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Can Kim trust Trump?

All it would take would be some pretext alleging that Pyongyang is up to no good, and suddenly the deal could be off with the articulation of Trump’s pen

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US President Donald J. Trump actually followed through on his meeting with Korean leader Kim Jong Un, despite the on again off again track record of talks between the two leaders. Not only that, he actually didn’t just get up and walk out, as he had threatened to do, if his gut didn’t signal to him that the discussions were going to bear fruit. But as we know, Trump loves the shock and awe factor, and that’s part of how he operates. He likes to create conditions of suspense so that everyone sits on the edge of their seats wondering what he’s going to do, so that whatever he does is like a bolt from the blue. And that’s sort of what happened here. But the story hasn’t concluded yet. The meetings were surprising in that they occurred, in and of themselves, but the outcome isn’t as much surprising, largely because there wasn’t a whole lot of room for legitimate and meaningful progress towards any actual goals being accomplished on such an initial meeting.

When the French President Emmanuel Macron travelled to DC to butter up Trump in an effort to secure the preservation of the nuclear non proliferation deal with Iran, not much was accomplished, except for the usual ‘maybe, maybe not’ routine, although it’s not as though, even if Trump were indeed willing at some point to take that path, that Trump would have actually committed to sticking with the deal because of the relations between the two leaders, which were apparently improved considerably by their meetings, so that he would sign on to something meaningful in renewing the agreement. Although in the case of North Korea here, we do at least have Trump’s signature on a statement of intent to push forward with negotiations to iron out a peace agreement, an apparent end to America’s provocative activities on the peninsula, and the eventual full denuclearization of the North Korean regime.

Essentially, the joint statement says that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States of America are declaring their intentions to develop diplomatic relations between their two nations, promote peace on the Korean peninsula together, work towards a denuclearization programme, and the recovery of the remains of POW/MIAs. It doesn’t really say or do anything meaningful in the context of achieving any of those things other than declaring that these are the intentions of these two nations going forward. But of course, it doesn’t have to, either.

Trump has additionally declared that the ‘provocative and expensive’ military exercises were going to stop, which encountered a snag over what VP Pence meant by saying that exercises will, in fact, continue. Criticisms from many mainstream analysts and media outlets on the joint statement and the announcement by Trump about the military drills in South Korea range from concerns that the document is not specific enough with its definitions or lack of certain conditions to worries that Trump is giving up war games exercises without getting enough in return to the fact that the meeting didn’t come out with any formal results on the issues of peace or denuclearization.

Personally, I find these criticisms to be quite silly. Nothing has been defined or laid out to even be signed off on in the manner of really getting anything done by this meeting up to date, so that the concept that everything was to be sorted out and dealt with in one initial meeting is really shallow thinking, and very unrealistic. Complaining that a declaration to dismantle a nuclear arsenal is not enough in exchange to cut back on some military war games is simply dumbfounding, as I’m not quite sure how you intend to get more in return for something like that, the very prospect of such an exchange is entirely disproportionate, although granting that the cessation of the war games drills isn’t all there is or may be as this process moves forward, but that’s not really giving very much in exchange for nuclear disarmament. If anyone is giving more than they’re getting, it looks like the DPRK is putting the most skin in the game. After all, America still has 28,000 boots in South Korea and the ROK and Japan are both still in America’s nuclear defense umbrella.

If one wants to look for reasons to criticize what happened in Singapore between Trump and Kim, there is no shortage of ways and reasons to do so, but reason seems to be the last thing that the mainstream media wants to employ. Primarily, one can look to the fact that Trump’s agreement to something is no indication that he intends to stand by it. Just before he hopped on board Air Force One to head to Singapore in order to have this meeting with Kim, he had approved of the communique to be issued by the G7 summit, but reneged on that once he got on his plane. The tariffs regime relative to China is something that can be pointed to, as back and forth tariffs measures were levied by Washington and Beijing before some sort of agreement was brokered to cut back on these measures, before they were renewed on Washington’s part.

