April 9, 2017

"Well, I think that it may be that the real foreign policy doctrine of this administration is, keep them guessing..."

"... and not just in operational terms. If you think about what President Trump said in discussing these strikes, he said, America has to stand for justice. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said earlier in the week that we needed to act on behalf of the international community. That fits squarely in a liberal internationalist and neoconservative foreign policy establishment that Trump seemed to reject root and branch during the campaign. If you take that rhetoric of this week seriously, then the sort of things Senator McCain is saying, follow from it. If we really are going to stand for justice, we need to have a broader intervention in Syria. Is Trump willing to take his own words to their logical conclusion that way? I’m not sure that he should, but -- and I’m not sure that he will."

Said Ramesh Ponnuru on "Face the Nation" today when he was invited to explain what Trump's strike in Syria tells us about whether he's still an America-first nationalist, as he seemed to be during his campaign, or had gone neoconservative.

It seems to me Trump has said all along that he wants to keep everyone guessing.

78 comments:

David Begley said...

And he is flexible.

Crazy Trump but in a good way.

Big Mike said...

Ha! That's what I said on the next post down

J. Farmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oso Negro said...

We fight for bread! And we fight for roses, too!

J. Farmer said...

In other words, the "madman theory" that was such a cornerstone of Nixon's foreign policy approach.

Daniel Larison, writing in The American Conservative, gives a concise rejoinder to the "sending a message" theory of Trump's actions:

Hawks often defend this or that intervention in terms of the “message” or “signal” it will send to adversaries and competitors elsewhere, and they make the mistake of thinking that the sort of “action” that they want in one place will impress or intimidate other governments into taking fewer aggressive or provocative actions in their own parts of the world. They also suppose that the same “action” will pressure other states to become more cooperative with Washington. Hawks never produce evidence that other governments see things the same way they do, but simply assert that it is so as if it were a fact. What hawks think signals “resolve” to Russia or China or some other government is often read by their leaders as recklessness, incompetence, or proof that Washington can’t be trusted. In China’s case, [James] Palmer contends that they see our government’s frequent habit of resorting to force as folly on our part and as an opportunity for them:

-The Folly of Using Force to ‘Send a Message’

Jupiter said...

J. Farmer said...

"Daniel Larison, writing in The American Conservative, gives a concise rejoinder to the "sending a message" theory of Trump's actions:"

Concise? It does appear to be a sort of a rejoinder, to something. Seems to be kind of evidence-free, however. Like, here's what I think, and I really, really think it. Really. Let me say again, I think it. I do. James Palmer does too!

sykes.1 said...

The Russophilic blogs say that America's policy is managed chaos. That is, America reduces strategically important areas like the Middle East to chaos in order to prevent the rise of a counter world hegemon.

YoungHegelian said...

In China’s case, [James] Palmer contends that they see our government’s frequent habit of resorting to force as folly on our part and as an opportunity for them:

If it gives the Chinese opportunities, they sure seem to blow them right & left. You wanna be a country that has a friendly view of China? It's easy. Just be on the other side of the planet from them. Their neighbors all hate them. I mean, even when they were at their propaganda peak who were their allies? Crazy-ass Khmer Rouge Cambodia & bizarro planet Albania under Hoxha. Even the Russians could do better than that!

cubanbob said...

sykes.1 said...
The Russophilic blogs say that America's policy is managed chaos. That is, America reduces strategically important areas like the Middle East to chaos in order to prevent the rise of a counter world hegemon."

I didn't know we were so good at statecraft.

Trump said he is an American nationalist. America first he said. So far that is what he has been doing. This limited strike is to remind others that make a deal with the US (the deal being made by Obama, let's not forget that) and break it there will be consequences.

J. Farmer said...

@Jupiter:

Concise?

Yes, I'd say a post of a little over 300 words is pretty concise. How would you describe it? Verbose?

t does appear to be a sort of a rejoinder, to something.

That "something" is laid out in the first paragraph: "One of the claims made in support of Trump’s decision to order an attack on the Syrian government is that it will 'send a message' to China." That claim has been repeated throughout the comments on this very blog regarding the Syria situation.

