Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 13, 2020

Deep State Member Admits Sabotage Of Trump's Policies

Katie Bo Williams @KatieBoWill - 11:46 UTC · Nov 13, 2020

In a particularly frank moment during an exit interview, departing Syria envoy Jim Jeffrey acknowledged to me that when it came to troop levels there, “We were always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had there."

Jeffrey was always a part of the 'deep state' that tried to sabotage Trump's policies.

As Williams writes:

Four years after signing the now-infamous “Never Trump” letter condemning then-presidential candidate Donald Trump as a danger to America, retiring diplomat Jim Jeffrey is recommending that the incoming Biden administration stick with Trump’s foreign policy in the Middle East.

But even as he praises the president’s support of what he describes as a successful “realpolitik” approach to the region, he acknowledges that his team routinely misled senior leaders about troop levels in Syria.

“We were always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had there,” Jeffrey said in an interview. The actual number of troops in northeast Syria is “a lot more than” the two hundred troops Trump agreed to leave there in 2019.
...
“What Syria withdrawal? There was never a Syria withdrawal,” Jeffrey said. “When the situation in northeast Syria had been fairly stable after we defeated ISIS, [Trump] was inclined to pull out. In each case, we then decided to come up with five better arguments for why we needed to stay. And we succeeded both times. That’s the story.”
...
Officially, Trump last year agreed to keep about 200 U.S. troops stationed in northeast Syria to “secure” oil fields held by the United States’ Kurdish allies in the fight against ISIS. It is generally accepted that the actual number is now higher than that — anonymous officials put the number at about 900 today — but the precise figure is classified and remains unknown even, it appears, to members of Trump’s administration keen to end the so-called “forever wars.”

That the Pentagon, the State Department and the various secret services were and are lying to Trump is not new. That one of their guys now openly admits this is refreshing.

As Trump now knows this, and recently installed his people in the Pentagon, he may draw the right conclusions from it not only for Syria but also for Afghanistan.

President Donald Trump’s decapitation strike on the Pentagon this week is raising fears that the U.S. will accelerate the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, putting newly installed leaders on a collision course with top generals and others who are urging a more deliberate drawdown.

Current and former administration officials say Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper Monday in part over his opposition to accelerating troop drawdowns worldwide, and especially in Afghanistan. The upheaval accelerated on Tuesday with the resignation of three high-level civilians and the installation of loyalists who are expected to ram through Trump's agenda, and continued on Wednesday when retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor, an outspoken critic of the war in Afghanistan, was brought on as senior adviser to new acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller.

Any move to accelerate withdrawals would set up a clash with the nation’s top generals and other civilians, who have argued publicly against leaving Afghanistan too quickly while the security situation remains volatile. It would also complicate President-elect Joe Biden’s pledge to leave a small number of troops in the country to guard against terror attacks.

“A precipitous and what appears to be near total withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan — not on a conditions-based approach advocated by our military, political and intelligence leadership but rather on an old campaign promise by President Trump now carried out by hyperpartisan Trump loyalists installed in a last-minute purge of DoD — is both reckless and will not make America safer,” said Marc Polymeropoulos, a retired CIA senior operations officer.

The U.S. occupation of Afghanistan began on October 7 2001. Nineteen years and an obviously lost war later the removal of U.S. troops from the country is still 'precipitous'?

Macgregor and Sec Def Miller should draw up a direct order to the commanding general of U.S. Central Command that tells him to remove all troops from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq within the next 30 days. Trump must sign it. Should CentCom fail to follow the order by the Commander in Chief its leader must be replaced and court martialed.

That is how the chain of command should actually work. It would be nice to see it for once happening that way.

Posted by b on November 13, 2020 at 12:15 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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This is why we are a country run by Criminals

Posted by: So | Nov 13 2020 12:23 utc | 1

The fact that Trump waited until he lost the reelection to do those moves indicates he knew he was being "deceived".

It's easy to do those moves at the eleventh hour. If we use this episode as an indication there's a "Deep State", then we could equally argue Obama was also a victim of the Deep State, as he wasn't able to close Guantanamo.

Posted by: vk | Nov 13 2020 12:36 utc | 2

My bet is Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , will also be canned soon by Trump.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMaI1Hg8dl8

Posted by: gm | Nov 13 2020 12:58 utc | 3

Trump was never in charge.

Biden will not be in charge.

Harris won’t know what day it is.

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 13 2020 13:06 utc | 4

trump has been around for a long, long time, and isn't naive. he knew exactly what he was doing when he appointed some many swamp creatures like bolton and abrams and pompeo etc etc to positions in his administration. he's the commander in chief. he knew we should leave afghanistan, he said it in 2015. yeah for four long years he did not.

This could have been done the day after he was inaugurated--caitlin johnstone has a good grasp of the political situation in the u.s. we had a choice between two warmongers. biden will likely be worse overall on starting wars, but trump isn't some innocent spring lamb being led to the slaughter.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 13 2020 13:08 utc | 5

So, what had stopped Trump these fours years from doing what he supposedly should be doing in the next two months now?

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Nov 13 2020 13:09 utc | 6

Not so OT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLSveRGmpIE

Posted by: Mina | Nov 13 2020 13:14 utc | 7

Macgregor and Sec Def Miller should draw up a direct order to the commanding general of U.S. Central Command that tells him to remove all troops from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq within the next 30 days. Trump must sign it. Should CentCom fail to follow the order by the Commander in Chief its leader must be replaced and court marshaled.
Yes, that is right.

Posted by: Josh | Nov 13 2020 13:19 utc | 8

Donald Trump as isolationist peacenik. I love it.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/16/us/politics/trump-veto-yemen.html

Posted by: Louis N Proyect | Nov 13 2020 13:24 utc | 9

Jeffrey has never looked like he knew what he was doing and was never well-spoken either. I would think at this point he would want to keep a low profile. But I suppose he wants credit for all his good work./sarc

It's hard to credit Trump with knowing what he is about too, if he was going to clean house, he should have done it at the START of his time in office, not in a rage at the end. You can't claim he means well or is doing 4-D chess, when he litters his administration with incompetents and fools, which he did. Clowns.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 13 2020 13:24 utc | 10

The US Congress has been sabotaging Trump’s efforts to reduce the number of troops abroad. Greenwald wrote about it earlier:
House Democrats, Working With Liz Cheney, Restrict Trump’s Planned Withdrawal of Troops From Afghanistan and Germany

Posted by: Down South | Nov 13 2020 13:25 utc | 11

@ josh if he actually does that i will have a lot more respect for him. he could do a lot of good in the next couple of months if he wants to.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 13 2020 13:26 utc | 12

The Term, "a day late and a dollar short" sums it all up. If he was serious about these changes Trump should have made these moves 2 years ago, not 2 days ago. Even if he does by some miracle force these changes through within the next 60 days, I 100% guarantee that Biden will immediately reverse it when/if he takes office.

Posted by: Kadath | Nov 13 2020 13:30 utc | 13

I think you have confused the direction of causality, B.

The warhawks in the pentagon are allowing themselves to be removed, or may even be inviting it. Their job is done. They have successfully maintained the permanent war and made sure that Trump has not been able to fulfill his vague instinctual desire to pull out of already lost wars. Trump is no longer a threat. He is truly a lame duck with only the most incompetent left around him.

