Hating the Bear


"There is no mystery about why the accusations took hold. It was in part because Trump had said early on that he thought he could do business with Putin, earning him the reputation of being soft on big bad Russia. Then the Democrats at their convention chose to divert blame for the hacking of their computer system on to Russian intelligence. This was never conclusively proved and all the supposedly corroborating statements from US officials contained get-out clauses. People with intelligence connections suggested that everyone tried to hack everyone’s computers, especially at election time, without any intention of actually interfering. 

The truth of any Russian involvement will probably never be known. But certain myths that gained currency need to be dispelled. One was that Trump was receiving privileged information from Russia. In fact, anything he said was already openly available before he said it. Another was that Trump had complicated and suspect business dealings with Russia. No evidence was ever produced – despite what must have been exhaustive efforts by the Clinton campaign – beyond a campaign adviser official, Paul Manafort, who had once advised the ousted president of Ukraine. There also seems to have been some confusion between Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union, which hardly reflects well on the accusers."  The Guardian



 Someone explain to me how Russia threatens the security interests of the United States, or even those of the NATO countries into which the US has pushed the alliance?  Explain it to me.  Is it by flying too close to our ships?  Is it by legally fighting on the side of the Syrian government  Is it Russia's refusal to abandon ethnic Russians in SE Ukraine to the tender ministrations of the fascists in Kiev?  How is it?

Do they threaten our security interests by existing?  Is that it?  does their possession of land and armed force automatically make us see them as "enemies?"  I have actually heard them referred to with that word in the boobocrat world of the MSM.  Actually, Jake Tapper, the election night dancing man, called them that today.

Are we really so pathetically juvenile as a country that we must dominate the world?  If so, to what end?  The nice lady from Ft. Brooklyn lost the election.  Making the world safe for "the children" was one of her major themes.  Robbie Mook, her little friend, cried today at her concession speech.  He should.  He will be known forever as a loser after this disaster.

Trump wants to have better relations with Russia?  How terrible!  Why did the Deplorables vote for him?  Perhaps something should be done abut these creatures who "live in the hills with Bibles and guns"  (MSNBC anchor today)  Perhaps they should not have the same voting rights as the Enlightened.   


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80 Responses to Hating the Bear

  1. kao_hsien_chih says:

    One thing that amazed me while watching the election coverage was when the NBC news people brought in Richard Engel to talk about foreign policy implications. While the other NBC news people were, well, being snooty in the usual way, Engel was positively calling ballistic, claiming that “the generals” are practically planning a coup if Trump takes office (his words were that they are “studying the Constitution.”)
    I’m not quite sold on Trump as a “peace candidate” as some others here, but I do accept that Trump has right general ideas, broadly speaking, about both the world and the US domestic situation. Do I have reservations? Heck yes, but I am happy to give him all the goodwill that he deserves as the new president and hopeful that his big ideas might lead to something.

  2. LeaNder says:

    Actually, Jake Tapper, the election night dancing man, called them that today.
    I wish I was enough of an insider to understand your allusion.
    But yes, pretty hard to explain to someone that after all these years finally got interested in US elections evenings–for us early morning hours, a lot longer this time–why the anti-Russia memes by Clinton during the debate made me so furious, I erupted into anger like a volcano at that point.
    Beyond that, not really a surprise. I was well prepared on your blog.

  3. Jack says:

    In your opinion is there good evidence that the Russians hacked Podesta’s and the DNC’s emails? My Democrat friends have told me that some 7 agencies in our government came to that conclusion.
    We know the media will be mocking Trump throughout his presidency. And for right now the Bear is the boogeyman. We’ll know soon enough if Trump was serious that he wants a good relationship with the Russians. I don’t know anything about Gen. Flynn. He seems to have backed Trump early and got a shoutout last night. Is he sane or the same neocon mindset?

  4. asx says:

    We have to stop getting involved in the long running Russian civil war. The Russian Empire, its successor the Soviet Union and then present day Russia have always had a complicated and even hateful relationship with their Jewish populatation. Pogroms/exiles during the days of the Czar, explulsions and forced relocations during Stalin’s reign, and the reconquista of Russian national resources from the oligarchs by Putin are all part of this long civil war. The affected party sees that only the United States has the means to stand up to Russia, and dedicates itself to the cause of permanent conflict with Russia.
    This conflict makes no sense to Americans with any other ancestry. At the end of the day, Russians hopefully love their children, have a history of contribution to literature, music, fine arts and science. Definitely more than the Saudis and the Gulfies, who are well loved in the swamp.
    Should Americans spend their time and energy into using their country as a vessel to address all their historic grievances? Given we have peoples who can trace their origin to every other place on earth, is this not a recipe for endless war? Or do only some groups have this privelege?
    On a different take, we can model most of our allies as corporations where we have different levels of stake holding. Is Qatar a real country or just a shell corporation to which we can sell arms and profit from its natural resources? The corporate dividends are reinvested in the swamp in the form of think tanks, lobbyists, paid speeches and outright gifts. And these corporate interests are best served by confrontation with Russia as seen in Syria and elsewhere.
    We have no problem with hating Russians. It is very easy given all the conditioning from the Cold war days when the threat was real. Just give us real and relevant reasons where our interests are threatened now.
    We can all be a bit thankful today that the people with no college education did not feel threatened by Russia.

