USA “democracy”. The people choose President & then the DeepState moves in to dictate policy. Same thing happened with Obama

The War Hawks Rolled Donald Trump

SEE ALSO Behind the Headlines: Illusion of democracy: Trump powerless against the Deep State?

President Trump’s first National Security Advisor Mike Flynn got kicked out of office for talking with Russian officials. Such talks were completely inline with Trump’s declared policies of détente with Russia. (I agree that Flynn should have never gotten the NSA job. But the reasons for that have nothing to do with his Russian connections.)

Allegedly Flynn did not fully inform Vice-President Pence about his talk with the Russian ambassador. But that can not be a serious reason. The talks were rather informal, they were not transcribed. The first call is said to have reached Flynn on vacation in the Dominican Republic. Why would a Vice-President need to know each and every word of it?

With Flynn out, the war-on-Russia hawks, that is about everyone of the “serious people” in Washington DC, had the second most important person out of the way that would probably hinder their plans.

They replaced him with a militaristic anti-Russian hawk:

In a 2016 speech to the Virginia Military Institute, McMaster stressed the need for the US to have “strategic vision” in its fight against “hostile revisionist powers” — such as Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran — that “annex territory, intimidate our allies, develop nuclear weapons, and use proxies under the cover of modernized conventional militaries.”

General McMaster, the new National Security Advisor, gets sold as a somewhat rebellious, scholar-warrior wunderkind. When the now disgraced former General Petraeus came into sight he was sold with the same marketing profile.

Petraeus was McMaster’s boss. McMaster is partially his creature:

He was passed over for brigadier general twice, until then-Gen. David Petraeus personally flew back to Washington, D.C., from Iraq to chair the Army’s promotion board in 2008.

When Petraeus took over in the war on Afghanistan he selected McMaster as his staff leader for strategy,

McMaster was peddled to the White House by Senator Tom Cotton, one of the most outlandish Republican neocon war hawks.

McMaster’s best known book is “Dereliction of Duty” about the way the U.S. involved itself into the Vietnam War. McMaster criticizes the Generals of that time for not having resisted then President Johnson’s policies.

He is the main author of an Army study on how to militarily counter Russia. McMaster is likely to “resist” when President Trump orders him to pursue better relations with Moscow.

Trump has now been boxed in by hawkish, anti-Russian military in his cabinet and by a hawkish Vice-President. The only ally he still may have in the White House is his consigliere Steve Bannon. The next onslaught of the “serious people” is against Bennon and especially against his role in the NSC. It will only recede when he is fired.

It seems to me that Trump has been rolled with the attacks on Flynn and the insertion of McMaster into his inner circle. I wonder if he, and Bannon, recognize the same problematic development and have a strategy against it.

 

There’s a Deep State in America?!

February 18, 2017

by Ramin Mazaheri

There’s a Deep State in America?!

Imagine my surprise when, on my flight back from San Francisco to New York, that’s what my trusty New York Times revealed to me.

My first thought was: I can’t believe how this horrible Donald Trump has set up a Deep State in less than a month?!

Surely Russia was involved in its formation.

Then again, I strangely find myself thinking a lot about Russia these days. I’ll admit it – when my morning breakfast was late it fleetingly occurred to me that the Kremlin was behind this slowdown in my hotel room service.

Putting that aside, I was immediately relieved when by the 3rd paragraph our nation’s paper of record had put to rest my fears of an unprecedented formation of a US Deep State with, “Not quite, experts say….”

Whew.

I just don’t put anything past the evil capabilities of the Donald!

Reading the article I was surprised to find that the Deep State isn’t what I thought it was – apparently it’s only when the government leaks information to the media?

That’s funny, because one time on the SF-NYC “Job Creator Red-eye” I sat next to an Egyptian guy. Of course I was worried, at first, but I found out it he was a Coptic Christian, so that put me at ease. Who even knew they had those?!

This Egyptian told me about his country’s Deep State, and it sounded really bad:

He said that they colluded with “some Western countries” – he didn’t say which and looked kind of uncomfortable as he said it, for some reason – to stop that great Tahrir Square Revolution which was to guarantee that Israel would be safe.

“Mr. Gypsy” said that the Egyptian version of the Deep State was that their military controlled the economy, and that they bribed, imprisoned and killed people to keep their grip on the economy and control over foreign policy.

It sounded pretty bad.

I told him I was happy that Washington was supporting Al-Sisi’s military takeover with billions in aid, and that he didn’t have to thank me personally for that.

A “military” intertwined with the “economy”…I must admit, it did make me think.

Of Russia! I’m nearly certain that Putin created something similar over thereafter he banned elections, so why even verify it with some research?!

But this Egyptian must not have known what he was talking about, because the New York Times article didn’t say anything about the economy?

What they said was:

“Mr. Trump, apparently seeking to cut the intelligence community, State Department, and other agencies out of the policy-making process almost entirely, may have triggered a conflict whose escalation we are seeing in the rising number of leaks.”

