In January 2016, Thomas Wright from the Brooking Institute published an article which explained that Trump actually has a consistent foreign policy worldview that he has argued for decades.
I think Wright was been proven correct. Everything Trump has done since has been consistent with his longstanding views.
A quote from the article
“In sum, Trump believes that America gets a raw deal from the liberal international order it helped to create and has led since World War II. He has three key arguments that he returns to time and again over the past 30 years. He is deeply unhappy with America’s military alliances and feels the United States is overcommitted around the world. He feels that America is disadvantaged by the global economy. And he is sympathetic to authoritarian strongmen. Trump seeks nothing less than ending the U.S.-led liberal order and freeing America from its international commitments.
Trump has been airing such views on U.S. foreign policy for some time. He even spent $100,000 on a full-page ad in the New York Times in 1987 that had a message remarkably similar to what he is saying today.”
You seem to have an interesting definition of "biggest threat to world peace in a long, long time" BB.
If you measure being a threat by unpredictability, then Trump may be in with a shot (no pun intended).
If you measure it by actions then I'd say Trump is quite a way behind Bush, Obama and Hilary Clinton if you want to throw her in as well.
Are you saying that it is desirable for Trump to bomb more countries so that he's more predictable in that funny American way?
I suppose you could argue that this may keep the peace but that would be an Orwellian stretch of logic.
Personally, I see Trump's stance towards North Korea and Russia as being somewhat conciliatory (for whatever reason/s) and the cynic in me starts to ask, who or what power structures may feel threatened by this.
Or, what is Trump hoping to gain personally by this.
Or you could be right, maybe this apparent desire to reconcile with "foes" is because as you guess, Trump is being blackmailed.
In any case, I think you over-estimate one man's influence amidst a massive military and economic power structure.
There are times when I feel that we've been distracted by the smooth, charismatic man of colour, Obama, and now we're transfixed by a different display of smoke and mirrors under the big top in the form of the Orange Clown.
Who really knows?
Cheers for the reply BB.
“In sum, Trump believes that America gets a raw deal from the liberal international order it helped to create and has led since World War II. He has three key arguments that he returns to time and again over the past 30 years. He is deeply unhappy with America’s military alliances and feels the United States is overcommitted around the world. He feels that America is disadvantaged by the global economy. And he is sympathetic to authoritarian strongmen. Trump seeks nothing less than ending the U.S.-led liberal order and freeing America from its international commitments."
I think there is some truth in that wally. The problem is not so much in his agenda, though that is bad enough, as in his inability or unwillingness to be consistent. He contradicts himself regularly, lies and appears to have difficulty discriminating between fantasy and reality. Now this may all be, as some claim, a clever game to put his opponents off guard but more likely it is a mixture of deliberate behaviour, gross incompetence and disrespect for the truth. This is a truly appalling approach to domestic policy and a potentially catastrophic one ion international relations. Imagine a crisis similar to the Cuban missile crisis occurring today? Would you honestly have any confidence in Trump's ability to negotiate consistently and carefully through it?
How to destabilise an international flashpoint and encourage an expansionist power. Baby Donald at his worst.
Trumps economy booms while the tarded liberal left begin to flee their sick cult. Chortles.
Fair enough Andy, I agree that Trump is only one factor in a complex power structure, but he's by far the most powerful individual and his unpredictability often includes complete fantasy which is not a desirable personality trait in any leader . The risk that concerns most commentators is that of a direct clash between nuclear powers. An orange clown with his finger on the button and a poor grasp of reality would be a huge danger in a crisis.
To me, the power structures that feel threatened by a concillatory approach to Russia and North Korea are those power structures put in place by those who are pro-democracy. Trump's agenda is challenging the disciples of a democracy-centric worldview.
Whether this worldview is outdated, or has overreached its purest possible morals, is where I see Trump is successful in his questioning.
For mine, performing aggressive land-grabbing acts in the name of Democracy such as the justification for the Iraq war, Vietnam are examples of why the worldview that Democracy should be enforced can be considered as overreaching its morals. I can see that killing in the name of Democracy is very problematic even at the micro-scale.
For mine, treaties like NATO, and US as the world's democracy-centric superpower leading NATO in spending to prevent Authoritarian agendas are actually closer to the purest possible morals that the Democracy-centric worldview aspires to.