Seems to be kind of evidence-free, however.

As about as much evidence as the "send a message" crowd. "That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence," as the late Christopher Hitchens said. Palmer, the Asia Editor for Foreign Policy, not a publication known for its aversion to interventionism, makes a strong argument for China's view of things and I have yet to read such a well constructed argument from the "send a message" crowd. Palmer correctly notes that throughout the oughts, while the US was getting bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq, China was greatly expanding itself economically and on the global stage.

When the Soviets foolishly invaded Afghanistan, the US correctly saw it as an opportunity to deliver the Soviets "their Vietnam," as Brzezinski famously put it. We did not interpret the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan as demonstrating the Soviets' resolve to use force to obtain their ends. We viewed it as a foolish prelude to a quagmire that would distract, bog down, and drain the Soviets of resources. It is perfectly reasonable to imagine the Chinese see our tendency to jump headfirst into quagmires in the middle east in a similar light.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chuck said...

"Keeping everybody guessing" has to be the most laughably favorable and colossally implausible spins on what Trump is now doing.

I don't doubt that there is good reason for this action from Trump. But beyond any doubt -- and that is an overused phrase of course but here it is an important qualifier, because Trump's sloppiness with language so often seems designed to sew doubt and confusion to give him wiggle room later -- Trump's action in Syria now is diametrically opposed to what he was Tweeting about in 2013 when chemical weapons were used on Syrian civilians.

Fox News contributor Bernard Goldberg, and National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg both went off on that notion within the last couple of days:

Bernie:
http://bernardgoldberg.com/44577-2/

Jonah:
http://www.nationalreview.com/g-file/446552/trump-syria-strike-obama-red-line-enforced

Freder Frederson said...

It seems to me Trump has said all along that he wants to keep everyone guessing.

That anyone thinks that such a policy is a good idea is beyond belief, and scary.

When the Soviets foolishly invaded Afghanistan, the US correctly saw it as an opportunity to deliver the Soviets "their Vietnam,"

And of course, our support of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan had all kinds of nasty unintended consequences for us.

Once written, twice... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Once written, twice... said...

Wow! What an ingenious political strategy! Trump can't lose with dipshits like Ann Althouse.

4/9/17, 5:51 PM Delete

Danno said...

Blogger Once written, twice... said..."Wow! What an ingenious political strategy! Trump can't lose with dipshits let me Ann Althouse."

This is not a political strategy. It is not likely even a foreign policy, as you possibly intended. It was a response to Syria using poison gas. Think Obama, but bigger drones!

clint said...

I don't understand why anyone thinks this is a departure from his campaign rhetoric.

He was always against boots-on-the-ground intervention in the Middle East and he was always for bombing -- heck, he thought we should target the innocent families of terrorists. Does no one remember that from the debates?

Night Owl said...

I don't think the Syria strike makes Trump look like a madman as some suggest. It was a measured response. He followed the rules of engagement-- I forget the proper military term -- and gave Russia a heads up. To not do so would've been reckless and mad.

And yes I know that the fact that he followed this protocol has led the nutjobs to conclude that he was in cahoots* with Russia, but who pays any attention to nutjobs?


*(Cliched, I know-- but I like the sound of "cahoots".)

madAsHell said...

It's an admission by the talking heads on the Sunday news shows. The White House ain't talking to them, but they still have to fill the dead air between commercials.

exhelodrvr1 said...

You never want your enemy to know exactly what you'll do. That is where the "guessing" comes in. However, there should be general parameters set, which is what Trump has now done. (Or more accurately, reset the general parameters after Obama screwed them up.)

readering said...

Keep them guessing is not a foreign policy. But I guess we're about to find out whether Russia has the goods on Trump or not.

Birkel said...

@ madAsHell

The talking heads are just like the commenters above. I know what will be said by the hosts and the panels before they talk with very few exceptions.

I did watch the Nikki Haley and Rex Tillerson interviews because I didn't know what they would say. They were interesting.

J. Farmer said...

@exhelodrvr1:

However, there should be general parameters set, which is what Trump has now done.

