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Forum Post: Trump questions

Posted 1 year ago on July 29, 2016, 12:09 p.m. EST by grapes (4989)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

flip wrote that Trump asked questions such as, "do we need nato and all these bases around the world? why are russia and china enemies?"

What are our answers? As the answers to these questions affect the biggest expenditure in the U.S. budget, they can be extremely important to our ability to fulfill our social contractual obligations such as Social Security and Medicare.

35 Comments

35 Comments


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[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (22777) 1 year ago

Great point, grapes. And, one of the reasons among many to distrust Clinton. If we do not shrink our military budget that exceeds 54% of the total budget, we simply cannot have the nice things domestically for the 99% that she spewed in her speech. People have to connect the dots or we won't get anywhere. Clinton's lack of willingness to de-warmonger is a problem!!!

[-] 2 points by grapes (4989) 1 year ago

That's correct. The radicals for social goods cannot succeed without help from the conservatives on military expenditures. We can all become trust-fund babies collecting the peace dividends.

Great amount of military spendings do not always translate into actual military power. The U.S. has allies that had spent respectable amounts on their militaries and yet when action was required, they fell short. The U.S. military is second to none because not only has there been lavish spending but also perpetual trainings and wars. Our allies' militaries can improve their readiness by joining our military actions and exercises.

A good example of success with a valuable ally is the containment of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Liberia had asked for help officially so the U.S. and Cuba's contingents (military and medical) would not be considered as invading forces to a sovereign country. Cubans have long been tropical-disease experts and the U.S. has prepared for biological warfare. The unique capabilities that grew out of sad chapters of history can be harnessed for good causes for all of humanity. With the communal transmission of Zika virus in the U.S., we may need more global cooperation on social goods. We can work with former Cold War adversaries, such as Cuba, China, and Russia to advance the common good of humanity.

[-] 1 points by grapes (4989) 1 year ago

De-warmongering by the U.S. is good for the world. The basic management principle needs to be observed: Build up competent replacement security arrangements before withdrawing the U.S. security guarantees.

However good or bad the U.S. global security leadership has been, withdrawing U.S. overseas forces can lead to dangerous power vacua leading to squabblings and wars. The U.S. should behave as a responsible executor of a will. Controlled release.

[-] 1 points by xgenra (5) from Branford, CT 1 year ago

trump is a pile of dog crap

[-] 1 points by grapes (4989) 1 year ago

Respect the hotcake for many. Pity power flies.

[-] 1 points by grapes (4989) 1 year ago

Russia and China WERE our enemies and may still BE our enemies because they had been poisoned by Communism and by their attempts to export its bankrupt ideology to every corner of the world.

The so-called dictatorship of the Proletariat was really a dictatorship of the Communist Party elites to the Proletariat who were just serfs of the totalitarian State. The revolutions did not occur in what Karl Marx had said they should have, in highly industrialized capitalistic countries. Instead, they occurred in largely agricultural countries with huge populations of poor people. The Leftist beliefs combined with the absolute power of the State executed confiscations of private properties, repeated purges, collapses of economies, and oppressions of the peoples.

Despite the ardent attempts to spread Communism worldwide for many decades, there are only a tiny handful of countries left that are still Communist. Both Russia and China gave up on Communism's economic practices because centralized plannings had failed recognizably.

Confiscations of private properties should wake up any businessman such as Trump because the point of doing business is to create wealth for oneself, not to have it be confiscated by the State.

Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union could have been integrated better with the West instead of becoming an oligarchic state that has backtracked to somewhat totalitarian practices still dreaming of the glory days of the defunct Soviet Empire. The best one-word description of Russia is "thug." It engaged in extraterritorial assassination of political enemies contravening international norms.

China integrated its economy well with the U.S. and that saved its hide from the Soviets and the economic doldrums. It has never sworn off its totalitarian control on political free speech and still have many very unsavory totalitarian practices unacceptable to international norms. It has used Nationalism to keep its disparate internal nations together in one piece but that is now rearing its ugly head in potential military conflicts with its neighbors as well as the U.S. It was wise to send the excess males to military lives if they could find no females but China now faces more pressure to start wars due to too much testosterone behind their guns. It happened before with island nations such as England and Japan that had too many young males. China knows what happened with these countries regarding aggression against China. Wars are great consumers of young males. For the U.S., the best one-word description of China is "frenemy." China will challenge and eventually take over the leading dominant role of the U.S. (as a friend growing into an enemy and eventually a lord).

[-] 1 points by grapes (4989) 1 year ago

N.A.T.O. and the bases are leftovers from the globally fought World War III, the Cold War. Much of the Cold War threat from the Soviet Union has dissipated with the demise and disintegration of the Soviet Union so at least some need for them has disappeared.