Officials, deprived of the usual levers for shaping policies that are supposed to be their purview, are left with little other than leaking.”

Trump was clearly trying to cut public officials out of the democratic process, and they had no choice but to resort to these “illegal” leaks!

I mean, I’m pretty sure you don’t get elected to be a CIA spy or NSA agent, but somebody up top is and…well, I don’t know if they did the leaks…and I don’t know if the leaks are really true or not…but I’m telling you – we have to get Donald out NOW!

Anything that’s bad for Trump must be good. It’s really that simple, so case closed.

“We’re in a world now where the president is playing to the edge of his powers, and I think there are real concerns about the constitutional implications of some of the actions he’s taken,” said somebody who must be totally objective and perfect because why else would the New York Times choose them?

If there’s one thing Obama never, ever, ever did it was to expand his executive authority in ways unbeseeming to the presidential authority.

If Obama had done that, I would have been in the streets, you can bet! Trust me: I have my anti-Trump “pussy hat” in my closet and ready for the next protest!

Don’t bring up “drones”! You’ll just remind me of this guy at work nobody understands – Fazlollah “Lefty” Bittermani – he’s always doing that!

Between you and me, his last name ends in a vowel, so…you know….he may have certain sympathies. That guy really cheeses me off!

What Lefty doesn’t realize is that we are at war – not with Russia, yet – but with – not Muslims – but with…certain people, let’s just say. And the president has the right to fight war however he wants.

But when it comes to waging diplomacy the president must be restricted as much as possible!

We refuse to accept Hillary’s defeat until the Russians give back the Donbass to the Crimeans! This is simply a question of our humanitarian rights!

Trump is trying to make a liar out of not just Hillary, but of Sylvester Stallone and “Rocky IV” – even when the Russians cheat they are still supposed to lose to the Americans!

Was I back on Russia again? I don’t know…I’m like, obsessed with them, or something?

Back to the New York Times, which always reassures me when contradictions confuse me. Just after that last quote they wrote this:

That has forced officials in agencies to ask how far they will go themselves. As each side begins to perceive itself as under attack and the other as making dangerous power-grabs, it will justify more and more extreme behavior.

So clearly, these officials are justified more and more in extreme behavior…because it’s Trump!

I really wish we had some of these great, extreme officials during the Dubya era, but why bring up ancient history?

One thing is certain: During just four weeks in office Trump has clearly destroyed the culture and future of the United States and must be impeached. These officials – even if they are unelected – should absolutely not be listening to their elected leader!

Why? Well just read the next paragraph, another unassailable analyst of the Times:

“In President Trump, you have a president whose behavior shocks even more than the content of his policies.”

Yes! Behavior, not content!

I was telling my son this recently: He came in 19th place in a recent science competition (but out of 24!), and he was upset that his blue ribbon wasn’t an actual trophy.

I told him, “Son, I’m going to buy you that trophy because your behavior was correct, even if you totally screwed up measuring the contents of your volcano experiment, and it exploded and burned the girl next to you.”

I think the girl was Russian, anyway. She was certainly shocked.

Anyway, the Times goes on to say that now this dangerous Trump wants to appoint someone to review our intelligence agencies. Astounding, the gall of this man! I really think he’s psychologically insane.

“It looks, sounds and feels like a political witch hunt,” said Analyst #1 (the White one, not the Egyptian one). “It’s like pouring gasoline on the fire.”

It certainly does!

What else do you call our top elected official trying to find out what work is being illegally done in secret with taxpayer money?

I am certain this is something Putin would do with his KGB.

And that’s why Russia is not free – because the KGB cannot operate freely to undermine Putin’s attempts at diplomacy!

Don’t tell me I’m wrong, comrade!

“Mr. Flynn, in his short tenure, exemplified the breakdown between the president’s inner circle and career civil servants. He kept the National Security Council largely shut out of policy-making and sought sweeping changes in foreign policy.”

This is the US, not the USSR! Our career bureaucrats need to be in charge, not our elected officials!

Trump simply cannot make sweeping changes to foreign policy – even if he was democratically elected on that mandate – because career civil servants should run the show!

The next paragraph:

“For concerned government officials, leaks may have become one of the few remaining means by which to influence not just Mr. Flynn’s policy initiatives but the threat he seemed to pose to their place in democracy.”

Democracy is bureaucracy!

You vote for a person, they appoint an official, the person you voted for gets voted out of office, but the appointed official stays forever and amasses power – democracy!

I tried to explain this to that Egyptian guy, but he said,

“Then what’s the point of demonstrating and facing down gun barrels if the people can’t demand change?”

I kept telling him:

“But Israel is fine these days? Tahrir worked out great!”

He didn’t get it.

Anyway, Egypt is not the country who is threatening American democracy, and I don’t have to tell you who is, because I’ve just taken that pill that helps me with my compulsive psychological issues.

The Times continued:

Even if each individual leak is justifiable, as insubordination becomes more sustained and overt, it inches deeper into the gray zone of counter-democratic activities.

