Tag Archives: Trump

Netanyahu Pushes Trump Toward Wider Wars, by Robert Parry

Israel plays the same game it and many other US allies have played for years: get America to fight your wars for you. From Robert Parry at consortiumnews.com:

Exclusive: Russia-gate is empowering Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to strong-arm President Trump into escalating the Syrian war by abandoning a recent cease-fire and challenging Iran and Russia, reports Robert Parry.

A weakened, even desperate President Donald Trump must decide whether to stand up to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or to repudiate the Syrian partial ceasefire, which Trump hammered out with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 7.

Whether intentionally or not, this crossroads is where the months of Russia-gate hysteria have led the United States, making Trump even more vulnerable to Israeli and neoconservative pressure and making any cooperation with Russia more dangerous for him politically.

After meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Sunday, Netanyahu declared that Israel was totally opposed to the Trump-Putin cease-fire deal in southern Syria because it perpetuates Iranian presence in Syria in support of the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Netanyahu’s position increases pressure on Trump to escalate U.S. military involvement in Syria and possibly move toward war against Iran and even Russia. The American neocons, who generally move in sync with Netanyahu’s wishes, already have as their list of current goals “regime changes” in Damascus, Tehran and Moscow – regardless of the dangers to the Middle East and indeed the world.

At the G-20 summit on July 7, Trump met for several hours with Putin coming away with an agreed-upon cease-fire for southwestern Syria, an accord that has proven more successful than previous efforts to reduce the violence that has torn the country apart since 2011.

But that limited peace could mean failure for the proxy war that Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other regional players helped launch six years ago with the goal of removing Assad from power and shattering the so-called “Shiite crescent”from Tehran through Damascus to Beirut. Instead, that “crescent” appears more firmly in place, with Assad’s military bolstered by Shiite militia forces from Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

In other words, the “regime change” gambit against Assad’s government would have backfired, with Iranian and Hezbollah forces arrayed along Israel’s border with Syria. And instead of accepting that reversal and seeking some modus vivendi with Iran, Netanyahu and his Sunni-Arab allies (most notably the Saudi monarchy) have decided to go in the other direction (a wider war) and to bring President Trump along with them.

To continue reading: Netanyahu Pushes Trump Toward Wider Wars

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Trump In Trouble: It’s The Economy, Stupid – Not Crime and Terrorists, by David Stockman

David Stockman says Donald Trump should forget all the alt-right hot button issues and concentrate on the economy and impending fiscal catastrophe. That’s not bad advice. From Stockman at antiwar.com:

We don’t get that exercised about President’s Trump’s fondness for alternate facts – especially when they elicit coronaries among the rows of talking heads on CNN. But we do draw the line at alternate reality, as when our new President told the sheriffs’ posse visiting the White House Tuesday that the US murder rate is

“…..the highest it’s been in, I guess, 45-47 years.”

Actually, it’s still near a 45 year low!

In fact, it’s less than half the 1970 rate and two-thirds the rate during the Reagan era. The slight uptick in the national murder rate during 2015-16 (not shown below) was mostly attributable to seven urban areas – Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland,Houston, Milwaukee, Nashville and Washington DC. Even then, only 25 of the nation’s largest 100 cities saw a recent increase in violent crime, according to FBI statistics.

But our purpose is not to quibble with the Donald’s errant facts. The problem is his worldview. When he said at the Republican convention is July that the nation is faced with “a moment of crisis” caused by “violence in our streets and chaos in our communities”, he was talking alternate reality.

The truth is, the vast majority of American communities are safer today than they have been in decades and that violent crime rates have literally plunged. Thus, compared to about 750 reported violent crimes per 100,000 population in 1992, the rated in 2014 was only 375.

Likewise, when he rushed pell-mell to issue the travel ban during the first week in office, he claimed an urgency about terrorists lurking among refugees and visa-holders from the seven named countries that absolutely does not exist.

To continue reading: Trump In Trouble: It’s The Economy, Stupid – Not Crime and Terrorists

A Game of Chess, by NickelthroweR

Trump’s strategy is analyzed in terms of chess strategy. It may look disorganized, but it may also lead to a checkmate of his opponents. From NickelthroweR at theburningplatform:

During the last 18 months or so I’ve heard a lot of talk about chess. This guy or that guy is playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers or some mastermind is playing 3 dimensional chess, etc. I find it odd that these statements are made given that only a tiny percentage of Americans know how to play chess with that number sitting around 5% or slightly over 14 million people. This is too bad because if the population, as a whole, had a better understanding of chess then the actions of President Trump would make perfect sense.

History: The school district where I was employed drastically cut its music programs and decided that chess would be an appropriate alternative to music instruction. I was not entirely opposed to this as there were published research papers extolling the virtues of chess and there appeared to be a direct relationship between playing chess and higher academic achievement. Besides, anyone can play chess while not everyone has the dexterity to be a musician. Wishing to be part of the solution, I agreed to become a coach and took on after school chess programs on three different campuses.