However, with Russia still holding on tight to its bygone-glory days of the former Soviet Union and tried and trying to re-occupy and rebuild its former empire, N.A.T.O. and bases are still needed. Russia has already intervened, infiltrated, occupied by proxy, a few countries under former Soviet dominance. Being small, formerly Soviet, and repeatedly overrun, the Baltic countries of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia are especially vulnerable because Russia can easily cut them off from other N.A.T.O. countries. Estonia had been hit by cyberattacks before, purportedly by Russia, so bullying will recur. Bullies understand a strong punch in their noses best. N.A.T.O. can deliver that to Russia's front door, with C.O.D.

Russia's claim that Russian-speaking people can carve out their independent nations from other countries is a ridiculous notion. According to this logic, the U.S. should carve apart every other country in the world and annex them because we have people from every one. For the same reason, India should carve out Canada, Australia, the U.S., New Zealand, etc. because we all speak English. Not to be outdone by India, China, having its diaspora everywhere, should own the world, really? I suggest that China occupy Lake Baikal's watershed for its fresh water supply as the first-course meal of its world conquest.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 1 year ago

i don"t think there is an y real evidence for russia being the aggressor. crimea was always part of russia and they are never going to give that up. georgia was for sure not russian aggression and ukraine - well that was caused by the west. i assume you know about the nazi symbols all through that conflict from the ukrainian side

[-] 1 points by grapes (4989) 1 year ago

Crimea was not always Russian, being part of Ukraine when the Soviet Union broke up. It has a huge fraction of Russian-heritage people in its population but that's no justification for Russia's strong-armed annexation of it. It's as absurd as Mexico's strong-armed annexation of the El Norte nation in the southwestern U.S. would be.

Russia reneged on the Budapest Agreement with the West and Ukraine. Ukraine gave up its huge stockpile of Soviet nuclear weapons to Russia under the West's and Russian blessing. Russia betrayed Ukraine and the West and thereby encouraged every tinpot dictator to drive for nuclear weapons. It's likely that loose nukes from the proliferation will hit Russia because it's a neighbor of the world's greatest cauldron of malcontent and discontent. There were the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, Islamic Empires and Caliphates, Persian Empires, perennially warring Middle East, separatist movements, Islamo-fundamentalism, terrorism, and so on.

Russia intervened with deliberately disguised troops in East Ukraine and kept on lying about and denying its infiltration and military intervention.

Often parties in conflicts take on extremist symbols to intimidate their opponents. What's Russia's greatest fear still in recent memory? Their former partners in annexation drives, namely the Nazis and the former Prussia. Displaying the Nazi symbols does not alarm me much. Can I say that the Nazis were showing their devotion to the largely peaceful Buddhism? Yes, indeed, there were many Nazi symbols decorated in Buddhist temples. I have never heard of anti-Nazi efforts to infiltrate and destroy Buddhist temples. What counts is the deeds, ultimately, not the symbols.

Can I say that the six-pointed Star of David on Sheriffs' badges proves that there is an on-going armed invasion of the U.S. by Zionists imposing military laws? Maybe it's time for the U.S. to invade Israel where the Zionists have a home base. Absurd!

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 1 year ago

well that certainly is the clinton/gop usa establishment party line - no surprise there. and an army with tanks and heavy weapons sporting swastikas on the border of russia (with the support and backing of the usa and germany - when have we seen that before?) doesn't bother you one bit. no surprise either but at least you could recognize how it might cause others a moment of thought - especially those in russia. you do know the history don't you?

i suggest you read a bit from stephen cohen and get back to me - i have no interest in trying to educate someone who refuses to look at both sides. that is why i gave up on this site - here is a bit from cohen - point out where you think he is incorrect -

"The problem is that by taking the view, as the American media and political establishment do, that this crisis is entirely the fault of “Putin’s aggression,” there’s no rethinking of American policy over the last 20 years. I have yet to see a single influential person say, “Hey, maybe we did something wrong, maybe we ought to rethink something.” That’s a recipe for more of the same, of course, and more of the same could mean war with Russia….

Let me give you one example. It’s the hardest thing for the American foreign policy elite and the media elite to cope with.

Our position is that nobody is entitled to a sphere of influence in the 21st century. Russia wants a sphere of influence in the sense that it doesn’t want American military bases in Ukraine or in the Baltics or in Georgia. But what is the expansion of NATO other than the expansion of the American zone or sphere of influence? It’s not just military. It’s financial, it’s economic, it’s cultural, it’s intermarriage—soldiers, infrastructure. It’s probably the most dramatic expansion of a great sphere of influence in such a short time and in peacetime in the history of the world.

