Trump’s Tough Talk on Nafta Suggests Pact’s Demise Is Imminent

WASHINGTON — The North American Free Trade Agreement, long disparaged by President Trump as bad for the United States, was edging closer toward collapse as negotiators gathered for a fourth round of contentious talks here this week.

In recent weeks, the Trump administration has sparred with American businesses that support Nafta and has pushed for significant changes that negotiators from Mexico and Canada say are nonstarters. All the while, the president has continued threatening to withdraw the United States from the trade agreement, which he has maligned as the worst in history.

As the trade talks began on Wednesday, Mr. Trump, seated in the Oval Office beside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, said it was “possible” that the United States would drop out of Nafta.

“It’s possible we won’t be able to make a deal, and it’s possible that we will,” the president said. “We’ll see if we can do the kind of changes that we need. We have to protect our workers. And in all fairness, the prime minister wants to protect Canada and his people also. So we’ll see what happens with Nafta, but I’ve been opposed to Nafta for a long time, in terms of the fairness of Nafta.”

Mr. Trudeau, in comments later at the Canadian Embassy, said he remains optimistic about the potential for a Nafta deal but noted that Canadians must be “ready for anything.”

The collapse of the 1994 trade deal would reverberate throughout the global economy, inflicting damage far beyond Mexico, Canada and the United States and affecting industries as varied as manufacturing, agriculture and energy. It would also sow at least short-term chaos for businesses like the auto industry that have arranged their North American supply chains around the deal’s terms.

The ripple effects could also impede other aspects of the president’s agenda, for example, by solidifying political opposition among farm state Republicans who support the pact and jeopardizing legislative priorities like tax reform. And it could have far-reaching political effects, including the Mexican general election in July 2018 and Mr. Trump’s own re-election campaign.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada met Wednesday with members of the House Ways and Means Committee about the Nafta negotiations on Capitol Hill in Washington.CreditSaul Loeb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Business leaders have become spooked by the increasing odds of the trade deal’s demise, and on Monday, more than 310 state and local chambers of commerce sent a letter to the administration urging the United States to remain in Nafta. Speaking in Mexico on Tuesday, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Thomas J. Donohue, said the negotiations had “reached a critical moment. And the chamber has had no choice but ring the alarm bells.”

“Let me be forceful and direct,” he said. “There are several poison pill proposals still on the table that could doom the entire deal.”

The potential demise of the trade deal prompted supportive messages from labor unions, including the A.F.L.-C.I.O. and the United Steelworkers, as well as some Democrats.

“Any trade proposal that makes multinational corporations nervous is a good sign that it’s moving in the right direction for workers,” said Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio.

If the deal does fall apart, the United States, Canada and Mexico would revert to average tariffs that are relatively low — just a few percent in most cases. But several agricultural products would face much higher duties. American farmers would see a 25 percent tariff on shipments of beef, 45 percent on turkey and some dairy products, and 75 percent on chicken, potatoes and high fructose corn syrup sent to Mexico.

For months, some of the most powerful business leaders in the country, and the lobbies and political figures that represent them, had hoped that the president’s strong wording was more a negotiating tactic than a real threat and that he would ultimately go along with their agenda of modernization. Nafta is nearly a quarter-century old, and people across the political spectrum say it should be updated for the 21st century while preserving the open trading system that has linked the North American economy.

The pact has allowed industries to reorganize their supply chains around the continent to take advantage of the three countries’ differing resources and strengths, lifting the continent’s economies and more than tripling America’s trade with Canada and Mexico since its inception. Economists contend that many workers have benefited from these changes in the form of higher wages and employment, but many workers have lost their jobs as manufacturing plants relocated to Mexico or Canada, making Nafta a target of labor unions, many Democrats and a few industries.

But most business leaders had hoped that the president, whose Nafta criticism has been unrelenting, would be content to oversee tweaks to modernize the agreement, and then call it a political transformation.

It sometimes looked as if that might be the case. The appointment of Robert Lighthizer as United States trade representative, who pledged in his confirmation hearing to “do no harm” to Nafta, reassured many on Capitol Hill, where Mr. Lighthizer had long served in aide roles. And when the administration released its negotiating goals in July for the deal, they echoed many priorities of previous administrations.

But now, eight weeks into trade talks that were originally supposed to conclude by year’s end, the administration continues to push for concessions that the business community warns would essentially undermine the pact, and which few observers believe Canada and Mexico could agree to politically.

“Everyone knows that much of what is being proposed in key areas are, in effect, non-starters, which begs the question as to what, exactly, the administration is trying to achieve,” Michael Camuñez, a former assistant secretary of commerce under President Barack Obama, wrote in an email. It’s not unreasonable to think that by accommodating the president’s most extreme positions, American negotiators are “simply giving Trump cover to do what he really wants: withdraw from the agreement,” he said.

Phil Levy, a trade adviser for the George W. Bush administration, said the president was most likely looking for a pretext to kill Nafta.

“Find me the last trade agreement that U.S. passed with the chamber in opposition,” Mr. Levy said. “You don’t have a chance. It’s hard enough with the U.S. Chamber in favor.”

