Best of the Web: Not interested in truth: U.S. rejects Putin’s offer to share transcript of contentious Trump-Lavrov meeting . . . this article continues to be extremely interesting, beyond that which I hae quoted for you here.
US rejects and ridicules unprecedented Russian offer though it offers the one opportunity of ascertaining beyond all doubt what actually happened at the meeting between Trump and Lavrov.
The prevailing response to the offer is that it was not intended seriously. The tone was set by BBC journalist who speaking on British television claimed that in making the offer Putin was having, and was just trolling the US, and that there is “no possibility” of the US accepting a transcript written on “Kremlin notepaper”.
This is to misrepresent what was a perfectly serious offer despite the humorous tone with which Putin spoke.
That the offer was intended entirely seriously can be judged by the words Putin used when he made the offer”
As for the results of Foreign Minister Lavrov’s visit to the United States and his meeting with President Trump, we assess the results highly. This was the first visit, a return visit by our foreign minister, after we received US Secretary of State Tillerson here in Moscow.
This is normal and natural international practice. At the same time, however, we see the growing political schizophrenia in the United States. There is no other way I can explain the accusations against the current president that he handed whichever secrets over to Lavrov.
Incidentally, I spoke with him [Lavrov] today about this matter, and I will have to give him a ticking off for not sharing these secrets with me. Not with me, nor with our intelligence officials. This was really not good of him at all.
What’s more, if the US administration has no objection, we are ready to provide a transcript of Lavrov’s conversation with Trump to the US Senate and Congress. Of course, we would do this only if the American administration so desires.
Initially, when we watched the first developments in this internal political struggle, we were amused. But now, the spectacle is becoming quite simply sad, and it is causing us concern, because it is hard to imagine just how far people willing to think up this kind of nonsense and absurdity might go. All of this is ultimately about fanning anti-Russian sentiment.
This does not surprise me. They are using anti-Russian slogans to destabilize the internal political situation in the United States, but they do not realise that they are harming their own country. If this is the case, then they are quite simply stupid. If they do understand what they are doing, then they are dangerous and unscrupulous people. In any event, this is the United States’ own affair and we have no intention of getting involved.
As for assessments of President Trump’s actions so far in office, this too is not our affair. It is for the American people, American voters, to give their assessment. Of course, this will be possible only once he is fully allowed to work. (bold italics added)
An important point about Putin – and one which I have made previously, and which was very obvious to me on the two occasions when I have seen him in person (at the two SPIEF conferences which I have attended in St. Petersburg in 2014 and 2016) – is that he is one of those people who uses humour to hide their anger.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Trolls The U.S. In Cyprus . . . the Russians maintain a sense of humor
Thorbjorn Jagland: These pictures (protocol photoshoot) won’t cause any problems for you?
Sergey Lavrov: It depends on what kind of secrets you pass on to me
Russia threatened to use tactical nukes? US commission produces wildest claims in push for military buildup . . . Americans will surely hear this on their news, but not much else. No wonder they are lost regarding the truth. When the truth hits, the emotional response is going to be huge, because I believe ‘hit’ them it will! It must! By putting out all these lies, this is exactly what they are so desperately trying to avoid.
Master bullsh – ter Barack Obama calls President Trump “a bullsh – ter” more on the story I posted earlier today — now from The Duran
All You Need to Know About James Comey [full article] . . . why do we keep scrambling? When are we going to get rid of all of them?
News & Commentary on May 17, 2017 at 6:05 pm
By Catherine Austin Fitts
James Comey, the now former head of the FBI, is also the former General Counsel of Lockheed Martin, the largest defense contractor and weapons manufacturer in America and hedge fund advisor.
Lockheed Martin used to run significant information and payment systems at the Department of Defense. They appear to have spun their subsidiary out of the company after DOD closed their fiscal 2015, with $6.5 trillion of undocumentable adjustments. I wrote about it recently in Lockheed Cuts and Runs and Crazy Man vs. Criminal: Cut and Run, Monica Lewinsky and Real Trouble Ahead.
Here is what you need to know about James Comey. Everything he said or did related to Hillary Clinton or President Trump is unimportant. The fact that James Comey did and said nothing about $6. 5 trillion missing from your government in fiscal 2015 tells you all you need to know about James Comey.
Here is a description of the FBI’s legal powers and authority. If the US government is missing trillions of dollars, don’t you think it is the FBI’s highest priority to figure out where the money went and get it back?
