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World War One Centenary – the World Comes Full Circle

Macron, Putin and Trump are beneficiaries of popular dismay but no better equipped to find solutions to the world’s problems than the World War One generation.

Richard Galustian

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Sunday’s Paris series of meetings of key world leaders, including a probable Trump Putin, secret or otherwise, meeting, will inevitably take place, while marking the 100th anniversary on the 11th hour of the 11th month, of the end of the First World War, will be meetings heavy on irony.

Starting with the fact that in past 100 years the global system has come full circle: Communism, Fascism, and the declining collectivism (more correctly called globalism) of the United Nations and European Union have come and almost gone, which leaves the world right back where it was in 1918 with ‘Great Powers’ running the show.

​Discredited after blundering their way into the world’s first industrial war, the system of Imperialist ‘Great Powers’ is back by default. Because everything else has failed.

Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron were all elected by voters furious with conventional politics, where politicians can be bought and ‘experts’ are lobbyists in disguise. Angela Merkel, for once symbol of a collectivist ideal, is battered, bruised, and on her way out.

The return of Imperialistic Power politics is not the only irony staring these leaders in the face as they pour over the maps of the world’s many trouble spots: Those maps themselves are the product of 1918, and the countless wars that followed not least WW11.

World War One was truly the war that everyone lost: Four empires – the Austro Hungarian, German, Russian and Ottoman were obliterated and those of the supposed victors, Britain and France, so exhausted that they began a long painful collapse

Into the void came dozens of new states: In Europe, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia were created to fill the vacuum left by Austrian rule, each further splitting, mostly murderously, later in the century into yet more States.

In the Middle East, the Sykes-Picot maps – and the troubles – created after 1918 remain the template. It is long forgotten, but the collapse of the Ottoman Empire triggered the very first Arab Spring, along with the very first genocide of the last century of the Armenian people.

The people’s of the Middle East were fooled into thinking they were free to decide their own destiny. The result was violence and total chaos, partly dictated by Britain and France who drew up the flawed maps of a cluster of new States, bound to eventually fail.

Paris and London, with a mixture of self interests, cynicism and good natured blunder created Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Palestine, with Italy weighing in with the creation of a State it named Libya. In the Gulf, the new ‘freedom’ set off a bitter fight for Arabia essentially between the House of Saud and the Hashemite dynasty: The name of the resulting state is the clue as to who won.

Pause to ponder on the awful fate recently of Jamal Khashoggi and think on the disgraceful reaction of the re-born imperialist powers of the 21st Century to that heinous crime.

The historical mistake with hindsight was betting on Arabs instead of Persians, something we will soon all learn. The other was allowing Palestine to be stolen.

Former imperial colonial powers are to blame for these divisions a 100 years ago. For one, to think they could design a Palestine for both Arabs and Jews, but a century is long enough for the region’s leaders to have found a way of living together.

And then there is Russia: Crippling defeat in World War One saw the Tsar succumb to the communist revolution, and most of the century was spent watching the dream of an ideal state turn into a nightmare. Communism has gone, and so has multi-party democracy with Russia back where it was then, with a tsar – albeit one who needs to apply for re-election.

Back where it started is also the attitude of ordinary people to their rulers, so catastrophically shattered by World War.

The fact that Europe and Turkey’s leaders, so intelligent, yet so stupid, could blunder into cataclysm of the First World War has fascinated historians ever since. Austria kicked off the war by invading Serbia, fearing otherwise its Balkan possessions would demand independence. Russia attacked Austria to support Serbia, Germany attacked Russia to support Austria and France went to war with Germany and Austria to support Russia. The Ottomans, and Italy, joined the party hoping for land grabs and ended up with horrendous losses. Britain joined almost absent-mindedly after Germany, attacking France, invaded its ally Belgium.

In the long summer of 1914 the only serious attempt at what Churchill called “jaw jaw” was, absurdly, discussions of peace talks between the German Kaiser and his cousins, Britain’s King George V and the Russian Tsar. Nothing came of it, and catastrophe followed.

Fast forward to today and ordinary people are in the same belligerent mood: Conventional leaders are corrupt and bought, so-called ‘experts’ are merely paid lobbyists. This is not cynicism; its the truth. And the great post-Cold War project of globalization is finally on the rocks.

Macron, Putin and Trump are beneficiaries of popular dismay but no better equipped to find solutions to the world’s problems than the World War One generation. Just as the Great Powers failed to understand, prior to going to war, the terrible power of machine guns, poison gas, tanks and air power, so today’s leaders are paralyzed in the face of war, inequality, migration, global warming and potential nuclear Armageddon.

