[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] T [/yt_dropcap]he relationship between President Trump and what is usually defined – with Soviet terminology – as the American “deep State” is increasingly complex and conflicting.The reason is easy to explain: Trump wants to avoid having tense relations with the Russian Federation, while the “deep State”, which is largely represented by the 17 US intelligence agencies, wants to restore tough and overall confrontation with Russia, as well as to avoid the materialization of the Russian Eurasian project with China, to regionalize China and finally shut in Russia between the Black Sea and Poland.
This is probably the first time a US President is systematically delegitimized by the media but, above all, indirectly, by the intelligence structures of his country.
The US intelligence is now part and parcel of the political game – a phenomenon regarding also other Western intelligence services – and it operates at intelligence and media levels with well-known techniques: misinformation, media manipulation, fake news, defamation, information destabilization and, we could say, a kind of psychological war against its own country.
The mechanism of the anti-Trump “deep throat” works as follows: an anonymous source, that is probably part and parcel of the President’s Administration, informs both the New York Times and the Washington Post – on alternate days, but with an obviously pre-arranged pace and scheme – of the true or alleged ins and outs and behind-the-scene stories of the President and his main aides.
At this juncture, the news is reported, reiterated and underlined by the CNN and the various national TV channels, thus hitting the headlines of all world media.
I am referring, for example, to the demonstrations staged during the inauguration of the Presidency on January 27, which – as reported by the Democratic media – were coordinated and global, with at least two million participants; to the demonstrations at the beginning of his campaign in mid-June 2016; to the anti-Trump protest in Richmond, Virginia (the former Confederate capital) of October 14; to the systematic and multiple interruptions of the then Republican candidate in Michigan in December, not to mention the attempt to assassinate Trump made on June 18, 2016, by Michael Steven Sanford in Las Vegas.
All signs of a plan orchestrated well before Donald J. Trump rising to power.
Therefore the classic defamation mix is used – even at the trivial aesthetic or symbolic level – so as to later destabilize the current US Presidency with manipulated news triggering real concern and alarm, but always with a precise paradigm in mind: Trump is a “friend of Russia” and hence a sworn enemy of the United States.
Therefore, one of the results of fake news is the creation of the symbolic link between “being friends of the United States” and hence being “enemies of Russia”.
Nothing prevents us from thinking that currently the old “military-industrial establishment” is planning an expensive rearmament, which some naïve people imagine to be a major stimulus for the US economy, only against the Russian Federation.
And this would also explain the continuing information and intelligence destabilization of Trump’s Presidency, which – on the contrary – thinks of a new relationship with Russia, starting from the stabilization of Syria and a new division of the world in areas of influence.
This is exactly the opposite of the strategic policy line of the Democratic candidate and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who had based all her foreign policy and many of her future proposals on overthrowing Bashar el Assad and hence supporting the whole Syrian-Iraqi jihadist galaxy, in strategic correlation with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey.
As already noted, however, there is an excellent relationship between Russia and Saudi Arabia, which have also correlated their oil prices and are negotiating the sale of Russian weapons to Saudi Arabia, which saw them working effectively in the Syrian conflict.
Nevertheless fake news which, according to a recent study, accounts for 35.8% of all North American political communication, has a very precise historical origin: the denial of the Shoah.
The negationist model with reference to the destruction of European Jews – just to use the title of an old and still useful book by Hilberg – has its own intrinsic logic: non-essential facts and phenomena are brought into the spotlight and a non-objective counterdeduction is developed between these facts and the historical facts, which are selected among the most favorable or harmless ones.
Initially the information manipulation does not deny, but trivializes and diminishes: for example, it is said that the victims of the extermination camps were not six millions – hence, with a sudden leap of logic, it is maintained that the Shoah did not take place.
From few victims to no one and from no one to a fictitious cause of the non-phenomenon, which replaces the real one because it represents a greater amount of “fundamentals”, of fake causes.
