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9 reasons Trump’s dream of Russian reconciliation is now impossible

What was once mission difficult is now mission impossible–at least for the foreseeable future.

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Donald Trump has yet again stated that he seeks to have good or even “great” relations with Russia. Speaking beside Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Trump stated,

“I hope that we do have good relations with Russia. I say it loud and clear, I’ve been saying it for years: I think it’s a good thing if we have great relationships, or at least good relationships with Russia.

It’s a big country, it’s a nuclear country, it’s a country that we should get along with, and I think we will eventually get along with Russia”.

In spite of Trump’s stated wishes, the policies of his administration, irrespective of who is actually authoring them, are in total opposition to Russia’s stated geo-political goals and Russia’s geo-strategic interests.

The Trump administration’s approach to Venezuela, Afghanistan (and South Asia as a whole) and North Korea (and East Asia as a whole) and beyond is totally antithetical to the interests and stated desires of Russia and Russia’s closest partners.

READ MORE: Venezuela, Afghanistan and North Korea: 3 conflicts which represent the US vs. China and Russia

Here are the key places where US policy under Trump and Russia’s geo-political positions are in total opposition

1. Venezuela 

In Venezuela Trump has threatened war and implemented sanctions against the government of Nicolas Maduro. Russia by contrast vehemently opposes sanctions and war.

2. Afghanistan 

Trump’s flagship policy of a troop surge in Afghanistan is opposed by Russia as is his policy to effectively bomb the Taliban to the peace table.

Russia favours a process which would see moderate rebel elements of the Taliban invited to a peace table in conjunction with a cease-fire in order to develop a lasting peace based on reconciliation between the Taliban and the government in Kabul, something which in reality means a reconciliation between Pashtun Afghans and the ethnic minorities who are in the current government.

Russia also takes exception to Trump’s threats and criticisms against Pakistan, a country which is rapidly becoming an important Russian partner in South Asia.

3. North Korea 

Just this morning, Donald Trump once again threatened war on North Korea. By contrast, Russia has said multiple times that war can never be considered an option on the Korean peninsula and has called for the US to cease its delivery of THADD missile systems to South Korea and has also called for a cessation of US-South Korea military drills. In each of these cases, the US has totally ignored Russia and China’s requests, in spite of the fact that both states border the Korean peninsula.

Russia like China also calls for direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang, something the Trump administration is apparently not considering seriously at this time.

4. South China Sea 

While Russia is not directly involved with the South China Sea dispute, America’s provocative stance on the region has infuriated Russia’s most important partner, China. America’s imperial actions in the region, confusingly called ‘freedom of navigation’ by Washington, do not bode well for Moscow which wants to see cooperation rather than confrontation in Asia.

5. Turkey

While Russia is fast becoming an important partner of Ankara, the US seems to be throwing out its nearly century long alliance with Turkey. 

The US has blatantly disregarded Turkish concerns about America’s arming and funding of Kurdish militants in Syria while Russia continues to show courtesy and countenance for Turkey’s position which is shared by Iran.

6. Europe 

Russia has constantly called for NATO to de-escalate its presence in Europe, but under the Trump administration, Obama’s own European ‘troop surge’ has continued with no signs of stopping. Donald Trump’s recent speech in Poland where he quoted deeply Russophobic propaganda does not bode well for reconciliation between America’s EU allies and Russia.

7. Palestine/Israel 

While the US approach to the conflict in the Levant is completely one-sided, Russia maintains uniquely good relations with both Palestinian leaders and Israeli leaders in Tel Aviv. While Russia’s approach is clearly a conflict aversion tactic, if the US supported Israel in any aggression against Syria, this would clearly end any attempts at fledgling cooperation between the US and Russia in a Syrian conflict which is in any case, drawing to a close. Russia is carefully balancing the interests of its Syrian partner with trying to contain the aggressive military posturing of the Israeli regime with which Russia continues to do business.

Any US support of an Israeli strike against any Middle Eastern country would throw theSyrian de-escalation zone which is jointly policed by America, Russia and Jordan, into disarray. To this end, the south western Syrian de-escalation zone is thus far the only area where the Trump administration has made any progress in respect of improving relations with Russia. Currently, it hangs by a thread for more reasons than one.

8. Iran and the Persian Gulf 

While Donald Trump’s Tweets indicate a policy that is fully pro-Saudi, even as his own state department emphases a US position of neutrality, as Qatar works to re-normalise relations with Iran, the US could find itself increasingly at odds with its technical ally in Doha.

