You’d really think the American people would have caught on by now. No sooner did Russiagate fizzle out like a wet firecracker did the Democrats, completely indifferent to the dire consequences, toss another incendiary into the public square. Sooner or later something has got to blow, and maybe it already did.
As Americans experience the brutal whiplash of going from the Mueller probe to presidential impeachment in a matter of days, all pretensions of democratic procedure to guide the show trial have been tossed from the clown car.With the boot-licking media to back their every whim and fancy, the Democrats are dragging the Republic to the brink of destruction as they threaten to take down the 45thPOTUS, and without a single witness in the dock.
Adam Schiff now doesn’t seem to want the Whistleblower to testify. NO! Must testify to explain why he got my Ukraine conversation sooo wrong, not even close. Did Schiff tell him to do that? We must determine the Whistleblower’s identity to determine WHY this was done to the USA..
Last month, Adam Schiff, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said the identity of the shady whistleblower who revealed second-hand details of a call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would be made public “very soon.” That claim looks set to be the fifth ‘Pinocchio’ awarded to Schiff in almost as many days.
On Sunday, the truth-impaired Senator said the whistleblower at the heart of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry might not testify in court over concerns about the individual’s safety. That pathetic excuse should incur the wrath of the mainstream media every bit as much as it has incurred the wrath of the Trump administration. Moreover, it cheapens the incalculable sacrifice that every whistleblower assumes when they attach their identities to explosive revelations; without their identity publicly known the claims do not carry the same weight. Unless the whistleblower is fully prepared to lose his career and risk jail time, much like Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning and numerous others, a cloud of doubt will forever hang over the claims, and even more so in the Ukrainegate affair since we are talking about nothing more than hearsay.
Schiff’s notorious shiftiness didn’t end there. He actually cited Trump’s candidness in releasing the full transcript of the conversation as another reason as to why the ‘courageous’ whistleblower should enjoy full anonymity. This almost makes Trump himself appear as the whistleblower.
“Given that we already have the call record, we don’t need the whistleblower who wasn’t on the call to tell us what took place during the call,” Schiff said in an interview on CBS’s Face the Nation. In other words, Trump was doomed to be damned if he released the transcript or he didn’t.
The Democrat’s determination to bring down Trump was confirmed earlier when Schiff was caught in yet another lie.
On September 16, the Democratic Senator told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he did not know the identity of the whistleblower. He repeated the same claim the next day when he told MSNBC’s Morning Joe that neither he nor his staff had “spoken directly with the whistleblower.” It is now known that his claims were bald-faced lies, and serious enough to bring the impeachment clown car to a screeching halt. Yet the rules of the game, as is proven time and time again, are always adjusted to suit the Democrats. In fact, the whistleblower may have committed a felony for failing to disclose in his or her official complaint that they had first brought the information to the attention of House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff.
Schiff has little to worry about, however, since the media does not react to Democratic transgressions with nearly the same amount of hysteria as it does with the Republicans, which explains why Trump is fighting a constant uphill battle.
This is where the push for impeachment is becoming a dangerous venture for the Democrats. The people are not stupid, and it does not require the shrewdest political tool to understand that the scales of justice are weighted heavily in favor of the Democrats. From Hillary Clinton escaping punishment for using her home computer to send classified government documents, to former Vice President Joe Biden bragging about arranging a billion-dollar quid pro quo with Kiev to sack Ukraine’s top prosecutor, who just happened to be investigating Biden’s son, Hunter, the Democrats rarely have anything to fear as far as justice is concerned. Yet this special status has certainly not gone unnoticed; with social media revolutionizing the ‘town square,’ the blatant hypocrisies and outright crimes are obvious to everyone.
Just as Russiagate was a conspicuous effort on the part of the Democrats and their lapdog media to deflect attention away from the contents of Clinton’s emails, not to mention the identity of the leaker (as opposed to the ‘Russian hackers,’ that is), Ukrainegate is a desperate attempt to focus attention on a harmless phone call between two state leaders so as to bury the news of corruption at the highest levels of the Obama administration, up to and including not only Joe Biden, but former Secretary of State John Kerry as well.In other words, we are talking about obstruction of justice on a mind-boggling scale, and which could only be pulled off with the full support of the mainstream media. A free-thinking, independent journalistic community would have called foul on such shenanigans long ago.
Lest anyone forget, the Democrats have been under investigation by Attorney General Bill Barr and federal prosecutor John Durham. These two are currently traveling the world in an effort to determine “the extent to which a number of countries, including Ukraine, played a role in the counterintelligence investigation directed at the Trump campaign during the 2016 election,” Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in a statement on Sept. 25.
In fact, Barr and Durham’s ‘mission’ kicked off back in May, long before the smoke and mirrors of yet another Trump ‘transgression’ took front and center in living rooms across the country. Indeed, while every American has heard of the impeachment inquiry, few realize that the Democrats are under investigation for far greater crimes should they be found guilty, that is. Now, in the event that Barr and Durham attempt to present their findings to the public, the Democrats will scream in one persecuted voice that Trump is attempting to ‘obstruct justice,’ which will certainly be the greatest irony considering the source.