The best way for these entrenched state people to transition to similar positions in the new Biden Regime is to abandon the Trump ship now and wash themselves of his stink of incompetence. They can then reposition themselves to re-enter their sinecures as fully 'professional' security experts under Biden.

Posted by: kons | Nov 13 2020 13:38 utc | 14

They did Capone on tax evasion. Should I care ?
Do I care about some little ‘unfairness! toward trump ?
Right me a list of unfairness trump has dished out.
So thieves fall out.
If you lie down with dogs you get fleas.
How did trump treat palistinians, Venezuela.
Now trump has gone. That’s not the end of the war against the 1% but the beginning.

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 13 2020 13:45 utc | 15

Reminds me of "Yes, Minister".
Only in a less civil, much less funny and even more hubris-filled American version.

In the 80s that show was seen rightfully as a genious real satire exposing what everyone then knew about how our western societies work.
No journalist would have called the script writers "Consipracy theorists" or nutjobs for exposing the obvious thruth.

Now, 30-40 years later, it is "undemocratic" to even alledge that there is a deep state of bureocracy, lobbyist intrests, military and intelligence services..

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr | Nov 13 2020 13:45 utc | 16

@kadath that is almost certain now that i think about it. i'm sure the pentagon could stall long enough to block it till biden gets in, too.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 13 2020 13:46 utc | 17

Maybe somebody needs the price of oil to rise a little bit? Just puppets on a string.

Posted by: davenitup | Nov 13 2020 13:52 utc | 18

Trump hasn't conceded. The investigation of "most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in history" is just starting. Creepy,Sniffy Joe hasn't been sworn in yet or his cackling banshee running mate. No one can tell the future.

Posted by: par4 | Nov 13 2020 14:13 utc | 19

Trump always did whatever he wanted. He did not use his opportunity to stop the endless wars as he said he would. Just another fake out.

Posted by: Maureen O | Nov 13 2020 14:18 utc | 20

I would mourn Trump except for the fact that people like Jack Keane and Lindsay Graham defied him by appealing to Trump's evil nature. They convinced Trump to occupy Syria to 'take the oil and keep it away from the Iranians'. Iran has never taken oil from any country and calling Assad's SAA and local militia's all Iranian proxies or just Iranians was more than a little dishonest.

I know, people will say that this still respects 'the process' because at least the Executive is making the call even if it is based on his own evil and the liars around him. While technically true, it doesn't matter anymore. The U.S. is broken beyond repair.

1. The President can call in military strikes anywhere / anytime despite the fact that the Constitution requires Congress to authorize wars of aggression.

2. Our Security establishment is larger than the GDP of most countries. It will require a very strong willed and capable President to reign it in but as long as it remains this large it will be susceptible to this type of gamesmanship.

Conclusion: I no longer care about the process. I am just waiting for the inevitable fall of my country, the ultimate check and balance, even for Mordor.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Nov 13 2020 14:30 utc | 21

Might Trump blackmail his generals? "Try to oust me and in my last second in office I will sign that order!"

Posted by: m | Nov 13 2020 14:32 utc | 22

@6 nathan

Trump has drawn down troops in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.

What has kept him from removing all of them has probably been the coordinated threats from those in the military to resign en masse if he were to be too hasty, as Espers seems to be doing now.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 13 2020 14:33 utc | 23


Over the past few weeks, if not longer, ‘b’ has been telling us Trump was not all that bad, at least compared to what’s coming under the leadership [cough] of Joe Biden. ‘b’ is simply amassing a series of posts that will allow him to say “See, I told you so” as soon as the Biden crowd pulls off its first big domestic or international screwup.

As when Obama began his betrayals of those who voted for him, so disappointed Democrats began casting sheep’s eyes back at George Bush. And in some near tomorrow, according to ‘b,’ we’ll wish Trump were back in charge. Un-huh.

Posted by: Jay-Ottawa | Nov 13 2020 14:55 utc | 24

@vk | Nov 13 2020 12:36 utc | 2:
"It's easy to do those moves at the eleventh hour."

If it was that easy, then others would be doing it too. Obama, at his eleventh hour, would've repealed NAFTA, closed Gitmo, enacted inexpensive universal healthcare and card-check for the unions, extracted the US from Middle Eastern wars, etc.

Tsk. Alas, it hadn't happened. Instead, at the eleventh hour, he, like every other president (except this one), was looking forward to making millions, giving speeches at various establishment entities.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Nov 13 2020 14:55 utc | 25

Funny how so many commentators are taken in by Trump's most recent smoke-and-mirrors ploy. If he put as much conviction and determination about bringing the troops home from Afghanistan as he did about moving the US embassy in Israel to Tel Aviv and generously giving the Golan Heights to Israel, as if it was his to decide, the US could have been out of Afghanistan long ago. Now, he's gaslighting all of you, staying true to character as a conman. He is now only trying to preserve the monetary value of his brand. Nothing more. We're stuck with Biden and it ain't going to be pretty. We can count on Biden to do his masters' bidding faithfully. Trump only did Adelson and Israel's bidding, that is, for immense amounts of campaign money.

Posted by: Quentin | Nov 13 2020 14:55 utc | 26

Trump should have done this. Why Trump did not do this before?

Do y'all forget all the impeachment theater? What happened when Trump stated his willingness to remove the troops from Afghanistan? Impeach.
Remove the troops from Syria? Impeach.
Remove the troops from Iraq? Impeach.
Trump tweeted. Impeach.
Trump to remove, fill-in the blank. Impeach.
Trump farts. Impeach.

A difference now are the apparent GOP gains in the House.

Posted by: JaimeInTexas | Nov 13 2020 15:04 utc | 27

That the Pentagon, the State Department and the various secret services were and are lying to Trump is not new. That one of their guys now openly admits this is refreshing.
____________________________________________

Geez how gullible do you have to be to believe that dog and pony show is real?
Next you will be telling us that you have evidence that trump did not know trump university and trump charity were frauds. Did the deep state lie to trump about those, also?

There is no evidence that anybody lied to trump or that the facts were kept from trump. All you have is evidence that they made it appear to the world that trump's policies were being implemented when in fact they were not thus allowing trump to have his cake and eat it too


Posted by: jinn | Nov 13 2020 15:08 utc | 28

Jaime @ 27

To add to this, I will mention that something similar happened with Obama. There was actually talk about impeaching Obama over the Bowie Berghdal incident, which suspiciously died down after he went full neocon.

Posted by: Timothy Hagios | Nov 13 2020 15:11 utc | 29

"Shell game" against Trump?

LOL! Presidents are themselves part of the USA democracy shell game.

Money in politics (AIPAC Congress), Duopoly and an EMPIRE FIRST Deep State, controlled opposition (e.g. Bernie Sanders), and controlled corporate media (e.g. "access journalism", CIA's project mockingbird) mean that U.S. politics - especially at the national level - is just a reality show.

Sadly, b can't see the Trump vs Deep State kayfabe.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 13 2020 15:12 utc | 30

"Shell game" against Trump?

LOL! Presidents are themselves part of the USA democracy shell game.

