War

Who Poses the Greater Threat to Peace: An Impetuous President or 'Experienced Advisers' Who Are Disastrously Wrong?

History shows that expertise is not the same as wisdom.

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"The moment we all feared is likely upon us," Sen. Chris Murphy (D–Conn.) warned after the American drone attack that killed Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani. "An unstable President in way over his head, panicking, with all his experienced advisers having quit, and only the sycophantic amateurs remaining." The problem, as Murphy sees it, is a lack of "adults in the room" to curb the dangerous, bloodthirsty impulses of an inexperienced and impetuous president. Yet history suggests that the foreign policy professionals Murphy misses are at least as grave a threat to peace.

While running for president in 2000, George W. Bush derided "nation building" and said American foreign policy should be "humble" rather than "arrogant." As president, Bush brought us the disastrous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, countries where thousands of U.S. troops remain 19 and 17 years later, respectively.

While running for president in 2007, Barack Obama rejected the idea that the president has the authority to wage war without congressional authorization whenever he thinks it is in the national interest. "The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation," he explained. As president, Obama did that very thing in Libya, another ill-advised and mendaciously justified intervention that begat chaotic violence.

A few years before his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump said the U.S. should withdraw immediately from Afghanistan, where "we have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure." He also worried that "Obama will someday attack Iran in order to show how tough he is." While running for president, Trump unequivocally condemned the Iraq war and the U.S.-supported toppling of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi. As president, he sent more troops to Afghanistan, became so committed to staying in Iraq that he is threatening the Iraqi government with sanctions for asking the U.S. to leave, and now may be courting war with Iran for reasons similar to the ones he thought would motivate Obama to launch one.

Three men with little or no foreign policy experience entered an office where they were surrounded by experts, and they quickly shed their initial skepticism of military intervention. If you think that skepticism was naive, that was a welcome development. But the consequences suggest otherwise.

The conflict between Trump's pre-presidential inclinations and the expert advice he received after taking office was clear in the case of Afghanistan and Syria, where the "adults in the room" passionately, and for the most part successfully, resisted his efforts at disengagement. Even in the case of Iran, where it was Trump who decided that killing Soleimani was a good idea, that was one of the options his military advisers presented, apparently in an attempt to manipulate him.

"Top American military officials put the option of killing [Soleimani]—which they viewed as the most extreme response to recent Iranian-led violence in Iraq—on the menu they presented to President Trump," The New York Times reports. "They didn't think he would take it. In the wars waged since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Pentagon officials have often offered improbable options to presidents to make other possibilities appear more palatable."

The Times says those military officials were "flabbergasted" by Trump's choice and "immediately alarmed about the prospect of Iranian retaliatory strikes on American troops in the region." If so, the president's "experienced advisers," the ones Chris Murphy thinks should be restraining him, played a dangerous game that backfired on them.

Experience is not necessarily the same as wisdom. Hillary Clinton, who boasts an impressive résumé that includes eight years as a senator and four as secretary of state, thinks Obama's intervention in Libya was "smart power at its best," and she did not publicly acknowledge the folly of the Iraq war, which she voted to authorize, until 11 years after it was launched. The histories of the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Vietnam dramatically illustrate how smart, knowledgeable people can make catastrophic blunders and lie for years to cover them up.

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton and former Defense Secretary James Mattis, both of whom seem to have resigned because they viewed Trump as insufficiently interventionist and/or excessively skeptical of existing entanglements, surely would count as "experienced advisers." That does not mean their advice was sound. Bolton, for his part, welcomed the killing of Soleimani as "a decisive blow against Iran's malign Quds Force activities worldwide."

Murphy is right that we should worry about a president with little knowledge of the world whose military decisions are driven by anger or domestic political considerations. But it's not clear to me that such a president poses a bigger danger than the experts who have been disastrously wrong more times than we can count.

[This post has been revised to note Bolton's endorsement of the drone attack that killed Soleimani.]

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138 responses to “Who Poses the Greater Threat to Peace: An Impetuous President or 'Experienced Advisers' Who Are Disastrously Wrong?

  1. Oh Jesus, Sullum.

    Trump has military officers at his beck and call and they assuredly range from war mongers to those that advocate peace thru superior firepower.

    As for his administrative advisors, I think Trump is getting great advice, either what to do or not to do.

    The MSM and reason hates that Trump has advisors that only last 1-2 years. It is clearly working for America.

