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Thu, 17 Jan 2019
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Still Confused About Brexit? It's Actually Pretty Simple...

brexit protest
Brexit blather is back in the news again. To listen to politicians and media talking heads, you'd think it's all rather complicated and 'beyond the ken of mere mortals'. In reality, however, 'Brexit' is quite simple: for the last two and a half years, the British establishment has been trying to make Brexit go away.

Don't believe me? Explain why, then, that of the 650 UK Members of Parliament, about 70% come from constituencies where the majority of people voted for Brexit, while among all Members of Parliament about 70% have made it clear that they favor remaining in the EU.

In addition, the Conservative government which approved the referendum in 2015 was lead by David Cameron, who has always been against leaving the EU. His successor, Theresa May, who negotiated the pseudo-Brexit deal that would effectively keep the UK in the EU, and which was voted down yesterday by a massive majority in Parliament, is also against Brexit.

So the obvious reason why the last 2.5 years of British politics has been an utter farce, and why the British people find themselves in this current mess, is that while a majority of British citizens voted to leave the EU, a large majority of their MPs on both sides of the aisle (and the British 'establishment' itself) do not want to leave the EU and are determined to make sure it never happens. To claim otherwise would be to suggest that British politicians were as clueless about the nature of the UK's relationship with the EU as the British public. But that's not the full story.

Info

Syrian Kurds reportedly reject Turkish safe zone agreed with Trump

Kurdish YPG Fighters
© CC BY 2.0 / Kurdishstruggle / Kurdish YPG Fighters
Kurdish YPG Fighters
On 15 January, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that he and his American counterpart Donald Trump had reached a "historic understanding" on Syria in their latest phone call.

Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) forces said in a Wednesday statement they would help establish a US-proposed "safe zone" in northern and eastern Syria under "international guarantees" and without "foreign intervention", Reuters reported.

The US-backed Kurdish forces further added they hoped to reach "agreements and solutions" with Turkey in order to secure stability in the border region.

Propaganda

US wants to accuse Russia of helping Daesh - Moscow

Daesh terrorists
© AP Photo / Militant website
Daesh terrorists pass by a convoy in Tel Abyad, northeast Syria (File)
The US has itself on multiple occasions been accused by Syrian media of aiding the terrorist organisation by evacuating them prior to imminent defeat.

The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the United States was planning a disinformation attack on Moscow in Afghan and some Western media outlets, aimed at discrediting Russia's policy concerning Afghanistan. Specifically, Washington plans to accuse Moscow of helping Daesh* redeploy militants from Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan, the ministry added.

The Foreign Ministry said in its statement that the disinformation attack will be aimed at diverting the international community's attention from the failures of the 17-year-long US operation in Afghanistan.

Light Sabers

The Middle East will crush ISIS's remnants without the U.S.

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
© 360b/Shutterstock
Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Roughly two weeks after President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of the 2,000-soldier U.S. ground presence in Syria, the Beltway remains in a state of shock. The resistance to the president's pullout, from the television segments to the editorials, has seen the foreign policy elite sound dire alarms over an alleged comeback by the Islamic State.

According to them, a U.S. troop departure would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. In a January Washington Post op-ed, Retired General John Allen-the former special envoy to the anti-ISIS coalition under the Obama administration-wrote that while ISIS has lost almost all of the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria, "the departure of U.S. forces leaves the door wide-open for the group's resurgence."

How relevant are these concerns? Will ISIS return to its previous strength if Americans pack their bags and leave?

Hardly. And we should not give such claims the benefit of the doubt.

Comment: While the author is missing the real Israeli agenda, his point that there's no threat of an ISIS resurgence due to a US withdrawal from Syria, so the war whores should stop with the scaremongering and let Trump get the US troops out, still stands.


Bullseye

Tucker Carlson: 'When did the Democratic party become neocons?'

