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The US Is Sleepwalking Towards A Nuclear Confrontation [Video]

Neocons are like zombies. Until somebody shoots them in the head they are going to keep moving.

The Duran

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Submitted by Adam Taggart via PeakProsperity.com.

Following his cautionary analysis on the increasing tension between the US/NATO and Russia, Chris interview Dmitry Orlov this week about the potential likelihood for actual direct conflict to break out between the world powers.

Orlov was born and raised in Leningrad in the former Soviet Union and immigrated to the United States in the mid 70s, He has spent the past several decades traveling back and forth between the two countries, writing about the collapse of the Soviet Union and the many similarities he sees between that and the secular decline happening in the West. Orlov recently co-authored a stark warning with a number of other experts on Russia, concerned that the US is recklessly provoking a military confrontation it cannot win:

The United States is sleepwalking towards a nuclear confrontation with Russia. It is astounding in its stupidity this approach. What’s going on is an effort by the US military and by NATO officials to extract as much money as possible out of Eastern Europe, to continue financing weapons and generally extract military spending out of Europe.

The neocons have a very stiff ideology of world domination. Basically they took over the US government because it’s the largest and most vulnerable democracy in order to realize their insane dreams of world domination.

It hasn’t gone that well. But there’s no convincing them. There isn’t a feedback loop from experience to what they do next. One defeat causes them to organize for the next defeat without realizing it. So they don’t realize that what they have done in the Middle East has been completely counter-productive. They don’t realize, for instance, that trying to promote democracy and secular regimes in Islamic countries doesn’t produce democracy or secular regimes – what it produces is jihadism and radicalization and things like ISIS. They can’t process that thought because their ideology says “democracy is the weapon we use”. We used it successfully against the United States. Look what wonderful shape the US democracy is. It is bought and sold on the open market and we are going to do that to every country in the world.

There is no stopping them. They are like zombies. Until somebody shoots them in the head they are going to keep moving. 

Now in Russia a military drill can be called without warning at any time, and everything better work. Basically the entire military is at a high state of readiness. The US media has missed the fact that what the Russians did in Syria with a really, really small contingent is something that the US couldn’t possibly have done and NATO couldn’t possibly have done. If you look at the number of sorties and the number of strikes per unit time — which is basically ground crews working seamlessly with pilots on rotation, jets landing, getting refueled, getting reloaded taking off continuously — that is not something that the US is capable of at this point. This is a different military. This is not the US military. This is something completely different. And then there hasn’t been much reporting about the new weapons that Russia has — the S300, the S400 now they are rolling out the S500 which will be able to hit targets in near space and that will basically be like a giant impenetrable shield over most of Russia including all of the ballistic weapons that the US has. They also haven’t really reported on the super sonic torpedoes and cruise missiles that Russia has developed, or mention the fact that Russian nuclear subs lurking along the American western and eastern seaboards all the time on patrol armed with these caliber supersonic cruise missiles that the US has absolutely nothing to detect them with or to shoot them down — and they can be nuclear tipped.

Russia is ready. What is even more scary is that the Russian people are ready. There are all these groups all over Russia that do stunts like they run marathons off road. The marathons sometimes include some tactical objectives too. So this is like paramilitary training for lots and lots of young people in the country. Some of them don’t even like the government that much but that doesn’t mean that they won’t take orders if orders are given. Even if there isn’t a nuclear confrontation and NATO rolls into Russian territory they will bleed and they will bleed to death just like it has always happened with people who invaded Russia. There isn’t a happy outcome, there isn’t a face saving outcome for the United States or for NATO. There is just basically the choice between death and humiliation.

Via: http://www.peakprosperity.com/podcast/99011/dmitry-orlov-us-sleepwalking-towards-nuclear-confrontation

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How Russia will respond to America’s latest sanctions… (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 77.

Alex Christoforou

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With no evidence produced, in what has been an international embarrassment for the Theresa May government, the US is joining in on the UK’s Skripal poisoning lie by imposing new sanctions on Russia.

The new sanctions issued as punishment for a “highly likely” chance that Russia poisoned Sergei and Yulia Skripal, are scheduled to go into effect on or around August 22, according to the US State Department.

