Trump era: Fascist dawn, or road to liberation?

lilies

Jedi Council Member

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Trump to nominate acting Defense Secretary Shanahan for permanent position — RT USA News

As previously stated before - when this possible 'Uncertain-Ominous-Foreboding' future became visible.
When I think of the Pentagon, an image of the different branches of the US Arm Forces comes to mind. Here - a guy has been nominated for a permanent position - as Pentagon Defense Secretary - yet never served a day in Boot Camp or any Military Corps?

May 9, 2019 - The Pentagon Is Finally Getting a New Defense Secretary
The Pentagon Is Finally Getting a New Defense Secretary

After more than four months as acting U.S. defense secretary, the longest anyone has served in that position, Patrick Shanahan will be formally nominated to become President Donald Trump’s permanent Pentagon chief. Shanahan would replace James Mattis, who resigned in December over Trump’s decision—since reversed—to pull all U.S. troops out of Syria.

“Based on his outstanding service to the country and his demonstrated ability to lead, President Trump intends to nominate Patrick M. Shanahan to be the Secretary of Defense,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders in a statement on Thursday. “Acting Secretary Shanahan has proven over the last several months that he is beyond qualified to lead the Department of Defense, and he will continue to do an excellent job.”

The long-awaited appointment comes after the Pentagon’s inspector general conclusively cleared Shanahan of violating his ethics agreement after accusations that he inappropriately favored his former employer, Boeing.

“You rarely get as clean a clearance from the [inspector general] as he got, and not only him as an individual but the internal processes in the Pentagon also got gold stars,” said Arnold Punaro, a former staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Shanahan must still be confirmed by the Senate. But despite a fallout with Sen. Lindsey Graham over withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria and a series of rocky performances on Capitol Hill, it seems lawmakers are coming around to the choice. Sen. James Inhofe, the powerful chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee who initially criticized the former Boeing executive, recently signaled his support.

“I am honored by today’s announcement of President Trump’s intent to nominate,” Shanahan said in a statement. “If confirmed by the Senate, I will continue the aggressive implementation of our National Defense Strategy. I remain committed to modernizing the force so our remarkable Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines have everything they need to keep our military lethal and our country safe.”

Now, any lingering doubt about Shanahan’s authority has been laid to rest. Shanahan, who if confirmed will likely remain at the helm of the Pentagon until January 2021 at least, is expected to drive continued focus on the growing threat from China and on investing in high-end capabilities such as advanced aircraft, hypersonic weapons, and 5G telephony to counter that threat. Sources close to him say he is also driving a tougher posture on Turkey in the debate over Ankara’s plan to buy the Russian S-400 missile system.

Shanahan will also have to grapple with escalating tensions with Iran, as well as the question of what to do with the thousands of Islamic State fighters currently being held by U.S.-backed forces in Syria. Shanahan in February drew Graham’s ire, with the senator exploding that pulling troops from Syria was “the dumbest -flicking-g idea I’ve ever heard.”

“It’s not like all of a sudden he will have a magic wand put in his hand that he can wave and get things done, but he does have more authority and more confidence to get out and do something new, because he is not trying out for the job anymore,” said Jim Townsend, a former career Pentagon official now at the Center for a New American Security.

Veteran officials say the Pentagon can now return to business as usual. Senior leaders are expected to begin filling key positions that have long been left vacant. The list of senior positions that are vacant or filled on a temporary basis includes deputy secretary of defense, two out of seven undersecretaries of defense, and nearly half the assistant secretaries of defense—among them, the top civilian for international security affairs.

Punaro said he expects that once Shanahan is confirmed, nominees for various Pentagon positions will move quickly through the approval process.

“It is hard to form a cohesive team when you aren’t certain who the leader is going to be. Once Shanahan is confirmed in the top job, subordinate positions can be filled with people who complement the skills of the leader,” said Loren Thompson, an analyst with the Lexington Institute.

There were signs that Trump would nominate Shanahan for the permanent job as far back as February, but the inspector general investigation held up the final decision. The inquiry focused on allegations that Shanahan boosted Boeing during internal Pentagon meetings and made disparaging remarks about Boeing’s competitors, such as Lockheed Martin, and, in particular, Lockheed’s F-35 fighter jet.

Shanahan also faced accusations that he urged the Defense Department to buy Boeing aircraft that the military services did not want, specifically the F/A-18 and F-15X fighter jets, and pressed the U.S. Air Force to accept Boeing’s new KC-46 tanker despite technical problems.

Over the course of the investigation, the inspector general interviewed Shanahan and 33 witnesses, including the most senior officials in the Defense Department, such as Mattis, the chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the military service chiefs, and others. Of those, only Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, who has butted heads with Shanahan in the past over the standup of a new Space Force, raised concerns about his behavior.

In the end, the inspector general found that the allegations were not substantiated.

“We determined that Mr. Shanahan fully complied with his ethics agreements and his ethical obligations regarding Boeing and its competitors,” the inspector general report stated.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced visit to Baghdad on Tuesday and met Iraq's prime minister and other top officials to discuss the safety of Americans in Iraq and explain U.S. security concerns amid rising Iranian activity.
Something I find curious but it probably doesn't amount to anything?

Pompeo made an unannounced visit to Baghdad on Tuesday and from reports, his next stop was to be in Berlin but canceled at the last minute citing "International Security issues". But apparently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was expecting Pompeo's visit?

U.S. cited "international security issues" for cancellation of...

The U.S. administration cited “international security issues” as the reason for U.S. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo’s visit to Berlin being canceled, a German government source told Reuters
.
Pompeo had been due to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in the German capital later on Tuesday.

Earlier, a U.S. Embassy spokesman cited scheduling reasons for the cancellation and quoted a State Department spokesperson as saying Pompeo looked forward to visiting Berlin soon.
~~~

If it was only a scheduling problem - why did the U.S. administration cite “international security issues” as the reason? Is it possible, Merkel was aware of Pompeo's plans and wanted to avoid getting into any Iran confrontation?

Two days later, this incident happened ... I would be very interested to know - who's behind these drone's and are they really drone's?


May 9, 2019 - Air traffic at Frankfurt airport resumes after drone sighting prompted stoppage
Flight operations at Frankfurt airport, Germany's busiest hub, have resumed after a drone sighting near the airport prompted an air traffic stoppage, operating company Fraport said on Thursday.

