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If Trump helps Putin invade Europe, will Putin help Trump invade Canada?

Have they agreed between themselves to divide up the world?

 

Steve Thomas

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19 minutes ago, James DiEugenio said:

BN: How about because until 1945 the Europeans have been slaughtering each other for hundreds of years? Go back through maps of Europe say four or five hundred years .

 

I did not say what you are imputing to me.

What I said was, why do we have to foot the bill for it?  Look at the ratios.  

That had already been negotiated in 2014 with NATO countries agreeing to gradually increase their commitments until they hit 2% of GDP in 2024.

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But your other argument is not the reason that it was created.  It was not created to stop wars between European nations.  It was created to stop a Soviet invasion through the Eastern Bloc.

...What?  Russia is a European country.

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There is no USSR today and there is no Eastern Bloc.

But there may be Putin designs on the Baltics.

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Take  look at how far NATO extends east today. I think that is ridiculous.

 

You think it's ridiculous for the Baltic states to enjoy military protection?

Edited by Cliff Varnell

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Pat:

I disagree with the characterization.

If anyone was a murderous thug in bed with a bunch of oligarchs it was Yeltsin.

No one can even argue that point.  And not only did Clinton back him, Clinton saved him in one of the most obvious American heists of an election in recent history. (Surpassed only by what American did in Ukraine more recently.  And we tried to blame that on Putin also.)

So my question is, if that is all in the record and there is no real debate about it--and there is not--then why is what Trump doing so bad; when, in fact, the circumstances around those accusations are not proven?

 

Edited by James DiEugenio

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Let me add one last point here:

i agree with Bannen on the whole firing of Comey issue.

It was one of the dumbest things any president has done in recent years.

For the simple reason that a special prosecutor has way more power than an FBI inquiry does.

I mean can you see the FBI indicting a xxxxx farm in Russia?  I can't. 

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Jim:

I'd imagine there are some people in Crimea that wished Ukraine was part of NATO. I realize the Russian "Citizens" who were retroactively granted passports (in the time honored European tradition) may not feel that way. I well understand why Putin/Russia are testy about "NATO-creep" but the fact is they've brought it on themselves. They got it the old fashioned way by earning it.

Europe also includes Russia, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Albania, The Ukraine etc (Warsaw Pact not strictly Eastern Bloc-splitting hairs I spose) and the specific charter of NATO was for a collective defense of the war torn allies. But that also included a proviso that any NATO member would be defended by the others, regardless of the aggressor. Either way, our presence there has stabilized the continent for the most part and my guess is that the investment has paid off nicely. Could they pay more? Sure. I'm not sure we're better off the way it is though (I admit it's debatable).

After a decade or so of US hijinks Europe has done well in the last 30-40 years and it's not because of the former Soviet Union or Russia. Much of it has to do with the US playing the nanny I'm afraid.

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Jim,

 

I'm sorry, but in this case, I couldn't disagree with you more.

You said, " There is no USSR today ".

I say, tell that to the people of Georgia, Chechnya, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan...

I can't overlook the oil pipelines coming out of Central Asia and who gets to control where they get to market.

 

Steve Thomas

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I will NEVER EVER agree with Trump. Sorry. I fully agree, instead, with the description of him given recently by RFK Jr.

Edited by Paz Marverde

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4 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

BN: How about because until 1945 the Europeans have been slaughtering each other for hundreds of years? Go back through maps of Europe say four or five hundred years .

 

I did not say what you are imputing to me.

What I said was, why do we have to foot the bill for it?  Look at the ratios.  

But your other argument is not the reason that it was created.  It was not created to stop wars between European nations.  It was created to stop a Soviet invasion through the Eastern Bloc.

There is no USSR today and there is no Eastern Bloc.

Take  look at how far NATO extends east today. I think that is ridiculous.

 

Are we defending Europe or occupying Europe? I’d be a might resentful and uncooperative, perhaps if asked to pony up tax dollars to fund Russian troops’ presence in the US.

 

I harbor no I’ll will toward Russia for meddling in our elections. Fair is fair. We do it everywhere, just with less style and panache, to quote Clay Shaw from JFK.

 

With that said, any U. S. Citizen who aided and abetted that effort is a filthy traitor who should be imprisoned for life or executed.

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The list of reasons why I don't like Trump is long, but I have to agree with Jim here.

The decades old paradigms that define the United States' relationships with Russia and NATO are out of step and out of time with today's reality. We can debate whether there was a better path forward after WWII, but at least these geopolitical alignments made some kind of sense in 1945. I'm not sure what purpose they serve today. Challenging the status quo, critically examining why we do things the way we do, taking things apart, looking at them from different angles and assessing them honestly has a lot of value. Doing that, cutting through the crap (the massive, entrenched establishment bs) and driving the change you think is right takes a lot of balls. It's the kind of thing politicians generally run and hide from. I want to reiterate that I generally can't stand this man. And people can debate whether Trump is charting the correct course. But I have to give the guy credit for making an honest assessment of these two massive pillars of American foreign policy and saying, "Look, these just don't make sense anymore."

