USA vs. Europa: Trump droht mit weiteren Strafzöllen – Eskalation voraus? | www.konjunktion.info

usa-vs-europa-trump-droht-mit-weiteren-strafzollen-8211-eskalation-voraus-wwwkonjunktion.info

19-03-19 08:56:00,

Autos - Bildquelle: Pixabay / niekverlaan; Pixabay LicenseAutos - Bildquelle: Pixabay / niekverlaan; Pixabay License

Autos – Bildquelle: Pixabay / niekverlaan; Pixabay License

Seit mehreren Monaten schreibe ich davon, dass der Handelskrieg kein Ende finden und unvermindert fortgesetzt werden wird. Die Gespräche mit China wurden gefühlt bereits zum Hundertsten Mal vertagt und im Falle Europa hat sich eine “neue Entwicklung” ergeben: Trump will die Strafzölle verschärfen.

Der US-Präsident und seine Streitigkeiten mit den ehemals wichtigsten Vebündeten sowie mit China sind das perfekte Ablenkunsmanöver, um die Machenschaften der Fed zu verschleiern. Dass mittes der Bilanzrückführungen den Märkten die wichtigste, noch vorhandene “Unterstützung” entzogen wird, habe ich in zig Artikeln dargelegt. Trotz der Behauptungen (oder war es der Wunsch, Träumereien oder Hoffnungen?) der Hochleistungspresse und leider auch vieler alternativer Medien, dass die Fed “zu Beginn diesen Jahres aufgrund der Marktgegebenheiten kapitulieren” und wieder “den Kurs der Straffungspolitik verlassen” wird , hat sich an der Politik der Fed kein Yota geändert.

Die Fed hat allein im Februar 65 Milliarden US-Dollar an Vermögenswerten auf den Markt gepumpt. Bislang sieht die Politik der Fed vor, diese Straffungsmaßnahmen bis zum Ende des Jahres fortzusetzen. Ich denke auch nicht, dass die Fed diese Straffungspolitik länger verfolgen muss als bis zum Ende diesen Jahres, um ihr erwünschtes Eregbnis zu erhalten.

Präsident Donald Trump drohte der Europäischen Union mit mehr Zöllen, wenn der Block kein Handelsabkommen mit den USA aushandelt, und will ein Veto gegen ein Gesetz, das der Senat verabschiedet hatte und der seine Erklärung zum Ausrufen des Notstandes aufgrund des Baues einer Mauer an der Südgrenze blockieren soll, einlegen.

Während sich die USA und die EU bemühen, ihre Handelsunterschiede glatt zu ziehen, sagte Trump: “Sie sind bereit, mit uns zu reden, und wenn sie nicht mit uns sprechen, werden wir etwas tun, das wirtschaftlich ziemlich ernst ist. Wir werden viele ihrer Produkte mit Zöllen belegen.” Der Präsident bezog sich mit großer Wahrscheinlichkeither auf die Importe von Autos aus der EU, eine Drohung, die er in der Vergangenheit bereits gemacht hat.

Trump äußerte sich gegenüber Reportern, als er sich mit dem irischen Premierminister Leo Varadkar im Oval Office traf. Trump sagte auch auf Twitter,

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Trump fordert erneut Rekordausgaben für das Militär

trump-fordert-erneut-rekordausgaben-fur-das-militar

18-03-19 10:14:00,

Das Pentagon propagiert zum Haushaltsentwurf ausgerechnet das kaum vorangekommene Falcon-Darpa-Projekt eines Hyperschallflugkörpers. Bild: DoD

Trotz aller Aufregung um die Militärausgaben der Nato-Länder und die “russische Aggression” rückt für Washington China und der asiatisch-pazifische Raum in den Vordergrund

Nach dem National Priorities Project des Institute for Policy Studies haben die USA seit 2001 mehr als 4,7 Billionen US-Dollar für die Kriege und Auslandseinsätze, die Aufrüstung und die Innere Sicherheit ausgegeben. Zugrunde gelegt werden die Zahlen des Projekts Costs of War des Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs an der Brown University. Das kommt unter Einbeziehung der künftig entstehenden Kosten wie Schuldenbelastung, Veteranen etc. auf mehr als 5,6 Billionen. Für die vom Pentagon entstandenen Kosten, die schon unter George W. Bush trotz Steuervergünstigungen für die Reichen auf Pump finanziert wurden, wurden allein an Zinsen über 660 Millionen US-Dollar bezahlt. Das wird explodieren, wenn die Zinsen weiter steigen.

Donald Trump, der sich selbst einmal als “König der Schulden” bezeichnete, weil er angeblich so gut damit umgehen kann, hat nun dem Kongress noch einmal einen Pentagon-Haushaltsentwurf in Rekordhöhe vorgelegt. Zuvor war schon mal gemunkelt worden, Trump wolle wegen der galoppierenden Verschuldung das 2018 um mehr als 10 Prozent und auch 2019 weiter gestiegene Budget wieder auf 700 Milliarden herunterfahren. Aber es war auch die Rede davon, dass es im anstehenden Haushaltsjahr 2020 noch einmal um weitere 16 Milliarden steigen soll.

Als “verrückt hoch” hatte Trump Ende Dezember die Militärkosten bezeichnet, womit er auch wieder mit dem Finger auf die Alliierten zeigte, die mehr Geld für die Rüstung ausgeben sollen, während man im Hintergrund überlegte, das Militär zur Dienstleistung machen zu wollen, für den die Staaten, in denen Truppen stationiert sind, dafür auch zahlen müssen, inklusive Aufschlag nach der Formel “costs plus 50”.

In der Nato strengt man sich an, den USA nachzueifern, wo “vorbildlich” ins Militär 3,36 Prozent vom BIP fließen. Um 4 Prozent sind nach dem letzte Woche veröffentlichten Nato-Bericht die Militärausgaben der europäischen Staaten und Kanada von 2017 auf 2018 gestiegen, was durchschnittlich 1,48 Prozent vom BIP ergibt. Abgesehen von Polen, das sich als Musterland präsentiert, mehr als 2 Prozent des BIP für das Militär ausgibt und Washington für einen permanenten US-Stützpunkt 2 Milliarden US-Dollar anbietet,

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The Trump Mysteries: Inconsistent Inconsistencies

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18-03-19 10:07:00,

The Trump Mysteries: Inconsistent Inconsistencies

Unlike the American Democratic Party, the Western news media and most of my neighbours, I do not fully understand Trump. Although, unlike all of them, I thought from the start he had a good chance of winning and, as time went on, became more confident and finally bet he would win.

One of the consistent themes of Trump’s campaign was that foreign entanglements were not to the country’s advantage and the wars were a waste of resources; bad for business, as it were. Now, I’m not so simple-minded as to believe campaigning politicians. Bush promised a quieter foreign policy and Obama was going to close Guantánamo; but what made me pay attention to Trump’s statements was that they weren’t just the disconnected laundry list of focus-groups handed out by most politicians, they had an internal consistency. (And consistent over quite some time: watch this interview from 1987.)

That consistency could be found in his slogan Make America Great Again. It was the “again” that was the clue. Shattered tells us that Bill Clinton tried to get his wife to perceive the dissatisfaction in the USA, Sanders tapped into some of it but Trump saw and understood it early and based his campaign on it; Clinton never understood. Again, that’s the clue. I concluded that Trump saw a connection between the loss of “greatness” and the foreign entanglements: the “six trillion dollars” spent in the Middle East would have been better spent on infrastructure“. Of course he was right: there is a direct connection. But to stop that drain, Trump, now President, has to break the entanglements and that will not be easy. Last year I formed the theory that he would try to get the allies to break these entanglements and updated the idea recently. (It was written just before we heard that Trump is considering to charging allies 150% for the cost of US bases – something that is sure to cause a lot of re-thinking and disentangling.)

So I expected a Trump Administration to cut entanglements and not create any more. But here we come to the inconsistencies. There have been three actions inconsistent with this view: important inconsistencies.

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Poland’s “Fort Trump” A Reality: “Serious Offer” For “Permanent” US Base Negotiated

poland8217s-8220fort-trump8221-a-reality-8220serious-offer8221-for-8220permanent8221-us-base-negotiated

15-03-19 09:16:00,

Poland’s push to house a major permanent US military base dubbed last year by Polish President Andrzej Duda as “Fort Trump” is a big step closer to becoming a reality this week after top US defense officials met with Polish counterparts in Warsaw to negotiate an offer. US Defense Undersecretary for Policy John Rood led a delegation to the former Soviet satellite country and longtime east European defense ally on Wednesday to discuss the US “robust offer” to establish a permanent facility on Polish soil. 

The Poles previously vowed to pay $2 billion for a base that could host a division-sized installment of US forces, which the US has called “very generous” — though likely to fall short of the total cost for such a base. “We have come forward with what we think is a very serious robust offer and we’re working out some of the technicalities this very week, when we hope to have a solid foundation to work from having coming out of this meeting,” a spokesperson for Rood’s office informed the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.

