The Neutralist

Why The Neutralist? The term Isolationist implies a narrow Fortress America outlook and is used as an epithet. The term Neutralist does not indicate someone hiding out from the world. No one calls the Swiss isolationists. The Wilsonian world view is old, tired and wrong. Our interventions have been less and less successful and now the failure can no longer be covered up.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

File this under, If that is how a country runs its foreign policy, it does not deserve to have one-apologies to Dickens

Our relationship with Turkey has been a problem for a while now and does not look to become smooth anytime soon.  So, let's just fly those nukes at Incirilik out of Anatolia and say au revoir.
It may not be that simple.  At, Jason Ditz has a post, "Report: US Nukes in Turkey at Risk of Seizure by Terrorists."
Why were they there even five minutes after the end of the last cold war?  Do they serve any purpose?  According to the article, "retired Air Force Gen. Eugene Habiger noting late last month that the tactical nuclear weapons “no longer have any military usefulness.” The low-yield weapons were designed in the 1960s, and very few remain in service anymore, with what’s left mostly just scattered around bases in Europe as a throwback to the Cold War."
So really, why are they there?
The last paragraph nails it,
"This lack of utility has led nuclear powers to dramatically scale back their tactical arsenals, though as with the rest of the nuclear arsenals on the planet, there is considerable momentum behind keeping such costly weapons funded and “modernized.” Keeping the US arms in Europe and Turkey, for no good reason and at substantial risk, seems aimed primarily at retaining the illusion that such arms matter as anything but a sinkhole for billions in funding to fall into."
Follow the money.
Another reason why we need a neutralist ethos.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

The Daily Chatter-New Shill on the block

The Neutralist loves to see new ventures become successful.  As print dies, news goes online and to see something new and exciting is anticipated with pleasure.  Sadly, most often one is disappointed.

When the Daily Chatter appeared in the inbox, there was hope.  It did not last long.  DC is an email digest that promises the world in a couple of minutes.  A few snapshots maybe, but le monde, non.

What is worse, DC repeats the same goofy anti Russian, dare we say it, chatter that is already all over the media from Vox to the MSM.

Today, they start off with  the piece, Russian Roulette, with the usual media bias.

Negotiating with Russian President Vladimir Putin must feel a bit like Russian roulette. You know there’s a bullet in the chamber somewhere; you’re just not sure when it will go off.
A bit loaded that, but in setting the tone, the rest does not disappoint either.

With his 2014 invasion of Ukraine and his 2015 bombing campaign in Syria, the crafty Russian leader has pioneered a new sort of post-Cold War diplomacy.His invasion of Ukraine – as indicated by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s recent gaffe — is all-but forgotten. With the rest of the world’s attention fractured across various conflicts from Afghanistan to Syria, however, his troops and proxies have actually “steadily escalated the fighting” this summer, according to the Washington Post.

Much of the Post article is hinting.  Some of it might be true, but nowhere are the machinations of Nato and the West mentioned.

The Daily Chatter in this and previous postings never mentions who started the whole business.  They do not reference the rioting out of an elected, if unpopular president and the actions of Nuland and Pyatt in the event.

The rest of the article is the same silly speculation and

Ah but we eventually get to the full import of the article,

But the talk percolating in the Trump campaign of rethinking America’s commitment to its NATO allies left many seasoned wonks aghast. And the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, for its part, signaled that it was tired of Putin’s double dealing by approving the so-called STAND for Ukraine Act on July 14. 

If the full House passes the bill, U.S. President Barack Obama (or, more likely, his successor) will only be able to lift sanctions on Russia if Ukraine regains full sovereignty over Crimea or the status of the peninsula has been resolved to the Ukraine government’s satisfaction. 

But that’s only if the U.S. legislators are willing to pull the trigger.
So there it is.  Trump may not think going to war for Ukraine a good idea, but Phil Balboni and team DC, along with the MSM do.

DC is either a lazy cut and paste or it's on the team.

The hysteria promoted by the media never stops.

File another under all news is propaganda.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

What is it that only guys named Stephen can make sense on the news? This time Cohen.

Stephen Kinzer has been making sense in the Boston Globe on Syria and Russia.  Now along come Stephen Cohen to solidify the reputations of people named Stephen wise and thoughtful.

