The Russian Planning for Next Week’s Summit is Going Well!

There’s a reason that both Finland and Sweden have moved towards a war footing over the past year and this type of Russian military behavior is it.

There’s already been a lot of commentary this week about the President, his attitudes toward NATO and the EU, what may or may not happen at the NATO summit this week, speculation about worst case scenarios over what the President might do at the NATO summit this week, and speculation about worst case scenarios over what the President might do at his one on one summit with Vladimir Putin next week. There’s not much more that both can be said and/or needs to be said. Expect it to be bad and hope it isn’t the worst case.

The President of the United States does not believe in alliances. This is one of the few consistent positions he’s held and, as we’ve discussed here repeatedly, it dates back to 1987. The President of the United States views every relationship as zero-sum. That in order for one side to win, the other side has to lose. And that for the President winning means not just coming out ahead, but doing so by cruelly punishing one’s counter-party. And the President doesn’t really have any understanding of, nor care to learn anything about, why the US built the post World War II and then the post Cold War order the way it did. As I wrote back in January 2017:

It is true that both NATO and the EU were created at a different time and for reasons that are only partially why they are important today. The real genius of both NATO and the EU, regardless of how they’ve developed and recognizing that no institution or organization ever develops perfectly and that reasonable, rational adjustments to both institutions should be made as needed, is that they knit Europe together. Despite what the populist-nationalist or national-populists or whatever they finally agree on calling themselves say, the purpose of NATO and the EU isn’t the destruction of sovereignty or national independence. Rather both organizations serve as a forcing function. They force the European member states of both organizations to work together, to cooperate, to recognize that sometimes there are bigger and more important issues than simply national interests.

The proof that NATO and the EU have been successful is that there has not been a war in Europe between European states over national interests*, including national pride or economic disputes since the end of World War II. By stitching Britain and France and Germany and Belgium and Denmark and Spain and Portugal and France and Greece and Italy and Iceland and Norway and now all the member countries from Central and Eastern Europe together, NATO has made war in Europe among the Europeans less likely. The same for the EU. When Germany and France have a dispute they and their allies no longer spill blood and treasure across the fields of Belgium. Instead they meet in Belgium and talk it out. The forcing function, forcing these states and societies to work together, means that the uniformed and civilian personnel of all these countries have studied and travelled and worked and vacationed all over Europe. They all have counterparts and colleagues from the other European NATO and EU member states. Their children’s friends are the children of their colleagues from other countries. This is the real, tangible benefit of the EU and NATO. It’s not a common market or a mutual defense pact. The real benefit is that the EU and NATO have broken the reality of over a thousand years of conflicts, capped off by World Wars I and II, in Europe and among the people of the nation-states that make up Europe.

This is what the President doesn’t understand, doesn’t want to understand, and even if he was forced to learn it, would discount it because it makes no sense to how he understands the world. For the President the world – the personal world, the professional/business world, the world of politics, and the global system – are red in tooth and claw. They are all a war of all against all where the strong survive and the weak are prey. And might makes right. NATO and the EU were designed and intended to break that dynamic within both Europe and the global system. To break the constant cycles of a war every generation in the core of Europe. Wars that in the 20th Century came very close to consuming the entire world. Preventing that, even if it appears costly in up front commitments, is a tremendous bargain in preventing the waste of blood and treasure that a major war in Europe would cost.

Open thread!

* I am aware that the conflict in the Balkans, the war between the Serbs, Croats, and Muslims of what was Yugoslavia, was a European war. However, it was on the periphery of Europe and didn’t divide the continent and lead to a broader war such as World War I or World War II. More recently, Russian irredentist violence in Georgia, Crimea, and the Donbass is also war, but here too the major powers at the core of Europe haven’t take sides against each other leading to a much broader and deadlier conflict. This isn’t to downplay the reality, the suffering, the destruction, and the loss of life in any of these conflicts, just to put them in perspective.