~~~
Kremlin says no Putin-Trump meeting planned at G20 summit in Japan May 8, 2019
No contacts between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump are expected at the G20 summit in Japan, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

"An encounter is not planned so far and there is no talk about a meeting," Peskov said.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
It seems - the Mueller investigation and the witch-hunt-fiasco that followed, were also used to obscure and throw off any investigation into improprieties - not only in Hillary's election campaign but also into Obama's! The corruption - runs deep and into "the Billions$". Is it also possible, the 1MDB wealth fund activities are connected to the brazen death of Kim Jong Nam at the Kuala Lumpur Airport, two years ago?

1MDB’s Jho Low, Rapper Pras Michel Indicted Over Obama Donation

1MDB’s Jho Low, Rapper Pras Michel Indicted Over Obama Donation

U.S. prosecutors brought additional charges against Jho Low, the Malaysian national accused of looting the 1MDB wealth fund, for campaign-finance violations related to President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election effort.

According to an indictment unsealed Friday in Washington, Low transferred $21.6 million to Pras Michel, a musician and film producer, who spread approximately $865,000 among 20 people. These straw donors, in turn, gave the cash to a presidential fundraising committee without indicating it had come from a foreign source. Michel also sent more than $1 million to an independent election committee, prosecutors said.

The charges, against both men, show a wide-ranging effort by the Malaysian financier to win influence in the U.S. In an indictment last year, Low and Michel weren’t charged but were identifiable as co-conspirators trying to influence the Trump administration as the Justice Department investigated the 1MDB scandal.

Now, the Trump Justice Department says Low's influence-buying goes back to the previous administration.

During Obama's re-election campaign, Michel and Jho Low's father attended a fundraiser in Washington, D,C. and sat on each side of Obama, according to the indictment.

Candidate A
Obama's name doesn't appear in the indictment, which refers to him only as Candidate A. Nor is there any indication that he or the political groups knew of the foreign efforts or did anything wrong. The straw donors also weren’t identified.

Obama, through a spokeswoman, declined to comment.

The newest charges grew out of the Justice Department’s investigation into fraud and corruption at 1MDB. Meant to promote economic development in Malaysia, the fund was instead used as a massive slush fund by Low, an adviser to Malaysia’s then-prime minister, Najib Razak, according to U.S. prosecutors and other authorities around the world.

Low was previously charged in the U.S. with conspiring to bribe foreign officials and launder money. In Malaysia, he has been charged with receiving more than $1 billion from the state fund in 2009 and 2011, and with multiple counts of money laundering. Low’s whereabouts are unknown.

“Mr. Low is innocent -- and he is presumed innocent under U.S. law,” said a spokesman. “Mr. Low has never made any campaign contributions directly or indirectly in the U.S. and he unequivocally denies any involvement in or knowledge of the alleged activities.”

“Mr. Michel is innocent of these charges and looks forward to having the case heard by a jury,” his lawyer, Barry Pollack, said earlier Thursday, responding to a Bloomberg report that the charges were imminent.

Getting Access
The indictment describes efforts by Jho Low to use Michel to get access to Obama at two-big ticket fundraising events during the 2012 re-election campaign.

One, a June event in Miami, required a minimum contribution of $40,000. Michel failed in an attempt to get last-minute permission for Low to attend, according to the filing. Three months later, Michel tried to get Low and his father into Obama’s presence at an event in Washington, D.C. The father was allowed in, and during the fundraiser he and Michel sat on each side of “Candidate A," according to the indictment. The entry price for that event wasn’t clear.

The men took photos of themselves with the president and also ordered copies of professional photos taken of the event showing them with Obama, according to the indictment.

Although the charges on Friday relate to conduct from 2012, Michel was a central player in the more recent bank-fraud machinations that led to a guilty plea by former Justice Department official George Higginbotham last November, according to court documents filed in that case.

How Malaysia’s 1MDB Scandal Shook the Financial World: QuickTake

In that scheme, Higginbotham admitted that he conspired to influence U.S. investigations into the looting of 1MDB. He admitted to falsifying paperwork in 2017 to create bank accounts that were then used to funnel money from “Co-conspirator B” in Asia to “Co-conspirator A” in the U.S. The descriptions of the co-conspirators match those of Low and Michel.

According to Higginbotham’s plea, he created the false paper trail at the “direction” of Michel. Higginbotham understood that Michel and Low created these false companies because no U.S. bank would accept funds from Low, who had been identified by the Justice Department in 2016 as the architect of the 1MDB fraud.

Michel, 46, is a musician, actor and producer of records and films who rose to prominence in the 1990s as a member of the Fugees, a hip-hop group that also included Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean. He appeared in and produced several films, including a documentary on homelessness in Los Angeles. His 1998 debut album, “Ghetto Supastar,” included a memorable cameo.

“Hi, this is Donald Trump, and I have no doubt that you are going to be a big success,” the future president said in one interlude. “I hope very soon you’re going to be in the leagues with me. So good luck, man.”

By 2012, Michel was drawn into the orbit of Low, whose parties attracted Hollywood producers, A-list actor Leonardo DiCaprio and music stars including Swizz Beatz and his wife, Alicia Keys, according to the book “Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood and the World.”

Similar charges against Michel have emerged before. In 2016, the Federal Election Commission dismissed charges that Michel made an illegal contribution by funneling $875,000 through a limited-liability company he controlled. The LLC was listed as contributing to the super PAC called Black Men Vote.

The charges against Low and Michel come a few weeks after Attorney General William Barr received a waiver from the White House allowing him to participate in the investigation and litigation involving 1MDB. Barr’s former law firm, Kirkland & Ellis, represents Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which is under investigation by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, for its role in raising more than $6 billion for the fund.
Malaysia seeks forfeiture of assets seized from ex-PM Najib
Former Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak leaves Kuala Lumpur High Court in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin

Malaysian prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of millions of dollars in cash and assets seized from disgraced former prime minister Najib Razak, his family, and others, the state news agency Bernama reported on Wednesday.

