Unsupported assertions from the WH, or anywhere …


The present occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is a capricious and undisciplined man.  He does not read anything but balance sheets (perhaps those are briefed to him).  He watches 24/7 cable news incessantly and forms his understanding of the world from these citadels of superficiality and corporate agenda.  His advisers and counselors are family members, cronies and seemingly heroic and photogenic generals who seem to represent an adolescent self-image of what he might have been.


His latest blather sent to the world a few nights back through the long suffering press secretary Spicer was evidently based on nothing but the visible movement of trucks and other ground equipment around and on the Syrian air base that he last attacked with a hundred million dollars worth of TLAMs after his daughter cried over the jihadi propaganda film production from Khan Shaykhoun.

The after the fact support of DoD for DJT's wild Spicer delivered statement means nothing.  Mattis undoubtedly feels that his choice is either to support the CinC or leave.

IMO President Trump has too shallow and trivial a mind to be taken seriously on foreign policy and military affairs.  Hey, pilgrims, in the military we kill people and destroy things.  That is what we do.  The application of lethal violence in support of state policy is why we exist.  The necessary corollary to that principle is the expectation that state policy will be relatively sane.

Thus far, the foreign policy of the Trump Administration seems lacking in fact based logic and overwhelmingly based on the "hobby horses" of various splinter groups represented among his counselors.

If I were the Syrian government, I would request, nay, demand that international observer groups be stationed at ALL SAF airbases to ascertain exactly what ordnance is uploaded for combat operations.  Americans and Russians should be included in these groups.  The observers need not be briefed on targets but they would need to be able to verify ordnance loads. 

Unless that happens we face the prospect of yet another false flag gas "attack."  It seems likely that Christian or other non-Sunni captives were used as props in the last one.  We should be careful not to enable future attacks of this nature by giving credence to the wild statements of the man in the White House unless they are backed by credible evidence.  pl

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59 Responses to Unsupported assertions from the WH, or anywhere …

  1. James Doleman says:

    Glad to see the change of heart.

  2. turcopolier says:

    James Doleman
    there is no “change of heart.” I was never a supporter of Trump. I am a supporter of the constitutional order. pl

  3. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    A related piece about Trumpist Middle East policy by Mark Perry that was put up at AmCon yesterday entitled, “Tillerson and Mattis Cleaning Up Kushner’s Middle East Mess.” It focuses on the Saudi-Qtari clusterf**k, which it attributes to Kushner’s whispers in his father-in-law’s ear. Same song, different verse.

  4. aleksandar says:

    I disagree with a ” seemingly heroic and photogenic general ” about General Dunford.I know people having worked under his command in Afghanistan. They have always said to me that he is a true soldier and a good one.
    We are on the verge of WW3.

  5. Greco says:

    I do fear an escalation is planned, but I don’t know to what extent I’d attribute this to President Trump being impulsive. This narrative that he is mercurial and acts on total impulse is something worth reconsidering.
    For example, the cruise missile attack back in early April against Syria was largely attributed to Trump’s alleged impulsiveness; however, there was a rationale as to why Trump launched it based on three primary reasons.
    Firstly, a noose was being tied around his neck over the false Russia collusion narrative. He had to find a way to distance himself from the appearance of appeasing Russia or of being a Russian puppet. By striking the air base, he got much of that monkey off his back. Also, imagine if Trump had failed to do anything. The media would have responded much the same they did against Obama in 2013 and probably worse in Trump’s case. They would have claimed that he looked the other way at the atrocity Assad, and by extension Russia and Iran, had committed because he was “compromised.” Instead, he enjoyed new found broad support among the establishment for his action.
    Secondly, he was led to believe, based on the intelligence presented to him (not on cable news), that Syria had chemical weapons stockpiled at that base, which violated the agreement Obama had reached with Putin in 2013. Was Assad himself keeping chemical weapons on hand (even if he had no intention to use them)? Was Assad/Putin not aware of possible chemical weapons stored at the base because of treasonous/incompetent elements? I find such possibilities unlikely, but this in itself may very well serve as the fig leaf for justifying the attack (i.e., the intelligence showed they had the weapons).
    Lastly, there is a plan that was green lighted before 9/11, largely signaled by GHWB after the fall of the SU, to strengthen the US’s primacy in the world at time where the was a vacuum. Since that time, we have seen a resurgent Russia, a unified Europe, and a rising China. This agenda coincides with interests groups looking to protect and enhance Israel’s/Saudi Arabia’s regional superiority in the face of an ambitious Iran. For all of this to be achieved, a series of regime changes were initiated. Syria was one of the dominoes slated to fall. Now, however, they’ll need to settle with forcing Assad’s hand, along with the axis he is tied to, to give way to at least some of the tenets of that agenda. However, a regime change in Syria would permit a greater fruition of that agenda. Trump himself has been compromised, not by Russians, but by these groups looking to achieve this agenda. He has, to a certain extent, been co-opted by it. Ultimately, his hand was forced and he appears to be sympathetic to it in many respects.
    This, to the best of my understanding, were the grounds for Trump’s order to attack the Shayrat air base under the pretext of what was by any measure a false flag chemical attack. He did not act on mere impulse.

