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CONFIRMED: The west continues to seek Russia’s destruction although Trump tried his best to shift this

Donald Trump has not only the weight of the American elite on his shoulders, he has the weight of western history on his shoulders. Donald Trump’s pragmatic world-view translating into tangible foreign policy was almost an impossible task. It is proving to be increasingly impossible by the day, but at least he tried. This in and of itself, deserves some commendation.

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It is now clear that one man, even if that one man happens to be the President of the United States, cannot change the overall trajectory of western aggression against Russia. With the near-ancient exception of Mongolia and the more modern exception of Ottoman Turkey, all of the main foes and aggressors against Russia have been from the west and Europe in particular.

The young United States had little meaningful interaction with Russia except for a treaty of understanding in 1832 and the Alaska Purchase in 1867. However, in 1911, the United States decided to rescind its end of the 1832 treaty.

From there on, the tread became one of increased hostility. In 1917, under the radar of the newspapers, many Wall Street tycoons helped to finance the Bolsheviks in both the run-up and aftermath of the October Revolution.  The aim was several-fold. Some in the US simply wanted to weaken a powerful potential rival by fomenting revolution, others were oddly sympathetic to Communism in spite of their position in a world centre of capitalism and others yet bought into the Russian versus Jewish narrative.

After the Revolution the US government gradually turned anti-Soviet when the so-called ‘Red Scare’ made many think that Communism would ‘spread’ to the United States. The reality for much of the political class however was simply that while many in the US and UK had hoped the October Revolution would destroy Russia, the Soviet Union gradually became a new mighty world power which would soon challenge the hegemony of the Anglo-Saxon powers.

Old hatreds were redefined through the prism of Communism and the west’s traditional hatred of Orthodox Russia was simply re-configured in opposition to the Soviet Union.

Prior to must people in the United States thinking Donald Trump had a real chance to win the election, I wrote the following in The Duran:

“Although Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov often speak of western governments as ‘partners’, there is more than a tinge of unintentional (at times not so unintentional) sarcasm to such remarks.

In spite of any wishful thinking that a united front could be forged against a merciless Islamic terrorist enemy which threatens civilisations of the east and west equally, the opposite is happening. The West is using the conflicts in Syria and beyond to do what they have always tried to do to a strong and sovereign Russia; destroy it. Here are just a few examples from modern history.

In the 19th century as Russia grew ever stronger and her regional rival Ottoman Turkey grew ever weaker.  The great Western powers of France and Britain, time and again directly and indirectly, aided the Ottomans.

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The Crimean War, fought between 1853 and 1856 was a particularly low point in Western-Russia relations. The war was an ugly war, the purpose of which many in Britain and France couldn’t entirely grasp.

Even late Victorian Conservative governments in Britain which themselves tended to favour Ottoman Turkey over Russia at a diplomatic level, came to see the Crimean War as something of a disaster (even after a putative victory) which helped inspire the late 19th century politics of ‘splendid isolation’ from European and Middle Eastern conflicts.

In spite of this, Anglo-Afghan Wars persisted throughout the remainder of the century as supposed proxy conflicts in which Britain acted out of a fear that Russia would try to use Afghanistan as a pivoting point through which to gain influence in British India.

Like many anti-Russian theories over the years, British academic Lord Blake dismissed such fears as fanciful in his 1966 biography of Benjamin Disraeli.

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Yet it was this anti-Russian hysteria which led Britain to force Bismarck (who wisely stayed out of the anti-Russian fray) to hold the Berlin Congress of 1878 to revise the Treaty of San Stefano which had rewarded Russia for her victory against Turkey in a war which had ended that same year. Even British Foreign Secretary Lord Salisbury however admitted that ‘we had backed the wrong side’.

If Imperial Russia under Tsar Alexander III was a power that was feared and respected abroad, even by Russia’s enemies, then under the softer and less competent Nicholas II the fangs of Russia’s western enemies were bared.

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Here begins a grim tale, one of whose authors is a little known man called Jacob Schiff.

Schiff was the head of the New York based investment firm Kuhn, Loeb and Company. The firm had handsomely financed Japan in her Western backed naval war against Russia, which resulted in a Japanese victory in 1905. This had the effect of inspiring the Russian Revolution of 1905 which weakened the Tsar’s authority.

Called a ‘reformist revolution’ by some, in reality it was a preview of what was to come in 1917.

The idealised tale of a home grown Marxist insurrection in October of 1917 is one of the great myths of history.

The Revolution certainly did have domestic supporters, fighters and true believers.  However it was ultimately financed by foreign funds and led by those who had fomented revolution from outside of Russia’s borders.

