Incoherent and Inconsistent- G7 Summit Ends in Chaos.

G7-SUMMIT-CANADA

The G7 summit was held in Canada over the weekend, and America had to suffer the indignity of being represented there by its president.

Trump was at his very finest this weekend. He blew it every chance he got. His conduct was so awful that Putin could have scripted it.

This annual summit, to say the very least, is a big deal.

It involves the bringing together of seven major industrialized nations, nations who represent more than 60% of global net worth between them, to discuss economic conditions and other major global issues. It’s something that is best not taken lightly for anyone who happens to be the president of one of those countries.

Trump arrived late, left early, and used the opportunity to start a petty fight with his peers. In doing so, he showed everyone exactly how seriously he takes major global issues.

In so doing, he has thrown the international trading order into chaos, and most likely put the US on the path to a trade war.

The city of Quebec hosted the event, which was quite a miserable place to be, by all accounts.

Theresa May of Britain referred to the summit as a “difficult occasion”.

Angela Merkel of Germany used the term “sobering experience”.

And French President Emmanuel Macron criticised Trump’s “fits of anger”.

The fight started after Trump pulled the US out of a newly arranged agreement, blaming the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau whom he derided as “dishonest and weak”.

A sort of agreement called a summit communique was finally reached, thanks to an all-night negotiating session by officials from all sides. For a few brief hours, it started to look like the nightmare was ending.

But after leaving for Singapore, Trump tweeted personal attacks on the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and said that he had told his representatives not to sign, turning what had already been a tense meeting of the world’s leading industrialized democracies into a fiasco.

“PM Justin Trudeau acted so meek and mild,” he tweeted. “Only to give a news conference after I left saying that ‘US tariffs were kind of insulting’ and ‘he will not be pushed around’.

“Very dishonest and weak” he claimed, adding in a separate tweet: “I have instructed our US reps not to endorse the communique.”

Trump was very unhappy with the likes of Trudeau and Merkel, our time-honored and trusted allies. But he wasn’t so unhappy with the G7’s missing partner Russia, which was suspended from the group – then called the G8 – in 2014 because of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

On Friday, Trump called for Moscow to be readmitted to the group, making it the G8 once more.

This is no longer unbelievable. Recently retired four-star general Barry McCafferty recently commented sadly that he believes Trump to be a “threat to national security” because Putin has something on Trump.

This seems clear to us, and if he’s not being actively directed, it’s because he’s too predictably destructive to require that type of micromanaging. Better to just let him sling his feces as he will.

It’s usually a point with Trump not to pay his bills, but this time he seems determined to keep his promise to pay off for the Russian dictator. He accepted the job of busting up American alliances at Putin’s behest.

Ruining our relationships with our closest European allies is what Putin’s Russia wants. They hope to create complete and total chaos, enough to bring down the entire world order so that they can realign it as subordinate to Russian interests. It is why they put so much time and money into getting him elected.

It’s as if Littlefinger crawled out of Game of Thrones and off the TV screen. I can see him now with his little ratty face, saying “Chaos is a ladder.”

As this goes down, we’ve got to raise awareness. We have to continue to let people know what’s going on because our president is lying to us with a zeal that would have impressed Joseph Goebbels. Regardless of what he may say, the other countries of G7 deserve our love and support.

We’ve all been in this together for a very long time, long enough for history to show many times over that internal discord and disunity in the Western world give openings to extremist enemies. We who live in the G7 nations need each other.

The era of isolationism is over, for better or for worse. It’s never coming back. America can either live up to its international obligations or watch the world order that it’s holding up collapse. It is a disastrous disgrace that so much can be decided by one awful and incompetent man.

In future days to come, when millennials hold the majority of the seats of power, it will be our responsibility to see that a failsafe mechanism against a repeat of this situation is installed. In the meantime, however, we’ve got little choice but to watch as Trump makes his mess. This is how a teacher of preschool must feel.

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Theresa May, Show Us the Way! TOUGHER RUSSIAN SANCTIONS.

Great Britain expelled 23 Russian diplomats on Wednesday over the poisoning of former Russian spy Nikolai Glushkov on British soil, raising tensions between the two countries to a level not seen since the heights of the Cold War. In a speech, Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to crack down on Russian spies, corrupt elites and ill-gotten wealth in Britain.

GOOD.

We have been wondering all year: When are we going to get sick of this? We’ve been getting walked all over by Putin, for years now. The stories fill many volumes of books. Now they come into Britain and they kill a man given exile by the British. Not for the first time, either. We all remember the Alexander Litvinenko case. Turns out those men were directly tied; Glushkov was a witness in the Litvinenko trial.

This is not the first time history has seen the Russians do something this ugly. Far from it. This is exactly what Stalin did to Trotsky. He sent a task force, under a general, onto foreign soil and in blatant contravention of the Monroe Doctrine, to murder a private citizen under the legal protection of a sovereign power. That general sent a man named Ramon Mercader to bury a claw hammer in the back of Trotsky’s brain.

That was bad enough in 1940. It’s 2018. When are we going to get fed up?

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, who is also an exile living in Britain, has been trying to tell the world for years what it’s like to live in fear of being assassinated by Putin. Putin is a dictator and if he isn’t stopped he will get worse. He used to be a local problem. Now he’s everywhere.

Today it is only other Russians he orders dead for speaking out against him. If we don’t speak up and fight for them, tomorrow it will be foreign critics too.

The writer of this article will admit to feeling fear, just for writing this. Russian hackers are probing this blog all day long, trying to get in and hack it and do God knows what. To our work, and to us. Our entire email inbox is filled with notifications our Sucuri plugin gives us of these people trying to hack us.

Creepy.
Lviv is a very famous place, world renowned for the quality of its IT experts. 
Bored, uncreative loser who tried to hack me
An example of one stinky turd who tried to hack us.

Nor is it just Russians. It’s also the entire, vast, right-wing network of thugs that have linked hands all across the world. It’s actually quite interesting to note where the hacking attempts come from. It shows you exactly where their enclaves and strongholds are. It illuminates who is making this thing with Donald Trump their fight.

Had it not been for the fact that they tried to hack our site, we would probably not have discovered, for example, that there is a rabid Chinese support for Donald Trump in many circles. They’ve even got their own version of the word “libtard”. They call us the “White Left”.