What’s more is Trump’s apparent disdain for multilateralism in preference for bilateral agreements, while this Korean situation is a multilateral one of its very nature, and will include the signatories to the original armistice, in order to establish a peace regime, and several regional powers who want to realize a nuclear free Korean peninsula, so that we’re staring down the barrel of a multilateral agreement being hammered out here if the process manages to progress that far. That is, unless all the parties involved are successful enough in stroking his Trump Tower sized ego by making him feel like it was all his accomplishment

Of course, any deal reached between Trump and Kim must be a ‘good’ deal or else Trump won’t sign on to it, or at the least won’t stick with it. The Iran deal was branded as a ‘bad’ deal by Trump, and so he backed out of it. But another concern is that of Trump’s own fickleness. His reversal of position on the G7 communique wasn’t about the contents of the statement itself, but over the fact that the Canadian PM said that Trump’s logic for levying tariffs on Canada over ‘national security’ reasons was ‘insulting’, which criticism was perceived by Trump as a sort of back stab, and, as a reprisal for such mean words, he instructed his delegates not to endorse the statement that the G7 was still to issue, even though he had previously approved of it. .

But Trump’s behaviour regarding the Iran nuclear deal is what really takes the cake, and serves as the closest possible comparison to a denuclearization agreement on the Korean peninsula. Much fuss is being made over the insistence that the nuclear disarmament by the DPRK must be ‘complete’ irreversible, and verifiable’. Who decides whether whatever actions the DPRK takes in that regard meet those standards? The IAEA? Their word isn’t good enough on the Iran deal, as they have been regularly certifying Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA for years, and they’ve got a level of access to Iran’s facilities that is deemed ‘unprecedented’.

But Washington, and Tel Aviv, insist that Iran is actually violating the terms of the deal and operating a clandestine nuclear program, and that’s the main reason why the JCPOA was a ‘bad’ deal. Well, that and the fact that Iran lends some assistance to Assad in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and allegedly sponsors militant muslim radicals the world over. And maybe because they’re just Iran and Iran is definitely the bad guys, no matter what. Similarly, that’s likely why so many of Trump’s apologists who want to defend his backing out of the JCPOA insist that ‘the JCPOA wasn’t perfect’, as though that somehow justifies scrapping it without any sort of replacement at all. But then, Washington’s demands told us what the real issue is, and it’s not about whether they really think that Iran is training and funding a bunch of radicalized Sunnis to go about on murderous rampages all around the world (even though the Iran government and the Sunnis are not best of pals) but that Iran is assisting Assad in Syria.

Washington basically demands that Iran give up its foreign policy and basically any and all armaments, not just the nuclear stuff. That’s not because Iran is a threat to the stability of the Middle East, or is bombing every other country in the Middle East, or funding and training terrorists to do that sort of thing, no, that’s the Americans who openly do that stuff. If training and funding terrorists for the purpose of destabilizing nations in the Middle East is a good reason for a nation to give up its foreign policy and its military capabilities, in addition to its nuclear arsenal, then where are the cries that Washington repurposes the insanely massive military budget and focuses only on its domestic concerns and lets the Middle East finally realize peace and development? But that’s right, the apologists also tell us the JCPOA wasn’t ‘perfect’ because Tehran could still make ballistic missiles, even if they’re not nuclear warheads.

That might be a major concern if one thought that Iran was going to use that somewhere, as if the allegations that come out of Washington and the mainstream media were accurate. You know, like the stuff they tell us about Russia. The election hacking of just about everybody, the skripal poisonings, the hacking of diplomatic offices, to the cold of winter, you name it, the Russians are behind it. It’s Washington and the MSM that keep cranking these allegations out, and they’re the same ones telling us that Iran is this big threat that’s behind all the bad stuff in the Middle East, like the destabilization of Iraq, or Libya, or Syria, or Yemen… scratch those last four, that was somebody else, pay no heed. But everything else, those Iranians are behind it, and they are a force for chaos and destabilization. Well, perhaps in the opinion of the guy who made his little presentation about Iran’s alleged violations of the JCPOA that Trump made reference to in his withdrawal declaration, maybe so.