  5. turcopolier says:

    Ask your Democrat friends what the evidence is? Is it behind the “green door?” pl

  6. doug says:

    Russia does threaten our ability to complete the transition of the Middle East states (aside from Israel) to Sunni religious domination. Presumably to counter Iranian Shia influence. The idea, I suppose, was to produce more stability in the region, protect large arms markets that don’t know how to use the arms effectively, and provide a stable path for the petroleum needs of Europe.
    How else to explain the demonization of Assad who is the leader of the most pluralistic country in the region? So we instigated insurrection and criticize him for aggressively fighting back for survival. What country would not do the same?
    So Russia comes along and spoils, or at least makes much more expensive our grand plans.
    The question we should be asking ourselves is whether such a grand plan was a good idea in the first place since the results to date rather suggest our plan was one of the more boneheaded notions to come down the pike in some time. I have serious doubts that, even without Russian intervention on behalf of the Syrian government, we would like the results.

  7. turcopolier says:

    Tapper is a CNN anchor who was ferociously ant-Trump throughout the campaign and who last night saw the light within about an hour of the polls closing and became a lot more accommodating to the idea of Trump. Today he us trying to backpedal to save himself in the eyes of the Borg. pl

  8. turcopolier says:

    “claiming that “the generals” are practically planning a coup if Trump takes office (his words were that they are “studying the Constitution” This is a very dangerous thing for Engel or you to say. Do you have a citation? (tape).

  9. turcopolier says:

    I am the principal “some other.” What is the evidence for Trump not being a peace candidate? As opposed to Hillary he specifically expresses his desire for good relations with foreign country. She just wanted to discipline them. Ah, it feel so good to use the past tense in writing of her. pl

  10. turcopolier says:

    I found it. http://www.nbcnews.com/video/engel-world-reaction-to-a-trump-win-is-absolutely-catastrophic-804415555930 No one in the US armed forces is obliged to carry out an illegal order. Nor were they ever. Engel is grand standing. pl

  11. BillWade says:

    I don’t think the Russians have the same fascination with LGB, whatever, rights as the Clintonistas and Obamaites have, that partly makes them enemies, much like the “deplorables” here.

  12. LeaNder says:

    I’m not quite sold on Trump as a “peace candidate”
    i am with you on that. There seemed to be a lot of contradiction and confrontational mood on a meta-layer in his foreign policy speech below the talking points.
    If we leave out Russia for a while, Iran?

  13. Earthrise says:

    I always cringe when I think of the slogan “The war to end all wars”, used to buck up the home front during WWI. Obviously the People were getting sick of feeding their children into the war machine, and were in need of a new cause to fight for. This was also always my impression of the US Civil War; that they tacked on the moral crusade to free the slaves after the war machine started to run dry. The war to end all wars meme always seemed twisted and evil to me, especially considering what happened only a generation later.
    But late one night before Remembrance Day it fell into place, what the meme truly meant. Our ancestors cheered when war broke out in 1914, they were off on an overseas adventure that would be all over by Christmas. That enthusiastic lust for war bled out into the mud of Flanders, and the West bears deep scars of white marble in every town and city. But this wasn’t enough to embed the lesson, so we did it again in 1939, only worse.
    The cynical “last war” did not eventuate in 1918, or 1945; the elites only gained from the wars, while we paid the price. But late one night on Remembrance Day eve it came to me. Maybe it means we will never again enthusiastically cheer for war, that we know now exactly what it means, and who will pay the cost. WWI was that inhumane, that evil that it has forever changed our image of war. Yesterday the American people voted not to launch WWIII. Without “The war to end all wars”, we would be at war with Russia already. And while that slogan was meant to give succour to grieving Mothers, it may echo down the ages, and those Mothers may have sacrificed their sons for something after all.
    This to me is the meaning of “Lest we Forget”; never to do it again.
    RIP Edward, Thomas & Hurtle Potter, who died in the broken ground before Mouquet Farm Sept 3-4 1916. Your family will never forget. We owe our peace to you.

  14. kao_hsien_chih says:

    I wonder if I misheard/mischaracterized what Engel was saying–it being late and all. Still, his claim that generals are “studying the Constitution,” coupled with the kind of animated attitude with which he was ranting, got me wondering what he could possibly mean by them, as I was fairly certain about military personnel having obligation not to obey illegal orders being hardly new.
    With regards Trump’s “peace candidate” status, I am fairly confident that he will pull back from the dangerous stances in Syria and Eastern Europe. But I keep worrying that he might blunder into something that could blow up badly elsewhere (Iran and Southeast Asia for example). Not so much about his “intent” as much as his ability to manage down a potential crisis. This is, admittedly, an order of magnitude different from someone who is wilfully interested in instigating a crisis for trivial reasons.

