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How President Trump may actually be fixing relations with Russia and Iran

President Trump speaks from Iraq, hinting that he wants to support a new balance of power, including Russia and Iran, in the Middle East.

Seraphim Hanisch

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President Trump made an unexpected trip to Iraq on the day after Western Christmas, flying in secret on Air Force One with the lights blacked out and military escort jets alongside. The eleven-hour journey concluded with the President speaking to the US troops stationed there, but his message was intended for the whole world to hear. In that message, he delivered several messages that may well have been conciliatory towards both Russia and Iran, while also fiercely – and effectively defending his “America First” viewpoint of the US’ involvement in foreign affairs, particularly those involving armed conflict.

The American media, as well as most Western outlets, are almost sure to miss this because of their desperate pivoting to find ways to be critical of the unwanted resident of the White House. However, for those who listen and read the actual news, there is some very interesting information that the President spoke about.

The video of the speech is made available here.

The White House website has the transcript of the President’s full speech here. As with all news of this nature, the most assured way to have an accurate picture of what is going on is to read or listen to all of the information concerning a subject, as the full picture changes everything.

We are going to point out certain points in the speech. They will be preceded with the timestamp at which the remarks occur so anyone who wants to can listen directly to the point. We are also going to offer some possible interpretations of these points. While this is speculative work, there is context to support our speculations.

[06:00] The courageous men and women at Al Asad Air Base are on the leading edge of our fight to vanquish America’s terrorist enemies.  You know that.

The other reason I’m here today is to personally thank you and every service member throughout this region for the near elimination of the ISIS territorial caliphate in Iraq and in Syria.  (Applause.)

[06:28] Two years ago, when I became President, they were a very dominant group.  They were very dominant.  Today, they’re not so dominant anymore.  (Applause.)  Great job.  I looked at a map, and two years ago it was a lot of red all over that map.  But now you have a couple little spots.  And that’s happening very quickly.  That’s happening very quickly.  You’ll be seeing that.

I want to just say great job.  And we’ll be watching ISIS very closely.  We’ll be watching them very, very closely — the remnants of ISIS.

This is a well-crafted comment. While the US forces in Syria were ostensibly there “to defeat ISIS”, we at The Duran have countless accounts of other motives by the American forces, namely to defeat and remove Bashar Al-Assad from power. As President Trump began his term, this latter narrative was firmly in the lead, with ISIS a secondary consideration. However, one may note that references to removing Assad from power are all but gone in American news coverage. Further, last week’s announcement that the American troops are leaving Syria also featured the President making absolutely no reference to Assad.

[07:12] No enemy on Earth can match the awesome strength of American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines.  Nobody is even close.  And nobody is even close, in terms of our equipment.  We make the greatest equipment in the world.  Whether it’s missiles or ships or anything you want to name, we have the greatest in the world.  The jet fighters, the new F-35, the Super F-18s — we have the greatest fighter jets in the world.  We make the greatest equipment in the world.

But you strike fear into the hearts of our enemies and bring comfort to all of our allies and those who cherish peace.  And we want peace.  And the best way to have peace is strength.  When we’re strong, we’re going to have peace.  If we’re not strong, you know what happens.  So we’re stronger than ever.  And very soon, when it all comes in, when that equipment keeps flowing — it’s being made, much of it now — there will be nobody ever in history that’s even close.

[08:18] American and coalition forces have had one military victory after another over the last two years against ISIS, including the retaking of both Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria.  We’ve liberated more than 20,000 square miles of territory.  Think of what that is — 20,000.  Twenty thousand acres is a lot; think of what twenty thousand square miles is.  It’s a lot.  This was all formerly held by ISIS — and liberated more than 3 million civilians from ISIS’s bloodthirsty control.

The men and women stationed at Al Asad have played a vital role in the military defeat of ISIS in Iraq and in Syria.  Because of these gains, our service members in Syria can now return home to their families.  Some will come here for a stay, but a lot of them are going to be going back home, where they want to be, with their families.  They’ve done a fantastic job.

[09:32] Originally, years ago, they came here.  And it was supposed to be for three to four months, and that was a long time ago.  That was many years ago.  But what a job you have done.  What a job they have done.  I made it clear from the beginning that our mission in Syria was to strip ISIS of its military strongholds; we’re not nation building.  Rebuilding Syria will require a political solution.  And it’s a solution that should be paid for by its very rich neighboring countries, not the United States.  Let them pay for it.  And they will.  They will.

In fact, Saudi Arabia yesterday — you probably read — stepped up to the plate and has already made a commitment of substantial funds for development.  And President Erdogan of Turkey has also agreed to take out any remnants of ISIS, and we’ll be working with them.  We’re going to be working with them.

