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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Sanctions

Trump has -- belatedly -- embraced the concept of sanctions, but only because Putin's antics have made any other course of action intolerable. Never forget that, throughout his presidency, Trump has refused to enforce the sanctions already on the books. And never forget the wide chasm between what Trump says and what he does.

Here's something else you should not forget: CIA Director Mike Pompeo briefly enjoyed a rep as a Russia hardliner because, unlike his boss, he dared to say a few words critical of Putin. In response, Viktor Kamenev (a contributor to Russia's most influential military journal) wrote that Pompeo was a "player" who had to speak against Putin for political reasons, and that what counted were not Pompeo's words but his "hands and feet."

True that. As with Pompeo, so with Trump.

Kamanev also repeated the ancient Greek aphorism that the first casualty of any war is the truth. Note that he believes that Russia and the United States are at war. Note that he considers Pompeo -- our CIA Director -- to be on Russia's side in that war.

Tellingly, RT has reacted to these new sanctions in a very muted fashion. The anti-American comments deserve your attention. The Russians have clearly bought into "Globalist" conspiracy theories -- and just as clearly, they loathe democracy.

Speaking of a loathing for democracy...

Jared and the Russians. Marcy Wheeler noticed something in the House Dem response to the Republican intelligence committee report on Russiagate.
In the section describing why HPSCI should know more about the Trump campaign’s digital operations, the report reveals that Jared Kushner sent the Trump campaign Assistant Director of Data Analysis, Avi Berkowitz, to go meet with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak a month after the election, around the same time Russia was floating back channels so banks could bail out Kushner’s failing family real estate empire.
Imagine what the Republicans would have said if any Dem had behaved in this fashion.
Before we fell off the end of the political earth, that would have justified appointment of a special counsel. What is a GOP president-elect doing working so closely with senior Russian government figures and why is he working so hard to hide it? The meeting with Kislyak is odd as hell.
Marcy thinks that Trump habitually uses deniable "peons" like Avi Berkowitz as cut-outs.
Using people too junior to appreciate the context of what they’re being asked to do, or too conflicted or junior to say no and keep their posts, is a Trump specialty. Even Jared fits that bill.
So does Papadopoulos. Keep this factor in mind next time some Trumpian declares that so-and-so was a mere "coffee boy."

(Some of you may remember Lindsay Anderson's great film O Lucky Man! I'm thinking of the sequence in which a wealthy international manipulator screws over Malcolm McDowell, an underling with naive dreams of rising in the organization. Maybe Trump saw that movie and got ideas.)
Comments:
what counted were not Pompeo's words but his "hands and feet."

Substituting Pompeo's name for any politician (*cough* John McCain), I have no idea why the media doesn't cover politics this way. They value words much greater than action.
 
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