The most controversial of the administration’s proposals, floated by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, would incorporate a sunset clause in the deal, causing Nafta to automatically expire unless all three countries voted periodically to continue it. That provision has drawn swift condemnation from the chamber and other industry groups like the National Association of Manufacturers, which say that it would instill so much uncertainty in the future of Nafta that it would basically nullify the trade agreement.

Another contentious push by the United States centers on changing Nafta’s rules governing how much of a product needs to be made in North America in order to enjoy tariff-free trade between the countries. The United States is pushing for higher levels, including a requirement to make 85 percent of the value of automobiles and auto parts in North America, up from 62.5 percent currently, and an additional requirement for 50 percent of the value to come from the United States.

That has pitted some of the world’s biggest auto companies against the Trump administration. Industry representatives say such high and complex barriers could deter companies from manufacturing in the United States altogether.

Employees at work in a new Honda plant in Mexico. CreditEduardo Verdugo/Associated Press

The administration has also proposed limits on the number of federal government contracts that Mexican and Canadian companies can win, as well as significant changes to how disputes are resolved under Nafta.

Business groups say they are firmly opposed to an American push to curtail a provision called investor-state dispute settlement, which allows companies to sue Canada, Mexico and the United States for unfair treatment under Nafta. Meanwhile, Canada has said that it will not consider dispensing with another provision, Nafta’s Chapter 19, which allows countries to challenge each other’s anti-dumping and countervailing duty decisions before an independent panel.

In his remarks Tuesday, Mr. Donohue called the administration’s proposed changes to these provisions “unnecessary and unacceptable.”

Mr. Donohue’s remarks followed a sharp exchange of words between the Chamber of Commerce, the country’s most powerful business lobby, and the Trump administration on Friday.

John Murphy, senior vice president of international policy for the chamber, said the administration’s proposals had “no identifiable constituency backing them” and had sparked “a remarkable degree of unity in their rejection.” He added that business leaders had perhaps never been at odds with an administration over a trade negotiation on so many fronts.

Hours later, the administration fired back.

“The president has been clear that Nafta has been a disaster for many Americans, and achieving his objectives requires substantial change,” said Emily Davis, a spokeswoman for the trade representative. “These changes of course will be opposed by entrenched Washington lobbyists and trade associations. We have always understood that draining the swamp would be controversial in Washington.”

Mr. Trump is known for taking a tough negotiating stance, and analysts said the administration might view its ambitious opening requests as a way to gain more leverage in the Nafta negotiations.

But Mr. Murphy and others in the business community cautioned that such an approach would probably be ill-fated. In both Canada and Mexico, Mr. Trump is unpopular, and caving to his demands could have devastating consequences for local politicians. Mexican government officials have repeatedly said they would not negotiate with a gun to the head.

“There’s an old adage in negotiations, never take a hostage you wouldn’t shoot,” Mr. Murphy said.




ISTANBUL – On September 25, Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will hold a referendum on independence that nearly every international actor opposes.

Experts say the referendum is mostly about using leverage against Baghdad, which strongly opposes it.

“[KRG president Masoud] Barzani is using this referendum to put pressure on Baghdad to give more concessions to the Kurds,” Gönül Tol, founding director of The Middle East Institute’s Center for Turkish Studies, told The Media Line.

“The referendum doesn’t mean independence and they all know that. Even Kurdish officials have acknowledged that reality.”

KRG lawmakers have stated that a “yes” vote, predicted by most analysts, would not result in an official declaration of independence. Denise Natali, director and distinguished research fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, says Barzani and his ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) are also using the referendum to maintain relevance as the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS, or Daesh), during which the KRG’s armed forces played a key role and expanded its territory, winds down.

“[Barzani and the KDP] may think this is an opportune moment, after all of the Daesh territorial gains, to consolidate power [and] authority in some way,” she told The Media Line.

Tol agrees, pointing out that there have been protests against Barzani’s rule and opposition politicians have called for him to step down.

“There are a lot of divisions among the Kurds themselves,” she said. “[Barzani] wants the referendum to have a rally around the flag effect.”

Natali believes Barzani is overplaying his hand.

“I think [the referendum] is a sign of deep desperation by Masoud Barzani because he’s actually weak. He’s only strong because everybody else is weaker,” she said. Barzani has overstayed his presidential term since it ended in 2015, at which time parliament was suspended, and has been accused of corruption and oppressing opponents. “Barzani has put his opponents on the defensive, daring them to oppose a Kurdish independence referendum. It’s a pretty shrewd political maneuver,” Steven A. Cook, senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, told the Media Line.

“It allows Barzani – no democrat – to discipline the political arena in his favor.”

On Tuesday, Iraq’s parliament voted to reject the referendum, but Kurdish officials don’t accept the decision.

“The worst thing about the whole thing is it’s circumvented the most important people,” Natali said. “You can’t do this without at least the recognition from the Iraqi government through the constitution under parliament, or else it’s illegitimate. It was done without any international support, without any regional support.”

Natali believes a yes vote in the referendum won’t change the KRG’s precarious position – lacking any external support, with a troubled economy, no access to the sea, and holding territory disputed with Baghdad. The disputed territories are in the governorates of Kirkuk, Nineveh and Diyala.

