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Walking away from INF: Why is Trump making this move and how will Russia (and China) react? (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 139.

Alex Christoforou

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According to the BBC, the US decision to walk away from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty has significant consequences for the future of arms control, for perceptions of the US and its approach to the world – but also for strategic competition between both the US and Russia on one hand, and Washington and Beijing on the other.

The INF treaty is significant in that it banned a whole category of nuclear missiles: ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of between 500-5,500km (300-3,400 miles). These were seen as highly destabilising, so the deal marked a major step forward in arms control. The treaty was an important element in a whole network of disarmament and arms reduction treaties that sought to manage and reduce tensions during the Cold War.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to quit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces in Europe (INF) treaty.

Why is Trump pulling out of the treaty negotiated by Ronald Reagan? How will Russia respond to the U.S. withdrawal from the INF? What role does China’s growing military build-up play in Trump’s decision?

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Via RT

The US is saturated with weapons and doesn’t need a new nuclear build-up, former congressman Ron Paul has told RT, commenting on President Donald Trump’s threat to quit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces in Europe (INF) treaty.

The former Republican congressman and head of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity told RT that he doesn’t believe a potential US withdrawal from the 1987 treaty would do anything to enhance US security.

Trump, if he follows through with his threat and tears down the landmark treaty, signed between US President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, “won’t do us any good,” Paul said.

The US military industrial complex will try to justify the nuclear build-up by pointing to China’s militarization, a growing source of concern for the military establishment.

“It means that the American government, the military industrial complex wants to make a lot more weapons, because it is the Chinese: ‘The Chinese are making all those weapons, why can’t’ we?'”

Paul doesn’t believe that the supposed Chinese menace is a legitimate reason to keep churning out more weapons.

We have enough weapons, not only to self-destruct but to destroy the world 10 times over and we don’t need to worry about not having enough weapons around.

If the US pulls out of the treaty, it’s not because there is any need for more weaponry.

“I don’t think that’s a real argument,” Paul said.

On Monday, Trump doubled down on his threat to scrap the INF treaty, telling reporters that Russia has not adhered to it. US authorities accuse Moscow of producing the weapons prohibited under the treaty, a claim Russia strongly denies. In turn, it accuses the US of flaunting its obligations by installing anti-missile systems in Europe that could be used to deploy intermediate-range cruise missiles.

Trump indicated that he would like any replacement treaty to also curb China’s nuclear build-up, and said the US would keep building nukes until both Moscow and Beijing “come to their senses.”

The INF treaty, which came into effect in 1998, is one of the few obstacles still standing in the way of nuclear proliferation after the US withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) in 2002, the other one being the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). However, the fate of the latter is also uncertain, with US National Security Advisor John Bolton saying on Monday that Washington has yet to finalize its position on the treaty.

Trump’s plans to pull the US out of the INF have already been slammed by US allies in Europe. French President Emmanuel Macron warned that US withdrawal would undermine European security, while German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called INF “an important pillar of our European security architecture.”

China has also chastised Trump for his intent to upend a crucial part of the international security infrastructure. The Chinese Foreign Minister warned that such a unilateral withdrawal will lead to a “multilateral negative effect.”

The INF treaty outlaws the development, production and deployment of all land-based ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 km.

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john vieira
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Here we go again!!!

Smokingeagle
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Smokingeagle

Tiring, isn’t it? Endless rogue state behaviour. I don’t know why any country would waste time signing any treaty or trade agreement with the US because has repeatedly demonstrated to the world that it cannot be trusted.

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Ukraine is rapidly approaching the membership in the North Atlantic Alliance.
“Speaking about Ukraine, it advances rapidly in meeting the criteria for NATO membership and increasing the country’s defensive capacity. Ukraine’s military power is strengthening. Several more reforms need to be carried out, namely strengthening civilian control over the army,” Former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at the Warsaw Security Forum 2018 on Wednesday, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

According to him, Ukraine had to receive the status of a NATO aspirant country.

“It’s not a membership yet, but it’s a clear signal for Russia,” Rasmussen noted.

Shaun Ramewe
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Shaun Ramewe

The dirty lying back-stabbing deal-breaking political-meddling global-traitor anti-democracy pro-terrorist resource-thieving false-flagging illegal-invading civilian-murdering coward-pervert war-criminal fake-media pretend-moralizing rip-off ZioYanks can never be trusted – not now, not before, not ever.

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BREXIT chaos, as May’s cabinet crumbles (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 18.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at the various scenarios now facing a crumbling May government, as the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is forcing cabinet members to resign in rapid succession. The weekend ahead is fraught with uncertainty for the UK and its position within, or outside, the European Union.