I already had the feeling that every anti-Trump leaks was justifiable, and that we are still many, many inches away from counter-democracy, so thanks Gray Lady! I almost had to take that other pill for my anxiety!

And “insubordination” is clearly justified because, as I said, in 4 weeks Trump has already proven himself to be a new Hitler! Don’t get me started on Steve Bannon!

“I don’t think you can say in advance what inappropriate deep-state activity would look like, because we haven’t seen this before,” said Analyst #1.

Exactly – this is a totally new day, and this was all appropriate deep-state activity. We’ve never seen anything like this in the history of the world, much less America.

I told this to Lefty back at work and he started ranting about Kennedy. I totally did not see what Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy had to do with this, but who can fathom what goes on in the mind of a Fazlollah?

The main thing is that we get Trump before he does damage to free trade, because my corporation and all businesses are totally helpless against the government.

They have no influence at all…unlike Egypt.

“There, ‘the deep state is not official institutions rebelling,’ he said, but rather ‘shadowy networks within those institutions, and within business, who are conspiring together and forming parallel state institutions.’”

We all know that there is absolutely nothing like this which is happening in America.

And that’s why the idea of business being involved in America’s Deep State did not appear until the 7th-to-last paragraph. I almost didn’t read that far!

And that’s why the New York Times finished on this heartening note:

“This war between the intelligence community and the White House is bad for the intelligence community, bad for the White House, and bad for the nation’s security.”

See? Our so-called Deep State has nothing to do with business. The New York Times is right next to Wall Street, so they would surely know, right?

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to make a call to the Pentagon for my work.

No, I’m in defense contracting or anything, but the Pentagon is the world’s largest employer…hard to work around them in the United States!

And the profit margins – wow!

I’m so glad our owners had a personal contact in there.

Frankly, I thought the New York Times’ headline was a bit too alarmist: “As Leaks Multiply, Fears of a ‘Deep State’ in America”.

But I’m glad they immediately put those fears to rest.

With that content, I would have run a headline like: “Internal leaks justified as Trump could affect share prices”.

I think that would have been more accurate.

Frankly I’m a bit surprised such a non-story could bump Russia off the front page?

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

Trump Declares: CNN, NYT, CBS, ABC And NBC Are “The Enemy of The American People”

Global Research, February 19, 2017
ZeroHedge 17 February 2017
Médias

If you thought yesterday’s press conference was “ranting and raving”, it appears President Trump just turned the anti-’Fake news’-media amplifier up to ’11′, declaring  CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS , The New York Times (yet not The Washington Post) as “enemies of the American people”.

The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!

 

Incidentally, this was the second tweet, after Trump removed the first version one, which some thought was deleted as it was just a little too “aggressive” but as it turned out, simply ommitted ABC and CBS.

Which begs the question, if the “media” is the enemy, what does that make its corporate owners?

As a reminder, Trump and chief White House strategist Steve Bannon have both referred to the media as the “opposition party.”

“The mainstream media has not fired or terminated anyone associated with following our campaign,” Mr. Bannon said. “Look at the Twitter feeds of those people: they were outright activists of the Clinton campaign.” (He did not name specific reporters or editors.) ”That’s why you have no power,” Mr. Bannon added. “You were humiliated.”

“You’re the opposition party,” Mr. Bannon said. “Not the Democratic Party. You’re the opposition party. The media’s the opposition party.”

And here was Trump yesterday.

Trump: I’m changing CNN from “fake news” to “very fake news.”

The media – which according to the president is now America’s enemy – had reactions, ranging from the shocked, to the defensive, to the conciliatory, to the bemused.

Only a FAKE PRESIDENT would declare the First Amendment to be the enemy of the American people. https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/832708293516632065 

I would hope that our leaders would never believe that any American desires to make another American an enemy. Let’s dial it back.

I was on the fence about this, but how can journalists go to WHCA dinner and toast somebody who has branded them an “enemy” of the state?

 

View image on Twitter

Trump attacks so-called “fake news” media and then deletes tweet. And here I thought we made progress yesterday. Sad.

 

An American president sworn to defend the Constitution wrote those words https://twitter.com/davidfrum/status/832704852731981824 

 

Written courtesy of Moscow. They sent to @realDonaldTrump this morning but it took a few hours to translate. https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/832708293516632065 

They are on recess and for the first time in weeks out of our sight line https://twitter.com/maggieNYT/status/832709713850679297 

 

Let’s be clear: “Enemy of the people” (враг народа) is pure Bolshevism. Trump is citing core Chekist slogans now.https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/832708293516632065 

Journalists, our commitment to our craft and careers just became vital. Keep fighting the good fight.

 

This is how muzzling starts: not with a boot, but with the fear of one that runs so deep that you muzzle yourself. https://nyti.ms/2lraqLu 

Rick Casey, the host of a weekly public affairs program on a small television station in Texas, recently fashioned a stinging commentary on remarks by Representative Lamar Smith that was pulled shortly before it was to air. The station later reversed itself.

