Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 23, 2017

Distracted Media Fails To Catch Trump Policy Decisions

For two days the media have been busy counting people gathering in Washington DC. 90.3% of the voters in Washington DC had chosen Clinton.

A recent DC gathering of a Republican aligned crowd on a rainy work-day attracted many people. A following gathering of a Democratic aligned crowd on a work-free day without rain attracted more people.

The media watched, counted and was "astonished". Thousands of lines of "political analyses" were written to explain the difference of the crowd size without mentioning the significance of where it happened, what day of the week it happened and the environmental circumstances. The result of such analysis was a lot of bullshit.

The new Trump administration was quite happy about this diversion of attention. It additionally lampooned the media when its new spokesperson condemned the press for not being able to count at all. More lines of bullshit analysis were written about that insult.

Just like during the election campaign the media fell for the cheap stunt and thereby missed the serious processes and the decisions that were taking place behind the curtains.

Today the Trump administration announced the end of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement:

The president’s withdrawal from the Asian-Pacific trade pact amounted to a drastic reversal of decades of economic policy in which presidents of both parties have lowered trade barriers and expanded ties around the world. Although candidates have often criticized trade deals on the campaign trail, those who made it to the White House, including President Barack Obama, ended up extending their reach.

The NYT seems astonished that, unlike Obama, Trump stood by his words. The media had expected different and was distracted. It failed to report the issue until the decision was taken.

The TPP would have imposed "free trade" on more countries and products. The "free" in those trades would have meant that private companies would have been "free" to overrule national governments and their jurisdiction. They could have sued for "compensation" if a country, for public health or environmental reasons, rejected or hindered one of their businesses. Everyone should be happy that this monster died.

In another policy surprise a new coordination between Russian and U.S. intelligence circles in Syria is bearing fruits:

Russia has received coordinates of Daesh targets in Al-Bab, Aleppo Province, from the US via the 'direct line,' the Russian Defense Ministry said Monday.

The United States has provided coordinates of the terrorists' targets in the city of Al-Bab in Aleppo province for Russian airstrikes. After the reconnaissance check, Russia and two coalition jets have conducted joint airstrikes on the Daesh targets in the region.

The U.S. military seems to deny:

Any involvement or participation of American assets on the ground in country, in support of a series of Russian airstrikes against the northern Syrian town of al-Bab was “100 percent false,” said Pentagon spokesman Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway.

The U.S. coalition spokesperson also said it is:

"not coordinating airstrikes with the Russian military in Syria"

Before jumping up and down and claiming that the Russians are lying the media should take a fine comb and reread the statements.

The DoD only denied it coordinated airstrikes or helped with "assets on the ground". It does not deny the transfer of coordinates. The Russians do not claim U.S. airplanes took part in the mission - only "coalition jets". Turkey is part of the U.S. coalition and coordinates airstrikes with the Russian forces in Syria:

Earlier, Russian and Turkish combat planes have carried out a new series of joint airstrikes against Daesh targets in war-torn Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday.

"The Russian and Turkish planes carried out joint airstrikes against Islamic State terrorists in the outskirts of the town of al-Bab in Aleppo province on January 21," the ministry said in a statement.

The Russian statement is likely as correct as the DoD statement.

The political significance here is the transfer of ISIS targeting coordinates from some U.S. agency directly to the Russian forces in Syria. That is something Russia has asked for for over a year and it now suddenly seems to happen.

This is next to the TTP decision a second significant change under Trump the media missed to report on as it developed.

While the blustering against Trump in U.S. media as well as in some countries abroad goes on and on, serious decisions are taken and implemented by the new administration. The media fail in some systematic way. Minor diversions from "political correctness" are blown up into big headlines while big policy decisions pass unnoticed. It is simple: The task with reporting on the Trump administration is the same as with any politician. Do not listen to what they say, watch what they do. It is high time for the media to get back to that basic rule.

Digression:

As a German I am embarrassed on how much my government failed to anticipate Trump and, since he is elected, fails to prepare for the coming onslaught on its export orientated economic model. Wages in Germany were held down by all means (including by importing additional workforce from Syria and elsewhere) and a huge export surplus was created that benefited only a few moneyed pockets. The scheme created a huge imbalance in Europe and the credit crisis in Spain, Greece and elsewhere. Trump's policies will finally blow this model apart.

But neither of the ruling parties in Germany has yet developed an alternative or prepared a way towards one. Germany needs to re-orientate its industry from export to local consumption. That requires higher buying power for the general public via higher wages and lower taxes. A lower degressive VAT compensated by higher progressive taxes on non-work income would be a way to go. If such steps are delayed the economic damage will be serious and further open the way for a demagogic right.

Posted by b on January 23, 2017 at 02:26 PM | Permalink

Comments
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Wonderful post that accurately captures Trump playing chess while his political opposition is playing checkers. Thanks.

Posted by: Chris | Jan 23, 2017 2:32:59 PM | 1

Ok, thank you b.
Excellent analysis.

Posted by: From The Hague | Jan 23, 2017 2:38:09 PM | 2

I'm loving every minute of this......

Posted by: notlurking | Jan 23, 2017 2:45:12 PM | 3

Lots of electrons being wasted reporting the "Alternative Facts" issue that's supposedly unique to the new Trump admin. Now most of MoA readers are well aware that for quite awhile the spokespeople for the various executive departments were very free at announcing "alternative facts" but were only very rarely called on them; and when caught, seldom was any retraction or apology issued for the "error." The better target for the discredited media to attack is Congress where some very destructive work's being done that could be argued that goes against Trump's stated goal of making America's human capital stronger and thus the nation more competitive.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 23, 2017 2:48:36 PM | 4

Thanks b, encouraging to say the least, as I mentioned on the past thread. But then, you have happenings like this..

http://www.salon.com/2016/12/08/house-gop-bucks-donald-trump-scrap-legislation-to-buy-american-iron-and-steel/

Hopefully they reinstate the "buy American provision". Trump can make that happen.

Still waiting...

Posted by: ben | Jan 23, 2017 2:54:53 PM | 5

@ b

It is not only Germany, the same policies are detrimental to the citizens of UK, Australia, Canada, and others ... and their governments just as infiltrated by neocon/neoliberal/Globalists(?) serving who's interests, precisely ?

Saw some fleeting rubbish reports about the other twelve members of the 'DEAD TPP', trying to proceed with the agreement WITHOUT the US involvement. No economic analysis, and to the benefit of whom ?

Bat shit crazy ideologues, and their citizens and own nations sovereign interests, be damned, apparently!

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 23, 2017 2:58:27 PM | 6

@ b.."Do not listen to what they say, watch what they do. It is high time for the media to get back to that basic rule."

Wouldn't that be a nice change, not just for the media, but, everyone?

Posted by: ben | Jan 23, 2017 2:58:48 PM | 7

"Do not listen to what they say, watch what they do. It is high time for the media to get back to that basic rule."

You mean like the right did when Obama threatened to directly attack the Syrian govt over chemical weapons they didn't use?

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Jan 23, 2017 2:59:16 PM | 8

Lol US wont stop trading with the world, he just signed-off ONE deal. Cant we even remove hysteria from MoA?

Its good that TPP got "deleted", the only ones profiting is really the big companies and EU elites/globalists.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 23, 2017 3:00:22 PM | 9

I have been wanting to found a pragmatic political party that is not based on ideology but on the good of the greatest amount of citizens. Trump beat me to it.

I think you are right about Germany, b. I think they will be the biggest losers in Europe of Trump's policies, and in the breakdown of the EU which will inevitably follow. This period in history will go down as the second German plunder of Europe. It's amazing that the population hasn't even clued in yet to how they were robbed of their jobs and the future of the children in the chase to the bottom for them, and chase for profits for the elites and corporations.

Posted by: mischi | Jan 23, 2017 3:21:12 PM | 10

I find it truly fascinating that Trump, venal and twisted, is hailed by many intelligent people as making good decisions. Those decisions are undoing past mistakes ... but what will they be replaced by? My guess, for what it is worth (not much by all accounts on this blog), that they (the decisions) will be equally anti-individual and pro-corporate. Keep in mind that Trump won precisely because his opponent was worse than he is. Also, if a popular vote had made that opponent win, imagine where we'd be.

Unless and until Trump starts pulling the military out of those countries it infests, I'm thinking that not much has changed.

We shall see.

Posted by: rg the lg | Jan 23, 2017 3:31:20 PM | 11

rg the lg

Trump have nowhere said he would pull out any troops from any country.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 23, 2017 3:34:11 PM | 12

Thanks for voicing most of what I'm feeling, too. The size of the crowd at Trump's inaugural is pretty much a nothingburger, for the reasons that you elaborated. Yes, yes Obama had way more in 2008, but then, that was (for better or worse) a very historic election due to Obama's ethnicity, plus what you indicated about the make up Wash DC citizenry.

The turn out for the Women's March globally should be noticed, even though - as sympathetic as I am to the March - it was really unfocused as to goals/outcome, what it was really about, etc. But the turn out was huge across the country and across the globe and deserves appropriate notice.

Comparing and contrasting the numbers of the two different events is bogus. Of course, Trump - in his usual trolling fashion (shouldn't the stupid media be used to this by now???) - starts tweeting about how there were many gazillions more at his Inaugural than what was reported. So what!