And what are those "general parameters?" That the US will launch reprisal attacks against forces it accuses of using chemical weapon attacks? What if the one of the radical salafist groups currently battling the Syrian government launch a chemical attack against government forces? Would the US then be compelled to punish such an attack? Would it not be then stuck with the exact same quagmire it has left unanswered in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya?

Iraq launched chemical attacks against Iran and Iraqi Kurds with impunity for five years, and that did not embolden any other state or non-state actors to begin using chemical weaponry. It is a foolish precedent for the US to declare that it will unilaterally enforce international treaties by force.

Michael K said...

Palmer, the Asia Editor for Foreign Policy, not a publication known for its aversion to interventionism,

Foreign Policy is wildly left wing, like most of the commenters above.

Foreign Affairs is not conservative but it is sane and once published a cover story during the Clinton Administration titled, "Foreign Policy as Social Work."

Trump was probably getting a message to the Norks but I still don't know what it was. At least he is not Obama. Or Hillary.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

Foreign Policy is wildly left wing, like most of the commenters above.

I think you have a very strange definition of "wildly left wing." Z Mag is widely left wing; Counterpunch is wildly left wing. Foreign Policy is wildly establishment. Why would a "wildly left wing" magazine publish an article by Ted Cruz denouncing the Iran nuclear deal? Is Ray Odierno, former Chief of the Army, "wildly left wing?" Petraeus, Bob Corker, Jim Inhofe, and John McCain have all had their foreign policy views published in FP.

And as you quoted, I said that the magazine "was not a publication known for its aversion to interventionism." If you think that is wrong, then give me some evidence.

Interventionism is not a left-wing or right-wing issue. It's depressingly indulged in on both sides of the aisle. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were both "left wing," though not "wildly," and both ran highly militarized, interventionist foreign policies.

readering said...

Hillary would have done pretty much the same thing as Trump. The difference, as hinted by McCain, is that Hillary's willingness was known in advance, so less likely that the Syrians would have risked using chemical weapons with her as president.

traditionalguy said...

Hawks win. In overtime.

antiphone said...

It seems to me Trump has said all along that he wants to keep everyone guessing.

And here's another clue for you all, the walrus was Paul.

J. Farmer said...

@Hillary:

Hillary would have done pretty much the same thing as Trump.

No. Hillary advocated a fore confrontational and interventionist policy towards Syria. Hillary was in favor of establishing no fly zones in Syria, which is an absolutely insane idea that would have put the US in the possible position of shooting down Russian fighter jets. Such a policy would have been an extremely dangerous escalation. The only solace I have taken recently in Trump's about face on Syria is that Hillary is not there to implement her hawkish policies. I keep being reassured by other Trump supporters that this was just a small, negligible retaliatory strike that Trump took out of political necessity. I can only hope. Limited military interventions often have a nagging way of expanding in scope.

madAsHell said...

I did watch the Nikki Haley and Rex Tillerson interviews because I didn't know what they would say. They were interesting.

What?? No link??

Sebastian said...

Trump may not be able to "send a message," but O sure did. I prefer Trump's non-message.

Roy Lofquist said...

"The Art of War" ~ Sun Tzu
"The Art of the Deal" ~ Donald Trump

Naw, couldn't be. Sheer coincidence.

J. Farmer said...

@Sebastian:

Trump may not be able to "send a message," but O sure did.

And that message was what?

Birkel said...

@ madAsHell
The clips should be posted from the Sunday shows. But, no, I have no links.

@ Generally
Which of the comments above could I not have written, if one had given me the name of the commenter in advance? When one ponders that certainty, the exceptionalism of Althouse is remarkable.

Michael K said...

A quick look at Foreign Policy covers will give the idea.

I read Foreign Affairs, which is certainly no conservative source but it is far more rational than FP.

For example:

http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/02/19/president-trumps-terrible-one-month-report-card/

http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/03/24/trump-narcissim-trancendental-solopsim-opportunity-cost-media-cycle-greatness-china/

http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/03/06/trump-knows-the-feds-are-closing-in-on-him/

http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/01/31/trumps-grand-strategic-train-wreck/

Need I go on ?

