Donald Trump

Is Trump Winning the Middle East or Doubling Down on Previous Failures?

The Cato Institute's Christopher A. Preble lays out a uniquely libertarian approach to Iran, Iraq, and elsewhere.

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Last week, the United States military took out Iran's top military leader, Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Iran has responded by raining down missiles on two American bases in Iraq (no casualties were reported) and with promises to do much, much more. "We promise to continue down martyr Soleimani's path as firmly as before with help of God, and in return for his martyrdom we aim to get rid of America from the region," vowed Esmail Ghaani, who now leads Iran's military.

Are we going to war with Iran? Is the flare-up a sign that President Donald Trump, who as a candidate said previous administrations "got us" into Iraq "by lying," charting a bold, new course in the Middle East or following the failed footsteps of Barack Obama and George W. Bush?

To answer these questions—and define what a uniquely libertarian foreign policy should look like—Nick Gillespie talks with Christopher A. Preble, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. From 1990 to 1993, Preble served as an officer in the U.S. Navy on the USS Ticonderoga and he holds a Ph.D. in history from Temple University. He's the co-author of Fuel to the Fire: How Trump Made America's Broken Foreign Policy Even Worse (and How We Can Recover) and the author Peace, War, and Liberty: Understanding U.S. Foreign Policy.

Preble says that two decades of failed wars pushed by Republican and Democratic presidents in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen have rightly made Americans, especially younger people, skeptical of the use of force abroad to secure the safety and interests of the United States. Increasingly, people want a foreign policy that is "skeptical of the bipartisan consensus" and predicated upon "peaceful global engagement through which [the United States] trades with the rest of the world, engages diplomatically with the rest of the world, and uses our cultural influence in a positive way." Preble also ranks the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates in terms of foreign policy, evaluates the foreign policy legacies of Lyndon Johnson, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, and praises recent revelations about internal military dissent over the war in Afghanistan.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

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  1. “a uniquely libertarian approach to Iran, Iraq, and elsewhere”

    The Koch / Reason libertarian approach to those countries is to encourage their entire populations to immigrate to the US. Maybe they can even save one of our struggling sports like Indian immigrants saved Canadian hockey.

    #OpenBorders
    #ImmigrationAboveAll

  2. Potus should call a press conference declare Obama, W Bush, Clinton and Clinton have been appointed ambassadors to Afghanistan , Iraq , Serbia and Libya, ship them off post haste and then bring the troops home.

    1. Beautiful bi-partisan solution.

    2. Clinton 1 should probably go to somalia instead of serbia.

      1. King Solomon says “Split him in half and send him to both.”

  3. Bring our troops home and let Europe pay to keep their oil flowing while we frac. Once Socialist Europe has to pay its own way militarily and stop getting subsidized by the US taxpayer, we will see just how successful their glorious socialism is.

    1. ^This

    2. Sounds good to me.

      1. Hi Jeff, please run away again

        “chemjeff radical individualist
        January.7.2020 at 6:07 pm
        When your response consists of an insult, I know I’ve hit the mark”

        So you’re saying I’m the most correct person on this board for over a decade?

    3. I’m good with this, too. Brilliant comment.

    4. fucking do it. Tired of Europe getting a free ride.

  4. Albert Einstein is supposed to have defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. We keep electing politicians to make things better and yet things never seem to get better. Does this disprove Einstein’s point?

    This idea that if we just had the right Top Men in charge we could get government to work better is insane – government is run by government workers and I can guarantee you that there is not now nor has there ever been nor will there ever be a single government worker who has ever thought to himself, “You know, I’ll bet government could work a lot better if there were fewer people like me.”

  5. “”Is Trump Winning the Middle East or Doubling Down on Previous Failures?””

    So far I’m going with neither.

  6. Anyone else notice something as well? Iran shot 15 missiles, but only 11 got to their target. That is one hell of a failure rate, roughly 25%. I don’t think Iran would do very well in a shooting war with a missile armed opponent. Says a lot about their military capabilities.

    1. Well they did have them strapped onto suicide bombers.

    2. That is one hell of a failure rate, roughly 25%. I don’t think Iran would do very well in a shooting war with a missile armed opponent.