Image source: AFP

Though the idea of a permanent US base in Poland has been floated for years, especially after the Russian-Ukraine conflict grew hot, last September’s official visit between Presidents Duda and Trump at the White House gave it real momentum. 

Duda had dropped the surprising proposal during a press briefing, suggesting it could be called “Fort Trump” — to which Trump grinned and appeared to nod in approval. 

“I invite you to post more American military troops in Poland,” Duda said, describing US presence in Poland as a “guarantor of security.” 

And Trump responded at the time as follows:

“We’re looking at it very seriously, I know Poland likes the idea very much, and it’s something that we are considering, yes,” Trump told reporters during the Sept. 19 press conference, according to CNN.

Duda’s remarks, clearly designed at the time to play on the US president’s ego, came amidst joint statements wherein both leaders agreed that Moscow has “acted aggressively” in the region. Trump said that he shared concerns about Russian encroachment into former Soviet satellite countries. 

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Trump 2020 Budget Raises Military Spending, Cuts Everything Else

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11-03-19 08:28:00,

President Trump’s 2020 budget isn’t just an outline of his government’s priorities, Democrats have interpreted it as a declaration of war.

Putting forth a budget that the Washington Post said would almost certainly result in another shutdown (and possibly a debt-ceiling crisis) later this year, Trump proposed deep cuts to federal agencies and social welfare services, while once again boosting spending for the military, and appropriating $8.6 billion for his wall.

Budget

The budget, which is expected to become a major issue in the 2020 race, calls for a $17 billion reduction in food stamps, and a $22 billion reduction in welfare programs. It would cut foreign aid by $13 billion, while raising total defense spending by 4% to $750 billion. Over a decade, the budget would cut $1.9 trillion from mandatory spending over a decade.

In total, Trump’s budget calls for $4.75 trillion in federal spending for 2020, up 5% from what’s expected in 2019.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • 5% domestic spending cut
  • 31% cut to the EPA
  • Budget would establish a new Energy Star fee to raise $46 million in fiscal 2020, plus offsetting fees for chemical and oil facilities that could raise $20 million and $10 million
  • 11% cut to the Energy Department
  • 22% cut to Department of Transportation
  • 12% cut to Department of Health and Human Services
  • Foreign aid reduced by $13 billion
  • Defense spending increased by 4% to $750 billion
  • Budget projects $200 billion increase in annual defense spending by 2029, including money for Space Force
  • While raising overall defense budget, Trump projects cuts to war spending beginning in 2022, when Oversea Contingency Fund would be cut to $20 billion
  • Budget for 2020 calls for $174 billion in war spending, including $9 billion in emergency funds
  • Budget claims path to balance in 15 years
  • $8.6 billion for the border wall (enough for 722 miles)
  • New tax on e-cigarettes and vapes
  • Proposes major overhaul of Medicaid by turning more power over to states and cut $241 billion over 10 years.
  • The budget projects $1.1 trillion deficit in 2019,

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Trump Regime Electricity War in Venezuela More Serious Than First Believed

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11-03-19 02:33:00,

Trump Regime Electricity War in Venezuela More Serious Than First Believed

Stephen LENDMAN 

On Thursday, Venezuela’s Guri dam hydroelectric power plant was cyberattacked at 5:00 PM during the late afternoon rush hour to cause maximum disruption.

Up to 80% of the country was affected, damage done more severe than initially thought. Weeks or months of planning likely preceded what happened – US dark forces almost certainly behind it, considerable expertise needed to pull it off. 

On Friday, another cyberattack occurred, followed by a third one on Saturday, affecting parts of the country where power was restored, further complicating resolution of the problem, Maduro saying:

After power was restored to about 70% of the country, “we received another attack, of a cybernetic nature, at midday…that disturbed the reconnection process and knocked out everything that had been achieved until noon,” adding:

“(O)ne of the sources of generation that was working perfectly” was sabotaged again…infiltrators…attacking the electric company from the inside.”

Power is being restored “manually,” efforts continuing to learn precisely why computerized systems failed – things further complicated after a Bolivar state substation transformer exploded and burned, suggesting more sabotage.

What’s happening in Venezuela is similar to infecting Iran’s Bushehr and Natanz nuclear power facilities with a Stuxnet malware computer virus in 2010, a likely joint US/Israeli intelligence operation. Edward Snowden blamed them for what happened.

At the time, operations were halted indefinitely. Iran called the incident a hostile act. General Gholam-Reza Jalali said if the affected facilities went online infected, Iran’s entire electrical power grid could have been shut down. 

It took months to fully resolve the problem. Following the summer 2010 attack, the malware continued to infect the facilities’ centrifuges, requiring their replacement.

An Institute for Science and International Security analysis said “(a)ssuming Iran exercises caution, Stuxnet is unlikely to destroy more centrifuges at the (affected plants).” 

“Iran likely cleaned the malware from its control systems. To prevent re-infection, Iran will have to exercise special caution since so many computers in Iran contain Stuxnet,” adding:

“Although Stuxnet appears to be designed to destroy centrifuges at (Iranian nuclear facilities), destruction was by no means total.”

“Stuxnet did not lower the production of low-enriched uranium (LEU) during 2010.

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Trump Looks To Nationalize 5G

trump-looks-to-nationalize-5g

06-03-19 04:02:00,

Authored by Michael Kern via Safehaven.com,

Trump apparently wants to control 5G in a ‘state-run’ socialist twist to American capitalism – and now there are indications that it could become part of the 2020 election campaign.

Over the weekend, President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign team renewed its controversial pitch on nationalizing the country’s 5G network. In other words, the government would have control of 5G airwaves and lease access to private wireless providers.  

Kayleigh McEnany, a Trump 2020 campaign spokeswoman, told Politico that a wholesale 5G market would drive down costs and provide access to millions of Americans who are currently underserved.

“This is in line with President Trump’s agenda to benefit all Americans, regardless of geography,” McEnany said. Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, has been also pushing for a plan that would involve a nationwide 5G network.

Last month, President Trump himself wrote on social media about 5G, saying that “American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind.”

“I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard,” he tweeted. (We’ll let the fact that there is no such thing as 6G technology slide for the sake of election campaigning). 

Not everyone’s on board the nationalization train, though. There are some in the White House who would prefer the industry lead this game. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, for one, believes wireless companies should manage the build-out of 5G. Feeling the heat over this talk of nationalization, even McEnany and Parscale later walked back their calls for government control of 5G, saying they were expressing their own personal opinions—not Trump’s.

The idea of a wholesale network is being pushed by little known wireless company Rivada Networks. However, it should be noted that Peter Thiel and Karl Rove, who both have close ties to the Republican party and are strong President Trump supporters, have invested in Rivada.

While this new campaign is ostensibly aimed at reducing costs and providing rural residents with fast internet,

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Trump and Democrats unite to smear Ilhan Omar

trump-and-democrats-unite-to-smear-ilhan-omar

05-03-19 06:21:00,

A woman faces straight ahead

President Donald Trump is promoting a letter against Ilhan Omar signed by anti-Muslim hate groups.

Alex Edelman
CNP

Ilhan Omar has come under renewed attack for speaking about the outsize influence of the Israel lobby, and simply for being a Black Muslim woman.

A poster that appeared in the West Virginia state capitol, for instance, implicitly blamed Omar, who came to the US as a refugee from Somalia, for the 9/11 attacks.

But instead of defending the Minnesota congresswoman, her own Democratic colleagues are piling on – continuing to falsely accuse her of anti-Semitism for legitimate comments about the Israel lobby.

“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” Omar said at a town hall meeting last week.

As if to prove Omar’s point, her Democratic colleague Congressman Juan Vargas declared in response that “questioning support for the US-Israel relationship is unacceptable.” In other words, Vargas – who like Omar sits on the foreign affairs committee – clearly insists on unquestioning allegiance to Israel.

It is disturbing that Rep. Omar continues to perpetuate hurtful anti-Semitic stereotypes that misrepresent our Jewish community. Additionally, questioning support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is unacceptable. (1/2)

— Rep. Juan Vargas (@RepJuanVargas) March 4, 2019

And just as she did before, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a top Democrat who is [content to use Omar in photo-ops, is leading the charge against her.

.@SpeakerPelosi is happy to use @IlhanMN for self-serving “diversity” propaganda but not prepared to defend her against the Israel lobby’s racist, Islamophobic defamation that Omar is “anti-Semitic.” In fact Pelosi joined in the smear campaign. Vile! https://t.co/kFPcOI6DJA

— Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) March 3, 2019

Politico reported Monday that Democratic leaders are planning to bring a resolution in the House condemning anti-Semitism.

Although the draft text does not name Omar, it is seen as a direct rebuke and public shaming.

Moreover, the draft cites the so-called IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.