Our school district was kind enough to foot the bill for some necessary chess coaching and needed chess supplies. Not only that but I had the great fortune of having World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov’s former full time coach as my new teacher as the former Russian coach had relocated to the very city where I lived and had been contracted by the School District to get us up to speed. Private lessons with Kasparov’s coach! Can you imagine it?

To continue reading: A Game of Chess

Trump, Russia and China, by Alasdair Macleod

This is a mostly speculative piece about the future course of US relations with Russia and China under Trump. Alasdair Macleod’s speculations are generally well-informed. From Macleod at goldmoney.com:

Even before he takes office, President-elect Trump is turning the world upside down.

It has become clear his attitude towards Russia and China is very different from that of his predecessors. Amazingly, he is already wresting power from the deep state, causing it great resentment, which under Obama, Clinton and the Bushes, ran geopolitical policy. From January, barring accidents the world will not be the same, the establishment up-ended.

This short article builds on information available to date and speculates how America’s relations with Russia and China are likely to evolve, and the implications for NATO and Europe. It attempts to cut through the disinformation and noise (from all sides) to assess how Trump will change super-power relations.

Russia

President-elect Trump has signalled his respect for President Putin as a leader, and Putin, who has been careful to not comment on the US presidential election, has indicated his respect for Trump. Furthermore, Trump, who admittedly said lots of contradictory statements to get elected, clearly wishes to reduce America’s funding commitment to NATO and to reduce American involvement in the Middle East. These objectives will obviously find favour with Putin, and could form the basis of a relationship reset between Russia and the West.

To continue reading: Trump, Russia and China

 

European Politicians Terrified By “Horror Scenario” After Brexit, Trump, by Tyler Durden

The peasant revolt might spread, and that has a lot of people in Europe worried. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

First it was Brexit, then there was Trump. Two “shocking” events that nobody in the media, markets or punditry could admit could possibly happen. They happened… and that’s just the beginning – as we showed last night, the political calendar over the next two years is only heating up, with countless potential “black swan” events – often involving nationalist tendencies or outright separatism, and further hits to the establishment status quo – on the horizon.

Most of these events take place in Europe, a powderkeg of simmering anger and resentment built up over the centuries of artificially enforced borders cutting across religions, ethnicities and cultures, which has only been swept under the rug over the past several decades with the help of an artificial customs and monetary union which is increasingly unstable. As such, even the smallest domino can push the entire continent into a state of terminal socio-economic collapse.

And both Europe, and the globalist establishment, know this.

The “horror scenario”

Which is why back in May, when Donald’s Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election seemed the remotest of possibilities, a senior European official took to Twitter before a G7 summit in Tokyo to warn of a “horror scenario”.

Imagine, said the official quoted by Reuters, if instead of Barack Obama, Francois Hollande, David Cameron and Matteo Renzi, next year’s meeting of the club of rich nations included Trump, Marine Le Pen, Boris Johnson and Beppe Grillo: truly a horror for an exclusive group of aloof elitists who enjoy sneering on the same people whom they take advantage of every single day.

A month after Martin Selmayr, the head of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s cabinet made the comment, Britain shocked the world by voting to leave the European Union. Cameron stepped down as prime minister and Johnson – the former London mayor who helped swing Britons behind Brexit – became foreign minister. Now, five months later, with Trump’s triumph over his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, the populist tsunami that seemed outlandish a few months ago is becoming reality, and the consequences for Europe’s own political landscape are potentially huge.

This is why Europe is suddenly terrified that what until June seemed impossible, is now all too likely: in 2017, voters in the Netherlands, France and Germany – and possibly in Italy and Britain too – will vote in elections that could be coloured by the triumphs of Trump and Brexit, and the toxic politics that drove those campaigns.

And, as Reuters writes, the lessons will not be lost on continental Europe’s populist parties, who hailed Trump’s victory on Wednesday as a body blow for the political mainstream. “Politics will never be the same,” said Geert Wilders of the far-right Dutch Freedom Party. “What happened in America can happen in Europe and the Netherlands as well.”

Just like after Brexit, French National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen was similarly ebullient. “Today the United States, tomorrow France,” Le Pen, the father of the party’s leader Marine Le Pen, tweeted.

To continue reading: European Politicians Terrified By “Horror Scenario” After Brexit, Trump

Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton on Freedom of Speech – A Side By Side Comparison, by Michael Krieger

From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

In effect, he believes that he is running to be the CEO of the country — not just of the government but of the entire country. In this capacity, he believes that he will make deals with other countries that cause the U.S. to come out on top, whatever that could mean. He conjures up visions of himself or one of his associates sitting across the table from some Indian or Chinese leader and making wild demands that they will buy such and such amount of product else “we” won’t buy their product.