  15. turcopolier says:

    So far as I know you have no basis for accusing Trump of war mongering. You don’t like his style. Neither do I. pl

  16. Jack,
    There is good open source evidence that Russian hackers are responsible for breaking into Podesta’s and the DNC’s systems. Those hackers have been watched and studied for several years hitting a wide variety of targets. That’s Russian hackers, not the Russian government. I have no idea what the evidence for that connection might be or whether it’s just an inference.
    I spent years watching and studying Russian patriotic hackers and Chinese hacking groups. You get to know them, even if you don’t know their names and faces. After a while you can see through all the digital maskirovka. What is much more difficult is to prove governmental direction and/or control. I did just that through “unwitting elicitation” over an extended period. Russian and Chinese intelligence and cyber agencies do have relationships with some of these patriotic hacker groups. Not all of them. Not all the time. The relationship is sometimes specific and sometimes quite general. This relationship is something very foreign to U.S. intelligence and cyber agencies. We just can’t wrap our minds around something like this.
    Let’s say the Russian government did guide or sanction the theft and release of these emails by Russian hackers. I don’t feel it’s that egregious an act. It was more like whistleblowing or exposing the truth. Yes it was damaging to the Clinton campaign, but it certainly wasn’t tampering with our election in my opinion.

  17. kooshy says:

    Colonel I think he said the generals are thinking to leave resign, but what he said sounded like a mutiny in armed forces. IMO he is out of it and was trying to scare the viewers.

  18. turcopolier says:

    Refusal to obey an illegal order is not “mutiny” in the US armed forces but those who do that should expect to defend themselves at a court-martial. pl

  19. Anna says:

    “My Democrat friends have told me that some 7 agencies in our government …”
    Most likely that you friends were mentioning 17 agencies, at least that was the number that Clinton was telling to the public. The above text answers your Q: “This was never conclusively proved and all the supposedly corroborating statements from US officials contained get-out clauses.”

  20. LeaNder says:


  21. JohnH says:

    A couple thought on why Russia is being hyped as the enemy:
    First, great powers need ‘existential’ enemies. In the US’ case, so far this century we have had Al Qaeda, Iraq, Iran, ISIS and now Russia. Having a bogeyman entertains and distracts people from real problems. It also justifies bloated defense budgets.
    Second, Clinton the candidate needed a bogeyman, particularly given the fact that she could articulate no good reason why people should for her. And, given the need for a bogeyman, the bigger the bogeyman the better, logically leading her to conflate of her opponent with the national bogeyman du jour.
    Just ridiculous!

  22. F-35 says:

    Do you know where the richest four counties in the USA are? Not in Silicon Valley or Hollywood. Not in Seattle where 4 out of 10 world’s richest people live. Not even in NYC. They are all located in Virginia and Maryland, around Pentagon, CIA and NSA. So where is the money coming from??? It’s the defense and intelligence budgets, large portion of which is simply stolen and used to finance the ritzy lifestyle of Beltway plutocrats. That’s why US Armed Forces keep withering away despite spending more than next 10 powers combined.
    Of course, money has to come in every year, and the only way to ensure that happens is to have a powerful designated enemy. Russia is perfect for that role. If you keep provoking it – which is what America is doing – sooner or later it will become a real one. That’s starting to happen.
    Of course, Russia is not an inevitable enemy of the US. Competitor, maybe, but not an avowed adversary. Making it into one is simply part of the scam perpetrated on the American people, whose patriotic impulses are easily exploited and used against them.

  23. kooshy says:

    Colonel I also don’t think that will ever happen, and I couldn’t understand what was the relevance or necessity of that kind of talk in middle of exciting results coming in last night.

  24. shaun says:

    and Ed Markey should read this occasionally, but he won’t.

  25. kao_hsien_chih says:

    The main reason I’m not sold on Trump is something that is probably from most people: I think Trump is basically Barak Obama in a different set of clothes, politically speaking. Both are people of considerable ability who think way too highly of themselves with little or no experience in politics. Both have relied on “style” and PR gimmicks to create an image around themselves that they have used to inspire “hope in change” among their followers without much justification beyond “trust me” attitude. Granted, their styles are very different and their followers are, at least superficially, quite different (although some recent and more nuanced number crunching has pointed out that the working class whites made up significant portion of Obama’s support base and many of these voters also voted for Trump, especially in the key swing states that Trump carried by relatively narrow margins–Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsyvania, and Wisconsin.)
    For me, personally, I could never really trust Obama and what I thought was his gimmicry, and I’m equally skeptical about Trump and his. I can say with certainty that Obama’s narcissism has led to some fiascos: on US domestic scene, his self-image as the grand compromiser who could somehow make everyone happy led to the less than ideal Obamacare and got drawn into the dangerous mess in Libya for example. On the other hand, he did show notable restraint in some difficult situations–like the Iran and Cuba deals and not starting a shooting war over Ukraine or Syria. So glass half full, I suppose. Am I justified in expecting at least as much out of Trump, who I think, at least, has right big ideas unlike others inside the Beltway? I keep telling myself that I should, that he is at least an improvement over HRC. I do have some trouble convincing myself, though, that Trump is really trustworthy.

  26. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Personally, I’m a bit astonished that people have the gall to accuse Russians of interfering in the electoral process. Many US campaign consultants work for foreign political actors, often with the blessing of US government and/or major US political actors. We sent a bunch of them to help keep Yeltsin in office, for example. Even if Russians did what they did to overtly influence elections, that seems no worse than what we did to them in late 1990s to me.