      Don’t look closely at US guided rocketry stats then. (As opposed to things like JDAMs or LGBs) Lots of them miss too when things like Harpoons, or earlier generations of AAMs, get shot at things that are shooting back. Laser guiding or GPS guiding rockets seems to have really increased the availability and the hit rate. I would expect similar things though if we ever had Armageddon with the Soviets.

      Related to that…why weren’t any of those missiles, at least at Al Asad, shot down by air defenses? The bases should have at least had C-RAM or the like, even if they didn’t have PAC-3. Also, the missiles claimed to be used, Fateh 110s, are claimed to have a 1k explosive payload. Those hits weren’t made with 1000 pounds worth of explosives—those helicopters would have been set on fire if so—but rather a bit less. Something in the 122 mm rocket class?

      Also, for not trying to hit US personnel, they did a shitty job of it. AIUI, one of the warheads smacked a habitation area where normally a thousand or so personnel sleep. If they weren’t trying to actually hit anyone, and had rockets as accurate as pundits are claiming, there’s a giant area of grass near the runway that would have been perfect as an impact area. Or shit, just march the impacts up and down the main runway.

      On the other, other hand, they did hit the base, all the way from Iran (allegedly), which is better than average of what we’ve expected during the Scud days. Warhead ambiguity being what it is, getting a warning of a ballistic missile launch from Iran had to be butt-puckering for those watching early warning sensors.

      Finally, we know the Iranian SAMs around Tehran work. Those poor bastards on that Ukrainian airliner. What is it with Ukraine and killing airliners anyway?

      1. The airliner went down 4 hours after the missile launches.
        Could’ve been SAMs, or maybe a nervous pilot.
        Don’t know what the idiot pilot was thinking. Should’ve refused to take off at least until daybreak

        1. There’s a picture floating around twitter of an alleged nosecone off the Iranian version of an SA-15, found near the crash scene. How near, I dunno.

          That by itself, nah, but the video of the doomed jetliner spitting flaming pieces of itself off as it glides downward, plus Iranians denying access to the FDRs, all combine to make me think some twitchy air defense guy hit the wrong button. Turbofans fail, and sometimes they spit flame, but they don’t usually look like that when they do. Plus, even Ukrainian airline pilots usually can keep it together for an engine failure on takeoff. They usually can’t when it’s an engine failure, massive hydraulic failure, loss of flight surfaces, and other things that 40 pounds of explosives and fragments do to airliners.

          Passenger airlines flying all around the shooting has been a hallmark of MidEast airline operations since the Lebanese Civil War. Probably even before then.

          1. Yes, it was almost certainly shot down.
            If you’re right about the nose cone, probably right about the SAM.
            I was just guessing it could be a nervous fighter pilot.
            Your scenario makes most sense.

            We’ll see if “the world” gets as upset about this one as when they could blame it on Russians…
            For some reason, I’d guess there will be far less “righteous” indignation

        2. That feeling when Iran evades war with the US, but starts a war with Canada and Ukraine…

    3. Could be that they were using their older, stockpiled weapons instead of the newest top of the line stuff, since they weren’t actually trying to start something.

  7. WWIII is over Nick. Pray to your SkyDaddy that Trump starts WWIV next week.

    1. WWIII was the lamest world war ever.

      1. R. Lee Ermey wont even get to star in all the WWIIII movies.

        1. No, Disney will just use old footage of him to digitally place him in the movie, a la Carrie Fisher in the Rise of Skywalker.

  8. Is Trump Winning the Middle East or Doubling Down on Previous Failures?

    Yes?

  9. Increasingly, people want a foreign policy that is “skeptical of the bipartisan consensus” and predicated upon “peaceful global engagement through which [the United States] trades with the rest of the world, engages diplomatically with the rest of the world, and uses our cultural influence in a positive way.” P

    Everyone wants their unicorn dude. Sadly, no one ever gets one. If only we would trade with the Middle East, things would be better. That is so fucking funny. CATO is such a joke. If anything the US involvement in the Middle East is an example of the downsides of trade. The US only cares about the Middle East and gets involved there because it was dependent on the region’s oil. Does buying hundreds of billions of dollars in Middle Eastern oil not count as trade? If the Middle East didn’t have that oil and we didn’t trade with them at all, the US wouldn’t give a flying fuck about the Middle East and certainly would have never gotten involved in wars there.

