Russiagate Explained

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,
Michael Flynn is in the news again.
***
Russiagaters are gushing with excitement at the revelation that Flynn’s lawyers are no longer sharing information with the president’s legal team now that Robert Mueller’s investigation is looking more closely at the former National Security Advisor’s involvement in the production of a film about an exiled cleric from Turkey. The story goes that this separation means that Flynn has struck a deal with Mueller, which Mueller wouldn’t permit him to do if he didn’t have damning information on Trump.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 26, 2017.

Being Thankful… For Empire-Ending Headlines

It’s been quite a week geopolitically. From Angela Merkel admitting she can’t form a coalition and calling for new elections to Syrian peace talks opening up in Astana. From the poppy fields of Afghanistan to the Syrian oil fields east of the Euphrates River there is a hint of fresh air in U. S. foreign policy emanating from the Oval Office.
We’re a couple of days out from Thanksgiving here in the States but a quick perusal of the headlines since then has me thinking we’ve turned a corner in Syria. On Tuesday Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad held a meeting with their respective military commanders to prepare for the peace talks in Sochi.
Putin and Trump held an hour-long phone call that concentrated on Syria while touching on a lot of other topics. But, we can see the outcome of that phone call in today’s headline that Trump has pledged to Turkey that we would stop arming Kurdish forces in eastern Syria.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 26, 2017.

Thanksgiving Day Fake News Turkey Shoot: Boiler Room – Special Holiday Event

Tune in to the Alternate Current Radio Network (ACR) for another LIVE broadcast of ‘The Boiler Room’ tonight 6:00 PM PST | 8:00 PM CST | 9:00 PM EST for this special broadcast. Join us for uncensored, uninterruptible talk radio, custom-made for bar fly philosophers, misguided moralists, masochists, street corner evangelists, media-maniacs, savants, political animals and otherwise lovable rascals.
Join ACR hosts Hesher and Spore along side Fvnk$oul, Randy J, Patrick Henningsen, Infidel Pharaoh and Andy Nowicki for this special Thanksgiving holiday episode of BOILER ROOM. Turn it up, get your ears on and enjoy some holiday festivities with the Boiler Room on ACR.
*WARNING* – This special episode may contain, satire, comedy and ridiculous un-news events inspired by both the mainstream media and the ‘so-called’ alternative media. Any similarities to actual persons or events is probably a big poke in the eye to a really lame media outlet… or maybe just a coincidence. Enjoy the show!

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on NOVEMBER 26, 2017.

Don’t Just Give Thanks. Pay It Forward One Act Of Kindness At A Time

It’s been a hard, heart-wrenching, stomach-churning kind of year filled with violence and ill will.
It’s been a year of hotheads and blowhards and killing sprees and bloodshed and takedowns.
It’s been a year in which tyranny took a step forward and freedom got knocked down a few notches.
It’s been a year with an abundance of bad news and a shortage of good news.
It’s been a year of too much hate and too little kindness.
Now we find ourselves approaching that time of year when, as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln proclaimed, we’re supposed to give thanks as a nation and as individuals for our safety and our freedoms.
It’s not an easy undertaking.
How do you give thanks for freedoms that are constantly being eroded? How do you express gratitude for one’s safety when the perils posed by the American police state grow more treacherous by the day? How do you come together as a nation in thanksgiving when the powers-that-be continue to polarize and divide us into warring factions?
It’s not going to happen overnight. Or with one turkey dinner. Or with one day of thanksgiving.
Thinking good thoughts, being grateful, counting your blessings and adopting a glass-half-full mindset are fine and good, but don’t stop there.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 23, 2017.

Putin Holds Surprise Meeting With Assad, Will Call Trump By Phone Later Tuesday

One day before meeting with the leaders of Iran and Turkey in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a surprise meeting with his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad, kicking off a diplomatic drive this week to outline the terms of an end to the Middle Eastern country’s bloody civil war. The two leaders discussed the political process in Syria, with the Russian leader saying that the fight against terrorism in the crisis-stricken country is close to completion. Perhaps even more notably, Putin said he would speak by phone with President Donald Trump later Tuesday.
Assad’s visit, which wasn’t publicly announced until the following day, echoed a similar trip to Russia that he made in 2015 shortly after Putin launched his air and ground campaign in Syria. The campaign turned the tide in the war in favor of the embattled Syrian president, whom western nations have long sought to see removed.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 21, 2017.

