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Paul Craig Roberts: Is America Finished?

For Russia, Trump’s withdrawal from the intermediate range missile treaty (INF) confirms that an attack on Russia is being prepared.

Paul Craig Roberts

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Authored by Paul Craig Roberts:


The refusal of the Democratic Party and the military/security complex to accept the results of the 2016 US presidential election and the misuse of their positions of power to prevent Donald Trump from exercising presidential powers is a revolutionary step, well described by Angelo Codevilla here: https://americanmind.org/essays/our-revolutions-logic/

Americans are now so polarized that they “no longer share basic sympathies and trust, because they no longer regard each other as worthy of equal consideration.” Codevilla blames the progressives and their attitude of moral superiority, but his explanation is independent of who is to blame. I blame both sides. The Constitution and our civil liberties took a major hit from the “conservative” Republican regime of George W. Bush.

The consequence has been to weaponize government for use against the domestic adversary. In other words, unity has departed us. The absence of unity makes it easy for the ruling oligarchy to achieve its material interests at the expense of the welfare of the American people. Indeed, it is amazing to find progressives aligned with the military/security complex to block Trump from normalizing relations with Russia.

The provocations of Russia, which have been ongoing since the Clinton regime, have reached unprecedented levels under the neoconservative regimes of Obama and Trump. The conflict that has been orchestrated is good for the $1,000 billion annual budget of the military/security complex at the cost of maximizing the chance of nuclear war. The demonizations of Russia, Putin, China, and Iran are so extreme as to have convinced Russia and China that Washington intends war.

For Russia, Trump’s withdrawal from the intermediate range missile treaty (INF) confirms that an attack on Russia is being prepared. Intermediate range missiles cannot reach the US. The treaty gave safety to Russia and Europe, which is why Washington’s claim that Russia is violating the treaty is absurd. The only reason for Washington to withdraw from the treaty is to be able to place intermediate range nuclear missiles on Russia’s borders that would substantially increase the likelihood of success of a US first strike against Russia.

This apparently is not clear to the American people, media, and Congress, but it is clear to the Russians.

Mikhail Gorbachev, who negotiated the INF Treaty with President Reagan, stated the war threat succintly: “It looks as if the world is preparing for war.” https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/27/mikhail-gorbachev-looks-world-preparing-war-nuclear-threat-re/

It is also very clear to the Russian government. A top official, Andrei Belousov, declared: “Yes, Russia is preparing for war, I have confirmed it. We are preparing to defend our homeland, our territorial integrity, our principles, our values, our people – we are preparing for such a war.” https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1037059/Russia-INF-treaty-world-war-3-Donald-Trump-Vladimir-Putin-Mikhail-Gorbachev-US-violence

Putin himself finally found tough words. A country that attacks Russia will be obliterated, “will die like dogs,” and “go to Hell.”

As demonization of Russia is part of the Democrats’ demonization of Trump—“Putin stooge,” “Putin agent,” or, in the words of former CIA Director John Brennan, “traitor”—the American people are too disunited to take a stand against conflict with Russia that serves the agendas of the military/security complex and the neoconservatives’ ideology of US world hegemony.

As it is impossible for Russia to accept US intermediate range nuclear missiles on Russia’s border, war is close at hand.

China also sees war on the horizon. China’s president has ordered the military to “prepare for war.” https://www.rt.com/news/442625-china-prepares-war-us/

The recklessly irresponsible policy of the US government toward Russia and China is leading to nuclear war.

Perhaps the European governments, Washington’s compliant stooges, will finally wake up and refuse to participate in Washington’s orchestrated conflict. If not, the Doomsday Clock will have to be moved to one second before doom.

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Bob Valdez
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Bob Valdez

For once, PCR, I totally agree with you. War is coming.

MIke
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MIke

What a bunch of BS… Wake up, its Russia that is acting stupid and paying the price for not following the established order. Get inline Russia or perish!

Joe
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Joe

More lying Bs! How much do you get paid for posting this absurd nonsense?
The anti Russian trolls are out in force on the Duran and other websites. Obviously, their masters don’t want the truth coming out.

