US Foreign Policy

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Jim the Moron
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Re: US Foreign Policy

Post by Jim the Moron » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:10 pm

US tomahawks Syrian base, eh? Hopes:

1. It accomplished what was intended.

2. It doesn't presage additional US ground forces in Syria.

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SteveFoerster
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Re: US Foreign Policy

Post by SteveFoerster » Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:45 am

Jim the Moron wrote:
Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:10 pm
US tomahawks Syrian base, eh? Hopes:

1. It accomplished what was intended.
You mean distract people from focusing on Trump's connections to the Putin regime?
2. It doesn't presage additional US ground forces in Syria.
I suppose that will depend on how much distraction is required. :evil:
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Booklady
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Re: US Foreign Policy

Post by Booklady » Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:49 am

A saucer of cream will do for me, thank you for your kindness.

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Booklady
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Re: US Foreign Policy

Post by Booklady » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:24 pm

Never thought I would read this article in the New York Times. I am surprised. :o And shocked :shock:

For Obama, Syria Chemical Attack Shows Risk of ‘Deals With Dictators’
WASHINGTON — When it came time to make his case for the judgment of history, President Barack Obama had a ready rebuttal to one of the most cutting critiques of his time in office.

Although friends and foes alike faulted him for not following through on his threat to retaliate when Syria gassed its own people in 2013, Mr. Obama would counter that he had actually achieved a better result through an agreement with President Bashar al-Assad to surrender all of his chemical weapons.

After last week, even former Obama aides assume that he will have to rethink that passage in his memoir. More than 80 civilians were killed in what Western analysts called a sarin attack by Syrian forces — a chilling demonstration that the agreement did not succeed. In recent days, former aides have lamented what they considered one of the worst moments of the Obama presidency and privately conceded that his legacy would suffer.
Other news sites have mentioned Kerry and Rice assurances that the agreement would ameliorate further use of sarin in Syria.

[snip]

Tom Malinowski, an assistant secretary of state for human rights for Mr. Obama, wrote in The Atlantic, “The lesson I would draw from that experience is that when dealing with mass killing by unconventional or conventional means, deterrence is more effective than disarmament.”

Mr. Obama spent much of his tenure grappling with Syria but resisted being directly drawn in, for fear of thrusting America into another Middle East quagmire without solving the problem. The most searing moment came in 2013, when Mr. Assad’s forces killed 1,400 civilians with chemical weapons, brazenly crossing what Mr. Obama had said would be his “red line.”

Mr. Obama prepared a military strike to retaliate, but hesitated amid domestic opposition in both parties and asked Congress to decide whether to proceed. When it became clear that Congress would not give its approval, he grabbed onto a political lifeline from Mr. Putin, who proposed a deal in which Mr. Assad would give up his chemical weapons arsenal.

Under the deal, Syria joined the Chemical Weapons Convention, and over the next nine months, vast stores of lethal poisons were removed and ultimately destroyed. In June 2014, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons certified that all of Syria’s declared weapons had been removed.

Two months later, when the last chemicals were destroyed, Mr. Obama celebrated. “Today we mark an important achievement in our ongoing effort to counter the spread of weapons of mass destruction by eliminating Syria’s declared chemical weapons stockpile,” he said in a statement.

In the months to come, Mr. Obama and his aides pointed to that agreement in response to criticism that he had failed to enforce his red line. “Well, it turns out we’re getting chemical weapons out of Syria without having initiated a strike,” Mr. Obama said in April 2014. “So what else are you talking about?”

Three months later, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “With respect to Syria, we struck a deal where we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out.” And three months after that, Mr. Kerry said Mr. Obama’s threat of force had made it possible to “cut the deal that got 100 percent of the declared chemical weapons out of Syria, and people nevertheless have been critical — one day of bombing versus the virtue of getting 100 percent of the chemical weapons out of Syria.”


As late as January, just days before Mr. Obama left office, Susan E. Rice, his national security adviser, said on NPR: “We were able to find a solution that didn’t necessitate the use of force that actually removed the chemical weapons that were known from Syria in a way that the use of force would never have accomplished. We were able to get the Syrian government to voluntarily and verifiably give up its chemical weapons stockpile.”

But from the start of the agreement, there were discrepancies in Mr. Assad’s declarations of his weapons. In February 2016, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, told Congress that “we assess that Syria has not declared all the elements of its chemical weapons program.” Moreover, Mr. Assad’s forces resorted to makeshift chlorine bombs, using a chemical that was not covered by the agreement and is not barred by international law, though its use as a weapon of war is.

