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‘US withdraws from the world’ is Trump making it great or irrelevant again?

The US is becoming increasingly isolated from the world

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Donald Trump promised Americans he would make the US great again, a center of a world that is becoming increasingly multipolar, yet the US appears to be withdrawing from the world at an alarming rate.

The US has found itself increasingly alienated from its traditional allies (and some would say vassals) in the EU.

Vassals no longer: Merkel, Macron advocate European sovereignty

This was likely in no small part due not only to Trump’s unpredictable nature, but to the dangerous US Nationalism and Exceptionalism displayed by administration officials.

American Exceptionalism: Mike Pompeo says Americans must believe in the “essential rightness” of the USA

The US has withdrawn from the internationally lauded Iran deal, gotten into trade wars with even “close allies” such as Canada, and is generally making radical changes, including withdrawals from international bodies.

Some think the way the US withdraws from treaties is a sign of strength, but many, including Philip Giraldi at the Journal of Strategic Culture, and The Duran’s Frank Sellers feel it is a sign of weakness.

Giraldi in particular, used the example of Trump’s withdrawal from the United Nations 47-member Human Rights Council (UNHRC), as well as the UN cultural body UNESCO, as an example of the US weakening its own influence in the world.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley cited the reasons for the withdrawal from the Human Rights Council which were that the U.S. felt the council has “unfairly and critically focused on Israel”. In the same light, Giraldi writes that the US withdrew from UNESCO:

Last October…when the organization named the city of Hebron on the West Bank a Palestinian World Heritage site, which Israel declared to be unacceptable.

There are, in fact, two important things to note here. First of all, the Administration is so clearly following the will of Israel in these two examples, like a slave, rather than an independent state.

I understand, if some would argue, that Israel has long had influence over US policy, this is totally true, the difference is the open, and some would say tactless, way that Trump does not even bother to hide his Israel apologetics.

President Obama, for example, at least attempted to create the illusion of protocol, and US Humanitarianism – even if anyone paying attention realized that Obama was just as much carrying out the Zionist mandate in Syria and the Middle East, as did Bush.

The difference is, Trump is so brazen in this, that he is almost proudly signaling that the real power is in Tel-Aviv, and he is happy to obey Netanyahu’s orders. Perhaps he does not see it this way, but, from an outsider’s perspective, Trump seems to be withdrawing from international bodies – mainly for the sake of Israel’s interests.

And withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council happened along the same lines. To be clear, I find it very odd that a “Human Rights Council” allows Saudi Arabia, where women can be executed for “Witchcraft”, to be a member.

I am not a “hater” of President Trump, nor a lover of globalism, or a person obsessed with the UN. The fact still remains, nations, including Russia, participate with international bodies, first and foremost, because it is the civilized thing to do. That is what the majority of the earth’s states do.

There are some things, for example, wearing a suit and tie to formal events, that politicians simply do, because it is expected, and in line with universal tradition. Indeed, powerful trendsetting Empires can build their own rules and tradition, but only when proper leverage exists.

When the US withdraws from an organization, and everyone else remains a part of it, it does not appear like the US is strong, it appears that the adults are conducting diplomacy, while someone is crying in the corner that people don’t respect their authority.

United States alone against the world?

Another reason it would be in the interest of the US, to participate with the world, is that it would grant the US a platform to spread its voice. This is not something that matters to me, I have heard enough war-mongering, but for the US, and any person really, it is important to have your voice heard.

Instead, the US withdraws because they feel Israel isn’t being respected – which should have no bearing on the US. From a political perspective, the only reason to leave an important organization only because an ally leaves, is if that ally is actually your overlord, and you are their vassal.

As the US withdraws from the world, Ron Paul feels US influence is waning.

Former Congressman Ron Paul remarks on declining American global influence

When someone looks at the map of UNESCO members, and sees those in green, who are members, and those in orange, who are not, they don’t say: “Wow…those countries who left are brave trendsetters!” they would instead say “Wow, those countries are really isolated from the rest of the world.”

