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The British left is immune from ‘Russian hacking’ allegations

The reason there has been no Russiagate style claims of Russian meddling in the British election is because unlike Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen, Jeremy Corbyn is challenging the neoliberal establishment from the left rather than the right.

Alexander Mercouris

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Since the shock outcome of the general election in Britain last week one dog has rather surprisingly failed to bark and a number of people are asking why?

That dog is the allegation of Russian meddling in the election.

That allegation has been made – to a massive degree – about last year’s US Presidential election, about last year’s British Brexit referendum, about this year’s French election, and about the German election which is pending later this year.

However no-one has made it in relation to the British election and some people are wondering why?

After all the result in the British election was unexpected – as the results of the Brexit referendum and of the US election were – and (though he would not thank me for saying it) Jeremy Corbyn’s views on most foreign policy issues – including relations with the Russia and the conflict with Ukraine – are closer to those expressed by Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump than to those of the neoliberal establishment opponents of all three.

Indeed in his principled opposition to nuclear weapons and his outright opposition to the interventionist wars in the Middle East, Corbyn actually goes further against the neoliberal NATO orthodoxy than the other two.

In addition Jeremy Corbyn has appeared on RT – Russia’s ‘propaganda channel’ according to Russiagate demonology – which as I understand it Donald Trump has never done.

Moreover Corbyn is if possible even more of an outsider in conflict with the neoliberal political establishment than Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump are, with a far longer history of opposing it than either of the other two.  That of course is why the British political class hates him so much.

So why is no one saying that Jeremy Corbyn’s unexpectedly strong showing in the British election is due to Russian interference?

There is of course no evidence of any Russian interference in the British election, but if the Russiagate scandal in the US tells us anything it is that the mere absence of evidence of Russian interference in a Western election does not prevent some people from believing in it or at least pretending that they do.

The answer to this question is to be found in Jeremy Corbyn’s ideological point of origin.

The people who have been driving the Russiagate story in the US, Britain and elsewhere – especially in the media – are broadly speaking on the liberal left end of the neoliberal political spectrum, though it is important to say that not all people on the left believe in it (old leftists who are not neoliberals generally don’t) and that there are some people on the right who also believe in it.  In the British media the most fervid supporters of the Russiagate claims are however mainly left of centre neoliberal commentators, especially those writing and broadcasting for the Guardian and the BBC.

The point is that these same left of centre people in the media who have been busiest in Britain spreading the Russiagate stories in order to discredit Donald Trump, during the British election were forced however grudgingly to fall into line behind Jeremy Corbyn.  For them to have done otherwise would have risked antagonising their viewers and readers, all the more so as it became clear during the election how angry many of them already were with the campaign the neoliberal political establishment and media have been waging against Corbyn ever since he was elected Labour leader in 2015.

Since these people backed Corbyn during the election – however grudgingly and however insincerely – and since Corbyn is now a hero for their viewers and readers because of his success in the election, they dare not now accuse him of being a catspaw of Putin’s, as they have done with rightists like Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump, since they know that if they did whatever credibility they still have with their viewers and readers would end.

The one amongst these commentators who has come closest to doing so – Nick Cohen in the Observer –  who refers to “the links between the Corbyn camp and a Putin regime that persecutes genuine radicals” – had his article in which he made this claim removed from the opinion section of the Observer’s website, undoubtedly because the Observer knows of the strong negative reaction such an article would provoke from many of its readers.

In reality Corbyn’s strong showing in the British election is part of the same phenomenon as the Brexit referendum, Donald Trump’s election victory, and the surprisingly strong showing (for a rightist) of Marine Le Pen in the French election.  All these are expressions of profound disillusionment across the West with the neoliberal model which has resulted in economic stagnation, falling living standards, growing inequality, confrontation with Russia, Islamist terrorism, and unending Middle East wars.

In Western Europe and specifically in Britain it is for historic reasons easier for a challenge to the neoliberal order to come from the left than the right, which explains why the reaction to Jeremy Corbyn’s success has been more measured, and the scapegoat of Russian meddling has not been invoked, than was the case with the Brexit referendum, Donald Trump’s victory and the strong showing of Marine Le Pen.

I should say however that though the claim of Russian meddling in the British election has not so far been made, it is not a foregone conclusion that it never will be.  Before the election the preposterous Boris Johnson did briefly try to conjure it telling the Daily Telegraph that

…..there is a “realistic possibility” of Vladimir Putin trying to sabotage the general election, adding that the Russian president would “rejoice” if Jeremy Corbyn won on June 8.

Though scarcely anyone any longer takes what Boris Johnson says seriously, Dan Coats – the US Director of National Intelligence – accused Russia before the British election of working to influence its outcome.

If establishment alarm at the prospect of a Corbyn government grows it is not impossible this allegation might start to be made more forcefully.  Whether in that case it would get any traction with the notoriously tough minded and cynical British electorate is another matter.

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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.

RT

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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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