Putin making the same mistake Hitler did, Piontkovsky says

Hands clasped in friendship, Adolf Hitler and England's Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, are shown in this historic pose at Munich on Sept. 30, 1938. This was the day when the premier of France and England signed the Munich agreement, sealing the fate of Czechoslovakia. Next to Chamberlain is Sir Neville Henderson, British Ambassador to Germany. Paul Schmidt, an interpreter, stands next to Hitler. (Image: AP)

Hands clasped in friendship, Adolf Hitler and England's Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, are shown in this historic pose at Munich on Sept. 30, 1938. This was the day when the premier of France and England signed the Munich agreement, sealing the fate of Czechoslovakia. Next to Chamberlain is Sir Neville Henderson, British Ambassador to Germany. Paul Schmidt, an interpreter, stands next to Hitler. (Image: AP) 

2016/10/05 • Analysis & Opinion, Politics, Russia

After meeting with the leaders of Britain and France, Adolf Hitler concluded that he was dealing with non-entities and that he couldn’t possibly lose a war against them, forgetting not only that these countries could and would change leaders but also that the outcome of conflicts reflects not just the qualities of leaders but the resources of both sides.

Andrey Piontkovsky, prominent Russian scientist, political writer and analyst

Andrey Piontkovsky, prominent Russian scientist, political writer and analyst

Today, Russian commentator Andrey Piontkovsky says, Vladimir Putin is making the same mistake, concluding that the leaders arrayed against him are not in his league and assuming that because that is so, he and his country will not lose any conflict between Russia and the West.

When Hitler decided at the time of Munich that the leaders of Britain and France were “non-entities,” he was “at one and the same time both right and wrong,” the commentator says. “His tactical correctness led him to a series of major military successes, but his strategic mistake led to the final catastrophe” for himself and his country.

Adolf Hitler hosting the parade in occupied Warsaw after the fall of Poland to German and Soviet military invaders, Oct-5-1939 (Image - Hugo Jager)

Adolf Hitler hosting the parade in occupied Warsaw after the fall of Poland to German and Soviet military invaders, Oct-5-1939 (Image – Hugo Jager)

The leaders of the democratic West over the last century have not always been models of courage and support for principles, preferring instead to make compromises and deals with dictators and betraying their allies in the process, Piontkovsky says, a pattern that reflects their high value on individual human lives.

But the dictators with whom they have dealt often have not recognized the limits of their own power or the limits of their opponents’ weaknesses. Instead, they suffer from “a psychological handicap” especially “at the first stage of their political clashes with the West,” Piontkovsky says.

Ruins of the Reichstag, Berlin, Germany, May 1945

Ruins of the Reichstag, Berlin, Germany, May 1945

They view the West as irretrievably decadent and therefore they do not recognize the ways in which democratic countries, although often far too slow to anger and far too willing to use words when force would be a better choice, can change direction and use their superior resources to defeat the dictators.

Thus, they fail to see that Neville Chamberlain, who is infamous for his concessions to Hitler at Munich, would be the one to declare war on Nazi Germany when Hitler invaded Poland. And they fail to see that Britain and its allies were vastly stronger than Germany, which in most cases had to fight on its own.

Russian invasion in Georgia in August 2008. A wounded Georgian woman in the town of Gori, 80 km (50 miles) from Tbilisi. (Image: Reuters)

Russian invasion in Georgia in August 2008. A wounded Georgian woman in the town of Gori, 80 km (50 miles) from Tbilisi. (Image: Reuters)

In the last decade, Putin has fallen into the same trap Hitler did, Piontkovsky says. When Nicolas Sarkozy of France came to Moscow in August 2008 at the time of Russia’s invasion of Georgia, it is likely that the Kremlin leader told his comrades in arms that the French president was clearly a non-entity.

Putin’s view about the leadership of the West led him to think he could overwhelm Ukraine, and for a time, it appeared that his view was vindicated by the West’s failure to stand up to him.

But “the chimeras of ‘the Russian world’ and ‘Novorossiya’ evaporated above all because they were rejected by the overwhelming majority of Russians both in Ukraine and in Russia itself.”

To distract attention from his failures in Ukraine, Putin then went into Syria; and his views about Western leaders as non-entities were reinforced by the behavior of US Secretary of State John Kerry who for a long time played the role of “’sacred non-entity’” to Lavrov’s “alpha dog.”

A Syrian woman carries the body of her infant after he was retrieved from under the rubble of a building following a reported airstrike on September 23, 2016, on the al-Muasalat area in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. (Image: AFP / THAER)

A Syrian woman carries the body of her infant after he was retrieved from under the rubble of a building following a reported airstrike on September 23, 2016, on the al-Muasalat area in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. (Image: AFP / THAER)

But television coverage of Russian airstrikes on the people of Aleppo changed everything, including the judgments about Russia by various “non-entities.” In a matter of days, the representatives in the UN Security Council of the US, the UK and France used language about Putin and his regime that had not been heard before.

“’This is not a struggle with terrorism; this is barbarism,’ ‘absolute terror carried out by Syria and Russia,’ ‘war crimes,’ ‘Russia has become an outlaw state’ – such formulations were unthinkable for officials of such a level only a few days before.” And the New York Times followed suit with an editorial about Putin’s regime being “an outlaw state.”

It is likely, Piontkovsky argues, that in Putin’s bunker as he threatens war against a world far stronger and more opposed to him than he can comprehend, “some Russian Himmler has turned to some Russian Goering” and pointedly noted that “’Herman, the Fuehrer no longer is capable of fulfilling his responsibility as the guarantor of our holdings.’”


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Edited by: A. N.

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  • zorbatheturk

    The West has taken far too long to recognize the menace of Putin. Idiots like John Kerry don’t help. The next US administration must impose an immediate no-bombing zone across Syria, via an international coalition. The sanctions on RuSSia need to be increased. Russian companies like Gazprom must be delisted from all Western stock exchanges and denied access to capital markets. More military aid must be provided to Ukrainian forces. Treat Putin like the vicious snake he is.

    • Scradje

      Right on zorbs.

    • Randolph Carter

      Great suggestions Zorba! One I would add would be confiscation of assets – liquidate their hidden bank accounts immediately at the start of the war and use the money for defense. This would allow Ukraine to get the resources she needed and possibly win a number of major, early engagements. If the Russian army can be prevented from establishing a beachhead in Ukraine, then supply lines are longer and logistics becomes a problem.

    • Mephisto

      except Trump is a Russian agent (possibly an unwitting one) and if he wins ….

      • zorbatheturk

        Trump is trending lower in the polls.

  • Y K

    The only weak point in Piontkovsky’s sharp analysis is the fact that in the 1930s, Britain had Churchill – a rather discredited backbencher at the time, but a Churchill nevertheless. America had Roosevelt who, for all his faults, was keenly aware of the Hitler menace from day one. What can the Western world offer now in terms of leadership? Hillary the Crooked?

    • Randolph Carter

      Y K, I long for the days of great leaders who took action right away and who had the brass to keep going regardless of politics. The two current candidates have both commented on Ukrainian assistance, but I’ve personally learned very bitter lessons regarding what a candidate will say and what they actually do when elected. For Trump, I hate the idea of one of Yanukovych’s cronies having access to the president.

      “Throughout the campaign, Trump has been has been dismissive of calls for supporting the Ukraine government as it fights an ongoing Russian-led intervention. Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, worked as a lobbyist for the Russian-backed former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych for more than a decade.” (Washington Post)

      “Hillary Clinton has diverged from President Barack Obama’s Ukraine policy by calling for more military assistance and greater financial aid for the partially war-torn former Soviet country.” (International Business Times)

      Politicians today (especially in the USA) seem more similar to whores: the go where they’re told to go, do what they’re told to do, take the money and leave. I believe that both of these candidates see Ukraine as a side issue. So based on the quotes, I’ll probably vote for Hillary but picking between the two is like deciding which circus clown you want running the show.

      • Y K

        Hillary is the trusted type of a corrupt opportunistic “insider”. Trump is just as corrupt and opportunistic, only unpredictable.
        It seems, however, that May has adopted the right posture vis-a-vis Russia, and Boris is in the process of shedding his Putinoid illusions. Let’s hope the preoccupation with Brexit does not influence Britain’s stance in a negative way.

        • Turtler

          Anybody dumb enough to trust Hillary after the email farq up should be committed for their own protecton, like a suicidal person.

      • Turtler

        “Y K, I long for the days of great leaders who took action right away and
        who had the brass to keep going regardless of politics. The two current
        candidates have both commented on Ukrainian assistance, but I’ve
        personally learned very bitter lessons regarding what a candidate will
        say and what they actually do when elected.”

        Agreed.

        “For Trump, I hate the idea of one of Yanukovych’s cronies having access to the president.”

        Sure, but compare to who else has been. Someone who has materially helped Putin’s cause far more than Trump has? Someone who cast Georgia and Moldava under the Bus in the name of Reset? Someone who is responsible for the greatest leak of classified documents in this young century and possibly ever?

        I don’t trust Trump but at least the question is open about how accountable he is. With clinton I cannot do that.

        “Politicians today (especially in the USA) seem more similar to whores:
        the go where they’re told to go, do what they’re told to do, take the
        money and leave. I believe that both of these candidates see Ukraine as a
        side issue.”

        Indeed….

        “So based on the quotes, I’ll probably vote for Hillary but picking
        between the two is like deciding which circus clown you want running the
        show.”

        With respect, I cannot agree. Not out of a great love for Trump but because of what that involves closing my eyes to.

        If Hillary’s pathological need for secrecy at home led to such a great leak abroad and she had her hands on the Iran Deal and Rset, what hope do we have of her doing it?

        • Alex George

          Trump is not in the least trustworthy, nor is he accountable.

          • Quartermaster

            As we have seen Hillary is not in the least trustworthy, nor is she accountable. She’s also already been proven incompetent in foreign affairs.

          • Turtler

            He’s accountable because most of the country does not like him, particularly in the generally Left-leaning media. As such, I think it’s safe to believe that they would react harshly to any attempt by him to play Hitler when they’ve already accused him of being Hitler without cause.

            In contrast, Hillary is legally disqualified from being President, or employed in the Federal Government at all.

            And unlike Trump people Have aggressively covered for him in the media.

    • Matt Franklin

      It was refreshing to see Pence nail it regarding ruSSia.

      • Quartermaster

        Which gives some hope for a Trump administration.

        • Vladislav Surkov

          Trump sets the policy, and he isn’t going to betray the Russian Oligarchs he’s indebted to.

          • zorbatheturk

            Too trite.

          • Quartermaster

            I have my doubts. We won’t know, however, unless he’s elected.

          • Vladislav Surkov

            You’re willing to risk that?

            I’m not.

          • Quartermaster

            You’re taking a much bigger risk with Hillary. I won’t vote someone I know will take us down the river. At least with Trump there is some hope.

          • Vladislav Surkov

            What’s the hope with Trump?

            Let’s see.

            1. He’s willing to let Russia takeover Europe, if NATO Members “don’t pay their fair share”. What does Donald Trump consider a “fair share”? We don’t know.

            Europe is our largest trading partner outside of North America. “Making a America Great Again” means ceding one of the largest economic zones to what Reagan correctly labeled the “Evil Empire”.

            2. Trump is willing to pull U.S. forces from South Korea, all but guaranteeing another invasion by the Chinese supported North. Donald is willing to allow Japan and South Korea to develop Nuclear Weapons, which Beijing is obviously going to let happen right? Yeah, Trump is going to blow up the largest Asian Markets, causing a worldwide panic with another foreign policy blunder.

            3. Trump is accepting of the idea of Saudi Arabia possibly getting nuclear weapons. Regardless or not whether he directly supports it, the fact is he’s conceded to the fact they’ll get them eventually. I guess Donald doesn’t mind the Saudis starting nuclear conflicts with Iran, Yemen, Syria, and Israel.

            4. Trump talks tough on China, yet refuses to make a single product of his in the U.S. Bankruptcy is not a product, despite the fact Donald churns them out faster than Chinese Laborers build an iPhone.

            With Hillary Clinton, I at least know Points 1 – 3 won’t happen. That alone is good enough for me.

            Maybe Trump should consult his VP on foreign policy. Pence contradicted Trump so badly on Putin, Ukraine, Syria, and Crimea, I thought Tim Kaine was pranking us.

            Yep, “Making America Great Again”.

          • Quartermaster

            And you think Clinton, a proven incompetent, who is promising to be the 3rd term of Obama is going to prevent all these things? I’d like to know what you’re smoking because that’s some pretty powerful stuff.
            Nukes are going to proliferate. You’d best get used to that. Obama has already given in on Iran. You’re an idiot if yo8 think the Saudis aren’t going to nuclearize in response. Same with Japan and Korea if the NORKs keep going. Japan will nuclearize, and Hillary won’t stop it anymore than Obama kept the NORKs from nuclearizing. China won’t stop it, because they can’t stop it. The Saudis are trying to prevent Iranian domination, not start nuke wars. You may think they’re stupid, but you simply reveal your own stupidity in that regard.
            Europe has no desire to be dominated by Putinist Russia. If you think they will allow it, you’re kidding yourself. Europe is quite able to pay for their own defense. Why shouldn’t we make them pay for it? The only countries that are living up to what NATO expects are directly threatened by Russia.
            To not put too fine a point on it, you simply have no idea what you are talking about. Most of what you are pushing is wishful thinking. Events are long out of Clinton’s control, and she played a very large part in allowing things to get out of control. There’s not a thing on your list that Hillary will prevent. Not one. At least with Trump you’re getting an administration that will probably bring in competent people instead of continuing the reign of incompetence.

          • Vladislav Surkov

            Proven incompetent?

            Ok, how many bankruptcies has Hillary Clinton filed? How many billions has she personally lost? How many years did she avoid paid taxes like “The Donald”? How many small businesses owners did Hillary use the legal system to cheat out of life savings and bankrupt their life’s work?

            Donald Trump couldn’t even run a Casino. What kind of loser goes broke with gamblers handing you their life savings? How hard did the Trump Shuttle crash and burn? He was so terrible as a financier, that he floated his businesses on 14% Junk Bond backed loans. He filed so many bankruptcies that U.S. Banks stopped lending him money. Trump had to proceed overseas to Germany and Russia to extend new lines of capital. It’s no coincidence that Donald Trump Jr. mentions Russia accounts for a disproportionate amount of their business; and that “The Donald” surrounds himself with all the Kremlin’s men. Paul Manafort and Carter Page are staring down Federal Investigations over their dealings in Russia and sanctioned persons. I’ve never seen Hillary Clinton directly hire tools of foreign governments.

            By the way, the very same man that Pence and Trump consider a strong leader, states that Iran in no way shape or form has a path to nuclear weapons. Apparently, the Russian Federation completely disputes Donald J. Trump as well. The United States also maintains a military option and “snap back” sanctions should Iran breech any part of the agreement. I would not expect you to know that.

            “Europe has no desire to be dominated by Putinist Russia. If you think they will allow it, you’re kidding yourself.”

            Germany has a smaller military and less working tanks than Ukraine had in 2014. Russia could be in Berlin in under 3 weeks without NATO. What Eastern European “buffer state” has the ability to repel Russian Forces? The only forces in Europe with a fighting chance are France, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. You are as clueless as Donald Trump when it comes to Euro-Atlantic Security, A war in Europe will have severe reverberations in the U.S. Want another depression? There’s your catalyst.

            Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan won’t develop nuclear weapons with the U.S. Pacific Fleet and Military defending them. The U.S. under every single Republican and Democratic President has honored our ally commitments. Donald Trump is too busy trying to give Europe to Putin for some Moscow building permits.

            China most assuredly could stop North and South Korea, as well as Japan from developing nuclear weapons. Without the U.S., neither country can repel China’s overwhelming power in the Asian Region. It’s not even a contest.

            Saudi Arabia with nukes? When they attempt to nuke Israel or Tehran, let’s see you weasel your way into blaming Obama for that one.

            By the way, the ONLY nation in the entire history of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to ever invoke “Article V”, was the United States. Members of the Alliance died in Afghanistan for to protect Americans after 9/11. Including people from Georgia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. States Donald Trump would gladly cede to Russia if push came to shove.

            By the way, Georgia is a country on the Black Sea. Look it up.

            Reign of incompetence? Trump’s 14 banrupticies show me who the real incompetent is. Hiring people like Carter Page and Paul Manafort show me who the real incompetent is. The fact Putin plays Trump like a fiddle, stoking his ego to foster a ‘bromance’ reminds me who the real Manchurian Candidate is.

            I’ll take Hillary any day over “Don the Con”.

          • Quartermaster

            “I’ll take Hillary any day over ‘Don the Con.'”

            Really, then you’re a blooming idiot. She is a proven incompetent. You obviously paid no attention to her tenure as Secretary of State. What Iraq and Libya became are on her shoulders.

            You have no idea whatsoever what Trump would do about Russia’s near abroad. No one knows. Rattling on about your speculations simply marks you as an idiot.

            Manafort is gone because of his stupidity. No one is perfect when it comes to judging people, but Trump has no qualms about dealing with his mistakes quickly.

            perhaps you have no idea what sort of relationship exists between the Saudis and Israel. The last thing that would serve their interests is nuking Israel. Once more, you’re simply an uninformed idiot.

            “Donald Trump is too busy trying to give Europe to Putin for some Moscow building permits.”

            This is the best you can do? Trump has done no such thing and it’s just another mark of your fevered imagination.

            If the South Koreans and Japan decide to develop nukes, they’ll do it, and China will be able to do less than nothing about it. Actually, to say “develop” is not quite accurate. they already know how to build them. Obtaining the fissile material isn’t at all hard for countries of their technical ability. they’d have them before China even knew it.

            You left Poland off you list of countries that have sent troops to the rock pile. It just so happens that the Baltics are the only country that are living up to NATO spending commitments for their military.

            You’ll take Hillary the con simply because you’re an utter ignoramus who can’t recognize incompetence. Try again later when you actually have something besides a bunch of ignorant ravings.

          • Vladislav Surkov

            “Really, then you’re a blooming idiot. She is a proven incompetent. You obviously paid no attention to her tenure as Secretary of State. What Iraq and Libya became are on her shoulders.”

            Nope. Iraq remains purely George W. Bush’s fault. It was the Bush Administration that pushed for that illegal war, ruined America’s reputation around the world over it, and destabilized the entire Middle East as a result. It was the genius of Richard P. Cheney and George W. Bush who disbanded the Iraqi Military, and dissolved the Ba’athist party; which lead to the formation of ISIS in Iraq. It was George W. Bush that negotiated the “Status of Armed Forces Agreement” that ended the U.S. Mission in Iraq. After the U.S. destroyed Iraq, the Iraqis wanted us out, and with good reason. Unless the U.S. wanted to depose another Iraqi Government, we had to leave.

            As for Libya, President Obama absolutely made the right call not to fully engage beyond air support. If other NATO Members, specifically Italy and France didn’t want to actually support us, why should the U.S. absorb all the risk? This isn’t an Article V issue, and Libya poses ZERO threat to the United States in 2011.

            “You have no idea whatsoever what Trump would do about Russia’s near abroad. No one knows. Rattling on about your speculations simply marks you as an idiot.”

            Trump stated he would likely recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea. “Don the Con” is so dumb, he didn’t even know Putin was in Eastern Ukraine! Excuse me, “The Ukraine” as Donald calls it. The man is so utterly incompetent on matters of foreign policy, that he doesn’t even know the proper name of the country Russia invaded! By the way, George W. Bush was asleep at the wheel, when Russia invaded Georgia in 2008.

            Trump will negotiate with Putin for false security guarantees, making the same mistake F.D.R. did at Yalta. In the meantime, the collapse of Europe as we know it will drag the U.S. economy with it. Had we listened to Churchill or Patton and took Berlin, Eastern Europe would not have “fallen under an Iron Curtain” for 50 years.

            “Manafort is gone because of his stupidity. No one is perfect when it comes to judging people, but Trump has no qualms about dealing with his mistakes quickly.”

            Perfect? Trump didn’t know Paul Manafort worked in Ukraine for Viktor Yanukovych? Trump wasn’t aware of Maidan, or the fact Ukraine’s President was so unpopular, the people forced him to flee to Russia? That Manafort was the architect of Yanukovych’s return to power in Kyiv? That Manafort’s consulting firm, and Paul himself may have violated U.S. Foreign Agent Laws? How about the fact Yanukovych was Putin’s stooge in The Banknova? If Trump didn’t know, and his people couldn’t vet this guy, than this man has no business being in the Oval Office. Hiring Carter Page, a person with business ties to Russian State owned (and Putin controlled) Gazprom, and Gen. Michael Flynn (a bought and paid for RT “consultant” who sat beside Putin at RT’s anniversary dinner) demonstrates how much of a complete buffoon Donald J. Trump is.

            “perhaps you have no idea what sort of relationship exists between the Saudis and Israel. The last thing that would serve their interests is nuking Israel. Once more, you’re simply an uninformed idiot.”

            Saudi Nationals were the “9/11” terrorists, and Saudi Princes have been alleged to support them. Saudi Arabia is supposed to be our “ally”. I don’t trust Saudi Arabia, and they are a more backward and totalitarian regime than Bashar Al-Assad and Syria on its worst day. Ask Benjamin Netanyahu if he trusts Saudi Arabia with nuclear weapons. I guarantee you he doesn’t share your naive and uninformed opinion.

            “This is the best you can do? Trump has done no such thing and it’s just another mark of your fevered imagination.”

            I’ll quote Donald J. Trump Jr. “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.” Donald Trump Jr. added, “we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

            Maybe if Trump would release his tax returns, you know, like every single President since and including Richard Nixon has done, we could see who Trump owes money to. Of course, Trump will never release them, despite his already refuted “I can’t release them because I’m under audit” lie directly by the I.R.S. Trump owes money to Russian Oligarchs, and as a student of Russian Finance, all roads lead to Putin. Ask Vladimir Yakunin or Sergey Ivanov what happens when ‘Vova’ no longer needs or trusts you. Trump owes Putin favors.

            Oh, and about those “emails”. When will Trump hand over the “emails” he destroyed that were under subpoena? Trump obstructed justice by his destruction of court subpoenaed evidence. More hypocrisy by “Don the Con”.

            “If the South Koreans and Japan decide to develop nukes, they’ll do it, and China will be able to do less than nothing about it. Actually, to say “develop” is not quite accurate. they already know how to build them. Obtaining the fissile material isn’t at all hard for countries of their technical ability. they’d have them before China even knew it.”

            China can and would do plenty. As soon as either South Korea or Japan began a nuclear weapons program, Beijing would go to war with the United States gone from the Pacific. No Asian country could withstand China’s Military. It would be over in hours. Being that you have zero understanding of geopolitics, you miss that point.

            “You left Poland off you list of countries that have sent troops to the rock pile. It just so happens that the Baltics are the only country that are living up to NATO spending commitments for their military.”

            We saw what happened in Poland in 1939. It would be no different today. Trump didn’t event know the extent of the Baltics defense spending, and refused to commit to their defense. Don’t tell me about NATO and Trump’s (lack thereof) commitment. Trump is so dumb, he didn’t know NATO has been knee-deep in counter terrorism since Sept. 2001.

            “You’ll take Hillary the con simply because you’re an utter ignoramus who can’t recognize incompetence. Try again later when you actually have something besides a bunch of ignorant ravings.”

            I’ll take Hillary, because for every lie she’s told, “Don the Con” has 5. Trump has robbed middle class families and the small businesses they owned all over Atlantic City. His 14 bankruptcy filings detail them at length. All those lives destroyed. “Maybe they didn’t do a good job”. Yeah right Donny. How about that prosecutor Donny bribed in Florida over his Trump University scam? The $270,000 he funneled through the charities he didn’t donate a cent to since 2008 to illegally pay off his lawsuits? Those illegal Polish Immigrants he brought in to build Trump Tower and didn’t pay. Donald Trump’s history makes Whitewater and The Rose Law firm scandal seem like amateur hour.

            I get you’re one of those “Make America White Again” Sean Hannitty acolytes. Too bad for you, those “whites” rather stay in Europe. That’s why you’ll pretend Hillary is the devil herself, and Donald is some no-tax paying, 14x Bankruptcy filing saint.

          • Turtler

            “Nope. Iraq remains purely George W. Bush’s fault”

            Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.

            Unless you think Bush stayed in the White House illegally for the past 8 years dominating Iraq policy singlehandedly. Which he hasn’t.

            Obama was elected over Bush, and so he has to take responsibility fyr his track record- good or bad- for that. You can’t just kick the can down the road indefinitely. Especialyl when his policy marked a rapid break from Bush’s precedent like the commitments to keep troops in country.

            “It was the Bush Administration that pushed for that illegal war,”

            “Illegal” war?

            This nonsense again?

            If you can’t do the bare minimum of research about the terms of the Gulf War Ceasefire, why should anybody listen to you?

            Especially sinceI have had some actual contact with people who lived it. Both the war, and the wars that came before under Saddam, like a bunch of Kurdish-Americans wh were asked back to Iraq after the war.

            So I learned firsthand that this kind of claim is holocaust denial level Nonsense.

            “ruined America’s reputation around the world over it, ”

            Except it didn’t, as even a rudimentary study of world relations at the time did. France did not become our sworn enemy (like it actually was for some years in the 18th century) just because we disagreed over this. Neither did NATO, since you mentioned it.

            Clearly not in Georgia, Ukraine, Poland, the Baltics, or the like. As you would know since half of them contributed troops! In fact, Putin took advantage of Georgian troop commitments to Iraq when he launched his sneak attack in ’08.

            “destabilized the entire Middle East as a result. ”

            Seriously?

            Are you this ignorant about Middle Eastern history?

            Bush did not destabilize Lebanon, or Eastern Turkey/Northern Iraq, or Egypt, or Libya, or Tunisia.

            They either weren’t unstable, or they were already unstable befor ehe came.

            Chalking the problems of the region down to one source has always been stupid. Shifting it from the Israel-Palestine conflict to the Iraq War ijsut underlines it.

            Especially since freaking Saddam Hussein was already running two domestic wars before the 2003 invasion.

            Also, I note you aren’t complaining about Afghanistan.

            “It was the genius of Richard P. Cheney and George W.

            Bush who disbanded the Iraqi Military, and dissolved the Ba’athist
            party; ”

            You say this like it’s a bad thing..The military disbandment was not handled well I will be the first to admit, but it was necessary for the same reason it was necessary to disband the Wehrmacht and IJA utterly. Because both institutions were politicized, totalitarian, and thus incompatible with any kind of free society afterwards. And not particularly trustworthy to boot.

            That does not mean sending everybody home with their weapons was a good idea, but trying to ignore the problem like the Allies did with the Reichwehr after WWI would have been even worse.

            And as for the Baath party… seriously? Are you seriously saying it was a bad thing to dissolve the ideological kin of Putin’s butt buddy Assad? A totalitarian ideology that could Never be integrated meaningfully in a free nation?

            Yes, it caused issues in the short term. But you know what? That doesn’t make it wrong. Just look an seehow Denazification had similar critiques of it at the time.

            “which lead to the formation of ISIS in Iraq. ”

            Nope.

            The name itself is an indication. the Islamic State of *SYRIA.* r alternatively, ISIL, tof *The Levant.*

            It is true that ISIS’s predecessor organization was Al Qaeda in Iraq and that was founded in Iraq, and used many former mooks of it. But it was not founded directly ecause of Debaathification, but because Osama Bin Laden hoped to open a second front in his organization’s war with the Infidel and sponsored the likes of Zarqawi, Zawahiri, and their regional lieutenants to start forming it. Much like how the Polisario were founded in Cuba and the Soviet Union.

            It was refounded as ISIS in the cross border refuges the Assad dictatorship (and by extension Putin provided after it was crushed beyond recognition by the Surge and other late ‘eoughts offensives, which also came under the oh so evul, incompetent Bush.

            And which you seem to have no interest in recognizng or mentioning even though they are just as much his responsibility as Bush’s.

            “It It was George W. Bush that negotiated the “Status of Armed Forces Agreement” that ended the U.S. Mission in Iraq. ”

            No, the very Definition of the Status of Armed Forces Agremeent involved keeping US troops in Iraq in a limited, advisory role. That is why it is an Agreement about the Status of Armed Forces. You don’t have to make agreements with someone to not keep troops there, as your critique of Trump is.

            And Obama walked away from that agreement- and the resulting peace that came after the hard fought, decisive fighting after the Surge that you are going to ignore.

            With the result that ISIS surged BACK across the Syrian border it came from and nearly took Baghdad.

            “After the U.S. destroyed Iraq,”

            This is a nonstarter; Saddam Hussein destroyed Iraq. Just look at how the country was sliced up by the No Fly Zones and realize that he was fighting WAR Sin both the North and South of those (hence why the No Fly zones were needed; to prevent him from using his air force to gas the Kurds and Marsh Arabs).

            Why people fail to get this is beyond me, or think a man who had literally brought his country into balkanized civil war was a templar of ogood order or stability.

            And I’ll note that this lie is something Trump has peddled too, and I’ve savaged him for it just the same. So I guess you don’t have issues with Trump mollycoddling the dictators you support??

            “the Iraqis wanted us out, and with good reason.’

            Seriously?

            This tired, VC esque lie again?

            On one front, the terrorist one.. There’s a farqing reason why AQII and its’ sister organizations and rivals had to recruit outside of the country. Because their appeal was always very limited demographically and they got even more limited as their atrocities and general screwy government got worse. People like Sadr may have been able to hold public opinion in some regions, but they couldn’t go beyond that and they couldn’t hold it for long.

            Soin the end outside of dysfunctional nightmares like Fallujah most Iraqis were even more hostile to the “Iraqi” Insurgency than they were to the Coalition.After all, both sides were largely foreign occupying armies, and the Jihadists were more savage and dysfunctional.

            And secondly, as for the idea that the Iraqi government wanted us out, no. In fact it wanted the Status of Forces Agreement.

            There were several misgivings about it and they were interested in seeing portions of our force leave- including Maliki’s demand we get PMCs out of the country (which we refused)- but there was No interest in us parring back entirely and abandoning the support role.

            Obama went over the Iraqis’ heads (as was his legal right), turned aside the SoFA, and walked out against their Protests.

            Fercrying out loud, just read people who actually were in the country and did research on it, like Mark Steyn, Michael Totten, or Michael Yon.

            Among others.

            You can’t exactly accuse the middle one of being a Trump apologist either.

            “Unless the U.S. wanted to depose
            another Iraqi Government, we had to leave.”

            Provably false. Again, Maliki at one point demanded we kick all our PMCs out of Iraq.

            We refused in no uncertain terms.

            And surprise? Maliki did not get taken out of power, he did not leave, and we did not have to overthrow his government(and why would we?).

            And again, after 2008 the Iraqis were the ones frantically in favor of the SoFA that would see support troops in Iraq, OBAMA was not.

            I don’t know where you’re getting your “information”, but it sucks on a pretty basic level.

          • Vladislav Surkov

            “Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.”

            “Unless you think Bush stayed in the White House illegally for the past 8 years dominating Iraq policy singlehandedly. Which he hasn’t.”