  6. kao_hsien_chih says:

    I tend to think that there is much value to paying attention to what Trump says, even if they cannot be trusted as anything approaching “the truth.”
    At the risk of raising wrong connotations (and I insist that I am not invoking the demeaning connotation associated with the term), I think Trump is an outstanding “used car salesman.” He is an outstanding salesman because he know what makes people tick and he can say what a lot of people believe about the world and want to hear and can communicate with utter effectiveness. He is like a used car salesman because (and his half year in the White House has only added to this suspicion) that he does not really have much by means of useful goods to sell.
    What Trump says, I think, should be taken as an indicator of what “a lot of important people,” as Trump sees them, think and want to hear, a sign of how Trump sees the balance of his audiences shifting. How “serious” he is about them, how much he wants to shape the policy around what he says, who knows? That’s where the used car metaphor comes in–occasionally, you may get a gem, but it doesn’t seem like there is a lot there most of the time.

  7. turcopolier says:

    I am familiar with the sequence of events and the lack of evidence that preceded Specer’s midnight announcement. Trump was acting altogether on impulse following his dinner with Modi. pl

  8. turcopolier says:

    I wasn’t specifically thinking of Dunford but he compares poorly with Dempsey. pl

  9. Sam Peralta says:

    Col. Lang
    How influential do you think Kushner is relative to McMaster & Mattis? It seems he is in charge of ME policy, and he looks to be running interference in the WH for the Likudniks and the delusional Saudi crown prince.
    In viewing the Oliver Stone interviews of Putin, I came away that Putin believes that there cannot be much policy changes, as the Borg tentacles are deep in the bureaucracy.

  10. Bill Herschel says:

    How could anyone say change of heart? Mr. Doleman needs to read more carefully.
    With regard to what the military does, I strongly suggest reading all the Flashman books by George MacDonald Fraser. They are really extraordinarily well-written, well-researched, and sane… and incredibly funny in places.
    They are also controversial. They are about as politically incorrect as it is possible to imagine, and among your acquaintances you may not be able to admit reading them and certainly not enjoying them. Too bad.
    They also provide a psychological refuge in a time of horror. Colonel Lang’s post is not exactly optimistic.

  11. sid_finster says:

    I agree that Trump is capricious, uninformed and undisciplined. He also is a. easily manipulated, b. stubborn, and c. has his hand on the button.
    Yes, you read correctly. If he were a garden variety New York real estate developer, most of us could safely ignore him.
    However, because he does have his hand on the button and is allowed a certain amount of authority, we should pay great attention to what he tweets, just as Roman citizens would be well advised to have watched Nero’s or Domitian’s twitter feeds.

  12. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think it will be more interesting to contemplate the world after a limited
    & in-conclusive non-nuclear war between the United States and the Russian Federation.
    What would the secondary and tertiary consequences of such a war be?

