Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

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Ralin
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Ralin » 2018-07-25 01:54am

Vympel wrote:
2018-07-25 01:16am
Galvatron wrote:
2018-07-23 01:01am
I don't remember any other presidents blustering quite like that.
Well yeah - the main difference between Trump and previous Presidents and other politicians in relation to sabre-rattling is that Trump's blustering is more comical and overt.
I defended Trump over the whole "Fire and the fury" thing on the grounds that his message (attack us and we will crush you with the vast power of the United States military) wasn't that different from what Bush or Obama would have said and that under those circumstances it doesn't really matter how diplomatic you sound, but context matters and whatever Iran apparently did to prompt this is nowhere near in that league.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-25 03:13pm

Vympel wrote:
2018-07-25 01:16am
Galvatron wrote:
2018-07-23 01:01am
I don't remember any other presidents blustering quite like that.
Well yeah - the main difference between Trump and previous Presidents and other politicians in relation to sabre-rattling is that Trump's blustering is more comical and overt.
Please stop trying to normalize diplomacy via spontaneous threats of war over Twitter. Tone matters in diplomacy. Context matters. Trump is not just business as usual, no matter how much it appeals to your America-hate to pretend that he is.

This has always been one of the most dangerous arguments for Trump: "All politicians are equally bad, so nothing matters, so why not vote for a rapist mobster endorsed by the Klan? At least he's open about being a dishonest scumbag." Can't tell you how many "anti-establishment" voters swallowed that shit that pigs at the trough (funny how that "establishment" somehow never included a rich white businessman who inherited his wealth from his daddy).
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-07-25 03:29pm

Diplomacy via spontaneous threats has been normalized for the last 38 years; using Shitter is the only thing different.

We have normalized all manner of bad behavior over the past 38 years.

We have normalized all manner of bad behavior in the three centuries before that.

Which isn't an argument in favor of accepting Trump, as a scarecrow constructed by cowardly Americans would have us believe.

Trump is our chickens coming home to roost. That makes him and all he represents far, far more dangerous, and all the cowards with their heads in the sand denying this is America, with the passion of Peter denying Christ, doesn't make it any less so, and it sure as hell won't get us out of the mess we've gotten ourselves and the rest of the world into.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2018-07-25 05:23pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-07-25 03:13pm
Please stop trying to normalize diplomacy via spontaneous threats of war over Twitter. Tone matters in diplomacy. Context matters. Trump is not just business as usual, no matter how much it appeals to your America-hate to pretend that he is.
He should just make his idiotic pronouncements in speeches, like all the other Presidents! Would that improve it somehow?
This has always been one of the most dangerous arguments for Trump: "All politicians are equally bad, so nothing matters, so why not vote for a rapist mobster endorsed by the Klan? At least he's open about being a dishonest scumbag." Can't tell you how many "anti-establishment" voters swallowed that shit that pigs at the trough (funny how that "establishment" somehow never included a rich white businessman who inherited his wealth from his daddy).
I know what you mean. People used to use this to defend Obama and his moments of "national security." Most frustrating.

"Sure Obama drone strikes unnacountably/locks people up/suppresses information, but he's a politician and the Republicans are worse."
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-25 06:20pm

Gandalf wrote:
2018-07-25 05:23pm
He should just make his idiotic pronouncements in speeches, like all the other Presidents! Would that improve it somehow?
No, of course it wouldn't. Well, aside from the fact that writing it and delivering it in a speech at least involves conferring with other people, rather than being able to simply throw everything into chaos on the President's momentary whim.

But don't keep pretending that there is no difference between Trump's tone and previous Presidents'. Whatever your intent, you are ultimately normalizing a neo-fascist. This argument, as I've pointed out, is a big part of why a Neo-Fascist rapist who locks children in cages is President, and anyone who knowingly continues to use this argument now, having seen the consequences, is in my opinion fully culpable in whatever comes after.
This has always been one of the most dangerous arguments for Trump: "All politicians are equally bad, so nothing matters, so why not vote for a rapist mobster endorsed by the Klan? At least he's open about being a dishonest scumbag." Can't tell you how many "anti-establishment" voters swallowed that shit that pigs at the trough (funny how that "establishment" somehow never included a rich white businessman who inherited his wealth from his daddy).
I know what you mean. People used to use this to defend Obama and his moments of "national security." Most frustrating.

