Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-04-11 01:19pm

Syria war: Trump says missiles 'will be coming'
The BBC wrote: US President Donald Trump has tweeted that Russia should "get ready" for missiles to be fired at its ally Syria, in response to an alleged chemical attack near Damascus on Saturday.

"Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'" Mr Trump said in his tweet.

Senior Russian figures have threatened to meet any US strikes with a response.

President Bashar al-Assad's government denies mounting a chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Douma.

In one his tweets on Wednesday, Mr Trump called the Syrian leader a "gas killing animal".

In another, he painted a dark picture of US-Russia relations but said it did not have to be that way.

The US, UK and France have agreed to work together and are believed to be preparing for a military strike in response to the alleged chemical attack at the weekend.

What happened in Douma?
Opposition activists and rescuers say government aircraft dropped bombs filled with toxic chemicals on Douma.

The Syrian-American Medical Society (Sams), which operates in rebel-held areas, and local aid workers said more than 500 people had been treated for symptoms "indicative of exposure to a chemical agent".

On Wednesday, the UN's World Health Organization demanded access to verify reports from its partners, which include Sams, that 70 people had died - including 43 who showed "symptoms consistent with exposure to highly toxic chemicals".

A team from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is due to deploy to Syria "shortly" to determine whether banned weapons were used.

Douma, the last major rebel stronghold near the capital Damascus, was under renewed assault from Syrian and Russian forces last week.

Rebels have now been evacuating the town under an agreement involving the Russian military.

What is Russia's position?
It has described the reports of the chemical attack as a "provocation" designed to justify Western intervention against its ally.

It said on Wednesday that samples taken from the site had not revealed any chemical substances.

Russia also said it would deploy military police to Douma on Thursday and that the situation there had stabilised.

Several senior Russian figures have warned of a Russian response to a US attack, with Alexander Zasypkin, Moscow's ambassador to Lebanon, repeating on Wednesday a warning by the head of the military that missiles would be shot down and their launch sites targeted if they threatened the lives of Russian personnel.

Also on Wednesday, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova asked whether the aim of Western strikes might be "to quickly remove the traces of the provocation... [so] international inspectors will have nothing to look for in terms of evidence".

Addressing new ambassadors in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin said the world was becoming more chaotic. He said he hoped common sense would prevail and that the situation would stabilise.

Mr Putin said Russia would "keep all its international obligations in full".

What happens next?
On Tuesday, Mr Trump cancelled his first official trip to Latin America so he could focus on Syria.

That decision suggests the US response may involve a larger military operation than a limited strike, says the BBC's Barbara Plett Usher in Washington.

On Wednesday, Defence Secretary James Mattis said the US was still assessing the chemical attack and that the US military stood ready "to provide military options if they are appropriate as the president determines".

French President Emmanuel Macron said any strikes would "not target allies of the [Syrian] regime or attack anyone, but rather attack the regime's chemical capabilities".

But The Times newspaper reports that the UK's Prime Minister Theresa May has urged Mr Trump to provide more evidence of the suspected chemical attack.

A US Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, is in the Mediterranean Sea.

There are reports that Russia has withdrawn battleships from its naval base in the Syrian port city of Tartus:

What is the UN doing?
On Tuesday the UN Security Council failed to approve moves to set up an inquiry into the alleged attack on Douma.

As permanent members of the council, Russia and the US vetoed each other's proposals to set up independent investigations.

The US-drafted resolution would have allowed investigators to apportion blame for the suspected attack, while Russia's version would have left that to the Security Council.

The OPCW's fact-finding mission will not seek to establish who was responsible for the attack.
Very worrying turn of events. It's not like I approve of chemical weapon usage but tough talk and sabre rattling over twitter could lead us down a very bad road.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Ace Pace » 2018-04-12 01:49am

I'm going to go with what the local home front command says, which is nothing, before anyone becomes really worried.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by EnterpriseSovereign » 2018-04-17 09:52am

It's no use debating a moron; they drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

Just because you have the attention span of a fruit fly doesn't mean the rest of us are so encumbered.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by LaCroix » 2018-04-19 05:44am

According to some news I heard in the radio, Trump's tweets about the attack gave Syria enough forewarning to evacuate all sites almost completely, including material and stockpiles. Thus, the effect of the bombing is said to be measured in ammo used to try stopping the missiles, and the damage to buildings...

