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US Committed to Path of Conflict with Russia, Tensions Higher Than in Cold War – Paul Craig Roberts

  • US Committed to Path of Conflict with Russia, Tensions Higher Than in Cold War – Paul Craig Roberts
    The new round of sanctions on Russia benefits the US energy industry and military-security complex, and indicates that conflict with Moscow the principal goal of US foreign policy, former Assistant Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts says.

    The Senate, in a nearly unanimous vote on Thursday, slapped new sanctions on Russia over alleged election interference by Russian hackers. The bill, which will prevent US President Donald Trump from easing existing sanctions on Russia and also imposes sanctions on Iran and North Korea, is sent to President Trump in a veto-proof fashion.

    Trump reviewed the final version of the bill and plans to sign it, the White House announced on Friday. 

    RT America’s Manila Chan discussed this with Paul Craig Roberts, the former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and chairman of the Institute for Political Economy.

    In your new article, ‘The New Russian Sanctions Bill Is Washington’s Monument To Its Criminality,’  can you explain why you wrote “Congress would rather destroy the President of the United States and increase the risk of nuclear war than avoid conflict with Russia by normalizing relations”?

    Paul Craig Roberts:
     That bill is extremely dangerous for two main reasons. One, it prevents President Trump from ever normalizing relations with Russia and as we all know, the tensions now are very high, in my opinion, they are higher than they ever were during the Cold War. The other reason the bill is extremely dangerous is the economic pressure it puts on Russia – because it is designed to replace Russian sales of natural gas to Europe with American sales. So, it harms the ruble, harms the Russian economy, and further isolates Russia from Europe. This is the kind of economic pressure that leads to war.

    You also argue that these sanctions will alienate Europe and especially Germany, where the pipeline is supposed to end up. What does Congress have to gain then by passing these sanctions? Is it strictly to force their dependency on American natural gas?

    PCR: That’s part of it. Congress gains political contributions from the American energy industry and it gains political contributions from the military-security complex because this bill is constructed to serve both interests. They’re both extremely powerful interest groups. And so, the military-security complex wins by preventing the normalization of relations, which is a threat to the budget and the power of the military-security complex. And the energy companies win by having a new market for their natural gas, the liquefied natural gas that they’re getting from the fracking operations that are doing so much environmental damage in the United States. This benefits both groups. And therefore Congress – as you saw, the votes are almost unanimous, only two senators out of a hundred voted against it, and only three US representatives out of [more than] four hundred [419-3] voted against it. You can see the power of these interest groups and they put their interests ahead of normalizing relations between nuclear powers. When you have bad relations between nuclear powers like Russia and the United States, the chance of something going wrong is extremely high.

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August 1, 2017 - Posted by | Economics, GeoPolitics | , , , , , , , , ,

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