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The Trump And Putin Show

How did President Trump's NATO and European tour go? Was there a positive result in his blustering about increasing European military spending? Is he pro-NATO or against it? What to expect from the upcoming Trump/Putin summit? RPI Director Daniel McAdams joins RT's discussion roundtable Crosstalk to lend his insights to what everyone is talking about this weekend:


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The Globalist Elite Fears Peace, Wants War

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The announced meeting between Trump and Putin has already produced a good result by revealing the hypocrisy of the media and politicians. The meeting has been branded as the greatest danger to humanity, according to the Western globalist elite, because of the danger that "peace could break out between Russia and the United States."

Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. The following so stretches credulity that sources will have to be cited and an exact quotations given to be believed.

A case in point is the following title: "Fears growing over the prospect of Trump 'peace deal' with Putin." The Times does not here fear a military escalation in Ukraine, an armed clash in Syria, a false-flag poisoning in England, or a new Cold War. The Times does not fear a nuclear apocalypse, the end of humanity, the suffering of hundreds of millions of people. No, one of the most authoritative and respected broadsheets in the world is fearful of the prospect of peace! The Times is afraid that the heads of two nuclear-armed superpowers are able to talk to each other. The Times fears that Putin and Trump will be able to come to some kind of agreement that can help avert the danger of a global catastrophe. These are the times in which we live. And this is the type of media we deal with. The problem with The Times is that it forms public opinion in the worst possible way, confusing, deceiving, and disorienting its readers. It is not by accident the world in which we live is increasingly divorced from logic and rationality.

Even if the outcome of this meeting does not see any substantial progress, the most important thing to be achieved will be the dialogue between the two leaders and the opening of negotiation channels for both sides.
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Mr. Trump Tear Down This Alliance

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NATO is obsolete. Donald Trump made this argument back on the campaign trail. This week, in his typically hyperbolic manner, he dressed down the organization for its hypocrisy over its mandate, which is to counter any aggression from Russia.

But, the potential threat of a Russian invasion of Europe is nil. And, literally, everyone involved in this farce of a summit knows this. So, Trump was right to call out the hypocrisy, but wrong about how to solve it.

Attacking Germany over the Nordstream 2 pipeline is nonsense. Trade, especially energy trade, stitches economies and peoples together. But to Trump energy is different. Energy is a defense issue.

As such, it should be tightly controlled and only deployed to the benefit of those he approves of (or is allied with) against those he doesn’t (China).

And this is what is fundamentally wrong with geopolitically-dominant thinking. Everything gets reduced to the metaphoric chess board. People stop thinking about their individual needs and can only think in terms of nations and governments.
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On the Purpose of NATO & the Cost of European Defense

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The anxiety leading up to this week’s NATO summit is unusually intense, thanks in large part to President Trump’s fractious relationship with European allies. Trump’s political values are often in tension with that of his transatlantic counterparts, and the White House is inching ever closer to an all-out trade war with Europe and Canada, but the real drama of the NATO summit will center on Trump’s brash accusations of allied free-riding. He recently sent letters to many European capitals berating them for not meeting their pledge to spend at least 2 percent of GDP on defense.
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Trump Is Seeding War Clouds Over Iran

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Trump and Pompeo are squeezing Iran where it hurts. They are trying to prevent Iran from selling oil internationally. They are applying maximum pressure upon Iran. This is overt. It is announced policy. For example, the State Department says:
Very broadly, Saudi Arabia is a key partner in our effort to isolate and pressure Iran. And as I said, we had a number of bureaus from the State Department to discuss energy, diplomacy, security, and economic pressure. We were also joined by Treasury Under Secretary Sigal Mandelker for some of these meetings so that they can hear from Treasury officials and coordinate our efforts on applying maximum economic pressure on Iran.
The US is threatening China and India if they buy Iranian oil:
On Tuesday a senior State Department official described tightening the noose on Tehran as ‘one of our top national security priorities’.

The official warned countries including China and India, who are key buyers of Iranian oil, that they should stop purchasing crude from the country before the November deadline or face US sanctions.
Saudi Arabia, a US ally and enemy of Iran, will pump more oil to mitigate price effects of cutting Iran out of the international market. This increases enmity between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
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NATO is a Con Game

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Okay, well, Trump did it again. Antagonizing allies. This time it was Germany that took the main hit, over the fact that it pays Russia billions of dollars for oil and gas while relying on the US for its defense … against Russia. And yes, that is a strange situation. But it’s by no means the only angle to the story. There are many more.

For one thing, The US has by far the largest military industry. So it makes a lot of money off the billions already spent by NATO partners on weaponry. Of course Raytheon, Boeing et al would like to see them spend more. But once they would have done that, they would clamor for even more after.

At some point one must ask how much should really be spent. How much is enough, how much is necessary. The military-industrial complex (MIC) has every reason to make the threat posed by ‘enemies’ as big as they possibly can. So knowing that, we must take media reports on this threat with tons of salt.

And that is not easy. Because the MIC has great influence in politics and the media. But we can turn to some numbers. According to GlobalFirePower, the US in 2018 will spend $647 billion on its military, while Russia is to spend a full $600 billion less, at $47 billion. And the US Senate has already voted in a $82 billion boost recently.
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'Pay Up You NATO Deadbeats...Or Else!'

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"We are the schmucks" thundered President Donald Trump, using a favorite New York City Yiddish term for penis. The object of Trump’s wrath at his Make America Great Again’ rally in Great Falls, Montana was the craven, stingy European members of NATO, only 16 of 22 members are on budget for their US-commanded military spending. Trump wants them to spend much more. 

Trump and his fellow neocons want NATO to serve as a sort of US foreign legion in Third World wars in Africa and Asia. NATO was formed as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to defend western Europe, not to fight in Afghanistan and who knows where else?

Equally bad, according to Trump, is that the US runs a whopping trade deficit with the European Union which is busy shipping high-end cars and fine wines to the US. The wicked foreigners don’t buy enough American bourbon, corn, and terribly abused pigs.
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'No Nerve Agents' In Douma: OPCW Report Demolishes White House Sarin Narrative

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A preliminary report published Friday by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) found no traces of any nerve agent at the site of a suspected chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma. The OPCW report states this unambiguously as follows:
"No organophosphorous nerve agents or their degradation products were detected in the environmental samples or in the plasma samples taken from alleged casualties."
Compare the newly published official OPCW findings with the 5-page White House assessment released on April 13th, just days after the alleged attack. Now contradicted by the new OPCW findings, the White House asserted that sarin was used at Douma:
A significant body of information points to the regime using chlorine in its bombardment of Duma, while some additional information points to the regime also using the nerve agent sarin.
Firebrand British MP George Galloway responded as follows moments after the OPCW's findings were made public...
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Why Trump’s Iran Isolation Plan May Backfire

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In May, President Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal despite Iran living up to its obligations and the deal working as planned. While the US kept in place most sanctions against Tehran, China and Russia - along with many European countries - had begun reaping the benefits of trade with an Iran eager to do business with the world.
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Skripal 2.0: It’s High Time for the British Government to Explain Itself – Here’s 10 Easy Questions to Help Them Out

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In his statement to the House of Commons on 5th July, the British Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, stated the following:
“The use of chemical weapons anywhere is barbaric and inhumane. The decision taken by the Russian government to deploy these in Salisbury on March 4 was reckless and callous – there is no plausible alternative explanation to the events in March other than the Russian state was responsible. The eyes of the world are on Russia, not least because of the World Cup. It is now time the Russian state comes forward and explains exactly what has gone on.”
Anyone with their wits about them will immediately notice the cognitive dissonance in Mr Javid’s statement.
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