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Patroklos » 2018-04-19 07:58am

You might want to stop and think about what might have happened if the strikes had been unannounced and a bunch of Russians got killed. Don't be a dunce, this was all about show just like the last time when Obama did his version (news flash, all the chemical weapons were not destoroyed/removed...) and not actual impact. We get to say we did something, no Russians get killed, no WWIII. You will note removing chemical weapons capability is missing from that list.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-19 08:09am

I don't think we can chalk this one up to Trump being "stupid like a fox."

If a bunch of Russians had gotten killed, realistically there still would have been no World War Three, because the Russians are not fucking ridiculous and stupid.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by LaCroix » 2018-04-19 09:01am

Patroklos wrote:
2018-04-19 07:58am
You might want to stop and think about what might have happened if the strikes had been unannounced and a bunch of Russians got killed. Don't be a dunce, this was all about show just like the last time when Obama did his version (news flash, all the chemical weapons were not destoroyed/removed...) and not actual impact. We get to say we did something, no Russians get killed, no WWIII. You will note removing chemical weapons capability is missing from that list.
In other words, Trump was just spending a lot of money to distract from internal news cycle, and the strikes should not have been done, at all. They were still conducted, even though everybody knew they woulddn't do any damage, and hoping that the Russians would not retaliate as they threatened to, and luckily it worked out that way.

So chemical weapons were not destroyed, Assad not hurt, War not impacted, US military arms producers got richer, Trump got a brief distraction, and we all still live because Putin was as clever as we hoped he would be.

You really want to argue for this was the GENIOUS plan? :roll:
Instead of Trump just wagging his tongue too much?

I seriously doubt that.
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by EnterpriseSovereign » 2018-04-19 09:16am

LaCroix wrote:
2018-04-19 05:44am
According to some news I heard in the radio, Trump's tweets about the attack gave Syria enough forewarning to evacuate all sites almost completely, including material and stockpiles. Thus, the effect of the bombing is said to be measured in ammo used to try stopping the missiles, and the damage to buildings...

Opsec. More than just a pretty word...
As I said here, at least Theresa May had enough of a clue not to forewarn the enemy- even though her efforts in that regard were ultimately futile thanks to Trump shooting his mouth off. It's clear from the way the rest of Parliament reacted to not being consulted that their concept of operational security isn't any better than his.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Civil War Man » 2018-04-19 10:15am

EnterpriseSovereign wrote:
2018-04-19 09:16am
As I said here, at least Theresa May had enough of a clue not to forewarn the enemy- even though her efforts in that regard were ultimately futile thanks to Trump shooting his mouth off. It's clear from the way the rest of Parliament reacted to not being consulted that their concept of operational security isn't any better than his.
Not necessarily. I don't know the details of their complaints, but if they were upset about not being briefed at all about the upcoming strikes, that's not automatically as reckless and broadcasting your intentions over Twitter. Maybe if they wanted to debate the details of the strikes on the floor of Parliament, but presumably the briefing would have taken place behind closed doors, the way governments typically discuss sensitive topics.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Vendetta » 2018-04-20 07:06am

More likely it would be a debate and vote on whether to take military action in Syria with no operational details, and a yes or no vote at the end.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-08 07:31pm

Big news of the day is that the orange shit has announced that America is pulling out of the Iran nuclear treaty:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44045957

Excerpt:
US President Donald Trump says he will withdraw the US from an Obama-era nuclear agreement with Iran.

Calling it "decaying and rotten", he said the deal was "an embarrassment" to him "as a citizen".

Going against advice from European allies, he said he would reimpose economic sanctions that were waived when the deal was signed in 2015.

In response, Iran said it was preparing to restart uranium enrichment, key for making both nuclear energy and weapons.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said: "The US has announced that it doesn't respect its commitments."
So, there goes what little is left of America's diplomatic credibility, I guess. That ought to help with the upcoming Korea negotiations, now that Trump has made it abundantly clear that the US will not honor its deals.

And together with Korea, it also sends the message that the only way to get the US to sit down and make a deal with you is to acquire nukes as quickly as possible.

Fun times.

