Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump russia

New Sanctions to Ensure Russia Remains Reliable Enemy

Once again, the Deep State has moved to thwart US President Donald Trump’s extraordinary efforts to mend fences with Russia.

On Wednesday US Senator Rand Paul said he had hand delivered a letter from Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin urging greater cooperation between the world’s two nuclear superpowers. That would be a big step towards achieving the ‘World Peace’ Trump tweeted that he’s pursuing.

But as The Australian Tribune has noted before, the Deep State — think entrenched politicians, military and intelligence agencies, and lifestyle lobbyists — needs its enemies.

These enemies provide a necessary distraction from the ineptitude of their own governments. They bring citizens together under a common cause, a common flag, in an always popular ‘us versus them’ scenario. And they vindicate the need for trillions of dollars in defence spending and ever more intrusive security operations.

To help keep Russia firmly in that enemy camp, the US State Department said it will impose further sanctions on Moscow.


Because US intelligence agencies have determined Russia violated an international ban on chemical weapons during the attack on a former Soviet spy and his daughter.

While the use of the nerve agent Novichok is reprehensible and clearly criminal, both Sergei Skripal and Yulia survived. Although Dawn Sturgess died weeks later after coming into contact with a bottle containing the nerve agent.

That’s one tragic death from this incident. To put that number in some kind of perspective, there were 523 deaths in 2017 in Victoria alone from drug overdoses.

It also remains unproven that the Russian government itself was behind the attack, rather than rogue former operatives. Or even other foreign intelligence agents. Russia continues to deny involvement.

Nonetheless, Australia joined a host of other nations in expelling two Russian diplomats — alleged to be spies — following the attack on Sergei and his daughter Yulia in March.

And now Australia is likely to follow the United States and impose new sanctions.

Asked on ABC radio if Australia would follow suit, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said:

This is a very serious matter and we will need to assess the full consequences of it. I believe the use of chemical weapons at any time, anywhere, under any circumstances is abhorrent. It cannot continue with impunity.’

There are already sanctions in place against Russia over disagreements between the Kremlin and the West in Ukraine and Crimea. And the horrific downing of flight MH17 with a Russian made missile — likely fired by Ukrainian rebels — continues to stoke tensions as well.

So the Deep State has plenty of cards to play to keep Trump from normalising relations with Russia.

In the coming months you can expect to see plenty more mainstream coverage on Russian election meddling, Novichok, MH17, and the new Russian bridge into Crimea.

At the end of the day, after all, we must have our enemies.

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Bernd Struben

Bernd Struben

Bernd Struben is the lead editor at The Australian Tribune. Bernd makes use of his extensive network to bring you the top stories you need to know about each day. Stories the mainstream may miss. Or bury somewhere you’re unlikely to ever read them. Bernd studied aerospace engineering and journalism at the University of Michigan, before graduating with a degree in economics. Over the past two decades he’s worked in media, management, and finance in the US, the Caribbean, Europe, and Australia. His other role, as the editor of the Port Phillip Insider, puts him in a unique position to read Australia’s most exclusive financial advice. Some of which he shares with readers of The Australian Tribune for free.
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