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Bacevich writes: "During the latter part of the much hyped but excruciating-to-watch first presidential debate, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt posed a seemingly straightforward but cunningly devised question."

A mushroom cloud. (photo: Medium)
A mushroom cloud. (photo: Medium)


What We Talk About When We Don't Want to Talk About Nuclear War

By Andrew J. Bacevich, TomDispatch

04 October 16

 


Last month, near the end of the first presidential debate, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton laid a masterful trap for her Republican rival. Reminding viewers of Donald Trump’s frequent crude comments about women, she mentioned “a woman in a beauty contest,” and then unpacked the story of former Miss Universe Alicia Machado.

“And he called this woman ‘Miss Piggy,’” Clinton told around 80 million Americans. “Then he called her ‘Miss Housekeeping,’ because she was Latina.” 

Clinton paused, waited, and revealed her name.

“Where did you find this? Where did you find this?” Trump sputtered, to which Clinton countered with a kicker: “She has become a U.S. citizen, and you can bet she’s going to vote this November.”

A more conventional candidate than The Donald might have spent that night and the next day carefully prying the jaws of the bear trap off his leg and licking his wounds, but Clinton and her coterie knew their opponent well. No doubt stung by his overall poor performance and a wave of withering criticism over his treatment of Machado two decades earlier, Trump figured out a way to squeeze his other leg into the vice grip of that metal maw. As Machado and the Clinton campaign carried out a masterfully orchestrated media blitz, the Republican hopeful went on Fox News to double down. “She gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem,” he told the seemingly shell-shocked hosts of Fox and Friends.

Days later, the story was still going strong, garnering media attention, generating headlines, and prompting discussions about everything from Trump’s own weight (five pounds shy of clinical obesity) to his past comments about the size of a pregnant Kim Kardashian culminating in an early morning Twitter storm last Friday. 

This is American politics today: crude, crass, freewheeling, and tending toward the frivolous.  America has had sexist, misogynist presidents, of course. Some have been astonishingly lewd and crude. I’m looking at you, LBJ!

Lyndon Baines Johnson may have been an incorrigible bully and inveterate womanizer -- to say nothing of the copious amounts of Vietnamese blood on his hands -- but his 1964 campaign featured a nuclear war-themed political attack ad that, though only aired once, is still lodged in the American consciousness.

At the end of that so-called Daisy ad, as a mushroom cloud rises onscreen, we hear Johnson’s voice: “These are the stakes.  To make a world in which all of God's children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other, or we must die.”  The implication was clear.  Johnson's Republican opponent, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, was too dangerous to entrust with America’s nuclear arsenal.

Clinton has made a similar point about Trump.  “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons,” she’s said -- a suitable enough line but without a Daisy punch.  Barring a Trump win and a resulting nuclear exchange, don’t expect people to remember it 50 years from now.  Don’t even hold your breath about whether it might affect a single news cycle between now and Election Day or morph into the kind of substantive discussion of nuclear policy that spawns 100 headlines and a million tweets.  There have been many scandals deserving of mention during this long presidential campaign, many controversies demanding attention, many travesties deserving of discussion but as TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich, author most recently of America’s War for the Greater Middle East, observes today, the biggest travesty may be that an issue with the potential to end life as we know it on this planet can’t compete with one candidate’s seemingly hysterical obsession with publicly criticizing women’s bodies.

-Nick Turse, TomDispatch


What We Talk About When We Don’t Want to Talk About Nuclear War
Donald and Hillary Take a No-First-Use Pledge on Relevant Information

ou may have missed it. Perhaps you dozed off. Or wandered into the kitchen to grab a snack. Or by that point in the proceedings were checking out Seinfeld reruns. During the latter part of the much hyped but excruciating-to-watch first presidential debate, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt posed a seemingly straightforward but cunningly devised question. His purpose was to test whether the candidates understood the essentials of nuclear strategy.

A moderator given to plain speaking might have said this: "Explain why the United States keeps such a large arsenal of nuclear weapons and when you might consider using those weapons."

What Holt actually said was: “On nuclear weapons, President Obama reportedly considered changing the nation's longstanding policy on first use.  Do you support the current policy?”

The framing of the question posited no small amount of knowledge on the part of the two candidates. Specifically, it assumed that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton each possess some familiarity with the longstanding policy to which Holt referred and with the modifications that Obama had contemplated making to it.

If you will permit the equivalent of a commercial break as this piece begins, let me explain why I’m about to parse in detail each candidate’s actual answer to Holt’s question. Amid deep dives into, and expansive punditry regarding, issues like how “fat” a former Miss Universe may have been and how high an imagined future wall on our southern border might prove to be, national security issues likely to test the judgment of a commander-in-chief have received remarkably little attention.  So indulge me.  This largely ignored moment in last week’s presidential debate is worth examining.

With regard to the issue of “first use,” every president since Harry Truman has subscribed to the same posture: the United States retains the prerogative of employing nuclear weapons to defend itself and its allies against even nonnuclear threats.  In other words, as a matter of policy, the United States rejects the concept of “no first use,” which would prohibit any employment of nuclear weapons except in retaliation for a nuclear attack.  According to press reports, President Obama had toyed with but then rejected the idea of committing the United States to a “no first use” posture.  Holt wanted to know where the two candidates aspiring to succeed Obama stood on the matter.

Cruelly, the moderator invited Trump to respond first.  The look in the Republican nominee’s eyes made it instantly clear that Holt could have been speaking Farsi for all he understood.  A lesser candidate might then have begun with the nuclear equivalent of “What is Aleppo?

Yet Trump being Trump, he gamely -- or naively -- charged headlong into the ambush that Holt had carefully laid, using his allotted two minutes to offer his insights into how as president he would address the nuclear conundrum that previous presidents had done so much to create.  The result owed less to early Cold War thinkers-of-the-unthinkable like Herman Kahn or Albert Wohlstetter, who created the field of nuclear strategy, than to Dr. Strangelove.  Make that Dr. Strangelove on meth.

Trump turned first to Russia, expressing concern that it might be gaining an edge in doomsday weaponry. “They have a much newer capability than we do,” he said.  “We have not been updating from the new standpoint.”  The American bomber fleet in particular, he added, needs modernization.  Presumably referring to the recent employment of Vietnam-era bombers in the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, he continued somewhat opaquely, “I looked the other night. I was seeing B-52s, they're old enough that your father, your grandfather, could be flying them. We are not -- we are not keeping up with other countries.”

Trump then professed an appreciation for the awfulness of nuclear weaponry.  “I would like everybody to end it, just get rid of it.  But I would certainly not do first strike.  I think that once the nuclear alternative happens, it's over.”

Give Trump this much: even in a field that tends to favor abstraction and obfuscating euphemisms like “fallout” or “dirty bomb,” classifying Armageddon as the “nuclear alternative” represents something of a contribution.