It is somewhat like failing to embrace the far superior and scientific Metric System, which the entirety of the civilized world uses, and instead, using a primitive and backward measurement system that the rest of the world can’t be bothered to learn. What would prompt people to do that?

It is almost juvenile.

Speaking of juvenile actions, look at how Niki Haley responded to this question, as to whether or not the US is simply blocking Palestinian appointments simply because they are Palestinian.

“Is it this administration’s position that support for Israel and support for the appointment of a well-qualified individual of Palestinian nationality to an appointment at the U.N. are mutually exclusive?” A journalist asked. Haley responded yes, that the administration is “supporting Israel” by blocking every Palestinian.

Blocking members of a certain race from joining an international body is meant to promote peace, because you support a group which is bombing and killing them. How very racist.

Giraldi at the Journal of Strategic Culture writes:

Complete withdrawal from the United Nations is not unthinkable in the current climate, though the Democrats and some moderate Republicans would no doubt strongly resist such a move. In my opinion, the United Nations is a dystopian mess but it is better to have it than not as it provides a forum where nations that otherwise cannot meet are able too do so and discuss transnational issues. And it should be conceded that the U.N.’s inability to actually function is largely both structural and bureaucratic due to the veto power given to the Security Council’s five permanent members, a function that Nikki Haley has repeatedly used to stop resolutions that might be offensive to the United States or Israel…

Beyond that, Haley’s constant citation of concern for Israel gives strength to the suggestion that there is something unnatural about its bilateral “special” relationship with the United States. In the Middle East in particular, Israel would seem to be driving U.S. policy, particularly vis-à-vis Syria, Lebanon and Iran.

Israel is intent on continuing political chaos in Syria lest there be a threat to its continued occupation of the Golan Heights and has warned about possible preemptive action in Lebanon to punish Hezbollah. It also wants the United States to deal decisively with Iran. By all accounts, those agendas are proceeding very well as Washington has been regularly threatening Iran and last week vowed to take military action if Damascus seeks to recover territory in the Syrian southwest that until recently was held by terrorists.

It is difficult to discern what the joint United States-Israeli strategy might be towards the United Nations and other international bodies. Neither has recognized the authority of the International Criminal Court in The Hague for fear that its own senior officials might be arrested and tried for war crimes.

To be sure, both countries are protected against any serious challenges in the U.N. itself by the American veto power over the Security Council, which alone has the authority to mandate sanctions or peacekeeping operations.

But the U.S. withdrawal from U.N. agencies is, if anything, a sign of weakness rather than strength. If Washington were indeed confident in its own brand of international leadership it would welcome the opportunity to sit on panels and help shape the views of other countries with which it has a politically neutral or adversarial relationships. That it does not choose to do so suggests that there is an understanding that what Washington is selling no one is buying.

The complete isolation of the United States at the United Nations and also elsewhere, to include G-7, was exhibited recently during June 1st votes at the U.N. Security Council. A resolution sponsored by Kuwait seeking an inquiry into the Israeli killing of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza and a motion by Haley seeking to blame Hamas for the deaths both were voted on.

Haley’s was the only vote against the former and the only vote in favor of the latter. She predictably commented afterwards that “Further proof was not needed, but it is now completely clear that the U.N. is hopelessly biased against Israel.”

In conclusion, Trump said he would make America great again, but it seems many of his policies are making the nation more isolated. This is emphasized in the way Trump seems to prefer bilateral agreements, over international treaties.

He is the legendary “deal maker”, he thinks everything is negotiable, there is always a deal to be cut. This is a product of capitalism, where everything, including culture, values, and morals, is for sale, for the right price.

Trump and his supporters often feel the way he summarily and unilaterally withdraws from treaties, cancels meetings, and handles bilateral negotiations are a sign of strength. They say he is showing his strength when he cancels his North Korean meetings, or Iran deals, and in the short term, this is true. It is a good tactic, especially as the CEO of a company, but a terrible strategy for a statesman.