  27. shaun says:

    My 9 year old son Quan is adopted from Vietnam, he thinks he is going to be deported. What should I tell him? He will be a democrat eventually.

  28. turcopolier says:

    If you think that is true I don’t know who is the bigger a–hole, him or you? pl

  29. shaun says:

    Imagine me, with all my relatives acting like life is over. I said to them well it would be over when Hillary nuked Russia, so now we have a chance to…not die. They aren’t buying it but as someone who was a Democrat and may be one again, I find a chance to not blame Russia rather enlightening…duh. Its like Jerry Garcia died all over again! And he would love this, as he was someone who reads, unlike these democrats. Time to hit the road there’s 52 states to play in. PS they loved Roanoke when they existed, and Hampton especially, don’t know why.

  30. Sam Q says:

    Engel also said these generals would be worried if Trump orders them to round of millions of people and put them in train cars. It is always 1939. If you read the twitter feeds of Julia Ioffe, Jonah Goldberg, Max Boot, Kurt Eichenwald, Peter Beinart, et al., you get the impression that they despise whites and Christians and white Christian civilization. IMHO, their neurotic obsession with Russia and desire to start WWIII is born out of this same motivation.

  31. FourthAndLong says:

    They threaten to prevent us from supporting corrupt politicians in Ukraine. And if that wasn’t evil enough, from supporting AlQueda Jihadis is in East Aleppo. How is that fair, I ask you??

  32. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I cannot think of any European country the elite of which gained anything from World War I except, very peripherally, Serbia.
    It was a loss across all social strata.

  33. Babak Makkinejad says:

    In case of Iran, his policy of waging economic war with EU states, had reached a cul-de-sac. He accepted a deal that had been on the table since 2006.
    His policy of containing Iran by destroying SAR harmed US allies as well as protectorates.
    He is a good orator but the cost of his unsuccessful policies are enormous – in my opinion.
    In regards to Obamacare, very roughly, a single payer system would require people to pay 10% of their income for health-care. Just to be able to cover the indigent, the incompetent, the poor, the derelicts, the criminals, the unemployed, the drug users, the obese, the smokers, as well as all manner of non-working adults.

  34. FND says:

    Your child will automatically become a citizen. So tell him that. http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/us-immigration/how-foreign-born-adopted-children-get-citizenship.html
    And I’m sure you know only illegal immigrants stand the risk of being deported. I suspect you already know these things, but may want to play the disingenuous obfuscation game that the media and Dems have been playing about what Trump has said or didn’t say.

  35. gonefishing says:

    Great post Earthrise, but America did not enter WWI in 1914, it entered it on 6 April 1917. It suffered 110,000 deaths of which 43,000 were from influenza. The US population at the time was over 100M. So it lost around 0.1%. The UK population was 43M and it lost over 800,000 or around 2%. Russia lost between 1% and 2%, perhaps more, depending on how you count. Germany had similar percentages. The last conflict in which US deaths were in that range was the Civil War, and prior to that the Revolutionary War. Nowadays, we have professional armies, and missiles, and air forces, so that the vast majority of us in the countries taking the offensive suffer little, if at all, when our governments, in our name, inflict untold horrors on other countries.
    Unfortunately, we do forget, all too easily. Demonization continues apace. And, mostly, we don’t even know what we gain if we win, or even what winning looks like.

  36. ToivoS says:

    You did not mishear or mischaracterize what Engel was saying. I heard the same thing you did. And I had the same reaction: military officers can disobey orders that are illegal. It was shear nonsense that any officer has to go back and study the constitution to know whether they should follow an order from the president that directs the US military to take action against sovereign US citizens who are opposing US policy. Now if martial law has been declared then it might be more difficult to refuse such orders. That has not happened since the Civil War.

  37. ISL says:

    sounds like a bargain – currently the US spends 17% of GDP on health care.
    Most european countries are 8-9% of GDP So, 7% is mostly profits for the health insurance companies that donate massively to Obama, and whose main product is making the lives of most people miserable.

  38. Earthrise says:

    Not the national elites Babak, but the new global elites (at the turn of the 20th Century, the Oiligarchs, Banking clans, the British imperial class; International Capital). It is these global elites that were the target of yesterday’s electoral revolution in the US. The national elite you correctly point out lost in WWI might be about to make a comeback.

  39. Dubhaltach says:

    In reply to The Twisted Genius 09 November 2016 at 06:41 PM
    “Let’s say the Russian government did guide or sanction the theft and release of these emails by Russian hackers. I don’t feel it’s that egregious an act. It was more like whistleblowing or exposing the truth. Yes it was damaging to the Clinton campaign, but it certainly wasn’t tampering with our election in my opinion.”
    Even if they did the old proverb about what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander springs to mind.
    Hsve you ever met any of the young “activists” that the International Republican Institute or the National Democratic Institute sent to Russia? Because I have, arrogant, pompous, self-righteous little pr*cks, who believe because they’re American that they have the God-given right to effect regime change wherever they feel like it. To unleash “creative destruction” because that’s the best and everyone wants to be an American in their heart of hearts. Or to put it another way I never met one who wasn’t a Victoria Nuland in training. If Americans don’t like even the idea of being on the receiving end of it then they shouldn’t dish it out.
    (Yes I know you know that – the problem is that they either don’t know it or more likely that they do know it but they don’t care because they don’t believe that the concept of consequences applies to them).