From my perspective Russia has specifically attacked and in some respects crippled the core construct of Democracy- its voting system. Even if the vote was legitimate, the questioning of its validity has caused the biggest blow to democracy in the US.
Trump and Putin to save Gods children?
Another eye opening book to read here: "Atomic Bomb Secrets" by David J. Dionisi.
Another LEGEND trying to save the children.
yocal evidence is starting to emerge of how Russia may actually have influenced the voting tallies in Georgia.
The sound of my childhood in Liverpool Blowin, The Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly 45s on an old record player. Classic stuff, I still love it!
Let the healing begin.
Nice to see a smile in your typing.
Professional help Blowin. We all think we are invulnerable and know it all, but nothing beats real psychological expertise!
Yocal, interesting post which I'll respond to by saying only a few things.
Don't confuse democracy with fights over territory, resources and markets. Also, don't confuse democracy with capitalism and doing business.
Very few conflicts that the U.S. has been involved with are about spreading the good word of democracy.
As is often mentioned, the U.S. is happy to depose democratically elected governments and to install and do business with violent authoritarian dictatorships if it suits them.
Here's some reading which is just the tip of the iceberg.
In the words of the American economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen, there are historical moments when ‘democratic sovereignty’ is converted into ‘a cloak to cover the nakedness of a government that does business for the kept classes’.
"Market-driven capitalism functionally needs democracy to correct the precipitate and predatory behaviour of capitalists", hence why corporations (and governments) aren't particularly interested in a real functioning democracy.
One of Steve Bannon's early pronouncments, when employed by President Trump, was that they shared the objective of 'dismantling the administration.'
The American administration.
That used to be the job the Russians put their hand up for.
It is worth noting that Russia has perhaps more good reasons to fear the West than the other way round.
- Read Wall street and the Bolshevik revolution - which has plenty of evidence that the West funded and supported the revolution to in effect foist chaos and a badly flawed system on to an emerging power. The aim was to stop the rival economic power's growth and leave it as a weak but large market for UK and usa goods. Sell them stuff and exploit their resources but keep them in the dark ages.
- then after the fall of communism, the West flooded in with economists and advisers to help privatise and close or stuff up Russia's industry and take over their resources. They succeeded but Putin restored some semblance of an economy and local control much to the deep state's annoyance.
- now the aim seems again to stuff up Russia and hopefully derail Putin. Chaos in Russia is a likely goal for the third time in a century so their market is laid open and the resources go back into the West's control.
Follow the money. Ask who benefits? Ask why the endless meme that Russia and Putin are bad taints every single media article and commentator to the degree it seems orchestrated. Disruptive "shoot themselves in the foot " type events keep happening with excellent timing to set Russia back at critical points.
None of us really know the real geopolitical agenda of key players. But most of what we see in the media is probably not the real story and if thousands of years of history are are any indication, money and power struggles sits behind most agendas. In the modern era the agenda is just much more cleverly hidden away behind plausible storylines that are more appealing to the masses.
Who knows where Trump sits with this. He may be a bumbler or have some well hidden strategy. But he seems less enthusiastic for war and aggressive posturing than many US leaders and commentators (including lots of democrats). Given that any future major war will be the end of life as we know it, that is a good thing.
I can see we are staring down the issue from opposite ends of the pipe. There's no confusion on my part whether or not the US has intentionally misused the plight of democracy as justification for removal of a 'dictator' or 'communist regime' (even if they weren't) when the underlying motives were strategic dominance. These would be examples of overstepping the pure morals of democracy.
I also have no confusion that Democracy is significantly crippled when capitalists or authoritarian rulers try to deceive/defraud/corrupt the system to pursue their own agendas.
Is there a power structure somewhere that seeks to uphold the democratic system? Absolutely, and I guess it is partly upheld by the belief that totalitarianist governments historically lead to Tyrrany against its people.
So for Trump to side with two prominent autocrats and to appeal regularly to totalitarian ideas is very concerning for the pro-democratic US. For Trump to attempt to deny that one of these autocrats could be crippling the voting system when all odds are that indeed it has been for 2 years and intends to continue to do so has brought claims of treason to the US as a pro-democracy state.