“This doesn’t change anything. If you do this unilaterally, you’re going to be in the same position you’re in now – de facto controlling territories that nobody else recognizes that you’re in charge of,” Natali said. “You can’t just say that ‘Kirkuk is mine.’ You can’t just say ‘Nineveh is mine.’” Tol also expresses hesitancy over the KRG’s ability to be fully independent, especially after not being able to defend itself alone against the ISIS onslaught in 2014.

“Many people said ‘How are you going to have an independent state if you can’t even protect your own territory, if you depend on Baghdad and the international community?’” she said.

No regional or international actor except Israel has supported the referendum. The United States, the United Nations, Turkey and Iran have all denounced it.

The KRG’s once-booming economy took a major hit in 2014 when Baghdad cut off huge budget payments amounting to 17 per cent of Iraq’s oil sales. Since then, Erbil has been selling its oil through a pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, making it highly dependent on Ankara.

A Turkish foreign ministry statement on September 14 said that “continued insistence on carrying out this referendum, despite all friendly advice to the contrary, will carry a cost.” Ankara has been fighting a decades-long war against Kurdish militants at home but enjoys warm relations with Barzani.

Tol believes Turkey is unlikely to take concrete action against the KRG.

“I don’t think that Turkey really sees [Iraqi Kurdistan’s] independence as an existential threat, but the timing is difficult because elections are coming up in Turkey in 2019 and [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan has been playing on the nationalists,” she said.

Devlet Bahçeli, Erdoğan’s political ally and leader of Turkey’s ultranationalist National Movement Party (MHP), said on September 9 that the Kurdistan referendum is a “cause for war.”

“Will [Ankara’s] actions match [its] rhetoric? Hard guess, but I am led to believe no, it will not,” Aydın Selçen, Turkey’s former consul general to Erbil, told The Media Line. “Iraqi Kurdistan’s oil will flow through Ceyhan to world markets, Habur [border crossing] will remain open and [there will be] no overland military intervention in Shengal or Qandil [regions in northern Iraq].”

Iran, a powerful player in Iraq with close ties to the Shiite-led government in Baghdad and Iraqi Shiite militias, and often troubled relations with its own Kurdish population, also opposes the referendum.

“The Iranians can cut off trade; Sulamaniyah [a city in Iraqi Kurdistan’s east] runs on trade with Iran. Those Iranian backed militias can also cause a lot of mischief,” Cook said.

The United States also vocally opposes the referendum, but Cook thinks Washington wouldn’t simply abandon its ally.

“The US has a long history of double dealing with the Kurds, but even with the Trump Administration’s opposition, it seems hard to believe that Washington will leave the Kurds alone to face its neighbors should they really try to secede,” he said.

Tol says that whatever happens after the referendum, the KRG has many challenges in front of it as it continues to pursue independence.

“There are just so many problems facing an independent state,” she said. “It’s a bumpy road ahead.”

CIA chief says ‘nothing imminent’ in US-North Korea standoff

WASHINGTON, DC — CIA director Mike Pompeo offered assurances Sunday there was “nothing imminent” in the US standoff with nuclear-armed North Korea, but said he wouldn’t be surprised if Pyongyang conducted another missile test.

Pompeo’s remarks cap a week in which US President Donald Trump vowed “fire and fury” if North Korea continued to threaten the United States with nuclear weapons, and Pyongyang countered by announcing plans to test-launch missiles toward Guam.

Asked how worried people should be, Pompeo told Fox News Sunday: “Nothing imminent.”

“There’s nothing imminent today. But make no mistake about it … the increased chance that there will be a nuclear missile in Denver is a very serious threat.”

Pressed on his “nothing imminent” statement, Pompeo said: “What I’m talking about is, I’ve heard folks talking about that we have been on the cusp of a nuclear war. No intelligence that would indicate we are in that place today.”

He said the US intelligence community has “a pretty good idea” about what’s going on in North Korea.

In this July 28, 2017, file photo distributed by the North Korean government on Saturday, July 29, 2017, shows what was said to be the launch of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

He added that he was confident North Korea would continue to develop its missile capabilities under its leader Kim Jong-Un, “so it wouldn’t surprise me if there was another test.”

“He conducted two in July, so it wouldn’t surprise me if there’s another missile test,” Pompeo said.

The missile tests last month demonstrated that the nuclear-armed regime now has intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching the US mainland, experts said.

The Washington Post reported this week that the US Defense Intelligence Agency has concluded that North Korea has developed a miniaturized nuclear warhead that could be put atop an ICBM.

Pompeo declined to say how long it will be before North Korea could carry out such a nuclear attack on the US mainland.

“It is probably fair to say that they are moving towards that at an ever alarming rate.”

Britain Raises Threat Level to ‘Critical,’ Says ‘Further Attack May Be Imminent’


British Prime Minister Theresa May announced Tuesday that the terror threat in the country had been raised to “critical” — the highest possible level — one day after the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert that killed at least 22.

May said that meant another attack “may be imminent.”

