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China's Military "Transformation" Cuts Ground Forces By Half, To Boost Navy and Air Force

A Convenient Killing of US Troops in Syria

With unseemly haste, US news media leapt on the killing of four American military personnel in Syria as a way to undermine President Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw troops from that country.

The deadly attack in the northern city of Manbij, on the west bank of the Euphrates River, was reported to have been carried out by a suicide bomber. The Islamic State (ISIS) terror group reportedly claimed responsibility, but the group routinely makes such claims which often turn out to be false.

The American military personnel were said to be on a routine patrol of Manbij where US forces have been backing Kurdish militants in a purported campaign against ISIS and other terror groups.

An explosion at a restaurant resulted in two US troops and two Pentagon civilian officials being killed, along with more than a dozen other victims. Three other US military persons were among those injured.

US media highlighted the bombing as the biggest single death toll of American forces in Syria since they began operations in the country nearly four years ago.

The US and Kurdish militia have been in control of Manbij for over two years. It is one of the main sites from where American troops are to withdraw under Trump’s exit plan, which he announced on December 19.

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Buzzfeed Commits Journalistic Suicide and the World Celebrates the Demise of Fake News Criminals

The Vice President’s Men

When George H.W. Bush arrived in Washington as vice president in January 1981 he seemed little more than a sideshow to Ronald Reagan, the one-time leading man who had been overwhelmingly elected to the greatest stage in the world. Biography after inconclusive biography would be written about Reagan’s two terms, as their authors tried to square the many gaps in his knowledge with his seemingly acute political instincts and the ease with which he appeared to handle the presidency. Bush was invariably written off as a cautious politician who followed the lead of his glamorous boss – perhaps because he assumed that his reward would be a clear shot at the presidency in 1988. He would be the first former CIA director to make it to the top.

There was another view of Bush: the one held by the military men and civilian professionals who worked for him on national security issues. Unlike the president, he knew what was going on and how to get things done. For them, Reagan was ‘a dimwit’ who didn’t get it, or even try to get it. A former senior official of the Office of Management and Budget described the president to me as ‘lazy, just lazy’. Reagan, the official explained, insisted on being presented with a three-line summary of significant budget decisions, and the OMB concluded that the easiest way to cope was to present him with three figures – one very high, one very low and one in the middle, which Reagan invariably signed off on. I was later told that the process was known inside the White House as the ‘Goldilocks option’. He was also bored by complicated intelligence estimates. Forever courteous and gracious, he would doodle during national security briefings or simply not listen. It would have been natural to turn instead to the director of the CIA, but this was William Casey, a former businessman and Nixon aide who had been controversially appointed by Reagan as the reward for managing his 1980 election campaign. As the intelligence professionals working with the executive saw it, Casey was reckless, uninformed, and said far too much to the press.

Bush was different: he got it. At his direction, a team of military operatives was set up that bypassed the national security establishment – including the CIA – and wasn’t answerable to congressional oversight. It was led by Vice-Admiral Arthur Moreau, a brilliant navy officer who would be known to those on the inside as ‘M’. He had most recently been involved, as deputy chief of naval operations, in developing the US’s new maritime strategy, aimed at restricting Soviet freedom of movement. In May 1983 he was promoted to assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John Vessey, and over the next couple of years he oversaw a secret team – operating in part out of the office of Daniel Murphy, Bush’s chief of staff – which quietly conducted at least 35 covert operations against drug trafficking, terrorism and, most important, perceived Soviet expansionism in more than twenty countries, including Peru, Honduras, Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina, Libya, Senegal, Chad, Algeria, Tunisia, the Congo, Kenya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia and Vietnam.

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Ilhan Omar Defends Her Comment Accusing Israel of 'Evil Doings'

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Farage: MPs Engaged in ‘Betrayal of Greatest Democratic Exercise in Our History’

Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage has said that the political class ignoring the will of the people is a “complete betrayal of the greatest democratic exercise in the history of our nation.”

Calling out the establishment for attempting to frustrate Brexit, Mr Farage said on Jeremy Vine on 5 on Tuesday, “Let’s be clear: we didn’t just vote [to Leave the European Union] in a referendum — we backed it up in a General Election where 80 percent of people voted for parties that said they would honour the result of the referendum.”

“And then 500 MPs voted for Article 50… they are our elected representatives, they took the decision, and now they are trying to wriggle out of that,” the Brexiteer said, alluding to MPs attempting to suspend or even stop Brexit to avoid leaving on World Trade Organization (WTO) terms if Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU Withdrawal Agreement is voted down on Tuesday evening.

“Our political class cannot accept the idea that we become an independent country. They haven’t got the vision, they haven’t got the breadth, they haven’t got the imagination and clearly none of them are looking for the Channel and seeing what is happening in France right now — what’s happening in Italy right now,” he continued, in reference to the populist riots against French president Emmanuel Macron’s progressive reforms and the election of the populist-nationalist government in Italy — both representing a rejection of the globalist European Project.

