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The global Trumpquakes that are shaking the world

The arrival of a new US President intent on overturning the established world order has triggered a succession of crisis, some engineered by him, some engineered by his opponents within the US ‘Deep State’ as they seek to disrupt his initiative for a new detente with Russia.

Andrew Korybko

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Donald Trump’s first two weeks in office as President of the United States have been characterized by diplomatic and geopolitical confusion as the “new boss” sets forth to completely upend the global order.

Most foreign leaders don’t understand Trump, nor the New Populism (American variant) that he represents, and they seem to have totally underestimated his capabilities and those of his staff.

Many foreign dignitaries and conventional analysts presumed that he’d be like “any other American politician” – lots of talk and no action – but those who understand what Trump and his team are really about knew better than to fall for such pre-inaugural fantasies.

The reality, as the world has evidently realized by now, is that the impact of President Trump on the global system has been akin to an earthquake – or Trumpquake, as some are calling it – and this has played out across both the diplomatic and geopolitical spheres, albeit for different reasons and to different ends.

Diplomatic Trumpquakes

To talk about the first one, it’s already been highly publicized how Trump withdrew from the TPP, has promised to renegotiate NAFTA, and wants to reorganize NATO – all three of which have drawn massive criticism from the ruling Western elite whom “Trump’s Lenin” – Stephen Bannon – wants to essentially overthrow anyhow.

Trump hasn’t hidden his disdain of the EU and German Chancellor Merkel either, and he has even appointed an anti-EU individual – Ted Malloch – as his country’s representative to the bloc.

Moreover, his latest phone calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia were fraught with controversy. Trump threatened a limited military incursion against America’s southern neighbor – in what his administration insists was a “lighthearted” remark – if it doesn’t crack down on “bad hombres” (drug dealers and the like) and even allegedly hung up on the Prime Minister “Down Under” because he kept insisting that the US honor a “refugee”/illegal immigrant deal that Obama agreed to last year.

Geopolitical Trumpquakes

Self-Inflicted:

On the geopolitical front, Trump’s already ruffled quite a few feathers with Iran and China, though this was entirely predictable and was earlier forecast in an immediate post-election article I wrote entitled “Here’s What Trump’s Foreign Policy Will Look Like”.

It was also built upon in a subsequent radio analysis for Context Countdown focusing on the three most important themes which will come to define 2017.

These are the intended geopolitical disruptions which Trump and his team have already started to carry out, but the other part of the Geopolitical Trumpquakes are those disturbances which aren’t necessarily the result of the new President’s policies, but are time bombs ‘gifted’ to him by his predecessor’s “deep state” (permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies) and tasked with possibly going off in order to offset the President’s hinted-at plans for a New Détente with Russia in the New Cold War.

To explain, the identity-diverse swath of Europe between the Baltic and Black Seas which Polish imperialist leader Jozef Pilsudski referred to as the “Intermarium” is on the verge of exploding into a series of semi-connected conflicts which could sabotage the Russian-American rapprochement.

Sabotage:

I have written extensively about the various Hybrid War scenarios which could break out in the Balkans in a related series for Oriental Review, and regretfully, many of them seem to be presently unfolding in the region.

Albanians in the NATO-occupied Serbian Province of Kosovo have brought the region to the brink of a continuation conflict, and the unresolved political crisis in the Republic of Macedonia is giving space for yet another attempt at overthrowing the government, be it through a Color Revolution, parliamentary maneuvering, and/or an Albanian terrorist insurgency.

Elsewhere in the Balkans, Bosnia remains continuously only edge as Sarajevo works with its Western patrons to infringe on Republika Srpska’s constitutional sovereignty and trigger its own type of continuation war, perhaps together with Croatia and NATO.

These three interlinked conflict scenarios are dangerously veering towards the realm of imminent possibility, and they’re all conditioned on stopping Russia’s and China’s planned Balkan megaprojects through the region, which are the Balkan Stream gas pipeline and the Balkan Silk Road high-speed railway, respectively.

The end game in this region appears to be the “Balkanization” of the Balkans and its division into a collection of ethno-centric states along the lines of the proposal most recently lobbied for by former British diplomat Timothy Less, which basically formalizes “Greater Albania” at Serbia, Macedonia, and Montenegro’s expense, and dissolves the frail federation of Bosnia along the lines of its three constitutional constituents.  Suffice to say, it’s unlikely that this would ever happen without a major war.

Looking past the former Yugoslavia, neighboring Romania is in the throes what is undoubtedly a Color Revolution, albeit one which has been unleashed for as-yet uncertain geopolitical motivations.

One of the possibilities could be to trigger a chain reaction of destabilization that would travel northwards to Moldova and contribute to the rekindling of the Transnistria conflict, which could very easily lead to the involvement of the Russian troops stationed there and instantly prompt fears of a larger war.

Beyond the Balkans, Kiev has restarted its aggression against Donbass in order to both distract Russia from its diplomatic initiatives in the Mideast and also to provoke it to conventionally intervene and thus undermine the prospects that the US will reach a new form of détente with it in the near future.

