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Retired General Michael Flynn Tapped For Trump’s National Security Adviser

Just over a week after being elected, Donald Trump’s Cabinet is starting to come together. Among the first selections to be named publicly is retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, who will serve as Trump’s National Security Adviser:

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald J. Trump has offered the post of national security adviser to Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, potentially putting a retired intelligence officer who believes Islamist militancy poses an existential threat in one of the most powerful roles in shaping military and foreign policy, according to a top official on Mr. Trump’s transition team.

General Flynn, 57, a registered Democrat, was Mr. Trump’s main national security adviser during his campaign. If he accepts Mr. Trump’s offer, as expected, he will be a critical gatekeeper for a president with little experience in military or foreign policy issues.

Mr. Trump and General Flynn both see themselves as brash outsiders who hustled their way to the big time. They both post on Twitter often about their own successes, and they have both at times crossed the line into outright Islamophobia.

They also both exhibit a loose relationship with facts: General Flynn, for instance, has said that Shariah, or Islamic law, is spreading in the United States (it is not). His dubious assertions are so common that when he ran the Defense Intelligence Agency, subordinates came up with a name for the phenomenon: They called them “Flynn facts.”

As an adviser, General Flynn has already proved to be a powerful influence on Mr. Trump, convincing the president-elect that the United States is in a “world war” with Islamist militants and must work with any willing allies in the fight, including President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

During the transition, General Flynn has been present when Mr. Trump has received his daily intelligence briefing. As national security adviser, he would have the last word on how the president should respond to crises such as a showdown with China over the South China Sea or an international health crisis like the Ebola epidemic.

But, like Mr. Trump, he would enter the White House with significant baggage. The Flynn Intel Group, a consulting firm he founded after he was fired by President Obama as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, has hazy business ties to Middle Eastern countries and has appeared to lobby for the Turkish government. General Flynn also took a paid speaking engagement last year with Russia Today, a television network funded by the Kremlin, and attended the network’s lavish anniversary party in Moscow, where he sat at Mr. Putin’s elbow.

Those potential conflicts of interest had led Mr. Trump’s transition team to worry that General Flynn might have difficulty winning confirmation for any post that, unlike the national security adviser role, requires congressional approval, such as director of the C.I.A. But for Mr. Trump, he has one overriding virtue: He was an early and ardent supporter in a campaign during which most of the Washington national security establishment openly called Mr. Trump unfit to lead.

Outside of what he’s said on television and written himself, very little is known about Flynn and his views, but what we do know makes Flynn sound like someone who is largely in line with Trump when it comes to foreign policy issues such as the War On Terror and America’s relationship with Russia:

[I]n numerous speeches and interviews before the election, and in a book published in August, he laid out a view of the world that sees the United States as facing a singular, overarching threat that can be described in only one way: “radical Islamic terrorism.”

All else is secondary for General Flynn, and any other description of the threat is “the worst kind of political correctness,” he said in an interview three weeks before the election.

Islamist militancy poses an existential threat on a global scale, and the Muslim faith itself is the source of the problem, he said, describing it as a political ideology, not a religion. He has even at times gone so far as to call it a cancer.

For General Flynn, the election of Mr. Trump represents an astounding career turnaround. Once counted among the most respected military officers of his generation, General Flynn was fired after serving only two years as chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He then re-emerged as a vociferous critic of a Washington elite that he contended could not even properly identify the real enemy — radical Islam, that is — never mind figure out how to defeat it.

In Mr. Trump, General Flynn found someone who was more than willing to listen. He readily signed on to the campaign, and quickly emerged as the angry voice of the national security establishment, leading chants of “lock her up” against Hillary Clinton at rallies and the Republican convention. And now, after months of the two men talking to each other, it can be hard to tell where Mr. Trump’s views end and General Flynn’s begin.

They both believe that the United States needs to start working with Mr. Putin to defeat Islamist militants and stop worrying about his suppression of critics at home, his attempt to dismember Ukraine or the Russian military’s indiscriminate bombing of Syrian cities. The same goes for President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, who took power in a coup and who was the first world leader to speak with Mr. Trump after the election.

Mr. Trump “looks at people and leaders of countries and says: ‘Can I work with this guy? Do we have a common threat that we can focus on?'” Mr. Flynn said in the interview before the election. “He knows that when it comes to Russia or any other country, the common enemy that we all have is radical Islam.”

General Flynn and Mr. Trump also agree that the United States needs to sharply curtail immigration from predominantly Muslim countries, and possibly even force American Muslims to register with the government.

