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Trump-Land Shock Wave: Empire Inc on Steroids or ‘Drain the Swamp?’

President elect Trump faces daunting tasks as he forms his new administration, seeking to reconcile his opponents whilst keeping faith with his supporters, and as his own ideas of the way forward remain unclear.

Gilbert Mercier

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Submitted by the author, first published by News Junkie Post

Donald Trump’s election is viewed by most on the United States’ left coast and worldwide as a regressive historical anomaly. It has left the political class in Washington, and the rest of the world, in a state of shock. The type of nightmarish hangover that a drunk time traveler would get if he was accidentally taken to let’s say the McCarthy era in the US or to Germany in 1933.

Uncertainty usually provokes anxiety, and this is precisely what we are witnessing in this time of history.

Trump is an accidental president as he was never supposed to be elected. Case in point: at the early stages of his campaign, the man running it was Tony Podesta, brother of Hillary Clinton’s main handler John Podesta.

Trump’s initial function was to be a decoy, a scarecrow and  an ostentatious crude comic relief to ensure Clinton’s election. Almost nobody made the forecast of a Trump victory, but it was however highly predictable as Trump started to personify a populist anti-establishment protest movement: the raw expression of rage from the victims of disaster capitalism.

The miscalculation was that Trump not only likes to compete, he also most of the time manages to win.

The mainstream US media, more or less all paid for or in collusion with the Clintons, is flabbergasted by the result and has lost the little credibility it had left. Wikileaks’ Podesta emails disclosures exposed many of them as corrupt propagandists. The problem with propagandists is that they often end up believing their own lies. Of course Trump became their favourite punching bag, but it eventually backfired on them and finally, blew up in their faces.

Trump claimed rightly that the US political system is rigged, but his mandate is far from a plebiscite, as Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. Therefore, before his inauguration in January President-Elect Trump must reach out and make peace with the left coast.

During this election, the divide between the heartland Bible and rust belt and the rich urban east and west coasts has grown. Trump’s first task should be to rebuild bridges between two cultures hostile to each other.

This is imperative, if he is to succeed, but it is, to say the least, an extremely challenging task. How will he reconcile the clash of values between a left coast socially liberal in terms of civil rights and climate change, and a poor heartland economic casualty of globalisation, living paycheck to paycheck, but socially conservative and a proponent of increased policing? 

Some of the names of the political players actively jockeying to jump on Trump’s train for the key cabinet positions give an indication that an olive branch strategy might not be in the forecast to bridge the deep cultural divide of this land.

Is the house of Trump built on quicksand?

On November 8, 2016, Americans rolled the dices and opted for the candidate viewed, rightly or not, as the anti-establishment candidate.

The premise is accurate: America is broken, but how to rebuild it is the issue.

Trump did start a movement to get elected; it had its slogans “Make America Great Again” and “Drain the Swamp”, but how will they be applied exactly and will they end up in the dustbin of history like Obama’s unfulfilled promises of “Hope and Change”?

Slogans are political marketing devices and get people elected by motivating voters, but they are rarely implemented and are certainly not policy indicators.

If America dodged the bullet of a potential civil war if the Clintons had successfully rigged the elections and won, the country is still divided and bruised. Does Trump have what it takes to be a healer-in-chief?

Further, the key campaign slogan refers to an era when America was great, but it never refers to an exact time frame. Are we talking about Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Nixon, or Reagan? If we are talking about the latter, I am sure that the president-elect is fully aware that Reagan was merely a figurehead run by George Bush Sr. who endorsed Hillary Clinton.

Perhaps Nixon could be an interesting model, as he managed to extract the US from the Vietnam quagmire as well as establish foreign relations with China, not to mention create the EPA.

President-elect Trump must clarify, as a guideline, when he thinks America was great so we may study that time frame and its leadership.

Draining the Washington Swamp

Trump was elected because he is an outsider, a savvy businessman who has promised to rebuild a land wrecked by globalisation and poor management. But now, he has to deal with the traitorous waters of Washington’s insiders.

