Hillary Clinton

Trump's Thin Skin vs. Clinton's Thick Head

On war and peace, he's dangerously unpredictable, while she's predictably dangerous.

|

Hillary Clinton warns that Donald Trump is "temperamentally unfit" to be commander in chief, and she may be right about that. But Clinton's eagerness to wage war suggests she is ideologically unfit for the job.

"This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes," the former secretary of state said last Thursday, "because it's not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war just because somebody got under his very thin skin." Given Clinton's record of supporting pretty much every proposed and actual use of military force during her career in public life, it is even easier to imagine her leading us into war for reasons unrelated to national security.

In a speech that was billed as a major foreign policy address and a sharp rebuke to her Republican opponent in this year's presidential election, Clinton mentioned Iraq twice: once in reference to the country's "sectarian divide" and once in reference to ISIS "strongholds" there. She did not mention that the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, which she supported as a senator and did not repudiate until 2014, ripped that sectarian divide wide open, creating the chaotic conditions that allowed ISIS to take over those strongholds.

"We honor the sacrifice of those who died for our country," Clinton said, "by carrying out a smart and principled foreign policy." The 4,400 or so members of the U.S. armed forces who died during the Iraq war did not die for their country; they died for George W. Bush. Their sacrifice did not make this country (or Iraq) any safer.

That's leaving aside the 134,000 civilians who were killed during this Clinton-endorsed war, along with more than 16,000 Iraqi allies of the United States and some 27,000 insurgents—not to mention the cost to American taxpayers, which is expected to total more than $2 trillion. For more than a decade, from 2003 until 2014, that was Clinton's idea of "smart and principled foreign policy."

Clinton learned nothing from the catastrophe in Iraq. As secretary of state, she was instrumental in pushing President Obama to pick sides in Libya's civil war, overthrowing another Middle Eastern dictator and creating another lawless zone hospitable to terrorists.

Testifying before Congress last October, Clinton described the Libyan intervention as "smart power at its best." Speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations a month later, she insisted "it's too soon to tell" whether the operation created more problems than it solved.

I don't want to say that no one else on Earth shares that view, but it is not widely held. Michael T. Flynn, who ran the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2012 to 2014, offered a more common assessment when he told The New York Times, "This was not a failure. This was a disaster."

Unfazed by the Libyan debacle, Clinton pushed for more aggressive U.S. involvement in Syria's civil war. She argues that Obama made a big mistake by not following her advice.

Trump, whose inconsistency is his main consistency, did not always oppose U.S. intervention in these countries, and last Sunday he waffled again on Libya. But during his campaign for the Republican nomination, he repeatedly warned that toppling dictators, no matter how nasty they are, tends to have unanticipated costs that swamp the benefits—a possibility that seems never to cross Clinton's mind.

Trump says "we can't continue to be the policeman of the world." Clinton wants "a strong, confident America that leads," which is code for unending meddling.

Even as first lady, Clinton was pushing wars completely unrelated to national defense. She urged her husband to bomb Serbia (which he did) and, according to both of them, intervene in Rwanda (which he didn't).  

"A president has a sacred responsibility to send our troops into battle only if we absolutely must, and only with a clear and well-thought-out strategy," Clinton said last week. She has already failed that test, over and over again.

© Copyright 2016 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

Advertisement

NEXT: Hillary Clinton Declares Victory, Claims Democratic Party's Nomination

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I agree 100%. She’s reliably wrong on virtually every issue. He sounds insane. Maybe we should have supported someone in the major party who didn’t support the Iraq War or the Patriot Act.

    Alas, it seems, that ship has sailed. Depressing.

    1. Please stop that. I find it terribly distressing when I agree with you.

      1. Don’t worry – he’s talking about Comrade Bernie, you are reading it as Rand Paul.

        1. Anybody can earn 450$+ daily… You can earn from 8000-12000 a month or even more if you work as a full time job…It’s easy, just follow instructions on this page, read it carefully from start to finish… It’s a flexible job but a good eaning opportunity.. go to this site home tab for more detail…
          Go This Website.________ http://www.earnmore9.com

      2. Does it haunt your dreams?

    2. What do you mean we?

      1. He pretends to be a libertarian, like so many others who presume to lecture us.

    3. Great choices – on one hand we have a candidate who, arguably, used the office of the Secretary of State to sell influence in order to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to enrich herself and her family.

      On the other hand we have a guy who said bad things about the race of Mexico.

      1. I’m proud to say that I’ll be voting for my first women for President this year.

        1. Why would you be proud of voting for someone you just described as “reliably wrong on virtually every issue”?

          1. “reliably wrong on virtually every issue”\

            He’s voting for himself.

          2. I can’t wait to vote for the first for President!

            1. stupid html

          3. I’ll Give you three guesses, and the first two don’t count.

        2. Ahhhh,vaginas make all the difference! Just like skin color did eight years ago!

        3. Really? I thought there was only one woman running for President.

    4. I hope someone memorized the date. Today is the day AmSoc said something sensible.

      Yes, that ship sailed. Its name is Rand Paul.

    5. Billary does have an extensive list of accomplishments. Trump bad, billary is first woman candidate. There, that about settles it.

  2. Trump is brilliant but evil. Hillary is well-intentioned but dumb. I look forward to them bashing each other in the debates. I hope Johnson starts acting less silly and more presidential. Maybe he can take swagger lessons from Petersen.

    1. “Hillary is well-intentioned ”

      The intention to rule your neighbors by force is not a good intention.

    2. There is absolutely nothing dumb or well-intentioned about Clinton — she is a prime manipulator.

      1. Ok, I take back the dumb — but she’s still a crafty shrew.

      2. I don’t think she’s dumb. Just incompetent.

    3. All Marxists power whores are dumb. She is a scumbag on the order of almost unachievable magnitude. Possibly the worst human to foul our planet.
      Trump is not brilliant at all. If he would have invested his dad’s inheritance in 1992 in a mix of stocks and bonds, he could have practically done just as well. He is a risk taker with entrepreneurial spirit but he is no genius.
      With that amount of seed money headed into the largest real estate bull market in history, he should be fantastically more wealthier than the $4bln that he likely is fudging upon. He claims $9bln and Forbes immediately called that out to be bogus citing the multiple attempts by trump to claim over twice his realistically possible net worth.

      1. “If he would have invested his dad’s inheritance in 1992 in a mix of stocks and bonds, he could have practically done just as well.”

        Sure, but that seems much more boring than the ways he chose to try to make money.

        1. We’re gonna be so un-boring, you’re gonna be tired of being un-bored.

          1. You’re going to say, please mr. president, we keep being un-bored, let us be bored again….

          2. Bored of being un-board. Can’t wait.

        2. Given the fact that Trump inherited a real estate empire with long established family connections that were centered in NY and NJ, the fact that he isn’t the richest motherfucker on earth says that he’s not that yuge of a business mogul.

      2. Maybe he could have made as much money investing, but he would not have created jobs for employees and satisfaction for customers.

        That contrast is just dumb. It’s better to build a business than to merely invest in the stock market. Yes, of course others would build businesses from his investment, but Trump actually did something rather than merely sit back and count his money.

        1. That’s not the point. I am saying that he is not that astute of a business man if he could scarcely beat the power of interest, dividend re-investment and time in the market.

          In fact it proves that he wasted a lot of time and resources in addition to barely beating the market.

          he also has had to fire lots of people and shut down many businesses with his failures so where is he a genius again?

      3. Does anybody have a link to a solidly documented calculation of Trump’s investment performance?

        The only thing I’ve seen is a calculation based upon his $400M boast in 1982 (Fortune‘s estimate was $200M estimate), after a decade of working at his father’s firm, and his claim of $10B today. Ok, if he had invested $400M in the Vanguard S&P 500 Index fund and reinvested all dividends, he’d have theoretically have more money today, about $16B, since the S&P has gone up about 40x with dividends reinvested.

        But that leaves out a few things. First, taxes. Over that period income taxes on dividends would reduce his real-world reinvestment opportunity by 15%-30% every year. Over half of the growth of the S&P 500 with dividends reinvested is obtained from the reinvestment of dividends. From May 1982 to May 2016, the S&P 500 Index went up by 16.9x where with dividends reinvested it went up by 40.5x. I’m too lazy to work it out year by year, but by simplistically reducing the amount due to reinvestment by an average 20% tax rate, I reckon that the S&P 500 value with after-tax dividends reinvested is only about 36x, which would suggest that liquidation and investment would “only” be worth about $14B.

        1. Second, Donald Trump is known for living large. So large, in fact, that his banks forced him to cut his personal expenses to “just” $0.5M/month when he went bankrupt in 1990. His 1990 personal budget of $5.4M consumed about 30% of what would have been his S&P 500 dividend yield then. So, his personal taxes and taxes would have consumed over half of his dividend income when he forced on a budget. Obviously, when unconstrained by his creditors, he spent much, much more than that. And his divorce settlements didn’t come cheap either. I doubt that Trump could maintain his vulgar lifestyle of the rich and famous on the dividend yield from $400M. NYC penthouses, yachts, jets, and helicopters don’t come cheap. Neither do trophy wives and monuments to one’s ego.

