Trump’s Feel Good Moment is Wrong by Publius Tacitus


A boss and mentor that played an important part in my life (he retired from the Marine Corps as a Colonel and had two tours in Vietnam) had a saying that is applies to Donald Trump's speech at the UN yesterday (Tuesday)–"If it feels really good it is probably wrong." Trump stood up at the UN and teed off on North Korea, Venezuela and Iran. His supporters and even some pundits who have been lukewarm on the matter of the Trump Presidency praised this as the best speech of his Presidency. It was a home run in their view.

I fully understand the emotional satisfaction that comes with telling a despicable soul what you really think. You peel off their skin; a verbal flaying. While that may feel good in the moment, it rarely accomplishes anything other than to make matters worse.

Years ago my wife and I shared a home in Argentina with a baker and his wife and family. The wife, a lady named Anna was an extremely difficult, selfish person. I did not know how my friend, the baker, could put up with her nonsense. One morning they emerged from their bedroom and announced that they were going to separate and would divorce. I was young and stupid. Rather than just nod and hold my tongue I spoke up. I said, "I'm sorry to hear this but I understand why. Anna, you are a very demanding, unfeeling person."

Boy, did that feel good. I got to tell her exactly what I thought. What happened next was totally unexpected. They both, husband and wife, became immediately angry with me and decided to not separate. They stayed together for two more years and then separated. But my careless intervention where I spoke what I thought was the truth ended up keeping them together when they should have gone their separate ways.

That's essentially what Donald Trump did yesterday. He spoke from the gut without thinking through the consequences. 

His threat to wipe out North Korea reminded me of Nikita Khrushchev banging his shoe on the podium at the UN. Great theater but makes one thing that the shoe banger is crazy. There is no acceptable military option in North Korea. But Trump is not the only one spouting such madness. We've heard the same delusional threats from SecDef Mattis and National Security Advisor McMaster. I learned a long time ago that you do not make threats you are not will to carry out. In fact, I'm a firm believer in the sucker punch. Why tell someone what you are going to do and how you are going to do it? That stuff only works in Hollywood.

Remember this clip from Billy Jack?

That is a feel good moment. Not realistic but leaves the audience cheering. Trump and his team are not talking about kicking Rocket Man upside his face. They are talking about dropping bombs, possibly tactical nukes, that could trigger a broader nuclear exchange. The risk of killing a billion people is real. To even entertain such an option is, in my view, insane.

Venezuela? Why even give them attention? What Trump and his advisors fail to grasp is that putting the United States in the forefront of the public pressure to change the government in Venezuela, we then become the excuse that Venezuela's Maduro can use to justify his own failures and retain support to hang on to power. Just look at how effective our threats and denouncements of Cuba have been over the years. We gave Castro an external enemy that he used effectively to rally public support for his government. Getting rid of Maduro should be done quietly with no U.S. finger prints.

Finally, Trump's tirade on Iran is just flat out wrong and rife with irony. Trump said:

Trump confronted Iran's destabilizing behavior in the Middle East, leaving open the possibility that the U.S. will unilaterally pull out of the multinational nuclear deal with the country — which he deemed an "embarrassment" — and made an appeal to the Iranian people to stand against their government and seize their future.

Trump said its government "must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors."

"The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy. It has turned a wealthy country, with a rich history and culture, into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos," he said.

The only country that is conducting illegal military operations  and failing to respect the "sovereign rights" of a country is the United States. We have military personnel on the ground in Syria and are carrying out airstrikes without any legal right. Iran is not the country supporting terrorism. That "honor" belongs to Saudi Arabia, whose hands are covered with buckets of blood in that regard. 

While Trump's speech is resonating with his base, it does not reflect a world view or set of policies that will serve the interests of the United States. In some respects, Trump reminds me of Lyndon Johnson. Trump, like Johnson, has a vision for fixing America at home. But that plan will be destroyed because of his foreign policy craziness. Just as Vietnam destroyed the Johnson Presidency, the foreign policy reflected in Trump's UN speech carries the same risk of destroying his Presidency.

