« If this were the U.S. and not Russia? Margaret Steinfels | Main | Syria War Digest 10 February 2016 »

10 February 2016


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Yeah, she laughed.



Hillary is an opportunist, blows whichever way the wind blows from THOSE SHE CONSIDERS IMPORTANT, or necessary.


I do not agree. I think most Americans are so disgusted with our war behavior that they tune it out... and compartmentalize their brains to avoid the cognitive dissonance that would occur it they took in the truth of our imperialistic foreign adventures and all the related deaths and injuries.

Sure there are some who glory in gory-ness of it all, but I think many people are also not being realistic (due to ignorance) and are inhabiting a sort of videogame attitude about violence, or maybe a sports attitude of we're number one and we'll do what it takes to win.

I have developed this opinion over the last 10-11 years, dating to when I first decided I wanted to know more about politics and everything at a deeper level than what the MSM provided. As I learned more and more truths and became a realist I tried sharing with various friends and family some of the things I had learned. Not a pleasant experience for the most part, as people would get angry at me for telling them what I had learned... or if I was lucky they might just tune me out or quickly change the subject. They had a worldview already built that wasn't open to modification or re-evaluation/assessment.

Only a few people showed any interest in hearing what I had to say, and even then it was a short attention span. I'm sure people at this blog realize what an exceptionally well informed and truth oriented group we have here and how rare that is in context with the larger society. I don't think it's reasonable to expect most people to come anywhere close to our way of thinking about the world (in the broad umbrella sense which includes many differences of opinion on the details). It takes too much time, energy and mental work, not to mention the willingness to reassess one's thinking and attitudes and beliefs in light of new evidence.

But crowds do have a type of intelligence and right now most voters are choosing ant-establishment politicians, because they know deep down that "something is rotten in the state of Denmark" even if they can't articulate it very well. Most Americans, like most people everywhere, are anti-war in polling, most of the time. And both Trump and Sanders are the least war mongering candidates on either side. SO I think that says something.

Sidenote... last night I was "forced" to watch the political results from NH and some of the speeches (due to overnight guests who had the interest) and I noticed something that surprised me. No foreign policy talk in any of the speeches I saw (may have been some in ones I missed). I pointed out to my Bernie loving guest that even Bernie made no antiwar comments other than maybe he didn't vote for the Iraq war. Most Americans don't vote based on foreign policy, they vote based on tribal affiliation and pet cultural issues and social identity... or they vote against their perceived enemies (even very otherwise smart people).


Anybody who has ever tried to override his/her better angels and "fake it" should recognize the thrashing around and strain in the voice on that footage.

She's a fucking idiot for having been persuaded to do what comes across as a really bad Pam Geller impersonation.

She's mired herself in an Authenticity Gap.

Hood Canal Gardner

Good read. Help with a couple of names..Schlesinger's note re waiting in the wings were a group of Founding Fathers with a messianic view of mankind. Much appreciated if you can share a name or two from Schlesinger's writing.


There's plenty to hate about Hillary. But as MRW notes below, first and foremost, she is an opportunist and an elitist. She seeks to gain power by serving power, and the neocons and neolibs have had at least the time of Bill Clinton's Presidency.


John Adam's epitaph 'Here lies John Adams, who took upon himself the responsibility of peace with France in the year 1800.'".

Hillary's epitaph? "“We came; we saw; he died.”

Rumsfeld's epitaph? "“Liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk.”

To me this shows the difference between the founders and our present. Peace v War.


Tru dat... except I would expand that a bit and call her a power loving opportunist. She's a neocon because she's an imperialist and she shares groupthink of the faction of the Borg that best serves her ambitions ... not because she is a true believer.



If as I expect Hillary wins the Democrat nomination and the general will be a contest between Hillary and Trump, then I will have to change my long standing tradition of not voting for the duopoly.

Carl Lazlo

"It seems that in the advanced stages of stupidity, a lack of ideas is compensated for by an excess of ideologies."

Carlos Ruiz Zafon


Gadaffi. He screwed the pooch & was fated to bring Libya down around himself. Typical. The point is that the U.S. feels obligated to take the lead role on every foreign event where money & power & prestige are in play... can't let any other power screw things up ... No one else is allowed - that's our role! Hillary wasn't the architect so much as the executive of the America (Screw It Up) First! If not us, then some other player(s) would've played while he danced to death.

William R. Cumming

How many abused spouses have lived in the WH?


Excellent essay. One thought I've had lately is that the BENGHAZI! inquisition is a prophylactic that forestalls any deeper look into Hillary's misadventures in Libya. I'm glad some people are paying attention at least, but it kills me that Americans have nearly zero understanding or appreciation of US foreign policy.