133 replies
  1. 1
    jacy says:

    There was a plotline in last season’s Mr. Robot where China was allowed to annex the Congo through backdoor trading with the US. If you substitute Russia for China, it doesn’t seem farfetched. I really think Russia has some ambitions that people will think unbelievable until they execute them. (The ambitions, not the people. Although I’m sure they would execute the people too…..)

    (Also for Trump, there is only TRUMP and NOT-TRUMP. Everything NOT-TRUMP is bad or expendable. So I have to believe the Russians have something that would very much hurt TRUMP. Otherwise they would be expendable also.)

  2. 2
    Yutsano says:

    I am aware that the conflict in the Balkans, the war between the Serbs, Croats, and Muslims of what was Yugoslavia, was a European war.

    To be fair, none of those countries was in the European Union at the time. It’s hard to say if membership would have helped, but it’s possible.

    EDIT: does this mean Winter War 2.0?

  3. 3
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jacy:

  4. 4
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yutsano: I added that because last time several people got very upset that I’d seem to forgotten that what would become the Balkan states had been involved with an internal sectarian war in post Soviet Yugoslavia.

  5. 5
    Roger Moore says:

    The President of the United States views every relationship as zero-sum. That in order for one side to win, the other side has to lose.

    And, as I’ve said elsewhere, it means he assumes that if the other guy is losing, he must be winning. That’s at least as dangerous a part of his worldview as the belief the other guy must lose in order for him to win. It means he’s more than happy to adopt terrible lose/lose strategies because he’s sure that damaging the other guy must help him.

  6. 6
    Captain C says:

    So if Trump starts moving to leave NATO, as Europe fears, is that when we start seeing real leakage from Western intelligence agencies?

  7. 7
    lollipopguild says:

    If the Russians kidnap trump at the conference they get to keep him.

  8. 8
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yutsano: I doubt it. Mattis is traveling with the President. So my guess is he’ll keep most of the lid on in regard to the NATO stuff. The NATO and EU leadership already know that the President has a line of BS he’s going to push, including bitching about NATO funding as if 1) it’s like the dues at a country club and 2) it’s like the dues at one of his country clubs and he’s personally had to go out of pocket to cover the arrears. They’re unfortunately prepared for that. The bigger concern, I think, is what he agrees to once he gets alone with Putin. They saw what happened, and have read the reporting providing the context, of what happened when he got alone with Kim – the cancellation of Joint Multinational exercises with the ROK and Japan.

  9. 9
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yutsano: What’s described in this thread is more troubling.


    (there’s 17 tweets total)

  10. 10
    NonyNony says:

    @Roger Moore: Right. Not only does Trump not believe in win-win, he also doesn’t believe in lose-lose. It’s terrifying when you realize what that means for international relations.

  11. 11
    rikyrah says:

    The entire thing is ridiculous 😠 😠

  12. 12
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Roger Moore: It also doesn’t help that he thinks he knows the price of everything, which he doesn’t, and he knows the value of nothing.

  13. 13
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Captain C: They will leak when they feel it is in their best interests to do so and when they think it will achieve maximum effect.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: Try tilting your head and squinting, you’ll see it…//

  16. 16
    Mike in NC says:

    Expect that the sham Trump-Putin summit will include a joint resolution that Crimea is ceded to Russia forever, and current sanctions are “under review” for lifting.

  17. 17
    MisterForkbeard says:

    More recently, Russian irredentist violence in Georgia, Crimea, and the Donbass is also war…

    Is irredentist like “irregardless”? I have visions of hordes of russian dentists causing violence. Combat dentists, perhaps.

  18. 18
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @Captain C: You’d have thought they would have started long before now.

  19. 19
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Good luck. They’ll drag you down too Xi.

  20. 20
    JTL says:

    @Captain C: “Real leakage” – I see what you did there.

  21. 21
    randy khan says:

    Can I be a pedant for a minute and point out that it’s “worst case scenario”?

  22. 22
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Now that I think about it, would the PRC make the same stupid mistakes we did re:ME and get embroiled in military conflicts they can’t win?

  23. 23
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Ha ha. Not holding my breath.