In 1916 Trotsky was living in exile in New York. It is claimed that it was there that Trotsky developed a relationship with Schiff, a man Trotsky allegedly referred to as Dr. M in his autobiography My Life.

Schiff’s relationship with Trotsky was clarified by Schiff’s grandson who in 1949 said that the elder Schiff had contributed $20 million towards the Bolshevik cause.

In the latter half of the 20th century US Senator Barry Goldwater helped expose the depths to which Wall Street stooped to help put the Bolsheviks into power. The men who did so were an awkward alliance of hard-line communist supporters aided and funded by those who sought to weaken and destabilise the Russian state, making Russia rife for exploitation.

But it was not just America. White Russian General Arsene de Goulevitch  reported that even before 1917, famed British Imperialist Alfred Lord Milner had given Trotsky as much as 10 million roubles to be paid  back upon the overthrow of the Tsar. De Goulevitch added that the money was filtered by Lord Milner to Sir George Buchanan, the British Ambassador to Moscow who then handed the funds to the Bolsheviks.

It is of course well known that Vladimir Lenin was privately shipped to Moscow by the German state in order to weaken Russia’s war effort in the First World War.

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It is also well known that Yakov Sverdlov, a member of The All-Russian Central Executive Committee, was the brother of a prominent New York banker. Upon Sverdlov’s death, his personal safe was filled with gold. This again speaks to the foreign influence on the Revolution.

Once the Soviet Regime became strong and no longer dependent on foreign money, the West spoke of ‘Red Scares’ and the need to fight Communism. However, the pitifully half-hearted Western aid to the White forces during the Civil War is testament to the fact that for the West it was never about Tsarist versus Communist ideology, it was about weakening Russia, whatever government Russia might have.

After the illegal dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the West again set their eyes on dismembering what was left of the Russian state. Corrupt businessmen (many of whom were known as bandits and crooks in their own countries) and so-called NGOs flooded into Russia.

George Soros and his Soros foundation helped set the stage for the financial collapse of 1998 which had brought any tentative recovery to its knees. Incidentally, the Soros foundation was banned from Russia in 2015 under President Putin.

But what is the moral of this story? How do all of these historical instances relate?

They demonstrate a clear pattern of the Western powers using both military and financial pressure to help weaken the Russian state.

Much of it relates to the theories of English academic Sir Halford John MacKinder whose article The Geographical Pivot of History, described Russian territory as a ‘pivot area’ which Western powers must control in order to more easily dominate the Orient. Although anti-Russian sentiments in the West preceded the 1904 publication of MacKinder’s work, his theory proved influential on many, including Adolf Hitler.

Whilst in 1812-1814, and again in 1941-1945, the West came to rely on Russia to contain Western powers who had taken things too far, the truth of the matter is, there is a long history of the West seeing Russia as a monolith to destroy rather than a co-equal in a kind of ‘concert of civilisation”.

Against this background it becomes clear that Donald Trump had the weight of western history on his shoulders. He had to contend with the proclivities of some Catholics and Protestants who remain hateful of Orthodox powers , he had to contend with a British and French imperialist mindset from the 19th century that has re-located across the Atlantic, he had to contend with latent Russia versus Jewish narrative that still holds sway in some parts of the west, he had to contend with the atheist ultra-left who always hated Russia’s conservative Christian traditions and has had to content with the geo-strategic thinking of just about everyone in Washington who are hell-bent in subduing Asia using Russia as MacKinder’s ‘pivot area’.

Against this tide came a seemingly pragmatic Donald Trump who in a more innocent American style said something akin to ‘this world is big enough for the both of us’. It was an idea that Russia and America could co-exist with unique geo-strategic positions without coming to blows. It was an idea for which the entire US political and media establishment have used to try to remove Trump from power and barring that, they are trying to disgrace and weaken the office of President itself, making this POTUS and possibly his successors, increasingly dependent on Congress.

Donald Trump still has time to try and fight for his power and reputation domestically and he still indeed his time to assert his pragmatic world-view into US foreign policy making. The fact is that the road for Trump is long and it may be impossible in the end, not least because however powerless Trump is over Russia, he is even more powerless to stop the US deep states ambitions towards Iran and China, to increasingly important partners for Russia.

At least he tried.

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BREAKING: Explosion in Crimea, Russia kills many, injuring dozens, terrorism suspected

According to preliminary information, the incident was caused by a gas explosion at a college facility in Kerch, Crimea.