Adelaide, Australia. Beauharnois, Quebec. Here’s one from London itself, speaking of which; this could have been Glushkov or Litvinenko or Sergei Skripal’s poisoner, for all we know. A fresh one from Ukraine, that’s really nice there. Provo, Utah, a whole bunch from Chicago.

All for what? For telling the truth, and for raising awareness.

The struggle that is taking form here is a very old one. The West, vs. the East. It’s Greece attacked by Xerxes again. It’s Rome being sacked by the Huns. We have been here before.

The hostile world power that is Russia has crafted a meticulous plan to realign the European order as subordinate to the interests of the Kremlin. Their big obstacle was America. So they hatched a plot to remove us from the playing board. Our nation has been victimized. So has that of the British. So also France, whose new president, Emmanuel Macron, was to have been assassinated on the same day they held a parade in Donald Trump’s honor.

Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014, we have been marched down the road to war piece by piece, and it’s so much like Hitler and the Nazis that it’s really uncanny. Russia and England fought a war once before, over the Crimea.

As this article was being written, Putin went to visit the Crimea, on his way to the elections. It looks like the Cold War goalposts have been dragged out of the closet, so this guy can rattle his saber.

Everyone thought that everyone was happy about the end of the Cold War. It used to be not so hot, living under the constant threat of nuclear annihilation. Putin, however, values Russian control and power over world peace and stability.

Putin has expressed the unkind and ungrateful view that the West “would like Russia to be down at the heels”. He said, “I sometimes get the impression that they love it when they need to send us humanitarian aid. These so-called ruling circles, elites — political and economic — of those countries, they love it when we are impoverished, poor and when we come hat in hand. As soon as we start declaring some interests of our own, they feel that there is some element of geopolitical rivalry.” This is mostly unfair, considering that much of the over $22.6 billion dollars raised by the International Monetary Fund created to aid the Russians in their post-Soviet reconstruction was raised by the United States, who never got any of it back.

Mighty Russia, for all its cyber-terror and nuclear weaponry, still has only around the economic strength of little Italy. Every thought Putin has, every strategy that motivates him is how he can continue to assert strategic control over all those resources.

We are constantly being told that Putin is popular in Russia, and we’ve been hearing it a great deal lately.

Perhaps George W. Bush, for once in his life, summed it up best. “People say, ‘He’s the most popular guy in Russia.’ I say, ‘Yeah, I’d be popular too if I owned NBC,’” not to mention all the other networks.

The main opposition leader, Boris Nemtsov, is not available to run. He got murdered within sight of the Kremlin three years ago. Today’s main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, is not available to run either. He’s not dead yet. He has suffered various physical attacks, but he’s still above ground. He is simply barred from running. He’s also usually in prison.

Putin’s actual opponent is known as the Paris Hilton of Russia. I’d take Perez Hilton, over Putin.

Putin’s ultimate goal is to reassert Russian international power with himself at the helm. To Make Russia Great Again. He wants it to resume what he considers its rightful place as a respected world power- which it already is- although he will settle for being merely feared.

To secure this world power, he must first shore up and be in firm control of Russia’s domestic power. An understanding of all of this is where U.S. policy must begin, as British policy has. Millennial Democrats would like to thank and support the people of Great Britain for drawing a line in the sand. We stand with you.

Cold War Two-US Helps Ukraine With Anti-Tank Missiles.

The battle continues.

The United States has authorized the sale of lethal Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, to deter the Russians from attempting further aggression there.

This is the only smart thing we have seen this administration do since bringing retired four-star general John Kelly on board as Chief of Staff. Someone had a good idea and saw that it was successfully carried out.

One wonders who’s responsible.

Senator John McCain, for one, made it clear that he supported this plan, and urged Trump “to fully utilise security assistance funds provided by the Congress to enable Ukraine to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

This is unfortunately necessary. It’s all part of what has turned into the largest military buildup between Russia and NATO since the end of the Cold War.

Several months ago, two Russian warships armed with cruise missiles entered the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Denmark.

In response, a defence ministers meeting in Brussels was held later the same day. Germany, Canada and other NATO allies pledged to commit forces to Eastern Europe and the defence of Ukraine.

This current bout of trouble got started in earnest after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014. That move destabilized the whole region badly and has made it one of the weakest points in the global order ever since. The violence there has killed more than 10,000 people since then.

In order to understand the context of this struggle, it is necessary first to examine Russia’s strained relationships with most of its former satellite states, particularly Ukraine.

The Kremlin has always had a vested interest in controlling Ukraine. It is an important territorial asset. It allows them a highly profitable pipeline route to Europe. It is home to one of Russia’s few warm-water ports. And it presents a strategic buffer zone between Russia and the powers of NATO.

For all those reasons, Moscow has worked for generations to keep Ukraine in the position of a submissive younger sibling. It was the largest of their satellite states, and the one it took most effort to control. A great deal of bad blood on both sides remains.

Ukraine’s nearly three-year battle against Kremlin-backed separatists in the east erupted into the worst fighting in two years in late January. Exactly why the fighting intensified right then remains unclear. But they started right as Trump took power.

There’s concern this will worsen Russo-American relations, but it doesn’t seem likely given the subservience of Trump to Putin. It’s surprising Trump’s administration allowed this deal to go through, however. Not many saw it coming, including this contributor to Millennial Democrats.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto summed it up best. “So far, whenever we tried to work, we had to face American pressure not to do it and European pressure not to do it.
Now … there will be no American pressure.

Unfortunately for the lovable Mr Szijjarto, Trump got caught and his influence neutered.

A sovereign nation has every right to prevent foreign tanks from constantly rolling through their lands. And Ukraine has been given the means to defend itself.

The new American-made Javelin anti-tank missiles they have just been equipped with will cut through Russian tanks like a hot knife through butter.

Perhaps now the Russians will decide to go home.

One can only imagine what it must be like for these people, living as they are directly under the cleaver. The current war was started when the Russians came into these people’s town, gave money and guns to the local Mafia, and told them to go start fights around town, which they did. When the police showed up to pacify the situation, the Kremlin pounced.

