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Steve Bannon goes as the military takes over the Trump administration

Ousting of Bannon as Chief White House Strategist leaves the generals in charge of the government

Alexander Mercouris

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The announcement of the ‘resignation’ of White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon represents the culmination of a process which began with the equally forced ‘resignation’ of President Trump’s first National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn.

Individuals who were close to Donald Trump during his successful election campaign and who largely framed its terms – people like Bannon and Flynn – have been picked off one by one.

Taking their place is a strange coalition of former generals and former businessmen of essentially conventional Republican conservative views, which is cemented around three former generals who between them now have the levers of powers in their hands: General Kelly, the President’s new Chief of Staff, General H.R. McMaster, his National Security Adviser, and General Mattis, the Secretary of Defense.

In the case of Bannon, it is his clear that his ousting was insisted on by General Kelly, who is continuing to tighten his control of the White House.

Bannon’s removal – not coincidentally – has come at the same time that General H.R. McMaster is completing his purge of the remaining Flynn hold-overs on the staff of the National Security Council.

Bannon’s removal does not just remove from the White House a cunning political strategist.  It also removes the one senior official in the Trump administration who had any pretensions to be an ideologist and an intellectual.

In saying I should say that I for one do not rate Bannon as an ideologist and intellectual too highly.  Whilst there can be no doubt of Bannon’s media and campaigning skills, his ideological positions seem to me a mishmash of ideas – some more leftist than rightist – rather than a coherent platform.  I also happen to think that his actual influence on the President has been hugely exaggerated.

Since the inauguration I have not seen much evidence either of Bannon’s supposed influence on the President or of his famed political skills.

Bannon is sometimes credited as being the author of the President’s two travel ban Executive Orders.  I am sure this wrong.  The Executive Orders clearly originate with the wishes of the President himself.  If Bannon did have any role in them – which is possible – it would have been secondary to the President’s own.  I would add that in that case Bannon must take some of the blame for the disastrously incompetent execution of the first of these two Executive Orders, which set the scene for the legal challenges that followed.

The only occasion where it did seem to me that Bannon exercised real influence was in shaping the text of the speech the President delivered during his recent trip to Poland.

I have already made known my views of this speech. I think it was badly judged – managing to annoy both the Germans and the Russians at the same time – mistaken in many of its points, and the President has derived no political benefit from it.

However it is the closest thing to an ideological statement the President has made since he took office, and Bannon is widely believed – probably rightly – to have written it.

As for Bannon’s alleged political skills, he has completely failed to shield the President from the Russiagate scandal and appears to me to have done little or nothing to hold the President’s electoral base together, with Bannon having been almost invisible since the inauguration.

In view of Bannon’s ineffectiveness since the inauguration I doubt that his removal will make any difference to the Trump administration’s policies or to the support the President still has from his electoral base, most of whose members are unlikely to know much about Bannon anyway.

It is in a completely different respect – one wholly independent of President Trump’s success or failure as President – that the events of the last few weeks give cause for serious concern.

The events of the last year highlight the extent to which the US is in deep political crisis.

The US’s core electorate is becoming increasingly alienated from its political class; elements of the security services are openly operating independently of political control, and are working in alliance with sections of the Congress and the media – both now also widely despised – to bring down a constitutionally elected President, who they in turn despise.

All this is happening at the same time that there is growing criticism of the economic institutions of the US government, which since the 2008 financial crisis have seemed to side with a wealthy and unprincipled minority against the interests of the majority.

The only institution of the US state that still seems to be functioning as normal, and which appears to have retained a measure of public respect and support, is the military, which politically speaking seems increasingly to be calling the shots.

It is striking that the only officials President Trump can nominate to senior positions who do not immediately run into bitter opposition have been – apart from General Flynn, who was a special case – senior soldiers.

Now the military in the persons of Kelly, McMaster and Mattis find themselves at the heart of the US government to an extent that has never been true before in US history, even during the Presidencies of former military men like Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant or Dwight Eisenhower.

The last time that happened in a major Western nation – that the civilian institutions of the state had become so dysfunctional that the military as the only functioning institution left ended up dominating the nation’s government and deciding the nation’s policies – was in Germany in the lead up to the First World War.

Time will show what the results will be this time, but the German example is hardly a reassuring one.