  40. Green Zone Café says:

    I hope the Colonel gets in touch with Michael Flynn and they have a long lunch or dinner.
    Flynn is likely to be prominent in the new administration. He is friendly with Michael Ledeen, the possible author of the Niger uranium forgeries and a bomb-Iran agitator.
    There will be a contest over who runs the Trump foreign and military policy, the realists may lose.

  41. Earthrise says:

    This next point is a tough one to say. It was the Prussian military class which ruled Germany, not the Hohenzollern royal family. Prussia was famously called an Army with it’s own State. As the German military told itself it was undefeated in the field (which was only a few weeks away at best), they still had the moxie to go it again a generation later. Only when their cities were smashed, their manhood destroyed and their womenhood raped did they finally bury that Prussian helmet.
    Your point about the lack of American casualties in both wars is a good one. You can tell by my words above how strong the shock of WWI was to my country, and how deep and painful the wounds still are. These scars are what should give us pause next time we are called to die for the ruling class; just ask a German. But the Americans have suffered relatively little, and their martial streak is Prussian-esque. This is what has filled me with such happiness today, that the American people did not have to be beaten into submission to learn this valuable lesson. Because unfortunately, you would have taken us all with you.

  42. Bill H says:

    Yes, I was rather astonished by Engel as well. His rant about “it was Russia” which resulted in the Trump win finally prompted Tom Brokaw to step in and take him down a peg, pointing out rather forcefully that Trump was elected by American voters, not Russian hackers. Made me momentarily like Tom Brokaw. Momentarily.

  43. Tom says:

    I think that is a very important point. This whole liberal technogenic philosophy is being propagated around the world with a messianic zeal that the world hasn´t seen since agents of the Comintern swarmed out in the Twenties. With the same kind of irresposibilty these smart boys and girls from the best schools of the West have contributed to toppling governments all over the former Soviet sphere. These are´nt my words these are words of Vladimir Pastukhov who is a certified enemy of Putin living in exile in London.
    These people really do believe in the holy grail of LBGT and the infinite malleability of mankind. They really think that life is like on facebook or whatsapp where there are infinite genders and you can be a man one and a woman the next day. That is why nothing in the world will convince them that having men and women in the same infantry detachment will result in disaster. Remember these are the ultimate snowflakes who have never been in an actual fight.
    They live in a bubble very much of their own. It certainly helps that it is a very comfortable bubble that is being financed by various endowments, the CIA a.s.o. Ultimately though by the deplorables who also go out and fight and die for them.
    Russia is their bugbear and Putin a constant reminder of the fact that they might have been able to subdue the upper middle classes of the Western part of the “White” world but not the Eastern part. Now they have suddenly realized that they don´t even own the US and that they are as hated here as they are hated in any other part of the world. Good for them and good for us. Deplorables of the world unite!

  44. Lavocat says:

    I love your site. Though I do not always agree with the posts, they always make me think. Thank you for that.
    Let me just state that, as a disaffected and long-disgusted Democrat (I am now a proud independent), I feel like Dickens’ Ebenezer Scrooge awakening from his final nightmare: “I’m as merry as a school boy!” on Christmas morning.
    Seriously, I feel – as an adult – the way I remember feeling as a child at Christmas. God bless us, every one – for making the right choice of president.
    Signed: A Proud Deplorable

  45. LeaNder says:

    probably from most people: I think Trump is basically Barak Obama in a different set of clothes, politically speaking.
    Well, obvious. I am sure I left similar comments. He remodeled Obama or his campaign’s ideas to fit his own established self-image, down to a final theme surfacing in his acceptance speech. Picking up on the meme Hillary graciously offered after a slightly too long hesitation: we (the people).
    And I can only say that while the campaign is over, our work on this movement is now really just beginning.
    Different themes, different core target group, never mind overlapping quarters, opposing Obama not GWB. Remember Obama created ISIS, keeps his flanks/wings open to the GOP. …
    I would like to avoid gimmicry and narcissism. Besides the quote below would somewhat contradict the usual items/features surfacing in a test for the narcissist.
    his self-image as the grand compromiser who could somehow make everyone happy led to the less than ideal Obamacare and got drawn into the dangerous mess in Libya for example.
    This I can sign easily. But on Libya I fear even Pat and TTG could have been pulled into that direction. Maybe not with deeper information on the context?

  46. LeaNder says:

    It’s interesting you allude to the 2006 suggestion. I am vaguely aware of events … ElBaradai – Ahmadinejad. … Israel’s fears, Israel’s protection of its superiority in the region.
    Just to be able to cover the indigent, the incompetent, the poor, the derelicts, the criminals, the unemployed, the drug users, the obese, the smokers, as well as all manner of non-working adults.
    Well yes, so much human debris out there, how to get rid of them/us one way or another? How does Iran deal with the different categories? Versus Saudi Arabia?