Citing Ukrainian suppression of the Russian-speaking minority, the Kremlin used the domestic grievances of a sovereign nation as a cheap excuse to have at their robbery and slaughter.They wanted that Crimean port, and so they took it.

It’s sickening, and it forces us to ask a question, as we think back on the early days of Hitler- If we leave Ukraine to its fate, do we deserve better? Who will rescue our children, if we let theirs be fed to the beast?

By this logic, the Pentagon laid its plans.

 State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the US had decided to provide “enhanced defensive capabilities” to help Ukraine build its military long-term, defend its sovereignty and “deter further aggression”

The time after Communism collapsed was a hopeful one for humanity, and it’s really too bad Putin ruined that, but nevertheless it is a fait accompli. It’s best to be realistic about it and prepare the necessary restraints.

It’s crucial to remember that what happened to us was the latest in a ten-year timeline of Russian aggression, and not only cyber, as the Ukrainian example proves. This is an international struggle. Putin has his tentacles in every European country’s radical fringe groups, and he’s been causing trouble for everyone, not just us. This long-awaited show of solidarity is a good start.

 

 

Putin Divvies Up Syria, Trump Spills Israeli Intel- The Puppet Strikes Again.

#demontroll
Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted a trilateral summit with the presidents of Iran and Turkey in Russia’s Black Sea resort city, Sochi. Putin gave a warm welcome to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and declared that the three countries deserve all the credit for helping to maintain “stability” in Syria.
Turkey, which is still a NATO member and U.S. ally, announced that it may soon open talks with Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria, in a joint effort with Russia and Iran to return stability to the region. America was not invited.
Trump seems to have agreed to back off in exchange for Russian help last year. As a result, the future of Syria is being largely determined without significant input from Washington, the world’s single superpower.

In related news, highly-classified Israeli intelligence was offhandedly revealed by Donald Trump to Russian officials earlier this year. Earlier this week we found out what it was.

The US President’s decision to spill the information during a meeting with foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was described as having brought Israeli spies’ “worst fears” to life.

During Trump’s meeting with Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak, Trump revealed the details of a covert Israeli operation that exposed ISIS plans to create bombs out of laptops and smuggle them aboard commercial airliners.

Israelis were horrified.

Earlier this month, the “dead” ISIS leader Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi was spotted in the hotly contested Syrian town of Boukamel.

The Iraqi Media News Agency quoted an anonymous source in Iraqi News as saying: ‘In a yellow taxi, Baghdadi fled Iraq and headed to Syria.’

The question of whether al-Baghdadi is dead or alive has been a continuing source of mystery and confusion. Russia claimed in June that he had “likely been killed” in an airstrike just outside of Raqqa. But they offered no proof, and there are many questions about the relations peculiar to the relationships of the parties involved.

Russia had a good working relationship with Iraq under Saddam. Although it always repeatedly denied giving military or security assistance to the Hussein regime, the Russian government under Putin expressed intense disagreement with the U. S.-led war on Iraq.

In April of 2003, after the fall of Baghdad, documents were found in a Baghdad office of the Mukhabarat, the Iraqi secret police under Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime. Those documents showed that a Moscow- based organization had been training Iraqi intelligence agents as recently as September of 2002.

In other words, Russia was training some of Saddam’s best generals and their secret police. We know it went on for several decades. They spent billions of dollars on it.

The leadership of the Islamic State of the Levant consists primarily of former Baathist leaders, Saddam’s generals all coalesced again without him, like a hydra that grew back tens of thousands strong.

Of the six individuals who have been at the helm of the terror group, at least three of them served in Saddam Hussein’s army. Another is dead, and the very top guy, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was supposedly killed by Russian airstrikes back in June.

Imagine our surprise, seeing him strolling around in Syria healthy as a horse, and releasing more hate-filled videos calling for more terrorism. Claims of his death appeared to have been just more Russian disinformation.

If al-Baghdadi is alive, then Russia was most likely lying last summer, which was predictable. Russia lies about everything, routinely and by way of self-defence, like the ink-cloud of a giant squid. 

But what might Russia hope to gain by claiming the death of al-Baghdadi? What might they hope to gain?

A large amount of Turkish effort has been placed into acquiring this oil. Gaining energy autonomy to avoid having to depend on Russia for fuel has long been a goal of Turkish foreign policy.
But in spite of these attempts to diversify their energy sources and become more self-reliant, Turkey still depends largely on Russia for its energy needs, as do many other countries in Europe. They still have to depend on the goodwill of Vladimir Putin for things to run smooth.
Fortune 500 rated Vladimir Putin as the fourth richest person in the world last year, but some believe he is far wealthier than that. Hermitage Capital Management CEO Bill Browder believes Putin’s fortune to be in excess of $200 billion. Either way, if he wants things to stay that way, he’s got to stay in control of Russia.
Oil is obviously very important to us, but to Russia it is everything. Oil is essentially all that Russia has. It controls a huge mass of the world’s strategic oil reserve, and it comprises Putin’s fortune, which is sizeable by any standard, regardless of his Fortune ranking.
This dependence on oil as a source of wealth and income is also the case for Turkey and its leader Tayyip Erdogan.
Under President Bill Clinton, the United States and the EU engaged with and attempted to include Turkey as part of their efforts to strengthen the liberal international order, and it worked. They’ve been an ally for decades. Their fortunes in the Middle East were always fundamentally tied to ours. The Turks and the Russians have been rivals since the days of the Ottoman Empire.
And here is where we reach the ominous part of the story, the focal point of the developing narrative.
In spite of all these decades worth of progress strengthening American interests in the region, a perplexing area of cooperation between Russia, Turkey, and Trump seems to have arisen on Syria, with anti-EU undertones, and without American involvement.
Little by little, an outline begins to take shape. The way things looks from here, it’s a huge quid pro quo, in which Assad, Erdogan, Putin, and Trump came to an arrangement to simply leave alone Russia’s narrative about having killed al-Baghdadi.
For al-Baghdadi’s part, keeping the illusion alive would have given him months to regroup, lay low, and try to come up with something. In the meantime, there are those oil routes heading for Turkey, that the eyes of the world are not on. To all outward appearances, this is a strategic ceasefire if ever there was one.
 Assad gets to stay in power, and start seeing order restored to his country. Erdogan, who just survived a coup attempt last year, gets the sanctions applied by Russia for the fighter plane shot down in Turkish airspace in 2015 lifted and regains his ability to use Russia and the EU as a counterweight. Just last week, Erdogan and Putin met for four hours. Everybody’s happy- but all of them will soon be presented the bill.
Currently, Putin and his cronies are all smiles. They’re chopping up the spoils. And America was not invited. Trump seems to have agreed to back off in exchange for Russian help last year. As a result, the future of Syria is being largely determined without the world’s only superpower.
None of this could have happened without Putin, who will get the best that everyone has to offer. From Syria, a warm-water port in the Mediterranean Sea. This has been a dream of Russia’s for generations. From Turkey, restored good relations, and a subservient oil client. From Trump, an America weakened and thrown into chaos.
And from them all, Russia’s hold on the Crimea tacitly acknowledged, at the expense of ignored and pilfered Ukraine. Their criminal long game has become all too clear, and Trump is doing nothing. Please help us raise awareness.