Money in politics (AIPAC Congress), Duopoly and an EMPIRE FIRST Deep State, controlled opposition (e.g. Bernie Sanders), and controlled corporate media (e.g. "access journalism", CIA's project mockingbird) mean that U.S. politics - especially at the national level - is just a reality show.

Sadly, b can't see the Trump vs Deep State kayfabe.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 13 2020 15:12 utc | 31

Remember when Trump invited the Taliban to Camp David to sign a 'peace deal' and the Taliban sabotaged the 'peace' with a 'terror' attack on US troops (or something like that) which is akin to Syria waging chemical attacks while it is winning the war. The US policy is Forever War, and the winding down of one war is to ratchet up another.

Also the braggadocio above reminds one of Biden's tape bragging about blackmailing Ukraine to drop the Burisma investigation.

Posted by: gottlieb | Nov 13 2020 15:23 utc | 32

@ Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 13 2020 14:33 utc | 23

Thanks. But why hasn’t he declassified Russian collusion hoax? That would have been an act offense allowing him not to boxed in in defense. Trump doesn’t convince me.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Nov 13 2020 15:25 utc | 33

I was never too sold on Trump being particularly serious about bringing troops home and ending wars per se. He no doubt captured the nation's Zeitgeist on the issue, and ran on it successfully. Insofar as implementing it and how much was due to sabotage... appointing hawkish warmongers Mattis, Pompeo and Bolton et al. is hardly how one would seriously go about it... so while Biden's cabinet is not encouraging, let's not delude ourselves about whom they are replacing... at best, they are 2 sides of the same coin.

The trouble with Trump is that either by incompetence, inexperience or a lack of strategic foresight and political intellect, he never had the tools nor the brains to implement an achievable withdrawal strategy.

That would require involving all the Military, Oil & Gas and Banking stakeholders currently inflating their pockets and share prices in the war racket, and offer them and out in terms of alternative Government contracts and a front seat into other expanding markets. For example, launching large infrastructure projects or investing in renewable energy and new technologies in the civilian market.

Of course, that would require leadership and motivation, and perhaps most of all, the kind of vision and open mindedness a materialistic fool, so shallow, insecure, and averse to nature, did not posses.

Had any of the above been achieved, Trump could have secured a landslide re-election and truly relaunched the US economy into the 21st century, while resolving many of its foreign policy disasters. A true hero would have been crowned. Instead we got a half cocked MAGA which we neither great nor worth considering ever again..

Posted by: Et Tu | Nov 13 2020 15:40 utc | 34

On the issue of our occupation of the oil field area of Syria, Trump and others keep telling us the US is energy independent - "we are exporters". If we do not need Syrian oil, why don't we give the area back to Syria? The Syrians do need it.

Posted by: lizzie dw | Nov 13 2020 15:46 utc | 35

Meh, Trump as peacenik isolationist is just as phony as his populism.

First column of the Drudge Report today: Are Israel and the USA planning an imminent attack on Iran?

In 2008, after the election that brought Barack Obama to power, in Israel there were some officials who were confident that President George W. Bush would not leave office with Iran’s nuclear facilities still standing. They were wrong. Iran’s nuclear facilities are not only still standing; they have grown in quality and quantity.

This is important to keep in mind amid speculation - once again during a presidential lame duck period – that in his last few weeks in office, Donald Trump will either order US military action against Iran or give Israel a green light as well as some assistance to do it on its own.

The speculation has a number of catalysts. First was the firing of Mark Esper as secretary of defense this past week and the replacement of him and other top Pentagon officials with Trump idealogues. Some media in the US have raised the possibility that Trump wanted to get Esper out of the way, so he could more easily carry out controversial military moves.
In addition, there is no doubt a lot of coordination already taking place on Iran. Elliott Abrams, the administration’s top envoy on Iran, was in Israel this week for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be here next week for three days to continue those conversations; and on Thursday night, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi held a video call with his US counterpart, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley.

And then there was the interview H.R. McMaster, Trump’s former national security adviser, gave Fox News on Wednesday in which he raised the possibility that Israel – fearful of President-elect Joe Biden’s Iran policies – would attack Iran in the twilight of Trump’s term in office.

For veteran Israel-Iran watchers, this feels like a rerun of what happened in 2008 as well as in 2012 when also then Israel seemed on the verge of an attack. While ministers later confirmed that Netanyahu had in fact wanted to launch an attack in 2012, he ultimately failed to muster support in the cabinet and the IDF and had no choice but to back down.

So we'll see....I have long said that Trump would attack Iran if elected to a 2nd term, probably during his lame duck period, but here we have what looks like a lame duck President Trump much earlier than I anticipated (figured he'd win a close race vs. Biden). My money's on some strikes carried out on Iran and Israel won't do it alone and not without the Trump/Abrams/Pimpeous approval they seek.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Nov 13 2020 15:51 utc | 36

Posted by: lizzie dw | Nov 13 2020 15:46 utc | 35

To keep it away from Syria and give the USA's current headchopper and Kurdish "allies" in the are a source of revenue. Probably also has something to do with Erdogan and Turkey, but I'm not very well versed in Turkish aims in that region other than territory grabs (but I don't know why).

Posted by: _K_C_ | Nov 13 2020 15:53 utc | 37

Here's a different view

I might have voted for Trump if he had done anything to bring down the Deep State, but he’s supported it for four years!

... his supporters claimed (because they wanted to believe they finally had a champion and to believe their votes were well placed) that Trump was playing 4-D chess! Some 4-D chess! The game is over, and he’s clearly lost.

So, I'm more than glad to give him the boot. Trojan Trump was an abject failure at his biggest promise. The deep state remains entrenched, and Trump exposed almost nothing but his own back side. He didn't end any of the MICs military endeavors. He repeatedly made the MIC’s top brass his many chiefs of staff. There was no 4-D chess here, people! There was two-dimensional stupidity. Trump got played or never intended to do anything he said.


!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 13 2020 15:53 utc | 38

Here's a different view

I might have voted for Trump if he had done anything to bring down the Deep State, but he’s supported it for four years!

... his supporters claimed (because they wanted to believe they finally had a champion and to believe their votes were well placed) that Trump was playing 4-D chess! Some 4-D chess! The game is over, and he’s clearly lost.

So, I'm more than glad to give him the boot. Trojan Trump was an abject failure at his biggest promise. The deep state remains entrenched, and Trump exposed almost nothing but his own back side. He didn't end any of the MICs military endeavors. He repeatedly made the MIC’s top brass his many chiefs of staff. There was no 4-D chess here, people! There was two-dimensional stupidity. Trump got played or never intended to do anything he said.


!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 13 2020 15:53 utc | 39

Unless one is prepared to wage preemptive nuclear war against Iran... The Yahoos tried to get the war going with the assassination of General Soleimani, but as Iran showed with precision strikes from hundreds of miles away, a conventional war with Iran is not a 'cakewalk.'

So are the 'believers' like Pompeo and Netanyahu prepared to go nuclear at first strike? That's madness. But as the aforementioned are both batshit crazy, prepare to duck and cover.

Posted by: gottlieb | Nov 13 2020 16:00 utc | 40

Maybe the religious crazies think this is as close as they'll get to bringing about their end of days scenario. Libertarians were the smarts that guided Trump into office, but the crazies they needed for the go-along coalition may be the undoing of us all...geezus.