Still, it’s worth noting that, in the arcane theology of nuclear strategy, “first strike” and “first use” are anything but synonymous.  “First strike” implies a one-sided, preventive war of annihilation.  The logic of a first strike, such as it is, is based on the calculation that a surprise nuclear attack could inflict the “nuclear alternative” on your adversary, while sparing your own side from suffering a comparable fate.  A successful first strike would be a one-punch knockout, delivered while your opponent still sits in his corner of the ring.

Yet whatever reassurance was to be found in Trump’s vow never to order a first strike -- not the question Lester Holt was asking -- was immediately squandered.  The Republican nominee promptly revoked his “no first strike” pledge by insisting, in a cliché much favored in Washington, that “I can't take anything off the table.”

Piling non sequitur upon non sequitur, he next turned to the threat posed by a nuclear-armed North Korea, where “we’re doing nothing.”  Yet, worrisome as this threat might be, keeping Pyongyang in check, he added, ought to be Beijing’s job.  “China should solve that problem for us,” he insisted.  “China should go into North Korea.  China is totally powerful as it relates to North Korea.”

If China wouldn’t help with North Korea, however, what could be more obvious than that Iran, many thousands of miles away, should do so -- and might have, if only President Obama had incorporated the necessary proviso into the Iran nuclear deal.  “Iran is one of their biggest trading partners.  Iran has power over North Korea.”  When the Obama administration “made that horrible deal with Iran, they should have included the fact that they do something with respect to North Korea.”  But why stop with North Korea?  Iran “should have done something with respect to Yemen and all these other places,” he continued, wandering into the nonnuclear world.  U.S. negotiators suitably skilled in the Trumpian art of the deal, he implied, could easily have maneuvered Iran into solving such problems on Washington's behalf.

Veering further off course, Trump then took a passing swipe at Secretary of State John Kerry:  “Why didn't you add other things into the deal?”  Why, in “one of the great giveaways of all time,” did the Obama administration fork over $400 million in cash?  At which point, he promptly threw in another figure without the slightest explanation -- “It was actually $1.7 billion in cash” -- in “one of the worst deals ever made by any country in history.”

Trump then wrapped up his meandering tour d’horizon by decrying the one action of the Obama administration that arguably has reduced the prospect of nuclear war, at least in the near future.  “The deal with Iran will lead to nuclear problems,” he stated with conviction.  “All they have to do is sit back 10 years, and they don't have to do much.  And they're going to end up getting nuclear.”  For proof, he concluded, talk to the Israelis.  “I met with Bibi Netanyahu the other day,” he added for no reason in particular.  “Believe me, he's not a happy camper.”

On this indecipherable note, his allotted time exhausted, Trump’s recitation ended.  In its way, it had been a Joycean performance.

Bridge Over Troubled Waters?

It was now Clinton’s turn to show her stuff.  If Trump had responded to Holt like a voluble golf caddy being asked to discuss the finer points of ice hockey, Hillary Clinton chose a different course: she changed the subject. She would moderate her own debate.  Perhaps Trump thought Holt was in charge of the proceedings; Clinton knew better.

What followed was vintage Clinton: vapid sentiments, smoothly delivered in the knowing tone of a seasoned Washington operative.  During her two minutes, she never came within a country mile of discussing the question Holt had asked or the thoughts she evidently actually has about nuclear issues.

“[L]et me start by saying, words matter,” she began.  “Words matter when you run for president.  And they really matter when you are president.  And I want to reassure our allies in Japan and South Korea and elsewhere that we have mutual defense treaties and we will honor them.”

It was as if Clinton were already speaking from the Oval Office.  Trump had addressed his remarks to Lester Holt.  Clinton directed hers to the nation at large, to people the world over, indeed to history itself.  Warming to her task, she was soon rolling out the sort of profundities that play well at the Brookings Institution, the Carnegie Endowment, or the Council on Foreign Relations, causing audiences to nod -- or nod off.

“It is essential that America's word be good,” Clinton continued.  “And so I know that this campaign has caused some questioning and worries on the part of many leaders across the globe. I've talked with a number of them. But I want to -- on behalf of myself, and I think on behalf of a majority of the American people, say that, you know, our word is good.”

Then, after inserting a tepid, better-than-nothing endorsement of the Iran nuclear deal, she hammered Trump for not offering an alternative.  “Would he have started a war?  Would he have bombed Iran?”  If you’re going to criticize, she pointed out, you need to offer something better.  Trump never does, she charged.  “It's like his plan to defeat ISIS. He says it's a secret plan, but the only secret is that he has no plan.”

With that, she reverted to platitudes. “So we need to be more precise in how we talk about these issues. People around the word follow our presidential campaigns so closely, trying to get hints about what we will do. Can they rely on us? Are we going to lead the world with strength and in accordance with our values? That's what I intend to do. I intend to be a leader of our country that people can count on, both here at home and around the world, to make decisions that will further peace and prosperity, but also stand up to bullies, whether they're abroad or at home.” 

Like Trump, she offered no specifics.  Which bullies?  Where?  How?  In what order?  Would she start with Russia’s Putin?  North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un?  Perhaps Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines?  How about Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan?  Or Bibi?

In contrast to Trump, however, Clinton did speak in complete sentences, which followed one another in an orderly fashion.  She thereby came across as at least nominally qualified to govern the country, much like, say, Warren G. Harding nearly a century ago.  And what worked for Harding in 1920 may well work for Clinton in 2016.

Of Harding’s speechifying, H.L. Mencken wrote at the time, “It reminds me of a string of wet sponges.”  Mencken characterized Harding’s rhetoric as “so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it.  It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh.  It is rumble and bumble.  It is flap and doodle.  It is balder and dash.”  So, too, with Hillary Clinton.  She is our Warren G. Harding.  In her oratory, flapdoodle and balderdash live on.

The National Security Void

If I’ve taxed your patience by recounting this non-debate and non-discussion of nuclear first use, it’s to make a larger point.  The absence of relevant information elicited by Lester Holt’s excellent question speaks directly to what has become a central flaw in this entire presidential campaign: the dearth of attention given to matters basic to U.S. national security policy.

In the nuclear arena, the issue of first use is only one of several on which anyone aspiring to become the next commander-in-chief should be able to offer an informed judgment.  Others include questions such as these:

  • What is the present-day justification for maintaining the U.S. nuclear “triad,” a strike force consisting of manned bombers and land-based ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles?

  • Why is the Pentagon embarking upon a decades-long, trillion-dollar program to modernize that triad, fielding a new generation of bombers, missiles, and submarines along with an arsenal of new warheads?  Is that program necessary?

  • How do advances in non-nuclear weaponry -- for example, in the realm of cyberwarfare -- affect theories of nuclear deterrence devised by the likes of Kahn and Wohlstetter during the 1950s and 1960s?  Does the logic of those theories still pertain?