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Wayne Blow
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Wayne Blow

Watch out Donald, next thing there will be a “military” coup @the W.H. (LOL)!!!??

Franz Kafka
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Franz Kafka

Wrong! There was a time when military men ran the nation….before it even was a nation.
All hail the military junta! This is how America began – with George Washington’s act of treason and barracks officer’s coup. It is fitting that it should end this way. in the beginning was the end.

Voltaire
Guest
Voltaire

Surely the name wqsgington lmust now be removed from any public space in the US now?

After all he had 350 slaves and slept with his slave girls like all the colonists did…

What should we call Washington in the future?

And what about those Memorials to Washington and Jefferson etc?

Surely they must be torn down?

PS And the disgraceful adulterer and liar William Jefferson Clinton must drop Jefferson from his name surely?!

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

WashedUpington?

Voltaire
Guest
Voltaire

OK…corrected…

Now please do answer my questions Franz…

Rastislav Veľká Morava
Member
Rastislav Veľká Morava

Yes, lets distract the dumbed down under educated USA Masses with taking down historical statues/memorials, transgender, gay, etc, so they never think to rise up against all that is really destroying them.

Ohh..and let’s provoke an ideological and leading to a real war between the races, while we’re at it.

Voltaire
Guest
Voltaire

I prefer Americans tearing down their own monuments rather than their killing hundreds of thousands in the Middle East and spreading death and destuction like thay have throughout the region for the last 20 years and more…

And rather than their continuing to aid and abet the genocide of the Yemini People through US assistance and arms to Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf ragheads……

Rastislav Veľká Morava
Member
Rastislav Veľká Morava

Tearing down monuments has and will have no effect on what you correctly state the USA perpetrates on the Middle East and elsewhere.

The same entities engineer all of this, in concert.

Constantine
Guest
Constantine

To be fair, most of these monuments were not raised by the best of that nation. Nor was the intention a general appreciation of US history. And those who defend these monuments are even more under-educated than their counterparts. No few of them were pleased with US supremacism and interventionism in the past. In any case, let the Americans do what they please in their country as long as they do not actively undermine and destroy other states. The horrors of Syria and Ukraine, the latest in a long list of victims (with Venezuela looming ahead), are a good indication… Read more »

Rastislav Veľká Morava
Member
Rastislav Veľká Morava

No argument there, or in my comment.

Berggeist
Guest
Berggeist

You are way off the mark with your comments.

Punisher 1
Guest
Punisher 1

I wouldn’t be surprised if they go for Obamaville or Clintonburg.I’m only have kidding on that. I think they are that stupid.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

“PS And the disgraceful adulterer and liar William Jefferson Clinton must drop Jefferson from his name surely?!”

Those women whom he assaulted are taking care of that…here is what they are doing about WJC:
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/08/18/bill-clintons-accusers-demand-removal-statue/
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/08/18/seven-monuments-of-accused-sexual-predator-bill-clinton/

Aurelio Ferdinand
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Aurelio Ferdinand

Don’t agree entirely with article, hmm! but I might asked has President Trump been bought over.

Voltaire
Guest
Voltaire

The United States has now been taken over by a MILITARY JUNTA… Trump does not know his ass from his elbow in international affairs….He believes that international affairs are conducted like a Mobster organises a real estate deal in New York…aznd that he can threaten and extort what he wants in Washington… He is so dumb that he does not realise that as regards internationazl affairs, the Generals have bigger guns and means than a cheap New York mobster like Trump could ever imagine… And he is only now finding out that the US Congress is bought lock, stock and… Read more »

Rastislav Veľká Morava
Member
Rastislav Veľká Morava

I am sorry. As an entitled North American Baby Boomer, Trump does not have the mettle, toughness and stubbornness to initiate the change that he knows is needed.

He thought the presidency was like getting a million dollar loan and a company from daddy in the 70’s and preceding to expand a real estate empire…….It’s not!

….Nowhere near the superior class of Alphas and game changers like Putin, Chavez, Nasrallah

Constantine
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Constantine

Agreed, especially with the choice of the three individuals you put for comparison.

my2Cents
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my2Cents

Keep talking….Is there more where this came from??? :-))

Simon
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Simon

If the Generals were to run Washington does that make the US more dangerous? Hardly. They already lose every war they ‘fight’. So what if they want more money, or to start another war – they can already do that anyway.
Better that they might have to also worry about Medicare and Social Security and street crime etc. The more problems the Pentagon have to deal with in their so-called ‘Homeland’, the less they can threaten the rest of us.

