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Donald Trump’s America is starting to look like Boris Yeltsin’s Russia

While Donald Trump may admire Vladimir Putin, his administration is looking increasingly like that of Putin’s deeply failed and unpopular predecessor.

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While many attempt to debate who or what is in charge of the United States, the truth is that no single individual or even a single entity is in charge of the United States anymore.

This was true under Barack Obama, but Obama’s middle-management style of governing helped to hide this fact. Donald Trump who is a single-minded, straight talking and deeply opinionated man has by contrast, thrown a great deal of light onto the reality of just who governs the United States.

The truth is that in 2017, the textbook balance of power between the President, Congress and the judiciary no longer applies.

The reality is more of a combination of business oligarchs, foreign money, foreign lobbying groups tied to Israeli geo-political interests in some cases and Gulfi gold in others. Then there is the deep state including the intelligence agencies, military-industrial complex and its financial partners. Then there are random corrupt and criminal mafioso interests in the Beltway and a renegade mainstream media that ought to be classed as a super-rich NGO.

While this might sound unfamiliar to the ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ generation where everything in America was functional, the story will be very familiar to those who can remember the horrors of Russia between 1991 and 1999.

During the dark Yeltsin years, Russia had no real leadership. It instead had competing factions of local, national and super-national oligarchs and economic pirates, a governing class made up of both ageing traitors and young ambitious greedy individuals. Organised crime often held more sway among the alleged governing classes than ordinary people and foreign influence including and especially from the United States helped to sway the political process away from anything that could be remotely called democratic.

It is little wonder that at this time, Russia’s economic strength, military strength, international prestige and living standards all plummeted.

While America isn’t yet in economic doldrums which can be compared to 1990s Russia, other similarities are already present.

Nikki Haley, America’s Ambassador to the UN, is increasingly looking like Boris Berezovsky if he decided to dress up as a cocktail waitress. Like Berezovsky, Haley is conducting a kind of unilateral foreign policy interdependent of the official dictates of the States Department which in theory she is answerable too. While she threatens what amounts to military attacks on Russian and Iranian interests, the actual Secretary of State is nowhere to be found.

She’s clearly aiming to position herself as some new leader, perhaps a new President of the US. Will her hubris get the better of her as it did with Berezovsky? Only time will tell.

Within the White House, domestic policies seem to be a tug-of-war between Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner. This reminds one a great deal of the war of policy war and ideological power struggle between Yegor Gaidar and Grigory Yavlinsky.

All the while, Paul Ryan is becoming something of an Anatoly Chubais character, trying to cling onto his neo-con Republican values in spite of a public which has clearly rejected them. Ryan may will become a major thorn in the side of the Trump agenda, just as the public hatred of Chubais ended up tarring what little dignity may have been left in the Yeltsin Presidency.

With some statements coming out of the US seemingly prepared for war against Syria and others, including from Defence Secretary Mattis saying the opposite, it is clear that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.

Making things worse, while Russia in the 1990s did have a stalwart opposition movement led on the left by Gennady Zyuganov and on the right by Vladimir Zhirinovsky, it is difficult to see if Tulsi Gabbard and Rand Paul will be able to weather the storm and remain prominent leaders of the real US opposition as Zyuganov and Zhirinovsky did. Indeed, Zyuganov and Zhirinovsky are among the only major political figures of the 1990s who are both still successful politicians.

The internal chaos in the United States which is matched by increasing social divisions, falling living standards and an out of control media is a lot like the situation in 1990s Russia.

The next time people hold a mirror up to Donald Trump, they should not see Vladimir Putin. In time they might see, Boris Yeltsin, a man who came to power on a sea of vodka-soaked promises, all of which were broken and broken ‘big league’.

Donald Trump can still save his administration if he holds fast to his principles and is willing to fight for them with both strength and tact. While Yeltsin never meant well, I personally feel that Trump does mean well. However, if he is consumed by the oligarchic swamp of Washington D.C., Donald Trump may end up having a similarly failed legacy as Russia’s giant failure, Boris Yeltsin.

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Trump Has Gifted “No More Wars” Policy Position To Bernie Sanders (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 148.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss how US President Donald Tump appears to have ceded his popular 2016 ‘no more wars’ campaign message and policy position to Bernie Sanders and any other US 2020 candidate willing to grad onto a non-interventionist approach to the upcoming Democrat primaries.

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“Is Bernie Stealing Trump’s ‘No More Wars’ Issue?” by Patrick J. Buchanan…


The center of gravity of U.S. politics is shifting toward the Trump position of 2016.

“The president has said that he does not want to see this country involved in endless wars… I agree with that,” Bernie Sanders told the Fox News audience at Monday’s town hall meeting in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Then turning and staring straight into the camera, Bernie added:

“Mr. President, tonight you have the opportunity to do something extraordinary: Sign that resolution. Saudi Arabia should not be determining the military or foreign policy of this country.”

