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Iran missile firing was a hoax, and Trump’s Generals in charge fell for it

Not fake news, but fake nukes.

Alex Christoforou

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Us President Donald Trump got all riled up last week during his UN General Assembly speech, blasting Iran for a ballistic missile test.

Trump tweeted on Sunday that Iran was cooperating with Pyongyang following the missile test.

Problem (as Zerohedge reports): It turns out this was “fake news”, or rather “fake nukes”, as Iran never actually fired a ballistic missile, according to Fox News government sources, and instead the video released by the Iranians was more than seven months old – dating back to a failed launch in late January, which resulted in the missile exploding shortly after liftoff, according to two U.S. officials.

After the footage was aired, Iranian media claiming a successful test launch – though it apparently showed the failed January launch. At the time, Iran was attempting to launch its new Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile for the first time. It flew 600 miles before exploding, in a failed test of a reentry vehicle, officials said at the time. The failed late January launch was first reported by Fox News and prompted the White House to put Iran “on notice” days later.

However, apparently news of the fake launch was not filtered by the US “intelligence” apparatus before it reached Trump who responded to the reported launch in a late-Saturday tweet, saying, “Iran just test-fired a Ballistic Missile capable of reaching Israel. They are also working with North Korea. Not much of an agreement we have!” Last week, speaking before world leaders at the United Nations, Trump slammed the Iranian regime and called the Iran nuclear deal an “embarrassment” to the United States.

Trump told reporters, back when he thought Iran’s missile test was real…

“We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program.”

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, speaking at the U.N. one day after POTUS Trump, calmly noted…

“We never threaten anyone, but we do not tolerate threats from anyone.”

According to Fox News, Rouhani returned to Tehran two days later to preside over the missile parade featuring the new medium-range design and said his country would build as many missiles as necessary to defend itself.

Afterward, the footage was aired, with Iranian media claiming a successful test launch – though it apparently showed the failed January launch.

Via Fox News

At the time, Iran was attempting to launch its new Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile for the first time. It flew 600 miles before exploding, in a failed test of a reentry vehicle, officials said at the time.

The failed late January launch was first reported by Fox News and prompted the White House to put Iran “on notice” days later.

Iran’s new medium-range missile is based on a North Korean design—Pyongyang’s BM-25 Musudan ballistic missile, which has a maximum range of nearly 2,500 miles, putting U.S. forces in the Middle East and Israel within reach if its problems are fixed.

“The very first missiles we saw in Iran were simply copies of North Korean missiles,” said Jeffrey Lewis, a missile proliferation expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. “Over the years, we’ve seen photographs of North Korean and Iranian officials in each other’s countries, and we’ve seen all kinds of common hardware.”

Last weekend, a senior Iranian general said the missile had a range of less than 2,000 miles.

“The Khoramshahr missile has a range of 2,000 kilometers [1,250 miles] and can carry multiple warheads,” Iran’s official IRNA news agency quoted Revolutionary Guards aerospace chief General Amir Ali Hajizadeh as saying.

The missile “is capable of carrying multiple warheads,” Hajizadeh added.

“I am not sure why the Iranians are lying about the range,” one U.S. official said. “I think they don’t want to piss the Europeans off.”

The official and others declined to be identified because they were not authorized to disclose sensitive information to the press.

Experts say Iran possesses the largest arsenal of ballistic missiles in the Middle East, with more than 1,000 short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. Tehran has conducted over 20 missile tests since 2015.

Via Zerohedge

While U.N. resolution 2231, put in place days after the Iran nuclear deal was signed, calls on the Islamic Republic not to conduct ballistic missile tests, but does not forbid them from doing so, after Russia and China insisted on the watered-down language in order to pass the resolution. Iran is “called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology,” according to the text of the resolution.

Iran possesses the largest arsenal of ballistic missiles in the Middle East, with more than 1,000 short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. Tehran has conducted over 20 missile tests since 2015. Tehran claims the tests are legitimate because they are defensive in nature.

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Hass
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Hass

No Trump, it’s not an embarrassing “Nuclear Deal” the only thing embarrassing is your pathetic amateurish style and incompetence.

GeorgeG
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GeorgeG

No, no –:). General Kelly is supposed to filter the “intelligence” that gets to Trump, and what ever does get to him has to be in line with what the CoG apparatus wants. Obviously command-and-control broke down. Big embarrassment with FOX reporting on it. Just shows you, open-source spooks nowadays can do better than people with access to “secret informtion.” Kelly, you goofed. Sure, you can hide your face in shame over Trump’s UNGA performance, but face it, you goofed.

