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Do Russiagate Promoters Prefer Impeaching Trump To Avoiding War With Russia?

The year 2018 in the history of the new Cold War.

Stephen Cohen

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Authored by Stephen Cohen via The Nation:


The new Cold War is not a mere replica of its 40-year predecessor, which the world survived. In vital ways, it is more dangerous, more fraught with actual war, as illustrated by events in 2018, among them:

The militarization of the new Cold War intensified, with direct or proxy US-Russian military confrontations in the Baltic region, Ukraine, and Syria;

the onset of another nuclear arms race with both sides in quest of more “usable” weapons;

mounting, but entirely unsubstantiated, claims by influential Cold War lobbies, such as the Atlantic Council, that Moscow is contemplating an invasion of Europe;

and the growing influence of Moscow’s own “hawks.”

The previous Cold War was also highly militarized, but never directly on Russia’s own borders, as is this one, from the small nations of Eastern Europe to Ukraine, a process that continued to unfold in 2018.

Russiagate – allegations that President Trump is strongly influenced by or even under the sway of the Kremlin, for which there remains no actual evidence – continued to escalate as a dangerous and unprecedented factor in the new Cold War. What began as suggestions that the Kremlin had “meddled” in the 2016 US presidential election grew into mainstream insinuations, even assertions, that the Kremlin put Trump in the White House. The result has been to all but shackle Trump as a crisis-negotiator with Russian President Putin. Thus, for attending a July summit meeting with Putin in Helsinki—during which Trump defended the legitimacy of his own presidency—he was widely denounced by mainstream US media and politicians as having committed “treason.” And twice subsequently Trump was compelled to cancel scheduled meetings with Putin. Americans may reasonably ask whether the politicians, journalists, and organizations that assail Trump for the same kind of summit diplomacy practiced by every president since Eisenhower actually prefer trying to impeach Trump to avoiding war with Russia.

The same question can be asked of major mainstream media outlets that have virtually abandoned the reasonably balanced and fact-based reporting and commentary they practiced during the latter stages of the preceding Cold War. In 2018, for example, their nonfactual, surreal allegation that “Putin’s Russia attacked American democracy” in 2016 became an orthodox dogma and the pivot of their Russiagate and new Cold War narrative. Also unlike during the preceding Cold War, they continued to exclude dissenting, alternative reporting, perspectives, and opinions. Still more, these media outlets persist in relying heavily on former intelligence chiefs as sources and commentators, even though the role of these intel officials in the origins of the Russiagate narrative now seems clear. A striking example of media malpractice was coverage of the maritime conflict between Ukrainian and Russian gunboats on November 25, in the Kerch straits between the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. All empirical evidence available, as well as Ukrainian President Poroshenko’s desperate need to bolster his chances for reelection in March 2019, strongly indicated that this was a deliberate provocation by Kiev. But the US mainstream media portrayed it instead as yet another instance of “Putin’s aggression.” Thus was a dangerous US-Russian proxy war fundamentally misrepresented to the American public.

In large part due to such media malpractice, and despite the escalating dangers in US-Russian relations, in 2018 there continued to be no significant anti–Cold War opposition anywhere in mainstream American political life—not in Congress, the major political parties, think tanks, or on college campuses, only a very few individual dissenters. Accordingly, the policy of détente with Russia, or what Trump has repeatedly called “cooperation with Russia,” still found no significant supporters in mainstream politics, even though it was the policy of other Republican presidents, notably Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan. Trump has tried, but he has been thwarted, repeatedly again in 2018.

Meanwhile, the charge that Russia “attacked American democracy” and continues to do so might best be applied to Russiagate promoters themselves. Their allegations have undermined the America presidency as an institution and cast doubt on US elections. By criminalizing both “contacts with Russia” and proposals for “better relations,” and by threatening to weed out a capacious and nebulous body of “disinformation” in US media, they have considerably diminished the vaunted American marketplace of free speech and ideas. Also under growing assault are traditional concepts of US political justice, which, at least based on what is known in regard to Russia, have been abused in the cases of Gen. Michael Flynn and, in Soviet-like fashion, of Maria Butina. At worst, this young Russian woman seems to have been an undeclared (but candidly open) advocate of “better relations” and an ardent proponent of her own country. For this, something long pursued by young Americans in Russia as well, she was held for months in solitary confinement until she confessed—that is, entered a plea. And this in a nation that has long officially “promoted” democracy abroad.

Finally, while US political and media elites remained obsessed with the fictions of Russiagate – which increasingly appears to be Russiagate without Russia and instead mostly tax-fraud-gate and sex-gate – post–Soviet Russia continued its remarkable rise as a diplomatic great power, primarily, though not only, in the East, as documented recently in three highly informedpublications far from and scarcely noted by the US political-media establishment. Meanwhile, Washington’s primary base of allies in world affairs, the European Union, continued its slide into self-inflicted, ever-deepening crisis.

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EU leaders dictate Brexit terms to Theresa May (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 115.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the the Article 50 process which effectively postpones Brexit beyond the 29 March deadline.

The UK will now be offered a delay until the 22nd of May, only if MPs approve Theresa May’s withdrawal deal next week. If MPs do not approve May’s negotiated deal, then the EU will support a short delay until the 12th of April, allowing the UK extra time to get the deal passed or to “indicate a way forward”.

UK PM Theresa May said there was now a “clear choice” facing MPs, who could vote for a third time on her deal next week.

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Theresa May outlines four Brexit options, via Politico

In a letter to MPs, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May set out the four options she believes the country has in light of Thursday’s decision by EU leaders to extend the Brexit deadline beyond next Friday.

The U.K. is faced with a four-way choice, May wrote late Friday.

The government could revoke Article 50 — which May called a betrayal of the Brexit vote; leave without a deal on April 12; pass her deal in a vote next week; or, “if it appears that there is not sufficient support” for a vote on her deal in parliament next week or if it is rejected for a third time, she could ask for an extension beyond April 12.

But this would require for the U.K. taking part in European elections in May, which the prime minister said “would be wrong.”

May wrote that she’s hoping for the deal to pass, allowing the U.K. to leave the EU “in an orderly way,” adding “I still believe there is a majority in the House for that course of action.”

“I hope we can all agree that we are now at the moment of decision,” she wrote.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

RT

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Via RT


Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career

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Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.

 

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