The article should acknowledge that almost half the items on Freeman’s list represent bipartisan continuity:
“lost the six-year-long war to depose Assad in Syria… keeping U.S. troops in Syria in violation of international law while succoring ISIS fighters”;
“providing Ukraine, Poland, Romania and other Eastern European nations with offensive weapons”;
“supporting the Kurds in Syria, a move fought by Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey”;
“provides weapons, satellite intelligence, refueling, and other support for Saudi Arabia in its war against Yemen”;
“backing the recent palace coup in Saudi Arabia, one of the most repressive, literally medieval, states in the world”.
This goes under the unqualified to be president category. It was obvious during the campaign that Donald Trump had only the most superficial knowledge of foreign policy, probably far less than the average American. Presidents are usually elected based on their domestic views but they have far ore power when it comes to foreign policy and that is often where they make the biggest difference. George W. Bush wasn’t elected because of his foreign policy but he got the US involved in two wars, Afghanistan and Iraq. Lyndon Johnson wasn’t elected because of foreign policy but he got the US involved in a war against North Vietnam. Trump is a hopeless case because he doesn’t read enough to understand foreign policy in any depth. He is just flailing out with no idea what he doing or what to expect. Foreign policy is now nothing but impulsive actions without a goal. It is if the Id running foreign policy by itself. America’s reputation built during the last 240 years is being thrashed. The world now realizes that there is another America that has remained largely hidden from view and it an America you cannot count on but should be very afraid of. Is there any way to stuff it back in the box? Or will it simply wreck the world?
Trump is indeed a freaking nightmare. But to look at him in isolation would be wrong. Trump and his foreign policy are nothing more then an acceleration of a process already well established. America is a dying empire. An empire based on greed, one created and maintained by a strategy completely devoid of empathy or ethics. Trump is the culmination of our greed, arrogance and bigotry, not the source. The fact that Trump would refer to other countries as “shitholes” is not half as bad as the fact that those very same places are the shitholes of our own creation. We are the ones that plundered their resources and kept their people ignorant and dispossessed. No, we reap what we sow…and it is going to be a very ugly harvest.
According to Lurx, the US reputation in the word was all positive before Trump. “Largely hidden”? What a joke!
The US was at the top of world polls for biggest threat to world peace BEFORE TRUMP.
Pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is emblematic of the destructiveness of a two-year-old? Really?
You are right that the US reputation was not been all positive. It certainly took a hit in the Vietnam war. But I would say much of what we call the “free world” has depended on the US for defense and this has played a large role in creating world stability (relatively speaking). All this could be falling apart because of Trump. Trump could set off an arms race among countries if they can’t depend on the US. This could include nuclear weapons. The effects may not be evident for some time but I think he is a destabilizing force.
Trump is horrific.
Your frame consistently lends false honor to the US “foreign policy establishment” that has wrought HORROR across wide swathes of the world for GENERATIONS since WWII.
Maintaining a false frame as you do, does not allow us to address the horror at the very core of bipartisan US global policy and actions.
Trump is a horror. The horror of the USA goes far deeper than Trump. None of this started in November 2016 or January 2017.
You will ALWAYS apply a false framework, because you are here to provide support for the “liberal” sector of that US foreign policy establishment.
You know, the sector in which Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, George W Bush and Henry Kissinger are so often all on the same page.
As Feffer well knows, the US military and foreign policy establishment has been carrying out a policy and program of “encircling” both Russia and China since the “end” of the Cold War. This has been a bipartisan effort in the US duopoly political system.
The US “Global War On Terror” and PNAC-blueprinted series of wars in the “Middle East” and North Africa has also been a forcefully bipartisan effort.
It is not helpful, if we are to actually understand and confront the forces behind US global military madness, to push a frame in which all was sane before Trump arrived to upset the apple cart. The stage was very well set for Trump’s tantrums.
