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On North Korea, Trump says ‘Libya model would take place if we don’t make a deal’

Will Trump’s hard ball style of deal-making win the day?

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First, John Bolton again opened his big mouth referring to ‘the Libya model’, where a nation that denuclearized experienced a US backed regime change that has left the nation a failed state ever since, right when Washington is supposedly attempting to broker a denuclearization deal with a country that Trump has been threatening to bomb, as well as get a peace settlement established.

Obviously, Bolton’s statements were, by some parties, construed as referring to the regime change program that has made Libya such a successful, modern, slave-trading, violence ridden failed state, rather than the denuclearization process that was accomplished there in 2003-2004.

This week, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has declared that he isn’t continuing with peace talks as long as that means taking a unilateral ‘proposal’ from the US, or, in Trump’s terms, where America gets ‘the better end of the deal’.

In short, as long as the peace talks translate into ‘America First’, Kim isn’t negotiating. Kim is telling Trump that this is about ‘making Korea whole again’, and has a ‘Korea first’ motto, putting the two parties on opposite sides of the arena.

After all, the means cited to spur the denuclearization talks are essentially the same as those that were used with Gadhafi’s nuclear disarmament, and that is the threat of delivering US-made bombs and boots on the ground, whether American or more ‘moderate’ ones.

Following Bush’s invasion of Iraq, Bush made clear that “we have clarified the choices left to potential adversaries”, meaning, get rid of your WMDs or we’re coming after you.

Trump is likewise taking credit for the process that has transpired in the direction of DPRK’s nuclear disarmament by indicating that it was his threats of unleashing nuclear war on North Korea that lit the fire under them to get moving on a program to end their nuclear development and establish peace with the South.

However, it may very well be that it is that very ‘Libya model’ that has led to a stall in progress towards peace and nuclear disarmament on the Korean peninsula, as Libya disarmed, but still got the ‘America first’ treatment, or rather, ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ exported to their country.

However, Trump seems to be well prepared to reimpose it in Korea, definitely referring to Gadhafi’s overthrow and murder, if he doesn’t get what he wants. Once again, more of Trump’s ‘art of deal making’, the ‘take it or leave it’ approach; or, this time, ‘take it or die’. The AFP reports:

US President Donald Trump tried to put his summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un back on track Thursday, offering the North Korean leader guarantees of staying in power if he abandons nuclear weapons.

As prospects for a historic summit next month between the two leaders dimmed, Trump told reporters that if the meeting were to go ahead successfully, Kim “will get protections that will be very strong.”

“He’d be in his country and running his country. His country would be very rich.”

But the pledge came barbed with a warning that if talks fail, Kim could suffer the same fate as Libya’s Moamer Kadhafi, who was overthrown by rebels and murdered.

Trump’s comments came as Pyongyang appeared to cool to the idea of the sit-down in Singapore on June 12, blaming US demands for “unilateral nuclear abandonment.”

Trump suggested Kim’s about-face may have been at the behest of Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

“It could very well be that he’s influencing Kim Jong Un,” Trump said, citing a recent meeting between the pair, their second in a month’s time. “We’ll see what happens.”

After months of photo-ops and diplomatic backslapping, a North Korean official was quoted as saying the summit may not go ahead.

The official also groused about Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, who referred to Libya as a model for denuclearization.

In 2003, Kadhafi agreed to the elimination of his country’s nuclear program and chemical weapons arsenal to gain sanctions relief.

But Trump, and Pyongyang, appeared to zero in on what happened a decade later following the Libyan revolution, when NATO-backed rebels ousted the government and killed Kadhafi.

“The Libyan model isn’t a model that we have (in mind) at all when we’re thinking of North Korea,” Trump said while sitting at arm’s length from Bolton in the Oval Office.

“If you look at that model with Kadhafi, that was a total decimation. We went in there to beat him,” Trump said.

“Now, that model would take place if we don’t make a deal, most likely,” he warned Pyongyang.

