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Here’s what Donald Trump said in his foreign policy speech

A speech heavy on emphasis on fighting Islamist terrorism and cooperation with Russia shows genuine realism insight but still suffers from some outdated ideas and policies which have not been thought through.

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Yesterday, Donald Trump delivered a lengthy speech on his foreign policy plans. The speech was in many ways a mixed bag, combining some sentient and clear points with a few misunderstandings as well as some curious omissions. Here are the key points ranked on Trump’s preferred scale of 1 out of 10.

Russia: Unlike Hillary Clinton who blames all of her personal woes as well as most global crises on Russia, Trump did not mention let alone criticise Russia’s internal nor foreign policies. He instead reiterated one of his long standing points that cooperation with Russia on ISIS can only be a good thing and that seeing Russia as a partner rather than adversary is advisable. 10/10

Iran: Trump’s views on Iran are hopelessly out of date. He referred to Iran as the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism which simply isn’t true. Saudi Arabia and their allies in the Gulf through their exporting of Wahhabism into countries where this medieval version of Islam is totally alien, and their continued attempts to destabilise secular Arab states, represent a far bigger example of exporting terrorism than anything Iran has done recently.

Ukraine, which Trump didn’t mention, is also a manifestly more prominent sponsor of terrorism than Iran. Whilst Trump has dropped the Obama/Clinton line that ‘Assad must go’, he fails to understand that the most concerted alliance fighting ISIS includes not only Russia but also Iran, the Syrian government and Hezbollah.

Trump did however grasp the fact that it has been through the weakening of the strong secular Arab states of Iraq and Syria (policies of both the Bush and Obama governments) that Iran has been allowed to take her place as a key regional player in the Middle East. 2/10

Arab Allies: Unlike Obama whose political interference in the Arab world has weakened secular Arab states, Trump pledged to support such states and referred to them as allies. Interestingly he contrasted such ‘allies’ with the enemy of Iran. Whilst this is understandable in the context of contemporary American politics, one could be forgiven for thinking this part of the speech was based around a political map of the Arab world from 1986 rather than 2016.

He named Egypt and Jordan as key US allies in the fight against ISIS, but when it comes to secular states fighting ISIS, Syria is of course on the front line. Until Trump has the ability to name Syria as a necessary ally in the fight against ISIS, this crucial portion of his policy will remain incomplete. He also failed to mention the importance of supporting a stable Iraqi government in the fight against ISIS and indeed if he is so anti-Iran, supporting a non-sectarian government in Baghdad would help his cause. Curiously he didn’t offer any proposals on how to solve the deepening crisis in Libya. 6/10.

Hillary Clinton: Trump’s criticism of Hillary Clinton was spot on. He spoke about her personal crusade to destroy Libya as being the disaster that it was and frankly still is. Specially, he mentioned that Obama’s cabinet was deeply divided on Libya and that former Defence Secretary Robert Gates said it was Hillary Clinton’s insistence on bombing Libya that was a decisive factor in a war which Obama has called a mistake but which Hillary Clinton still glories in.

He went on to say that the Clinton’s made $60 million in gross income when she was Secretary of State, that her email scandal showed she does not have the temperament or honesty to be in a leadership position, and that her policies in the Middle East turned what was in 2009 a small subsidiary of Al-Qaeda in an Iraq on the verge of recovering from civil war into ISIS.