How about the media do it's d*mn job - investigate and report on, for example, Trump's cabinet picks, what's really happening at their hearings, have they all handed in their Ethics stuff? What about what went down on Saturday with Trump and the CIA?? What about Trump's tax return?

The media is operating in Junior High Mean Grrrl Gossip mode. Worthless. Trump laughs his butt off at how easily he trolls them, while going about the real business without much comment.

Posted by: RUKidding | Jan 23, 2017 3:37:45 PM | 13

As usual we get better coverage of the conflict in Syria from this blog than from the NYTimes and WaPo combined - good work b
On the trade issue, this is amusing: Paul Ryan on TPP in May 2015

We will have the votes. We're doing very well. We're gaining a lot of steam and momentum," Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, told CNN's Brianna Keilar Sunday on "State of the Union."

And here's Wisconsin manufacturing job losses under NAFTA:
Wisconsin lost 55,052 manufacturing jobs (or 10.7 percent) during the NAFTA-WTO period (1994-2016), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.* This figure is for total manufacturing employment, so it takes into account both jobs created by exports and jobs displaced by imports

Those trying to blame U.S. job losses on automation and robots are trying to cover for this, but look at Germany:
Despite the installation of far more robots between 1993 and 2007, Germany lost just 19 percent of its manufacturing jobs between 1996 and 2012 compared to a 33 percent drop in the United States.

And yet the House Republicans sabotage a bill to use American-made steel in water infrastructure projects???

Posted by: nonsense factory | Jan 23, 2017 3:47:25 PM | 14

It is not that media are distracted counting heads of inauguration attendees, but just continue to deliberately undercut current new US government wherever they can.
And they do it in a sync. As in USA, also all over the Europe.

European countries, including Germany, are historically far from having a free will and thoughts because they are mostly governed by a rigid remote hand on many issues and with that naturally comes impression that are mostly unable to cope with changes.
I doubt that Germany and some other EU countries didn't anticipate Trump's win and prepared somewhere a secret plan B.
Jakob Maria Mierscheid certainly had one for every presidential elections :)

Posted by: laserlurk | Jan 23, 2017 3:52:01 PM | 15

Newsweek (CIA controlled) features a pensive Trump on its cover with "Commander In Chief".

Foreshadowing more wars they hope.

Posted by: fast freddy | Jan 23, 2017 4:00:35 PM | 16

ok. one more time.

on January 21st, 2017, president Donald Trump signed off on some drone strikes in Yemen.

which killed some people.

Donald Trump is now a war criminal.

just for the record.

Posted by: john | Jan 23, 2017 4:09:35 PM | 17

If Trump's spokespeople had responded to the numbers issue in the terms you set out in the opening para, it wouldn't have become an issue.

The fact that they didn't, and allowed themselves to look as awkward as Mark Toner trying not to say that Syrian Government successes against ISIS are a good thing, suggests that they had better start learning fast.

I'm waiting for the first 'You're fired!' amongst his White House staff. Turning the Presidency into a White House reality show will certainly distract attention from substantive policy changes.

Posted by: extra | Jan 23, 2017 4:11:00 PM | 18

mischi @10--

"I have been wanting to found a pragmatic political party that is not based on ideology but on the good of the greatest amount of citizens."

Actually, that is an ideology, and you'll find in in the Preamble to the US Constitution: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." Capped words in original; please note that defence is not, meaning that it's to have a lesser significance than the other outlined aims for the nation's governing philosophy. Obviously, neither the D nor R party promote that ideology, being parties of the 1% as proven by their behavior and deeds. Trump must prove he is separate from them through his deeds, which will take awhile to accomplish.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 23, 2017 4:21:45 PM | 19

@ Posted by: nonsense factory | Jan 23, 2017 3:47:25 PM | 14

The same situation applies within Japan, highly robotized industries, yet Japan has to trawl through senior citizens/retired to maintain a viable workforce, even so.

Japan Unemployment Rate | 1953-2017 | Data | Chart | Calendar ...

Dec 27, 2016 - The seasonally adjusted jobless rate in Japan dropped to 3.0 percent in July of 2016 from 3.1 percent in June. It was the lowest jobless rate since May 1995, while market expected 3.1 percent. The jobs-to-applicants ratio came in at 1.37 in July, unchanged from the previous month and slightly below consensus.

...

Long Term Unemployment Rate - 1.30 - percent.

...

With 3 score and ten years and more, have seen many changes, and as like you, do not for a moment believe the myth of Robots replacing all workers, and all becoming unemployed. Other previously non-existent, unforeseen industries/fields/opportunities & niches arise. The very same forecasts were made at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, particularly in UK ... and it was all bunkum ... hysteria & mis-perception, & possibly subliminally intended manufactured 'FEAR' of the unknown, the future. And who agenda is served, by irrational, 'Fears' ?

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 23, 2017 4:26:08 PM | 20

Can we be sure Trump signed off on those drone strikes in Yemen?

Can we even be sure the drone strikes occurred?

Isn't it in some people's interest to create the impression that Trump is supporting the Saudi war in Yemen?

Posted by: lysias | Jan 23, 2017 4:26:51 PM | 21

Wow! "Germany needs to re-orientate its industry from export to local consumption. That requires higher buying power for the general public via higher wages and lower taxes. A lower degressive VAT compensated by higher progressive taxes on non-work income would be a way to go. If such steps are delayed the economic damage will be serious and further open the way for a demagogic right."

A very impressive analysis of how the economy actually works.
Bravo!

Posted by: plantman | Jan 23, 2017 4:27:47 PM | 22

Germany used to have a wealth tax (Vermögensteuer). Bring it back!

Posted by: lysias | Jan 23, 2017 4:41:46 PM | 23

As a resident of the "pacific Rim" I am really pleased that the TPP has copped the kibosh, even more pleased that it caused the resignation of NZ PM and lifelong Goldman Sach's adherent John Key altho if you read the kiwi fishwraps who have been full of "Why did St John of Wall St resign?" you wouldn't know that. Only if you did as b suggested and observed the way Key conducted himself the strategic timing of his calls for general elections and the kiwi governments distractions away from the issue of the TPP would become aware of Key's real agenda.
As always the shape of the news - the timing and seeming irrelevance of the issues that pols use to distract us all with, is a far more important determinant of what comes next than the BS dribbling down a professional pol's chin.

The next 6 months is gonna be more like Wimbledon watching, our heads will be required to quickly pivot* from side to side to catch all the action. The face-off between the new guys at the whitehouse and the old guard of professional pols will be extended arduous and ultimately meaningless. This is less a revolution and more a re-alignment to the pecking order of pricks, something that happens regularly although normally more quietly & incrementally rather than the all at once rotation that is the trumpet's seeming preference.

Allegedly the US Embassy move to Jerusalem has been put on the back burner. We shall see - the apartheidists did approve more than 500 new zionist building permits in the occupied territories as soon as trump was inaugurated. It could well be that Netanyahoo has instructed trump that facts on the ground are more important to the ethnic cleansing project than symbolic bulldust.

I'm gonna watch and wait, but I have no confidence at all that the lives of any but a favoured few are gonna improve under the trump regime.


* pivot ©Obamaspeak Inc All Rights Reserved

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 23, 2017 4:44:42 PM | 24

Michelle Obama left Palm Springs after a short stay there to fly in Richard Branson's plane to the Virgin Islands. Barack Obama apparently did not fly with her.

Posted by: lysias | Jan 23, 2017 4:45:40 PM | 25

Trump's decision to put the TTP out of its anti-99% misery was a deed worthy of a Nobel Peace & Harmony Prize.
Being an optimist, I won't be at all surprised when Bibi's pre-emptive announcement of 666 (H/T TheRealDonald) squattlement dwellings on Palestinian land backfires very very badly.
Trump is a control freak (which is ok if you're super smart) and he'll teach Bibi that No One announces Trump decisions before Trump does so, ever.
Bibi is toast.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 23, 2017 4:47:55 PM | 26

b:

The new Trump administration was quite happy about this diversion of attention. It additionally lampooned the media when its new spokesperson condemned the press for not counting the right way.

Just like during the election campaign the media fell for the cheap stunt

I don't think it's the Trump Administration that wants a distraction. I think its Trump's opponents that want to cover up is being un-done:
>> TPP would have meant a lower standard of living as more people were out of work and strong environmental protections were circumvented.

>> Working with the Russians in Syria means that Obama's pro-headchopper "lead-from-behind" policy has been reversed.

I expect that this will continue. Priority will be given to news that de-legitimizes Trump while sins of the Democrats will be ignored.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 23, 2017 4:50:58 PM | 27

Trump Wins The Unions: Teamsters Praise TPP Withdrawal, Labor Chiefs Describe "Incredible" Meeting With Trump:

Shortly after Donald Trump made good on one of his core campaign promises on Monday morning by signing an executive order formally withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade deal, Trump told labor union leaders that he would renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement "at the appropriate time."

The remarks came at the start of a meeting at the White House with leaders of construction, carpenters, plumbers and sheet metal unions, during which Trump pledged to stop trade deals that harmed American workers.

. . .

“This is a group that I know well,” Trump said referring to the union bosses, adding “we’re going to put a lot of people back to work” and “stop the ridiculous trade deals.”

When Trump said the administration “just officially terminated TPP,” it prompted applause from the labor chiefs (and this time it certainly wasn't by paid members of the studio audience), who later described their meeting with Trump as "incredible."

