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Donald Trump has a REAL connection to Russia

Donald Trump admires President Putin’s success even without knowing or caring much about Russian history or culture.




It’s time to come clean, Donald Trump has a real connection to Russia. This connection is not anything to do with the mythical Russiagate which has been debunked as much as the existence of Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy. Furthermore, it is not a connection to Russia’s history, culture or society.

Donald Trump did not acknowledge the 9th of May on Twitter, nor did he send the Russian President fraternal greetings on Russia day, although many other leaders did including North Korea’s Kim Jung-Un.

Donald Trump likewise has never talked about listening to Tchaikovsky or reading Pushkin. He’s been pictured eating a Mexican style taco bowel and plenty of burgers and fried chicken but has never been seen eating golubtsy or Olivier salad. He drinks Diet Coke, not Kvass.

Donald Trump is thoroughly American and this means that he loves his country but tends to known little about the history of other countries. This is fine, he was not elected to be President of Russia and if he stood in the Russian elections, he would probably have to battle for fourth place with Sergey Mironov, though to be fair he’d probably get more votes than Grigory Yavlinsky at this stage.

Donald Trump’s real connection to Russia is an intellectual curiosity and it generally derives from Trump’s apparent interests in the accomplishments and personal biography of Vladimir Putin.

If for example Dmitry Medvedev or Gennady Zyuganov were the President of Russia, one could imagine Trump having far less engagement and interest. If Vladimir Zhirinovsky was President, one could imagine a very different dynamic, one of engagement but not intrigue, after all Zhirinovsky’s historical genius far surpass that of just about any American politician and yet he has compared his style to that of The Donald. While Trump could learn from Zhirinovsky, he probably wouldn’t be interested in doing so, historical knowledge isn’t the kind of knowledge which intrigues Trump or most Americans.

Trump admires achievement more than intellect and by Trump’s standards, Vladimir Putin is a winner. He literally ‘Made Russia Great Again’ after a disastrous 1990s and an uncertain late 1980s that most Russians rightly view negatively.

Vladimir Putin also shares something else with The Donald, both Putin and Trump are one part elite but one part hardworking everyday people.

As a respected intelligence officer in the Soviet Union, Vladimir Putin could have been justifiably called a member of the Soviet elite. Likewise, as a wealthy businessman who was acquaintances with multiple celebrities and politician figures, Donald Trump was a kind of American elite too.

But Donald Trump was never an effete elite, he prefers burgers to fine dining, he talks like a regular person and made his image one of accessibility rather than that of condescension. He was not the cartoon elite American businessman that The Simpsons’ Mr. Burs represented, nor was Donald Trump ever a globalist billionaire like George Soros. After all, the most American thing about Soros is the paper in his passport and that assumes that American passports aren’t printed in China or Vietnam.

Luckily, the Soviet Union and modern Russia dose not have the snobbish culture of elitism that the west has. Most of Russia’s leading politicians and businessmen talk in a straight forward manner. Effected dialects and accents is not part of the Russian national psyche.

This partly explains why Trump is able to connect with Russian officials whether it be Sergey Lavrov with whom he famously shared a laugh or with Vladimir Putin. By contrast, it seems that Trump has difficulty grasping Chinese officials on a personal level.

Chinese culture dictates that protocol, a very formal way of showing respect and a stratified manner of governmental bureaucracy is very much the norm. It is a norm that Trump has not yet come to grips with which is why his relationship with China often seems condescending–something the Chinese take as an insult.

Ironically, the post-modern, politically correct American way of doing business is becoming increasingly similar to the rigid Chinese bureaucracy minus the intelligence, respect, background of Confucianism and class. Trump by contrast is the archetypal straight-shooting American.

Russian culture is likewise one of the most individualistic cultures in the world, although the Russian idea of individualism is very different than that which exists in the US. American free speech is all about being provocative which has its upsides (erstwhile robust political exchanges) and downsides (men wearing women’s cloths). By contrast, from the Tsarist period straight through to the Soviet days and of course up to the present, Russian individualism meant patriotism, piety and loyalty (to state, family and comrades) but beyond this, Russian’s show a great deal of tolerance for people doing as they please.

Unlike in many European societies, one’s mannerisms, the price of one’s clothes, the style of one’s hair and one’s manner of speech is not held against them in Russia. In Russia, friends can disagree about their world-view and still be friends because the personal and spiritual is ultimately more important to Russians than worldly considerations that modern westerners tend to take far too seriously.

