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Jeremy Corbyn outshines Theresa May in the British general election

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s impressive speech on foreign policy highlights how he has continuously outshone Prime Minister Theresa May in the British general election.

Alexander Mercouris

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British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s impressive speech on foreign policy and the West’s failed “War on Terror” illustrates an unreported truth about the ongoing British general election: Jeremy Corby is cutting a far more impressive figure during the election than Prime Minister Theresa May.

Before discussing this I wish to make one important qualification about Corbyn’s speech.

Corbyn has bravely made the connection between the Manchester terror attack and the West’s foreign policy – enthusiastically supported by the British political class – of waging regime change wars across the Middle East.  However it is essential to understand that these wars have exacerbated the problem of Jihadi terrorism because they do not target it but rather the Arab governments such as those in Iraq, Syria and Libya which fight it.

Afghanistan is no different.  The war in Afghanistan is not being waged against Al-Qaeda – the Jihadi terrorist group which the US says carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks – but against the Taliban, an entirely different group which though Salafi in ideology never before 2001 sought to wage a terrorist Jihad against the West, or has done so since.  Suffice to say that not one of the 9/11 hijackers the US has identified was an Afghan.

I would add that prior to the US attack on Afghanistan in 2001 some Taliban leaders and the Muslim clergy in Afghanistan pressed Mullah Mohammed Omar – the Taliban’s erstwhile leader – to expel Osama bin Laden and his followers from Afghanistan, and there was in fact a proposal to hand him over in return for international recognition of the Taliban’s government and on condition that he was tried in an Islamic court.

I have always believed that with care and patience a diplomatic solution which might have resulted in Osama bin Laden’s arrest and trial was possible, with the Taliban’s two international supporters – Pakistan and Saudi Arabia – lobbying hard for such an outcome.  Needless to say had that ever happened the history of the following decades would have been completely different.

In the event the US attack on Afghanistan in 2001, whether intentionally or not, meant that this never happened, leading to the disastrous “War on Terror” Corbyn spoke about today.

Putting all this aside, Corbyn’s speech shows that he is prepared to challenge Britain’s failed foreign policy orthodoxy in ways that no other mainstream British politician seems able to do.  He has of course been doing it for years, ever since the so-called ‘War on Terror’ began.

However foreign policy is only one area where Corbyn has cut a more impressive figure during the election than Theresa May.

Not only has Corbyn campaigned and interacted with the media and the public in a genuine way – in contrast to Theresa May’s controlled and ritualistic meetings and her stilted language of clichés – but he has also produced a manifesto which though left wing is coherent and close to voters’ concerns.  By contrast Theresa May’s manifesto looks cobbled together, mating contradictory messages of One Nation Toryism with Thatcherite free market policies.

Unsurprisingly Theresa May has already been forced into an embarrassing U turn, dropping a manifesto commitment that would have introduced costs for the elderly, something which to my knowledge has never happened in a British general election before.

All this partly reflects a truth about Jeremy Corbyn: he is a far more serious and experienced politician than the British political class and news media care to admit.

However it also reflects an important truth about Theresa May.  Quite simply she is not the strong and decisive leader her supporters in the Conservative Party and the media repeatedly say.  On the contrary what the election campaign has done is expose once more her indecision and insecurity, and her lack of ideas.

By way of example, Theresa May has never provided a truly convincing explanation of why she called the election in the first place, despite previously repeatedly ruling the option out.  The best she has come up with is that she needs a strong mandate from the British people to negotiate a good Brexit deal.

That might have been convincing if Theresa May had a Brexit negotiating policy to put to the British people for them to support.  However – as I have repeatedly pointed out – in reality she has none.

The result is that she has been unable to keep the election focused on the issue, allowing Corbyn to move the debate onto ground closer to his own.

The reality of course is that Theresa May called the election not because she wanted a mandate to negotiate a good Brexit deal but because she thought she would win it.

That is a perfectly good and valid reason for a British Prime Minister to call an election.  A genuinely strong Prime Minister – a Margaret Thatcher for instance – would not have hesitated to say it, and would have laughed off criticism of it, saying she had a right to change her mind.  Theresa May would have saved herself a great deal of trouble and would have looked a lot more convincing had she said it.  However, as has long been obvious, she is temperamentally incapable of saying it.

