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In Drastic Reversal, Trump Orders Full Withdrawal From Syria After “Victory Over ISIS”

Will America finally exit Syria? Is Trump belatedly making good on his campaign promises?

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Via Zerohedge…


update 2: A troop withdrawal appears already underway after a Pentagon official said it would happen “quickly”.

White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders has issued a formal statement on troop withdrawal from Syria: “We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign.”

Moments after President Trump confirmed reports of US pullout via Twitter saying “We have defeated ISIS in Syria,” Pentagon officials said the president “ordered full US troop withdrawal from Syria,” and that this will be “rapid” — apparently already beginning, per a Reuters breaking report“All U.S. State Department personnel are being evacuated from Syria within 24 hours – official.”

The full White House statement issued Wednesday late morning:

Meanwhile Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. has vowed to continue combating Iran in Syria if US forces leave. Russia has alternately said “Syria will stabilize” should the thousands of American troops stationed there exit.

***

update: It’s official, within an hour after the first headline the president tweeted “We have defeated ISIS in Syria”and in reference to reports of a planned US troop withdrawal from Syria which unnamed officials say is to be initiated “immediately,” he added that the terror group’s defeat was “my only reason for being there”.

Minutes after the WSJ first broke the story, The Washington Post confirmed the following through a defense official:

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a decision that has not yet been announced, said the decision would include the entire force of more than 2,000 U.S. service members. It was made on Tuesday, the official said.

President Trump has long promised to conclude the campaign against the Islamic State and has questioned the value of costly and dangerous military missions overseas.

***

The WSJ just reported a monumental and historic reversal in White House policy on Syria, revealing Wednesday morning the Pentagon is preparing to withdraw all forces from northeastern Syria “immediately”:

In an abrupt reversal, the U.S. military is preparing to withdraw its forces from northeastern Syria, people familiar with the matter said Wednesday, a move that throws the American strategy in the Middle East into turmoil.

U.S. officials began informing partners in northeastern Syria of their plans to begin immediately pulling American forces out of the region where they have been trying to wrap up the campaign against Islamic State, the people said.

The WSJ notes the complete 180 reversal in policy, which just days ago was reiterated by officials as an “indefinite” American presence in Syria in order to “counter Iran” while bolstering Kurdish and Arab SDF forces in the East (the YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces), comes following a phone call last week between President Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

For the past week Erdogan has threatened to launch a full-scale cross border assault on US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria, which Turkey has long considered an terrorist extension of the outlawed PKK. This would potentially bring American troops and advisers under fire, who’ve found themselves in the awkward position since entering Syria of training Syrian Kurdish militias on the one hand, and coordinating broadly with a NATO ally on the other.

Perhaps Trump finally took full stock of the fact that the prior planned “indefinite” presence of some 4000 American troops was recipe for a quagmire sure to be Washington’s next Afghan or Iraq style “endless war”?

As one recent intelligence study put it“The prospect of US being militarily involved in Syria, caught in middle of one of most complex conflicts in recent memory, with shifting objectives & ambiguous endgame, has been met with congressional indifference and public apathy.” 

Will America finally exit Syria? Is Trump belatedly making good on his campaign promises?

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Olivia KrothZhangTheCelotajsYou can call me ALWesaf Recent comment authors
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Blue Pilgrim
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Blue Pilgrim

If the US is going to attack Iran it would not want it’s troops in Syria to be easily hit in retaliation.

voza0db
Guest
voza0db

That’s not a real problem for them because the USofT as bases around Iran anyway…

You can call me AL
Guest
You can call me AL

You may have forgotten but China and Russia vowed to defend Iran. The US are out os Syria, because they lost and everybody knows that, In the first few years of their illegal presence they assisted ISIS and Turkey in stealing Syrian Oil, only when the Russians bombed the hell out of the convoys and actually won the war against ISIS (in general), did it even contemplate leaving – please also remember that the US has trained up 50,000 equivalent vermin to ISIS, to continue fighting.

voza0db
Guest
voza0db

CIA terrorists are going to have a busy Christmas week with the preparations for another FAKE CHEM ATTACK!

JPH
Guest
JPH

Hezbollah knows how to end unwanted US presence.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Beirut_barracks_bombings
Guess US finally realized too that their continued unwanted presence amounted to invitation for a repeat.

Tom Welsh
Guest
Tom Welsh

Ah yes, the standard Pentagon method of ending its unwinnable wars: declare victory and go home. As they did in Vietnam.

Monteg3534
Guest
Monteg3534

So who’s complaining? What’s not to like about declaring victory and going home? Going home is all that matters.

Shaun Ramewe
Guest
Shaun Ramewe

*Yes but well done Syria, Russia and Iran for actually being the real, true and only victors against the lying ZioAmerican war criminals and all their terrorists brands, including ISIS.

You can call me AL
Guest
You can call me AL

+ the Gulf war I and II.