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52 Responses to Trump’s Feel Good Moment is Wrong by Publius Tacitus

  1. sid_finster says:

    What I find especially comic is how the die-hard Trump supporters whoop it up every time he flip flops or folds.
    Either that or they make excuses for the man, the way Obama supporters used to.

  2. You are letting your own dislike of Trump cloud your ability to make a cogent comment. My article says nothing about Trump supporters “whooping” it up over his flip flops, etc. I would simply note that the anti-trumpets are equally delusional and crazy. Just focus on the substance of what I’ve written and comment in that vein pleas.

  3. Sam Peralta says:

    I am not certain Trump’s base is applauding the belligerence in his UN speech. Steve Bannon who in many ways reflects the view of some part of his base was clear in his recent interview and public statements that there is no military option.

    “There’s no military solution (to North Korea’s nuclear threats), forget it,” Bannon says. “Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.”
    IMO, the only people applauding are the Borg. The warmongers on both the left and right. The establishment of both parties. The very people who went all out to defeat Trump in the last election.
    Some of us voted for Trump precisely because we believed that he would provide at least a small probability relative to the Borg Queen in putting some brakes on US interventions overseas and focus on rebuilding at home. It seems that with Bannon out he is now firmly in the grasp of the generals. Let’s hope they are not the General Lyman Lemnitzer of our time.
    I think there are many Americans like me who believe the US must respect the sovereignty of other nations and that we have no business interfering in others affairs. Our focus and the use of all our strategic powers should be to further our national interests and the standard of living of our citizens. We neither have the ability or know how to be hegemon like the British did in the 18th century.

  4. Fred says:

    “There is no acceptable military option in North Korea.”
    If anyone has paid even cursory attention to the effects of Hurricane Irma in Florida where there was ample warning and a multi-day evacuation they might just begin to understand what catastrophic loss of life would occur after the mushroom clouds settle; those being on top of the immediate deaths.

  5. Oilman2 says:

    If Trump ducks out of the JCPOA, then it is just another example of our country doing the wrong thing. If he intervenes in Venezuela, it is also a mistake, as not only does it violate sovereignty but the issues there are more about oilgarchs being denied their accustomed privilege and awful mismanagement due to brother-in-law syndrome going nuts, for example. Maduro out will just mean a new one in, because the issue isn’t just about left vs right. It is about the ‘haves’ vs the ‘have-nots’.
    In all of the three cases you speak of, in each instance any intervention, other than humanitarian, is a violation of sovereignty. In each case, the US is focusing on SOME OTHER COUNTRY, not on our own needs. In all cases, the outcome is at best problematic, if not failure (Syria) to meet objectives. In Syria, I question if there were even concrete objectives, as the cruise missile strike was complete BS from a tactical POV. These failed or problematic outcomes cost us billions of dollars that could be used for improved readiness at home, fixing things at home and a myriad of things other than military intervention in a foreign land.
    All of these things are exactly opposite of trying to end things by “making a deal”, Trumps supposed forte. None of these things MAGA, and thus we see Trump abrogating much of his campaign rhetoric, just as Obama did, Clinton did, Bush did, Bush Sr. did, etc. In short, America is content with electing the same old bunch of prevaricating obfuscators – they just choose to be lied to by either the red or blue team. Concurrently, the entire political ant mound is busy training the newbies in what they know best – lying, obfuscation and often fraud.
    To expect anything other than what Trump Reading “The Art of the Deal” should be required to even engage in conjecture about this man. And no, I don’t hate him – he is totally true to form. Similarly, congress is emulating the old Roman senate in its’ waning decades.

  6. LondonBob says:

    From reports it wasn’t a classic, but with Trump in particular it is a case of watching what he does rather than what he says, the opposite of Obama.

