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America’s Billionaires Battle Each Other for Political Control Over Europe

Two ‘philanthropists’ will now be fighting for control over Europe’s political markets (or institutions).

Eric Zuesse

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Authored by Eric Zuesse. Originally posted at strategic-culture.org:


A contest for political control of Europe is gearing up between two American teams, one headed by the long-established George Soros, and the other now being set up by the upstart Steve Bannon, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign-manager. Soros has long led America’s liberal billionaires in controlling Europe, and Bannon is now organizing a team of America’s conservative billionaires to wrest that control from the liberal ones. Whereas Soros claims to represent the public’s interests, Bannon claims to represent the population’s interests — that’s the ‘populist’ side of America’s billionaires, versus the established ‘public-interest’ (Soros) side of them.

Two American brands of ‘philanthropists’ will thus now be fighting for control over Europe’s political markets (or institutions).

It’s a battle to serve either ’the public’ or else ’the people’, and each political brand will be struggling to keep Europe as an ally in American billionaires’ war against Russia (which all American billionaires want to defeat), but each team does this from a different ideological perspective, one being ‘liberal’, and the other being ‘conservative’.

Just as there is liberal-conservative political polarization between billionaires domestically within a nation, there also is such political polarization between billionaires regarding their given nation’s foreign policies; and America’s billionaires are politically very highly polarized, both nationally and, increasingly, internationally as well. None of them is progressive, or left-populist. The only ‘populism’ that any billionaire currently promotes is right-‘populist’, which is Bannon’s team. (Stalin was left-‘populist’; and Hitler was right-‘populist’; but neither dictator really was at all populist, which is simply democratic and against the aristocracy.) Both teams demonize each other within the United States for control over the U.S. Government, but both are now competing against each other internationally for control over the entire world, by two different brands: liberal versus conservative. Both brands endorse ‘democracy’ or “the allies”; and both support spreading that ‘democracy’ by means of invading and occupying ‘dictatorships’ or “the enemies.” In Europe, this is called “imperialism”; in America, it is called “neo-conservatism” or “neoconservatism”; but no American billionaire actively opposes it (because to oppose it would be to oppose the aristocracy itself, the billionaires’ control over the Government — the very system that has been enormously successful for them, far more than the public itself recognizes).

After World War II, America’s billionaires took control of, first western Europe, and, then, after 1990, once the Soviet Union and its communism and its Warsaw Pact military alliance ended, they gradually took all of Europe. They did this not only by expanding NATO after 1990 (even as its mirror-organization the Warsaw Pact had disappeared and thus NATO’s nominal raison d’etre was actually gone) but by means of the EU, which was created in the 1950s as a joint effort by American and European billionaires and their agents — all of them being anti-Russian (or, as the public line at the time went, ‘anti-communist’). Their real aim was conquest, first of all absorbing all allies of Russia, and then ultimately of absorbing Russia itself — complete global conquest.

The public announcement of this new war by American billionaires for control over Europe, appeared on 20 July 2018, in the U.S. neoconservative (i.e., pro-imperialism) neoliberal propaganda-site, The Daily Beast (it’s pro-Soros, anti-Bannon; and so says that Soros has “given away $32 billion to liberal causes” instead of “paid $32 billion to liberal causes” — for isolating and ultimately defeating Russia). This “liberal” article, against the “conservative” Bannon, opened as follows:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/inside-bannons-plan-to-hijack-europe-for-the-far-right

HELLFIRE CLUB

Inside Bannon’s Plan to Hijack Europe for the Far-Right

Bannon is moving to Europe to set up The Movement, a populist foundation to rival George Soros and spark a right-wing revolt across the continent.

NICO HINES  07.20.18 9:57 PM ET LONDON — Steve Bannon plans to go toe-to-toe with George Soros and spark a right-wing revolution in Europe.

Trump’s former White House chief advisor told The Daily Beast that he is setting up a foundation in Europe called The Movement which he hopes will lead a right-wing populist revolt across the continent starting with the European Parliament elections next spring. …

Bannon has spent his career after the U.S. military as an agent for various U.S. billionaires, most recently for the ones that backed Donald Trump in the Republican primaries and so bought the Party’s nomination for him. Whereas the chief brain behind Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign was Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, the chief brain behind Donald Trump’s was Steve Bannon who had been hired for this purpose by billionaire mathematician and private-equity chief Robert Mercer who partnered on the operation with billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel. After Trump won the nomination, Bannon stayed on and his operation came to be funded most by the U.S.-Israeli casino billionaire couple, Miriam and Sheldon Adelson. But all of the Republican billionaires (Jewish, evangelical Christian, and even some otherwise) were big supporters of Israel. Israel, of course, is allied with the Sauds, who own Saudi Arabia; and both Israel and the Sauds are even more focused on destroying Iran than on destroying Russia (the U.S. aristocracy’s chief goal). Only America’s billionaires are obsessed to conquer Russia. They’ve been that way ever since World War II ended.

