Home > World Events > Trump and Tribalism (crosspost from Crooked Timber)

Trump and Tribalism (crosspost from Crooked Timber)

May 24th, 2016

Watching the rapid consolidation of the Republican Party around the candidacy of Donald Trump, I’ve tried to make sense of this in terms of the “three party system” analysis I presented a few months ago. I saw the Republicans as the “hard neoliberal” party relying on the votes of (white Christian) tribalists and making symbolic gestures in their direction, but largely ignoring them, particularly if their interests came into conflict with those of big business.

What’s become clear since then, I think, is that the Republican Party apparatus (politicians and party officials) is more tribalist than this analysis suggested. Faced with the prospect of electing their hated tribal enemy, Hillary Clinton, as President, the vast majority look like backing Trump (some, but not all of them, holding their nose as they do so).

From a hard neoliberal viewpoint, this makes no sense. Clinton’s Democratic Leadership Council background is that of the stereotypical soft neoliberal. Her candidacy is the best chance of maintaining the long-running alternation in office between the hard and soft variants of neoliberalism. Admittedly, she will be pulled to the left by the general shift exemplified by the Sanders insurgency, but she is unlikely to do anything that would fundamentally undermine capitalism. By contrast, a Trump takeover of the Republican Party would be a disaster for neoliberalism (which does *not* mean it would be good for the left). That would be the inevitable result of a Trump victory. Even a creditable defeat, which would be blamed on the old establishment, could leave the tribalists in control of the organization.

The only groups where the #NeverTrump analysis seems to hold sway are the business donor class and the remnants of the rightwing intelligentsia (hard to believe they were carrying all before them only 20 years ago). The donors obviously have no interest in throwing money at someone like Trump. As for the intelligentsia, even if they were willing to embrace Trump, it’s obvious he has no use for any but the most total hacks, and not even many of those.

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  1. Newtownian
    May 24th, 2016 at 12:48 | #1

    Perhaps you have the cause and effect link back to front i.e. the past 35 years was never about neoliberal ‘philosophy’ or neoclassical economics? Rather the latter were simply useful foils/tools/spin for people in powerful positions to reassert their command and control power after the setbacks and near collapse of their system back in 1914 to 1945 when between two world wars, the great depression and rise of ideologies of desperation they lost the control they exercised in the 19th Century post Napoleon and pre the fall of Downton Abbey.

    Alternatively perhaps we are dealing with a more complex social system which we still dont yet have a model to describe in spite of Economics’ claim to hegemony over theories on how society ticks and how to best manage it? So a simple qualitative analysis just doesnt cut it in terms of its predictive powers.

    A third view might be that politics tends to fluctuate (like economics?!) around a magic mean and what we are simply seeing in Trump is the periodic extreme that you would expect over the long term? However the hindisight commentators repeatedly suggest we are seeing the logical outcome of a progression that has been going on since Barry Goldwater was defeated.

    One thing for sure though is we have still little idea of who or what Trump is let alone would be if elected as nothing he says is coherent beyond the underlying theme of deluded narcissism.

  2. Ikonoclast
    May 24th, 2016 at 15:40 | #2

    Professor R.D. Wolff has some interesting things to say that relate to this topic.

    http://www.rdwolff.com/content/prof-wolff-rt-tv-americans-cast-vote-no-confidence-government-today

  3. John Goss
    May 24th, 2016 at 16:20 | #3

    I don’t see there has been a change. The neo-liberal Republicans might pretend to support Trump as Presidential candidate, but their money and effort will be going into supporting the Republican Congressional candidates and Governors and other candidates like the dog-catchers. The neo-liberals need to stay involved in all the party processes to ensure as little money as possible get’s passed onto Trump’s campaign.

  4. Trevor
    May 24th, 2016 at 16:59 | #4

    What is interesting, is that even though the GOP establishment made it clear they did not favour Trump they could not promote a rival candidate who could gain popular support. Their insistence on sticking with hardliners like Cruz allowed Trump to get through the nomination with small turn outs. I can’t help but think, had they swallowed their pride and put forward a more moderate republican candidate with some economic credentials they could have inspired a greater involvement and turn out for the primaries, this would have made it difficult for Trump. But they were blinded by faith that their “base” was made up of excitable neocons. If Trump is indeed successful in gaining the nomination, the GOP will have to reform, or it will be a long time before they have a republican in the oval office.

  5. Douglas Hynd
    May 24th, 2016 at 17:11 | #5

    Here’s a suggestion that we are witnessing the end of the latest realignment in the US party system. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/05/2016-election-realignment-partisan-political-party-policy-democrats-republicans-politics-213909. Not sure that I know enough to assess the argument but interesting argument against some of the debate which suggests we may be about to witness the beginning of such an alignment.

  6. James Wimberley
    May 24th, 2016 at 17:58 | #6

    @John Goss
    Seconded. Republicans face a difficult Congressional election in November. Both full identification with Trump and full separation from him are very risky. The best bet for most is likely to be “supporting the nominee” in a token way. They can cherry-pick from his splatter of statements on any subject to find one to match their own opinions.

    The situation may well change. Harold Pollack predicts that Trump will go down in disgrace. I think it’s more likely that he will fade into irrelevance once Clinton establishes an unchallengeable 10-point lead in the polls, say in September. If either of us is right, the Congressional Republicans will distance themselves from Trump.

    As JQ notes, it’s they who will be getting the money from rich donors. Trump span his endorsement from Adelson (who must be senile to think that a Trump presidency will be “good for Israel”) into a promise of $100m, but the FT isn’t convinced.

  7. Ikonoclast
    May 24th, 2016 at 19:32 | #7
  8. May 26th, 2016 at 01:50 | #8

    I think that this discussion about the United States Presidential election needs to focus more on the policies put by the different candidates. The issues raised by Donald Trump include:

    1. Effective border control, to stop the influx of immigrants from south of the border further eroding the wages and conditions of United States’ workers; and

    2. Ending ongoing wars and the threat of even bigger wars.

    Given Hillary Clinton’s record towards Yugoslavia, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria and Haiti, I think much of Europe is right to fear a victory by Hillary Clinton far more than a victory by anyone else.

  9. J-D
    May 26th, 2016 at 15:25 | #9

    @James

    You base your evaluation of Hillary Clinton on an interpretation of what she actually has done in the past; you base your evaluation of Donald Trump on an interpretation of what he has only said he will do in the future. A more even-handed approach would be either to examine the past records of action for both or to examine the stated future intentions of both.