In the case of current fake news, however, a false deduction is made on the basis of true and partially true facts – then this deduction replaces the true and real one.
To do so, also the information “noise” is needed, that is, the continuous mass repetition of fake news – another implementation of Talleyrand’s old proverb: “Slander as much as you like, there will always be something left”.
A statement that can be also found in Rossini’s “Barber of Seville” made by Don Basilio.
The Soviet disinformation (dezinformatsja) was completely different: it hid dangerous intentions with benevolent and friendly traits.
It was counterfactual, too, but it did not distort facts, it simply created new and positive ones.
Just think of the propaganda in favor of the new CPSU Secretary of the time, Andropov, who was also Head of the CPSU First Central Directorate.
The new leader “loved jazz”, “read Goethe” and was obsessively defined as a “reformist”.
Even today, in the West, the word “reformist” is a primary instrument of psychological warfare, since it is never specified about which reforms we are talking.
Reverting to current times, in Trump’s case, fake news is immediately believed true because widespread hate is created deliberately against the US President, thus “making false news true”, which, however, fuels further rancor and resentment against Trump even when it is later found to be fake news.
Specialized websites, such as the Palmer Report, disseminate false, unchecked or unverifiable information, such as the actions of some attorneys against the President, which is reported by the media and hence serves as a Pavlovian confirmation of the hatred previously cultivated against Trump himself.
As Pavlov taught us, both hatred and love are “conditioned responses” and news, regardless of its being true or false, strengthens or diminishes the conditioning of a response or reflex, be it conscious or unconscious.
Incidentally, from this viewpoint, the Pavlovian theory of conditioned response is more useful, profound and exhaustive than the Freudian theory of “complex”.
However, the most politically relevant case of fake news is the recent visit paid by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov to the US President.
In fact, on May 15, the Washington Post reported the unchecked news of Trump disclosing highly classified intelligence to the Russian Foreign Minister, who had met the Head of the US Administration accompanied by the Russian Ambassador, Serghiei Kisliak.
It is also said that Trump “compromised” an Israeli Mossad source by telling Lavrov that Isis-Daesh plans to use laptops and tablets aboard airliners so as to place miniaturized devices into them.
Other more reliable sources tell us that the highly classified information allegedly disclosed by Trump to Lavrov regards the new wide Israeli capabilities of intercepting signals and operational communications.
We also suspect, however, it is already known to Russia, at least by inference, considering the close contacts existing between the Russian forces in Syria and the Israeli military commands.
These new Israeli technologies would allow to monitor also the most secret and confidential military and intelligence operations.
Nevertheless you can feel the discretion, the coldness and the fear of the Israeli services, which are also afraid that the Russian Federation may leak some details of these new technologies to Syria or, even worse, to the Iranian troops operating in Syria.
In the future there is also the possibility of joint operations between the United States and Jordan towards the Syrian territory, considering that the United States does not show to be still satisfied with the new “ceasefire” areas in Syria managed by Russia, Iran and Turkey.
Currently Russia looks at the US American plans for an offensive against Daesh-Isis with much skepticism – plans which are supposed to involve also the Kurds.
Therefore many US media have suggested that the intelligence services linked to the US ones no longer want to collaborate with the United States for fear of being “compromised” in their turn.
Obviously both Netanyahu and Theresa May respond to this hypothesis-fake news by reaffirming the solidity of the relations between their intelligence services and the United States.
Therefore the current tension between Trump and the US “deep tate” is very simple to explain: it is a civil war by other means.
At legal level, however, the US Constitution defines the President as the “Commander-in-Chief”, who can hence disseminate confidential information to anyone he deems useful.
Putin, who is an old executive of the Russian intelligence services, ironized on the matter – during a meeting held with the Italian Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, on May 17 last – by maintaining he could provide the US Congress with even the minutes of the meeting between Trump and Lavrov.
