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The Art of the Deal and the Deal of Assad

America and Europe have dealt with far more erratic men than Bashar al-Assad. Assad is a learned, moderate and sensible man who ought to be a reliable partner for Donald Trump in a genuine war on terrorism.

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One of the tragic ironies of history is that when George W. Bush declared a ‘war on terror’, such a thing was not necessary. In the early 2000s, the treat of Islamic terrorism to the world was relatively limited and logistically constrained in terms of size and scope. A quick phone call from Washington to Riyadh saying ‘STOP IT’, could have solved quite a lot.

However, given Saudi Arabia’s direct hand in helping to perpetrate the attacks of September 11th and the Bush family’s pathologically intimate relationship with the House of Saud, this was clearly not an option.

So instead, Bush and Blair invented enemies where there were none and in doing so, they created a real problem of widespread global Islamic terrorism that does require a thorough response. Today, there is a real war on terror, one brought tragically to fruition due to the original, phony war on terror.

Obama and Hillary have done more to augment terrorism than they’ve done to curtail it. Hillary Clinton like Bush before her, has a relationship with Saudi Arabia, the mother of all terrorist states, which eliminates her war on terror credentials on arrival.  It is now up to Donald Trump to realise that fighting Islamic terrorism in the Middle East without forming an alliance with secular Arab states and their partners, will be like trying to fry an egg on an iceberg.

This was one of the central themes of the first interview given by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since the US election. Assad expressed a kind of subdued and intelligent caution about Trump, saying that because Trump has never been a professional politician, it is difficult for Syria to assess what a future relationship might hold.

However, his tone then became more positive when he said that if Trump is genuine about fighting terrorism, Syria will have no problems with considering the United States a full partner in the war against terrorism along with Russia, Iran and many others.

Trump campaigned on a platform of ending the disastrous US regime change policy. Assad, however, issued a warning to those who disagree with Trump on that,  saying that America is a sovereign country but not some sort of ideological global policeman.

And here is what he added:

West has its own culture, we have our own culture, they have their own reality, we have our own reality. So, our democracy should reflect our culture and our habits and our customs and our reality at the same time.

It’s deeply ironic that Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Francois Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl were all willing and able to conduct business with Saddam’s Iraq during his war with Iran and that George Bush and Tony Blair ended up doing deals with Gaddafi.

By any objective standard, both Saddam and Gaddafi were far more difficult men to deal with than Assad, one of the most moderate and learned leaders in the world.  I have always maintained that Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr was the finest leader of modern Iraq and that when Saddam assumed full control of the country in 1979 (some speculate by force), he did much to retard the progress of his noble country.

Whilst Saddam’s record on infrastructure and education remains very good, the zeal with which he went to war with the Islamic-Republic of Iran sowed the seeds of future misery for Iraq. It didn’t help that Baghdad was widely encouraged and armed by foreign powers against the revolutionary Islamic Republic. It also didn’t  help global public opinion,  when Saddam’s genuine concerns about the Arab Shi’a population of Iraq’s south, aligning with a country which espouses global revolution, is described as Saddam’s ‘war against his own people’.

The threat of a southern Iraqi rebellion was real and Saddam did his best to keep his country united. Yet by invading Iran, Saddam made his efforts to further unite Iraq more difficult. This was an unintended consequence of the war which he should have been wise enough not to instigate.

Saddam was a deeply flawed leader who twice predicted military triumphs when the opposite occurred. The war with Iran was one of the bloodiest stalemates in history and his war on the corrupt kleptocracy of Kuwait, however morally justified it was in many ways, was ultimately ill thought out and ended up hurting Iraq even more than the war with Iran.

Unlike Saddam, who made Iraq worse vis-à-vis his predecessor, Libya’s Gaddafi made his country unambiguously better. Gaddafi literally took a poor North African nation from the sands of simplicity and brought the country into a golden age of modernity where the population became the richest, healthiest and most educated in African history.

Gaddafi was a deeply philosophical man and his Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was an example of a state governed on a profoundly philosophical basis which permeated every area of social life. Think North Korea with deeply higher levels of personal and religious freedom or Hoxha’s Albania without the poverty. Gaddafi’s Green Book still makes for a fascinating read, especially for students of anti-revisionist socialism.

The reason that I’ve devoted paragraphs to Saddam and Gaddafi in an article about Assad is to demonstrate the contrast of how easy it would be for any western power to deal with Assad. Prior to Syria’s war on terror (it isn’t a civil war, the majority of Syrians support their government more than ever), Syria was a placid place. It was not militarised like Saddam’s Iraq nor a philosophical state like Gaddafi’s Jamahiriya.