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If Trump wanted to help people, he’d open Mexico border & give US homeless places to live – Maduro

if-trump-wanted-to-help-people-he8217d-open-mexico-border-amp-give-us-homeless-places-to-live-maduro

26-02-19 03:46:00,

If US President Donald Trump actually cared about humanitarian issues, he would open the border with Mexico and fund programs to fight poverty in America itself, Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro said.

Last weekend, the Venezuelan opposition led by self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaido attempted to force the delivery of US-provided aid cargo into Venezuela. Maduro was harshly criticized by US politicians and media for stopping the truck. When asked by a US journalist whether he is putting his pride ahead of the suffering of his people, the Venezuelan leader said Washington’s motives for interfering in Venezuela were anything but humanitarian.

“If [Donald Trump] cared a lot about the people of Latin America he should open the border’s doors to the Mexicans, Hondurans, Guatemalans and Colombians that he chases from the border. He should give them workers’ permits, working visas and the permanent visa to the millions of now-Americans that come from our Latin American communities,” Maduro said.

Also on rt.com
Vene-what? Video of Trump struggling to pronounce ‘Venezuela’ goes viral

A central part of the Trump administration’s policies is border security, and building a wall along the US border with Mexico. The authorities have been criticized for family separation practices, as well as sending the military to the border amid a “humanitarian crisis.”

Trump is no humanitarian, Maduro believes. The US president doesn’t care about struggling people in Venezuela or, for that matter, struggling people in the US itself, as evidenced by the wealth inequality and rampant homelessness, he told ABC’s Tom Llamas.

“You can go to the streets of Los Angeles or its suburbs and you would see thousands of people, Tom, in Miami, living in the streets, freezing,” he said, responding to the claim that journalists have seen people “eating out of the trash in Caracas.” He added that the same media which amplifies the US narrative about the suffering of Venezuelans and their urgent need for aid overlook similar problems in the US.

Also on rt.com
Venezuela crisis: Border clashes, ‘masked thugs’, ‘torched aid’ & fake Red Cross

“The United States has 40 million poor people,

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Trump *Is* a Peace President, but It’s Simply Not Enough

trump-is-a-peace-president-but-it8217s-simply-not-enough

26-02-19 08:47:00,

‘To carry through on Trump’s promise of realignment in American grand strategy will require a class, or counter-elite, to help him or future presidents like him’

“Merchants of death” was a sobriquet once applied to the arms industry, notably by the journalists F.C. Hanighen and H.C. Engelbrecht in the title of a book they published in 1934. Today the real merchants of death are not the arms dealers but those who sell the idea of war within America’s policy elite, both inside and outside of government. They possess a monopoly on respectability, and politicians who thirst for respect from the real governing class need little incentive to adopt the ideas of the smart set. Those who don’t play along get the treatment meted out to Ron Paul or Tulsi Gabbard—or Donald Trump.

Trump does not crave respectability. He supplies whatever desire for approval he feels from his own reservoir of self-esteem. This makes him seem arrogant and perversely proud of his ignorance, so far as his enemies see it, but in fact it means he is largely immune to the ideological virus to which virtually all other politicians are susceptible. Trump knows that the foreign policy establishment is bankrupt. And that’s what makes him a president who can actually give peace a chance.

Expert opinion holds that the U.S. should be deeply involved in Syria, even to the point of fighting a two-front war with Bashar al-Assad and groups like the Islamic State. The same experts believe that the U.S. should not plan to leave Afghanistan any time soon. On the contrary, in moments of candor, many a general and think-tank apparatchik will remind you that the U.S. has happily had forces in Germany and Japan for about 70 years, so why not Afghanistan, too? Toward Russia, our policy must be one of renewed Cold War. NATO should expand indefinitely. War with Iran is inevitable, at least as far as the Republican part of the foreign policy establishment is concerned. Saudi Arabia’s wars are our wars, too. And North Korea should cause us all to lose sleep at night.

Trump dissents from almost all of this, with the regrettable exception of his support for Mohammed bin Salman’s war in Yemen. He would like to get out of Syria and Afghanistan.

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Trump Threatens a Second Embargo of Cuba

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24-02-19 04:43:00,

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Trump Threatens a Second Embargo of Cuba

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The Trump administration is threatening to unleash a flood of lawsuits involving Cuba, which no U.S. president has ever done. It has set a deadline of March 2 to announce whether it will create, in the words of the National Lawyers Guild, “a second embargo” of Cuba — “one that would be very difficult to dismantle in the future.”

Trump may give current U.S. citizens standing to sue in U.S. courts even if they were Cuban citizens when the Cuban government nationalized their property after the 1959 Revolution. They would be able to bring lawsuits against U.S. and foreign companies that allegedly profit from the nationalized properties.

In accordance with international law, the Cuban government had offered compensation to U.S. nationals for the taking of their property, as I explain below. If Trump permits myriad new lawsuits to proceed, it would unleash a tsunami of litigation that would harm U.S. companies and punish the Cuban people even more.

For 59 years, the United States has maintained a cruel embargo against Cuba. “The embargo on Cuba is the most comprehensive set of U.S. sanctions on any country, including the other countries designated by the U.S. government to be state sponsors of terrorism — Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria,” according to the U.S. government.

In 1960, the Eisenhower administration declared a partial embargo on trade with Cuba in an attempt to pressure Cuba to change its form of government. The embargo was prompted by a secret State Department memorandum that proposed “a line of action which, while as adroit and inconspicuous as possible, makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger,

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Trump’s Syria military pullout, not under John Bolton’s watch (Video)

trumps-syria-military-pullout-not-under-john-boltons-watch-video

23-02-19 03:42:00,

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his yearly State of the Nation speech on February 20th, 2019. Last year’s speech, given March 1, was a real topic of amazement for both Russia and the West, as the president revealed the new hypersonic weaponry that the Russian Federation has been developing, as well as other extremely sophisticated means of defense for the nation. At first the West mocked these claims, but time proved Mr. Putin correct.

This year’s speech appears to be quite different in its focus, though of course the President had to discuss the matters of the defense of his nation and its response to pressure from the Western powers, most notably the United States and Great Britain. While the main focus of his speech, and indeed, this last presidential term, is on domestic issues within Russia, he had to still discuss military matters, which is what the Western media reacted to. Here is that section of the speech. We have reprinted it in full, but the emphases and comments that break the segment of the speech are ours:

Colleagues, Russia has been and always will be a sovereign and independent state. This is a given. It will either be that, or will simply cease to exist. We must clearly understand this. Without sovereignty, Russia cannot be a state. Some countries can do this, but not Russia.

Sound familiar, America?

Building relations with Russia means working together to find solutions to the most complex matters instead of trying to impose solutions. We make no secret of our foreign policy priorities. These include strengthening trust, countering global threats, promoting cooperation in the economy and trade, education, culture, science and technology, as well as facilitating people-to-people contact. These tenets underpin our work within the UN, the Commonwealth of Independent States, as well as within the Group of 20, BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

We believe in the importance of promoting closer cooperation within the Union State of Russia and Belarus, including close foreign policy and economic coordination. Together with our integration partners within the Eurasian Economic Union, we will continue creating common markets and outreach efforts. This includes implementing the decisions to coordinate the activities of the EAEU with China’s Belt and Road initiative on the way to a greater Eurasian partnership.

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Trump Regime Pursuing Nuclear Technology Sales to the Saudis – Global Research

trump-regime-pursuing-nuclear-technology-sales-to-the-saudis-8211-global-research

21-02-19 03:56:00,

Saudi Arabia is a fascist dictatorship run in cahoots with religious extremists – the Middle East’s most dangerous regime after Israel. 

Other than nations already with nukes, it’s likely the last regime on earth anti-war activists would want to be nuclearized with a potential military component.

The possibility should terrify everyone, mass destruction regionally and beyond greatly heightened if the Saudis have this capability.

A US House Oversight and Reform Committee report raised the issue, saying the following:

“(M)ultiple whistleblowers came forward to warn about efforts inside the White House to rush the transfer of highly sensitive US nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia in potential violation of the Atomic Energy Act and without review by Congress as required by law—efforts that may be ongoing to this day,” adding:

Trump regime relations with the Saudis are “shrouded in secrecy,” Jared Kushner involved with crown prince Mohammad bin Salman on what’s going on – MBS once saying he’s got Trump’s son-in-law “in his pocket.”

Saudi Arabla is a highly valued US client state, the most important in the Arab world one because of its huge oil reserves and around $750 billion of its wealth invested in US assets.

Trump has gone all-out to assure nothing interferes with US/Saudi business and political relations. He’s had longstanding business ties to the kingdom, including distress sales to royal family members when needing cash to meet debt obligations.

Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal earlier said he bailed Trump out twice. Businessman Trump created and registered eight companies to do business in Saudi Arabia.

During an August 2015 campaign rally, he said

“Saudi Arabia, I get along great with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.”

