Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Western Intervention

Will Trump Improve Our Relations with Russia? Contrasting Views of Paul Craig Roberts and Alexander Mercouris

By Karl Pomeroy
Quemado Institute
March 8, 2017

Donald Trump (–The Inquisitr)

Political analysts Paul Craig Roberts and Alexander Mercouris offer pessimistic vs. optimistic views respectively of President Donald Trump’s chances of delivery on his campaign promise of friendship with Russia. Is it time to abandon hope? Or will Trump and Putin overcome the wrath of malicious powers in the United States government and the Western media?

I first present Roberts’ incisive commentary. My own editorial follows, critiquing Roberts’ negative stance, and after that an article on US-Russia cooperation in Syria by Alexander Mercouris, Chief Editor of The Duran.

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Washington’s Benevolent Mask Is Disintegrating
By Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts Official Website
March 7, 2017

The few weeks of Trump’s presidency suffice to make clear that there will be no change this time either. Normal relations with Russia are on the back burner, if not off the stove. The material needs of the military/security complex for an enemy in order to justify its budget and police state powers, and the ideological needs of the neoconservatives for US world hegemony, are deemed to be more important than trust between thermo-nuclear powers. As for the liberal/progressive/left, they regard working to preserve life on earth as merely a pretext for being soft on Russians and those who commit treason by favoring friendly relations with Russia.

The American working class has discovered that it has among Trump’s government no larger a constituency than have the Russians. Having been told by corporations, which are spending billions of dollars buying back their own stock, that they are too poor to pay US wages, Trump has found that the path to economic security for the work force lies in corporate tax reduction. Identity politics marches for open borders for Muslims and Hispanics and for transgendered toilet facilities, not for bread and peace, and wants Trump impeached because he is not yet at war with Russia. Trump’s Russophobic appointments, such as McMaster, Mattis, and Fiona Hill are actually worse than Obama’s Victoria Nuland, Samantha Power and Susan Rice. Just as Hillary and Nuland brought regime change to Ukraine, Tillerson at the State Department has signaled regime change of the democratically elected government in Venezuela. Ecuador and Bolivia won’t be far behind.

Washington has never supported governments that put the interests of their peoples ahead of the interests of those who rule the US. From Africa to South America to Indonesia to Cuba to Vietnam to Iran to Egypt, Washington has always misrepresented the forces for change as communist. Washington overthrew the first democratically elected government in Iran http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/cia-assisted-coup-overthrows-government-of-iran , the first in the Congo, https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2011/jan/17/patrice-lumumba-50th-anniversary-assassination , the first in Egypt http://www.timesofisrael.com/announced-as-president-of-egypt/ , and a large numbers of others. Read Stephen Kinzer’s The Brothers. Read General Smedley Butler who said that he and the US Marines made South America safe for the United Fruit Company and investments of the New York Banks. Read John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.

Marine Le Pen (–CBSnews)

Washington opposes democratic change with an iron fist. Now Marine Le Pen, the favored candidate for the presidency of France in the upcoming election, is in the process of being destroyed by Washington.

Marine is not on Washington’s approved list. The reasons are: (1) she speaks to French interests, not to Washington’s or the EU’s, (2) she opposes the Trans-Atlantic Partnership, which gives US global corporations immunity to French laws against GMOs, and French labor, safety, and environmental standards, (3) she supports French opinion that the French are French and not “European” and wants out of the European Union, and (4) she wants France out of NATO, which uses France as a tool for American aggression.

Washington first attacked Marine via its surrogates in the French press and government, who managed to nullify her parliamentary immunity. With this achieved, she is now accused of “misuse of EU funds.”

The charge, of course, is a hoax, a frame-up. The charge, if it proves effective, will rely on the French presstitute media’s portrayal of Marine as a “fascist” for representing French nationalism. Today, if a European person is loyal to his or her own country and not to the EU, the person is considered to be a “nationalist,” a term that has been merged with “fascist.”