No, that’s about the interests of Israel and the Gulf States, and painting Iran as the villain is how that goal is accomplished. The rhetoric about Iran is no more true than Saddam’s WMDs or Putin’s hacking the American elections in order to put Trump in the Oval Office. But it served as a good enough of an excuse to scrap a multilateral nuclear non proliferation agreement against the urgings of every other signatory and many other nations the world over. If that’s how Washington makes its decisions, that essentially means that at any point in time, Washington could decide that it thinks that North Korea is actually violating its nuclear disarmament agreement, no matter how stringently its is supervised and overseen and no matter who performs that task. All it would take would be some pretext, some allegation that Pyongyang is up to no good, and suddenly the deal could be off with the articulation of Trump’s pen.

 

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John SmithEol AwkirucaandyoldlabourStop Bush and Clinton Recent comment authors
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John Smith
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John Smith

The answer : No.
The “writer” just wasted these additional 1499 words…comment image

Eol Awki
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Eol Awki

The document signed afterwards really says nothing. However, Trump’s statement during his press conference should be of prime concern to Kim. What has changed with the US stance on NK? Nothing. Nothing at all. NK must give up their nuclear capability BEFORE the US is willing to even consider relief of sanctions, guaranteeing NK’s security. He said it clearly for all to hear – denuclearisation must proceed to the point of no return before the US will promise anything. The only thing either party really got out of this exchange was good global PR. I hope NK is not really… Read more »

ruca
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ruca

No!

andyoldlabour
Guest
andyoldlabour

There is no way that he can be trusted. I wouldn’t even shake hands with someone like Trump, because I wouldn’t know if I was going to get my hand back.

Stop Bush and Clinton
Guest
Stop Bush and Clinton

Trump can be trusted on this as long as:
1. He has an interest in sticking to what he promised for ulterior motives (“let’s pull the military out of Korea because we need them to invade Iran and Russia!”)
2. He doesn’t talk to Bolton, who usually convinces Trump of the opposite every time he tries to do something right

Given 1., North Korea should be safe at least until Iran is a nuclear wasteland – but 2. is a problem, he’s obviously talking to Bolton already.
Someone send Bolton to Gitmo…

colum
Guest
colum

https://www.rt.com/news/429565-trump-nuclear-north-korea/

Well butter me up buttercup and bend over

If the RT article isn’t a prelude to a D*cking I don’t know what is
Who’s F***’d is to be seen but such niceties aren’t exchanged without a view to a ‘love in’, be it with a reach around for Trump by Kim, a sand paper Stra-pon for Kim by Trump, Barbed wire DIll Dough for Trump by the deep state or a feather duster for us for being too cynical for our own good. Only time will tell.

Patrick Woolley
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Patrick Woolley

Trust America with keeping to their terms as per a peace treaty?

Sure, why not – if you want your country destroyed and want to be beaten to death by barbarians, that is.

MyWikiDisQus
Guest
MyWikiDisQus

President Trump: “I want a Nobel peace prize like Obama got. How can I do that?”
Chief of Staff, Kelly: “There is one way, sir. Offer a nuclear weapons deal with North Korea.”
President Trump: “Yeah, that might work. But can I renege on it after I get the award?”
Chief of Staff, Kelly: “Sure you can, Mr. President. George Bush did it and so can you.”
President Trump: “Great! Let’s go over there and lie like a rug.”

mijj
Guest
mijj

the question is really about US integrity (not just Trump). Can the US be trusted? .. to seek clarity, rephrase as: “Can the Mafia be trusted?” => Of course not.

Julie . C W B.
Guest
Julie . C W B.

Of course not. No one outside the US trusts trump.

John Vu
Guest
John Vu

Can you trust deepstate?

Linda Wren
Guest
Linda Wren

Frankly? No!

Latest

Understanding the Holodomor and why Russia says nothing

A descendant of Holodomor victims takes the rest of us to school as to whether or not Russia needs to shoulder the blame.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the charges that nationalist Ukrainians often lodge against their Russian neighbors is that the Russian government has never acknowledged or formally apologized to Ukraine for the “Holodomor” that took place in Ukraine in 1932-1933. This was a man-made famine that killed an estimated seven to 10 million Ukrainians , though higher estimates claim 12.5 million and lower ones now claim 3.3 million.

No matter what the total was, it amounts to a lot of people that starved to death. The charge that modern-day Russia ought to apologize for this event is usually met with silence, which further enrages those Ukrainians that believe that this issue must be resolved by the Russian acknowledgement of responsibility for it. Indeed, the prime charge of these Ukrainians is that the Russians committed a genocide against the Ukrainian people. This is a claim Russia denies.

To the outside observer who does not know this history of Russia and Ukraine’s relationship, and who does not know or understand the characteristics of the Soviet Union, this charge seems as simple and laid out as that of the Native Americans or the blacks demanding some sort of recompense or restitution for the damages inflicted on these societies through conquest and / or slavery. But we discovered someone who had family connections involved in the Holodomor, and who offers her own perspective, which is instructive in why perhaps the Russian Federation does not say anything about this situation.

Scene in Kharkiv with dead from the famine 1932-33 lying along the street.

The speaker is Anna Vinogradova, a Russian Israeli-American, who answered the question through Quora of “Why doesn’t Russia recognize the Holodomor as a genocide?” She openly admits that she speaks only for herself, but her answer is still instructive. We offer it here, with some corrections for the sake of smooth and understandable English:

I can’t speak for Russia and what it does and doesn’t recognize. I can speak for myself.

I am a great-granddaughter of a “Kulak” (кулак), or well-to-do peasant, who lived close to the Russia/Ukraine border.

The word “кулак” means “fist” in Russian, and it wasn’t a good thing for a person to be called by this label. A кулак was an exploiter of peasants and a class enemy of the new state of workers and poor peasants. In other words, while under Communism, to be called a кулак was to bring a death sentence upon yourself.

At some point, every rural class enemy, every peasant who wasn’t a member of a collective farm was eliminated one way or another.

Because Ukraine has very fertile land and the Ukrainian style of agriculture often favors individual farms as opposed to villages, there is no question that many, many Ukrainian peasants were considered class enemies like my great grandfather, and eliminated in class warfare.

I have no doubt that class warfare included starvation, among other things.

The catch? My great grandfather was an ethnic Russian living in Russia. What nationality were the communists who persecuted and eventually shot him? They were of every nationality there was (in the Soviet Union), and they were led by a Ukrainian, who was taking orders from a Georgian.

Now, tell me, why I, a descendant of an unjustly killed Russian peasant, need to apologize to the descendants of the Ukrainians who killed him on the orders of a Georgian?

What about the Russian, Kazakh golodomor (Russian rendering of the same famine)? What about the butchers, who came from all ethnicities? Can someone explain why it’s only okay to talk about Ukrainian victims and Russian persecutors? Why do we need to rewrite history decades later to convert that brutal class war into an ethnic war that it wasn’t?

Ethnic warfare did not start in Russia until after WWII, when some ethnicities were accused of collaboration with the Nazis and brutal group punishments were implemented. It was all based on class up to that time.

The communists of those years were fanatically internationalist. “Working people of all countries, unite!” was their slogan and they were fanatical about it.

As for the crimes of Communism, Russia has been healing this wound for decades, and Russia’s government has made its anticommunist position very clear.

This testimony is most instructive. First, it points out information that the charge of the Holodomor as “genocide!” neatly leaves out. In identifying the internationalist aspects of the Soviet Union, Ukraine further was not a country identified as somehow worthy of genocidal actions. Such a thought makes no sense, especially given the great importance of Ukraine as the “breadbasket” of the Soviet Union, which it was.

