Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby Flagg » 2017-04-11 02:27pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
aerius wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:Hey, remember all those people who said they were going to vote for Trump because they were worried about Clinton antagonizing the Russians in Syria and triggering World War III? I know a few of 'em.


Context. Clinton was guaranteed to escalate shit in Syria and other places, remember that she was involved in starting and/or supporting the regime changes which completely fucked up Libya, Syria, and the Ukraine in the first place. She was cheering for missile strikes on Syria before Trump launched them.
And Trump was going around bragging about how he was going to kick Da'esh's ass. But people willfully forget that, because Trump has a way of convincing people it's a good idea to pretend the emperor has no clothes.

Trump claimed he wouldn't continue to fuck shit up in foreign countries, a claim which we now know to be a lie. However, given a choice between a candidate who has and continues to advocate for fucking shit up in the Middle East and pissing off Russia and a person who says he's going to stop that shit (but is probably lying), you take the choice that gives you a less than 100% chance of triggering the event. In short, wanna play Russian Roulette with a revolver with 2 loaded chambers, or a semi-auto with a bullet in the chamber and a full mag? Both choices suck, but gun to your head, which one do you pick?
You're acting like Trump wasn't obviously a petulant manbaby who would inevitably violate his own rules, either because he threw a tantrum or because he saw a chance to opportunistically profit. It doesn't matter what Trump said, it literally made no goddamn difference because he would cheerfully brag about how he was going to tear down X one day, then how he was going to do X only do it a ton better the next day. In his own mind, Donald Trump’s block tower is the biggest. He does not need a nap or a snack. He has the longest, biggest attention span.

It's like people went out of their way to elect King Ubu, and now we're running around pretending that he's normal and comparable to sane people who at least comprehend the idea of consequences.

Clinton at least has, and had, the mental capacity to comprehend that "X is a bad idea, we should not do X." Trump lacks this capacity, and therefore no argument of this form bites on him. He's too busy being a narcissistic creep.

Trump has been in the White House for less than three months and he's already antagonized the Russians over Syria. Clinton could hardly have done 'better' at that, gotten it done faster, if she'd tried.

So I would argue that your analogy is a good one, you just plugged it in backwards. Trump was always going to predictably disappoint on every issue, because he was always a lying sociopathic fuck. People knew this about him long before he ran for president. In our Russian roulette analogy, he's the automatic pistol, because he's incapable of not firing every time you test him by pulling the trigger. He will disappoint on every issue. Clinton is the revolver, at worst, because she's at least got the capacity to listen to reason and to act for reasons other than personal aggrandizement.

I flat out posted about recordings made by an author of a Trump biography in 2010 (IIRC, it could have been a year or 2 north or south) that Rachel Maddow played a couple of weeks before the election where Donnie Douchebag was talking to the author. It was mostly President Pussygrabber talking, but the author would ask occasional questions.
Anyway, the guy is such a narcissistic egomaniacal pathological liar. The discussion got to be how in his teens (early 60's, 1962 IIRC) he was in a military academy and not only was he the smartest student with the best grades, he excelled at every sport. He literally flat out said that at this military academy, no matter what the sport (and the author lingered on this because it's fucking gold) was, he was the best.

And when baseball was brought up you, got a glimpse of how out of touch stupid the fucker really is. Not only was Donnie Douchebag the best baseball player at the academy, he was the best baseball player ever. And when asked why he didn't go play in the MLB, he said that "it was the early 60's, this was back before baseball was much of a thing and there was no money in it." Joe DiMaggio? Mickey Mantle? Babe fucking Ruth 30 years before, anyone?

But no, he's not an erratic narcissistic egomaniacal pathological liar so completely out of touch with reality that he can't be bothered to listen to advisors on any subject who don't just tell him what he wants to hear!

But of course the Pre-President Pussygrabber dick-swallowers dismissed it out of hand because of the source, despite Maddow just playing a recording made by an author with Donnie Douchebag's full knowledge and permission.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-04-11 07:00pm

Yeah.

It's like, no one who had ever heard of Trump (and Trump took great pains to be heard of) could sanely have expected anything he said to be meaningful, or for him to ever really honor any spoken commitments. It's not just the traditional tendency of politicians to break campaign promises, it's that Trump has never been honest about himself, never been anything other than a self-aggrandizing braggart.

And that means you can't vote on his promises, only on his character, which is objectively terrible in a way that no president in history has ever matched so far as I can recall.

I can't fathom how anyone took his stated intentions on the campaign trail seriously. Not unless they have some kind of brainbug like "rich people can't be crazy" or "powerful men don't tell lies." I suppose in that case you could have a person who was so... limited... they would just refuse to even consider the incredibly low likelihood of him ever carrying through with anything he said, WITHOUT having it be disrupted by his petulance, his self-aggrandizement, or his greed.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby mr friendly guy » 2017-04-11 07:27pm

Sean Spicer shows his historical illiteracy in this comment on Syria

http://www.news.com.au/world/white-hous ... 4b4fd69c9c

WHITE House press secretary Sean Spicer has made an astonishing gaffe, telling a media briefing that Adolf Hitler never used chemical weapons against his own people.
Hitler, of course, murdered millions of Jews in gas chambers during the Holocaust.
Spicer was talking about last week’s chemical attack, which the US says was authorised by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. The press secretary was asked why the White House expected Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop supporting Syria - and then he tripped up.
“Someone as despicable as Hitler didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” Spicer said. “You have to ask yourself if you are Russia, is this a country and a regime you want to align yourself with?”