            Actually, it does work that way. Had the U.S. not illegally entered the second Iraq War in the first place, millions more would not have been killed, displaced, or maimed as a result of sectarian violence that ensued, as part of the asymmetrical phase of the war, when Hussein fell. Iraq became a breading ground for sectarian violence among the various groups within Iraq, and various outside actors. All courtesy of Bush. This was long before ISIS even entered the mix. Bush had no idea or plan to do with the vacuum in Iraq, after the fall of Hussein.

            Obama’s role in Iraq is based completely on the hands of Bush. Had we not invaded a second time, and kept Hussein contained within the Southern and Northern No Fly Zones, Iraq would not have become the unstable mess it now is. There would have been no ISIS in Iraq. Nor would Al-Qaeda gained traction with Hussein.

            “Obama was elected over Bush, and so he has to take responsibility fyr his track record- good or bad- for that. You can’t just kick the can down the road indefinitely. Especialyl when his policy marked a rapid break from Bush’s precedent like the commitments to keep troops in country.”

            Bush negotiated the draw down of forces, not Obama. Are you really trying to peddle that lie? One that is so easily refuted?

            “Illegal” war? This nonsense again?”

            Yes, it’s an illegal war. Did the U.N.S.C. approve it? Did Iraq pose imminent threat to the United States to invoke Article 51 of the U.N. Charter? The U.N.S.C. Resolutions of 1991 did not grant ‘casus belli’ for the 2003 invasion either.

            Feel free to cite any 2003 U.N.S.C. Resolution authorizing the invasion of Iraq by the U.S.

            “If you can’t do the bare minimum of research about the terms of the Gulf War Ceasefire, why should anybody listen to you?”

            I know what the terms were, and I also know what the U.N. Security Council said of the situation in Iraq at the time of invasion. The U.S. had no ‘casus belli’.

            United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in an interview with the BBC in September 2004, “[F]rom our point of view and from the Charter point of view [the war] was illegal.

            “Especially sinceI have had some actual contact with people who lived it. Both the war, and the wars that came before under Saddam, like a bunch of Kurdish-Americans wh were asked back to Iraq after the war.”

            Anecdotal arguments are not proof of legality as a matter of international law.

            “ruined America’s reputation around the world over it, ”

            Except it did. The U.S. and it’s question of trustworthyness is constantly scrutinized by the illegal invasion of Iraq.

            “Clearly not in Georgia, Ukraine, Poland, the Baltics, or the like. As you would know since half of them contributed troops! In fact, Putin took advantage of Georgian troop commitments to Iraq when he launched his sneak attack in ’08.”

            Bush certainly thanked Georgia for their efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, by not sending a single troop there during Russia’s invasion or days prior. That could have been prevented.

            “destabilized the entire Middle East as a result. Seriously?”

            Oh I am. The M.E. has been a tinderbox largely since the fall of the Ottoman Empire. It has been made unnecessarily worse by the United States, United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union in the post WW2 period. It was thrown into chaos again by the 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq by the U.S.

            “Bush did not destabilize Lebanon, or Eastern Turkey/Northern Iraq, or Egypt, or Libya, or Tunisia. They either weren’t unstable, or they were already unstable befor ehe came.”

            Never said he did, genius.

            “Especially since freaking Saddam Hussein was already running two domestic wars before the 2003 invasion.”

            Hussein was contained in the southern and northern no-fly zones. He posed zero threat, and the lack of appreciable WMDs proved it.

            “Also, I note you aren’t complaining about Afghanistan.”

            Why should I? Bush made the right call there. That was destined to be a horror show no matter what. Bottom line is Al Qaeda became weaker after that war.

            “You say this like it’s a bad thing..The military disbandment was not handled well I will be the first to admit, but it was necessary for the same reason it was necessary to disband the Wehrmacht and IJA utterly. Because both institutions were politicized, totalitarian, and thus incompatible with any kind of free society afterwards. And not particularly trustworthy to boot.

            That does not mean sending everybody home with their weapons was a good idea, but trying to ignore the problem like the Allies did with the Reichwehr after WWI would have been even worse.”

            You said it yourself, they should not have been sent home with their weapons. They should have been vetted and repatriated to defend Iraq under a coalition government. One that had equal representation of all the ethnic groups residing within the borders. What resulted in Iraq is a travesty of errors by the U.S. I cite the Ba’athists solely as many of them joined the ranks of ISIS. We didn’t disband or demand the banishment of the Communists at the fall of the USSR either, in exchange for aid.

            “which lead to the formation of ISIS in Iraq. ”

            “Nope” you say? Try again. While this is not a complete account of the formation of ISIS, it points out several inconvenient facts.

            http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-origins-of-isis-finding-the-birthplace-of-jihad/

            “It was refounded as ISIS in the cross border refuges the Assad dictatorship (and by extension Putin provided after it was crushed beyond recognition by the Surge and other late ‘eoughts offensives, which also came under the oh so evul, incompetent Bush.”

            There would have been no ISIS in Iraq, had Hussein and the Iraqi Military remained in power. Al Qaeda had little to no foothold there.

            “No, the very Definition of the Status of Armed Forces Agremeent involved keeping US troops in Iraq in a limited, advisory role. That is why it is an Agreement about the Status of Armed Forces. You don’t have to make agreements with someone to not keep troops there, as your critique of Trump is.”

            Bush is the President who negotiated the withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Iraq. That is indisputable. Iraq wanted U.S. Forces out. Again, we would have had to topple ANOTHER Iraqi Government to remain past the negotiated withdrawal date. You want to keep making up excuses, but those are the facts. The failure of Bush to extend SOFA set the chain of events in stone. Obama couldn’t force it any more than Bush could at that point. You are arguing semantics regarding my use of SOFA at this point.

            “And Obama walked away from that agreement- and the resulting peace that came after the hard fought, decisive fighting after the Surge that you are going to ignore.”

            Obama walked away from what? The withdrawal of forces agreement Bush agreed to and signed on?

            “This is a nonstarter; Saddam Hussein destroyed Iraq. Just look at how the country was sliced up by the No Fly Zones and realize that he was fighting WAR Sin both the North and South of those (hence why the No Fly zones were needed; to prevent him from using his air force to gas the Kurds and Marsh Arabs).”

            Hussein was contained, and the country wasn’t remotely at a level of hostilities caused by the aftermath of the 2003 illegal U.S. invasion. Provide a single source proving what you claim other than from some conspiracy website.

            “Why people fail to get this is beyond me, or think a man who had literally brought his country into balkanized civil war was a templar of ogood order or stability.”

            People “fail to get it”, because everyone has seen past the lies perpetrated to cause the illegal 2003 Iraq War.

            “And I’ll note that this lie is something Trump has peddled too, and I’ve savaged him for it just the same. So I guess you don’t have issues with Trump mollycoddling the dictators you support??”

            Oh no, I agree with you on this point. I have no love for Hussein, Assad, or Qaddafi. I just believe you don’t invade nations illegally with a bonafide strategy for every possible contingency. The U.S. invaded Iraq with absolutely no contingency or plans for an asymmetrical phase.

            “the Iraqis wanted us out, and with good reason.’

            “Seriously?” Yes, or they would have agreed to let us stay under Bush under the terms we demanded.

            “And secondly, as for the idea that the Iraqi government wanted us out, no. In fact it wanted the Status of Forces Agreement.”

            Iraq wanted the U.S. to remain in Iraq? Then why did Bush agree to withdraw? Why wasn’t Obama able to renegotiate it, when it’s no secret he tried and failed to do it?

            “There were several misgivings about it and they were interested in seeing portions of our force leave- including Maliki’s demand we get PMCs out of the country (which we refused)- but there was No interest in us parring back entirely and abandoning the support role.”

            I believe you are somewhat correct here, and at the same time oversimplifying things.

          • Turtler

            “Actually, it does work that way. ”
            So this is seriously what the Obama/Clinton apologist argument has come down to? Insisting that being in high office does not translate into the responsibilities of high office?

            I do not even have to respond to this nonsense. To cite just one example of the many responsibilities in the Federal Government, the POTUS is Commander in Chief. As soon as they step into office they are the senior officer in responsible for every single person down to the lowliest enlisted.

            Crying It’s All Bush’s Fault does not work indefinitely, and frankly I can think of no better indictment against Clinton and Obama’s administration if this is really the defense you are using.

            “Had the U.S. not illegally entered the second Iraq War in the first place, ”

            Except it did not do so Illegally, you have not cited how it would be in the slightest (and probably do not know), and I am sick and tired of having Holocaust Denier tier claim trod out again.

            So time to define how it was illegal.

            “millions more would not have been killed, displaced, or maimed as a result of sectarian violence that ensued,”

            Except they were already in the process of dying and being killed under Saddam. Because again, Baathist Iraq was a set of sectarian warzones.

            And secondly, blaming Bush- or Obama or Clinton- for the conduct of people like Sadr, Zarqawi, and the like is so bone chillingly stupid on the face of it. The fact that the US government under Bush and Obama fought against these people (or what was left of them) and directly tried to stop their agenda makes attributing fault to them morally bankrupt. And why I have flogged Trump, BlackpigeonSpeaks, and the like for claiming Obama and Clinton somehow started ISIS or the Syrian Civil war.

            You can’t fault them for Sadr City being a madhouse, it was even before the invasion. That’s why I try and limit my accusations to places where these bad (or worse) actors were allowed to act because of policy.

            “as part of the asymmetrical phase of the war, when Hussein
            fell. ”

            Um, if anything the millions figure- especially during the displaced bit- came before, during the conventional war, the small calm after it, and the immediate start of the war. Because again, Iraq was already a warzone. Surprising as it may be to believe, Iraq after Saddam as a net whole saw more people REsettle where they had been uprooted from. And to some degree that was an issue, considering large amounts of Sadr’s followers and Syrian-style Baathists had been displaced by Saddam’s bloodshed and crept back from exile afterwards.

            “Iraq became a breading ground for sectarian violence among the various groups within Iraq, and various outside actors. All courtesy of Bush.”

            Sorry, but no.

            Iraq was already a BreEding ground for that, as even a casual look at the history of the region would show. Or the fact that Saddam-again- was one of the region’s greatest practitioners of sectarian violence.

            And no, nothing in the Iraq War compared to the brutality of the pre-overthrow Kurdish wars in both cost and length.

            “This was long before ISIS even entered the mix. ”

            Before ISIS by its’ current name, but notably not AQII, because it was founded off of Bin Laden’s loyalists who had been based in the area (with Zarqawi) and kept a look on their (admittedly limited) interests in country.

            “Bush had no idea or plan to do with the vacuum in Iraq, after the fall of Hussein.”

            One doesn’t go about disarming what was one of the largest militaries in the world or purging the Baath party without a plan, so this accusation is false on its’ face. The problem was that it was clearly not an effective enough plan.

            Which is worth criticism but another issue.

            “Obama’s role in Iraq is based completely on the hands of Bush.”

            Even if this were true- and it absolutely is Not, because Obama pointedly turned away from the Status of Forces Agreement Bush had signed- it raises the question of just why that is.

            The truth is that just blaming Bush isn’t an answer for everything. When you play Crazy 8’s you don’t have control over the hand you’re dealt, that’s in the hands of the dealer and to a lesser extent the cutter.

            But you can control how you play the hand you’re dealt. if you can’t even treat Obama and Clinton as political actors in their own rights responsible for how they acted, then the questio nsi what the point of having them elected was in the first place.
            “Had we not invaded a second time, and kept Hussein contained within the

            Southern and Northern No Fly Zones,”

            Saddam’s Iraq would have remained an aggressive totalitarian dictatorship that remained a stopover point for terrorist operations (including those of Al Qaeda), would have still been trying to break out of the sanctions, and would still have had plenty of ability to keep killing people both in his central powerbase, in the North and South No Fly Zones, and Abroad.

            This is something the usual stability apologists for him- which includes Donald trump- do not get and never have been.
            “There would have been no ISIS in Iraq.”

            Perhaps by that name at best, but Zarqawi and a lot of the core people who would form it were already active in Iraql, either as members of Al Qaeda (and the future AQII) or as members of Saddam’s own regime.

            “Nor would Al-Qaeda gained traction with Hussein.”

            The fact remains that Zarqawi had safe houses smack dab in the middle of downtown Baghdad, and things were chummy enough with Al Qaeda that there was no hesitation about sending fighters there from Afghanistan to convalesce under the watchful eye of Saddam’s state.

            It’s true that neither Al Qaeda or Saddam particularly loved one another (compared to the former’s relation with the Taliban and Saddam’s with the PLO). But that just underlines it. If he had few qualms letting terrorists from a group he Wasn’t particularly fond of do that, God help dealing with the ones that gained real traction with him!

            The myth that Saddam was this secular cat that kept the Jihadists away is as true as the similar narrative peddled by the Assad. Not. He was suspicious of Jihadist groups getting too much influence in country (though not nearly as much as the Assad, who had to fight a savage civil war with the Muslim Brothers), but he was quite willing to shelter them, provide them weapons aand justification, and fund them both by stipends and per head of terror dead.

            Saddam’s fall just removed that support network for them, but also removed his ability to keep the few restrictions imposed on the in country Jihadists. But again, they already had a head start organizing since they had already been to the country before and had lasting personal alliances with several in the Baathist regime.

            “Bush negotiated the draw down of forces, not Obama. ”

            Draw down does not mean Complete Leaving.

            As even Politifact (which generally is favorable to Obama) acknowledges.

            http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/may/18/jeb-bush/obama-refused-sign-plan-place-leave-10000-troops-i/

            When it came time to renegotiate a new agreement, there was little
            consensus on whether a residual force should stay in the country.
            Military leaders in Baghdad and the Pentagon pushed for as many as
            24,000, but the White House rejected that amount. (For the record, U.S.
            forces in South Korea number more than 28,500.)

            Obama reportedly did consider leaving
            up to 10,000 troops in strategic locations after the exit, but that
            plan faced opposition both in the United States and in Iraq. Obama ruled
            out a force that size during an August 2011 conference call.

            Negotiations led to the idea of a smaller, continuous force of 3,500
            troops, with up to 1,500 more rotating in and out, and about a
            half-dozen F-16’s. But this plan ran into several roadblocks, including
            the insistence by Washington that those troops be immune to Iraqi —
            although not American — prosecution should they commit a crime.

            Austin Long, a Columbia University international and public affairs
            professor, said al-Maliki allegedly supported the residual force and may
            have signed a new plan, but the Iraqi parliament would not. Facing the
            prospect of a weak agreement that didn’t protect remaining troops the
            way the United States wanted, when neither Baghdad nor Washington wanted
            to leave them there, negotiations broke down. No new agreement was
            reached, and no residual force was formed. There has been plenty of
            debate whether it was Washington or Baghdad that was more intractable on a new agreement.”

            “Are you really trying to peddle that lie? One that is so easily refuted?”

            So easy to refute that even Poltiifact puts the kibbosh on the idea that this was as planned.

            Look dumbarse: you’re the one who claimed that keeping troops in iraq over the objections of the Iraqi government would have required overthrowing it.

            This was bogus and obviously so, because the Coalition did not need to overthrow the Iraqi government when it came time to deal with the PMC issue.

            You also have been repeating ad infinitum that “numbers win wars” (not true, certainly not true alone), and that any war between China and Pacific Rim nations without the US would have been over in Hours, (how many “hours” was the month long and indecisive Sino-Vietnamese war?0. So if you seriously want to accuse someone of peddling lies you’re going to have to step up your game.

            “Yes, it’s an illegal war.”

            Endlessly repeating something does not make it so.

            “Did the U.N.S.C. approve it?”

            It dapproved the casus bellis in the Gulf War Ceasefire resolution, and explicitly stated that violation of those was a justification to return to war.

            It did not second the US decision to intervene in a ground invasion at the time, but guess what? Given that the US was a sovereign nation, so was Iraq, and the UN itself laid out conditions for the return to war *it never had to* in order to make the conflict legal.

            All it had to do was pass the US legal requirements- and those of the coalition members- to do so.

            “Did Iraq pose imminent threat to the United States to invoke Article 51 of the U.N.
            Charter? ”

            In short, yes. Certainly more than the degree to which the Vichy French administration had warranted it in WWII, or that the even Libya had either in 2011 or in the Reagan years. Given that it was both a conventional military threat (albeit a crippled one) and a force giving aid and comfort to terrorists that had attacked the US and were fighting us at the time in Afghanistan.

            Whether or not the unlikely idea Saddam had anything to do with planning 9/11 is irrelevant, for the same reason it is irrelevant whether the Nazis or Vichy had anything to do with planning Pearl Harbor.

            And again, in American legal matters the Constitution and the laws under it take precedence over the UN Charter.

            “The U.N.S.C. Resolutions of 1991 did not grant ‘casus belli’
            for the 2003 invasion either.”

            *Sigh*

            “34. Decides to remain seized of the matter and to take such further steps
            as may be required for the implementation of the present resolution and to
            secure peace and security in the area.

            That was diplo speak in the UN- and particularly its’ commanders on the ground- threatening Saddam with any measures they deemed necessary (not specifically war, but certainly not ruling that out) if even a single part of the paragraph was broken. And to pre-empt the usual claim that “Oh NO it was not meant like that!!!!’

            There’s the little matter of This from the Korean Armistice Agreement.

            “17. Responsibility for compliance with and enforcement of the terms and provisions
            of this Armistice Agreement is that of the signatories hereto and their successors
            in command. The Commanders of the opposing sides shall establish within their
            respective commands all measures and procedures necessary to insure complete
            compliance with all of the provisions hereof by all elements of their commands.
            They shall actively co-operate with one another and with the Military Armistice
            Commission and the Neutral nations supervisory Commission in requiring observance
            of both letter and the spirit of all of the provisions of this Armistice Agreement.”

            Which is the same thing, more neutrally worded, and the basis for why the UN is still obliged to defend the ROK by force of arms.

            And as someone who has done some wargaming in the Korean War and hypothetical conflicts after, I and those doing it with me had to get VERY familiar with this, and the military ramifications.

            It’s just that the UN largely accepted that Saddam broke many terms of the ceasefire, but they did not believe it necessary under the paragraph to do it. The US and the other members of the Coalition disagreed, but that did not make it illegal.

            The reason things have not come as far in Korea is simiarly because of the belief by both the UN and the Allies that it simply isn’t necessary to launch a full scale war (probably in part because of the PRC). But this most certainly does not rule it out, and it has been used to authorize lethal force, including the Second Korean War in the DMZ during the Sixties.

            But that gets in the way of Saddam Apologists and the Bush Lied crowd, and they generally haven’t spent hours hunched over a board game evaluating texts like this in another context.

            “Feel free to cite any 2003 U.N.S.C. Resolution authorizing the invasion of Iraq by the U.S.”

            Feel free to cite any part of the US Constitution requiring a UN resolution to justify military force in order for it to be legal.

            “I know what the terms were,”

            No, you don’t.

            ythe fact that you insisted that was not what Point 34 meant indicates you hadn’t actually studied the UN’s way of wording similar messages, or the deliberations of both the commanders on the ground and the leaders of the UN itself, including Perezde Cuellar.

            “and I also know what the U.N. Security Council said of the situation in Iraq at the time of invasion.”

            Indeed, and it also did not deny the fact that Resolution 687 had been breached by Saddam.

            “The U.S. had no ‘casus belli’.”

            So apparently aiding terrorists who were busy at the time killing American servicepeople and who had launched the most devastating attack on insular US territory since Pearl Harbor was not a casus belli.

            “United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in an interview with the BBC in September 2004, “[F]rom our point of view and from the Charter point of view [the war] was illegal.”

            I am well aware of what Annan said. I am also well aware that his point of view is not that of the United States law or that of the sovereign nations in the coalition, and so the UN Resolution vote does not trump the legality of the US one.

            “Anecdotal arguments are not proof of legality as a matter of international law.”

            Reliable eyewitness accounts are.

            And again, “International Law” falls below US Constitutional law in the matter of the Senate vote.

            “Except it did.”

            Please tell me how many nations walked out of NATO because of the Iraq War. How many broke their longstanding treaties of alliance with the US over it. How many nations turned from friends to sworn enemies because of it. Who did a De Gaulle and said screw it?

            The answer is “None.” Because for whatever disagreements there were over the Iraq War they were ultimately minor. It led to harsh words aplenty, but it did less to change American relations than the Polaris naval conflict did.

            “The U.S. and it’s question of trustworthyness is constantly scrutinized by the illegal invasion of Iraq.”

            Firstly , once again the inaccurate, BS claim of it being “illegal”, which is reliant upon the decisions of the UN being dependent for American actions to be legal- something the US (and the Reagan you claim to admire) always rejected- and a misreading of that to boot.

            Secondly: Note the walking back. You went from claiming it “ruined” American foreign relations. Which is a dang mighty claim considering that it led to zero defections from the core alliances (NATO, ANZUS, the Commonwealth, or the alliances with Japan and the ROK) and saw over a fifth of the world’s nations contribute to the American led deployment to Iraq.

            So now you’re trying to claim that being “scrutinized” is the same as having relations ruined.

            Sorry, but that doesn’t wash. The US’s actions and trustworthiness have Always been scrutinized in modern history, especially since the end of WWII and particularly decolonization. The Iraq War led to an uptick of this, but not that radical by any means.

            “Bush certainly thanked Georgia for their efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, by not sending a single troop there during Russia’s invasion or days prior.”

            Provably, laughably false from those bastions of Conservative nutjobbery, Poltiifact and Agent France-Presse

            http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/may/19/dick-cheney/cheney-bush-admin-did-more-help-georgia-obama-has-/

            The Georgian brigade airlift

            On Aug. 11, 2008, Agence France-Presse reported that the U.S. military had “nearly completed” the airlift of 2,000 Georgian troops from Iraq to Georgia.

            At the time, the United States took pains to portray its actions as being limited rather than aggressive.

            Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters that the United
            States was “fulfilling our agreement with the Georgian government that,
            in an emergency, we will assist them in redeploying their troops. We are
            honoring that commitment.””

            Note that the ceasefire only happened on August 12th, in part because of this.

            i don’t know where you’re getting your sources, but they obviously aren’t up to snuff.

            “That could have been prevented.”

            What could have?

            “Oh I am. The M.E. has been a tinderbox largely since the fall of the
            Ottoman Empire.”

            This is the common meme, but it isn’t really true. The Middle East was a tinderbox well before the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in fact brought peace and stability in the mid term. In large part because the Ottoman Empire had spent the 19th and early 20th centuries engaging in sectarian bloodletting and outright genocide (of the Armenians, Pontic Greeks, Chaldeans, Assyrians, and Bahai). If you think Lebanon is a dysfunctions, smouldering sectarian nightmare
            now- and it is- it is far better today than it was in the 19th century.While even backwaters like Arabia saw long running wars between the Saud, the Rashidi, the Hashemites, and the Turks.

            While in contrast, the twenty some years after the end of WWII were by far the most peaceful the Middle East has seen in modern history (which is an admittedly low bar to jump).

            But of course, this is the problem that comes from not actually studying the region or historical minutae closely and just going with received wisdom.

            “It has been made unnecessarily worse by the United States, United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union in the post WW2 period. ”

            Maybe, but that comes to where we define unnecessarily. And the fact that as much as anyone may dislike it, the Middle East is still too important to ignore.

            And of course, there’s the little, iddly bittly fact of the local powers themselves being involved. The world is not a stage with the great powers able to do whatever they dang well please while everybody else lacks basic agency.

            “It was thrown into chaos again by the 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq by the
            U.S.”

            repition changes the truth value of jack squat. You’re not going to get through that successfully.

            And secondly, even by that low definition it isn’t true.

            The Second Intifada (which is the other big “Oooh the Middul East Was thrown into chaos by dis one thingk!” target) was mid course by the time of the invasion, Iraq was- as I mentioned- a sectarian war zone under a state of siege, the first shots in the war on Terror had been fired in Afghanistan, the pan-Kurdish tristate area was the predictable mess of low level insurgency, terrorism, and ethnic cleansing, andthe Second Chechen War was in full swing, Armenia and Azerbaijan continued their Cold war with zero farqs given to the wider situation, and Yemen was in its’ long running civil war.

            All of these things tend not to get mentioned if the West is not directly involved, but that’s because most analysis in the West skews towards the cases where it’s involved and most people doing the analysis are ignorant who have little idea that the MENA has its’ own independent history.

            Did the Iraq War destabilize the region more? Yes, to some degree, in particular in how it saw newfound foreign intervention in Iraq and blowback to other countries. But the idea that the MENA was ruined by the Iraq war is historical ignorance of the highest order.

            “Never said he did, genius.”

            Yes, you did. And I quote you in the previous one….

            “…and destabilized the entire Middle East as a result.”

            Pity me for not having the ESP to tell that when you typed “the entire Middle East” you did not in fact mean The Entire Middle East.

            “Hussein was contained in the southern and northern no-fly zones.”

            Which did not prevent him from sending agents abroad, or aiding those who did.

            Again, the No Fly Zones didn’t stop him from welcoming AQ fighters into Baghdad itself for R&R.

            “He posed zero threat,”

            Something tells me that Bush, the Israelis, and the American tourists who he put bounties on the heads of would disagree.

            “and the lack of appreciable WMDs proved it.”

            WMDs are not the only threat he posed, as the very citation for force showed.

            The fact that he was harboring Bin laden lieutenants like Zarqawi showed that.

            And finally, the terms of the Gulf War ceasefire did not prevent him from having “appreciable WMDs.” It banned him from having them at all, period.

            So even corroded gas shells that were not properly turned in amounted to a violation of the terms of the Ceasefire and thus a casus belli. Just not one many people would choose to use.

            “You said it yourself, they should not have been sent home with their
            weapons. They should have been vetted and repatriated to defend Iraq
            under a coalition government. ”

            And on that much we agree.

            “One that had equal representation of all the ethnic groups residing within the borders.”

            Problem: the Iraqi military you propsoe vetting was institutionally incapable of that. The years of sectarian internal war had resulted in it being overwhelmingly Sunni, to say nothing of Arab. It would be like trying to get an equitable solution to defend a multicultural and tolerant Germany out of the Waffen SS.

            Could it have been done? maaaaybe .But the result would have been vastly different from the original.

            “What resulted in Iraq is a travesty of errors by the U.S. ”

            In part, agreed. But the idea that absolutely nobody had any other role- or that Obama and Clinton had none- is beyond nonsense.

            “I cite the Ba’athists solely as many of them joined the ranks of ISIS.”

            And fairly so. Though that is probably evidence of just what a problem they were.

            “We didn’t disband or demand the banishment of the Communists at the fall of the USSR either, in exchange for aid.”

            Oh boy, this claim….

            A: Apples to oranges. We did not defeat the Communist USSR by force of arms, occupy their seats of power, and have the ability to force terms through the barrel of a gun. We did with the Nazis, Japan, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

            The idea that we had identical leverage with a foreign, unoccupied empire- even one that needed aid from us- does not cut it.

            And B: Remember what happened because of that failure? We have a little KGB Alumnus named Putin in the Kremlin and plenty of his buddies in dominant positions in Russian politics.

            So maaaaybe that might be a significant argument for why leaving old totalitarians from old totalitarian institutes around is a bad thing?

            “Why should I? Bush made the right call there.”

            The reason I mentioned that was because of the connection between the two wars, and the fact that the invasion had barely started before Bin Laden started drawing on troops and installations from elsewhere to fuel the war.

            “That was destined to be a horror show no matter what.”

            sadly agreed. On some level I would argue Iraq was too. However, post-Surge it was far less of one.

          • Vladislav Surkov

            The legality of the invasion of Iraq has been challenged since its inception on a number of fronts, and several prominent supporters of the invasion in all the invading nations have publicly and privately cast doubt on its legality. It has been argued that the invasion was fully legal because authorization was implied by the United Nations Security Council International legal experts, including the International Commission of Jurists, a group of 31 leading Canadian law professors, and the U.S.-based Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, have denounced both of these rationales.
            On Thursday 20 November 2003, an article published in the Guardian alleged that Richard Perle, a senior member of the administration’s Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee, conceded that the invasion was illegal but still justified.
            The United Nations Security Council has passed nearly 60 resolutions on Iraq and Kuwait since Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The most relevant to this issue is Resolution 678, passed on 29 November 1990. It authorizes “member states co-operating with the Government of Kuwait … to use all necessary means” to (1) implement Security Council Resolution 660 and other resolutions calling for the end of Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait and withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwaiti territory and (2) “restore international peace and security in the area.” Resolution 678 has not been rescinded or nullified by succeeding resolutions and Iraq was not alleged after 1991 to invade Kuwait or to threaten do so.
            So U.N.S.C.R. 678 related to Iraq in Kuwait. Considering the word “and” was used, that would tie the “area” to Kuwait.
            Resolution 1441 was most prominent during the run up to the war and formed the main backdrop for Secretary of State Colin Powell’s address to the Security Council one month before the invasion. According to an independent commission of inquiry set up by the government of the Netherlands, UN resolution 1441 “cannot reasonably be interpreted (as the Dutch government did) as authorising individual member states to use military force to compel Iraq to comply with the Security Council’s resolutions.” Accordingly, the Dutch commission concluded that the 2003 invasion violated international law.
            At the same time, Bush Administration officials advanced a parallel legal argument using the earlier resolutions, which authorized force in response to Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Under this reasoning, by failing to disarm and submit to weapons inspections, Iraq was in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions 660 and 678, and the U.S. could legally compel Iraq’s compliance through military means.
            Critics and proponents of the legal rationale based on the U.N. resolutions argue that the legal right to determine how to enforce its resolutions lies with the Security Council alone, not with individual nations.
            Laws and “Acts” passed by the U.S. Congress don’t make it ‘legal’ as a matter of International Law.
            As for your Politifact Article, I’ve stated Obama tried and failed to preserve a greater presence in Iraq. The fact your neo-con mind can’t grasp that is your problem. The fact remains Bush signed and agreed to the withdrawl of forces in Iraq.
            The article YOU CITED stated both Iraq and the U.S. refused to come to an agreement, despite Obama’s wishes. Do you even bother to read what you post?
            Feel free to cite the levels of sectarian violence in Iraq between 1991-2003. Link any article that states sectarian violence was worse in that period, versus the aftermath of Hussein’s fall.
            The facts remain Al Qaeda has minimal presence in Iraq during the Hussein Era.
            I can drag this farce on that you keep mentioning. Without any support or citations by you outside of anecdotal argument. Instead, feel free to read an exhaustive summary at Wikipedia.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam_Hussein_and_al-Qaeda_link_allegations
            Bush and Cheney pushed for the war under false pretense. Obama vetoed the bill as a Senator, and Clinton supported it. The fact almost every major NATO Member refused to support the U.S. in Iraq tells me what Europe thought of America at the time.

          • Turtler

            Continued

            “Bottom line is Al Qaeda became weaker after that war.”

            The Afghan War’s not over, hate to say. So that is a nonsequiter.

            And
            you’re ignoring the fact that a large part of it was because both
            fronts were going on at the same time. And so things like the failure of
            Bin Laden’s troops to hold Fallujah also crippled their fighting
            strength over in Afghanistan (and is a reason why most AQII survivors
            fled across the border into Syria rather than trying to make it for
            Afghanistan).

            Afghanistan certainly hurt Al Qaeda with the loss
            of its’ largest secure training facility and many of its’ fighters, but
            the idea there was a “good war” and “bad war” and that they had no
            impact on each other is codswallop.

            the fact that we’re talking
            about ISIS is an indication of that. Because A: Most AQII Fighters did
            not survive free (even Baghdadi spent some time in US detention), and
            those that did chose to break ranks with the mother organization during
            their exile in Syria.