Keith Smith
Guest
Keith Smith

Trump may be sacking Generals soon?

seby
Guest
seby

Remember at the beginning of the Bugs Bunny Show, the cast would dance across the stage and sing “on with the show, this is it!”.

What came after was a hell of a lot more funny than this raggedy arse circus. Of course the great Chuck Jones, Fritz Freleng would never lower themselves and write for this dotard. Of course Mel Blanc would have done a great voice impression.

Jane Karlsson
Guest
Jane Karlsson

So why did Iran release the video? To see what Trump would do? Are Iranians falling about laughing?

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

Quite simple, to show the world how that system overthere is working and reacting.
To show the US Administration is occupied by mindless popeyes.

Seán Murphy
Guest
Seán Murphy

Probably.

FlorianGeyer
Guest
FlorianGeyer

American ‘Intelligence’ never fails to lighten my day 🙂

Mike from Ramsbottom
Guest
Mike from Ramsbottom

I think many people have noticed that US Intelligence is an oxymoron.

FlorianGeyer
Guest
FlorianGeyer

Like always tends to employ like and for too long the good men of America have been sidelined . In fact the good men/women in all too many nations today.

Pertti Lantela
Guest
Pertti Lantela

It’s Satanic disinformation affecting Trump’s decisions that will decide the fate of the world…. When will the unrelenting shaming of dishonest journalists begin? They are the key, shame them and shame them and shame them some more…. They live for admiration, give them rotten tomatoes and the reality of their heinous part in the destruction of the .world

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

Advice: simply stop buying and reading their stupid, disinformational newspapers and disinformational websites for a start.

Wayne Blow
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Wayne Blow

There are no (NO) journalists anymore, they are cowards whom receive their paychecks from the “deep state” slime that are trying to rule the world !!!!!!

tapatio
Guest
tapatio

The Iran nuclear deal is embarrassing – embarrassing that Washington is a puppet of the Zionist-Talmudic Disease and its occupation government, AIPAC, embarrassing that sanctions were placed on Iran, based on 25 years of Netanyahu’s yowling lies and the Rothschild-Bilderberg lust for Iranian oil and gas, plus control of the Iranian economy. The United States is, today, the most shameful nation on Earth. It isn’t Israel – 3000 years of treachery and hypocrisy from the cult that controls America has shown that nothing else can be expected from them. The world should have been able to expect more from America,… Read more »

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

“America” is the wrong word, tapatio, it must be read “US Inc. Cesspool” instead of the word “America”.

tapatio
Guest
tapatio

America is an idea, not the criminals who control Washington and our economy. It isn’t the founding fathers or traitors, like Alexander Hamilton. It’s people, most of whom would make good decisions if they had good information.

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

America, which consists of fifty independent nation-states with their sovereign nationals is still a reality. Every state has its own government for instance. Through decades the sovereign nationals’ heads have been stuffed with US Inc. Goebbel style propaganda, especially after 1945 when the US INC. imported loads and loads of Nazis from a capitulated Germany. They were doing grand jobs for the US Inc. and later for themselves thru the AIPAC federal government, but certainly not for the American Nationals. And believe me or not, behind the curtains a lot of people are working very hard to bring back the… Read more »

tapatio
Guest
tapatio

You don’t seem to know a great deal about the US. The fifty states are NOT sovereign. US law SUPERSEDES state law in most areas. States can not secede, as did the UK from the EU. The federal government taxes and places other requirements on individuals of every state. Furthermore, our Constitution has been ignored by every administration, with one exception, for 54 years. Congress has increasingly ignored the constitution, as has the Supreme Court. So, many refer to “POST-Constitutional America”. And, the federal government has reached the point where it could not care less what the people think or… Read more »

Seán Murphy
Guest
Seán Murphy

So, when is Trump, the USA, the EU and the UN going to call for a nuclear free Israel? When is Trump going to put Israel “on notice”?

Chris
Guest
Chris

Good question, Sean!!! Israel refuses to admit they have lots of nukes and won’t sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Agreement. Israel is absolutely terrified of its neighbors having nukes, because they will no longer be the bully!

Mr Misanthropic
Guest
Mr Misanthropic

what the US wants is all nations disarmed of nuclear and ballistic missiles, so that they and israel are the worlds power and all others subservient to their will

Latest

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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By

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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