Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statement after Congress pass new sanctons against Russia was revealing:
“The near unanimous votes for the sanctions legislation in Congress represent the strong will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States,” Tillerson said. “We hope that there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues and these sanctions will no longer be necessary.”
Firstly, it shows the Secretary of State pandering to Congress. That’s really not his job. That he does so reveals that the Trump Administration believes that Russia has failed to give enough in negotiations. This is further confirmed by the walk-back of ‘baby-steps’ toward restored relations that were walked back.
It comes as no surprise that Congress overwhelmingly ‘veto-ed’ improved relations with Russia after Netanyahu declared that the Trump-Putin ‘baby steps’ were not in Israel’s best interests (despite having been consulted prior to the ceasefire – and being the most important of the ‘baby steps’).
Iran and North Korea were added to the bill to ensure “near unanimous” passage – but it is clear that: 1) the Russia-US relationship is very different than the US relationship with Iran or North Korea; 2) the threat from ALL of these countries is hyped.
It should be clear by now, that negotiating with Russia is the most important foreign policy initiative of the Trump administration. IMO Trump was selected as President NOT because he got covert support from Russia but because he got covert support from TPTB (The Powers That Be) in the West – including the Clintons and their connections in USA, Israel, GCC, etc.
They hope to pressure Russia until and advantageous deal is struck or they can pull Russia from the SCO orbit.
But Russia is not playing ball. And relations have only worsened.
To distract from the grave implications of his negotiation failure, Trump has attacked his Attorney General and appointed a “Communications Director” whose statements have created a media circus.
Next stage of the “negotiation”
Trump is an opportunist and self-styled “negotiator”. But he may not want to be a war-time President. During the election, he hinted that he might resign the Presidency and firing his Attorney General might lead to a firestorm that actually leads to his resignation.
This would allow VP Pence to assume command and make the unpopular decisions that a war-time President must make. A President Pence would be a position to make final demands on Putin before taking action against Syria, Iraq, Iran, etc.
What might the US be seeking in this negotiation? Well, for one, it seems likely that they will seeking to establish Sunnistan – a new country that would be the “salafist principality” that a 2012 DIA report claimed US allies hoped to achieve.
Though Pence said he was delivering a message directly from Trump, his stern remarks at times were far more forceful than those of his boss, who has often opted for a softer tone on Russia . . .