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World’s senior Orthodox Bishop won’t back Ukraine’s breakaway extremist church

Patriarch Bartholomew OPPOSES Church schism in Ukraine, supports canonical Church

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A high-level delegation of Metropolitans/Bishops from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has met in Constantinople, at the Phanar, to discuss the Ukrainian crisis, specifically, the major issues of the Church in Ukraine, with the Patriarch of Constantinople.

Currently, there are three churches which claim to be Orthodox in Ukraine, however only one of them is canonical, meaning it is recognized as legitimate by the universal and organic consensus of the Orthodox Church, as The Duran has already reported. This is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, currently, lead by Metropolitan of Kiev Onufry.

Kiev Caves Lavra, one of the Five Lavra’s of the Russian Lands, the current Headquarters of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the first Russian monastery in history

The other two non-canonical sects are the so-called “Kiev Patriarchate” and the “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church”, neither of which are recognized by the international community of Orthodox Churches.

The canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, is a part of the Moscow Patriarchate, and Metropolitan Onufry is, in fact, the second highest bishop in the entire Russian Church, after Patriarch Kirill of Moscow himself.

Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church commemorates Patriarch Kirill in all services, and receives the Holy Myrhh from Moscow which is made by bishops according to ancient and secret recipe, however the Ukrainian Church operates with rather broad autonomy.

Truly, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has a very advantageous position within the Russian Church, and the ways in which they are stronger together are indescribable, however, the non-canonical churches attempt to destroy the church and murder her children. This was described perfectly by Patriarch Irenej of Serbia:

“The martyric Ukrainian Church—where the holy Prince Vladimir baptized the people of Holy Rus’—is now being defiled by the schismatics’ blasphemy, violence, and bloodshed,” His Holiness emphasized while accepting an award from the International Public Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox People, orthochristian.com reports.

‘Ukrainian politicians are enemies to all Slavs’ — head of Serbian Church

For his words, the Serbian Patriarch, who many of my friends have met, and know him to be a very Holy man, was put on what amounts to a state-sponsored hit-list in Ukraine.

Ukraine calls head of Serbian Church an “enemy”

It was because of this type of extremism used against her, the Ukrainian Church sent a delegation to the Phenar, to meet with the Patriarch of Constantinople, and to pray together and discuss solutions to the situation. There was a great concern that the radical sects were trying to gain legitimacy, and take over the property of the canonical Church, which they often do by force.

Now, we have received confirmation from Metropolitan Antony of Borispol and Brovary, the Chancellor of the Ukrainian Church, and one of her highest ranking bishops, that:

“His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew himself repeatedly said that in Ukraine there is one canonical Church headed by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry.

He dispelled many of the rumors that have been circulating these days, about what he wants to do in Ukraine as we were assured, “

Metropolitan Antony of Borispol and Brovary

Numerous sources, secular, and official Church news networks have reported that Patriarch Bartholomew has communicated to Metropolitan Antony there is no way to legalize the schism in Ukraine. There is only one Ukrainian Church, as the Union of Orthodox Journalists reports:

“It was repeatedly said about the impossibility of legalizing the schism, the question should be raised about the cure,” said Metropolitan Anthony. “Figuratively speaking, sometimes medicines do not help, and now we are in search of something that will help unite our brothers who have long been outside the church fence; and we see that the desire of the Patriarch of Constantinople – the Church in which we were baptized – is to help in this matter.”

According to the Chancellor of the UOC, Patriarch Bartholomew stressed that he does not want to interfere in the situation, but at the same time he wants to help solve the complex “Ukrainian issue”. “We must do everything to ensure that our brothers and compatriots who are in schism will return to the bosom of the Orthodox Church,” concluded Bishop Anthony.

Patriarch Bartholomew (left) and Metropolitan Antony (right)

TASS News also quotes Metropolitan Antony:

“Actually, it was stated several times today that legalizing the schism is out of the question. We are currently looking for those medicines, which will help unite and integrate our brothers who have been behind the church fence for a long time,” he told the 112 Ukraine TV channel.