          Third, the evaluation period is from 1982 to 2016. It’s really pretty ridiculous to compare his performance from the very bottom of S&P 500 Index, which occurred in 1982, to its all-time high.

          1. Bottom line: I think evaluating the growth of Trump’s self-assessed net worth from $400M to $10B based upon S&P 500 with dividends reinvested is specious. It’s much more reasonable to estimate that he would have consumed the dividend income, and to evaluate on the Index’ performance alone, 16.9x, which would be about $7B.

            The Donald is no Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. He’s a fairly successful real-estate developer, but he’s no Sam Zell. Sam Zell has been a really great guy for me to invest with through his REITs, but I wouldn’t put a nickel in Trump project. Trump is mostly about getting paid to build monuments to himself.

    4. I don’t believe she is ‘well-intentioned’. At all.

    5. There are a number of descriptions in dajjal’s post that don’t fit, most of which have been pointed out already.

      But thinking that GJ needs to pick up Petersen’s “swagger” is insane. For the probably 75% of people who don’t like Petersen, that dipshit version of “swagger” is the main reason you hear over and over and over.

      1. dajjal is a sock handle run by whatever is also behind AddictionMyth.

        1. Has that been confirmed? I know they’re both retards who sound like Tulpa but sometimes I wonder if that’s just because there are a lot of retards out there who sound like Tulpa.

          1. You’re Tulpa!
            I’m Tulpa!
            We’re aaaallllllll Tulpa!

            1. I’m Tulpasitioning! Soon I’ll be the Tulpaest Tulpatation ever Tulpatated.

          2. It slipped up one day and didn’t switch handles the right way.

            I am not asserting it is Tulpa, by the way, just that the same entity is obviously behind both.

            1. Aha. Duly noted, Herr Saccharine. Thanks!

              1. No prob.

              1. What’s Bo, chopped liver?

    6. “well-intentioned” Are you fucking mad? No, she’s not. No prog is.

      1. I don’t even know that she is necessarily a prog. Most progs aren’t warmongers, for starters. And her support for the usual prog positions seems fake.

        No, she is not well-intentioned, unless if by well-intentioned you mean in support of filling her pocketbook.

  3. I know you’re kind of a peacenik, but you left out one major debacle – bugging out of Iraq. Or do you think the current debacle in Iraq is better than the relatively stable situation in place when Obama took office?

    1. But I think the broader gist of your article is correct, and applies more generally.

      Hillary has been a disaster in everything she has ever touched. She is a certain catastrophe in all things.

      Trump might be a disaster. He might not.

      1. I don’t think Hillary will be a disaster…rather she’ll be a depressing continuation of interventionist foreign policy, domestic spying, and government mission creep that we’ve seen for the last 15 years.

        Trump’s inexperience, thin skin, and lizard brained responses to every trivial and perceived slight could very well lead to a “disaster”.

        1. How the fuck can Hillary not be a disaster? If that cunt makes it to the white house, then foreign policy is going to be determined by the highest bidder. she is going to loot the living shit out the white house.

          1. How’s that different from any other recent president?

            1. uh, like who? What President takes massive cash donations from foreign countries like Hillary?

              1. Are you serious? So, you believe that Hillary will be the first President to make U.S. foreign policy subservient to foreign or corporate interests?
                What the fuck do you think Iraq was? Or do you actually believe that cute trope Bush constantly pedaled about Freedom and Liberty? Do you remember how the Saudi Royals in the U.S. were magically shuttled out in the days after 9/11 despite the shut down of all air traffic? How do you think that kind of influence is gained?

          2. Not to mention the last time she lived there, she got caught literally looting things from the White House. As in furniture.

    2. That die was cast once we decided to stay around after knocking out Saddam’s government.

    3. So your solution is to maintain a massive presence in Iraq forever?

      1. There is no solution. We have broken the whole region. We are broke fiscally. The only thing left to do is totally withdraw, brings all troops home, stop spending on our bloated military and attempt to end the profligacy.

        That will never happen and that is why the US is finished, along with unfortunately, capitalism.

        All politicians serve to do is expand the size of government. Both of these stooges will do just that.

        Perhaps the only solution is the beginning of the long road to change the education system and undo 100 years of dismantling with the hope of resurrecting the individual, capitalism, and the profit motive.

        1. I don’t think we broke the whole region. We may have started it a few years earlier, but the Middle East has been ticking time bomb for a few decades, and for over a century for the most part. If Ahmadinejad was elected president while Saddam was still in power, I do think there would have been another Iran-Iraq War or we would be in a full-blown nuclear arms race between the two. The region has been waiting to implode since the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. We just need to get the hell out and let what happens happens. We don’t even need the oil anymore.

          1. It started when jimmy carter let the shah in the US to treat his cancer. He was advised not to and refused the give the butcher to iran to go to “trial.” But of course we love our friendly butchers as long as we get to manipulate them it’s the butchers that will not let us buy them we hate and have to replace with our own butcher (I just liked saying butcher).

            1. Actually it started before that but it came to a peak under uncle jimmy.

  4. Oh, Like the Girl in the $12000 jacket is going to listen to what you have to say.

    1. Come on!

    2. She got it no sale. She is proving to be frugal with the people’s money.

  5. Both have thin skin and thick heads.

  6. The best argument for Trump at this point is this: Yes, he’s a hothead, yes that might cause some problems down the line — but he doesn’t have a track record in sowing international chaos.

    1. Neither does the screaming wino on the corner here. But I don’t want to give him the nuclear codes.

      1. This notion that the president can arbitrarily launch a nuclear weapon at a moment’s notice for no reason with a single code is utter nonsense. Use it as an analogy all you want, but to use this example literally is just stupid.

      2. Your first sentence I thought you were talking about billary, it is good to read the entire comment before posting.

    2. The best we can hope for is blowing up[ the system and the end of the GOP. When both parties are exactly the same, implosion is a good thing.

  7. Analogy: This is a WWE Wrestler running against an old 60’s democrat.

    One is boisterous, clearly full of crap, and a laughable entertainer.
    The other is a pandering, completely phony, obvious crook.

    And the mouth breathers on both sides lap it up like thirsty mutts.
    The scariest thing is the vast throngs of dipshits among us that are actually taken by these utter whores.
    We are fucked. This is simply the culmination of 100 years of systemic brainwashing by Marxists scumbags and the complacency that comes from great wealth enjoyed by all. When the poorest of the poor have free smart phones and giant TVs in the projects, the mission has been completed. Dumb down the concerned masses to the condition of utter zombies.

    1. Analogy: This is a WWE Wrestler running against an old 60’s democrat.

      This is exactly right. Pull up some of Ric Flair’s heel promos on YouTube from the 80s–there’s really no discernible difference.

      “Hillary, you make $250,000 on a speech to Goldman Sachs, and my shoes still cost more than your house! What makes you think you’re worthy of running for President against me–when you’re riding down the road with that walking greyhound you call a ‘personal aide?’ It’s only June and I’ve already got the hottest girlfriend in the race! It’s gonna take a hell of a lot more than pantsuits and goiters to take me down, you coughing, Ambassador-killing has-been! WOOOOOO!!”

      1. +1 Folding chair from the top ropes

      2. “I’m Ric Flair Donald Trump! The Stylin’, profilin’, limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin’ n’ dealin’ son of a gun!”

        Whoa…

      3. “Hillary, eight years ago you got beat by a simpering Chicago ward heeler. This year, you nearly got beat by someone so addled he can’t even remember to comb his hair! And now you think you’re going to take down this (steps back, shows off suit)–custom-made from head to toe, the man all men want to be and all women want to be with? I’ve made deals coast to coast and AROUND THE WORLD, and my worst day is still 1000 times better than the best one you’ve ever had! Even when you were cuckolding your husband with Webb Hubbell! When I go after you, I’m not addressing you as a woman, I’m addressing you as a punk. You have a hell of a way to go before you’re even worthy of taking the bags from my guests at Trump Tower, much less running against me for President! If you don’t like it, learn to live with it–diamonds are forever, and so is Donald Trump!! WOOOOOO!”

        1. 12-year-old me would vote a million billion times for Donald Trump if this is what he sounded like.

          1. Oh, gosh, the 52-year-old me would vote for Trump a million billion times if this is what he sounded like. But, you know, it’s Hillary, so I’d vote for a street corner bum over her.

          2. Well I’m gonna vote a million billion zillion times.

        2. + figure four leg lock

      4. Greyhound? I was thinking horse.

    2. You all do know that Trump is literally a WWE performer:

      Trump’s “Battle of the Billionaires” in the WWE ring with his hair at risk.

  8. You lost me on Libya for a couple of reasons.

    1) The choice between intervention and non-intervention wasn’t between Libya as it was in the past and Libya in civil war now. The choice was between Libya as life is in Syria and Libya in civil war.

    Once the people of Libya rose up against Gaddafi, there was no going back to the way things used to be. Real life in foreign policy is often about making tough choices between terrible options. I think we chose correctly.

