Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Diplomacy on the fringes of the G-20 meeting

President Barack Obama took a hardline during discussions with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 Summit parroting the theory of Hillary and the Democrats that Moscow has nothing better to do than intervene in America’s election.


Following the G20 conference in Hangzhou, President Obama said that the issue of Russian hackers invading America’s cyberspace was a critical issue he raised during the summit amid a bout of anti-Russia hysteria in the United States provoked by claims that Putin has converted Republican nominee Donald Trump into an agent of the Kremlin in addition to concerns regarding the DNC Leaks. 

"We have had problems with cyber intrusions from Russia in the past," but he cautioned that the United States would not immediately seek to play into a "cycle of escalation." 

"What we cannot do is have a situation where this becomes the wild, wild West, where countries that have significant cyber capacity start engaging in unhealthy competition or conflict through those means," said Obama. 

It was then that President Obama hurled headlong into threatening a cyber war against Russia saying, "Look, we’re moving into a new era here where a number of countries have significant capacity. And frankly, we’ve got more capacity than anybody, both offensively and defensively." 

The comments made by President Obama do not exist in a vacuum with the White House initiating a federal probe into Russian intervention in the 2016 presidential campaign following a letter by Senator Harry Reid to FBI Director James Comey asserting that Putin may alter Election Day results to benefit Trump who he referred to as a treasonous agent of Russia in three out of five paragraphs. 

Reid’s claims and the ensuing investigation follow in the wake of the much publicized DNC email dump by WikiLeaks that exposed a concerted scheme by Hillary’s campaign to collude with the DNC and mainstream media pundits to spin false narratives about her primary election opponent Bernie Sanders. 

While Russia has denied any involvement in the leak, the Hillary campaign claims that Russian hackers had breached their systems and occupied the DNC server for over a year conflating the issue of a hack and the leak. In previous election cycles, both political parties have been hacked by as many as a dozen countries that seek to garner information on the potential next president of the United States. 

Hysteria took full force last week when it was reported that the election systems of Arizona and Illinois were breached by hackers with officials immediately pointing the finger at Russia despite a lack of evidence. What was actually hacked in Illinois, however, was not an election system, but rather a voter file that is already accessible to people online with names, phone numbers and party affiliation – supposedly 200,000 or so records were "exfiltrated" (copied and pasted) which is hardly anything of value to a state actor. 

In Arizona, a hacker obtained the login key for an employee at the Gila County Recorder’s office, but no voter records were modified. Due to redundancies in Arizona’s electoral system, even if a record were modified it would have no effect because three different government agencies maintain a file of voters. 

Not only has Russia faced continued insinuation that they are responsible for hacks that have potentially impacted the tone and tenor of the 2016 election cycle, but the country has also come under fire due to Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort’s connection to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych who Russia favored. 

From there, theories have been concocted that a three-star US General who was America’s top intelligence official, Michael Flynn, was somehow in league with the Russians because he attended a Gala to celebrate Russian funded news station RT’s 10th anniversary. Green Party candidate Jill Stein has faced similar personal accusations of disloyalty to the country for her attendance at the same event. 

President Vladimir Putin vehemently denies the allegations of Russia’s involvement in the DNC leak saying "I don’t know anything about it and on a state level Russia has never done this" but regarded the transmission of the information of potential malfeasance by Hillary’s campaign and the DNC as a "public service."


Obama also dumps on China while still being in the country as a guest.
After being poorly received at the airport ahead of the G20 Summit, President Obama created a stir at the summit threatening "consequences" against China while in the country as a guest.



Obama Threatens Cyber War on Russia at G20
Obama warns Russia to 'act responsibly' warning that US has 'more [cyberwarfare] capacity than anyone, both offensively and defensively'


5 September, 2016

President Barack Obama took a hardline during discussions with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 Summit parroting the theory of Hillary and the Democrats that Moscow has nothing better to do than intervene in America’s election.

Following the G20 conference in Hangzhou, President Obama said that the issue of Russian hackers invading America’s cyberspace was a critical issue he raised during the summit amid a bout of anti-Russia hysteria in the United States provoked by claims that Putin has converted Republican nominee Donald Trump into an agent of the Kremlin in addition to concerns regarding the DNC Leaks.

"We have had problems with cyber intrusions from Russia in the past," but he cautioned that the United States would not immediately seek to play into a "cycle of escalation."



"What we cannot do is have a situation where this becomes the wild, wild West, where countries that have significant cyber capacity start engaging in unhealthy competition or conflict through those means," said Obama.

It was then that President Obama hurled headlong into threatening a cyber war against Russia saying, "Look, we’re moving into a new era here where a number of countries have significant capacity. And frankly, we’ve got more capacity than anybody, both offensively and defensively."

The comments made by President Obama do not exist in a vacuum with the White House initiating a federal probe into Russian intervention in the 2016 presidential campaign following a letter by Senator Harry Reid to FBI Director James Comey asserting that Putin may alter Election Day results to benefit Trump who he referred to as a treasonous agent of Russia in three out of five paragraphs.