  7. kao_hsien_chih says:

    I think the problem is a bit more complex than just issues with Trump.
    In addition to the potential problems due to Trump and his antics, there is the other problem that Koreans (North in this case) like to lure in outside forces to solve their own problems. United States is, whether we like it or not, a pawn in their blackmail scam, targeted at all their neighbors. In the medium to long run, the only “solution” to this problem is to get out, but how to get out of the morass gracefully (i.e. forestall whatever means NK might have to reel us back in) is the challenge.
    As I see it, the reason NoKo is insisting on threatening us, not SoKo, Japan, or China, is because they see us as a big bait with which to fish the Chinese with (i.e. if they don’t get whatever they demand from China, they will trigger a crisis with U.S. that will cost China dearly.) There is some logic behind U.S. threatening mayhem so that the Chinese might be frightened enough to do something to the Kim Jong Un regime that will keep the crisis from boiling over and give us enough room to extricate ourselves from East Asia. (This is a dangerous mixture, admittedly–both NoKo and US ratcheting up tension raises potential for mistakes, from one side or the other). Now, if you were to ask me if I can trust Trump enough to pull off a subtle trick like this successfully, I’d have to answer I can’t. But I also don’t see a good way to pull out of the situation without some seriously threatening gestures regardless of who is at the helm.

  8. Kathy says:

    Publius Tacitus: You write that “Getting rid of Maduro should be done quietly with no U.S. fingerprints.” How the heck does this not violate Venezuela’s national sovereignty?

  9. JJackson says:

    “There is some logic behind U.S. threatening mayhem so that the Chinese might be frightened enough to do something to the Kim Jong Un regime that will keep the crisis from boiling over and give us enough room to extricate ourselves from East Asia.”
    I was wondering why you thought the aim was to relieve pressure to aid withdrawal?
    If the Chinese pressured NK into a nuclear weapon and missile development freeze I would expect a ‘this is working so lets keep the pressure on and see what else we can get’ reaction and more vigorous pushing. That would seem more in keeping with the MO elsewhere.

  10. BillWade says:

    “While Trump’s speech is resonating with his base”, I would agree but for only the Rah Rah USA portion, the smart portion left along with Bannon. I see Trump as a builder with nothing to build now, I imagine the infrastructure of our country will look the same or worse 4 years from now. I voted for him based upon his promise to cut taxes which he still may be able to do. As for foreign policy, I think he’s done well regards to Syria. In my small circle of acquaintances, his UN speech is just seen as “Trump being Trump” (they all voted for him mainly due to dislike of Clinton and the nothing 8 years of Obama).

  11. Oilman2 says:

    @ kao_tsien_chih
    That’s not really such a sticky mess, IF the US is willing to negotiate. NoKo wants us to stop military exercises offshore. That’s both easy to do and far cheaper than the exercises. Do that, get them to the table and get a TREATY, not just an armistice. Let the SoKo’s sort the rest out, with us looking on, as they are the guys right next door.
    Do that, wait a bit, and then see how NoKo behaves. If we are the threat that keeps the NoKo’s up at night, let’s just back away and see what transpires next. There are no military options that do not involve massive casualties on the SoKo side, so the USA is in a lose-lose scenario. I think our foreign policy disasters these last few presidents have driven our enemies to unite against us, and another one such as a ‘killshot’ option for NoKo would be a terrible and murderous policy move as viewed by the rest of the world.
    Not really all that difficult, except that one has to admit that the current policies are not working. NoKo intentions are laid bare if the USA doesn’t react to verbal provocations. USA intentions are laid bare if they cannot abide by their agreement.

  12. Jack says:

    Publius Tacitus
    Is it possible this is all just playing to the gallery? The Borg.
    It would seem that abrogating the Iran nuclear deal will be an unmistakable signal to Rocket Man Kim that any deal with the US will not be worth the paper it is written on.

