Trumpism: From Pax Americana to Pox on America

Der Spiegel cover, 2016.01.03
“Madness: American Agitator Donald Trump,” Der Spiegel cover, 2016.01.03

The Republican Party’s Presidential nominee could send America’s international reputation up in flames, and all South Dakota’s self-professed best political website can do is squawk that Senator John Thune might be a good running mate for Il Duce.

I don’t speak German, but Der Spiegel tags its latest report on Donald Trump’s ascent to leadership of the Republican Party with a line that cognates nicely: “Donald Trump und die Republikaner: Die kaputte Partei.”

The main headline Der Spiegel chooses is not quite as English friendly: “Trump und die Republikaner: Operation gelungen, Partei tot.” Luckily, I’ve been watching Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, so I was able to figure out the last word: Trump and the Republicans: Operation Succcessful, Party Dead.

Zach Beauchamp of Vox catalogs some other foreign freak-outs over a possible President Trump. These foreign reactions are not heedless hysteria or easy pokes at the archetypal Ugly American; they are logical assessments of Trump’s stated foreign policy aims as a complete rupture of relatively stable post-World War II order:

Trump has called NATO “obsolete,” and threatened to destroy the alliance unless America’s European allies pay the United States in return for the troops America stations on the continent. “Either they pay up, including for past deficiencies, or they have to get out. And if it breaks up NATO, it breaks up NATO,” Trump said at a campaign rally.

Nice alliance you’ve got there — shame if anything were to happen to it, he’s telling the world.

He’s also suggested that Japan and South Korea should pay for their security alliances with the United States. But there, he went even further, suggesting that these countries should maybe just get their own nuclear weapons so the United States doesn’t have to protect them anymore.

These aren’t little policy changes. These alliances are literally the foundation of the post–World War II American strategy, supported (in varying forms) by every president and both parties.

The basic idea is that American security alliances around the world deter aggression by hostile powers, like Russia and China, and cement peaceful ties between allies because they’re on the same broad side. American alliances create a web of peace around the world, preventing wars between great powers and promoting free global commerce. Everybody wins, at least theoretically.

Trump’s point of view threatens to torpedo this system. By telling allies that the US will only support them if they pay up, he’s abandoning American promises to defend them. American allies will come to believe that American protection hinges on the whims of an unstable and unpredictable leader.

That is terrifying for people in these countries, who have premised their entire security policies on the existence of American protection [Zach Beauchamp, “Think America’s Terrified of Donald Trump? Check out How the Rest of the World’s Reacting,” Vox, 2016.05.05].

This isn’t TV or a board game. This is erratic Putin-lover Donald Trump getting classified security briefings. This is Donald Trump Making American Great Again, where “Great” means America in 1851, when we were not a respected world power whose military, economic, and moral suasion could stave off massive global wars for seventy years and counting.

Kaputte und tot: Trump has already stamped those words on the Republican Party. Let’s stop him before he stamps them on the United States of America.


76 Responses to Trumpism: From Pax Americana to Pox on America

  1. this is not dissimilar from the WWII vet, formr CIA chief and then pres. bush’s guileless move against iraq in the 1st gulf OIL war.

    in 1979, but the conflict concerned long standing disputes involving lands on the borders between the two nations. In the ensuing hostilities, most nations—including much of the Arab world, the United States, western Europe, and the Soviet bloc—supported Iraq, generally regarded as the lesser of two evils. (Both the Americans and the Soviets also gave covert support to the Iranians as well.)

    On August 2, 1990, without advance warning, Iraqi tanks and troops rolled into neighboring Kuwait. Both nations possessed considerable oil wealth, but Kuwait was by far the richer of the two, and Iraq—particularly under Saddam’s regime—had long had designs on Kuwait. Given the importance of oil from the Persian Gulf region, which at that time fueled a great part of the world, neither the United States nor the United Nations (UN) Security Council was inclined to ignore Hussien’s aggressive action.

    The Security Council on August 3 called for an Iraqi withdrawal, and on August 6 it imposed a worldwide ban on trade with Iraq. On August 5, President George H. W. Bush declared that the invasion “will not stand,” and a day later, King Fahd of Saudi Arabia met with U.S. Defense Secretary Richard Cheney to request military assistance. Saudi Arabia, Japan, and other wealthy allies would underwrite most of the $60 billion associated with the resulting military effort. By August 8, U.S. Air Force was in Saudi Arabia.

  2. Something to ponder over

    Reasons Why The United States Can No Longer Afford To Be The Police Of The World

    Trying to be the police of the world is getting awfully expensive. We have run up almost 4 trillion dollars more debt since Barack Obama was elected. Many thought that Barack Obama would reduce our foreign entanglements, but instead he has greatly expanded them.

    Prior to the beginning of the “War on Terror” our national debt was under 6 trillion dollars. Today, it has more than doubled and currently sits at a whopping 14.3 trillion dollars.

    Today, the U.S. military is in nearly 130 different nations and it has a total of about 700 military bases around the globe. It costs approximately 100 billion dollars each year to maintain these military bases.