Voltaire
Guest
Voltaire

LOL

Indeed, it ir rather encouraging that the Generals have taken over…

They have lost every war since Vietnam…

But they have succeeded in destroying the Middle East as a region though, which will take generations to put together again……

PS And if the ongoing disaster at the Veterans’ Administration is anything to go by, it would be preferable for the Generals not to interfee with Medicare and Social Security for fear of bankrupting them…

Drummer
Guest
Drummer

Correction: They’ve lost every war since Korea; and, they didn’t win WWII…the Russians did.

Rob Grune
Guest
Rob Grune

grammar… since Korea means the USA won Korea…. factually, it did not. in fact, the US did not win ww2, not ww1. but perhaps we can say the USA won the fight against Japan [ie a single country], and being the only military to ever have used an atomic weapon?

io
Guest
io

How about Grenada? Didn’t they save the natives from the coconuts?

ruca
Guest
ruca

Correction : Soviets

my2Cents
Guest
my2Cents

At the cost of 27 million Russians. They have my gratitude. .

my2Cents
Guest
my2Cents

A lot of dented American psyches. but you’re absolutely right.

ajokete
Guest
ajokete

First they came for Flynn, Donald Trump did not protest; then they came for …(please help me fill the gaps), Donald Trump did not protest, then they came for Bannon and Donald Trump did not protest, not long after they came for Donald Trump, and there is no Flynn and no Bannon to protest. Make America great again!

ajokete
Guest
ajokete

I so much love the picture on top. Who is the gorilla in the middle? This is kind of goons the US usually use to destabilize other countries, especially in Latin America. Chicken is coming home to roost.

JDo
Guest
JDo

USA has since quite some time been a failed state – only now it is becoming blatantly visible.

Daisy Adler
Guest
Daisy Adler

Oh, yeah, une brochette des génerals, who were never able to win a war …

K Walker
Guest
K Walker

Attempted regime change taking place. Bannon had been referred to as a racist from the very beginning.This was beefed up during the Charlottsevlle melee along with a new level of hysteria in the press about the alt-right, white supremacy and neo-nazism. The next thing the public knew, Bannon was fired. We were good once.

uncle tungsten
Guest
uncle tungsten

Bad bad news for the USA. Generals from this craazy country might be good at losing but they are great at killing women children and anyone else they chose. The Trump and his tin pot generals are likely to bring the four horsemen of the apocalypse with them to many more corners of the earth. Take one look at their allies and you can see that we are all in for a grim time. The killers are in the house and that is never a good thing. At least Bannon was a lone somewhat sane voice about North Korea and… Read more »

GeorgeG
Guest
GeorgeG

“… that the civilian institutions of the state had become so dysfunctional that the military as the only functioning institution left ended up dominating the nation’s government and deciding the nation’s policies – was in Germany in the lead up to the First World War.” The Russians seem to have anticipated this, or — no, not anticipated, instead they have known it for some time. Word is that Generals Gerasimov and Mattis will meet next week to discuss setting up five more “deconfliction zones” in Syria. These two are not counterparts: Gerasimov is RF General Staff, so the military professional… Read more »

Popart 2015
Guest
Popart 2015

Who is the PUPPET now?

ghartwell
Guest

Every country despises instability. Trump on his own is unstable. Trump surrounded by idealogues was unstable. General Kelly represents order; made it clear from the start that he was in charge. Therefore, no surprise loose cannon Bannon is gone. We may now enter a time of stability in Trump’s presidency. Do not forget that military decisions on Syria differed from CIA actions. Do not forget that CIA is a deep state instrument with it’s own mind, purposes and powers. Do not forget CIA is the Nazi intelligence network imported and rebranded. What does this equal? Here is what it equals.… Read more »

Josie
Guest
Josie

And keep praying!

my2Cents
Guest
my2Cents

“Do not forget CIA is the Nazi intelligence network imported and rebranded.” Not Nazi but Soviet…We have become the Soviet Union. The National Socialismus Partei was extremely lucrative for Germany……it was the envy of Austria and the rest of Europe, and caused British as well as American Economist to be in awe of what was accomplished in such a very short period of time. Austria who was still struggling with the aftermath of WW1 and the depression BEGGED Germany for the Anschluss – which was a JOINING and was NOT an annexation as the American narrative implies. There was no… Read more »

Albert Westpy
Guest
Albert Westpy

Makes not a bit of difference. The real power is within the oligarchy who control the banks, large corporations, and the government. Most in government are no more than fronts for the interest of the oligarchy and themselves.

