in Venezuela. Then we have this new formula of intimating that we don’t like the President; have him replaced by the Speaker of the House. And that’s, of course, a very dangerous discourse because, as I mentioned, it could backlash onto President Trump himself.”

Russia and China backed Maduro but France, Britain, Spain and Germany said they would recognize Juan Guaidó as President unless Venezuela calls a new presidential election “within eight days”.

But wait a minute. Maduro was elected, he won the Presidency of Venezuela democratically and with a large majority.

France’s President Macron also won the Presidential election with a a very slim majority and nobody is questioning Macron’s Presidency except of course the Yellow Vest movement which is throughout France. That doesn’t seem to be making the headlines anymore and on the contrary people in Venezuela are taking to the streets to endorse Maduro.

The fact of the matter, the Professor continues is that “all these leaders in Europe are, first of all, caving in to U.S. foreign policy; they are essentially behaving as U.S. proxies”.

Adding “Under a constitutional democracy, how is it that they could actually support the United States in calling for the Speaker of the National Assembly of Venezuela to become President of the country? It’s an absurd proposition, and that this would then get to the United Nations Security Council is even more absurd.”

“It’s a very complex process, and I think people have to understand first of all that Venezuela has the largest oil reserves worldwide; more than Saudi Arabia, both traditional crude as well as tar sands, which are extensive but also very easy to manage and produce compared to those of Canada, for instance. What is at stake is a battle for oil.”

Now when we look at what is happening in Venezuela today and where the U.S. policymakers say, “We want to come to the rescue of the people who have been impoverished.”

In reaction, Chossudovsky asserts “this is a nonsensical statement. The history of Venezuela was a history of poverty right until Chavez became President. They retained that level of poverty and exclusion. Not to say that there aren’t very serious contradictions (within Venezuelan society); that’s another issue.”

Further explaining that the “U.S. Foreign policy wants to restore. They want to restore Venezuela as a subordinate country with a poor population and elites that are aligned with the United States. That is the nature of the crisis which is ongoing today in Venezuela.”

Chossudovsky importantly also reminds us “Now, there’s another thing I’d like to mention, which I think is very important. What has been the response today to this crisis? I saw recently a statement by a number of progressive authors and it essentially says that there should be mediation or negotiation between both sides. I think that that is something which is rather much misunderstood. There cannot be mediation between the government of Venezuela and a proxy for the CIA, which is Guaidó.

The Professor concluded by saying “Our thoughts today are with the Venezuelan people”

A final comment I would like to make is before our governments embark on more adventures and regime changes, it might be opportune to ponder these indirectly relevant facts. The US Military deaths in action since 1999 were 5,273. US Veterans since 1999 was a whopping 128,240 and counting. What does that tell you as a reader?


Professor Michel Chossudovsky is author of 11 books. The complete lengthy interview is available on the Global Research website, globalresearch.ca for those interested.

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Olivia Kroth
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For the Venezuelan Government of President Nicolas Maduro, it is not important at all what the US aims at. For them it is only important what the Venezuelan people need and want. Such “experts” as “Prof. Chodussovsky” are totally irrelevant.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

TASS reports Russia interested in joining Venezuela contact group — diplomat “We raised the issue before the organizers of a conference in Montevideo from the very start,” he said PARIS, February 12./TASS/. Moscow is raising the issue of joining the International Contact Group on Venezuela “at least” as an observer, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told journalists on Tuesday. According to Ryabkov, recent contacts in Montevideo within the framework of a Mexico-Uruguay initiative to set up a contact group with the participation of the EU and some Latin American countries were not backed unanimously by the international community. “Forces have… Read more »

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Russia slams US pressure on Venezuela’s top brass to defect as unprecedented meddling World February 11, 15:49 UTC+3 Moscow constantly maintains contacts with the Venezuelan authorities in a normal, working routine, the diplomat stressed MOSCOW, February 11. /TASS/. Moscow has castigated Washington’s drive to push the Venezuelan military into swtiching their oath of allegiance as blatant interference in Venezuela’s affairs, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Latin American Department, Alexander Shchetinin, said. “This is because the direct appeal by a foreign state to the armed forces of another country, no matter what form it may take, for the purpose of… Read more »

teles
Guest

TELESUR ENGLISH:
In-depth analysis

Venezuela confronts US-backed right-wing coup

President Nicolas Maduro has repeatedly called for the restoration of talks between his government and the opposition in order to maintain peace and avoid a U.S.-backed coup, or even military intervention by the United States in favor of removing him and placing an unelected right-wing government.

https://www.telesurenglish.net/telesuragenda/Venezuela-Confronts-US-backed-Right-wing-Coup-20190130-0023.html

teles
Guest

A brief explanation of the crisis in faltering USA, explained shortly by Prof. Olivia Kroth:
The US has been in deep financial crisis because it has been printing green toilet paper for decades, selling it as the “US dollar”.