  3. Cheney was named in a December 2010 corruption complaint filed by the Nigerian government against Halliburton, which the company settled for $250 million.[68]

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Persian_Gulf_War.aspx

    During Cheney’s term as v.p. for bush’s son, Halliburton changed its accounting practices regarding revenue realization of disputed costs on major construction projects.[69] Cheney resigned as CEO of Halliburton on July 25, 2000. As vice president, he argued that this step removed any conflict of interest. Cheney’s net worth, estimated to be between $19 million and $86 million,[70] is largely derived from his post at Halliburton.[71] His 2006 gross joint income with his wife was nearly $8.82 million.[72]

    using cory’s favorite conundrum, state residency legal quagmire, a few months before the election Cheney put his home in Dallas up for sale and changed his drivers’ license and voter registration back to Wyoming. This change was necessary to allow Texas’ presidential electors to vote for both Bush and Cheney without contravening the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which forbids electors from voting for someone from their own state for both President and Vice President. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Cheney#Secretary_of_Defense

  4. Following 9/11, Cheney was instrumental in providing a primary justification for a renewed war against Iraq. Cheney helped shape Bush’s approach to the “War on Terror”, making numerous public statements alleging Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction,[82]… Cheney continued to allege links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, even though President Bush received a classified President’s Daily Brief on September 21, 2001 indicating the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the September 11 attacks and that “there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda”.[84] Furthermore, in 2004, the 9/11 Commission concluded that there was no “collaborative relationship” between Iraq and al Qaeda.[85]

  5. the point being, trump is clueless on foreign policy, just like bush was for cheney.

  6. Leslie, you’re a wikipedia master. Or is it mistress?

    I’m not a Trump supporter and never will be. But Trump is right that our allies are not carrying their own weight. His approach to scare them may be the only way to get them to paying their own weight.

    Anybody who has a better idea go ahead and put it out here. Let’s have that discussion.

    1. Are our allies paying their own weight for their own defense? If you say yes, then explain why you think US taxpayers should pay a much higher amount for defense of Germany, Japan, South Korea than those taxpayers pay.

    2. If our allies are not paying their own weight how do we get them to do so?

  7. interestingly, in the 1940s a group of right-wing politicians and businessmen in Texas joined what became known as the Suite 8F group. The name comes from the room in the Lamar Hotel in Houston where they held their meetings. Members of the group included Lyndon Johnson, George and Herman Brown (Brown & Root)…and many others.

    LBJ tried to publicly distance himself from this group when he became vice president.

    The group also won the vast majority of government contracts granted during the Vietnam War. Suite 8F formed a new company called RMK-BRJ to obtain these contracts. This included Halliburton who took over Brown & Root in 1962. These contracts included building jet runways, dredging channels for ships, hospitals, prisons, communications facilities, and building American bases.

    Senator Abraham Ribicoff of Connecticut attempted to expose this scandal. He claimed that millions was being paid in kickbacks. An investigation by the General Accounting Office discovered that by 1967 RMK-BRJ had “lost” $120 million. However, GAO never managed to identify the people obtaining these kickbacks.

    Anti-war protesters … got so bad that Brown advised LBJ to withdraw from Vietnam. Brown told LBJ that if he did not do this, the war would destroy both men. It did destroy LBJ but Brown survived the protests.

    LBJ’s resignation as president was a body blow to the Suite 8F group. However, they had made preparations and Connally had already got Richard Nixon involved with the group. He arranged for Nixon to meet fellow members at his ranch in Texas.

    The end of the Vietnam War resulted in a sharp decline in Halliburton’s fortunes. In the 1980s it was unable to get very many government contracts and for a while it looked like the company would go out of business. Then they appointed Dick Cheney as Halliburton’s CEO. He then adopted the policies that had been pioneered by Herman and George Brown. George Bush was Brown & Root’s LBJ. http://www.heritech.com/pridger/lincoln/salivating_corps.htm

  8. mike from iowa

    Drumpf and wingnuts-the kaput party.

  9. Steve Sibson

    “These aren’t little policy changes. These alliances are literally the foundation of the post–World War II American strategy, supported (in varying forms) by every president and both parties.”

    That is very true. My research confirms it. The strategy is to remove national sovereignty, including America’s, and set up a one-world system. That is being promoted to our kids in school (admitted in a 1948 publication of the NEA), and is also being promoted by the false church (creating Heaven on Earth). That is based on Dominion Theology on the political right, and the Social Gospel on the political left.

    Those who support Trump see that destruction of America’s sovereignty. The GOP establishment is putting pressure on Trump to unite the party by reversing his “Make America Great” mantra. Otherwise they will be undermining Trump so that Hillary, the loyal globalist, will win in November. Note the above quote you used Cory says. “every president and both parties.” That has been the point I have been trying to make on this web site for a few years now. And as I stated above, religion is involved on both sides of the political spectrum, and now Pope Francis is trying to bring those two forces together with an ecumenical movement that could very well mean the Harlot from Revelation 17. There is also a warning…get out of her. Hope Mr. Hickey listens to that warning, along with others.

  10. Hello Mr. Sibson, somehow I knew that you were gonna bash the Pope on this. What religion finally took you into their house? Probably The First Church of the Gooey Death in Del Rio, Texas, say Hallelujah.

  11. “carrying their own weight”—I heard a commentator on NPR immediately after Trump’s foreign policy teleprompter recitation say that Trump’s thinking assumes that our alliances are all cost and no benefit. Is it cheaper for us to maintain our alliances and strategic commitments as is than to let them crumble on non-payment of dues and see the world descend into the next world war?

