It was another bad week for the forces of Deep State with worse to come on the horizon as we prepare for the IG report.  First, it’s become fully obvious to almost everyone that SC Bob Mueller has no idea what he’s looking for, but whatever it is, he’s convinced it’s hidden up Paul Manafort’s ass.

If this is June, it must be time to indict Paul Manafort again. The clock is ticking, and the tic-tocs are getting louder.

Robert Mueller is clearly feeling the hot breath of public impatience on the back of his neck. He was the great black-and-white hope for bringing down Donald Trump, and a year later the president is still not in prison stripes. Mr. Mueller has indicted Paul Manafort twice, and threatens now to jail him for tampering with a witness.

Direct evidence of witness-tampering against Mr. Manafort, in Prof. Rosenzweig’s telling, is mostly vapor. “Saying ‘we should talk’ is hardly the stuff that true witness-tampering charges are made of. More to the point, if the entire conversation in which Manafort participated lasted for less than a minute and a half, he would have to be a very, very fast talker to have accomplished anything.”

Whatever Manafort has or hasn’t done, the clear exasperation he’s given Mueller over his refusals to plea to the litany of charges brought against him and determination to fight back on all possible fronts is marvelous.  Mueller honestly doesn’t seem to know how to handle it when this happens after it worked so well on General Flynn and Martha Stewart.

Team Deep State was further shaken when it was revealed that James Wolfe had been leaking classified information to the media, including a Buzzfeed reporter he was screwing.

Court documents describe Mr. Wolfe’s communications with four reporters — including Ms. Watkins — using encrypted messaging applications. It appeared that the F.B.I. was investigating how Ms. Watkins learned that Russian spies in 2013 had tried to recruit Carter Page, a former Trump foreign policy adviser. She published an article for BuzzFeed News on April 3, 2017, about the attempted recruitment of Mr. Page in which he confirmed the contacts.

Sessions wasn’t kidding about deploying a Leak Posse, was he? The reason I say it’s bad for the Deep State is that the selective leaking of damaging information to a tame media has long been one of its primary power sources.  The Strzok/Page texts also heavily emphasize this partnership.  Until this dynamic is broken by aggressively hunting and prosecuting officials who abuse their positions of trust, the swamp won’t be drained. Whether or not the First Amendment will survive the war is another concern.

Buzzfeed appears to have been aware of the relationship in this case too, which raises a number of other ethical questions. Not that Buzzfeed has any ethics.

Where is #MeToo on this?

Oh, and accused leaker Andy McCabe has been begging for immunity, according to, er, a leak (later confirmed by his lawyer). Good take from Andrew McCarthy.

If McCabe was being candid with the Post’s readers, then it is hard to understand how he can now represent that truthful answers to the Judiciary Committee’s questions could incriminate him. More likely, McCabe is trying to make himself non-prosecutable.

Fuck McCabe.  No.

So here we are, over two years into all of the opposition’s best efforts at surveillance and shakedowns of Trump’s associates and it has yielded nothing but prosecutions for either unrelated or incidental crimes, indictments for some Russians who won’t ever be brought to court and even if they were it is unlikely they’d be convicted, and the noose is now slowly closing in on the FBI and DOJ officials who were the true colluders in the 2016 election.  The Resistance has let its imaginations (and news coverage) run wild with conspiracy theories for since Inauguration Day.  All they can do is wonder why the Blue Wave is evaporating.

In that vein, here’s a good non-scandalous view on that.

The three-legged stool of the new Republican majority is a pro-citizen immigration policy, a pro-worker economic policy and a foreign policy that rejects moral imperialism and its concomitant foreign wars. John Adams described just such a foreign policy when he wrote that America is “the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all” but “the champion and vindicator only of her own.”

Giving up on a failed policy of moral imperialism allows Republicans to focus on forming good citizens and restoring a sense of Americanism that relies upon strong ties of fellowship and belief in a shared destiny. To that end, our candidates would be well advised to ignore strategists and consultants who talk exclusively in terms of messaging tailored to statistical constructs like “disaffected Democrats with some college” or “married suburban men who drive S.U.V.s.” When it comes to politics, most people don’t want to be addressed as members of a demographic group looking for a payoff. They want to be addressed as Americans.

That’s not to say that the author didn’t mention how badly the Trump Collusion myth-mongering has backfired.

At some point, the combination of scandal fatigue — there is almost no crime of which Mr. Trump is not regularly accused — and the continuing revelations of improprieties by government officials (in the F.B.I., at the Department of Justice and elsewhere) will lead voters to believe that Mr. Trump got a raw deal.

This is probably the one article cited in this post I would recommend reading in full.

With the accusations about colluding with Russia fading away, Trump is now free to pursue a foreign policy that benefits Russia.

President Donald Trump on Saturday doubled down on his call for Russia to be readmitted into the G7 and blamed his predecessor for Russia’s aggression in Crimea.