Shahna
Guest

So…. the US is now run by a military cabal – with Orange Fluff as a mascot?

Walter Dublanica
Member
Walter Dublanica

The most frustrated in American society is the military. NO VICTORIES since 1946. Yet they consume over 50 % of the national budget.

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Fake news media FREAK OUT over Trump and NATO (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 172.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the media meltdown over remarks that U.S. President Trump may have made with regard to NATO, and how neo-liberal war hawks championing the alliance as some sort of foreign policy projection of peace and democracy, are really just supporting aggression, war, and the eventual weakening of the United States.

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Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO, Authored by David Swanson:


The New York Times loves NATO, but should you?

Judging by comments in social media and the real world, millions of people in the United States have gone from having little or no opinion on NATO, or from opposing NATO as the world’s biggest military force responsible for disastrous wars in places like Afghanistan (for Democrats) or Libya (for Republicans), to believing NATO to be a tremendous force for good in the world.

I believe this notion to be propped up by a series of misconceptions that stand in dire need of correction.

1. NATO is not a war-legalizing body, quite the opposite. NATO, like the United Nations, is an international institution that has something or other to do with war, but transferring the UN’s claimed authority to legalize a war to NATO has no support whatsoever in reality. The crime of attacking another nation maintains an absolutely unaltered legal status whether or not NATO is involved. Yet NATO is used within the U.S. and by other NATO members as cover to wage wars under the pretense that they are somehow more legal or acceptable. This misconception is not the only way in which NATO works against the rule of law. Placing a primarily-U.S. war under the banner of NATO also helps to prevent Congressional oversight of that war. Placing nuclear weapons in “non-nuclear” nations, in violation of the Nonproliferation Treaty, is also excused with the claim that the nations are NATO members (so what?). And NATO, of course, assigns nations the responsibility to go to war if other nations go to war — a responsibility that requires them to be prepared for war, with all the damage such preparation does.

2. NATO is not a defensive institution. According to the New York Times, NATO has “deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” This is an article of faith, based on the unsubstantiated belief that Soviet and Russian aggression toward NATO members has existed for 70 years and that NATO has deterred it rather than provoked it. In violation of a promise made, NATO has expanded eastward, right up to the border of Russia, and installed missiles there. Russia has not done the reverse. The Soviet Union has, of course, ended. NATO has waged aggressive wars far from the North Atlantic, bombing Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Libya. NATO has added a partnership with Colombia, abandoning all pretense of its purpose being in the North Atlantic. No NATO member has been attacked or credibly threatened with attack, apart from small-scale non-state blowback from NATO’s wars of aggression.

3. Trump is not trying to destroy NATO. Donald Trump, as a candidate and as U.S. President, has wondered aloud and even promised all kinds of things and, in many cases, the exact opposite as well. When it comes to actions, Trump has not taken any actions to limit or end or withdraw from NATO. He has demanded that NATO members buy more weapons, which is of course a horrible idea. Even in the realm of rhetoric, when European officials have discussed creating a European military, independent of the United States, Trump has replied by demanding that they instead support NATO.

4. If Trump were trying to destroy NATO, that would tell us nothing about NATO. Trump has claimed to want to destroy lots of things, good and bad. Should I support NAFTA or corporate media or the Cold War or the F35 or anything at all, simply because some negative comment about it escapes Trump’s mouth? Should I cheer for every abuse ever committed by the CIA or the FBI because they investigate Trump? Should I long for hostility between nuclear-armed governments because Democrats claim Trump is a Russian agent? When Trump defies Russia to expand NATO, or to withdraw from a disarmament treaty or from an agreement with Iran, or to ship weapons to Ukraine, or to try to block Russian energy deals in Europe, or to oppose Russian initiatives on banning cyber-war or weapons in space, should I cheer for such consistent defiance of Trump’s Russian master, and do so simply because Russia is, so implausibly, his so-inept master? Or should I form my own opinion of things, including of NATO?

