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Paul Craig Roberts: Armageddon Rides In The Balance

Out of its hatred of Trump the left has united with the forces of evil and war that are leading to conflict with Russia.

Paul Craig Roberts

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Authored by Paul Craig Roberts:


For some time I have pointed out the paradox of the American liberal/progressive/left being allied with the CIA, FBI, military/security complex and deep state. Now leftist Ann Garrison has noticed the paradox of this alliance. She concludes that the left has lost its mind.https://www.globalresearch.ca/we-love-the-cia-or-how-the-left-lost-its-mind/5653450

Indeed, it has.

Out of its hatred of Trump the left has united with the forces of evil and war that are leading to conflict with Russia. The left’s hatred of Trump shows that the American left has totally separated from the interests of the working class, which elected Trump. The American left has abandoned the working class for the group victimizations and hatreds of Identity Politics. As Hillary put it, the working class comprises the “Trump deplorables.” The Democratic Party, like the Republicans, represents the ruling oligarchy.

I have explained that the leftwing lost its bearings when the Soviet Union collapsed and socialism gave way to neoliberal privatizations. The moral fury of the leftwing movement had to go somewhere, and it found its home in Identity Politics in which the white heterosexual male takes the place of the capitalist, and his victim groups—blacks, women, homosexuals, illegal immigrants—take the place of the working class.

The consequences of the leftwing’s alliance with warmongers and liars is the leftwing’s loss of veracity. The left has endorsed a CIA orchestration—“Russiagate”—for which there is no known evidence, but which the left supports as proven truth.

The purpose of “Russiagate” is to prevent President Trump from normalizing relations with Russia. In these times when so many Americans are hard pressed, normal relations could adversely impact the budget and power of the military/security complex by reducing the “Russian threat.” If there is no real Russian threat, only an orchestrated perceived one, the question arises: why does the military/security complex have a taxpayer-supported annual budget of $1,000 billion dollars?

The presstitutes have kept the truth from emerging that the “Russiagate” investigation has found no sign of a Trump/Putin plot to steal the 2016 presidential election from Hillary. Indeed, it has been proven beyond all questioning that the Hillary emails were not hacked but were downloaded on a thumb drive. This proof collapses the entire premise of “Russiagate.”
Nevertheless, the hoax continues.

Muller’s indictments are for unrelated matters, such as income tax evasion in the distant past of Republican fund raisers and consultants. These charges have nothing whatsoever to do with Mueller’s mandate. Indeed, as Andrew C. McCarthy, a former US attorney who led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, has made clear, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller to head the “Russiagate” investigation is not in compliance with the regulations that govern the appointment of a special prosecutor.

The appointment of a special prosecutor requires evidence of a specific federal crime that is to be investigated. You only have a special prosecutor when there is factual basis for believing that a federal crime has been committed. What is the federal crime? What is the factual basis? Mueller’s appointment does not say. Therefore, Mueller’s appointment is invalid. Rosenstein has violated the process. In my opinion, this is grounds for Rosenstein to be removed from office. https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/trump-russia-probe-robert-mueller-investigation/

At one time, Congress—both parties—would have been all over the invalid Mueller appointment. However, after 16 years of Cheney/Bush and Obama regime lawlessness, even Republicans accept that the Constitution’s restraints on executive branch power, along with the laws and regulations Congress has established specifying the exercise of these powers, have been rendered meaningless by the “war on terror,” a hoax designed to further Israel’s interests in the Middle East and the neoonservative doctrine of US hegemony, while making billions of dollars for the military/security complex.

Charlie Savage’s book, Takeover, and David Ray Griffin’s book, Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World, accurately document how 9/11 was used to destroy the Constitution’s balance of power within the government and to create unaccountable executive branch powers that over-ride the Constitution’s protection of civil liberty. This demand for an unaccountable executive branch, pushed by VP—actually President in fact—Dick Cheney and his minions, such as Addington and John Yoo, was the agenda of the Republican Federalist Society. An early book laying out the legally invalid and legally incompetent argument that the president had powers unchecked by Congress or the judiciary was Terry Eastland’s book, Energy in the Executive. This collection of nonsense became Cheney’s bible as he proceeded in secret to remove constraints on executive branch power. The elevation of the executive branch above the law of the land is documented in Charlie Savage’s book. Read it and weep for your country destroyed by Dick Cheney.

On top of Cheney’s coup against accountable government, we have in America today another coup, organized by former CIA director John Brennan, former FBI director Comey, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, the Democratic National Committee, the departed Republican senator John McCain, a coup fully supported by the entirety of the US presstitute media. This coup is against the democratically elected President of the United States for the sole reason that he threatens the power and profit of the entrenched military/security complex, about which President Eisenhower warned us 57 years ago, by wanting to normalize relations with Russia, the world’s premier nuclear power.