    The real problem is the media Propagandists, like reason, have their heads so far up their own asses that no real news is being released to the public. Obviously, your little hack writer plans of not informing the public about real facts, in the hopes they would turn on Trump has FAILED.

    If I have to choose, based on no facts, between the MSM and Deep State position or Trump’s strategy, I choose Trump.

    1. ITT thread, I kick sarcasmics head in, then he argues like a teenage girl for an hour and runs away because he doesn’t know what the definition of better is.

    2. “beck and call”

      It’s beckon call. Getting that wrong is the worst, for all intensive purposes.

      1. You’ve got a good 3 comment streak in my viewing (The Siege reference, assessment of a trio of Jewesses, and this one)

      2. Sorry, you are wrong.

        To beckon someone is to summon that person. To be at someone’s beck is to be available for summoning.

        So, beck and call is proper usage.

        https://www.grammarly.com/blog/beck-and-call-or-beckon-call/

        1. Additional link and explanation can be found at writingexplained -dot- org.

          I tried posting the link, but Reason squirrels hate multiple links.

      3. I’ve been quietly lurking at reason.com – off and on – for perhaps two decades, safely resisting any urge to create an account. Of all the far more important things over that time span which could have encouraged me to partake in discussions here, it was this triviality instead: The correct form is indeed “beck and call” as noted at https://www.grammarly.com/blog/beck-and-call-or-beckon-call/ .

        I never would have guessed that grammatical annoyance would coax me from the shadows…

        Cheers!

        1. Welcome to the light.

          Sadly this is what unreason has come to. People Incorrectly trying to grammar Nazi me rather than address my pro-Libertarian comments.

          To be fair to unreason sock trolls, its boosts web traffic. As designed.

          1. To be fair, I think Unicorn Abattoir was actually being tongue in cheek. I’m going to blame my post prandial cocktails for missing it.

      4. u go 🙂

      5. No, it is “beck and call” unless you are an uneducated liberal moron that believes political beliefs substitute for intelligence.

        Beckon call is a misinterpretation that confused fools use.

    3. “I choose Trump.”

      Says LC1789 as he pokes his head out of Trump’s ass!

      1. Well. it is gold plated.

        And yuge.

      2. Poor wearenotperfect. How he could see out Trumps large intestine while sucking on Hillarys dick is causing him delusions of Trump ass escapes.

        I mean, dude, Trump eats little pieces of shit like you for breakfast. Hillary was in there with you.

        1. “Hillarys dick”? That’s the best you’ve got? Remember, Trump and Hillary are one in the same!

          1. “…Remember, Trump and Hillary are one in the same!”

            Nope.
            You and she LOST, loser.

            1. Good one! Now reach up with your left hand and cradle Trumps balls.

  2. Government, period, poses the bigger threat. The exact mechanism, whether it’s specific politicians or the advisors or the advisors’ advisors, is immaterial.

    Government attracts power hungry duplicitous evil people, period. If anyone thinks they can fix government by finding ways to attract non-power-hungry control-freaks, they are damned fools.

    1. Okay. Maybe you missed it but there isn’t just one government. There are governments. And those other governments attract the same sorts of people and often even worse people than our government does. This is going to come as a shock to you but other governments can be worse and a bigger threat to you than your own.

      1. Gosh. I never woulda known.

        1. Considering your original post, you apparently didn’t. What you said only makes any sense if you assume there is only one government or that no other government in the world could be a threat to you other than your own.

          1. You are making the same damned mistake as all statists do: you think *your* people will fix the problems created by the *other* people. It ain’t so. It is pointless arguing about whether the President or his advisors are the problem. They all are. Government itself is the problem.

            Unless you have proposals to actually downsize government by 99% and to keep it downsize, you are whistling the Pope’s top 40 tunes on how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

            1. It is pointless arguing about whether the President or his advisors are the problem. They all are. Government itself is the problem.

              Even if you think all government is bad there are degrees of badness. Some governments and some leaders really are better than others.

              You are just giving a bunch of retarded anarchist talking points.

              1. “You are just giving a bunch of retarded anarchist talking points.”

                ^this
                Read one comment, read em all

              2. You didn’t answer me, and you usually like to insult others for not answering you.

                Why do you think *your* people can run government better than *other* people? What makes *your* people immune to the corrupting influence of power?

