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Did Turkey just convince the US that there’s no one left to fight in Syria?

With Takfiri groups military defeated and crypto-Takfiris waiting to sit at the Astana peace table, if the US actually does withdraw its support for Kurdish militants–there will be no one left to fight in Syria.

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After the Trump administration turned away from arming Takfiri jihadists in favour of virtually exclusively arming Kurdish militants in Syria, Turkey’s stance on US actions in Syria quickly turned from one of support, to pessimism to vocal opposition.

Recently, Turkey has been ever more vocal in challenging the US position not just in Syria but in the wider Middle East. When cooperating with Iraq and Iran against Kurdish ethno-nationalists in northern Iraq, President Erdogan famously told the Iraqi Kurds, “Israel cannot help you”. More recently Turkish officials, up to and including the President have called the US the greatest impediment peace in Syria, while Erdogan accused the US of funding and aiding ISIS in a recent speech.

Today, the US would appear to have effectively capitulated to Turkey’s long standing demand that the US should stop arming Kurdish militants in Syria, primarily the YPG who comprise the majority of the US led proxy force SDF in Syria.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the following at a press conference which occurred shortly after a phone call he listened in on between Presidents Trump and Erdogan.

Cavusogul said,

“According to his (Trump’s) words, it would have been better to put an end to this foolishness. We welcome this decision and will monitor its implementation”.

RT further reports that during the phone call Trump made a commitment to fighting “all” terrorist organisations in the region including what remains of ISIS,  the Turkish based Kurdish terrorist group PKK and the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation of US based, Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey officially blames for the failed coup against Erdogan which transpired last year. As Gulen’s group is not active in Syria, this statement made for somewhat of an odd read, but one which hints at the wider phenomenon which may be coming to fruition.

While an official post-phone call statement from Washington did not single out any Kurdish terrorist groups by name, it did say the following:

“President Trump also informed President Erdogan of pending adjustments to the military support provided to our partners on the ground in Syria, now that the battle of Raqqa is complete and we are progressing into a stabilisation phase to ensure that ISIS cannot return. The leaders also discussed the purchase of military equipment from the United States”.

If the United States means what it apparently said, this essentially means that the Astana group, of which Turkey is a member along with Russia and Iran, has essentially checkmated the US in Syria once and for all.

With ISIS defeated except for a few small rural pockets that Russian aerospace forces and the Syrian Arab Army are on the verge of fully obliterating and pockets of al-Qaeda/al-Nusra in the the Golan Heights, Hama and Idlib, the Takfiri terrorists are already all but defeated in Syria and everyone from Syria itself to Hezbollah, Russian and Iran have admitted this in public to much fanfare.

In respect of Kurdish militants/terrorists, since the United States is the only power arming and abetting them, if the US actually does withdraw arms from Kurdish groups, they will  not fare well against Turkish troops in Syria who stand ready to fight them and almost certainly beat them in short order. Put succinctly, if the US withdraws aims to the Kurds and there is no one else left to fight in Syria, the US will have no mission goal and therefore no no justification for remaining in Syria. Of course the US could always make up a new, even flimsier excuse for remaining, but with all major regional powers (except for Israel) dead-set against a long-time US occupation, such a position would be highly untenable in the medium and long term.

A recent Washington Post article, allegedly based on inside sources in the US government, stated that the US plans to remain in Syria for “years” in order to effectively help Syrian Kurds in carving out a statelet along the Turkish border.

US media claims American troops will stay in Syria to aid Kurdish insurgents

Based on the statements following on from the phone call between Erdogan and Trump, either the Washington Post piece was inaccurate or the US has suddenly had a change of heart–perhaps as a last ditch effort to prevent Turkey from leaving NATO as Ankara threatened to do, days ago.

Earlier, Donald Trump Tweeted the following, indicating that he is not prepared for an indefinite occupation of Syria.

It may be that either be design or mistake, Donald Trump just killed off the last excuse the US could possibly have for a perpetual occupation of Syria. Because of the notorious unreliability of statements from US officials and the US media, it is anyone’s guess as to whether the Washington Post lied to the world or if Trump deceived the Turkish President.

However, the world may soon find out who is telling the truth as Kurdish militants in Syria just announced that they are ready to attack Turkish Army positions in Syria’s Aleppo Governorate.

In a straight battle between Kurdish militants and the Turkish Army, the Turkish Army will win. There is little doubt about that. The only power that might have been willing and militarily able to prevent such a move is of course, the American armed forces.

Erdogan hints at normalisation with Syria – says Ankara and Damascus have common enemy

If Turkey goes on to do to Syrian Kurds, what the Iraqi armed forces did to Iraqi Kurds, the Kurdish question in Syria may be solved in short order.