Reagan began his presidency by going after the air traffic controllers' union. Trump is beginning quite differently.

Posted by: lysias | Jan 23, 2017 4:51:05 PM | 28

lysias

Who have said he will stop all wars?

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 23, 2017 4:51:56 PM | 29

Who have said he will stop all wars?

Not me. I welcomed Trump's victory over Hillary (although I didn't vote for either of them, I voted for Jill Stein) because I thought a Trump victory meant no war with Russia.

Posted by: lysias | Jan 23, 2017 4:54:28 PM | 30

lysias

Exactly, no one have said it, so why believe he somehow would? Its the same with the arguments above someone wrote, implying he would end bases. No such thing will happen.

Wars will go on, trade will go on, military-bases will go on etcetera.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 23, 2017 4:58:51 PM | 31

For some reason, the MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) became amazingly adept at not reporting on important issues as they wended their way through Congress...until, suddenly, there was going to a crucial vote the next morning or that late night.

It was, I'm sure, deliberate, to make sure the public didn't have the knowledge of what was being done and also didn't have the time to meaningfully tell their elected representatives whether they approved, or more usually, disapproved of the legislation.

I did learn on WBAI this morning, the NYC Pacifica station, that the House Repubs tried to repeal the current Civil Servant laws and reinstate one from the 19th Century which allowed any member of Congress to declare a government worker would receive only $1 per year, a means to drive that person out of the civil service.

Making American great again??

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=Republican+House+trying+to+repeal+civil+service+laws


From New York Magazine:

This week, congressional Republicans gave themselves the power to slash the annual salary of any individual federal worker to as low as $1 — and the budget of any individual federal program right down to zero.

They executed this attack on the independence of the civil service by reviving an obscure provision enacted by Congress in 1876: The Holman Rule, named after the Indiana congressman who devised it, empowers any member of Congress to submit an amendment to an appropriations bill that targets the funding of a specific government program or employee.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/01/congress-can-now-cut-the-pay-of-individual-civil-servants.html

This is truly bizarre and looks like it came out of the Koch Bros. bag of tricks. ALEX?

Posted by: jawbone | Jan 23, 2017 5:03:04 PM | 32

@ Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 23, 2017 4:50:58 PM | 27

I don't think it's the Trump Administration that wants a distraction. I think its Trump's opponents that want to cover up is being un-done:

...

I expect that this will continue. Priority will be given to news that de-legitimizes Trump while sins of the Democrats(Globalists(?)) will be ignored.

Fully concur. Note: Inserted in brackets/Italics, my edit. ;)

YMMV

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 23, 2017 5:03:11 PM | 33

Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 23, 2017 4:47:55 PM | 26 "Bibi is toast."

Starting to look that way. Zionists being set up to take a fall?
I see in dealing with the CIA Trump seems a bit smarter than Kennedy. Ambush a better way to go when dealing with those types.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 23, 2017 5:05:20 PM | 34

Plantman @ 22:

There is a word that describes Germany's economic policy: it is "mercantilism".

If "mercantilism" sounds a bit quaint, it should: it was the economic policy of several European nations during the 17th and 18th centuries - export more than you import from other nations. Prussia (the precursor to Germany) pursued a similar economic strategy in the 1800s and this among other things enabled that country to amass the wealth that backed its power and leading role in creating a unified Germany in 1871.

The downside of course is that it's a "beggar thy neighbour" strategy that ruins the economies of countries who do the bulk of their trade with Germany, as Greece and other Mediterranean EU members found out to their cost.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 23, 2017 5:14:01 PM | 35

To add to my comment @19, I'd direct people to Pepe Escobar's latest at atimes.com where he cites Jack Ma--Alibaba CEO--at Davos giving one of many such examples--which some may have already read--where the USA didn't follow the ideology presented in its founding document:

"“In the past 30 years, companies like IBM, Cisco and Microsoft made tons of money.” The problem was how the US spent the wealth: “In the past 30 years, America has had 13 wars at a cost of US$14.2 trillion.” So what if the US “had spent part of that money on building up their infrastructure, helping white-collar and blue-collar workers? You’re supposed to spend money on your own people. It’s not that other countries steal American jobs. It is your strategy – that you did not distribute the money in a proper way.”" http://www.atimes.com/article/will-trump-hop-american-silk-road/

As Pepe points out somewhat indirectly, Trump's declared aims in his Inaugural Address are very much akin to the declared aims of China's One Belt; One Road and Russia's Eurasian Economic Union, but any attempt to jump aboard either train is derailed by the still existing Outlaw US Empire goal of Full Spectrum Domination, as Pepe details in his previous essay, Trump, Kissinger and Ma playing on a crowded chessboard, that can be found at atimes.com and elsewhere.

I suggest to mischi and others that they read the well articulated goals of China's and Russia's trade initiatives since they embody what's known as Win/Win philosophy--promoting "the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity"--instead of the UK/US Zero Sum Game strategy that we've all seen in operation since the 1840s.

If Trump's to make his words reality, he'll need to jettison some very entrenched baggage that is also deeply embedded within him--the Twin Daemons: American Exceptionalism/Manifest Destiny--for they've dominated Outlaw US Empire Imperial Policy since Jefferson and do not fit within the emerging Multipolar World.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 23, 2017 5:23:52 PM | 36

@ Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 23, 2017 4:44:42 PM | 24
@ Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 23, 2017 4:47:55 PM | 26
@ Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 23, 2017 5:05:20 PM | 34

Debsisdead, am usually reluctant to give credence to articles in the Guardian on such topics, though, in this instance this was the Guardian merely stenographing a Reuters article.

Highly recommended anyone interested in Israeli-Palestinian issue, wider ME topic, do read the article!

Hoarsewhisperer & Peter AU, the detailed and precise and unambiguous qoutes, are most illuminating in the reuters article published by the Graund! ;)

Israeli officials say the issue was barely discussed during a 30-minute call between the US president and Netanyahu and it faces major practical difficulties

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s team spoke often about moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But since taking office, the contentious issue has become more nuanced and may already be moving to the back burner.

In a statement before a first post-inauguration phone call between Trump and the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Sunday, the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, appeared to lower expectations of an imminent announcement of a move that could anger the Arab world.

“We are at the very beginning stages of even discussing this subject,” he wrote. The White House did not respond to questions or requests to elaborate.

...

But Israeli officials said the issue was barely discussed on the 30-minute call, and diplomats said their understanding was that it was being moved down the agenda, at least for now.

Sounds more like walking it backwards,” one Israeli official said in a text message after Spicer’s statement.

Another said that during the call Netanyahu had not sought a commitment from Trump on the move or a timeframe for it. The former spokesman for Israel’s foreign ministry suggested Spicer’s line was age-old diplomatic code for “not now”.

“This really means: ‘Don’t call us, we’ll call you,’” Yigal Palmor said on Twitter.

...

If the United States were to relocate its embassy, it would be an explicit recognition of Jerusalem belonging to Israel, predetermining the outcome of negotiations and taking a side in a process in which the United States is a critical actor.

Trump has suggested that his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, could take on the job of mediating peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. To do that, Kushner and the United States would have to be seen as scrupulously independent. For the Palestinians, moving the embassy would cross a red line.

Jordan and Egypt, the only two Arab countries with peace treaties with Israel, have warned against the move ...

...

Egypt, which signed a peace deal with Israel in 1979 and cooperates closely with it on security, also has reservations about any move, calling it a “very inflammable issue”.

...

Another consideration for Israel is the stronger relations it has quietly been building with the Sunni Muslim world. Netanyahu speaks frequently about the “new horizon” Israel has with Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Gulf states. If the United States were to shift its embassy, it could rock those ties.

...

In the interim, Netanyahu has other political considerations. He is under investigation in two criminal cases and he faces a growing challenge from the far-right, pro-settlement Jewish Home party in his coalition.

The announcement on Sunday that Israel will build more settlements in East Jerusalem was in part a move by Netanyahu to satisfy voters on the far-right pushing for more rapid settlement expansion now Trump is in office.

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 23, 2017 5:25:57 PM | 37

thanks b... trump is looking good canceling tpp and the msm as per usual - are looking bad or worse.

Posted by: james | Jan 23, 2017 5:33:39 PM | 38

B, have a look at this by Gunnar Beck > https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jan/07/germany-not-profiting-eurozone-export-boom

Seems to me that Germany's trade problems are of its own making. How will you possibly be able to blame Trump?

Posted by: Mark Rothschild | Jan 23, 2017 5:33:57 PM | 39

@35, It is not only Germany which is following a mercantilist policy. It is followed by China too. It has the effect of beggaring the workers of China whose products are exported to the US in return for US paper. The latter is of no benefit for the Chinese workers, though it does enable private Chinese companies to buy up assets in the US. From the standpoint of the Chinese state it is a more nuanced issue. On the one hand Chinese state companies too, can buy up overseas firms, but whether this is a long term advantage is a moot point since real goods which could have been used to improve the Chinese economy and living standards have been sacrificed. Historically the process of having an export led economy allowed China to avoid the technology bans that the West imposed on the USSR, allowing rapid catchup in manufacturing techniques. Now that China is overtaking the US in some areas of mass production, that advantage is less clear, and a shift towards higher domestic consumption and higher wages makes sense, and is indeed beeing followed in China unlike Germany.

