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Leaked memo shows how George Soros planned to overthrow Vladimir Putin and destabilise Russia

DC Leaks documents detail how dangerous the Open Society and George Soros were to the preservation of the Russian Federation.

Alex Christoforou

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The recent DC Leaks, of over 2,500 documents from George Soros NGOs, has shed a bright light on how the billionaire uses his vast wealth to create global chaos in an never ending push to deliver his neo-liberal euphoria to the peasant classes.

While Soros has managed to thoroughly destabilise the European Union by promoting mass immigration and open borders, divided the United States by actively funding Black Lives Matters and corrupting the very corruptible US political class, and destroyed Ukraine by pushing for an illegal coup of a democratically elected government using neo-nazi strong men…one country that Soros has not bee able to crack has been The Russian Federation.

Russia’s political pragmatism and humanist value system rooted in a traditional, “nation-state” culture most likely infuriates Soros.

Russia is Soros’ white whale…a creature he has been trying to capture and kill-off for nearly a decade.

Unfortunately for Soros (and fortunately for the entire planet) the Russian government realised the cancerous nature of Soros backed NGOs, and took the proper preventative measures…which in hindsight, and after reviewing the DC Leaks memos, proved to be a very wise move.

On November 30th 2015, Zerohedge reported,

Russian Prosecutor General’s Office issued a statement in which it recognized George Soros’s Open Society Institute and another affiliated organization as “undesirable groups”, banning Russian citizens and organizations from participation in any of their projects.

–prosecutors said the activities of the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation were a threat to the foundations of Russia’s Constitutional order and national security. They added that the Justice Ministry would be duly informed about these conclusions and would add the two groups to Russia’s list of undesirable foreign organizations.

According to RT, prosecutors launched a probe into the activities of the two organizations – both sponsored by the well-known US financier George Soros – in July this year, after Russian senators approved the so-called “patriotic stop-list” of 12 groups that required immediate attention over their supposed anti-Russian activities.

The Law on Undesirable Foreign Organizations came into force in early June this year. It requires the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Foreign Ministry to draw up an official list of undesirable foreign organizations and outlaw their activities. Once a group is recognized as undesirable, its assets in Russia must be frozen, its offices closed and the distribution of any of its materials must be banned. That said, it is doubtful that Soros still has any active assets in Russia – his foundation, which emerged in Russia in its early post-USSR years in the mid-1990s, wrapped up active operations in 2003 when Putin cemented his control on power.

The huge document tranche released by DC Leaks shows how dangerous the Open Society and George Soros were to the well being and preservation of the Russian Federation and the Russian culture.

In a document from November 2012 entitled, “OSF [Open Society Foundation] Russia Strategic Planning Meeting Notes”, Participants:

Leonard Benardo, Iva Dobichina, Elizabeth Eagen, Jeff Goldstein, Minna Jarvenpaa, Ralf Jürgens, Elena Kovalevskaya, Vicki Litvinov, Tanya Margolin, Amy McDonough, Sara Rhodin, Yervand Shirinyan, Becky Tolson

Discuss how to …

Identify joint priorities for OSF’s Russia activities in the coming year. How can we most effectively collaborate, considering the deteriorating political environment for our partners?

The main revelation of the document minutes comes from the hope that Medvedev’s years as president would provide the NGOs the “opening” they would need to finally break the Russian bear.

That all evaporated in 2012, when Vladimir Putin returned to the President’s office.

The OSF, clearly distraught and disappointed, begins to lay down the groundwork for how to challenge the Putin administration, in light of his very different approach to dealing with NGOs like the Open Society Foundation.

The human rights context has greatly changed from 2006 to 2012: the Medvedev period allowed for a number of improvements and significant openings for NGOs. Amendments to the NGO law in 2006 led to campaigning on behalf of NGOs; many of our grantees benefited during this period. Surkov established ties with many groups that were willing to cooperate with the state and our partners served as experts in key processes like police reform. A space was created for modernization and for the inclusion of civil society during Medvedev’s term. However, pressure has come back very quickly in the short time that Putin has been back in power.

A major turning point for NGO operation in Russia came with the botched Russian “Maidan like” protests, which were promptly dismantled before any damage could be inflicted.