“I think it would be an asset to have Russia back in,” Trump said during an impromptu press conference at the summit. “I think it would be good for the world. I think it would be good for Russia. I think it would be good the United States. I think it would be good for all of the countries of the current G7. I think the G8 would be better.”

I have a few points on this.

The first is that I think it should be understood that there’s no way this should be done without some conditions.
This actually isn’t the first time this idea has been suggested, though it was tied to Russia leaving Syria rather than the Crimea.

That leads to my second point. Putin isn’t giving up the Crimea under any circumstances. It’s gone. The Crimea is so crucial to Russian security interests that there is absolutely nothing they would negotiate in return for it.
Nothing short of war will get them out and we’re not doing that, no way. We’ll have to find other concessions for Russia to give up in exchange for G-7 readmittance because anyone who thinks Russia can or even will give up the Crimea is fighting reality.

Last one: criticizing Obama for “letting” Putin take the Crimea is an unfair cheap shot.  There wasn’t anything he could have done, again, short of starting off World War III.

All that said, is Trump right about letting Russia back into the G-7? Sure, I think so. As I’ve said before, Russia isn’t our problem. It’s Europe’s and especially the economic order that Germany desperately wants to maintain. If there’s one thing that should be absolutely clear to the Germans, Poles, French, and the rest it’s that the United States has no interest spending billions of dollars and waging stupid wars for their benefit anymore.

One way or another, Europe needs to learn how to live next to Russia again. I recommend they get lots more troops and tanks of their own if they want to keep a hostile relationship in place since they won’t have ours. Alternatively, they could pursue economic incentives to keep the peace.

Economic bonds between us and Russia are better, not worse for our own security. Also, I really don’t want Putin to release the piss tape.

I could go on and on about Trump’s trolling of the G-7, but it really deserves its own post.  Maybe I’ll get on that later.

Speaking of negotiations, will we one day remember when Dennis Rodman was the great mediator who ended the Korean War?

This was suggested seriously by Scott Adams months ago, when he remarked that Rodman was the only person in the world who happens to be friends with both Trump and Kim.

Adams often says that we’re living in a simulation.  This may be the turn of events that has sold me on the idea.

That’s about all I have for the moment.  There was more, but I have other things to do.  We’ll pick it up in the comments.

Oh, hey. The comments. Did anybody notice this?

I added a plugin that lets everyone upload photos into comments so we can just start throwing memes at each other instead of all that tedious typing out of well-thought-out arguments. Have fun with it, but post no porn. I’m trying to keep RVS on good terms with everybody’s corporate IT departments.

35 comments

  1. I’m off to officiate a tennis event for the day but I must say that I find your attitude about Russia curious. Yes, Obama did not let Russia steal Crimea but there is no denying that the world still looks to the US for global leadership and his ,”Well, that was not a nice thing to do, when is my Tee time again?” attitude did not help.

    You say Russia needs to make concessions for this theft, what did you have in mind? How about getting out of Syria all together, a promise to quit destabilizing Ukraine, The Baltic’s, and The Balkans? How about free oil and natural gas to Ukraine for the next 10 years, along with some cash? Russia has been an Iran enabler, Iran sponsors terror through out the world, how about some verifiable help in isolating Iran with Russia joining the rest of world sanctions against them?

    You say Russia is not our problem, but their actions through out the world since Putin was the man has been problematic, for sure. Yes, I would rate 1) China 2) Iran, and 3)NoKo, as greater threats but Russia to date has not been held accountable for anything, the Ukraine theft, meddling in out election or any of the meddling it is doing with it’s neighbors.

    What benefit would it be for us to allow Russia back in the G-7(8), we do little trade with them as it is. Yes, I think Trump is doing this primarily to stick a thumb in the eye of all those “Trump is a stooge for Putin” hecklers, and yes, irritating liberals is great but should not be a geo-political strategy.

    I got a few more things, but I’m off.

  2. You say Russia needs to make concessions for this theft, what did you have in mind?

    We should focus on those areas where our interests are threatened. Emphasis on “ours” rather than Europe’s. Going down the list…

    How about getting out of Syria all together

    I’m against it. The Russians are helping Assad win, which I think is the best outcome at the moment. Besides, the Russians being the ones Assad is beholden to gives them leverage to manage Iran after the civil war ends.

    a promise to quit destabilizing Ukraine, The Baltic’s, and The Balkans

    The Balkans are probably doable. Ukraine and the Baltics would be more problematic. I don’t think the Russians have much incentive to stop. But yes, we can try.

    How about free oil and natural gas to Ukraine for the next 10 years, along with some cash?

    That’s worthy of negotiation.

    Russia has been an Iran enabler, Iran sponsors terror through out the world, how about some verifiable help in isolating Iran with Russia joining the rest of world sanctions against them?

    Yes, although I don’t think Iran is really our problem either. Where we could really use Russian cooperation is on North Korea.

    Russia to date has not been held accountable for anything, the Ukraine theft, meddling in out election or any of the meddling it is doing with it’s neighbors.

