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Russia’s S-300 play in Syria is creating MASSIVE geopolitical waves

The Kremlin made the decision to supply Damascus with the potent S-300 air-defense system after a Syrian surface-to-air missile battery mistakenly shot down a Russian aircraft during an Israeli raid.

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Russia says it will supply Syria with a version of the S-300 air and missile-defense system, despite objections from Washington and Tel Aviv. The Kremlin made the decision to supply Damascus with the potent air-defense system after a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile battery mistakenly shot down a Russian Ilyushin Il-20M Coot-A intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft during an Israeli raid on Assad regime forces on September 17.

“A modern S-300 air defense missile system will be supplied to the Syrian Armed Forces within two weeks,” Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu said on September 24, as reported by the state-owned TASS news agency . “It is capable of intercepting air assault weapons at a distance of more than 250 kilometers and hit simultaneously several air targets.”

Russia’s Decision

The Kremlin has decided to supply the Syrian regime with the potent S-300 because Moscow blames Israel for the downing of its Il-20M despite the fact that it was a Syrian-operated weapon that brought the four-engine turboprop down. The Russians accuse Tel Aviv of using the lumbering ISR plane as cover during an air raid by four Israeli F-16 fighters on a Syrian regime target.

“I will underscore—at the request of the Israeli side, in 2013 we suspended the delivery of S-300 systems that were ready for the dispatch, while the Syrian military had undergone training,” Shoigu said. “Now the situation has changed, and we are not to blame.”

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Shoigu also noted that Moscow would send Syria advanced battle management and combat identifications systems so that Damascus’ forces will be able to ensure that they can properly identify Russian aircraft in the future. “The command posts of Syrian air defense forces and units will be equipped with automated control systems only supplied to the Russian armed forces,” Shoigu said. “This will facilitate centralized control over all forces and resources of the Syrian air defense, monitor the situation in the air, and ensure operative issuance of orders. Most importantly, we will guarantee the identification of all Russian aircrafts by the Syrian air defense systems.”

Indeed, while Russian president Vladimir Putin initially put the blame for the incident on the fog of war, more recently the Kremlin has said that it blames Israel for the loss of its aircraft. “The information presented by the Israeli military on the operation of their aircraft over Syrian territory differs from the conclusions of the Russian Defence Ministry,” the Kremlin said in a statement . “Russia proceeds from the premise that the actions of the Israeli Air Force were the main cause of the tragedy.”

The Kremlin said in a call to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that it believes that delivering these additional weapons systems to the Syrian regime is the only way to safeguard lives of Russian servicemen operating in Syria. “Vladimir Putin emphasized that Russia’s decisions to bolster the combat capabilities of Syrian air defenses are appropriate at this juncture and primarily intended to thwart any potential threat to the lives of the Russian military service members fulfilling the tasks of combating international terrorism,” the Kremlin said.

Irresponsible Hands

During his conversation with Putin, Netanyahu emphasized the Israeli view “that transferring advanced weapons systems into irresponsible hands will increase the dangers in the region, and added that Israel will continue to defend its security and its interests.”

Washington also waded into the issue, with National Security Advisor John Bolton calling the Russian decision to arm Syria with the S-300 a “major mistake” and a “significant escalation.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he expects to take the matter up with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Syria to Blame

Israel also reiterated that Syria is to blame for the downing of the Russian Il-20M. “Since the tragic events in the skies over Syria I have spoken twice with President Putin. I expressed to him our deep regret over the loss of the crew of the Russian plane that was brought down by irresponsible Syrian anti-aircraft fire,” Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a tweet . “This morning I convened the Security Cabinet which received a full update on the recent events. The Security Cabinet ministers also share in the deep sorrow of the Russian families and the Russian people.”

However, while Tel Aviv expressed its regret over the loss of the lives of the Russian servicemen, Israel says that it has no option but to push back against Iranian encroachment. Thus, Israel will continue to cooperate with Moscow, but Tel Aviv will not back down from taking action against Iran. “We give full backing to the IDF [Israel Defense Force] in its actions to defend the state,” Netanyahu said . “We will continue to take action to prevent the establishment of an Iranian military presence in Syria and we will continue the security coordination between the IDF and the Russian military. . . . To this end, I agreed with President Putin that IDF and Russian military working teams would meet soon. We will do what is necessary to defend the security of Israel.”