With a leader who is reluctant to denounce totalitarianism and seemingly antagonises alliances with other pro-deomocracy nations, creates divide by instinct, there are signs that the totalitarian countries are noticing a decline in alliances and it is not unreasonable to assume how a totalitarian agenda could find this current climate full of opportunity to tip the balance. So I am of the opinion that Trump has helped the needle move further away from global peace than most of his predecessors in recent history.
The US may not be pure good, they may be far from it, but i firmly believe that the totalitarian style of government posesses a much greater risk to fall into evil, and so it should be treated with great caution
"Is there a power structure somewhere that seeks to uphold the democratic system? Absolutely"
Where or what are you thinking of Yocal? The U.N.?
"the pro-democratic US"
Is the U.S. really a democracy?
Are long, multi-million dollar advertising campaigns in which the candidates and issues are pre-selected by the corporate and party elite really an expression of democracy?
Some would argue that the U.S. is an oligarchy, and that one of its greatest successes is re-defining the meaning of democracy and selling it back to the punters.
But yes, for Trump to be a bit more honest (maybe it's his Aspergers kicking in?) and transparent about the current state of play would be very threatening to many, and provides plenty of ammunition for ideological and political opponents.
With all this new shite, courtesy of Cohen's tape, you'd hope Trump's golf game is buggered.
Trump says Oz invitations by both Malcolm & Cory are a dumb deal.
President has weekend date with Miss Australia PM Jennifer Hawkins (17/18th Nov' Cairns)
Trade negotiations include back billing OZ PM Hawkins for travel expenses in 2004.
Failing that the lovely Miss USA runner up Shandi will be declared new 2004 Miss Universe.
Of course if Miss Australia PM Jennifer were to give The President a little kiss....
Oz PM Hawkins swears she is not being bullied and her creepy friend is just joking. (Me too!)
There is an increasing feeling that things are coming to. ....... what? The point of no return? The time when it will simply be impossible to return to the political and diplomatic norms of the last 70 years. Or a point of inflexion? A time when things will swing back towards some weak form of socialism, a recognition that human rights extend beyond your immediate in-group, that the wealth of the nation should be shared equitably, not just handed over to those who managed to get their grubby little mitts on it first, that maybe, just maybe, we don't have to replay the 20th Century tragedy of facism as 21st Century farce.
Hard to know, but everyone's options are narrowing. For the Republicans in the US, as evidence of collusion and deceit increase, the question is stick or twist. Dump a President who could self-destruct in some unimaginable descent into scandal and disgrace at any moment or stick with him in the hope that enough voters have been lulled into a deep enough opiod/Fox News stupor for reality to be irrelevant in the next Presidential election.
The Democrats face an even more difficult choice, to become a genuine party of reform with real actual policies that will reduce inequality ....... or stick with some Clintonesque clone promising nothing but release from the embarrassment of a dysfunctional President. But what am I thinking! No contest. The search for a clone is already on, some Billary Hinton from central casting with a brisk manner, a firm handshake and unblinking eye contact. White Anglo male, blue blazered, well groomed, knows to do what he's told. Once had an original,idea but has long forgotten what it was.
Over in the USS....... whoops Russia, for Putin it's the old Who Wants To Be A Millionaire problem. Take the cash now or risk it all for a bigger win later. Cash in the kompromat on Trump by sending a tank battalion up the Suwalki gap now to annex the Baltic states or wait and maybe re-establish the borders of the USSR and hegemony, once again over Eastern Europe. Tsar Vladimir the first!
Then there are the three Ms, May, Macron and Merkel, tying themselves in knots over the border between the EU and Britain in Northern Ireland, knowing that if no-one blinks they risk restarting the Troubles and yet to blink first is to lose the game, to lose the advantage in Brexit and with that, in all probability, the next election.
And in Australia, what? A choice between the conservative vision of a perfectly safe techno-facist enclave carefully supervised by Benito Dutton, where all residents are tested annually on those deeply Australian values of conformism and compliance and ....... well who would know? Not Bland Billy Shorten who seems intent on disappearing up his own fundamental orifice so as to provide Turnbutt with the smallest possible pre-election target.
I know sane level headed people who are saying things are beyond repair and will increasingly be divided unless the country / world faces a real crisis, not the sort that sees the rental drop by 5% but one where its life and death. These people aren't raving pinkos but former Liberal voters but never again. They say neo-liberalism is a lie and that the system is corrupted in favour of big business and the wealthy. They curse Howard and Abbott and think Turnbull is a fraud and of Trump words fail them but add he's the person that could take the world to that crisis. Personally, I'm not losing sleep about Trump but I too have wondered what the world will be like after the nightmare especially as the Republican establishment seem willing to tolerate his trashing of every pillar of their legal system for their crass political ends.
