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CONFIRMED: Arab countries break ties with Qatar

In spite of what Saudi says, the real reason for isolating Qatar is its attempted rapprochement with Iran.

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The Arab League, which is generally known for siding with the US against secular Arab states like Syria and formerly Libya, now has some of its key members turning against a high ranking member of the club.

Qatar, like Saudi Arabia practices a variety of Salafi Islam, an extreme version of Islam, one that many Islamic scholars consider aberrant or an apostasy. Similarly, Qatar like Saudi Arabia generally follows the same pro-US foreign policy in the region and has been deeply desirous to overthrow the secular government of the Syrian Arab Republic in order to more easily construct a pipeline running through Syria.

Generally Saudi and Qatar are more or less on the same page in terms of both foreign policy and indeed in terms of domestic policy, but now a spat between the two countries has erupted and its reverberations are shaking the wider Arab world.

The proximate cause of the dispute is a not so private attempt on the part of the Qatari leadership to make amends with Iran.

Recently, the official state Qatar News Agency ran a story on Twitter carrying a statement by Qatar’s supreme ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani which called for a wider rapprochement between the Sunni Arab world and Iran. In the statement, the Qatari leader was also reported as praising the Lebanese party Hezbollah which is allied with both secular Syria and Shi’a Iran.

The comments were quickly deleted and hackers were blamed for the post, but a great deal of damage was done and few in the Gulf believed the ‘hacker’ story. Qatari media outlet Al Jazeera has also been accused in the wider Arab world of supporting US backed Islamist extremists throughout the region, a claim which happens to be objectively true.

It has emerged that since the infamous deleted Tweets from the Qatar News Agency, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani held a positive phone conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, something which infuriated the leaders of Saudi and the UAE.

As a result, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and also Egypt and the Yemeni factional government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, have severed all relations with Qatar.

Iranian deputy chief of staff Hamid Aboutalebi has condemned the move saying,

“The era of cutting diplomatic ties and closing borders… is not a way to resolve crisis… as I said before, aggression and occupation will have no result but instability”.

Iran understands the real reason behind the Saudi led moves to isolate Qatar, but in a move of sheer hypocrisy. The public excuse for the cutting of ties is that Qatar supports terrorism.

Making things even more ironic, many in the Gulf are citing the following report from Wikileaks as the proximate cause of the severing of relations with Qatar,

Here, Wikileaks once again affirmed that Hillary Clinton was well aware of both Saudi and Qatar’s funding of ISIS. It beggars belief that Saudi should lead the call for Qatar’s isolation for doing what Saudi also does. But then again it would look rather odd to cut off relations with one’s self.

Behind the clear charade there are subtle differences. Qatar continues to support extremist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas while Saudi opts to limit itself to covertly supporting even more extreme groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Egypt has been the victim of terrorist groups funded by Saudi and Qatar. The fact that Egypt would also join the Gulf states severing ties with Qatar in this sense actually has a real legitimacy behind it. The sad fact that Egypt for example, would sever ties with Qatar and not Saudi, demonstrates the political influence of Saudi on the wider Middle East. Even Egypt, the largest Arab state was afraid to cut off ties with Qatar until Saudi did the same, albeit for totally disingenuous reasons.

The Egyptian government released the following statement regarding its decision to sever ties with Qatar,

“The Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt has decided to sever diplomatic relations with Qatar because of the continued hostility of the Qatari authorities towards Egypt”.

Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood led Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain to sever ties briefly in 2014, but this ultimately led to little in the long term. Today’s wider severing of ties could be more profound.

The Republic of Maldives as well as the Libyan House of Representatives in Tobruk has also now cut ties with Qatar.

According to Libyan Foreign Minister Mohammed Dairi,

“Qatar has been the main source of supplying weapons to the Libyan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and other armed Islamist groups since 2012 and poses a threat to the national security of the Arab world”.

