No Planned Roll Back of US Sanctions on Russia

No Planned Roll Back of US Sanctions on Russia
by Stephen Lendman
What a difference an election makes.
Private citizen/later candidate Trump expressed respect for Vladimir Putin, suggesting they could become good friends.
Weeks after throwing his hat in the ring, he said “I think I’d get along very well with” him. “I just think so.”
Later in the campaign, he said if elected president, there wouldn’t be “the kind of problems that (we’re) having right now.”
“I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other towards defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect.”
“Wouldn’t it actually be a positive thing (to) have a good relationship with Putin…If we can…get along with Russia, that would be a tremendous thing.”
“…(T)here’s nothing I can think of that I’d rather do than have Russia friendly, as opposed to the way (things) are right now…”
How things changed post-inauguration. Addressing other NATO leaders in Brussels, Trump referred to the “Russian threat,” knowing none exists.
Traveling with him abroad, National Economic Council director Gary Cohn said “(w)e’re not lowering our sanctions on Russia.”
“If anything, we would probably look to get tougher…I think the president’s made it clear how the Russians could have the sanctions lifted…”
He means Moscow ending nonexistent “aggression,” irresponsibly jettisoning its Crimean Republic, halting its anti-terrorism campaign in Syria, and if not supporting America’s imperial agenda, at least not opposing it.
Unlike Trump and his neocon-infested administration, Putin is a man of honor and integrity, a peace champion, a world-class leader, not a scoundrel like heads of all US administrations, along with a rogue’s gallery of congressional leaders and bureaucrats.
US hostility toward Russia is longstanding, implacable, nothing in prospect suggesting improvement.
Fake accusations of aggression in Ukraine, annexing its territory, propping up Assad’s government, meddling in American and European elections, and other disinformation make improved bilateral relations unattainable.
As long as sovereign independent Russia exists, so will America’s hostility, regime change remaining longstanding US policy, eventual confrontation likely, risking possible nuclear war lunatic neocons in Washington think they can win.
Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark earlier said “(n)othing is more dangerous than the aggressive US/NATO troop movements right on the borders of Russia” – creating menacing flashpoint conditions as long as they’re there, likely greater numbers coming than any pullback.
Instead of prioritizing improved bilateral ties in the interest of world peace and stability, US policy fosters confrontation, risking war between the two dominant nuclear powers.
Deep mistrust on both sides exists, compromising cooperation on security matters, a nuclear arms race in prospect making things worse.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock, representing the likelihood of nuclear war and/or ecocide, stands at three minutes to midnight – one minute better than its 1953 low, following US and Soviet Russia hydrogen bomb tests.
Both sides are on hair-trigger alert. Possible nuclear war by accident or design should terrify everyone – the Trump administration doing nothing to step back from the brink.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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