According to Metropolitan Antony, Patriarch Bartholomew “is reluctant to interfere in the situation.” “However, as a responsible person, as the first among the equal patriarchs of the entire Orthodox Christian world, he wants to help resolve this complex issue.” He added that the problem would be handled on the basis of the canonical rules. The patriarch paid particular attention to statements made by some high-ranking officials that the Tomos had allegedly been signed. “It was even said that those who say that the Tomos has been written are working against the Church of Constantinople,” the metropolitan stressed.

Patriarch Bartholomew (left) hugs Metropolitan Antony (right)

Hearing word from the highest sources, that Patriarch Bartholomew has said this allows for all the faithful of the entire Russian church worldwide, including the Ukrainian Church, to rest a little easier. It must be said, that Patriarch Bartholomew is not the “pope” of Orthodoxy; Orthodoxy has no single bishop above all others, but his voice is very influential with soft power.

Patriarch Bartholomew has now made it clear that he supports the canonical Church, does not wish to interfere, but would be happy to assist the canonical Church in attempting reconciliation at their request.

For some time, there has been a great concern raised by many, that Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople was sympathetic to the idea of creating a single national church in Ukraine, which could make the Non-Canonical Churches canonical by joining them to it. In this model, they would theoretically become legitimized, simply by becoming a part of his church and by his decree, however this move would be highly controversial.

This is exactly what the forces which have illegally taken power in Kiev want, as President Poroshenko has repeatedly called for this.

It must be said, that President Poroshenko has a lot in common with members of the nationalist, non-canonical churches, especially self-proclaimed “Patriarch” Filaret. They both happen to believe that all those who don’t support their Neo-Nazi vision, including children, deserve to die.

Jesse Dominick has reported on this subject very keenly:

As orthochristian.com reports, the self-proclaimed “Patriarch” Philaret Denisenko of the “Kiev Patriarchate,” the darling of all Ukrainian nationalists, publicly preached in November 2016 that Donbass residents affected by the ongoing conflict there are to blame for their afflictions, due to their “sin of federalization,” and deserve to die:

Filaret is a bitter, angry, and very sad man. From what I have seen of his more recent public appearances and videos, he seems literally senile. His eyes are cold and dead. Metropolitan Onufry, however, radiates grace and holiness.

Dominick is, of course, referring to that horrifying moment, when the so-called religious leader Filaret said:

We should not think that the population of Donbass is innocent in these sufferings. It is guilty! And it must expiate its guilt by torment and blood.

Sad and Angry Filaret loves to yell

Not only are Filaret’s calls for Donbass people to “drown in their own blood” as “penitence” disgusting, and a sign of severe mental disorder, if not demonic possession, but they are also similar to President Poroshenko, who said “they” will win the war in Ukraine, when:

Our Children will go to school – theirs (Eastern Ukrainians) will be hiding in bomb shelters

For those people who are not religious, and therefore do not care about our Orthodox Faith, I remind you this is not merely an issue for religious people. The non-canonical churches are filled with dangerous psychopaths who believe Ukrainian children deserve to drown in blood.

The best part is – Filaret is no Western Ukrainian holdout, with ties to an old lineage of independent Ukrainian bishops, during the Soviet Era, and the early 90s, he was a normal Russian bishop, born in Donbass, who was upset he was not elected Metropolitan of Kiev, and so he formed a nationalist church. He is an opportunist.

Metropolitan Onufry is practically a living Saint, he is the definition of what we call, and he is ironically born in Western Ukraine.

Многая Лета!!!

The difference between the deranged Filaret, and the exceptionally blessed and beloved Vladica Onufry, is so evident if you’ve ever heard them speak, or even seen their eyes. This difference was perfectly summed up in this English language translation of a great article on the official news agency of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The article was called “Light and darkness, Metropolitan Onufry and Filaret”.

