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04 March 2016

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J

New GRU head:
http://www.rferl.org/content/russia-putin-korobov-new-gru-chief-military-intelligence/27528279.html

ex-PFC Chuck

re: "Let us now forgive and forget. Let each Country seek its Advancement in its own internal Advantages of Arts and Agriculture, not in retarding or preventing the Prosperity of the other."

The US of A quit doing that over the course of the 19th century and have been storing up treasures in hell for ourselves ever since. Now they're starting to ooze back into our world.

steveg

Tyler
IMO Mr Sale is channeling his inner
George Will Krauthammer etc. ivory
tower elites. Trump is not about a
battle of white knight philosophers
handing down dictums from Mount
Olympus. What is next from the critics
property owners only to vote? The
average shmo,thank you very much,
has been used and abused by the
powers that be through out our glorious
history. Wars,union busting, not a great
fan but how does a large work force
negotiate fairly for the collective?, and the
latest scourge "out sourcing " jobs to
third world countries plus bringing third
world people here. Is Trump the answer
or a bridge to the next phase of America.
People have all the information now if
they chose to look. Politics in the modern
age are not quotations from a philosopher of
long ago. To quote another Clinton,George,
"Take no prisoners, show no mercy"

Bill Herschel

From the AEI article, the dead hand of Condoleeza "Mushroom Cloud" Rice reaches from the grave once more to grab the throat of the average American:

"The hardest part about national security is explaining how and why it matters, in the sense of having an actual impact on the lives of Americans. Our security policy has been failing for years, and has failed so badly in the last seven years that the failure is now resulting not just in growing risk but actual attacks on our people and our way of life.

Radicalized Muslims are killing Americans, in the United States. Our homeland is being attacked through cyber space. American sailors and citizens are being seized abroad, in violation of our rights. Terrorist governments are getting lots of weapons, including nuclear weapons and cyber weapons and maybe bio-weapons, and that means there is quite a good chance that terrorists will get those weapons too.

The Chinese are establishing hegemony in the East and South China Sea, a part of the world that is vital to our economy, which means vital to your job, your family, and your ability to pay your mortgage. And the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party don’t care about you; they care about their own power and their own interests. As a matter of fact, all other things being equal, they’d just as soon hurt you as not.

That’s true of all our adversaries: ISIS, the other terrorist groups, the leaders of North Korea, Russia, and China. They kill their own people when it advances their interests and sometimes when it doesn’t, and they’ll kill Americans if it advances their own interests, and maybe even if it doesn’t, when they think they can get away with it.

Right now they are getting away with it. The United States is slapped around all over the world, and if America doesn’t elect a president who takes that seriously, the next stages of escalation will be something you won’t be able to forget after two or three days."

I believe the sailors who were "seized" were in a US Navy gunboat within Iranian waters and were released the next day unharmed. Was the Navy, in the spirit of this article, seeking a casus belli?

This article is pure propaganda. Trump has certainly gotten to what he calls the "donors".

J

Interesting:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-torture-international-laws

LeaNder

Tyler, I sure would like to witness the same type of disappointment on your side as on the side of Obama voters earlier.

But then, I don't know much about you, apart from what I registered in our respective clashes. Apart from you military experience, that is.

Interesting though is that Obama's change rhetoric seems to have triggered two party outsiders. Isn't it? With the outsider on the Democrat's side being simply a variation of the enemy for you?

The ultimate evil of Obama, besides being black, was to at least attempt to give healthcare to every American? After all there are a lots that don't deserve it, since they cannot afford? If we leave out the illegal aliens for a while?

LeaNder

Ishmeal, slightly off topic admittedly, what's your take on events around Zaman in Turkey?

Tyler

LeaNder,

No, you misunderstand. If we don't elect Trump, we get another globalist hell bent on turning America into a 3rd world sewer cum bazaar.

If Trump turns out to have been lying to us...what exactly would have happened anyway? Heads I win, tails you lose. Just brings down the tottering, rotting pillars we live that much quicker.