            “”Nope” you say? Try again. ”

            I don’t have to.

            “While this is not a complete account of the formation of ISIS,”

            To say the least.

            “it points out several inconvenient facts.”

            But it also ignores the simple fact that ISIS still stands for the ISLAMIC STATE in SYRIA. Not the Islamic State in Iraq.

            It
            also ignores the fact that Baghdadi and his allies had to basically
            scrape together what was left of the exiled AQII fighters across the
            border.

            The fact that Baghdadi’s time in Bucca and that of his
            close compatriots had an influence in ISIS is not false, just like the
            time Hitler spent in the Reichswehr did on the Nazis.

            But you
            can’t ignore the fact that ISIS did not exist until the Syrian exile.
            Before then it was just AQII, including in the tattered remnant state.

            “There would have been no ISIS in Iraq, had Hussein and the Iraqi
            Military remained in power.”

            Again,
            Zarqawi and several leaders of Al Qaeda convalesced in Baghdad, and mas
            you yourself mentioned many future members of ISIS were in his regime.
            And not just in passing positions too.

            Just because there would
            be no ISIS crossing the border under that name does not mean the
            Jihadist sentiment of its’ people did not have it.

            “Al Qaeda had little to no foothold there.”

            Again,
            “little to no foothold” means apparently the ability to recieve money,
            medical care, and weapons ffrom a regime, even if it *didn’t
            particularly trust them.*

            If this is our benchmark for “little foothold”, it isn’t much.

            “Bush is the President who negotiated the withdrawal of U.S. Troops
            from Iraq. That is indisputable. ”

            No, it isn’t, because that implies he was the only one to do negotiating.

            That isn’t true, and even Politifact admits it. Obama had to negotiate too.

            “Iraq wanted U.S. Forces out.”

            Dubious at best.

            “Again, we would have had to topple ANOTHER Iraqi Government to remain past the
            negotiated withdrawal date. ”

            AGAIN,
            this is utter codswallop. The fact that we were able to have PMCs
            present in Iraq at all is testament to the fact that minor hiccups or
            disagreement about positioning does not mean someone has to launch a
            coup against a friendly government.

            Did you ever even pay attention to the negotiations as they happened?

            The fact that Obama was Still negotiating over the possibility of keeping troops in country is not disputable.

            http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/may/18/jeb-bush/obama-refused-sign-plan-place-leave-10000-troops-i/

            He said in October 2011 almost
            all troops would be home by Christmas. About 200 Marines would stay to
            train the Iraqi army and act as security for diplomatic personnel. In
            short, he kept the 2011 timeline Bush and al-Maliki had chosen.

            When it came time to renegotiate a new agreement, there was little
            consensus on whether a residual force should stay in the country.
            Military leaders in Baghdad and the Pentagon pushed for as many as
            24,000, but the White House rejected that amount. (For the record, U.S.
            forces in South Korea number more than 28,500.)

            Obama reportedly did consider leaving
            up to 10,000 troops in strategic locations after the exit, but that
            plan faced opposition both in the United States and in Iraq. Obama ruled
            out a force that size during an August 2011 conference call.

            Negotiations led to the idea of a smaller, continuous force of 3,500
            troops, with up to 1,500 more rotating in and out, and about a
            half-dozen F-16’s. But this plan ran into several roadblocks, including
            the insistence by Washington that those troops be immune to Iraqi —
            although not American — prosecution should they commit a crime.”

            But apparently all of this Never Happened to you.

            “You want to keep making up excuses, ”

            No, you do.

            You’re
            the one who quite literally tried to claim that Obama had no
            responsibility at all for his actions on policy, in the Iraq War and
            lord knows what else. Because apparently someone’s biases against the
            previous President means one can excuse the next one from
            responsibility.

            Of all the many things I have done, I have not
            claimed Bush does not have responsibility for what he did, including the
            mistakes.

            “but those are the facts.”

            No, they aren’t.
            And they quite blatantly are not as even friendly sources show. The idea
            that all of Iraq wanted us out ignores the basic diplomacy at the
            time, and the idea that Obama did no negotiating is also not true.

            “The failure of Bush to extend SOFA set the chain of events in stone.”

            No, it didn’t. As the above showed.

            “Obama couldn’t force it any more than Bush could at
            that point. ”

            Agreed,but you’re acting as though force was the only option.

            Which
            is a strawman unworthy of consideration. If you haven’t done enough
            research to learn that there Were negotiations over the SOFA during
            Obama’s years, what are you?

            “‘t You are arguing semantics regarding my use of SOFA at this
            point.””

            The problem is that is not the only thing I am arguing.

            And semantics are important.

            “Obama walked away from what? The withdrawal of forces agreement Bush agreed to and signed on?”

            In
            a word, yes, as well as negotiations between Washington and Baghdad
            (however flawed) about even a limited troop contingent here.

            And that is truly indisputable. Even if he does not deserve all the blame, it does not change the fact.

            “Hussein was contained,”

            Heck of a containment that allows you to continue financing terrorism.

            “and the wasn’t remotely at a level of hostilities caused by the aftermath of the 2003 illegal U.S. invasion. ”

            Firstly,
            beyond being factually dishonest- as I covered before- at this point
            “illegal US Invasion” is freaking tedious and monotonous, even if you
            are not a native English speaker. Vary it up at least.

            And secondly, it was significantly more violent than it was in late 2008 and on, so that claim cuts both ways.

            “Provide a single source proving what you claim other than from some
            conspiracy website.”

            You’ve
            regurgitated utter trash that is easy to disprove- sometimes even using
            friendly sources like Politiact-,you obviously do not know the history
            of the region on a very basic level (such as claiming the region was not
            chaotic before… Hah!) , which indicates you are either unconscionably
            lazy about your research or dishonest, if not both.

            And you expect me to do the legwork for you anyway?

            Sorry, it isn’t going to work like that. Fresh out of patience.

            Do your own dang legwork for a change, because it’s clear you haven’t done a lot of it.

            If you are the one that wants to make the claim that it is illegal or that Saddam was contained, the onus is on you to prove it.

            “People “fail to get it”, because everyone has seen past the lies perpetrated to cause the illegal 2003 Iraq War.”

            I exist. As do those Kurdish-Americans, Totten, an ex AF Intel officer I Rp with, and others.

            Therefore, your claim about “everyone” is false.

            “Oh no, I agree with you on this point. I have no love for Hussein,
            Assad, or Qaddafi. I just believe you don’t invade nations illegally
            with a bonafide strategy for every possible contingency. ”

            The
            language is mangled there, especially on the latter. So you’re saying
            you should not invade nations illegally while prepared?

            “The U.S. invaded Iraq with absolutely no contingency or plans for an asymmetrical
            phase.”

            Not ture, they just weren’t very well.

            “Iraq wanted the U.S. to remain in Iraq? ”

            Many
            Iraqis did, though not all. The division went all the way up to the
            government in Baghdad (and in Washington) itself , which is one reason
            why the negotiations during Obama’s term fell through.

            But the idea that everybody wanted them out and the only alternative was to overthrow the government is stupid and false.

            “Then why did Bush agree to withdraw? ”

            Because
            of domestic political pressure and the fact that the war had largely
            been won, with the back of AQII, the Sadrists, and the like being
            essentially broken.as a military force (albeit like the peace in South
            Vietnam in 1974 between the successful bombing campaign nad the
            Communist resurgence after the failure of domestic will).

            As you can see here, after midway in 2008 the casualty figures basically implode.

            http://icasualties.org/iraq/ByMonth.aspx

            But Bush did intend for auxillary troops to stay on for a period after.

            “Why wasn’t Obama able to renegotiate it, when it’s no secret
            he tried and failed to do it?”

            This is completely in contrast to what you said earlier.

            “Bush is the President who negotiated the withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Iraq. That is indisputable.”

            “The failure of Bush to extend SOFA set the chain of events in stone.”

            So did Obama have absolutely nothing to do with the negotiations, or did he? Pick one and stick to it.

            But
            for the record, he did try to negotiate it, but he did it half
            heartedly. Especially since unlike Bush he was not wedded to trying to
            build a functional Iraq and was committed to getting all troops home as
            soon as possible. So when even basic difficulties popped up- incuding
            the Obama administration refusing to have American servicepeople tried
            under a reformed Iraqi law for civil crimes- he simply walked away.

            “I believe you are somewhat correct here, and at the same time oversimplifying things.”

            The
            person who claims that the only alternative to complying with a set
            date of withdrawal was the armed overthrow of a government thinks I’m
            simplifying things?

            Sorry mate, but it seems like you don’t know
            much in the way of military bureaucracy or logic. I will not pretend
            that Bush’s timetable for withdrawal was not important or that Obama did
            not negotiate for it, but I certainly reject any poppinjay idea that
            it is impossible to alter a schedule between allied governments without
            war.

          • Vladislav Surkov

            When did I say the War in Afghanistan was over? My statement remains correct about Al Qaeda, despite recent Taliban gains there. The rest I will defer to my previous comments. It’s late and I am getting tired of rebutting your anecdotal arguments, or your hypocritical and irrational support for Donald J. Trump.

            Maybe Donny will “grab [someone] by the p***y” on his way to the Oval Office to boost his ratings some more.

          • Turtler

            “When did I say the War in Afghanistan was over?”

            And I quote you….

            https://disqus.com/home/discussion/euromaidanpress/putin_making_the_same_mistake_hitler_did_piontkovsky_says/#comment-2938269813

            “Bottom line is Al Qaeda became weaker after that war.”

            Now do you seriously expect me to police your own statements for your own faulty memory?

            Or do you demand I provide a citation for what the word “after” means?

            “It’s late and I am getting tired of rebutting your anecdotal arguments, ”

            Then imagine how tired I am about fielding responses from a neophyte and a hypocrite who has written rubbish like a war between the PRC and ROK or Japan being over in “Hours” and then insisted I provide citations for why that isn’t true. Someone who cannot even keep track of what they have said, and who has been caught in several blatant and indisputable lies like the idea that Bush did not send any Georgian troops back while the Russian invasion was raging.

            And you can understand why my tolerence for you has run down.

            “or your hypocritical and irrational support for Donald J. Trump.”

            Except it is not irrational and hypocritical.

            My principles have always been to elect the most conservative candidate possible, as per Buckley. As much as I may dislike that fact, that man is now Donald Trump.

            And as for rationality, I actually believe what John Adams said that this is a nation of laws and not of men even if neither Clinton or Trump do. I am well aware that Hillary clinton has committed a crime that explicitly disqualifies her for any position in the Federal Government, and thus I will make the rational decision to vote for the lesser evil and elect the person who can actually form a vaguely legal government.

            In the end, it comes down to this: can you in any way even Contest that the sworn testimony of the FBI Director and leaks from Emails is that Hillary Clinton violated this?

            https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2071

            That is something you cannot dismiss as a mere anecdote.

          • Vladislav Surkov

            “And I quote you….”

            “After the war” could mean after the war began or ended. It is ambiguous at best, and you made an incorrect supposition. I can mention South Korea “after the (Korean) war”, even though the Koreas technically remain in a state of war. I’m certain you’re choosing to argue semantics here. It is indisputable Al Qaeda no longer maintains the same level of threat or strength today, that they did in 2001.

            “Then imagine how tired I am about fielding responses from a neophyte and a hypocrite who has written rubbish like a war between the PRC and ROK or Japan being over in “Hours” and then insisted I provide citations for why that isn’t true.”

            You introduced straw mans to support your constant moving of the goal posts. My entire premise was based on China without the U.S. acting as a counter force with respect to the defense of Japan and South Korea. You continuously dreamed up scenarios of a joint Indian / Vietnamese / Japanese / Korean alliance to repel a Chinese Military, that not only vastly out numbers them in troops, but in terms of every category of military equipment. None of those countries, even combined can match China’s Naval and Air Force Capabilities. We’re not even factoring Chinese “nukes” and conventional missiles. Recalling wars in 1894, or before China became the economic super power it is today, have no bearing on China’s fate in an eventual war with either Japan or South Korea. It’s not even a contest. China dwarfs the response capabilities of every one of those nations exponentially. Your Trump supporting self refuses to accept the obvious. When Donny refuses to back either state, they are at China’s complete mercy. With the current U.S. security guarantees removed, China can and will wipe out any matriculation towards a nuclear payload deployment.

            As for ‘citations’, you provided straw mans. All based on discreet dream scenarios you conjured up in your head. There is no collective defense policy between the nations you named.

            “Someone who cannot even keep track of what they have said, and who has been caught in several blatant and indisputable lies like the idea that Bush did not send any Georgian troops back while the Russian invasion was raging.”

            Quote me. I stated Bush didn’t prove any support or defend Georgia during Russia’s invasion. Taxiing a few troops home, and warning an attack on U.S. Air Force Equipment in Tbilisi is hardly support in military parlance. Did Bush send a single battalion? You’re so dumb, you can’t even provide a single passage from the “New START” treaty that recognizes Russia’s puppet states of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. You ignore the fact that U.S. Presidents entered deals and treaties with the Soviets despite Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia 1968, and the (never recognized by the U.S.) USSR occupation of the Baltic States. None of those things stopped Ronald Reagan or George Shultz, from meeting with and brokering deals with their Soviet counterparts.

            “And you can understand why my tolerance for you has run down.”

            The feeling is mutual. I have low tolerance for someone who drives their ideology based on a decades long hatred of the Clintons. Especially when it comes to voting for a piece of garbage like Donald J. Trump. You will ignore every disgusting thing Trump has been accused of, or every single geopolitical gaffe Donny makes regardless of ramification, just to coddle your own personal animosity for the Clintons.

            “Except it is not irrational and hypocritical.

            My principles have always been to elect the most conservative candidate possible, as per Buckley. As much as I may dislike that fact, that man is now Donald Trump.”

            Donald J. Trump doesn’t even meet the barest minimum standard of conservative. You’d be better off writing the name down of an actual conservative. Paul Ryan or any other Republican on Earth not named Donald J. Trump. This is about electing anyone without the last name of or relation to Clinton. If any conservative Republican did even 1/10th of what Donald has done in the past 60 days, let alone past 24 hours, the RNC and its supporters would have ex-communicated him on the spot.

            Because the RNC lacks the fortitude, individual members are either disavowing his comments, dropping their endorsements, or calling for his outright withdrawal as the Republican Nominee. Bob Dole remains the sole living RNC Presidential Nominee to support Donald J. Trump.

            “And as for rationality, I actually believe what John Adams said that this is a nation of laws and not of men even if neither Clinton or Trump do. I am well aware that Hillary Clinton has committed a crime that explicitly disqualifies her for any position in the Federal Government, and thus I will make the rational decision to vote for the lesser evil and elect the person who can actually form a vaguely legal government.”

            Hillary Clinton was ACCUSED of a crime. She sat before two 12 hour Congressional Inquiries, an F.B.I. Investigation, and several internal reviews. While she may have been irresponsible and careless, she did not meet the criteria to be prosecuted. She wasn’t convicted, despite millions of dollars wasted. You continue to rage on about E-Mails, yet in typical Neo-Con Fashion, you gloss over George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice doing the exact same thing. Where are their E-Mails? Where are the Congressional Inquiries? Colin Powel’s AOL Account was hacked. I literally read the advice he gave Hillary Clinton.

            “Use private phone line, personal AOL account… and keep mouth shut”

            http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/09/colin-powell-told-clinton-how-he-side-stepped-security-rules-with-private-e-mail/

            No outrage by you, or the typical Drudge Report / Briet Bart acolytes.

            Never mind the fact the F.B.I. concluded there was zero evidence Clinton’s E-Mail Server was hacked by external actors of individual or state apparatus.

            How many were prosecuted and convicted over the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_White_House_email_controversy again?

            Oh, no feigned outrage over that, or recognition this type of behavior being S.O.P. among Washington D.C. officials for a while now.
            “In the end, it comes down to this: can you in any way even Contest that the sworn testimony of the FBI Director and leaks from Emails is that Hillary Clinton violated this?
            https://www.law.cornell.edu/us

            That is something you cannot dismiss as a mere anecdote.”

            Let me know when a court indicts or convicts Clinton based on that statute. The U.S. Congressional Hearings failed to extract anything to move forward on. The Director of the F.B.I. also failed in that endeavor. Worse, despite labeling Hillary “extremely careless”, Comey recommended that no charges be filed against Clinton.

            Like your boy Donald J. Trump, nothing will ever quench your distaste for the Clintons. You will always operate from the presumption of guilt, just as Donny once again spoke on the guilt of the “Central Park Five” again this week. D.N.A. evidence isn’t enough to convince a flat Earth Birther like Trump and his supporters. “Law and Order” indeed.

            We are a nation of laws right? With a presumption of innocence right? Oh, except in the case of the Clintons.

          • Turtler

            This is why it isn’t productive to argue with a remorseless psychopath with zero logical training.

            But to answer your question…

            “I’m certain you’re choosing to argue semantics here.”

            Yes, yes I am.

            And you know why?

            Because semantics are still true.

            Furthermore, they are also relatively uncontroversial. While you can make multi million dollar industries off of what a high profile figure allegedly did or didn’t do (as I will admit has been the case for both the Clintons and Trump) there aren’t many SemanticalTruthers out there. While there are a few conspiracy theories about language constructon, there aren’t many alleging “Anecdotal” means something different.

            All of this makes them a good way to dissect somebody’s conduct. Including their debating strategy, how honest they are, how reasonable they are, and what I can expect from them.

            Let’s take this example.

            “”After the war” could mean after the war began or ended. ambiguous at best, and you made an incorrect supposition. ”

            Translation: you’re the one who wrote the message out, you challenged me to find a place where I wrote that, and now you’re trying to blame me for the fact that you wrote it out the way you did and I took it on the dictionary standard meaning.

            Yeah, let’s apply this bull$hit logic to a few other examples.

            “Germany obtained hegemony in Eastern Europe after WWI (following the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk but before its’ defeat in 1918).”

            or how about:

            “MacArthur liberated most of the peninsula after the Korean War (started, but before the PLA came across

            Or to mix it up…

            “After the Vietnam War, the US bombed North Vietnam into accepting defeat at the peace table (in 1974, before internal US disputes let the Communists surge and conquer Saigon).”

            Or for something closer in everyday examples…

            “Her exhaustion was still acute after her sleep (began, before she hit REM).”

            How many people do you think would infer the part in parenthesis from the part not in parenthesis?

            And the dictionary definition is pretty clear too.

            http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/after

            So this is not “ambiguous at best.” At most it is slightly ambiguous in certain situations.

            Situations that are far from intuitive while reading and thus are rarely used.

            So the insistence that this is “ambiguous at best” and that I just made an incorrect supposition- besides passing the buck for why the thing was worded to make an incorrect supposition likely- is the equivalent of urinating in my ear and telling me it’s Hurricane Matthew.

            That coupled with your other conduct in this debate- such as moving the goal posts, logical fallacies aplenty, and failure to do basic research on plenty of things- neatly summarizes your conduct. And is why

            “It is indisputable Al Qaeda no longer maintains the same
            level of threat or strength today, that they did in 2001.”

            True, for now.

            However, pace the previous bit the war is still not over. And unlikely reversals are possible.

            “You introduced straw mans to support your constant moving of the goal
            posts.”

            Translation: NO U.

            Problem: Prove it.

            Second problem: even if this were true, it certainly is not a defense of you.

            “My entire premise was based”

            Not knowing basic history or what the Chinese military could or could not do.

            Period.

            I’m not the one who was daft enough to write out how a war between the PRC or ROK and Japan would be over in “hours” with a Chinese victory when not even the most onesided war in Chinese foreign policy history (of which their invasion of Tibet is a good candidate) was over that fast.

            I’m also not the one who insisted ad infinitum that numbers win wars, period, with no other situation, in spite of the fact that a basic knowledge of history shows that isn’t true and the Chinese have known that for a long period of time.

            Your entire premise was based not merely on the reasonable possibility that the PRC might commit aggression against the Pacific Rim nations without the US, but on a doomsday scenario that it certainly WOULD, and that it would squash all obstacles before it including basic history and its’ likely enemies capabilities for defense.

            That makes your premise based on a flawed model, which is helpfully shown by the continued existence of Vietnam outside of the US security umbrella or Chinese patronage without war.

            It isn’t my fault you decided to do that, and to debate about something you are woefully uneducated about. It also isn’t my responsibility to educate you on it.

            “on China without the U.S. acting as a counter force with respect to the defense of Japan and South Korea.”

            No, you didn’t.

            Your accusations were much more specific and far reaching than that, so stop trying to pretend they weren’t.

            “You continuously dreamed”

            No, II talked about serious possibilities that people have actually come up with in the White House, the Blue House, the Diet, and elsewhere. As well as the basic historical fact that overaggressive powers tend to attract coalitions.

            Not always, but Often.

            Again, if you can’t even keep track of what Obama did during his supposed “pivot towards Asia-“- let alone what the other governments have done- it is not my fault or responsibility.

            “that not only vastly out numbers them in troops,”

            Except that is not true, particularly in the case of the Indian military..

            The PRC’s armed forces number 2,810,000 active and reservists, give or take a few thousand.

            India’s armed forces alone muster 2,637,000 active and reserve, again give or take a few thousand.

            So before we add in anything else, you’re now you’re seriously trying to tell me that having 163,000~ soldiers constitutes “vastly outnumbering.”

            Because again, you haven’t studied the region, haven’t studied military science, and can’t be bothered to try.

            Similar issues pop up with your insistence regarding the military equipment.

            “None of those countries, even combined can match China’s Naval and Air Force Capabilities. ”

            No, you just can’t imagine they can.

            Because you have a deeply unrealistic image of how compete, large, and experienced they are.

            “We’re not even factoring Chinese “nukes” and conventional missiles. ”

            We’re also not factoring in Indian ones, or those of the rest.

            “China dwarfs the response capabilities of every one of those nations exponentially.”

            All this sentence tells me is that you don’t know what the term “Exponentially” means. I’m not even good at math and I know what it means.

            It is not exponentially greater than even the JSDF alone- the military that is legally not a military- has about 303,000 people.

            Multiplying the JSDF by ten to the power of One (the lowest common exponent used) – that is ten alone- gets it to be about 3,030,000.

            And yes, that is semantic.

            It is also mathematical.

            And it tells me you don’t know what the heck you’ve been unwise enough to type.

            ” Your Trump supporting self refuses to accept the obvious.”

            The obvious falsehood birthed in utter ignorance.

            Yes, how dare I not accept someone yelling at me that there are Five Lights when there are really four.

            Really, if your conduct is this reprehensible and ignorant and you will not address it, there is no point in talking to you.

            For those who think they can control language think they can control reality..

          • Vladislav Surkov

            “This is why it isn’t productive to argue with a remorseless psychopath with zero logical training.”

            Says the man continuing to sling insults and troll. I think you need to stop looking in the mirror as you type.

            But to answer your question…

            RE: “I’m certain you’re choosing to argue semantics here. — “Yes, yes I am”.

            Of course, when all else fails, troll. Even if you didn’t know what I meant, or couldn’t figure it out, you decided to throw a temper tantrum and ignore my follow up. You dismissed it completely and continued to troll.

            “Because semantics are still true.”

            Didn’t say they were completely false. Your engagement is not about debate. It’s about you trying to score a “victory” by trolling.

            “Furthermore, they are also relatively uncontroversial. While you can make multi million dollar industries off of what a high profile figure allegedly did or didn’t do (as I will admit has been the case for both the Clintons and Trump) there aren’t many SemanticalTruthers out there. While there are a few conspiracy theories about language constructon, there aren’t many alleging “Anecdotal” means something different.”

            More trolling.

            RE: After the war “Translation: you’re the one who wrote the message out, you challenged me to find a place where I wrote that, and now you’re trying to blame me for the fact that you wrote it out the way you did and I took it on the dictionary standard meaning.”

            I challenged YOU (not “I”) to quote where I said “ended”. You said that. I simply didn’t make myself purposely clear which I will own as my mistake. You entire argument beyond that again amount to trolling, because God Forbid someone challenges your opinion.

            “MacArthur liberated most of the peninsula after the Korean War (started, but before the PLA came across”

            Before the Chinese pushed MacArthur south of the 38th. Parallel again.
            “Her exhaustion was still acute after her sleep (began, before she hit REM).”

            I didn’t say “ended”. I said “After That War” and lead on with my statement. You simply made it a point to ignore my clarification, and foam at the mouth like the usual band of “birthers”, “Benghazi”, and others who choose to highlight Clinton’s past and ignore the gaffes (and actual business history).

            “Bottom line is Al Qaeda became weaker after that war.” — my statement.

            https://disqus.com/home/discussion/euromaidanpress/putin_making_the_same_mistake_hitler_did_piontkovsky_says/#comment-2938269813

            As for Trump’s Business acumen (a large reason people ‘support’ him, besides the “anyone but Hillary Clinton” mentality); that’s debatable. We don’t know Trump’s Personal Wealth. If Bloomberg’s numbers are correct, Trump would have a greater fortune had he invested in index funds.
            https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2015-09-03/should-donald-trump-have-indexed-

            “And the dictionary definition is pretty clear too.”
            http://www.merriam-webster.com

            “following in time : at a later time” (i.e. commenced) Which was my intention, and I tried to clarify that after you began tirade..

            “Situations that are far from intuitive while reading and thus are rarely used.”

            I concede that point. Even if I believe your entire point is to troll; rather than have an actual civil discussion.

            “That coupled with your other conduct in this debate- such as moving the goal posts, logical fallacies aplenty, and failure to do basic research on plenty of things- neatly summarizes your conduct. And is why”

            Such as your constant maintenance of the possibility of India, Japan, South Korea, joining forces to repel or defeat an unchecked China? When any of your aforementioned nations sign a collective defense treaty, or even a “Memorandum of Understanding”, then we’ll consider that an actual possibility.

            “It is indisputable Al Qaeda no longer maintains the same level of threat or strength today, that they did in 2001.”

            “True, for now. However, pace the previous bit the war is still not over. And unlikely reversals are possible.”

            Didn’t say reversals weren’t possible. I said “after that war” began, and the U.S. and NATO Forces spent 15 years (give or take) targeting Al Qaeda. Currently, my response is correct, and to your credit, you agree in the current term.

            “Not knowing basic history or what the Chinese military could or could not do.”

            Global Firepower ranks a Japan vs. China numbers game.
            http://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-comparison-detail.asp?form=form&country1=japan&country2=china&Submit=COMPARE

            as well as China vs. South Korea.
            http://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-comparison-detail.asp?form=form&country1=china&country2=south-korea&Submit=COMPARE

            In several categories, China has huge advantages.

            “I’m not the one who was daft enough to write out how a war between the PRC or ROK and Japan would be over in “hours” with a Chinese victory when not even the most onesided war in Chinese foreign policy history (of which their invasion of Tibet is a good candidate) was over that fast.”

            In the original post that you replied to, I detailed exactly

            2. Trump is willing to pull U.S. forces from South Korea, all but guaranteeing another invasion by the Chinese supported North. Donald is willing to allow Japan and South Korea to develop Nuclear Weapons, which Beijing is obviously going to let happen right? Yeah, Trump is going to blow up the largest Asian Markets, causing a worldwide panic with another foreign policy blunder.

            You disagree with statement, and proceed to ignore the fact I placed a caveat with that statement. Every single post I made was contingent upon President Trump not honoring our defense commitments, whatever those may actually entail, with respect to China and South Korea.
            http://disq.us/p/1ckiafr

            U.S. Deterence, and the ramifications on enagegment with that force keep China at bay.

            “I’m also not the one who insisted ad infinitum that numbers win wars, period, with no other situation, in spite of the fact that a basic knowledge of history shows that isn’t true and the Chinese have known that for a long period of time.”

            When they compare in a war with China vs. South Korea and Japan, they do. When India, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, and any other Asian Partner sign a collective defense treaty, implement interoperability standards, train together in collective exercises, and fully fund that; maybe that force can repel or defeat the Chinese. If China manages a “Munich” style appeasement, it may succeed with keeping India and Vietnam out. There are a lot of variables, and everything at this stage is “talk”. Even from Donald J. Trump. If he gets elected, and reneges on U.S. Defense Commitments there, it’s done should China adopt a “first strike” doctrine. As I keep saying.

            “Your entire premise was based not merely on the reasonable possibility that the PRC might commit aggression against the Pacific Rim nations without the US, but on a doomsday scenario that it certainly WOULD, and that it would squash all obstacles before it including basic history and its’ likely enemies capabilities for defense.”

            I named the specific criteria for my premise, in the original posting of mine, in which you replied to. If China goes “nuclear”, before Japan and South Korea have actual deployment capabilities it’s game over. Unless your mythological Asian Defense Pact becomes little more than diplomatic discussion.

            “That makes your premise based on a flawed model, which is helpfully shown by the continued existence of Vietnam outside of the US security umbrella or Chinese patronage without war.”

            Nuclear weapons didn’t exist during the Han Dynasty, or during the Opium Wars. China didn’t achieve even remote capability until October 1964. China has progressed since then/

            “It isn’t my fault you decided to do that, and to debate about something you are woefully uneducated about. It also isn’t my responsibility to educate you on it.”

            Such as your arguments about the E-Mail Scandals, and your constant insistance of Clinton being personally responsible for the largest intelligence leak in history. As well as your incorrect usage of U.N.S.C. Resolutions regarding the legality for the Iraq War. Or what the “New START Treaty” a.k.a.”the reset” entailed. Or the fact Reagan and Shultz conducted similar diplomacy with the USSR despite ideological differences.

            “No, you didn’t.”

            Feel free to re-read the original post of mine, that you replied to, I linked it for you.

            “No, II talked about serious possibilities that people have actually come up with in the White House, the Blue House, the Diet, and elsewhere. As well as the basic historical fact that overaggressive powers tend to attract coalitions.”

            Possibilities, i.e. the hope that those sides can come to an iron clad collective defense agreement.

            “Again, if you can’t even keep track of what Obama did during his supposed “pivot towards Asia-“- let alone what the other governments have done- it is not my fault or responsibility.”

            Feel free to link an article establishing so much as an “MoU” of what you claim.

            “Except that is not true, particularly in the case of the Indian military..”

            India has no collective defense treaty with Japan or South Korea. Discussions regarding possible cooperation are just that.

            “The PRC’s armed forces number 2,810,000 active and reservists, give or take a few thousand.”

            Which vastly outnumbers those of South Korea and Japan.

            “India’s armed forces alone muster 2,637,000 active and reserve, again give or take a few thousand.”

            Again irrelevant. You have nothing but speculation whether or not India will support either South Korea or Japan should they be attacked.

            “Because again, you haven’t studied the region, haven’t studied military science, and can’t be bothered to try.”

            I’m not the one conjuring dreamed up fantasies about the possibilities of alliances, which currently don’t exist. That’s you. Feel free to re-examine the data regarding the Militaries of China, South Korea, and Japan on the links I provided above.

            “We’re also not factoring in Indian ones, or those of the rest.”

            You keep assuming India will involve itself in a potential conflict of China versus Japan and South Korea. That is your error.

            “It is not exponentially greater than even the JSDF alone- the military that is legally not a military- has about 303,000 people.”

