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Democrats Abroad at Johann Strauss memorial not in tune with Trump

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A demonstrator singing Bob Dylan’s “times they are a changing” was warming up the crowd when I arrived at Vienna’s Stadtpark with an invitation from Democrats Abroad to protest against the new US president. One of the few reminders that I was not back on campus in the late 60s was the Johann Strauss statue behind him. I had lived most of the past 50 years abroad and never experienced an established US political party organizing a demonstration against a newly elected president. Especially not within hours after his inauguration!

My own first vote had been in a midterm election, cast through absentee ballot from a jungle clearing somewhere in Vietnam. LBJ, a Democrat who had sent me and other conscripts there, was not popular with us. I was technically too young to vote, though I would reach the eligible age by Election Day. Many if not most in my infantry company were still too young. But like him or not, we were stuck with him for another two years. Those were the time-honored rules.

Trump opponents challenging his legitimacy want to play by the rules they like but not the ones they don’t. They don’t like the constitutional rule, with us since 1789, requiring other than a nationwide “popular” majority to elect a president. Trump supporters tend not to like the Balkanization stemming from the 1965 radically revamped immigration rules that imported tens of millions of future Democrats from the Third World. Those immigrants and their descendents have tended to vote the party pandering most to ethnic identity and most in favor of multiculturalism as opposed to the traditional melting pot model. Yet as much as the 1965 rules helped stack the deck in favor of a popular vote for Hillary Clinton, the wisdom of the immigration rules are questioned but not their legitimacy. If anything, Trump supporters would like government to at least enforce those rules, however badly they need to be revised.

Black Lives Matter but not Republican votes

Black Lives Matter but not Republican votes

The “anti-populist pro-popular vote” demonstrators showed surprisingly little interest in foreign policy issues. Some fear Trump will unleash a nuclear war. Not only does he owe his election to a minority at home, so the line goes. Trump also owes it to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, whose country is the only nuclear power that could seriously threaten the US. Austrians in general, even those demonstrating, tend to fret less about possible closer US-Russian relations. Much less than Europe’s media establishment or fellow Europeans closer to Russia’s borders.

At Vienna’s Concordia Press Club days earlier, the Russian ambassador naturally scoffed at the claim that his government interfered with the US election. While welcoming expectations for better US relations, his focus was on why it was in Austria’s interest to drop the economic sanctions against Russia. Many in Europe are receptive to such a message, especially within the business communities!

In the form of a question, I threw out an idea for ending Ukraine-related NATO sanctions proffered about two years ago by a British PR professional once hired by the late Margaret Thatcher to help sell her own agenda. It’s the best proposal I’ve heard so far, one designed to save face for some principal actors. Basically, Moscow would offer Kiev financial compensation for its loss of the Crimea in exchange for lifting economic sanctions and for NATO recognition of Russia’s claim to the peninsula. Moscow would characterize the compensation as a magnanimous gesture, not payment for territory that it considered rightfully Russian. Kiev would no doubt balk, but “possession is nine-tenths of the law” and NATO will clearly not go to war in order to change that. Western leaders would discretely tell Kiev’s leadership that a better deal is not to be had. If politically impossible for Kiev to accept, its friends in the West could arrange a more indirect way to shuttle Moscow’s compensation funds to the Ukraine. The costs would quickly be amortized after sanctions are lifted.

The eastern Ukraine, that neither Moscow nor Kiev seem to really want but politically can not relinquish, will continue to be a source of contention. Moscow’s agreement to some sort of a genuine OSCE organized plebiscite in the area might help. But the conflict should not be allowed to get in the way of cooperation with Russia in other areas of far greater interest to NATO, such as the Middle East.

Not surprisingly, Russia’s ambassador refused to comment on the idea. But he thought Moscow might be open to a suggestion that Austrians host a meeting between Putin and Trump. The compensation proposal could be the kind of deal Trump would be comfortable proposing. Given the unpleasant history of the disastrous JFK-Khrushchev summit in Vienna, the two current presidents, both skiers, might find deal-making even more comfortable in an Austrian resort like Kitzbühel.

Iranian immigrant to Austria wears the banner of the rightwing Freedom Party whose tough immigration proposals he favors.

Iranian immigrant to Austria wears the banner of the rightwing Freedom Party whose tough immigration proposals he favors.