Our presence in Syria was not open-ended, and it was never intended to be permanent…

One year ago, I gave our generals six more months in Syria.  I said, “Go ahead. Get them.” And it turns out it was really a year and a half ago.  I said, “Go get them.”  “We need six months.”  “Go get them.”  Then they said, “Give us another six months.”  I said, “Go get them.”  Then they said “Go — can we have one more, like, period of six months?”  I said, “Nope.  Nope.”  I said, “I gave you a lot of six months.”  And now we’re doing it a different way.  And we’re doing it.  And you’re doing it, folks.  You’re doing it.  Just the remnants.

This again is a very carefully and well-crafted comment. By not naming any particular nations at first, the President steps away from any particular endorsement of Russia, but he also does not block it. Since he is still encumbered by the Russiagate witch-hunt – er – investigation, with its apparently endless supply of money and resources, all dedicated to removing the unexpected and unwanted Trump from office, he really cannot make a reference to Russia and expect to be able to do the rest of his job for the American nation.

This is an uncomfortable fact, but it is the truth. The only way to get the US president clear to do the policymaking changes to repair the globalist-caused damage to the US and Russia relations is to strengthen his post with a Congress that is also willing to take the fight to the globalists and continue to move the US towards the position Mr. Trump desires – that of a strongly sovereign nation, with strong borders, and a complete break from globalist policies. Until that happens, the President has to outmaneuver the embedded globalists, or their policies has held by the hapless Deep State.

Consider that President Recep Erdogan is a NATO ally that is also getting more and more cozy with Russia, and that Saudi Arabia is an American ally. Both are local to the Syrian region though.

This is a fact that is slowly gaining recognition in the US, particularly with journalists and pundits like Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham, but perhaps most clearly understood by Tucker Carlson. It cannot really be said that the 2018 midterms featured globalism as a campaign issue, but it ought to become one.

[11:34] The men and women who serve are entitled to clear objectives, and the confidence that when those objectives are met they can come home and be with their families.  Our objective in Syria was always to retake the territory controlled by ISIS.  Some people said we’ve already retaken 99 percent.  That’s a number that comes up a lot.  And if you look at the map, before and after, it looks like 99 percent.

This bold-type statement will almost assuredly win the President’s 2020 campaign with the military. It signals a much bolder set of moves than President George W Bush’s 2003 “Mission Accomplished” statement which resulted in the revelation that the mission was far from accomplished. The reason why President Trump’s attempt here is different already was noted by his clearing the decks, so to speak, for the local and regional powers to get involved.

[12:02] Now that we have done so, the nations of the region must step up and take more responsibility for their future.  And also, they have to confront those remnants of ISIS and take them out very easily — if, after we’re totally finished, they’re even left at all.

There will be a strong, deliberate, and orderly withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria — very deliberate, very orderly — while maintaining the U.S. presence in Iraq to prevent an ISIS resurgence and to protect U.S. interests, and also to always watch very closely over any potential reformation of ISIS and also to watch over Iran.  We’ll be watching.

This, of course, is already fodder for many armchair strategists, who write of disbelief that the US will ever truly withdraw its presence from any place it sends its forces to. To be sure, at this time we can only watch and see. However, President Trump’s resolve was firm enough for him to get resignations from Defense Secretary Mattis and the Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, Brett McGurk. This suggests a lot more than a powerless political statement took place.

The comment of “watching over Iran” is perhaps a very well-crafted statement. This can be read aggressively, which fits the US narrative that Iran is a vicious enemy, and the American troop presence in Iraq is a strong strategic move in this area since Iraq borders Iran. However, the Iranians are in a quandary over the American withdrawal from the JCPoA (also known as “the Iran deal”) and the country is back under American sanctions. However, they also know that President Trump is a deal maker, and has in fact hinted at the possibility of making a deal with Iran when they express interest.

After clearing the global issues, the President went on to address the big problem at home – the security of the American Southern border. In this he made use of the audience, who clearly enjoyed his visit and his speech, to show the world, and the Democrats, that the argument for the construction of a border wall is in his favor:

[14:40] We will honor — you’re welcome.  You’re welcome.  (Laughter.)  We will honor your service by doing everything in our power to defend our homeland and to stop terrorists from entering America’s shores.  And that includes the strengthening of our borders.

I don’t know if you folks are aware of what’s happening.  We want to have strong borders in the United States.  The Democrats don’t want to let us have strong borders — only for one reason.  You know why?  Because I want it.  (Laughter.)  If I said — you know, I think, just standing here looking at all these brilliant, young faces — these warriors.  You’re warriors.  You know, you’re modern-day warriors.  That’s what you are.

But you gave me an idea, just looking at this warrior group.  I think I’ll say, “I don’t want the wall.”  And then they’re going to give it to me.  (Laughter.)  I’ve figured out the solution, First Lady.  (Laughter.)  Tell Nancy Pelosi, “I don’t want the wall.”  “Oh, we want the wall.”  And then we get the wall.  (Laughter and applause.)  That’s another way of doing it.  (Applause.)  That’s another way of doing it.