The Russian protests deeply affected the life of NGOs. The state had been providing money for self-organization, thinking this would defuse the possibility of large-scale opposition. But by encouraging self-organization, they had opened up a Pandora’s Box. People became active and began to feel that it was possible to change something; the door was opened for self-mobilization.

The state has responded with repression and political prisoners, in order to instill fear in the population. The state is also working to undermine social support for the protests. Its support of socially-oriented (“good”) NGOs is a way to divide the community, while the foreign agents law frames the protests as foreign money undermining Russia.

Why the fascination with Russia? Why is it important for OSF to focus on Russia? With Russia comes immense wealth and tremendous geo-political power.

Key open society themes and issues are highly relevant in Russia
– Transparency and accountability (anticorruption)
– Rights and justice (i.e., criminal justice, policing, rule of law, LGBT, women’s rights)
– Migration
– Inclusive education (disability, Roma)
– Media freedom, access to information
– Health (access to medicines, HIV, harm reduction)

Copy-cat problem: Russian tactics are picked up by Central Asia (ie, anti-extremism law in Kazakhstan)

Russia’s influence in UN Human Rights Council – pushing resolution that says human rights should take into consideration traditional values of country in question – very few HR orgs that are following the council saw this coming – has large implications beyond Russia

Participation in global international regimes (G20, ICC, WTO) – a more open Russia creates changes in international governing bodies

European Court litigation

The document details in an extensive bullet point list, “what must be done” to destabilize Russia, focusing on many recurrent neo-liberal themes that Soros uses to infect host nations and overturn governments…

– Political prisoners (Bolotnaya, etc.)
– Media censorship and control (pressure in independent media – work w/ NMP)
– Surveillance
– LGBT (push against propaganda laws, which are driven by local officials, not by the federal gov’t)
– Women’s rights
– Disability rights and inclusive education

Prisons
– Lots of funding is going to monitoring; where is our money best placed?
– ONKs don’t have sufficient $ for travel and legal representation

Policing and police violence (Public Verdict, Man and Law, etc.)
Migrants

Transparency and accountability
– State spending – monitoring, analysis
– Tracking cross-border transactions and business purchases
– Connections between accountability, human rights, and ordinary citizens’ interests

The complete PDF document can be found here:
-Russia-russia strategic planning 2012-meeting notes-russia strategic planning meeting notes 11 16 12.pdf


Following the 2012 document, and the apparent disappointment expressed by OSF members at Russia’s resistance to the neo-liberal way of life, DC Leaks provides a follow up memo entitled, “Russia Project Strategy, 2014-2017”. 

The document summary…

Russia today faces a regrettable backsliding into authoritarian practice. Confronted with serious domestic challenges, the regime has become more insular and isolationist, seeking to solidify its base. The progressively draconian laws promulgated since Putin’s return to the presidency have placed all foreign- funded organizations under threat of isolation and disrepute. Despite these decidedly challenging conditions, it is essential that we continue to engage Russia, both to preserve its extant democratic spaces, and to ensure that Russian voices do not go dark on the broader global stage.

The destabilization of Russia, now aptly named, “the Russia Project” goes on to identify three cornerstone concepts…

Amid the grim landscape, there nonetheless remain apertures for the Russia Project’s intervention. Exploiting all available opportunities, we will undertake the following three concepts, which we deem vital in the current climate:

1)  We will mitigate the negative impact of new laws via domestic and international advocacy. Key allies in this regard are the growing numbers of diverse Russian citizens opposing the country’s regression, along with the sizeable community of Russian legal experts with an in-depth knowledge of NGO law and a strong motivation to help the sector continue its activities.

2)  We will integrate Russian voices into the global exchange of ideas. Given that Russian intellectuals, practitioners and activists are increasingly sidelined domestically, and academics are often isolated from the international community, we will support venues for inserting diverse, critical Russian thinking into the global discourse. Such opportunities allow Russian actors to enter into mutually beneficial collaborations on topics ranging from migration to digital activism, thus maintaining their relevance and reducing their provincialization.

3)  We aim to mainstream the rights and dignity of one of Russia’s most marginalized populations: LGBT individuals. The RP’s diverse network of partners provides an opportunity to build a broader base of civil society allies at a time when the LGBT community is under profound threat. We hope to see a more balanced discourse on LGBT rights among the Russian public, as well as a strong cohort of mainstream independent organizations actively incorporating LGBT interests into their work.

