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Creating confusion in Syria is a step towards ‘regime change’ in US

The so-called Resistance is going all out – à outrance – both to discredit Trump politically before the mid-term elections, and to discredit, and to demonise Russia (with the UK – as usual – doing its supporting act by indicting two Russians in the Skripal case). 

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The US administration has stopped the dithering, David Ignatius wrote on 30 August: It now insists that it has ‘enduring interests’ in Syria, beyond killing Islamic State terrorists — and “that it isn’t planning to withdraw its Special Operations forces from northeastern Syria, anytime soon”.

“Right now”, one administration official told Ignatius, “our job is to help create quagmires [for Russia and the Syrian regime], until we get what we want”.

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The US, it seems, switched policy in mid-August, (away from the Helsinki understandings of July, reached between Presidents Trump and Putin), to a quest for somehow retrieving maximum leverage over the ultimate stages of the Syrian civil war.

It represents, apparently, a last-ditch attempt to impose the US will over the Syrian warscape – through keeping the jihadist ‘card’ in Idlib in play, as leverage over any political transition; and similarly, by holding on to the Kurdish ‘PKK stick’ in north-east Syria, as leverage over Turkey and to contain Iran.

We are, indeed, seeing a 180° degree turn: Pompeo’s new Syria envoy, James Jeffry, has made that crystal clear: “Now”, he said, “the United States will not tolerate ‘an attack – Period”. (Referring to the imminent offensive on the Jihadi enclave, in Idlib Province.)

“Any offensive is to us objectionable as a reckless escalation” he said. “You add to that, if you use chemical weapons, or create refu­gee flows or attack innocent civilians … the consequences … are that we will shift our positions”… Asked whether potential U.S. retaliation for any offensive in Idlib, with or without chemical weapons, would include airstrikes, Jeffrey said, “We have asked repeatedly for permission to operate,” and “that would be one way” [to respond].

The objective is to drive Iran from Syria; to inflict a humiliating strategic slap to the Islamic Republic to compound the economic ‘diet’ imposed on its economy; to lever a political transition, in which President Assad is ousted; and above all, to avoid conceding any appearance of US strategic weakness.

Russia’s leadership was already wary that the US was intending to derail the last major coalition operation to conclude the Syrian conflict. This is now confirmed. A senior Kremlin official told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, that American officials want to play spoiler, big time: “They are angry that we’ve gotten an upper hand in dealing with this crisis, and now they want to put their spokes into every wheel we are trying to make roll”.

It goes further than that: with the Jeffrey language of ‘no attacks, period’; with the State Department language hinting at further economic sanctions, as leverage; and the threats against Iran, are provocations and effectively ultimata against Russia and Iran.

This is a grave ‘turn’ of events. We do not know why Trump should have turned his back on his Helsinki ‘understandings’ so emphatically – except for the extraordinary political and psychological pressures that Trump is under: The funeral ‘apotheosis’ of McCain as the essence of ‘American virtues’, the seditionist New York Times op-ed by a ‘senior’ WH staff member of the ‘Resistance’, which specifically claimed success in sabotaging Trump’s policy of détente with Russia; the Woodward book ridiculing the President; and now with Obama having joined this chorus on Friday with an obvious insinuation that Trumpism somehow is feeding Nazi-ism.

It is now 60 days until the mid-term elections. And, as Tom Luongo writes, “the fear of loss by the Deep State is palpable … And what is clear to me now, is that the Deep State is done whipping the progressive Left into a frenzy over Donald Trump. They are now openly handing them pitchforks and mustering for a hostile takeover of the Oval Office”.

This is the point. ‘No more dithering’ (as Ignatius put it). The so-called Resistance is going all out – à outrance – both to discredit Trump politically before the mid-term elections, and to discredit, and to demonise Russia (with the UK – as usual – doing its supporting act by indicting two Russians in the Skripal case).

