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9 reasons Trump’s dream of Russian reconciliation is now impossible

What was once mission difficult is now mission impossible–at least for the foreseeable future.

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Donald Trump has yet again stated that he seeks to have good or even “great” relations with Russia. Speaking beside Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Trump stated,

“I hope that we do have good relations with Russia. I say it loud and clear, I’ve been saying it for years: I think it’s a good thing if we have great relationships, or at least good relationships with Russia.

It’s a big country, it’s a nuclear country, it’s a country that we should get along with, and I think we will eventually get along with Russia”.

In spite of Trump’s stated wishes, the policies of his administration, irrespective of who is actually authoring them, are in total opposition to Russia’s stated geo-political goals and Russia’s geo-strategic interests.

The Trump administration’s approach to Venezuela, Afghanistan (and South Asia as a whole) and North Korea (and East Asia as a whole) and beyond is totally antithetical to the interests and stated desires of Russia and Russia’s closest partners.

READ MORE: Venezuela, Afghanistan and North Korea: 3 conflicts which represent the US vs. China and Russia

Here are the key places where US policy under Trump and Russia’s geo-political positions are in total opposition

1. Venezuela 

In Venezuela Trump has threatened war and implemented sanctions against the government of Nicolas Maduro. Russia by contrast vehemently opposes sanctions and war.

2. Afghanistan 

Trump’s flagship policy of a troop surge in Afghanistan is opposed by Russia as is his policy to effectively bomb the Taliban to the peace table.

Russia favours a process which would see moderate rebel elements of the Taliban invited to a peace table in conjunction with a cease-fire in order to develop a lasting peace based on reconciliation between the Taliban and the government in Kabul, something which in reality means a reconciliation between Pashtun Afghans and the ethnic minorities who are in the current government.

Russia also takes exception to Trump’s threats and criticisms against Pakistan, a country which is rapidly becoming an important Russian partner in South Asia.

3. North Korea 

Just this morning, Donald Trump once again threatened war on North Korea. By contrast, Russia has said multiple times that war can never be considered an option on the Korean peninsula and has called for the US to cease its delivery of THADD missile systems to South Korea and has also called for a cessation of US-South Korea military drills. In each of these cases, the US has totally ignored Russia and China’s requests, in spite of the fact that both states border the Korean peninsula.

Russia like China also calls for direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang, something the Trump administration is apparently not considering seriously at this time.

4. South China Sea 

While Russia is not directly involved with the South China Sea dispute, America’s provocative stance on the region has infuriated Russia’s most important partner, China. America’s imperial actions in the region, confusingly called ‘freedom of navigation’ by Washington, do not bode well for Moscow which wants to see cooperation rather than confrontation in Asia.

5. Turkey

While Russia is fast becoming an important partner of Ankara, the US seems to be throwing out its nearly century long alliance with Turkey. 

The US has blatantly disregarded Turkish concerns about America’s arming and funding of Kurdish militants in Syria while Russia continues to show courtesy and countenance for Turkey’s position which is shared by Iran.

6. Europe 

Russia has constantly called for NATO to de-escalate its presence in Europe, but under the Trump administration, Obama’s own European ‘troop surge’ has continued with no signs of stopping. Donald Trump’s recent speech in Poland where he quoted deeply Russophobic propaganda does not bode well for reconciliation between America’s EU allies and Russia.

7. Palestine/Israel 

While the US approach to the conflict in the Levant is completely one-sided, Russia maintains uniquely good relations with both Palestinian leaders and Israeli leaders in Tel Aviv. While Russia’s approach is clearly a conflict aversion tactic, if the US supported Israel in any aggression against Syria, this would clearly end any attempts at fledgling cooperation between the US and Russia in a Syrian conflict which is in any case, drawing to a close. Russia is carefully balancing the interests of its Syrian partner with trying to contain the aggressive military posturing of the Israeli regime with which Russia continues to do business.

Any US support of an Israeli strike against any Middle Eastern country would throw theSyrian de-escalation zone which is jointly policed by America, Russia and Jordan, into disarray. To this end, the south western Syrian de-escalation zone is thus far the only area where the Trump administration has made any progress in respect of improving relations with Russia. Currently, it hangs by a thread for more reasons than one.

8. Iran and the Persian Gulf 

While Donald Trump’s Tweets indicate a policy that is fully pro-Saudi, even as his own state department emphases a US position of neutrality, as Qatar works to re-normalise relations with Iran, the US could find itself increasingly at odds with its technical ally in Doha.

In respect of Iran itself, Donald Trump continues to advocate hostile policies against Tehran which include threats to tear up the so-called Iran Nuclear Deal as well as false accusations of Iran sponsoring terrorism.

