Keeping the Commander-in-Chief in Check

President Trump has surrounded himself with military generals who ironically may be the strongest bulwark against Trump’s own tough-guy tendencies, writes JP Sottile.

By JP Sottile

America’s generals are talking turkey. But we’re not talking about the well-known idiom for “speaking frankly” about a subject … although over 120 retired generals did just send a frank letter in response to a new State Department-slashing budget proposal by President Trump.

President Donald Trump announces the selection of Gen. H.R. McMaster as his new National Security Adviser on Feb. 20, 2017. (Screen shot from Whitehouse.gov)

In that unusual military missive, a group of “former three- and four-star generals” led by “Retired Gen. David Petraeus, a former CIA director, and retired Adm. James Stavridis, the former NATO supreme allied commander,” pled with lawmakers and yet another general, new National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, to preserve State Department funding.

Why do these men of war want to make sure Trump doesn’t gut diplomacy? Because they think it is “critical to keeping America safe,” according to a report by CNN on the much-discussed letter.

Silly generals. Don’t they know that Trump’s $54 billion military budget increase — which all by itself equals 80 percent of Russia’s total military budget — is all the diplomacy Uncle Sam’s going to need in his blustery new world of nuclear domination? In fact, don’t they know that their never-serving commander-in-chief actually knows more than they do? As ever, it appears that the generals are woefully behind Trump’s tremendous curve.

Or are they?

Because the real turkey some generals are talking is Turkey … as in the strategically located Muslim-majority nation where America stores some of those tantalizing nukes Trump wants to stockpile. It’s also where one of the world’s many strongmen du jour is cracking down on his enemies in the press … along with many, many others. And it’s where the military has traditionally been the guarantor of the secular nation’s often tenuous democracy. It’s the type of role the military in the United States has (mostly) avoided over the course of American history. At least, that was until Donald Trump became commander-in-chief.

Babysitting the President

Now, in a mostly overlooked story, Politico has detailed the extent to which Trump’s cabinet of generals has quietly formed a phalanx against the possible excesses of a man who has described himself as the “most militaristic person who will ever meet.”

Steve Bannon, White House strategist for President Donald Trump. (Photo from YouTube)

According to Politico, the elevation of Sith Lord-wannabe Steve Bannon set off alarms among Trump’s generals. That order also marginalized Joint Chiefs Of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford. It left “the nation’s highest-ranking military officer, without a permanent seat on the NSC’s most senior body” and put Bannon in the all-important role of being the last person to have Trump’s ear when Mr. Militaristic makes life and death decisions to use kinetic force.

As Politico’s Patrick Granfield wrote (with thanks to additional reporting by the Associated Press), “it was on account of concern with these sorts of half-baked executive orders coming out of the White House that Mattis and Kelly arranged to have one of them in the country at all times during Trump’s initial weeks in office.”

Yes, you read that correctly. Former Generals Mattis and Kelly were alarmed enough by this turn of events to institute a fail-safe plan that made sure one of them was “in the country at all times” … just in case things went off the rails.

As Granfield states all too clearly, “it shows that it is military leaders, albeit retired, who feel the need to guard against the overreach of a civilian executive. It’s a phenomenon familiar to countries like Turkey or Egypt, but not the United States. Until now.” Yup, until now.

Frankly speaking, this notable insight into the generals’ startling machinations fits a fairly clear pattern. Despite the understandable unease many expressed at Trump’s obsession with collecting top brass, they’ve thus far been bulwarks against the excesses of the blaring bugle boy they’ve signed up to serve.

The key moment may have been the National Security state showing the door to the widely disliked Lt. General Michael Flynn. The Strangelovian Flynn was unceremoniously dumped because insiders didn’t like his rosy “Russian to judgment” on Putin. Perhaps just as important, though, may have been his dangerous histrionics about Islam that were tantamount to declaring war on a religion. Coincidentally, it wasn’t too shortly after Flynn “put Iran on notice” that the final leaks washed out his tenure.

