Exclusive: President Trump’s foreign policy is falling into line behind continuing wars in the Middle East, a disappointment to supporters who hoped for a change in course, writes James W Carden.
By James W Carden
There was, during the course of the 2016 campaign, a small but vocal group of antiwar libertarians and conservatives who had convinced themselves that Donald Trump was preferable to Hillary Clinton because he, Trump, had made his (fictitious) opposition to the Iraq War a cornerstone of his candidacy. Trump, some believed, was a Republican in the mold of Senator Robert Taft, someone who would turn away from neoconservative, interventionist orthodoxy.
If, as the adage suggests, we can judge a man by his enemies, a cursory look at Trump’s most vocal Republican critics would seem to confirm this judgment. Why, here’s Bill Kristol in January 2016, asking “Isn’t Donald Trump the very epitome of vulgarity?” Commentary’s John Podhoretz declared that Trump “would be, unquestionably, the worst thing to happen to the American common culture in my lifetime.” Professor Eliot A. Cohen and his merry band of think tank militarists published an open letter in opposition to Trump’s candidacy while National Review convened a symposium of anti-Trumpers for a special issue titled “Against Trump.”
Perhaps, though, Kristol, Cohen, Podhoretz, NR and the rest needn’t have worried so. Trump, it turns out, seems every bit as captive to the bipartisan foreign policy consensus as was his predecessor. Many supporters of Barack Obama held the errant hope that Obama would finally break the cycle of wars begun a quarter-century ago when George H.W. Bush launched Operation Desert Storm against Iraq and in defense of desert petro-states, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Trump partisans may object that he’s only been in office for about two months. Give him time, they say. That’s fair enough, but it is worth reviewing Trump’s foreign policy record up to this point.
An administration’s budget is generally a reliable indicator of its priorities. Here we find, in Trump’s first budget proposal, nearly $11 billion in cuts to the U.S. Department of State, a cut of roughly 29 percent, while the Pentagon is budgeted for an additional $54 billion, an increase of 9 percent.
Afghanistan, where the U.S. has been at war for 15½ years, is by far American’s longest and perhaps most futile overseas engagement. Here the Trump administration seems intent on ratcheting up airstrikes on the Taliban in a departure from the narrower focus on anti-terrorism that characterized the late Obama administration policy.
The head of U.S. Central Command, U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Votel, told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that he will recommend an increase in troops in order “to make the advise-and-assist mission more effective.” This comes on the heels of testimony by the top commander in Afghanistan, Army General John Nicholson telling Congress in February that he would need “a few thousand more” troops to carry out the mission.
Meanwhile, more troops are being deployed to Kuwait. On March 9, the Army Times reported that the U.S. is sending “an additional 2,500 ground combat troops to a staging base in Kuwait from which they could be called upon to back up coalition forces battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.” This is in addition to the already roughly 6,000 American troops that are currently in Syria and Iraq assisting in the fight against the Islamic State. American units are now in the northern Syrian city of Manbij and on the outskirts on Raqqa.
The latter deployment of Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit marks, according to the Washington Post, “a new escalation in the U.S. war in Syria, and puts more conventional U.S. troops in the battle.” The Post, like all other mainstream outlets, leaves out mention that this new deployment is illegal under international law, a point Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made in an interview with Chinese state media last weekend.
And then, perhaps worst of all, there is the ongoing American support for Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen. As Council on Foreign Relations analyst Micah Zenko recently pointed out, Trump has already “approved at least 36 drone strikes or raids in 45 days — one every 1.25 days.” These include, according to Zenko, “three drone strikes in Yemen on January 20, 21, and 22; the January 28 Navy SEAL raid in Yemen; one reported strike in Pakistan on March 1; more than thirty strikes in Yemen on March 2 and 3; and at least one more on March 6.” The strikes, we are told, are a necessary part of the “global war on terror” and are portrayed by military and administration spokesmen as such.
A Pentagon spokesman told longtime CNN stenographer Barbara Starr that the wave of 30 strikes on March 2 and 3 were “precision strikes in Yemen against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” in order to “maintain pressure against the terrorists’ network and infrastructure in the region.” The U.S.-Saudi war on Yemen has predictably resulted in a humanitarian catastrophe. According to the Brookings Institution’s Bruce Reidel, “a Yemeni child dies every 10 minutes from severe malnutrition and other problems linked to the war and the Saudi blockade of the north.”