According to the Wall Street Journal in January 2017, the Washington-based Trump International Hotel was paid about $270,000 by the Saudi lobbying firm Qorvis MSLGroup – for lodging, catering, and related expenses – plus another $200,000 spent at the hotel.

As president, Trump chose Saudi Arabia for his first foreign trip, sealing what he called a $110 billion arms deal,

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‘You’ll lose everything!’ Trump issues ultimatum to Venezuelan military, says all options are open

youll-lose-everything-trump-issues-ultimatum-to-venezuelan-military-says-all-options-are-open

19-02-19 08:48:00,

US President Donald Trump warned the Venezuelan military that they are risking their lives and future by supporting President Maduro in a heated speech that left “all options” open to bring democracy in the Latin American country.

“We seek a peaceful transition of power, but all options are open,” Trump declared, speaking at Florida International University in Miami on Monday. Directly addressing the Venezuelan soldiers who continue to back President Nicolas Maduro, he gave them the choice of accepting self-proclaimed ‘interim president’ Juan Guaido’s “generous offer of amnesty,” or facing “no safe harbor, no easy exit, and no way out.”

“You will lose everything,” he cautioned. “I have a message for every official who is helping to keep Maduro in place. The eyes of the entire world are upon you today, every day and every day in the future.”

Also on rt.com
‘They want to enslave us!’ Maduro slams Trump’s ultimatum & ‘Nazi-style’ attack on socialism

Trump proclaimed that “the days of socialism and communism are numbered,” blaming “Maduro dictatorship” for all of Venezuela’s woes. “Peace loving nations are willing to help Venezuela reclaim its democracy, its dignity and its destiny,” he said, to the cheers of the crowd.

Trump boasted that the US had been the first of dozens of nations to recognize Guaido when the National Assembly leader unilaterally declared himself president, glossing over the world’s split reaction to the regime change attempt.

Also on rt.com
US military planes with ‘humanitarian aid’ bound for Venezuela after new sanctions

Faced with political uncertainty and dire socio-economic crisis, Venezuela remains under increased pressure from Washington, which has also been urging Caracas to allow international humanitarian aid into the country. Fearing a hidden motive behind the US intentions, Maduro ordered the military to come up with a plan to reinforce security along the border with Colombia.

Maduro has declared he will not bow to US pressure or resign, blaming Washington for deliberately exacerbating the crisis. He has declared the aid sitting at the Colombian border to be little more than “crumbs” and a publicity stunt,

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Trump die Zeitbombe

18-02-19 08:08:00,

Die Konferenz der Willigen in Polen

Autor: U. Gellermann

Datum: 18. Februar 2019

Den einen, zumeist im alten deutsch-atlantischen Milieu angesiedelt, gilt Donald Trump als unberechenbarer Elefant im diplomatischen Porzellan-Laden. Den anderen, in einer sonderbaren Gegend rund um die AfD, erscheint er als neuer Besen, der ähnlich rigoros kehrt wie sie selbst gern Staub aufwirbeln. Und selbst an Rändern der Friedensbewegung wird er als eine Hoffnung vermutet, weil er immerhin nicht zum alten Clinton-Obama-Klüngel gehört und noch selbst keinen Krieg ausgelöst hat. Mein Großvater, ein krumm gearbeiteter Bergmann, wusste in solchen Fällen guten Rat: „Guck se nich aufen Mund, guck se aufe Finger“. Die Finger von Trump waren gerade mal wieder in Polen zu besichtigen. Dort fand in Warschau – garniert mit Vizepräsident Mike Pence und Aussenminister Mike Pompeo – auf Anregung des Godfathers in Washington eine sogenannte Nah-Ost-Konferenz statt, die besser Konferenz der Willigen hätte heißen sollen: Vertreterinnen und Vertreter aus 60 Ländern waren offenkundig willig, der Anti-Iran-Politik des Waffen-Dealers Trump zu folgen. Zugleich war das Warschauer Treffen Trumps Vorbereitung und Gegengewicht zur München Sicherheitskonferenz: Da durften die Länder der EU tatsächlich auch ein paar eigene Standpunkte vertreten.

Erfrischend klar beschrieb der Chef des israelischen Gottesstaates, Benjamin Netanjahu, das Ziel der Konferenz in einem Video, das sein Büro vorab verbreitete: Er wollte in Warschau “unser gemeinsames Anliegen eines Krieges mit dem Iran” voranbringen. Der angeblich schwer durchschaubare weil unberechenbare Donald Trump hat diese Konferenz zielstrebig vorbereitet: Eingeladen waren vorrangig Kunden der US-Waffenindustrie. Und eingeläutet wurde die Messe der Willigen schon vorher durch die Liquidation des Iran-Atomabkommens und den Ausstieg aus dem INF-Vertrag. Beides Maßnahmen, die heftigen Beifall des militärisch-industriellen Komplexes in den USA ausgelöst haben. Denn beide Kündigungen internationaler Abkommen zur Friedenssicherung sind Schritte, die zum Krieg führen können. Und nichts ist besser für den Waffenumsatz als als ein schöner blutiger Krieg. Schon die Aussicht darauf lässt Aktienkurse steigen.

Doch schon auf dem Weg zum Krieg achtet Trump auf den Profit seines Klientels: Polen und die USA haben ein weiteres Rüstungsgeschäft besiegelt. Warschau kauft US-Mehrfachraketenwerfer vom Typ “Himars”. Für nur 400 Millionen US-Dollar. Diese prima Gefechtsfeld-Waffe hatte die rumänische Regierung bereits im August 2017 bei der Defense Security Cooperation Agency bestellt und bekommen. Diese Agentur der US-Regierung beschreibt sich selbst so: “Die Aufgabe von DSCA besteht darin,

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Trump’s Warsaw ‘Peace’ Conference an Orwellian Parody

trumps-warsaw-peace-conference-an-orwellian-parody

15-02-19 07:30:00,

Trump’s Warsaw ‘Peace’ Conference an Orwellian Parody

It was billed as a “peace and security” conference on the Middle East, held in the Polish capital Warsaw this week. The much-vaunted US-led summit was anything but about peace and security in the conflict-ridden region. It was intended as a war summit against Iran.

Even the venue, Warsaw, had an unwitting Orwellian twist to its name. Warsaw? More like War Foresaw.

For several months, the Trump administration had been organizing the “ministerial-level” two-day summit held this week. As it turned out, major powers gave the conference a clunking big miss, knowing full well that the event was a thinly veiled attempt by Washington to organize an “Iran-bashing” summit. How stupid do the Americans think the rest of the world is? They are shameless in their arrogance.

Russia, Turkey, Qatar, Lebanon as well as most European leaders decided to stay away from the venue. This was in spite of the White House sending a high-level delegation led by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Also in attendance was Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, best buddy of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed, and spectacularly unqualified peace tribune for the Mideast.

The de facto boycott by other powers can be seen as a sign of times of Washington’s diminished role, if not its fraudulent claims of being a diplomatic arbiter.

The reason for the absence of Russia and others was because they knew the American agenda was to drum up international support for antagonizing Iran with intensified economic sanctions. Despite its claims of being a “peace and security” conference, few nations believed that it was anything other than a war summit to galvanize international support or acquiescence for Washington’s obsessive aggression towards Iran.

The fact that the US-led conference in Warsaw was avoided by so many international powers, conspicuously the European Union, shows that Washington’s days of self-proclaimed global leadership are numbered. Washington’s credibility is spent. Indeed grossly in arrears.

The farce is almost beyond words. After decades of illegal warmongering and regime-change machinations in the Middle East, how could Washington expect anyone to take its conference this week on “peace and security” to be taken seriously with a straight face?

Misplaced arrogance or delusion are the only explanations for Washington’s belief that it could organize such a conference – and expect that anyone of significance would attend.

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Deep State coup d’état against Trump confirmed by Andrew McCabe

deep-state-coup-detat-against-trump-confirmed-by-andrew-mccabe

15-02-19 07:00:00,

Latest

Saudi Arabia used to be the top foreign source of oil imported into the US, but now it’s only a very weak second-place to Canada.

