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World War One Centenary – the World Comes Full Circle

Macron, Putin and Trump are beneficiaries of popular dismay but no better equipped to find solutions to the world’s problems than the World War One generation.

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Sunday’s Paris series of meetings of key world leaders, including a probable Trump Putin, secret or otherwise, meeting, will inevitably take place, while marking the 100th anniversary on the 11th hour of the 11th month, of the end of the First World War, will be meetings heavy on irony.

Starting with the fact that in past 100 years the global system has come full circle: Communism, Fascism, and the declining collectivism (more correctly called globalism) of the United Nations and European Union have come and almost gone, which leaves the world right back where it was in 1918 with ‘Great Powers’ running the show.

​Discredited after blundering their way into the world’s first industrial war, the system of Imperialist ‘Great Powers’ is back by default. Because everything else has failed.

Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron were all elected by voters furious with conventional politics, where politicians can be bought and ‘experts’ are lobbyists in disguise. Angela Merkel, for once symbol of a collectivist ideal, is battered, bruised, and on her way out.

The return of Imperialistic Power politics is not the only irony staring these leaders in the face as they pour over the maps of the world’s many trouble spots: Those maps themselves are the product of 1918, and the countless wars that followed not least WW11.

World War One was truly the war that everyone lost: Four empires – the Austro Hungarian, German, Russian and Ottoman were obliterated and those of the supposed victors, Britain and France, so exhausted that they began a long painful collapse

Into the void came dozens of new states: In Europe, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia were created to fill the vacuum left by Austrian rule, each further splitting, mostly murderously, later in the century into yet more States.

In the Middle East, the Sykes-Picot maps – and the troubles – created after 1918 remain the template. It is long forgotten, but the collapse of the Ottoman Empire triggered the very first Arab Spring, along with the very first genocide of the last century of the Armenian people.

The people’s of the Middle East were fooled into thinking they were free to decide their own destiny. The result was violence and total chaos, partly dictated by Britain and France who drew up the flawed maps of a cluster of new States, bound to eventually fail.

Paris and London, with a mixture of self interests, cynicism and good natured blunder created Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Palestine, with Italy weighing in with the creation of a State it named Libya. In the Gulf, the new ‘freedom’ set off a bitter fight for Arabia essentially between the House of Saud and the Hashemite dynasty: The name of the resulting state is the clue as to who won.

Pause to ponder on the awful fate recently of Jamal Khashoggi and think on the disgraceful reaction of the re-born imperialist powers of the 21st Century to that heinous crime.

The historical mistake with hindsight was betting on Arabs instead of Persians, something we will soon all learn. The other was allowing Palestine to be stolen.

Former imperial colonial powers are to blame for these divisions a 100 years ago. For one, to think they could design a Palestine for both Arabs and Jews, but a century is long enough for the region’s leaders to have found a way of living together.

And then there is Russia: Crippling defeat in World War One saw the Tsar succumb to the communist revolution, and most of the century was spent watching the dream of an ideal state turn into a nightmare. Communism has gone, and so has multi-party democracy with Russia back where it was then, with a tsar – albeit one who needs to apply for re-election.

Back where it started is also the attitude of ordinary people to their rulers, so catastrophically shattered by World War.

The fact that Europe and Turkey’s leaders, so intelligent, yet so stupid, could blunder into cataclysm of the First World War has fascinated historians ever since. Austria kicked off the war by invading Serbia, fearing otherwise its Balkan possessions would demand independence. Russia attacked Austria to support Serbia, Germany attacked Russia to support Austria and France went to war with Germany and Austria to support Russia. The Ottomans, and Italy, joined the party hoping for land grabs and ended up with horrendous losses. Britain joined almost absent-mindedly after Germany, attacking France, invaded its ally Belgium.

In the long summer of 1914 the only serious attempt at what Churchill called “jaw jaw” was, absurdly, discussions of peace talks between the German Kaiser and his cousins, Britain’s King George V and the Russian Tsar. Nothing came of it, and catastrophe followed.

