Last week, Politico and other "news" outlets reported that President Trump got into a brawl with his military advisers over the future of American involvement in Afghanistan.  To have read the coverage, one would have thought that the President had a mental meltdown and rejected the sage advise of his Secretary of Defense, National Security Adviser and other security aides.  However, in talking with a friend who was privy to that meeting, the President asked the kind of probative questions that citizens expect of their elected leader, when considering issues of war and peace.  As I heard it, Trump was unhappy with the options he was given, because they represented "more of the same" plans that have failed for the last 16 years.  "If any other President had that same discussion, he or she would have been praised for doing the right thing.  Because it was Trump, he was lambasted." 

Well, it becomes more and more obvious by the day that the Borg has decided that Trump is unacceptable–American voters aside.  There is now an overt merger of the neocons and the humanitarian interventionists.  Call it Barack Obama marries Dick Cheney.  That's what is happening.  The German Marshall Fund has founded a new project called the Alliance for Securing Democracy, which looks to be a replacement for the new defunct Foreign Policy Initiative, which in turn replaced the Bush-Cheney era Project for a New American Century.  The Alliance is co-chaired by Laura Rosenberger, who was a leading foreign policy adviser to Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign and Jamie Fly, who headed FPI before it went to ground recently.   The other members of the Alliance include David Kramer, former McCain Institute director, who shopped the Christopher Steele dossier on Trump's alleged Russian indiscretions to the FBI and the media, Bill Kristol, and Obama's ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul. 

One of the hubs of the "Trump as Russian Agent" meme is the George Soros-funded Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, which is also funded by the US Government, according to Robert Parry.  That Soros outfit was a prime source for hedge fund manager Bill Browder, who has been recently trotted out to testify in Congress on the Trump-Russia collusion

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  1. steve says:

    I think you overstate the Politico piece, and in the MSM the harshest thing i found was the linked NBC piece. There were also a number of pieces like the one at The Atlantic which suggested that Trump was correct in his assessments. I certainly didn’t se any lambasting and most of the criticism was in reference to his talking about firing Nicholson. I also seem to recall a lot of bad press directed towards Obama for “dithering” over Afghanistan. Trump, like Obama wants a way out of Afghanistan that does not have any political risks or costs. That just doesn’t exist.

  2. turcopolier says:

    I am not Harper. Do you not understand that?

  3. steve g says:

    In the meantime the “average Joe and Jane”
    citizen has pulled the plug on all this 60 cycle
    noise refusing to believe the counterintuitive
    or their own gut instincts.
    Youtube everyone. Snapchat. TMZ anyone!!

  4. Dr.Puck says:

    Let’s say for a moment that one is a modestly but not expertly informed citizen, and one who has been around the block, but also one who has no special experience such as working for the government, being a military man, or, well travelled.
    How is this person to intelligently judge reportage? And, do so with reports about reports–which is what we have here?
    I fully expect individuals to form interest groups. Interest groups that execute agendas need to be funded, and if Soros is on the side of your interests, his money is nicely green.
    As for the POTUS, I try to parse the trouble he makes for himself, the trouble others are making for him, and, the contextual assumptions that I happen to hold, such as my understanding that he is seriously mentally ill.
    Otherwise I note that he has filled his cabinet with plutocrats, Goldman-Sachs people and types, a few billionaires, and not placed a single person with any historical interest or track record in rebuilding the middle class. Nevertheless, I comprehend that there are many in the GOP who wholeheartedly endorse the magical hopes given by melding libertarianism and Reaganomics, so perhaps making the .01% richer will trickle down and help main street and rural economies and Youngstown. Stranger things have happened.
    So, the gist here is that his legitimacy is obvious but so are the interests gathering around the idea that his policies and agenda must be defeated. This reminds me of the last POTUS and what his opposition looked like, with the Koch Bro. and others playing the Soros (etc.) role.
    As for Afghanistan the credible reports seems to indicate that Trump was grappling along the lines Steve described. In 2002 one didn’t have to be highly informed to know that Afghanistan was/is the graveyard of empires.

  5. VietnamVet says:

    I agree. One way to describe the coup is “The Empire Strikes Back”. There is too much power to be gained by serving Globalists and spreading chaos. What has me baffled is the complete ineffectiveness of the White House. They should have pushed the leak investigations from day one and had a team ready to drop into the intelligence community political positions. Instead they are wrapped up in their crazy alt-right beliefs and prioritized resource extraction and deregulation which will accelerate the continued decline of the life expectancy of Americans.
    A faction of the Imperial Guard is trying to put Donald Trump back behind the curtain and stop him from riling up the plebes. The Trump family doesn’t realize what they got into. You’d think his military retirees, the oil men and all the Goldman Sachs alumnus would clue the President into what is really going on. Unless keeping their jobs depends on not knowing and explaining why the Empire is collapsing.

