Is Trump bluffing overseas?


Perhaps he is.  The number of his veiled or unveiled threats against foreign actors seems to multiply every day.

1.  The president said at his presser with the Italian that Iran has not lived up to the "spirit" of JCPOA.  What does that mean?  As I recall the agreement's finalization was immediately followed by cries from Congress that the Iranians should expect no lessening in hostility from the US.  Was that in the "spirit" of JCPOA?  This is ridiculous.  The bi-partisan warhawk nationalists in Washington want Iran on its knees begging for forgiveness,  The question asked should be – Or what?  US air strikes designed to fight a war that Israel wants but cannot accomplish?  A naval war in the Gulf?  Or what?

2.  The president has said that North Korea "should behave."  Or what?  Some military gesture to demonstrate US disapproval of their nuclear weapons/ballistic missile programs?  Or a full blown war to the death on the peninsula?  Really?  Does Trump or the evidently mad duo of Mattis/McMaster fully grasp the scale of the destruction and people losses that would ensue?  Some of the people of SST have suggested that maybe NOKO could actually be bargained with if we adopted a different attitude toward the little bastards.  Really?  What a thought!

3.  Tillerson went to Moscow to bring the Russians to heel on various matters and left with nothing to show for his trouble   NATO keeps moving assets into Eastern Europe to confront the Russian menace.  The prevailing idea in the Borgist foreign policy establishment in Washington and London seems to be that the US (with UK advice) must guide human events and any thought of national independence anywhere in the world must be stamped out.  Really?  How is that to be enforced?  With war? With yet more economic sanctions that drive Russia toward China?

4.  Mattis (without producing evidence) insists that Syria has retained some indeterminate number of tons of chemical weapon materials.  This is a transparent effort to justify further aggressive action against Syria.  At the same time AQ connected guerrillas, heavily armed with US TOW are attacking to re-capture the southern Syrian border city of Deraa from government forces.  these forces are heavily supplied with US material support from sources in Jordan just to the south of the city.    Will Mattis/McMaster justify direct US intervention there to create a "safe zone" in preparation for partition of the country or as a base for a drive on Damascus to unseat the government and install the jihadis?

All of this raises the question of why the Trump Administration is placing itself in position in which if we are defied we will have to fight a number of bloody wars simultaneously  Why?  pl

This entry was posted in As The Borg Turns, Borg Wars, Current Affairs, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Korea, Middle East, Russia, Syria. Bookmark the permalink.

98 Responses to Is Trump bluffing overseas?

  1. John Minnerath says:

    The sound of beating war drums always raises the hair on the back of my neck.

  2. eakens says:

    Just the prospect of destroying the US economically will be enough for one or more of these “bad actors” to start either calling his bluff, or also getting into the false flag business to try to spark something in somebody else’s backyard. The more we try to dominate, the more tempting it will be for somebody to decide it’s worth taking that risk.
    This is indeed madness, but of course, everybody has seen or experienced the fervor with which asset prices have shot up, and the sheer number of unqualified wealth that has been generated. There are far too many people walking around with millions of dollars in wealth for it to be sustainable. I used to think that a stock market crash or large correction would remedy this problem, but I’m at the point now where I think the reversion to the mean will only come out of a currency crisis and devaluation.
    What he’s doing certainly seems to be contributory towards that eventuality. Perhaps the thinking is our debt will be wiped away, but we’ll still have the strongest military, and that can be the “great reset”. Crazy thinking I suppose, but it’s tough to make sense out of why we seem to be so engaged in sparking conflicts in every corner of the world, simultaneously.

  3. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg says:

    The continuity in US foreign policy is remarkable. Trump is hewing to the PNAC line in every respect, despite having campaigned in favor of breaking with the neocons.
    Kind of reminds me of Kennedy saying he was going to shatter the CIA into a million pieces. We all know who won that match.

  4. The Beaver says:

    WRT #4: This comes from the Israelis: they say between 2-3 tons
    We are see East Ghoutta again .

  5. FB Ali says:

    “All of this raises the question of why the Trump Administration is placing itself in position in which if we are defied we will have to fight a number of bloody wars simultaneously Why?”
    I would suggest it is because:
    (1) US policy-makers (aka the Borg) believe it ensures US domination of the world.
    (2) They believe this suits their interests (which they believe coincide with those of the country).
    (3) When the collective mind of a group is infected with such crazy ideas, it cannot view matters rationally.

  6. The Beaver says:

    and the paid Saudi agent David Ignatus was praising the idiotic son in WaPo today
    The Saudis are getting their butt kicked in Yemen and, after 2 yrs, they are hoping to get more involvement of the US. The same country which uses Patriot missile to bring down $150/200 Yemeni drones.

  7. Sam Peralta says:

    Col. Lang
    Can’t we say with certainty that the US policy elites and their supporting cast in the MSM and European capitals have become completely delusional and dysfunctional?
    How long does Pax Americana continue and how does it end? Since the argument among the “exceptional” crowd is that everyone must kowtow to their dictums and every issue has a military solution, it would seem that military escalation will always take place if anyone challenges that. There is no way out as the argument is always “US credibility”.
    The Americans that voted Trump wanted America First. He campaigned on that. The Borg went hysterical when he won to their surprise and incessantly attacked him as the Manchurian Candidate. Now that he spouts the Borg line they all cheer him. The message is clear. The Borg rules. The first question is where is the world going under the rule of the Borg? How does this get resolved? And the second question is what do the America First Americans, which are basically the libertarians and alt-right, do next?

  8. BillWade says:

    I wonder what’s going through the minds of the Korean-American community, especially the older ones who knew the hardships of war and it’s aftermath?

  9. Fellow Traveler says:

    While the will for creative destruction may be somewhat gated domestically, he’s free to do as he pleases overseas. That’s where he’ll “act out” for satisfaction and validation.
    Since there are several Trump buildings in Seoul, I think they’re ok. But a few burning Samsung factories might fit the “America First” bill.