Trump is “Archie Bunker” as president. Same mentality. Remember how popular that show was? How the country laughed at his mysongyny, racism, homophobia, etc? His studio chair is in the Smithsonian, isn’t it? I’ve traveled recently out of the country to two European countries. People are laughing at Trump. They quickly pick up that he has a limited vocabulary. Archie made up countries and words just like our dear leader. Really, govt in this country is a soap opera. Optics, theatrics, absolutely no substance. Very, very little stand up representation as witnessed by the rolled over surveillance legislation. Carlin said it best, “They don’t give a shit about you.” Neither party. We need the ole progressive party of yesteryear that pushed this country toward real change and toward more equitable outcomes for all folks. It happened; it worked. There are good people who can lead but have to put themselves against the steadfast, bullish two party/one party system. There may be slight differences but when they vote in lockstep to grant the FBI more snooping powers, none are really looking out for our rights. We are being bamboozled by all this daily Trump Dump twit shit. There is a whole world of important news going on and we are focusing on twit dumps everyday. Take a close looks at our military operations in Africa. What’s going on there?
The following quote has been modified to better reflect reality:
I.E. Freeman’s description of Tweetle-Dumb as having a two-year-old’s level of emotional & intellectual development is spot on; his depiction of a world economic order as being stable and especially of it serving the interests of much of the rest of the world is seriously naive.
One could write a book or make movies or make a 6 year TV series on the Trump regimes devoid lack of humanity and intelligence plus morals, ethics, honesty, fair play, then you can add mental disorders and racial intolerance of anyone not white. A complete lack of any understanding of a democratic government how it works. No understanding of protocol or diplomatic skills. No understanding of deal-making or compromise as it applies in the real world of politics and peoples lives. No understanding of history or geography then you can add science, math, reading skills, writing skills.social skills…In conclusion. I fail to see where anyone of smart intellect who has a firm belief in humanitarian ideas, has ethics, morals, empathy for those who suffer being poor. All the qualities we would like to see everyone have. Next, we have that person write a paragraph or even a sentence relaying anything positive this POS has done for the good of man or mankind. The 1% don’t count. I would say have at it…Any of you trollsineinsteins want a shot at it? Only rule no rhetorical turd polishing only original thoughts on why you think Donald is your cup of shit, and his values and his Trumpesta moments has made your life fukn awesome…please share…If your piece is a three word or less sentence don’t waste our time by misspelling all the words. UPDATE: We will allow one misspelled word AND …We will most likely only snicker at ya if it is two…lol…But three and your out… Take your sign and leave… Next.
You don’t seem to understand that the US has enemies. Your framework seems to be the US lives among peaceful nations and is responsible for all wars. The US foreign policy establishment is composed of human beings. Humans are imperfect and make mistakes. It is easy to look back and say something should not have been done but at the time of the decision things are not that clear. The US certainly was confronted with the spread of communism. It started in Russia with Lenin. Russia created the USSR which included a number of countries in eastern Europe. China became communist under Mao. Communism spread to North Korea and North Vietnam. Cuba became communist. The US was concerned hat the communists would take over Western Europe and more of Asia. The MIddle East has been a mess since the fall of the Ottoman empire. The US followed colonialism which made a political mess of the Middle East. There was no simple transition after colonialism. The US was pretty much dealt with dealing with what occurred after colonialism. You have no answers but simply criticize the US for not having good answers. It is easier to criticize then to come up with solutions. Would you simply retreat from the world. Is that your foreign policy?
I (and pretty much the entire progressive community who bothers to read anything about foreign policy I’d hazard to guess) agree with webwalk on the dismal record of US military policy since WWII. Our actions in WWII itself are problematic and debatable of course, but there is at least a justification of doing something (unfortunately had previous foreign policy failures not happened - maybe Hitler would have never risen to power). You admit that Vietnam was a failure, but I disagree that Johnson was the mistake starter. The mistakes started with Truman and continued with Eisenhower and JFK (I am not in Oliver Stone camp that gives JFK a pass on Vietnam - he was a disaster on this issue).