  24. 24
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Technical term in international relations/international security. It specifically refers to an actor – usually state, but sometimes non-state – who refuses to recognize established borders and attempts to expand on the basis of historical claims to specific territory using low intensity warfare. It is often accompanied by claims of historical wrongdoing by the side ignoring the established border and engaging in the low intensity warfare to scarf up it’s neighbor’s land.

  25. 25
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Sounds like Vladimir Vladimirovich all right.

  26. 26
    piratedan says:

    I’m sure that the Finns and Swedes and Latvians are all feeling incredibly secure right now… (and tbh, I’m not sure that the Lithuanians, Ukrainians and Estonians feel any different either.

  27. 27
    Calouste says:

    Someone summed up European history as:
    war, war, war, war,war,war,war, bickering over the shape of bananas.

  28. 28
    sukabi says:

    The President of the United States does not believe in alliances.

    Don’t think that’s quite true. He seems more than happy to align himself with Putin.

  29. 29
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @randy khan:

    wurst case scenario

    I’m a fan of natural casings too!

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: Unlikely. They basically show up, pump a ton of money in to the wealthy elites, make significant infrastructure improvements using their own labor brought from China, then get out while maintaining a patron-client relationship.

  31. 31

    @sukabi: That’s not an alliance, that’s Trump owing Putin money.

  32. 32
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I fail to see any connection to dentistry. I declare this word “bad”.

    Thanks for the explanation!

    @Adam L Silverman: It helps that China doesn’t really pretend to have any interest in human rights and stays out of religious battles, I suppose.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sukabi: That’s not an alliance. That’s a patron-client relationship.

  35. 35
    Major Major Major Major says:

    @randy khan: This is a pedantry-free blog!

  36. 36

    @Major Major Major Major:

    This is a pedantry-free blog!

    When did this happen?

  37. 37
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MisterForkbeard: I’ve used that term in professional writing since I was in grad school in the 90s. For over 20 years my Mother has, whenever I’ve used it in explaining something to her in terms of global politics, repeatedly told me she doesn’t believe this is a real word.

  38. 38
    TenguPhule says:

    and hope it isn’t the worst case.

    This hasn’t served us well so far.

  39. 39
    TenguPhule says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    When did this happen?

    After the Cubs won the World Series. Because really, what matters after that?

  40. 40
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I don’t play tennis or any related sport.

  41. 41
    dm says:

    Unlike US-South Korean exercises, this Russian picnic on the Baltic is not provocative at all. No need for Russia to stop them, I’m sure.

  42. 42

    @TenguPhule:

    After the Cubs won the World Series.

    I warned y’all about that, did y’all listen to ol’ Bill, NO.

  43. 43
    TenguPhule says:

    They are all a war of all against all where the strong survive and the weak are prey. And might makes right.

    Sure sounds like someone who plans to peacefully turn over power to a duly elected Democrat. //

  44. 44

    @Adam L Silverman: Don’t give up the day job Adam.

  45. 45
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    They basically show up, pump a ton of money in to the wealthy elites, make significant infrastructure improvements using their own labor brought from China, then get out while maintaining a patron-client relationship.

    They’ve been doing this all across the African continent since the early 1980’s.

  46. 46
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Someone is fishing for an uninterrupted oil supply.

  47. 47
  48. 48

    @TenguPhule:

    Sure sounds like someone who plans to peacefully turn over power to a duly elected Democrat.

    Have you seen Trump on the TV machine lately? The Lord will provide.

  49. 49
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    They will leak when they feel it is in their best interests to do so and when they think it will achieve maximum effect.

    What are they waiting for? A trade war? Trump abandoning NATO? American Airstrikes against the EU?

  50. 50
    Hoodie says:

    So, does Trump get his wish and Germany rearms, except they tell him to take a flying fuck? Seems like an easy way for Merkel to politically outmaneuver the AfD, a lot of Germans would forget about immigration at the prospect of being a world power that supplants the US, at least in Europe.

  51. 51
    TenguPhule says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    The Lord will provide.

    Yes, but I’m afraid to whom.

  52. 52
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: Yep.