In Trump Era, Censorship May Start in the Newsroom

A misfire at a PBS station showed how Trump administration attempts to intimidate the press could work, and how those attempts could be thwarted.

nytimes.com

Chilling stuff from so-called “leader of the free world”.

I used to see this sort of comment from regime when in Tehran. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/832708293516632065 

 

He’s lashing out because he knows it’s coming closer and closer. This is actually raw fear.

Elliott Abrams, An Actual American War Criminal May Become USA’ Second-Ranking Diplomat

An Actual American War Criminal May Become Our Second-Ranking Diplomat

By Eric Alterman

Elliott Abrams spent the Reagan years abetting genocide—now, he has been floated as Trump’s deputy secretary of state.

elliot abrams

Elliott Abrams testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on February 9, 2011. (AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta)

It may seem small in the saga of President Trump’s first two weeks, but according to The Washington Post, there’s a good chance he’ll appoint an actual war criminal to be the second-ranking US diplomat.

I don’t mean someone that we on the left like to call a “war criminal,” such as Henry Kissinger or Dick Cheney. These people might actually qualify, but the cases are at best arguable, and no one in authority has ever been asked to rule on them. Not so for Trump’s potential pick, the onetime neocon golden boy (and son-in-law to Norman Podhoretz and Midge Decter) Elliott Abrams.

Like Trump himself, Abrams has behaved so badly in so many different arenas, it actually works in his favor: No one can keep up. The Post piece—which notes that the Trump administration has decided not to appoint a deputy secretary of state for management, giving the sole remaining deputy an enormous amount of influence over both policy and management issues—observes that Abrams was forced to plead guilty to deliberately misleading Congress regarding his nefarious role in the Iran-contra scandal. (He was also disbarred in the District of Columbia.)

However, this is just the tip of a colossal iceberg. As a member of George W. Bush’s National Security Council staff, Abrams encouraged, according to credible reports, a (briefly successful) military coup against the democratically elected government of Venezuela in 2002, poisoning the US relationship with that government once it returned to power. He also worked to subvert the results of the 2006 elections in the Palestinian territories, a move that ended up strengthening the most radical elements of Hamas and undermining—perhaps forever—the possibility of a democratic peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

But these are still relative misdemeanors in the Abrams dossier, paling in comparison with the role he played in the Reagan administration. As assistant secretary of state for human rights, Abrams sought to ensure that General Efraín Ríos Montt, Guatemala’s then-dictator, could carry out “acts of genocide”—those are the legally binding words of Guatemala’s United Nations–backed Commission for Historical Clarification—against the indigenous people in the Ixil region of the department of Quiché, without any pesky interference from human-rights organizations, much less the US government.

As the mass killings were taking place, Abrams fought in Congress for military aid to Ríos Montt’s bloody regime. He credited the murderous dictator with having “brought considerable progress” on human-rights issues. Abrams even went so far as to insist that “the amount of killing of innocent civilians is being reduced step by step” before demanding that Congress provide the regime with advanced arms because its alleged “progress need[ed] to be rewarded and encouraged.”

Promoted to assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs, Abrams repeatedly denounced the continued protests by organizations seeking to call attention to the mass murders of both Ríos Montt and the no less bloodthirsty President Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo, who came to power fewer than three years later. In one village during the latter’s reign, “the army herded the entire population into the courthouse, raped the women, beheaded the men, and took the children outside to smash them to death against rocks,” according to Inevitable Revolutions, Walter LaFeber’s classic history of the United States in Central America. At the time, a leader of the Guatemalan Mutual Support Group (an organization of mothers of the disappeared), her brother, and her 3-year-old son were found dead in their wrecked car. Abrams not only supported the nonsensical official explanation (there was “no evidence indicating other than that the deaths were due to an accident”), he also denounced a spokeswoman for the group who demanded an investigation, insisting that she had “no right to call herself a human rights worker.” When The New York Times published an op-ed challenging the official State Department count of the mass murders under way—by a woman who had witnessed a death-squad-style assassination in broad daylight in Guatemala City without ever seeing it mentioned in the press—Abrams lied outright in a letter to the editor, even citing an imaginary story in a nonexistent newspaper to insist that the man’s murder had, in fact, been reported.

I don’t know about you, but intentionally helping the US government to aid and abet the commission of genocide, while attacking the character and reputation of those trying to expose it, strikes me as securely within the definition of “war criminal.” But since Abrams’s 1991 conviction for his Iran-contra lies (and subsequent pardon by George H.W. Bush), the course of his failing-upward career has repeatedly revealed the moral rot at the heart of our political establishment. George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice appointed Abrams to top national-security positions. The Council on Foreign Relations offered him a prestigious, high-profile title (senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies) and distanced itself only when he called President Obama’s nominee for defense secretary, former senator Chuck Hagel, an “anti-Semite.” Abrams is a respected regular on the American synagogue circuit and in the Jewish press, and rarely, if ever, does anyone have the bad manners to mention his pro-genocide past.

