Trump’s Biggest Test So Far

by Eric Zuesse

On December 7th was posed the biggest test so far of the mettle of America’s President-Elect, Donald Trump.
He had said several times during his campaign that, if elected as President, he would seek a new, less hostile relationship between the U.S. and Russia.  Now the moment has come when he must either make his first move forward with that historic commitment, or else — by his own inaction when the circumstances (such as right now) demand immediate action on this very promise — set his future U.S. Presidential Administration onto exactly the opposite path: following through with and accepting the existing hostilities, even when they are the most blatantly irrational and counter-factual on their American basis (as now is the case).
The precipitating event here is this: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on December 7th that they want to continue the existing hostilities against Russia: specifically the economic sanctions that U.S. President Barack Obama initiated against Russia after Russia had accepted the overwhelming (90%+) request of the residents in Crimea to restore Crimea’s pre-1954 status and rejoin it as an integral part of Russia.
The way Steinmeier phrased it was, “the necessary significant progress” by Russia in the implementation of the Minsk Peace Agreement for Ukraine, has not been achieved, and so the sanctions against Russia “will continue to exist.”
By “the necessary significant progress” he was referring to what has actually been blocking the implementation of the Minsk agreements: the Ukrainian Government’s refusal to adhere to provision #11 of the Minsk II Accords, the provision that says Ukraine will pass an amendment to its Constitution so as to provide “special administrative status” within Ukraine to the two breakaway regions, Donbass (where 90% of the residents had voted for the Ukrainian President whom U.S. President Barack Obama’s Administration had overthrown in a bloody coup in February 2014, sparking Donbass’s breakaway), and Crimea (where 75% had voted for that deposed President, whose bloody removal by Obama’s operation sparked Crimea’s breakaway on 16 March 2014, three weeks after that coup).
What Stoltenberg and Steinmeier ought to be demanding, then, is not continuation of sanctions against Russia for Ukraine’s refusal to comply with provision #11 of the Minsk II Accords, but, instead, sanctions against the Ukrainian Government itself, and perhaps also against the U.S. Government, for their opposing and blocking the implementation of that key provision of the Accords.
However, since NATO and Germany are not demanding Ukraine’s compliance with the Minsk Accords, perhaps other nations should instead consider imposing economic sanctions against NATO and Germany.  Imposing sanctions on the latter two would be a possible alternative way of achieving the implementation of those Accords, by penalizing NATO and Germany for pushing forward with this lie and moving in the opposite direction — toward war — from the direction which the U.S. President-elect had said he favours. And, of course, economic sanctions against the United States Government, for its having illegally imposed a coup-government in Kiev, and so precipitated the entire confrontation, might also be considered.  Those options could be rational, but what Steinmeier and Stoltenberg are demanding is certainly not.
U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump can fulfill his basic campaign promise regarding U.S.-Russian relations by informing both NATO and Germany that, unlike his immediate predecessor in the U.S. White House (Obama), as president, he would still push for an immediate end to the Obama sanctions against Russia.
This move on Trump’s part needn’t necessarily be accompanied by any official repudiation of his predecessor’s actions regarding Ukraine and regarding Russia, but it would, in and of itself, establish a new and far more peaceful future course in international relations, in which all nations will be able to unify around the common goal for international security, of wiping out jihadists — no longer any trumped-up accusations and hostilities that extend and needlessly continue old-style big-power rivalries, which unnecessarily drain the world’s resources and kill thousands of people for merely partisan, and clearly counter-productive and potentially catastrophic, purposes.
If President-Elect Trump declines to take advantage of this opportunity to change the course of US foreign relations in a constructive direction, then what realistic expectation can there be that he ever will do so?  Can a more “blatant” opportunity to initiate his promised change-of-direction be even imagined?
Also on December 7th, Mr. Trump named a passionate opponent of regulations against global warming, as his nominee for the head of America’s Environmental Protection Agency, which enforces those regulations. The appointee is Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who is no scientist and who even denies that there is any significant scientific consensus that global warming exists or has any human involvement in its cause if it does exist, and has fought against regulations to reduce or prevent runaway global warming.  Unless he would reverse these positions, approval by the U.S. Senate of his appointment would make any concerted international agreements against runaway global warming, such as as the recent Paris agreement to reduce greenhouse gases, impossible to achieve or enforce.  This would be yet further reason for imposing economic sanctions against the United States — but this would be due to Mr. Trump’s own international malfeasance, rather than to Obama’s.
Consequently, the real test now isn’t only for Trump; it’s also going to be a test for every government on this planet. And not only international peace is at stake; our livable planet also is.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.


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Dec 9, 2016 6:16 PM

US RU relations are hardly the greatest test. A known mobster gets elected as President, fills government positions with billionaire buddies whose track records are as clean as Mr Trumps. If that isn’t bad enough most are rabid Zionists whose allegiance to the US is secondary to that of another country. Already Mr Trump is breaking the law by contacting foreign heads of government prior to inauguration. By far the greatest test has miserably failed for Americans, that of electing a President.

Dec 9, 2016 12:56 PM

Let’s hope Trump clears this first hurdle.
As Dr. Paul Craig Roberts has said, by July we should know about Trump.
My apologies for diverging so heavily into the warming/climate fiasco, but reality has to beat propaganda.