Europeans are increasingly desperate for an alternative to taking in millions of more migrants from North Africa and the Greater Middle East. Germany and Austria have been begging Maghreb governments like Tunisia to take back citizens illegally living in their countries. Proving that Chutzpah is more of a region-wide phenomenon than Israel-specific, Tunisians have protested the notion that Germany should send them its “garbage.” They refer to their fellow countrymen like the chap who recently massacred Germans at a Berlin Christmas market. Underscoring Trump’s observation that the EU is not working well, top German and Austrian leaders wistfully hope that their Brussels colleagues might one day join together in putting collective pressure on migrant-generating countries to cooperate. But many of their domestic political parties object to measures like conditioning development aid on migrant repatriation. This would only increase poverty in those countries and fuel further pressure to migrate, they claim.

Rightwing parties “energized” by Trump’s victory and receptive to Moscow’s friendly overtures support coercive repatriation of economic migrants. They see cooperation with Russia as essential for the establishment of secure zones beyond Europe’s borders as a deterrent to new mass immigration and a way of dealing with refugees already arrived. As long as an effective force to halt migrant inflows at the EU’s external borders proves evasive, they want the reestablishment of nationally controlled borders within the EU.

Few openly advocate open borders. But nearly all outside the far right parties avoid acknowledging the Ultima Ratio consequence of accepting mass immigration limits: that the state might at some point have to rely on physical force to stop border violations if softer disincentives fail.

Austria's Almost President Norbert Hofer of the rightwing Freedom Party campaigning last autumn.

Austria’s Almost President Norbert Hofer of the rightwing Freedom Party campaigning last autumn.

The success of rightwing parties in Europe has pushed centrist government coalitions to positions closer to their own. The Social Democrat who was Austria’s chancellor at the start of last year had initially embraced the refugee welcoming line of his German counterpart, Angela Merkel. He resigned months later. His replacement moved the government more toward its center-right coalition partner’s stricter immigration stance. Merkel too seemed to be following little Austria rather than leading as 2016 drew to a close.

Europe’s political Establishment — parties and media — are in a dither over how to deal with the new American president. But in Germany at least, parliamentarians of all party colors on the TV talk show circuit are agreeing with Trump about the need for EU members to do more for their own security. One also notices a grudging willingness to consider Trump’s friendlier attitude toward Putin as a way out of the impasse from which few seem to be benefiting.

If Trump-haters can hold their fire long enough, they may see 2017 as a year in which some intractable problems on this side of the pond at last show signs of tempering.

Gene Tuttle, a retired US Foreign Service Officer, lives in Vienna Austria

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Donald Trump, European Right, Immigration 
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  1. Beckow says:

    Times are changing. The ‘let Russia pay discretely for Crimea’ suggestion might had worked last year or earlier. Today it is too late. It is not an impasse, it is a straightforward catastrophe for Kiev and its Western supporters.

    Time is on Russia’s side – nobody wants the sanctions, but with time they hurt Western companies and farmers more. So what is there to offer? EU might offer dropping sanctions, and Russia could respond with a ‘yeah, who cares?’. Then what? They also won’t pay for Crimea – they hold it after all – because West has made such big deal about it, it is now impossible, it would look weak.

    Timing is everything. Ukraine’s position is getting weaker, and incoming Trump is making it worse. West didn’t give Ukraine money – they loaned it. As with all loans, the beginnings are the good times, now they have to start paying them back. And there still is no no-visas for Ukraine. Maidanistas want to be in EU, physically in EU, as in ‘ they want to move there’. So not dropping the visa requirement combined with the migrant crisis, has made the whole EU deal a lot more problematic.

    Military solution is unlikely, and economically Russia can outlast both Ukraine and EU. What comes nest are the unavoidable consequences for Kiev.

    • Replies: @annamaria
  2. Brabantian says: • Website

    The 40% USA coup d’état rate points to Trump getting taken down … Trump looks to fall like Morsi in Egypt, both populists who betrayed their base to neo-cons, not realising they also undercut their own ability to stay in power

    4 of the previous 10 USA Presidents were hit with coup d’état – forced removal actions, 2 shot, 2 impeached, and of those 4, two were removed, Kennedy & Nixon, whilst Reagan who took a bullet & Clinton who took a Lewinsky changed policies

    Media are already trial-ballooning Trump’s removal from office via USA Constitution Amendment 25, which allows instant coup d’état by VP Mike Pence, he & half the Cabinet declare Trump mentally unfit, Congress votes, Trump is gone & Pence is President … Trump is acting as if on rich-guy drugs ‘Everyone at CIA loves me!’ that may be the pretext

    Like Trump, democratically-elected Mohamed Morsi of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, also appeared hated by his nation’s Deep State

    Like Trump, Morsi leading the Muslim Brotherhood, stood for reformist change as desired by many of his nation’s people, tho quite different reforms for their respective nations

    Morsi refused to do the 1 thing that would have saved him & made him hero, ending the Egypt-side Gaza blockade of suffering Palestinians, plus Morsi agreed to join the Saudi-Israeli war on Syria … then, with his base soured on him, Israeli asset General al-Sisi (who has a Moroccan Jewish mother) deposed Morsi July 2013 after barely a year in office