"Sure Obama drone strikes unnacountably/locks people up/suppresses information, but he's a politician and the Republicans are worse."[/quote]

Wow, you actually acknowledge that this sort of rhetoric is a deflection tactic used to normalize evil, but still manage to turn it around to imply that The Democrats are Just As Bad As Trump.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the power of Whataboutism. Everything is equally bad and therefore nothing really is. Everything is normal, nothing can ever be called out without it being hypocritical and therefore wrong. Nothing will ever change, and nothing ever matters.

Obama did many things that I disagree with. The reckless disregard for civilian lives during drone strikes, and his attempts to silence whistleblowers, both near the top of that list, although first place goes for spineless inability to stand up to Russian election interference and the Alt. Reich takeover of the country.

But I will say, without hesitation, that he was different from Trump. More than that, he was better than Trump. That doesn't mean that he should get a free pass, but neither should his mistakes be used to excuse or downplay or distract from Trump.

The problem with this thinking, of treating all Americans or all American leaders as equally bad, is not simply that its inaccurate, or that it substitutes a broad cliché for nuanced thought, or that it defames those who genuinely try to make this country better- its that it makes any real discussion or analysis of American history and politics impossible. If you ignore the changes that have occurred over America's nearly 250-year existence, if you view America as an unaltered monolith, then it is impossible to understand how conditions have improved or worsened over time, and this impedes understanding or affecting how they could change in the future. If you see no difference between the US under Trump and the US under Obama, then you cannot meaningfully contribute to any discussion of American politics.

The same goes for discussing any other country's politics or history, as well. If you see no difference between Russia now, Russia in the '90s, and Russia under the Soviet Union, you cannot appreciate how Putin is actively moving the country in the wrong direction. All you'd be left with is sweeping Russophobia. Or someone saying in 1939 that "Germany now is the same as it was under the Weimar Republic." Or saying that all countries with a majority-Muslim population are like Syria.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-07-25 06:32pm

CNN
Exclusive: White House stops announcing calls with foreign leaders
CNN EXPANSION DC 2017 Kaitlan Collins
By Kaitlan Collins, CNN

Updated 1:06 AM ET, Wed July 25, 2018
WH stops summarizing calls with world leaders
Play Video

WH stops summarizing calls with world leaders 01:36
Washington (CNN)The White House has suspended the practice of publishing public summaries of President Donald Trump's phone calls with world leaders, two sources with knowledge of the situation tell CNN, bringing an end to a common exercise from Republican and Democratic administrations.

It's unclear if the suspension is temporary or permanent. A White House spokesman declined to comment.
Official descriptions of the President's calls with foreign leaders -- termed "readouts" in Washington parlance -- offer administrations the chance to characterize in their own terms the diplomacy conducted at the highest levels between countries. While news is rarely contained in the rote, often dry descriptions, they do offer the only official account that a phone call took place. Readouts are still released internally.
Trump has had at least two calls with other leaders in the last two weeks, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The White House confirmed that the calls took place after they were reported by foreign media, but declined to elaborate on what was said.
The White House has not published a readout of a call between Trump and a world leader since mid-June when he called to congratulate the Hungarian prime minister on his re-election victory.
"The two leaders further pledged to keep United States-Hungary relations strong," the readout at the time noted.
Michael Allen, who was a member of the National Security Council during the George W. Bush administration, said that by halting the practice of issuing readouts, the White House loses "the action forcing event of an announced phone call."
"I think they lose the public diplomacy aspect of a presidential phone call," Allen added.
'Highly coordinated events'
Calls with world leaders are highly coordinated events that in the past have required careful planning by the President's national security team. Leaders are typically patched through the Situation Room, and sometimes aides listen in. Once the call is over, both sides typically publish a readout of what was discussed. However, readouts have been known to differ between governments.
After Trump spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in April 2017, the two sides offered vastly different accounts of what was discussed.
"President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke today. The two leaders discussed the dairy trade in Wisconsin, New York State, and various other places. It was a very amicable call," the White House's version read.
Canada's readout was more descriptive.
"The prime minister and the President reaffirmed the importance of the mutually beneficial Canada-US trade relationship," Canada's readout said. "On the issue of softwood lumber, the prime minister refuted the baseless allegations by the US Department of Commerce and the decision to impose unfair duties."
Tony Blinken, who served as the deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration from 2015 to 2017, said there are two main reasons why issuing the readouts are important.
"One is transparency," Blinken told CNN. "There is a public interest in knowing who he talked to and what they talked about. Secondly, these readouts help shape the narrative. If we aren't doing a readout, but the other country is, their narrative is going to prevail. "
Records
Trump has been known to make calls to foreign leaders from the residence of the White House during what has been dubbed by aides as "executive time." Before he was fired this spring, former national security adviser H.R. McMaster often joined Trump in residence for his calls. His successor John Bolton is regularly present during his calls with leaders, a White House official tells CNN.
The decision to halt the readouts come amid questions about what was said during Trump's one-on-one with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.
Trump was incensed last August when The Washington Post published transcripts of his tense phone calls with the leaders of Australia and Mexico. He railed about the leak to aides for weeks, insisting that fewer people be in the room during the calls going forward.
He was similarly infuriated after it quickly leaked this spring that he had been directly instructed by his national security advisers in briefing materials not to congratulate Putin on his recent election victory during their call. As reported by the Post, he did.
The leak reinforced Trump's long-held belief there are individuals inside his administration -- especially in the national security realm -- who are working to undermine him, sources close to the President told CNN at the time.
In May, as French President Emmanuel Macron was trying to convince Trump to remain in the Iran nuclear deal, he and Trump held a phone call. The White House issued a terse, two-sentence readout after the call highlighting Trump and Macron's "shared commitment to peace and stability in the Middle East," while declining to offer any details.
CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.
The Trump administration is no longer announcing who it talked to or what about, but you know, this is just like every administration before it. MERICA, am I right?
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-25 06:37pm

