Donald Trump

"Russia is not the Soviet Union, this is not the Cold War, and Moscow is not looking for world domination."

Putin is an awful, awful ruler. But can the United States get real about his goals and and his limits?

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Memegenerator

For the American press and many partisans, one of Donald Trump's very gravest sins is his "bromance" with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. It's a sure sign of The Donald's stupidness, ignorance, naiveity, or flat-out lack of any moral seriousness that he seems to be OK with the Russians grabbing Crimea, edging its way into Ukraine, helping an even-bigger POS, Bashar al Assad, in Syria, and even "hacking" an election (or maybe not).

These are all serious actions and worthy of argument, analysis, and sharp disagreement. But the presumption of most of Trump's critics (they exist on the right, too) when it comes to his Putinphilia is the unexamined equation of today's Russia and the Soviet Union. Just like the Soviets, this unspoken argument goes, Russia is bent on world domination or, at the very least, regaining the contours of its former empire of Soviet republics and effective control of countries in the Baltics and Eastern Europe.

Against such a dire and unexamined starting point, Washington Post Moscow Bureau Chief David Filipov has written an important article worth reading. After recounting the very good year that Putin had in 2016 (brokering a cease-fire in Syria, winning praise from President-elect Trump, getting his "man" elected in the U.S., high-though-not-stellar approval ratings at home), he reminds us:

Russia is not the Soviet Union, this is not the Cold War, and Moscow is not looking for world domination. Putin's goal is limited to reducing U.S. influence while ensuring Russia's vital interests, and the power he can project is still limited by a weak economy and a global reach that pales in comparison to that of the United States.

He can't act anywhere he wants, he can't do it alone, and a lot still depends on whether and how far President-elect Donald Trump decides to go along with him.

Filipov notes that Russia's economy is still in the shitter and highly dependent upon energy exports. Even though Putin has a personal rating in the 80s, only around half of the country thinks it is heading in the right direction and all sorts of structural reforms of the public sector and the economy have stalled or failed miserably. The typical Russian household is spending more than half its money on food and groceries for the first time in seven years and Russian GDP has declined from a peak of $2.2 trillion in 2013 to just $1.3 trillion, which works out to a second-world per-capita figure of $9,000. Putin recently refused a plan from his military to re-establish naval bases in Cuba and Vietnam, at least in part because of the cost.

Filipov concludes:

Putin has succeeded because he only picks fights with the United States when Russian vital interests are at stake and Russia has a reasonable chance of prevailing, said Simon Saradzhyan, founding director of the Russia Matters Project at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Saradzhyan argues that the primary consideration here is whether the United States is willing to commit its full might: In Ukraine, U.S. vital interests were not at stake, and ultimately, he said, the Obama administration decided they were not in Syria, either.

"Soviet leaders sought to counter the United States everywhere and anywhere," Saradzhyan said. "Putin has a much more limited outlook shaped by capacities of his country's economy, demographics and other components of national might."…

Even as Putin steams into 2017 at the height of his power, the question is what happens to Russia's standing the moment Trump takes control of the world's most powerful nation. While Moscow is likely to continue to push to expand its influence where it can at the expense of the United States, co-opting the new administration — for example, in the fight against terrorism — wherever it is feasible, Putin is unlikely to act in a way that openly challenges the new U.S. president.

Read the whole thing.

HT: John Hudson at Foreign Policy.

This is, to be sure, a generous reading of Putin's actions, but it's also a fair one. Most important, it forces Americans to break with the Cold War lens through which we continue to view geopolitics. But we're not in the Cold War anymore and we need to think very differently about foreign policy (first and foremost, we need to stop equating foreign policy with military interventionism). Filipov's analysis helps to do that and it also implies that Donald Trump, for all of his doltishness, may well be more strategic than most of his critics (including GOP neoconservative types) give him credit for. After all, Europe can and should take of itself pretty well. It's a rich, well-defended part of the world. When it comes to expanding its influence, China is much more of a rising power in military, economic, and scientific terms and however much it cuts against 70 years of anti-Soviet animus, it may make sense for the United States to build a stronger alliance with Russia as a way of helping to modulate China's hard and soft powers (this is simply reversing one of the main goals of Nixon's opening up China in the early 1970s).

I'm fond of saying that the 21st century has not yet quite begun yet, that we are essentially still stuck in a "long 20th century" and all that implies for politics (chief among the implications is dwindling enthusiasm for either major party, as they reflect fewer and fewer Americans' dreams, hopes, and anxieties). Foreign policy and especially U.S. military interventions have been an almost unbroken string of unmitigated disasters since 9/11. We need to start thinking of different ways of approaching the world, including our longtime arch-nemesis Russia and exactly what America's role in the world can and should be. It's proving very hard for conventional right- and left-wingers to do so, partly because they use supposedly abstract principles mostly as a means only of securing short-term political advantage. Hence, conservatives were mostly aghast that President Obama dare relax restrictions against Cuba, as if our embargo would suddenly start working in its sixth decade. And liberals, who became increasingly antagonistic to George W. Bush's war machine over time, are now vastly disturbed when the U.S. sits out Syria or Crimea and cheered the utterly indefensible intervention in Libya.

But if we believe that we should only intervene militarily when serious national interests are at risk, we're going to be doing a whole lot less intervening with guns and tanks and soliders. And we're going to be trading more in things like food, energy, and culture than in "arming" moderate rebels. These should not be seen as the signs of a "weak" country but of a self-secure one and if Donald Trump of all people turns out to be the vehicle by which the United States actually stops being the world's policeman, we should at least have the gratitude to tip our hats to him.

NEXT: Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Not a nut, not a leftist, and not an irresponsible intellectual

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  1. Look at Pat Buchanan here. jj

    1. Buchanan turned out to be right. Someone once said that Trump is a cross between a less learned Pat Buchanan and PT Barnum.

      “Buchanan will smash the clock of social democracy”
      – Murray Rothbard

      1. What exactly was Buchanan right about? His ethnonationalism? He’s “right” in the sense that it’s easy to stoke people’s fears about the scary brown people. That doesn’t make his position moral or correct.

        1. Considering the subject matter at hand, not Buchanan’s more…odd positions, probably his opposition to Wilsonian/neocon interventionism.

        2. Your response demonstrates that you know absolutely nothing about Buchanan’s political positions other than what is regurgitated to you by the New York Times. Opposition to globalism and interventionism turned out to be a winning position (Buchanan was arguing against this in the early 1990’s and George HW Bush’s New World Order). Buchanan opposed expanding NATO to Russia’s doorstep back in the early 1990’s, right after the fall of the Soviet Union.

          It’s sad, but there use to be a time when so-called ‘libertarians’ were also non-interventionists that distrusted large foreign entanglements abroad. But, now I think all ‘libertarianism’ stands for is gay marriage, open borders, and nonsense.

          1. Time after time after time after time through their comments progressive reveal just how ill-informed they are along with an impressive ignorance of history.

          2. Opposition to globalism and interventionism

            i know what you’re saying, but i think it should be pointed out that neither of these things are actually coherent, easily-defined ideas that anyone is “for”. they’re more like pinatas that certain people bash because they help avoid being specific.

            “Globalism” is just a term people throw around to mean a basket of things including free trade, pro-multiculturalism, participation in multilateral institutions like the UN, etc. It pretty much includes everything about the evolution of the international order in the 20th century. It seems to be the same catch-all as “neoliberalism” that the Left uses, only ‘whiter’ and more nationalistic.

            And there’s no book anywhere written advocating “pro-intenventionism” either. Wilsonianism is probably the closest thing to it, and its opposite is less “anti-interventionism” and more ‘defensive realism’.

            both combine to some broadly-conceived ‘economic and diplomatic isolationism’. Which i don’t think has ever been particularly libertarian, and is more associated with paleocons

          3. Buchanan may be a bigoted mercantilist dinosaur, but I totally respect his consistent anti-imperialist stance. But what the hell are you talking about? Almost all the writers at Reason are committed non-interventionists as well.

          4. Yeah I’m not religious and I don’t favor Buchanan’s nativism but he’s been making a whole lot of sense on U.S. foreign policy for a long time. He’d have been a much better president than Clinton, Obama or either Bush. Credit where due.

        3. His steadfast defence of non-interventionism where American interests are not threatened. That.

          1. “American interests” is a broad enough term that it can be used to justify any intervention.

        4. He’s “right” in the sense that it’s easy to stoke people’s fears about the scary brown people.

          No offense, but this suggests to me that you don’t actually know what ethnonationalism means, and/or you don’t actually know anything about Pat Buchanan, and you’re taking a position that you haven’t examined critically.

        5. I like Buchanan, and I’m sort of a brownish atheist. I don’t see Buchanan as an ethno nationalist, I see him as a person who advocates the permanence of traditional values, work ethic, democracy, and so on and so forth. I don’t necessarily agree with everything he writes, but I find it more acceptable than the “inmigration free for all” and the “politically correct speech only” we see advocated by some on the left. These leftist proposals cause serious economic harm to the lower strata of society, and undermine democracy and free speech.

          1. Mmm. I sorted Buchanan into the “racist” pile when he (back in January 1993) wrote a column on the demographic collapse of Western Civilization that counted Russians as part of Western Civilization but Mexicans as not part of it.

            I mean, look, I’m willing to nod along with the Russians being included in “Western Civilization”. But any definition broad enough to include Slavic-speaking Cyrillic-using Eastern Christians will include Romance-speaking Latin-using Western Christians . . . unless you’re using the term as a code for “white”.

