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.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Poll shows Americans are not that crazy

Yes, Trump has quite the popularity and there are reasons for that. They may not be great reasons, but if one is honest, they are understandable. Hilary called a lot of citizens "deplorable" and the cool people around madrassas, er colleges think that way about their fellow citizens and along comes some guy who says to them, you're not as bad as those people say. Yeah, he's gonna get some votes.

What is forgotten is that The Donald was the peace candidate. Well, the not as much of a war monger candidate. With his call to get along with Russia and not overly involve in Syria, he came off better than Hilary.

Then again, Obama was a peace candidate once too.

Funny, isn't it, Americans want peace, despite the save the world rhetoric of politicians.

This should not be a shock, but to some it is. On January 9, 2018, James Carden reported in the Nation article, A New Poll Shows the American Public Is overwhelmingly Opposed to Endless US Military Interventions, that a group called Committee for a Responsible Foreign Policy had released a survey that showed exactly that.

The survey found that “a national voter population that is largely skeptical of the practicality or benefits of military intervention overseas, including both the physical involvement of the US military and also extending to military aid in the form of funds or equipment as well.”

If you spend much time with Americans, you will realize that less and less are they drinking the Kool Aid. They were told that we had to “fight them over there, so we don’t have to here” and then someone in a truck mows down folks in the big apple. Granted, its statistically insignificant, but with our stirring up mayhem in the Middle East, one might wonder why it does not happen more often.

From the report:

The headline findings show, among other things, that 86.4 percent of those surveyed feel the American military should be used only as a last resort, while 57 percent feel that US military aid to foreign countries is counterproductive. The latter sentiment “increases significantly” when involving countries like Saudi Arabia, with 63.9 percent saying military aid—including money and weapons—should not be provided to such countries.

The poll shows strong, indeed overwhelming, support, for Congress to reassert itself in the oversight of US military interventions, with 70.8 percent of those polled saying Congress should pass legislation that would restrain military action overseas in three specific ways:

by requiring “clearly defined goals to authorize military engagement” (78.8 percent);

by requiring Congress “to have both oversight and accountability regarding where troops are stationed” (77 percent);

by requiring that “any donation of funds or equipment to a foreign country be matched by a pledge of that country to adhere to the rules of the Geneva Convention” (84.8 percent).

These findings are encouraging. However, if there is anyone out there who regularly reads The Neutralist, they must know, that the last three findings are not, to us, perfect.

They leave the door open for intervention. Remember how War Powers Act was supposed to restrain the president?

Even if we withdraw from most current overseas involvement, without the development of a true neutralist ethos in this country, we shall probably repeat the errors again and again.

Still, it is refreshing to see that the people have learned somethng and that, unlike their government, Americans are not insane warmongers. Imagine that!

We are on Facebook, though we don'e do much there and on Twitter we retweet now and again.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Luke Harding - The Neocon blame Russia flavor of the month

The radio is mostly on when driving.  If out in the morning, two of the most powerful stations out here in nowheresville have Glenn Beck on in the morning.  Usually, he is not worth listening to.  

On the day in question, he was not worth it, but he was working at a higher level of disinformation.  He was interviewing Luke Harding, author of Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win.

The two lads were having a lovefest with each other and a hatefest over Trump and Putin.  That's not that horrible as Beck is not taken seriously by the cool people.

Ah, but Terri Gross is a certified heavy hitter.  Her show on NPR is important.  She speaks with the interviewee with a serious, if low key tone.

Though I hear her not infrequently in the car, it is hard to say if she has ever been adversarial with guests.  With Mr. Harding it was certainly not that (link to transcript).  It may have not been the near French kissing that Beck seemed to be doing, but it did seem to agree with Luke in a let's get to the bottom of this tone.  She truly seems to be on team collusion in the exchange below.

But actually, if I'm honest with you, Terry, I mean, this book was quite easy to write because it is such a compelling story. It is like a thriller, but with bizarre elements, but just a kind of relentless plot. And I kind of wrote each chapter as sort of character by character so that there's a chapter on Steele, there's a chapter on Michael Flynn - who jokes to a Russian that he met that he was actually General Misha, which is Russian for Michael - and Paul Manafort, whom I met, and so on. And I - you know, the book, I think, came together in record time.GROSS: You know, you're right. Initially, Trump was happy to have the Russia investigation deflect attention away from his business dealings in China and other emerging markets because you say, unlike in Russia, these were substantial and involved the payment of large bribes and kickbacks.

HARDING: Well, again, we can't prove this. But this is what the Steele dossier alleges. And it's based on Steele's own secret sources. And by the way, no one knows who they are, these secret sources. But I think one point, which is kind of very important on the sources, is that I've talked to friends of Steele's. And what they point out is that these sources were not new. They're not people that he kind of discovered yesterday. They are trusted contacts who essentially had proven themselves in other areas.
Notice after Ms. Gross gives him the you go guy, he does say, it can't be proven.  The whole tone is it's true even if there is not absolute (or any) evidence.
The session ends with,
There may be some errors there. But broadly, I think people in British and American intelligence think the dossier is correct, which means that Donald Trump is compromised.GROSS: Well, Luke Harding, thank you so much for talking with us. And thank you for your reporting.HARDING: Thank you, Terry. It was great.
You bet it was.
I am not a Trump fan.  Some of his campaign statements I liked.  Wanting to get along with Russia and not make more of a mess in Syria were good.  He is too supportive of Saudi Arabia in Yemen and making noise with the Norks is a waste of time.

Messing around with the constitutional order and doing what you can to take back an election because the guy is not one of the elite smacks of the late Roman Republic.  Responsible people would be wanting to shore that up rather than crashing it.

Luke Harding and his book have their fans for what it says about Trump.   Yeah, Terri, who is part of the Ministry of Information is all for him as are, no doubt, others of that brand.

There was a fellow who did ask Harding a few questions that were a bit less than smooches.  Look at the video below.

As it says on the intro page,

The Real News Network's (TRNN) Aaron Maté politely and professionally dismantles shameless Guardian reporter and author Luke Harding.

Aaron is a class act. Don't expect to see Mr. Maté on CNN or MSNBC, Fox, or dare one say it, NPR.