Yeah, if you believe America has always been fascist, then America becoming fascist is no big deal. Which suites the fascists just fine.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2018-07-25 10:49pm

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-07-25 03:29pm
Diplomacy via spontaneous threats has been normalized for the last 38 years; using Shitter is the only thing different.

We have normalized all manner of bad behavior over the past 38 years.
Why 38 years? What happened in 1980 specifically that you are referring to?

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-25 11:11pm

I presume he's referring to Ronald Reagan being elected President?
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-26 10:32pm

Cohen claims that Trump knew ahead of time about the Trump Tower meeting with Russians, and approved it.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/26/politics ... index.html

Unfortunately, it appears that he does not have tapes to prove it. Its a shame, because if he did, then that's the smoking gun for Trump having personally colluded. Yes, the apologists would still hem and haw about how nothing came of the Trump Tower meeting (that we already know of), that it didn't break any laws, but it would clearly demonstrate that the intent to collaborate with Russia to get dirt on Clinton was clearly there, at the very highest level. The only defense left is "Yeah, we colluded, but we were too bad at it to actually accomplish much", which... isn't saying much.

Anyway, looks like Cohen has fully flipped on the Donald. Hopefully he has some damning dirt he can actually corroborate with physical evidence.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-07-27 10:52am

The most likely material to come out of Cohen is probably going to be personal and campaign finance violations. Collusion will be harder to prove, but he can quite likely make it easier.

Best way for Mueller to play those, I think, are to divide the charges between federal and state. That way, even if he gets fired and/or attempts to pardon himself, the state of New York can still go after him; I'm pretty sure the state is planning to on a few different things anyway (but don't ask me for a quote on that, it's been awhile).
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2018-07-27 09:04pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-07-25 06:20pm
No, of course it wouldn't. Well, aside from the fact that writing it and delivering it in a speech at least involves conferring with other people, rather than being able to simply throw everything into chaos on the President's momentary whim.
I follow your argument, but this could ultimately be used against the idea of any unscripted appearance or interview. A speechwriting corps didn't prevent Bush II from declaring crusade, or any of his Bushisms.
But don't keep pretending that there is no difference between Trump's tone and previous Presidents'. Whatever your intent, you are ultimately normalizing a neo-fascist. This argument, as I've pointed out, is a big part of why a Neo-Fascist rapist who locks children in cages is President, and anyone who knowingly continues to use this argument now, having seen the consequences, is in my opinion fully culpable in whatever comes after.
Comedy achieved. If I'm culpable for what happens in US politics, is this Australian interference?
Wow, you actually acknowledge that this sort of rhetoric is a deflection tactic used to normalize evil, but still manage to turn it around to imply that The Democrats are Just As Bad As Trump.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the power of Whataboutism. Everything is equally bad and therefore nothing really is. Everything is normal, nothing can ever be called out without it being hypocritical and therefore wrong. Nothing will ever change, and nothing ever matters.

Obama did many things that I disagree with. The reckless disregard for civilian lives during drone strikes, and his attempts to silence whistleblowers, both near the top of that list, although first place goes for spineless inability to stand up to Russian election interference and the Alt. Reich takeover of the country.

But I will say, without hesitation, that he was different from Trump. More than that, he was better than Trump. That doesn't mean that he should get a free pass, but neither should his mistakes be used to excuse or downplay or distract from Trump.