Social mobilisation and the funding of alternative media networks, to promote social discourse and dissatisfaction, are common tactics that Soros NGOs uses to build up towards a revolution.

Along with these initiatives, we remain committed to supporting three primary fields: (a) access to justice and legal empowerment of marginalized groups, (b) access to independent information and alternative media, and (c) platforms for critical debate, discussion, and social mobilization. The RP plans to provide core support to our trusted partners in each of these fields, investing in their growth and development, and remaining flexible about the funding arrangements necessary to allow them to continue their essential work. We also seek to strengthen their legitimacy and financial sustainability, in order to build a more transparent, effective, and organizationally efficient third sector.

Russia is currently in a gradual, arbitrary, and haphazard process of becoming more closed. Amid this background, the RP’s cardinal role is to create a dense and wide-ranging field of independent civil society actors, who can in the best case help set the agenda for a more open and democratic future in Russia, and in the worst case survive the effects of new draconian legislation.

Engaging with Russian diaspora who oppose the current government, and mobilising the LGBT community through mass media propaganda, are recurrent themes in the Soros document.

The media focus on LGBT rights in the run up to the Sochi winter olympics was an opportunity not to be missed by Soros.

In the short to mid-term, the RP aims to engender broader civil society support for this highly marginalized group. Even though the “propaganda of homosexuality” law has gained unprecedented international attention in the lead-up to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the voices of Russian activists are barely being heard over larger international LGBT organizations. We want to make sure that our Russian partners have a leading role in shaping the strategy of the international movement, that planned campaigns have a domestic rather than just an international focus, and that the momentum gathering around Sochi does not dissipate immediately after the Olympics end.

Our comparative advantage lies in the deep and wide networks that we have fostered these past years. A strategic use of these networks will maximize the long-term impact of the work that LGBT rights organizations are doing. LGBT rights groups in Russia are professional and effective, yet they lack the capacity to reach far beyond their immediate communities and galvanize other civil society players necessary for their long-term success.

Destabilisation of a country the size of Russia does not come without a significant price tag, for which George Soros seems more than ready to pony up…

Given the large number of grants in the RP portfolio, we see a need for additional staffing in order to implement our strategic priorities and effectively monitor our activities. However, as a number of programs in the Eurasia region are being restructured, we are awaiting the results of this transition before making any substantive recommendations.

Their can be no doubt that the 2014-2017 plan outlined by Soros NGOs, which even envisioned staff growth and Eurasian region restructuring, has hit a major speed bump with the 2015 law that saw these divisive forces operating within Russian finally get booted out of the country.

The complete PDF document can be found here:
-Russia-Russia Project Revised 2014 2017 Strategy.pdf

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Major Syrian Army Assault On Southeast Idlib As Sochi Deal Unravels

Though the Syrian war has grown cold in terms of international spotlight and media interest since September, it is likely again going to ramp up dramatically over the next few months. 

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Via Zerohedge


The Syrian Army unleashed a major assault across the southeastern part of Idlib province on Saturday, a military source told Middle East news site Al-Masdar in a breaking report. According to the source, government forces pounded jihadist defenses across the southeast Idlib axis with a plethora of artillery shells and surface-to-surface missiles.

This latest exchange between the Syrian military and jihadist rebels comes as the Sochi Agreement falls apart in northwestern Syria, and in response to a Friday attack by jihadists which killed 22 Syrian soldiers near a planned buffer zone around the country’s last major anti-Assad and al-Qaeda held region. The jihadist strikes resulted in the highest number of casualties for the army since the Sochi Agreement was established on September 17th.

Though the Syrian war has grown cold in terms of international spotlight and media interest since September, it is likely again going to ramp up dramatically over the next few months.

The Al-Masdar source said the primary targets for the Syrian Army were the trenches and military posts for Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham in the towns of Al-Taman’ah, Khuwayn, Babulin, Haish, Jarjanaz, Um Jalal, and Mashirfah Shmaliyah. In retaliation for the Syrian Army assault, the jihadist rebels began shelling the government towns of Ma’an, Um Hariteen, and ‘Atshan.