After such an impasse, arguments between Russia and Turkey over whether Kurdish factions belonging to the YPG-PYD should be at the Syrian National Dialogue Congress or not, will be effectively moot. If Syrian Kurds are shown that Turkey has effectively been unleashed on them, in so far as no other power will stop Turkey from going after the Kurds, it will effectively be ‘game over’ for any longer term ethno-nationalists ambitions for the Kurds. All that will be left is to either wage the kind of long-term terrorist war against Syria that the PKK has waged against Turkey, or otherwise engage in the eventual internal political process for Syria which the Astana group organises.

Of course, if the US continues to covertly aid the Kurds, or attempt to draw an artificial distinction between the YPG and SDF, Turkey will only be further alienated by an obvious US false promise. If the US does go through with its plans, while some friction between Turkey and the US will be curtailed, Turkey’s overall economic reliance/enthusiasm on its Eurasian partners will not be dented. Only in a foolish zero-sum mentality does a minor US rapprochement with Turkey negate that progress Turkey has made and intends to further with its Eurasian partners, including Russia and Iran.

The US may not be an exponent of the “win-win” mentality which defines modern Eursasian multi-lateral relations, but if someone in the US, even perhaps a Trump who today sounded as reasonable as he did while a candidate, realises that in provoking Turkey, the US will totally lose a former ally while accomplishing little in terms of retarding Syria’s progress in the long-term, someone in Washington may have realised that by going in knee-deep for Kurdish ethno-nationalists, the US would be facing a “lose-lose” situation that a member of the Turkish Parliament Metin Kulunk said would be a “another Vietnam” for the United States.

Turkish MP from Erdogan’s party praises Russian, Iranian and Turkish unity on Syria – calls US the major problem

As Donald Trump successfully ‘dodged’ time in America’s first Vietnam, perhaps he has just dodged the second. Time will shortly tell, just who is being honest and who is being duplicitous.

Either way, if Trump has told the truth in respect of US policy, the war is over as the US will have no one left to support nor to fight. If he is lying to President Erdogan, then NATO may be over.

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New York Times hit piece on Trump and NATO exposes alliance as outdated and obsolete (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 61.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at the New York Times hit piece citing anonymous sources, with information that the U.S. President dared to question NATO’s viability.

Propaganda rag, the NYT, launched its latest presidential smear aimed at discrediting Trump and provoking the establishment, warmonger left into more impeachment – Twenty-fifth Amendment talking points.

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Via The American Conservative


The New York Times scored a serious scoop when it revealed on Monday that President Trump had questioned in governmental conversations—on more than one occasion, apparently—America’s membership in NATO. Unfortunately the paper then slipped into its typical mode of nostrum journalism. My Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “nostrum” as “quack medicine” entailing “exaggerated claims.” Here we had quack journalism executed in behalf of quack diplomacy.

The central exaggerated claim is contained in the first sentence, in which it is averred that NATO had “deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” This is wrong, as can be seen through just a spare amount of history.

True, NATO saved Europe from the menace of Russian Bolshevism. But it did so not over 70 years but over 40 years—from 1949 to 1989. That’s when the Soviet Union had 1.3 million Soviet and client-state troops poised on Western Europe’s doorstep, positioned for an invasion of Europe through the lowlands of Germany’s Fulda Gap.

How was this possible? It was possible because Joseph Stalin had pushed his armies farther and farther into the West as the German Wehrmacht collapsed at the end of World War II. In doing so, and in the process capturing nearly all of Eastern Europe, he ensured that the Soviets had no Western enemies within a thousand miles of Leningrad or within 1,200 miles of Moscow. This vast territory represented not only security for the Russian motherland (which enjoys no natural geographical barriers to deter invasion from the West) but also a potent staging area for an invasion of Western Europe.

The first deterrent against such an invasion, which Stalin would have promulgated had he thought he could get away with it, was America’s nuclear monopoly. By the time that was lost, NATO had emerged as a powerful and very necessary deterrent. The Soviets, concluding that the cost of an invasion was too high, defaulted to a strategy of undermining Western interests anywhere around the world where that was possible. The result was global tensions stirred up at various global trouble spots, most notably Korea and Vietnam.

But Europe was saved, and NATO was the key. It deserves our respect and even reverence for its profound success as a military alliance during a time of serious threat to the West.

But then the threat went away. Gone were the 1.3 million Soviet and client-state troops. Gone was Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. Indeed, gone, by 1991, was the Soviet Union itself, an artificial regime of brutal ideology superimposed upon the cultural entity of Mother Russia. It was a time for celebration.

