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Trump Is a Dangerous Idiot. So Why Are We Pushing Him Toward War?


#1

Trump Is a Dangerous Idiot. So Why Are We Pushing Him Toward War?

Matt Taibbi

There's a big conference going on at the moment in Brussels, where the bipartisan Alliance for Securing Democracy – a group of journos, pols, and intelligence vets from around the West – is holding a conference to discuss how to rebuild the world order in a "time of distrust."

The president has taken his saber-rattling beyond Twitter – showing a real willingness to gamble with millions of lives


#2

“Trump Is a Dangerous Idiot. So Why Are We Pushing Him Toward War?”

Dubya was a dangerous idiot. Trump is an evil genius.

Direct Democracy


#3

“It has never been shown that Capitalism can succeed without war.”

My dear departed Dad said that over 50 years ago.
And I have yet to see any evidence he was wrong.


#4

Your dad was a wise man.


#5

“It is a truth still ominous for the future that no convincing reply has been devised to the argument that modern capitalism cannot flourish without the stimulus of massive military expenditures.”
The American Nation, A History of the United States Since 1865, Vol.2 ; Garraty, John and McCaughey, Robert, p.784

“I spent thirty-three years in the Marines, most of my time being a hlgh class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.
I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1910-1912. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City [Bank] boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the rape of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street.
In China in 1927 l helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
I had a swell racket. l was rewarded with honors, medals, promotions. l might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate a racket in three city districts. The Marines operated on three continents.”

General Smedley Darlington Butler, former US Marine Corps Commandant, 1935


#6

War is not the Answer

Simplify; buy, educate and support local; do banking locally and with credit unions; go for robust municipal infrastructure; so much variety and robust complimentary opportunities in our differences.

As far as climate change, oops, DISRUPTION goes… take a gander at Paul Hawken, because this is not going away. The 100 most accessible solutions to climate troubles.

DRAWDOWN he starts at 3:50

build simple, small, keep your eyes and mind open with a robust sense of humor


#7

Matt,

I too am with you in terms of the “Big Chill” on the war front.

I don’t have any kids, like you do, however I have lived long enough to know that if We get involved in another war, in which Russia and China are major players, there’s a high probability the Earth is going to be toast.

So, anyone in Washington DC talking like war is winnable, has to go. We don’t need another bloviating ignoramus to usher in the end of life as we know it.


#8

Matt, thanks for this report. Not sure I truly understand all of it, but…

I understand suggestions given by readers here for our coping, but I wish I had the names you refer to and allude to of the warmongers. Whether totally futile or not, I write and call people from elected officials (even those not “mine”) to company execs like the jerk from ETP. Also, having the names of companies helps me make sure that none of my meager investments lie with them.


#9

I like Matt Taibbi’s writing a lot, but his characterization of Putin is standard MSM unsubstantiated accusations.
Russia’s economy has made great strides under Putin, averaging 5% economic growth over his years in office. He took over when the economy was totally reeling from Russia’s attempt at US led free market economics, and he stabilized it quite a bit.
Putin has an 80% approval rating among Russians, according to the latest Gallup poll taken there. And his showing off of the new weapons Russia has produced, I think, is more a show to the West of the reestablishment of Mutually Assured Destruction, than it is an attempt to get himself votes.
His unending patience with being surrounded by NATO nukes on Russia’s border is all that holds the world together.
I would have thought Taibbi’s understanding of these things would be a little more subtle.


#10

I’ve said since day 1 of the trump presidency that it’s hard to see how trump doesn’t start a war.

It’s the same thing as Bush, when he was running for president, candidly admitting he wanted to be a ‘war president’ because it would boost his support for his presidency and domestic policies.

It’s the cynical approach to the issue - but very real, practical effective. He wasn’t wrong. If you look at the approval ratings for 8 years of Bush, it’s low ratings declining except for big bumps for 9/11 and starting the Iraq War and when Saddam was captured. And Bush did get his terrible tax cuts for the rich and big pharma giveaway Medicare Part D and such passed. It turned Bush from a joke into a ‘controversial’ president but one that was able to get some big bad things done and even re-elected.

The lesson is not lost on trump - but the issue is on steroids. He’s more obsessed with ‘ratings’ and even more of a sociopath in being willing to use things like war for his own benefit.

And his ratings are even worse and the only button he has to push to try to fix it is the got to war button that has so reliably boosted ratings for president in the short term, and trump has indicated he knows that.

So what’s going to happen - trump just flails and has worse and worse ratings, or he uses war?

It’s hard to see any other result that he uses war.

Matt, you wrongly blame the victim here, as if the pressures making it so likely for trump to use war aren’t in place no matter what, but are rather only caused by something the American people are doing.

That’s like saying a chronic wife beater who is going to beat his wife no matter what for his own reasons, is really someone where the wife made him do it by looking at him wrong.

You seem to be holding out the carrot of trump not using war for his own benefit if the American people do as you advocate, when that is quite the unrealistic carrot to offer.

Perhaps a bit like offering the road runner to Wile E. Coyote. The problem with trump being likely to go to war isn’t one to be solved by anything short of the American people making a deal with trump to give him huge ratings if he avoids war. And that rightly isn’t likely to happen. So just as the election allowed everyone to pick a reason why it went wrong that fit their agendas, everyone will be able to find blame why trump went to war if he does as is so likely. You’ll be able to point at this column and wrongly claim you had said how to avoid it.