The Duran

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“We are clarifying the information at the moment. Preliminary figures are 50 injured and 10 dead. Eight ambulance crews are working at the site and air medical services are involved,” the press-service for the Crimean Ministry of Health stated.

Medics announced that at least 50 people were injured in the explosion in Kerch and 25 have already been taken to local hospital with moderate wounds, according to Sputnik.

Local news outlets reported that earlier in the day, students at the college heard a blast and windows of the building were shattered.

Putin Orders that Assistance Be Provided to Victims of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The president has instructed the Ministry of Health and the rescue services to take emergency measures to assist victims of this explosion, if necessary, to ensure the urgent transportation of seriously wounded patients to leading medical institutions of Russia, whether in Moscow or other cities,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov said.

The president also expressed his condolences to all those affected by the tragic incident.

Manhunt Underway in Kerch as FSB Specialists Investigate Site of Explosion – National Anti-Terrorist Committee

The site of the blast that rocked a city college in Kerch is being examined by FSB bomb disposal experts and law enforcement agencies are searching for clues that might lead to the arrest of the perpetrators, the National Anti Terrorism Committee said in a statement.

“Acting on orders from the head of the NAC’s local headquarters, FSB, Interior Ministry, Russian Guards and Emergency Ministry units have arrived at the site. The territory around the college has been cordoned off and the people inside the building evacuated… Mine-disposal experts are working at the site and law enforcement specialists are investigating,” the statement said.

Terrorist Act Considered as Possible Cause of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The tragic news that comes from Kerch. Explosion. The president was informed … The data on those killed and the number of injured is constantly updated,” Peskov told reporters.

“[The version of a terrorist attack] is being considered,” he said.

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10 percent of American F-22 fighter jets damaged by Hurricane Michael

Part of the reason the F-22’s were left in the path of the storm is that they were broken and too expensive to fix or fly.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Note to the wise: When a hurricane comes, move your planes out of the way. Especially your really expensive F-22 fighter planes. After all, those babies are $339 mil apiece. Got the message?

Apparently the US Air Force didn’t get this message. Or, did they find themselves unable to follow the message?

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The Washington Times reported Tuesday that between 17 and 20 of these top-of-the-line fighter jets were damaged, some beyond the point of repair, when Hurricane Michael slammed ashore on Mexico Beach, Florida, not far from the Tyndall Air Force Base in the same state. The Times reports that more than a dozen of the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets were damaged after being left in the path of the extremely fierce storm:

President Trump’s tour Monday of devastation wrought by Hurricane Michael took him close to Florida’s Tyndall Air Force Base, where more than a dozen F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets were damaged after being left in the path of the powerful storm.

The pricey fighter jets — some possibly damaged beyond repair — were caught in the widespread destruction that took at least 18 lives, flattened homes, downed trees and buckled roads from Florida to Virginia.

The decision to leave roughly $7.5 billion in aircraft in the path of a hurricane raised eyebrows, including among defense analysts who say the Pentagon’s entire high-tech strategy continues to make its fighter jets vulnerable to weather and other mishaps when they are grounded for repairs.

“This becomes sort of a self-defeating cycle where we have $400 million aircraft that can’t fly precisely because they are $400 million aircraft,” said Dan Grazier, a defense fellow at Project on Government Oversight. “If we were buying simpler aircraft then it would be a whole lot easier for the base commander to get these aircraft up and in working order, at least more of them.”

This is quite a statement. The F-22 is held to be the tip of the American air defense sword. A superb airplane (when it works), it can do things no other plane in the world can do. It boasts a radar profile the size of a marble, making it virtually undetectable by enemy radars. It is highly maneuverable with thrust-vectoring built into its engines.

However, to see a report like this is simply stunning. After all, one would expect that the best military equipment ought to be the most reliable as well. 

It appears that Hurricane Michael figuratively and physically blew the lid off any efforts to conceal a problem with these planes, and indeed with the hyper-technological basis for the US air fighting forcesThe Times continues:

Reports on the number of aircraft damaged ranged from 17 to 22 or about 10 percent of the Air Force’s F-22 fleet of 187.

The Air Force stopped buying F-22s, considered the world’s most advanced fighter jets, in 2012. The aircraft is being replaced by the F-35, another high-tech but slightly less-expensive aircraft.

Later in the tour, at an emergency command center in Georgia, Mr. Trump said the damage to the F-22s couldn’t be avoided because the aircraft were grounded and the storm moved quickly.

“We’re going to have a full report. There was some damage, not nearly as bad as we first heard,” he said when asked about the F-22s, which cost about $339 million each.

“I’m always concerned about cost. I don’t like it,” Mr. Trump said.