The question is unavoidable: Why do the American people put up with this? Are they so insouciant that they have no realization that, if a president can be driven from office because he wants peace with Russia, the removed president’s successor will have to stand against Russia or also be driven from office. Trust and negotiation between the nuclear powers becomes impossible. Why do Americans support conflict with a nuclear power that can completely destroy America?

During the entirety of the Cold War, in which I was a participant, the emphasis was on reducing tensions and creating trust. Today Washington’s interest is piling provocation after provocation on a country that can wipe us off the face of the earth. The liberal/progressive/left, the Democratic National Committee, the CIA and the rest of the covert state, and the media whores all share this same commitment to the reckless and irresponsible provocation of a powerful nuclear power. As the US military itself acknowledges, Russia’s weapons are far beyond America’s defenses.

So what is going on? Is it the liberal/progressive/left’s desire that evil America be destroyed? Is this desired destruction of evil America the reason the left has allied itself so tightly with the warmongers in Washington? Is this the reason that the left and the Democrats and a handful of Republicans want to impeach President Trump for attempting to make peace with Russia?

How can these crazed immoral people present themselves as some sort of moral arbiter when they are locked on a trajectory that will destroy Earth?

This destruction might be closer than anyone thinks. Here is the situation in Syria:

Russia and Syria, in cooperation with Iran and Turkey, have begun the assult on Iblid province, the last stronghold of Washington’s proxy army consisting of Al Qaeda, Al Nursra, and ISIS mercenaries hired by Washington.

According to reports, which might or might not be true considering the lack of veracity that is the defining characteristic of the Western media, the US and UK have troops among the mercenary forces, hoping apparently that this presence will deter the attack. As the attack has already begun, this is a false hope.

The Russians discovered Washington’s plot to explode a chemical weapon in Iblid province and exposed Washington’s plot to the UN. Washington had it set up that once its proxies created the appearance of a chemical weapon explosion, Washington would send Tomahawk missiles upon the Syrian forces, thus protecting its proxy army that it sent to overthrow Assad for Israel. The Russian exposure of Washington’s conspiracy has denied Washington UN support. Moreover, Russia has sent a naval force armed with the new Russian hypersonic missiles to Syria and has announced that its aircraft in the area are also armed with these missiles. As the US Navy and Air Force have no defense whatsoever against these missiles, if the US attacks the Syrian/Russian forces, it will be Putin’s decision whether any US ship or military aircraft in the area exists as anything but a smoldering ruin.

In other words, the entire power in the area lies in Russian hands. If Washington had any sense—and it doesn’t, Washington has hubris and arrogance in the place of sense—Washington would be nowhere close to Syria.

The question is this: Will the hotheads in Washington conclude that the Russian announcements and marshalling of forces is “just another Putin bluff.” So far Putin has been loaded up with never-ending insults and provocation— blame for the crash of the Malaysian airliner, blame for poisoning a variety of people in England, blame for invading Ukraine, blame for interfering in US elections, blame for supporting the “dictator” Assad, a person democratically elected by a large vote who obviously has the support of the Syrian people as he liberates Syria from the forces Washington sent to put the country into the same chaos that exists in Iraq and Libya.

Have we reached the situation about which I have been worried, worries shared with my readers, in which Washington makes the miscalculation, based on the incorrect understanding of Russia’s resolve, to launch an attack on the Syrian/Russian forces that have begun the final liberation of Syria from Washington’s paid mercenaries? Yesterday the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity sent a letter to President Trump advising him of the war danger that the Trump administration has created by its continued illegal interference in Syria’s internal affairs.https://www.globalresearch.ca/moscow-has-upped-the-ante-in-syria/5653571

The Russian government cannot accept Washington’s military intervention in behalf of Al Qaeda, Al Nursa, and ISIS without completely losing all credibility, not only in the world, but inside Russia itself.

A realistic alternative to military action would be for Washington to stand aside as Syria reconstitutes itself and use a propaganda war to blame Syria and Russia for civilian deaths and for destroying “democratic rebels” who rose against a “dictator.” The fear could be expanded to the Baltics and Ukraine by reviving the propaganda that Putin intends to reconstruct the Soviet Empire.

Washington has long used an expertly manufactured fear of Russia to control Europe. Fear can keep Europe in line, whereas military action against Russia could scare Europe into taking refuge in a revival of its sovereignty.

