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Finian Cunningham: Why There’ll Be No US-Russia Reset Post-Mueller

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Written by Finian Cunningham; Originally appeared on strategic-culture.org

President Donald Trump and his White House team may have been cleared of collusion with the Kremlin in the 2016 presidential election. That startling conclusion by Special Counsel Robert Mueller after nearly two years of investigation, might be viewed by some as giving Trump freedom to now get on with normalizing relations with Moscow. Don’t bet on it.

Mueller’s report, and US attorney general William Barr’s appraisal of it, only partially vindicate Trump’s long-held claims that the whole so-called “Russiagate” story is a “hoax”.

Finian Cunningham: Why There’ll Be No US-Russia Reset Post-Mueller

Yes, Mueller and Barr conclude that neither Trump nor his campaign team “conspired” with Russia to win the presidential race. But Democrat opponents are now dredging up the possibility that Trump “unwittingly” facilitated Kremlin cyber operations to damage his 2016 rival for the White House, Hillary Clinton.

In his summary of Mueller’s report, Barr unquestioningly accepts as fact the otherwise contentious claim that Russia interfered in the US election. Democrats and the anti-Trump US news media have not been deterred from pursuing their fantasy that the Kremlin allegedly meddled in US democracy. Trump has been cleared, but Russia has certainly not. It very much continues to have the smear of interference slapped all over its image.

At the heart of this narrative – bolstered by Mueller and Barr – is the false claim that Russian cyber agents hacked into the Democrat party computer system during 2016 and released emails compromising Clinton to the whistleblower website Wikileaks. That whole claim has been reliably debunked by former NSA technical expert William Binney and other former US intelligence officials who have shown indisputably that the information was not hacked from outside, but rather was released by an insider in the Democrat party, presumably based on indignation over the party’s corruption concerning the stitch-up against Clinton’s rival nomination for the presidential ticket, Bernie Sanders.

That is real scandal crying out to be investigated, as well as the Obama administration’s decision to unleash FBI illegal wiretapping and dirty tricks against Trump as being a “Russian stooge”. The Russian collusion charade was always a distraction from the really big serious crimes carried out by the Obama White House, the FBI and the Democrat party.

In any case, the notion that Russia interfered in the US elections – even without Trump’s collusion – has become an article of faith among the American political and media establishment.

That lie will continue to poison US-Russia relations and be used to justify more economic sanctions being imposed against Moscow. Trump may be cleared of being a “Kremlin stooge”. But he will find no political freedom to pursue a normalization in bilateral relations because of the predictable mantra about Russia interfering in American democracy.

But there is a deeper reason why there will be no reset in US-Russia relations. And it has nothing to do with whether Trump is in the White House. The problem is a strategic one, meaning it relates to underlying geopolitical confrontation between America’s desired global hegemony and Russia’s rightful aspiration to be an independent foreign power not beholden to Washington’s dictate.

Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin has presented a somewhat shocking quandary for the US ruling class. It found that Russia was no longer in the servile business of rolling over to pander to Washington’s tyranny in international relations. Under Putin, Russia shook off the vassal status that it had unfortunately acquired under the feckless presidency of Boris Yeltsin (1991-99).

Putin’s landmark speech in Munich in 2007 was certainly a watershed moment in geopolitical relations whereby the Russian leader condemned US rampaging across the Middle East with criminal wars.

Then there was the failed attempt in 2008 by the US and NATO to over-run Georgia, failed because of a decisive military intervention by Russia in support of neighboring South Ossetia.

The return of the Cold War in US-Russia relations under former President GW Bush was due to the realization in Washington that Putin and Russia were no longer subordinates that could be pushed around for the gratification of American imperialism.

The Americans then tried another tack. Public relations and inveigling.

When Barack Obama took over the White House in 2009, there was the famous “reset policy” initiated by Washington towards Moscow. In March 2009, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greeted Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Geneva with a jokey “reset button”, purportedly to demonstrate a willingness in Washington for a new beginning in bilateral relations.

Ominously, Clinton’s State Department mislabelled the button with the Russian word for “overload” not “reset”. Her inane cackling to ingratiate herself with the skeptical Lavrov was also a giveaway of a phony reset.

Look how hollow such ostensible claims for “reset” by Washington have since manifested.

Admittedly, there was a significant gain in Obama’s negotiation of substantial nuclear arms reductions with the New START treaty in 2010.