    Who cares? The Russians will fight a war over Ukraine. Will we? We shouldn’t be interested. It doesn’t affect us at all.

    As for election meddling, I’m equally concerned about the meddling conducted by British and Ukrainian nationals. Why don’t we do anything about that?

    What benefit would it be for us to allow Russia back in the G-7(8), we do little trade with them as it is.

    Not a huge amount. They never bought a large number of our imports, even before sanctions. However, some economic ties provide at least a reason for us to not antagonize each other.

    Yes, I think Trump is doing this primarily to stick a thumb in the eye of all those “Trump is a stooge for Putin” hecklers

    He isn’t. He’s putting the onus for the high tensions between Russia and the West on the Germans and UK (and yes, the Obama State Department), who helped precipitate the Ukraine crisis which led to the seizure of the Crimea in the first place.

    They’re more dependent on Russia than we are and they’re also directly threatened by what it does. They need to come to an accommodation with Russia instead of demanding that we wage a new cold war on their behalf.

    I’ll ask you. Should we be expanding NATO to include Ukraine? Should Western Europe keep trying to pull Ukraine into its own sphere of economic influence and away from Russia’s? Why or why not? These are the issues that are driving conflict with Russia. If we want that country to stop going rogue, we should be assuring its security, not threatening it at every turn.

  3. I’m not sure where I fit, but just to play a little devil’s advocate.

    Who cares? The Russians will fight a war over Ukraine. Will we? We shouldn’t be interested. It doesn’t affect us at all.

    Who cares? The Nazi’s will fight a war over Austria/Poland/Denmark/Norway/Belgium/France. Will we? We shouldn’t be interested. It doesn’t affect us at all.

  4. Should we be expanding NATO to include Ukraine?

    Ukraine is a sovereign state free to join any alliances it wants but in it’s current state I would be against it. They are in a shooting war (not of their choosing) with Russia so from day one we would be facing an Article 5 contingency, not very appetizing. NATO is an alliance of shared values as well as interests, if Ukraine begins to embrace these shared ideals, extricate itself from unsavory conflicts, builds up it’s military and pledges to uphold the 2% standard for defense spending that all the members agreed to 2006, then we can talk about it.

    Should Western Europe keep trying to pull Ukraine into its own sphere of economic influence and away from Russia’s?

    I don’t really care one way or the other, but I don’t think Western Europe is doing that now.

    These are the issues that are driving conflict with Russia.

    The real issues that are driving the conflict are of their own making. You seem to want to give Russia a pass wrt to the Crimea theft, they don’t deserve a pass. When civilized nations do nothing in the face of uncivilized behavior, a precedent is set.

    Yes, I’m all for Europe putting on their big boy pants and doing some of their own heavy lifting but this notion that if it doesn’t happen in my back yard that it’s no big deal, is naive and dangerous. Russia is not our friend and should be treated as such.

    We should focus on those areas where our interests are threatened.

    A revanchist Russia threatening it’s neighbors, stealing territory is not in our interest. Destabilizing one part of the world affects all the other parts of the world, it has nothing to do with revamping the cold war. Tell me, you think Russia gobbling up vast swaths of stolen territory is no big deal, what about China’s move into disputed waters, building military and airbases on the Spratley’s and Parcel Islands. Another remote place on the far side of the world, is this worth any concern at all?

  5. Who cares? The Nazi’s will fight a war over Austria/Poland/Denmark/Norway/Belgium/France. Will we? We shouldn’t be interested. It doesn’t affect us at all.

    Not to defend Nazi aggression but the way the Western allies treated Germany post-WWI by devastating its economy and separating it from its lost territories led directly to the rise of the Nazi party in Germany. You can’t humiliate and devastate a nation economically and weaken its core security interests without expecting them to do something about it.

  6. I don’t really care one way or the other, but I don’t think Western Europe is doing that now.

    But they were prior to the Crimean takeover. Russia could justifiably claim that it was protecting its own interests by annexing Crimea.

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russia-fsu/2014-08-18/why-ukraine-crisis-west-s-fault

    But this account is wrong: the United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the crisis. The taproot of the trouble is NATO enlargement, the central element of a larger strategy to move Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit and integrate it into the West. At the same time, the EU’s expansion eastward and the West’s backing of the pro-democracy movement in Ukraine — beginning with the Orange Revolution in 2004 — were critical elements, too. Since the mid-1990s, Russian leaders have adamantly opposed NATO enlargement, and in recent years, they have made it clear that they would not stand by while their strategically important neighbor turned into a Western bastion. For Putin, the illegal overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected and pro-Russian president — which he rightly labeled a “coup” — was the final straw. He responded by taking Crimea, a peninsula he feared would host a NATO naval base, and working to destabilize Ukraine until it abandoned its efforts to join the West.

    The West is making stupid decisions. Trump is saying that we’re not going to participate in these stupid decisions anymore. Good!

