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How much does Trump love Putin?

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Does USA love Russia or Russia love USA? Can an American President love a Russian counterpart any time in future? USA and Russia are strongest foes with largest terror arsenals and their missiles target each other. The only plus point for them is that both are UN veto members, strategically controlling the world.

American media is filled with unbelievable stories about US presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s reverence for Russian president Vladimir Putin – former KGB intelligence officer who later in his career worked for KGB in Germany before he was handpicked by the new and first post-Soviet Russian president Boris Yelstsin to succeed him. Russia, Americans say, is frequently at odds with American interests on the world stage.

Is Trump all that committed on his pronouncements on Russian policy? Is there any creditable evidence that he has received Russian money? Are Trump’s business interests in Russia really all that significant?

Basically, Trump is an American hawk while Putin is a Russian variety of this character. Trump may have business interests in Russia that Puitn may back. Apart from that, Trump may have liked the boldness, stubbornness and thoroughness of Russian president.

Recently Republican Donald Trump said he is not sure what kind of relationship he would have with Russian President Putin if he is elected US president.

Democrats have consistently mocked Trump’s past remarks in praise of the Russian strongman, the latest instance coming from vice presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine.

Donald Trump pushed back on Hillary Clinton’s accusation that he’s cozying up to Putin after the charge put Trump’s running mate on the defensive during the vice presidential debate. The billionaire Trump sought to take away an argument that Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine, have ramped up in the final weeks of the campaign as they work to portray Trump as dangerous for American interests overseas. While US-Russia relations nosedive over failed diplomacy in Syria, Trump has complimented Putin, calling him a strong leader and even encouraging him to track down Clinton’s missing emails, though Trump later said he was being sarcastic.

The celebrity businessman said his relationship with Russia’s leader would be determined by how Moscow responds to strong US leadership under a Trump administration. “They say Donald Trump loves Putin. I don’t love, I don’t hate. We’ll see how it works,” Trump told a rally outside Las Vegas. Speaking before an estimated crowd of 7,000 in Henderson, Nev., a Las Vegas suburb, Trump said he could not predict the type of relationship he would have with Putin.

Trump was on the campaign trail, making several stops across Nevada. Taking the stage in Henderson, Nev., Trump took his own victory lap for Pence’s performance, which he called “phenomenal.”

Clinton shrugged that off, saying Trump has weird fascination with dictators. “My opponent seems not to know the difference between an ally and adversary,” Clinton said at an evening fundraiser in Washington. “You guys love Russia,” Democratic VP candidate Kaine said in Tuesday’s debate. In a forceful rebuke, Pence described Putin as a “small and bullying leader” but blamed Clinton and President Barack Obama for a “weak and feckless” foreign policy that had awakened Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine and meddling in the Middle East. Pence’s cool demeanor contrasted with Trump’s bluster during his own, top-of-the-ticket showdown against Clinton. However strong Pence’s performance, Trump made clear he considers it a reflection of himself.

During the debate, Trump’s running mate Gov. Mike Pence, who has defended Trump’s praise of Putin, backed away from Trump’s previous praise for Putin, calling the Russian president a “small and bullying” leader.

Trump and Russia

Russia, by whatever yardstick is in vogue, prefers Trump if for no other reason than it hates Hillary Clinton because of her alleged foreign policy interventionist views. But Russian officials are also worried by the disruptive potential of a Trump presidency, specifically about his fulfillment of even some of his chaotic promises.

Vladimir Putin clearly is pleased with Trump’s praise of him, such as saying that Putin has been a better leader than Barack Obama. And the Kremlin is thrilled by Trump’s statements deriding NATO, applauding the British decision to leave the European Union and suggesting that America might not defend allies threatened by Russia.

Stylistically Trump is Putin’s type. Trump seems to Moscow at this point unlikely to put politically correct talk of “Western values” ahead of “our mutual and shared interests.” That he may well harm the Western alliance in the process is a most welcome bonus. Trump will smash America as the Russians currently perceive it. There is little doubt (at least as expressed on Radio Moscow) that Trump’s use of advisers who are sympathetic to Moscow is welcome.

Trump’s views on America’s role in the world completely align with the very fervent hopes Russia has. If reports on Radio Moscow are any guide, there is some understanding of Trump’s unpredictability — that is, just about everything is unknown. While Hillary Clinton is viewed as fiercely anti-Russian, she is nonetheless a familiar figure, and there is some grudging respect. She if elected would just pursue the Bush-Obama imperialist policies abroad.