  10. Oilman2 says:

    It seems like a prerequisite for the presidency should be active duty at a battlefront – without that, the only images of what a battle even looks like are from Hollywood (you know, the land where car doors block 7.62 rounds?). Or maybe playing Call of Duty…
    I am not seeing ANY evidence of a plan, save for political posturing and threats towards the same few countries. I don’t believe, other than an initial strike, that this country and its military can sustain much of anything. We are in debt to our eyeballs, scattered across the globe and can only project with carriers, which are tremendously vulnerable with respect to Chinese and Russian options. The USAF and USN seem to be much more concerned with LGBTQ??? issues than with fighting. The drone option has rapidly made much of war appear like a video game, and computer sims have reinforced this along with complete media blackout of wounded and casualties. The realites of war have been removed from public consciousness.
    When ever was war so clean and painless to so few men?
    I do not see any overall plan – just posturing and chaos from the Pentagon, State Dept and alphabet agencies. If there is a plan, it is to do what the customers of the Milplex want – which does make for chaos.

  11. David E. Solomon says:

    Possibly because he is as mad as a hatter.

  12. Eric Newhill says:

    I do think it’s posturing (AKA bluffing). We know this is a bad thing for the reasons you note. However, I think that they believe they can control the message so thoroughly that, behind the scenes, they can back down, make whatever deals they need to, etc. and then get the media to send out whatever propaganda they need to cause the American people to not understand whatever is really happening.
    So the message we get today is Trump as President Thor, talking loud and carrying a big hammer, sometimes hurling mighty thunderbolts. America is no longer weak! This appeals to many; even many in government.
    Should one of the various threatened countries call the bluff, well, the media can be caused to massage the message to make it appear that the US put them in their place. Or Americans may not even be allowed to know of the transgression. The only instance in which this little scheme won’t work is if actual war breaks out, say on the Korean Peninsula. However, it’s a reasonably safe bet, in Trump’s mind, that war won’t break out unless it was going to anyhow. Or, in other words, that his posturing would actually impact the other countries’ calculation of whether or not to start shooting.
    So, it’s all up-side for Trump. The key is control of the media and fooling the audience. Not that I approve of any of this, just guessing that it is how Trump’s thinking is operating.

  13. Pangolin says:

    Recently reported in NYT: Trump received large $ for inauguration. $5 million Adelson, $1 million Kraft, $1 million Singer. Reportedly, Adelson spent $45 million on 2016 campaign.

  14. Ex-PFC Chuck says:

    GvH: “Kind of reminds me of Kennedy saying he was going to shatter the CIA into a million pieces. We all know who won that match”
    That’s probably got something to do regarding why Agent Orange caved.

  15. steve g says:

    So far all the markets are discounting this
    belligerence IMO. However one incident
    may set off many others. Follow the money.

  16. Old Microbiologist says:

    Would that were true. But the entire global economic infrastructure is completely dependent on the us still. However, our sanctions and overt actions against The BRICS have forced all to rapidly develop alternatives. They are still in the creation phase and full implementation could be as early as this summer. Once that happens then it is possible to topple the US economically and not cause a world wide collapse. The irony is we forced this to happen. The EU had best wake up soon and start negotiating with Russia and China to become members of that club. But, the EU is a vassal state and will not do that. However, some EU members might go it alone if the EU begins a breakup this year. A lot depends on the French election this Sunday. Personally, we have sold all of our equities and gone to cash as I expect a correction on a Monday if Marine wins. Yesterday’s terrorist attack all but ensures her win.

  17. different clue says:

    Whatever Mattis and McMaster are doing and advocating is from geo-military true belief. Perhaps Trump thinks all this tuff-guy threat-making is all part of negotiating things in bussiness. Perhaps he learned it from his decades of being marinated in the New York/ New Jersey area Soprano bussiness culture.
    If Bannon the Mastermind is involved in all this, his motivation would be different. One way to dismantle the “administrative state” is to defund it, and a way to defund it and keep it defunded would be to create several new Forever Wars at the same time to pre-empt all the money and keep it pre-empted for several decades into the future. That should be long enough to burn the “administrative state” out of existence. It is a new method of “starving the beast”.

  18. To have to ask is to have the answer IMO!

  19. Nancy K says:

    It seems many who loved candidate Trump are voicing concern about President Trump, and they no longer have Obama or Clinton to blame everything on.

  20. Apol says:

    Matti’s as Ahab, perfect casting..

  21. old aukuu says:

    Fearing an invasion of Manchuria to crush the nascent communist revolution the Chinese foreign minister, Zhou En-Lai declared that China “will not supinely tolerate seeing their neighbors invaded by the imperialists.” MacArthur sneered at this warning. “… They have no airforce…if the Chinese tried to get down to Pyongyang there would be a great slaughter…we are the best.” He then ordered airstrikes to lay waste thousands of square miles of northern Korea bordering China and ordered infantry divisions ever closer to its border.
    It was the terrible devastation of this bombing campaign, worse than anything seen during World War II short of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that to this day dominates North Korea’s relations with the United States and drives its determination never to submit to any American diktat.
    General Curtis Lemay directed this onslaught. It was he who had firebombed Tokyo in March 1945 saying it was “about time we stopped swatting at flies and gone after the manure pile.” It was he who later said that the US “ought to bomb North Vietnam back into the stone age.” Remarking about his desire to lay waste to North Korea he said “We burned down every town in North Korea and South Korea too.” Lemay was by no means exaggerating.
    Napalm was used extensively, completely and utterly destroying the northern capital of Pyongyang. By 1953 American pilots were returning to carriers and bases claiming there were no longer any significant targets in all of North Korea to bomb. In fact a very large percentage of the northern population was by then living in tunnels dug by hand underground. A British journalist wrote that the northern population was living “a troglodyte existence.”In the Spring of 1953 US warplanes hit five of the largest dams along the Yalu river completely inundating and killing Pyongyang’s harvest of rice. Air Force documents reveal calculated premeditation saying that “Attacks in May will be most effective psychologically because it was the end of the rice-transplanting season before the roots could become completely embedded.” Flash floods scooped out hundreds of square miles of vital food producing valleys and killed untold numbers of farmers.
    At Nuremberg after WWII, Nazi officers who carried out similar attacks on the dikes of Holland, creating a mass famine in 1944, were tried as criminals and some were executed for their crimes.