Europe has ‘come into play’ politically as a result of Trump’s trade wars, his disdain for NATO, and his contempt for the EU’s ‘liberal’ globalist élite. The self-appointed ‘Resistance’ is ready therefore ‘to go all out’ – not only domestically against Trump, but against Russia, too, to ensure it – and its huge consumer market – cannot slip away into the Russian-Chinese sphere. Russia must be blackened as the ‘enemy’ with whom any alliance is unthinkable.

Are ‘these people’ really ready to taunt Russia and Iran, to the point of facing-off against them, militarily? It seems so: James Jeffrey said just such, to the Washington Post: “In some respects, we are potentially entering a new phase, where you have forces from the different countriesfacing each other, rather than pursuing their separate goals”, he said, listing Russia, the United States, Iran, Turkey and Israel. In other words, the ‘Resistance’ will ‘go all out’ in the lead up to November, both domestically against Trump, and externally, by trying to provoke, to taunt Russia into some act that will enable the ‘Resistance’ to portray Russia as ‘new wine in an old USSR bottle’.

James Jeffrey warns Russia ‘no (Idlib) offensive – period’ in order to finish off the last abscess of hardline jihadists. But the offensive has already begun. What then happened at Friday’s Tehran summit meeting between Erdogan, Putin and Ruhani? Commentators are saying that no agreement was reached on the Idlib offensive – that the US succeeded: Its tough stance against the attack on the jihadists brought the offensive to a holt. But in fact, the key agreement already was struck before the summit, rather than at it – Turkey put HTS (also known as an-Nusra, or al Qa’eda) on its list of terrorists. This was the key -– the significant outcome.

Erdogan is a politician, a consummate politician. He has been patron to these insurgents. He sees himself as a Sunni leader, an Ottoman, the ‘guide’ to the global Muslim Brotherhood. He was vitally instrumental in the Syria insurgency – the cause of it, as it were. But now the jihadi continuing presence in Idlib is unsustainable (even for Turkey), yet how can he – politically – disavow these insurgents, whom Turkey so carefully nurtured? What might be the consequences in terms of security (bombings in Istanbul?) of publicly siding with their destruction? What would be the damage to his cultivated image as an upholder of Sunnism?

What was needed was a platform on which a politician’s needs to attend his various constituencies were seen publicly – and on television – to have been met. And this is what happened.

Erdogan stood up for them. He argued his position – as representative of one powerful state to other powerful states – underlining his (political) interest. Yes, he ‘grandstanded’. Why else would Putin and Rouhani have permitted such a seemingly sloppy performance of the principals apparently arguing amongst themselves – and before the cameras – unless it was understood that Erdogan needed to ‘grandstand’?

Turkey has already designated an-Nusra as terrorists. The offensive will continue (and civilian casualties will inevitably occur, as the jihadists are merged into Idlib’s civilian population — as indeed happened when the US, the UK and France bombed Raqqa to rout out ISIS in 2017 with “more artillery shells launched into Raqqa than anywhere since the end of the Vietnam war”).

And the Americans probably will do their own ‘grandstanding’ – possibly with Tomahawks – to show Russia and Syria as ‘inhuman monsters’.

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madhatterdrummerJohn Nolanjohn vieiraYou can call me AL Recent comment authors
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Donna
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Donna

And yet, there are reports that Turkey continues to arm the jihadis in Idlib.

madhatter
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madhatter

The US and Israel are trying to save the jihadists in Idlib, for use as a proxy army to harass Syria and Russia. They will stage another false flag gas attack as an excuse to pummel Syria again for no reason (for Israel). Has any tiny nation ever dominated a world power, like Israel does the US? Will the US ever declare independence from Israel?

Richard Steven Hack
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Richard Steven Hack

What Erdogan will do is very simple. He will play the double game again – this time against the insurgents in Idlib. He will supply them with weapons to make the SAA operation expensive. But then when the SAA and Russia win anyway, he will turn on the insurgents with the Turkish military in Idlib and finish them off so they can not come back to Turkey and cause problems.

