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Trump Should Veto Congress’ Foolish New Sanctions Bill
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This week’s expected House vote to add more sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea is a prime example of how little thought goes into US foreign policy. Sanctions have become kind of an automatic action the US government takes when it simply doesn’t know what else to do.

No matter what the problem, no matter where on earth it occurs, the answer from Washington is always sanctions. Sanctions are supposed to force governments to change policies and do what Washington tells them or face the wrath of their people. So the goal of sanctions is to make life as miserable as possible for civilians so they will try to overthrow their governments. Foreign leaders and the elites do not suffer under sanctions. This policy would be immoral even if it did work, but it does not.

Why is Congress so eager for more sanctions on Russia? The neocons and the media have designated Russia as the official enemy and the military industrial complex and other special interests want to continue getting rich terrifying Americans into believing the propaganda.

Why, just weeks after the White House affirmed that Iran is abiding by its obligations under the nuclear treaty, does Congress pass additional sanctions anyway? Washington blames Iran for “destabilizing” Syria and Iraq by helping them fight ISIS and al-Qaeda. Does this make any sense at all?

When is the last time Iran committed a terrorist act on our soil? It hasn’t. Yet we learned from the declassified 28 pages of the Congressional 9/11 report that Saudi Arabia was deeply involved in the 2001 attacks against Washington and New York. Who has funded al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria for years? Saudi Arabia. Yet no one is talking about sanctions against that country. This is because sanctions are not about our security. They are about politics and special interests.

Why is Congress poised to add yet more sanctions on North Korea? Do they want the North Korean people to suffer more than they are already suffering? North Korea’s GDP is half that of Vermont – the US state with the lowest GDP! Does anyone believe they are about to invade us? There is much talk about North Korea’s ballistic missile program, but little talk about 30,000 US troops and weapons on North Korea’s border. For Washington, it’s never a threat if we do it to the other guy.

Here’s an alternative to doing the same thing over and over: Let’s take US troops out of North Korea after 70 years. The new South Korean president has proposed military talks with North Korea to try and reduce tensions. We should get out of the way and let them solve their own problems. If Iran and Russia want to fight ISIS and al-Qaeda at the invitation of their ally, Syria, why stand in the way? We can’t run the world. We are out of money.

President Trump was elected to pursue a new kind of foreign policy. If he means what he said on the campaign trail, he will veto this foolish sanctions bill and begin dismantling neocon control of his Administration.

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Donald Trump, Neocons, Russia 
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  1. Should, but won’t.

    • Replies: @A guy in Arizona
  2. Riyadh should have been bombed to a cinder decades ago. If the problem is related to Islam, the Wahhabists of Saudi Barbaria are always at the root.

  3. @TomSchmidt

    Not even a 1/100 chance?

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
  4. Randal says:

    Trump vetoing it would create yet another bubble of media and political establishment noise against him. That might even be useful if he needs a distraction from something else.

    Meanwhile, what’s happening with Sessions? I can understand Trump being annoyed with him for recusing himself from the Russia nonsense and allowing a special prosecutor to be set up, when arguably it would have been better to just openly laugh at the allegations from the beginning. Would there have been enough Republican traitors to get him impeached for doing so? But losing Sessions seems likely to seriously piss off another remaining chunk of his core support, unless he can find someone else who can satisfy the base and get past Congress, which seems unlikely.

    • Replies: @Flavius
  5. El Dato says:


    1) Hinder any natural gas project that the EU may have with Russia. Try to replace Russian natural gas with US-sourced natural gas (extracted by fracking, then transported by ship – a complex scheme compared to simply pipelining it in, even if through Ukraine or the Baltic Sea).

    2) Cause a revolt of the oligarchs against Putin if their pain level tips them from collaboration with Putin to kowtowing to Washington. However, history shows that Washington knows no loyalty and respects no-one, so there is a large inherent risk of doing so.

    3) Otherwise keep EU companies well leashed and at risk of losing large amounts of cash via lawfare at the slightest misstep out of sheer bloody-mindedness. I hear Siemens is now at the point where they request more sanctions because Russia moved their turbines to Crimea. If true, that would mean preferring that business be lost, possibly forever, rather than facing the uncertainty of punitive politicial decisions. Is this really a company one would like to do business with internationally.

  6. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Sanctions allow senators to posture and get campaign money. Voters have short memories and may remember some hot issue when it is shoved in their face enough times by the press. Nobody should expect consistent or rational behavior from senators since they do not demonstrate that. Russia, Iran, Saudi and others must have backchannel discussion with US people to say What did you do this time and when will it be over and we can get back to business.