    You seem to want to give Russia a pass wrt to the Crimea theft, they don’t deserve a pass.

    Well, what do you propose we do about it?

    Yes, I’m all for Europe putting on their big boy pants and doing some of their own heavy lifting but this notion that if it doesn’t happen in my back yard that it’s no big deal, is naive and dangerous.

    What’s naive and dangerous is assuming that we can continue threatening Russia’s security and economic well-being for no reason whatsoever and that they’re just going to take it quietly. There’s absolutely no way that Russia agrees to reduce tensions and work with us on anything worthwhile as long as we continue expanding (the anti-Russian alliance) NATO directly on their borders, put anti-ballistic missile defenses in Poland, and support coups against democratically elected governments in countries that are critical to their interests and meaningless to ours.

    Russia is not our friend and should be treated as such.

    But it’s not our enemy either. We have nothing they want nor do they have anything we want. There’s nothing for us to fight over, unless WE decide to find something.

    A revanchist Russia threatening it’s neighbors, stealing territory is not in our interest.

    Nor is it a problem for us. Russia has friendly puppets in multiple former Soviet republics. Should we start destabilizing those countries too simply because the EU wants to open up their markets?

    Tell me, you think Russia gobbling up vast swaths of stolen territory is no big deal, what about China’s move into disputed waters, building military and airbases on the Spratley’s and Parcel Islands. Another remote place on the far side of the world, is this worth any concern at all?

    Oh, no. The Pacific is crucial to our own interests and China is a real concern. And you know what? We need Russia to help contain and pressure China. Our current policy toward Russia pushes them toward China and it’s counterproductive to our interests. Europe is rich and populous enough to deal with Russia by itself. Let them do it and let’s make our own arrangement with Russia to obtain their support where we actually need it.

    TLDR: Fuck Ukraine. We have our own concerns.

  7. Non-political story here. What in the fresh hell does IHOP think it’s doing?

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/11/ihop-isnt-changing-its-name-its-just-promoting-its-new-line-of-burgers.html?__source=twitter%7Cmain

    This is a terrible idea. Nobody is going to start taking lunch at IHOP if what they’re primarily offering are hamburgers. It’s an unhealthy option, you can get a decent burger cheaper at other franchises, and people with short lunch breaks aren’t going to want to go to a sit-down restaurant for them. IHOP isn’t even in the top twenty of restaurants I would consider for lunch and I have two within 15 minutes of my house.

    Honestly, they ought to focus on breakfast food and late night dining and close at 1 PM like other breakfast-focused restaurants do.

  8. Robert DeNiro goes off on Trump

    I had a bigger problem with the idiot presenter…or maybe it was a winner, who talked about them being the moral compass of the country. Right.

  9. I had a bigger problem with the idiot presenter…or maybe it was a winner, who talked about them being the moral compass of the country.

    Seriously? That’s teeth-gnashingly asinine considering Hollywood’s problems with endemic child sexual abuse, mistreatment of female actors from being used as Weinstein’s cum sock to a very real earnings gap, drug and alcohol abuse, and totally unconcealed contempt for those of us they feel the need to constantly preach at.

  10. ON Russia.

    The Ukraine has historically been Russia’s bitch for the last 300 some years. By now a very large segment of the population has direct Russian heritage, thanks to very deliberate programs enacted by the early SU leadership. Once the SU broke up, it was widely considered that Russia would move heaven and earth to reintegrate the Ukraine back into mother Russias bosom. And that is exactly what is happening, the inertia of previous events pushes Russia to do just that.
    They have legitimate security issues there, and Pushing NATO further and further east exasperates the situation, and Putin acts accordingly.
    As for the Threat Russia poses to teh west.
    Outside of the nations that border Russia there is no real threat of invasion of sustained attack, Russian logistics are very weak, and given the issues they have had just supporting the small contingent in Syria, any sustained attack out side the intimidate AO of Russian borders would be easy prey to NATO air attacks. However in the Baltics and near Balkans its there game. But hell the eastern Ukraine has been a rather tough nut to crack, even with a go slow apporch, they seem not to be making much ground.
    Russia will be Russia, with Putin at the helm, and they will do things that further their interests in the region, butr that does not necessarily mean we have to stand against them on everything, we can find some common ground, which we both have in stopping Islamic extremism. Part of the Problem is the old Cold war mentality of us Vs them, and yes both sides suffer from it, Putin thinks the wast is trying to corner him, which we are ,and with his track record we have reasons to be concerned. However Pushing NATO to the Russian border certainly agitates the hell out of him and gives him a excuse to go adventuring in the border areas to produce some kind of security in depth. this causes pushback by us and intern.. ect ect ect.. we should stay the hell out of the ukraines, ist mostly Russian anyhow, but that should really be the line , let him slowly adsorb the old Soviet states, that will take some time, and Putin cant live forever…jsut stay wary be prepared. and try to deviate hie aims to something that we can mutually benefit on . the Anti Islamist crusade, and containing China.