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

Need I go on ?

If you wish. It still does not challenge one thing I said. I think your description of Foreign Policy as "wildly left-wing" is completely off the mark, and I gave examples of publications that I think much better fit that description. Opposition to Trump is not ipso facto left-wing. Trump's campaign rhetoric was always opposed by the liberal internationalist/interventionist mainstream, of which Foreign Policy is squarely in the center.

Also, and it is annoying to have to constantly belabor this point, but even if Foreign Policy was "wildly left-wing," it would make no difference to whether the arguments it makes or the positions it stakes are right or wrong, correct or incorrect. The second link in your "example" is an article written by David Rothkopf, a former managing director of Kissinger Associates, not a consulting firm known for its "wildly left-wing" political posture.

FP is an establishment publication and frequently publishes advocacy for interventionism. As I said, it is "not a publication known for its aversion to interventionism," and you have mustered no evidence to convince me otherwise.

Sebastian said...

"And that message was what?"

"I'll bend over for any anti-American adversary. I'll weaken the U.S. and its actual allies as much as I can get away with."

Robert Cook said...

Trump's foreign policy is to keep them guessing what war crime he'll commit next.

J. Farmer said...

@Sebastian:

I'll bend over for any anti-American adversary. I'll weaken the U.S. and its actual allies as much as I can get away with."

I am astounded you actually believe that. Obama is the first president in US history to spend his entire term as a wartime president. He escalated the war in Afghanistan, eventually adding up to 100,000 troops, he started a war for regime change in Libya, he expanded Bush's kill-or-caputre program into a global assassination campaign, carried out more drone strikes in his first year than Bush had in his entire presidency, his administration supported a coup against a democratically elected government in Ukraine, and in 2016 alone the administration dropped over 25,000 bombs in Iraq and Syria.

madAsHell said...

Birkel, here's what I found on YouTube

Sweet Jesus!! George Stephanopolis is one smarmy cock-sucking motherfucker!
That's a face my fist would like to meet.

J. Farmer said...

@madAsHell:

Sweet Jesus!! George Stephanopolis is one smarmy cock-sucking motherfucker!
That's a face my fist would like to meet.


Haha. Stephanopolis is a Clintonite toady who represents pretty much everything wrong with the cozy neoliberal establishment elites who have been dunning things in DC since at least 1980. He is part and parcel of the very establishment I was hoping Bannon and Miller would guide Trump through blowing up. Alas, I fear they are being sidelined in favor of Trump's establishment-to-his-core son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Michael K said...

Opposition to Trump is not ipso facto left-wing. Trump's campaign rhetoric was always opposed by the liberal internationalist/interventionist mainstream, of which Foreign Policy is squarely in the center.

Oh, I don't disagree about the Trump hysteria. The Weekly Standard and National Review were both examples.

I still say Foreign Policy veers left much more than Foreign Affairs although neither is conservative. Foreign Affairs would not have such a list of goofy article titles.

It's not worth arguing about when we have Cookie as an example of real leftist rhetoric.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

I still say Foreign Policy veers left much more than Foreign Affairs although neither is conservative.

I don't necessarily disagree with that, but I think that's a much more measured statement than saying it is "wildly left-wing." I simply think that vastly overstates the case. But then, I've never preferred terms like "left-wing" or "right-wing." They are more often than not simply too broad and elastic to convey much meaning. In foreign policy terms, I prefer interventionist versus non-interveniontist as ideological placeholders. The American Conservative, for example, is decidedly non-interventionist, and a magazine whose contributors I read with some regularity.

Birkel said...

@ madAsHell
George Snuffalupagus is bad. He's no worse than the rest.

Chris Wallace did not exactly cover himself in glory this morning rither.

Michael K said...

" I think that's a much more measured statement than saying it is "wildly left-wing."

Oh, yes. I just think the crazy titles give the impression of hysteria, which is not reassuring in a magazine that purports to discuss foreign policy.

I have pretty much quit watching Sunday morning talk shows.

Sebastian said...