  47. Degringolade says:

    Basically, I think that a one of the tenets forming the basis of a rational and effective foreign policy should be:
    Please be civil to the the man/government controlling 1,790 active strategic nuclear warheads

  48. Edward Amame says:

    Pacifica Advocate
    Exactly. Per Grover Norquist back in 2012 or so:
    “All we have to do is replace Obama. … We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. … We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate.
    Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.”
    President Trump’s first action in office will be to put pen to Paul Ryan’s budget. There will be a big upper-end tax cut and a big increase in defense spending. The low-income safety net will be decimated. Obamacare may be decimated. Planned Parenthood will probably be defunded. Regulators may be hobbled or even disabled. America will be great again.

  49. Will says:

    Always admired George Mitchell. Even more so now that i’ve read his autobiography. Raised by an orphaned Irish origin father who had been adopted by a Lebanese American family and a Lebanese (then Syrian) mother who spoke broken English and worked the night shift at a mill in Maine. He stood in humility at his lack of athletic prowess compared to his brothers. Served in the US Army in counter-intelligence in Berlin. Retired as Senate Majority Leader at the top of his game. Turned down a Supreme Court appointment to try to get Hillary Care passed at a time when compromise appeared possible. Helped achieve peace in Northern Ireland, but failed miserably despite doing his utmost in Palestine.
    “First, I believe there is no such thing as a conflict that can’t be ended. Conflicts are created and sustained by human beings. They can be ended by human beings. No matter how ancient the conflict, no matter how much harm has been done, peace can prevail.”

  50. TTG,
    Do you have any information on Israeli hacking/hacking groups?

  51. In time, I think we will learn more about the Russian hackers connection with the Wikileaks releases. An article in The Guardian quotes Sergei Markov, a pro-Kremlin political analyst, as saying, “maybe we helped a bit with WikiLeaks.” At the same time, he denied Russian interference in the election. As kao_hsien_chih, Dubhaltach and I have already pointed out, this mere shining the light on the truth is nothing compared to the heavy-handed interference in the affairs of other governments perpetrated by the U.S. government.

  52. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The voters rejected a deal like that in Colorado this past Tuesday.

  53. Sam Q says:

    Stephen Cohen for SecState and Tyler for SecDef!

  54. Pat Lang,
    I heard the name John Bolton in the speculation about appointments, which doesn’t seem like a good sign. Unless the speculation is coming from the neo-con, imperialist faction.

  55. turcopolier says:

    “I do not always agree with the posts” Ho Hum. pl

  56. Marcus says:

    Do you all think there may be a conflict between Putin and Trump concerning continued military support of Iran by Russia?

  57. Will says:

    Balfour declaration, matey?

  58. William Fitzgerald,
    Nothing that’s current. Israel has a strong cyber espionage and cyber operations capability aided by a robust cyber security and surveillance industry. Their freelance hackers are really no better than many others. There is no equivalent to what exists in the Russian (and FSU) and Chinese hacker scene.

  59. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Global elites were also devastated by World War I. It shook up colonial empires. It disrupted trade and financial linkages across borders. It destroyed old cosmopolitan social and cultural connections. Like JM Keynes said, it destroyed the idea of “Europe” as a great transnational enterprise. Maybe Lenin and Hitler gained from World War I, in addition to the Serbs, but none of the existing elites.

  60. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Who would this “Global Elite” be?
    Care to elaborate?
    An enumeration of their origins would suffice.

  61. Kenny says:

    Many of the elites across Europe were zionists. And the country they eventually created, at the cost of the ongoing genocide of the Palestinians, was Israel. Yes, Israel benefited immensely from WWI and WWII, and the Jewish elites who created it as well.

  62. kao_hsien_chih says:

    That, I will disagree.
    I think a few things will take place with certainty.
    First, I don’t see there not being a massive domestic infrastructure program. There will be construction aplenty, possibly the biggest since the interstate highways since 1950s, and God knows we need a lot of it too. Thi could mean that a lot of environmental regulations that stand in the way might be put aside and we may regret it decades later, but, at least in the short to medium term they may be hindrance rather than good.
    Second, maybe there will be more defense spending, or not. I don’t think it is necessarily a bad thing if it generates jobs and boosts spending on education and training, especially if other countries help pay for it. If we do reduce our footprint abroad, maybe other countries will actually spend money on their own defense and buy our stuff for change. I’m not against that one bit.
    Third, tax cuts, by themselves aren’t a bad thing. Obsession with balanced budget is the bad diseases that Democrats contracted from the old timey Republicans. Even if long term deficits are a bad thing, cutting taxes and increasing spending in the short term is the best way to boost the economy. It’s crazy talk to insist on raising taxes while increasing spending. You might as well cut taxes and cut spending.
    Fourth, if someone tries to meaningfully cut “Obamacare,” there will be howls of people who will shout “get government out of my Obamacare,” especially out of the working class. Trump is not as tone deaf as the liberal caricature makes him. He will talk a good game. He might engage in some PR gimmicry, but he will not really touch Obamacare. The trouble with Obamacare is not that it is bad, but that it is badly set up for the long run. Someone will have to fix it sooner or later, and to the degree that someone can get both Republicans and Democrats to work productively, Trump would be that man. For political reasons, no Democrat will be able to pull it off in a generation and very few Republicans would. Trump, not being a real Republican, can.
    I still don’t “trust” Trump. But he has given himself the chance to be a great man, of FDR proportions, if he can show himself up to the challenge. I think we are best off giving the man the goodwill he deserves and hope that he will be up to the challenge, not wallow around in the old embitterment.