“But if we make a deal, I think Kim Jong Un is going to be very, very happy.”

Trump has already said that he would ‘walk away’ if he doesn’t think that the talks will go his way, and now he’s adding to that the threat of overthrowing Kim in the manner that the US overthrew Libya’s Gadhafi.

Will Kim use his threat of walking away from this process to force Trump to move in his direction, or will Trump’s threats of not only backing away, but launching hostile initiatives in Kim’s direction, win the day on this process moving forward (if moving can be a description of the present situation, and as if there even will be a forward)?

Of interest here isn’t purely the North Korea angle on this story, but also the casual manner in which the wholesale destruction of a nation and countless crimes against humanity were, and continue to be, committed are being mentioned, and how America is owning its participation in it, while assuming no responsibility for cleaning up its mess, or for the horrors that America has unleashed in North Africa.

Also of interest, note that many of Europe’s migrants are fleeing the failed state that Libya has become, a situation that the White House admits that it created, a problem for Europe that their strategic and defensive ally has handed to them complete with gift wrapping and a bow.

Trump isn’t the start of problems that Europe is faring, they find their origin in American foreign policy, as the Libya situation went down under his predecessor, he’s just putting ‘America first’ in big bold letters for them, and maybe also for the Koreans, too.

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It’s Back to the Iran-Contra Days Under Trump

Abrams and his cronies will not stop with Venezuela.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored by Wayne Madsen, via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Showing that he is adopting the neoconservative playbook every day he remains in office, Donald Trump handed the neocons a major win when he appointed Iran-contra scandal felon Elliott Abrams as his special envoy on Venezuela. Abrams pleaded guilty in 1991 to two counts of withholding information on the secret sale of US weapons for cash to help illegally supply weapons to the Nicaraguan right-wing contras, who were battling against the government of President Daniel Ortega. Abrams would have headed to a federal prison, but President George H. W. Bush, an unindicted co-conspirator in the scandal, issued pardons to Abrams and his five fellow conspirators – former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, and former Central Intelligence Agency officials Alan Fiers, Duane “Dewey” Clarridge, and Clair George – on Christmas Eve 1991, during the final weeks of Bush’s lame duck administration.

Abrams escaped being charged with more serious crimes by Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh because he cut a last-minute deal with federal prosecutors. Trump, who has made no secret of his disdain for cooperating federal witnesses, would have normally called Abrams a “rat,” a gangster term meaning informant. The man who helped engineer the pardons for Abrams and his five convicted friends was none other than Bush’s Attorney General, William Barr, who has just been sworn in as Trump’s Attorney General. Trump, who is always decrying the presence of the “deep state” that thwarts his very move, has become the chief guardian of that entity.

During a recent hearing of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, newly-minted congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, reminded her colleagues and the world about the sordid background of Abrams.

Omar zeroed in on Abrams’s criminal history:

“Mr. Abrams, in 1991 you pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress regarding the Iran-Contra affair, for which you were later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony you give today to be truthful.”

Abrams, as is the nature of neocons, refused to respond to Omar and cited her comments as “personal attacks.”

Abrams’s and his fellow criminals’ use of mercenaries and “death squads” to conduct secret wars in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala during the Ronald Reagan administration in the 1980s has made a re-entrance under Trump. Abrams was brought on board by neocons like National Security Adviser John Bolton, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to oversee a US military build-up in Colombia, said to be 5000 US troops, to support Venezuelan paramilitary and military efforts to topple President Nicolas Maduro. Abrams and Bolton are also believed to have retained the services of another unindicted conspirator in the Iran-contra affair, Michael Ledeen, a colleague of the disgraced and convicted former Trump National Security Adviser, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. Ledeen and Flynn co-authored a book titled, “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and its Allies.” The book contains nothing more than the standard neocon tripe one might expect from the likes of Ledeen.