"I am astounded you actually believe that." I'll give you the "global assassination campaign." Other than that, O bent over for adversaries and screwed our allies, starting with favoring Russia over Poland and the Czech Republic to favoring Iran over Israel in year 8. Since Libya was neither adversary nor ally, it didn't fit in my assessment--but leading from behind, destroying a pretty tame regime without follow-through, then leaving a failed state to be exploited by ISIS certainly weakened the U.S., leaving aside the Benghazi fiasco.

Inga said...

Pretty horrid to think that Assad may have used chemical weapons on those people to test Trump to see if Trump would react. Trump appeared to side with Russia and signaled that he wasn't interested in regime change. Assad may have wanted to see just how far he could go. Those poor people. Trump may think being unpredictable is a good policy, but it may have caused a horrible death for those poor people. Trump needs to be concise in stating a Syrian plan. This isn't a reality show.

C R Krieger said...

I don't think this is about keeping everyone guessing.

Anyone who followed Candidate Trump last year should know that his prime directive is "Don't Tread on Me".

The Administration sent a signal to Syrian President Assad that it would not oppose him and then they up and use chemical weapons, which President Trump has been told is beyond the pale.  And rightfully so.  So, President Trump says to himself, "If I let this stand everyone will think I am a patsy."

The answer is "Gadsden Flag"—"Don't Tread on Me".

Regards  —  Cliff

C R Krieger
Lowell, MA 01852

J. Farmer said...

@Sebastian:

Other than that, O bent over for adversaries and screwed our allies, starting with favoring Russia over Poland and the Czech Republic to favoring Iran over Israel in year 8.

Supporting a violent coup against a pro-Russian government in Ukraine is "favoring Russia?" Obama's assistance to the insurgent fighters in Syria was also vociferously opposed by Russia, as maintaining their client-state in Syria is an important priority of Russian foreign relations. If Obama was bending over for the Russians, it would certainly be news in Moscow.

As for Israel, Obama increased the amount of aid to Israel, pleading over $38 billion of US taxpayer money to Israel over a ten-year period. He increased previous aid pledges by $700 million a year. Obama was also the first US president to approve the sale of bunker busters to Israel.

holdfast said...

Doesn't anyone remember Grenada?

The message can be reduced to "this Administration is not a giant pussy like the last one".

The secondary message is something like "responses to unacceptable behavior will be prompt and violent, but measured".

Question for all the nay-sayers above, do you want to see the use of chemical (and maybe other NBC weapons) become normalized? Because that would be the direction we'd be heading if Trump had punked out like Obama.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

That's the fanciest excuse I've heard for Trump's ignorance of what he's doing that I've ever heard!

And there have been a good many.

But it's a funny one. Trump just acts stupid in order to fake everyone else out.

Right.

Sebastian said...

"If Obama was bending over for the Russians, it would certainly be news in Moscow." Huh? From the "reset" to "more flexibility" after the elections to ineffectual responses to the taking of Crimea (I'll grant you the sanctions) to giving the Russians new openings in the Middle East and supporting their ally Iran, to resisting the expansion of domestic energy production, and of course by virtue of his general fecklessness (the "global assassination campaign" not impressing anyone, the support for Syrian rebels being a mere nuisance, the red-line drawing recognized as phony), O strengthened Putin's position.

J. Farmer said...

@holdfast:

Question for all the nay-sayers above, do you want to see the use of chemical (and maybe other NBC weapons) become normalized? Because that would be the direction we'd be heading if Trump had punked out like Obama.

No, it likely would not, and there is not even an historical precedent to suggest that this is true. As I said, Hussein used chemical weapons against Iranians and Iraqi Kurds, killing tens of thousands of people in the process. It paid no significant consequences for this use, and there was no subsequent normalization of chemical weapon use by other states.

Which states are, in your estimation, eager to deploy chemical weapons absent the fear of American reprisal attacks?

J. Farmer said...

@Sebastian:

O strengthened Putin's position.

