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Will Trump Lift Sanctions on Russia? The Legal Status of U.S. Unilateral Sanctions, Pressures from War Profiteers

Global Research, January 02, 2017
Trump and Putin

Some mainstream reports indicate that Donald Trump can at least partly do it, but not easily unless he is able to convince Congress of “Putin’s good intentions”

What’s never explained in the mainstream media reports is the legal status of US imposed sanctions. Only Security Council members can impose them on countries – not individual nations against others.

All unilaterally imposed US sanctions against other nations have no legal standing. They’re illegitimate. Trump can lift them against Russia or any other country if he wishes – not, however, without potential political consequences.

The Neocons want adversarial relations maintained with Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and other countries.

John McCain outrageously calls Putin “a thug, a bully and a murderer…” Likeminded congressional members express similar sentiments.

Yet most Americans may be brainwashed to believe what’s patently false, malicious and ridiculous.

Trump enters office as the most widely disliked president in US history. He’ll certainly try turning things around once in office. Whatever he does to further arouse anger will complicate his task.

He’ll likely tread lightly on issues like lifting sanctions on Russia – perhaps not doing it straightaway, later some, not all, at least during his early months in office.

Another issue is distinguishing between sanctions imposed by Obama executive orders and others by congressional action, making them US law, despite their illegitimacy.

Lifting what Obama imposed can be done with a stroke of Trump’s pen. Undoing congressional actions is another matter entirely – risking a confrontation between the executive and legislative branches if he proceeds, what he wants to avoid.

US sanctions on Russia were imposed for arms sales to Syria, Iran, North Korea and other governments Washington opposes, alleged human rights abuses, and nonexistent “Russian aggression” in Ukraine, including Crimea rejoining Russia, falsely called “annexation.”

Imposing them was entirely for political reasons, part of a long-term US strategy to isolate, contain, weaken, and marginalize Russia.

Things turned out polar opposite to what Washington intended. Yet unsuccessful policies continue. Adversarial relations with Russia, China and other nations mean lucrative contracts for war-profiteers.

Justifying bloated military spending requires enemies, Russia considered America’s top existential threat by lunatics infesting Washington and the Pentagon.

This type thinking provides a strong headwind, perhaps restraining Trump from normalizes ties with Russia and cooperating with Putin in combating terrorism – at least to the extent of what he may have in mind.

G. W. Bush and Obama were weak presidents, putty in the hands of America’s deep state, front men for their agenda.

Trump is strong-willed, likely the main factor contributing to opposition in high places, intensified by the media, continuing even though he’s president-elect, soon to succeed Obama.

His messages are mixed, wanting a more robust military, including a “greatly strengthen(ed) and expand(ed) nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes” – separately saying “(l)et their be an arms race…(w)e will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”

In contrast, he said

“(w)e’ve spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people that, frankly, if they were there and if we could have spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges, and all of the other problems – our airports and all the other problems we have – we would have been a lot better off, I can tell you that right now.”

“We have done a tremendous disservice not only to the Middle East – (W)e’ve done a tremendous disservice to humanity. The people that have been killed, the people that have been wiped away – and for what?”

“It’s not like we had victory. It’s a mess. The Middle East is totally destabilized, a total and complete mess. I wish we had the 4 trillion dollars or 5 trillion dollars. I wish it were spent right here in the United States on schools, hospitals, roads, airports, and everything else that are all falling apart!”

Ignore political posturing. Follow what politicians do in office. Their actions define them. Trump’s agenda is unknown because he has no public record. Judge him solely on how he serves once inaugurated.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

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

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