Merkel Besieged by Far Right and Left- Stand With the Chancellor!

A terrible blow against world stability was struck on Sunday when coalition talks broke down between Angela Merkel’s conservatives, the center-right, pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Green Party.

This has caused a great unrest in Europe, particularly in Germany. One man, who asked to be called Achim, said, “I constantly worry what Germany might unleash on the world, particularly with Britain leaving the EU, which just gives Germany more power in Europe. And I fear what might happen in this current climate of uncertainty if Merkel is unseated.”

The situation is so unstable that the parliament itself is in danger of being dissolved. There may have to be a new election held. The president of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, admonished the political parties on Monday that they had a duty to compromise and form governing alliances, rather than just call for a new election. But his role in Germany’s system is largely ceremonial. There is only so much he can do.

Nigel Farage and his #Brexit are infamous, and the hashtag #Dexit(for Deutschland Exit) has begun to rear its head. The division of their country would lead to a great division in the E.U. Putin wants to break us off bit by bit.

There’s already chaos here in America. Remember the #CalExit?

The day after the election, a small and previously ignored fringe movement called Yes California was trending on Facebook and Twitter, using the aforementioned hashtag, #CalExit. They’d been around since 2014, gathering signatures to get a vote for Californian secession in the voting referendum. It didn’t go very far back then, but in November of last year, a lot of people stopped at least long enough to give it a think.

For a week or two, in the chaos and despair surrounding the election of Trump, a lot of people were looking for answers and solace anywhere they could find them. In this terrible state of mind, California becoming its own country almost seemed like a good idea.

Trump was Russia’s dog, and we were not willing to live under Putin’s thumb. So it felt to many like we had to come up with something. And so, Yes California gained some adherents and raised some enthusiasm.

But then, in December, a very unlikely visitor showed up in Russia, as a fresh emigre.

It was Lous Marinelli, the self-proclaimed leader of the #CalExit movement.

Speaking to a room full of reporters in Moscow, flanked by photos of Vladimir Putin and Hugo Chavez, Marinelli went on to bitterly rail against American hegemony. From Washington’s foreign policy to the difficulties of the U.S. immigration system, Louis Marinelli decided, he could “no longer live under a U.S. flag”, and that henceforth he would make his home in the southern Ural Mountains.

On that day, near the end of 2016, Marinelli unveiled his primary project. With its logo emblazoned on a banner unfurled behind him, Marinelli welcomed visitors to the “Embassy of the Independent Republic of California.”

The whole episode just goes to show that the far right is not alone among radicals in terms of problematic Russian entanglements.  The far left has its fair share as well.

Currently, Germany stands on the brink of a collapsing government and new elections because bipartisan support for Angela Merkel is lacking. The right-wing Free Democratic Party(FDP) under Christian Lindner is the chief culprit, of course, but her opponent in September’s elections also has categorically ruled out any renewal of what they once called the Grand Coalition.

That opponent was Martin Schulz, leader of the Social Democrats (SPD), who has been referred to as the Bernie Sanders of Germany.

Germany’s Die Linke party, which literally means “The Left”, has outdone itself in support of Russia. One of its leading figures declared that Crimea legally belongs to Russia, a sore point throughout all of NATO.

The day after Donald Trump referred to NATO as obsolete, German opposition leader Sahra Wagenknecht on Tuesday added her voice to calls to dissolve it. In terms of policy, one would not consider those two figures similar. What links them is their ideological extremity, and their ties to Russia.

The radical left group European United Left/Nordic Green Left in the European Parliament supports the Kremlin with words and votes (in 78% of the cases), in the Council of Europe.

If Putin can pull off ruining Germany it will render the EU as helpless as America now is, and give Russia a free hand everywhere. This is why they are never short of rubles to spend on troublemaking.

Keeping the European Union and the United States in a perpetual state of crisis is a tremendous boon to the Russians. Crisis and chaos are prerequisite conditions for radicalism, and whether it’s right or left doesn’t matter a bit. They’re trying to use each other.

This is another reason why they are doing to Al Franken over here. Of course, Russia has been helping that along all it can.

During George W. Bush’s tenure in office, and for the same reason, Karl Rove and Company paid for Ralph Nader commercials in Florida. Their goal is the same now as it was back then- to destabilize and de-unify progressive liberals- all of us on the left- who they know to be political adversaries.

The GOP grew gangrenous at least fifty years ago, and by now, it really stinks. They will do or say anything to get into power. What we saw with the infiltration of Bernie Sanders groups last summer fits their M.O. perfectly.

Millennial Democrats would like to thank the patriots among the Sanders wing of the party, who loved their country enough to share this information across partisan lines. And once again, we would like to stretch out our hands to those who want to find a way off the crazy train. As we have repeated many times before, #WeWillEmbraceYou. Give us a chance.

Tad Devine, senior adviser to the Bernie Sanders campaign (and also Paul Manafort’s right-hand man whilst both were under the employ of deposed Ukrainian dictator Victor Yanukovych) once said, “Crisis is our brand”.

From the perspective of leftists, this is the only motive that makes sense, as the new Russia is just as much the ideological rival of the left as the Soviet Union was the right.