Hitler did not use chemical weapons against the West not so much because of conventions against that type of thing, but the fear that the allies would simply outproduce him in the chemical weapons department, and given they were outproducing the Germans on a whole lot of metrics its not exactly an irrational fear. He did however use gas on Jews and undesirables.

Point 2, Russia's predecessor state the USSR did at one time have an ally with Germany, a country which did gas its own people. As well as undesirables from other countries it occupied.

Spicer realised he’d stuffed up later in the briefing, when he tried to walk back his comments.
“When it comes to Sarin gas, [Hitler] was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing,” he said. “I understand your point. Thank you. I appreciate that. He brought them into the Holocaust centres, I understand that. I was saying in the way that Assad used them where he went into town, dropped them into the middle of town. I appreciate the clarification. That was not the intent.”

Yeah, Hitler just rounded up the victims before using it. Makes it soooo much better.

Despite that, the reaction to Spicer’s comments has been a mix of shock and fury. The Anne Frank Centre For Mutual Respect immediately called for him to be fired.
“On Passover no less, Sean Spicer has engaged in Holocaust denial, the most offensive form of fake news imaginable, by denying Hitler gassed millions of Jews to death. Spicer’s statement is the most evil slur upon a group of people we have ever heard from a White House press secretary, and President Trump must fire him at once,” the centre said.

Wow. The guy engaged in Holocaust denial without meaning to. That takes a whole new level of incompetence.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby Flagg » 2017-04-11 08:01pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Yeah.

It's like, no one who had ever heard of Trump (and Trump took great pains to be heard of) could sanely have expected anything he said to be meaningful, or for him to ever really honor any spoken commitments. It's not just the traditional tendency of politicians to break campaign promises, it's that Trump has never been honest about himself, never been anything other than a self-aggrandizing braggart.

And that means you can't vote on his promises, only on his character, which is objectively terrible in a way that no president in history has ever matched so far as I can recall.

I can't fathom how anyone took his stated intentions on the campaign trail seriously. Not unless they have some kind of brainbug like "rich people can't be crazy" or "powerful men don't tell lies." I suppose in that case you could have a person who was so... limited... they would just refuse to even consider the incredibly low likelihood of him ever carrying through with anything he said, WITHOUT having it be disrupted by his petulance, his self-aggrandizement, or his greed.

It was a mix of pseudo-populism, apparently him speaking truth to power (when in reality it was just Twitter tirades, foot in mouth disease, and over-confident self-congratutory ego stroking, but he would direct it at "establishment press"/"politically powerful people"), and an overriding sense of "us" (white Christian males) taking the country back from "them" (anyone darker than Bobby Jindal after a skin bleaching session, Muslims, and anyone not "straight").
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby Flagg » 2017-04-11 08:17pm

mr friendly guy wrote:Sean Spicer shows his historical illiteracy in this comment on Syria

http://www.news.com.au/world/white-hous ... 4b4fd69c9c

WHITE House press secretary Sean Spicer has made an astonishing gaffe, telling a media briefing that Adolf Hitler never used chemical weapons against his own people.
Hitler, of course, murdered millions of Jews in gas chambers during the Holocaust.
Spicer was talking about last week’s chemical attack, which the US says was authorised by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. The press secretary was asked why the White House expected Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop supporting Syria - and then he tripped up.
“Someone as despicable as Hitler didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” Spicer said. “You have to ask yourself if you are Russia, is this a country and a regime you want to align yourself with?”

Hitler did not use chemical weapons against the West not so much because of conventions against that type of thing, but the fear that the allies would simply outproduce him in the chemical weapons department, and given they were outproducing the Germans on a whole lot of metrics its not exactly an irrational fear. He did however use gas on Jews and undesirables.

Point 2, Russia's predecessor state the USSR did at one time have an ally with Germany, a country which did gas its own people. As well as undesirables from other countries it occupied.

Spicer realised he’d stuffed up later in the briefing, when he tried to walk back his comments.
“When it comes to Sarin gas, [Hitler] was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing,” he said. “I understand your point. Thank you. I appreciate that. He brought them into the Holocaust centres, I understand that. I was saying in the way that Assad used them where he went into town, dropped them into the middle of town. I appreciate the clarification. That was not the intent.”

Yeah, Hitler just rounded up the victims before using it. Makes it soooo much better.

Despite that, the reaction to Spicer’s comments has been a mix of shock and fury. The Anne Frank Centre For Mutual Respect immediately called for him to be fired.
“On Passover no less, Sean Spicer has engaged in Holocaust denial, the most offensive form of fake news imaginable, by denying Hitler gassed millions of Jews to death. Spicer’s statement is the most evil slur upon a group of people we have ever heard from a White House press secretary, and President Trump must fire him at once,” the centre said.

Wow. The guy engaged in Holocaust denial without meaning to. That takes a whole new level of incompetence.

The US used chemical weapons on it's own troops in Vietnam. It was called Agent Orange, and I'm evidence of it. My poor niece (my half-brothers (also like me, born after the sperm donor got back from Vietnam) daughter) who suffers from a form of dwarfism and is mentally disabled is much sadder evidence of it. But none of my nieces and nephews from my half-sister (born before captain pedophile went to 'Nam rather than prison) have any of the problems my half-brother and I do, nor do their kids.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby Vympel » 2017-04-12 08:57pm

Lonestar wrote:[

Lol

Trump gave the Russians warning ahead of schedule(which apparently also gave the Syrians warning to clear out).