“The United States…determined under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (CBW Act) that the government of the Russian Federation has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law, or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on Wednesday.

News of the sanctions left London delighted as the UK Foreign Office issued this giddy statement…

“The UK welcomes this further action by our US allies.”

“The strong international response to the use of a chemical weapon on the streets of Salisbury sends an unequivocal message to Russia that its provocative, reckless behavior will not go unchallenged.”

This latest sanctions row helps distract the public, if only for a few moments, away from the UK’s meddling in the US elections courtesy of “super spy” Christopher Steele, who was paid by the FBI and the Clinton campaign to derail Trump’s presidency with a ridiculous ‘dossier’ packed full of fiction.

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle, Editor-in-Chief of The Duran Alexander Mercouris, and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou examine what effect, if any, the latest US sanctions set to placed on Russia will have, and what tools does Moscow have in its arsenal to deliver some hurt back towards the DC swamp that is pushing this financial war.

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Via RT

Washington’s reported plans to ratchet up sanctions against Moscow have sparked heated debates both in the US and in Russia over which country will be hurt more.

The US has hinted that it would target exports of sensitive national security goods to Russia, stop flights by Russia’s Aeroflot airlines to the US, and could go as far as banning all US exports to Russia. According to the US State Department, the proposed measures come in response to the poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK. Russia has denied the accusation and has repeatedly called for an objective international inquiry.

Considering the fact that Washington has sanctioned pretty much everything Russian there is to sanction and that Moscow has refrained from using its big guns against the US, Russia has some interesting options if it needs to respond this time around.

So far, Russian lawmakers have warned that the new punitive measures might be met with tough retaliation that would target some sensitive areas of cooperation between the countries. RT decided to look deeper into the list of potential reciprocal measures Moscow could deploy to hurt the Americans.

RT highlights five way in which Russia could respond to the latest round of US sanctions.

Titanium

In case of an all-out sanctions exchange, the Russian government could place either a ban or some other kind of restriction on exports of titanium to the US. Russian titanium monopoly VSMPO-Avisma produces a third of the world’s titanium parts for the aircraft industry. The company delivers 70 percent of its products to the global market. Avisma provides 40 percent of titanium components for Boeing and 60 percent for Airbus, and covers all titanium components for Brazil’s Embraer.

Replacing Russian titanium would be next to impossible for Boeing. Industrial work with titanium began simultaneously in the US and USSR in the 1950s. However, only Russia has been successful in producing high-quality titanium alloys.

Using other materials is also not an ideal option for Boeing. Titanium has major advantages over other alloys. Aircraft construction requires the use of materials that can withstand the severe pressures of flight at high altitudes, as well as constant exposure to the elements. Traditionally, aircraft were made of steel, but lighter, more durable materials are now used to extend the life of aircraft and make them more energy-efficient. Titanium is as strong as steel but 45 percent lighter. It can withstand long periods of exposure to salt water in marine atmospheres. The strength of titanium makes it difficult to weld, which contributes to its high price compared to steel and aluminum.

Airspace

Situated strategically between Europe and Asia, Russia could introduce higher tariffs for the transit use of its airspace for all US cargo and passenger planes, or could ban the flights altogether.

In best-case scenario, American carriers would either have to pay the higher tariffs or choose alternative air routes. But losing shorter Russian routes from Europe to Asia also means losing to the competition from European and Asian airlines.

At worst, there would be no choice but to fly around the world’s biggest country, which would significantly add to fuel costs. Either way, American carriers would bear heavy financial losses which would be a disaster for the US airline industry.

LNG & other energy

Imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other energy products from Russia to the US could also be banned. Russia’s reported exports of oil and petrochemicals to the US makes up just $8 billion worth, which is just 4.6 percent of Russia’s entire energy exports. The ban would be relatively painless for Russian producers who could easily re-channel those shipments to Asian buyers.

But it could be a different story for the US, which is trying to become a major player in energy exports. Unable to produce enough for domestic consumption and exports and not having enough LNG tankers, the US reportedly resells Russian LNG to European countries. If Russia cuts off energy supplies, American plans of becoming a major energy exporter would have to be put on hold.