            That number is Japan’s combined force of Active Duty Military and Active Reservists (GlobalFirePower lists the combined Active Duty and Active Reservists to be at 307,900).
            If we take the statistics from GlobalFirePower, China’s combined forces are 4,635,000.
            South Korea has about 625,000 Active Duty, 2.9M active reservists.

            If we take those numbers into account, China has 802,100 more military personnel that Japan and South Korea combined. We’re not even factoring population numbers “fit for service” that could be drafted.

            “Multiplying the JSDF by ten to the power of One (the lowest common exponent used) – that is ten alone- gets it to be about 3,030,000.”

            Again, that number is Japan’s combined force of Active Duty Military and Active Reservists.

            “And it tells me you don’t know what the heck you’ve been unwise enough to type.”

            It demonstrates your sole purpose is to troll at this point.

            “Really, if your conduct is this reprehensible and ignorant and you will not address it, there is no point in talking to you.”

            Reprehensible? Ignorant? Talk about gross mischaracterizations. I understand you’re a troll, who when challenged with a differing opinion resorts to the tactics of a 15 year old. Outlandish name calling is obviously your M.O.

            “I’m not even going to dignify the rest of this post with my time or attention.”

            Feel free to return to Breit Bart or Infowars. Or whatever outlet massages your delusional support for Donald Trump. In the mean time, actual conservatives are abandoning Trump.

          • Turtler

            “Says the man continuing to sling insults and troll.”

            I only plead guilty to slinging insults. For all the things I have done, trolling is not one of them.

            “I think you need to stop looking in the mirror as you type.”

            I’m not. And you know how I know that (beyond the fact that I am explicitly quoting your posts)?

            I’m not the one who insisted that military history prior to this point had absolutely no bearing on Chinese performance in a hypothetical future war. So I’m not looking in a mirror accusing myself of something I didn’t do.

            You however, are trolling badly.

            “Of course, when all else fails, troll. ”

            Semantics is not trolling, period.

            But nice to know that you’re arguing that quite literally taking you at your word is somehow unfair or trolling.

            “Even if you didn’t know what I meant, or couldn’t figure it out,”

            I did know what you mean and I did figure it out. using the basic imeaning of the words.

            In response to which you started crying Troll for the heinous offense of actually paying attention to what you typed far closer than you did.

            “you decided to throw a temper tantrum and ignore my follow up. You dismissed it completely”

            I did not throw a temper tantrum. However, I did ignore your follow up and dismiss it almost completely.

            For similar reasons to why I routinely dismiss “Banderaizts Shot down the Malaysians” trolls and Holocaust Deniers.

            Because somebody stupid enough to think that China “vastly outnumbers” India militarily or a study of military history is of no consequence when assessing possible future conflicts but shameless enough to try passing those things off as a fact is not acting honestly.

            Someone who claims that a future war between the PRC and a given Pacific Rim nation- would be over within “hours” in spite of such a thing never happening before, would use nuclear weapons in a conventional military conflict in spite of the same, or that the PRC would launch an unprovoked war of aggression against the ROK or Japan for merely trying to develop nuclear weapons is claiming something that is not obvious.

            And someone who claims that the PRC vastly outnumbers India, is “exponentially” greater in military power than any other force, or that a given medium makes a message completely worthless saying something that is obviously false. To cite just a few.

            So I completely dismissed your follow up because even a cursory look revealed how utterly devoid of merit many of those claims were, and how you were trying to act as a bully rather than a debater.

            And what are you going to do about it?

            “Didn’t say they were completely false.”

            No, you merely implied it before. And now you are outright accusing me of “trolling” simply by using it.

            Neither is true.

            “Your engagement is not about debate.”

            My engagement is debate.

            As for what it is about, it started out as boredom and the hope of a rational debate on here, and now it’s degenerated into idly poking the witching body for my own amusement.

            “It’s about you trying to score a “victory” by trolling.”

            No, I’m not. And you know why?

            Because you handed me the victory the very second you began peddling what were not only lies, but obvious lies about many features. Most obviously about Far Eastern military strengths and geopolitics.

            I don’t have to “try” to do something that I already have achieved.

            “I challenged YOU (not “I”) to quote where I said “ended”.”

            And I succeeded, even by your definition.

            After which you got on your high horse and started complaining about me noticing your use of the term “after.”

            End of discussion.

            ” I simply didn’t make myself purposely clear which I will own as my
            mistake.

            Which is a fair issue, and which could have been resolved earlier if you were less prickly or consistently abusive of both the English language and my patience.

            “You simply made it a point to ignore my clarification,”

            I obviously did not ignore it, or I would not have typed several of the examples you have quoted now, such as the MacArthur sentence.

            I simply *refuted* your clarification because of how it engaged in both trying to shift the buck for your poor spelling and engage in faulty logic.

            And in light of that, I will consider the matter settled and bury that particular hatchet. It is not very productive.

            “You entire argument beyond that again amount to trolling,”

            No, it is not.

            Disputing the idea that Obama had no responsibility for what happened in Iraq during his tenure (using standards of responsibility that would not pass muster in the real world), disagreeing with the idea that nuclear inspections have been a useful tool against proliferation, and debating your premises for positing a PRC that is not only highly aggressive but apocalyptic ally so and absolutely successful is not trolling.

            “because God Forbid someone challenges your opinion.”

            I don’t know what kind of special snowflake you think you are, but I lived as a Conservative Republican in California, and I’ve run across plenty of other people on this site alone who have “challenged” my opinion. You’re not the only one, and you are far from the most competent.

            The idea that I am so dismissive of someone who claims it’s an “obvious fact” that the PRC “vastly outnumbers” India or would win any Pacific Rim war in “Hours”draws from them merely challenging my opinion is balderdash.

            It has more to do with you challenging basic *fact* and in a baldly dishonest and aggressive way.

            Moving on.

            “As for Trump’s Business acumen (a large reason people ‘support’ him,
            besides the “anyone but Hillary Clinton” mentality);”

            Indeed, though pointedly the former is not for me.

            “that’s debatable. We don’t know Trump’s Personal Wealth.’

            Indeed, we do not know his precise personal wealth. Though he is obviously not in the poor house, to say the least.

            “If Bloomberg’s numbers are correct, Trump would have a greater fortune had he invested in index funds.”

            Which is quite believable. It’s also very likely he would have a greater fortune if he avoided a number of his gaffes, bridge burning, and screw ups in bankruptcy

            “I concede that point. Even if I believe your entire point is to troll; rather than have an actual civil discussion.”

            Civil discussion started to go by the wayside after you started the process of straw-manning, acting like a condescending prick, and being intellectually dishonest.

            And yes, I can point to the fact that you are the one who started it.

            “Such as your constant maintenance of the possibility of India, Japan,
            South Korea, joining forces to repel or defeat an unchecked China? ”

            No, that is not comparable.

            Because it is a legitimate Possibility, and one that is much more likely than the idea that even a PRC that goes nuclear would end a war with an unaided Pac Rim nation within “hours” (which is still not impossible, “merely” unprecedented).

            That means it does not fall under any of the three things I listed, a logical fallacy, a case of moving the goal posts, or a failure to do basic research.

            “When any of your aforementioned nations sign a collective defense
            treaty, or even a “Memorandum of Understanding”, then we’ll consider
            that an actual possibility.”

            Sorry, but that isn’t how it works.

            Because it is already an actual possibility now. Just like it is an actual possibility that the PRC or DPRK’s SOF is able to get into the Blue House and assassinate the Executive Branch of the ROK’s government in one fell swoop without a wider war. And the even more narrow (to put it mildly) case that they could institute a Northern led reunification by doing so.

            Not all actual possibilities are created alike, and not all have all the steps taken to make them as likely as they could be. But the idea that we should dismiss the mere *possibility* of the PRC’s many irate neighbors would react to it going on a bloody rampage by banding together is balderdash.

            Having a diplomatic agreement on it would make it much more likely, but not having it does not magically prevent it from being an “actual possibility.”

            “Global Firepower ranks a Japan vs. China numbers game.”

            Firstly, as I mentioned war is not a numbers game. it is only *partially* a numbers’ game. And that is the same whether we are talking about 490 BC or today.

            Secondly, this does in no way give a “time to war end” or “victory” of “hours”. It also does not show an “exponential” superiority by the PRC in all arms, as you claimed.

            You pulled those claims out of your rear, and in doing so wantonly ignored many of the most important bits about war.

            “In several categories, China has huge advantages.”

            Absolutely, and I never would say otherwise. War is not a pure numbers game, but there’s a reason why underdog victories are the exception.

            However, that does not mean a war between the PRC or those two would be a forgone conclusion, let alone “not a contest.”

            And it certainly does not mean that it would be over in “hours.”

            “2. Trump is willing to pull U.S. forces from South Korea, all but
            guaranteeing another invasion by the Chinese supported North.”

            As I said before, even if he did do that it is not a “guarantee” that the DPRK- especially without the PRC- would do that, and it is utterly dishonest to claim otherwise.

            Especially considering that a pullback of US troops does not nullify the UN guarantee of the ceasefire or ROK independence, and it does not necessarily mean that the other national commitments would go home.

            But furthermore, the DPRK’s military is so greatly inferior to the South’s in quality, equipment, experience (I will not gainsay the DPRK’s commandos or that dealing with the occasional food riot is not experience, but how that translates against troops experienced in Iraq and others is more doubtful), and morale that it’s quite possible the South could defeat the DPRK on its’ own.

            To use your own comparison…

            http://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-comparison-detail.asp?form=form&country1=south-korea&country2=north-korea&Submit=COMPARE

            And what this does Not show is how chronically out of date so much of the equipment on the DPRK side of the roster is, how poorly it is maintained, and the allied (even non-US) commitments’ strengths.

            Which is why what we’re really talking about is whether the PRC would be willing to roll the dice back an invasion of the South that would be tantamount to declaring war on the UN.

            Which is dubious at best, even during the Korean War they maintained the fiction that their deployments consisted of volunteers.

            So the root of this entire premise crumbles. Not because I have great faith in the DPRK or PRC’s good intentions, but because of what a hornet’s nest it would constitute and how unlikely they are to get away with it unscathed.

            “and Donald is willing to allow Japan and South Korea to develop Nuclear Weapons, which Beijing is obviously going to let happen right?”

            Again, “willing” to allow does not change the fact that the decision would ultimately come down to the freely elected leadership of Japan and the ROK. The idea that President Trump can pull their strings and make them jump does not add u any more than the idea that Obama could do so to prevent Brexit.

            And also again, what is Beijing going to do? Let alone Pyongyang.

            They could try and attack, and in the process likely alienate the UN as a whole and catalyze the start of a coalition against them. Or they could try diplomacy, which kicks the ball back into the court of Tokyo and Seoul.

            “Yeah, Trump is going to blow up the largest Asian Markets, causing a worldwide panic with another foreign policy blunder.”

            Let’s get this clear: even if this doomsday scenario (and yes, that is fundamentally what it is) did come to pass, Trump would not be the one delivering the explosion. It would be the PRC (and/or DPRK) blowing them up. That is what an aggressor is by definition, and negligent or stupid foreign policy blunders that could have prevented it does not change that fact.

            So stop blaming Trump for an action that would ultimately be the fault of the Chinese Communist Party.. In the same way that my disdain for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama does not mean I believe for one instant that they were the ones who blew up Eastern Ukraine.

            “You disagree with statement,”

            To put it mildly.

            “and proceed to ignore the fact I placed a caveat with that statement. ”

            I don’t ignore it, I just thought it was the least of the hypothetical’s issues..

            “Every single post I made was contingent upon President Trump not honoring our defense commitments,”

            If that were the only thing your post was contingent upon, i would not have raised three quarters of the caveats I have with it.

            The problem is that it is contingent on much, much, much more than that. Including the rest of the UN troops along the DMZ also being pulled out, the UN/the rest of NATO not honoring those same defense commitments, and Russia and the PRC being not merely superpowers but super dooper powers that can muster resources and abilities that we have little reason to believe they have.

            It’s one thing to believe that Trump’s pig headed and frankly stupid approach to foreign policy will endanger America, its’ interests, and its’ allies abroad. That is a point that can be discussed, and might have merit.

            It’s another to assume that the absence of US troops on the DMZ will “all but guarantee” the DPRK will get the balls to in effect declare war on its’ far stronger and more modern twin plus essentially all of the UN if the ROK starts to fiddle with atom AND that it will win.

            Even if we take for granted PRC involvement in the attack.

            In short: Trump might be able to weaken our alliances and our allies, but it does not mean that they will miraculously lose all their strength and stability in the face of aggression even if he does the very worst we theorize.

            Do we understand each other on that now?

            “When they compare in a war with China vs. South Korea and Japan, they
            do.”

            No, they don’t.

            Especially if we ignore how there have been periods in time where China has failed to defeat Japan or Korea (heck, the entire Korea),including the two most recent (and thus most relevant) conflicts, namely the Korean War and Second Sino-Japanese (though admittedly the Chinese were on the road to winning by the end, that was because of the collapse of Japanese strength and quality on other fronts)..

            And in some of those cases it has been much, much stronger per capita than they are now. And not just in the numbers game but also intangibles like diplomatic strength.

            Now there have also been periods in history where China has utterly cleaned Korea and Japan’s clock (particularly the former). So this is not an appeal to complacency or believing that Japan or the ROK will always and forever be able to defeat the PRC, they are still the underdogs and underdog victories are the exception.

            But they certainly do happen.

            “When India, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, and any other Asian
            Partner sign a collective defense treaty, implement interoperability
            standards, train together in collective exercises, and fully fund that;
            maybe that force can repel or defeat the Chinese.”

            Your standards are a bit high.

            The truth is that we have little reason to believe they even have to do That much to defeat the PLA (though it would obviously increase their odds greatly). Again, these things were not present in the Korean war (especially the first, second, and fourth items), but it did not prevent the Allies from repelling the Chinese. Heck, even the demoralized, thinned out Nationalist troops managed to withstand the island hoping campaign the PRC launched in the late forties and early fifties.

            And yes, you would be right to point out that the PRC’s capabilities- both in military and strategy- have greatly evolved since then. But so have those of its’ potential enemies on that list while its’ main possible ally (Russia) and especially its’ main client the DPRK’s have declined. South Korea’s border is no longer manned purely by light infantrymen who can’t field a single tank of their own anymore.

            So my caveat is that you seem to believe that unless every single item of these is scratched off, there is absolutely no hope that any one of these powers could repel or defeat the Chinese. My reply is that is not the case, even if without them a Chinese victory is still vastly more likely than it is with them.

            “If China manages a “Munich” style appeasement, it may succeed with keeping India and Vietnam out. ”

            Indeed, and it might even do much worse than that. Such as playing on the Pacifist lobby in Japan or the unification one on the ROK. And I do think this approach- or even the yell loudly and carry a big stick approach it’s done in the South China Sea- could yield some terrible and productive results for them. Including maybe Finlandizing more than one of the Pacific Rim states (Taiwan or Vietnam most likely, but quite possibly even more).

            This is a threat, make no mistake about it. And it is something that would have to be guarded against, and why I am not very happy with either candidate’s “proposals” on the matter, including Trump’s left hand versus right hand antics.

            But if there’s something we can learn from Munich and Appeasement, it’s that if it’s exploited too much it destroys credibility in itself.

            Ultimately, Munich was Hitler’s second to last unfought land grab and the only one against a target that was not diplomatically isolated like Lithuania was. When the mask comes off and pitched war happens it makes it that much more likely other nations will join against it like Hitler’s invasion of Poland prompted not just the alliances of those obliged to defend it, but the US to start preparing for war.

            “There are a lot of variables, and everything at this stage
            is “talk”.”

            Talk and planning, specifically.

            “Even from Donald J. Trump. If he gets elected, and reneges on
            U.S. Defense Commitments there, it’s done should China adopt a “first
            strike” doctrine. As I keep saying.”

            A fair point, and I am not saying that Trump’s running off at the mouth is not a problem, or that it could absolutely not cause a Chinese attack.

            What I was saying is that Even If we assume that, there is plenty of reason to argue against an immediate PRC attack on a nuclearizing Japan or ROK. And even if it did, there is ample reason to doubt the certainty of their victory.

            Probability? Maybe not if the other alliances and the UN fall through. But not certainty.

            “I named the specific criteria for my premise, ”

            And then you went on to make other claims that said criteria cannot support, such as the idea that no US troops would Almsot Guarentee a Communist invasion in Korea.

            “If China goes “nuclear”,”

            Which you did not specify, and is doubtful because there has only been one major power that has ever gone nuclear in a military conflict before, even when other situations meant it was Possible to do.

            So you’re in essence blaming my analysis of a military situation for not factoring in the PRC using a weapon it has never used before in warfare, and which would result in massive diplomatic, humanitarian, economic, and military backlash. Sorry, it’s going to take more than that.

            “Unless your mythological Asian Defense Pact becomes little more than

            diplomatic discussion.”

            If you want to discount possibilities based on them being “mere” political discussion, you’d also have to sacrifice your beloved Chinese nukes as the possibility of their use is still- to date- military discussion.

            “Nuclear weapons didn’t exist during the Han Dynasty, or during the
            Opium Wars.”

            No, and they “merely” aren’t used much today (and I note that the second example would not be an unqualified benefit to China, given how Britain, France, Russia, and the US are also much more senior nuclear powers than it).

            So the idea that warfare- especially an invasion (of either Japan or South Korea, the latter of which you claimed) could discard the same old, same old issues of logistics, battlefield tactics, statecraft, and strategy because of nukes does not wash.

            “China didn’t achieve even remote capability until October
            1964. China has progressed since then/”

            Yes, it has.

            And so have its’ enemies and potential enemies. Which brings us back around.

            “Feel free to re-read the original post of mine, that you replied to, I linked it for you.”

            I have, and it bears out my point. That you were claiming something Much more specific than merely the PRC threatening our allies.

            Specifically tings like how a US troop pullout would all but Guarantee a Northern re-invasion, the PRC rather going to war rather than risking nuclearization by the ROK and Japan, and a whole lot of other far more specific conditions.

            Are you going to make me copy/paste your words again to underline that point, or an you actually admit that?

            “Such as your arguments about the E-Mail Scandals, ”

            Your argument against my citation for the E-mail Crime (and yes, it is a crime) was that Youtube Videos are Worthless, even one that contained a direct citation of the relevant US law and footage of the Congressional hearing of the FBI Director.

            Presumably, you would have been fine if the footage or text were presented in another format, but magically sticking them on Youtube with some biased commentary renders primary sources useless.

            Which is logically equivalent to saying that books are worthless because one of them was the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It’s an argument that is beneath contempt, let alone serious consideration.

            And you still did not address it.

            “and your constant insistence of Clinton being personally responsible for the largest intelligence leak in history.”

            One of the Largest, difference. We do not know enough information yet to judge how large it is precisely, and how it compares to other large intelligence leaks in history.

            “As well as your incorrect usage of U.N.S.C. Resolutions regarding the legality for the Iraq War.”

            This poppycock again?

            No, it was not incorrect (and the idea that it only or even primarily related to Kuwait is so stupid only the highly educated could believe it).

            And furthermore, I have far solider issues with your incorrect usage of the term “illegal” and other terms ,because as I mentioned before in the US government constitutional law trumps international law, and the resolution to attack Iraq was legal.

            “Or what the “New START Treaty” a.k.a.”the reset” entailed.”

            I am well aware of what it entailed, I have had the misfortune of reading through it. However, I am also aware of what it implied, because I tracked the talking campaign and rhetoric that was deployed alongside it.

            Which you conveniently seem not to have.

            “Or the fact Reagan and Shultz conducted similar diplomacy with the USSR despite ideological differences.”

            I am well aware they did so, and they did even worse (like Iran-Contra).

            I am also well aware that if the USSR played ball too much, they were quite happy to walk away and even hit the USSR until it bled. Including giving the Kremlin’s enemies lethal aid.

            My qualm with Reset was not merely what it did- or even what was implied at the time about it- but also the lack of effective follow up.

            “Possibilities, i.e. the hope that those sides can come to an iron clad collective defense agreement.”

            Yes, possibilities.

            Much like the possibilities or hope that the PRC could win a war with the ROK and/or Japan quickly, without triggering backlash.

            As you pointed out, this is all talk as of late, and planning. If you’re going to try defending your highly unlikely possibilities by discarding much more likely ones as “mere” possibilities you’re doing it wrong.

            “Feel free to link an article establishing so much as an “MoU” of what you claim.”

            Which thing I claim? Because I have claimed Several hypotheticals that muck in your idea of one great PRC war on a nuclearizing ROK or Japan.

            Perhaps the claim that an attack on the ROK would trigger conflict with the UN? Ok.

            http://www.refworld.org/docid/3b00f1e85c.html

          • Turtler

            Continued…

            And this is still in force. And while B B-G did try and claim that this
            does not mean the UNC is a UN force, the use of UN Insignia for it
            belies that.

            “Again irrelevant.”

            No, it isn’t irrelevant.
            Because you were the one who was daft enough to include India on the
            list of powers that the PRC “vastly outnumbered.”

            So it speaks right to a factual claim you made.

            “You have nothing but speculation whether or not India will support either South Korea or Japan should they be attacked.”

            And
            you have nothing but even less founded speculation that the PRC will
            react to a US troop pullout or nuclearization by the ROK and Japan that
            it will declare war, invade, and win.

            The difference is that the
            brand of speculation I employed in this has something to do with prior
            precedent and actions. And is just one of many factors that complicates
            your speculation.

            “I’m not the one conjuring dreamed up fantasies about the
            possibilities of alliances, which currently don’t exist.”

            Talked about, not dreamed up.

            And
            you’re the one who imagined that the PRC would willfully ignore the
            peace guarantees and alliances -even those not including the US- that DO
            exist to launch a possibly nuclear war of aggression on what in the
            case of the ROK would be “essentially the rest of the UN.”

            “Feel free to re-examine the data regarding the Militaries of China,
            South Korea, and Japan on the links I provided above.”

            I have, and I repeat myself:

            Absolutely none of this says they would declare war in the absence of the US, or win.

            “You keep assuming India will involve itself in a potential conflict of China versus Japan and South Korea. That is your error.”

            Firstly:
            you don’t know it’s an error yet (and neither do I) because such a
            situation hasn’t happened yet. That’s another one of your semantic
            errors.

            Secondly: your error is in assuming that’s the only possibility I put forward where this will get problematic for the PRC.

            It
            isn’t, as I’ve detailed (again) painstakingly. Starting with the fact
            that crossing South of the DMZ still raises the threat of the UN.

            “India has no collective defense treaty with Japan or South Korea. Discussions regarding possible cooperation are just that.”

            As are any discussions about the PRC invading the ROK or Japan in the event of US pullout as of now.

            Goal post shifting, again.

            “That number is Japan’s combined force of Active Duty Military and
            Active Reservists (GlobalFirePower lists the combined Active Duty and
            Active Reservists to be at 307,900). If we take the statistics from GlobalFirePower, China’s combined forces are 4,635,000.”

            In which case China would indeed be exponentially more numerous than the JSDF.

            However,
            that does not pan out your claim, which was that it was exponentially
            more powerful than Every one of those nations, including South Korea.

            To use your own sources…

            “South Korea has about 625,000 Active Duty, 2.9M active reservists.”

            Which
            would equal about 3.5.M total, compared to China’s 4.6M. Which is still
            inferior (and notably so) but not “exponentially” so.

            And I’m not even going to discuss the idea that it is exponentially more powerful than the likes of India.

            “If we take those numbers into account, China has 802,100 more
            military personnel that Japan and South Korea combined.”

            True.

            But that is still not exponential.

            “We’re not even factoring population numbers “fit for service” that could be drafted.”

            Indeed, which is where things get even more complicated.

            In
            a long running war of attrition the PRC would almost certainly have the
            advantage with this. The question is how much of those numbers would
            actually be reliable. Moreso in China’s case than Japan and the ROK,
            because while they have their own serious problems (especially the
            Doves) they don’t have to deal with things like massive disturbances
            every year, the possibility of armed dissidents or Jihadis, and so
            forth.

            “Again, that number is Japan’s combined force of Active Duty Military and Active Reservists.”

            Indeed, but I was also combining the same figures (from another source, the same one for the JSDF) regarding the PRC.

            “It demonstrates your sole purpose is to troll at this point.”

            If you think I’m a troll, you must live a charmed life. Or a deluded one.

            “Reprehensible? Ignorant? Talk about gross mischaracterizations.”

            No, they really aren’t.

            You’re
            the chap who thought he could cast aside a Youtube video that
            incorporated primary sources without even Confronting it because it was a
            Youtube video.

            Which is the logical equivalent of condemning
            Books because some of them are the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and
            the Turner Diaries. Or the logical equivalent of saying “I don’t know
            jack about logical fallacies so I’m just going to run face first into
            them!’

            That is Reprehensible and Ignorant. it is a classic logical fallacy, and it does not address one iota of why I addressed it.

            “I understand you’re a troll,”

            No, you don’t.

            “who when challenged with a differing opinion resorts to the tactics of a 15 year old.”

            I will relay the compliment to any 15 year old I see.

            “Outlandish name calling is obviously your M.O.”

            No, but condescension and link dropping with poor context is yours.

            “Feel free to return to Breit Bart or Infowars.”

            Infowars was never my thing, and i don’t go on Breitbart too much, lag issues.

            “Or whatever outlet massages your delusional support for Donald Trump.”

            So
            says the person whose delusional hatred of Trump mean they attacked the
            medium rather than the message, and who assumes that the PRC will
            instantly go to war with what might be the rest of the UN.

            “In the mean time, actual conservatives are abandoning Trump.”

            Many of them are, perhaps, but I have little reason to believe you qualify as one.

            Because actual conservatives do not forgive Hillary Clinton for the email fiasco, among others.

            Or are you angling for adding in the “No True Scotsman” fallacy to your list?

          • Quartermaster

            And there you are sadly mistaken my young friend. Obama’s administration took over a regime in Iraq that was hobbling towards being on sound footing. His and Hillary’s incompetence changed that rather quickly, then turned around and abandoned it, allowing the rise of ISIS. I didn’t want the US going into
            Iraq and try nation building, but Bush went in regardless of what I thought. Obama and Hillary, however, took something that was working marginally, and wrecked it. Bush was to blame for starting it. Obama and Hillary were responsible for the end product.

            It is utter stupidity to state that Bush started an illegal war. He had the approval of Congress to go in, and the reasons for going in
            were found. You idiot leftists try to keep your narrative going, but that narrative was lies from start to finish.

            There was no status of forces agreement when Bush left. Obama made some half hearted efforts at getting one, but those failed as he wished and he pulled everyone out. The Iraqis didn’t trust Obama, and for very good reason. They wanted Obama out, not the US.

            The act of deposing Qaddafi was utter insanity. The man had
            given up all of his WMD programs after he saw what we did to Saddam. Hillary should have tried to talk the Brits and Frogs out of deposing him. Anyone with two brain cells to run together could have predicted the end result of anarchy. The blood of thousands is on her hands.

            No one knows what Trump will do about Ukraine. He’s been all
            over the map and has backed off most of what he has said. To recognize Putin’s theft of Crimea would be an act of stupidity and a betrayal of much of what the US has stood for in the past. But, no matter what you think he will do, offering what he will do as a certainty means you are making claims of being a god who can infallibly see the future. While Hillary has acted in character
            over the years, no one knows what Trump will do in foreign affairs and that includes morons like yourself.

            Pray tell, what could Bush have done when Russia invaded
            Georgia? He could have reacted to it, but long term measures were in Obama’s hands. I note that he and his incompetent SoS did nothing.

            You attribute far too much to Manafort. OTOH, if your
            accusations are correct about the foreign agent act, why didn’t Obama’s DoJ do anything about it? The fact remains, Yanukovich won an election. It was a mistake given he was ousted earlier by the Orange revolution, but the people of Ukraine still elected the man.

            I agree with you, to a point, that Trump is a buffoon. He earned his money, however, while Hillary made hers through corruption. Hillary is far worse than a buffoon, she’s simply a leftist fool.

            Trump has been advised not release taxes because he is under
            audit. Anyone under audit that releases his taxes is an idiot.

            Russians are doing all they can to get their money offshore.
            Putin is dragging Russia through the mud. If Trump’s businesses are getting a large chunk of Russian money, it doesn’t surprise me. That isn’t necessarily evil as you think it is.

            I had to laugh out loud about you high opinion of the
            Chinese Military. You not only have no feel for geopolitics, you have absolutely no knowledge of either the quality of the Chinese military, or the quality of those around China. If the South Koreans or Japanese want nukes, they’ll get them, regardless of how much China raves. If the Chinks try war, they will get
            smeared and forced back onto the continent. The US alone as the ability to wipe the Chinese flag from the oceans of the world within 6 months without even trying hard. Adding in the Japs will make it all the more embarrassing for them. That’s why they rave a lot, but aren’t really pushing things. They are at least 20 years
            from really being able to go to war with a good chance of success. I doubt they’ll do it even then as the quality of their neighbors will more than keep pace.

            You deeply underestimate the Poles and what the reaction of Western Europe would be to Russia trying things in Poland again. Anyway, That isn’t where Putin’s interest lies. That’s in the Middle east and it will be taking an increasing amount of attention in the coming 5 years.

            By the by, Trump used the same tax dodges used by your
            heroine. It’s quite legal, but Hillary, and your ilk, aren’t much worried by the facts.

            You’ll take Hillary because you’re an insane idiot. Anyone
            that takes someone who has proven incompetence in Foreign affairs, not to mention wants things domestically that we already know are destructive can only be regarded as insane. But, you are a leftist, and that pretty much explains it all.

          • Turtler

            “Proven incompetent?

            Ok, how many bankruptcies has Hillary Clinton filed?”

            Firstly, bankrupcies are not an ironclad indictment of someone’s competence.

            They are not a sterling thing, but most businesspeople in the US (and possibly elsewhere) go through at least one. The fact that Trump’s have been in the ludicrously open Casino market just make it worry.

            But they’re not fatal to competence evaluations. Someone being responsible for one of the worst intel leaks in history or “Reset” would be.

            “How many billions has she personally lost?”

            Oh, if only the worst qualms I had with her competence was with her fiscal support of Obama….

            “How many years did she avoid paid taxes like “The Donald”?”

            If you can avoid paying taxes legally, that isn’t incompetence.

            Just ask Hillary and Bill. Who wrote off dirty underwear as a tax deductible charity contribution.

            “How many small businesses owners did Hillary use the legal system to cheat out of life savings and bankrupt their life’s work?”

            So buying people out legally- however predatory- is now not merely Unethical or worthy of condemnation but a mark of Incompetence?

            Somebody get the ghost of JP Morgan on the phone.

            “Donald Trump couldn’t even run a Casino.”

            Except he has.

            He has generally not run them *well* and his track record is below the industry average (again, in one that isn’t his lifeblood), but he has run them.
            “He was so terrible as a financier,”

            Of all the many many qualms I can make about Trump’s overblown claims about being a businessman and how they measure up t the truth, I cannot fault him as a financier.

            The fact that he has not gone bankrupt but has remained a business force even After nightmares like the bankrupcies is testament to that.

            But let’s cut the financial issues short after pointing out as a final point the amount of services the Clintons get for free.

            And let’s ask this:

            How many people have been killed or imprisoned avoidably because of Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy contributions?

            How many illegal emails did she have on that illegal private server?