Guy
Member
Guy

Gotta be satire Joe .

Fred
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Fred

“Provocations against Russia” would be better phrasing.

Malecon
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Malecon

Corrrect. Very mis-leading syntax from PCR. Unusual.

JNDillard
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JNDillard

We have already begun to see the consequences of this change of position of the US in the Russian announcement that it will shoot down any US surveillance aircraft that it believes is coordinating a drone attack on its naval or air force bases in Syria. I have no doubt that this represents a major assertive escalation for Putin, who is now convinced that the US only understands and responds to direct and effective military threat. Unfortunately, I believe he is correct about that. I say unfortunately, because it represents a dangerous escalation toward war.

Guy
Member
Guy

I do believe that it is the only language they understand .Brutal force if need be , as they use it par excellence .
Let there be no misunderstandings , they can shoot first but they will miss and it will be their last shot. I am not usually for militaristic jargon but insanity must indeed stop or we all perish.

Klink
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Klink

Has been for a while……

Steve Hayes
Guest

The current situation is very reminiscent of the situation prior to the First World War. The build up of tensions and alliances meant that a relatively minor act resulted in a conflagration that no one wanted but no one felt able to stop.

Tjoe
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Tjoe

That can be said for the start of WW2 also. “All Wars Are Banker’s Wars” – youtube

Louis Robert
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Louis Robert

It’s long been coming, long been predicted. This is the Empire’s total war for the preservation of world hegemony, primarily against both Russia and China, all the way to their respective borders. Permanent baseless, absurd accusations and arbitrary sanctions, constant demonization, perpetual hostility, provocation, aggression and acts of war… are all leading inexorably to that nuclear war the Empire has so long kept on begging for. After President Putin having required Russian industries be ready to become part of a war economy, Russia has now officially announced it is preparing for war. China’s President Xi Jinping has asked Chinese armed… Read more »

Vivian Tzamis
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Vivian Tzamis

Pulp fiction….US doesn’t need to be on Russia’s doorstep to obliterate it…all this posturing is to keep the masses off-balance while the Globalists continue to plunder the world. Has any world power left the Middle East or Africa… now they have moved into Central Asia while Russia and China do nothing… why… becos everyone is in on it… they are all sharing in the massive plundering of world resources with no respect for nation sovereignty….until Putin makes a move and gets rid of the Russian Mafia and dis-arms Israel… the show will go on

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BREXIT chaos, as May’s cabinet crumbles (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 18.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at the various scenarios now facing a crumbling May government, as the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is forcing cabinet members to resign in rapid succession. The weekend ahead is fraught with uncertainty for the UK and its position within, or outside, the European Union.

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If Theresa May’s ill-fated Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is eventually rejected this could trigger a vote of no confidence, snap elections or even a new referendum…

Here are six possible scenarios facing Theresa May and the UK (via The Guardian)

1 Parliament blocks Theresa May’s draft withdrawal agreement and political declarations

May faces an enormous task to win parliamentary approval, given that Labour, the SNP, the DUP and 51 Tories have said they will not vote for it.

If the remaining 27 EU member states sign off the draft agreement on 25 November, the government will have to win over MPs at a crucial vote in early December.

If May loses the vote, she has 21 days to put forward a new plan. If she wins, she is safe for now.

2 May withdraws the current draft agreement

The prime minister could decide that she will not get the draft agreement through parliament and could seek to renegotiate with the EU.

This would anger Tory backbenchers and Brussels and would be seen as a humiliation for her government. It might spark a leadership contest too.

3 Extend article 50

May could ask the European council to extend article 50, giving her more time to come up with a deal that could be passed by parliament – at present, the UK will leave on 29 March 2019.

Such a request would not necessarily be granted. Some EU governments are under pressure from populist parties to get the UK out of the EU as soon as possible.

4 Conservative MPs trigger a vote of no confidence in the prime minister

If Conservative MPs believe May is no longer fit for office, they could trigger a no-confidence vote.

