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Will Charlottesville’s Civil War provoke Trump to strike North Korea?

When domestic strife collides with foreign war.




Bringing down general Robert E. Lee statue in Virginia college town’s Emancipation Park cannot but be classified as the re-opening of hostilities that ravaged the disunited North American nation some 150 years ago.

There is a nagging suspicion that the liberal fundamentalists are now using the campaign to demolish Confederate monuments, which geared up since spring this year, to deepen the controversies in the American society, pitting various social and ethnic groups against each other.

By placing the blame evenly on both sides of the violent clashes between the rapidly resurging ”northerners” and “southerners” in Charlottesville Trump infuriated those who are engaged literally in re-shaping the mindset of the nation by re-writing its history.

The campaign to vilify and wipe any reminders of the Confederacy is ideologically motivated. “It appears we’re nearing the end of the Confederacy’s interminable after-life“, writes Tony Horwitz in the leading Trump-basher media clan outlet, The Washington Post.

Moreover, this is a case of imposed bigotry since the skirmishes between radical right and radical left are presented as a sequel to the “noble” fight during the Civil War in 1861-1865 between the advocates of slavery and institutionalized racism, meaning the Confederates, and the Abolitionists alias the Northerners. This is far from the historical truth, as any unprejudiced American scholar would say to his fellow citizens.

 The fundamental causes of the Civil war are found not in the conflict between slave-owners and champions of color-blind equality for all. The fact is that the industrial moguls and bankers of the North were unhappy by the relative economic and commercial independence of the property owners of the South who were making fortunes exporting cotton, tobacco and other primary goods to Europe. It was a war for dominance among business tribes.

Besides, there was a distinct difference between the settlers from Europe. Protestants and Catholics with a certain degree of royalist feelings cultivated the lands of the South while dissident pilgrims with indignation and ire towards the country they left behind were building up the North.

The war from the start was hardly about “freeing the serfs”, and only at a later stage the white slave owners of the North allowed the enlistment of the black people into the army. Thus granting them certain civil rights. It was definitely an effective move to gain a quantitative advantage over the army of the Confederacy and make black slaves in the South their natural allies.

However, the picture does not come out in black-and-white. It is no big secret: George Washington, the first President of the United States, inherited ten slave when he was 11 years old, and by the time of his death, 317 slaves lived in his residence at Mount Vernon. Another US President, Thomas Jefferson owned hundreds of African-American slaves despite his personal rejection of such injustice. Many other top political figures of the North at that time belonged to elite slaveholders who formed the ruling class.

It adds weight to Trump’s Twitter post: “…can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!”

 As a matter of paradox, General Robert E. Lee whose statue was downed in Charlottesville had freed his black slaves. There were also some signs that before the Civil War broke out Confederacy was slowly evolving and would have abolished slavery anyway in a matter of several years.

Charlottesville’s clashes are most likely to stimulate the outpour of latent fear among the descendants of the original settlers, white Anglo-Saxon, both protestant and catholic, migrants from Europe. Their communities are becoming more aware of the on-going forceful erosion of their ethnical, religious and cultural traditions. Instead, traditional values are substituted through liberal media brainwashing campaigns by a set of politically correct dogmas rejecting any strong hints of national identity.

Charlottesville’s onslaught on the delicate balance of views on historical schisms between the still divergent North and South could mark a crossroad for the relentless attempts to hold together the conglomerate of ethnic, social, religious and special interest groups that make up modern America.

“Racism is evil – and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,” Trump said. “Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America.”

 This statement was largely addressed to the audience of Trump’s entrenched adversaries. Yet, there is no reason to doubt that Trump believes in what he says. Nevertheless, it did go unnoticed by the “deep state” establishment. For the clear reason that it does not fit into the scenario of portraying Trump as “racist” and plain-clothed white supremacist. Despite being placed on false and fabricated ground, such allegations rally Trump’s opponents and instigate their even more aggressive posturing and behavior.

The ultimate goal seems to be to destabilize the US political system along many lines and eventually build up a case to launch the impeachment process.