  12. All I have to say is, I think “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” is a great movie.

  13. Steve Sibson

    “see the world descend into the next world war”

    Exactly Cory, the globalist propaganda says we have to destroy America’s sovereignty in order to prevent “the next world war”. The next world war is being pushed by Islam. So do you think the Pope is going to get them to join his ecumenical party and prevent the next world war?

  14. Roger Cornelius

    From what I understand, Harry Truman was the first president to start the tradition of providing daily briefings to presumptive presidential nominees. Not a good move Harry.
    Now we have the White House a bit cagey about providing daily briefings to Trump, as well they should be.
    Trump’s instability and reactionary nature make this more than a scary situation.

  15. Steve Sibson

    “I knew that you were gonna bash the Pope”

    My comment was not bashing the Pope, it was warning.

  16. Lanny V Stricherz

    leslie, I remember that night when the tanks rolled into Kuwait. Watching on TV as the young oil sheiks from Kuwait sat in a bar watching the action of the Americans taking their land back from Iraq, land which as you point out had been in dispute for some time over the debt that Kuwait owed Iraq for its part in fighting Kuwait’s part in the Iran Iraq war.

    Who says there is no free lunch? Apparently a lot of people, American taxpayers included, think that the US taxpayer is the security funder of the world. We give Israel over 10 million dollars a day for defense purposes and Saudi Arabia and Egypt another two million a day to guarantee the peace treaties between them and Israel. Kind of reminds one of the billions of dollars that disappeared in Iraq and of the billions more that were paid to the Sunnis to fight on our side against the Shia in the “Surge”.

  17. mike from iowa

    The next world war is being pushed by fauxknee, right wing kristians who want an all out holy war with Islam so they can be raptured. IMHO, a war of any kind is enough to make these SOBs wet their pants as long as they and theirs aren’t in harms way.

  18. mike from iowa

    Lanny-if memory serves, Hussein asked the Hitler Weasel Bush admin. point blank if they objected to an invasion of Kuwait,because Kuwait was angle drilling into Iraq’s oil fields. I believe the answer was no objections from DC, which used the invasion of Kuwait to launch our own soiree into Iraq.

    I’m open to correction if I disremember wrong.

  19. Lanny V Stricherz

    You are somewhat right, mfi. This was G H W Bush Admin, not the weasel.

    http://articles.latimes.com/1991-02-05/news/wr-840_1_april-glaspie

    From that article:The ambassador’s dramatic slide began last July 27 when, according to an Iraqi transcript that leaked out later, she told Iraqi President Saddam Hussein that the United States would not take a position in the growing border dispute between Iraq and Kuwait.

    http://tinyurl.com/gwx75mb

  20. Lanny V Stricherz

    In other words, Saddam was asking Kuwait to pay their share, because his poor were hurting even more because of the cost of the Iraq/Iran war. That is not too much different from what Trump is saying considering that our country is 18 trillion in debt, with the largest share of it coming from wars that we fought but did not pay for because of tax cuts, not because of social programs as many on the right would like for people to believe.

  21. mike from iowa

    Hitler Weasel is the elder Bush.Lanny. Sorry for any confusion.

  22. Steve Sibson

    Based on the last few comments, I have to say that it is ironic that those in charge tell us to give up our sovereignty in order to prevent war, are the ones who manufacture wars.

  23. mike from iowa

    Great link,Lanny. Thanks.

  24. wow lanny. thku. who the hell was that ambassador?

    I too, recall, sick in bed, the air war commencement. how could weasel, w/ his previous experience let that happen?

  25. sibby-“her?”

    I don’t think the NWO or whatever is trying to strip our sovereignty and trump is trying to save us from that. do you mean sovereignty in some individual sense?

    I think there are bastards like KOCHS who manipulate and try to dilute the vote. as joni Mitchell sang for years, the 8F Group and other wealthy americans think nothing of war and famine profiteering. if mitch McConnell and Boehner keep or get back some power, the world will continue to see the US pull these shennnaigans. get dark money shelter banks out of SD and we can do our part to protect our sovereignty. SDGOP will scream bloody murder. my, sounds patriotic . now tell us how to get god in there too.

    jtol

  26. Lanny V Stricherz

    leslie, her name was April Gilespie. The second link however seems to suggest that the blame was not completely hers. At the time she took all the blame, that was not given to Saddam. He was blamed for gassing the Kurds. But what they fail to mention in that case was that he did so because the Kurds had fought on the side of Iran in the Iran/Iraq war, in spite of the fact that they were Iraqi citizens. The Kurds are the largest population in the world without their own country, mainly because of the split up of the territory of the former Ottoman Empire, by the British after WWI.

  27. Slippery argument Cory, if you call that an argument. You dodged my questions entirely.

  28. Sibby, back up. Where do I say we ought to surrender our sovereignty?

  29. Ror asks, “1. Are our allies paying their own weight for their own defense? If you say yes, then explain why you think US taxpayers should pay a much higher amount for defense of Germany, Japan, South Korea than those taxpayers pay.”

    Self-sufficiency makes sense. All of my neighbors should shovel their own sidewalks and driveways. But suppose the old lady next door doesn’t shovel her walk and driveway. Instead, I do it for her. In return, I get to park my boat in her garage. She even gives me a key, so I can come in and out any time. Is my neighbor lady pulling her weight?

    Ror asks, “2. If our allies are not paying their own weight how do we get them to do so?”

    Do we want to force my neighbor lady to shovel her own driveway, if it means I have to spend money on a new garage?