Democracy is dying in South America and Africa and tyranny strengthened in China though President Xi Jinping’s decision to become, in effect, a monarch – President for life.

World War One was described as the War to End Wars but the the world has more refugees, 65 million, than at any time in history.

An alphabet-soup of global terror groups continue spreading nihilism and death despite the failure of any of them, ever, to win any discernible victories.

From which it is tempting to conclude that those 100 years have made mankind no wiser. Certainly, war is not going out of fashion. The greatest Imperial power, America, positively relish wars.

About the only good news about the forthcoming Sunday’s gathering, supposedly commemorating peace, is that it is happening. The leaders are talking. And not just in Paris. The UN, widely discredited, never came close to the hopes of its founding fathers. I confess it is home to one powerful institution: The Security Council (UNSC). It is dominated by the original five most powerful nuclear states on the planet – China, Britain, France, Russia and the United States. But now we have to add Israel, India and Pakistan. The UNSC was, in effect, a permanent peace conference. Dozens of wars went on regardless, but dozens more were nipped in the bud through the jaw-jaw so conspicuously missing from events a century ago.

However the realities of the 21st Century no longer make the UNSC relevant as more States will soon acquire the where with all to go nuclear.

Though it won’t happen, the first question all present in Paris should ask each other is what the hell have we learned in the last 100 years? And the second, if and how can it be fixed?

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john vieiraRick OliverOle C G OlesenVera GottliebOlivia Kroth Recent comment authors
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Sean
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Sean

Bs! Stopped reading after “…. Russia back where it was, with a Tsar..”. Who pays for this rubbish to be written and why on earth is the Duran giving it publicity?

Olivia Kroth, author and journalist
Member

Well Sean, this text is not so bad, after all. I agree with you that the Russian position has not been analyzed quite correctly, though. The author writes: “And then there is Russia: Crippling defeat in World War One saw the Tsar succumb to the communist revolution, and most of the century was spent watching the dream of an ideal state turn into a nightmare.” The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 certainly was a nightmare for Russia, as President Putin has often said in his numerous speeches. The Soviets, however, achieved many positive things during their 74-year-rule: final… Read more »

Vera Gottlieb
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Vera Gottlieb

No, not ‘great powers running the show’; rather…great enterprises doing it – dictating to politicians what laws should/shouldn’t be brought about for their benefit.

Ole C G Olesen
Guest
Ole C G Olesen

WW 1 was not ” BLUNDERED ” into … WW 1 was meticulously PLANNED and pushed down the throat of Europe , Czar Russia and the USA by criminal mainly ZIONIST Elites… in the process DESTROYING EUROPE .. and a prosperous RUSSIA …. in order to preserve their Money HEGEMONIA . They are still busy at work ..today !

Rick Oliver
Guest
Rick Oliver

I think you are correct there Ole, still busy at work .. today !!! The question needs to be asked ” Publicly ” and needs to be seen as needing an answer right then and there !! They cannot be allowed to stick their heads back in the sand again for another 100 years !! The trouble with Western Governance is , they say well look into something that everybodys talking about , and that`s it , nothing happens until somebody in some obscure part of the planet remembers that there was no answer , absolutely nothing got fixed!!! I… Read more »

john vieira
Guest

Since creation/intervention there is one thing the human race excelled in…war and domination of other humans….we have done so good at war and engines of destruction that we are now/have been capable for over 50 years to annihilate ourselves…and possibly WILL…and we still have to dominate somebody…nobody is ever satisfied with the status quo and everybody else HAS the right answer and one ignorant cult and its’ even more stupid adherents believes it has the ONLY answer…Ah well !!!

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Peace on Korean Peninsula within reach, if only Trump can remove Pompeo & Bolton (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 152.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss the results of the Putin-Kim summit in Vladivostok, Russia, aimed at boosting bilateral ties between the two neighboring countries, as well as working to contribute to a final peace settlement on the Korean peninsula.

Putin’s meeting with Kim may prove to be a pivotal diplomatic moment, as North Korea continues to work towards normalizing ties with the U.S. amidst ongoing denuclearization talks with the Trump White House.

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Via the BBC…

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un needs international security guarantees if he is to end his nuclear programme.

Such guarantees would need to be offered within a multinational framework, he added, following talks near Vladivostok in Russia’s far east.

