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President Trump FURIOUS as holes continue to appear in American Syria narrative

Divided camps on Syria policy may have just backfired and created an embarrassment for the American President

Seraphim Hanisch

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President Donald Trump has been angry quite a bit lately. This seems to be the main theme that is trumpeted on the Trump-hating networks like CNN and the other mainstream news media networks. On the morning of April 18, this author was stunned to see how CNN actually called its own people to all “Stay in the same camp” about Russia and Syria, as the drone of the network continued to try to play Trump as an indecisive leader or a Russian sycophant because he upended his UN Envoy Nikki Haley in refusing to impose new sanctions on Russia. The Clinton News Network continues to advocate “for war” but really it is “anything to do to get rid of Donald Trump.”

I guess it doesn’t matter if the reason President Trump is gone is because the whole United States is a smoldering pile of slag. Just so the job gets done, right, CNN?

But Trump’s anger comes from more than the issues with CNN. In fact, CNN and the mainstream media have always been really playing into the President’s hands since before he took office.

The real problem appears to be a divided government, and in a random act of journalism, the Washington Post even exposes what the situation actually appears to be:

The relatively modest airstrikes that Trump ordered Friday were designed to deter Assad without provoking a broader military conflict with Russia.

Some European diplomats in Washington question whether the tough moves have Trump’s full support. “This wouldn’t be the policy unless Trump supports it. . . . Yes?” asked one ambassador.

Russia analysts seem just as mystified. “This is a man who if he had his druthers would be pursuing a much more open and friendly policy with Russia,” said Angela Stent, a former White House official and professor at Georgetown University. “The United States essentially has three Russia policies: the president’s, the executive branch’s and Congress’s.”

This is a remarkably true statement. Hawks like Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) applaud pretty much any use of firearms against anyone. Democrats, including liberals, support attacks against Syria or Russia just because… they may do damage to President Trump (of course, disregarding their own policy flip from when Obama was President.)

And there is the policy aim of the President himself, which is strongly supportive of rapprochement with President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation. This tension between these three camps has been in view ever since the Trump presidency began, but never has it been more obvious and more peculiar than in the recent couple of weeks.

Early last week, the President clearly stated that the American troops needed to leave Syria. But in just days came a report that there was a chemical attack, allegedly carried out by President Bashar al-Assad against his own people, though this made absolutely no sense and was reported as such by many loyal Trump supporters on Fox News and other conservative media outlets.

A few days later on April 13 (14th in Syria) a coordinated series of missile strikes rained down Syria, apparently taking out some innocent empty buildings. Russia reported that of the 103 missiles fired, only about 32 reached their targets, as aged Syrian antimissile defenses eliminated the aged Tomahawk missiles that were inbound.

Then, yesterday, a report from the Russian military revealed the presence of a chemical weapons storehouse in Douma, owned by Syrian rebels, and not in any way associated with Assad or his government.

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Привет. Это Хасан Диаб. Ему 11 лет и он снимался в ролике Белых касок за еду (финики, рис, печенье) 7 апреля в Думе. Хасан жив и здоров и передает привет всем, кто так сильно переживает за пострадавших в Думе от отравления, и одобряет удары по Сирии. ************************************************************In return for playing a victim in #WhiteHelmets propaganda video 11 year old #HassanDiab got some badly needed food a few dates, rice, and a cookie He is alive and well and sends his greetings to everyone#whitehelmets #douma #syria #chemicalattack

A post shared by Евгений Поддубный (@evgeny.poddubny) on

Two other reports conflict, one saying that there was a chemical weapons attack, and others like this one from RIA Novosti – although the article is in Russian, we have translated a pertinent section here below:

Syrian boy Hasan Diab, presented in the production clip ‘White Helmets’ as a ‘victim’ of the chemical attack in the city of Douma, revealed the details of the filming…

‘We were in the basement; my mother told me that today there is nothing to eat, we will eat only tomorrow.’ We heard a shout in the street, someone yelling, ‘go to the hospital.’ We ran to the hospital, and as soon as I entered, I was seized and hosed down with water. After this we were put on the bed with other people, ‘ said the boy on the air of TV channel ‘Russia-24.’

The military correspondent of the television channel Yevgeny Poddubny noted that the boy was forced to appear in the video.

‘The boy had nothing to eat; he was offered rice, dates and cookies for this filming,’ he said.

The boy’s words were confirmed by his father, who added that there was no chemical attack in the city.

‘When I found out that the child was in the hospital, I asked to quit my job and ran there.’ There was no chemical weapon, I smoked in the street, felt nothing, went to the hospital and saw my family. ‘The militants gave dates, cookies , rice and everyone was allowed to go home.My child was feeling great,’ the boy’s father told the television channel.”