Speaking Tuesday night from Downing Street in a televised statement, May said that while investigations were ongoing into whether suicide bomber Salman Abedi, a 22-year-old British citizen, had acted alone, “the work undertaken throughout the day has revealed that it is a possibility we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack.”

May said the country’s joint terrorism analysis center, which sets the threat level based on available intelligence, had been keeping the situation “under constant review.”

“It has now have concluded on the basis of today’s investigation that the threat level should be increased for the time being from severe to critical,” she said. “This means that their assessment is not only that an attack remains highly likely but that a further attack may be imminent.”

Sam Petulla / NBC News

The move marks the first time the country’s threat level has been this high in a decade. It was last declared critical from June 30 to July 4 of 2007, according to the United Kingdom’s Security Service.

May said that Tuesday’s change in the threat level meant additional resources would be available to police working “to keep us all safe.”

Image: Deadly Blast Kills 22 at Manchester Arena Pop Concert
Police forensic officers leave the Manchester Arena as they investigate the scene of an explosion in Manchester, England on May 23, 2017. Dave Thompson / Getty Images

She announced that the country’s Operation Temperer, an emergency plan that allows military personnel to support the police’s armed forces, was “now in full force.” Previous reports out of Britain have said that the secretive “Temperer” plan could unleash up to 5,000 troops on the streets of England.

May said that “armed police officers responsible for duties such as guarding key sights, will be replaced by members of the armed forces, which will allow the police to significantly increase the number of armed officers on patrol in key locations.”

Those military personnel may be deployed at certain events, May said, “such as concerts and sports matches” to help police keep the public safe.

The prime minister said Tuesday that the death toll from the attack stood at 22 and “59 people remain injured — and many of them have life-threatening conditions.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement late Tuesday that he wanted “to reassure all Londoners and visitors that we are doing everything possible to protect our city” in light of the increased terror level.

“Our emergency services prepare day in, day out for these situations,” he said in the statement. “Our plans are well rehearsed and well prepared. I would urge all Londoners and visitors to remain calm and vigilant, and to report anything suspicious to the police.”

Khan added that additional police officers and some military personnel would be present in London’s streets over the coming days.

May asked the public to be vigilant, but stressed that the nation stood “defiant” in the face of terrorism.

“While we mourn the victims of last night’s appalling attack, we stand defiant,” she said. “The spirit of Manchester and the spirit of Britain is far mightier than the sick plots of depraved terrorists.”

White House’s Steve Bannon (White Idiot) thinks war with China is imminent: ‘There’s no doubt about that’

The United States will go to war with China in “five to 10 years” over the South China Sea dispute, according to Steve Bannon, who is President Donald Trump’s chief political strategist.

These comments by Bannon were made last March, but they resurfaced Thursday at a time when Washington and Beijing’s relations have soured after Trump questioned the “One China” policy and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said China should be barred from islands in the contested region.

“We’re going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years, aren’t we? There’s no doubt about that. They’re taking their sandbars and making basically stationary aircraft carriers and putting missiles on those. They come here to the United States in front of our face — and you understand how important face is — and say it’s an ancient territorial sea,” Bannon said on a radio show hosted for Breitbart in March 2016.

China has been accused of showing its might by laying claims to almost all of South China Sea, from where about $5 trillion worth of maritime trade passes every year. Beijing also has been reportedly building runways and ports on islands in the contested waters to further its claim over the region. However, the country has consistently defended its actions, saying it does not intend to start a conflict and that its operations will actually add to the safety of the region.

Last month, Tillerson aggravated the already tense relations between the two countries by saying that China should not be allowed access to the islands in the South China Sea.

“We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and, second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed,” Tillerson said.

However, Chinese experts speculated at the time that Beijing is likely to retaliate if Washington bars China from accessing the South China Sea.

Apart from this, prior to his swearing-in ceremony Trump said that the U.S. does not necessarily have to abide by the “One China” policy — which has more or less formed the basis of diplomatic relations between the two countries since 1979. China, which was already upset with Trump’s telephone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen following the presidential win, reacted sharply over the then president-elect’s comments.

“If Trump reneges on the one-China policy after taking office, the Chinese people will demand the government to take revenge. There is no room for bargaining. Sticking to [the one China] principle is not a capricious request by China upon US presidents, but an obligation of US presidents to maintain China-US relations and respect the existing order of the Asia-Pacific,” the Global Times said in an editorial last month.



Having already signed a (mostly symbolic) executive order on Obamacare on Friday night, urging US agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation” of provisions deemed to impose fiscal burdens on states, companies or individuals, Trump is preparing to unload a volley of many more executive orders. Courtesy of Axios, which quotes “one of the best-wired Republican lobbyists in town”, here is a preview of the initial round of Trump executive actions, some of which may hit as soon as Sunday afternoon:

  • Look for a possible hiring freeze at executive branch
  • 5-year lobbying ban on transition and administration officials
  • Mexico City policy, which prevents foreign NGOs from getting U.S. family planning money if they provide abortions with non-U.S. funds. (It’s already illegal to use U.S dollars on abortions.)
  • Task the Defense Secretary and joint chiefs to come up with plan to eviscerate ISIS
  • Report on readiness, and something cyber security related
  • Border/immigration: Something on sanctuary cities, expand E-Verify, an extreme vetting proposal
  • Trade: Withdraw from TPP and a thorough review of NAFTA

Axios also notes that “the Mexico City executive order could come as soon as today.”