Beyond the realm of nuclear strategy, there are any number of other security-related questions about which the American people deserve to hear directly from both Trump and Clinton, testing their knowledge of the subject matter and the quality of their judgments.  Among such matters, one in particular screams out for attention.  Consider it the question that Washington has declared off-limits: What lessons should be drawn from America’s costly and disappointing post-9/11 wars and how should those lessons apply to future policy?

With Election Day now merely a month away, there is no more reason to believe that such questions will receive serious consideration than to expect Trump to come clean on his personal finances or Clinton to release the transcripts of her handsomely compensated Goldman Sachs speeches.

When outcomes don’t accord with his wishes, Trump reflexively blames a “rigged” system.  But a system that makes someone like Trump a finalist for the presidency isn’t rigged.  It is manifestly absurd, a fact that has left most of the national media grasping wildly for explanations (albeit none that tag them with having facilitated the transformation of politics into theater).

I’ll take a backseat to no one in finding Trump unfit to serve as president.  Yet beyond the outsized presence of one particular personality, the real travesty of our predicament lies elsewhere -- in the utter shallowness of our political discourse, no more vividly on display than in the realm of national security.

What do our presidential candidates talk about when they don’t want to talk about nuclear war?  The one, in a vain effort to conceal his own ignorance, offers rambling nonsense.  The other, accustomed to making her own rules, simply changes the subject.

The American people thereby remain in darkness.  On that score, Trump, Clinton, and the parties they represent are not adversaries.  They are collaborators.



Andrew Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular, is the author, most recently, of America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History, which has been longlisted for the National Book Award.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Nick Turse’s Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead, and Tom Engelhardt's latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

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+39 # RMDC 2016-10-04 12:19
I certainly agree with the conclusion about "the utter shallowness of our political discourse, no more vividly on display than in the realm of national security."

Trump's is a shallowness that derives from his lack of experience and his over-estimation of himself. Hillary's is a shallowness that comes from her contempt for the electorate and desire for secrecy. Bacevich says this pretty much.

But I would put more emphasis on the instincts revealed by both candidates. I thought this was one of the few good questions Holt asked because he asked point blank if the candidates would maintain the most immoral and criminal policy of the entire US regime -- the right of first use of nuclear bombs. The bombing of Japan was a first use.

Trump said clearly he would not do it. Hillary fumbled around in many distracting ways to say she would do it.

That's a difference that really counts. Trump hesitates from war and the use of the worst of all weapons. Hillary won't be honest about it but she will clearly use nuclear weapons if the situation comes up.

For me, war is a non-negotiable issue. I will never support a candidate who will lead us into more wars, killing, destroying other people. This was my biggest reservation about Sanders. The difference between Trump and Clinton on this issue is pretty clear. Trump wins. But please, no one accuse me of being a Trump supporter. He just wins on the issue of war and first use of nukes.
 
 
+4 # Caliban 2016-10-04 18:53
But is Trump telling the truth?

Not saying he's lying, but a person with no high level government experience has probably never had to think about it in a serious way.

Not the case for a former First Lady, US Senator, and Sec. of State.
 
 
+6 # Aaron Tovish 2016-10-04 19:51
This article, and its apparent length, held out promise of actually informing readers about the importance of no-first-use. It that regard it is a major disappointment -- as is Obama's weak-kneed and ill-advised decision to pass on no-first-use.
Half way through the piece, I was beginning to wonder whether the author really understood the stakes. It is typical of partially informed commentators that they evince no awareness of the recent scientific studies on the likely long-term global consequences of nuclear war, and recent historical studies of incidents when nuclear weapons were almost launched accidentally or based on false warning. This information is fundamental to crafting any security policy, since the essence of security is reducing risk (probability X consequences). First use policy was derived when, among other thing, the long-term global consequences of nuclear war were not fully appreciated. In that context, it seemed to some strategists that the prospect of nuclear destruction would instill caution in the adversary, i.e. deter them from not only starting a nuclear war, but also a major conventional war. With the experiences of WWI and WWII, fresh in their minds, this seemed like a risk worth taking.
(to be continued)
 
 
+10 # Aaron Tovish 2016-10-04 19:52
(Continued)
Others argued that the key benefit -- deterring nuclear war -- was best served by a no-first-use policy. They argued that trying to eke greater benefit out of nuclear weapons -- deterring conventional war -- was too risky (and becomes a justification for very nation to have its own nuclear arsenal).
The point being, it was a reasonably close judgment call. Indeed, some countries opted for no-first-use, notably India and China.
The new information on probability and consequences knocks the balance completely out of kilter. It is simply gross reckless endangerment to adhere to a first-use policy given what we now know about the consequences of initiating nuclear warfare. Indeed, the topmost priority is to reach agreement of the global elimination of nuclear weapons. That will take time; Reagan and Gorbachev agreed to do it in ten years (but could not agree on SDI). In the meantime, no-first-use is a pledge to look after ones security without resort to nuclear threats or use.
Neither candidate seems to have a handle on this absolutely vital information. No serving political leader of stature has had the inclination and courage to inform the American people. Several retired leaders have, but the media has not paid proper attention. Everyone just assumes we are trapped in this situation so what does it matter?
If this doesn't matter, then nothing does!
 
 
+14 # Aaron Tovish 2016-10-04 20:05
I argue that the public is purely informed, but then I failed to describe the consequences of nuclear war as now understood by climatologists, ecologists, agriculturalist , and nutritionists. So, for the record:
If only the weapons that are ready at all times (i.e. now) to be launched within fifteen minutes (a tenth of the total arsenals), the greater part of the United States would within a decade be experiencing sub-Arctic weather. The great breadbaskets would produce NO FOOD. The same would be happening in Europe, Asia, Southern Africa and Southern South America. The carrying capacity of Planet Earth would drop from 7 billion humans to much less than 1 billion crowded around the equatorial belt. And it would stay that way for at least three decades. An entire generation would grow up knowing only grey skies, hunger, and chaos.
What triggers this catastrophe? The high-altitude smoke from firestorms ignited by nuclear explosions over cities. A little known fact: ten times more energy was released by the six-hour firestorm that consumed Hiroshima than by the atomic explosion. Recommended reading: www.nucleardarkness.org
 
 
+13 # lfeuille 2016-10-05 00:02
Who knows. With Trump there doesn't seem to be a constant truth, but just the way he feels at the moment. But he did take it back by saying he would take nothing off the table. Which of these two contradictory statements uttered within 2 minutes of each other is true? Does he even realize he contradicted himself?
 
 
-2 # Robbee 2016-10-05 09:45
Quoting lfeuille:
Who knows. With Trump there doesn't seem to be a constant truth, but just the way he feels at the moment. But he did take it back by saying he would take nothing off the table. Which of these two contradictory statements uttered within 2 minutes of each other is true? Does he even realize he contradicted himself?