The similarities run beyond political views. Like the boy from Queens who made it in Manhattan, General Flynn came into the military without a West Point pedigree — he graduated from the Army’s Reserve Officer Training Program at the University of Rhode Island — and earned a reputation as outspoken and unconventional as he climbed the ranks to the top of military intelligence.

Yet General Flynn still nurses the grudge of an outsider, believing he never quite got the respect he deserves. For example, he has attributed his dismissal from the Defense Intelligence Agency to a pair of consummate insiders: James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, and Michael Vickers, the undersecretary of defense intelligence.

His response, like that of his new boss, has been to buck the establishment. In his view, both the Republican and the Democratic luminaries who have shaped American defense and foreign policy through two presidencies have “gotten us into mess after mess for the wrong reasons.”

“I would argue with that crowd all day long,” he said before the election.

The fact that Trump would choose someone who largely mirrors what appear to his own views when it comes to foreign policy is, of course, not at all surprising. Where Flynn is controversial, though, comes in his views on issues such as the War On Terror and the relationship between the West and the Muslim world and his apparent view that the U.S. should have a closer working relationship with Russia that would essentially allow Russia to do what it wishes in areas such as eastern Ukraine and Syria. Both of these positions, if actually adopted by the United States, are likely to not sit very well with American allies in Europe and the Middle East and could have profound implications going forward. In Europe, for example, any seeming abandonment of Ukraine could lead Eastern European members of NATO who have reason to fear potential conflicts with Russia, such as a Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia to wonder how secure the NATO guarantees they signed on to a decade ago are actually going to matter if Russia pushes any of these states over territorial or ethnic claims. In the Middle East, a change in strategy in Syria that would essentially involve conceding the idea of keeping the Assad regime in power could prove controversial with American allies in the Arab world, especially Saudi Arabia and the other Persian Gulf states who have been backing the Syrian rebels financially and who view the Assad regime as a proxy for their chief regional concern, Iran. Finally, Flynn’s endorsement of what can only be described as a bigoted view of Islam does not bode well for the future of American relations with the Muslim world in general.

Since General Flynn is being selected for National Security Adviser, there will be no need for Senate confirmation, so this is likely to spare the incoming Administration from any controversy that may come from his selection. Given the circumstances of Flynn’s departure from the Defense Intelligence Agency, this was no doubt a consideration by Trump advisers. At the time, there were allegations of mismanagement and disarray at the agency under Flynn’s leadership, and accusations that Flynn found it impossible to work with other members of the intelligence community such as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Director of National Intelligence. If true, that could prove to be problematic given that the National Security Adviser also serves as the head of the National Security Council and a chief liason between the President and members of the defense and intelligence communities. The question, then, is whether Flynn would serve as a good conduit and whether he’d be able to manage a part of the White House staff that increases in importance during times of international crisis. Additionally, the National Security Adviser is often the last person to speak to a President on issues of National Security before a decision is made, and it’s unclear whether Flynn might seek to block dissenting voices from having access to the President. For better or worse, we’ll have to wait for the Trump Administration’s first international crisis to find out.

 

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    My guess is that the selection of Flynn augurs that Giuliani is going to be SOS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. HarvardLaw92 says:

    What could possibly go wrong due to this choice …

    :roll:

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4

  3. Pch101 says:

    Bannon
    Sessions
    Flynn

    Three strikes already, and it hasn’t even been two weeks since the election. Why would anyone want to give Trump a honeymoon?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  4. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Do you think Trump got the go-ahead from Putin first?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  5. Stormy Dragon says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    What could possibly go wrong due to this choice …

    What’s the better alternatives?

    In Syria Clinton’s plan was to declare a non-fly zone over Syria. What happens when Russian jets continue to fly in it? Are we going to get in a war with Russia over Syria? Just let them violate the no-fly zone?

    What’s the alternative in the Ukraine? Invade Crimea?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 9

  6. CSK,

    Word on the street is that Giuliani poisoned whatever chance he had of being SecState by spending the week engaging in shameless self-promotion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  7. Pch101 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    You should be pleased that Trump’s position on Crimea is aligned with that of North Korea.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  8. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Ah, interesting. I can’t imagine Trump picking Romney. Or Haley. Gingrich says he doesn’t want it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  9. CSK says:

    @Pch101:

    Mike Pompeo is going to be head of the CIA.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  10. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Pch101:

    Great, so what’s Pch101’s position on Crimea? War with Russia?