Anti-war protesters
© Reuters / Yuri Gripas
Anti-war protesters outside the White House
After the mainstream media and establishment Democrats piled on President Trump for even considering pulling the US out of NATO, Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked when the doves became cheerleaders for war.

That Republicans love war is an easy assumption to make. President Trump's national security adviser John Bolton has been howling for regime change in Iran since day one. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is equally hawkish and confrontational towards the Islamic Republic. Further back, George W. Bush's cabinet was stuffed with war enthusiasts like Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, and the late Republican Senator John McCain never met a war he didn't like.

But opposition to President Trump has seen Democrats - once considered the more peace-loving and diplomatic of the two parties - embrace war like never before.

V

'Fighting on behalf of the oppressed': Malaysia bans Israeli athletes in solidarity with Palestine

Palestinian flag
© REUTERS / Lai Seng Sin
A man waves a Palestinian flag in Putrajaya, Malaysia
Malaysia has imposed a ban on Israelis participating in any event hosted by the Southeast Asian nation after barring athletes from attending the World Para Swimming championships in July.

Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said on Wednesday that Malaysia's cabinet had decided on the measure last week.

The majority-Muslim country does not maintain formal diplomatic relations with Israel and has long supported a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

"Even if we have already committed to hosting an event, they (Israelis) will not be allowed (into the country)," the minister said in a recording of a press conference heard by Reuters.

"Secondly, Malaysia will not host any event that has representation from or participation of Israel."

Broom

No-deal Brexit would hurt all of Europe - Macron thinks Britain would be the worst off

macron
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday Britain would be the biggest loser if it left the European Union without a deal, after the British parliament resoundingly rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit divorce agreement.

Macron was reaching the end of an almost seven-hour debate with local officials when he was told of the result of the British vote.

"First option, they go toward a no deal. They say: 'there is no deal'. That's scary for everybody. The first losers in this would be the British," Macron told mayors during a town hall meeting in Normandy.

Comment: RT reports that it seems no one in the EU really wants a no-deal Brexit:
German minister says 'hard Brexit would hurt everyone in Europe' after historic defeat of May's deal

It is up to British legislators to avoid a "hard Brexit" because the EU will not substantially renegotiate its terms, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said. An exit with no deal would hurt both the EU and UK, he said.

Britain still has "a few days" before the scheduled departure date of March 29 to come up with a Brexit roadmap, the German minister told public broadcaster ZDF. The substance of the deal negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet with the EU is "non-negotiable," but some minor details may yet be changed, he suggested.

Altmaier said it was up to British legislators, who defeated May's proposal in a record 'nay' vote on Tuesday, to come up with an alternative. A "hard Brexit" would hurt both the EU and Britain, he warned. "Everyone in Europe would lose, nobody would win," the minister stated.

The defeat of the Brexit deal in the British Parliament was followed by a motion of no confidence in May's government from the opposition Labour Party. The vote on the motion is scheduled for Wednesday, and the outcome is far from certain. The prime minister already survived one vote of no confidence from her own party over the terms she managed to get from Brussels.
The no confidence vote went ahead and PM May won by a very slim margin.



More from RT on the EU negotiator's position:
Risk of 'no deal' Brexit has never been so high - EU negotiator Barnier

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has told the European Parliament that the risk of no deal on Brexit has never been higher, and that he fears "more than ever" a chaotic UK departure from the bloc.

Barnier hinted that the EU is ready to renegotiate a new deal on Britain exiting the EU if London is willing to give way on some of the pre-existing 'red lines' hammered out in the previous, now defeated, Brexit plan put forth by embattled Prime Minister Theresa May.

The EU negotiator did, however, insist that preventing a physical border on the island of Ireland was non-negotiable.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which is currently just about propping up May's minority government, does not view an Article 50 extension as necessary.

"I don't think [an extension of Article 50] is inevitable, and it's not in my view necessary because the EU can act when it wants to," DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds said, as quoted by Reuters. "On the [Irish] backstop, people want to see that we are not trapped into it."