  22. b says:

    There is a political theory of three power centers in the U.S.
    – the corporate
    – the executive (including the CIA and the political think tank establishment)
    – the military (and its industry)
    Clinton had the first two, Trump had the third and his own little group of America firsters.
    Clinton had most of the Zionist on her side, Trump only the Adelson/Netanyahoo hardcore.
    After Trump won the military demanded its price. Trump gave it lots of executive offices and demoted the “executive” site in the State Department the military hates so much. But the military disliked the America firsters. They would have, in the long run, cut down its budget. No more war, no need for big military budgets. The military used its power to diminish the America firster faction. Flynn was kicked out, Bannon demoted, Kushner reigned in by a Dunford talk in Iraq. Trump recognized the firster game is over and decided to move his position. He now lets the military run the show (and foreign policy).
    The military is good at knocking things down but its larger strategic foresight is limited (said mildly). The only presser instrument it knows is the threat of force.
    Will Trump be able to reign it in when it overshoots? I have my doubts on that. The military decided to wage real war on Syria, not this iffy never ending show the CIA so far performed (in the military view).
    The U.S., Saudi, Jihadistani and Israeli team will be up against Syria, Russia, Hizbullah and Iran (with Chinese backup behind them) who have the home field advantage. If that clash becomes real it hardly be containable.

  23. Kooshy says:

    From what I hear from family and friends in Europe, president Trump has been amazingly, immensely helpful to “make America hated first” around the world and among our cultural core allies and friends in Europe. It sounds like make AMERICA first rhetoric is now ended, and “apprentice” first virtual reality has become supreme. America’ Political enemies can’t ask for any better or more. As a business man, specially a real estate developer I thought Mr. Trump would be a good change for this country of ours, that is, since I thought he must be a good and successful negotiator, so he will negotiate and resolve many of our domestic and foreign problems. Regrettably I think I was wrong, so far instead of negotiating, resolving and compromising any of our domestic or foreign issues, he and his administration on every level has just bullied everyone left and right and outside of this country.

  24. turcopolier says:

    Whose theory is that? Yours? All that crap about the MIC is just crap. pl

  25. Alaric says:

    Trump is playing reality TV President. His actions overseas are all theater which is designed to force certain actions. At a minimum, someone will call his bluff but maybe not quite yet. I suspect the Chinese, Koreans, Iranians and Russians understand his domestic problems.

  26. turcopolier says:

    old aukuu
    whatever that is, you must be new here. This is a sophisticated crowd and we don’t like being lectured. The US bombed the German, Japanese, Koreans, Iraqis unmercifully? Do you really think we don’t know that? My opposition to strategic bombing is well known. We know all about the Manila, Tokyo and Nuremberg trials. Grow up! Winning counts. Only people who lose are tried for war crimes. Get with it or get lost. pl

  27. turcopolier says:

    Yes, well you backed the pathological ubermommy so you have nothing to brag about. pl

  28. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Being disliked by Europeans does not mean much; they loved Hitler and Mussolini, admired Mao and Stalin, liked JFK, hated Ayatollah Khoemini and had warm feelings for the “Modernizing Shah”, all the while hating Franco.
    It is like the old story told of Aristotle; an idiot warmly greeted him on the street and immediately Aristotle became depressed: “What stupid thing have I done that causes this man to like me?”

  29. Babak Makkinejad says:

    On your number 1; I think that the planet cannot be dominated; 2/3 of it is water.
    On your number 2, I think it is the most plausible.
    Please also note that Europeans, like their Gulfie counterparts (or Israelis, for that matter), constantly have to create and maintain crisis in order to keep the United State engaged on that continent.
    Imagine: France and Germany settle with Russia and resolve all outstanding problems between EU and the Russian Federation.
    US would say, “Great! I can go home now.”
    Do you think EU would want such an eventuality?
    I think not.

  30. Jack says:

    Apparently the least probable outcome for the first round is Macron and Fillon. If that happens then the Euro should rise as populism in Europe will be considered dead for now. The polls show both Macron and Fillon winning the second round by double digits. It seems Le Pen has a ceiling in terms of vote percentage. A competitive second round will require Melenchon and Le Pen.
    As far as equities are concerned the central banks will print more if there is a break. They need financial assets to remain levitated. Only the bond market running away despite their ministrations will discredit them.

  31. Alaric says:

    While I believe that Trump is bluffing, I suspect others within his cabinet are pushing for war in Syria at least but they are doing it in a very clumsy fashion.

  32. different clue says:

    Nancy K,
    Many years ago I read the book Fear And Loathing: On The Campaign Trail ’72, by Hunter S. Thompson. Early in the book he wrote a sentence I still remember. ” Richard Nixon is back from the dead, running wild in the power vacuum of Lyndon’s hopeless bullsh*t.”
    I will paraphrase that sentence for today. ” Trump won by running wild in the power vacuum of Hillary’s hopeless bullsh*t.” The Democratic Inner-Party elites produced the Trump win by assuring Sanders’s primary “loss” through various kinds of fraudulent manipulation and sometimes outright sabotage of the primary process. So Trump is very much the Clintocrats’ gift to the nation.
    As to Trump’s current actions, they are very much Clintastic and very much not what I voted for. He certainly appears to be carrying out the Wall Street ClintoBorg agenda. That is of course his choice and he is to be blamed for making that choice.