  13. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Regime change in Syria, in my opinion, was never a possibility; regime destruction was.
    That is, a centralized legitimate authority replacing the Syrian Arab Republic was never in the cards but rather the fragmentation of Syria into religious enclaves protected by the respective militias.
    Overtime, one of those enclaves would start growing and reconstitute Syria, with foreign aide thrown in.

  14. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Iranian reaction to US Government’s insinuations regarding chemical weapons attack in Syria:

  15. Fred says:

    “… international observer groups be stationed at ALL SAF airbases to ascertain exactly what ordnance is uploaded for combat operations. …”
    That sounds like a very sound idea. Sadly for the Syrians they and the Russians haven’t recaptured Idlib Provence yet and thus still face destruction by US intervention via yet another manufactured “red line”+false flag event.

  16. Greco says:

    I think you’re right in this instance, and his dinner with Modi is reminiscent of Trump’s dinner with Xi at Mar-a-Lago; however, I would be careful if insinuating that most if not all of Trump’s actions are given completely to gut instincts or impulse as is sometimes claimed.
    There is a caricature of the president which depicts him as a mad dog, similar in manner to third world dictators, much like how Saddam Hussein was depicted. Saddam may have been a brutal dictator, but he was also a strong man who wanted Iraq to be modern, prosperous, and relatively secular. The same can be said of Ghaddafi. The public came to believe they were cartoon villains who were so eccentric and blind with rage that they threatened to destroy the planet. The same exact script is being played against Trump (e.g., he can’t be trusted with the nuclear codes).
    Trump can be driven to impulse, but impulse alone doesn’t drive Trump.

  17. Gene O says:

    it is all ‘wag-the-dog’!
    I knew before voting for him that he was a bozo. My bad. I thought a vote for Trump would protect the 2nd Amendment. But now I worry that may be in jeopardy from him if his daughter cries too loudly in the event of another elementary school shooting like Sandy Hook.

  18. Not just foreign policy and military. Trump has no idea what he is doing in economic policy and domestic policy either. He is ceding long-term economic and technological leadership to China.

  19. wisedupearly says:

    Having sold a few cars in my life (my own) I take umbrage at being associated in any way with Trump. 🙂
    But if we are to discuss what type of salesman best matches his persona we must first recognize the fact that he never, IMHO, attempts to improve the audience. Instead of advancing rationality, understanding and compassion, he inflames passion, prejudice, and pique. We have seen quite a few such salesmen. Most are selling a fatal philosophy but Trump is selling just himself.

  20. wisedupearly says:

    “Lastly, there is a plan that was green lighted before 9/11, largely signaled by GHWB after the fall of the SU, to strengthen the US’s primacy in the world at time where the was a vacuum.”
    I take a different view based on the understanding that the King who tries to force compliance by declaring “I am the King” is actually not.
    My take is
    “”Lastly, there was a plan, green lighted after the failure of Reaganism, to divert attention from the failure by engaging in external conflicts.”
    The changes in your subsequent sentence, resurgent Russia etc., flow logically from the loss of our primacy.

  21. VietnamVet says:

    Great Post. I am smiling and frightened at the same time. I can’t get the picture of President Trump hanging on the wall at the VA Hospital out of my mind. Of all the pictures of the VA’s hierarchy, he is the only one showing emotion; glaring anger. Sy Hersch and corporate media portray him as incompetent nincompoop. Yet, he slam dunked Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz face down on the floor and is worth three billion dollars. That takes skill.
    This feels like 2003 all over again. We can only pray that he is smart enough to realize a war with Iran is crazy.