Metropolitan Onufry (left) is like the grandfather of Ukraine. Everyone wants to hug him. Filaret (right) is more like the Krampus of Ukraine, he’s just mad because no one wants to hug him.

Indeed, this is not the only day and night difference that can be observed in the Ukrainian Church, as there is also the matter of the population. Now that Neo-Nazis have taken over power in Ukraine, it must be said that the canonical church does not have even close to the same number of believers as the radical groups…

The Canonical Church is totally different…

The Canonical Church outnumbers them by far.

Don’t believe me, here is a simple video that shows just how far the canonical church towers over the Neo-Nazi sects – the canonical Church has the support of the people. The video below, shows the All-Ukrainian Cross Procession to Saint Vladimir’s Hill on the Feast of the Baptism of Holy Rus’. For the first three minutes, you will see over one hundred thousand faithful members of the canonical Church. After three minutes, the video lets you compare this to the tiny horde of nationalists who had around 2000 people.

Such massive processions are normal events in Ukraine and Russia, as evidenced by the videos below (which only show the canonical Church). The Church easily attracts tens of thousands of people for these long and difficult pilgrimages on foot hundreds of kilometers. This shows that the people can tell good from evil.

It is worth noting, that many Orthodox people believe the events in Ukraine were prophesied by Saint Lavrenty of Chernigov (Ukraine) who reposed (died) in 1950. Saint Lavrenty predicted the schism and fighting in Ukraine, but also said God would use it to drive evil out of the church, and unite the Russian lands and Church. Here are some of Saint Lavrenty’s words, spoken in our times, which eerily match up with events in Ukraine.

He spoke of a great persecution in his homeland, in the Ukraine, after “a little freedom comes”. Seeing as Saint Lavrenty lived in both the Imperial and the Soviet period, many people believe this little freedom meant the end of Communism, which would coincide with events that occurred. After the Soviet Union fell, this schism began in Ukraine.

St. Lawrence’s Prophetic Words About Heresies and Schisms in the Ukrainian Church”4

“When a little freedom appears, when the churches and monasteries are being opened and restored, then all false teaching will come out, and the demons and secret atheists (Catholics, Uniates, Ukrainian self-ordained, and others) and will fiercely take up arms against the Orthodox Russian Church, its unity and its conciliar nature.

A godless authority will support these heretics, and therefore they will take churches away from the Orthodox and slaughter the faithful.

The whole world will be amazed at his lawlessness and will be frightened.

But all these slanders of the evil one and false teachings will disappear in Russia, and there will be One Orthodox Russian Church.”

Elder Lawrence’s Words about Rus’, about the Concept of “Russian,” about Heresies and Schisms, and about Faithfulness to the Mother-Church7

St. Lawrence spoke emphatically and strictly, with warning, that the word for our native land and people is Rus’ and Russian.8 “And it’s absolutely necessary to know, remember, and not forget that it was the Baptism of Rus’ (Russia), and not the baptism of Ukraine. Kiev is a second Jerusalem and the mother of Russian cities. Kievan Rus’ was together with Great Russia. Kiev without Great Russia and separate from Russia is completely unthinkable.

Saint Lavrenty felt strongly that the name Ukraine was forced on the people, in order to make them forget their connection to Kievan Rus’, saying foreign powers did this “so that we would be torn away from Holy and Orthodox Rus’ forever.” You can read the entire prophecies from Saint Lavrenty here, at Orthochristian.

The international Orthodox community understands the plot of neo-Nazis to create a single national Church in Ukraine, which in their design, would be a nationalist club to bless and legitimize their politics, as Uniate (Eastern Catholic) clergy blessed the Nazi soldiers of the Uniate Bandera, who allied with Hitler in WW2.

A Uniate priest blessing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine. Note: Uniates are part of the Catholic Church, they do not claim to be Orthodox

The long-suffering Ukrainian lands are part of the Ancient Lands of Rus’ or Holy Russia. In the words of Saint Lavrenty of Chernigov.