As all of this is happening, Belarus appears to have moved to the brink of ‘defecting’ from Russia and pivoting towards the West, which would truly represent a decisive military-strategic setback for Moscow if it fully materializes.

Towards A Literally “New” World Order

The Diplomatic and Geopolitical Trumpquakes – both those that are self-inflicted by Trump and the ones which are time bombs set by Obama-Clinton’s “deep state” – are having the cumulative effect of totally disrupting the two competing world orders and leading to unprecedented volatility in global affairs.

Obama and his post-Cold War forerunners’ intentions were always to secure the US’ unipolar hegemony across the world, while the mid-2000s saw the rise of the Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership and their joint efforts to construct a Multipolar World Order to oppose the New World Order of unipolarity first unveiled by Bush Sr..

Trump is also enthralled with unipolarity and American Exceptionalism, except his campaign remarks indicated that he recognized the limits of the US’ conventional force projection capabilities and hinted that he would help America adapt to the changing international global conditions of multipolarity through a forthcoming New Détente with Russia which could thus facilitate more concrete “containment” measures against Iran and China.

Trump’s “Third Way” – promoting unipolar goals within an increasingly multipolar world – is at odds with the ‘legacy’ ideology of the US’ “deep state”, which sees any sort of pragmatism with Russia, no matter what its ultimate grand strategic ends may be, as absolutely anathema and something which must be stopped at all costs.

Trump and his team are of course working around the clock and behind the scenes to either co-opt, professionally neutralize, or replace hostile “deep state” elements, though this is a far-reaching and ambitious task which will take years to fully accomplish. Having said that, some of the antagonistic forces which Trump now presides over are intent on sabotaging any realistic prospect that he could ever reach a New Détente with President Putin, which explains the “sudden” and near-synchronous outbreak of so many preplanned and predictable crises.

Under the “expected” geopolitical conditions of what they presumed would be a Clinton Presidency by this point, these geopolitical time bombs may not have been activated all at once and could have been strategically unleashed on a case-by-case need depending on the specific circumstances.

In the state of panic which the hostile elements of the “deep state” presently find themselves, however, they’ve felt compelled to activate all of these crises-on-demand throughout the “Intermarium” in order to sabotage the New Détente.

They may not go as far as throwing all of their weight behind the eruption of several full-fledged simultaneous wars, but the strategy of tension which they’ve masterfully deployed might be enough to sharply revive the fading distrust between both sides and preclude any possibility of their hoped-for rapprochement, especially if armed hostilities commence in the Balkans and Russia and the US predictably find themselves backing opposite sides.

The two Great Powers might even have a rapid falling out simply through the natural disagreements that they’ll have with one another in diplomatically resolving these crises the longer that they play out, unless, of course, my previously elaborated “worst-case scenario” enters into force whereby Moscow is engages in a series of concessions out of desperation to clinch a New Détente.

Concluding Thoughts

There’s no escaping the fact that a series of Global Trumpquakes have rocked the globe and are threatening to completely upend both the preexisting (unipolar) and planned (multipolar) world orders through the emergence of Trump-Bannon’s “Third Way”.

The American President has proudly initiated a spree of Diplomatic Trumpquakes in seeking to shake up the order of business within the US’ sphere of influence with the hope of making it much more efficient and in line with his “America First” ideology.

This is admittedly fraught with a bunch of risk, but the US’ chief decision maker and his closest advisors seem to have calculated that it’s better to proactively seize the moment in radically reforming the system than to have its broken leadership structure eventually cave in underneath them just like the Soviets’ did at the end of the Old Cold War (and likely brought about by similar forthcoming foreign pressures).

On the other hand, the Geopolitical Trumpquakes fall into two categories – those which are self-inflicted by Trump himself and the ones which are “deep state” sabotage.

The first relate exclusively to Asia and are aimed at pushing back against the all-around multipolar progress of China and Iran, striving to take advantage of Trump’s envisioned New Détente with Russia in Europe (ergo why there’s no self-inflicted Trumpquake in this part of Eurasia) in order to split the Resistance Bloc along the lines of how Nixon’s “Opening To China” in the 1970s divided the communist one.

As for the second category of Geopolitical Trumpquakes, these are caused by adversarial elements within the American “deep state” in order to sabotage their President’s outreaches to Russia by sparking a slew of simultaneous crises in order to keep them apart.

What all of these Trumpquakes have in common, however, is that they’re major shocks to both the existing and evolving world orders, and collectively represent the manifestation of global chaos.

It was inevitable that far-reaching instability would come to define the transition from unipolarity to multipolarity, and such a trend was obviously visible long before Donald Trump ever stepped onto the American political scene, but few could have predicted that it would be exacerbated by the US dramatically “reforming” its Western sphere of influence and simultaneously being undermined abroad by its own “deep state” elements because of this.

DISCLAIMER: All personal views are my own and do not necessarily coincide with the positions of my employer (Sputnik News) or partners unless explicitly and unambiguously stated otherwise by them. I write in a private capacity unrepresentative of anything and anyone except for my own personal views. Nothing written by me should ever be conflated with Sputnik or the Russian government’s official position on any issue.

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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

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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.

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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

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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. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50932.htm

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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