            1. From Peter the Great on, and especially in the 19th century, the Russian elite was very integrated into Western Europe. Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Tchaikovsky, Chekhov, Nabokov, Pasternak, Prokofiev, etc. are all part of Western culture in a way that no Mexican novelist, poet or musician is. American popular culture has also been profoundly shaped by Jewish immigrants from the Russian Empire and USSR. Even the USSR was founded based on an ideology developed by a German Jew who was profoundly influenced by German and Greek philosophy. And yes, Russians are Slavs, but Slavs have been part of Western civilization for the last 1400 years, look at how many Germans have obviously Slavic names. Mexican elites are often fairly European in outlook, but Mexican deep culture is still profoundly native Aztec, Mayan, Olmec, etc. and very alien in cultural outlook to the West, despite the superficial Roman Catholicism.

        6. What exactly was Buchanan right about?

          Most right that trying to plant freedom in the Middle East wasn’t going to work.

          George Bush said

          I believe that freedom is a gift from God and the hope of every human heart.

          In my minds eye, I can see Pat laughing hysterically at this.

          Freedom is the minority viewpoint in the world.

          And Pat’s ethnonathionalism is far and away the majority viewpoint. At least Pat wants freedom with his.

  2. “… the power he can project is still limited by a weak economy and a global reach that pales in comparison to that of the United States.”

    Just how much force could Moscow put in place-and sustain for more than two or three months-anywhere but “the near abroad”? Maybe a brigade? Almost certainly not a division.

    1. The whole “never as weak or as strong as she appears”, etc.

    2. Yeah, taking and occupying land would be a problem. If course they can still wreak plenty of havoc. Not giving a shit about collateral damage is a force multiplier.

      1. If course, expanding territory in ex-Soviet counties with large ethnic Russian populations is feasable but not worth us going to war over.

  3. Just what you’d expect from a magazine called Treason.

      1. I can’t remember, who was the guy who kept calling it (t)reason magazine? He was hilariously dumb.

        1. That moronic term comes from lewrockwell.com. Which kinda shows they are wannabe fascists over there if you dig deep enough, as the concept of treason is sort of a fascist concept. It is just weird for a libertarian to accuse someone of treason.

  4. “if Donald Trump of all people turns out to be the vehicle by which the United States actually stops being the world’s policeman, we should at least have the gratitude to tip our hats to him.”

    This.

    1. Tip hats? I know a guy with one leg who would do more than tip his hat. Anyone that puts a stop to our sons and daughters going off to some meat grinder to be killed, maimed or traumatized in some pointless war in the asshole of the world deserves more than a hat tip.

      Oh, wait. I forgot . This is Trump we are talking about.

      1. If a blind squirrel actually does happen to find a nut, that doesn’t necessarily mean blind squirrels ought to be the ones in charge.

        1. True enough, but the options here were blind, or blind, dishonest and corrupt.

          1. Or, you know, some other squirrel.

            1. And, realistically, that would be?

              1. So, here of all places, you are going to invoke the false dichotomy fallacy? Whatevs man.

                1. The US presidential election process is many things, but it’s not a “false dichotomy fallacy.”

                  1. No one is compelled to vote for the D or the R. If both squirrels are blind, I am not compelled to vote for which one is the “least blind”.

                    1. chemjeff|1.2.17 @ 12:51PM|#
                      “No one is compelled to vote for the D or the R. If both squirrels are blind, I am not compelled to vote for which one is the “least blind”.”

                      So you convince yourself that you’ve read something which wasn’t written and respond to that?Whatevs, dude.

                    2. That’s true, but it doesn’t make it a (logical) fallacy.

                2. Speaking of fallacies, can we talk about your “fruit of the poisonous tree” approach to policy analysis? Does a particular policy item that moves you towards a goal you want only count if you agree with the rest of the platform in its entirety? I didn’t vote for Trump and I’m not wild about the guy. He’s not who I wanted to be the president. Sadly, there was this whole vote thing, so I wasn’t able to install my personal choice in office. I can still separate my opinion about Trump as a whole from my opinion about specific policies he might favor.

            2. Let me see if I remember the cast …

              Squirrel: Trump
              Crooked and Corrupt Squirrel: Clinton
              Retarded Squirrel: Johnson
              Clinically Insane Squirrel: Stein

              Did I leave any of the choices for the general election out?

          2. There are also quite a few eyes-wide-open warmongers.

        2. something about principles and principals comes to mind.

  5. “Putin recently refused a plan from his military to re-establish naval bases in Cuba and Vietnam, at least in part because of the cost.”

    If so, that’s good news.

    Because having a shitty economy hasn’t traditionally deterred warmongers from warmongering. Politically, it can even provide an incentive to start a war so citizens can feel Proud of their Country Again while they sip their beet soup.

    Ideally, Putin will limit his ambitions to conquering or co-opting the countries bordering on Russia. If his ambition gets less urgent the further from Russia he gets, this would be a good sign that he can at least be worked with.

    Of course, he’s still a dick.

    1. Shitty economies have absolutely governed warfare.

      Britain won most of its wars against the French from, I dunno, 1700 on precisely because their economy was so much more robust than the French that they could borrow at lower interest rates and pay back the debt sooner. The French had to sue for peace several times because they ran out of money.

      The Soviets couldn’t match Reagan’s Star Wars program spending, and while I believe it was unnecessary and the USSR would have broken up anyway, it did help push them into bankruptcy.

      The Japanese were damned lucky Teddy Roosevelt brokered the 1905 peace treaty with the Russians, because they were on the verge of bankruptcy.

      Britain and probably France would have had to bail out of WW I due to bankruptcy if not for tremendous loans from US banks, who knew they could count n Woodrow Wilson to back their loans.

      Rome had severe financial problems once they had lost territory to the Germanic tribes, because there was no such thing as loans back then, and they couldn’t collect enough harvest to pay troops.

      1. I stand by my original remark: “having a shitty economy hasn’t traditionally deterred warmongers from warmongering.”

        I said nothing about winning.

        The French are a good example – they were great warmongers even though they economy sucked.

        1. Also, these shitty-economy-having warmongering states faced economically-solvent enemies with the *will to fight,* which is not guaranteed with Russia’s potential enemies.

          1. And your example of the Japanese in 1905 and the Brits and French in WWI show that a near-bankrupt warmongering state may luck out with a bankrupt enemy or a solvent ally.

        2. I don’t know where to begin.
          I supply several examples, you denigrate them and change the subject from warmongering to winning. I’d say having to quit fighting is quite a deterrent, not just to the lost war but to starting the next war.
          How many wars never happened because the feisty country knew it couldn’t prevail over its better armed enemy? Does that not count?

          And even from a theoretical viewpoint, it’s just fucking common sense that starting a war without the economic means to win or even fight for long is a no-brainer.

          I can’t even.

          1. I stand by my original remark: “having a shitty economy hasn’t traditionally deterred warmongers from warmongering.”

            1. The rest of your response seems to be snark and personal attacks, so the best rebuttal would be for me to reply in kind.

              1. More seriously, if your concern is whether a war is going to break out, saying that if so-and-so starts a war he’d be hurting his country’s economy, and endangering his own regime, that’s not the final answer.

                Because there have been plenty of leaders who endangered the lives and livelihoods of their countries, and even the stability of their own regimes, in pursuit of reckless political gambles with conquered territory as the prize.

                Worst case scenario, you might get some powerful, solvent country as an enemy determined to fight until you are defeated. On the other hand, you just might pull of a land-grab with a couple dramatic victories and get new territories to loot.

                The long-term dangers apply if there’s a protracted war.

                It boils down to how much of an amoral political gambler the leader is, and how much he wants to grab new lands and at what risk.

                Without going Godwin, I’ll just cite Louis XIV and Napoleon as examples of leaders whose gambles paid off just enough to encourage them to keep going…until it stopped paying off.

                As for Putin, I’m hoping he’s actually a bit less of a gambler, or that his ambitions are at least confined to his “near abroad.”

                1. All my examples were of wars which would have, or did, bankrupt economies.

                  If you think a bankrupt economy is no deterrent to warmongering, then have at it.

                  1. How about “it’s no guarantee that the leader of the country isn’t a reckless political gambler who will start a war.”

                    Now, I have been expressing the *hope* that Putin is less of a reckless gambler, and more of a cautious expansionist who probes to see how far he can go without getting into one of those bankrupting wars you’re describing.

                    That would be a best case scenario.

                    It would be too much to hope that Putin is one of those rare rulers who cares for the economic well-being of his people to such a fanatical extent that he’ll shift his focus from militarism to internal reform.

                    Now, if you want to deny the existence of the Louis XIVs, the Napoleons, the [Godwin edit]s, be my guest.

            2. As usual, The Fusionist is right. A poor economy is not a deterrent against belligerence. Right after the French Revolution, the French government’s finances were in shambles, but they made plenty of war (granted, one could say that originally they were provoked into war). Also, the Soviet Union’s abysmal economy did not dissuade them from intervening in Afghanistan.

              1. “As usual”? I think not.

                You and he seem unable to distinguish between “poor” and “bankrupt”. I take “shitty” (from the original comment) to mean bankrupt or nearly so. If your definition of “shitty” includes merely “poor”, then go to the rant room, because I came to argue.

                1. “You and he seem unable to distinguish between “poor” and “bankrupt”.”

                  Don’t forget the prospect of looting the territories you capture.

                  Not to mention the attitude of certain rulers “I can’t be bankrupt, I still have checks!”

              2. I’d say that it *could* be a deterrent with the right sort of ruler. So my rule wouldn’t apply if the ruler is a guy who obsesses over economic prosperity and doesn’t get a hard-on at the idea of leading his hordes to conquer new territories.