In respect of Yemen, The Saudis who back the Hadi government of Yemen, also accuse Qatar of aiding Houthi fighters who are backed by Iran and support the contested Presidency of Ali Abdullah Saleh. Again, Qatar’s covert and at times not so covert aid of the Houthi backed factions in Yemen is best understood as a geo-political portfolio diversification than anything more ideological.

Saudi Arabia is well aware that its handsomely funded military remains among the most poorly trained in the wider region. The Saudi military is losing a war to poorly armed Houthi fighters in neighbouring Yemen. The idea that they could militarily take on Iran, which has one of the most professionally trained armies in the world, is simply laughable and deep down the Saudis know this. Because of this, Saudi have tried to bribe the rest of the Sunni Arab world into its anti-Iranian jihad, something which the United States has supported.

The problem with Qatar is that it cannot be bought. Although far smaller than Saudi, Qatar is a rich, extremist, Sunni state, but it apparently does not like competition and in that respect and consequently it is diversifying its geo-political portfolio.

The first rule of diplomatic analysis is not to listen to what Saudi Arabia says. Instead one ought to observe what Saudi Arabia does. In this case, they are afraid that Qatar is using the Iranian Trump card to attempt to break Saudi’s geo-political monopoly on Gulfi policy positions.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said of the row,

“We certainly would encourage the parties to sit down together and address these differences”.

He went on to say that the spat would not affect America’s role in the region.

The fact that Saudi and its allies, as well as secular Egypt and war torn Yemen have also joined in proves that as Nikolay Chernyshevsky once said “the worse, the better”.

 

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Deep State insurrection defying POTUS Trump’s order to release unredacted FISA docs (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 113.

Alex Christoforou

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Deep State officials like ex-CIA chief John Brennan are in panic mode.

Deep State DOJ tool Rod Rosenstein refuses to comply with Trump’s executive order as afforded him by the US Constitution.

Establishment Democrats are all over the mainstream media channels calling the act of releasing documents criminal.

The US President wants every American citizen to see the full, unredacted version of the FISA documents used to spy on Carter Page. Trump is simply asking for full transparency, in what has become a two year, multi-million dollar witch hunt, to find collusion where there is none.

This is all you need to know about the hoax that was and is Trump-Russia collusion and the Robert Mueller special counsel investigation.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the insurrection taking place at the US Department of Justice, as Democrats, ex-Obama officials, and DOJ directors are doing everything in their power to make sure the truth, about how the FISA warrant to spy on Carter Page was obtained, remains hidden from the eyes of the American public.

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Via Zerohedge


Despite President Trump’s Monday order for the “immediate declassification” of sensitive materials related to the Russia investigation, “without redaction,” the agencies involved are planning to do so anyway, according to Bloomberg, citing three people familiar with the matter.

The Justice Department, FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence are going through a methodical review and can’t offer a timeline for finishing, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the sensitive matter. –Bloomberg

Trump ordered the DOJ to release the text messages of former FBI Director James Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, now-fired special agent Peter Strzok, former FBI attorney Lisa Page and twice-demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

Also ordered released are specific pages from the FBI’s FISA surveillance warrant application on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, as well as interviews with Ohr.

The DOJ and the FBI are expected to submit proposed redactions to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence – which will prepare a package for Trump to sign off on.

“When the president issues such an order, it triggers a declassification review process that is conducted by various agencies within the intelligence community, in conjunction with the White House counsel, to seek to ensure the safety of America’s national security interests,” a Justice Department spokesman said in a statement. “The department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are already working with the Director of National Intelligence to comply with the president’s order.”

The agencies are likely to cite national security concerns over revealing classified “sources and methods” pertaining to the Russia investigation – which will put them in direct conflict with Trump’s order. Trump, as president, has the power to override the agencies and declassify material on his own.

Trump’s order to release the documents comes after months of requests from GOP lawmakers, while the DOJ has repeatedly denied their requests for more transparency.

The FBI’s spy…

According to Bloomberg, the DOJ is interpreting Trump’s request to include information about the use of confidential informant (spy) Stephan Halper during the early stages of the Trump-Russia investigation. After taking in over $400,000 from the Obama Pentagon under the auspices of a research contract, Halper befriended and spied on members of the Trump campaign, including aides Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

Showdown?

