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Did Russia play both sides for fools?

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Did Russia play both sides for fools

For a few weeks, I’ve been looking into a theory about Russia’s involvement in American politics that goes well beyond simply trying to sway elections. I don’t normally research stories for this long (I prefer writing easy commentary over difficult investigative reporting), but I had to be very sure before sharing my thoughts. The reason: it’s a conspiracy theory. The last thing we need is more conspiracy theories without evidence to support them.

As it turns out, my delay was fruitful. The last piece to the puzzle was released yesterday when it was revealed Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC paid to have the infamous Trump-Russia Dossier compiled:

House Clinton: The sizzling series finale, featuring the Trump ‘dossier’

http://noqreport.com/2017/10/24/house-clinton-sizzling-series-finale-featuring-trump-dossier/After the election, in January, Buzzfeed, with zero evidence of the veracity of their “scoop” (which in fact had been shopped to all the major media), published it. FBI Director James Comey personally briefed Trump on the dossier and its contents–knowing that Christopher Steele, the British former intelligence officer who compiled it, was working for the FBI itself.

Fusion GPS, the shadowy oppo research firm that paid Steele, has been fighting Congress tooth-and-nail, invoking their Fifth Amendment rights, and battling Rep. Devin Nunes subpoena of its bank records to discover who paid what to whom.

Before I get into my theory, let me lay out a few disclaimers up front. I supported Ted Cruz for the GOP presidential nomination. I would have preferred his opponent had been Bernie Sanders, not because I would support or ever vote for him but because I wanted zero chance of Hillary Clinton being the President. Also, I’m co-founder of the Federalist Party, so if there’s a hint of bias against the Democrats and Republicans, it’s because I don’t trust either major party anymore. Both are opposed to limited government so I’m opposed to both of them.

With that out of the way, let’s get to the theory.

Russia played both sides

It’s for more diligent journalists, law enforcement officials, or Capitol Hill panels to determine what Russia’s involvement has been in both the elections and the state of American politics. I don’t know if they have dirt on President Trump or those close to him. I don’t know for certain what they’re holding over Hillary Clinton or those associated with her. This theory is based upon the fairly safe assumption that Russia has been making moves to gain leverage over people within the United States government.

The theory was born from a simple question: why Trump? Vladimir Putin is known to favor the status quo in nearly every situation. Clinton represented the epitome of the status quo, so if we’re to assume Russia was helping Trump, one would have to wonder why. It didn’t make sense for any of the three main reasons people were giving. Let’s look at those three reasons and why none made sense.

  1. “Putin didn’t like Clinton but did like Trump and through he could either trust him more or manipulate him more easily.” Don’t read into the alleged bromance between Trump and Putin. They are leaders of nations that aren’t direct enemies anymore but whose interests exist in contention with the other’s. Therefore, it comes down to politics. Putin not liking Clinton is irrelevant. Even if he actually likes Trump (he doesn’t), it would also be irrelevant. Superpowers do not make decisions about one another based upon personality compatibility.
  2. “Putin has dirt on Trump.” This may be true, but there’s almost no chance he doesn’t have dirt on Hillary as well. We’re seeing some of that with Uranium One. They may have more of her emails that haven’t been released. Then, there’s the Dossier which we’ll get to shortly.
  3. “Russia liked Trump’s ‘America First’ policy because they thought it would give them the advantage in foreign affairs.” There may be some truth to this, but it’s completely negated by Trump’s promises about the military. The last thing Russia wants is a President who bolsters the United States military.

If none of the solutions to a problem make sense, the next step is to reevaluate the assumed problem. What if the premise was flawed? Maybe Russia wasn’t really trying to support Trump. What if they were playing both sides? If their goal was not to put one or the other into the White House but to have leverage regardless of who won, then the premise is no longer the notion they were supporting Trump. The new premise would be that they already had enough dirt on Clinton and wanted to stir up dirt on Trump. What’s the easiest way to do that? To be his friend. To talk to his people. To offer assistance. To earn their trust.

To collect dirt.

The flaw to this theory was twofold. The first flaw resolved itself with the Dossier itself. I’ll cover that shortly. The second flaw resolved itself in the last two weeks. That flaw was really more of a question that needed to be answered: What dirt did they have on Clinton? Uranium One seemed to be an easy choice, but it wasn’t enough to make me feel secure that it was the real smoking gun, though some have been saying it was exactly that. The emails they hacked were also an easy choice, but it seemed as if most that were accessible had already been leaked. If they got to her emails before they were wiped, then perhaps that really was the ace they had up their sleeves. Still, there was something else pricking at my brain for a while.