  22. All,
    Re General Dunford and General Dempsey.
    A problem may be that people who can do well in a subordinate command do not have the qualities to run things at the top.
    The editor of the evening paper in Liverpool, when I was a trainee, had, I was told, been a very successful news editor. It is a job which requires, not simply news sense, but an ability to handle people – to know when to crack the whip, and when to make people feel loved and wanted.
    I owe a great deal to him, and remember him with affection. But he was patently out of his depth as editor. He lacked the requisite intellectual grasp, and everyone knew it, including him.
    To be an effective CJCS, particularly in difficult times, and working to Presidents who do not have any serious grasp of military affairs, or indeed willingness to be taught about them, requires a combination of diverse skills.
    It is, for one thing, necessary fully to appreciate the basic Clausewitzian principle about the subordination of military considerations to political. But this, in turn, means that one needs to combine a strong grasp of military technicalities with a broad understanding of non-military considerations.
    One also, quite clearly, needs to be politically ‘savvy’ – to be able to be Machiavellian, without degenerating into becoming a corrupt intriguer.
    One has got used to having high hopes of people, and getting disappointed.
    But from what I saw of General Dempsey, he seemed to me to a rather remarkable figure.
    Of course, if there are very powerful forces who are determined to pursue political agendas which will not survive rational scrutiny, they will want a CJCS who does not possess the qualities needed to do the job successfully.

  23. The Beaver says:

    A good resumé of what have been discussed on SST since 2012,amd in particular since the R+6 started making inroad:
    By the time U.S. troops exited Iraq in late 2011, the Syrian conflict was already under way, fully armed, financed, and supported by several NATO states and their Persian Gulf allies.
    “When those borders are re-opened,” says Asadollahi, “this will be the first time Iran will have a land route to Syria and Palestine” – though others point out that the Iranians have always found ways to transport goods undetected.
    “Our army is now almost at the border and Iraqis are at their border – and we are not going to stop,” insists Shaaban.

  24. mikee says:

    “He is ceding long-term economic and technological leadership to China.”
    This has been going on for several decades.

  25. Degringolade says:

    Vietnam Vet:
    I am with you on the picture of Trump on the wall of the VA. I work for the VA and I have to pass the damn thing every day.
    What scared me the most is when he was thinking about appointing Sarah Palin as SecVA. Passing those two pictures every day, I wouldn’t have ever stopped crying long enough to get any work done.

  26. Seacoaster says:

    Agreed. He is the rare (unique in the 21st century US?) general about whom one only hears praise and testaments to his character. I met him briefly overseas a while back, and thanked him for his (again, unique) courage on the infantrywomen debacle. He laughed and said, “I was all alone on that one.”

  27. I would say our economic leadership was ceded to China during the 1990’s by us signing the WTO Treaty and China allowed entry into the WTO in the early 2000’s. Just the raw facts of 1/3 of our manufacturing base disappearing in a decade is devastating. Technological leadership follows economic leadership. China proved over a decade ago they could knock out our satellites. This is out of my realm and I’m speculating but I wouldn’t be surprised in a conventional war near their homeland they would wipe us out. Of course, I think the possibility of conventional war between Great Powers is pretty much extinct. I don’t see how it doesn’t go nuclear fairly quickly.

  28. ked says:

    Indeed, as having once been a professional used car salesman, I too take umbrage! Nothing makes one a skilled negotiator / reader of the human animal like lotsa ups-at-bat selling cars.
    Trump would never cut it (unless his Dad owned the dealership, & I’ve seen how those kinda operations can turn out… not pretty, not much fun). He’s a hackneyed caricature of a salesman, in-line w/ Col Lang’s assessment… if his mouth (or fingers, at 4AM) are moving, he’s secure in his being a clever manipulator of others. Whether he can recognize an untruth or not is an open question – which means it really doesn’t matter what he says or thinks. Ignore him – except maybe when your life or that of your loved ones is at stake.
    If we are so lucky, power vested in the Executive Office will be greatly diminished by his attempts to run the nation like a gang runs a rough neighborhood.

  29. walrus says:

    sir, I don’t think you parse Col. Langs “I am familiar” the same way I do.

  30. ked says:

    “That takes skill.”
    I completely disagree. Those you name were lightweights formed by decades of a degraded political system. Real talent left politics for finance or entertainment. The hack / statesman ratio has gone to heck. Chauncey Gardiner coulda won.