  13. DianaLC says:

    I understand your point. I believe that Trump was probably expressing the feelings about North Korea, Iran, and Venezuela that many many people have. But just as in your situation with Anna, it probably would have been better not to express those thoughts. Nasty people just get nastier when they are told they are nasty. Instead, most of us are just holding our breath and wishing for some divine intervention by a just God.
    But, I have to admit, that clip from Billy Jack did have bee hoping that was our plan–to send someone in there to do a real kick in the face to that fat, spoiled, malignant narcissistic child who somehow ended up ruling that country.
    And, for the life of me I can’t understand why it’s so impossible for popular uprisings to occur in places like Iran and Venezuela. Are there really that many nasty people who like supporting leaders who are just plain mean?
    I have no answers. I just continue to pray “thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”

  14. When a country like Venezuela descends into this kind of chaos I have no problem with “violating” their sovereignty. But there is a right way to do it. Work with other countries on Venezuela’s borders (e.g., Colombia, Brazil, etc) and push ahead with a plan to support credible opposition elements.

  15. iowa steve says:

    Pundits in the msm have used the line that, “the overblown rhetoric aside, Trump’s stated goals and general principles aren’t markedly different from standard US policy”. For that, they praise him. On the other hand, I consider that the most damning thing about the speech–nothing but more neo-connish exceptionalism.

  16. Bandolero says:

    I disagree with you that Trump “spoke from the gut without thinking through the consequences.” I see it more as a carefully calibrated political speech. Basically, I even saw two contradictionary speeches in one in this one.
    The first part was quite fine, ie he did a good job lauding that the United Nations is all about that member states should be sovereign, their sovereignty shall be respected and they shall be working together based on mutual interest. That’s a big advance in the right direction compared to the totalitarian nonsense what previous US governments said.
    The second part was just the opposite when he singeled out many states where he wants regime change. It was a total contradiction to the first part. That may have sounded very familiar Borgish, but I think he did such a bad job at laying out the usual aggressive Borgish nonsense, that it likely more backfired than that it advanced Borgish policy.
    So, as I think policy based on aggressive Borgish nonsense is not in the US interest, I think Trump’s speech may have served the US interest well. What is important now is with which of these two concepts Trump follows through not only taking the talk, but walking the walk.
    It carries a risk that Trump takes the wrong turn and foreign policy will destroy his Presidency, here I agree with you. But so far I still see chances that Trump will go the walk in the right direction as better than at other US Presidents in the past, at this point of their presidency.

  17. egl says:

    DianaLC: look up the number of guns in private hands in Iran and Venezuela.

  18. Babak Makkinejad says:

    And I suppose US be the Boy Scouts?

  19. Mikee says:

    Hmm, I think I’ve heard this song before.

  20. Kelly H says:

    “Sovereignty” means, in US foreign policy, the ability to kill tomorrow those folks we could kill yesterday. North Koreas nukes upset our goal of impunity.

  21. Babak Makkinejad says:

    So, when will US invade and clean up Mexico?
    Or is she too big?

  22. kooshy says:

    PT, corect me if I am wrong, what i understand is that you are not against regime change , you just don’t like it to be so visible. or more simply like the persian proverb, you don’t mind beheading, you just don’t like it done with a sword, you just prefer “to cut the head off with cotton ball”.

  23. DianaLC says:

    If i look that up, will I find out the political leaning of the people whose hands own those guns?

  24. Kathy says:

    You are reflecting the same contradiction that characterizes Trump’s speech. If we want other countries to respect our sovereignty, we darn well better respect theirs.

  25. LeaNder says:

    good question.
    Well, the US will built a wall.

  26. “That’s essentially what Donald Trump did yesterday. He spoke from the gut without thinking through the consequences … But Trump is not the only one spouting such madness. We’ve heard the same delusional threats from SecDef Mattis and National Security Advisor McMaster.”
    Exactly. Why would you assume that Trump was speaking “from the gut” in this case? Do you think he actually writes his own speeches? Anyway, I, too, heard McMaster and Mattis when Trump was speaking.
    “Trump, like Johnson, has a vision for fixing America at home. But that plan will be destroyed because of his foreign policy craziness.”
    I don’t think we’re going to have to wait on that one. It seems that Trump has already sold us out on domestic policy, too.
    Bannon was right: this presidency is now over. Stick a fork in it!