                Nothing. Oh, and let me call you stupid, retarded, and you can add a few yourself, since you seem to like insults more than arguments.

                1. John is a party guy. By party I mean Republican, not tequila and funny hats. And he doesn’t hide it. So give him a break. At least he doesn’t pretend to be a libertarian like other right-wingers on this board.

                  1. You picked a really dumb place to cry about John this time. Maybe shoulda sat it out.

                    1. “So give him a break” equals crying? You’re really reaching now.

                    2. sarcasmic knows all about not pretending to be a Libertarian. He’s an Anarchist though and though.

                    3. Pretending you ACTUALLY want to give him a break when it’s just your sad sarcastic childish whinging is in fact “crying” you drunk.

                      Why do you even TRY to pull shit like that?

                    4. Now you’re just getting incoherent as you drop a turd on all of my posts. Sorry pig, I’m not gonna wrestle.

                    5. sarcasmic knows all about not pretending to be a Libertarian. He’s an Anarchist though and though.

                      Says the guy who doesn’t know the difference between Libertarian and libertarian.

                    6. Or libertarian and anarchist, or anarchy and chaos, or between 1789 and 1791.

                    7. sarcasmic and alphabet troll sitting in a tree….
                      K-i-s-s-i-n-g
                      One is an anarchist. One is an Anarchist.
                      One is not a Libertarian. One is not a libertarian….

                2. “Why do you think *your* people can run government better than *other* people?”

                  Because they’re not shooting them in the head then billing the family for the bullet?

                  Oh right, you’re an imbecile, it’s all the same.

              3. Some governments and some leaders really are better than others.

                I’d settle for less-bad. Better is too optimistic.

                1. No gulags is better than gulags.

                  You’ll be a cunt, and whine, but it is.

                  So stop already. You sound like a fucking idiot.

                  1. Oh sure. Our government is awesome because it doesn’t have forced labor camps. Yeah. Totally awesome. You’re like so right and stuff.

                    1. “Our government is awesome”

                      Better drunk.

                      Not awesome. Better.

                      But it sure didn’t take you long to fall back to teenage girl thread shitting sarcasm did it? Lololo.

                    2. Better than what? A lesser of two evils is still evil.

                    3. “Better than what?”

                      A government that DOES HAVE GULAGS LOLOL

                      GOD DAMN DUDE, IT’S ROGHT THERE LOLOLL

                      They say heavy long term drinking destroys your memory, but God damn dude.

                    4. “sarcasmic
                      January.6.2020 at 3:22 pm
                      Better than what? A lesser of two evils is still evil.”

                      Lol he knows he lost.

                      No one said it wasn’t drunk. But only a moron would equate taxes with genocide like you are lololl

                    5. It’s an interesting bar you set there. Some governments are awesome because they don’t work people to death?

                      Does that mean someone who goes around beating people unconscious is better than a murderer? I’d say less-bad.

                      To me “better” implies something good. Lesser degrees of evil are not better. They’re less-bad.

                    6. “It’s an interesting bar you set there.”

                      I didn’t set anything anywhere drunk John and Alphabet Troll did.

                      Shorter sarc “taxes are the same as liquidating 100 million people”

                    7. To me “better” implies something good. Lesser degrees of evil are not better. They’re less-bad.

                      Newsflash drunk. “better” ACTUALLY MEANS LESS BAD

                      LOLOLOLOL

                    8. Shorter sarc “taxes are the same as liquidating 100 million people”

                      Ya got me. That’s exactly what I said. I equated taxes with murder. You totally got me. I mean, there’s like no difference between garnishing wages and like working someone to death. Like, totally. I mean, they probably like gag people with rubber spoons and stuff. How horrible is that? You’re like soooo right and stuff. I mean, taxes are murder. Like, totally. And stuff.

                    9. “Ya got me. That’s exactly what I said. I equated taxes with murder. You totally got me.”

                      I know. It’s why you cried about it.

                      Also, BETTER IS THE EXACT WORD FOR “LESS BAD”

                      AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH

                    10. Hey SPB, remember 1984? I don’t mean the Van Halen album. There was this thing called Newspeak where they distorted the language by eliminating words such as “bad” and replacing them with words like “ungood.” To me “better” in this context sounds like “ungood.” I prefer “less-bad.” It’s more accurate.

                    11. “To me”

                      Don’t care. Better means “less bad”. You lost.