  11. I find it ironic that she would say that considering the dress she’s wearing. Eww.

    wow those are some saggy tits.

  12. They self identify as a burger joint today. Maybe tomorrow they will feel more like a salad joint. We should celebrate their courage and stand with them.

  13. re: Russia

    Grendel, you’re spot-on about Russia. They couldn’t take and hold Ukraine if they wanted to even without NATO involvement. The Baltics definitely wouldn’t be worth the effort.

    I subscribe to the view that the Russians are in deep decline, economically and demographically, and that the reason they’ve been taking these wild risks and acting like they have nothing to lose is that they don’t.

    Here’s a piece I’d like your opinion on. It says that Putin is going to have to choose whether Russia ultimately becomes China’s or the West’s bitch in the next decade.

    https://tsarizm.com/analysis/2018/06/10/the-hi-tech-traditionalist-the-g6-will-be-brought-to-heel-it-will-be-fun-to-watch/

    Trump’s push to reintegrate Russia into Western power structures such as the G8 is crucial to giving Putin the excuse he needs to choose America as his liege lord. After decades of anti-Western and specifically anti-American propaganda, Putin needs a strong cover story for his people, one that shows Russia as holding its own against its western adversaries. Putin also knows that China will be much harsher in its treatment of Russian people and Russia’s environment than America would ever be. All he needs is to save face, a few cheap gestures that cost nothing, but mean everything.

  14. Maybe he is doing that just too piss Sesesions off, or just to see if hes really awake over there at Justice.

    Or he’s looking at grabbing the youth vote and increasing his share of the black vote in 2020.

  15. Damn! And just like that, Wendy’s turns up the dial.

    Their social media team are a bunch of savages. I think they all have coffee mugs made out of human skulls and mouse pads bound in flesh.

  16. We have nothing they want nor do they have anything we want.

    Then why the big push to readmit them back into the G-7 except to stick his big thumb in the eye of Europe and insult them needlessly? See, this is one of the few areas I think we disagree, being provocative for it’s own sake is dumb. Trump’s G-8 intervention is a gratuitous swipe at our allies (which Russia is not) that plays into right in to Putin’s strategy to divide the U.S. and Europe, and for what gain?

    The reason Russia got booted out of the G-7 in the first place was its invasion of Crimea, and Putin has escalated from there.A chemical agent assassination attempt in London, using mercenaries to grab much of southern Ukraine, assisting Iran’s attempt to dominate Syria, and helping to undermine sanctions and global pressure against North Korea, these are the actions of a committed adversary.

    I really don’t care about there 300 year relationship with Ukraine, the same thing could be said about England and their relationships with Ireland, South Africa, or India (or America)you don’t see them stealing territory. Putin wants to rebuild the Soviet empire, we should be an enabler of this.

    We made fun of Obama, and rightly so, for hugging our enemies and insulting our friends, we should not encourage Trump to follow suit.

    Yes, it’s great that Obama’s legacy is being dismantlement brick by brick, but disruption is not a policy, Trump has to build his own and to do this this (globally) he is going to need trust and cooperation from our friends.

  17. Then why the big push to readmit them back into the G-7 except to stick his big thumb in the eye of Europe and insult them needlessly?

    It’s not needless. That’s “Trump is a Cartoon Villain” thinking. Even our allies are economic competitors and it’s rational to believe that Russia should be allowed to participate. Especially since our European allies demand that we protect them from Russia even as they buy its energy cheap.

    You’re so in love with doing the bidding of other countries for free and I don’t get it. Russia is just another country and a dying one at that. They’re not a threat to us unless they drunkenly misplace some of their nuclear warheads. Where there are opportunities and advantages in dealing with them for own sake, we should do it even if Angela Merkel doesn’t get leg tingles over it

    .The reason Russia got booted out of the G-7 in the first place was its invasion of Crimea

    …to prevent NATO from seizing it and denying them the use of their only warm water port in the west.

    A chemical agent assassination attempt in London

    …which is unproven.

    using mercenaries to grab much of southern Ukraine

    …after the West sponsored a coup against a democratically elected, pro-Russian leader in that country.

    assisting Iran’s attempt to dominate Syria

    …which was made possible by the West destabilizing the Assad regime to the point that a civil war broke out, followed by the West arming the rebels and increasing the intensity of the conflict well before any Russian set foot in that country.

    Let’s also not forget that Russia is operating fully legally in Syria having been invited by the Syrian government whereas no Western country has even a shred of legality under its own or international laws to be militarily involved there.

    and helping to undermine sanctions and global pressure against North Korea

    And, as I’ve said, that’s an area for negotiation and why I think we have something to gain by not employing an adversarial relationship on every single issue for Europe or Israel’s sake. Honestly, almost every foreign policy quagmire we’ve had over the past 20 years is arguably the result of us doing for the Europeans what they should be doing for themselves or not being done at all.

