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37 minutes ago, James DiEugenio said:

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.  

 

Jim,

 

I think NATO buys us Lebensraum. Not in the German imperialistic, colonial sense, but in it's definition - "living space" . I look at what happened in Hungary in 1956 and in Chechoslovakia in 1968., and eastern Germany when the Berlin Wall came down. I don't think those countries wanted to be in Russia's "Warsaw Pact". Look at how quickly they joined a Western Alliance when the Soviet Union collapsed.

The East and West have been battling it out on the plains of Eastern Europe from time immemorial.

As this Wikipedia article says,

"The Ottoman–Habsburg wars fought from the 16th through the 18th centuries between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg (later Austrian) Empire, which was at times supported by the Holy Roman Empire, Kingdom of Hungary, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and Habsburg Spain. The wars were dominated by land campaigns in Hungary (including Transylvania (modern-day Romania) and Vojvodina (modern-day Serbia), Croatia and central Serbia."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman–Habsburg_wars

I think you are saying that bad people took NATO over and started using it for bad things, (like the Gladio network and the strategy of tension, and an "offensive war mechanism") and I agree with that totally.

 

Steve Thomas

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Well if talking with the so called enemy is a bad thing and opening a channel of communication is bad, Trump is guilty.

I can say he is not a politician.  His moves are so unconventional that people in Washington on both sides are feeling anxious.

The idea that a president is actually acting like a president and not a puppet is something new in D.C.

The last president to do so, well, we know what happened.

 

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Nice one Cory.

Here is a link to a good article on this whole issue:

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/07/16/us-media-is-losing-its-mind-over-trump-putin-press-conference/

 

Steve, that is part of what I was trying to say.  NATO today has honed in on a mission creep that is so big and divergent from what it was originally designed for that to me, its pretty much unrecognizable. 

Edited by James DiEugenio

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38 minutes ago, Cory Santos said:

The idea that a president is actually acting like a president and not a puppet is something new in D.C.

 

Cory,

 

This tells me everything I need to know.PC.thumb.jpg.0f912f6ade9e7de9929a59c69e0fb065.jpg

 

Steve Thomas

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1 hour ago, Cory Santos said:

Well if talking with the so called enemy is a bad thing and opening a channel of communication is bad, Trump is guilty.

I can say he is not a politician.  His moves are so unconventional that people in Washington on both sides are feeling anxious.

The idea that a president is actually acting like a president and not a puppet is something new in D.C.

The last president to do so, well, we know what happened.

 

Yearning for a white supremacist movement world-wide is Presidential?

Not in any country I care to live in...

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Cliff, calling people names like that, well, its your opinion.  They called JFK things too I guess.  

BTW, did you know Don King, Mike Tyson, and many other African Americans supported Trump?

Steve, I have seen pics of Obama and Putin, big deal.

Obama gave money to Iran, but that is ok with you apparently.

Clinton allowed N. Korea to go nuclear.

Ok.  All ok.  Just hate Trump.

Imagine if JFK had sent someone to talk to Castro, that horrible dictator or had plans to have détente with Cuba and Russia.

Ugh, intervention time right?

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6 hours ago, Greg Wagner said:

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.

Do you think the people of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania view their membership in NATO as "out of step"?

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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."

Sure, as long as you view Putin as basically a nice guy who wouldn't under any circumstances attempt to restore direct Russian influence in Eastern Europe.

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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 goes beyond "questioning the national security establishment."

Trump is trying to form a new Axis with autocrats and white nationalists.

The Kaucasian Khristian Kaliphate.

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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.

Wrong.

People on the left are still pissed off at the FBI for helping to rig the 2016 election.

All we're asking is for Mueller to do his job properly.

So far so good.

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I think that proves just how powerful the emotional ties are that people have to their politics and world view. 

Trump doesn't stike you as a guy who has been acting guilty about his Russian connections?

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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?

And when the US government gets out of line the left screams its head off in protest.  I recall standing on the intersection of Shattuck and University in Berkeley the night Reagan invaded Grenada, for example.  Someone burned an American flag.  Yes, it's wrong for the US to pursue regime-change policies.  Since the end of WW2 the US has been a bad actor.

