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Top 3 leaders of the 2016 resistance

Three individuals in particular, shaped the course of this year of resistance. Here is how they did it.

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Vladimir Lenin said, “There are decades when nothing happens, but there are weeks when decades happen”. The frantic pace of 2016, demonstrates that this was a year filled with weeks where decades did happen. Beginning in 1991, when the Soviet Union was illegally broken up, the geo-political world stagnated. Neo-liberal American policies would shape the world, small countries would submit or face swift military action, the age of the factory was replaced by the age of corrupt ‘free’ trade agreements and the sovereignty of nations was no longer sacred.

The end of Soviet Power as a rival block against America did not result in old cowboys going home, it resulted in a hideous cattle drive we now call interventionism. For years, many tried to resist this trend both politically and militarily. All such attempts ended in failure until this year, the year of resistance.

Three individuals in particular, shaped the course of this year of resistance. Here is how they did it.

Vladimir Putin

The Russian President has never been a weak leader. His early terms in office helped bring Russia out of the horrible 1990s and restored stability, prosperity and internal-peace to Russia. His period as Prime Minister helped cement the fact that Russia would once again be a proud, patriotic and dignified nation that would not be a soft-colony of American power any more than the Russian Empire could ever submit to occupation by Sweden, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Ottoman Empire, France or Germany.

In 2016 though, whilst the mainstream media said that Putin started messing with the world, in reality, the world came to Putin and to Russia. Organisations like the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the burgeoning BRICS and the Eurasian Economic Union are all signs that many former Soviet states as well as China and powerful Asian allies like India, are looking to form collective alliances under the political leadership of Moscow.

In Syria, Putin has demonstrated that Russia is not afraid of using her restored military might abroad, but will only do so at the request of an ally. Russia’s military actions in Syria shows that the Russian military will be used to preserve the geo-political map, not to redraw it.

For the first time since the post-Watergate Brezhnev era, it is safe to say that Russian geo-political influence has eclipsed that of America. The recent trilateral group for peace in Syria which excludes the US is one such example of this. Whether in Ankara, Beijing, New Delhi and now even Cairo, Islamabad, Manilla and parts of Latin America, world leaders will judge their political moves based on what is coming out of the Kremlin, not the White House.  The world has become functionally multi-polar and Russia stands out as a political leader in this.

Bashar al-Assad

When Bashar al-Assad became the President of Syria after the death of his father, many saw him as a kind of weaker, less significant version of his mighty predecessor. He was a eye doctor who had practiced in Britain, was gentle in his mannerisms and never gave the kind of impassioned speeches that Saddam and Gaddafi did, speeches which relied those in the west. In life, one rarely chooses the timing of the occasion to which one must rise, but Assad rose to the occasion and more.

He has gone from the eye doctor in Chief that ought to have been easy for the west to push about, to a dignified, strong, level heading and humane leader of one of the last secular, multi-faith, modern Arab states. What’s more, he has now become the first Arab leader since the towering Nasser, to resist western attempts at regime change. The Battle of Aleppo has become the Stalingrad of regime change and even though the western mainstream media will never admit this, everyone can see that whilst Assad’s European and American detractors have gone, Assad has stayed.

Donald Trump

Ever since the 1990s, both Republicans and Democrats have adopted the same foreign policy. It involves a neo-liberal/neo-con crusade against any nations which refuse to submit to this style of government. People ought to remember that every US President from George H.W. Bush through Barack Obama has bombed Iraq and that’s just one strident example.

Ever since Russia began asserting her sovereignty after the 1990s, America’s relationship with Russia has become tenser. In 2016, it reached an all-time low. Enter Donald Trump, a man who says America should ‘get along with Russia’ and that he personally would ‘get along with Putin’. Meet a man who campaigned on a foreign policy that opposed regime change and meddling in countries not called The United States.

Republican and sometimes Libertarian Ron Paul has tried to become President saying those things, but whilst Paul was a noble voice in the wilderness, Trump did what he promised to do, he won and won and won. His Pat Buchannan style anti-globalism and Ron Paul style opposition to foreign interventions turned the Clinton dynasty into losers. The western mainstream media lies could not stop Trump, the well-oiled Democratic Party machine could not stop Trump and nor could a Republican party that barely endorsed its own candidate.

Trump has shown himself to be a master of social media, new media outlets like RT and influential news websites that are becoming the go-to source for news over the lethargic mainstream media. If Assad resisted military regime change, Trump has conducted democratic regime change. One is tempted to imagine a gang of Trump supporters tearing down a giant CNN sign and pelting it with their shoes. Such an image is surprisingly emblematic of what Trump has accomplished. He did more to change America with a smart-phone and Twitter than all of the Saudi and Qatari gold could do for Hillary Clinton.

In an American political landscape which seemed doomed to political stagnation and dishonest media, Trump has changed the game and what’s more, he doesn’t appear to have changed his methods nor his policy positions since winning the 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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