In spite of the myth of Soviet conformity, Russia’s have always ridiculed the system, whatever that system is. Russians are sceptical and scepticism is in many ways incompatible with conformity. At the recent meeting between Chinese and Russian officials and members of the business community in both countries, each Chinese representative bowed to their President to show respect. In Russia this isn’t done, but not wanting Russians to appear less respectful than their Chinese partners, some tried a kind of awkward semi-bow to Putin as if to say, “we respect you as much as the Chinese respect their President, but we’re not particular good at rigid protocol”. Far from being cross, Putin almost certainly saw the well intentioned good-humour of it all. Sergey Lavrov, one of Putin’s most important ministers briskly walked off, clearly the sign of a man whose had 2 days of solid work and in desperate need of a cigarette, but no one would dream of saying Lavrov isn’t respectful, he’s Russian and he’s a regular man with extraordinary ability, nothing less and nothing more.

And hence we get to the other element of Putin’s ‘self-made’ side. While many political leaders who came of age (politically speaking) during the 1990s admitted that it was a hellish time, few would have been so bold as to do something about it and accomplish it without a revolution or other acts of violence.  Yetsin, the darling of the west, did use violence to consolidate his power, Putin did not. Instead, Putin peacefully drained Russia’s political and financial swamp and won the trust and later the affection of a Russian public who barely knew his name prior to his rapid rise to political power.

Trump likewise went into politics in a meteoric rise that caught the US mainstream media totally off guard. The truth is that Trump would like to be America’s Putin. He would like to have Putin’s respect and popularity and would like to emulate a legacy of turning a broken society, economy and a state around.

This is the beginning and end of Trump’s Russia connection. It used to be that some on the liberal left would moan about Americans having too little interest in learning from foreign examples. To this day, Bernie Sanders on the self-styled American socialist left says that America should emulate the British National Health Service.

But when Donald Trump stated that he admired Putin’s leadership and strength during the campaign, the seeds were sown in the minds of Trump’s opponents to make more of these remarks than was ever there.

How can it be a bad thing for any foreign leader to admire Putin? Vladimir Putin’s accomplishments as President and Prime Minister of the Russian Federation were history making. If Putin were to retire tomorrow, and far from that he may stand for and win another term in office, people would look back at his legacy and say that he left Russia in a far better condition than that which he inherited in 1999.

Donald Trump likes a winner and he likes an honest man, a man’s man, a doer rather than a frivolous individual. Putin fulfils all these criteria. In this sense Trump’s only Russia connection should be praised. What is a good leader if not someone who makes things better rather than worse. All men interested in leadership ought to study Vladimir Putin, it would frankly make less sense not to do so.

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New York Times hit piece on Trump and NATO exposes alliance as outdated and obsolete (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 61.

Alex Christoforou



RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at the New York Times hit piece citing anonymous sources, with information that the U.S. President dared to question NATO’s viability.

Propaganda rag, the NYT, launched its latest presidential smear aimed at discrediting Trump and provoking the establishment, warmonger left into more impeachment – Twenty-fifth Amendment talking points.

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Via The American Conservative

The New York Times scored a serious scoop when it revealed on Monday that President Trump had questioned in governmental conversations—on more than one occasion, apparently—America’s membership in NATO. Unfortunately the paper then slipped into its typical mode of nostrum journalism. My Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “nostrum” as “quack medicine” entailing “exaggerated claims.” Here we had quack journalism executed in behalf of quack diplomacy.

The central exaggerated claim is contained in the first sentence, in which it is averred that NATO had “deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” This is wrong, as can be seen through just a spare amount of history.

True, NATO saved Europe from the menace of Russian Bolshevism. But it did so not over 70 years but over 40 years—from 1949 to 1989. That’s when the Soviet Union had 1.3 million Soviet and client-state troops poised on Western Europe’s doorstep, positioned for an invasion of Europe through the lowlands of Germany’s Fulda Gap.

How was this possible? It was possible because Joseph Stalin had pushed his armies farther and farther into the West as the German Wehrmacht collapsed at the end of World War II. In doing so, and in the process capturing nearly all of Eastern Europe, he ensured that the Soviets had no Western enemies within a thousand miles of Leningrad or within 1,200 miles of Moscow. This vast territory represented not only security for the Russian motherland (which enjoys no natural geographical barriers to deter invasion from the West) but also a potent staging area for an invasion of Western Europe.

The first deterrent against such an invasion, which Stalin would have promulgated had he thought he could get away with it, was America’s nuclear monopoly. By the time that was lost, NATO had emerged as a powerful and very necessary deterrent. The Soviets, concluding that the cost of an invasion was too high, defaulted to a strategy of undermining Western interests anywhere around the world where that was possible. The result was global tensions stirred up at various global trouble spots, most notably Korea and Vietnam.

But Europe was saved, and NATO was the key. It deserves our respect and even reverence for its profound success as a military alliance during a time of serious threat to the West.

But then the threat went away. Gone were the 1.3 million Soviet and client-state troops. Gone was Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. Indeed, gone, by 1991, was the Soviet Union itself, an artificial regime of brutal ideology superimposed upon the cultural entity of Mother Russia. It was a time for celebration.