Still, the president remains a fan of the high-tech fighter jet.

“The F-22 is one of my all-time favorites. It is the most beautiful fighter jet in the world. One of the best,” he said.

The Air Force managed to fly 33 of the F-22s to safety, but maintenance and repair issues kept 22 of the notoriously finicky aircraft on the ground when the powerful storm hit the base.

About 49 percent of the F-22s are out of action at any given time, according to an Air Force report this year.

This is a stunning statistic. This means that of the 187 planes in existence, 90 of them are not working. At their cost, that means that over thirty billion dollars worth of military equipment is sitting around, broken, just in airplanes alone.

As a point of comparison, the entire Russian military budget for 2017 was $61 billion, with that budget producing hypersonic missiles, superb fighter aircraft and tanks. Russian fighter planes are known for being able to take harsh landing and take-off conditions that would cripple the most modern American flying machines.

It would seem that Hurricane Michael exposed a serious problem with the state of readiness of American armed forces. Thankfully that problem did not arise in combat, but it is no less serious.

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Saudi Arabia trying to squirm free of Khashoggi murder (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 2.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at Saudi Arabia’s possible admission to killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi…accidentally, while they were torturing the man inside the consulate in Istanbul.

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Via Zerohedge

Even before the publication of last night’s Saudi trial balloon hinting that the kingdom would soon acknowledge that the extrajudicial killing of Jamal Khashoggi – the insider-turned dissident journalist who walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week and never walked back out – was the result of a “botched” kidnapping attempt carried out by “rogue killers” (despite reports that the US intelligence community knew that Khashoggi was being “targeted”), two realities had become increasingly clear. One: That the Saudis would avoid responsibility for the killing by pinning it on some unfortunate underling, and two: that there would be few, if any, lasting diplomatic repercussions.

And as more media organizations confirmed reports about Saudi’s plans to spin Khashoggi’s murder as a botched interrogation (we can only imagine what was said in that room to justify the use of such extreme violence), CNN calculated the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Saudi King Salman in Riyadh for approximately 15 minutes early Tuesday, following his 12-hour-plus flight to the kingdom.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s meeting with King Salman of Saudi Arabia lasted no more than 15 minutes, CNN estimates based on the time the top US diplomat’s motorcade arrived at the royal court and departed.

The motorcade arrived at the royal court at 11:42 a.m. (4:42 a.m. ET) and left 26 minutes later. There is a fair distance to walk from where the motorcade dropped Pompeo off to where he met the king.

While Trump said on Monday that Pompeo would travel to Turkey “if necessary”, the Saudi’s decision to “come clean” about Khashoggi’s death pretty much rendered Pompeo’s fact-finding mission unnecessary.More important are developments in Turkey, where the joint Saudi-Turkish “investigation” is turning its attention toward the home of the Saudi consul, where a black diplomatic van that departed the Saudi consulate just under two hours after Khashoggi entered was captured on camera disappearing into a garage. Some speculate that this is where the killers finished disposing of Khashoggi’s body. This comes after a “nine-hour” search of the Saudi consulate building that, according to leaks published in Al-Jazeera, turned up “evidence of tampering” by the Saudis. On Tuesday, Turkey’s foreign minister clarified that Saudi had yet to admit its role in Khashoggi’s disappearance and probable death.

Turkish investigators will carry out a search of the Saudi Consul General’s residence on Tuesday as the probe into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi continues, according to a Turkish diplomatic source.

CCTV footage released to the media from the day the Washington Post writer vanished show movement of vehicles from the consulate building to the Consul General’s residence nearby.

As speculation mounts that the incident could unseat the increasingly authoritarian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (who has already marginalized or incapacitated nearly every threat to his rule), it’s looking more likely that neither the US nor the rest of the Western world will do much to punish the world’s most important oil exporter, which can “weaponize” the oil market seemingly on a whim.

Any punishment for this flagrant violation of human rights will need to come, therefore, from the private sector, which, according to Bloomberg, could sabotage MbS’s grand Vision 2030 plan, which aims to remake the Saudi economy via a flood of foreign direct investment:

The economic strategy of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, known as MBS, is to make investment the main engine of economic growth instead of government spending, but the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi could frustrate these ambitions. Foreign direct investment, a key part of the plan to reinvent Saudi Arabia’s economy, declined sharply in 2017 and is unlikely to return to previous levels, leaving the government’s target for 2020 beyond reach, according to analysis by Bloomberg Economics. Increased policy uncertainty and, after the Khashoggi incident, the risk of reputational damage to foreign companies working in Saudi Arabia won’t help.

 

 

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