                1. From Thomas More’s Utopia

                  “…what could it signify if I were about the King of France, and were called into his Cabinet Council, where several wise men, in his hearing, were proposing many expedients, as by what arts and practices Milan may be kept, and Naples, that had so oft slipped out of their hands, recovered; how the Venetians, and after them the rest of Italy, may be subdued; and then how Flanders, Brabant, and all Burgundy, and some other kingdoms which he has swallowed already in his designs, may be added to his empire….

                  “”Now when things are in so great a fermentation, and so many gallant men are joining councils, how to carry on the war, if so mean a man as I should stand up, and wish them to change all their councils, to let Italy alone, and stay at home, since the Kingdom of France was indeed greater than could be well governed by one man; that therefore he ought not to think of adding others to it…

                  “…therefore it seemed much more eligible that the King should improve his ancient kingdom all he could, and make it flourish as much as possible; that he should love his people, and be beloved of them; that he should live among them, govern them gently, and let other kingdoms alone, since that which had fallen to his share was big enough, if not too big for him. Pray how do you think would such a speech as this be heard?”

      2. precisely because their economy was so much more robust than the French that they could borrow at lower interest rates and pay back the debt sooner

        It wasn’t just the strength of the economy – the British had a much more efficient taxation system, and also generally taxed people more than the French did

        1. Read an interesting book once — forget now its name. General thesis was that maritime countries, like Holland, then Britain, then the US, were democracies because maritime trade required independent leaders to go overseas for months or years and handle all those trades, whereas territorial countries depended on armies, which are very hierarchical and require much more chain of command control.

          Same thing applies to the taxes. The French taxes, as I understand it, were collected by the king from the top nobles, who collected from lesser nobles, who eventually outsourced it to tax collectors whose profit depended on getting excess taxes. There was no accountability, no national standard, it was corrupt as hell.

          British had their share of tax dodgers, but since it was administered by one level of government, the corruption was much less. Sure they had stupid taxes, like the window tax, but at least they were standardized and clearly specified.

          1. The British Government in the 18th century made sure two things worked as well as they possibly could: tax collection and the navy. This is fascinating if reading about 18th century public administration is your bag, baby

            1. Looks interesting alright, but a tad too expensive for my tastes. $18 for a kindle edition which has unreadable tables?

          2. Read an interesting book once — forget now its name.

            Dan Hannan’s book
            Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World

            Had an argument about how island nations were more apt for freedom than landlocked nations. Maybe not exactly the same argument as yours here.

      3. The Soviets couldn’t match Reagan’s Star Wars program spending, and while I believe it was unnecessary and the USSR would have broken up anyway, it did help push them into bankruptcy.

        Only if they were compelled to try to construct a defense against a nuclear 1st strike by the USA.

      4. Yes, all this is correct.

        Special attention to good ole Woody Wilson doing what progressives has always done, bail out the banks, manipulate the currency, and spread the misery.

    2. Even if libertarians wanted a foreign country to be a policeman, what would be the basis for taking a side re Crimea or Syria? Which side winning is better for liberty? In Syria I think it’s clear enough for now that the “even bigger POS” is better. In Crimea it may be better that it not be Russian, but not better by an awful lot. Which country’s hands Crimea is in, Ukraine or Russia, probably makes a lot less difference for Crimeans than whether Clinton or Trump was elected prez made to Americans.

  6. But they’re such a time-tested bogeyman…

    1. Yes, and much like Nazis, they all speak American with an British accent. No surer a signifier of evil intent exists.

      1. *looks at the English*

        Thats no shit.

        1. “We all drive Jaguars.”

          So, you mostly walk?

            1. Reliability, thy name is Brit cars.

              1. Triumph TR7 vs. the Yugo GV: Most craptastic car ever!

            2. Jaguar; $400 brake pads that have to be ordered from the factory, electrical system that isnt compatible with anything anywhere, weird sized parts, breaks down every 1500 miles, etc, etc.

              Believe it or not the Limeys haven’t completely figured out mass production.

              1. to be fair, now that every british car company is now owned by former enemies/colonies, they’re doing a little better

                (Jag/Land rover = Tata in india, Bentley/Mini = VW group, Rolls = BMW, Aston Martin = some Arab bazillionaires, Lotus = Malaysian conglomerate, and pretty much anyone else you can think of as well)

              2. The rear brake rotors on my XJ6 were mounted on the axle next to the differential. To replace them you’d have to remove that world famous suspension and drop the axle and everything else in the way. Gotta be 12 hours shop labor plus parts. I’ve owned MGs, Morris minis, Jaguars and Austin Healeys. I’ve still got a ’62 Sprite in the garage that hasn’t moved since my wife got pregnant in 1988 (couldn’t fit the baby under the steering wheel.). Every one was a drop dead gorgeous car but mechanically total shit.
                I blame it on British socialism. Seems they really thought that broken window thing was gonna work. Hell, a 5 year old Chevy Vega was more dependable than a year old Jag in the 70’s. But I still get a little woody thinkin’ about that XJ6.

              3. Engine studs placed within cooling fluid. I made the mistake of trying to crank down one of the engine studs to improve ground contact for the engine mount. Not long after the car turned into a choochoo train puffing antifreeze. Stud broke. Antifreeze was puffing up through the stud hole.

                Not having the means or desire to rip the engine out, eventually ran a long threaded rod down into the engine, got a bolt that jammed in the water jacket, and then bolted it down to cover the stud hole.

                If you have a garage and can do some work on them yourself, you can often buy them for nothing and have a pretty nice looking car. It’s really amazing. I’d get compliments fairly often, when I wasn’t doing all sorts of maintenance. I’m thinking it looks like crap, and I’m getting “love your car” shouted at me.

                People can’t really see a jaguar. They see the idea of one.

            3. I don’t get it.

              I get it. Had an 85 jag. Reliability was rather iffy. For a while I kept a can of compressed air in the car to spray at the ignition amplifier when it got toi hot and the car died.

              Eventually ran ground lines all over the place and that seemed to clear up the stalling issues.

          1. Yeah I had a jag. Lucas was known as the “prince of darkness” back in the day.

  7. Russophobia is racism. It’s racist to claim that Russia is out to undermine the West because some people are mad that their candidate lost an election.

    1. Every Russian I’ve ever met has been peaceful. The bad Russians you read about in the paper aren’t even real Russians.

      1. Presumeably you mean outside of a hockey rink.

    2. Good point.

      Why aren’t we seeing breathless reports from the SPLC about spikes in violence against Russian-Americans and Russian immigrants whenever politicians speak about Russia “hacking” our election?

      1. White people must stoically accept anything that would be called a hate crime if a POC were the target. If your family came to America destitute and lived in poverty until they managed to claw their way into the middle or upper classes of wealth, then the only reason that happened was because their skin color made them privileged people. They benefited indirectly from racism and a history of slavery.

        Russophobes deny history and reality. Russophobes are racists. I leave you with a question: what is the etymology of the word ‘slave’?

    3. The progressives will do anything to undermine Trump, up to tearing down all the foundations of America.

      I no longer consider them fellow citizens, but enemies.

  8. As for the Western Europeans, they can afford to defend themselves against Russia or whoever (*cough* Islamic invasion) if they really want to, they just don’t have the will. Why subsidize them?

    1. We have to continue subsidizing them so they can continue to afford their socialized healthcare systems.

      1. Don’t forget their six weeks / year paid vacations.

  9. Romney is going to take relations with Russia back to the 80s!!

    /Democrats in 2012.

    1. Yes, and all the said Democrats have apparently now joined the John Birch Society. “Our incoming president is a commie-lover!”

    2. funny how that flipped, isn’t it. And no one wanted to bring up that whole reset and smart power photo op that Hillary staged. The crew telling us that she was the most prepared candidate ever in history, evah!, had a track record of having fucked things up in the first place. Welcome to America, short attention span theater.

      1. “Welcome to America, short attention span theater.”

        I would correct this to say…

        “Welcome to America, where the utterly corrupt MSM/DNC complex believes the citizens are too mind-numbed to remember what was propagandized just last week.”

        I think Trump’s election demonstrates that the citizens are not as thoroughly mind-numbed as they believed.
        Although the mindless passion around MSM/DNC talking points from my hyper-liberal inlaws, belies that a bit. Apparently, yes, America has at least 62million knuckledragging racist homophobes that plan to deport and lock up all the brown people in the country. They seriously believe this.

        1. The chocolate ration has increased to 15 from 20…

          They live in a world that does not exist and cannot exist, but that doesn’t mean they won’t destroy our world in the push for their imaginary utopia… which makes leftist progressives very dangerous.

  10. USA-Russia-Israel – Axis of the alt-Righteous

  11. How are my precious little anarcho-frakentrumpkensteins doing today?

    1. You’re not supposed to ingest the zit cream weigel

      1. Leave food for ’em and you get cockroaches. dajal might be as smart as a cockroach, so it’s not wise.

        1. First you dehumanize them by comparing them to insects. Then you:

      2. You’re not supposed to ingest the zit cream weigel

        I responded with the facts to one of his ignorant “tweets”- and added “Think about ProActive…”- and was immediately blocked. :o)

  12. Why do all libertarians have to preface everything about Putin with the disclaimer that of course Putin is an awful, awful ruler? OK by anarchy capitalist standards all rulers are terrible, but do we talk about other currently existing rulers the same way? Who is Putin? Do any of these pundits recognize his place in Russian history? Is Putin as awful as Lenin or Stalin? How about Yeltsin? Yeltsin stood by and let the US, Soros, and the Russian oligarchs loot his country, causing Russian life expectancy to decline by six years in the 1990’s. Russia is what it is. Who has ruled Russia for a thousand years? Czars and dictators. Putin is right up there with Peter and Catherine the great in how he has helped the Russian people, so far at least. Judge him by Russian standards, not by libertarian ideals.

    1. Judge him by Russian standards, not by libertarian ideals.

      No.