Indeed, Trump is displaying strength on a bilateral level, but when he makes these “tough decisions” and breaks agreements, he seems like an unreliable partner and an unstable player. World leaders say “We can’t deal with this!”

Trump’s strategies worked well in business, no one doubts his business skills, but one thing fiscal conservatives always fail to realize is, being a good businessman, and good at running a company, does not guarantee you can run an economy, much less a country.

In order to run a nation, you must be a strong leader with a great will, prepared to guide the masses to greatness and defend the interests of the state. You must also be compassionate, reliable, and responsible, like Putin. Everyone knows when Putin says something, he means it.

While Trump closes doors, Putin opens them, Pt 2

To run a nation, you must care about your fellow people, and to conduct international diplomacy, you must care about the world.

In business, to be a truly powerful business person, you don’t care about others. The capitalistic mindset does not teach one to be concerned for the well being of humanity, but rather to use and manipulate everything around you to achieve your own wealth, your own power, your own success. It is all about the individual.

Diplomacy, is, however, all about the collective.

Trump may win battles via his deals, as he is a skilled business person and negotiator, but you can’t conduct international diplomacy with the mentality of bilateral deals.

You may appear tough, and that toughness may grant you a win dealing with one individual, but if the international community sees how you act, and considers you unreliable or unpredictable, they may choose to make deals with or without you, or with your enemies.

‘With friends like Trump, who needs enemies?’, says EU Council President

This is a man who once joked that he could shoot a person and still win an election. Of course, he was joking! But those kinds of immature jokes, as well as his misogynistic and immoral remarks demeaning women do not distinguish a statesmen.

 

Likewise, after meeting Kim Jong Un, he casually said he trusts him, and if things go wrong? Look at how he addressed this possibility, when he said:

“I may be wrong, I mean I may stand before you in six months and say, ‘Hey I was wrong.’

That was not the worst part, the part that was so ridiculous. That was when he casually paused and with a joking tone, said immediately after:

“I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of an excuse.”

I will admit, when I heard that, I laughed hysterically. It’s so Trump. That is the kind of joke that a friend can make, and would cause a person to laugh. But that is not how a leader should talk. He is openly parodying the fact, that he won’t take responsibility for his actions.

I am a simple Russian Orthodox Christian, not a brilliant political analyst, so perhaps I do not understand the complexity of 4D Chess, as some call it, but to the eyes of a simple person, the ability to take responsibility for your actions and not make excuses are an important trait that children must learn, let alone someone who commands several thousand nuclear warheads.

Even if it’s a joke, it is a joke that is totally irresponsible and unpresidential, hilarious, yes, but not the way of a statesman.

I wish to stress that I do not wish to hate on President Trump, he is WORLDS better than insane war-mongering Hillary, who has not found a war she does not support. I am only disappointed, when I feel his behavior reminds me of the globalists many believed he would resist. When he bombs countries like Syria, who did nothing wrong, and blatantly supports Zionism, which kills innocent people.

I simply want to live in a world, where all nations, Russia, the Middle Eastern nations, the USA, the EU states, China and the Far East can finally live in peace. I fear that Trump, however intentional or unintentional, does not inspire in world leaders or people that he will reasonably achieve this.

This is what Trump does not seem to understand. He is a powerful dealmaker, tough in a one on one situation, but his aforementioned style also scares away foreign leaders on the international level. It isolates the US, while driving division among the nations of the earth.

People are beginning to wonder, is Trump making the US great, or simply irrelevant, again?

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HappyCynicAndré De KoningSPQRNightcrawler136Vera Gottlieb Recent comment authors
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HappyCynic
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HappyCynic

And yet the US economy is 5 times the size of Germany and 6 times the size of France and the UK, and the GDP growth rate of the US is bigger than any other of the top 10 GDP countries. Economics is more important than the virtue signalling practiced by other countries. It’s not Trump’s job to make the US “relevant” in the world – it’s his job to improve the living standards of Americans. If he has to annoy unimportant little countries like Canada and Germany to do this, so be it – that’s his job. Clearly the… Read more »

André De Koning
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André De Koning

De-dollariization is the main justice as the US has been profiting form this for decades and this will come to an end. Trump does a good job to return nation to their sovereignty and remove themselves from the US reserve currency (as it is not a reserve at all).