What’s distinct about Trumpism, and the tradition of thought it represents, is that it is non-leftist in its cultural and political outlook and yet still totalitarian in the sense that it seeks total control of society and economy and places no limits on state power. The left has long waged war on bourgeois institutions like family, church, and property. In contrast, right fascism has made its peace with all three. It (very wisely) seeks political strategies that call on the organic matter of the social structure and inspire masses of people to rally around the nation as a personified ideal in history, under the leadership of a great and highly accomplished man.

Trump believes himself to be that man.

He sounds fresh, exciting, even thrilling, like a man with a plan and a complete disregard for the existing establishment and all its weakness and corruption. This is how strongmen take over countries. They say some true things, boldly, and conjure up visions of national greatness under their leadership. They’ve got the flags, the music, the hype, the hysteria, the resources, and they work to extract that thing in many people that seeks heroes and momentous struggles in which they can prove their greatness.

– From Jeffrey Tucker’s brilliant article: Trumpism: The Ideology

If you want to support Donald Trump go right ahead. Just be honest with yourself about who and what you are really supporting.

Angering the corrupt and incompetent status quo with hateful commentary demonizing minorities does not make you a lover of freedom and liberty. Indeed, as Jeffrey Tucker so accurately noted earlier this year, Trump isn’t about restoring America’s heritage. He’s about “Making America Great Again.”

So what does that mean exactly? If you listen to him, it’s pretty straight forward. “Making America Great Again” means putting someone “great” in charge of America, and Trump thinks he has discovered such greatness in himself. It has nothing to do with going back to what actually made America great for a couple of centuries, which is America’s founding principles. No, such talk is for egghead intellectuals who won’t defend America from the barbarian hordes stampeding at our doorstep. Trump, on the other hand, promises to protect you like that powerful billionaire daddy you never had. Some sacrifices will need to be made of course, such as the outdated and increasingly irrelevant Bill of Rights, but they’re kind of gone anyway, right?

To continue reading: Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton on Freedom of Speech

The Empire Strikes Back, by Robert Gore

All is right with the world; the fix is in (SLL, 10/21/15). Hillary Clinton sailed through the Benghazi hearings. The formerly feisty Drudge Report put up one link this morning on her testimony, and that was to a story from Clinton lapdog Bloomberg News. Another Drudge link: “Enough about Benghazi…what about Katy Perry concert,” says it all. Benghazi is now interred in the same mausoleum as all the other Clinton scandals; that little email matter will soon follow. The only thing that can stop the Hill now is her health; the powers that be haven’t figured out how to thwart sickness and aging.

Representative Paul Ryan has agreed to be the next Speaker of the House. Can a debt ceiling agreement be far behind? Secretary of State Kerry will meet his Russian counterpart in Vienna and try to save some American face in Syria. Yesterday Mario Draghi hinted at still more European Central Bank quantitative easing by the end of the year. Today China’s central bank announced a surprise 25 basis point rate cut. Global stock markets are levitating: more cheap money for the speculative set! Even mangy mongrel McDonald’s has caught a bid. The feds are going to bail out Puerto Rico, not out of any love for the island commonwealth, but to prevent nasty losses for the many US mutual funds that hold its debt.

The Empire is striking back. Stocks can go down, Donald Trump leads the polls, and the US has been humiliated in Syria. All hands are on deck to put the world back together again, at least cosmetically. Nothing they do will stop the burgeoning debt deflation, and more central bank sugar will just make it worse, but the powers that be are trying to reassert their control over what the media calls “the optics.” The more apt term would be “myopia-tics”: smoke and mirrors that temporarily obscure reality. The reality of debt deflation is that it’s getting worse, which is why the Europeans and Chinese are taking action, and why the Fed is now on hold until 2016 and probably forever.

Speaking of Donald Trump, the establishment has some unfinished business. They’re going to teach him (and anyone else who’s foolish enough to consider challenging the status quo) a lesson he’ll never forget. Trump’s apostasy on foreign intervention was his downfall, but his first deadly sin was calling politicians, bureaucrats and the media (an arm of the government) talking heads mediocre hacks; they’ll never forgive him. Telling the truth is dirty pool in today’s politics and they’ll take their vengeance with relish. His days on the Forbes 400 are probably numbered; the government can be hard on uppity businesspeople. He’d better go over his tax returns with a fine-toothed comb—maybe pay extra taxes—and beef up his regulatory compliance. He borrows a lot of money, how secure are his lines of credit? Banks are another arm of the government and will do as they’re told. Come to think of it, the Donald’s days among the living may be numbered. Just look at all the trouble he could still cause, especially after the smoke clears and the mirrors crack. SLL rules out nothing.

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