However, it didn’t take long until Washington was back to its usual business of subversions and covert wars for regime change against foreign states that didn’t kowtow to its dictates. We saw this with ample evidence in the overthrow of Libya’s government in 2011, the attempted ouster in Syria beginning the same year, and the even more daring American intervention in Ukraine in early 2014 when it installed a rabidly anti-Russian regime through an illegal coup d’état.

We are also presently seeing this criminal American imperialism being conducted brazenly towards Venezuela, where Washington wants to overthrow a socialist president in order to get its corporate hands on the South American country’s vast oil wealth.

All the while, Russia has become ever more resolute its defiance of Washington’s global gangsterism. Moscow’s military defense of Syria from US-led regime change was certainly a pivotal moment in defining the limits of Moscow’s tolerance, as was Russia’s defense of Crimea.

For these reasons, Washington in its chagrin has moved to abandon the other major arms control treaty, the INF, which could allow it to install short and medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe, thus aggravating threats and tensions with Russia. The future of the much-vaunted New START treaty is also in doubt because of American vacillation. So much for Obama’s “reset”.

These are the structural, strategic factors in why Washington is set on a course of hostility towards Moscow. It has got very little to do with President Trump being in the White House or whether he has been cleared of “collusion” with Moscow.

The fundamental issue for Washington is that Russia is not a vassal for American imperialism. That’s why there will be no reset. There will only be reset when American imperialism is replaced by a law-abiding, genuinely democratic US government. Until then, expect more US hostility, confrontation and even war towards Russia.

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  • RichardD

    The US, like so many others before it including Russia, needs to be dejudified. The whole planet does. It’s no coincidence that 4 out of 5 of the most Jew infested nations on the planet, the US, Israel, France and the UK are also the planet’s biggest trouble makers.

  • Snowglobe

    “In any case, the notion that Russia interfered in the US elections – even without Trump’s collusion – has become an article of faith among the Left/Democratic American political and C-A media establishment.”

    Fixed it for you.

  • Xoli Xoli

    Russia does not need terrorists USA.Russians are God chosen USA is devil chosen warmonger and world destructive country.

    • You can call me Al

      But, but what about the tribe ?.

    • daniel

      God chosen?

  • You can call me Al

    I don’t give a toss, the US elitists have moved to bizarre, deranged, delusional, war-mongering mode; no article, no talk can justify or explain that fact apart from they are on their last legs and they know it.

    They are rabid dogs backed into a corner, so they should be ignored when the waffle on and shot if they move.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    • Snowglobe

      “…the US elitists have moved to bizarre, deranged, delusional, war-mongering mode.”

      This is correct!

      • You can call me Al

        Thanks you very much. May I get a “good boy” badge ?.

        • Snowglobe

          Of course you get a badge, and a sticker on the calendar. :-)

          Occasionally I have given myself a sticker on the calendar because I have made it though an entire day without causing bodily harm to anyone. ;-)

          • You can call me Al

            lol, I know how you feel at the moment.

      • You can call me Al

        PS I am well pissed off after the Brexit fiasco.

        • Snowglobe

          …and you should be! It is the millionth time that we have watched “them” shove “their” agenda down the throats of good people. It is sickening.

          • You can call me Al

            I thing, this time is different though…yes seriously. Even the remainers are seeing the so called democracy we have and they do not like it. Strange times ahead.

          • Snowglobe

            I agree. This time it is different, and there are strange times ahead. The can has been kicked down the road far to many times, and now it is a very complicate course that we are all on.

  • S Melanson

    This article is bang on. The Cold War restarted in 2007 and note an audience member asked Putin if his speech would be looked back upon by historians as the day a new Cold War started. US foreign policy is quite straightforward once you understand the motives which is to position the US as the sole hegemon in all dimensions of power – full-spectrum dominance. However, what is increasingly missing is constraint to not overstep to avoid provoking a dangerous reaction with Ukraine being a good example – we are witnessing a repeat of the Eisenhower Dulles Roll-back policy along with Dulles aggressive brinksmanship in diplomacy that represented a period in which containment policy of strategic patience was discarded.

    Note that the people around Trump are scarier then Dulles gang. We need some boundaries because eventually the bear will bite. Final note, the INF abandonment makes sense as it does not reflect the current reality. The problem is nothing is being even discussed regarding a new framework of arms control to replace what is abandoned. Note the Iskander missile is forward deployed and because it is short range it is not governed by the INF and yet is the kind of threat the INF is suppose to address.