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27 April 2016

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LondonBob

Couple of thoughts.

Trump believes, almost, every word he says, people respond to the authenticity.
Shame it has the, perhaps inevitable, Iran and Israel bit. Noticed the son in law was there.
Should have got Pat Buchanan to write it, would have cleaned it up.
I think Trump will beat Clinton in a landslide.

Dubhaltach

And while all that was going on Cruz selected the woman who took two of the most successful US information technology companies and turned them into a financial and technological wasteland. Lots of material out there for people not familiar with the story this report http://tinyurl.com/nfp5hb9 is the tip of a very large iceberg.


In all seriousness is there a race on as to see who can do most damage to what's left of US manufacturing?

505thPIR

He should stick to a beginners level game of RISK. Better yet, checkers. No specifics on his part, just strong "feelings" and speaking as though waving his wand will compel or in his terms "make" the other kids play according to his rules. What happens when his bluffs are called. Who is going to fight his wars? Well, it seems he will have Israel's back not matter what. His speech gave much cause for celebration in Moscow and Tel Aviv.

The Beaver

Colonel

Surprisingly one of his advisers didn't sign this letter :
https://www.coons.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/senators-coons-graham-lead-bipartisan-letter-to-urge-administration-to-quickly-renew-strengthen-security-mou-with-israel

“In light of Israel’s dramatically rising defense challenges, we stand ready to support a substantially enhanced new long-term agreement to help provide Israel the resources it requires to defend itself and preserve its qualitative military edge.”

those who didn't sign it are:

Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Tom Carper (D-DE)

Bob Corker (R-TN)

Al Franken (D-MN)

Tim Kaine (D-VA)

Angus King (I-ME)

Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

Chris Murphy (D-CT)

Rand Paul (R-KY)

Jack Reed (D-RI)

Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

Jon Tester (D-MT)

Tom Udall (D-NM)

Norbert M Salamon

As an outsider to the USA, I believe that Mr. Trump had voiced a political manifesto in line with the aims to make America great again!.

However, there are factual discrepancies, which make the plan rather unbelievable and unachievable. With respect to the Iran accord, the US is in fact negating the undertaking of the financial aspects .

His notion of increasing military spending by the allies is a wet dream, for most allies have major financial problems, as is the USA - there is no money for more military spending. Furthermore, were Mr. Trump's promise to work with China and Russia, a large part of the military spending requisite is moot.
Israel might be a darling of the Republicans [and some democrats] but she is not a democracy - therefore she must be disciplined, not further spoon fed by money, arms and political cover - contrary to Mr. Trump's position.

While Mr. Obama had made many mistakes in the past years, there was no transgression by Syria on his red line, contrary to Mr. Trump's stated position. Nor did Iran transgress against the accord with respect to nuclear issues, in fact Iran has fulfilled all the requirements.
Mr. Trump is correct in his plan for ISIS, it will take more than military measures to negate this horrendous group's viability.
I found his lack of mentioning of the tax-dogging and US banks' predatory behavior [and lack of acceptable accounting milieus] rather disappointing.
It is possible if the hidden wealth [in various tax havens, in and out of US] is put to use within the US, that the economy might be revived to a slow growth - but this has a correlative dependence on the limits of natural products' availability at an affordable price [where low grade ore, low grade fossil fuel and low grade farm land put limits to growth]. It should be recalled that the per capita energy amount has started to decline a few years ago, with ne positive change foreseeable in the near future.

Matthew

Lots to like, but one major contradiction. You can't be America First, and then talk about sticking with "friends" when those friends (Saudi Arabia and Israel) are sabotaging our policies. Trump needs to address Israel's and Saudi Arabia's behavior toward us.

And if requiring NATO countries to fulfill their financial and military commitments is controversial, then NATO is not a defensive alliance, but merely a auxiliary UN.

Chris Chuba

Either the Neocon weeds are slowly reclaiming the garden or he is shrewdly navigating the waters (I can always hope).

The Bad, Trump is ...
1. Promoting the myth of Iranian non-compliance with the agreement, along with Iranian hegemony.
2. Trotting out some neocon classics, a variation of 'never have our friends been so afraid and our enemies been so emboldened', 'the world is safer when ...'.
3. The Cruz/Rubio obsession over the size rather than quality and mission of the military.
4. More bad but these were the highlights for me, at least he managed not to talk about torture for once.