  27. ISL says:

    Here here!
    I also recommend we covertly support independence movements in all Canadian provinces. When Chaos occurs (and lets help with a few covert bombs, maybe blow up a dam or two), we can at long last invade for th3 good of the Canadian people. Purely because we love the Canadian people and feel their pain. Oh, and after all our humanitarian expenses, well, that oil clearly is American oil.
    If that doesnt work, lets give our friends in Al-Q/ISIS passports (from Indonesia) and send them across the border in North Dakota.
    oops, did I just describe Syria?
    Seriously, though, the opportunity to set a precedent while the US still is the dominant global power is disappearing. I for on will not be surprised when China does the same in the US in a few decades (given economic trends in both countries and our 1%’s lack of patriotism).

  28. Norbert M Salamon says:

    No, Mexico’s oil is almost gone, Venezuela has the largest reserve in the world per US Geological assessment

  29. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Given our mutual antipathies, building multiple walls could be considered a step in the right directions; we need a Diocletian Wall, a Seljuk Wall, a Hindu-Sikh Wall, a Muslim-Buddhist Wall etc.
    Until such times that a new interstellar travel technology has been invented and all these myriads of groups of human beings could relocate to a suitable earth-like planet.
    There could be a planet for Deobandis, one for Mahayana Buddhists, a few thousand for India, one for Cata-Loonia, one for the Basque, six or seven for the Kurds, several hundred for the mountain people of Caucasus and so on and so forth.
    In this manner, one can hope to live one’s life in abject tranquility, never having to think anything new or meet anyone who holds different beliefs.
    Can you imagine that?
    It would be Paradise in Heaven for the majority of mankind.
    For a small tiny minority there could be something akin to the Federation (of Start Trek TV series fame).
    Let us all pray now for that.

  30. Lyttenburgh says:

    Getting rid of Maduro should be done quietly with no U.S. finger prints.
    Query: Why there should be any “getting rid of Maduro” in the first place?

  31. Lyttenburgh says:

    “Work with other countries on Venezuela’s borders (e.g., Colombia, Brazil, etc) and push ahead with a plan to support credible opposition elements.”
    1) Any examples when it worked in the past?
    2) I ask again – why replace Maduro?

  32. I will not indulge trolling or stupidity. You are guilty of both. If you don’t understand the problem Maduro represents to the wealth and well-being of Venezuelans then there is really no basis for an informed discussion. Maduro’s crackdown on political opponents while bankrupting the country and causing widespread malnutrition and even starvation demands some action in terms of defending the basic human rights of Venezuelans.

  33. Walrus says:

    PT with respect, your dislike of Maduro and call to arms over the Venezuelan situation would be laudable if it was part a consistent foreign policy based on absolute moral standards.
    There are plenty of governments that need a kick upside the head for humanitarian reasons, not just Venezuela. When, for example, is Zimbabwe going to be targeted, let alone Saudi Arabia?
    The highly selective nature of American concerns for ‘human rights” is one of the reasons American Administrations have no foreign policy credibility any more. The rest of the world takes this capricious bellicosity into account when framing their own policies.

  34. Thirdeye says:

    I agree in broad outline about the China scenario – maybe not intervening exactly as we do, but more likely through co-opting interests looking to latch onto China’s rising economic star as our own system descends further into dysfunction. Look at the Vancouver BC and see the future. And the funny thing is, that might not be an entirely bad thing.

  35. kao_hsien_chih says:

    I bring it up because, often, there seems to be the belief that US can unilaterally disengage from East Asia, whether it is the goal of the administration, present or past.
    I don’t think it is possible for US to unilaterally disengage, whether we want or not. NoKo will have us trapped as long as they have a long range missile program with weapons potentially capable of reaching North America, and as long as NoKo has us trapped, we are a pawn in their game. The added danger, however, is that, once we “succeed,” we will not want to extricate from the region.