    2. How about if Putin is judged by fixed standard that ought to apply to every ruler, Russian or not?

      Naww, that would be too principled and not relativistic enough….

      1. Sure but is still true that Russia is almost as far from libertarian principles as possible, with the exception of the entire Muslim world.

        1. I bet you can think of many more contemporary exceptions outside the Muslim world too.

      2. How about if Putin is judged compared to reasonably available alternatives?

    3. Judge him by Russian standards, not by libertarian ideals.

      why?

      1. Because libertreee is either a Russian nationalist or a paid troll that only ever posts on anti-Putin articles, and it’s always about praising him and “muh cultural relativism”.

    4. Catherine the Great was a degenerate thug who assisted in the destruction of a nearby country because it dared to push for liberty-minded values (Polish May Constitution of 1791) that would have influenced and possibly destroyed her precious serfdom power structure. Apparently ‘helping’ the Russian people is equitable to enslaving them. No, we will not apply cultural relativism to Russia, which is really just a way to offer excuses and apologia for tyranny.

      1. Peter the Great tortured his son to death, so Putin is an angel by comparison!

      2. No, we will not apply cultural relativism to Russia,

        So, out of curiosity, what are your thoughts on Thomas Jefferson?

        1. Not American, I don’t hold your founding fathers to the demi-god status others do. Jefferson’s written word has merit, but ultimately he is a representation of the extreme hypocrisy of a society that claims to be in favour of liberty while actively enslaving human beings.

          1. In historical context, Jefferson was a fargin saint and genius.

            1. I’m not saying that Jefferson was freaking Hitler, just a hypocrite.

              1. Everyone is a hypocrite sometimes on certain things.

                What makes Progs so dangerous is that they are the most hypocritic yet think they are pure as the wind driven snow….

                1. Except hand-waves like ‘everyone is a hypocrite’ doesn’t actually justify the act. The point should not be to try to justify Jefferson’s actions, it should be a willingness to recognize it and better follow the values espoused.

          2. he is a representation of the extreme hypocrisy of a society that claims to be in favour of liberty while actively enslaving human beings

            OR maybe…he was on the cutting edge of something new and wasn’t quite there yet?

            Judge men based upon the norms of the times in which they lived. Jefferson was a huge step forward for liberty compared to what existed before. Nearly all movements are incremental.

            Not that I disagree with your position on Catherine the Great. I simply don’t agree that judgment isn’t/shouldn’t be based upon the circumstances that existed at the time. A person may not be a saint, by current libertarian standards, but should still receive credit for improving conditions when merited.

            My .02

            1. No, I don’t think I’m going to ‘judge a man based on the norms of the time’ when he was articulating a radical change from the norm, but suddenly voided those principles when it might affect his yearly income. Again, his writing does have merit, and appeal to hypocrisy is a lousy fallacy to discredit what he wrote, but the fundamental reality is that Jefferson was a hypocrite by his own actions. That doesn’t delegitimize his writing, but that does reveal his personal character.

              1. Ah, your one of those “judge the historical by our current standards”.

                Well keep an eye on the future, it’ll be coming for you…..

                Or are you already “woke” to the 31 genders crowd….

                1. I’m judging him primarily in the context of the values he espoused, BigW.

                  We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

                  Please justify the personal use of slavery if you hold these truths to be self-evident.

                  1. Very few Europeans, including abolitionists and the Great Emancipator himself, believed that, or would admit that, black Africans were full fledged human beings in the 18th and 19th century. The conventional wisdom, based on the pronouncements of Top Men of the day, was that they were sub human. A species not yet evolved to equal white people. While this seems pretty silly in the 21st century, it was widely accepted at the time. I would point out that a majority of the U.S. population currently believes that Jeebus, Space Daddy, and Casper are floating around in outer space controlling events of earth. I myself believed things 30 years ago that I now know are bullshit and I’m pretty sure a lot of what I currently accept as fact is also illusory. So I can forgive Jefferson his sins and I can forgive your inability to see his world through his eyes.

                  2. Jefferson was a creature of his time, and the ugly, uncomfortable fact is that he came from a culture which didn’t see sub-Saharan Africans as the equals of other races. Even amongst the burgeoning anti-slavery movement in Britain many people saw Africans as intellectually inferior, and not quite “people” in the same way as Europeans, for instance. Bear in mind that there was no particular abhorrence to the concept of slavery at the time, and for centuries slavery was an accepted practice in many cultures. There’s evidence that Jefferson himself recognized the hypocrisy of his position, but he was certainly not alone in that stance.

                    I’m not justifying Jefferson, I’m just saying that he evokes no particular horror for me. Our great, great, great grandchildren will look back on some of our beliefs and practices and be aghast at hypocrisies we don’t even fully realize today.

    5. Putin is right up there with Peter and Catherine the great in how he has helped the Russian people

      Helped?! You realize that in the founding of St. Petersburg, 200,000 Russian peasants, who had been enslaved for the purpose, died? No, Putin, thankfully, has not “helped” the Russian people like Peter Romanov. The man was a megalomaniac and mass murderer. So far, at least, Putin hasn’t touched the misery created by the likes of the Romanovs.

    6. Why do all libertarians have to preface everything about Putin with the disclaimer that of course Putin is an awful, awful ruler?

      Because he is?

      Judge him by Russian standards, not by libertarian ideals.

      Fuck the russians. Half of them are drunks who are stupid enough to think things were ‘better’ under the Soviets. The others are trying to figure out how to succeed in a nepotistic cleptocracy, and anyone with a brain tries to emigrate.

      1. I call BS. This is a historical view that only has minor relevance to Russia Today (paid endor$ement). You can’t run a modern economy with 50% drunken deplorables, no matter what Hillary says. Sure, capitalism is a work in progress, but we have or own issues with national statism – ours just comes from Bushes, Clintons, and a large bureaucracy.

        I’ve worked with Russians in two high tech industries, and found them to be smart, demanding, and a bit nationalistic (sound like another country we know?). Moreover, a lot more of them speak multiple languages, including English, than people in the U.S.

        And except for Alaska, they are pretty far away from us, in both distance and time zones.

        1. This is a historical view that only has minor relevance to Russia Today

          You “call BS”, but have you ever actually visited the place, or referred to their demographics?

          The life expectancy in Russia is the lowest of any “modern” country

          and that #? (~70yrs) is believed to be inflated, mainly because it was mentioned as so horrifying in the 1990s (it was in the low 60s back then)

          because why? Because alcoholism, mainly.

          While American men have a 1-in-11 chance of dying before their 55th birthday, in Russia the odds are 1 in 4.

          ….The main reason for the extraordinary difference in premature death between Western and Eastern Europe is alcohol,” said an author of the studies, Richard Peto, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Oxford. “Russians are drinking spirits dangerously.”

          I’m not exaggerating by much. the % of the population that would qualify by ‘western standards’ of alcoholism (more than 3 drinks a day) is whopping.

          1. But do they drink because things are bad, or are things bad because they drink?

        2. I’ve worked with Russians in two high tech industries,

          as i mentioned = anyone with a brain probably isn’t living in russia

    7. Judge him by Russian standards, not by libertarian ideals.

      Why? It seems only reasonable that libertarians would judge rulers by libertarian ideals. Putin clearly falls far, far, short of those ideals. Less than some other Russian leaders? Probably. But, I don’t think it makes sense for libertarians to set their principles aside and call a despot a statesman simply because he’s less a despot than other rulers.

  13. It should also be noted that Putin is up for election in 2018, and, yeah, it is by no means assured that he will win that election.

    The left hates Putin for committing the unpardonable sin–he made Barack Obama look bad. Over and over again, Putin has outmaneuvered Obama from saving him on his stupid “red line” on Syria, giving Snowden sanctuary, right on down the line. Obama can’t seem to do anything with Putin without making a fool of himself.

    1. “Obama can’t seem to do anything without making a fool of himself.”

      FIFY.

      1. Notice that to the left, working with Putin is unconscionable.

        However, for some reason, working with the Iranians to help them achieve their nuclear ambitions was a noble opportunity for peace and reconciliation.

        What’s the difference?

        Obama put his ass on the line for Iran, and because of that, they have to pretend like it was a good idea.

        Trump making common cause with Putin, however, is unconscionable–because Putin made Obama look foolish–and that’s the unpardonable sin.

        P.S. Snowden and others have also committed the unpardonable sin.

        1. Wasn’t it this same left that: 1) had a president who said his re-election would give him more flexibility? 2) Had an SoS that did the reset button/smart power thing with the Russian Foreign Minister?

          Either time, Putin was going to be around. But it’s the left; intentions, results, etc.

        2. What’s the difference?

          Perhaps Putin’s complexion?

          The White Man is the Devil!

          Islamofascist thugs? Meh. Chinese? Meh. North Koreans? Meh. Castor? Hero!

  14. We won the last Cold War. We will win the next one too.

    In a strange way, Trump could be just crazy enough ? enough of a outlier and a rogue ? to expose what Putin’s Russia is and end the current cycle of upheaval and decline.

    Here’s another take on the “Hey this buttsex stuff ain’t so bad” angle.

    1. Have you replaced your Obama statue with ones of John McCain and Lindsey Graham, yet, shreek?

      1. I have no idols before me.

        1. Ah, they are all behind you.

          Do you at least get a reach-around?

    2. The truth is that fighting a new Cold War would be in America’s interest. Russia teaches us a very important lesson: Losing an ideological war without a fight will ruin you as a nation. The fight is the American way. When we stop fighting for our ideals abroad, we stop fighting for them at home.

      This is so retarded it makes Francis Fukuyama seem grounded in reality.

      We’ve spent the last 2 decades fighting all over the planet with little to no actual principles backing us up, and stopping that is to “stop fighting for our ideals abroad”?