Furthermore, watch for dozens of EPA executive orders coming down the pike. “Says a Trump source: “EPA has clean water-related and some 30,000 foot regulatory ones lined up [immediately]…We have dozens for the EPA…Starting Monday through the month of February. We have to roll them out gradually.”

As we laid out before, here is a brief summary of what Trump can (and can not do) on day one. Exhibit 3 lists the President’s “Contract with Voters”, which includes several items that can be accomplished through executive action but involves significant legislative activity as well.

gs ex 3

Next a table breaking down the upcoming Budget process:

The “budget reconciliation” process allows the majority party to instruct various committees to pass legislation to achieve certain fiscal targets, for example to reduce the deficit by a certain amount over the next ten years. These instructions, along with spending and revenue targets, are included in the annual budget resolution that Congress is supposed to pass by April of each year. Legislation passed pursuant to these instructions enjoys procedural protections in the House and Senate; most importantly, it is immune to filibuster in the Senate and thus needs only 51 votes to pass. The budget resolution can provide instructions to pass as many as three reconciliation bills, one dealing with tax or revenue changes, one dealing with spending changes, and one dealing with the debt limit. This year, tax reform is likely to be addressed through reconciliation, as are changes to the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). It is possible that congressional leaders might also consider using this process to address infrastructure funding, certain entitlement program reforms, or the debt limit increase that appear to be necessary by Q3.

A Multi-Step Budget Process :

gs ex 5

Finally, here again are the main differences between the House tax plan and that of the president.

gs ex 7

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A False Flag Operation is Imminent


The downing of the Malaysian airliner MH17 over Ukraine on July 17, 2014 was a Washington DC inspired False Flag operation. Any qualified independent court would clear Russia of the attack and implicate Washington DC and their Kiev junta.

The purpose of the MH17 atrocity was threefold. The outcome would demonise and isolate Russia. It would serve to separate interdependent Ukraine from the Russian Federation. Finally, the downing of the MH17 airliner and the deaths of its 298 passengers and crew would cause anti-Russian psychosis in the NATO West. The peoples of the U.S and Europe were being warmed up for war.

Without a single exception the CIA orchestrated media pointed the accusing finger at Russia. The media’s deniers did so despite the fact that there was no evidence of Russian involvement then or since. All requests by Russia for an independent inquiry and the addressing of certain issues have since been ignored. The ‘no comment’ from Washington and Brussels speaks volumes. New evidence and denial of data leaves no doubt as to who was responsible for the tragedy. The notorious BBC describes the shooting down of the airliner a ‘crash’.

The European Union, Washington DC and Kiev regime, aligned by their media henchmen, are undoubtedly the main culprits for the MH17 atrocity. All stubbornly refuse to assist investigation, respond to reasonable questions or provide evidence to support their claims of Russian or dissident guilt.

Throughout its turbulent history America has been territorially ambitious. Since the U.S was founded in 1776 it has been at war 90 per cent of the time. England is no slouch either. Of over 200 countries in the world only 22 never experienced a British invasion.

False Flag Operations are as much a part of war as is information, economic, electronic and military warfare. Britain and the U.S have a long history of setting up False Flag incidents.

Palace media leads many to believe that the U.S. is constantly under threat from ‘rogue nations’ that ‘envy our freedom’. In fact, the last country to threaten America was England in the period 1812 – 1814 when England attempted to put down American rebellion against British rule.

England and Russia did intervene on the Union side in the American Civil War (1860 – 1865); it was futile for them to do so. Since then, no country desired or had realistic chance of overcoming the geographical size and impregnable isolation of the omnipotent United States.

There has to be compelling reason to convince the people that wars are unavoidable. The usual ploy is to demonise those being conspired against. America’s seizure of Florida and Texas from Mexico in 1846 was preceded by a series of provocations following the same pattern as those the U.S alleged against the Germans in 1939.

In 1898 the U.S corporations and banking dynasties coveted Spain’s colonies. Conveniently the American Battleship Maine and its 255 American crew were destroyed in an explosion. The blast that destroyed the Maine and its crew was an interior explosion carried out by an American saboteur. Just as today’s media damned the downing of the Malayan Airliner on Putin’s Russia America’s dominant Hearst media blamed the Spanish for the atrocity.

As a consequence of the Maine incident the U.S war against Spain acquired for Washington DC and War Street (sic) Guam, Philippines and Cuba. The explosion that sank the Maine had similarities to the False Flag known as 9 / 11 that ignited the war against innocent Iraq.

When in 1914 the Great War was raging throughout Russia / Europe, Washington DC was keen to profit from the spoils of war. Problem: How could the American people become convinced that their interests were sufficiently threatened to justify the sending of their boys abroad.

In clear defiance of the laws of neutrality Britain’s Cunard Shipping Company’s passenger liner, the RMS Lusitania was loaded with £6 million in arms. Germany’s New York consulate was then quietly shown the ship’s manifesto. Here is undeniable proof that illicit U.S arms were loaded into the liner’s holds. This act removed the super liner’s neutral status and made it a justifiable target for German U-boats.