  36. DianaLC says:

    So, it’s clear that IF you are a socialist in Venezuela, you can easily acquire a gun. Does that suggest that a person could possible fake hi/her feelings about socialism in order to get one?
    In regard to Iran, I could not find as much other than there might be a background check involved. To me that means if you apply the background check might automatically confirm that you are an enemy of the state.
    So horrifying. My great-grandparents escaped Bolshevik Russia with their large families just in time. Most of my family were pacifists by religion–though they did not really continue that way here in the U.S.
    So happy they got out in time.

  37. mikee says:

    PT – Bull crap. We have have been actively, covertly seeking regime change in Venezuela since Chavez was elected while the opposition has engaged in violent protests, torched health care centers and government buildings.
    US support for regime change in Venezuela is a mistake
    The Guardian (UK) 18FEB2014
    It’s clear to me that there is an active disinformation campaign being waged in the US and international media. What is unclear to me is why you’ve bought into it.
    PS: Your reply to Lyttenburg was rude and uncalled for.

  38. confusedponderer says:

    well, according to Trump the wall will be “big, beautiful, powerful” – i.e. it will splendid, pretty, huge, utterly unpassable, make America forever super safe and all that.
    Now, that written, there is a little problem with that wonderful mega wall, and that is that it is effing expensive to build.
    Ah well, that is hardly a real problem since Trump has decided to solve it, quite elegantly, well, or brazenly, with a post-mathematical, rhetorical and post-American solution – he said it’ll be paid for by someone else – Mexico. The problem is solved! And so easy!
    Well, except for this: Mexico wasn’t asked about it and Mexico says it won’t pay. Well, that’s hardly a truly surprising reaction to such post-mathematical, magic approaches to foreign policy.
    Thinking over it: IMO Trump has put America into an embarassing situation. There’s all that grandiose talk about the gigantic policy program for a totally supersized SUPER SAFE, PRETTY, SUPERB, BIG, BEAUTIFUL, POWERFUL, UNPENETRABLE, AWESOME, GRAND, MAGIC – no – GRAND MAGIC and MEGA WALL – and then it turns out to be… unaffordable?!
    Opsie. And America is unwilling or incapable to pay for it? And Mexico brazenly refuses to pay for it these, say, negligible 2 trillion Dollars´needed to build it? What a totally unforeseeable development. How can something like that happen I wonder.

  39. JJackson says:

    I have to admit I did a double-take when I saw Colombia and Brazil’s names. Brazil is in a complete meltdown as its political parties practice self-immolation and Columbia, while improving slowly, is the fate the Venezuelans have being try to avoid – government of the people by the elite for the elite.

  40. If you don’t like it go away and do not read or comment on my pieces. Just because an article appears in the Guardian (your source, not mine) does not make it true. Have you ever been on the ground in Venezuela in recent years? I have. Do you even grasp the horror that Maduro is visiting on the Venezuelan people? Apparently not.

  41. confusedponderer says:

    2) I ask again – why replace Maduro?
    Maduro, the vile villain, has just declared that his country’s oil exports from now on can be paid for in chinese money and Euros, and he departed from the dollar being ‘the only money oil is being paid for’.
    Venezuela announced that it will no longer accept payment in U.S. dollars for its oil, a major divergence from typical oil market practices. It is said that Venezuela and its national oil company, PDVSA, will operate with euros. The given explanation is that this is an attempt to circumvent sanctions imposed by the U.S. government, but the real reason may be a sales pitch to China, India, and other large oil markets, that Venezuela hopes to attract as customers.
    The dollar is the money through which the US can pressure any government relying on oil exports through sanctions and pressure on US companies that are involved in such businesses. When oil export is being done in dollar, the US have their finger in the game.
    When the Venezuelans go to the Euro and chinese money, it is de facto a reduce of dependence from the US, and an improved economical thing for the chinese. For the Venezuelans it is a step towards less dependence on US politicos, behaviour and preferences.
    For Maduro’s opponents in the US that’s of course a sufficient reason to replace him, because he endangers American unlimited power and in consequence limits American influence. That’s hard to swallow for the American first-… , err, American pre-eminence folks.
    Nasty sceptics will of course say that, irrespective of Maduro, it is also American rhetoric, practice, policy and its sanction happiness that’s driving countries away from the dollar. What vile heresy to suggest that.