From the 7 minute mark this is worth a look..
Make what you will of this one.
One of the two main U.S. parties becoming a real party of reform?
It ain't gonna happen, let's get that straight.
That shit is so entrenched, as Guy Smiley says, nothing short of a fair dinkum societal collapse is going to shift that.
My thoughts are, in Australia at least, it seems to be almost universally acknowledged that neoliberalism is indeed a corrupt lie but how does this get addressed?
No amount of electoral wavering back and forward between the LNP and Labor is going to address the issues presented by neoliberalism.
There may be a life-and-death crisis around the corner but in the meantime, neoliberalism's squeeze continues, bit by bit.
I don't think we're past the point of no return but we have to be close to it.
To answer your question Andy,
I think who or what i'm thinking of is "anyone in a position of influence on US politics (the US population) who believes in advancing Democratic values". Whether directly or indirectly, they create a power structure via a set of shared beliefs.
I do believe the US is a democracy based upon its fundamental principles of operation, and also its produce: The right to vote, the right to free speech. It is an interesting juxtaposition that Gabriel Rockhill, presumably a US citizen writing an article on whether the US is a true Democracy is not willing to recognise that at least some degree of their capacity to free speech within an independent press is a direct product of a functioning Democracy.
My takeaway from the article is somewhat different to Gabriels. Gabriel points out the flaws, corruptions and failings of the US Democracy, the centralisation of power, and questions (dismisses) the success of the entire construct. Personally, I see that only the flaws are being called out, as they have been over and over for centuries. I certainly can't see a Utopian Democracy ever existing as it would rely on the absence of human corruption and desire for Dominance.
To me, the fundamental products of Democracy: the right to vote and freedom of speech are the best tools in addressing corruption and games of political dominance. But the fight is infinite and Democracy has vulnerabilities that are constantly played on.
What you trade off in having capacity to speak out and amount an opposition to a political agenda, is the ability to get an agenda (particularly a marginal, or partisan one) achieved. In a totalitarian regime, one administrations agenda reigns supreme, when corruption sneaks in, or desire for tyrannical dominance, who can hold it to account?
What I see in the present political climate is that a Democratic government's ability to achieve an agenda is significantly reduced due to a number of modern challenges. Russia has sought to create significant discord and divide in the US political system, and in my opinion they've had success in stalling any significant progression of the US agenda as a result.
Iran doesn't seem to be wilting under Trump's gaze ... and Trump is conceited enough to think he will triumph in the next Hormuz Straits confrontation. The stage is already being set.
Iran a country more democratic, open and educated than Saudi Arabia yet its the sworn enemy of the US. Go figure that, but then again perhaps we are getting to the crux of why the US is in lock step with Israel's self serving view of the world and the ongoing battle between the waring factions of Islam which the west has no business interfering with. For me, America has a proven track record in picking the wrong side in its foreign conflicts and all the while in the South China Sea and across the Pacific China is incrementally gaining first a foothold and later influence. Trump is destined to fuck up big time at some stage and to think Australia is in an alliance with the US.
Iran and neoliberalism and the worlds wars this last 100 years all tie into the Bible, as hard as that is to read i'm afraid its true. The Rapture and Revelations and The Tribulation are upon us now. Quint only saw this about a year ago. I was a raging atheist up till then.
The furthest thing from our minds right now is Christianity right? Its meant to be that way also. The Bible states we will "wax cold" on each other towards the End of the Age. Its easy to see that waxing. Pun. Nobody cares and its all about the SELF now.
Try and keep an open mind and remember that Beatles song "All you need is love" and to you specifically BB: Have a good week ahead from Quint.
All good with rapture, not so happy about tribulation. Don't get stressed Quint, better minds than yours have come afoul of the book of Revelation.
I thought the end of days already happened when Titus took Legions XV Apollinarius, V Macedonica, XII Fulminata and X Fretensis; and burned down the 2nd temple in AD70.. Just sayin...