Posted by: Paul C | Jan 23, 2017 5:50:56 PM | 40

That's a great start. But let's keep things in prospective.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vcd-yvudYSg&t=175s

Posted by: ron demarco | Jan 23, 2017 5:58:05 PM | 41

Excellent article.

I found this on France Inter yesterday, (we have to go outside the US for -real?- news)

Dès vendredi, la Maison Blanche a donc annoncé que le forage des gaz de schiste allait reprendre aux Etats-Unis. “L’administration Trump va embrasser la révolution des pétrole et gaz de schiste pour créer des emplois et apporter de la prospérité à des millions d’Américains”, peut-on lire. Enjeu : 50.000 milliards de dollars, la valeur estimée des réserves américaines en gaz de schiste. Plus un mot de l’accord de Paris sur le site de celui qui avait affirmé que le réchauffement climatique était un concept inventé “pour empêché l’industrie américaine d’être compétitive”

https://www.franceinter.fr/monde/obamacare-gaz-de-schiste-sitot-elu-trump-prend-ses-premieres-decisions

Rough translation (corrections invited):

As of Friday, the White House has announced that fracking for gas will resume in the US. The Trump administration will embrace the revolution of oil and gas fracking which will create jobs and bring prosperity to millions of Americans; think 50 trillion US dollars in play, the estimated value of American gas reserves available from fracking. Not a word about the Paris Climate Agreement remains on the web site of the man who affirmed that global warming was a concept invented to prevent American Industry from being competitive.

As I’ve said before, we could either have gone up in a cloud of nuclear holocaust with the Hill or in an antropogenic extinction event with President Trump. But more to the point, we put Trump in there for a reason; to keep Hillary out. There will be high points and lows, but expect it to be costly regardless,

Very Partial List Of Things that are at high risk: (after climate change which I covered)
1) Net neutrality
2) Tax give aways to the wealthy (bringing offshore booty home free)
3) Health Care (I'm suspicious the mandate will remain)
4) Social Security
5) Medicare
6) Medicaid
7) Federal parks and open spaces. "T-I-M-B-E-E-E-R!"
8) Highways and infrastructure being given over to private enterprise "partnerships", or in other words, "We Pay, the corporations reap the profits", the Chicago Parking Meter syndrome
9) Remaining tatters of financial regulation -> gone
10) Torture (and other gems) re-introduced into intelligence agencies
11) Pharma will stay the same. Punishment will continue regardless of when moral improves.

Posted by: Brooklin Bridge | Jan 23, 2017 5:58:25 PM | 42

lysias @21

There was a report on 22 January that two US drone strikes took out 4 al Qaeda members in Yemen.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/four-al-qaeda-terrorists-neutralized-us-drone-strikes-yemen/

That exemplifies the US approach - take them out one by one or in small groups. I suppose doing it that way maximizes MIC profits.

Posted by: Yonatan | Jan 23, 2017 6:09:20 PM | 43

#6 Outraged

"The Trans-Pacific Partnership can’t come into force without the support of the United States, International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said the day after Donald Trump promised to withdraw the U.S. from the 12-country trade pact on his first day in office.

Ms. Freeland said the TPP cannot proceed in its current form without the United States.

“The TPP agreement is so structured that this agreement can only come into force if six of the countries covering 85 per cent of the GDP of the overall space ratify the agreement. What that means in practice is the TPP agreement as currently structured and finalized can only come into force if it is ratified by the United States,” Ms. Freeland told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill on Tuesday.http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/tpp-cant-proceed-without-the-united-states-trade-minister-says/article32995449/

Posted by: terry | Jan 23, 2017 6:10:55 PM | 44

The global gag order on American funded NGOs discusing abortion has been reinstated and a "foe" of net neutrality is the new head of the FCC
wired: Trump’s FCC Pick Doesn’t Bode Well For Net Neutrality (Ajit Pai).

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Jan 23, 2017 6:14:09 PM | 45

Posted by: terry | Jan 23, 2017 6:10:55 PM | 44

Yes, indeed, am aware of that :)

Hence why they were described as obviously being BAT Shit Crazy Ideologues, who refuse to acknowledge reality. Yet, the remaining governments other than US, choose to disregard, inconvenient, facts, whilst trying to breathe life into a dead corpse TPP ;)

Australia's Trade Minister Steve Ciobo conceded the trade deal — which included 12 Pacific Rim countries — would need to be revised without the support from the world's largest economy (The US).

... asked the Government for any economic modelling on what an agreement without America might look like, and they've come back and said they haven't done any,"

:)

@ Posted by: ron demarco | Jan 23, 2017 5:58:05 PM | 41

Obvious why you didn't describe your video link or youtube Title ... conspiracist crap from 'TruthMediaRevolution', which patently are nothing of the sort. 'Dossier' equivalence re credibility (E5).

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 23, 2017 6:31:45 PM | 46

Stunning speed by Trump to banish the saintly Obama’s vicious TTP to the dustbin.

Interesting contrast between Trump’s meeting with the CIA and his meeting with corporates. In the first there was a nervous tension in the room as Trump faced 400 dangerous people, some of whom were/are considering his swift removal from office. On the other hand, technically he is the only person on the planet that could fire the lot of them. And he likes firing people. He looked over a lot at his team that had come along with him, smiled more than he normally does, and made a comment about there being too many pillars in the room. One could read a lot into his focus on getting rid of their pillars, but in this room full of experts in the black arts he was probably just trying to find ground he is an expert in, namely construction.

In the second meeting he was in his element, with corporate types just like himself. Again we could not see their faces but you could feel them purring. Drop corporate taxes from 35% to 15 or 20%… cut regulations by 75%. Here was a president who understood them. And while these are greedy, unscrupulous types for sure, it is often their masters over on Wall Street that insist on outsourcing/offshoring, on lowering wages and cutting benefits. Do it or face an attack on your share price or a hostile takeover they would say to those still left with a conscience, Costco being a good recent example. The business press published harsh criticism from a unnamed Wall Streeter that Costco were paying their employees too well, therefore hurting shareholders’ interests (poor things). Costco maintained that good wages made sense business-wise - it vastly improved employee-customer relations and reduced theft.

Posted by: Lochearn | Jan 23, 2017 6:41:27 PM | 47

@25 What's Branson up to now? First black woman in space?

Posted by: dh | Jan 23, 2017 6:47:05 PM | 48

Trump did more during the transition period to bring jobs back/to USA than Obama did in 8 years.

Trump is doing more his FIRST day in office than Obama did in a week. https://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/21/reporting-for-duty/

Yet, like the media... some posters here think Trump canceling TPP is no big deal (as for myself, I totally agree w/ debsisdead)... and meeting with group of businessmen, meeting with Union leaders, etc. etc. is also no big deal, etc.

Seventy year-old Trump runs circles around most 40 year-olds EVERY day. What did any of you posters do today?

Posted by: crone | Jan 23, 2017 6:49:21 PM | 49

Anonymous, et al,

I did not say that Trump ever promised to close bases. I was merely expressing wishful thinking. I doubt if Trump will follow through on most of his promises ... much less things I wish he would do.

I suspect Hillary would have been worse ... but I don't know that either. The only thing I do know at this stage is that Trump is (for the time being) President of the US. The only reason that Trump may not be assassinated is his sucking up to the CIA ... one of the legs on which the deep state rests.

It really doesn't matter a whole helluva lot who the president is ... what matters is the fact that you and I (and the rest of the world for that matter) are f****d in the nether region.

Stick that in your pipe and smoke on it!

Posted by: rg the lg | Jan 23, 2017 7:03:49 PM | 50

Re: "His crowd was bigger than your crowd."

What these people with their passive aggressive reactions don't seem to cognise is the simple fact: -- that it was precisely the deep cynical disappointment with the failed empty suit-in-charge for 8 years of those same expectant swarming 'millions' in 2009 that put Trump up front in the White House that day in 2017. Go figure.

It's a case study in cult behaviour.

Posted by: x | Jan 23, 2017 7:09:20 PM | 51

p.s.

Spicer skips over mainstream media in first briefing

President Trump's White House sent a clear message to major media outlets on Monday: You don't matter as much anymore.

The White House for years has deferred to newswires and major TV networks, all of whom are represented in the first row of the White House briefing room, for the first several questions at the daily briefing. But on Monday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer called on very different group of reporters.

He first called on the New York Post. Then, the Christian Broadcasting Network. That was followed by Univision and Fox Business.

Spicer then took a question from Urban Radio Network, and then finally the Associated Press, which up until now has usually gotten the first question.

Fox News was next, followed by ABC.

Under Obama, the AP and Reuters had gotten the first shot at questions each day, followed by networks like NBC, ABC and CBS.

The unprecedented decision ruffled the feathers of some. NBC'S Kelly O'Donnell said Spicer was skipping over major news outlets that cover the White House all day, every day.

She tweeted later that the mainstream serves "the most Americans with expertise, depth of commitment to fair coverage."

Trump famously battled the media during his election, and has said many outlets didn't tell the truth about his campaign. Spicer has said since Trump's election victory that he would be looking to do press briefings differently, and hinted that he would likely call on a different group of reporters.

He also announced that he would include "Skype seats" in the briefing so reporters not located in Washington can ask questions.