    North Korea sucks balls. Yet for the last 50 years we’ve had to live with the suck because we’re not ready to get into a nuclear war with China to get rid of them. Ukraine, Syria, etc. is the same way. That status quo sucks, but there’s nothing we can really do about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  11. Pch101 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Have you considered changing your handle to Neville Chamberlain?

    Why should the US bless Russia’s conquest of another nation’s territory? How can that sort of capitulation to a gross violation of international law not be as stupid and reckless as that sounds?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  12. Jen says:

    @CSK: Apparently a lot of cold water is being thrown on the Romney as SoS rumor. This weekend’s meeting is now being billed as a “bury the hatchet” meeting. Haley has no foreign policy experience, unless one counts talking with foreign countries/companies in her role as Governor (I don’t consider that foreign policy experience, but I’m sure some out there do). Who does this leave us with?

    I don’t know much about Pompeo.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  13. CSK says:

    And it’s Mike Huckabee for ambassador to Israel.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  14. grumpy realist says:

    About the only amusement I’ve been having is watching the hopeful “oh, Trump will be a FINE president!” writers over at TAC get more and more agog watching all the neo-cons slither back into position, along with a lot of commentators saying “we told you so.”

    The only thing I can suggest is the following: cultivate your own garden, figure out what you are going to do if the place completely goes to pot, and disengage from the angst. This is like a Perfect Storm of the Stupid and the Gullible–there’s not much you can do except get out of the way of the horde as it stampedes over the cliff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  15. CSK says:

    @Jen:

    Who does this leave us with? Good question. I don’t know. I heard that Bob Corker was on the short list for SOS, which, if true, would drive the Trumpkins insane.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @CSK:

    You owe me a new monitor. I just spit tea all over mine. The Likudnicks will shred him alive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  17. slimslowslider says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Agreed… Dreher has been gloatingly unreadable since the election, but the small amount of joy watching the TACs commenters realize they have been conned is nice to witness.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  18. SenyorDave says:

    To any person who says that Trump is not a racist, GFY! How many GD examples do we need:
    1. The Central Park Five (I was in NY area during that time, the city was on edge, and Trump was a disgrace)
    2. Birther several years after PBO released his birth certificate
    3. Steve Bannon
    4. His general attitude toward African Americans during the campaign (you have nothing, no jobs, no education)
    5. His AG nominee couldn’t become a judge because he was too racist for the GOP back in the day!

    You don’t have to say ni**er, ni**er over and over to be a racist.

    I want every Democrat coming out against this pick, if Joe Manchin can’t, let him switch parties.
    I want the NAACP, ADL, HRC (Human Rights Council), every group that cares about human rights making noise

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 6

  19. Jen says:

    Also, how long are Ivanka & Co. going to be allowed to tag along to meetings with foreign heads of state? Aren’t these kiddos of his supposed to be transitioning to blind-trust status so they can run his companies–and, how does this all work now that he’s saying he wants to spend four nights a week at his home in Trump Tower, where there will be no firewall to prevent him from talking with them about business? This administration is already corrupt and it hasn’t even been sworn in yet.

    @grumpy realist: I agree with you, in theory. I’m fast becoming that New Yorker cartoon that says “my desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  20. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Sorry about your monitor.You realize I wasn’t joking about Huckabee, I hope.

    It’s amusing watching the Trumpkins who hated Huck’s guts yesterday now deciding that he’s absolutely swell.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  21. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Pch101:

    Have you considered changing your handle to Neville Chamberlain?

    Neville Chamberlain gets a bum rap.

    The beginning of WWII for the Allies was a retreat on all fronts to buy enough time for the US and Russia to ramp up enough industrial production. If the war had started in 1938, the Axis probably would have won.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  22. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Pch101:

    Why should the US bless Russia’s conquest of another nation’s territory?

    There’s a difference between blessing it and recognizing the reality that there’s nothing we can do to stop it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  23. CSK says:

    @Jen:

    I’ve often wondered if Ivanka and Co. are along on those trips to muzzle dear old Dad if he starts to say something unusually asinine/vulgar/ignorant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  24. Jen says:

    @CSK: I’m sure that’s part of it. The other part is that he has the attention span of a toddler on a sugar high, and cannot be expected to retain anything that is discussed in meetings. They serve as trusted Cliff Notes. I can’t wait to see how he functions without them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  25. CSK says:

    @Jen:

    But will Trump attempt to function without them? He seems to rely more heavily on Jared Kushner more than anyone else, at least currently. He can’t give Kushner an official position, but what’s to prevent him from making Kushner his unofficial senior advisor and sounding board? Who’s going to stop him?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  26. Pch101 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Er, Trump said that the idea of lifting sanctions against Russia and recognizing Crimea as Russian territory is on the table.