5. Trump is not working for, and was not elected by, Russia.According to the New York Times, “Russia’s meddling in American elections and its efforts to prevent former satellite states from joining the alliance have aimed to weaken what it views as an enemy next door, the American officials said.” But are anonymous “American officials” really needed to acquire Russia’s openly expressed opinion that NATO is a threatening military alliance that has moved weapons and troops to states on Russia’s border? And has anyone produced the slightest documentation of the Russian government’s aims in an activity it has never admitted to, namely “meddling in American elections,” — an activity the United States has of course openly admitted to in regard to Russian elections? We have yet to see any evidence that Russia stole or otherwise acquired any of the Democratic Party emails that documented that party’s rigging of its primary elections in favor of Clinton over Sanders, or even any claim that the tiny amount of weird Facebook ads purchased by Russians could possibly have influenced the outcome of anything. Supposedly Trump is even serving Russia by demanding that Turkey not attack Kurds. But is using non-military means to discourage Turkish war-making necessarily the worst thing? Would it be if your favorite party or politician did it? If Trump encouraged a Turkish war, would that also be a bad thing because Trump did it, or would it be a bad thing for substantive reasons?

6. If Trump were elected by and working for Russia, that would tell us nothing about NATO. Imagine if Boris Yeltsin were indebted to the United States and ended the Soviet Union. Would that tell us whether ending the Soviet Union was a good thing, or whether the Soviet Union was obsolete for serious reasons? If Trump were a Russian pawn and began reversing all of his policies on Russia to match that status, including restoring his support for the INF Treaty and engaging in major disarmament negotiations, and we ended up with a world of dramatically reduced military spending and nuclear armaments, with the possibility of all dying in a nuclear apocalypse significantly lowered, would that too simply be a bad thing because Trump?

7. Russia is not a military threat to the world. That Russia would cheer NATO’s demise tells us nothing about whether we should cheer too. Numerous individuals and entities who indisputably helped to put Trump in the White House would dramatically oppose and others support NATO’s demise. We can’t go by their opinions either, since they don’t all agree. We really are obliged to think for ourselves. Russia is a heavily armed militarized nation that commits the crime of war not infrequently. Russia is a top weapons supplier to the world. All of that should be denounced for what it is, not because of who Russia is or who Trump is. But Russia spends a tiny fraction of what the United States does on militarism. Russia has been reducing its military spending each year, while the United States has been increasing its military spending. U.S. annual increases have sometimes exceeded Russia’s entire military budget. The United States has bombed nine nations in the past year, Russia one. The United States has troops in 175 nations, Russia in 3. Gallup and Pew find populations around the world viewing the United States, not Russia, as the top threat to peace in the world. Russia has asked to join NATO and the EU and been rejected, NATO members placing more value on Russia as an enemy. Anonymous U.S. military officials describe the current cold war as driven by weapons profits. Those profits are massive, and NATO now accounts for about three-quarters of military spending and weapons dealing on the globe.

8. Crimea has not been seized. According to the New York Times, “American national security officials believe that Russia has largely focused on undermining solidarity between the United States and Europe after it annexed Crimea in 2014. Its goal was to upend NATO, which Moscow views as a threat.” Again we have an anonymous claim as to a goal of a government in committing an action that never occurred. We can be fairly certain such things are simply made up. The vote by the people of Crimea to re-join Russia is commonly called the Seizure of Crimea. This infamous seizure is hard to grasp. It involved a grand total of zero casualties. The vote itself has never been re-done. In fact, to my knowledge, not a single believer in the Seizure of Crimea has ever advocated for re-doing the vote. Coincidentally, polling has repeatedly found the people of Crimea to be happy with their vote. I’ve not seen any written or oral statement from Russia threatening war or violence in Crimea. If the threat was implicit, there remains the problem of being unable to find Crimeans who say they felt threatened. (Although I have seen reports of discrimination against Tartars during the past 4 years.) If the vote was influenced by the implicit threat, there remains the problem that polls consistently get the same result. Of course, a U.S.-backed coup had just occurred in Kiev, meaning that Crimea — just like a Honduran immigrant — was voting to secede from a coup government, by no means an action consistently frowned upon by the United States.