The consequence is that anyone in France who wants to represent the French is a “fascist.”

Marine Le Pen lost her parliamentary immunity because she posted photos of ISIS victims on Twitter. The photos she posted were accurate and correct, simply the truth. But the charge is that to tell the truth about ISIS means that you are anti-Muslim, which today is like being anti-Jew, anti-black, anti-homosexual and anti-transgendered. The protection of Identity Politics now extends not only to the Muslim refugees from America’s wars who are overrunning the Western world but also to ISIS. The accurate and truthful photos violated Identity Politics.

The consensus of those few in Europe who reside outside the Matrix created for them by Washington and the American presstitutes is that the CIA will not permit Le Pen to become President of France. She is a threat to Washington’s empire. If she cannot be destroyed with scandal and false charges, like Dominique Strauss-Kahn, she will be assassinated.

Democracy cannot function without an honest media. Nowhere in the Western world does an honest media exist. There are a relatively few sites on the Internet media, such as this one, your site, that are independent of ruling elites and speak the truth to the extent that they can find it. But the very shadowy PropOrNot website, likely a product of the CIA or George Soros, has declared those who understand that good relations between thermo-nuclear powers are essential to be “Russian agents.”

One dozen Russian Satan 2 ICBMs are sufficient to destroy the United States. One is sufficient to destroy France, the UK, or Texas. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/25/russia-unveils-satan-2-missile-powerful-enough-to-wipe-out-uk-fr/ Why is Washington and Washington’s European, Canadian, and Australian puppets inviting such an outcome with continuous false accusations against Russia (and China). No person with any intelligence can possibly regard the thrice elected president of Russia as “the new Hitler,” “a Mafia Don,” “ a thug.”

By orchestrating Russophobia in the West, Washington has put all of humanity at risk. The Russians have watched Washington’s false accusations against Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Libya, Yeman, Pakistan, Iran and against Russia herself—“invasion of Ukraine.” False accusations have in the 21st century always been Washington’s set-up of the target country for invasion or bombing.

These provacations issued daily by the idiot Western press, the idiot Western governments, and the idiot commentators have prepared the groundwork for a misunderstanding that can result in thermo-nuclear war and the end of life on earth.

When you read the New York Times, the Washington Post, or listen to CNN, NPR, or MSNBC or the British, Canadian, German, French, and Australian media, you are being indoctrinated with war with Russia (and China) and, thus, you are being prepared for your funeral.

Accustomed to looking for hope from within their own country, Americans become depressed when faced with these facts. Whereas the American Oligarchy is too strong for change, the situation in Europe is more hopeful. The EU is a collection of countries that have little in common. The British have concluded that submerging their identity into something called “Europe” is not in their interest. Other countries—Hungary, the Czech Republic, Greece and Portugal—are realizing that capitalists are more rapacious than commissars and might seek salvation in reclaiming their sovereignty. The exit from the European Union, a CIA-sponsored organization, could gain momentum.

NATO also could come unglued as European populations realize that it is not Russia that is the threat. The threat is that Washington is forcing Europe into conflict with Russia, a conflict in which Europe has nothing to gain. For Europe, conflict with Russia means the death of Europe. A few Europeans have gained sufficient awareness to begin asking: “Why die for Washington’s hegemony?”

This is Marine Le Pen’s question, and it is now being asked by a few in Germany. As Europeans gain awareness of Washington’s insanity, the question will grow. The millions of Muslim refugees from Washington’s wars who are flooding Europe with problems are bringing home to insouciant Europeans the price of accepting Washington’s overlordship.

The privatizations, which have wrecked the prospects for Latvia, Ukraine, and Greece, and that have raised costs and lowered living standards in Britain and France while concentrating income and wealth at the top of the income distribution, are a European lesson that the partial socializations of social democracy are more livable than the system of plunder that now rules.