U.S. begins return of $200 million in 1MDB funds to Malaysia
FILE PHOTO: Motorcyclists pass a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Olivia Harris/File Photo

The U.S. government has begun returning to Malaysia some $200 million recovered from asset seizures linked to state fund 1MDB, with about a quarter of the amount already repatriated, the two countries said on Tuesday.

U.S. to return $200 million in 1MDB funds to Malaysia: sources
Men walk past a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the fund's flagship Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur March 1, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris/File Photo

U.S. authorities will this month return $200 million stolen from Malaysia's state fund 1MDB, including money from a stake in a luxury New York hotel and from a Hollywood movie producer, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Luxury mansion linked to Malaysia's 1MDB fund scandal to be sold
U.S. prosecutors are seeking to sell a $39-million Los Angeles mansion allegedly bought by fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho with money stolen from a state fund, court filings showed.

Diamond jewelry linked to Malaysian fund scandal to be handed to U.S.
A $1.7 million diamond jewelry set, allegedly bought for the mother of fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, will be handed over to the U.S. government, U.S. prosecutors said in a court filing.

Murder at the airport: the brazen attack on Kim Jong Nam
Early on a February morning two years ago, a balding man in a gray suit entered Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur airport, glanced up at the departures board and walked to check in for his flight to Macau. Moments later, his killers struck.

~ And is there any connection between US prosecutors seeking to sell the Los Angeles Low Taek Jho mansion and the violent break-in of the North Korean Embassy in Spain - a week before the highly publicized Trump-Kim scheduled meeting in Vietnam?

U.S. warrant issued for accused ringleader of North Korean embassy raid in Madrid
US authorities are focused on Southern California in their manhunt for a one-time human rights activist of leading a violent takeover of North Korea's embassy in Spain, according to a federal arrest warrant unsealed on Friday.

Ex-U.S. Marine accused in North Korean embassy raid ordered detained in L.A.
A former U.S. Marine accused of stealing electronics from the North Korean embassy in Madrid in a robbery of the diplomatic compound was ordered by a federal judge in Los Angeles on Tuesday to remain in U.S. custody pending possible extradition to Spain.

October 29, 2018 - Super yacht linked to Malaysia's 1MDB scandal goes up for Auction
Superyacht linked to Malaysia's 1MDB scandal goes up for auction | Reuters

$250 million luxury yacht linked to a multi-billion dollar scandal at Malaysia's state fund 1MDB has gone up for auction, a government lawyer said on Monday, the first sale of a major asset seized by investigating authorities.

The Equanimity is among $1.7 billion in assets allegedly bought by fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, and his associates with funds taken from 1MDB, the U.S. Department of Justice has said.

Malaysia and the United States are investigating how billions of dollars went missing from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), with some of the money used to buy a private jet, Picasso paintings, jewelry, real estate and a super yacht.

A Malaysian court in August approved the sale of the 300-ft (91 m) Cayman Islands-flagged Equanimity, which was impounded months earlier near the Indonesian island of Bali and handed over to Malaysia.
 

Aeneas

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
"The Grayzone‘s Aaron Maté has done an interview with his father titled “America in denial: Gabor Maté on the psychology of Russiagate”, and it is the single best and most insightful political video I’ve ever seen. In 27 minutes it essentially describes the fundamental problems of our times, not just with Russiagate but with world politics as a whole, from the overarching behaviors of globe-dominating forces all the way down to the ways our own inner reluctance to face reality objectively helps to prop up those forces. So it deserves its own article."

Yes, a great interview. I will put the whole article below without quotes, so people who might not have time to expand the article can quickly skim it. It is worth it and insightful, also how he sees Trump. Gabor Mate is the author of the book that many of us have read, namely: When the body says NO.

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

The Grayzone’s Aaron Maté has done an interview with his father titled “America in denial: Gabor Maté on the psychology of Russiagate”, and it is the single best and most insightful political video I’ve ever seen. In 27 minutes it essentially describes the fundamental problems of our times, not just with Russiagate but with world politics as a whole, from the overarching behaviors of globe-dominating forces all the way down to the ways our own inner reluctance to face reality objectively helps to prop up those forces. So it deserves its own article.



Back when I learned that Gabor was Aaron’s father my first thought was, “That makes so much sense.” Aaron had exploded onto the Russiagate debate scene seemingly out of nowhere and quickly became the most thorough and lucid voice on the subject, holding to strict principles of valuing facts and evidence over the aggressive pressure to conform from his media peers and the authoritative assertions of government agencies. Gabor I’d known of for years because of how widely respected he is in other circles I’ve moved in for his penetrating insights into the human psyche. It makes perfect sense that someone with the moral fortitude to swim against the groupthink current and speak the truth no matter what would have someone like that as part of his personal formation.


I highly recommend watching the full interview, but since I know many of my readers aren’t big on watching videos I’ll sum up what I consider the highlights here with excerpts from the Grayzone transcript, because I really do think it’s that good and that important.


The elder Maté talked about the public support for the Russiagate narrative, and the inevitable disappointment which followed after Robert Mueller failed to turn up any evidence of collusion between the Russian government and the 2016 Trump campaign, as the result of emotional investment.

“Now, disappointment means that you’re expecting something and you wanted something to happen, and it didn’t happen,” Maté said.
“So that means that some people wanted Mueller to find evidence of collusion, which means that emotionally they were invested in it. It wasn’t just that they wanted to know the truth. They actually wanted the truth to look a certain way. And wherever we want the truth to look a certain way, there’s some reason that has to do with their own emotional needs and not just with the concern for reality.”
Gabor explained that the reason for this emotional investment ensued from the trauma of seeing Trump elected. They had the choice between consciously feeling through the pain and fear of that trauma and then doing some serious examinations of the factors that led to Trump’s election, or blaming the whole thing on a foreign boogeyman and avoiding that self-confrontation altogether.