The unsuspecting Germans walked straight into the Washington laid trap. The Lusitania was torpedoed with the loss of 1,200 lives of which 128 were American citizens. The hoodwinked American people were outraged and their ire was directed at the German nation.

The propaganda of World War II victors blamed the ‘Nazis’ for igniting the Reichstag arson attack in 1933. Held and proven responsible was a Dutchman who had started a fire in the German parliament. The card carrying Communist Party member had done so to draw attention to alleged repression of parties opposed to the Nazi Party such as the Communist Party.

In September 1939 England accused the Reich of carrying out an attack on the German border village of Gleiwitz. Westminster and its grotesque media hacks claimed the Polish attack was carried out by German troops to justify the German invasion of Poland.

The German response to this accusation was scathing and mocking. Adolf Hitler addressed the elected members of the Reichstag: “I suppose the other twenty-one border incidents, fourteen in one night, were German False Flag operations too?”

Another precursor to the downing of the MH17 Malayan airliner was the sinking of the British liner Athenia in 1939. During this tragedy 1,100 passengers of which 311 were American lost their lives.

On this occasion this False Flag Operation failed to convince the American public to join in England’s war to remove a trade competitor. The supposedly neutral Washington DC then illegally seized a number of German ships. The shrewd and conciliatory Workers Reich refused to play Washington DC’s game.

England and France’s war became further inflamed after England’s 1940 attack on Germany through the Low Countries was thwarted. Washington DC and War Street were desperate to gain from the plunder of defeated Germany. The war prizes were already being itemised. How could the U.S government convince the U.S electorate that their freedoms were threatened?

If the U.S sanctioned and blockaded Japan then the targeted Japan could be lured into attacking U.S territory. Then, the German Reich in alliance with Japan would be obliged to assist Japan in its war on the U.S. The goaded Japan tried to punch its way out of Wall Street’s trade blockade by removing its tormentors from Pearl Harbor.

As the Japanese attack on the Pacific base occurred Washington DC was jubilant. The Japanese attack on the Pacific base was an American strategic success. In one stroke Congress and War Street acquired two wars. The plunder and the profits from the war on the Reich and Japan would make the U.S the richest and most powerful nation on earth.

Many U.S inspired False Flag Operations have since been acknowledged simply because evidence of U.S guilt is undeniable. Thanks to the internet the record of American False Flag operations can be researched at the press of a laptop’s keyboard key.

Governments cannot be transparent about their warlike aims. The plebs (plebeians) need good reason before they suffer wars that benefit bankers, arms manufacturers and investors in conflicts. Hostilities are profitable. The U.S spent $2 trillion on the war on Iraq, 90 per cent of which profits went on 1 per cent of the U.S population.

These beneficiaries of wars are mostly located in Congress, the Senate and among America’s corporate and media elite. Senators who voted to attack Syria received 83 per cent more campaign money from military contractors than did those lawmakers voting no.

As we enter 2017 the world waits in nervous anticipation the next U.S inspired False Flag Operation to start a war with Russia or China. It will happen because Washington DC is now backed into a corner. American omnipotence will evaporate unless it destroys the Chinese and Russian rivals of American corporate power and afterwards profit from the carnage.

Gleiwitz and the Gulf of Tonkin, the sinking of the super liners Lusitania and Athenia, the conspiracy to sink the Maine can and will be repeated.

Why Are So Many Elite Building Luxury Bunkers In Preparation For An Imminent ‘Apocalypse’?


by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse

Do they know something that the rest of us do not?

There are tens of millions of ordinary Americans that are feeling really good about the future now that Donald Trump has won the election, but meanwhile the elite are feverishly constructing luxury bunkers at a pace unlike anything we have ever seen before. So why are so many among the elite preparing for an imminent “apocalypse” when tens of millions of other Americans are anticipating a new era of peace and prosperity? Are they smarter than most of the rest of us, or are they simply being paranoid?

Without a doubt, something is going on among the elite. Earlier today, WND published an article that discussed the fact that wealthy people “are quietly moving away from major cities” all over the globe because of concerns about security…

Widespread media reports as well as independent investigations from groups such as New World Wealth suggest wealthy people around the globe are quietly moving away from major cities because of fears of social instability. Increasing crime, terrorism and rising racial tensions have all been identified as factors driving the exodus. Even the Daily Beast reported the introduction of large numbers of Muslim refugees into Europe has made once prosperous areas fraught with danger, in the opinion of some security experts.

