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US Sanctions Aimed at Russia Strike Western European Allies

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Do they know what they are doing? When the US Congress adopts draconian sanctions aimed mainly at disempowering President Trump and ruling out any move to improve relations with Russia, do they realize that the measures amount to a declaration of economic war against their dear European “friends”?
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Home Alone – Trump Is the Kevin McCallister of American Politics

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It’s as if on election night the shocked and exasperated rulers of the Imperial City ordered Donald Trump to sleep in the White House attic. Unlike Kevin McCallister’s family in the movie, however, the establishment never stopped obsessing about his bratty insolence and never intended for him to rejoin the family the next morning – or ever.

Instead, the Washington political establishment and its collaborators in the main stream media are engaged in an unabashed and unconcealed campaign to remove the Donald from even the figurative White House attic where he now dwells with his Twitter account.

The evidence for that lies right in the threadbare and preposterous pretext for this de facto coup. Namely, the alleged Russian meddling and collusion campaign, which took another body-slam this morning in the form of son-in-law Jared Kushner’s written congressional testimony about the Trump campaign’s now endlessly ballyhooed June 2016 meeting with the "Russians".

That this meeting was a giant nothingburger should have been evident enough from the politically illiterate email of the meeting’s arranger, Rob Goldstone. The latter was a former British tabloid journalist and Vodka-chugging music world pimp, who happened to be under contract with Emin Agalarov, the Russian pop star.
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The Atlantic Council: Experts on the Front Line of Disinformation

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NATO's academic wing has been warning about disinformation for years. And it's no wonder when its staff and contributors are so well-versed in the practice themselves.

The Atlantic Council is an organization dedicated to discussion between people who hate Russia and folk who really, really hate Russia. Thus, amid the current hysteria, it’s Christmas every day for its assorted staff and “fellows” or, to use a more accurate term, ‘lobbyists.’

For the uninitiated, it’s difficult to explain what exactly the Atlantic Council does. Essentially, the club exists to influence the information space to justify NATO’s continued existence. It does that by either employing Russia’s opponents directly or offering retainers to journalists and media analysts who can be relied upon to push the outfit’s anti-Russian stance. Which, of course, is its lifeblood.

While the Atlantic Council is set-up to promote antagonism toward Russia, it also needs it. Because if Russia combusted tomorrow, everyone on the payroll would be out of a job. So, it’s like the famous U2 song “I can’t live, with or without you.” But unlike the protagonist of that ditty, these guys don’t give themselves away. Instead, this NATO adjunct is lavishly funded, by a roll call of famous entities.
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President Trump: The Only America First Afghan Policy is to Get Out of Afghanistan

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Just when you think that you have heard all of the asinine ideas possible about US involvement in Afghanistan, out comes one that is so hideously ridiculous that you must assume the authors are demented and writing from a well-secured asylum.

The quote below comes from an article about the future of US involvement in Afghanistan that was in the USA Today Network on 14 July 2017. The article discusses several US options in Afghanistan, but the one that takes the cake is the brainchild of two champions of the war in Iraq, who — as Tucker Carlson correctly said about Max Boot — can be relied on to propose ideas that will start unnecessary and always losing wars for the republic. The article’s authors are Michael O’Hanlon, an analyst from the Brookings Institution, who was orgasmic over invading Iraq, and the former general/now-felon David Petraeus, who lost the war in Iraq and helped lose the one in Afghanistan The article refers to some recent work by these two brain-dead beauties.
O’Hanlon also co-authored a piece in the Wall Street Journal with former CIA Director and four-star general David Petraeus that takes aim at most of the opposing views of continuing the war and argues that the US must consider Afghanistan the center of a generation-long fight against extremism with no definition of 'victory.'
Mr. Trump, these two men are war-mongering, elitist, money-grubbing idiots. There is no need for the United States to participate in “generation-long fight against extremism” that is centered in Afghanistan; indeed, there is no longer any plausible reason for America to be engaged in any war in Afghanistan. US military forces have been there since October, 2001, and the security situation in the country is far more in favor of the Taleban — and increasingly the Islamic State — than it was 16 years ago, not even Kabul is secure.
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Trump Is Being Moved Aside So That Conflict with Russia Can Proceed

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What is the Congress up to with their stupid bill that imposes more sanctions and removes the power of President Trump to rescind the sanctions that President Obama imposed?

Congress is doing two things. One is that Congress is serving their campaign contributors in the military/security complex by being tougher with Russia, thus keeping the orchestrated threat alive so that Americans denied health care don’t start looking at the massive military/security budget as a place to find money for health care.

The other is to put President Trump in a box. If Trump vetos this encroachment on presidential power, Congress and the presstitute media will present the veto as absolute proof that Trump is a Russian agent and is protecting Russia with his veto. If Trump does not veto the bill, Trump will have thrown in his hand and accepted that he cannot reduce the dangerous tensions with Russia.

In other words, the bill is a lose-lose for Trump. Yet Republicans are supporting the bill, thus undermining their president.

