Moon of Alabama
Sometimes it is impossible to discern whether Washington Post writers are moronic or drunk.
In a front page piece today about Russia's engagement in Venezuela the three authors include this line:
In an era of generally warming ties between the Trump administration and Moscow, Russia’s deepening involvement in Venezuela is creating a flash point by challenging the U.S. effort to force Maduro from office.
What please are the signs that we are in an "in an era of generally warming ties between the Trump administration and Moscow" ?
The piece includes nothing that supports that claim.
The U.S. is occupying parts of Syria against Russia's will. It is threatening Russia by positioning ever more NATO forces at its borders. Trump left the INF treaty with Russia. He opposed Russia wherever he could. Nothing of that has changed.
In fact yesterday Bloomberg reported that the U.S. is reading new sanctions against Russia for the MI6 stunt of vanishing Sergej Skripal:
The White House has received a long-awaited package of new sanctions on Russia, intended to punish the Kremlin for a 2018 nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy in the U.K.
Last week Russia deployed some 100 military technicians and cyber-defense specialists to Venezuela. They will test and probably upgrade Venezuela's S-300 air defense systems. They will also help to check the control systems of Venezuela's Simón Bolívar Hydroelectric Plant and the Guri Dam that trice led to large scale electricity outages during the last month. Venzuela suspects that U.S. cyber attacks led to those failures.
Also yesterday Trump's special envoy for Venezuela Elliot Abrams and National Security Advisor John Bolton threatened even more sanctions against Russia for its hardly existing footprint in Venezuela:
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been given a list of options to respond to Russia's growing presence in Venezuela in support of Maduro, including new sanctions, said Elliott Abrams, the U.S. special representative for Venezuela.
"We have options and it would be a mistake for the Russians to think they have a free hand here. They don’t," Abrams told reporters at the State Department.
U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this week said "Russia has to get out" of Venezuela and said "all options" were open to force Russia to do so after two Russian air force planes carrying nearly 100 military personnel landed outside Caracas.
Trump's national security adviser John Bolton issued a second warning on Friday in a strongly worded formal statement.
"We strongly caution actors external to the Western Hemisphere against deploying military assets to Venezuela, or elsewhere in the Hemisphere, with the intent of establishing or expanding military operations," Bolton said.
"We will consider such provocative actions as a direct threat to international peace and security in the region. We will continue to defend and protect the interests of the United States, and those of our partners in the Western Hemisphere," he said.
Again we ask: What please are the signs that we are "in an era of generally warming ties between the Trump administration and Moscow"?
What is the purpose of making that claim?