Knowing Vietnam

The appointment of the widely respected warrior-scholar Gen. H.R. McMaster to fill that vacancy signaled a big win for the people who know what it means to send people into combat. In fact, while the draft-avoiding Trump was enduring his own “personal Vietnam” by avoiding the lurid landmines of sexually transmitted diseases as he charged into the battlefield of Manhattan’s nightlife, his new National Security Advisor was literally writing the book on Vietnam. And that’s not the only way the two men are not on the same page.

Unlike Trump, McMaster pointedly said that the magic words “Radical Islamic Terrorism” not only lack supernatural implications but are counterproductive to the fight against terrorism. Even better, the head of Trump’s Department of Homeland Security not only contradicted his boss when said he “regretted” the bungled rollout of the “It’s Not A Muslim Ban” Muslim ban, but General John Kelly’s DHS also sent a report to the White House contradicting the claim that the famous “seven countries” pose a risk to the United States, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But Trump knows more than the generals, right? At least, that’s what a senior administration official believes. That’s why the unnamed official unabashedly told the Journal, “The president asked for an intelligence assessment. This is not the intelligence assessment the president asked for.” Perhaps this was yet more evidence to Kelly and Mattis that during those frenetic first few weeks one of them needed to be “in country” just in case the fight to protect the republic went hot.

The Yemen Fiasco

So far, the only real heat is coming from the commander-in-chief’s self-serving willingness to deflect the responsibility for the disastrous raid on Yemen. Although the White House still claims it was a tremendous success, the raid yielded no usable intelligence, failed to nab the targeted terrorist, saw a Navy Seal killed and a $75 million plane go up in flames and, perhaps worst of all, a number of women and children killed in the hackneyed operation. But now the Democrats see a sequel to Benghazi, and the father of the fallen SEAL not only refused to meet with Trump but also called for an investigation into the debacle.

Carryn Owens, the widow of Special Forces soldier William “Ryan” Owens who died in a botched raid in Yemen and was praised by President Trump during his Feb. 28, 2017 speech to a joint session of Congress. Carryn Owens was in the gallery during the speech. (Screen shot from Whitehouse.gov)

So, true to form, the commander-in-chief has blamed the generals for muffing what would otherwise have been a highly-rated episode of his ongoing divorced-from-reality show. And what better place for him to pass the buck than on another divorced from reality show — the feckless fawners of FOX & Friends.

As Trump said to the media’s most mendacious ménage a trios:

“This was a mission that was started before I got here. This was something they wanted to do. They came to me, they explained what they wanted to do ? the generals ? who are very respected, my generals are the most respected that we’ve had in many decades, I believe. And they lost Ryan.”

They lost Ryan. Or, to coin a phrase, they didn’t save Chief Petty Officer Ryan Owens. Steve Bannon couldn’t have scripted it any better. Seriously, he literally couldn’t have scripted it better. The movies he made totally sucked. But Trump, who watched a lot of generals on TV in preparation for his candidacy, has obviously been locked and loaded ever since he watched Spielberg’s movie. Like the cynically stage-crafted ovation he produced for CPO Ryan’s heartbroken widow on Tuesday night, Trump delivered his blame-shifting lines like a real pro. Unfortunately, the actual pros in the military are now at the whim of a commander-in-chief whose only real allegiance is to himself and his beloved brand identity.

And that’s the real danger the generals now have to guard against — the inherent paranoia that seems to come with the strongman style of governance. Ultimately, when the leader begins to confuse himself with the state — and when culpability for mishaps and malfeasance are opportunities to force underlings to fall on their swords — the generals in tenuous democracies often have to do what the electoral system cannot.

But because America is not Turkey, all Trump can do right now is propose a draconian, government-gutting budget, sign often-ceremonial executive orders, and prioritize brash displays of phallic power over the softer power of diplomacy. Perhaps surprisingly, it’s that soft power the generals want to preserve.