    2) By “a smart war”, if Hilary is saying that what we did in Libya was smarter than what we did in Iraq because we didn’t spend trillions of dollars, suffer thousands of American casualties, and get bogged down in the country for more than a decade–all because we resisted the temptation to send in ground troops–then she’s absolutely right.

    And we shouldn’t criticize her for saying that.

    P.S. The Libyan Civil War would have been fought with the assistance of the British and the French in the air and the Qataris on the ground–with or without our participation. Again, there not being a Libyan Civil War wasn’t one of the options, and whether there was going to be one was never contingent on our participation. I might even fault Hillary for taking credit for initiating the Libyan Civil War–neither she nor Obama had any hand in deciding whether it would be fought.

    1. Except we fomented the situation to assist in deposing Gaddafi. We have been instrumental in deposing the non-secular, suit wearing dictators in the region that has resulted in chaos in Iraq, Libya, Iran, and now Syria.

      The real moral question is which is best?

      Hindsight clearly exposes that leaving a dictator in power is better for the citizenry of the whole region rather than the vacuums we created by playing police. The American citizenry was duped by the feel good notion of getting rid of dictators. Things were better for the world with the dictators there than without. It was not our problem to begin with. We are just a bunch of busy bodies with not one iota of forethought.
      NeoCons are dangerous folk.

      1. “Except we fomented the situation to assist in deposing Gaddafi. We have been instrumental in deposing the non-secular, suit wearing dictators in the region that has resulted in chaos in Iraq, Libya, Iran, and now Syria.”

        We should be wary of crediting the policies of the Bush Administration, their Iraq War, and the War on Terror with causing the Arab Spring.

        Perhaps the greatest criticism of Bush’s elective Iraq War is that the Arab Spring would have come to Iraq anyway–just as it came to Syria.

        We should also be wary of suggesting that vicious dictators are the long term solution to ours or anyone’s problems. The chaos and confusion in Libya isn’t the result of them losing a dictator. It’s a result of that country being controlled by a vicious dictator for 45 years and governed like a colony for decades before that.

        Try thinking of it this way: Was capitalism to blame for dismal state of the Russian economy in the period immediately after the Soviet Union fell apart?

        I don’t think so. I think the blame belong squarely with 70+ years of communism, authoritarianism, and central planning. You can’t get rid of those things and not have big mess afterwards. And anyone who argues for keeping them because there might be a mess afterwards if we don’t should take a deep breath and think about what it means to be libertarian.

        1. libertarians are non-interventionist when it comes to interceding in conflicts that were not directly aimed at us.
          We have no business in the affairs of other countries. We did it because we thought we were on moral high ground.

          Russia imploded due to the failures of Marxism yes. We did not assist in deposing their government however. They went bankrupt. Apples and oranges.
          We committed a terrible blunder and caused far more misery by getting rid of the non-secular dictators. That is all i’m saying. Which scenario was worse for the region?

          1. “libertarians are non-interventionist when it comes to interceding in conflicts that were not directly aimed at us.”

            Gaddafi may not have been working with the intention of filling the world with recruits for anti-American terrorists, but if that was the consequences of his oppression, then it is what it is.

            If government has any legitimate purpose at all, it’s protecting our rights. We have a military to protect our rights from foreign threats. If protecting our rights from foreign threats requires the government to join in a fight with the Libyan people against a vicious dictator–without committing any troops on the ground even!–then with Congress’ consent, I think a libertarian government should do that.

    2. The choice between intervention and non-intervention wasn’t between Libya as it was in the past and Libya in civil war now. The choice was between Libya as life is in Syria and Libya in civil war.

      It was also a choice between violating international law, the UN treaty and the U.S. constitution’s separation of powers. But, of course those were all trivialities, amirite?

      1. And Ken leaves out another choice, intervening on the side of the government. I am sure Kadafi would have happily accepted the assistance. And if we had come there on the invitation of the government, it would have been legal.

        Knowing how things turned out, if your real concern is the welfare of the Libyan people and you are unwilling to invade, occupy and stabilize the place like we did in Iraq, isn’t the best choice to step in on the side of the government and end the rebellion? Sure Libya under Kadafi sucked but at least it was stable. It was bad but it wasn’t like it was North Korea. And whatever you think of it, it was better than the failed state Islamist hell hole is is now. And as an added bonus, had the Kadafi put down the rebellion, the Islamist fighters who are now causing all of that death and destruction in Nigeria and central Africa likely would not have left Libya and would not be doing that.

        1. “And Ken leaves out another choice, intervening on the side of the government.”

          Should we have fought against the Arab Spring everywhere–or just in Libya?

          One of the things that’s really important to understand about this is that the Arab Spring was the alternative to terrorism. All terrorist movements in North Africa began as movements to oust vicious dictators. Even Al Qaeda was started by cataloging mujaheddin who were coming from other parts of the world to fight against the Russians in Afghanistan–in no small part because they were being persecuted in their home countries. There were a disproportionate number of Libyans fighting for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

          1. I screwed up a tag somewhere–and nuked half of my own comment, as well.

        2. All those years–for over 40 years!–terrorist organizations had been fighting against the vicious dictators of North Africa without any success, not even in Algeria. They used terrorism, they blamed America, they set off bombs, they did massacres–and the vicious dictators just kept getting stronger and stronger.

          Along comes the Arab Spring. We saw peaceful protest and cooperation with the West depose dictator after dictator. When the dictators finally started firing on the peaceful protestors, from Tunisia to Libya and from Egypt to Syria, those dictatorships started to fall. The Arab Spring had accomplished in a matter of weeks what terrorist organizations had failed to do anything about over the course of 40 years.

          The Arab Spring was an embarrassment to terrorist organizations everywhere.

          The Cold War was over. Why would we stand with the vicious dictators? Because you’re afraid of the chaos in their aftermath? That chaos is unavoidable–and the longer those dictators were in power, the worse the aftermath was going to be. Beheading the King of France will bring chaos–but propping him up against the winds of history isn’t going to make that chaos better when it inevitably comes. Propping him up will just make things worse.

          1. No Ken. The Arab Spring was an enormous opportunity for terrorist organizations everywhere. And everywhere there was an Arab Spring uprising, terrorist organizations flourished. The only place they are not is Egypt and that is because the military stepped in and enforced order. You seem to labor under this delusion that terrorist organizations are not popular in the middle east. Sorry, they are.

            If you don’t like supporting the nasty dictators necessary to keep orders and not allow terrorist organizations to flourish, then walk away completely and don’t intervene at all. The worst thing we can do and what you are advocating is to intervene against the one force of order in hopes that somehow the people will rise up and make it all better rather than the terrorist organizations using the resulting chaos to their advantage.

            1. “No Ken. The Arab Spring was an enormous opportunity for terrorist organizations everywhere”

              We’re talking about multi-generational and historic change throughout the Muslim world. Because there will be chaos in the aftermath of a deposed dictator doesn’t mean dictators shouldn’t be deposed. It was going to take time and effort to recover from decades of oppression no matter what happened. But if the oppression is the ultimate source of the problem, then that’s what it is.

              Because there are riots in the streets doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have deposed the king. The king was going on the ash heap of history anyway. Freedom is scary. People can do bad things with it, too. But now they have an opportunity for something better.

              Do you remember all the Americans who regretted having won the American Revolution because it ultimately led to the American Civil War?

              Me neither.

              1. Ken you seem to be incapable of understanding the idea that sometimes there are no bad options. As bad as having a dictator is, sometimes it is the best alternative available. Who is better off today, Syria, Libya or Egypt? Egypt by a long shot.

            2. “The only place they are not is Egypt and that is because the military stepped in and enforced order.”

              Egypt is free of terror? That’ll be news to the victims. Terror attacks in Egypt are not all that uncommon. Perhaps you should be paying more attention.

          2. what did the Arab spring change? Libya is worse off than it was. We hear nothing Egypt any more for some reason. Syria remains embroiled in war. The other countries, see: Egypt, but I don’t believe Jeffersonian democracy has broken out. And in Iran, where people were advocating for change, we did nothing. Nothing. Not even tacit support, not even a carefully-worded, mealy-mouthed talking point.

            1. “Libya is worse off than it was.”

              Worse off for whom?

              Like I keep saying, the oppression of Libyans by Gaddafi was a huge source of recruits for anti-American terrorist organizations world wide. All those guys aren’t going to disappear over night (although there is evidence that the Libyans among them are going back to Libya).

              However, if the Libyan people can manage to find a system that isn’t so oppressive that thriving for everyday people is possible, then they won’t be a machine churning out anti-American terrorist recruits so much in the future.

              I fail to see why that makes Libya a greater security threat to America than it was before.

              Are you saying it’s worse off for the Libyans?

              Who are you to speak for the Libyans?

              Some people think the opportunity for freedom is worth making huge sacrifices for, and who are you to tell them that their hard won opportunity wasn’t worth the sacrifice?

              1. Yeah Ken, the terrorist organizations were worse off running for their lives from the Libyan government than they are with a firm base of operation and the ability to have a safe haven in a failed state because RECRUITING!!