            How many hours was it that she sat on the truth about Benghazi?

            And so on.

            You know, focusing about how she preformed in the most prominent roles she’s had.

            If you think

            “Paul Manafort and Carter Page are staring down Federal Investigations over their dealings in Russia and sanctioned persons. ”

            Ineed, and what can I say? good riddance to bad rubbish.

            But compare/contrast to how virtually every member of Hillary Clinton’s staff has been under Federal Investigation for well over a year now for crimes that make dealing with people on a sanctions list look piddly. And who would probably be under indictment now if not for the case being handled differently from almost any other (such as the insistence that intent was necessary to persecute when it isn’t) and some immunity deals so atypical and so unprofessional that it’s now triggering outrage among evne people inclined to cut Comey’s decision to not persecute some slack.

            All tied into one of the largest and most damaging intelligence leaks in history.

            So why aren’t you mentioning that?

            “I’ve never seen Hillary Clinton directly

            hire tools of foreign governments.”

            Then you need to check deeper, just look at the Podestas.

            Ultimately though, hiring tools of foreign governments is something I wish were atypical, but not.

            The leaks and dishonesty about Benghazi are not.

          • Vladislav Surkov

            “Firstly, bankrupcies are not an ironclad indictment of someone’s competence.”

            When you file 6 of them, yes they are. Trump over leveraged himself, with high interest loans backed by junk bonds. It’s was his disastrous debt policy, that unable to whether the economic downturn faced by Atlantic City in the early ’90s.

            “But they’re not fatal to competence evaluations. Someone being responsible for one of the worst intel leaks in history or “Reset” would be.”

            Clinton was responsible for Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning? Hillary headed the N.S.A. and D.o.D.?

            Feel free to define how the “reset” was a disaster, beyond the fact Clinton presented a button with the wrong Russian Word.

            “Oh, if only the worst qualms I had with her competence was with her fiscal support of Obama….”

            Secretaries of State do not set domestic budget policy. The President and Congress do.Try again.

            “If you can avoid paying taxes legally, that isn’t incompetence.”

            When you blame in a tweet about 49% of those not paying taxes in the U.S., like Donald Trump did in 2012, as crippling our government, then you have zero right to criticize anyone when you don’t pay them yourself.

            Feel free to read the collection here
            http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/03/us/politics/trump-taxes-twitter.html?_r=0

            “Just ask Hillary and Bill. Who wrote off dirty underwear as a tax deductible charity contribution.”

            It beats using charitable funds to buy $60,000 paintings of yourself, and hanging them in your personal golf clubs. Or paying $270K out of the charities you made no personal contribution to since 2008, to settle lawsuits.

            “So buying people out legally- however predatory- is now not merely Unethical or worthy of condemnation but a mark of Incompetence?

            Somebody get the ghost of JP Morgan on the phone.”

            Ruining small businesses, by dragging them through bankruptcy courts, while pretending to be a champion for the people is absolutely disgusting. Trump’s four corporate bankruptcies between 1991 and 2009, which he has said he used to strategic benefit, left florists, plumbers, lawyers, electricians, piano suppliers, bondholders and others with pennies on the dollar of what they were owed. He didn’t buy them out. He cheated them. If he wants to do that as a private business person, go for it. Don’t run for President.

            “He has generally not run them *well* and his track record is below the industry average (again, in one that isn’t his lifeblood), but he has run them.”

            Donald Trump did a great job running casinos into the ground. That we agree on.

            “Of all the many many qualms I can make about Trump’s overblown claims about being a businessman and how they measure up t the truth, I cannot fault him as a financier.

            The fact that he has not gone bankrupt but has remained a business force even After nightmares like the bankrupcies is testament to that.”

            Trump is an astute player of the bankruptcy game. He’s been masterful at blurring the lines between corporate and personal liability. His toxicity among U.S. banks lends credence to my opinon.

            “But let’s cut the financial issues short after pointing out as a final point the amount of services the Clintons get for free.”

            The Clintons had billions of dollars wiped from their personal ledgers, because they poorly ran their businesses? I didn’t see Steve Jobs needing to file bankruptcies at NeXT Computer, despite the poor performance of that prior to Apple’s merger.

            “How many people have been killed or imprisoned avoidably because of Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy contributions?”

            Feel free. Clinton didn’t start the Iraq War. She wasn’t Commander In Chief. The authorization for use of force in Iraq she voted for stipulated “if Iraq posed an imminent threat to the security of the United States”. A fact that Bush either outright lied about, received poor intelligence, or was manipulated into believing.

            “How many illegal emails did she have on that illegal private server?”

            Feel free to answer the same questions regarding Condoleeza Rice (private server), Colin Powell (AOL Account), David Patreus, George W. Bush, and all the others at State and elsewhere who did the same thing.

            Powell’s mail was even hacked! The F.B.I. could find no evidence Clinton’s Server was.

            “How many hours was it that she sat on the truth about Benghazi?”

            Yes, Benghazi. After millions spent, and numerous investigations, no conclusive report has blamed or faulted Clinton. All point out several flaws regarding that matter, that had nothing to do with her directly.

            “You know, focusing about how she preformed in the most prominent roles she’s had.”

            As opposed to Donald’s terrible performance in the small pond he’s played? Versus the ocean Hillary Clinton, George Schultz, or John Kerry have to swim in now?

            “Paul Manafort and Carter Page are staring down Federal Investigations over their dealings in Russia and sanctioned persons. ”

            Good riddance to bad rubbish you say? Trump couldn’t even properly vet the architects of his Russia Policy. He literally hired bought and paid for crooks of Vladimir Putin.

            “But compare/contrast to how virtually every member of Hillary Clinton’s staff has been under Federal Investigation for well over a year now for crimes that make dealing with people on a sanctions list look piddly. And who would probably be under indictment now if not for the case being handled differently from almost any other (such as the insistence that intent was necessary to persecute when it isn’t) and some immunity deals so atypical and so unprofessional that it’s now triggering outrage among evne people inclined to cut Comey’s decision to not persecute some slack.”

            Name them. Provide the links. It better be a list of more than 3. Carter Page met with Igor Sechin. Do you know who he is? Are you aware of his ties to Putin and the former KGB? Did you know he is under U.S. sanctions currently over the war in Ukraine?

            “All tied into one of the largest and most damaging intelligence leaks in history.”

            All of which had nothing to with Clinton or the State Department. Clinton doesn’t work for nor does she lead the N.S.A., D.o.D., or C.I.A.

            “Then you need to check deeper, just look at the Podestas.”

            Is she setting defense policy with a nuclear superpower, based on ties she has with people directly linked to Vladimir Putin? Do the Podestas even come close to Manafort’s or Page’s ties to Russia?

            Approving a Uranium Deal, which 8 or so other Federal Agencies Clinton has NOTHING to do with doesn’t remotely prove or even suggest corruption in the slightest. Had NUMEROUS agencies not been involved, you and Breit Bart might have a point.

            Clinton isn’t responsible for Snowden, and Benghazi is a campaign of smoke without fire.

            By the way, when will we indict surviving members of the Reagan Administration over Beirut? Are the lives of our Marines not as precious?

          • Alex George

            There is no serious evidence of Trump’s business competence, that is the real starting point.

            It is obvious that is why he is concealing his tax returns – because they confirm what is increasingly obvious anyway – he is not good at business, just at PR and scams.

          • Quartermaster

            Just as Hillary is with government. Plus, she’s a known criminal that is a proven incompetent in foreign affairs.

          • Turtler

            “There is no serious evidence of Trump’s business competence, that is the real starting point.”

            The problem with this argument is it underestimates what business competence is. People with a much more privileged start than Trump have been utterly ruined and out on the streets. Just ask the last couple generations of Rothschild.

            I do not think for one that Trump is the overwhelming super businessman he claims to be, along with much of his other patter. In large part because the main reason I’m voting him has little to do with his few virtues. But it is not every person who can claim that they have survived as many casino bankruptcies as him.

            On top of that PR is a valuable part of business competence, and even scams require many of the same skill sets as legitimate business competence, just turned to evil ends.

            I think it’s also likely that the refusal to turn in his tax returns might be tied into other reasons (not necessarily exclusive with the “not good at business or PR/Scams). Starting with the fact that his claims to wealth are exaggerated.

          • Alex George

            There is no hope with Trump, none at all.

          • Quartermaster

            There is less none with Hillary. The woman is a criminal, who has not been held accountable, and has been proven utterly incompetent in foreign affairs.

          • Turtler

            “Trump sets the policy, and he isn’t going to betray the Russian ”

            Oligarchs he’s indebted to.”

            But Hillary Clinton will?

            “You’re willing to risk that?

            I’m not.”

            I realized very, very early that this election is going to be a risk about basically everything.

            “What’s the hope with Trump?”

            Try Pence, for one.

            And if you truly trust Hillary enough to confront Putin, the fact that Putin is so antagonistic and backbiting that he will turn someone who appeased him by throwing Georgia and Moldava under the bus by Reset (as Clinton did) into a staunch enemy.

            Ultimately I can hope that Trump’s ego and public pressure if nothing else will drive him to oppose Clinton. Whereas I cannot say the same thing about Hillary’s honesty on things much more than that.

            “Let’s see.”

            Sure, let’s.

            “1. He’s willing to let Russia takeover Europe, if NATO Members “don’t pay their fair share”. What does Donald Trump consider a “fair share”? We don’t know.”

            The problem with this is twofold.

            One is on the fact that if you really that is what Trump said- and all he said- you haven’t been paying much attention to the various things out of his mouth. Not just on friendly sources, but on those hostile to him like Michael Totten. Who have pointedout how he has flip floppedon NATO like he has on countless other things.

            Since the fact that he talks out of both sides of his mouth is a big point against his trustworthiness I’m surprised it isn’t mentioned.

            And secondly the nature of the financial issue with NATO. Which something even a strong Atanticist like me has to admit.

            The US has to find some way to cut its’ spending, because if it continues like it has it will go bankrupt, to put a rather mild name on what would really be a financial catastrophe. And then nobody will be able to help NATO like the US has.

            Now i think cutting on the military and diplomatic allies is something that should not be done, but they have been so incredibly demonized by both sides of the aisle- just look at Democrat claims about military spending when it doesn’t hold a candle to social entitlements- that it is probably going to need to be toned down.

            Couple that with the fact that NATO member malfeasance on paying is pretty infamous and well known,and this is one place I think it’s farily reasonable to address.

            “Europe is our largest trading partner outside of North America.
            “Making a America Great Again” means ceding one of the largest economic zones to what Reagan correctly labeled the “Evil Empire”.”

            Good luck with that; even if Trump sincerely wanted to Putin could not hold Europe. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to try or that he couldn’t do incredible damage in the attempt, he could. But there’s a reason he’s been low balling even the Ukraine war he started, precisely because what a war this magnitude would mean on Russia’s rusting military and population.

            If he can barely hang on to Chechnya and has avoided full on war in Ukraine lately, hw does he plan to occupy all of Russia under either President?

            “2. Trump is willing to pull U.S. forces from South Korea, all but
            guaranteeing another invasion by the Chinese supported North. ”

            Not really. The actual history of the first invasion is worth remembering.

            The key problem with that was not the lack of US troops in the ROK itself, though that was certainly an issue. It was on the fact that the Communist leadership inaccurately believed that the US would NOT protect the ROK based on a horrible blunder by Dean Acheson.

            They should know that better now.

            “Donald is willing to allow Japan and South Korea to develop Nuclear Weapons, which Beijing is obviously going to let happen right? ”

            Firstly: let’s ask: how the heck wold Beijing Not allow it to happen if it wanted to? Full scale war, shedding even the pretense that North Korea is not its’ puppet?

            Places like Japan in particular pretty much already have the technology to make nuclear weapons, they simply don’t use it. If they really wanted to (and I think the problem with this possibility of this is that Japan and others would refuse, based on things like the nuclear taboo) there is very little the PLA or PLN could do to stop them short of invasion.

            and secondly: so you want to criticize Trump for curtailing defense spending because of the aforementioned major debt issue, and yet you also want to criticize him for proposing alternative defense strategies to try and compensate for it?

            That is at least moderately unfair.

            “Yeah, Trump is going to blow up the largest Asian Markets, causing a worldwide panic with another foreign policy blunder.”

            Firstly: no, he wouldn’t. Since as always, the choice whether or not to wage war is left with the aggressors. Which in this case is the PRC and its’ pet the DPRK.

            They are the ones that would blow up the markets by making this move. That does not mean that the risk of them doing so is not sufficient to reccomend against this, but iit’s still worth getting straight.

            And al for a worldwide panic with anotherh foreign policy blunder? we’ve been having that for years.

            Just look at the Arab Spring and the appeasement of Iran, which is probably going to turn the MENA nuclear if not stopped.

            “3. Trump is accepting of the idea of Saudi Arabia possibly getting
            nuclear weapons.”

            Which is something that was made Inevitable when the current administration accepted the idea that Iran could get nuclear weapons, or at least close to the breakout stage.

            If anything, the House of Saud has been sitting on nukes far longer than Iran has, since the terms for it financing the development of Pakistan’s bomb included having stuff sent back to them if they ever wanted to.

            It just hasn’t done it previously because it never has had the desire to, any possible benefit of it would be more than counterbalanced by the catastrophic stink it would have made at home and how outweighed it was by the promise of Western aid preventing aggression or other nuke breakouts.

            THAT went out the window with the “Iran Deal.” So now Saudi Arabia is faced with the fact that its’ great sectarian and idoelogical archenemy is going nuclear powered and almost certainly nuclear weapon-ed, political niceties are going by the wayside, and the Saud have decided to do what they always have done. Focus on survival at any cost and damn the consequences to anybody and everybody else.

            By allowing the possibility of Iran as another Middle Eastern nuclear state with nowhere near the responsibility or benevolence of Israel, we made it all but certain there would be others.

            “Regardless or not whether he directly supports it, the
            fact is he’s conceded to the fact they’ll get them eventually. I guess
            Donald doesn’t mind the Saudis starting nuclear conflicts with Iran,
            Yemen, Syria, and Israel.”

            It’s not a matter of not minding so much as it is of recognizing a catastrophic foreign policy mistake that threatens to undo the nuclear free (asterisk) status of the Middle East.

            And again, whose fault is that? Trump didn’t do the Iran Deal by neglecting Congress, he wasn’t in office.

            And for the record, nuclear conflict between Israel and the Saud on this issue is unlikely. while the Saud hate Israel they are actually walking in secret lockstep on this issue.

            That’s right, the threat of the Iranian bomb has caused a junction between the sunni Islamist autocracy and the democratic Jewish state as a Desperate measure against the problems with the Iran Deal.

            And whose fault is that again?

            “4. Trump talks tough on China, yet refuses to make a single product of his in the U.S. Bankruptcy is not a product, despite the fact Donald churns them out faster than Chinese Laborers build an iPhone.”

            The first bit is factually inaccurate, as I’ve even seen domestic places fo manufacturing some of his products. My exposure was largely campaign products, but the idea that he hasn’t been manufacturing domestically isn’t true.

            That does not change the fact that this makes him two faced and hypocritical about it, But in the matter of fact it still means he has manufactured domestically as well.

            “With Hillary Clinton, I at least know Points 1 – 3 won’t happen. That alone is good enough for me.”

            Firstly, if you really believe that you haven’t studied her as closely. Especially given how she involved selling out NATO’s non-member allies and acquaintances in Eastern Europe, and played an instrumental role in the catastrophic Iran deal that has made point three such an imminent threat.

            And this is before we even get into the catastrophic nature of things like the email leaking and Benghazi.

            “Maybe Trump should consult his VP on foreign policy.”

            Your words to God’s ears, mate.

            Suffice it to say, I am not casting my vote out of any great love of Trump or his shifting politics. It is because I would be irresponsible if I overlooked Clinton’s track record.

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            The ones who screwed Georgia in 2008 and the Ukraine three times in 2014 and 2015 are France and Germany, courtesy of Sarkozy/Hollande and Merkel, not Hillary.

          • Turtler

            Sarkozy and Hollande didn’t physically make a stupid red button for people to push. There were serious limits to what they could force the US to

            That doesn’t mean their role is goodor nice, it most certainly was not. But even if the US had to cede to their pressure and avoid engaging with Russia, there was absolutely no reason why it had to be as appeasing as the Democrats were.

          • Scradje

            As a good friend of Ukraine, Dagwood you need to remove the indefinite article. Around ten years or so back, Putler started inserting ‘na’ in front of the word, instead of the correct ‘v’, which was the asswhole’s way of asserting the imperial belief that Ukraine is somehow part of Russia, instead of the other way around.

          • zorbatheturk

            Putin’s grasp of geopolitics has always been extremely sketchy. KGB educational standards were never up to much. Without Satnav he probably couldn’t find his way to the Kremlin.

          • zorbatheturk

            Kremtard krapola. Savushkina snot. Piffle.

          • zorbatheturk

            RuSSians are murderers.

          • Alex George

            He said Russians are murderers, not that they are real soldiers.

            Killing civilians is about all the Russian “military” is good for,

          • Alex George

            Nice try. The primitive Russian air force engages in constant indiscriminate bombing of civilians in syria, because that is all it is capable of. It has neither the equipment nor the training to seriously interdict the insurgents.

            That is why the Russian air force has destroyed so many schools and hospitals, along with countless civilian homes – terror bombing is all it is capable of.

          • Alex George

            Excellent example of the stupidity and uneducated ignorance of Kremtrolls – virtually nothing on your list is accurate.

            Go back, learn some history (preferably at a real school, not a third-world Russian school) then come back and try again.

          • Scradje

            Kremtroll malevolence and hatred is match only by their bovine stupidity. Go join your fellow naзI cockroaches on the daily stormer, no 1 site for putler butt-lickers.

          • Alex George

            Coming from you, who have so far not posted a single point of substance, that is indeed amusing.

          • George Evans

            brilliant…

          • Alex George

            Yes, my version was indeed brilliant, thank you

          • Alex George

            Since there has not been a coup d’état elsewhere, particularly not in Ukraine, your attempted joke goes nowhere.

            Q: Why will there never be a coup d’état in Moscow?

            A: Because there’s no Russian embassy there.

            There, fixed it for you.

          • Vladislav Surkov

            But Hillary Clinton will?

            Are the Clintons indebted to Russian Oligarchs? Hillary released her tax returns. We know for a fact what her earnings were, who she owes money to, and her effective tax rates. The I.R.S. Stated Trump can release his returns under audit. The Political Fallout he’d face stops him.

            “Try Pence, for one.”

            When Pence runs for President in 2020, I’m all for giving him a shot. Vice Presidents however do not run the show. Ultimately Trump has the final say.

            “And if you truly trust Hillary enough to confront Putin, the fact that Putin is so antagonistic and backbiting that he will turn someone who appeased him by throwing Georgia and Moldava under the bus by Reset (as Clinton did) into a staunch enemy.”

            Nice revision of history there. Russia invaded Georgia in 2008. Long before Clinton was nominated Secretary of State. Russia had troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia in various capacities since 1991 (not counting the Soviet Times). Before Obama stepped into office, Nikolas Sarkozy already negotiated the end of hostilities there. There was nothing that could be done by inauguration day in 2009, without starting a direct war with the Russian Federation. As for Moldova, the events in the so-called breakaway territory of Transnistria began in the early 90s. Not Obama’s fault, and little he could do about it more than they are. Unlike Trump, the Obama Administration has not even intimated a hint, of recognizing Russia’s occupation of any of these territories.

            “Ultimately I can hope that Trump’s ego and public pressure if nothing else will drive him to oppose Clinton. Whereas I cannot say the same thing about Hillary’s honesty on things much more than that.”

            I put zero faith in politicians. I look at their actions and deeds. In Trump’s case, he’s been very vocal. Whether it’s the birther issue, Iraq War, Crimea, Russia, or China, the man lies or is wishy-washy. A President can not flip-flop constantly as a matter of public opinion or ego. Clinton’s flip on Iraq has to do with the fact WMDs in numbers worthy of intervention did not justify that invasion.

            “One is on the fact that if you really that is what Trump said- and all he said- you haven’t been paying much attention to the various things out of his mouth. Not just on friendly sources, but on those hostile to him like Michael Totten. Who have pointedout how he has flip floppedon NATO like he has on countless other things.”

            I don’t care what Trump’s advisors or spin doctors say. I only care what he says. You can’t keep uttering ignorant statements, and pretend it was “sarcasm” upon backlash.

            “Since the fact that he talks out of both sides of his mouth is a big point against his trustworthiness I’m surprised it isn’t mentioned.”

            It’s mentioned all the time. His supporters simply do not care.

            “And secondly the nature of the financial issue with NATO. Which something even a strong Atanticist like me has to admit.

            The US has to find some way to cut its’ spending, because if it continues like it has it will go bankrupt, to put a rather mild name on what would really be a financial catastrophe. And then nobody will be able to help NATO like the US has.”

            The U.S. spends roughly of 4% of GDP on defense, and contributes nearly 22% of funding to NATO. Being that our economy dwarfs that of other European Members of the alliance, of course our contribution should be larger. That being said, you don’t threaten not to defend states who “refuse to pay their fair share”. NATO’s only suggestion is 2% of GDP on defense. It’s not a mandate. There’s no way to enforce that. It should also be pointed out that the U.S. is the only member to ever invoke “Article V”. Other nations sacrificed lives for our collective defense in Afghanistan. Georgia, a non-member of the alliance sacrificed more troops than most of the full members of NATO. Want all NATO Members at 2% of GDP? That’s for the diplomats to work out.

            “Now i think cutting on the military and diplomatic allies is something that should not be done, but they have been so incredibly demonized by both sides of the aisle- just look at Democrat claims about military spending when it doesn’t hold a candle to social entitlements- that it is probably going to need to be toned down.”

            Russia’s annexation of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine changed the calculus. Their actions in Syria proved it more.

            “Couple that with the fact that NATO member malfeasance on paying is pretty infamous and well known,and this is one place I think it’s farily reasonable to address.”

            What malfeasance have NATO Members committed with respect to the alliance? Do you have a link to support that argument?

            “Good luck with that; even if Trump sincerely wanted to Putin could not hold Europe. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to try or that he couldn’t do incredible damage in the attempt, he could. But there’s a reason he’s been low balling even the Ukraine war he started, precisely because what a war this magnitude would mean on Russia’s rusting military and population.”

            Putin would have been in Lviv already had it not received even the meager response from Obama and Merkel already. With Trump’s refusal to guarantee “Article V”, he’ll trek to Warsaw and Berlin virtually unabated.

            NATO lacks any real infrastructure as it is in Easterm Europe, largely as a result of the CFE Treaty and the 1997 Russia-NATO Foundation Act. Germany’s current military is a joke, and Poland’s isn’t much better despite its hawkish position on Russia. Truth be told, Ukraine has more working tanks than Germany. I would wager Ukraine has a better trained army, despite Yanukovych’s (and his predecessors) evisceration of forces. Putin has a huge army, and a complete advantage in Europe without NATO.

            “If he can barely hang on to Chechnya and has avoided full on war in Ukraine lately, hw does he plan to occupy all of Russia under either President?”

            Comparing the Russian Military in 2001, to that of today is a fool’s errand. Putin has rebuilt significant portions of that infrastructure despite continuing deficiencies.

            “Not really. The actual history of the first invasion is worth remembering.”

            Except China has the economy and infrastructure to support a war. Their military is almost 2.3M strong with another 500K in reserve. Numbers win wars, and China has them in spades. Without U.S. support, Korea and Japan are toast.

            “The key problem with that was not the lack of US troops in the ROK itself, though that was certainly an issue. It was on the fact that the Communist leadership inaccurately believed that the US would NOT protect the ROK based on a horrible blunder by Dean Acheson.”

            I believe MacArthur’s blunder and refusal to follow orders made matters worse in Korea. That’s a debate for another time.

            “Firstly: let’s ask: how the heck wold Beijing Not allow it to happen if it wanted to? Full scale war, shedding even the pretense that North Korea is not its’ puppet?”

            When has China hidden it beyond a wink and a nudge?

            “Places like Japan in particular pretty much already have the technology to make nuclear weapons, they simply don’t use it. If they really wanted to (and I think the problem with this possibility of this is that Japan and others would refuse, based on things like the nuclear taboo) there is very little the PLA or PLN could do to stop them short of invasion.”

            Having the knowledge to build is one thing. Having the infrastructure to build and deploy payloads are another. Japan and South Korea lack both. China can attack both with missile systems before either nation could respond. South Korea and Japan lose on the numbers game, and numbers win wars. Without the U.S., they are toast.

            “and secondly: so you want to criticize Trump for curtailing defense spending because of the aforementioned major debt issue, and yet you also want to criticize him for proposing alternative defense strategies to try and compensate for it?”

            I absolutely criticize any candidate running for President, and stating as a matter of his policy, we may not defend those who refuse to “pay their fair share”. That kind of statement only invites the crazy ones to do things like invade.

            “Firstly: no, he wouldn’t. Since as always, the choice whether or not to wage war is left with the aggressors. Which in this case is the PRC and its’ pet the DPRK.”

            Which is very likely to happen with Trump asleep at the wheel. As Trump said, “Have fun”.

            “They are the ones that would blow up the markets by making this move. That does not mean that the risk of them doing so is not sufficient to reccomend against this, but iit’s still worth getting straight.”

            Any major conflict between China, Japan, South Korea, or even Taiwan would disrupt if not destroy the global markets. Did you not learn that economies and markets are interconnected after 2008? Major wars between world powers force economic collapses.

            “And al for a worldwide panic with anotherh foreign policy blunder? we’ve been having that for years.”

            Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan hardly compare to a war with China along the Pacific Rim would mean.

            “Just look at the Arab Spring and the appeasement of Iran, which is probably going to turn the MENA nuclear if not stopped.”

            Iran was appeased? According to Trump’s favorite leader Vladimir Putin, the Iran Deal specifically prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons. We have access to several major facilities for inspections. Numerous centrifuges were destroyed. Procurement of “Heavy Water” is severely curtailed. Sanctions can be “snapped back” into place without U.N.S.C. Resolution or approval.

            Oh, and the military option always remains on the table, should Iran fail. The Russians actually sacrificed a lot of business interests in this deal, to make it appealing to the U.S. Putin is enraged that his capitulation in Iran didn’t end “Aegis On-Shore” in Romania and Poland.

            “Which is something that was made Inevitable when the current administration accepted the idea that Iran could get nuclear weapons, or at least close to the breakout stage.

            If anything, the House of Saud has been sitting on nukes far longer than Iran has, since the terms for it financing the development of Pakistan’s bomb included having stuff sent back to them if they ever wanted to.”

            It’s not inevitable if we don’t allow it. Israel is right there to take it out, should we allow it.

            “And again, whose fault is that? Trump didn’t do the Iran Deal by neglecting Congress, he wasn’t in office.”

            Prove the Iran Deal leads them on a path to nuclear weapons. Have you actually read the deal, or at least examined the points beyond Rush Limbaugh’s reporting of it? See above for my comments on the Iran Deal.

            “The first bit is factually inaccurate, as I’ve even seen domestic places fo manufacturing some of his products. My exposure was largely campaign products, but the idea that he hasn’t been manufacturing domestically isn’t true.”

            Name a single Trump Product line, from his ties to his dress shirts manufactured in the U.S. Printing some campaign slogans on a few T-Shirts or Hats isn’t remotely the same, as manufacturing your clothing line overseas for nearly a decade.

            “That does not change the fact that this makes him two faced and hypocritical about it, But in the matter of fact it still means he has manufactured domestically as well.”

            Does Trump own the T-Shirt line, or does he simply print slogans on pre-purchased t-shirts? Huge difference from a temporary campaign and a permanent line. By the way, Trump has refused to bring back production to the U.S. From currency manipulation to wages, Trump provides a litany of excuses.

            “Firstly, if you really believe that you haven’t studied her as closely. Especially given how she involved selling out NATO’s non-member allies and acquaintances in Eastern Europe, and played an instrumental role in the catastrophic Iran deal that has made point three such an imminent threat.”

            What NATO Member in Eastern Europe has Hillary Clinton sold out? Feel free to name them. Pretending the Iran Deal is catastrophic, without actual evidence to support it is moot.

            “Benghazi”

            Feel free to quote the numerous investigations pointing the finger squarely at Clinton. Go on, quote the line from the Congressional or F.B.I. Reports, and link it. The conclusions of the numerous investigative committed are online.

            “Maybe Trump should consult his VP on foreign policy.”

            We can at least agree on Pence over Trump on foreign policy.

            “Suffice it to say, I am not casting my vote out of any great love of Trump or his shifting politics. It is because I would be irresponsible if I overlooked Clinton’s track record.”

            Do you really believe I “love” Hillary Clinton? I am a Reagan Republican. My ideal candidate was Kasich of Ohio. He has all the conservative qualities I like, and a track record to back them up. Donald Trump doesn’t even come close. I can examine Clinton’s lies all day online, and contrast them against Trump’s. It’s not even a contest. Don has lied far more times.

          • Turtler

            “Are the Clintons indebted to Russian Oligarchs?”

            Most likely not financially, no. But many of their allies are.

            But politically? At least a third of why the Clinton era years were viewed as so stable was because Bill went out of his way to try and make good with the new government in the Kremlin (which made a certain amount of sense given how we didn’t necessarily know it would go totalitarian). That includes not just the stumbling democrats like Yeltsin but also the like of Putin.

            And a very large chunk of both Hillary Clinton’s Sec of State tenure and the foreign policy of the man she is supposedly the successor of- Barack Obama- lay on appeasing the Russians, as we see from the missile shield turndown to their attempts to triangulate over Iran and North Korea, to
            what we saw with the pooh-poohing of what happened to Georgia.

            It’s only now with the prospect that Putin *may*be harming them that they have converted into being the kind of Cold Warriors they previously mocked, at least publicly. And the track record of the Clintons in high Federal office is to try and make good with the Kremlin.

            Coupled with the fact that the Kremlin unquestionably has vast amounts of strategic and personal information on her glamed from the servers, and frankly she is indebted to the Russians in the way that if she tiks them off too much, they might blow the whistle on her.

            “Hillary released her tax returns. We know for a fact what her earnings were, who she owes money to, and her effective tax rates”

            And to paraphrase Monopoly, there are a heck of a lot more ways to be indebted to someone than just owing scads of money. That goes for all the candidates here not just Clinton.

            One of the favorite things the Soviets did in the bad old days to get compliant stooges was not to try and get people to owe them money, but to have agents- Swallows and Honey Traps- to get people to sleep with them and then threaten to blow the whistle if they didn’t start marching to their tune. And that is something that precious few people could extract themselves with honor from.

            So even ignoring all the financial brouhaha and the fact that she almost certainly receives money from beyond her personal income (afterall, she is married at the very minimum), there’s that.

            “The I.R.S. Stated Trump can release his returns under audit. ”

            Indeed.

            “The Political Fallout he’d face stops him.”

            Maybe.

            Maybe also the loss of face and how it would put a damper on his claims to be oh such a fantastically successful businessman. Or most likely a combination of them. Especially since to a pitch man like Trump having the image of him undermined is absolutely devastating no matter how petty it is in real terms. I mean, take a look at how Hillary hit him on it during the debate.