An official investigation of the Iran-contra scandal by the late Republican Senator John Tower of Texas concluded that Abrams’s and Ledeen’s friend, Iranian-Jewish middleman Manucher Ghorbanifar, a long-time Mossad asset and well-known prevaricator, was extremely instrumental in establishing the back-channel arms deals with Iran. Ghorbanifar has long been on the CIA “burn list” as an untrustworthy charlatan, along with others in the Middle East of similar sketchy credentials, including the Iraq’s Ahmad Chalabi, Syria’s Farid “Frank” Ghadry, and Lebanon’s Samir “Sami” Geagea. These individuals, however, were warmly embraced by neocons like Abrams and his associates.

Abrams, whose links with Israeli intelligence has always been a point of consternation with US counter-intelligence officials, is part of an old cabal of right-wing anti-Soviet Democrats who coalesced around Senator Henry Jackson in the 1970s. Along with Abrams, this group of war hawks included Richard Perle, Frank Gaffney, William Kristol, Douglas Feith, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Abram Shulsky, and Paul Wolfowitz. Later, this group would have its fingerprints on major US foreign policy debacles, ranging from Nicaragua and Grenada to Lebanon, Iraq, and Libya. Later, in December 2000, these neocons managed to convince president-elect George W. Bush of the need to “democratize” the Middle East. That policy would later bring not democracy but disaster to the Arab Middle East and North Africa.

Abrams and his cronies will not stop with Venezuela. They have old scores to settle with Nicaraguan President Ortega. The initiation of “regime change” operations in Nicaragua, supported by the CIA and the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Miami, have been ongoing for more than a year.

The Trump administration has already achieved a regime change victory of sorts in El Salvador. Nayib Bukele, the former mayor of San Salvador, who was expelled from the formerly-ruling left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation (FMLN) party and joined the right-wing GANA party, was recently elected president of El Salvador. Bukele has quickly re-aligned his country’s policies with those of the Trump administration. Bukele has referred to President Maduro of Venezuela as a “dictator.” He has also criticized the former FMLN government’s recognition of China and severance of diplomatic ties with Taiwan. It will be interesting to see how a sycophant like Bukele will politically survive as Trump continues to call hapless asylum-seeking migrants from his country, who seek residency in the United States, “rapists, gang monsters, murderers, and drug smugglers.”

Another country heading for a US-installed “banana republic” dictator is Haiti. President Jovenal Moise has seen rioting in the streets of Port-au-Prince as the US State Department removed all “non-essential” personnel from the country. Moise, whose country has received $2 billion in oil relief from Venezuela, to help offset rising fuel prices, has continued to support the Maduro government. However, at the US-run and neo-colonial artifice, the Organization of American States (OAS), Moise’s envoys have been under tremendous pressure to cut ties with Venezuela and recognize the US puppet Juan Guaido as Venezuelan president. Moise’s refusal to do so resulted in armed gangs hitting the streets of Port-au-Prince demanding Moise’s resignation. It is the same neocon “regime change” playbook being used in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

There will be similar attempts to replace pro-Maduro governments in his remaining allies in the region. These include Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Abrams was also brought in as an adviser on Middle East policy in the George W. Bush administration. The carnage of Iraq is a stark testament to his record. In 2005, it was reported that two key Bush White House officials – Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliot Abrams – gave a “wink and a nod” for the assassinations by Israeli-paid operatives of three key Lebanese political figures seeking a rapprochement with Syria and Lebanese Hezbollah – Member of Parliament Elie Hobeika, former Lebanese Communist Party chief George Hawi, and former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

In 2008, a United Nations panel headed by former Canadian prosecutor Daniel Bellemare later concluded Hariri was assassinated by a “criminal network” and not by either Syrian and Lebanese intelligence or Lebanese Hezbollah as proffered by Abrams and his friends in Washington.

Representative Omar was spot on in questioning why Abrams, whose name is as disgraced as his two fellow conspirators – Oliver North and John Poindexter – whose criminal convictions were overturned on appeal, is working for the Trump administration on Venezuela. The answer is that the neocons, who can sense, like raptors, Trump’s political weakness, have filled the vacuum left by top-level vacancies in the administration.

