31 January 2018   Leave a comment

I apologize for bringing up the Russian sanctions issue yet again, but the seriousness of the matter explains much of my obsessiveness.  Julia Ioffe has written a very insightful essay on the issue for The Atlantic.  She summarizes the outcome of the decision of the Trump Administration very succinctly:

“The administration had all the tools and expertise at its disposal, and seemed to be on track to a sensible policy to which Congress had bound it: using a scalpel to go after the specific people who make Putin’s antagonism to the United States possible. Instead, it opted for a blow-up toy sledgehammer that is as blunt as it is comical. Congress had tasked the Trump administration with devising the framework for Russia sanctions, and on Tuesday, by seemingly copying Forbes and the Kremlin phonebook, the Trump administration essentially plagiarized its homework. In the process, the administration made a mess for itself at home. Democrats and Republicans in Congress were furious, and the list again raised another round of questions about why the Trump administration was being so lenient on a regime that stands accused of helping Trump get elected. The Russians, in the meantime, were both angry, mocking, and relieved, yet, according to two sources close to the Russian Foreign Ministry, left the option of retaliating through Iran and North Korea on the table.”

Again, interfering with normal democratic procedures by broadcasting stolen emails and infiltrating social media with false information are, in my opinion, acts of a hostile power that cannot be tolerated and must be addressed.  If not, then faith in democracy cannot be sustained.

 

Ever since the Reagan Administration the US has been trying to develop anti-ballistic missile systems designed to shoot down enemy missiles before they can hit the US homeland.  These efforts have cost about $190 billion between 1985 and 2017, and periodically there have been claims of great progress toward an effective system.  There was yet another test of one of the systems yesterday over Hawaii and it failed.  I suspect that there will never be an effective anti-ballistic missile system because there are too many variables involved in shooting a bullet to shoot down another bullet.  The real objective of an anti-ballistic missile system is to create an politically plausible alternative to disarmament and thereby justify the continued existence and development of nuclear weaponry.

 

Posted January 31, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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