There is a saying in DC: if you want a friend get a dog. This is why enduring politicians value loyalty above anything else.

Cultivating loyalty has its shortfalls, and as it becomes inbred and corrupt it can become borderline criminal.

In March 2015 I coined the notion that the two leading US political dynasties, Bush & Clinton, were largely operations like crime syndicates. This idea became very popular with Trump’s core base of the so-called deplorables.

The Bushes betrayed Trump during the elections, therefore we’ll find none of their crew in Trump’s cabinet.  This also goes for anyone connected with the Clinton crew and their Wall Street sponsors. President Barack Obama  was apparently given a list of Wall Street approved cabinet members before his election in November 2008.

One hopes that Mr. Trump will stay away from this type of conflict of interest. It is clear, judging by the way he has run his campaign, that President-Elect Trump will be the boss in the White House.

This seems to be exactly what the American people want at the moment, and as the CEO of America Inc. he will hire his own trusted people and won’t have any problem, if needed, with using his famous TV reality show line: “You are fired!”

Trump’s cabinet

It appears that former Speaker of The House Newt Gingrich will play a leading role in the Trump administration.

Other names are being floated, some of them contradicting the notion of “draining the swamp”.

Gingrich has been mentioned for Secretary of State, but this is not apparently what he wants. Another name is mentioned to head the key position of head of the State Department, and it is unfortunately the Bush crew man John Bolton.

Bolton, besides being tainted for his role in the Bush administration, has a short fuse, which is not really the best quality for the top diplomat of a country. Robert Corker is also considered for Secretary of State.

In my opinion, If Trump wants to depart from US aggressive hegemony foreign policy, and ease the tensions with Russia and China, he should seriously consider Ron Paul for the job.

It is likely that former Mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani will become Attorney General, and he is certainly more than qualified for the job.

Unfortunately, Trump is considering his friend Steven Mnuchin, formerly at Goldman Sachs, for Secretary of the Treasury.

Jeff Sessions is the likely choice for Secretary of Defence. I think that Chuck Hagel should also be considered in some capacity, as well as Paul Craig Roberts who served in the Reagan administration.

David Clarke is on top of the list to head the Department of Homeland Security.

Perhaps the most disastrous name mentioned, at least for people concerned by climate change, are the names considered for Energy Secretary, Interior Secretary, and EPA: for Energy Harold Hamm, an Oklahoma billionaire who made his fortune in fracking is a shoe-in; Forrest Lucas from Lucas Oil, might become Interior Secretary; and perhaps the most controversial choice of all would be the one of on record climate change denier Myron Ebell to head the EPA.

For the sake of bipartisanship and inclusiveness, it might be a good idea to consider someone like Bernie Sanders for either Secretary of Labor or Education. This type of idea would go a long way to unite a divided country.

Last but not least, President-Elect Trump should consider putting pressure on Sweden’s government to drop the manufactured charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, considering that without the release of  Podesta’s emails, Hillary Clinton would have likely been elected. All Americans and the world citizenry should want the Trump administration to be successful. Our common future depends on it.

Gilbert Mercier is the Editor-in-Chief of News Junkie Post and the author of The Orwellian Empire.

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Vladimir Putin calls new Ukrainian church ‘dangerous politicking’

President Putin said creation of the “Orthodox Church in Ukraine” is against Church canon and that the West drove Constantinople to do it.

Seraphim Hanisch

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In an interview with the Serbian newspapers Politika and Vecernje Novosti ahead of his visit to Serbia, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted the creation of the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine”, a schismatic agglomeration headed by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists was “dangerous politicking.” He further noted that:

The establishment of the new religious entity in Ukraine is nothing but an attempt “to legalize the schismatic communities that exist in Ukraine under the jurisdiction of Istanbul, which is a major violation of Orthodox canons.”

“Yet, hardly anyone in the U.S. or in the Ukrainian leadership worries about this,” Putin said.

“Once again, this has nothing to do with spiritual life; we are dealing here with dangerous and irresponsible politicking,” he said.