You mean he engaged in de-confliction protocols with a nuclear great power which had forces in the country he was about to bomb? OH MY GOD, he's pro-Russian!

How can you believe this utter paranoid loony shit, even now?

It COULDN'T BE that Putin decided to drop-kick Asad after staking his reputation on disarming him of chemical weapons and then being made to look the fool, could it????

No, it must be that Trump is really anti-Russian.


It's not about being 'anti-Russian' at all, its that the narrative he was in Putin's pocket is batshit conspiracism and Trump struck Syria for his own reasons. US-Russian relations are at a nadir at this point, and you've still got lunatics arguing that this is all some grand Kremlin plot orchestrated by the omnipotent Putin. Christ.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-04-12 09:16pm

Yeah, I wouldn't hold it against him if he warned the Russians. In fact, it would show considerably more responsibility than I normally give him credit for.

However, taking the occasional over-the-top allegation and using that to dismiss all allegations of collusion as "batshit conspiracism" when their is at least circumstantial evidence corroborated from multiple credible sources is simple dishonesty, albeit exactly what I would expect from an apologist such as yourself.

I suspect that if they recorded a phone call of Trump promising Putin concessions in exchange for hacking the elections, you'd say it was manufactured.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-04-12 10:26pm

My present view on the matter of Trump and Russia is as follows:

I don't think that the Russians (or Putin personally) control Trump. This is because Trump is an arrogant, reckless, heedless, petulant, narcissistic pig, and I apologize to the pigs I have just insulted. Controlling Donald Trump would be literally impossible, because Trump himself does not control Trump. He just does things. He can make plans and carry them out (sometimes), but he lacks the self-discipline, restraint, and impulse control to follow any single person's long range plans.

However, there's a huge difference between saying the Russians can control Trump (in the sense of being able to reliably make him do as they please), and saying they've worked with Trump. Or even that they have leverage over Trump- because their leverage might take the form of, I don't know, blackmail material. Which they can use in a premeditated fashion to coerce him, but which doesn't do them a lot of good if he watches the TV news, gets mad at Syria, and orders a bunch of missiles tossed at them without giving the Russians more than a few hours' advance notice or something. If Trump has an impulse control failure, they may not be able to restrain him, at least not without doing things that threaten to break their ability to influence him in the future.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby Vympel » 2017-04-12 10:36pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:Yeah, I wouldn't hold it against him if he warned the Russians. In fact, it would show considerably more responsibility than I normally give him credit for.

However, taking the occasional over-the-top allegation and using that to dismiss all allegations of collusion as "batshit conspiracism" when their is at least circumstantial evidence corroborated from multiple credible sources is simple dishonesty, albeit exactly what I would expect from an apologist such as yourself.


Circumstantial Evidence of Collusion:

Image

There's no evidence, whatsoever, of collusion. Sorry.

I suspect that if they recorded a phone call of Trump promising Putin concessions in exchange for hacking the elections, you'd say it was manufactured.


I like it how you think "if this fictional thing that won't happen happened here's what you would do" is a compelling argument that actually says something apart from giving us an insight into the sorts of things you fantasize about.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-04-13 12:26am

Vympel wrote:I like it how you think "if this fictional thing that won't happen happened here's what you would do" is a compelling argument that actually says something apart from giving us an insight into the sorts of things you fantasize about.
I have found that it is a very common resort for people who are exasperated with what they see as irrational or extreme pattern behavior. They may or may not be correct, but it's very common.

Vympel, may I ask you a question:

What would constitute evidence, in your mind, for a level of connection between Russia and the Trump campaign high enough to cause reasonable concern? That is to say, reasonable concern for people who dislike direct foreign involvement in their internal politics on general principles?

How many of Trump's staffers, aides, Cabinet-level nominees, and so forth would have to be named as targets of investigation? How many would have to step forward of their own accord? What would they have to confess to, publicly?

I assume there is some level of evidence you would find convincing, a level that would make this hypothesis seem probable in your eyes.

Purely as a hypothetical exercise in logic, would you mind enlightening me as to what that level is?

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-04-13 01:06am

Vympel wrote:
The Romulan Republic wrote:Yeah, I wouldn't hold it against him if he warned the Russians. In fact, it would show considerably more responsibility than I normally give him credit for.

However, taking the occasional over-the-top allegation and using that to dismiss all allegations of collusion as "batshit conspiracism" when their is at least circumstantial evidence corroborated from multiple credible sources is simple dishonesty, albeit exactly what I would expect from an apologist such as yourself.


Circumstantial Evidence of Collusion:

Image

There's no evidence, whatsoever, of collusion. Sorry.


Bull shit. And an ad hominem (relying entirely on mockery of your opponent rather than evidence or reasoned argument).

You simply refuse to accept the testimony of every intelligence agency in America, along with the Trump campaign members and officials who who have ties to Russia/had meetings with Russian officials that they did not reveal (see Sessions), former Yankovich lackey Manafort working for Trump, the bullshit political stunt Nunas pulled to derail the investigation (which turned out to be so much horse shit), and Trump asking Russia to leak emails on television (yeah, yeah, "he's just joking", but Trump has a habit of joking about horrible shit he actually does/would like to do).

You know, if Trump's people are innocent they (see Sessions/Flynn/Nunas) are going to an awful lot of trouble to act like they have something to hid.

