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The US Presidency 2019

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Brad Sallows

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>The Atlantic is hardly a bastion of conservative thought more like fake news.

It doesn't pretend or aspire to be conservative.  Very little of what shows up there is "fake" (Atlantic writers, like writers everywhere else have been caught climbing too soon on the outrage bandwagon of the day); it's just long-winded (it's a magazine, not a newspaper).
 

brihard

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The author of that particular piece, Mark Bowden, has been writing credible, well informed, and well sourced stuff about the military at least since he published Black Hawk Down many years ago now. I have no difficulty believing that he would be seen as enough of a straight shooter for some senior general officers to be candid with him.
 

Infanteer

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Actually, there is a conservative streak in The Atlantic, in the sense that the Never-Trump segment has gravitated there.  I don't mind the magazine as some of the authors are quite good, but ever since they put a pay wall up a month ago, I quit reading.  There is enough free news out there that I don't need to pay for it.

As for the article - I suspect a lot of senior military personnel weren't fond of Obama as President either....
 

brihard

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Infanteer said:
Actually, there is a conservative streak in The Atlantic, in the sense that the Never-Trump segment has gravitated there.  I don't mind the magazine as some of the authors are quite good, but ever since they put a pay wall up a month ago, I quit reading.  There is enough free news out there that I don't need to pay for it.

As for the article - I suspect a lot of senior military personnel weren't fond of Obama as President either....

Likely not. But why matters. The reasons given for the distrust senior military leaders have for their president is concerning, to say the least. It gives the impression of a man who wields a very powerful tool that he is utterly unqualified by training, education, experience, or temperament to use. It’s akin to letting an angry seven year old go from playing with his Tonka toys to having unrestricted access to a real excavator in the middle of a subdivision.
 

tomahawk6

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In the US the military dont make policy they carry it out or they resign.
 

brihard

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tomahawk6 said:
In the US the military dont make policy they carry it out or they resign.

A crafter of public policy who does not heed the expertise of those who will have to refine and execute it risks failing to achieve the intent of the policy in the first place.

A president who wishes his military to be properly influential in the national interest needs to listen to those who built from the “what” to the “how”. But he does not, because in many ways he is a fool.
 

QV

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A fool maybe in some ways, but he did win the presidency against all odds, and one promise was to get out of endless wars. 
 

brihard

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QV said:
A fool maybe in some ways, but he did win the presidency against all odds, and one promise was to get out of endless wars.

And yet he impulsively threatens other nations with destruction in casually stark terms when they don’t see things his way.

Granted, he promised to get America out of ‘endless wars’. I’ll set aside whether this was ever defined enough to be realistic. Wanting to remove his military from certain quagmires is all well and good, but it still ought to be done in such a manner as to not compromise your national and strategic interests. Abruptly pulling out and leaving carefully cultivated and built allies in the lurch is generally not a well thought out strategy. In the eyes of erstwhile or potential allies, America abandons her credibility on the battlefield. That’s not a disengagement, it’s a retreat.

Were he to be going through another divorce, he would likely pay at least some mind to lawyers. If he needed surgery, he would hopefully listen to the medical specialists. If removing and replacing a highway overpass, you listen to engineers. Just maybe, in the complex world of geopolitics and war, you hear the counsel of those experienced as wise in the field.

The president is fond of his version of carrot and stick diplomacy. Unfortunately he wields to stick with the deft precision of a blindfolded child searching for a piñata. And Russia and China are loving every second of it.
 

brihard

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FJAG

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Maybe a few more stupid moves like that and even the Republicans will vote for his impeachment. It's almost like he's trying to force their hand:

Trump defends Syria decision amid Republican backlash

By Jennifer Hansler and Alex Rogers, CNN
Updated 10:13 PM ET, Mon October 7, 2019

(CNN)President Donald Trump on Monday defended his decision to pull US troops from northern Syria ahead of an impending Turkish invasion despite criticism from top Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The abrupt move, announced in a Sunday night statement from the White House press secretary following a call between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has prompted a rare show of bipartisan opposition to the Republican President. It has also left national security officials to try to explain another foreign policy about-face -- one that threatens the US-backed Kurdish forces in the region.
...

See rest here: https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/07/politics/mitch-mcconnell-republican-response-syria-kurds/index.html

:cheers:
 

QV

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The democrats don't opposed Trump on legitimate grounds.  VDH summarizes the war on Trump and all the fraudulent attempts to depose him.  It is this kind of discourse in America that Russia, Iran, and China are loving right now.   


Anti-Trump Psychodrama 10.0?

By Victor Davis Hanson

October 8, 2019 6:30 AM

‘Groundbreaking’ disclosures fall apart, hoaxes are exposed, the media are discredited, over and over and over again.

What do the Kavanaugh hearings, Jussie Smollett, the Covington kids, the Mueller investigation, and now the Trump phone call all have in common?

Staged melodrama, media collusion hysteria, progressive demands that justice be served immediately, promises of walls-are-closing-in blockbuster revelations from new witnesses, supposed surprise revelatory documents, fusions between Democratic politicians and Washington bureaucrats — and then bust, nada, and teeth-gnashing as the truth catches up to various rumor-mongers.