Posted by: davenitup | Nov 13 2020 16:09 utc | 41

"Dear Snowflakes

I know you are busy shredding every hard copy and scrubbing hard drives whilst trying to con your supporters out of their money for the Crazy Uncle PAC, so I will keep this brief.

Put your toddler in his walker and slap in a pacifier if necessary, it is so over and time to step aside.

It is not the end of the world, so what if you have to wear orange jumpsuits for a while, you deserve them. It is not a conspiracy, not even bloody close, your days of sowing chaos and death in the US have come to an end.

I thought the “elite” were meant to be dignified, I’ll check if auntie Ayn has anything to say about that otherwise I’ll be forced to consult my “A Guide to how to deal with trash 101” by Robespierre.

So lets not cause more of a scene than is absolutely required

Grow the F##k Up and pack your bags."

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Nov 13 2020 16:15 utc | 42

Wealth and private property voted for Biden:

Biden-voting counties equal 70% of America’s economy. What does this mean for the nation’s political-economic divide?

Checkmate, libertarians.

Posted by: vk | Nov 13 2020 16:20 utc | 43

“What Syria withdrawal? There was never a Syria withdrawal,” Jeffrey said. “When the situation in northeast Syria had been fairly stable after we defeated ISIS, [Trump] was inclined to pull out. In each case, we then decided to come up with five better arguments for why we needed to stay. And we succeeded both times. That’s the story.”

Going back to 1980, trump said "take the oil"
He has said "take irans oil" "take libya's oil "take syria's oil. Pullout bullshit. Pull back, take the oil.

Trump's smarter than the average yank-anglosphere neanderthal. He wants peace with Russia so he can make war on iran and china. Guy should get a peace prize.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 13 2020 16:22 utc | 44

Dear b, apologies if I appear to be pedantic, but the proper term is "Court Martial", as in of or pertaining to war and usually but not exclusively with capitals. I really appreciate your blog. With thanks, Jono.

Posted by: Jono | Nov 13 2020 16:48 utc | 45

@Et Tu | Nov 13 2020 15:40 utc | 34:
"appointing hawkish warmongers Mattis, Pompeo and Bolton et al. is hardly how one would seriously go about it"

It depends on what "it" means, in your sentence. He isn't a peacenik, obviously, but warmongering is one thing, and war-making is quite another. Appointing hawkish warmongers could simply be a negotiating tactic, bad cop/good cop.

The bottom line, as I see it, is that the guy has some idea of what the national interest is, and, it seems, the actual shooting wars aren't normally included into it, even though warmongering, bullying is. War is the last resort, while bullying is a normal negotiating tactic.

A flawed but somewhat more reasonable view, methinks, than that of the American establishment.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Nov 13 2020 17:00 utc | 46

China and Iran do not see things these way - they see massive hostility coming from Trump, and are very happy to see Trump gone.

China can deal with final ‘crazy’ Trump moves: Global Times editorial

Two pieces of China-related news from the US attracted attention on Thursday. The first is that Trump signed his first executive order since the presidential election banning US investors from investing in or buying shares in 31 Chinese firms that Washington says are linked to the Chinese military. The other is US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying Taiwan "has not been a part of China," and that has been recognized since the Reagan administration.

The US also stopped recognizing China's Turkestan Islamic Movement as a terrorist organisation.

https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1206774.shtml

Trump administration plans "flood" of sanctions on Iran by Jan. 20

https://www.axios.com/trump-administration-iran-sanctions-january-3951f776-09c9-4e55-b0f5-4a9c80e9e974.html

For Trump, MAGA (Make America Great Again) means to start and win another Cold War against China, Russia, and Iran.

He wants to get out of the "dumb wars" only in order to concentrate on the Big Fish and the "real enemy" - China, Russia, Iran. Hopefully making a deal with Russia until he smashes China and Iran.

Posted by: Passer by | Nov 13 2020 17:02 utc | 47

The Taliban was running the country when we got there and they will be running the country when we leave. It was obvious from the first day

Posted by: circumspect | Nov 13 2020 17:12 utc | 48

What happens to a personnel when he is court martialed ? Is it death penalty ?

Posted by: Stephane | Nov 13 2020 17:14 utc | 49

thanks b.... well they won't have to lie with biden, as biden will be onside with it all.. watch...

Posted by: james | Nov 13 2020 17:16 utc | 50

Trump is not the concern.. neither is Biden, Obama or any other candidate put to the voters on the fraud that they seek CHANGE OR a greater America.. these are frauds.. and everything about the media promotion of this is a fraud.. the masses popular election of these two duds is a fraud.. there ain't no national election, and never will be unless the constitution is changed.

Always we talk, point out, but rarely do we have an opportunity to make what we see as a wrong into something that is better.. Article VII of the Constitution of the USA provided a peaceful way to fix things. its called ratification, and Article V makes it possible to amend the constitution
but these clauses, in their present form, do not do not allow the masses to have a say about ratification or amendment? I think any fix worthy of its salt, would block all who are governors from changing any part of the Constitution or from ratifying a new one? <= instead of listening to the idle promises of Feudal Oligarchs and their corporate peers and political actors tell us how they will or won't do this or that, we need a set of rules that can force them to do what they say. Those rules are suppose to be in the Constitution.

Article VII says " The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution.. <= so can nine state legislatures be found to ratify a new constitution of the USA?

I propose that the following amendment to the existing Article VII on ratification.

please fill in the blanks.

I propose that the following amendment of the existing Article V of the current Constitution be amended so that the constitution and this clause (Article V) restricts the power to make new constitutions or amend existing ones, only to the will of the majority of those who are governed by the constitution. No governor should have the power to amend the constitution because it is the constitution that restricts the governors. Therefore i propose to amend Article V of the constitution as follows:

please fill in the blanks.

I admit i don't know how these amendments can be brought about, but without at least figuring out what is needed nothing will ever get done.

Posted by: Snake | Nov 13 2020 17:23 utc | 51

@33 Nathan

The idea that Trump has many arms like the Hindu Goddess Durga, all to vanquish the deep state at every turn, I believe is greatly unfair to Trump in his presidency, and, alas, part and parcel of the unfair criticism that gets leveled against him day in and day out:

"Well, if DJT really was fighting the deep state, why didn't he do x or why hasn't he done z?"

It is a game that can be played ad infinitum, because no man who puts in eight hours a day can vanquish all his foes without three more popping up in its place.

In other words, "The night undoes the work of the day."

And so with that being said, I hope posters will realize that if it is true that DJT was an antiglobalist in an effort to fight the deep state, than it can be easily admitted that the forces against were capable of pushing back in equal and sometimes greater measure.

...

Let us watch and see what he does.

If he brings them all home, would this not be reason to celebrate?

I believe another poster, Hoarsewhisperer, mentioned that it would be great to see him pardoning Julian Assange. I thought, too, that that would be a stroke of genius and a finger in the eye of the estab. Long odds make great payouts.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 13 2020 17:24 utc | 52

If Trump brings the troops home from Syria and from Afghanistan, where we should never have gone in the first place, that will be the equivalent of a Great Reset not orchestrated by the oligarchs.

