Pepe ESCOBAR: Helsinki-Summit – A walk on the wild side as Trump meets Putin at Finland station; Asia Times 17.07.2018

globalcrisis/-change NEWS
18:07.2018 – 23:00

Dear all,

following some unagitated geopolitical observations on the Helsinki Summit by Pepe Escobar.

Greets,
Martin Zeis

http://www.atimes.com/article/a-walk-on-the-wild-side-as-trump-meets-putin-at-finland-station/?cn-reloaded=1

A walk on the wild side as Trump meets Putin at Finland station

US President stirs up a hornet’s nest with his press conference alongside his Russian counterpart, but it seems that no ‚grand bargain‘ was struck on Syria, and on Iran they appear to strongly disagree

By Pepe Escobar July 17, 2018 2:29 PM (UTC+8)

“The Cold War is a thing of the past.” By the time President Putin said as much during preliminary remarks at his joint press conference with President Trump in Helsinki, it was clear this would not stand. Not after so much investment by American conservatives in Cold War 2.0.

Russophobia is a 24/7 industry, and all concerned, including its media vassals, remain absolutely livid with the “disgraceful” Trump-Putin presser. Trump has “colluded with Russia.” How could the President of the United States promote “moral equivalence” with a “world-class thug”?

Multiple opportunities for apoplectic outrage were in order.

Trump: “Our relationship has never been worse than it is now. However, that changed. As of about four hours ago.”

Putin: “The United States could be more decisive in nudging Ukrainian leadership.”

Trump: “There was no collusion… I beat Hillary Clinton easily.”

Putin: “We should be guided by facts. Can you name a single fact that would definitively prove collusion? This is nonsense.”

Then, the clincher: the Russian president calls [Special Counsel] Robert Mueller’s ‘bluff’, offering to interrogate the Russians indicted for alleged election meddling in the US if Mueller makes an official request to Moscow. But in exchange, Russia would expect the US to question Americans on whether Moscow should face charges for illegal actions.

Trump hits it out of the park when asked whether he believes US intelligence, which concluded that Russia did meddle in the election, or Putin, who strongly denies it.

“President Putin says it’s not Russia. I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

As if this was not enough, Trump doubles down invoking the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server. “I really do want to see the server. Where is the server? I want to know. Where is the server and what is the server saying?”

It was inevitable that a strategically crucial summit between the Russian and American presidencies would be hijacked by the dementia of the US news cycle.

Trump was unfazed. He knows that the DNC computer hard-drives – the source of an alleged “hacking” – simply “disappeared” while in the custody of US intel, FBI included. He knows the bandwidth necessary for file transfer was much larger than a hack might have managed in the time allowed. It was a leak, a download into a flash-drive.

Additionally, Putin knows that Mueller knows he will never be able to drag 12 Russian intelligence agents into a US courtroom. So the – debunked – indictment, announced only three days before Helsinki, was nothing more than a pre-emptive, judicial hand grenade.

No wonder John Brennan, a former CIA director under the Obama administration, is fuming. “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to exceed the threshold of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.’ It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin.”

How Syria and Ukraine are linked

However, there are reasons to expect at least minimal progress on three fronts in Helsinki: a solution for the Syria tragedy, an effort to limit nuclear weapons and save the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty signed in 1987 by Reagan and Gorbachev, and a positive drive to normalize US-Russia relations, away from Cold War 2.0.

Trump knew he had nothing to offer Putin to negotiate on Syria. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) now controls virtually 90% of national territory. Russia is firmly established in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially after signing a 49-year agreement with Damascus.

Even considering careful mentions of Israel on both sides, Putin certainly did not agree to force Iran out of Syria.

No “grand bargain” on Iran seems to be in the cards. The top adviser to Ayatollah Khamenei, Ali Akbar Velayati, was in Moscow last week. The Moscow-Tehran entente cordiale seems unbreakable. In parallel, as Asia Times has learned, Bashar al-Assad has told Moscow he might even agree to Iran leaving Syria, but Israel would have to return the occupied Golan Heights. So, the status quo remains.