  7. Whatever happened to our representative republic when those who govern us with our consent forge ahead with policies that most of us object to? This is taxation without representation that precedes the next American revolution. To whit:

    1. We don’t want to have an adversarial relationship with Russia.
    2. We don’t perceive Iran as a threat and should seek to trade with them
    3. We don’t perceive Syria as a threat and should cease warring with them
    4. Libya was no threat to us and we should not have been in their killing their leader
    5. Iraq was no threat to us and we had no business destroying that country
    6. We do not want our tax dollars being used to train and support ISIS
    7. We do not approve of our “special relationship” with Israel and their control of our pols
    8. We do not support staying in Afghanistan and shedding our blood for MIC profits
    9. We want our money spent at home to improve our well being and prosperity
    10. We don’t want the bulk of our tax dollars going into a $1 trillion military/security budget

    We all know the above and you could probably add a few more bullet points to the above. The problem is well understood, but no immediate solution is forthcoming.

    Where is that bottle of bourbon…

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  8. Greg Bacon says: • Website

    That Russian/Iranian sanctions bill will supposedly bring jobs to America thru the export of Natural Gas(NG), but that is a LIE. That was the ‘happy face’ put onto the bill to fool Americans.

    The reason why the vote totals were so lopsided is because Israel wanted this bill passed so they could muscle Russia out of the NG market, giving Europe no option but to buy their NG from Israel, who is stealing it from Egypt, Palestine and Lebanon in the Leviathan gas field with the pipeline going thru Cyprus to Europe.

    Russia must be taught there is a penalty for fighting against USA/SA/Israel backed ISIS thugs who were well on their way to completely destroying Syria until interrupted by Russian bombs and missiles.

    • Agree: Cloak And Dagger
  9. Flavius says:

    Trump’s mistakes are beginning to accumulate. He assumed office with hardly a friend in his own party and with the other party intent on fraudulently undermining the integrity of his election and removing him from office, i.e., staging a coup. To ameliorate his distress, he surrounds himself with family members – frankly unbelievable, and then attacks Jeff Sessions, an early supporter and a man of unimpeachable integrity, in the most scurrilous hang dog manner imaginable.
    Nevertheless, given that correct relations with Russia and China are the single most important imperative of not just US but world importance, if Trump lacks the courage to rise above what he calls the political sewer and deliver on his campaign promises, except that in the event it would be a tragedy, he will have made himself into an oaf and a fool. Jeff Sessions is not in the way of a sane foreign policy – the uniparty is in the way and Trump damn well has the moral obligation to take it on directly.

  10. @A guy in Arizona

    Arggh! Caught in a non-scientific assertion. I would give it one chance in 10,000. I suppose. It’s not impossible.

  11. Jason Liu says:

    Russia aside, vetoing it is good optics. It shows a willingness to counterpunch against the media.

    But Trump probably won’t, for reasons unknown. Wasn’t he supposed to be a fighter?

  12. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Cloak And Dagger

    Your illusion is… you imagine that “we” where, in truth, there are will-less objects (who imitate and comform, and have as their first of all wishes to be spared from having to think with their own mind) and not wilful subjects.

    • Replies: @Cloak And Dagger
  13. @Anonymous

    Can you say all that again – but this time in English?

  14. polistra says:

    The smartest response would be:

    “Judges have officially declared that I’m not allowed to enforce laws. I can’t disobey the judges, who are absolute emperors by definition. So I won’t enforce this law. I won’t issue any executive orders to implement the sanctions.”

    We already know Trump is the opposite of smart, so this ain’t gonna happen.

    • Replies: @jtgw
  15. jtgw says:

    If you’re talking about the injunctions against the travel ban, the problem is that the travel ban is not itself a law; it’s a purported use of a law authorizing the president to exclude aliens on national security grounds. It is taken for granted that the president’s exercise of this power should conform to the Constitution, i.e. the president can’t exclude aliens on grounds of religion, since the president’s authority derives from Congress and Congress is forbidden from making laws respecting the establishment of a religion, as well as depriving anyone in its jurisdiction from equal protection of the laws. So it is understood that, whatever powers Congress gives the president, they do not include the power to discriminate on grounds of religion. So the courts had to work out whether the ban really did discriminate on religious grounds (the SCOTUS eventually determined that it did not).

    In this matter, the judiciary won’t tell the president not to enforce the sanctions unless they can determine the sanctions are unconstitutional, which I doubt they will. And the president cannot unilaterally refuse to enforce Congress’ laws otherwise. However, the sanctions are not yet law and the president still has the opportunity and constitutional authority to veto them, which I agree he should do.

  16. virgile says:

    Applying sanctions have become a sign of impotence. The USA can do nothing against Iran to please Israel and nothing against Russia to please the neocons, or North Korea so it comes up unanimously with sanctions. This is easy, theatrical but an ineffective way of showing power.

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