Russia by contrast is an economic partner of Iran and is working with Iran to combat Salafist terrorists in Syria. In the Persian Gulf, Russia has won respect from Qatar for adopting a genuine and unambiguous position of neutrality. This has also allowed Russia to maintain healthy relations with Saudi through out the conflict.

9. Libya 

The US and the west more broadly seems to have no coherent strategy to deal with the Libyan failed state, beyond propping up the fledgling Government of National Accord, which is competing with the National Salvation Government as well as assorted militant groups for control of Tripoli.

By contrast, Russia continues to engage with Khalifa Haftar, the leader of Libya’s only successful and well organised military, the Libyan National Army. The LNA is also the only force in Libya that has successfully liberated important cities from terrorist control, namely the eastern city of Benghazi.

Egypt continues to support Haftar and the Libyan House of Representatives from which he derives political legitimacy. As Russia becomes ever closer to the government in Cairo, it would appear that Russia’s plan to help reconcile Haftar’s forces with what’s left of the UN backed government in Tripoli, is the closest thing any non-Arab power has to a plan for Libya.

The US appears to have no plans at all, but one can count on the US opposing Russian involvement in Libya, even though there is now little the US could conceivably do to stop Moscow and Cairo from cooperating in a country the US first destroyed and later abandoned.

CONCLUSION:

As I warned prior to Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin’s first meeting,

“With all the fuss over Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump meeting later this week at the G20 summit, many have conspicuously failed to grasp that the monumental task ahead of both leaders has little to do with their own period in government and even less to do with their personalities. These things of course do matter, but their importance is dwarfed by larger historical and present economic and geo-strategic concerns.

With that in mind, here are the giant obstacles that both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will be faced with when they meet”.

READ MORE: 5 obstacles Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will have to address in their meeting

In the month and three quarters since the Trump-Putin meeting, this situation has merely intensified. Differences in American and Russian geo-political interests have become ever more pronounced and the Trump administration shows no signs of even attempting to meet Russia half way, let alone approach the situation in a pragmatic manner. The ideological dogmas of the US continue as if Donald Trump is the mere figurehead in foreign affairs that many believe him to literally be.

Donald Trump’s personal respect for Russia seems genuine beyond any lingering doubts. He has no reason to say he wants warm relations with Russia any longer but he still says he does.

The policies of his administration however, belie the supreme difficulty of implementing such policies or even attempting to do so.

Dr. Samuel Johnson said that “the road to hell is good intentions”. Donald Trump’s good intentions in respect of Russia have led not to a new kind of hell but to the status quo becoming more entrenched.

When Donald Trump took office, he bravely embarked on what could rightly be called ‘mission difficult’. Now, the American deep state/military industrial complex has revealed that in reality, it was always going to be mission impossible due to geo-strategic realities, uniquely American arrogance which is embedded into the thinking of even many Washington moderates and finally, because we have learnt beyond a reasonable doubt, that the President of the United States is only as powerful as those around him, allow him to be.

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tgmoney
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tgmoney

It always was impossible, The Rothschilds are not going to allow Trump to come in and show the world there could be complete peace through the world. That would be the end of their Industrial war complex. They will sooner put a bullet in Trumps brain than allow him to achieve world peace.

Kaput
Member
Kaput

lol what about his zionist son in law. and that bitchy blond……… his sugar daughter, that will make Hitler blush…….

tgmoney
Guest
tgmoney

Ok well you should calm down before you hurt yourself. I was going to have a discussion but I think its not what you want. You just want to rant.

Kaput
Member
Kaput

I dnt waste time with fools …………… get my drift……………… anyway civil war is always a possibility, that will keep you busy indeed…………..

Gerry Hiles
Guest
Gerry Hiles

I think that, really, Trump suits deep state purposes, as I have argued at some length in a post on this page. Btw MY post is for discussion and ain’t a rant.

Shahna
Guest

Oh yeah. He toes the Deep State line religiously these days.

Le Ruscino
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Le Ruscino

Trump is just an inconvenient puppet while the Clinton Clan is still running the show!

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

“Trump’s dream of Russian reconciliation”

I am not convinced that he ever had such a dream.

Vtran
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Vtran

Agree

All we have to do is Look at Haily Statement in the UN …Haily Picked by Trmpz, so Haily Spoke Trmpz words !

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/nikki-haley-russia-ukraine_us_5893a9cbe4b0c1284f250dbd

Christinamellis
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Christinamellis

Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family!!!
On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
>>>http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash320TopValue/GetPay$97/Hour……..