Cudwieser
Guest
Cudwieser

America aren’t withdrawing. The are redeploying.

SIDELINE:

If America redeploy, where will they redeploy to next (and at what odds)

Venezuela (5:1)
Another Middle Eastern Country (10:1)
South China Sea (6:1)
the Balkins (25:1)
Ukraine (50:1)
Cuba (100:1)

monteg3534
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monteg3534

Q: Where are we NOT deploying?
A: Syria, Yemen, Korea.
3 down and many more to go, but it’s a start.

Cudwieser
Guest
Cudwieser

They’ll find an excuse to help the saudi’s in Yemen. They’d love to get at North Korea and are unofficially deployed in the South. As for Syria they know they’re on a hiding to nothing and likely need their ‘resources’ elsewhere as the state of play with Russia and other interests have shifted to new fronts. Iran is now a little safer (relatively) with Syria as a Buffer, but with the EU in crisis and the Balkins getting hotter, not to mention the Ukraine being the currant thorn in Russia’s side, I suspect the US can see a wound forming… Read more »

Shaun Ramewe
Guest
Shaun Ramewe

Another part of Syria as FSA sickos – probably Idlib.

You can call me AL
Guest
You can call me AL

AFRICA + Afghanistan.

Shaun Ramewe
Guest
Shaun Ramewe

*All the Zio-lying illegal-invading false-flagging terrorist-abetting civilian-murdering resource-thieving ZOG-Yank coward-pervert war criminals have ever sneakily done is the sly opposite to what they say.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

I do not believe that US troops will really leave Syria. They are a pest, once there, for always there. If they really leave, they will order ISIS to continue the dirty job of chemical attacks, and other cowardly murdering of Syrian patriots.

Shaun Ramewe
Guest
Shaun Ramewe

And fellow illegal-invader, terrorist-abettor, civilian-murderer, war-criminal, liar-thief Turkey and its slyly remorphed ISIS/Nusra/Sham/etc FSA sicko terrorist armies will continue to sneakily assist.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Tass reports: “Militants shell Syria’s Latakia, Hama, Aleppo over past 24 hours”
More:
http://tass.com/world/1036895
Who are these so-called militants? US proxies continuing the dirty work of the US troops who are “going home”. The US disseminates fake news, as always. Not a single word of what the write or say is true. They are pathological liars.

TEP
Guest
TEP

Trump has tried to order US troop withdrawal from Syria before, only to be undermined/over-ruled by the deep state who line up expert govt officials to make statements to the contrary. Come on guys, do you really believe Trump conducts US policy? 100 days is a long time, I suspect in 200 days time the anglozionists – with false flags or otherwise – will still have troops in Syria working hard to destroy and destabilise any peace. I’m not a pessimist, I’m a realist. Anglozionists always double down, always.

Wesaf
Guest
Wesaf

Maybe it is more to the point that it is becoming more difficult, selling weapons to the enemy and then sending your troops against them.Maybe better to sell weapons and make your profits.

TheCelotajs
Guest
TheCelotajs

White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders has issued a formal statement on troop withdrawal from Syria: “We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign.”

No they are not because he is replacing them with uncontrollable paid mercenaries just like he is doing in Afghanistan that way the United States is no longer responsible if they commit war crimes. George W. Bush did it in Iraq using “Blackwater Security aka Academi Company now” until Iraq kicked them out for killing incent civilians.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

The Syrian Government does not believe the US troops will pull out of their country. TASS reports what the Syrian Ambassador to the UN said:

Syria has doubts about US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from the country’s territory, Syria’s UN Amabassador Bashar Ja’afari has told reporters.
“At first we need to see if this decision is genuine or not,” he said. ‘The American decision was referring us to a delay of between 60 and 100 days so let is wait and see if this decision is being implemented genuinely.”

More:
http://tass.com/world/1037280

Olivia Kroth
Guest

There is no “victory over ISIS” because militants keep shelling Syrian cities. Who are these militants? Of course, it is Daesh and ISIS! TASS reports:

Three Syrian soldiers wounded in shellings by militants — Russian reconciliation center
World December 21, 23:34 UTC+3
Militants operating in the Idlib de-escalation zone shelled settlements in the Latakia and Hama governorates, as well as parts of the Aleppo city…

More:
http://tass.com/world/1037468

Zhang
Guest
Zhang

While it’s good to see the US withdrawal, it’s incredibly insulting to see the US claim credit for other people’s work. ISIS is gone not because of anything the US did, but because of the efforts by the Syrian army, Russia and the Iranian militias.

The US did everything they could to fund and help the terrorists. Trump is merely cutting their losses after the ruthless Obama regime change scheme failed.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

True! And by the way ISIS is still active in Syria, shelling cities. SANA reports about it (Syrian-Arab News Agency).
US Americans are big liars. As soon as they open their mouth, a lie comes 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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