So you have Vice President Biden constantly saying, “Russia wants a sphere of influence and we won’t allow it.” Well, we are shoving our sphere of influence down Russia’s throat, on the assumption that it won’t push back. Obviously, the discussion might well begin: “Is Russia entitled to a zone or sphere in its neighborhood free of foreign military bases?” Just that, nothing more. If the answer is yes, NATO expansion should’ve ended in Eastern Germany, as the Russians were promised. But we’ve crept closer and closer. Ukraine is about NATO-expansion-no-matter-what. Washington can go on about democracy and sovereignty and all the rest, but it’s about that. And we can’t re-open this question…. The hypocrisy, or the inability to connect the dots in America, is astonishing.

[-] 2 points by Viking (417) 1 year ago

I agree, we have become increasingly provocative with our actions in both the Rusian bordering Ukraine and in Georgia. NATO is not being used as just a deterrent or defensive force, but instead is an arm of our aggression with the goal being, expanding our empire. To be successful, we need to make the Russians, and anyone (anywhere too) who opposes us to make them look like the bogeyman.

[-] 1 points by grapes (4989) 1 year ago

N.A.T.O. is not an American Empire. It has a huge European component.

Russia engaged in very reckless behaviours such as its military aircraft invading neighbors' airspaces with navigational identifications and beacons off. It could have caused midair collisions with civilian airliners. If the neighbors' air defense units had itchy fingers like the Soviets did, things could get out of hands very quickly.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 1 year ago

who is shooting down planes for no reason? turkey come to mind?? wow you are stuck in 1968 - read nsc 68 - i think - paul nitze and the origins of the cold war. we need to get past this thinking

[-] 1 points by grapes (4989) 1 year ago

The Soviet Union, the U.S.A., and the Russians(or ethnic Russians or East Ukrainians) have all shot down civilian airliners, fears, itchy fingers, and high-powered sophisticated weapons cost many innocent lives.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 1 year ago

if you are thinking malaysian flight 17 i would like to see your evidence - and i would also like to have you lay out the argument that it was shot down by ukrainian forces.

[-] 1 points by grapes (4989) 1 year ago

The shootdown of flight MH17 galvanized the E.U. members to put sanctions on Russia. The Dutch was dubious of putting on sanctions as were other western European countries. It's expected because they're farther away from a marauding polar bear. MH17 had many Dutch nationals. That probably pushed E.U. over the edge because E.U. had already been contemplating what to do about Russia's annexation of Crimea, breaking the Budapest Agreement with the West guaranteeing the territorial integrity of Ukraine in exchange for its giving up its vast Soviet-leftover nuclear arsenal to Russia. Sanctions were just bad karma for Russia of its own making.

I doubt that the sanctions were taken lightly because the E.U. had very significant economic ties with Russia. I suppose that the E.U. had investigated well whether Russia was culpable before shooting a hole in its own pocketbook.

Ukraine's Kyiv government had absolutely no interest in shooting down a civilian flight flying over its airspace because the flights paid money to Kyiv for the flyovers. If Kyiv were to shoot down flight MH17, that could only be accidental.

East Ukraine's rebels had boasted shortly before the shootdown that they had gotten the Buk air defense system. Kyiv government forces had bombed the rebels from the air so it's not at all far-fetched that the rebels had strong motive to shoot down a potential bomber in the heat of battle. Where did the Buk air defense system come from? Either Kyiv government forces or Russia. Which was more plausible? There were multiple witness accounts of seeing the Buk system near the Russian border shortly before the shootdown. Kyiv government would not have gained much by using a Buk in East Ukraine because the rebels did not have an airforce. In all likelihood, it was a Russian-supplied Buk air defense system that shot down MH17.

It's not clear whether it was the Russian trainers or the East Ukrainian trainees who had actually pulled the trigger. My guess is the Russian trainers in East Ukraine working with the rebels did because the control of the Buk system is somewhat complicated and there was not much time for the trainees to master the control.

It was quite a feat to shoot down a civilian airliner at cruising altitude on a transcontinental flight. High altitude of flight reduces air resistance and improves fuel mileage and therefore airline profits. Shooting it down at 7 miles or higher while it's cruising at hundreds of knots is not easy technically.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 1 year ago

this statement - Ukraine's Kyiv government had absolutely no interest in shooting down a civilian flight - is refuted by your own admission that - The shootdown of flight MH17 united the E.U. to put sanctions on Russia. - surprised you don' see that. you keep stating opinions (and i think very unsupportable ones) as fact. i think you should stop that. it is very simple to do a bit of looking to find counter arguments to what you are saying. i would rather not waste more time this way. if you find counter arguments and can refute them convincingly then i would be interested to hear - i am not looking to hold fast to my belief on this subject. i have no great love for russia or putin but a i said it seems obvious who is stirring the pot here.

again here is stephen cohen from 2014 - not sure what has been released since because it is not important to me. i know the outlines of the situation and who sent that plane over a war zone. as i said it should be obvious to all but idealogues that the west is largely to blame for what is going on in ukraine. -

