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Mon, 24 Apr 2017
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Trump vs. the National Security State: The Chances of a Revolution in US Foreign Policy

Since the beginning of his presidential campaign, Trump had been savaged by the National Security establishment, castigated as unfit to lead, dangerous, incompetent, and ignorant. These criticisms were woven together in an August 8 letter signed by fifty former National Security officers, denouncing a possible Trump presidency. His national security team was also severely ridiculed by establishment media from the New Republic's "Trump's Court Jesters", as "a rogues' gallery of outcasts and opportunists, has-beens and never-weres, conspiracy-mongers and crackpots," to the "Who?" of 'Top experts confounded by advisors to Donald Trump" from the New York Times. Trump responded to the letter stating that these are the same people who brought us two decades of war - and his advisor Sam Clovis sardonically remarked that the National Security team is composed of people who "work for a living."

Putting aside these castigations, Trump's most egregious national security faux pas is his contestation of the Russophobic paradigm that has dominated US foreign policy since the end of WWII and the establishment of the National Security Act of 1947. Trump's contestation further amplifies his purported hubris to even raise the question of NATO - and his contemplation of the end of the seven decade US occupation of Europe ("We cannot afford it"). Such perspectives fly in the face of the entire history of the National Security establishment, which, since the founding of the National Security Council (NSC), has sought to contain its former allies (Russia, and then, China) and maintain US hegemony on the European continent.

Comment: As we speak, there are individuals in the dark recesses of Washington think tanks, the Pentagon, and any number of intelligence agencies who are meeting to discuss their strategy for dealing with Trump. These creatures of the National Security establishment are just now writing a tailor-made script for Trump to follow - using all their knowledge of psychology, influence and coercion that fits his profile and that will bend him to do what they want. And if, for whatever reason, he decides to veer too far off their plans, they will find other, much harsher, ways to get control of the situation.


Jet2

Russian strategist: U.S. troops at Incirlik involved in shoot-down of Russian jet last year

The director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS), a think tank directly linked to the Kremlin, has claimed that U.S. troops deployed at Turkey's İncirlik Air Base were involved in the downing of a Russian jet last year.

Leonid Reshetnikov said Russia had obtained information that U.S. soldiers stationed in Turkey were involved in in the downing of a Russian jet last year.

"There are some groups that do not want Turkish-Russian relations to develop. Among them are people linked to the U.S. or the Gülen movement," Reshetnikov said, referring to U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, a one-time ally of Ankara who the government now accuses of orchestrating the July 15 coup attempt.

"We believe that those who were effective in the downing of the Russian air craft were first and foremost Erdoğan's enemies, and at the same time were linked to the U.S. We also have such information that U.S. troops deployed at İncirlik were involved in the realization of [the downing of the Russian jet]," added Reshetnikov, who for 33 years until 2009 worked at Russia's Foreign Intelligence department.

Comment: That's what we've been saying since the beginning: See also: Turkey Coup Revelations: Katehon Documentary Gives Inside Look Behind the Scenes (VIDEO)


Cardboard Box

Will President Trump ditch the bad investment otherwise known as Ukraine?

Let me say immediately what exactly there will be no more of. There will be no miracles. None. There is no need to expect friendship or a radical change in US-Russian relations from Trump. The fact that Trump won the elections, despite the strong resistance put up by a significant part of the American political and economic elite, was already a miracle. Demanding a bigger one is tempting fate. There's no need to do this.

The new president is a man who is very, very strongly disliked by those who have formulated the US' extremely aggressive foreign policy over recent years and dragged the country directly towards military confrontation with Russia and China. Now American politicians of a different nature with different interests and ideologies have the chance to work out a different foreign policy.

This is the first time in many years that this could really be in the US' interests. No, I haven't misspoken. Trump's victory is to a certain extent a victory of the American elites, specifically those elites who have preserved at least some kind of American identity and the feeling of being Americans, not globalists. This is their victory over the supranational oligarchy and bureaucracy about whom Vladimir Putin recently spoke as the main problem of the world.

Comment: Kiev only survives by virtue of American support. Without that, it will be completely isolated. And the Nazi freaks in Kiev know it. In fact, right now they're scrambling to delete old anti-Trump posts from their social media:
Among the epithets sprinkled on the Republican candidate and new US President were "dangerous marginal," "complete idiot," and "clown."