If one were to take someone from a southern European country, blindfold them and land them on a beach in Syria, they would not be able to tell if they were in Greece, southern Italy, Cyprus, Turkey or Lebanon. One would have to wait for someone to speak Arabic and see a Syrian flag atop a hotel before realising where one was. By contrast, if the blindfolded traveler were brought to the Jamahiriya, he would almost instantly realise he was in Libya.

This is all the more reason that Assad presents an opportunity for engagement, as a man and a politician, he is very easy to engage. Far from just being more moderate and easy going than Saddam or Gaddafi, I would say that he is a far more moderate, measured and polite man than Silvio Berlusconi, and no one ever talked about Italian regime change under his tenure. One could even go back to Charles De Gaulle who looked a bit like Assad, but was ultimately a far more stubborn man.

Russia’s redoubled efforts against ISIS and al-Qaeda strongholds in the last day, demonstrate that vast parts of Syria may be liberated from terrorists even before Donald Trump enters office.

Assad said the following about Russia:

Russians always base their policies on values, and these values are the sovereignty of other countries, international law, respecting other people, other cultures, so they don’t interfere in whatever is related to the future of Syria or the Syrian people… The Russians are fighting for us, for the world, and for their self.

By the 20th of January there will almost certainly still be some foreign terrorist elements in Syria that will need to be fought.  This is particularly true in the parts of Syria closet to Iraq. The man who wrote The Art of The Deal should be thankful that in the war on terrorism, he has in President Assad, a man who will be a very easy individual to make deals with.

Such deals will ensure the safety of Syria, the wider region, America and indeed many parts of the world. The ball is in Trump’s court, it is now up to him to make the best of the opportunity.

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Russia’s economy continues to outperform as gold takes center stage (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 118.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine how US and EU sanctions have continued to provide a huge boost to Russia’s economy. Russia’s food sovereignty has practically been achieved, as the Russian central bank continues to buy gold and lower its exposure to western financial markets.

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Via TASS…

Outside pressure in the form of sanctions has become an incentive to resolve various issues of Russia’s economy, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev stated in an interview with the Izvestiya daily.

He noted that through introducing sanctions against Russia, “the West aims to destabilize Russia’s economy and to create social and political tensions in society.”

“But during the difficult times, Russians have always stuck together and mobilized their resources in order to ensure the country’s sovereignty. This is what is happening now – the outside pressure has become an incentive to resolve many problems in Russia’s economy,” he said.

“Before the sanctions, it seemed that we would never be able to feed ourselves and that we are doomed to be dependent on Western import. However, right now, Russia’s food sovereignty in crucial sectors has practically been achieved, and in some areas, Russia has become the leading exporter,” Patrushev noted.

Those who apply the sanctions “can see that they (the sanctions – TASS) are ineffective and often achieve the opposite goal,” the Russian security chief concluded.

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US Neocon Foreign Policy and the War Waged Against Serbia

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign.

Richard Galustian

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The ‘witch-hunt’ against President Trump over Russian collusion has officially ended, following the submission of the Mueller Report, enabling us to now focus on the real problems of America that effects the whole world.

In the hope of a waining of the Russophobia in America, let’s look at the US’s recent war history by starting with the 20th anniversary this month of the NATO war on Serbia in 1999 which amounted to almost 100 days of bombing of historic cities and infrastructure.

Firstly, these problems are, in the main caused by the Neocons, or Deep State, whatever you wish to call them, and the continuing promotion, by the US Military-Security Industrial Complex, of wars and regime change and secondly, Trump’s unreserved support for Israel, regardless of war crimes they may continue to commit against the Palestinians.

Incredibly after that one sided unjust and illegal war that NATO executed, NATO has the audacity to invite Serbia to join it! Something that will never happen. What do they smoke in DC, in the Pentagon and Brussels based NATO?

To compound these overall problems, the US Military and Israeli Defence Forces collaborate on these US regime change policies on all continents evidenced most recently by the arrival of crack Israeli troops last month in Brazil, prepared to support an attack potentially by Brazil and Columbia on Venezuela.

As, has now come to be expected, America pursues its Venezuelan regime change with full main stream media (MSM) cooperation, using well proven sophisticated propaganda techniques along with a variety of pretexts.

From Serbia to Iraq to Libya, where does it end? Observe that Trump is now seeking a ‘NATO alliance’ offering NATO status, to President Bolsonaro of Brazil to back the invasion of Venezuela.

So it is important to remember, as an example, that after a long war of economic and financial destabilization ended with the bombing of Serbia.