  6. b says:

    A few days ago the Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev wrote:
    The US establishment fully outwitted Trump; the President is not happy about the new sanctions, yet he could not but sign the bill. The issue of new sanctions came about, primarily, as another way to knock Trump down a peg. New steps are to come, and they will ultimately aim to remove him from power. A non-systemic player has to be removed.
    Meanwhile, the interests of the US business community are all but ignored, with politics chosen over a pragmatic approach. Anti-Russian hysteria has become a key part of both US foreign policy (which has occurred many times) and domestic policy (which is a novelty).

  7. MRW says:

    such as my understanding that he is seriously mentally ill.
    Which means 1/2 of America was as well for voting for him?

  8. Greco says:

    Thank you Harper for the insight and for connecting some not so obvious dots. I concur with your conclusions.
    I think the president is very vulnerable to removal and possibly trapped.
    Unless Trump has Mueller fired he will be indicted on something (whether it’s related to Russian collusion or not). And if he is indicted, calls for his impeachment will gain greater momentum. I can only imagine this would all take place before the midterm elections, possibly in the next couple of months.
    Assuming Trump were to beat them to the punch and tries to have Mueller fired, I think an attempted coup will be set in motion. Now for all I know, Trump and his trusted generals (Kelly, Mattis, and McMaster) are putting on a very sophisticated show. These generals (some or all) may just be pretending to go along with such a plan, but it’s hard to say.
    If it’s not for show, then the president has a noose around his neck and he has effectively been checkmated.

  9. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The freely elected and duly & legally seated representatives of the American people just committed the United States to another generational struggle against the Russian Federation. Where is the Rationality in that?

  10. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Medvdev is wrong, in my opinion. The sanctions against Russia cannot be repealed unless she is degeated; like the Soviet Union. It is beyond Trump.

  11. Jack says:

    It has baffled me too why Brennan and Clapper have not been made examples. Not that it would make a difference since the Borg have a deep bench who have fully infiltrated Congress, the media and positions of policy influence.

  12. Eric Newhill says:

    I guess Rosenberger, Kramer and Kristol, et al don’t comprehend that some of us know who they are, what they are all about and that the civil war won’t treat them kindly.

  13. turcopolier says:

    I believe I have been testifying to the nothingburger aspect of this as have PT and Harper among others. BUT, expect some other snip hunt to be attempted. pl

  14. Fred says:

    Dr. Puck,
    “not placed a single person with any historical interest or track record in rebuilding the middle class. ”
    Do you have a list of candidates?

  15. Dr.Puck says:

    Mental problems belong to individuals, not groups. That said, it is very hard to find a Nixon voter nowadays. Go figure…
    It is not impossible that a person challenged by serious mental health issues can be successful, or even lead a nation.
    I have asked Trump supporters what their amateur assessment is of POTUS Trump’s personality deficits. Their various answers do not suggest to me their own mental illness, but, rather, to use a casual term, “their having drunk the kool-aid.” I could characterize these assessments as reflecting the ‘group think’ idea that Trump’s psychopathology is, actually, the super genius mental maneuverings of a jedi master four dimensional chess player who will, given time, deconstruct and disempower the establishment elites, destroy collectivism, and bring back the American economy to 1955 to the fly over areas.
    (or something like that…)

  16. Dr.Puck says:

    Candidates that were considered but were not nominated? No.

  17. Mikee says:

    Ha Ha. I’m assuming you meant snipe hunt. Haven’t heard that in many years.
    Question to Field & Stream from 2009: “I was told to go out snipe hunting with a pillow case and make clucking sounds and they will run to you. what if a lot of snipes come running at you at once? How do you live through some thing like that?”

  18. b says:

    Medvedev never says that the sanctions can be repealed. He says the opposite.
    The sanctions regime has been codified and will remain in effect for decades unless a miracle happens.

  19. Old Microbiologist says:

    You make some points but the problem is whither else? The Clintonistas would continue the policies of Obama and Bush without any changes whatsoever. The over riding goal of American hegemony and making the plutocrats and the rich even richer is the same with either group. We rolled the dice because Clinton was just simply the worst possible candidate and even Trump beat her which says a lot about what is wrong with the Democratic Party. Maybe Trump has mental issues and one would question the sanity of anyone who would want to be the POTUS so I suppose it isn’t unexpected. Clinton is equally and probably more insane and is clearly a psychopath. Trump is the product of a wealthy upbringing and his surrounding himself with similar types isn’t unexpected. But expecting him to understand the plight of the bottom 30% was unrealistic. He is a billionaire and knows only what he sees from that perspective.
    The truth is slowly coming to light about the nefarious actions of the Democratic Party and massive election fraud. When I hear it coming from NPR this means it is so bad it can’t be hidden. If even the 30% number is right then Clinton really lost by a large margin and even cheating didn’t work. I have always said we badly need a national ID card like we have here in the EU. Then you can easily prove who you are and what your status is. This would very quickly clear up election fraud issues. It is a travesty that the leading nation of the free world hasn’t even got simple things like ID cards.