As the missive from the retired generals pointed out, “The State Department, USAID, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Peace Corps and other development agencies are critical to preventing conflict and reducing the need to put our men and women in uniform in harm’s way.” They also noted that when he was Commander of U.S. Central Command, Trump’s current Secretary of Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis said, “If you don’t fully fund the State Department, then I need to buy more ammunition.”

Unfortunately for us all, that’s exactly what Trump intends to do.

JP Sottile is a freelance journalist, radio co-host, documentary filmmaker and former broadcast news producer in Washington, D.C. He blogs at Newsvandal.com or you can follow him on Twitter, http://twitter/newsvandal. [This story originally appeared at AntiMedia at http://theantimedia.org/generals-admirals-trump-warning-diplomacy/]

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45 comments for “Keeping the Commander-in-Chief in Check

  1. Elwood Anderson
    March 2, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    This invective laced condemnation of President Trump demonstrates that Consortium News is no longer limited to the conveyance of reasoned truth.

    • Brad Owen
      March 2, 2017 at 1:17 pm

      You’l find more level-headed analysis on Executive Intelligence Review (E.I.R.) about Trump, and Putin and Chinese President Xi also, IMO.

    • WG
      March 2, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      I have to toss in my 2 cents and agree with you, this is just the latest overblown article to appear on Consortium News since Trumps election. Please continue to look at Trumps administration with a critical eye but enough with the hyperbolic, snark filled rants like this article.

      IMHO it damages the reputation for serious and impartial journalism that Consortium News has cultivated over the years.

      • Stiv
        March 2, 2017 at 4:11 pm

        Trump trolls unite!

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 2, 2017 at 11:14 pm

        WG with all due respect to President Trump consider what is being reported.

        (Excuse me for not providing links because I think this sites comment board moderates the comments harshly with links, and it may disappear if I post a link)

        Consider Wayne Madsen over at Strategic Culture when he reports ‘The Three Governments of Donald Trump’. Briefly put Madsen describes Flynn as never an insider, kind of the maverick, now as you know Flynn is gone. Sessions is of the first Trump government as is Bannon and son in law Jared, now Sessions is being threatened and some want him to resign. I’m putting money on a dragged out death scene when it becomes Bannon’s turn, because nobody likes this guy. Jared may just quietly be able to resign. Google Wayne Madsen the three governments of Donald Trump and read about it.

        Then there is compelling reasoning done by Tony Cartslucci over at Landdestroyer where Cartalucci by using the words right out of the Brookings Institutes Pathway to Persia play book makes some pretty stunning arguments for how and why the Trump Adminstration is lining itself up to the tee to invade Iran.
        Cartalucci quotes from Brookings;
        “to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer—one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down.”

        It’s not about demonizing President Donald Trump. Why for over the most part of this past year people here on consortiumnews have commented quite favorably towards Trump on some issues, but actions speak louder than words. This isn’t Breibart or HuffPo where people get all strung out on Milo or Lena Dunham.

        I am starting to see a President with a tight inter-circle which is wrapped in a tight bubble (I mean very tight), and Trump and company doesn’t even know yet…or they are not sure at this time. The second layer of his government pretty much run by Pence is prepping the field of play, so to speak. I might add this second tier of Trump’s government is more in line with the MSM. By listening to the MSM, and by watching such people as Haley and Mattis I get a strong feeling that we are going to war against Iran, and then who knows maybe even Russia itself.

        Even if there is no war, I don’t know where all the money will come from for all of the ‘to do’s’ on Donald’s busy list will come from. Incidentally when Bernie brought up free college our nation broke out in laughter. Don’t get me wrong Donald Trump will accomplish a few of his promises, but only the ones they (Deep State) will allow him….but probably Trump doesn’t even know this yet himself, or does he? Doesn’t matter, Trump or no Trump we are staying the course.