But it was also a time to contemplate the precise nature of the change that had washed over the world and to ponder what that might mean for old institutions—including NATO, a defensive military alliance created to deter aggression from a menacing enemy to the east. Here’s where Western thinking went awry. Rather than accepting as a great benefit the favorable developments enhancing Western security—the Soviet military retreat, the territorial reversal, the Soviet demise—the West turned NATO into a territorial aggressor of its own, absorbing nations that had been part of the Soviet sphere of control and pushing right up to the Russian border. Now Leningrad (renamed St. Petersburg after the obliteration of the menace of Soviet communism) resides within a hundred miles of NATO military forces, while Moscow is merely 200 miles from Western troops.

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has absorbed 13 nations, some on the Russian border, others bordering lands that had been part of Russia’s sphere of interest for centuries. This constitutes a policy of encirclement, which no nation can accept without protest or pushback. And if NATO were to absorb those lands of traditional Russian influence—particularly Ukraine and Georgia—that would constitute a major threat to Russian security, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought to emphasize to Western leaders for years.

So, no, NATO has not deterred Russian aggression for 70 years. It did so for 40 and has maintained a destabilizing posture toward Russia ever since. The problem here is the West’s inability to perceive how changed geopolitical circumstances might require a changed geopolitical strategy. The encirclement strategy has had plenty of critics—George Kennan before he died; academics John Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt, and Robert David English; former diplomat Jack Matlock; the editors of The Nation. But their voices have tended to get drowned out by the nostrum diplomacy and the nostrum journalism that supports it at every turn.

You can’t drown out Donald Trump because he’s president of the United States. And so he has to be traduced, ridiculed, dismissed, and marginalized. That’s what the Times story, by Julian Barnes and Helene Cooper, sought to do. Consider the lead, designed to emphasize just how outlandish Trump’s musings are before the reader even has a chance to absorb what he may have been thinking: “There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” Translation: “Take that, Mr. President! You’re an idiot.”

Henry Kissinger had something interesting to say about Trump in a recent interview with the Financial Times. “I think Trump may be one of those figures in history,” said the former secretary of state, “who appears from time to time to mark the end of an era and to force it to give up its old pretenses.” One Western pretense about Russia, so ardently enforced by the likes of Julian Barnes and Helene Cooper (who, it may be safe to say, know less about world affairs and their history than Henry Kissinger), is that nothing really changed with the Soviet collapse and NATO had to turn aggressive in order to keep that menacing nation in its place.

Trump clearly doesn’t buy that pretense. He said during the campaign that NATO was obsolete. Then he backtracked, saying he only wanted other NATO members to pay their fair share of the cost of deterrence. He even confessed, after Hillary Clinton identified NATO as “the strongest military alliance in the history of the world,” that he only said NATO was obsolete because he didn’t know much about it. But he was learning—enough, it appears, to support as president Montenegro’s entry into NATO in 2017. Is Montenegro, with 5,332 square miles and some 620,000 citizens, really a crucial element in Europe’s desperate project to protect itself against Putin’s Russia?

We all know that Trump is a crude figure—not just in his disgusting discourse but in his fumbling efforts to execute political decisions. As a politician, he often seems like a doctor attempting to perform open-heart surgery while wearing mittens. His idle musings about leaving NATO are a case in point—an example of a politician who lacks the skill and finesse to nudge the country in necessary new directions.

But Kissinger has a point about the man. America and the world have changed, while the old ways of thinking have not kept pace. The pretenses of the old have blinded the status quo defenders into thinking nothing has changed. Trump, almost alone among contemporary American politicians, is asking questions to which the world needs new answers. NATO, in its current configuration and outlook, is a danger to peace, not a guarantor of it.


Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century

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Nigel Farage To Back Another “Vote Leave” Campaign If UK Holds Second Brexit Referendum

Nigel Farage said Friday that he would be willing to wage another “Vote Leave” campaign, even if he needed to use another party as the “vehicle” for his opposition.

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Via Zerohedge


Pro-European MPs from various political parties are pushing back against claims made by Prime Minister Theresa May’s government that a second Brexit referendum – which supporters have branded as a “People’s Vote” on May’s deal – would take roughly 14 months to organize, according to RT.

But while support for a second vote grows, one of the most notorious proponents of the original “Vote Leave” campaign is hinting at a possible return to politics to try and fight the effort.

After abandoning UKIP, the party he helped create, late last year, Nigel Farage said Friday that he would be willing to wage another “Vote Leave” campaign, even if he needed to use another party as the “vehicle” for his opposition. Farage also pointed out that a delay of Brexit Day would likely put it after the European Parliament elections in May.

“I think, I fear that the House of Commons is going to effectively overturn that Brexit. To me, the most likely outcome of all of this is an extension of Article 50. There could be another referendum,” he told Sky News.