                    12. Sarc, I think we all know that you know you lost this and have realized how stupid you look.

                      When you resort to how you FEEL about a word, you’ve lost. Especially when it is LITERALLY the word for “less bad.” We get it.

                      We get it. Your pride is fueling this stupid fucking crirade. But it’s over. You lost.

                    13. So if one mass murderer kills fewer people than another mass murderer, he is better?

                    14. Shorter sarc “I know what the definition is, but MUH feeeelllzzzz”

                    15. According to you Stalin was a stand-up guy because he killed fewer people than Mao. Or was it the other way around? Either way, according to you one was better than the other. According to me one was less-bad.

                    16. You’re arguing that better doesn’t mean less bad because it hurts your feelings.

                      No seriously. We can all see it.

                    17. “According to you Stalin was a stand-up guy”

                      No drunk, that’s you not knowing what better means and going with your feelz again.

                    18. Who was the best mass murderer? According to you one who kills fewer than another is better. So which is your favorite? After all, ‘better’ implies good. So you must have a favorite.

                    19. Shorter sarc “I KNOW IT DOESN’T MEANT THAT BUT MUH FEEEEELLLLZZZZ”

                      LOLOLOL

                    20. Says the guy who has nothing but personal attacks. Yeah, whatevs.

                    21. And you didn’t answer my question.

                      Which mass murderer was better than the others?

                      One must be better than the others.

                      Stamp your name on a comment where you say this murderer was better than that murderer.

                    22. Shorter sarc “I DONT CARE THAT I’M WRONG ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS MUH FEEEEELZZ”

                    23. Tell me which mass murderer is better than the others, or admit that better can mean less-bad in some contexts.

                    24. “whatevs”

                      If you’re upset that I point out your posting style is directly reminiscent of a teenage girls posting style you should probably stop posting just like a teenage girl would post and then you won’t have to cry about it so much

                    25. You can’t because you’d have to admit I’m right. I win. Toodles.

                    26. That’s right, run bcause you lost.

                      Shorter sarc “I DONT CARE THAT I’M WRONG ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS MUH FEEEEELZZ”

                    27. “sarcasmic
                      January.6.2020 AT 3:58 pm
                      Tell me which mass murderer is better than the others, or admit that better can mean less-bad in some contexts

                      Sarah Palin’s Buttplug
                      January.6.2020 at 3:33 pm
                      To me “better” implies something good. Lesser degrees of evil are not better. They’re less-bad.

                      Newsflash drunk. “better” ACTUALLY MEANS LESS BAD

                      LOLOLOLOL

                      AAHHHAHHAHAHAHA

                      SARC IS A REEEETARD AHAHAHAAHAHAHAHHAHHHAA

                    28. Less bad = better
                      Better = less bad

                      This is a silly hill to die on

              4. You are just giving a bunch of retarded anarchist talking points.

                No. He’s not. Anarchists aren’t that stupid.

                Anarcho —socialists however….

            2. “You are making the same damned mistake as all statists do: you think *your* people will fix the problems”

              Uh, no, he’s just pointing out that your rant was stupid and made no sense because you’re acting like there is only one government world wide.

              And everyone can see John is correct.

              1. Everyone? Ya right. Typical statist: only *your* people count; everyone else doesn’t exist.

                1. See? That’s exactly what he means.

                  You’re being incoherent again Hihn.

                  Typical Hihn, shit up a thread, act incoherent, scream stupidly.

                  1. John “not all govt is the same, it’s not one nebulous connected entity”

                    Alphabet Troll (Hihn) ” blaaaarghhhh STATIST THE ALTHING IS THE SAME AS STALINIST RUSSIA!!!! ”

                    Everyone “Oh shit Hihn lost an argument and his meds arent helping him control himself”

                  2. Typical Hihn, shit up a thread, act incoherent, scream stupidly.

                    Oh the irony…

                    1. Awww look sarc the drunk is butthurt.

                      You gonna cry all day again drunk?

                    2. “Oh the irony…”

                      This is how the drunk says “you’re right, but I hate it and can’t admit it” lololo

                    3. Meanwhile SPB shits up another thread….

                    4. “sarcasmic
                      January.6.2020 at 3:14 pm
                      Oh sure. Our government is awesome because it doesn’t have forced labor camps. Yeah. Totally awesome. You’re like so right and stuff.”

                      You were crying about other people thread shitting, drunk?