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported: “President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has approved the use of chlorine gas in an offensive against the country’s last major rebel stronghold, U.S. officials said, raising the prospects for another retaliatory U.S. military strike as thousands try to escape what could be a decisive battle in the seven-year-old war.” According to the Wall Street Journal, the US strikes could target Russian and Iranian forces as well as Syrian forces.

It is difficult to believe that Washington thinks attacks on Russian forces would go unanswered. Such a reckless and irresponsible act could initiate Armageddon.

The claim that Assad has approved the use of chlorine gas in the liberation of Iblid is propagandistic nonsense put out by Washington as an excuse for Washington’s effort to protect its proxy army in Syria with military strikes. All Syrian chemical weapons were removed by Russia and turned over to the US during the Obama regime. Moreover, Russia would not permit Assad to use chemical weapons if he had them.

Life on earth is faced with a situation in which Washington is so determined to overthrow Assad and to leave Syria in the same chaos as Libya and Iraq that Washington is willing to risk war with Russia. Never before have irrationality and immorality had such a firm hold on a government. The world should be scared to death of the recklessness and irresponsibility of the US government.

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Rick OliverRicJohn NolanTheCelotajsGeorge Hartwell Recent comment authors
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AM Hants
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AM Hants

Well said, PCR. Together with Pat Buchanon, State Senator Black, Rand Paul, plus, the few sane members of the Washington DC Community.

‘…The Russian government cannot accept Washington’s military intervention in behalf of Al Qaeda, Al Nursa, and ISIS without completely losing all credibility, not only in the world, but inside Russia itself…’

You can call me AL
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You can call me AL

I am sorry, what did you say 2 days ago about commenting ?. Gotcha.

Sally Snyder
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Sally Snyder

As shown in this article, over the past decade and a half, Washington’s viewpoint on Russia has been completely inconsistent:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/08/washingtons-ever-evolving-viewpoint-on.html

This is, in large part, because the United States and its military-industrial-intelligence network always needs an enemy.

Donna
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Donna

Paul’s history is a bit skewed. The left lost its bearings long before the 1991 USSR collapse. Identity politics replaced class politics back in the 1960s, with the rise of identity groups on college campuses and the decline (after McCarthy did his dirty work) of the Communist Party USA. And it has been downhill ever since because identity politics is a “divide-and-conquer” strategy manipulated by the Democrats and Republicans. The shrill, fanatical, authoritarian form of identity politics today is proof that it has failed.

Vera Gottlieb
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Vera Gottlieb

I find the entire USA deplorable…

You can call me AL
Guest
You can call me AL

I will agree with your exact wording.

Ray Joseph Cormier
Guest

Most probably, people reading this article and comments are non-religious, with no Faith in the Eternal. What you are reading and seeing in the Secular, non-religious, Main Stream Media Today, and the alternate media such as this Duran, the pictures and possibilities they propagate, are the Revelation of this ancient Biblical Vision of a Future Time that has arrived as Final Solution II as a Masada-Holocaust seems ever more possible as it appears on the Horizon. The Spiritual Revelation is when you can see it unfolding in THIS Material World: And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out… Read more »

G George
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G George

The problem with your kind of thinking is the very problem we face. Religious people really believe there will be some better world after we are all destroyed in nuclear holocaust. There is not one shred of evidence for this conclusion; yet that doesn´t stop you religious wackos promoting it.

Raymond Comeau
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Raymond Comeau

I did not vote on G.Geotge”s comment, as the
computer would not let me. I bet there is software used to do that. I like G.George”s comment even though I am not allowed to register my vote.

Ric
Guest

Me too,losing what little trust remains in any of these sites

George Hartwell
Guest

Religion and ‘faith in the eternal’ is part of the Duran and the comments because it is based on wisdom, love and the courage to deal with facts. ! Timothy 1:7. You bring in obscure prophetic or visionary imagery as if you know what it means and how it applies to right now. Of course, misguided ‘believers’ have always crafted their own story and applied it to right now. It is scarier that way and too many evangelicals choose to focus on fear. Focus on the gospels and what Jesus said not the obscure passages in Book of Revelation. Remember… Read more »

John Nolan
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John Nolan

Yes, Mr. Cormier, the problem is that politicians, especially in Amazia, use Bible Scripture to support their personal opinion, their lusts for war, and is the exact technique religious leaders of the Lord Jesus’ day used to nail Him to the cross. Realistically, we also know that the generation which saw Israel become a nation again, after two thousand years, will witness the end of all things. Lk.21:29-32 Unfortunately the supposed Christian leaders of this day, “crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh and put Him to an open shame.” Heb.6:4-6 This is where Gentile denominations use the Bible,… Read more »

Walter Dublanica
Member

Dr. Roberts commentaries should be on the desk of every member of Congress. It is surprising that only a handful of people Dr. Roberts /Rand Paul/Ron Paul/Pat Buchanan /some others see through the neocon cabals deception. The book about Israeli Lobby’s influence on American Foreign Policy by Professors Meirsheimer of U.of Chicago & Walt of Harvard is a must read.