Members of the European Research Group claim that Graham Brady, the chair of the powerful 1922 Committee, will receive the necessary 48 letters this week.

A vote could be held as soon as early next week. All Tory MPs would be asked to vote for or against their leader. If May wins, she cannot be challenged for at least 12 months. If she loses, there would be a leadership contest to decide who will become prime minister.

5 General election – three possible routes

If May fails to get support for the current deal, she could call a snap general election.

She would table a parliamentary vote for a general election that would have to be passed by two thirds of MPs. She would then set an election date, which could be by the end of January.

This is an unlikely option. May’s political credibility was severely damaged when she called a snap election in 2017, leading to the loss of the Conservative party’s majority.

Alternatively, a general election could be called if a simple majority of MPs vote that they have no confidence in the government. Seven Tory MPs, or all of the DUP MPs, would have to turn against the government for it to lose the vote, triggering a two-week cooling-off period. May would remain in office while MPs negotiate a new government.

Another route to a general election would be for the government to repeal or amend the Fixed-term Parliaments Act which creates a five-year period between general elections. A new act would have to be passed through both the Commons and the Lords – an unlikely scenario.

6 Second referendum

May could decide it is impossible to find a possible draft deal that will be approved by parliament and go for a people’s vote.

The meaningful vote could be amended to allow MPs to vote on whether the country holds a second referendum. It is unclear whether enough MPs would back a second referendum and May has ruled it out.

 

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Brexit Withdrawal Agreement may lead to Theresa May’s downfall (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 151.

Alex Christoforou

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The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement has been published and as many predicted, including Nigel Farage, the document is leading to the collapse of Theresa May’s government.

During an interview with iTV’s Piers Morgan, remain’s Alistair Campell and leave’s Nigel Farage, were calling May’s Brexit deal a complete disaster.

Via iTV

Alastair Campbell: “This doesn’t do remotely what was offered…what is the point”

“Parliament is at an impasse”

“We have to go back to the people” …”remain has to be on the ballot paper”

Nigel Farage:

“This is the worst deal in history. We are giving away in excess of 40B pounds in return for precisely nothing. Trapped still inside the European Union’s rulebook.

“Nothing has been achieved.”

“In any negotiation in life…the other side need to know that you are serious about walking away.”

“What monsieur Barnier knew from day one, is that at no point did Theresa May intend to walk away.”

“Fundamental matter of trust to the electors of our country and those who govern us.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Theresa May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, and why the deal is a full on victory for the European Union and a document of subjugation for the United Kingdom.

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Coming in at 585 pages, the draft agreement will be closely scrutinized over the coming days but here are some of the highlights as outlined by Zerohedge

  • UK and EU to use the best endeavours to supersede Ireland protocol by 2020
  • UK can request extension of the transition period any time before July 1st, 2020
  • EU, UK See Level-Playing Field Measures in Future Relationship
  • Transition period may be extended once up to date yet to be specified in the text
  • EU and UK shall establish single customs territory and Northern Ireland is in same customs territory as Great Britain

The future relationship document is less than seven pages long. It says the U.K. and EU are seeking a free-trade area with cooperation on customs and rules: “Comprehensive arrangements creating a free trade area combining deep regulatory and customs cooperation, underpinned by provisions ensuring a level playing field for open and fair competition.”

The wording might raise concerns among Brexiters who don’t want regulatory cooperation and the measures on fair competition could amount to shackling the U.K. to EU rules.

As Bloomberg’s Emma Ross-Thomas writes, “There’s a clear sense in the documents that we’re heading for a customs union in all but name. Firstly via the Irish backstop, and then via the future relationship.”

Separately, a government summary of the draft agreement suggests role for parliament in deciding whether to extend the transition or to move in to the backstop.

But perhaps most importantly, regarding the controversial issue of the Irish border, the future relationship document says both sides aim to replace the so-called backstop – the thorniest issue in the negotiations – with a “subsequent agreement that establishes alternative arrangements for ensuring the absence of a hard border on the island of Ireland on a permanent footing.”