Professor Kroth also importantly reminds us that foreign governments do not need this green toilet paper any more, they prefer to trade in their own currencies or with gold payments. This is the main reason why the US economy is going down.

Mike
Guest
Mike

What about 128000 veterans? Did they get killed as private contractors somewhere?

Olivia Kroth
Guest

This is obviously not a “must read”, explained importantly by the all-important Prof. Chodusomething. Have you heard the name of this all-important “Professor” before? I have not. Well, “guns and butter” will explain it all to us dull readers wno know naught … What a strange name for a strange site.
The Duran’s choice of texts gets stranger and stranger ….

Olivia Kroth
Guest

US-led draft resolution on Venezuela completely unbalanced — Russia’s UN envoy World February 13, 3:30 UTC+3 The diplomat described the situation in general as “a very unfortunate attempt to interfere in the politics of a sovereign country” UN, February 13. /TASS/. Russia’s UN envoy, Vasily Nebenzya, has described the draft of the UN Security Council resolution on Venezuela as “completely unbalanced.” The draft resolution, obtained by TASS, contains a call for presidential elections in the country. In response, Moscow has prepared its own variant calling for dialogue. Both documents are now being considered by experts and are yet to be… Read more »

Olivia Kroth
Guest

TASS reports: Maduro says Venezuelan opposition leaders will be ‘brought to justice’ World February 14, 0:47 UTC+3 Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said the crisis in Venezuela was organized by the United States regime BEIRUT, February 13. /TASS/. Venezuelan opposition leaders “have acted against the interests of the Venezuelan people and caused damage to the state,” Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro told Al Mayadeen TV channel on Wednesday. He added that the crisis in Venezuela was organized by the United States regime. “They [opposition leaders] are puppets who serve the extremist administration of Donald Trump that wants to colonize Venezuela,” the Venezuelan… Read more »

Olivia Kroth
Guest

TASS REPORTS: Diplomat warns false flag brewing under cloak of humanitarian convoy for Venezuela Russian Politics & Diplomacy February 14, 11:30 UTC+3 The possibility of a military intervention is just a “red line for all of Latin America”, the Russian diplomat warned MOSCOW, February 14. /TASS/. A false flag involving victims is being devised for Venezuela to justify an outside invasion of the Latin American country, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters at Thursday’s press briefing. “A provocation, involving victims, is being put together under the guise of a humanitarian convoy,” Zakharova stressed. “They need it just as… Read more »

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Airline wars heat up, as industry undergoes massive disruption (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 145.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine the global commercial airline industry, which is undergoing massive changes, as competition creeps in from Russia and China.

Reuters reports that Boeing Co’s legal troubles grew as a new lawsuit accused the company of defrauding shareholders by concealing safety deficiencies in its 737 MAX planes before two fatal crashes led to their worldwide grounding.

The proposed class action filed in Chicago federal court seeks damages for alleged securities fraud violations, after Boeing’s market value tumbled by $34 billion within two weeks of the March 10 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX.

*****

According to the complaint, Boeing “effectively put profitability and growth ahead of airplane safety and honesty” by rushing the 737 MAX to market to compete with Airbus SE, while leaving out “extra” or “optional” features designed to prevent the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes.

It also said Boeing’s statements about its growth prospects and the 737 MAX were undermined by its alleged conflict of interest from retaining broad authority from federal regulators to assess the plane’s safety.

*****

Boeing said on Tuesday that aircraft orders in the first quarter fell to 95 from 180 a year earlier, with no orders for the 737 MAX following the worldwide grounding.

On April 5, it said it planned to cut monthly 737 production to 42 planes from 52, and was making progress on a 737 MAX software update to prevent further accidents.

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Via Zerohedge…

Step aside (fading) trade war with China: there is a new aggressor – at least according to the US Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer – in town.

In a statement on the USTR’s website published late on Monday, the US fair trade agency announced that under Section 301 of the Trade Act, it was proposing a list of EU products to be covered by additional duties. And as justification for the incremental import taxes, the USTR said that it was in response to EU aircraft subsidies, specifically to Europea’s aerospace giant, Airbus, which “have caused adverse effects to the United States” and which the USTR estimates cause $11 billion in harm to the US each year

One can’t help but notice that the latest shot across the bow in the simmering trade war with Europe comes as i) Trump is reportedly preparing to fold in his trade war with China, punting enforcement to whoever is president in 2025, and ii) comes just as Boeing has found itself scrambling to preserve orders as the world has put its orderbook for Boeing 737 MAX airplanes on hold, which prompted Boeing to cut 737 production by 20% on Friday.