  10. Donald Oats
    May 27th, 2016 at 18:02 | #10

    As has been observed (here, by Prof Quiggin and others), the GOP has long been an unreality party, in that they are willing to spout unscientific nonsense as if they believe it (no doubt some do), and others agree with it as a means of showing they are “with them.” The mocking of science is a feature, not a flaw, as far as they are concerned.

    Well, as posed in that fabulous mockumentary, “This is Spinal Tap”, when you have gone to 10, then where can you go? Well, with this you can go to 11. The GOP are simply going to 11 in their support of Trump. He’ll promise them everything and nothing, all at once, and that is fine: they don’t actually believe a word of it, or just the words “the” and “a”, but the shibboleth is in place, and they understand that.

    The real question is what happens next. What happens if/when Trump can actually affect human lives by the choices he makes? If the democracy was working in any reasonable sense, candidates such as Donald Trump would occasionally bubble and froth upon the water’s surface, but never amount to much; for Trump to lead so impressively and without the scale of campaign funding of his (early) opponents, something is going on, that’s for sure.

  11. May 28th, 2016 at 00:28 | #11

    J-D,

    Given that Donald Trump never played any part in United States’ politics, let alone foreign affairs, prior to the start of his bid to gain the Republican Party nomination for President, I fail to see how the past actions of Donald Trump can be meaningfully compared to those of Hillary Clinton.

    Hillary Clinton’s “stated future intentions” towards Iran are shown in the video I linked to in the above post. In that video, Clinton breaks out into laughter at the prospect of a United States’ war against Iran. Another video shows Hillary Clinton breaking out into laughter about the cruel cold-blooded of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. If you want to know why so many people around the world dread the prospect of Hillary Clinton becoming the next United States’ President, I suggest, you take a look at that those two videos.

    This is only two of many examples which contrast to Donald Trump’s expressed wishes to cooperate with Russia rather than seeking confrontation. One example of the latter is Donald Trump’s explicit support for Russia’s aerial bombardment of ISIS terrorists who are attempting to overthrow the legitimate government of Syria.

  12. May 28th, 2016 at 01:12 | #12

    Video debate: Greek debt bailout by IMF? or is the IMF forcing Greece to allow foreign corporations to plunder its wealth?

    In this 23 minute debate with Jack Rasmus, Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the United States’ Treasury, and former editor of the Wall Street Journal, shows that the so-called IMF bailout of Greece’s debt to the IMF is not a bailout at all. A bailout is supposed to reduce the debt to a level where the loan can be paid off. The conditions attached to the bailout will force the Greeks to sell off to foreign corporations much of Greece’s publicly owned wealth-generating assets. Without those assets, the Greek economy can only be made less able to pay off debt in future. The supposed bailout is no more than an attempt to use the indebtedness from money, which should never, in the first place, have been lent by the IMF to previous corrupt Greek governments, as a pretext to allow corporations to loot Greece’s wealth in 2016.

  13. rog
    May 28th, 2016 at 07:07 | #13

    Now that Trump has trumped the GOP a cause common enough to unite them has been found – the spectre of another President Clinton. Trump will be like Starr on steroids.

    Dems need a plan B otherwise The Donald will be President.

  14. J-D
    May 28th, 2016 at 10:48 | #14

    @James

    There isn’t enough context for the Gaddafi clip for me to be sure what’s going on there, but I can tell what’s going on in the other clip: Hillary Clinton clearly thinks that James Baker (sitting next to her) is a reckless buffoon, but she doesn’t feel that she can come right out and say that. Her laughter hints at the contempt for him that she cannot otherwise express. (I feel some sympathy for anybody who holds James Baker in contempt.) The awkwardness she feels (as a result of having to restrain the impulse to say ‘Shut up, Baker, you dangerous clown’) is the cause of an ill-considered response, easily misinterpreted and bound to give offence. But she’s not laughing because she find the idea of war with Iran enjoyable, she’s laughing because she finds the idea of war with Iran preposterous.

    But that’s not the most important point. I wrote ‘A more even-handed approach would be either to examine the past records of action for both or to examine the stated future intentions of both.’ In response, you wrote ‘Given that Donald Trump never played any part in United States’ politics, let alone foreign affairs, prior to the start of his bid to gain the Republican Party nomination for President, I fail to see how the past actions of Donald Trump can be meaningfully compared to those of Hillary Clinton.’ I have two things to say about that. The first is that Donald Trump’s past record of action, even if it wasn’t in US politics, still provides some information about how he would be likely to behave as US President. The second is that if you’re right and no meaningful comparison can be made, then it follows that no valid comparative conclusion can be drawn: in particular, in that case you cannot validly conclude that Trump would be likely to perform better (as President) than Clinton.

    For myself, what I mostly base my conclusions on is not any sort of individual comparison of Clinton and Trump, but rather a broader comparison of the past political record (all of it, but mostly the recent part) of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.

  15. May 28th, 2016 at 23:22 | #15

    Professor Quiggin, as I asked on the “Monday Message Board” of 23 May 2016, could you please remove the above post “Video debate: Greek debt bailout by IMF? …” I meant to only post it there. It was posted here first by mistake.

    J-D wrote:

    There isn’t enough context for the Gaddafi clip for me to be sure what’s going on there, …

    Then perhaps you could look at the other videos linked to from that page: “Clinton emails reveal the Golden reason she ousted Gaddafi” (6:17min), “Hillary Clinton lying for 13 minutes straight” (12:57), “Rand Paul Destroys Hillary Clinton Over Benghazi-Gate During Capitol Hill Press” (6:13), “Update 9/05/2015: Edward Snowden Speaks Out: “The Hillary”, The Donald, & …”, etc.