This kind of serial disconnect is creating problems. One problem is that all things Syria suffer from massively slanted reporting from all sides of the conflict. The most factual descriptions of events on the ground are not coming from US and Western media sources, either, so this creates a problem. The reason that we do not get much reliable from Western sources appears to be that these outlets are largely sold out to a preexisting narrative that dictates to the media what the news must be, rather than what it is. Since Russia supports its ally, it is natural that they will report news that helps support their own narrative.

But in the battle of narratives, it is that of the West that seems to be full of holes. And this is a problem for the US president, who put lives at risk, perhaps needlessly, by ordering a missile strike.

If reports from Russia and Syria – that the missiles were indeed largely destroyed and those that got through hit empty targets, killing nobody – if these reports are true, then the US President may have just been granted a blessing. It is even possible, though unlikely, to ascertain that the targeting of these places was done knowing they were empty for the purpose of “the optics of strength.” However, this is a very thin bit of speculation and given the spectacle of the attack, it is unlikely that this was actually the plan.

There is one further rumor that has been reported – that the US President ordered the airstrike as a press event to divert attention away from the matter regarding Stephanie Cliffords (a.k.a. Stormy Daniels) and attorney Michael D. Cohen allegation. The narrative of this piece proposes that Mr. Trump would actually do such a heinous thing as military action to divert attention away from this sort of scandal.

This is almost certainly untrue. Donald Trump is a businessman, and everything about his manner suggests generosity and a willingness to work with people. He is a ruthless and tough negotiator, but he is not without a soul to the point where a display of deadly force is a viable alternative to some media persecution.

President Bill Clinton might have had the spirit to do something like this in his time, but President Trump is made of different stuff.

However, with most of the mainstream press and a lot of Washington DC embeds and even some in his own administration taking radically different and opposing views, it does indeed begin to look like the President has a lot to be angry about.

The biggest battle America faces with regard to Syria is not happening in that country. It is happening here in the United States. It has, sadly, become the latest theatre in a political war between the power bases in Washington, D.C. against a President who rightly opposes “establishment” rules.

Here is a final point to consider:

All media outlets – whether liberal, conservative, alternative, super right-wing or super left-wing – ALL media outlets usually portray their own reporting as the “truth” and as such the expression of wisdom and knowledge. Further, the media tries to drive its own narrative that suggests that the newsies know more than the government of the US does, most notably the President of the United States.

This may be a great technique for selling papers, but it creates several different competing and often dramatic narratives, and often, none of them are true. While the embeds may indeed have evil motives, it is difficult for me at this time to believe that the media is better informed than the President is.

The tragedy with regards to Syria and Russia in this matter is that while the USA and West gyrate in a media frenzy of slander and lies, people are dying as pawns, forgotten to the world except to their own loved ones, and a nation that has suffered massive brutality of a seemingly endless war has become nothing more elevated than a topic for discussion by the Talking Heads on TV. There is something about this that is just absolutely wrong.

And one can probably bet that President Trump knows this, and is trying to fix it.

 

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European Court of Justice rules Britain free to revoke Brexit unilaterally

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that Britain can reverse Article 50.

RT

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Via RT…


The UK is free to unilaterally revoke a notification to depart from the EU, the European Court has ruled. The judicial body said this could be done without changing the terms of London’s membership in the bloc.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) opined in a document issued on Monday that Britain can reverse Article 50, which stipulates the way a member state leaves the bloc. The potentially important ruling comes only one day before the House of Commons votes on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the EU.

“When a Member State has notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union, as the UK has done, that Member State is free to revoke unilaterally that notification,” the court’s decision reads.

By doing so, the respective state “reflects a sovereign decision to retain its status as a Member State of the European Union.”

That said, this possibility remains in place “as long as a withdrawal agreement concluded between the EU and that Member State has not entered into force.” Another condition is: “If no such agreement has been concluded, for as long as the two-year period from the date of the notification of the intention to withdraw from the EU.”

The case was opened when a cross-party group of British politicians asked the court whether an EU member such as the UK can decide on its own to revoke the withdrawal process. It included Labour MEPs Catherine Stihler and David Martin, Scottish MPs Joanna Cherry Alyn Smith, along with Green MSPs Andy Wightman and Ross Greer.

They argued that unilateral revocation is possible and believe it could provide an opening to an alternative to Brexit, namely holding another popular vote to allow the UK to remain in the EU.

“If the UK chooses to change their minds on Brexit, then revoking Article 50 is an option and the European side should make every effort to welcome the UK back with open arms,” Smith, the SNP member, was quoted by Reuters.

However, May’s environment minister, Michael Gove, a staunch Brexit supporter, denounced the ECJ ruling, insisting the cabinet will not reverse its decision to leave. “We will leave on March 29, [2019]” he said, referring to the date set out in the UK-EU Brexit deal.