The disgraced purveyors of lies — a Susan Blasey Ford, Michael Avenatti, Nathan Phillips, Jussie Smollet, Adam Schiff — for a time go mute, content with progressives’ praise that they lied for a moral cause and almost pulled it off.

The particular narrative is not all that important, at least compared with a general overriding theme: We are in a virtual civil war, and the Left believes that it can win over the hearts and minds of 20 to 30 percent of the swing voters in the United States with therapeutic tales of racism, sexism, unearned white privilege, and right-wing greed and selfishness, and also by destroying the elected president. Particular events in the news are warped and twisted, to the degree that they can be, to serve that narrative — on the principle that the superior moral end of ensuring a radical equality of result more than justifies the often tawdry and dishonest means to achieve it.

...snip...

So here we are, on the eve of impeaching a president on the basis of disgruntled White House staffers, whose rumors in secondhand and thirdhand fashion were passed on to a “whistleblower” who worked hand in hand with partisan lawyers and Adam Schiff to circumvent the normal whistleblower protocols and smear a president.

And we will all shrug and grow quiet — at least until the next Susan Blasey Ford, Michael Avenatti, Jussie Smollett, Nathan Philipps, dream-team, all-star star chamber, James Comey, or “anonymous” crusading “whistleblower” comes forth to seek notoriety and do his yeoman’s work to rid the country of Trump and all his odious henchmen.

Meanwhile, they have no idea of the wreckage they have inflicted on the intelligence agencies, the media, the Democratic party, themselves, and the country — or much less why a growing number of Americans are sick of them all.


Full article at link: https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/10/trump-impeachment-inquiry-anti-trump-psychodrama/

If Trump can survive all of this going in to 2020, he will win by a landslide.  The Dems should try something new, like beating him in policy and at the ballot box, but I think they've destroyed their credibility now.             


 

Jarnhamar

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On the up side the US will be able to sell the defeated Kurdish people new weapons and equipment to help them defeat their oppressors.
 

The Bread Guy

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Jarnhamar said:
On the up side the US will be able to sell the defeated Kurdish people new weapons and equipment to help them defeat their oppressors.
Again.
 

PPCLI Guy

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Jarnhamar said:
On the up side the US will be able to sell the defeated Kurdish people new weapons and equipment to help them defeat their oppressors.

I know a little bit about how that all unfolded.  I am pretty sure that the SDF did not repeat not buy those weapons or that equipment.
 

brihard

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QV said:
The democrats don't opposed Trump on legitimate grounds.  VDH summarizes the war on Trump and all the fraudulent attempts to depose him.  It is this kind of discourse in America that Russia, Iran, and China are loving right now.   



Full article at link: https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/10/trump-impeachment-inquiry-anti-trump-psychodrama/

If Trump can survive all of this going in to 2020, he will win by a landslide.  The Dems should try something new, like beating him in policy and at the ballot box, but I think they've destroyed their credibility now.           

Uh huh.  ::) With everything he has said, done, promised, pledged, failed at, reneged on, and followed through with- the only possibility is that opposing the Trump presidency must be ‘psychodrama’. It recalls similar past conversations on this page about ‘Trump derangement’ etc etc.

Maybe you’re right. Maybe you have to be crazy to oppose Trump. Maybe he is a ‘stable genius’ blessed with immense wisdom. Maybe he truly is a savant, able to step into any field and know intuitively what to do better than those who have spent their entire adult lives in professional practice. It could be.

Or maybe he has earned scorn, derision, and opposition in all of the conventional ways that a country’s leader can. Maybe he’s just really excellent at doing *that*.

I dunno. I do think that history will find him to be greatly wanting on many of the big things that have seized his attention and his thumbs, however briefly.
 

mariomike

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Brihard said:
It recalls similar past conversations on this page about ‘Trump derangement’ etc etc.

Regarding TDS, I thought this was a pretty good explanation,

E.R. Campbell said:
I suspect that when he didn't blow up the world or grope the Queen many people settled down and said, "Oh, well, he's not deranged, after all."

 

daftandbarmy

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Welcome to Phase 4:

Trump’s Syria Blunder Could Bring Order to Chaos

The U.S. needs a cost-benefit analysis to decide whether the Middle East is still a priority.

The deal with Turkey to pull U.S. troops out of Syria is a typical Trumpian mess, with rash, poorly planned presidential action leading to pernicious — and downright bloody — consequences. Yet that initiative also represents an effort, badly executed and communicated, to bring about a paradigm shift in America's war on terror.

President Donald Trump is trying to usher in a fourth phase of that post-9/11 conflict, in which the U.S. would accept greater security risk as the price of reducing the ongoing costs of involvement in the greater Middle East. He is running head-on into opposition from many in his own party, who are still more inclined to pay higher costs to buy down the threat of terrorist attacks. Trump is so far getting the worst of the debate. But the underlying issue he has raised is not going away anytime soon.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. struggle against terrorism has gone through three phases. The first phase was the "anywhere, anytime" approach taken by the George W. Bush administration in the years following 9/11. The U.S. mounted large-scale invasions and long-term nation-building projects in Iraq and Afghanistan. The possibility of devastating follow-on attacks seemed unacceptably high, so U.S. officials were willing to pay quite a price to suppress terrorist groups, defeat state sponsors, and attempt to transform the conditions that produced violent extremism.