George Hartwell
Guest

Yes “The purpose of “Russiagate” is to prevent President Trump from normalizing relations with Russia.” And also ‘Blame Russia’ was HRClinton’s deflection from her insecure servers (that we will find out sold information to China that resulted in American death) and loss of information from Democratic National Committee (which will show that HRC controlled, illegally destroyed Bernie’s chances.) Charlie Savage’s book, Takeover, documents the elevation of the executive branch above the law of the land. (The Dick Chaney coup?) But now on top of Cheney’s coup, we have in America today another ongoing attempted coup, organized by former CIA director… Read more »

TheCelotajs
Guest
TheCelotajs

The United States and the British have been trying to overthrow Russia since 1946/48 when Russia beat them into Berlin and Israel has been trying to overthrow Syria since 1986 when they got stopped cold. The only reason Israel wants Syria is for control of the land so Israel can build more settlements for the Israel people. Israel has this grand plan to take over the whole Mid-East so they can move all the Jews from around the world to Israel in what they are calling their promise land. There is a bit more to all this then what is… Read more »

Rick Oliver
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Rick Oliver

Excellent report Paul Craig Roberts ! I actually learnt that the mighty Russians have the means to soundly defeat any aggressor , which I am totally in agreement with and must admit I would have retaliated years ago under duress not calmness like our fearless friend Mr Putin.The want of oil and minerals and the greed for it is driving the Illuminati wild , wild enough to push it`s puppets to the brink of nuclear annihilation ! Whether their so called deep terrain bunkers can keep the fallout at bay ? then I guess they are in the same boat… Read more »

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Whose Money Stoked Religious Strife in Ukraine – and Who Tried to Steal It?

Was $25 million in American tax dollars allocated for a payoff to stir up religious turmoil and violence in Ukraine?

Jim Jatras

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Authored by James George Jatras via Strategic Culture:


Was $25 million in American tax dollars allocated for a payoff to stir up religious turmoil and violence in Ukraine? Did Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (unsuccessfully) attempt to divert most of it into his own pocket?

Last month the worldwide Orthodox Christian communion was plunged into crisis by the decision of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in Constantinople to recognize as legitimate schismatic pseudo-bishops anathematized by the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is an autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church. In so doing not only has Patriarch Bartholomew besmirched the global witness of Orthodoxy’s two-millennia old Apostolic faith, he has set the stage for religious strife in Ukraine and fratricidal violence – which has already begun.

Starting in July, when few were paying attention, this analyst warned about the impending dispute and how it facilitated the anti-Christian moral agenda of certain marginal “Orthodox” voices like “Orthodoxy in Dialogue,” Fordham University’s “Orthodox Christian Studies Center,” and The Wheel. These “self-professed teachers presume to challenge the moral teachings of the faith” (in the words of Fr. John Parker) and “prowl around, wolves in sheep’s clothing, forming and shaping false ideas about the reality of our life in Christ.” Unsurprisingly such groups have embraced Constantinople’s neopapal self-aggrandizement and support for the Ukrainian schismatics.

No one – and certainly not this analyst – would accuse Patriarch Bartholomew, most Ukrainian politicians, or even the Ukrainian schismatics of sympathizing with advocacy of such anti-Orthodox values. And yet these advocates know they cannot advance their goals if the conciliar and traditional structure of Orthodoxy remains intact. Thus they welcome efforts by Constantinople to centralize power while throwing the Church into discord, especially the Russian Church, which is vilified in some Western circles precisely because it is a global beacon of traditional Christian moral witness.

This aspect points to another reason for Western governments to support Ukrainian autocephaly as a spiritual offensive against Russia and Orthodoxy. The post-Maidan leadership harp on the “European choice” the people of Ukraine supposedly made in 2014, but they soft-pedal the accompanying moral baggage the West demands, symbolized by “gay” marches organized over Christian objections in Orthodox cities like AthensBelgradeBucharestKievOdessaPodgoricaSofia, and Tbilisi. Even under the Trump administration, the US is in lockstep with our European Union friends in pressuring countries liberated from communism to adopt such nihilistic “democratic, European values.”