Putin did mention both presidents discussed the Iran nuclear deal or Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action and essentially they, strongly, agree to disagree. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have written a letter formally rejecting an appeal for carve-outs in finance, energy and healthcare by Germany, France and the UK. A maximum economic blockade remains the name of the game. Putin may have impressed on Trump the possible dire consequences of a US oil embargo on Iran, and even the (far-fetched) scenario of Tehran blocking the Strait of Hormuz.

Judging by what both presidents said, and what has been leaked so far, Trump may not have offered an explicit US recognition of Crimea for Russia, or an easing of Ukraine-linked sanctions.

It’s reasonable to picture a very delicate ballet in terms of what they really discussed in relation to Ukraine. Once again, the only thing Trump could offer on Ukraine is an easing of sanctions. But for Russia the stakes are much higher.

Putin clearly sees Southwest Asia and Central and Eastern Europe as totally integrated. The Black Sea basin is where Russia intersects with Ukraine, Turkey, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. Or, historically, where the former Russian, Ottoman and Habsburg empires converged.

A Greater Black Sea implies the geopolitical convergence of what’s happening in both Syria and Ukraine. That’s why for the Kremlin only an overall package matters. It’s not by accident that Washington identified these two nodes – destabilizing Damascus and turning the tables in Kiev – to cause problems for Moscow.

Putin sees a stable Syria and a stable Ukraine as essential to ease his burden in dealing with the Balkans and the Baltics. We’re back once again to that classic geopolitical staple, the Intermarium (“between the seas”). That’s the ultra-contested rimland from Estonia in the north to Bulgaria in the south – and to the Caucasus in the east. Once, that used to frame the clash between Germany and Russia. Now, that frames the clash between the US and Russia.

In a fascinating echo of the summit in Helsinki, Western strategists do lose their sleep gaming on Russia being able to “Finlandize” this whole rimland.

And that brings us, inevitably, to what could be termed The German Question. What is Putin’s ultimate goal: a quite close business and strategic relationship with Germany (German business is in favor)? Or some sort of entente cordiale with the US? EU diplomats in Brussels are openly discussing that underneath all the thunder and lightning, this is the holy of the holies.

Take a walk on the wild side

The now notorious key takeaway from a Trump interview at his golf club in Turnberry, Scotland, before Helsinki, may offer some clues.

“Well, I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe. Russia is a foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe. But that doesn’t mean they are bad. It doesn’t mean anything. It means that they are competitive.”

Putin certainly knows it. But even Trump, while not being a Clausewitzian strategist, may have had an intuition that the post-WWII liberal order, built by a hegemonic US and bent on permanent US military hegemony over the Eurasian landmass while subduing a vassal Europe, is waning.

While Trump firebombs this United States of Europe as an “unfair” competitor of the US, it’s essential to remember that it was the White House that asked for the Helsinki summit, not the Kremlin.

Trump treats the EU with undisguised disdain. He would love nothing better than for the EU to dissolve. His Arab “partners” can be easily controlled by fear. He has all but declared economic war on China and is on tariff overdrive – even as the IMF warns that the global economy runs the risk of losing around $500 billion in the process. And he faces the ultimate intractable, the China-Russia-Iran axis of Eurasian integration, which simply won’t go away.

So, talking to “world-class thug” Putin – in usual suspect terminology – is a must. A divide-and-rule here, a deal there – who knows what some hustling will bring? To paraphrase Lou Reed, New Trump City “is the place where they say “Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side.”

During the Helsinki presser, Putin, fresh from Russia’s spectacular World Cup soft power PR coup, passed a football to Trump. The US president said he would give it to his son, Barron, and passed the ball to First Lady Melania. Well, the ball is now in Melania’s court.