  31. Cortes says:

    His series of stories (based on his experience with the Gordon Highlanders) in three volumes of which the first is “The General Danced At Dawn” featuring among others “the dirtiest soldier in the world ” in post WWII Palestine are excellent also.

  32. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Two articles in Tuesday’s Politico are interesting and relevant to this blog:
    “Trump allies push White House to consider regime change in Tehran”
    As the new administration conducts a routine review of its Iran policy, senior officials are hinting that they’re open to toppling the country’s clerical regime.
    By Michael Crowley
    “The policy of the United States should be regime change in Iran,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who speaks regularly with White House officials about foreign policy. “I don’t see how anyone can say America can be safe as long as you have in power a theocratic despotism,” he added.
    Cotton advocated a combination of economic, diplomatic and covert actions to pressure Tehran’s government and “support internal domestic dissent” in the country. He noted that Iran has numerous minority ethnic groups, including Arabs, Turkmen and Balochs who “aren’t enthusiastic about living in a Persian Shiite despotism.”

    The case for political subversion in Iran has also been pressed to the White House by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a hawkish Washington think tank that strenuously opposed Obama’s 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran and which has close ties to many key Trump officials.
    Soon after Trump’s inauguration, FDD’s CEO, Mark Dubowitz, submitted a seven-page Iran policy memo to Trump’s National Security Council. The memo — which was circulated inside the Trump White House and recently obtained by POLITICO — included a discussion of ways to foment popular unrest with the goal of establishing a “free and democratic” Iran.
    “Iran is susceptible to a strategy of coerced democratization because it lacks popular support and relies on fear to sustain its power,” the memo argued. “The very structure of the regime invites instability, crisis and possibly collapse.”
    “Intelligence officials worry State Dept. going easy on Russian diplomats”
    Lawmakers have also voiced concern that State is not preparing to crack down on diplomats’ illicit travel inside the U.S.
    By Ali Watkins
    [I]ntelligence officials say the State Department has shown little appetite for actively cracking down on Russian personnel, fearing backlash from Moscow.
    With the departure of former Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama’s State Department ranks, there was guarded optimism among the intelligence community that new leadership might be more willing to crack down where Kerry — hopeful for counterterrorism cooperation with the Russians — wouldn’t. But Tillerson’s comments and State’s apparent lack of interest in enforcing the travel restrictions has effectively muted that.
    For years, there has been tangible frustration among intelligence officials and even some foreign service officers at the Obama administration’s reluctance to undertake aggressive counterespionage methods at home, especially as the Kremlin aggressively goes after U.S. diplomats based in Russia. In a well-publicized incident last year, Russia’s internal security agency, the FSB, beat up a CIA officer returning to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, hurting him so badly he was immediately flown from the country for medical treatment.

  33. aleksandar says:

    Achilles’ heel of modern society.No need to nuke and kill, just blow up each power plant.
    Think how the US ( and not only ) can cope with such a problem.

  34. James Doleman says:

    Fair enough. Must have misunderstood.

  35. turcopolier says:

    james Doleman
    I made it very clear previously that I did not support Trump for election, did not vote for him but you insist that I support him. you are done here. pl

  36. wisedupearly says:

    Borg speak for war.

  37. Lars says:

    It is a dismal situation when the biggest threat to the republic can be found in the Oval Office. The big question is how to remedy this without doing too much harm to that republic? For quite some time, I have felt that the Trump presidency would falter. He is a problem, as is many of his minions. The scary part has to do with his ego, his self-centered focus and the fanatical devotion of many of his cultists.
    The good news is that many of the GOP Senators now neither revere, nor fear him and, like with Nixon before him, some of them will confront him and tell him that he is fired. That would be the easiest and least damaging way out.

  38. Bill Herschel says:

    I currently am living in fear of finishing the series. That’s for giving me hope.