“As it is impossible to divide the Most Holy Trinity, Father and Son and Holy Spirit, for it is One God, so also it is impossible to divide Russia, the Ukraine and Belorussia, for these together are Holy Rus’. Know, remember, and do not forget.”

Those words will forever remain true. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church will bring Sobornost’ (unity) to the lands of Kievan Rus’. Nothing, not even death can destroy the Church, for she already conquered death.

The Orthodox Church is built on the blood of the martyrs. I sometimes wonder if the Church’s enemies realize she survived the Mongols, the Ottomans, Napoleon, the Bolsheviks, and Hitler, and she survives to this day in Syria. This persecution in Ukraine will also pass, but the Church is eternal, she will outlast.

Attempts to destroy Russia in the last few centuries have given her millions of martyrs praying before the throne of God, interceding on Russia’s behalf.

The New-Martyrs of Russia, among the first of which, Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and Galicia

Holy Rus’ is still alive, no matter how much she suffers, she survives. Whenever evil forces believe they will bring down darkness upon Holy Rus’, they must remember that the works and words of her Saints have resounded harmoniously throughout the Russians lands.

They are like little embers from an old fire, like echoes from the bygone years, dancing across the Ukrainian steppes. This is the heritage of Holy Rus’, a light shining in the darkness, bought ages ago to Crimea and Kiev by luminaries from Constantinople, Anatolia, and Syria – deliverers of the Orthodox Faith.

The Baptism of Rus occurred in Kiev – what makes these Nazis think the Church is afraid of them – after all, she already survived Hitler. The Neo-Nazis are just a pale imitation. They will find it is fascism which will fade like dew before the Bright Sun – a play on the words of the Ukrainian national anthem, the term “Bright Sun” being a term for Saint Vladimir of Kiev.

Saint Vladimir and the Baptism of Rus

If you ever need a reminder what is the difference between the heretics and the Canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, just save this picture. Those who dwell in darkness can’t understand light, but once you’ve seen light, you’ll never forget what it looks like.

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franz kafkaDenLilleAbelinapogohereNicholas Ferris Recent comment authors
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franz kafka

The Ukrainian Fascist Patriarch looks like Al Baghdadi, the CIA/Mossad appointed head of ISIS/ISIL got himself a new gig.

DenLilleAbe
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DenLilleAbe

I am not religious. I do respect peoples right and wish to be religious, and some people are truly devout. Am I to question that ? No, I am not. However i do recognize a fraud when I see one. The picture with people in Waffen SS uniforms is disgusting and disturbing. Any religion that embraces Nazism, must inherently be evil.

lina
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lina

The Church of the “Holy Rus” is wandering in the wilderness mostly because of its ungodly political leaders and their treasonous policies towards own people and other orthodox brothers ( i.e Serbs ). The period in question is 1917 to today, and can be safely extended all the way back to Peter the Great, the Tsar loved by todays olgharcs and their Kremlin protectors.

pogohere
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Excellent article and links. Thanks.

Nicholas Ferris
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Nicholas Ferris

Great news. Hopefully, this will help avoid a religious civil war in Ukieland. Also the link to St Lawrence article is very valuable.

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Is the Violent Dismemberment of Russia Official US Policy?

Neocons make the case that the West should not only seek to contain “Moscow’s imperial ambitions” but to actively seek the dismemberment of Russia as a whole.

The Duran

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Authored by Erik D’Amato via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity:


If there’s one thing everyone in today’s Washington can agree on, it’s that whenever an official or someone being paid by the government says something truly outrageous or dangerous, there should be consequences, if only a fleeting moment of media fury.

With one notable exception: Arguing that the US should be quietly working to promote the violent disintegration and carving up of the largest country on Earth.