But it was also a time to contemplate the precise nature of the change that had washed over the world and to ponder what that might mean for old institutions—including NATO, a defensive military alliance created to deter aggression from a menacing enemy to the east. Here’s where Western thinking went awry. Rather than accepting as a great benefit the favorable developments enhancing Western security—the Soviet military retreat, the territorial reversal, the Soviet demise—the West turned NATO into a territorial aggressor of its own, absorbing nations that had been part of the Soviet sphere of control and pushing right up to the Russian border. Now Leningrad (renamed St. Petersburg after the obliteration of the menace of Soviet communism) resides within a hundred miles of NATO military forces, while Moscow is merely 200 miles from Western troops.

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has absorbed 13 nations, some on the Russian border, others bordering lands that had been part of Russia’s sphere of interest for centuries. This constitutes a policy of encirclement, which no nation can accept without protest or pushback. And if NATO were to absorb those lands of traditional Russian influence—particularly Ukraine and Georgia—that would constitute a major threat to Russian security, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought to emphasize to Western leaders for years.

So, no, NATO has not deterred Russian aggression for 70 years. It did so for 40 and has maintained a destabilizing posture toward Russia ever since. The problem here is the West’s inability to perceive how changed geopolitical circumstances might require a changed geopolitical strategy. The encirclement strategy has had plenty of critics—George Kennan before he died; academics John Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt, and Robert David English; former diplomat Jack Matlock; the editors of The Nation. But their voices have tended to get drowned out by the nostrum diplomacy and the nostrum journalism that supports it at every turn.

You can’t drown out Donald Trump because he’s president of the United States. And so he has to be traduced, ridiculed, dismissed, and marginalized. That’s what the Times story, by Julian Barnes and Helene Cooper, sought to do. Consider the lead, designed to emphasize just how outlandish Trump’s musings are before the reader even has a chance to absorb what he may have been thinking: “There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” Translation: “Take that, Mr. President! You’re an idiot.”

Henry Kissinger had something interesting to say about Trump in a recent interview with the Financial Times. “I think Trump may be one of those figures in history,” said the former secretary of state, “who appears from time to time to mark the end of an era and to force it to give up its old pretenses.” One Western pretense about Russia, so ardently enforced by the likes of Julian Barnes and Helene Cooper (who, it may be safe to say, know less about world affairs and their history than Henry Kissinger), is that nothing really changed with the Soviet collapse and NATO had to turn aggressive in order to keep that menacing nation in its place.

Trump clearly doesn’t buy that pretense. He said during the campaign that NATO was obsolete. Then he backtracked, saying he only wanted other NATO members to pay their fair share of the cost of deterrence. He even confessed, after Hillary Clinton identified NATO as “the strongest military alliance in the history of the world,” that he only said NATO was obsolete because he didn’t know much about it. But he was learning—enough, it appears, to support as president Montenegro’s entry into NATO in 2017. Is Montenegro, with 5,332 square miles and some 620,000 citizens, really a crucial element in Europe’s desperate project to protect itself against Putin’s Russia?

We all know that Trump is a crude figure—not just in his disgusting discourse but in his fumbling efforts to execute political decisions. As a politician, he often seems like a doctor attempting to perform open-heart surgery while wearing mittens. His idle musings about leaving NATO are a case in point—an example of a politician who lacks the skill and finesse to nudge the country in necessary new directions.

But Kissinger has a point about the man. America and the world have changed, while the old ways of thinking have not kept pace. The pretenses of the old have blinded the status quo defenders into thinking nothing has changed. Trump, almost alone among contemporary American politicians, is asking questions to which the world needs new answers. NATO, in its current configuration and outlook, is a danger to peace, not a guarantor of it.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century

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Nigel Farage To Back Another “Vote Leave” Campaign If UK Holds Second Brexit Referendum

Nigel Farage said Friday that he would be willing to wage another “Vote Leave” campaign, even if he needed to use another party as the “vehicle” for his opposition.



Via Zerohedge

Pro-European MPs from various political parties are pushing back against claims made by Prime Minister Theresa May’s government that a second Brexit referendum – which supporters have branded as a “People’s Vote” on May’s deal – would take roughly 14 months to organize, according to RT.

But while support for a second vote grows, one of the most notorious proponents of the original “Vote Leave” campaign is hinting at a possible return to politics to try and fight the effort.

After abandoning UKIP, the party he helped create, late last year, Nigel Farage said Friday that he would be willing to wage another “Vote Leave” campaign, even if he needed to use another party as the “vehicle” for his opposition. Farage also pointed out that a delay of Brexit Day would likely put it after the European Parliament elections in May.

“I think, I fear that the House of Commons is going to effectively overturn that Brexit. To me, the most likely outcome of all of this is an extension of Article 50. There could be another referendum,” he told Sky News.

