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RISE AND FALL OF GIANTS: US-Russian VISA Suspension Begins the Next Cold War

Today, Wednesday August 23, 2017, marks the official re-start of the American-Russian “Cold War 2.0”. Get ready

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The rumbling tension between Russia and America means one thing: it’s
1987…all over again.

Minus President Ronald Reagan, the secret Oliver North-CIA
drug-running-arms deal hearings (Iran-Contra), cell phones the size of
car batteries, and despite the fact that music today is much, much
worse, our current international news sounds eerily similar to
1987’s…only more dangerous.

Above the half-witted mainstream media’s shrill noise about
Charlottesville’s George Soros (aka, Grigori Schwartz) funded,
statue-destroying, history-erasing, tattooed LGBT left-wing
anarchists, we can hear something far more frightening. We hear the
gargantuan growling curses of cannibal giants—the morally lobotomized
military industrial complex—hiding in the darkness, scraping swords
against stones and cracking knuckles, as they prepare to clash; and in
the process of their reckless grappling, crush civilization and
crumble landscapes. The question is what will trigger their fight?

The geopolitical temperature of today’s world is bubbling over with
volatility. We see millions of tattered, angry migrants pouring into
Europe through the holes made by the U.S. military adventures in
Africa and the Middle East, accelerating the break-up of the European
Union. As a result, many European and former Soviet bloc nations are
rediscovering their instinctive love of tribalism and their natural
right to sovereignty as they’re forced to defend their borders,
people, and resources. Germany is also making a semi-independent
stand by rejecting the U.S. sanctions against Russia due to their
impending damage to the German economy; and is gravitating towards the
perspective of Russia and China regarding the United States, which is
probably the most important political shift in the past 50 years.
With China, Russia, and Germany locking arms and standing up in
defiance and disgust toward the warmongering rhetoric and threats of
military engagement, some very real problems and opportunities also
emerge.

Additionally, starting today, the Trump State Department has
officially suspended of all non-immigrant VISA’s, and effectively
stopped all Russian people from traveling to the United States. This
marks the official re-start of the American-Russian “Cold War 2.0”.

Now as a former U.S. Army Psychological Operations Officer and Booz
Allen Hamilton defense contractor who worked at the State Department,
Special Operations Command, and Central Command, I can confirm that
this is not the way to win wars—including cold ones—by persuading,
changing, and influencing behaviors.

The U.S. justification for this action, so we’re told, is because the
Russian government had previously ordered U.S. State Department staff
(CIA agents) to leave Russia in order to create a more equal number of
Russians and Americans working in each others’ embassies. Of course,
what is conveniently ignored is that in December 2016 President Obama,
in violation of international law, seized the Russian Government’s
summer house and property in the Washington DC metro area, and Trump
has continued the crime by refusing to return the Russian property
without getting some kind of “benefit” in return. Extortion?

A few days before this “Cold War 2.0 restart”, we saw the entire U.S.
Navy freeze all of its operations dead-in-the-water after the U.S.S.
John McCain became the second U.S. navy ship (the first was the U.S.S.
Fitzgerald) within a few weeks to be mysteriously stopped, radar
jammed, and rammed by a larger civilian ship, allegedly by accident.
This of course hearkens all military and intelligence people to recall
the April 2014 U.S.S. Donald Cook incident in the Black Sea, where a
Russian jet knocked out the U.S. ship’s electronic systems—most likely
to prove the same point we are uncomfortably re-learning now.

Essentially, since no reasonable person—even in Congress—can accept
the explanation of ‘incompetence’ or technological decay as the excuse
for these ships’ ‘accidents’, these events can only be classified in
two ways. Either they are 1) a CIA false-flag event to manipulate a
gullible President while whipping-up extra agency powers, budgets, and
military-industrial complex contracts; or 2) a pre-emptive action by a
foreign power. Since we already know the CIA-DEEP STATE-MILITARY
obsession with expanding US-NATO hegemony and natural resource
domination across the planet, the other explanation would be this is a
response to the U.S. navy menacing China’s South China Sea Spratly
island bases, as a warning sign before anything serious develops in
the Mediterranean involving Ukraine, Libya, or Syria. Seems logical.

In the first Korean war in 1951, China warned the U.S. that it could
not tolerate an enemy power on the Yalu River, and that it would side
with North Korea and fight to protect their land, government and
culture from destruction. We ignored this, advanced deep into North
Korean territory, and unleashed a massive Chinese counterattack that
pushed Americans back deep into South Korea. Eventually, an armistice
was reached with the 38th Parallel being the line dividing each side.
China lost 600,000 men in the Korean war, while we lost a fraction.
They are prepared to lose more in the next war, in order to tell
Americans that not only are the days of regime change over, but they
are prepared to die to prove it. Why? Existentially, Russia and
China cannot tolerate the destruction of Korea, or in fact any kind of
US-Korea military confrontation. The resulting refugee overflow into
China and Russia would be dangerously destabilizing; and the U.S.-NATO
military planners, and the Vatican, not only know this, but are
counting on this to achieve their long-term agenda of “regime change”
in China and Russia.