Other unchecked news, triggering suspicion and mistrust – as is often the case with fake news – regards the usual anonymous source disclosing to the New York Times that Trump “tried to obstruct and pervert the course of justice” by putting pressure on the FBI to stop investigating into the possible contacts with Russia of the former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn.
If, in the past, a judge had accused the Head of the Confidential Affairs Office of the Italian Ministry for Internal Affairs, Federico Umberto d’Amato, of “talking to the Soviets”, he would have been laughed at.
With whom should a national security officer of such an important country speak?
You talk also, and above all, with the enemy, because it is with the enemy you must deal, not with the friend.
Hence currently a strange gnostic and puritanical theology looms large in the American mentality, in which any contact with what is considered to be “evil” is denied and forbidden a priori.
Anti-Machiavellianism – unless it is ironic like that of Frederick II of Prussia – creates monsters.
In all likelihood, this is the result – in the specific field of intelligence – of the “closing of the American mind” described by Allan Bloom in 1987.
Reverting to the FBI case, the same anonymous sources report that President Trump “hoped” the FBI Director would “drop the matter” as Flynn is “a good man.”
A different sense, but fake news always refuses nuances and always speaks using the present tense.
Or using the past tense.
Obviously if a US President tried to obstruct and pervert justice, he should be impeached – and this is exactly what the North American “deep State” wishes to achieve as soon as possible, namely making Trump end up like Nixon.
Too much money is involved in some political-military issues. The Saudi and Sunni world pay huge sums and it is worth recalling that Saudi Arabia’s funds to the Clinton Foundation are estimated at 10-25 million US dollars, while the “friends of Saudi Arabia”, co-funded by a local prince, have given another million and later additional 5 million US dollars to the Clinton Foundation.
Kuwait, Qatar (the first funder of Isis-Daesh) and the United Arab Emirates have provided to the Clinton Foundation 5-10 million US dollars, respectively.
Hence the project that Trump is expected to announce on May 22 next (and this is not fake news) of an Arab-Muslim alliance among the 17 Sunni leaders and the United States would not be useless.
For the time being only the Egyptian President has not accepted the proposal of this new “Islamic-Arab NATO” and the clear goal is to pool the efforts of the whole Sunni world against Daesh-Isis and the sword jihad.
Iran also believes that this new alliance is essentially targeted against Iran and the Shiite regions and this, too, is certainly not an analytical mistake.
Reverting to Trump, however, it is hard for him to survive this line of fire of false, manipulated, partially true, malicious or ambiguous news.
For the first time, a great country like the United States destabilizes itself on its own to avoid a regularly elected President managing the political platform with which he won the elections.
As far as we understand, considering the current tensions, in all Western countries the old globalist and globalizing elites want to return to power soon.
As time goes by, the mechanism that generated Brexit, the electoral success of Marine Le Pen in France and of the so-called “populists” – a sloppy and inadequate definition that is also fake news in itself, considering the profound differences existing between countries and parties – as well as the obvious electoral manipulation in Austria, makes us really think that the time of survival for globalist elites is reduced to the minimum.
Hence the desire to act quickly, in all ways and by all means.
Will Geneva Be Any Different Than Helsinki?
Any meeting between the leaders of Russia and the U.S. is inevitably an important international event. At some point in history, such summits decided the fate of the entire world, and the world held its collective breath as it followed Kremlin-White House talks on strategic arms or the two sides seeking agreements on urgent regional problems or any political signals coming from the superpower capitals prior to another round of negotiations.
The bipolar era has long been gone, and the Russia-U.S. relations are no longer the principal axis of international politics, although the suspense over bilateral summits remains. As before, the two countries are engaged in “top-down” interaction. Summits give the initial impetus to Moscow and Washington’s cumbersome bureaucratic machines, then diplomats, military personnel and officials start their assiduous work on specific issues, collaboration between the two countries’ private sectors and civil society perks up, the media gradually soften their rhetoric, bilateral projects in culture, education and science are gradually resumed.