Obama's "change rhetoric" was just that. In reality the man was a continuance of GWB, and if anything ramped Bush's globalist "invade the world/invite the world/in hoc to the world" nonsense.

Obama's "ultimate evil" wasn't being black (though he tried to rule like a typical African strongman, mad as HELL about that Constitution). It was the total lack of ability to govern without trying to find end runs around the checks and balances of the government. You really think Obamacare was anything more than a giant insurance giveaway? Lawl. Where are you exactly again?

Tyler

SteveG,

Reminder that the author was a member of Hollywood nobility, so that's going to color his outlook.

LeaNder

Yeats? I get Eliot, but Yeats? Because of another famous line?

"Trump will be a president with no support from his own party."

Forget it, America loves winners and detests losers. Am I prejudiced?

Jack

All

What does it say when the neocons say they will vote for Hillary and the Republican establishment are spending millions trashing Trump and threatening to steal the nomination in Cleveland?

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/trump-clinton-neoconservatives-220151?lo=ap_a1

What happened to all those "freedom loving" arm chair warriors who supported the invasion of secular countries in the ME? Not liking democracy at home?

Folks, IMO, its becoming clear to many Americans that there is no difference between the elites in both parties. This election is quickly becoming a contest between Hillary who is the candidate of the neocon and oligarchic interests and Trump the anti-establishment candidate. I think this could be a historical election where the traditional voting patterns will be thrown out the window.

Fred

Richard,

You recently penned a pair of posts titled "The Dilemmas of Victory". Thank you for turning that analysis towards domestic political conduct. It is always enlightening.

In reflection on your comments on responsibility for our current bumper crop of leaders I'm reminded of the scene in "The Butcher's Cleaver" where Hope and Claude Devereux visit their summer home in rural Virginia; the one where Hope reflects upon the men gathered 'round the fire while her erudite, cosmopolitan husband, slips into the local custom. he is clothed more rustically, talks more "earthy"; all, not as an act, but as a natural expression of his being. Hope sees these rough men around the fire as warriors of old joined with their chieftain. It is here that Hope experiences a revelation: These are her people. It is a journey our current leaders are unlikely to undertake.

Viewing the electoral campaign in this vein I agree with your conclusion "we are responsible" but it is a different We than the one implied. Those men around the fire (and I am not that far removed from the warmth of those flames) are looking toward Hope and the one to whom she is attached. They see little of hope and no Devereuxs; only the chimerical figures of lifetime politicians mouthing platitudes. As you warn it is easy, far to easy, to abandon duty, to slink back to the warmth of the fire; to be surrounded by rough men on the edge towards an uncontrollable rage while mourning the the loss of half fulfilled dreams.

What of our citizens views of our leaders? As Corelli Barnett put it in his description of Generals O'Connor and Montgomery in his book The Desert Generals:

"... even the unsophisticated are more aware of the genuine quality in their leaders, whether advertised or not, than is sometimes believed in this age of contrived publicity;..."

In describing the current slate of candidates I'm reminded of the old Southern saying: "A good dog needs no pedigree, and if a dog ain’t any good, a pedigree don’t help him none." We sure have some finely pedigreed people dropping out of this presidential race. For these leaders pedigrees - college degrees, from the right (leftist) colleges, are the thing of importance. People without them are treated as people without value. It is little wonder that voters are rejecting the Establishment of either political party.

Fred

LeaNder,

"...ultimate evil of Obama, besides being black..." This seems a common refrain from far to many that a political policy disagreement with men and woman who are black can only be due to racism. That is sad.

Valissa

It is not only the poorly educated that are supporting Trump.