- rump is a soundingboard - his positions are all over the map - the hearer hears what the hearer wants to hear - is supposed to - and disregards the rest

- rump is a salesman, always selling rump - Does he even realize he contradicted himself? - that smacks beyond the deal, the deal, the deal - the instant rump says something, he desperately believes it - with all fervor of sealing the deal - his current deal is selling his presidency to the voting public - what he tells us 2 minutes later he "believes" with identical perfect fervor

if his opponent or debate moderator accuses rump of contradicting anything else he has said - he automatically denies it - with perfect fervor - why? - it contradicts his truth of the instant - he knows he always sells the truth that drives the deal

what this means you have to ask a professional who uses words like "sociopath" - folks who repeat his own words back to him rump rote calls "liars"

last night pence took an interesting tack - he did not defend any rump words kaine repeated to him - pence even denied using the word "leadership" among pence's own words - the boy follows the man
 
 
+9 # RMDC 2016-10-05 06:12
caliban -- probably Trump does not know the truth of what he'd do. He has no experience, as you say. In contrast, Hillary knows exactly what she'd do.

What I was trying to get at was "instincts" or inclinations, what a person seems to intuitively want to do. Trump seemed better to me on that level. In spite of his talk about military strength, he intuitively seems less inclined to go to war than Hillary. He has said many contradictory things. But down deep, he's not a permanent war supporter as is Hillary. He does seem to believe down deep that war is an aberration and short term even, while Hillary sees it as permanent and essential part of US global domination.
 
 
-7 # Robbee 2016-10-05 10:58
Quoting RMDC:
caliban -- probably Trump does not know the truth of what he'd do. He has no experience, as you say. In contrast, Hillary knows exactly what she'd do.

What I was trying to get at was "instincts" or inclinations, what a person seems to intuitively want to do. Trump seemed better to me on that level. In spite of his talk about military strength, he intuitively seems less inclined to go to war than Hillary. He has said many contradictory things. But down deep, he's not a permanent war supporter as is Hillary. He does seem to believe down deep that war is an aberration and short term even, while Hillary sees it as permanent and essential part of US global domination.

- perfect example - rm hears what rm wants to hear - what rump wants rm to - and disregards the rest

religiously rm, of course, does the same for hill - rm hears what rump wants rm to hear - and disregards the rest

rm is the trumpbot

if you want to trust rump - rm is here to show you how to feel
 
 
+3 # RMDC 2016-10-06 08:04
robbee -- to some extent, we all hear or see what we want to hear or see. There is no such thing as objectivity. It is all human perception and that happens when people are in a certain context with a lot of preconceptions. So political discussion is mostly about comparing perceptions. I said what my perceptions were. What are your? I'm a little worried about your fixation with someone's rump. Are you out of the closet or still pretending not to be?
 
 
0 # Robbee 2016-10-17 13:53
Quoting RMDC:
robbee -- to some extent, we all hear or see what we want to hear or see. There is no such thing as objectivity. It is all human perception and that happens when people are in a certain context with a lot of preconceptions. So political discussion is mostly about comparing perceptions. I said what my perceptions were. What are your? I'm a little worried about your fixation with someone's rump. Are you out of the closet or still pretending not to be?

- go kiss rump!
 
 
+2 # librarian1984 2016-10-06 08:28
@ Caliban

And she said she'd do it. She's had the experience of thinking about it and she said YES.

How disingenuous to say Trump's never had to think about it. Weren't we all supposed to be horrified that he asked his advisors about it? And after learning about it (Imagine! He learned!), after learning about it, HE said NO.

You keep trying to spin it. Let Hillary tie you up in knots trying to make sense of the things she says and does. Full time job.
 
 
-2 # Caliban 2016-10-07 01:12
What spin, #librarian1984?

My comment was just three sentences long, and all I was trying to say was that:

Trump's career experience in real estate development and casino ownership probably gave him fewer direct provocations to ponder "seriously" such matters as nuclear war than Clinton's years of hands-on experience in international relations and national government had given her.

But I never meant to imply that more thinking time necessarily meant better thinking nor a better response to Holt's question. I apologize if my clumsy writing gave that impression.

Personally, the only honest answer I could have given Lester is: "I do not know; nor would I truly know until faced with a true life and death threat to the citizens of the USA".

Thus -- on this matter -- I probably identify more with Donald's uncertainty than with Clinton's many versions of "Yes" directed considerations and complications.
 
 
0 # Robbee 2016-10-17 14:40
thread starts here -
RMDC 2016-10-04 12:19
Trump wins on the issue of war and first use of nukes.
Caliban 2016-10-04 18:53
But is Trump telling the truth?
Quoting librarian1984:
How disingenuous to say Trump's never had to think about it. Weren't we all supposed to be horrified that he asked his advisors about it? And after learning about it (Imagine! He learned!), after learning about it, HE said NO.

- will rump preemptive nuke? we're all missing the picture

rump's association with truth is entirely casual - he intends to say whatever wins him election - from something rump says rm and lib hear what they want to hear - next time rump talks about preemptive nuke he's more likely to go the other way - to please his base - in which case rm and lib will NOT hear

as prez rump takes nothing off-table - if it advances his negotiating position - he will only threaten putin to preemptive nuke russia - if it advances his negotiating position - he will only preemptive nuke russia - it's who he is - a riverboat gambler - with nukes

rump's 7 pillars of wisdom -
1) i didn't do it
2) nobody saw me do it
3) you can't prove nothin'
4) bill did it
5) hill enabled him
6) nothing happened
7) whatever happened it's not my fault

before you vote - even if it doesn't advance your agenda - rm and lib - try to understand rump
 
 
+11 # Anonymot 2016-10-05 03:40
RMDC:
Absolutely, totally agree. What good is it if Hillary improved the society then turned it into a nuclear wasteland? It's certainly better to suffer 4 more years of the social injustices we've suffered for centuries, then replace Trump with a real leader who can make progress on our domestic problems.

She is so two-faced there's no reason to believe she'll do anything progressive anyway, commited as she is to Wall Street and her bank account.
 
 
+2 # RLF 2016-10-05 07:13
We've got to control global warming somehow!:)
 
 
+1 # John Escher 2016-10-06 09:28
Quoting Anonymot:
RMDC:
Absolutely, totally agree. What good is it if Hillary improved the society then turned it into a nuclear wasteland? It's certainly better to suffer 4 more years of the social injustices we've suffered for centuries, then replace Trump with a real leader who can make progress on our domestic problems.

She is so two-faced there's no reason to believe she'll do anything progressive anyway, commited as she is to Wall Street and her bank account.


You have an exaggerated view of her lousiness. And an inability to perceive the immediate peril of Trump as president.
 
 
0 # Robbee 2016-10-17 15:01
Quoting Anonymot:
RMDC:
Absolutely, totally agree. What good is it if Hillary improved the society then turned it into a nuclear wasteland? It's certainly better to suffer 4 more years of the social injustices we've suffered for centuries, then replace Trump with a real leader who can make progress on our domestic problems.