Strategic Consequences

While the Russians have not said which version of the S-300 it will be giving to Syria, the weapons will like be the relatively modern S-300PMU-2 variant. However, given that it would take several months to train Syrian crews to operate the sophisticated S-300 system, it is a near certainty that Russian crews would initially operate the missiles.

“I think it’s unlikely that the Syrians will be ready to operate this without Russian advisers and support for the immediate future,” Center for Naval Analyses research scientist Michael Kofman told the National Interest . “There’s a degree of ambiguity there that introduces some uncertainty as to who is really operating the system.”

Indeed, given that there is no dispute that it was the Syrian military that downed the Russian Il-20M, it is possible that the Russians do not intend to ever allow Assad regime crews to operate the S-300. Given that fact that Shoigu stated that Moscow would equip Assad regime command posts with “automated control systems only supplied to the Russian armed forces” in order to “facilitate centralized control over all forces and resources of the Syrian air defense,” it is possible that the Kremlin is planning on de facto taking over the management of all Syrian air defenses. Certainly, that would ensure that poorly trained and motivated Syrian troops would not inadvertently attack friendly forces in a panic while under fire.

What’s more, the presence of Russian forces manning Syrian-owned air defenses would complicate Israeli attempts to strike at the Assad regime and Iranian forces operating inside Syria. Israel can ill afford to strike directly at Syrian targets during a raid if that would mean that Moscow’s forces were caught in the crossfire since the Kremlin will not likely let another such incident slide unpunished. As such, the presence of additional Russian forces would constrain Israel’s ability to act inside Syria.

Of course, if Russia does turn the S-300 batteries over to Syrian operators, then there is always the distinct possibility that Israel could attempt to eliminate those weapons. Indeed, Israel has the perfect weapon to do just that—its newly acquired fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. However, in the immediate future, while Syria’s S-300s are operated by Russian forces, Israel will likely be hampered in its ability to strike further targets in Syria.

Via The National Interest

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craig watson
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The F-35 is a piece of junk. Russian war planes are so far advanced over anything built by the USA that Israel is now powerless in the face of Russian armaments, as is the USA.

Tom Welsh
Guest
Tom Welsh

Yes, it would be quite interesting to see whether Washington would allow such an attempt. If the F-35s were all shot down it would not be a very good advertisement for future sales.

You can call me AL
Guest
You can call me AL

It might not be a good sales pitch, but it would be funny for most of the World.

Ian
Guest
Ian

If the F-35 was shot down, they could revert back to the age old excuse, pilot error.

Nexus789
Guest
Nexus789

Or a birdstrike

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

Have you seen the short article, over on RI? How easy it is for Russia to view the US stealth planes, flying over Syria.

Russian Su-35 Tracked a US F-22 Stealth Fighter Over Syria With Infra-Red Sensors… https://russia-insider.com/en/russian-su-35-tracked-us-f-22-stealth-fighter-over-syria-infra-red-sensors/ri24895

Mike
Guest
Mike

You are smoking so good shit! Even the Russians knows that F35 and 22 are superior to anything Russia has…

7.62x54R
Guest
7.62x54R

It will be great news when an SAA S-300 eliminates an invading Israeli F-16. Several being flamed at once would be even better.

Bob Valdez
Guest
Bob Valdez

I think it is YOU who are smoking something, probably ‘shit’, as you put it.

Normski
Member
Normski

Really?.

Nexus789
Guest
Nexus789

Typical deluded response from the US. The JSF has a single big and very hot engine. Will stick out like dogs nuts to IR sensors

Shahna
Guest
Shahna

MASSIVE? In capital letters?
Far as I c’n see “geopolitical response” has been pretty muted.
NO-ONE mentioned it at Trump’s special UNSC (the one he ducked away from after he told everyone how wonderful he was) – – even May didn’t take the opportunity to remind the world what dastardly bastards the Russian are.