    Have we ever gotten in a war in Central Africa? No. Why is that? It is because we don’t with Central Africa and it has nothing we really need or want. The Middle East does. So, using the Middle East as an example of the need for trade to bring peace if absurd.

    CATO just has a set of ideological talking points that they apply to every problem regardless of the circumstances. You could code a bot that could produce any of their work just as well as their authors. It is pathetic.

    1. Don’t sell the petrodollar short.
      Yes, it also matters only because of globalist trade

      1. Deploying troops is not a war. Again, was there some big US war in Central Africa I missed?

        1. We have troops in, what is it? 140 countries now?

          Anyway, from the article SIV cited, it’s “80 military personnel and “appropriate combat equipment,” that got sent. Civil Affairs folks and green beanie guys? It’s not going to do a damn thing if the place goes full Rwanda, or heck, even tries to restart their nasty, million to two million dead civvies civil war of the 90s and 00s.

          Finally, there’s a lot of resources in Congo, nee Zaire, that US industry finds incredibly valuable. It’s just that whoever runs the place usually knows where their bread is buttered, and makes sure that shit still gets sold. When access ceases, then troops in force arrive. (After things like hiring Executive Outcomes to reestablish production are tried.)

          1. When access ceases, then troops in force arrive.

            ^ This. But John’s point still stands, that we don’t care about the wars in Africa because they’re not disrupting the flow of resources we care about.

            1. Oh, I’m agreeing with him. The Congo Wars (One and Two, per wiki, though they ignore things like the wars that put Mobutu Seko in power, or things like the Katanga rebellion) were especially nasty ones, that few people paid much attention to. If they weren’t the greatest global bloodletting of the last 25 years, they were right up there. A democide where as a historian you’d be doing well to get the decimal point in the right place. The US, smartly, didn’t get involved.

              Hussein threatened access by the world to not only Kuwaiti oil, but Saudi oil. So the US sent a half million armed soldiers and others to reestablish access.

              Though as this whole MidEast entanglement goes on, I’m sympathetic to the view of people like, AIUI, the late Jerry Pournelle, who wondered why we cared. It’s not like Hussein was going to drink the oil if he did take it: he needed to sell it, quick, to pay off the debts he’d incurred from KSA, Kuwait, and the rest of the Gulf, primarily for fighting Iran all of those years. And if he was going to sell it, why should the US care if we or our trading partners were buying it from Iraq or the Al-Sabahs? Though staying out would have displeased all of those people in the Gulf region, who’d spend a great deal of money and time establishing personal relationships with Bush the Greater and people like Howard Baker.

              1. I think those guys were right. In retrospect the first Gulf War was the first and really biggest mistake we made. Russell Kirk was absolutely right in objecting to it. I say that as someone who supported it and was disappointed Kirk did not. But thirty years on I see the wisdom of his position. What was Saddam going to do with all that oil, drink it? He was always going to sell it to us and as we found out on 9-11, it is difficult to imagine him doing worse things with the money than our “friends” the Saudis actually did do with the money.

  10. And who gives a fuck what younger people think? Most young people are borderline illiterates who think the world began in 2001. They are the last people who should be giving advice on anything.

    1. A Trump fan who mentions illiterates reveals a comprehensive lack of self-awareness.

      Carry on, clingers. Until replacement, that is.

      1. You are a high school drop out who lives in a group home. Why don’t you just sit this one out there tiger.

      2. Oh, your alter ego made an appearance today. It was hysterically funny.

    2. Right who care about young people, they are just the ones we send off to war. Why should we care what they think. It is old farts like us that know this next war will be different and we will win this one for sure. It will not be like Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, no Iran is a sure thing.