Fast forward to today and ordinary people are in the same belligerent mood: Conventional leaders are corrupt and bought, so-called ‘experts’ are merely paid lobbyists. This is not cynicism; its the truth. And the great post-Cold War project of globalization is finally on the rocks.

Macron, Putin and Trump are beneficiaries of popular dismay but no better equipped to find solutions to the world’s problems than the World War One generation. Just as the Great Powers failed to understand, prior to going to war, the terrible power of machine guns, poison gas, tanks and air power, so today’s leaders are paralyzed in the face of war, inequality, migration, global warming and potential nuclear Armageddon.

Democracy is dying in South America and Africa and tyranny strengthened in China though President Xi Jinping’s decision to become, in effect, a monarch – President for life.

World War One was described as the War to End Wars but the the world has more refugees, 65 million, than at any time in history.

An alphabet-soup of global terror groups continue spreading nihilism and death despite the failure of any of them, ever, to win any discernible victories.

From which it is tempting to conclude that those 100 years have made mankind no wiser. Certainly, war is not going out of fashion. The greatest Imperial power, America, positively relish wars.

About the only good news about the forthcoming Sunday’s gathering, supposedly commemorating peace, is that it is happening. The leaders are talking. And not just in Paris. The UN, widely discredited, never came close to the hopes of its founding fathers. I confess it is home to one powerful institution: The Security Council (UNSC). It is dominated by the original five most powerful nuclear states on the planet – China, Britain, France, Russia and the United States. But now we have to add Israel, India and Pakistan. The UNSC was, in effect, a permanent peace conference. Dozens of wars went on regardless, but dozens more were nipped in the bud through the jaw-jaw so conspicuously missing from events a century ago.

However the realities of the 21st Century no longer make the UNSC relevant as more States will soon acquire the where with all to go nuclear.

Though it won’t happen, the first question all present in Paris should ask each other is what the hell have we learned in the last 100 years? And the second, if and how can it be fixed?

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john vieiraRick OliverOle C G OlesenVera GottliebOlivia Kroth Recent comment authors
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Sean
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Sean

Bs! Stopped reading after “…. Russia back where it was, with a Tsar..”. Who pays for this rubbish to be written and why on earth is the Duran giving it publicity?

Olivia Kroth, author and journalist
Member

Well Sean, this text is not so bad, after all. I agree with you that the Russian position has not been analyzed quite correctly, though. The author writes: “And then there is Russia: Crippling defeat in World War One saw the Tsar succumb to the communist revolution, and most of the century was spent watching the dream of an ideal state turn into a nightmare.” The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 certainly was a nightmare for Russia, as President Putin has often said in his numerous speeches. The Soviets, however, achieved many positive things during their 74-year-rule: final… Read more »

Vera Gottlieb
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Vera Gottlieb

No, not ‘great powers running the show’; rather…great enterprises doing it – dictating to politicians what laws should/shouldn’t be brought about for their benefit.

Ole C G Olesen
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Ole C G Olesen

WW 1 was not ” BLUNDERED ” into … WW 1 was meticulously PLANNED and pushed down the throat of Europe , Czar Russia and the USA by criminal mainly ZIONIST Elites… in the process DESTROYING EUROPE .. and a prosperous RUSSIA …. in order to preserve their Money HEGEMONIA . They are still busy at work ..today !

Rick Oliver
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Rick Oliver

I think you are correct there Ole, still busy at work .. today !!! The question needs to be asked ” Publicly ” and needs to be seen as needing an answer right then and there !! They cannot be allowed to stick their heads back in the sand again for another 100 years !! The trouble with Western Governance is , they say well look into something that everybodys talking about , and that`s it , nothing happens until somebody in some obscure part of the planet remembers that there was no answer , absolutely nothing got fixed!!! I… Read more »

john vieira
Guest

Since creation/intervention there is one thing the human race excelled in…war and domination of other humans….we have done so good at war and engines of destruction that we are now/have been capable for over 50 years to annihilate ourselves…and possibly WILL…and we still have to dominate somebody…nobody is ever satisfied with the status quo and everybody else HAS the right answer and one ignorant cult and its’ even more stupid adherents believes it has the ONLY answer…Ah well !!!

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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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