ESCOBAR-Helsinki-Summit-A-walk-on-the-wild-side180717.pdf

Helsinki Talks – How Trump Tries To Rebalance The Global Triangle — Moon of Alabama

The reactions of the U.S. polite to yesterday’s press conference of President Trump and President Putin are highly amusing. The media are losing their mind. Apparently it was Pearl Harbor, Gulf of Tonkin and 9/11 all in one day. War…

über Helsinki Talks – How Trump Tries To Rebalance The Global Triangle — Moon of Alabama

Trump’s Using Russian Gas Rhetoric To Control Germany And Support Poland – Eurasia Future

Read between the President’s words and this “stable genius” is at it again with one of his Machiavellian plans. German-Polish Rivalry Trump raised eyebrows this morning when he told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during breakfast that “Germany is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its […]

Quelle: Trump’s Using Russian Gas Rhetoric To Control Germany And Support Poland – Eurasia Future

The SAKER We’re Headed To War With Russia, and No One Seems to Care

https://russia-insider.com/en/were-headed-war-russia-and-no-one-seems-care/ri22900

We’re Headed To War With Russia, and No One Seems to Care

„Russia is ready. NATO sure ain’t! Oh, they have the numbers and they think they are strong. The truth is that these NATO midgets have no idea of what is about to hit them, when the Russians go to war these NATO statelets won’t even understand what is happening to them.“

Frankly, I am awed, amazed and even embarrassed. I was born in Switzerland, lived most of my life there, I also visited most of Europe, and I lived in the USA for over 20 years. Yet in my worst nightmares I could not have imagined the West sinking as low as it does now.

I mean, yes, I know about the false flags, the corruption, the colonial wars, the NATO lies, the abject subservience of East Europeans, etc. I wrote about all that many times. But imperfect as they were, and that is putting it mildly, I remember Helmut Schmidt, Maggie Thatcher, Reagan, Mitterrand, even Chirac! And I remember what the Canard Enchaîné used to be, or even the BBC. During the Cold War the West was hardly a knight in white shining armor, but still – rule of law did matter, as did at least some degree of critical thinking.

I am now deeply embarrassed for the West. And very, very afraid.

All I see today is a submissive herd lead by true, bona fide, psychopaths (in a clinical sense of the word)

And that is not the worst thing.

The worst thing is the deafening silence, the way everybody just looks away, pretends like “ain’t my business” or, worse, actually takes all this grotesque spectacle seriously. What the (expletive deleted) is wrong with you people?! Have you all been turned into zombies?! WAKE UP!!!!!!!

Let me carefully measure my words here and tell you the blunt truth.

Since the Neocon coup against Trump the West is now on exactly the same course as Nazi Germany was in, roughly, the mid 1930s.

Oh sure, the ideology is different, the designated scapegoat also. But the mindset is *exactly* the same.

Same causes produce the same effects. But this time around, there are weapons on both sides which make the Dresden Holocaust looks like a minor spark.

So now we have this touching display of “western solidarity” not with UK or the British people, but with the City of London. Now ain’t that touching?!

Let me ask you this: what has been the central feature of Britain’s policies towards Europe, oh, let’s say since the Middle-Ages?

That’s right: starting wars in Europe.

And this time around you think it’s different?

Does: “the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior” somehow not apply to the UK?!

Let me also tell you this: when Napoleon and Hitler attacked Russia she was undergoing deep crises and was objectively weak (really! research it for yourself!). In both cases Russian society was deeply torn by internal contradictions and the time for attack as ideal.

Not today.

So I ask this simple question: do you really want to go to war against a fully united nuclear Russia?

You think that this is hyperbole?

Think again.

The truth is that the situation today is infinitely worse than the Cuban missile crisis. First, during the Cuban missile crisis there were rational people on both side. Today there is NOT ONE SINGLE RATIONAL PERSON LEFT IN A POSITION OF POWER IN THE USA. Not ONE! Second, during the Cuban missile crisis all the new was reporting on was the crisis, the entire planet felt like we were standing at the edge of the abyss.