VeeNarian (Yerevan)
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VeeNarian (Yerevan)

Trump’s dreams no longer matters. What matter’s is the “wet-dreams” of the warmongers and that the free world makes sure they are made to poo in their pants!

christianblood
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christianblood

It is true that Trump wanted a detente between the US and Russia but his administration was intentionally cripled and then taken over by the Russophobic “Deep State” neocons. Trump’s presidency is now over!

Andrew Orr
Guest
Andrew Orr

He’s defying the neocons in Syria. He ended their policy of supporting jihadists and started putting a real effort into destroying ISIS. That has made a real difference on the ground.

Neocons in the deep state are committing felonies by leaking classified information and the Jeff Sessions is going after them. The battle could end up with them in prison and Russiagate exposed as a hoax. That is more likely than Trump being removed from office.

Hamletquest
Guest
Hamletquest

Trump’s rapprochement with Russia was always going to be mission improbable, and a number of observers who thought Trump would win the presidential election realised this. Why? Well because the whole idea that somehow democracy in the US was a model for others to follow has been the best known joke for decades. In fact it has been the most obvious of all shams in reality. With Trump the deep state has had to show itself, but as yet not the deep corporate hidden interests which the state serves, but this may soon happen as the errant Trump is of… Read more »

Gonzogal
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Gonzogal

“the military has had to move in and take over”
It is astounding how the MAJORITY of Trumps Cabinet are past military men! At least 8!
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47677.htm

Andrew Orr
Guest
Andrew Orr

The military seem more aligned with Trump than the neocons on the issue of going to war with Russia. They know what nuclear war would be like. The neocons infest the think tanks, state department and intelligence agencies rather than the pentagon.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

“They know what nuclear war would be like.”

And yet they seem willing to go up against NK, also nuclear armed and with both China and Russia as allies against US war on the Korean peninsula which risks nuclear war! What the US regime is doing in NK is aimed mostly at China and Russia, in their continuing attempts to militarily surround both!

Andrew Orr
Guest
Andrew Orr

The lunatic running North Korea is like Caligula with nuclear weapons. Claims that he is a rational actor are not consistent with him feeding people to dogs, blowing them to bits with anti-aircraft guns or murdering them with VX. He is threatening to attack the US with nuclear weapons and is close to being able to carry out the threat. The US will not allow him to get that capability. The US can deal with North Korea without nuclear weapons. If China attacked US forces they would not be able to sell their products to anyone and they would not… Read more »

Gonzogal
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Gonzogal

“He is threatening to attack the US with nuclear weapons and is close to being able to carry out the threat.”

He is threatening to RETALIATE, NOT a first strike!

“The US can deal with North Korea without nuclear weapons.”

The US now HAS to deal with the FACT that NK HAS nuclear weapons!

Both China AND Russia has warned that if the US makes a first move to attack NK, they will BOTH step in to protect NK sovereignty.
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Andrew Orr
Guest
Andrew Orr

Russia and China will act in their national interests. It is not in their interest to start WW III to avenge a madman who defied multiple UN Security Council resolutions, used a chemical weapon on the territory of one neighbor and threatened to use nuclear weapons against the US. The way the US dealt with the Soviet missiles in 1962 is probably the best guide for how they will deal with North Korean missiles now. They will try to address China’s concerns but they will make it clear to China that they will not allow China’s pet madman to threaten… Read more »

Gonzogal
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Gonzogal

“One of the dangers with hereditary monarchies is that truly insane leaders can and have come to power. That may well be what has happened here. ”

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-07/why-war-party-loves-call-foreign-leaders-insane

“If Kim Jong Un was a rational actor he would be doing his best to prove it ”

Any TRUE leader of ANY country MUST protect its citizens and national borders. (BTW KIM Jong Un is the fully recognized leader of NK at the UN).

North Korea has been constantly threatened by the US almost annually for over 50 years….It WOULD be IRRATIONAL if he didnt do what is needed to protect his country.

Gonzogal
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Gonzogal

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Franz Kafka
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Franz Kafka

Impossible for the ‘agreement-incapable’ Untied Snakes and no longer needed by Russia.
Quarantine for the Anglo-Zionist Empire by the well part of the planet is what is needed next.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal
Voltaire
Guest
Voltaire

Adam, this is an excellent analysis and probably true, sadly…

But the response of people in Europe like us should be to double down on cooperation with Russia and China and other Eurasian countries to make the Eurasian dream come true…

The world would be a far better place if dominated by cooperative Eurasian powers…

Think of all the culture and civilisation that we have compared with the barbarian and toxic Americans…

We have no need at all of the Americas and, as we all know, the real threat to world peace is the USA…..