Reid’s claims and the ensuing investigation follow in the wake of the much publicized DNC email dump by WikiLeaks that exposed a concerted scheme by Hillary’s campaign to collude with the DNC and mainstream media pundits to spin false narratives about her primary election opponent Bernie Sanders.

While Russia has denied any involvement in the leak, the Hillary campaign claims that Russian hackers had breached their systems and occupied the DNC server for over a year conflating the issue of a hack and the leak. In previous election cycles, both political parties have been hacked by as many as a dozen countries that seek to garner information on the potential next president of the United States.

Hysteria took full force last week when it was reported that the election systems of Arizona and Illinois were breached by hackers with officials immediately pointing the finger at Russia despite a lack of evidence. What was actually hacked in Illinois, however, was not an election system, but rather a voter file that is already accessible to people online with names, phone numbers and party affiliation – supposedly 200,000 or so records were "exfiltrated" (copied and pasted) which is hardly anything of value to a state actor.

In Arizona, a hacker obtained the login key for an employee at the Gila County Recorder’s office, but no voter records were modified. Due to redundancies in Arizona’s electoral system, even if a record were modified it would have no effect because three different government agencies maintain a file of voters.

Not only has Russia faced continued insinuation that they are responsible for hacks that have potentially impacted the tone and tenor of the 2016 election cycle, but the country has also come under fire due to Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort’s connection to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych who Russia favored.

From there, theories have been concocted that a three-star US General who was America’s top intelligence official, Michael Flynn, was somehow in league with the Russians because he attended a Gala to celebrate Russian funded news station RT’s 10th anniversary. Green Party candidate Jill Stein has faced similar personal accusations of disloyalty to the country for her attendance at the same event.

President Vladimir Putin vehemently denies the allegations of Russia’s involvement in the DNC leak saying "I don’t know anything about it and on a state level Russia has never done this" but regarded the transmission of the information of potential malfeasance by Hillary’s campaign and the DNC as a "public service."




Adam Garrie

The fundamental differences in outlook between a US committed to regime change and a Russia defending peace and stability, makes true agreement between the two countries and their leaders impossible.

The only thing surprising about the recent meeting between Putin and Obama is that anyone found the outcome surprising.


Putin and Obama deadlocked on Syria at G20

Leaks point to a wide gulf between the two sides, making progress in talks well nigh impossible.
Though the Russians continue to hold out hopes for progress, it seems that discussions between US President Obama and Russian President Putin at the G20 summit on Syria ended in deadlocked. 
Photos of the two men together show grim unsmiling faces, suggesting that little or no progress has been made.
hangzhou obama putin

The discussions appear to have moved away from the wildly impractical plan US Secretary of State Kerry took with him a few weeks ago to Moscow, which would have involved the Russians agreeing to the removal of Syrian President Assad in return for a junior place in the US anti-ISIS coalition.

As The Duran discussed before, the Russians turned that proposal down flat, as they were bound to do.

The latest US proposal – leaked to Reuters in the form of a letter dated 3rd September 2016 from Michael Ratney, the US’s Syrian envoy, to the Syrian opposition – is far more modest.  Apparently it proposes a ceasefire between the Syrian government and the Syrian factions the US supports in return for an offer of joint military action by the US and Russia against ISIS and Al-Qaeda (presumably that means Jabhat Al-Nusra).

The overriding problem with this proposal is that the US promised as far back as February that it would arrange the separation of the Syrian factions it supports from Jabhat Al-Nusra.  It has completely failed to do so, and the Russians are unlikely to be impressed with more US promises to do the same thing until and unless they actually see it happening.

A further sticking point is sure to be a US demand (according to Reuters) for 
“….the withdrawal of Damascus’s forces from a key supply route north of Aleppo.”

That appears to refer to the Castello road, recaptured by the Syrian army in July, which the US apparently wants the Syrian army now to abandon, bringing the siege of the Jihadi held districts of eastern Aleppo to an end.

Coming directly after the defeat in south western Aleppo of the Jihadi attempt to break the siege of the Jihadi held districts of eastern Aleppo, that is a very bold – some might say astonishingly bold – demand to make.  Not surprisingly, it seems the Russians have rejected it. 

Reports suggest that the most the Russians are prepared to offer is the opening of humanitarian corridors to the Jihadi held districts of eastern Aleppo together with a demand that the Jihadi fighters in eastern Aleppo either evacuate the city or lay down their arms by mid September.

In truth the distance between the US and Russia over Syria seems as great as ever.  The US continues to search for ways to achieve Russian acceptance of a Jihadi victory and regime change in Syria, despite the fact that this is something which the Russians have repeatedly made clear they will never agree to. 

Unless and until this US policy changes – which realistically can now only happen after November’s election – the diplomatic deadlock will continue.


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