            Suffice it to say, it’s clear he lied regarding the idea that he couldn’t release the records because of the audit. But it’s also clear that if he was not paying Federal taxes because he was breaking the law, the IRS would have made an example of him long before. Instead the question is whether the rest of his financing is- if not honest- at least barely legal.

            “Nice revision of history there.”

            Revision?

            I lived through it just as you.

            “Russia invaded Georgia in 2008. Long before Clinton was nominated Secretary of State.”

            Yes, but notably *not* before she was nominated as Senator and served years in the office. And certainly not before she ran for President in the Primaries and became one of The leading national figures in her party, and even before Obama clinched the Democratic nomination in late August.

            If you think she somehow wasn’t a public figure at the time or had nothing to say about the Russo-Georgian crisis, you haven’t done much research.If you didn’t pay attention to how she flogged both Bush and McCain for their supposedly hardline actions while giving Obama (who was admittedly much more radical and vocally so than her), you haven’t studied her much.

            And after the election when Obama became President and she became Secretary of State, one of the first actions in her freshman year was to institute “reset” with Russia- in effect throwing the tarp over the Georgia War and other issues- because that is what the new Administration wanted.

            What part of that is rivisng history?

            What part of this image is?

            http://static5.businessinsider.com/image/557d8e1a6bb3f78160ea89d9-1200-924/ap090306017956-5.jpg

            “Russia had troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia in various capacities since 1991 (not counting the Soviet Times). Before Obama stepped into office,”

            Very true, and I cannot condemn him for that.

            I can however condemn him for accusing Bush of all people of ruining relations between n and the West, and pursuing a consistently Kremlin-friendly pocy throughout his history as a Senator, Presidential candidate, and the first term of his Presidency.

            And for doing what even Sarkozy could never have done. Defacto normalizing theRussian ocupation and eventual annexation of those two areas.

            “Nikolas Sarkozy already negotiated the end of hostilities there”

            True, but again; since when does that mean everything is supposed to be done and we could just go back to ignoring Georgia? Heck, even when the US streamed out of South Vietnam frantically that was not supposed to be the end of our diplomatic, military, logistical, or political support of it.

            “.There was nothing that could be done by inauguration day in 2009, without starting a direct war with the Russian Federation.”

            Bullocks. So i am supposed to believe that diplomatic resolutions condemning the attack, a statement of support for Georgia by the new administration, providing more aid to Georgia, or explicitly Stimson’ing the newly occupied territory would have led Russia to initiate WWII?

            Absolute bullocks.

            Even the Japanese Empire- which was both war crazy and so fanatical it couldn’t even prevent its’ commanders from launching their own wars (like in China and against the French in Inodchina) didn’t declare war in response to the Stimson Doctrine. And for all that I can say about Putin’s despotism I cannot accuse him of allowing his oligarchs free reign to buck the regime’s policy.

            This is a common line I often hear from people inclined to act as apologists for Obama. That it as either this or war. I have heard it in defense of this case, I have heard it in defense of the reprehensible Iran deal,and I have heard it in response (oddly enough) to policy towards the PRC.

            It does not work, and it just betrays an Incredibly shallow understanding of diplomacy and its” history.

            “As for Moldova, the events in the so-called breakaway territory of Transnistria began in the early 90s. Not Obama’s fault,”

            Indeed, and I cannot blame him for that.

            I can however blame him for doing what he did, and again insisting on a “reset” to relations that normalized things like that.

            “and little he could do about it more than they
            are. ”

            Again, see above. If he could do little about it more than they are, that does not justify him going out of his way to engage in detente and appeasement towards Russia, especially in cutting tsupport to things like the Missile Shield towards our endangered Eastern European allies, like the Missile Shield, measures that did not actually hurt Russia but did show our allies that we were with them?

            “Unlike Trump, the Obama Administration has not even intimated a
            hint, of recognizing Russia’s occupation of any of these territories.”

            And what is “reset” supposed to mean?

            “I put zero faith in politicians. I look at their actions and deeds. ”

            I can understand that, and I agree.

            “In Trump’s case, he’s been very vocal. Whether it’s the birther issue,
            Iraq War, Crimea, Russia, or China, the man lies or is wishy-washy. A
            President can not flip-flop constantly as a matter of public opinion or
            ego. ”

            Agreed, but I can say the same about Clinton’s flip flopping, such as going from moderate support of Georgia (albeit mostly to criticize the incumbent administration and her Republican presidential rival at the time). to reset with Russia and trying to cultivate it as an ally.

            And on even more important things- like the greatest intelligence leak in recent history- she has done worse than flip flop. She has said untruths under oath, about actions that- whether committed by her with her knowledge or “merely” by people close to her- legally disqualify her from Federal office.

            That is something far less survivable than normal political talking out of both sides of one’s mouth, which is why I grade it far more seriously than what Trump and even Hillary herself have done in that catagory.

            .”Clinton’s flip on Iraq has to do with the fact WMDs in numbers
            worthy of intervention did not justify that invasion.”

            Firstly, this is a nonsequitor and not just because the wording is weird.

            Again, take a look at the UN Gulf war Ceasefire Resolution. Look at it.

            And remember that violation of Any One Of Those Terms Alone justified a return to active military hostilities , as per the UN of the time.

            And is anybody on the planet stupid enough to argue that Saddam did not violate- to set out just one- Point 24?

            So legally WMDs did not justify the invasion, it already was.Take a look at the US’s stated justifications for it.

            And secondly, the idea that she flip flopped because of the lack of evidence doesn’t fit in the timeline. She flip flopped in the latter part of Bush’s second Term, particularly during ’08. When the Coalition was finding some of the largest hauls of buried chemical weapons our North (as some of the Kurdish refugees I knew back in California could tell).

            Yes, perhaps we could say for the sake of the argument that Trump would seriously argue that Saddam never violated the UN Ceasefire Treaty, given his ugly tendency to whitewash him. In which case he’d be just as wrong as the other times he whitewashes Saddam.

            I’m certainly not voting for him because I am convinced of his great foreign policy wisdom.

            “The U.S. spends roughly of 4% of GDP on defense, and contributes
            nearly 22% of funding to NATO.”

            Indeed, and beyond that several hidden costs like helping to support the rump of SEATO (like the ANZUS states, the Philippines, and the like).

            “Being that our economy dwarfs that of other European Members of the alliance, of course our contribution should be larger.”

            Agreed, no contest.

            However, our contribution should not be unsupported as it is by plenty of nations like Greece. The fact that the EU members of NATO have consistently been unable to mobilize the troop and financial contributions to the extent they said they would is a problem. And it would be a problem even if NATO collapsed and they had to face Putin alone.

            Eastern Europe in general has been quite loyal and diligent about this, but there’s only so much it or the US can do to defray the costs of-say- the Netherlands and Spain under budgeting.

            Which is why I do think some kind of structural re-assessment and recommitment of Western Europe’s members to the cause is needed.

            That does Not however mean I like the way Trump said it.

            “That being said, you don’t threaten not to defend
            states who “refuse to pay their fair share”.”

            A fair point, but what do we do?

            “NATO’s only suggestion is 2% of GDP on defense. It’s not a mandate. There’s no way to enforce that. ”

            Which riases the question of “why not?”

            And we have the sworn statements of several governments that they would meet this spending threshold and they haven’t.

            How is the US supposed to react? Is it supposed to be a-ok at several states whose lack of contributions undermine common security?

            I am not in favor of throwing allies into the cold (save Turkey for unrelated reasons like how it has been a Jihadist mosh pit), but NATO is not a charity. It was never meant to be one. It’s also not meant to be an organization where Luxembourg sacrifices its’ entire population just to meet a fraction of American or British troop commitments.

            It is a fairly idealistic attempt to defend the free world where those who could would and those who couldn’t could spend. But ultimately each member has to pull something. And the failure of half the alliance to meet the spending limit is not a good sign.

            “It should also be pointed out that the U.S. is the only member to
            ever invoke “Article V”. Other nations sacrificed lives for our
            collective defense in Afghanistan.”

            Indeed, and that is well worth noting. And that is why I firmly believe the US must honor its’ alliance.

            And why I will vehemently oppose any President- Trump included-who refuses an Article V summons

            “Georgia, a non-member of the alliance sacrificed more troops than most of the full members of NATO.”

            Indeed. This is something I mentioned firsthand. However, it raises several points.

            A: What was that you said about the Iraq War somehow ruining America’s reputation and relations with the world again? I can’t quite hear over the sound of Georgian funeral services.

            B: The fact that many non-member states are more willing to pull their weight than some member states just raises the question of who wer can trust with this again. Does anybody here believe that we can trust Orban’s government just as much as we can trust the Georgians?

            This goes back to the crisis in NATO and how it could do with reassessment. Because while Iraq was not an Article V issue and thus the NATO members were not obliged to help, they were in Afghanistan with similar results. And on this much it has been a legitimately bipartisan failure by both Republicans and Democrats to get the alliance back on an even keel.

            How would you propose getting the house back in order? And what reason do we have to believe that Hillary Clinton would do so?

            “Want all NATO Members at 2% of GDP? That’s for the diplomats to work out.”

            The problem with this pithy argument is simple. Who do you think the diplomats answer to? What do you think their job is?

            Diplomatic policy is the purview of the President, with oversight and checks by Congress. So it makes sense to talk about what the diplomats would supposedly do if elected, no?

            Ultimately, if the President or Presidential candidates will not commit to it, who will?

            “Russia’s annexation of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine changed the calculus. Their actions in Syria proved it more.”

            Agreed, but that just means they are catching up in *theory* to what I have been saying for over a decade now, among others.

            As late as the 2012 race both Obama and Clinton poh-poohed the threat of Putin and actually taking him seriously as backwards thinking, “The eighties want their foreign policy back” and all that.

            If I’m supposed to cut them slack when they couldn’t for over a decade, sorry but I’m not going to. In large part because it represents a catastrophic lack of vision and failures in foreign policy that can’t be washed away just by pointing to how trump is similarly stupid or even- for the sake of the argument- worse.

            “Putin would have been in Lviv already had it not received even the
            meager response from Obama and Merkel already. ”

            No, not really. Putin has consistently failed to have his proxies break out of the Donbas. He has failed to even secure more than half of it at any point in this conflict, including before substantial nonlethal aid came.

            I can certainly believe that would change if Putin ever found the balls to go all out, but that isn’t the case here. And the idea that Putin was more inconvenienced by blankets and other nonlethal aid that the Ukrainians often have the ability to produce themselves than by the stand of the Cyborgs does not stand the smell test.

            “With Trump’s refusal to guarantee “Article V”, he’ll trek to Warsaw and Berlin virtually unabated.”

            Riiiiiight. Because this would magically wipe away about a hundred years’ of history, antipathy towards Russian occupation in Central and Eastern Europe, and as importantly the Article V obligations of the rest of NATO?

            It would not be a good sign. But there were only two times in history Russian soldiers marched that far. the first was in the Seven Years’ War, when the Prussians kicked them out of Berlin in the first and lesser known Miracle of the House of Brandenburg. The second was in 1945 until the end of the Cold War, when the Soviet Empire brought the resources of all the currently previous parts of Soviet Space, a far healthier demographic, and total war footing to the table.

            Perhaps Putin might get lucky and succeed, but it would have to be Really lucky. And it would not be in a position to exist for long.

            “NATO lacks any real infrastructure as it is in Easterm Europe,
            largely as a result of the CFE Treaty and the 1997 Russia-NATO
            Foundation Act. ”

            Sadly true (and more argument that NATO needs some kind of reform badly). But again, it’s worth noting that even with all these massive problems, Russia faces more difficulties than boons in trying to occupy Central/Eastern Europe.

            Heck, it had to commit more troops than Russia has today in Central/Eastern Europe stomping on guerilla warfare ii the first decade after VE day.

            “Germany’s current military is a joke, ”

            Agreed, but this is somewhat offset by its’ comparatively healthy economy and the experience it has in special operations like the KSk and GSG 9, who would almost certainly be dragooned in order to be the core of any hypothetical wartime army.

            “and Poland’s isn’t much better despite its hawkish position on Russia. ”

            I’m not so sure, to be honest. The Poles are not a military superpower, but they are certainly a respectable force. They in fact were the third member of the “Coalition of the Willing”, in independent command of an entire zone of the Iraq war is something. So they have been fighting for quite some time and have modern military experience. They do lack on some degree experience of modern conventional warfare, but most nations do (including Russia to some degree).

            And their memories from the last time under the Kremlin should be a powerful motivator against any invasion.

            “Truth be told, Ukraine has more working tanks than Germany. ”

            I can believe it.

            “I would wager Ukraine has a better trained army, despite Yanukovych’s (and his predecessors) evisceration of forces.”

            Maybe. I’m not so sure. It certainly doesn’t have the spit and polish or equivalent experience of GSG 9 or the KSK, though there are plenty of units that might get up there and the rank and file is probably more experienced.

            “Putin has a huge army, and a complete advantage
            in Europe without NATO.”

            Except even if Trump ditches NATO, there is little incentive for anyone else in Europe (especially Eastern Europe) to. And the problem he faces is not the fact that he can fight any one European nation and probably win, but what an alliance would look like.

            And I think you are overstating Putin’s strength. This isn’t the Russia that could send human waves like the sea to try and take a single objective; Russia’s in a demographic death spiral where it will nearly half every generation for the foreseeable future. Its’ military is not hugely more experienced in modern warfare than Poland. And a mixture of catastrophic health management and poor equipment have undermined its’ recruiting pool while corruption, entrenched manufacturing interests, and Dedovshchina have cut away at its’ morale and power.

            So in practice it is likely a paper tiger with nukes. That isn’t to say it isn’t Dangerous, it obviously is. But its’ prospects for winning in the big picture against an even slightly united Europe are poor. As they honestly have been for most of history.

            The fact that Putin has had to ramp up his commitments just to hold on to about half of Donbas just underlines some of those problems.

            “Except China has the economy and infrastructure to support a war. ”

            Maybe. Though its’ an economy in definite decline, as the latest bubble bursting on the stock market showed.

            It is certainly more dangerous than Russia and can

            “Their military is almost 2.3M strong with another 500K in reserve.”

            And in practice it can only commit so much of that, especially since its’ internal security apparatus has to be even Larger to keep domestic opposition at bay. Something even Putin doesn’t have to do.

            How far do you think Putin would get if he had to dispatch more conscripts to OMON and the Militsiya than to the actual military just to face down thousands of protests Every Year?

            That is the situation the CCP is in now. And it shows little indication of getting better.

            “Numbers win wars,”

            Yeah, I’m REAL sure Xerxes, Darius, Lenin, and Emperor Yang of Sui would have loved to know that, considering what happened to it.

            This is one of the problems of making blanket military statements without even rudimentary knowledge of how military science works, even to the extent of fictional wargaming or just reading some articles.

            Numbers are important, yes.Lancaster’s Square Law is a decent indication of that. But the idea that they win wars alone is a great way to Lose a war. Or have you never wondered why Korea and Vietnam are recognizably different countries rather than just funny-shaped Chinese prefectures (like they were for much of history)?

            And in the end South Korea survived the Korean War in large part because the PRC’s numbers Could Not in fact break through against superior leadership, technology, and doctrine.

            “and China has them in spades. ”

            Not as much as you seem to think, ssince China also has some problems with demographic greying and the economy (though less pronounced than Russia) and an even more acute domestic problem.

            “Without U.S. support, Korea and Japan are toast.”

            To this I point to the failures of the Yuan invasions of Japan- using an even more expansive population and economic base per capita than the PRC enjoys now- and the failure of China to hold onto Korea for most of its’ history.

            Maybe we can say “but it will be different this time!” And maybe. But again, China does not have a great track record in modern warfare.

            You claimed it would be over in hours. It took more than a few hours for the PLA to break through a few miles into Vietnam when Vietnam was fighting alone supported only by the Soviets AND waging a two front war against both the PRC and the Khmer Rouge.

            “I believe MacArthur’s blunder and refusal to follow orders made matters worse in Korea. That’s a debate for another time.”

            It made matters worse, but it did not cause the actual war to break out, as it happened after the war started.

            What was relevant to why the invasion started in 1950 (with the North Koreans, aided by some “undercover” Chinese troops) was that the Communists believed that the West would not fight in Korea.

            To put it lightly they were proven wrong.

            “When has China hidden it beyond a wink and a nudge?”

            To be fair the NorKs did kick out all Chinese personnel back when Kim Il Sung was Alive and has been fairly rebellious, so it isn’t Completely bogus. Just mostly bogus.

            But we have generally pretended it is otherwise because of one of those polite diplomatic lies.

            “Having the knowledge to build is one thing. Having the infrastructure
            to build and deploy payloads are another.”

            Agreed.

            “Japan and South Korea lack both.”

            Agreed, but they can get them quite quickly.

            “China can attack both with missile systems before either nation
            could respond. ”

            Yeah, and the US can glass the Kremlin before Putler is done with his next Vodka, and vice versa.

            Sometimes it’s not just a measure of what you Can do as much as what you Will do. And the PRC trying to crack open the big atom signs-or eve conventional bombardment- would trigger a major backlash.

            “South Korea and Japan lose on the numbers game, and
            numbers win wars. Without the U.S., they are toast.”

            I already refuted this nonsense in my quote above, if numbers won wars China would have won the 1894 war with Japan.

            Again, the fact is there is a lot more to war than numbers (which are important but fallible). And part of the problem is that in the event of the PRC attacking the ROK or Japan it probably would not just have to fight them, it would have to fight pretty much ALL the Pacific Rim it has PO’d.

            Including India, who actually outnumbers China by its’ lonesome in population and economy. And this is before I talk about adding together everybody else like Taiwan, the Philippines, etc.

            The idea that the PRC would have a swimming time of it after having to fight for every square inch against an already-committed Vietnam does not wash. Period.

          • Vladislav Surkov

            (Part 1)

            “Most likely not financially, no. But many of their allies are.”

            Don’t speculate. Prove it. Name names and cite sources. Despite allegations of “pay for play” between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department, there is zero evidence that a single donor benfitted as a result of contributions. In fact, it proved investing in Hillary Clinton and hoping for favoritism is a fool’s errand. Is there a conflict of interest? Yes, in my opinion. However, none of this has shaped policy. Unlike Trump’s hiring of Manafort, Page, and Flynn. Those 3 names are the architects of Trump’s Russia Policy.

            “But politically? At least a third of why the Clinton era years were viewed as so stable was because Bill went out of his way to try and make good with the new government in the Kremlin (which made a certain amount of sense given how we didn’t necessarily know it would go totalitarian). That includes not just the stumbling democrats like Yeltsin but also the like of Putin.”

            Yeltsin is not Putin, and the Russian Federation of 25 years ago bares little resemblence to the Russia of today. Putin arose in 1999. In the final year of Clinton’s Presidency. The Putin of 2000 – 2001 was fairly pro-western, and even supported NATO. In fact, Putin considered joining NATO despite the ramifications it would place on Russo-Serbian relations. I know it’s convient to paint Putin with broad strokes, but he was seemingly a different man back in 1999 – 2000. Chechnya not withstanding. I am aware of his past in St. Petersberg prior, but that isn’t germane to this discussion or his first Presidential Term.

            “And a very large chunk of both Hillary Clinton’s Sec of State tenure and the foreign policy of the man she is supposedly the successor of- Barack Obama- lay on appeasing the Russians, as we see from the missile shield turndown to their attempts to triangulate over Iran and North Korea, to what we saw with the pooh-poohing of what happened to Georgia.”

            Clinton was a single Senator at the time Georgia was invaded. She wasn’t the Commander In Chief, and lacked any power or authority to counter it. Bush could have sent U.S. Forces for months before Russia invaded. Saakashvili was literally begging for support. Bush refused, and warned Misha of potential folly should he go at it alone. Georgia falls squarely on Bush.
            Going back to Sarkozy and Europe, they negotiated the cease fire. They agreed to the terms. The European Union refused to impose any cost on Russia.

            Even if Bush failed to rally support, Obama would have fared no better at sanctions. Barrack could only impose sanctions at the U.S. end. Which would mean nothing, as Europe is Russia’s primary trading partner. Even with the invasion of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine by Russia (something Trump didn’t seem to think happened, until his advisors told him otherwise), it took the downing of a civilian aircraft to actually make Europe do something. Obama and Biden had to brow beat Europe, and threaten to flood Ukraine with “defense weapons”, in order to get Europe to pass the weak sanctions currently imposed on Russia. As it is, Europe has fistures looking to end sanctions. MH-17 victims families be damned.

            As I condemned Bush on Georgia, I hold Obama accountable on Ukraine. The worst part is Tblissi actually is ready for NATO, and was in 2008. It wasn’t a rag tag corrupt state with an eviscerated military, full of Russian spies like Ukraine in 2014. Obama should have done more, but he was caught completely off-guard, as was Europe. Barrack incorrectly focused on Asia, and left Europe to Merkel. In the end, a wrong move. Clinton’s disagreements with Barrack are well known.

            “It’s only now with the prospect that Putin *may*be harming them that they have converted into being the kind of Cold Warriors they previously mocked, at least publicly. And the track record of the Clintons in high Federal office is to try and make good with the Kremlin.”

            Painting responsibility on Bill or Hillry Clinton is ridiculous, for the reasons stated above.

            “Coupled with the fact that the Kremlin unquestionably has vast amounts of strategic and personal information on her glamed from the servers, and frankly she is indebted to the Russians in the way that if she tiks them off too much, they might blow the whistle on her.”

            The F.B.I. disagrees with you. Unlike the D.N.C. hack, there is no evidence of foreign espionage.

            “One of the favorite things the Soviets did in the bad old days to get compliant stooges was not to try and get people to owe them money, but to have agents- Swallows and Honey Traps- to get people to sleep with them and then threaten to blow the whistle if they didn’t start marching to their tune. And that is something that precious few people could extract themselves with honor from.

            So even ignoring all the financial brouhaha and the fact that she almost certainly receives money from beyond her personal income (afterall, she is married at the very minimum), there’s that.”

            Conjecture, and no smoke to go with that fire.

            “Maybe also the loss of face and how it would put a damper on his claims to be oh such a fantastically successful businessman. Or most likely a combination of them. Especially since to a pitch man like Trump having the image of him undermined is absolutely devastating no matter how petty it is in real terms. I mean, take a look at how Hillary hit him on it during the debate.”

            We both agree this is the answer.

            “Instead the question is whether the rest of his financing is- if not honest- at least barely legal.”

            I never said that Trump broke the law, or intimated it. I said in light of him criticizing others for not paying taxes, his use of deductions and loopholes to avoid paying a single cent is just as abhorent. We crucify people for exploiting public assistance and welfare in the U.S. Why are poor people taking advantage of the system worse? I’m sorry, but gross abuse of the system is abhoret regardless of reason or stature.

            “Yes, but notably *not* before she was nominated as Senator and served years in the office. And certainly not before she ran for President in the Primaries and became one of The leading national figures in her party, and even before Obama clinched the Democratic nomination in late August.”

            Senators weigh in. They do not set policy. Clinton couldn’t do squat because Sarkozy and Europe already made their deal. I may not like it. Heck, you may not like it. There was nothing unilateral sanctions by the U.S. would have accomplished outside of propaganda. Unlike Trump with Crimea, Clinton didn’t support or say she’d consider recognizing the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

            “If you think she somehow wasn’t a public figure at the time or had nothing to say about the Russo-Georgian crisis, you haven’t done much research.If you didn’t pay attention to how she flogged both Bush and McCain for their supposedly hardline actions while giving Obama (who was admittedly much more radical and vocally so than her), you haven’t studied her much.”

            Oh I know what Clinton has and has not done. I also know words from a candidate wouldn’t have changed anything. Words from a Major Party Presidential Nominee, who is close enough to potentially win the Presidency do matter. Trump can’t pretend he was being sarcastic, when invasions happen because he was being silly.

            “And after the election when Obama became President and she became Secretary of State, one of the first actions in her freshman year was to institute “reset” with Russia- in effect throwing the tarp over the Georgia War and other issues- because that is what the new Administration wanted.”

            I understand you dislike Clinton, but the Georgia invasion was settled by Europe before “New START”. Clinton didn’t recognize Russia’s hold on, or the independence of Abkhazia and South Osettia as a result of the reset. This was about Russo-American Nuclear Weapons. Even Ronald Reagan made deals with the Soviets, despite severe chasms of policy

            An image of Hillary Clinton and Sergey Lavrov? Really? Oh my God, a smoking gun! We better hide all those photos Reagan and Gorbachev. Or Shultz and Eduard Shevardnadze.

            “I can however condemn him for accusing Bush of all people of ruining relations between n and the West, and pursuing a consistently Kremlin-friendly pocy throughout his history as a Senator, Presidential candidate, and the first term of his Presidency.”

            Feel free to tell me who sets foreign policy according to the U.S. Constitution. Does the President or Senate recognize foreign states? Does the President or Congress command the use of force. I am not speaking about “Declarations of War”, but the “Police Action” model employed by the U.S. since the Korean War. Your attempts to deflect Georgia and the Iraq War on Clinton don’t work. Especially when you read what the usage of force in Iraq proposal actually said.

            “And for doing what even Sarkozy could never have done. Defacto normalizing theRussian ocupation and eventual annexation of those two areas.”

            Nothing of the sort happened. “New START” was about nuclear weapons. It had nothing to do with recognition of Russia’s invasion of Georgia and accepting the results of 2 new independent states. You keep pretending otherwise.

            “True, but again; since when does that mean everything is supposed to be done and we could just go back to ignoring Georgia? Heck, even when the US streamed out of South Vietnam frantically that was not supposed to be the end of our diplomatic, military, logistical, or political support of it.”

            Feel free to explain the U.S. options, keeping in mind Europe would impose zero sanctions even when Russia failed to withdraw troops from Abkhazia and South Ossetia as agreed. Flooding Georgia with “defensive weapons” wouldn’t strike fear into Europe either, with the Black Sea acting as a barrier. Russia wasn’t going to touch Turkey, and Ankara couldn’t care less that Moscow was at the gates of Tbilisi.

            RE: Moldova — “I can however blame him for doing what he did, and again insisting on a “reset” to relations that normalized things like that.”
            “New START” didn’t recognize any gains by Russia in Europe. It didn’t do anything beyond getting Russia to downgrade nuclear stockpiles and get support for U.N.S.C.R. 1970 and 1973 (Libya). You keep pretending the treaty did things it never did.

            “And what is “reset” supposed to mean?”

            Feel free to actually read it.

            “And on even more important things- like the greatest intelligence leak in recent history- she has done worse than flip flop. She has said untruths under oath, about actions that- whether committed by her with her knowledge or “merely” by people close to her- legally disqualify her from Federal office.”

            Feel free to support this statement, i.e., “Greatest Intelligence Leak”. Clinton bares zero responsibility for Snowden or Manning. Her actions were consistant with that of George W. Bush, Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powel, David Patraeus, and more. I noticed you glossed over that part. Donald J. Trump also destroyed E-Mails that were supoeneadas by the court, as part of an investigation. No disdain or comment from you about that.

            “Again, take a look at the UN Gulf war Ceasefire Resolution. Look at it.”

            Feel free to cite the U.N.S.C. Resolutions from the First Gulf War, and explain how they applied to the second. I will refute their application when you do so. The U.N.S.G. Koffi Annan said the Iraq War was illegal. I think he should know.

            “So legally WMDs did not justify the invasion, it already was.Take a look at the US’s stated justifications for it.”

            They were false, and wrong. The U.N. gave no authorization for use of force in Iraq in 2003. In fact, the U.N. wanted more time for inspectors, despite objections by Hussein and the U.S.

            “I’m certainly not voting for him because I am convinced of his great foreign policy wisdom.”

            That puts you ahead of most of his supporters.

            “However, our contribution should not be unsupported as it is by plenty of nations like Greece.

            The fact that the EU members of NATO have consistently been unable to mobilize the troop and financial contributions to the extent they said they would is a problem. And it would be a problem even if NATO collapsed and they had to face Putin alone.”

            Greece spends above 2% of GDP on defense. They meet NATO requirements. Feel free to see who does here:
            http://money.cnn.com/2016/07/08/news/nato-summit-spending-countries/index.html

            “Eastern Europe in general has been quite loyal and diligent about this, but there’s only so much it or the US can do to defray the costs of-say- the Netherlands and Spain under budgeting.”

            Only Poland and Estonia do by % of GDP as defense spending. Germany ranks behind France and Turkey.

            “And we have the sworn statements of several governments that they would meet this spending threshold and they haven’t.”

            Do we? Or do we have signed agreements only at the NATO level setting a suggest % of GDP spending on defense. Feel free to cite the treaties and their signatories.

            “I am not in favor of throwing allies into the cold (save Turkey for unrelated reasons like how it has been a Jihadist mosh pit), but NATO is not a charity. It was never meant to be one. It’s also not meant to be an organization where Luxembourg sacrifices its’ entire population just to meet a fraction of American or British troop commitments.”

            Actually, NATO’s purpose originally was to keep “The Americans in, The Russians out, and The Germans down”. It has been successful in that role, as well as ensuring stability in Europe within its member borders for 70 years. Every cent spent on NATO has paid ten fold to the U.S. in terms of trade, foreign policy, and stability of the world.

            “It is a fairly idealistic attempt to defend the free world where those who could would and those who couldn’t could spend. But ultimately each member has to pull something. And the failure of half the alliance to meet the spending limit is not a good sign.”

            I am reminded of what Churchill once said, “The only thing worse than going to war with allies, is going to war without them.”

            “Indeed, and that is well worth noting. And that is why I firmly believe the US must honor its’ alliance.

            And why I will vehemently oppose any President- Trump included-who refuses an Article V summons.”

            We both agree 100% here.

            “A: What was that you said about the Iraq War somehow ruining America’s reputation and relations with the world again? I can’t quite hear over the sound of Georgian funeral services.”

            Georgia feels betrayed more by the lack of support for NATO Membership by the U.S., than anything else. It’s why there is a crisis in Tblissi, in terms of future alignment with Russia or Europe. I agree it’s not Bush’s or Obama’s Fault here. That squarely lies on Germany, France, and Italy.

            “B: The fact that many non-member states are more willing to pull their weight than some member states just raises the question of who wer can trust with this again. Does anybody here believe that we can trust Orban’s government just as much as we can trust the Georgians?”

            I’d bet on Georgia and Ukraine, with Poland and the Baltics against any NATO member save Turkey. I believe the former Soviet States would come to the rescue before anyone. They realize what’s at stake more than anyone.

            This goes back to the crisis in NATO and how it could do with reassessment. Because while Iraq was not an Article V issue and thus the NATO members were not obliged to help, they were in Afghanistan with similar results. And on this much it has been a legitimately bipartisan failure by both Republicans and Democrats to get the alliance back on an even keel.

            Like you said. Afghanistan was an “Article V”. Iraq was not. Poland, Ukraine, and Georgia stood beside us in Iraq, and I thank those nations for that. Regardless of my opinion of the Iraq War, I thank EVERY allied service member who gave their support in whatever capacity they did.

            “How would you propose getting the house back in order? And what reason do we have to believe that Hillary Clinton would do so?”

            That’s a very complicated answer, and one where we both could spend hours on. I also don’t believe Clinton alone could do it. I know Trump wouldn’t even care to try it, other than threaten to end the alliance as we know it.

            Diplomatic policy is the purview of the President, with oversight and checks by Congress.