                    5. Says the guy who can’t resist dropping a turd on every post with my name on it.

                    6. “sarcasmic
                      January.6.2020 at 3:14 pm
                      Oh sure. Our government is awesome because it doesn’t have forced labor camps. Yeah. Totally awesome. You’re like so right and stuff.”

                      You were crying about other people thread shitting, drunk?

      2. >>just one government

        the concept of government is offensive.

        1. It is also inevitable. In a state of anarchy men will get together to use organized violence for plunder. Eventually they use the euphemism “taxes” for their plunder, and you’ve got a government. So get used to it. I can’t imagine a situation where that will not occur.

          1. I voluntarily pay taxes for common defense, roads, and courts.

            Not sure why the government spends all your money on plundering.

            That’s a situation for ya.

            1. I’d suggest you read some Bastiat but I’ve already tried.

              1. And no one cares what you think.

                The teenage girl thread shitting is the primary reason.

                1. The only reason I converse with you is for my fans.

                  1. You converse? Through all your sobbing and tears?

                    Have to admit I never noticed.

                    1. Good point. I waste my time trying to have a conversation while you hurl childish insults.

                    2. When your attempts at conversation are “I KNOW IT DOESN’T MEANT THAT BUT MUH FEEEELZZ” insults are the only appropriate response.

                    3. Poor sarcasmic.

                      Normally I am against split custody because a kid needs both parents but Jesus, the kid is better off. Youre just an unlikeable person.

          2. >>a situation where that will not occur

            i can dream. until then i’m w/lc – voluntary for roads and courts

          3. “It is also inevitable. In a state of anarchy men will get together to use organized violence for plunder.”

            It is also inevitable that certain Utopians will then argue that “organized violence for plunder” means it’s no longer anarchy, but banditry. And, in a pedantic, and unrealistic sense they will be correct. But they will still be Utopians, and so, like all forms Utopians they should be ridiculed and wholly disregarded.

  3. You can disagree with the killing of Solemani but you cannot in any reasonable sense of the term call it impetuous. The US had been stalking him for years. The guy was a complete monster. It was just a question of the right time and the right place to kill him.

    But Sullumn is so stupid he can’t write a single article without inserting the stalk media talking points and buzz words.

    1. In fact, this is so similar to the killing of Bin Laden that I am shocked no one is saying it. We conducted a military operation that was essentially an assassination in an allied nation without notifying our ally, royally ticking them off.

      To compare, Iran had carried out active attacks through guerrilla fighters the day before, and Solemani was in a country that he was not supposed to be in, apparently in the active act of leading the attacks. We also had permission to conduct military operations in the country.

      To compare, it was a miracle that we didn’t end up in a war with Pakistan over Bin Laden. We definitely soured any good faith we had in the country. Bin Laden was a criminal and should have been brought to justice, but he was not coordinating his organization. He was not doing anything aside from hiding in semi-permanent exile. We also did not have permission to conduct military operations and brazenly violated Pakistan’s sovereignty.

      I agree that I do not think that the killing of Solemeni was a wise decision. However, by any measure that I can see, this was more tactically sound and politically justifiable than the equivalent execution of Bin Laden.

      1. “… without notifying our ally, royally ticking them off.”

        I’m reasonably certain that, when Iran’s proxies and agents conduct actions within Iraq, they too do not notify their local governmental allies – and for much the same reason as us. So, I’m not sure we pissed them off. Either that or this sort of stuff actually does piss them off. Meaning they currently exist in a perpetually pissed off state, thus making it not be much of a concern.

    2. Yes. The Israelis have been wanting to kill him too for years but the U.S. nixed it including Bush and Obama.

      Impetuous was an incorrect characterization of it.

  4. //Murphy is right that we should worry about a president with little knowledge of the world whose military decisions are driven by anger or domestic political considerations.//

    The problem with constantly caricaturing Trump is that the absurd caricature takes on a life of its own. Does Sullum really believe that Trump is sitting in front of a computer screaming “BOOOM! HEADshot!” as his drones blow away foreign dignitaries and generals while his military advisers relax in tufted leather chairs and sip lattes in the background?

    “Trump is a retard … huh-huh-huh … that’s my foreign policy analysis.”

    Grow the fuck up. This is getting to be so pathetic.