Because so much of the discussion around US-Russian affairs is marked by hysteria and hyperbole, you are forgiven for assuming this is an exaggeration. Unfortunately it isn’t. Published in the Hill under the dispassionate title “Managing Russia’s dissolution,” author Janusz Bugajski makes the case that the West should not only seek to contain “Moscow’s imperial ambitions” but to actively seek the dismemberment of Russia as a whole.

Engagement, criticism and limited sanctions have simply reinforced Kremlin perceptions that the West is weak and predictable. To curtail Moscow’s neo-imperialism a new strategy is needed, one that nourishes Russia’s decline and manages the international consequences of its dissolution.

Like many contemporary cold warriors, Bugajski toggles back and forth between overhyping Russia’s might and its weaknesses, notably a lack of economic dynamism and a rise in ethnic and regional fragmentation.But his primary argument is unambiguous: That the West should actively stoke longstanding regional and ethnic tensions with the ultimate aim of a dissolution of the Russian Federation, which Bugajski dismisses as an “imperial construct.”

The rationale for dissolution should be logically framed: In order to survive, Russia needs a federal democracy and a robust economy; with no democratization on the horizon and economic conditions deteriorating, the federal structure will become increasingly ungovernable…

To manage the process of dissolution and lessen the likelihood of conflict that spills over state borders, the West needs to establish links with Russia’s diverse regions and promote their peaceful transition toward statehood.

Even more alarming is Bugajski’s argument that the goal should not be self-determination for breakaway Russian territories, but the annexing of these lands to other countries. “Some regions could join countries such as Finland, Ukraine, China and Japan, from whom Moscow has forcefully appropriated territories in the past.”

It is, needless to say, impossible to imagine anything like this happening without sparking a series of conflicts that could mirror the Yugoslav Wars. Except in this version the US would directly culpable in the ignition of the hostilities, and in range of 6,800 Serbian nuclear warheads.

So who is Janusz Bugajski, and who is he speaking for?

The author bio on the Hill’s piece identifies him as a senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis, a Washington, D.C. think-tank. But CEPA is no ordinary talk shop: Instead of the usual foundations and well-heeled individuals, its financial backers seem to be mostly arms of the US government, including the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the US Mission to NATO, the US-government-sponsored National Endowment for Democracy, as well as as veritable who’s who of defense contractors, including Raytheon, Bell Helicopter, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and Textron. Meanwhile, Bugajski chairs the South-Central Europe area studies program at the Foreign Service Institute of the US Department of State.

To put it in perspective, it is akin to a Russian with deep ties to the Kremlin and arms-makers arguing that the Kremlin needed to find ways to break up the United States and, if possible, have these breakaway regions absorbed by Mexico and Canada. (A scenario which alas is not as far-fetched as it might have been a few years ago; many thousands in California now openly talk of a “Calexit,” and many more in Mexico of a reconquista.)

Meanwhile, it’s hard to imagine a quasi-official voice like Bugajski’s coming out in favor of a similar policy vis-a-vis China, which has its own restive regions, and which in geopolitical terms is no more or less of a threat to the US than Russia. One reason may be that China would consider an American call for secession by the Tibetans or Uyghurs to be a serious intrusion into their internal affairs, unlike Russia, which doesn’t appear to have noticed or been ruffled by Bugajski’s immodest proposal.

Indeed, just as the real scandal in Washington is what’s legal rather than illegal, the real outrage in this case is that few or none in DC finds Bugajski’s virtual declaration of war notable.

But it is. It is the sort of provocation that international incidents are made of, and if you are a US taxpayer, it is being made in your name, and it should be among your outrages of the month.

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Vladimir Putin visits Serbia, as NATO encircles the country it attacked in 1999 (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 171.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Russian President Vladimir Putin’s official visit to Serbia.

Putin met with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to further develop bilateral trade and economic relations, as well as discuss pressing regional issues including the possibility of extending the Turkish Stream gas pipeline into Serbia, and the dangerous situation around Kosovo.

