The Kremlin’s “America-Gate”? “An Eye for an Eye”. Will Russia’s Parliament “Retaliate”, Block U.S. Media from the Duma

“An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” Déjà VuThe concept goes back to Mesopotamia and Hammurabi’s Code, a collection of 282 laws inscribed on a stone pillar (see left)

Hammurabi ruled the Babylonian Empire from 1791-1750 B.C. The “eye for an eye” concept was used as legal justification and as an instrument of imperial conquest. Under the Roman Empire it was called Lex Talionis. “A Retaliation authorized by Law.” And that is precisely what both the U.S. and now Russia are doing.

It is a dangerous game. What will be the outcome? The collapse of US-Russia relations potentially spells disaster. 

Will the Russian Duma retaliate against the US Congressional decision  to exclude Russian media (including Sputnik and RT) from the Capitol Hill Congressional Press Galleries. This decision followed a ruling of the US Justice Department  demanding the registration of RT America as a “Foreign Agent”.

On November 21, the Executive Committee of the Congress Radio & Television Correspondents’ Galleries of the US Congress sent a letter to RT America. The RT Network would henceforth be excluded from Capitol Hill:

“The Executive Committee of the Congress Radio & Television Correspondents’ Galleries exercised its authority, as garnered by the rules of House of Senate, to withdraw the news credentials of the RT Network by unanimous vote on November 21, 2017.”

“The rules of the Galleries state clearly that news credentials may not be issued to any applicant employed ‘by any foreign government or representative thereof.’

“Upon its registration as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), RT Network became ineligible to hold news credentials” – effective immediately, its credentials ordered to be returned to the Senate Sergeant. (See Stephen Lendman, Russia-Gate Gone Wild, Global Research, November 2017

The decision by The Russian Duma to retaliate rather than seek a diplomatic solution is mistaken.

According to a Sputnik report,  the decision to ban the entry of US media to the Russian parliament is slated to take effect next week.

The issue was also commented on by Russian Upper House lawmaker Igor Morozov, who said that the restrictions may be imposed in mid-December.

“The ban on entry to the building will affect the media not only with full, but also partial US funding,” the lawmaker added.

Commenting on the Russian lawmakers’ proposals, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said,

“the discussion concerns American media outlets because such outrageous attacks on foreign media, in particular Russian ones, which are in violation of the world practice of freedom of speech, they, unfortunately, let’s say, flourish in the United States.”  (Sputnik, December 1, 2017)

What are the broader implications of Hammurabi style “Eye for and Eye” retaliatory measures.

If a “cease fire agreement” is not reached between Washington and Moscow, this process will not only continue, it will lead put the whole structure of international diplomacy and dialogue (which is already at an all time low) in jeopardy.

And this is occurring at a very critical moment: the World is at a dangerous crossroads, with US-Russia bilateral relations already in jeopardy, foreign policy miscalculations, particularly on the part of Washington, could lead to the unthinkable: “an eye for an eye” nuclear warfare, a pre-emptive first strike US nuclear attack against North Korea.

We recall the  circumstances of the Cuban Missile Crisis, fifty-five years ago in October 1962.

What distinguishes the October 1962 Missile Crisis to Today’s Realities:

1. Today’s president Donald Trump does not have the foggiest idea as to the consequences of nuclear war.

2, With Russia-Gate, communication today between the White House and the Kremlin is in jeopardy. Trump is not allowed to talk to Putin.

In contrast, in October 1962, the leaders on both sides, namely John F. Kennedy and Nikita S. Khrushchev were accutely aware of the dangers of nuclear annihilation. They collaborated with a view to avoiding the unthinkable.

3. The nuclear doctrine was entirely different during the Cold War. Both Washington and Moscow understood the realities of mutually assured destruction, a concept which is seemingly unkown to both Donald Trump and his Defense Secretary General  James “Mad Dog” Mattis. Today, tactical nuclear weapons with an explosive capacity (yield) of one third to six times a Hiroshima bomb are categorized by the Pentagon as “harmless to civilians because the explosion is underground”.

4.  A one trillion ++ nuclear weapons program, first launched under Obama, is ongoing.

5. Today’s thermonuclear bombs are more than 100 times more powerful and destructive than a Hiroshima bomb. Both the US and Russia have several thousand nuclear weapons deployed.

All of these factors require restoring dialogue between Russia and America, and specifically dialogue and exchange between Russia’s Duma and the US Congress, which is now debating mechanisms to curtail the authority of the President of the U.S. to launch a nuclear attack against a foreign country.

Moreover, another important dimension which is rarely mentioned in press reports: an all war against China is currently on the drawing board of the Pentagon as outlined by a RAND Corporation Report commissioned by the US Army.

What is disturbing is that the Pentagon firmly believes it can WIN a war against China or Russia, both of which are nuclear powers.

Featured image is from Sputnik/ Vladimir Fedorenko.

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About the author:

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal, Editor of Global Research.  He has taught as visiting professor in Western Europe, Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Latin America. He has served as economic adviser to governments of developing countries and has acted as a consultant for several international organizations. He is the author of eleven books including The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003), America’s “War on Terrorism” (2005), The Global Economic Crisis, The Great Depression of the Twenty-first Century (2009) (Editor), Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011), The Globalization of War, America's Long War against Humanity (2015). He is a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.  His writings have been published in more than twenty languages. In 2014, he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit of the Republic of Serbia for his writings on NATO's war of aggression against Yugoslavia. He can be reached at [email protected]

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