In respect of Iran itself, Donald Trump continues to advocate hostile policies against Tehran which include threats to tear up the so-called Iran Nuclear Deal as well as false accusations of Iran sponsoring terrorism.

Russia by contrast is an economic partner of Iran and is working with Iran to combat Salafist terrorists in Syria. In the Persian Gulf, Russia has won respect from Qatar for adopting a genuine and unambiguous position of neutrality. This has also allowed Russia to maintain healthy relations with Saudi through out the conflict.

9. Libya 

The US and the west more broadly seems to have no coherent strategy to deal with the Libyan failed state, beyond propping up the fledgling Government of National Accord, which is competing with the National Salvation Government as well as assorted militant groups for control of Tripoli.

By contrast, Russia continues to engage with Khalifa Haftar, the leader of Libya’s only successful and well organised military, the Libyan National Army. The LNA is also the only force in Libya that has successfully liberated important cities from terrorist control, namely the eastern city of Benghazi.

Egypt continues to support Haftar and the Libyan House of Representatives from which he derives political legitimacy. As Russia becomes ever closer to the government in Cairo, it would appear that Russia’s plan to help reconcile Haftar’s forces with what’s left of the UN backed government in Tripoli, is the closest thing any non-Arab power has to a plan for Libya.

The US appears to have no plans at all, but one can count on the US opposing Russian involvement in Libya, even though there is now little the US could conceivably do to stop Moscow and Cairo from cooperating in a country the US first destroyed and later abandoned.

CONCLUSION:

As I warned prior to Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin’s first meeting,

“With all the fuss over Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump meeting later this week at the G20 summit, many have conspicuously failed to grasp that the monumental task ahead of both leaders has little to do with their own period in government and even less to do with their personalities. These things of course do matter, but their importance is dwarfed by larger historical and present economic and geo-strategic concerns.

With that in mind, here are the giant obstacles that both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will be faced with when they meet”.

READ MORE: 5 obstacles Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will have to address in their meeting

In the month and three quarters since the Trump-Putin meeting, this situation has merely intensified. Differences in American and Russian geo-political interests have become ever more pronounced and the Trump administration shows no signs of even attempting to meet Russia half way, let alone approach the situation in a pragmatic manner. The ideological dogmas of the US continue as if Donald Trump is the mere figurehead in foreign affairs that many believe him to literally be.

Donald Trump’s personal respect for Russia seems genuine beyond any lingering doubts. He has no reason to say he wants warm relations with Russia any longer but he still says he does.

The policies of his administration however, belie the supreme difficulty of implementing such policies or even attempting to do so.

Dr. Samuel Johnson said that “the road to hell is good intentions”. Donald Trump’s good intentions in respect of Russia have led not to a new kind of hell but to the status quo becoming more entrenched.

When Donald Trump took office, he bravely embarked on what could rightly be called ‘mission difficult’. Now, the American deep state/military industrial complex has revealed that in reality, it was always going to be mission impossible due to geo-strategic realities, uniquely American arrogance which is embedded into the thinking of even many Washington moderates and finally, because we have learnt beyond a reasonable doubt, that the President of the United States is only as powerful as those around him, allow him to be.

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tgmoney
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tgmoney

It always was impossible, The Rothschilds are not going to allow Trump to come in and show the world there could be complete peace through the world. That would be the end of their Industrial war complex. They will sooner put a bullet in Trumps brain than allow him to achieve world peace.

Kaput
Member
Kaput

lol what about his zionist son in law. and that bitchy blond……… his sugar daughter, that will make Hitler blush…….

tgmoney
Guest
tgmoney

Ok well you should calm down before you hurt yourself. I was going to have a discussion but I think its not what you want. You just want to rant.

Kaput
Member
Kaput

I dnt waste time with fools …………… get my drift……………… anyway civil war is always a possibility, that will keep you busy indeed…………..

Gerry Hiles
Guest
Gerry Hiles

I think that, really, Trump suits deep state purposes, as I have argued at some length in a post on this page. Btw MY post is for discussion and ain’t a rant.

Shahna
Guest

Oh yeah. He toes the Deep State line religiously these days.

Le Ruscino
Guest
Le Ruscino

Trump is just an inconvenient puppet while the Clinton Clan is still running the show!

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

“Trump’s dream of Russian reconciliation”

I am not convinced that he ever had such a dream.

Vtran
Guest
Vtran

Agree

All we have to do is Look at Haily Statement in the UN …Haily Picked by Trmpz, so Haily Spoke Trmpz words !