If he does this, I will call him President for the first time.

If Biden attempts to reinstate war, there ought to be a multimillion person march on Washington.

NO MORE WAR

Posted by: juliania | Nov 13 2020 17:31 utc | 53

If we use this episode as an indication there's a "Deep State", then we could equally argue Obama was also a victim of the Deep State, as he wasn't able to close Guantanamo.
Posted by: vk | Nov 13 2020 12:36 utc | 2

An indication there is a deep state?
Isn't that all a current cultural context for entities that have always existed and are well understood? Bureaucracy?
Or do you mean DS as a ruling cabal?

Posted by: David G Horsman | Nov 13 2020 17:34 utc | 54

This is an idea I've had, partly inspired by JR's insightful assertion of Trump's being part of "the great,big club" and the "kayfabe" that acts as the plausible diversion for the people ("mistakes" like Trump's election just don't happen in the US, and every president since Kennedy has toed the line...or else. I really like the "Democracy Works!" slogan; good one, JR ^_^);
Basically, my idea is Trump is displayed by the permanent establishment and allowed to say what we wants; People have been so conditioned to revile anything he says (and with good reason; the guy's just a more coarse scumbag than the others who have preceded him), that they will naturally be more accepting of the opposite to what he says. E.g., "I want to 'drain the swamp';" "He'll recklessly remove our most experienced leaders!" "I want to pull all troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq;" "He's recklessly endangering 'merican lives by being so precipitous; the troops must stay!"
It's fiendishly clever when one thinks about it.
Thanks for the report , b.

Posted by: robjira | Nov 13 2020 17:36 utc | 55

Passer By @ 47.

“ Smashes China and Iran “

That had me laughing. Apart from nuclear weapons, the U.S. has the ability to ‘ smash ‘ China in the same way a Ford pick up truck can ‘ smash ‘ a Formula One car in a race...

China just launched a 6G experimental communications satellite...

Posted by: Beibdnn | Nov 13 2020 17:40 utc | 56

This is what racist, fascist, dictatorial, demagogues do generally.

The owners can manipulate us to kill and eat our own children if need be.
It's too easy.

Posted by: jared | Nov 13 2020 17:43 utc | 57

If Trump had taken these measures 3 years ago as he promised during the 2016 campaign he would have won the election. He can still secure his legacy by forcing the withdrawal as B suggests and pardoning Snowden and Assange.

Posted by: Groucho | Nov 13 2020 17:49 utc | 58

@ Groucho | Nov 13 2020 17:49 utc | 58

Amen.

Posted by: jared | Nov 13 2020 17:56 utc | 59

Eisenhower did not give his “Military Industrial Complex” speech until his last day in office.

Posted by: Kevin | Nov 13 2020 17:57 utc | 60

"Deep State" is a vague term, more useful in propaganda than in the rigorous analysis that I come here for. Trump & US Right Wingnuts use it as code for, well, not exactly sure, but maybe something like imaginary "Socialists funded by George Soros to take away our guns and let the UN cut off our dicks and force us to eat broccoli" or something like that. Unfortunately, this confused usage obscures a very real set of problems, where people "deep" in US Government Departments often promote agendas contrary to the best interests of our country.

IMO, we need to distinguish between different groups inside US Bureaucracies (in no particular order):

1). Inertial Bureaucrats
- primarily concerned with maintaining & increasing their own power within the bureaucracy
- tend to do things "the way we've always done it"
- try to protect their bureaucracy & it's functions from meddling and oversight by elected politicians

2). Military/Industrial/Congressional Complex
- huge problem in DoD
- not fixable (shy of Green Wave election, lol)
- being paid well tends to reinforce people's conviction that they're Doing The Right Thing

3). OSS/CIA(/Illuminati?)
- "The Company" has metastasized beyond control of US Gov't
- network of shadow Corps gives it independent sources of money ("endowments"?)
- probably willing to manipulate US politics "for the good of the country"
- might be fixable, but that could get bloody

4). Regulatory Capture
- Corporations control agencies designed to regulate them
- big problem in Domestic policy Departments, less so for FP/Military
- should be fixable, but has Congressional protection like MIC

5). Groupthink
- Smart People blinded by each others' brilliance
- linked to Inertial Bureaucrats, above
- Think Tanks, where Rich People pay Smart People to write BS
- in FP, NGO's influence policy by pretending that their preferences are the only option (Atlantic Council, etc)

6). AIPAC
- most/only prominent force on US Gov't primarily motivated by the strategic interests of other Country
- Other countries try, but none come close to AIPAC influence
- influence on FP NGO's is used to enforce Groupthink, above ("we've always been at war with...")
- focused almost entirely on FP/Mil/Intel agencies

7). Political Parties
- GOP & Dems each have patronage havens (left tit/right tit, pardon the crass metaphor)
- GOP/NeoCons dominate Security agencies, especially (federal) Police groups
- Dems are more concentrated in domestic regulatory agencies


IMO, it would be more accurate - though politically dangerous - to describe Amb Jeffrey as "AIPAC" rather than "deep state".

Posted by: elkern | Nov 13 2020 18:06 utc | 61

Posted by: Beibdnn | Nov 13 2020 17:40 utc | 56

China is very vulnerable for its imports and exports, and can be blockaded easily if Russia joins a deal with the US on it.

Where is China going to get oil, gas, iron ore and food if Russia is not there for it and the seas are blocked?

Andrey Martyanov himself admits that the US can block China's SLOCs.

Then China will be isolated from the big players and easier to deal with.

Trump's overtures towards Russia are with this in mind. For securing US global dominationn. After China is dealt with, Russia will be next.

This is why Russia would not agree to such a deal. But this is how the US thinking goes.

>>China just launched a 6G experimental communications satellite...

China also still can not create a large passenger jet, and its engines. It needed Russian help to create an early warning system for ballistic missiles. Its submarines are two generations behind the US and Russia.

Its technological level is uneven, and will need up to 10 years to produce the chips that Taiwan produces. In some areas its good, in some areas mediocre.

This is the reality of the situation.

Posted by: Passer by | Nov 13 2020 18:06 utc | 62

Recent Color Revolution and Regime Change Ops.

(US instigation, involvement, control, varies…) from 2016:

Macedonia 2016 *Trump not elected yet*: failed

Venezuela: failed. (Random Guy-do is mocked world-wide)

Bolivia: failed (complicated, lots of detail to fill in)

Belarus: failed

Hong-Kong: failed

USA: not decided for now, to be seen soon.

What did I forget?


Posted by: Noirette | Nov 13 2020 18:07 utc | 63

To call anything Trump did or said as 'realpolitik' merely underlines that term's self-serving stupidity. The official is merely congratulating himself for promoting policies to which Trump made passing reference, without understanding or supporting the reality or reasons behind them.
'Deep state' is a term with similar intellectual pretensions. I doubt the author has read the seminal work in the field by Col. Chester Prouty, The Secret Team. Prouty was President Eisenhower's and Kennedy's liaison with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the CIA. If the CIA wanted military assets for an operation they had to go through Prouty. If Prouty was in a meeting everyone knew they were speaking to the President, the JCS, and the CIA. The Secret Team had every copy purchased the day it was published and then went out of print for 20 years. It describes CIA penetration of government offices.