In the wake of the landmark vote on the Brexit deal, a group of senior ministers threatened to step down en masse if May does not try to negotiate a better deal in Brussels, according to the Telegraph. The ministers demanded that an alternative deal does not leave the UK trapped within the EU customs union indefinitely.

On Sunday, Will Quince resigned as parliamentary private secretary in the Ministry of Defense, saying in a Telegraph editorial that “I do not want to be explaining to my constituents why Brexit is still not over and we are still obeying EU rules in the early 2020s or beyond.”

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Seven Days of Failures for the American Empire

The American-led world system is experiencing setbacks at every turn.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


On November 25, two artillery boats of the Gyurza-M class, the Berdiansk and Nikopol, one tugboat, the Yany Kapu, as well as 24 crew members of the Ukrainian Navy, including two SBU counterintelligence officers, were detained by Russian border forces. In the incident, the Russian Federation employed Sobol-class patrol boats Izumrud and Don, as  well as two Ka-52, two Su-25 and one Su-30 aircraft.

Ukraine’s provocation follows the advice of several American think-tanks like the Atlantic Council, which have been calling for NATO involvement in the Sea of Azov for months. The area is strategically important for Moscow, which views its southern borders, above all the Sea of Azov, as a potential flash point for conflict due to the Kiev’s NATO-backed provocations.

To deter such adventurism, Moscow has deployed to the Kerch Strait and the surrounding coastal area S-400 batteries, modernized S-300s, anti-ship Bal missile systems, as well as numerous electronic-warfare systems, not to mention the Russian assets and personnel arrayed in the military districts abutting Ukraine. Such provocations, egged on by NATO and American policy makers, are meant to provide a pretext for further sanctions against Moscow and further sabotage Russia’s relations with European countries like Germany, France and Italy, as well as, quite naturally, to frustrate any personal interaction between Trump and Putin.

This last objective seems to have been achieved, with the planned meeting between Trump and Putin at the G20 in Buenos Aires being cancelled. As to the the other objectives, they seem to have failed miserably, with Berlin, Paris and Rome showing no intention of imposing additional sanctions against Russia, recognizing the Ukrainian provocation fow what it is. The intention to further isolate Moscow by the neocons, neoliberals and most of the Anglo-Saxon establishment seems to have failed, demonstrated in Buenos Aires with the meeting between the BRICS countries on the sidelines and the bilateral meetings between Putin and Merkel.

On November 30, following almost two-and-a-half months of silence, the Israeli air force bombed Syria with three waves of cruise missiles. The first and second waves were repulsed over southern Syria, and the third, composed of surface-to-surface missiles, were also downed. At the same time, a loud explosion was heard in al-Kiswah, resulting in the blackout of Israeli positions in the area.

The Israeli attack was fully repulsed, with possibly two IDF drones being downed as well. This effectiveness of Syria’s air defenses corresponds with Russia’s integration of Syria’s air defenses with its own systems, manifestly improving the Syrians’ kill ratios even without employing the new S-300 systems delivered to Damascus, let alone Russia’s own S-400s. The Pantsirs and S-200s are enough for the moment, confirming my hypothesis more than two months ago that the modernized S-300 in the hands of the Syrian army is a potentially lethal weapon even for the F-35, forbidding the Israelis from employing their F-35s.

With the failed Israeli attack testifying to effectiveness of Russian air-defense measures recently deployed to the country, even the United States is finding it difficult to operate in the country. As the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War confirms:

“Russia has finished an advanced anti-access/area denial (A2AD) network in Syria that combines its own air defense and electronic warfare systems with modernized equipment. Russia can use these capabilities to mount the long-term strategic challenge of the US and NATO in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East, significantly widen the geographic reach of Russia’s air defense network. Russia stands to gain a long-term strategic advantage over NATO through its new capabilities in Syria. The US and NATO must now account for the risk of a dangerous escalation in the Middle East amidst any confrontation with Russia in Eastern Europe.”

The final blow in a decidedly negative week for Washington’s ambitions came in Buenos Aires during the G20, where Xi Jinping was clearly the most awaited guest, bringing in his wake investments and opportunities for cooperation and mutual benefit, as opposed to Washington’s sanctions and tariffs for its own benefit to the detriment of others. The key event of the summit was the dinner between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump that signalled Washington’s defeat in the trade war with Beijing. Donald Trump fired the first shot of the economic war, only to succumb just 12 months later with GM closing five plants and leaving 14,000 unemployed at home as Trump tweeted about his economic achievements.

Trump was forced to suspend any new tariffs for a period of ninety days, with his Chinese counterpart intent on demonstrating how an economic war between the two greatest commercial powers had always been a pointless propagandistic exercise. Trump’s backtracking highlights Washington’s vulnerability to de-dollarization, the Achilles’ heel of US hegemony.

