Thursday, August 3, 2017

Our Congressional delegation ignores Trump-Kremlin collusion

You might have thought the only connection between Wyoming and Putin is our Congressional delegation’s willingness to ignore the Trump-Kremlin collusion. There is another and it is the connection that allows you to understand that when either Trump or Trump, Jr., says they were only discussing “adoptions” with the Russian president, something more sinister was afoot.

When Trump says they were only talking about adoptions, he is covering up the real purpose of their collusion.

The connection between Wyoming and the Trump-Russia scandal demonstrates what has been called “the butterfly effect.” The term comes from chaos theory, a mathematical interpretation of the underlying causes of patterns that appear random. The butterfly effect describes the impact minor disturbances can have on future events.

Chaos theory can be used to understand the current occupants of the White House. The butterfly effect helps us understand the impact of international politics on unsuspecting Wyoming families.

Its basics are explained metaphorically by Karen Marie Moning, author of “Darkfever.”

“A butterfly flaps its wings somewhere and the wind changes, and a warm front hits a cold front, off the coast of Africa and before you know it, you’ve got a hurricane closing in.”

In the context of current events, it goes like this. It all begins when someone steals hundreds of millions of dollars from the Russian treasury. An American-born British hedge-fund manager named William Browder lives in Moscow exposes the theft and the thieves.

The Russian government, whom you might expect to be pleased to learn of the corruption, is not. The Russians retaliate by confiscating much of Mr. Browder’s vast holdings and by deporting him. A butterfly has flapped its wings.

Mr. Browder hires a Moscow attorney named Sergei Magnitsky. Together they expose the extent of the government’s corruption. The winds have changed.

Mr. Magnitsky is arrested, thrown into prison, and is subsequently beaten to death by his captors. Browder makes the case a cause célèbre. A warm front then collides with a cold front somewhere over Russia.

The U.S. Congress passes the “Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act,” the Magnitsky Act for short. The 2012 law identifies specific Russians as human rights abusers and punishes those responsible for Magnitsky’s death by banning them from the USA and its banking system while imposing additional sanctions on Russia.

Vladimir Putin is furious. A hurricane closes in.

There isn’t much he can do to punish American lawmakers for passing the Magnitsky Act so he looks for far more vulnerable targets. Now, the flapping of the butterfly wings that caused the winds to change, and a warm front to hit a cold front off the coast of Africa, causes a hurricane. It hits Wyoming and, more specifically, the Wyoming Children’s Society, which operated a highly successful program helping families adopt Russian orphans. Putin retaliates against the lawmakers who passed the Magnitsky Act by banning the adoption of Russian orphans by Americans.

The Russian adoption program abruptly ends while Wyoming citizens along with some 200 other American families are awaiting Russian children to join their homes. One Wyoming family was actually in Moscow expecting to bring two children home with them as Putin crushes dreams and hopes at Christmastime 2012.

When you hear Trump and his son met with Russians to talk about “adoptions,” they are admitting to something far less benign. Their discussions with Putin and others were about a much more complicated series of events that started much earlier with the flapping of butterfly wings and extended to Putin’s cruel decision to end American adoptions of institutionalized Russian children Putin’s government neglects.

The discussion of adoptions isn’t about these children but whether Putin will get what he wants, an end to U.S. sanctions and a repeal of the Magnitsky Act.

In the obscure and often unsavory world of international politics, butterflies are always flapping their wings. The hurricanes that generates generally have unintended consequences that harm those for whom the instigators have little regard. Such was the case when the Russian dictator’s decision brought hurt to Wyoming families who were only trying to create a better life for Russian orphans.

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