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Loud & Clear radio broadcast dissects the battle to retake Mosul, and the role Erdogan’s Turkey will play

Erdogan’s number-one priority right now is beating back the Kurds.

Alex Christoforou

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Loud & Clear with Brian Becker discusses the battle to retake the Iraq city of Mosul from ISIS.

Turkey has refused to withdraw its troops from Iraq, as a confrontation between Ankara and Baghdad picks up pace.

Will the war against Daesh be followed by yet another bloody regional conflict?

Becker is joined by journalists Alexander Mercouris [Editor-in-Chief at The Duran] and Alex Christoforou [Director and writer at The Duran] to talk about the plans of President Erdogan in Iraq.

Listen or download the podcast here.

Sputnik News covered the Loud & Clear broadcast, and reports…

Ahead of the battle to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from Daesh, Turkey has refused to withdraw its troops from Iraq, fueling an already heated confrontation with its regional neighbor.

Iraqi troops, supported by US Special Forces on the ground, are expected to begin the battle to liberate Mosul from Daesh this month, and Turkey seems to want be involved too. But the Iraqi government is not so enthusiastic about the uninvited presence of the Turks in the country and does not want Ankara to participate in the assault.

Journalist Alex Christoforou told Radio Sputnik’s Brian Becker that Turkey’s expansionist mindset could be one of the motives driving Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decisions. But, first and foremost, Erdogan’s actions are dictated not by Mosul’s past as a part of the Ottoman empire but by Ankara’s strong need to prevent the establishment of any kind of Kurdish state, he believes.

“[Erdogan’s] number-one priority right now is really beating back the Kurds,” Christoforou said during the Loud & Clear broadcast. “Because we all know that a Kurdish state to the south of Turkey could really mean the fragmentation of the Turkish republic as we know it.”

Journalist Alexander Mercouris noted that there are too many complicating factors in the conflict, apart from the Kurdish issue, including the fact that the Erdogan government “has become very much aligned with various Sunni forces” in the region, while the dominant force of the Iraqi government is Shia.

He added that although the US will do everything in its power to calm the conflict, given the opposing factors in play, it is hard to predict how things will play out.

“For the United States…the recapture of Mosul is extremely important. It was the capture of Mosul that really put Daesh on the map internationally,” Mercouris said.

“My guess is that the United States is going to be working flat out over the next few weeks to try and resolve these tensions between the Turks and the Iraqis. It will probably persuade the Turks to back off from Mosul…But at the same time I expect the tensions in Iraq, between Iraq and Turkey to continue.”

Christoforou emphasized that the fragmentation of Iraq, in which different groups had been able to live together in relative peace, was a “Pandora’s box” opened by US intervention.

“It’s the case of creating chaos in a region which previously had enjoyed a certain stability.” Mercouris agreed. “And these people who constantly advocate more war, more interference, more meddling in these regions, really ought to take a hard look at what they have already done.”

Via: https://sputniknews.com/world/201610141046315943-attack-on-mosul/

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

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 148.

Alex Christoforou

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RT

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Via RT…


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

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

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

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

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

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

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 147.

Alex Christoforou

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

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

Pompeo finally speaks some truth.

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