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Russian lawmakers make proposals for Russia-US reconciliation

I never thought I would see members of United Russia let alone the LDPR, saying what they have said about America. In this sense Trump has already helped create the spirit of unity and respect he spoke of hours after winning his historic election.

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Members of the Russian State Duma Vitaly Milonov (United Russia) and Vladimir Sysoyev (LDPR) didn’t waste any time over thinking about ways to mend Russia-US relations.

Vitaly Milonov, who is also a member of the State Duma Foreign Relations Committee has recently said the following:

Our nations are the largest economic and cultural centres of our planet. Our nations possess developed economies, powerful military forces, the largest trade ties all over the world and this allows them to influence global political agenda. Unfortunately, due to myopic policies of the US administration and its push towards global hegemony, the relations between our countries have deteriorated to record lows.

In the current situation it might be reasonable to set up a working group of Russian and US lawmakers who would concentrate on normalisation of relations between our countries… This group could start developing a road-map for the process as well as work on particular contradictions between our states that have accumulated over recent years.

This plan whilst ambitious, seems both necessary in its implications and optimistic in its presentation. Milonov’s remarks demonstrate how attitudes in Russia have been cautiously yet instantaneously changed upon Donald Trump’s election.

America has gone from being an antagonistic enemy to being viewed as a potential, genuine and perhaps even inevitable partner. One needn’t know a great deal about the last 70 years of history to realise that this represents a positive move for world peace.

Even whilst Milonov’s suggestion remains hypothetical, it has already proved Donald Trump correct in the following way. He said that Russian politicians do not respect Obama, but that they will respect him. Milonov’s remarks are case in point on that particular issue.

A lot of this cooperation however, depends on the ability of US Congressmen and Senators to take up the gauntlet. Although the Republicans have won both houses of Congress, just how these Republicans will react to a Trump presidency is something of a mystery. Trump’s own party did all that they could to sabotage his campaign. He won not because of but in spite of them.

During the campaign, it often felt that many Republicans not only sought but anticipated a Clinton victory, after which Trump would be effectively ostracised from the party, and the establishment Republican leadership would return to ‘business as usual’.

Trump’s victory is many things, but business as usual, it most certainly is not. The question therefore is, will Republicans entrench themselves in an anti-Trump position, working against their own President or will they quietly if not sheepishly endorse Trump’s positions, if for no other reason than for the sake of their party and their own careers? I believe that these two positions are not mutually exclusive. In this instance, it comes down to whether the majority of Congressional Republicans engage with Trump or oppose him?

Politicians being politicians, I have a sneaking suspicion that most will opt to work with Trump. Many of these Republicans may be foolish, but they are not stupid. They now must understand that the people’s mandate is with Trump and not with politicians who have opposed him. If Bernie Sanders understands this from an intellectual and ideological perspective, surely the Republicans will understand it from an opportunistic perspective. If this is how things unfold, there is a chance that Milonov’s proposals can become a reality.

Turning back to the Duma, LDPR Duma member Vladimir Sysoyev proposed an annual week of Russian-American friendship, where cultural exchanges and activities promoting understanding and cooperation between the two countries would take place. This  is a marvelous idea. Throughout history, it is not politicians alone who changes hearts and minds. In many instances it is culture which leads in these areas and can even help to force the hands of politicians to amend confrontational policies which go against the will of peoples to live in cultural harmony.

The fact that such proposals have come from the LDPR is itself quite surprising. Under Clinton, Obama and Bush, the LDPR were ferociously opposed to both American foreign policy and American cultural imperialism. Donald Trump’s Personal appeal and his reaching out to Russia in a spirit of peace, seems to have changed this attitude greatly and rapidly.

Whilst many are focusing on the last gasp of George Soros funded anti-Trump protests in America, protests Obama has done virtually nothing to stop nor condemn, the world ought to focus on the positive outcomes of Trump’s victory. I never thought I would see members of United Russia let alone the LDPR, saying what they have said about America. In this sense Trump has already helped create the spirit of unity and respect he spoke of hours after winning his historic election.

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Trump Has Gifted “No More Wars” Policy Position To Bernie Sanders (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 148.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss how US President Donald Tump appears to have ceded his popular 2016 ‘no more wars’ campaign message and policy position to Bernie Sanders and any other US 2020 candidate willing to grad onto a non-interventionist approach to the upcoming Democrat primaries.

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“Is Bernie Stealing Trump’s ‘No More Wars’ Issue?” by Patrick J. Buchanan…


The center of gravity of U.S. politics is shifting toward the Trump position of 2016.

“The president has said that he does not want to see this country involved in endless wars… I agree with that,” Bernie Sanders told the Fox News audience at Monday’s town hall meeting in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Then turning and staring straight into the camera, Bernie added:

“Mr. President, tonight you have the opportunity to do something extraordinary: Sign that resolution. Saudi Arabia should not be determining the military or foreign policy of this country.”