Eric Zuesse

Published

5 hours ago

on

February 15, 2019

Originally posted at strategic-culture.org:

At the present time, the latest month for which the US Department of Energy publishes the number of barrels per day (bpd) of oil that’s exported to the US is November 2018. Here are the rankings:

1. Canada        142,206 bpd

2. Saudi Arabia  30,028

3. Mexico        18,020

4. Venezuela     16,889

5. Iraq          11,767

6. Colombia      7,769

7. Russia        7,611

8. Ecuador       5,866

9. Nigeria       5,392

10. Algeria      4,848

11. UK           4,653

12. Norway       4,073

13. Kuwait       3,027

14. Brazil       2,777

15. Belgium      2,075

16. S. Korea     1,927

17. Netherlands  1,462

18. Egypt        1,405

19. UAE          1,771

20. China        1.268

21. France       1,239

22. Singapore    1,232

23. Indonesia    1,204

24. Argentina    1,101

25. Peru         1,061

26. Denmark      1,000

27. Brunei       961

28. Spain        846

29. Angola       833

Here were the top 10 for the entire year of 2015 as reported by Bloomberg Finance at Forbes. For comparison to today, the country’s sales and rank in November 2018 is also indicated [between brackets]”

1. Canada        3.2 million bpd  [1. Canada 142,206]

2. Saudi Arabia  1,1 [2. Saudi Arabia 30,028]

3. Venezuela     780,000 bpd [4. Venezuela 16,889]

4. Mexico        690,000 [3. Mexico 18,020]

5. Colombia      370,000 [6. Colombia 7,769]

6. Iraq          230,000 [5. Iraq 11,767]

7. Ecuador       225,000 [8. Ecuador 5,866]

8. Kuwait        210,000 [13. Kuwait 3,027]

9. Brazil        190,000 [14. Brazil 2,777]

10. Angola       190,000 [29. Angola, 833]

Clearly, the figures change over time. Whereas Angola was #10 in 2015, it’s #29 now; and whereas Russia,

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Donald Trump und die Künstliche Intelligenz

donald-trump-und-die-kunstliche-intelligenz

12-02-19 09:02:00,

Symbolpolitisch will Trump die Entwicklung der KI fördern, aber seine “KI-Initiative” offenbart, dass er mit dem Rücken zur Zukunft steht

Donald Trump hat gestern eher nebenbei die executive order “Accelerating America’s Leadership in Artificial Intelligence” unterzeichnet, nach der die Behörden und Ministerien angewiesen werden, die Entwicklung von Künstlicher Intelligenz (KI) vorrangig zu behandeln. Damit kommt der Bau-Mogul, der symptomatisch von einer Beton- oder Stahlmauer an der Grenze zu Mexiko träumt, sogar noch später als Deutschland und auch erst nachdem Russland KI-Entwicklung als Topthema gesetzt hat.

Bekanntlich hat die deutsche Bundesregierung Ende des letzten Jahres eine “KI-Strategie” mit großer Geste und wenig Ressourcen beschlossen, um mit ganzen 3 Milliarden Euro bis 2015 zu einem global player in Sachen KI zu werden. Aber nach Medienberichten tut sich bislang nicht viel.

Donald Trump will eine American Artificial Intelligence (AI)-Initiative in Gang setzen, um “den Wohlstand der Nation zu erhöhen, unsere nationale und wirtschaftliche Sicherheit zu stärken und die Lebensqualität der Amerikaner zu verbessern”. Das erinnert an die hilflosen Versuche der deutschen Regierung, eine “deutsche KI” auf die Beine zu stellen, allerdings spielen die USA noch ganz vorne mit. Die Initiative soll dafür sorgen, dass die KI “erfüllt ist vom amerikanischen Geist, die amerikanischen Werte widerspiegelt und zum Vorteil für die amerikanischen Menschen eingesetzt wird”.

Die Initiative soll dafür sorgen, dass die USA bei Entwicklung und Einsatz von KI führend bleiben, das wird schon im Titel als maßgeblich gesetzt. Aber das könnte schwierig werden, weil China massiv in KI investiert und auch den Vorteil hat, die Systeme mit massenhaft Daten zu füttern und Anwendungen auf Massenebene zu testen. Natürlich geht es beim Wettbewerb der Großmächte vornehmlich um den Einsatz von KI in der Kriegstechnik und -führung, auch um autonome Kampfsysteme. Davon wird aber in der Exekutive nicht gesprochen werden, da sollen allgemein Forschung und Entwicklung, KI-Infrastruktur, KI-Verwaltung, Weiterbildung und internationales Engagement gefördert werden.

Mit der Priorisierung sollen Behörden und Ministerien mehr Geld in die Forschung und Entwicklung investieren. Gelder sollen nur umgeschichtet werden, eine zusätzliche Förderung ist nicht vorgesehen. Das verrät viel. Das National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) soll Standards für eine sichere KI entwickeln. Als wichtig wird auch erachtet, die Menschen weiterzubilden, um sie fit zu machen für die Veränderungen,

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What Trump Is Trying To Save Americans From – PaulCraigRoberts.org

what-trump-is-trying-to-save-americans-from-8211-paulcraigroberts.org

11-02-19 07:14:00,

What Trump Is Trying To Save Americans From

Nurse in Germany Sends Message that Describes The Camp of the Saints as the Present-day Situation in Germany


In Europe truthful information about the Islamic immigrants forced on Europe by the EU, Merkel and George Soros is considered a hate crime and is forbidden. Marine Le Pen, leader of a large political party in France, has been indicted for merely publishing photos of brutal murder victims of Islamicists. Frustrated by the imposed silence, a Czech woman self-described as a nurse in Germany provides this description:

Yesterday, at the hospital, we had a meeting about how the situation here and the other Munich hospitals are unsustainable.  Clinics cannot handle the number of migrant medical emergencies, so they are starting to send everything to the main hospitals.  Many Muslims are refusing treatment by female staff, and we women are now refusing to go among those migrants.  Relations between the staff and migrants are going from bad to worse.  Since last weekend, migrants going to the hospitals must be accompanied by police with K-9 units.  Many migrants have AIDS, syphilis, open TB and many exotic diseases that we in Europe do not know how to treat.  If they receive a prescription to the pharmacy; they  learn they have to pay cash, this leads to unbelievable outbursts, especially when it is about drugs for the children.  They abandon the children to the pharmacy staff with the words: So, cure them yourselves.  So the police are not only guarding the clinics and hospitals, but also the large pharmacies.

 We ask openly where are all those who welcomed the migrants in front of TV cameras with signs at train stations?  Yes, for now, the border has been closed, but a million of them are already here and we will definitely not be able to get rid of them,

 Until now, the number of unemployed in Germany was 2.2 million.  Now it will be at least 3.5 million.  Most of these people are completely unemployable.  Only a minimum of them have any education.  What is more, their women usually do not work at all.  I estimate that one in ten is pregnant.  Hundreds of thousands of them have brought along infants and little kids under six,

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Trump’s Speech: An Assessment – PaulCraigRoberts.org

trumps-speech-an-assessment-8211-paulcraigroberts.org

07-02-19 02:10:00,

Trump’s Speech: An Assessment

Paul Craig Roberts

Readers are requesting my take on President Trump’s state of the union speech. Briefly, judging by the polls taken by his hostile critics—CNN and CBS—the speech was very successful with 76% of the public expressing approval. And this despite several years of demonization of Trump by the presstitutes, Democratic Party, former intelligence and FBI officials, and a number of generals.

The speech was successful, because Trump spoke common sense and appealed for unity. He emphasized restoring America’s greatness, a Reagan theme, and he made it clear that the Democrats’ policy of trying to discredit him and get him out of office was preventing the government from moving ahead with issues that need addressing. I believe everyone knows this, including the Democrats and the presstitutes.

When I say the speech was successful, I mean for Americans. Foreigners witnessing the chant—USA-USA-USA—saw the “exceptionalism” that has been Washington’s excuse for doing so much damage to others in the 21st century. It is not clear what viewers made of the congresswomen in white with their hostile demeanor. Were the white clothes meant to signify their purity in contrast to Trump’s corruption or were the white suits a sign of disapproval like the white dress of the KKK meant disapproval of the black politicians put in power by Reconstruction? What did the Democratic Party gain by displaying female members of Congress as Trump foes?

As for Trump’s economic claims, they were largely based in the official data. As I have emphasized for many years, it is the official data that are false.

Let’s move to more important questions about the speech.

A country without defended borders is not a country. If a country has no respect for its borders, why does the country need a military to repel invaders? Clearly, for the Democratic Party the United States is some kind of universalistic place where people from other lands come and go at will unimpeded. Having borders is nationalism, and nationalism has been redefined from the patriotism it once was to fascism. For Democrats, as for Macron and Merkel, patriotism is the refusal to defend the country’s borders. In other words, the Democratic Party is now without any doubt the party of The Camp of the Saints.

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Trump verspricht Unterstützung: US-Waffenlieferungen von venezolanischen Behörden beschlagnahmt

trump-verspricht-unterstutzung-us-waffenlieferungen-von-venezolanischen-behorden-beschlagnahmt

06-02-19 03:43:00,

Donald Trump hat seine volle Unterstützung für die venezolanische Opposition zum Ausdruck gebracht. Während die USA ihren Druck auf Präsident Nicolas Maduro erhöhen, berichten Behörden des Landes, dass eine Waffenlieferung beschlagnahmt wurde, die angeblich aus den USA kam.