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Putin: If mid-range missiles deployed in Europe, Russia will station arms to strike decision centers

Putin: If US deploys mid-range missiles in Europe, Russia will be forced to respond.

RT

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Via RT…


If the US deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Moscow will respond by stationing weapons aimed not only against missiles themselves, but also at command and control centers, from which a launch order would come.

The warning came from President Vladimir Putin, who announced Russia’s planned actions after the US withdraws from the INF Treaty – a Cold War-era agreement between Washington and Moscow which banned both sides form having ground-based cruise and ballistic missiles and developing relevant technology.

The US is set to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty in six months, which opens the possibility of once again deploying these missiles in Europe. Russia would see that as a major threat and respond with its own deployments, Putin said.

Intermediate-range missiles were banned and removed from Europe because they would leave a very short window of opportunity for the other side to decide whether to fire in retaliation after detecting a launch – mere minutes. This poses the threat of an accidental nuclear exchange triggered by a false launch warning, with the officer in charge having no time to double check.

“Russia will be forced to create and deploy weapon systems, which can be used not only against the territories from which this direct threat would be projected, but also against those territories where decision centers are located, from which an order to use those weapons against us may come.” The Russian president, who was delivering a keynote address to the Russian parliament on Wednesday, did not elaborate on whether any counter-deployment would only target US command-and-control sites in Europe or would also include targets on American soil.

He did say the Russian weapon system in terms of flight times and other specifications would “correspond” to those targeting Russia.

“We know how to do it and we will implement those plans without a delay once the relevant threats against us materialize,”he said.

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Labour MP split is a cheap and final ploy to derail BREXIT (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 179.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss a small group of UK Labour MPs decision to quit the party and sit as Independent MPs in the house of commons.

Their excuse for leaving Labour was directed at leader Jeremy Corbyn for presiding over an “institutionally anti-Semitic” party. The real reason they are leaving Labour is because they are staunch remain MPs and are hoping to derail Brexit.

The seven Labour MPs quitting the party to become ‘The Independent Group’, are Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey.

RT reports that Luciana Berger, the MP for Liverpool Wavertree took to the stage first, to claim that she could not stay in the party any more because it had become “institutionally anti-Semitic.”

Chuka Umunna, MP for Streatham, a prominent ‘People’s Vote’ advocate appealed to all MPs, not just Labour, to join their group, as the current parties are part of the problem, not the solution.

He argued that “It is time we dumped this country’s old fashioned politics.” Umunna claimed the UK needed a political party “fit for the hear and now” and the “first step in leaving the tribal politics behind.”

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Via RT

Twitter has been rocked by the sudden departure of seven Labour MPs to form their own Independent Group, with party supporters feverishly debating whether the move is better for the party, or a wake-up call to Jeremy Corbyn.

Former shadow cabinet minister Chuka Umunna along with MPs Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith, Chris Leslie, Mike Gapes and Ann Coffey have all jumped ship in the biggest Labour Party split since 1981, when the so-called “gang of four” left to form the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

In a press conference, Umunna stated that the established parties “cannot be the change because they have become the problem” arguing that it is “time we dumped this country’s old-fashioned politics.”

Jewish MP Luciana Berger said she was “embarrassed and ashamed” at what the Labour Party had become and criticized her former party for becoming “sickeningly institutionally racist.”

“I am leaving behind a culture of bullying, bigotry and intimidation. I look forward to a future serving with colleagues who respect each other,” she added.

Reaction to the news online has been a mixture of shock and dismay, to outright derision. Some Labour supporters were quick to delight in the departures, suggesting the party will be stronger without detractors undermining it from within.

Others though said it was time for Jeremy Corbyn to take the criticism seriously.

Meanwhile, some Twitter users commented on Young Labour’s somewhat barbed response to the situation.

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