As it is I still expect Theresa May to win.  Though the latest opinion poll shows her once stratospheric lead collapsing to 5% with 2 weeks of the election still to go (Conservative 43%, Labour 38%) I suspect that as polling day approaches some British voters who are presently being drawn to Corbyn will switch back to Theresa May rather than face the actual prospect of a Corbyn government, for which I don’t think Britain is ready.

There is simply no precedent in Britain for an electoral upset on the scale that a Corbyn victory would require, and I can’t believe in the end it will happen.  My guess is that as polling day approaches the Conservative lead will start to widen again.

However if I am proved wrong then whilst the credit for such a truly astonishing turnaround would have to go to Corbyn, the major cause would be the failure of Theresa May to explain convincingly to the British people what point there is in her being Prime Minister.

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Tape recorded evidence of Clinton-Ukraine meddling in US election surfaces (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a look at new evidence to surface from Ukraine that exposes a plot by the US Embassy in Kiev and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) to leak Paul Manafort’s corrupt dealings in the country, all for the benefit of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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Via Zerohedge


Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has launched an investigation into the head of the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly attempting to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump during the 2016 US election by releasing damaging information about a “black ledger” of illegal business dealings by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The Hill’s John Solomon, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko

“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko said last week, according to The Hill

Lutsenko is probing a claim from a member of the Ukrainian parliament that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk, attempted to the benefit of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

A State Department spokesman told Hill.TV that officials aware of news reports regarding Sytnyk. –The Hill

“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” said Lutsenko, speaking with The Hill’s John Solomon about the anti-corruption bureau chief, Artem Sytnyk.

“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” Lutsenko continued.

Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine’s parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort‘s wrongdoing in Ukraine.

“This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter.” –The Hill

What The Hill doesn’t mention is that Sytnyk released Manafort’s Black Book with Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko – discussed in great length by former Breitbart investigator Lee Stranahan, who has been closely monitoring this case.

Serhiy Leshchenko

T]he main spokesman for these accusations was Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian politician and journalist who works closely with both top Hillary Clinton donors George Soros and Victor Pinchuk, as well as to the US Embassy in Kyiv.

James Comey should be asked about this source that Leshchenko would not identify. Was the source someone connected to US government, either the State Department or the Department of Justice?

The New York Times should also explain why they didn’t mention that Leshchenko had direct connections to two of Hillary Clinton biggest financial backers. Victor Pinchuk, the largest donor to the Clinton Foundation at a staggering $8.6 million also happened to have paid for Leshchenko’s expenses to go to international conferences. George Soros, whose also founded the International Renaissance Foundationthat worked closely with Hillary Clinton’s State Department in Ukraine, also contributed at least $8 million to Hillary affiliated super PACs in the 2016 campaign cycle. –Lee Stranahan via Medium

Meanwhile, according to former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, Leshchenko was a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.

“I recall … they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,” Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS’s sources were, according to portions of Ohr’s testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. –Daily Caller

Also absent from The Hill report is the fact that Leshchenko was convicted in December by a Kiev court of interfering in the 2016 US election.

A Kyiv court said that a Ukrainian lawmaker and a top anticorruption official’s decision in 2016 to publish documents linked to President Donald Trump’s then-campaign chairman amounted to interference in the U.S. presidential election.

The December 11 finding came in response to a complaint filed by another Ukrainian lawmaker, who alleged that Serhiy Leshchenko and Artem Sytnyk illegally released the documents in August 2016, showing payments by a Ukrainian political party to Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

The documents, excerpts from a secret ledger of payments by the Party of Regions, led to Manafort being fired by Trump’s election campaign.

The Kyiv court said that the documents published by Leshchenko and Sytnyk were part of an ongoing pretrial investigation in Ukraine into the operations of the pro-Russian Party of Regions. The party’s head had been President Viktor Yanukovych until he fled the country amid mass protests two years earlier.

-RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty (funded by the US govt.).