#11

Apparently Trump is not the only dangerous nut job involved in this.


#12

Matt has been probably one of the loudest voices, with Glenn Greenwald, critical of the ‘MSM’ reporting on the Russian issues. Go read his major story in Rolling Stone challenging it for one example.

I saw something a bit more ‘subtle’ on Putin: the 2017 Oscar winner for documentary, about Russian athlete doping, in which the head of the Russian anti-doping program that helped the athletes dope said that he had pleased Putin by getting a lot of gold medals at the Olympics, after which Putin’s falling ratings jumped by a large amount and made him feel able to invade Ukraine, and that he had a lot of guilt for that.

Putin is quite the murderous kleptocrat - something not mentioned in your post. Russia does have quite valid protests of the US pushing NATO to its borders, but that doesn’t make Putin a good guy.

He doesn’t have ‘unending patience’ - what’s he going to do, start a nuclear war? How does that help Russia?


#13

Mike Pence is the one who’s going to sabotage the peace.
Then we’re going to run the train on some Korean & Chinese girls!


#14

Trump’s a “genius”? Thanks. I needed a good laugh.


#15

I find it hard to believe that Putin felt emboldened by Russian gold medals to go ahead and invade the Ukraine. It just doesn’t make sense to me.
As to his “invading” the Ukraine… oh well, think what you like.


#16

Say. There’s a perspective problem here.

“Nobody in the world has anything like this,” Putin bragged."

This statement is in reference to a defensive deterrent against US nuclear terrorism with an upgrade plan. Ask yourself; Why would Russia seek to destabilize a terrorist military empire that has more nuclear weapons than any nation on Earth? Then ask; Why would Russia want to attack Europe and the US? The radiation clouds drift toward Russia.

US citizens should not pretend propaganda painted by pentagonians is real when contemplating a Russian response to US threats of nuclear modernization and downsizing to more usable sizes.

The US is a military empire destructive to democracies on Earth. This activity contradicts the laws of physics and is thus just as stupid as spending trillions on establishing and maintaining hundreds of military bases for attacking and completely annihilating innocent civilian population centers anywhere at anytime.


#17

Putin clearly is not a saint, 10 years ago they killed off a guy with polonium in the UK, now they have seemingly used a nerve agent to remove another ex-spy. His regime is an oligarchy and so forth. That said, he has shown remarkable restraint in the face of US provocations: Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, NATO has gobbled up all the former East Block countries. In Ukraine the USA kindly organized a regime change that put a bunch of fascists in power (check out the Nuland - Pyatt taped conversation on-line if so inclined). For much longer, the USA has been chipping away at Russia’s influence in Syria (as opposed to Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and a bunch of other countries, that are in America’s sphere of influence). The Syria business started well before Obama got the military involved in 2011. Already in 2004/2005 the CIA was training and arming rebel groups determined to topple President Assad. The groups caused mayhem, though they never managed to make Syria’s President fall. Subsequently, some of these groups became what is now known as ISIS.

If you want eternal war, as the Washington warmongers obviously do, you just need to arm and train your own enemies! The list is endless: Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and parts of ISIS. Perhaps one can trace all the trouble in Syria back to 1949, when the CIA seemingly replaced the country’s democratically elected government with a third rate military commander (he only lasted 5 months!). The CIA’s man on the spot, Miles Copeland, certainly took credit for orchestrating the coup.

So Putin may not be a saint, but I think that he is showing remarkable restraint considering the provocations.


#18

And that quote is absolute, proof that anyone in Amerika, can become POTUS as long as they have enough $$$$$$$$!


#19

It’s more complicated than that. Yes, ‘creating and training your own enemy’ has its advantages, but it’s rarely so neat. For example, there are often misguided projects done that have the same effect where that was not
the motive, e.g., Afghanistan in the 1980’s.

We’re agreeing about the US history pushing NATO to Russia’s border, but you did not respond to my point that this is less restraint by Putin than a lack of options. And Putin doing bad things doesn’t fix that issue.

It’s quite questionable whether the CIA was ‘behind’ the 1949 Syrian coup. The CIA doing that really got started with Eisenhower and the Dulles brothers, their first project being Iran (read the excellent ‘The Brothers’
by Stephen Kinzer for a hell of an accounting).


#20

Yes, “The Brothers” is an excellent book! (If you wish for a recommendation, I just read and greatly enjoyed “Dining with al-Qaeda” by Hugh Pope. The book fittingly opens in an Aleppo hotel room above a brothel in 1980!)

Yes, by Zbigniew Brzezinski’s reckoning the CIA intervention in Afghanistan in the 1980s was a success, as it caused the fall of the Soviet Union. Still, to instigate the 1979 invasion of a sovereign nation, as Mr. Brzezinski so proudly took credit for, seems very callous to me.

I would agree with you that Putin as a lack of viable options, but he also has hardliners urging him to do more, so I must admit that I consider his actions as some form of “restrained” behavior. I guess that if he just rolled over an gave up Syria, he could quickly be out of a job as the CEO of Russia, no matter how firmly he seems entrenched.

Whether or not the CIA was instrumental in the 1949 coup, there are sinister similarities and again oil and “communism” seems to be at the top of the agenda. The Times article linked below seems to infer that the USA was involved in 1949 regime change. I like the Rex Tillerson’s words of wisdom at the end of the piece: “Any time you go in and have a violent change at the top, it is very difficult to create the conditions for stability longer-term.”