FALL OF GIANTS

Thirty years ago in 1987, the two most powerful nations on the planet
entered the final phase of a wrestling match which had lasted for over
fifty years. One nation’s strength was thinning, its defensive
posture bending, and its will to fight disappearing; while the other
nation was increasing its points, securing a final chokehold, and
hungry to win the match. At the last minute it seemed like a
compromise had been reached. A tapping-out was negotiated, and both
competitors agreed to stop and conclude the match without risking a
final death struggle, since it might cripple both competitors. With
history as referee, Ronald Reagan’s victorious arm was held high for
all the world to see, while Mikhail Gorbechev’s head drooped from the
fatigue of decades of economic and spiritual communism. (NOTE: The
typical communist socio-economic model is to a nation what an
artificial steroid is to the human body: it appears to grow strength
in the beginning but ends up destroying the body in the end). The two
opponents, America and Russia, left the arena, respectful to
eachother, and hopeful of a paradigm shift in their relationship that
might extinguish all memory of the cold war that had exhausted the
world for too long. Both nations were ready…and so was humanity.

Unfortunately, all of President Ronald Reagan’s honor, goodwill, and
promises to Mikhail Gorbechev and the Russian people that NATO and the
West would not expand military bases or encroach into Russian
territory or peel away buffer territories like Ukraine, were not only
ignored by subsequent U.S. Presidents and Russia’s trust betrayed, but
the cold war became a hot diplomatic war with occasional bloodshed as
the West accelerated its military-intelligence-economic operations
against Yugoslavia, Chechnya, Ukraine, and other former Soviet lands.

Fast forward to 2017 and we see the world has changed…and not for the
better. Instead of the United States pressuring the Soviet Union into
a frantic state of cultural abandonment and political disintegration,
this same exact transformation is now happening to the United States,
except, ironically—or perhaps miraculously—without any help from the
Russians. I use the word miraculously advisedly, and admittedly with
a slight tinge of humor because when you think about it, there is a
rather Divine sense of “poetic justice” to the notion that the United
States—more specifically the DEEP STATE—is now suffering the same kind
of confusion, oppression, and paranoia it enthusiastically helped
inflict upon Russia some 30 years ago. Somehow the pulling-down of
the statute of Confederate General Robert E. Lee by a left-wing zealot
in America seems eerily reminiscent of the pulling-down of the
statutes of Stalin, Lenin and Saadam Hussein decades ago. Karma?
Judgement? Inevitability?

Although similar to many of the societal erosions Russia faced in the
1980’s, America’s are far more insidious and lethal today. They are
in fact terminal, unless properly purged from our body politic. These
societal erosions include, but are not limited to, the following:

* A self-consuming appetite for blind multi-culturalism that
foments suicidally reckless immigration policies and spawns the
unlawful monstrosity of “sanctuary cities”.
* A desperate obsession to manufacture the perfect health-care
system that will, somehow, automatically and effortlessly guarantee a
constantly blissful, supernaturally healthy life. Unfortunately the
Soma today are opioids and anti-depressants which transform the mind
and body like tobacco smoked into ash.

* A hyper-sensitivity and quasi-religious worship of
‘political-correctness’ which has essentially outlawed traditional
notions of American moral-religious purity, as well as sickened
America with a kind of sexual-identity schizophrenia. This
schizophrenia has in turn unleashed a plague of confusion and
misunderstanding in America about sex, love, intimacy, natural law,
the human body, emotions, and male-female roles, which is now
manifesting as selfishness, hedonism, transgenderism, sex
re-assignment, pedophile friendly child-sized sex dolls, and other
perversions and abominations.

Despite the rotten stench of insanity and death it carries, this
sexual and moral schizophrenia has been re-defined by the priests of
political-correctness—the Democrats, cultural Marxists, and Strausian
neocons—as the climax of civilized humanity and the ideal of feminist
politics. However, an interesting—or somber—observation of the
potential long-term impact of this cultural pathology is its
degeneration of society into a painfully lonely, delusional humanity,
which is symbolized in the recent American film Her starring Joaquin
Phoenix, where he plays an isolated, divorced American man
falling-in-love with his hand-held computer that speaks to him in
algorithmically calculated words of kindness, empathy, and emotionally
erotic stimulation, using Scarlett Johannsson’s sultry voice. These
are just a few of the most destructive social and spiritual illnesses
destroying the American mind, weakening its institutions, and
darkening the light of freedom and peace in America’s domestic culture
and international relationships.