President Putin had more things to say in the interview, and we present what he said in full here (emphasis ours), as reported on the Kremlin.ru website:

Question: The Serbian Orthodox Church has taken the side of the Russian Orthodox Church in the context of the ecclesiastical crisis in Ukraine. At the same time, a number of countries are exerting pressure on Patriarch Bartholomew and seek to ensure recognition of Ukrainian ”schismatics“ by Local Orthodox Churches. How do you think the situation will evolve?

Vladimir Putin: I would like to remind your readers, who are greatly concerned about the information regarding the split in the Orthodox community but are probably not fully aware of the situation in Ukraine, what it is all about.

On December 15, 2018, the Ukrainian leaders, actively supported by the USA and the Constantinople Patriarchate, held a so-called “unifying synod”. This synod declared the creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, with Patriarch Bartholomew signing the tomos (decree) granting it autocephaly on January 6, 2019. Thus, it was attempted to legalize the schismatic communities that exist in Ukraine under the jurisdiction of Istanbul, which is a major violation of Orthodox canons.

Yet, hardly anyone in the US or in the Ukrainian leadership worries about this, as the new church entity is an entirely political, secular project. Its main aim is to divide the peoples of Russia and Ukraine, sowing seeds of ethnic as well as religious discord. No wonder Kiev has already declared ”obtaining complete independence from Moscow.”

Once again, this has nothing to do with spiritual life; we are dealing here with dangerous and irresponsible politicking. Likewise, we do not speak about the independence of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. It is de-facto fully controlled by Istanbul. Whereas Ukraine’s largest canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which has never requested autocephaly from Patriarch Bartholomew, is absolutely independent in its actions. Its connection with the Russian Orthodox Church is purely canonical – but even this causes undisguised irritation of the current Kiev regime.

Because of this, clergymen and laymen of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are being persecuted and deprived of churches and monasteries, and attempts are made to deny the Church its legitimate name, which raises tensions and only leads to further discord in Ukrainian society.

Evidently, Ukraine’s leaders have to understand that any attempts to force the faithful into a different church are fraught with grave consequences. Yet, they are eager to put interconfessional concord in the country at stake in order to conduct the election campaign of the current Ukrainian President based on a search for enemies, and to retain power by all means.

All of this does not go unnoticed by Orthodox Christians.

Naturally, Russia does not intend to interfere in ecclesiastical processes, especially those happening on the territory of a neighboring sovereign state. However, we are aware of the danger posed by such experiments and blatant interference of the state in religious affairs.

The situation continues to degrade in Ukraine, and though the Orthodox faithful of the Autonomous but Moscow-based Ukrainian Orthodox Church are the hardest hit, worry over Ukrainian lawlessless-made-law has the Jewish community in that country nervous as well. This is perhaps to be expected as the Azov Brigade, a neo-Nazi aligned group that is hypernationalist, is a good representation of the character of the “hate Russia at all costs” Ukrainian nationalists. A parallel piece in Interfax made note of this in a piece dated January 17th 2019:

[A] bill passed by the Verkhovna Rada introducing a procedure by which parishes can join the new Ukrainian church makes it easier to seize places of worship, and supporters of autocephaly have already started doing this across the country, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church said.

“They need this law to seize our churches. You can’t just come with a crowbar to someone else’s barn, but now the law allows you to do so. They aren’t creating something of their own, but are trying to steal what’s ours,” Ukrainian Orthodox Church spokesperson Vasyl Anisimov told Interfax on Thursday.

The religious entity set up in December with Constantinople’s involvement and called the Orthodox Church of Ukraine “in fact doesn’t yet exist in nature. It’s fake. It doesn’t have any parishes of its own or government registration,” he said.

However, “the supporters of autocephaly don’t have plans to create anything of their own at all, so they have chosen the path of takeover, and the authorities are helping them in that,” Anisimov said.

“Hence, the legislation passed by the Verkhovna Rada today is in fact absolute lawlessness,” he said.