        We all have our own analysis so dont get to upset when one of us doesn’t say what you think we should say…just rebuttal with your point of view.

    • John
      March 2, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Poor little snowflake, whining away about someone saying mean things about Herr Hair.

    • Stiv
      March 2, 2017 at 4:10 pm

      Elwood….Trump deserves everything he gets. And he will get what he deserves as long as journalists don’t become his toadies.

      There is no reasoned truth to Trump. If you want a Trump apologist, wait for Parry’s soon to come rehash of his support. I’m looking for investigative journalism, which the Washington Post has done here. For all the crowing from some of the “contributors” here at CN about the “deep state” and MSM ties, take a look at what’s happening. ” Where there’s smoke, more smoke and more smoke, there’s surely a fire.”.

      There’s always Fox News for people like you… For the rest of us, let the truth be told.

  2. March 2, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    I believe it will all end in one big final war and the war mongering missile maniacs will stand up and cheer:

    “After destroying many countries around the world, killing and maiming millions, and with displaced millions in refugee camps, we have decided it is time for the final big blast.”
    [read more at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2015/03/the-final-war-message.html

  3. Brad Owen
    March 2, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    I see there is a Draft Bernie for a new People’s Party movement afoot. If you’re tired of Brand D poison and Brand R poison, check it out. I just googled new people’s party, picked out the crowdpac offering, clicked on the homesite of Draft Bernie. It ain’t over yet. not by a longshot.

    • John
      March 2, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      Is Benidict Sanders the Sheepdog really the one to lead the “revolution” he betrayed?

      • Brad Owen
        March 2, 2017 at 4:52 pm

        All depends on where he will, literally, stand; in the D Party, or with the People’s Party. He would bring 14 million citizens with him if he goes with the People, which will start a stampede. D and R will be over quicker than you can say Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. He’s already the people’s President, just happens to be sitting in the Senate at the moment. No snarky MSM or “experts” from the MIIC will be able to derail him.

        • Brad Owen
          March 2, 2017 at 5:15 pm

          I just read an article on Common Dreams by Nader, about a left-right populist convergence of interests-in-common, over 24 issues.Here’s the earthquake-to-come, after Trump fails as badly as Obama. Make him Chairman of the People’s Party.

  4. mike k
    March 2, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Thanks for your inspiring message Stephen. It really makes more sense in the weird phase of history we are entering, than expecting a bunch of generals to go against everything they have been trained (conditioned) for and become fans of peace on earth.

  5. Zachary Smith
    March 2, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    I’m a bit bothered by the way author Sottile portrays all the Generals as being somehow 10-feet tall. All too often that just isn’t the case. As Harry Truman stated during his White House time, The Buck Stops Here, at the desk of the President. Or that’s the way it ought to be. Instead of licking their boots the President needs to fire some Generals every now and then, just as Truman rightfully did with the insubordinate and incompetent MacArthur.

    The Yemen Fiasco

    So far, the only real heat is coming from the commander-in-chief’s self-serving willingness to deflect the responsibility for the disastrous raid on Yemen. Although the White House still claims it was a tremendous success, the raid yielded no usable intelligence, failed to nab the targeted terrorist, saw a Navy Seal killed and a $75 million plane go up in flames and, perhaps worst of all, a number of women and children killed in the hackneyed operation. But now the Democrats see a sequel to Benghazi, and the father of the fallen SEAL not only refused to meet with Trump but also called for an investigation into the debacle.

    So, true to form, the commander-in-chief has blamed the generals for muffing what would otherwise have been a highly-rated episode of his ongoing divorced-from-reality show. And what better place for him to pass the buck than on another divorced from reality show — the feckless fawners of FOX & Friends.

    Whether it was a failure or a success, that Yemen raid was approved by Trump, and his efforts to duck out of responsibility don’t hold water. Unfortunately Trump appears to have learned the wrong lessons from the affair.