            “So it makes sense to talk about what the diplomats would supposedly do if elected, no?”

            That is something left to discuss behind the scenes, at a time when Russia isn’t threatening neighnors on NATO’s periphery.

            “As late as the 2012 race both Obama and Clinton poh-poohed the threat of Putin and actually taking him seriously as backwards thinking, “The eighties want their foreign policy back” and all that.

            I don’t hold Obama responsible for Georgia. I do hold him responsible for Ukraine. We failed to uphold the spirit of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum. Trump wouldn’t have even lobbied for sanctions. He would have simply not cared, as he has all but implied. Not his problem. Obama at least lobbied to sanction Russia, and threaten to supply Ukraine. In fact, the U.S. and NATO has done more to support Ukraine since Yanukovych fled, than they ever did in Georgia.

            “No, not really. Putin has consistently failed to have his proxies break out of the Donbas. He has failed to even secure more than half of it at any point in this conflict, including before substantial nonlethal aid came.”

            Putin’s proxies weren’t the ones making gains. Russia’s proper military was. Debaltseve was “won” specifically because Russian units crossed the border. Obama, Merkel, Hollande’s, and Cameron’s captiulation at Minsk was disgraceful. Obama didn’t even show up there.

            “I can certainly believe that would change if Putin ever found the balls to go all out, but that isn’t the case here. And the idea that Putin was more inconvenienced by blankets and other nonlethal aid that the Ukrainians often have the ability to produce themselves than by the stand of the Cyborgs does not stand the smell test.”

            Putin can’t risk further sanctions or removal from SWIFT. I think he was genuinely suprised Europe levied the weak amount of sanctions they have, despite Georgia. NATO actually stood up, albeit in a weak, non-committal fashion unlike 2008. Putin had a lot to gamble, and local support was nowhere to be found in Odessa, Kharkiv, Mariupol, and elsewhere outside of Donetsk and Luhansk.

          • Vladislav Surkov

            (Part 2)

            “It would not be a good sign. But there were only two times in history Russian soldiers marched that far. the first was in the Seven Years’ War, when the Prussians kicked them out of Berlin in the first and lesser known Miracle of the House of Brandenburg. The second was in 1945 until the end of the Cold War, when the Soviet Empire brought the resources of all the currently previous parts of Soviet Space, a far healthier demographic, and total war footing to the table.”

            Russia’s military is leaps and bounds beyond every army in Europe outside of France and the U.K. Keep thinking otherwise if it helps you sleep better at night. Give Ukraine another year or two, and they might overtake Germany’s forces in terms of overall capability.

            The Soviets managed to hold Eastern Europe for 50 years, despite a hostile local population.

            “Sadly true (and more argument that NATO needs some kind of reform badly). But again, it’s worth noting that even with all these massive problems, Russia faces more difficulties than boons in trying to occupy Central/Eastern Europe.”

            We agree here.

            “Agreed, but this is somewhat offset by its’ comparatively healthy economy and the experience it has in special operations like the KSk and GSG 9, who would almost certainly be dragooned in order to be the core of any hypothetical wartime army.”

            Germany’s economy is all it has. If war breaks out, that goes with it. Germany will be over ran before production can catch up to realities on the ground. Berlin would have to pray Warsaw and Kyiv could hold Russia until the Americans did something. With President Trump, it’s all on the hands of Poland and Ukraine.

            “I’m not so sure, to be honest. The Poles are not a military superpower, but they are certainly a respectable force. They in fact were the third member of the “Coalition of the Willing”, in independent command of an entire zone of the Iraq war is something.”

            Poland is a building force, with combat experience. They’re at least 2 decades away from having a force that can inflict significant damage against a conventional fighting Russian invasion. I have high hopes for Poland.

            “And their memories from the last time under the Kremlin should be a powerful motivator against any invasion.”

            Warsaw will still need the support of NATO.

            “Except even if Trump ditches NATO, there is little incentive for anyone else in Europe (especially Eastern Europe) to. And the problem he faces is not the fact that he can fight any one European nation and probably win, but what an alliance would look like.”

            The E.U. doesn’t have an army, or collective defense pact outside of NATO. You assume European Nations would combine forces, despite fistures arising even with the current U.S. backed imfrastructure. I wouldm’t bet my money on a non-NATO Europe. Nationalism is fracturing the E.U. without a war on its hands. The Netherlands won’t even ratify the DCFTA with Ukraine as it is.

            “And I think you are overstating Putin’s strength.”

            I think you totally underestime him, like Obama and Bush before him. Economics, not the military is Russia’s achilles heel.

            “This isn’t the Russia that could send human waves like the sea to try and take a single objective; Russia’s in a demographic death spiral where it will nearly half every generation for the foreseeable future. Its’ military is not hugely more experienced in modern warfare than Poland.”

            The RAND Corporation disagrees with you, specifically in the Baltics.

            “And a mixture of catastrophic health management and poor equipment have undermined its’ recruiting pool while corruption, entrenched manufacturing interests, and Dedovshchina have cut away at its’ morale and power.”

            That’s placing a lot of faith in pure hope.

            “So in practice it is likely a paper tiger with nukes. That isn’t to say it isn’t Dangerous, it obviously is. But its’ prospects for winning in the big picture against an even slightly united Europe are poor. As they honestly have been for most of history.”

            Europe has never been a united front. Especially in the Pre-NATO phase. WW2 and the allies were driven by the U.S. and U.K. on the Western Front.

            “The fact that Putin has had to ramp up his commitments just to hold on to about half of Donbas just underlines some of those problems.”

            Putin’s use of force is barely exhausting Russia’s Military. It’s not even 1% of its capability. Sanctions and fear of NATO / U.S. intervention, as small as the possibility may be keeps Russia at bay. DETERENCE.

            “That is the situation the CCP is in now. And it shows little indication of getting better.”

            China’s internal conflicts are kept more at bay than even Russia’s. There would be no Moscow 2011 protests in Beijing, without serious crackdown ala Tienamen Square 1989. China is a much different country than Russia, and the events in Hong Kong were largely censored on the mainland.

            “Yeah, I’m REAL sure Xerxes, Darius, Lenin, and Emperor Yang of Sui would have loved to know that, considering what happened to it.”

            If those figures had the numbers and capabilities of China’s current military, it would have mattered. The only forces on Earth that could overtake Beijing are the U.S. and Russia to a lesser extent.

            “Numbers are important, yes.Lancaster’s Square Law is a decent indication of that. But the idea that they win wars alone is a great way to Lose a war. Or have you never wondered why Korea and Vietnam are recognizably different countries rather than just funny-shaped Chinese prefectures (like they were for much of history)?”

            I didn’t say numbers alone win wars. They help you stay in the game, when the inevitable mistakes and poor planning arise.

            “And in the end South Korea survived the Korean War in large part because the PRC’s numbers Could Not in fact break through against superior leadership, technology, and doctrine.”

            This isn’t 1950, and the PRC has gained capabilities exponentially since then. South Korea had U.S. support then. You do remember my scenario is predicated on President Trump withdrawing it, right?

            “Maybe we can say “but it will be different this time!” And maybe. But again, China does not have a great track record in modern warfare.”

            As a ground force, we don’t know the extend of China’s capabilities. I concede that point.

            “You claimed it would be over in hours. It took more than a few hours for the PLA to break through a few miles into Vietnam when Vietnam was fighting alone supported only by the Soviets AND waging a two front war against both the PRC and the Khmer Rouge.”

            Again, China didn’t have cruise missiles, a modern air force, and one of the world’s largest naval forces in 1973. Things have changed. As you stated, the Soviets supported Northern Vietnam, and had pilots flying missions for Ho Chi Mihn.

            “It made matters worse, but it did not cause the actual war to break out, as it happened after the war started.”

            Never said he started it. He simply made matters worse by drawing China fully into it. Why the Chinese stopped at the 38th Parallel is a mystery to this day. U.S. forces were retreating and vulnerable. There’s little evidence that nuclear strikes were a fear China had at the time.

            “What was relevant to why the invasion started in 1950 (with the North Koreans, aided by some “undercover” Chinese troops) was that the Communists believed that the West would not fight in Korea.”

            Something Putin hedged against after the annexation of Crimea. Unlike Georgia, the E.U., U.S., and NATO didn’t accept Russia’s incursion. The U.S. Congress went so far as to unanomously support aiding Ukraine with defensive weapons in BOTH chambers! Obama even signed it to stave off an override, but refused to implement the “law” (I am not sure whether its classified as a law or resolution, and I’m too tired to check).

            “But we have generally pretended it is otherwise because of one of those polite diplomatic lies.”

            No doubt. This goes back to the days of Nixon and Xiaoping.

            “Sometimes it’s not just a measure of what you Can do as much as what you Will do. And the PRC trying to crack open the big atom signs-or eve conventional bombardment- would trigger a major backlash.”

            Like Crimea, the backlash will be minimal beyond sanctions. Reaction after the fact is always little. Corderizing and preventing further incursion is where the chess pieces move.

            “I already refuted this nonsense in my quote above, if numbers won wars China would have won the 1894 war with Japan.”

            China has a military industrial complex to go along with their numbers. The size of force, coupled with capabilities exceed every Asian nation. This isn’t 1894 any more.

            “it would have to fight pretty much ALL the Pacific Rim it has PO’d.”

            What evidence do you have to support the entire Pacific Rim teaming against China? Hope and prayer makes for poor war strategy. There is no collective defense treaty that I’m aware of.

            Certainly nothing along the lines of NATO.

            “And this is before I talk about adding together everybody else like Taiwan, the Philippines, etc.”

            The extent of cooperation is purely speculative on your part.

          • Alex George

            But even if any of that were remotely accurate, it does not change the simple truth that Trump has openly endorsed Putin and is probably being bankrolled by him. He is not to be trusted.

          • Turtler

            A fair point, and I do not trust Trump.

            The problem is that I can trust Hillary Clinton even less, as the FBI under sworn testimony (contained in this vide) that she was guilty of felonies, including one that denies her the ability to hold Federal office.

            I don’t trust Trump and I earnestly wish he were not the other viable option. However, for all of his many sins and lack of trustworthiness, I can at least assume that he will not taint the US Presidency with illegality merely by holding the office.

            And I have hope that he can be restrained by other things. It isn’t much good, but it is there.

          • Turtler

            Continued…

            “Which is very likely to happen with Trump asleep at the wheel. As Trump said, “Have fun”.”

            Again, no.

            Because
            the problems that kicked the PRC the last time it tried it are still in
            force, and it is one of the few things the UN is still obliged to
            respond to by armed force (though given how it let Saddam skate I
            suppose that could be phraed as putting doubt about it.)

            And if you think the PRC stands a good chance fighting the Pacific Rim PLUS India, you haven’t studied the situation that much.

            “Any major conflict between China, Japan, South Korea, or even Taiwan
            would disrupt if not destroy the global markets. ”

            Indeed
            Which if anything is another argument for why the PRC is unlikely to do
            it, because the justification for its’ regime is predicated on a calm
            and slightly growing domestic economy.

            If that goes, so does their popularity. And those thousands of yearly protests might become millions.

            “Did you not learn that economies and markets are interconnected after 2008?”

            I already had when I studied how numbers do not decide wars, like how Japan collapsed.

            “Major wars between world powers force economic collapses.”

            A
            lot of times, but not always. Or are you going to ignore how the ROK
            developed even as the Korean War went on, or Peter the Great found time
            to build St. Petersburg even while fighting for his life against
            Charles XII?

            “Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan hardly compare to a war with China along the Pacific Rim would mean.”

            MAYBE.
            But swatting the then small PLN in the Taiwan Strait during the fifties
            and Sixties had a smaller market footprint than those.

            “Iran was appeased?”

            In a word, Yes. have you actually studied the Iran Deal or just regurgitated it?

            “According to Trump’s favorite leader Vladimir
            Putin,”

            Who is if anything an Ally of Iran who undercut even the limp teeth the deal head by explicitly rejecting Snap-Back sanctions.

            You’re seriously going to believe him now when it’s convenient for you?

            “the Iran Deal specifically prevents Iran from developing nuclear
            weapons.”

            Yeah, fat lot of good that is going to do. Remember how the agreements with North Korea were supposed to do that as well?

            “We have access to several major facilities for inspections. ”

            And here’s a novel concept: Totalitarian regimes Lie. Constantly.

            Especially for inspectors.

            This
            was something we caught Saddam Hussein and Putin doing endlessly, and
            without the ability to conduct sanctions without advance warning our
            ability to counter their ability to lie is even Further diminished from
            where it was.

            “Numerous centrifuges were destroyed.”

            Which can be Rebuilt. And will be rebuilt after the twilight of the agremeent if they have not been already.

            “Procurement of “Heavy Water” is severely curtailed.”

            Heavy water is one of the easier issues to solve, especially since they can and do do business with the aforementioned DPRK.

            “Sanctions can be “snapped back” into place without
            U.N.S.C. Resolution or approval.”

            No they can not, because of the aforementioned Vladimir Putin among others.

            http://www.timesofisrael.com/russia-says-no-automatic-sanctions-snapback-if-iran-breaks-deal/

            You claim to be so up to date about Putin and hwat he Really wants, but you never heard that?

            “Oh, and the military option always remains on the table, should Iran fail. “”

            Not
            when you explicitly exclude it (as Obama verbally did), violate your
            other red lines for military action, and do not react to an act of war
            against uniformed US personnel as the kidnapping of several USN sailors
            amounts to.

            And of course even if people had the courage to walk
            back that deal, there’s the fact that Iran’s defenses of those
            facilities are growing stronger. Including with Russian AA.

            “The
            Russians actually sacrificed a lot of business interests in this deal,
            to make it appealing to the U.S. Putin is enraged that his capitulation
            in Iran didn’t end “Aegis On-Shore” in Romania and Poland.”

            Except
            again, he did not sacrifice all that much, including the ability to
            sell weapons- such as AA to prevent an Osirak replay- to one of his
            allies. And explicitly disavowing the Snap Back sanctions.

            But I suppose that this is all preferable to the supposedly inevitable war that would have come otherwise?

            Problem
            is Iran’s already in a state of war with the US and has never rescinded
            it (namely, Ayatollah Khomenei’s Fatwa calling for it). So there goes
            that…

            “It’s not inevitable if we don’t allow it. ”

            Riiiight. Like we didn’t allow North Korea or Pakistan to get them?

            Or
            for that matter the Soviet Union itself (since the Western Allies
            explicitly wrote the Soviets out of the loop in the Manhattan Project)?

            The
            US standing up and saying “Stop I will not Allow this!” can only do so
            much. And it can do even less when it can’t get things like Assad,
            Putin, and the Iranians do cheat on what little of the deal there
            already Is. The Saud- for as monstrous as they are- found it beneficial
            to not do t too much that we or the British before us didn’t allow
            because they realized that we had a big stick to thwack them with and
            the willingness to use it, as well as the power to protect them better
            than what they could themselves.

            No more if Iran gets nuclear weapons, as it almost certainly will.

            And
            the Saud will use their incredibly generous amount of money and
            influence to find a way to do it barring something extreme like an
            invasion (which the US will not be willing to do).

            The idea that
            the US has all the power in the world over global affairs and can stop
            something by merely forbidding it is a caricature, and the history of
            nuclear diplomacy shows that.

            “Israel is right there to take it out, should we allow it.”

            Agreed.
            The problem is allowing it, which Obama and Clinton have been extremely
            dubious on, particularly since Obama and Clinton have been actively
            hostile to Netanyahu.

            “Prove the Iran Deal leads them on a path to nuclear weapons.”

            Firstly, you’ve got it the other way around.

            You are the one who is supposed to prove that it blocks it. After all, the onus is on you and Clinton to do it.

            So don’t shift the burden of proof like an incompetent debater.

            Secondly,
            have you studied the history of the Pakistani and North Korean nuclear
            programs At all? Because they are pretty good indicators of how this can
            go.

            And thirdly: here’s a little something about an experienced
            watcher of the region (and an anti-trumpite to boot) examining just a
            little Bit of Iran’s cheating.

            http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/michael-j-totten/iranian-nuclear-deal-keeps-getting-worse

            I can do more, but that should it.

            “Have you actually read the deal,”

            Unfortunately
            yes, or at least the portions that were made public (in contrast to the
            secret appendices and gentlemens’ agremeents we know were attacked).

            Because somebody has to actually know the policy in this debate and how it has played out, and it isn’t going to be you.
            ” See above for my comments on the Iran Deal.”

            I did.

            I
            also saw how they aped the White House’s taking points to a T and were
            utterly clueless about recent events like Putin’s EXPLICIT denouncing of
            Snap Back Sanctions, so I discarded your comments as worth considering.

            If
            you can’t even keep track of how backbiting Putin has been on this
            issue when it’s been public knowledge, how you be expected to follow
            more?

            “Name a single Trump Product line, from his ties to his dress shirts
            manufactured in the U.S.”

            Define “Product Line.”

            Because a good number of his books are-like most American books- manufactured domestically.

            “Does Trump own the T-Shirt line, or does he simply print slogans on
            pre-purchased t-shirts? ”

            Both A and B, given the need.
            “By the way, Trump has refused to bring back production

            to the U.S. From currency manipulation to wages, Trump provides a litany of excuses.”

            Indeed, which again points him as two faced and hypocritical.

            Which does not change the fact that the claim that he does not manufacture At All in the United States is ignorant.

            “What NATO Member in Eastern Europe has Hillary Clinton sold out? Feel
            free to name them. ”

            Poland and Czechoslovakia, to name two. Remember the Missile Shield they wanted and which that supposed

            “Pretending the Iran Deal is catastrophic, ”

            Pretending?

            I’m not the one that’s pretending. Do you even remember what you said?

            The
            fact is that Israel is walking in lockstep with Saudi Arabia- SAUDI
            ARABIA!, which is as bad as you said- over this issue says plenty alone.
            As does the fact that plenty of us that have actually bothered Reading
            the deal, watching the region, or watching how the “deal” has (or hasn’t
            been implemented are alarmed.

            You can’t slur Michael Totten as
            an ignoramus about the region, a Trump supporter, or the like. And he
            hit the red button on this from the start.

            If you’re not willing
            to do the rudimentary research to study things like how Putin betrayed
            Snap Back sanctions, how do you expect to argue these points?

            “Feel free to quote the numerous investigations pointing the finger
            squarely at Clinton. ”

            Sure. I will sum this up by pointing at this.

            Point to a single thing in this video that is factually wrong.

            Or failing that, point to a single example that makes any of this conduct Ok.

            Not necessarily legal- a lot of screwed things and dereliction of duty are legal- but Right. Competent. Or Trustworthy.

            In what world does this kind of conduct become praiseworthy or adequate in a Secretary of State?

            Unlike the email boondoggle, this doesn’t have to be illegal to be damning.

            “Do you really believe I “love” Hillary Clinton? ”

            Nom, but you don’t have to to be damning.

            “I am a Reagan Republican. My ideal candidate was Kasich of Ohio.”

            Now this is moderately contradictory….

            And
            as for Ohio, I’ve actually had the fortune to recently move to Ohio
            from California. And so I had a decent chance to get to know Mr.
            Kaisch’s constituents and his beliefs.

            And they are justifiably angry at him, because ironically like Trump he’s petty, two faced, violent, and above all ineffective.

            “and a track record to back them up. ”

            Then why was the Ohio GOP in a mutiny against him even before Trump?

            “Donald Trump doesn’t even come close.”

            On this much I agree.

            “I can examine Clinton’s lies all day online, and contrast
            them against Trump’s. It’s not even a contest. Don has lied far more
            times.”

            The problem is again not the quantity of the lies, but the quality.

            How many times can we say Trump has lied about people being killed? Or being responsible for it?

          • Vladislav Surkov

            “And if you think the PRC stands a good chance fighting the Pacific Rim PLUS India, you haven’t studied the situation that much.”

            Again, what evidence do you have to support a collective response, by Asian Pacific Nations against a Chinese onslaught? Hope and Prayer make for poor war strategy.

            “Which if anything is another argument for why the PRC is unlikely to doit, because the justification for its’ regime is predicated on a calm and slightly growing domestic economy.”

            China is in the position where it can drive and manipulate its economy, despite prospectus of major war. Beijing may have debt levels exceeding GDP to a greater extent than the U.S., but their economy can weather the storm. I have no doubt China would act out swiftly against a nuclear Japan and South Korea if the U.S. was removed from the response equation.

            “Major wars between world powers force economic collapses.”

            “A lot of times, but not always. Or are you going to ignore how the ROK developed even as the Korean War went on, or Peter the Great found time to build St. Petersburg even while fighting for his life against Charles XII?”

            Compare the post WW2 period outside of Korea. Europe took decades and a U.S. Marshall Fund to recover.

            “[Putin] is if anything an Ally of Iran who undercut even the limp teeth the deal head by explicitly rejecting Snap-Back sanctions.

            You’re seriously going to believe him now when it’s convenient for you?”

            I’ll quote Foreign Policy, your “Times of Israel” link cites Vitaly Churkin, a Russian diplomat to the U.N. and Biased Party.

            http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/07/21/do-the-iran-deals-snapback-sanctions-have-teeth/

            “Under the UNSCR, if a JCPOA participant state believes that Iran has not performed its commitments, it can bring the issue before the Security Council and require Iran to resolve the matter. If the alleging state declares itself unsatisfied with the Iranian response, the Security Council will then vote on a draft resolution — ostensibly governed by typical Security Council voting procedures — to continue the termination/suspension of U.N. sanctions. If a country vetoes that resolution, as might happen if the alleging state happened to be a veto-player like the United States, the U.N. sanctions will be reinstated. This means that the United States by itself, even without IAEA concurrence, can trigger the re-establishment of the legal basis for sanctions on Iran if it believes Iran has cheated on the agreement. But snapping back sanctions like this would come at a great cost: Iran has declared that doing so absolves it of all its obligations in the agreement, and the UNSCR does not rebut Iran’s understanding. So the sanctions mechanism does have some snap to it, though one with a potent poison pill.”

            “Yeah, fat lot of good that is going to do. Remember how the agreements with North Korea were supposed to do that as well?”

            The North Korean and Iranian Agreements are apples and oranges, with dramatically different stipulations. Your argument here is anecdotal.

            “And here’s a novel concept: Totalitarian regimes Lie. Constantly.”

            Can Iran clean up radioactive isotopes to hide from inspection? You seem to think a gallon of bleech or some Comet can wipe away nuclear materials it seems.

            “[Centrifuges] can be Rebuilt. And will be rebuilt after the twilight of the agremeent if they have not been already.”

            Again, the U.S. and U.N. Inspectors have access to numerous Iranian sites. Iran would violate their agreement if they tried that. Nuclear inspectors aren’t stupid. They know what to look for, and have far greater tools in this deal than the one with North Korea.

            “Heavy water is one of the easier issues to solve, especially since they can and do do business with the aforementioned DPRK.”

            You believe the movement of nuclear material or components, across that great distance wouldn’t be tracked by U.S. Satellites? Really?

            RE: Military Option in Iran “Not when you explicitly exclude it (as Obama verbally did), violate your other red lines for military action, and do not react to an act of war against uniformed US personnel as the kidnapping of several USN sailors amounts to.”

            The situation in Syria has zero to do with the Iran Nuclear Deal. If Iran violated the deal, Israel would be the first party to strike at Tehran’s program.

            “And of course even if people had the courage to walk back that deal, there’s the fact that Iran’s defenses of those facilities are growing stronger. Including with Russian AA.”

            By then, Israel will have the F-35i, with their own upgrades and superior airforce pilots. Russia’s S-300 systems were barely effective against the F-22. It didn’t strike a single one. The IAF will take out any Iranian Facility found violating the agreement. We’ve tested the F-35 against the S-300s lent to us by Greece.

            “Except again, he did not sacrifice all that much, including the ability to sell weapons- such as AA to prevent an Osirak replay- to one of his allies. And explicitly disavowing the Snap Back sanctions.”

            Putin withheld sales of S-300 systems for years at the behest of the United States. Russia was not obliged to do so under U.N. Sanctions. Something Obama even conceded.

            “Snap Back” is real as Foreign Policy confirms. Your articles only source is Vitaly Churkin. A man who tried to excuse MH-17 as a mistake.

            “But I suppose that this is all preferable to the supposedly inevitable war that would have come otherwise?”

            It severely curtailed Iran’s path to the nuclear bomb.

            “Problem is Iran’s already in a state of war with the US and has never rescinded it (namely, Ayatollah Khomenei’s Fatwa calling for it). So there goes that…”

            Question. When has Iran attacked the U.S., beyond capturing a few sailors?

            “Riiiight. Like we didn’t allow North Korea or Pakistan to get them?”

            Who was in the White House at the time?

            “No more if Iran gets nuclear weapons, as it almost certainly will.”

            You seem to forget Israeli Intelligence, and their ample capabilities in the Middle East. Regardless of what Washington D.C. says, Tel-Aviv will be the first to strike at any potential facility. Nobody will support Iran against Israel including the Russian Federation.

            “The idea that the US has all the power in the world over global affairs and can stop something by merely forbidding it is a caricature, and the history of nuclear diplomacy shows that.”

            Did I say that, or are you speculating again?

            RE: Israel striking at facilities — “The problem is allowing it, which Obama and Clinton have been extremely dubious on, particularly since Obama and Clinton have been actively hostile to Netanyahu.”

            Clinton is far more hawkish than Obama. As the Iraq War vote in Congress proved.

            “You are the one who is supposed to prove that it blocks it. After all, the onus is on you and Clinton to do it.”

            Feel free to read all about it here. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/03/31/world/middleeast/simple-guide-nuclear-talks-iran-us.html?_r=0

            and here

            http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/15/world/middleeast/iran-nuclear-deal-is-reached-after-long-negotiations.html

            “So don’t shift the burden of proof like an incompetent debater.”

            You haven’t proven it does provide a path to a nuclear bomb for Iran. Everything you stated is speculative, based on narratives by parties with a natural opposition to all things Obama. I’m sorry, but your lack of support is absolutely hypocritical.

            “Secondly,have you studied the history of the Pakistani and North Korean nuclear programs At all? Because they are pretty good indicators of how this can go.”

            Was Obama or Kerry the architects of those plans? Or are you speculating based on anecdotal argument and bias again? Who was the President when the agreement collapsed in 2003?

            “And thirdly: here’s a little something about an experienced watcher of the region (and an anti-trumpite to boot) examining just a little Bit of Iran’s cheating.”

            All contingent upon Israel not using a military option should Iran be suspected of violating the deal. We learned with Iraq, the IAF will strike regardless.

            “I also saw how they aped the White House’s taking points to a T and were utterly clueless about recent events like Putin’s EXPLICIT denouncing ofSnap Back Sanctions, so I discarded your comments as worth considering.”

            Except “snap back” exists, despite the claims of Vitaly Churkin.

            “If you can’t even keep track of how backbiting Putin has been on this issue when it’s been public knowledge, how you be expected to follow more?”

            Yet you plan to vote for a guy, who holds Vladimir Putin in the highest esteem! Everybody knows Putin and Clinton can’t stand each other.

            Define “Product Line.”

            Trump’s clothing line.

            “Indeed, which again points him as two faced and hypocritical.
            Which does not change the fact that the claim that he does not manufacture At All in the United States is ignorant.”

            Trump’s book publisher does, not Donny. Donald J. Trump’s clothing line does not. Donald sells his clothing line as his company, not a licensing deal regardless of how it may actually be structured.

            “Poland and The Czech Republic, to name two. Remember the Missile Shield they wanted and which that supposed.”

            The very same Poland that’s getting “Ageis On Shore” after Romania? That’s your idea of a sell out? Ending a missile shield program in Czechia? That certainly is better than Trump stating he won’t even defend an “Article V” if those countries are attacked!

            “I’m not the one that’s pretending. Do you even remember what you said?”

            Oh I remember, and I also know Totten isn’t exactly an Obama supporter either. He has his own agenda.

            Here’s an quote from your champion:

            “”If you don’t join us now, when Saddam’s regime falls and Iraqis cheer the US Marines, you are really going to feel like a jackass. And your jackassery will be exposed beneath klieg lights for all to see.”

            Yeah, there’s a real genius for you.

            “You can’t slur Michael Totten as an ignoramus about the region, a Trump supporter, or the like. And he hit the red button on this from the start.”

            Based on the above quote, yes I can.

            “If you’re not willing to do the rudimentary research to study things like how Putin betrayed Snap Back sanctions, how do you expect to argue these points?”

            Putin didn’t betray squat, as “snap back” exists.
            http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/07/21/do-the-iran-deals-snapback-sanctions-have-teeth/

            Feel free to re-read the quote I posted above.

            “Sure. I will sum this up by pointing at this.”

            Quote Congressional or F.B.I. Reports. Youtube Reports are worthless. Shall I link YouTube Videos here of our reptilian overlords?

            “Not necessarily legal- a lot of screwed things and dereliction of duty are legal- but Right. Competent. Or Trustworthy.”

            Moving the goal posts are we?

            “And they are justifiably angry at him, because ironically like Trump he’s petty, two faced, violent, and above all ineffective.”

            Kasich is violent? What? Principle Skinner is what again?

            “Then why was the Ohio GOP in a mutiny against him even before Trump?”

            Didn’t Kasich win Ohio over Trump?

            “The problem is again not the quantity of the lies, but the quality.”

            “How many times can we say Trump has lied about people being killed? Or being responsible for it?”

            Beats George W. Bush’s and Richard P. Cheney’s record in Iraq. Or even Ronald Reagan’s in Lebanon. Or the 1967 Attack on the U.S.S. Liberty during the 6 day War.

            Trump’s Foreign Policy will lead to the death of tens of millions in Europe and Asia. You made a vote for Hillary far easier, despite my personal distaste for her as a personality.

          • Turtler

            “Again, what evidence do you have-”

            No no no.

            This all started because You made the claim that the PRC would be finished with any war against the ROK or Japan in “Hours.” Specifically:

            “It would be over in hours.”

            So you were the one who was pushing this claim.

            So the question is what evidence do You have that such a thing is even possible?

            Go on. I’ll wait.

            Back yet?

            China has not finished a foreign war- any foreign war in its’ several millennia of history- within a few hours. The closest was the 1951 invasion of Tibet with a massive, relatively veteran army invading by surprise against a deeply divided, hopelessly obsolete country.

            And even THEN it took over a dozen days for them to do it. Not “Hours.”

            In fact, even in the first stage of the Korean War- when the Communists were surging across half the peninsula in a rapid and successful attack by modern standards- it still took them a month and a half (including all of July) to bite the ineffective resistance down to Pusan.

            So on what grounds did you have to make the unsubstantiated claim that it would all be over in hours?

            As for what reasons I have to suspect a coordinated reaction, I will merely mark how the PRC has alienated just about every single neighbor it has had, how they have cheered the Hague rejection of the Cow Tongue nautical claims, and how several US Administrations have spent years trying to build up a common front against the PRC.

            If you are so uninformed as to not know that or why Vietnam or Japan might react negatively to another invasion of the ROK, that is your fault and responsibility. Not mine. I will not bother citing the diplomatic efforts that have been made to try and unite these nations in a common defense for the same reason I do not provide citations to the fact that the Nazis invaded Poland on September 1 1939.

            “Hope and Prayer make for poor war strategy.”

            So does overestimating the enemy or not knowing them or warfare.