And just a few weeks ago a Hollywood Reporter article entitled “Panic, Anxiety Spark Rush to Build Luxury Bunkers for L.A.’s Superrich” talked about how “Oscar winners, sports stars and Bill Gates are building lavish bunkers” because of their anxiety about what is coming next.  The following is a short excerpt from that article…

Given the increased frequency of terrorist bombings and mass shootings and an under-lying sense of havoc fed by divisive election politics, it’s no surprise that home security is going over the top and hitting luxurious new heights. Or, rather, new lows, as the average depth of a new breed of safe haven that occupies thousands of square feet is 10 feet under or more. Those who can afford to pull out all the stops for so-called self-preservation are doing so — in a fashion that goes way beyond the submerged corrugated metal units adopted by reality show “preppers” — to prepare for anything from nuclear bombings to drastic climate-change events. Gary Lynch, GM at Rising S Bunkers, a Texas-based company that specializes in underground bunkers and services scores of Los Angeles residences, says that sales at the most upscale end of the market — mainly to actors, pro athletes and politicians (who require signed NDAs) — have increased 700 percent this year compared with 2015, and overall sales have risen 150 percent. “Any time there is a turbulent political landscape, we see a spike in our sales. Given this election is as turbulent as it is, we are gearing up for an even bigger spike,” says marketing director Brad Roberson of sales of bunkers that start at $39,000 and can run $8.35 million or more (FYI, a 12-stall horse shelter is $98,500).

This is all very odd, because among the general population interest in “prepping” has hit a multi-year low. In fact, sales of emergency food and supplies are way down at the moment across the entire industry.

So once again the question must be asked – do the elite know something that the rest of us do not?

If they don’t, why are they spending so much time, effort and money on such extraordinary preparations?

For instance, down in Texas one group of investors is constructing “a $300 million luxury community replete with underground homes”

An investor group is planning for a doomsday scenario by building a $300 million luxury community replete with underground homes. There will also be air-lock blast doors designed for people worried about a dirty bomb or other disaster and off-grid energy and water production.

The development, called Trident Lakes, is northeast of Dallas. Residents will enjoy an equestrian center, 18-hole golf course, polo fields, zip lines and gun ranges. Retail shops, restaurants and a row of helipads are also in the works. For those looking to “get away,” they’ll also be able to enjoy three white sand beaches and a neighborhood spa.

Most of us could hardly even imagine such luxury, and this is yet another example of the growing gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us in this country.

If you do happen to be one of the ultra-wealthy, perhaps you may be interested in purchasing one of the extremely expensive U-shaped “Earthships” that one company has been constructing for the elite…

Billionaires are buying up “indestructible” alien boltholes to seek sanctuary in during alien Armageddon or more-likely nuclear warand disaster.

The US company creating the $1.5 million “Earthship” eco-structures says humans “must evolve” and insists they “will soon be a necessity” for our species “to survive on this planet.”

The bizarre U-shaped hideaways, which can reportedly survive in any climate, can be deployed to any part of the world and are self-sufficient enough to survive in isolation – during a killer virus outbreak or a radiation catastrophe.


I have to admit that I felt a twinge of jealousy when I first learned about these “Earthships”.  They are completely self-sufficient, they are environmentally-friendly, and they sound like they are quite comfortable. The following is what one reporter discovered when she visited a community of these “Earthships”…

In addition to the cord-cutting power and self-sustaining water supply, each abode contains its own greenhouse. I could forage for figs, bananas, pineapple, broccoli, rosemary and chives in my fluffy socks. Or if the zombies weren’t looking, I could dash over to my neighbor’s place for supper. The Phoenix, a three-bedroom that sleeps six, dedicates one-third of its space to food production. Its tropical jungle supports parakeets and cockatiels (not for consumption) and a garden bursting with fruits and vegetables, including grapes, artichokes, lemons, melons, kale, squash, hot peppers and mushrooms that cling to a log. Chickens cluck around the back yard, which features a sunken den with a grill for coop-to-kebob meals. An indoor fishpond once contained a robust stock of tilapia before a group of guests threw a fish fry. Now, the littlest survivors swim laps with koi. For the dairy course, the staff is considering resident goats.

It sounds wonderful.

But once again, why go to all of this effort if a new era of peace and prosperity for humanity is right around the corner?

I really like what Carl Gallups had to say about this.  Carl is the author of Be Thou Prepared, and this is what he told WND about the preparations that the elite are making…

“I think that the rich and elite are becoming increasingly aware of the dangerous and potentially unstable world in which we now reside,” he warned. “Massive instances of civil unrest, even in America, are becoming a very real possibility. Internal terror attacks, swelling illegal alien populations, an influx of Islamic refugees, increasing racial discord, ambushing police officers, the rule of law continually being trampled by the political elite and an almost complete collapse of trust in the mainstream media – all of this has led to widespread cynicism and distrust among the population as a whole.”

Gallups noted “the rich usually have deeper connections to reliable information and prediction sources, and most of them have the means to take immediate action.”

I believe that Carl Gallups is right on the money.

Normally I am extremely hard on the elite, but in this case I believe that they are showing much more wisdom than the general population.

So many people are crying “peace and safety” right now, and yet we are right in the middle of what I have labeled “the danger zone“.

Our world is becoming more unstable with each passing day, but there is so much apathy among the American people at the moment.

I just don’t understand it.

The self-destructive behavior that we are engaging in as a nation is a recipe for national suicide, and the warning signs are all around us, but because disaster has not struck yet most people seem to believe that the warnings that they have been hearing are not true.

Meanwhile, the elite are preparing extremely hard for an imminent “apocalypse”, and I have a feeling that they are going to end up looking like the smart ones once it is all said and done.