US companies in Russia

Despite worsening relations between Moscow and Washington, many American corporations are continuing to work in Russia without interference from the Russian government. In retaliation to any new US sanctions, Russia could make life difficult for such corporations as PepsiCo, Procter&Gamble, McDonald’s, Boeing, Mondelez International, General Motors, Johnson & Johnson, Cargill, Alcoa, General Electric and many other companies. In August 2014, Russia’s consumer watchdog shut down four McDonald’s restaurants in central Moscow over “administrative violations,” launching investigations into more than 430 Russian franchises of the company.

On the other hand, there are very few Russian companies in the United States. Washington would find it difficult to respond with mirror measures. The only consideration for the Kremlin in targeting American businesses in Russia is domestic employment, since these companies provide jobs for Russian citizens.

Russian rockets

Supplies of RD-180 rocket engines are seen as one of Russia’s trump cards in retaliation to US sanctions. The engines are crucial for the US space program as NASA and the Pentagon use them to launch American satellites. Attempts to stop buying them from Russia have failed because the US has been unable to produce a domestic alternative.

The engines are used to power Atlas V rockets. Apart from RD-180 engines, the US buys Russian RD-181s. The RD-181 engine is used to power the Antares rockets that launch Cygnus cargo tugs to the International Space Station for NASA. Earlier this week, a senior Russian lawmaker said that Moscow could ban the sale of RD-180s as retaliatory measure.

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Turkish Lira collapse has Europe worried and Erdogan fighting Trump (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 76.

Alex Christoforou

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According to Zerohedge, just when you thought Turkey’s moment of agony couldn’t get any worse, it got much worse, when watching the collapse of the Turkish Lira and sensing perhaps that Erdogan’s end is near, President Donald Trump blindsided the NATO member state with a tweet, announcing that he is doubling Turkey’s steel and aluminum tariffs to 50% and 20%, respectively. Why? Because as he said “Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”

Friday’s Lira collapse came after the Financial Times reported that supervisors at the European Central Bank are concerned about exposure of some of Europe’s biggest lenders to Turkey, including chiefly BBVA, UniCredit and BNP Paribas. The FT reported that along with the currency’s decline, the ECB’s Single Supervisory Mechanism has begun to look more closely at European lenders’ links with Turkey.

Zerohedge notes that the moves also came after the US showed no signs of lifting crippling sanctions despite the visit of a Turkish delegation to the US capital.

According to the FT, the ECB is concerned about the risk that Turkish borrowers might not be hedged against the lira’s weakness and begin to default on foreign currency loans, which make up about 40% of the Turkish banking sector’s assets.

And while it does not yet view the situation as critical, it sees Spain’s BBVA, Italy’s UniCredit and France’s BNP Paribas, which all have significant operations in Turkey, as particularly exposed, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Moscow based Financial Analyst Eric Kraus and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou examine the collapse of the Turkish Lira, and if contagion is something that should worry the fragile economy of the EU and the petrodollar hegemony of the United States.

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Daniel Lacalle reports that Turkey could create a larger financial crisis than that of Greece.

The Turkish Lira collapse should have surprised no one. Yet, in this bubble-justifying market, it did.

First and foremost, the lira decline has been ongoing for some time, and has nothing to do with the strength of the US dollar in 2018

The collapse of Turkey was an accident waiting to happen and is fully self-inflicted.

It is yet another evidence of the trainwreck that monetarists cause in economies. Those that say that “a country with monetary sovereignty can issue all the currency it wants without risk of default ” are wrong yet again. Like in Argentina, Brazil, Iran, Venezuela, monetary sovereignty means nothing without strong fundamentals to back the currency.

Turkey took all the actions that MMT lovers applaud. The Erdogan government seized control of the central bank, and decided to print and keep extremely low rates to “boost the economy” without any measure or control.

Turkey’s Money Supply tripled in seven years, and rates were brought down massively to 4,5%.