In other words, there are two vehicles – one filled with Democrats, the other Republicans – careening towards an intersection at a high rate of speed, and neither looks willing to yield to the other. This is the situation confronting America at the present time: a smashup of epic, deadly proportions, quite possibly on par with its first civil war. Such a seemingly inevitable event, however, would never have been remotely possible had the media been a fair and just provider of news and information as opposed to being an instigator and provocateur of the first order.
Now, should the Democrats get the impeachment they’ve been dreaming about ever since they lost the 2016 presidential election, at least 50 percent of the American public will understand full well that the scales of justice are tilted against them. That will be the moment when the United States is forced to confront its worst crisis in many years, simply because the Democrats have become so terrified of a longstanding political technology known as ‘free and fair elections.’
Hong Kong Property Prices Plunge For 8 Straight Weeks
A new report from Centaline Property, a research firm providing private data on the property market in Hong Kong, has shown property prices are experiencing their worst downturns since late last year during the global growth scare, which sent global equity markets crashing.
Centaline’s report said property prices in the city have plunged for eight straight weeks, mostly tied to an extreme economic deceleration in the region as macroeconomic headwinds continue to increase.
The Central Plains City Index (CCL) is a monthly leading index that tracks property prices in Hong Kong. Regional investors use CCL to track the changing trend of the Hong Kong property market.
As a whole, the CCL Leading Index has tumbled to 180.32, -.36% w/w, –1.62% m/m, and has recorded the lowest level in 27-weeks.
The CCL Leading Index for Large-Scale housing in Hong Kong printed at 181.44, -.32% w/w, –1.70% m/m, and now at a 28-week low.
The CCL Leading Index for Small and Medium-Sized Units printed 180.26, -.37% w/w, –1.71% m/m, and now at the lowest levels in 27-weeks.
The three major leading indexes for Hong Kong property prices (above) slid for eight consecutive weeks, falling –4.29 %, –4.70%, and –4.54%, respectively.
As shown below, 75% of the top regions in Hong Kong saw the CCL leading index drop, indicating price deceleration continued through late summer into fall.
And with a recession and social unrest expected to deepen in Hong Kong through year-end, it’s likely that CCL’s leading property price indicators will point down into 1H20.
The United States of America emerged victorious from the Second World War, and came out stronger than any other country in the world. The allies– notably the Soviet Union– won the war but emerged much weaker.
They needed to reconstruct their countries and rebuild their economies, with the US demanding huge retrospective payments for its support. The US became a superpower with nuclear bomb capability and an imposing power of dominance. Industrial countries rebuilt in what the Germans called their Wirtschaftswunder and the French les Trentes Glorieuses, the thirty years of post-war prosperity. Meanwhile the US leveraged its prosperity to spread its hegemony around the world.
US power was enhanced with the beginning of Perestroika and after the fall of the Soviet Union. In the new millennium the US establishment declared the “War on Terror” as justification to occupy Afghanistan and Iraq, while attempting to subdue Hezbollah in Lebanon, changing the régime in Libya and attempting to destroy Syria, all with the goal of reshuffling and forming a “New Middle East”.
In the Levant, the US has dramatically failed to reach its objectives, but it has succeeded in waking Russia from its long hibernation, to challenge the US unilateral hegemony of the world and to develop new forms of alliance.
Iran has also challenged the US hegemony incrementally since the 1979 “Islamic Revolution”. Iran has planned meticulously, and patiently built a chain of allies connecting different parts of the Middle East. Now, after 37 years, Iran can boast a necklace of robust allies in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan- who are all ready, if necessary, to take up arms to defend Iran.
Iran, in fact, has greatly benefited from US mistakes. Through its lack of understanding of populations and leaders around the world, it has universally failed to win “hearts and minds” in every Middle Eastern country where it imposed itself as a potential ally. The arrival of President Donald Trump to power helped US allies and the anti-US camp to discover, together, the limits and reach of US sanctions.
Russia and China took the lead in offering a new, softer model of an alliance, which apparently does not aim to impose another kind of hegemony. The offer of an economic alliance and partnership is especially attractive to those who have tasted US hegemony and wish to liberate themselves from it by means of a more balanced alternative.
During this period of Trump’s ruling, the Middle East became a huge warehouse of advanced weapons from varied sources. Every single country (and some non-state actors) has armed drones– and some even have precision and cruise missiles. But superiority in armaments by itself counts for very little, and its very balance is not enough to shift the weight to one side or another. Even the poorest country, Yemen, has done significant damage to oil-rich Saudi Arabia, a country highly equipped, militarily, and with the most modern US hardware in the Middle East.