I’ve been writing about Abrams and his crimes, here and elsewhere, since 1987. I’ve complained privately to the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, to numerous rabbis who book him to speak in their synagogues, and to the editors of Jewish newspapers who publish him. I’ve seen some regret, but never any action.

If Abrams had abetted genocide against Jews instead of Guatemalans, it might not have disqualified him from a top diplomatic position in the Trump administration, but he would at least have been treated as a pariah in the media, the establishment, and, one certainly hopes, the world of professional Jews. These days, however, it’s hard to be certain of anything.

 

 

Americans: The World’s Most Over-Entertained, Uninformed Know-Nothings

Americans: The World’s Most Over-Entertained, Uninformed Know-Nothings

 

by Stephen Lendman
What more appropriate topic than on Super Bowl Sunday. The National Retail Federation estimates around 189 million Americans tuning in, myself not among them.
On Monday, they’ll know all about “the game,” nothing about the major issues of our time, hugely affecting their lives, welfare and futures.
It’s why America gets away with murder on an unimaginable scale time and again, permanently at war at home and abroad, humanity’s survival endangered by its recklessness.
Too few Americans understand, more focused on who wins “the game,” mindless about what matters most – kept uninformed by over-entertainment and major media fake news.
It’s a deplorable situation, perhaps incurable, given how the American way is drummed into the minds of the public constantly,  manipulating people to accept groupthink.
It’s a deep state conspiracy. Rational thinking doesn’t have a chance against dark forces, shutting out what’s most important to know, media scoundrels in cahoots with powerful interests, keeping the public uninformed, misinformed, in the dark, brainwashed to accept fake news as real.
Pro-Hillary dark forces are allied against Trump, manipulating protests, challenging his policies. Crowds comprised of enlisted agitators and other elements show up when he speaks in public, outside the Super Bowl on Sunday, even at his Florida Mar-A-Lago home where he’s spending the weekend.
On Saturday evening, large numbers headed toward what he calls his second home, calling for his removal from office, chanting “(h)ey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go.”
Heavy security kept crowds at a safe distance from Trump’s estate, preventing unacceptable incidents from occurring.
Most disturbing are protests against the wrong things. The problem in America isn’t Trump. It’s longstanding US policy.
Privileged interests are served at the expense of most others. Permanent wars on humanity rage at home and abroad, nonbelievers cracked down hard, things headed toward full-blown tyranny if not curbed.
It’s likely another major false flag attack away, most people willing to accept loss of freedom for greater safety, not realizing they’ll lose both.
People nationwide should be protesting on these and related vital issues – not against a president in office 16 days as this is written, even though some of what he’s done warrants criticism.
Where were crowds when Obama was terror-bombing seven countries? Why didn’t they demand his arrest and prosecution for high crimes?
Why weren’t they furious about America transformed into a banana republic, half the nation’s households impoverished or bordering it, mass unemployment and underemployment harming many millions, the nation’s resources handed to Wall Street, war profiteers and other corporate favorites?
As long as protests are directed against Trump and not the way the nation is run by powerful interests, they’ll continue having things their way at the public’s expense – a slippery slope to dystopian hell.

11 Jews occupy top positions in Trump’s administration

 

Source

Palestine Information Center – January 28, 2017

Eleven Jews assume top positions in the administration of the new US president Donald Trump, according to an Israeli report published on Friday.

Under the headline “Meet the top Jewish officials in the Trump administration”, the right-wing Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post introduced the 11 influential Jewish figures working alongside Trump.

However, the newspaper pointed out that Trump won 24% of the Jewish vote.

According to the Paper, the 11 Jewish figures are:

Jared Kushner

Kushner is Trump’s 36-year-old son-in-law and will serve as his senior advisor.

The Paper said that Kushner will not receive a salary and will focus on the Middle East and Israel, partnership with the private sector, and free trade.

It added, “Kushner married Trump’s daughter in 2009 and played an essential role in the president’s election campaign especially in Israel.”

David Friedman

Friedman, who is in his late fifties, has worked for a long time as Trump’s lawyer. He speaks Hebrew and owns a house in al-Talbiya neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Trump announced Friedman US ambassador to Israel.

The Jerusalem Post noted that Friedman “funded and declared support for the Israeli settlements and expressed his doubts about the future of the two-state solution.”

Jason Greenblatt

He is an Orthodox Jew who studied in a religious school in the West Bank in the mid-eighties and did armed guard duty there, according to the newspaper.

Greenblatt is going to serve as special representative for international negotiations with focus on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the US-Cuba relations, and the US trade agreements with other countries.

Greenblatt told the Israeli Army Radio in November 2016 that Trump “will not impose any solution on Israel” and that “he doesn’t view the Jewish settlements as an obstacle to peace process.”

Steven Mnuchin

Mnuchin, 54, will serve as the US Treasury secretary.

The Paper mentioned that Trump and Mnuchin have been friends for 15 years, and before assuming the financial affairs of Trump’s campaign, Mnuchin served as his advisor.