  20. LondonBob says:

    To be fair Trump did make clear the sanctions mechanism is unconstitutional and clearly laid the basis on which they can be challenged. Trump is right to pick his fights.
    Whilst some folks have mentioned Jackson-Vannick and the Magnitsky Act, in fact thing go far further back than that. Wiliam Howard Taft vehemently opposed, as did the State Department, Jewish attempts to get the Russo-American Treaty of 1832 abrogated. Taft lost the following election after Teddy Roosevelt ran as independent splitting the Republican vote and Woodrow Wilson duly won.
    A less hagiographic version from Henry Ford’s notorious Dearborn Independent.

  21. LondonBob says:

    I believe Rosenstein, for what it is worth, said on Sunday that Mueller would not be allowed to engage in a fishing expedition or stray from his mandate. Of course if he does he might not find anything anyway and he will have damaged the impeachment cause by doing so. Trump’s issue remains that he does not control his own party. 2018 will probably help and he continues to slowly gain control over the machinery of government. Time is on his side, just needs to be patient.

  22. pantaraxia says:

    It has also baffled me as to why Trump did not immediately have a special prosecutor appointed to investigate the Clinton cabal, thereby not only fulfilling a promise to his loyal base (lock her up) and being seen as seriously attempting to ‘drain the swamp’ but also simultaneously forcing the Democratic Party (and by extension the politicized establishment) into a defensive posture. From pay to play via the Clinton Foundation to the kid gloves treatment by the Justice Department (potentially implicating the Obama administration) in regard to the server scandal, etc, this would have been the gift that kept on giving. Recent belated calls by the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee for such an appointment will now be perceived as a desperate attempt at deflection from Russiagate and will be framed as such by MSM.
    Special Prosecutor to be appointed to investigate Hillary Clinton
    In moments of unreserved optimism, bordering on delusional, I see such an appointment leading to the simultaneous implosion of both the Democratic and Republican parties. Drain the swamp indeed.

  23. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for correcting me; I did not read it thoroughly.
    I am not sure where this will lead but a scenario akin to the novel “1984” cannot be ruled out.

  24. Old microbiologist – With respect, and although I have the same concerns as you, this makes me uneasy – ” It is a travesty that the leading nation of the free world hasn’t even got simple things like ID cards.”
    Whenever I go to Germany I look around my fellows on the underground and it’s an eerie feeling to reflect that they all carry the requisite ID with them, like a bunch of ear-tagged rabbits.
    Irrational? I don’t think so. I’m a free citizen in a free country, or so I like to think, and not just a labelled unit under an automatic duty to explain or identify myself whenever the authorities choose.
    ID cards are called for in order to avoid electoral fraud, illegal immigration and criminal activity. But it wouldn’t get to the root of the problem. It would probably lead to a new industry supplying false papers for anyone who knew his way around. As for electoral fraud – both in the US and England adequate checking mechanisms already exist. It’s just that there is no political will to apply them and insufficient popular pressure to get them applied.
    I’m old enough to remember a time when the US stood for freedom. Maybe an illusion, even then, but it was a nice illusion. It’d be a shame if the illusion was stripped away so far that US citizens had to conform to Continental practice and dutifully line up to get their ear tags punched on.

  25. dilbert dogbert says:

    No. It means half are of tribe D and half of tribe R. Nothing else. 3million votes were canceled by the Electoral College. It won’t go away so it is a permanent part of our system. We have to recognize it just produced a massive failure to vet the best candidate. We may also think our two party system failed to vet the best candidates.

  26. dilbert dogbert says:

    “It is a travesty that the leading nation of the free world hasn’t even got simple things like ID cards.”
    Some folks think SS cards, driver’s licenses, birth certificates, draft registration cards, service discharge documents and the like are sort of like ID cards. Some back in the day said SS cards were like the number of the beast.
    I think our system defaulted ID cards to the states.

  27. dilbert dogbert says:

    Harper included a Soros mention. I read the comments hoping for education on what threat to the nation Soros represented. No help. Is he the Hitler of the year? Decade? Month? Week? Day?