    I really don’t care about there 300 year relationship with Ukraine, the same thing could be said about England and their relationships with Ireland, South Africa, or India (or America)you don’t see them stealing territory.

    And yet we didn’t get involved in any of those acts of imperial aggression, aside from where we were the victims of it (as it should be, really).

    Hey, should we put US troops in Punjab since it’s a disputed territory between India and Pakistan? What about a deployment to Tibet since the Chinese are illegally occupying it? Whoa, Sudan and South Sudan have a dispute over Kaka and Jodha. Let’s get in there and kick some ass!

    But no, we don’t get involved there. Because Angela Merkel hasn’t demanded it, I suppose. Weird to me that so many Americans are happy with their country being the EU’s muscular errand boy.

    Putin wants to rebuild the Soviet empire, we should be an enabler of this.

    No, he’s not. He’s trying to guarantee his country’s economic and military security as the West has continuously done its best to undermine it. Again, the beneficiaries of a weak and encircled Russia are the countries of the EU, not us. Yet we’re expected to provide them with military protection that they refuse to pay for in response to any provocations they make. Fuck. This.

    Yes, it’s great that Obama’s legacy is being dismantlement brick by brick, but disruption is not a policy, Trump has to build his own and to do this this (globally) he is going to need trust and cooperation from our friends.

    He’s not disrupting for its own sake. The world is undergoing a LONG OVERDUE realignment and Trump is presenting them with reality. He’ll have cooperation from our friends because they don’t actually have any other choice but to do business with us. Once they get done complaining about it, they’ll adjust. Or they won’t and they can fail. We’ll be fine either way.

  18. Even our allies are economic competitors and it’s rational to believe that Russia should be allowed to participate.

    Russia got booted out of the G-7 because they are thieves, Trump wants them back in because why, just to be contrary? Russia can forge any trade agreements it likes, but there are consequences to their lawless act, no G-7 for them.

    Especially since our European allies demand that we protect them from Russia even as they buy its energy cheap.

    OK, so you want the US out NATO immediately, is that right?

    You’re so in love with doing the bidding of other countries for free and I don’t get it.

    Except I didn’t say any of that, and you sound like Charles Lindbergh/ William Jennings Bryant/Pat Buchanan. I am all for re evaluating alliances from time to time and putting our interests first. But as of today we are still part of NATO and have certified obligations to the other member states. We have no such alliances with Russia.

    …which is unproven.

    Oh, that’s right, you were entertaining some spy vs. spy theory that this was a covert op orchestrated by MI-5 to make it look like it was a Russian hit, all for the purposes of what exactly, to keep the Russians out of an organization they weren’t a member of in the first place?

    …to prevent NATO from seizing it and denying them the use of their only warm water port in the west.

    So that makes it OK? So if Turkish relations are frayed we just invade and secure the area around Incerlik? Ditto with any US military bases around the world, all signed treaties null and viod we just take the land ourselves to avoid any disagreements? The Ukraine is not a NATO member, they had a signed agreement with Russia, Russia broke it and invaded.

    And yet we didn’t get involved in any of those acts of imperial aggression

    Because none of those happened, did you read what I wrote? The 300 year relationship means nothing because by that standard England could have (but didn’t) do those things.

    Hey, should we put US troops in Punjab since it’s a disputed territory between India and Pakistan? What about a deployment to Tibet since the Chinese are illegally occupying it? Whoa, Sudan and South Sudan have a dispute over Kaka and Jodha. Let’s get in there and kick some ass!

    Now you are just being silly, and I think you know that.

    Weird to me that so many Americans are happy with their country being the EU’s muscular errand boy.

    And again, I have not advocated for any of that, more silliness.

    We’ll be fine either way

    More wrong headed isolationist talk. If we can go it alone and don’t need anyone else, why have a State Dept.? Why talk with anyone not American? We extricate ourselves from all alliances, nix any and all international treaties, have no working relationships with any other nation. We don’t need them, “We’re America, Bitch!!!”, we take what we need and fuck everyone else. Just think of all the money we will save; close down all embassies, and bring our boys home from all foreign bases.

  19. Trump wants them back in because why, just to be contrary?

    Because they’re an economic counter to the EU, a military counter to China, a potential partner in the post-Syrian Civil War, and possibly an aide to ensuring North Korean cooperation. Letting them in the G7 costs us nothing and in return, we benefit. The ONLY reason not to do it is that it hurts Angela Merkel’s feelings.

    OK, so you want the US out NATO immediately, is that right?

    Yes, NATO has outlived its purpose and isn’t necessary. If the Europeans want to contain Russia, they’re strong enough to do it themselves.

    Now you are just being silly, and I think you know that.

    No, I’m not. I’m illustrating that we don’t get involved in every border dispute in the world. We only do it when it benefits the EU or (in a more limited case) Israel.

    And again, I have not advocated for any of that, more silliness.

