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Is Donald Trump undermining America’s global clout? Let’s hope so.

However much Donald Trump’s loyal base in the United States continues to love him (while the other half of the American population loathes him), it’s safe to say that the overwhelming consensus among foreign leaders is one of contempt mixed with fear.

Jim Jatras

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Submitted by author via Strategic Culture

While not identifying Trump by name, European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini left no doubt about what she thinks of the current hand on the tiller of the American ship of state in the aftermath of US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal:

“It seems that screaming, shouting, insulting and bullying, systematically destroying and dismantling everything that is already in place, is the mood of our times… This impulse to destroy is not leading us anywhere good … It is not solving any of our problems.”

Let’s take a look at some of the primary breakage in the wake of what some see as Trump’s bull-in-a-china-shop path of destruction:

  • Pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership:This, we are told, amounts to America’s “withdrawing from our role as unelected (but de facto) global leader.” The new international rules on the environment and trade will not be made in Washington.

Taken together, critics say these and similarly irresponsible actions by Trump and his team have thrown into doubt the reliability of the US as an international partner and have degraded the value of US “global leadership.” According to a recent Gallup poll (gleefully cited by MSNBC’s dreadful Rachel Maddow):

“One year into Donald Trump’s presidency, the image of US leadership is weaker worldwide than it was under his two predecessors. … With its stable approval rating of 41%, Germany has replaced the US as the top-rated global power in the world. The US is now on nearly even footing with China (31%) and barely more popular than Russia (27%) – two countries that Trump sees as rivals seeking to ‘challenge American influence, values and wealth’.”

Nicholas Burns, a former senior American diplomat under Republican and Democratic administrations, harrumphed, “Trump is weak on NATO, Russia, trade, climate, diplomacy. The US is declining as a global leader.” Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice sneeringly calls Trump “our wrecking ball in chief.”

But hold on. That sounds familiar. As Dilbert creator Scott Adams wrote in March 2016: “If you think the government is broken, and you want to send a wrecking ball to Washington D.C., Trump offers that possibility.”

Well, that’s what we Deplorables voted for. Maybe that’s what we got. Anything that makes Maddow, Burns, and Rice unhappy can’t be all bad!

To be sure, Trump has not delivered on one of his signature campaign promises, to improve ties with Russia. With some help from across The Pond, the essence of the entire Russiagate witch hunt has been to block any hope of US-Russia rapprochement, a necessary element for significant progress on almost any important international issue. By all external indications the campaign to turn Trump’s foreign policy into a repeat of that of George W. Bush but with a harsher edge has been a smashing success.

Or has it? As one commentator suggests:

“Appearances can be deceiving. The Russo-Sino-Persian axis is secretly aligned with Trump, who they know is an enemy of the Deep State/Bilderberger empire. I expect Iran to make a few concessions and Trump will come out looking stronger, just as he did in Korea. Trump believes in the ‘Great Man’ theory of history and he and Putin and Xi are secretly working together. Russia will let Trump bomb Syria (no great consequence), Xi will compromise on trade a bit (no great consequence), and Iran will probably make a few inconsequential concessions. Trump’s concessions will occur later (pulling some troops out of South Korea, letting Putin handle Syria, no serious military action against Iran). As Pepe [Escobar] has pointed out in the past, Xi will get Pakistan to lean on the Taliban and Trump will be even able to pull US troops out of Afghanistan. In the end, the Deep State will lose control of Eurasia while Trump with his false bluster will paradoxically seem strong. Hold onto your hats!”

This is all speculation of course. Evidence for such a secret alignment is scant to none, except perhaps the suspiciously meager strikes on Syria and the clearly deliberate care not to hit Russia’s forces. One also wonders why, if this were really Trump’s intention, would he not proceed in a more direct way? For that matter, why would he not appoint to a top policymaking position even a single person who conceivably could share this agenda?

One answer is that Trump is aware of the fate of the last president who tried to buck the Deep State and rein back our global meddling. On this theory he literally cannot tell a soul of his intentions, which he must keep strictly in pectore while outwardly pursuing a blustering “policy of strength” that perversely results in cutting the legs from under the very American “leadership” he pretends to champion. If such jiu-jitsu lies at the heart of Trump’s policy, he really is some kind of genius!

Another, and perhaps more likely, answer is that he is achieving the same goal not through a thought-out program but more as the product of (to him) unconnected, instinctual actions, the consequences of which he only dimly foresees. That is, Trump doesn’t necessarily have the path or the desired outcomes clearly plotted in his mind, just a gut-level sense of what he wants to do at each decision point. The result still might have some underlying internal logic which he only partly appreciates on a cognitive level.

Or maybe all the foregoing is just grasping at straws. Perhaps Trump really has no idea what he’s doing. It’s possible that through the quirks of his impulsive personality he’s just taking the decades-old thrust of America’s hegemonic bullying to its logical absurdity – with counterproductive results. The chickens of the Pox Americana are finally coming home to roost. It’s then tempting for America’s customary foreign enablers – notably those in Europe, who invariably submit supinely to every diktat from Washington, especially with respect to hostility to Russia – to recoil from the uncouth Trump and his arrogant “America First!” attitudes in effusive horror (Mogherini: “screaming, shouting, insulting and bullying, systematically destroying and dismantling.”).

In any case, if we ignore the bleating and whining from those lamenting the decline in US “leadership” we can perhaps be thankful for anything that undercuts the global hegemonic project and, perhaps in spite of the worst intentions of Trump’s appointees, moves us incrementally towards a national interest-based policy. Putting the individual issues in context, the only real question before us whether the US persists in the insane quest for unipolar world domination that shifted into high gear in 1991 and must inevitably lead to a cataclysm of unimaginable proportions; or whether there can be a soft landing into a multipolar order, where the US accepts the status of primus inter pares in concert with Russia and China, with side-understandings with Europe, India, Japan, and so forth.

Let us hope it is the latter. If so, whether that is the result of deliberate policy calculations or of policy failures is less important than the outcome itself.

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Germany Wants Nuclear Bombers

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

The Duran

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Via VoltaireNet.org:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RT

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Via RT…


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Macron’s address will be held on Thursday.

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O Canada! The True North Strong and Free – Not

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

Jim Jatras

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Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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