Today nobody seems to be aware that we are about to go to war, possibly a thermonuclear war, where casualties will be counted in the hundreds of millions.

All because of what?

Because the people of the West have accepted, or don’t even know, that they are ruled by an ugly gang of ignorant, arrogant psychopaths.

At the very least this situation shows this:

Representative democracy does not work.

The rule of law only applies to the weak and poor.

Western values have now been reduced to a sad joke.

Capitalism needs war and a world hegemony to survive.

The AngloZionist Empire is about to collapse, the only open question is how and at what cost.

Right now they are expelling Russian diplomats en masse and they are feeling very strong and manly. Polish and Ukrainian politicians are undergoing a truly historical surge in courage and self-confidence! (hiding, as they do, behind Anglo firepower)

The truth is that this is only the tip of a much bigger iceberg. In reality, crucial expert-level consultations, which are so vitally important between nuclear superpowers, have all but stopped a long time ago. We are down to top level telephone calls. That kind of stuff happens when two sides are about to go to war.

For many months now Russia and NATO have made preparations for war in Europe. And Russia is ready. NATO sure ain’t! Oh, they have the numbers and they think they are strong. The truth is that these NATO midgets have no idea of what is about to hit them, when the Russians go to war these NATO statelets won’t even understand what is happening to them. Very rapidly the real action will be left to the USA and Russia. Thus any conflict will go nuclear very fast. And, for the first time in history, the USA will be hit very, very hard, not only in Europe, the Middle-East or Asia, but also on the continental US.

I was born in a Russian military family and I studied Russian and Soviet military affairs all my life. I can absolutely promise you this, please don’t doubt it for one second: Russia will not back down and, if cornered, she will wipe out your entire civilization. The Russians really don’t want war, they fear it (as they should!) and they will do everything to avoid it. But if attacked then expect a response of absolutely devastating violence. Don’t take it from me, take it from Putin who clearly said so himself and who, at least on that issue, is supported by about 95% of the population. From the Eastern Crusades to the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, enough is enough, and the Russians will not take one more western attack, especially not one backed by nuclear firepower. Again, please ponder Putin’s words very, very carefully: “what need would we have a world if there is no Russia?

All that for what? The USA and Russia have NO objective reasons to do anything but to collaborate (the Russians are absolutely baffled the fact the leaders of the USA seem to be completely oblivious to this simple fact). Okay, the City of London does have a lot of reasons to want Russia gone and silent. As Gavin Williamson, the little soy-boy in charge of UK “defense”, so elegantly put it, Russia should “go away and shut up”. Right. Let me tell you – it ain’t happening! Britannia will be turned into a heap of radioactive ashes long before Russian goes away or shuts up. That is simply a fact.

What baffles me is this: do American leaders really want to lose their country in behalf of a small nasty clique of arrogant British pompous asses who think that they still are an Empire? Did you even take a look at Boris Johnson, Theresa May and Gavin Williamson? Are you really ready to die in defense of the interest of these degenerates?!

I don’t get it and nobody in Russia does.

Yeah, I know, all they did is expel some diplomats. And the Russians will do the same. So what? But that’s missing the point!

LOOK NOT WHERE WE ARE BUT WHERE WE ARE HEADING!!

You can get 200,000 antigun (sigh, rolleyes) protesters in DC but NOBODY AT ALL ABOUT NUCLEAR WAR?!

What is wrong with you people?!

What happened to the West where I was born in in 1963?

My God, is this really the end of it all?

Am I the only one who sees this slow-motion train-wreck taking us all over the precipice?

If you can, please give a reason to still hope.

Right now I don’t see many.

The Saker

 

PS: yes, I know. The rules of the blog prohibit CAPS as this is considered shouting. Okay, but this time around I AM TRYING TO SHOUT! So, for this one time only, feel free to use caps if you want. The world badly needs some shouting right now, even virtual shouting.