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, in addition to the insurance company for the airplane, which technically has legal responsibility, the major countries that are doing it, Britain has the black boxes, the Netherlands are involved. There was a report the other day that these parties, these states, have agreed that they would not divulge individually what they have discovered. Now, they’ve had plenty of time to interpret the black boxes. There are reports from Germany that the White House version of what happened is not true, therefore you have to look elsewhere for the culprit who did the shooting down. They’re sitting on satellite intercepts. They have the images. They won’t release the air controller’s conversations in Kiev with the doomed aircraft. Why not? Did the pilot say—let me speculate—"Oh, my god, we’re being fired on by a jet fighter next to us! What’s going on?" Because we know there were two Ukrainian jet fighters. We don’t know, but somebody knows. You might ask—you might get somebody on who’s been investigating this to find out what they actually know.

now this is from 2016 so????

New evidence suggests that the downing of the Malaysian Airlines plane MH17 was caused by a shot from a Ukrainian fighter jet rather than a ground-to-air missile. The damning allegations will be revealed in a BBC documentary which puts forward a number of theories as to why the aircraft exploded.

Another extraordinary theory mentioned in the programme is that the aircraft was detonated in a CIA-backed 'terrorist operation', where two bombs were planted on the airliner.

[-] 1 points by grapes (4989) 1 year ago

What Russia did with Georgia, Crimea, East Ukraine, the Third Reich did with Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Poland. That is to re-unite Russian (or Germanic) peoples in Greater Russia (or Greater Germany). It's a very scary historical parallel.

I had looked at an old map with the free city of Danzig and found it disappeared in newer maps. I wondered why so I know something about how great-state politics and repeated wars had partitioned smaller neighboring states, annexed them, and the subsequent cultural mishmash, claims and counterclaims, and military actions had lit the whole world on fire several times. Prussian, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian Empires and their successors should all be prosecuted for hundreds of millions of crimes against humanity.

N.A.T.O. should not have expanded to nearly surround Russia right up to its border but Russia had obviously scared its smaller neighbors enough to drive them to seek N.A.T.O. memberships. Russia could have provided free natural gas to Ukraine and that would have kept Ukraine in its sphere of influence. The U.S. "buys allies" so Russia can do the same, too. If Ukraine was important, Russia could have bought influence with natural gas (which Russia has in tremendous abundance).

Using the Russian (or Germanic) logic, the U.S.A. should embark on world conquest to re-unite all peoples in Greater America. Greater America is the World. The Pacific Ocean is our bathtub. Rubber duckies, anyone? I'll show you how to scare a guppy and float a coin! Oh, a steel needle can be floated, too, and become our moral compass.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 1 year ago

as i said you are parroting the clinton neocon line - again! read a non establishment account for once. plenty of them around - the best seems to be cohen but maybe you can find a different one. seems to me you are wrong on all fronts here - georgi, crimea and ukraine. here is a history of the georgi war with russia - the idiots thought bush and cheney would come to their aid if they started a war with russia. here is a better telling of the georgi war - i will see what i can find for you on ukraine. and there is no -- repeat no evidence that russia wants to take the baltic states. i refuse tyo spend much time on this - it should be obvious to anyone that the bush clinton strategy of rattling the sabre is designed to fund the mic - fear - always works on the uneducated!

Note: This article was written by a retired Lt.-Col. in the U.S. military, who is currently residing in Russia. His article here helps clear up much of the misinformation people have been fed by the sadistic folks in Washington who are trying to promote WWIII. -ed

In 1991, South Ossetia was promised independence from the Soviet Union, and the Georgian Republic. However, when Georgia became independent it saw an opportunity to grab some land, and the terminals for two major oil pipelines. Since Georgia is essentially bankrupt and an economic basket case, they saw this as a viable option.

It should also be understood that contrary to the 30 years old CIA report that is being circulated, Georgia is now over 60% Moslem, with Moslems controlling the government, and South Ossetia - which is surrounded on three sides by Georgia - is over 80% Orthodox Christian. This is something else that amazes me about Bush's choice of "allies."

They essentially invaded South Ossetia and installed a rather brutal military government. The South Ossetians did not want to be grabbed and they fought back, and in the fighting some Russian cities were damaged just across the border and there were a number of civilian casualties. Russia essentially said "Quit damaging our cities" and sent Russian troops to see that no more Russian cities were damaged. They became the main component in a small international (with Azerbaizhan and Tdjikistan) peacekeeping force in the region.

Comes last Thursday and the Georgians attack the Russians in South Ossetia. Once again, they are trying to isolate and grab those two oil terminals. As a preparatory move to this, they began shelling the Russian forces stationed in the area as peacekeepers...and once again overshot and hit two small Russian towns across the border.