  53. 53
    B.B.A. says:

    Until January 20, 2021, NATO is defunct and the US is effectively part of CSTO (the alliance formerly known as the Warsaw Pact).

  54. 54
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    That’s when the Secret Service drags him out of the White House. Even if he were to be re-elected, he’ll still be term-limited. There’s no getting around the 22nd amendment.

  55. 55
    oatler. says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Pedantry? If I may quote the first Lord Beaverbrook on this point, “Honorificabilitudinitatibus .”

  56. 56
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Listen to your mother, son. She might be onto something.

    Then again, my mother tells me that using the word “instance” for software is nonsense, so maybe this is bad advice.

  57. 57
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    There’s no getting around the 22nd amendment.

    5 SC Justices can make that mean whatever the hell they want it to mean.

    Bush vs Gore. Assume nothing is certain. Not even the Constitution, when it comes to Republican interpretation of it.

  58. 58
    B.B.A. says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: Six and a half years is a long time. I’m more worried that in two and a half years he’ll scream RIGGED FAKE NEWS DEEP STATE CROOKED HILLARY and it’ll convince enough SoSes and Republicans in Congress to refuse to certify the results and award him another term by default.

    That or, even more frighteningly, he’ll win legitimately.

  59. 59
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Now you’re being obtuse for the sake of dystopiaporn.

    No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice

    Sounds pretty crystal clear to me and leaves little room for loopholes. And before you say that the justices will say anything to keep Trump in power I say bullshit. Those guys with the exception of Kavange or whatever his name is and Gorsuck have no personal loyalty to him. The GOP itself is the real enemy here and one we’ll have to deal with for many years to come, not Trump.

    Besides, there’s a limit to how much bullshit people will take. Such a blatant, irrational power grab would not go unopposed. If the national GOP somehow went along with it, there would be a civil war.

  60. 60
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @B.B.A.:

    RIGGED FAKE NEWS DEEP STATE CROOKED HILLARY and it’ll convince enough SoSes and Republicans in Congress to refuse to certify the results and award him another term by default.

    That can only ever end in mass violence. Which will likely not end in Trump’s favor.

  61. 61
    Baud says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    When I was at daily Kos during the Bush years, a common meme was that Bush wouldn’t leave office. It seems that liberals love to terrorize themselves to death.

  62. 62
    Major Major Major Major says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    my mother tells me that using the word “instance” for software is nonsense

    Come again?

  63. 63
    chris says:

    @Baud: Heh. “He’s gonna declare martial law and suspend the election!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    Them were the days.

  64. 64
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Baud:
    Seems quaint by comparison, to be honest. TenguPhule is one of those guys that loves imagine worst case scenarios for some reason

  65. 65

    @chris: Yeah, that totally happened.

  66. 66
    B.B.A. says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: Was there mass violence in 2000? I don’t remember any.

  67. 67

    OT: This is what was behind us when we were take Milky Way pics on Saturday.

  68. 68
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I have no idea. Really, utterly none.

    Her background is a German->English translator and teaches German to schoolkids. I’m not sure where this ‘instance’ thing comes from.

  69. 69

    @B.B.A.: There was the Brooks Brothers riot.

  70. 70
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @B.B.A.:
    Brooks Brothers?

    More seriously, that was a different time. Do you honestly think most people today, the same 60%+ who disapprove of Trump, would be willing to accept the gutting of the 22nd amendment? No. I believe that’s a broken norm that would be a bridge too far for many. Term-limits are one of the few bipartisan issues that Americans can broadly agree on. It wouldn’t wash.

  71. 71
  72. 72
    Major Major Major Major says:

    @MisterForkbeard: In library science they speak of ‘manifestations’ and ‘exemplars’ to mean the same thing, which is IMO far clunkier.

  73. 73
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Major Major Major Major: “This is a pedantry-free blog!”

    You are dead to me.

  74. 74
    Major Major Major Major says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Better than dead near you!

  75. 75
    zhena gogolia says:

    @chris:

    I even made a bet on that, and had to pay up.

  76. 76

    @Major Major Major Major: Ah, come on; Steve’s not THAT bad.