  33. C L says:

    From personal experience the ‘great negotiator’ has one tactic for disputes: Full frontal attack with an army of lawyers.
    Unfortunately in the international arena this tactic is useless, yet worse his army of lawyers has become a real army controlled by his misadministration of yes men. All is laid out in the ghostwritten art of the deal.
    We poor souls side-stepped the lawyerly onslaught by laying our claim for pay, to a trump org supplier, the supplier paid our claims, charged the trump org for them + handling fees and we walked away with the money due us to feed our families, as did the army of lawyers who cost the trump org 10x our initial claim.
    ‘Tact’ for this administration is twitter shorthand for ‘Attack’
    Heres hoping the many political advisors around the globe figure this tactic out quickly and adapt – Avoiding a charging bull is easier when one tries not to harm it, it leaves the bull winded and standing in its own bullshit.

  34. wisedupearly says:

    Judging just from the actions taken so far (our continuing presence in Afghanistan is but one example) PNAC is either insane or malevolent. Certainly the PNAC actions always yield the worst possible results for the US. The limitless nature of the military adventures, the failure to set any termination conditions, are extremely destructive to any organism/country. The results can be seen as a near perfect balance of costs sufficient to punish and eventually destabilize but not so heavy so as to cause immediate collapse.

  35. Nancy K says:

    Yes you are right but ubbermommy looks better than ubberdaddy.

  36. Mark Logan says:

    I’ll opine Trump is fundamentally insecure and about the only approval he has garnered to date was from his “toughness” in Syria. Enablers ready to pounce wasted no time.
    A ray of hope, if there is one, may be in the hard-to-summon image of Trump getting a “trust me” AUMF from Congress ala George W. for Iraq. His credibility is not of the best. The sort of deployments which Mattis is likely to recommend prior to an attempt to take out NOKO’s nuclear program would seem to require something like that. Emphasis on seem. Lacking proper preparedness, Mattis, Dunford, McMaster, at least seem, to me (a BIG caveat), capable of balking. They would their oaths to defend them.

  37. ToivoS says:

    Nancy, please stop telling us how we feel. I voted for Trump but I never loved him. I saw that vote as an opportunity to throw a monkey wrench into the gears of the borg state in general and the Democratic Party in particular. In the 20 years prior to that vote I was an activist inside the Party but last year finally came to the conclusion that it was so corrupt that it could not be reformed from within. Blowing it up was simply a pragmatic decision.

  38. TonyL says:

    I agreed with Mr FB Ali
    “(3) When the collective mind of a group is infected with such crazy ideas, it cannot view matters rationally.”
    I think Mr Trump meant everything he said. So I’ll take the “imbeciles” explanation.

  39. SQuinn says:

    This is not what I voted for. We’ve got a monkey with a machine gun.

  40. turcopolier says:

    It WAS a rhetorical question, but the MIC business is just wrong in the way people think of it as dictating policy. Industry exerts pressure on Congress which responds to lobbyists to seek purchase of things made in their districts but the actual formulation of foreign policy has nothing to do with procurement. That is why we often end up ill equipped for policy driven demands on the military. Foreign policy decisions are derived from complex political factors having to do with group identity, rubbish learned in graduate schools, personal ambition, foreign pressures exerted through the American political system. Are you familiar with the PPBS process? I will explain it if you like. This system is so “wired” as to make it virtually incomprehensible to those who do not operate inside it full time. Its very complexity is so great that the idea of General Dynamics or some similar company driving the system is funny. Israel? Yes, of course. Israel is the 2000 lb elephant in the room both through the baleful direct influence of AIPAC on policy and the long term corrosion on governmental process that Zionist interests have inflicted on the US government. Without Israel’s wishes in the matter we would not give a damn about Syria or Iran. pl

  41. Outrage Beyond says:

    It appears Trump has been captured by the Clintonistas, the Zionists, the Neocons, and the Borg. Or to put it another way, Trump has morphed himself into a simulacrum of what we expected from Clinton: warmongering foreign policy and a variety of shitty domestic policies.
    It’s possible it’s all a big bluff; a big show; a feint to sucker the Borg. But the deeper Trump commits to the Zionist/Neocon/Borg program, the harder it is to think it’s some masterful maskirovka stratagem.
    The question I want to raise is this: how did it happen? How did the Borg capture Trump? Did he give in because he is a narcissist who wants to be loved? Did he give in because the Borg has some serious kompromat on him? Is he so uninterested in details that he’s willing to outsource policy decisions to Ivanka and his Zionist douchebag son-in-law?
    Recall if you will Trump’s appearance before the RJC where where he told an assortment of rich Jews that their money couldn’t control him. But then it turns out he took big money from Adelson. Did Adelson buy control? Contrast Trump’s recent actions with his final campaign commercial:
    I pose these questions in somewhat rhetorical fashion as to some degree the answers seem obvious. Someday in the future we may learn the details of the exact machinations that led to Trump’s betrayal of his base and his apparent merger with the Borg.
    Some months before the election, I predicted several times on this site that Trump would likely be impeached if elected. It could still happen, but it appears one benefit of Trump’s capitulation is that impeachment is “off the table” (as Pelosi put it, regarding Bush Junior) for now.

  42. Mikey says:

    That Trump could wind up defeating HRC is, IMO, the ultimate in rejection. As Michael Moore said: It was the big FU in Human History.

  43. Doug Colwell says:

    In all sincerity I wish that were so. If anything I think Hillary would have been a bit quicker to use force. She would not have been coerced or convinced, as I think Donald might well have been. She already had plenty of experience, and never showed any reluctance using force in my memory.
    But perhaps you are right, there might have been less pressure on her to move so quickly. I suspect she and her coterie would have fallen prey the the “I have to show how tough I am because I a girl” sort of thinking.
    If you could provide quotes of her quotes of her opposition to war(s) I would welcome them. Thank you.