    J-D continued:

    but I can tell what’s going on in the other clip: Hillary Clinton clearly thinks that James Baker (sitting next to her) is a reckless buffoon, but she doesn’t feel that she can come right out and say that. Her laughter hints at the contempt for him that she cannot otherwise express. (I feel some sympathy for anybody who holds James Baker in contempt.) , …

    I have to confess that Hillary Clinton’s clever dig at James Baker went right over my head. As far as I could tell, it also went right over the heads of everyone else who posted a comment to that YouTube page:

    “She has no soul…what would you expect. She represents everything that is wrong in this world.?”, “She’s a disgusting warmonger?”, “I still can’t believe she’s running for president. Evil Is 100% REAL?”, “So that’s how a real psychopath looks like.?”, “‘The best thing that could happen to us is be attacked by somebody because it would unify us and legitimize the regime … We’re going to provoke an attack because then we will be in power for as long as anyone can imagine’. It’s both amazing and chilling to finally hear some truth from Hillary.”, ?”Hillary can not wait to invade another country. The people that vote for this psychopath will have blood on their hands. I wish people would wake up and realize what a sick individual this is.?”, “She’s laughing like she’s at a backyard barbecue.?”, “Baker is a complete lunatic as well. Of course Rose and the other mainstream media wimps say nothing. They never challenge these monsters.?”, “How repulsive, Hillary’s loud laughing! War is NO joking matter. USA has killed hundreds of thousands in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and 500,000 Iraqi in a fabricated war for profit and oil. No more war.?”, … etc.

    I was not able to find one post from anyone else who also appreciated that Hillary Clinton thought James Baker was a reckless buffoon and did not really think that war against Libya was great idea.

    J-D continued:

    For myself, what I mostly base my conclusions on is not any sort of individual
    comparison of Clinton and Trump, but rather a broader comparison of the past political record (all of it, but mostly the recent part) of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.

    I have failed to notice much difference between previous Democratic Party Presidents and Republican Party Presidents, at least since the time of Jimmy Carter. Please feel welcome to provide “a broader comparison of [their] past political record.”

  16. tony lynch
    May 30th, 2016 at 15:07 | #16

    James, I’m with you on all this. J-D is now just sliding around.

  17. Blissex
    May 30th, 2016 at 18:51 | #17

    @Newtownian
    «pre the fall of Downton Abbey.»

    A very illuminating quote from H McMillan’s diary:

    “The Macmillan Diaries, Vol II”, 2011, Macmillan.
    «As a kind of tranquiliser I am taking a course of Henry James! What a world – how quiet and peaceful and happy it was for the “upper and upper-middle classes”. Now it’s a nightmare. Happily, it’s a much better world for the masses, as has been brought home to me most forcibly in writing the history of the inter-war years.»

    The middle classes in Australia (and the USA, the UK, Canada) have currently bought the dream of a “plantation economy” in which the masters (the upper classes) and their trusties (the middle classes) will be in the sunny uplands and have quiet peaceful happy lives while the servants (the working class and the “residuum”) toil hard and unremittingly in the swamps below to provide every good and service the masters and trusties need. Of course the middle classes are being swindled, as only a tiny part of them will actually end up in the sunny uplands as trusties (as H MacMillan correctly says only “the upper-middle classes”).

  18. Blissex
    May 30th, 2016 at 19:16 | #18

    «particularly if their interests came into conflict with those of big business. What’s become clear since then, I think, is that the Republican Party apparatus (politicians and party officials) is more tribalist than this analysis suggested. [ … ] their hated tribal enemy, Hillary Clinton [ … ] From a hard neoliberal viewpoint, this makes no sense. Clinton’s Democratic Leadership Council background is that of the stereotypical soft neoliberal. [ … ] a Trump takeover of the Republican Party would be a disaster for neoliberalism [ … ] Even a creditable defeat [ … ] could leave the tribalists in control of the organization. The only groups where the #NeverTrump analysis seems to hold sway are the business donor class»

    The Republican party is the party of the business donor class, and exists only inasmuch it keep getting funded by the business donor class, because political parties are expensive, very expensive, and even Trump cannot fund it.

    Most importantly politicians and other hacks who are useful to the business donor class by getting elected and in power advance policies favourable to the business donor class become rich, are taken care of very generously by the business donor class.

    So if the “tribalists” get in control of the Republican party they have two big problems: how to fund the party’s election campaigns, and how to reward their hacks who get elected and implement tribalist policies. Given that the business donor class would not, and the “tribalist” voters don’t want to pay a cent for anything, that’s a bit of a challenge.

    The time-tested alternative to donor or voter party donations is funding through extensive briber, or more precisely extortion, where the Republican party turns into a Chicago-style “machine”, entirely self-funded via backhanders. The rise of a political class that funds itself is a nightmare for the business donor class, and they would fight it hard, using for example using the fact that theoretically bribery is still illegal in the USA.

    Plus of course the business donor class would be funding generously any alternative they could control, and rewarding generously any hacks who could find another electoral coalition that does not include the uncontrollable tribalists.

    Now it is possible that the “tribalists” would be skilful and succeed in turning the USA political system into one where national political power can be won by political machines that fund themselves via backhanders, but I think that it is more probable that the business donor class would be able to prevent that.

  19. Blissex
    May 30th, 2016 at 19:27 | #19

    «more tribalist than this analysis suggested. [ … ] their hated tribal enemy, Hillary Clinton [ … ] From a hard neoliberal viewpoint, this makes no sense. [ … ] a Trump takeover of the Republican Party would be a disaster for neoliberalism»

    «The Republican party is the party of the business donor class, and exists only inasmuch it keep getting funded by the business donor class,»

    Ooops I did not make this very explicit: my impression is that our blogger writes as if the Republican party were the party of neoliberalism.

    But to me the Republican party is not the party of neoliberalism, which is just a current convenient ideological cover for its actions, it is the party of the business donor class. That’s a very important difference.

    “Conservative” parties are not ideologically based, they exist to protect and serve the interest of incumbency, usually that of business/property incumbents, who fund them.

  20. May 30th, 2016 at 23:53 | #20

    Tony Lynch on May 30th, 2016 at 15:07,

    Thank you for my appreciation of my previous two posts (#8 and #11).[1] I have since, on Sat 28 May, published another post #15 in response to J-D’s post #14. That post is still awaiting moderation, because I had mistakenly linked to a second video concerning Libya as well as the video concerning Iran. That comment has also been posted to my own web site should you wish to look at it there before it is approved here.

    The number of people killed in wars that Hillary Clinton helped to start since 1990 is barely an order of magnitude less than the 60 million that died in that terrible global conflagration which ended 71 years ago in 1945. According to Ramsey Clark, who served as Attorney General under President Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ), as many as 1,500,000 may have died in Iraq alone as a result of war, starvation and disease since 1990. Certainly many hundreds of thousands died in Iraq. Given Clinton’s record, our history from 1939 until 1945 may be about to repeat itself, only on a larger and more terrible scale, should she win the presidential election this year.

    Footnote[s]

    [1] Comment #12 was posted here by mistake. I have also posted to Monday Message Board of 23 May, where I meant to post it in the first place. I have asked Professor Quiggin, in the comment awaiting moderation, to remove that post here.