  77. 77

    Estonian trivia time:

    A few years back, Estonia and Finland started a ferry service between Sillamäe and Kotka. They had to give it up because Russia was so nasty about passing too close to its borders.

    The New York Times has a backgrounder about the Baltic States’ relationship to Russia. Last weekend was Latvia’s Song Festival. The Song Festivals played a big part in Baltic nationalism and their separation from the Soviet Union. They helped keep their languages and customs alive during the Soviet times. Estonia’s is next year, and I hope to go. It’s bigger than Latvia’s.

    Here’s the only way I know to insert a photo in the comments.

  78. 78
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Baud: When I was at daily Kos during the Bush years, a common meme was that Bush wouldn’t leave office. It seems that liberals love to terrorize themselves to death.

    Seems like a thousand years ago, but I recall being persuaded that he had developed senioritis and just wanted inauguration day to come so he could go home. I recall one example John McCain being late for some kind of WH photo-op that was supposed to make McCain look presidential, so Bush got bored and did a little soft-shoe for reporters outside the White House.

  79. 79

    Also: I would like someone at the NATO meeting to call out Trump on his protection racket nonsense. Probably won’t happen, but a girl can hope.

  80. 80
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    Besides, there’s a limit to how much bullshit people will take.

    Hillary Clinton would like to have word with you.

  81. 81
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Also: I would like someone at the NATO meeting to call out Trump on his protection racket nonsense. Probably won’t happen, but a girl can hope.

    This girl has been dreaming of something like that exact thing for weeks now.

  82. 82
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @chris: @Baud: @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Heh. “He’s gonna declare martial law and suspend the election!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    Them were the days.

    Yup, followed by the days when RWNJs scared each other silly (well, sillier) with stories about how Obama was going to do the same. It’s not going to happen, and just distracts from the real threat, which is the successful and accelerating Republican work on vote suppression.

  83. 83
    Gravenstone says:

    @Captain C: Have to keep him. No backsies!

  84. 84
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    Sounds pretty crystal clear to me and leaves little room for loopholes.

    Donald Trump LLC, a clearly different person from Donald Trump. As Will Donald Trump II LLC be a different person from that.

    Remember, Corporations are people now! The Supreme Court has declared it so.

    Nothing is clear cut when 5 justices make shit up. I refer you to what they did with the 2nd amendment.

  85. 85
    trollhattan says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    He meant to write “pederast-free.”

  86. 86
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    TenguPhule is one of those guys that loves imagine worst case scenarios for some reason

    Dude, Slavery is technically legal again thanks to 5 corrupt SC justices. We’re well into plaid territory.

  87. 87
    lollipopguild says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Term limits always meant term limits for Democrats and not for the GOP. When Newt took power the GOP majority took a vote on term limits and it did not pass.Newt said they HAD PROMISED TO TAKE A VOTE BUT THEY NEVER PROMISED TO PASS TERM LIMITS.

  88. 88

    @Baud: Agreed. Imagining hopeless future scenarios gives a cover to do nothing at present.

  89. 89
    Yutsano says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m just thinking of the last time the Russians underestimated the Finns…and how well that went for them. Finland is quite a bit different from the rest of Europe. They have higher rates of gun ownership and a rather fierce nationalistic pride especially when it comes to the neighbours to the east. Not to mention Russia hasn’t really taken on a military with the capacity of Finland in quite some time.

    Oh and NATO is still quite alive and kicking.

    @Adam L Silverman: Have to read that later tonight when I’m finally home. Familial obligations have been keeping me out later.

    Speaking of which…I do need to get to actually answering your e-mail. Spoilers: the news is positive.

  90. 90
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Corner Stone: I think given Trump’s treatment of Merkel/Trudeau vs Putin/KJU, it’s much more likely that our allies will give it to him straight now.

    They’ve established pretty thoroughly that flattery doesn’t work on Trump if you’re not trying to get him to do something you want anyway. He’ll still attack you even if you’re an ally, so you might as well be forthright AND get some positive press back home.