But on several occasions foreign influence on American elections resulted in regime change here at home:

In 1968 Richard Nixon sabotaged an Averell Harriman negotiated peace deal with North Vietnam days before the election by promising So. Vietnam President Nguyen Van Thieu a better deal.

In 1980 the Ayatollah Khomeini kept the American Embassy hostages in captivity until Reagan was inaugurated.

In 2000 an Australian used a major organ of mass communication to prematurely declare George W Bush the winner, which gave Bush the advantage in the Florida recount.

Then we have 2016 with the Russians and Julian Assange.

Patriots protest.

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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).

Really?

You can't tell Trump is guilty by his behavior?

Or the fact that he lies all the time about his ties to Russians, that all his people lie all the time about their contacts with Russians?

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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.

As opposed to their agenda in 2016 to install Donald Trump in the White House?

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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? 

I trust Donald Trump is a crooked piece of Quad-X who's been in bed with the Russians for decades.

Edited by Cliff Varnell

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4 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

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.

The Baltic states don't look at NATO as a defensive alliance?

4 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

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.

I agree.  I think NATO was out of line in both those instances. 

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Everyone knows the difficulty and the standard of proof required to prove collusion, but you have to be an investigative fool to think that Trump isn't compromised by a foreign power. To not suspect that, calls their entire investigatory process in question.
 
Questionable allegations and assertions are made with infinitely less proof on this forum every day.Though I will grant recently less, with the absence of certain posters.
 
How effective a Russian e-mail or hacking campaign ultimately was or whether it rises to any more of a concerted effort at destabilization  than we routinely do to them is a relevant question.
 
Leaving out all foreign leader fanboy considerations. The real question is: After taking our rightful responsibility for corruption in our election system, the general gullibility and vulnerability of our citizenry,  and our subsequent election of such a loose canon. How are we are to look upon such a power?.
 
However, I do wonder about the usefulness of NATO. I am in agreement with Cliff and Jim and the instances of overstepping of it's bounds. However historically it is noteworthy that 13 previous Russian satellites eventually joined NATO. Who was it that they were seeking protection from? Almost no previous satellites of the Soviet Union have any thing very good to say about their previous relation with the Soviet Union.The Baltic states in particular are very leery of Putin and Russia. If this is a useful alliance it would be good to see all countries foot the bill and demonstrate that they're not just being coerced into continuing this Cold War stance to perpetuate the U.S. need for control and to satisfy increased expenditures to their war machine.
Edited by Kirk Gallaway

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As a Canadian, I have perhaps a bit more objectivity on all this.

Were the DNC servers HACKED or was it a LEAK? The Meuller/Democrats/media side say hacked, and hold the Russians responsible. Julian Assange says the information came to him as result of a leak (inside job), and he is backed by British diplomat Craig Murray who also had direct involvement. A group of former US intelligence personnel known as VIPS also hold the opinion that it was a leak due to technical restraints. This group includes William Binney, who is perhaps the person, of anyone, most familiar with cyber capabilities. The FBI never examined the servers in question and so all the allegations of hacking appear based on the work of a private company under the employ of the Democratic Party. Personally, I believe Assange, Murray, and the VIPS people to have more integrity than the other side. 

The constant repetition that the US Intelligence community as a whole endorses the conclusion that Russia hacked and meddled in the election is not correct, as can be determined by simply reading the January 2017 document itself. Hand-picked members of three agencies made this assessment, and the assessment, in their own words, is far from definitive and might actually be wrong (their words). And yet many Democrat politicians and large portions of the major media continue to repeat false information about this.

The Indictment last Friday was clearly a politically motivated attempt to scuttle the Trump/Putin meeting, and it joins other dialogue-preventing mechanisms historically such as the Powers U2 incident, except this time the meeting still happened. There is no expectation that this Indictment will ever go to trial and therefore be tested through due process - in fact the Indictment itself has been handed to the Justice Department’s National Security Division which never takes its work to a courtroom. (https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/07/muellers-latest-indictments-russians-politicized-pointless/) (I do not endorse this columnists viewpoint, but the information about the Indictment and the Justice Dept is important for context).

