Connect with us
//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Latest

Is support for Nord Stream 2 in Germany starting to falter (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 58.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

RT reports that a U.S. ambassador has reportedly threatened to punish German contributors involved in the multinational Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, and has tried to fan the ‘Russia scare’ to make his point.

US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell warned companies based in the country that they may face sanctions from Washington over their participation in the Nord Stream 2 project.

“As you are aware, the United States strongly opposes Nord Stream 2… The pipeline poses serious geopolitical consequences to our European allies and partners,” he wrote in a letter obtained by Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

We continue to stress that firms operating in the Russian energy export pipeline sector are engaging in activities that carry significant sanctions risk,” Grenell asserted.

Every German company contributing to Nord Stream 2 should “consider the danger this project represents to European energy security as well as reputational costs and sanctions risk associated with it,” he added.

The Bild report raised the ire of some German politicians in Berlin. Fabio De Masi, a top Left Party MP, demanded that the government reprimand Grenell, saying“The US Ambassador seems to make an impression that he is a viceroy of the Washington emperor.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at Nord Stream 2, and whether the energy pipeline from Russia, into Germany and onwards towards all of Europe, is under threat from U.S. sanctions.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Follow The Duran Audio Podcast on Soundcloud.

Via Bloomberg


Nord Stream 2, an $11 billion project that will double the natural gas supply under the Baltic Sea to Germany, faces growing skepticism among German officials who had previously defended it against criticism from Trump and some European Union allies, according to senior lawmakers. The shift could translate into pressure on Merkel’s government to back down on the controversial pipeline and possibly delay its implementation.

Social Democratic lawmaker Nils Schmid, whose party has been a reliable supporter of the project, said too many decision-makers in Berlin had been slow to factor in Nord Stream’s geopolitical significance. It will reduce the volume of gas pumped through Ukraine as Russia attempts to stifle its neighbor’s economy by depriving it of lucrative transit fees.

The 1,220 kilometer (758-mile) Nord Stream 2 undersea link to Germany initiated by Russia in 2015.Source: Gazprom

“The debate in Germany has become more critical,” Schmid, the junior coalition party’s point man on foreign policy, said in an interview, adding that the project shouldn’t go forward until Russia and Ukraine reach a transit accord. “It would have been better to take this political dimension into account.”

Russia’s ‘Captive’

The 1,200-kilometer (750-mile) undersea pipeline — being constructed by Russia’s Gazprom PJSC to bolster German supplies as Norwegian, Dutch and domestic sources dry up — has been pilloried by some of the country’s allies, who say it bolsters Europe’s reliance on Russian energy and bypasses key partners such as Ukraine. Trump has blastedthe project as holding Germany “captive” to Russia.

The ground is shifting, with an ever more fraught relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, particularly since the November seizure of two dozen Ukrainian sailors near the Sea of Azov. Merkel, who has sparred with Putin since the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, is demanding the release of the naval personnel.

The Azov incident in the Kerch Strait has soured prospects that Merkel’s diplomacy can scale back the conflict in eastern Ukraine, according Juergen Hardt, a lawmaker in Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union who speaks on foreign affairs.

Unfulfilled Hopes

“The events on the Kerch Strait at least showed me that these are unfulfilled hopes,” Hardt said in an interview. “Russia, in my view, isn’t moving a millimeter from its objectives.”

Hardt said Germany’s governing parties need to find consensus with the European Commission on energy diversification and reliance on Russian gas. He also questioned the economic viability of Nord Stream, poking holes in the government’s previous defense of the project.

Merkel shifted her position on Nord Stream last April, acknowledging the political dimensions of the pipeline and departing from her previous insistence that it was solely a business venture by private investors. The project must not weaken Ukraine by disrupting its gas transmission system, she said at the time.

Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, welcomed the more skeptical view in Berlin, saying the pipeline project undermines the EU’s energy and security objectives.

Russian Influence

“There is not only Russian gas coming through the pipeline, but also Russian influence,” Grenell said in a statement to Bloomberg News. “Now is not the time to reward Moscow.”

The U.S. administration has indicated that sanctions on the pipeline are imminent. Trump brought tensions over Nord Stream into full view at last July’s NATO summit, raising the issue as he attacked Merkel over Germany’s slack defense spending.

U.S. restrictions would potentially hit companies in Austria, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BASF SE’s Wintershall unit, Uniper SE, OMV AG and Engie SA are Gazprom’s partners in the project. The Russian gas giant reported a record 201 billion cubic meters of gas exports to Europe in 2018 and plans to maintain those volumes into 2020.

Simmering Tensions

Schmid maintained that the project, which would double the 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas flowing through the original Nord Stream pipeline that opened in 2011, isn’t in danger. He also defended SPD support, particularly in Germany’s east where, the pipeline makes landfall. But simmering geopolitical tensions are having an effect in Germany.