  91. 91
    Major Major Major Major says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Slavery is technically legal again

    …….

  92. 92
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Its true. Until challenged in court the precedent is now set that requiring reimbursement for services rendered may be considered a violation of the customer’s free speech.

  93. 93
    Major Major Major Major says:

    @TenguPhule: And which case was this?

  94. 94
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Janus v. the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31.

    The anti-union one.

  95. 95
    Haroldo says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m with Mom.

  96. 96
    Major Major Major Major says:

    @TenguPhule: Are you entirely certain you know how to read?

  97. 97
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    I-I can’t. I can’t. This level of paranoia I just can’t take. You pull this shit out of your ass all the time. The demonization of Hillary Clinton is not the same as suddenly declaring that the 22nd amendment doesn’t apply to Trump. It won’t wash.

  98. 98
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    All units, shots have been fired.

  99. 99
    Haroldo says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Is there a specialized use of the word in software development?

  100. 100
    Major Major Major Major says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: I just can’t any more.

  101. 101
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Prior SC precedent requires unions to represent all workers in the group, members or not. Janus just ruled that requiring workers to pay for those services is not legal.

    Unions are now forced to provide services to people no longer required to pay for them.

    What do you call it then?

  102. 102
    Major Major Major Major says:

    This reminds me, I need to get the mobile pie filter fixed.

  103. 103
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    . The demonization of Hillary Clinton is not the same as suddenly declaring that the 22nd amendment doesn’t apply to Trump. It won’t wash.

    I just pointed out that Trump LLC can be appointed as a different person then Donald Trump.

    Is it insane troll logic? Yes. Because we have 4.5, soon to be 5 goddamn trolls on the Supreme Court. They’re making shit out of whole cloth when it comes to law and plain meaning means shit to them. Did you miss Heller, where they literally decided to IGNORE the first part of the Second Amendment in order to justify their ruling?

  104. 104
    Major Major Major Major says:

    @TenguPhule: “Is it insane troll logic? Yes.”

  105. 105
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    But who’s going to follow them? Who will listen to such insanity? His base? They shrinking even now. Don’t you think a fucking corporation owned by DT being appointed president of the United States would be whole lot more noticeable than what came of the Heller decision?

  106. 106
    Major Major Major Major says:

    I’m outta here.

  107. 107
  108. 108
    Mnemosyne says:

    @B.B.A.:

    Mass violence? No. But Bush chickened out of walking the inauguration parade route and his limo got egged by bystanders.

  109. 109
    Procopius says:

    This is a beautiful description of the high-minded liberal ideals put forth to continue NATO after its purpose went away when the Soviet Union no longer threatened to overrun Europe. Unfortunately, it doesn’t describe the real world. I don’t have any quotes from the current commander, General Scapparotti, but General Breedlove, whom he replaced in 2016, was a vocal advocate of invading the Russian Federation. Very much like Hillary.

  110. 110
    Tokyokie says:

    Well, the 5 Scotus fascists could determine that given the irregularities of the 2016 election, that Trump, despite having been certified as such, did not meet the legal electoral requirements needed to achieve office. Therefore, he wasn’t elected the first time and the 22nd Amendment restriction doesn’t apply to him. And they could keep doing this in perpetuity. As for the legality of everything that occurred during the period he served as president without having actually being legally elected to do so, they’d dismiss it as res judicata.

  111. 111
    Brachiator says:

    @Procopius:

    , but General Breedlove, whom he replaced in 2016, was a vocal advocate of invading the Russian Federation. Very much like Hillary.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    You dopes never stop.

  112. 112
    TenguPhule says:

    @Procopius: You are not worth the ruples paid to you, Comrade Bot.