When the news broke that she participated in funding the Dossier, I realized this was it. No, it’s not what was in the Dossier or her involvement in putting it together. Her fingerprints wouldn’t be directly on it. What they have is something we don’t know and likely will never know now that she lost. Put your tinfoil hat on before you read this because now is when I get into the very speculative portion of today’s broadcast…

From here out, it’s all speculation

Before I go into detail about the conspiracy theory itself, let’s consider the Dossier itself. This is an important clue. It reada like a fake documentary co-directed by David Fincher and Darren Aronofsky, written by Oliver Stone, and starring Rodney Dangerfield. It was intended to be so outrageous that only die-hard Trump haters could believe it. That’s not to say none of it was true. Because very little of it was verifiable by any stretch of the investigative imagination, it was completely ineffective.

As intended.

Why was it produced like this? Because Hillary and the DNC wanted dirt on Trump and were willing to make promises in order to get it. They paid to get the information, but then they were swindled. They were told there was damning information uncovered, but before they could get their hands on it the interested parties (the Russians) wanted assurances. They wanted to know where Clinton stood on certain topics. They wanted a deal.

Again, this is purely speculation, but if the deal to get the Dossier out there included a conversation directly with Hillary to make the right assurances, it’s possible she did so. That’s the leverage they wanted over her if she won. All they needed was to have some form of proof that Clinton paid for and made a deal to get the Dossier.

Once the deal was done, all that was left was to over-deliver on the goods. They handed them a Dossier that was so damaging to Trump he would never be President. The problem was that it was too damaging. It was too sensational. It was so damaging and so spectacular that they couldn’t use any of it. Sticking with the movie analogies, they were promised a script for the next Star Wars franchise and were handed Waterworld.

How Russia’s winning today

I’m not one to admit defeat easily, but with all the turmoil in DC today, Russia is getting what they wanted. Putin loves the status quo, but don’t underestimate his appreciation for disarray within the status quo. The polarization of today’s American political environment is based solely on feelings rather than function. Some people like Trump’s ideas until they find out their his. Others would follow Trump off the proverbial cliff if he said so. It doesn’t matter that the Republicans are putting out an insanely large budget or that the Democrats seem to be embracing certain precepts of federalism. The dichotomy in philosophies isn’t nearly as large as the dichotomy of allegiances.

We are a divided house. Russia doesn’t care whose responsible for division as long as it’s happening. It would have happened had Hillary won as well. Either would just be a leader in DC that Russia hoped to sway. That’s what they really wanted. That was their end game. It’s not that they wanted one over the other. They wanted sow discord and have leverage regardless of the winner.

Christian, husband, father. EIC, NOQ Report. Co-Founder, the Federalist Party. Just a normal guy who will no longer sit around while the country heads in the wrong direction.

Entertainment and Sports

History repeats itself: Once again the National media praises a Socialist Dictatorship.

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Being like-minded is the only reasonable explanation for this behaviour.

The occasion was the Olympic games with the national media falling all over itself to heap praise upon the a leadership of a socialist regime. But instead of a murderous socialist regime in North Korea, it was a murderous socialist regime in Germany just before WWII:

“Foreigners who know Germany only from what they have seen during this pleasant fortnight can carry home only one impression: it is that this is a nation happy and prosperous beyond belief, that Hitler is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, political leaders in the world today, and the Germans themselves are a much-maligned, hospitable, holy, peaceful people who deserve the best the world can give them.” New York Times, editorial August 16, 1936

Presumably this was before the nonsensical ‘Godwin’s law’ made the mentioning of Socialist monsters of the past verboten. Curiously enough, this is primarily used by Leftists in trying to suppress discussions of their blood soaked history. ‘Never forget’ is extremely difficult when one can ‘Never Mention’ the murderous past and present of the collectivist ideology.

Back then the New York Times had a bit more balance in it’s coverage with these headlines:

100,000 Hail Hitler; U.S. Athletes Avoid Nazi Salute To Him;

U.S. Welcome Is Mixed, Whistling Interpreted as ‘Bronx Cheer’ Is Heard as Team Gives Its Own Salute.

So why are we witness to a somewhat similar display from the national media reporting on the representatives from another Socialist nation, one that hails from North Korea instead of Germany?

Could it be they are merely ignorant that they are helping that authoritarian regime and do not understand it’s true nature? A government that starves, tortures imprisons and publicly executes it’s own people?
Was it as some have suggested in these cases, cheering for the rebel or the underdog?
Perhaps it is their way somehow going after the Trump administration?