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

The ‘Deep State’ of Europe, the inherently corporate Nazi part which collaborated with and welcomed the German Fascist New World Order (there was almost no resistance to Nazism, except in France) now meet under the aegis of a palindrome – ‘NATOOTAN’ which, like the EU, is HQed in Brussels, but controlled from Washington/London and Tal Habib.

Voltaire
Guest
Voltaire

There are increasing signs even in Germany of refgusal to accept Washington’s dictat…like recent German FM attacking lastest US sanctions on Russia…

I agree that there are pockets of resistance to rational policy in Europe, but they are increasingly centred in UK (leaving “Europe”, thank God), and Poland and the Baltics which are being manipulated by the neocons…..

Even in Europe, recent polls show that the US is regarded as the greatest threat to world peace, which it is, of course…

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

“increasing signs even in Germany of refusal to accept Washington’s dictat”

To use Putin’s words “We judge on actions not words”

David Schultz
Guest
David Schultz

Russian politics is much more sophisticated than the squabbling of clueless Americans. A year from now anything is possible.

Gerry Hiles
Guest
Gerry Hiles

Given the truism that nobody could become (or remain) POTUS without the say so of the deep state – which must necessarily involve Rothschild & Co/BIS, etc. – I have to wonder about the erratic Trumpet. I have to wonder about the fact that, during the election campaigns, it came out that the mob figureheaded by Hitlery Clinton actually favoured Trumpet, it’s said because he was a poor candidate who’d enable her to win. But I wonder. . I watched a couple of his rallies and I thought, “Hindenburg.” About all that was lacking were uniforms and organisation. Nevertheless the… Read more »

Gerry Hiles
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Gerry Hiles

I’ll add that another major false flag 911/Pearl Harbour/Reichstag fire could send the Trumpet’s popularity into a 70% range – it did for Dubya – and his Tweet-like empty, but inflammatory rhetoric could falsely unite the masses. Though previous anti-Russian propaganda failed, it could work another time around.

BobValdez
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BobValdez

“Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”. Samuel Johnson, 1775.

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

A good summary and points here Gerry. I had hopes – along with so many – of Trump, but recent events are causing a few re-thinks. It could be that, as you say, he was always the choice of the Deep State; it could be that the confidence that Hitlery would win was merely the misplaced view of the self selected East Coast Bostonian “elites” listening to themselves and forgetting that they aren’t the only people in America, or, finally, it could be that Trump is a bit smarter than anyone thought, and is acting on the principle that if… Read more »

Suzanne Giraud
Guest
Suzanne Giraud

Ditto, Isabella. I also sense he is seriously worrying his fleas whilst proceeding with internal investigations that are unravelling their tentacles, exposing them by their reactive unconstitutional Bills/Laws. I may be wrong, but I always felt that he who is cornered to react loses his position of control. Sure they block him from proceeding with righting so many tentacles of the ‘swamp’, but I foolishly (?) believe that he is readying and facilitating for their pending demise with the end of the Dollar (pain?). Remember even this recent article on Russia Insider? http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/washington-signs-its-own-death-warrant-new-russia-sanctions-will-ensure-end-us-dollar Just as you put it: “and in… Read more »

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

Must admit, I got a sad shock on realising Trump has pretty much handed over all military control to his current war mad generals.
It’s a case of which gets the post first I think. The collapse of America from inside, along with the dollar and it’s international status, or the NeoCon war hungry generals with their overwhelming desire to fight with Russia.
Every day, we never know.

samo war
Guest
samo war

Brittain in 2030 year ?

stevek9
Guest
stevek9

You forgot Congress / Democratic Party / Media / MIC / IC —-> new sanctions, wars, etc.

christianblood
Guest
christianblood

The U$-backed Saudi massacres in Yemen should be the tenth reason why Trump’s dream of Russian reconciliation is now impossible

Shahna
Guest

I don’t think Trump (or the Americans) actually live in a fact-based world.
They’re off …. on their own little pipedream somewhere. They just – follow the smoke or something.

Larchmonter445
Guest
Larchmonter445

The author left out Ukraine/Crimea.
This is a major flashpoint with US trainers and new heavy and very “deadly” weapons right up to the contact zone. And a naval base is being built at the Azov-Black Sea area by US Navy for Ukraine’s “mighty naval fleet”.