The good...
1. The vacuums in the M.E. were caused by the destruction of local govts, not the absence of the U.S. (but there was a disturbing reference to the Syrian line in the sand).

2. He will actively seek a working relationship with Russia/China and recognizes that our conflict with China is primarily economic and not military nature (he wins the doll for that revelation, I wish other politicians would see this rather obvious point). He oscillated between 'common interest' and 'position of strength' and 'walking away' but overall more reasonable than HRC.

3. A more national interest rather than 'saving the world' tone. I got the sense that he was trying to split the difference by adopting some familiar Neocon lingo. I hope this is not the start of his assimilation into the Borg collective.

Overall, I still prefer him over that evil, harpy he is going to run against in November (burning building analogy).

Daniel Nicolas

Although many of the ideas are not unique to here. perhaps Trump and his advisors are reading SST regularly.

As an American strongly against the Globalist Borg, what's not to like?

Walrus

Quite a good foreign policy job I thought. There were sops to Israel and the military industrial complex - "Iran" and "Rebuilding the Military" references. However the guts of the speech seem to put a stake through the heart of the "Responsibility to protect" crowd as well as making the cogent observation that NATO members have been free riding for years judging by their defence budget share of GDP. I fail to see the relevance of a Two percent target though, that is a bit high.

I am not sure how far Trump can go in winding back "Globalism" without dealing the American economy another self inflicted wound. Basically, the problem is successive American administrations have made no allowance for any arrangements for the American workforce to transition to a post industrial economy. Market forces doesn't do that. Trade wars with China will bring back jobs on shore, but will also saddle the rest of the American economy with higher costs. Protectionism never works.

Perhaps Trump can alter industry behaviour by loading onto them the social costs of jettisoning their American workforce? I'd like to see that.

Do I hear sabre rattling? I hope not.

steve

Why on earth Cruz picked her with the California primary coming up is beyond me. She has to be one of the most despised women in the state.

steve

While this isn't specifically relative to Trump's speech today, I don't think he believes for a minute that he will build a wall that Mexico will pay for, nor do I think his supporters believe it.

I attribute that to support for audacity more than authenticity.

Babak Makkinejad

DEC was destroyed by the limited vision of its founder, Olson. There was a time that with the right pricing, DEC would have been what PC is today - or at the very least MAC.

Comapq bought what was left of DEC after Olson's ouster - and HP gobbled up Compaq and spun-off the soul of HP - its instrumentation division.

This is the same story in US; a fire-in-the-belly founder (or founders) create a successful company, they grow it and then they are either ousted (by the greedy) or retire.

Next comes the Administrators that preside over the slow process of decay and leave with their tens of millions of dollars in retirement or severance packages.

The board, the timid grey man with no original though or imagination (otherwise they would not be there in the first place) bring in the Marketer who is going to propagandize the company out of its decline.

When that fails, they bring in the Bean Counter to cut the workforce and make the company look as though it is profitable to sell it to some other sucker.

The new Owner, then proceeds to sell off what he can and what makes some sense to keep.

This is basically the same process that Ibn Khaldun described in connection with North African dynasties.

First Generation prepares for the conquest
Second generation win the prize
Third generation presides over decline
Fourth generation loses the city to the rival tribe.

LeaNder

If I may leave my usual sweet nothings?

I felt lulled into a trance at the start and in the end. Vague enough to associate for everyone in and outside the establishment whatever he likes, I guess. Make America great again! Almost caught me, partly. It seems to have an overall strategy to please everyone, never mind internal contractions. Except maybe the wrong Iranians may be pleased, which may not please other parties to the deal either.

Struggling, with best-friends, friends, allies and rivals or enemies on the the top issue. No doubt some acceptable talking point strewn in.

The cold war has ended but once again a century of peace can best be guaranteed by getting new tools for those many itching fingers on the red buttons?

"Secondly, we have to rebuild our military and our economy.

The Russians and Chinese have rapidly expanded their military capability, but look what’s happened to us!

Our nuclear weapons arsenal – our ultimate deterrent – has been allowed to atrophy and is desperately in need of modernization and renewal.

Our active duty armed forces have shrunk from 2 million in 1991 to about 1.3 million today.

The Navy has shrunk from over 500 ships to 272 ships during that time.

The Air Force is about 1/3 smaller than 1991. Pilots are flying B-52s in combat missions today which are older than most people in this room.