[-] 1 points by grapes (4989) 1 year ago

Do you agree that avoiding mixing Moslems with Orthodox Christians could have prevented the wars in Georgia?

I think political Islam caused war in Georgia and it can cause war elsewhere, too. The Balkans, the "powder keg of Europe," has such a mishmash of religions, ethnicities, and cultures so many wars were fought, including ones to cleanse ethnicities.

Multiculturalism doesn't work well in many contexts. I think that Shari'a is incompatible with the U.S. Constitution so to the extent that people want to enforce Shari'a, they should be banned from entering the U.S. Not every Moslem is a Shari'a jihadi so they should not be banned. However, their numbers must always be kept small because of their propensity to lapse into jihad.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 1 year ago

then why does every administration bow to the saudis? that is a distraction though from what you started. could you respond to what i said? you are promoting a neocon line on an occupy site and i would like you to defend it. so far you have just changed the subject each time. i am saying that the west is responsible for georgia and ukraine. if i understand you correctly you are saying that putin is to blame - if that is what you think then respond to the points these articles have made - please. and the answer is no - i do not think separating religions is the answer. getting the wests and the mic dirty little fingers out of the worlds business is the answer!

[-] 1 points by grapes (4989) 1 year ago

The number of overseas U.S. military bases is in the hundreds, easily two orders of magnitude more than any other country. I doubt that we really need that many.

Overseas bases work as a way to funnel foreign aid to buy influence without having the money categorized as foreign aid proper which often encounters stiff resistance in Congress. The need to provide arms and weapons can also disguise foreign aid as military expenditure under the "buy cheap, buy local, buy allies" mantra to reduce jobs in the U.S. to bulk up the Dependent Class.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 1 year ago

"i doubt we really need that many" - jesus trump makes more sense. what are they protecting us from in africa. according to nick turse we have about 1000 bases around the world - wtf! why is the 6th fleet in the south china sea - the chinese are coming for my sister like the vietnamese in 1966? come on this is occupy - here is a bit on ukraine. read stephen cohen from the at the beginning of the problems there - in maidan. one of the best is a debate on democracy now. read it and let me know where he is off base. do not run me through you establishment history please! or if you want me to end the debate and go away again keep it up - you are on the right track. sorry to be harsh - it is a bad time for the world and all we have is trump and hillary - jesus - could itg be worse?