  30. Lanny V Stricherz

    It is your boat and your proposed garage, why should I pay for it Cory? Come on let’s compare apples to apples.

    Do you remember the Right was going to shut down the government over spending in 2014? Well guess what. The President and the pentagon asked for 176 million dollars to fund the Iron Dome missile defense shield for Israel. But that congress that was going to shut it down appropriated 575 million. That was in addition to the 10 million dollars a day that is in the regular budget.

    Usually there is a reciprocal agreement that when we spend our tax dollars to help someone else’s defense project, they agree to buy the project from us. But with Israel it is just the opposite. They often take that money and develop their own system off from technology that we have either given to them or they have stolen from us, and then they turn around and sell the finished product in competition with our manufacturers.

  31. mike from iowa

    And the Kurds got gassed because the United States sold Hussein the precursors for his chemical weapons and stuff foe atomic program. Here is D Rumsfeld shaking hands with S Hussein after Kurds were gassed.
    http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/

  32. mike from iowa

    ps the ambassador’s name was April Glaspie.

  33. mike from iowa

    Anyone remember that woman on tv pleading America to get involved because mean Iraqi troops were tossing babies out of incubators. That woman was the daughter of some ambassador or something, being paid by a PR firm to arouse America’s anger to sell the war to the public.

    She was a pawn as was Jessica Lynch used by dumbass dubya’s regime to make Americans jump on the illegal war bandwagon again.

  34. Lanny V Stricherz

    By the way, this first Iraq war was the first time in my memory that NATO got involved outside of its area. I imagine a lot of younger folks aren’t even aware what that acronym stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

    Kind of funny that the other alliance started at the end of WWII, SEATO, South East Asia Treaty Organization, has never been involved to my knowledge. Could that be because we are the only white people in that organization?

  35. Lanny, I thought I was serving pretty good apples. I do work for my neighbor and get something valuable in return. How does that differ from the U.S. doing work for its neighbors and getting something in return?

    Note that I’m not defending the Iraq War or reckless interventionism. I share your concerns about imperialism and will happily look for ways to scale back military spending. I do oppose unpredictable—i.e., irrational—bumper-sticker foreign policy and signals that the world can’t count on us to lead the fight against serious threats to global peace.

    (Fair warning: I make movie foreign policy, based on the great line in Independence Day when Jeff Goldblum comes up with a plan to beat the aliens, we hit the telegraph announcing we have a plan, and the British commander in Iraq or God-knows-where says, “It’s about bloody time.” We’re America, dang it. It’s our job to think up brilliant plans and save the world.)

  36. Richard Schriever

    In nationalism (USA!! USA!! USA!!) vs globalism (One World System) arguments, nationalists must necessarily come down as anti- free traders. How’s them new tariff protected shoes fitting Sibby?

  37. You are an artful dodger, Cory.

    So we volunteer to shovel Germany’s sidewalk because they are a helpless old lady incapable of paying for a shoveler. Then we get to park our military in their garage at our expense. But first we have to pay to build the garage on Germany’s property – not one, but lots of garages. And we need to pay our military too. And our military stimulates the hell out of the German economy.

    I’m missing the part about why Germany shouldn’t pick up the tab. Is it because Germany is an old lady? Or is it because there are no garages in the US?

  38. And yes, Lanny. Instead of us paying Israel billions a year to be our friend, they should be paying us for all we do for them.

  39. goldblum is pretty much an awesome but stealthy liberal who could help Dr. MacTaggart with the mini-transmuting reactors he reverse engineered in that flic, cory!

    it about bloody time. :) https://www.instagram.com/p/8zeYY-JhqRT75FmpGzSPKfVKPGu2i5dNKvo_k0/

  40. Lanny V Stricherz

    You missed at least one, Rorschach. The old German lady then leads our tank battalion across her field so that we go where she wants us to. Then 4 or 6 months later we have to pay her reparations for the crop that we destroyed, because we could not see where she had planted her crop when she led us across.

    By the way Cory, you forgot to tell us what we are getting in return, for our “good deeds”, (often not asked for) other than a kick in the pants for being ugly Americans.

  41. try bigger vision, rohr

  42. What are we getting, Lanny? Trust? Respect? Global stability? The certainty that Germany never throws in with Russia again?

    Ror, we may not disagree hard this one. Is there a separation between talking about a better financial arrangement to support the underlying principle that we stick with and protect our allies?

    Or is there a deeper disagreement here? Is there an argument that our alliances with Germany, Japan, and others serve no national security interest worth our current investment?

  43. Lanny V Stricherz

    “Trust? Respect? Global stability?” Surely, you jest Cory. We are no longer trusted or respected and if this stability, I don’t ever want to see unstable. When did Germany throw in with Russia? We threw in with Russia to defeat Germany. Today Germany is more prosperous than either Russia or us and on average her citizens have it way better than either Russians or us on average.

  44. NATO recommends that each member country spend 2% of GDP on defense. Only 5 of the 28 NATO countries are doing that. Germany has the 4th largest economy in the world and is not contributing its 2%. The idea that our partners ought to be carrying their weight at the 2% level is a bipartisan one. President Obama has complained about our free rider allies, as have GOP senators.

    http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/04/06/senators-slam-nato-free-riders-in-closed-door-meeting-with-secretary-general/

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/blog/2016/mar/11/barack-obama-right-criticise-natos-free-riders-course-he-is

  45. Lanny V Stricherz

    So there you have it, Rorschach et al, the US GDP 2015 17 trillion, defense spending 1.1 trillion, not including the VA (which believe it or not is a cost of war). So US spends 6.5% and Germany less than 2%.