“You can look at that,” Maté explained. “Or you can say there must be a devil somewhere behind all this, and that devil is a foreign power, and his name is Putin, and his country is Russia. Now you’ve got a simple explanation that doesn’t invite you or necessitate that you explore your own pain and your own fear and your own trauma.”
“So I really believe that really this Russiagate narrative was, on the part of a lot of people, a sign of genuine upset at something genuinely upsetting,” Maté continued. “But rather than dealing with the upset, it was an easier way to in a sense draw off the energy of it in to some kind of a believable and comforting narrative. It’s much more comforting to believe that some enemy is doing this to us than to look at what does it say about us as a society.”
Maté went on to discuss Trump himself as not just traumatizing, but traumatized. Someone acting out his own inner issues in the world in a deeply unconscious way:

Donald Trump is the clearest example of a traumatized politician one could ever see. He’s in denial of reality all the time. He is self aggrandizing. His fundamental self concept is that of a nobody. So he has to make himself huge and big all the time and keep proving to the world how powerful and smart, what kind of degrees he’s got and how smart he is. It’s a compensation for terrible self image. He can’t pay attention to anything, which means that his brain is too scattered because it was too painful for him to pay attention.
What does this all come down to? The childhood that we know that he had in the home of a dictatorial child disparaging father… who demeaned his children mercilessly. One of Trump’s brothers drank himself to death. And Trump compensates for all that by trying to make himself as big and powerful and successful as possible. And, of course, he makes up for his anger towards his mother for not protecting him by attacking women and exploiting women and boasting about it publicly. I mean, it’s a clear trauma example. I’m not saying this to invite sympathy for Trump’s politics. I’m just describing that that’s who the man is.
Maté tied his observations about the refusal of Russiagaters to confront their inner trauma and Trump’s refusal to confront his to the refusal of Americans as a whole to confront the horrors that their own country has inflicted upon the world which dwarf even the most severe things the Russian government has been accused of doing to America.

“No serious student of history can possibly deny how the United States has interfered in the internal politics of just about every nation on earth,” Maté said, adding that this interference often consists of mass murder. “For example, in Chile, there’s an elected government that America cheerfully overthrows, even boasts about it. Not to mention the current interference in Venezuela, the internal politics. Not to mention, how as you’ve pointed out, many others have pointed out, and [Time] boasts about it on its cover, about how United States helped Boris Yeltsin get elected… Even if the worst thing that’s alleged about the Russians is true, it’s not even on miniscule proportion of what America has publicly acknowledged it has done all around the world.”
Maté talked about how “it’s always easier to see ourselves as the victims than as the perpetrators,” adding that “whether it’s Great Britain, or whether it’s France with their vast colonial empires, they’re always the victims of everybody else. The United States is always the victim of everybody else. All these enemies that are threatening us. It’s the most powerful nation on earth, a nation that could single handedly destroy the earth a billion times over with the weapons that are at its disposal, and it’s always the victim.”

“So this victimhood, there is something comforting about it because, again, it allows us not to look at ourselves,” Maté said.
“And I think there was this huge element of victimhood in this Russiagate process.”
Maté talked about how Mueller, despite his horrible track record of supporting the WMD lie in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion, has been made into a hero, because Hollywood has trained the public psyche to seek out “good guys” and “bad guys” in every intense situation. This is what led Putin to be depicted as an omnipotent supervillain capable of infiltrating the highest levels of the US government, and Mueller as a knight in shining armor who was going to rescue us all.

“Rather than saying, okay, there’s a big problem here. We’ve elected a highly traumatized grandiose, intellectually unstable, emotionally unstable, misogynist, self aggrandizer to power. Something in our society made that happen. And let’s look at what that was. And let’s clear up those issues if we can. And let’s look at the people on the liberal side who, instead of challenging all those issues, put all their energies into this foreign conspiracy explanation. Because to have challenged those issues would have meant looking at their own policies, which tended in the same direction.
“Rather than looking at how under Clinton, they’ve jailed hundreds of thousands of people who should never have been in jail. Looking at how under the Bushes and under Obama, there was this massive transfer of wealth upwards.Instead of asking why Barack Obama gets $400,000 for an hour speech to Wall Street, which means that maybe our faith in how our system operates needs to be shaken a bit so we can actually look at what’s really going on, let’s just put our attention on some foreign devil again.”
Maté talked about how Obama, despite being a warmonger like the other US presidents, represented a nice ideal in people’s minds, so the contrast between that ideal and Trump’s election made it especially traumatic. This made people unwilling to look at the actual root causes of Hillary Clinton’s loss, which taken together are far more threatening to democracy than anything Russia is accused of doing, even if those accusations are all 100 percent true.

In conclusion the younger Maté asked his father for his advice on what people can do going forward to avoid the mistakes that led to Trump’s election, and to the years of Russia hysteria that followed, or at least to deal with similar challenges in a more mature way.

“Well, first of all, I advise people to do something that I find hard to do myself, but I think it’s essential,” replied the elder Maté.
“Which is that when there’s hard emotions there, just own them. Just own that you’re hurt. Own that you’re confused. Just own it. Say I’m hurt, I’m confused, I’m terrified. And rather than try and find an explanation right away, just own the feeling. And then when you’re ready, then actually ask, what happened here? What actually happened here? What are the facts? What behaviors or beliefs on my part maybe contributed to the situation? So be curious. Be really curious.”
With regard to the press, Gabor advised to be objective and skeptical of the government agencies which have so consistently deceived America into wars:

“At least be objective. Don’t be so quick to jump on board. Don’t be so quick to assume that because almost the whole media is broadcasting, trumpeting a certain line, that that line represents reality. Learn from history. Learn from this one. Learn from this Russiagate thing that they were all saying for years that this is a given fact. All of a sudden it turns out not to be a given fact. Well, next time, don’t be so quick to believe them.”
Gabor pointed out that for all people’s efforts at avoiding the internal confrontations which necessarily come along with disillusionment, it is much better to be disillusioned than illusioned.

“Would you rather believe in something that’s false, which means to have an illusion? Or would you rather be disillusioned?” Maté asked. “In other words, to see the truth. And I’m saying that we should be glad to be disillusioned. So this Russiagate and this ignoble end to the Russiagate narrative, it’s a disillusionment for a lot of people, but that’s a good thing. If they say, okay, I had this illusion, this illusion I no longer have, which means I’ve been disillusioned, now I can actually look at the truth. So it’s good to be disillusioned.”
“So this could be a positive beginning for a lot of people if they take the right attitude,” Maté concluded.
Man, I really hope so.