Further Resources

The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster

The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse

The Beginning Of The End (by Michael Snyder)

Palestinians in Sussiya fear home demolitions imminent

Leaning on a cane, Muhammad Ahmed al-Nawajiya says he has seen a lot in his 70 years. Today he worries that his home – somewhere between a tent and a cinder-block structure – could be demolished if the Supreme Court rules against the village.

A hearing is set for Monday.
“This is my land, but the government doesn’t recognize it,” Nawajiya tells The Media Line as his daughter and one of his 40 grandchildren listened. “All I want is a house for my children and a roof over the heads to protect us from the sun and the rain just like anyone else.”
He says this land has belonged to his family for generations and he has Turkish land documents to prove it. However the Turkish documents usually mention landmarks that no longer exist, making it hard to use them in court.

The Palestinians here in the South Hebron Hills on the edge of the desert eke out a living herding sheep and growing grapes and olives. In 1983, a Jewish community, also called Sussiya, was built nearby. Three years later, the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria declared much of the Arab village’s land an archeological site; it contains the remains of a 5th-8th century CE synagogue and of a mosque that replaced it.

The residents, Nawajiya included, moved into caves on their farmland. In 2001, when the second intifada began, the army destroyed the caves, the buildings and the water cisterns.

“There is no question that this is private Palestinian land,” Rabbi Arik Ascherman, president and senior rabbi at Rabbis for Human Rights, tells The Media Line. “But the government refused to approve a master plan. The real reason is that they don’t want a Palestinian village next to a settlement.”

Ascherman says the Palestinians living here have Turkish documents proving their ownership. He cites a ruling by Israeli legal expert Plia Albek that the village is built on private Palestinian land, a ruling that should pave the way for them to get a master plan and legalize their building.

Other NGOs tell a different story about the Palestinians who live here. According to Regavim, which says it works “to ensure responsible, legal, accountable and environmentally friendly use of Israel’s national lands and the return of the rule of law to all areas and aspects of the land and its preservation,” the land was only used for grazing sheep, and shepherds in Yatta would occasionally sleep there.

“The Palestinians have no legal or historical claim to this land. They have been squatting illegally in the area for the past 15+ years,” Regavim’s International Director Josh Hasten tells The Media Line. “We call upon the Supreme Court to enforce its decision against illegal construction carried out in deliberate violation of explicit court orders.”

Regavim says there are 64 structures in the encampment, all of which are built illegally and should be demolished.

B’Tselem – The Israel Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories says that in the first half of 2016, Israel demolished more homes in Palestinian communities in the West Bank than in the entire previous year.

The group says 168 Palestinian homes were demolished, leaving 740 Palestinians homeless.

Most of these homes were in Area C, the 60 percent of the West Bank where, under the Oslo Accords, Israel maintains complete control, and where 350,000 Israelis live. Some charge that the home demolitions are part of a policy to pave the way for annexation of Area C.

“The Israeli authorities impose an impossible daily reality on Palestinian communities in Area C by repeatedly demolishing their homes, constantly threatening further demolition, and other violations of their rights,” B’Tselem wrote in a recent report. “This governmental policy, implemented systematically for years, constitutes the forced transfer of Palestinian residents within the occupied territory, in breach of international humanitarian law.”

Israel has offered a compromise to allow the residents to establish a new village a few kilometers away near the town of Yatta, a suggestion that Nawajiya rejects.

ISIS reportedly planning ‘imminent’ attack on Jewish school in Turkey

(JTA) — Islamic State terrorists are planning an “imminent” attack on Jewish kindergartens, schools and youth centers in Turkey, according to Sky News.

The most likely target of the attack is a synagogue in Istanbul’s Beyoglu district, which is attached to a community center and school, the British newspaper reported Monday.

The report is likely referring to the Neve Shalom Synagogue, which was previously hit by attacks in 1986 and 2003.

“We don’t know when it’s scheduled for. It could be in the next 24 hours or next few days,” an intelligence source told Sky News. “In light of these circumstances, extraordinary security measures are being taken above and beyond the high alert level already in place by the Turkish police, as well as vigilance within the Jewish community.”

Just hours earlier, Israel warned its citizens living in or visiting Turkey to leave immediately, warning of an Islamic State threat. Last Saturday, March 19, three Israeli tourists on a culinary tour were among five killed in a suicide bombing in Istanbul. It’s not yet known whether Israelis, who often vacation in Turkey, were targeted.

Sky News reported seeing an intelligence report saying the Islamic State was behind the attack in Istanbul as well as the series of bombings in Brussels Thursday.

Islamic State has been blamed for four of six bombings in Turkey in the past eight months, including a double suicide attack at a peace rally in the capital, Ankara, in October that killed 103 people.

The information about the planned attack came from six Islamic State operatives arrested in the city of Gaziantep, in southern Turkey, in the past week, according to Sky News.

“Undercover and other covert counter-terror measures are being implemented around the clock. This is a more than credible threat. This is an active plot,” the source is quoted as saying.

On Saturday, Turkish police warned of possible Islamic State attacks against Christians and Jews over the weekend.