... acting head of Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs, Arsen Avakov...:
"US presidential candidate Trump's shameless statement on the possibility of recognizing Crimea as Russian is a diagnosis of a dangerous marginal. He is just as dangerous for Ukraine as he is for the US. A marginal indulging Putin's dictatorship cannot be a guarantor of democratic freedoms in the US and the world..No wonder Manafort earlier headed Yanukovych's headquarters, and now Trump's. Yanukovich fled to Russia through Crimea. Where will Manafort take Trump? #Trumpisours"
Besides the ex-prime minister and head of the Ukrainian interior ministry, deputies of the Verkhovna Rada, diplomats, and other officials have bad mouthed Trump. Ukraine's ambassador to the UN, Yuri Sergeev, called the newly elected US president a clown.
"Apparently, the clown Trump has gone off the rails on his tour. He is a greater danger to the US than terrorism."



Stop

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister: Moscow feels 'no euphoria' over Trump win

© Anton Denisov / Sputnik
Despite allegations from the Clinton camp that Donald Trump was Russia's preferred candidate in the US presidential election, Moscow is keeping an open mind about the Republican winner's future policies towards Russia, a top official said.

"We don't feel any euphoria. We have a record of having very different experiences working with administrations from both the Republican Party and the Democrat Party. In some cases we started out really well and then slid towards a crisis," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in an interview with Interfax on Thursday.

He added that the Foreign Ministry would not want the Russian people to think that the diplomatic staff has "any high hopes" for the Trump administration.

Hardhat

Trump's victory reveals the US oligarchy and its media lapdogs no longer have any credibility with the American people

The US presidential election is historic, because the American people were able to defeat the oligarchs. Hillary Clinton, an agent for the Oligarchy, was defeated despite the vicious media campaign against Donald Trump. This shows that the media and the political establishments of the political parties no longer have credibility with the American people.

It remains to be seen whether Trump can select and appoint a government that will serve him and his goals to restore American jobs and to establish friendly and respectful relations with Russia, China, Syria, and Iran.

It also remains to be seen how the Oligarchy will respond to Trump's victory. Wall Street and the Federal Reserve can cause an economic crisis in order to put Trump on the defensive, and they can use the crisis to force Trump to appoint one of their own as Secretary of the Treasury. Rogue agents in the CIA and Pentagon can cause a false flag attack that would disrupt friendly relations with Russia. Trump could make a mistake and retain neoconservatives in his government.

With Trump there is at least hope. Unless Trump is obstructed by bad judgment in his appointments and by obstacles put in his way, we should expect an end to Washington's orchestrated conflict with Russia, the removal of the US missiles on Russia's border with Poland and Romania, the end of the conflict in Ukraine, and the end of Washington's effort to overthrow the Syrian government. However, achievements such as these imply the defeat of the US Oligarchy. Although Trump defeated Hillary, the Oligarchy still exists and is still powerful.

Magnify

The risks and opportunities the world faces with Trump as president

© Andrew Kelly / Reuters
Several world leaders who previously criticized Trump are now congratulating him.
So it has happened: Hillary did not win! I say that instead of saying that "Trump won" because I consider the former even more important than the latter. Why? Because I have no idea whatsoever what Trump will do next. I do, however, have an excellent idea of what Hillary would have done: war with Russia. Trump most likely won't do that. In fact, he specifically said in his acceptance speech:
I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America's interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone, with everyone — all people and all other nations. We will seek common ground, not hostility; partnership, not conflict.
And Putin's reply was immediate:
We heard the statements he made as candidate for president expressing a desire to restore relations between our countries. We realise and understand that this will not be an easy road given the level to which our relations have degraded today, regrettably. But, as I have said before, it is not Russia's fault that our relations with the United States have reached this point.

Russia is ready to and seeks a return to full-format relations with the United States. Let me say again, we know that this will not be easy, but are ready to take this road, take steps on our side and do all we can to set Russian-US relations back on a stable development track.

This would benefit both the Russian and American peoples and would have a positive impact on the general climate in international affairs, given the particular responsibility that Russia and the US share for maintaining global stability and security.
This exchange, right there, is enough of a reason for the entire planet to rejoice at the defeat of Hillary and the victory of Trump.

Stormtrooper

Trump could have a very difficult time filling national security positions

© JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS
President-elect Donald Trump is scrambling to line up senior officials to run the government's sprawling intelligence and homeland security bureaucracy.

Team Trump is struggling to fill numerous key slots or even attract many candidates because hundreds have either sworn they'd never work in a Trump administration or have directly turned down requests to join, multiple current and former U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the transition efforts told The Daily Beast.