Conservative British MP and Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom stated that she believes Prime Minister Theresa May will survive Wednesday's no-confidence vote, reiterating that the government has been engaging with opposition party leadership on the Brexit issue.

Leadsom added that all parties must find a way to salvage May's original deal, in part at least, or find an alternative to put to the EU as quickly as possible.

"The prime minister will then not necessarily be looking for brand new ideas that no one has thought of before, but actually seeking a consensus, actually a fresh initiative to find a solution that is negotiable with the European Union and that would command a majority in the House of Commons," Leadsom said.

The Tory was steadfast in rejecting claims that the current British government would not delay Article 50, and that while a 'no-deal' Brexit is not ideal, it is, however, the legal default in a worst-case scenario.

Meanwhile, Belgium's Guy Verhofstadt has called for all parties to "come out of the trenches" and agree a common policy position on Brexit, but said that Britain must offer more leeway on its "red line" issues in the negotiations.

Verhofstadt also stated that it would be unwise to extend Article 50 beyond the upcoming EU parliamentary elections.

His comments came just one day after the British Parliament decisively struck down May's draft Brexit deal on Tuesday by 432 votes to 202 - a record margin of 230.

No sooner had the votes been cast than opposition and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn tabled a no confidence motion against May's Tory government in the House of Commons. If defeated, May would have just 14 days in office, after which a second confidence vote would take place which could, in turn, trigger a general election.
See: Brexit: A Political Farce Based on a Public Lie

And also check out SOTT radio's:


MIB

The FBI's investigation of Trump as a "national security threat" is itself a serious danger. But J. Edgar Hoover pioneered the tactic

Nelson Rockefeller Recinos Henry Wallace
© AP
Nelson Rockefeller, left, chats with Senor Dr. Don Adrian Recinos, center, minister from Guatemala to the United States and Vice President Henry Wallace, right, at the National Press Club dinner party for Latin-American diplomats and leaders in Washington, D.C., April 19, 1941.
Last week, the New York Times reported that the FBI, in 2017, launched an investigation of President Trump "to consider whether the president's own actions constituted a possible threat to national security" and specifically "whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests." The story was predictably treated as the latest in an endless line of Beginning-of-the-End disasters for the Trump presidency, though - as usual - this melodrama was accomplished by steadfastly ignoring the now-standard, always-buried paragraph pointing out the boring fact that no actual evidence of guilt has yet emerged:

NYT quote

Attention

IMF measures in action: Argentina average inflation at 47.6% during 2018

Jair Bolsonaro
© Reuters
Argentina's President Mauricio Macri during a meeting with Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro in Brasilia, Brazil, January 16, 2019.
National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (Indec) of Argentina says the country's 2018 inflation rate reached 47.6 percent, the highest in 27 years.

The National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (Indec) of Argentina says the country's 2018 inflation rate reached 47.6 percent, the highest in 27 years when the Carlos Menem administration was in office.

According to the report, the most significant increase in prices was regarding basic consumer goods such as food, beverages, cleaning products and public transport, which directly affected all classes of the population. The Macri administration also eliminated certain transport subsidies that increased bus and subway costs for passengers. In sum public transport went up by 67 percent during 2018, cleaning products were up by 50 percent.

Chess

Lavrov: Russia will continue cooperating with UK and EU, whatever the outcome for Brexit

lavrov
Moscow is ready to cooperate with Brussels and London, regardless of how the UK's exit from the EU is completed, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told at a press conference on the results of 2018 on Wednesday.

"We have always said, long before the Brexit bid was outlined, that a united, strong and, most importantly, independent EU is in our interests," Lavrov stressed. "We will see what happens. Naturally, we will be ready to cooperate both with the European Union and Great Britain, if everything ends with the UK's withdrawal from the EU. But we will determine what form it is better to do (to cooperate - TASS) it in, once we get a handle on what actually took place," he specified.