And yet Kerry and Rice go on TV and assure the public that all of Syria's chemical weapons were removed. And where was the substantive press reports from the MSM that either Kerry/Rice or Clapper were lying? :roll:


Mr. Blinken said the Obama administration had pressed the United Nations to respond, but Russia blocked such efforts.
Critics say Mr. Obama oversold the agreement with Russia. “The defense was that he got all the C.W. out, and now that defense is shown to be plain false,” said Elliott Abrams, a deputy national security adviser to President George W. Bush. “If Obama administration officials knew that at the time, they were deliberately misstating the facts. I think Obama will never live this down, nor should he.”


Total incompetence. :roll:
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Jim the Moron
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Re: US Foreign Policy

Post by Jim the Moron » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:10 am

Russia has unfortunately committed itself to unapologetic support for Islamic savagery. But China has been understanding in efforts to counter Islamic barbarism. Now it appears that China will be supportive of efforts to rein in the obscene North Korean regime.

I continue to hope that the U.S. doesn't feel compelled to commit ground forces to what should be regional concerns.

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Sertorio
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Re: US Foreign Policy

Post by Sertorio » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:39 am

Jim the Moron wrote:
Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:10 am

I continue to hope that the U.S. doesn't feel compelled to commit ground forces to what should be regional concerns.
If it does I feel it will regret it...

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SteveFoerster
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Re: US Foreign Policy

Post by SteveFoerster » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:44 pm

Jim the Moron wrote:
Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:10 am
Russia has unfortunately committed itself to unapologetic support for Islamic savagery. But China has been understanding in efforts to counter Islamic barbarism. Now it appears that China will be supportive of efforts to rein in the obscene North Korean regime.

I continue to hope that the U.S. doesn't feel compelled to commit ground forces to what should be regional concerns.
If China wants to be a great power, fine, let them curb their own dog.
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Sertorio
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Re: US Foreign Policy

Post by Sertorio » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:06 am

Rex Tillerson meets with Foreign Minister Lavrov and President Putin
April 13, 2017

Finally, they met. Rex Tillerson spent several hours speaking with Foreign Minister Lavrov and, after that, with President Putin. Tillerson and Lavrov then held a rather bizarre joint press conference in which Tillerson mantrically repeated all the nonsense we are now used to hear about Russia while Lavrov logically demolished each US argument one by one. I suppose I could discuss the entire press conference word by word, but it wasn’t that interesting and, besides, I expect Tillerson to suffer from the “Kerry syndrome”: being on his best behavior while in Moscow only to turn rabid again as soon as he is back in DC. Still, those interested can read the full transcript of the press confence here.

Let me just summarize why, all in all, this trip is not bad news (can’t quite call it “good news” either)

For one thing – when two superpowers are talking to each other they are usually trying to avoid an escalation. Second, Tillerson met with Putin. If Tillerson had come to Moscow just to deliver the usual torrent of threats and accusations he would not have been seen by Putin (or, for that matter, by Lavrov). This means that something of some substance was discussed. Not agreed upon, but at least discussed. Third, while both parties admitted that they had plenty of differences, they did signal that they wanted an improvement in relations. I think that the following sentence by Tillerson is absolutely crucial:

I expressed the view that the current state of U.S.-Russia relations is at a low point and there is a low level of trust between our two countries. The world’s two foremost nuclear powers cannot have this kind of relationship.
I fully understand that coming from somebody most likely already infected with the “Kerry Syndrome” this might not be much. But, friends, this is better than nothing!

Please get me right: I am so horrified by the rabid insanity of the Trump administration that at this point I will be grateful to God “just” if there is not direct war between the USA and Russia. That is the only thing I still hold some hope for. Because other than that, the picture is very, very gloomy.

In prototypical Neocon-style, the Americans have completely painted themselves into a corner. They have made SO MANY frankly stupid statements about Syria and Assad that they simply cannot backtrack any more. Just like there is exactly ZERO chance that the Americans will ever accept an independent and honest investigation into what really happened during the latest chemical incident (I don’t call it an “attack” because I am not even sure that there was an attack). This is like 9/11 – there is NO WAY the US Nomenklatura will EVER allow an independent investigation into that event either. They are fully committed. They cannot go back now.

I often get the feeling that the Americans, knowing full well how wrong they are, often deliberately paint themselves into a corner just to be in a way “protected from reality” by being stuck; in a way, that makes them almost immune to fact-based and logical arguments. Whatever may be the case, Russia and the USA will not work together in Syria. And that means that the entire idea of the USA defeating Daesh is dead in the water forever. Russia and Iran might help the Syrians push Daesh out of most of Syria, but even that will not ‘defeat’ Daesh in a meaningful way. Furthermore, I have come to the conclusion that Israel has played a key role in the coup against Trump and that Israel will now do everything in its power to keep Daesh fighting for as long as possible (more about that in my next analysis next week). Daesh could most definitely be crushed by a joint US-Russian effort. Now, thanks to Trump Daesh, has a brand new lease on life. Well done, Donald!