As the columnist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard accurately summarized in Britain’s Telegraph, “The European Union always was a CIA project, as Brexiteers discover”:

US intelligence funded the European movement secretly for decades, and worked aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into the project. 

As this newspaper first reported when the treasure became available, one memorandum dated July 26, 1950, reveals a campaign to promote a full-fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen William J Donovan, head of the American wartime Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the Central Inteligence Agency. 

The key CIA front was the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), chaired by Donovan. Another document shows that it provided 53.5 per cent of the European movement’s funds in 1958. The board included Walter Bedell Smith and Allen Dulles, CIA directors in the Fifties, and a caste of ex-OSS officials who moved in and out of the CIA.

Bill Donovan, legendary head of the war-time OSS, was later in charge of orchestrating the EU project.

Papers show that it [ACUE] treated some of the EU’s ‘founding fathers’ as hired hands, and actively prevented them finding alternative funding that would have broken reliance on Washington.

There is nothing particularly wicked about this. The US acted astutely in the context of the Cold War. The political reconstruction of Europe was a roaring success.

However, his opinion at the end there isn’t entirely true, because at the same time, the CIA was working with thousands of secret Nazi and Fascist agents in Europe, whom the OSS had secretly collected and protected at the end of WWII and who continued secretly throughout the Cold War to carry out CIA operations to subvert not just communist agents in Europe but, even more than that, to subvert democratic agents in Europe who favored not subordination to the U.S. but instead the democratic sovereignty of Europeans, over their own land’s politics. Therefore, from the very get-go, the EU was a means to impose, upon Europeans, control by U.S. international corporations, for the benefit of corporate America. That was the overriding purpose of the EU — subordination to America’s billionaires, no authentic democracy. Vassalage within the U.S. empire was and is the goal of them all — to conquer, first, Europe, and then, the world.

Evans-Pritchard urges his readers: “In my view, the Brexit camp should be laying out plans to increase UK defence spending by half to 3pc of GDP, pledging to propel Britain into the lead as the undisputed military power of Europe.” This pro-imperialist view of his, is an extension of that by Cecil Rhodes late in the 1800s, for a UK-U.S. global empire in which those two imperial powers — the old one and the new one — would gradually take control over the entire world. George Soros has been working for that objective feverishly. Steve Bannon is against that ‘internationalist’ viewpoint, and he favors instead the ‘nationalist’ one, but in both the liberal and the conservative versions, America’s billionaires will take in an increasing proportion of the world’s wealth. The contest between these two teams is over how best to achieve this objective.

There is also a second reason why America’s billionaires are rabid against today’s Russia, above and beyond that of America’s billionaires demanding to control the world. This reason is that, under Vladimir Putin, Russia’s policy has been to demand that all billionaires, both domestic and foreign, accept that in Russia, the welfare of the Russian public takes precedence over and above the welfare of any and all billionaires. This is a principle that billionaires everywhere, and especially the American ones who prior to Putin’s leadership were robbing the Russian federal treasury, cannot tolerate. So: in siding with America’s billionaires, Europeans have been siding also with billionaires as a class — siding with the super-rich — against the public, everywhere. Why would Europeans be doing such a thing? Aren’t they supposed to have at least some degree of choice in such a matter? Aren’t they supposed to live in a democracy?

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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colum

This’ll be sh*t. Two loons and a lot to lose. Anyone good at dodge ball?

Jane Karlsson
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Jane Karlsson

Yes it is very interesting that the Europeans side with the super rich against the public. This article about synarchy may explain it. Synarchy: The Hidden Hand Behind the European Union …. every major step in the development of the European Union from a simple trading body to a borderline superstate can be traced back to a very specific ideology, which upholds rule by an elite from behind the scenes. … …. the ideal synarchist state would be a rigid social hierarchy topped by an elite that is predestined to rule – absolutely at odds with the then emerging concepts… Read more »

Isabella Jones
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Isabella Jones

Again,this speaks to the ongoing campaign to have Russia hand herself over to those who have been seeking to get their hands on her wealth for generations. There’s more than one way of going to war – mostly these American/English “aristos” of wealth and power realise that they’ve already tried to invade Russia by various means, to no avail – and now Russia is awake up to this. However, by using Perception Management **, by seeming to be holding out a hand of friendship and telling Russia “we no longer see you as drunken peasants living in mud hovel; you’re… Read more »

voza0db
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I can only wait that the two groups exterminate each other… And that they don’t leave any traces of their existence.

Deenstryk
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Deenstryk

Important article Eric, however I would have linked Bannon’s European activity specifically to the Russia-China goal of a mutli-polar world that encourages national sovereignty.

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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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