Mr Kim praised the summit as a “very meaningful one-on-one exchange”.

Mr Putin said North Korea’s leader was “fairly open” and had “talked freely on all issues that were on the agenda”.

The meeting followed the breakdown of talks between the US and North Korea in February, when Mr Kim met US President Donald Trump in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

Those talks reportedly stalled over North Korea’s demand for full economic sanctions relief in return for some denuclearisation commitments – a deal the US was not willing to make.

Speaking after the talks on Thursday, Mr Putin said he wanted to see full denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula.

But he said this could only be achieved through respect for international law.

“We need to restore the power of international law, to return to a state where international law, not the law of the strongest, determines the situation in the world,” he said.

Mr Kim greeted Russian officials warmly when he arrived in Russia on Wednesday.

The North Korean leader was entertained by a brass band in Vladivostok before he got inside a car flanked by bodyguards, who – in now familiar scenes – jogged alongside the vehicle as it departed.

What do we know about the summit?

According to the Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin believes the six-party talks on North Korea, which are currently stalled, are the only efficient way of addressing the issue of nuclear weapons on the peninsula.

Those talks, which began in 2003, involve the two Koreas as well as China, Japan, Russia and the US.

“There are no other efficient international mechanisms at the moment,” Mr Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

“But, on the other hand, efforts are being made by other countries. Here all efforts merit support as long as they really aim at de-nuclearisation and resolving the problem of the two Koreas.”

What do both sides want?

This visit is being widely viewed as an opportunity for North Korea to show it has powerful allies following the breakdown of the talks with the US in February.

The country has blamed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the collapse of the Hanoi summit. Earlier this month North Korea demanded that Mr Pompeo be removed from nuclear talks, accusing him of “talking nonsense” and asking for someone “more careful” to replace him.

The summit is also an opportunity for Pyongyang to show that its economic future does not depend solely on the US. Mr Kim may try to put pressure on Moscow to ease sanctions.

Analysts say the summit is an opportunity for Russia to show that it is an important player on the Korean peninsula.

President Putin has been eager to meet the North Korean leader for quite some time. Yet amid the two Trump-Kim summits, the Kremlin has been somewhat sidelined.

Russia, like the US and China, is uncomfortable with North Korea being a nuclear state.

How close are Russia and North Korea?

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union (of which Russia is the main successor state) maintained close military and trade links with its communist ally, North Korea, for ideological and strategic reasons.

After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, trade links with post-communist Russia shrank and North Korea leaned towards China as its main ally.

Under President Putin, Russia recovered economically and in 2014 he wrote off most of North Korea’s Soviet-era debt in a major goodwill gesture.

While it is arguable how much leverage Russia has with the North today, the communist state still regards it as one of the least hostile foreign powers.

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Putin meets Kim for the first time (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 151.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at the historic meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the city of Vladivostok in the Russian Far East.

The meeting marks the first ever summit between the two leaders.

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Via RT…

Leaders of Russia and North Korea sat down for a historic summit in Vladivostok, expressing hope it will revive the peace process in the Korean Peninsula and talks on normalizing relations with the US.

The summit on Russky Island, just off Vladivostok, started a little late because President Vladimir Putin’s flight was delayed. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had made the trip by train, arriving on Wednesday.

In brief public remarks before the talks, the two leaders expressed hope the summit will help move forward the reconciliation process in the Korean Peninsula. Putin welcomed Kim’s contributions to “normalizing relations” with the US and opening a dialogue with South Korea.

Kim said he hoped the Vladivostok summit would be a “milestone” in the talks about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, but also build upon “traditionally friendly ties” between Russia and North Korea.

The North Korean leader also made a point of thanking Putin for flying all the way to Vladivostok for the meeting. The Far East Russian city is only 129 kilometers from the border with North Korea.

The historic summit takes place less than two months after Kim’s second summit with US President Donald Trump in Hanoi fell apart without a breakthrough on denuclearization. The US rejected North Korea’s request for partial sanctions relief in return for moves to dismantle nuclear and missile programs; Washington insists on full disarmament before any sanctions are removed.

Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the main subject of the Kim-Putin summit, but there will also be talks about bilateral relations, trade, and humanitarian aid. The first one-on-one meeting is scheduled to last about an hour, followed by further consultations involving other government officials.

Following the summit, Putin is scheduled to visit China.

 

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Kim And Putin: Changing The State Of The Board In Korea

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.