He described her time as US Secretary of State as a catastrophe pointing to the fall of strong secular Arab regimes to be replaced by ISIS, which the US helped to create as a matter of policy and which, as we now know thanks to Wikileaks, the US had a direct hand in aiding. 10/10

NATO: Trump applauded NATO for setting up an anti-terror task force and claimed that his statements that NATO is obsolete because of its inability to address the ISIS threat may have helped push global thinking in this direction. To be fair, he did not take direct credit for this but instead implied an indirect credit in the form of being able to forecast a crucial event. He did not speak of the ‘freeloaders’ of NATO but nor did he say anything about the importance of NATO in Europe. NATO of course has no importance in Europe other than to threaten Russia, and Trump’s calls for the bloc to realign itself and work with Russia against ISIS can only be described as positive. 9/10

Obama: Trump carefully defined Obama as incompetent on foreign policy whilst portraying Hillary Clinton as openly devious, zealous and irresponsible. Whilst this is obvious political point scoring, there is more than an element of truth to this. Trump referred to Obama’s erstwhile Middle East charm offensive descending into Clinton’s harm offensive. Trump also chastised Obama’s lack of willingness to say the words “ISIS” and “Islamic terrorism”. 9/10

Oil: Trump insisted that if America had ‘kept the oil’ ISIS would have been financially crippled. This is something of a straw man argument. On the one hand it is true that ISIS has been using captured Iraqi oil to make their money and that Turkey and others have helped facilitate these transactions. It is also true that if US tanks and heavy arms had been guarding the oil refineries, ISIS with their small arms, would not have been able to capture them.

Yet at the same time, this is part of the arrogance of American policies which assume that Iraq doesn’t have the right to at least try and regain the sovereignty ,it lost, first following Bush’s and Blair’s invasion, then as a result of a prolonged civil war and now in the war against ISIS. Ultimately Iraq must be a sovereign nation, free of terrorism and ideally free from blood soaked sectarianism. 5/10

Ideology: The low point of the speech was when Trump implied that so-called ‘honour killings’ in countries like Pakistan are somehow a matter of international affairs. They are not. It is easy to condemn such practices as most level headed people of any and all religious backgrounds have done. But to imply that an internal social problem in countries like Pakistan are the business of the United States or any other state is simply incorrect. Apart from being an internal Pakistani issue, it should be something discussed by the UN and World Health Organisation but nothing beyond this.

He then went on to speak of the importance of shutting off ISIS’s access to the internet, something which is more or less impossible and is furthermore a slippery slope to other forms of censorship.

His only sentient point in this part of the speech was when he raised the issue of some sensible screening of refugees before they are allowed into a country so as to make sure that they are who they say they are.  Whilst similar statements drew criticism earlier this year, the abject failure of Merkel’s ‘come as you are’ policy has made people the world over think that a new way of doing things is necessary. Whether it’s Trump’s way or some other way remains to be seen. 3/10

Summary: On the whole, Trump’s focus on ISIS, his silence on non-existent treats in Europe and his willingness to support a broad coalition against ISIS is admirable and correct. He may not quite get how broad this coalition ought to be, but he’s still miles ahead of his opponent in this sense. Whilst Trump’s speech was imperfect on foreign policy it is better than the alternatives any serious contender for the White House has offered in years.

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Germany Wants Nuclear Bombers

Germany does not manufacture atomic weapons but has come to consider itself as a nuclear power because it has vectors to use them.

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Via VoltaireNet.org:


Germany’s armed forces are currently studying the possibility of acquiring nuclear bombers capable of using the new American B61-12 atomic bombs.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon itself plans to deploy these new atomic bombs in the German region of Eifel, in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The German air force already has multi-tasking Tornado warplanes, which are already capable of deploying American atomic bombs. But those aircraft are going to be replaced, possibly, by European-developed Eurofighters, or by United States manufactured F/A-18 Super Hornets.

Either way, the warplane that Germany selects will have to be equipped with the AMAC (Aircraft Monitoring and Control) system, which allows the use of the new American atomic bombs and enables the regulation of the power of the explosion as well as at what height the bombs explode after they are launched.

Germany does not manufacture atomic weapons but has come to consider itself as a nuclear power because it has vectors to use them, and believes that this gives it the right to sit on the UN Security Council sharing the permanent member position occupied by France.

Both countries would thus represent the European Union, under the auspices of NATO.

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1st since Notre Dame: Yellow Vests back despite ‘unifying’ disaster & they are angry

‘Yellow Vests’ march in Paris for 23rd straight week.