“If you pass legislation affecting an industry, you should talk to industrialists, and if it’s legislation on the agricultural sector, talk to farmers. And here legislation on a church is passed, and moreover, this legislation is aimed against this church, it is protesting, and Jews are protesting, too, because this legislation may affect them as well – but nobody is listening, and they change the law for the sake of an absolutely absurd and unconstitutional gimmick. But, of course, it’s the people who will ultimately suffer,” Anisimov said.

 

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May survives ‘no confidence’ vote as UK moves towards March 29 deadline or Article 50 extension (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 168.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the ‘no confidence’ vote that UK Prime Minister May won with the a slim margin…meaning that though few MPs have confidence in her ‘Brexit withdrawal’ negotiating skills, they appear to have no problem allowing May to lead the country towards its Brexit deadline in March, which coincidently may be delayed and eventually scrapped altogether.

Meanwhile Tony Blair is cozying up to Brussels’ oligarchs, working his evil magic to derail the will of the British people, and keep the integrationist ambitions for the UK and Europe on track.

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Via RT


The UK government led by Theresa May, has survived to fight another day, after winning a no-confidence vote, tabled by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, following parliament rejecting the PM’s Brexit deal, earlier on Tuesday evening.

The no-confidence vote was defeated by 19 votes – the government winning by 325 to 306. It’s a rare positive note for May’s Tory cabinet after the humiliating Brexit defeat.

Speaking immediately after the vote, a victorious May said she was “pleased” that the House expressed its confidence in her government. May said she will “continue to work” to deliver on the result of the Brexit referendum and leave the EU.

May invited the leaders of parliamentary parties to meet with her individually, beginning on Wednesday evening.

“I stand ready to work with any member of this House to deliver on Brexit,” she said.

Responding to the vote, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that the House had “emphatically” rejected May’s deal on Tuesday. The government, he said, must now remove “clearly once and for all the prospect of the catastrophe of a no-deal Brexit from the EU and all the chaos that would result from that.”

Labour will now have to consider what move to make next. Their official Brexit policy, decided by members at conference in September, states that if a general election cannot be forced, then all options should be left on the table, including calling for a second referendum.

Liberal Democrats MP Ed Davey also called on May to rule out a no deal Brexit.

The way forward for Brexit is not yet clear and May’s options are now limited, given that the Brexit deal she was offering was voted down so dramatically on Tuesday.

Gavin Barrett, a professor at the UCD Sutherland School of Law in Dublin, told RT that May will now have to decide if her second preference is a no-deal Brexit or a second referendum. Her preference will likely be a no-deal Brexit, Barrett said, adding that “since no other option commands a majority in the House” a no-deal exit is now “the default option.”

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Final Steps in Syria’s Successful Struggle for Peace and Sovereignty

The war of aggression against Syria is winding up, and this can be observed by the opening of a series of new embassies in Damascus.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The situation in Syria evolves daily and sees two situations very closely linked to each other, with the US withdrawal from Syria and the consequent expansionist ambitions of Erdogan in Syria and the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) takeover in Idlib that frees the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Russian aviation to liberate the de-escalation zone.

Trump has promised to destroy Turkey economically if he attacks the Kurds, reinforcing his claim that Erdogan will not target the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) once the US withdraws from the area. One of the strongest accusations made against Trump’s withdrawal by his opponents is that no Middle Eastern force will ever trust the US again if they abandon the SDF to its fate, that is, to its annihilation at the hands of the Turkish army and its FSA proxies. This, however, is not possible; not so much because of Trump’s economic threats, but because of Damascus and Moscow being strongly opposed to any Turkish military action in the northeast of Syria.

This is a red line drawn by Putin and Assad, and the Turkish president likely understands the consequences of any wrong moves. It is no coincidence that he stated several times that he had no problems with the “Syrians or Syrian-Kurdish brothers”, and repeated that if the area under the SDF were to come under the control of Damascus, Turkey would have no need to intervene in Syria. Trump’s request that Ankara have a buffer zone of 20 kilometers separating the Kurdish and Turkish forces seems to complement the desire of Damascus and Moscow to avoid a clash between the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the SDF.

