From The Saker:
People tend to forget that Putin was an officer in the foreign intelligence branch of the KGB, the so-called “First Main Directorate” (PGU). Furthermore, Putin has recently revealed that he worked in the highly secretive “Directorate S” of the PGU and he was in charge of contacts with a network of illegal Soviet spies in East-Germany (were Putin was under the official cover of Director of the USSR-GDR Friendship House). If the PGU was the “elite of the elite” of the KGB, and its most secretive part, then the “Directorate S” was the “elite of the elite” of the PGU and its most secretive part. This is most definitely not a career for “naive” or “weak” people, to put it mildly! First and foremost, PGU officers were “specialists of the West” in general, and of the United States especially because the USA was always officially considered as the “main enemy” (even if most PGU officers personally considered the British as their most capable, dangerous and devious adversary). Considering the superb level of education and training given to these officers, I would argue that the PGU officers were amongst the best experts of the West anywhere in the world. Their survival and the survival of their colleagues depended on their correct understanding of the western world. As for Putin personally, he has always taken action in a very deliberate and measured way and there is no reason to assume that this time around the latest US sanctions have suddenly resulted in some kind of emotional outburst in the Kremlin. You can be darn sure that this latest Russian reaction is the result of very carefully arrived to conclusion and the formulation of a very precise and long-term objective.
I submit that the key to the correct understanding of the Russian response is in the fact that the latest US sanctions contain an absolutely unprecedented and, frankly, shocking feature: the new measures strip the President from the authority to revoke the sanctions. In practical terms, if Trump wanted to life any of these sanctions, he would have to send an official letter to Congress which would then have 30 days to approve or reject the proposed action. In other words, the Congress has now hijacked the power of the Presidency to conduct foreign policy and taken upon itself to micromanage the US foreign policy.
That, my friends, is clearly a constitutional coup d’état and a gross violation of the principles of separation of powers which is at the very core of the US political system.
It also is a telling testimony to the utter depravity of the US Congress which took no such measures when Presidents bypass Congress and started wars without the needed congressional authority, but which is now overtly taking over the US foreign policy to prevent the risk of “peace breaking out” between Russia and the USA.
And Trump’s reaction?
He declared that he would sign the bill.
Yes, the man is willing to put his signature on the text which represents an illegal coup d’état against this own authority and against the Constitution which he swore to uphold.
With this in mind, the Russian reaction is quite simple and understandable: they have given up on Trump.
From Auslander in the comments:
It is my understanding that those being expelled are ‘diplomats’, meaning foreign nationals. The expulsion of these worthies means a number of hired help locals will lose their employment also but as several have commented the hired help to a man I would bet are 150% behind the anti Russia policies of USA…
The sanctions galvanized the populace of Russia and united the vast majority of them in support of President Putin and Russia…
NATO/US/EU troops never leave after any drills near the borders of Russia.
It does not in any sense want to destroy Russia by force, as it knows full well that to do that it would have to risk its own nuclear destruction. No, the US wants to weaken Russia economically, destabilise its political system and eventually break it up into manageable pieces compliant with the needs of the Empire…
The US is an Empire that has, as so many others before them have done, overextended itself, and now finds itself fighting on multiple socio-political, military and economic fronts fighting off the ‘barbarians, and destroying itself from within via the takeover of the country by uncompromising and opposing ideologies preventing any internal progress on domestic issues. It also finds itself engaged internationally against opponents who are several cuts above the their typical enemy in terms of military strength, geographical advantage, sophistication, patience, strategy assessment, tactical response, intelligence and plain common sense – i.e., Russia, China and Iran.
From One Tribe:
[P]eople are simply falling into waking awareness, when all reasonable doubt has been used up!
Interestingly, this shows alignment of urgency…
Putin has already distinguished himself as the most astute and capable foreign policy leader in living history…
The new Eurasian civilisation proposed by the Russia-China more-than-mere-alliance and more-like-marriage is a world historical game-changer. They make deals which improve things for all involved both economically and culturally. This civilisational initiative will uplift the entire Eurasian central island and all countries therein, and of course they no doubt would love Europe to get on board so that from Lisbon to Beijing, there will be an interlinked multi-national, dynamic, peaceful, innovative, positive and basically sane new civilisation that does not depend upon channeling all power and influence into a profit-seeking 1% centralising all currency/debt creation, all energy technologies, all agro-business, big pharma and all the rest of it. Their days are numbered.
But the point being: since the Eurasian Civilisation movement is essentially positive, there are no great monsters out there; so as long as the Neocon Beast can be contained, America is in no danger of being blown up or destroyed whilst it goes through a long overdue Second Republic phase which she is not quite yet ready for, but which Trump’s reign might well trigger as his very existence is forcing the neocons to overplay their hand.