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NY Governor defies God with abortion as constitutional right

Andrew Cuomo made abortion legal to a degree not seen before, but the leading Christian communities have been strangely silent.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The title of this piece is honestly not strong enough, but it does state the fact.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo took a major step to promote the willful murder of the unborn by signing into law a measure that allows elective abortion at any stage of a woman’s pregnancy, up to the instant before birth. And if the baby is “accidentally” born alive, it can be killed anyway.

And the Christian community at large, most notably the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, have taken zero action other than an open letter about the situation. Rather, the Greek Orthodox Church has said nothing at all to date about this measure, signed into law by one of the recipients of its own highest humanitarian award. The Roman Catholics were slightly more vocal (because anything is more vocal than silence), but their response was muted, when the most severe consequence, excommunication from the Holy Sacrament of Communion, should have been slapped on those that made this law in nothing flat.

So, what happened, exactly?

This measure was incorporated into the Constitution of  New York State itself, making elective abortion a “right.” It features several disturbing aspects which we have quoted radio host Rush Limbaugh on in order to elucidate:

By a vote of 38-24, abortion was voted on in the New York Senate to be added to the New York Constitution as a constitutional right. But wait. We’re just getting started. The New York State Senate yesterday voted 38-24 “to allow nonphysicians to perform abortions.” The New York State Senate voted yesterday 38-24 “to allow abortion through the third trimester.” 

But the pure evil is in the last part of the bill. The New York State Senate voted 38-24 yesterday “to repeal protections for babies that survive abortions.” The abortion business in New York has just been voted on as constitutional by the New York State Senate… [and] killing a baby in New York after it survives an abortion is legal — and was applauded in a standing ovation in the New York State Senate chamber.

This is the culture of death, full-on, in a way that has never been seen before in the United States; maybe not even anywhere else in the civilized world. And this, with the governor of New York supposedly a Roman Catholic. Surely he was against this measure, right?

Wrong.

The governor did not just sign this legislation, he promoted itThe newly reconstructed World Trade Center, destroyed in 2001 by Islamic terrorists, had its crowning spire lit in pink to celebrate this landmark bill. Three bridges in Albany were also so ordered to use pink lighting to commemorate this “victory.”

WTC spire lit pink to celebrate New York as a baby-killer state. Really.

Further, this clip shows the audience reaction to this action.

Governor Cuomo also signed legislation that will ban what has been called “conversion therapy” for minors who are suffering from sexual dysphoria. This is the condition in which a boy or a girl thinks that they are really supposed to be the sex that they aren’t. The process that is designed to help kids actually come to their senses about who they are and get through the crisis that is creating the dysphoria in the first place.

The term “conversion therapy” is rather pejorative, and for the liberals in New York and 14 other states in the US it is a legally sanctioned decision that children suffering from this condition should be allowed to mutilate themselves, acting on the sickness, rather than treating it. “Conversion therapy” brings the idea of “brainwashing” to many American’s minds, and this is such a distasteful premise that even conservative Americans find themselves often unable to argue in any convincing way against it.

What is particularly dire to liberals about this is the estimate that approximately 57,000 troubled kids will receive “conversion therapy” from “a religious or spiritual adviser.” In other words, religious people will try to help people follow the will of God and not go with whatever their brains and bodies are telling them to do.

Well, what religion would do such a thing?

Christians, of course! Especially those who actually still uphold the way of life prescribed by the Church from antiquity: that a family is a mother and a father and children. One man, one woman, and their children.

The LGBT community has dedicated itself to destroying this concept by its own brand of “conversion therapy” through activism, pressure on political leaders and unrelenting attacks on Christian institutions. This activism is far from fringe. Consider how many recent TV programs and concepts feature the idea of a gay or lesbian superhero. And not only is this to be something we just “know” in a vague manner, but we have to see this in action as well.

This is happening because Christianity has lost its salt, so to speak, through its ever-increasing fragmentation and disintegration, resulting in an almost complete loss of doctrinal adherence, and even worse, the inability to create Christian unity across a field of people who basically believe whatever they like and call it “Christian” for some reason.

Those Christian confessions that still uphold the commands from God regarding family and sexuality are declining in number in the United States, with the Eastern Orthodox Christians and some Roman Catholics still holding the line, along with some of the more conservative Protestant groups.

But many so-called “Christian” confessions have adopted the notion that, somehow, God has changed his mind about this and so now same-sex marriage is okay, homosexuality is fine (“we are free to love who we want to love” is the byline for this), and elective abortion is either ignored or blessed. Only the Roman Catholic leaders and Orthodox leaders seem to be honestly committed to keeping the faith as it always was.

But now, sadly, both of these most ancient Christian confessions appears to be giving this sort of behavior a pass.

The Greek Orthodox Church in the United States (Ecumenical Patriarchate) is on record for awarding the Order of St Andrew’s Athenagoras Human Rights Award to Governor Cuomo on October 15, 2016.

This was in response to the projected completion of the new St Nicholas Shrine that was to be built to replace the old St Nicholas Church that was destroyed in the 9/11 attacks.

But that was 2016. This is now January 2019, the church is still not built and the money for it vanished. Additionally the Ecumenical Patriarch is sowing all kinds of problems in Ukraine by authorizing the creation of an “Orthodox Church” which will actually be nothing more than a mouthpiece of depraved western lifestyles as they try to use the Church edifice to force the normalization of gay and lesbian life and paedophilia and drug use upon perhaps the last bastion of dedicated Christians on earth – those in the former Soviet Union’s nations like Ukraine.