The frustrations of this approach – particularly the horrifically botched and costly occupation of Iraq – eventually led to a second phase of the war on terrorism. The Barack Obama administration emphasized lighter-footprint operations using drones and special operations forces, and it withdrew U.S. troops from Iraq, the war the president had made his reputation opposing. After initially — and reluctantly — surging more U.S. troops into Afghanistan, the Obama administration also began to wind down the American presence there after 2011. This strategy seemed effective for a time, but allowed the threat to come back with a vengeance, with rise of the Islamic State across Syria and Iraq in 2013-2014.

This setback led to a third phase of the fight against global terrorism, which began in the final innings of the Obama presidency and continued, for a time, under Trump. Having seen that relaxing the pressure on the enemy could backfire — and with ISIS and its sympathizers having perpetrated major attacks in Europe and the U.S. — American officials sought a middle ground between the two earlier approaches. This became a medium-footprint approach that employed modest numbers of ground troops, while also using airpower, logistics, intelligence and other enablers to support local partners in the fight against ISIS.

Trump is now seeking to shift U.S. strategy once again. The president has no objection to smashing terrorist organizations that are suspected of plotting attacks against the U.S. Yet he seems desperate to end the post-conflict stability operations that tend to follow even medium-footprint operations like the one in Syria. The U.S. should “ONLY FIGHT TO WIN,” he tweeted on Oct. 7, after American forces began to pull back from the Syria-Turkey border. If the threat returns, the U.S. can again apply overwhelming force: “We are 7000 miles away and will crush ISIS again if they come anywhere near us!”

There are a number of obvious problems with what the president is proposing. By paving the way for a Turkish invasion of northern Syria, the U.S. pullback is likely to distract and weaken the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces — America’s principal ally there — and thereby make easier an ISIS resurgence. Trump’s policy has the smell of abandoning the Kurds to the tender mercies an autocratic Turkish regime that is frequently hostile to American policy objectives. U.S. retrenchment may also set off a scramble for influence in northern Syria, empowering Russia, Iran and other bad actors.

For all these reasons, the president’s decision earned harsh rebukes in Washington: Senator Lindsey Graham, who had backed Trump strongly since the 2016 election, called the pullback “the biggest mistake of his presidency.” Yet when one cuts through the specific critiques of Trump’s policy, the basic dispute comes back to a familiar issue: competing assessments of cost and risk.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-10-13/trump-s-syria-mistake-has-a-silver-lining?srnd=premium-canada

 

a_majoor

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Meanwhile, the hunt for the origins of the "Russian Collusion" narrative continues, and new evidence seems to have surfaced. Getting the real story will be a long and complex enterprise, gathering apiecce of evidence here and a piece of evidence there:

https://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/mifsuds-cellphones-mean-barr-investigation-heating-up/

Mifsud's Cellphones Mean Barr Investigation Heating Up
BY ROGER L. SIMON OCTOBER 17, 2019

While Democrats and their media friends natter on about impeachment and quid pro quos, trying to deflect from the the obvious corruption of Biden & Son and the imminent — at some point anyway — appearance of the IG report on FISA and the Steele Dossier — the real action, as it often is, is elsewhere.

In this case, it is the surprising news that two cellphones belonging to Joseph Mifsud — the mysterious Maltese professor at the heart of  the Russia probe (aka Spygate) — have suddenly materialized. The Epoch Times reports:

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has obtained two phones of Joseph Mifsud, one of the central figures of the 2016 Russia investigation, and the lawyer of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn has requested them, saying they likely contain exculpatory evidence.
The phones, two BlackBerry models, “only recently” came into the government’s possession, said Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, a former prosecutor, in an Oct. 15 court filing (pdf).

Data and metadata on the phones “is material, exculpatory, and relevant to the defense of Mr. Flynn,” she said.

(snip)

Finally, an interesting conundrum for the Graham Greene/John LeCarré wannabes out there (including me): Who gave Joseph Mifsud his marching orders and just how much did he or she tell the Maltese? And who gave the marching orders to that person, Stefan Halper or whoever it was? And so on up the line...? Perhaps, some day, Messrs. Durham and Barr will tell us. I want the movie rights.
 

FJAG

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An interesting article in the Atlantic today about the history and the meaning of the phrase :high crimes and misdemeanors". Actual criminality is not essential for impeachment.

Rather, as the committee staff observed in its careful study of the question, “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” is a phrase that reaches far beyond crimes to embrace “exceeding the powers of the office in derogation of those of another branch of government,” “behaving in a manner grossly incompatible with the proper function of the office,” and “employing the power of the office for an improper purpose or personal gain.”

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/what-does-high-crimes-and-misdemeanors-actually-mean/600343/

:cheers:
 
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