Hollywood hacks like (not-so) Rosie O'Donnell and Alyssa "D List" Milano claim Trump is "in Putin's pocket."
This is a popular opinion among people on the left, but as a political independents (small government advocates don't really have a political party anymore), we don't personally have a trigger mechanism in my brain that causes to defend or attack that Democrat talking point.
I'm willing to be objective on the "Russians took over the White House" theory, okay, sure.
But here's the thing about that: if Trump is "in Putin's pocket", why did the American President put new sanctions on Russia not once but twice.
Later this month another round of sanctions will be imposed on Russia for using a chemical weapon in an attempted assassination of a former spy and his daughter who both now live in Britain.
You've probably already heard that story, but if you haven't here's the skinny: back in March the British military assisted with its probe of a mysterious nerve-agent that was used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, as well as 19 others who were also left seeking medical treatment.
Russia is denying any involvement in the attack, but the leaders of the Western world have made up their minds and so have the swamp critters in DC. These sanctions look good for their next election results, but they don’t actually help your average American with, well, anything.
Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the new sanctions are not “constructive” to the issues discussed at the now infamous Trump-Putin Helsinki summit last month.
Honestly, I kind of agree with him. Don't get me wrong, Putin really is a corrupt dictator and Russia's hands do not appear clean in the matters that they're being accused of, but what will sanctions solve?
Sanctions, much like tariff wars, never end well. This isn't a free market solution and it's certainly isn't a diplomatic one.
Trade sanctions have historically proven to fail. They don't punish corrupt politicians, but they do hurt the economy.
Back during the 90s George H. W. and Slicky Willy Clinton both pushed trade sanctions against Iraq and that led to the deaths of over 100,000 innocent men, women and children. After years of attempting sanctions on the DPRK, we were finally able to convince them to denuclearize after a very effective (albeit controversial) summit in Singapore.
Look sanctions are stupid. However, in diplomat speak, it just gives you cover for doing nothing.
If we really wanted to punish Russia, we’d have our oil and gas companies cut huge LNG deals with Europe right now. This way you hit Vladimir in the only place he pays attention to, his wallet. Giving Europe an option to Russian gas will definitely hurt the Russian economy.
But that’s not a big deal, right? Well, yes it is. It was how the Soviet Bloc was defeated in the 80s. We forced the Russians to try to keep up militarily and economically. And they couldn’t do it.
Besides, I know people have short term memory loss, but if the idiots in the Eurozone want to keep their relations and gas from Russia, I’d like to remind them of the winter of 2009-2010. The Russians cut off the gas supply. Germany and Austria nearly froze in the dark.
So, sanctions are dumb. But they’re the only thing we’ve got to use until we’re ready to play hardball.
Even still, these new sanctions are being supported by both Democrats and Neo-Con Republicans alike: a sure fire sign that this whole mess is a bad idea.