“We Paid A Heavy Price For This Mistake” – Europe To Be Flooded With 2nd Refugee Wave, UN Warns

Back in 2015, at the height of Angela Merkel’s “open door” admission policy which in addition to granting German entry to over 1 million refugees, many of whom turned out to be radical jihadists and sent her approval rating crashing to the lowest in her career, the German chancellor realized that the great migration wave from the middle east into Central Europe, originally meant to reinvigorate Europe’s aging demographics (and prompted Deutsche Bank to even boost its German GDP forecast), maybe was not such a great idea, and was just not worth the risks and trade offs.
And while in the subsequent two years Germany in particular, and Central Europe in general managed to avoid another mass migration wave with most refugees gated either in Turkey or Italy, a second wave of migration into Europe now may be imminent as the situation in refugee camps in Africa and the Middle East is only getting worse, the head of the UN World Food Programme said. He added there is a clear link between hunger and migration.
Speaking to German newspaper Die Zeit, the executive director of the UN’s World Food Programme, David Beasley, said that living conditions, mostly food distribution, in refugee camps in crisis-affected regions had deteriorated dramatically before the European migrant crisis struck in 2015.
‘We paid a heavy price for this mistake and I’m afraid we’re about to make it once again,’ Beasley believes. According to the UN food chief, while many asylum seekers wanted to stay in their home region, the lack of food has driven them away. ‘If they don’t have enough food, they will leave. And many of them would go to Europe,’ Beasley said.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 17, 2017.

How Broke Is The House Of Saud?

Trying to figure out what on earth is happening in the Middle East appears to have gotten a lot harder. Perhaps (because) it’s become more dangerous too. There are so many players, and connections between players, involved now that even making one of those schematic representations would never get it right. Too many unknown unknowns.
A short and incomplete list of the actors: Sunni, Shiite, Saudi Arabia, US, Russia, Turkey, ISIS, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Kurds, Lebanon, Hezbollah, Hamas, Qatar, Israel, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Houthis, perhaps even Chechnya, Afghanistan, Pakistan. I know I know, add your favorites.
So what have we got, or what do we know we’ve got?
We seem to have the US lining up with Israel, the UAE and Saudi Arabia against Russia, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah. Broadly. But that’s just a -pun intended- crude start.
Putin has been getting closer to the Saudis because of the OPEC production cuts, trying to jack up the price of oil. Which ironically has now been achieved on the heels of the arrests of 11 princes and scores of other wealthy and powerful in the kingdom. But Putin also recently signed a $30 billion oil -infrastructure- deal with Iran. And he’s been cuddling up to Israel as well.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 8, 2017.

US Now Admits Syrian “Rebels” Have Used Chemical Weapons

From the first moment chemical weapons were used on the Syrian battlefield, the American public was led to believe that only one side could possibly be responsible. The constant refrain in the echo chamber of US government officials and the mainstream media was that only the Assad government possessed chemical stockpiles and the technological capability of deploying such heinous weapons, therefore blame for each and every chemical attack from Ghouta to Khan Sheikhoun was laid at the feet of Assad and the Syrian military.
And yet last Wednesday, for the first time, the US State Department casually dropped an important admission into its officialSyria travel warning for American citizens: that the core rebel group currently operating in northwest Syria not only possesses but has used chemical weapons – to the point that the State Department considers it a major enough threat to publicly warn citizens about.
The armed opposition group, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), is referenced early in the document: “Terrorist and other violent extremist groups including ISIS and Al-Qaeda linked Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham [dominated by Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Al-Nusra, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization], operate in Syria.’ HTS is the group now holding Idlib province, which it captured in 2015 as part of a coalition of armed groups given direct support from a US-led operations room in southern Turkey – this according to prominent pro-opposition analyst Charles Lister.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 22, 2017.

Syrian Government Condemns Turkish Military Invasion of Idlib Province

21st Century Wire says…
Turkish troops have been entering northwest Syria for the last few days. Some reports have detailed the apparent compliance of Tahrir Al Sham terrorists with this maneuver by the Turkish military. HTS is a rebrand of Nusra Front aka Al Qaeda in Syria and the group controls the majority of Idlib province.
al-Qaeda's Syria branch (HTS) escorts a group of Turkish troops as they enter Idlib via Atma border crossing. Looks like Turkey-AQ has a deal pic.twitter.com/pNgo8RUfvm
— Ersin Satlyck (@e_sklt) October 8, 2017

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on OCTOBER 14, 2017.