  21. J-D
    May 31st, 2016 at 11:07 | #21

    @James

    If Donald Trump wins the presidential election this year, our history from 1939 until 1945 may be about to repeat itself, only on a larger and more terrible scale.

  22. May 31st, 2016 at 21:41 | #22

    J-D,

    From what in your own previous posts (#9, #14) do you base that assertion?

  23. J-D
    May 31st, 2016 at 21:58 | #23

    @James

    I don’t base that statement on my own previous posts. Do you disagree with my statement? why or why not?

  24. Tim Macknay
    June 1st, 2016 at 17:07 | #24

    I must admit I have a little difficulty seeing how one would conclude, from Trump’s public statements, that he would be less likely to involve the US in wars than Hillary Clinton. Some of the recent comments by Trump that I have come across on this topic include:

    “We will totally dismantle Iran’s global terror network”
    “We will send a clear signal that there is no daylight between America and our most reliable ally — the state of Israel”
    “I will…quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS, will rebuild our military and make it so strong no one — and I mean, no one — will mess with us.”
    [Also in relation to ISIS]: “Take back the oil. Once you go over and take back that oil, they have nothing. You bomb the hell out of them, and then you encircle it, and then you go in. And you let Mobil go in, and you let our great oil companies go in. Once you take that oil, they have nothing left.”
    “I will not hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternative.”

    None of these comments suggest to me that a President Trump would be reluctant to wage war. Of course, Trump has also made some comments regarding foreign policy that might be construed as less warlike. But the comments quoted above do not inspire confidence, and nor does Trump’s hyper-masculine persona.

  25. June 1st, 2016 at 22:42 | #25

    Given the United States’ first past-the-post voting system, not voting for Donald Trump is folly

    Tim Macknay,

    I share most of your concerns about Donald Trump, but I can’t agree that Donald Trump is just as likely to start a war as is Hillary Clinton. Given Hillary Clinton’s past record, some of which I have mentioned above, it’s a practical certainty that Hillary Clinton would start a war if she were to become President.

    A critical point, which seems to be lost on most who write about the US Presidential elections, is that voting is not preferential. It is, most unfortunately, first past the post. That means that voters, who are opposed to both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, have to understand that a large vote for any of the other candidates, who may have policies which are significantly better than both those of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, could lead to Hillary Clinton becoming the next President of the United States.

    Unless they feel certain that Donald Trump is every bit as awful as Hillary Clinton, they should vote for Donald Trump and not for their most preferred candidate.

    In spite of his pronouncements against Iran, “bombing the hell out of ISIS” in Syria, and apparent support for Israel, there are reasons to hope that Donald Trump, unlike the case with Hillary Clinton, does not intend to start a war with Iran. Clearly his pronouncements against Iran are inconsistent with his support for cooperation with Russia and his praise of Russian action against the Islamic State terrorists in Syria. Iranian troops are also fighting against the Islamic State in Syria and a number have lost their lives.

    Donald Trump’s pronouncements can possibly be explained by the political context. The defeat of Democrats candidate Adlai Stevenson in the 1956 Presidential election convinced the then Senator John F. Kennedy (JFK) that a “peace candidate” could never win.

    Consequently JFK concocted the story that the United States was under threat because then President Dwight Eisenhower and then Vice President Richard Nixon had allowed the Soviet Union to get ahead of the United States in the nuclear arms race.

    That ploy succeeded in allowing JFK to just win in 1960. After he won, he refused, on three occasions, to allow the Joint Chiefs of Staff to launch a first strike nuclear attack against the Soviet Union (see “JFK and the Unspeakable – Why he died and why it matters”(2008) by James W. Douglass). At least many tens of millions of lives, and possibly humanity itself, were thus saved as a result of JFK’s seemingly Machiavellian ploy in 1960.

    Given what Donald Trump has said about JFK it seem seems likely that he is aware of this.

  26. J-D
    June 2nd, 2016 at 11:17 | #26

    @James

    ‘Given Hillary Clinton’s past record, some of which I have mentioned above, it’s a practical certainty that Hillary Clinton would start a war if she were to become President.’

    Hillary Clinton has never started a war.

    Obviously, Donald Trump has never started a war, either, so they’re even as far as that goes (although not in all ways).

  27. June 2nd, 2016 at 13:32 | #27

    J-D,

    Quite possibly it could be argued that Hillary Clinton, who was not President in the past, did not personally start those wars against Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria, but I think I have shown in posts #8, #11, #15, #20, #22 and #25 that she did everything she could in her power to start those wars and succeeded.

  28. Tim Macknay
    June 2nd, 2016 at 13:50 | #28

    @James
    Fair enough. Personally I think the chances of a President Clinton or a President Trump involving the US in armed conflict while in office to be about equally high. I see no real reason to think that a President Clinton would pose an elevated risk of large-scale global conflict, even if she is a hawk in comparison with other recent Democratic presidents (I should also add that I don’t think the risk of large-scale global conflict is particularly high, although we can’t be complacent).

    However, I also think a President Trump (or any Republican president at this point in time) would be a disaster for international efforts to combat global warming. In my view, addressing global warming is the most significant international problem today, and the world can’t afford another period of backsliding on that issue. As far as I’m concerned, global warming alone is a strong reason to prefer a Democratic president (including Clinton) over a Republican one, although I also have other reasons. In any case it’s rather academic since the Americans, not we, will decide who is to be the next US president.

  29. J-D
    June 2nd, 2016 at 15:05 | #29

    James @27

    What, you quoted Youtube comments and you think they’re evidence? That’s good for a laugh — which thanks for that, I could do with one at the moment.

  30. June 2nd, 2016 at 15:52 | #30

    Tim Macknay,

    I have personally been very worried about global warming since no later than 2007 as the ‘about‘ page on our web-site shows. Clearly, Donald Trump’s dismissal of the concerns of scientists about global warming is a serious concern. However, I think the efforts required from humanity to defeat global warming would be considerably less than the efforts necessary to clean up the consequences of war if the likes of Hillary Clinton and her backers get their way.

    Tim Macknay wrote:

    “I don’t think the risk of large-scale global conflict is particularly high, …”

    As is clear clear to me and Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the United States’ Treasury, and former editor of the Wall Street Journal, the United States and its allies intend to either turn Russia into its colony again as it was in the time of Boris Yeltsin or to launch war against Russia.