  11. The press has their fingers on their next spin of the story. We’ll see if it has legs…

    NPR is quoting analysts who say that this attack was the “Show” attack. The actual attack that is meant to inflict harm will come later, and will have deniability.

    Perfect. So if anyone, anywhere does anything that harms the US at any time in the future, their analysts are right. And if they don’t? Well, you’d have to be a fool to think they won’t. But either way, Trump made us all terribly unsafe. Because Iran was totes our friend before Trump.

    1. If the plan is to have some big secret attack later, why have the show attack at all? Those missiles cost money that Iran really doesn’t have. Further, by launching them, Iran revealed the position of their launchers and provided wonderful targeting intelligence for the US if it ever chooses to launch an air campaign against Iran.

      Are these “analysts” retarded or just think the media and the public are so stupid they will believe anything?

      1. Are these “analysts” retarded or just think the media and the public are so stupid they will believe anything?

        YES

      2. I used to believe in the “expert analysis”.

        Then I started gaining my own expertise. And as I did I’d start seeing “experts” talking about something that I knew quite well. And then I noticed that they were getting a lot of things wrong. Like, really wrong. Like….. you don’t really understand this at all wrong.

        But I just thought it was a one-off. My area of expertise was pretty technical and specialized, after all.

        Then as I gained more experience in more areas… I kept noticing that there were “experts” who didn’t seem to be all that expert.

        But it was still pretty confined…. Until the era of the 24 hour news cycle. Then it really, really ramped up. And that’s when it became more than an oddity to me.

        Now, the cycle is so very fast that there is no time for analysis. There is no time to find the proper expert. So they just grab some dude who is already on their list and has the closest credentials. He doesn’t have time to do anything other than get a couple of quick bullets from the internet.

        And now “experts” are morons. They are the guy who can give 30 to 90 seconds on CNN.

        Even these analysts that PBS is calling on… .they have had a few hours to come up with a take. But they have done no legwork. Talked to no Iranian officials. Made no secret inquiries. They are just offering an opinion.

        The world is moving so fast that there is no time for thoughtful analysis, and because our attention span is so short, nobody is tasked with finding in-depth and accurate knowledge.

        That’s one of the things I want from Reason…. an escape from the hot take. When Balko was here, we had real reporting about a serious issue. Robbie has a beat…. but the politics? Just anti-Trump hot takes. I could get that on any network. I expect more. At least the old Sunday morning news discussion show level. Give me Cokie and George level discussion, at least, guys!

        1. Cyto, I don’t read the columnists here at Reason for insight or analysis, though Bailey and Sullum are all right when they stay in their lanes. I can disagree with their opinions, and often do, but I don’t have disrespect for them.

          I read this place for some, (OK, a few) of the commenters.

          I agree with your point on ‘experts.’ Even when you can find some—I recommend Jeffrey Lewis’s group at Arms Control Wonk, particularly for topics like Iranian surface to surface missiles—you still have to often sift through a lot of chaff, including Orange Man Bad, before you find the few kernels of knowledge. It’s frustrating.

      3. If the plan is to have some big secret attack later, why have the show attack at all? Those missiles cost money that Iran really doesn’t have. Further, by launching them, Iran revealed the position of their launchers and provided wonderful targeting intelligence for the US if it ever chooses to launch an air campaign against Iran.

        Retaliating this way, in a way that hopefully stops the tit-for-tat, buys time operationally for them to respawn their G-3 and G-5 heads that recently decorated the ring road of BIAP. It also gives some red meat to their domestic opposition that was clamoring for immediate retaliation. From their point of view, it hopefully keeps the US from hitting them somewhere it would also really hurt their economy or leadership, like leveling Kharg or putting a MOP through Khamenei’s command bunker.

        I don’t think it’s over by any means, but any future retaliation by Iran will be handled on its own terms. So far, the Trump Rules look like American deaths trigger a harsh response, and not much up to actually killing Americans does. Anything harsher beyond maintaining the sanctions anyway, which are pretty harsh as it is.

        The Trump Rules also appear to allow for renegotiation on the fly. I don’t know what concessions the Iranians could give that would satisfy US concerns of nuclear proliferation, but if they could give those, I think they’d find Trump magnanimous, and ready to cut a deal.