If I was an invisble, secret governing board responsible to preserve the trillions I had stolen, I would sure want to break up the country or be in a position to engineer significant currency debasement and financial fraud. It’s a lot easier than explaining to people that you stole the money that they had saved to pay for health care and Social Security. I would also want to start WW III – that would keep the power and money rolling my way. There is nothing like a dangerous fight to provide air cover for corruption and financial fraud. You can blow up a lot of records and make endless excuses.
You should also remember that the last time these folks tried to engineer an impeachment process was when all the money started to disappear from the federal accounts and the federal mortgage programs were used to explode the mortgage fraud that lead to $27 trillion of bailouts for the banks.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Every chance you get to speak with a federal public official or a member of the national press, you should ask one question:
WHERE IS THE MONEY?
James Comey paid $3 million for his Connecticut mansion. The US Congress can not pass health care legislation because there is no money to pay for it and sorely needs a political distraction. Let me suggest now is a good time to connect the dots between Mr. Comey’s personal wealth and the debasement of the United States and your finances.
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Jim Stone says: If I don’t put it here you will never see it: Seth Rich overwhelmingly probably killed at hospital
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Cali Governor Jerry Brown Slams “Free-Loading” Taxpayers For Opposing Higher Taxes . . . so now you know when Oroville Dam ‘hits’ exactly what you can expect
The freeloaders – I’ve had enough of them… They have a president that doesn’t tell the truth and they’re following suit…”
With Joe Lieberman emerging as a potential candidate for the FBI Director post only over the past 48 hours, Trump delivered another surprise today when he told reporters that he is “very close” to making his choice, with multiple officials telling NBC News and CNN that former Sen. Joe Lieberman is the current “frontrunner” for the job.
Krieger: Wall Street Completely Owns The Trump Administration MUST READ. . . take the time to read this Orwellian story of what they are about to foist on the unaware American people — and that means all of us!
“A Republic… Or A Monarchy?” need to review a bit of our ‘real’ history? Worth your time . . . a discussion of the various amendments and where we stand with them today.
Franklin didn’t hesitate. “A republic – if you can keep it.”
People go to jail and do hard time for smoking certain plants (but not others), failing to file tax forms, and a number of completely obscure and innocuous crimes.
There were four federal crimes when the Constitution was ratified. Today there are thousands. On any given day you and I probably commit several of them without even knowing. And each comes with absolutely insane penalties.
Putin promises Russian cooperation to Islamic nations fighting terrorism . . . the sott.net comment in this article adds a great deal to our understanding of Russia’s views:
Sott Comment: More from The Duran:
Russian opposition leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, one of the only Russian politicians who speaks Turkish, delivered similar remarks at a conference on Russia and Islam in 2014
Even the modern Communist Party of the Russian Federation, under the leadership of Gennady Zyuganov has embraced the idea of religious ecumenicism.
As I previously wrote,
“Russia suffered a profound spiritual crisis in the 1990s at every level, both theoretically and practically. The internal stability and prosperity afforded by the Putin years has given Russia a sense of peace and has allowed Russia to return to its heritage as the largest Orthodox Christian state in the world.
As such, some would say Russia has a duty to defend fellow Christians. But Russian foreign policy is articulated differently. Russia defends its allies against aggression, but the fact remains that in doing so, Russia is by default, living up to its tradition as a defender of faith. But it is not just the Orthodox faith Russia is defending.
Russia is defending Muslims throughout the world at a time when western wars of aggression target Islamic populations and when western politicians like Geert Wilders lambaste Islam in the most disparaging terms.
Russia must make it clear to a Muslim world bombarded by western and Saudi propaganda, that it is a more honest defender of Islam than any major power on earth. It is able to say so because of its record of legality in foreign affairs and also because of a Christian tradition that Europe and to a large extent, America has entirely forsaken”.
The importance of Russia in solving the political, spiritual and other long term crises in the Islamic world cannot be overstated. Many of these crises are the products of post-colonial realities which have in recent decades been augmented by neo-colonial meddling by western powers.
It is clear from their support of jihadists in Syria, that western powers would rather see a weak Islamic world in the grip of savages, rather than strong, tolerant, secular governments such as the one in Damascus that the west has tried and continues to try so hard to destabilize and destroy.
Russia by contrast favors a model of complete independence for Arab states and countries in the wider Islamic world and furthermore, Russia seeks partnership with countries whose constitutions whether secular (like Syria) or theocratic (like Iran), defend and protect religious minorities, particularly Christians.
Russia favors balance and it is only through further positive engagement with the wider Islamic world, including Russia’s vast Muslim communities, that Russia will be able to achieve this.