Die offenbar in den USA hergestellten Waffen wurden auf einem Lagerplatz des internationalen Flughafens Arturo Michelena in der venezolanischen Stadt Valencia entdeckt, teilte das Innenministerium am Dienstag mit. Im Versteck fanden Sicherheitskräfte mindestens 19 Gewehre und 118 Magazine, hochkalibrige Munition sowie 90 Funkantennen und sechs Mobiltelefone. Die Waffen wurden wahrscheinlich am Sonntag aus der südöstlichen US-amerikanischen Stadt Miami verschickt, vermuten die Behörden. Es wurde eine Untersuchung eingeleitet, um den beabsichtigten Empfänger der Sendung zu ermitteln.

✔19 fusiles
✔118 cargadores de fusil
✔4 porta fusil
✔3 miras para fusil
✔90 antenas de radio
✔6 teléfonos fueron hallados en el patio de almacenamiento del aeropuerto de Valencia los cuales ingresaron al país el #3Feb en el Air Bus N881YV procedente de Miami,EEUU #5Febpic.twitter.com/5wnBFnxaFt

— GD Endes Palencia Ortiz (@PalenciaEndes) 5. Februar 2019

Während die USA nie eine militärische Option zur Unterstützung des Machtanspruchs von Juan Guaidó ausgeschlossen haben, hat Washington offiziell bisher einen friedlichen Machtwechsel im lateinamerikanischen Land gefordert.

“Wir stehen dem venezolanischen Volk in seinem edlen Streben nach Freiheit zur Seite”, bekräftigte Donald Trump am Dienstag in seiner Rede zur Lage der Nation und bot der venezolanischen Opposition und dem Führer der Nationalversammlung volle Unterstützung an.

Venezuelas Präsident Nicolás Maduro (r.), flankiert von seiner Frau Cilia Flores (M.), hält eine venezolanische Flagge, während er von einem Balkon des Präsidentenpalastes Miraflores spricht.

“Wir verurteilen die Brutalität des Maduro-Regimes”, fügte Trump hinzu und beschuldigte Caracas und den Sozialismus im Allgemeinen für den wirtschaftlichen Niedergang des Landes, das andererseits hauptsächlich durch US-Sanktionen stranguliert wird.

Der nicht gewählte Oppositionsführer Guaidó erklärte sich am 23. Januar zum Interimspräsidenten. Innerhalb weniger Tage erhielt Guaidó volle Unterstützung aus Washington sowie aus zahlreichen Ländern der EU und Lateinamerikas. Nach der Ankündigung gab es in Venezuela massive Kundgebungen, sowohl für als auch gegen Maduro.

Die venezolanische Regierung betrachtet die jüngsten Entwicklungen als “Putschversuch”. Sie warnte vor jeder internationalen Einmischung oder möglichen Militäraktionen. Trotz der Opposition und sogar der US-Beamten, die venezolanische Offiziere und Soldaten zum Überlaufen drängen, hat die Armee bisher weitgehend ihre Loyalität gegenüber der gewählten Regierung aufrechterhalten.

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“Fort Trump” in Poland Is a Gold Mine for the US Military-Industrial Complex – Global Research

8220fort-trump8221-in-poland-is-a-gold-mine-for-the-us-military-industrial-complex-8211-global-research

05-02-19 01:57:00,

“The Americans need us only for the purpose of manipulation”

The former commander of the Polish Land Forces General Skrzypczak doubted the expediency of creating the American military base Fort Trump in Poland.

The Americans have their own interests – hoping to deter Russia by using Americans – that do not coincide with the expectations of Poland, explained the General.

“If the price [the appearance of a Fort Trump] is the fact that we will become quasi-allies of the Americans and suppliers of financial resources for their businesses, then a Fort Trump should not appear at all”

said the Polish General

The former commander also doubted the ability of Washington to come out as the winner in the conflicts that it provokes:

“Americans understand that beyond Iran there is China, and behind China there is Russia … Here everything is connected … America cannot win such a war”.

The US is trying to not allow the economic strengthening of Beijing in Europe and to disrupt the implementation of the Chinese infrastructure project “One Belt, One Road”. When fulfilling these tasks Washington tries to involve as many allies as possible. For example, suggesting to Poland to hold an anti-Iranian conference, without having invited representatives of Tehran.

“Why do we allow ourselves to be drawn into an anti-Iranian adventure, which is absolutely alien to us? Poland has no place in this. We are needed by the Americans today, but only for the purpose of manipulating us. Our diplomacy is so weak that it does not give an account of what levers the Americans use for the sake of achieving their goals”

noted the General

The “Nasdaq” website previously pointed out the interest of American weapons companies in the appearance of a Fort Trump in Poland. Against the background of negotiations on this topic between Washington and Warsaw, the stocks of weapons giants cooperating with the US State Department sharply increase. The stocks of the “Aero Vironment” company, which manufactures drones, rose in 2018 by 103%, “Engility Holdings” – by 21%, and “Aerojet Roketdyne Holdings” – by 8%. The Polish media says that a Fort Trump would be a pot of gold for the American military-industrial complex.

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Trump Kneels Again Before AIPAC

trump-kneels-again-before-aipac

05-02-19 09:00:00,

Authored by Tom Luongo,

We know the pull of the Israeli lobby is strong in D.C. We also know that Donald Trump’s foreign policy has centered around Israel’s security.

But what we didn’t know for certain was just how far Trump is led around by the whatever AIPAC wants. Until Sunday morning…

However Trump’s invoking Iranian influence as a rationale for staying further contradicts his prior December statement that the defeat of ISIS was “the only reason” he was in Syria in the first place. 

MARGARET BRENNAN:How many troops are still in Syria? When are they coming home?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: 2,000 troops.

MARGARET BRENNAN: When are they coming home?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: They’re starting to, as we gain the remainder, the final remainder of the caliphate of the area, they’ll be going to our base in Iraq, and ultimately some will be coming home. But we’re going to be there and we’re going to be staying—

MARGARET BRENNAN: So that’s a matter of months?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We have to protect Israel. We have to protect other things that we have. But we’re- yeah, they’ll be coming back in a matter of time. Look, we’re protecting the world. We’re spending more money than anybody’s ever spent in history, by a lot. We spent, over the last five years, close to 50 billion dollars a year in Afghanistan. That’s more than most countries spend for everything including education, medical, and everything else, other than a few countries. 

CBS “Face the Nation” Feb.3 interview transcript

It seems that the panic in D.C. over Trump’s desire to pull out of Syria got everyone activated. Nothing unites the Beltway cocktail circuit and lobbying myrmidons like the threat of peace in the Middle East.

With $4 billion in aid every year and a few hundred nukes the idea that we have to occupy a border crossing between Iraq, Jordan and Syria to protect Israel against Iranian weapons is frankly, ludicrous.

Iran is a bigger threat to Israel now because after seven years of war in Syria,

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Trump Is Right: The Intelligence Community Needs to ‘Go Back to School’

trump-is-right-the-intelligence-community-needs-to-go-back-to-school

03-02-19 10:06:00,

“The current crop of national intelligence chiefs are careerists who have risen to the top through their willingness to conform to a system that is designed not to challenge conventional thinking”

Earlier this week, the collective leadership of the United States intelligence community briefed Congress on the Worldwide Threat Assessment Report. In doing so, they provided testimony that seemed to contradict virtually every aspect of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy, including the decision to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan, the threat posed by Iran, North Korean denuclearization, and improving relations with Russia.

The president, in typical fashion, lashed out, criticizing the intelligence community’s collective analysis, which predictably elicited criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. They accused him of undermining public confidence in the pronouncements of the intelligence agencies and damaging national security.

In this case, Trump is right and his detractors are wrong.

The current crop of national intelligence chiefs are cut from the same cloth as their predecessors. They are careerists who have risen to the top not through their analytical or operational talents, but through their willingness to conform to a system that is designed not to challenge conventional thinking—especially when such thinking sustains policies that have been given the imprimatur of the entrenched establishment.

Rare is the politician who is well enough versed in the minutia of history and foreign affairs to generate original thinking—or bold enough to challenge the status quo on the grounds that it isn’t working. Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush were among the original thinkers, leaders who opened relations with communist China and oversaw the peaceful collapse of the Soviet Union, respectively. Among those who challenge the status quo is Donald Trump, a political maverick who, rightly or wrongly, has sought to challenge the conventional dogma in ways no previous politician ever has.

There is no better illustration of the intellectual corruption of the intelligence community than its performance in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The current dean of the intelligence establishment, the former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, illustrates perfectly the slavish impulse to conform. In his book Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence,

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Trump Won’t Accept Trade Deal Unless China Opens Market To Manufacturers, Bankers And Farmers

trump-won8217t-accept-trade-deal-unless-china-opens-market-to-manufacturers-bankers-and-farmers

31-01-19 04:52:00,

President Trump is on another tweeting tear Thursday morning, alternating between comments about the ongoing US-China trade talks and his push to convince a bipartisan group of lawmakers to strike a border security deal that includes funding for his promised border wall.

