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Did Trump Put The Deep State On Notice With Syrian Withdrawal?

Trump withdrawing US troops from Syria strongly suggests that the real estate magnate from Manhattan just might be the real deal.

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Authored by Robert Bridge via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The reason so many people continue to misread the actions of US President Donald Trump is because they tend to confuse him with the actions and behaviors of past US administrations, where indiscriminate death and destruction was America’s calling card around a shell-shocked planet. Although certainly erratic in his actions, Trump thus far has been predictable on one score: keeping the powers-that-be guessing.

Last week, Donald Trump, acting unilaterally and within full power as Commander-in-Chief, derailed the Deep State’s plans for yet another disastrous regime change operation, announcing the withdrawal of US troops from Syria.

In a video released via Twitter, the American leader announced that, “We have won against ISIS…and it’s time for our troops to come home.”

In the not-so-distant past, such an announcement would have been greeted with cheers since it is generally agreed that war is – at least for those doing the grunt work – a very unpleasant enterprise. But the times have changed, together with the national agenda, and instead of applause filling the airwaves, the American people can hear nothing but the screeching of incensed hawks on both sides of the political aisle. That screeching is the sound of the Deep State expressing its deep displeasure and even pain.

Trump withdrawing US troops from Syria strongly suggests that the real estate magnate from Manhattan just might be the real deal, a rabble-rousing populist delivered to the White House by an army of voters across an angry and divided country that are tired of traveling snake-oil salesmen deceiving them with empty promises.

Is Trump the real deal?

There are two schools of thought on Donald J. Trump. The first says that he is just another typical politician beholden to the puppet masters of the Establishment, dutifully carrying out orders from above, albeit with a bit more bluff and bluster than past frauds. After all, the argument goes, there is no possible way any individual could reach the Oval Office without the full support of the establishment – media, military, intelligence, etc.

Although that position has some merit, it underestimates the full extent of the desperation that has been gnawing away at the American heartland for many years. Such sentiments peaked out after it became painfully apparent that Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, despite all the sweet talk of ‘hope and change,’ was no different from the others, and in many cases even worse.

At the same time, it overestimates the ability of the deep state to control every aspect of the political process. This explains why Russia was dragged into the picture – the Deep State needed to provide some sort of alibi as to how Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election, as well as provide an 11 time-zone smokescreen to conceal her myriad wrongdoings.

The other school of thought says that Trump is the real deal, one of those rare, irresistible forces of political nature who, by sheer exertion of will, character and – dare I say it – genius, ascends the misty mountaintops despite, or because of, the powerful forces aligned against him. In other words, the Trump phenomenon is an open window of opportunity to salvage what is left of the American political system, and the elite, fully aware as to what is at stake, is doing everything to destroy it.

The reason for belonging to the second camp of thought is twofold. First, if Trump truly were just another political cutout in the Republican-Democrat, two-party dichotomy, the mainstream media would not be so fiercely committed to destroying this man and everything he stands for. It’s no exaggeration to say that never before in US history has a political leader attracted so much vitriolic, spleen-bursting venom from the so-called Fourth Estate, itself just another compromised arm of the deep state. Not only is he vilified 24/7 in nearly every mainstream media outlet, with Fox News as perhaps the only major exception, the attacks continue when the sun goes down and the merchants of late-night ‘comedy’ take over, spinning their tired anti-Trump ‘jokes’ night after shameless night. When has comedy in America ever been so mean-spirited? The same could be said of Hollywood, where the award ceremonies have turned into marathon hate rallies. Meanwhile, even across the pond in Britain the anti-Trump crusade continues, which seems rather odd given that a foreign country would be expected to present a more balanced version of reality. This concerted attack on one individual suggests something more than hate and loathing; it has the smell of palpable fear.

Another reason to believe that Trump is the real deal is because if he were just another political stooge, doing the bidding of special interests, then certainly we’d have been at war by now. It is easy to forget since the media never mentions it, but America has not experienced such a dry spell in full-blown military action like this for many years, since Barack and Hillary destroyed the most developed country in Africa and called it a peace.

And who could forget how giddy the establishment became last year when Trump gave them their first taste of bloodshed with a limited missile strike on Syria? Hopeful of a military conflict, neo-Liberal wolves in sheep clothing, like CNN analyst Fareed Zakaria who declared that “Trump became president last night” following the unauthorized strike on the sovereign state. MSNBC anchor Brian Williams, not to be outdone, referred to the “beauty” of the nighttime airstrike three times in 30 seconds.

Today, the ‘peace-loving’ Liberals have once again betrayed their true colors, not to mention masters, by rebuking Trump for having the audacity to bring our troops home from a warzone.

Does all of this mean that Trump – who may have been compelled to withdraw from Syria as an act of vengeance against the Deep State for not only pursuing him with ‘Russiagate’ for the last two years, but for refusing to fund his Mexican Wall – will continue to endorse non-military solutions to global problems? Not at all. In fact, we may actually live to see more militaristic mayhem under this president than from his predecessors.

Already, the situation between Ukraine and Russia, for example, where Kiev is deliberately provoking Moscow, looks ripe for some sort of escalation of events that could trigger a chain reaction of unfathomable consequences.

Whatever the case may be, one thing looks certain right now, and that is Trump’s newfound desire to unilaterally call the shots in his presidency. The Deep State must now be rightly wondering what Trump could do next: order the US military to build his wall on the Mexico border? Initiate indictments against the Clinton Foundation over “pay to play” allegations, among other things? Shut down the Federal Reserve and bring back the US Treasury to print America’s money supply, as called for in the US Constitution? Everything is now on the table as far as Trump’s options go, and that must certainly be of no small concern to the powers-that-be in Washington DC.

