BREAKING UPDATES ON THE JILL STEIN RECOUNT,ASSANGE, ROMNEY AND CLINTON SYNDICATE
While we don’t know if Trump has or will offer Romney – a person many define as the embodiment of the “swamp” – the top US diplomat position, we do know pretty much all there was to know about the less than intimate dinner…. read More @ Zero Hedge.com
Trump Picks Former Goldman Banker Steven Mnuchin As Treasury Secretary (According to the New York Times whatever that is worth)
Numerous outlets have reported that former Goldman banker Steven Mnuchin “a financier with deep roots on Wall Street and in Hollywood but no government experience” is expected to be named Donald J. Trump’s Treasury secretary as soon as Wednesday…. read More @ Zero Hedge.com
by Viktor Mikhin,
Using the opulent Arabic language, one can say, “A dense fog of uncertainty has covered the entire Middle East after the election of Donald Trump as the new President of the United States.” Some time has passed, and this fog has slightly cleared away, with the uncertainty giving way to timid assumptions, reflections, and comments.
The main area of concern is Saudi Arabia, which currently acts as the leader of the Arab world, and is trying all it can to make the world fall in line with its interests. If we recall the recent past, Riyadh was strongly against the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, and, like all the others, made the same elementary mistake of strongly criticizing the billionaire with the surety that he would never head the most powerful country in the world, hoping instead, that the Democratic Party representative – Hillary Clinton would come to power.
The elections took place, and the results shocked the Saudi leadership, who have recently been making a series of mistakes. We can recall the Saudis’ policy on oil prices reductions and their attempt to oust Saudi Arabia’s competitors from the global market, a feat that ended ingloriously and inflicted huge financial and political repercussions on Saudi Arabia itself. The war that they unleashed against their neighbour, Yemen, has not brought any dividends, as the Houthis rebels have inflicted the Saudi “eagles” with one defeat after another. This is without mentioning the active support received from terrorist groups in Syria whose sole purpose is to overthrow the legally elected Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad. However, the war is relentlessly moving towards the victory of the Syrian people over terrorists, criminals and other outcasts who have invaded Syria spreading violence and outrage, as well as murdering civilians. One has only to think about what is going on in Aleppo, where the terrorists are hiding behind the human shield of the Syrian civilians and are engaging in a series of armed hostilities.
In light of all these developments, after the US elections, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had no option but send a loyalist message to Donald Trump. The Saudi monarch courteously congratulated him on his election as the US President, while expressing his hopes for stability in the Middle East in the wake of the new American administration. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and his successor, the King’s son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman instantly expressed the same sentiments.
As for Saudi media, it called D. Trump’s victory a new epoch in the relations between the US and the Gulf States, without specifying the nature of this epoch – whether it will beneficial or detrimental. Given the fact that the new American President has promised to reconsider the US relations with its allies, Saudi concerns that the US will leave it face-to-face with Iran are quite reasonable.
Nonetheless, Saudi journalists and famous bloggers have found out that the new US President is not as bad, and that the relations between Washington and Riyadh may develop as productively before. Bookstores have returned the recently seized books on D. Trump. The media, as if on cue, have started to praise the new US President’s capabilities, as a businessman who has been advertised in such books by D. Trump as “Think Like a Billionaire”, “How to Get Rich”, “Why We Want You To Be Rich” and others.
by Nile Bowie,
Trump has publically disavowed prominent white-nationalist organisations of the alt-right and is making concessions on his most divisive goals: areas of his odious border wall may be dialed back to simple fencing, some aspects of Obamacare might not be totally repealed, he has decided against appointing a special prosecutor to investigate Hilliary Clinton and has signaled a slightly more malleable position on climate protection.
It’s clear that after campaigning against the Republican party establishment, President-elect Trump is now focused on building cohesion with the party elite and offering some of his vocal critics an olive branch in the form of a position in his administration.
It should be remembered that was this same pro-business Republican establishment that forged an atypical alliance between President Obama in support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the largest corporate trade agreement in history, which Trump has reaffirmed his desire to withdraw from on the first day in office.
There are a few silver linings in Trump’s victory and the death of the TPP is certainly one of them. Oft touted as the centrepiece of the Obama administration’s re-engagement with Asia, the TPP is a multilateral trade and investment agreement involving twelve key Pacific Rim nations – with the glaring exclusion of China, the region’s largest economy and the largest trading partner of Asia-Pacific countries.
The trade pact has been bitterly opposed in participating countries by activists of all stripes, from worker’s rights and environmental groups to Internet freedom advocates and consumer associations, for abjectly favouring private corporate investment interests at the vast expense of public health and welfare.
Not to mention the deal’s stark geopolitical connotations, as evidenced by Obama’s remark that “we can’t let countries like China write the rules of the global economy, we should write those rules,” and the incendiary quip of his defence secretary Ash Carter, who claimed the “TPP is as important to me as another aircraft carrier”.
After eight years of Kafkaesque closed-door negotiations from which the global public has been diligently kept from, it was clear the trade agreement wouldn’t have up the votes to be ratified during the current lame-duck session of Congress, forcing Obama to quietly abandon his pursuit of the deeply troubling deal that both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders lambasted on the campaign trail.
Since reaffirming his intention to withdraw from the TPP in favour of negotiating fresh bilateral deals, several US allies in Asia have reacted with dismay and resignation. Vietnam has strategically backed away from the deal, publically opting to pursue an independent foreign policy.
Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was the first foreign leader to meet with Trump, ostensibly to assess shifting US trade policy and future relations with Washington. It is almost assured that Abe expressed hope that Trump would reconsider the TPP given the Japanese leader’s fierce lobbying of the deal.
Singapore, being a capital-rich and trade-reliant city-state, has been the most vocal proponent of the deal as PM Lee Hsien Loong repeatedly warned that a failure to ratify would diminish Washington’s standing among Asian trade partners and place the Asia pivot in doubt.
His remarks are clearly directed toward the US deep state that has prioritised Washington’s strategic realignment toward the Asia-Pacific. Lee has vowed to press ahead with the agreement independently of what Washington decides, though Shinzo Abe’s recent public statement that the deal would be “meaningless without the United States” certainly leaves Singapore’s leader with egg on his face as Beijing looks on.