Perhaps even more important to its initiators, the row over Ukraine aims to break what they see as the “soft power” of the Russian Federation, of which the Orthodox Church is the spiritual heart and soul. As explained by Valeria Z. Nollan, professor emerita of Russian Studies at Rhodes College:

‘The real goal of the quest for autocephaly [i.e., complete self-governing status independent of the Moscow Patriarchate] of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is a de facto coup: a political coup already took place in 2014, poisoning the relations between western Ukraine and Russia, and thus another type of coup – a religious one – similarly seeks to undermine the canonical relationship between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Moscow.’

In furthering these twin objectives (morally, the degrading of Orthodox Christianity; politically, undermining the Russian state as Orthodoxy’s powerful traditional protector) it is increasingly clear that the United States government – and specifically the Department of State – has become a hands-on fomenter of conflict. After a short period of appropriately declaring that “any decision on autocephaly is an internal [Orthodox] church matter,” the Department within days reversed its position and issued a formal statement (in the name of Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, but clearly drafted by the European bureau) that skirted a direct call for autocephaly but gave the unmistakable impression of such backing. This is exactly how it was reported in the media, for example, “US backs Ukrainian Church bid for autocephaly.” Finally, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo weighed in personally with his own endorsement as did the US Reichskommissar for UkraineKurt Volker.

The Threat…

There soon became reason to believe that the State Department’s involvement was not limited to exhortations. As reported by this analyst in October, according to an unconfirmed report originating with the members of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (an autonomous New York-based jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate), in July of this year State Department officials (possibly including Secretary Pompeo personally) warned the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (also based in New York but part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate) that the US government was aware of the misappropriation of a large amount of money, about $10 million, from estimated $37 million raised from believers for the construction of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine in New York. The State Department warning also reportedly noted that federal prosecutors have documentary evidence confirming the withdrawal of these funds abroad on the orders of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. It was suggested that Secretary Pompeo would “close his eyes” to this theft in exchange for movement by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in favor of Ukrainian autocephaly, which helped set Patriarch Bartholomew on his current course.

[Further details on the St. Nicholas scandal are available here, but in summary: Only one place of worship of any faith was destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attack in New York and only one building not part of the World Trade Center complex was completely destroyed. That was St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, a small urban parish church established at the end of World War I and dedicated to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, who is very popular with Greeks as the patron of sailors. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attack, and following a lengthy legal battle with the Port Authority, which opposed rebuilding the church, in 2011 the Greek Archdiocese launched an extensive campaign to raise funds for a brilliant innovative design by the renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava based on traditional Byzantine forms. Wealthy donors and those of modest means alike enthusiastically contributed millions to the effort. Then – poof! In December 2017, suddenly all construction was halted for lack of funds and remains stalled to this day. Resumption would require having an estimated $2 million on hand. Despite the Archdiocese’s calling in a major accounting firm to conduct an audit, there’s been no clear answer to what happened to the money. Both the US Attorney and New York state authorities are investigating.]

This is where things get back to Ukraine. If the State Department wanted to find the right button to push to spur Patriarch Bartholomew to move on the question of autocephaly, the Greek Archdiocese in the US is it. Let’s keep in mind that in his home country, Turkey, Patriarch Bartholomew has virtually no local flock – only a few hundred mostly elderly Greeks left huddled in Istanbul’s Phanar district. (Sometimes the Patriarchate is referred to simply as “the Phanar,” much as “the Vatican” is shorthand for the Roman Catholic papacy.) Whatever funds the Patriarchate derives from other sources (the Greek government, the Roman Catholic Church, the World Council of Churches), the Phanar’s financial lifeline is the ethnic Greek community (including this analyst) in what is still quaintly called the “Diaspora” in places like America, Australia, and New Zealand. And of these, the biggest cash cow is the Greek-Americans.

That’s why, when Patriarch Bartholomew issued a call in 2016 for what was billed as an Orthodox “Eighth Ecumenical Council” (the first one since the year 787!), the funds largely came from America, to the tune of up to $8 million according to the same confidential source as will be noted below. Intended by some as a modernizing Orthodox “Vatican II,” the event was doomed to failure by a boycott organized by Moscow over what the latter saw as Patriarch Bartholomew’s adopting papal or even imperial prerogatives – now sadly coming to bear in Ukraine.

…and the Payoff

On top of the foregoing, it now appears that the State Department’s direct hand in this sordid business may not have consisted solely of wielding the “stick” of legal threat: there’s reason to believe there was a “carrot” too. It very recently came to the attention of this analyst, via an unsolicited, confidential source in the Greek Archdiocese in New York, that a payment of $25 million in US government money was made to Constantinople to encourage Patriarch Bartholomew to move forward on Ukraine.