Stephen Miller

Miller, 31, was named senior adviser for policy.

The Paper pointed out that Miller, who worked previously as a parliamentary assistant, played a vital role in Trump’s campaign by writing speeches.

Carl Icahn

An 80-year-old businessman and investor who is going to serve as special adviser in the regulatory reform issues.

The paper said that he will be working in his capacity as a private citizen not as a federal employee or a special government employee.

Icahn, who is one of the earliest supporters of Trump’s candidacy, is the founder of Icahn, New York-based diversified business companies.

Gary Cohn

Cohn, 56, will head the National Economic Council of the White House.

He occupied senior positions in a number of companies, according to Jerusalem Post.

Boris Epshteyn

Epshteyn is in his mid-thirties. He will work as a special assistant to the president, and also as an assistant communications director for surrogate operations.

Epshteyn, who moved to the United States from Moscow in 1993, is an investment and finance lawyer living in New York. He defended Trump on major TV networks more than 100 times.

David Shulkin

A 57-year-old internist who is going to serve as Minister of Veterans Affairs once the Congress accepts.

He worked as assistant minister for health in the Ministry of Veterans Affairs and held senior positions in hospitals, universities and companies.

Reed Cordish

Cordish is in his early forties and is going to serve as the president’s assistant for intragovernmental and technology initiatives. He will be responsible for the initiatives which require multi-agency collaboration focusing on technological innovation and modernization.

The newspaper said that he is a partner at his family’s real estate and entertainment company in the state of Baltimore.

Avrahm Berkowitz

The 27-year-old Harvard Law School graduate will serve as a special assistant to president Trump and Jared Kushner.

Berkowitz is a friend of Kushner, and after graduating from College, Berkowitz worked for Kushner’s Companies and wrote for his newspaper, the New York Observer.

Astana: the troika nucleus of the new regional system – أستانة: ترويكا نواة نظام إقليمي جديد

Astana: the troika nucleus of the new regional system

Written by Nasser Kandil,

يناير 29, 2017

The scene of Astana surpasses the announced endeavors to ensure cease-fire in Syria, the crisis and the war in it. It is the conclusion of accumulated tangled international and regional contradictions and conflicts during a quarter of a century, entitled the labor of the birth of the new regional system for the post-stage of the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the collapse of Berlin Wall, and the end of the cold war. In Syria the last US attempts have been gathered to save the mono-polar project after the failed wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, their center is resizing Iran and keeping Russia and China away from the Mediterranean Sea. These attempts have met the last Israeli attempts to restore the deterrence balances and the status of the first country in the Middle East which is able to take the political and the military imitative after its failed wars in Lebanon and Gaza, along with the Gulf monarchies and kingdoms and the governments of Europe, in addition to the illusions to gather the investment of money, memories, and the hatreds for policy-making entitled the democracy under Saudi and Qatari leadership, while entitled nationalism under French and British leadership to restore the crumbling stones of old houses after the earthquake of the failure of the Israeli and the US wars which upon their success the strengthening of these houses depend and the accumulation of the European and the Gulf balances in the Middle East politically and economically.

Turkey was the crucial key in granting this gathering the opportunity to wage its last attempts to make use of what remains after the loss of the opportunities in having a new regional system that stops the collapse and builds for a long period of dominance. Turkey which played in between the quadrilateral European-American- Israeli- Gulf alliance and the confronted forces as Russia, Iran, and Syria constitutes more than mere additive-value to achieve this opportunity. As long as Syria is the golden square in the area of the political geography with which everything changes and reverses, from the prestige of Iran and its relation with the issue of Palestine and the forces of the resistance, and its negotiating ability in its nuclear program, to the passageway of Russia and China to the Mediterranean, and to the future of the balances of the ruling power of the conflict with Israel, towards oil and gas pipelines which link the Gulf with Europe, granting each one of them the big prize in the game of the lost influence. According to Syria, Turkey is the necessary strong integrated neighborhood which is able to intervene; it is the global leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood Organization which is a necessary title for the legitimacy of the inevitable “revolution” in order to start the wars of change, and the necessary gate to embroil the supportive army which is represented by Al-Qaeda at the military deadlock in the war under the Saudi funding and the west preparation. So Turkey becomes the way for the transition from a war map to the war. Through the positioning of Turkey and the convergence of the ambitions of the neo-Ottoman with the project of the new regional system it becomes the crucial player. The ache-hour knocked.