    You are in favor of continuing the post-Cold War policy of using American economic and military power to further the interests of other countries over your own. You really want to fight Russia? You have enough invested in Ukraine that you’re willing to see my children sent off to fight a future war for the sake of Angela Merkel, who won’t even pay her share for NATO membership? You owe me an explanation on that basis alone.

    If we can go it alone and don’t need anyone else, why have a State Dept.?

    We do need others but the relationships must be transactional and beneficial to us. Refighting the Cold War because Angela Merkel wants to keep natural gas prices low and throwing our troops into occupying Syria so she doesn’t have the political inconvenience of dealing with refugees and going to war with Iran to make sure she keeps getting Saudi oil doesn’t do it for me.

    “We’re America, Bitch!!!”, we take what we need and fuck everyone else. Just think of all the money we will save; close down all embassies, and bring our boys home from all foreign bases.

    Pretty much. If they want American protection in any form, they will pay for it with something we need. If they don’t have it, good luck.

  20. You are in favor of continuing the post-Cold War policy of using American economic and military power to further the interests of other countries over your own.

    No even close to what I said. Until Trump takes your call and gets us out of NATO we have an obligation to stand with the other NATO members, Russia is not part of that crowd, we have no obligation to them whatsoever. Russia is a criminal state, if you want to do their bidding by lobbying G-7 partners to include Russia, over the wishes of real democracies that have been our partners for decades, have at it.

    No, I’m not. I’m illustrating that we don’t get involved in every border dispute in the world

    For what purpose? I have not backed any of that.

    You really want to fight Russia?

    Where did I say I wanted to fight Russia? A little late for that now since this crime occurred 4 years ago. No, I just don’t want Russian apologists to forget what they did.

    You have enough invested in Ukraine that you’re willing to see my children sent off to fight a future war for the sake of Angela Merkel, who won’t even pay her share for NATO membership?

    So now you bring your kids into the discussion, no emotional investment there.

    You owe me an explanation on that basis alone.

    I would if any of that was true. I have nothing invested in the Ukraine, except a clear acknowledgement that you don’t recognize that they were the victims of an illegal annexation from a belligerent neighbor.

  21. Until Trump takes your call and gets us out of NATO we have an obligation to stand with the other NATO members,

    This is true, but we could certainly negotiate with the Russians and convince them to stop all military activity in Ukraine in exchange for an agreement that Ukraine will never be admitted to NATO or the EU. Let’s at least address what’s driving this conflict instead of piddling around.

    if you want to do their bidding by lobbying G-7 partners to include Russia

    Only one of us is placing the interests of other countries above his own. And it’s not me.

    real democracies that have been our partners for decades, have at it.

    Our first alliance was with a monarchy and we abandoned that alliance the moment the country became a republic, you know. Avoiding entangling alliances and only pursuing those relationships that were beneficial used to be considered a wise course.

    Where did I say I wanted to fight Russia?

    You want to completely destroy their economy with sanctions that we generally apply before we start bombing people and you’re perfectly okay with expanding a military alliance that exists for no other purpose but to fight a war with them to include a country that they require be friendly for their very survival. But you’re not actually interested in actually fighting the war with them that Europe is provoking? You really need to think hard about this.

    If you’re not willing to fight and die for Ukraine or for any other American to do it, then you have no justification for saying that it should be allowed into NATO.

    I have nothing invested in the Ukraine, except a clear acknowledgement that you don’t recognize that they were the victims of an illegal annexation from a belligerent neighbor.

    By your logic, we shouldn’t have any economic agreements with China or Israel since both of them have illegally annexed territory.

  22. This is true, but we could certainly negotiate with the Russians and convince them to stop all military activity in Ukraine in exchange for an agreement that Ukraine will never be admitted to NATO or the EU

    But this is a squabble between 2 countries, none of which are ours, you’ve been telling me for the last 3 comments now that we should not be involved in the affairs of other nations, period. Now you want to negotiate. So a foreign country invades another foreign country and illegally annexes land that does not belong to them, and you want to negotiate now? We are not part of the EU, don’t they get to decide for themselves who gets voted in? the US is one voting member, do we alone get to decide who is invited to join NATO?

    Only one of us is placing the interests of other countries above his own. And it’s not me.

    Except that we are not king of NATO, we have obligations, if you want to be an isolationist then we have to extricate ourselves from the the union altogether.

    Avoiding entangling alliances and only pursuing those relationships that were beneficial used to be considered a wise course.

    Still is, that is why we are still part of NATO, because the consensus of opinion by those in power for like the last 75 years has been that this alliance is beneficial to us. If you don’t think so then work on getting us out of NATO.

    You want to completely destroy their economy with sanctions

    Where have I even brought up sanctions in this thread?

    that we generally apply before we start bombing people

    Sanctions are a precursor to bombing, good to know. We sanctioned Russia (both Obama and Trump) yet no bombs were dropped. Ditto with Cuba, Iran, North Korea, all sanctions in place but no bombings. You don’t really think that, do you?

    you’re perfectly okay with expanding a military alliance that exists for no other purpose but to fight a war with them to include a country that they require be friendly for their very survival.