After affirming earlier that a trade deal won’t be struck this week because there won’t be a “final deal” until Trump and President Xi can meet face to face (the WSJ reported that Trump will travel to China next month for the meeting), Trump followed up by insisting that a final deal will require China to open up its markets not only to US financial services firms, but to US “manufacturing, farmers and other US businesses and industries.”

Looking for China to open their Markets not only to Financial Services, which they are now doing, but also to our Manufacturing, Farmers and other U.S. businesses and industries. Without this a deal would be unacceptable!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019

He followed that up with a tweet affirming that the Pentagon will be sending more troops to the US border (something the Pentagon announced earlier this week).

More troops being sent to the Southern Border to stop the attempted Invasion of Illegals, through large Caravans, into our Country. We have stopped the previous Caravans, and we will stop these also. With a Wall it would be soooo much easier and less expensive. Being Built!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019

On Wednesday, Trump shared a quote from a Fox & Friends story about the three migrant caravans that are currently headed for the US border, an angle that Trump is seeking to play up as Democrats dig in their heels and Trump threatens to finally call the national emergency that would (in theory, at least) allow him to circumvent Congress and order the military to build the wall (which, as Trump has repeatedly claimed, has already been started). The tweets on trade come ahead of a reported meeting between Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White House on Thursday.

However, despite Trump’s emphasis on farming and manufacturing, the president’s tweet notably follows a story published Thursday in the Wall Street Journal which explained why the US is in a better position to expand services like banking,

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Ist Donald Trump gezwungen worden aufzugeben?, von Thierry Meyssan

ist-donald-trump-gezwungen-worden-aufzugeben-von-thierry-meyssan

31-01-19 09:44:00,

Hat Präsident Donald Trump aufgegeben, die amerikanische Politik zu ändern? Hat er sich der ehemaligen herrschenden Klasse seines Landes unterworfen? In den letzten zwei Monaten scheint seine Regierung das AfriCom, CentCom und das SouthCom neu gestaltet zu haben. Dem ersten militärischen Befehl des Pentagons wäre erlaubt worden, gegen die chinesischen Projekte in Afrika zu kämpfen; Das CentCom wäre für die Spaltung des Erweiterten Nahen Osten zwischen Arabern und Persern engagiert worden und das SouthCom für die Vernichtung der staatlichen Strukturen des Karibik-Beckens. Daher sind diese neuen Missionen von einer Rückkehr der Neokonservativen begleitet.

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Seit den Zwischenwahlen vom 6. November 2018 steht Präsident Trump unter extrem hohem Druck. Die US-Bundesbehörden sind am 22. Dezember wegen der parlamentarischen Opposition zum Haushaltsentwurf, der die Finanzierung einer Mauer an der mexikanischen Grenze beinhaltete, geschlossen worden (shutdown). Die Krise hat erst 35 Tage später, am 25. Januar 2019, ihr Ende genommen. Präsident Trump hat vor den Forderungen der Demokratischen Partei vorübergehend klein beigegeben. Laut S&P Global Ratings hätte der shutdown mehr als $ 6 Milliarden gekostet, d.h. mehr als die Kosten der Mauer, die er angeblich hätte einsparen sollen [1].

Während dieser Zeit hat die Trump-Administration Zeichen der Aufgabe ihrer Außenpolitik und Verteidigung und der Rückkehr zum amerikanischen Imperialismus vervielfacht. Im Hinblick auf die Regierungsart des Immobilien-Entwicklers, ist es möglich, dass diese Wende nur Schein sei und am 15. Februar, dem Enddatum des Abkommens über den US-Haushalt, in Frage gestellt werden soll. Wie auch immer, legen derzeit viele Elemente nahe, dass Donald Trump auf die Änderungen verzichtet hätte, die er versprochen hatte.

- Am 13. Dezember 2018, auf der Heritage Foundation, skizzierte der nationale Sicherheitsberater John Bolton die neue US-Strategie in Afrika [2]:
• (1) den Handel entwickeln,
• (2) gegen den islamistischen Terrorismus kämpfen,
• (3) die Verwendung der US-Hilfe überprüfen.

Nichts wirklich neues, außer dass die Geschäftsziele nicht mehr als eine Rivalität gegen die ehemaligen Kolonialmächte (Frankreich und das Vereinigte Königreich) ausführlich erklärt wurden, sondern als ein heftiger Kampf gegen China und Russland.

- Am 20. Dezember schickte der US-Verteidigungsminister, General James Mattis, Präsident Trump einen offenen Kündigungsbrief [3]. Im Gegensatz zu dem, was die Presse dazu sagte,

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Trump Scores Major Victory As “Delinquent” NATO Members Boost Contributions By $100 Billion

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29-01-19 03:27:00,

NATO states have agreed to increase their defense spending by $100 billion over two years after President Trump went on a fiery tirade last July – calling on “delinquent” countries to boost their contributions by 2% to 4% of GDP. According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the alliance heard Trump’s call “loud and clear” and that member nations are “stepping up,” according to the Telegraph

In conciliatory comments apparently designed to smooth over repeated public criticism of other alliance members by the US leader, Mr Stoltenberg said member states had agreed to add $100 billion to defence budgets over the next two years.

Mr Trump has repeatedly complained that other members of Nato do not meet their spending commitments, including  a  blistering tirade at the NATO summit in Brussels  in July in which called other member governments “delinquent.” –Telegraph

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“President Trump has been very clear. He is committed to NATO… but at the same time he has clearly stated that NATO allies need to invest more,” said Stoltenberg. “So we see some real money and real results, and we see that a clear message from President Trump is having an impact. NATO allies have heard the president loud and clear. NATO allies are stepping up.”

“What he’s doing is to help us adapt the alliance, which we need,” he added. “This is a clear message to Russia and I think they see that.”

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On Sunday, President Trump celebrated the announcement, tweeting: “Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, just stated that because of me NATO has been able to raise far more money than ever before from its members after many years of decline.”

Trump sent NATO members scrambling last year when he openly questioned the value of remaining in the alliance, while the New York Times reported last week that he had multiple discussions in 2018 with top security advisers about withdrawing. Trump’s ire was on public display during a bilateral breakfast with Stoltenberg and others last July, in which Trump blasted Germany for their reliance on Russian energy while the US is expected to pay for their defense. 

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Trump’s move on Venezuela is ‘setting off possible civil war’ in oil-rich country, WikiLeaks warns

trumps-move-on-venezuela-is-setting-off-possible-civil-war-in-oil-rich-country-wikileaks-warns

23-01-19 09:22:00,

The US President’s decision to recognize Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido as the county’s “interim president” may set off a “possible civil war” in the oil-rich nation, WikiLeaks has warned.

Donald Trump’s move on recognizing Guaido as the “interim president” of Venezuela might prove disastrous for the country, which has endured years of instability, and spark an open full-blown conflict, the whistleblowing organization WikiLeaks tweeted.

Read more

Trump recognizes US-backed head of Venezuela’s opposition Juan Guaido as country’s interim president

It could lead to a “possible civil war in the country with the largest proven oil reserves,” it said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Trump made a statement berating Nicolas Maduro’s government as an “illegitimate regime.”

“Today, I am officially recognizing the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela,” he said.

Top US officials have thrown their weight behind Guaido over the past few weeks, openly expressing support to him and urging President Maduro to step down, while calling upon the Venezuelan military to support the efforts to restore “democracy” in the country.

The US-backed Guaido, who leads the anti-Maduro protests, has declared himself interim president.

Venezuela has been hit by economic and social crises over the past few years, worsened by a decline in oil prices and pressure from the US. While the Maduro’s opponents blame the situation on the allegedly incompetent actions of the socialist government, it claims that the discontent has been deliberately stirred up by the US and other foreign powers.

Also on rt.com
Brazil’s Bolsonaro joins several S. American states in recognizing Guaido as Venezuela’s acting head

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Trump Says Time to Stop ‘ENDLESS WARS’: So Why Does Sabre-Rattling Against Russia and China Continue?

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19-01-19 02:48:00,

Donald Trump has shown an apparent willingness to put the brakes on US military aggression abroad, notably in the Middle East and Central Asia. Yet the announcement coincided with more military moves against Russia and China.

One thing is obvious with regards to the ongoing US government shutdown – it has not affected the daily operations of the US military at all. While some 800,000 federal employees are enjoying a long unpaid vacation, members of the Armed Forces appear to be working overtime. And how could they not with the latest seasonal outbreak of Russo and Sino Phobia?

While there has been an outpouring of publicity over Donald Trump’s shock announcement that he would be withdrawing US troops from Syria, and possibly in other hotspots around the war-weary world, the US military remains on the prowl.

At the weekend, the Pentagon deployed three B-2 Stealth bombers and 200 airmen to Hawaii with the stated purpose of demonstrating America’s ability to “project power from anywhere in the world.” The site of the US deployment was no accident. China has been on the receiving end of these cute Hallmark greetings ever since Barack Obama announced his ill-fated ‘Asia Pivot’.