What is going on in Astana is the outcome of the accumulation of a reverse quarter of a century of the same history with the fall of Berlin Wall, through which Russia has restored its vitality as an active rising country. China has entered the club of economy and has become ready to practice the right of veto in the Security Council. While Iran has become ready for the confrontations of the twenty-first century. The resistance in Lebanon has become strong for the regional wars that surpass the boundaries of Lebanon, while the Syrians as an army and people have perfected enduring the pains of the labor and the ghost of the civil war without wasting compass and falling into strife. Syria has witnessed successive battles through the last five years towards the departure of the US fleets of the Mediterranean returning back without a war, ending with the battles of Aleppo. Between them there was the military Russian positioning which was contrary to the US movement, there was the understanding on the Iranian nuclear program and was the US Russian understanding which was further than a decision of a deporting administration and coming one. That region witnessed the US Presidential elections and the fall of the bet on the continuation of the war entitled Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump has arrived to presidency and the title of the engagement with Russia in the war on terrorism as well as restricting the conflict with Iran and the resistance in the future of the security of Israel away from the future of Syria. As in the beginnings the position of Turkey was the crucial. There was the coup and the impetuous clash with Russia. The wars of the political and the economical disciplining have succeeded by reputing Turkey under common US Russian auspices in the middle line by the temptations of a balanced role in a regional system that is summarized by the tripartite which emerged out from Astana; Russia, Iran, and Turkey to what is further than observing cease-fire. One day when Donald Trump was a presidential candidate he said; why do not we put Russia which is closer and has the interest, in the charge of arranging the situation of the Middle East and support its war on terrorism?

Within this tripartite the conflict will revolve around Syria politically, around the role of the resistance as well as around the security of Israel. America will have a share within the system of troika not from outside it. It is an important round of the wars of the twenty-first century that will end with a tripartite mechanism, a troika which its converging parts are Iranian and Turkish and its Russian part has the crucial word and the weighing influence, it corresponds with the resistance axis regarding the future of Syria. So the one who wins will have two points of three, sticking to a solution of the Palestinian issue with the formation of an independent state, which its capital is Jerusalem, and the integration of the Israeli nuclear and chemical weapons,. Even this difficult Israeli acceptance will not be a deadlock in front of the project of the resistance along with its attention and the tactical cleverness. It is enough for the resistance axis to have as an outcome a point and a half versus a point and a half of three to remain winner.

The region enters the stage of the demarcation of the wars and the settlements on the basis of Troika the new regional system. Kuwait Conference for the Gulf-Iranian dialogue and the announcement of the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubair about supporting the Turkish position in Astana prove a lot, even if the Head of the Lebanese Forces said that what has happened in Lebanon as consensuses have no regional or international dimensions.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

أستانة: ترويكا نواة نظام إقليمي جديد

يناير 25, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– يتخطى مشهد أستانة المساعي المعلنة لرعاته في العمل على تثبيت وقف النار في سورية، والأزمة في سورية والحرب فيها وعليها هي خلاصة تناقضات وصراعات دولية وإقليمية متراكمة ومتشابكة خلال ربع قرن، عنوانها مخاض ولادة نظام إقليمي جديد لمرحلة ما بعد تفكك الاتحاد السوفياتي وانهيار جدار برلين ونهاية الحرب الباردة، فقد تجمّعت في سورية آخر المحاولات الأميركية لإنقاذ مشروع القطبية الأحادية بعد حروب العراق وأفغانستان الفاشلة، ومحورها تحجيم إيران وإبعاد روسيا والصين عن البحر المتوسط. وتلاقت معها آخر المحاولات «الإسرائيلية» لاسترداد موازين الردع ومكانة الدولة الأولى في الشرق الأوسط القادرة على المبادرة العسكرية والسياسية بعد حروب فاشلة في لبنان وغزة، ومعهما ممالك وإمارات الخليج وحكومات أوروبا في أحلام وأوهام جمع استثمار المال والذكريات والأحقاد لصناعة سياسة عنوانها الديمقراطية بقيادة قطرية سعودية ووطنية بقيادة فرنسية بريطانية، لترميم ما تداعى من حجارة بيوت قديمة مع زلازل فشل الحروب الأميركية و«الإسرائيلية»، التي طالما توقّف على نجاحها تدعيم بنيان هذه البيوت، ومراكمة الأرصدة الأوروبية والخليجية في الشرق الأوسط سياسياً واقتصادياً.

– كانت تركيا المفتاح الحاسم في منح هذا التجمع فرصة خوض محاولته الأخيرة لاستنقاذ وإعادة إطلاق ما ضاع من فرص للنجاح في استيلاد نظام إقليمي جديد يوقف التداعي ويؤسس لمرحلة طويلة من السيطرة، وتركيا التي لعبت على خط الوسط بين قوى هذا التحالف الرباعي الأميركي الأوروبي «الإسرائيلي» الخليجي من جهة، والقوى المواجهة من جهة مقابلة، وفي مقدّمتها روسيا وإيران وسورية، تشكل أكثر من مجرد قيمة مضافة لتحقيق هذه الفرصة، فطالما أن سورية هي المربع الذهبي في رقعة الجغرافيا السياسية التي يتغير معها كل شيء وينقلب إلى عكسه، من مكانة إيران واتصالها بملف فلسطين وقوى المقاومة، وقدرتها التفاوضية في ملفها النووي بالتالي، إلى نافذة روسيا والصين على المتوسط، إلى مستقبل موازين القوة الحاكمة للصراع مع «إسرائيل»، وصولاً لخطوط النفط والغاز التي تربط الخليج بأوروبا، ومنح كل منهما الجائزة الكبرى في لعبة النفوذ الضائع، فإن تركيا هي الجوار القوي والضروري والمتداخل والقادر على التدخّل، بالنسبة لسورية، وهي القيادة العالمية لتنظيم الأخوان المسلمين العنوان اللازم لشرعية «ثورة» لا بدّ منها لإخراج حروب التغيير، والبوابة اللازمة للزج بالجيش الرديف الذي يمثله تنظيم القاعدة عند الاستعصاء العسكري في الحرب بتمويل سعودي وتحضير وتجهيز غربيين، فتصير تركيا «ال التعريف» للانتقال من خطة حرب إلى الحرب. وبتموضع تركيا وتقاطع طموحات العثمانية الجديدة مع مشروع نظام إقليمي جديد تكون اللاعب الحاسم فيه، بدأت الساعة الصفر.