    Is this kind of like the union issue? The non union members freeloading off the union by not wanting to pay a fee for the union representation?

  46. Shirley Harrington-Moore

    well Trump COULD choose Dick Cheney for VP. Cheney at least knows how to run the government and they each have egos. Of course the Trump boys wouldn’t want to go hunting with ‘Uncle Dick’.

  47. Lanny, we enjoy far more trust and respect under Obama and would under Clinton than we would under the unpredictable, egomaniacal Trump.

  48. Lanny V Stricherz

    Trust if you like Mr Heidleberger. This is the Obama, who would repeal the tax cuts, but never has, would have a public option in the new healthcare system which he proposed, but dropped it as soon as the insurance industry objected and that is just here at home. He would close Guantanamo, get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan. He allowed his CIA to instigate the Arab Spring, which has devastated the entire Mideast, and he personally led the charge to rid Syria of its leader Assad, despite the fact that the Syrian people gave him over 50 percent approval rating, and despite the fact that trumped up charges against Assad by the hard right and then followed by the media, have never been proven, in fact there is clear evidence that it was the group that is now ISIS were the ones who gassed the Syrian population. And of course his Secretary of State in this first four years was the person that you now also trust, even though she was the one who got NATO to destroy Libya. And it was the State Department, after she left, that instigated the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Ukraine.

    Father Daniel Barrigan died this past week. Here is a quote from Father Kelly who gave the homily at his funeral, speaking of the two brothers Barrigan. The article was in the National Catholic Reporter.

    http://ncronline.org/news/peace-justice/berrigans-life-lesson-fidelity-has-its-payoffs

    “Are we to remain in a catatonic stupor, asleep, drunk, unconscious or in flat-lined existence? In these United States of Amnesia? Will we arrive at perdition, dominion of death with our freedom never used, intact? What good is it if paralyzed in fear? Liberated, but not loving.”

    You can continue to be proud, but I am ashamed of what our country has become. You cannot possibly know if Trump will be worse than Clinton. So far it is all rhetoric on both sides and in the next 6 months it is going to get a lot worse.

  49. Wow lanny. U really think assad is not the world problem most agree? Complex and evasive as answers are, obama is the problem? He spends 8 yrs trying to get us out of bush’s iraq ect. debacle and what, lets agree w/sh-m that cheney knows how to run halliburton and the nation, ethically?

    My Concern Is That By Nov. Voters, especially Young People Are Going To Be So Mixed Up About Political Truth, that Republicans Will Successfully Engineer A Spoiler Or Idiot Trump Will Get A Chance To Bring In Another Cheney. Right Now Is The Worlds Chance. Dems Can Take The Presidency , the House maybe, the Senate And Scotus, and We’ll Be Able To Legislate All Those Vital Complaints You Have W/ obama, hillary, u Listed Above, and Certainly Bernie Will Be A Part Of The Village Administration. Lets Not Screw This Up. Climate, peace, energy & health Care Are Much More Important Than Whether … What Ever Red Herrings Republicans Raise Before Nov.

  50. Lanny V Stricherz

    leslie, Do you know how the mess in Syria started?

  51. Lanny V Stricherz

    leslie, Since you did not respond, I will give you some of the things that instigated what we now see in Syria and of course spreading to ISIS and Iraq.

    Because of global climate change, Syria experienced a severe drought in 2006 to 2009. Because of the drought many of the people who worked on the farms had no work and moved to the cities. Since there were no jobs there because of the economic downturn worldwide, the unrest continued to grow. In addition to this, the government had sold a lot of the foodstuff surplus which the country had and this only exacerbated the situation because of widespread hunger.

    http://tinyurl.com/k5asy5h

    In late 2010 and early 2011 the people started peaceful protests against the government because they had no jobs and not enough food. This just happened to be the same time as the CIA was fomenting the Arab Spring throughout the Middle East and the peaceful protest quickly turned into violence and the government responded with violence, somewhat similar to what we see in our major cities here in the US.

    http://tinyurl.com/zn98spe

    This was also about the time that President Obama started the clamor for the ouster of Bashar al Assad, even though he had more than 55% support of the Sunnis and more from his sect as an Alawite Shia and also from the Christians. The call for his ouster was quickly followed by the media, even though no other governments or foreign leaders were calling for his ouster, other than Netanyahu and Israel. Weren’t you just a little suspicious when our government and the media accused him of gassing little kids in his own country, when he enjoyed popular support?

    http://tinyurl.com/j8p33ml

    Once the violence started and it turned into a civil war, the Free Syrian Army was joined by factions of al Qaeda and the US government was giving arms to be used against the Syrian government, just as they had in several other uprisings in the Arab Spring.

    This cancer which we induced has metastasized into the ISIS/ISIL/al Qaeda mess that we see there now, as well as the worldwide refugee crisis coming from the Middle East.

    You wrote, “Right Now Is The Worlds Chance. Dems Can Take The Presidency”. Seems to me that is what folks were saying 8 years ago, but the world didn’t get that chance.