She is so two-faced there's no reason to believe she'll do anything progressive anyway, commited as she is to Wall Street and her bank account.

- these are the same syncopants who warned us never to vote hill out of fear (of rump)
 
 
+17 # guomashi 2016-10-04 15:10
"The American people thereby remain in darkness. On that score, Trump, Clinton, and the parties they represent are not adversaries. They are collaborators."

...and the American people are their victims.

This particular episode shows what a slimy little rat Clinton really is. She touts her experience and then talks about Miss Universe. But - she didn't lie! We have to give her that one.
 
 
+3 # RMDC 2016-10-04 17:12
Maybe she did lie. What's her source for the Miss Piggy comment? It is possible to call someone Miss Piggy in an affectionate way. Miss Piggy was, after all, a cute and popular TV character. She is someone that Trump probably admired.

I have to be careful in my comments. I've been warned by the site administration that there have been complaints about my bullying other commenters. I'll be banned from RSN if I keep on bullying people.

So if anyone feels bullied by my comments, please let me know and I'll retract or delete them. I'll unbully them.

Is it bullying to defend Miss Piggy?
 
 
+22 # Texas Aggie 2016-10-04 17:40
Her source was Ms. Machado. And when you are talking about a person gaining weight, calling her Miss Piggy is NOT a term of endearment. To postulate otherwise is not exactly honest.
 
 
-2 # RMDC 2016-10-04 18:03
Are you sure that Ms. Machado told the truth. She was very upset with Trump at the time. Different people react in different ways to gaining weight. Most everyone does it as they grow older.
 
 
+1 # Caliban 2016-10-04 19:38
But did Trump deny it?
 
 
+6 # guomashi 2016-10-04 18:13
Quoting RMDC:
Maybe she did lie. What's her source for the Miss Piggy comment?


I stand corrected -
"She didn't lie about her stance on nukes" is what I should have said.
I don't know the source of the piggy comment.

I haven't noticed you to be a bully.
Some are bullied by facts - usually other bullies.
Try to remember the fact-free-zone in the pandemonium's guano pit.
 
 
+15 # Helga Fellay 2016-10-04 18:20
RMDC - yours are among the most cogent arguments on RSN. I have never perceived anything you posted as bullying in any way. I think the right-wing trolls object to your (well-reasoned) positions but are not intelligent enough and not informed enough to counter your arguments. So they attack you by calling you a bully. The site administration should be able to see right through that. For months Marc Ash has overdone the demand for funding until just recently. At the same time this ended, RSN changed. Now, articles that I would not have considered worth printing are becoming more frequent. Progressive reader comments now receive thumbs down, while right-wing comments receive thumbs up. This signals to me that that the readership has also undergone a sea change since the demands for contributions have stopped. You can draw your own conclusions. The upshot is: You are not a bully, and you do not bully. It's not what you do.
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2016-10-06 08:46
Agree 100%. I am very disappointed the admins couldn't see past the bs.

Agree also about the quality of the articles and the ubiquity of trolls.

Do we have a backup plan? Truthout? Common Dreams? It might be time to move on.
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2016-10-06 21:18
The trolls have hijacked the site, and changed it from what it was for many years prior.

It's shown too little loyalty to the people who've been loyal to it for all this time.
 
 
+2 # Caliban 2016-10-04 19:23
Hi #RMDC --

Please "unbully" me, okay. I'm tired of crying myself to sleep every night.

As for Miss Piggy, it doesn't surprise me that the Donald likes Miss Piggy. My grandkids loved her also when they were in the First Grade.

But it might be good PR if Mr. Trump could be persuaded to give something like Masterpiece Theater a try. That might at least persuade voters that he's an adult.
 
 
+9 # Skyelav 2016-10-04 20:50
Trump always sounds like my long dead father and his country club cronies, poking fun at everything including fat people. Very not so grown up but he would have probably been a great president, never mind a republican, back when the GOP meant something. Remember when Lyndon Johnson said, "I just learned to say negro and now they go and change it to black." Same crap as today in some circles. Certainly not in the educated French water crowd. But the less than educated continue along being unhappy and now they are staging their revolution. Get out of the way folks, they will probably win this one. We certainly aren't organizing yet.
 
 
+3 # RMDC 2016-10-06 12:18
?Caliban -- I think it is highly likely that Trump likes Miss Piggy for the same reasons that your grandkids do. My kids loved Miss Piggy.

Don't forget, Trump is a reality TV star. That role seems to fit him the best. In some ways he is still in that role.

I never saw his show, but I'm sure being president would be the best reality TV of all. That's how Baby Bush and Obama treated the job. The both spent most of their time posing in front of cameras. But maybe it was Reagan who set the standard this low. Trump's perfect for the job. He's got the Reagan hairdo.
 
 
+10 # Merlin 2016-10-04 22:15
Hi RMDC,
Just a note to say that I have never seen nor felt any bullying in your comments. I do not find it odd that people will whine and complain anonymously on a blog. What I do find odd, is that the RSN administration agrees with them. Your comments are strong, open and at times a blatant refutation of the current political situation. You attack the power structure, not individuals.

As they say, “Where there is smoke, there is a fire somewhere.”

Helga Fellay, comments below about all the “smoke” she sees and smells. I agree with her when she states: “RMDC - yours are among the most cogent arguments on RSN. I have never perceived anything you posted as bullying in any way.” and “You are not a bully, and you do not bully. It's not what you do.” Spot on Helga! It appears that RMDC is the victim of bullying and not the bully.

From my (ignorant of the facts,) view, I can’t help but ask the question, “Who is bullying whom successfully?” Could it be, that it is RSN itself that is the one being bullied? Is it RSN that is caving into the bullying, and doing the bidding of bullies? Is there an attempt to control the conversation here?

For those interested in psychology, check out Eric Berne’s “Game” (from his book, “Games People Play,”) called “Lets, you and him fight.” The title says it all. A sneaky spiteful antagonist sets two other people to fight while he enjoys the show as audience. It certainly is a nasty game and it could be going on here.
 
 
-4 # Henry 2016-10-05 09:41
Quoting Merlin:
From my (ignorant of the facts,) view, I can’t help but ask the question, “Who is bullying whom successfully?” Could it be, that it is RSN itself that is the one being bullied? Is it RSN that is caving into the bullying, and doing the bidding of bullies? Is there an attempt to control the conversation here?

For those interested in psychology, check out Eric Berne’s “Game” (from his book, “Games People Play,”) called “Lets, you and him fight.” The title says it all. A sneaky spiteful antagonist sets two other people to fight while he enjoys the show as audience. It certainly is a nasty game and it could be going on here.


Ridiculous.
.
 
 
+3 # RMDC 2016-10-06 08:10
Merlin -- "“Who is bullying whom successfully?” Could it be, that it is RSN itself that is the one being bullied? "


Good point. Black Lamb got reported to the admin and banned. He came back one more time to explain. It would be easy to boot all of us Stein supporters and Hillary critics off of RSN. Then the Hillary Trolls will have taken over RSN. For me, open and fair debate is what we really want. I want to engage the Hillary Supporters. I want to read what they say.

