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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

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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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Peace on Korean Peninsula within reach, if only Trump can remove Pompeo & Bolton (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 152.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss the results of the Putin-Kim summit in Vladivostok, Russia, aimed at boosting bilateral ties between the two neighboring countries, as well as working to contribute to a final peace settlement on the Korean peninsula.

Putin’s meeting with Kim may prove to be a pivotal diplomatic moment, as North Korea continues to work towards normalizing ties with the U.S. amidst ongoing denuclearization talks with the Trump White House.

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Via the BBC…

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un needs international security guarantees if he is to end his nuclear programme.

Such guarantees would need to be offered within a multinational framework, he added, following talks near Vladivostok in Russia’s far east.

Mr Kim praised the summit as a “very meaningful one-on-one exchange”.

Mr Putin said North Korea’s leader was “fairly open” and had “talked freely on all issues that were on the agenda”.

The meeting followed the breakdown of talks between the US and North Korea in February, when Mr Kim met US President Donald Trump in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

Those talks reportedly stalled over North Korea’s demand for full economic sanctions relief in return for some denuclearisation commitments – a deal the US was not willing to make.

Speaking after the talks on Thursday, Mr Putin said he wanted to see full denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula.

But he said this could only be achieved through respect for international law.

“We need to restore the power of international law, to return to a state where international law, not the law of the strongest, determines the situation in the world,” he said.

Mr Kim greeted Russian officials warmly when he arrived in Russia on Wednesday.

The North Korean leader was entertained by a brass band in Vladivostok before he got inside a car flanked by bodyguards, who – in now familiar scenes – jogged alongside the vehicle as it departed.

What do we know about the summit?

According to the Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin believes the six-party talks on North Korea, which are currently stalled, are the only efficient way of addressing the issue of nuclear weapons on the peninsula.

Those talks, which began in 2003, involve the two Koreas as well as China, Japan, Russia and the US.

“There are no other efficient international mechanisms at the moment,” Mr Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

“But, on the other hand, efforts are being made by other countries. Here all efforts merit support as long as they really aim at de-nuclearisation and resolving the problem of the two Koreas.”

What do both sides want?

This visit is being widely viewed as an opportunity for North Korea to show it has powerful allies following the breakdown of the talks with the US in February.

The country has blamed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the collapse of the Hanoi summit. Earlier this month North Korea demanded that Mr Pompeo be removed from nuclear talks, accusing him of “talking nonsense” and asking for someone “more careful” to replace him.

The summit is also an opportunity for Pyongyang to show that its economic future does not depend solely on the US. Mr Kim may try to put pressure on Moscow to ease sanctions.

Analysts say the summit is an opportunity for Russia to show that it is an important player on the Korean peninsula.

President Putin has been eager to meet the North Korean leader for quite some time. Yet amid the two Trump-Kim summits, the Kremlin has been somewhat sidelined.

Russia, like the US and China, is uncomfortable with North Korea being a nuclear state.

How close are Russia and North Korea?

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union (of which Russia is the main successor state) maintained close military and trade links with its communist ally, North Korea, for ideological and strategic reasons.

After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, trade links with post-communist Russia shrank and North Korea leaned towards China as its main ally.

Under President Putin, Russia recovered economically and in 2014 he wrote off most of North Korea’s Soviet-era debt in a major goodwill gesture.

While it is arguable how much leverage Russia has with the North today, the communist state still regards it as one of the least hostile foreign powers.

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Putin meets Kim for the first time (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 151.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at the historic meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the city of Vladivostok in the Russian Far East.

The meeting marks the first ever summit between the two leaders.

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Via RT…

Leaders of Russia and North Korea sat down for a historic summit in Vladivostok, expressing hope it will revive the peace process in the Korean Peninsula and talks on normalizing relations with the US.

The summit on Russky Island, just off Vladivostok, started a little late because President Vladimir Putin’s flight was delayed. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had made the trip by train, arriving on Wednesday.

In brief public remarks before the talks, the two leaders expressed hope the summit will help move forward the reconciliation process in the Korean Peninsula. Putin welcomed Kim’s contributions to “normalizing relations” with the US and opening a dialogue with South Korea.

Kim said he hoped the Vladivostok summit would be a “milestone” in the talks about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, but also build upon “traditionally friendly ties” between Russia and North Korea.

The North Korean leader also made a point of thanking Putin for flying all the way to Vladivostok for the meeting. The Far East Russian city is only 129 kilometers from the border with North Korea.

The historic summit takes place less than two months after Kim’s second summit with US President Donald Trump in Hanoi fell apart without a breakthrough on denuclearization. The US rejected North Korea’s request for partial sanctions relief in return for moves to dismantle nuclear and missile programs; Washington insists on full disarmament before any sanctions are removed.

Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the main subject of the Kim-Putin summit, but there will also be talks about bilateral relations, trade, and humanitarian aid. The first one-on-one meeting is scheduled to last about an hour, followed by further consultations involving other government officials.

Following the summit, Putin is scheduled to visit China.

 

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Kim And Putin: Changing The State Of The Board In Korea

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.

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Authored by Tom Luongo:


Today is a big day for Korea. The first face-to-face summit of Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un takes place.

At the same time the 2nd annual Belt and Road Forum kicks off in Beijing.

This meeting between Putin and Kim has been in the works for a while but rumors of it only surfaced last week. But don’t let the idea that this was put together at the last minute fool you.

It wasn’t.

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.

I know that sounds bold. But hear me out.

And while no one seems to think this meeting is important or that anything of substance will come from it I do. It is exactly the kind of surprise that Putin loves to spring on the world without notice and by doing so change the board state of geopolitics.

  • Russia’s entrance into Syria in 2015, two days after Putin’s historic speech at the U.N. General Assembly
  • 2018’s State of the Union address where he announced hypersonic missiles, embarrassing the U.S. Militiary-Industrial Complex which accelerated the Bolton Doctrine of subjugating the world
  • Flying 2 TU-160 nuclear-armed bombers to Venezuela, creating panic in D.C. leading to the ham-fisted regime change operations there.
  • Nationalization of Yukos.
  • The operation to secure Crimea from U.S. invasion by marines aboard the U.S.S Donald Cook during the Ukrainian uprising against Viktor Yanukovich.

Both Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping are angry at the breakdown of the talks in Hanoi back in February. It was clear that everyone expected that meeting to be a rubber stamp on a deal already agreed to by all parties involved.

In fact the two meetings between Kim and Trump were only possible because Trump convinced them of his sincerity to resolve the ‘denuclearization’ of North Korea which would clear a path to rapid reunification.

It’s why they went along with the U.S.’s increased sanctions on North Korea as administered through the U.N. in 2017.

That John Bolton and Mike Pompeo destroyed those talks and Trump was unwilling or unable (who cares at this point, frankly, useless piece of crap that he is) to stop them embarrassed and betrayed them.

They are now done with Trump.

He’ll get nothing from either of them or Kim until Trump can prove he’s in charge of his administration, which he, clearly, is not.

And they will be moving forward with their own agenda for security and Asian economic integration. So I don’t think the timing of this meeting with that of the Belt and Road Forum is an accident.

And that means moving forward on solving the Korea problem without Trump.

It is clear from the rhetoric of Putin’s top diplomat, the irreplaceable Sergei Lavrov, that Russia’s patience is over. They are no longer interested in what Trump wants and they will now treat the U.S. as a threat, having upped their military stance towards the U.S. to that of “Threat.”

If Bolton wants anything from Russia at this point he best be prepared to start a war or piss off.

This is also why Russia took the gloves off with Ukraine in the run up to the Presidential elections, cutting off energy and machinery exports with Ukraine.

To put paid Putin’s growing impatience with U.S. policies, he just issued the order to allow residents of Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics to apply for Russian passports.

This will send Bolton into apoplexy. Angela Merkel of Germany will be none too pleased either. Putin is now playing hardball after years of unfailing politeness.

It’s also why Lavrov finalized arms and port deals all over the Middle East in recent weeks, including those with Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and India.

Bolton, Pompeo and Pence are ideologues. Trump is a typical Baby Boomer, who lives in a bubble of his own design and believes in an America that never existed.

None of them truly understand the fires they are stoking and simply believe in the Manifest Destiny of the U.S. to rule the world over a dim and barbaric world.

Putin, Xi, Rouhani in Iran and Kim in North Korea are pragmatic men. They understand the realities they live in. This is why I see Putin willing tomorrow to sit down with Kim and flaunt the U.N. sanctions and begin the investment process into North Korea that should have begun last year.

Putin would not be making these moves if he didn’t feel that Bolton was all bark and no bite when it came to actual war with Russia. He also knows that Germany needs him more than he needs Germany so despite the feet-dragging and rhetoric Nordstream 2 will go forward.

Trade is expanding between them despite the continued sanctions.

Putin may be willing to cut a deal with President-elect Zelensky on gas transit later in the year but only if the shelling of the LPR and DPR stops and he guarantees no more incidents in the Sea of Azov. This would also mollify Merkel a bit and make it easier for her politically to get Nordstream 2 over the finish line.

There are moments in history when people go too far. Bolton and Pompeo went too far in Hanoi. He will pay the price now. Putin and Kim will likely agree to something in Vladivostok that no one is expecting and won’t look like much at first.

But the reality is this summit itself marks a turning point in this story that will end with the U.S. being, in Trump’s transactional parlance, a “price taker” since it has so thoroughly failed at being a “price maker.”

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