The problem with this thinking, of treating all Americans or all American leaders as equally bad, is not simply that its inaccurate, or that it substitutes a broad cliché for nuanced thought, or that it defames those who genuinely try to make this country better- its that it makes any real discussion or analysis of American history and politics impossible. If you ignore the changes that have occurred over America's nearly 250-year existence, if you view America as an unaltered monolith, then it is impossible to understand how conditions have improved or worsened over time, and this impedes understanding or affecting how they could change in the future. If you see no difference between the US under Trump and the US under Obama, then you cannot meaningfully contribute to any discussion of American politics.

The same goes for discussing any other country's politics or history, as well. If you see no difference between Russia now, Russia in the '90s, and Russia under the Soviet Union, you cannot appreciate how Putin is actively moving the country in the wrong direction. All you'd be left with is sweeping Russophobia. Or someone saying in 1939 that "Germany now is the same as it was under the Weimar Republic." Or saying that all countries with a majority-Muslim population are like Syria.
Are you actually interested in having a discussion, or are you just ranting to meet some minimum word count per day?
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-27 09:16pm

Are you interested in responding to what I say with anything other than generic insults?

I have a problem with people responding to Trump's actions with variations of "America and all American politicians are always this bad", both because its objectively false and prejudiced, and because it deflects from what Trump is doing and normalizes his actions, ultimately benefiting his attempts to turn America into a fascist dictatorship. I explained why I had a problem with this. If you have no response other than to insult me, then there is no reason to continue this conversation. Neither of us is going to change our positions by throwing further insults at each other.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2018-07-28 03:15am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-07-27 09:16pm
Are you interested in responding to what I say with anything other than generic insults?
Yeah, but you didn't respond to that bit for some reason.
I have a problem with people responding to Trump's actions with variations of "America and all American politicians are always this bad", both because its objectively false and prejudiced, and because it deflects from what Trump is doing and normalizes his actions, ultimately benefiting his attempts to turn America into a fascist dictatorship. I explained why I had a problem with this. If you have no response other than to insult me, then there is no reason to continue this conversation. Neither of us is going to change our positions by throwing further insults at each other.
I said that?

Treating Trump's election as some sort of an anomalous event and his presidency as similarly anomalous within US history is disingenuous. In a country which places such significance on the "all people made equal by creator" part of its founding documents, eight of the forty five presidents owned slaves while in office. A lot shared in parts of genocidal westward expansion. Woodrow Wilson in general. And so on. The violence was normalised a long time ago. Is all of US history bad? No. But a fuckton of bad shit went down as the good stuff happened. I'm a fan of some of FDR's work in both domestic policies and Nazi fighting, but his internment of the Japanese make me sick. LBJ had the Great Society... and Vietnam. Obama got Obamacare off the ground, but then also drone struck a lot of people secretly. And so on.

Trump as a political phenomenon essentially represents the worst of the US' society right now, in more way than one. Like Cinnabar said above, Trump is essentially the chickens coming home to roost. It's not whataboutism, it's stating that the he's a symptom of a way more dangerous problem.
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

- A.B. Original, Report to the Mist

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-28 02:06pm

Gandalf wrote:
2018-07-28 03:15am
Yeah, but you didn't respond to that bit for some reason.
You mean this?
I follow your argument, but this could ultimately be used against the idea of any unscripted appearance or interview. A speechwriting corps didn't prevent Bush II from declaring crusade, or any of his Bushisms.
My answer would be that of course no human system or institution is entirely proof against human malice and incompetence, but involving more people in the decision-making process adds some breaks, and at least theoretically reduces the risk of knee-jerk, rash decisions and statements being made (this only works if the leader is not completely surrounded by spineless yes-men who tell him what he wants to hear, or ideological hard-liners who share his attitudes every step of the way).

It also means that if shit does go off the rails, everyone is on the same page and it doesn't blindside the officials tasked with actually carrying out, or cleaning up after, Dear Leader's latest whim. Finally, it reinforces the idea the leader is not an autocrat, but has to act as part of a larger system to which he is ultimately answerable.
I said that?

Treating Trump's election as some sort of an anomalous event and his presidency as similarly anomalous within US history is disingenuous. In a country which places such significance on the "all people made equal by creator" part of its founding documents, eight of the forty five presidents owned slaves while in office. A lot shared in parts of genocidal westward expansion. Woodrow Wilson in general. And so on. The violence was normalised a long time ago. Is all of US history bad? No. But a fuckton of bad shit went down as the good stuff happened. I'm a fan of some of FDR's work in both domestic policies and Nazi fighting, but his internment of the Japanese make me sick. LBJ had the Great Society... and Vietnam. Obama got Obamacare off the ground, but then also drone struck a lot of people secretly. And so on.