    How else do you explain the expansion of NATO to include Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and Romania, and the building of missile bases in those countries against promises made by President Reagan to former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev not to expand NATO beyond Germany? How else do you explain the collaboration with NATO by Sweden, Finland and Georgia and their efforts to join?

    Given what the United States and its allies have done to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Yemen, Ukraine, the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan in recent decades, I think Russian President Vladimir Putin is clearly justified in his opposition to the expansion of NATO.

  31. Tim Macknay
    June 2nd, 2016 at 16:29 | #31

    @James
    Personally I don’t regard Paul Craig Roberts as a particularly reliable authority, although his is an interesting contrarian view, up to a point.

    I think the NATO buildup in eastern Europe is predominantly a strategic response to the modernisation of Russia’s military and the increased Russian propensity for military intervention in eastern European states.

    My explanation for the expansion of NATO to include the Baltic States, Poland and Romania is principally that those states, all of which were within the Soviet sphere of influence prior to the end of the Cold War, perceive Russia as a potential threat, do not desire to return to the Russian sphere of influence, and see NATO as insurance against that possibility. Similarly, I explain the desire of Sweden, Finland and Georgia to cooperate with and possibly join NATO principally by those states’ view of Russia as a potential (or in the case of Georgia, an actual) threat.

    I think Putin’s opposition to NATO expansion is perfectly understandable, as is the desire of the former Soviet client states, and states bordering on Russia, to seek NATO protection.

  32. June 2nd, 2016 at 17:17 | #32

    Tim Macknay,

    I have shown that the United States and its allies have killed hundreds of thousands of people in illegal wars in recent decades. Close to zero have died as a result of Russian military action in recent years. Feel free to show me specific examples of where the Russian army has killed anyone, if you don’t agree.

    Claimed fears of Russia by the United States’ allies in Eastern Europe are no more than a fabrication designed to justify their own vassalage to the United States and preparations for a new Operation Barbarossa. In a number of those Eastern European countries, the past record of those who collaborated with the Nazi occupiers is openly celebrated and former Nazi collaborators still parade proudly in their uniforms.

    Also, feel welcome to cite from Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the United States’ Treasury, and former editor of the Wall Street Journal, in order to show why you don’t regard him as “a particularly reliable authority.”

  33. Tim Macknay
    June 2nd, 2016 at 17:44 | #33

    @James
    Evidently we have different views on these issues James, but I don’t see much value in getting into an extended debate about it.

    I confess that I’m reluctant to engage with you further in part because I know that you’re in the habit of copying comments such as the ones I’ve made above and posting them on your own web site, and then making further comments, and in some cases accusations, on your own web site, against the people who have made the comments. I know this because you’ve done it to me before. I find that practice weird and distasteful, to be frank. The fact that I (or other people) happen to disagree with you in what is essentially an idle discussion on a blog does not warrant that kind of quasi-litigious treatment.

    So if you want me to engage in this discussion further, I want you to undertake not to copy my comments on this blog to your own web site, to make any of your own commentary on it over there, and particularly not to make any accusations against me or to characterise me in negative or potentially defamatory ways simply because I happen to disagree with you.

  34. June 2nd, 2016 at 19:39 | #34

    Tim Macknay,

    It’s perfectly fine by me if you choose not to post further comments in response to mine. Whilst I welcome proper debate with others, who show themselves willing to address my evidence and logic, I am not that bothered when people don’t and less so, when they stop posting altogether. It’s not as if I have nothing else to do with my time.

    Tim Macknay complained:

    “… I know that you’re in the habit of copying comments such as the ones I’ve made above and posting them on your own web site, … “

    I sometimes post some of the discussion from here to my own web-site for a number of reasons, including;.

    1. I consider my web-site, candobetter.net, to be a record of Australian and world history since 2006. Much of that history would otherwise have been forgotten. I consider the debate here to also be about a critical issue of world history for reasons I have stated above. That is why I have posted copies of most, but not all, of the discussion to my web-site.

    2. As I have repeatedly stated, only one link per comment is permitted here on unmoderated posts. If I want to include more links or allow people to see other related material, that is only possible if I post copies to candobetter.net .

    Tim Macknay continued:

    “… and then making further comments, and in some cases accusations, on your own web site, against the people who have made the comments.”

    The only ‘further comments’ I could find in all of that page containing the article Review: Hillary Clinton’s Hard Choices – the Syria chapter (27/4/14), were:

    “This posted to a discussion about the United States’ Presidential elections on JohnQuiggin.com, Trump and Tribalism:” (twice); and

    “The following was posted to the same forum discussion mentioned above on JohnQuiggin.com :” (three times)

    Tim Macknay wrote:

    “So if you want me to engage in this discussion further, I want you to undertake not to copy my comments on this blog to your own web site, …”

    All the comments of yours, which I have copied, from here to my own web-site, are as follows:

    “I don’t think the risk of large-scale global conflict is particularly high, …”

    … all of 12 words. Tim Macknay continued:

    “… to make any of your own commentary on it over there, and particularly not to make any accusations against me or to characterise me in negative or potentially defamatory ways simply because I happen to disagree with you.”

    As I have said before, all the ‘accusations’ and ‘negative and potentially defamatory’ characterisations are listed above. Other than that I have posted nothing to candobetter.net that I haven’t also posted here.

    Should you want to claim copyright on the comments you post here, then I think I am still allowed to copy a small portion of them, or to paraphrase those words. In any case, I hardly see the copying of 12 words as a breach of copyright.

  35. Tim Macknay
    June 2nd, 2016 at 22:32 | #35

    @James
    I hardly think copyright is an issue. I note that you say you’ve already copied some of my comments to your blog – I can’t prevent you from doing that if you insist on doing it, obviously. But the rest of your comment is a bit opaque – are you saying you won’t make any accusations or adverse characterisations about me in relation to my comments here if we continue this discussion, or not?

  36. Ikonoclast
    June 3rd, 2016 at 08:57 | #36

    @Tim Macknay

    I understand where you are coming from. When you and I have our disagreements we argue the substantive points on this blog and take it no further and nowhere else. I have had the same sort of experience you allude to in post 33. I also felt that this practice was beyond the pale.

  37. Ivor
    June 3rd, 2016 at 09:20 | #37

    @Tim Macknay

    What is the basis for this?

    Personally I don’t regard Paul Craig Roberts as a particularly reliable authority, although his is an interesting contrarian view, up to a point.