So Bibi had a conniption – but when does he ever not?
Even Bolton forgot all his fire and brimstone and threats of outright murder.

Tom Welsh
Guest
Tom Welsh

“…during an Israeli raid on Assad regime forces on September 17”.

Correction: “…during an Israeli raid on Syrian territory, which destroyed Syrian premises and property”.

The word “regime” is inappropriate, since Mr Assad and his government have been democratically elected with large majorities, and are strongly supported by most Syrian citizens.

You can call me AL
Guest
You can call me AL

No mention that the Israelis had their “Identification, friend or foe (IFF)”; switched off – which makes this a war.

Tom Welsh
Guest
Tom Welsh

“Israel says that it has no option but to push back against Iranian encroachment”. On the contrary, Israel has absolutely no right whatsoever to attack anything inside the borders of Syria – or any other country. Who and what the Syrian government welcomes in its country is no business of Israel or anyone else. If Syria chooses to have Iranian soldiers and weapons inside Syria, Israel has no legal right to do anything to stop it. I believe that Israel has US soldiers, technical experts and weapons systems within its borders. Does this give Syria, Iran or any other nation… Read more »

Prometheus
Guest
Prometheus

Talking about encroachment! Who is best at that anyway? Just asked the Gazans and West Bank. Guess that includes Golan Heights too. These psychopaths need to be put to bed.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

The US has more than some “US soldiers, technical experts and weapons systems” on Israeli soil….the US now has a full-blown military base within Israels borders! https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2017/09/18/us-breaks-ground-for-new-permanent-base-in-israel/

Tom Welsh
Guest
Tom Welsh

“Certainly, that would ensure that poorly trained and motivated Syrian troops would not inadvertently attack friendly forces in a panic while under fire”.

You mean the way the “poorly trained and motivated” US Navy officers of USS Vincennes shot down the Iranian Airbus in 1988?

And they did not even have the excuse of being under fire.

You can call me AL
Guest
You can call me AL

The Syrians ordered the S-300 many years ago – 2012 / 2013 to be precise.

“”I will underscore – at the request of the Israeli side, in 2013 we suspended the delivery of S-300 systems that were ready for the dispatch, while the Syrian military had undergone training. Now the situation has changed, and we are not to blame,” the defense minister said.

More:
http://tass.com/defense/1022844

It would be a mistake to assume that they have not already been trained.

Richard Steven Hack
Guest
Richard Steven Hack

As usual, The National Interest plays down the ability of the S-300 systems to deal with the F-35 and other Israeli aircraft. The fact remains that these new systems will be operated by Syrians, not Russians. Shoigu directly stated that the Syrian crews were being trained before when the S-300 deal was previously on. While there may be some updated training going on, what does it matter? There will eventually be Syrian crews running these systems. The Russians are not going to tell the Syrians not to shoot down Israeli aircraft, as is implied by the article. They don’t do… Read more »

Walter Dublanica
Member

Mike& John you are second fiddles to Vlad & Sergei . V&S rule the middle east. M&J are ruled by Israel.

Sean
Guest
Sean

Stopped reading after “Syrian regime”. Why is the Duran publishing this anti Syrian/Russian propaganda? Are you trying to lose your remaining few readers?

Vince Dhimos
Guest

We saw this back in July 2917 when we posted (http://www.newsilkstrategies.com/news–analysis/look-whos-r-e-a-l-l-y-edging-out-the-dollar) “Those who are aware of this effort to settle trades in anything but dollars are mostly focusing on Russia and China as the lead actors in this movement. But despite their size and clout, these two are bit players, who would likely take decades to put a dent in the dollar’s clout. Not so the EU, which plays the lead role, doing the lion’s share of non-dollar international settlements and lending. This is precisely what Putin and Xi want, which is certainly why Putin said at the last Valdai… Read more »

Shaun Ramewe
Guest
Shaun Ramewe

A good day for democracy, peace and anti-terrorism. Boohoo Zio/Saudi/Western war criminals!!