In principle, I try to be fair and polite to commentators since we are all equal. But I'm not polite to authors of published articles, esp. those from the NYT, WaPo, or other powerful new organizations. Their power makes their lies and distortions something close to a criminal act. So I try to be ruthless toward them. They are not just giving their opinions as we are; they have the power to shape public discourse in the US. When big media organizations like the NYT, WaPo, cable/broadcast news, and so on engage in flat out propaganda, they need to be called out and named for what they are.
 
 
0 # Henry 2016-10-05 09:39
Of course it's not bullying to defend Miss Piggy, but it's Machado we're talking about – and any man (or woman) with a brain or a speck of honesty does not try to pass off calling a real live woman "Miss Piggy" as speaking affectionately!
 
 
+2 # RMDC 2016-10-06 12:25
Henry, I suppose you were there and were privy to Trump's intentions -- if in fact he actually did make this comment.

I'm also taking a jab at the American obsession with weight. It is the most overweight population on earth and yet it is absolute verboten to mention someone's weight. There's a sort of political correctness that demands when you see someone who has porked up a bit, you must say, "you look marvelous. Did you lose weight."

When Brittany Spears made an appearance on some TV show a while ago, she was much heavier than when he was young and performing. But heard comments about how skinny she was and how good she looked. No. She looked like a women moving into middle age.

Americans are in denial about weight, age, income level, and a lot of other silly things. It is not healthy. It should be quite normal to joke about gaining some weight. Or getting some gray hair. It happens to the best of us.
 
 
+4 # librarian1984 2016-10-06 08:40
@RMDC

OMG people complained about you bullying them? What a total bunch of sh!te. I was there on that Miss Piggy thread and you did no such thing, and anyone who turned you in is a total loser and a slimy rat tattletale liar. I have NEVER seen you be a bully. As a matter of fact, several times I've been amazed at your patience. I love your comments -- intelligent, educated, articulate. rsn is already going downhill -- they can't afford to drive away someone like you -- and if they do, I am outta here.
***
Trump's a jerk. So what's new?

But Clinton? She spouts off about much she cares about women and children and then she bombs them?!

And WHO brought Ms. Machado back into the spotlight? This woman tells us RIGHT NOW that she is still troubled by the episode, but HRC is trotting her around like a prize. Is THAT caring about her?

Hillary Clinton is leading you people around by the nose and you're eating it up.

Look at her and her Amazons -- Nuland, Rice, Power -- that is a scary group. We're all supposed to sing 'Kumbaya' and celebrate the ascension of glorious womanhood to ultimate power?

ANY rational woman would reject that group as somehow representative of feminine OR feminist principles -- of basic humanity even.

There is going to be blood running in multiple streets, but we'll be united in sisterhood? Bull-bloody-sh!te.

And then apparently it's okay to lie about RMDC too?

This place is working on my last nerves.
 
 
-3 # John Escher 2016-10-06 09:30
Quoting RMDC:

Is it bullying to defend Miss Piggy?


No, but it's sort of stupid. A purposeful, frivolous way of not dealing with what Donald Trump really is.
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2016-10-06 21:16
When people who can't defend their views are forced to confront them, they retaliate.

You and I disagree too, sometimes.

What I think is that you're blunt. So am I. You don't mince words, and you don't hide under soft language. You're very assertive and direct. Sometimes you sound angry, maybe even harsh.

NONE OF THAT IS "BULLYING".

You're passionate, and have an aggressive writing style.

That makes you a valuable addition to any discussion. I can always count on you to cut to the chase, and avoid flowering your language with bullshit.

Yes, even when I disagree with you.

I NEVER doubt your honesty or veracity.

ALL of that rubs people the wrong way. The ones rubbed in ways they don't want to be rubbed, are probably the ones I'M accusing of being trolls.

In effect, they're the bullies. Rather than dealing with you, they're trying to get your removed, so another obstacle is out their way. Their agenda seems to be total domination of this site, and they're methods seems pretty passive aggressive.

I lived in Minnesota for a while.

I H-A-T-E passive aggressives.

So, I don't know what to tell you. My hunch is that no one's going to tell you outright what to change. They just want to eliminate you.

I think it's ok to argue with the moderators too. I've done it. They're not gods on Mount Olympus. They're other individuals, who may even have an agenda of their own as well.

I guess I have no "advice". I hope you don't get bullied out of here.
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2016-10-06 21:24
CONT.

I hope you don't get bullied out of here because I really look forward to your comments.

I really like you.

I think Hillary's trolls are at it again, and just trying to take as many of us down as possible.

I'd rather see you NOT "tone it down" to please moderators who act like robots, rather than thinking human beings capable of understanding broader context.
 
 
+24 # grandlakeguy 2016-10-04 17:30
How ironic that in the above article the author references the LBJ "Daisy" ad which stated that Barry Goldwater was much too dangerous to trust with America's nuclear arsenal.
Today, one of Goldwater's disciples, his "Goldwater Girl" follower is herself asking for that very trust as well.
Based on her blood-soaked record as Secretary of State and her judgement that was so poor that she bought into the G W Bush lies regarding Iraq and voted to authorize that genocide it could not be more clear that Hillary Clinton should never be allowed to be the Commander in Chief of our military.
Nor, for that matter, should Donald Trump!
 
 
-7 # ericlipps 2016-10-05 12:30
Quoting grandlakeguy:
How ironic that in the above article the author references the LBJ "Daisy" ad which stated that Barry Goldwater was much too dangerous to trust with America's nuclear arsenal.
Today, one of Goldwater's disciples, his "Goldwater Girl" follower is herself asking for that very trust as well.
Based on her blood-soaked record as Secretary of State and her judgement that was so poor that she bought into the G W Bush lies regarding Iraq and voted to authorize that genocide it could not be more clear that Hillary Clinton should never be allowed to be the Commander in Chief of our military.
Nor, for that matter, should Donald Trump!

For God's sake, Hillary Clinton was a "Goldwater Girl" FIFTY YEARS AGO! Ronald Reagan started out as an FDR Democrat; he certainly wasn't one five decades later. Why assume the one could turn completely around but the other has not?

Unless, of course, your view of Hillary is colored by the fact she didn't meekly drop out of the presidential race as soon as Bernie Sanders won his first primary.
 
 
+12 # Texas Aggie 2016-10-04 17:41
Mr. Mencken is one of the better pundits of our country ranking up there with Mark Twain and Will Rogers. He has a marvelous way with words.
 
 
+14 # Kulak 2016-10-04 18:11
I'm amazed that RMDC takes Trump at his word about no first use.
I'm always amazed when anyone takes Trump at his word about anything.
Trump is not only a habitual liar, but he changes positions more often than I change my socks. The only thing we can trust about him is that he always puts his personal wishes and whims above anything and anyone else.
 