Erdogan will see this as a win-win.

Erdogan won’t use Turkish forces to engage the SAA in Idlib because that would piss off Putin and Erdogan can’t afford that.

You can call me AL
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You can call me AL

I think that is a very good analysis.

john vieira
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As you sow, so shall you reap!!! These reckless incursions undertaken by the “west” after the demise of the USSR are coming home to roost. That is why from Jimmy to Obama are circling the wagons against Trump….fully endorsed by the mainstream media which has been complicit from day one. They are terrified of a Trump leaning congress and what that implies. Trump appears to be buying into the bovine excreta of the deep state which does not bode well for the ending of this “illegal” conflict, the continued suffering of the Syrian people… and the end result could be… Read more »

John Nolan
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John Nolan

Unfortunately, for the citizens of this worn, weary, mutilated, trashed planet, what we are witnessing is those who have illegally stolen our money, destroyed our humanity,implementing their final, spiteful act, as they realize they, and their evil master, have lost the game. There still are three and an half years, where the Word goes back to true Israel, to call out the 144,000, but the Gentile dispensation is finished then. That is what is referred to as the Tribulation, and few have any idea just how evil this place will become, as satan takes full control, for this short time.… Read more »

drummer
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drummer

The main reason the US is in Syria is to get a settlement that cuts Syria into pieces for Israel. Israel wants to be the only “intact” nation in the ME (well, and their Saudi buddies, too). The Greater Israel Project seeks to increase Israel’s size several times over by a land-grab from several nations. In it’s most expansive form, Israel will stretch from the Euphrates to the Nile. This explains the Iraq and Syria wars, and baffling continued presence of the US, which is under no attack or even danger from any ME nation. Of course Israel will eventually… Read more »

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French opposition rejects Macron’s concessions to Yellow Vests, some demand ‘citizen revolution’

Mélenchon: “I believe that Act 5 of the citizen revolution in our country will be a moment of great mobilization.”

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Macron’s concessions to the Yellow Vests has failed to appease protesters and opposition politicians, such as Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who called for “citizen’s revolution” to continue until a fair distribution of wealth is achieved.

Immediately after French President Macron declared a “social and economic state of emergency” in response to large-scale protests by members of the Yellow Vest movement, promising a range of concessions to address their grievances, left-wing opposition politician Mélenchon called on the grassroots campaign to continue their revolution next Saturday.

I believe that Act 5 of the citizen revolution in our country will be a moment of great mobilization.

Macron’s promise of a €100 minimum wage increase, tax-free overtime pay and end-of-year bonuses, Mélenchon argued, will not affect any “considerable part” of the French population. Yet the leader of La France Insoumise stressed that the “decision” to rise up rests with “those who are in action.”

“We expect a real redistribution of wealth,” Benoît Hamon, a former presidential candidate and the founder of the Mouvement Génération, told BFM TV, accusing Macron’s package of measures that benefit the rich.

The Socialist Party’s first secretary, Olivier Faure, also slammed Macron’s financial concessions to struggling workers, noting that his general “course has not changed.”

Although welcoming certain tax measures, Marine Le Pen, president of the National Rally (previously National Front), accused the president’s “model” of governance based on “wild globalization, financialization of the economy, unfair competition,” of failing to address the social and cultural consequences of the Yellow Vest movement.

Macron’s speech was a “great comedy,”according to Debout la France chairman, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, who accused the French President of “hypocrisy.”

Yet many found Melanchon’s calls to rise up against the government unreasonable, accusing the 67-year-old opposition politician of being an “opportunist” and “populist,” who is trying to hijack the social protest movement for his own gain.