SPQR
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SPQR

A great America is also an irrelevant America. The less influence this nation of psychotic gunslingers has on the world the better off we, including Americans, will all be. May Trump be to the US what Gorbachev was to the Soviet Union.

Nightcrawler136
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Nightcrawler136

The author seems to have missed the point, Trump is the wrecking ball that the US will never recover from!

Vera Gottlieb
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Vera Gottlieb

And even without the US, planet Earth will keep revolving around the sun…The US has caused enough destruction and misery all over the planet. Enough!

Guy
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Guy

This is such a good article and exactly how I feel about it also.This quote also says a lot about Trump.
“‘Europe should be grateful by President Trump, because thanks to him we have got rid of old illusions’” .Illusions about the indispensable nation.

Vince Dhimos
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Vince Dhimos

“If Washington were indeed confident in its own brand of international leadership it would welcome the opportunity to sit on panels and help shape the views of other countries with which it has a politically neutral or adversarial relationships.” You have come closer to the truth about Trump than any commentor I have read so far. If you substitute “confident in” with “articulate about” you reflect my sentiment, because it is not a lack of confidence that he displays. It is much worse. Trump not only is NOT in any way articulate but even if he were, he would have… Read more »

my2Cents
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my2Cents

Never mind our antiquated measuring system rather than the metric one. How about our Colonial, very political Justice system that every former colony still uses with the exception of Quebec. Common Law with uncodified law vs Civil Law with Codified laws. Try and get a hold of your State’s Statute Book and read these incredibly stupid laws written by 9-year olds, all of which mean nothing until a “judge” (a lawyer politically appointed to judge) reads it, interprets it…either throws it out or “translates it into legalese. That then becomes case law on which various and sundry are judged for… Read more »

Bill Spence
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Bill Spence

Talking about US leadership makes no sense because of its reliance on military threats and bribery. The reliance on blackmail and bribery imply weakness.

John R. Nolan
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John R. Nolan

“I wish to stress that I do not wish to hate on President Trump, he is WORLDS better than insane war-mongering Hillary, who has not found a war she does not support.” Remember, Killery is a rampant, raging satanist, a power crazed being motivated only by greed, medicated insanity, who still lusts after destruction of all decency, sanity, freedom, of the populace, just like Chump, and it is Amazia who is, and has been for many years, the greatest threat to humanity. Rest assured, it will be Amazia who brings about the final global carnage, and it will be Russian… Read more »

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Fusion GPS founder trapped in legal jeopardy, bets on Democrat midterm win to bury Russiagate hoax (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 135.

Alex Christoforou

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Fusion GPS researcher Nellie Ohr and ex-FBI official James Baker are set to testify before Congress, but Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson is taking the Fifth.

The man at the center of the Russiagate hoax, Glenn Simpson, headed the espionage/PR smear firm Fusion GPS, which ordered the discredited and fake Trump ‘dossier’, which John McCain handed to the FBI, and which Buzzfeed News published as actual news.

Simpson has a lot of explaining to do, and now appears trapped in his “under oath” lies.

Simpson had previously testified under oath to the House Intelligence Committee that he never met with DOJ official Bruce Ohr, husband to Fusion GPS researcher Nellie Ohr.

Simpson also stated under oath that he never discussed with Bruce Ohr the Steele dossier prior to the October FISA application, which was used to spy on Carter Page and kick off the ‘Russiagate hoax’.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the legal jeopardy entangling Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. Republicans are close to breaking the ‘Russiagate hoax’ wide open, but Simpson is betting on delay tactics, and a subsequent Democrat midterm House victory, to save his ass from prosecution, and bury his involvement in a brazen attempt to discredit and remove an elected US President.