  44. Mikey says:

    In terms of military adventures, the destruction of the Syrian state, and the carnage that would follow has the greatest likelihood of success with the least political risk. If you choose to call it that. Along with it comes the side benefit of bloodying Russia’s and the Iranian’s nose without significant US military commitment or domestic opposition.
    War with N. Korea is risky, they have mastered unpredictability. It won’t be popular on the home front when Hyundai’s become hard to get. Also, it is not in Israel’s short term interest.

  45. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think you are underestimating the corrosive effort that the Protestant Churches in the United States and the United Kingdom have exerted on the behalf of the state of Israel.
    They are the ones who bear responsibility, a very major one in my opinion, for bringing the United States to this situation.
    Of course Israelis would take advantage of any damned fool anywhere in the world to advance their agenda.

  46. Babak Makkinejad says:

    In your fine list: “Clintonistas, the Zionists, the Neocons, and the Borg..” you forgot to include the American Electorate.

  47. ked says:

    & now, getting blown up may be the consequence of such pragmatism. it was far more obvious that Trump was, well, exactly what he has confirmed himself to be, than that Hillary was intolerable as a president. hate for Hillary was a powerfully blinding force, wasn’t it?
    look, I realize there are real & fundamental problems with our nation. but to be so impatient for a quick fix that supposedly wise people would go for Trump is really a self-indictment. and those now surprised over anything that issues from his regime could really use some self-examination. I think his avid supporters who weren’t simply simple are no better at selecting leaders (& certainly as lousy at playing the long game) than those they so righteously opposed.
    I have news for you – it’s going to get a lot worse… his family circle isn’t big enough, or skilled enough, to save us.

  48. Lemur says:

    the US might already be at war if she was in charge.

  49. b says:

    The three power centers were first describe in
    C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite, 1956
    I observe and then look for a construct that fits the observation. In my view the “three power-centers” fits in explaining the recent election.
    As for the MIC. Every active U.S. General seems to be looking for a future job as a board member of some industrial conglomerate. This drives a lot of military powerplays in the interest of that industry.

  50. aleksandar says:

    Don’t trust the poll. I guess Marine will lost at the end, all chickens will gather to vote for anybody else during second round.
    MSM propaganda about “far right” is on full speed aand Macron is THE Borg candidate. What is interesting is that the “Left” as a Marxist force is dead. Marine assesment that political struggle in future will be between internationalists and nationalists is accurate.
    If you want to protect your assets, buy roubles, the only currency that will not collapse, no debt and big gold stocks.

  51. aleksandar says:

    Hum, not so easy. Most of the european people will be glad, the various europeans Borg will not.

  52. confusedponderer says:

    My late grandmother of mother’s side had excellent ears.
    Whenever I visited her by bike, she opened the door becore I could ring. She said she had heared me coming. Actually that was a quiet bike, and I wasn’t singing or the like, so I was always wondering how she could hear me. Well, she told me that she always had an excellent hearing.
    That’s where the story got odd: She added that her excellent hearing was found to be quite useful during WW-II. After bombings she was routinely sent to leave the cellars first and tell, by listening carefully, wether the aircraft were gone already. That’s an unpleasant way to give a compliment for an excellent skill.
    At the time it was rather common that farmers in the area were found shot up on their fields, probably attacked by fighters. At least so it seemed to me when grandma told her story about being strafed on the road by a fighter when she was riding to the next town on her bike. She escaped, fortunately, since a neighbour of the road gave her cover and hid her in her cellar.

  53. aleksandar says:

    Maybe he is just buying time.

  54. LeaNder says:

    PNAC is gone, closed it’s doors a long time ago, Hindenburg, wisedupearly.
    It seems to make much more sense to watch the institutions that may have replaced it.
    Jim Lobe, who I consider a bit of an insider on matters, had the impression that this could be some type of New Manifesto in 2016.
    Choosing to Lead:
    Isn’t ‘Making America Great Again’ somewhat connected to that leadership? Or may there not have been some implications lost in the individual interpretation?
    And yes, vaguely another more recently founded institution comes to mind. The Foreign Policy Initiative, FPI.
    From the top of my head.

  55. Cold War Zoomie says:

    I don’t know what the hell is going on. Hunker down and wait it out.

  56. LeaNder says:

    Yes, Babak, one of my experiences around here may be summed up by the basic discomfort that “we the people” may easily be attracted to whatever type of names/terms/tags/human psychological traits for the evil out there.
    On the other hand what precise advise would you have given the American Electorate during the last election? You may have indeed done, but if so, below my perception radar.

  57. Nancy K says:

    I didn’t like Clinton either, I just preferred her to Trump. I voted for her in the primary even though I preferred Bernie because I didn’t think he could win. Big mistake.

  58. Nancy K says:

    I agree. But it wasn’t the biggest FU. Having Trump as president is the biggest.

  59. Nancy K says:

    You are possibly right. I imagine she would be looking towards Iran, and not waving an olive branch

  60. sid_finster says:

    The problem with Trump as Mighty Thor is that Mighty Thor is easily manipulated.