Team Trump didn't expect to win until the campaign's internal polling a month before the election signaled a possible victory. That's when senior Trump officials went into overdrive, trying to build a bench of experienced national security candidates with top secret clearances willing to work for a Trump presidency—and they met resistance across the landscape of experienced GOP national security professionals.

One person who met last month with Trump's national security and homeland security transition team leader said that she confessed that many candidates had flatly rejected attempts to recruit them, believing that Trump was unfit to hold the office of commander in chief.

Cowboy Hat

A Putin - Trump Summit Meeting?

© EPA/Getty Images
Donald Trump should seize on his earlier idea to hold a summit with Russian President Putin before his inauguration. The dangerous state of international relations makes such a summit urgent and necessary.

Adam Garrie and I have discussed how the way is now open for Donald Trump to move forward with Russia to settle the two big crises affecting US - Russian relations: Ukraine and Syria.

The initial words spoken by Trump and Putin in the aftermath of Trump's victory do hold out a measure of promise. In his public comments after his victory Trump was careful to say
I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America's interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone, with everyone. All people and all other nations. (bold italics added)
Whilst these words do not specifically refer to Russia, it is no secret to anyone at all familiar with international relations that the Russians - perhaps more than any other nation - strongly feel that the US has not been treating them fairly. They are bound to see in these words a first clue that Trump is genuinely interested in patching up relations with them.

The Russians have responded in kind. Taking the opportunity of a meeting with foreign ambassadors in the Kremlin, Putin had this to say about Trump's election victory
We heard the statements he made as candidate for president expressing a desire to restore relations between our countries. We realise and understand that this will not be an easy road given the level to which our relations have degraded today, regrettably. But, as I have said before, it is not Russia's fault that our relations with the United States have reached this point.

Russia is ready to and seeks a return to full-format relations with the United States. Let me say again, we know that this will not be easy, but are ready to take this road, take steps on our side and do all we can to set Russian-US relations back on a stable development track.

This would benefit both the Russian and American peoples and would have a positive impact on the general climate in international affairs, given the particular responsibility that Russia and the US share for maintaining global stability and security.

Bell

The world heaves a sigh of relief as Trump is elected

© Sputnik
The election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the US certainly sent shockwaves around the world. But perhaps the uppermost sense is one of huge relief that Hillary Clinton was kept out of the White House.

For most ordinary citizens around the world, Clinton, her multi-billion-dollar election campaign and the fawning corporate media coverage represented everything that is perceived as fundamentally wrong in Western politics.

Her cronyism goes so far that she would not hesitate to start a world war with Russia, or whoever, in order to appease her corporate sponsors and indulge her deluded notion of "exceptional liberalism".

Trump's stunning victory is a victory for common people and common sense. Despite the Western media's systematic shielding of Clinton from criticism, a good number of ordinary Americans and other nationals around the world could clearly see her irredeemable flaws. She is a self-enriching puppet for Big Finance and the military-industrial complex. And, as her email scandal shows, a consummate liar on top.

Take 2

Does the Trump victory mean an end to the New Cold War?

© Bria Webb / Reuters
Advocates of a New Cold War got a nasty surprise on Wednesday morning, when it became clear that Donald Trump would be America's next President. For the rest of us, it offers hope of US foreign policy changing for the better.

So, the unthinkable has happened. Donald Trump has won. And the so-called liberal world order, which has ruled almost unchallenged since the demise of the Soviet Union is probably toast.

There's been enough talk already about the repercussions for America itself. So, here we will stick to external affairs. But there's one important domestic proposal which greatly affects America's global position. In his victory speech, Trump made a major point of emphasizing his desire to invest heavily in America's decaying infrastructure. And there's only one feasible way to fund such a plan - sharply cut military spending and foreign aid.

Thus, instead of flinging billions of American tax dollars around the Middle East, Asia and Europe, in what always amounted to bribing nations - or at least their elites - into friendship, Trump intends to bring a good deal of the money home. By any measure, this will amount to a geopolitical earthquake.

Comment: The Russians seem to believe that Trump's election could end the US-Russia Cold War. From Putin's advisor Sergei Glaziev:
"Americans had two choices: WW3 or multilateral peace. Clinton was a symbol of war, and Trump has a chance to change this course."
Vyacheslav Volodin, an aide to Putin, said:
"the end of the Obama administration there will be an end to the problems it caused between Kremlin and Washington, including the sanctions."

"Sanctions is the tool used by the weak ... With sanctions you can't have mutual respect."