Let me guess: "They had to hide it because the mean old Democrats would have made conspiracy theories about it if they hadn't hid it"? That one never gets old.

I like it how you think "if this fictional thing that won't happen happened here's what you would do" is a compelling argument that actually says something apart from giving us an insight into the sorts of things you fantasize about.


Its a expression of my estimation of you as a partisan hack who's opinion is based in bias and who has already dismissed the other side's arguments from the get-go.

Edit: Noted my view that your reliance on argument by meme constitute a particularly vapid ad hominem.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby Vympel » 2017-04-13 01:17am

The Romulan Republic wrote:Bull shit. And an ad hominem (relying entirely on mockery of your opponent rather than evidence or reasoned argument).


That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

You simply refuse to accept the testimony of every intelligence agency in America, along with the Trump campaign members and officials who who have ties to Russia/had meetings with Russian officials that they did not reveal (see Sessions), former Yankovich lackey Manafort working for Trump, the bullshit political stunt Nunas pulled to derail the investigation (which turned out to be so much horse shit), and Trump asking Russia to leak emails on television (yeah, yeah, "he's just joking", but Trump has a habit of joking about horrible shit he actually does/would like to do).


Absolutely none of this constitutes evidence of collusion, whether circumstantial or otherwise. It's a grab bag of nattering about "ties" (did someone have a meeting? That's ties!) as well as random irrelevant shit like Devin Nunes being a partisan hack. Or is the all consuming idiot conspiracy theory now that the ALL-POWERFUL KREMLIN has KOMPROMAT (TM) on Nunes? It's hard to keep track with whatever paint you lot are huffing these days.

If you're going to make grandiose, idiotic claims about "the testimony of every intelligence agency in America" you could at least try to see what they think first.

Clapper: No evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia

You know, if Trump's people are innocent they (see Sessions/Flynn/Nunas) are going to an awful lot of trouble to act like they have something to hid.

Let me guess: "They had to hide it because the mean old Democrats would have made conspiracy theories about it if they hadn't hid it"? That one never gets old.


Shockingly, "random Trump officials lying about meeting with Russians" is not circumstantial evidence for collusion, no matter how much you wish it was.

Its a expression of my estimation of you as a partisan hack who's opinion is based in bias and who has already dismissed the other side's arguments from the get-go.


Coming from someone who's still flying the freak flag for Birtherism-for-Democrats after Trump bombed Syria, that's pretty amusing.

Edit: Noted my view that your reliance on argument by meme constitute a particularly vapid ad hominem.


Given your entire argument can be summarised as "TIES" that meme was clearly exactly on point.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-04-13 01:34am

Nunas deliberately sabotaging the investigation for Trump (wasn't Nunas on his transition team) and then having to recuse himself because he is also under investigation is "irrelevant"? And I suppose the fact that their's an ongoing FISA warrant for Carter Page is also "irrelevant"? Do you deny that either of these things occurred?

This is what I mean when I say that even a recording of Dickless Donald confessing probably wouldn't convince you. Because your position is based in ideology, not facts.

Now, to be completely fair, I'll acknowledge that their is not yet proof sufficient for a court of law (so far as has been publicly revealed, anyway) that Trump is guilty of collusion with Russia during the election.

But your position, which is that their is no evidence whatsoever, its not even worth investigating, and anyone who disagrees is a crazy conspiracy nut, is not a reasonable one. It is the flip side of people claiming Trump committed Treason- a hardline partisan position not based in evidence.

Beyond that, I'll just say that your source reg. Clapper is more than a month out of date in an ongoing and rapidly developing investigation.

Also, not a mod here like yourself, but since when was responding to an argument with literally nothing but mockery of your opponent, and when called on it saying that their's no need to present evidence, considered acceptable debating conduct on this forum?
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby Vympel » 2017-04-13 02:42am

The Romulan Republic wrote:Nunas deliberately sabotaging the investigation for Trump (wasn't Nunas on his transition team) and then having to recuse himself because he is also under investigation is "irrelevant"?


Yes, it's totally irrelevant. There is no necessary link between a *gasp* Republican politician being a partisan political actor on behalf of a *gasp* Republican president, and the allegation that the Trump campaign 'colluded' with the Russians.

No, it can't be something that obvious - he must be somehow in on the conspiracy.

And I suppose the fact that their's an ongoing FISA warrant for Carter Page is also "irrelevant"? Do you deny that either of these things occurred?


Yes, that's also irrelevant. Unless you think the mere existence of a warrant constitutes 'circumstantial evidence for collusion'.

Do you even know what evidence is?

This is what I mean when I say that even a recording of Dickless Donald confessing probably wouldn't convince you. Because your position is based in ideology, not facts.


What, the ideology of not believing no-evidence conspiratorial bullshit sold to a gullible constituency desperate for ideological comfort food by incompetents to exculpate themselves for a historic, humiliating loss?

Now, to be completely fair, I'll acknowledge that their is not yet proof sufficient for a court of law (so far as has been publicly revealed, anyway) that Trump is guilty of collusion with Russia during the election.

But your position, which is that their is no evidence whatsoever, its not even worth investigating, and anyone who disagrees is a crazy conspiracy nut, is not a reasonable one. It is the flip side of people claiming Trump committed Treason- a hardline partisan position not based in evidence.


On the contrary it is worth investigating precisely because the TRUMP-PUTIN wing of the Democratic Party needs to be told that there's no 'there' there and to move on to fixing their loser-ass party. Of course, the risk with that is that this will become their very own Benghazi and they won't shut up about it until Trump leaves office in 8 years.