  61. jsn says:

    I agree with your framing but would add context. The last 40 years has reduced the functional United States to two industrialized and fairly modern corridors along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. With the exception of a shrinking constellation of aspiring city states in between, the remainder of the country has been hollowed out and more or less abandoned: that zone is functionally reduced to second or third world status and with regard to infrastructure that status extends right into the heart of the Borg in DC and the Blob in Boston, New York, Seattle and San Francisco.
    That bi-coastal, mostly modern state now relies on manufacturing supply chains all over the “empire” outside it’s protected borders for its munitions and provisioning and increasingly for properly educated “staff”. The elite in this zone is oblivious to enormous and increasing fragility that has resulted in all of its economic and political infrastructure even to the extent of thinking fighting wars with mercenary forces is a good proposition.
    I’ve been wondering the last few years if it’s 1988 and we’re the Soviet Union or if its 1913 and we’re Great Britain. Since November 9th I’ve been thought maybe it is 1913 but we have our Kaiser Wilhelm.
    But the global dynamics are even bigger than that, in the context of what I’ve just outlined I’m beginning to think Trump has more in common with Muhammad Shah who rode the Mughal Empire down to collapse and dismemberment in the 1750s. In 1988, the Soviets still had a well educated and healthy (minus the alcoholism) population; in 1913 the Kaiser had one of the healthiest and most modern industrial societies in the world behind him: Trump has inherited the desiccated rump of a hollow empire that has systematically monetized the health and education of its population now for two generations, reversing higher earlier levels of education and now actually increasing the mortality rate for its citizens. Ours has become a deeply corrupt and blindly self destructive empire like that of the late Mughals.
    The avarice and corrupted commercial ethos of our elite reminds me also of those of Renaissance Italy who’s greedy short sightedness invited nearly instant conquest by Charles VIII: they thought they could hire armies to protect them too, but when Charles rode in with a hardened and patriotic French army these forces fled or flipped. When push came to shove the force commander became the commander of force, taking over from civilian government when, after conquering the whole peninsula Charles bonked his head on a door jamb and died leaving Italy in the newly militarized hands of these former mercenaries.
    At least those elites had presided over a cultural fluorescence that made Italy worth conquering in whole whereas the present of the US makes a simple resource imperialism the more likely interest to intervene. Like the rest of the Empire, Trump thinks he still has the solid base under him that gave his present perch the prestige it now holds: things change.

  62. MRW says:

    PNAC is gone, closed it’s doors a long time ago
    I thought it just renamed itself with The word “Defense” in the title.

  63. Babak Makkinejad says:

    It is no my place to offer the American Electorate any advice.
    But it has taken US a long time to arrive at this juncture and a single vote will not change things all that much.
    Likewise for the European Union, which, having won the Cold War (together with US) against USSR and her allies finds itself – 25 years later – being explicitly threatened with nuclear war by the President of the Russian Federation.
    Who is responsible but the Electorate?

  64. Babak Makkinejad says:

    China, Korea, Israel are the same.
    I do not know about Germany, Russia, UK, and Japan; would not be surprised if it worked the same way there too.

  65. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Nixon was a very experienced politician, look at his Southern Strategy.
    He was also a first rate strategist; all the contemporary EU leaders were impressed by his ability to discuss and describe the strategic situation with them and without notes over an hour.

  66. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Who are the “Borg” in Europe but dominant and dominating segments of the European Electorate.
    Danish Electorate evidently have decided that Shia Muslims are their enemies; it has been a Free Choice; who am I to argue with their free choice?

  67. BraveNewWorld says:

    I have to wonder if after the Obama care fiasco the Republican leadership didn’t quietly take the Trump team aside and tell them this is how it is going to be or we will have a vote of impeachment or some other threat. Even I don’t believe Trump threw most of his team under the bus and did a full 180 based on the Fox news story of the day.

  68. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Good historical analogies.
    I think you might also like to look at Spain during the time of Olivares.
    I think in one of the Federalist papers, Adams implied that urbanization will endanger the republic since cities corrupt those virtues that make a republic possible.
    In the United States, in the coastal regions, not all things are rosy either; public workers – such as teachers – need food stamps. There is a lot of homelessness and vagabondage as well.

  69. mauisurfer says:

    interesting statement about Israel/AIPAC/Zionists
    You seem to have a lot in common with Chas Freeman,
    wondering if you crossed paths in ME/DC.
    Over the course of decades, Israel has systematically eliminated alternatives to continued Jewish oppression or eventual expulsion of the non-Jewish inhabitants of all of the Holy Land. It has discredited the “peace process” and left no room for diplomacy. It has made brokering friendly relations between the “Jewish state” and its neighbors practically infeasible. Israel’s behavior is delegitimizing it and its policies, both in the region and internationally, while devaluing the regional and global reputation of the United States.
    There is no military answer to these quandaries. It is a waste of time and money to pretend that U.S. gifts of weapons and money to Israel can eventually provide one. But it is difficult to see any opening for diplomacy as long as U.S. taxpayers continue to make it possible for Israel’s government to pursue policies it finds electorally expedient, despite their counterproductivity.

  70. different clue says:

    Babak Makkinejad,
    Was it Adams who wrote that? Or Jefferson? I ask because I remember reading that Jefferson thought that pretty consistently and in general. But Adams could have felt that way from time to time too.

  71. different clue says:

    Nancy K
    I have to agree with Doug Colwell here. Clinton might or might not have been “quicker” to use force, but she was determined to use it in such a way as to risk all-out war with Russia in particular. Combining that with her support for Free Trade Treason agreements meant she was a deadly danger to America’s mere brute survival in any form whatever.
    We can be grateful that Trump drove the Bushes out of politics for a while. We can be grateful that Trump has given us an opportunity to drive the Clintons out of politics for a while if we can figure out how to do that. (The Clintons are grooming Chelsea to run for something, so a determined effort to destroy her first run for office would be the next battle in the war to declintaminate the Democratic Party.) He did officially withdraw America from the TPP. And he provides a handy stage upon which Bernie Sanders can run wild in the power vacuum of the Clintobamacrats’ hopeless bullsh*t.
    We beat Mommy Wokest! And I helped with my vote here in Michigan. I do not regret my vote. I may reSENT Trump for his sudden turn to the ClintoBorg Dark Side, but that is not the same thing.

  72. serge says:

    Ex-PFC Chuck,
    Can you explain what you meant by this?