      Even if Putin’s express goal is to break down the current world order into a more anarchic “all-against-all”, can you compare his interventions and ours and say with a straight face that he’s done more to achieve that goal than we have?

  15. co-opting the new administration ? for example, in the fight against terrorism ? wherever it is feasible

    Have I taught you people nothing ??

  16. Personality cultist extraordinaire fears we may succumb to personality cult he finds distasteful.

    In 2015 the city of Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, was graced with a new public monument: a giant gold-plated sculpture portraying the country’s president on horseback. This may strike you as a bit excessive. But cults of personality are actually the norm in the “stans,” the Central Asian countries that emerged after the fall of the Soviet Union, all of which are ruled by strongmen who surround themselves with tiny cliques of wealthy crony capitalists.

    Americans used to find the antics of these regimes, with their tinpot dictators, funny. But who’s laughing now?

    ——-

    But let’s get real. Everything we know suggests that we’re entering an era of epic corruption and contempt for the rule of law, with no restraint whatsoever.

    Also- Comey and Putin conspired against Hillary to destroy Obama’s legacy!

    Just don’t call it post-truth fake news.

    1. A statue of the President on horseback is soooo over-the-top. That would be on the Mount Rushmore of overstated leader-worshipping monument-making.

  17. Putin ain’t no saint, but it’s disgusting watching Democrats act like neocons saying we shouldn’t advance American interests if doing so requires us to associate with bad people. Understand, the Democrats smearing Putin are playing into the hands of people like John McCain–whose primary objection to working with Putin seems to be that doing so will make it harder for us to invade Syria.

    I do not believe it is in our best interests to invade Syria to take on ISIS. I do not believe that it is in our best interests to invade Iraq again to take on ISIS. However, if it ever becomes in America’s best interests to invade Syria to take on ISIS, it will be even more in our interests if the Russians and their allies took on ISIS in Syria without us ever having to cross Syria’s borders.

    Milton Friedman didn’t think we should have a federal reserve, but if you were going to ignore his advice on that, he still had an opinion about what the Fed should do. I don’t think we should invade Iraq and Syria, but if we do so anyway, I still have an opinion about what we should do. If we ever go after ISIS in Syria and Iraq, we should do it just like we went after the Nazis and the Japanese–with Stalin’s help.

    1. The Nazis were a real threat. The “Fight against ISIS” is just a witch hunt. In fact, it is primarily what creates them in the first place. (C.f. the drug war.)

      1. Sure, because there was no violence in Islam until the US started protecting Jews from being murdered in the name of Islam. One of the absolute dumbest memes that exist. Islam expanding through violence since the 7th Century is all because of American policies hundreds of years later? Could you be more ignorant? It seems doubtful.

        1. “So I started googling ‘Islamic on Jew violence’ and couldn’t believe what I seen!” – Marshall Gill

      2. Like I said, I do not believe it is in the best interests of the United States to invade Syria and Iraq to fight ISIS.

        However, IF IF IF ISIS ever becomes such a threat to American security that it becomes in our best interests to invade Syria, it will still be in our EVEN BETTER interests to have Putin and his allies fighting ISIS in Syria on our behalf–within his own sphere of influence.

        If we invaded Syria, not only would we have to fight ISIS, we would have to fight Assad, the Iranian Revolutionary Army, and Hezbollah, too. We want to avoid invading Syria–even if we have to invade Iraq again on a large scale. And the time to make common cause with Putin on ISIS in Syria is not when it becomes imperative because ISIS graduates to being a significant security threat to the United States.

        . . . just like the time to buy fire insurance isn’t after the house has caught on fire.

        That Obama squandered the opportunity to forge a security relationship with Putin simply because Putin has been such a source of embarrassment to Obama personally will go down in history as showing what an awful President Obama really was. Putting the best interests of American security ahead of his own personal grudges is an essential part of being a decent President–and Obama failed that test.

        1. You guys are feeding cockroaches or worse.

          1. What the hell are you talking about?

            1. He’s calling dajjal a cockroach.

              1. “He’s calling dajjal a cockroach.”
                Well, I’m saying it’s fairly certain dajjal doesn’t measure up to that.
                BTW, a loose translation of the handle mean ‘liar’.

            2. Are you serious?
              dajjal is about the worst troll currently infecting the site. S/he shows up, makes wild comments, often directly contradicting a comment made an hour ago, and then whines about getting attention.
              WIH are YOU talking about?

              1. For all I knew, you were saying I was feeding ISIS, Assad, the Iranian Revolutionary Army, John McCain, the Neocons, and Hezbollah.

        2. “That Obama squandered the opportunity to forge a security relationship with Putin simply because Putin has been such a source of embarrassment to Obama personally will go down in history as showing what an awful President Obama really was. Putting the best interests of American security ahead of his own personal grudges is an essential part of being a decent President–and Obama failed that test.”

          And with the “Putin stole the election for Trump” horseshit it appears he’ll continue on that course until he’s dragged kicking and screaming from the white house. Only now it’s because he’s been embarrassed by Trump. It’s just appalling to watch this thin skinned crybaby attempt to fuck up everything he’s got control of ahead of the inauguration.

          1. It’s like he’s seeing communists under the bed.

            It’s buffoonery.

            For a long time, I thought we’d be lucky to survive Obama’s presidency with our rights intact. Now, I’m kind of ashamed for having been so worried.

            He’s just a flailing little ninny.

    2. The irony of Leftists bashing Putin while slavishly praising Castro after his passing is so revolting. Putin is a bad guy, but no more bad than a lot of rulers that we have to deal with in the world. Why is Russia a boogeyman, but China is a good guy? The Chinese are far worse than Putin’s regime.

      1. China has a lot of influence over Western media companies (both in how much of them they own and how much media companies want to operate in China and get that billion-person revenue). It’s subtle in news media, but less subtle elsewhere (see, for example, Disney’s attempt to cash in on the Chinese market with Rogue One). Russia has significantly less influence in Western media and therefore can’t protect their ‘brand’. Also, there’s the obvious fact that leftists can demonize Russia without feeling like they’re being racist (because in the last sixty years Slavs are now honorary whites apparently).

        1. They’re working towards making Asians into honorary whites too. Many Asian kids already check the “White” box when applying to Ivy-league schools.

          1. What’s their incentive? Aren’t they giving up minority bennies?

            1. Not really. Asians are usually lumped in with whites for admissions quotas. Plus if there are ACT & SAT score thresholds for admissions or automatic scholarships, the Minimum Score charts look something like this:

              White: 33
              Asian/Pacific Islander: 33
              African American: 28
              Hispanic: 27
              Native American: 25

              Go figure. Kind of makes the argument that white Americans do better on those tests because of inherent cultural bias in the tests themselves ring a little hollow.

              1. I guess I assumed they were favored what with that whole internment thing. Guess they’ll just have to succeed based on merit. Apparently they don’t have a problem with that.

      2. In the leftist mind China is more ‘progressive’ than Russia. China is a place where “leaders” have the courage to make big decisions that move forward people’s lives. Krugman can tell you all about it.

        1. Yeah, I remember John Kerry praising the Chinese ‘one child’ program, because apparently there are some idiots still in this world who think Malthus was totally right and stuff.

          1. It doesn’t get more progressive than forcing women to have abortions. Shit we’ve got volunteers.
            http://www.thedailybeast.com/a…..rtion.html

  18. We should not have given Stalin half of Europe in exchange for his services, but working with Stalin to defeat the Nazis in Europe and chase the Japanese out of China was not a mistake. The legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights, and the legitimate purpose of the military and foreign policy is to protect our rights from foreign threats. If and when it is in the best interests of American security to work with a sick and evil murderer like Joseph Stalin, then that is exactly what we should do.

    And, certainly, if that principle applies to Joseph Stalin, what difference does it make if Vladimir Putin is a nasty dictator?

    1. We did not exactly give half of Europe to Stalin, they were in half of Europe already and we really did not want to fight a third world war to get them out.

      1. Darn your fast fingers!

      2. Suffice it to say, I would dispute that.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_betrayal

        We made some big mistakes towards the end of the war, and capitulating to the Russians was most of it.

        It isn’t even limited to Europe. We did the same sort of thing in China, Korea, etc.

        Big Mistake.

        1. Keen, that’s got all the cred of, well, ‘history in one lesson from Wiki.
          If you don’t have anything other than that, you’re peddling bullshit
          Besides which (from the article)
          “Max Hastings states that Churchill urged Roosevelt to continue armed conflict in Europe in 1945 – but carried out against the Soviet Union, to prevent the USSR from extending its control west of its own borders”
          So even your ‘source’ says it would have taken a war.

          1. I’m not going to pretend the Yalta conference and the others didn’t occur just because . . . what is your point here?

            I’m not going to pretend we didn’t hold back our advances, all over the world, to let the Russians catch up because of agreements we’d made beforehand–and that this didn’t have a serious impact on the Cold War either.

            That so much of Europe ended up behind the iron curtain was largely because of bad agreements we made with Stalin–not simply because we collaborated with Stalin at all.

            Likewise, coordinating some future international war against ISIS–if necessary–doesn’t necessarily require Obama, Trump, or anyone else to concede anything to Putin . . . your complaints about Wikipedia notwithstanding.

            1. Ken Shultz|1.2.17 @ 12:50PM|#
              “I’m not going to pretend the Yalta conference and the others didn’t occur just because . . . what is your point here?”

              This is not difficult to grasp:
              To have removed the Reds from Europe would have taken an all out war against the Red Army.
              You’re whining that we did what we said we were going to do is irrelevant to that.
              And doing any sort of comparison to possible ISIS actions is equally irrelevant?
              You are seriously in need of information regarding WWII.