        As to the launchers or sites, my understanding was that those systems were mobile, like Scud-1. Solid-fueled instead of liquid, so the firing cycle was a lot shorter, but I doubt there was anything significant to those particular sites.

        1. “The Trump Rules also appear to allow for renegotiation on the fly. I don’t know what concessions the Iranians could give that would satisfy US concerns of nuclear proliferation, but if they could give those, I think they’d find Trump magnanimous, and ready to cut a deal”

          And that’s really their only choice.
          They can probably hold out for a year in the Hope’s that Trump loses and they get another D who’s itching to send them pallets of cash and lift sanctions, but I don’t think they can go much longer than that.
          They’re probably going to have to give up some of their nuclear equipment and agree to fairly invasive inspections. Will likely be forced to cut funding for designated terrorist organizations as well. Also, Trump appears to want to hamper ther ICBM progress.
          But there’s a silver lining – the Persians are the most capable of people in the region. If they can swallow their pride, Iran can become the foremost economic power in the region. Probably quickly.
          Pursuing nukes and regional empire does nothing for the people, and they can dominate the region anyway if they turn attention to industry and commerce

          1. Though after the idiocy with Qaddafi, I can certainly understand the reluctance of regimes to give up their WMD programs

          2. “They can probably hold out for a year in the Hope’s that Trump loses and they get another D who’s itching to send them pallets of cash and lift sanctions, but I don’t think they can go much longer than that.”

            I still think they’re going to try and deniably kill Trump and Pence. If there wasn’t progress towards a new China/US trade deal, I’d think it nearly certain. I don’t see broad support for sanctions or a hard line toward restarting the JCPOA from anyone in the Republican Party who matters, besides Trump. Remove him, and a lot of obstacles to rich people getting richer, go away.

            That needs time to set up though. And the Iranians may think that Trump will lose 2020. Perhaps this Virginia issue will blossom into civil disorder. I don’t think they have that long. I don’t see them abandoning their weapons program in a way that will satisfy Trump, and I don’t see them deciding to peacefully abandon power. Something will give.

            1. That would certainly be an all in move.
              Maybe if they’re backs are really against the wall, but at that point… why? Murder-suicide?
              They couldn’t even knock off a Saudi ambassador in DC.
              But who knows.

              If I had to put money on any outcome, I’d take “regime pulls a 180 and signs real deal” as a slight favorite over “regime deposed via internal revolution”, with the assassination scenario, war, and others less likely.
              Though a coup isn’t out of the question. If conditions get bad enough and the regime doesn’t change course, maybe the non-IRGC military steps in

            2. I mean, even a plausibly undeniable assassination leads to a lot of mullahs getting their heads put on pikes.
              I’m just not sure they can really gain anything without losing it all that way

              1. Im ready for Civil War 2.0 based on some Lefty here in the USA assassinating
                Trump. If Iran tries that, Im 100% for the USA turning Persia into glass.

                Fuck them. Pick fights with a superpower that is not picking fights, you deserve an ICBM up your ass.

                1. I will get my limes from somewhere else.

  12. ”Is Trump Winning the Middle East or Doubling Down on Previous Failures?”

    I don’t think we can tell yet. It appears he’s de-escalating this particular flare up (at least from a military perspective). I give him credit for that.
    However, I don’t see us changing anything fundamentally that would prevent another one. We’re still there and still provoking Iran through increasingly painful sanctions and still occupying Iraq. There are a lot of moving pieces and the vast majority of us commenting don’t really understand the situation (myself included). Sometimes it’s best to step back and let your enemies take care of each other, and with regard to the Sunnis and Shiites I’m fine with that.

    1. Iran attacked our embassy and Trump struck back rather hard to show them and the rest of the world doing such things is a very bad idea. Now he is deescalating the situation so that it does not result in a wider war.

      Has he solved the larger problems in the middle east? No. but no one short of Jesus probably can. He has, however, handled this particular problem about as well as any President could be expected to handle such a problem. Why that truth is so hard for the Trump obsessed reason staff to admit is beyond me.