While the first may be purely a coincidence, the second – which is expected to not only slam Boeing’s financials for Q1 and Q2, but may also adversely impact US GDP – had at least some impact on the decision to proceed with these tariffs at this moment.

We now await Europe’s angry response to what is Trump’s latest salvo in what is once again a global trade war. And, paradoxically, we also expect this news to send stocks blasting higher as, taking a page from the US-China trade book, every day algos will price in imminent “US-European trade deal optimism.”

Below the full statement from the USTR (link):

USTR Proposes Products for Tariff Countermeasures in Response to Harm Caused by EU Aircraft Subsidies

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has found repeatedly that European Union (EU) subsidies to Airbus have caused adverse effects to the United States.  Today, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) begins its process under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to identify products of the EU to which additional duties may be applied until the EU removes those subsidies.

USTR is releasing for public comment a preliminary list of EU products to be covered by additional duties.  USTR estimates the harm from the EU subsidies as $11 billion in trade each year.  The amount is subject to an arbitration at the WTO, the result of which is expected to be issued this summer.

“This case has been in litigation for 14 years, and the time has come for action. The Administration is preparing to respond immediately when the WTO issues its finding on the value of U.S. countermeasures,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.  “Our ultimate goal is to reach an agreement with the EU to end all WTO-inconsistent subsidies to large civil aircraft.  When the EU ends these harmful subsidies, the additional U.S. duties imposed in response can be lifted.”

In line with U.S. law, the preliminary list contains a number of products in the civil aviation sector, including Airbus aircraft.  Once the WTO arbitrator issues its report on the value of countermeasures, USTR will announce a final product list covering a level of trade commensurate with the adverse effects determined to exist.

Background

After many years of seeking unsuccessfully to convince the EU and four of its member States (France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom) to cease their subsidization of Airbus, the United States brought a WTO challenge to EU subsidies in 2004. In 2011, the WTO found that the EU provided Airbus $18 billion in subsidized financing from 1968 to 2006.  In particular, the WTO found that European “launch aid” subsidies were instrumental in permitting Airbus to launch every model of its large civil aircraft, causing Boeing to lose sales of more than 300 aircraft and market share throughout the world.

In response, the EU removed two minor subsidies, but left most of them unchanged.  The EU also granted Airbus more than $5 billion in new subsidized “launch aid” financing for the A350 XWB.  The United States requested establishment of a compliance panel in March 2012 to address the EU’s failure to remove its old subsidies, as well as the new subsidies and their adverse effects.  That process came to a close with the issuance of an appellate report in May 2018 finding that EU subsidies to high-value, twin-aisle aircraft have caused serious prejudice to U.S. interests.  The report found that billions of dollars in launch aid to the A350 XWB and A380 cause significant lost sales to Boeing 787 and 747 aircraft, as well as lost market share for Boeing very large aircraft in the EU, Australia, China, Korea, Singapore, and UAE markets.

Based on the appellate report, the United States requested authority to impose countermeasures worth $11.2 billion per year, commensurate with the adverse effects caused by EU subsidies.  The EU challenged that estimate, and a WTO arbitrator is currently evaluating those claims

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Mueller report takes ‘Russian meddling’ for granted, offers no actual evidence

RT

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Via RT…


Special counsel Robert Mueller’s ‘Russiagate’ report has cleared Donald Trump of ‘collusion’ charges but maintains that Russia meddled in the 2016 US presidential election. Yet concrete evidence of that is nowhere to be seen.

The report by Mueller and his team, made public on Thursday by the US Department of Justice, exonerates not just Trump but all Americans of any “collusion” with Russia, “obliterating” the Russiagate conspiracy theory, as journalist Glenn Greenwald put it.

However, it asserts that Russian “interference” in the election did happen, and says it consisted of a campaign on social media as well as Russian military intelligence (repeatedly referred to by its old, Soviet-era name, GRU) “hacking” the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the DNC, and the private email account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta.

As evidence of this, the report basically offers nothing but Mueller’s indictment of “GRU agents,” delivered on the eve of the Helsinki Summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in what was surely a cosmic coincidence.

Indictments are not evidence, however, but allegations. Any time it looks like the report might be bringing up proof, it ends up being redacted, ostensibly to protect sources and methods, and out of concern it might cause “harm to an ongoing matter.”