The source for this confidential report was unaware of earlier media reports that the same figure – $25 million – was paid by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to the Phanar as an incentive for Patriarch Bartholomew to move forward on creating an independent Ukrainian church. Moreover, Poroshenko evidently tried to shortchange the payment:

‘Peter [Petro] Poroshenko — the president of Ukraine — was obligated to return $15 million US dollars to the Patriarch of Constantinople, which he had appropriated for himself.

‘As reported by Izvestia, this occurred after the story about Bartholomew’s bribe and a “vanishing” large sum designated for the creation of a Unified Local Orthodox Church in Ukraine surfaced in the mass media.

‘As reported, on the eve of Poroshenko’s visit in Istanbul, a few wealthy people of Ukraine “chipped in” in order to hasten the process of creating a Unified Local Orthodox Church. About $25 million was collected. They were supposed to go to the award ceremony for Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople for the issuing of a tomos of autocephaly. [A tomos is a small book containing a formal announcement.] However, in the words of people close to the backer, during the visit on April 9, Poroshenko handed over only $10 million.

‘As a result, having learned of the deal, Bartholomew cancelled the participation of the delegation of the Phanar – the residence of the Patriarch of Constantinople, in the celebration of the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia on July 27 in Kiev.

‘”Such a decision from Bartholomew’s side was nothing other than a strong ultimatum to Poroshenko to return the stolen money. Of course, in order to not lose his face in light of the stark revelations of the creation of the tomos of autocephaly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Peter Alexeevich [Poroshenko] had to just return those $15 million for the needs of Constantinople,” a trusted source explained to reporters.

‘For preliminary information, only after receiving the remaining sum, did Bartholomew finally give his consent to sending a delegation of the Phanar to Kiev … ‘

Now, it’s possible that the two identical figures of $25 million refer to two different pots of money (a cool $50 million!) but that seems unlikely. It’s more probable the reports refer to the same sum as viewed from the sending side (the State Department, the Greek Archdiocese) and the delivery side (Poroshenko, Constantinople).

Lending credibility to the confidential information from New York and pointing to the probability that it refers to the same payment that Poroshenko reportedly sought to raid for himself are the following observations:

  • When Poroshenko generously offered Patriarch Bartholomew $10 million, the latter was aware that the full amount was $25 million and demanded the $15 million Poroshenko had held back. How did the Patriarch know that, unless he was informed via New York of the full sum?
  • If the earlier-reported $25 million was really collected from “a few wealthy people of Ukraine” who “chipped in,” given the cutthroat nature of disputes among Ukrainian oligarchs would Poroshenko (an oligarch in his own right) have risked trying to shortchange the payment? Why has not even one such Ukrainian donor been identified?
  • Without going into all the details, the Phanar and the Greek Archdiocese have a long relationship with US administrations of both parties going back at least to the Truman administration, encompassing some decidedly unattractive episodes. In such a history, a mere bribe for a geopolitical shot against Moscow would hardly be a first instance or the worst.

As one of this analyst’s Greek-American connections puts it: “It’s easy to comprehend the Patriarchate bowing to the pressure of State Dept. blackmail… not overly savory, but understandable. However, it’s another thing altogether if Kiev truly “purchased” their autocephalous status from an all too willing Patriarchate … which would relegate the Patriarch to ‘salesman’ status and leave the faithful wondering what else might be offered to the highest bidder the next time it became convenient to hold a Patriarchal ‘fire sale’ at the Phanar?!”

To add insult to injury, you’d think Constantinople at least could pay back some of the $7-8 million wasted on the Crete 2016 debacle to restart the St. Nicholas project in New York. Evidently the Phanar has better things to spend it on, like the demonstrative environmentalism of “the Green Patriarch” and, together with Pope Francis, welcoming Muslim migrants to Europe through Greece. Of course maybe there’s no need to worry, as the Ukraine “sale” was consistent with Constantinople’s papal ambitions, an uncanonical claim to “universal” status, and misuse of incarnational language and adoption of a breathtakingly arrogant tone that would cause even the most ultramontane proponent of the Rome’s supremacy to blush.

Finally, it seems that, for the time being at least, Constantinople doesn’t intend to create an independent Ukrainian church but rather an autonomous church under its own authority. It’s unclear whether or not Poroshenko or the State Department, in such event, would believe they had gotten their money’s worth. Perhaps they would. After all, the issue here is less what is appropriate for Ukraine than what strikes at Russia and injures the worldwide Christian witness of the Orthodox Church. To that end, it doesn’t matter whether the new illegal body is Constantinopolitan or Kievan, just so long as it isn’t a “Moskal church” linked to Russia.