      1. “Has he solved the larger problems in the middle east? No. but no one short of Jesus probably can.”

        That’s kind of been my point all along. As every president in the past 40 years has found out, any “victory” In the ME is fleeting. The only way to win the game there is not to play.

        1. Thanks to fracking, we increasingly don’t have to play. Back in the days when our entire economy depended upon the flow of oil from the Middle East, we had to be involved and ensure the stability of the area. But now we have energy independence. If the Middle East goes nuts, the price of oil goes up but that just results in us buying oil from ourselves at a higher price, which is a whole lot different than when we were running a hundred billion dollar a year trade deficit with the Middle East.

          The Middle East is no longer our problem. It is China and India’s problem. They are the ones who will screwed if the supply of oil from the region is disrupted, not the US. Sadly, I don’t think even Trump has fully comprehended this. And the media and foreign policy establishment are in total denial and are just pretending it isn’t true.

          1. As someone here cited a good article about stupid little Millennials are now flooding the Propaganda agency newsrooms and they dont know shit about history.

            1. Ben Rhodes called it, “they literally know nothing”. I could almost forgive that except that they seem to have absolutely no interest in changing that and seem to instead take pride in their ignorance.

              1. Consider that something like Journolist thirty years ago would have likely ended a budding journalist’s or pundit’s career. Now, it gets them hired by the Post, the Times, and other jewel jobs.

                Journalism moving to a journalism-by-press-release model hasn’t helped either. I am probably looking back at the issue through winestem-colored glasses, but didn’t foreign affairs correspondents used to have to be fluent in the languages of the regions they covered, or cognizant if not expert in the cultures of those regions?

                IOW, journalists actually had to know something about the places they cover. I’m not sure that’s the case now, what with wiki, and google covering up the journalist’s knowledge lacunae, though in a similar manner to fixing the hole in your drywall by wallpapering over it.

              2. +100 Thanks John.

          2. I think that there’s also a huge bipartisan consensus in this country that continues to think “If we don’t fight them there, we’ll fight them here”. I get that reasoning, but as we’ve seen over the past 17 years it’s also a recipe for endless war.

            1. I lot of important people make a lot of money off us fighting them over there. And the public thinks we should fight them over there because they still have the lingering memory of the oil crisis.

              1. And the public thinks we should fight them over there because they still have the lingering memory of the oil crisis.

                I was just thinking the same thing. I’m 48 and the oil crisis is an early childhood memory for me – only being able to gas up on certain days, waiting in line for half an hour to get gas, people stealing gas out of cars.

                That’s not going to happen again, and I won’t be surprised that as the Boomers die off and the Millennials who don’t remember the oil crisis come into power they start to wonder why people reflexively care about the ME so much.

                1. I suspect you are correct in that prediction.

                2. The complicating factor, ignoring all other geopolitical ramifications, is the prospect of Iranian nukes.
                  It presents a dilemma.

      2. Has he solved the larger problems in the middle east? No. but no one short of Jesus probably can.

        Jesus…and the 12th Imam.

        1. And that’s why the Iranians with nukes thing is a problem that shouldn’t be ignored

  13. Trump deserves credit for not bungling us into WW3.

    1. You deserve credit for giving me this to make you look bad with

      “chemjeff radical individualist
      January.7.2020 at 6:07 pm
      When your response consists of an insult, I know I’ve hit the mark”

      So you’re saying I’m the most correct person on this board for over a decade?

  14. “Finally, to the people and leaders of Iran: We want you to have a future and a great future — one that you deserve, one of prosperity at home, and harmony with the nations of the world. The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.” -Trump (speech today).

    Eventually, the derangement twits will discover the real Trump Doctrine: better to punch-punch than war-war. ( Nod to W/C).

    1. Finally, to the people and leaders of Iran: We want you to have a future and a great future — one that you deserve, one of prosperity at home, and harmony with the nations of the world. The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.

      Totally the kind of thing that a petulant toddler would say. Also, that is exactly what Putin would want him to say.

      This is what passes for thought amongst the American media today.