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Olivia KrothRick Olivermy2 centsSmokingeagleReg Recent comment authors
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Olivia Kroth
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I like this article. My favourite sentence:

“…America has not experienced such a dry spell in full-blown military action like this for many years, since Barack and Hillary destroyed the most developed country in Africa and called it a peace.”

Amen. Let the dry spell of peace continue. No US involvement in the Ukraine-Russia conflict, please. And the US military can help building the wall, President Trump’s pet project.

Shaun Ramewe
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Shaun Ramewe

Zio-liar war-criminal Swamp-Chump simply does what he is told by his loser Deep-State sicko handlers. Pro-democracy anti-terrorist Syria, Russia and Iran won – end of subject.

euclides de oliveira pinto neto
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euclides de oliveira pinto neto

Se tentar retomar a impressão do dólar para o Tesouro, Trump não chega no mês de junho… sionistas khazarians, donos da colonia USA Inc. e do FED, detonam ele…

Kaput
Member

talvez o bolsonaro saia mais cedo ehehehheheheh

Tjoe
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Tjoe

Germany threw out the Wiemar Republic debt money bankers and made an equity currency that brought all Germans (including Jews) out of poverty. That’s why the headline of the March 24, 1933 London Daily Express reads “JUDEA DECLARES WAR ON GERMANY’ subhead “JEWS OF THE WORLD UNITE IN ACTION”…just so he knows what the Jewish bankers did when the last country made a non-debt money to benefit it’s citizens.

Then there is JFK….who made US non-debt money….so they blew his head nearly off.

penrose
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penrose

“If the Nation can issue a dollar bond it can issue a dollar bill. The element that makes the bond good makes the bill good also. The difference between the bond and the bill is that the bond lets the money broker collect twice the amount of the bond and an additional 20%. Whereas the currency, the honest sort provided by the Constitution pays nobody but those who contribute in some useful way. It is absurd to say our Country can issue bonds and cannot issue currency. Both are promises to pay, but one fattens the usurer and the other… Read more »

Smokingeagle
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Smokingeagle

Let us not forget that the “Real Deal” has separated thousands of immigrant children from their parents, disallowed them contact with their parents, and still has them caged up. Some children have died from shock and physical abuse. “The average length of stay for a child detained ranges from 100 to 240 days, and these children are often held far from family members and without legal representation. Up-to-date numbers showing how many children are currently being held by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) aren’t readily available. Even more shockingly, the DHS itself doesn’t have an accurate database for tracking… Read more »

penrose
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penrose

America doesn’t need more illegal immigrants. What America needs is to bring the far-flung military home and to stop meddling everywhere on Earth.

Corrupt, Crooked, War Criminal deals like Hillary Clinton (Bill Clinton, George Bush Jr., Obama, John McCain, et al) the world can do without.

Smokingeagle
Guest
Smokingeagle

Whether the US needs more immigrants or not is beside the point. The point is that thousands of innocent and thoroughly traumatized children have been separated from their parents and caged up. This is nothing but gross cruelty.

If the US had not “meddled” in their countries’ affairs many of them would not have been forced to leave home in the first place. US meddling in North Africa and the Middle East is what has created the tides of refugees heading for Europe.

Rick Oliver
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Rick Oliver

Smokingeagle , you forgot to mention that it was Barack Obama and his Democratic Party that brought in ” Bringing in children from Central America ” , ( Child Trafficking )The Dems were even talking then about the urgent need for a wall !! Funny how everyone forgets these things.Now that Trump won the race for President , Deep State throws the blame onto Trump , because they still have their tits in a tangle over Hils losing !!! hehehehe

TEP
Guest
TEP

“Did Trump Put The Deep State On Notice With Syrian Withdrawal?”

I hope so, but given how quickly Trump initially capitulated I believe reality suggests that the headline is just wishful thinking.

Kaput
Member

Duran why you making waste my time…………….. this is a sole bis. between isrhell and SYRIA ………….

voza0db
Guest
voza0db

Please! Don’t be naive… mutTrump is just another jester under the control of the Secular Ruling Families.

Reg
Guest
Reg

My view is both alternative interpretations outlined above are wrong and oversimplify. It is possible to despise both Hilary and Trump. In essence Trump and the Clinton’s represent two types of rentier capitalism. This is the result of the triumph of neo-liberalism and the contradictions within capitalism. The crushing of the working class has resulted in their asset stripping. Debt and interest has resulted in the ruling class moving on to and asset stripping the middle class and the productive manufacturing sector. This has left only the two unproductive parasitical sectors battling over the falling rate of profit, the financial… Read more »

my2 cents
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my2 cents

Professor Kelly from Wharton says “Trump was the dumbest goddamn student he ever had”.

Rick Oliver
Guest
Rick Oliver

Just love this crazy cat with the orange hair! He is actually turning into a goddamn President !! Thousands of Democratic bottm lips heard flumping on the ground from his ” Gonna get back at you Basterds, just watch me !!!” Next move Bubba , Shut the Federal Reserve down and start printing Dollars again !! Make America Great Again !! A brilliant idea to have all the redundant servicemen build that Mexican Wall . Try getting your figures correct about the numbers still in Syria and how many exactly, are still in Iraq and Afghanistan , none of it… Read more »

Olivia Kroth
Guest

The wall, yes.
Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Venezuela need a wall too. A big, huge, long wall against US military intrusion. If only this was possible. The whole world needs to be walled in to keep the US imperialists out.

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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

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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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