Ukraine: To The Edge? By Conn Hallinan

It is not just defense secretaries and generals employing language that conjure up the ghosts of the past. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used a “Munich” analogy in reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and a common New York Times description of Russia is “revanchist.” These two terms take the Ukraine crisis back to 1938, when fascist Germany menaced the world. Yet comparing the civil war in the Ukraine to the Cold War—let alone Europe on the eve of World War II—has little basis in fact. Yes, Russia is certainly aiding insurgents in eastern Ukraine, but there is no evidence that Moscow is threatening the Baltics, or even the rest of Ukraine. Indeed, it is the West that has been steadily marching east over the past decade, recruiting one former Russian ally or republic after another into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Nor did the Russians start this crisis. It began when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych turned down a debt deal from the European Union (EU) that would have required Kiev to institute draconian austerity measures, reduce its ties to Russia, and join NATO through the backdoor. In return, Ukraine would have received a very modest aid package. Moscow, worried about the possibility of yet another NATO-allied country on its border, tendered a far more generous package. While the offer was as much real politic’ as altruism, it was a better deal. When Yanukovych took it, demonstrators occupied Kiev’s central square. In an attempt to defuse the tense standoff between the government and demonstrators, France, Germany and Poland drew up a compromise that would have accelerated elections and established a national unity government. It was then that the demonstrations turned into an insurrection. There is a dispute over what set off the bloodshed—demonstrators claim government snipers fired on them, but some independent investigations have implicated extremist neo-Nazis in initiating the violence. However, instead of supporting the agreement they had just negotiated, the EU recognized the government that took over when Yanukovych was forced to flee the country. To the Russians this was a coup, and they are not alone in thinking so. George Friedman, head of the international security organization Stratfor, called it “the most blatant coup in history,” and it had western fingerprints all over it. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt were recorded talking about how to “midwife” the overthrow of Yanukovych and who to put in his place. Besides making Kiev a counterproposal on resolving its debt crisis, no one has implicated the Russians in any of the events that led up to the fall of Yanukovych. In short, Moscow has been largely reacting to events that it sees as deeply affecting its security, both military and economic. Its annexation of Crimea—which had been part of Russia until 1954— followed a referendum in which 96 percent of the voters called for a union with Russia. In any case, Moscow was unlikely to hand over its strategic naval base at Sevastopol to a hostile government. Somehow these events have morphed into Nazi armies poised on the Polish border in 1939, or Soviet armored divisions threatening to overrun Western Europe during the Cold War. Was it not for the fact that nuclear powers are involved these images would be almost silly. NATO spends 10 times what Moscow does on armaments, and there is not a military analyst on the planet who thinks Russia is a match for U.S. To compare Russia to the power of Nazi Germany or Soviet military forces is to stretch credibility beyond the breaking point. So why are people talking about Article 5—the section of the NATO treaty that treats an attack on any member as an attack on all—and Munich? The answer is complex because there are multiple actors with different scripts. First, there are the neoconservatives from the Bush years that have not given up on the Project for a New American Century, the think tank that brought us the Afghan and Iraq wars, and the war on terror. It is no accident that Nuland is married to Robert Kagen, one of the Project’s founders and leading thinkers. The group also includes former Defense Department Undersecretary Paul Wolfowitz, Elliot Abrams, and former UN Ambassador John Bolton. The neocons believe in aggressively projecting American military power and using regime change to get rid of leaders they don’t like. Disgraced by the Iraq debacle, they still have a presence in the State Department, and many are leading foreign policy advisors for Republican presidential candidates, including Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, and Jeb Bush. They are well placed and persistent, and if Bush is elected president there is talk that Nuland will become Secretary of State. Then there are the generals, who have a number of irons in the fire. There is a current in NATO’s leadership that would like to see the alliance become a worldwide military confederacy, although the Afghan disaster has dampened the enthusiasm of many. In fact, there is not even a great deal of support within NATO for enforcing Article 5, and virtually none for getting involved with sending arms to the Ukraine. Most NATO countries don’t even pony up the required level of military spending they are supposed to, leaving the U.S. to pick up 70 percent of the bills. But there is nothing like conjuring up a scary Russian bear to loosen those purse strings. And indeed, a number of former scofflaws have upped their military spending since the Ukraine crisis broke. The military and its associated industries—from electronics companies to huge defense firms—need enemies, preferably large ones, like Russia and China, where the weapons systems are big and the manpower requirements high. Right now there appears to be a split among U.S. decision makers over whether Russia or China is our major competitor. For the neocons and most of the Republican candidates, the Kremlin is the clear and present danger. For the Obama administration and most Democrats—including Hillary Clinton—China is the competition, hence the so-called “Asia pivot” to beef up military forces in the Pacific and establish a ring of bases and allies to obstruct Beijing’s ability to expand. One can make too much of this “division,” because most of these currents merge at some point. Thus the sanctions targeting Russia’s energy industry also squeeze China, which desperately needs oil and gas. In response to sanctions, Russia is shifting its supplies and pipelines east. Russia and China have also begun establishing alternatives to western dominated financial institutions like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank. Organizations like the BRICS countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—have established a development bank and currency reserves, and the new Chinese-initiated Asian Infrastructure Development Bank has already attracted not only Asian nations, but the leading European ones as well. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization now embraces over three billion people. The U.S. has tried to derail a number of these initiatives. The sanctions against Russia have made it difficult for Moscow to develop oil and gas in the arctic, and Washington pointedly told its allies that they should not join the China development bank. Both campaigns failed, particularly the latter. Only Japan and the Philippines heeded the American plea to boycott the bank. And Asia’s need for energy is overcoming many of the roadblocks created by the sanctions. However, the campaign against Russia has damaged the Kremlin’s energy sales to Western Europe. The EU successfullyblocked a Russian pipeline through Bulgaria, and the Americans have promised that its fracking industry will wean Europe off Russian energy. Fracking, however, is in trouble, because Saudi Arabia stepped up production and crashed oil prices worldwide. A number of U.S. fracking industries have gone belly up, and the industry is experiencing mass layoffs. Stay tuned for EU-Russian energy developments. Why are we in a dangerous standoff with a country that is not a serious threat to our European allies or ourselves, but does have the capacity to incinerate a sizable portion of the planet? At least part of the problem is that U.S. foreign policy requires enemies so that it can deploy the one thing we know best how to do: blow things up. The fact that our wars over the past decade has led to one disaster after another is irrelevant, explained away by “inadequate” use of violence, lack of resolve or weak-kneed allies. Americans are currently looking at a host of presidential candidates—excluding the quite sensible Bernie Sanders—who want to confront either Russia or China. Both are hideously dangerous policies and ones that are certainly not in the interests of the vast majority of Americans—let alone the rest of the planet. It is really time to change things, and, no, the bear is not coming to get you.

[-] 1 points by grapes (4989) 1 year ago

"Could it be worse?"

Definitely. It was much worse during the 1960's with the late Soviet Union and Red China in cahoots exporting Communist Revolutions worldwide. Our American Civil War was much worse, too.