The Underlying Reasons For Turkey’s Disengagement From The US

Authored by Dmitiry Minin via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
The Turkish media is reporting that a staffer at the American consulate general in Istanbul was recently arrested under the serious charge of attempting the ‘destruction of the constitutional order,’ ‘espionage,’ and seeking ‘to overthrow the government.’
To be specific, ties have been uncovered between the man under arrest and some prominent members of Fethullah Glen’s movement (FET), which is banned in Turkey. Previous accusations had been made against General Joseph Votel, the commander of US CENTCOM and an expert in covert operations, alleging that he had cooperated with the conspirators who attempted a military coup in Turkey in July 2016.
And this is only the tip of a very cold and growing iceberg that has gradually been disrupting the relationship between these formerly close allies – the US and Turkey. Not even President Erdo?an’s visit to the US this year could buck these trends.
Observing that relations between the two countries have been deteriorating for more than a decade, US columnists, for example – Tom Rogan of the Washington Examiner – reflexively sum it all up as evidence of the deleterious influence of Vladimir Putin. In his assessment of the most recent meeting between the Russian and Turkish presidents in Ankara, that journalist points to the fact that Recep Erdo?an called Vladimir Putin ‘my dear friend’ and even ‘stroked his ego’ by speaking to him – horror of horrors! – ‘in Russian,’ as though that were a crime.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 13, 2017.

Turkish Lira Crashes 4%, Biggest Drop Since “Failed Coup” Following Visa Suspension Drama

With tensions between Turkey and the US escalating dramatically and unexpectedly in the past few days, when first Turkish police on Wednesday arrested a local employee of the US embassy in Istanbul and charged him with espionage and an attempt to overthrow the government, which was following on Sunday afternoon by the US embassy in Turkey announcing that “effective immediately” it has “suspended all non-immigrant visa services at all U. S. diplomatic facilities in Turkey”…
Statement from the U. S. Mission to Turkey pic.twitter.com/RjTU3BfSXZ
— US Embassy Turkey (@USEmbassyTurkey) October 8, 2017

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 8, 2017.

US Suspends All Non-Immigrant Visa Services In Turkey

Statement from the U. S. Mission to Turkey pic.twitter.com/RjTU3BfSXZ
— US Embassy Turkey (@USEmbassyTurkey) October 8, 2017

On Friday, we reported that in a move that looks suspiciously like retaliation, Turkish police on Wednesday arrested a local employee of the US embassy in Istanbul and charged him with espionage and trying to overthrow the government. The arrest stemmed from the man’s alleged support for Erdogan’s scapegoat for “fill-in-the-blank“, US-based Cleric Fettulah Gulen, who was blamed for 2016’s fake coup attempt and pretty much everything else that’s wrong in Turkey.
Predictably, the US government slammed the crackdown, with embassy officials telling the WSJ that ‘these allegations are wholly without merit” adding that ‘baseless, anonymous allegations against our employees undermine and devalue this longstanding partnership.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 8, 2017.

Iran, Iraq, And Turkey Unite To Block Kurdish Oil Exports

Authored by Zainab Calcuttawala via OilPrice.com,
Iraq, Iran, and Turkey are taking a unified stance against Kurdistan’s oil sector after the region elected to seek independence from Baghdad in a referendum in September, according to a new report by Rudaw.
‘In the case of northern Iraq; Iran, Iraq and Turkey will form a tripartite mechanism and will decide on shutting down the oil,’ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after a meeting with leaders from the other two nations on Thursday.
A day before the vote, the Iraqi central government issued a statement calling on ‘neighboring countries and countries of the world’ to stop buying crude oil directly from Kurdistan and only deal with Baghdad.
Turkey’s Ceyhan port provides an outlet for the Kurdish Kirkuk oil to meet international markets without interference from Baghdad. Erdogan, Tehran and other members of the international community had censured Erbil for proceeding with the independence referendum as Iraq recovers from a three-year war against the Islamic State (ISIS). The Turkish leader had previously threatened to cut Kirkuk off from Ceyhan, but did not provide details on how such a measure would be carried out.
Russia’s oil majors side with Kurdistan in its quest for an independent fossil fuel establishment. Rosneft signed off on a $1 billion gas pipeline deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) a week prior to the historic vote, signaling Moscow’s approval of a hypothetically separate Kurdistan.
Both Iran and Turkey house sizeable Kurdish populations, so the referendum raises fears that Kurds from other nations may seek similar political solutions.
Kurdistan produces around 600,000 bpd of crude oil, or about 15 percent of Iraq’s total output. After the votes were counted, the KRG said that the ‘Yes’ to independence option won at the polls, with 92.73 percent of voters opting to grant Erbil its own regime.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 6, 2017.