Still, there are annoying exceptions to this general rule. In particular, the latest full-fledged Russia–U.S. summit in Helsinki in July 2018 failed to trigger improvements in bilateral relations. On the contrary, Donald Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin in Finland’s capital aroused massive resentment among the anti-Russian Washington establishment. Ultimately, on returning home, the U.S. President had to offer awkward apologies to his supporters and opponents alike, and relations between the two countries continued to rapidly deteriorate after the summit.
Surely, nobody is willing to see another Helsinki scenario in June 2021, this time in Geneva. Yet, do we have good reason to hope for a different outcome this time? To answer this question, let us compare Donald Trump and Joseph Biden’s approaches to Russia-U.S. summits and to bilateral relations at large.
First of all, in Helsinki, Trump very much wanted the Russian leader to like him. The Republican President avoided publicly criticizing his Russian counterpart and was quite generous with his compliments to him, which inevitably caused not only annoyance but pure outrage in Washington and in Trump’s own Administration. Joe Biden has known Vladimir Putin for many years; he does not set himself the task of getting the Russian leader to like him. As far as one can tell, the two politicians do not have any special liking for each other, with this more than reserved attitude unlikely to change following their meeting in Geneva.
Additionally, in Helsinki, Trump wanted, as was his wont, to score an impressive foreign policy victory of his own. He believed he was quite capable of doing better than Barack Obama with his “reset” and of somehow “hitting it off” with Putin, thereby transforming Russia if not into a U.S. ally, then at least into its strategic partner. Apparently, Biden has no such plans. The new American President clearly sees that Moscow-Washington relations will remain those of rivalry in the near future and will involve direct confrontation in some instances. The Kremlin and the White House have widely diverging ideas about today’s world: about what is legitimate and what is illegitimate, what is fair and what is unfair, where the world is heading and what the impending world order should be like. So, we are not talking about a transition from strategic confrontation to strategic partnership, we are talking about a possible reduction in the risks and costs of this necessarily costly and lengthy confrontation.
Finally, Trump simply had much more time to prepare for the Helsinki summit than Biden has had to prepare for Geneva. Trump travelled to Finland eighteen months after coming to power. Biden is planning to meet with Putin in less than five months since his inauguration. Preparations for the Geneva summit have to be made in haste, so the expectations concerning the impending summit’s outcome are less.
These differences between Biden and Trump suggest that there is no reason to expect a particularly successful summit. Even so, we should not forget the entire spectrum of other special features of the Biden Administration’s current style of foreign policy. They allow us to be cautiously optimistic about the June summit.
First, Donald Trump never put too much store by arms control, since he arrogantly believed the U.S. capable of winning any race with either Moscow or Beijing. So, his presidential tenure saw nearly total destruction of this crucial dimension of the bilateral relations, with all its attendant negative consequences for other aspects of Russia-U.S. interaction and for global strategic stability.
In contrast, Biden remains a staunch supporter of arms control, as he has already confirmed by his decision to prolong the bilateral New START. There are grounds for hoping that Geneva will see the two leaders to at least start discussing a new agenda in this area, including militarization of outer space, cyberspace, hypersonic weapons, prompt global strike potential, lethal autonomous weapons etc. The dialogue on arms control beyond the New START does not promise any quick solutions, as it will be difficult for both parties. Yet, the sooner it starts, the better it is going to be for both countries and for the international community as a whole.
Second, Trump never liked multilateral formats, believing them to be unproductive. Apparently, he sincerely believed that he could single-handedly resolve any burning international problems, from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to North Korea’s nuclear missile programme.