TEP
Guest
TEP

It is nothing short of despicable that Majumdar repeatedly refers to Syrian government as Syrian “regime”, or it’s legal forces as “regime forces”. Consequently I will not read any further articles by this author. The Duran really has gone downhill with some of it’s choices of contributors.

Joe King
Guest
Joe King

Why is the Syrian government always called a regime? What about the American Regime?

Mike
Guest
Mike

Ask the 400,000 Syrian citizens that got killed by the regime! Oups, you cant, they are dead!

fred
Guest
fred

note to self don’t feed the troll

Zara Ali
Guest

“…that transferring advanced weapons systems into irresponsible hands will increase the dangers in the region, and added that Israel will continue to defend its security and its interests.”
Yet another example of how Zionism breeds a delusional and thoroughly dysfunctional psyche and how it kills the conscience. Each time these psychopaths pass a judgment on others it is strikingly similar to their own true image. Self-deception and self-righteousness reigns… hypocritical piety rules… leaves the common man with even the most basic common sense flabbergasted.

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

Thanks John Tosh, for the Jimmy Dores link. Well worth viewing. The Professor, the voice of common sense.

Bombshell: Professor Stuns MSNBC Panel On Syria… https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=240&v=_O2TRzA2ezk

Victor
Guest
Victor

Of course the Russians will hand over operations of the S-300s to Syria (whom they have already trained). This is a necessity from the Russian perspective. Why? Because if Russia retains control, this means that if the Israelis attack syrian territory again, the decision to shoot them down will lie squarely with Russia, not the Assad government, which of course means that if Russia shoots them down, it is instantaneous war on a wider scale, whilst if Russia does not shoot them down, then they are betraying the Syrians by allowing the Israelis full access to Syrian targets. No, the… Read more »

ZirconMach20
Guest
ZirconMach20

Syrian crews HAVE ALREADY been trained to handle the S-300s since 2013, and the F-35 would be a fat juicy target for the S-300 considering the much older S-200 ALREADY shot down an Israeli F-35 earlier this year, but which the Israelis claimed was brought down by a bird. Majumdar is either ignorant or is a cheerleader for US junk weaponry.

fred
Guest
fred

i cant find it anymore bet there was a story about how F 22 pilots were complaining that they were painted by russian radar

JNDillard
Guest
JNDillard

It would be tragic to see one, two, or three of those new F-35’s shot down. That would pretty well put the end to the Israeli/US myth of military invincibility. With Russians operating the S-300’s, and as many as eight S-300’s to be supplied to Syria, according to Southfront.org, the bottom line is that Israel’s days of using fighter aircraft to attack Syria are over. They may still use drones and long-range cruise missiles, however.

Mish
Guest
Mish

“Poorly trained and motivated Syrian troops”? What is Majumdar smoking? At least they are better motivated than the Israel and US proxy faux jihadniks, apparently. In the quoted Russian MoD statement about the suspension of S-300 delivery, doesn’t it say that the Syrian crews had been trained already in 2013, before the delivery was suspended? And it’s far from a cinch that it was Syrian air defenses who shot that plane down. The flight trajectory suggests otherwise. The Il-20 was way far from the Israeli jets when it was shot down. The French fired one or several missiles. Where did… Read more »

stephan williams
Guest
stephan williams

What an embarrassing piece of pro-Israeli, pro US propaganda! Who does the author work for? Mossad or the CIA?

Karl
Guest
Karl

If Israel doesn’t invade Syria’s airspace and kill it’s people they will have nothing to worry about!

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FBI recommended Michael Flynn not have lawyer present during interview, did not warn of false statement consequences

Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 18.

Washington Examiner

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Via The Washington Examiner…


Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who arranged the bureau’s interview with then-national security adviser Michael Flynn at the White House on Jan. 24, 2017 — the interview that ultimately led to Flynn’s guilty plea on one count of making false statements — suggested Flynn not have a lawyer present at the session, according to newly-filed court documents. In addition, FBI officials, along with the two agents who interviewed Flynn, decided specifically not to warn him that there would be penalties for making false statements because the agents wanted to ensure that Flynn was “relaxed” during the session.

The new information, drawn from McCabe’s account of events plus the FBI agents’ writeup of the interview — the so-called 302 report — is contained in a sentencing memo filed Tuesday by Flynn’s defense team.