However, the lira depreciation was something that was not just accepted by the government but encouraged.  Handouts in fresh-printed liras were given to pensioners in order to increase votes for the current government, subsidies in rapidly devaluing lira soared by more than 20% (agriculture, fuel, tourism industry) as the government tried to compensate the loss of tourism revenues due to security concerns with subsidies and grants.

Loss of foreign currency reserves ensued, but the government soldiered on promoting excessive debt and borrowing. Fiscal deficits soared, and the rapidly devaluing lira led to a rising amount of loans in US dollars.

This is the typical flaw of monetarists, they believe monetary sovereignty shields the country from external shocks and loans in foreign currencies soar because no one wants to lend in a constantly-debased currency at affordable rates. Then the central bank raises rates but the monetary hole keeps rising as the money supply continues to grow to pay for handouts in local currency.

Now the risk is rising for the rest of Europe.

On one hand, the exposure of eurozone banks like BBVA, BNP, Unicredit to Turkey is very relevant.  Between 15% and 20% of all assets.

On the other hand, the rise in non-performing loans is evident.  Turkey’s loans in US dollars account for around 30% of GDP according to the Washington Post, but loans in euro could be as much as another 20%. Turkey’s lenders and governments made the same incorrect bet that Argentina or Brazil made. Betting on a constantly weakening US dollar and that the Federal Reserve would not raise rates as announced. They were -obviously wrong. But that erroneous bet only adds to the already existing monetary and fiscal imbalances.

Money supply continues to grow at almost double-digit rates, the government’s outlays exceed the diminishing reserves and capital flight starts to be evident as savers and investors fear that the Erdogan government prefers to take the option of capital controls in order to seize complete power than to restore economic credibility with sound money policies.

Like Argentina before, raising rates too late does not calm the market when the risk is capital controls and a bank run. Raising rates to 18% does not encourage anyone in Turkey to keep money in the bank when the risk is to lose all the money. Rates went from 8 to 17.5% and the crisis worsened. It will not stop because of slightly hgher rates.

Because the problem of Turkey is monetary and fiscal. Turkey will need a massive adjustment program and a credible opening of its institutions and markets to attract capital and restore growth. Unfortunately, the route seems to be more government control of institutions, less investment security and deepening the crisis blaming the inexistent external enemy.

Erdogan is fighting against a very dangerous economic foe. Himself.

For Europe, this is a devil’s alternative. Bailing out Turkey will give further control to Erdogan and increase the imbalances of the economy while imposing higher restrictions to freedom.

Not bailing out Turkey, on the other hand, would cause a  much larger crisis than Greece was. Because too many eurozone funds and bank investments have been directed towards Turkey as a way to get access to some growth and inflation. What they got was a risk of capital controls and currency debasement.

The biggest risk for Europe will be to try to cover this mess with some aid in exchange for refugee and border support. Because what is already a relevant risk, but contained, will likely balloon to unmanageable proportions.

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Russia hysteria gave us social media censorship (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 75.

Alex Christoforou

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It started with Hillary Clinton floating out the big lie, that 17 US intelligence agencies are “confident” that Russia hacked DNC servers and John Podesta email accounts, in a Kremlin plot to elect Donald Trump as President of the United States.

Fast forward two years later and witness Silicon Valley tech giants colluding in a span of 12 hours to de-platform Infowars and Alex Jones.

These are not isolated incidences. The one gave us the other.

The Deep State’s chosen candidate, Hillary Clinton, lost to the ultimate outsider, Donald Trump. All eyes, and all lies, turned to the perennial scapegoat Russia.

This time the elitist plan was more sinister than ever. Why let a good lie like ‘Russia election meddling’ go to waste?

While the Deep State was whipping up hatred, racism, and bigotry towards Russians, conservative and libertarian media sources were deemed ‘hate speech’ and ‘islamophobes’, found guilty by tech billionaires and their globalist master of committing actions over the internet that threaten the “survival” of American Democracy.

Much like those pesky and evil Russians, conservative and libertarian voices need to be silenced.

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle, Editor-in-Chief of The Duran Alexander Mercouris, and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss how Russia hysteria kicked, off by Hillary Clinton’s “17 intelligence agencies” lies, has now morphed into an Orwellian social media purge.

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