 Moreover, there is a geopolitical dimension to the internal feuds within the US ruling elites and the society in general. The world should be genuinely apprehensive of the rise of what some called “paranoid citizens” eager to channel frustrations on those who do not share their beliefs and prejudices.

It does not only re-ignite the Civil War, which has been fanned by Soros and other liberal fundamentalists since they lost in the 2016 elections, but it enhances the unpredictability of the incumbent US President.

After being either implicitly or covertly labelled a sympathizer of the alt-right and similar groups – who are alarmed by the marginalization of the white middle class and working America, and for good reason – Trump is now more constrained in his choices of priorities in domestic and foreign policy.

Besieged Trump might seek a counter play by making adventurous moves overseas that would suppress, at least temporarily, internal dissent and divisions within his own party and the society overall. A response by force to an invented threat from the outside might become a universal unifier.

Any seemingly relevant – in the twisted public perception – external enemy like the erratic and capricious North Korean (NK) enfant terrible or the unruly Che Guevara-style leftists in Venezuela, allegedly endangering the lives or the wellbeing of fellow Americans (just like Saddam Hussein was condemned for conspiring against America in 2003), could well serve this malicious purpose.

It might prove, as it often proved in history, to be a sufficient deterrent for the continuous strife in the US ruling elites. But it would only postpone the vendetta launched against Trump by the unelected cosmopolitan financial oligarchy that runs America without caring too much about the country.

 If in the coming months we witness the making of a sequel to Charlottesville’s so far localized Civil War, it would be a sufficient motive to be afraid. To be very afraid. A Trump’s war either against North Korea or Venezuela or any other state declared ”rogue” would misbalance the already unhinged international affairs and send the world spinning out of control completely.

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Russia ranks HIGHER than Switzerland in these areas of doing business

Some curious things happened with several businesspeople who attended World Cup events in Russia.



Russian President Vladimir Putin

One of them was a distinctly renewed interest in doing business inside the country, and another was the realization to what extent perceptions have been tainted by media and political rhetoric directed against any real or imagined nastiness attributed to Russia these days.

These past few weeks have been invaluable, at the very least by affording a clear picture of Russia through which almost all anxiety-ridden preconceptions were illuminated and dispelled. More disturbing was the fact that the several businesspeople I was dealing with were furious. They were livid for being played for fools, and felt victimized by the dismally untrue picture painted about Russia and Russians in their home countries, both by their own politicians and the press.

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Most felt that they have been personally sanctioned by their own countries, betrayed through lack of clear unbiased information enabling them to participate and profit from Russia opportunities these past three growth years in spite of “sanctions”.

The door to doing good business in Russia has been and is open, and has been opening wider year after year. That is not just “highly likely”, but fact. Consistently improving structures, means and methods to conduct business in Russia sustainably, transparently and profitably are now part of the country’s DNA. It is a process, which has been worked on in the west for more than a century, and one, which Russia has only started these past 18 years.

True, there are sanctions, counter-sanctions, and regulations governing them that must be studied carefully. However if you are not a bank or doing business with those persons deemed worthy of being blacklisted by some countries “sanctions list”, in reality there are no obstacles that cannot be positively addressed and legally overcome despite the choir of political nay-sayers.

READ MORE: Russia just dumped $80 BILLION in US debt

The days of quickly turning over Russia opportunities into short-term cash are rapidly fading, they are a throwback to the 1990’s. Today the major and open opportunities are in the areas for Foreign Direct Investments. The nature of FDI is long term to make regularly recurring sustainable returns on investment.

Long term, Russia always was and increasingly confirms that it is a vibrant and attractive market. There is a significant consumer market with spending power, a well-educated workforce, a wealth of resources and the list goes on. The economic obstacles encountered have largely been imposed from without, and not from the dynamics and energies of the Russian economy itself.