On CNN he discusses Putin with CNN's Michael Smerconish who recycled some talking points that Professor Cohen swatted away.  Please watch the video of a non-neocon getting on TV and doing something that is just not done, like making sense.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Neutralist always knew what Hilary was and is from 2002

Before the neutralist was The Neutralist, I wrote a column for a now defunct but delightful online magazine.  I won't identify it as the lads behind may not want to be associated with me.

Anyway the column, Winners and Losers in the WOT looked at who had gained or would do well out of the War on Terror.  My entry for herself was,

Hilary: Maybe, maybe not. We all remember the booing in New York. Still, if the war falters and she could claim that she is enough of what her detractors say (begins with "b") and start talking about how badly she wants to fight, hey who knows? You can say that reinventing herself as a warrior queen is out of character, but, truly there is nothing that is out of character for her.
Not all the predictions panned out but I believe this one has.

I am not sure I would vote for Trump and I would not trust him with my savings., but so far he has the edge.  Johnson, is too much of a globalist and for TPP and can't win.

Under no circumstances should Hilary Clinton be allowed near the nuclear button. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Donald is channeling the Neutralist

Riding home from an errand, I heard Donald Trump expounding on the radio.  The talk ranged over a number of subjects until it came to defense and our allies.  He made the point that we defend and pay the bill for defending our allies, some of who are wealthy.

On November 1, 2006, the Neutralist noted essentially the same thing.  After World War II,
We ended up supporting our allies and our enemies. We really did not want Japan and Germany rearming so we generously managed their defenses. The American Army became the Japanese Army. The U.S. Air Force served as the Luftwaffe. Those countries, freed from huge defense expenditures, had "economic miracles" that allowed pundits to tell us we should be doing what they were doing. (There are few American intellectuals so poor, that they don't own an inferiority complex about something.) Of course, that advice is no longer given today.
The Neutralist is not seeking a post in a Trump administration.  We shall merely continue to advise at a distance. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Turkish Coup is over, who knows what happened in that deep state?

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is finally and irrevocably dead, or so it seems.  The recent coup drove the stake through his heart.

Who did what is murky and the whole "byzantine" nature of the events is, as it is put, "tl;dr" for poor little old moi.

The Neutralist only hopes for some good to come out of this.

It turns out that there are a goodly number of nukes in some state of readiness or unreadiness at the Incirlik air base.  Why they are there decades after the end of the USSR is a question I have no answer for.  We certainly don't think they need to be there at all.

It is increasingly apparent that the Erdogan regime is not in complete agreement with the NATO mission and that is not itself coherent with any precision.

The regime is trying to link an exiled cleric named Gulen to the coup.  That may or not be so, but why does this political operative from another country get to be the biggest charter school guy in the country?

The Turk regime threatened to close Incirlik if we don't turn Gulen over.  the Neutralist would not want to send someone back to Turkey unless the grounds were truly legitimate.

It would be, however, happy circumstance if the Turks have reason to get him back, but only if we can give back the airbase, and bring the nukes home.  That would be a win win win for the US.

The Erdogan regime has been playing the Obama administration like a banjo.  Their deep state is something a lot different from us.

In the immortal words of Martin Mull, "It's too hard to say au revoir, lets just hor d'oevre.

According to the invaluable Colonel Lang, this is much more urgent than the Neutralist thoght.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

"Are the King and Queen of Spain tired of reigning?", Napoleon - What to do about Saudi Arabia?

The words above uttered by Bonaparte are instructive of how we should deal with with the Sauds.  On the usual American Tax Day, the New York Times reports a different bit of extortion.  It seems the Saudi clique like criticism as much as Turkish President Erdogan.

According to the Times,

 Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The Neutralist does see the Saudis point, sort of.  They thought they could get away with anything because they were our oil buddies.

Now they want to punish us.  Are they threatening to stop selling oil.  Don't be silly.  There are a heck of a lot of spigots out there and they want to protect market share.

No, the threat is economic and according to Mish Shedlock, it is empty.  Mish has noted today that the Saudis have told their contractors that everything is going on the cuff.  They are having a liquidity crisis.

Per Mish, "Does Saudi Arabia even have $750 billion. Color me skeptical.
Saudi Arabia’s bluff that it would sell US assets if the Obama signed the bill seems more ridiculous than ever."
So, it is possible if not probable that without a sponsor (us, up until now), the ruling kleptos could experience some of the same punishments they have been happy to provide as entertainment to their primitive populace.  
How awful that would be.  In that spirit, we provide a musical interlude.
We at the Neutralist hope the people who are badly running our country wise up and don't try to save those who were complicit in 911.