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Via RT


Russian President Vladimir Putin got a hero’s welcome in Belgrade. The one-day visit to the last holdout against NATO’s ambitions in the Balkans may have been somewhat short on substance, but was certainly loaded with symbolism.

Even before he landed, the Russian leader was given an honor guard by Serbian air force MiGs, a 2017 gift from Moscow to replace those destroyed by NATO during the 1999 air campaign that ended with the occupation of Serbia’s province of Kosovo. Russia has refused to recognize Kosovo’s US-backed declaration of independence, while the US and EU have insisted on it.

Upon landing, Putin began his first official trip of 2019 by paying respects to the Soviet soldiers who died liberating Belgrade from Nazi occupation in 1944. While most Serbians haven’t forgotten their historical brotherhood in arms with Russia, it did not hurt to remind the West just who did the bulk of the fighting against Nazi Germany back in World War II.

After official talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Putin visited the Church of St. Sava, the grand Orthodox basilica set on the spot where the Ottoman Turks torched the remains of the first Serbian archbishop back in 1594, in an effort to maintain power.

Sava, whose brother Stefan became the “first-crowned” king of medieval Serbia, was responsible for setting up the autocephalous Serbian Orthodox Church exactly eight centuries ago this year. For all its own troubles, the Serbian Church has sided with Moscow in the current Orthodox schism over Ukraine.

Russian artisans have been working on the grand mosaic inside the basilica, and asked Putin to complete the design by placing the last three pieces, in the colors of the Russian flag.

Whether by sheer coincidence or by design, Putin also weighed in on Serbia’s culture war, giving interviews ahead of his visit to two daily newspapers that still publish in Serbian Cyrillic – while the majority of the press, whether controlled by the West or by Vucic, prefers the Latin variant imported from Croatia.

Western media usually refer to Serbia as a “Russian ally.” While this is true in a historical and cultural sense, there is no formal military alliance between Moscow and Belgrade. Serbia officially follows the policy of military neutrality, with its armed forces taking part in exercises alongside both Russian and NATO troops.

This is a major source of irritation for NATO, which seeks dominion over the entire Balkans region. Most recently, the alliance extended membership to Montenegro in 2017 without putting the question to a referendum. It is widely expected that “Northern Macedonia” would get an invitation to NATO as soon as its name change process is complete – and that was arranged by a deal both Macedonia and Greece seem to have been pressured into by Washington.

That would leave only Serbia outside the alliance – partly, anyway, since NATO has a massive military base in the disputed province of Kosovo, and basically enjoys special status in that quasi-state. Yet despite Belgrade’s repeated declarations of Serbia wanting to join the EU, Brussels and Washington have set recognition of Kosovo as the key precondition – and no Serbian leader has been able to deliver on that just yet, though Vucic has certainly tried.

Putin’s repeated condemnations of NATO’s 1999 attack, and Russian support for Serbia’s territorial integrity guaranteed by the UN Security Council Resolution 1244, have made him genuinely popular among the Serbs, more so than Vucic himself. Tens of thousands of people showed up in Belgrade to greet the Russian president.

While Vucic’s critics have alleged that many of them were bused in by the government – which may well be true, complete with signs showing both Vucic and Putin – there is no denying the strong pro-Russian sentiment in Serbia, no matter how hard Integrity Initiative operatives have tried.

One of the signs spotted in Belgrade reportedly said “one of 300 million,” referring to the old Serbian joke about there being “300 million of us – and Russians.” However, it is also a send-up of the slogan used by current street protesters against Vucic. For the past six weeks, every Saturday, thousands of people have marched through Belgrade, declaring themselves “1 of 5 million” after Vucic said he wouldn’t give in to their demands even if “five million showed up.”

The opposition Democrats accuse him of corruption, nepotism, mismanagement, cronyism – all the sins they themselves have plenty of experience with during their 12-year reign following Serbia’s color revolution. Yet they’ve had to struggle for control of the marches with the nationalists, who accuse Vucic of preparing to betray Kosovo and want “him to go away, but [Democrats] not come back.”