On this topic, recall that the U.K.’s fear was of being locked into the backstop arrangement indefinitely in the absence of a broader trade deal. The draft agreement includes a review process to try to give reassurance that the backstop would never be needed. Basically, the U.K. could choose to seek an extension to the transition period – where rules stay the same as they are currently – or opt to trigger the backstop conditions. In fact, as Bloomberg notes, the word “backstop,” which has been a sticking point over the Irish border for weeks, is mentioned only once in the text.

As Bloomberg further adds, the withdrawal agreement makes clear that the U.K. will remain in a single customs area with the EU until there’s a solution reached on the Irish border. It’s what Brexiteers hate, because it makes it more difficult for the U.K. to sign its own free-trade deals, which they regard as a key prize of Brexit.

Predictably, EU Commission President Juncker said decisive progress has been made in negotiations.

Meanwhile, as analysts comb over the documents, Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the European Research Group, has already written to Conservative lawmakers urging them to vote against the deal. He says:

  • May is handing over money for “little or nothing in return”
  • The agreement treats Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the U.K.
  • It will “lock” the U.K. into a customs union with the EU
  • It breaks the Tory election manifesto of 2017

The full document…

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4 resignations and counting: May’s government ‘falling apart before our eyes’ over Brexit deal

The beginning of the end for Theresa May’s government.

The Duran

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Via RT


Four high profile resignations have followed on the heels of Theresa May’s announcement that her cabinet has settled on a Brexit deal, with Labour claiming that the Conservative government is at risk of completely dissolving.

Shailesh Vara, the Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office was the first top official to resign after the prime minister announced that her cabinet had reached a draft EU withdrawal agreement.

An hour after his announcement, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab – the man charged with negotiating and finalizing the deal – said he was stepping down, stating that the Brexit deal in its current form suffers from deep flaws. Esther McVey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, submitted her letter of resignation shortly afterwards. More resignations have followed.

Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister, Jon Trickett, predicted that this is the beginning of the end for May’s government.

The government is falling apart before our eyes as for a second time the Brexit secretary has refused to back the prime minister’s Brexit plan. This so-called deal has unraveled before our eyes

Shailesh Vara: UK to be stuck in ‘a half-way house with no time limit’

Kicking off Thursday’s string of resignations, Vara didn’t mince words when describing his reservations about the cabinet-stamped Brexit deal.

Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement leaves the UK in a “halfway house with no time limit on when we will finally become a sovereign nation,” his letter of resignation states. Vara went on to warn that the draft agreement leaves a number of critical issues undecided, predicting that it “will take years to conclude” a trade deal with the bloc.

“We will be locked in a customs arrangement indefinitely, bound by rules determined by the EU over which we have no say,” he added.

Dominic Raab: Deal can’t be ‘reconciled’ with promises made to public

Announcing his resignation on Thursday morning, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted: “I cannot in good conscience support the terms proposed for our deal with the EU.”

Raab claimed that the deal in its current form gives the EU veto power over the UK’s ability to annul the deal.

No democratic nation has ever signed up to be bound by such an extensive regime.

Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith said that Raab’s resignation as Brexit secretary is “devastating” for May.

“It sounds like he has been ignored,” he told the BBC.

Raab’s departure will undoubtedly encourage other Brexit supporters to question the deal, political commentators have observed.

Esther McVey: Deal ‘does not honor’ Brexit referendum

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey didn’t hold back when issuing her own letter of resignation. According to McVey, the deal “does not honour” the result of the Brexit referendum, in which a majority of Brits voted to leave the European Union.

Suella Braverman: ‘Unable to sincerely support’ deal

Suella Braverman, a junior minister in Britain’s Brexit ministry, issued her resignation on Thursday, saying that she couldn’t stomach the deal.

“I now find myself unable to sincerely support the deal agreed yesterday by cabinet,” she said in a letter posted on Twitter.

Suella Braverman, MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the EU © Global Look Press / Joel Goodman
Braverman said that the deal is not what the British people voted for, and threatened to tear the country apart.

“It prevents an unequivocal exit from a customs union with the EU,” she said.

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