The Daily 202: Why Donald Trump’s support keeps expanding https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2016/03/01/daily-202-why-donald-trump-s-support-keeps-expanding/56d4ff58981b92a22d5852ee/
Many readers would probably be stunned by some of the people who are secretly supporting Trump and don’t want to admit it on the record. His coalition includes not just rock-ribbed conservatives and God-fearing evangelicals but Ivy-League-educated professionals. Some realize he’s not actually that authentically conservative and look the other way. Some, who fancy themselves moderates, admire the businessman’s malleability.

… The more that Republican elites express alarm, the more a swath of these folks think that Trump might be just the change agent that’s needed to nuke Washington. Remember, most grassroots activists believe these D.C. politicians and talking heads are part of the problem. ... “It’s like Dr. Strangelove,” said a tip-top Republican who is closely aligned with the GOP establishment and supported Chris Christie until he dropped out. “People are saying, ‘I’m not gonna tell my friends and family I’m voting for Trump,’ but then they’re pulling the trigger for Trump. I might as well be like Slim Pickens at the end of the movie and just ride the atomic bomb down and see what happens.”

…check out this letter to the editor that ran in yesterday’s Financial Times:
**Sir, my wife and I are affluent Americans with postgraduate degrees. We are socially liberal and fiscally midly conservative. We are not the sans-culottes you see as the prototypical Trump voter. We are well aware of his vulgarity and nous deficiency yet we contemplate voting for him. Why?

Electing the standard-bearer of the Democratic party seems purposeless. The neanderthal Republicans barely respected the legitimacy of Bill Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s election, let alone that of Hillary who would arrive tainted with scandal and the email lapses hanging over her head. We would get four years of gridlock and “hearings”. The Republican tribunes, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, are backward, foolish and inexperienced. John Kasich, a moderate with extensive governmental experience and a willingness to compromise, is an also-ran. The leaves The Donald, really a moderate in wolf’s garb, who would owe nothing to either party and might strike deals, for instance on tax reform.

Yes, we would be like the good citizens who voted for a “tameable” Hitler in 1933 to get hings back on track. But the alternatives look worse.**
--------------

Here is Peggy Noonan's thoughtful WSJ post on Trump and his appeal based on the fact that the elites no longer care about those 'below' them (any sense of noblesse oblige seems long gone), which I fortunately found an accessible copy of since I'm not a subscriber…

Trump and the Rise of the Unprotected - Why political professionals are struggling to make sense of the world they created. http://www.investorvillage.com/smbd.asp?mb=296&mn=17577&pt=msg&mid=15791036

And here is a semi-favorable piece on Trump from a finance and economics writer.

Trump Haters Are Missing the Point——Washington Has Already Baked A “Disaster” Into The Cake http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/trump-haters-are-missing-the-point-washington-has-already-baked-a-disaster-into-the-cake/
We’ve got other things to worry about. Big things. At least, that’s what the chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, Martin Wolf, tells us. He says our great republic is in danger of being hijacked by a “narcissistic bully.” You know who he’s talking about. And he says that if Donald Trump wins the White House, it “would be a global disaster.” How does he know that? Would it be less of a global disaster if Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, or Hillary Clinton were elected? Fortunately, Mr. Wolf is wrong about everything. And when he quotes Robert Kagan, a war-mongering Washington insider and Deep State mouthpiece, telling us that Trump is the “GOP’s Frankenstein monster,” we begin to feel a warm affection arising for The Donald.

We are stoics, here at the Diary. Yes, the people may vote in a monster (what choice do they have?). Yes, Trump may be a global disaster. But at least the voters will get what they deserve. And if it is Mr. Trump who gets the crown, we have no real reason to think he will be a more benighted and misbegotten ruler than any of the others.

… government has become a much bigger business. As it added to its own wealth and power, smart people discovered how to use it to get wealth and power for themselves. Lobbyists, insiders, and the elite figured out how to get special treatment – privileges, favors, tax breaks, contracts, sinecures.

The Pentagon got weapons it didn’t even want. The corn states produced ethanol consumers didn’t want or need. And the Deep State – a permanent government of bureaucrats, think tanks, cronies, special interests, zombies, and politicians that nobody wants – made elections merely gestures of mass mythology.