All this on behalf of our old friends the Saudis. In the decade and a half after aiding the 9/11 hijackers, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has, with American acquiescence, embarked on a campaign to destroy Yemen because of an illusory threat posed by Iran. Yet the reason behind KSA’s aggression on the southern end of the Arabian peninsula has not a bit to do with “security” or Iranian “aggression” or fighting “terrorism”; it is a sectarian campaign waged by Saudi extremists, nothing more. What could possibly be America’s interest in assisting the Saudis in such an endeavor?
Yet, despite the heinous nature of Saudi Arabia’s anti-Houthi campaign in Yemen, its mastermind, the young Saudi Defense Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was treated to lunch at the White House with the President this week. In an ominous sign of things to come, a statement from the Saudis noted that Trump and bin Salman “share the same views on the gravity of the Iranian expansionist moves in the region.”
And so, to sum up: President Trump, in the space of two months, has proposed a budget that slashes funding for diplomacy, spends lavishly on military, has committed thousands of troops, conducted dozens of airstrikes, and cemented the U.S. commitment to the wars in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, he and his team have signaled to the Saudis that they fully share the Kingdom’s obsession with Iranian “expansion.”
An Unending Cycle
What can be done to break the seemingly unending cycle of American intervention in the Middle East? What all the aforementioned interventions have in common is that they are, as the constitutional lawyer and former Justice Department official Bruce Fein has pointed out, presidential wars, which he defines as “wars in which the President decides to take the United States from a state of peace to a state of war.”
Fein, a founding member of the anti-interventionist Committee for The Republic, has written at length on what he views as the steady erosion of the congressional prerogative in matters of war and peace. Fein writes that the Founders “unanimously entrusted to Congress exclusive responsibility for taking the nation to war in Article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution” because they understood “to a virtual certainty that Congress would only declare war in response to actual or perceived aggression against the United States, i.e., only in self-defense.”
Accordingly, the Committee for The Republic has embarked on a timely project aimed at having “the House pass a resolution that defines presidential wars under the Constitution going forward and declares them unconstitutional in violation of Article I, section 8, clause 11 (Declare War Clause).” Furthermore, the “End Presidential Wars” project seeks a further resolution, which would warn “the President that such wars will be deemed high crimes and misdemeanors under Article II, section 4 of the Constitution resulting in his or her impeachment, conviction, and removal from office.”
Fein points to Alexis de Tocqueville’s observation in Democracy in America that, “All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.”
Unless we come to grips with our current mania for overseas intervention and find a remedy for Congress’s abdication of its constitutional responsibilities, we are doomed to remain in the 25-year grip of endless, counterproductive and illegal military interventions in the Middle East and beyond.
James W Carden is a contributing writer for The Nation and editor of The American Committee for East-West Accord’s eastwestaccord.com. He previously served as an adviser on Russia to the Special Representative for Global Inter-governmental Affairs at the US State Department.
Did anyone really think that the next President (Trump, Clinton, any of the hawkish GOPs, or even Sanders) would be able to break the endless war cycle? Really?!
It has nothing to do with who’s President. It has only to do with breaking the back of the System (Skynet) that runs the whole shebang. I know, I know, it’s easier to blame a specific person or office than the amorphous, elusive, shapeshifting System.
Well, get used to it. The System is now in control. Yes, it’s made up of people, and they all have names. But can you name those names? No.
Bottom line: though I agree with the facts and crude analyses put forth by Carden here, there’s little new in what he’s saying. Therefore, it’s almost worthless.
But not entirely. Time to take all these analyses and distill them. Time for a new perspective from a higher ground. Time to find what is common to all of them…and then synthesize a program to CHANGE THE SYSTEM.
It won’t be easy. It just takes will…and the willingness to set your egos and minor differences aside to…LET YOUR LIFE BE A FRICTION TO STOP THE MACHINE…COLLECTIVELY.
