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Trump Declines to Sanction Russia, Spurring Speculation about Putin Hold


Trump Declines to Sanction Russia, Spurring Speculation about Putin Hold

Juan Cole

The Trump administration has refused to implement new sanctions on the Russian defense sector, as mandated by Congress’s “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,” or CAATSA. Congress passed the bill last year and it was reluctantly finally signed by Trump in August. It is vaguely worded enough, however, that Trump’s White House attorneys appear to have concluded that it need not actually be implemented.


Russia Russia Russia!!! Such incredible bullshit.


Maybe for as idiotic as he is even he realizes that sanctions lead to war and the last thing humanity needs is to have two nuclear powers going to war with each other.


Let’s be clear here. The Executive branch is refusing to fulfill his Constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws passed by the Legislative branch, and signed into law by himself. When you reach that point, you have a dictator. The Executive does not have the legal right to pick and choose which laws he feels like faithfully executing.

If the other two branches do not immediately deal with this incredibly serious Constitutional violation on the part of this President, a chilling precedent will be set that accelerates us along the path to tyranny/authoritarianism that we are already well on our way.


How often have we been told that the US ought to be run more like a business? This is how Trump has always run his businesses.


I agree but I think this situation also holds a disturbing implication that congress can keep ratcheting up tensions with nuclear powers with no consequence. Trump does have a Constitutional duty to uphold, it is just a shame it has to be in the face of warmongers.


This was a law that passed by large majorities in the Senate and House to deal with a targeted attack on our electoral process by a foreign power. Our president is refusing to abide by the law that he signed. Combine that with an administration that is intent on reorganizing the DOJ and FBI as personal protection rackets and revenge executors for the president, and you have something very ugly staring you in the face.


But such attacks haven’t been definitively proven yet. Wouldn’t it have been more wise to wait until the Mueller investigation was done before imposing such sanctions?


These are very specifically targeted sanctions, most likely on oligarchs who control Russia’s very large fossil fuel industry. A fossil fuel industry second only to Saudi Arabia’s and capable of effecting world oil prices.

The unapplied sanctions on third parties doing business with these BFFs of Putin are aimed at banks.

Now, let me ask who has control over US foreign policy? If you answered our domestic fossil fuel and banking interests, you’d be right. Expect Congress to do some half-hearted whining and then do nothing. Their donations depend on doing nothing.


What kind of “proof” do you want? Hell, think about what the president is doing. Why would he do it? Peace? Really? My gawd. The president and his congressional acolytes are trying to take down an investigation and reorganize the DOJ to function as a legal protection racket. That’s not being done for nothing.

Blur lines of information, make the truth subjective, put everyone on the take, that’s how Putin’s oligarchic government operates. That’s what Trump wants to see here. And he’s getting help in multiple ways:


This very much like Rachel Maddow claiming that unless the US put more troops on the Russian border it “proof” that Trump was in the pocket of the Russians.

What next? Unless the USA launches a Nuclear strike on Russia and china it proof they have been co-opted by Russia?

This “speculation” Mr Cole points is very much like the Republicans did under Bush when they would leak fake intel to the press on Iraq and then when the press reported on it they would cite that newspaper article as proof of WMD’s. Mr Cole is engaging in speculation and then reporting on the speculation.

A peurile and pedestrian article fueled by the same groups of people who have been trying to demonize Russia for decades so as to ramp up another cold war. It akin to the British Minister who recently claimed Russia was planning to kill tens of thousands of British people by hacking the electrical grid.

These are generally followed by calls to increase military spending.

This no defense of Herr Trump . It merely pointing out how this Anti-russia hysteria demonstrates a media that is hopelessly compromised just as they claim Herr trump is.

Stick to the facts and not “speculation”.


The “progressive” lefts ever ready justification for backing the election of Trump. And support of putin.


I agree with you, and what you are talking about is a constitutional crisis, but here is the key sentence. “It is vaguely worded enough, however, that Trump’s White House attorneys appear to have concluded that it need not actually be implemented.” It sounds like this is something for the courts to decide. That is why we have three branches of government, not two. Whether it goes to court or is resolved in some other manner remains to be seen.


The mueller investigation is not into whether putin and co. engaged in such conduct, it is into the conduct of the Trump campaign and administration.


Not defending Trump. Just attacking his critics.


I believe the Mueller investigation is largely focused on whether there is a connection between Trump and the Russian interference with the election. There is no question that there was interference by Russia. Only some radical leftists seem to still be denying it despite all the evidence, particularly from companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter on how Russians used social media to spread fake news and also bought ads. Some of this was traced back to the Russian government and particularly the Internet Research Agency, the Russian troll army located in St. Petersburg.


Blur lines of truth, make the facts subjective. Check and check.

Trot out the usual boogiemen. Check.

Meanwhile, the Mueller investigation plods on…

And I’d hate to see the Justice Department become a protection racket for Trump. I mean, it’s already so busy protecting Wall St.


Normalize the abnormal because everyone’s a neoliberal who doesn’t think like me—check.


Trump is either guilty or he’s not.

All the dueling memos, dossiers, rumors of money laundering, porn stars, Russia-baiting, and finger-pointing at Assange so far amount to…um…not much. The Hillary emails are still there, featuring Tom Perez offering to spread bullshit about Bernie’s supporters–so nice of him. I’m glad those emails saw the light of day.

I didn’t normalize the abnormal. The internet and the American electorate did.


I know you don’t like Hillary, but the emails were mostly banal political nonsense, pegged for lefty outrage and headlines, but little more. We haven’t seen Bernie’s emails but I bet there are some not-nice meanie things in them too, like all campaigns. Secretly paying off porn stars one has an affair with after one’s wife had their first child—all good in Skeptic land (not really a Skeptic at all, just plays one).