All the sanctions pivot on these two issues of Donbass and Crimea. Should be on the list.

seby
Guest
seby

The only dreams bush the III has is that of more money, TV ratings and a bigger penis. Everything else heard out of him, are basically farts through his mouth.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

The US and the “West” have a LONG history of being against Russia, so it is hard to imagine one man could make a big difference despite the hopes of many around the world that he could!
https://sputniknews.com/politics/201508141025755003-russophobia-roots-cold-war/

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

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James Johnson
Guest
James Johnson

If you are disappointed in Trump so are many of us who supported him. He has quickly surrounded himself with war lords. Many things he could control. He could have drained the swamp but the swamp drained him .. Our congress is totally gone war lord. A little collusion would help here.

Andrew Orr
Guest
Andrew Orr

Trump will certainly have to pay lip service to the neocons. If he is wise, he will act in the US national interest and cooperate with Russia when it coincides with Russian national interests. The neocons wanted him to pick a fight with Russia in Syria but all he gave them was a fireworks display with with cruise missiles aimed to do minimum damage. He then went ahead and ended the CIA’s support for jihadists and focused on destroying ISIS. The US and Russia are cooperating and ISIS being defeated. Trump will have to fight and win a political fight… Read more »

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Second Canadian Citizen Disappears In China

According to the he Globe and Mail, the man was identified as Michael Spavor, a Canadian whose company Peaktu Cultural Exchange brings tourists and hockey players into North Korea.

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Via Zerohedge…


For a trade war that was supposed to be between the US and China, Canada has found itself increasingly in the middle of the crossfire. And so after the arrest of a former Canadian diplomat in Beijing in retaliation for the detention of the Huawei CFO in Vancouver, Canada said a second person has been questioned by Chinese authorities, further heightening tensions between the two countries.

The second person reached out to the Canadian government after being questioned by Chinese officials, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said, at which point Canada lost contact with him. His whereabouts are currently unknown and Global Affairs Canada said they are in contact with his family.

“We haven’t been able to make contact with him since he let us know about this,” Freeland told reporters Wednesday in Ottawa. “We are working very hard to ascertain his whereabouts and we have also raised this case with Chinese authorities.”

According to the he Globe and Mail, the man was identified as Michael Spavor, a Canadian whose company Peaktu Cultural Exchange brings tourists and hockey players into North Korea. He gained fame for helping arrange a visit to Pyongyang by former NBA player Dennis Rodman, and he met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on that trip, the newspaper reported. Attempts to reach Spavor on his contact number either in China, or North Korean went straight to voicemail.

Spavor’s personal Facebook page contains several images of him with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un including one of him with both Jong-un and former Dennis Rodman at an undisclosed location.

Michael P. Spavor, right, pictured here with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, second from right, and Dennis Rodman.

Another image shows the two sharing a drink on a boat.

The unexplained disappearance takes place after China’s spy agency detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig in Beijing on Monday, who was on leave from the foreign service. The arrest came nine days after Canada arrested Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou at the request of U.S. DOJ. While Canada has asked to see the former envoy after it was informed by fax of his arrest, Canada is unaware of Kovrig current whereabouts or the charges he faces.

“Michael did not engage in illegal activities nor did he do anything that endangered Chinese national security,” Rob Malley, chief executive officer of the ICG, said in a written statement. “He was doing what all Crisis Group analysts do: undertaking objective and impartial research.”

One possibility is that Kovrig may have been caught up in recent rule changes in China that affect non-governmental organizations, according to Bloomberg. The ICG wasn’t authorized to do work in China, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said during a regular press briefing in Beijing Wednesday.

“We welcome foreign travelers. But if they engage in activities that clearly violate Chinese laws and regulations, then it is totally another story,” he said, adding he had no information on Kovrig specifically.

As Bloomberg further notes, foreign non-governmental organizations are now required to register with the Chinese authorities under a 2017 law that subjects them to stringent reporting requirements. Under the law, organizations without a representative office in China must have a government sponsor and a local cooperative partner before conducting activities. ICG said this is the first time they’ve heard such an accusation from the Chinese authorities in a decade of working with the country. The company closed its Beijing operations in December 2016 because of the new Chinese law, according to a statement. Kovrig was working out of the Hong Kong office.

Meanwhile, realizing that it is increasingly bearing the brunt of China’s retaliatory anger, Trudeau’s government distanced itself from Meng’s case, saying it can’t interfere with the courts, but is closely involved in advocating on Kovrig’s behalf.

So far Canada has declined to speculate on whether there was a connection between the Kovrig and Meng cases, with neither Freeland nor Canadian Trade Minister Jim Carr saying Wednesday that there is any indication the cases are related. Then again, it is rather obvious they are. Indeed, Guy Saint-Jacques, who served as ambassador to China from 2012 to 2016 and worked with Kovrig, says the link is clear. “There’s no coincidence with China.”