H.L. Mencken: “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents… the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

Posted by: ricardo2000 | Nov 13 2020 18:07 utc | 64

Given that Ambassador Jeffrey is a diplomat, couldn`t this interview be part of a "diplomatic and political solution" to the presidential crisis in the US? What I mean is that Jeffrey could be uttering total falsehoods as part of a deal involving Trump`s legacy.

For comparison, here`s a Jeffrey speech from Feb.

https://www.state.gov/ambassador-james-jeffrey-on-the-situation-in-syria/

Posted by: Quasi Retired anonym | Nov 13 2020 18:20 utc | 65

Passer By

"China is very vulnerable for its imports and exports, and can be blockaded easily if Russia joins a deal with the US on it. "

That is one big IF in that assertion.

"Then China will be isolated from the big players and easier to deal with."

That big IF gets in the way of this assertion.

"China also still can not create a large passenger jet, "

Oh?

"

"The Comac C919 is a narrow-body twinjet airliner developed by Chinese aerospace manufacturer Comac. The development programme was launched in 2008. Production of the prototype began in December 2011, with the first prototype being ready on 2 November 2015 and having its maiden flight on 5 May 2017. Its first commercial deliveries are expected in 2021 to China Eastern Airlines. The aircraft, primarily constructed with aluminium alloys, is to be powered by either CFM International LEAP or ACAE CJ-1000A turbofan engines, and be able to carry 156 to 168 passengers in a normal operating configuration up to 5,555 km (3000 nmi). It is intended to compete primarily with the Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320neo. As of 31 August 2018, Comac has 1008 commitments including 305 firm orders, mostly from Chinese leasing companies or airlines. "

"Its submarines are two generations behind the US and Russia."

"Nuclear-powered fleet submarines
Type 093 (Shang-class)
Type 093 (Shang-class)

China was the first Asian country and the 5th globally to successfully design, build and commission a nuclear-powered submarine. The PLAN currently has two types of nuclear-powered attack submarines in service:

Type 093 submarine (NATO designation Shang-class) - In service.
Type 091 submarine (NATO designation Han-class) - In service."

IF, IF, IF

Posted by: arby | Nov 13 2020 18:30 utc | 66

Re: # 65

This is a common way problems are solved in Canada, anyway. As I recall, in the pre-Internet days, Canada would often agree to support whatever position the USA was taking, so that the USA could tell the European people that Canada supported them, and Europe should support them too. A few days after the joint pronouncement of American solidarity, Canada would change or reverse positions. That wouldn`t make it into the European media. No matter, the USA only needs the great powers to support it, of which Canada is not included. So our actions don`t matter, what matters is the propaganda we`re selling to our European brethern and sistern (whose actions do matter).

Support for PR/propraganda/narrative is a key dilpomatic bargaining chip over here. Geography disallows the usual forceful methods of coercion, although since the 90s, that is more common.

Posted by: Quasi Retired anonym | Nov 13 2020 18:36 utc | 67

If the Democrats do not have a majority in the Senate how will Biden approve Hillary C
as Kamala's replacement when she is forced to resign?

What is in the Demo's playbook?

1) Kamala resigns after taking office as VP (what do they have on her?)

2) Hillary is appointed by Biden to replace Kamala H.

3) According to the 25th Amendment Hillary needs approval from both houses of Congress

4) Biden is President and Hillary C. is VP

5) Biden is declared incompetent

6) Hillary is President

---

All Quiet on the Western Front

Posted by: librul | Nov 13 2020 18:37 utc | 68

OMG. Poor Tronald, poor caged dove. And now they want to eat him raw. Isn't it very very cruel?

Posted by: pnyx | Nov 13 2020 18:37 utc | 69

@68 is not without historical precedence

Spiro Agnew resigned as VP

G. Ford was approved as Agnew's replacement

Nixon resigned

Posted by: librul | Nov 13 2020 18:41 utc | 70

Article in today's Washington Post says the Dems' majority in the new House may be as few as four votes.

One change Trump can now do that Biden cannot reverse is to declassify and release information and documents. Like the JFK assassination documents that he was prevented from releasing last year.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 13 2020 18:45 utc | 71

"China is very vulnerable for its imports and exports, and can be blockaded easily if Russia joins a deal with the US on it. "

>>That is one big IF in that assertion.

The IF was noted in the comment if you tried to read, Russia does not agree to that. Which does not mean that this isn't how the US thinking goes - it wants to get Russia on its side in order to isolate China. Thus the Trump offer of a new expanded G7 plus Russia plus India plus Australia.


"Then China will be isolated from the big players and easier to deal with."

>>That big IF gets in the way of this assertion.

If Russia joins West + India coalition then yes, China will be isolated and easier to deal with.

"China also still can not create a large passenger jet, "

>>Oh?

C919 is not a large airplane, but medium class. Narrow-body, 150 - 190 passengers. It is 5 years behind shedule and it is still not ready.

But i said large passenger airplane - wide-body plane such as C929. 250 - 290 passsengers. And there the situation is exactly as i said. The plane is far from ready and it might take 10 years before it is.

No IFs on submarine capability either.

Andrei Martyanov

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/01/underwater-currents-of-naval-strategy.html

"Even for all its institutional problems US Navy experiences today, it still remains a premier global naval force whose real might rests not just with, however impressive visually, its carriers but its nuclear submarines. US Navy holds here an overwhelming advantage over PLAN in the open ocean. The advantage is not just in quantity, it is in

While diesel-electric or non-nuclear submarines of PLAN can play crucial role in defense of China's littoral, operations in the open ocean require nuclear-powered submarines. China has problems with this particular type. While PLAN's program of building surface combatants is extremely impressive, nuclear submarines remain its Achilles heel. As one Russian naval analyst observed in July 2018, citing also US Office of Naval Intelligence Report, modern Chinese nuclear powered submarines lag seriously even behind American and Russian third generation nuclear submarines, such as project 671 RTM (NATO Victor III-class) in terms of quieting—a key, albeit not the only one, tactical and technical characteristic of a submarine."

Posted by: Passer by | Nov 13 2020 19:03 utc | 72

For arby | Nov 13 2020 18:30 utc | 66

Posted by: Passer by | Nov 13 2020 19:04 utc | 73

Some of this political worship is like the religious stuff: He can walk on water. He is all powerful. Except when he isn't and he needs our help to kill the homosexuals...or maybe it's the devils fault or the Deep State or China's and they're not supposed to be stronger but somehow they are...or it's all part of a great plan. Too bad for the family whose kid got eaten by an alligator at Disney World or all the other horrific things that happen all the time. Your dear leader and your God still love you. Trust the plan...or...f***k them and start trusting yourself and the people around you.

Posted by: davenitup | Nov 13 2020 19:06 utc | 74

trump has two months and a week to do what he should have done nearly 4 years ago, shortly after his inauguration. What are the chances that it can or will get done now? The military and intelligence Elites will stall and stall no matter what he orders.

though I personally would like to see more head butting at this point and a lot more resignations and firings at Defense, CIA and State too. get rid of Haspel at CIA today

Who really rules and runs american foreign policy is pretty clear, and they aren't sitting in the white house.

