Jump to content


Trump's Supposed Foreign Policy "Pivot"


143 replies to this topic

#1 LFC

    Fiscal Conservative

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 32996 posts
  • LocationPennsylvania

Posted 12 September 2019 - 03:53 PM

With the firing of uber-hawk John Bolton there seems to be a rumble about a foreign policy "pivot" by Donald Trump. I've seen various things pop up about it and I'll lead off with the ever excellent Josh Marshall's take. The upshot is that he believes Trump will begin to pivot because he's absolutely desperate as the elections are approaching and poll after poll show him to be unpopular and losing to every leading Democratic candidate. It's all worth a read, especially for the details of how Trump took an initial overture to the Taliban and ran with it as a full blown solution.

Quote

Here is where I think the picture comes together. This isn’t 12-dimensional chess. It’s not Trump becoming a peacenik. The real story is at home on the political front. We are all collectively paranoid about the possibility that Trump will be reelected given the catastrophic consequences of such an event and the fact that he managed to get elected — seemingly against all the odds — in 2016. But even for Trump the emerging reality of the situation can’t be glossed over. He is stuck down at about 40–42% approval after almost three years in office. The Democratic frontrunner consistently beats him by double digits in every head-to-head poll. Just in the last month or so now all the other major contenders are beating him too, often by upwards of a ten point margin. The economy seems to be slackening. Whether we’re moving into an election-year recession isn’t clear. But it seems very clear that the economy won’t be better in a year than it is now. There is a very high likelihood that it will be weaker, whether or not it goes into actual recession.

Trump is, in a word for all his puffery and bragging, starting to feel desperate. Unpopular wars don’t win elections. His political desperation has sent him headlong in search for “deals” that he can play as “wins” for a domestic audience. You can see it with Iran. You can see it with the Taliban. We have long seen it with North Korea and it’s clear that messing up his chances for a deal was a main irritant that drove his displeasure with Bolton. We may even end up seeing it with China, though there he may feel that his manhood and brand are too invested in the fight.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#2 LFC

    Fiscal Conservative

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 32996 posts
  • LocationPennsylvania

Posted 12 September 2019 - 04:02 PM

Next up we have the also most excellent Daniel Larison. While Marshall has some faith that Trump's foreign policy might improve just out of desperation Larison feels that even if he tries to change he's going to blow it. The line he uses is, "The president's vanity kills diplomacy", the title of a piece he wrote 2 days earlier which is worth a read as well.

Quote

The president may want glitzy meetings, and he may want to create the illusion that he is having diplomatic success, but as I said after his Afghanistan debacle just a few days ago “he doesn’t have the concentration or discipline to complete any diplomatic initiative.” There is no question that he wants the credit, but he cares more about getting the credit than he does about securing the agreement. The president’s vanity kills diplomacy. As we just saw with his on-again, off-again meeting with the Taliban, if Trump doesn’t get to put on his self-aggrandizing show he would prefer to sink painstaking negotiations to end America’s longest war. If Trump is trying to pivot to “dealmaking,” he got off to a remarkably lousy start by killing the Afghanistan negotiations for no good reason.


As much as I respect Marshall, and as close as the two are actually in their opinions of Trump, I think Larison makes the stronger case. There's literally no sign that Trump can pull of any kind of deal and his uncontrollable desire to gain praise (his number one objective in any agreement) will kill anything that he can't call a personal (not national) "win" and doesn't lend itself to reflecting the greater glory of Dear Leader. All you have to do is watch how he preens about signing bills or stupid executive orders. He requires praise for the most mundane things. (I can just hear Donald yelling, "Melania! Melania! Come here! Quick! I made a poop! It's a big one!")
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#3 Beelzebuddy

    Convenient Target of Irrational Fears

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2305 posts
  • LocationAustin

Posted 12 September 2019 - 04:59 PM

Quote

I can just hear Donald yelling, "Melania! Melania! Come here! Quick! I made a poop! It's a big one!"
Doesn't everyone do this?
Fear Sells!

Cui bono?

"The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology." - EO Wilson.

"Hell is truth seen too late" - T Hobbes

#4 Traveler

    Rambling Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 13510 posts
  • LocationPhilly Area

Posted 12 September 2019 - 05:02 PM

I am cautiously optimistic that China will actually come to a deal. Whether enforceable or not, that is another story. But you have to give him credit for taking that on. Jes sayin'.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#5 LFC

    Fiscal Conservative

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 32996 posts
  • LocationPennsylvania

Posted 12 September 2019 - 05:11 PM

View PostLFC, on 12 September 2019 - 04:02 PM, said:

(I can just hear Donald yelling, "Melania! Melania! Come here! Quick! I made a poop! It's a big one!")