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If Theresa May’s ill-fated Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is eventually rejected this could trigger a vote of no confidence, snap elections or even a new referendum…

Here are six possible scenarios facing Theresa May and the UK (via The Guardian)

1 Parliament blocks Theresa May’s draft withdrawal agreement and political declarations

May faces an enormous task to win parliamentary approval, given that Labour, the SNP, the DUP and 51 Tories have said they will not vote for it.

If the remaining 27 EU member states sign off the draft agreement on 25 November, the government will have to win over MPs at a crucial vote in early December.

If May loses the vote, she has 21 days to put forward a new plan. If she wins, she is safe for now.

2 May withdraws the current draft agreement

The prime minister could decide that she will not get the draft agreement through parliament and could seek to renegotiate with the EU.

This would anger Tory backbenchers and Brussels and would be seen as a humiliation for her government. It might spark a leadership contest too.

3 Extend article 50

May could ask the European council to extend article 50, giving her more time to come up with a deal that could be passed by parliament – at present, the UK will leave on 29 March 2019.

Such a request would not necessarily be granted. Some EU governments are under pressure from populist parties to get the UK out of the EU as soon as possible.

4 Conservative MPs trigger a vote of no confidence in the prime minister

If Conservative MPs believe May is no longer fit for office, they could trigger a no-confidence vote.

Members of the European Research Group claim that Graham Brady, the chair of the powerful 1922 Committee, will receive the necessary 48 letters this week.

A vote could be held as soon as early next week. All Tory MPs would be asked to vote for or against their leader. If May wins, she cannot be challenged for at least 12 months. If she loses, there would be a leadership contest to decide who will become prime minister.

5 General election – three possible routes

If May fails to get support for the current deal, she could call a snap general election.

She would table a parliamentary vote for a general election that would have to be passed by two thirds of MPs. She would then set an election date, which could be by the end of January.

This is an unlikely option. May’s political credibility was severely damaged when she called a snap election in 2017, leading to the loss of the Conservative party’s majority.

Alternatively, a general election could be called if a simple majority of MPs vote that they have no confidence in the government. Seven Tory MPs, or all of the DUP MPs, would have to turn against the government for it to lose the vote, triggering a two-week cooling-off period. May would remain in office while MPs negotiate a new government.

Another route to a general election would be for the government to repeal or amend the Fixed-term Parliaments Act which creates a five-year period between general elections. A new act would have to be passed through both the Commons and the Lords – an unlikely scenario.

6 Second referendum

May could decide it is impossible to find a possible draft deal that will be approved by parliament and go for a people’s vote.

The meaningful vote could be amended to allow MPs to vote on whether the country holds a second referendum. It is unclear whether enough MPs would back a second referendum and May has ruled it out.

 

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Brexit Withdrawal Agreement may lead to Theresa May’s downfall (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 151.

Alex Christoforou

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The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement has been published and as many predicted, including Nigel Farage, the document is leading to the collapse of Theresa May’s government.

During an interview with iTV’s Piers Morgan, remain’s Alistair Campell and leave’s Nigel Farage, were calling May’s Brexit deal a complete disaster.

Via iTV

Alastair Campbell: “This doesn’t do remotely what was offered…what is the point”

“Parliament is at an impasse”

“We have to go back to the people” …”remain has to be on the ballot paper”

Nigel Farage:

“This is the worst deal in history. We are giving away in excess of 40B pounds in return for precisely nothing. Trapped still inside the European Union’s rulebook.

“Nothing has been achieved.”

“In any negotiation in life…the other side need to know that you are serious about walking away.”

“What monsieur Barnier knew from day one, is that at no point did Theresa May intend to walk away.”

“Fundamental matter of trust to the electors of our country and those who govern us.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Theresa May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, and why the deal is a full on victory for the European Union and a document of subjugation for the United Kingdom.

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Coming in at 585 pages, the draft agreement will be closely scrutinized over the coming days but here are some of the highlights as outlined by Zerohedge

  • UK and EU to use the best endeavours to supersede Ireland protocol by 2020
  • UK can request extension of the transition period any time before July 1st, 2020
  • EU, UK See Level-Playing Field Measures in Future Relationship
  • Transition period may be extended once up to date yet to be specified in the text
  • EU and UK shall establish single customs territory and Northern Ireland is in same customs territory as Great Britain

The future relationship document is less than seven pages long. It says the U.K. and EU are seeking a free-trade area with cooperation on customs and rules: “Comprehensive arrangements creating a free trade area combining deep regulatory and customs cooperation, underpinned by provisions ensuring a level playing field for open and fair competition.”

The wording might raise concerns among Brexiters who don’t want regulatory cooperation and the measures on fair competition could amount to shackling the U.K. to EU rules.