Beyond that, I'll just say that your source reg. Clapper is more than a month out of date in an ongoing and rapidly developing investigation.


Riiiight, I guess the NatSec state is still going through their servers looking for the intercepts that prove collusion.

Also, not a mod here like yourself, but since when was responding to an argument with literally nothing but mockery of your opponent, and when called on it saying that their's no need to present evidence, considered acceptable debating conduct on this forum?


Are you joking :lol: To make it abundantly clear:

"However, taking the occasional over-the-top allegation and using that to dismiss all allegations of collusion as "batshit conspiracism" when their is at least circumstantial evidence corroborated from multiple credible sources is simple dishonesty, albeit exactly what I would expect from an apologist such as yourself."

This is an assertion without evidence.

I therefore dismissed it, with mockery.

You then proceeded to outline what you thought was 'evidence'.

And here we are.

Simon_Jester wrote:I have found that it is a very common resort for people who are exasperated with what they see as irrational or extreme pattern behavior. They may or may not be correct, but it's very common.

Vympel, may I ask you a question:

What would constitute evidence, in your mind, for a level of connection between Russia and the Trump campaign high enough to cause reasonable concern? That is to say, reasonable concern for people who dislike direct foreign involvement in their internal politics on general principles?

How many of Trump's staffers, aides, Cabinet-level nominees, and so forth would have to be named as targets of investigation? How many would have to step forward of their own accord? What would they have to confess to, publicly?

I assume there is some level of evidence you would find convincing, a level that would make this hypothesis seem probable in your eyes.

Purely as a hypothetical exercise in logic, would you mind enlightening me as to what that level is?


Trump campaign insiders testifying that there was collusion.

Communications intercepts indicating collusion.

Literally anything that would actually give rise to the accusation having credence.

The current tone of the debate is partisan idiots drawing red lines between photographs and pointing. It's pathetic.

Most instructive in this regard is Trump's much-ballyhooed meeting with Kislyak at a function at CNI last year. Read the statement:

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/sta ... eign-19715

You can see, from the content of the statement, just the sort of unhinged, fruit loop accusations these morons made about it. Right down to where Kislyak was sitting. It was a stunningly McCarthyist display in both form and content.

Speaking of Kislyak (around whom the hysteria around Jeff Sessions is based), this article is just so instructive:

http://thehill.com/homenews/administrat ... a-hysteria

The past two U.S. ambassadors to Russia defended Kislyak in interviews with The Hill: Michael McFaul a fierce Trump critic who was appointed by former President Obama, and John Beyrle, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush but served for three years under Obama.

Both former ambassadors tell The Hill that the Russian ambassador was merely doing his job and that there is no evidence of any illicit collusion between him and the Trump campaign.

McFaul and Beyrle say they are extremely troubled by evidence that suggests the Russians interfered in the U.S. election. They support an independent investigation into the matter.

But allegations and insinuations that Kislyak was the point person for this — and that it could have played out in broad daylight at meetings on Capitol Hill or at Trump campaign events — are preposterous, they say.

“Kislyak’s job is to meet with government officials and campaign people and I think he’s good at his job,” said McFaul. “People should meet with the Russian ambassador and it’s wrong to criminalize that or discourage it. I want the Russian government to be as informed as possible about the American political process. When I was ambassador, it was frustrating how poorly informed the Russian government was. It’s a good thing to meet with him, not a bad thing.”

National security experts generally agree that Sessions and other Trump campaign officials have handled the Russia issue poorly.

Sessions, they say, should have told Congress about his meeting with Kislyak.

And they say Flynn was reckless and wrong to speak with Russian diplomats about sanctions during the transition period when Obama was still president.

Still, former diplomats say the atmosphere in Washington over anything that carries even a whiff of Russia is out of control.

“It’s the usual Washington breathlessness that accompanies any story these days about Trump or the Russians,” said Beyrle. “That doesn’t mean there isn’t need for an investigation. There is almost no question that there was Russian interference in the election and there needs to be an investigation. But to conclude from all this that Kislyak was somehow a bad actor is missing the target.”
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-04-13 05:57am

Vympel wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:I have found that it is a very common resort for people who are exasperated with what they see as irrational or extreme pattern behavior. They may or may not be correct, but it's very common.

Vympel, may I ask you a question:

What would constitute evidence, in your mind, for a level of connection between Russia and the Trump campaign high enough to cause reasonable concern? That is to say, reasonable concern for people who dislike direct foreign involvement in their internal politics on general principles?

How many of Trump's staffers, aides, Cabinet-level nominees, and so forth would have to be named as targets of investigation? How many would have to step forward of their own accord? What would they have to confess to, publicly?

I assume there is some level of evidence you would find convincing, a level that would make this hypothesis seem probable in your eyes.

Purely as a hypothetical exercise in logic, would you mind enlightening me as to what that level is?
Trump campaign insiders testifying that there was collusion.

Communications intercepts indicating collusion.

Literally anything that would actually give rise to the accusation having credence.
The existence of an FBI investigation of this subject is not "anything that would give rise to the accusation having credence." Stone and the facts surrounding his case are not "anything that would give rise to the accusation having credence." Nor those surrounding Page. Nor Nunes. Nor Flynn...

See, what's bothering me here

Suppose there were, and I am making this number up as an example, a 75% chance that any one of these lines of accusation were a falsehood, that "there is nothing there." Clearly, it would be folly to believe the accusation.