Perhaps this explains why America’s pop-culture is more often
disdained as toxic by many non-western audiences and not particularly
cherished for its purity or illumination. Whereas Ronald Reagan or
John Wayne symbolized the arch-type of heroic American manhood in the
past, Bruce Jenner the Olympic athlete (now sex-changed by a butcher’s
scissors into Caitlyn Jenner) seems to be modern America’s
replacement—which certainly doesn’t bode well for future wars.
Re-read that sentence and let it fully sink in. A military and
political establishment where the bureaucrat mind and emasculated
drone spirit is celebrated and rewarded with promotion, while the
creative maverick and bold risk-taker are ostracized, prosecuted, and
killed for their superior skills, is both a direct contradiction of
the American spirit, and the essential plot of Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas
Shrugged.

Interestingly enough, Russia seems to be contradicting its CIA
branding as a blood-thirsty enemy of America, by responding
compassionately toward America’s slow political train wreck (which is
now visiting Europe with mass migrants as casualties). In fact,
instead of trying to mercilessly dismember America’s economy,
military, and government like a geopolitical serial-killer, Russia has
been patiently bending and enduring the hysterics, hypocrisy, and
violent unilateralism of America’s politicians, military, and media.
This of course may shock some, such as the blindly Russia-phobic
religious bigots who chronically despise the independence of the
Russian Orthodox Church and banking systems; and the
self-tranquilizing simpletons desperately scraping the resin of
America’s Puritan character from the 1950’s while violently thrashing
to escape modernity invading their head-sized sand-holes.

Unlike the United States, Russia doesn’t seem to be jubilantly
celebrating with the same sadistic relish the disintegration of
America’s reputation and place in the world as a result of its “regime
change” miscalculations (Libya, Ukraine, Iraq, Syria). In fact, it
seems as if Russia itself is experiencing some deeply personal, quiet
amazement and discomfort as they watch from a distance America’s
gradual cultural meltdown. It’s as if Russia is witnessing with
head-shaking sadness and disgust as their once respected competitor
blurs into senility, loses their mind and self-respect to political
Dementia, and fades into a state of confusion, fear, and the
slow-motion coma of a national police state.

POLITICS OF TRUTH

The supreme law of the land is the Constitution, and it is clear: no
federal or state law, statute, code, or policy can exist that violates
or undermines any part of the Constitution. Anything that does, is
unlawful and has no authority over citizens. The reason for America’s
obscenely immoral Congress is because they have abandoned and hated
the idea of truth animating all government laws and actions. Let us
always remember that truth is the union between a people and their
government. Truth is the life force behind all law, and the U.S.
Constitution; it is the substance of contracts; it is the light
guiding man’s righteous claim and defense of his inalienable rights;
it is the spirit of a responsible and benevolent self-government.
Truth is the soul of justice, the shape of love, and the sound of
peace. But sadly the corruption of man, his lusts, and selfish pride
reject this principle in exchange for the shifting sands of pleasure
and popular opinion.

The recent US-Russian sanctions bill is a prime example. Currently
the U.S. Congress is fast-tracking a Russian sanctions bill (S.341 –
Russia Sanctions Review Act of 2017 sponsored by Senator Lindsay
Graham; and H.R.3364 – Countering America’s Adversaries Through
Sanctions Act sponsored by Rep. Royce, Edward R.
[R-CA-39]<https://www.congress.gov/member/ed-royce/R000487>).
Besides being an act of war according to international law, this
sanctions bill is in no way based on truth, facts, or accurate
intelligence; nor is it supported by human intelligence reports,
evidence, sworn testimony, or forensic investigations. To the
contrary, it is based entirely on false information, propaganda, and
lies—and the Russians know this. As a result, the Russian-American
struggle has not only re-awakened, but is rallying the rest of the
world against the United States foreign policy.

By ignoring truth when making law, Congress destroys both. Without
truth, there is no semblance of government authority, there is only
the tyranny of DEEP STATE bureaucrats who channel fear to continue
their power. One of the key elements is the UNCONSTITUTIONALITY of
this law, which even President Trump tweeted about—and therefore has
jeopardized himself because of his signing it. Technically speaking,
now Trump can be impeached for violating his oath to uphold the
Constitution. By signing this law, which he has admitted is
unconstitutional, he has inadvertently undermined it—which is a crime
for a politician.