BBC is reporting that US/UK, Canadian and German soldiers are now currently deploying troops and heavy equipment in Latvia and Estonia – on the Russian border. I’ve not seen that info from any US media source.
Also, 42 refugees, including women and children, from Somalia and Yemen were killed and others wounded by an Apache chopper gunship on their way to Sudan. US and Saudi officials deny the atrocity. This is Our World Today.
Adam Curtis calls it HyperNormalization
The Empire Should be Placed on Suicide Watch
By The Saker, Unz Review
Information Clearing House
Wednesday, Mar 15, 2017
I would even argue that the Empire is pursuing a full-spectrum policy of self-destruction on several distinct levels, with each level contributing the overall sum total suicide. And when I refer to self-destructive behavior I don’t mean long-term issues such as the non-sustainability of the capitalist economic model or the social consequences of a society which not only is unable to differentiate right from wrong, but which now decrees that deviant behavior is healthy and normal. These are what I call “long term walls” into which we will, inevitably, crash, but which are comparatively further away than some “immediate walls”. Let me list a few of these:
” Fein writes that the Founders “unanimously entrusted to Congress exclusive responsibility for taking the nation to war in Article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution” because they understood “to a virtual certainty that Congress would only declare war in response to actual or perceived aggression against the United States, i.e., only in self-defense.”
Mr. Fein is correct about the Constitution but at the present moment turning Congress into the war maker is taking our enemies” in the frying pan and throwing them into the fire.
If we had a two party system on foreign policy, it might work. Hard to be optimistic.
I note Mr. Carden continues to blame our hawkishness in the Middle East on oil. In attacking Mearsheimer and Walt’s book, the greatest progressive of them all, Noam Chomsky, said the Middle East wars were indeed about oil and loudly protested, such inflammatory words by the two authors that could only lead to virulent anti-Semitism.
That is not to say it is all about Israel, but it is about Israel, the Saudis and their allies with Turkey stirring the pot. When the second Iraq invasion was about to start, I cannot remember the great oil companies rising up and calling Sadaam Hussein Satan or Hitler but willing to do what they have always done, negotiate, and look for the growing number of alternative sources which were emerging daily.
Never fear, it’ll all stop when the US dollar is no longer the worlds reserve currency.
President Trump should be advised to beware of our allies. While the US-Saudi funded madrases pop up to preach hate against the Zionist and the Western Infidel the Israeli-US security apparatus ties down it’s fearful population. Has there ever been any real confirmation that Erdogan really fought any ISIS terrorist? Is ISIS even still in business, or is it a rag tag army made up mostly of Turkish nationals? Are these wars really all about oil, or is it a plan to remap the Middle East into basically a bunch of tiny weak caliphate states as was described inside the Yinon Plan? Is Iran that much of a national security threat to the U.S. that by aiding Saudi Arabia on it’s advances on Yemen that we and our Saudi ally are just preparing a prelude to surrounding Iran, and using that positioning as a staging point for allied aerial bombing runs to target Iran? And in the end what will we have achieved? A pock marked Middle East landscape left with a divided religious and secular population who hate each other, and a burden of death that will be too big to ignore. With this will we still call ourselves exceptional freedom fighters, and indispensable liberators?
The link is from an old Cartalucci article, but the author lays out his argument very well to what is going on.
“And in the end what will we have achieved? A pock marked Middle East landscape left with a divided religious and secular population who hate each other, and a burden of death that will be too big to ignore. With this will we still call ourselves exceptional freedom fighters, and indispensable liberators?
Joe, sadly the above is viewed by our policy makers and their allies as the least bad outcome which in Secretary Albright’s words, when talking about the deaths of a half million Iraqi noncombatants, yes it was worth it.
If your one of our policy makers, they have a rule before making decisions. Leave morality and conscience at the door. Who among them really gives a damn.
I’m unhappy to say you are right.
The US has been aiding and supplying the terrorists and the terrorism support states for so long now that it has become obviously ridiculous to deny it. There is a massive abundance of video and first person evidence proving such……The American people are victims too. They are being robbed and lied to while they sons are sent off to die for these lies that only serve the global elitists that deceive us all.
