Tuesday 15th of October 2019

he “became president of the united states last night.”...

 

last night...

It is no secret that Democratic Party leaders and their ideological allies in the media loathe Donald Trump, some even stating explicitly that he is “unfit” to be president.  Allegations include that he is a racist who excuses the behavior of white nationalists, that he harbors dictatorial impulses, and that he and his campaign organization collaborated with the Russian government to steal the 2016 presidential election. Progressives have almost nothing good to say about the man or his policies—with one very big exception. When he embraces the kind of military interventions that typified previous administrations, even outspoken figures on the left tend to mute their hostility and praise Trump for being “presidential.” That belligerent foreign-policy initiatives are the one thing that warms liberal hearts says volumes about the sorry state of the current political left regarding issues of war and peace.

Progressives were especially enthusiastic about two Trump administration actions: the cruise-missile strikes against Syria in response to the Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons, and the president’s decision to continue and intensify the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan. Some of the compliments admittedly had a backhanded quality about them. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof stated that “President Trump’s attack on Syria was of “dubious legality,” as well as being both “hypocritical” and “impulsive.” Nevertheless, he concluded that Trump “was right” to order the strikes. Former Representative Jane Harman (D-Calif.)admonished her fellow liberals: “We have to depersonalize this. Some people don’t like Trump, so they’re upset that he did this.” But “if a policy is right, congratulate those who are carrying it out.”

Others were less restrained in their support of Trump’s hawkishness. John Kerry stated that he was “absolutely supportive” of the Syria raid. Daily Beast columnist Matt Lewis nearly gushed with enthusiasm following that coercive action. “This seemed like a very different Donald Trump. More serious—and clearly moved emotionally.” Fareed Zakaria, the host of CNN’s program “Global Public Square,”concluded that “President Trump recognized that the President of the United States does have to act to enforce international norms, does have to have this broader moral and political purpose….I think there has been an interesting morphing and education of Donald Trump.”  Indeed, he “became President of the United States last night.

read more:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/liberals-love-trump-when...

 

when the twit tweets...

North Korea’s bombastic threats are jangling nerves in both the United States and in Asia, with many analysts worried that the war of words between President Trump and Kim Jong Un will turn into an actual war — and possibly a nuclear one. 

Both leaders are trying to outdo each other in the insult department, from “rocket man” and “dotard” to “little rocket man” and “the ringleader of aggressors.”

Although the threats are colorful — on both sides — experts on North Korea say they are in keeping with North Korea’s history of bluster and do not signal a significant change in North Korea’s thinking. 

“I’m not concerned. North Korea likes colorful rhetoric and they always have,” said Tatiana Gabroussenko, a specialist on North Korean propaganda who teaches at Korea University in Seoul. “The problem now is Mr. Trump. He reacts, he answers, he tweets, so he’s making it visible.”

read more:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/north-koreas-rhetoric-...

peace annoys the warriors...

 

From Chris Floyd

 

It’s funny  to watch the Establishment freak-out about Trump's meeting with Kim (which might never actually take place, of course). For months, they've been saying we're on the edge of apocalypse; but when something happens that might move us back a few inches, they go nuts. 

I’m also enjoying the earnest, savvy analyses of Trump's decision, as if it were part of some considered strategy (either wise or foolish) which will result in some kind of predictable consequences (either good or bad), instead of a momentary impulse with no plan behind it.

Equally amusing is the the universal assumption that Trump will actually go through with the meeting, instead of finding some equally dramatic way of calling it off on one pretext or another. Especially after the bipartisan militarist heavyweights are through working on him.

Because it's all just a reality TV show to him. He doesn't care what actually happens one way or another — peace? war? — as long as he's the star of the show. If he feels he needs to goose his ratings to "win" the news on any given day, he'll cancel the meeting, get big headlines.

But in any case, isn’t it better to be talking, or at least talking about talking, instead of mongering and provoking war at every turn? The worst that can happen is that the talks won’t change anything and we’ll go back to the status quo. But shouldn’t we employ the incrementalism so beloved by our savvy centrists in this case, and say, “Even the smallest step — even by the most unworthy vessels, for even the briefest duration —  away from mass destruction is a welcome development”? 

 

Read more:

http://www.chris-floyd.com/mobile/articles/unbrinkmanship-even-dubious-c...

 

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they prefer him to bomb sumpthin'...