Yet inevitably, truth wins out in the end. We now see in The Nation
that the VIPS group (veteran intelligence professionals for sanity)
comprised of Ray McGovern, Bill Binney, Thomas Drake, and others, have
technically proven what sensible people have been saying for over a
year: That there was no external penetration or hack into the
Democrat National Committee computer servers. Instead there was an
inside leak, and the data was downloaded from the computers by an
external device like a thumb drive, disc, or backup drive. It was not
invaded by an electronic hacker operating from a distant foreign
country, cackling from the locked basement of his parents’ house. We
also now see that Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange has met with
Congressman Dana Rohrabacker and has communicated that he will provide
evidence that proves the Russians were not the source of the
intelligence materials obtained from the DNC and Clinton emails, and
this will exculpate Russia of any criminal suspicion. The data
download speed, the time, and other undeniable facts prove this. And
in proving this it proves the Congress are either liars or fools if
they don’t correct their ignorant law and cancel it out. If they
don’t, they are also traitors, because they have betrayed the most
vital element of the constitution…the truth. Without truth, there is
no agreement, no constitution, no state, and therefore no more
government. There is only Hobbesian jungle survival where life and
tribes struggle to exist in a state of perpetual war and constant
distrust of one another. We also now see that Wikileaks Founder
Julian Assange has met with Congressman Dana Rohrabacker and has
communicated that he will provide evidence that proves the Russians
were not the source of the intelligence materials obtained from the
DNC and Clinton emails, and this will exculpate Russia of any criminal
suspicion.

CONCLUSION

In 1987, the Soviet Union’s economy was like an overburdened tree
branch—drooping, splitting, and about to break-off from the weight of
its burden. Also in 1987, America was at the pinnacle of its powers
and confidence. It’s economic productivity and political influence
over the world seemed unstoppable and irresistible. But it was
precisely at this moment of self-anointed “exceptionalism”, that the
spirit of liberty and the blessing of power morphed into a license to
dominate and a quasi-religious calling to control. This of course
became even more surreal when the evangelical Christian-Zionist
community infused their heretical distortions of bible prophecy into a
perverted, self-fulfilling 9-11 counterterrorism political agenda to
both define and destroy every evil using the license of “American
democracy, human rights, global capitalism” as their coat of many
colored exceptionalisms.

As a result of the U.S. suspension of all non-immigrant Russian
VISA’s, the anti-Russian economic sanctions, and the bizarre
electromagnetic failures of U.S. navy ships sailing near Asia, today
marks the official re-start of the American-Russian “Cold War 2.0”.
Get ready.

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Voltaire
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Voltaire

Franky, who in their right mind would want to visit the USA, the home of the new barbarians…??

All the culture and civilisation of the world is contained in Eurasia…

The United States is a toxic dump, full of drug addistc, with opioid zombies, murdering cops, an out of control prison system with 2.5 million prisoners and 40% of the population OBESE…

Do I need to go on?

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

I do not see “ALL of culture and civilisation in the world” as being in either Europe [countries located on The Continent], nor in Asia [countries peopled by Oriental civilisation and peoples]
I do see more of it, and it’s future, as being in Russia though.

Voltaire
Guest
Voltaire

Russia is and always has been part of Eurasia…

And, of course, I agree that Russian culture is one of the most important in the world…

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

Define “Eurasia”. Please explain why no-one ever refers to Mexcan by it’s appropriate title in the same way.

Paul Kindlon
Member
Paul Kindlon

Been living in Russia for 25 years. It has Asian elements and European elements but is really neither. IMHO

Voltaire
Guest
Voltaire

Agreed….

Russia straddles Europe and Asia….and is thus a central part of Eurasia…

And its culture is so rich as a result of this blend….

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

Superb article, explicit, well supported and pungently expressed. What the writer didn’t go on to mention, but I think is a natural consequence of the things he pointed out so well, is that we are at a crucial time of major change. We have several natural cycles of change happening concurrently. These are of climate change which is perfectly in keeping with patterns of normal change we have data of going back thousands of years showing us, and has nothing to do with driving 4-wheel drives; of major social change and this includes major economic changes and the drives to… Read more »

Paul Kindlon
Guest
Paul Kindlon

Come to Moscow. Dying to meet you.

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

You are in Moscow, I take it Paul. What do you think of it? And – thank you. I’ll let you know 🙂

Paul Kindlon
Member
Paul Kindlon

Come to Moscow and I will tell you. I will be your guide and translator as well

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

OK – that’s a nice offer, thank you.

RussG
Guest
RussG

I love reading your comments, Isabella, and respect your opinions. Not surprisingly, I agree with almost all of them. One fear I do have, though, is that the American animal in its death throes could decide that if we cannot survive, “they” will not either and do the unthinkable with the big red button. What do you think?

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

I think that when we have that “thrashing dinosaur in it’s death throes” situation, then yes, we are in danger. Either from it’s random lashings, or some insane psycho deciding as you outline – or just a ghastly accident and misunderstanding — any one of a dozen or more possible scenarios ranging from the deliberately deadly to the just plain bad luck, could happen.
All we can do is stand back, watch carefully, and be prepared to take whatever evasive action seems available, I guess. Not a lot else we can do I think.