Donald Trump shows himself to inhabit a fantastical realm where Barack Obama’s birth certificate was faked, the president founded ISIS, the Clintons are killers and the father of a former rival was with Lee Harvey Oswald before he assassinated John F. Kennedy in Dallas.

Americans feel depressed that their president Obama does not enjoy the benefits of hard power like Turkish or Russian presidents do. The deeper worry, therefore, is for Russia and Turkey, where “autocrats” use the techniques of post-truth to silence opposing opinions deemed unacceptable by some. In USA, the Congress itself is a hoax, behaves like a collective autocrat.

The USA and Russia back opposing sides in Syria’s civil war but both are fighting the Islamic State group there. The USA cut off talks with Russia about Syria this week after the latest cease-fire collapsed, blaming Russia for failing to fulfill its commitments under the deal. “I can say this: If we get along and Russia went out with us and knocked the hell out of ISIS, that’s OK with me folks,” Trump said, using an acronym for the extremist group.

Democrat Kaine acknowledged that even his wife gave him a hard time for his constant interruptions during the debate. But Kaine said he was effectively able to block Republican VP candidate Pence from attacking Clinton. “I’ve never played hockey but I think I’d be a good goalie, based on last night,” he said.

Vice-presidential debates don’t typically change the course of an election, but this one could be different if Trump heeds its lessons in his next debate. The Republican has slid in the polls since the first debate by getting lost in dead-end issues and self-indulgent Twitter bursts. Pence are a former radio talk show host, and it showed with his cool, articulate delivery. His earnest, low-key demeanor was a notable contrast to Tim Kaine, whose strategy seemed to be to interrupt Pence at every opportunity.

Foreign policy

Foreign policy remains the key area of US interests but it is strange foreign policy maters have not yet entered the debates of the presidential hopefuls. Only Trumps love for Russia has been debated in a vague manner without any perspectives.

Hillary and Trump have not discussed the rationale for the permanent war agenda of USA and NATO. Nor do they say anything in detail about the US aid to third world underdeveloped nations. Disarmament or denuclearization issues have not come up in debates and speeches even by mistake.

The most notable substantive exchanges occurred on foreign policy, with Republican VP candidate Pence offering a ¬detailed critique of Barack Obama’s record and growing global disorder. Democrat VP mate Kaine kept saying Clinton was part of the team that killed Osama bin Laden, but that is old anti-terror news. Pence replied that the main terror threat now was Islamic State, which he said grew out of “the vacuum” left when Obama withdrew all US troops from Iraq.

Notable was the debate on Russia, with Kaine claiming that Trump has business ties with “oligarchs” that cause him to apologize for Vladimir Putin. Trump’s admiration for Putin is mysterious and worrisome. But Pence pointed out Clinton’s hawkishness-come-lately on Russia follows years of weak ¬policy that invited Putin’s aggression. Pence reminded the audience what a classic Republican security policy sounds like — if only Trump would adopt it.

For the most part Pence dodged this trap, going back on offence against the Clinton-Obama record rather than ¬defend every Trump statement, many of which are indefensible. This is a useful lesson for Trump to take into the next debate, a town hall in which audience members will ask the questions. People want to like their presidents.

At least henceforth the presidential candidates must discuss the future war plans of USA and when they should end terror wars for fun and resources, declare a credible plan to withdraw all its terror troops from foreign soils.

Observation

The big moment for their running mates behind them, both Democratic Hillary and Republican Trump are shifting focus back to each other — and to Sunday’s debate, the second of three showdowns between the nominees. The debate is very critical for Trump. Since last week’s debate, Trump has faced a barrage of questions over a leaked tax return showing he lost more than $900 million in 1995. In turn, he’s sought to reframe his life story as a comeback tale he hopes to recreate on behalf of a faltering nation. “America needs a turnaround. American needs a comeback. America needs a change. And that’s why I’m running,” Trump said.

If Republican Trump could make the case for Donald Trump half as well as his ally Mike Pence makes the case for Donald Trump, the New Yorker would be well on his way to the White House.

Also, a latest opinion poll suggests that Republican Trump is ahead of Hillary by 2. 5 points and this trend is likely to go up as poll date approaches. These days, possibly in order to help shoot up the rating of Obama and Clinton Hillary, many TV channels relays Hollywood movies where Black Americans play lead hero role or positive rules to help the White American heroes, among others and naturally the rating of Obama is sound.