The left’s affiliation with the Kremlin can be explained better via the “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” principle. Marx long taught that Communists should make any such alliances as are helpful toward the ultimate goal of dissolving the State.

Russia’s state-controlled economy, which promises to keep “big capital” in check, has proved attractive as a model for many far-left anti-capitalists, but there are a few unpleasantries they keep wanting to sweep under the rug. More than half the country’s criminal groups have ties to its government. It is naked, unregulated, brutal capitalism at its worst, without any of the kindnesses our social democracy displays.

The trouble is that all this crisis and empowered radicalism gives both sides many opportunities to incite mayhems. We all saw what happened in Charlottesville. There were violent clashes in Berkeley, CA not long after that. If these tendencies are not held in check by a strong and involved middle class, they will polarize our entire political atmosphere. That would be to the mutual detriment of all Americans, which is precisely what Putin is after.

Linda Curika, a spokesperson for NATO Strategic Communications in Latvia, said Russian support for extremists of either persuasion is all part of the Kremlin’s larger strategy “to weaken political support for the European Union and NATO.” Putin wants to make Russia great again. At our expense.

Director of the Political Capital Institute Peter Kreko has been recently involved in research regarding this matter. He concluded two facts about the intentions of Putin. First, that he is becoming the frontman of a worldwide anti-human rights movement, and second, that he is investing in, stirring up, and inciting radicals on both ends of the spectrum to “sabotage democracy in Europe”.

Kreko describes Russian tactics focused on destabilizing the EU and advancing Moscow’s ideology. This includes supporting parties and candidates on the margins(such as Bernie Sanders, or Ralph Nader’s Green Party) and friendly media outlets. Vladimir Putin spoke highly of Bernie Sanders all the way through the primary.

In America, we are experiencing many problems with who are still insisting, in the face of the overwhelming evidence that keeps piling up, that “the Russia thing” is simply a distraction from the main issue, that in their view being how the DNC cheated Bernie Sanders. These people are doing the entire human race a grand disservice. 

By turning a blind eye to the machinations of the most nakedly aggressive power to arise in the world since Hitler’s Third Reich, they are in fact helping to make possible the same specific chaotic social conditions that in the past allowed far-right populist movements like Germany’s National Socialism to thrive in the first place.

They don’t understand that they are being duped by people who long ago grew cynical and bored regarding the socialist dreams and theories Bernie Sanders is espousing. After all, they invented most of it, and more a hundred years ago.

By now it has become clear to all but the deliberately blind and woefully ignorant that what happened in November here in America was not an isolated event, nor one that should have been unexpected. Rather, it is part of a consistent and growing phase of aggressive Russian attempts to rebuild at the expense of NATO and the United States. It is this generation’s turn to manage the old and fundamental struggle of authoritarianism vs. benevolence.

 If Angela Merkel falls now, her fate will be perceived across the world as a big setback for the liberal and internationalist ideas that she has championed. Hillary Clinton was ruined in this same way and for this same reason. This will be a giant setback to everyone on the left. We must come together and stand with the Chancellor now.

The Washington Post’s Tory Newmyer summed it up well in an article earlier today. It is clear that a large part of the German chancellor’s current difficulties come from the rise of the far-right and the far-left in Germany.

It’s a shame that simply by pointing some of these things out, a lot of people are going to get mad. It is not our intent to hurt feelings or point fingers. We fully realize that most of Bernie Sanders’ supporters in 2016 stood with him out of genuine conviction. We know they are good people. It is not as though we enjoy being the bearers of bad news. We find it regretful that these things have to be discussed at all.

But the simple fact remains. Moderates have been savaged by a whole galaxy of various dirty tricks. We are up against some really rough customers here. They attack from unexpected angles. We are asking for the help of the progressive wing of the party. Please share with us what you know.

The problem does not belong just to the far right alone, although it’s true that they’re usually the ones paying for it. It has infected the left as well, and not only the green wing. The recent betrayal of Donna Brazile comes to mind. It affects us all, and we will come to the table with anyone who is earnest about finding a way to solve the biggest problem of our times.

Sooner or later, we’ve all got to calm down, shake hands, and start to figure out what we’re going to do. We might as well start now, while we still have time. Soon it will be too late.

The Riddle of Russiagate, The Meaning of Manafort.

Although Paul Manafort is a name America has heard a lot this past year, for the last 19, he’s been nothing but an obscure political hack who spent a lot of time working for dictators outside America. The story of his infamy spreading wings is not a very pleasant one. A shadier web of deceit, greed, and treason is hard to imagine, and it’s hard to see through all the unsettled muck. It’s been a while now since last November, though, and things are clearing up, leaving us with some very large questions.

So why Manafort? He hadn’t been seen in United States politics since Bob Dole’s desiccated campaign in 1996. Every question we ask about him seems to raise twenty more. How does a guy go from a 20-year nobody, to the head of a Presidential campaign?

And why would the Trump campaign stick its neck out by hiring such a suspect figure?

The ostensible reason given is that Manafort’s old partner Roger Stone did not like Corey Lewandowski, Manafort’s predecessor, and pulled his name out of a hat. But the latest Manafort revelations have left many speculating in other directions. Russian money found its way into the Trump campaign. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the former FBI director assigned to look into Russia’s interference in the 2016 Presidential election, seems confident Manafort may have had something to do with it. His investigation of Manafort now spans 11 years.

Given Manafort’s contacts with shady political figures in Russia, and the massive amounts of money he reportedly was paid by them over the years, this seems logical. Increasingly, Paul Manafort has come to be seen as the key to solving the riddle of Russiagate.

It seems clear he owes money to Russian oligarchs, who sent him in to act as a go-between.  It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that one of the biggest red flags here was when Manafort was able to continually make his presence felt in the Trump team long after he was technically fired. If Trump is innocent, why would he have let Manafort anywhere near the door after they fired him, knowing what kinds of people he was in bed with?

Manafort was a principal at the lobbying firm Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly, which had close links to the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations, and is one of the first lobbying and political consulting firms of this kind.  According to Riva Levinson, one of his former colleagues, Manafort took a “mercenary” approach to lobbying the US government on behalf of international clients accused of killings, rapes and other atrocities,

In that role, in 1989, he had no qualms about doing business with the “murderous dictator” of Somalia, Levinson recalls in a new memoir, Choosing the Hero: My Improbable Journey and the Rise of Africa’s First Woman President.