    Trump already acts for neo-cons, escalating Obama’s drone plane murders of mid-east Muslims to help Saudi & Israel, & Trump openly plans raw aggression against Syria’s government with its Russian support … Trump already dispiriting his base who often see Putin as a hero, & Syria’s Assad as someone who stood tall against terrorism & stupid USA war-mongers … With a 40% USA coup rate already, Trump may be toast

  3. Kiza says:

    Dear Mr Tuttle, you and I had a brief discussion here before on whether ascension of Crimea into the Russian Federation, which broke the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, between Russian Federation, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom on the respect of borders and the threats of the use of force, was initiated by Russia or by the US coup in Ukraine. Then, I held the view that one cannot hold one party to this agreement responsible for its actions (Russia), whilst ignoring the actions of another (US), which even came first. In other words, Crimea would not have been an issue at all if the US did not initiate a violent coup (use of force) in Ukraine for which there is ample evidence in the public domain thanks to US representative Victoria Nuland.

    Since you live in Europe, you obviously appreciate how important the issue of sanctions against Russia is to the Europeans unlike to US. I do not think that the pressure by US and the coup Government of Ukraine to maintain sanctions will survive much longer. Therefore, any proposal such as your would be warmly received by the Europeans.

    However, I can see three major issues with your proposal:
    1) Since both US and Russia have broken the original agreement, if Russia offers financial compensation to the Ukrainian coup government (compensation which would be stolen immediately by the post-coup leadership, just the same as all the IMF loans to Ukraine) then what kind of compensation would US offer to the East Ukrainians massacred by the coup Government, for several thousand civilians killed by the bombardment and for the industrial infrastructure destroyed? I could not even imagine US accepting any responsibility for own actions, it has never ever happened before (Vietnam reparations?).
    2) The Ukrainian Government has not respected Minsk I and Minsk II, there is a good chance that it would not respect any new agreement either; why should the Russians extend their trust again, to the Ukrainians or even to US which broke the Budapest Memorandum?
    3) The issue of Crimea has become a catch-cry and an endless meal-ticket with Uncle Sam for the the traditionally anti-Russian Europeans, mainly the Poles and the Baltics People; the settlement of this issue would definitely not be in their interest and they will fight it tooth and nail.

    In other words, your proposal is something which Trump may like and may include into his package for a détente with Russia, but it would have to overcome some major hurdles.

    Finally, the Russian economy has adjusted relatively well to the sanctions. The Russian replacement effort on counter-sanctioned EU agricultural products may even turn Russia into a major agricultural exporter and a competitor to EU agri-exports on the World market – long term damage to the Western EU members. Therefore, I do not think that the sanctions are the main issue for Russia any more. The Russians will probably want to discuss the issue of sanctions only as part of the package with:
    1) military withdrawal from the Russian border of troops of all countries which do not have a border with Russia, and
    2) re-positioning of the two “anti- Iran/Nth Korea missile” (LOL) sites away from the Russian border.

    The Russians tend to focus on the long-term view of their security. This may be the main reason why the Russian ambassador you mentioned has not warmly embraced your proposal on compensating Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Gene Tuttle
  4. I’ll say this as an American abroad to my fellow expats. .. If you don’t like the situation “back home,” then please go back home and do something about it there, where it is appropriate, rather than embarrassing the rest of us who live quiet lives abroad, adding to commerce and good relations by our actions rather than our loud mouths and bad breath.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Revusky
  5. Agent76 says:

    Nov 29, 2016 The Map That Shows Why Russia Fears War With USA

  6. annamaria says:

    An interesting article on the human rights and freedom of speech in the EU:
    A Danish journalist was blacklisted by East Stratcom as a Russian spy for her articles on Christian values. The reaction of Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs Anders Samuelsen shows him an opportunistic weasel with big “liberal” mouth (and he leads Liberal Alliance of Denmark!)

  7. woodNfish says:

    …many of their domestic political parties object to measures like conditioning development aid on migrant repatriation. This would only increase poverty in those countries and fuel further pressure to migrate, they claim.

    In the end these third world shit holes will take back their garbage willingly or by force.

  8. @The Alarmist

    If you don’t like the situation “back home,” then please go back home and do something about it there

    Hmm, as an American citizen living abroad, who strongly disapproves of U.S. government policies, in response to your suggestion that I go back and “do something about it” I have to ask: WHAT specifically do you propose that I DO about it???

    Really, I don’t ask out of sarcasm. (At least not purely…) I pose the question out of curiosity. I just cannot for the life of me figure out what specifically I would “do about it”??