Anyone feel like placing bets on how long it will be before the US and Israel are at war with Iran?
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-08 07:34pm

And of course, we all know that he didn't do this out of some pressing necessity. Odds are that he did it at least in part because it was an Obama program, and he wanted to show everyone that he has (and is) a bigger dick than Obama.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2018-05-09 01:21am

So, there goes what little is left of America's diplomatic credibility, I guess. That ought to help with the upcoming Korea negotiations, now that Trump has made it abundantly clear that the US will not honor its deals.

And together with Korea, it also sends the message that the only way to get the US to sit down and make a deal with you is to acquire nukes as quickly as possible.
If the North Koreans were really all that concerned about what the Iran deal falling through, they would have waited to open up talks with the U.S. until after Trump made the decision (it's not like the world hasn't known about this deadline, and Trump's attitudes towards the deal, hiring of John Bolton, etc. for months now). It seems more likely that the Koreans were actively betting on the failure of the Iran deal, and consider it to be a favorable outcome for them. Perhaps because it gives them significant diplomatic leverage; they can point to how they made the overtures to the West in good faith, but America can't be trusted because it reneges on their deals, etc.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Patroklos » 2018-05-09 01:33am

Live by the pen, have your legacy erased by the pen.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-05-09 08:14am

Elect a clown, expect a circus.

This is an erasure of legacy in the same sense that the fall of Rome erased Julius Caesar's legacy. It maybe did, but in an important sense it didn't, and it most certainly didn't reflect anything other than contemptibly on the people who tried to burn it all to the ground.

I mean, how are we even going to credibly coerce foreign countries into doing what we want once the norm "future governments will honor past governments' treaties" goes out the window? You can't even make a convincing threat if there's no internal consistency of policy, or if foreign governments know all they have to do is wait until the present asshole-in-chief leaves office and just go back to business as usual. And anything other than pure threats just goes right out the window.

As noted, the North Koreans now have the biggest, best, greatest piece of diplomatic leverage to use in any future negotiation where the US tries to convince them to ease back on the whole nuke-waving thing: "Well, your president has a long track record of not paying for services rendered personally, and your nation now has a precedent for promising other countries whatever in order to 'seal the deal' on a treaty and then doubling back and ignoring that treaty, so gee, I guess we want cash up front!"

This is America fucking itself over.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-09 02:57pm

Ziggy Stardust wrote:
2018-05-09 01:21am
So, there goes what little is left of America's diplomatic credibility, I guess. That ought to help with the upcoming Korea negotiations, now that Trump has made it abundantly clear that the US will not honor its deals.

And together with Korea, it also sends the message that the only way to get the US to sit down and make a deal with you is to acquire nukes as quickly as possible.
If the North Koreans were really all that concerned about what the Iran deal falling through, they would have waited to open up talks with the U.S. until after Trump made the decision (it's not like the world hasn't known about this deadline, and Trump's attitudes towards the deal, hiring of John Bolton, etc. for months now). It seems more likely that the Koreans were actively betting on the failure of the Iran deal, and consider it to be a favorable outcome for them. Perhaps because it gives them significant diplomatic leverage; they can point to how they made the overtures to the West in good faith, but America can't be trusted because it reneges on their deals, etc.
Still a huge fuck-up on Trump's part of course, as he's put American in a weaker position against a hostile dictator going into crucial negotiations.
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-05-09 08:14am
Elect a clown, expect a circus.

This is an erasure of legacy in the same sense that the fall of Rome erased Julius Caesar's legacy. It maybe did, but in an important sense it didn't, and it most certainly didn't reflect anything other than contemptibly on the people who tried to burn it all to the ground.

I mean, how are we even going to credibly coerce foreign countries into doing what we want once the norm "future governments will honor past governments' treaties" goes out the window? You can't even make a convincing threat if there's no internal consistency of policy, or if foreign governments know all they have to do is wait until the present asshole-in-chief leaves office and just go back to business as usual. And anything other than pure threats just goes right out the window.

As noted, the North Koreans now have the biggest, best, greatest piece of diplomatic leverage to use in any future negotiation where the US tries to convince them to ease back on the whole nuke-waving thing: "Well, your president has a long track record of not paying for services rendered personally, and your nation now has a precedent for promising other countries whatever in order to 'seal the deal' on a treaty and then doubling back and ignoring that treaty, so gee, I guess we want cash up front!"