---
 

genero81

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
He also talked about how the U.S. is really into this good guy, bad guy narrative. Most people in the U.S. don't really try to understand or think for themselves and really work at having an informed perspective. So on the left, suddenly the savior appears in the person of Mueller, which was ridiculous from the start since Mueller already lied about Iraq.

But what he didn't talk about was the right had their own savior. First it was Trump, but then when Trump wasn't exactly "draining the swamp," the 'insider psyop,' Qanon took on that role. I find that fascinating. That is what makes it a psyop, people have to stop giving away their power and falling for; 'someone else has the bull by the horns and is really going to fix things' trick.
 

Voyageur

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
"The Grayzone‘s Aaron Maté has done an interview with his father titled “America in denial: Gabor Maté on the psychology of Russiagate”
Thanks for that post, and to be honest I never made the connection between the two Maté's.

Now, Aaron's dad lives in my province, and I'm well aware of his books and his work here (his books are well mentioned on the Forum too). Gabor also came up in the Peterson thread awhile back, and that is another subject, yet I did find Gabor a little more discerning geopolitically then I had at first thought. In saying that (here in his talk) he comes at the domestic side from a psychoanalytical position (fair enough) of being hurt, although it is mostly done from the left side of the so called spectrum - their feelings.

Obviously, Gabor does not like Trump for the reasons he provides and he offers up ways to look at the situation (seemingly to the to the left) in these terms. Perhaps I'm missing something, however, as he does not really pull on the threads of half of the country who did vote for him.

Caitlin comments that "I highly recommend watching the full interview..."and it was not in the post (just the link), so here it is below, and I agree, it is worthwhile:

 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Pompeo made an unannounced visit to Baghdad on Tuesday and from reports, his next stop was to be in Berlin but canceled at the last minute citing "International Security issues". But apparently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was expecting Pompeo's visit?

U.S. cited "international security issues" for cancellation of...

The U.S. administration cited “international security issues” as the reason for U.S. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo’s visit to Berlin being canceled, a German government source told Reuters.
I need to cite a correction "to the above" due to a misunderstanding on my part. My first understanding was that Pompeo first went to Baghdad (unannounced) and then was scheduled to stop in Berlin but canceled. He actually canceled the Berlin meeting on his way to Iraq. From Baghdad, he then flew to a scheduled meeting in London. That's what was meant by "international security issues". His priority was Iraq and then London.

Mike Pompeo visits Iraq amid rising tensions with Iran Secretary of state abruptly pulls out of Berlin meeting with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel 7 May 2019
Unusual last-minute schedule change follows brief talks between Pompeo and the Russian foreign minister.
Unusual last-minute schedule change follows brief talks between Pompeo and the Russian foreign minister. Photograph: Anton Novoderezhkin/Tass

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, cancelled a long-established plan to hold talks with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, in Berlin on Tuesday, and instead travelled to Iraq to show US support for the Iraqi government during rising tensions with Iran.

The unusual last-minute schedule change follows brief talks between Pompeo and the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, on the sidelines of an Arctic Council meeting in Finland on Monday.

Pompeo earlier rang the German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, to explain the decision to drop his first meeting in Berlin as secretary of state and promised to reschedule soon.

Norbert Röttgen, the chair of the German foreign affairs committee, described the cancellation as “very regrettable”.

He said: “There is a lot to discuss about common challenges, but also about the internal relationship between Germany and the US. Even if there were unavoidable reasons for the cancellation, it unfortunately fits into the current climate in the relationship of the two governments.”

British and US sources said the Berlin cancellation did not mean talks planned for later on Wednesday between Pompeo, the UK prime minister, Theresa May, and the British foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, would also be dropped.

Pompeo is due to give the Margaret Thatcher lecture in London on the importance of the transatlantic relationship, weeks before Donald Trump’s state visit to Britain, timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the D-day landings.

With the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, due in Moscow this week, the US has been concerned by reports that Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, is to announce on Wednesday a partial retreat from the nuclear deal agreed in 2015.

The Iranian leadership feels under pressure to respond to a refusal by the US to extend sanctions waivers, especially on Iranian oil, and its imposition of secondary sanctions on any European companies that seek to to trade with Iran. The US has declared the Iranian Revolutionary Guards a terrorist group and announced the dispatching of an aircraft carrier and bomber taskforce to the Middle East, citing unspecified intelligence suggesting Iran may be planning attacks.

The US said this week that it is rushing an aircraft carrier group to the Middle East to deter or respond to any Iranian attack. US officials said there were indications Iran was planning to retaliate for the Trump administration’s stepped-up sanctions on the country, although the threat information remains vague.

On Tuesday night, a US military spokesman said B-52 bombers would be part of additional forces being sent to the Middle East.

In Baghdad, Pompeo met Iraq’s prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and other top officials to discuss the safety of Americans in Iraq and explain US security concerns amid rising Iranian activity.

“We talked to them about the importance of Iraq ensuring that it’s able to adequately protect Americans in their country,” Pompeo told reporters after the meeting.

Pompeo said the purpose of the meeting also was to let Iraqi officials know more about “the increased threat stream that we had seen” so they could effectively protect US forces.

Other urgent international security issues that may be preoccupying Pompeo include North Korea’s resumption of its missile programme and a possible Russian-endorsed assault on Idlib province in north-east Syria.

Emmanuel Macron, the French president, issued a statement of concern about Syria, saying: “The attacks of the regime and its allies, including [on] hospitals, have killed many civilians in recent days.”

The lack of an immediate explanation for the Pompeo cancellation came as Russia announced the US secretary of state would be travelling to the Black Sea resort of Sochi next week to hold talks with Lavrov and possibly Vladimir Putin.

The discussions will be the first since the Mueller inquiry declared Trump had not been guilty of collusion with Russia during his 2016 election campaign. Both sides may be testing whether the new political environment makes it easier for Washington and Moscow to cooperate.