“Arrogant, narcissistic, egotistical, brilliant – all of that I can handle in Paul,” Levinson writes. “But it is Paul’s mercenary attitude that puts us at odds.” Those same awful traits are what endear him to his masters.

Back in 2004, Victor Yanukovych’s presidential bid was looking like a disaster, but he was Putin’s man. Manafort was brought in to save it, and he did. He’s had a place at their feet ever since.

On August 19 of last year, while Manafort was at the head of the Trump campaign, the New York Times reported that Manafort’s name was listed in a secret ledger of cash payments from the ruling pro-Russian party in Ukraine, along with the details of a failed business venture with Russian billionaire Oleg Victor Deripaska. He submitted his resignation shortly thereafter.

For his part, Manafort was most likely motivated by a desire to “get whole” with Deripaska, who he’d lost money for in 2007. At this time, a private-equity fund was set up by Manafort in the Cayman Islands, Pericles Emerging Market Partners.

In 2008, Deripaska transferred $18.9 million to Manafort through this fund so that it could purchase Black Sea Cable, a Ukrainian telecommunication company. Manafort botched it, and then refused to answer his phone. The oligarch requested the “winding down of the partnership.” The petition alleges that when Deripaska asked for an accounting of the investment in 2013, Manafort did not respond.

As of last year, however, he was trying to work something out. Emails exchanged between Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik, his contact in Ukraine (the Ukrainians refer to Kilimnik as Manafort’s Manafort, e.g. the key to solving the riddle of Manafort), make it clear Manafort has been trying to get back in the billionaire’s good graces, and was willing to trade on his position as Trump’s campaign manager to do so. The arrangement they made has had very grave consequences for Planet Earth.

The deal was for Manafort to help Russia subvert the United States election, in order to weaken the candidacy of then- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The plan was simple: Manafort getting paid, Trump getting power and attention, and Putin getting his claws into all kinds of things while Trump looked aside.

Remember how Trump was seething at the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2011, after Obama roasted him on the “birther” conspiracy back in April of 2011? Stupid as it was, the birther conspiracy is believed to be the issue that pushed the new President out in front with the alt right base. That incident gave Trump the edge he needed over the many other Republican candidates in the field last year.

Now that Trump has been elected, and proven himself a total incompetent, the reasons for it all are very clear from Putin’s perspective. Russia, the second strongest geopolitical force on Earth, is being given a free hand. From our perspective, it’s like playing a chess game, in which you get an extra queen, but are not allowed to make any moves.

America has become starstruck and celebrity obsessed. Trump was the latest in a series of celebrity politicians. For a Republican Party softened for the blow by 120 years of continuous decline, he was just right. Perhaps plans for a Trump run were discussed as early as that fateful 2013 trip to Moscow.

The next year, when Russia illegally seized Crimea, President Barack Obama applied economic sanctions against Russia as a result. This made it very difficult for Putin and his oligarch buddies to do business in the USA. Because of this, they were not happy with Mr. Obama, or with Hillary Clinton.

Close attention should be paid to the importance of the sanctions imposed by the Obama administration at the time of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and occupation of Crimea. They put a crimp in the high-priced lifestyles of Russian governmental officials, and gave them a clear and simple motive in so doing.

“This is a serious matter and there are real concerns about the pro-Kremlin interests engaged with the Trump team,” said Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook. He was right, of course, but at the time nobody listened. Any political activist who was online in 2016 could have told you the same. Everybody’s listening now.

So what can we learn from all this? What is the meaning of Manafort? His presence should have tripped alarms immediately. It should have been noticed that an absentee political operative, who’d spent 20 years outside of America making dictators rise and fall, had waltzed back onto our scene and taken the reins of a major presidential campaign. But it wasn’t, and now we are living with the consequences. A hard look needs to be taken at what it says about the state of our radar systems, if a criminal like this can make it through them.

For the Democratic Party, at least, the way forward is clear. We support Mueller, keep public focus on Manafort and Russiagate in general, and wait for our chance. Our day to show the difference between us, and this, will come.

The End of the Syrian Civil War- Russian Goals of Global Realignment.

The Syrian Civil War is winding down, and Bashar al-Assad is still running the showSaudi Arabia may be the latest country to give up on regime change in Syria and fall in line with Russia’s plans for the region. The dropping of a weapon called the “Father of All Bombs” on ISIS leaders in Deir ez-Zor in Syria might have played an intimidating role.

As the eyes of the world largely left the Middle East this year, Assad consolidated his position. Things like Brexit, North Korean nuclear testing, and the election of Donald Trump proved distracting to the West,

Throughout the conflict, Saudi Arabia has worked closely with the United States, giving backing to the anti-Assad rebels that have been trying to topple the dictator with our help since the 2011 Arab Spring protests began. But the situation has changed.  What was once unthinkable has all but happened. It is likely that sometime in the near future, Libertarian party candidate Gary Johnson will be learning just exactly what a Leppo is.

Earlier this year, Donald Trump’s administration ended a military aid program for these Syrian rebels.

The motivations of Trump in doing this favor for Putin have raised questions of a possible quid pro quo. An exchange for the help Trump received in fighting dirty against Hillary Clinton from Wikileaks and other Kremlin propaganda outlets. They remain a large part of the reason for the Mueller investigation into Donald Trump’s connections and activities leading up to 2016. This investigation had former Chief of Staff, Reince “Fly-Killer” Priebus, lawyering up as of Sunday.

The Russian military intervention in the Syrian conflict began in September 2015. The entire civilized world stood in universal condemnation of Assad’s civil rights abuses. His hold on Syria’s government seemed increasingly tenuous. Deciding his situation had become at last untenable, Assad asked Russia in an official capacity for military help against the rebel groups funded by America since 2012, and Russia answered his call.

Sending forth its forces against the enemies of Assad’s regime gave a boost to Putin’s foreign policy standingDamien Kingsbury, in The Drum on Thursday, speaks of Moscow  as “positioning itself as a critical actor in the future political shape of the region, just as France and Britain were in 1916 when they developed the Sykes-Picot Agreement.”