No, we have to have it.  And, you know, not only human trafficking; drugs; illegals; a lot of criminals — bad records.  We’ve seen murderers come in through the — you saw what happened with the caravan, as we call it.  A caravan of thousands of people.

And, by the way, our Border Patrol did an incredible job, and our military did an incredible job.  And local law enforcement on the various parts of the border did an incredible job.  And those caravans are slowly breaking up, and they’re going back where they came from, and they have to come into our country legally.  Legally.

This last comment, that the caravans are breaking up, is not being reported by anyone to any extent. But it is the logical outcome of not being able to gain access to the US.

There was much more to this speech, such as making sure that anyone wanting US military help pays the US for that help, and great honor given to the soldiers who gave their lives in service to the country. There is enough here to write a great deal more analysis.

As usual, the essence of a speech by President Trump and the media’s handling of his speeches are totally different matters. The President was ruthlessly positive, and very solidly able to connect to the soldiers in the audience. Whether on script or off script, the message is genuine. Perhaps the mainstream media’s problem is that they are too smart to grasp plain speech when they hear it.

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Shaun Ramewe

Anti-terrorist pro-democracy resource-rich Iran and Russia do very well knowing never to trust Zio-liar false-flagging terrorist-abetting war-criminal media-faking Swamp-Chump or any other deal-breaking political-meddling back-stabbing foul-mouthed coward-pervert ZOG-Yank.

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Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

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Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

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Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

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After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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Ariel Cohen explains Washington’s latest foreign policy strategy [Video]

Excellent interview Ariel Cohen and Vladimir Solovyov reveals the forces at work in and behind American foreign policy.

Seraphim Hanisch

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While the American people and press are pretty much complicit in reassuring the masses that America is the only “right” superpower on earth, and that Russia and China represent “enemy threats” for doing nothing more than existing and being successfully competitive in world markets, Russia Channel One got a stunner of a video interview with Ariel Cohen.

Who is Ariel Cohen? Wikipedia offers this information about him:

Ariel Cohen (born April 3, 1959 in Crimea in YaltaUSSR) is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law.[1] Cohen currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.[2] Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Cohen has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Helsinki Commission.[4] He also served as a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Deterrence Analysis.[5] In addition, Cohen has consulted for USAID, the World Bank and the Pentagon.[6][7]

Cohen is a frequent writer and commentator in the American and international media. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC-TV and Al Jazeera English, as well as Russian and Ukrainian national TV networks. He was a commentator on a Voice of America weekly radio and TV show for eight years. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor to the National Interest and a blogger for Voice of America. He has written guest columns for the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneChristian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, EurasiaNet, Valdai Discussion Club,[8] and National Review Online. In Europe, Cohen’s analyses have appeared in Kommersant, Izvestiya, Hurriyet, the popular Russian website Ezhenedelny Zhurnal, and many others.[9][10]

Mr. Cohen came on Russian TV for a lengthy interview running about 17 minutes. This interview, shown in full below, is extremely instructive in illustrating the nature of the American foreign policy directives such as they are at this time.

We have seen evidence of this in recent statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, and an honestly unabashed bit of fear mongering about China’s company Huawei and its forthcoming 5G networks, which we will investigate in more detail in another piece. Both bits of rhetoric reflect a re-polished narrative that, paraphrased, says to the other world powers,

Either you do as we tell you, or you are our enemy. You are not even permitted to out-compete with us in business, let alone foreign relations. The world is ours and if you try to step out of place, you will be dealt with as an enemy power.

This is probably justified paranoia, because it is losing its place. Where the United Stated used to stand for opposition against tyranny in the world, it now acts as the tyrant, and even as a bully. Russia and China’s reaction might be seen as ignoring the bully and his bluster and just going about doing their own thing. It isn’t a fight, but it is treating the bully with contempt, as bullies indeed deserve.

Ariel Cohen rightly points out that there is a great deal of political inertia in the matter of allowing Russia and China to just do their own thing. The US appears to be acting paranoid about losing its place. His explanations appear very sound and very reasonable and factual. Far from some of the snark Vesti is often infamous for, this interview is so clear it is tragic that most Americans will never see it.

The tragedy for the US leadership that buys this strategy is that they appear to be blinded so much by their own passion that they cannot break free of it to save themselves.

This is not the first time that such events have happened to an empire. It happened in Rome; it happened for England; and it happened for the shorter-lived empires of Nazi Germany and ISIS. It happens every time that someone in power becomes afraid to lose it, and when the forces that propelled that rise to power no longer are present. The US is a superpower without a reason to be a superpower.

That can be very dangerous.

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