Furthermore, some 54 percent of French believe the Yellow Vests achieved their goals and want rallies to stop, OpinionWay survey showed. While half of the survey respondents considered Macron’s anti-crisis measures unconvincing, another 49 percent found the president to be successful in addressing the demands of the protesters. Some 68 percent of those polled following Macron’s speech on Monday especially welcomed the increase in the minimum wage, while 78 percent favored tax cuts.

The Yellow Vest protests against pension cuts and fuel tax hikes last month were organized and kept strong via social media, without help from France’s powerful labor unions or official political parties. Some noted that such a mass mobilization of all levels of society managed to achieve unprecedented concessions from the government, which the unions failed to negotiate over the last three decades.

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Soros Mimics Hitler’s Bankers: Will Burden Europeans With Debt To ‘Save’ Them

George Soros is dissatisfied with the current EU refugee policy because it is still based on quotas.

The Duran

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Via GEFIRA:


After the Second World War, many economists racked their brains to answer the question of how Hitler managed to finance his armament, boost the economy and reduce unemployment.

Today his trick is well known. The economic miracle of Führer’s time became possible thanks to the so-called Mefo promissory notes.

The notes were the idea of the then President of the Reichsbank, Hjalmar Schacht, and served not only to finance the armament of the Wehrmacht for the Second World War, but also to create state jobs, which would otherwise not have been possible through the normal use of the money and capital markets, i.e. the annual increase in savings in Germany.

The Reich thus financed the armaments industry by accepting notes issued by the dummy company Metallurgische Forschungsgesellschaft GmbH (hence the name Mefo) rather than paying them in cash. The creation of money was in full swing from 1934 to 1938 – the total amount of notes issued at that time was 12 billion marks. The Reichsbank declared to the German banks that it was prepared to rediscount the Mefo notes, thus enabling the banks to discount them.

Because of their five-year term, the redemption of notes had to begin in 1939 at the latest. This threatened with enormous inflation. Since Schacht saw this as a threat to the Reichsmark, he expressed his doubts about the Reich Minister of Finance. But it did not help, and Schacht was quickly replaced by Economics Minister Walther Funk, who declared that the Reich would not redeem the Mefo notes, but would give Reich bonds to the Reichsbank in exchange. At the time of Funk, the autonomous Reichsbank statute was abolished, the Reichsbank was nationalized, and inflation exploded in such a way that Mefo notes with a circulation of 60 billion Reichsmark burdened the budget in post-war Germany.

George Soros also proposes such a money flurry in the style of Schacht and Funk.

Soros is dissatisfied with the current EU refugee policy because it is still based on quotas. He calls on the EU heads of state and governments to effectively deal with the migrant crisis through money flooding, which he calls “surge funding”.

“This would help to keep the influx of refugees at a level that Europe can absorb.”

Can absorb? Soros would be satisfied with the reception of 300,000 to 500,000 migrants per year. However, he is aware that the costs of his ethnic exchange plan are not financially feasible. In addition to the already enormous costs caused by migrants already in Europe, such a large number of new arrivals would add billions each year.

Soros calculates it at 30 billion euros a year, but argues that it would be worth it because “there is a real threat that the refugee crisis could cause the collapse of Europe’s Schengen system of open internal borders among twenty-six European states,” which would cost the EU between 47 and 100 billion euros in GDP losses.

Soros thus sees the financing of migrants and also of non-European countries that primarily receive migrants (which he also advocates) as a win-win relationship. He calls for the introduction of a new tax for the refugee crisis in the member states, including a financial transaction tax, an increase in VAT and the establishment of refugee funds. Soros knows, however, that such measures would not be accepted in the EU countries, so he proposes a different solution, which does not require a vote in the sovereign countries.

The new EU debt should be made by the EU taking advantage of its largely unused AAA credit status and issuing long-term bonds, which would boost the European economy. The funds could come from the European Stability Mechanism and the EU balance of payments support institution.