    Story Title to Google: “Generals May Launch New ISIS Raids Without Trump’s OK”

    The US congress has been engaged in weaseling out of its duties for declaring war for over half a century, yielding ever more power to the Executive Office. That’s a pitiful sort of laziness, and now Trump seems to be doing the same by passing on his own illicit authority to some people he’s supposed to be bossing. This is getting mighty far removed from the Constitution!

    In fairness to Trump, this procedure started with (who else!) Obama.

    “Obama gave a lot of leash to commanders in the field—but not on everything,” said one former senior Obama administration official. “It’s all about controlling escalation. Do I want to give someone else the authority to get me deeper into a war?”

    The official explained that in some cases, Obama deemed it necessary to push authority down to his commanders, as when he gave the Navy SEALs the green light to shoot their way out of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound, though firing on Pakistani troops might have triggered armed conflict with Islamabad.

    Obama used to give Mattis pre-delegation authority to act when he was head of Central Command on some issues, but not others, the official said.

    As I’ve said in the past, I get so very tired of hearing about what a paragon Obama was despite the man being the root cause of so many of Trump’s excesses.

    Trump is certainly inexperienced and appears to want to duck out his responsibility to be in charge. Not at all a good situation.

    But I keep thinking about an alternate reality where President Hillary occupies the Oval Office. Her qualifications were of Eva Peron quality – the wife of a former president. During her time as Secretary of Defense the woman screwed up everything she touched. Six of one, half a dozen of another, we in the US were pretty much screwed no matter who won the 2016 election. The upside of Trump is that he hasn’t yet started WW3. Given Hillary’s fanatical devotion to Israel, the prognosis wouldn’t have been quite as promising if she had taken the reins of power.

    • F. G. Sanford
      March 2, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      I wrote a reply to your comment a few minutes ago and it just “disappeared”. Can’t explain it. But…

      I agree with your comment. That line about the”warrior-scholar” was a real jaw-dropper. “Writing the book on Vietnam” apparently refers to the notion that Vietnam was “winnable”, if only it had been done right. Dave Lindorff’s recent article about McMaster’s medal for “target practice” – what amounted to a battlefield slaughter – didn’t do much to mitigate for sound judgement either. The gridlock outlined in this article actually inspires optimism, in my opinion. Had Hillary been elected, there could have been a uniformly fatal “meeting of the minds”. My only concern is the potential for a “palace coup” and the subsequent declaration of martial law. The latest news about Sessions may indicate that scenario is in progress. Wolf Blitzer and the folks at CNN appear to be having spontaneous episodes of adult fantasy gratification. As I mentioned in my “disappeared” comment, I always enjoy reading your posts, along with many of the other “regulars”. Cheers!

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 2, 2017 at 3:25 pm

        I started copying what I wrote before hitting the ‘post comment’ button…but yeah there is some screwy stuff happening with this comment board. Besides that I always look forward to reading your comments F.G….Joe

      • Stiv
        March 2, 2017 at 4:22 pm

        Yea, I thought it was funny that he got kudos for his commanding a tank division that routed the Iraqis…. the well known “Turkey Shoot”. Yea, it took very little to take out their forces which were in full retreat immediately. The US casualtiies were from “friendly fire”. Documented.

        I know someone who was in that action…front line checking the blown up tanks for any survivors as a Army Ranger. He said it was a slaughter. He got straifed once by US planes and ended up with symptoms from radiation exposure from the armor piercing missiles used.

        War hero my ass. These generals…..

        Still…these are the only guys who stand between a mentally ill president and “the bomb”. Ironic, but I hope they do the right thing.

        • Stiv
          March 2, 2017 at 4:29 pm

          Talking about Mattis there..

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 2, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      Over decorated generals, and a reality tv celebrity, it’s all bad. It’s like choosing between two pieces of bad pork, it’s all rancid.

      If you want to hear a good rant against the military brass go over to veteranstoday and read Gordon Duff. Duff’s brutal take down of these high rankers will allow you to get your daily dose of attitude.