Or could it just be that they are of the same ideological mindset?

We can dispense with giving them the benefit of the doubt. These are people of allegedly high intelligence, as is most of the Socialist-Left – Just ask them. With few exceptions – namely Buzzfeed of all places – it is hard to believe they do not understand the role they are playing with the woman who heads the ‘Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers’ Party of Korea. Nor can they be excused of not knowing the horrors taking place in what is essentially an open air concentration camp. Again, these are people who fashion themselves as the intellectual elite of the nation, the crème de la crème of the Left, standing up for the downtrodden everywhere, except North Korea.

It’s also hard to believe that the National media is really cheering for the underdog, given that description hardly extends a Germany under the iron fist of the Nationalsozialistische deutsche Arbeiter-Partei or the Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik. It should also be clear that the national media has a history of this kind of advocacy that existed long before Trump ascended the public stage.

So, the obvious conclusions is that they are of the same collectivist mindset. No doubt if pressed, they would offer the same excuses for the starvation, oppression and mass murder used for other collectivist nations as ‘not really socialism.’ Or that the Socialism they advocate (were they truly honest about who they are) would be ‘done correctly’ in their case.

No, these were merely people cheering for their ideological brethren, and we’ll just leave it at that.

 

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Culture and Religion

3 concerning updates on Pope Francis

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3 concerning updates on Pope Francis

Pope Francis has been quite active in 2018 and its only the beginning of February. Many big stories regarding the Pope are receiving little attention. Pope Francis seeks to be different from his predecessors but it doesn’t appear he’s immune from the pedophilia scandals within the Catholic Church. As the Pope branches out to reach more people, is the Chinese government really a good partner for the Christian faith? Lastly the Pope Francis balances his call to fight antisemitism with encouraging a highly Islamic regime.

Story 1

CBS News- AP: Despite denial, Pope Francis got sex abuse victim’s letter

Pope Francis received a victim’s letter in 2015 that graphically detailed how a priest sexually abused him and how other Chilean clergy ignored it, contradicting the pope’s recent insistence that no victims had come forward to denounce the cover-up, the letter’s author and members of Francis’ own sex- abuse commission have told The Associated Press.

The fact that Francis received the eight-page letter, obtained by the AP, challenges his insistence that he has “zero tolerance” for sex abuse and cover-ups. It also calls into question his stated empathy with abuse survivors, compounding the most serious crisis of his five-year papacy.

While the victims’ testimony was deemed credible by both Vatican and Chilean prosecutors, the local church hierarchy clearly didn’t believe them, which might have influenced Francis’ view. Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz has acknowledged he didn’t believe the victims initially and shelved an investigation. He was forced to reopen it after the victims went public. He is now one of the Argentine pope’s key cardinal advisers.

In a rare rebuke of a pope by a cardinal, O’Malley issued a statement Jan. 20 in which he said the pope’s words were “a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse,” and that such expressions had the effect of abandoning victims and relegating them to “discredited exile.”

A day later, Francis apologized for having demanded “proof” of wrongdoing by Barros, saying he meant merely that he wanted to see “evidence.” But he continued to describe the accusations against Barros as “calumny” and insisted he had never heard from any victims.

Even when told in his airborne press conference Jan. 21 that Karadima’s victims had indeed placed Barros at the scene of Karadima’s abuse, Francis said: “No one has come forward. They haven’t provided any evidence for a judgment. This is all a bit vague. It’s something that can’t be accepted.”

He stood by Barros, saying: “I’m certain he’s innocent,” even while saying that he considered the testimony of victims to be “evidence” in a cover-up investigation.

Story 2

WSJ: Pope Francis to Bow to China With Concession on Bishops

Pope Francis has decided to accept the legitimacy of seven Catholic bishops appointed by the Chinese government, a concession that the Holy See hopes will lead Beijing to recognize his authority as head of the Catholic Church in China, according to a person familiar with the plan.

For years, the Vatican didn’t recognize the bishops’ ordinations, which were carried out in defiance of the pope and considered illicit, part of a long-running standoff between the Catholic Church and China’s officially atheist Communist Party.

The bishops approved by the Beijing-backed Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association are seen as more willing to toe the government’s line, or even to support a Chinese Catholic Church free of the Vatican’s influence. Several of the bishops are members of a government advisory body controlled by the Communist Party.

It would then be up to Beijing to accept a proposed agreement giving the pope veto power on future bishop candidates, whom he would approve or veto after their selection by the Chinese government. Beijing’s major condition for that agreement has been that the pope recognize the seven bishops, the person said.