Gio Con
Guest
Gio Con

I don’t think the “old” cold war ever ended. After 1991, Bill Clinton, through his puppet Boris Yeltsin, oversaw the pillage of the former Soviet Union. Since then, the US has been quietly encircling Russia with NATO bases and building an alliance against Russia. It’s only Russia’s strengthened economy and military, as evidenced in its trade alliances with China and its success in Syria, that have exposed the depths of the US animosity, which, however, had never wavered but was only under the public radar until the Democrats brought it into the light after Hillary lost the election. Let’s face… Read more »

JNDillard
Guest
JNDillard

A well-written article but a weak conclusion. Cold War 2.0 has been ongoing for some time, if in fact the Cold War itself ever ended. I don’t think history will view the current embroglio as a 2.0, at least not from the perspective of the US military and State Dept. What we are seeing are more desperate attempts to bait Russia (and now China) into escalation so that public attention can be re-directed from the pathetic bungling of the deep state, in all its branches, to a foreign adversary, since previous attempts have failed. Maybe they will succeed this time,… Read more »

Punisher 1
Guest
Punisher 1

Russia seems to be able to process Visa’s from Americans to visit Russia with no problem. With having the exact same number of diplomatic staff the US now has in Russia.And with there being twice the population inside the US than there is in Russia. So the US excuse should fail to convince anyone.

disappointed
Guest
disappointed

Superb article it aint. Rife with judgement and moralizing. That dramatically lessens whatever value the rest may contain as far as I’m concerned. We can “get it” or we can devolve. It is opportunity. When people are saturated with drugs and chemicals, distributed efficiently through pollution of the entire environment for the glory of profit to a few and greater indifference to what it does to the masses, then distraction is the order of the day. Is it little wonder that there is “confusion” about sexuality and interpersonal roles wide spread throughout the worlds population? The fish in the rivers… Read more »

stevek9
Guest
stevek9

Agree except for your list of the major ills confronting the US. Healthcare — there are plenty of good (and much cheaper) health-care systems that we could copy. I lived under the Canadian system for 6 years and it is infinitely better than ours, in a country that culturally is quite similar. And, you left out inequality (the 1% or however you want to define it). That is very corrosive to our society (the comfortable middle class is disappearing), at least as much as identity politics, which basically are just a tool of the oligarchs to keep people distracted.

Aussie battler
Guest
Aussie battler

There is a saying in America Scott, ( what goes around comes around ).
like a spoilt rich kid who knows jack shit and blows the families wealth,
Reality stares you in the face!!.

Marshalldoc
Guest
Marshalldoc

Might have been interesting but after reaching the author’s half-witted pro-fascist comments about Charlottesville it was evident that that he has his head up his swastika and therefore cannot shed light on anything.

7awmee7
Guest
7awmee7

World war 3 had started long ago but the protagonists are getting deception after deception, failure after failure ,their lies are exposed and their mainstream media are tasting panic and international hate. Vladimir the brave soldier has penetrated enemy lines and there is now havoc in their strategy. They think the whole world I Libya or Iraq or VZietnam. Too late for COngress to change the rules. They are hemmed in , cornered and surrounded by the Bear. Grizzly bear. He will have not only to protect family but environment ,his neighbours lives their territory. No retreat No surrender. God… Read more »

Latest

Skripal and Khashoggi: A Tale of Two Disappearances

Two disappearances, and two different responses.

Published

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Two disappearances, and two very different responses from Western governments, which illustrates their rank hypocrisy.

When former Russian spy Sergei Skripal went missing in England earlier this year, there was almost immediate punitive action by the British government and its NATO allies against Moscow. By contrast, Western governments are straining with restraint towards Saudi Arabia over the more shocking and provable case of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The outcry by Western governments and media over the Skripal affair was deafening and resulted in Britain, the US and some 28 other countries expelling dozens of Russian diplomats on the back of unsubstantiated British allegations that the Kremlin tried to assassinate an exiled spy with a deadly nerve agent. The Trump administration has further tightened sanctions citing the Skripal incident.

London’s case against Moscow has been marked by wild speculation and ropey innuendo. No verifiable evidence of what actually happened to Sergei Skripal (67) and his daughter Yulia has been presented by the British authorities. Their claim that President Vladimir Putin sanctioned a hit squad armed with nerve poison relies on sheer conjecture.

All we know for sure is that the Skripals have been disappeared from public contact by the British authorities for more than seven months, since the mysterious incident of alleged poisoning in Salisbury on March 4.

Russian authorities and family relatives have been steadfastly refused any contact by London with the Skripal pair, despite more than 60 official requests from Moscow in accordance with international law and in spite of the fact that Yulia is a citizen of the Russian Federation with consular rights.