“In this case, they couldn’t grab a Canadian diplomat because this would have created a major diplomatic incident,” he said. “Going after him I think was their way to send a message to the Canadian government and to put pressure.”

Even though Meng was granted bail late Tuesday, that did not placate China, whose foreign ministry spokesman said that “The Canadian side should correct its mistakes and release Ms. Meng Wanzhou immediately.”

The tension, according to Bloomberg,  may force Canadian companies to reconsider travel to China, and executives traveling to the Asian country will need to exercise extra caution, said Andy Chan, managing partner at Miller Thomson LLP in Vaughan, Ontario.

“Canadian business needs to look at and balance the reasons for the travel’’ between the business case and the “current political environment,’’ Chan said by email. Chinese officials subject business travelers to extra screening and in some case reject them from entering, he said.

Earlier in the day, SCMP reported that Chinese high-tech researchers were told “not to travel to the US unless it’s essential.”

And so, with Meng unlikely to be released from Canada any time soon, expect even more “Chinese (non) coincidences”, until eventually China does detain someone that the US does care about.

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Multipolar World Order in the Making: Qatar Dumps OPEC

Russia and Qatar’s global strategy also brings together and includes partners like Turkey.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The decision by Qatar to abandon OPEC threatens to redefine the global energy market, especially in light of Saudi Arabia’s growing difficulties and the growing influence of the Russian Federation in the OPEC+ mechanism.

In a surprising statement, Qatari energy minister Saad al-Kaabi warned OPEC on Monday December 3 that his country had sent all the necessary documentation to start the country’s withdrawal from the oil organization in January 2019. Al-Kaabi stressed that the decision had nothing to do with recent conflicts with Riyadh but was rather a strategic choice by Doha to focus on the production of LNG, which Qatar, together with the Russian Federation, is one of the largest global exporters of. Despite an annual oil extraction rate of only 1.8% of the total of OPEC countries (about 600,000 barrels a day), Qatar is one of the founding members of the organization and has always had a strong political influence on the governance of the organization. In a global context where international relations are entering a multipolar phase, things like cooperation and development become fundamental; so it should not surprise that Doha has decide to abandon OPEC. OPEC is one of the few unipolar organizations that no longer has a meaningful purpose in 2018, given the new realities governing international relations and the importance of the Russian Federation in the oil market.

Besides that, Saudi Arabia requires the organization to maintain a high level of oil production due to pressure coming from Washington to achieve a very low cost per barrel of oil. The US energy strategy targets Iranian and Russian revenue from oil exports, but it also aims to give the US a speedy economic boost. Trump often talks about the price of oil falling as his personal victory. The US imports about 10 million barrels of oil a day, which is why Trump wrongly believes that a decrease in the cost per barrel could favor a boost to the US economy. The economic reality shows a strong correlation between the price of oil and the financial growth of a country, with low prices of crude oil often synonymous of a slowing down in the economy.

It must be remembered that to keep oil prices low, OPEC countries are required to maintain a high rate of production, doubling the damage to themselves. Firstly, they take less income than expected and, secondly, they deplete their oil reserves to favor the strategy imposed by Saudi Arabia on OPEC to please the White House. It is clearly a strategy that for a country like Qatar (and perhaps Venezuela and Iran in the near future) makes little sense, given the diplomatic and commercial rupture with Riyadh stemming from tensions between the Gulf countries.

In contrast, the OPEC+ organization, which also includes other countries like the Russian Federation, Mexico and Kazakhstan, seems to now to determine oil and its cost per barrel. At the moment, OPEC and Russia have agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day, contradicting Trump’s desire for high oil output.

With this last choice Qatar sends a clear signal to the region and to traditional allies, moving to the side of OPEC+ and bringing its interests closer in line with those of the Russian Federation and its all-encompassing oil and gas strategy, two sectors in which Qatar and Russia dominate market share.

In addition, Russia and Qatar’s global strategy also brings together and includes partners like Turkey (a future energy hub connecting east and west as well as north and south) and Venezuela. In this sense, the meeting between Maduro and Erdogan seems to be a prelude to further reorganization of OPEC and its members.

The declining leadership role of Saudi Arabia in the oil and financial market goes hand in hand with the increase of power that countries like Qatar and Russia in the energy sectors are enjoying. The realignment of energy and finance signals the evident decline of the Israel-US-Saudi Arabia partnership. Not a day goes by without corruption scandals in Israel, accusations against the Saudis over Khashoggi or Yemen, and Trump’s unsuccessful strategies in the commercial, financial or energy arenas. The path this doomed

trio is taking will only procure less influence and power, isolating them more and more from their opponents and even historical allies.