Trump as a political phenomenon essentially represents the worst of the US' society right now, in more way than one. Like Cinnabar said above, Trump is essentially the chickens coming home to roost. It's not whataboutism, it's stating that the he's a symptom of a way more dangerous problem.
Of course Trump did not emerge in a vacuum- the world is interconnected, and Trump is ultimately a product of many factors in American history and global history (the most pessimistic interpretations of Trumpism would hold that he and his base are ideological successors of both the Confederacy and Nazism/Fascism). Nor would I say that he is entirely unprecedented in American history- Andrew Johnson comes immediately to mind as an example of an overtly racist demagogue who condoned racial violence and ran an utterly dysfunctional administration while committing actions that were arguably treasonous (he ultimately became the first President to be impeached, and was regrettably acquitted by a single vote).

That said, I think it is similarly disingenuous to take examples like slave-holding Presidents in the 18th. and 19th. Century and then conclude that Trump is nothing that unusual, as though the slave-holders of 200 years ago accurately reflect the state of America throughout its entire history. The country has changed a great deal in the nearly 250 years that it has existed- sometimes for the worse, but often for the better. Its never been the utopia that American exceptionalists like to portray it as, but its important to recognize that history of change, particularly now. It illustrates that Trump is not merely one more in an unbroken progression of white supremacist despots, but an active and alarming step in the wrong direction, a potential reversal of past gains that were won at great cost in human lives and suffering. Trump's views and actions would be positively progressive by the standards of the 19th. Century (though had he lived at the time, free of modern constraints, I don't doubt that he would have been even worse than he is). But in the 21st. Century, they represent a regression to things we thought we had moved past.

Also, when people respond to a criticism of Trump by posting an attack on Obama's Presidency and defenders, one that implies (at least to me) that Obama should be viewed in the same light as Trump- it may not be your intent, but it gives the impression that you are trying to change the topic, to deflect from Trump's actions, and/or to normalize them. And even if its not your intent, it can have that effect. Especially since both Trumper and Russian propaganda used and continue to use this tactic extensively, and to considerable effect.

We're probably not going to see completely eye-to-eye on this, but I hope that you can at least understand where I'm coming from on this, and that there are reasons for my arguments beyond simply being a defensive white American.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by houser2112 » 2018-07-30 08:13am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-07-28 02:06pm
Trump's views and actions would be positively progressive by the standards of the 19th. Century (though had he lived at the time, free of modern constraints, I don't doubt that he would have been even worse than he is). But in the 21st. Century, they represent a regression to things we thought we had moved past.
His actions, yes (only because he's being restrained by modern views); his views... I think he'd fit right in with Davis and Calhoun. However, in the days when there was no internet or Twitter, I think he'd have a harder time getting people to take him seriously because he's such a shitty speaker. The Presidency wasn't nearly as powerful then as it is now, and Congress consequently more powerful, and I think even a friendly Congress wouldn't put up with him to the extent our current Congress does.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-30 03:28pm

That's probably about right, yeah.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Galvatron » 2018-07-30 07:29pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-07-28 02:06pm
Of course Trump did not emerge in a vacuum- the world is interconnected, and Trump is ultimately a product of many factors in American history and global history (the most pessimistic interpretations of Trumpism would hold that he and his base are ideological successors of both the Confederacy and Nazism/Fascism).
I'm not sure it's unrealistically pessimistic though...


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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-30 07:35pm

Indeed. There's a reason I call it the Alt. Reich- Trumpism and related movements are basically neo-fascism and white supremacy rebranded to fool stupid angry people into thinking that that's not what it really is.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Vympel » 2018-08-07 12:18am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-07-25 03:13pm
Please stop trying to normalize diplomacy via spontaneous threats of war over Twitter. Tone matters in diplomacy. Context matters. Trump is not just business as usual, no matter how much it appeals to your America-hate to pretend that he is.

This has always been one of the most dangerous arguments for Trump: "All politicians are equally bad, so nothing matters, so why not vote for a rapist mobster endorsed by the Klan? At least he's open about being a dishonest scumbag." Can't tell you how many "anti-establishment" voters swallowed that shit that pigs at the trough (funny how that "establishment" somehow never included a rich white businessman who inherited his wealth from his daddy).
Didn't say Trump was 'business as usual' - him being as stupid and crude as he is is an actual marked change from previous Presidents. It's just not material. Trump's revolting politics are revolting for actual good reason, but as to him issuing threats over twitter - if you think 'tone' matters, you can rest assured that the nations America has been stepping on and interfering with for decades don't notice much of a difference.