There is plenty of genuine discontent in Serbia with Vucic, who first came to power in 2012 on a nationalist-populist platform but quickly began to rule as a pro-NATO liberal. It later emerged that western PR firms had a key role in his party’s “makeover” from Radicals to Progressives. Yet his subsequent balancing act between NATO and Russia has infuriated both the NGOs and politicians in Serbia beholden to Western interests, and US diplomats charged with keeping the Balkans conquered.

Washington is busy with its own troubles these days, so there was no official comment to Putin’s visit from the State Department – only a somewhat pitiful and tone-deaf tweet by Ambassador Kyle Scott, bemoaning the lack of punishment for $1 million in damages to the US Embassy during a 2008 protest against Kosovo “independence.” Yet as far as Western media outlets are concerned, why Moscow seems to be vastly more popular than Washington on the streets of Belgrade nonetheless remains a mystery.

By Nebojsa Malic

 

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Curious Bedfellows: The Neocon And Progressive Alliance To Destroy Donald Trump

The neocon metamorphosis is nearly complete as many of the neocons, who started out as Democrats, have returned home, where they are being welcomed for their hardline foreign policy viewpoint.

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Authored by Philip Giraldi via OffGuardian.com:


The Roman poet Ovid’s masterful epic The Metamorphoses includes the memorable opening line regarding the poem’s central theme of transformation. He wrote In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas corpora, which has been translated as “Of shapes transformed to bodies strange, I purpose to entreat…”

Ovid framed his narrative around gods, heroes and quasi-historical events but if he were around today, he would no doubt be fascinated by the many transformations of the group that has defined itself as neoconservative.The movement began in a cafeteria in City College of New York in the 1930s, where a group of radical Jewish students would meet to discuss politics and developments in Europe. Many of the founders were from the far left, communists of the Trotskyite persuasion, which meant that they believed in permanent global revolution led by a vanguard party. The transformation into conservatives of a neo-persuasion took place when they were reportedly “mugged by reality” into accepting that the standard leftist formulae were not working to transform the world rapidly enough. As liberal hawks, they then hitched their wagon to the power of the United States to bring about transformation by force if necessary and began to infiltrate institutions like the Pentagon to give themselves the tools to achieve their objectives, which included promotion of regime change wars, full spectrum global dominance and unconditional support for Israel.

The neocons initially found a home with Democratic Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, but they moved on in the 1970s and 1980s to prosper under Ronald Reagan as well as under Democrat Bill Clinton. Their ability to shape policy peaked under George W. Bush, when they virtually ran the Pentagon and were heavily represented in both the national security apparatus and in the White House. They became adept at selling their mantra of “strong national defense” to whomever was buying, including to President Obama, even while simultaneously complaining about his administration’s “weakness.”

The neoconservatives lined up behind Hillary Clinton in 2016, appalled by Donald Trump’s condemnation of their centerpiece war in Iraq and even more so by his pledge to end the wars in Asia and nation-building projects while also improving relations with the Russians. They worked actively against the Republican candidate both before he was nominated and elected and did everything they could to stop him, including libeling him as a Russian agent.

When Trump was elected, it, therefore, seemed that the reign of the neocons had ended, but chameleonlike, they have changed shape and are now ensconced both in some conservative as well as in an increasing number of progressive circles in Washington and in the media. Against all odds, they have even captured key posts in the White House itself with the naming of John Bolton as National Security Adviser and Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State. Bolton’s Chief of Staff is Fred Fleitz, a leading neocon and Islamophobe while last week Trump added Iran hawk Richard Goldberg to the National Security Council as director for countering Iranian weapons of mass destruction. Goldberg is an alumnus of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which is the leading neocon think tank calling incessantly for war with Iran.