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/nikki-haley-russia-ukraine_us_5893a9cbe4b0c1284f250dbd

Christinamellis
Guest
Christinamellis

Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family!!!
On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
>>>http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash320TopValue/GetPay$97/Hour……..

VeeNarian (Yerevan)
Guest
VeeNarian (Yerevan)

Trump’s dreams no longer matters. What matter’s is the “wet-dreams” of the warmongers and that the free world makes sure they are made to poo in their pants!

christianblood
Guest
christianblood

It is true that Trump wanted a detente between the US and Russia but his administration was intentionally cripled and then taken over by the Russophobic “Deep State” neocons. Trump’s presidency is now over!

Andrew Orr
Guest
Andrew Orr

He’s defying the neocons in Syria. He ended their policy of supporting jihadists and started putting a real effort into destroying ISIS. That has made a real difference on the ground.

Neocons in the deep state are committing felonies by leaking classified information and the Jeff Sessions is going after them. The battle could end up with them in prison and Russiagate exposed as a hoax. That is more likely than Trump being removed from office.

Hamletquest
Guest
Hamletquest

Trump’s rapprochement with Russia was always going to be mission improbable, and a number of observers who thought Trump would win the presidential election realised this. Why? Well because the whole idea that somehow democracy in the US was a model for others to follow has been the best known joke for decades. In fact it has been the most obvious of all shams in reality. With Trump the deep state has had to show itself, but as yet not the deep corporate hidden interests which the state serves, but this may soon happen as the errant Trump is of… Read more »

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

“the military has had to move in and take over”
It is astounding how the MAJORITY of Trumps Cabinet are past military men! At least 8!
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47677.htm

Andrew Orr
Guest
Andrew Orr

The military seem more aligned with Trump than the neocons on the issue of going to war with Russia. They know what nuclear war would be like. The neocons infest the think tanks, state department and intelligence agencies rather than the pentagon.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

“They know what nuclear war would be like.”

And yet they seem willing to go up against NK, also nuclear armed and with both China and Russia as allies against US war on the Korean peninsula which risks nuclear war! What the US regime is doing in NK is aimed mostly at China and Russia, in their continuing attempts to militarily surround both!

Andrew Orr
Guest
Andrew Orr

The lunatic running North Korea is like Caligula with nuclear weapons. Claims that he is a rational actor are not consistent with him feeding people to dogs, blowing them to bits with anti-aircraft guns or murdering them with VX. He is threatening to attack the US with nuclear weapons and is close to being able to carry out the threat. The US will not allow him to get that capability. The US can deal with North Korea without nuclear weapons. If China attacked US forces they would not be able to sell their products to anyone and they would not… Read more »

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

“He is threatening to attack the US with nuclear weapons and is close to being able to carry out the threat.”

He is threatening to RETALIATE, NOT a first strike!

“The US can deal with North Korea without nuclear weapons.”

The US now HAS to deal with the FACT that NK HAS nuclear weapons!

Both China AND Russia has warned that if the US makes a first move to attack NK, they will BOTH step in to protect NK sovereignty.
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Andrew Orr
Guest
Andrew Orr

Russia and China will act in their national interests. It is not in their interest to start WW III to avenge a madman who defied multiple UN Security Council resolutions, used a chemical weapon on the territory of one neighbor and threatened to use nuclear weapons against the US. The way the US dealt with the Soviet missiles in 1962 is probably the best guide for how they will deal with North Korean missiles now. They will try to address China’s concerns but they will make it clear to China that they will not allow China’s pet madman to threaten… Read more »

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

“One of the dangers with hereditary monarchies is that truly insane leaders can and have come to power. That may well be what has happened here. ”

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-07/why-war-party-loves-call-foreign-leaders-insane

“If Kim Jong Un was a rational actor he would be doing his best to prove it ”

Any TRUE leader of ANY country MUST protect its citizens and national borders. (BTW KIM Jong Un is the fully recognized leader of NK at the UN).

North Korea has been constantly threatened by the US almost annually for over 50 years….It WOULD be IRRATIONAL if he didnt do what is needed to protect his country.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

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Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

Impossible for the ‘agreement-incapable’ Untied Snakes and no longer needed by Russia.
Quarantine for the Anglo-Zionist Empire by the well part of the planet is what is needed next.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal
Voltaire
Guest
Voltaire

Adam, this is an excellent analysis and probably true, sadly…

But the response of people in Europe like us should be to double down on cooperation with Russia and China and other Eurasian countries to make the Eurasian dream come true…

The world would be a far better place if dominated by cooperative Eurasian powers…

Think of all the culture and civilisation that we have compared with the barbarian and toxic Americans…

We have no need at all of the Americas and, as we all know, the real threat to world peace is the USA…..