            As you clearly do not when you prattled on about numbers winning wars, something even the Chinese knew better (see Romance of the Three Kingdoms, particularly the bit about the Red Cliffs).

            “China is in the position where it can drive and manipulate its economy,”

            And this alone does not translate into world domination or the ability to make every other nation on Earth fold like a rag doll,.

            The same could have been said for the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th centuries, Britain in the 18th and 19th, and the US in the 19th and 20th. But note how these conspicuously did not translate into world domination.

            Next.
            “Beijing may have debt levels exceeding GDP to a greater extent than the U.S., but their economy can weather the storm.”

            And you know this how?

            ” I have no doubt China would act out swiftly against a nuclear Japan and South Korea if the U.S. was removed from the response equation.”

            You also had no doubt that it would be over in “hours”, something that has never, ever happened in China’s wars.

            So having no doubt about something that is not true does not make it valid. It just makes you hot headed and uneducated.

            “Compare the post WW2 period outside of Korea. Europe took decades and a U.S. Marshall Fund to recover.”

            Not entirely true. Germany and parts of Central Europe (especially Soviet ones) ,yes. But Italy and Denmark in the fifties were much more prosperous than they were in the twenties.

            War is not a usual friend of the economy, but the idea that the economy drives war is contradicted by more than I could list.

            “I’ll quote Foreign Policy, your “Times of Israel” link cites Vitaly Churkin, a Russian diplomat to the U.N. and Biased Party.”

            So you hate Putin mouthpieces so much that you will discard them even when they are laying out Putin’s policy?

            would you also hate Goebbels so much that you would not believe him when he echoed Hitler’s stance and claims on the matter?

            How logical is that?

            And as for your cherrypicked citation, it does not say what you allege it does.

            And I quote.

            “This means that the United States by itself, even without IAEA
            concurrence, can trigger the re-establishment of THE LEGAL BASIS ffor
            sanctions on Iran if it believes Iran has cheated on the agreement. ”

            Contrary to the rhetorical trick the magazine tries to employ, this does not amount to putting sanctions back in place.

            If I have to instruct you on how the legal basis for something is different from that something, I will simply not bother.

            As the reinvasion of Iraq and the UN’s hesitation on enforcing Resolution 687 shows, it is often a lot easier to make the case for something than to actually put it into action, especially when it comes to economic policy.

            “The North Korean and Iranian Agreements are apples and oranges, with
            dramatically different stipulations.”

            No, they are not. And this statement tells me you have either not read, or not understood, or not Cared about the text of either.

            Considering you outright stated something that said different from what you Claimed it was, I am not surprised.

            “Your argument here is anecdotal.”

            And this is where my generous well of patience runs dry.

            Firstly numbnuts: you don’t know what Anecdotal means. It certainly is not what you have been using it to mean.

            There is not a single anecdote in saying- even without putting out a link to the agreements you should have read yourself or an analysis- that they are similar. An Anecdote would By Definition be relating the story of someone Else telling a story.

            My citation of my Iraqi-American friends as such are them. This is not one.

            Secondly: Anecdotal does not mean wrong, contrary to your claims. The plural of Anecdote is not Fact, but it also is not Falsehood.

            if you are going to persist in abusing the English Language and common sense like this, you are not going to get much time or understanding from me.

            “Can Iran clean up radioactive isotopes to hide from inspection? ”

            Yes, Nimrod.

            But you know what would be even more effective? Having backup installations where you can continue working out of public view. You can’t inspect what you don’t know exists.

            Which is logistically demanding but by no means impossible. Heck, the USSR, Russia, and Pakistan still do this.

            “You seem to think a gallon of bleech or some Comet can wipe away nuclear
            materials it seems.”

            And you seem to like constructing strawmen and assuming that the opponent will tolerate it.

            Not going to work.

            “Again, the U.S. and U.N. Inspectors have access to numerous Iranian
            sites. ”

            Numerous is not all. And access to those sites can be withdrawn. And then what?

            “Iran would violate their agreement if they tried that.”

            Oooh. I’m supposed to think the Apocalyptic, totalitarian Theocracy with a proven record of Diplomatic Perfidy is going to care a huge amount about breaking the agreement when they have already started to do so.

            Unfortunately, I have been conscious and learning for more than this weekend, so I know to reject this.

            “Nuclear inspectors aren’t stupid.”

            No, but they know as much as anyone how easily they can be thwarted. Just ask the Israelis.

            Can you name a single case where Nuclear Inspectors prevented a nation that wanted to from getting nuclear weapons?

            It failed even with Apartheid South Africa.

            “By then, Israel will have the F-35i,”

            Which has already run into plenty of problems at the time.

            “with their own upgrades and superior airforce pilots. Russia’s S-300 systems were barely effective against the F-22. And that It didn’t strike a single one. ”

            True, but it can alert the air force. And while the Iranian Air Force is by no means the world’s best or comparable to Israel, it is experienced and when fighting on its’ home territory with local defense could hurt.

            But of course, all of this goes back to having Israel clean up an American mess.

            “You believe the movement of nuclear material or components, across
            that great distance wouldn’t be tracked by U.S. Satellites? Really?”

            Yes really.

            Because I am not a moron who has never studied the Cold War or rogue nuclearization.

            http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/6906/is-it-possible-to-determine-radiation-levels-using-satelites

            Satellites do not work that well tracking radioactive materials unless you already know where they are separately. Of course if you do, then you can track them. The problem is getting there.

            All the Cold War and Space Age satellites the US had were marginal at dealing with the AQ Khan Network. So you really want to bet this time will be different?

            “Putin withheld sales of S-300 systems for years at the behest of the United States.”

            That we know of.

            “”Snap Back” is real as Foreign Policy confirms.”

            Except even that did not say what you said it did.

            It’s different to get justification to do something, and to go through the cat herding process of writing the laws and getting everyone on board.

            “Your articles only source is Vitaly Churkin. A man who tried to excuse MH-17 as a mistake.”

            And thus a man who can be counted on to be a reliable mouthpiece of the Kremlin and its’ policy, right on down to regurgitating accepted lies from it.

            “Question. When has Iran attacked the U.S., beyond capturing a few sailors?”

            This is beyond contemptible.

            You have not bothered to do this basic research, and you expect ME To do it for you?

            Iran was found liable for the deaths of US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, the bombing of our East African embassies (in a joint venture with Al Qaeda), and the aforementioned Marine Corps Barracks bombing in Lebanon. Among others.

            The fact that you have not bothered to do this kind of Rudimentary research about the regime we are dealing with tells me plenty about what you are.

            I know a totalitarian psychopath when I read one. And I also know not to waste much time on it.

            So skipping along.

            “Who was in the White House at the time the North Korean program collapsed?”

            The North Korea program was never secure to begin with, the NorKs started cheating- with PRC support- while Clinton was still in the White House.

            “You seem to forget Israeli Intelligence, and their ample capabilities in the Middle East.”

            You forget the Israelis are already human, and their doing this has always led to backlash. Especially if the projects they were targeting were after the magical end of the limit on reactors.

            “Regardless of what Washington D.C. says, Tel-Aviv will be the first to strike at any potential facility.”

            We can only hope.

            “Nobody will support Iran against Israel including the Russian Federation.”

            Are you stupid or ignoring how even attacking Osirak led to France supporting Iraq against Israel? Or how Clinton and Obama hate Netanyahu and the Israelis even more than Putin?

            “Did I say that,”

            Yes, or specifically your claim that

            “It’s not inevitable (the Saudis get nuclear weapons) if we don’t allow it. ”

            Which ignores the fact that we did not approve of South Africa, Israel, Pakistan, or Iran getting nuclear weapons. The former three did, and the last one has openly promised to.

            “Clinton is far more hawkish than Obama.”

            Which is damning with faint praise indeed.

            “Yet you plan to vote for a guy, who holds Vladimir Putin in the
            highest esteem! ”

            Trump does not hold Putin in the highest esteem, though he does hold it far too much.

            And the answer is yes I do. And you’re planning to vote for a woman who legally cannot hold the office of President because of the law she broke.

            Which is more damaging?

            “The very same Poland that’s getting “Ageis On Shore” after Romania?
            That’s your idea of a sell out? Ending a missile shield program in
            Czechia? ”

            In a word, yes.

            Especially one that they badly wanted.

            “That certainly is better than Trump stating he won’t even defend an “Article V” if those countries are attacked!”

            No, it isn’t.

            Because while words can have a catastrophic effect- as I went over in the Korean War- and Trump was wrong to have said that, actions are what realy matters.

            “Based on the above quote, yes I can.”

            No, Nimrod. Totten said that after actually going to iraq before, and he was there when the Iraqis actually did welcome the collapse of Saddam Hussein. As he detailed.

            Unlike you. Where you are the anecdotal one, who has siad things that are flat out false about the country and basic history.

            But that’s the basic troll strategy. When answering off the cuff even when referencing unpublished eyewitnesses, complain about them being anecdotal.

            When I point to actual published eyewitnesses WHO WERE THERE, complain they are stupid.

            Demand I cite every single bit, including contradiction that China would win any war with a Pacific Rim nation in “Hours.”

            That is the Troll Way. And a Gish Gallop.

            And frankly, I am not one who is going to stand for that without a fight.

            “Quote Congressional or F.B.I. Reports.”

            I don’t have to.

            “Youtube Reports are worthless.”

            No, they are not.

            They are only as worthless as the content of their claims. The same as anyone else.

            You were challenged to show a single point of those claims that was wrong. You have failed and are trying to cover it up with an ad hominem.

            Which is a logical fallacy for a reason. The truth is the truth whether it comes from a cited and footnoted report, or from a white supremacist kook (which Bill Whittle is not).

            “Shall I link YouTube Videos here of our reptilian overlords?”

            Do so and I might- might, if I care- refute what is wrong with it. As you failed to do.

            “Trump’s Foreign Policy will lead to the death of tens of millions in
            Europe and Asia.”

            Because the stupid git who insisted that China can finish a war in “hours” is oh so trustworthy.

            Well, let’s see. Especially when the alternative is the death of the American republic of laws.

            “You made a vote for Hillary far easier, despite my personal distaste for her as a personality.”

            The problem with being a confirmed liar- as you are- is that few trust what you say anymore.

            I don’t think I did. Maybe I am wrong, but I doubt it. By your blind worship of them in these commands I think there is nothing anyone could say that would have made you more ready to do it.

          • Vladislav Surkov

            “This all started because You made the claim that the PRC would be finished with any war against the ROK or Japan in “Hours.”

            Again, you introduced straw mans to support your constant moving of the goal posts. My entire premise was based on China without the U.S. acting as a counter force with respect to Japan and South Korea. You continuously dreamed up scenarios of a joint Indian / Vietnamese / Japanese / Korean alliance to repel a Chinese Military, that not only vastly out numbers them in troops, but in terms of every category of military equipment. None of those countries, even combined can match China’s Naval and Air Force Capabilities. We’re not even factoring Chinese “nukes” and conventional missiles. Recalling wars in 1894, or before China became the economic super power it is today, have no bearing on China’s fate in an eventual war with either Japan or South Korea. It’s not even a contest. China dwarfs the response capabilities of every one of those nations exponentially. Your Trump supporting self refuses to accept the obvious. When Donny refuses to back either state, they are at China’s complete mercy. With the current U.S. security guarantees removed, China can and will wipe out any matriculation towards a nuclear payload deployment.

            “China has not finished a foreign war- any foreign war in its’ several millennia of history- within a few hours. The closest was the 1951 invasion of Tibet with a massive, relatively veteran army invading by surprise against a deeply divided, hopelessly obsolete country.
            And even THEN it took over a dozen days for them to do it. Not “Hours.”

            We’re in 1951, and the Chinese Military Troop and Equipment levels, military industrial complex and planning capabilities remain the same after 65 years? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

            “As for what reasons I have to suspect a coordinated reaction, I will merely mark how the PRC has alienated just about every single neighbor it has had, how they have cheered the Hague rejection of the Cow Tongue nautical claims, and how several US Administrations have spent years trying to build up a common front against the PRC.”

            So, completely a pulled out of your bum theory. With no basis or treaty to back up your claim in reality. Got it.

            If you are so uninformed as to not know that or why Vietnam or Japan might react negatively to another invasion of the ROK, that is your fault and responsibility. Not mine. I will not bother citing the diplomatic efforts that have been made to try and unite these nations in a common defense for the same reason I do not provide citations to the fact that the Nazis invaded Poland on September 1 1939.”

            Feel free to cite from IHS Janes anything regarding the potential response capabilities of those nations collectively, if such an alliance could be amassed before China launches enough missiles to end the battle quickly. China has is a nuclear power, with the ability to strike anywhere in the Asian “near abroad”. If they go “nuclear”, it’s over in hours.

            As you clearly do not when you prattled on about numbers winning wars, something even the Chinese knew better (see Romance of the Three Kingdoms, particularly the bit about the Red Cliffs).

            Yes, battles from 169 – 280 A.D. really provide insight into what would happen in a modern Chinese War today.

            “And this alone does not translate into world domination or the ability to make every other nation on Earth fold like a rag doll,.”

            Never claimed it did. I said it did translate to being able to dominate South Korea and Japan however. It would also in the Asian “Near Abroad”.

            “The same could have been said for the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th centuries, Britain in the 18th and 19th, and the US in the 19th and 20th. But note how these conspicuously did not translate into world domination.”

            Wait what, the British didn’t dominate in the 19th and 20th Centuries? Nice to see you toss in “world domination”, something I never claimed regarding China to reconstruct your straw man.

            “Beijing may have debt levels exceeding GDP to a greater extent than the U.S., but their economy can weather the storm.” — “And you know this how?”

            Unless South Korea and Japan have a military force capable of devastating “Mainland China”, without the support of the U.S., I can wager China can weather the storm. I never stated it wouldn’t have significant impact on the economy. Weathering the storm doesn’t mean surviving unscathed.

            “You also had no doubt that it would be over in “hours”, something that has never, ever happened in China’s wars.”

            Did China have “nukes” and the ability to deploy them in 289 A.D., 1894, or 1951? Oh wait, they didn’t. They could barely feed themselves in 1951.

            “So having no doubt about something that is not true does not make it valid. It just makes you hot headed and uneducated.”

            Hot headed and uneducated? You’re the one lobbing insult after insult. Acting like Donald J. Trump on a 5 A.M. Twitter Rage.

            “Not entirely true. Germany and parts of Central Europe (especially Soviet ones) ,yes. But Italy and Denmark in the fifties were much more prosperous than they were in the twenties.”

            Denmark didn’t face the devastation Germany did as a result of WW2, let alone the rest of Eastern and Central Europe.

            “So you hate Putin mouthpieces so much that you will discard them even when they are laying out Putin’s policy?”

            Yet you dispute Putin’s claims, and cite an article solely based on the account of Vitaly Churkin. Seems awfully hypocritical on your part as well.

            “And as for your cherrypicked citation, it does not say what you allege it does.”

            I pasted it directly. It absolutely does. It may be a convoluted process, but it is a “snap back” feature none the less.

            “If I have to instruct you on how the legal basis for something is different from that something, I will simply not bother.”

            Ah yes, more Trump Twitter style rage from his supporter.

            “As the reinvasion of Iraq and the UN’s hesitation on enforcing Resolution 687 shows, it is often a lot easier to make the case for something than to actually put it into action, especially when it comes to economic policy.”

            Except U.N.S.C.R. 678 was regarding Kuwait. You further disregarded U.N.S.C.R. 1441. Security Council members France and Russia made clear that they did not consider these consequences to include the use of force to overthrow the Iraqi government, when passing 1441. You also disregarded statements from the U.N. Sec. Gen.

            “Considering you outright stated something that said different from what you Claimed it was, I am not surprised.”

            Copied and pasted directly from Foreign Policy. Yours was a comment by Vitaly Churkin via The Times of Israel.

            “Can Iran clean up radioactive isotopes to hide from inspection? ”
            http://www.vox.com/2015/8/19/9176415/iran-deal-inspections-24-days

            Vox seems to take you task here on several issues. Feel free to read it.

            “But you know what would be even more effective? Having backup installations where you can continue working out of public view. You can’t inspect what you don’t know exists.”

            By that token, Iran could already have hundreds of warheads already developed. Your entire notion is speculative.

            “And you seem to like constructing straw men and assuming that the opponent will tolerate it.”

            Feel free to detail how Iran can scrub radioactive material from any site inspectors wish to visit, in under 24 days.

            “Numerous is not all. And access to those sites can be withdrawn. And then what?”

            Sanctions or military response.

            “Oooh. I’m supposed to think the Apocalyptic, totalitarian Theocracy with a proven record of Diplomatic Perfidy is going to care a huge amount about breaking the agreement when they have already started to do so.”

            Again, “snap back” of sanctions or military response.

            “Unfortunately, I have been conscious and learning for more than this weekend, so I know to reject this.”

            Courtesy of the Breit Bart School of Geopolitics and Nuclear Research. Got it.

            “No, but they know as much as anyone how easily they can be thwarted. Just ask the Israelis.”

            Israel being the primary enabler and corroborator on South Africa’s Nuclear Program? The U.S. largely turns a blind eye to Israel beyond rhetoric.

            “Can you name a single case where Nuclear Inspectors prevented a nation that wanted to from getting nuclear weapons?”

            No, I can’t. I also remember the last time a neighboring state began a nuclear program, and Israel’s response to it. The same will apply to Iran, as I consistently maintained.

            “Which has already run into plenty of problems at the time.”

            The software issues are getting closer to resolution by the day. The issues are not with the inherit design of the airframe or system. It’s the fault of manufacturing and component deficiency. The Ejector Seat and Engine fire does not condemn the project. Nor did the recent fuel line issues. Israel remains the only F-35 partner nation to internally develop and modify systems tailored to their regional needs. I have high confidence in Israel’s capabilities. We’ll see where the F-35 is in 2020.

            “with their own upgrades and superior airforce pilots. Russia’s S-300 systems were barely effective against the F-22. And that It didn’t strike a single one. ”

            “True, but it can alert the air force. And while the Iranian Air Force is by no means the world’s best or comparable to Israel, it is experienced and when fighting on its’ home territory with local defense could hurt.”

            Don’t recall the F-22 even registering on the radar batteries, let alone the S-300 being able to target them. Alerting an Air Force there are enemy bogies in the area, with zero means to target, attack, or see really doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in terms of air combat. Israel will be in and out before Iran can find the F-35i. Can they attack or make a putsch toward Israel? Certainly. At that point, the U.S. would become involved in an advisory or tactical fashion.

            “But of course, all of this goes back to having Israel clean up an American mess.”

            Wouldn’t be the first time.

            “Satellites do not work that well tracking radioactive materials unless you already know where they are separately. Of course if you do, then you can track them. The problem is getting there.”

            My counterargument is based on the U.S. knowing where the DPKR’s Nuclear Program, and materials are stored, based on your hypothetical supply of said material (“heavy water”) to Iran. Could a delivery happen? I can’t rule it out 100%. However, I would wager the U.S. has satellites all over every suspected nuclear site in North Korea, including the roads and exposed rail leading to any shipping point. Unless Iran finds alternative smuggling means from the DPKR, I’m largely on the side that the U.S. can track it.

            RE: S-300 sales and delivery to Iran — “That we know of.”

            Do you have anything to support Russia’s delivery of S-300s to Iran, at an earlier date than the U.S. Government acknowledges?

            “I know a totalitarian psychopath when I read one. And I also know not to waste much time on it.”

            And yet you plan to Donald J. “Grab them by p***y” Trump. Got it.

            “The North Korea program was never secure to begin with, the NorKs started cheating- with PRC support- while Clinton was still in the White House.”

            Cheating, but not collapsed. Got it. Remind what Bush’s response was during his 2 terms? Bush did absolutely nothing and Obama followed his lead.

            “You forget the Israelis are already human, and their doing this has always led to backlash. Especially if the projects they were targeting were after the magical end of the limit on reactors.”

            Israel will act in its self interests regardless. As they have time and again.

            Are you stupid or ignoring how even attacking Osirak led to France supporting Iraq against Israel? Or how Clinton and Obama hate Netanyahu and the Israelis even more than Putin?

            More assumptions regarding Clinton’s opinion toward Israel.

            “Trump does not hold Putin in the highest esteem, though he does hold it far too much.”

            Must I quote Donald’s constant praise for the Russian Leader?

            “And the answer is yes I do. And you’re planning to vote for a woman who legally cannot hold the office of President because of the law she broke.”

            Feel free to link the court issued verdicts supporting your claim.

            RE: Sellout of E. Europe – “In a word, yes.”

            Let me know the second Clinton makes any ambiguous reference to “Article V”, ala Donald Trump.

            “Because while words can have a catastrophic effect- as I went over in the Korean War- and Trump was wrong to have said that, actions are what realy matters.”

            To which Trump has refused to make even the slightest guarantee toward honoring. At best, his possible support is littered with caveats.

            “No, Nimrod. Totten said that after actually going to iraq before, and he was there when the Iraqis actually did welcome the collapse of Saddam Hussein. As he detailed.”

            “If you don’t join us now, when Saddam’s regime falls and Iraqis cheer the US Marines, you are really going to feel like a jackass. And your jackassery will be exposed beneath klieg lights for all to see. ”

            How many parades again were thrown in Iraq, honoring the U.S. Military again? Please feel free to cite polling in Iraq, with respect to overall opinion of the U.S. invasion and disposing of Saddam Hussein. I don’t accept the account of a single biased observer such as Totten.

            “But that’s the basic troll strategy. When answering off the cuff even when referencing unpublished eyewitnesses, complain about them being anecdotal.”

            The only troll here is you, and your constant injection of insults. Am I guilty of some? Absolutely. However, I haven’t even come close to those lobbed by you in this one post alone.

            “When I point to actual published eyewitnesses WHO WERE THERE, complain they are stupid.”

            One biased reporter, who made a claim before his arrival, and just so happens to say, “See, I was right!”? Please.

            “And frankly, I am not one who is going to stand for that without a fight.”

            LOL….just LOL

            RE: Congressional or F.B.I. conclusions supporting your claim “I don’t have to.”

            Of course. They don’t exist. Your opinion is based on your decades old bias.

            “You were challenged to show a single point of those claims that was wrong. You have failed and are trying to cover it up with an ad hominem.”

            You said she broke the law. Courts rule on matters of law. Congress holds hearings on matters. The D.O.J. prosecutes these matters. The F.B.I. investigates. Just as Congress called for independent prosecutors and investigations in the past, they could do the same for Clinton. For all their grand standing, they had nothing but smoke.

            “Because the stupid git who insisted that China can finish a war in “hours” is oh so trustworthy.”

            More like I base my opinion on today’s realities, not those of 1951 and before. I outlined my criteria. Yours is based on mythological alliances that have little chance of happening. Yet you continue to act as they do.

            “Well, let’s see. Especially when the alternative is the death of the American republic of laws.”

            Ah yes, the tried and true Tea Party song and dance.

            “The problem with being a confirmed liar- as you are- is that few trust what you say anymore.”

            “Confirmed Liar”? Ok Francis. Settle down.

            Blind worship of Clinton? Right. Keep believing that.

          • Turtler

            I already responded to this package of dishonesty before, so I see little point in doing so again.

            But for the sake of completing…

            “Again, you introduced straw mans to support your constant moving of
            the goal posts.”

            Again, this amounts to NO Uing the accusation, which is not a counter to it.

            “My entire premise was based on China without the U.S.
            acting as a counter force with respect to Japan and South Korea.”

            No, it wasn’t.

            Because China even with the US is already a counter force with respect to them.

            What you were claiming was something more. An apocalyptic scenario in which the PRC would Absolutely, 100% commit aggression against any ROK or Japanese attempt to defend themselves by developing nuclear weapons, and that they would certainly win.

            Which was in turn based on catastrophic ignorance of history, military science, and the region.

            And as such, your premise was based on a flawed foundation. Which is not my fault nor my responsibility to correct.

            So stop trying to lie about what your words were.

            “You continuously dreamed”

            Noting real life possibilities- especially ones that have been discussed at the highest levels of those governments- is not “dreaming.”

            Nor is noting history, and how aggressive powers tend to get people to ally against them.

            ” repel a Chinese Military, that not only vastly out numbers them in troops, ”

            Again, this is not true and a demonstration of your ignorance.

            The difference between the PRC and India’s militaries alone- in forces of millions, out of populations of hundreds of millions- is 163,000~. Give or take some.

            You want to claim that is overwhelming numerically, which is the same as wanting to claim Hurricane Matthew sprayed rain in my ear when you urinated in it.

            Similarly elsewhere.

            “Recalling wars in 1894, or before China became the economic super power it is today, have no bearing”

            You are welcome to deny the basics of military science or case studies as you want.

            But that does not mean the rest of the world has to pay any heed to you,. Like Holocaust deniers.

            The fact that the PRC still studies these conflicts- among others- is it.

            “China dwarfs the response capabilities of every one of those nations exponentially. ”

            Again, that is not what exponentially means, you apparently don’t know what it does.

            It doesn’t even exponentially out number or outgun the JSDF in conventional firepower, which isn’t legally a military.

            Trying to claim the same for a nuclear superpower like India is simple nonsense.

            “Your Trump supporting self refuses to accept the obvious. ”

            Sputtering lies and blatant falsehoods around and then claiming they are obvious truth does not make it so.

            What is obvious is that you haven’t studied the region or military history at all, and you expect me to yield to your judgement after endlessly repeating “numbers win wars”, something even the Chinese knew was different from the truth.

            It isn’t going to work.

            “We’re in 1951, and the Chinese Military Troop and Equipment levels,
            military industrial complex and planning capabilities remain the same
            after 65 years? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.”

            The trap you fell into- because you’re arrogant, stupid, and can’t do the research- is this:

            While Chinese military capability has not remained the same after 65 years, the idea that the militaries of the ROK, Japan, Vietnam, or India (alone, let’s take it) are in the same sorry shape as the Tibetians were (or at a comparable disadvantage relative to the new, modern Chinese military) is laughable.

            And yet even in ideal conditions, with a military much closer to what it is today than not, it still took the Chinese Weeks, not Hours, to win.

            Which makes your hyperbole false.

            “Feel free to cite from IHS Janes”

            Considering how ignorant you are of basic military facts, you’d be better off looking for yourself.
            ” before China launches enough missiles to end the

            battle quickly. ”

            Which assumes that China would launch those missiles to end the battle in the first place.

            Which it has not done in any of its’ modern military conflicts, even when it has had the power.

            “China is a nuclear power, with the ability to strike
            anywhere in the Asian “near abroad”. If they go “nuclear”, it’s over in
            hours.”

            The problem with this logic is that India is also a nuclear power with similar capabilities, to say nothing of the conventional missile capabilities of these nations.

            While a “launch all the nukes” conflict might be effectively over in hours with irradiated wastelands on both sides, that is far from the only nuclear conflict possible. Especially today.

            So you’re reaching.

            “Yes, battles from 169 – 280 A.D. really provide insight into what would happen in a modern Chinese War today.”

            Your mockery belies your ignorance.

            “Wait what, the British didn’t dominate in the 19th and very early
            20th Centuries?”

            Not to the degree you claim with China, with the ability to effortlessly end any military conflict in their favor, even if limtied to their near abroad.

            As shown by the fact that even at the apex of their power, they were still utterly defeated in 1881 by a handful of Dutch speaking farmers, and they suffered far longer campaigns there. And of course bleeding peacekeeping campaigns on the Northwestern Frontier, and long, ugly slogs from Africa to Europe.

            The bottom line is that you don’t know these things, and your ignorance is quite obvious.

            That alone would be ok.

            But your patent dishonesty and willingness to pass off untruths-and objective, obvious untruths (“vastly outnumbers”, “Exponentially”) as facts is not.

            You discredit yourself.

            So based on your conduct thus far, I will not bother dignifying the rest of this post with my time.

          • Alex George

            “The problem with being a confirmed liar- as you are- is that few trust what you say anymore.”

            And out the door goes your credibility. Apart from himself, Trump’s biggest liability has been the low quality of his supporters.

          • Turtler

            “And out the door goes your credibility.”

            I’m not the one who has been openly claiming provable falsehoods, like the idea that the Chinese military “vastly outnumbers” the Indian one, or that war between it and a non-US supported Pacific Rim nation would be over in “Hours.”

            that’s the other thing.

            ‘Apart from himself, Trump’s biggest liability has been the low quality of his supporters.”

            I’d disagree, and frankly while I do not have much love for those that make up much of his most loyal base (I’ve talked to some) the ‘quality” of a supporter does not make their vote less than a vote.

            His biggest liability compared to himself has been the relentless media pressure against him, which has not only exposed his flaws (of which there are many and ghastly- like his pooh pohing of Putin-, which is only right) but also has invented them (by claiming he’s a Fascist or Racist, among others) and downplaying his opponent’s.

            Though we can debate that.

          • Alex George

            Sorry, I only read the first ten lines or so.

            the simple truth is that Trump has repeatedly endorsed Putin and his business interests are closely entwined with the Russians. He is not to be trusted.

          • Vladislav Surkov

            I haven’t condemned the Iran Deal. That was Turler.

          • Alex George

            Hilary hasn’t openly endorsed Putin and promised to work with him the way Trump has. Not even close.

            Yes, Hilary has many bad things about her. But its ironic that it is the Republican party that has ensured her election, by choosing Trump the liar and Putin-lover as its candidate.

          • Turtler

            “Hilary hasn’t openly endorsed Putin ”

            Not this election cycle, but before.

            “and promised to work with him the way Trump has. Not even close.”

            Again, not true, especially when she was Secretary of State.

            That isn’t the case now, which might be something. And it certainly does not make Trump good.

            “Yes, Hilary has many bad things about her.”

            Being legally ineligible to hold the office is something.

            https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2071

            “to But its ironic ”

            Quite. And it’s a bitter irony I’ve had to taste in full for months now.

            But ultimately that does not change my course, or the priorities. I earnestly wish Trump were not the only viable alternative. But my view did not prevail at the convention.

            But as for ensured? Not so much. I do not think his chances are great and there is a better than average chance of her taking the White House.

            But don’t count the ballots until they’re cast.

      • Y K

        Didn’t watch the debate, but Pence does make an overall good impression. A pity it’s not him running for President.

        • Scradje

          He seemed to deviate from the positions taken by his boss and appeared by comparison sensible and unflappable. Best of all he demonstrated that he does not share his boss’s propensity for groveling to the miniature chekist thug.

  • Terry Washington

    The late Richard Nixon once observed in “The Real War”Sidgwick and Jackson, 1980) that most citizens of democracies would rather cruise the Caribbean than drill with the militia, true enough, but he overlooked that if and when the threat is real, the “decadent” and “weak” democracies can become an all too formidable beast, as the Axis found out during WWII and Soviets did during the Cold War!

  • http://www.rferl.org/content/crimea-independence-declaration-russia-annexation-referendum/25299518.html treepot

    Yes, Putin is making the same mistake Hitler did by pushing the West hard, but putting himself in a corner. He is not underestimating western leaders or their resources as much as he hopes to scare the various nations to the extent that they will insist their leaders give in to Putin’s demands. Western nations knowing Russia’s behavior in Georgia, Chechnya, Ukraine and Syria can not back down and sooner or later an unexpected event will set the powder keg to blow.

  • dluch

    Americans will never send their sons to die in Latvia or belarus