Neither Ukraine nor Syria has "strengthen Putin's position." The civil war in Syria has forced the Russians to devote military resources to keeping its client-state afloat. Having your only client-state in the region devolve into a violent, bloody civil war does not represent "new opening in the Middle East" for Russia but rather new challenges. As for a sane assessment of the Ukraine situation, and the Obama administration's reactions to it, I would recommend two pieces by Daniel Larison in The American Conservative:

Here’s How to Think About Russia and the Ukraine Crisis

Repairing the U.S.-Russia Relationship

Drago said...

"lifelong republican" Chuck: ""Keeping everybody guessing" has to be the most laughably favorable and colossally implausible spins on what Trump is now doing."

LOL

Hey Tiger, why don't you worry about getting yourself up to speed on Michigan electoral politics and cease pretending you know anything about anything related to foreign policy or strategy.

jaydub said...

"The Russophilic blogs say that America's policy is managed chaos."

During a particularly "fluid" Annualex (defense of Japan exercise) with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, my frustrated Japanese flag office counterpart commented "It is said that the US Navy is good at war because war is chaos and the US Navy practices chaos everyday." Which I agreed was largely true. My rejoinder to my counterpart was that the Japanese forces have always been tactically brilliant one-on-one, but due to bureaucratic inertia they are also remarkably inflexible to changes in a published op plan, regardless the evolving circumstances. Eventually, we agreed the Japanese lost the war in the Pacific precisely because they could not accommodate chaos. Politics is no different. Trump is not dogmatic so he's more flexible in his responses to evolving circumstances. That may be difficult for ideologs and bureaucrats to accept, but it doesn't mean he doesn't have a policy or a plan. Such "managed chaos" is not a bad description of his leadership style, which can be a good thing as long as it's managed. Any who, ask Yamamoto.

Rusty said...

"Which states are, in your estimation, eager to deploy chemical weapons absent the fear of American reprisal attacks?"

We also have to include non state actors these days. many of which , as has been seen, will deploy any method at their disposal to gain their ends.
And this.
https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000284013.pdf

Freder Frederson said...

Doesn't anyone remember Grenada?

You mean the defenseless country Reagan invaded to distract us from his huge fuck up in Beirut?

holdfast said...

Ah, so FF was just as stupid in the 1980s too. Just like John Kerry, a lifetime of experience, but somehow always wrong and siding with our enemies. You might find it easier to understand Republicans if you try thinking like an American, instead of a Quisling.

Michael K said...

Freder Frederson said...
Doesn't anyone remember Grenada?

You mean the defenseless country Reagan invaded to distract us from his huge fuck up in Beirut?


I assume Freder, who is not as well informed as he thinks he is, does not know that the St George's medical school, whose students were rescued by the US troops, is now one of the largest medical schools in the world.

I'm not sure that is a good thing but the communists would not have been as interested in private enterprise.

Birkel said...

@ Freder Frederson

Ronald Reagan's greatest religious offense was not allowing communism to flourish. Also, believing things like "Star Wars" missile defense could work is pretty unforgivable.

Six years after Grenada the Soviet Empire collapsed. Did you light a candle?

JAORE said...

Keep them guessing?

Oh noes.... chaos!

Or we could do things like announce, F'ing ANNOUNCE, when we will withdraw from a conflict.

Ahhh.... certainty.

Robert Cook said...

"You might find it easier to understand Republicans if you try thinking like an American...."

What does that mean, "thinking like an American?"

My country, right or wrong?

Love it or leave it?

Unamerican imbecilities like that?

Birkel said...

@ Robert Cook

You are a parody. You just typed, without irony, that certain ideas are Unamerican (sic), in an America that protects ideas under the First Amendment.

Well done, you merry prankster!

Birkel said...

@ Robert Cook (continued)

Of course, writing "things with which I disagree" loses some of the power of insult that comes with Unamerican (sic).

Kirk Parker said...

Cookie.

Nope. BUT it's telling that those are the examples your mind comes up with.

Drago said...

Field Marshall Freder: "You mean the defenseless country Reagan invaded to distract us from his huge fuck up in Beirut?"

Your ignorance is astonishing.

But not surprising.