This is America fucking itself over.
This.

Welcome to the age of all-stick, no carrot diplomacy.

Edit: Of course, this is exactly what the Right wants- tough guy "diplomacy" where everyone does what America says with a gun (metaphorical or literal) to their head.

Somehow, I expect that the rest of the world will take exception to that.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2018-05-10 01:09am

And the right couldn't be happier.
Death of Affordable care act
Death of EPA Standards
Death of Trans Pacific Trade
Death of Paris climate accords
Death of Dreamer Act
Death of Iran Peace Deal.....

It is a dream come true for them!
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Patroklos » 2018-05-10 02:30am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-05-09 08:14am
Elect a clown, expect a circus.

This is an erasure of legacy in the same sense that the fall of Rome erased Julius Caesar's legacy. It maybe did, but in an important sense it didn't, and it most certainly didn't reflect anything other than contemptibly on the people who tried to burn it all to the ground.

I mean, how are we even going to credibly coerce foreign countries into doing what we want once the norm "future governments will honor past governments' treaties" goes out the window? You can't even make a convincing threat if there's no internal consistency of policy, or if foreign governments know all they have to do is wait until the present asshole-in-chief leaves office and just go back to business as usual. And anything other than pure threats just goes right out the window.

As noted, the North Koreans now have the biggest, best, greatest piece of diplomatic leverage to use in any future negotiation where the US tries to convince them to ease back on the whole nuke-waving thing: "Well, your president has a long track record of not paying for services rendered personally, and your nation now has a precedent for promising other countries whatever in order to 'seal the deal' on a treaty and then doubling back and ignoring that treaty, so gee, I guess we want cash up front!"

This is America fucking itself over.
Treaty? You use this word, but there is no treaty involved here. Caesar indeed...

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-05-10 11:17am

There is an agreement. Do you have a real argument, Patroklos?

Or do you concede that his kind of action undermines the US's credibility in negotiating agreements with foreign nations?
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Raj Ahten » 2018-05-10 05:20pm

There is no treaty, true. That is irrelevant since for several decades now presidents make all foreign policy decisions that count. How many different wars are we in now based on that single authorization after 9-11? I don't recall congress declaring any for quite awhile even before that. Congress's role in making foreign policy is pretty laughable compared to what the executive does these days.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2018-05-12 05:31pm

Raj Ahten wrote:
2018-05-10 05:20pm
How many different wars are we in now based on that single authorization after 9-11?
None. The US hasn't been at war since the forties.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Patroklos » 2018-05-13 06:19am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-05-10 11:17am
There is an agreement. Do you have a real argument, Patroklos?
So an agreement is the same thing as a treaty? A completely legally nonbinding agreement between one dude via fiat reviewed and checked (as in government checks) by nobody is the same thing as a legally binding, Senate-approved via Constitutionally stipulated vote treaty respecting the democratic process? Get the fuck out of here Simon. Something tells me you wouldn't accept such terms for your mortgage payment, or even your cell phone bill.

The problem here, and what may lead to the problems you allude to, is not Trump canceling this agreement via the exact same powers with which Obama made it. Its that a pretentious Obama made it in the first place by overtly circumventing the normal process by which a long term, legally binding treaty you seem to wish this was comes into being. And yeah that was impossible for Obama to do because he had disagreement in the Senate. That's not a flaw of the process, that's a feature, that a chief executive is checked by a democratic means as much as you think Obama was right and the Senate was wrong. The proper response to this is to negotiate to get something resembling what you want, or if their is an impasse accept that what you want is not in your power to create and bow down to the coequal branch of government which has the Constitutional power for the issue in question. While it appears Raj above is completely cool with Presidents routinely acting as unrestricted dictators, I assume ignoring the democratic process checking the President's power is not something you approve of.