Source: Washington Examiner

My two cents? About time an administration let the 'cesspool' of reporters know who is the alpha. ymmv

Posted by: crone | Jan 23, 2017 7:13:05 PM | 52

I've long wanted to start a political party based on a good ideology. The problem isn't ideology. You absolutely have to have ideology. One of our biggest problems today is that no one actually bothers to try to develop ideology. What we have is an overabundance of pragmatism married to hideous caricatures of outmoded ideologies that were bad when they weren't outmoded.

Posted by: paul | Jan 23, 2017 7:16:09 PM | 53

@25 What's Branson up to now? First black woman in space?

First transvestite in space?

Posted by: Perimetr | Jan 23, 2017 7:17:31 PM | 54

Outraged@46

As the TPP was all about megacorporations being able to dominate over nations with respect to 'loss of sale' arbitration, and as many of those huge conglomerates reside (supposedly) in the USofA, and further as President Trump has said there will be serious issues with companies doing business outside of the USofA that are USofA companies, b's remarks about what Germany should be thinking about doing are very well taken.

There will of course still be trade overseas from all countries, since products like New Zealand lamb are gourmet items in countries not having a lot of sheep and the pasture to raise them on, but indeed it looks like a kinder and happier world for workers within countries and a whole different scene for the financiers.

I am reminded of similar actions taken by the Putin government against its own megacorporations and oligarchs.

I think the dastardly deed Repubs will be voted out next time around pretty quickly. We're gonna like this business of voting if we see more fruits of our labors in the coming days. What shall we call this new young class of politicians who will be benefiting? Trumpublicans? They can hardly be called Democrats, that's for sure.

" The rarer action is in virtue than in vengeance...

Oh wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! Oh brave new world
That has such people in’t."

Posted by: juliania | Jan 23, 2017 7:43:17 PM | 55

Posted by: Brooklin Bridge | Jan 23, 2017 5:58:25 PM | 42
(Trump's downside(s))

Trump's overarching campaign message was America First & Great. His first words as POTUS were about "giving Govt back to The People."

I've watched every Trump doco, and read every Trump screed (pro & con) I could find when it became obvious that he was smarter than his opponents. One thing stands out - he is a gifted talent-spotter. Every person he has ever picked to do an important job has performed superbly, and it's a long list. Anyone who has ever employed people knows what a hit & miss ordeal it can be if you haven't got your wits about you.

There is plenty of room, in his approach to success, to be "talked out of" some of the weirder campaign statements he made (to navigate through the ideological minefield standing between He and the White House), on the advise of "wiser heads" among his appointees. Once he has established himself as El Supremo he can afford to put his "good listener" persona on display again.
Imo.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 23, 2017 7:44:45 PM | 56

Hmmm. I think you might be exaggerating there with the passing of coordinates, b. In any case, has the US better coordinates? If they did, ISIS would be dead.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 23, 2017 8:03:47 PM | 57

This may rub someone the wrong way but I was thinking today -

How can I support a Jewish state but not an islamic state? I can't and that's a problem for me as I recognize it will always be an issue moving forward. The question also is, to what extent does that term permeate through the politics of the land. It's been since 2008 since I last visited.

Posted by: Au | Jan 23, 2017 8:09:02 PM | 58

Tonight NBC news had a bit with globalist Ali Velshi (CNN) talking about the how TPP deal was going to expand purchases of US made things and to oppose China. Typically odd selling points for our trade deals. In years past (Bush and Obama), it has been other countries have 4% tariffs to our 2% so we have to sell out further to get a better deal. (I think it was a deal with Peru on that one.) And TPP was to help against China? Why not take on China directly? How can it when China has PMFN status?

Posted by: Curtis | Jan 23, 2017 8:09:32 PM | 59

@karlof1 36
Ma is right about US stupidly spending money on wars. But where is the connection between the money made by the corporations and money the US Govt spends? For one thing the US Govt doesn't get a lot of it and for another with the US Govt so deep in debt, the tax income goes to the interest on the Fed's credit card.

Posted by: Curtis | Jan 23, 2017 8:16:00 PM | 60

1

So MoA is a spinoff Breitbart Milo-esque fan-boy site now? Nobody showed up for Bush Jr, either, is that what you're claiming? Nobody showed up for Reagan, you believe that?! Nobody showed up. Period. They woke up. They know they've been conned by Don the Con.

TPP was already dead. Saying you're not going to sign a trade agreement that's already dead is a Milo-move. Hey, where's 'The Wall'? Now it's just a 'serious vetting process'? WTF, where's 'Mr. Law and Order'. I guess Old Orange Grampa needs his rest before he gums the Pentagon to death. Oh, wait, he flip-flopped on the Peace Dividend, then threw 10,000,000 Christian wretches to the lions, and wants P2A^2 and P2E^2. Another flaming Milo-move!
Give 'em one for the Groper! Jeebus!!

Meshugenah Assholes Gunning All'yo
MAGA!
#TRD

Posted by: TheRealDonald | Jan 23, 2017 8:16:34 PM | 61

Russia has received coordinates of Daesh targets in Al-Bab, Aleppo Province, from the US via the 'direct line,' the Russian Defense Ministry said Monday.
It wouldn't surprise me if someone included a Russian e-mail address in the CC line by "mistake". The attack on the SAA at Deir Ez-zor was carried out because General Harrigan and SoD Ashton Carter knew they'd be unlikely to suffer any sanctions as a result. Perhaps someone further down the food chain thought that regime change in Washington means that he's unlikely to suffer any sanctions.

Posted by: Ghostship | Jan 23, 2017 8:29:23 PM | 62

Curtis @60--

Ma provided the answer--policy choices made by those running government.

I think everyone ought to read Xi's very important policy speech at Davos, which provides the evidence for my assertions. Putin speaks similarly about economic development regarding Russia's plan. US government and business direction/thinking really needs to evolve and adopt the model being clearly favored by the world's people--Win/Win, not Zero Sum--if the Outlaw US Empire is ever to return to being respected as the United States of America. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/01/full-text-of-xi-jinping-keynote-at-the-world-economic-forum

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 23, 2017 8:51:02 PM | 63

7

Old Mike Pence has already got that sad 1,000 Yard Stare, knowing his last four years on Earth will be spent beside El Bloviator, as his butler in waiting. Every veteran knows exactly what I'm talking about. No 'The Wall', now it's a 'serious vetting process'. No 'Drain the Swamp', now it's no fresh-blood, instead insider IDIQNB merc service contracts for Executive, collateralized with a big red bow by Jared Kushner. No 'Hillary in Chains'. No 'Muslim Ban'. A 24k Ziggurat in Jerusalem, as soon as DJT throws another 10,000,000 Christians to the lions. Poor Pence is humming 'The Old Grey Mare' to himself in 4:4 time, his eyes sunken, screaming inside his skull, 'Take me now, Jesus!' Just look at him! He needs some Aderall and a martooni, stat! We all do!! 343,000 jobs lost since Trump was selected, and no 5-Year Economic Plan, just sideways drift as USTs get ready to Baa3.

Major Assets Grift, Again
MAGA!
#TRD

Posted by: TheRealDonald | Jan 23, 2017 9:14:30 PM | 64

terry | Jan 23, 2017 6:10:55 PM | 44
Exactly what part of my linked video was conspiracy theory? Fact is Trump as surrounded himself with Ashkenazi jews. Which is not a good thing. If you know the history of War and the truth behind 911.

Posted by: ron demarco | Jan 23, 2017 9:17:04 PM | 65

re digression

As a German I am embarrassed on how much my government failed to anticipate Trump and, since he is elected, fails to prepare for the coming onslaught on its export orientated economic model. Wages in Germany were held down by all means (including by importing additional workforce from Syria and elsewhere) and a huge export surplus was created that benefited only a few moneyed pockets. The scheme created a huge imbalance in Europe and the credit crisis in Spain, Greece and elsewhere. Trump's policies will finally blow this model apart.

Frankly you should be grateful that Germany did as well as it did out of the last years. We've seen it in the world I work in, there's a lot of money.

By contrast, I went to Spain twice in February and October. Profiting well from European subventions, Andalusia is prosperous, thanks to the EU.

So who is suffering? Well, the Greeks. A miniature economy, dominated by corruption and lack of resources. Any rational EU would not have admitted them, but then you know, there's the emotion of the origins of Europe, although most of them are actually Albanian today.

The EU is actually doing pretty well, for all it's achieved. And I'm a Brit.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 23, 2017 9:43:31 PM | 66

I want to repeat this upstream comment and add follow on thoughts
"
I've long wanted to start a political party based on a good ideology. The problem isn't ideology. You absolutely have to have ideology. One of our biggest problems today is that no one actually bothers to try to develop ideology. What we have is an overabundance of pragmatism married to hideous caricatures of outmoded ideologies that were bad when they weren't outmoded.

Posted by: paul | Jan 23, 2017 7:16:09 PM | 53
"
I am watching with anticipation to see if ANY discussion of ideology or social organizational structure occur. I doubt it but the opportunity should exist more than before. Will the existing cabal of global families that own the tools of private finance and most of everything else (the "hideous caricatures of outmoded ideologies that were bad when they weren't outmoded" sort) retain their species dominance?

Trump is an Apprentice at the club of global oligarchy. Will he get fired during his US president tenure? Which media get the scoops about it? Any "alternative facts" involved?