  39. Bill Herschel says:

    Trump is “visiting” Macron on the 14th of July, which is apparently also the anniversary of the U.S.’ entry into WWI. Why?
    I can tell you why. He is going to prevent a repeat of the Dominique de Villepin episode, namely when de Villepin voted against Bush’s war in Iraq in the Security Council.
    Chemical Weapons = WMD
    Assad = Hussein
    Trump and whatever is behind him wants a united front for the hot war he intends to start when the next false flag chemical weapons event occurs. Like Bush, things are not going well for Trump domestically, and as Commander in Chief saving the lives of Syrias babies, his popularity will rise like a meteor.
    For me, this is like watching a car crash in slow motion. I implore anyone on this blog with power to try to prevent this.
    WWIII? It will never happen. The Russians will not permit it to happen. But the horror in the Middle East will be prolonged by decades.
    I hope that Macron can stand up to Trump. I don’t know. But Trump won the South Carolina primary after trampling all over the Bush Heritage. Why can’t South Carolinians and other Americans stand up one more time. I pray they do.

  40. BraveNewWorld says:

    There will be no observers sent for the same reason no inspectors were sent to Shayrat Air Base to look for signs of chemical weapons after the Khan Sheikhoun incident even though they were invited. The lesson of Iraq is you don’t send inspectors unless you know they will find evidence of wrong doing. Other wise people start asking questions that don’t advance the mission.

  41. Thirdeye says:

    Bit of logrolling coming out of Washington after the Russian response. They now say a chemical attack is not imminent and claim credit for that. Cover a retreat by taking credit for solving a problem that never existed in the first place. And the MSM are supine enough to not point out that obvious fact.

  42. Yeah, Right says:

    Gee, and the Beltway insiders were so outraged at the mere suspicion of foreign interfere in US internal affairs.
    But making a “case for political subversion” of a foreign country via a “strategy of coerced democratization”? Apparently that’s all the rage in thinktankland.
    And in the halls of power too, with Sen Cotton advocating “a combination of economic, diplomatic and covert actions” against a foreign country.
    Would be interesting to read what he has said about claims that Russia recently dished up some of the USA’s own medicine……

  43. Bandit says:

    I think many people lose site of protecting the rights given us in the Constitution. Most citizens could not quote one word from this historical document, and only vaguely remember that their rights are enshrined therein.

  44. Bandit says:

    This is a repeat of what the US has done in Afghanistan, Iraq, and most recently Libya. Winning wars was never the goal; fragmentation is, so the country can no longer remain a threat to Israel or US exploitation. Seen from that perspective, it has been a pretty successful plan, except when it isn’t in view of the reorganization that has taken place in Iran after the overthrow of the shaw.

  45. turcopolier says:

    I see that you do not understand that one of my roles is to pose the “thesis” to which you are supposed to respond with the “antithesis.” you are fulfilling your role. pl

  46. Greco says:

    Failure in Reaganism how? Reagan drew the Cold War to an end, a process which GHWB ultimately oversaw with the fall of the SU. Communism today is a shell of the force it once was that threatened to dominate the world. Reagan was, above almost anything else, an anti-communist. Reagan did score a major success, at least to that extent.
    When you say Reaganism, do you mean more specifically American exceptionalism?

  47. Greco says:

    Also Yugoslavia (i.e, Balkanization) and the Soviet Union (CIS, Ukraine, Georgia, and Baltics). The goal is to weaken these states, to turn them into vassal/client states, and to encircle Russia, a former world power that is looking now to reestablish itself (and for good reason they choose to do so). The goal is also to cut off China, at least on their own terms, from access to Europe and Africa via the Middle East (e.g., the Shanghai Co-operation).
    The grand design is to checkmate Russia and China, hence the course the US has followed in the quarter of a century up until now. A course GHWB signalled when he spoke of the “big idea,” a “New World Order” that was “coming into view.”
    I don’t know if I’d call it exploitation (a Marxist notion). One could argue that, but I argue there is a desire for the house of Saud, hardliners in Israel, European royals/nobles, and an amalgamous Western establishment (made up of leaders in academia, business, and government) to become an unchallengable force in the world where upon they can determine the fate of human destiny. This desire is mostly being brought about on the back of American interventionism. It is not an accident the US has found itself in the Middle East. It is not to divert attention away from some sort of failure (at least that’s not the primary motivating factor). This is an agenda, and if the UN charter is anything to go by, it’s not a fundamentally American agenda.
    Trump, for all his faults, signalled a change from Globalism and a return to Americanism. To illustrate this point, just recently the Czech Republic is now reviewing a bill in support of gun rights. It looks like us bitter clingers were onto something and there are signs that it’s starting to go global.