Top Congressional Democrats Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff and Mark Warner penned a joint letter to ODNI Director Dan Coates, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray demanding that the agencies defy President Trump.

In the letter, the lawmakers “express profound alarm” at the decision to “intervene in an ongoing law enforcement investigation that may implicate the President himself or those around him.”

“Any decision by your offices to share this material with the President or his lawyers will violate longstanding Department of Justice polices, as well as assurances you have provided to us.”

The letter then demands that the agencies brief the Gang of Eight before releasing the materials “to anyone at the White House.”

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Trump Weighs In On The Single Worst Mistake In American History

Trump hits Bush: Invading Iraq ‘the single worst decision ever made’.

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Via Zerohedge


In a wide ranging interview with The Hill on Tuesday conducted in the Oval Office, President Trump was asked to give his take on the biggest mistake in American history.

Considering just how open-ended a question that is, it’s perhaps surprising that he merely went back less than a couple decades into the Bush presidency, though Trump’s base will certainly welcome it as it hearkens back to his “America First” foreign policy vision of the campaign trail.

“The worst single mistake ever made in the history of our country: going into the Middle East, by President Bush,” the president during his interview with Hill.TV.

“Obama may have gotten them (U.S. soldiers) out wrong, but going in is to me the biggest single mistake made in the history of our country,” he said.

Trump explained the reasoning behind this choice, and why it wasn’t something like the civil war or another defining and devastating event reaching far into American History.

“Because we spent $7 trillion in the Middle East. Now if you wanna fix a window some place they say, ‘oh gee, let’s not do it. Seven trillion, and millions of lives — you know, ‘cause I like to count both sides. Millions of lives,” the president explained.

Some scholars and humanitarian groups estimate that over one million Iraqis were killed in the US invasion and occupation of Iraq starting in 2003. A 2008 Opinion Research Business (ORB) poll, for example, found that approximately 1.03 million people had died as a result of the war.

“To me it’s the worst single mistake made in the history of our country. Civil war you can understand. Civil war, civil war. That’s different. For us to have gone into the Middle East, and that was just, that was a bad day for this country, I will tell you.”

Various estimates on the Iraq war’s cost have put the total taxpayer bill as low as near $2 trillion, but none dispute that it is in the multiple trillions, and estimates will vary widely depending on if veteran care is factored into it.

The comments echo things Trump said on the campaign trail in 2016. For example during one of his first major foreign policy speeches then candidate Trump said, “I will never send our finest into battle unless necessary, and I mean absolutely necessary, and will only do so if we have a plan for victory with a capital V.” And referencing the famous quote of John Quincy Adams, he said during the same speech, “The world must know that we do not go abroad in search of enemies.”

He had previously shocked pundits for being the first Republican nominee for president to trash George W. Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq, and has more recently likened it to “throwing a big fat brick into a hornet’s nest”.

All of this is a hopeful sign considering the extremely heightened and dangerous tensions over Syria this week, and given Trump seems to have vacillated between “bringing the troops home” and getting more involved. On Monday Trump hinted that a decision on the U.S. role in Syria is coming soon.

Commenting on the over 2,000 troops now in Syria ostensibly as part of the “anti-ISIL” coalition campaign, Trump indicated this mission could end soon: “We’re very close to being finished with that job,” he said. He followed with: “And then we’re going to make a determination as to what we’re going to do.”

We consider it a hopeful and a good sign that Trump is possibly revisiting his “America First” foreign policy pledges by identifying the Iraq War as the worst mistake in US history.

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Brett Kavanaugh eleventh hour smear begins to fall apart (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 112.

Alex Christoforou

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US President Trump is urging the woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh to testify and be heard.

Trump said he wants to hear from Christine Blasey Ford, noting that it would be “unfortunate” if she does not testify before a Senate committee. Trump told reporters Wednesday as he left the White House to view hurricane damage in North Carolina…

“If she doesn’t show up, that would be unfortunate.”