It is an outrage that based on such thin ice of “evidence”, the British have built an edifice of censure against Moscow, rallying an international campaign of further sanctions and diplomatic expulsions.

Now contrast that strenuous reaction, indeed hyper over-reaction, with how Britain, the US, France, Canada and other Western governments are ever-so slowly responding to Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi case.

After nearly two weeks since Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, the Saudi regime is this week finally admitting he was killed on their premises – albeit, they claim, in a “botched interrogation”.

Turkish and American intelligence had earlier claimed that Khashoggi was tortured and murdered on the Saudi premises by a 15-member hit squad sent from Riyadh.

Even more grisly, it is claimed that Khashoggi’s body was hacked up with a bone saw by the killers, his remains secreted out of the consulate building in boxes, and flown back to Saudi Arabia on board two private jets connected to the Saudi royal family.

What’s more, the Turks and Americans claim that the whole barbaric plot to murder Khashoggi was on the orders of senior Saudi rulers, implicating Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The latest twist out of Riyadh, is an attempt to scapegoat “rogue killers” and whitewash the House of Saudi from culpability.

The fact that 59-year-old Khashoggi was a legal US resident and a columnist for the Washington Post has no doubt given his case such prominent coverage in Western news media. Thousands of other victims of Saudi vengeance are routinely ignored in the West.

Nevertheless, despite the horrific and damning case against the Saudi monarchy, the response from the Trump administration, Britain and others has been abject.

President Trump has blustered that there “will be severe consequences” for the Saudi regime if it is proven culpable in the murder of Khashoggi. Trump quickly qualified, however, saying that billion-dollar arms deals with the oil-rich kingdom will not be cancelled. Now Trump appears to be joining in a cover-up by spinning the story that the Khashoggi killing was done by “rogue killers”.

Britain, France and Germany this week issued a joint statement calling for “a credible investigation” into the disappearance. But other than “tough-sounding” rhetoric, none of the European states have indicated any specific sanctions, such as weapons contracts being revoked or diplomatic expulsions.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “concerned” by the gruesome claims about Khashoggi’s killing, but he reiterated that Ottawa would not be scrapping a $15 billion sale of combat vehicles to Riyadh.

The Saudi rulers have even threatened retaliatory measures if sanctions are imposed by Western governments.

Saudi denials of official culpability seem to be a brazen flouting of all reason and circumstantial evidence that Khashoggi was indeed murdered in the consulate building on senior Saudi orders.

This week a glitzy international investor conference in Saudi Arabia is being boycotted by top business figures, including the World Bank chief, Jim Yong Kim, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Britain’s venture capitalist Richard Branson. Global firms like Ford and Uber have pulled out, as have various media sponsors, such as CNN, the New York Times and Financial Times. Withdrawal from the event was in response to the Khashoggi affair.

A growing bipartisan chorus of US Senators, including Bob Corker, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and Chris Murphy, have called for the cancellation of American arms sales to Saudi Arabia, as well as for an overhaul of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Still, Trump has rebuffed calls for punitive response. He has said that American jobs and profits depend on the Saudi weapons market. Some 20 per cent of all US arms sales are estimated to go to the House of Saud.

The New York Times this week headlined: “In Trump’s Saudi Bargain, the Bottom Line Proudly Stands Out”.

The Trump White House will be represented at the investment conference in Saudi Arabia this week – dubbed “Davos in the Desert” by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. He said he was attending in spite of the grave allegations against the Saudi rulers.

Surely the point here is the unseemly indulgence by Western governments of Saudi Arabia and its so-called “reforming” Crown Prince. It is remarkable how much credulity Washington, London, Paris, Ottawa and others are affording the Saudi despots who, most likely, have been caught redhanded in a barbarous murder.

Yet, when it comes to Russia and outlandish, unproven claims that the Kremlin carried out a bizarre poison-assassination plot, all these same Western governments abandon all reason and decorum to pile sanctions on Russia based on lurid, hollow speculation. The blatant hypocrisy demolishes any pretense of integrity or principle.

Here is another connection between the Skripal and Khashoggi affairs. The Saudis no doubt took note of the way Britain’s rulers have shown absolute disregard and contempt for international law in their de facto abduction of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. If the British can get away with that gross violation, then the Saudis probably thought that nobody would care too much if they disappeared Jamal Khashoggi.

Grotesquely, the way things are shaping up in terms of hypocritical lack of action by the Americans, British and others towards the Saudi despots, the latter might just get away with murder. Not so Russia. The Russians are not allowed to get away with even an absurd fantasy.

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US-China trade war heats up as surplus hits record $34 Billion (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 136.