And just so we are clear I am not really objecting to the ability of the President to direct the portion of the government under his own control to treat a foreign entity as he sees fit, as long as its in accordance with the powers granted him and it doesn't conflict with the exercise of the powers of the other branches of government that would supersede his in this particular sphere. That doesn't mean its smart to do so. And given Obama's, his ex-administration member's, and your comments on the matter its clear this was never the extent of what any of you thought this was. It is the height or arrogance to imply that follow on Presidents somehow lack the exact same powers to direct the executive branch similarly, or to do as you are and declare that this substitutes for, and assumes the same authority of, the superseding treaty making power of the Senate. Hand wringing about the long term implications of receding this agreement is beyond missing the point. The problem is that a US President would presume to hold the nation to his whims beyond his term by making a mockery of the Senate's treaty powers via masquerading temporary executive powers as a persistent, legal and moral mandate upon the future after the democratic consent has been rescinded from him in favor of successors.

My point is that if you wanted something with the staying power and legal standing that is a treaty, you should have gotten a treaty. If you couldn't do that, then that means there should not be a treaty. And if you decide to make some half assed attempt to circumvent the democratic process by fiating defacto treaties via executive overreach, and then having your partisans hold the country hostage to your whims via the circumstances your undemocratic power grab fomented, fuck you. This goes for our allies and enemies who relied on this house of cards agreement knowing full well the bad ice they were walking onto, as if they don't know full well how our process works.

And I am under no illusions that Trump is doing this to reign in Obama's executive privilege party. It has that immediate effect, but I have no doubt that whatever he replaces it with in this case or any similar circumstance with other foreign policy problems will follow Obama's example. But it's Obama's example, set in stone from now on just like all the war making liberties the executive has assumed in Raj's example. This is of course the classic problem with turning a blind eye to these erosion of the democratic process (the Constitutionally hard coded ones, not the nebulous and subjective "norms"), that it rarely trends the other way once the momentum is on the side of executive power.
Or do you concede that his kind of action undermines the US's credibility in negotiating agreements with foreign nations?
I never said this was not the case. I will now say that should they come to pass, the blame is squarely on Obama for making these extra Constitutional power grabs in foreign policy in the first place, and on the other parties to the agreement for willfully ignoring the fact that their agreement was with Barrack Obama only, not the United States. They are not stupid, and I feel no sympathy for them being subject the the fallout of their bad faith dealings with the American people as typified by your hostage taking argument.

You say this will hurt us treaty making power? Absolutely not. This is a resounding reminder to the world that when you deal with the United States our President is just the front office, not the board. If you want to be able to make a hand shake/wink wink back room agreement with a one man decision making authoritarian (hint hint), find yourself a China or Russia or North Korea to haggle with. The United States is a democratic Republic with a constitutional agreement with its people, and if that is too messy for you to deal with you can fuck off. And I expect the US to deal honestly on its own part in the same vein by respecting the rule making process of other democratic governments in reciprocation. And if you truly believed all your ranting regarding the dangers of Trump, and are not a giant hypocrite, you should be the first one insisting this be the case. Unless you want to be beholden to Trump's version of ignoring the Constitution with his phone and pen?

And before you ask, no I am not absolving Congress from its blame here. It should not be the case that we can't rely on Presidents to take their oath to the Constitution seriously and police themselves. At the same time Congress should defend its own prerogatives when Presidents do not. We have checks and balances for a reason, and that requires self awareness and hard barriers. Presidents are usually filling in vacuums that Congress leaves as invitations to executive overreach, or are just cowards in the face of the Presidential bully pulpit. Just because I left my doors unlocked and and a pile of cash on the counter doesn't absolve the burglar of guilt, but I could prevent either of us from the resulting misfortune by locking my doors.
Last edited by Patroklos on 2018-05-13 06:27am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-05-13 06:26am

And I expect the US to deal honestly on its own part in the same vain by respecting the rule making process of other democratic governments in reciprocation.
Freudian slip there - "in the same vain". Indeed, vain is the best description of an agreement made with the US. :P
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Patroklos
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Patroklos » 2018-05-13 06:28am

Yes, a mistake. I suspect you agree with the sentiment though, as much as you may feel the past has not lived up to the standard.

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K. A. Pital
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-05-13 07:19am

Patroklos wrote:
2018-05-13 06:28am
Yes, a mistake. I suspect you agree with the sentiment though, as much as you may feel the past has not lived up to the standard.
I definetely agree with the sentiment. Nobody needs need an overpowered executive official position that could be - and will be - filled by the likes of Trump.
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