“Something has changed,” Peter Beyer, the German government’s coordinator for trans-Atlantic relations, said in an interview. He attributed the mood shift on Nord Stream as much to concern about leaving EU allies out in the cold as with Russia’s recent maneuvers. Merkel’s government may have to adjust to the demands of those taking a harder line on Nord Stream, he said.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement //pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
15 Comments

15
Leave a Reply

avatar
8 Comment threads
7 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
10 Comment authors
Vince DhimosDr. William FusfieldOlivia KrothnomangePhori Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
JNDillard
Guest
JNDillard

Much ado about nothing. Money talks. Nordstream is the only viable economic option. End of story.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

True! The Germans like Nordstream because it brings them cheap gas. USA should shut up, close its military bases and withdraw. Good-bye!

Platon
Guest
Platon

That would make sense if the EU were not The Fourth Reich and just as controlled by the Zionists and Anglo-Zionists as the Third Reich was.

Eric Zuesse
Member

Why is there no discussion in German ‘news’-media regarding the clear and ample and conclusive evidence that the overthrow and replacement of Ukraine’s democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych was a U.S. coup and the opposite of the ‘democratic revolution’ that the U.S. regime describes it as having been? Even Catherine Ashton came to know the fact on 26 February 2014: see http://archive.is/dYFxJ So, Merkel certainly knows it. Why doesn’t she present the evidence to the German people? Besides being mere basic decency, that would free German firms to continue their partnerships with Russia on the Pipeline. And why doesn’t there… Read more »

Platon
Guest
Platon

All too true, Mr Zuesse. Alas, Germany has been an wholly occupied country since the fall of the USSR (and West Germany was in thrall since 1945). The Church Senate inquiry found that the USA MSM has been controlled by the CIA since 1975, which means that the German MSM has been controlled by them since 1945. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Church_Committee_report_(Book_I,_Foreign_and_Military_Intelligence).pdf WIKI had a pretty good precis of the Committee’s findings but it has been seriously redacted since I began posting the link at every opportunity (about 2000 times) over ten years and people began talking about the report – sometimes even on… Read more »

Regula
Guest
Regula

Merkel was involved in the coup against Yanukovich herself.

nomange
Guest
nomange

Very true. In this regard, and as a legal matter, Germany should be held responsible for violating the Helsinki Final Act, and later failing to honor its guaranty of the Yanukovitch government when the coup occurred only one day after Germany signed its guaranty, as well as its failure today to insist on Ukrainian compliance with the Minsk Accords, or prevent the Kiev government’s attacks against the populations of Donetsk and Luhansk. Germany is also heavily invested in Ukraine with large concessions in Ukrainian businesses, land and other natural resources held by German multinationals. Since WW2, the German government and… Read more »

Platon
Guest
Platon

How fortuitous that The Talmudo-Satanist Empire found a Hitler in-a- skirt to be frontsperson for the Fourth Reich – the latest in a thousand year string of attempts to kill all Russians and steal their resources.

The fact that their little scheme has failed has not occurred to anyone it seems. Like a mad Golem, Germany continues to self-destruct both socially (by importing terrorists) and economically, (by cutting themselves off from cheap reliable fossil fuels and resources).

I guess that is what comes of having a US occupying army on nominally German territory.

Cap
Guest
Cap

The Yanks will get their way as usual…the Germans as the rest of the world have no courage “balls” to oppose their true master the Yanks!

Olivia Kroth
Guest

No, they won’t get their way. The pipeline is nearly finished.The USA are not well-liked in Germany. Get over it.

Regula
Guest
Regula

I doubt that there will be any change: for one thing: a third of this €10b gas pipeline is already finished. Abandoning it now would mean € multi billion losses to the EU companies involved without any possibility to recover the loss and that at a time when the economy of the EU and of Germany in particular, is slowing. Second, Merkel knows all too well that the Kerch straight incident was provoked by Ukraine on behalf of the US and that Russia acted in its full right – any country would have acted the same way. Hence her refusal… Read more »

Phori
Guest
Phori

Is this as much about Angie’s closeness to the old Russian/Soviet system, being an East German who’s fluent in the Russian language, enabling a deeper one-on-one communication between her and her counterpart to the East? Is there some sort of perception that Angie is a spoiler in the old “Cold War” alliance, perhaps a fellow traveler of Vlad, both of whom emerged from the old ways to become their respective nations’ leaders? https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/angela-merkels-unlikely-journey-from-communist-east-germany-to-the-chancellorship-a6738271.html

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Diplomat slams US ambassador’s ‘unacceptable’ letters to German firms over Nord Stream 2

US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell earlier sent letters to German companies warning them of possible US sanctions over their participation in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project

More:
http://tass.com/economy/1039921

Dr. William Fusfield
Guest

All I can think at once is that if the Europeans are so cowed by the American neocon/Zionists as to cave in on the NordStream2 project, then they deserve just what they get, or more precisely, what they won’t be getting, namely a reliable source of cheap natural gas!!

Vince Dhimos
Guest

Nord Stream is in its final stages of completion. There is no turning back, although the Trump administration is still kicking the dead horse:
http://www.newsilkstrategies.com/economics-and-finance/us-attempt-to-bully-germany-into-buying-american-lng-is-having-the-opposite-effect

Latest

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

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 145.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

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.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Follow The Duran Audio Podcast on Soundcloud.

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

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

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

RT

Published

on

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.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

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.

Avatar

Published

on

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.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Videos

Trending