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

The ‘Deep State’ of Europe, the inherently corporate Nazi part which collaborated with and welcomed the German Fascist New World Order (there was almost no resistance to Nazism, except in France) now meet under the aegis of a palindrome – ‘NATOOTAN’ which, like the EU, is HQed in Brussels, but controlled from Washington/London and Tal Habib.

Voltaire
Guest
Voltaire

There are increasing signs even in Germany of refgusal to accept Washington’s dictat…like recent German FM attacking lastest US sanctions on Russia…

I agree that there are pockets of resistance to rational policy in Europe, but they are increasingly centred in UK (leaving “Europe”, thank God), and Poland and the Baltics which are being manipulated by the neocons…..

Even in Europe, recent polls show that the US is regarded as the greatest threat to world peace, which it is, of course…

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

“increasing signs even in Germany of refusal to accept Washington’s dictat”

To use Putin’s words “We judge on actions not words”

David Schultz
Guest
David Schultz

Russian politics is much more sophisticated than the squabbling of clueless Americans. A year from now anything is possible.

Gerry Hiles
Guest
Gerry Hiles

Given the truism that nobody could become (or remain) POTUS without the say so of the deep state – which must necessarily involve Rothschild & Co/BIS, etc. – I have to wonder about the erratic Trumpet. I have to wonder about the fact that, during the election campaigns, it came out that the mob figureheaded by Hitlery Clinton actually favoured Trumpet, it’s said because he was a poor candidate who’d enable her to win. But I wonder. . I watched a couple of his rallies and I thought, “Hindenburg.” About all that was lacking were uniforms and organisation. Nevertheless the… Read more »

Gerry Hiles
Guest
Gerry Hiles

I’ll add that another major false flag 911/Pearl Harbour/Reichstag fire could send the Trumpet’s popularity into a 70% range – it did for Dubya – and his Tweet-like empty, but inflammatory rhetoric could falsely unite the masses. Though previous anti-Russian propaganda failed, it could work another time around.

BobValdez
Guest
BobValdez

“Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”. Samuel Johnson, 1775.

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

A good summary and points here Gerry. I had hopes – along with so many – of Trump, but recent events are causing a few re-thinks. It could be that, as you say, he was always the choice of the Deep State; it could be that the confidence that Hitlery would win was merely the misplaced view of the self selected East Coast Bostonian “elites” listening to themselves and forgetting that they aren’t the only people in America, or, finally, it could be that Trump is a bit smarter than anyone thought, and is acting on the principle that if… Read more »

Suzanne Giraud
Guest
Suzanne Giraud

Ditto, Isabella. I also sense he is seriously worrying his fleas whilst proceeding with internal investigations that are unravelling their tentacles, exposing them by their reactive unconstitutional Bills/Laws. I may be wrong, but I always felt that he who is cornered to react loses his position of control. Sure they block him from proceeding with righting so many tentacles of the ‘swamp’, but I foolishly (?) believe that he is readying and facilitating for their pending demise with the end of the Dollar (pain?). Remember even this recent article on Russia Insider? http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/washington-signs-its-own-death-warrant-new-russia-sanctions-will-ensure-end-us-dollar Just as you put it: “and in… Read more »

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

Must admit, I got a sad shock on realising Trump has pretty much handed over all military control to his current war mad generals.
It’s a case of which gets the post first I think. The collapse of America from inside, along with the dollar and it’s international status, or the NeoCon war hungry generals with their overwhelming desire to fight with Russia.
Every day, we never know.

samo war
Guest
samo war

Brittain in 2030 year ?

stevek9
Guest
stevek9

You forgot Congress / Democratic Party / Media / MIC / IC —-> new sanctions, wars, etc.

christianblood
Guest
christianblood

The U$-backed Saudi massacres in Yemen should be the tenth reason why Trump’s dream of Russian reconciliation is now impossible

Shahna
Guest

I don’t think Trump (or the Americans) actually live in a fact-based world.
They’re off …. on their own little pipedream somewhere. They just – follow the smoke or something.