    This is getting ridiculous. Please show me where I said Ukraine should be admitted to NATO.

    You really need to think hard about this.

    What am I supposed to think hard on? First off, I think it is lunacy to interpret the G-7 booting out Russia for their naked act of aggression in the Crimea theft as provoking a fight.

    If you’re not willing to fight and die for Ukraine or for any other American to do it, then you have no justification for saying that it should be allowed into NATO.

    Still waiting for you to show me where I supported that. You would have an ounce of credibility if Ukraine applied for membership and they were accepted. They will never be accepted by the current NATO members because of the Russian conflict. But you have endorsed a ready made blueprint for Russian aggression in case any other sovereign state wants to join;Russia invades, steals some land and NATO balks at admission.

  23. But this is a squabble between 2 countries, none of which are ours, you’ve been telling me for the last 3 comments now that we should not be involved in the affairs of other nations, period. Now you want to negotiate.

    I never made a blanket statement that we shouldn’t be involved with the affairs of other nations. Only that it should serve our national interests or be consistent with our own carefully chosen obligations when we do.

    And yes, the US by itself can block a country from joining NATO.

    Except that we are not king of NATO, we have obligations, if you want to be an isolationist then we have to extricate ourselves from the the union altogether.

    NATO is meaningless without the US. But if the EU wants to keep it going on their own, admit Ukraine into it, and fight the inevitable war over it that’s their own lookout. FWIW: I think they’d beat Russia.

    Where have I even brought up sanctions in this thread?

    With regard to Russia, I suppose you haven’t. But you did say this:

    Russia to date has not been held accountable for anything, the Ukraine theft, meddling in out election or any of the meddling it is doing with it’s neighbors.

    And…

    You seem to want to give Russia a pass wrt to the Crimea theft, they don’t deserve a pass.

    So you want to hold Russia accountable because they don’t deserve a pass for invading Crimea. But you…don’t…favor sanctions…and think that Obama did nothing about Russia’s invasion of Crimea even though he…put sanctions on Russia.

    Do you favor the crippling sanctions against Russia? Or is expulsion from the G7 all the punishment that you expect? But wait…Obama applied sanctions after the Crimean theft. So if you don’t support the sanctions, then you’re actually softer on Russia than Obama was. And if you do support the sanctions, you’re inconsistent if you don’t support sanctions against China and Israel, who have also illegally annexed territory.

    I’ll let you digest that for a while.

    First off, I think it is lunacy to interpret the G-7 booting out Russia for their naked act of aggression in the Crimea theft as provoking a fight.

    That’s true, it is lunacy and not what I’ve said. However, pledging to eventually incorporate Ukraine into NATO and instigating a coup in Ukraine to remove the pro-Russian government is sure provocative, as is destroying a nation’s economy with economic sanctions.

    Still is, that is why we are still part of NATO, because the consensus of opinion by those in power for like the last 75 years has been that this alliance is beneficial to us. If you don’t think so then work on getting us out of NATO.

    I am. I voted for Trump and I hold out hope that he’ll get us out.

    Please show me where I said Ukraine should be admitted to NATO.

    Here, though you tried to qualify the hell out of it:

    NATO is an alliance of shared values as well as interests, if Ukraine begins to embrace these shared ideals, extricate itself from unsavory conflicts, builds up it’s military and pledges to uphold the 2% standard for defense spending that all the members agreed to 2006, then we can talk about it.

    The answer you should have given to the question was a firm “No, under no circumstances.”

    But you have endorsed a ready made blueprint for Russian aggression in case any other sovereign state wants to join;Russia invades, steals some land and NATO balks at admission.

    So would you like to just put every country that’s bordering Russia into NATO now before Russia invades?

  24. on that story.

    Russia is more than likely doomed, some time after Putin pases, Their biurth rate for ethnic Russian is in the crapper, adn they way to much land tro secure with a dodgy military and constricting budget. Which is massively effected by the price of oil, and now by US fracking…heh.,

    There is a old saw about “their power is waning,: ect ect ect./. For Russia this is true. At some point they are gonna have to decide whom they rather ally with the Asian powers, which Russia has traditionally “as they see it” been the guardian of the west from teh hordes of the east.. or dive back into teh days when Russia was blood related to all the great royal houses of Europe.
    China, baring “badluck” is gonna dominate Asia. The resources of western Siberia just lying wait for the industrious Chinese to lay clam to and extract.

  25. Their biurth rate for ethnic Russian is in the crapper, adn they way to much land tro secure with a dodgy military and constricting budget.

    Very true. The answer to the question, “Why are the Russians acting like they have nothing to lose?” is that they don’t. Each year that goes by, they have fewer men of military age to send off for adventures in Syria and Ukraine. If Putin can’t expand his borders now, Russia won’t be able to any time this century.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*

%d bloggers like this: