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Trump wags the dog

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arirish View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arirish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 10 2017 at 1:33pm


The US strike on Syria carries convenient victories for both Putin and Trump


The US attack on an airfield believed to have been used by Syrian President Bashar Assad's military to launch a deadly chemical-weapons attack early last week has given Russia a renewed purpose for staying mired in a war that remains popular at home while allowing Moscow to paint itself as a foil to US "aggression."

It has also allowed US President Donald Trump to deflect criticism that he is overly beholden to Russia and insensitive to Assad's brutal, scorched-earth campaign against Syrian civilians and rebel groups.

Both Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, and prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, have doubled down on their support for Assad — condemning US "aggression" against what they view as Assad's "legitimate" government — since the US targeted Shayrat airfield with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles last week.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin's spokesman, told reporters last week that it was "indisputable" that the US strike on Syria "was carried out for the benefit of ISIS and other terrorist organizations." Medvedev said on Facebook that Trump "proved" he would "fiercely fight the legitimate Syrian government" instead of against "the biggest enemy, ISIS."

The strike has provided fodder for Moscow, which has been given a clean slate to continue to paint the Syrian conflict as a binary and two-dimensional fight between a legitimate government, supported by Russia, and "terrorists," supported by the US.

(Moscow and Damascus have long used the word "terrorists" to describe a range of actors opposed to Assad, from moderate rebel groups fighting for regime change to terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS, whose goal is to establish a pan-Islamist caliphate.)

That narrative, which had been fueled by the Obama administration's limited but overt support for various rebel groups opposed to Assad, has allowed Putin to garner popular domestic support for the war effort. Less than 20% of Russians think the war doesn't make sense, according to The New York Times. And it has provided a distraction from the country's protracted economic stagnation.

As the Associated Press reported last year, Russia's intervention in Syria "at little cost" had "demonstrated Russia's might, turned the course of the war, and made sure that Russia is once again treated as a world power on a par with the United States." Russia's help in winning back Syria's largest city, Aleppo, from the opposition added to Russians' perception of the intervention as one worth their time and money.

Whereas the US was meddling in the affairs of a sovereign state to bolster extremists, the messaging went, Russia was fighting terrorists with Assad's blessing.

As The Guardian's Martin Chulov wrote on Monday, there is still "no mood in Moscow to concede any ground on Syria to the US – and a calculation that Rex Tillerson," the US secretary of state, "won't be pushing too hard anyway."

Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani — also a staunch Assad ally — agreed on "the
inadmissibility of aggressive US actions against a sovereign state in violation of international law" in a call Sunday.

The joint command operation center of Syrian allies, a group that includes Russia and Iran, characterized the US as an "occupying force" in a separate statement later that day.

"Rest assured that we will liberate Syria from all kinds of occupying forces, it does not matter from where they came to the occupied part of Syria," the group warned in a statement. "Russia and Iran will not allow the United States to be the only superpower in world."

The use of the US as a Russian (and Iranian) foil hung in the balance as Trump campaigned on increased cooperation with both Assad and Russia against ISIS. The reality of Trump's presidency, moreover, meant the loss of a known, and convenient, Kremlin adversary in Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

But in launching a military response that would have been unthinkable under Obama, Trump has both renewed and emboldened Putin's sense of purpose in defending Assad and painting the US as the aggressor. It has also allowed Russia to revert to its best-rehearsed, and most well-received, talking point: The US is an imperialistic actor with an impulsive leader whose loyalty lies not to his people but with "the establishment."

"This military action is a clear indication of the US president's extreme dependency on the opinion of the Washington establishment, the one that the new president strongly criticized in his inauguration speech," Medvedev wrote on Facebook.

"Soon after his victory, I noted that everything would depend on how soon Trump's election promises would be broken by the existing power machine. It took only two and a half months," he added.

The attack was ordered as investigations by the FBI and the House and Senate intelligence committees into Trump's ties to Russia were reaching a boiling point in the media. Those who had been frustrated by the continuing investigations felt vindicated by the strike, which they saw as evidence that Trump was not beholden to Putin or Moscow.


http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-syria-strike-us-russia-relations-ties-2017-4
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 10 2017 at 9:22pm
Originally posted by Satori Satori wrote:

70 million dollars worth of ordinance and ya can't take out a runway ?

That's why they make cluster bombs.  We have those for the cruise missiles, not sure why we didn't deploy them.  Probably not enough time to prepare the warheads is my guess.  

Do it again.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 11 2017 at 9:48am
Or the deal was that after the show, the airstrip would be operational for Syrian and Russian jets again by the following day...


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"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 11 2017 at 9:32pm
Jacksdad we Deffo on the same wavelength or very very cynical like me 😂
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arirish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 13 2017 at 8:45am
Trump allies: Syria strike proves he’s not in bed with Putin


Supporters are looking to change the subject as Trump’s Russia cloud grows.

By Austin Wright
| 04/12/17 06:04 PM EDT


Donald Trump’s allies and aides are so eager to rebuff charges that the president is in Vladimir Putin’s pocket that they’re seizing on last week’s strikes on Syria as the latest proof for their case.

Amid a seemingly never-ending stream of revelations about the Trump campaign’s Russia entanglements, White House boosters are keen to note the bombing of the Bashar Assad regime, for its alleged chemical weapons attack, has fueled a major rift with Russia, a key Syrian ally.


“If Donald Trump is in bed with Putin, why did he just kick him in the balls?” longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone asked in an interview Wednesday — a sentiment echoed in less colorful terms recently by Trump’s son Eric, White House press secretary Sean Spicer and a number of right-wing commentators.

Congressional Democrats and liberal advocates, meanwhile, say the argument is the latest in a string of diversionary tactics meant to distract from Trump’s ballooning Russia scandal, which has already ensnared close advisers, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“I am disturbed that the president’s supporters would distract the American people from what our main focus should be related to Syria — Assad’s six-year long murderous rampage against the Syrian people, supported by President Putin,” Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement.

“That they would try and make this false distinction again underscores why we need an independent commission to investigate Russia’s attack on our democracy,” Cardin continued. “The president also must lay out a clear strategy for ending the war in Syria.”

Sabrina Singh, a spokeswoman for the Democratic opposition research group American Bridge, said Trump’s allies are “grasping at straws.”

"If this whole effort was launched to try and create distance between Trump and Russia — as his allies are suggesting — then the president is an even more disgusting person than we previously thought,” Singh said. “And that's saying a lot.”

Since his inauguration, Trump’s White House has been under a growing Russia-related cloud, particularly over allegations that some of his campaign aides may have colluded with Moscow in its campaign to damage Hillary Clinton. Trump’s allies are desperate to change the topic and move on.

“So much for the idea that Vladimir Putin was believed to give Donald Trump the presidency,” CNN political commentator and Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord declared on Tuesday.

This week, though, has been particularly bad for Trump, with major new reports about two of his campaign advisers’ ties to Moscow.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the FBI got a warrant last summer to monitor former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page because of suspicions he was acting as an agent of Russia. And the Associated Press on Wednesday revealed further evidence that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort received off-the-books payments from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

The House and Senate Intelligence Committees are investigating Russia’s meddling in the presidential election, as is the FBI.

The House panel has been in a state of turmoil of late, though some lawmakers are hopeful it can get back on track after embattled Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) announced he would step aside from leading his panel’s probe. Members of both parties have expressed confidence in the Senate investigation, which has begun conducting interviews with the intelligence analysts behind January’s assessment that Russia sought to sway the election for Trump.

But a number of Democrats, including Cardin, are calling for a more independent probe run by an outside commission or a select committee — something Republican leaders have rejected in favor of the investigations run by the secretive intelligence panels.

“In reality,” Singh said, Trump’s decision to bomb the Assad regime “changes nothing with respect to the multiple ongoing investigations of Trump's ties to Russia.”

On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly praised Putin and expressed a desire to patch up relations with Russia after ties frayed under the Obama administration.

But in the first few months of Trump’s administration, it has become clear Russia and the United States are moving farther apart on key issues.

Trump’s cruise missile strike — which he said was retribution for Assad’s most recent use of chemical weapons against his own people — represented a major blow to U.S.-Russia relations, with Putin saying in a Russian television interview that under Trump the relationship “has not improved, but rather has deteriorated.”

Rex Tillerson, on his first trip to Russia as secretary of state, told reporters after a meeting with Putin Wednesday, “The current state of U.S.-Russia relations is at a low point.”

Trump’s son Eric has pointed to the deteriorating relationship as evidence that there never was any connection between his father and Russia.

“If there was anything that Syria did, it was to validate the fact that there is no Russia tie,” he told The Daily Telegraph Tuesday.

Asked at the White House about Eric Trump’s remarks, Spicer issued his latest broadside against those who accuse Trump of having nefarious ties to Moscow.

“Respectfully, almost every single day we've been asked about these so-called ties and back channels and whatever,” Spicer said, adding that it was notable the administration did not have a political discussion with Russia about its Syria strike ahead of time. “I think there is an acknowledgement at some point that if that was true, you would have seen some kind of [conversation] that clearly didn't happen.”

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/donald-trump-russia-ties-syria-237164
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 13 2017 at 10:21am
A MOAB has just been used for the first time in combat in Afghanistan.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/13/politics/afghanistan-isis-moab-bomb/



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arirish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 13 2017 at 1:31pm


Breaking: Former UK spy chief says Trump likely owes money to Russia



By Leah McElrath   |

April 13, 2017


Donald Trump's relationship with Russia, and the possibility that he is in a compromised position because of his financial ties, "lingers" over his presidency, according to the former head of the Britain's Secret Intelligence Service.

The former head of the British Secret Intelligence Service went on the record saying Donald Trump owes money to Russia, putting Trump in a compromised position that “lingers” over him as president.

Richard Dearlove, who led the Secret Intelligence Service, commonly referred to as MI6, from 1999-2004, stated in an interview with Prospect Magazine:


What lingers for Trump may be what deals—on what terms—he did after the financial crisis of 2008 to borrow Russian money when others in the west apparently would not lend to him.

In other words, deals Trump and his organization made during the 2008 financial crisis with Russian financiers, oligarchs, mobsters, or government entities could be used as a form of leverage over Trump’s actions as president.

With his repeated bankruptcies and business failures, Trump’s organization remains a “medium-to-high credit risk” and is considered “very likely to default” on payments, according to the organization Nav, which scores businesses credit ratings.

While Trump has often claimed to be a multi-billionaire, determining his exact net worth is difficult due to his lack of transparency and unwillingness to provide his tax returns. An evaluation perfumed by the financial giant Deutche Bank as part of a loan underwriting process in 2005 estimated Trump’s worth to be only $788 million.

As the Washington Post reported in July 2016, “There is strong evidence that Trump’s businesses have received significant funding from Russian investors.” In 2007, Trump was working with Mafia-linked Russian businessman Felix Slater to try to develop properties in Moscow. In a sworn deposition that year, Trump said, “Russia is one of the hottest places in the world for investment. … We will be in Moscow at some point.” In 2008, Trump made over $50 million on a property he sold in Palm Beach to a Russian multi-billionaire. Also in 2008, Donald Trump, Jr., spoke at a real estate conference in New York where he remarked:


Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.

Additionally, Trump has repeatedly bragged about his connections with Russian oligarchs.

As was recently reported, the British intelligence agency was the first to observe Trump’s unusual ties with Russia and to sound the alarm. As former head of MI6, Dearborn is certainly a credible source to provide warning about Trump’s likely debts to Russian entities and the potential compromised position Trump is in as a result. Given Trump’s record of constantly lying, even when faced with evidence that debunks his lies, his own continued assertions that he has “nothing to do with Russia” are suspect:

Calls for Donald Trump to release his tax returns were made over and over again throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, and Trump repeatedly and falsely claimed he could not release them because they were “under audit.”

Now that Trump holds the office of the presidency, and in light of the commentary by the former MI6 head about Trump’s likely Russian debts, it is more important than ever to demand Trump reveal to the American people the extent and nature of his investments and indebtedness to foreign nation states and to people in positions of foreign power.

If Trump is compromised by his foreign financial ties, he is unable to “faithfully execute” his duties as president of the United States.


http://shareblue.com/breaking-former-uk-spy-chief-says-trump-likely-owes-money-to-russia/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 13 2017 at 2:37pm
"USA Russian relation at lowest level ever"........(cuban missile crisis springs to mind)

and the Chump rides to the rescue and everything will be hunky dory.......(we bombed the empty runways......humrarr )

i cant belive they expect people to fall for it ........

but they are 

HOOK LINE AND SINKER........

talk about dumb.........




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 13 2017 at 3:08pm
US
 

Trump says 'things will work out fine' with Russia amid growing tension

United States President Donald Trump conducts a joint press conference with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of NATO at of the White House in Washington, DC on April 12, 2017. (AFP)

United States President Donald Trump conducts a joint press conference with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of NATO at of the White House in Washington, DC on April 12, 2017. (AFP)

US President Donald Trump expressed confidence Thursday that US-Russian relations will "work out fine" after icy bilateral talks in Moscow, as he looked to China to "deal properly" with North Korea.

Mr Trump faces crucial tests in the Middle East and the Korean peninsula, with tensions building on both fronts over a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria and a mounting challenge from North Korea's Kim Jong-il.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow Wednesday that relations between Washington and Moscow, a key ally of the Damascus regime, were at a "low point".

"Things will work out fine between the U.S.A. and Russia," Mr Trump wrote in his tweet.

"At the right time everyone will come to their senses & there will be lasting peace!"

The Russians are backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against US charges that his air force dropped a bomb loaded with the nerve agent sarin on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun on April 4, killing 87 people, many of them children.

Russia on Wednesday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution demanding that the Syrian government cooperate with an investigation into the attack.

In an exclusive interview with AFP, Mr Assad insisted his army had given up its chemical weapons and called reports of the attack "fabrication".

On North Korea, with Pyongyang reportedly poised to conduct a nuclear test, Mr Trump said he had "great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea".

He however added: "If they are unable to do so, the U.S., with its allies, will! U.S.A."

A US monitoring group said North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test site is "primed and ready" to conduct its sixth nuclear test, possibly to coincide with celebrations Saturday marking the birthdate of regime founder Kim Il-Sung.

The Voice of America, quoting US government and other sources, said North Korea "has apparently placed a nuclear device in a tunnel and it could be detonated Saturday AM Korea time".

Mr Trump has asked his advisers to give him all options for dealing with the nuclear-armed North, and a US carrier strike group has been ordered to the region as a precaution.

© AFP 2017


Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/world/2017/04/14/02/37/trump-says-things-will-work-out-fine-with-russia#MttQdsvtpi34hw7A.99
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