Posted by: michaelj72 | Nov 13 2020 19:06 utc | 75

More of this will come out.

The blockbusters we are waiting for is disclosure of the role of Brennan in Russiagate.

The final kill will be the appointment of Michele Flournoy as SecDef, returning us to Dubya's foreign policy.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Nov 13 2020 19:17 utc | 76

Passer By,
It is just what I have gleaned from reading Karlofi's links and inserts of how Russia, Putin, and Lavrov now view the US and it sure doesn't sound like they have any intention of siding with the US in an attempt to take down China.

Posted by: arby | Nov 13 2020 19:21 utc | 77

That the Pentagon, the State Department and the various secret services were and are lying to Trump is not new. That one of their guys now openly admits this is refreshing.

I would not call it "refreshing" that hubris have gone totally to their heads. Apparently they think this is all ok, to a degree that they are stating it openly. If there had been some remorse involved you might have had a point, but this is just a symptom of totally delusional people with nuclear weapons.

Macgregor and Sec Def Miller should draw up a direct order to the commanding general of U.S. Central Command that tells him to remove all troops from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq within the next 30 days. Trump must sign it. Should CentCom fail to follow the order by the Commander in Chief its leader must be replaced and court martialed.

Indeed, I agree totally with this. Trump should have done this years ago. If the election coup suceeds, he should at least withdraw everything now. If the coup fails, a new policy of withdrawal should be continued.

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 13 2020 19:35 utc | 78

Is Jim Jeffrey part of Deep State?! Are you kidding? LOL.
Is he not an official executive officer?
How about Trump? Is he part of DS? How about Pompeo? Bolton? etc.
You do not see every part of criminal gangs: democrat, republican, bankers, hidden DS are exposed and disintegrating before your eyes?
Do we need this kind of Deep State stories lullaby for our Deep Sleep?
Do we need to play Trump vs Jim Jeffrey?

Posted by: arata | Nov 13 2020 19:36 utc | 79

Noirette @ 63:

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan's days might be numbered as a result of Armenia's defeat in the recent NK stoush. With Russian peacekeepers now set in control of the Lachin corridor connecting Armenia proper with what remains of Artsakh, and also controlling Azerbaijan's connection to Nakhichevan for five years, Armenia will have a constant reminder of who saved its collective butt. Regime change attempts in Azerbaijan will be stymied as well as Ilham Aliyev is unlikely to forget who helped secure southern NK for him after Turkish drones failed

Posted by: Jen | Nov 13 2020 19:38 utc | 80

That the Strumpet is an arsehole of the lowest order is unquestionable (whatcha get when a real estate developer cum "reality" tele host enters politics) - but Biden is not even a mote higher, just a bot smoother, patina-wise. And that is all that seems to matter - patina. What the F***ers DO would seem not to matter one iota. (MICIMATT or not.)

How is this a democracy? A or B (and "we" the knowledgeable, the ruling elites have chosen your, the hoi polloi, choices)? The differences twixt A or B on any substantial concerns (tha knaws: warmaking, drone killing, siege warfare, coups???) - 0.

Continuation of the 1994 Crime Bill effects; continuation of the imprisonment and solitary confinement of such as Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu Jamal...continuation of $$$ support of the illegitimate "state" of "Israel"....and the continuing genocidal ethnic-cleansing, home and farm destruction of the rightful inhabitants of Palestine...

Nothing will change. Just the style of presentation.

But perhaps these truly existing concerns - aren't concerns for the majority of the US electorate (especially those comfortably within the bourgeoisie).

Posted by: Anne | Nov 13 2020 19:40 utc | 81

For a better possible explanation of why Trump is shuffling the deck at the Pentagon, etc., see the editorial by Ray McGovern over at Consortium News. With Trump it's always personal, and this is probably no different - he wants a final win for himself wrt Russiagate.

As for Afghanistan: every time it comes up as to the possibility of the US fully pulling out, I feel I have to make this argument - because I think it's valid. The US is not going to leave Afghanistan because it wishes to deny that space and its resources to China. Valuable and rare metals and other minerals.

If this is what Trump really wishes why didn't he do it until now? The answer is that it is not what Trump really wishes. If he has any thoughts on it at all I'm betting it is as he expressed some time back that for all the US investment there we have nothing to show for it. Because he doesn't think strategically, he doesn't understand the "win" of denying Afghanistan to China. But the full team full court press against China does understand this, and the only Chinese option as long as US military presence is there, is to directly confront that military there. Now, what are the chances of that happening? I won't wager a guess.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Nov 13 2020 20:06 utc | 82

I'm not sure it makes much difference what Washington thinks over Syria. The US is on its way out. sooner or later. The Arab tribal forces (the actual owners of the oil-field land) have decided for Asad, and surround the US oil-field garrisons. The garrisons can of course resist for ever, and nobody will contest it, even allow the passage of high-profile convoys. But it becomes more and more pointless.

Same in Iraq, where US garrisons are increasingly isolated.

Even more in Afghanistan, where the US is completely irrelevant to local politics.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 13 2020 20:09 utc | 83

@juliania | Nov 13 2020 17:31 utc | 53

If Biden attempts to reinstate war, there ought to be a multimillion person march on Washington.

Indeed, but there should really be no if here. The election is a total fraud chaos, most likely Trump won by a large margin. There should be a multimillion march on Washington to completely re-do the election, with international observers and no voting machines. The alternative is a final goodbye to any democratic pretense.

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 13 2020 20:10 utc | 84

Posted by: arby | Nov 13 2020 19:21 utc | 77

Yes, if anything, they (Putin, Lavrov, etc.) became even more disappointed in the West.

This is just the Trump Admin thinking:

MAGA means to secure US world domination --> therefore US must beat the biggest competitor - China --> therefore US must get Russia away from China to isolate China --> Trump offers Russia to join a new group: US + EU + Japan + India + Australia to isolate China.

I said all of that in the context of b's view that Trump is some kind of non-aggressive president, isolationist or something like this.

I disagree with that view and i belive that Trump intends to make "America Great Again" by starting a New Cold War and destroying the competition - in his views currently China, but later probably Russia too. I think he is a first class imperialist. Which does not mean that Biden won't be an imperialist either.

MAGA means another Cold War to make America Great Again. Not isolationism. Leave distracting Afghanistan type backwaters etc. in order to concentrate on the real enemy, in fight for world domination.

Posted by: Passer by | Nov 13 2020 20:11 utc | 85

" Are Israel and the USA planning an imminent attack on Iran?"

Posted by: _K_C_ | Nov 13 2020 15:51 utc | 36

Yeah, I saw that report. I'm as unconvinced as ever. The people who blackballed such an attack in 2012, and again in 2018, were the military, as impractical, without suffering excessive losses. The situation hasn't changed.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 13 2020 20:21 utc | 86

@librul | Nov 13 2020 18:37 utc | 68

Interesting scenario. Why would Harris be forced resign?

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 13 2020 20:21 utc | 87

Certainly newly elected Senator Biden will simply reinvade Turkey and Arabia. No, he means Vietnam and Korea.

Or some of those countries over there anyway. You know the thing,man.