                1. It really shouldn’t be controversial to suggest that oppression breeds revolt.

                  And, yes, when Libyans wanted to join the resistance against Gaddafi, they joined with the Islamists and terrorist organizations abroad.

                  If oppression breeds revolt and less oppression breeds less revolt, then getting rid of an oppressive dictator is probably a step in the right direction–over the long term.

                  In the short term, the aftermath of revolutions tend to be pretty chaotic and dangerous. Let’s hope the Libyan people make the most of their opportunity. Thank goodness they don’t have American troops on the ground to act as a catalyzing focal point–both to act as a counterweight to democracy and to use to recruit more Libyans to anti-American terrorism.

              2. “However, if the Libyan people can manage to find a system that isn’t so oppressive that thriving for everyday people is possible”

                You seem to over-estimate the hardships of life under Colonel Khaddafy. Libya had Africa’s highest life expectancy, highest female literacy, and was close to the top for per capita GDP. It was a harsh police state, for sure, but not so badly off economically.

                1. It was bad enough that the Libyan people revolted.

                  1. “It was bad enough that the Libyan people revolted.”

                    Some did. It wasn’t Islamist enough for them. It wasn’t over economic hardship, as you seem to believe. The Colonel was a secularist. Remember those Danish cartoons? The Colonel had his police fire into crowds of demonstrators.

      2. “It was also a choice between violating international law, the UN treaty and the U.S. constitution’s separation of powers. But, of course those were all trivialities, amirite?

        I actually opposed our participation in the Libyan Civil War on the basis that it was unconstitutional. I oppose most any war that isn’t constitutional–and some wars I’d oppose even if they were constitutional.

        Within the context of a debate about whether Congress should have given their consent to let Obama fight the Libyan Civil War, I would have argued that Congress should have given Obama that authority.

        As an aside, at the time, the Republicans were saying that if and when Obama came to ask for authorization, McCain and his cohort were gong to write everything they could into the authorization requiring Obama to use ground troops–which would have been a disaster. I would have opposed putting ground troops in Libya–and I would oppose giving Obama authorization if he was going to send in ground troops.

        1. Ken, unless you are willing to support doing a full on occupation, which you clearly are not, then how can you support intervening on the side of the rebels? The rebels won the war and it immediately turned into a failed state. The only way to have prevented that would have been to occupy it or intervened on the side of the government. Intervening on the side of the rebels without doing a full occupation just guaranteed Libya would fall into chaos. I can’t see how that was a good idea.

          1. Opposing occupation on a cost/benefit basis isn’t good enough?

            How can you look at the balance sheet in Iraq, and think that if we’d lost more money in Libya, squandered more American lives in Libya, and provoked more hatred and chaos against the United States in Libya–just as we did in Iraq–that it would have been better for the United States?

            It’s so much easier to withdraw troops–when you never send them in the first place.

            1. If you don’t want to occupy, then don’t intervene. All intervention without occupation does is make the situation worse.

              1. You’re losing the plot, John.

                The Libyan Civil War was happening with us or without us.

                The chaos you’re attributing to our intervention would have happened without our intervention.

                In addition to that, occupation breeds more revolt than there would have been otherwise.

                Every intervention without occupation does not make the situation worse.

                Are you telling me that Kosovo would have gone better if we’d occupied rather than just bombed Serbia?

                http://tinyurl.com/z6tbs8y

                Does not compute.

                1. No Ken. You are assuming the government would not have won on its own. And even if you are right, intervention still accomplished nothing. Your position seems to be that intervention is somehow worthwhile for symbolic value. And that is nuts.

                  1. Intervention helped ensure that Gaddafi didn’t win, that the revolution wouldn’t be a long drawn out affair like in Syria, and that the Libyan people got rid of their dictator.

                    It also made it clear to the Arab street that if you want to get rid of an authoritarian dictator, peaceful protest and cooperation with the West is the way to go.

                    It’s the terrorists who struggled against Gaddafi for decades who achieved nothing.

        2. Within the context of a debate about whether Congress should have given their consent to let Obama fight the Libyan Civil War, I would have argued that Congress should have given Obama that authority.

          WHY?!?!?

          How did intervening in Libya serve any U.S. interest?

          1. It did not, unless you think failed states and chaos are in the US interests.

            1. I wouldn’t discount that hypothesis.

          2. As I said, the entire impetus for terrorism has been the opposition to vicious dictatorships–from the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s to and through Al Qaeda.

            Libya, especially, became a factory for jihadist and and anti-American terrorists. When they talk about Al Qaeda and the Taliban being made up of foreigners in Afghanistan, a huge portion of those recruits were coming from North Africa generally and Libya specifically.

            It’s like you’re asking me why it would benefit the United States to turn off the spigot of anti-American terrorist recruits.

            Life under dictatorship in Tunisia and Libya had made it so bad that thriving in that society was impossible. The whole Arab Spring was inspired by a guy who self-immolated in protest because he didn’t have the bribe money to pay off the police. Have you ever read this guy’s story?

            http://tinyurl.com/agp6zog

            1. That never ending source of terrorist recruits was never going to end so long as the vicious dictatorships that made them possible were removed from power.

              Libya wasn’t Iraq, too. It wasn’t some idealistic neocon coming in and imposing Democracy at the point of a gun. It was picking sides in a fight that the people of Libya had chosen for themselves. Also, there were no ground troops, thank God almighty. Helping the Libyan people depose their own dictator–who is the ultimate source of recruits for all sorts of anti-American terrorist group? Yeah, I can see how that might be in the long term security interests of the United States.

              That’s called solving the problem at its source.

              1. That never ending source of terrorist recruits was never going to end so long as the vicious dictatorships that made them possible were [not] removed from power.

                Fixed!

                I should also point out that I’m a total pragmatic realist–not a neocon.

                The neocons were wrong about an awful lot of things–from their stupid reverse domino theory to ignoring the Weinberger/Powell doctrine. But they weren’t wrong about everything–including the ultimate origin of anti-American terrorism being vicious dictatorships. How to deal with and remove those guys is an open question–American led wars and occupations anywhere and everywhere possible isn’t the answer. I much prefer the people in those countries rise up against their own dictators for all sorts of reasons–certainly over American led occupations.

                Don’t you?

                1. This is fucking delusional. It’s like something out of Catch 22 when Yosarian was given a medal for intentionally dropping his bombs short of the target into the Mediterranean.

                  First, anything short of a brutal occupation wasn’t going to turn off any spigot. In fact it has gotten worse; my employer’s business interests in Egypt and Turkey are in shambles due to the violent movements that are sweeping the region.

                  Second, the turning off the spigot isn’t a U.S. national interest! Most islamic terrorism is directed at moslems! Most of it is directed at hurting regional powers! The appropriate response to terrorist attacks by foreigners on the U.S. is at most a punitive campaign of short duration that is properly targetted at the guys that deserve getting whacked.

                  The intervention wasn’t punitive. It wasn’t stabilizing. It had no impact on islamic terrorism.

                  All we are left with is “if we didn’t do it, the French or the English would ahve done it without us.” Which is, again, about the stupidest reason to wage an agressive war I can conceive of.

                  1. “First, anything short of a brutal occupation wasn’t going to turn off any spigot. In fact it has gotten worse; my employer’s business interests in Egypt and Turkey are in shambles due to the violent movements that are sweeping the region.”

                    I don’t know how many times I have to say the same thing.

                    There is historical social and political change sweeping across the Muslim world. That was happening before we intervened in Libya, and it would have happened even if we hadn’t intervened in Libya.

                    Meanwhile, we’re choosing between bad and terrible options. There was no option where we either did nothing and the problem went away or did something and the negative consequences were all avoided. There was never any such option on the table!

                    Do you really imagine that if only we’d done nothing, there wouldn’t be all sorts of chaos in Egypt and Turkey?

                    1. Meanwhile, we’re choosing between bad and terrible options. There was no option where we either did nothing and the problem went away or did something and the negative consequences were all avoided. There was never any such option on the table!

                      No shit, Sherlock!

                      Citing these obvious facts over and over again isn’t going to magically imbue substance into your weak and incoherent arguments in favor of aggressive war.

                      There are hundreds of nasty civil wars that the U.S. stays out of. Aside from your risible “stanch the flow of jihadis” argument, your arguments in favor of intervention would apply to any of them, and notice how the U.S.’s failure to intervene worldwide isn’t really negatively affecting our security or livelihoods? Libya was no different!

                      If nothing else, if the U.S. hadn’t intervened: its arsenals would be less depleted of ordnance, its aircraft would have suffered less wear and tear, and the fuel reserves of U.S. forces would have been higher. The ordnance and reserves expended on the intervention were worth far more than any of the benefits you ascribe to the intervention.

                      And all that pales in comparison to the immense damage done domestically: the nails nailed into the coffin of the U.S. as a republic that were hammered in by a president determined to defy congress. And that is a far bigger threat to our security than some hypothetical guy who hates Khaddafi and decides to take it out on Kahadaffi’s enemy, the U.S.