The Communist Party keeps a tight grip on all religious practice, mandating that religious institutions be free of foreign control. New regulations that went into effect on Thursday require that religious institutions gain government approval for teaching plans, overseas pilgrimages and other activities.

On the other hand, a deal would represent a breakthrough: the first official recognition by the Communist government of the pope’s jurisdiction as the head of the Catholic Church in China.

Story 3

Telegraph: Pope Francis gives peace symbol as gift to president Erdogan as Turkish forces pound Kurdish militia

Pope Francis gave a symbol of peace as a gift to Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan on Monday, as Turkish forces continued their military offensive against Kurds in Syria.

The Pope and the Turkish leader had a 50-minute meeting behind closed doors, during which they discussed the situation in Syria as well as refugees in the Middle East and the Trump administration’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which they both oppose.

It was the first visit of a Turkish president to the Vatican in nearly 60 years.

After the meeting, the Pope gave Mr Erdogan a bronze medallion showing an angel embracing the world while battling a dragon.

“This is the angel of peace who strangles the demon of war,” he told the president, whose forces have been accused of grave human rights abuses in the northern Afrin region of Syria.

My Take

Full disclosure: I’m a staunch protestant. But despite doctrinal differences, I recognize the faith of Catholics who have a relationship with Jesus.

Many people had high expectations for the Pope to address and make reforms in response to the child sex abuse that is within Catholic Church. The recent article by the AP shows evidence contrary to the Pope’s initial zero tolerance stance. The Pope’s lack of zeal in dealing with a scandal that was closer to him, both geographically and through connections, demonstrates an alarming amount of hypocrisy on the issue.

The move to recognize Chinese bishops is troubling for Christians in the east. Consider a segment of this thread on Chinese persecution:

The concern with this move is that the Pope just legitimized bishops who likely have no business being bishops. Since the Communist government approved of them, the indication is clear that the “radical” teachings of the Bible will be whitewashed with government sanctioned politically correct church material. So one must wonder, how serious is the Pope taking the Great Commission? The underground church is booming by most reports and so is the persecution. By absorbing apostate Chinese churches into the Vatican, the Pope is not only doing underground Catholics a disservice but also every other denomination. China is using a can’t beat them, so lets get them to beat themselves. These state-approved Churches are detractors to faith and the Pope gave his nod to them in exchange for recognition as the head of these churches. This is naive negotiating. We all know the government will truly be the authority these bishops respond to. Whether the Pope is egotistical or naive, he’s giving the Chinese government a brand name (the Vatican) for it to control Christianity through its state-run churches.

The last story is perhaps the most dangerous. Not only is it demonstrating a high amount of hypocrisy, or at very least inconsistency, in Pope Francis’s beliefs, but it could have more eternal/providential implications. Pope Francis met with Turkish President Erdoğan after his military commenced Operation Olive Branch to terrorize Kurds in Syria. Instead of confronting his attack on the Kurds, the Pope gave this dictator a medal of peace. What’s worse is that the Pope is basically being a tool for which Turkey can advance its Islamism. While the Pope scolded America, on Christmas, for moving it’s Israeli Embassy, Turkey announced it’s opening a Palistinean Embassy in Jerusalem, unscathed by the Vatican. Who’s side is the Pope on? Is he on the side of Jesus or Muhammad? This is a serious question. The Pope pushing to divide Israel only furthers the latter’s cause. As noted in my scathing critique of Paul Nelen’s antisemitism, Jesus will return to save Israel and nations will be judged. It is my understanding that Catholics believe in the second coming like the rest of Christianity. Why then would Pope Francis cozy up to a man bent on forming the next Caliphate?

A Kurdish pastor said something which is a bit of a wake up call: Turkey is a bigger threat to Israel than Iran. In truth, we cannot say for certain when the end-times are but soon. Turkey is a big player and Erdoğan has risen to the world arena, ending Turkey’s Kamalism in favor of Islamism. He could establish a caliphate through his neo-Ottoman pursuit. His land grabs in Syria are at very least a display of power. This is not the type of behavior the Pope should promote. Many opponents call the Pope Francis the Antichrist. He’s not, but he did just give a peace medal to the current front-runner.

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Foreign Affairs

Tensions mounting in Syria, Turkey terrorizing Kurds

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Just because the Syrian Civil War has been won, does not mean that it’s over. The Liberation of Aleppo paired with the Fall of the Islamic State is enough grounds for the Assad regime to clinch victory. While ISIS still troubles the desert, HTS, the latest rebranding of Al-Qaeda holds a dwindling amount of territory in Syria’s northeast. Without a overly significant ISIS presence, the Syrian Arab Army and its allies have focused their attention on HTS territory as well as terrorist held territory in the suburbs of Damascus. HTS, while not officially listed as a foreign terror organization, is the evolved version of the al-Nursa Front which is. This organization may have a more active ally in Turkey. After several months of deescalating, tensions are mounting in Syria.