  48. Bill H says:

    Like the guy in the asylum wearing clothespins on his ears to keep the zebras away. When told that there are no zebras on the North American continent he replies, “See, it works.”

  49. drifter says:

    Seymour Hersh has been interviewed by Ken Klippenstein at AlterNet regarding the Die Welt article. Hersh comes across as level-headed and adds interesting detail and context to his original expose. He is also asked about Bellingcat.

  50. Dante Alighieri says:

    The theorists of the lesser evil always wake up realizing that the lesser evil is an evil nonetheless.

  51. sid_finster says:

    Has Senator Cotton talks about “theocratic despotism”, but has he ever heard of Saudi Arabia?

  52. Imagine says:

    Seconded. Both Swiss & Japanese are precise, lawful-rule-following people.

  53. Imagine says:

    Tom Cotton got paid at least $2M by Israel-first interests, and well spent. I thought I had an article listing $2M three times for total $6M, but have lost it.

  54. The Beaver says:

    May be this “warning” was part of the laundry list from Bibi:
    It appears Netanyahu played Kushner like a fiddle, sending him to Ramallah with a laundry list of demands that he knew Abbas would reject, further delaying the start of any ostensible peace negotiations by instigating a diplomatic crisis he could then blame on Palestinian intransigence.
    If the Palestinian leadership doesn’t see Kushner as an honest broker, that shouldn’t come as a surprise; there isn’t much evidence that he has either the inclination or the ability to stand up to Netanyahu, who has spent the past eight years making clear that he will do whatever he pleases until the U.S. rediscovers its ability to engage in coercive diplomacy with an Israeli leader. In less than 24 hours, the 36-year-old real estate princeling had repeated all the textbook mistakes of American diplomacy in the Middle East, and rendered his visit ineffectual at best, if not a step backward.


  55. Mark Logan says:

    You cause me to ponder why Trump has already not been asked to leave by the Republican leadership. I’ll speculate Trump’s presidency may be hanging on the thread of belief that he will sign anything they place on before him.

  56. turcopolier says:

    Mark Logan
    that may be but I would say that the influence of his family, his cronies and “foreign actors” is even worse. pl

  57. different clue says:

    Lee A. Arnold,
    That began with President Elder Bush and President Clinton.

  58. Linda says:

    I would like to say that I’m not sure if it matters how impulsive Trumps tweets are. They are out there anyway. My larger concern is that we no longer have diplomacy. This is a frightening gap for the country. As many of you have been saying, the military is trained to attack things, not to be the only body involved in foreign policy. As far as I can tell, Tillerson either doesn’t want to or is being prevented from guiding foreign policy. That is scary to me and however much one wants to dissect Trumps thinking, if there is any, the results are calamitous and will only get worse. Perhaps getting rid of Tillerson and having a strong SecState would be a start. Could any such person get through WH staffing, I don’t know.

  59. wisedupearly says:

    By Reaganism I mean greed sold as “something to stimulate the economy”. Do you remember the Laffler Napkin?
    Clinton sold free trade as “something to stimulate the economy”
    Both have been failures.
    Sorry, the fall of communism (USSR) is due entirely to the failure of communists.
    Reagan did exactly nothing other than make the rich richer. Unless of course you remember that Reagan approved of arming and training the mujahideen, one of which was Osama bin Laden.

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