Stay tuned and watch the puppets in front of the curtain. Think nothing of how the world really works behind the curtain.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 23, 2017 9:48:53 PM | 67

I guess the politicians in the vassal states will now be living in fear that the full text of the TPP may be made public. Trump usurping the throne from the anointed one has thrown them all in confusion.
For the Australian and Dutch politicians involved there will also be MH17 to fear. No doubt other countries have similar bones in their closets.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 23, 2017 10:05:03 PM | 68

Laguerre, no the EU is not doing well. There are millions of Frenchmen in the USA, Canada, Switzerland working at any job they can get because there are no jobs in France. There haven't been any for twenty years. They all got shipped to the cheaper EU countries.

Posted by: mischi | Jan 23, 2017 10:19:49 PM | 69

b: “The NYT seems astonished that, unlike Obama, Trump stands by his words.”

Yes, sir, we’re all going to be shocked at the sight of a politician actually making good on his promises. It wasn’t just Obama, it’s every freakin’ person who has ever held the office going back as far as I can remember, which is Dwight.

On Friday DumboDon promised to wipe ISIS off the face of the earth. By Sunday his new Secretary of Defense, Mad Dog Mattis, had already carried out 33 sorties on the head choppers. Early this morning there was chatter that seemed to come from Iraq Oil Report claiming al-Baghdadi had been killed or critically injured in the latest US airstrikes.

I know, I know . . . how many times have we heard that? But I hope it’s straight this time. Just think of that: Mattis, the jarhead general, taking out that shit-for-brains Salafist on the general’s second day on the job.

Prediction: Mattis will clear Deir Ez-zor of Daesh before St. Paddy's Day, and I mean the governorate, not just the city. DumboDon has made it clear that his priority is wiping Daesh from the face of the earth. Assad is secondary or tertiary concern. From here on in it's Katie-bar-the-door and the caliphate will disappear faster than a piss-puddle in the desert. And then everybody will look back at Obama and say "WTF were you doing?"

Oooh Rah!! Oooh Rah!! Oooh Rah!! (Seal Team 6 my ass.)

Semper fi

OK, I'll calm down now. . .

Posted by: Denis | Jan 23, 2017 10:58:27 PM | 70

re 69

no the EU is not doing well. There are millions of Frenchmen in the USA

So? There are millions of Brits doing the same. Actually you're a bit out of date. If I sniff out the situation well, the numbers of young French happy with their jobs in the City is declining. I go to London on friday, and plan to discover sth about the situation.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 23, 2017 11:19:54 PM | 71

@57 laguerre.. i think the us does have better coordinates, but they don't bomb isis/al qaeda as they were hoping to use them to take out assad.. now that appears to be different here under trump..

regarding tpp and global trade... it doesn't work for local communities.. this is one reason i like the trump rheutoric on 'buy america' and etc.. it is a step back towards supporting local communities, especially the smaller ones that have been gutted by this global economy bullshite.. start with food.. buy local.. screw the agri-biz corps.. they deserve it for trying to poison everyone..

Posted by: james | Jan 23, 2017 11:22:38 PM | 72

@Jackrabbit 27
I recall you compared Trump to Gorbachev at one point. But that's illustrative; Gorbachev had to do some serious maneuvering to bring glasnost and perestroika forward (and even then, many were angry he didn't go far enough, and covered for the state over issues like Chernobyl). A couple things for you to consider:

1) Notice that Bernie Sander's biggest enemies were not Republicans, they were corporate Democrats with close ties to Wall Street interests like Hillary Clinton? That's the war within the DNC, the current struggle inside the Democratic Party to oust Clintonites, while trying to maintain the image of "party unity" - close quarters knife fights in the dark, more like.

2) Who do you think Trump's biggest enemies are? It's not Democrats, no, it's neocon Republicans like McCain and Graham, who notably coordinated the "support ISIS" program with the Saudis in covert meetings in 2012 and 2013 - who leaked that nasty Trump dossier, wasn't it McCain? Why are some Republicans going with knives out for Trump, much more than any Democrats are? See the Bernie Sanders story above.

Here's a picture that says a thousand words on this issue:
http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/files/2015/03/arabia-mccain-polesi-1024x712.jpg

Yes, McCain and Pelosi going to kiss the arse of the new Saudi king, having a good laugh together. This points to a more serious issue of bipartisan corruption in the United States, something similar to what existed in the old Soviet Union under Brezhnev in the 1970s. A few people have pointed this out, for example:
Ron Paul says US going like USSR, Jul 2016

These problems are severe, says Paul, who opines that “we’re witnessing” in American now “something similar to the breakup of the Soviet system” decades earlier. Paul says the Soviet Union system didn’t work then, just like the United States system doesn’t work now.

Now, if that happens, then the bureaucratic insider infighting will be the central issue, and that could by why we're seeing so much Democrat-on-Democrat and Republican-on-Republican conflicts. The obvious alternative, that some groups of Sanders Democrats could work together with some groups of Trump Republicans to get rid of the insiders entirely, well. . . I call that a tentative working plan,

Posted by: nonsense factory | Jan 23, 2017 11:26:37 PM | 73

why anyone wastes a nanosecond paying attention to what mccain or graham say only makes sense if one wants to know how neo con/warmonger central sees something.. otherwise these 2 are total trash..

Posted by: james | Jan 24, 2017 12:12:22 AM | 74

http://theduran.com/second-heavy-russian-air-strike-isis-deir-ezzor/
As reports speak of a slight easing of the crisis facing the Syrian troops besieged in the eastern desert town of Deir Ezzor, reports confirm a further heavy Russian air strike on ISIS positions near the town.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jan 24, 2017 12:52:58 AM | 75

Laguerre | Jan 23, 2017 8:03:47 PM | 57 "In any case, has the US better coordinates? If they did, ISIS would be dead."

Laguerre, you haven't heard the audio of Kerry saying they were hoping for ISIS to overthrow Assad? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3KfmjdviHM
The US have been working with ISIS either through intermediaries or direct. Most likely US personnel on the ground in the US attack on Deir Ezzor. The US have been working with AQ in Syria, either direct or through intermediaries.
Apart from having better imaging and electronic intel, if not in quality in quantity, they have better intel on ISIS/AQ co-ord's because they were former allies.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 24, 2017 12:54:48 AM | 76

@74 james
yes, you're right but it's so bizarre a Republican, McCain, going over the top in an attempt to sabotage his own party's Presidential winner by distributing that dossier, I can't think of anything like it in past elections.
McCain-Graham support for arming ISIS goes back to 2012
http://thehill.com/policy/defense/211597-mccain-graham-call-for-us-to-arm-syrian-rebels

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who both serve on the Senate Armed Services committee, argued that arming rebel fighters in the country could help beat back a Syrian government with close ties to Iran.

Some dirty history there, is what it looks like. The whole story has yet to be written, and there are many who hope that it won't be.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Jan 24, 2017 12:58:09 AM | 77

A relevant repost from the Not-Hillary Thread that is directly relevant to a number of comments, pro & con re zionist vs zionist-not & corporate boot-licker vs 'working class' & union acclaim re policy effects & TPP in particular:

Now this is very interesting ... effectively an example of the MSM unreported direct 'quotes', buried deep down at the back end of a Bloomberg article, without any wider context, nor lead-in, about 'The Hungarian government intentions to Ban All Soro's NGO's' in the country, post Trumps election:

Trump, has also accused Soros, 86, of being part of "a global power structure," that "robbed" the working class in favor of putting "money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities".

In a pre-election commercial, he showed images of Soros along with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, all of whom are Jewish. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) criticized the ad for touching on "subjects that anti-Semites have used for ages".

YMMV

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 24, 2017 1:11:49 AM | 78

@ Posted by: nonsense factory | Jan 24, 2017 12:58:09 AM | 76

The whole story has yet to be written, and there are many who hope that it won't be.

Touche!

Also of note is a noticeable reduction in the toxicity of McCain's 'public' rhetoric over the last five days ... the new owners of the GOP, or others (?), appear to have pulled hard on his leash ... using a true, factual, 'Dossier', as opposed to a bought/fabricated one, on 'Songbird' himself & his past deeds & beholden associations, perhaps ? ;)

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 24, 2017 1:19:25 AM | 79

Another non-policy matter was noticed, which we can hope is only trivial: http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2017/01/donald-trumps-bodyguard

Too many hyphens. The rest reads bodyguard has fake arms.

Posted by: Penelope | Jan 24, 2017 1:52:07 AM | 80

Further to administration appointment confirmations:

Tillerson Wins Senate Panel’s Backing for Secretary of State (Bloomberg)

- Vote clears way for full Senate to confirm former Exxon chief
- Senate confirms Representative Pompeo to head the CIA

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved Rex Tillerson’s nomination as secretary of state, clearing the way for the full Senate to confirm one of President Donald Trump’s most critical cabinet choices.

...

The committee sent Tillerson’s nomination to the full Senate, where united support from majority Republicans all but ensures final approval. Trump has complained about the slow pace of confirmation for his nominees, although the Senate on Monday confirmed Representative Mike Pompeo of Kansas as head of the CIA on a vote of 66-32. Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly were confirmed last week.

re Five-Eyes, the Anti-Trump faction & Globalists(?), a further example re vassal States 'Odd' behaviors:

The Australian: Cyber risk to elections, spies warn
(from The Australian AUS NYT Equivalent(?), another Rupert Murdock(FOX News etc) dishrag)
(Google search/redirect link bypasses 'Paywall')

Defence intelligence officials will take the unprecedented step of ­secretly briefing Australia’s political party leaders and administrators to warn them they are vulnerable to the Russian-style cyber-attacks and espionage that rocked the US election.