Citing McCabe’s account, the sentencing memo says that shortly after noon on Jan. 24 — the fourth day of the new Trump administration — McCabe called Flynn on a secure phone in Flynn’s West Wing office. The two men discussed business briefly and then McCabe said that he “felt that we needed to have two of our agents sit down” with Flynn to discuss Flynn’s talks with Russian officials during the presidential transition.

McCabe, by his own account, urged Flynn to talk to the agents alone, without a lawyer present. “I explained that I thought the quickest way to get this done was to have a conversation between [Flynn] and the agents only,” McCabe wrote. “I further stated that if LTG Flynn wished to include anyone else in the meeting, like the White House counsel for instance, that I would need to involve the Department of Justice. [Flynn] stated that this would not be necessary and agreed to meet with the agents without any additional participants.”

Within two hours, the agents were in Flynn’s office. According to the 302 report quoted in the Flynn sentencing document, the agents said Flynn was “relaxed and jocular” and offered the agents “a little tour” of his part of the White House.

“The agents did not provide Gen. Flynn with a warning of the penalties for making a false statement under 18 U.S.C. 1001 before, during, or after the interview,” the Flynn memo says. According to the 302, before the interview, McCabe and other FBI officials “decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed, and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport.”

The agents had, of course, seen transcripts of Flynn’s wiretapped conversations with Russian then-ambassador Sergey Kislyak. “Before the interview, FBI officials had also decided that if ‘Flynn said he did not remember something they knew he said, they would use the exact words Flynn used … to try to refresh his recollection. If Flynn still would not confirm what he said … they would not confront him or talk him through it,'” the Flynn memo says, citing the FBI 302.

“One of the agents reported that Gen. Flynn was ‘unguarded’ during the interview and ‘clearly saw the FBI agents as allies,'” the Flynn memo says, again citing the 302.

Later in the memo, Flynn’s lawyers argue that the FBI treated Flynn differently from two other Trump-Russia figures who have pleaded guilty to and been sentenced for making false statements. One of them, Alexander Van der Zwaan, “was represented by counsel during the interview; he was interviewed at a time when there was a publicly disclosed, full-bore investigation regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election; and he was given a warning that it is a federal crime to lie during the interview,” according to the memo. The other, George Papadopoulos, “was specifically notified of the seriousness of the investigation…was warned that lying to investigators was a ‘federal offense’…had time to reflect on his answers…and met with the FBI the following month for a further set of interviews, accompanied by his counsel, and did not correct his false statements.”

The message of the sentencing memo is clear: Flynn, his lawyers suggest, was surprised, rushed, not warned of the context or seriousness of the questioning, and discouraged from having a lawyer present.

That is all the sentencing document contains about the interview itself. In a footnote, Flynn’s lawyers noted that the government did not object to the quotations from the FBI 302 report.

In one striking detail, footnotes in the Flynn memo say the 302 report cited was dated Aug. 22, 2017 — nearly seven months after the Flynn interview. It is not clear why the report would be written so long after the interview itself.

The brief excerpts from the 302 used in the Flynn defense memo will likely spur more requests from Congress to see the original FBI documents. Both House and Senate investigating committees have demanded that the Justice Department allow them to see the Flynn 302, but have so far been refused.

In the memo, Flynn’s lawyers say that he made a “serious error in judgment” in the interview. Citing Flynn’s distinguished 30-plus year record of service in the U.S. Army, they ask the judge to go along with special counsel Robert Mueller’s recommendation that Flynn be spared any time in prison.

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Macron offers crumbs to protestors in bid to save his globalist agenda (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 36.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at French President Macron’s pathetic display of leadership as he offers protestors little in the way of concessions while at the same time promising to crack down hard on any and all citizens who resort to violence.

Meanwhile France’s economy is set for a deep recession as French output and production grinds to a halt.

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Via Zerohedge


As if Brussels didn’t have its hands full already with Italy and the UK, the European Union will soon be forced to rationalize why one of its favorite core members is allowed to pursue populist measures to blow out its budget deficit to ease domestic unrest while another is threatened with fines potentially amounting to billions of euros.