Moscow, Beijing and New Delhi, the Eurasian powerhouses, seem to have every intention, as seen at the trilateral summit in Buenos Aires, of developing the ideal multipolar frameworks to avoid continued US dominance of the oil market through shale revenues or submissive allies as Saudi Arabia, even though the latest spike in production is a clear signal from Riyadh to the USA. In this sense, Qatar’s decision to abandon OPEC and start a complex and historical discussion with Moscow on LNG in the format of an enlarged OPEC marks the definitive decline of Saudi Arabia as a global energy power, to be replaced by Moscow and Doha as the main players in the energy market.

Qatar’s decision is, officially speaking, unconnected to the feud triggered by Saudi Arabia against the small emirate. However, it is evident that a host of factors has led to this historic decision. The unsuccessful military campaign in Yemen has weakened Saudi Arabia on all fronts, especially militarily and economically. The self-inflicted fall in the price of oil is rapidly consuming Saudi currency reserves, now at a new low of less than 500 billion dollars. Events related to Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) have de-legitimized the role of Riyadh in the world as a reliable diplomatic interlocutor. The internal and external repression by the Kingdom has provoked NGOs and governments like Canada’s to issue public rebukes that have done little to help MBS’s precarious position.

In Syria, the victory of Damascus and her allies has consolidated the role of Moscow in the region, increased Iranian influence, and brought Turkey and Qatar to the multipolar side, with Tehran and Moscow now the main players in the Middle East. In terms of military dominance, there has been a clear regional shift from Washington to Moscow; and from an energy perspective, Doha and Moscow are turning out to be the winners, with Riyadh once again on the losing side.

As long as the Saudi royal family continues to please Donald Trump, who is prone to catering to Israeli interests in the region, the situation of the Kingdom will only get worse. The latest agreement on oil production between Moscow and Riyad signals that someone in the Saudi royal family has probably figured this out.

Countries like Turkey, India, China, Russia and Iran understand the advantages of belonging to a multipolar world, thereby providing a collective geopolitical ballast that is mutually beneficial. The energy alignment between Qatar and the Russian Federation seems to support this general direction, a sort of G2 of LNG gas that will only strengthen the position of Moscow on the global chessboard, while guaranteeing a formidable military umbrella for Doha in case of a further worsening of relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

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Truth and Free Speech Are Being Taken Away From Us

A population that does not respect and defend free speech, debate, and truth will not long have the liberty that results from free speech, debate, and truth.

Paul Craig Roberts

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Authored by Paul Craig Roberts:


Dear Readers:

This is my quarterly request for your support.

Many supporters are now monthly donors. This call is a reminder to those who respond to the quarterly requests and to the many who are yet to respond. In keeping with a decision made by the regular donors, those of limited means are exempt from the request.

Free speech and the ability to speak truth are being shut down. It is happening with the complicity of the print and TV media, the liberal/progressive/left, the US Department of Justice (sic), the law schools and bar associations, Congress, and the federal judiciary.

The attack on Julian Assange is the arrow aimed at the heart of the ability to publish the truth. If a journalist can be indicted for espionage for publishing leaked documents that a corrupt government has classified in order to conceal its crimes, the First Amendment is dead.

Moreover, as the claim is that government was harmed by Wikileaks publishing the truth, Assange’s secret indictment sets the precedent that truth is harmful to government. This precedent will be extended to include the publication of any information or opinion, classified or not, that the government regards as harmful. The media then officially becomes what it mainly already is in effect—a Ministry of Propaganda for the government and those who control it.

As a person who has held high security clearances, I can say with confidence that no more than one percent of classified information falls in the realm of national security. Most classification is simply to prevent the people and Congress from knowing what is going on. Classification allows the various components of government to put the spin where they want it. “National security” has always been an excuse accepted by patriots for the government to conceal its wrong doings and hidden agendas.

Give thought to the alleged harm done by Wikileaks publishing the information leaked by Bradley Manning and the Clinton emails that were downloaded onto a thumb drive and not hacked as security experts have proved. Give thought to the documents proving the warrantless and thereby illegal spying by the NSA that Edward Snowden revealed. How was government hurt by the information? Government should have been hurt, but it was not. The presstitutes did not take up the issue. No one in government was punished for the war crimes, lies, and illegal and unconstitutional acts that the publication of the leaked documents revealed. None of Washington’s vassal governments renounced its vassalage on the basis of the information that revealed they were spied on and deceived. Washington’s vassal governments already knew that Washington lies and deceives them. The Chancellor of Germany simply accepted that Washington listens to her private telephone calls. Vassals simply accept indignities as a consequence of their vassalage. The only people punished were those who revealed the truth—Manning, Snowden, and Assange.