Russia gives every appearance of hoping that the presidential run by Republican Donald Trump will prove successful and there is every indication that the Kremlin wants to give him a boost. Russia has made a lukewarm confession of hacking the emails from the Democratic National Committee that appeared on WikiLeaks. Surely this must be a covert Russian operation designed specifically to sow distrust in our elections. Put another way, Trump may well have become an agent of the Russian Federation.

Being cast adrift in ever expanding ocean of American lies spread and “democratize” in order to invade Muslim nations, the American people may well end up with nothing to cling to. This in itself may well end up in old-fashioned oppression in USA. Ukraine’s ex-president Vicktor Yanukovych, a Kremlin ally, recently made a speech in which he denounced America’s hypocritical focus on democratization in all its forms.

The point Democrats are busy driving to the public is to remind Americans that Trump can be crude, nasty and untutored. This fits the Clinton strategy to delegitimize Trump personally as a ¬potential president. His affirmative case for Clinton and her agenda were ¬almost afterthoughts.

Regardless of who takes the White House come November, Russia’s very presence at the center of American electoral politics is celebrated in Moscow. here is wholesale denying of meddling in Moscow; the accusations nonetheless reinforce the sense of Putin’s power. The focus in Russia on the presidential campaign in America is construed to be a true and lasting acknowledgement that Russia has returned to the international arena. That surely must be what Putin really craves.

All said and done, if Trump is elected US president the limping US-Russian relations would develop smoothly. Putin and Trump could find a common language.

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Addressing the infodemic should be the key priority of a Biden administration

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The 2020 election underlined the growing tribalism in the United States with many seeing it as a referendum on the soul, identity, and future of the United States.

One reason for the growing divisions is that Americans increasingly self-segregate, living in communities that reinforce their political, social, religious, and philosophical views facilitating the growth of visceral political anger. Consequently, everything is political and personal and compromises virtually impossible. 

The election and the result highlighted that millions of Americans, despite plenty of factual evidence to the contrary, hold views not based on empirical evidence. Millions believe the 2020 election was neither free nor fair and that Democrats support globalist cabalschild-trafficking, paedophilia rings.  

The tribalism is most visible in the way many Americans respond to the Covid-19 pandemic with 76% of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents asserting the US had done a good job dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, even though the virus continues to run rampant across the country. Despite plenty of evidence to the contrary around 29% believe Covid-19 is an intentional bioweapon, others believe Bill Gates had planned the pandemic or that 5G technology is responsible for the outbreak. 

Without tackling the infodemic, a Biden administration would struggle because proponents of disinformation (the intentional spreading of untruths) and adherent of misinformation (belief in untruth) have increasingly moved from the fringe to the centre. 

A study from the Cornell Alliance for Science identified President Trump has the world’s biggest disseminator of COVID-19 misinformation. It is therefore unsurprising that so many Americans question not only the root of the pandemic but how to combat it. Consequently, many doubts any information that does not come from Donald Trump, especially as many of his supporters look at life in a binary way, of either full support or full resistance.   

Soon after being declared winner, Joe Biden announced the establishment of a COVID-19 advisory board composed of public health experts, whose role would be to aid in coordinating the response to the pandemic. However, relying on science is problematic as the hyper-politicisation has meant many Americans mistrust scientific findings, holding it to be equally biased.

Beyond a highly partisan Congress, which is likely to stall many of Biden’s policies, the administration would need to grapple with President Trump’s judicial legacy. President Trump not only appointed three Supreme Court justices thus altering the political leaning of the court, but he reversed the trend of promoting diversity. For example, in 1977, the judiciary was predominantly white and male, but successive presidents worked hard to bring forth minorities onto the bench to reflect the nature of American society. President Trump’s nominees could end up slowing down or torpedoing an ambitious, reformist agenda. Challenging the legitimacy of the courts would only add to the growing division, especially as studies indicate that over 60 percent of Americans have faith in the judicial branch.

Joe Biden is uniquely suited to address many of these challenges. Firstly, his age may be an advantage; he has lived through many changes, and he can rely on those experiences as he reaches out to people. He has blue-collar roots, and the fact that he attended a non-Ivy League university would appeal to many Americans suspicious of the elites. His religious commitment gives him a unique ability to speak to many of President Trump’s religious supporters; he just needs to find the tone.

Biden’s principal task should be to use to White House pulpit to speak with people, connect with them, and persuade them to abandon their hyper-partisanship. He should reject President Trump’s usage of executive orders, regulatory discretion particularly when things will get tough, such as Senate refusing to confirm his nominees. As an experienced bridge-builder, he must spend more time speaking with people, bringing them to the Oval Office to persuade them to support empirically-test policies. Reminding opponents, he secured the support of over 80 million Americans. 

