April 16, 2018
You know, I don’t want to be too hopeful.
Actually, I want to believe.
But I won’t believe.
Even though I want to.
But cockblocking these new sanctions is better than not doing that.
President Trump on Monday put the brakes on a preliminary plan to impose additional economic sanctions on Russia, walking back a Sunday announcement by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley that the Kremlin had swiftly denounced as “international economic raiding.”
Preparations to punish Russia anew for its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government over an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria caused consternation at the White House. Haley had said on CBS News’s “Face the Nation” that sanctions on Russian companies behind the equipment related to Assad’s alleged chemical weapons attack would be announced Monday by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
But Trump conferred with his national security advisers later Sunday and told them he was upset the sanctions were being officially rolled out because he was not yet comfortable executing them, according to several people familiar with the plan.
Administration officials said the economic sanctions were under serious consideration, along with other measures that could be taken against Russia, but said Trump had not given final authorization to implement them. Administration officials said Monday it was unlikely Trump would approve any additional sanctions without another triggering event by Russia, describing the strategy as being in a holding pattern.
Sometime after Haley’s comments on CBS, the Trump administration notified the Russian Embassy in Washington that the sanctions were not in fact coming, a Russian Foreign Ministry official said Monday.
The Trump team decided to publicly characterize Haley’s announcement as a misstatement. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Monday: “We are considering additional sanctions on Russia and a decision will be made in the near future.”
So, I’m not going to say that I believe it.
But I do want to at least offer the 4D chess perspective on the Syria strikes. For academic purposes.
Basically, Trump’s strikes give Russia the impetus to roll out a huge new arsenal into Syria, which will then help Iran repel Israeli attacks as they continue to build bases in the country.
Russia couldn’t just move a whole shitton of new weapons into the country before these strikes by Trump, because of international pressure and a claim that this would intensify conflict in the region in a period which, after the defeat of ISIS, conflict was winding down.
So basically, if Trump doesn’t go any further with the attacks on Syria, they will ultimately be good for the country and bad for Israel, as they will allow for a massive buildup of sophisticated modern Russian weaponry in the country.
Again – not saying that was all part of a chess plan.
But I do just want to throw out there that this will be the result of the strikes, if Trump backs off moving forward.
And saying no to sanctions after they were announced by Nimrata Randhawa is a pretty serious olive branch.
Russia is saying that they are not going to really respond to the strike, other than to move new weapons into the country.
Russia is also planning to help international weapons inspectors get to the site of the alleged chemical weapons attack, at which point it will presumably be shown that no such attack ever occurred.
Right now, it does not look like we are going to WWIII, at least any time in the foreseeable future.
Which is good and bad.
Because a part of me had started really looking forward to it.