Few other foreign policy decisions of this administration have sparked more criticism than Donald Trump’s announcement that he will remove U.S. troops from Syria. Even as he declared last night during his State of the Union address that “as a candidate for president, I loudly pledged a new approach…. Great nations do not fight endless wars,” he drew a tepid response from Congress. The planned applause line fell discernibly flat.

Perhaps that’s not a surprise, given that the withdrawal has been condemned by leaders from across the political spectrum—including from Trump’s own party. South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham called keeping troops in Syria “vital to our national security interests.” Senator Marco Rubio described the decision as “a major blunder.” Nebraskan Ben Sasse said that Iran, ISIS, and Hezbollah were “high-fiving” the move. Finally, last Thursday, Republican leader Mitch McConnell orchestrated a resolution condemning the withdrawal—which passed the Senate in a lopsided vote.

Graham, Rubio, Sasse, and McConnell have been joined in their condemnation by a host of establishment heavyweights. Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, called the withdrawal “a bad idea” that constituted a “strategic defeat” for the U.S. Neocon penitent and Washington Post columnist Max Boot said the decision was a betrayal of America’s Kurdish allies—comparing it to America’s serial betrayals of “the South Vietnamese in the 1970s, the Afghans in the 1990s, and the Iraqis after 2011.” A bevy of retired military types joined the chorus, including MSNBC regular General Barry McCaffrey and former Army vice chief of staff Jack Keane, not to mention former Marine General James Mattis, who announced his resignation as secretary of defense following the announcement. 

Indeed, the reaction to Trump’s decision was so overwhelmingly negative that Washington pundits speculated that it was only a matter of time before Trump “walked back” the decision by slowing the withdrawal—a deferential nod, it was said, to wiser and more seasoned foreign policy veterans. In fact, that not only hasn’t happened, the president has dug in his heels, issuing eyeball-to-eyeball orders to military commanders that are anything but ambiguous.

The first such order, according to a senior officer of the U.S. Central Command, which oversees American military operations in the Middle East, came during Trump’s surprise Christmas visit to the al-Asad Airbase in Iraq. There the president (and First Lady Melania Trump) not only joined U.S. soldiers in a high-profile meet-and-greet, but, along with national security adviser John Bolton, huddled with the U.S. high command in a tent set aside for the meeting. Among the team that met with Trump was U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman and Lieutenant General Paul LaCamera. Of the two, LaCamera was the more important, as he is the commander of the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), the military organization established in October 2014 to “degrade and defeat” ISIS.

After an extended question and answer session with the press on December 26, Trump was privately briefed on the anti-ISIS effort by LaCamera, who told the president that only a few pockets of ISIS militants remained in Syria’s Euphrates Valley. Trump praised the effort, I was told, but then issued his order. “I want us out of Syria,” the Centcom officer with whom I spoke quoted Trump as saying. “There wasn’t anything ambiguous about it,” the Centcom senior officer added. “There were no qualifiers, no conditionals, and so far as I know, nothing about that conversation has changed.” Put another way, while any number of civilian Pentagon officials speculate that the military has been given leeway in implementing the president’s directive, that is not the understanding among senior Centcom officers. “Nothing has changed since that meeting,” I was told. “We’re out.” 

Trump’s decision provides a window into what actually constitutes a direct order from a president and how it is implemented—while also separating fact from noise. On December 30, four days after his visit to Iraq, Senator Lindsay Graham told reporters that he would try to persuade Trump to rethink his decision, to “sit down with his generals and reconsider how to do this.” His goal, Graham said, was to “slow this down. Make sure we get it right.” Graham’s effort came the next day, during a lunch meeting with Trump and General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the White House. Graham emerged from the meetingreassured, hinting that his efforts had been successful. “After discussions with the president and Dunford, I never felt better about where we are headed,” he said triumphantly. “I think we’re slowing things down in a smart way.”

Triumphant or not, Graham had not, in fact, persuaded Trump of anything, outside of an agreement that the Syria withdrawal would not be immediate but could take at least 90 days to implement. But that was already in the cards—as it takes at least 90 days to withdraw 2,200 troops from anywhere. “You don’t just back up a truck and throw in some boxes,” retired Colonel Kevin Benson says. “It’s a huge job.”

Read more:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/trumps-eyeball-to-eyeba...

“You don’t just back up a truck and throw in some boxes,” retired Colonel Kevin Benson says. “It’s a huge job.”???? It's a HUGE JOB TO TAKE THE FUCKING SOLDIERS THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE.... From now please don't take them anywhere... Thank you.

 

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