Washington imprisoned Manning and seeks to imprison Assange for damage that Washington did not suffer.

As a country loses its liberty, legal scholars who formerly would have protected liberty turn against it in order to curry favor with power. Recently, I read a specious legal argument that the First Amendment did not really protect Ellsberg and the New York Times when the Pentagon Papers were published, but that no president wanted to be the first one to break the tradition of extending such protection. The author claims that Assange is not protected by the First Amendment even though he is a journalist. The author of the article did not realize that his argument means that journalists have squatters’ rights in First Amendment protection. For the Justice Department to bring a case against Assange means overturning a right that is ensconced in common law as well as in the Constitution.

Washington has shown that it is not interested in any rights but its own to do what it wants. The George W. Bush regime overturned the Constitutional protection of habeas corpus when the regime declared that it could detain citizens indefinitely in prison without presentation of evidence to a court. The Obama regime destroyed due process and the Constitutional right to life when the regime declared that it could assassinate citizens on suspicion alone. Both regimes ignored statutory and Constitutional prohibitions on torture and only punished those who revealed the torture. If Bush and Obama had the right to torture, what was the point of prosecuting those who revealed that torture happened?

As the truth revealed by Wikileaks has had no adverse consequence for Washington, what is the point of Washington’s assault on Assange? In part it is revenge on an individual brazen enough to stand up to Washington, and in part it is to criminalize the telling of truth that is critical of the government.

Once there was a time when the media would have been up in arms in defense of Assange and press freedom. That was before the media was illegally concentrated in a few hands by the Clinton regime and before the media became concentrated ideologically. The media hates Donald Trump and thereby hates Assange for publishing the Hillary emails that the media believes cost Hillary the election. The media is much more intent on helping the Deep State deep-six Assange than the media is in defending its First Amendment protections.

The liberal/progressive/left sees it the same way. The politics of the liberal/progressive/left is Identity Politics, and Identity Politics hates white fly-over America that elected Trump. This is why the media and the liberal/progressive/left are helping the military/security complex tie Assange to Trump, Putin, and “Russiagate.” The Guardian newspaper has destroyed what little credibility it still had by publishing obviously false information concocted to connect Assange to “Russiagate.” See: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/11/30/the-guardian-is-a-professional-liar-not-a-newspaper/and http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50715.htm

The military/security complex planted on its media assets the fiction that Assange fled to the Ecuadorian Embassy to escape prosecution for rape.The presstitutes consistently repeat the lie, as Harriet Alexander in the UK Telegraph does, that “Mr Assange fled to the embassy to avoid charges of rape, sexual molestation and coercion. All charges were dropped by May 2017” (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50716.htm ).

There were never any such charges filed against Assange. Assange took asylum in the embassy, because it was clear that he was going to be extradited to Washington where he would get a show trial as a spy. It is not possible that Harriet Alexander and the editors at the Telegraph do not know this. Nevertheless, they repeat the lie, the purpose of which is to put Assange in a bad light that will aid his conviction on false charges.

Washington knew that it could tell this lie about Assange raping women because Washington knew that #MeToo and other radical feminists believe that that is what men do, and that #MeToo would be delighted to have yet another celebrity provided for their denunciation.

Washington also knew that its media whores hated Assange for having the integrity and courage that they do not have and that they would willingly stomp him to death with their hobnailed boots.

The US Justice (sic) Department knows it has concocted a false case and intentionally kept it secret, but has no worry because insouciant Americans will believe its indictment regardless.

The judiciary will permit the false case to be tried in a federal court because every judge wants to be elevated rather than criticized and even framed, and the jury will be too afraid to go against Assange’s public conviction in the media to find him innocent.

The jury’s guilty verdict will murder the First Amendment, but the jury will be able to go home to their neighborhoods without being ostracized.

It is not only the government that is attacking free speech. Free speech is under full scale attack by everyone who claims to be “offended,” by the invention of “hate speech” to control what can be said about “victim groups,” by the Israel Lobby that is having laws passed that prohibit the boycotting of Israel for its mistreatment of Palestinians and by equating criticism of the Israeli government with anti-semitism. ( See, for example, https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-film-the-israel-lobby-does-not-want-you-to-see/5661958 ). Twitter, Facebook, and Google are all active in deciding what can and cannot be said. (See, for example,https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/11/30/stating-the-fact-that-men-are-not-women-gets-feminist-banned-from-twitter/ ). Public forums are denied to people who are disapproved of by other people.

A population that does not respect and defend free speech, debate, and truth will not long have the liberty that results from free speech, debate, and truth. This website respects truth, and it requires your support.

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