Massive White Helmets Photo Cache Proves Hollywood Gave Oscar to Terrorist Group
White Helmets Exposed: Numerous Videos and Photo Evidence Directly Link White Helmets to FSA Terrorists Torture and Atrocitieshttps://clarityofsignal.com/2017/01/30/white-helmets-exposed-numerous-videos-and-photo-evidence-link-white-helmets-to-fsa-terrorists-torture-and-atrocities/
White Helmets Exposed as an Arm of ISIS: Two al-Nusra Front Leader Videos Link The White Helmets to Terrorist Group
Excellent source – White Helmets Exposed on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WhiteHelmetsEXP
Doubling Down: Exposing Hollywoods love for the White Helmet terrorists…..
Obviously well educated and articulate with an A+ for spelling but… same BS as Facebook and Twitter, etc. Backseat drivers, couch warriors, all talk and no action does nothing to resolve anything. At some point all slaves rebel, the aristocracy is led to the guillotines and order is restored until the next time. Consider yourself warned, the election of Donald Trump is a warning shot for Globalism Agenda proponents.
Mr. Carden’s article’s facts (not its philosophy and history) taste like the product of a true scholar; and they must distress the reader, unless the reader notices that mostly those facts reduce to rather weak circumstantial evidence of TRUMP’s intent.
The “facts” include suggestions of U.S. military build-ups where Hillary would have planted forces preparatory to engaging Russia in Syria or invading Iran. True: every Syria-stationed U.S. soldier has invaded Syria illegally. Still, if one’s concern is not legal nicety, but bloodshed or its diminution, the QUESTION is what those soldiers actually DO.
Suppose (as Trump’s administration has intimated) those troops do nothing other than support the Kurdish fighters seeking to oust or kill off ISIS terrorists. Suppose that (adventitiously, if not per design) the result strengthens Assad’s chance of re-establishing national order and his government’s lawful control of the nation.
Then the real effect will be returning Syria much to the condition it enjoyed before the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Israel conspired, actively, to create chaos in Syria to oust Assad, who had rendered to his nation actual secular democracy, free speech, religious freedom, and gender equality, but who had aligned with Iran and Hezbollah and opposed Israel.
Suppose, too, that Trump DOES enter détente with Russia — a prospect Mr. Carden’s article does not deconstruct but other sources show still not unlikely (see, E.G., https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/14/trumps-quiet-outreach-to-russia/). The U.S. Syria-stationed troops might work effectively in concert with Russian troops or planes, even Assad’s, though NOT TOGETHER with them, so that U.S. neocons will not be able, creditably, to say that Trump has actually allied with “the evil empire.”
Such possibilities are real — and likely or not unlikely as the ominous future Mr. Carden’s article augurs. And, perhaps the additional Kuwait deployment designs to develop quite the strategy I have hypothesized here-above. Actually, Mr. Carden’s article consists with such prospect.
Do not yield grasp of the yet-secure-apparent-fact that the various non-administration generals’ bellicose proclivities are THEIRS, not necessarily Trump’s and that Trump’s narcissism and control-freak aspect will not permit those generals, alone, to push foreign policy toward furtherance of endless war.
The drone-strikes? Horrendous, illegal, nightmarish, contemnable. But NOT actions that will draw us backward toward realizing — as Hillary would have sought — the worst of what Dick Cheney and his fellow-psychopath New American Century buddies endeavored to achieve.
NO: I to not urge you become Pollyannas. I suggest that, unless and until Trump fixes on aggrandizing our endless war rather than withdrawing from it, you support every peace-tending action or pronouncement coming from Trump or his White House and that you not decry Trump for doing the worst UNLESS Trump shows, CLEARLY, that the worst is what he wants. Meanwhile, you ought “lobby” Trump to do the right foreign policy thing. And engineer petitions demanding such (but not attacking Trump, who responds irrationally to “personal” attacks).