              1. I could be wrong, but you seem like you’re conflating two distinct points in time. Agreements during the war favorable to the Russians almost certainly helped to give them a foothold in Eastern European states that would have required another World War to dislodge after the fact.

                1. Any agreement that gave Stalin eastern Europe was a mistake.

                  Not renegotiating after the situation on the ground warranted a renegotiation was also a mistake.

                  When a game has a rule against something, breaking it becomes part of the game. You can “draw fouls”. You have “fouls to give”. Sometimes it’s better to foul somebody than to give them a free shot at your goal . . . or eastern Europe.

                  I suppose I’d feel more in the way of moral qualms about retrading on an agreement like that 1) if Yalta, etc. had been a treaty ratified by Congress, or 2) if we weren’t talking about the moral obligation to live by an agreement that handed hundreds of millions of people over to the brutality of Stalinist authoritarianism without their input or consent.

                  Much better should have happened to the people of eastern Europe, and much worse should have happened to Stalin than suffering at the hands of FDR’s broken promises.

                  P.S. But the benefits to American security should always be the primary consideration.

                  1. Ken Shultz|1.2.17 @ 3:21PM|#
                    “Any agreement that gave Stalin eastern Europe was a mistake.”

                    None was ever made. So the rest of your ‘argument’ is bullshit.

                    1. The Yalta Conference, the Tehran Conference, The Potsdam Conference, the discussions on the Curzon line, etc., etc., the efforts to hold back on the battle field and let Stalin have what he’d been promised in these agreements, etc. . .

                      All these things happened and mattered regardless of whether you believe in them.

                    2. Ken Shultz|1.2.17 @ 7:09PM|#
                      “The Yalta Conference, the Tehran Conference, The Potsdam Conference, the discussions on the Curzon line, etc., etc., the efforts to hold back on the battle field and let Stalin have what he’d been promised in these agreements, etc. . ”

                      Nice recitation of meetings. Now, do you have ONE bit of evidence that Agreements were made to ‘give Stalin eastern Europe?
                      Put up or shut up, twit.

                    3. Ken isn’t exactly wrong here.

                      Patton’s Third Army was prepared to take Prague in May or 1945, but he was denied. He was prepared to take all of Berlin in advance of the Russians, but was denied this as well. He felt until his death that Ike intentionally delayed his charge across Europe to let the Russians have their agreed share.

                      The Russians would have been unwilling and unable to go to war to ensure they be allowed to take these areas, as their existing war effort had been so dependent on American materiel.

        2. “Big Mistake”

          Pointless historical ‘what-iffing’ nonsense.

          The Allies dangled eastern Europe to Stalin in exchange for his pushing westward to take pressure off the D-Day invasion plans and the subsequent push into Germany. They needed Stalin to grind up the Axis and gave him eastern Europe in exchange for the mass casualties the Russian suffered to do it. The alternative would have been far far greater Allied casualties.
          We didn’t “capitulate” to Russia. It was a proactive, rational strategy to minimize Western casualties in ending the war in Europe. Our grandfathers applaud that decision.

          1. “Pointless historical ‘what-iffing’ nonsense.”

            Actually, it’s integral to the argument.

            Just because we made the mistake of forfeiting eastern Europe and elsewhere to Stalin for cooperating with us in defeating the Axis is doesn’t mean we need to forfeit anything to Putin if we end up cooperating with him in fighting against ISIS as, apparently, Trump isn’t opposed to doing.

            Not only is it integral to the argument, it’s on the topic of Gillespie’s post.

            “The Allies dangled eastern Europe to Stalin in exchange for his pushing westward to take pressure off the D-Day invasion plans and the subsequent push into Germany.”

            I didn’t say there weren’t any for the mistakes we made; I said they were mistakes.

            1. “I didn’t say there weren’t any [reasons] for the mistakes we made; I said they were mistakes.”

              Fixed!

            2. “Just because we made the mistake of forfeiting eastern Europe and elsewhere to Stalin for cooperating with us in defeating the Axis is doesn’t mean we need to forfeit anything to Putin if we end up cooperating with him in fighting against ISIS as, apparently, Trump isn’t opposed to doing.”

              Cite missing Ken. You’re full of shit.

              1. Well if you say so, Shrike.

                1. Ken Shultz|1.2.17 @ 7:10PM|#
                  “Well if you say so, Shrike.”

                  You fail to offer one bit of evidence to support your fucking lies and you call ME Shrike?
                  Stuff it up your ass, shitbag.

    2. “We should not have given Stalin half of Europe…”

      We didn’t ‘give it to him’; the Red Army was there, and we’d have to start a war with them to get them out. Truman had his faults (our medical care ‘market’ for one), but he made it clear that we understood where the Red Army was and where it was gonna stay.
      If it weren’t for his belligerence, there was a good chance Hokkaido would have been speaking Russian by now.

      1. I can cite numerous instances of us capitulating to the Russians because we agreed to do so ahead of time.

        There are too many to cite–both in eastern Europe and elsewhere.

        “The western Allies’ decision to leave eastern Germany and the city of Berlin to the Red Army – honoring the agreement they made with the Soviet Union at Yalta – eventually had serious repercussions as the Cold War emerged and expanded in the post-war era.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_to_Berlin

        Because we capitulated to the Russians is not a good reason why we should have capitulated to the Russians.

        1. ” can cite numerous instances of us capitulating to the Russians because we agreed to do so ahead of time.”

          So what?

        2. “The Russians were broken, but then they were broken when they bogged down the Nazis, too.”

          When nearly 1000 years of acquiescence to authoritarianism becomes ingrained into your national psychological viewpoint I suppose a slavish devotion to the state does have an inherit strength during times of war.

          Not that it does the general public of any hypothetical nation a long-term benefit to be structured in that fashion outside of being invaded by a foreign enemy(Fuck You, Gene Roddenberry!).

          But while in a bloody pinch I suppose it has its merits.

          1. Fucking squirrels!

            I apologize for the misplaced comment.

            It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact I have no work today and started drinking 6.9% ABV beer two hours ago….I swear.

      2. Didn’t Patton get shoved of the stage after WWII because he advocated attacking the Russians then and there, since we already had the troops, a stronger economy, and the new, terrifying atom bomb to hold over their heads?

        I wonder what that alternate reality would have looked like…

        1. “Didn’t Patton get shoved of the stage after WWII because he advocated attacking the Russians then and there, since we already had the troops, a stronger economy, and the new, terrifying atom bomb to hold over their heads?”
          He was already on a short string as a result of his inability to keep his yap shut, and that incident (while we still thought we needed the Reds) was the last straw.
          If Ike hadn’t needed Patton’s (undoubted) skills as an army commander, he’d have been gone by D-Day.

          “I wonder what that alternate reality would have looked like…”
          Or if the Nazis and Reds had fought each other to exhaustion…
          Who knows, but blasting the Reds out of Europe with nukes wasn’t in the cards; we only had two by late summer ’45, and a smoking hole where Vienna used to be probably wasn’t favored by anyone.

        2. Chances are we would have gotten bogged down in the Russian winter on the way to Moscow just like Hitler (and Napoleon) did. The Russians were broken, but then they were broken when they bogged down the Nazis, too.

          If we hadn’t stopped our advances when we did, however, I think it’s safe to say that the iron curtain would have fallen further to the east.

          There should have been a renegotiation based on the realities of the situation on the ground much like some people in this thread seem to imagine happened to Stalin’s benefit.

          Yeah, I know what we agreed to at Yalta, Mr. Stalin, but the situation on the ground changed, and you don’t want to go to war over this, do you?

          1. “If we hadn’t stopped our advances when we did, however, I think it’s safe to say that the iron curtain would have fallen further to the east.”

            We had no choice.
            We were out of 745s, and Russia wasn’t. There wasn’t a chance in hell of pushing them back without emptying the Far East and turning it over to Japan.
            You do remember there was a war over there, too, don’t you?
            I’m sorry, Ken, but you are out of your pay grade.

            1. We made the right choice in capitulating to Russia at Yalta and elsewhere and we made the right choice in holding back to let the Russians catch up–because we had no choice?

              This is absurd.

              You’ve got Patton Derangement Syndrome or something.

              1. “We made the right choice in capitulating to Russia at Yalta and elsewhere and we made the right choice in holding back to let the Russians catch up–because we had no choice?”

                What “capitulation” Ken?
                I’ll be waiting; you’re full of shit on this issue and I’m happy to prove it.

      3. Oh, P.S.

        I know you live in the San Francisco area and I have to ask: Have you ever ran into Michael Savage?

        If so, I envision an epic battle of well-read, yet philosophically opposed old men engaged in the ultimate battle of California’s Biggest Crab-Ass. ;p

        1. ;p back atcha!

          1. “Talking Shit about a member of the Crips; disrespect”
            *”There go that crab ass nigga”
            “Fuck yo crab ass, this is my hood”*
            by Trees July 15, 2006

            *Urban Dictonary

            The thought of you saying this within my earshot affords me an endless source of amusement.

            1. That’s the UD definition of a Crabass.

              I’m not tipsy, not at all.

              By the way, what’s the Cal score? My internet is down.

              1. Who’s Cal?
                ;p

                1. Some quiet, unsociable shithead with an unwavering conscious about the philosophy of limited government and personal responsibility?

                  I don’t know. That was before my time.

    3. How do you ‘give’ land already occupied by the USSR? Stalin didn’t even agree to the deal they made.

    4. I don’t know how true this was, but I’ve read that Churchill was appalled at Roosevelt’s seeming affinity for Stalin. They both knew he was a forced ally, but apparently Churchill viewed him as the bloodthirsty tyrant that _wasn’t_ bombing his country who was enemies with the one who was.