      I think the officer core is like anything else, there’s good ones and bad ones and all those in between.

      Will Trump be a modern Nero and die by the hands of his military?

      • Bill Bodden
        March 2, 2017 at 4:24 pm

        If you want to hear a good rant against the military brass go over to veteranstoday and read Gordon Duff. Duff’s brutal take down of these high rankers will allow you to get your daily dose of attitude.

        I’ll follow your suggestion later, Joe. In the meantime, it is worth noting the generals of the first world war were much worse ordering their troops out of the trenches into hails of bullets from machine guns sacrificing thousands of men to gain a few yards one day only to lose them the next.

        • Joe Tedesky
          March 2, 2017 at 8:27 pm

          Bill you are so right. When I study any WWI material I come away a proponent of ‘fragging’.

          I wanted to like Pershing but after learning about his early morning attack plan all the way up to 11am on that November day I gave up on him to.

          Instead of talking about generals maybe we should honor more our sergeants.

      • Bill Bodden
        March 2, 2017 at 8:07 pm

        veteranstoday and read Gordon Duff

        Very interesting, Joe. I have it bookmarked.

        • Joe Tedesky
          March 2, 2017 at 11:35 pm

          Some of what Gordon Duff writes leaves me to wander. Like now he claims Erdogan is under deep cover kind of roguish if you will, and he Erdogan is going to back stab Putin. Creepy I know, but then stranger stuff has happened, but that’s Duff for you always outside the box, and filled with intrigue. I’m always afraid to take everything on veteranstoday to heart, because some of it is kind of geo-tabloid, or comes off that way. So I rarely reference veteranstoday. The articles Gordon Duff writes about the enlisted recruit in our military, are second to done, and anyone who served under the grade of E8 would no doubt find Duff’s essays true, or at least somewhat amusing.

    • Stiv
      March 2, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      Secretary of State, not Defense. But you know that and I agree. Hard to imagine anyone doing worse than Trump but….

      I did vote for Clinton in the Election…Sanders in the Primary. Figured it would be a “single front war” with her…pushing back on her war machine. With Trump, EVERYTHING is on the table..a multiple front war. Either one shuts up and takes the war machine he unleashes here at home AND abroad ( it will happen), or we fight back. I’m fighting back. The evidence says TRUMP MUST GO.

      • John
        March 2, 2017 at 8:55 pm

        Stiv…..We must remember all decisions made from the elite must pass muster with wall street……Follow the money my friend….not the emotion……..

  6. Mark Thomason
    March 2, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Good generals are often the voice of caution. Bad generals are often the means of really stupid stuff. We have many examples from history.

    Germany’s generals for two decades before WW1 wanted a European War. A key general was removed because he pushed so hard for it that even the loony Kaiser was shaken.

    Yet before WW2 it was Germany’s generals from the same tradition who were the biggest check on Hitler’s ambitions. It was those same generals who were calling for an end to the war, “Make peace you fools” was Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt’s advice, for which Hitler fired him a second time.

    Mussolini almost did not do his idiot attack on Greece, because his generals said it was an idiot move. He had to find a young fool, an ambitious political general, to do it and lose in total disaster.

    Japanese generals did not push the war in China, and were terrified of further fighting with Stalin’s Russia. It was young officers run amok who pushed that, part of a nationalist fringe the generals failed to control.

    A determined politician can find generals who will do almost any fool thing, but the best generals have resisted even in the worst governments.

    In the best governments, we had Gen. Smedley Butler, Commandant of the Marine Corps, twice winner of the Medal of Honor, who put down a coup against FDR, and denounced war as “a racket” in which the armed forces were used to serve an elite fringe in projects too shameful to admit.

    So the question is, are our current generals good ones, of sound thinking, or are they ambitious political tools? My reading of them suggests they are sound. I hope I’m right, because we really need them just now, even more than normally.