  28. Dr.Puck says:

    You wrote: “The Clintonistas would continue the policies of Obama and Bush without any changes whatsoever.”
    That is a strong binary speculation in the form of a clear assertion. It has not yet happened over the entirety of American history that a successor President has continued inherited policies “without any change whatsoever.” (Let alone two predecessor’s policies!)
    That you end up in the ‘conspiracy space’ of massive voter fraud is telling.
    “one would question the sanity of anyone” is a trope, and not a positive operative qualification of requisite mental status in the context referred to.
    (just sayin’)

  29. sid_finster says:

    Look up “Three Felonies a Day”. If you look hard enough, you can find something with which to indict any legally competent adult.
    Or, if you prefer:
    “Give me six words written by the most honorable of men, and I will find something therein to hang him with.” – Cardinal Richlieu

  30. robt willmann says:

    Recently, the cable TV networks CNN and MSNBC have been giving Senator Richard Blumenthal (Dem. Connecticut) free rein to talk and talk and attack president Trump about Russia, etc. Early this morning, Trump started off another vacation day by popping off a couple of comments at Blumenthal in a much less wordy fashion, including: “Interesting to watch Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut talking about hoax Russian collusion when he was a phony Vietnam con artist!”–
    Fourteen Medal recipients from the Vietnam War era released a letter in February of this year hitting Blumenthal for saying that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch should be subjected to extreme vetting, when Blumenthal himself falsely claimed that he had served in Vietnam–

  31. Fred says:

    We already have the id fraud, which a number of politicians are in denial about:
    This leads to a minimum financial fraud against either the local, state or federal governments if not all three. Plus illegal voting at all three levels. The repercussions are essentially non-existent.

  32. Fred says:

    What part of funding NGOs that are then taking actions within the US that are aligned with Soros’ political views do not understood?

  33. The conditions in most Western countries are right for extensive voting fraud. We don’t know whether it happens on a scale large enough to change the results. That uncertainly as to the facts means that one man’s reasonable doubt can be another man’s “conspiracy theory”.
    What we do know is that in any voting system there should be no room whatsoever for doubt, however that doubt is characterised. That there is such room for doubt further rots out our democracies. Therefore we should insist that the system is tightened up rather than opposing those who wish to see the system tightened up.
    I get the feeling, by the way, that you don’t like your President very much. The poor devil’s expected to ride into town, like some gunslinger in an old fashioned Western, and clean the place up single-handed. A tall order when the town’s the Beltway. Why not saddle up and give him a hand?

  34. Mikee says:

    They aren’t mentally ill, just pissed off. They have, years ago, come to the conclusion that neither party represents their interests, (a correct conclusion IMO). Trump represents the half or near half of America holding their middle finger up high and pointing it eastward.

  35. Mikee says:

    By best candidate I take it you mean Mrs. Clinton? I agree she probably was the ‘best’ candidate, but that’s all she was.

  36. Mikee says:

    robt willman: If what is said about Blumenthal is true then shame on him. But those who used these MoH recipients to score some political points are equally worthy of shame. I do not like this at all, it is utterly disgusting.

  37. Anna says:

    “The truth is slowly coming to light about the nefarious actions of the Democratic Party and massive election fraud.” Add to that the developing counterweight to the sanctimonious spiels re Russiangate – “The Tale of the Brothers Awan:”
    This tale is about the greatest breach in the national cybersecurity, “accomplished” by the US congresspeople by means of hiring the non-qualified personnel without security clearance. There was an open access to the classified documents of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
    The investigation is overseen — kidding you not — by Steven Wasserman, Assistant Attorney for the District of Columbia, the brother of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Debbie is at the center of the scandal (which should be called High reason, actually). There is an amazing record of her threatening the Chief of the Capitol Police Matthew Verderosa with “consequences” for Verderosa’s job of investigating the breach.

  38. Anna says:

    Pilger is among the few truly courageous and principled journalists.
    Some believe that criticizing Israel is an act of hateful antisemitism. Others believe that criticizing the US is a sign of hatred towards the US people.

  39. h says:

    How do you know one isn’t already quietly at work? Just curious.
    I see similar comments being made by others and I’m reminded by something Trump stated early on, I’m paraphrasing here, but he said ‘I’m not going to broadcast my plans b/c it only gives warning to whom I’m targeting’. Due to the sensitive nature all of these leaks encompass, I’m thinking it’s not in the public’s interest to know such an investigation is and likely has been going on for some time.
    I guess we’ll know when said leakers are led out of their respective cubicles/offices handcuffed.

  40. Kathryn says:

    “However, in talking with a friend who was privy to that meeting, the President asked the kind of probative questions that citizens expect of their elected leader,”
    This IS A LEAK from the WH. While so many have condemned the MSM press for publishing leaks given them, why is NO ONE condemning this one?

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