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According to Zerohedge, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson may be in “real legal jeopardy” over inconsistent testimony given to Congress regarding his involvement in a massive counterintelligence effort against then-candidate Donald Trump, including the infamous Steele dossier.

Speaking with Fox News Maria Bartiromo, John Ratcliffe (R-TX) said…

“I’m not surprised that Glenn Simpson is taking the Fifth.”

“He probably should. He’s in real legal jeopardy. Very clearly someone is not telling the truth.”

Via The Daily Caller… 

Simpson, who investigated the Trump campaign on behalf of the DNC and Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, informed Congress on Thursday that he will plead the Fifth to avoid speaking with members of the House Judiciary and House Oversight & Government Committee in an interview set for Tuesday.

“The reason for that … is that Glenn Simpson had previously testified under oath to the House Intelligence Committee that he never met with Bruce Ohr or discussed with Bruce Ohr the Steele dossier prior to the October FISA application in 2016 or the 2016 presidential election,” said Ratcliffe, a member of the House Judiciary panel.

Via Fox News ‘Sunday Morning Futures’

Via Zerohedge

Ohr told the Judiciary and Oversight & Government Reform Committees in an August 28 interview that he met with Simpson in August and December of 2016 to discuss Fusion GPS’s opposition research into Donald Trump.

Bruce’s wife, Nellie Ohr, was hired by Fusion GPS for the anti-Trump effort at the time.

Simpson, however, told a different story to the House Intelligence Committee on November 14, 2017, when he said that he hadn’t been in contact with anyone from the DOJ or FBI until after the election. While he did acknowledge meeting with Bruce Ohr (meetings which would result in Ohr’s demotion), Simpson never disclosed his wife’s employment.

“Ohr, who has been demoted twice since December, was also in frequent contact with Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous anti-Trump dossier. Steele, a former British spy, was hired by Fusion GPS in June 2016 to investigate the Trump campaign’s possible links to the Kremlin.

Steele met with the Ohrs on July 30, 2016, a day before the FBI opened its counterintelligence investigation into the Trump team. Ohr met just after with FBI deputy Director Andrew McCabe.” – Daily Caller

Following the 2016 election, Steel and Ohr met over a dozen times, despite the FBI having blacklisted Steele for improper media disclosures concerning his work.

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Hillary and Holder are hurting Democrat Party with their rhetoric

Democrat-written opinion piece points out the fact that the party has radicalized so much it has left its own supporters behind.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Fox News ran an opinion piece written by Douglas E. Schoen early Sunday. It points out how radicalized the Democrat Party has become, and it is noteworthy because Douglas Schoen is a Democrat himself. He writes (emphasis added):

As Democrats campaign for the Nov. 6 midterm elections, they have plenty of legitimate criticisms to level at President Trump and Republicans who control the House and Senate. But Democrats were hurt in recent days by amazing and disgusting comments made by Hillary Clinton and former Attorney General Eric Holder.

As a Democrat, I want my party to win as many seats as possible in the House and Senate and to capture as many governorships and other state offices as it can. But the Clinton and Holder remarks do not advance that effort – they hurt it.

Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Clinton said Tuesday that “you cannot be civil with” the Republican Party because it “wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.” She added that “if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”

But even worse than Clinton’s comments were those of Eric Holder, who said at a recent campaign event in Georgia that Democrats should abandon the advice of former first lady Michelle Obama, who said at the 2016 Democratic National Convention that her party and mine should respond positively to negative attacks from the GOP.

Mrs. Obama said that “when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.”

Holder argued just the opposite, saying: “When they go low, we kick them. That’s what this new Democratic Party is about.” He later said he wasn’t advocating violence – not literal kicking.

I beg to differ with both Clinton and Holder.

The only way the Democrats can regain the majority in either or both houses of Congress is by being civil, and pointing out the differences between Democrats and Republicans on the issues.

This is the real issue that should govern elections. Rather than the politics of popularity, one needs to consider policy points and which side offers points that are actually achievable, believable, concrete, desirable and specific. Calling President Trump and his administration names does not offer any constructive dialogue on policy matters.