  52. Mike Kokenge SR

    Wars are built around lies. Particularly the wars of bush 1 and bush 2.

    http://youtu.be/bhGl03QFUi4

    http://youtu.be/XNFDXSKh17I

    http://youtu.be/kolGvsHXcTM

    Now we stand on the brink of handing over the nuclear weapons button, and control of the most powerful military force the world has ever known, to man who will get his presidential daily briefings straight from the pages of the national enquirer.

  53. mike from iowa

    If dumbass dubya hadn’t had to start a war with Iraq, the Middle East might still be relatively stable and Syria and ISIS wouldn’t be a big problem. But, Saudi Arabia is the main backer of ISIS and was also somewhat responsible for 9-11. We need to pick and choose allies and enemies better.

  54. Lanny V Stricherz

    Thanks Mr Kokenge, the first video certainly validates the point that mfi made yesterday about the Iraq soldiers killing babies in incubators being a lie that was used to incite the American people and Congress to vote in favor of going into the first gulf war.

    The second and third with the comments after the testimony could just as easily be applied to every foreign policy situation that led to war in the past 25 years.

    We need to tell out next president that it is unacceptable to have the CIA, USAID, The State Department and the Pentagon, all of which are under his or her control, to stop fomenting wars around the world, and to stop intervening just because we can.

  55. lanny, as is obvious from my poor smart fon font when u asked for a response, I was out and about, off the net. Saturday night yah know. rock’n roll never sleeps. 5 years ago I was up to speed on the Syrian crisis from that big ugly red hot state, arguing with m-16s and border patrols at 2 a.m., and despite bp’s evolving crime off-shore, was wondering what were we going to do about assad? gassing was a set-up? Hillary set up trump? Benghazi? which scandal/world crisis have I missed the truth on?

    coincidently last night I caught a very late rerun of Clooney’s “Syriana”. but I will digest your tinyurls.

  56. lanny, can you honestly say after all we have been through “Seems to me that is what folks were saying 8 years ago, but the world didn’t get that chance.”

    I said ” Right Now Is The Worlds Chance. Dems Can Take The Presidency , the House maybe, the Senate And Scotus, and We’ll Be Able To Legislate All Those Vital Complaints You [Lanny] Have W/ Obama…” yahdayahda

    dems fought tooth and nail to win then, not for glory and power. far be it. for dem values. for doing the right thing, not the oil thing. I was there in 2012.

    let’s not screw this up. I already wasted one vote on perot thinking like you seem to be. i’ll be there this time too. help us, please.

  57. your cite says:

    Pulitzer-prize winning investigative reporter reported that high-level American sources tell him that the Turkish government carried out the chemical weapons attacks blamed on the Syrian government.

    As seymore Hersh noted:

    ‘We knew there were some in the Turkish government,’ a former senior US intelligence official, who has access to current intelligence, told me, ‘who believed they could get Assad … in a vice by dabbling with a sarin attack inside Syria – and forcing Obama to make good on his red line threat.’

    so which is it, definitively? Obama almost mobilized. ” Not acting earlier in Syria, starting the Asia pivot and not following through, too quickly withdrawing sanctions on Russia in 2009 that were put in place over the war in Georgia less than a year before, not preparing properly for global climate talks, not pushing Egypt’s Mohamed Morsi hard enough to honor democracy while he was in power, not pushing the Qataris and the Turks hard enough to stop supporting the Syrian opposition, and so on….his decision … to push for new emissions regulations was instantly controversial. It was also arguably one of his very best national security moves of his time in office. It was truly leading…on the critical issue of climate change ” http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/06/04/obamas-dont-do-stupid-shit-foreign-policy/

  58. The deal would provide a new source of gas for Turkey, which has scrambled to find alternatives after relations with major supplier Russia deteriorated sharply after the Turkish airforce downed a Russian warplane late last year. http://www.reuters.com/article/genel-energy-gas-turkey-idUSL5N17U5QE

    (CNN) — Russian military officials laid out Wednesday what they say is “hard evidence” that Turkey is involved in an oil trade with ISIS, offering more detail on earlier claims that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has flatly denied. http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/02/europe/syria-turkey-russia-warplane-tensions/index.html

  59. Lanny V Stricherz

    So what are you saying, leslie? Being President Obama didn’t follow up on his red line threat, he/we did not do damage to Syria and to our own reputation? Think back on why he did not follow up. The American people called their representatives in Congress and the Whitehouse, enraged that he/we would even consider such a thing after the debacle in Iraq. President Erdogan was allowing foreign fighters from all over the world to come in to Syria from Turkey and in fact encouraging it.

    I merely pointed out that the false flag operation of gassing his own people was not done by him but by another country trying to get us to go to war with Syria, which we would have done, had not the American people said enough is enough. President Obama was calling for Assad to step down as late as October of 2015, but now all of a sudden we are fighting on his side against ISIS.

    I am saying now that whichever of these two pseudo leaders gets elected, we have to make it perfectly clear that we expect her or him to run the executive department not to let the departments under the executive branch run her or him. This “a new war around every corner” has to stop and it will only stop if we demand that it stops. The war on terror is just as big a failure or bigger than the war on drugs and a helluva lot more people have died needlessly because of it.

  60. Lanny V Stricherz

    Well leslie, if you want to bring up the natural gas aspect of this war, maybe you need to read this blog. It shows how this entire MiddleEast war since the second Iraq war may be related to natural gas, and funded by the big stakeholders, including us.

    http://tinyurl.com/l69jqof

  61. no one knows who gassed assads’ people. not acting on his red line was a step in that direction. there is a reason he has gone grey.