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Via RT…


Yellow Vests protests brought clashes and tear gas back to the streets of Paris, despite politicians’ calls for “unity” in the wake of the Notre Dame fire. For protesters, the response to the fire only showed more inequality.

Saturday’s protests mark the 23rd straight weekend of anti-government demonstrations, but the first since Notre Dame de Paris went up in flames on Monday. Officials were quick to criticize the protesters for returning to the streets so soon after the disaster.

“The rioters will be back tomorrow,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters on Friday. “The rioters have visibly not been moved by what happened at Notre-Dame.”

For many of the protesters, grief over the destruction of the 800-year-old landmark has made way for anger. With smoke still rising from Notre Dame, a group of French tycoons and businessmen pledged €1 billion to the cathedral’s reconstruction, money that the Yellow Vests say could be better spent elsewhere.

“If they can give dozens of millions to rebuild Notre Dame, they should stop telling us there is no money to respond to the social emergency,” trade union leader Philippe Martinez told France 24.

Saturday’s protests saw a return to scenes familiar since the Yellow Vests first mobilized in November to protest a fuel tax hike. Demonstrators in Paris’ Bastille district set barricades on fire and smashed vehicles, and police deployed tear gas to keep the crowds at bay.

Sporadic incidents of vandalism and looting were reported across the city, and some journalists even reported rioters throwing feces at police.

60,000 police officers were deployed across the country, and in Paris, a security perimeter was set up around Notre Dame. A planned march that would have passed the site was banned by police, and elsewhere, 137 protesters had been arrested by mid afternoon, police sources told Euronews.

Beginning as a show of anger against rising fuel costs in November, the Yellow Vests movement quickly evolved into a national demonstration of rage against falling living standards, income inequality, and the perceived elitism and pro-corporation policies of President Emmanuel Macron. Over 23 weeks of unrest, Macron has made several concessions to the protesters’ demands, but has thus far been unable to quell the rising dissent.

After Notre Dame caught fire on Monday, the president postponed a television address to the nation, during which he was expected to unveil a package of tax cuts and other economic reforms, another measure to calm the popular anger in France.

Macron’s address will be held on Thursday.

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O Canada! The True North Strong and Free – Not

Maybe it’s past time for Canadians to get serious again about their independence.

Jim Jatras

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Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Canadian visitors to Washington sometimes wonder why their embassy stands at the foot of Capitol Hill.

The answer? To be close to where Canada’s laws are made.

A main showcase of Ottawa’s craven servility to Washington is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s complicity in the US-led regime change operation being conducted against Venezuela. Not content with ruining his own country with multiculturalism, polysexualism, and the like, Li’l Justin has acted in lockstep with Big Brother to the south inslapping sanctions on Venezuelan officials and serving as a US agent of influence, especially with other countries in the western hemisphere:

‘A Canadian Press report published at the end of January revealed that Canadian diplomats worked systematically over several months with their Latin American counterparts in Caracas to prepare the current regime-change operation, pressing [Venezuelan President Nicolás] Maduro’s right-wing opponents to set aside their differences and mount a joint challenge to the government. “The turning point,” said the Canadian Press [Global News], “came Jan. 4, when the Lima Group … rejected the legitimacy of Maduro’s May 2018 election victory and his looming January 10 inauguration, while recognizing the ‘legitimately elected’ National Assembly.” The report cited an unnamed Canadian official as saying the opposition “were really looking for international support of some kind, to be able to hold onto a reason as to why they should unite, and push somebody like Juan Guaidó.”

‘One day prior to Maduro’s inauguration, [Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia] Freeland spoke to Guaidó, the newly-elected National Assembly speaker, by telephone to urge him to challenge the elected Venezuelan president.’

