U.S. smacks Russia with sanctions over nerve agent attack in UK

By Dan Calabrese

Vladimir Putin needs to give Donald Trump a call. He needs to explain to him how an American president goes about being a lapdog to his Russian counterpart.

Because all we hear from the left and the media is that Trump is in Putin’s back pocket and that he’s beholden to Russia. Yet all Trump actually does in the realm of policy and governance is cause problems for Russia. He’s selling weapons to Ukraine. He’s attacking Russia’s natural gas deals with Europe. He’s flooding international markets with U.S. oil.

And now Trump has slapped sanctions on Russia for its role in a nerve agent attack against a Russian dissident in the UK:

Sergei Skripal, a former colonel in Russia’s GRU military intelligence service, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, were found slumped unconscious on a bench in the southern English city of Salisbury in March after a liquid form of the Novichok type of nerve agent was applied to his home’s front door.

European countries and the United States expelled 100 Russian diplomats after the attack, in the strongest action by President Donald Trump against Russia since he came to office.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said it had been determined that Russia “has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law, or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals.”

The sanctions would cover sensitive national-security controlled goods, a senior State Department official told reporters on a conference call, citing the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act.

There would, however, be exemptions for space flight activities, government space cooperation, and areas covering commercial passenger aviation safety, which would be reviewed on a case by case basis, the official added.

The official said a second batch of “more draconian” sanctions would be imposed after 90 days unless Russia gives “reliable assurances” that it will no longer use chemical weapons and allow on-site inspections by the United Nations or other international observer groups.

This is not some heroic effort on Trump’s part. It’s the minimum he should do given Russia’s involvement in this awful attack. Any civilized nation should do at least this much.

But Russia was involved in all kinds of mischief during the Obama years, and when did Obama ever make them pay for anything except “election interference”? Obama was terrified of pissing Putin off until it appeared Putin had kept Hillary Clinton out of the White House. Obama canceled missile defense installations in eastern Europe so as not to upset Putin. Obama whispered to Dimitri Medvedev that he would have more flexibility to roll over for the Russians after he was re-elected.

But Donald Trump is Putin’s lapdog? Only to people who pay no attention to actual policy.

Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!