History is repeating itself it appears then VJ. Revelation 12 happened on Sept 23rd 2017' this can be checked on Google Images. There is plenty of End Times reading around. Believe nothing o'course..just read with discernment. There is a timeline running. 3rd Temple soon. King of the north battles the king of the south. Armageddon.
Revelation 12 New International Version (NIV)
The Woman and the Dragon.
12 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. 4 Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.
Gotta take stock of the fascinating breadth of Swellnet forum contributors when we even have our very own apocalyptic doomsday theorist on hand. Thanks Quint i've never considered it like that my eyes must be shuttered.
Glad you're attempting a positive view of his posts, 'cos try as I might it eludes me.
yeah i'm trying to be more open to different points of view but sometimes I worry that it wastes my time.
The best thing about Swellnet forums is that they are never an echo chamber. In an age when most people choose to read, see and hear only what confirms their own existing views, it really is priceless to have such a range of opinion in one location. The value of Quint is to remind us that people, very powerful people in some cases, see the world that way.
Quint, nobody knows when the Last Day is coming.
Jesus has been itching to get back here ever since Abba released Dancing Queen.
NEWS: Channel 9 buys Fairfax...
Keating" 'And as sure as night follows day, that puss will inevitably leak into Fairfax!"
....[Plumbing's all done on Mars].....
Sounds great TBB, all we need in this world is more one sided media and the airwaves full of advertorials and useless crap to hide any real news.
I listen to the early AM radio news as it coincides with work, every single day there is a headline opening regarding some shit that Trump has done, FFS, time to get over it people. I honestly wish people in this country would give as much attention to our own government, pollies, legislation, slap on the wrist crimes and worry about our own backyard, than they do someone else's. Maybe we could make Australia great again....
perception is everything. it is good to perceive other points of view, but as bb points out, maybe it just re-inforces our own trust in our own belief systems as we try to justify that we are right and someone else is wrong. i just use another measuring stick myself, and that is i ask myself whether it works for me or not.
yeah, it works for me visualising yeshua ben joseph doing the jive to dancing queen.
trump-well he just reminds me of the very opposite of most things that i desire and aspire to have as a human being.
the bible- well quint doesn't seem to realise the real version of the bible is called Tracks-ouch.
the media- sleepwalkers caught up in the ego's battle with itself and relativity-laughable really but mostly sad- watch the stars instead.
big blood moon eclipse coming up, i invite you all to think good thoughts about yourselves and your lives and don't pay attention to things that don't really matter, just like a fire needs oxygen to burn, crap needs your attention to make it stink!!! now thats a proverb for you. happy surfing, where's the fukn waves huey?
Some good detective work and investigative journalism courtesy of, once more, Robert Fisk:
Thanks vj the latest chapter in an old story. The arms industry is a murderous collective which takes no interest at all in the consequences of the weapons it produces. The US. Military is also notorious for not caring who ends up with its surplus weapons. Now I will go back to my anger calming techniques.
Just remember gents, war is a racket.
America has no moral compass except money which it conveniently hides behind "democracy" and the bible.
The following is a quote from Smedley Butler, a United States Marine Corps major general, the highest rank authorized at that time, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history.
During his 34-year career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in
World War I.
Butler later became an outspoken critic of U.S. wars and their consequences, as well as exposing the Business Plot, an alleged plan to overthrow the U.S. government.
"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."
This quote is over 80 years old - I dare say the U.S. were only getting warmed up at the time.
And of course, this was a long time B.T. (Before Trump).
Maybe God is at work here, maybe not.
Or maybe even here, maybe not....
It's always funny when christians say things like "maybe god is at work here" or "it's gods will" etc
Lets just say there really was this almighty god who created everything and could control everything, the don't you have to also accept that everything that happens is because of him and his choice, so is always at work and always his will good or bad.
And the biggest thing that confuses me is, if he is the creator and is in control of everything, then why did he create the devil/satan or not just do away with him?
Apparently he is this angel that went bad, but now is so powerful that god can't just do away with him.
No offence to all the religious people out there, but even as someone who was brought up and brainwashed in a very christian household, it just does my head in that anyone can believe this stuff.
Seeya free speech. Taken by ca$hed up snowflakes with a monumental cognitive dissonance, that has now been projected outwards into a Munchhausen's by proxy of sorts. Book burning.
Some more on free speech (lack of) your getting your way don't worry ID.
Also Q's posting board. He's probably fake also. Another false prophet lol..