The only party that seems to be secretly encouraging a clash between the SDF and Turkish forces is Israel, criticizing Ankara and singing the praises of the SDF, in order to try and accentuate the tensions between the two sides, though naturally without success. Israel’s continued raids in Syria, though almost constantly failing due to Syrian air defense, and the divide-and-rule policy used against Turkey and the SDF, show that Tel Aviv is now weakened and mostly irrelevant in the Syrian conflict.

In Idlib, the situation seems to be becoming less complicated and difficult to decipher. Russia, Iran and Syria had asked Erdogan to take control of the province through its “moderate jihadists”, sit down at the negotiating table, and resolve the matter through a diplomatic solution. Exactly the opposite happened. The HTS (formerly al-Nusra/al-Qaeda in Syria) has in recent weeks conquered practically the whole province of Idlib, with numerous forces linked to Turkey (Ahrar al-Sham and Nour al-Din al-Zenki) dissolving and merging into HTS. This development puts even more pressure on Erdogan, who is likely to see his influence in Idlib fade away permanently. Moreover, this evolution represents a unique opportunity for Damascus and Moscow to start operations in Idlib with the genuine justification of combating terrorism. It is a repeat of what happened in other de-escalation areas. Moscow and Damascus have repeatedly requested the moderates be separated from the terrorists, so as to approach the situation with a diplomatic negotiation.

In the absence of an effective division of combatants, all are considered terrorists, with the military option replacing the diplomatic. This remains the only feasible option to free the area from terrorists who are not willing to give back territory to the legitimate government in Damascus and are keeping civilians hostages. The Idlib province seems to have experienced the same playbook applied in other de-escalation zones, this time with a clear contrast between Turkey and Saudi Arabia that shows how the struggle between the two countries is much deeper than it appears. The reasons behind the Khashoggi case and the diplomatic confrontation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia were laid bare in the actions of the HTS in Idlib, which has taken control of all the areas previously held by Ankara’s proxies.

It remains to be seen whether Moscow and Damascus would like to encourage Erdogan to recover Idlib through its proxies, trying to encourage jihadists to fight each other as much as possible in order to lighten the task of the SAA, or whether they would prefer to press the advantage themselves and attack while the terrorist front is experiencing internal confusion.

In terms of occupied territory and accounts to be settled, two areas of great importance for the future of Syria remain unresolved, namely al-Tanf, occupied by US forces on the Syrian-Jordanian border, and the area in the north of Syria occupied by Turkish forces and their FSA proxies. It is too early to approach a solution militarily, it being easier for Damascus and Moscow to complete the work to free Syria from the remaining terrorists. Once this has been done, the presence of US or Turkish forces in Syria, whether directly or indirectly, would become all the more difficult to justify. Driving away the US and, above all, Turkey from Syrian territory will be the natural next step in the Syrian conflict.

This is an unequivocal sign that the war of aggression against Syria is winding up, and this can be observed by the opening of a series of new embassies in Damascus. Several countries — including Italy in the near future — will reopen their embassies in Syria to demonstrate that the war, even if not completely over, is effectively won by Damascus and her allies.

For this reason, several countries that were previously opposed to Damascus, like the United Arab Emirates, are understood to have some kind of contact with the government of Damascus. If they intend to become involved in the reconstruction process and any future investment, they will quite naturally need to re-establish diplomatic relations with Damascus. The Arab League is also looking to welcome Syria back into the fold.

Such are signs that Syria is returning to normality, without forgetting which and how many countries have conspired and acted directly against the Syrians for over seven years. An invitation to the Arab League or some embassy being reopened will not be enough to compensate for the damage done over years, but Assad does not preclude any option, and is in the meantime demonstrating to the Israelis, Saudis and the US Deep State that their war has failed and that even their most loyal allies are resuming diplomatic relations with Damascus, a double whammy against the neocons, Wahhabis and Zionists.

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