Elites in America worry about Trump's 'tone' because Trump is so gauche and crude and monstrous and uncharismatic that its impossible for these fuckheads to continue pretending they're living in The West Wing (i.e. a vapid neoliberal wet dream about vaguely-sort-of-left-wing centrist milquetoasts walking around being smart and snarking at dummies while accomplishing almost nothing - aka the Obama years).

Trump's presidency makes it literally impossible to defend this absurd fiction that the US is not an aggressively irrational and militaristic bully with someone like Trump in charge of it, the way they could with previous Presidents.

This elite handwringing about their collapsing benevolent-empire delusions gets broadcast straight from the major media outlets into our brains. It's shite.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-08-07 04:05pm

Vympel wrote:
2018-08-07 12:18am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-07-25 03:13pm
Please stop trying to normalize diplomacy via spontaneous threats of war over Twitter. Tone matters in diplomacy. Context matters. Trump is not just business as usual, no matter how much it appeals to your America-hate to pretend that he is.

This has always been one of the most dangerous arguments for Trump: "All politicians are equally bad, so nothing matters, so why not vote for a rapist mobster endorsed by the Klan? At least he's open about being a dishonest scumbag." Can't tell you how many "anti-establishment" voters swallowed that shit that pigs at the trough (funny how that "establishment" somehow never included a rich white businessman who inherited his wealth from his daddy).
Didn't say Trump was 'business as usual' - him being as stupid and crude as he is is an actual marked change from previous Presidents. It's just not material. Trump's revolting politics are revolting for actual good reason, but as to him issuing threats over twitter - if you think 'tone' matters, you can rest assured that the nations America has been stepping on and interfering with for decades don't notice much of a difference.
I already explained at length to Gandalf why I feel that the difference in tone, as well as the differences in policy, matter materially. If you would care to address those points rather than just saying it doesn't matter and then repeating the talking point about how Trump is revealing how evil America has been all along, I'm all ears.
Elites in America worry about Trump's 'tone' because Trump is so gauche and crude and monstrous and uncharismatic that its impossible for these fuckheads to continue pretending they're living in The West Wing (i.e. a vapid neoliberal wet dream about vaguely-sort-of-left-wing centrist milquetoasts walking around being smart and snarking at dummies while accomplishing almost nothing - aka the Obama years).
Or maybe some of them object to Trump because he is demonstrably a threat to America, world peace, and millions of lives? For all their many faults, I can honestly believe that, say, Barack Obama, or Hillary Clinton, or the average CNN reporter, is genuinely afraid of what Trump might do- not simply because he is exposing the supposed reality of their corrupt political culture, but because they genuinely don't want to see children in cages, or women stripped of their reproductive rights, or America become a sock-puppet of Putin (or the Koch brothers, or Alex Jones), or Trump blunder us into a major war with Iran. Almost everybody has their line they won't cross, and Trump crosses most of those lines.

And this portrayal of Trump as somehow exposing the corrupt reality of the "elites" is dangerous, because it is ultimate a big part of his success- despite being a rich white man who inherited his fortune from his daddy, he has been able to portray himself as somehow against a vaguely-defined "elite" rather than a part of it, and thereby sucker anti-establishment cynics into thinking that he is the lesser evil. His being openly appalling in every possible way actually works in his favor in this case, because cynics who believe that all politics has always really been like this can say "Well, Trump's horrible, but they're all just as bad, and at least Trump is open about it." In short, it encourages people who have given up on actual integrity or principle in politics to choose open corruption over a corruption hidden by a pretense of civility. In this way, Trump has perversely turned bullying, bigotry, and open disregard for the truth into a sort of credibility.
Trump's presidency makes it literally impossible to defend this absurd fiction that the US is not an aggressively irrational and militaristic bully with someone like Trump in charge of it, the way they could with previous Presidents.