    Man the barricades, comrade???

  9. Peter Brimelow made the very great mistake of wanting to have a polite policy wonk debate with the slimey Frank Sharry…hyper-ethnic Jew Ira Glasser…and the Bard College hyper-ethnic Jew composer President. The aforementioned displayed open-seething ferocious hatred towards the Native Born White American Majority during the big debate moderated by Michael Kinsely on MSNBC…some years back.

    The nonwhite-Jewish Democratic Party Voting bloc began a take-no prisoners-race-war right after the passage of the 1965 Immigration Reform Act=The passage of the 1965 Native Born White American Extermination Act.

    We are not in Civil War…we are in a raced based international War…I fully expect that Our Friend Israel will be sending Military advisors to California when the US dec0mposes into two race-based-nations…it’s a comming!!!….You have been warned…I won’t forget who the treasonous cheerleaders for post-1965 nonwhite legal immigrant policy are…

  10. @Jonathan Revusky

    You could join Project Veritas and infiltrate SJW groups. This allows us to build a profile on their tactics, members and anticipate their activity and further plan to disrupt their concentrations.

  11. @Kiza

    The “face” that would be saved through the suggestion would mostly be that of the West’s. Russia would get international recognition of its claim while essentially paying nothing in return. It would be quickly reimbursed for the lifting of the sanctions, which may not be crippling, but something they could do without.

    Additionally, Russia as well as the West can benefit from better relations and greater cooperation in the Middle East.

    The many Ukrainians who would like to be more closely tied to more open and prosperous societies such as the EU would be disappointed. And national pride would take a hit. But they too can benefit from an end to the confrontation that is not taking them anywhere.

    The idea is to accept what can’t be changed, not to get bogged down in an interminable debate about who started it all. Thus, the point about Moscow’s characterizing any compensation as a “magnanimous gesture,” (in recognition of the loss to the Ukraine or however else Moscow might want to formulate its motive.)

    Rolling all the differences among the parties into one grand proposed solution is a sure way to go nowhere.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Revusky
    , @Kiza
  12. @Gene Tuttle

    The “face” that would be saved through the suggestion would mostly be that of the West’s.

    To me that seems like a pretty strong argument against it. Why should the Russians let the neocons save face?

    The many Ukrainians who would like to be more closely tied to more open and prosperous societies such as the EU would be disappointed.

    They should take a serious look at Greece. To all intents and purposes, this whole idea of magically achieving prosperity by joining the EU is a cargo cult at this point in time.

    The idea is to accept what can’t be changed, not to get bogged down in an interminable debate about who started it all.

    Well, the thing is that it’s pretty clear who did start all this mess. I don’t see offhand why the Russians should pretend that there is any ambiguity about it.

    The Russians did nothing wrong and there is no reason for them to genuflect as if they did. Besides, when does the U.S.ever admit that they did anything wrong?

    • Replies: @Wally
    , @Anonymous
  13. Beckow says:
    @Jonathan Revusky

    You make a good point in general. It is futile to always tell people to “do something back home”. It avoids facing theirs and ours reality. In a refreshing way the migrants rushing to Europe are living more real lives. Once we see all people as “equal”, once we buy the single mankind story, we are doomed.

    The real answer is that we largely live with the circumstances that we are given. “Change” is a fantasy – we can talk about “changing” things, but that is not a realistic response to our environment. The migrants know it, so they seek a new environment.

    The real answer is not to tell them “go back and change things”, the real answer is to tell them “don’t come, because you make things worse for us – and we simply don’t want it”. Drop the silly equality narrative and let’s stop pretending that the mankind is not segmented in myriad of ways. Otherwise, the weakness in our arguments will lead to an eventual weakness and collapse in our material standing (and we are back to one thing the philosopher Marx got right….).

  14. @Jonathan Revusky

    Make your American voice heard on the Mall where it might be picked up on Ameican media broadcast to other Americans … it seems rather pointless to march on Vienna to complain about Trump. Then again, you are indeed more likely to be seen on American TV by marching on Vienna, but the average American voter back home will likely think you are just anther Eurotrash douche protesting the American way of life rather than a really concerned American of principle.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Revusky
  15. Sean says:

    It might have been a nice idea a few years ago, but Pres Trump could not offer any such deal,because the Europeans would not accept it without increased US military spending on Europe. Putin has got his country in a fine mess by confronting the West.