Damascus has been critical of the Sochi deal from the start as it’s criticized Turkey’s role in the Russian-brokered ceasefire plan, especially as a proposed ‘de-militarized’ zone has failed due to jihadist insurgents still holding around 70% of the planned buffer area which they were supposed to withdraw from by mid-October. Sporadic clashes have rocked the “buffer zone” since.

Russia itself recently acknowledged the on the ground failure of the Sochi agreement even as parties officially cling to it. During a Thursday press briefing by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova admitted the following:

We have to state that the real disengagement in Idlib has not been achieved despite Turkey’s continuing efforts to live up to its commitments under the Russian-Turkish Memorandum of September 17.

This followed Russia also recently condemning  “sporadic clashes” and “provocations” by the jihadist group HTS (the main al-Qaeda presence) in Idlib.

Likely due to Moscow seeing the writing on the wall that all-out fighting and a full assault by government forces on Idlib will soon resume, Russian naval forces continued a show of force in the Mediterranean this week.

Russian military and naval officials announced Friday that its warships held extensive anti-submarine warfare drills in the Mediterranean. Specifically the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s frigates Admiral Makarov and Admiral Essen conducted the exercise in tandem with deck-based helicopters near Syrian coastal waters.

Notably, according to TASS, the warships central to the drill are “armed with eight launchers of Kalibr-NK cruise missiles that are capable of striking surface, coastal and underwater targets at a distance of up to 2,600 km.”

Since September when what was gearing up to be a major Syrian-Russian assault on Idlib was called off through the Russian-Turkish ceasefire agreement, possibly in avoidance of the stated threat that American forces would intervene in defense of the al-Qaeda insurgent held province (also claiming to have intelligence of an impending government “chemical attack”), the war has largely taken a back-burner in the media and public consciousness.

But as sporadic fighting between jihadists and Syrian government forces is reignited and fast turning into major offensive operations by government forces, the war could once again be thrust back into the media spotlight as ground zero for a great power confrontation between Moscow and Washington.

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Trump Quietly Orders Elimination of Assange

The destruction of Assange has clearly been arranged for, at the highest levels of the U.S. Government, just as the destruction of Jamal Khashoggi was by Saudi Arabia’s Government.

Eric Zuesse

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On June 28th, the Washington Examiner headlined “Pence pressed Ecuadorian president on country’s protection of Julian Assange” and reported that “Vice President Mike Pence discussed the asylum status of Julian Assange during a meeting with Ecuador’s leader on Thursday, following pressure from Senate Democrats who have voiced concerns over the country’s protection of the WikiLeaks founder.” Pence had been given this assignment by U.S. President Donald Trump. The following day, the Examiner bannered “Mike Pence raises Julian Assange case with Ecuadorean president, White House confirms” and reported that the White House had told the newspaper, “They agreed to remain in close coordination on potential next steps going forward.”

On August 24th, a court-filing by Kellen S. Dwyer, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Alexandria Division of the Eastern District of Virginia, stated: “Due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure [than sealing the case, hiding it from the public] is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged. … This motion and the proposed order would need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and can therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter.” That filing was discovered by Seamus Hughes, a terrorism expert at the Program on Extremism at George Washington University. On November 15th, he posted an excerpt of it on Twitter, just hours after the Wall Street Journal had reported on the same day that the Justice Department was preparing to prosecute Assange. However, now that we know “the fact that Assange has been charged” and that the U.S. Government is simply waiting “until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and can therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter,” it is clear and public that the arrangements which were secretly made between Trump’s agent Pence and the current President of Ecuador are expected to deliver Assange into U.S. custody for criminal prosecution, if Assange doesn’t die at the Ecuadorean Embassy first.

On November 3rd (which, of course, preceded the disclosures on November 15th), Julian Assange’s mother, Christine Ann Hawkins, described in detail what has happened to her son since the time of Pence’s meeting with Ecuador’s President. She said:

He is, right now, alone, sick, in pain, silenced in solitary confinement, cut off from all contact, and being tortured in the heart of London. … He has been detained nearly eight years, without trial, without charge. For the past six years, the UK Government has refused his requests to exit for basic health needs, … [even for] vitamin D. … As a result, his health has seriously deteriorated. … A slow and cruel assassination is taking place before our very eyes. … They will stop at nothing. … When U.S. Vice President Mike Pence recently visited Ecuador, a deal was done to hand Julian over to the U.S. He said that because the political cost of expelling Julian from the Embassy was too high, the plan was to break him down mentally…   to such a point that he will break and be forced to leave. … The extradition warrant is held in secret, four prosecutors but no defense, and no judge, … without a prima-facie case. [Under the U.S. system, the result nonetheless can be] indefinite detention without trial. Julian could be held in Guantanamo Bay and tortured, sentenced to 45 years in a maximum security prison, or face the death penalty,” for “espionage,” in such secret proceedings.