Sanders was talking about a War Powers Act resolution that would have ended U.S. involvement in the five-year civil war in Yemen that has created one of the great humanitarian crises of our time, with thousands of dead children amidst an epidemic of cholera and a famine.

Supported by a united Democratic Party on the Hill, and an anti-interventionist faction of the GOP led by Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee of Utah, the War Powers resolution had passed both houses of Congress.

But 24 hours after Sanders urged him to sign it, Trump, heeding the hawks in his Cabinet and National Security Council, vetoed S.J.Res.7, calling it a “dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities.”

With sufficient Republican votes in both houses to sustain Trump’s veto, that should be the end of the matter.

It is not: Trump may have just ceded the peace issue in 2020 to the Democrats. If Sanders emerges as the nominee, we will have an election with a Democrat running on the “no-more-wars” theme Trump touted in 2016. And Trump will be left defending the bombing of Yemeni rebels and civilians by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Does Trump really want to go into 2020 as a war party president?

Does he want to go into 2020 with Democrats denouncing “Trump’s endless wars” in the Middle East? Because that is where he is headed.

In 2008, John McCain, leading hawk in the Senate, was routed by a left-wing first-term senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who had won his nomination by defeating the more hawkish Hillary Clinton, who had voted to authorize the war in Iraq.

In 2012, the Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who was far more hawkish than Obama on Russia, lost.

Yet, in 2016, Trump ran as a different kind of Republican, an opponent of the Iraq War and an anti-interventionist who wanted to get along with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and get out of these Middle East wars.

Looking closely at the front-running candidates for the Democratic nomination of 2020 — Joe Biden, Sanders, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker — not one appears to be as hawkish as Trump has become.

Trump pulled us out of the nuclear deal with Iran negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and reimposed severe sanctions.

He declared Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, to which Iran has responded by declaring U.S. Central Command a terrorist organization. Ominously, the IRGC and its trained Shiite militias in Iraq are in close proximity to U.S. troops.

Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moved the U.S. Embassy there, closed the consulate that dealt with Palestinian affairs, cut off aid to the Palestinians, recognized Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights seized from Syria in 1967, and gone silent on Bibi Netanyahu’s threat to annex Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

Sanders, however, though he stands by Israel, is supporting a two-state solution and castigating the “right-wing” Netanyahu regime.

Trump has talked of pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the troops are still there.

Though Trump came into office promising to get along with the Russians, he sent Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and announced a pullout from Ronald Reagan’s 1987 INF treaty that outlawed all land-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

When Putin provocatively sent 100 Russian troops to Caracas — ostensibly to repair the S-400 anti-aircraft and anti-missile system that was damaged in recent blackouts — Trump, drawing a red line, ordered the Russians to “get out.”

Biden is expected to announce next week. If the stands he takes on Russia, China, Israel and the Middle East are more hawkish than the rest of the field, he will be challenged by the left wing of his party, and by Sanders, who voted “no” on the Iraq War that Biden supported.

The center of gravity of U.S. politics is shifting toward the Trump position of 2016. And the anti-interventionist wing of the GOP is growing.

And when added to the anti-interventionist and anti-war wing of the Democratic Party on the Hill, together, they are able, as on the Yemen War Powers resolution, to produce a new bipartisan majority.

Prediction: By the primaries of 2020, foreign policy will be front and center, and the Democratic Party will have captured the “no-more-wars” political high ground that Candidate Donald Trump occupied in 2016.

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Over 200 killed, hundreds injured in series of blasts at Sri Lankan hotels & churches

A series of bombings hit churches and hotels across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing more than 200 people.

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Via RT…


A series of eight explosions rocked Catholic churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka as Christians began Easter Sunday celebrations, with over 200 killed and hundreds injured, media reported, citing police.

The blasts started at around 8:45am local time at St. Anthony’s Church in Colombo and St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a Catholic-majority town outside of the capital. The Zion Church in Batticaloa on the eastern coast was also targeted. At around the same time, the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury five-star hotels were also hit, police confirmed.

Two more explosions happened later in the day, targeting two more locations in Colombo. All attacks appear to have been coordinated.

At least 207 people were killed, Reuters reported, citing police. More than 450 were injured in the attacks.

Alleged footage of the aftermath, shared on social media, showed chaos and large-scale destruction inside at least one of the churches.

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Mike Pompeo reveals true motto of CIA: ‘We lied, we cheated, we stole’ (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 147.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at a Texas A&M University speech, and subsequent interview, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The former CIA Director admitted, ‘as an aside’ to the question asked, that the Intelligence agency he headed up before being appointed as the top US Diplomat had a motto “we lied, we cheated, we stole”…which, according to Pompeo, contained entire CIA training courses based on ‘lying, cheating and stealing.’

Pompeo finally speaks some truth.

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