Alex Christoforou

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According to a report by the AFP, China’s trade surplus with the United States ballooned to a record $34.1 billion in September, despite a raft of US tariffs, official data showed Friday, adding fuel to the fire of a worsening trade war.

Relations between the world’s two largest economies have soured sharply this year, with US President Donald Trump vowing on Thursday to inflict economic pain on China if it does not blink.
The two countries imposed new tariffs on a massive amount of each other’s goods mid-September, with the US targeting $200 billion in Chinese imports and Beijing firing back at $60 billion worth of US goods.

“China-US trade friction has caused trouble and pounded our foreign trade development,” customs spokesman Li Kuiwen told reporters Friday.

But China’s trade surplus with the US grew 10 percent in September from a record $31 billion in August, according to China’s customs administration. It was a 22 percent jump from the same month last year.

China’s exports to the US rose to $46.7 billion while imports slumped to $12.6 billion.

China’s overall trade — what it buys and sells with all countries including the US — logged a $31.7 billion surplus, as exports rose faster than imports.

Exports jumped 14.5 percent for September on-year, beating forecasts from analysts polled by Bloomberg News, while imports rose 14.3 percent on-year.

While the data showed China’s trade remained strong for the month, analysts forecast the trade war will start to hurt in coming months.

China’s export jump for the month suggests exporters were shipping goods early to beat the latest tariffs, said ANZ’s China economist Betty Wang, citing the bounce in electrical machinery exports, much of which faced the looming duties.

“We will watch for downside risks to China’s exports” in the fourth quarter, Wang said.

Analysts say a sharp depreciation of the yuan has also helped China weather the tariffs by making its exports cheaper.

“The big picture is the Chinese exports have so far held up well in the face of escalating trade tensions and cooling global growth, most likely thanks to the competitiveness boost provided by a weaker renminbi (yuan),” said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics.

“With global growth likely to cool further in the coming quarters and US tariffs set to become more punishing, the recent resilience of exports is unlikely to be sustained,” he said.

According to Bloomberg US President Donald Trump’s new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement isn’t that different from the North American Free Trade Agreement that it replaced. But hidden in the bowels of the new trade deal is a clause, Article 32.10, that could have a far-reaching impact. The new agreement requires member states to get approval from the other members if they initiate trade negotiations with a so-called non-market economy. In practice, “non-market” almost certainly means China. If, for example, Canada begins trade talks with China, it has to show the full text of the proposed agreement to the U.S. and Mexico — and if either the U.S. or Mexico doesn’t like what it sees, it can unilaterally kick Canada out of the USMCA.

Although it seems unlikely that the clause would be invoked, it will almost certainly exert a chilling effect on Canada and Mexico’s trade relations with China. Forced to choose between a gargantuan economy across the Pacific and another one next door, both of the U.S.’s neighbors are almost certain to pick the latter.

This is just another part of Trump’s general trade waragainst China. It’s a good sign that Trump realizes that unilateral U.S. efforts alone won’t be enough to force China to make concessions on issues like currency valuation, intellectual-property protection and industrial subsidies. China’s export markets are much too diverse:

If Trump cuts the U.S. off from trade with China, the likeliest outcome is that China simply steps up its exports to other markets. That would bind the rest of the world more closely to China and weaken the global influence of the U.S. China’s economy would take a small but temporary hit, while the U.S. would see its position as the economic center of the world slip into memory.

Instead, to take on China, Trump needs a gang. And that gang has to be much bigger than just North America. But most countries in Europe and East Asia probably can’t be bullied into choosing between the U.S. and China. — their ties to the U.S. are not as strong as those of Mexico and Canada. Countries such as South Korea, Germany, India and Japan will need carrots as well as sticks if they’re going to join a U.S.-led united trade front against China.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the escalating trade war between the United States and China, and the record trade surplus that positions China with a bit more leverage than Trump anticipated.

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Via Zerohedge Trump Threatens China With More Tariffs, Does Not Seek Economic “Depression”

US equity futures dipped in the red after President Trump threatened to impose a third round of tariffs on China and warned that Chinese meddling in U.S. politics was a “bigger problem” than Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

During the same interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes”, in which Trump threatened to impose sanctions against Saudi Arabia if the Saudis are found to have killed WaPo reported Khashoggi, and which sent Saudi stock plunging, Trump said he “might,” impose a new round of tariffs on China, adding that while he has “great chemistry” with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and noting that Xi “wants to negotiate”, he doesn’t “know that that’s necessarily going to continue.” Asked if American products have become more expensive due to tariffs on China, Trump said that “so far, that hasn’t turned out to be the case.”

“They can retaliate, but they can’t, they don’t have enough ammunition to retaliate,” Trump says, “We do $100 billion with them. They do $531 billion with us.”

Trump was also asked if he wants to push China’s economy into a depression to which the US president said “no” before comparing the country’s stock-market losses since the tariffs first launched to those in 1929, the start of the Great Depression in the U.S.