Washington’s mask of benevolence is falling away, revealing the face of greed and evil that is its true face. This face is far more terrifying than the orchestrated “Russian threat.” If more Europeans can gain awareness, the threat of thermo-nuclear war will crumble with Washington’s empire.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

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Quemado Institute Comments
Who Is Stopping Donald Trump?
By Karl Pomeroy

Paul Craig Roberts has again given us an enlightening commentary, underscoring the need for change in Washington, and explaining why change might seem well nigh impossible. But I think Roberts is too pessimistic and narrow in scope regarding how he allocates blame. Roberts says, “The few weeks of Trump’s presidency suffice to make clear that there will be no change this time either. Normal relations with Russia are on the back burner, if not off the stove.”

The few weeks … ?

Vladimir Putin (–Getty images)

A few weeks is far too short a time for President Trump to turn around sixteen years of neocon foreign policy. After all, it took Russian President Vladimir Putin years to clean the oligarchs out of the Kremlin and to rid Russia of the Rothschilds’ central banking system. According to some observers, Putin’s work is still far from done. So we can’t expect real change in American policy for some months to come. That’s no cause for pessimism. Not yet.

The delay in improved US-Russia relations doesn’t mean Trump isn’t committed to change, nor that he’s incapable of making it happen. Trump has clout and is full of surprises. I predict friendship with Russia will emerge before the end of 2017. Despite overt impressions, Trump and Putin think on the same wavelength. Putin knows this, and the fruits of better relations are already appearing.

Roberts claims that the neocon-military complex needs an enemy to justify their budget and promote Washington’s hegemony. But this ignores the role of the Euro-American financial elite, and most importantly the Rothschilds, who use the United States government as a tool to foment wars and coups in order to gain a financial grip on every nation on earth.

Moreover, Marine Le Pen is not so much on the disapproved list of Washington as on that of the Rothschilds, who stand to lose a chunk of their empire should the European Union disintegrate. And the European “Matrix” was created not so much by “Washington and the American presstitutes” as by the Rothschilds and their presstitutes who write for and quote from the Rothschild-owned fake news sources Reuters and Associated Press.

Roberts goes on to claim Washington is “orchestrating Russophobia in the West.” And yes, Washington is complicit, as are many European capitals. But we must look deeper and ask who are the masterminds, and why they have so much power.

Roberts says, “When you read the New York Times, the Washington Post, or listen to CNN, NPR, or MSNBC … you are being indoctrinated with war with Russia … and are being prepared for your funeral.” Well then! How could Roberts know this unless he reads these news sources himself? And since he apparently does, how can he admonish others who do the same?

None of us are immune to influence. So is Roberts being indoctrinated by the very fake media he warns against? Is that the cause of his singular pessimism?

What is Roberts afraid of? And why can’t he write the truth?

Even if his faith occasionally wavers, Paul Craig Roberts remains one of the best commentators I’ve read. His usual support of Donald Trump’s efforts is something to be grateful for.

Alexander Mercouris, in the article below, offers a brighter prognosis:

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Russian and US military chiefs meet in Turkey to discuss the fight against ISIS
By Alexander Mercouris

The Duran
March 7, 2017

Gerasimov, Dunford meet in Baku (–Axar.az)

Just three weeks after the top soldiers of the US and Russian militaries – General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff – met in Azerbaijan, they have followed up with a second meeting in Antalya Turkey, for a summit hosted by Turkey’s top soldier, General Hulusi Akar, who is the Chief of the Turkish General Staff.

Unlike the summit meeting in Azerbaijan, which discussed the full range of US-Russian military relations, the meeting in Turkey is specifically focused on this situations in Iraq and Syria.

The background to this meeting is that President Trump has directed the US military to provide him with plans to intensify the fight in Iraq and Syria against ISIS and the other Jihadi terrorist groups, which President Trump has pledged “to wipe from the surface of the earth”. Apparently a draft plan has already been prepared by the Pentagon, though it has not yet been presented to the President.