Yesterday I heard an orchestrated, staged “interview” between two women on NPR’s “All Things Considered” (on NPR all things are never considered). It was a propaganda show focused on Trump’s expression of disappointment in Jeff Sessions, whom Trump mistakenly appointed Attorney General.
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Policing for Profit: Jeff Sessions & Co.’s Thinly Veiled Plot to Rob Us Blind

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Let’s not mince words.

Jeff Sessions, the nation’s top law enforcement official, would not recognize the Constitution if he ran right smack into it.

Whether the head of the Trump Administration’s Justice Department enjoys being the architect of a police state or is just painfully, criminally clueless, Sessions has done a great job thus far of sidestepping the Constitution at every turn.

Most recently, under the guise of “fighting crime,” Sessions gave police the green light to rob, pilfer, steal, thieve, swipe, purloin, filch and liberate American taxpayers of even more of their hard-earned valuables (especially if it happens to be significant amounts of cash) using any means, fair or foul.

In this case, the foul method favored by Sessions & Co. is civil asset forfeiture, which allows police and prosecutors to “seize your car or other property, sell it and use the proceeds to fund agency budgets—all without so much as charging you with a crime.”

Under a federal equitable sharing program, police turn asset forfeiture cases over to federal agents who process seizures and then return 80% of the proceeds to the police. (In Michigan, police actually get to keep up to 100% of forfeited property.)

This incentive-driven excuse for stealing from the citizenry is more accurately referred to as “policing for profit” or “theft by cop.”
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Israel Anti-Boycott Act - An Attack On Free Speech?

A widely-supported bill in the House and Senate would make it a felony to support or endorse efforts to boycott the state of Israel over its policies toward the Palestinians. Conviction could result in a maximum $250,000 civil fine plus a $1,000,000 criminal fine and 20 years in prison. Regardless of one's views of the Israel/Palestine conflict, the right to boycott anything, anywhere for political reasons is political speech protected by the First Amendment of our Constitution. Will Congress succeed in overthrowing this fundamental principle upon which our republic was founded? We take a good look at the issue in today's Liberty Report...
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Mr. Trump: Veto This Bill! - Sanctions Lead To War

The US House is expected to vote tomorrow on yet another round of sanctions on Russia, North Korea, and Iran. Russia and Iran are targeted for their role in fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria and Iraq, which Congress calls "destabilizing." Russia is also targeted for its involvement in the 2014 Ukrainian coup d'etat, which was in fact started by the United States under the Obama Administration! Will President Trump veto this bill, which will prohibit him from removing the sanctions without Congressional permission? He's leaning toward signing it, in what looks like a big surrender to the deep state..
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Sour Grapes: Iran Wins the Iraq War, and I Scooped the NYT by Six Years on the Story

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The New York Times is featuring a piece stating Iran is the big winner of the US-Iraq wars, 1991-2017.

So what does winning in Iraq look like, asks the Times? About like this:

A Shia-dominated government is in Baghdad, beholden to Tehran for its security post-ISIS. Shia thug militias, an anti-Sunni and Kurd force in waiting, are fully integrated into the otherwise-failed national Iraqi military. There are robust and growing economic ties between the two nations. An Iraqi security structure will never threaten Iran again. A corridor between Iran and Syria will allow arms and fighters to flow westward in support of greater Iranian geopolitical aims in the Middle East. And after one trillion in US taxpayer dollars spent, and 4,500 Americans killed in hopes of making Iraq the cornerstone of a Western-facing Middle East, American influence in Iraq is limited.

It seems the Times is surprised by the conclusion; it’s “news” for some apparently. The newspaper ran the story on its hometown edition front page.

But sorry, it wasn’t news to me. I tried writing basically the same story in 2010 as a formal reporting cable for the State Department. Nobody wanted to hear it.

At the time I was assigned to Iraq as an American diplomat, with some 20 years of field experience, embedded at a rural forward operating base. All the things that took until 2017 to become obvious to the New York Times were available to anyone on the ground back then with the eyes to see.


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US Ends CIA Program in Syria but Continues Preparations for Big War

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The news hits headlines. The Washington Post (WP) reports that President Trump has decided to discontinue the CIA’s covert program to arm and train "moderate" Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad, according to US officials. The program was authorized by  Trump’s predecessor in 2013. The move is described by media as a major concession to Russia. "This is a momentous decision," the WP cites an unnamed official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the secret program, "Putin won in Syria." Ned Price, a former CIA officer who served as senior director of the National Security Council under President Barack Obama, thinks "The White House appears content to kowtow to Moscow on any number of fronts — including in Syria." Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted that "if true – and I hope it’s not – it would be a complete capitulation to Assad, Russia, and Iran." But is it really a concession or a big policy change?

At first glance, the plans to oust the Assad government in Syria are shelved and there is nothing left but airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) militants and the Defense Department run train-and-equip program to support the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) dominated by Kurds. With the de-escalation zones coming into effect, the US is gradually reducing its involvement in the Syrian cauldron. But a deeper look into the matter leads to quite different conclusions.

The suspension of the CIA program is much ado about nothing, it was inefficient anyway. In fact, it does not change anything because the Pentagon program is in place. The US is not curtailing its involvement. To the contrary, it is increasing its military presence in Syria, and also in Iraq, by leaps and bounds.
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