The American-led world system is experiencing setbacks at every turn. The struggle between the Western elites seems to be reaching a boil, with Frau Merkel ever more isolated and seeing her 14-year political dominance as chancellor petering out. Macron seems to be vying for the honor of being the most unpopular French leader in history, provoking violent protests that have lasted now for weeks, involving every sector of the population. Macron will probably be able to survive this political storm, but his political future looks dire.

The neocons/neoliberals have played one of the last cards available to them using the Ukrainian provocation, with Kiev only useful as the West’s cannon fodder against Russia. In Syria, with the conflict coming to a close and Turkey only able to look on even as it maintains a strong foothold in Idlib, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States are similarly unable to affect the course of the conflict. The latest Israeli aggression proved to be a humiliation for Tel Aviv and may have signalled a clear, possibly definitive warning from Moscow, Tehran and Damascus to all the forces in the region. The message seems to be that there is no longer any possibility of changing the course of the conflict in Syria, and every provocation from here on will be decisively slapped down. Idlib is going to be liberated and America’s illegal presence in the north of Syria will have to be dealt with at the right time.

Ukraine’s provocation has only strengthened Russia’s military footprint in Crimea and reinforced Russia’s sovereign control over the region. Israel’s recent failure in Syria only highlights how the various interventions of the US, the UK, France and Turkey over the years have only obliged the imposition of an almost unparalleled A2AD space that severely limits the range of options available to Damascus’s opponents.

The G20 also served to confirm Washington’s economic diminution commensurate with its military one in the face of an encroaching multipolar environment. The constant attempts to delegitimize the Trump administration by America’s elites, also declared an enemy by the European establishment, creates a picture of confusion in the West that benefits capitals like New Delhi, Moscow, Beijing and Tehran who offer instead stability, cooperation and dialogue.

As stated in previous articles, the confusion reigning amongst the Western elites only accelerates the transition to a multipolar world, progressively eroding the military and economic power of the US.

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Is Silicon Valley Morphing Into The Morality Police?

Who gets to define what words and phrases protected under the First Amendment constitute hate — a catchall word that is often ascribed to any offensive speech someone simply doesn’t like?

The Duran

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Authored by Adrian Cohen via Creators.com:


Silicon Valley used to be technology companies. But it has become the “morality police,” controlling free speech on its platforms.

What could go wrong?

In a speech Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said:

“Hate tries to make its headquarters in the digital world. At Apple, we believe that technology needs to have a clear point of view on this challenge. There is no time to get tied up in knots. That’s why we only have one message for those who seek to push hate, division and violence: You have no place on our platforms.”

Here’s the goliath problem:

Who gets to define what words and phrases protected under the First Amendment constitute hate — a catchall word that is often ascribed to any offensive speech someone simply doesn’t like?

Will Christians who don’t support abortion rights or having their tax dollars go toward Planned Parenthood be considered purveyors of hate for denying women the right to choose? Will millions of Americans who support legal immigration, as opposed to illegal immigration, be labeled xenophobes or racists and be banned from the digital world?

Yes and yes. How do we know? It’s already happening, as scores of conservatives nationwide are being shadow banned and/or censored on social media, YouTube, Google and beyond.

Their crime?

Running afoul of leftist Silicon Valley executives who demand conformity of thought and simply won’t tolerate any viewpoint that strays from their rigid political orthodoxy.

For context, consider that in oppressive Islamist regimes throughout the Middle East, the “morality police” take it upon themselves to judge women’s appearance, and if a woman doesn’t conform with their mandatory and highly restrictive dress code — e.g., wearing an identity-cloaking burqa — she could be publicly shamed, arrested or even stoned in the town square.

In modern-day America, powerful technology companies are actively taking the role of the de facto morality police — not when it comes to dress but when it comes to speech — affecting millions. Yes, to date, those affected are not getting stoned, but they are being blocked in the digital town square, where billions around the globe do their business, cultivate their livelihoods, connect with others and get news.

That is a powerful cudgel to levy against individuals and groups of people. Wouldn’t you say?

Right now, unelected tech billionaires living in a bubble in Palo Alto — when they’re not flying private to cushy climate summits in Davos — are deciding who gets to enjoy the freedom of speech enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and who does not based on whether they agree with people’s political views and opinions or not.

You see how dangerous this can get — real fast — as partisan liberal elites running Twitter, Facebook, Google (including YouTube), Apple and the like are now dictating to Americans what they can and cannot say online.

In communist regimes, these types of folks are known as central planners.

The election of Donald Trump was supposed to safeguard our freedoms, especially regarding speech — a foundational pillar of a democracy. It’s disappointing that hasn’t happened, as the censorship of conservative thought online has gotten so extreme and out of control many are simply logging off for good.

A failure to address this mammoth issue could cost Trump in 2020. If his supporters are blocked online — where most voters get their news — he’ll be a one-term president.

It’s time for Congress to act before the morality police use political correctness as a Trojan horse to decide our next election.

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