In addition to taking American students hostage the marxist govt was working quite diligently to completely militarize the island population (with a targeted 20% put into uniform) and was almost complete with the airfield facilities needed for Soviet expansion in the Caribbean with Suriname and Belize the next targets on the Soviet domination list.

Just draw a few lines from Havana to Nicaragua to Grenada and back to Havana and you will see that the dimensions of those lines provide sufficient combat radius for Soviet aircraft using airfields in those 3 nations to turn the Caribbean into a Soviet lake.

Oh, no wonder Freder was so upset about Reagans actions. It harmed Freders beloved Soviets plan of expansion.

Gee, I'm sorry about that tiger. Perhaps therapy under obamacare can continue to get you thru these difficult times.

Freder Frederson said...

In addition to taking American students hostage the marxist govt was working quite diligently to completely militarize the island population (with a targeted 20% put into uniform) and was almost complete with the airfield facilities needed for Soviet expansion in the Caribbean with Suriname and Belize the next targets on the Soviet domination list.

This is complete bullshit. The students were never taken hostage (the fear that they might be taken hostage was a justification of the invasion). The Marxist government (which had been in power since '79) had just suffered a coup and the new government was nine days old. As for putting 20% of the country into uniform, if this bullshit even has a basis in reality, they failed spectacularly, as their forces consisted of approximately 1200 souls. Their heaviest weapons were a dozen each APCs and anti-aircraft guns. Even if they had met the goals you claimed for them, their menacing force would have consisted of about 20,000 soldiers, which would have surely been a serious threat to the U.S.

As for your baseless assertion that the Soviets had designs on Belize, Britain had a infantry battalion and Harrier squadron based in Belize until 1994 (Belize became independent in 1981). The Soviet Union sure as shit wasn't going to start a war with NATO over Belize.

Rusty said...

Freder Frederson said...
Doesn't anyone remember Grenada?

You mean the defenseless country Reagan invaded to distract us from his huge fuck up in Beirut?

Grenada came way after Beirut. Why do you think the cubans were building a runway much larger than was needed by commercial jets of that era? On Grenada. Not Cuba.

Freder Frederson said...

Grenada came way after Beirut.

If by "way after" you mean two days, then I guess you are right.

Freder Frederson said...

Why do you think the cubans were building a runway much larger than was needed by commercial jets of that era?

They were building a 9000 foot runway, which is not that large. Eagle County, Colorado (Vail and Beaver Creek) has a 9000 foot runway.

J. Farmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freder Frederson said...

The Beirut barracks bombing occurred on 10/23/1985

Wrong

Rusty said...

Freder Frederson said...
Why do you think the cubans were building a runway much larger than was needed by commercial jets of that era?

They were building a 9000 foot runway, which is not that large. Eagle County, Colorado (Vail and Beaver Creek) has a 9000 foot runway.

Cubans.
On Grenada.
Wait!
Grenada isn't part of Cuba.

Most county airports these days have long runways which almost never get used.
Do you know why?
Federal funding.

Freder Frederson said...

Also, believing things like "Star Wars" missile defense could work is pretty unforgivable.

It didn't then, and even 35 years later with infinitely more processing power available, it barely works now (50% or so kill rate--and that is when we know exactly where the missiles to be intercepted are coming from, where they are going, and when they were launched).

J. Farmer said...

@Rusty:

Grenada came way after Beirut.

The Beirut barracks bombing occurred on 10/23/1983. The invasion of Grenada began on 10/25/1983. I am not saying the two were related, but one did not happen "way after" the other.

J. Farmer said...

Freder Frederson:

The Beirut barracks bombing occurred on 10/23/1985

Wrong


It was a typo. I deleted the comment and repasted it. My point was to push back against Rusty who claimed that "Grenada came way after Beirut." In fact, it came two days after.

james conrad said...

Trump is a results oriented guy which is why the MSM is constantly harping about "chaos" in his admin, it's not chaos, it's finding the right guy/gal to get the result he wants. Assad did a very bad thing, Trump made his decision and acted on it, simple as that. He is not the sort to sit around dithering for weeks or months as Obama did, what Trump did was just the way he normally operates and the media still does not get this man & probably never will.