BY PHIL GIRALDI – By overwhelming margins the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives voted on September 28th to override President Barack Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA). Obama had noted that the Act would have negative consequences for U.S. officials overseas as it establishes the principle that governments can be held accountable in the courts for what they do. Prior to this legislation Washington generally respected the principle of sovereign immunity, which means in practice that governments resolve issues between themselves by negotiation, not through litigation.
This was all about the neo-liberal left punishing Stein for running a Presidential campaign that siphoned off votes from Hillary Clinton.
Jill Stein is probably wishing right about now that she never decided to step up to bat for team Hillary and serve up a recount controversy, now that everyone from President Barack Obama, to members of the Democratic party, are all distancing themselves from Stein crazy (and futile) election crusade.
In an effort to try and throw President Donald Tump’s legitimacy under the bus, Jill Stein has only managed to throw herself under the bus…and now her very own Green Party is having nothing to do with the recount push.
Maybe the Clinton campaign, along with Soros’ backing, was never really interested in damaging Donald Tump.
Maybe…just maybe, this was all about the neo-liberal left “powers-that-be” punishing Stein for running a Presidential campaign that siphoned off critical votes from Hillary Clinton.
Perhaps the entire recount crusade that Jill Stein was fooled into undertaking (on behalf of team Hillary and with whatever spoils promised to her by the Soros establishment) was simply a message to Stein and any other “third” party progressive left upstarts thinking about challenging the Democratic power structure to think twice…or else they too will face the same very public embarrassment and shaming that Stein has so unsuspectedly fallen for.
Stein got suckered into being the very public face of a very dumb idea…too dumb an idea to have been seriously believed by the Clinton machine and the Soros illuminati. Now Stein is forever tarnished, and any other lefty third parties along with her…which would explain why the Green Party is in such a hurry to distance itself from their Presidential candidate.
In a letter penned by Green Party Senate Candidate Margaret Flowers, and signed by dozens of prominent GPUS members, the Greens have rebelled against the farcical “recount effort” conducted by Jill Stein, saying “while we support electoral reforms, including how the vote is counted, we do not support the current recount being undertaken by Jill Stein.”
The reason for this is that as the author notes, “as a candidate, Dr. Stein has the right to call for a recount. However, we urge the GPUS to distance itself from any appearance of support for either Democrats or Republicans. We are well aware of the undemocratic actions taken during the primaries by the DNC and the Clinton campaign. Greens cannot be perceived to be allied with such a party.”
Flowers points out that the decision to pursue a recount “was not made in a democratic or a strategic way, nor did it respect the established decision making processes and structures of the Green Party of the United States (GPUS). The recount has created confusion about the relationship between the Green and Democratic parties because the states chosen for the recount are only states in which Hillary Clinton lost. There were close races in other states such as New Hampshire and Minnesota where Clinton won, but which were not part of the recount. And this recount does not address the disenfranchisement of voters; it recounts votes that were already counted rather than restoring the suffrage of voters who were prevented from voting.”
The letter slamming Stein follows a similar reaction by various prominent Democrats who have also accused Stein of engaging in a “time wasting scam.”
In light of the rising tide of opposition against Stein’s “effort” from all sides, including her own party, it is unclear how much longer this allegedly “crowdfunded” effort will persist.
Here is the full letter published by the Green Party…
Greens Speak Out on Recount and Our Commitment to an Independent Party
We write to reaffirm our commitment to building a Green Party that has a radical analysis of the society in which we live, and promotes bold solutions to transform our society and address the root causes of those crises; a Green Party that is independent of the two money-dominated parties.
There is a deep social crisis in the US. This crisis manifests in countless ways. One of its central manifestations is through the political system. People have legitimate concerns about the electoral system, which is manipulated through wholesale voter disenfranchisement, massive voter suppression and the racist and undemocratic historical logic of the Electoral College. In all fifty states, voters from poor and marginalized communities, especially Black people and other communities of color, have their votes suppressed and are excluded from participation through various practices.
The Green Party cannot build the political power necessary for the transformative changes we need by allying with two capitalist parties that serve the interests of the wealthy. That is why it is imperative that the Green Party is independent of those parties. We stay independent to give people an alternative to the corruption of two money-based parties. Greens reject donations from corporations and their political action committees to ensure we are accountable to the people and so that the people’s agenda is not superseded by the corporate agenda.
There are significant electoral reforms needed to make elections more democratic and more representative of the people. While we support electoral reforms, including how the vote is counted, we do not support the current recount being undertaken by Jill Stein.
The decision to pursue a recount was not made in a democratic or a strategic way, nor did it respect the established decision making processes and structures of the Green Party of the United States (GPUS). The recount has created confusion about the relationship between the Green and Democratic parties because the states chosen for the recount are only states in which Hillary Clinton lost. There were close races in other states such as New Hampshire and Minnesota where Clinton won, but which were not part of the recount. And this recount does not address the disenfranchisement of voters; it recounts votes that were already counted rather than restoring the suffrage of voters who were prevented from voting.
As a candidate, Dr. Stein has the right to call for a recount. However, we urge the GPUS to distance itself from any appearance of support for either Democrats or Republicans. We are well aware of the undemocratic actions taken during the primaries by the DNC and the Clinton campaign. Greens cannot be perceived to be allied with such a party.
We remain committed to the Green Party’s four pillars and ten key values, which have at their foundation grassroots democracy. We urge the GPUS to prioritize its efforts on building our party from the bottom up, working and organizing in direct solidarity with our state and local parties and alongside and in defense of the rights of those most affected by the injustices of a capitalist, white supremacist and undemocratic system. This includes support for local efforts to prevent the disenfranchisement of people of color via voter suppression or because of felony convictions and to be more inclusive and participatory in our decision-making processes and work.
The victory of François Fillon in France’s center-right presidential primary is the latest sign that a tectonic shift is coming to the European order: toward accommodating, rather than countering, a resurgent Russia.
Since the end of World War II, European leaders have maintained their ever-growing alliance as a bulwark against Russian power. Through decades of ups and downs in Russian-European relations, in periods of estrangement or reconciliation, their balance of power has kept the continent stable.
But a growing movement within Europe that includes Mr. Fillon, along with others of a more populist bent, is pushing a new policy: instead of standing up to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, stand with him.
Mr. Fillon has called for lifting sanctions on Russia and for partnering with Moscow in an effort to curtail immigration and terrorism. He is friendly with Mr. Putin. If pollsters are right and Mr. Fillon wins the French presidency in the spring, he could join several rising European politicians and newly elected leaders who are like-minded.
These changes, along with the impending British withdrawal from the European Union and the election of Donald J. Trump as president of the United States, foretell a “dramatic shift” in the half-century of Western unity against Russia, said James Goldgeier, a political scientist and the dean of American University’s School of International Service in Washington.
“All the trend lines right now point away from a tough approach to Russian aggression and point toward more accommodation of the Russian notion that they have a privileged sphere of influence,” he said.
It is unclear how far into Europe that sphere of Russian influence might extend, or the consequences for nations that would come under it after escaping Soviet domination only a generation ago. But those are questions of degree; Mr. Fillon’s primary victory suggests that the shift has already begun.
A Pro-Putin Populism
Though Mr. Fillon would reverse his country’s hard line on Russia, he would not be the first French leader to reach out to Moscow — Charles de Gaulle, the president from 1959 to 1969, also did this — and could not, on his own, upend European unity.
More important, he would not be alone. Mr. Trump has promised cooperation with Russia and threatened to diminish the United States’ role in NATO. Several East European countries have elected leaders who advocate reconciling with Moscow.
In Western Europe, politics seems poised to move in Mr. Fillon’s direction. Mainstream parties, forced to acknowledge that they cannot contain the far right, are instead working to co-opt it.
Mr. Fillon illustrates this trend well. Unlike the French far right, he wishes to maintain his country’s membership in the European Union. But, indulging Europe’s populist wave, he has promised to curtail immigration sharply, promote conservative social values, impose “strict administrative control” over Islam and bring security against terrorism.
Benjamin Haddad, a French analyst at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank based in Washington, said that such policies point, in ways that might not be obvious to Americans, toward another agenda item of the European far right: partnering with Mr. Putin.
“All over Europe, Putinism has emerged as an ideological alternative to globalism, the E.U., etc.,” Mr. Haddad said, with Mr. Putin seen as “a bulwark for conservative values — a strongman against gay marriage, immigration, Islam.”
Mr. Haddad added, “It’s largely a domestic phenomenon, rather than the reflection of a strategic debate over the relationship with Moscow.”
Mr. Fillon’s warmth toward Mr. Putin is apparently heartfelt, and it predated this election. What changed is French voters, who increasingly desire hard-line policies and signs of strength that they perceive Mr. Putin as representing.
Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr. Haddad pointed out, won the French presidency in 2007 by running as a pragmatic pro-American conservative, but this year he ran as a pro-Russian populist. While Mr. Sarkozy lost the center-right primary this month, Mr. Fillon carried that same message to success.
The Eastern and Southern Fronts
In some ways, Mr. Fillon is particular to France, where nationalist politicians since de Gaulle have long asserted French independence from the United States and Britain by reaching out to Russia. But similar trends are playing out in several European countries, along their own particular national lines.
In Germany, for instance, center-left leaders are pushing to abandon their country’s role in leading European efforts to counter Russia. Instead, they advocate reverting to the Cold War-era policy of Ostpolitik, in which West Germany sought a neutral balancing role between East and West.
Often, West European politicians do not see themselves as explicitly calling for aligning with Moscow, but rather for abandoning the costly mission to counter Russia’s aggression against faraway eastern states at a moment when they have more immediate concerns.
West European leaders see themselves as fighting an increasingly untenable two-front war: a southern front against immigration and terrorism and an eastern front against Russia.
The eastern front is largely a project of policy establishments that see it as essential to maintaining Europe’s postwar order. Voters are more skeptical; a 2015 Pew poll found that slight majorities in France, Germany and Italy said their countries should not uphold their treaty obligation to defend an eastern NATO ally should it be attacked by Russia.
Voters, particularly those on the right, have long seen southern issues — terrorism and immigration — as more important. Their threats to install far-right governments that would dismantle the European project entirely are increasingly credible.
European political establishments, unable to resist such sentiments forever, may feel they have to give up on the east to focus on the south.
The Careening Balance of Power
The international context is starker.
Russia is growing in power and aggression just as the Western order’s two strongest powers — the United States and Britain — are threatening to step away.
In the cold-eyed view of international relations scholars, who tend to measure history in epochs rather than election cycles, what Mr. Fillon says or believes is almost irrelevant. Europe’s balance of power is rapidly shifting east, pulling nations like France with it.
Russia is far weaker than the United States, and its wheezing, energy-dependent economy is half the size of France’s or Britain’s. But it still commands one of the world’s largest militaries and its largest nuclear arsenal. Its 2014 annexation of Crimea showed Mr. Putin’s willingness to use that military in Europe.
Balance-of-power theory states that, when a country like Russia rises, the other states in that region have three choices. They can counter by escalating against the rising power. They can flip sides to join the rising power. Or they can accommodate the rising power, allowing it a greater stake in the region.
In the past few years, Europe had confidently chosen the first option, meeting Russia’s aggression with sanctions and eastward military deployments meant to show Russia that the status quo order would remain.
But that approach looks increasingly untenable with Mr. Trump’s election and with Brexit. Even if Mr. Trump does not follow through on his threats to abandon American commitments to defend NATO allies, those allies have little choice but to prepare for the possibility.
To the degree that is already changing, European states seem to be eyeing the third option: to accommodate Russia’s rise, indulging enough of Moscow’s demands to restore stability.
Within Europe, the old order has been led by Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who sees herself as defending the European project but is increasingly challenged by wavering allies and skeptical populations, including many Germans.
“Merkel can’t do it by herself. Germany doesn’t have that ability,” Mr. Goldgeier said. If she wishes to remain in office, she may have to give on something, and Europe’s hard-line on Russia could be it.
As soon as one country breaks from the united front against Russia, Mr. Goldgeier said, “each European country will look to cut its own deal with the Russians.”
That could mean granting Russia concessions in Syria, lifting the European Union sanctions that were meant to force an end to the continuing war in eastern Ukraine, or tolerating greater Russian influence in Eastern Europe.
It is impossible to predict where these trend lines lead, not because they are in doubt but because they foretell such extreme changes in the European order that their consequences vary too widely to pin down.
Mr. Goldgeier, though, said his immediate concern was for the former Soviet republics that are not members of the European Union or NATO and would most likely be first to come under expanding Russian influence.
“For the people of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, these trend lines are quite tragic,” he said.
KATHEON – Before proceeding, the reader should be reminded that the trilateral relationship between Russia, Turkey, and Iran has been flimsy from the get-go, owing mostly to the fact that it had been historically unprecedented until the first efforts were made at forming the Tripartite this summer. There’s always a chance that Erdogan really is as nefarious as his most virulent detractors claim that he is, and that a betrayal of Russia and Iran might indeed be imminent, but for now at least, that hasn’t happened, and here’s why. CONTINUE READING