      1. Plus it’s impeachment deflection noise, too, don’t you know.

        1. Wag the Dog. You know that movie from 25 years ago that most of the millennial retards in the media hadn’t heard of until they googled it this weekend.

  15. So uh, Krugman is a pedo huh?

    1. I suspect he was framed by the same right-wing hacker(s) who planted homophobic comments on Joy Reid’s blog.

      1. Twitter beat you to that take.

        1. You don’t hack someone’s IP address. You can spoof it but you can’t hack it. The only way I know of that someone can download child porn or do other dastardly deeds using your IP address is if they hack a wireless router in your home.

          The question is, how did Krugman find out about this? How would he know this was occurring? The only way I can figure he would find out is if the FBI showed up at his house. What he is saying is possible and he is certainly innocent until proven guilty. But, I am skeptical.

          1. The thing is, there are other identifiers, and Krugman is so inept that he doesn’t know that. So very quickly, it will become quite obvious what the truth is, and all it will take is a simple examination of his hardware.

            I too am skeptical.

        2. I am not a computer guy. But it seems to me that if it were possible to obtain someone’s IP address via email or social media and then “hack” that address and download child porn using that IP address that trick would get around among the people into such things and it would be happening all of the time. But, other than people’s wifis being hacked, I have never heard of such a thing.

          1. Isn’t that basically how a DDOS attack works? You are tricked into downloading malware (specifically a Trojan horse) with instructions to run a specific script at a specific time to continuously attempt to access the same website or server. If enough machines were infected it creates a botnet of hundreds or thousands of machines that can overload a server and effectively bring it down.

            I could see where someone with an axe to grind could take control of Krugman’s machine via spear-phishing and direct it toward child porn.

            1. But that would be hacking his computer not is IP address whatever that means.

  16. “Fuel to the Fire: How Trump Made America’s Broken Foreign Policy Even Worse (and How We Can Recover)” is the title of the title of the book he authored and we are supposed to critically accept his analysis?

    1. I mean I don’t even need to listen to the podcast to have a good idea what his thesis will be.

      1. And Trump’s first term isn’t even over. Short of world war or chaos, which hasn’t happened, it seems a bit much to make such a sweeping judgement about Trump’s foreign policy. The fact that he does shows you how dishonest the guy is. Like everyone at CATO, he is a paid hack putting out talking points.

      2. +100

        Its coming to a point where whatever unreason says about politics is 100% wrong and you should view the other side.

        1. *view the other side with less skepticism.

  17. “no one short of Jesus probably can.”
    Hate to say it, but Jesus has been implored from pulpits and pews for hundreds of years to bring peace to the world, and give wisdom to leaders. But 100 million deaths still happened in the 20th century alone, and guys still yell “God is Great” before butchering some poor innocent. It is enough to test one’s faith.

    1. Pretty sure those screaming God is Great aren’t Christians.

    2. 100 million killed by declared atheists.

  18. Regardless of who is winning politically, the american taxpayer is losing. GTFO STFO

  19. Whether this stops Iran or not it has gotten their attention. Their response has showed their ineptitude if they planned to do great damage and kill lots of Americans or it shows restraint on Iran’s part maybe because Trump had stated that killing Americans is a red line which would bring a devastating response form the US. In any case it is up to Iran to determine what the US dose. But from the appearance of Iran’s response and the ability of Iran or its clients to targets at long ranges I don’t think that Iran missed critical targets in their revenge attack on US positions where prsonal and equipment contained. Given their ability to hit targets shows that Iran did not want to cause Trump to have to respond to Iran having crossed his red line.

  20. Are we going to war with Iran? Is the flare-up

    No, we’re not going to war with Iran. No, Trump didn’t cause a flare up.

    “skeptical of the bipartisan consensus” and predicated upon “peaceful global engagement through which [the United States] trades with the rest of the world, engages diplomatically with the rest of the world, and uses our cultural influence in a positive way.”

    Obama tried that. The result was attacks on our ships, attacks on our embassies, and widespread Iranian support for terrorism. Killing Soleimani was a measured response to Iran’s repeated escalations.

  21. It’s time for a vacation, and to reduce the never-ending political frenzy

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