                    2. “There are hundreds of nasty civil wars that the U.S. stays out of. Aside from your risible “stanch the flow of jihadis” argument, your arguments in favor of intervention would apply to any of them”

                      Two points:

                      1) Reports I’ve seen suggesting that Libyan nationals made up a huge chunk of terrorist recruits world wide before the Arab Spring. If staunching that flow requires a free and prosperous Libya, then it is what it is. Yeah, maybe it gets worse before it gets better, but it wasn’t ever going to get better so long as Gaddafi was in power.

                      2) Libya presented a unique low risk opportunity. Saying that because we took advantage of a unique situation in Libya, we have to do the same thing in other countries in different situations is silly. Because I invested in one commercial real estate deal because of its unique low risk profile doesn’t mean I should invest in every other deal with higher risk profiles, too.

                      “And all that pales in comparison to the immense damage done domestically: the nails nailed into the coffin of the U.S. as a republic that were hammered in by a president determined to defy congress.”

                      But I opposed that.

                      What more do you want?

                      I’m not supposed to support any intervention–contingent on the constitutional approval of Congress–because supporting any intervention–contingent on constitutional approval–undermines the Constitution?

                    3. Intervening didn’t do anything to move Libya in the direction of freedom or propserity.

                      Intervening did nothing to stanch the flow of jihadis.

                      you literally are manufacturing benefits that didn’t exist out of thin air. And the best part is, if the French had intervened, those same non-existent benefits would have accrued to the U.S. without the U.S. lifiting a finger!

                      At this point, I’m done. Unless you can come up with an argument that is not laughably and farcically disconnected from reality as the one you are advancing right now, there’s no point. I am actually questioning whether you accidentally allowed Dave W to hijack your account.

                    4. “Intervening didn’t do anything to move Libya in the direction of freedom or propserity.”

                      I disagree. If you want me to stop making the same replies over and over, maybe you should stop making the same silly assertions over and over.

                      If the Libyan people removing their vicious dictator from power (with the help of the Americans, British, French, and Qataris) didn’t move them in the direction of freedom, then the English colonists freeing themselves from George III (with the help of the French) didn’t move us in the direction of freedom either.

                      Suffice it to say, no movement towards freedom was possible so long as Gaddafi was in power. Now that he’s out of power, the Libyan people may not choose freedom. But at least it’s possible.

                      I should add, the road to freedom isn’t a straight line. Egypt is a good example. First people vote in the Muslim Brotherhood because they think those guys are honest and they opposed Mubarak. They turn out to be awful and try to stack the new Egyptian Constitution in their favor, so the army deposes them in a wildly popular coup. Now the Egyptian people are finding out that abusing the free speech and religious rights of the Muslim Brotherhood isn’t the answer either.

                      But they’re twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom.

              2. now that we helped Libyans oppose their dictator, how has the place changed for the better? The problem is with “picking sides.” You can’t do it half-assed. Hillary was all for killing Qaddafi and managed to make a not great, but tenable, situation into something much worse. A power vacuum is going to be filled and in places like Libya, it’s likely to be filled by someone worse than the last boss.

            2. “The whole Arab Spring was inspired by a guy who self-immolated in protest because he didn’t have the bribe money to pay off the police. Have you ever read this guy’s story?”

              Yes. He had nothing to do with Libya which had the highest standard of living of any nation in Africa.

              1. Before you start touting Libya’s GDP per capita (PPP), you should account for the fact that the Libyan kleptocracy had a lot of oil and that tends to make for some funny GDP per capita numbers.

                Because Norway, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia have high GDP per capita numbers doesn’t necessarily mean we should emulate their systems. Maybe their numbers are high because they have large oil deposits, and when you pump that stuff out of the ground, it can artificially inflate your GDP numbers.

                Certainly, just because Gaddafi’s Libya was pumping oil out of the ground doesn’t mean the proceeds were being distributed evenly throughout society. So read those Libyan GDP per capita numbers carefully if you’re trying to equate them with a standard of living.

                1. “Before you start touting Libya’s GDP per capita (PPP)”

                  As far as I understand, Libyan’s education, medical care. electricity bills and other such things were paid out the national oil revenue. As I mentioned. highest female literacy rate in Africa, longest lifespan according to UN figures. You can’t conjure these results from fudging GDP figures.

                  Tunisia had economic troubles, as you pointed out earlier. But to assume that these troubles translated over to Libya is lazy and leads to error.

    3. As a combat veteran, I find the idea that it’s better policy to bomb the shit out of people and not send troops to be cowardly horseshit.

      If we think the stakes are high enough that it’s ok to kill another country’s people, we should send our sons and daughters to do it.

      You want a war, you have to fight it. Not only is the inverse the way of the coward, it makes it FAR likelier that the populace will sign off on killing foreigners without any real consideration if they think we won’t lose any skin in the exchange.

      1. I completely agree. Morally, if you are unwilling to die for a cause, why do you think it is worth killing for it? And once you start a war, you have a moral obligation to fight it as ferociously and effectively as possible so that it ends as soon as possible. It is utterly immoral to fight a half ass war that extends for years when a short and fierce war could be fought.

        Think about Vietnam. For 8 years the US played footsie with the North, forever restricting itself and bombing just a little more to show them this time we were serious. As a result, the war drug on for years and there were something like a million Vietnamese casualties. Finally at the end of 1972, Nixon finally unleashed the dogs of war in the form of the Christmas bombings and completely destroyed the North’s ability to wage war. And by spring of 1973, there was a peace treaty giving us everything we wanted and the war was over. Had Johnson done that in 1965, it would have saved a lot of lives. But he and his administration were just too kind to lower themselves to such barbarity and instead fucked around and let the war drag on.

        1. Morally, if you are unwilling to die for a cause, why do you think it is worth killing for it?

          Truth. If death is to be the price, then all should be willing to pay.

          1. Besides which, bombing to enact change is basically what terrorists do.

        2. “And by spring of 1973, there was a peace treaty giving us everything we wanted and the war was over. ”

          How did Vietnam’s terms differ between 1968 and 1972? I don’t think they did. So why did Nixon wait 4 years to accept their terms? By the way, the war didn’t end in ’73. It ended two years later when nationalist forces over-ran Saigon. (Ho Chi Minh CIty)

      2. “As a combat veteran, I find the idea that it’s better policy to bomb the shit out of people and not send troops to be cowardly horseshit.”

        We’re talking about how to avoid quagmires among other things. Meanwhile, there wasn’t any significant Al Qaeda presence in Iraq before we invaded. Now there’s Al Qaeda and worse.

        From a leadership perspective, if we could have achieved the same thing we have in Iraq now without ever having suffered any American casualties on the ground, then we should want that.

        I suspect that one of the reasons why it’s so hard for American presidents to withdraw is because of the casualties on the ground. No one wants to be the president who let American soldiers die in vain. And when we pull out without having achieved total peace and security, it makes it seem that way.

        I have a cousin whose father died as a result of Vietnam. She started a charity to help wounded veterans. I’d never tell her that we achieved nothing in Vietnam ’cause that would be mean as hell.

        I sure wish we’d never invaded. I don’t see it as cowardice. It’s like an investment decision. Don’t put your money at risk unnecessarily. Selling short to get out is sometimes the best decision. Don’t got into an investment unless you know how you can get out. If you can get the same results another way with less risk, then do that instead. We’re talking about the same thing, here. It’s just that soldiers and American security are far more important than money.

        1. It is absolute cowardice. We didn’t have the stomach to fight the war properly or not fight it at all.

          1. Getting the same results without American casualties isn’t cowardice.

            I suppose combat veterans are supposed to want fight like pitchers are supposed to want to pitch and quarterbacks are supposed to want to throw the ball. They’re all American bad asses. Being bad ass is what they do.

            But leadership isn’t supposed to be about that. If you can get the same results without burying any heroes in Arlington, as a President, you’re supposed to do that instead.

            And, John, I can’t help but wonder if maybe you’re going after Libya, here, because you want to tie it around Hillary Clinton’s neck in an election year.

            I’d rather have Trump than Hillary, too, but that isn’t about to make me pretend something is true when it isn’t.

    4. “The Libyan Civil War”

      You don’t appear to understand the meaning of the term. It means Libyans fighting each other. You’re describing Qataris, French, British and Americans all together fighting Libyans. That’s not a civil war by any definition.

      1. I means Revolutionary War in several places where I typed Civil War.

        Thank you for pointing that out.

        1. “I means Revolutionary War…Civil War”

          Sounds like you’re trying to pretty it up by associating it with these worthy struggles out of American history. Why not just call it a US/Islamist putsch against the Colonel? That seems to capture the essence of it to me at least.

    5. The derp is strong in this one.

      1. You love it.

        It makes you horny.

  9. Here’s your “predictable, level-headed” Democratic nominee.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dmp3Jndj_o

    She looks fucking crazy.

    1. She threw a vase at Bill which gave him a black eye. That is a crazy lady.

      1. Throwing a vase at her pedophile rapist “husband” is one of her few worthwhile accomplishments.

  10. The proper criticism of Hillary is that she was so enthusiastic about the Iraq War, so much so that her enthusiasm for that war cost her the nomination. She would have been nominated in 2008 if she hadn’t been such a neocon for Iraq–Obama won because he was seen as being opposed to the Iraq War.