Sanders was talking about a War Powers Act resolution that would have ended U.S. involvement in the five-year civil war in Yemen that has created one of the great humanitarian crises of our time, with thousands of dead children amidst an epidemic of cholera and a famine.

Supported by a united Democratic Party on the Hill, and an anti-interventionist faction of the GOP led by Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee of Utah, the War Powers resolution had passed both houses of Congress.

But 24 hours after Sanders urged him to sign it, Trump, heeding the hawks in his Cabinet and National Security Council, vetoed S.J.Res.7, calling it a “dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities.”

With sufficient Republican votes in both houses to sustain Trump’s veto, that should be the end of the matter.

It is not: Trump may have just ceded the peace issue in 2020 to the Democrats. If Sanders emerges as the nominee, we will have an election with a Democrat running on the “no-more-wars” theme Trump touted in 2016. And Trump will be left defending the bombing of Yemeni rebels and civilians by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Does Trump really want to go into 2020 as a war party president?

Does he want to go into 2020 with Democrats denouncing “Trump’s endless wars” in the Middle East? Because that is where he is headed.

In 2008, John McCain, leading hawk in the Senate, was routed by a left-wing first-term senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who had won his nomination by defeating the more hawkish Hillary Clinton, who had voted to authorize the war in Iraq.

In 2012, the Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who was far more hawkish than Obama on Russia, lost.

Yet, in 2016, Trump ran as a different kind of Republican, an opponent of the Iraq War and an anti-interventionist who wanted to get along with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and get out of these Middle East wars.

Looking closely at the front-running candidates for the Democratic nomination of 2020 — Joe Biden, Sanders, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker — not one appears to be as hawkish as Trump has become.

Trump pulled us out of the nuclear deal with Iran negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and reimposed severe sanctions.

He declared Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, to which Iran has responded by declaring U.S. Central Command a terrorist organization. Ominously, the IRGC and its trained Shiite militias in Iraq are in close proximity to U.S. troops.

Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moved the U.S. Embassy there, closed the consulate that dealt with Palestinian affairs, cut off aid to the Palestinians, recognized Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights seized from Syria in 1967, and gone silent on Bibi Netanyahu’s threat to annex Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

Sanders, however, though he stands by Israel, is supporting a two-state solution and castigating the “right-wing” Netanyahu regime.

Trump has talked of pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the troops are still there.

Though Trump came into office promising to get along with the Russians, he sent Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and announced a pullout from Ronald Reagan’s 1987 INF treaty that outlawed all land-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

When Putin provocatively sent 100 Russian troops to Caracas — ostensibly to repair the S-400 anti-aircraft and anti-missile system that was damaged in recent blackouts — Trump, drawing a red line, ordered the Russians to “get out.”

Biden is expected to announce next week. If the stands he takes on Russia, China, Israel and the Middle East are more hawkish than the rest of the field, he will be challenged by the left wing of his party, and by Sanders, who voted “no” on the Iraq War that Biden supported.

The center of gravity of U.S. politics is shifting toward the Trump position of 2016. And the anti-interventionist wing of the GOP is growing.

And when added to the anti-interventionist and anti-war wing of the Democratic Party on the Hill, together, they are able, as on the Yemen War Powers resolution, to produce a new bipartisan majority.

Prediction: By the primaries of 2020, foreign policy will be front and center, and the Democratic Party will have captured the “no-more-wars” political high ground that Candidate Donald Trump occupied in 2016.

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Over 200 killed, hundreds injured in series of blasts at Sri Lankan hotels & churches

A series of bombings hit churches and hotels across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing more than 200 people.

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Via RT…


A series of eight explosions rocked Catholic churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka as Christians began Easter Sunday celebrations, with over 200 killed and hundreds injured, media reported, citing police.

The blasts started at around 8:45am local time at St. Anthony’s Church in Colombo and St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a Catholic-majority town outside of the capital. The Zion Church in Batticaloa on the eastern coast was also targeted. At around the same time, the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury five-star hotels were also hit, police confirmed.

Two more explosions happened later in the day, targeting two more locations in Colombo. All attacks appear to have been coordinated.

At least 207 people were killed, Reuters reported, citing police. More than 450 were injured in the attacks.

Alleged footage of the aftermath, shared on social media, showed chaos and large-scale destruction inside at least one of the churches.

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Mike Pompeo reveals true motto of CIA: ‘We lied, we cheated, we stole’ (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 147.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at a Texas A&M University speech, and subsequent interview, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The former CIA Director admitted, ‘as an aside’ to the question asked, that the Intelligence agency he headed up before being appointed as the top US Diplomat had a motto “we lied, we cheated, we stole”…which, according to Pompeo, contained entire CIA training courses based on ‘lying, cheating and stealing.’

Pompeo finally speaks some truth.

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