When blaming Russia failed to quell the widespread anger elicited by his policies, French President Emmanuel Macron tried to appease the increasingly violent “yellow vests” protesters who have sacked his capital city by offering massive tax cuts that could blow the French budget out beyond the 3% budget threshold outlined in the bloc’s fiscal rules.

Given the concessions recently offered by Italy’s populists, Macron’s couldn’t have picked a worse time to challenge the bloc’s fiscal conventions. As Bloomberg pointed out, these rules will almost certainly set the Continent’s second largest economy on a collision course with Brussels. To be clear, Macron’s offered cuts come with a price tag of about €11 billion according to Les Echos, and will leave the country with a budget gap of 3.5% of GDP in 2019, with one government official said the deficit may be higher than 3.6%.

By comparison, Italy’s initial projections put its deficit target at 2.4%, a number which Europe has repeatedly refused to consider.

Macron’s promises of fiscal stimulus – which come on top of his government’s decision to delay the planned gas-tax hikes that helped inspire the protests – were part of a broader ‘mea culpa’ offered by Macron in a speech Monday night, where he also planned to hike France’s minimum wage.

Of course, when Brussels inevitably objects, perhaps Macron could just show them this video of French police tossing a wheelchair-bound protester to the ground.

Already, the Italians are complaining.  Speaking on Tuesday, Italian cabinet undersecretary Giancarlo Giorgetti said Italy hasn’t breached the EU deficit limit. “I repeat that from the Italian government there is a reasonable approach, if there is one also from the EU a solution will be found.”

“France has several times breached the 3% deficit. Italy hasn’t done it. They are different situations. There are many indicators to assess.”

Still, as one Guardian columnist pointed out in an op-ed published Tuesday morning, the fact that the gilets jaunes (yellow vest) organizers managed to pressure Macron to cave and grant concessions after just 4 weeks of protests will only embolden them to push for even more radical demands: The collapse of the government of the supremely unpopular Macron.

Then again, with Brussels now facing certain accusations of hypocrisy, the fact that Macron was pressured into the exact same populist measures for which Italy has been slammed, the French fiasco raises the odds that Rome can pass any deficit measure it wants with the EU now forced to quietly look away even as it jawbones all the way from the bank (i.e., the German taxpayers).

“Macron’s spending will encourage Salvini and Di Maio,” said Giovanni Orsina, head of the School of Government at Rome’s Luiss-Guido Carli University. “Macron was supposed to be the spearhead of pro-European forces, if he himself is forced to challenge EU rules, Salvini and Di Maio will jump on that to push their contention that those rules are wrong.”

While we look forward to how Brussels will square this circle, markets are less excited.

Exhausted from lurching from one extreme to another following conflicting headlines, traders are already asking if “France is the new Italy.” The reason: the French OAT curve has bear steepened this morning with 10Y yields rising as much as ~6bp, with the Bund/OAT spread reaching the widest since May 2017 and the French presidential election. Though well below the peaks of last year, further widening would push the gap into levels reserved for heightened political risk.

As Bloomberg macro analyst Michael Read notes this morning, it’s hard to see a specific near-term trigger blowing out the Bund/OAT spread but the trend looks likely to slowly drift higher.

While Macron has to fight on both domestic and European fronts, he’ll need to keep peace at home to stay on top. Remember that we saw the 10Y spread widen to ~80bps around the May ’17 elections as concerns of a move toward the political fringe played out in the markets, and the French President’s popularity ratings already look far from rosy.

And just like that France may have solved the Italian crisis.

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Watch: Democrat Chuck Schumer shows his East Coast elitism on live TV

Amazing moment in which the President exhibits “transparency in government” and shows the world who the Democrat leaders really are.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the reasons Donald Trump was elected to the Presidency was because of his pugnacious, “in your face” character he presented – and promised TO present – against Democrat policy decisions and “stupid government” in general.

One of the reasons President Donald Trump is reviled is because of his pugnacious, “in your face” character he presented – and promised TO present – in the American political scene.