For the first time, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) has been asked by the government to ­advise political party bosses on how to protect against cyber ­attacks and on the use of covert nation-state manipulation of ­political ­issues and elections.

The Australian has learned that the key administrators and political leaders of the parties represented in parliament will be called to a classified briefing by the ASD’s Australian Cyber Security Centre when parliament resumes ...

Re vassal States, displaying odd behavior, as an example ...

My understanding, was the current AUS government & parties (Coalition of(?)) were supposedly ideologically aligned with the GOP, not the Dems ... yet along with the bizarre behavior re TPP, have displayed remarkable alignment with the Anti-Trump faction(Globalists(?)) ... also note the crap about Russia Hacking elections, and the ASD, the AUS equivalent of NSA/GCHQ 'informing' the 'supposed', government of the day 'How it is!'. Five-Eyes supra-national intelligence agencies hard at work, yet again ?!

And IIRC, don't they still exclusively use pen & paper(?), no computers, re elections ? So how could an election, possibly be 'Hacked' ?!
Hm ?

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 24, 2017 2:42:43 AM | 81

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 24, 2017 2:42:43 AM | 80

Australian politicians are aligned with the hegemon. One and all. They are still coming to terms with, or refusing to believe the fact that the throne has been usurped and times are changing. Australian intelligence service's first loyalty is to the hegemon, not Australia.
No politician goes anywhere unless they are loyal to the ideology of the hegemon. All parties have faithfully followed foreign policy that is delivered direct from the US embassy.
Now they are running around in confusion with the tattered remnants of the TPP in their hands, blaming the bad ruskies for their woes, and worrying about MH17 seeing the light of day.
A French revolution, Pol Pot type occurrence here would do no harm.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 24, 2017 4:27:39 AM | 82

In response to mischi @22:

The Reformation saw Britain, the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia breaking away from Rome. Likewise, we're going to see not only the UK, but also the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia either leaving the European Union, or vastly reduce the authority of the EU.

Posted by: passerby | Jan 24, 2017 4:36:03 AM | 83

Every person he has ever picked to do an important job has performed superbly, and it's a long list.
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 23, 2017 7:44:45 PM | 56

That's why it is important his cabinet can start.
But first there has to be a fight in the Senate...

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2017/01/23/cabinet_fight_previews_tough_road_ahead_in_senate_132870.html

Senators argued bitterly over Cabinet appointments in the hours following President Trump taking the oath of office, with some Republicans suggesting Democrats were having a “temper tantrum” about the election outcome. Several Democrats, meanwhile, blocked Trump’s nominee for CIA director from swift confirmation despite overwhelming support, pushing for a more thorough debate.

The spat Friday capped an acrimonious beginning to the new Congress and set a potentially hostile tone of partisanship as Republicans’ took control of Washington, signaling potentially lengthy fights to come.

Posted by: From The Hague | Jan 24, 2017 4:36:21 AM | 84

The USA is also about so see 50 years of gains in minority, women's and LGBT rights eroded. From a European perspective, a lot of what Trump is doing or plans to accomplish might seem okay, but it should serve to remind you not to take any personal freedoms for granted.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jan 24, 2017 4:40:22 AM | 85

@ Outraged 80

If Trump does follow through and drain the swamp in Washington, there will be a mass die off of swamp creatures in the vassal states.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 24, 2017 4:42:00 AM | 86

@Outraged 80

Yes we do use pen and paper and manual counting, so difficult to see how the system could be hacked. I think the key concern of politicians is that alternative sources of "truth" are available to the masses.

There is a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth in the Coalition (current government) ranks today about the demise of the TPP. As far as I can gather the Coalition is feigning surprise, and saying that it is all Labor's fault, for reasons I cannot fathom.

A week after the election of Trump the Coalition, through the intellectually challenged media here, was saying that the US would take large numbers of asylum seekers from Manus Island and Nauru, where Australia now parks them. How could that happen given Trump's stance on immigration (and muslim immigration in particular) and given the time it takes to process these people? It now seems - as it always did - that that deal is very unlikely to happen. It is as if neither the Coalition nor the media here are listening to what Trump is saying.

http://www.asyluminsight.com/media-round-ups/#.WIcgTPF96Cg

Posted by: dynkyd | Jan 24, 2017 4:42:23 AM | 87

Pentagon chief vows ‘unshakable commitment’ to NATO
http://presstv.com/Detail/2017/01/24/507519/US-NATO-Trump-Mattis-UK-Fallon-Stoltenberg

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 24, 2017 4:47:06 AM | 88

lysias @ 21 says:

Can we be sure Trump signed off on those drone strikes in Yemen?

Can we even be sure the drone strikes occurred?

well, by the way this news is plastered all over the MSM, if he didn't, and we can't, then he should elucidate.

otherwise, the honor is all his.

Posted by: john | Jan 24, 2017 6:21:36 AM | 89


In reply to Laguerre, 66.

For what it's worth I happen to think that b's view of the German economy is correct, and have thought that way for the past 20 years, but that's based on personal impressions. I've no data to offer you, at least none that's conclusive, because the data can be interpreted so many ways.

I can understand your contrary view though, because when you say "Frankly you should be grateful that Germany did as well as it did out of the last years. We've seen it in the world I work in, there's a lot of money.", that's precisely how many of my friends, here and in Germany, see it as well. There's an amazing amount of money around in both countries. I'm not talking about the .01%, just normal people who are in good jobs or people who've retired from such jobs.

But I'm getting the impression that that's top end stuff, and that that top end isn't as secure as it was. I get more than an impression, in fact I know it to be the truth, that the number of people who are nowhere near that fortunate position is larger than it used to be.

It's also my impression that the two groups are drawing further apart, not merely in expectation but in outlook. We're closer to the "Two Nations" scenario that Disraeli identified so long ago than we have been before in my lifetime. On the one hand I have prosperous friends saying "Hertz IV is really quite generous. I'd have no difficulty getting along on that, if I had to. What's all the fuss about? Why can't these people just get on with it?" On the other I meet people, many people, who know that the life their parents and grandparents took for granted isn't ever going to be on offer for them. And they don't like being told that that's because they're lazy or unenterprising and that if they tried a bit harder they could manage.

How do we decide between your and b's view? The personal "impressions" I've been putting forward here are only that, and besides I might be seeing what I want to see to fit in with my own views. And the economic data, as I have said, can be interpreted by the economists in so many ways, and is, that it's scarcely proof of any point of view.

The only metric that can be used to arrive on solid ground is the electoral one. That's severely flawed but it gives a rough idea. By that metric things aren't going too well. I think we can agree on that. For too many people the economy isn't delivering.

For people like me that's a call to arms. I happen to think that things aren't going too well on so many fronts that we need radical reform, and that that reform needs to go deeper than just fiddling around with a few taxes or tariffs. But even for people like you who are reasonably contented with the way things are, those election figures should be at the least a warning sign. That can't be dismissed by putting down emerging political movements such as the Trump movement as "populist" or "extreme", and assuming that once their supporters come to their right minds again they'll see the light and fall back into line. They are already in their right minds. Very much so. They see things getting worse for them and they won't have it if they can avoid it.

You are, I think, English, so you'll know that for two or three centuries the English constitutional tradition managed to avoid the clash between people who hold your views and people who hold mine ever coming to a fight. Good thing too. Revolutions never fulfil their dreams and fights are always destructive. That tradition resulted often in ignoble compromise and messy deals, but in essence it offered a slow advance. I think it's time for those who subscribe to the current mantras to understand that their Weltanschauung needs adjustment, that bending is better than breaking, and that it's time to look over the fence and take into account what the other lot wants.

Posted by: EnglishOutsider | Jan 24, 2017 6:42:25 AM | 90

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-talks-idUSKBN1580PW
By Suleiman Al-Khalidi and John Irish | ASTANA

Russia, Turkey and Iran on Tuesday were working on a statement to reaffirm a fragile ceasefire between Syrian warring parties that could agree to establishing a mechanism to observe its compliance and pave the way for a U.N.-led peace settlement.

Delegations from the Syrian government and opposition were holding indirect talks for a second day in the Kazakh capital at a time when Turkey, which backs the rebels, and Russia, which supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, each want to disentangle themselves from the fighting.

That has led them into an ad-hoc alliance that some believe represents the best chance for progress toward a peace deal, especially with the United States distracted by domestic issues.

However, after two days of deliberations an initial draft communique seen by Reuters suggests the powers have agreed little beyond reaffirming the need for a political resolution and to reaffirm a Dec. 30 ceasefire that each side accuses the other of violating.

Delegates from Russia, Turkey and Iran were wrangling over the terms of the final communique which would need to be approved - though not formally signed - by the government and opposition delegations.

U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, attending the Astana talks, said the three powers were closing in on a final statement that would reaffirm and strengthen the current cessation of hostilities between the warring parties.

"We're not far from a final declaration," he told reporters.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jan 24, 2017 6:46:15 AM | 91

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi and John Irish | ASTANA

Russia, Turkey and Iran on Tuesday were working on a statement to reaffirm a fragile ceasefire between Syrian warring parties that could agree to establishing a mechanism to observe its compliance and pave the way for a U.N.-led peace settlement.