  63. rkka says:

    “Do they threaten our security interests by existing? Is that it? does their possession of land and armed force automatically make us see them as “enemies?”
    I recall neocon a Frank Gaffney saying back in late the 1970s that “Until the Soviet Union is reduced to the Grand Duchy of Muscovy it will remain a threat to the United States.” So yeah, the Neocons hate Russia for existing.

  64. kao_hsien_chih says:

    The cultural elites with families in multiple countries, the aristocracy (especially those who were shot, dispossessed, or expelled), the international businesses that depended on easy movement of goods, services, and capital across borders. These were replaced by nationalists, “domestic” producers, including those of arms, but their economic gains did not make up for the loss.) JM Keynes in the Economic Consequences of Peace did an excellent enumeration of what WW1 destroyed.

  65. different clue says:

    Edward Amame,
    I see the same risks from a President Trump that you see. I saw them when I did my voting. But I thought then and think now that those risks are worth running to achieve what we have achieved.
    We stopped the Clintons before they could kill again. We stopped the Clintons from bringing their River of Sewage back to the White House for a second engagement. We have lowered the chance and severity of recreational wars of Clinton aggression. We have lowered the chance of a Clintonite Borgist thermonuclear exchange with Russia.

  66. Babak Makkinejad says:

    In which specific country?
    In Europe Jews were decimated during WWII; save on the Iberian Peninsula and in USSR.
    Some elite, not even enduring 20 years.

  67. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Are we back to that canard again.
    Why not admit that everyone was a loser in WWI in Europe.
    Even Italy, who got Tyrol and still is unwilling to free it, suffered.
    There were no winners, in my opinion.

  68. Jov says:

    Serbia ”gained” during WW1 between 1.100.000,00-1.300.000,00 dead, of which about 60% of the male population. The country was devastated.
    When talking about the methods in destroying people and land (housing, infrastructure, even culture) during WWI by the Austro-Hungarian Empire together with the Germans and Bulgarians, it is interesting to note the use of biological warfare when the Austro-Hungarian army during a retreat deliberately left in the town of Valjevo about 3000 wounded soldiers which were infected with typhus (Typhus exanthematicus), causing the later epidemic of typhus in Serbia which alone took about 150.000,00 lives. The systematic killing of civilians, documented inter alia by the Swiss criminologist Rudolphe Archibald Reiss, mostly perpetuated by Croats in the K&K army, was also on a grand and organized scale. Only later to be repeated in the catastrophe during WWII in a genocide against the Serbs (from newborn child to old men and women as victims) committed by the Croats, with the active support of most of the Catholic church.

  69. notlurking says:

    Some readers have asked about what is the thinking of General Flynn…..In this article about Turkey he is right about Gulen…..but when he goes into the Iranian rant well he lost me…. he must surely know that the US engineered the 1953 coup…..some folks in Iran did not forget that though…. sounding like a neocon to me……be careful Mr Trump…..

  70. LondonBob says:

    Good luck launching a coup when the President is beloved by the Secret Service, the Police, when the Armed Forces overwhelmingly voted for him and he has well armed populace behind him. Neocons, once again generals without an army.

  71. Earthrise says:

    Not sure why you are fighting for this point Babak. While you are correct there were no (European) winners of WWI, you could argue the rest of the world won as they started their long path to liberation from Western Imperialism.
    “Who would this “Global Elite” be?
    Care to elaborate?”
    Rothschild, Du Pont, Morgan, Rockefeller, Goldman-Sachs, Medici…

  72. aleksandar says:

    Commited by the croats, yes, but do not forget Albanians and muslims in bosnia.
    The horrific Hanshar SS division ( bosniak ) and SS Skanderbeg ( albanaise )

  73. johnf says:

    Perhaps with Hillary no longer looking over his shoulders and a 90 minute meeting with Trump Obama seems at last to be releasing his inner “realist”:
    “Obama directs Pentagon to target al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, one of the most formidable forces fighting Assad
    President Obama has ordered the Pentagon to find and kill the leaders of an al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria that the administration had largely ignored until now and that has been at the vanguard of the fight against the Syrian government, U.S. officials said.
    The decision to deploy more drones and intelligence assets against the militant group formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra reflects Obama’s concern that it is turning parts of Syria into a new base of operations for al-Qaeda on Europe’s southern doorstep, the officials said.
    The move underlines the extent to which Obama has come to prioritize the counter­terrorism mission in Syria over efforts to pressure President Bashar al-Assad to step aside, as al-Nusra is among the most effective forces­­ battling the Syrian government.
    That shift is likely to accelerate once President-elect Donald Trump takes office. Trump has said he will be even more aggressive in going after militants than Obama, a stance that could lead to the expansion of the campaign against al-Nusra, possibly in direct cooperation with Moscow.”