President Trump represents the culmination of a seventy year long process that turned most of Europe and the middle east into a homogenized network of corporatize-d political entities, more recently identified as the EU (under fiat Euro control) and GCC for the middle east (under fiat USD control). This effort began, ever so gradually with the introduction of Operation Gladio (an Intel Program) responsible for many-a- assassination of individuals, post World War Two, who advocated Social Democracy, and or offered some flavor of a socialist ideal to the battered and benumbed European voter. To wit, the exit of some very great men; Aldo Moro, Alfred Herrhausen and many, many political candidates. This “globalization” process will be augmented by manipulating the fiat system of currencies and by dictates by Federal Reserve board members or if you wish, the DEEP STATE. The fiat system is backed by all the horrors of military aggression in place of commodities like gold or silver. It was The Council Of Foreign Relations very own, Peter G. Peterson (circa 1987-Atlantic Mag) predicting an economic crunch or crash. So you see, these international’s and their bankers have routinely instigated disasters by threatening to apply or applying the tools of war mongering or economic depression/collapse (Greece). Why? to compel both Europeans and American citizens towards their ideals of what constitutes “order”. In a word, a CONSOLIDATION. Another example, from ideas that go back a bit further in time; The World Council of Philadelphia (circa 1976) and their issuing a Declaration of INTERdependence- (the italics are not mine)..the statement went on; “….our forefathers brought forth a new nation; now we must join with others to bring forth a new world order” Notice the underlying tone/meaning here dear, CONSORTIUMNEWS readers; not a world of equality, fairness and good portion(s) for all (represented by advocates of a Social Democracy) rather a world of peasants, belly crawling right-to-worker’s of the Mike Pence persuasion, fiefdoms of American and European barons, oil moguls and disguised politicians who are nothing but aristocratic kings. KINGS LIKE TRUMP! under their three piece suit, stuffed shirts! Trump didn’t slip into anything-he’s a card carrying member the fourteenth century Blue Blood’s Club of men- who now have atomic weapons, spy networks, space weapons and Pied Pipers who fill their castles- God help us all!
Wow elmerfudzie it’s always good to read your comments, when you do decide to comment. After reading what you wrote I thought of how this link might apply to most of what you said. So here it is…..
It’s a long article, but a good one to read.
Joe Tedesky, I wish I could take full credit for the commentary made here but I’m merely parroting statements and ideas formed by a collection of the greatest authors in our time. Examples; F. William Engdahl, Michael Parenti, Harold James, James Perloff, Mark H. Gaffney, Loretta Napoleoni, Greg Palast, Mickey Huff, Michael Moore, Gore Vidal and many others who “rise to the occasion”, and have the courage to speak out, with mental faculties that few of us possess. To warn the citizenry at large, about the ever rising dangers posed by international corporate fascism. I strongly recommend them, they are all good reads!
Nothing is ever that original, but it’s good to hear what you have to say…when you decide to say it.
When I look at the National Debt I always shutter to grasp how we citizens are expected to pay it. There’s not a whole lot that our country can put up on the table, and say we made this, or we grew this. Now futurist are claiming that even with a return to manufacturing that with this age of robotics many won’t be employed. I still think we need to squeeze back into our GDP actuall goods and commodities where transportation and with even the meekly labor employed would be something more real than what we now have at this moment.
As the hardest investor knows it’s not all about winning, as much as it is about handling loss. With nothing there, is there nothing loss, or nothing to hedge or leverage against? I think more the latter than the nothing loss.
In the end will a revolution of sorts bring about a National Bank? Will the oligarchs take the beating, or will the serfs once more need to work well into the night to replace what’s missing? Since it’s pretty well assure that there will be more of the population on the bottom, this can’t bode well for the 1%.
Listening to an interview of F. William Engdahl it was interesting when he talked about his father being very influential in the founding of the publicly-owned Bank of North Dakota – still if not mistaken the only public bank in America. Mr. Engdahl is a very perceptive, wise and thoughtful man, and any time people (those looking to “cut to the chase” on world events) spend reading his books, listening to his interviews and talks is assuredly time well spent.
Gore Vidal’s insightful analyses was illustrated in a quote: “One has to appreciate the United States aristocracy. Nobody knows it exists.” Interesting how the older women and men public intellectuals become, the more interesting are their words. Speaking of which, at 101 years, wouldn’t it be fascinating knowing what David Rockefeller said in his final days – or what his soul is now experiencing. Man…
elmerfudzie! I have your opinion, but I think the things are much more worst . if american and european people put a stop on this dictatorship of the money, of the murders, of the false flag operation, of the attack to sovereign countries, there is only a way, who has the more great bomb win . . . .
or with threats
or with the mother of the wars!