    • Replies: @annamaria
  16. Anna says:

    Ukraine is next on Monsanto list:

    “The British Government Colludes with Monsanto,” by Colin Todhunter
    “… in Wales there are cancer/disease hotspots in the surrounding villages where Roundup has been sprayed: for example, brain tumours (mostly glioblastomas), cancers of the breast, ovary, prostate, lung (more than half of which were in non-smokers), oesophagus, colon, pancreas, rectum, and kidney as well as non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), uterine carcinoma, leiomyosarcoma of the uterus, multiple myeloma, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, motor-neurone disease and Alzheimer’s/Dementia. Many of the cancers are aggressive and unusual; they resemble the cancers that were seen in factory workers in the pesticides industry in the 1960s.”

  17. Kiza says:
    @Gene Tuttle

    Russia as well as the West can benefit from better relations

    This thought on its own, repeated by President Trump, is a move forward compared with our previous discussion here which was a pure blame game: who started it first.

    Russia would like to get access to Western financial markets and Western (manufacturing) technology, therefore Russia is interested in the lifting of sanctions.

    The West would like to get access to the Russian rates of return on capital, which deliver one of the highest return for the risk undertaken (in the totally depressed Western financial markets impressed even by 1-2% returns). Plus Russia would be a good ally in the ME, as you and President Trump suggest.

    But Russia is large enough and diversified enough not to be desperate for the lifting of sanctions, unlike the country I come from was when the similar sanctions were imposed on it (bombed, sanctioned and then regime-changed). In other words, imposing sanctions on a small country is totally different than doing the same on a large country such as Russia. Russia has mostly managed to turn sanctions intended to depress it into a development stimulant. The Russian businessmen who invested in the Western agricultural substitution recently received a confidence boost from President Putin himself again, who told them that the counter-sanctions are not going away any time soon. It does not read as if Putin is tripping over himself trying to get the sanctions lifted. Since the sanctions have mostly not worked, it may be that the West is now more keen to get them lifted than Russia.

    I can only repeat that for the Russians, the key issue is their long-term security. Russia will not accept any deal which would impinge on its security after the term(s) of President Trump (even if President Trump turns out to be as constructive as he stated multiple times). Therefore, nuclear disarmament of Russia is completely out of the question, because just Germany and a few of its EU satellites have stronger conventional forces than Russia, and whilst the Russian troops moved out of East Germany long time ago, it is the German tanks and troops which are again on the Russian border now, just like the last time after which 27 million Soviets died.

    In summary, the biggest obstacle to the long-term peace breaking out is that the West does aggressive moves, then loudly blames Russia for aggression, then becomes a prisoner of its own rhetoric, then wants major concessions by Russia to re-establish peace. In such environment, I am not sure that Russia has much to offer to President Trump to return relations back to normal. There is nothing, short of unconditional surrender by Russia, which would make both the Democrats and the Republicans happy.

    The chances of peace breaking out are minimal.

  18. Wally says:
    @Jonathan Revusky

    Excellent post, all good points, Jonathan.

  19. A salient point possible missed by the author is the astounding ignorance of things both historical and geographical by Americans both those supposedly educated and those in positions of power.

    Trump may be a master of business and negotiation and all such things but do you think he has the slightest clue about European history which includes Russia as a participant at least since Peter The Great?

    These things matter. His knee jerk actions might solve some issues but it would be only by being serendipitous due to the confusion of the times.

    I would bet that if Trump was asked about the Hundred Years War, Metternich, Bismack, and Stalin’s border adjustments just to use simple examples his response would be ” Whaaa/ you’re Fired!”

    Americans from Harvard to the Mississippi shrimp boat are basically dumb as posts, knowing little that didn’t occur in the land mass between NY and LA. Esteem and progress is built by financial success, unless of course they get into that minor branch of harlotry called politics.

    I have spent time in Eastern Europe and was amazed ( and refreshed) by the historical conscious that the everyman has. Political correctness of the kind that we have shoved down our throats is still considered lunacy there.

    My point is that the only foreign area that Trump will have consistency will be the Middle East. That is because he will have the best of (kosher) advisers.

    In European issues he will be like a monkey with a machine gun unless Putin finds a way to “grab him by the pussy”.


    • Replies: @Alden
  20. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Jonathan Revusky

    Did they take the “yellow background” away from you, Revusky?

    Your comments are displayed as ordinary users’

    [Comments by by other than regular columnists are only highlighted on their own articles.]

    Greece’s average IQ is in the low 90. The EU contains too many too different countries to be a functional political organism.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Revusky
  21. @The Alarmist

    Make your American voice heard on the Mall where it might be picked up on Ameican media broadcast to other Americans

    I know that I could come off as very cynical in saying this, but uhh, do you think that there is any possibility of changing anything this way?

    Not that marching in Vienna does any good either, but it just seems about equally futile to me.