According to official government guidance shown to lawmakers on Wednesday, which was subsequently leaked to the Telegraph, as May tries to head off a push by ministers who see a second referendum as the best viable alternative to May’s deal – a position that’s becoming increasingly popular with Labour Party MPs.

“In order to inform the discussions, a very short paper set out in factual detail the number of months that would be required, this was illustrative only and our position of course is that there will be no second referendum,,” May said. The statement comes as May has been meeting with ministers and leaders from all parties to try to find a consensus deal that could potentially pass in the House of Commons.

The 14 month estimate is how long May and her government expect it would take to pass the primary legislation calling for the referendum (seven months), conduct the question testing with the election committee (12 weeks), pass secondary legislation (six weeks) and conduct the campaigns (16 weeks).

May has repeatedly insisted that a second referendum wouldn’t be feasible because it would require a lengthy delay of Brexit Day, and because it would set a dangerous precedent that wouldn’t offer any more clarity (if some MPs are unhappy with the outcome, couldn’t they just push for a third referendum?). A spokesperson for No. 10 Downing Street said the guidance was produced purely for the purpose of “illustrative discussion” and that the government continued to oppose another vote.

Meanwhile, a vote on May’s “Plan B”, expected to include a few minor alterations from the deal’s previous iteration, has been called for Jan. 29, prompting some MPs to accuse May of trying to run out the clock. May is expected to present the new deal on Monday.

Former Tory Attorney General and pro-remainer MP Dominic Grieve blasted May’s timetable as wrong and said that the government “must be aware of it themselves,” while former Justice Minister Dr Phillip Lee, who resigned his cabinet seat in June over May’s Brexit policy, denounced her warning as “nonsense.”

As May pieces together her revised deal, more MPs are urging her to drop her infamous “red lines” (Labour in particular would like to see the UK remain part of the Customs Union), but with no clear alternative to May’s plan emerging, a delay of Brexit Day is looking like a virtual certainty.

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The National Security Agency Is A Criminal Organization

The National Security Agency values being able to blackmail citizens and members of government at home and abroad more than preventing terrorist attacks.

Paul Craig Roberts



Via Paul Craig Roberts…

Years before Edward Snowden provided documented proof that the National Security Agency was really a national insecurity agency as it was violating law and the US Constitution and spying indiscriminately on American citizens, William Binney, who designed and developed the NSA spy program revealed the illegal and unconstitutional spying. Binney turned whistleblower, because NSA was using the program to spy on Americans. As Binney was well known to the US Congress, he did not think he needed any NSA document to make his case. But what he found out was “Congress would never hear me because then they’d lose plausible deniability. That was really their key. They needed to have plausible deniability so they can continue this massive spying program because it gave them power over everybody in the world. Even the members of Congress had power against others [in Congress]; they had power on judges on the Supreme Court, the federal judges, all of them. That’s why they’re so afraid. Everybody’s afraid because all this data that’s about them, the central agencies — the intelligence agencies — they have it. And that’s why Senator Schumer warned President Trump earlier, a few months ago, that he shouldn’t attack the intelligence community because they’ve got six ways to Sunday to come at you. That’s because it’s like J. Edgar Hoover on super steroids. . . . it’s leverage against every member of parliament and every government in the world.”

To prevent whistle-blowing, NSA has “a program now called ‘see something, say something’ about your fellow workers. That’s what the Stasi did. That’s why I call [NSA] the new New Stasi Agency. They’re picking up all the techniques from the Stasi and the KGB and the Gestapo and the SS. They just aren’t getting violent yet that we know of — internally in the US, outside is another story.”

As Binney had no documents to give to the media, blowing the whistle had no consequence for NSA. This is the reason that Snowden released the documents that proved NSA to be violating both law and the Constitution, but the corrupt US media focused blame on Snowden as a “traitor” and not on NSA for its violations.

Whistleblowers are protected by federal law. Regardless, the corrupt US government tried to prosecute Binney for speaking out, but as he had taken no classified document, a case could not be fabricated against him.

Binney blames the NSA’s law-breaking on Dick “Darth” Cheney. He says NSA’s violations of law and Constitution are so extreme that they would have to have been cleared at the top of the government.

Binney describes the spy network, explains that it was supposed to operate only against foreign enemies, and that using it for universal spying so overloads the system with data that the system fails to discover many terrorist activities.

Apparently, the National Security Agency values being able to blackmail citizens and members of government at home and abroad more than preventing terrorist attacks.

Unfortunately for Americans, there are many Americans who blindly trust the government and provide the means, the misuse of which is used to enslave us. A large percentage of the work in science and technology serves not to free people but to enslave them. By now there is no excuse for scientists and engineers not to know this. Yet they persist in their construction of the means to destroy liberty.

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