 “Both also have very similar institutional structures, and they are both backed entirely by the EU budget—and therefore do not require national guarantees or national parliamentary approval.“

In this way, the ESM and the BoPA (Balance of Payments Assistance Facility) would become the new Mefo’s that could issue bills of exchange, perhaps even cheques for Turks, Soros NGOs. Soros calculates that both institutions have a credit capacity of 60 billion, which should only increase as Portugal, Ireland and Greece repay each year the loans they received during the euro crisis. According to Soros, the old debts should be used to finance the new ones in such a way that it officially does not burden the budget in any of the EU Member States. The financial institutions that are to carry out this debt fraud must extend (indeed – cancel) their status, as the leader of the refugees expressed such a wish in his speech.

That Soros is striving to replace the indigenous European population with new arrivals from Africa and Asia is clear to anyone who observes its activities in Europe. The question is: what does he want to do this for and who is the real ruler, behind him, the real leader?

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The French People Feel Screwed

For the first time in his presidency, Macron is in trouble and Europe and America are looking on.

The Duran

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Authored by David Brown via The Gatestone Institute:


On December 4, French Prime Minister Édouard Phillipe told deputies of the ruling party, “La République en Marche”, that a proposed fuel tax rise, which had led to the largest protests France has seen in decades, would be suspended.

The protesters, called Gilets-Jaunes — “Yellow Vests,” because of the vests drivers are obliged by the government to carry in their vehicles in the event of a roadside breakdown — say that the fuel tax was the last straw from a president who took office with a promise to help the economically left-behind but instead has favoured the rich.

Even by French standards, the protests of the “Yellow Vests” during the weekend of December 1 were startling. Burning cars and vast plumes of grey smoke seemed to engulf the Arc De Triomphe as if Paris were at war. Comparisons were drawn with the Bread Wars of the 17th Century and the spirit of the Revolution of the 18th Century.

For more than two weeks, the “Yellow Vests” disrupted France. They paralyzed highways and forced roads to close — causing shortages across the country – and blocked fuel stations from Lille in the North to Marseilles in the South.

During protests in France’s capital, Paris, the “Yellow Vests” were soon joined by a more violent element, who began torching cars, smashing windows and looting stores. 133 were injured, 412 were arrested and more than 10,000 tear gas and stun grenades were fired.

One elderly lady was killed when she was struck by a stray grenade as she tried to shutter her windows against the melee.

There was talk of imposing a State of Emergency.

The “Yellow Vests” present the most significant opposition French President Emmanuel Macron has faced since coming to office in May 2017. Unlike previous protests in France, which have divided public opinion, these have widespread support – 72% according to a Harris Interactive Poll published December 1st.

Fuel tax rises — announced in November before being retracted on December — were intended to help bring down France’s carbon emissions by curbing the use of cars. Macron makes no secret of his wish to be seen as a global leader for environmental reform.

He forgets that back at home, among the people who elected him, fuel prices really matter to those outside big cities, where four-fifths of commuters drive to work and a third of them cover more than 30km each week.

The increases have incensed people in smaller communities, where they have already seen speed limits reduced to please the Greens and cuts to the local transport services.

These additional costs-of-living increases come at an extremely bad time for ordinary French people working outside of Paris. Lower-middle class families are not poor enough to receive welfare benefits but have seen their income flat-line whilst cost-of-living and taxes have risen.

An analysis by the Institut des Politiques Publiques think-tank shows that benefits cuts and tax changes in 2018 and 2019 will leave pensioners and the bottom fifth of households worse off, while the abolition of the wealth tax means that by far the biggest gains will go to the top 1%

This is tough to swallow. Macron is seen as being out of touch with ordinary people and is unlikely to escape his new title, “the President of the Rich.”

“People have this feeling that the Paris technocrats are doing complicated things to screw them,” said Charles Wyplosz, an economics professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

It is probably not as complex as that. The French people feel screwed.