  73. turcopolier says:

    Freeman? (irony) If only I could have met him. Sigh … Who was the other guy? pl

  74. different clue says:

    If the ClintoBorg gets Assad overthrown and then the Nuclear Norks sell atomic expertise to the Jihadi Emirate of Syria . . . the Israelis will discover that overthrowing Assad was not in their short term interest after all.

  75. different clue says:

    Mark Logan,
    It will take many millions of calls and letters Trump and Sanders supporters to scare the officeholders out of giving Trump his AUMF for toppling Assad. The officeholders, esPECially the Clintonites, desperately want to topple Assad in order to “teach Putin a lesson” for “meddling in American elections”. It will take a lot of counterpressure to make the Graham-McCainiacs and the Clintonites step back from supporting the AUMF they want to support.

  76. jsn says:

    Thank you, I’ll look into the Olivares.
    I live in New York and the problems you describe are sever: the meritocratic ethos casts those who fail under commercial pressure into the abyss and smugly tells itself its what they deserve.
    I frankly doubt a “commercial civilization” can ever defeat a “patriotic” one, and the US was at its best when commerce was in the service of the civilization rather than the other way around as now.

  77. wisedupearly says:

    In a formal sense PNAC is no more but its basic rhetoric and vision lives on. It seems that there is a connection with

  78. mauisurfer says:

    other guy? maybe William R Polk?

  79. turcopolier says:

    Could be. I am reluctant to lunch out anymore pl
    Sent from my iPhone

  80. Mark Logan says:

    different clue,
    No argument here. Syria is in grave danger if Trump isn’t bluffing. North Korea was in my mind when I wrote that but I neglected to say so. My bad.

  81. Chris Chuba says:

    Here’s my nickel, Trump has bluffing in this toxic mix. He will likely get some marginally acceptable agreement w/help from China, who hate the presence of our THAADs. The N. Koreans will suspend missile testing but it will fall short of nuclear disarmament. It will be enough for him to save face and focus elsewhere.
    Trump will then send an armada to Yemen to both teach the Iranians a lesson and as a demonstration of U.S. force to show N. Korea that they better behave or else. This is how bullies think but the MSM and U.S. commentators will be orgasmic and claim that we are punishing the bully.
    Operation starve Yemen and blame Iran, will trigger God’s Judgment against us, not that God rights every wrong on earth but the combination of doing something so evil while calling it good and all but calling it the Lord’s work (ala Nikki Haley) will be the breaking point (4th Commandment) for Him. PS 98: “He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.” (no special favors for the U.S.) Sorry for getting all religious, just frustrated by the monolithic face of Christians in U.S. public office. N.H. has certainly driven me to my breaking point 🙂

  82. charly says:

    As far as i remembered there were no flash flooding in the Netherlands but i’m not a WWII geek. What they did was use the already planned defense works around Amsterdam to flood the polders but that flooding didn’t take a few hours but more like a week and people were prepared for it.
    ps. My grandfathers farm was hit hard by it.

  83. Babak Makkinejad says:


  84. LondonBob says:

    I concur, a combination of Trump’s negotiating style and Kissinger’s madman theory. As daft as that is.
    That said I increasingly believe McMaster was a disastrous choice. He looks to be a true believer and promoted way above his capabilities. I agree with Bacevich that NSA is not a position that should be held by a military man, should have appointed someone like Mearsheimer. Perused Michael Scheuer’s amusing latest posts on his blog and he says Jack Keane has been on TV salivating at the US now being a participant in the Syrian Civil War, straight out of Dr Strangelove. Just hope Tillerson finds his feet quicker.

  85. Dante Alighieri says:

    I have my highest respect for all the people who wanted to prevent a HRC presidency, for good reasons. But their sorry whine about Trump’s now not being what they in their delusional fantasies imagined him to be leaves me stone cold. You picked him, you own him.

  86. Macgupta123 says:

    As good an explanation as any other:
    “Our problem is not Trump Derangement Syndrome; our problem is Deranged Trump Self-Delusion. This is the habit of willfully substituting, as a motive for Trump’s latest action, a conventional political or geostrategic ambition, rather than recognizing the action as the daily spasm of narcissistic gratification and episodic vanity that it truly is.
    The bombing of Syria, for instance, was not a sudden lurch either in the direction of liberal interventionism, à la Bill Clinton in the lands that were once Yugoslavia, nor was it a sudden reassertion of a neo-con version of American power, à la both Bushes in Iraq. It was, as best as anyone can understand, simply a reaction to an image, turned into a self-obsessed lashing out that involved the lives and deaths of many people. It was a detached gesture, unconnected to anything resembling a sequence of other actions, much less an ideology. Nothing followed from it, and no “doctrine” or even a single speech justified it.
    There is no credible evidence that Trump’s humanity was outraged by the act of poisoning children, only that Trump’s vanity was wounded by the seeming insult to America and, by extension, to him. It may be perfectly true that the failure of the Obama Administration to act sooner in Syria will go down forever, in the historical ledgers, as a reproach against it; or it may be that the wisdom of the Obama Administration in not getting engaged in another futile Middle Eastern folly will go down in its favor. But it is self-deluding to think that Trump’s action was meant to be in any way remedial. It was purely ritual, and the ritual acted out was the interminable Trumpist ritual of lashing out at those who fail to submit, the ritual act of someone whose inner accounting is conducted exclusively in terms of wounds given, worship received, and winnings displayed. (Perhaps his elder daughter, Ivanka, did play some small part in the action, as her brother Eric suggested in an interview, but this is hardly a comfort; the politics of a mad king with a court are no more reassuring than those of a mad king alone.)”