This elite handwringing about their collapsing benevolent-empire delusions gets broadcast straight from the major media outlets into our brains. It's shite.
I know you acknowledged that Trump's policies are genuinely dangerous and abnormal in passing, but this is somewhat undercut by the much greater time and effort you devote to portraying the criticisms of him as "elite handwringing about their collapsing benevolent-empire delusions" and echoing Trumpian propaganda about the fake news.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Vympel » 2018-08-07 08:58pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-08-07 04:05pm
I already explained at length to Gandalf why I feel that the difference in tone, as well as the differences in policy, matter materially. If you would care to address those points rather than just saying it doesn't matter and then repeating the talking point about how Trump is revealing how evil America has been all along, I'm all ears.
What points in particular? You insist that Trump is worse than American Presidents, but in terms of foreign policy, (i.e. the most directly relevant aspect of his presidency re: his issuing threats over twitter) I fail to see how what he's done is at all out of the acceptable norm of US policy. And not ancient history - I mean recent policy. Like the last ten years. You think him torpedoing the Iran deal, for example, was some sort of outrageous act that would never have been countenanced by any other President? Don't make me laugh, it was Obama's signature foreign policy achievement (for which he deserves credit) and its also something that he got massive resistance from - from within his own party. How about recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel? Chuck Schumer came in his pants at that. Bombing multiple countries? He's not doing anything that previous Presidents didn't do as a matter of course. How about supporting and enabling Saudi Arabia's ongoing festival of war crimes, slaughter and starvation by blockade? Obama was totally up for that, too.
Or maybe some of them object to Trump because he is demonstrably a threat to America, world peace, and millions of lives? For all their many faults, I can honestly believe that, say, Barack Obama, or Hillary Clinton, or the average CNN reporter, is genuinely afraid of what Trump might do- not simply because he is exposing the supposed reality of their corrupt political culture, but because they genuinely don't want to see children in cages, or women stripped of their reproductive rights, or America become a sock-puppet of Putin (or the Koch brothers, or Alex Jones), or Trump blunder us into a major war with Iran. Almost everybody has their line they won't cross, and Trump crosses most of those lines.
How is Trump a 'threat to world peace' and 'millions of lives' in a way that any other avatar for the USA's monstrous foreign policy establishment is not, specifically? There is broad, bipartisan agreement on the premises that underpin US empire in the world, and has been for decades.

- 'children in cages': leaving aside this has nothing to do with foreign policy at all - yes, because this only started under Trump? It happened under Obama too, did anyone notice? No, apparently. Trump merely expanded something that was already profoundly immoral.

- 'women stripped of their reproductive rights': a key part of Republican ideology for literally decades. Also, nothing to do with foreign policy.

- 'sock puppet of Putin': Not even a cursory look at what Trump has actually done with regard to Russia or policies that directly effect Russian interests in the world could lead any remotely rational person to think that America is at risk of becoming 'a sock-puppet of Putin'. This is just batshit.

- 'Koch brothers': the Koch brothers have been a fixture and corrupting influence in American political life for decades. If you think now they're a threat, you've just been asleep. They also don't much like Trump, either. Welcome to the Resistance, Koch Bros. I guess. Also, nothing to do with foreign policy.

- 'blunder into a major war with Iran': The US does not, and never will, 'blunder' into a war. This is a story the USA tells itself during the hang over that follows after its launched yet another war against some country that never attacked it on false pretenses. "Ooops, I tripped and destroyed Iraq. Sowwy!" The most powerful Empire in the world does not launch wars of choice by mistake. It does so because it deliberately chooses to. But if you seriously think that if Trump launches a war against Iran that vast swathes of the establishment won't be right behind him, baying for blood, you simply have no earthly idea what you are on about.

And the Democrats and the media whill share a considerable part of the blame for this. Because unless you've been asleep, a feature of the last two years of public life in the United States has been a rehabilitation - by CNN and MSNBC and other establishment news outlets - of fuckhead neocon Iraq war boosters (of whom Hillary Clinton in particular was one, mind you) who loved that Trump torpedoed the nuclear deal and would love for Trump to launch a war on Iran.

https://theintercept.com/2017/07/17/wit ... a-neocons/

And as noted, that the neocons wanted to attach themselves to Clinton's wagon was noted as early in 2014, because Clinton is by any definition a huge fuck-off neocon.
It is true that neocons were among the earliest and most vocal GOP opponents of Trump. That was because they viewed him as an ideological threat to their orthodoxies (such as when he advocated for U.S. “neutrality” on the Israel/Palestine conflict and railed against the wisdom of the wars in Iraq and Libya), but they were also worried that his uncouth, offensive personality would embarrass the U.S. and thus weaken the “soft power” needed for imperial hegemony. Even if Trump could be brought into line on neocon orthodoxy — as has largely happened — his ineptitude and instability posed a threat to their agenda.