The demonization of Putin has been deliberately manufactured and enforced, again, by constant repetition. When it comes to extra-judicial murder by state actors, the United States is far and away the biggest offender - with a drone program responsible for thousands of targeted deaths including a disturbing amount of collateral damage (I.e. innocent bystanders). The U.S. led destruction of Iraq and Libya were far more serious breaches of international order than Crimea.

According the Mueller, the budget for the entire Russian election meddling and hacking operation amounted to about $200,000. Total spending for the entire 2016 election process has been estimated at over six billion dollars. It is absurd to think that such small scale and arguably negligible activity nearly tore down the foundation of American democracy, and yet many persons of influence apparently believe this. The United States and it 5-Eyes partners, including Canada, in fact run the largest, most widespread, and thorough hacking, cyber-meddling, and information retrieving operation on the planet by a large margin. So the hysteria over the alleged Russian activity is wildly disproportionate.

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32 minutes ago, Jeff Carter said:

As a Canadian, I have perhaps a bit more objectivity on all this.

Were the DNC servers HACKED or was it a LEAK? The Meuller/Democrats/media side say hacked, and hold the Russians responsible. Julian Assange says the information came to him as result of a leak (inside job), and he is backed by British diplomat Craig Murray who also had direct involvement. A group of former US intelligence personnel known as VIPS also hold the opinion that it was a leak due to technical restraints.

My understanding is that it wasn't a unanimous opinion within that group.

32 minutes ago, Jeff Carter said:

 

This group includes William Binney, who is perhaps the person, of anyone, most familiar with cyber capabilities. The FBI never examined the servers in question and so all the allegations of hacking appear based on the work of a private company under the employ of the Democratic Party. Personally, I believe Assange, Murray, and the VIPS people to have more integrity than the other side. 

The constant repetition that the US Intelligence community as a whole endorses the conclusion that Russia hacked and meddled in the election is not correct, as can be determined by simply reading the January 2017 document itself. Hand-picked members of three agencies made this assessment, and the assessment, in their own words, is far from definitive and might actually be wrong (their words). And yet many Democrat politicians and large portions of the major media continue to repeat false information about this.

The Indictment last Friday was clearly a politically motivated attempt to scuttle the Trump/Putin meeting, and it joins other dialogue-preventing mechanisms historically such as the Powers U2 incident, except this time the meeting still happened. There is no expectation that this Indictment will ever go to trial and therefore be tested through due process - in fact the Indictment itself has been handed to the Justice Department’s National Security Division which never takes its work to a courtroom. (https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/07/muellers-latest-indictments-russians-politicized-pointless/) (I do not endorse this columnists viewpoint, but the information about the Indictment and the Justice Dept is important for context).

The demonization of Putin has been deliberately manufactured and enforced, again, by constant repetition. When it comes to extra-judicial murder by state actors, the United States is far and away the biggest offender - with a drone program responsible for thousands of targeted deaths including a disturbing amount of collateral damage (I.e. innocent bystanders). The U.S. led destruction of Iraq and Libya were far more serious breaches of international order than Crimea.

According the Mueller, the budget for the entire Russian election meddling and hacking operation amounted to about $200,000. Total spending for the entire 2016 election process has been estimated at over six billion dollars. It is absurd to think that such small scale and arguably negligible activity nearly tore down the foundation of American democracy, and yet many persons of influence apparently believe this. The United States and it 5-Eyes partners, including Canada, in fact run the largest, most widespread, and thorough hacking, cyber-meddling, and information retrieving operation on the planet by a large margin. So the hysteria over the alleged Russian activity is wildly disproportionate.

If Trump were innocent would he act so guilty?

Why does he lie all the time about his ties with Russia?  Why do those around him lie all the time?

If we're going to declare every investigation by law enforcement illegitimate because of past abuses at all levels  -- then there's no such thing as a guilty person, since no investigation can have credibility.

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1 hour ago, Jeff Carter said:

So the hysteria over the alleged Russian activity is wildly disproportionate.