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EU Army: Fact or Fiction? (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 152.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and International Affairs and Security Analyst via Moscow, Mark Sleboda discuss the possibility, and feasibility, of putting together an EU army, as French President Macron is now boasting about.

Will an EU Army replace, rival, or fold into NATO? How will the US respond to Europe’s military initiative, and how will Russia deal an EU army?

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Via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


“Insulting” – that’s how US President Donald Trump sharply reacted to the idea of a “real European army” proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron.

And it was how Macron rationalized the need for an independent military force for Europe that perhaps most irked the American leader.

Speaking on a tour of World War I battlefields in northern France last week, Macron said that Europe needed to defend itself from “China, Russia and even the United States of America”.

It was a pretty extraordinary choice of words by the French leader. To frame the US among an array of perceived foreign enemy powers was a devastating blow to the concept of a much-vaunted transatlantic alliance.

Since the Second World War, ending 1945, the concept of an American-European alliance has been the bedrock of a supposed inviolable, mutual defense pact. That nearly seven-decade alliance is now being questioned more than ever.

Macron’s call for a European army was further backed up by German Chancellor Angela Merkel who also pointedly said this week that Europe can no longer rely on the US for its defense.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has welcomed the proposal for Europe to form its own military organization, independent from Washington. No doubt, Moscow views such a development as augmenting a move towards a multipolar international order, which Russia and China, among others, have been advocating in opposition to American ambitions of unipolar dominance.

When Trump arrived in Paris last weekend along with dozens of other world leaders, including Putin, to commemorate the centennial anniversary marking the end of World War I, there was a notable frostiness between Macron and the American president. Only a few months ago, Macron and Trump had appeared the best of friends in what some observers referred to as a “bromance”.

During the Paris events, Macron sought to placate Trump by saying that the European army proposal would have a “complementary” role to the US-led NATO military alliance. However, their relationship further soured when Macron later delivered a speech in which he made a veiled rebuke of Trump’s “nationalist” politics.

Days later, on returning to Washington, Trump then fired off a fusillade of angry tweets attacking Macron in very personal terms over a range of issues, including “unfair” economic trade and France’s alleged ungrateful attitude towards the US liberation of Paris from Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

The rift between the US and Europe has been brewing even before Trump’s presidency. For years, Washington has been carping that the Europeans need to spend more on military defense, claiming that the US has been shouldering the burden for too long. Trump has taken the griping to a new, higher level. Recall that he has threatened to pull out of NATO because the Europeans were “free loading” on American “protection”.

The irony is that now the French and German leaders are talking about setting up their own military defenses, Trump has blown a fuse.

Evidently, the American contention is not about “burden sharing” of defense. If Washington was genuinely aggrieved about supposedly defending Europe at too much of its own expense, then Trump, one would think, would be only too glad to hear that the Europeans were at last making their own military arrangements, and taking the burden off Washington.

This gets to the heart of the matter about the real purpose of NATO and presence of tens of thousands of US troops stationed in bases across Europe since 1945. American military presence in Europe is not about “protecting” its supposed allies. It is, and always has been, about projecting American power over Europe. In reality, American troops and bases in Europe are more functioning as an occupying force, keeping the Europeans in line with Washington’s strategic objectives of hegemony over the continent.

Macron and Merkel’s vision of a European army is probably fanciful anyway, without any real prospect of materializing. How such a new defense arrangement would work independently from the 29-member NATO alliance led by the US seems unwieldy and impractical.

But the latest tensions between Washington and European leaders over military organization demonstrate the real nature of America’s relationship to Europe. It is about domination by Washington over Europe and has little to do with partnership and protection.

When Trump and previous US presidents have urged greater military spending by Europe the ulterior agenda is for Europeans to pay more to underpin American military presence, not for Europeans to find their own independent defense arrangement.

Tensions in the transatlantic axis seem to be coming to a head, heightened by Trump’s nationalistic “America First” policy. Rivalries are sharpening over trade, US sanctions on Iran, Trump’s threats against European energy plans with Russia, the Paris Climate Accord, and squabbling over NATO expenditures.

There is nothing progressive about Macron or Merkel’s call for a European army. It is more to do with France and Germany wanting to assert themselves as great powers and to shake off American tutelage out of frustration with Trump’s domineering petulance.

Only last week, Macron caused controversy when he praised French military general Philippe Pétain who collaborated with Nazi Germany as leader of Vichy France (1940-44). Macron wants a European army to satisfy his own nationalistic ambitions of revamping French global power. This week, he spent the night onboard a refurbished French aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, from which he gave a media interview saying that being “an ally of America meant not being a vassal”. Touché!