Turkey Arrests US Embassy Employee

In a move that looks suspiciously like retaliation, Turkish police on Wednesday arrested a local employee of the US embassy in Istanbul and charged him with espionage and trying to overthrow the government, the Wall Street Journalreported, citing local media.
The arrest stemmed from the man’s alleged support for US-based Turkish Cleric Fettulah Gulen, a former ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who escaped to the US nearly two decades ago after he and Erdogan had a falling out. The president has accused Gulen of orchestrating last June’s attempted coup from his home in Pennsylvania, and his administration has relentlessly purged suspected supporters from nearly every institution in Turkish society.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 5, 2017.

Chris Hedges On The End Of Empire: “The Death Spiral Appears Unstoppable”

The American empire is coming to an end. The U. S. economy is being drained by wars in the Middle East and vast military expansion around the globe. It is burdened by growing deficits, along with the devastating effects of deindustrialization and global trade agreements. Our democracy has been captured and destroyed by corporations that steadily demand more tax cuts, more deregulation and impunity from prosecution for massive acts of financial fraud, all the while looting trillions from the U. S. treasury in the form of bailouts. The nation has lost the power and respect needed to induce allies in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa to do its bidding. Add to this the mounting destruction caused by climate change and you have a recipe for an emerging dystopia. Overseeing this descent at the highest levels of the federal and state governments is a motley collection of imbeciles, con artists, thieves, opportunists and warmongering generals. And to be clear, I am speaking about Democrats, too.
***
The empire will limp along, steadily losing influence until the dollar is dropped as the world’s reserve currency, plunging the United States into a crippling depression and instantly forcing a massive contraction of its military machine.
Short of a sudden and widespread popular revolt, which does not seem likely, the death spiral appears unstoppable, meaning the United States as we know it will no longer exist within a decade or, at most, two. The global vacuum we leave behind will be filled by China, already establishing itself as an economic and military juggernaut, or perhaps there will be a multipolar world carved up among Russia, China, India, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa and a few other states. Or maybe the void will be filled, as the historian Alfred W. McCoy writes in his book ‘In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power,’ by ‘a coalition of transnational corporations, multilateral military forces like NATO, and an international financial leadership self-selected at Davos and Bilderberg’ that will ‘forge a supranational nexus to supersede any nation or empire.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 3, 2017.

Erdogan Says Turkey No Longer Needs EU Membership, Son Slams European “Infidels”

Via KeepTalkingGreece.com,
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Turkey no longer needs EU membership.
His son Bilal who plays an important role in Turkey’s politics went even further and described the Europeans as ‘gavur’ (indifels).
The comments come after 12-year-long accession talks with Brussels grind to a halt. ‘We will not be the side which gives up. To tell the truth, we don’t need EU membership anymore,’ Erdogan said. Turkey’s 12-year-long accession talks have ground to a halt, with the EU especially critical of Ankara’s crackdown following a failed coup last year. Tens of thousands of people including teachers and journalists have been detained.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 3, 2017.

Monarch Airlines Files For Insolvency: Britain’s Biggest-Ever Airline Collapse

We're sorry to announce that Monarch has suspended flights and holidays. Please check for further information. pic.twitter.com/CA6jdMLu1C
— Monarch (@Monarch) October 2, 2017

U. K. leisure carrier Monarch Airlines filed for insolvency on Monday, the biggest ever failure of a British airline, stranding tens of thousands of travellers overseas and prompting the country’s biggest-ever peacetime repatriation effort, as the government has to find a way to to arrange the return of 110,000 tourists, and marking the third failure of a major European operator in five months. Monarch cancelled about 300,000 future bookings and apologized to customers and staff as it became the UK’s largest carrier to go into administration, according to Reuters.
Monarch CEO Andrew Swaffield said the carrier had fallen victim to ‘outside influences,’ especially a flood of seating into its core Mediterranean markets after a spate of terrorist attacks prompted holiday companies to reduce their exposure to Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey. Attempts to sell the short-haul business prior to the insolvency filing failed, he added.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 2, 2017.

“This Is Fascism”: Shocking Footage Of Spanish Police Firing Rubber Bullets, Brutally Beating Peaceful Voters

In scenes one would expect to see in Turkey, or some token third-world dictatorship, on Sunday morning Spanish riot police violently cracked down on the scheduled Catalan independence referendum, smashing their way into polling stations in Catalonia in a dramatic quest to shut down the banned Catalan independence referendum, as they fired rubber bullets and brutally beat peaceful people trying to vote for or against independence from a Spanish government, which many commentators this morning have called “fascist.”
Images that Madrid has been fearing as police uses force to remove young and old from voting stations. @FT pic.twitter.com/F09fpak5FI
— Michael Stothard (@MStothard) October 1, 2017

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 1, 2017.