– الذي يجري في أستانة هو حاصل تراكم ربع قرن معاكس من التاريخ ذاته مع سقوط جدار برلين، استردّت خلاله روسيا حيويتها كدولة فاعلة وصاعدة ودخلت الصين خلاله نادي الأوائل اقتصادياً، وصارت جاهزة لممارسة حق الفيتو في مجلس الأمن، وتهيأت فيه إيران لمواجهات القرن الحادي والعشرين، وتصلّب خلاله عود المقاومة في لبنان لحروب إقليمية تتخطّى حدود لبنان، وتمرس فيه السوريون شعباً وجيشاً في كيفية تحمُّل آلام المخاض وشبح الحرب الأهلية من دون تضييع البوصلة والغرق في الفتنة، وتدحرجت في سنواته الخمس الأخيرة المعارك تلو المعارك ترسم الخطوط وتقطع الخيوط، وصولاً لرحلة الأساطيل الأميركية إلى المتوسط ذهاباً محارباً وعودة خائبة، وانتهاء بمعارك حلب، وبينهما تموضع روسي عسكري بعكس الحركة الأميركية، فكان التفاهم على الملف النووي الإيراني، وكان التفاهم الروسي الأميركي الأبعد من قرار إدارة ترحل وإدارة تأتي، وكانت الانتخابات الرئاسية الأميركية وسقوط رهان مواصلة الحرب بعنوان هيلاري كلينتون، ووصل دونالد ترامب وعنوان التشبيك مع روسيا في الحرب على الإرهاب، وحصر الصراع مع إيران والمقاومة في مستقبل أمن «إسرائيل» بعيداً عن مستقبل سورية، وفي قلب ترسيم هذه النهايات كان المفصل كما في البدايات موقع تركيا، فكان الانقلاب وكان الاشتباك المتهوّر مع روسيا، ونجحت حروب التأديب السياسية والاقتصادية بإعادة تركيا تحت رعاية روسية أميركية مشتركة إلى خط الوسط بإغراءات دور وازن في نظام إقليمي يختصره الثلاثي الخارج من أستانة، روسيا وإيران وتركيا، لما هو أبعد من آلية لمراقبة وقف النار. وقد قال دونالد ترامب ذات مرة وهو مرشح رئاسي: لماذا لا نلزَّم روسيا القريبة وصاحبة المصلحة مهمة ترتيب وضع الشرق الأوسط وندعم حربها على الإرهاب؟

– في قلب هذه الثلاثية سيدور الصراع حول سورية سياسياً وسيدور الصراع حول دور المقاومة، وسيدور الصراع على أمن «إسرائيل»، وسيكون لأميركا نصيب القول والفعل من ضمن نظام الترويكا، وليس من خارجه، لكن جولة هامة من حروب القرن الحادي والعشرين تنتهي بآلية ثلاثية، ترويكا جناحاها إيراني وتركي يتقابلان ورأسها روسي له الكلمة الفصل والصوت المرجّح، يتطابق مع محور المقاومة في مستقبل سورية، فيكون الربح نصيب مَن معه نقطتان من ثلاث، ويتمسك بحلّ للقضية الفلسطينية بقيام دولة مستقلة عاصمتها القدس وتفكيك السلاح النووي والكيميائي «الإسرائيليين»، وحتى ذلك القبول «الإسرائيلي» الصعب، لن يكون عقبة أمام مشروع المقاومة بقدر من الانتباه والذكاء التكتيكي لا ينقصانه، ويكفي أن تكون الحصيلة في رصيد محور المقاومة نقطة ونصفاً مقابل نقطة ونصف من ثلاثة ليبقى رابحاً.

– تدخل المنطقة ترسيم الحروب والتسويات على خطوط ترويكا النظام الإقليمي الجديد، ومؤتمر الكويت للحوار الخليجي الإيراني، كما إعلان وزير الخارجية السعودية عادل الجبير عن دعم الموقف التركي في أستانة، يقولان الكثير، ولو قال رئيس القوات اللبنانية إن الذي جرى في لبنان من توافقات لا أبعاد إقليمية ودولية لها.

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