Larchmonter445
Guest
Larchmonter445

The author left out Ukraine/Crimea.
This is a major flashpoint with US trainers and new heavy and very “deadly” weapons right up to the contact zone. And a naval base is being built at the Azov-Black Sea area by US Navy for Ukraine’s “mighty naval fleet”.

All the sanctions pivot on these two issues of Donbass and Crimea. Should be on the list.

seby
Guest
seby

The only dreams bush the III has is that of more money, TV ratings and a bigger penis. Everything else heard out of him, are basically farts through his mouth.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

The US and the “West” have a LONG history of being against Russia, so it is hard to imagine one man could make a big difference despite the hopes of many around the world that he could!
https://sputniknews.com/politics/201508141025755003-russophobia-roots-cold-war/

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

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James Johnson
Guest
James Johnson

If you are disappointed in Trump so are many of us who supported him. He has quickly surrounded himself with war lords. Many things he could control. He could have drained the swamp but the swamp drained him .. Our congress is totally gone war lord. A little collusion would help here.

Andrew Orr
Guest
Andrew Orr

Trump will certainly have to pay lip service to the neocons. If he is wise, he will act in the US national interest and cooperate with Russia when it coincides with Russian national interests. The neocons wanted him to pick a fight with Russia in Syria but all he gave them was a fireworks display with with cruise missiles aimed to do minimum damage. He then went ahead and ended the CIA’s support for jihadists and focused on destroying ISIS. The US and Russia are cooperating and ISIS being defeated. Trump will have to fight and win a political fight… Read more »

Latest

Fake news media FREAK OUT over Trump and NATO (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 172.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the media meltdown over remarks that U.S. President Trump may have made with regard to NATO, and how neo-liberal war hawks championing the alliance as some sort of foreign policy projection of peace and democracy, are really just supporting aggression, war, and the eventual weakening of the United States.

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Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO, Authored by David Swanson:


The New York Times loves NATO, but should you?

Judging by comments in social media and the real world, millions of people in the United States have gone from having little or no opinion on NATO, or from opposing NATO as the world’s biggest military force responsible for disastrous wars in places like Afghanistan (for Democrats) or Libya (for Republicans), to believing NATO to be a tremendous force for good in the world.

I believe this notion to be propped up by a series of misconceptions that stand in dire need of correction.

1. NATO is not a war-legalizing body, quite the opposite. NATO, like the United Nations, is an international institution that has something or other to do with war, but transferring the UN’s claimed authority to legalize a war to NATO has no support whatsoever in reality. The crime of attacking another nation maintains an absolutely unaltered legal status whether or not NATO is involved. Yet NATO is used within the U.S. and by other NATO members as cover to wage wars under the pretense that they are somehow more legal or acceptable. This misconception is not the only way in which NATO works against the rule of law. Placing a primarily-U.S. war under the banner of NATO also helps to prevent Congressional oversight of that war. Placing nuclear weapons in “non-nuclear” nations, in violation of the Nonproliferation Treaty, is also excused with the claim that the nations are NATO members (so what?). And NATO, of course, assigns nations the responsibility to go to war if other nations go to war — a responsibility that requires them to be prepared for war, with all the damage such preparation does.

2. NATO is not a defensive institution. According to the New York Times, NATO has “deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” This is an article of faith, based on the unsubstantiated belief that Soviet and Russian aggression toward NATO members has existed for 70 years and that NATO has deterred it rather than provoked it. In violation of a promise made, NATO has expanded eastward, right up to the border of Russia, and installed missiles there. Russia has not done the reverse. The Soviet Union has, of course, ended. NATO has waged aggressive wars far from the North Atlantic, bombing Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Libya. NATO has added a partnership with Colombia, abandoning all pretense of its purpose being in the North Atlantic. No NATO member has been attacked or credibly threatened with attack, apart from small-scale non-state blowback from NATO’s wars of aggression.

3. Trump is not trying to destroy NATO. Donald Trump, as a candidate and as U.S. President, has wondered aloud and even promised all kinds of things and, in many cases, the exact opposite as well. When it comes to actions, Trump has not taken any actions to limit or end or withdraw from NATO. He has demanded that NATO members buy more weapons, which is of course a horrible idea. Even in the realm of rhetoric, when European officials have discussed creating a European military, independent of the United States, Trump has replied by demanding that they instead support NATO.