  38. J-D
    June 3rd, 2016 at 10:20 | #38

    @James

    ‘How else do you explain the expansion of NATO to include Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and Romania, and the building of missile bases in those countries against promises made by President Reagan to former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev not to expand NATO beyond Germany?’

    President Reagan made no such promise.

  39. Tim Macknay
    June 3rd, 2016 at 11:18 | #39

    @Ikonoclast
    Thanks Ikon – glad I’m not the only one.

  40. Tim Macknay
    June 3rd, 2016 at 11:30 | #40

    @Ivor
    Mainly that, in the later years of the Bush administration (from 2005-2007 IIRC) Roberts regularly published pieces claiming that a US war with Iran was imminent. I thought the claims were relatively implausible at the time,and in hindsight they were clearly wrong. I view Roberts’ more recent claims that the US is about to go to war against Russia, and that WW3 is imminent, in the same light.

    I also don’t really see a basis for regarding Roberts as an authority on foreign affairs or geopolitics in the first place. James appeared to cite Roberts’ credentials as a former US Assistant Treasury Secretary and editor of the Wall Street Journal as a basis for regarding him as an authority. To me, that seems a bit like claiming that Peter Costello is an authority on foreign affairs because he is a former Australian Treasurer, or that Greg Sheridan is an authority because he is the foreign editor of The Australian. Needless to say, I don’t regard either of those two individuals as authorities on foreign affairs or geopolitics.

    I will also say that it is a matter of bemusement to me that many people who identify as left wing (or even Marxist) appear to give so much time to Roberts, who is a conservative Reaganite, and is therefore presumably at odds with them on virtually everything when it comes to fundamentals. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the only reason he is endorsed in this way is because he occasionally says things that accord with their pre-existing views. Personally I don’t consider that a good reason to regard someone as an authority.

  41. June 3rd, 2016 at 13:06 | #41

    Tim Macknay on June 2nd, 2016 at 22:32,

    As I have shown before, I responded to your complaint of June 2nd, 2016 at 17:44. I reposted all of 12 words written by you onto candobetter.net :

    I don’t think the risk of large-scale global conflict is particularly high, …

    I wrote nothing else about you – no ‘accusations’ and no ‘adverse characterisations’ there or here.

    I could have made my previous post a little more succinct, but I fail to see where it is ‘opaque’. You complained of my posting of comments onto my own web-site and I responded to your complaint.

    Ikonoclast wrote on June 3rd, 2016 at 08:57 :

    When you and I have our disagreements we argue the substantive points on this blog and take it no further and nowhere else.

    JohnQuiggin.com is on the Internet, isn’t it? The Internet is a world-wide medium. Material published on the Internet can be read from any corner of the globe. Should you not want comments to be taken elsewhere – and I have yet to republish anything you have posted – then perhaps you should find another more secluded medium on which to comment.

    I believe that discussion where counterposed opinions about critical issues are put and clearly argued is an invaluable resource. Why shouldn’t contributions here that others consider of interest be re-published elsewhere? (BTW, I have removed the surnames from where I have referred to others in this debate. If that still concerns those people, could I suggest that they adopt pseudonyms?)

    J-D on June 3rd, 2016 at 10:20,

    Mikhail Gorbachev and former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze (1928-2014) maintain that Ronald Reagan did agree not to expand NATO beyond Germany. Whether or not this can be proven, the subsequent actions by the United States and its NATO allies, including Germany, in the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and Ukraine, have resulted in terrible material destruction and the loss of many hundreds of thousands of lives.

    Back in 1990, there was a substantial popular movement of East Germans opposed to the re-integration of East Germany into West Germany. Had they been able to foresee, the terrible destruction that the expanded NATO has since inflicted on so much of the world, they would have almost certainly would blocked their annexation by West Germany.

    Tim Macknay on June 3rd, 2016 at 11:30,

    Your post ignores my post about the destruction that the United States has already inflicted against Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Yemen and the many hundreds of thousands of deaths. If they haven’t yet invaded Iran, it may be because the United States’ military has judged that the cost of such a war, including the political cost, would be too high after 10 U.S. sailors, who had breached Iran’s territorial waters on 12 January 2016 were captured.

  42. Ivor
    June 3rd, 2016 at 13:35 | #42

    @Tim Macknay

    During the Bush era – war with Iran was a possibility and the US (or NATO) may well ignite a military confrontation with Russia.

    Roberts was referring to WW III but not as a hot war but as an economic war. I cannot find any evidence for your claim that Roberts said:

    the US is about to go to war against Russia, and that WW3 is imminent,

    Roberts is aware that economic wars can develop into a hot war. Does anyone think a hot World War “is imminent”!!!!

    In general Putin and others regard the recent enormous drop in oil price as an act of economic warfare.

    Putin said:

    “There’s lots of talk about what’s causing (the lowering of the oil price). Could it be the agreement between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia to punish Iran and affect the economies of Russia and Venezuela? It could.”

    Please point me to whatever evidence you have.

    Why did you not mention the fact that Roberts held the Chair in Political Economy in the Center for Strategic and International Studies (Georgetown University). He also has an output far, far well ahead of Costello and that Catholic NCC subversive.

    What other qualification would you want?????

  43. Tim Macknay
    June 3rd, 2016 at 13:36 | #43

    @James

    I wrote nothing else about you – no ‘accusations’ and no ‘adverse characterisations’ there or here.

    James, I’m not sure if you honestly don’t remember, or if you’re deliberately ignoring comments you’ve previously written about me on your blog. I’ll assume the former (i.e. that you don’t remember) and remind you.

    You and I had a discussion on this blog some time ago, on the Monday Message Board post of 18 May 2015. The discussion arose when you recommended Oliver Stone’s JFK as a source document for people who wanted to know about the JFK assassination, and I suggested that a Hollywood movie is probably not a reliable source of information about historical events. You then asked me what sources of information I would go to if I wanted to get a more accurate picture of the JFK assassination. I responded that I would look at the widest array of information I could find, including all the official information, was well as publications by critics and skeptics of the official information.

    You then posted a reply to to this on your blog, without the rest of the discussion, under the heading “Opposed to Investigation of Crime?”, in which you alleged that I was “taking sides with those who wish to cover up the facts” about the murder of JFK, and that “if law enforcement officers were to adopt the mindset displayed by [me], a good many more serious crimes would remain unsolved”. That was, and remains, a gross misrepresentation of what I said, and my views. It is still on your blog under the same heading, on a page titled “Miscellaneous comments from 25 Apr 2015”.