We are supposed to believe our vote can change the course of an election… and that our candidate can change the course of history. Like most myths, it can’t be disproven. But the odds of it are extremely remote; rye whiskey will accumulate in rain barrels first. The Deep State decides important matters, not elections.
----------------

optimax

Yeah, right! I didn't thin I had to spell it out--Humor.

Jack Nix

Mr. Sale,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Donald Trump. I read an earlier article you wrote, and have been waiting for the follow up.

I agree with what you say, but at the same time am pleased with the pox he has placed on the house of the Republicans. They have always been stirring the pot for more and more military interventions, turning our media outlets into their own personal Pravdas.

You, Col. Lang, and the other contributors to this site provide a much needed counter weight.

Thanks again,
Jack

Jackrabbit

Feels like scapegoating, Mr. Sale.

You give a free pass to those who pushed Democracy off the ledge by blaming the long-dead hi-rise architects (only after questioning and releasing the workmen that built the hi-rise).

kao_hsien_chih

LeaNder,

I think the problem is mainly that Obama turned out to be a package deal that mixed less than ideal even if better than status quo health care reform with a lot of continuation of what we'd been terming Borgist policy. If you recall, many folks here were actually favorably disposed to a more radical reform of the health care system: even a single payer health care reform was generally viewed favorably by many SST particpants, including the colonel, if I recall correctly. Instead, we wound up with a bloated, complicated, and very expensive program that enormously profits the insurance and pharmaceutical industry at the taxpayer expense. Just a barely minimal improvement.

On every other front, we got a lot of hectoring, pompous posturing, condescending and patronizing attitude, and hardly any real change. No, Obama did not start World War 3 over Syria or Ukraine, the way some other lunatics wanted to, for which we should be grateful. But I don't know if we should be thrilled over a slightly less crazed person when all other alternatives are completely nuts. On the domestic front, the economic situation is not getting any better for most of the 99%, even as the top 1% seems to be doing fairly well. People may be getting jobs again, but at a considerably lower pay and vastly less security. Not really the hope and change that were offered, and we are being told the only reason we are not thrilled is because we are white and Obama's black (note: I am not white, but someone actually told me that to my face seemingly obliviously. I was quite amused, to say the least.)

The great thing about Trump is that he is the only person who is openly recognizing all these problems. He has no solutions beyond what I think are crazy publicity stunts (the wall, the torture, the talk about "good trade deals") but you can't get real solutions unless you recognize the problems in the first place. With Trump or Sanders, one can hope that they might actually do something real since they at least talk about the problems in the open. But actually electing them as leaders will be a big giant gamble, especially given their associates. Personally, I have no idea what to think: crazies who refuse to acknowledge that there are serious problems to begin with, or those who recognize the problems but seem a bit detached from sanity themselves.

Stephanie

A poorly educated mind is not necessarily a commonplace one, although the two did combine disastrously in George W. Bush, he of the “gentleman’s C.” People aspire to be like Trump. He’s not giving them leave to be ordinary, he’s telling them the elites are screwing them, which just happens to be true. They like him because he’s not under the elites’control, which is also true. Populism has its good and bad aspects. In the Trump phenomenon both are on display.

The sight of Oven Mitt trying to beat back the barbarians at the gate was amusing, but the depressing fact is that none of the other GOP nominees, even the relatively sane Kasich, has ideas about foreign policy that are any better than Trump’s and, in the case of Marco “Bombs Away” Rubio and Ted the carpet bomb man, are notably worse.

If the Republican frontrunner were anyone not named Trump, the nomination would be deemed to be sewn up. Yet the party establishment is trying to prop up the empty suit Rubio on the basis of a win in Minnesota and a possible win in his home state. Fox News was blatant in its bias against one candidate, Trump, in last night’s “debate,” openly attacking him and letting the other candidates do so. It's okay to do this now?