  113. 113
    Procopius says:

    @jacy:

    So I have to believe …

    I’m glad you are honest about your beliefs. I don’t mean to criticize you for holding those beliefs, but many people who hold the same beliefs criticize me for not believing them. I was in high school during the McCarthy/HUAC/John Birch Society Years, and many of their accusations were so obviously phony I just got in the habit of being skeptical, and taking note of when I was being lied to. For example, I noted the announcement in 1963 of the construction of a deep water port at Cam Ranh Bay, which turned out to be necessary for supplying out troops several years later. Quelle surprise. Now I see lots of claims that “the intelligence community” (except for the DIA and the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research and …, which should have opinions) “believes” that Russia hacked the DNC server, but the only evidence they have made public is a report bought and paid for by the DNC. Maybe I’m being contrarian for no good reason, but I believe that if you make extraordinary claims you are required to present extraordinary evidence, and the people selling this story have not.

  114. 114
    TenguPhule says:

    @Procopius:

    Maybe I’m being contrarian for no good reason,

    No maybe about it.

  115. 115
    Brachiator says:

    @Procopius: Wow. You are really committed to your bullshit.

  116. 116
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator: Its copy pasta. I swear I’ve seen that bot’s post before.

  117. 117
    Procopius says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    … the cancellation of Joint Multinational exercises with the ROK and Japan.

    I don’t for a moment believe Trump is going to adhere to that promise, but even if he did, it’s not really necessary to practice the invasion. We didn’t practice the invasion of Iraq beforehand. We’ve been practicing every year for years, and it’s succeeded in keeping tensions high. At the least we will conduct what are called “command post exercises,” involving only officers explaining to each other with maps what they would do and why. What I expect is that Trump will find an excuse to cancel the Singapore Announcement and conduct the exercises in full. Besides, as Pompeo and Bolton have demonstrated, he’s got lots of people in his organization who are going to sabotage him.

  118. 118
    Procopius says:

    @Brachiator: And you’re not?

  119. 119
    Brachiator says:

    @Procopius: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    Done with you.

  120. 120
    TenguPhule says:

    @Procopius:

    I don’t for a moment believe Trump is going to adhere to that promise, but even if he did, it’s not really necessary to practice the invasion.

    Its amazing how every single word in that sentence is a lie.

  121. 121
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Procopius:

    Now I see lots of claims that “the intelligence community” (except for the DIA and the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research and …, which should have opinions)

    It wasn’t a National Intelligence Estimate. As such it made no sense for either DIA or INR or National Geo-Spatial, or Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps Intel, etc to contribute to the report. None of them do national level, counter-intelligence focused on foreign counter-intelligence threats. NSA was involved because it was tasked to get the SIGINT by the Joint Counter-Inteliigence Task Force (now working for Special Counsel Mueller). CIA was involved because it does analysis of foreign threats. FBI was involved because they were running the counter-intel task force. ODNI was involved because it is the coordinating agency, so once NSA collected the SIGINT and sent it to CIA and CIA did the analysis and vetted it, it was pushed to ODNI so that the FBI led counter-intel material could be included, then it went for final review and vetting, and then it was published.

    If you don’t actually know and/or understand how the US Intelligence Community works and which agencies, bureaus, and/or departments do what, perhaps you shouldn’t shoot your mouth off.

  122. 122
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Procopius:

    many of their accusations were so obviously phony I just got in the habit of being skeptical, and taking note of when I was being lied to

    And yet you believed every word of the anti-Hillary propaganda that the right wing fed to you.

    Haven’t you ever wondered why the Russians claimed that Hillary was desperate to invade them? Hint: it ain’t because she was going to do it.

    But you’re a fucking moron, so you ate up the Russian propaganda and begged them for more.

  123. 123
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Procopius: Joint Multinational exercises, like the ones with Japan and the ROK, aren’t practice runs for an invasion. They’re regularly scheduled exercises to make sure that all the allies and partners can operate effectively together (meet or exceed standards) in case it becomes necessary to defend the ROK or Japan. From the DPRK or the PRC or Russia.

    As for Operation Iraqi Freedom: there was significant training prior to the starting the air war. This include 2, 3, and 4 star command level joint and multinational simulations/wargames/and exercises. From putting companies and battalions and brigades in the box at one of our three training centers, one of which is in Germany, to table top simulations at the Geographic Combatant Command (4 star), Service Component Commands (3 star), Corps (3 star), and Division (2 star) HQs.