Serbia was previously a part of Yugoslavia, a country which had successfully evolved after 1945 to solve the old rivalries of the 19th and early 20th Century Balkan ethnic animosities which was, prior to the advent of power of President Tito, its past history.

The United Nations, instead of supporting, in effect, so called ‘humanitarian wars’ and ‘regime change wars’ by the US, using NATO, helped and relentlessly driven home by MSM outlets like CNN and FOX NEWS into people’s heads, must finally take a stand.

So too, Yugoslavia, once the envy of many in the world, given its then ‘non-aligned’ status under President Tito, was destroyed and broken up; ‘Balkanized’ in the early 1990s.

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign. That’s what we can expect in Venezuela next.

This ‘Balkanization’ strategy similarly applies to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria et al. It serves US Neocon interests to dismember States in the world and create smaller more ‘manageable’ countries.

‘Regime change’ runs against the intent, the very words contained in the US Constitution. No one in MSM ever reminds us of that fact. Nevertheless America’s ambition to overthrow other States continues, which they arrogantly now make no secret of. The next States will probably be Nicaragua then Iran to name but two.

A very noteworthy most recent outrageous unilateral declaration was made by President Trump, not yet formally agreed by US institutions, ‘giving’ something he has no authority to give; Syrian territory, the Golan Heights to be precise, to Israel. Something that one day could trigger a full scale Arab-Israeli War.

This is of extreme importance yet no real outcry comes from world leaders; well not so far.

The main reason for that decision given by senior US Administration figures is that “God anointed Trump to save the Jews”.

Not forgetting Trump’s need (which we the people don’t understand exactly why) to support Prime Minister Netanyahu in his difficult upcoming elections in Israel – in part because both countries failed to ‘regime change’ Syria – but more importantly to help the ‘financial terrorists’ who formed a company jointly that has already started drilling for oil in the Golan Heights. You might like to know who owns such oil drilling company which should answer a plethora of questions in one go that you must be asking yourselves.

The shareholder’s names tells us everything; Dick Cheney; Baron Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch. The titular heads of neocons, bankers and media on the planet.

In ending there is no more evidence required for us, the people of the world, to rise up against the globalist dark forces wherever they exist, be it in Brussels, London, France or Washington. We must demand democratic elections or start revolutions, the latter has already begun in France in the form of ‘the yellow vests’. And Brexit, by definition, is a rejection by the British people of globalism and American Hegemony.

The pattern of US destabilization and destruction of States to loot them of their sovereign resources is the unseen history of the last 100 years, not taught in any university, anywhere in the West.

As far as Ukraine is concerned, its government was taken down by the CIA and replaced by an ultra fascist regime that has full backing from America. This is no secret. But the MSM simple don’t report it.

US led NATO is ‘the transnational war machine’ of the world, devouring almost all free countries wealth. It can extort to terrorize all into conformity to the global ‘carcinogenic’ US Neocon imperialistic strategy.

A total estimated 20m people around the world have died since the end of WW11 at the hands of US Forces. Think about that for a moment.

One of the most famous sayings attributed to America’s great President Abraham Lincoln is about deception: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

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‘Dark day for internet freedom’: EU approves controversial copyright reform

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

RT

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The European Parliament has voted to adopt the highly controversial Article 13 provision which would govern the production and distribution of content online under the auspices of increasing copyright protections.

Tuesday’s move will update the EU’s 20-year-old copyright rules and will govern everything from audiovisual content to memes, much to the dismay of many social media users who have already begun outpouring their grief online.

MEPs passed the legislation by 348 votes to 274 Tuesday. Opponents had hoped for last-minute amendments to be made but their efforts were in vain.

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

Article 13 or ‘The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market’ makes all platforms legally responsible for the content hosted and shared on their platforms.

The process of updating the bloc’s copyright laws began in the European Commission two years ago, ostensibly to protect Europe’s publishers, broadcasters and artists and guarantee fair compensation from big tech companies.

By essentially forcing companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to pay artists and publishers for the reproduction of their work online, include in meme format, the EU is effectively clamping down on online memery.

The onus will now be on tech companies to clamp down on content-sharing on their platforms, which will likely ensure yet more draconian policing of speech and content.

EU member states now have two years to pass their own laws putting Article 13 into effect.

Tens of thousands marched in protest across Germany ahead of the vote, decrying what they viewed as severe online censorship.

Tech giant Google said that while the directive is “improved” it will still lead to legal uncertainty and will damage Europe’s creative and digital economies.

Critics have argued that the only way for Article 13 to be effectively enforced would be through the use of upload filters which automatically check content to see if it’s copyrighted or not, at least in theory. However, the exact mechanics of such a system have yet to be fully debated and the potential for abuse is immediately clear.

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