Tidewater to Hood Canal Gardner,

I don't think any of the seven that are considered to be "The Founding Fathers" would fit that "messianic" profile. Not, I will say, that at the moment I am entirely clear about this topic.

But would Thomas Paine fit into the idea of a man with a larger, more universal and revolutionary view of things, his work 'Rights of Man', being an example?


Messianic is the wrong word in that the Founders and Reagan never mentioned the hope for a Messiah. The Puritans considered their coming to a New World as a re-enactment of the Hebrews escaping Pharoah to the Promised Land. The Puritans saw the Hand of God in their deliverance from oppression but they didn't conflate America with a coming Messiah, a figure they did believe in. The Jews have always been good storytellers up until the mid-twentieth century and their biblical stories have been used as metaphores for political action and group solidarity--MLK's mountaintop and Reagan's city-on-the-hill speeches. Bill Clinton's religious intonations always sounded fake to me, unlike Ted Cruz's Baptist church speeches.

American's are under the illusion that one man or woman can fix the nation but more of a father or mother figure instead of celestial savior. The only way to change things is by mass movements, Americans are too fractured and complacent do much more than complain. Mass movements are usually co-opted by the Borg and end up powerless anyway. The tea party is an example.


Aye, Madam.

'Tis Sad Fact that others who are not American are viewed upon as "untermensch," therefore their offspring are (contemptuously) regarded as little more than spawn...


"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."

Proverbs 16:18


In reply to Croesus 10 February 2016 at 04:18 PM

I watched that video again recently, it's just as horrific and shocking today as it was then. Albright has tried repeatedly to pass it off as a mistake - that she misspoke and didn't mean it. It must have been horrible for her when she realised that she'd accidentally spoken the truth.



Somehow your generalization from HC to all Americans sounds like BS to me. pl


ked, I read "messianic" as symbolic. Although, I find your first paragraph interesting. And it makes me wonder if you more generally feel too that religion in the US feels often misused purely for public display both by politicians and officials. As something like an artificial ethical cover.

More generally, I once looked into early American Reform texts, still written in German. If I am not completely misguided, they gave up the return to Jerusalem for the US "city on the hill".


Thus I would support Richard's point. You could even move beyond religion and point out there is parallel to the extend that both America and Israel are settler nations. Without doubt in a pretty different contexts. ...

Concerning the rest, that irritated me highly. Yes, I too would "make a big deal about her Iraq War Vote". What are politicians good for, if they are only led by collective group pressure? Or base their decisions on "giving the other side enough rope to hang themselves".

Was it like that? Did they hang themselves or got many killed due to this decision.

Sounds pretty cynical. ...


HCG, would you be so kind and tell me, if I would find the quote here?

It seems to be an interesting book anyway. But Schlesinger wrote a lot.



"Gadaffi. He screwed the pooch & was fated to bring Libya down around himself. Typical."

"Screwed the pooch" is not very informative. Can you elaborate?

Libya seems to have prospered under Gaddafi's leadership, and by many accounts, a majority of the Libyan people were not opposed to his rule.

"In 1967 Colonel Gaddafi inherited one of the poorest nations in Africa; by the time he was assassinated, he had transformed Libya into Africa’s richest nation. Prior to the US-led bombing campaign in 2011, Libya had the highest Human Development Index, the lowest infant mortality and the highest life expectancy in all of Africa."


And I may be mistaken but I thought it was the French who took the lead, under the tutelage of the renowned philosopher-without-buttons Bernard Henri-Levy http://www.newyorker.com/culture/richard-brody/did-bernard-henri-lvy-take-nato-to-war


"The only way to change things is by mass movements ... Mass movements are usually co-opted by the Borg"

What specific things would you like to be changed?

I have not taken a closer look at the Clinton campaign, but somewhere at one point I had the impression she stages herself as a force continuing the change Obama started.


John Berry's Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul

compares Williams' views on Biblical influences on formation of USA (i.e. messianism) with those of John Winthrop.
Williams, a member of the clergy, was a student and proponent of Enlightenment thinkers Francis Bacon and Edward Coke. He argued for "separation of church and state" meaning that government should not be the enforcer of religious doctrine.

Winthrop was not a clergyman but an accidental political leader. Winthrop is said to have declared in a 1630 sermon that the new colonies in the Americas would be a "light unto the nations, a city on a hill . . ."
Winthrop threatened Williams with death if Williams did not recant his views; Williams was forced to leave Massachusetts; he found refuge with Indians and later settled in Rhode Island.

The Beaver


From what I read at that time, she was being interviewed by CBS and during that session, one of her assistants came in to announce the death of Gaddhafi.

Hence that victory shrill.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

November 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30          
Blog powered by Typepad