But when there are four such accusations, the odds of all four of them being insubstantial drop to about 31%. Add a fifth and the odds fall to about 24%. And so on.

Somewhere on the road from "there is a 75% chance this accusation is false" to "there is a 0% chance that ALL the accusations are false" comes a point at which we have to start taking the accusation seriously. Not believing it, simply taking it seriously and not dismissing it out of hand as a conspiracy theory.

Speaking informally, at what level of probability would you say that an accusation merits being taken seriously. Does the apparent likelihood of the accusation being false have to drop as low as 50%? 25%? 10%? Does it have to drop to 1%, leaving us 99% certain the accusation is true, before we can even act as though the accusation is not a random conspiracy theory? Where do we draw the line?

The current tone of the debate is partisan idiots drawing red lines between photographs and pointing. It's pathetic.

Most instructive in this regard is Trump's much-ballyhooed meeting with Kislyak at a function at CNI last year. Read the statement:

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/sta ... eign-19715

You can see, from the content of the statement, just the sort of unhinged, fruit loop accusations these morons made about it. Right down to where Kislyak was sitting. It was a stunningly McCarthyist display in both form and content.

Speaking of Kislyak (around whom the hysteria around Jeff Sessions is based), this article is just so instructive:

http://thehill.com/homenews/administrat ... a-hysteria
The random and hysterical assertions are in addition to serious concerns based on entirely unrelated issues. Bringing them up when they haven't been mentioned in the thread is a red herring, and you ought to know it.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby mr friendly guy » 2017-04-13 06:22am

And now Trump fails to label China a currency manipulator. Another campaign promise broken. :roll:

The funny thing is, from what I read labeling a country a currency manipulator doesn't do shit in terms of legislation. It just means the US will be obligated to negotiate with them over the currency, which is something the US already has been doing with China. It gets even funnier when you find out that China was labelled a currency manipulator from 1992-94 but the trade deficit with the US continued to grow since 1988. In other words, labeling China a currency manipulator did jack shit. I guess sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt my trade surplus.

I wonder how Trump supporters will spin this back flip.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby Raj Ahten » 2017-04-13 05:04pm

Seems like a good time to leave this here.

Just US agencies saying Trump has Russia Ties eh?

British spies were first to spot Trump team's links with Russia

Exclusive: GCHQ is said to have alerted US agencies after becoming aware of contacts in 2015
It is understood that GCHQ was not carrying out a targeted operation against Trump or his team, but picked up the alleged conversations by chance.

Luke Harding, Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Nick Hopkins

Britain’s spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts between members of Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, the Guardian has been told.

GCHQ first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious “interactions” between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information, they added.

Over the next six months, until summer 2016, a number of western agencies shared further information on contacts between Trump’s inner circle and Russians, sources said.

The European countries that passed on electronic intelligence – known as sigint – included Germany, Estonia and Poland. Australia, a member of the “Five Eyes” spying alliance that also includes the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand, also relayed material, one source said.

Another source suggested the Dutch and the French spy agency, the General Directorate for External Security or DGSE, were contributors.

It is understood that GCHQ was at no point carrying out a targeted operation against Trump or his team or proactively seeking information. The alleged conversations were picked up by chance as part of routine surveillance of Russian intelligence assets. Over several months, different agencies targeting the same people began to see a pattern of connections that were flagged to intelligence officials in the US.

The issue of GCHQ’s role in the FBI’s ongoing investigation into possible cooperation between the Trump campaign and Moscow is highly sensitive. In March Trump tweeted that Barack Obama had illegally “wiretapped” him in Trump Tower.
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The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, claimed the “British spying agency” GCHQ had carried out the bugging. Spicer cited an unsubstantiated report on Fox News. Fox later distanced itself from the report.

The claims prompted an extremely unusual rebuke from GCHQ, which generally refrains from commenting on all intelligence matters. The agency described the allegations first made by a former judge turned media commentator, Andrew Napolitano, as “nonsense”.

“They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored,” a spokesperson for GCHQ said.

Instead both US and UK intelligence sources acknowledge that GCHQ played an early, prominent role in kickstarting the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation, which began in late July 2016.

One source called the British eavesdropping agency the “principal whistleblower”.

The Guardian has been told the FBI and the CIA were slow to appreciate the extensive nature of contacts between Trump’s team and Moscow ahead of the US election. This was in part due to US law that prohibits US agencies from examining the private communications of American citizens without warrants. “They are trained not to do this,” the source stressed.

“It looks like the [US] agencies were asleep,” the source added. “They [the European agencies] were saying: ‘There are contacts going on between people close to Mr Trump and people we believe are Russian intelligence agents. You should be wary of this.’

“The message was: ‘Watch out. There’s something not right here.’”

According to one account, GCHQ’s then head, Robert Hannigan, passed material in summer 2016 to the CIA chief, John Brennan. The matter was deemed so sensitive it was handled at “director level”. After an initially slow start, Brennan used GCHQ information and intelligence from other partners to launch a major inter-agency investigation.

In late August and September Brennan gave a series of classified briefings to the Gang of Eight, the top-ranking Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate. He told them the agency had evidence the Kremlin might be trying to help Trump to win the presidency, the New York Times reported.

One person familiar with the matter said Brennan did not reveal sources but made reference to the fact that America’s intelligence allies had provided information. Trump subsequently learned of GCHQ’s role, the person said.