  42. Jack says:

    I beg to disagree.
    IMO, it is none of our business if Venezuela descends into chaos. That’s for the Venezuelan people to sort out. Throughout history there have been social strife and tyrants in many societies. No one has given us the authority and mission to “clean up” social conflicts around the world.
    One thing that struck me in watching a recent episode of Ken Burn’s Vietnam documentary is that while we considered the North Vietnamese and Vietcong “gooks”, they considered us as invaders. Now I fully understand why soldiers need to make the enemy less than human. The point however is that in most cases when we intervene in the internal affairs of other societies, we are considered as an outsider, an invader. And our recent experience is that we cause more chaos and destruction through our interventions than the tyrants did.
    Philosophically, I am in agreement with this statement by Pat Buchanan:
    “…America has no divinely mandated mission to democratize mankind. And the hubristic idea that we do has been a cause of all the wars and disasters that have lately befallen the republic.”
    I favor a non-interventionist foreign policy and the use of military force only when we face an existential threat.

  43. Walrus says:

    PT, and again, with respect, “the horror that Maduro is visiting on the Venezuelan people”? I am sure you are quite right and it is horrible but that does not change the argument.
    There are plenty of horrible things inflicted daily by a variety of dictators both past, present and no doubt in future. To be tactful. successive American administrations have not been averse to ignoring such peccadillos when it suits us.
    Why Venezuela? Why now? Could it be that we perceive that our “interests” are threatened?

  44. Mikee says:

    Maybe some of the reader’s here will find this informative:
    Empire Files: Head of Venezuela National Guard on Insurgency & US Threats (20170731)
    Empire Files: Abby Martin Meets the Venezuelan Opposition (20170703)
    I’m seeing a lot of similarities between Caracas and events in Kiev and Damascus

  45. Mikee says:

    I take it this topic is not open for discussion? Then why did you write it?

  46. PeterHug says:

    I am not sure I understand why the US position on Venezuela should be anything aside from standing back and letting the Venezuelans solve the issues themselves.
    No matter what happens in Venezuela, it is unlikely to impact the US in any significant fashion; if they manage to create a humanitarian crisis needing help, that would most appropriately be dealt with on a multilateral basis with everyone else in this hemisphere (and the organizations to do that exist and are quite prepared to act).

  47. Fred says:

    I heard it when Vincente Fox was in Detroit telling Mexican Americans how to vote the last election.

  48. turcopolier says:

    It is up to PT whether he wants to anser you. pl

  49. mikee says:

    It’s unfortunate that he chooses not to.

  50. Christian Chuba says:

    I was struck by how much Trump channeled GWB at his UN speech and at how much the U.S. public loved it.
    Yes, N. Korea is indeed a very serious threat, they are developing nuclear ICBM’s and there is a good chance that they will sell them in the future to other countries. But Iran is now the new Iraq.
    1. He trotted out the ‘axis of evil’ (I’d like to congratulate Venezuela but somehow it feels like they are just their to round out the number to three).
    2. Wild, unproven assertions are being tossed out as fact, ‘we must stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program’ (who says they have one?). Lot’s of analysts are even saying that Iran is aiding N. Korea’s weapons development (next to Saddam’s Anthrax bunker).
    3. Threat inflation – Iraq was the center of terrorism and instability in the M.E., now it’s Iran.
    4. France now, as then, is the voice of reason. If we start using the term ‘freedom fries’ again we’re done.
    We the U.S. public loved it. We want every nation in the world to either look to us as their leader or shrink in terror at the prospect of facing our righteous judgment, including Venezuela, but are tired of nation building and endless war. We want to have our cake and to eat it too.

  51. I answered. You just did not like the answer.

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