    In fact, Hillary Clinton criticized Bush from the right on Iraq. Hillary’s complaint against Bush during the Iraq War was that Bush wasn’t going far enough. Hilary was and is a neocon warmonger.

    Conversely, here’s Donald Trump on the Iraq War:

    “Obviously, the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake, all right?” Trump said. “We spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives, we don’t even have it. Iran has taken over Iraq with the second-largest oil reserves in the world.”

    “George Bush made a mistake,” Trump continued. “We can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East.”

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/article/2583262

    If that’s really Trump on the Iraq War, then he beats Hillary’s ass on that issue, hands down.

    1. “Obviously, the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake, all right?” Trump said. “We spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives, we don’t even have it. Iran has taken over Iraq with the second-largest oil reserves in the world.”

      The bolded part suggests that Trump’s main objection is that we didn’t go *further* and turn Iraq into an imperial colony of sorts to control the oil. He approaches geopolitics like it’s just playing Civilization on a larger scale.

      True, he then says “we should have never been in Iraq”, but consider that pretty much his only consistent foreign policy suggestion is that we “bomb the shit out of ISIS”, and ISIS has a lot of territory in Iraq, so…

      1. What is the point of being a late-stage Rome if we’re not colonizing our conquests?

      2. There are only two reasons for war: defense and conquest. We have some how decided that conquest is evil, so all “police actions” must somehow related to our defense no matter how obscure and convoluted the logic may be.

        If we had just decided that we really, really want all the oil in Iraq, we would have fought the war differently and occupied the place with the intent of making a permanent territory of the US. It would be in better shape than it is now.

      3. I’m not saying Trump is a good guy.

        I’m not saying I would vote for Trump.

        I’m saying that he’s head and shoulders above Hillary on Iraq.

        If that’s the kind of logic he’s going to use as President, then he’ll make a better President than Hillary on the question of war.

        Trump > Hillary

        Trump < Pile of Shit

  11. Trump’s Thin Skin vs. Clinton’s Thick Head

    ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

    1. Sounds like a title to some SF “prose.”

    2. These euphemisms are gett…

      *uncontrollable vomiting as image is seared into memory*

      1. I guess it comes down to one important question: Is The Donald circumcised?

  12. Is this that “libertarian case for Clinton” article I keep hearing about?

  13. Whatever happened to wars of conquest? Whatever happened to keeping what you could hold? Why aren’t we wondering which candidate is going to pick up the votes from Iraq this year?

    1. Whatever happened to wars of conquest?

      People discovered that more money could be made in trade than in plunder. But don’t worry. The current path is to destroy markets and trade, so before long wars will again be about plunder.

  14. OK, enough….I turn 50 today, and I cannot take anymore Goiter vs Hat n’ Hair.

    I am going to try turn this day into something a little more fun.

    *stalks off to find rum bottle*

    1. rum or gin? Which is more predictably dangerous?

      1. rum or gin? Which is more predictably dangerous?

        Yes. As in “Yes, please, I would like more of both.”

    2. Happy birthday, Swiss… now get back to work polishing the halberds.

      1. These masturbation euphemisms are getting pretty dull.

        1. You just can’t handle pole arms, butter fingers. It’s not our fault your mom ate thalidomide.

    3. Happy birthday, my friend!

      You’re completely correct. It’s too nice of a day to spend and more time on the duo of dipshittery.

      I’ll be raising a glass to you a little later. Salut!

    4. No way! My birthday was yesterday! Happy birthday, you narrow-eyed bastard!

    5. Happy birthday. I plan to narrow my gaze at someone today in your honor.

    6. Happy Birthday, sir. I suggest 50 shots, 50 women, and beating the snot out of some little punk that looks at you cross-eyed.

      1. … and beating the snot out of some little punk that looks at you cross-eyed.

        I believe Swiss law is different from Georgia law on this point.

    7. Happy Birthday, my Fremen brother!

      My your knife chip and shatter……

      (Good Grief…. these euphemisms….)

    8. I strongly suggest Ron Zacapa.

    9. Happy Birthday! May you be showered in Nazi gold from your Swiss employers.

  15. Trump is a showman and a negotiator, folks. That’s not the same as “dangerously unpredictable.”

    1. He’s also secretly a Muslim.

      1. Clearly he’s Sunni, as alcohol is haram.

  16. What’s the difference between not letting things get to you because you have “a thick skin” and being haughty?

    Hillary certainly fits the latter, while claiming to have the former. But is there a difference, and if so what is it? Can someone have a thick skin and also be humble?

  17. John’s bete noire explains trade deals: it’s not just about fiddling with the tariff and quota knobs.

    In truth, countries such as China do not for the most part apply extraordinary tariffs to U.S. goods, and such tariffs as they do apply have been reduced in recent years, not as the result of any get-tough trade policy pursued by the United States but because of the complaints of Chinese consumers, who may spend their lives immersed in nationalist propaganda but who still do not enjoy paying artificially high prices for household goods.

    More typical are the difficulties that U.S. automakers have had in cracking the Japanese market. Japan has no import duties on automobiles, but U.S. makers complain of other problems, particularly the difficulty of establishing dealer networks to help them connect with potential Japanese buyers. … European marques make cars that are more like domestic Japanese cars (the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association reports that 93 percent of Japanese passenger cars have engines smaller than two liters, while U.S.-made cars are mostly larger than that), and European manufacturers have found it easier to comply with Japan’s safety and emissions rules.

    The result, he says, is either ceding authority to trade groups like the WTO, or passing thousand-page agreements like the TPP.

    1. I’m not sold on this, and maybe somebody better versed in economics can explain it. Some countries will want to beggar their citizens for the sake of privileging domestic industries, because anti-free trade sentiments are popular. But not all countries are so benighted. Why is it the responsibility of the US government to hash out deals with other governments? If domestic producers and industry groups want to petition foreign governments to permit competition there, they should do it on their own dime. Likewise, our government should not be blocking cheap imports at the behest of domestic competitors, privileging industries at the expense of consumers.

      1. The argument is that if Japan is dumb enough to screw their consumers and sell us artificially cheap shit, who are we to stop them. And it is a fairly convincing argument.

        The problem with it is twofold. First, if it was a single country or a single industry, it would make total sense to just buy the cheap shit and not worry. It is not, however. It is tons of industries and lots of countries. At some point, you have so many of your domestic industries getting screwed that the cost starts to outweigh the benefits. The second problem is that once an industry is gone it usually doesn’t come back. At some point these countries’ consumers will get tired of being screwed and the protectionism will likely end or at least be reduced. That would be great except that it likely won’t undo the damage done to US industry. Yeah everyone came to their senses and stopped this shit and that is great except that since the US was the only country that didn’t do it, it no longer has the industry to take advantage of the improvement. Yes, that is a generalization. The US still has industry but it has a lot less than it did thanks to this stuff and that industry is likely not coming back.

      2. The other issue is how is it moral for a government to allow foreign governments to screw over its own citizens. Suppose you have an economically viable business and you are doing fine until one day the Chinese show up and thanks to government subsidies sell their products at a artificially low rate and you no longer can compete. Is it really wrong for you to ask your government to do something about that? I see how the answer is yes because hey if the Chinese want to do that they can. But I think people should at least consider the idea that our government has an obligation to make sure its citizens and businesses have a fair economic playing field.

        1. But I think people should at least consider the idea that our government has an obligation to make sure its citizens and businesses have a fair economic playing field.

          Which is it? If the Chinese government wants to subsidize exports, then all Americans benefit from cheaper goods. If businesses can’t compete with subsidized imports, well then it sucks to be them. Why should our government force millions of citizens to pay more for those subsidized imports, just to protect a couple hundred or a couple thousand jobs? Companies go out of business all the time thanks to competition or innovation. Should the government protect them as well? The logical conclusion of that is Directive 10-289.

          1. Consumers who get the welfare from the Chinese government benefit. But the otherwise economically vialble businesses who compete against the welfare get screwed.

            I am not saying the industry should always or necessarily win. I am just saying I don’t see why the consumers should always win. You want the cheap shit because you benefit from it. Why is your desire for cheap shit more important than a business’s desire to not be run out of business even though in an actual free market they would be economically viable?

            Yes I know Freedom!! And that is the libertarian answer. And since it starts from an assumption I don’t share, i can’t really argue with you. I can just talk past you. Williamson isn’t a libertarian. So he can’t resort to that argument. And that is my point.

            1. Why is your desire for cheap shit more important than a business’s desire to not be run out of business even though in an actual free market they would be economically viable?

              Because two wrongs don’t make a right.

            2. We’re in the midst of a contraction in the fracking industry due to supply glut. Among any industry, this should be the one we protect. We’re finally realizing energy independence, like we’ve been promised for decades. So should they be propped up? Otherwise the Saudis might reassert their de facto monopoly by bankrupting these companies and drastically cutting supply. And it’s unthinkable that fracking companies might mothball their equipment once in receivership, consolidate, or otherwise be available when the price of crude starts climbing again.

              I trust industry insiders to get market corrections right far more than I do Obama’s paper legacy.