But Democrats and neocons share far more than revulsion toward Trump; particularly once Hillary Clinton became the party’s standard-bearer, they share the same fundamental beliefs about the U.S. role in the world and how to assert U.S. power. In other words, this alliance is explained by far more than antipathy to Trump.

Indeed, the likelihood of a neocon/Democrat reunion long predates Trump. Back in the summer of 2014 — almost a year before Trump announced his intent to run for president — longtime neocon-watcher Jacob Heilbrunn, writing in the New York Times, predicted that “the neocons may be preparing a more brazen feat: aligning themselves with Hillary Rodham Clinton and her nascent presidential campaign, in a bid to return to the driver’s seat of American foreign policy.”
And another thing - if the Democrats actually sincerely believed that Trump was a threat to peace (which he is!) like you do - then why is it that they just gave him $717 billion in defence spending? Or the vast warrantless spy powers they gave him?

Because they're not sincere. At all. It's performative. It's a fucking con. They could care less.
And this portrayal of Trump as somehow exposing the corrupt reality of the "elites" is dangerous, because it is ultimate a big part of his success- despite being a rich white man who inherited his fortune from his daddy, he has been able to portray himself as somehow against a vaguely-defined "elite" rather than a part of it, and thereby sucker anti-establishment cynics into thinking that he is the lesser evil. His being openly appalling in every possible way actually works in his favor in this case, because cynics who believe that all politics has always really been like this can say "Well, Trump's horrible, but they're all just as bad, and at least Trump is open about it." In short, it encourages people who have given up on actual integrity or principle in politics to choose open corruption over a corruption hidden by a pretense of civility. In this way, Trump has perversely turned bullying, bigotry, and open disregard for the truth into a sort of credibility.
Trump doesn't have any credibility. Acknowledging that doesn't mean having to shield immoral warmongering ghouls like Hillary Clinton or handmaidens to corporate power like CNN as if they're actually sincere critics of pretty much anything that moral people actually care about.
I know you acknowledged that Trump's policies are genuinely dangerous and abnormal in passing, but this is somewhat undercut by the much greater time and effort you devote to portraying the criticisms of him as "elite handwringing about their collapsing benevolent-empire delusions" and echoing Trumpian propaganda about the fake news.
Calling out editorial handwringing straight from the military-industrial-natsec complex as coming from bad motives no moral person should give a shit about isn't a 'fake news' narrative.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by EnterpriseSovereign » 2018-08-08 05:11pm

Not sure which thread this should go in so I put it in both:

US to hit Russia with sanctions over Skripal nerve agent attack
The United States will impose sanctions on Russia after determining that it used a nerve agent in an attempt to kill a former Russian spy and his daughter in the UK.

The State Department said the sanctions will be imposed on Russia because it used a chemical weapon in violation of international law.
These sanctions could reinforce President Donald Trump's claim that despite investigations into Russian election meddling and accusations of collusion, his administration has in fact clamped down on Moscow.

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned by Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, in Salisbury in March.
Britain has accused Russia of being behind the attack, which the Kremlin vehemently denies.

Downing Street welcomed the move by the US, with a Number 10 spokesman saying: "The strong international response to the use of a chemical weapon on the streets of Salisbury sends an unequivocal message to Russia that its provocative, reckless behaviour will not go unchallenged."

Announcing the move, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said: "The United States, on August 6, 2018, determined under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (CBW Act) that the Government of the Russian Federation has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law, or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals."
Since the March attack, two other British nationals with no ties to Russia have been poisoned by the substance.

Dawn Sturgess, 44, and partner Charlie Rowley, 45, both came into contact with the substance which left them hospitalised at the end of June in Amesbury, Wiltshire.

Ms Sturgess died eight days after being poisoned with Novichok, but Mr Rowley survived the ordeal.

Mr Rowley said the nerve agent took just 15 minutes to poison Ms Sturgess after she sprayed the “oily” substance onto her wrists, believing it was perfume he had given her as a gift.

Following a 15-day congressional notification period, the sanctions will take effect on or around August 22, according to a statement from the State Department.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-08-08 05:19pm

Good. But now watch while Donald Trump refuses to enforce these sanctions as well, and Republicans still don't impeach him for it.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Ralin » 2018-08-09 02:47am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-08-08 05:19pm
Good. But now watch while Donald Trump refuses to enforce these sanctions as well, and Republicans still don't impeach him for it.
I like how we're pretending that assassinating a spy is somehow worse than America's multiple wars of aggression in the past couple decades. These sanctions shouldn't be enforced and neither should any others so long as there is a single pig wearing an American uniform in Afghanistan and the people responsible for the invasion of Afghanistan are walking around free.

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