 
+9 # guomashi 2016-10-04 18:30
Quoting Kulak:
The only thing we can trust about him is that he always puts his personal wishes and whims above anything and anyone else.


That's why he is unlikely to use nukes.
1) more profit can be had from live people
2) less likelihood of retaliation which is not good for survival.

Clinton, on the other hand, is ideologically and psychologically predisposed to fight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49Iet1CtTVI
 
 
+6 # lfeuille 2016-10-05 00:28
The thing is that he might not think through the ramifications to his bottom line if he is in a snit. But he probably can be distracted before he can get around to doing anything about it.

Aaron Tovish painted a very grim picture of the aftermath of the use of nuclear weapons, If the candidates know this, I find it hard to believe that either one would intentionally set one off, but I'm not sure Trump does know it and Clinton's playing chicken with Russia could easily lead to a situation that would go beyond her control, whatever her intentions. It is also disturbing that she refused to answer the question that was asked. Does the moderator have the power to follow up and try to pin them down when they get evasive?
 
 
+5 # guomashi 2016-10-05 05:58
Yes the moderator does have the power to corral the debaters. They can also ignore the prodding, but it becomes obvious that they are being evasive.

It happened several times in the VP debate.
 
 
+2 # Radscal 2016-10-05 14:42
"I find it hard to believe that either one would intentionally set one off"

Remember that radical reduction of the human population as been a goal of certain elites for decades. Even the worst case scenario presented by Aaron would leave 1 billion people alive, mostly in the equatorial regions.

We have at least one commenter on RSN who repeatedly writes that 1 billion is the ideal population.
 
 
-6 # ericlipps 2016-10-05 12:32
The problem with Trump is that he is so reckless and hot-headed that he's likely to start a war simply because he
's gotten angry over some perceived slight. I don't want a president who might throw a thermonuclear tantrum.
 
 
-3 # John Escher 2016-10-06 09:36
Quoting guomashi:
Quoting Kulak:
The only thing we can trust about him is that he always puts his personal wishes and whims above anything and anyone else.


That's why he is unlikely to use nukes.
1) more profit can be had from live people
2) less likelihood of retaliation which is not good for survival.

Clinton, on the other hand, is ideologically and psychologically predisposed to fight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49Iet1CtTVI


Your opinions are too knee-jerk. Not sufficiently thought out.
 
 
+14 # Skyelav 2016-10-04 20:55
A local NYC journalist was raised in West Virginia. He still goes home to events and holidays. He went back a few months ago and found his dad supporting D Trump."Dad," the writer said, "do you really think Trump will make change?" His dad paused a minute and said, "no, son, but he's the only one talking about it." In truth, this is the average Trump voter. So taking him at his word becomes irrelevant here. At least he is thinking about changes..while Mme Secretary is not. Good observation way down in the hollow.
 
 
+8 # RMDC 2016-10-05 06:29
Skylav -- A few weeks ago I had to drive through Virginia, W. Virginia, and N. Carolain. I saw many Trump signs but not a single Clinton sign. I think the rural areas do support Trump for just the reason you cite -- people think the US government is going in the wrong direction. Hillary is promising more of the same. Trump is promising something different. He does not know exactly what, but it will be different.

Why bother taking him at his word.

Still, I don't believe Trump has a chance. Hillary will take the big cities. I saw some news program that said Obama lost all of Pennsylvania but took the city of Philadelphia and so won the state. That's the scenario. Hillary will take a place like New York City or Chicago, and lose the rest of the states.

Trump is a phenom of rural America who has not had a presidential candidate in their lifetimes. Maybe Dubya Bush appealed to them somewhat. But he was a Bush.
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2016-10-06 08:59
But Gallup says 76% of GOPers intend to vote while only 65% of Dems are planning to. Real pity we don't have a candidate to believe (in), eh?
 
 
+10 # RMDC 2016-10-05 06:19
Kulak -- I agree with you. Trump is a con-artist and a salesman as many, many people have observed. But at some point we have to take both Clinton and Trump at their words, if we are going to vote for either one of them. I'm voting Jill Stein and Green, so I don't take either one at their words. But in the debate, I was looking for more implicit, deeper, intuitive aspects of each character. I found Hillary cold as a knife. Trump seemed to have some humanity and his instant reaction in saying he would not do a first strike was a good sign. Hillary clearly -- as Bacevich says clearly -- understood the question and said words were important so she obfuscated all over the place. At bottom she made pretty clear she would push the nuclear button without a problem.

I'm really talking about this issue only. In other places in the debate I felt in different ways.

While the content level of the debate was very shallow, we did get a good look at the deeper character of each person in their mannerism and body language.

Linking to the VP debate last night, Hillary and Kaine are just very aggressive political machines -- to me.
 
 
-3 # John Escher 2016-10-06 09:39
Quoting RMDC:
But at some point we have to take both Clinton and Trump at their words, if we are going to vote for either one of them. I'm voting Jill Stein and Green, so I don't take either one at their words.


Self-indulgent and irresponsible.
 
 
+5 # John Puma 2016-10-05 06:36
To Kulak

You only wear a fresh pair of socks for 21 minutes?
 
 
+4 # librarian1984 2016-10-06 08:54
Quoting Kulak:
I'm always amazed when anyone takes Trump at his word about anything.
But you believe anything Clinton says? They are BOTH horrible.

America may not DESERVE better but we certainly NEED better!
 
 
+1 # Kulak 2016-10-04 19:04
Guomashi gives Trump a lot more credit for consistency and rationality than I do.
 
 
-9 # carytucker 2016-10-04 19:52
Quoting Kulak:
Guomashi gives Trump a lot more credit for consistency and rationality than I do.


Or anyone else does, other than the Hate Hillary cabal on this site, which views him as something of an eccentric peacemaker, a kindred spirit to that eminent statesman Mr Putin, really a kind of Georges Clemenceau if you just ignored a few of the unfortunate features of his character and his campaign, an obvious choice if somehow Dr Stein can't rally more than her devoted 2%.
 
 
+2 # librarian1984 2016-10-06 09:01
As usual, the only way to argue your point is to mischaracterize what we have said (multiple times).

A junior high school debater could outclass the Hillary supporters here.
 
 
-3 # John Escher 2016-10-06 09:41
Quoting librarian1984:
As usual, the only way to argue your point is to mischaracterize what we have said (multiple times).

A junior high school debater could outclass the Hillary supporters here.


Reactionary tripe.
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2016-10-06 09:54
More content-free posts, john? How tiresome you are. Do you ever get invited anywhere twice?
 
 
0 # Robbee 2016-10-17 15:25
Quoting librarian1984:
As usual, the only way to argue your point is to mischaracterize what we have said (multiple times).

A junior high school debater could outclass the Hillary supporters here.