    I agree w/your premise that just like Eisenhower said…beware the military industrial complex, still. a woman, or a wild white-haired man will get us there. let’s not screw this up and give the keys to trumpster.

  62. my point is turkey/Russia/assad are linked. nat’l gas, pipelines, ukrain, turkey shot down Russia’s fighter ferchrissake.

    As said, “Complex and evasive as answers are, obama is the problem?”

  63. mike from iowa

    Ike was the American Potus that said no to Vietnam reconciliation and getting back together-that led to our sending advisors there-that led to escalations of fighting-that led to more troops being sent-that led to etc., etc…

  64. Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.

    today, AhlulBayt News Agency – A senior Syrian lawmaker slammed neighboring Turkey for backing terrorist groups in the Arab country, saying that the recent escalation of attacks on Syria’s northern city of Aleppo by terrorist groups has its roots in Turkey’s schemes.

    The Syrian parliamentarian added that since Aleppo is near Turkish borders, Ankara is “daydreaming” about annexing the city.

    http://en.abna24.com/service/middle-east-west-asia/archive/2016/05/04/752013/story.html

    you said: ” President Obama was calling for Assad to step down as late as October of 2015, but now all of a sudden we are fighting on his side against ISIS. ”

    3 mos ago I settled into the view the US and GB policy was assad will go, but not right at the moment.

    the last thing I am going to do is second guess Obama and follow the right’s berating democratic policy at every turn to gain election leverage. I don’t trust anything I hear from anyone on the right.

  65. Lanny V Stricherz

    leslie et al, Since you have no idea who I am and from where I draw my opinions, being it is Mothers’ Day, perhaps I should share with you an email that I got this week. If you don’t read any of the urls, please make sure to read the poem at the end.

    HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY – HAPPY PEACE DAY!

    Daniel Berrigan is a Name we should ALL Know & Remember especially now that he has passed. Learning something about his Life is the Perfect Way to Celebrate Julia Ward Howe’s Original Intent for Mother’s Day of Mother’s Preventing their Sons, now Daughters as well, from learning war anymore & going out & killing other Mother’s Sons & Daughters!

    http://tinyurl.com/j5hfrqg

    http://tinyurl.com/hr4ql3r

    http://tinyurl.com/hlf8wyv

    http://americamagazine.org/issue/daniel-berrigan-poet-priest-prophet

    http://www.democracynow.org/2016/5/6/remembering_father_dan_berrigan_a_prophet

    http://www.democracynow.org/2016/5/2/friends_remember_fr_dan_berrigan_he – John Dear & Bill Quigley

    http://www.democracynow.org/2016/5/2/part_2_remembering_father_daniel_berrigan

    http://www.democracynow.org/2016/4/30/father_daniel_berrigan_anti_war_activist

    Remembering Hiroshima: A Poem by Daniel Berrigan
    In Environment, Nonviolence, Nuclear Guardianship, Peace, Poetry on August 7, 2013 at 2:08 am
    Shadow on the Rock

    At Hiroshima there’s a museum
    and outside that museum there’s a rock,
    and on that rock there’s a shadow.
    That shadow is all that remains
    of the human being who stood there on
    August 6, 1945
    when the nuclear age began.
    In the most real sense of the word,
    that is the choice before us.
    We shall either end war and the nuclear arms
    race in this generation,
    or we will become Shadows on the rock.
    — Daniel Berrigan, S. J.

  66. thx mfi.

    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=eisenhower+vietnam&view=detailv2&&id=975BE5B6133749A8DE858E4017B85C39B65F69DC&selectedIndex=50&ccid=2Wds9UmA&simid=608052372356399166&thid=OIP.Md9676cf54980f0b4209144fe8edd3870H0&ajaxhist=0

    the domino cartoon. we were all raised with it after crawling out from under our desks at the next red scare of nuke annililation:)

    apparently, his even closer relationship with his brother, CIA Director Allen Dulles, John Foster Dulles was second in importance only to … at any NSC meeting. President Eisenhower often dominated the discussions, but Dulles remained his most influential foreign policy adviser.

    Dulles was a staunch anti-communist. For this Secretary of State there was no grey area—nations were either part of the “Free World” or part of the Soviet bloc; he had little time for neutralism or non-alignment. Secretary Dulles also had a tendency to speak dramatically. In a 1954 speech, he said that the United States would meet Soviet provocations not necessarily where they occurred but where the United States chose, based on its “deterrent of massive retaliatory power.” In a 1956 Life magazine interview, Dulles described how he had passed the word to the Chinese and the North Koreans that unless the communist powers signed the Korean armistice, the United States would unleash its atomic arsenal. https://history.state.gov/departmenthistory/short-history/eisenhower

    Eisenhower’s role in ending the Korean War. Eisenhower went to Korea, and on July 27, 1953, an armistence was signed, ending the war (Eisenhower Goes to Korea). This was one of the things that Eisenhower had promised while campaigning for office, and this boosted his public image.

    Eisenhower’s was his role in ending the Korean War. Eisenhower went to Korea, and on July 27, 1953, an armistence was signed, ending the war (Eisenhower Goes to Korea). This was one of the things that Eisenhower had promised while campaigning for office, and this boosted his public image.