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Authored by Tom Luongo:


Today is a big day for Korea. The first face-to-face summit of Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un takes place.

At the same time the 2nd annual Belt and Road Forum kicks off in Beijing.

This meeting between Putin and Kim has been in the works for a while but rumors of it only surfaced last week. But don’t let the idea that this was put together at the last minute fool you.

It wasn’t.

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.

I know that sounds bold. But hear me out.

And while no one seems to think this meeting is important or that anything of substance will come from it I do. It is exactly the kind of surprise that Putin loves to spring on the world without notice and by doing so change the board state of geopolitics.

  • Russia’s entrance into Syria in 2015, two days after Putin’s historic speech at the U.N. General Assembly
  • 2018’s State of the Union address where he announced hypersonic missiles, embarrassing the U.S. Militiary-Industrial Complex which accelerated the Bolton Doctrine of subjugating the world
  • Flying 2 TU-160 nuclear-armed bombers to Venezuela, creating panic in D.C. leading to the ham-fisted regime change operations there.
  • Nationalization of Yukos.
  • The operation to secure Crimea from U.S. invasion by marines aboard the U.S.S Donald Cook during the Ukrainian uprising against Viktor Yanukovich.

Both Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping are angry at the breakdown of the talks in Hanoi back in February. It was clear that everyone expected that meeting to be a rubber stamp on a deal already agreed to by all parties involved.

In fact the two meetings between Kim and Trump were only possible because Trump convinced them of his sincerity to resolve the ‘denuclearization’ of North Korea which would clear a path to rapid reunification.

It’s why they went along with the U.S.’s increased sanctions on North Korea as administered through the U.N. in 2017.

That John Bolton and Mike Pompeo destroyed those talks and Trump was unwilling or unable (who cares at this point, frankly, useless piece of crap that he is) to stop them embarrassed and betrayed them.

They are now done with Trump.

He’ll get nothing from either of them or Kim until Trump can prove he’s in charge of his administration, which he, clearly, is not.

And they will be moving forward with their own agenda for security and Asian economic integration. So I don’t think the timing of this meeting with that of the Belt and Road Forum is an accident.

And that means moving forward on solving the Korea problem without Trump.

It is clear from the rhetoric of Putin’s top diplomat, the irreplaceable Sergei Lavrov, that Russia’s patience is over. They are no longer interested in what Trump wants and they will now treat the U.S. as a threat, having upped their military stance towards the U.S. to that of “Threat.”

If Bolton wants anything from Russia at this point he best be prepared to start a war or piss off.

This is also why Russia took the gloves off with Ukraine in the run up to the Presidential elections, cutting off energy and machinery exports with Ukraine.

To put paid Putin’s growing impatience with U.S. policies, he just issued the order to allow residents of Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics to apply for Russian passports.

This will send Bolton into apoplexy. Angela Merkel of Germany will be none too pleased either. Putin is now playing hardball after years of unfailing politeness.

It’s also why Lavrov finalized arms and port deals all over the Middle East in recent weeks, including those with Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and India.

Bolton, Pompeo and Pence are ideologues. Trump is a typical Baby Boomer, who lives in a bubble of his own design and believes in an America that never existed.

None of them truly understand the fires they are stoking and simply believe in the Manifest Destiny of the U.S. to rule the world over a dim and barbaric world.

Putin, Xi, Rouhani in Iran and Kim in North Korea are pragmatic men. They understand the realities they live in. This is why I see Putin willing tomorrow to sit down with Kim and flaunt the U.N. sanctions and begin the investment process into North Korea that should have begun last year.

Putin would not be making these moves if he didn’t feel that Bolton was all bark and no bite when it came to actual war with Russia. He also knows that Germany needs him more than he needs Germany so despite the feet-dragging and rhetoric Nordstream 2 will go forward.

Trade is expanding between them despite the continued sanctions.

Putin may be willing to cut a deal with President-elect Zelensky on gas transit later in the year but only if the shelling of the LPR and DPR stops and he guarantees no more incidents in the Sea of Azov. This would also mollify Merkel a bit and make it easier for her politically to get Nordstream 2 over the finish line.

There are moments in history when people go too far. Bolton and Pompeo went too far in Hanoi. He will pay the price now. Putin and Kim will likely agree to something in Vladivostok that no one is expecting and won’t look like much at first.

But the reality is this summit itself marks a turning point in this story that will end with the U.S. being, in Trump’s transactional parlance, a “price taker” since it has so thoroughly failed at being a “price maker.”

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