4. If Trump were trying to destroy NATO, that would tell us nothing about NATO. Trump has claimed to want to destroy lots of things, good and bad. Should I support NAFTA or corporate media or the Cold War or the F35 or anything at all, simply because some negative comment about it escapes Trump’s mouth? Should I cheer for every abuse ever committed by the CIA or the FBI because they investigate Trump? Should I long for hostility between nuclear-armed governments because Democrats claim Trump is a Russian agent? When Trump defies Russia to expand NATO, or to withdraw from a disarmament treaty or from an agreement with Iran, or to ship weapons to Ukraine, or to try to block Russian energy deals in Europe, or to oppose Russian initiatives on banning cyber-war or weapons in space, should I cheer for such consistent defiance of Trump’s Russian master, and do so simply because Russia is, so implausibly, his so-inept master? Or should I form my own opinion of things, including of NATO?

5. Trump is not working for, and was not elected by, Russia.According to the New York Times, “Russia’s meddling in American elections and its efforts to prevent former satellite states from joining the alliance have aimed to weaken what it views as an enemy next door, the American officials said.” But are anonymous “American officials” really needed to acquire Russia’s openly expressed opinion that NATO is a threatening military alliance that has moved weapons and troops to states on Russia’s border? And has anyone produced the slightest documentation of the Russian government’s aims in an activity it has never admitted to, namely “meddling in American elections,” — an activity the United States has of course openly admitted to in regard to Russian elections? We have yet to see any evidence that Russia stole or otherwise acquired any of the Democratic Party emails that documented that party’s rigging of its primary elections in favor of Clinton over Sanders, or even any claim that the tiny amount of weird Facebook ads purchased by Russians could possibly have influenced the outcome of anything. Supposedly Trump is even serving Russia by demanding that Turkey not attack Kurds. But is using non-military means to discourage Turkish war-making necessarily the worst thing? Would it be if your favorite party or politician did it? If Trump encouraged a Turkish war, would that also be a bad thing because Trump did it, or would it be a bad thing for substantive reasons?

6. If Trump were elected by and working for Russia, that would tell us nothing about NATO. Imagine if Boris Yeltsin were indebted to the United States and ended the Soviet Union. Would that tell us whether ending the Soviet Union was a good thing, or whether the Soviet Union was obsolete for serious reasons? If Trump were a Russian pawn and began reversing all of his policies on Russia to match that status, including restoring his support for the INF Treaty and engaging in major disarmament negotiations, and we ended up with a world of dramatically reduced military spending and nuclear armaments, with the possibility of all dying in a nuclear apocalypse significantly lowered, would that too simply be a bad thing because Trump?

7. Russia is not a military threat to the world. That Russia would cheer NATO’s demise tells us nothing about whether we should cheer too. Numerous individuals and entities who indisputably helped to put Trump in the White House would dramatically oppose and others support NATO’s demise. We can’t go by their opinions either, since they don’t all agree. We really are obliged to think for ourselves. Russia is a heavily armed militarized nation that commits the crime of war not infrequently. Russia is a top weapons supplier to the world. All of that should be denounced for what it is, not because of who Russia is or who Trump is. But Russia spends a tiny fraction of what the United States does on militarism. Russia has been reducing its military spending each year, while the United States has been increasing its military spending. U.S. annual increases have sometimes exceeded Russia’s entire military budget. The United States has bombed nine nations in the past year, Russia one. The United States has troops in 175 nations, Russia in 3. Gallup and Pew find populations around the world viewing the United States, not Russia, as the top threat to peace in the world. Russia has asked to join NATO and the EU and been rejected, NATO members placing more value on Russia as an enemy. Anonymous U.S. military officials describe the current cold war as driven by weapons profits. Those profits are massive, and NATO now accounts for about three-quarters of military spending and weapons dealing on the globe.

8. Crimea has not been seized. According to the New York Times, “American national security officials believe that Russia has largely focused on undermining solidarity between the United States and Europe after it annexed Crimea in 2014. Its goal was to upend NATO, which Moscow views as a threat.” Again we have an anonymous claim as to a goal of a government in committing an action that never occurred. We can be fairly certain such things are simply made up. The vote by the people of Crimea to re-join Russia is commonly called the Seizure of Crimea. This infamous seizure is hard to grasp. It involved a grand total of zero casualties. The vote itself has never been re-done. In fact, to my knowledge, not a single believer in the Seizure of Crimea has ever advocated for re-doing the vote. Coincidentally, polling has repeatedly found the people of Crimea to be happy with their vote. I’ve not seen any written or oral statement from Russia threatening war or violence in Crimea. If the threat was implicit, there remains the problem of being unable to find Crimeans who say they felt threatened. (Although I have seen reports of discrimination against Tartars during the past 4 years.) If the vote was influenced by the implicit threat, there remains the problem that polls consistently get the same result. Of course, a U.S.-backed coup had just occurred in Kiev, meaning that Crimea — just like a Honduran immigrant — was voting to secede from a coup government, by no means an action consistently frowned upon by the United States.