    • Stiv
      March 2, 2017 at 4:36 pm

      Excellent to bring up Butler in this context. Thank you.

  7. Bill Bodden
    March 2, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    “it was on account of concern with these sorts of half-baked executive orders coming out of the White House that Mattis and Kelly arranged to have one of them in the country at all times during Trump’s initial weeks in office.”

    Before General “Mad Dog” Mattis is adorned with a laurel wreath we would do well to consider this article: “Trump’s “Moderate” Defense Secretary Has Already Brought Us to the Brink of War” by Mehdi Hasan – https://theintercept.com/2017/03/01/trumps-moderate-defense-secretary-has-already-brought-us-to-the-brink-of-war/

    Did not all, or most, of these noble generals not fight in the war on Iraq that many people in authority declared a violation of international law, the United Nations Charter, and as a young lieutenant proved a violation of their oaths to uphold the Constitution?

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 2, 2017 at 9:00 pm

      Bill, now come on now, we need to send these generals to the Situation Room’ not to jail!

      That’s the mentality of the culture we are dealing with. These goof balls don’t have a problem poking at another nuclear heavy weight, because deep down inside they can’t picture anything bad happening to themselves. Give them credit though, their bubble so far has protected them from answering to any accountability for war crimes, so there will be no nuclear war…I mean who would go up against the biggest?

      I think Donald Trump is on the page where he wants to carry a big stick, and talk loudly. I hope it works out well for him, but we all better be watching what goes on below him. This in your face Trump news coverage may not be showing us what we should be looking at…if you know what I mean.

      Mad dog Mattis is said to be a Grunts Marine, but I see him as a Smedley Butler gone the direction of Wall St.. I mean why not, the pay is great. Plus after awhile you convince yourself the koolaid-aid taste great…so here we are.

  8. mike k
    March 2, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Is there anyone commenting here who believes that the road to peace is through increasing military power? Is that what the War God we are repeatedly encouraged to bow down to really delivers?

    When I was drafted years ago, I refused to serve the evil War God of the State. What will you do? What will you teach your kids to do? As long as we choose to obey the War God, we deserve what will come to us. It’s all the innocent others that concern me….

  9. Realist
    March 2, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Great. The generals, the spooks and the aristocracy will purge the awful unschooled civilian outsider from the presidency… and then choose one of their own as dictator. It’s a move we’ve seen repeated in countries around the globe since forever. Careful what you wish for and allow to happen, America.

    • Stiv
      March 2, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      Not recommended for sure, but if the Congress will not do their duty, someone has to. The generals probably do not feel comfortable being in this position. Or do you think otherwise? Hard for me to believe they’d want to stay in power for long. There is a succession process that could be carried out easily..President Pence. Great :>/

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 3, 2017 at 12:07 am

        Stiv I think the generals who appear to work for us are really working for the likes of Lockheed-Martin, GE, or something like Raytheon is more the case. Out tax dollars provide these generals with healthcare and retirement benefits, and then after that their big money is made in the private sector. The congress people do well submitting corporate written legislation, and after a few years of that it’s time to leave office and become a lobbyist.

        Stiv I know you know this, but I raise this question of loyalty only so we may all focus on the bigger problem we citizens face, and that’s our government has been bought. The irony to all of this is that all these lobbyist and military industrial contractors are fighting to spend our hard earned tax dollars…gee, what’s a guy got to do to get a break around this place. Rodney had it right, no respect, we get no respect. I wish my cousin Vito in Philly were still alive, Vito would make them an offer they couldn’t refuse.

        Like the song goes, money, money, money makes the world go round.

        • Skip Scott
          March 3, 2017 at 9:00 am

          Joe, I agree with you, and that is why I wonder about this author’s thinking that somehow the State Department and the Generals would rescue Trump from himself. I think Obama tried (just a little) to rein in some of the wilder schemes of the Neocon/R2Pers on Syria, against the wishes of the Hillary/Kerry State department. Now the State Department is suddenly full of doves? The only possible way to stop the war machine is for the people to rise up against it. Unfortunately, with our citizens filled with MSM propaganda and Hollywood inspired bravado, nuclear winter may be just around the corner.