  87. Macgupta123 says:

    And if you don’t like it from the Left, take it from the Onion:
    WASHINGTON—Amid concerns that a U.S. attack on a Syrian government air base would only escalate the ongoing conflict in the region, President Trump assured Americans Friday that his decision to order a missile strike came only after carefully considering every one of his passing whims. “I want to make it perfectly clear that the decision to launch a military intervention in Syria was the result of meticulously reviewing each fleeting impulse that I felt over the last 48 hours,” said Trump, adding that after learning of chemical weapons used by Bashar al-Assad’s forces to kill innocent Syrian civilians, he gathered his top military aides to pore over dozens of his sudden knee-jerk reactions to the situation. “I examined many different options that whirled through my mind in the moment, including authorizing drone strikes, deploying U.S. troops to Syria, sending in SEAL Team Six to take out Assad, getting up and grabbing a snack from the kitchen, doing nothing, and dropping all our nuclear bombs on Damascus at once. Ultimately, I concluded that an airstrike was the best option at that particular second.” Trump went on to say that if the Assad regime’s behavior continues, he will not hesitate to order further military action if he hasn’t already completely forgotten about Syria by then.

  88. Allegorio says:

    They would, wouldn’t they?

  89. LeaNder says:

    As daft as that is
    daft, don’t remember seeing or for that matter hearing it for ages. It may have been among the first words I learned in London. 😉
    Has it made it into the US vocabulary, I wonder? Must have.
    Yes, obviously:
    As postscript what forces/synapses on Babak’s mind lead to his assumption that every single one of us, even the daft among us, like me, can be collectively regarded as one influential particle of “Fortress West”? And thus responsible for e.g. sanctions against Iran and Russia?
    Ok, seems it made it before into a comment, but maybe I cannot trust a complete Google site search of Pat’s blog:

  90. Allegorio says:

    What is not discussed is how corrupt the military industrial complex is, and how degraded the weapons systems they produce are, whereas the Russian systems out perform the American ones. The Russian Air Craft are superior to the American. If the US would confront the Russians in Syria, they would lose and they know it, hence the bluster. Likewise, Iranian and Hezbollah forces are not Saddam Hussein’s demoralized army, just ask the Israeli’s in Lebanon. These are the reasons there has not yet been a full fledged invasion in Syria. Vast devastation seems to be enough for the borg even if conquest is impossible, a la Libya

  91. Babak Makkinejad says:

    He silenced all the innuendo about his relationship with the Russian Federation by a limited military strike on the Syrian Arab Republic which had zero effect of the strategic situation in that theatre.
    SAR is, per the Western Fortress consensus, is an “Honorary Shia” government, in cahoots with the despised Shia enemy in Iran; both allies of the Russian Federation which has its bloody claws in the carcass of Ukraine while gnawing on Crimea.
    He received domestic praise as well as praise from his alliance members; and all with pre-paid missiles that were sitting in storage somewhere.
    I do not doubt Trump’s sanity; I doubt the sanity of those whose appeasement required a president of the United States to bomb some one, somewhere, in order to make them go away.

  92. different clue says:

    Dante Alighieri,
    Well, those of us who picked him can now oppose and obstruct the Trump Damage unfolding every which way we can at every appropriate level.
    Since Trump has now been given the Clinton Housekeeping Seal of Approval, he is immune to impeachment. That means I can now criticize and oppose this-and-that about the various Trump Directives about which I kept silent till now . . . out of not wanting to play into the hands of the Intel-Clintonite soft coup makers.
    I will focus a lot of my small lay-citizen energy on undermining Trump’s effort to Make America Polluted Again and Make America Sicker Than Ever. Others may focus on other things.

  93. confusedponderer says:

    thank for the link. It was interesting to read and watch.
    Just once again the Syrian gas mystery can be witnessesed in the image on the site. The image text suggests that the doctor is traiting a gas victim.
    Well, or unwell, if the man had been poisoned with Sarin or the like, just touching a poisoned spot of the skin would would make the doctor sick like a dog. Alas …
    Needless to say, our doctor is mysteriously resistant, and so he does his treatment without gas mask, protective suit or hand gloves. That is, to be kind, utterly unprofessional and quite unwise as an approach to such a victim.
    As I was hammered in the army during NBC courses: ‘NEVER EVER leave or loose your protection in situations after B and C use. To do so would mean death or sickness.’ A lesson worth to be kept in mind.
    That is why IMO the image and the story told about it stink. I can’t even laugh about that sort of clownery anymore.

  94. Macgupta123 says:

    George Friedman on Bloomberg radio, commenting on the news of the type:
    Trump’s sweetening the pot, offering China better trade terms if the Asian powerhouse takes steps to put North Korea’s provocative behavior to rest. {from CNN}
    (paraphrase): this policy has always been in place, all US Presidents have followed this policy, it is just that Trump is the first POTUS to talk about this policy in public. In my opinion, China is playing the USA; whenever a trade issue with China comes up, North Korea starts acting up; the US asks China for help, and China says, we’re helping with North Korea, why are you bringing up less important trade issues? And the US makes trade concessions to China.

  95. Sam Peralta says:

    “China is playing the USA”
    George Friedman is echoing what Pat Buchanan has been saying.
    “America First” thus takes a back seat to big-power diplomacy with Beijing. One wonders: How much will Xi end up bilking us for his squeezing of Kim Jong Un?

  96. Travis says:

    The center of the country, with a few exceptions is not second or third world. I grew up surrounded by corn fields and my family roots are small time tobacco farmers and moonshiners in Appalachia. We have one of the most sophisticated agricultural systems in the world. Take a look at the inside of a current model John Deere tractor, the massive automated dairy farms, commercial bee keepers moving flat bed trucks loaded with hives from the Florida citrus to California almonds and slaughterhouses that process thousands of animals a day. Compare the lives of even the old order Amish that live here to southern hemisphere farmers and it is easy to see that middle America is not 3rd world. It doesn’t have the resources or financial clout that the coasts have but it is as Sam Kinison once remarked “where the food is.”

  97. Timothy Janssen says:

    The link is trash. Fake Noise.

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