On our globalized helpline, "5" for Mx. Cheese has been pressed. "6" is for "going postal." We could alter its meaning if we were to start small-time-community-banking in U.S. Postal Offices but is that likely? Tera eRex has already surrounded himself with stupid tried-and-failed advisors from Wall Street and hedge funds. His proposed economic policies amount to a Trojan Horse gift for my people. He's correct about the Second Amendment being a potential fix by my people. The solution is compatible with "going postal" and "justice for all."

Tera eRex is "The Lucky One."

Mx. Cheese has "die Kristallnacht."

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 1 year ago

world wide revolution - what a crock. can you for just a moment stop spouting establishment propaganda here at occupy. should i send you some real history - like maybe nsc68 or do you want to go back to obama"s line on ukraine - it's putin - he is the devil!

[-] 1 points by grapes (4989) 1 year ago

I think Central and South Americas, Africa, IndoChina, etc. constituted widespread enough revolutions to call them worldwide revolutions.

Poo Tin the Great is not the devil but he suffers from megalomania unfit for the country he commands. He has yet to learn the art of soft power. I guess if one really only has a strong instrument of coitus, one has to erect it more often and forcefully to achieve simulated dominance. However, the world is full of volcanic venuses so soft power is better suited.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 1 year ago

I guess if one really only has a strong instrument - you do realize you are describing the usa -the worlds most powerful military. and i wonder why we use it all the time. you have been brainwashed - amazing for someone your age - you do not realize that we plunder the poor and anyone who fights back against that is a commie. here is something to read -

Brainwashing at home

How the Cold War worked

Despite much pretense, national security has not been a major concern of US planners and elected officials. The historical record reveals this clearly. Few serious analysts took issue with George Kennan's position that "it is not Russian military power which is threatening us, it is Russian political power" (October 1947); or with President Eisenhower's consistent view that the Russians intended no military conquest of Western Europe and that the major role of NATO was to "convey a feeling of confidence to exposed populations, a confidence which will make them sturdier, politically, in their opposition to Communist inroads."

Similarly, the US dismissed possibilities for peaceful resolution of the Cold War conflict, which would have left the "political threat" intact. In his history of nuclear weapons, McGeorge Bundy writes that he is "aware of no serious contemporary proposal...that ballistic missiles should somehow be banned by agreement before they were ever deployed," even though these were the only potential military threat to the US. It was always the "political" threat of so-called "Communism" that was the primary concern.

(Recall that "Communism" is a broad term, and includes all those with the "ability to get control of mass movements....something we have no capacity to duplicate," as Secretary of State John Foster Dulles privately complained to his brother Allen, CIA director, "The poor people are the ones they appeal to," he added, "and they have always wanted to plunder the rich." So they must be overcome, to protect our doctrine that the rich should plunder the poor.)

According to the conventional view, the Cold War was a conflict between two superpowers, caused by Soviet aggression, in which we tried to contain the Soviet Union and protect the world from it. If this view is a doctrine of theology, there's no need to discuss it. If it is intended to shed some light on history, we can easily put it to the test, bearing in mind a very simple point: if you want to understand the Cold War, you should look at the events of the Cold War. If you do so, a very different picture emerges.

On the Soviet side, the events of the Cold War were repeated interventions in Eastern Europe: tanks in East Berlin and Budapest and Prague. These interventions took place along the route that was used to attack and virtually destroy Russia three times in this century alone. The invasion of Afghanistan is the one example of an intervention outside that route, though also on the Soviet border.

On the US side, intervention was worldwide, reflecting the status attained by the US as the first truly global power in history.

[-] 1 points by grapes (4989) 1 year ago

The Horn of Africa produces pirates who disrupt shipments of crude in the Indian Ocean from Persian Gulf States such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Iran, etc. The U.S. Navy keeps the sea lanes open and safe to safeguard the global economy.

Many trillions of dollars worth of goods are shipped through the South China Sea's sea lanes. Despite China's claim of most of it as its sovereign maritime possession, China does not go after the pirates much. The U.S. has strong interest to keep the sea lanes open and safe for everyone's commercial traffic and the U.S. Navy claims the Freedom of Navigation in the South China Sea as it does to keep the Strait of Hormuz open and safe. The U.S. does not claim any of the minerals, gas, or oil that may lie below there but it's in U.S. interest to keep crude shipments to Japan uninterrupted through South China Sea.

The Pearl Harbor attack on the U.S. was precipitated by the U.S. oil embargo imposed on the Empire of Japan mainly due to its aggressions against China (Japan annexing Manchuria). Japan was subjugated and forced under the military protection (and of course some control) of the U.S. and there was peace (and its firstborn, prosperity) there since 1945, for 71 years already.

Japan has much plutonium and has the technological knowhow to go nuclear quickly. It's in U.S. interest and probably those of most countries around Japan to keep Japan docile. The older generations of many Asian countries remember the unspeakable and disgusting atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army but perhaps the younger generations forgot the lesson.