The other piece to this is it used to be the right who would gin up all this righteous indignation and "patriotic" fervor when anyone would dare question any part of the national security establishment. This came up time and time again in discussing agencies like the CIA and FBI and their activities around the JFK case. And it was people on the left who seemed to understand these agencies' nefarious history and found the idea of their complicity in the Kennedy assassination quite plausible. In the age of Trump, the left and right - and their respective media outlets - have switched places. The left (Is there even a real "left" in this country anymore?) is falling all over itself to cuddle, stroke and otherwise uphold the righteous honor and unwavering integrity of the intelligence agencies, while the right is screaming that they're crooked. I think that proves just how powerful the emotional ties are that people have to their politics and world view. 

I have no idea to what degree Russia tried to influence the election. Frankly, I'd be shocked if they did not make an effort. Our Government does not allow us to know their activities around such things, but does anyone seriously believe the U.S. doesn't do the same damn thing - and probably very effectively - all the time? With regard to Russian efforts, it comes down to whether or not you trust what our intel people are saying (I couldn't even type that without laughing). Their long, bloody, provable history of obfuscation, disinformation, lies, coups, assassinations, false flag ops and resistance to oversight gives them ZERO credibility. Even if they are telling the truth in this instance, so what? It would only be because it suits their current agenda. They think we are stupid. They will go to any lengths to conceal their true nature. They have done horrible, cruel things to human beings for decades and signed OUR names to it. And they've forced us to pay for it (At least the stuff they aren't financing through drug deals). So, trust what the intel community is telling us? Are you kidding me? 

Edited by Greg Wagner

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1 hour ago, Greg Wagner said:

I have no idea to what degree Russia tried to influence the election. Frankly, I'd be shocked if they did not make an effort. Our Government does not allow us to know their activities around such things, but does anyone seriously believe the U.S. doesn't do the same damn thing - and probably very effectively - all the time?

Greg,

 

I understand what you are saying, but I think it goes beyond one election. I seriously think there is an effort to re-shape the whole world order. Alliances are shifting. Trump said that in that two-hour meeting, he and Putin talked about a lot of things - nuclear proliferation, Syria, China... and I sat up and said, "Wait. What? Why would they be talking about China in a two-man, secret talk"? "What's going on here?"

 

Steve Thomas

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14 minutes ago, Steve Thomas said:

I understand what you are saying, but I think it goes beyond one election. I seriously think there is an effort to re-shape the whole world order. Alliances are shifting. Trump said that in that two-hour meeting, he and Putin talked about a lot of things - nuclear proliferation, Syria, China... and I sat up and said, "Wait. What? Why would they be talking about China in a two-man, secret talk"? "What's going on here?"

Hi Steve. I agree. And it makes sense to me.

The rivalries that emerged and the alliances that were formed after WWII have defined the world order for our entire lives. And just think about the massive capital investment, political structures and cultural impact of all that. It's no wonder the establishment is freaking out over Trump attempting to build a constructive relationship with Putin. Most of these people have spent their entire lives investing in those old structures. It's difficult for people to wrap their minds around a world that isn't defined by the traditional players carrying out the same old good guy and bad guy roles.

One of the things I despise about Trump is he seems to be the very definition of a narcissistic, selfish capitalist with little or no regard for other people beyond what they can do for him. Oddly enough, I think it is those same traits that allow him to evaluate things without being encumbered by the dusty old chains of the past. He seems to have no qualms about taking a hard, cold, cost-benefit approach to things, jettisoning whatever doesn't produce value, and moving on. Talk about a double-edged sword. 

Now, if would only decide that it's time to shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds...

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If you look at a map of Europe and NATO, and you include active members of the alliance and those not contributing, or under consideration, it goes pretty much up to the borders of Russia.

To me, that is not a defensive alliance.  Especially when there is no Warsaw Pact today.  And there is no divided Germany.  That was the whole reason for NATO: there was an eastern and western Europe.  That does not exist today.  In fact, NATO has been used of late as an offensive war mechanism.  For example, against Serbia and Libya.   Can you imagine that, using NATO to attack Africa?  When, in fact, Libya posed no threat to Europe.

To me, the UN is a much more important international mechanism today than NATO.  NATO is  a relic from a bygone era.  And I really do not understand why we have to foot such a large part of the bill for it in today's world.  

 

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2 minutes ago, James DiEugenio said:

And I really do not understand why we have to foot such a large part of the bill for it in today's world.

What it buys the establishment, neocon crowd is a bit of thinly veiled legitimacy for their unending campaign of killing people and gaining control of resources. Bringing NATO countries into their military attacks and occupations, in consequential or token form, allows the U.S. to present less like Darth Vader blowing up Alderaan and instead talk about taking such action as part of an international coalition of nations blah, blah, blah.... That's what we're paying for when we foot the bill for NATO - the illusion of credibility.

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