    Vietnam:

    Another action that Eisenhower took in the area of foreign policy was to NOT get involved in the Vietnam War. In a press conferences, he stated- “I cannot conceive of a greater tragedy for America than to get heavily involved now in an all-out war in any of those regions.” (Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Vietnam War). https://presidentdeisenhower.wordpress.com/foreign-policy/

    not sure that is accurate tho, mfi. you prolly know better. Only weeks after he took office JFK was told of a secret CIA plan to send an army of Cuban exiles to overthrow Fidel Castro and rid the western hemisphere of its first Communist regime.

    From his undergraduate days at Harvard, John Kennedy had a strong interest in foreign policy. …He also understood that foreign policy, and in particular, anti-Communism, were key issues for any politician of his day.

    In a campaign speech for a Massachusetts State Senate seat in 1951, John Kennedy said, “Foreign policy today, irrespective of what we might wish, in its impact on our daily lives, overshadows everything else. Expenditures, taxation, domestic prosperity, the extent of social sciences — all hinge on the basic issue of war or peace.”

    President Kennedy had been in office for less than three months. At a press conference on April 21, he accepted responsibility for the [Bay of Pigs]. In private he complained about the briefings he had received from the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, saying, “I just took their advice.” As documents become declassified, historians have placed the truth somewhere between….

    Vietnam

    Just days later, on April 29, Kennedy approved the deployment of 400 Special Forces troops to South Vietnam, where they would train and advise local soldiers against the Communist North. Within two years, more than 16,000 American troops would arrive in Vietnam. U.S. involvement in Vietnam may be Kennedy’s most lasting legacy in American foreign policy, but at the time, not many Americans understood the depth of involvement that lay ahead. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/john-kennedy-and-foreign-policy/

  67. To get away from the historical banter, an anecdote.
    When I was in Germany in 2008, I received a lot of questions from my peers about Obama and what he could do for the US and the world.
    When I was in Tunisia and Egypt in 2016, I received a lot of questions from my peers about Trump and what was going to happen to the world if he was elected. The fear was palpable.

    Foreign policy matters, and while we have remained over-committed beyond our borders, a sudden change could have far reaching effects.

  68. mike from iowa

    Lanny, I recently saw a photo from WW2 that showed a couple of those shadows. The human beings were vaporized instantaneously.

  69. Roger Cornelius

    “Donald Trump’s foreign policy would be like Archie Bunker with a nuclear code”.
    That isn’t mine, but it is probably a good summation of Trump’s foreign policy.

  70. Lanny V Stricherz

    Thanks mfi. First, I am glad that at least one person read Daniel Berrigan’s poem. But more importantly, at least to me, I thought that I was going nuts when leslie wrote that Eisenhower didn’t send troops into Viet Nam. I was in high school when he did and thought for sure that he did.

    It was just another case of the tail wagging the dog. In other words two department heads, the Dulles boys with their inimical and erratic fear of communism, mere underlings to the POTUS, Ike, got that same President, who only a couple of short years earlier, as leslie’s post pointed out, said that it would be insane to send American troops into Viet Nam, to do the very thing that he said he would not.

    That irrational fear of communism ruled our foreign policy from the end of WWII until the collapse of the Berlin Wall. If capitalism is such a great idea, why would they be afraid of communism and why today is almost everyone in the US afraid of socialism?

  71. Mike Kokenge SR

    The title of this blog piece and where this thread has headed has always been of interest to me. When I see the term Pax Americana it means only one thing to me. The Pax Americana speech by President Kennedy in June 1963. After the bay of pigs mess, Kennedy completely dismissed his own chiefs of staff and CIA as idiots. Never trusted them again. Even dismissed dulles as head of the CIA. Then came the cuban missile crisis. His chiefs and CIA wanted all out war, Kennedy chose the blockade. All out nuclear war was the consequence of a missed step. Kennedy won his gamble, and he and Kruschev won a new found respect for each other. The following year Kennedy took a new turn at world events. He was ready to withdraw troops from Nam and sign a test ban treaty with Russia. Then came his Pax Americana speech in June 63. Give it a listen. Best speech by any president ever. Sadly, 5 months later he was assassinated. Some say a lone gunman. Kennedy made too many high level enemies for me ever to believe that.

    Anyway, the Pax Americana speech. This is not the stuff of trump or hillary for that matter.
    https://youtu.be/0fkKnfk4k40

  72. Lanny V Stricherz

    Thanks Mr Kokenge. Yes, that is a truly great speech. The first two sets of applause follow each other at the 22 minute mark, the first an announcement of a high level meeting between GB, The Soviet Union and ourselves to work toward nuclear disarmament and the second announcing that we would stop nuclear testing in the atmosphere, in other words above ground.

    He made a great point of how the arms race was and still continues more than 50 years later to rob education, health and other programs in our budget. For the past 35 years that spending along with tax cuts have robbed future generations of the basic needs that a democratic republican government needs to provide.

    I heard Minnesota 2008 Democratic Senate primary candidate Jack Nelson Pallmeyer, who teaches peace at St Thomas in Minneapolis. They are the only college in the United States that also has a Masters degree in peace. He spoke about 12 years ago at a peace conference that I attended. He made several of the points that President Kennedy made.

  73. Steve Sibson

    “Sibby, back up. Where do I say we ought to surrender our sovereignty?”

    The NEA said it in 1948. We all have been indoctrinated to believe that. Not everyone has taken the bait. Many of those are Trump supporters.