  19. Russia turned me into a Newt! And I did not get better!!

  20. OK I will spell it out for you: TrumPutin is spoiling to incite terrorism in the middle east as a pretext to nuke them to ‘take their oil’ but more importantly disrupt and suppress production there to boost prices in Russia and the USA. It’s not that hard to understand.

    The whole neo-McCarthyist “We got hacked” hysteria is actually a straw man to provide a pretext for Trump to purge the FBI/CIA of the ‘incompetents’ so he can more easily proceed with his plan.

    Seriously people, it’s not that hard to understand.

    1. “”””purge the FBI/CIA of the ‘incompetents’ “””

      Tell me more about this purge of incompetents in government. I like the sound of it.

    2. Let me get this straight: WaPo and NYT and CBS/NBC/ABC/PBS/NPR were really in the tank for Trump when they created the “We got hacked” hysteria? They’re just pretending to be against him so that he can purge the FBI/CIA and proceed with his evil plans to nuke the Middle East and take their oil? But by “take their oil” Trump really means that he’s going “take their oil” off of the market to raise prices in Russia?

      Seriously?

      Dajjal, you need to get back on your meds.

      1. WaPo and NYT and CBS/NBC/ABC/PBS/NPR are ‘useful idiots’ as you would say.

        1. You’re like a useful idiot, but without the “useful” part.

        2. They’re following the lead of the DNC, not Trump. Don’t be an idiot.

    3. Dropping nukes instead of troops = a lot of not-dead troops. Frankly I’m ok with the whole damn army sitting at the bar watching the savages get glassed.

      Your Future Reptilian Overlords would also support this plan only because middle eastern mammals taste horrible.

    4. You are one funny guy.

      1. That was for Dajjal.

  21. Washington Post Moscow Bureau Chief David Filipov has written an important article worth readin

    Fuck the Washington post and their Russian-panic-mongering

    1. and yes, i’m aware this guy is trying to downplay the most ridiculous aspects of their panic-mongering, while certifying their basic narrative that the Russia-Trump nexus still matters, bigly.

  22. Is there any evidence to support the claim that Trump will, actually, decline to get involved in the next available war? I mean that sincerely. He’s never actually worked in any capacity remotely related to diplomacy, and neither has his Secretary of State. I suppose one could argue that no record is better than a bad one, but I would get a lot more sleep if the “no record” person had, I don’t know, learned a second language or studied European history or had lived overseas for some period of time. Trump’s claim to fame is that he can “make deals,” but business deals aren’t really close to diplomatic crises, which usually require the ability to say fake compliments to horrible people in order to convince said horrible person to be marginally less of a catastrophe and in which a single wrong word means war instead of clumsy peace. What I fear most with Trump is that he’ll start a war with Portugal by a stupid Tweet at 3 a.m.

    1. “What I fear most with Trump is that he’ll start a war with Portugal by a stupid Tweet at 3 a.m.”

      Real shame your hag lost, isn’t it?

      1. The stupid hag who couldn’t translate a single word correctly on her Reset button.

        Of, maybe, it wasn’t a mistranslation and she intended to offend the the Russians from the start. It’s hard to say.

      2. Be fair, Trump is capable of saying some really stupid things, and it’s possible they could have bad repercussions.

        What amazes me is just how terrible Clinton’s Senate voting/ SoS records are re: interventionism, and how the left not only absolutely refuses to admit it, but actually tried to make ‘experience’ a selling point in her campaign.

        1. “Be fair, Trump is capable of saying some really stupid things, and it’s possible they could have bad repercussions.”

          Sort of like “deplorables”?
          Yeah, I can see the NYT and WaPo getting real pissed, but internationally, wars don’t start with 140-word comments.

          1. No, in this day and age, nations don’t go to war over nasty comments. Especially with a country as powerful as the US. I was more thinking about Trump saying something to piss off Muslims, possibly resulting in Westerners getting murdered.

            1. “I was more thinking about Trump saying something to piss off Muslims, possibly resulting in Westerners getting murdered.”

              What’s already there seems to be doing the job just fine.
              I didn’t vote for the guy, but the hand-wringing and hair-pulling over what *might* happen is beyond tiresome by this time.
              We got what we got, and no one here (outside of SIV) is going to do handstands, but so far, he seems to be appointing those with some cred toward limiting government and increasing freedom.
              I’ll take that.

              1. Half and half. Just when I start to get optimistic, he appoints Bolton or Sessions. Still, I’ll wait and see.

            2. I was more thinking about Trump saying something to piss off Muslims, possibly resulting in Westerners getting murdered.

              Sorry, but the type of people who would murder somebody because a guy in another country said a mean thing are probably going to be jumping on the murder train sooner or later anyway.

            3. I was more thinking about Trump saying something to piss off Muslims, possibly resulting in Westerners getting murdered.

              Don’t be silly, it takes at least a stupid youtube video to do that.

        2. Agreed. My favorite was the drumbeat that Hillary’s ability to convince Obama to intervene in Libya was a huge plus on her resume.

    2. What I fear most with Trump is that he’ll start a war with Portugal by a stupid Tweet at 3 a.m.

      Then that’s a product of your own irrational fear, not Trump’s actual positions. If Trump really wants to be petty to countries, he’d respond with ‘deals’, not warfare, i.e. negating treaties or trade that benefit them. You can obviously argue the merit of that, but this “OMG TRUMP WILL START RANDOM WARS” idiocy is more reflective of the foolishness of the people commenting than Trump himself.

      In terms of warfare, Trump has only really articulated one major position, which is the removal of ISIS in vague terms. Which is consistently a position across most of the political class. And of course, they’ve had great success, with their Pentagon-funded rebels fighting CIA trained rebels. The people who bemoan Trump are oddly silent on the last sixteen years of incompetent foreign policy (at least, the times when ‘their man’ was in power). Beyond that, he has stressed the need for a strong military, but does seem to be unwilling to invoke the Wilsonian power fantasies that Clinton and the like indulge in.

      1. “Trump has only one real position” — and that’s the problem. Everyone who isn’t actually ISIS, including Al Qaeda, agrees on the removal of ISIS. They differ remarkably on the details. I have one prime draft-age son and one just younger than that. I have every interest in the US keeping ourselves out of armed conflict. I just see no evidence that Trump is likely to do that.

        1. “I just see no evidence that Trump is likely to do that.”

          I don’t have evidence that he won’t climb Everest, either! Do you have any evidence that he will?
          You really are butt-hurt over the hag losing, aren’t you?

        2. I have one prime draft-age son and one just younger than that. I have every interest in the US keeping ourselves out of armed conflict

          Then you should be thankful that the candidate who openly advocated for active conflict with a nuclear power didn’t win (yes, claiming a ‘no-fly zone’ in an sovereign area staffed with Russian AA systems is military aggression).

          What is your knowledge of military affairs, or American military capacity? I’d like you to articulate a multiple step process for eliminating ISIS that would require the use of a draft. Or any other modern military conflict for that matter, outside of say, active war with China or Russia (where you have bigger problems). I understand that civilians tend to have a…biased perspective on military affairs, but you seem to think it’s 1969.

          The evidence offered is that Trump has articulated positions that are less severe than much of the rest of the political class. His platform specifically states a call to end nation-building and stresses the importance of less conflicts. Of course, the possible outcome could be an Obama-esque luke-warm interventionism that causes more harm than good, and that’s a legitimate criticism. Invoking your sons in an emotional appeal to make a political point does not.

  23. “I want state that I am morally opposed to psychology,” wrote the young white supremacist who would murder nine black worshipers at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C., in June 2015. “It is a Jewish invention, and does nothing but invent diseases and tell people they have problems when they dont.”

    The religion of peace strikes again.

    1. If only Dylan Roof had been willing to see a psychiatrist.

      Or if a Muslim psychiatrist isn’t his thing, maybe he could see this psychologist could have cured him of his white-supremacist tendencies.

  24. Laboratories of Democracy? The NYT editorial board is on the case.

    Regional disparities in minimum wages lead, in turn, to unhealthy imbalances in the collection and distribution of taxes. The federal government tends to collect more tax revenue from states with higher minimum wages and send more in federal aid to states with low minimum wages, a transfer that becomes increasingly lopsided without a single, robust federal minimum wage.

    ——–

    The failure to raise the federal minimum wage has made broad prosperity impossible. It has short-circuited the virtuous economic cycle in which better pay at the bottom begets more spending, which begets more and better jobs. The abysmally low federal minimum is unsound, economically and morally, and workers deserve better.

    I don’t remember hearing that “regional disparities” argument before. It’s nice how they (tacitly, at least) admit the minimum wage boost is just another means of throwing more money into the D C money furnace.

    1. The new UN poobah is all set, too:

      “Mr Guterres has said he will also strive to deal with the inequalities that globalisation and technological progress have helped deepen, creating joblessness and despair, especially among the world’s youth. [along with a big helping of platitudes regarding a claimed lack of “capacity” for peace].”
      http://www.timesofmalta.com/ar…..rst.635390

      I’m sure his ‘striving’ will be to limit government involvement and let people get prosperous.
      *If only* that club were just a place where people enjoyed themselves without causing harm…

    2. “prosperity” = “high tax revenue and high federal aid”

      because the larger the share of the economy being sucked up and re-purposed by bureaucrats, the better things are. Obviously.

    3. I love how correlation is causation when the NYT wills it so.

      It couldn’t be that State X’s lower minimum wage is a symptom of being poorer, which is the actual reason it pays less in federal taxes.

      1. Or because it is a red state.

        Oh, same thing.