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Conservatives and Trump supporters know this and it is precisely because of this that Donald Trump won the White House.

While the mainstream media (and here we can include Fox News largely) tried every possible way to ridicule Donald Trump’s candidacy, the people that actually listened to what he had to say found him very impressive on policy as much as his ability to speak as the voice of the people. The recent hysteria around Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and confirmation to the Supreme Court was hysteria up front, driven by real policy fears from the deep core of liberals, as they know that this Justice is likely to form an effective wall against liberals ramming their agenda through the courts since their efforts fail legislatively so often.

Mr. Schoen continues:

As a centrist Democrat, the issue that strikes me most is the degree to which the national debt and the deficit are now out of control.

America faces uncertain and unstable times financially. Yet we are seeing a Republican-controlled Congress that has largely failed to do anything besides provide tax cuts for major corporations and the wealthiest individuals. This is by no means certain to have fundamentally altered the path of the economy or to provide economic growth.

Put another way, what the Trump administration has failed to do is to fix health care and cover pre-existing conditions more fundamentally; lead America in a fiscally responsible way; and pass tax cuts that help the average American. The Trump tax cuts have driven up the national debt and endangered funding for programs that benefit millions of people in our country.

So, here are policy points. Now we can begin to have a debate. Is Mr. Schoen right, or wrong in his information? This is far different than name-calling!

Democrats have long argued the need for a centrist agenda that focuses on:

  • Providing health-care benefits – whether private or public – to all Americans to cover expansively all pre-existing conditions.
  • Protecting the environment from the policies of the Trump administration that have only encouraged –and I dare say exacerbated – environmental degradation and climate change.
  • Promoting a pro-growth, inclusive agenda that seeks to put working people first, and the interests of Washington insiders and economic elites second. President Trump claims that he is doing this – he calls it “draining the swamp” – but this has not happened.

There is no justification for the angry rhetoric of Clinton and Holder, which only feeds into Republican claims that Democrats are an angry mob that can’t get over Clinton’s loss to Trump two years ago.

And Holder looks particularly bad because he was once the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, yet now sounds like he is effectively advocating what appears to be either illegal activities, or metaphorical initiatives that run counter to our traditions and our politics.

Hillary Clinton has said she won’t run for office again, but Holder has said he may run for president in 2020. Whoever the Democratic candidate turns out to be needs to be a responsible and respectable opponent – not one who calls for kicking the GOP or for incivility.

We should have learned from the Senate confirmation hearing for now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh that resisting for the sake of resisting doesn’t work. In fact, Democratic attacks on Kavanaugh may well have backfired, recent polls show.

The Democratic Party itself is lost now, without a message, a direction, a strategy, or agenda to confront a Republican Party that is seen as in many ways as having let the American people down.

We need change – but it must be constructive change. This Democrat believes that the comments that Eric Holder and Hillary Clinton made are wrong, counterproductive, and deserve to be rejected by the leadership of the Democratic Party.

Perhaps Fox News ran this opinion piece because Douglas Schoen is the first rational Democrat contributor to say anything in some time. However, it also appears that Mr. Schoen is a minority in his own party. It is a greatly logical approach to argue policy, as he has and as anyone who really understands American government should. But it is unclear as to whether the bulk of the Democrat Party even has reasonable people remaining.

If they do, it may well be that they are being betrayed by their party’s increasingly leftist and radical positions. The Party apparatus seems focused, but it also seems to have left people like Mr. Schoen behind.

Who knows? Maybe that will bring them into the Trump camp.

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Patriarch Bartholomew lifts anathemas on schismatics in Ukraine (VIDEO)

Most of the Orthodox world is in strong opposition to this move by Patriarch Bartholomew, whose motivations seem not to be of Christ.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The biggest news in the Eastern Orthodox world in recent times occurred on Thursday, October 11, 2018. The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, lifted the anathemas against two schismatic Ukrainian Churches and their leaders, paving the way to the creation of a fully independent Ukrainian national Orthodox Church.

