Donald Trump’s Militarism in 400 Words

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President-elect Donald J. Trump was often vague on the campaign trail, but he was clear about this: as commander-in-chief he would get back to the basics of the War on Terror, foregoing liberal projects like “nation-building” in favor of just “bombing the hell out of” the Islamic State in Libya, Iraq, and Syria. And he suggested he would do this with the help of Vladimir Putin, a man some in his own party consider a threat. “Wouldn’t it be nice if we got together with Russia,” Trump said over the summer, “and knocked the hell out of ISIS?“

His supporters cheered while pundits scoffed at this budding friendship between right-wing nationalists. But despite the unusually public nature of the affair, the groundwork for such a US-Russia alliance against ISIS was already being laid by President Barack Obama. While Trump was campaigning, U.S. diplomats were meeting with their Russian counterparts to hammer out a deal to share intelligence and jointly conduct bombing raids against ISIS and other extremists in Syria. That deal was strongly by leading Republicans like Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, falling apart not because of their opposition, though, but because Russian forces reportedly bombed an aid convoy on its way to Aleppo, making a partnership unseemly.

Trump is more likely to overlook humanitarian concerns, but he’ll face the same opposition Obama did if he tries to link up with Putin. General Michael Flynn, his top national security advisor, shares his outlook on Russia and terrorism, even being paid to speak at a party in Moscow hosted by RT, the Russian government’s propaganda arm. But Trump’s administration also includes the likes of Congressman Mike Pompeo, a hard-liner on Russia who will be leading the Central Intelligence Agency. There are no doves in his cabinet, but there will be disagreements on how far to take any alignment with Moscow, which will amplified by a Congress that can still play politics with the money Trump will need for any airstrikes.

Trump, however, inherits not just a proposed alliance with Russia, but the unilateral ability to deploy U.S. military power wherever he chooses. The upside is there’s no ambiguity: few expect him to earn a Nobel Peace Prize. And that’s an advantage for those who don’t think a war on terror can be won with more of the extreme violence that breeds terrorism: they can start organizing now against what they know is coming.

Charles Davis is a journalist in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter: @charlierarchy

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Israeli false flag operations against Iran

Mark Perry’s explosive Foreign Policy article about Israeli attempts to drag the US into another war is being smothered in the US with a conspiracy of silence. On the other hand, in Israel itself it made the frontpages of Ha’aretz and Jerusalem Post. (Also see Perry’s response to Israeli denials). Among mainstream television networks, only the venerable Al Jazeera has given it its due. Have a look:

Agents with Israel’s spy agency have posed as CIA agents in operations to recruit members of the Pakistani group Jundallah, according to a report in Foreign Policy magazine. Using US dollars and passports, the agents passed themselves off as members of the US’ Central Intelligence Agency in the operations, according to memos from 2007 and 2008, said the report which was published on Friday. Al Jazeera speaks with author, historian and journalist Mark Perry authored the Foreign Policy report.

Egyptians to mark Nakba with a march to Palestine

This article first appeared on Gaza TV:

On 15 May, the annual commemoration of the creation of the state of Israel and the expulsion of Palestinians, known as Nakba, Egyptians plan to march to Palestine under the slogan “Cairo’s liberation will not be complete without the liberation of Al-Quds [Jerusalem].”

Following Egypt’s January 25 Revolution, Egyptians are pushing for some of the country’s foreign relations policies to change, especially those related to Israel and Palestine. Aid or protest convoys to Gaza were frequently stopped or arrested during the Mubarak era by the ousted president’s regime, and now for the first time since the revolution thousands of activists are planning to march to the Rafah border town.

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Hello Resistance, meet Resistance…..

In Volume I of History of Sexuality, Michel Foucault famously notes:

Where there is power, there is resistance, and yet, or rather consequently, this resistance is never in a position of exteriority in relation to power.

Earlier this month, Foreign Policy magazine published their “First Annual List of the Top 100 Global Thinkers.” Notably, the list included figures like Dick Cheney, General Petraeus, Larry Summers, Salam Fayyad and Ahmed Rashid – a combination of people that many, including those of us here at PULSE, felt fell short of exemplifying what FP claimed it was doing: presenting a list of  ‘thinkers’.

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