  74. Chris Chuba says:

    Occasionally I ask people, ‘How is Russia’s annexation of Crimea a huge threat to us while Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights is a non-event?’. I have never gotten a convincing reply. Our overreaction to Crimea rejoining the Russian Federation is in and of itself evidence that we were on this road long before then.
    1. We have installed two armored brigades in Baltics using the technicality of rotation to bypass treaty obligations, we have stockpiled massive quantities of ammunition, and have prepared bases for a rapid reaction force of 40,000 troops and recently I read that NATO wants to scale this to 300,000. Was this in response to a Russian buildup? No, it was because of Russian aggression with Crimea.
    2. We have dropped our pretense the missile defense systems in Romania and the one being built in Poland is to defend against Iran. Now it’s for a revanchist Russia because of Crimea. It’s funny, people still think we abandoned the Polish installation.
    3. We are recruiting new NATO members Montenegro, Sweden, Finland, and made Ukraine and Georgia something called associate members.
    It’s just astounding how aggressive we have been but have managed to turn the Russian response into aggression.

  75. Babak Makkinejad says:

    So back to the bankers – in you example, mostly domiciled in USA.
    Bankers in Europe always made money on wars; for centuries.

  76. different clue says:

    I can see one major difference between Trump and Obama. Trump was sponsored by nobody. He was opposed by most OverClass establishment figures and their institutions. He slashed and clawed his way to the Presidency on his and his supporters’ own.
    Obama was owned and sponsored by powerful owner-sponsors right from the start. He was obviously somebody’s curling stone, with all rough spots on the ice ahead of him sweepered away by OverClass-dispatched sweeper squads.

  77. different clue says:

    Zbigniew Brzezinski and all his Realists also hated Russia for existing. Zbiggie-poo in particular wanted and may still want to see the post-Communist Russian Federation divided into several countries to be assigned as economic protectorates and investorates to neighboring big strong countries.

  78. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Patrick Lang wrote:

    Someone explain to me how Russia threatens the security interests of the United States …
    Do they threaten our security interests by existing? Is that it?
    Does their possession of land and armed force automatically make us see them as “enemies?”.

    Colonel, please let me try to answer a related question:
    “Why is a possible alliance with the existing Putin regime
    anathema to the U.S. ‘elite’?”

    One answer to that question is in:
    Trump’s Russia Motives
    by David Leonhardt
    New York Times Op-Ed, 2017-02-21
    Here is an excerpt (emphasis added) from that op-ed:

    I [David Leonhardt] count five possible explanations for Trump’s Russophilia,
    and they’re not mutually exclusive.

    The final possible motive — an ideological alliance
    is in some ways the most alarming.
    Putin isn’t only a leader with “very strong control over his country,”
    as Trump has enthused;
    Putin also traffics in
    a white, Christian-infused nationalism
    that casts Islam and “global elites” as the enemies.

    He does not go as far pursuing these themes as hard-core Russian nationalists,
    much as Trump merely flirts with the alt-right.
    Either way, the themes are undeniable.
    As Michael McFaul, a former ambassador to Russia, says,
    “The inauguration speech sounded like
    things I’ve heard from Russian nationalists many times.”

    In recent days, Trump has tempered his pro-Russia comments
    and even criticized its actions in Ukraine.
    So it would be a mistake to imagine that we know the full story of Trump and Russia.
    But based on what we do know, it represents
    a shocking risk to American interests.

    So there you have it, at least for this NYT columnist:
    “Christian-infused nationalism” is “most alarming”.

    I hope LondonBob can comment on this.
    In particular, LondonBob said

    The nationalists are Putin’s most dangerous opponents whom he then persecutes periodically,
    although in current Western terms Putin is a nationalist
    in Russian terms he is not.

    That distinction between different definitions of “nationalist” needs explaining, for me at least.

  79. turcopolier says:

    OK, then I see you as not favoring improved relations with Russia. pl

  80. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Patrick Buchanan has squarely addressed this issue,
    and with it John McCain’s February 2017 speech to the Munich Security Conference:
    Lavrov vs. McCain: Is Russia an Enemy?
    by Patrick Buchanan, 2017-02-27
    From that article (with some added emphasis):
    Is Putin’s Russia an enemy, as McCain seems to believe?
    Before we can answer that question,
    we need to know what the new world struggle is about,
    who the antagonists are, and what the threats are to us.
    If we believe
    the struggle is for “global democracy” and “human rights,”
    then that may put Putin on the other side.
    But how then can we be allies of President el-Sissi of Egypt and Erdogan of Turkey,
    and the kings, emirs and sultans of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman?
    But if the new world struggle is about
    defending ourselves and our civilization,
    Russia would appear to be not only a natural ally,
    but a more critical and powerful one than that crowd in Kiev.
    In August 1914, Europe plunged into a 50-month bloodbath over an assassinated archduke.
    In 1939, Britain and France declared war to keep Poland from having to give up a Prussian port, Danzig,
    taken from Germany under the duress of a starvation blockade in 1919
    and in clear violation of Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points and the Danzigers’ right of self-determination.
    In the two wars, 50 million to 100 million died.
    Today, the United States is confronting Russia, a huge and natural ally,
    over a peninsula that had belonged to her since the 18th century
    and is 5,000 miles from the United States.
    “We have immense potential that has yet to be tapped into,”
    volunteered [Russian Foreign Minister] Lavrov.
    But to deal, we must have “mutual respect.”
    Hopefully, President Trump will sound out the Russians,
    and tune out the Beltway hawks.

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