This is not the first time the Ecumenical Patriarchate has done this. In 2015 they also awarded their highest award to then-Vice President Joe Biden, who served the most pro-abortion administration in US history. His attitude about abortion was not hidden, as he is on record for promoting it as a senator.

There is no apparent reaction from the Greek Orthodox Church in prominence regarding Governor Cuomo’s decision. The Roman Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Albany, the capital city of New York State, did issue an open letter about this situation which one can read in full, here. We quote an excerpt from it, with added emphasis:

“Although in your recent State of the State address you cited your Catholic faith and said we should “stand with Pope Francis,” your advocacy of extreme abortion legislation is completely contrary to the teachings of our pope and our Church. Once truth is separated from fiction and people come to realize the impact of the bill, they will be shocked to their core…

…Contrary to what its proponents say, the RHA goes far beyond Roe vs. Wade in its aggressive extremism. Granting non-doctors permission to perform abortions does nothing to advance the security and health of women. Condoning coerced or involuntary abortions by repealing criminal sanctions even in cases where a perpetrator seeks to make his partner “un-pregnant” through an act of physical violence does not represent any kind of progress in the choice, safety or health of women. Removing protection for an infant accidentally born alive during an abortion is abject cruelty, something most people of conscience would deem inhumane for even a dog or cat. Finally, allowing late-term abortions is nothing less than a license to kill a pre-born child at will.

The Bishop’s letter also addresses something unusually savage, even for pro-choice politicians. In a speech, the governor pressed the matter even farther, openly condemning conservative points of view when he said the following:

“It’s more about extreme Republicans versus moderate Republicans… You’re seeing that play out in New York. The Republican Party candidates are running against the SAFE Act — it was voted for by moderate Republicans who run the Senate.

“Their problem is not me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves. Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”

This is probably one of the first times a political leader of such stature has declared such a condemnatory position, but it is not Mr. Cuomo’s first time saying something like this. He framed the same sentiment recently in another speech, extolling New York as the place where one is welcome if they are any minority, but never addressed or honored the Christian population of his state.

New York State is far from being an exclusively atheist enclave. There are many Christian believers there, many people that do indeed uphold the traditional way of life. So to be openly disinvited by their governor was probably unsettling. Maybe they will take him up on their offer to leave the state.

While the comment from the Roman Catholic bishop is appreciated and on the mark, the apparent sellout of the Greek Orthodox Church – a confession 1,000 years older, and historically far more traditional than any other Christian confession in existence, shows that the problem is very severe. If the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of the US wishes to prove their stand is with Christ and not with the world, they ought to start at least by revoking these Athenogoras Awards given to pro-abortionist leaders.

However, this occurrence with the Greek Orthodox Church is not representative of the sum total of all of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Most of the existing Orthodox jurisdictions exist in former Soviet states which experienced severe religious persecution. Now the Church stands strong in these countries, amazingly so, and the populations of the people who are churchgoers and clergy are strongly outspoken on such matters.

The anti-Christian rhetoric in the United States jumped several notches in the week between January 18 and January 25 this year. It is vital for believers and Church leaders to make their own strong statement, lest their silence be taken as assent for the latest persecution of Christians to continue.

Rush Limbaugh also discussed the matter of why this is happening with one of his listeners. In this exchange shown in transcript format, the radio host, who is not publicly associated with any Christian denomination, nonetheless got it exactly right in this discussion.

RUSH: …To me, it’s the fundamental question: Who in the world could want this? Who in the world could advocate for it. Who in the world could start poisoning young kids’ minds that cues they’re the ones that have to grow up and have the abortions in the first place. What do you have to do to erase the God and the conscience from young people that you get hold of starting at kindergarten? Who would want this and why? What is the possible benefit to this? Particularly —

CALLER: I think it’s what you talked about earlier. They want to erase God right out of their lives, right out of society. They don’t want to answer to a God. They’re void of any kind of wisdom. It just doesn’t make sense at all, and the Bible says, “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.”

RUSH: Well, now, you’re getting close.

CALLER: Well, take God out of the picture, take God off his rightful throne and leave man to his ways, and we’re gonna end up right where we’re at.

RUSH: So you would say… If I may paraphrase, you would say that part of this is an open-faced defiance of God?

It certainly is. And no nation which does this succeeds for very long.

 

 

 

 

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Vera Gottlieb
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Vera Gottlieb

The day men can also get pregnant, that is the day when men would have the right to tell a woman what she can/can’t do with her body. I don’t think men will ever be able to endure the pain of giving birth…

Hans Anphete
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Hans Anphete

They have to endure the pain of pretty much everything else, though, mostly without complaining.

Regula
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Regula

I am entirely pro abortion. But thereason abortion should be legal is to protect the woman’s life and reproductive health. That means abortions should be performed only by qualified professionals in an environment suitable for the procedure. Women are vulnerable and the right for non medical doctors to perform abortions should be limited so as to keep women safe, especially those of lesser means. While there are situations in which abortion right before birth may be justified – like when a baby would be born so damaged that life would be too painful to bear. But that is the exception,… Read more »

Tom
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Tom

Aren’t you lucky your mother didn’t agree with this view and insist on her “right to choose”?

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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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