Source: Vineyard of the Saker

 

 

 

Nick BERNABE: Actually, „Nobody“ Won The 2016 Presidential Election; AntiMedia, 11.11.2016

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS

Martin Zeis, 14.11.2016

Nick BERNABE points to the broadly covered fact, that „around 193 million people did not vote for Trump or Clinton. That’s nearly two-thirds of the population of the United States. … The majority of Americans don’t vote anymore because the political system no longer represents them. We’ve been disenfranchised by decades of corrupt, unrepresentative politicians. The United States, according to a highly-cited academic study, is effectively an oligarchy “elected” by a minority of voters ruled by a smaller minority of disliked politicians who represent an even smaller minority of billionaires and special interests.“

It will be seen which faction of the US-Oligarchy – for quite some time entangled in a controversy about a geopolitical realignment after the 1990ff-full-spectrum-dominance „vision“ crashed – prevails in the wake of the presidential election outcome.

11.11.2016 – http://theantimedia.org/nobody-won-2016-election-landslide via zerohedge

Actually, „Nobody“ Won The 2016 Presidential Election… And It Was A Landslide
Submitted by Nick Bernabe via TheAntiMedia.org

Nobody for President, that’s my campaign slogan,” Nick Cannon asserted in “Too Broke to Vote,” his viral criticism of the American electoral process from March of this year. (1)

Now, it turns out nobody for president won the 2016 election in a landslide.

According to new voter turnout statistics from the 2016 election, 47 percent of Americans voted for nobody, far outweighing the votes cast for Trump (25.5 percent) and Hillary (25.6 percent) by eligible voters.

The Anti Media – 2016 Presidential Election – Turnout Rate
49,9% Don’t Vote
25,6% Voted for Clinton
25,5% Voted for Trump
1,7% Voted for Johnson

And the “I voted for nobody” group is actually much larger than the 47 percent reported because that number only includes eligible voters. How many millions of Americans under the legal voting age — not to mention the countless millions who have lost their voting rights — voted for nobody, as well? (2) Factoring in those individuals, around 193 million people did not vote for Trump or Clinton. That’s nearly two-thirds of the population of the United States.

Nobody also seemingly won the presidential primaries, with only 9 percent of Americans casting their votes for either Trump or Clinton.

So when does nobody take office? Nobody won the majority of votes in the primaries or the general election, and the two main candidates who were running didn’t “win” the popular vote — they simply slightly outcompeted each other considering neither garnered over 50 percent of the eligible voters’ ballots.

That’s where the real debate begins.

As I wrote back in August when the primary voter turnout rates came in, one could argue that Trump (and Obama) do not have a legitimate mandate to rule over the people of the United States. Trump did not win the majority of Americans’ votes — not even close.

When all Americans are included, Trump only garnered the votes of about 19 percent of us. This means the United States will be ruled over by a small minority of voters who elected someone to continually impose their political positions on the other 81 percent of us.

Of course, as is the case with Democrats looking to assign blame for Hillary’s loss, pundits and political pontificators argue the people who didn’t vote have no right to complain about the outcome. After all, a non-vote or a vote for a third-party candidate was, in actuality, a vote for Trump. But that logic is flawed. The majority of Americans don’t vote anymore because the political system no longer represents them. We’ve been disenfranchised by decades of corrupt, unrepresentative politicians.

The United States, according to a highly-cited academic study, is effectively an oligarchy “elected” (3) by a minority of voters ruled by a smaller minority of disliked politicians who represent an even smaller minority of billionaires and special interests. You know it, I know it, hell, even former U.S. President Jimmy Carter knows it. (4) The majority of Americans voted for nobody not because they don’t care or because they are apathetic — they voted no confidence in a political system that forgot about them a long time ago.

Notes
(1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AQjZ8ZbnF4
(2) http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/felon-voting-rights.aspx
(3) https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/62327F513959D0A304D4893B382B992B/S1537592714001595a.pdf/testing-theories-of-american-politics-elites-interest-groups-and-average-citizens.pdf
(4) http://theantimedia.org/jimmy-carter-says-america-has-become-an-oligarchy