    …but the average American voter back home will likely think you are just anther Eurotrash douche protesting the American way of life rather than…

    Well, I suppose, but I still don’t really see what difference it makes either way.

    March in Vienna, London or Paris. Or march in Washington or New York. I see little practical difference. It is not going to change anything, as far as I can see.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  22. @Anonymous

    Your comments are displayed as ordinary users’

    Yeah, I’m no longer speaking ex cathedra.

    Greece’s average IQ is in the low 90.

    Oh really, I didn’t know that. Is the average IQ in Ukraine much different?

    So you think the economic depression that Greece is in is a result of low IQ? So when their economy was fairly good, their average IQ was higher? And then it precipitously dropped… Is that it?

  23. @Jonathan Revusky

    marching on the Mall did/does nothing to change the situation Timur noted @ 20:

    A salient point possible missed by the author is the astounding ignorance of things both historical and geographical by Americans both those supposedly educated and those in positions of power.

    In fact, (or maybe just in my opinion), the march on the Mall was Exhibit #1 of the “astounding ignorance of things . . .”

    If I had access to the god of fantasy fulfillment (or Soros’s money), I’d have read-ins, or salons, all over the country.
    I’d create a syllabus, and have groups read out loud to each other, from significant books, then discuss. Different groups would invite diverse authors to speak in their salon. Over a period of weeks — months, a year — groups would then produce a book of their own, and go as a delegation to Congress and educate those dolts.

    I’d have an America First tour — like the C Span bus, only visit controversial sites, like the birthplace of James MacReynolds and the other Supremes who opposed FDR; Lindbergh’s home town; etc.
    The (fantasy) America First bus would visit (what I call) retrograde colleges — places like Hillsdale, where students are brainwashed with the heroism of Churchill; I’d offer the students an alternative perspective, shall we say.

    Salons were the precursor of the French Revolution. They are the next evolutionary step from samizdat/Unz Forum.
    And whistle-stop tours were one of the methods by which Jabotinsky & others rallied US to go to war.

    • Replies: @Sherman
  24. annamaria says:

    “Putin has got his country in a fine mess by confronting the West.”
    The evidence stand for the facts that it was the West that has aggressively confronted Russian federation. There was a cause and there is the effect.

  25. Alden says:
    @Timur The Lame

    You forget that Trump is 70 years old and attended a private high school and 2 years at Fordham taking what was then the 2 year Western Civilizatiin course

    Ever heard of Jesse Jackson leading a riot at Stanford U screeching “ho ho, western civilization has got to go.

    I’m Trump’s age. I took the same required western civ course he took those 2 years at Fordham. I also attended a private high school. In the same era and took the standard high school curriculum

    In those days everyone who attended a private it even decent public school took a basic modern, (post 1,500AD) European history course
    And virtually every college freshman and sophomore took the universal required Western Civ course which covered 19th century European history and of course the 1815 peace conference in Vienna and the Unification of Germany and Bismark.

    The required 2 yr Western Civ course was dropped from most curriculums decades ago.

    I have had tenants who were liberal arts graduate students at UCLA who were convinced that the Republicans were the Confederate States who fought to preserve slavery and that the union side in the civil war were Democrats. Also that the Abolitionist party were Democrats not the precursors of the Republicans.
    They are in their mid 40s now. The younger ones don’t know the difference between the civil war, the revolution or WWs 1&2.
    So, if you are under 50, don’t assume that 70 yr old Trump didn’t learn the basics of European history in high school and college.

  26. Alden says:

    Trunp is the President of the United States and not the CEO of the World Wide Medical Missionary Society.

    Since 1938 America has devoted blood, trillions of dollars and and effort to saving the rest of the world.
    Let’s look at the results:
    WW2 gave China and Eastern and Central Europe to communism.

    We did keep the communists out of S Korea. It’s cost us trillions both in the military occupation and the trade deficit. Instead of guarding our border with Mexico we guard the Korean border.
    That is the greatest example of pathological altruism I’ve ever heard.

    We lost in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. We have lost in Afghanistan and all over the ME.
    Japan buys nothing from us, we buy everything from then. As early as the first month of the Korean War our military was directed to buy jeeps, small trucks, medical and kitchen supplies, furniture etc from Japanese factories, not American.

    We have sent trillions to 3rd, 4th and 5th world dictators. These trillions were extorted from middle class Americans through the with holding system

    Q. What is foreign aid?
    A. Direct Deposit for Dictators.

    Q. What is Foreign Aid?
    A. Mass transfer of funds from the 1st world working class to 3rd, 4,th and 5th world aristocrats.

    I believe the last President who did anything for Americans instead of functioning as head of a global charity was FDR in the first 2 years. Of course by the end of 1934 he spent his time “saving” the world from Germany and Japan.