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This announcement was given in English and is shown here in video with the textual transcript following:

“Presided by His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Holy and Sacred Synod convened for its regular session from October 9 to 11, 2018 in order to examine and discuss items on its agenda. The Holy Synod discussed in particular and at length, the ecclesiastical mater of Ukraine in the presence of His Excellency Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon and His Grace Bishp Ilarion of Edmonon, Patriarchal Exarchs to Ukraine, and following extensive deliberations decreed (emphasis added):

First, to renew the decision already made, that the Ecumenical Patriarchate proceed to the granting of autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine;

Second, to re-establish at this moment the stavropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Kiev—one of its many starvorpegion in Ukraine that existed there always;

Third, to accept and review the petitions of appeal of Philaret Denisenko and Makary Maletich and their followers who found themselves in schism not for dogmatic reasons, in accordance with the canonical prerogatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to receive such petitions by hierarchs and other clergy of all the autocephalous Churches. Thus, the above mentioned have been canonically reinstated to their hierarchical or priestly rank, and their faithful have been restored to communion with the Church;

Fourth, to revoke the legal binding of the Synodal letter of the year 1686, issued for the circumstances of that time, which granted the right through economia to the Patriarch of Moscow to ordain the Metropolitan of Kiev elected by the clergy-laity assembly of his eparchy, who would commemorate the Ecumenical Patriarch as the first hierarch at any celebration, proclaiming and affirming his canonical dependence to the Mother Church of Constantinople;

Fifth, to appeal to all sides involved that they avoid appropriation of churches, monasteries, and other properties as well as every other act of violence and retaliation so that he peace and love of Christ may prevail.”

There are a few things that must be said about what this declaration is not before we get to the matter of what the points of actually are. The point of reference is the strict letter of the text above itself.

  • This is not a granting of autocephaly (full independent self-rule status) like the fourteen universally canonical Orthodox jurisdictions in the world. However, it is a huge step towards this status.
  • As far as Constantinople is concerned, Filaret Denisenko, the leader and “Patriarch” of the “Kyiv Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church” and Makary, the “Metropolitan” of the “Ukrainian Orthodox Autocephalous Church”, and all their faithful are now restored to communion. The statement says that this applies to “The Church” which may be trying to state that these two men (and all the faithful that they lead), are now in communion with the entirety of canonical Orthodoxy, but more likely, this may be a carefully worded statement to say they now are in communion with Constantinople alone.
  • There is an official call for the cessation of the violence directed against the Moscow Patriarchate parishes and communities, who are the only canonically recognized Orthodox Church in Ukraine, and who are also the largest by far in that country. The Kyiv Patriarchate and Uniate (Roman oriented) Greek Catholics in Ukraine have gone on record for seizing MP church properties, often by force, with neo-Nazi sympathizers and other radical Ukrainian nationalists. So this official call to cease the violence is now a matter of public record.

However, the reaction has been far less civil than the clergy wished for.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko: “Expressing his view of the Moscow Patriarchate, Poroshenko added, “This is a great victory of the God-loving Ukrainian people over the Moscow demons, the victory of Good over Evil, the victory of Light over Darkness.”’

Perhaps this is the reason Metropolitan Onuphry of Ukraine (exarch under the Moscow Patriarchate) has been labeled an enemy of Ukraine and is now receiving death threats. Very civil.

Poroshenko’s statement is all the more bizarre, considering that it has been Ukrainian ultra-nationalists that have been violently attacking Moscow – related parishes in Ukraine. This has been corroborated by news sources eager to pin the blame on Russia, such as the U.K. Guardian.

The Union of Orthodox Journalists, based in Kiev and supportive of the Moscow Patriarchate, has been under intense cyber attack since October 11th, when the EP’s announcement was issued.

Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) Chancellor, Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary: “What happened at the Synod in Istanbul yesterday shocked the entire Orthodox world. It seems the Patriarchate of Constantinople is consciously embarking on a path of schism in world Orthodoxy. Patriarch Bartholomew ignored the calls of the Local Churches to convene a meeting of the primates to work out a common and conciliar solution to the Ukrainian Church issue and unilaterally made very serious but erroneous decisions. I hope the Orthodox world will give this action an objective evaluation… Having received the schismatics into communion, Patriarch Bartholomew did not make them canonical, but has himself embarked on the path of schism. The schismatics remain schismatics. They did not receive any autocephaly or tomos. It seems they have lost even that independence, although non-canonical, that they had and which they always emphasized.”

Metropolitan Rostislav of the Czech Lands and Slovakia:“The Orthodox world recognizes the only canonical primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church—His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine. This fact was repeatedly mentioned and confirmed by the primate of the Great Church of Christ His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on behalf of all present at the Synaxis of the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches that was held in Chambésy (Switzerland) from January 21 to 27, 2016. Therefore, any attempt to legalize the Ukrainian schismatics by the state authorities should be strongly condemned by all the primates of the Local Orthodox Churches.

Patriarch Irinej of Serbia wrote two letters to the Ecumenical Patriarch, advocating that the provision of a new autocephaly is possible only with the consent of all local Orthodox Churches. According to Sedmitza.ru (Translation by Pravoslavie.ru),

“In these letters, it was very clearly stated that the granting of autocephaly cannot be the prerogative the Patriarchate of Constantinople alone, that new autocephalies must be created only with the consent of all the Local Orthodox Churches, as the Holy Synod of Antioch also said in its recent statement.”

Pat. Irinej also warned the Patriarchate of Constantinople against making such major decisions unilaterally, because “it will not bring harmony and peace to the Ukrainian land, but, on the contrary, will cause new divisions and new schisms.”

The Holy Synod of Antioch, the oldest Orthodox Church, and actually the very first place where the disciples of Christ were even called “Christians” weighed in on the issue as well and they had several things to say:

“The fathers examined the general Orthodox situation. They stressed that the Church of Antioch expresses her deep worries about the attempts to change the boundaries of the Orthodox Churches through a new reading of history. She considers that resorting to a unilateral reading of history does not serve Orthodox unity. It rather contributes to the fueling of the dissensions and quarrels within the one Church. Thus, the Church of Antioch refuses the principle of establishing parallel jurisdictions within the canonical boundaries of the Patriarchates and the autocephalous Churches as a way to solve conflicts, or as a de facto situation in the Orthodox world.

To summarize, this move by Constantinople is not being warmly received by many, many people. Most of the local Churches are on record giving their reaction to this process. In brief, here is the list most of the Local Churches and a one or two word summary of their reactions.

Patriarchate of Georgia: Unilateral action is wrong; Constantinople and Moscow must cooperate and find a solution together.

Patriarchate of Jerusalem: recognizes Ukraine as a canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church alone, as do all other local Churches

Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa: The Church does not bow to politicians. Moscow-led church is the only canonical Church in Ukraine.

Archbishop of Cyprus: Decries the Ukrainian situation but offered to mediate a discussion between Moscow and Constantinople

Bulgarian Patriarchate: Interference of the State in Church affairs leads to serious and negative consequences for both.

Polish Orthodox Church: Metropolitan Sawa called for a council of Orthodox ruling hierarchs to discuss this situation.

Estonian Orthodox Church: Condemns Constantinople’s actions in Ukraine.

Greek Archdiocese of America: Supports Constantinople’s actions in Ukraine.

The Orthodox Church of Greece (Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus quoted): “Schismatics, as we know, are not the Church, and communion with them is forbidden by the Divine and holy canons and the Apostolic and Ecumenical Councils. Why then this persistence of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in recognizing schismatics as an autocephalous Church? To provoke schisms and divisions in the one universal and Apostolic Church of Christ?”

Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR): Ceased commemoration of Constantinople, ceased concelebration with Constantinople.

This issue has also rocked the secular geopolitical world.

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