Tuesday 19th of January 2021

escalating wingnuttery .....

escalating wingnuttery .....

That was yesterday.

Today, Putin seeks to regain the influence Russia lost in previous years. He is skilfully playing the anti-America card across Europe while putting pressure on the Baltic states, a clear warning not to extend Nato any further.

In Ukraine, political forces resisting closer strategic links to the west have gained ground. And the Kremlin is aggressively portraying the planned establishment of a modest US missile defence installation in Poland and the Czech Republic as a threat to Russia's vital security interests.

A Weak America Is A Weakened Europe

Escalating wingnuttery on display in US presidential race

Jeff Sparrow writes:

"On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts' desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

The happy moment H.L. Mencken predicted duly arrived with the 43rd President, a man who might be described, Texan-style, as "all hat, no cattle" - except that such folksiness fails to capture his almost sociopathic vacancy.

The good news from the US Presidential campaign is that George Bush's replacement will almost certainly be cleverer. The bad news is that he (or, indeed, she) promises to be equally murderous.

Consider Barack Obama's recent attempt to bolster his foreign policy credentials with the promise of a preemptive strike on Pakistan. "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets," he said, "and President Musharraf won't act, we will."

Such a violation of national sovereignty would, of course, constitute a declaration of war or, if you prefer, an act of terrorism. Imagine, for instance, the reaction should another country decided to "take out" (as they say in the trade) real or imagined enemies on American soil.

Yet, in slapping down her rival, Senator Clinton did not denounce him for threatening an egregious violation of international law. No, for Clinton, the problem lay with Obama's sissified reluctance to commit to the use of nuclear weapons against Afghan or Pakistani terrorists.

The Republicans followed her lead.

John McCain (a man famously filmed singing "Bomb Iran" to the tune of a Beach Boys' song) described as "naïve" any opposition to nuking two putative American allies, while Republican long-shot Tom Tancredo explained that for him it was not sufficient to irradiate the Islamofascists in Afghanistan and Pakistan with the Bomb. No sirree! Why, the only truly presidential option was to threaten the Islamic holy sites with nukes as well!

This extraordinary exchange was not the only outbreak of escalating wingnuttery in the campaign so far. In the televised debate between the Republican aspirants, the interviewer Brit Hume posed a hypothetical in which a terrorist with information about an imminent attack was captured. Would the candidates be willing to use what he delicately described as "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques"?

Would they? Would they what! The Republicans fell over each other in their enthusiasm to get medieval.

"Every method they could think of," said Rudy Giuliani.

"I'm looking for Jack Bauer at that time, let me tell you," agreed Tom "Nuke Mecca" Tancredo.

Confronted by such equanimity, Mitt Romney, one of the campaign forerunners, took the logical step: he supersized.

"Some people have said we ought to close Guantanamo," he explained. "My view is, we ought to double Guantanamo."

Vote for me, I'll torture. Vote for me, I'll drop the Bomb. Such is Election 2008.

Obama's Tough Talk

Putinage...

Shirtless Putin Gets Tongues Wagging
By Mike Eckel
The Associated Press

When he flexes Russia's diplomatic and military muscle, President Vladimir Putin always makes headlines.

But few could have predicted the squall of gossip and speculation that would follow after Putin stripped off his shirt for the cameras while on vacation with Prince Albert II of Monaco in the Siberian mountains last week.

The resulting images of the presidential abs, prominently enshrined on the presidential web site, inspired admiration, criticism and some racing pulses among his admirers.

The local media still can't get enough.

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Gus: good on him... see cartoon above...