At the meeting in Azerbaijan Dunford is reported to have reassured Gerasimov that talk of large scale US army deployments to Syria was untrue. However a sharp increase in the number of US military personnel deployed to Syria is definitely on the cards. With the Russians in a dominant military position in Syria, Dunford clearly wants to brief Gerasimov personally about the plan, so as to ensure at least a measure of Russian (and Syrian) cooperation.

This comes after reports that the US air force carried out air strikes on ISIS that helped the recent Syrian advance on Palmyra.

A further reason why Dunford and Gerasimov might wish to speak to each other – and involve the Turks in their discussions – is that recent offensives by the Syrian and Turkish armies in northern Syria have brought these two armies into close contact with each other. Whilst there has been no outright clash, a number of incidents have taken place.

With both the US and Russia anxious to concentrate on the fight against ISIS, Dunford and Gerasimov will be concerned to ensure that these incidents do not spiral out of control. They will want Hulusi Akar’s explanations of how he will ensure this, and they may have their own proposals to make to him.

With the situation in the eastern Syrian desert Deir Ezzor remaining critical, Gerasimov will also be seeking reassurances from Dunford that the US is doing all it can to prevent ISIS fighters fleeing from Mosul and Iraq joining the fight against the Syrian army in Deir Ezzor.

Lastly, Dunford, Gerasimov and Hulusi Akar will undoubtedly discuss in detail the situation in Manbij, where parallel and clearly coordinated US and Russian troop movements have blocked a Turkish advance on Kurdish controlled Manbij and on ISIS controlled Raqqa.

The chiefs of the US and Russian militaries will want both to reassure Hulusi Akar that this is not a hostile move by the US and Russia against Turkey, and that Turkey’s cooperation in the fight against ISIS is highly valued, and at the same time make clear to Hulusi Akar what are the red lines beyond which Turkey is not allowed to go.

The fraught political situation in Washington has made it politically impossible for President Trump to forge ahead at least for the time being with his objective of detente with Russia.

However the US military are not so constrained. With the neocons no longer in charge in Washington and able to prevent them from talking to the Russians, they have seized the opportunity to reach out to their Russian counterparts. The result is that they are now working with them discreetly on the ground in Syria in order to avoid possible conflicts there – such as the one which almost happened in October – and in order that the two militaries can keep each other informed of their respective plans.

It is important to say that this is a dialogue not an alliance. There is no evidence that Dunford and Gerasimov are planning joint operations together against ISIS. Whilst that might one day happen for the moment US Defense Secretary Mattis has ruled it out.

However one reason ISIS has been able to survive for so long and grow to such enormous strength is precisely that the US and the Russian militaries have been in conflict with each other in Syria. This has allowed ISIS to play the two off against each other, and even to forge tactical alliances with the US against the Syrians and the Russians, as happened to deadly effect in September in Deir Ezzor.

Now that the US and Russian militaries are at talking to each and informing each other about their plans, hopefully that will no longer be the case.

In the meantime the mere fact that the US and Russian militaries once more have an active ongoing dialogue, even if its scope for the moment is limited to the fight against ISIS and Jihadi terrorism in Iraq and Syria, may make it easier in the long run to effect a general improvement in US Russian relations.

The US military are not as vulnerable to the charges of treason and collusion with the Russians that s0 many of Donald Trump’s civilian officials are. It would take a very brave or even reckless Democratic Party Senator, CIA official or New York Times journalist to accuse General Dunford of treason because he has met with his Russian counterpart.

That means that for the moment the US military are in a much better position to carry out diplomacy with the Russians than the civilians are, a fact which given how important the military are in Donald Trump’s administration may turn out to be important in the long run.

That however is for the future. In the meantime the mere fact that Dunford and Gerasimov are now regularly talking to each other is in itself a good thing.

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