    4. The economic analysis behind this is so shoddy that it must have been instigated by Krugman.

      Higher-than-average tax collections from states with higher-than-average minumum wages do not obtain from higher-than-average minumum wages. This is post hoc ergo prompter hoc fallacy. Even at $15/hour, the feds collect little or no income tax assuming that the taxpayer complies with ObamaCare mandates.

      Sure, the feds collect more FICA withholdings with higher minwages, but those are “insurance contributions” that theoretically create a federal obligation to distribute to larger benefits in the future. Welfare statists who accept the legitimacy of the welfare programs funded by FICA cannot reasonably argue that these “insurance contributions” should be counted in their assessment of “unhealthy imbalances in the collection and distribution of taxes”.

    5. “The failure to raise the federal minimum wage has made broad prosperity impossible.”

      Cite?

    6. But wouldn’t you expect given libertarian dogma that states with high minimum wages wouldn’t compare so favorably with states with low minimum wages. Sooner or later you have to look at the slope of the regression line and say hmmm.

      1. Sooner or later lefty asswipes come up with some bullshit in the hopes that people as dumb as them might buy it.

  25. Also-

    Legislators in states with no or low minimum wages often say businesses cannot afford to pay more. The evidence says otherwise. Owners and executives of profitable companies in retail, fast food, poultry processing and other low-wage industries have grown richer while the workers have languished. Jobs in such fields pay poorly not for any intrinsic reason but because employers don’t have to pay more in the absence of a higher federal minimum.

    Those Scrooge McDuck profiteer motherfuckers are hoarding all the money.

    I’m currently reading Economics in One Lesson. Excellent book; it was written in 1946, but it could have been written last summer (except for the grammar, sentence structure and general coherence of thought).

  26. What kind of emails do you think Podesta clicked on to make his server and computer vulnerable? Safe money is on penis enlargement, but it could be something about how Susan Boyle looks after the weight lost. Maybe he clicked on a link about how to make a ton of money from home.

    1. the source of the potentially dangerous email is Google, but a closer look at the actual mailing address shows an unfamiliar or bogus-looking account: “no-reply@accounts.googlemail.com.”
      The subject line warns, “Someone has your password” and the body of the message says “someone” in Ukraine tried, but was stopped, from signing into Podesta’s account.

      …The words “CHANGE PASSWORD” then appear — inviting Podesta to click on them — as a way to do just that. But the address did not link to a secure Google web page, instead directing the user blindly via bit.ly, a service used to shorten or conceal web addresses.
      According to the cybersercurity company SecureWorks, the link used in the Podesta email was clicked two times. If his information was entered into a form on the landing site — potentially run by a hacker — the floodgates could have opened right there.

      Podesta was not the only Clinton campaign staffer targeted, SecureWorks found.

      The FBI report noted that the first time the DNC was suckered into giving up the keys to their network, it was over 1000 people targeted. most of whom had no connection to politics.

      And yet the journos claim that’s “proof” of intent to ‘hack an election’

      1. “…The words “CHANGE PASSWORD” then appear — inviting Podesta to click on them — …”

        And he DID!
        Real shame he hasn’t heard from that Nigerian guy; he could probably use the money now.

  27. Seriously you people need to communicate with each other. Why must you always learn the hard way?

  28. Mr Guterres has said he will also strive to deal with the inequalities that globalisation and technological progress have helped deepen, creating joblessness and despair, especially among the world’s youth.

    I’m going long Sabots.

    1. He works for the UN. It’s not like he’s going to accomplish anything.

  29. can the United States get real about [Putin’s] goals and and his limits?

    No. Next question.

  30. Russian GDP has declined from a peak of $2.2 trillion in 2013 to just $1.3 trillion

    Not quite Venezuela numbers, but they really might try a little more diversification in their economy.

    1. I hear North Pole tourism is a promising growth industry.

  31. First off; the Russian Bear hasn’t changed its behavior in what Kipling (among others) called the Great Game in centuries. They were prone to expansionism as a solution to their problems under the Tzars, they were prone to expansionism as a solution to their problems under the Soviets. It would not be an unreasonable guess to expect them to continue to be prone to expansionism. They may not have the money or military assets to accomplish much in the way of expansion, but it’s a centuries old cultural habit.

    Secondly; the problem with our military interventions isn’t that they are military, but that the politicians who write the orders can’t seem to limit those orders to thing that military force can actually accomplish. Military force can conquer or it can wreck. That’s about it. Wrecking the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan might have been a reasonable goal. “Nation Building” without actually, you know, running them for a century or so just wasn’t in the cards.

    If we hit anyone who attacked (or harbored those who attacked) with our biggest hammers, and then left with a parting warning (Don’t annoy is again, or we’ll be back), we might accomplish something. If we actually set out to occupy and administer some of the most persistent annoyances we might accomplish something. This “pick one of a number of revolting sides and then act all surprised when they turn out to be turds” business is for the birds.

  32. Mr. Editor in Chief needs a proofreader…

    What is a lense?

  33. Vladimir Putin is a terrible despot. So what?

    We shouldn’t be running our foreign policy to “make the world nice”, but to protect our vital national interests. Period. Full stop. And the blunt fact of the matter is that, in some regards, his interests coincide with our own. The problem has been that for the last sixteen years, we’ve had leadership that deludes themselves into thinking their wishes define reality. They deluded themselves into thinking that they could shift the Ukraine, an area that has been in Russia’s orbit for centuries and whose name literally means borderland, into the Western sphere of influence through a few diplomatic stunts. They deluded themselves into thinking that they could remove a contained dictator in Libya and that he’d magically be replaced by the Manchester, New Hampshire City Council. They deluded themselves into thinking they could remove Russia’s longstanding ally in Syria with a nice, moderate, pro-Western democracy when his only viable opposition was ISIS.

    My impression is that Vladimir Putin doesn’t make a habit of deluding himself.

  34. “…awful ruler.”

    Pleonasm.

  35. I’m with you, Nick. The fact that we’re stuck with a bullshitting nincompoop for the next 4 years is collectively on the backs of White people in Michigan and Pennsylvania who want to build a 2,000 mile wall on the Mexican border because it will help them keep their jerbs. The sorry situation we find ourselves in– so bad that the West Coast is threatening succession– isn’t on Putin.

    1. I love how you can dismiss people’s concerns about the livelihoods by spelling “jobs” as “jerbs.”

      This is particularly interesting coming from a socialist.

      1. about *their* livelihoods

    2. Hey, asswipe, did we get stuck with a lying piece of shit for the last 8 years because of nincompoops like you?
      Fuck off.

    3. What a shame – then Californiastan would have to service those trillion dollar state and local debts, and the ongoing overhead of sanctuary cities, plus aging infrastructure, by itself.

      Of course, all those red farming counties might stay with the U.S., since they might actually be able to use water otherwise saved for snail darters.

      And you are assuming class warfare in the Bay Area won’t get worse, and cause a little civil war there. Which sorry situation were you discussing again?

  36. Ken, I get real tire of WWII armchair ‘strategists’ who really don’t know what in hell they’re talking about, so let’s get real specific.
    If you have evidence, I’m willing to be convinced, but for right now, I’m calling you on your bullshit.
    See here:
    “Ken Shultz|1.2.17 @ 3:01PM|#
    We made the right choice in capitulating to Russia at Yalta and elsewhere and we made the right choice in holding back to let the Russians catch up–because we had no choice?
    This is absurd.
    You’ve got Patton Derangement Syndrome or something.”

    “Sevo|1.2.17 @ 3:33PM|#
    What “capitulation” Ken?
    I’ll be waiting; you’re full of shit on this issue and I’m happy to prove it.”

    And here:
    “Ken Shultz|1.2.17 @ 3:21PM|#
    Any agreement that gave Stalin eastern Europe was a mistake.”

    “Sevo|1.2.17 @ 3:36PM|#
    None was ever made. So the rest of your ‘argument’ is bullshit.”

    1. Wouldn’t evicting Stalin from Eastern Europe have required getting a lot of help from the Germans? Those evil bastards that we just fought a giant war to defeat.

      1. “Wouldn’t evicting Stalin from Eastern Europe have required getting a lot of help from the Germans? Those evil bastards that we just fought a giant war to defeat.”
        Either that or the equally impossible alternative of leaving Asia and the Pacific to the Japanese and moving all those troops and material to eastern Europe in time to actually accomplish what Ken fantasizes might have happened. Which is the reason I’m calling Ken on his bullshit.
        Hey, Ken! Waiting for some cites here!

        1. Ken, I see you’ve proven yourself to be an asshole (above), and you have no evidence here where you’ve been asked to provide such that your bullshit is anything other than bullshit.
          So presume, in the future, you will be called on your bullshit, as an asshole deserves.

  37. Yeah I know Russia isn’t the Soviet Union.

    If it were, the left would love it a lot more.

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  39. Well, Putin may be “Awful,awful” but he is certainly “way, way” better than Stalin and FDR. Or Obama and Hillary. So there is that. I mean saying a thing is bad or less than ideal, but still easily 50 to 1000X better than everything we have seen so far, is what most people everywhere in the real world prefer to describe as “Better” or “an Improvement”. This is a good trend. Certainly something worthy of some level of praise. Jesus people, its this thing called “Perspective”. I swear, it really won’t kill you to try reading a book sometime.

    1. it really won’t kill you to try reading a book sometime.

      But it will hurt you to read more than the one you have read.

  40. “Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors, not out of strength but out of weakness,”

    No, that was not Drumpf
    No, that was not Willard.

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  42. by which the United States actually stops being the world’s policeman

    Nice article by Nick. Not hysterical about Trump or Putin, and making a point.

    The end of the neocon dream of turning the world into western democracies entails dealing with all those countries that aren’t. Like Russia. And China. And the Iranians. Plenty of thugs, to varying degrees.

    And expecting the Europeans and Japanese to do more for their own defense.

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