I should note that I think Trump in the White House is an appalling notion. But I have no more taste for the “elites” who are now massing their forces, and checkbooks, to take him down and, in effect, steal the nomination.

Walrus

The proximate cause of the rise of Trump is that "the Elites" have failed to govern in the interests of the average American for some considerable time and said average Americans have discovered this fact. Trump merely channels their anger.

The elites perceive Trump to be a threat to thier continued domination of Government and will do anything and everything to remove the threat he poses. Mr. Sales excellent essay observes, I think, that we are fast approaching an inflexion point, at least in American history, where the Hoi Poloi are no longer willing to continue to endure the discomfort they are being subjected to.

It remains to be seen whether Trump, once elected, will fold into a "biddable" clone of the other recent Presidents Clinton, Bush1, Bush2 and of course Obama or whether he will be a successful reformer. Hilary Clinton is, of course, a non issue in this campaign. If she wins, it represents a triumph of gender and other single issue politics over common sense, nothing more, and the American misery will continue to deepen.

The heart of the matter for Trump is to break the campaign finance model that continues to allow the very rich ( and even the governments of foreign countries) to dominate American politics. I don't find it ironic at all that such action would be attempted by a billionaire member of the elite because empires are quite resistant to external challenges, instead they hollow out from within.

Haralambos

I came upon this piece several days ago. It is dated from Sept. That said, I found it prescient: http://tinyurl.com/neerq7q

It is Frank Rich. I used to read the NYTimes for his columns more than anything else. The article is very long, but it is well worth the time it takes. This Rich's earliest example of an American character that might serve as the prototype: "What has made him [Trump] more entertaining than his peers is not his superficial similarities to any historical analogues or his shopworn celebrity. His passport to political stardom has been his uncanny resemblance to a provocative fictional comic archetype that has been an invigorating staple of American movies since Vietnam and Watergate ushered in wholesale disillusionment with Washington four decades ago. That character is a direct descendant of Twain’s 19th-century confidence men: the unhinged charlatan who decides to blow up the system by running for office — often the presidency — on a platform of outrageous pronouncements and boorish behavior. Trump has taken that role, the antithesis of the idealist politicians enshrined by Frank Capra and Aaron Sorkin, and run with it. He bestrides our current political landscape like the reincarnation not of Joe McCarthy (that would be Ted Cruz) but of Jay Billington Bulworth."

annamaria

The article is authored by Jim Talent, an alleged Christian and pro-lifer. Mr. Talent is a "senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the director of the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies’ National Security 2020 Project. As the leader of a team of AEI defense experts, Talent is working on the formulation and promulgation of a new paradigm for defense policy, planning, and budgeting." Mr. Talent has never served in the military, but for the American Enterprise Institute, competence and professionalism in certain matters are a big No-No. (Therefore the elevation of the opportunist). Mr. Talent used to run a big D.C. lobbying firm that "represents major corporations, like the coal industry." We can be assured that Mr. Talent' alleged pro-life stance would never ever affect his cordial relationships with the corporate US polluters guilty of poisoning people of all ages including children and pregnant women. http://earthjustice.org/blog/2015-march/reining-in-the-coal-industry-s-assault-on-public-halth

SmoothieX12

Yes, I am aware of that and it was precisely my point. In the country in which some school districts reject Mark Twain as politically incorrect, even Federalist Papers or, for that matter, Constitution may become at some point offensive.

no one

Mr. Sale, was Jefferson a vulgarian too? He played the same games as Trump.
"Jefferson hired a writer to pen insults rather than dirty his own hands (at least at first). One of his most creative lines said that Adams was a "hideous hermaphroditical character which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman." Adams' Federalists carried things even further, asking voters, "Are you prepared to see your dwellings in flames... female chastity violated... children writhing on the pike?"

JMH

Mr Sale,

Bottom line, HRC is a tool of neo-liberal corporate oligarchy and a war monger. Trump is neither of those things.

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