    If neither you nor your parents were not affected by affirmative action job and business discrimination you can afford to sneer at the 95 percent of Whites who have been affected and voted for Trump.

    If you are happy your taxes go to save, invade and invite the world be happy but don’t sneer at those of us who don’t want to pay those taxes.

    Before he announced his candidacy Trump was asked about affirmative action. He replied that he is fine with affirmative action. Until affirmative action is ended Whites will never recover what we had under the merit system. But affirmative action will never be ended.

    Everyone is projecting what they want on Trump. Everyone has an opinion about what Trump should do. But he wasn’t elected to keep blundering about all over the globe trying and failing to save the world.
    He was elected to do what he can to stop the decline of America and Americans.

    • Replies: @anon
  27. Sherman says:

    Sounds interesting, Chuck.

    You can invite your fantasy friends on your fantasy tour.

  28. anon • Disclaimer says:

    — had no history in HS; teachers were just a few years older than students —

    — college Western Civ — changed schools 3 times, took the same course twice, most memorable was a Chinese instructor who spoke of “dewine wite of kings.”
    In short, it was a hash.

    — so I don’t know for sure if some other leader might have saved his state from a nosedive like USA is in, but I think Hitler did for Germany, for six years, anyway, and a better job than FDR.

    someone said Trump has some Hitler writing on his nightstand. that would not be a bad thing.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  29. @anon

    Have you ever noticed that whenever we conduct regime change, the offending removed leader has Hitler memorabilia in his possession? Noriega and Saddam had pictures, others had books, etc. After a while it all starts to look like the same sort of disinformation smear, like that the Tudors used on Richard III.

  30. @ Alden,

    You are obviously a reasoned and intelligent person but perhaps a little too enamored by what is generally known as ‘higher education’. To refer to Trump’s so called education as a rebuttal to my opinion that he and most (educated) Americans are historically and geographically ‘challenged’ does not to me pass muster.

    I too went to a prestigious university and matriculated in a degree that involved economics, history and political science (yeah, I know). As a red blooded physically imposing buck in my late teens and early twenties I was more interested fillies and beer. To be otherwise at that age would be in my opinion abnormal. Papers and exams were completed only due to some innate intelligence, certainly not to study or interest in the subject matter.

    I have not read up on Trump’s early years but I strongly suspect that he was more like me than some studious misfit. Your contention that because he was in a class that taught some forms of European history therefore he must have a grasp of it to the point of formulating foreign policy is beyond polite comment.

    Remember that genius Kissinger? Well, there is my point personified. According to the media he was not only brilliant but with his fourth stooge looks also a lady killer! Read the history. Le Doc Tho, who to my knowledge had no formal education, made a complete fool out of the highly educated statesman who held many degrees and many B-52’s.

    I came across a DVD that was to my recollection titled ‘Lord of War’. It was a documentary featuring another famous hi IQ idiot Robert Strange McNamara rationalizing his contribution to the Vietnam war. What stuck in my mind was his reasoning that he feared a co-ordination of North Vietnam and Communist China. The DVD then cut to a Vietnamese spokesman who said flat out ” if you had taken the time to read up on our history, you would see that this was not possible”.

    Face the facts. Maybe because of hubris or maybe by design Americans who gravitate to the highest positions as leaders or advisers to such have very little understanding of how the world works outside their continental borders and it is the septuagenarians that I am referring to. It gets much worse with with any subsequent cohort.


    • Replies: @Alden
  31. Alden says:
    @Timur The Lame

    I didn’t say Trump has a “grasp” of European history. I replied to someone who assumed Trump had never heard of Metternich and Bismark.

    But since Trump and I are the same age and both attended private high schools and both attended colleges that had the same standard Historyvof Western Civilization Trump would be aware of European history over the last 500 years

    That Western Civ course was required at Fordham when Trump was there. Trump got good enough grades to transfer to top tier Wharton so one must assume that Trump he learned enough to know who Bismark was.

    People who went to public high school have no idea about the depth and breadth of knowledge taught in private schools.

    I paid little attention in college classes and just skimmed through the books but remember the modern European history portion of Western Civ very well.

    It’s amazing the assumptions and projections everyone makes about Presidents. Some regard him as a buffoon and clown who will wreak havoc and ruin the country. Others assume he is the Messiah who will do everything they want.
    For instance although he is surrounded by Israeli Hawks some claim it is a deep dark plan to free the US from subservience to Israel. I doubt it.

    And I repeat, Trump was elected President of the United States, not CEO of a World Wide Medical Missionary and Meddling Charity.