The Biden administration will also face many demands from Progressive claiming they worked very hard to get Biden elected. They will argue, with merit, that having a moderate agenda, one designed to win over moderate Republicans and Independents is a betrayal. However, Biden emphasises his goal is to heal America, to bring an element of stability. To pacify the Progressive, he must emphasise he is overseeing a transitional administration, designed to restore civility and unity and lay the foundation for Kamla Harris.  

Reversing the infodemic would take time as it calls for healing divisions and encouraging many Americans to abandon many strongly held ideas, which requires empathy. Joe Biden has the skills to do bring about positive change, and for the sake of many Americans and the world, we must hope that he succeeds.

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Fakhrizadeh’s Assassination Could Endangers Biden’s Diplomacy

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Image source: Wikipedia

The international political situation heats up, especially in the Middle East, after the killing of Iran’s leading nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Apart from Mohsen, several other Iranian nuclear scientists have also been killed in the past decade.

Mohsen was attacked in eastern Tehran on Friday (27/11). He was ambushed by an armed group and the target of a Nissan car explosion before a gun battle broke out. He was rushed to the hospital, but his life could not be helped.

Iranian political and military officials have blamed Israel and US as the masterminds behind Mohsen’s assassination and attack. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called for retaliation for Mohsen’s death. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also said he would retaliate and appoint Israel as the mastermind behind the attack.

Iran and Hezbollah are currently said to be targeting Israelis and Jews around the world. Places owned by Israel and Jews will be the main targets of their retaliation for Mohsen’s death. Israel is also raising its guard. The Israeli government is reportedly on standby and is tightening the security of its embassies around the world. Jewish communities around the world are also asked to be on high alert. The Israeli military has also increased its vigilance along the country’s borders.

What is interesting is that the US secretly deployed the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier to the Arabian Gulf region last Wednesday. Although US Navy Fifth Fleet Spokesperson, Rebecca Rebarich, denied the movement of the fleet was unrelated to Mohsen’s assassination, the international public interpreted the aircraft carrier in order to anticipate the escalation of threats that might arise after the murder case.

There is not much information about Mohsen. Mohsen is the head of the research and innovation organization at the Iranian Ministry of Defense. He’s the main figure behind Iran’s secret nuclear development.

In April 2018, PM Netanyahu mentioned Mohsen’s name when uncovering a nuclear file which he said had been smuggled by Israeli agents from Iran. He named Mohsen as the head of a secret nuclear project called the Amad Project.

In its 2011 report, the UN nuclear weapons watchdog also identified Mohsen as the mastermind behind Iran’s nuclear technology. He was considered to have the ability to do so and at that time it was suspected that he still had an important role in these activities.

Mohsen’s assassination is certain to provoke a new confrontation between Iran and its enemies, including the United States and Israel, in the final weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Mohsen’s assassination is considered as the culmination of the US and Israel’s strategic plan to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. In fact, various parties consider Mohsen’s killing to be the culmination of Israel’s long-term plan.

Mohsen has long been the target of several Israeli prime ministers as well as several directors of the Mossad spy agency. This murder was also predicted to aim at uprooting Iran as a country of nuclear knowledge.

However, some international observers have speculated that the main purpose of the assassination was actually to obstruct the US administration in the era of President-elect Joe Biden who will dialogue to find a diplomatic solution to end the conflict with Iran.

What’s more, President Biden has expressed his intention to re-enter the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, which has been largely devastated since President Donald Trump left the deal in 2018.

Statement from Amos Yadlin, former head of Israel’s military intelligence and head of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS). Amos said whoever makes the decision to assassinate Mohsen should know that there are still 55 days left in which the White House has someone who sees the Iranian threat as they do. In fact, Amos says Biden is a different story. Amos’ statement certainly points to President Trump who is still in power in the White House.

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Biden’s victory: An Opportunity for Transatlantic Reconciliation after Trump and Brexit?

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Joe Biden’s victory Last November came at a critical point during the Brexit negotiations between The European Union and the United Kingdom. There has been a lot of speculation as to whether a change in the American presidency will substantially affect the talks between Europe and Britain. Realistically speaking, the effect the Democrats’ victory in the US will have, at least on Brexit talks before the end of this year, will be minimal.

On a positive note, now that Donald Trump has been defeated, this leaves very little room for the UK to use the threat of a quicker and better deal with the US to try to subdue the EU and make them accept a more pro British agenda. The UK has no longer the US is an alternative to fall back onto if no deal is the result of the negotiations by December 31st.