The person described US intelligence as being “very late to the game”. The FBI’s director, James Comey, altered his position after the election and Trump’s victory, becoming “more affirmative” and with a “higher level of concern”.

Comey’s apparent shift may have followed a mid-October decision by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa) court to approve a secret surveillance order. The order gave permission for the Department of Justice to investigate two banks suspected of being part of the Kremlin’s undercover influence operation.


According to the BBC, the justice department’s request came after a tipoff from an intelligence agency in one of the Baltic states. This is believed to be Estonia.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the same order covered Carter Page, one of Trump’s associates. It allowed the FBI and the justice department to monitor Page’s communications. Page, a former foreign policy aide, was suspected of being an agent of influence working for Russia, the paper said, citing US officials.

The application covered contacts Page allegedly had in 2013 with a Russian foreign intelligence agent, and other undisclosed meetings with Russian operatives, the Post said. Page denies wrongdoing and complained of “unjustified, politically motivated government surveillance”.

Late last year Comey threw more FBI resources into what became a far-reaching counter-intelligence investigation. In March he confirmed before the House intelligence committee that the agency was examining possible cooperation between Moscow and members of the Trump campaign to sway the US election.

Comey and the NSA director, Admiral Michael Rogers, said there was no basis for the president’s claim that he was a victim of Obama “wiretapping”. Trump had likened the unproved allegation to “McCarthyism”.

Britain’s MI6 spy agency played a part in intelligence sharing with the US, one source said. MI6 declined to comment. Its former chief Sir Richard Dearlove described Trump’s wiretapping claim on Thursday as “simply deeply embarrassing for Trump and the administration”.

“The only possible explanation is that Trump started tweeting without understanding how the NSA-GCHQ relationship actually works,” Dearlove told Prospect magazine.

A GCHQ spokesperson said: “It is longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters”.

It is unclear which individuals were picked up by British surveillance.

In a report last month the New York Times, citing three US intelligence officials, said warning signs had been building throughout last summer but were far from clear. As WikiLeaks published emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee, US agencies began picking up conversations in which Russians were discussing contacts with Trump associates, the paper said.

European allies were supplying information about people close to Trump meeting with Russians in Britain, the Netherlands and in other countries, the Times said.

There are now multiple investigations going on in Washington into Trump campaign officials and Russia. They include the FBI-led counter-espionage investigation and probes by both the House and Senate intelligence committees.

Adam Schiff, the senior Democrat on the House committee, has expressed an interest in hearing from Christopher Steele, the former MI6 officer whose dossier accuses the president of long-term cooperation with Vladimir Putin’s Moscow. Trump and Putin have both dismissed the dossier as fake.

One source suggested the official investigation was making progress. “They now have specific concrete and corroborative evidence of collusion,” the source said. “This is between people in the Trump campaign and agents of [Russian] influence relating to the use of hacked material.”

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby Gandalf » 2017-04-13 09:04pm

mr friendly guy wrote:And now Trump fails to label China a currency manipulator. Another campaign promise broken. :roll:

The funny thing is, from what I read labeling a country a currency manipulator doesn't do shit in terms of legislation. It just means the US will be obligated to negotiate with them over the currency, which is something the US already has been doing with China. It gets even funnier when you find out that China was labelled a currency manipulator from 1992-94 but the trade deficit with the US continued to grow since 1988. In other words, labeling China a currency manipulator did jack shit. I guess sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt my trade surplus.

I wonder how Trump supporters will spin this back flip.


The usual thing I'm seeing is that these various big promises were being made in order to scare everyone and make them more amenable to whatever he proposes next. Every move is totally deliberate, and only his supporters have the special decoder rings to understand what's going on.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-04-14 12:11am

To some extent that particular "STUPID LIKE A FOX!" argument might even be true, because insofar as Trump is even trying to run American foreign policy he would be doing it with the skill set he already possesses: that of a sleazy, fraudulent real estate salesman writ large. And the negotiating tactic of saying terrifying or outrageous things up front so that people will compliantly agree to your real terms later does in fact work for that kind of person, surprisingly often.

The real problem with this approach is that while it works pretty well when you're looking to hire a new landscaping contractor for your resort, or if you have a lot of prime bottomland in Florida totally valid and real university degrees to sell... It's not a good strategy for dealing with independent countries like China, or even hilariously outgunned but insanely determined countries like North Korea.

With the contractor, it works because there's a major power imbalance. They need work more than you need them working for you. With the buyer, it works because they've already committed to some kind of deal with you, and are now just desperately trying to get as much residual value out of it as they can to minimize the damage inflicted on them by your fraud.

It can be very effective as a negotiating tactic... IF you always make sure to negotiate only with people you already have by the balls.

The president of the United States does not have the luxury of refusing to 'do business' with people he hasn't already gotten a firm grip on. If you're up against crazies like the Islamic State or North Korea, even if you do get them by the balls they may not react to the threat 'correctly' because of how crazy they are. If you're president and you're up against the Chinese, they're powerful enough that they may get a comparable grip on you.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby Ralin » 2017-04-14 06:42am

Simon_Jester wrote:See, what's bothering me here

Suppose there were, and I am making this number up as an example, a 75% chance that any one of these lines of accusation were a falsehood, that "there is nothing there." Clearly, it would be folly to believe the accusation.

But when there are four such accusations, the odds of all four of them being insubstantial drop to about 31%. Add a fifth and the odds fall to about 24%. And so on.