Biden does not seem to harbor such illusions. He has repeatedly emphasized the importance of multilateralism, and he clearly understands that collaboration with Russia is necessary on many regional conflicts and crises. Consequently, Geneva talks may see the two leaders engage in a dialogue on Afghanistan, on the Iranian nuclear deal, on North Korea, or even on Syria. It is not at all obvious that Biden will succeed in reaching agreement with Putin immediately on all or any of these issues, but the very possibility of them discussed at the summit should be welcomed.
Third, Trump was not particularly fond of career diplomats and, apparently, attached little value to the diplomatic dimension of foreign policy. The Russia-U.S. “embassy war” had started before Trump—but not only did Trump fail to stop it, he boosted it to an unprecedented scale and urgency.
Sadly, the “embassy war” continues after Trump, too. Yet President Biden, with his tremendous foreign policy experience, understands diplomatic work better and appreciates it. Practical results of the Geneva summit could include a restoration of the diplomatic missions in Washington and Moscow to their full-fledged status and a rebuilding of the networks of consular offices, which have been completely destroyed in recent years. Amid the problems of big politics, consular services may not seem crucial but, for most ordinary Russians and Americans, regaining the opportunity for recourse to rapid and efficient consular services would outweigh many other potential achievements of the Geneva summit.
From our partner RIAC
“Choose sides” is practically a bogus idea for US military partners
“Choosing sides” is practically a non-starter for US military allies such as Japan and South Korea. These nations, first and foremost military allies of the US, are forging cordial and productive ties with other countries based on military alliances with the US. The nature and level of partnerships varies greatly from those of allies, despite the fact that they appear to be quite heated at times.
Military concerns have been less important in the postwar period, but economic concerns have been extremely heated, social and cultural interactions have been close, and the qualitative differences between cooperative relations and allies have gotten confused, or have been covered and neglected.
Some unreasonable expectations and even mistakes were made. In general, in the game between the rising power and the hegemony, it is undesirable for the rising power to take the initiative and urge the hegemony’s supporters to select a side. Doing so will merely reinforce these countries’ preference for hegemony.
Not only that, but a developing country must contend with not only a dominant hegemony, but also a system of allies governed by the hegemony. In the event of a relative reduction in the power of the hegemony, the strength of the entire alliance system may be reinforced by removing restraints on allies, boosting allies’ capabilities, and allowing allies’ passion and initiative to shine.
Similarly, the allies of the hegemonic power are likely to be quite eager to improve their own strength and exert greater strength for the alliance, without necessarily responding to, much alone being pushed by, the leader. The “opening of a new chapter in the Korean-US partnership” was a key component of the joint statement issued by South Korea and the United States following the meeting of Moon Jae-in and Biden. What “new chapter” may a military alliance have in a situation of non-war?
There are at least three features that can be drawn from the series of encounters between South Korea and the United States during Moon Jae-visit in’s to the United States: First, the withdrawal of the “Korea-US Missile Guide” will place military constraints on South Korea’s missile development and serve as a deterrence to surrounding nations. The second point is that, in addition to the Korean Peninsula, military cooperation between the US and South Korea should be expanded to the regional level in order to respond to regional hotspots. The third point is that, in addition to military alliances, certain elements in vaccinations, chips, 5G, and even 6G are required. These types of coalitions will help to enhance economic cooperation.
Despite the fact that Vice President Harris wiped her hands after shaking hands with Moon Jae-in, and Biden called Moon Jae-in “Prime Minister” and other rude behaviors, the so-called “flaws” are not hidden, South Korea still believes that the visit’s results have exceeded expectations, and that Moon Jae-in’s approval rate will rise significantly as a result.
The joint statement issued by South Korea and the United States addresses delicate subjects such as the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea. Of course, China expresses its outrage. It is widely assumed that this is a “private cargo” delivered by Biden’s invitation to Moon Jae-in to visit the United States.
Moon Jae-in stated that he was not pressured by Biden. If this is correct, one option is that such specific concerns will not be handled at all at the summit level; second, South Korea is truly worried about the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea concerns and wishes to speak with the US jointly.