“If she shows up and makes a credible showing, that would be very interesting.”

From Trump’s lips to God’s ear…Blasey Ford came out to issue a statement essentially saying that she will not testify to Congress, either in an open or closed door session.

Furthermore it appears that Ford will not even allow Senate investigators to fly to California and obtain her statement from the comfort of her own home (as Senator Grassley has offered to do).

Ford is demanding an FBI investigation into an allegation with no date, time or place attached to it. 

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss the dangerous game of identity politics being played by the establishment, Democrat left, and their mainstream media minions.

The premise that a four decades old accusation is all that is needed to destroy a person’s entire life, threatens to tear down the most basic foundational values adhered to from within the US Constitution, and propel the United States of America towards a fascist state where censorship, citizen surveillance, and evidence free accusations are used to keep the establishment left in power and the American population cowered in fear.

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According to Zerohedge, Democrats’ Hail Mary play to stymie the confirmation of Trump SCOTUS pick Brett Kavanaugh is beginning to fizzle out. As angry Dems demanded that a Monday hearing on the allegations against Kavanaugh be delayed until the FBI has a chance to investigate, turncoat Republicans (on whom the Dems had been depending for votes) instead withdrew their support and fell in line after Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley declared that he would not honor Democrats’ request. Grassley revealed his intention to stand firm late Tuesday after lawyers for Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey, who is claiming that Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her 35 years ago when the two were 17-year-old high school students, said their client wouldn’t be wiling to appear at Monday’s hearing.

According to the HillGrassley said Tuesday that there was “no reason” to delay the hearing now that Republicans have invited both Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, his accuser, to testify publicly. However, while Ford’s attorneys have insisted that their client has taken a polygraph test and “deserves to be heard”, Ford has bizarrely insisted that the FBI should have an opportunity to investigate her claims before she appears before the committee in order to spare her the “trauma” of confronting her alleged assailant.

Ford’s lawyers conveyed her request in the form of a letter sent to the committee, a copy of which was obtained by CNN.

Senator Grassley said he would refuse this request as several Republicans who had appeared to be on the cusp of defecting said they wouldn’t support further delays should Ford prove unwilling to testify.

Via the Hill…

“Republicans extended a hand in good faith. If we don’t hear from both sides on Monday, let’s vote,” said GOP Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), who was one of the first Republicans to call for the Judiciary Committee to hit pause on Kavanaugh’s nomination on Sunday.

GOP Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) told reporters earlier Tuesday that Ford’s lack of response to the committee about testifying was “puzzling.”

And GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, who had threatened to vote against Kavanaugh if Ford wasn’t given the chance to be heard, told CNN that he expected the committee to move on if she doesn’t appear.

“I think we’ll have to move to the markup,” he told CNN. “I hope she does (appear). I think she needs to be heard.”

Via Zerohedge…

Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s allegations and insisted he didn’t attend the party where the physical assault allegedly took place. Patrick Smyth, a fellow former Georgetown Prep student whom Ford alleges was also in attendance during the party issued a statement via his lawyer standing up for Kavanaugh. And in a separate letter to Grassley and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, not only does Smyth repudiate Ford’s allegations, but he adds that he doesn’t remember this party even taking place.

Of course, Feinstein – who admitted last night that she couldn’t say for certain that Ford’s story is entirely truthful – sat on Ford’s allegations for three months before referring them to the FBI and sharing them with other lawmakers (who purportedly “leaked” it to the press). President Trump on Tuesday said that he “feels sorry” for Kavanaugh, adding that he doesn’t want to “play into [Democrats] hands”, presumably by giving them more time to drag out the confirmation process.

“They should have done this a long time ago, three months ago, not now. But they did it now. So I don’t want to play into their hands,” Trump said.

Without the support of their Republican allies, Democrats will lack the votes on the committee to hold up the nomination past Monday. Though bizarrely, Kavanaugh himself hasn’t said yet whether he would or wouldn’t testify, which begs the question: If neither Kavanaugh nor Ford appear at the hearing, what exactly will lawmakers discuss?

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