So here is what is happening: the Trump policy, if you want to call it that, towards the war in Syria was delivered stillborn. The Americans themselves killed it with their fantastically stupid aggression against Syria and the “sarin gas” fairly tale they used as a pretext. Trump has been completely neutered, his “Mad Dog” will bark a lot but get nothing done, as for McMaster – he can go right back on writing more of the kind of strategy documents which got the US Army defeated pretty much everywhere.

That is option one.

Option two is infinitely worse: the crazies keep on doubling-down and we have WWIII. I prefer option one. This is why I think that the Tillerson to Moscow is a success: it moves the planet just a little closer to option one and a little further way from option two.

At this point in time, this is all we can still hope for: that the spineless imbeciles who run the USA today do not trigger WWIII. If they somehow manage NOT to trigger WWIII in the next four years, we will still owe them an immense debt of gratitude for that (even if we despise for everything else they will no doubt do next).

One more thing: make no mistake – the situation today is far more dangerous than the Cuban missile crisis.

During the Cold War both sides were ruled by rational men. Not necessarily kind men, but fundamentally rational men. It was self-evident for everybody involved that you could never, ever, take the risk of a real nuclear war breaking out. There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the Soviets never had any intention of invading western Europe. But IF they had done so, there is also no doubt in my mind that the USA would never have escalated to the level of strategic nuclear weapons. I have known plenty of senior US officers, ranging Navy intelligence officers, to senior analysts of the Office of Net Assessment, to officers who worked on the YF-22/23 program to one member of the Joint Chiefs. They all agreed that going to nuclear war was simply something which no US President would ever do. One of them put it simply “we are not going to trade Boston for Munich”. They were all patriots, but they knew crazy when they saw it and war between the USA and the USSR is a crazy, civilization ending, idea.

Nowadays we clearly have already two US administrations which are willing to engage into what I call a “game of nuclear chicken” with Russia because they are too stupid to realize that Russia will not back down when cornered (and she is cornered in both the Ukraine and Syria) and that Russia can simply wipe the entire USA off the face of the earth (and the USA can do likewise to Russia). When I hear of the notion of imposing a no-fly zone over Syria against the will of Russia I get a knot in my stomach because I fully understand where this could lead.

This is much worse than the Cuban missile crisis and it will, alas, last much longer.

I hope and pray that Tillerson will not completely forget his words about two foremost nuclear powers cannot have this kind of relationship when he comes back to DC and that he will find the courage in himself to repeat these words when faced with the hysterical crowds demanding blood in Congress, in the US Ziomedia and in the Executive Branch swamp.

As for Trump, let him get his foreign policy advice from Ivanka just like Clinton got his from Hillary. The damage is already done. Now they both belong to the same trash heap of history.

The Saker

http://thesaker.is/rex-tillerson-meet-w ... ent-putin/
The Saker is one of my favourite commentators on Russian things. A Swiss born, Russian speaking former military analyst, who presently lives in the US, he is inclined to Russia and Putin but he is capable of objectivity in a manner which is unknown in the US. His comments on the Donbass conflict were very lucid and well informed, and he is achieving the same degree of quality on his comments on the war in Syria and on the relations between Russia and the US. Even when one disagrees with him, he is always worth reading. The above article is an example of a good analysis on a subject most westerners are incapable of analysing with any degree of objectivity.

Jim the Moron
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Re: US Foreign Policy

Post by Jim the Moron » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:15 am

Actually, Sertorio, "most westerners are incapable of analysing" lots of things objectively. The lack of support (including by most posters here) for US foreign policy now, and over the last several decades, is based on outcomes, and not because of failures to swallow whole conspiratorial blather.

Jim the Moron
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Re: US Foreign Policy

Post by Jim the Moron » Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:47 am

"Trump finds the keys to the family gun cabinet"
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... un-cabinet

"By showing Isis this kind of attention, Trump and his military commanders have highlighted its successes while reinforcing the group's propaganda claims to be fighting a just jihad against western infidel invaders."

Let me see if I've got this right. By blowing a bunch of mouth-breathing Muslim terrorists to their variously characterized rewards, the U.S. is "reinforcing" Isis propaganda. Best not to show "Isis this kind of attention," eh?

Which brings us back to the deployment of the "MOAB" (which by the way is also the name of my favorite town in Utah). If not now, when? Must the U.S wait till Canada invades North Dakota to deploy those mothers?

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