‘Active measures’ on social media

Mueller’s report leads with the claim that the Internet Research Agency (IRA) ran an “active measures” campaign of social media influence. Citing Facebook and Twitter estimates, the report says this consisted of 470 Facebook accounts that made 80,000 posts that may have been seen by up to 126 million people, between January 2015 and August 2017 (almost a year after the election), and 3,814 Twitter accounts that “may have been” in contact with about 1.4 million people.

Those numbers may seem substantial but, as investigative journalist Gareth Porter pointed out in November 2018, they should be regarded against the background of 33 trillion Facebook posts made during the same period.

According to Mueller, the IRA mind-controlled the American electorate by spending “approximately $100,000” on Facebook ads, hiring someone to walk around New York City “dressed up as Santa Claus with a Trump mask,” and getting Trump campaign affiliates to promote “dozens of tweets, posts, and other political content created by the IRA.” Dozens!

Meanwhile, the key evidence against IRA’s alleged boss Evgeny Prigozhin is that he “appeared together in public photographs” with Putin.

Alleged hacking & release

The report claims that the GRU hacked their way into 29 DCCC computers and another 30 DNC computers, and downloaded data using software called “X-Tunnel.” It is unclear how Mueller’s investigators claim to know this, as the report makes no mention of them or FBI actually examining DNC or DCCC computers. Presumably they took the word of CrowdStrike, the Democrats’ private contractor, for it.

However obtained, the documents were published first through DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 – which the report claims are “fictitious online personas” created by the GRU – and later through WikiLeaks. What is Mueller’s proof that these two entities were “GRU” cutouts? In a word, this:

That the Guccifer 2.0 persona provided reporters access to a restricted portion of the DCLeaks website tends to indicate that both personas were operated by the same or a closely-related group of people.(p. 43)

However, the report acknowledges that the “first known contact” between Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks was on September 15, 2016 – months after the DNC and DCCC documents were published! Here we do get actual evidence: direct messages on Twitter obtained by investigators. Behold, these “spies” are so good, they don’t even talk – and when they do, they use unsecured channels.

Mueller notably claims “it is clear that the stolen DNC and Podesta documents were transferred from the GRU to WikiLeaks” (the rest of that sentence is redacted), but the report clearly implies the investigators do not actually know how. On page 47, the report says Mueller “cannot rule out that stolen documents were transferred to WikiLeaks through intermediaries who visited during the summer of 2016.”

Strangely, the report accuses WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange of making “public statements apparently designed to obscure the source” of the materials (p.48), notably the offer of a reward for finding the murderer of DNC staffer Seth Rich – even though this can be read as corroborating the intermediaries theory, and Assange never actually said Rich was his source.

The rest of Mueller’s report goes on to discuss the Trump campaign’s contacts with anyone even remotely Russian and to create torturous constructions that the president had “obstructed” justice by basically defending himself from charges of being a Russian agent – neither of which resulted in any indictments, however. But the central premise that the 22-month investigation, breathless media coverage, and the 448-page report are based on – that Russia somehow meddled in the 2016 election – remains unproven.

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Rumors of War: Washington Is Looking for a Fight

The bill stands up for NATO and prevents the President from pulling the US out of the Alliance without a Senate vote.

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Authored by Philip Giraldi via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


It is depressing to observe how the United States of America has become the evil empire. Having served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War and in the Central Intelligence Agency for the second half of the Cold War, I had an insider’s viewpoint of how an essentially pragmatic national security policy was being transformed bit by bit into a bipartisan doctrine that featured as a sine qua non global dominance for Washington. Unfortunately, when the Soviet Union collapsed the opportunity to end once and for all the bipolar nuclear confrontation that threatened global annihilation was squandered as President Bill Clinton chose instead to humiliate and use NATO to contain an already demoralized and effectively leaderless Russia.

American Exceptionalism became the battle cry for an increasingly clueless federal government as well as for a media-deluded public. When 9/11 arrived, the country was ready to lash out at the rest of the world. President George W. Bush growled that “There’s a new sheriff in town and you are either with us or against us.” Afghanistan followed, then Iraq, and, in a spirit of bipartisanship, the Democrats came up with Libya and the first serious engagement in Syria. In its current manifestation, one finds a United States that threatens Iran on a nearly weekly basis and tears up arms control agreements with Russia while also maintaining deployments of US forces in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and places like Mali. Scattered across the globe are 800 American military bases while Washington’s principal enemies du jour Russia and China have, respectively, only one and none.

