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20 September 2017


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What I find especially comic is how the die-hard Trump supporters whoop it up every time he flip flops or folds.

Either that or they make excuses for the man, the way Obama supporters used to.

Publius Tacitus

You are letting your own dislike of Trump cloud your ability to make a cogent comment. My article says nothing about Trump supporters "whooping" it up over his flip flops, etc. I would simply note that the anti-trumpets are equally delusional and crazy. Just focus on the substance of what I've written and comment in that vein pleas.

Sam Peralta


I am not certain Trump's base is applauding the belligerence in his UN speech. Steve Bannon who in many ways reflects the view of some part of his base was clear in his recent interview and public statements that there is no military option.

“There’s no military solution (to North Korea’s nuclear threats), forget it,” Bannon says. “Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.”


IMO, the only people applauding are the Borg. The warmongers on both the left and right. The establishment of both parties. The very people who went all out to defeat Trump in the last election.

Some of us voted for Trump precisely because we believed that he would provide at least a small probability relative to the Borg Queen in putting some brakes on US interventions overseas and focus on rebuilding at home. It seems that with Bannon out he is now firmly in the grasp of the generals. Let's hope they are not the General Lyman Lemnitzer of our time.

I think there are many Americans like me who believe the US must respect the sovereignty of other nations and that we have no business interfering in others affairs. Our focus and the use of all our strategic powers should be to further our national interests and the standard of living of our citizens. We neither have the ability or know how to be hegemon like the British did in the 18th century.



"There is no acceptable military option in North Korea."

If anyone has paid even cursory attention to the effects of Hurricane Irma in Florida where there was ample warning and a multi-day evacuation they might just begin to understand what catastrophic loss of life would occur after the mushroom clouds settle; those being on top of the immediate deaths.


If Trump ducks out of the JCPOA, then it is just another example of our country doing the wrong thing. If he intervenes in Venezuela, it is also a mistake, as not only does it violate sovereignty but the issues there are more about oilgarchs being denied their accustomed privilege and awful mismanagement due to brother-in-law syndrome going nuts, for example. Maduro out will just mean a new one in, because the issue isn't just about left vs right. It is about the 'haves' vs the 'have-nots'.

In all of the three cases you speak of, in each instance any intervention, other than humanitarian, is a violation of sovereignty. In each case, the US is focusing on SOME OTHER COUNTRY, not on our own needs. In all cases, the outcome is at best problematic, if not failure (Syria) to meet objectives. In Syria, I question if there were even concrete objectives, as the cruise missile strike was complete BS from a tactical POV. These failed or problematic outcomes cost us billions of dollars that could be used for improved readiness at home, fixing things at home and a myriad of things other than military intervention in a foreign land.

All of these things are exactly opposite of trying to end things by "making a deal", Trumps supposed forte. None of these things MAGA, and thus we see Trump abrogating much of his campaign rhetoric, just as Obama did, Clinton did, Bush did, Bush Sr. did, etc. In short, America is content with electing the same old bunch of prevaricating obfuscators - they just choose to be lied to by either the red or blue team. Concurrently, the entire political ant mound is busy training the newbies in what they know best - lying, obfuscation and often fraud.

To expect anything other than what Trump Reading "The Art of the Deal" should be required to even engage in conjecture about this man. And no, I don't hate him - he is totally true to form. Similarly, congress is emulating the old Roman senate in its' waning decades.


From reports it wasn't a classic, but with Trump in particular it is a case of watching what he does rather than what he says, the opposite of Obama.



I think the problem is a bit more complex than just issues with Trump.

In addition to the potential problems due to Trump and his antics, there is the other problem that Koreans (North in this case) like to lure in outside forces to solve their own problems. United States is, whether we like it or not, a pawn in their blackmail scam, targeted at all their neighbors. In the medium to long run, the only "solution" to this problem is to get out, but how to get out of the morass gracefully (i.e. forestall whatever means NK might have to reel us back in) is the challenge.

As I see it, the reason NoKo is insisting on threatening us, not SoKo, Japan, or China, is because they see us as a big bait with which to fish the Chinese with (i.e. if they don't get whatever they demand from China, they will trigger a crisis with U.S. that will cost China dearly.) There is some logic behind U.S. threatening mayhem so that the Chinese might be frightened enough to do something to the Kim Jong Un regime that will keep the crisis from boiling over and give us enough room to extricate ourselves from East Asia. (This is a dangerous mixture, admittedly--both NoKo and US ratcheting up tension raises potential for mistakes, from one side or the other). Now, if you were to ask me if I can trust Trump enough to pull off a subtle trick like this successfully, I'd have to answer I can't. But I also don't see a good way to pull out of the situation without some seriously threatening gestures regardless of who is at the helm.


Publius Tacitus: You write that "Getting rid of Maduro should be done quietly with no U.S. fingerprints." How the heck does this not violate Venezuela's national sovereignty?


"There is some logic behind U.S. threatening mayhem so that the Chinese might be frightened enough to do something to the Kim Jong Un regime that will keep the crisis from boiling over and give us enough room to extricate ourselves from East Asia."
I was wondering why you thought the aim was to relieve pressure to aid withdrawal?