9. NATO is not an engaged alternative to isolationism. The notion that supporting NATO is a way to cooperate with the world ignores superior non-deadly ways to cooperate with the world. A nonviolent, cooperative, treaty-joining, law-enforcing alternative to the imperialism-or-isolationism trap is no more difficult to think of or to act on than treating drug addiction or crime or poverty as reason to help people rather than to punish them. The opposite of bombing people is not ignoring them. The opposite of bombing people is embracing them. By the standards of the U.S. communications corporations Switzerland must be the most isolationist land because it doesn’t join in bombing anyone. The fact that it supports the rule of law and global cooperation, and hosts gatherings of nations seeking to work together is simply not relevant.

10. April 4 belongs to Martin Luther King, Jr., not militarism. War is a leading contributor to the growing global refugee and climate crises, the basis for the militarization of the police, a top cause of the erosion of civil liberties, and a catalyst for racism and bigotry. A growing coalition is calling for the abolition of NATO, the promotion of peace, the redirection of resources to human and environmental needs, and the demilitarization of our cultures. Instead of celebrating NATO’s 70thanniversary, we’re celebrating peace on April 4, in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech against war on April 4, 1967, as well as his assassination on April 4, 1968.

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Turkey prepared to take Syria’s Manbij, won’t let it turn into ‘swamp’ like N. Iraq

Turkey sees the US-backed Kurdish YPG militias as an extension of the PKK and considers them terrorists as well.

RT

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Ankara has “almost completed” preparations for another military operation in Syria and will launch it if “promises” made by other parties about the protection of its borders are not kept, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.

Turkey still hopes that talks with the US, Russia and “other parties” will allow it to ensure its security without resorting to force but it is still ready to proceed with a military option and will not “wait forever,” Erdogan said. He was referring to Ankara’s plans for the northern Syrian territories east of the Euphrates River, which it seeks to turn into a “security zone”free of any Kurdish militias.

“We are on our border with our forces and following developments closely. If promises made to us are kept and the process goes on, that’s fine. Otherwise, we inform that we have almost completed our preparations and will take steps in line with our own strategy,” the president said, addressing a group of businessmen in Ankara on Monday.

He did not elaborate on the promises made. However, they are apparently linked to the withdrawal of the Kurdish YPG militia from the Manbij area and the regions along the border with Turkey. “We will never allow a safe zone to turn into a new swamp,” Erdogan said, referring to the northern Syrian territories and comparing them to the northern Iraq, where the militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – an organization that Ankara considers a terrorist group – have been entrenched for decades.

Turkey sees the US-backed Kurdish YPG militias, which form the backbone of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as an extension of the PKK and considers them terrorists as well. “Our proposal for a security zone under Turkey’s control aims to keep terror organizations away from our borders,” the Turkish president said.

He went on to explain that Ankara does not seek any territorial gains in its military campaigns in Syria but merely seeks to restore order in the war-ravaged country. “We will provide security for Manbij and then we will hand over the city to its real owners,” Erdogan said. “Syria belongs to Syrians.”

Turkey also seeks to establish a “security zone 20 miles [32 kilometers] deep” into Syria, Erdogan said, adding that he already discussed this issue with the US President Donald Trump. “Those who insistently want to keep us away from these regions are seeking to strengthen terror organizations,” he added.

Ankara has been long planning to push YPG units out of the area east of the Euphrates River. Its operation was delayed by the US withdrawal from Syria. However, Erdogan repeatedly hinted that his patience is wearing thin and he is not ready to wait much longer. He warned Trump against backtracking on his pledge to withdraw some 2,000 US forces out of Syria following a suicide attack in Manbij that killed four Americans. If the US president halted the withdrawal, it would mean that Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) had won, Erdogan argued.

He has also reiterated that Turkey is ready to take over Manbij “without delay.” The US military is currently working on security arrangements with the Turkish forces to create a buffer zone between Turkey and the Kurdish fighters. The Kurds, meanwhile, invited the Syrian government to take over the city and have reportedly begun to leave the area. Turkey has dismissed the reports saying its a “psyop”.

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Political Knives Dull Themselves on the Rock of Brexit Article 50

The invocation of Article 50 was undertaken by an act of Parliament. And it will take another act of Parliament to undo it.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored Tom Luongo via Strategic Culture Foundation:


Theresa “The Gypsum Lady” May went through an extraordinary twenty-four hours. First, seeing her truly horrific Brexit deal go down in historic defeat and then, somehow, surviving a ‘No-Confidence’ vote which left her in a stronger position than before it.