    That is what I was talking about when I referred to accusations and adverse, potentially defamatory characterisations about me.

    Your post ignores my post about the destruction that the United States has already inflicted against Iraq, Afghanistan [etc]

    That post was not addressed to you. I said I wouldn’t continue the discussion with you unless you undertook not to make any comments about me, particularly adverse comments or accusations, on your blog. You still haven’t done that (or at least I can’t tell if you’ve done it, which is what I meant when I said your comment was opaque). I’ve said this to you before, and I’ll say it again: I’ve engaged with you in good faith, and applied the principle of charity to interpreting your comments. Unfortunately, I can’t tell if you’ve done the same with me.

  44. Ivor
    June 3rd, 2016 at 14:03 | #44

    For those who know anything about geopolitics.

    It is clear that the USA played silly games over expansion of NATO.

    This claim would seem to be corroborated by the handwritten notes of James Baker, the former US Secretary of State.

    ‘Nato — whose juris. would not move eastward,’

    he scribbled during a conversation with Gorbachev in 1990.

    Baker then wrote to Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of Germany, that he had offered the Soviets ‘assurances that Nato’s jurisdiction would not shift one inch eastward from its present position’.

  45. Tim Macknay
    June 3rd, 2016 at 14:04 | #45

    @Ivor
    I wasn’t aware that Roberts had held a Chair in Political Economy in the Center for Strategic and International Studies at Georgetown University, but since you’ve raised it, I note that the chair he held was the William E Simon Chair in Political Economy, which is an economic policy chair focused on the Asia Pacific (which is to be expected, since Roberts’ expertise is in economics, not geopolitics, strategic studies or international relations).

    You and I obviously read Roberts differently. It’s true that war between the US and Iran was a possibility a decade ago, as it is a possibility today, but that is not what Roberts was saying. Roberts was claiming that war with Iran, initiated by the US, was imminent, and that the Bush administration was going to do it. To me, that is quite a different claim from the entirely reasonable proposition that there was a risk of war between the USA and Iran, or that US policy carried risks of war.

    Similarly, Roberts may well be predicting or describing economic “war” between the US and Russia, but it’s pretty clear to me that he is also loudly proclaiming an extreme risk of genuine war on a cataclysmic scale. For example, an article he wrote last week was headed “Will the US November Presidential Election bring about the End of the World?”, which is mainly about the prospect of nuclear war with Russia. The last sentence of the article reads “What this means is that no matter what you think of Trump, if you vote for Hillary you are definitely voting for the end of the world.” Presumably this is the basis for James’ stated view that a President Hillary Clinton will precipitate WW3. Again, he is not making a (IMHO perfectly reasonable) observation that bellicose policy towards Russia carries risks of war. He is saying that cataclysmic war is inevitable, and can only be averted by the election of Donald Trump. As a Republican, he is on Trump’s team, obviously.

  46. Ivor
    June 3rd, 2016 at 14:43 | #46

    @Tim Macknay

    I read Roberts accurately.

    His analysis is sound. It is not his view that:

    a President Hillary Clinton will precipitate WW3

    It is more complicate. Roberts sees a possibility that if Clinton becomes President, Russian hawkes will ascend within Moscow and current doves (aka Atlanticists Integrationists – Prime Minister and President) will be pushed aside.

    This then, in context, increases the likelihood of war.

    I would not be too focussed on the last sentence during an US Election Campaign.

    The massing of NATO troops on Russia’s borders needs a real explanation – they are not there building hospitals.

    Roberts seems to be suggesting that Russia will start a confrontation if hardline hawkes get their way.

    This is a possibility.

  47. Tim Macknay
    June 3rd, 2016 at 15:11 | #47

    @Ivor

    I read Roberts accurately.

    Hopefully more accurately than you read graphs! 😉

    Roberts seems to be suggesting that Russia will start a confrontation if hardline hawkes get their way.

    This is a possibility.

    I agree that is a possibility. However, what Roberts says is that if Clinton becomes President, the hard-line hawks will get their way, and Russia will go on a war footing. He then says that pushing Russia to war will mean the end of the US and Europe, and most likely all life on Earth.

    It seems to me that when you read Roberts you’re choosing to ignore the more outrageous statements and claims that he makes. You can do that if you like. For me, the outrageous statements damage his credibility, particularly since he has a history (to which I referred) of exaggerating the risks of war associated with US policy. I think if one adopts the practice of ignoring part of what someone says because it doesn’t suit your preferred interpretation, you end up hearing whatever it is you want to hear. I don’t think that’s a sound way to proceed.

  48. J-D
    June 3rd, 2016 at 15:15 | #48

    @James

    ‘Mikhail Gorbachev and former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze (1928-2014) maintain that Ronald Reagan did agree not to expand NATO beyond Germany’

    No, Mikhail Gorbachev does not say that. On the contrary, he says that the subject was never discussed.

  49. Ivor
    June 3rd, 2016 at 15:39 | #49

    @Tim Macknay

    He certainly launches into rhetoric at times – but you are playing the man not the ball.

    If you read him properly you will see that his analysis and opinions are not outrageous.

    You may not agree with his view, and I do not see that he exaggerating. If events had developed – war could have occurred. The fact that it didn’t is not relevant.

    You do not produce meaningful analysis based on criticising people not policies, and trying to produce arguments based on 20/20 hindsight.

    The world is dividing up between 3 tribes:

    – Moslem Third World grievances manipulated by Saudi
    – BRICS and allies trying to find lebensraum.
    – NATO regimes suffering economic collapse needing stimulus war can bring.

  50. Tim Macknay
    June 3rd, 2016 at 16:14 | #50

    @Ivor

    You do not produce meaningful analysis based on criticising people not policies, and trying to produce arguments based on 20/20 hindsight.

    I agree with that, but I dispute that I do it. I’m comfortable with my interpretation of Craig Paul Roberts’ pieces.

    Anyway, perhaps you should tell James what you just told me. Like you, he considers Craig Paul Roberts a useful authority on geopolitical affairs, but like me, he thinks that Roberts claims that a Clinton presidency means nuclear war. Maybe if you convince him to read Roberts the way you do, he will be less stressed out.

  51. June 3rd, 2016 at 16:17 | #51

    Thanks Ivor for posts #42 #44, #46 and #49.

    Tim Macknay on June 3rd, 2016 at 13:36,

    The comment posted to my web-site with links back to JohnQuiggin.com, which you refer to is Opposed to investigation of crime? (21/5/16).