              1. Your example doesn’t work because you are talking about a domestic industry and a natural outgrowth of the market not an artificial subsidy created by a foreign government.

                I am not saying the government has a duty to intervene every time the market goes south for someone. I am saying the government has a duty to keep other governments from screwing its citizens.

                It is virtually impossible to have these sorts of discussions with libertarians because libertarians reject the concept of national sovereignty and I don’t. So we just end up talking past each other. I am never going to convince you that the US government should step in when the Chinese are fucking one of its businesses because you don’t see how the US government should have any authority to act in anyone’s interest. And that is not unreasonable. It is just that I don’t agree and that makes my reasoning about the subject incompatible with yours.

                1. I am saying the government has a duty to keep other governments from screwing its citizens.

                  How are US citizens being screwed when the Chinese sell them goods at artificially low prices? Seems to me like they’re doing US citizens a favor! Seriously. Oh, you mean the couple hundred workers who will be affected when the domestic factory shuts down. So it is better that the US government slaps protective tariffs on those goods, forcing three hundred million or so people to pay higher prices, just to save a couple hundred jobs?

                  Sorry, but that fails the cost benefit analysis if you ask me.

                  1. They are not sarcasmic. The US businesses who would otherwise be profitable are the ones being screwed. All I am saying is that their interests should be considered as well.

                    1. All I am saying is that their interests should be considered as well.

                      At the expense of everyone else?

    2. False dilemma fallacy. But, NRO writers tend to excel in such endeavors.

      1. …except for lauding Jonah Goldberg, who wrote that a real free-trade pact would consist of a single sentence reading: “There shall be free trade between . . .

        I think Williamson is probably correct in that, if you’re going to hammer out a free trade pact, it’s either going to involve bureaucracy or a huge pamphlet of bureaucratese.

        But again, I’m not clear why our government should be involved in enabling or inhibiting trade at all.

        1. Well, from the standpoint of precision and avoiding ambiguity, complex agreements have their place.

          I am not against complex contracts (hell, I’m good at drafting them), but the complexity should be aimed at chasing ambiguities and nailing down the precise.

          Regarding the trade agreements, the bureaucratese is there to accommodate all of the big government, collective bargaining, environmental, progressive, protectionist, regulatory, and crony capitalist interests, right?

          1. Regarding the trade agreements, the bureaucratese is there to accommodate all of the big government, collective bargaining, environmental, progressive, protectionist, regulatory, and crony capitalist interests, right?

            Exactly that Mike. These agreements are just another example of big government types taking what should be a gain in freedom and weaponizing it into something that ends up making us less free. Yes, it is great to have the freedom to sell or buy whatever goods you want from this or another country. That is absolutely a gain in freedom. These agreements make doing that come at the price of submitting yourself to all kinds of other restrictions on your freedom. It is not entirely clear that it is a good trade. In fact, it likely isn’t or the big government people wouldn’t be so keen to make it.

        2. For the US at least, the government is involved because regulating foreign trade is a duty the Constitution gave the federal government. The constitution is a classically liberal document, not a libertarian one.

          Beyond that, the government regulates trade for national security purposes. We don’t let military technology be exported for example. That is just as much of a restraint on trade as banning Japanese imports. Of course from a libertarian perspective, that is very problematic. Williamson isn’t a libertarian and would no doubt think such restraints are perfectly valid.

          The problem is that Williamson is a dishonest half wit who can’t grasp that once you stop being a libertarian and endorse the power of government to restrain trade, you no longer can fall back on the easy argument that free trade is always good because it represents increased freedom. Once you stop being a libertarian you have to consider other values and entertain the idea that maybe free trade isn’t always good and the harm resulting from it could outweigh the benefits. Williamson is not capable of that kind of thinking but he lacks the integrity to be a full libertarian. So he just uses libertarian ideas whenever they are convenient to justify what he wants and drops them when they are not.

          1. John, there are several issues at play here.

            One, your take on Williamson. Based on what I have read of his, your take is a good one.

            Two, defining free trade.

            Three, after defining free trade, examining its benefits and its downsides.

            Four, the language and complexity of the trade agreements themselves. This is the issue that I was addressing.

            1. I agree Mike. Is a crony system that is designed to benefit a few big players at the expense of everyone else really “free trade”? I don’t think so.

              The problem with these agreements is not that they require US companies to submit to foreign law. If you want to sell in Japan, you are going to have to play by their rules. The problem is that in their attempt to “harmonize” the rules, they end up forcing the US to change its laws to match everyone else. And of course it is never the less free country becoming more free to match the other countries. It is always a race to the bottom where the freer countries raise their level of regulation to match the less free ones. They just become a way for central controllers to get control without having to bother with an election.

    3. He gives an example of the kind of protectionism that goes on. It just isn’t called that. Sure, you can import all the cars you want but it won’t matter since it is impossible for you to sell them thanks to our laws regarding dealers. But we don’t have any tariffs.

      The reality is that every country in the world engages in protectionism and acts in thier own interests. Williamson and the rest of the internationalists at NRO think the US should be the one nation that doesn’t. The fact that the rest of the world engages in protectionism and seems to do just fine is just good luck I guess because they are all certain that the US doing the same will result in certain disaster because TRADE WAR and ECONOMISTS!!

      Beyond that, Williamson’s argument is just laughable and circular. The entire question is whether the price in freedom and sovereignty that is demanded in these agreements is worth whatever marginal gains they bring in trade. Williamson, being a dishonest idiot, doesn’t even address that issue. His response to the question is to beg it and just say “well this is the price we have to pay for FREE TRADE”.

      You just can’t overstate what a fucking shallow moron that guy is. He needs to just drop the mask and go work for Vox and stop embarrassing the right.

      1. The reality is that every country in the world engages in protectionism and acts in thier own interests.

        Everyone else who jumped off the bridge made it to shore…

        1. No. But judging from the results other country’s are obtaining, protectionism clearly isn’t the same as jumping off a bridge. If it is just a guaranteed disaster, why do so many countries who engage in varying degrees of ti seem to be doing so well?

          1. Who said it was a guaranteed disaster? It’s more like death by a thousand cuts. No individual cut is a killer.

            1. Didn’t you? If it is not, then why is it analogous to following people jumping off a bridge? Yes, other people are doing it. That doesn’t necessarily mean we should. But it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t either.

              1. It’s not disastrous, it’s mercantilist, and capitalist nations reap the gains from their centuries-old folly.

              2. If it is not, then why is it analogous to following people jumping off a bridge?

                I didn’t say they were jumping to their death. That’s a disaster. I said they made it to shore.

                Dang it. Now I’m engaging with Red Tony and trying to explain away his straw man. How very foolish of me.

          2. Whatever. I see you’re on another of your tirades against a straw man. Have fun.

            1. He’s been like this ever since Williamson suggested what should be obvious to everyone advocated for euthenizing poor whites.

      2. No, this is the price we pay for hammering out explicit agreements rather than leaving it to industrialists to appeal to foreign markets.

        What is your alternative if it’s not trade agreements, ceding authority to an international trade union, or leaving it to other nations to beggar their industries if they like? If we’re the beneficiaries of other countries trying to make up in volume what they’re losing per unit, who are we to complain? Downstream industries for finished goods benefit quite a bit from cheap inputs; if China wants to sell us steel cheaper than we can produce it at home, who cares whether it’s competitive advantage or their subsidization scheme?

        1. And you’re acting like the monopoly theory pushed by anticapitalists is true on the international level even when it’s been shown to be horseshit on the national level.

        2. My alternative is the status quo and not signing them. If the time ever arises where we can sign them such that they don’t come at a huge price in freedom and sovereignty, then by all means sign away. In the mean time, how can you argue that signing agreements that have the overall effect of reducing our freedom is a good thing?

          If the price of international trade is this high, maybe it is not as good of an idea as you think it is?

          1. That’s exactly my point. No trade deal, no trade union, just open ports and no protection racket.

            1. The result of that is everyone gets access to our market but we never get access to anyone else’. How is that “free trade”?

              1. I see. The US government should punish its citizens with tariffs because other governments punish their citizens with tariffs. Yeah. That makes sense.

      3. “Williamson, being a dishonest idiot, doesn’t even address that issue. ”

        You should recognize the difference between a reporter and a pundit. Williamson, his colleagues, and the writers here at Reason are all pundits. They have a position they want you to adopt, and have no interest in a balanced presentation of the facts of the case. That’s what journalists try for. You’ll often see journalists give both sides a quotation or two. Pundits, no.

  18. Contrast this article with that giant dog turd Chapman squeezed out the other day. Chapman’s logic fails miserably.

    Same premises, opposite conclusion.

    It is stunning really.

    *Tip – Unhesitantly calling people out on their bullshit is not the same thing as being thin skinned. The reason for Trump’s popularity is that he doesnt sugarcoat, and doesnt hesitate to call bullshit. People are tired of politicians who are practiced liars. “That depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is” indeed.

    1. How about half-heartedly threatening to sue anyone who calls you out on your bullshit? Or saying that journalists who criticize you are bleeding out of there whereevers? Do those qualify as thin-skinned?