Shortly after the operation began, Russian officials were cited as saying that Russia′s goals included helping the Syrian government retake territory from various anti-government groups that were labelled by the United States and its coalition as ″moderate opposition″, a broader geopolitical objective being to roll back U.S. influence.

The Russian intervention in Syria launched a new and even more complicated phase in the Syrian civil war. We were backing different sides, and fighting right next door to one another.

The Russians claimed that they wanted to be part of a new international coalition in Iraq, where we were all going to fight ISIS together. Reality did not end up supporting those claims. Russia rarely did much to target ISIS in Syria. What it did do was to prop up Assad while undermining the rebels . The goal was to prolong the conflict until Obama had been forced out of office by term restrictions, something neither Putin nor Assad has to worry about.

Russia’s military campaign allowed Assad’s forces to recapture rebel strongholds, a task they did with terrible viciousness and incalculable human suffering. It barely dented ISIS, whose recent territorial losses have largely come at the hands of Kurdish militias backed by a US-led coalition.

The stated Russian purpose was to shorten the war, but they succeeded in doing just the opposite. Ironically, it was this very Russian- enabled savagery that sent yet more waves of refugees flooding into Turkey and Europe, possibly leading to the Paris attacks that year.

The Syrian Civil War was a test lab for Putin in many ways. It allowed him to test the resolve of the West, which he found wanting. It opened the possibility of an entirely different type of proxy war, one with a virtual battlefield. It provided one of his first opportunities to practice the use of disinformation directly against his enemies in NATO. The entire Russian narrative, that they were over there to lend a hand in a global anti-ISIS coalition was one enormous exercise in state- sanctioned lying, and they got away with it.

The Kremlin did legitimately view ISIS as a security concern. But Russian troops usually did little to engage with them, instead focusing their air campaign against the anti- Assad opposition groups that America had been financing during Obama’s tenure in office.

Russia’s anti-ISIS rhetoric served it well as a pretext to pursue its larger strategic objectives. They conjured an excuse, entered the fray, and used their military power toward the goal of preserving Assad’s control over Syria. Although President Obama showed understandable reticence at the idea of being drawn “into a proxy war between the United States and Russia,” he was not able to avoid it.

Shoring up Assad was a core Russian objective. Its purpose was to allow them to keep intact one of their most reliable regional allies. Russia planned to cement its foothold in the Middle East, while simultaneously expanding its influence through its partnership with Iran, and their network of regional proxies.

Backed by Russia, Assad has regained control of much of the country in the past two years. His continued presence atop the Syrian apex is looking more like a fait accompli all the time. And since the United States has done nothing to help them since Obama left office, long time enemies like Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been forced to start coming around to working with the Russians. There has been no alternative.

The nature of today’s interconnected society means all these issues impact not just the countries involved, but the entire world. And make no mistake- what is at stake here, is nothing less than the entire order of global alignment. Americans have enjoyed the view from atop it ever since the end of World War Two. Russia would like nothing better than ascending to the number one spot.

Putin is exerting pressure everywhere. His manifested ability to disrupt the electoral processes of Western powers has allowed him a leverage over us that the Soviet Union never came close to having. His aims of destabilizing his enemies have undoubtedly been realized.

The same disinformation machine that misled so many in Syria, has now interrupted our national harmony as well. We have proven unable to effectively respond to his maneuvers in the Middle East or Ukraine, since Trump refuses to do anything against Putin without being forced. His presidency has thrown our domestic affairs into complete turmoil, and that was Putin’s reason for giving him aid.

This has also allowed Putin to start gaining influence in North Korea, a staunch ally during the days of the Soviet Union. Their nuclear testing recently has made them a scourge and a threat to the entire Pacific region, and has caused a great deal of unrest everywhere. Common sense would dictate that Putin turn these happenings to advantage.

Recently, Japan was forced to negotiate a “special system” for joint economic activity on the disputed Kuril Islands, a bone of contention for their countries for decades. This hardly seems coincidental. In August Russia flew nuclear-capable “Bear” bombers near Japan.  One U.S. official described the Russian bomber flight as “clearly meant to send a message.”

Until Democrats are back in power, this order of business will likely continue all but unabated.

Having been given a free hand all over the world, Putin has been using his time with tremendous skill and vigor. If we don’t find ourselves a leader capable of successfully competing we’ll be flat on our backs within a few years. He put everything on the line to try and hamstring Hillary Clinton, and the scenario we’re seeing now is why.

Were it not for Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, things would likely be even worse.

Recently, Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone said that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was “Treating Donald Trump like a mushroom. Keeping him in the dark, and feeding him sh*t.

After the staff of Millennial Democrats finished dying with laughter, they were born again, thinking about the nature of mushrooms and how they spread. A look at this might help us to illustrate our issue. Putin and Trump are behaving like mushrooms and cows in a pasture. They work in symbiosis. The chaos left in the wake of Trump’s passing scatters Putin’s spores to release and start spreading out, thus forming new colonies.

Putin is an invasive species, meaning that he has a tendency to spread to a degree believed to cause damage to the environment, human economy or human health. The best way to deal with him is to learn to identify and effectively remove the tendrils he puts down. This means learning to identify and prevent the spread of fake news. In this matter we can look to Ukraine and find there a useful frame of reference.

Since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, the Ukrainians have fought the Russian disinformation machine more often than anyone. The first site to directly tackle and refute Russian propaganda was StopFake.org, and they have scored many notable successes. Not only have they proven that Russia’s lying machine can be defeated, they have proven all you need to do it is your common sense.

Ultimately, the responsibility for beating back the fake news plague belongs to us. Our own critical thinking skills are the most valuable weapon we have. Every one of us must strive to educate ourselves with each passing day. We’re running out of time in which to prepare.

The geopolitical chessboard is an ever-shifting entity. Empires collapse all the time. The Syrian Civil War has done much to shape the new reality, that being that the side we were supporting lost. This will need to be carefully observed in the times ahead. The United States has entered perilous waters.