But that’s not all. Canada is out front and center in the “Five Eyes” intelligence agencies’ war on China’s Huawei – with direct prompting from US legislators and intelligence.  As explained by Col. Larry Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Gen. Colin Powell, it’s not that Huawei violated any law when circumventing US sanctions but it is the US that is acting illegally by unilaterally imposing sanctions that were never agreed to internationally. But that’s OK – when it comes to Washington’s claims of jurisdiction over every human being on the planet, Justin and Chrystia are happy to oblige!

Also, let’s not forget Chrystia’s role in keeping the pot boiling in Ukraine. It would of course be cynical (and probably racist) to attribute anything relating to Ukraine to her own interesting family background …

To be fair, the lickspittle attitude of Canadian officials towards their masters south of the 49th parallel is hardly unique in the world. Also to be fair, it’s natural and would be generally beneficial for Canada to have a positive relationship with a powerful, kindred neighbor rather than a negative one. Think of Austria’s ties to Germany, or the Trans-Tasman relationship of Australia and New Zealand, or the links that still exist between Russia and Ukraine despite efforts by the west to set them against each other (as, for example, Spain and Portugal were at loggerheads for several centuries, when the latter was a loyal ally of Spain’s foe, Great Britain, to such an extent that Portugal was sometimes shown on maps and globes in the same pink as British possessions; a similar situation existed between Argentina and British ally Chile).

A close and mutually advantageous relationship is one thing, but Canada’s de facto loss of independence is another. Not only does the US control Canada’s diplomacy, military, and intelligence but also her financial system (with, among other levers, the notorious FATCA law, which places Canadian institutions under the supervision of the IRS, with Canada’s revenue service acting, care of the Canadian taxpayer, as a cat’s paw for not only the IRS but the NSA and other snooping agencies). As explained by one Canadian nationalist (yes, they do exist!), the redoubtable David Orchard, trade is also a critical issue:

‘Canada …, after almost three decades of “free trade” with the U.S., has more than $1.2 trillion in federal and provincial debt, large deficits at every level, no national child or dental care, high university tuition, miserly old age pensions, years of massive budget cuts, and giveaway prices for its exports of oil, gas, timber and minerals.

‘For 150 years, great Canadian leaders have warned that without an economic border with the United States, we would soon no longer have a political border.

‘We once owned the world’s largest farm machinery maker, Massey Harris, headquartered in Toronto; built the world’s largest and most respected marketer of wheat and barley, the Canadian Wheat Board, based in Winnipeg; created a great transcontinental railway system, beginning in Montreal, which tied our country together; and saw Vancouver’s shipyards produce the beautiful Fast Cat ferry.

‘Instead of spending hundreds of billions on foreign-made machinery, electronics, automobiles, ships, fighter jets and passenger aircraft (even payroll systems for federal employees!), we can build our own, both for the domestic and export market.

‘We once designed and built the world’s most advanced jet interceptor, the Avro Arrow, so we know it can be done. [Emphasis added] With Canada’s resources and ingenuity, it could create a prosperous, domestically controlled economy that would give Canadians multiple benefits, security and pride of ownership. All that is required is some of the will that drove our ancestors to create an alternate power in North America. As George-Étienne Cartier, the great Québécois Father of Confederation, put it, “Now everything depends on our patriotism.”’ [Note: Orchard is the author of the must-read book The Fight for Canada: Four Centuries of Resistance to American Expansionism. To begin at the beginning, in the late 1680s, as part of English-French rivalry in North America, Massachusetts Puritans sought to root out the nest of popish deviltry known as Quebec. Following their disastrous 1690 defeat, they decided to fight Satan closer to home by hanging witches. The rest, as they say, is history…]

Scratch a Canadian patriot and you’ll hear about the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow. As a watershed moment in Canada’s downward slide into subservience, the cancellation of what by all accounts was a magnificent aircraft – and a snapshot of what Canada’s international competitiveness (including in advanced aerospace) could have looked like had it been able to develop independently – might have been the point of being sucked into the American vortex. As noted by one response to my suggestion that Ottawa’s stance on Venezuela amounted to Canada’s annexation by the US: “Canadian here…unfortunately, the above is true (not literally of course, but in practice). It goes back even before the time of Diefenbaker, who canceled our Avro Arrow program on demand from the US – thus destroying our aerospace industry and causing brain drain to the US/Europe.”