      1. But he’s not threatening them w nukes. I see no evidence Trump would be dangerous in that regard. Even Putin & Kim like him!

    2. Like the bullshit about his small hands. IT’S NOT TRUE, JUST LOOK AT THEM

      1. What about GARY SMALL HANDS JOHNSON (not to be confused with Gary “Big Hands” Johnson, the late San Diego Chargers pass rusher)?

    3. “The reason for Trump’s popularity is that he doesnt sugarcoat, and doesnt hesitate to call bullshit.”

      Expect this to end now that Trump has discovered the wonders of the tele-prompter.

  19. Even as first lady, Clinton was pushing wars completely unrelated to national defense. She urged her husband to bomb Serbia (which he did) and, according to both of them, intervene in Rwanda

    Bill Burr has a great routine on the First Lady shutting the fuck up.

    If you call a plumber to fix a leak, you don’t want to hear his wife come in and start offering suggestions.

  20. Yesterday I said Trump is Greg Stillson. Well the Internet keeps proving I’ve never had an orginal thought.

    http://www.inquisitr.com/28954…..ald-trump/

    1. The problem with the Stillson analogy is it could be applied to so many politicians. Trump is just the most obvious fit because of his style.

      1. It’s the boisterous clownish aspect coupled with the outsider persona.

    2. “I like to make crazy pants-on-fire apocalyptic comparisons on the internet!”

      1. Talk about think skinned.

        1. Objecting to “Trump is the harbinger of the apocalypse” is thin-skinned? Call my skin rice paper.

          1. I never said he was bringing to apocalypse. What struck me is the quote by Roger Chatsworth that you can only fuck the people so long. That is the opportunity Trump took by using clownish over the top rhetoric to take the GOP primary. We may laugh him right into the White House. I doubt he is any more likely to lead to the apocalypse than Hilary.

            1. I doubt he is any more likely to lead to the apocalypse than Hilary.

              By which you mean ‘very likely’?

  21. I wonder if bill still has enough game to at least get some good looking slut scandal going again. he was banging Elizabeth Hurley for a while.

    I also hope trump immediately goes after him for raping those little girls on that plane.

  22. I’ve come to the conclusion that “thin skin” in reference to Trump means “He won’t just lie down and let us walk all over him like a typical Republican Presidential candidate.”

  23. I’ve come to the conclusion that “thin skin” in reference to Trump means “He won’t just lie down and let us walk all over him like a typical Republican Presidential candidate.”

  24. The argument is that Hillary is a known if awful quantity and is therefore predictable in her awfulness and that Trump is a scary loose cannon who will do God knows what sort of insanity. It may well be, in as much a Hillary is driven entirely by self interest, that she would not do anything ridiculously awful so that she doesn’t go down as a monster in history, but I don’t actually know that to be true. I think they are both unpredictably horrible and that Hillary is just as likely to lead the equivalent of the “cultural revolution” as Trump is to screw things up in terrifying ways.

  25. Start making extra cash from home and get paid weekly… By completing freelance jobs you get online… I do this three hours every day, for five da?ys weekly and I earn in this way an extra 12000 bucks each week…

    i work through this Website.. Go Here.._____________ http://www.earnmore9.com

  26. Start making extra cash from home and get paid weekly… By completing freelance jobs you get online… I do this three hours every day, for five da?ys weekly and I earn in this way an extra 12000 bucks each week…

    i work through this Website.. Go Here.._____________ http://www.earnmore9.com

  27. The real danger of a Hillary Presidency is her Supreme Court pick will help gut whats left of Constitutional restraints on the Federal Government. All of Trumps faults at least his publicly released list of SCOTUS Justice picks are seemingly Constitutionalist.

    1. I agree.

  28. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. Im using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I do,

    ?????? http://Usatoday.nypost55.com

  29. The solution is a fusion government with Hillary and The Donald as Co-Presidents.

  30. In your heart, you know he might…

  31. Hillary is of far more concern because she’s deceptive, dishonest & corrupt. Take this extracted email for example:

    Here, “Sid” is feeding her a way to frame the debacle, that’s Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime confidant of Bill and Hillary Clinton, whom b/t/w drumbeat…. earned about $10k a month as a full-time employee of the Clinton Foundation, a/k/a slush-fund. In this exchange on 9/12/12 the day after Chris Stevens is murdered he calmly states:

    “During the afternoon of September 11,
    2012
    new interim President of Libya
    Mohammed Yussef el Magariaf spoke in private with senior advisors, including the
    members of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood, to discuss the attacks by demonstrators
    on U.S. missions in Tripoli and Benghazi.”

    “During this session, a senior security officer told el Magariaf
    that the attacks on that day were inspired by what many devout Libyan viewed as a
    sacrilegious internet video on the prophet Mohammed originating in America. The
    Libyan attacks were also inspired by and linked to an attack on the U.S. mission in
    Egypt on the same day. At the same time, el Magariaf noted in strong terms that the
    atmosphere that made fostered these incidents in Libya is the product of widespread
    publicity regarding the security situation in the country between 2004 and 2010 and the cooperation that developed between a number of Western Intelligence services [CIA, etc.] and
    the regime of former dictator Muammar al Qaddafi.”

    1. “This individual adds that Magariaf
      remains dedicated to the idea of building a tolerant Islamic state in Libya. El
      Magariars opinions continue to be shaped by his experience with Qaddafi, whom
      he felt built a cult of personality in violation of all of the basic ideas of Islam.”

      When referring to the religious fighting groups he states the following: “This source adds that these religious conflicts were largely unknown during Qaddafi’s rule.”

      So once you start connecting the dots here… someone decided that Qaddafi needed to go despite his cooperation for 6 years, because his “personality was not Islamic enough”, despite the fact that “conflicts between the various factions were virtually non existent”, the Muslim Brotherhood would be installing the “new” interpretation of Islam, the you tube video would be blamed,(initially), etc. Thus you have this paid shill with his nose so far up Hillary’s derriere because coincidentally his business interests in Libya only stood to profit *if* there was “regime change” in Libya, hmmm

      1. Extracted from:
        UNCLASSIFIED
        U.S. Department of State
        Case No. F-2015-04841
        Doc No. C05739902
        Date: 05/13/2015
        STATE DEPT. – PRODUCED TO HOUSE SELECT BENGHAZI COMM.
        SUBJECT TO AGREEMENT ON SENSITIVE INFORMATION & REDACTIONS. NO FOIA WAIVER.
        STATE-SCB0045235

  32. I am making $89/hour working from home. I never thought that it was legitimate but my best friend is earning $10 thousand a month by working online, that was really surprising for me, she recommended me to try it. just try it out on the following website.

    ??? http://www.NetNote70.com

  33. Most of us want to have good income but don’t know how to do thaat on Internet there are a lot of methods to earn money at home, so I thought to share with you a genuine and guaranteed method for free to earn huge sum of money at home anyone of you interested should visit the site. More than sure that you will get best result.OI3..

    ====== http://www.BuzzWage6.com

  34. My neighbor’s half-sister got paid $18590 last month. she been working on the internet and moved in a $397900 home. All she did was get blessed and apply the instructions uncovered on this website..

    browse this site…. Go Here._______________ http://www.earnmore9.com

  35. Start making more money weekly. This is a valuable part time work for everyone. The best part work from comfort of your house and get paid from $100-$2k each week.Start today and have your first cash at the end of this week. For more details Check this link??

    Clik This Link inYour Browser?

    ???? http://www.selfCash10.com

  36. 3″My friend just told me about this easiest method of freelancing. I’ve just tried it and now II am getting paid 15000usd monthly without spending too much time. you can also do this.

    ……….. http://www.Maxcenter20.com

  37. 2″My friend just told me about this easiest method of freelancing. I’ve just tried it and now II am getting paid 15000usd monthly without spending too much time.You can also do this.

    >>>>> https://www.Cashpay60.tk

  38. I am making $89/hour working from home. I never thought that it was legitimate but my best friend is earning $10 thousand a month by working online, that was really surprising for me, she recommended me to try it. just try it out on the following website.

    ??? http://www.selfcash10.com

  39. I’ve made $76,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student.I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money.It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it.

    Open This LinkFor More InFormation..

    ??????? http://www.Reportmax20.com

  40. I’ve made $76,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student.I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money.It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it.

    Open This LinkFor More InFormation..

    ??????? http://www.Reportmax20.com

  41. my friend’s mom makes $73 hourly on the laptop . She has been out of a job for 6 months but last month her pay was $18731 just working on the laptop for a few hours…..

    Open This LinkFor More InFormation..

    ???????

    http://www.Reportmax20.com

  42. my friend’s mom makes $73 hourly on the laptop . She has been out of a job for 6 months but last month her pay was $18731 just working on the laptop for a few hours…..

    Open This LinkFor More InFormation..

    ???????

    http://www.Reportmax20.com

  43. my roomate’s step-mother makes 60 each hour on the internet and she has been out of work for seven months but last month her check was 14489 just working on the internet for 5 hours a day, look at ..
    Read more on this web site..

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> http://www.maxincome20.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.