Vladimir Putin's decision to sell the Saudis the S-400 is a blunder.
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The murder of Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey is unprecedented in its audacity. The response from Washington and the Canadian government is to sell more weapons to Saudi Arabia, weapons that are being used by the Saudis in their destruction of the Yemeni population. The Russian response, if the report I saw was not fake news, is to sell the Saudis the S-400 air defense system.
What we can conclude from this is that armament profits take precedence over murder and genocide.
Genocide is what is going on in Yemen. I heard a report today on NPR that Yemeni are dying from starvation and from a cholera epidemic that has resulted from the Saudi destruction of the infrastructure in Yemen. The aid worker giving the report was obviously sincere and upset, but had difficulty connecting the high death rate to the Washington-sponsored war, blaming instead a 20% devaluation of the Yemen currency that raised food prices out of the reach of most Yemeni. She said that the solution to the crisis was to stabilize the currency!
It is difficult to understand why in the Western media and among Western politicians there is so much demonization of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, North Korea, China, and Russia. It is not these demonized countries that are murdering people in their embassies, conducting wars of aggression (war crimes under the Nuremberg Standard), and embargoing food and medical supplies to the populations that are being bombed. These crimes are being done by Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United States and its NATO vassals.
Obviously, the Yemeni, like the Palestinians, don't count. Their slaughter doesn't cause a moral ripple in the West.
Putin might be giving Washington tit for tat by horning in on Washington's armaments customers, but the decision to is a strategic blunder. Saudi Arabia is a sponsor of the war against Syria, in whose defense Russian lives and treasure have been spent. Moreover, Saudi Arabia is an enemy of Iran. Iran is an ally of Russia in the defense of Syria, and a country whose stability is essential to Russia's stability. Perhaps even more important, the minute the Saudis get their hands on the S-400 they will hand it over to Washington, and experts will figure out how to defeat it, thus negating Russia's investment in the weapon and its advantage. The decision to sell the S-400 to the Saudis convinces Washington that Putin and his government are clueless, babes in the woods to be easily run over.
In my opinion, the worst aspect of the S-400 sale is that it erases the moral edge that Putin has gained for Russia over the murderous and ever-threatening West. Now we have Russia putting profits above the Russian government's professed respect for the rule of law and moral behavior.
An even more immoral and irresponsible development is President Trump's withdrawal from the INF Treaty. The only reason for Trump's Zionist Neoconservative National Security Adviser to orchestrate this withdrawal is to threaten Russia. Intermediate range missiles cannot reach the US. Russian ones could reach Europe, and US ones placed in Europe on Russia's border can comprise a first-strike nuclear attack on Russia that has no warning and is indefensible.
President Putin has complained for years, and warned of the consequences, of Washington establishing ABM missile sites in Poland and Romania under cover that their purpose is to protect Europe from Iranian missile attack. Putin has pointed out repeatedly that these missile sites can easily, without anyone knowing, be converted into a nuclear cruise missile attack posture against Russia. Yet, the crazed US National Security Adviser claims, illogically, that it is the Russians, who have nothing to gain from violating the treaty, who are cheating.
Europe has no capability whatsoever of being a military threat to Russia except as launching posts for Washington. If it were not for Washington's aggression toward Russia, Europe would face no Russian threat.
The reason President Reagan negotiated the INF Treaty with Gorbachev was to reduce the Soviet perception of the US as a threat. Reagan wanted the end of the Cold War and nuclear disarmament. Reagan hated nuclear weapons. By Reagan's time in office, no one with any intelligence any longer believed that the Red Army intended to overrun Europe. The problem was different. The problem was to get rid of nuclear weapons that are capable, if used, of winning no war but of destroying life on planet Earth. Reagan understood this completely.
Unfortunately, this understanding has been lost in Washington.
If the INF Treaty is abandoned, it is impossible for Russia to tolerate any missile bases near its borders as these bases could be first-strike nuclear weapons against which Russia has no defense. The European countries sufficiently stupid to host these bases will be on a hair-trigger with the Russian military. Just one false signal, and nuclear war begins.
Trump's intention to normalize relations with Russia has been defeated by CIA Director John Brennan, FBI Director James Comey, Justice Department Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the military/security complex, the Israel Lobby, the Democratic Party, the US liberal/progressive/left, and the presstitute media -- CNN, MSNBC, New York Times, Fox News, BBC, Washington Post, etc.