South Korea’s New Moon: What to expect from the new President . . . dare I say here that we are in a time of transition, and for the moment new leaders are likely to be treading very carefully.
Even before the new president of South Korea entered office, we wrote an article highlighting the problems that awaited the successor to Park Geun-hye’s presidency. And at this point, the author would want to draw the readers’ attention to the fact that in assessing the course of action that the current leader of the Republic of Korea would assume, we must divorce ourselves from pleasant illusions associated with the dual logic that if the past president was bad, it naturally follows that the present one will be good, and that he will definitely try to do things differently and better. The question of how this usually ends is best answered illustratively by the example of Donald Trump, and how the attitude of the public towards him dramatically shifted during his first hundred days in office.
In all fair assessment, Moon Jae-in is more than likely to take a different stance on many issues. However, this is not so much related to ideological differences existing within the state as to the factional struggles. Such a kind of logic and way of thinking requires the opposition to criticize any initiative of the current administration, and on having come to power, they are as a matter of principle always obliged to oppose its decisions.
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The Saudi Embassy in Vienna is alerting its citizens to recent Austrian legislation banning face covers in public and is calling on them to observe the law. The measure takes effect in October. It will affect women who normally wear burqas, niqabs or other outfits that conceal their faces or allow only the eyes to be seen. The legislation does not specifically name what apparel is banned, however, leaving the wearing of balaclavas and other cold-weather coverings in a legal gray zone. The advisory, on the Saudi Embassy’s Twitter account, warns that “anyone who covers the outlines or details of the face in public places is at risk of paying a fine.” (AP)
US-Led Coalition Strikes Hit Syrian Army Near At Tanf – UPDATES . . . as I contemplate the information below, I wonder what the US would do, were Russia to have initiated such a response, even if it were legal . . .
Sott Comment [contains the UPDATES] : See also: US coalition jets strike Syrian government convoy in Southern Syria
Interesting timing, coming after this report, with commentary from Russia Insider:
You thought US needed Syria’s permission to set itself up in Syria? You had it wrong. It’s actually Syria which requires American permission to retake its territory:
As we reported last week the Syrian army is making progress in the southern desert. It is edging eastwards towards the Iraqi border and towards joint US-rebel positions at al-Tanf border crossing.
The question is all the more acute now as it has become apparent the US believes Syria requires US permission to restore its territory. As The Telegraph reports:
The US has sent a clear message that any government advance towards their base will not be accepted. However, it is unclear how the special forces will react to any serious provocation.
As the Telegraph report pointed out, this set Assad’s troops on “a collision course” with the U.S. and their proxies. We guess we now know what the U.S. response is to any “serious provocation”. (Keep in mind that the presence of the U.S. forces is the actual provocation – they’re there illegally!)
Update: RT reports that the group attacked was a militia group allied with the SAA. The U.S. statement reads:
“This action was taken after apparent Russian attempts to dissuade Syrian pro-regime movement south towards At Tanf were unsuccessful, a coalition aircraft show of force, and the firing of warning shots,” the statement said.
The Syrian forces allegedly entered a so-called “de-confliction” zone in the Homs Governorate, which was perceived as a threat to “US-allied troops.” The militia forces allegedly clashed with the Pentagon-backed Maghawir Al-Thawra militant group (formerly known as New Syrian Army), which called in coalition air support.
“We notified the coalition that we were being attacked by the Syrian army and Iranians in this point and the coalition came and destroyed the advancing convoy,” Reuters cited a militant representative as saying.
Apparently a tank and bulldozer were hit. Al-Masdar is reporting six killed, three injured. The U.S. says this incident does not represent a change in policy or an escalation, and that the de-confliction zone agreement remains in effect.
Head of the upper house’s Defense and Security Committee Viktor Ozerov told Sputnik: “I hope that this incident will not affect the Geneva negotiation process, but, conversely, will become the most important item on the agenda of the Geneva talks. There needs to be a clearer interaction between the coalition led by the US and the Syrian government forces.”
US Central Command spokesman Josh Jacques told Sputnik: “I believe there are casualties, but I don’t have the full battle damage assessment for the engagement at this point. We are still conducting our assessment.” He told RT:
“If they were being used,” a US Central Command spokesman told RT, casualties would be likely, but he said he is “not speculating.”
CentCom spokesman Josh Jacques told RT that an assessment of Thursday’s attack is being conducted, but that even when it is completed, there would not be an exact body count reported, because they don’t have ground access.