    Why would you possibly want to do that? Are you completely unaware that there alternatives to this that do not involve going to war with the Russians?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  27. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Pch101:

    Are you completely unaware that there alternatives to this that do not involve going to war with the Russians

    The current system of sanctions is working quite well, IMO. Russia is hemorrhaging cash, the ruble is persistently devalued by 50% and the government has essentially exhausted its rainy day fund trying to cover budget shortfalls imposed by the continuing weakness in the price of crude. Once that’s gone, it’ll be stuck hitting its pension fund (which is highly illiquid).The country has suffered double digit inflation and real wage growth remains in negative territory.

    Of course, those sanctions will magically disappear in a few months. We can’t have Donnie’s best pal in danger of being tossed out on his behind.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

  28. Pch101 says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    That can’t be. According to the dragon dude, the only policy alternatives are either nuclear war or complete surrender. Are you trying to say that there are other options?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  29. Davebo says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Actually there are lots of things we can do about it, and things that don’t involve war nuclear or otherwise.

    US and EU based sanctions come to mind for starters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  30. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I do wonder how the congressional Republicans will react….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  31. Scott says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Word on the street is that Giuliani poisoned whatever chance he had of being SecState by spending the week engaging in shameless self-promotion.

    I think shameless self-promotion is reserved for the President only.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  32. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Pch101:

    Er, Trump said that the idea of lifting sanctions against Russia and recognizing Crimea as Russian territory is on the table.

    [Citation Needed]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  33. Scott says:

    Colin Powell’s remarks on Flynn:

    “Flynn got fired as head of DIA. His replacement is a black Marine 3-star. I asked why Flynn got fired. Abusive with staff, didn’t listen, worked against policy, bad management, etc. He has been and was right-wing nutty ever since.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  34. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Pch101:

    Are you completely unaware that there alternatives to this that do not involve going to war with the Russians?

    Yes, but the only alternative we were offered was no-fly zones, which is either going to war with Russia, or another embarrassing non-redline redline waiting to happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  35. MBunge says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Meanwhile, the U.S. happily condones Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-backing-saudi-arabia-coalition-yemen-could-mean-guilt-war-crimes/

    Oh, I forgot. Saudi Arabia in on the official list of Horrible Regimes Whose Butts We Must Kiss.

    And I notice that Hillary’s Clinton’s position, as pointed out by Stormy, just gets skipped over.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

  36. Pch101 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I can’t believe that this is necessary:

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=trump+crimea+sanctions

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  37. pylon says:

    Flynn was a lobbyist employed by foreign governments (unfriendly ones that that) at the same time as he was advising Trump and sitting in on classified intelligence briefings in that capacity.

    But Hillary had emails on a private server.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

  38. pylon says:

    But Flynn’s own record with classified information has been called into question during his military career. On at least two occasions, his handling of classified information came under scrutiny by the US military.

    Two former government officials with direct knowledge of the issue tell CNN that while Flynn oversaw intelligence in Afghanistan, he shared classified information with Pakistan on terror networks responsible for killing American troops. The intelligence, the sources say, came from another agency. Flynn wasn’t supposed to share it. They say he was trying to convince Pakistan to stop sheltering terrorists.

    Asked by email about the allegation, Flynn told CNN, “It is not true … not even close.” Flynn declined to comment further for this story.

    In separate incident, the two officials with whom CNN spoke said Flynn did not follow established security procedures when he shared classified intelligence with allies.
    In an August interview with The Washington Post, Flynn has acknowledged the incident.
    “The investigation on me was for sharing intelligence with the Brits and Australians in combat, and I’m proud of that one,” he told the paper. “That was substantiated because I actually did it.”
    Flynn says he had permission to share the classified information. In both cases, sources say the retired general was informally reprimanded but never charged with wrongdoing.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/16/politics/michael-flynn-donald-trump-national-security-adviser/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  39. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Pch101: Wait a second! That can’t possibly be right! Jenos was saying just yesterday (and the day before, and the day before that, and so on…) that the most important thing about Trump was that he wasn’t anything like Hillary. He specifically mentioned the “RESET BUTTON” on Russia as the most heinous element that Trump would avoid. Are you saying that Jenos is wrong? How can that be? /s

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  40. Pch101 says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    It gets easier to like Trump if you know nothing about him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  41. grumpy realist says:

    Oh, and how can we forget Flynn’s Dress For Success?