According to official government guidance shown to lawmakers on Wednesday, which was subsequently leaked to the Telegraph, as May tries to head off a push by ministers who see a second referendum as the best viable alternative to May’s deal – a position that’s becoming increasingly popular with Labour Party MPs.

“In order to inform the discussions, a very short paper set out in factual detail the number of months that would be required, this was illustrative only and our position of course is that there will be no second referendum,,” May said. The statement comes as May has been meeting with ministers and leaders from all parties to try to find a consensus deal that could potentially pass in the House of Commons.

The 14 month estimate is how long May and her government expect it would take to pass the primary legislation calling for the referendum (seven months), conduct the question testing with the election committee (12 weeks), pass secondary legislation (six weeks) and conduct the campaigns (16 weeks).

May has repeatedly insisted that a second referendum wouldn’t be feasible because it would require a lengthy delay of Brexit Day, and because it would set a dangerous precedent that wouldn’t offer any more clarity (if some MPs are unhappy with the outcome, couldn’t they just push for a third referendum?). A spokesperson for No. 10 Downing Street said the guidance was produced purely for the purpose of “illustrative discussion” and that the government continued to oppose another vote.

Meanwhile, a vote on May’s “Plan B”, expected to include a few minor alterations from the deal’s previous iteration, has been called for Jan. 29, prompting some MPs to accuse May of trying to run out the clock. May is expected to present the new deal on Monday.

Former Tory Attorney General and pro-remainer MP Dominic Grieve blasted May’s timetable as wrong and said that the government “must be aware of it themselves,” while former Justice Minister Dr Phillip Lee, who resigned his cabinet seat in June over May’s Brexit policy, denounced her warning as “nonsense.”

As May pieces together her revised deal, more MPs are urging her to drop her infamous “red lines” (Labour in particular would like to see the UK remain part of the Customs Union), but with no clear alternative to May’s plan emerging, a delay of Brexit Day is looking like a virtual certainty.

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The National Security Agency Is A Criminal Organization

The National Security Agency values being able to blackmail citizens and members of government at home and abroad more than preventing terrorist attacks.

Paul Craig Roberts

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Via Paul Craig Roberts…


Years before Edward Snowden provided documented proof that the National Security Agency was really a national insecurity agency as it was violating law and the US Constitution and spying indiscriminately on American citizens, William Binney, who designed and developed the NSA spy program revealed the illegal and unconstitutional spying. Binney turned whistleblower, because NSA was using the program to spy on Americans. As Binney was well known to the US Congress, he did not think he needed any NSA document to make his case. But what he found out was “Congress would never hear me because then they’d lose plausible deniability. That was really their key. They needed to have plausible deniability so they can continue this massive spying program because it gave them power over everybody in the world. Even the members of Congress had power against others [in Congress]; they had power on judges on the Supreme Court, the federal judges, all of them. That’s why they’re so afraid. Everybody’s afraid because all this data that’s about them, the central agencies — the intelligence agencies — they have it. And that’s why Senator Schumer warned President Trump earlier, a few months ago, that he shouldn’t attack the intelligence community because they’ve got six ways to Sunday to come at you. That’s because it’s like J. Edgar Hoover on super steroids. . . . it’s leverage against every member of parliament and every government in the world.”

To prevent whistle-blowing, NSA has “a program now called ‘see something, say something’ about your fellow workers. That’s what the Stasi did. That’s why I call [NSA] the new New Stasi Agency. They’re picking up all the techniques from the Stasi and the KGB and the Gestapo and the SS. They just aren’t getting violent yet that we know of — internally in the US, outside is another story.”

As Binney had no documents to give to the media, blowing the whistle had no consequence for NSA. This is the reason that Snowden released the documents that proved NSA to be violating both law and the Constitution, but the corrupt US media focused blame on Snowden as a “traitor” and not on NSA for its violations.

Whistleblowers are protected by federal law. Regardless, the corrupt US government tried to prosecute Binney for speaking out, but as he had taken no classified document, a case could not be fabricated against him.

Binney blames the NSA’s law-breaking on Dick “Darth” Cheney. He says NSA’s violations of law and Constitution are so extreme that they would have to have been cleared at the top of the government.

Binney describes the spy network, explains that it was supposed to operate only against foreign enemies, and that using it for universal spying so overloads the system with data that the system fails to discover many terrorist activities. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50932.htm

Apparently, the National Security Agency values being able to blackmail citizens and members of government at home and abroad more than preventing terrorist attacks.

Unfortunately for Americans, there are many Americans who blindly trust the government and provide the means, the misuse of which is used to enslave us. A large percentage of the work in science and technology serves not to free people but to enslave them. By now there is no excuse for scientists and engineers not to know this. Yet they persist in their construction of the means to destroy liberty.

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