There’s still a lot we can do, however. The Democratic National Committee has coined the hashtag #RiseAndOrganize, and that option is very much open to us. There is nothing in the world right now so crucial as the Congress returning to Democratic control next year. It is only by way of this that we’ll get a group of guys in there who will impeach Donald Trump, who is the single biggest asset Putin has. To stabilize the global order, we will first stabilize our backyard.

Why Russia Finances Radicalism Worldwide- Destability Tactics

I. On the manipulation of foreign powers by Russia, through means of homegrown radicalism.
The hostile world power that is Russia has crafted a meticulous plan to realign the European order as subordinate to the interests of the Kremlin. Their big obstacle was America. So they hatched a plot to remove us from the playing board. Our nation has been victimized. This is a foreign act of war unparalleled in all of history. And we have no leadership who can help us navigate this crisis. Our President is a dangerously childish and unbalanced man.

Trump is not the first corrupt politician in the history of the United States, but he is the first to use his presidential power outright to attack and dismantle the country’s skeletal structure. He is actively working on selling us to the Russians, just to spite all the people that hate him. Updated are the days of Fireside Chats, where unifying speeches of comfort were given by a wise and resolute leader of the world’s strongest nation, directly to the people. These days, our President speaks directly to the people as well, by taking to Twitter daily to berate and insult them.

While he amuses himself with sundry nonsense, Vladimir Putin and Russia are getting away with bloody murder. Soon, his presidency will be over. The Russia thing isn’t going away. But the damage he can do in the meantime, by allowing a thirsty ogre like Putin to have a nice drink of our blood, might not be possible to undo. Putin really is what Trump is only playing at– a billionaire tyrant willing to crush any and all who oppose him. He’s got his claws in us and he’s pulling hard to bring us crashing down.

Our system is on the verge of total collapse, and radicals on both sides of our political spectrum are deliberately clueless to this- or stupid enough to believe it’s a good thing. Putin knows all this quite well, of course. It’s the lightning bolt he has readied to strike us down. If we don’t wake up sometime very soon, the day is going to come where we don’t have a choice anymore. We’re going to wake up one day as slaves.

The way that things are now, America’s own press is out of the loop. Trump is actively working together with Putin and others to see that it stays that way. If you want to know what’s going to happen next in America, you must now pay close attention to what is being done and said elsewhere. When the treasonous disgrace stinking up the Oval Office met with Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey I. Kislyak, Moscow’s ambassador to the United States earlier this year, he excluded the American press, but let the Russian press in.

At this same meeting, Trump spilled crucial intelligence relating to a terrorist plot being cooked up by ISIS. He went rambling off script, like the cocaine addict so many suspect him of being, and gave away secrets he was not supposed to share. This may well lead to a moratorium on transfers of intelligence data between us and Israel, our most important Middle Eastern ally, and they keystone of stability in the region.

Recently, Hungary’s foreign minister Peter Szijjarto called Putin’s visit to Hungary “timely”. He then added that sanctions against Russia were “useless”. During a recent visit to Moscow, Szijjarto said: “So far, whenever we tried to work on improving our bilateral relationship, we had to face American pressure not to do it and European pressure not to do it.
Now … there will be no American pressure.

The most critical fracture point currently on the map is Ukraine. Ukraine’s nearly three-year battle against Kremlin-backed separatists in the east erupted into the worst fighting in two years in late January. Exactly why the fighting intensified recently remains unclear, though such encounters have occurred with some frequency during unrest that included Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014.

The small city of Avdiivka, 90 miles north of Mariupol, became the epicenter of the recent violence. ​​​​​​The fighting quickly spread along a 300-mile line separating the Ukrainian government-controlled lands and those claimed by separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. One can only imagine what it must be like for those people, living as they are directly under the Russian cleaver. The Russians came into these people’s town, gave money and guns to the local Mafia, and used domestic grievances as a cheap excuse to have at their slaughter. If we leave Ukraine to its fate, do we deserve better? Who will rescue our children, if we let theirs be fed to the beast?

If Russia can gain a toehold using ideology and the stupidity and arrogance of Westerners who have never known war, why wouldn’t they? Russia had to pay cash for its allies in Europe. Trump gave it up for free, like the Slovenian slob he married. Elsewhere, Putin had to spend a lot of money to help promote his rightward agenda. He found his first proxy in France’s Marine Le Pen, prominent leader of the far right French National Front party. Because of the National Front’s racist and anti-Semitic past, French banks have consistently and to their credit declined to lend her party any money.

Marine Le Pen has been financed by the Kremlin from the start. She was bought and paid for by Putin.

In 2014, the National Front took Russian loans worth €11m (£9.4m). One of the loans, for €9m, came from a small bank, First Czech Russian Bank, with links to the Kremlin.

The negotiations over the loan coincided with Russia’s annexation of Crimea, a move roundly condemned by EU governments. However, Marine Le Pen publicly stated the opposite view, leading some to question whether the loans were a quid-pro-quo. Far right parties across Europe as well, including the German AfD, the French Front National, and the Austrian FPO, depend on Moscow for their support and backbone. The once-sincere values of conservatism, embodified as an ideal in Theodore Roosevelt, have now been dragged so deeply through the mud as to become little more than a euphemism, meaning “Putin’s donkey”.

Putin has expressed the unkind and ungrateful view that the West “would like Russia to be down at the heels”. He said, “I sometimes get the impression that they love it when they need to send us humanitarian aid. These so-called ruling circles, elites — political and economic — of those countries, they love it when we are impoverished, poor and when we come hat in hand. As soon as we start declaring some interests of our own, they feel that there is some element of geopolitical rivalry.” This is mostly unfair, considering that much of the over $22.6 billion dollars raised by the International Monetary Fund created to aid the Russians in their post-Soviet reconstruction was raised by the United States, who never got any of it back.

Mighty Russia, for all its cyber-terror and nuclear weaponry, still has only around the economic strength of little Italy. Every thought Putin has, every strategy that motivates him, is how he can assert strategic control over all those resources. His primary objective towards achieving that ultimate goal depends on two things. First, to reassert Russian international power. To Make Russia Great Again. He wants it to resume what he considers its rightful place as a respected world power, although he will settle for being merely feared. To secure this world power, he must first shore up and be in firm control of Russia’s domestic power. An understanding of all of this is where U.S. policy must begin.