This realignment of military forces was articulated by then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an article in Foreign Policy entitled, ‘America’s Pacific Century’, which called for “forging a broad-based military presence” in China’s zone of influence. Needless to say, that pronouncement made Beijing sit up and take notice.

Today, Beijing continues to bolster its defenses as the US makes regular forays in the hotly contested South China Sea region, where China has laid claim to the majority of inlets and islands. It has even taken the ambitious step of turning rocky outcrops into ‘permanent aircraft carriers’ complete with airstrips, missiles and radar. The militarization of these waters makes it almost inevitable that some mishap – accidental or otherwise – will eventually occur. Just this past September, for example, a Chinese destroyer traveled within 45 yards (41 meters) of a US warship in a part of the Pacific Ocean that China considers its territory.

Also on rt.com ‘Global strike capability’: US deploys B-2 strategic bombers to Pearl Harbor for ‘24/7 watch’

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Trump’s wish to take the US out of NATO leaves NeoCons seething

trumps-wish-to-take-the-us-out-of-nato-leaves-neocons-seething

16-01-19 06:01:00,

Authored by Dmitry Babich via The Strategic Culture Foundation:

During the recent years of the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, there has been one issue where the Western mainstream press simply cannot fully ignore or reject the Russian arguments. This issue concerns the life and actions of Stepan Bandera (1909-1959) and his followers from what is known as the “Banderite” faction of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN, a far-right organization that took terrorist actions against Polish and Soviet officials from the 1920s to the 1950s and which is now legally protected from any criticism in Ukraine).

THE “WRONG” AND “RIGHT” VICTIMS

Because Bandera was born on January 1, 1909, celebrations of his birthday have become disgusting New Year’s rituals in Ukraine in recent years, with thousands participating in Nazi-style torch-lit marches that include shouted protests against “Putin’s Russia” and rants such as, “Jews out!” which are heard by everyone except the police. This New Year was no exception, since the current Ukrainian government under President Petro Poroshenko (who publicly identified himself as a Banderite after taking office in 2014) officially added Bandera’s 110th birthday to the list of Ukraine’s most important anniversaries. This time, there were several quiet voices of condemnation heard in Poland, Israel, and even the US. Why? In truth, torches, masks, political murders, and mob attacks against “pro-Russian” public figures are nothing new in post-Maidan Ukraine. And these things usually pose no problem for the mainstream press of the US and its allies. So, why is Bandera an exception?

The answer is ethnic, as awful as that may sound. Unlike Poroshenko with his aerial bombings of the Russian-speaking Donbass in 2014 and 2015, Bandera killed the “wrong” victims, the representatives of those nations that are valued even by the modern Western media, with its double and triple standards. In the 1930s Bandera killed Polish officials, in the 1940s his people killed civilian Jews and Polish peasants, and these are groups whose plight even the New York Times cannot ignore today. If Bandera’s infamous slogan “Death to enemies!” had been directed only against “disloyal” Russians and anti-Banderite Ukrainians (the groups currently persecuted by Poroshenko), Bandera would have been no different from his modern admirers in the Ukrainian government. But Bandera’s followers from the OUN decimated the Jewish population of Lvov and Kiev in 1941,

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Report: Trump Military Adviser Asked Pentagon for Options to Strike Iran

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14-01-19 09:04:00,

Reminding the world that he is, as one critic put it, “a reckless advocate of military force,” the Wall Street Journal revealed on Sunday that President Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton “asked the Pentagon to provide the White House with military options to strike Iran last year, generating concern at the Pentagon and State Department.”

“It definitely rattled people,” a former U.S. official said of the request, which Bolton supposedly made after militants aligned with Iran fired mortars into the diplomatic quarter of Baghdad, Iraq, that contains the U.S. Embassy in early September. “People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.”

“The Pentagon complied with the National Security Council’s request to develop options for striking Iran,” the Journal reported, citing unnamed officials. “But it isn’t clear if the proposals were provided to the White House, whether Mr. Trump knew of the request, or whether serious plans for a U.S. strike against Iran took shape at that time.”

The Journal‘s report, which comes just days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered an “arrogant tirade” of a speech vilifying Iran, sparked immediate alarm among critics of the Trump administration’s biggest warmongers—who, over the past several months, have been accused of fomenting unrest in Iran and laying the groundwork for war.

Daniel W. Drezner, a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, called the news “a reminder that when it comes to Iran, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo are batshit insane.”

In which the @WSJ provides your occasional reminder that when it comes to Iran, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo are batshit insane. https://t.co/YVIojDpgl1

— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) January 13, 2019

Trita Parsi, founder of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), tweeted, “Make no mistake: Bolton is the greatest threat to the security of the United States!” Parsi, an expert on U.S.-Iranian relations and longtime critic of Bolton, called for his immediate ouster over the request detailed in Journal‘s report.

MAKE NO MISTAKE: Bolton is the greatest threat to the security of the United States!

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Trump’s Hail Mary Becomes Bolton’s Nightmare

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11-01-19 08:11:00,

Trump’s Hail Mary Becomes Bolton’s Nightmare

National Security Advisor John Bolton is making the rounds in the Middle East to try and salvage what’s left of the long-standing plan to balkanize Syria and overthrow President Bashar al-Assad in the wake of President Trump’s announced troop withdrawal.

What began as a political Hail Mary for Trump has morphed into a foreign policy quagmire for Bolton and the bloody-minded neoconservatives he is the tip of the spear for.

Bolton first met fellow war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu to announce their conditions under which US troops would leave Syria. The big sticking point was getting the Turks to guarantee the safety of the Kurdish militia, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), that have been the US proxy forces in securing that part of Syria east of the Euphrates river for future plans vis-à-vis Iraq and Iran.

His condition for the US’s withdrawal from Syria is just another impossible demand placed on Turkey, who can no more guarantee the Kurds’ survival than Russia could implement the Minsk II agreement in Ukraine.

This is yet another big lie neocons like Bolton have been parroting since Trump’s announcement. They are desperate to convince us their mission in Syria is a humanitarian one. The Kurds are their casus belli of the day, dressed up for the liberal interventionist left to rally around.

Since Trump’s announcement we have been saturated with the idea that the Turks will come in and slaughter every Kurd in Syria if the US pulls out. This is something Pompeo was taken to task for by Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy who said Pompeo exhibited a “worrying lack of knowledge” about the situation in Syria, since Turkey houses currently over 300,000 Syrian Kurdish refugees from the fighting the US fomented.

It is a continuation of the thoroughly debunked and false narrative that Assad is a butcher, Putin is only there for the gas pipelines and America is actually fighting ISIS.

ISIS, the very terrorists we armed to overthrow Assad in the first place.

We’re there for humanitarian reasons, the same way we’re supporting the Saudi war in Yemen, maintaining a no-fly zone over the border crossing at Al-Tanf while the people who live there starve.

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Trump’s Neocons Reverse His Syria Withdrawal Plan

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10-01-19 10:29:00,

Trump’s Neocons Reverse His Syria Withdrawal Plan

Ron PAUL

I’m starting to wonder whether President Trump has any power over US foreign policy at all. Many people believe that the US president is just a figurehead, with actual foreign policy firmly in the hands of the deep state. Trump’s latest dramatic U-turn on pulling troops from Syria certainly feeds such theories.

When President Trump announced just a couple of weeks ago that the US was removing its troops from Syria and possibly reducing troops from Afghanistan, the neocons, the media, the military-industrial complex, and the left-wing “never-Trump” people were livid. They were silent when President Obama made the horrible decision to overthrow Assad in Syria and sent weapons to jihadists to do so. They never said a word when billions of dollars were committed to this immoral and dangerous “regime change” policy. They weren’t interested in the rule of law when President Obama thumbed his nose at Congress and sent troops into Syria.

But when President Trump declared the obvious – that ISIS was effectively defeated and that we had no business being in Syria – these above groups in unison declared that actually bringing US troops home was a “gift to Russia.” They said bringing US troops home would create instability in the regions they left. Well, is there any proof that occupation by US troops actually brings stability?

No sooner did President Trump announce our departure than his neocon advisors began walking his words back. First he had to endure a lunch with Sen. Lindsey Graham reading him the riot act, where, according to the Senator, Trump agreed to no timetables for departure. Then his National Security Advisor, John Bolton, and his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, began to tell the world that President Trump’s statements on troop pullout were just empty words, not US policy.

While Syrian Christians newly liberated from the rule of US-backed extremists celebrated Christmas for the first time in years, John Bolton dusted off the old warning to Assad that the US would attack if he “again” gassed his people. With the Syrian president personally taking part in some of the Christmas celebrations, does anybody really believe he’d go back to his office and order a gas attack?

Bolton then claimed that the US would shift troops from Syria to Iraq to continue fighting ISIS and that the US fully backs Israeli airstrikes on Syrian territory.

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