Eventually sanctions will end, although the timeline is anyone’s guess. Meanwhile business continues, and any long-term engagement within Russia by establishing a working presence will yield both short and long-term investment rewards. These will only be amplified when the sanctions regimes are removed. In any event, these aspects are long-term investment decisions and one of the criteria in any risk assessment.

For some added perspective, Russia is ranked by the Financial Times as the No.2 country in Europe in terms of capital investments into Europe. It has a 2017 market share of 9% (US$ 15.9 billion) and includes 203 business projects. This is 2% higher than 2016 and better that 2014/2015 when sanctions were imposed.

Another item of perspective is the Country Risk Premium. All investors consider this when calculating the scope for long-term return on investments. What may surprise some is that Russia is no longer ranked as a very high-risk country. For comparisons sake: The risk premium for Germany is zero (no extra risk), the risk premium for Italy is 2.19%, and for Russia, it is 2.54%. When compared to politically popular investment destinations like Ukraine the risk premium is 10.4%  – food for thought. Bottom line is that the risks of investing in Russia are a smidge higher than investing in Italy.

Russia is ranked 35 among 190 economies in the ease of doing business, according to the latest World Bank annual ratings. The ranking of Russia improved to 35 in 2017 from 40 in 2016 and from 124 in 2010. It may also surprise some to learn that as concerns protecting the rights of minority investors, paying taxes, registering property and some other aspects of the World Bank comparisons, Russia comes out better than Switzerland (See: Rankings).

From operational standpoints, establishing an invested presence in Russia does not mean one must adopt Russian managerial methods or practices. The advantages for established foreign companies is that their management culture is readily applied and absorbed by a smart and willing workforce, enabling a seamless integration given the right training and tools.

The trend towards the ultimate globalization of business despite trade wars, tariffs, sanctions and counter-sanctions is clear. The internet of the planet, the blockchain and speed of information exchange makes it so whether we wish it or not. Personally, I hope that political globalization remains stillborn as geopolitics has a historical mandate to tinker with and play havoc with international trade.

Russia occupies a key strategic position between Europe and Asia. The “west” (US/Europe) have long had at times rather turbulent relationships with China. At the same time the Chinese are quite active investors in both the US and Europe, and western companies are often struggling to understand how to deal with China.

The answer to this conundrum is Russia: this is where East and West will ultimately come together with Russia playing a pivotal role in the relations between the west and China. At the end of the day, and taking the strategic long-term economic view, is what both Chinese and Western companies are investing in when they open their activities in Russia.

If long-term commitment and investment in Russia were simply a matter of transferring funds then I would not be bothering with this opinion article. Without a doubt, there are structural issues with investing in Russia. A still evolving and sometimes unclear rule of law, difficulties obtaining finance for investments directed towards Russia, the unique language and culture of business in the country. Nevertheless, companies that have an understanding and vision of global strategy will manage with these issues and have the means to mitigate them.

Money and other invested resources do not and should not play politics; any investment case when evaluated on objective financial criteria will reveal its fit, or lack of, within a company’s global strategic business objectives. The objective criteria for Russia over any long term horizon is both convincing and strong. This has been repeated by all of the businesspeople I have met with these past few weeks. Without doubt we shall see some new companies coming into the Russian market and objectively exploring the gains their playing fair business football here will yield.

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Media meltdown hits stupid levels as Trump and Putin hold first summit (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 58.

Alex Christoforou



It was, and still remains a media meltdown of epic proportions as that dastardly ‘traitor’ US President Donald Trump decided to meet with that ‘thug’ Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Of course these are the simplistic and moronic epitaphs that are now universally being thrown around on everything from Morning Joe to Fox and Friends.

Mainstream media shills, and even intelligent alternative news political commentators, are all towing the same line, “thug” and “traitor”, while no one has given much thought to the policy and geo-political realities that have brought these two leaders together in Helsinki.

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou provide some real news analysis of the historic Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, without the stupid ‘thug’ and ‘traitor’ monikers carelessly being thrown around by the tools that occupy much of the mainstream media. Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

And if you though that one summit between Putin and Trump was more than enough to send the media into code level red meltdown, POTUS Trump is now hinting (maybe trolling) at a second Putin summit.