    Speaking as someone who has to wear flats because of ankle problems, this has me steaming.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  42. SenyorDave says:

    @Pch101: It gets easier to like Trump if you know nothing about him.

    But if you know anything about him, its impossible. Seriously, he is as close to a worthless human being as possible for someone who isn’t in prison. Has there ever been a POTUS who is as bad a person?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  43. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Pch101:

    Which leads to:

    Here’s the exchange, via a transcript:

    QUESTION: I would like to know if you became president, would you recognize (inaudible) Crimea as Russian territory? And also if the U.S. would lift sanctions that are (inaudible)?

    TRUMP: We’ll be looking at that. Yeah, we’ll be looking.

    To Trump, “We’ll be looking at that” is his go-to, throwaway answer when he’s asked about something he hasn’t thought about, as our own Philip Bump so ably catalogued earlier this month. He does this a lot.

    So basically he didn’t take a position on something and we’ve got a whole bunch of speculation by people with no relationship to the campaign theorizing about what he might do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  44. Rick Zhang says:

    For a businessman like Trump, an oligarchy like Russia is a model state. Every decision he makes will be contingent on the question – will this improve the my own businesses or the wealth of my allies. He has no care or love of country. US policy is now officially on sale to the highest bidder.

    How is this for a zany tour of foreign policy? Russia, you want Ukraine? How about you help us take care of ISIS? That sounds like an even trade. China – be prepared to be slapped with the currency manipulator label, unless you take out North Korea for us. NATO allies, pony up more cash if you want American mercenary protection against any Russian aggression. That is, unless they outbid you…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  45. Pch101 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    That whole international law thing just flies above your head, doesn’t it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  46. Pch101 says:

    @SenyorDave:

    Cheer up. He probably won’t be quite as bad of a Führer as the last one. Probably.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  47. the Q says:

    Not content to back the loser Hillary, the neolibs are at it again with their insanity regarding Russia. Maybe some of you don’t remember the Cold War? Lets do a refresher. In my day it was “who lost China”. In your day it should be “who lost Russia”.

    Permit me a little sanity since some of you are off your rocker with your Chamberlain idiocy or your bleeding hearts toward the friggin Ukraine.

    Lets start off with some facts as seen from Mr. Putin’s eyes.When he was graduating law school, the Soviet Union had a population of 300 million and its Empire stretched from the Elbe to the Bering Strait and from the Arctic to Afghanistan. They had then invaded Afghanistan and rivaled the USA as a superpower.

    Fast forward to Putin in his 40s. He sees the Red Army begin its Napoleonic retreat from Europe and his country splintered into 15 nations.

    By the time he came to power, the USSR had lost 33% of its territory and 50% of its population. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan were gone. The nation of 300 million is now 143 million, or 20 million more than Japan currently.

    The Black Sea, once a Soviet lake, now had on its north shore a pro-Western Ukraine, on its eastern shore a hostile Georgia, and on its western shore two former Warsaw Pact allies, Bulgaria and Romania, being taken into NATO.

    For Russian warships in Leningrad, the trip out to the Atlantic now meant cruising past the coastline of eight NATO nations: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Great Britain.

    As for the Ukraine, some of you must surely know that there IS NOT an overwhelming mandate to join Russia. In fact the support there is about 40% so it is not universal and they are having a civil “war” over it.

    Putin now hears a clamor from American hawks to bring three more former Soviet republics — Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine — into a NATO alliance directed against Russia.
    After persuading Kiev to join a Moscow-led economic union, Putin saw Ukraine’s pro-Russian government overthrown in a U.S.-backed coup.

    So your response is to admonish him? And threaten him? His Russia is now a weak, paranoid, country in decline as its foreign exchange reserves and economy are in a free fall

    And we have some neolib war hawks just itching for a fight? I truly wonder what the phuck has happened to this great country that I grew up in. I guess we didn’t learn schit from Nam or Iraq.

    And by the way, as far as PCH 101 is concerned, there was a guy named Mr. X, George Kennan who devised the containment strategy and before he died a few years ago, warned against exactly what you are opining about Russia. So, if having to choose between him or your stupidity, well we know the answer.

