Saturday, November 9, 2019

Trump’s Syrian See-Saw: From Pullout to Pillage

thegrayzone.com
To withdraw, or not to withdraw? That is the question Donald Trump, in his own inimitable way, has answered both ways.
First came the withdrawal. It was real, and had a significant effect. Trump ordered the removal of US troops from Kurdish areas, putting an end to the prospect of an independent Kurdish statelet, split off from Syria. Such a partition was always implausible, given the general balance of forces in the region and the specific refusal of NATO-member Turkey to accept any such thing. (Turkey had already invaded Syria in 2016, and the Obama-Biden administration ordered the Kurds to accept it.) It was also a lynchpin of the longstanding Plan B for dismembering the Syrian state. As I argued in a previous article, agreeing with ”the entire spectrum of US-imperialist politics and media,” Trump’s withdrawal decision “marked ‘a major turning point in Syria’s long war’ and has, indeed, ‘upended decades’ of imperialist and Zionist plans for the Middle East.” 
But, as I also noted, Trump is impulsive, shallow, and weak, and “surrounds himself with neocon deep-state actors on whom he depends and who often ignore or actively oppose…his non-interventionist instincts,” and who “may yet get him to reverse that [decision] or over-compensate for it.”
And thus it came to be. Kinda-sorta.

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (11/8/2019)

Bloomberg Plans to Jump Into 2020 Race: Is He Being Pushed?

It’s Friday, so that means it's panel time.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is planning to join the Democratic presidential primary campaign. The decision is a shift in direction for Bloomberg, who said in March that he wouldn't be running. Is there a path here for Bloomberg? Is this a public rebuke of the performance so far of former US Vice President Joe Biden, who has attempted to build a coalition of the same moderate Democrats that Bloomberg would court? Will this inflame the populist wing of the party? Where does he pull votes from?

"House Republicans’ latest plan to shield President Trump from impeachment is to focus on at least three deputies — US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, and possibly acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney — who they say could have acted on their own to influence Ukraine policy," the Washington Post reported Thursday. Is this a plausible defense?
[Related articles: The Empire Steps Back: Trump Withdraws From Syria – Impeachment Now PossibleDead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit]

Loud & Clear Discussion of Burisma's Use of Hunter Biden (11/6/2019)

New reports show Hunter Biden’s political value to Ukrainian Burisma company

A lobbying firm representing Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy company that famously had Hunter Biden on its board of directors, referenced Biden’s role in the company when it contacted the State Department in 2016 to downplay concerns about corruption. The revelation, so far published only in the conservative media, is important because the lobbying took place at almost exactly the same time that then-Vice President Joe Biden was pressuring Ukraine’s president to fire a prosecutor in order to secure $1 billion in loan assistance. Brian and John speak with Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net.
[Related articles: The Empire Steps Back: Trump Withdraws From Syria – Impeachment Now PossibleDead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit]

Listen to "New reports show Hunter Biden’s political value to Ukrainian Burisma company" on Spreaker.

Loud & Clear is a daily program of news, commentary, and political analysis on Radio Sputnik, hosted by Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, featuring independent experts, activists, and political writers. (Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.)

Monday, November 4, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (11/1/2019)

Contrary to Mainstream Media Reports, Slowdown Begins: Are We Close to Recession?

It’s Friday, so that means it's panel time.

On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported, "The US economy cooled over the summer, growing at a 1.9 percent annualized pace from July through September, the latest sign that the slowdown is deepening. Economists anticipated slightly weaker growth following President Donald Trump’s decision to dramatically expand his trade war with China." On Friday, the Post reported, "The United States added 128,000 jobs in October as the jobless rate ticked up to 3.6 percent, outperforming analyst forecasts during a month in which one of the largest private-employer strikes in recent years weighed on the economy."

Friday, November 1, 2019

Loud & Clear Discussion of House Impeachment Vote (10/31/2019)

It’s Official: Impeachment Goes Forward with Newly Passed Rules

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jim Kavanagh, editor of thepolemicist.net.

The House today voted to move forward on a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump. The inquiry will include public hearings and will end with a formal vote on impeachment. Meanwhile, Republican senators are adopting a more sober tone on impeachment.

[Related articles: The Empire Steps Back: Trump Withdraws From Syria – Impeachment Now PossibleDead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit]

Listen to "It’s Official: Impeachment Goes Forward with Newly Passed Rules" on Spreaker.

Loud & Clear is a daily program of news, commentary, and political analysis on Radio Sputnik, hosted by Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, featuring independent experts, activists, and political writers. (Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.)

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