Posted by: Liberty Blogger | Nov 13 2020 20:26 utc | 88

@Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 13 2020 20:21 utc | 87

@librul | Nov 13 2020 18:37 utc | 68

Interesting scenario. Why would Harris be forced resign?

Only her handlers know (besides Harris, of course). It is like Obama. He would
never have been brought out of relative obscurity had there not been something
in his past that could be used as a leash.

Posted by: librul | Nov 13 2020 20:27 utc | 89

@librul | Nov 13 2020 20:27 utc | 89

I see, It could be so. I suspect the same wrt. "The General Secretary of NATO", Jens Stoltenberg.

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 13 2020 20:32 utc | 90

@ Groucho | Nov 13 2020 17:49 utc | 58 quote "If Trump had taken these measures 3 years ago as he promised during the 2016 campaign he would have won the election. He can still secure his legacy by forcing the withdrawal as B suggests and pardoning Snowden and Assange."

@ Kevin | Nov 13 2020 17:57 utc | 60 quote. "Eisenhower did not give his “Military Industrial Complex” speech until his last day in office."

thanks for both your comments..

groucho - i can't see it happening myself... i to believe trump is very much a part of the machine.. i wish it was different, but as i have said many times - there is only one party - the war party... not two... it really doesn't make much difference who gets elected in the usa at this point...

Posted by: james | Nov 13 2020 20:55 utc | 91

Passer by | Nov 13 2020 19:03 utc | 72 (China, Martyanov) some thoughts.

(this does drift off topic somewhat, my apologies, but it seem salient)

assuming the stated claims as true, more or less, leads to the strong implication that China's military strength is inferior to the US military strength at the time, and for a while. What does that imply about a conflict outcome?

Well, in 1950 when the Korean Quisling fascists and the Partisan Communist Army fought and the US backed the fascists, the massively inferior Chinese Army very nearly pushed the superior US forces into the sea. Withal, the US lost - despite germ war (Jeff Kaye et al) - as everyone can see, but that's a loss the realpolitik cannot admit to. There's an armistice, the war goes on, and the Commies are winning in the sense that the fascist side is considering kicking out the yanks...and in the sense that it's the Chinese Century...

The salient point is that the disparity between Chimil and USmil was much greater in 1950 than it is not.

More important is that superiority and inferiority are not very useful measures. Strategy is indirect and also focused - in the littoral regions of China the PLA will fight to the last man? Yeah. They will. In that arena China hold all aces. "When a Chinese Submarine Surfaced Next To The USS Kitty Hawk in 2006" (and that was then!) tinyurl [dot] com/y4cxyvmz

Strength is often a matter of "hulabaloo in west, attack in east", or as the Germans might say "Schwerpunkt", not so much the overall disposition of forces.

Can the Imperial Navy remain credible, and thus useful, if a battle fleet is sunk in the Taiwan Strait? That can happen, I think.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 13 2020 21:00 utc | 92

Stephane | Nov 13 2020 17:14 utc | 49

What happens to a personnel when he is court martialed ? Is it death penalty ?

A Court Martial is a court. It decides on the punishment, the same as civilian courts do.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Nov 13 2020 21:18 utc | 93

Laguerre | Nov 13 2020 20:09 utc | 83

Agreed, and, as someone pointed out the last time I made the argument, it always boils down to money doesn't it? Cut Uncle Sugar in for a piece of the take and everything will be chummy.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Nov 13 2020 21:33 utc | 94

Posted by: Beibdnn | Nov 13 2020 17:40 utc | 56

Yes! Consider what the situation would be were the situation reversed and the USA had, say, 2,000 dead and 20,000 infected with Covid-19, while China had say 1,200,000 dead and 25 million infected while the USA's economy was booming and China was in the depths of a terrible slump, with no end in sight. Would the warmongers and plotters in the corridors of Power in Washington sit on their hands and watch while this "opportunity" unfolded? I think not!

Posted by: foolisholdman | Nov 13 2020 21:33 utc | 95

Posted by: Walter | Nov 13 2020 21:00 utc | 92

As Per Korea, the US has never been a strong land power. It is a typical sea power.

Yes, the disparity between China and the US is far lower than in the 1950s.

Yet, the military expert (who is not fan of the US at all) says that the US can impose a naval blockade on China, and for that it does not even need to move into the littoral waters, where it will be vulnerable to China.

The US nuclear submarine fleet, which is the strongest in the world, according to Martyanov, can effectively block the oceans for China, whose blue water navy is lacking, even behind Russia's navy in some capabilities.

I may not agree if the expert was american, but this is russian expert, who does not even like the US.

So how do you propose that China will break US submarine blockade of the Indian Ocean, where most of China's SLOCs pass?

Posted by: Passer by | Nov 13 2020 21:34 utc | 96

Posted by: Walter | Nov 13 2020 21:00 utc | 92

I'm sure that the US military is superior to that of China, but I'm equally sure there will never be a head-to-head. Chinese policy is to recover its former territories, including Taiwan, but they are ready to wait, it seems.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 13 2020 21:40 utc | 97

@Passer By 62.

Splitting Russia from China is the wet dream of Washington. It’s not going to happen. Russia is NOT going to boycott China in anything. For a country in such a precarious position, they certainly don’t seem to be too worried by what the U.S. might be able to do.
Certainly there are areas of technology where China is behind but look at it this way, it took them less than 30 years to get from a 3rd world country in technologcal terms to where they are at least equal in many ways with the west and in front in some.
You may dismiss 6G as irrelevant, it isn’t as it’s certain to utilise advanced AI that the west is still to evolve. So they have to advance in certain areas of manfacturing techniques and design?
China is well aware of where it is lacking and is putting into operation yet another 5 year plan to remediate this. By 2025 they intend to be completely self sufficient in all aspects of technology. I wouldn’t bet against them and for certain Russia is willing to help them bridge that gap.

Posted by: Beibdnn | Nov 13 2020 21:49 utc | 98

Do-over?

FEC Chairman Says He Believes 'There Is Voter Fraud' In Key States

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/fec-chairman-says-he-believes-there-voter-fraud-key-states

[FEC Chairman] "Trainor, an appointee of President Donald Trump, noted that state laws allow those observers to be there, and “if they’re not,” then it’s an “illegitimate election.”"

Posted by: librul | Nov 13 2020 21:49 utc | 99

Walter @92

If the shooting started in the Taiwan Strait these days it would be a massacre. The only way American ships could make it out alive in a fight there would be if the Chinese deliberately allowed them to escape. I am still of the opinion that the Chinese intention is to try and spring the Thucydides Trap in the South China Sea, though. The Chinese are not so naive as to think the US wouldn't employ total war against China's civilian population like America has done in every war since the 1860s. This means that the inevitable conflict must be kept at arm's length from China's mainland. Protecting the civilians is something that the Chinese leadership actually takes seriously. Even so, China's military isn't being structured for global force projection, so the fight needs to still be relatively nearby. The South China Sea is near enough that logistics won't be a problem for China, but at the same time it is far enough from the mainland that there is no way for America to be able to justify their trademark gratuitous civilian slaughter.

The probability of this goes way up now that the PNAC crowd have gotten their domestic troubles under control.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 13 2020 21:49 utc | 100

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