“I want them to negotiate a fair deal with us. I want them to open their markets like our markets are open,” Trump said in the interview that aired Sunday. So far, the U.S. has imposed three rounds of tariffs on Chinese imports totaling $250 billion, prompting China to retaliate against U.S. products. The president previously has threatened to hit virtually all Chinese imports with duties.

Asked about his relationship with Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin’s alleged efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, Trump quickly turned back to China. “They meddled,” he said of Russia, “but I think China meddled too.”

“I think China meddled also. And I think, frankly, China … is a bigger problem,” Trump said, as interviewer Lesley Stahl interrupted him for “diverting” from a discussion of Russia.

Shortly before an audacious speech by Mike Pence last weekend, in which the US vice president effectively declared a new cold war on Beijing (see “Russell Napier: Mike Pence Announces Cold War II”), Trump made similar accusations during a speech at the United Nations last month, which his aides substantiated by pointing to long-term Chinese influence campaigns and an advertising section in the Des Moines Register warning farmers about the potential effects of Trump’s tariffs.

Meanwhile, in a rare U.S. television appearance, China’s ambassador to the U.S. said Beijing has no choice but to respond to what he described as a trade war started by the U.S.

“We never wanted a trade war, but if somebody started a trade war against us, we have to respond and defend our own interests,” said China’s Ambassador Cui Tiankai.

Cui also dismissed as “groundless” the abovementioned suggestion by Vice President Mike Pence that China has orchestrated an effort to meddle in U.S. domestic affairs. Pence escalated the rhetoric in a speech Oct. 4, saying Beijing has created a “a whole-of-government approach” to sway American public opinion, including spies, tariffs, coercive measures and a propaganda campaign.

Pence’s comments were some of the most critical about China by a high-ranking U.S. official in recent memory. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo got a lecture when he visited Beijing days later, about U.S. actions that were termed “completely out of line.” The tough words followed months of increases tit-for-tat tariffs imposed by Washington and Beijing that have ballooned to cover hundreds of billions of dollars in bilateral trade.

During a recent interview with National Public Radio, Cui said the U.S. has “not sufficiently” dealt in good faith with the Chinese on trade matters, saying “the U.S. position keeps changing all the time so we don’t know exactly what the U.S. would want as priorities.”

Meanwhile, White House economic director Larry Kudlow said on “Fox News Sunday” that President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will “probably meet” at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires in late November. “There’s plans and discussions and agendas” being discussed, he said. So far, talks with China on trade have been “unsatisfactory,” Kudlow said. “We’ve made our asks” on allegations of intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers, he added. “We have to have reciprocity.”

Addressing the upcoming meeting, Cui said he was present at two previous meetings of Xi and Trump, and that top-level communication “played a key role, an irreplaceable role, in guiding the relationship forward.” Despite current tensions the two have a “good working relationship,” he said.

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Massacre in Crimea kills dozens, many in critical condition

According to preliminary information, the incident was caused by a gas explosion at a college facility in Kerch, Crimea.

The Duran

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“We are clarifying the information at the moment. Preliminary figures are 50 injured and 10 dead. Eight ambulance crews are working at the site and air medical services are involved,” the press-service for the Crimean Ministry of Health stated.

Medics announced that at least 50 people were injured in the explosion in Kerch and 25 have already been taken to local hospital with moderate wounds, according to Sputnik.

Local news outlets reported that earlier in the day, students at the college heard a blast and windows of the building were shattered.

Putin Orders that Assistance Be Provided to Victims of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The president has instructed the Ministry of Health and the rescue services to take emergency measures to assist victims of this explosion, if necessary, to ensure the urgent transportation of seriously wounded patients to leading medical institutions of Russia, whether in Moscow or other cities,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov said.

The president also expressed his condolences to all those affected by the tragic incident.

Manhunt Underway in Kerch as FSB Specialists Investigate Site of Explosion – National Anti-Terrorist Committee

The site of the blast that rocked a city college in Kerch is being examined by FSB bomb disposal experts and law enforcement agencies are searching for clues that might lead to the arrest of the perpetrators, the National Anti Terrorism Committee said in a statement.

“Acting on orders from the head of the NAC’s local headquarters, FSB, Interior Ministry, Russian Guards and Emergency Ministry units have arrived at the site. The territory around the college has been cordoned off and the people inside the building evacuated… Mine-disposal experts are working at the site and law enforcement specialists are investigating,” the statement said.

Terrorist Act Considered as Possible Cause of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The tragic news that comes from Kerch. Explosion. The president was informed … The data on those killed and the number of injured is constantly updated,” Peskov told reporters.

“[The version of a terrorist attack] is being considered,” he said.

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