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 3, 2017 at 10:12 am

            Skip just by the sheer size of our American society’s media, and government security apparatus, I think it’s an impossible project to reverse from the path we are on. I hate to make it sound hopeless though, because people should be allowed to have hope. So I guess there could be something of good at work in the mechanism of this ugly contraption that could save us, I just don’t know what it is. Although we should never let it spoil our day, or prevent us from loving the things we love. So maybe we should concentrate on whatever it is we love. I think our power is to be found in the people and things closest to us, so let’s enjoy that or them.

  10. Chris Chuba
    March 2, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Gutting the State Department would HELP the cause of peace, no wonder the hawkish Generals were against it.
    The State Dept. funds color revolutions, even Lyndsey Graham slipped up and called it ‘soft power’ rather than an instrument of diplomacy and peace. The State Dept funds USAID which funds our version of democracy which invariably means, pro-U.S. because of course, if you don’t love the U.S. you score ZERO, on all of those auditing groups. Oh, and that’s where the White Helmets get their media budget. We should all weep that the State Department gets to keep their war chest.

  11. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    March 2, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Is the “cold” war between the Crazy Conservatives and the Lunatic Liberals going to remain “COLD” for long?! Not sure……trouble is, there are no wise ones around to keep things in check……and if there are, they certainly prefer to stay out of the picture……”Mad Dog” is actually a good description of many on both sides…..not just one.

  12. John
    March 2, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    I’ll take world politics for 1,00,000 Alex……and the question is…….socialism yes? or no?……very slim measure of time to include your vote……cut the bull sht …..vote !

  13. John
    March 2, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    Remember the MSM gives you your thinking options…….anybody home lol

  14. E Wright
    March 2, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    You promise not to publish my email address but then you lift my friggin photo off of Google. Please remove it. Data privacy and all that.

    • E Wright
      March 3, 2017 at 12:01 am

      Ok panic over. For those who are curious. If you post here, and have a gravatar with WordPress, it gets picked up and inserted into your post. I thought I had deleted my WP account but I hadn’t. Went back in and changed my profile photo to red squares. Its only a matter of time before you start getting matched as you go through immigration checks, so better safe than sorry.

  15. John
    March 2, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    I am vey surprised Trump either doesn’t know how to play hardball or has ruled out the usual Washington tactic……Is this a dog and pony show…..I smell a fish…..pay very close attention …..

  16. Wm. Boyce
    March 3, 2017 at 1:11 am

    Trump was the “Muscovian Candidate.” The proving of that is only getting rolling. “President Pence” within two years, not that I’m looking forward to that.

    http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/12/19/the-curious-world-of-donald-trumps-private-russian-connections/

    Oh Yeah, if Ms. Clinton ran again, I would vote for her, rational self-preservation at work, and she was far superior as a person and candidate.

  17. March 3, 2017 at 1:26 am

    I am glad to see that a lot of posters are finally looking at Donald Trump and seeing him for what he is. I hope you also start examining his domestic agenda that he and the Republicans have in store for us. They are hell bent on destroying Social Security and Medicare. They will start out doing this by the “Divide and Conquer” routine. They are already putting into place this strategy. Some members of Congress are saying: “We will protect SS. They then say “NO Senior will lose their benefit, we will only institute changes to the younger people who will be steered into a privatized plan and “it will be so much better.” Is this what you want? A lot of Seniors will probably think that it is all right as long as they get theirs. (Divide and Conquer) They need the money for the MIC. Are you ready to fight them? Have you ever called your Congressman on any issue? It is time to start!

    • John
      March 3, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Why claim that this is something Republicans want, when what you describe has long been a matter of bipartisan consensus?

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