    The neolibs are caught in the Hillary hangover, still clinging to her hawk strategy even though she lost the election. Wake up will ya?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  48. the Q says:

    PS going to war over the Crimea or Ukraine is like losing the Supreme Court so 50 TGs can schitt in the bathroom of their choice. There….maybe thats an analogy some of you neolibs can relate to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  49. wr says:

    @the Q: “Permit me a little sanity”

    Permit you a little sanity? Hell, I’d buy you a case of the stuff if I thought you’d ever use it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  50. the Q says:

    wr, you again? Poster boy for being a clueless prick. If I had a dime for every BS thing you’ve written I’d have more money than trump.

    Since 75% of the voters last week in the national election were white, How’s your admonishment uttered two weeks ago about “who gives a schitt about the white vote” feel like now idiot?

    That somehow the modern neolibs “benign neglect” of the white working class was perfectly ok?

    Eat it schit heel. Your ilk makes me puke. So full of yourself you can’t admit your failings.

    First backing Hillary, secondly picking a fight with a enemy which does not threaten us. And I thought that only Jenos is the hawk fool on this thread.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

  51. Rick Zhang says:

    @the Q:

    You know, the warmongering that you describe is championed by neoconservatives, such as Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz under the Bush administration. The terminology is a way of contrasting new school conservatives against paleo-conservative isolationists such as Robert A Taft.

    Neoliberalism has traditionally been applied to the market liberalization, free trade, anti-welfare policies put in place under the Bill Clinton administration. Again, it’s to contrast the new school liberals who are more pro-market than the New Deal liberals who preceded them.

    Please get your terminology straight.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  52. Pch101 says:

    It would seem that “Q” stands for “Quisling.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  53. Pch101 says:

    @Rick Zhang:

    War is peace.

    Freedom is slavery.

    Ignorance is strength.

    UN opposition to the unjustified invasion of a sovereign nation is warmongering.

    This is Trump “logic” in action.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  54. the Q says:

    You guys are nuts. Seriously demented. Q is for Quisling. Thats funny and lunacy at the same time.

    Hillary was for arming the rebels in Syria which turned out to be ISIS. She was for a no fly zone, which even the Pentagon was against. She miscalculated on LIbya, then partly blamed the Russians for her election loss.

    And you tools backed this person and now you are doubling down on the stupidity?

    Ike didn’t launch the A bombs over Hungary, nor did LBJ over the Czech summer being crushed you idiots.

    So Ike and LBJ sure must have been Quislings too by your logic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  55. Grewgills says:

    @Pch101: @the Q:
    Q isn’t a quisling. Q is a circa 1950s democrat. He is all for socialism for white men. He would have said the same things to LBJ he is saying to us. Don’t worry about the CRA and the VRA you are alienating white men, other people’s rights can wait, we need socialism for people like me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  56. Pch101 says:

    @Grewgills:

    He is all for socialism for white men.

    So he’s a bit like Jack London, but without the writing talent?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  57. An Interested Party says:

    His Russia is now a weak, paranoid, country in decline as its foreign exchange reserves and economy are in a free fall

    And the way to deal with that is to let him nibble up previous parts of the Soviet Empire? Brilliant…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  58. Barry says:

    @grumpy realist: “About the only amusement I’ve been having is watching the hopeful “oh, Trump will be a FINE president!” writers over at TAC get more and more agog watching all the neo-cons slither back into position, along with a lot of commentators saying “we told you so.””

    I went over there to see hat Dreher was doing. He basically had an ejaculation of posts. And to keep up his record of hypocrisy and Freudian projection, the author of ‘The Benedict Option’ castigated some ‘liberal’ Christians for having a mourning service. Apparently liberals are not allowed to religiously express their political feelings.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  59. Barry says:

    @MBunge: “Oh, I forgot. Saudi Arabia in on the official list of Horrible Regimes Whose Butts We Must Kiss.”

    I’ll await Lord God Trump’s change of position.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  60. grumpy realist says:

    @Barry: Yes, he’s now having a hissy fit over Pence being booed.

    I swear, the guy has absolutely NO knowledge of history.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  61. Tyrell says:

    @SenyorDave: There is a lot of chatter out there that the President is being urged to replace the head of the NSA: interesting, especially at this time. Also, a few days ago a mysterious airplane was seen circling Denver. It was large, white, and no one had a clue. It ended up landing at a nearby base. Now the Navy has said it was one of their planes, the type that can carry nuclear weapons and serve as the mobile command center in case of some sort of emergency: the doomsday airplane !
    There is a huge underground city at Denver, to be used as some sort of shelter. Something is going on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  62. slimslowslider says:

    @grumpy realist:

    History? remember when boycotting Yuengling was wrong? he is all in for the Penzey spice boycott… amazing

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0