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Munich Security Conference

Discussion in 'GatorNana's Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by tampagtr, Feb 15, 2020.

  1. tampagtr

    tampagtr VIP Member

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    So many interesting stories. Too many links to put all here.

    Sens. Ron Johnson (R), Barasso (R) and Murphy reaffirm US support for Ukraine against Russia, roughly saying impeachment was just a domestic political imbroglio. Of course, that has been the official US policy for years, which gave the lie that the shakedown was policy rather than corruption and Russia servicing.

    SecDef Esper gives a speech about combined resistance to China, saying that, among other things,

    History has proven time and again that authoritarianism breeds corruption, promotes conformity, smothers free thinking, and suppresses freedom.

    That seems to again signal that the US as a whole is trying to maintain its traditional role notwithstanding that authoritarian supporting statements of POTUS, who has consistently attacked democracies and supported dictators.

    The only US official who doesn’t seem to be going all “Deep State”, undermining the President’s attempt to redefine what the nation stands for, is SecState Pompeo, who snuck off for a secret meeting with Lavrov, which we only learned about because it was reported in the Russian press, who love to taunt about the fact that the US Exec Branch is under their thumb. Obviously that’s only partially true
     
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  2. Trickster

    Trickster Premium Member

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    Why only partially true?
     
  3. tampagtr

    tampagtr VIP Member

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    Because of the examples above, i.e. SecDef Esper celebrating Western values, although if you parse the language closely, it still sounded like it was worded differently than some you would hear from a US SecDef over the last 70 years to avoid offending, rather than a full throated assertion of what at least used to be US values. The Pentagon has held out better than any other part of the Exec Branch.
     
  4. steveGator52

    steveGator52 All American

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    What about the German leader complaining about other countries putting their own needs/welfare before the needs/welfare of the global community? Sovereignty be damned, the global community needs your allegiance to them over allegiance to the citizens of your country and their best interests.

    During the Cold War and throughout US history, the US government has cuddled up to dictators and authoritarian governments around the world. Yet you make this a Trump thing instead of realizing the US has been doing this throughout its history, and will most likely continue to do so.

    But the one consistent value the US has is hypocritical behavior, as in listen to my words, and don’t worry about my actions not lining up with those words. All of that time spent preaching democracy, while supporting dictatorships and authoritarian governments around the world and overthrowing democratically elected governments who wouldn’t tow the line.
     
  5. tampagtr

    tampagtr VIP Member

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    I don't view international relations and treaties as inconsistent with sovereignty. Neither does the United States Constitution, which explicitly recognizes treaties which are appropriately ratified as the law of the land.
    And yes we have been imperfect in our history, often times supporting dictators. But I still refuse to accept your implied equivalency between the values of the West and the United States and those of totalitarians and autocrats.

    We are still an enlightenment ideal, at least for the time being, not simply blood and soil. debates about the extent of what we want to do to promote those values, including the extent of military commitments, and or how consistent we want to be in terms of what compromises we will make, or one thing. But deciding to give rhetorical Force to totalitarianism instead of human Rights and freedom is inexcusable in my book.

    And that's a new development. while we may have previously been the occasional hypocrite, now we openly espouse, at least you are currently elected president, support for totalitarianism and autocrats and hostility towards traditional enlightenment values. Merely pointing to hypocracy and compromises does not disturb the larger picture.
     
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  6. steveGator52

    steveGator52 All American

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    This is rich. The past president preached about human rights, while killing countless civilians as collateral damage using drones. The US government has preached democracy, yet helped overthrow the government of countless countries in South America when they elected governments the US considered hostile to US interests. The authoritarian government of South Vietnam was propped up for decades by US military power over the democratically elected North Vietnamese government. The US backed Noriega in Panama until they turned on him. We used a Guatemalan village as lab rats to study the effects of STDs.

    This is more than just the occasional hypocritical action.
     
  7. VAg8r1

    VAg8r1 GC Hall of Fame

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    Although the practice of cozying up to dictators could never be justified from a moral prospective, it could be rationalized from a practical prospective during the Cold War based on the rationale of the enemy of my enemy is my friend, especially in Third World countries where the dictators that we were supporting were fighting communist-backed rebels whose objective was to replace the dictatorships with a pro-Soviet governments. Trump has been cozying up to dictatorships as much or even more so to enrich himself personally and in one case, that of Turkey and Erdogan he acted in a manner contrary to the interest of the US. Besides being immoral, withdrawing from northern Syria and abandoning the Syrian Kurds, who sacrificed over 11,000, was contrary to the interests of the US, with the net effect of increasing the influence of both Russia and Iran in the region. Although pure speculation, Trump almost certainly did it because Erdogan threatened Trump's interests in Turkey. Again speculation, but Trump's personal financial interests are probably also a factor in the way that he has been cozying up to Putin.
     
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  8. GatorNate96

    GatorNate96 Freshman

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    Yep, every time a country elected a Donald Trump-like leader that would "put their country first", install tariffs, block us from their markets, or nationalize industries we labeled him a communist and regime changed him out. Rural conservatives, wrapped themselves in the flag and cheered. They cheered every single military intervention and now that the global supply chains have been forged, they are all of the sudden anti-globalist and "America First"....laughable.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
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  9. tampagtr

    tampagtr VIP Member

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    Good point and fairly interesting question. So many of his decisions in the international arena can be of mixed motives. He has been articulating a Great Powers theory of international relations since the late 80s. Of course, he only started doing that after his first trip to Moscow in 1987, paid for by the Russian government. So who knows?

    There are tapes going back to 1980 about his statements during the hostage crisis and his attitudes towards the government in Iran, but they didn't strike me is too much different than most US policy at that time, just stated with a bit more ignorance and fervor.

    All that aside, we are all products of mixed motivations. There's nothing inconsistent about him making decisions for financial personal gain as well as a general predisposition towards autocracy. In fact, they're probably both motivated by the malignant narcissism which is at the center of all of his worldview.
     
  10. gatorknights

    gatorknights GC Hall of Fame

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    Little Johnny got away with it, so I get to do it too, right?