To this day, the decision of then-Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to kill the Arrow project (and “put 14,528 Avro employees, as well as nearly 15,000 other employees in the Avro supply chain of outside suppliers, out of work”) on what came to be known as “Black Friday,” February 20, 1959, remains controversial and shrouded in mystery. A mix of budgetary, political, technological, and personality factors has been cited, none of them conclusive. Pressure from the US side, including unwillingness of Washington to purchase a Canadian aircraft when the US could pressure them to buy American planes and missiles, no doubt played a key role: “Instead of the CF-105, the RCAF invested in a variety of Century Series fighters from the United States. These included the F-104 Starfighter (46 percent of which were lost in Canadian service), and (more controversial, given the cancellation of the Arrow) the CF-101 Voodoo. The Voodoo served as an interceptor, but at a level of performance generally below that expected of the Arrow.”

While we may never know reliably why Diefenbaker cancelled the Arrow or how Canada or Canadian industry might have followed a different path, there’s no question of the superior capabilities of the Arrow. As it happens, one of the few pilots who had a chance to test the Arrow in an impromptu friendly dogfight is now-retired USAF fighter pilot Col. George Jatras, later US Air Attaché in Moscow (also, this analyst’s father). As he related in 2017:

‘I’ve received a number of messages in the last couple days about this bird, including some that say it may be revived. I don’t know how The Arrow would compare to today’s aircraft, but I had a first-hand lesson on how it faired against the F-102.

‘In 1959, I was stationed at Suffolk County AFB on Long Island with the 2nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron. We had an informal exchange program with a Canadian fighter squadron stationed near Montreal. From time to time, two or four aircraft from one of the squadrons would fly to the other’s base on a weekend cross country.

‘On one such exchange, I was #3 in a four ship formation led by [former Tuskegee airmanErnie Craigwell (I don’t recall who the other pilots were). As we entered Canadian airspace, cruising at about 40,000 ft., we spotted a contrail well above our altitude (probably at 50,000ft.) and closing very fast.  As the other aircraft appeared to be passing by, we could clearly see the delta shaped wing and knew it was the Avro Arrow that the Canadian pilots had told us about. Then, instead of just passing by, he rolled in on us! Ernie called for a break and we split into elements. When we talked about the encounter afterwards we all agreed that our first thought was, “This guy is in for a surprise; he doesn’t know that he’s taking on the F-102.”  Well, we were the ones in for a surprise. Even with two elements covering each other, not one of us could get on his tail. His power and maneuverability were awesome.  After he had played with us for a few minutes, like a cat with four mice, he zoomed back up to about 50K and went on his way. What an aircraft! What a shame that it never went into production.’

What is perhaps most curious about the Arrow’s demise is that “everything was ordered brutally destroyed; plans, tools, parts, and the completed planes themselves were to be cut up, destroyed, scrapped and everything made to disappear.”  Why? Well, security of course! Don’t engage in conspiracy theories …

The Canadian national anthem finishes with a pledge: “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.” It should be noted that understandably resentful Loyalists fleeing the US following the American Revolution were a major contribution to the growth of Canada’s English-speaking population. American troops – back when we were the plucky underdog fighting the mighty British Empire – invaded Canada in 1775 and during the War of 1812 but were defeated. Relations got testy during the American Civil War as well, and even afterwards the US was wary of a proposed united “Kingdom of Canada,” hence the choice of the name “Dominion” in 1967. If today’s Canadians think we-all down here don’t know whom they’ve mostly had in mind to “stand on guard” against all this time, they’d better think again.

Maybe it’s past time for Canadians to get serious again about their independence – eh?

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