So while Lutsenko – Solomon’s guest and Ukrainian Prosecutor is currently going after Artem Sytnyk, it should be noted that Leshchenko was already found to have meddled in the 2016 US election.

Watch:

Meanwhile, you can also check out Stranahan’s take on Leshchenko being left out of the loop.

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‘I will take over as Brexit Party leader’: Nigel Farage back on the frontline

Nigel Farage says that if the UK takes part in European elections, he will lead his new Brexit Party.

RT

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Via RT


Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has announced that he will lead his new Brexit Party into the European elections if UK MPs decide to delay Brexit beyond May 22.

Farage, who has ostensibly appointed himself leader, told various media, including the BBC and Sky News on Friday morning: “I will take over as leader of the Brexit Party and lead it into the European Elections.”

It comes after the Brexit Party’s leader, Catherine Blaiklock, quit over a series of alleged Islamophobic statements and retweets of far-right figures on social media.

It is not yet thought that Farage has officially been elected as leader, as the party does not, as yet, have a formal infrastructure to conduct such a vote.

The right-wing MEP vowed to put out a whole host of Brexit Party candidates if the UK participates in the upcoming EU elections in May, adding: “If we fight those elections, we will fight them on trust.”

On Thursday night, the EU agreed to PM May’s request for a delaying to Brexit beyond the March 29 deadline. Brussels announced two new exit dates depending on what happens next week in the UK parliament.

The UK will have to leave the bloc on April 12 unless British MPs agree to May’s Brexit deal. If the withdrawal agreement is passed by next week, EU leaders have agreed to grant an extension until May 22.

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Baltics cannot rely on Germany any more

The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it is supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership blunders.

The Duran

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Submitted by Adomas Abromaitis…

On March 29 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will celebrate 15 years of becoming NATO member states. The way to the alliance membership was not simple for newly born independent countries. They have reached great success in fulfilling many of NATO demands: they have considerably increased their defence expenditures, renewed armaments and increased the number of military personnel.

In turn, they get used to rely on more powerful member states, their advice, help and even decision making. All these 15 years they felt more or less safe because of proclaimed European NATO allies’ capabilities.

Unfortunately, now it is high time to doubt. The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership’s blunders. Every member state does a bit. As for the Baltic states, they are particularly vulnerable, because they fully depend on other NATO member states in their defence. Thus, Germany, Canada and Britain are leading nations of the NATO battle group stationed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia respectively.

But the state of national armed forces in Germany, for example, raises doubts and makes it impossible not only defend the Baltics against Russia, but Germany itself.

It turned out, that Germany itself remains dissatisfied with its combat readiness and minister of defence’s ability to perform her duties. Things are so bad, that the military’s annual readiness report would be kept classified for the first time for “security reasons.”

“Apparently the readiness of the Bundeswehr is so bad that the public should not be allowed to know about it,” said Tobias Lindner, a Greens member who serves on the budget and defense committees.

Inspector General Eberhard Zorn said (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-arms/germany-not-satisfied-with-readiness-of-submarines-some-aircraft-idUSKBN1QS1G7) the average readiness of the country’s nearly 10,000 weapons systems stood at about 70 percent in 2018, which meant Germany was able to fulfill its military obligations despite increasing responsibilities.

No overall comparison figure was available for 2017, but last year’s report revealed readiness rates of under 50 percent for specific weapons such as the aging CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters and the Tornado fighter jets.

Zorn said this year’s report was more comprehensive and included details on five main weapons systems used by the cyber command, and eight arms critical for NATO’s high readiness task force, which Germany heads this year.

“The overall view allows such concrete conclusions about the current readiness of the Bundeswehr that knowledge by unauthorized individuals would harm the security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany,” he wrote.

Critics are sure of incompetence of the Federal Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen. Though she has occupied the upper echelons of German politics for 14 years now — and shows no sign of success. This mother of seven, gynecologist by profession, by some miracle for a long time has been remaining in power, though has no trust even among German military elites. Despite numerous scandals she tries to manage the Armed Forces as a housewife does and, of course, the results are devastating for German military capabilities. The same statement could be easily apply for the Baltic States, which highly dependent on Germany in military sphere.

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