I’m praying of Russia, with China, With Iran, With North Corea, with all other who wants to stop the devil in person (under deep international state form) with I hope threats, but if not sufficient, with a war , it’s ever better than this situation of continuos wars all oveer the world, in this way devil kill one to one all the oppositors (what time you think Duterte live? first of after this country go versus coup, or a war, ior a civil war provoked from cia or gladio or another form of external factor
my english is little but I think/hope, I pray, which more people possible can understand what is the situation
P.S. in the world all people of good will must take the commitment (specially american people which are determinant, and if not americans put a stop all the other can’t resolve in peace
Pappagone, have you ever tried using Grammarly? it’s an add-on option for the Firefox browser, It’s a free trial software program that can help writers design and correct anything you type. I have not tried it personally but a few people I know, like it and do end up paying a small fee. It makes words and phrases a lot clearer for writers in our Consortiumnews comments section. Frankly, I can’t construct sentences properly between 8 PM and 8 AM but i do it anyway! ho ho ho ho! Does anyone reading this have a similar recommendation? Please post it.
Clearly this nation and, consequently, the world need a strong third party in the United States to oppose the two warmongering legions doing the bidding of their paymasters in the plutocracy. There is the potential for such a party given the many websites in opposition, but the problem is in getting the founders,editors and supporters of these websites to merge by one means or another into a viable and effective organization.
Yes, good points. And perhaps the problem is how to structure a party that can coalesce many viewpoints into viable policy statements. Maybe parties should be structured as legislatures that can be augmented or reduced by coalitions and regional committees. Part of the problem is simply bringing so many factions into rational discourse. Without intense thinking about policy, democracy is turmoil, symbolic warfare, and it stays that way unless advised by an institution of debate that works better than legislative debates.
Without that, perhaps an IQ test for legislators, and an HQ (humanitarian quotient) score based on life activities.
More on why we need to get rid of the Democrats in addition to the Republicans:
“Key Democratic Officials Now Warning Base Not to Expect Evidence of Trump/Russia Collusion” by Glenn Greenwald – https://theintercept.com/2017/03/16/key-democratic-officials-now-warning-base-not-to-expect-evidence-of-trumprussia-collusion/
It is hard to disagree with the article’s statements, which we have often heard, but it sure is odd that many Jewish writers like Carden cannot seem to compliment anyone but other Jews, unless forced to name leaders. Carden cites a stenographer Starr, one Reidel at Brookings, an anti-interventionist Bruce Fein. Are these the only people who said such things? Fein must be one of the last to note that presidential wars are executive overreach. Who else could have made the immortal observation that wars “take the United States from a state of peace to a state of war.” He does cite the Jewish Kristol, Cohen, and Podhoretz on the downside. Was there no one else to cite? Well, if the site counts ethnic references and apportions by national distribution, it can always run a Carden article if it is running low on Jewish citations; but then some other writers here do the same thing. Odd.
Noticed this same general pattern in academia too.
War is a “business” Thus, Plenty of Money for Endless War
There is plenty of money for endless war
There is no restraint on blood and gore
There is plenty of money for tanks and bombs
And bloodstained profiteers burst into song
There is plenty of money for NATO’s war palace
The home of those that plan the war’s of malice
All paid for by the serfs’ compulsory taxes
This Brussels H.Q. is where the warmongers’ relaxes…
[ more info at link below]
Much appreciation for this article, including its link to Bruce Fein on the resolution against presidential wars.
A person must ask how many “drone strikes” have been outsourced by Trump. He ought not have the authority to casually execute somebody in a far corner of the globe, but worse than that, he surely shouldn’t be allowing the CIA (and who knows what others) to up and kill a bunch of people.
There were 5,000 troops in Iraq under Obama, and now a recently added 1,000 in Syria (plus new US base in north eastern Syria) along with the 2500 special forces waiting in Kuwait. Trump is swiveling from his campaign talk. Versus a simple view of Trump as, foremost, cleaning up ISIS, the following link holds the military buildup relates to opposing LNG pipelines crossing it, hence aiding US LNG companies versus Russia’s.