A progressive challenge from Europe to American power would not involve setting up a new army. Instead it would involve Europeans pushing for the disbandment of NATO as an obsolete organization and for the withdrawal of US-led forces which are dangerously amassing on Russia’s border.

Nonetheless, the one positive thing to emerge from the transatlantic spat over military defenses is that it illustrates more than ever how European protection is not the real purpose of Washington’s relationship to the continent. The purpose is one of using Europe as a platform for projecting America’s power, in particular against Russia.

The recent announcement by the Trump administration that it is willing to rip up yet another nuclear arms control treaty – the INF following the ABM in 2002 – clearly shows that Washington, ultimately, has recklessly scant concern for Europe’s security with regard to a possible future war with Russia.

For Washington, despite all the chivalrous rhetoric, Europe is not a partner nor even an ally. It is a vassal. Admittedly, thousands of American troops died while bravely fighting wars in Europe. But they are distinct from the US ruling class. At bottom, Europe is merely a battlefield for American military power, just as it was in two previous world wars. One hundred years after the end of World War I, the same callous calculus for the imperial planners in Washington is at play.

European ideas for independent defense is why Washington has reacted so furiously. It’s not willing to give up its European front.

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Zuckerberg Clings To Power While Sandberg Claims Ignorance After Damaging NYT Report

The New York Times reported that Facebook hired GOP PR firm, Defenders, to smear liberal detractors as Soros operatives. 

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Facebook executives Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg are battling backlash over an explosive investigation by the New York Times into Facebook’s mercenary damage control tactics in the wake of several major scandals.

Despite fresh calls from investors for Zuckerberg to step down in his dual role as CEO and chairman and appoint an independent director to oversee the board, the 34-year-old tech titan brushed off the suggestion during a Thursday call with journalists.

“A company with Facebook’s massive reach and influence requires robust oversight and that can only be achieved through an independent chair who is empowered to provide critical checks on company leadership,” said New York City comptroller, Scott Stringer.

Zuckerberg disagrees. “I don’t think that that specific proposal is the right way to go,” said the Facebook CEO when asked if he would consider stepping down, adding that other initiatives had been launched to “get more independence into our systems.”

The measures include creating an independent body to advise the company on decisions over whether controversial content should remain on the site.

Ultimately, he said Facebook is never going to eradicate mistakes. “We’re never going to get to the point where there are no errors,” he told reporters. “I’m trying to set up the company so that way we have our board, and we report on our financial results and do a call every quarter, but that also we have this independent oversight that is just focused on the community.” –Business Insider

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, meanwhile, is claiming ignorance – telling CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell “we absolutely did not pay anyone to create fake news – that they have assured me was not happening.”

In their Wednesday exposé – the culmination of interviews with over 50 current and former company executives, lawmakers, government officials, lobbyists and congressional staff members,the New York Times reported that Facebook had hired GOP PR firm, Defenders, which smeared liberal detractors as Soros operatives – and worked with a sister company to create negative propaganda about competitors Google and Apple.

Mr. Kaplan prevailed on Ms. Sandberg to promote Kevin Martin, a former Federal Communications Commission chairman and fellow Bush administration veteran, to lead the company’s American lobbying efforts. Facebook also expanded its work with Definers.

On a conservative news site called the NTK Network, dozens of articles blasted Google and Apple for unsavory business practices. One story called Mr. Cook hypocritical for chiding Facebook over privacy, noting that Apple also collects reams of data from users. Another played down the impact of the Russians’ use of Facebook.

The rash of news coverage was no accident: NTK is an affiliate of Definers, sharing offices and staff with the public relations firm in Arlington, Va. Many NTK Network stories are written by staff members at Definers or America Rising, the company’s political opposition-research arm, to attack their clients’ enemies. –NYT

Meanwhile, Sandberg stressed that Facebook was undertaking new security measures, telling O’Donnell: “Our strategy was to shore up the security on Facebook and make major investments there,” and that the company had made significant investments in combatting fake news and foreign influence.

“It was not what I was doing nor was it the company’s strategy to deflect, to deny or to hire PR firms to do things. That’s not the strategy. And I was part of none of that. We’ve taken great steps, we’ve made huge investments. We’ve invested a ton in AI and technology and if you were following us before the election you saw those efforts pay off. We were able to take down lots of stuff over and over, over and over because we were now focused on this,” said Sandberg.

When asked if rank-and-file employees are confident in her, Sandberg replied: “Yes, I believe so.

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