    1. Trump does some things – e.g. tweeting – in an apparently impetuous manner.

      But I have not seen evidence that any serious actions – e.g. applying a Hellfire to agents of terror – were undertaken impetuously.

      And, in this specific case, I think the whole process involved – ie. the ‘kill chain’ – argues against that. This was planned, coordinated, tracked, and executed in an extended and methodical manner. Anyone who thinks otherwise is simply ignorant of how something like this gets done.

  5. Quislings like you.

    What do I win?

    1. And “MARKETS IMPLODING” Boehm

        1. Boehm is so bad, whoever hired him has to be pretty embarrassed that they somehow found someone worse than Dalmia.

  6. when has there ever been peace?

    1. You get peas with a knife.

      1. es mi primer dia

      2. But what if they fire an officer at us?

  7. Why should a President make the decisions they are told to make by people who, last I checked, were not elected at all?

    The obvious reason is because Presidents aren’t experts on everything and generally you want experts helping a President understand particular subjects to make decisions. This does not mean they need to follow any of that advice, and as Sullum notes these career ‘advisors’ that work for many administrations are probably less trustworthy than Trump.

    Here we have an example of the ‘experts’ claiming to have provided an expert opinion that included nailing this Iranian general to a wall, and now they’re using Trump picking that opinion as proof he shouldn’t be President. If that’s true, they should also be fired for offering that as a legitimate course of action, yes?

    Weird, wild stuff.

    Personally I think a President should do whatever they think they should do on any given subject, provided it’s within their limited wheelhouse of power. Their actions tell us exactly who they are, even though interpretation of events seems remarkably subjective.

    1. Remember when Obama announced he was a better speechwriter than his speechwriters?

      Not sure if he was right, but I was sure he was being honest, and I thought it better to hear what he thought he needed to say, as opposed to hearing someone else’s idea of what a President should say.

  8. Trump is the bigger threat because in Trump’s worldview he should be allowed to do anything. He does not recognize limits to the office of presidency while he himself occupies that office. To him and his fan base, anyone rejecting the idea of an ominipotent president is traitorous.

    Prior presidents may have had the same worldview, but at least they give some small lip service to the idea of the separation of powers.

    1. “Prior presidents may have had the same worldview, but at least they give some small lip service to the idea of the separation of powers.”

      You’re ‘shitting me, right? After President, “I have a pen and a phone”? Now is when you’ve figured out that Presidents—hell, everyone in the federal government—have zero respect for concepts like Constitutional limits, or enumerated powers?

      Look, Trump is a petty tyrant, just like the previous…Jesus, how many has it been? Just like the previous guys who’ve held the office, all the way back to maybe Coolidge. Don’t act like Trump’s attitudes towards presidential power is something unique. Oh, and get back to me when Trump gets caught politicizing federal governmental departments that were up to that point thought to be non-partisan, like the IRS or the Census Bureau. As the last guy to hold the office did.

      ‘Small lip service to separation of powers’….LOL.

      1. “‘Small lip service to separation of powers”

        Gaslighting.

    2. Even if it’s true that prior Presidents gave ‘small lip service’ to the notion, that doesn’t make them at all superior in any way shape or form. It means they were also lying to you, in addition to being giant assholes.

      1. I do find it funny that Trump, the man who compulsively lies about nonsensical little things, happens to be the most honest president because he can’t keep up any narrative or pretense.

    3. Why! Oh Why didn’t Trump wait to shoot Solimaini on 5th Avenue?

    4. Is this cut and paste? You could replace “Trump” with just about any other former President.

    5. Brandybuck
      January.6.2020 at 2:52 pm
      “Trump is the bigger threat because in Trump’s worldview he should be allowed to do anything….”

      Three years in and the losers are STILL whining.
      Grow up.

  9. “Top American military officials put the option of killing [Soleimani]—which they viewed as the most extreme response to recent Iranian-led violence in Iraq—on the menu they presented to President Trump,” The New York Times reports. “They didn’t think he would take it. In the wars waged since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Pentagon officials have often offered improbable options to presidents to make other possibilities appear more palatable.”

    The WaPo‘s anonymous “top American military officials” beg to differ.

    1. “Top American military officials put the option of killing [Soleimani]—which they viewed as the most extreme response to recent Iranian-led violence in Iraq—on the menu they presented to President Trump,” The New York Times reports. “They didn’t think he would take it.

