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Obama alienated the US from Asia, Eurasia and the Middle East–now its Europe’s turn

America is becoming friendless after 8 failed years of Obama and a Trump administration that is not allowed to even try and operate effectively.

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Barack Obama began his administration with the idea that the US would ‘pivot’ the epicentre of its hegemonic power to Asia. Forgetting the fact that the word ‘pivot’ is in this context, borrowed from the imperialist geo-political writings of Halford MacKinder, the plan which was arrogant in the first place, failed spectacularly by the end of Obama’s time in power.

During the Obama years, China’s economy continued to grow and its One Belt–One Road initiative, first proposed in 2013, saw Beijing uniting both the large and medium sized states of Asia and Eurasia in support of the plans to harmonise and modernise global trade, commercial infrastructure and cooperation. Not only is One Belt–One Road becoming what looks to be the most effective way of uniting the economic giants of Asia and Eurasia, but crucially, its model does not require that participating countries adopt a particular internal economic system or style of governance. Thus, the initiative differs greatly from US lead initiatives or the European Union.

During the Obama years, Pakistan and China became ever closer to each other, particularly after the development of the Pakistan China Economic Corridor. At the same time, Pakistan also developed historically good relations with China’s most important modern ally, Russia.

Philippines, once America’s de-facto satellite in South East Asia ended up becoming a tentative partner of both China and Russia. Under President Rodrigo Duterte, Philippines has transformed from parroting America’s imperial bombast over the South China Sea, to being a country which represents a new model of South East Asian cooperation with other countries including historical rivals such as Vietnam and of course the super-power that is China. Manila simultaneously maintain generally good relations with Indonesia and Malaysia under Duterte’s sovereignty minded foreign policy. 

India continues to try and have it both ways, but the reality is that economic partnership with China is far more beneficial to India’s economy in the medium and long term than the fledgling military relationship New Delhi has fomented with Washington ever had the potential to be.

It was further during the Obama administration that the seeds were sown for much of the Middle East, including US allies like Qatar and to a degree Egypt, to look elsewhere, particularly towards Russia as a super-power that could bring stability to the region.

Lastly, under Obama Russia started to fully embrace Eurasianism as any lingering ideas of Russia as part of a European family were exposed as utterly wasteful. Turkey too saw its future increasingly with Russia and other Eurasian partners, something which prior to the Obama years seemed unlikely to say the least.

Obama’s ‘pivot’ to Asia ended up catapulting America back to Europe which under Obama was a safe haven of mutual admiration. Now though, the US Congress’ sanctions on Russia have had the effect of turning Europe against the United States, led by its most powerful nation, Germany.

Germany’s Economics Minister Brigitte Zypries has warned that an unfortunate trade war could breakout between Europe and America over sanctions.

She stated,

“We consider this to be a violation of international law. The Americans cannot punish German companies because they operate economically in another country.

We do not want a trade war, of course. That is why we have repeatedly and on different levels insisted that the Americans do not abandon the policy of common (anti-Russia) sanctions… (Since they did) it is therefore the right thing to do for the EU Commission to look into countermeasure”.

It does seems as though the United States is becoming increasingly oblivious to what its European allies are saying about the sanctions. As The Duran’s Alexander Mercouris wrote,

“The new sanctions bill is not really aimed at damaging Russia but rather at damaging President Trump. To achieve that objective all other interests are being sacrificed. Just as the fundamental economic interests of the US’s European allies are being sacrificed to what is ultimately an internecine factional quarrel within the US of which the Russiagate scandal is only the outward manifestation, so a crippling blow to the US diplomatic and intelligence operation in Russia is being barely noticed..”

With America having just about irreversibly lost influence and credibility in Asia, Eurasia and the Middle East and now with Washington making no visible efforts to placate the European Union, where is America going to find meaingful partnerships? Bolivia and Venezuela are increasingly symbolic of a South America that has turned from the United States and China is increasingly the only superpower that mattes in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Maybe Donald Trump ought to reconsider his views on Mexico seeing as he has increasingly few other options.

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santiago
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santiago

I disagree, they are stupid, they have shown this time and time again, so far I have yet to witness in my 30 years of political consciousness a smart move from the US, this is why the US is in a decadence spiral, it is going down the drain faster than anyone could have projected it.

They are stupid because their lack of common sense, ignorance, and most importantly hubris. They may use subterfuge, terrorism, blackmail, and corruption to further their agenda and none of these tactics point towards them being smart, on the contrary it is just thug tactics.

Wayne Blow
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Wayne Blow

Santiago, that is one of the best statements yet, thank you my friend!!!!

Wayne Blow
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Wayne Blow

Laughing out really loud!!!!!!!!!

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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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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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