Turkey has already seized territory in Syria as apart of Operation Euphrates Shield using the unofficial terror organization, the FSA (Free Syrian Army), as a front for doing so. Turkey has also been undergoing operations in North Idlib and West Aleppo, territory held by the HTS. Now Turkey has commenced Operation Olive Branch, a misleading name to put it bluntly. The primary target of Operation Olive Branch is the YPG. The YPG is a Kurdish paramilitary that was a large contributor to dismantling the Islamic State’s presence in the country. They are the primary forces in control of the Afrin region in Syria. On January 19th, Turkey launched Operation Olive branch after mounting forces along the region’s border. What began as bombings and shelling escalated into mini land grabs along Afrin’s border. Turkey has also upped its propaganda game.

If this seems confusing allow this excerpt from TRTWorld to clear things up.

TRTWorld: The strategy behind Operation Olive Branch

Afrin, in northwest Syria bordering Turkey, used to be a city with a population of 80,000. Taking advantage of the chaos caused by the civil war in Syria, the YPG took control of it in 2012. During the years of civil war, since there are no clashes in Afrin, its population increased up to 300,000. And finally, after the evacuation of Aleppo in December 2016, people fled to Afrin, increasing the population to around 750,000. Around 60 percent is Arabs, five percent on the Turkish border in the northwest of the city is Turkmen, and the rest are Kurds. Hundreds of its original residents, who could flee the YPG after 2012, are in Turkey.

Afrin is located between two strategic Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA)-held areas: Azaz and Idlib. The two FSA commanders who talked to TRT World, tell of the geographical importance of Afrin in these words: We need to connect two opposition areas to support each other. But using the road in Turkey along the border from Kilis to Reyhanlı takes five hours. If we drive directly from Azaz to Idlib through Tel Rifat, it would only take less than two hours.

That makes the Tel Rifat front of upmost importance to the operation.

Turkey is trying to win support for its jihadists put shifting the majority Arabs in the Afrin region against the Kurdish forces in control of the region. They are also trying to connect to of their FSA operations in two provinces. Since this operation has been launched, there are two losers: the SAA and the YPG. The SAA is having its territorial integrity violated by the uninvited Turkish forces and the YPG, and by extension Kurds, are the primary target and are at a apparent military disadvantage of the NATO power.

TSK Engaging SAA

Turkish forces have deployed a convoy featuring armored vehicles into Syria to “facilitate a deescalation zone” but is also being escorted by HTS terrorists forces.

Along the way, Russian and Syrian forces have targeted the convoy’s path. Tensions escalated to direct shelling between SAA and TSK. Meanwhile Russia is trying to balance its relationship with the Turkish regime. As of now the SAA and the Turkish controlled area north of Aleppo have held a peaceful border as Turkey just mainly wants to target Kurds. Russia and Syria have deescalated Turkish targeting to the east by taking Kurdish militias under their wing. Turkey has mostly been non-confrontational with pro-Assad forces, but this engagement could destabilize the other Turkish controlled regions in Syria.

US Response

The US has held a very weak response to Turkey’s newest rounds of aggression. President Trump and Ergodan has a phone call on the 24th over the Operation, but little has been done by Americans to combat the latest threat to stability. In fact, YPG fighters are concerned about their continued US support. Turkey could eventually pose a threat to US forces in the country. The US has forces in the Manbij region of Syria which is east of Turkish zone captured during Euphrates Shield. After Turkey is done attacking Kurds in Afrin, they could move east towards Iraq into Manbij. The forces their have stated their right to self defense against any incoming attack which makes the possibility of an intra-NATO skirmish all that more likely.

Takeaway

Kurds have reason to worry as Turkey has a brutal history of exterminating ethnicities they don’t like and a continued success at getting others not to address their atrocities. The Turkish regime is becoming increasingly Islamic and totalitarian. Turkey’s tactics appear to be performing land grabs extending to Iraq, but the implications of its Operation on the Syrian Civil War are more clouded. So whether this is muscle flexing against a Shia power or a more nefarious jihadist mission has yet to be determined. This could destabilize the entire country that has already spent several years in war and was just seeing the light at the end. Before this, the HTS was doomed to lose, paving the way for more formal peace talks. But now they have some new life with Operation Olive Branch.

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