      Hahaha, holy shit. Even taking this claim at face value, it makes these people look like absolute morons. Yes, these guys tend to put together COAs that heavily tilt towards the decision they want the top guy to make. But you have to a complete fucking retard to believe that you can do this coy game with Trump, after him being in the public eye for 40 years. What the hell would these idiots have done if they put “nuke Tehran” as an option and Trump ordered them to launch?

      We’re supposed to believe that Trump will launch an ICBM towards North Korea without a second thought, so why would you actually give Trump the option “Turn Soleimani into buttercream” if you didn’t really want him to take it?

      1. Buttercream….heheheh. I thought red jello was more apropos. 😉

        1. I believe the traditional term is “chunky salsa”

  10. Who Poses the Greater Threat to Peace: An Impetuous President or ‘Experienced Advisers’ Who Are Disastrously Wrong?

    The correct answer is C; Muslim terrorists.

  11. Hillary Clinton, who boasts an impressive résumé that includes eight years as a senator and four as secretary of state

    AYFKM?????

    1. thought you might be kidding but it’s literally up there. saw her in a Yankee hat once.

  12. Quoting the New York Times quoting anonymous sources making President Trump look badly is totally credible and on the mark, eh.

  13. Eh I’ll cut the writer some slack. This is one of the more reasonable tasks “Reason” has put out in the last couple days. Not perfect, but better than thre bottom of the loony bin that’s been coming out.

  14. “As president, Bush brought us the disastrous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, countries where thousands of U.S. troops remain 19 and 17 years later, respectively.”

    That’s because the Bush Administration was populated with those Reagan/Bush the Greater retreads that were all about nation-building. They literally wrote a white paper about taking over Iraq a decade before they proceeded to attempt to do it. It’s not about experts getting it wrong; it’s about not actually employing experts in the first place.

  15. Given the failure rate of the experts is it really fair to call the counsel they are providing expertise?

  16. >expertise is not the same as wisdom

    This should be engraved on the Google Glass eyepiece of every libertarian.

    This comment not approved by Silicon Valley brain slugs.

  17. Sen. Chris Murphy (D–Conn.) thinks Trump should have treated Soleimani as Obama did. Sorry, but we were all out of fruit baskets.

  18. People still act like Kissinger is a wise Oracle even though nearly every policy he advocated was a disaster so I don’t think this is changing any time soon

  19. I see Reason is still in full TDS mode over Iran. The idea that we can keep peace with Iran by appeasement is ludicrous. We’re no more likely to go to war with Iran now than we were before.

  20. “Top American military officials put the option of killing [Soleimani]—which they viewed as the most extreme response to recent Iranian-led violence in Iraq—on the menu they presented to President Trump,” The New York Times reports. “They didn’t think he would take it. In the wars waged since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Pentagon officials have often offered improbable options to presidents to make other possibilities appear more palatable.”

    The Times says those military officials were “flabbergasted” by Trump’s choice and “immediately alarmed about the prospect of Iranian retaliatory strikes on American troops in the region.” If so, the president’s “experienced advisers,” the ones Chris Murphy thinks should be restraining him, played a dangerous game that backfired on them.

    Do your effing research. The NYT story has been debunked as a fabrication. The NYT is just not a credible news source anymore.

  21. Sometimes there are just no good choices, so you go with the least of the bad ones.

  22. So we should just let the bad guys go. So all of you cucks saying how bad this move is we’re also against taking OBL out?

    Iran is at war with us. Do we give a fuck? They have been sniping at us for years so are we sure that is any change. We killed an asshole who nailed 4 year old kids to boards to coerce their parents. And who just organized an attack against our embassy. That’s good.

    So what is Iran going to do? All we have to do is give them a timeout and embargo them, ala Cuba. Nothing they can do about it. If they get snippy we just keep blowing more of their shit up. Refineries, power plants whatever

  23. “Who Poses the Greater Threat to Peace:…”

    Recent history suggests it’s some lying POS who was handed a “Peace Prize” for starting several new wars.
    Oh, you forgot about him? Stuff your TDS up your ass, along with your head.

    1. Behind all the pearl clutching, people somehow forgot Barry and Hillary killed an ACTUAL LEADER OF A COUNTRY WITH GADDAFI without congressional approval.

      I don’t seem to recall all this hysterical blathering then.

  24. Reason commenters love more middle east wars apparently lmfao

    1. Fucking lefty ignoramuses post lies.

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