Delegations from the Syrian government and opposition were holding indirect talks for a second day in the Kazakh capital at a time when Turkey, which backs the rebels, and Russia, which supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, each want to disentangle themselves from the fighting.

That has led them into an ad-hoc alliance that some believe represents the best chance for progress toward a peace deal, especially with the United States distracted by domestic issues.

However, after two days of deliberations an initial draft communique seen by Reuters suggests the powers have agreed little beyond reaffirming the need for a political resolution and to reaffirm a Dec. 30 ceasefire that each side accuses the other of violating.

Delegates from Russia, Turkey and Iran were wrangling over the terms of the final communique which would need to be approved - though not formally signed - by the government and opposition delegations.

U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, attending the Astana talks, said the three powers were closing in on a final statement that would reaffirm and strengthen the current cessation of hostilities between the warring parties.

"We're not far from a final declaration," he told reporters.

Diplomats said there was a nuance in the language being used, with the Syrian government opposed to the use of the word ceasefire as opposed to cessation of hostilities, which suggests more short-term arrangements.

"There are pledges from the Russian side to reinforce the ceasefire in areas where there are continued violations, but we're waiting for more than just statements," senior opposition negotiator Osama Abu Zaid told reporters.

A rebel source said they were discussing a draft of the final text with their Turkish backers.

A Syrian government source said consultations were ongoing to break obstacles presented by Turkey, which he said was trying to introduce elements beyond the Astana framework.

The draft statement from Monday includes a paragraph suggesting the powers would either consider or establish "a trilateral mechanism to observe and ensure full compliance with the ceasefire, prevent any provocation and determine all modalities."

Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Tuesday that this had now been agreed between the three. [ID:nI7N1F600Q]

Some observers said the meeting could jump-start U.N.-led negotiations which de Mistura hopes to reconvene next month after suspending them nine months ago.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jan 24, 2017 6:49:48 AM | 92

Thank you b, you have more focus than MCM.

Chris @ 1

Trump and his opponents aren't playing the same game, but rather than chess vs. checkers, I'd suggest Beer Pong vs. looking for a toilet to vomit into.

Posted by: Enrico Malatesta | Jan 24, 2017 6:55:58 AM | 93

In reply to Laguerre, 66

Correction. "Hartz IV", not "Hertz IV".

Posted by: EnglishOutsider | Jan 24, 2017 7:29:25 AM | 94

lysias

i did find this

The strikes, which were later confirmed by the Pentagon, did not require Trump to sign off on them. Under then-President Barack Obama, the authority to order such strikes in Yemen was devolved to the four-star commander of US Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel

Posted by: john | Jan 24, 2017 7:51:35 AM | 95

@ crone 52
Good point about media change. A few weeks ago, I saw a story/pic about the press traveling with Obama and the picture had the usual pro-Obama/Dem types like Lester Holt, Andrea Mitchell (Greenspan), Cecilia Vega, etc.

And here TIME (part of Establishment news) plays the game:
http://time.com/4638565/donald-trump-press-access/
It's funny to read Obama acting like the press has held anybody accountable.

Posted by: Curtis | Jan 24, 2017 8:30:31 AM | 96

@11 rg the lg
“Unless and until Trump starts pulling the military out of those countries it infests, I'm thinking that not much has changed”


There is already a fundamental change taking place under the radar, that is the ostracization of the neocon faction. In their hubris it seems the neocons have performed a collective form of hara-kiri with their all-out assault on Trump. The ‘crazies in the basement’ (as Bush 41 called them) are slinking back to their think tanks and whatever other rocks they crawled out from under, defanged, de-balled, and hopefully dead and buried.

Should Trump decide to ‘drain the swamp’ by getting rid of the neocon sympathizers already imbedded within the corridors of power (unfortunately McCain and Graham are beyond reach), the prospects for a rational foreign policy would be greatly enhanced. As it is, the elimination of the influence of this malignant force upon US foreign policy is in itself a cause for celebration.


The Neocon Lament - Philip Giraldi
Nobody wants them in Trump's Washington
http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/the-neocon-lament/

There is no limit to the hubris driven hypocrisy of America’s stalwart neoconservatives. A recent Washington Post front page article entitled “‘Never Trump’ national-security Republicans fear they have been blacklisted” shares with the reader the heartbreak of those so-called GOP foreign policy experts who have apparently been ignored by the presidential transition team seeking to staff senior positions in the new administration.

snip

And there may be yet another shocker in store for the neocons thanks to Trump. The fact that the new administration is drawing on the business world for staffing senior positions means that he has been less interested in hiring think tank and revolving door academic products to fill the government bureaucracies. This has led Josh Rogin of the Washington Post to warn that the death of think tanks as we know them could be on the horizon.

snip

It is a pleasure to watch the think tanks begin thinking of their own demises. It is also intriguing to speculate that Trump with his populist message might just take it all one step farther and shut the door on the K Street lobbyists and other special interests, which have symbiotic relationships with the think tanks. The think tanks sit around and come up with formulations that benefit certain groups, individuals and corporate interests and then reap the rewards when the cash is handed out at the end of the year. How fantastic it would be to see lobbies and the parasites who work for them put out of business, particularly if our much beloved neoconservatives are simultaneously no longer calling the shots on national security policy and their think tanks are withering on the vine. What a wonderful world it would be.

Posted by: pantaraxia | Jan 24, 2017 9:12:01 AM | 98

The left is in complete disarray. Still haven't been able to self diagnose their blind rage. You'd think they'd be happy with the demolition of the TPP...instead they're off marching for...umm...not sure what.

Graham and McCain might feel untouchable in a swamp drain, though I dont see them looking to cosy after a commission into Islamic terror outs their handywork - among others. Should prove entertaining.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Jan 24, 2017 9:42:27 AM | 99

Some people are comparing the current presidency with the German govt from 1933. I do not think that the comparison with Germany in 1933 is helpful. What we are dealing with here is not a second rank imperialist power aiming to be the top imperialist power, but the already top imperialist power. The politics of the German government in the 1930s were the outcome of an already long existing imperialist strategy going back many decades. The USA is the super power with only two rivals, Russia and China both of which are inferior to it in military power. Neither is able to threaten it. The long term strategy of the US bourgeois state has been to break up first the USSR and then Russia as its most serious military rival.
They have aimed to use Islamic radicalism and Ukrainian fascism as part of this long term strategy: islamic radicalism being aimed at the states on the southern border and Ukrainian fascism on the western border. The aim is the breakup of Russia into a number of smaller states which can be easily dominated by the USA and by US companies.

In the context of this long term strategy of US imperialism, Clinton was the war candidate, the most agressively anti-Russian of the two. Trump was the peace candidate with respect to Russia.

What we have is a split within the US Oligarchy between the Trump faction and the existing military intelligence apparattus. This split within the ruling class produces splits within the state apprattus, with the CIA aligning with Clinton and a significant fraction of the military and part of the FBI ( New York office in particular ) aligning with Trump.

This is a period of real instability in the ruling class, unprecedented for different sections of the intelligence community to intervene on different sides in an election.

The question is why Trump has a different strategy?

You only have to listen to his speeches to see: his section of the bourgoisie - realestate, energy see that the internal productive base of the US has been undermined by the policy of outsourcing production to China that has been followed by many manufacturing companies: hence the emphasis on restoring the infrastructure and domestic manufacturing and energy production. The energy sector also stands to gain from good relations with Russia in being able to get concessions on oil extraction there.

The large number of Generals backing him, reflects I think the realisation that whilst the US armed forces have the power to easily subdue minor powers, an actual invasion of Russia would be very foolhardy and that was where the policy of the Democrats was leading.

The instability of the ruling class should, in principle, open up opportunities for the left in the US, but they are so split and alienated from the mass of the working classes there that they have little chance. Indeed the Republicans are making a convincing move to gain working class support:

(WASHINGTON) – The following is a statement from Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa on President Donald Trump signing an executive order to formally withdraw the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership.
“Today, President Trump made good on his campaign promise to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. With this decision, the president has taken the first step toward fixing 30 years of bad trade policies that have cost working Americans millions of good-paying jobs.
“The Teamsters Union has been on the frontline of the fight to stop destructive trade deals like the TPP, China PNTR, CAFTA and NAFTA for decades. Millions of working men and women saw their jobs leave the country as free trade policies undermined our manufacturing industry. We hope that President Trump’s meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Jan. 31 opens a real dialogue about fixing the flawed NAFTA.
“We take this development as a positive sign that President Trump will continue to fulfill his campaign promises in regard to trade policy reform and instruct the USTR to negotiate future agreements that protect American workers and industry.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.
You have to take into account that the left/right positioning of these bourgeois parties is contingent on historical circumstances. For a long time the Republicans were the Left and the Democrats the Right - hence the confusing use of red and blue in the US which is the opposite of europe. In the 19th century the Republicans were the reds aligned with the commune in France and the war against the confederacy. It is quite possible that we are seeing another reversal of the positions of the parties as occured in the 30s with Roosevelt II, it is only since him that the democrats took up the position of favouring the working class interest. Remember that under Roosevelt I the Republicans were the progressive party.

Posted by: Paul C | Jan 24, 2017 9:51:08 AM | 100

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