Never before in my lifetime has the United States been so belligerent, and that in spite of the fact that there is no single enemy or combination of enemies that actually threaten either the geographical United States or a vital interest. Venezuela is being threatened with invasion primarily because it is in the western hemisphere and therefore subject to Washington’s claimed proconsular authority. Last Wednesday Vice President Mike Pence told the United Nations Security Council that the White House will remove Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro from power, preferably using diplomacy and sanctions, but “all options are on the table.” Pence warned that Russia and other friends of Maduro need to leave now or face the consequences.

The development of the United States as a hostile and somewhat unpredictable force has not gone unnoticed. Russia has accepted that war is coming no matter what it does in dealing with Trump and is upgrading its forces. By some estimates, its army is better equipped and more combat ready than is that of the United States, which spends nearly ten times as much on “defense.”

Iran is also upgrading its defensive capabilities, which are formidable. Now that Washington has withdrawn from the nuclear agreement with Iran, has placed a series of increasingly punitive sanctions on the country, and, most recently, has declared a part of the Iranian military to be a “foreign terrorist organization” and therefore subject to attack by US forces at any time, it is clear that war will be the next step. In three weeks, the United States will seek to enforce a global ban on any purchases of Iranian oil. A number of countries, including US nominal ally Turkey, have said they will ignore the ban and it will be interesting to see what the US Navy intends to do to enforce it. Or what Iran will do to break the blockade.

But even given all of the horrific decisions being made in the White House, there is one organization that is far crazier and possibly even more dangerous. That is the United States Congress, which is, not surprisingly, a legislative body that is viewed positively by only 18 per cent of the American people.

A current bill originally entitled the “Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA) of 2019,” is numbered S-1189. It has been introduced in the Senate which will “…require the Secretary of State to determine whether the Russian Federation should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism and whether Russian-sponsored armed entities in Ukraine should be designated as foreign terrorist organizations.” The bill is sponsored by Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado and is co-sponsored by Democrat Robert Menendez of New Jersey.

The current version of the bill was introduced on April 11th and it is by no means clear what kind of support it might actually have, but the fact that it actually has surfaced at all should be disturbing to anyone who believes it is in the world’s best interest to avoid direct military confrontation between the United States and Russia.

In a a press release by Gardner, who has long been pushing to have Russia listed as a state sponsor of terrorism, a February version of the bill is described as “…comprehensive legislation [that] seeks to increase economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on the Russian Federation in response to Russia’s interference in democratic processes abroad, malign influence in Syria, and aggression against Ukraine, including in the Kerch Strait. The legislation establishes a comprehensive policy response to better position the US government to address Kremlin aggression by creating new policy offices on cyber defenses and sanctions coordination. The bill stands up for NATO and prevents the President from pulling the US out of the Alliance without a Senate vote. It also increases sanctions pressure on Moscow for its interference in democratic processes abroad and continued aggression against Ukraine.”

The February version of the bill included Menendez, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland and Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina as co-sponsors, suggesting that provoking war is truly bipartisan in today’s Washington.

Each Senator co-sponsor contributed a personal comment to the press release. Gardner observed that “Putin’s Russia is an outlaw regime that is hell-bent on undermining international law and destroying the US-led liberal global order.” Menendez noted that “President Trump’s willful paralysis in the face of Kremlin aggression has reached a boiling point in Congress” while Graham added that “Our goal is to change the status quo and impose meaningful sanctions and measures against Putin’s Russia. He should cease and desist meddling in the US electoral process, halt cyberattacks on American infrastructure, remove Russia from Ukraine, and stop efforts to create chaos in Syria.” Cardin contributed “Congress continues to take the lead in defending US national security against continuing Russian aggression against democratic institutions at home and abroad” and Shaheen observed that “This legislation builds on previous efforts in Congress to hold Russia accountable for its bellicose behavior against the United States and its determination to destabilize our global world order.”

The Senatorial commentary is, of course, greatly exaggerated and sometimes completely false regarding what is going on in the world, but it is revealing of how ignorant American legislators can be and often are. The Senators also ignore the fact that the designation of presumed Kremlin surrogate forces as “foreign terrorist organizations” is equivalent to a declaration of war against them by the US military, while hypocritically calling Russia a state sponsor of terrorism is bad enough, as it is demonstrably untrue. But the real damage comes from the existence of the bill itself. It will solidify support for hardliners on both sides, guaranteeing that there will be no rapprochement between Washington and Moscow for the foreseeable future, a development that is bad for everyone involved. Whether it can be characterized as an unintended consequence of unwise decision making or perhaps something more sinister involving a deeply corrupted congress and administration remains to be determined.

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