The meeting also follows a phone call between Trump and Putin last week in which the US president downplayed the role of Russia in the Venezuela crisis. Lavrov lavished praise on Pompeo on Sunday for the seriousness of his approach to their talks.
China's door to talks with U.S. on trade always open: state media
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump takes part in a welcoming ceremony with China's President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/File Photo

China's door to talks with the United States about their trade dispute is always open, but China will not yield on important issues of principle, state media said on Sunday.

Trump says the U.S. is 'right where we want to be with China'
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Panama City, Florida, U.S., May 8, 2019.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

President Donald Trump said on Sunday that the United States is "right where we want to be with China," adding that Beijing "broke the deal with us" and then sought to renegotiate.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
The agenda for talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on May 14 in Sochi has been unchanged despite the cancellation of the Moscow visit, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told TASS.

"There are no changes concerning ministerial talks in Sochi," Zakharova said.

Diplomat comments on Lavrov’s agenda for talks with Pompeo
Pompeo’s visit to Moscow was planned for May 13, however, the US Secretary of State postponed it to meet with the EU representatives over the Iranian nuclear deal in Brussels. After these talks Pompeo will come to Sochi, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told TASS.

Pompeo was expected to begin his visit to Russia with a meeting with the US embassy staff in the Russian capital. Then, it was planned that he would meet the US business leaders working in Russia, as well as the American education exchange programs participants. Following these meetings, the US top diplomat was supposed to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin Wall.


Lavrov to discuss Venezuela, Iran and Syria with Pompeo on May 14
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo © Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold full-format talks with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi on Tuesday. This will be the second meeting between the top diplomats this month and Pompeo's first visit to Russia in the capacity of the US Secretary of State.

Russian-US contacts have been activated lately. On May 3, Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump held a 90-minute telephone conversation at Washington's initiative. On May 6, Lavrov met with Pompeo on the sidelines of the Arctic Council meeting in Finland's Rovaniemi. The Russian foreign minister said that the sides made a good step forward.

In Sochi, the US secretary of state will also meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

At the talks, Lavrov and Pompeo will discuss the Iranian nuclear deal, the situation in Venezuela, the Syrian conflict, as well as the prospects of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START).


No request from US on organizing Putin-Trump meeting in Osaka — Kremlin spokesman
Kremlin Aide Yuri Ushakov commented on a Kommersant article claiming that the US had requested a bilateral summit at the G20 meeting in Osaka, scheduled for June 28-29.

Moscow has not received any requests from Washington concerning a meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Donald Trump of the United States at the G20 summit in Osaka, Kremlin Aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters.

"No, we didn’t receive anything," he said, commenting on a Kommersant article claiming that the US had requested a bilateral summit at the G20 meeting in Japan’s Osaka, scheduled to take place on June 28-29.


North Korea says ship seizure by U.S. violates spirit of Trump-Kim summit
FILE PHOTO: North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump talk in the garden of the Metropole hotel during the second North Korea-U.S. summit in Hanoi, Vietnam February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

North Korea said on Tuesday the seizure of one of its cargo ships by the United States was an illegal act that violated the spirit of a summit pact between the two countries' leaders, and demanded the return of the vessel without delay.

In a statement, the North’s foreign ministry said it rejected U.N. Security Council resolutions against it, which the United States cited in impounding the vessel, as a violation of its sovereignty.

“This act is an extension of the U.S.-style calculation of trying to hold us in submission with its ‘maximum pressure’ and is a total denial of the fundamental spirit of the June 12 DPRK-U.S. joint statement,” an unnamed ministry spokesman said.

North Korea’s formal name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The statement was carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency.

The U.S. Justice Department last week said it had seized a North Korean cargo ship that it accused of illicit coal shipments in violation of sanctions after it was first detained by Indonesia in April 2018.


White House reviews military plans against Iran: New York Times
FILE PHOTO: An F/A-18E Super Hornet launches from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Red Sea, May 10, 2019. Courtesy Dan Snow/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS

FILE PHOTO: An F/A-18E Super Hornet launches from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Red Sea, May 10, 2019. Courtesy Dan Snow/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS

The top U.S. defense official has presented an updated military plan to President Donald Trump's administration that envisions sending up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons, the New York Times reported on Monday.

Citing unnamed administration officials, the Times said Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented the plan at a meeting of Trump’s top security aides on Thursday. Reuters could not immediately confirm the report. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Pentagon declined to comment.

The Times said among those attending the Thursday meeting were Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton, CIA Director Gina Haspel, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford.

Several plans were detailed, the Times said, and “the uppermost option called for deploying 120,000 troops, which would take weeks or months to complete.”
 

goyacobol

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Hardly any articles talked about where the coal was going. This article tells a little more about a "ship to ship" (kind of STS :-P) transfer.

U.S. seizes North Korean ship it accuses of violating sanctions
The U.N. Security Council has unanimously strengthened sanctions on North Korea since 2006 in a bid to choke funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, banning exports including coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood, and capping imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products.

However, U.N. sanctions monitors reported to the council in March that Pyongyang continues to defy the measures “through a massive increase in illegal ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products and coal.”

The 17,000-ton Wise Honest, [good name :whistle:]which also was used to deliver heavy machinery to North Korea, is the second largest of Pyongyang’s bulk carriers, the U.S. Justice Department said.

“This sanctions-busting ship is now out of service,” said John Demers, the head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

When asked by reporters on Thursday whether North Korea’s largest cargo ship may be engaged in similar illegal behavior, department officials said they did not know.

“If it is, we’d love to get our hands on it,” Demers added.

Three American banks helped to facilitate U.S. dollar payments for maintenance and equipment for the ship, but Justice officials said the banks did so unwittingly. :oops:

According to U.N. sanctions monitors, the Wise Honest was transporting 25,500 tons of coal when it was detained by Indonesia in April 2018. The March U.N. report estimated that the value of the ship’s coal cargo was around $3 million.

The monitors said Indonesia reported the ship was registered under both the flags of Sierra Leone and North Korea and that it had found “cargo documents and clearance received from a Russian cargo ship intending to conduct an STS (ship-to-ship) transfer” in waters off the Indonesian province of East Kalimantan.