“The European Union is about to go through a massive wholesale change. Here’s our chance to lead the way to a better Europe of sovereign countries working together.”

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The New Trump Russia Narrative Falls Apart... AGAIN?!

Fall of Empires: London, Washington & Paris on brink of collapse

Despite the thrashing around of the NATO disinformation apparat, the imperial heartland has entered 2019 in a state of complete chaos.

Washington, London, and Paris – the three capitals of the Empire – are today effectively ungoverned, shutdown, tottering on the brink of collapse or under siege by their own people.

Their self-chosen Nemeses – Moscow and Beijing – meanwhile toast the New Year in a state of considerable optimism and self-confidence. These are the facts, this is the news.

We should start at the top of the Empire. The United States government has closed down amid stasis and a barrage of inter-governmental howitzers.

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Brazil’s President Withdraws From Migration Pact, 2518

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French Prime Minister Proposes Government Registry of Demonstrators

Following the large turnout throughout France for the eighth week of “yellow vest” (Gilets jaunes) protests this past Saturday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on French television Monday night the imposition of an extraordinary law to suppress the demonstrations. Taking up measures initially put forward by the neo-fascists, he proposed that demonstrators be placed on government subversive lists and subjected to financial sanctions.

Philippe admitted that the “yellow vest” protests express social anger shared by workers throughout France, and indeed across Europe.

“From the beginning, in the statements of the ‘yellow vests’, there were demands for more purchasing power, speaking for French people who felt forgotten and ignored,” he declared.

But despite this admission, Philippe stressed that his government would not change its widely hated policy, but rather would seek to suppress the movement by putting in place additional obstacles to the right to demonstrate and strengthening the vast police apparatus for use against the population.

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FORMER ISRAELI ENERGY MINISTER PLEADS GUILTY TO SPYING FOR IRAN!

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Bolton’s Syria Conditions Are Designed to Prevent U.S. Withdrawal

Bolton continued his efforts to drag out withdrawal from Syria for as long as possible:

President Trump’s national security adviser, John R. Bolton, rolled back on Sunday Mr. Trump’s decision to rapidly withdraw from Syria, laying out conditions for a pullout that could leave American forces there for months or even years.

One of the reasons that I didn’t believe that U.S. withdrawal from Syria would really happen was the presence of Bolton and Pompeo on Trump’s national security team. As committed Iran hawks, they have strong incentives to delay and undermine any withdrawal plan, and Bolton is already doing that with his current trip abroad to “reassure” regional clients. It seems that they will pay lip service to the long-term goal of withdrawal, play along with the idea that U.S. forces will eventually leave, but then set so many conditions and create so many obstacles to withdrawal that it will never take place.

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US Quietly Deploying Troops Overseas Ahead of Possible ‘Violent Demonstrations’

Taiwan Will "Never Accept" Reunification With Beijing, President Says

Following a menacing speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping where he threatened violence against Taiwan should it pursue de jure independence from China and laid bare his intentions to push for a "one country, two systems" arrangement for what China considers to be a 'rogue province', pro-independence Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen clapped back at Xi in comments to the BBC on Wednesday, where she said the island would never accept reunification with China on Beijing's terms.

After defending the status quo and calling on Beijing to "face the reality" of Taiwan's continued independence, Tsai declared on Wednesday that the island, which has functioned like a de facto country since 1949, when defeated nationalists led by Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai Shek fled across the Strait of Taiwan to seek refuge from the Communists, would never agree to the "one country, two systems" arrangement like the one that governs Hong Kong.

But on Wednesday, Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen said the island would never accept reunification with China under the terms offered by Beijing.

"I want to reiterate that Taiwan will never accept 'one country, two systems'. The vast majority of Taiwanese public opinion also resolutely opposes 'one country, two systems', and this is also the 'Taiwan consensus'."

Under the "one country, two systems" formula, Taiwan would have the right to run its own affairs; a similar arrangement is used in Hong Kong.

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Hackers Threaten to Release 9/11 Insurance Docs

Powerful U.S. forces work against pullout of troops from Syria

President Donald Trump’s announcement on Dec. 20 that his administration would quickly pull some 2,000 troops from Syria and 7,000 of the 14,000 in Afghanistan seemed to have caught many high-ranking U.S. as well and U.S. allies around the globe off guard.

It is unclear, however, to what extent the pullout will be able to be implemented. Trump is under a lot of pressure from even his supporters to back off or slow down the plan.

This often happens throughout history, when the core beliefs of a country promulgated by elites are challenged — and in the case of the U.S., it is both Republican and Democratic elites. The dismay at the retirement of Secretary of Defense James Mattis indicates the many battles ahead for a rebalancing of U.S. foreign policy.

The writer of this op-ed misses one very critical fact; the "winner" from this draw-down of US forces in Syria, is Israel's Benyamin Netanyahu, now fighting for his political life because he is on the keening edge of potentially being indicted for corruption by Israel's Attorney General.

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