If the Chinese pressured NK into a nuclear weapon and missile development freeze I would expect a 'this is working so lets keep the pressure on and see what else we can get' reaction and more vigorous pushing. That would seem more in keeping with the MO elsewhere.


"While Trump's speech is resonating with his base", I would agree but for only the Rah Rah USA portion, the smart portion left along with Bannon. I see Trump as a builder with nothing to build now, I imagine the infrastructure of our country will look the same or worse 4 years from now. I voted for him based upon his promise to cut taxes which he still may be able to do. As for foreign policy, I think he's done well regards to Syria. In my small circle of acquaintances, his UN speech is just seen as "Trump being Trump" (they all voted for him mainly due to dislike of Clinton and the nothing 8 years of Obama).


@ kao_tsien_chih

That's not really such a sticky mess, IF the US is willing to negotiate. NoKo wants us to stop military exercises offshore. That's both easy to do and far cheaper than the exercises. Do that, get them to the table and get a TREATY, not just an armistice. Let the SoKo's sort the rest out, with us looking on, as they are the guys right next door.

Do that, wait a bit, and then see how NoKo behaves. If we are the threat that keeps the NoKo's up at night, let's just back away and see what transpires next. There are no military options that do not involve massive casualties on the SoKo side, so the USA is in a lose-lose scenario. I think our foreign policy disasters these last few presidents have driven our enemies to unite against us, and another one such as a 'killshot' option for NoKo would be a terrible and murderous policy move as viewed by the rest of the world.

Not really all that difficult, except that one has to admit that the current policies are not working. NoKo intentions are laid bare if the USA doesn't react to verbal provocations. USA intentions are laid bare if they cannot abide by their agreement.


Publius Tacitus

Is it possible this is all just playing to the gallery? The Borg.

It would seem that abrogating the Iran nuclear deal will be an unmistakable signal to Rocket Man Kim that any deal with the US will not be worth the paper it is written on.


I understand your point. I believe that Trump was probably expressing the feelings about North Korea, Iran, and Venezuela that many many people have. But just as in your situation with Anna, it probably would have been better not to express those thoughts. Nasty people just get nastier when they are told they are nasty. Instead, most of us are just holding our breath and wishing for some divine intervention by a just God.

But, I have to admit, that clip from Billy Jack did have bee hoping that was our plan--to send someone in there to do a real kick in the face to that fat, spoiled, malignant narcissistic child who somehow ended up ruling that country.

And, for the life of me I can't understand why it's so impossible for popular uprisings to occur in places like Iran and Venezuela. Are there really that many nasty people who like supporting leaders who are just plain mean?

I have no answers. I just continue to pray "thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven."

Publius Tacitus

When a country like Venezuela descends into this kind of chaos I have no problem with "violating" their sovereignty. But there is a right way to do it. Work with other countries on Venezuela's borders (e.g., Colombia, Brazil, etc) and push ahead with a plan to support credible opposition elements.

iowa steve

Pundits in the msm have used the line that, "the overblown rhetoric aside, Trump's stated goals and general principles aren't markedly different from standard US policy". For that, they praise him. On the other hand, I consider that the most damning thing about the speech--nothing but more neo-connish exceptionalism.



I disagree with you that Trump "spoke from the gut without thinking through the consequences." I see it more as a carefully calibrated political speech. Basically, I even saw two contradictionary speeches in one in this one.

The first part was quite fine, ie he did a good job lauding that the United Nations is all about that member states should be sovereign, their sovereignty shall be respected and they shall be working together based on mutual interest. That's a big advance in the right direction compared to the totalitarian nonsense what previous US governments said.

The second part was just the opposite when he singeled out many states where he wants regime change. It was a total contradiction to the first part. That may have sounded very familiar Borgish, but I think he did such a bad job at laying out the usual aggressive Borgish nonsense, that it likely more backfired than that it advanced Borgish policy.

So, as I think policy based on aggressive Borgish nonsense is not in the US interest, I think Trump's speech may have served the US interest well. What is important now is with which of these two concepts Trump follows through not only taking the talk, but walking the walk.

It carries a risk that Trump takes the wrong turn and foreign policy will destroy his Presidency, here I agree with you. But so far I still see chances that Trump will go the walk in the right direction as better than at other US Presidents in the past, at this point of their presidency.


DianaLC: look up the number of guns in private hands in Iran and Venezuela.

Babak Makkinejad

And I suppose US be the Boy Scouts?


Hmm, I think I've heard this song before.

Kelly H

"Sovereignty" means, in US foreign policy, the ability to kill tomorrow those folks we could kill yesterday. North Koreas nukes upset our goal of impunity.

Babak Makkinejad

So, when will US invade and clean up Mexico?
Or is she too big?


PT, corect me if I am wrong, what i understand is that you are not against regime change , you just don't like it to be so visible. or more simply like the persian proverb, you don't mind beheading, you just don't like it done with a sword, you just prefer "to cut the head off with cotton ball".


If i look that up, will I find out the political leaning of the people whose hands own those guns?


You are reflecting the same contradiction that characterizes Trump's speech. If we want other countries to respect our sovereignty, we darn well better respect theirs.


good question.

Well, the US will built a wall.

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