If you are truly interested in what progressives think about foreign policy alternatives, you should read up on Henry Wallace and how much of a different world we might have now had he succeeded FDR instead of that racist Truman. Real News covered this last December you can search for several stories or find any numerable other sources. As a tidbit, you will learn that Wallace (and FDR) wanted a Marshall Plan for the USSR who took such a beating during WWII that any US loss is not even comparable and had they not done that, it is likely our side would have lost the war. Truman on the other hand wanted Germany to destroy USSR even more (“If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible, although I don’t want to see Hitler victorious under any circumstances. Neither of them thinks anything of their pledged word.”, https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Harry_S._Truman)
As far as a retreat from much of the world, yes this exactly what most progresseives want at least when we are talking about military power. We can actually have a more effective as well as a more moral foreign policy if we simply take 1/10th the money we waste in military misadventure and use it to fund NGOs (or even government workers) who want to do real foreign aid and not some nonsense that only benefits US corporations. I believe it is well accepted among progressives that South America is actually better off now compared to the 70s and 80s precisely because we are less involved in messing things up there given we have our hands full in the Middle East.
On a separate note, I agree with Trog’s comment that the author’s quote on Trump pulling out of the TPP makes no sense whatsoever - this is what almost every progressive wanted.
Your cartoon version of history is laughable. Have you ever read a book, or only the talking points you get from your party sources?
You don’t seem to understand that the purpose of the US foreign policy establishment since WWII, of the US military, of the war in Vietnam, of the wars in Iraq, of the GWOT, is to control access to the world’s resources and prevent the rise of any challenger to this position of dominance. This is a continuation of the conquest of the USA itself by the settler colonists who founded this political entity. You don’t seem to understand that the work of the US foreign policy establishment and the US military has been to continue the colonial project, as the new global hegemon.
“Communism spread to North Korea and North Vietnam.” The horrible threat of Ho Chi Minh was that he was going to win the democratic election to unify Vietnam. Democracy is fine with the US ruling elite as long as democracy means freedom for corporations and “investors” to loot and pollute. As soon as democracy moves to assert actual sovereignty, then democracy goes out the window and the troops come in.
No, retreat is not my foreign policy. Mass murder for global dominance and control of resources is yours. There are other ways to engage the world! You love the brutal US empire in all its horror. You love the destruction of democracy in Honduras under the Obama administration. You love the destruction of democracy in Chile under Nixon. You love the endless destruction of Haiti under numerous administrations. You love the US war against the threat of democracy anywhere. What’s your problem with Trump?
Would you believe Donald J. Trump lost the United States of America in a poker game?
The Multi-NaZional Korporations which benefit from the “U.S. global military madness” also benefit greatly from Tweetle-Dumb’s endless ‘Three-Stooges’ antics distracting us from what “our” government is doing to protect & expand their hegemony throughout the world, otherwise THEIR news organizations would not waste nearly so much expensive T-V time on him. Somebody let slip the other day that there are more than 6,000 U.S. troops engaged in covert “support” operations in Africa (the “shithole” capital of the world). WHAT ARE THEY DOING THERE?? Leave it up to Tweetle-Dumb to make sure that the MSM “doesn’t have time to cover such a minor issue when the very survival of our democracy is at stake.” Right.
Yes, we have enemies – many enemies – and with damn good reason, and from long before communism! U.S.-backed capitalism run amok is probably one of the motivations behind the development of communist theory – an attempt to combat the spread of a disease – although I’m not enough of an historian to cite any sources. But for a good example of why we’re hated throughout the world, look at the history of Hawai’i —
if you dare.
Please don’t insult two-year-olds by comparing His Idiocy to them: as the world knows, he’s just your standard garden-variety sociopath. A more apt comparison would be the late Charles Manson…
Exactly. That is what I tried to argue in my reply to Lrx as well - we could get positive results instead of mostly negative ones and we can spend less money if we spent it on non-military positive economic development and disaster relief instead of military run foreign policy. And then we need to cut the overall military by 50-75% and keep most of our people and weapons in the US, and while we are doing that get rid of all our our nuclear weapons (which is one of the stupider ideas humans have had).
When this topic comes up, I always think of a story of several US doctors doing relief work in Pakistan after an earthquake - years later people in this village had a positive optinion of the US whereas in most of Pakistan the opposite is true. When otherwise smart people can’t see these obvious truths when they are in positions of power (generals, government, heads of MIC corporations), is obvious proof that the system is mostly corrupt and in bad need of reform.