Since the 2016 British referendum, the decision to leave the EU was enthusiastically greeted by Donald Trump. In very simplistic terms, Trump saw The British “Yes” vote as an act that vaguely resembled his campaign slogan “Let’s Make America Great Again.” The long standing, more loyal foreign policy ally of the US in Europe, was slowly showing signs to move away from the multilateralism Donald Trump greatly despised.

Ever since the outcome of the Brexit referendum became official, Donald Trump voiced his strong support for the UK to pursue a hard Brexit, and even enticed the British government with the prospect of a robust trade deal between the US and the UK, to convince the UK to drop out of the EU without a deal. In reality, none of those big American promises ever materialised. From 2016 to 2020, Donald Trump did absolutely nothing to support the UK. Biden’s victory last November, makes any past promises made by Trump impossible to fulfil.

Biden will, in principle, follow a diametrically opposed foreign policy to Trump’s. He sees the EU, and not the UK, ask the key actor that will help him advance American interests in the European continent. While there have been mutual expressions of willingness to strengthen the relationship between the Americans and the British, Joe Biden has always been skeptical of Brexit, and has made it clear from the start that one of his priorities in foreign policy will be to rebuild the relationship with the EU rather than pursuing a trade deal with the UK.

Ideally, should the UK try to have some sort of leverage to negotiate with the incoming American administration, they need to aim to strike a workable deal between with the EU before the end of this year. That, however, seems unlikely to happen. From an American perspective, it is highly probable that the Biden’s administration will not prioritise any UK-US trade deal in the foreseeable future. There is a strong possibility that Joe Biden will focus on domestic and close neighbours (Canada and Mexico) Issues during his first year in the presidency.

While this is understandable, considering the legacy of the Trump, Biden also has to be careful enough to avoid the temptation to play hardball with the UK because of Brexit. If he does, this could prove to be a fatal mistake with long lasting consequences, specially in a moment when the West is struggling with its own internal weaknesses and the rise of external threats to its unity.

One aspect that both Europe and the US have to acknowledge is that the importance of the UK goes beyond striking a trade deal with the EU. Looking at the rise of more geographically widespread authoritarian and antidemocratic pressures from central, Eastern Europe, China and Russia, the UK is still plays an important role on the continent’s security. Talks on further cooperation on how the EU and the UK will cooperate on foreign and security policy once the transition period ends on 31st of December 2020 have not yet been held. The UK, unfortunately, is likely to remain a crucial partner on such topics especially due to its role as a prominent and active member of NATO, and therefore, talks on this issues should not be left unaddressed.

The UK is aware of its importance militarily, and this explains the £24.1 billion investment announced by the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, this year. This is the largest investment since the end of the Cold War and it aims to modernise the armed forces, as well as to expand the Royal Navy to turn it into the largest fleet in Europe.

This move will enhance the UK’s status as Europe’s leading military power. The UK has also been among the first respondents to recent security crisis in Ukraine and Belarus. Not engaging with the UK altogether in security and foreign policy issues may prove to be detrimental in the long run for the security in the EU, especially considering the rising tensions and instability in the Ring of Fire, from Belarus to Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Nagorno-Karabakh.

The EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) allow for intergovernmental cooperation, this means that  states can pursue their own policies and coordinate them only when they align with the EU’s. The CSDP also allows EU member states to intervene when NATO as an alliance chooses not to. To date, there are 17 of such interventions, in all of these, the UK has been the biggest contributor.

Security is an area of opportunity for Europe and the US, Biden could potentially push for the Europeans to grant the UK an observer role in the Political and Security Committee, or the Foreign Policy Council to advance a common security and foreign policy for the region that wouldn’t only benefit Europe, but also the US interests in the wider European area.

Recently, the UK has been an advocate of what is called a “Global Britain” that echoes the times of the great British Empire’s prominence as a global player. How this will be achieved is still unclear. This grand strategy may fare impossible under current economic and political conditions in the UK and in the world, as well as with the uncertainty surrounding the future relationship of the UK with its neighbours after Brexit.

Anything can happen, the UK could pursue a close, special relationship with Europe where cooperation is prioritised, or there could be a more profound break between the two, where the UK sets its own agenda against the EU’s. For decades, the terms Europe and the EU have been used interchangeably. Now that one of the major European players is out of the organisation, both sides have not yet worked out how the future relationship will be. If it continues to be antagonistic this could send the whole continent into a spiral of chaos, reduced capabilities an increased volatility.

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