View PostBeelzebuddy, on 12 September 2019 - 04:59 PM, said:

Doesn't everyone do this?

It would be kinda' of odd, especially if nobody named Melania lives in your house.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#6 LFC

    Fiscal Conservative

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 32996 posts
  • LocationPennsylvania

Posted 12 September 2019 - 05:13 PM

Trump says that Bolton was holding him back from being harder on Venezuela and Cuba. Sooooo, how about that pivot, eh?

Quote

President Donald Trump on Thursday warned that the exit of his hawkish national security advisor won’t bring a softening of the US position on Venezuela.

Bolton, a prominent hardliner in Washington’s attempt to pressure Venezuelan strongman President Nicolas Maduro from power, was sacked Tuesday.

This sparked speculation in some media outlets that Trump might seek a more conciliatory line.

However, the president indicated on Twitter that his policies could instead harden.

“In fact, my views on Venezuela, and especially Cuba, were far stronger than those of John Bolton. He was holding me back!” he said.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#7 Rich T Bikkies

    Trainee Basil Fawlty. Practising Victor Meldrew

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4736 posts
  • LocationBirmingham, UK

Posted 13 September 2019 - 02:14 AM

 LFC, on 12 September 2019 - 04:02 PM, said:

Next up we have the also most excellent Daniel Larison. While Marshall has some faith that Trump's foreign policy might improve just out of desperation Larison feels that even if he tries to change he's going to blow it. The line he uses is, "The president's vanity kills diplomacy", the title of a piece he wrote 2 days earlier which is worth a read as well.




As much as I respect Marshall, and as close as the two are actually in their opinions of Trump, I think Larison makes the stronger case. There's literally no sign that Trump can pull of any kind of deal and his uncontrollable desire to gain praise (his number one objective in any agreement) will kill anything that he can't call a personal (not national) "win" and doesn't lend itself to reflecting the greater glory of Dear Leader. All you have to do is watch how he preens about signing bills or stupid executive orders. He requires praise for the most mundane things. (I can just hear Donald yelling, "Melania! Melania! Come here! Quick! I made a poop! It's a big one!")

1000 Likes. Your last parenthesis really swings it for me, and it's so you!
Reality is a hallucination caused by alcohol deprivation.

Only Satan can rebuke sin. The righteous don't know enough.
Rudyard Kipling

God is not dead. He was merely voted out of office.

You can do anything with anybody if you just save them the trouble of thinking.
Rudyard Kipling

People don’t believe in ideas: they believe in people who believe in ideas. Ze’ev Mankowitz

#8 indy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 9393 posts

Posted 13 September 2019 - 06:18 AM

I think carrying out an initiative is difficult for every president. It's just a long slog given the number of stakeholders who must usually be brought to the table. That's why a competent staff is necessary, so they can do all the stuff that wears you down and all the follow-up work. Even if Trump had a laser focus, which obviously he does not, he doesn't currently have a staff that knows the ins and outs of getting these things done, or even one that knows anything at all except where the exits to the building are.

#9 LFC

    Fiscal Conservative

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 32996 posts
  • LocationPennsylvania

Posted 13 September 2019 - 10:06 AM

 indy, on 13 September 2019 - 06:18 AM, said:

Even if Trump had a laser focus, which obviously he does not, he doesn't currently have a staff that knows the ins and outs of getting these things done, or even one that knows anything at all except where the exits to the building are.

Definitely true when it comes to foreign policy, not so true when it comes to tearing down regulations to externalize costs for industry. There he has a massive staff. Just none of them actually work for the White House.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#10 golden_valley

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6439 posts
  • LocationNorthern California

Posted 13 September 2019 - 10:29 AM

 LFC, on 13 September 2019 - 10:06 AM, said:

Definitely true when it comes to foreign policy, not so true when it comes to tearing down regulations to externalize costs for industry. There he has a massive staff. Just none of them actually work for the White House.

Destroying is easier than creating.

#11 AnBr

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 14379 posts

Posted 07 October 2019 - 09:48 AM

US to let Turkish forces move into Syria, dumping Kurdish allies
“Trump’s a stupid man’s idea of a smart person, a poor man’s idea of a rich person & a weak man’s idea of a strong man.”