    The post from you, to which I was responding, was in response to my earlier response to a previous ad-hominem attack:

    [Sinnamon’s co-blogger] links approvingly to a range of right and left wing conspiracy sites about UFOs, how Senator Joe MacCarthy was right about all those commies, the moon landings and so on ad nauseum. …

    It was harsh to say you were “taking sides with those, here and elsewhere, who wish to cover up the facts about the murder of President Kennedy on 22 November 1963” and that you have “no interest in finding out the truth of this matter,” and I apologise. What you said was:

    … , if I were interested enough to want to try to satisfy myself ‘what really happened’ wrt JFK’s death, I would look at all the primary sources I could find, including all the official stuff, i.e. the transcripts and reports of the Warren Commission, …

    However, it is well understood that the Warren Commission was a coverup of those behind the murder of JFK. That and the other coverups of those behind the murders of Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther and a good many other decent, humane potential leaders of the United States had catastrophic effects on the world back then and still do today. Whatever your intentions, the effect of such posts, in my opinion, is to further bury the facts behind JFK’s murder and of his great legacy as United States President.

    As for my statement:

    If all law enforcement officers were to adopt the mindset displayed by Tim Macknay, a good many more serious crimes would remain unsolved.

    … I think the contrast between what was achieved by the Warren Commission and others officially charged with ‘solving’ JFK’s murder and Jim’s Garrison’s efforts, which were subsequently endorsed by hearings in the United States Congress, bears that out.

  52. Ivor
    June 3rd, 2016 at 16:40 | #52

    @Tim Macknay

    Strictly speaking no-one is an authority on geopolitical affairs be cause this is not a science.

    Roberts is an authoritative exponent of his point of view.

    I see him as a useful source along with others – Chomsky and, even still from his grave – Karl Marx.

  53. Tim Macknay
    June 3rd, 2016 at 17:29 | #53

    @James
    Alright, I have two things to say to that James.

    First, you know as well as I do that I did not make the ad hominem comment you’ve quoted, so I would appreciate it if you explicitly stated that you did not intend to imply that I did.

    Second, I can only say that it is stunningly disingenuous of you to deliberately cut off the quote of my comment regarding the primary sources about JFK’s assassination, in order to misrepresent what I said. The full paragraph of what I said, as you well know, stated:

    “But more broadly, if I were interested enough to want to try to satisfy myself ‘what really happened’ wrt JFK’s death, I would look at all the primary sources I could find, including all the official stuff, i.e. the transcripts and reports of the Warren Commission, any other material relating to official inquiries, as well as original source material of the critics of the Warren Commission, including Garrison.[emphasis added]

    I think it’s pretty obvious that the full quote does not support your, frankly insulting, statement about my ‘mindset’.
    Given the disingenuousness on display here, you can’t really expect me to take your apology seriously. I honestly have no idea what you hope to gain by this kind of thing, James. It’s a very poor standard of discourse.

  54. Tim Macknay
    June 3rd, 2016 at 17:30 | #54

    @Ivor
    I’ll pay that.

  55. June 3rd, 2016 at 18:18 | #55

    Tim Macknay June 3rd, 2016 at 17:29

    My post #51 of June 3rd, 2016 at 16:17 was intended as an apology. There was no intention to mislead anyone by omitting a small part of the quote that anyone else could find for themselves. Where else have I misquoted you in that way?

  56. Tim Macknay
    June 3rd, 2016 at 18:42 | #56

    @James
    How is that relevant? You misquoted me in your “apology”.

    At this point the appropriate response would be “yes. I omitted a crucial part of the quote that misrepresented its meaning. I should not have done that”. The other appropriate response is “I acknowledge that the ad hominem statement I quote earlier was not made by you and has no relevance to our discussion”.

  57. June 3rd, 2016 at 19:32 | #57

    Tim Macknay,

    I take it then, that this is the only place where I have misquoted you in the way that you have described in #53?

    I have now come to understand what is the ad hominem statement that concerns you. The ad hominem statement was quoted in #51 above:

    [Sinnamon’s co-blogger] links approvingly to a range of right and left wing conspiracy sites about UFOs, how Senator Joe MacCarthy was right about all those commies, the moon landings and so on ad nauseum. …

    I apologise if I gave anyone the impression that you made that ad hominem attack on me last year on 20/5/15. I was simply trying to explain the context that caused me to react the way I did when you subsequently made that post which mentioned the Warren Commission (as if it were some sort of authoritative body, which it is not). I must have failed to notice where you subsequently added “as well as original source material of the critics of the Warren Commission, including Garrison.”

    That is why I reacted the way I did. I can see now that that was poor judgement on my part and I have apologised for that.

  58. Ikonoclast
    June 4th, 2016 at 08:08 | #58

    Quote of the day:

    “At this point, if Trump proposed phrenology exams for government positions GOP leaders would nod silently.” – Micah Zenko.

    Quote on Geostrategy.

    “When the elephants fight, the ants get crushed.” – Free translation of a Zulu proverb.

  59. June 4th, 2016 at 09:26 | #59

    Trump Keeps Ripping Russia-Hating Bill Kristol: “A Dummy, A Loser” (Video) (31/5/16) | Russia Insider

    You can’t say he wasn’t asking for it… Trump nailed it when he said:

    “All the guy wants to do is kill people and go to war.”

  60. Tim Macknay
    June 4th, 2016 at 19:32 | #60

    I didn’t subsequently add that bit – it was part of the original comment. However, I’m prepared to accept that you sincerely didn’t notice it. Apology accepted – read more carefully next time!

  61. Tim Macknay
    June 4th, 2016 at 19:33 | #61

    My last was addressed to James.

  62. June 5th, 2016 at 01:59 | #62

    Warmongering Clinton Accuses Trump of Madness (4/6/16) by Finian Cunningham | Sputnik International

    The above article confirms what I wrote previously in posts #8, #11, #15, #20, #22, #25 and #27 about Hillary Clinton. Finian Cunningham doesn’t personally like Donald Trump or even Bernie Sanders:

    Admittedly, if Sanders or Trump were to get elected, the prospect for America becoming a law-abiding peaceful nation is not much brighter, such is the endemic criminality of US foreign policy.

    Finian Cunningham continues:

    However, if Hillary Clinton makes it to the White House, the outlook for the world is a whole lot worse. If she can start so many wars as a diplomat, one shudders to think of what she will be capable of as Commander-in-Grief?

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