9. NATO is not an engaged alternative to isolationism. The notion that supporting NATO is a way to cooperate with the world ignores superior non-deadly ways to cooperate with the world. A nonviolent, cooperative, treaty-joining, law-enforcing alternative to the imperialism-or-isolationism trap is no more difficult to think of or to act on than treating drug addiction or crime or poverty as reason to help people rather than to punish them. The opposite of bombing people is not ignoring them. The opposite of bombing people is embracing them. By the standards of the U.S. communications corporations Switzerland must be the most isolationist land because it doesn’t join in bombing anyone. The fact that it supports the rule of law and global cooperation, and hosts gatherings of nations seeking to work together is simply not relevant.

10. April 4 belongs to Martin Luther King, Jr., not militarism. War is a leading contributor to the growing global refugee and climate crises, the basis for the militarization of the police, a top cause of the erosion of civil liberties, and a catalyst for racism and bigotry. A growing coalition is calling for the abolition of NATO, the promotion of peace, the redirection of resources to human and environmental needs, and the demilitarization of our cultures. Instead of celebrating NATO’s 70thanniversary, we’re celebrating peace on April 4, in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech against war on April 4, 1967, as well as his assassination on April 4, 1968.

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Turkey prepared to take Syria’s Manbij, won’t let it turn into ‘swamp’ like N. Iraq

Turkey sees the US-backed Kurdish YPG militias as an extension of the PKK and considers them terrorists as well.

RT

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Via RT


Ankara has “almost completed” preparations for another military operation in Syria and will launch it if “promises” made by other parties about the protection of its borders are not kept, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.

Turkey still hopes that talks with the US, Russia and “other parties” will allow it to ensure its security without resorting to force but it is still ready to proceed with a military option and will not “wait forever,” Erdogan said. He was referring to Ankara’s plans for the northern Syrian territories east of the Euphrates River, which it seeks to turn into a “security zone”free of any Kurdish militias.

“We are on our border with our forces and following developments closely. If promises made to us are kept and the process goes on, that’s fine. Otherwise, we inform that we have almost completed our preparations and will take steps in line with our own strategy,” the president said, addressing a group of businessmen in Ankara on Monday.

He did not elaborate on the promises made. However, they are apparently linked to the withdrawal of the Kurdish YPG militia from the Manbij area and the regions along the border with Turkey. “We will never allow a safe zone to turn into a new swamp,” Erdogan said, referring to the northern Syrian territories and comparing them to the northern Iraq, where the militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – an organization that Ankara considers a terrorist group – have been entrenched for decades.

Turkey sees the US-backed Kurdish YPG militias, which form the backbone of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as an extension of the PKK and considers them terrorists as well. “Our proposal for a security zone under Turkey’s control aims to keep terror organizations away from our borders,” the Turkish president said.

He went on to explain that Ankara does not seek any territorial gains in its military campaigns in Syria but merely seeks to restore order in the war-ravaged country. “We will provide security for Manbij and then we will hand over the city to its real owners,” Erdogan said. “Syria belongs to Syrians.”

Turkey also seeks to establish a “security zone 20 miles [32 kilometers] deep” into Syria, Erdogan said, adding that he already discussed this issue with the US President Donald Trump. “Those who insistently want to keep us away from these regions are seeking to strengthen terror organizations,” he added.

Ankara has been long planning to push YPG units out of the area east of the Euphrates River. Its operation was delayed by the US withdrawal from Syria. However, Erdogan repeatedly hinted that his patience is wearing thin and he is not ready to wait much longer. He warned Trump against backtracking on his pledge to withdraw some 2,000 US forces out of Syria following a suicide attack in Manbij that killed four Americans. If the US president halted the withdrawal, it would mean that Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) had won, Erdogan argued.

He has also reiterated that Turkey is ready to take over Manbij “without delay.” The US military is currently working on security arrangements with the Turkish forces to create a buffer zone between Turkey and the Kurdish fighters. The Kurds, meanwhile, invited the Syrian government to take over the city and have reportedly begun to leave the area. Turkey has dismissed the reports saying its a “psyop”.