And what are we doing about this? President Obama has proposed a 2017 defense budget that, in real dollars, cuts nearly 25% from what we were spending in 2011.

Our military is depleted, and we’re asking our generals and military leaders to worry about global warming."

***********************
I suppose if I were American, I would join the camp of non-voters. Ap­rès moi le dé­luge!

Apart from that, I do not begrudge Americans the chance to see Air Force once again respected as it should be.

Fred

"It all began with the dangerous idea that we could make Western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interest in becoming a Western Democracy." .... "

Looks like he reads SST. The Borg will go ballistic.

I thought I heard some howling from the local university campus, now I know why:

"Instead of trying to spread “universal values” that not everyone shares, we should understand that strengthening and promoting Western civilization and its accomplishments will do more to inspire positive reforms around the world..."

Farooq

Very well put!

Tyler

Trump has rustled all the right feathers. More thoughts later.

Castellio

Off topic, or topic skewed. Someone was asking about Christian Palestinians. In this Mondoweiss article, young Christians are apparently supporting Hamas. Not surprising if you follow the situation.

http://mondoweiss.net/2016/04/hamas-wins-major-student-elections-in-the-west-bank-for-second-year-running/

Tidewater

Tidewater to All,

"President Obama gutted our missile defense program, then abandoned our missile defense plan with Poland and the Czech Republic."

That seems to me to be a neocon remark. Trump seems not to understand historic Russian sensitivities about their frontiers, which have been famously talked about recently, including here. The warning time issue is basic 101. It goes all the way back to the Jupiter missiles, which the US secretly removed (secretly, to save face) from Turkey to resolve the Cuban missile crisis. Missiles in Poland of any sort raise the threat level. Trump should never have said that. There was no need to say that. This seems to me to be one of those little signs that Trump is a hard-core New York Zionist and a neocon at heart. He's never much thought about it. He's the Manchurian candidate who hasn't yet heard his cue.

If Trump thinks he can negotiate with Putin about putting missiles of any type in Poland and Eastern Europe, which would include a substantial number of troops to man, support,and protect them, it would seem to me that he would not need to walk away from a negotiating table; he would never get to the table.

If the US and Poland go ahead with positioning troops and missiles that close to Russia, it would lead to an extreme worsening of the relations between Russia and NATO. I don't think the Europeans could take that. They are in a state of shock right now, as is. If what comes out of a Trump failed "art of the deal"meeting is inevitably exacerbated tensions, it might just be the Europeans who finally begin to take charge of their own destiny and renegotiate their security arrangements with Russia. They are the ones who will begin the shrinkage of NATO. And it will be against American demands. Trump looks to me like the proverbial bull in the china shop.

The Europeans must be spending billions on the new immigration crisis; the defense of the southern frontiers; and for extremely intensified internal security. Whether they want to continue the NATO economic aggression against Russia or not, where is the money going to come from?

Climate change seems to be something that is just too damn much to talk about.
I am afraid that if what is happening now in the Arctic continues as it has been going these last few years, month after month, season after season -- like a black line crawling up your leg--there is a great deal that one might think matters today that is not really going to matter at all.

Four more years of this, steady as she goes, and we will be dealing with only one thing, The Emergency.

Tyler

Some of the people here want to like Trump what is saying but damned if it ain't killing them internally to have to admit it so we get this half ass soft pedaling.

Tyler

steve,

This is the denial/bargaining phase of grief. There's going to be a wall. Accept it.

Tyler

Chris,

The amount of neocon screeching from Trump's speech can be heard in Alexandria, VA at this point I'm sure.

Man is carefully hedging his bets but its pretty obvious the last 16 years of neocon R2P is done.

Tyler

Walrus,

"Protectionism never works."

Yeah, which is why China is in economic shambles right now.

Tpinlb

Neocon R2P is not done, it will just be realized by Hillary Clinton instead of by the republicans. I expect more and more neocons will be announcing their support of Mrs. Clinton

steve

I'm hardly grieving over whether a wall is built or not or whether Mexico pays for it or doesn't. I couldn't care less.

I don't think Trump's wall is any more an expression of authenticity than Hillary's statement that she is now opposed to the TPP. However, I do appreciate his rhetorical audacity, as I said.

BraveNewWorld

Does any one here think that if Trump wins he gets any where near the latitude he predecessors have had if his wars of choice go bad?

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