As Bloomberg’s Emma Ross-Thomas writes, “There’s a clear sense in the documents that we’re heading for a customs union in all but name. Firstly via the Irish backstop, and then via the future relationship.”

Separately, a government summary of the draft agreement suggests role for parliament in deciding whether to extend the transition or to move in to the backstop.

But perhaps most importantly, regarding the controversial issue of the Irish border, the future relationship document says both sides aim to replace the so-called backstop – the thorniest issue in the negotiations – with a “subsequent agreement that establishes alternative arrangements for ensuring the absence of a hard border on the island of Ireland on a permanent footing.”

On this topic, recall that the U.K.’s fear was of being locked into the backstop arrangement indefinitely in the absence of a broader trade deal. The draft agreement includes a review process to try to give reassurance that the backstop would never be needed. Basically, the U.K. could choose to seek an extension to the transition period – where rules stay the same as they are currently – or opt to trigger the backstop conditions. In fact, as Bloomberg notes, the word “backstop,” which has been a sticking point over the Irish border for weeks, is mentioned only once in the text.

As Bloomberg further adds, the withdrawal agreement makes clear that the U.K. will remain in a single customs area with the EU until there’s a solution reached on the Irish border. It’s what Brexiteers hate, because it makes it more difficult for the U.K. to sign its own free-trade deals, which they regard as a key prize of Brexit.

Predictably, EU Commission President Juncker said decisive progress has been made in negotiations.

Meanwhile, as analysts comb over the documents, Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the European Research Group, has already written to Conservative lawmakers urging them to vote against the deal. He says:

  • May is handing over money for “little or nothing in return”
  • The agreement treats Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the U.K.
  • It will “lock” the U.K. into a customs union with the EU
  • It breaks the Tory election manifesto of 2017

The full document…

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4 resignations and counting: May’s government ‘falling apart before our eyes’ over Brexit deal

The beginning of the end for Theresa May’s government.

The Duran

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Via RT


Four high profile resignations have followed on the heels of Theresa May’s announcement that her cabinet has settled on a Brexit deal, with Labour claiming that the Conservative government is at risk of completely dissolving.

Shailesh Vara, the Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office was the first top official to resign after the prime minister announced that her cabinet had reached a draft EU withdrawal agreement.

An hour after his announcement, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab – the man charged with negotiating and finalizing the deal – said he was stepping down, stating that the Brexit deal in its current form suffers from deep flaws. Esther McVey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, submitted her letter of resignation shortly afterwards. More resignations have followed.

Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister, Jon Trickett, predicted that this is the beginning of the end for May’s government.

The government is falling apart before our eyes as for a second time the Brexit secretary has refused to back the prime minister’s Brexit plan. This so-called deal has unraveled before our eyes

Shailesh Vara: UK to be stuck in ‘a half-way house with no time limit’

Kicking off Thursday’s string of resignations, Vara didn’t mince words when describing his reservations about the cabinet-stamped Brexit deal.

Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement leaves the UK in a “halfway house with no time limit on when we will finally become a sovereign nation,” his letter of resignation states. Vara went on to warn that the draft agreement leaves a number of critical issues undecided, predicting that it “will take years to conclude” a trade deal with the bloc.

“We will be locked in a customs arrangement indefinitely, bound by rules determined by the EU over which we have no say,” he added.

Dominic Raab: Deal can’t be ‘reconciled’ with promises made to public

Announcing his resignation on Thursday morning, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted: “I cannot in good conscience support the terms proposed for our deal with the EU.”

Raab claimed that the deal in its current form gives the EU veto power over the UK’s ability to annul the deal.

No democratic nation has ever signed up to be bound by such an extensive regime.

Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith said that Raab’s resignation as Brexit secretary is “devastating” for May.

“It sounds like he has been ignored,” he told the BBC.

Raab’s departure will undoubtedly encourage other Brexit supporters to question the deal, political commentators have observed.

Esther McVey: Deal ‘does not honor’ Brexit referendum

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey didn’t hold back when issuing her own letter of resignation. According to McVey, the deal “does not honour” the result of the Brexit referendum, in which a majority of Brits voted to leave the European Union.

Suella Braverman: ‘Unable to sincerely support’ deal

Suella Braverman, a junior minister in Britain’s Brexit ministry, issued her resignation on Thursday, saying that she couldn’t stomach the deal.

“I now find myself unable to sincerely support the deal agreed yesterday by cabinet,” she said in a letter posted on Twitter.

Suella Braverman, MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the EU © Global Look Press / Joel Goodman
Braverman said that the deal is not what the British people voted for, and threatened to tear the country apart.

“It prevents an unequivocal exit from a customs union with the EU,” she said.

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