Because the Kurds are useful to US territorial control, US forces are “de-conflicting” (not coordinating exactly, but avoiding fighting, so cooperating) with the Russians at Manbij and Raqqa to protect the Kurds. This does not please Turkey, which sees the Kurds as terrorists seeking to de-stabilize Turkey by dominating more and more territory, as with west of the Euphrates.
It seems Trump’s campaign talk about not doing regime change, stomping out ISIS, and cooperating with Russia, was the surface election campaign show, masking, as the author suggests, a more traditional military approach versus what was viewed as Obama’s “weak knees,” including proceeding toward war with Iran. Real men put boots on the ground, after all, as well as launching drones.
How many young men are being trained to kill at all times across this earth?
War, from its origins, is the murders of the sons by the fathers; as in: so few
fathers murdering so many sons.
(“Son, go over to that village and kill that man’s son. Otherwise, don’t come
hey theres alot of bloody females , remember whats her name?
War is capitalism by other means, and vice versa. So war is a key feature of our national religion – which is piracy. Those obsessed and deluded by addiction to world domination have made peace their enemy. As long as these madmen and women are in leadership, we will have war, and all this will lead to a final war of mutual extermination. Sad but true. Anybody see a way out of this dead end destiny?
Yes, but the road is long and unpredictable, since many of the processes still at work are cited in Aristotle.
Structural change is desperately needed, but we don’t improve national institutions much, and they get corrupted by money rather quickly, so only revolutions and conquests fix them, and technology has made those bloody and vast.
There is little discussion of improved institutions, because the few who consider them do not see a way to get there.
Here’s the minimal structural change to start a reform process:
1. A national institution of textual debate among university experts in each region and discipline, which debates every aspect of affairs and policy changes, preserving absolutely all points of view, and not forcing consensus, producing commented public summaries, so everyone has the real viewpoints and reasons if they want them, and ignorant political babble can be checked;
2. Eliminate money control of mass media and elections; we all know why this is essential;
3. Provide checks and balances in each federal branch (executive, legislative, judicial) because they don’t work where the branches have distinct and disproportionate powers.
Without those fixes we cannot get the major reforms needed.
How to get them?
Not by education, because those tools of democracy are not ours.
Maybe widespread riots, after enforcement agencies are infiltrated to prevent defenses of corrupted institutions.
But that requires generations of poverty coupled with widespread perception of tyranny.
One way or another, only a complete disaster can destroy or cower the rich tyrants and recycle corrupted institutions.
But this is not bad, really: it just means that we can celebrate looming national disasters and foreign policy failures as the shortest path to restoring democracy. There will be plenty of those in the next two to four generations, so sit back and enjoy them! Who would have thought that insane leaders would be the most important ingredient in reform!
Mr. Dylan wrote “the answer is blowin’ in the wind.” By the way, whatever happened to those concerts aimed at fixing problems in the world, like ending apartheid, starvation, and war? The way to prevent a nuclear holocaust might take solving 9/11 (a new,real, first-time criminal investigation), the wisdom of the world’s great philosophers studied by the Kennedy brothers, and the spiritual power of Mohandes Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and so many other men and women through history.
Unfortunately for anyone considering “going all the way” with maximum effort to stop the madness of war, and certainly noticed by most, is the men named had one thing in common: all were assassinated. Speaking the truth of philosophers and spiritual leaders, following in the footsteps of both men and women who consciously chose such a path, requires a level of courage perhaps words are unable to describe. Peace.
Seek not the paths of the ancients;
Seek that which the ancients sought. Basho
In the Kennedy’s case this was interpreted to be the directions to the closest brothel.
Dylan’s song was pabulum for the Pete Seeger indoctrinated college kids who were flocking to Joan Baez’s Peace concerts. Fish in a barrel. Why not write a better song?, Sell it to Mastodon.
“Anybody see a way out of this dead end destiny?”
He who lives by the sword dies by the sword. I would just pray to God that these evil profiteering warmongering monsters are dealt with SOONER rather than LATER! Oh . . . and another thing- I’m serious! It works!