Russia has repeatedly denied violating U.N. sanctions on North Korea.
 
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angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Pompeo arrives in Sochi for talks with Lavrov
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo © AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, Pool

The meeting will focus on solving the crisis around the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear program, extending the New START and also Syria and Venezuela.

During his first working visit to Russia, the top US diplomat is expected to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and later meet with President Vladimir Putin.

Pompeo tells Russia: we're committed to improving ties
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov shake hands as they pose for a photo prior to their talks in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Russia, May 14, 2019. Pavel Golovkin/Pool via REUTERS

U.S. President Donald Trump is committed to improving relations with Russia, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday during a visit to the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Kremlin says U.S. has not offered a Putin-Trump G20 meeting despite Trump statement
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov waits before a welcoming ceremony attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan March 28, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that the United States had not made any formal proposal for U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet on the sidelines of a gathering of the G20 in Japan next month.

Russia tells Pompeo: Enough mistrust, let's reboot our ties
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrive to talk to the press as they meet on the sidelines of the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Rovaniemi, Finland May 6, 2019. Mandel Ngan/Pool via REUTERS

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday it was time for Moscow and Washington to put aside years of mistrust and find a way to work together constructively.


Lavrov says he and Pompeo agreed steps to normalize Russia-US relations

© Anton Novoderzhkin/TASS

SOCHI, May 14. 2019 - Moscow is interested in normalizing the relations with Washington on the basis of mutual respect, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a joint press conference following the talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday.

"Russia is interested in normalizing our dialogue. We are convinced that it is possible and realistic if the dialogue is based on mutual respect and consideration for interests," the Russian Foreign Minister said.

Russia has outlined the ideas concerning the positive development of bilateral relations with US in a memo and hopes that Washington will consider its proposals. "We discussed steps, which can give a fresh impetus to the positive development of Russian-American relations," Lavrov said. "We handed over a memo to the secretary of state. I hope that our ideas will be considered in Washington.".

Moscow will respond to Washington’s formal offer concerning a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Osaka in a positive way, if it receives it, Lavrov said. "Naturally, we heard Trump’s statement that he expects to meet with President Putin, including as part of their participation in the G20 summit in Osaka. If such a proposal is received, we will respond to it in a positive way, of course. We talked with Michael Pompeo about that today," Lavrov said.

In parеicular, the publication of US Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report will make it possible to calm passions and thereby help establish a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington, Lavrov told reporters.

"I hope that after the newly-published report by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller passions across the pond will subside, and it will be finally possible to make progress in establishing more constructive cooperation and professional dialogue between Russia and the United States," he noted.

The Russian minister also expresed hope that the emerging reports of 120,000 US soldiers being sent to the Middle East to contain Iran are unfounded. "I hope that the rumors of the allegedly planned deployment of the US army of 120,000 soldiers are groundless, as the region is already mired in various conflicts," the Minister said.

(Comment - Next on the schedule, Pompeo's meeting with President Putin.)
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Brutus meet's Caesar?

Putin says he senses Trump genuinely wants to repair U.S.- Russia ties
Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo greet each other prior to their talks in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Russia, May 14, 2019. Pavel Golovkin/Pool via REUTERS
President Vladimir Putin told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday that he sensed that U.S. President Donald Trump genuinely wanted to repair battered relations between Russia and the United States.

Putin, speaking ahead of talks with Pompeo, also said that Russia had never interfered in U.S. elections and that he and Pompeo had something to talk about when it came to stability on global energy markets.

Pompeo had earlier told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Washington would brook no interference by Moscow in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, saying such a move would seriously harm already poor relations.


Pompeo tells Russia: Don't meddle in next U.S. presidential election
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov shake hands as they pose for a photo prior to their talks in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Russia, May 14, 2019. Pavel Golovkin/Pool via REUTERS
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Russia on Tuesday that Washington would brook no interference in the 2020 U.S. presidential election and wanted Moscow to take action to show there would be no repeat of its suspected 2016 meddling.


Putin begins meeting with Pompeo, Lavrov
A meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has begun in the Russian leader’s Bocharov Ruchey residence.

The two top diplomats are expected to brief the Russian president on the results of their talks held earlier on Tuesday.

Kremlin Aide Yuri Ushakov and Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Sergey Naryshkin are taking part in the talks.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier said that the meeting could last from 30 minutes to three hours.


Kremlin says Russia's Putin is open to meeting Trump at G20 if asked
Russian President Vladimir Putin, accompanied by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, meets with U.S. Secretary of State at the Bocharov Ruchei residence in Sochi , Russia May 14, 2019. Alexander Nemenov/Pool via REUTERS

Russian President Vladimir Putin is open to a new meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump if Moscow receives a formal proposal for such an encounter, a Kremlin aide said on Tuesday after Putin held talks with U.S. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Well, it sounds like Pompeo got an ear full ...

Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo mostly focused on international issues at the talks.

Putin, Pompeo discuss Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Venezuela — Kremlin
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Russian President Vladimir Putin

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Russian President Vladimir Putin © Mikhail Metzel/TASS

SOCHI, May 14, 2019 - Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo have discussed Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, and Venezuela, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said on Tuesday.

"They mostly focused on international issues, of course, in particular, as I wrote down, issues of strategic stability, issues of disarmament and non-proliferation [of weapons of mass destruction] and pressing regional issues," Ushakov said. "Among them are the situation around Syria, around North Korea, Afghanistan, Libya, Iran, Venezuela," he added.

Ushakov noted that Putin and Pompeo also touched upon some issues on the bilateral agenda. Main focus, however, was on international issues, he said.

Syria's constitutional committee
Putin and Pompeo have also discussed the importance of launching Syria's constitutional committee, the Russian presidential aide said.
The situation in Syria was among the topics discussed at the talks between Putin and Pompeo, Ushakov said.

"In the Syrian context, we discussed the importance of jointly fighting against internaitonal terrorism and noted that it is very important to finally launch the Syrian constitutional committee," he added.

Ushakov noted that "the discussion was business-like and constructive, and it revealed many aspects on which we have similar positions."