    As is the case with your lack of knowledge about the intel community, perhaps here too you should not opine as you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about.

  124. 124
    randy khan says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    This is a pedantry-free blog!

    Absolutely. The pedantry is free. You don’t even have to purchase something else.

  125. 125
    J R in WV says:

    @Procopius:

    Yet somehow, in spite of every Democratic office holder wishing for it to be so, no invasion of Russia ever took place…. ever, never!

    Somehow~!!!!~

  126. 126
    hugely says:

    @Steve in the ATL: i gotta say a good rotating tag around here should be “fuck you, pedant”

  127. 127
    J R in WV says:

    And this whole thread should teach me to never un-pie someone I pied a long time ago, right after Major^4 and Alain implemented the automatic pie foundation.

    But it was entertaining, so what the hell~!!!~

    Thanks, Adam, for supporting my unfounded opinions…

  128. 128
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Procopius:

    Very much like Hillary.

    Let’s see a few citations, bucko.

  129. 129
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @J R in WV: 1919. Ha! Gotcha neo-liberal scum.

  130. 130
    J R in WV says:

    @hugely:

    Hey!

    Some of us enjoy our pedantry, butthole! And that’s all speled rightly!!

  131. 131

    Me, writing two years ago about Brexit. Change “EU” for “The alliance of Canada, the EU, Japan, and the USA” and I think I called it. People were tearing the peace apart even before Trump’s election and Russia’s interference, but that for-sure is not helping. I must add now that is seems we are not going keep the peace.

    Brexit: Are We Without the Peace?
    Unraveling, Coming Together, and Reaction

    The purpose of the European Union is to make and keep peace within Europe and in Europe’s relations with the rest of the world. Yet every state within the EU has its reactionary factions, which would rather leave the EU, regardless of consequences. People are driven in to the anti- side by years of steady immiseration and then the hard drop into poverty caused by austerity policies, and there is the queasy sense of loss of national identity.

    If enough of these factions, all alike and all hating each other, come together the global economy will unravel. The networks of trade that make us a rich world, if not all of us rich people, will be dismantled and all nations will be the poorer for it. Refugees will be turned away to be crushed under brutal autocrats. Possibly shooting wars will follow.

    In every country I have examined I can find specific issues, yet somehow all these issues have come together all at once. So I seek a unifying model. In the increasing unification of the world, I think I have found one. The world is now a global village, and people are not comfortable with their new neighbors. I seek in history for parallels, and I find them in the periods before the world wars. As the world become more and more connected, first by rail and telegraph and then by radio, we had vast reactions: World War I and World War II. And, indeed, the world became less unified for a while. But the process of unification continued, and now we have television and the internet, and global challenges that can only be addressed by more unification. And we have a reactionary movement. Dare I hope we can keep the peace?

  132. 132
    Bill Arnold says:

    @NonyNony:

    Right. Not only does Trump not believe in win-win, he also doesn’t believe in lose-lose. It’s terrifying when you realize what that means for international relations.

    This about DJT has creeped me out for a while: It’s breathtakingly stupid on his part; he literally does not understand that many, perhaps most, of the games in the real world are not zero sum. Freaking investipedia:

    Zero-sum games are the opposite of win-win situations – such as a trade agreement that significantly increases trade between two nations – or lose-lose situations, like war for instance. In real life, however, things are not always so clear-cut, and gains and losses are often difficult to quantify.
    In the stock market, trading is often thought of a zero-sum game. However, because trades are made on the basis of future expectations and traders have different preferences for risk, a trade can be mutually beneficial.

    The implication is that, since he always wins (so he believes), anyone he does(/has done) business with loses(/has lost) (so he believes).
    All those condominium buyers? Losers. All of them.

  133. 133
    Peter VE says:

    The Russians are doing training exercises on a Russian island only 40 miles where the 82nd Airborne did training exercises in March ’17. What an offense against the international order!
    Wake me up when they do training exercises in Nuevo Leon.
    https://www.dvidshub.net/news/268622/us-troops-rapidly-assemble-baltics-train-with-estonian-forces

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