Dec 9, 2016 12:02 PM

This is an excellent video:
1 hr 16 mins
The Great Global Warming Swindle.

Dec 9, 2016 10:28 AM

Go to http://www.wattsupwiththat.com & put in search box: No Warming 18 years 9 months. Lord Monckton presents the case clearly. Go to Dr. Tim Ball’S site above & put in search box: CO2 is the enemy because… Two books I recommend: 1) Heaven and Earth global Warming: the missing science, by Prof. Ian Plimer. Many factors affect Earth’s climate, including, to name just 2, wobbles in Earth’s orbit & volcanoes, over which we obviously have no control. 2) The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science, by Dr. Tim Ball. The UN IPCC is a corrupt political & bureaucratic machine posing as a scientific body. It’s Charter restricts it to ONLY LOOK at HUMAN CAUSES of climate change. It’s a con. Previous periods in history were warmer & more prosperous than now: The Roman, The Minoan & The Medieval Warm periods. We have all been propagandised to fear a bit of beneficial… Read more »

Dec 9, 2016 9:59 AM

Eric Zuesse has been taken in by the global warming/climate con.
It’s ALL propaganda.
The thought of regulating the Earth’s climate by limiting man-made CO2 Carbon Dioxide is simply laughable.
95% of the greenhouse effect is achieved by water (H2O) in the atmosphere, visible as clouds, or invisible as vapour.
Less than 4% of the greenhouse effect is caused by CO2 & 96% of that CO2 is produced by nature. only 4% is man made. 4% of 4%???
Above 400 ppm (parts per million) of CO2 the “warming” effect of CO2 is saturated, decreasing logaritmically. In short, it matters not a hoot how much CO2 man makes.
http://www.drtimball.com likens it to coats of paint on glass: after the first 9 coats, the 10th doesn’t cut out much more light: the job’s done.

Dec 9, 2016 11:50 AM
Reply to  jdseanjd

Given that most scientist now accept climate change as real and man made, and that some of the few who don’t have been shown to have a financial stake – which they haven’t always been honest about – in denialism, I’m guessing you have veryimpressive credentials for your bold assertions here. Er … just for the record, what are those credentials?

Dec 9, 2016 12:36 PM
Reply to  writerroddis

Climate change is real & ever present: the climate is always changing
“For about 4.5 billion years.”, as Buzz Aldrin said.
Your claim that scientific consensus exists for man-made climate change exists is false.
Professor Seitz ( mentioned in the “Swindle” video) organised a petition re limiting CO2. Over 30,000 US scientists alone signed, including 9,000 + with PhDs.
Your claimed consensus does not exist.
Go to wattsupwiththatDOT com & put 97% consensus in the search box. I suggest IPCC lead author Richard Tol’s is a good article to demolish this”myth”.
Then you try to make it personal. HAH. My credentials are a functioning brain & much study on this subject.
Disprove me or be silent, is my suggestion.

Dec 9, 2016 6:08 PM
Reply to  jdseanjd

Well I can’t “disprove you” since I haven’t the knowledge. That’s why I ask what your qualifications are in this area. No disrespect but, for me, “a functioning brain and much study” doesn’t quite cut it. Over and out.

Dec 11, 2016 4:30 PM
Reply to  jdseanjd

The Seitz Letter (better known as the Oregon Petition) was signed by such luminaries as ‘Prof Michael J Fox’ and ‘Dr Geri Halliwell.’
Some of the signatories may indeed have been scientists – a few may even have relevant qualifications in climatology.
Unlike Anthony Watts; Christopher Monckton; Ian Plimer; Tim Ball and Frederick Seitz (deceased.)
Although big noises in the deniosphere – none of their ‘work’ is subject to scientific scrutiny or peer review.
Individually they $hill for BigOil and BigTobacco.
Check them out – type in their names at sourcewatch.org or rationalwiki.org.
That said, the ‘97% consensus’ should read “the 97.1% consensus of the 32.6% that endorsed AGW.”
Hardly convincing – but it is science – and it is peer reviewed – unlike the El Nino of hot moist air produced by the above named.

Dec 12, 2016 8:48 AM
Reply to  BigB

Global warming is depopulation & deindustrialisation: http://www.c3headlines.com
Click on quotes.
Many good graphs & articles also.

Dec 12, 2016 1:25 PM
Reply to  jdseanjd

Here is a quote:
“For more reasons than simply AGW – the world is in dire need of a New World Order. The question is, do we let the global elite impose their dystopian vision on us – or do we grow our own from the grassroots of international solidarity?”
Me, 30 seconds ago.

Dec 13, 2016 4:30 PM
Reply to  BigB

Your ref does not work.
Yes we need a new paradigm. The need is power/financial: too much money & power is concentrated in too few hands.
Two books:
1) Pawns in the Game, William Guy Carr, 1955.
2) The Creature from Jekyll Island, G. Edward Griffin. http://www.needtoknow.news

Dec 8, 2016 10:06 PM

David Icke videocast about global warming will eye- oppening for you, about President- elect Trump . I hope that after the inauguration he alone vist Moskow meeting Putin and ignore Nato Nd EU.