As employment and growth are slowing, Macron, for the first time in his presidency, is under serious pressure. Unemployment is at 9%; his efforts to reform Europe are stalling, and his approval rating has plummeted to just 23% according to a recent opinion poll by IFOP.

Images of Macron at the Arc De Triomphe daubed in graffiti calling for him to step down, or worse, have done little to bolster his image abroad.

So far, Macron had said he would not bow to street protests. To underline his point, in September 2017, he called protestors against French labour-market reform “slackers”.

The political U-Turn on the fuel tax is a turning point for the Macron presidency. The question is : What next, both for Macron and the “Yellow Vests”?

Macron most likely needs to plough ahead with his reform agenda, and doubtless knows he has the support of a solid majority in the National Assembly to do so. France is crippled by debt (nearly 100% of GDP) and its grossly bloated public sector. There are 5.2 million civil servants in France, and their number has increased by 36% since 1983. These represent 22% of the workforce compared to an OCDE average of 15%.

Tax-expert Jean-Philippe Delsol says France has 1.5 million too many “fonctionnaires [officials]. When you consider that public spending in France now accounts for 57 per cent of gross domestic product. Soon the system will no longer function as there will be less and less people working to support more and more people working less”.

Macron’s mistake, in addition to a seeming inclination for arrogance, is not to have made national economic reform his absolute priority right from his initial grace period after his election. Lower public expenses would have made it possible to lower taxes, hence creating what economists call a virtuous circle. Instead, he waited.

Now, at a time when he is deeply unpopular and social unrest is in full sway he is looking to make further reforms in unemployment benefits, scaling them back by reducing the payments and the length of time beneficiaries can receive the money. The “President of the Rich” strikes again.

There is talk that he may also re-introduce the wealth tax to try to placate the protestors.

Macron’s presidential term lasts until May 13, 2022. Understandably, Macron will be focused on the elections to the European Parliament expected to be held May 23-26, 2019. Headlines have signalled that Marine Le Pen and the National Rally (formally National Front) are ahead in the polls at 20%, compared to Macron’s En Marche at 19%.

The shift is understandable, given the divide between the countryside, where Le Pen has solid support, and the cities, where Macron’s centre-left prevail.

In contrast, the “Yellow Vests” have galvanised support after standing up for the “impotent ordinary”, and seem much buoyed by the solidarity they have been shown by both fire fighters and the police. There are images online of police removing their helmets and firefighters turning their backs on political authority to show their support for the protestors.

Whilst Macron’s political opposition may be fragmented, this new breed of coherent public opposition is something new. Leaderless, unstructured and organised online, the “Yellow Vests” have gained support from the left and right, yet resisted subjugation by either.

Being leaderless makes them difficult to negotiate withor to reason with in private. The “Yellow Vests” seem acutely aware of this strength, given their firm rebuttal of overtures for peace talks from the Macron government.

Enjoying huge support from the public and with reforms to the social welfare system on the horizon, the “Yellow Vests” are not going away.

For the first time in his Presidency, Macron is in trouble and Europe and America are looking on.

After Macron rebuked nationalism during his speech at the armistice ceremony, Trump was quick to remind the French President of his low approval rating and unemployment rate near 10%. A stinging broadside from Trump on twitter suggests that Macron may well be relegated to Trump’s list of global “Losers“:

“Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!”

The “impotent ordinary” in the United Kingdom, who might feel betrayed over Brexit, and the nationalists in Germany, who have suffered under Merkel , are no doubt staring in wonder at the “Yellow Vests”, wishing for the same moxie.

The historian Thomas Carlyle, chronicler of the French Revolution, said the French were unrivaled practitioners in the “art of insurrection”, and characterised the French mob as the “liveliest phenomena of our world”.

Mobs in other countries, by comparison, he argued were “dull masses” lacking audacity and inventiveness. The blazing yellow vests of the French protest movement , however, have made Macron appear increasingly dull and weak too.

David Brown is based in the United Kingdom.

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