South Korea should be cognizant of China’s sensitivity to the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea concerns. When it comes to China-related concerns, the phrasing in the ROK-US joint statement is far more mild than that in the ROK-Japan joint declaration. Nonetheless, the harm done to South Korea-China ties cannot be overlooked.
South Korea highlights the “openness” and “inclusiveness” of the four-party security dialogue system, which allows South Korea to engage to some extent. South Korea will assess the net gain between the “gain” on the US side and the “loss” on the Chinese side. China would strongly protest and fiercely respond to any country’s measures to intervene in China’s domestic affairs and restrict China’s rise.
Political Violence and Elections: Should We Care?
The next Sunday 6th of June, the Chamber of Deputies along with 15 out of the 32 governorships will be up for grabs in Mexico’s mid-term elections. These elections will be a crucial test for the popularity of the president and his party, the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA). They currently hold majority in the Lower Chamber of the national Congress, and these elections could challenge this.
Recent national polls indicate that the ruling party, MORENA, is still the most popular political force in Mexico, and they are poised to win not only several governorships, but also several municipalities. They are also expected to maintain control of the Lower Chamber, although with a loss of a few seats. In order to ensure MORENA keeps its current majority in the Congress, they have decided to pursue an electoral alliance with the Green Party (PVEM) and the Labout Party (PT). It is expected that with this move, they will be able to ensure the majority in the Chamber of Deputies in the Congress.
There is, however, another aspect that is making the headlines in this current electoral process: The high levels of political and electoral violence, The current electoral process is the second most violent since 2000. The number of candidates that have been assassinated is close to 30% higher than the mid-term electoral process of 2015. More than 79 candidates have been killed so far all across the country.
Insecurity in Mexico has been an ongoing issue that has continued to deteriorate during the administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). AMLO has continually criticised his predecessors and the valid problems of their approaches to insecurity in Mexico along with the War on Drugs policy. However, to date, he has yet to offer a viable alternative to tackle the security problems he inherited. During his campaign, AMLO coined the phrase “abrazos no balazos” (hugs not bullets) to describe his approach toward improving security in Mexico. He believed that to successfully tackle the worsening crisis of insecurity, the structural conditions that forced people to commit crimes had to be addressed first: Namely inequality, poverty, low salaries, lack of access to employment etc. To date, insecurity in Mexico continues to worsen, and this had become evident during the current electoral process.
This nonsensical approach to insecurity has resulted in the first three years of his government reaching over 100,000 murders, along with the nearly 225,000 deaths as a result of the pandemic.
What should be particularly worrying in this spiral of violence, is the prevalence of political and electoral violence during the current process. Political violence represents not only a direct attack on democratic institutions and democracy itself, but it also compromises the independence, autonomy, and integrity of those currently in power, and those competing for positions of power. It affects democracy also because political violence offers a way for candidates to gain power through violent means against opposition, and this also allows organised crime to infiltrate the state apparatus.
Political violence is a phenomenon that hurts all citizens and actors in a democracy. It represents a breeding ground for authoritarianism, and impunity at all levels of government. This limits the freedoms and rights of citizens and other actors as it extinguishes any sort of democratic coexistence between those currently holding political power and those aspiring to achieve it. Political violence also obstructs the development of democracy as it discredits anyone with critical views to those in power. This is worrying when we consider that 49% of those assassinated belong to opposition parties. This increase in political violence has also highlighted AMLO´s inability to curtail organised crime and related violence.
Assassination of candidates is only the tip of the iceberg. Organised criminal groups have also infiltrated politics through financing of political campaigns. Most of electoral and political violence tends to happen an municipal levels, where it is easier for criminal groups to exert more pressure and influence in the hope of securing protection, and perpetuate impunity, or securing control over drug trafficking routes. This should be especially worrisome when there is close too government control in certain areas of the country, and there is a serious risk of state erosion at municipal level in several states.
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