Protecting shipping rights was a long-enduring American endeavor. Our Marines still sing of "To the shores of Tripoli" in their hymn. Fighting the British Empire in the War of 1812 was due to this, too. The U.S. goes to war over this, ever since its founding days.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 1 year ago

sure - they are protecting shipping lanes in the south china sea - bullshit - you have heard the expression "showing the flag" i imagine. as to 1000 bases around the world they are certainly not there against pirates - dream on!

[-] 1 points by grapes (4989) 1 year ago

I think China is scared by the U.S. Seventh Fleet having the ability to cut off its shippings in the South China Sea as well as its having to justify its overheated Nationalism already drummed into its youngsters.

Nationalism is sometimes totally ridiculous. For example, Chinese youngsters complain in private about Mao's having given Mt. Everest's peak to Nepal. Now China no longer has the world's tallest mountain peak. What a letdown it was, how depressing, but really how ridiculous! Let me tell you - I own the tallest mountain/volcano in the solar system and I'll fight to the death to defend my sovereign ownership rights on Marss.

Oh, I first need to eat thousands of tons of beans from the U.S. Con-gress before my tush drive has sufficient fuel. It was so nice to know that Jeff Bezos (to whom I'll give a special discount to buy Olympus Mons because it was formed in the Amazonian Period) had reserved a seat for my travelling companion/comrade-in-arms! Guppies, floating Yen are forever!

[-] 1 points by grapes (4989) 1 year ago

I did not say that the 800-some bases around the world were just for protecting shipping rights against pirates. There are all kinds of bases. Some are of strategic importance, such as in Qatar near the Strait of Hormuz.

Some intercept communications, some especially for circumventing U.S. laws against domestic spying. If your internet traffic be routed to Tijuana and back to the U.S. to me, it's legal for the U.S. government to spy on your communication under the post-Watergate-era U.S. privacy laws because Mexico is a foreign country. Where would you put such communication intercepting bases with friendly countries?

Some bases are for supporting military alliances such as N.A.T.O. Some are just for camouflaging foreign aids in military packaging to get past the notoriously stingy but defense-supporting GOOP in Con-gress.

I'm not surprised that "showing the flag" was part of the motivation, too. Reputation matters for exercising influence.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 1 year ago

or maybe full spectrum dominance - how old are you? old enough to know better. did we also fight the vietnam war with one hand tied behind our back. neocon!

[-] 1 points by grapes (4989) 1 year ago

I've no problem with U.S. full spectrum dominance because I am American. I'm older than the lunar landings and younger than the transistor but I did learn Patience waiting for several minutes of warm-up and listen to and watch the dark-red-to-eventually-orange-glowing-beam vacuum tubes!

I've been around since the days of coal soot, cholera, open sewerage, mosquito nets, neighborhood-dump "recycler" (I was already green as a toddler!), and lived through most of World War III till "die Mauer fiel."

I love it when our woman gymnasts won the gold medals. I like Michael Phelps coming back in a huge way, having lapsed into cannabis and alcohol, and neglecting practices. He vastly outstripped Mark Spitz who had caused calluses to grow in my ears from listening to the Stars-Spangled Banner being played again and again from my Texass Instruments Regency transistor radio. Yay, I love Texass' consumer innovations, especially the microchips growing from the space race to the Moon(still only Americans have ever set foot on it, some 47 years already). Tex does have a very big and fine ass (when I'm not exasperated by her polly-tics - this even the "We have a problem" Houston wouldn't Play!).

Vietnam War was lost on both moral grounds as well as technical grounds. Our government lied to us, again and again, and trust was lost(so no more backing from hoi polloi), starting with Gulf of Tonkin incident, secret bombing of Cambodia, etc. AK-47 was superior to our troops' rifles which were unreliable. Both Soviet Union and Red China were supporting North Vietnam as a proxy in war.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 1 year ago

" When I visited Auschwitz I was horrified. And when I visited Iraq, I thought to myself, 'What will we tell our children in fifty years when they ask what we did when the people in Iraq were dying.' "

Mairead McGuire, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Northern Ireland

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 1 year ago

of course you have no problem with full spectrum dominance. you must not have been awake for the past 25 years to see what it has brought us. i imagine you complain about the crazies who attack us - and why - well they must hate hollywood. any sane person would understand why we have to bomb and starve their children.just ask maddy halfbright to explain it to them - and you. and ak47 my ass. i am sorry but your ideas are disgusting - it is people like you who keep the full spectrum dominance people in power - how is that working for you? and yes the russians and the chinese supported the vietnamese - and so did anyone with half a brain by 1968 - those with a full brain saw by 1957 that we were not doing the right thing!