US President Trump was informed about the evident failure to change the régime in Syria and the equal impossibility of dislodging Iran from the Levant. He most probably aimed to avoid the loss of lives and therefore decided to abandon the country that his forces have occupied for the past few years. Nonetheless, his sudden withdrawal, even if so far it is partial (because he says, a small unit will remain behind at al-Tanf, to no strategic benefit since al-Qaem border crossing is now operational) – came as a shock to his Kurdish and Israeli allies. Trump proved his readiness to abandon his closest friends & enemies overnight.
Trump’s move offered an unexpected victory to Damascus. The Syrian government is now slowly recovering its most important source of food, agriculture and energy. North-East Syria represents a quarter of the country’s geography. The northern provinces have exceptional wealth in water, electricity dams, oil, gas and food. President Trump has restored it to President Bashar al-Assad. This will also serve Trump’s forthcoming election campaign.
Assad trusts that Russia will succeed in halting the Turkish advance and reduce its consequences, perhaps by asking the Kurds to pull back to a 30 km distance from the Turkish borders to satisfy President Erdogan’s anxiety. That could also fit the Turkish-Syrian 1998 Adana agreement (5 km buffer zone rather than 30 km) and offer tranquillity to all parties involved. Turkey wants to make sure the Kurdish YPG, the PKK Syrian branch, is disarmed and contained. Nothing seems difficult for Russia to manage, particularly when the most difficult objective has already been graciously offered: the US forces’ withdrawal.
President Assad will be delighted to trim the Kurds’ nails. The Kurds offered Afrin to Turkey to prevent the Syrian government forces controlling it. The Kurds, in exchange for the State of their dreams (Rojava), supported US occupation and Syria’s enemy, Israel. Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu bombed hundreds of targets in Syria, preferring ISIS to dominate the country and pushing Trump to give him the Syrian-occupied Golan Heights as a gift– although the US has no authority over this Syrian territory.
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians were killed, millions of refugees were driven from their homes and hundreds of billions of dollars were spent on destroying Syria. Nonetheless, the Syrian state and President Assad have prevailed. Notwithstanding the consequences of the war, Arab and Gulf countries are eager to return to Syria and participate in reconstruction. Whoever rules Syria, the attempt to destroy the Syrian state and change the existing régime has failed.
Russia is one of the most successful players here, on numerous fronts, and is now in a position President Putin could only have dreamed about before 2015. Numerous analysts and think tanks predicted Moscow would sink into the Syrian quagmire, and they mocked its arsenal. They were all wrong. Russia learned its lesson from the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. It offered air and missile coverage and brilliantly cooperated with Iran and its allies as ground forces.
President Putin skillfully managed the Syrian war, striking a balance and creating good ties with Turkey, a NATO ally– even after the downing of his jet by Ankara in 2015. Russia wanted to collaborate with the US but was faced with an administration with persistent “Red-Soviet” phobia. Moscow proceeded without Washington to solve the Syrian war and defeat the jihadists who had flocked to the country with support from the West (via Turkey and Jordan) from all over the world.
Russia showed off its new arsenal and managed to sell a lot of its weapons. It has trained its Air Force using real battle scenarios, fought alongside the Syrian and Iranian armies, and a non-state actor (Hezbollah). It defeated ISIS and al-Qaeda 40 years after its defeat in Afghanistan. President Putin has distinguished himself as a trustworthy partner and ally, unlike Trump– who abandoned the Kurds, and who blackmails even his closest ally (Saudi Arabia).
Russia imposed the Astana process instead of Geneva for peace talks, it offered countries to use their local currencies for commerce rather than the dollar, and it is dealing pragmatically with Iran and Saudi Arabia, and with Assad and Erdogan. The Americans, by their recklessness, showed themselves incapable of diplomacy.
Moscow mediated between the Syrian Kurds and the central government in Damascus even when these had been under US control for years. Putin behaved wisely with Israel even when he accused Tel Aviv of provoking the killing of his officers, and stayed relatively neutral in relation to the Iran-Israel struggle.
On the other hand, Tel Aviv never thought Syria would be reunited. Today Damascus has armed drones, precision and cruise missiles from Iran, supersonic anti-ship Russian missiles– and has survived the destruction of its infrastructure and so many years of war.
Israel has lost the prospect of a Kurdish state (Rojava) as an ally. This dream has gone now for many decades to come and with it the partition of Syria and Iraq. The “Deal of the Century” makes no sense anymore and the non-aggression deal with the Arab states is a mirage. Everything that Trump’s close advisor, Prime Minister Netanyahu, wanted has lost its meaning, and Israel now has to deal with the Russian presence in the Middle East and bear the consequences of the victory achieved by Assad, the Russians, and the Iranians.
After the Kurds, Israel is the second biggest loser– even if it has suffered no financial damage and no Israeli lives have been lost in combat. Netanyahu’s ambitions can no longer be used in his election scenario. Israel needs to prepare for living next door to Assad, who will certainly want back Syria’s Golan– a priority for Damascus to tackle once domestic reconstruction is on its way. He has been preparing the local resistance for years, for the day when Syria will recover this territory.