Meanwhile, the neocon metamorphosis is nearly complete as many of the neocons, who started out as Democrats, have returned home, where they are being welcomed for their hardline foreign policy viewpoint. Glenn Greenwald reports that, based on polling of party supporters, the Democrats have gone full-Hillary and are now by far more hawkish than the Republicans, unwilling to leave either Syria or Afghanistan.

The neocon survival and rejuvenation is particularly astonishing in that they have been wrong about virtually everything, most notably the catastrophic Iraq War. They have never been held accountable for anything, though one should note that accountability is not a prominent American trait, at least since Vietnam. What is important is that neocon views have been perceived by the media and punditry as being part of the Establishment consensus, which provides them with access to programming all across the political spectrum. That is why neocon standard-bearers like Bill Kristol and Max Boot have been able to move effortlessly from Fox News to MSNBC where they are fêted by the likes of Rachel Maddow. They applauded the Iraq War when the Establishment was firmly behind it and are now trying to destroy Donald Trump’s presidency because America’s elite is behind that effort.

Indeed, the largely successful swing by the neocons from right to left has in some ways become more surreal, as an increasing number of progressive spokesmen and institutions have lined up behind their perpetual warfare banner. The ease with which the transformation took place reveals, interestingly, that the neocons have no real political constituency apart from voters who feel threatened and respond by supporting perpetual war, but they do share many common interests with the so-called liberal interventionists. Neocons see a global crisis for the United States defined in terms of power while the liberals see the struggle as a moral imperative, but the end result is the same: intervention by the United States. This fusion is clearly visible in Washington, where the Clintons’ Center for American Progress (CAP) is now working on position papers with the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

One of the most active groups attacking President Trump is “Republicans for the Rule of Law,” founded by Bill Kristol in January 2018, as a component of Defending Democracy Together(DDT), a 501(c)4 lobbying group that also incorporates projects called The Russia Tweets and Republicans Against Putin. Republicans Against Putin promotes the view that President Trump is not “stand[ing] up to [Vladimir] Putin” and calls for more aggressive investigation of the Russian role in the 2016 election.

DDT is a prime example of how the neoconservatives and traditional liberal interventionists have come together as it is in part funded by Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire co-founder of eBay who has provided DDT with $600,000 in two grants through his Democracy Fund Voice, also a 501(c)4. Omidyar is a political liberal who has given millions of dollars to progressive organizations and individuals since 1999. Indeed, he is regarded as a top funder of liberal causesin the United States and even globally together with Michael Bloomberg and George Soros. His Democracy Fund awarded $9 million in grants in 2015 alone.

Last week, the Omidyar-Kristol connection may have deepened with an announcement regarding the launch of the launch of a new webzine The Bulwark, which would clearly be at least somewhat intended to take the place of the recently deceased Weekly Standard. It is promoting itself as the center of the “Never Trump Resistance” and it is being assumed that at least some of the Omidyar money is behind it.

Iranian-born Omidyar’s relationship with Kristol is clearly based on the hatred that the two share regarding Donald Trump.

Omidyar has stated that Trump is a “dangerous authoritarian demagogue… endorsing Donald Trump immediately disqualifies you from any position of public trust.”

He has tweeted that Trump suffers from “failing mental capacity” and is both “corrupt and incapacitated.”

Omidyar is what he is – a hardcore social justice warrior who supports traditional big government and globalist liberal causes, most of which are antithetical to genuine conservatives. But what is interesting about the relationship with Kristol is that it also reveals what the neoconservatives are all about. Kristol and company have never been actual conservatives on social issues, a topic that they studiously avoid, and their foreign policy is based on two principles: creating a state of perpetual war based on fearmongering about foreign enemies while also providing unlimited support for Israel. Kristol hates Trump because he threatens the war agenda while Omidyar despises the president for traditional progressive reasons. That hatred is the tie that binds and it is why Bill Kristol, a man possessing no character and values whatsoever, is willing to take Pierre Omidyar’s money while Pierre is quite happy to provide it to destroy a common enemy, the President of the United States of America.

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