Her phrase, “because the political cost of expelling Julian from the Embassy was too high” refers to the worry that this new President of Ecuador has, of his cooperating with the U.S. regime’s demands and thereby basically ceding sovereignty to those foreigners (the rulers of the U.S.), regarding the Ecuadorian citizen, Assange.

This conservative new President of Ecuador, who has replaced the progressive President who had granted Assange protection, is obviously doing all that he can to comply with U.S. President Trump and the U.S. Congress’s demand for Assange either to die soon inside the Embassy or else be transferred to the U.S. and basically just disappear, at Guantanamo or elsewhere. Ecuador’s President wants to do this in such a way that Ecuador’s voters won’t blame him for it, and that he’ll thus be able to be re-elected. This is the type of deal he apparently has reached with Trump’s agent, Pence. It’s all secret, but the evidence on this much of what was secretly agreed-to seems clear. There are likely other details of the agreement that cannot, as yet, be conclusively inferred from the subsequent events, but this much can.

Basically, Trump has arranged for Assange to be eliminated either by illness that’s imposed by his Ecuadorean agent, or else by Assange’s own suicide resulting from that “torture,” or else by America’s own criminal-justice system. If this elimination happens inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, then that would be optimal for America’s President and Congress; but, if it instead happens on U.S. soil, then that would be optimal for Ecuador’s President. Apparently, America’s President thinks that his subjects, the American people, will become sufficiently hostile toward Assange so that even if Assange disappears or is executed inside the United States, this President will be able to retain his supporters. Trump, of course, needs his supporters, but this is a gamble that he has now clearly taken. This much is clear, even though the rest of the secret agreement that was reached between Pence and Ecuador’s President is not.

Scooter Libby, who had arranged for the smearing of Valerie Plame who had tried to prevent the illegal and deceit-based 2003 invasion of Iraq, was sentenced to 30 months but never spent even a day in prison, and U.S. President Trump finally went so far as to grant him a complete pardon, on 13 April 2018. (The carefully researched docudrama “Fair Game” covered well the Plame-incident.) Libby had overseen the career-destruction of a courageous CIA agent, Plame, who had done the right thing and gotten fired for it; and Trump pardoned Libby, thus retroactively endorsing the lie-based invasion of Iraq in 2003. By contrast, Trump is determined to get Julian Assange killed or otherwise eliminated, and even Democrats in Congress are pushing for him to get that done. The new President of Ecuador is doing their bidding. Without pressure from the U.S. Government, Assange would already be a free man. Thus, either Assange will die (be murdered) soon inside the Embassy, or else he will disappear and be smeared in the press under U.S. control. And, of course, this is being done in such a way that no one will be prosecuted for the murder or false-imprisonment. Trump had promised to “clean the swamp,” but as soon as he was elected, he abandoned that pretense; and, as President, he has been bipartisan on that matter, to hide the crimes of the bipartisan U.S. Government, and he is remarkably similar in policy to his immediate predecessors, whom he had severely criticized while he was running for the Presidency.

In any event, the destruction of Assange has clearly been arranged for, at the highest levels of the U.S. Government, just as the destruction of Jamal Khashoggi was by Saudi Arabia’s Government; and, just like in Khashoggi’s case, the nation’s ruler controls the prosecutors and can therefore do whatever he chooses to do that the rest of the nation’s aristocracy consider to be acceptable.