— Fran Lebowitz


“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

— Carl Sagan


Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, 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.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#12 golden_valley

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6439 posts
  • LocationNorthern California

Posted 07 October 2019 - 10:20 AM

I wonder if the transcript of the Erdogen/Trump conversation will end up in the special place that the Zelensky/Trump transcript resides in.

My first reaction to reading about this was SQUIRREL! Time to distract from impeachment and the federal court ordering 8 years of tax forms to be released.

#13 indy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 9393 posts

Posted 07 October 2019 - 10:50 AM

Lindsay Graham is running around threatening veto proof bipartisan legislation to fix the situation when he can spare a moment from boot licking.

#14 LFC

    Fiscal Conservative

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 32996 posts
  • LocationPennsylvania

Posted 07 October 2019 - 12:23 PM

 AnBr, on 07 October 2019 - 09:48 AM, said:


I feel so badly for the Kurds. They get f***ed in every direction and not uncommonly by the U.S. This is just flat out betrayal.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#15 indy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 9393 posts

Posted 07 October 2019 - 03:22 PM

Quote

#Breaking #Turkey carried out attacks on #Kurdish forces and the @cmoc_sdf in #Syria and #Iraq after the United States announced that it would withdraw from Syria.

https://twitter.com/...292361676197889

#16 LFC

    Fiscal Conservative

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 32996 posts
  • LocationPennsylvania

Posted 07 October 2019 - 03:58 PM

[sigh] I miss the days when Republicans had conservatives and patriots in their ranks.

Quote

Former President George W. Bush officials Andy Card and Colin Powell are now sounding off President Trump’s attempt to strong-arm foreign governments to manufacture dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and lending credence into Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

During an “MSNBC Live” segment Monday morning, former Bush White House chief of staff Andy Card said that the impeachment inquiry was “warranted.” However, Card said he thought Trump’s call for China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter was “frivolous.”

When asked about why he views Trump’s China comment as not “a serious request,” Card responded that he thinks the President “speaks with hyperbole far too much.”

“He wants you to come in to see the freak show,” Card said. “So I don’t always agree with what he says and how he says it — I wish he would be more careful with the language he uses, the tweets he sends out. But I do think that an impeachment inquiry is warranted. Clearly, lines have been crossed.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#17 Traveler

    Rambling Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 13510 posts
  • LocationPhilly Area

Posted 07 October 2019 - 04:10 PM

Was he unaware that this same allegation was stated in an earlier conversation between trump and Xi? And taped?
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#18 indy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 9393 posts

Posted 07 October 2019 - 07:02 PM

I'll highlight one paragraph from this article (which is certainly worth reading in its entirety):

Quote

Votel’s force in Syria was relatively small, but it required a steady supply of food, ammunition, parts, and medical supplies, and regular troop rotations. The avenue for these vital conveyances—through hundreds of miles of hazardous Iraqi desert—was truck convoys, protected almost exclusively by the SDF. To protect its troops during a retreat, America could have brought in its own troops or replaced those truck convoys with airlifts, but either step would have meant suddenly escalating an engagement that the president had just pronounced finished.

Hey, thanks for protecting our convoys. Now, fuck you.

#19 LFC

    Fiscal Conservative

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 32996 posts
  • LocationPennsylvania

Posted 07 October 2019 - 07:29 PM

Krugman nails it. Well, broadly nails it showing just how awful Trump really is.

Posted Image
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#20 LFC

    Fiscal Conservative

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 32996 posts
  • LocationPennsylvania

Posted 08 October 2019 - 09:47 AM

What a f***ing dipshit.

Quote

What a difference a day (and a ton of criticism) makes. Donald Trump has softened his rhetoric toward the Kurdish people a day after he was condemned by Republicans over his decision to abandon the Kurds in Syria. The White House announced late Sunday it would withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and leave America’s Kurdish allies open to invasion from Turkey. On Monday, Trump essentially said “tough luck” to them and said they had been paid for their services so it was no longer America’s problem. That message changed Tuesday morning, when the president’s language was dramatically different. “We may be in the process of leaving Syria, but in no way have we Abandoned the Kurds, who are special people and wonderful fighters,” he wrote. “Any unforced or unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy and to their very fragile currency.” NBC News confirmed Tuesday that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been invited to visit the White house next month.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users