Russia once again emphasized that "the only basis for overcoming the conflict is in a peaceful negotiations process under the auspices of the UN with participation of all constructive forces," the Russian presidential aide said.

"At the same time, the president stressed that it is important to respect Syria's sovereignty and strive for preserving its territorial integrity," Ushakov added.

Situation in Venezuela
Russia considers as inadmissible any steps that may provoke a civil war in Venezuela, Ushakov continued.

The sides had "a rather frank discussion" on Venezuela at the talks, Ushakov said. "We noted once again that only Venezuelan people have the right to determine the country's future and said that any steps that may provoke a civil war in the country are inadmissible. We stressed that different parties in the conflict should start a dialogue and noted that any attempts to oust the current president with the help of outside pressure are, first of all, counterproductive, and secondly, they may have disastrous consequences for the situation in the region," he added.

Ushakov also noted that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's future was not discussed at the meeting.

Dialgoue on North Korea
Russia confirmed readiness to cooperate with all countries on the Korean issue, and international security guarantees should be provided to North Korea for successful settlement, Ushakov said.

"We drew the US secretary of state's attention to the fact that Russia is open to cooperation with all interested parties with the aim of creating a stable security mechanism in Northeast Asia. We stressed that it is very important in this context to provide international security guarantees to North Korea in response to its steps on denuclearization," he noted.

Moscow thinks that Pyongyang will not give in to "any type of pressure," he added noting that North Korea wants "a respectful approach" and international security guarantess. "As far as we understood from the conversation, Americans are generally ready to continue working [with Pyongyang] despite the stalemate at the last meeting between [US President Donald] Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un," Ushakov concluded.

He also said that contacts between Russian and US representatives for North Korea were positively assessed at the Putin-Pompeo talks.

Settlement in Afghanistan
Russia and the United States should cooperate more actively on settlement in Afghanistan, Ushakov continued.

"On the issue of Afghanistan, the [Russian] president and the [US] secretary of state also noted rather good cooperation between specialists of our countries. Moreover, our president noted that settlement in Afghanistan is a rather complicated issue as the process itself is difficult. At the same time, the positions of the Taliban [movement banned in Russia] are getting stronger. So we need to step up cooperation and try to achieve the balance of power in this country," Ushakov said.

On April 25, representatives of Russia, China and the United States held a trilateral meeting in Moscow on the situation in Afghanistan. After the talks, the sides called on the Taliban to join talks with the Afghan authorities as soon as possible.

Iranian nuclear deal
The Iranian nuclear deal was briefly discussed at the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said.

"The Iranian nuclear deal was briefly discussed. We laid out our approach as it is critical of the recent actions of the US administration. The [Russian] president and the [US] state secretary have spent some time discussing possible developments around Iran. I would say that it was an interesting discussion," he noted.

On May 8, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani announced temporarily suspending Tehran's participation in part of the Join Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The US earlier withdrew from the deal reached in 2015.


No breakthrough at Putin-Pompeo talks — Russian presidental aide

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

SOCHI, May 14, 2019 - There was no breakthrough at the talks between Russian President and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, but the United States showed its constructive approach, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said.

"No, there is no breakthrough yet, but the US side demonstrated a constructive approach," Ushakov said.

He reminded that this was the first visit of Michael Pompeo to Russia in the capacity of US secretary of state. At the same time, Ushakov noted that the telephone conversation between Putin and US President Donald Trump on May 3 "was very good," and the meeting with Pompeo was a continuation of that conversation.

Putin and Pompeo have discussed the possibility of organizing a meeting between the US and Russian leaders at the G20 summit, and Moscow is now expecting concrete proposals, Ushakov noted.

"They also touched upon the issue of organizing a possible meeting between the Russian president and the US president, in parcticualr on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan in June," he said.

"We are ready for any contacts. We can organize a meeting 'on the go' with President Trump. Alternatively, we can sit down for a more comprehensive discussion. Everything will depend on what our US partners want," he added.

He also noted that "there was no personal message from Putin to Trump."


Pompeo says likely to meet with Lavrov at G20 summit
SOCHI, May 14, 2019 - US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo expects to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the G20 summit in Osaka, as he himself said at a meeting with Lavrov on Tuesday.

"It’s great to see you again, twice in a couple of weeks," Pompeo said addressing Lavrov. "I’m likely to see you at the G20. We’ll have many more opportunities for conversation," he added.

Lavrov and Pompeo earlier held a meeting on the sidelines of the Arctic Council’s session in Finland’s Rovaniemi on May 6. Their talks lasted about an hour and, in Lavrov’s words, helped enhance the progress stemming from the May 3 conversation between the two countries’ presidents.

The G20 summit is scheduled to take place in Japan’s Osaka on June 28-29. As the event’s host, Tokyo plans to focus on the fight against terrorists.

According to media reports, US President Donald Trump intends to hold meetings with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the summit’s sidelines.


Putin, Pompeo discuss New START, US withdrawal from INF — Kremlin
Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Chief Sergey Naryshkin, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L-R) at the meeting with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo

Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Chief Sergey Naryshkin, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L-R) at the meeting with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo © Mikhail Metzel/TASS

SOCHI, May 14, 2019 - Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo have discussed the situation with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), and Russia expressed disappointment over US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said on Tuesday.

Ushakov said that Putin and Pompeo discussed issues of strategic stability at the talks in Sochi.

"We said that we expect the US administration to specify [US President Donald] Trump's idea of strategic stability. We also expressed disappointment over US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. We discussed the situation around the New START which expires in 2021," Ushakov added.

He noted that if Washington does not finalize its position on the New START soon, then Moscow "will have to take necessary measures to ensure its security and defense capabilities."

"At the same time, our president stressed that we are ready to return to a normal pragmatic dialogue on all aspects of strategic stability and on all aspects of arms control. In this regard, we confirmed the agreements reached by the two presidents on launching dialogue between our Foreign Ministry and US Department of State on issues of strategic stability. In the framework of this dialogue which will start in the near future, as we expect, we will professionally and comprehensively discuss issue pertaining to missile defense, New START, INF, and other matters associated with ensuring strategic stability and security," Ushakov concluded.
 
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