  32. @ Alden,

    Thank you for your reply. However I do think that you missed my point. Recognizing the name Bismarck as per your example does not mean that a person knows of the treaty deals, military alliances , specific brilliance in negotiations, geopolitical considerations, having old Fred’s go ahead on everything and then being tragically cashiered by Billy boy. In other words, this is not a game of Trivial Pursuit.

    To have a historical consciousness one would have to be very well read, have the ability to relate to all factors in a given era, compare takes by serious historians who disagree on major events and arrive at a personal conclusion by virtue of critical thinking and so on. It would also be helpful to take a vacation in the areas where the historical events took place. One would be amazed at the correlations that occur. I have done this and it is difficult to explain the emotions that emerge after experiencing this. The American version would be taking a one day trip to the Epcot Center. Talk about schmaltz.

    No one expects a president to be erudite on all subjects ( or given the example of GWB, erudite at all). The point is that he (sorry, he/she) should have competent advice normally coming from experts in the institutions of higher learning from said nation.

    My point, ad naseum , is that first rate institutions in the US turn out third rate minds. These third rate minds climb the ladder by virtue of many factors but none defined by natural intellect. To give you examples would exhaust the bandwidth of this site and also my energy. However I will leave you with a random vignette. Journalist Michael Hastings (RIP via Mercedes) wrote a book about his experience with General Stanley McChrystal. At one not especially important part of the book he was in a taxi with the good general and his chief of staff when they veered off into what used to be East Germany. Seeing a statue the general remarked to the cab driver ” is that Adolf Hitler?” This was not a joke. We are talking about two West Pointers asking if a statue in the former GDR was of the beloved fuehrer!

    It is hard to be more stupid than that. Did I mention general and chief of staff and West Point?

    Alden, as you admitted you are in the diaper age and I believe well educated and patriotic. That is very admirable and I mean that sincerely. I hope that you take our exchange in good spirit.


    • Replies: @Hibernian
  33. annamaria says:

    The drainage has started:
    “Trump imposes lifetime ban on foreign govt lobbying for appointees”

  34. Hibernian says:
    @Timur The Lame

    “We are talking about two West Pointers asking if a statue in the former GDR was of the beloved fuehrer!”

    The Chief of Staff, if he realized his boss was in error, would be highly unlikely to correct him. This was a cab ride, not a sensitive negotiation (where the correction would have to be made very delicately, if at all, depending on various circumstances.) General Chrystal may have simply had a case of “brain cramp.” Also I don’t think I place a lot of credibility on a story told by a diplomat/academic about military unintelligence. (Which is a real thing, I know; I’m a veteran.)

  35. Jason Liu says:

    “US Domestic Politics” is a misidentification.

    What you’re seeing is a global war between the left and right and every society is a battleground.

    I would not be surprised if many westerners hated their domestic political enemies far more than they do foreign enemies. It is wrong to frame this conflict as white vs non-white, Europe vs Muslims, or anything like that. Those are just small battles in a larger war.

    Instead, take a note from Russian political analysts. To them, it is a conflict between postmodernism, pluralism, and egalitarianism against realism, hierarchy, and nationalism. This conflict needs to be fought in all countries. The left seems to know this better than the right, and are willing to support socialists/anarchists or whatever in countries they’ve never heard of.

  36. @ Hibernian,

    The Point that I was trying to make was that the (four star) general actually made this statement. This betrays an ignorance that is breathtaking. To be a brain cramp he could have said is it Adenauer? Schmidt? or even is it Zhukov?. The comment he made betrayed an ignorance of WW2, its result and the post war world.

    He made his comment as I had explained in an offhand way. Hastings was just a journalist so no real deference was required. Added to which he also made a comment if memory serves that the cab ride was taking too long and added “Guderian made it to Paris quicker”. Now even to Hastings or the man on the street this might have been just an innocent quip. But to someone who might consider himself somewhat informed on WW2 this was another idiotic comment. Guderian never went to Paris during the Blitzkrieg stage. He rushed to the channel. The point being again that this was a general who was being groomed toward the highest perch, in charge of the Nato contingent in Afghanistan and having a West Point pedigree which was/is supposed to be a prestigious military institution.

    Think about this for a moment. He recalls Guderian, he recalls the French campaign and secure in his powers of recollection assumes his own conclusions. This is what rote learning does. Back to the Fuherer example. He recalls that Hitler was the enemy. He recalls that the DDR was the enemy, ergo it is feasible that the statue could have been of Hitler.

    This is what is referred to as in the category of being a functional retard. How much smarter were the functionaries who steered his career?

    Of course McChrystal imploded on his own steam only to fall upward in business life as is the good old American way.

    Explain it away as you wish but there is a profound level stupidity among the turds in the American hierarchy that always seem to float to the top of the bowl.


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