Any attempt by one sovereign state to attack and overthrow the leadership of another sovereign state needs to be robustly protested.

When the US engages in "regime change" we must take to the streets to protest the perfidy executed in our name.

When other countries do it to us we must take to the streets to protest.

Me, I yell at tourist buses on Haight Street -- "Welcome to Free America -- Trump is not our President!"

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Nice one Jeff.

And let me add, Putin has made an offer to let Mueller interview his suspects in Russia.  Let us see what happens with that.

Plus the t-r-o-l-l farm has also requested to see the evidence he has on them. 

Trump himself asked about the FBI examination of the Democratic server.  To my knowledge, there was none done.  A private company did it at bequest of the Democrats.

This is why many have doubts about where this inquiry is going after well over one year.

Again, maybe something will evolve from all this.  But right now, I see very little.  And when you compare it with what Clinton did with Yeltsin, or Nuland in the Ukraine, its night and day.

 

Edited by James DiEugenio

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2 minutes ago, James DiEugenio said:

Nice one Jeff.

And let me add, Putin has made an offer to let Mueller interview his suspects in Russia.  Let us see what happens with that.

The offer was contingent on Russia interviewing American law enforcement in return.

Trump and DiEugenio took this seriously, the rest of the world did not.

2 minutes ago, James DiEugenio said:

Plus the t-r-o-l-l farm has also requested to see the evidence he has on them. 

So?

2 minutes ago, James DiEugenio said:

Trump himself asked about the FBI examination of the Democratic server.  To my knowledge, there was none done.  A private company did it at bequest of the Democrats.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trumps-missing-dnc-server-is-neither-missing-nor-a-server

Mother Jones did a great article on the Clinton non-scandal.

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/09/14-excerpts-fbis-report-hillary-clintons-email/

 

2 minutes ago, James DiEugenio said:

This is why many have doubts about where this inquiry is going after well over one year.

Again, maybe something will evolve from all this.  But right now, I see very little.  And when you compare it with what Clinton did with Yeltsin, or Nuland in the Ukraine, its night and day.

 

You have no clue.  The investigation isn't over.

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Jeff said: As a Canadian, I have perhaps a bit more objectivity on all this.
One thing I like about Jeff, he is like a stoic Mounty with supreme certitude. And as a Canadian predictably in awe of U.S. omnipotence, which I suppose is understandable. Heh heh, just joking Jeff!
Jeff said: Julian Assange says the information came to him as result of a leak (inside job), and he is backed by British diplomat Craig Murray who also had direct involvement.
Oh wow! Was that leaker, Seth Rich, Jeff? I guess you and Sean Hannity know what happened to that allegation..  So you make allegations about a leaker you can't name because you think  Julian Assange is an irrefutable source that we should follow in lockstep with you? That is the same Julian Assange and Wikileaks ( incidentally Assange was Jim Di's professed 2016 Man of the Year,  though he has been rather quiet about Assange of late.) we now know  that advised Donald Trump Jr. shortly before the 2016 election that if Trump lost he should dispute the election  results.(Which was Trump's opponents worst fears, that he wouldn't go quietly.) And that's not if results showed Trump won the popular vote and lost in the electoral college, (which is what happened to HC), or even if it was close! That's if he just lost!.And  now that  Assange and Wikileaks was caught, they don't deny it! They also tried to make a deal with Trump for Trump to pick his most  favorable year of  tax returns and give them  to Wikileaks to publish  and Wikileaks would falsely claim that they obtained the tax forms from a whistle blower! Wikileaks is every bit as complicit with Trump as Republican California Congressional "mole", Devin Nunes.
 
Jeff said:
There is no expectation that this Indictment will ever go to trial and therefore be tested through due process - in fact the Indictment itself has been handed to the Justice Department’s National Security Division which never takes its work to a courtroom.
That's understandable only given the current balance of power in Washington and the fact they'll never practically be able to bring the Russians to trial. It couldn't be because to spend a lot of resources prosecuting is just a waste of taxpayer money?
 
 
 
Edited by Kirk Gallaway

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