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Political Knives Dull Themselves on the Rock of Brexit Article 50

The invocation of Article 50 was undertaken by an act of Parliament. And it will take another act of Parliament to undo it.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored Tom Luongo via Strategic Culture Foundation:


Theresa “The Gypsum Lady” May went through an extraordinary twenty-four hours. First, seeing her truly horrific Brexit deal go down in historic defeat and then, somehow, surviving a ‘No-Confidence’ vote which left her in a stronger position than before it.

It looks like May rightly calculated that the twenty or so Tory Remainers would put party before the European Union as their personal political positions would be terminally weakened if they voted her out of office.

While there is little stomach in the British Parliament for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, there is less for allowing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to become Prime Minister. And that is the crux of why the incessant calls to delay Brexit, call for a ‘people’s vote’ or, in Corbyn’s case, “take a no-deal Brexit off the table,’ ultimately lead to a whole lot of political knife-fighting and very little substantive action.

The day-to-day headline spam is designed to wear down people’s resistance and make it feel like Brexit getting betrayed is inevitable. That has been the British Deep State’s and EU’s game plan all along and they hoped they could arm-twist enough people in parliament to succeed.

But the problem for them now, since the clock has nearly run out, is the invocation of Article 50 was undertaken by an act of Parliament. And it will take another act of Parliament to undo it.

And I don’t see anyone on the Remainer side working towards that end. That should be your clue as to what happens next.

Why? Because they know they don’t have the time to get that act past Parliament. So, the rest of this is simply a PR campaign to push public opinion far enough to allow for an illegal canceling or postponing of Brexit.

But it’s not working.

According to the latest polls, Brits overwhelmingly want the original Brexit vote respectedLeave even has a 5-6 point lead over Remain.

And, I think Theresa May now realizes this. It is why she invited the no-confidence vote against her. She knew she had the votes and it would give her the ammunition to ignore Corbyn’s hysterical ranting about taking a no-deal Brexit off the table.

Whether she realizes that the only negotiating tool she has with the EU is the threat of a No-Deal Brexit, exactly like Nigel Farage and those committed to Brexit have been telling her for two years is still, however, up in the air.

It looks like she’s finally starting to get it.

The net result is we are seeing a similar outing of the nefarious, behind-the-scenes, power brokers in the public eye similar to what’s been happening in the US with Donald Trump and Russiagate.

May has been singularly unimpressive in her handling of Brexit. I’ve been convinced from the beginning that betraying Brexit was always her goal. Negotiating a deal unacceptable to anyone was meant to exhaust everyone into the position to just throwing up their hands and canceling the whole thing.

The EU has been in the driver’s seat the entire time because most of the British establishment has been on their side and it was only the people who needed to be disrespected.

So, after all of these shananigans we are back to where we were last week. May has cut off all avenues of discussion. She won’t commit to taking ‘no-deal’ off the table to tweak Corbyn. She won’t substantively move on any other issue. This is likely to push her deal through as a last-minute panic move.

Corbyn is still hoping to get new elections to take power, and the majority of MP’s who don’t want to leave the EU keep fighting among themselves to cock up the entire works.

All they are doing is expending pound after pound of political capital beating themselves against their own act of Parliament which goes into effect on March 29th.

By the time that date comes around the frustration, shame and humiliation of how Parliament has mishandled Brexit will make it difficult for a lot of Remainers to hold together their majority as public opinion has decidedly turned against them.

In the past the EU has had that façade of democratic support undermining any change at the political level. With Brexit (and with budget talks in Italy) that is not the case. The people are angry.

The peak moment for Remainers to stage a bipartisan political coup against May should have been the most recent no-confidence vote.

With May surviving that it implies that Remainers are not willing to die politically for their cause.

This should begin to see defectors over the next couple of weeks as they realize they don’t have a hand to play either.

And by May refusing to rule out a ‘no-deal’ Brexit it has finally brought the EU around to throw a bone towards the British. Their admitting they would extend Article 50 is just that. But they know that’s a non-starter as that is the one thing May has been steadfast in holding to.

On March 29th with or without a deal the U.K. is out of the EU. Because despite the European Court of Justice’s decision, Britain’s parliament can only cancel Article 50 at this point by acting illegally.

Not that I would put that past these people, but then that opens up a can of worms that most British MP’s will not go along with. The personal stakes are simply too high.

When dealing with politicians, never bet against their vanity or their pocketbook. In May’s case she may finally have realized she could have the legacy of getting Britain out of the EU just before it collapses.

And all she has to do between now and the end of March is, precisely, nothing.

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