The assault against truth isn’t only against Assange, but it is instead also closing down many of the best, most courageous, independent news sites, such as washingtonsblog. However, in Assange’s case, the penalty for having a firm commitment to truth has been especially excruciating and will almost certainly end in his premature death. This is simply the reality. Because of the system under which we live, a 100% commitment to truth is now a clear pathway to oblivion. Assange is experiencing this reality to the fullest. That’s what’s happening here.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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Libya’s Peace Process Dies in Palermo

The best the Palermo negotiators could come up with at the end was a bland statement declaring their hope that sometime in the future all the Libyan forces will meet to sort out their differences.

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Authored by Richard Galustian for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity:


“Resounding flop” was the verdict of Italy’s former prime minister Matteo Renzi on this week’s Libya peace conference held in Palermo. He’s not wrong. The conference hosted by Italy’s new government achieved the remarkable feat of making Libya’s tensions worse, not better. Acrimony broke out between the parties, and Turkey’s delegation walked out, its vice president Fuat Oktay accusing unnamed States of trying to “hijack the process.”

Some sources in Palermo suggested, yet to be verified, that the US thought the Conference was not too bad: a joke if true.

Moreover the mystery we might ask is what “process” is there to hijack? Because the truth is, the peace plan the conference was supporting is already dead.

That plan was the brainchild of the United Nations, launched more than a year ago with the aim of ending Libya’s split between warring Eastern and Western governments with elections in December.

Even before the first delegates set foot in the pleasant Sicilian city of Palermo this week, the UN admitted the election date of December 10 they had decided to scrap.

The eastern government, led by the parliament in Tobruk, had made moves in the summer to organize a referendum on a new constitution which would govern the elections. But no referendum was held, and most Libyans agree it would be pointless because Tripoli, home to a third of the country’s population, is under the iron grip of multiple warring militias who have the firepower to defy any new elected government. Hours after the delegates left Palermo, those militias began a new bout of fighting in the Tripoli suburbs.

The best the Palermo negotiators could come up with at the end of the talks was a bland statement declaring their hope that sometime in the future all the Libyan forces will meet in a grand conference to sort out their differences – and this after four years of civil war. To say that chances of this are slim is an understatement.

Dominating the Palermo talks, and indeed Libya’s political landscape, was and is Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the Libyan National Army, the country’s most powerful formation. In four years, the LNA has secured Libya’s key oil fields and Benghazi, its second city, ridding most of the east Libya of Islamist militias.

Haftar met reluctantly negotiators in Palermo, but insisted he was not part of the talks process. The Italian government press office said Haftar was not having dinner with the other participants nor joining them for talks. Haftar specifically opposed the presence of the Muslim Brotherhood champion, Qatar, at the event along with Turkey.

Haftar clearly only attended because he had a few days before visiting Moscow – which sent to Sicily Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev – and because also of Egyptian President Sisi’s presence along with his allies.

Possibly Haftar was simply fed up. Twice in the past two years he has attended previous peace talks, hosted each time in Paris, giving the nod to declarations that Libya’s militias would dissolve. Yet the militias remain as strong as ever in Tripoli.

Haftar is detested by the militias and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) but supported by a large segment of the population – 68 percent, according to an opinion poll by America’s USAID. His popularity is based on a single policy – his demand that security be in the hands of regular police and military, not the militias.

Not everyone is happy, certainly not Turkey, which is backing Islamist, MB and Misratan forces in western Libya who detest Haftar. Yet Turkey’s greatest statesman, the great Kamal Ataturk, was a champion of secularism: After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire following World War One Turkey faced the prospect of utter disintegration, and it was Attaturk who rose to the challenge, defending the country’s borders, while ordering that the mullahs, while responsible for spiritual welfare, have no political power.

Political Islam is not popular in Libya either. Libya is a Muslim country, its people know their faith, and most want government to be decided through the ballot box.

The problem for Libya is what happens next with the peace process broken. Haftar has in the past threatened to move on Tripoli and rid the militias by force if they refuse to dissolve, and it may come to that – a fierce escalation of the civil war.

The second possibility is that Libya will split. The east is, thanks to the LNA, militarily secure. It also controls two thirds of the country’s oil and operates as a separate entity, down to it banknotes, which are printed in Russia while the Tripoli government’s are printed in Britain. A formal split would be an economic boon for the lightly populated east, but a disaster for Tripolitania, its population losing most of the oil, its only source of export income.

Yet with the failure of peace talks, and no sign of Tripoli militias dissolving, military escalation or breakup seem more likely than ever.

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