Somewhere on the road from "there is a 75% chance this accusation is false" to "there is a 0% chance that ALL the accusations are false" comes a point at which we have to start taking the accusation seriously. Not believing it, simply taking it seriously and not dismissing it out of hand as a conspiracy theory.

Speaking informally, at what level of probability would you say that an accusation merits being taken seriously. Does the apparent likelihood of the accusation being false have to drop as low as 50%? 25%? 10%? Does it have to drop to 1%, leaving us 99% certain the accusation is true, before we can even act as though the accusation is not a random conspiracy theory? Where do we draw the line?


You do realize that Christians use that same logic for why God must be real because so many people say there's evidence God is real, right?

For that matter, people used the same logic to argue that Hillary Clinton must be fucking corrupt because where there's smoke there's fire, am I right?

The chances of any one of these accusations being true or false is either 1 or 0. Add a second or a third or a hundred accusations and the odds remain exactly the same.

(Also huh, that's a word filter I didn't know about)

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby Civil War Man » 2017-04-14 11:26am

Ralin wrote:You do realize that Christians use that same logic for why God must be real because so many people say there's evidence God is real, right?

For that matter, people used the same logic to argue that Hillary Clinton must be fucking corrupt because where there's smoke there's fire, am I right?

The chances of any one of these accusations being true or false is either 1 or 0. Add a second or a third or a hundred accusations and the odds remain exactly the same.

(Also huh, that's a word filter I didn't know about)


Without getting into the nitty-gritty on individual claims, there is a difference between what Simon was saying and the Christian argument you mention. The Christian argument is an appeal to popularity, since it's based around millions of people making the same claim (God exists). In order for their argument to be true, all of them must be correct. If one of them is wrong, then all of them are wrong.

The situation in the cases of Clinton or Trump is one where, as you said, each accusation is independent. Proving or disproving, for example, the existence of the so-called Peepee tape has no effect on Page being subject to a FISA warrant or Flynn being on Turkey's payroll. Unlike the Christian argument, one accusation being true does not necessarily mean all of them are true, but in order for there to have been no corruption, then all accusations of corruption must be false.

What Simon's argument boils down to is that it is theoretically possible for a coin flip to come up tails 1,000 times in a row, but the probability of that happening is much smaller than the probability that one or more will come up heads, even if the probability of heads vs tails doesn't change with each individual coin flip. What Trump's apologists are saying is that we should assume that every coin flip is tails and that even suggesting that we check to see if any came up heads is conspiracy mongering.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-04-14 11:33am

Yeah, my problem isn't even with people saying that Trump might be innocent of collusion. I think he's probably guilty, but one has the right to presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and as I acknowledged, their is not yet public evidence that shows Trump is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

But when people insist, like Vympel does, that not only is their no proof, but that their is no evidence whatsoever, and that the very idea of their being any evidence is so laughable that anyone who suggests its worth investigating is a conspiracy nut who can be refuted purely with mockery... that's a position that has nothing to do with facts. That is a conclusion reached based on ideological bias.

Which actually makes a comparison to religion rather apt, in that case.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-04-14 06:21pm

The key difference between the "Trump is corrupt" claims and the "Clinton was corrupt" claims lies in the individual credibility of the relevant lines of accusation.

There are several key lines of accusation that lead towards the "Trump colluded with Russia during the campaign" conclusion. They are all being pursued independently by multiple groups authorities in, it would appear, multiple countries. The results are pending.

With Clinton, there were many key lines of accusation made. They were investigated and found to be without substance. Over and over, going as far back as the 1990s, people accused Hillary Clinton of everything from bribery scandals to arranging assassinations. All of these accusations were investigated and nothing relevant or damning was found. Only more allegations.

The key difference here is that the situation is like this:

"Clinton has been accused of 100 things by her enemies. The last 95 times someone accused Clinton of something, it turned out to be a frivolous accusation involving inconsequential things. Therefore, we infer that these five new charges are probably also frivolous and inconsequential."

"Trump has been accused of 1000 things by his enemies. Of these 1000 accusations, many of them were settled out of court by Trump making large payoffs to the victims, or occasionally threatening the victims into submission. Many accusations made against Trump in the past, involving his conduct as a private citizen, proved to be totally correct and accurate. Right now, there are five separate accusations regarding the conduct of his campaign. Given the man's track record, it is certainly plausible that at least one of these accusations is correct."

Again, note the last phrase there- plausible that the accusations are correct. That is literally all I'm arguing for, and I'm with TRR on this one. I am quite prepared to accept that Trump should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. But I am not prepared to accept that the accusations against Trump should be dismissed as a conspiracy theory, a joke, or a way for Democrats to stay in denial about some incompetence of their own. Not while there are so many rats actively trying to flee that ship.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-04-14 06:41pm

More or less.

Mind you, my personal view is that Trump is "innocent" only in the very technical sense. That he's innocent in the same way OJ was innocent.

But I'm fully prepared to acknowledge that the evidence is not yet their to prove that in court. Maybe it never will be. But their is enough in the way of circumstantial evidence and suspicious circumstances (especially considering how high the stakes are for American and the world, and the integrity of our legal and political institutions) that it bears further investigation.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Postby mr friendly guy » 2017-04-17 02:11am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iy9IIA2jJk0

RT is having fun with the Donald's flip flops on China. I am now more confident that he won't spark a trade war with China and fuck the world economy up in the process. As they say, money talks, bullshit walks. Hey what ever happened to Peter Navarro that Chinese hawk he hired.
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