Thursday, November 30, 2017

Law is hard. Let's go shopping!

Thursday morning's top two stories may be about sexual harassment (well, about sexual harassment at the competition), but let it not be said that the Fair 'n' Balanced Network is overlooking the Mueller investigation. Take it away, Fox legal analyst Gregg Jarrett!

A direct conflict between the U.S. and Russia is a daily threat.

This is unheard of! We've never been at risk of conflict with Eurasia!

Two months ago, the Pentagon accused Russia of dropping bombs dangerously close to American special operations forces in eastern Syria. The U.S. issued a stern warning. In response, Russia threatened to retaliate if its troops came under fire by the U.S.

The two nations use a “de-confliction” hotline every day to share information about their operations in Syria, as military officers seek to avoid a mistake or miscalculation that could ignite a full-scale war between them.

Surely no one would get in the way of that important work! Or would they?

Such a conflict is something neither side may want, but its two leaders may be powerless to prevent it. Why? Because of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s continuing investigation.

The longer the special counsel’s case drags on, the less likely it will be that President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin can sit down together in earnest to discuss key issues. These issues include diffusing the increasingly dangerous encounters in Syria, plus a myriad of other contentious topics that imperil American-Russian relations.  

Because no president has ever had to deal with sensitive international issues while under investigation, right?

Among those who are deeply concerned is Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union. He recently described U.S.-Russia relations as having deteriorated into a “severe crisis,” warning that the nuclear arms control treaty that ended the Cold War is teetering on the precipice of collapse. Each side accuses the other of violating the terms of the treaty.

In a word, no. The INF treaty didn't end the Cold War (and, again, the Iran-contra investigation was a going thing while it was being negotiated). That wasn't the opinion expressed in the Reuters article, and it doesn't seem to have been Gorbachev's point, either -- though his suggestion that it's the weak link in the arms-control system is important:

Writing in a Russian government newspaper, the former Soviet leader offered a dire prediction: “If the system of curbing nuclear arms crumbles, and that is exactly what the collapse of the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) treaty can lead to, the consequences will be catastrophic.”

And we all know whose fault the current lack of understanding is, don't we?

... A summit meeting has not happened because there is legitimate concern in the White House that any friendly or conciliatory overture by President Trump toward Putin will surely be met by a hostile media. The media are predisposed to exploit any U.S.-Russian improvement in relations as incriminating evidence of Trump-Russia “collusion” which, however mistakenly, is a subject of Mueller’s investigation.

With no end in sight, the probe will linger as a critical impediment to warmer relations and a better mutual understanding that could avert the kind of cataclysmic conflict Gorbachev envisions and fears. Time is of the essence, and the clock is ticking.

So does this guy actually understand less about post-WWII Washington-Moscow relations than Trump himself?

... The reprisal prompted President Trump to observe: “Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time and very dangerous low. You can thank Congress.” 

Guess not. But on to the conclusion:

... Unless the special counsel accelerates the conclusion of his investigation, or otherwise reveals that there is no evidence of campaign “collusion” with Russia, relations between the two great nuclear powers could degrade to such a degree that armed conflict may become a frightening inevitability.

To put it plainly, Mueller’s investigation may be jeopardizing American lives. It is imperative that the probe be brought to a speedy conclusion.

In other words: Law is hard. Let's go shopping!   

* Weird, isn't it? There doesn't seem to be anything about sexual predation in the 2016 or 2017 political campaigns, though 1998 seemed to be a hot issue Wednesday.


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