Via Zerohedge

And cue another ‘meltdown’ in 3…2…1…

While arguments continue over whether the Helsinki Summit was a success (end of Cold War 2.0) or not (most treasonous president ever), President Trump is convinced “The Summit was a great success,” and hints that there will be a second summit soon, where they will address: “stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more.”

However, we suspect what will ‘trigger’ the liberal media to melt down is his use of the Stalin-esque term “enemy of the people” to describe the Fake News Media once again…


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While US seeks to up the ante on pressure on the DPRK, Russia proposes easing sanctions

These proposals show the dichotomy between the philosophy of US and Russian foreign policy



The United States last week accused the DPRK of violating refined petroleum caps imposed as a part of UN nuclear sanctions dating back to 2006, and is therefore submitting a proposal to cut all petroleum product sales to North Korea.

The Trump administration is keen on not only preserving pressure on North Korea over its nuclear arms development, but in increasing that pressure even as DPRK Chairman, Kim Jong-Un, is serially meeting with world leaders in a bid to secure North Korea’s security and potential nuclear disarmament, a major move that could deescalate tensions in the region, end the war with the South, and ease global apprehensions about the North’s nuclear arsenal.

Meanwhile, Russia is proposing to the UNSC sanctions relief in some form due to the North’s expressed commitment to nuclear disarmament in the light of recent developments.

Reuters reports:

MOSCOW/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Russia’s envoy to North Korea said on Wednesday it would be logical to raise the question of easing sanctions on North Korea with the United Nations Security Council, as the United States pushes for a halt to refined petroleum exports to Pyongyang.

“The positive change on the Korean peninsula is now obvious,” said the ambassador, Alexander Matsegora, according to the RIA news agency, adding that Russia was ready to help modernize North Korea’s energy system if sanctions were lifted and if Pyongyang can find funding for the modernization.

The U.N. Security Council has unanimously boosted sanctions on North Korea since 2006 in a bid to choke off funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, banning exports including coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood, and capping imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products.

China tried late last month to get the Security Council to issue a statement praising the June 12 Singapore meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and expressing its “willingness to adjust the measures on the DPRK in light of the DPRK’s compliance with the resolutions.”

North Korea’s official name is Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

But the United States blocked the statement on June 28 given “ongoing and very sensitive talks between the United States and the DPRK at this time,” diplomats said. The same day, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi about the importance of sanctions enforcement.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is due to informally brief U.N. Security Council envoys along with South Korea and Japan on Friday.

Diplomats say they expect Pompeo to stress the need to maintain pressure on North Korea during his briefing on Friday.

In a tweet on Wednesday Trump said he elicited a promise from Russian President Vladimir Putin to help negotiate with North Korea but did not say how. He also said: “There is no rush, the sanctions remain!”

The United States accused North Korea last week of breaching a U.N. sanctions cap on refined petroleum by making illicit transfers between ships at sea and demanded an immediate end to all sales of the fuel.

The United States submitted the complaint to the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee, which is due to decide by Thursday whether it will tell all U.N. member states to halt all transfers of refined petroleum to Pyongyang.

Such decisions are made by consensus and some diplomats said they expected China or Russia to delay or block the move.

When asked on June 13 about whether sanctions should be loosened, Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said: “We should be thinking about steps in that direction because inevitably there is progress on the track that should be reciprocal, that should be a two-way street. The other side should see encouragement to go forward.”

The proposals of both the United States and Russia are likely to be vetoed by each other, resulting no real changes, but what it displays is the foreign policy positions of both nuclear powers towards the relative position of the DPRK and its rhetorical move towards denuclearization. The US demonstrates that its campaign of increased pressure on the North is necessary to accomplishing the goal of a denuclearized Korean peninsula, while Russia’s philosophy on the matter is to show a mutual willingness to follow through on verbal commitment with a real show of action towards an improved relationship, mirroring on the ground what is happening in politics.

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