It looks like May rightly calculated that the twenty or so Tory Remainers would put party before the European Union as their personal political positions would be terminally weakened if they voted her out of office.

While there is little stomach in the British Parliament for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, there is less for allowing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to become Prime Minister. And that is the crux of why the incessant calls to delay Brexit, call for a ‘people’s vote’ or, in Corbyn’s case, “take a no-deal Brexit off the table,’ ultimately lead to a whole lot of political knife-fighting and very little substantive action.

The day-to-day headline spam is designed to wear down people’s resistance and make it feel like Brexit getting betrayed is inevitable. That has been the British Deep State’s and EU’s game plan all along and they hoped they could arm-twist enough people in parliament to succeed.

But the problem for them now, since the clock has nearly run out, is the invocation of Article 50 was undertaken by an act of Parliament. And it will take another act of Parliament to undo it.

And I don’t see anyone on the Remainer side working towards that end. That should be your clue as to what happens next.

Why? Because they know they don’t have the time to get that act past Parliament. So, the rest of this is simply a PR campaign to push public opinion far enough to allow for an illegal canceling or postponing of Brexit.

But it’s not working.

According to the latest polls, Brits overwhelmingly want the original Brexit vote respectedLeave even has a 5-6 point lead over Remain.

And, I think Theresa May now realizes this. It is why she invited the no-confidence vote against her. She knew she had the votes and it would give her the ammunition to ignore Corbyn’s hysterical ranting about taking a no-deal Brexit off the table.

Whether she realizes that the only negotiating tool she has with the EU is the threat of a No-Deal Brexit, exactly like Nigel Farage and those committed to Brexit have been telling her for two years is still, however, up in the air.

It looks like she’s finally starting to get it.

The net result is we are seeing a similar outing of the nefarious, behind-the-scenes, power brokers in the public eye similar to what’s been happening in the US with Donald Trump and Russiagate.

May has been singularly unimpressive in her handling of Brexit. I’ve been convinced from the beginning that betraying Brexit was always her goal. Negotiating a deal unacceptable to anyone was meant to exhaust everyone into the position to just throwing up their hands and canceling the whole thing.

The EU has been in the driver’s seat the entire time because most of the British establishment has been on their side and it was only the people who needed to be disrespected.

So, after all of these shananigans we are back to where we were last week. May has cut off all avenues of discussion. She won’t commit to taking ‘no-deal’ off the table to tweak Corbyn. She won’t substantively move on any other issue. This is likely to push her deal through as a last-minute panic move.

Corbyn is still hoping to get new elections to take power, and the majority of MP’s who don’t want to leave the EU keep fighting among themselves to cock up the entire works.

All they are doing is expending pound after pound of political capital beating themselves against their own act of Parliament which goes into effect on March 29th.

By the time that date comes around the frustration, shame and humiliation of how Parliament has mishandled Brexit will make it difficult for a lot of Remainers to hold together their majority as public opinion has decidedly turned against them.

In the past the EU has had that façade of democratic support undermining any change at the political level. With Brexit (and with budget talks in Italy) that is not the case. The people are angry.

The peak moment for Remainers to stage a bipartisan political coup against May should have been the most recent no-confidence vote.

With May surviving that it implies that Remainers are not willing to die politically for their cause.

This should begin to see defectors over the next couple of weeks as they realize they don’t have a hand to play either.

And by May refusing to rule out a ‘no-deal’ Brexit it has finally brought the EU around to throw a bone towards the British. Their admitting they would extend Article 50 is just that. But they know that’s a non-starter as that is the one thing May has been steadfast in holding to.

On March 29th with or without a deal the U.K. is out of the EU. Because despite the European Court of Justice’s decision, Britain’s parliament can only cancel Article 50 at this point by acting illegally.

Not that I would put that past these people, but then that opens up a can of worms that most British MP’s will not go along with. The personal stakes are simply too high.

When dealing with politicians, never bet against their vanity or their pocketbook. In May’s case she may finally have realized she could have the legacy of getting Britain out of the EU just before it collapses.

And all she has to do between now and the end of March is, precisely, nothing.

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