Secondly, it shows a very western-style of “divide to conquer” with a conveniently incendiary single-word propaganda tool that is no doubt able to excite any Ukrainian who may be neutral to slightly disaffected about Russia, and then after that, all Ukrainians are now victims of the mighty evil overlords in Moscow.

How convenient is this when the evil overlords in Kyiv don’t want their citizens to know what they are doing?

We saw this on Saturday – taken to a very high peak when President Petro Poroshenko announced the new leading “Hierarch” of the “Ukrainian National Church” and said not one single word about Christ, but only:

“This day will go down in history as the day of the creation of an autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine… This is the day of the creation of the church as an independent structure… What is this church? It is a church without Putin. It is a church without Kirill, without prayer for the Russian authorities and the Russian army.”

But as long as Russia is made the “problem”, millions of scandalized Ukrainians will not care what this new Church actually does or teaches, which means it is likely to teach just about anything.

Russia had its own Holodomor. The history of the event shows that this was a result of several factors – imposed socialist economics on a deeply individualized form of agrarian capitalism (bad for morale and worse for food production), really inane centralized planning of cropland use, and a governmental structure that really did not exist to serve the governed, but to impose an ideology on people who really were not all that interested in it.

Personal blame might well lay with Stalin, a Georgian, but the biggest source of the famine lay in the structures imposed under communism as a way of economic strategy. This is not Russia’s fault. It is the economic model that failed.

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Mueller Finally Releases Heavily Redacted Key Flynn Memo On Eve Of Sentencing

Alex Christoforou

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Via Zerohedge


Having initially snubbed Judge Emmet Sullivan’s order to release the original 302 report from the Michael Flynn interrogation in January 2017, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finally produced the heavily redacted document, just hours before sentencing is due to be handed down.

The memo  – in full below – details then-national security adviser Michael Flynn’s interview with FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka, and shows Flynn was repeatedly asked about his contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and in each instance, Flynn denied (or did not recall) any such conversations.

The agents had transcripts of Flynn’s phone calls to Russian Ambassador Kislyak, thus showing Flynn to be lying.

Flynn pleaded guilty guilty last December to lying to the FBI agents about those conversations with Kislyak.

The redactions in the document seem oddly placed but otherwise, there is nothing remarkable about the content…

Aside from perhaps Flynn’s incredulity at the media attention…

Flynn is set to be sentenced in that federal court on Tuesday.

Of course, as Christina Laila notes, the real crime is that Flynn was unmasked during his phone calls to Kislyak and his calls were illegally leaked by a senior Obama official to the Washington Post.

*  *  *

Full document below…

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Don’t Laugh : It’s Giving Putin What He Wants

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself.

Caitlin Johnstone

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Authored by Caitlin Johnstone:


The BBC has published an article titled “How Putin’s Russia turned humour into a weapon” about the Kremlin’s latest addition to its horrifying deadly hybrid warfare arsenal: comedy.

The article is authored by Olga Robinson, whom the BBC, unhindered by any trace of self-awareness, has titled “Senior Journalist (Disinformation)”. Robinson demonstrates the qualifications and acumen which earned her that title by warning the BBC’s audience that the Kremlin has been using humor to dismiss and ridicule accusations that have been leveled against it by western governments, a “form of trolling” that she reports is designed to “deliberately lower the level of discussion”.

“Russia’s move towards using humour to influence its campaigns is a relatively recent phenomenon,” Robinson explains, without speculating as to why Russians might have suddenly begun laughing at their western accusers. She gives no consideration to the possibility that the tightly knit alliance of western nations who suddenly began hysterically shrieking about Russia two years ago have simply gotten much more ridiculous and easier to make fun of during that time.

Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the emergence of a demented media environment wherein everything around the world from French protests to American culture wars to British discontent with the European Union gets blamed on Russia without any facts or evidence. Wherein BBC reporters now correct guests and caution them against voicing skepticism of anti-Russia narratives because the UK is in “an information war” with that nation. Wherein the same cable news Russiagate pundit can claim that both Rex Tillerson’s hiring and his later firing were the result of a Russian conspiracy to benefit the Kremlin. Wherein mainstream outlets can circulate blatantly false information about Julian Assange and unnamed “Russians” and then blame the falseness of that reporting on Russian disinformation. Wherein Pokemon Go, cutesy Facebook memes and $4,700 in Google ads are sincerely cited as methods by which Hillary Clinton’s $1.2 billion presidential campaign was outdone. Wherein conspiracy theories that Putin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government have been blaring on mainstream headline news for two years with absolutely nothing to show for it to this day.

Nope, the only possibility is that the Kremlin suddenly figured out that humor is a thing.

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself. The hypocrisy is so cartoonish, the emotions are so breathlessly over-the-top, the stories so riddled with plot holes and the agendas underlying them so glaringly obvious that they translate very easily into laughs. I myself recently authored a satire piece that a lot of people loved and which got picked up by numerous alternative media outlets, and all I did was write down all the various escalations this administration has made against Russia as though they were commands being given to Trump by Putin. It was extremely easy to write, and it was pretty damn funny if I do say so myself. And it didn’t take any Kremlin rubles or dezinformatsiya from St Petersburg to figure out how to write it.

“Ben Nimmo, an Atlantic Council researcher on Russian disinformation, told the BBC that attempts to create funny memes were part of the strategy as ‘disinformation for the information age’,” the article warns. Nimmo, ironically, is himself intimately involved with the British domestic disinformation firm Integrity Initiative, whose shady government-sponsored psyops against the Labour Party have sparked a national scandal that is likely far from reaching peak intensity.

“Most comedy programmes on Russian state television these days are anodyne affairs which either do not touch on political topics, or direct humour at the Kremlin’s perceived enemies abroad,” Robinson writes, which I found funny since I’d just recently read an excellent essay by Michael Tracey titled “Why has late night swapped laughs for lusting after Mueller?”

“If the late night ‘comedy’ of the Trump era has something resembling a ‘message,’ it’s that large segments of the nation’s liberal TV viewership are nervously tracking every Russia development with a passion that cannot be conducive to mental health – or for that matter, political efficacy,” Tracey writes, documenting numerous examples of the ways late night comedy now has audiences cheering for a US intelligence insider and Bush appointee instead of challenging power-serving media orthodoxies as programs like The Daily Show once did.

If you wanted the opposite of “anodyne affairs”, it would be comedians ridiculing the way all the establishment talking heads are manipulating their audiences into supporting the US intelligence community and FBI insiders. It would be excoriating the media environment in which unfathomably powerful world-dominating government agencies are subject to less scrutiny and criticism than a man trapped in an embassy who published inconvenient facts about those agencies. It certainly wouldn’t be the cast of Saturday Night Live singing “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to a framed portrait if Robert Mueller wearing a Santa hat. It doesn’t get much more anodyne than that.

Russia makes fun of western establishment narratives about it because those narratives are so incredibly easy to make fun of that they are essentially asking for it, and the nerdy way empire loyalists are suddenly crying victim about it is itself more comedy. When Guardian writer Carole Cadwalladr began insinuating that RT covering standard newsworthy people like Julian Assange and Nigel Farage was a conspiracy to “boost” those people for the advancement of Russian agendas instead of a news outlet doing the thing that news reporting is, RT rightly made fun of her for it. Cadwalladr reacted to RT’s mockery with a claim that she was a victim of “attacks”, instead of the recipient of perfectly justified ridicule for circulating an intensely moronic conspiracy theory.

Ah well. People are nuts and we’re hurtling toward a direct confrontation with a nuclear superpower. Sometimes there’s nothing else to do but laugh. As Wavy Gravy said, “Keep your sense of humor, my friend; if you don’t have a sense of humor it just isn’t funny anymore.”

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