In other words, there are two reactions to the same characteristic. On Tuesday, the President did something that probably cheered and delighted a great many Americans who witnessed this.

The Democrats have been unanimous in taking any chance to roast the President, or to call for his impeachment, or to incite violence against him. But Tuesday was President Trump’s turn. He invited the two Democrat leaders, presumptive incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and then, he turned the cameras on:

As Tucker Carlson notes, the body language from Schumer was fury. The old (something)-eating grin covered up humiliation, embarrassment and probably no small amount of fear, as this whole incident was filmed and broadcast openly and transparently to the American public. Nancy Pelosi was similarly agitated, and she expressed it later after this humiliation on camera, saying, “It’s like a manhood thing for him… As if manhood could ever be associated with him.”

She didn’t stop there. According to a report from the New York Daily News, the Queen Bee took the rhetoric a step below even her sense of dignity:

Pelosi stressed she made clear to Trump there isn’t enough support in Congress for a wall and speculated the President is refusing to back down because he’s scared to run away with his tail between his legs.

“I was trying to be the mom. I can’t explain it to you. It was so wild,” Pelosi said of the Oval Office meet, which was also attended by Vice President Pence and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “It goes to show you: you get into a tinkle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you.”

This represented the first salvo in a major spin-job for the ultra-liberal San Francisco Democrat. The rhetoric spun by Mrs. Pelosi and Chuck Schumer was desperate as they tried to deflect their humiliation and place it back on the President:

With reporters still present, Trump boasted during the Oval meeting he would be “proud” to shutdown the government if Congress doesn’t earmark cash for his wall before a Dec. 21 spending deadline.

Pelosi told Democrats that Trump’s boisterousness will be beneficial for them.

“The fact is we did get him to say, to fully own that the shutdown was his,” Pelosi said. “That was an accomplishment.”

The press tried to characterize this as a “Trump Tantrum”, saying things like this lede:

While “discussing” a budgetary agreement for the government, President Donald Trump crossed his arms and declared: “we will shut down the government if there is no wall.”

While the Democrats and the mainstream media in the US are sure to largely buy these interpretations of the event, the fact that this matter was televised live shows that the matter was entirely different, and this will be discomfiting to all but those Democrats and Trump-dislikers that will not look at reality.

There appears to be a twofold accomplishment for the President in this confrontation:

  1. The President revealed to his support base the real nature of the conversation with the Democrat leadership, because anyone watching this broadcast (and later, video clip) saw it unedited with their own eyes. They witnessed the pettiness of both Democrats and they witnessed a President completely comfortable and confident about the situation.
  2. President Trump probably made many of his supporters cheer with the commitment to shut down the government if he doesn’t get his border wall funding. This cheering is for both the strength shown about getting the wall finished and the promise to shut the government down, and further, Mr. Trump’s assertion that he would be “proud” to shut the government down, taking complete ownership willingly, reflects a sentiment that many of his supporters share.

The usual pattern is for the media, Democrats and even some Republicans to create a “scare” narrative about government shutdowns, about how doing this is a sure-fire path to chaos and suffering for the United States.

But the educated understanding of how shutdowns work reveals something completely different. Vital services never close. However, National Parks can close partly or completely, and some non-essential government agencies are shuttered. While this is an inconvenience for the employees furloughed during the shutdown, they eventually are re-compensated for the time lost, and are likely to receive help during the shutdown period if they need it. The impact on the nation is minimal, aside from the fact that the government stops spending money at the same frenetic pace as usual.

President Trump’s expression of willingness to do this action and his singling out of the Dem leadership gives the Democrats a real problem. Now the entire country sees their nature. As President Trump is a populist, this visceral display of Democrat opposition and pettiness will make at least some impact on the population, even that group of people who are not Trump fans.

The media reaction and that of the Democrats here show, amazingly, that after three years-plus of Donald Trump being a thorn in their side, they still do not understand how he works, and they also cannot match it against their expected “norms” of establishment behavior.

This may be a brilliant masterstroke, and it also may be followed up by more. The President relishes head-to-head conflict. The reactions of these congress members showed who they really are.

Let the games begin.

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