- i beg your pardon! bernie! warren! obama! reich! weissmn! ash! rich! and i are hill supporters here!

please stop mischaracterizi ng ALL "Hillary supporters here" as "outclassed" by a "junior high school debater" - for your information, for one thing, some junior high school debaters are rapier sharp wits - for another thing - when it comes to comparing hill and rump - bernie! warren! obama! reich! weissmn! ash! rich! are rapier sharp wits!

lib! welcome back! - and! this time around! try to get a grip! - you really are stuck on rump! - you need to get less kissy
 
 
0 # Robbee 2016-10-17 16:49
Quoting Robbee:
Quoting librarian1984:
As usual, the only way to argue your point is to mischaracterize what we have said (multiple times).

A junior high school debater could outclass the Hillary supporters here.

- i beg your pardon! bernie! warren! obama! reich! weissmn! ash! rich! and i are hill supporters here!

please stop mischaracterizing ALL "Hillary supporters here" as "outclassed" by a "junior high school debater" - for your information, for one thing, some junior high school debaters are rapier sharp wits - for another thing - when it comes to comparing hill and rump - bernie! warren! obama! reich! weissmn! ash! rich! are rapier sharp wits!

lib! welcome back! - and! this time around! try to get a grip! - you really are stuck on rump! - you need to get less kissy

- to galindez! for the omission, sorry!

you dooms-dayers hill-focus-grou p are quite the plague of rsn - among yourselves you have quite the following! - you truly have cried "what we have said (multiple times)" - with - among yourselves! comraderie! - as little as rump appreciates you - your loyalty is astounding!
 
 
+5 # guomashi 2016-10-04 20:52
Quoting Kulak:
Guomashi gives Trump a lot more credit for consistency and rationality than I do.


There is your opinion...
and then there are decades of behaviors on the parts of both candidates...

Sorry, but some message board hack voicing an opinion with out substantiating evidence has no credibility in the light of long known and consistent facts.
 
 
-2 # John Escher 2016-10-06 09:46
Quoting guomashi:
Quoting Kulak:
Guomashi gives Trump a lot more credit for consistency and rationality than I do.


There is your opinion...
and then there are decades of behaviors on the parts of both candidates...

Sorry, but some message board hack voicing an opinion with out substantiating evidence has no credibility in the light of long known and consistent facts.


In most cases I would agree. But Trump is an exception. He provides the evidence anew every day that he is the potential moron at the top that H.L. Mencken predicted. The evidence is there at all times. Just turn on your TV.
 
 
+1 # guomashi 2016-10-07 08:21
Your opinions are unworthy of further response or comment.
 
 
+15 # Anonymot 2016-10-04 19:32
The people who either control Clinton or are controlled by her (we don't yet know who is the ventriloquist and who is the dummy) seem oblivious to the difference between failing in their wars against Iraq Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and the Ukraine and failing in a war with Russia. They are nonchalant about it, because they are sure they'll win. They still don't understand that they've lost every regime change since Korea and Cuba.

They don't talk about nuclear war for the simple reason that they can't conceive that they won't have another brilliant win. I remember my shock when a close right-wing friend and I went to dinner in NY. Iraq had happened just days before and he was ecstatic because, "You see, we won and only lost 500 men." He laughed when I suggested it might not be over yet.

Those people run the affairs of state. They are oblivious both to their ignorance and to the strength of their opponents.

We know that a Trump presidency will be ugly on the domestic front.

However, the brain damaged Clintons and the coterie of ignorants with which we are saddled will indeed goad Russia, China or N Korea into a war and it will almost certainly be nuclear and devastating.

Atomic explosions will, of course, instantly resolve the nasty nature of our race and gun problems, the inequities of minorities and economics and all of the other things Hillary has promised to the poor and the powerful, the rich and unemployed, those in and out of the closet, etc.
 
 
+10 # Skyelav 2016-10-04 21:00
Anon, They saw what not winning in Vietnam did for the USA. It revived our economy and that is exactly the point. Those sucking off the war tit are vast in numbers. Winning isn't the point. And IMHO Shillary and her coterie are but handmaidens and lackeys to the real guys who run and have run the world for , probably centuries.
 
 
+7 # Anonymot 2016-10-05 07:46
I made a mistake above. The CIA did get Allende murdered and Hillary got rid of the democratically elected leader of Honduras. Both killings were good for the drug trade.
 
 
+4 # RMDC 2016-10-06 08:16
Anon -- "They still don't understand that they've lost every regime change since Korea and Cuba."

Good point. But maybe they are OK with losing. They got to kill a huge number of people -- I'd guess on the order of 100 million since the war against Korea. And they been able to build the biggest and most expensive military in human history. They are dominating the planet with murder and destruction. That pretty much seems to be what they want to do. Peace is their great nightmare.

Clearly Hillary's instincts are all in the direction of more war and more destruction. She's good with what happened in Ukraine, Libya, and Syria.

Trump's instincts seem to be more about building someone stable, perhaps even peace.

But presidents don't make these decisions -- the CIA does. Any president who does not follow orders will get the treatment JFK got -- a bullet in the head.
 
 
+3 # librarian1984 2016-10-06 09:06
@ Anonymot

It's the same casual nonchalance we heard from D!ck & W and Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. It was going to be over in a few weeks, and we'd be greeted as liberators, and the oil would pay for the war.

Yet somehow the same exact voices make the same mistakes. Over and over again.

Almost as if they were lying, as if their public goals and their real goals were two different things. I agree with Skyelav and RMDC. This is EXACTLY what they want: permanent war that feeds our kids into their meat grinders, everlasting conflicts that fill the coffers of Boeing and Lockheed and GE et al.

No American empire! No more war! No more militarizing the police.

All we do is movies and war anymore. Great plan, pinhead inbred oligarchs, great plan.
 
 
0 # Robbee 2016-10-17 17:37
Quoting librarian1984:
All we do is movies and war anymore. Great plan, pinhead inbred oligarchs, great plan.

- if you have anything against "? lib? - why don't you do something about them?

if she takes office? hill promised netroots nation in her first 30 days - to propose a constitutional amendment that reforms campaign finance

rump has promised more "pinhead inbred oligarchs" -

if hill does not start nuclear war with russia? - or rump does? - recall you owe me your apology? - my question is when do i collect? - at the end of 4 years? - or 8? - or 1? or what date? - please be as specific as you can? - i rarely cross words with theologians
 
 
-2 # John Escher 2016-10-06 09:51
Anonymot, I think she's a strong woman, don't you? And I think we need a strong president regardless of what else we feel about her. We certainly don't need somebody PRETENDING to be strong, i.e., Donald Trump.
 
 
+6 # littlebird 2016-10-05 03:26
Who will be first to cause the destruction of the human race? They would also be the last.
 
 
-4 # ericlipps 2016-10-05 12:38
Quoting Littlebird:
Who will be first to cause the destruction of the human race? They would also be the last.

That's just it. For all the foaming at the mouth on this site about how Hillary Clinton is a mad killer eager to start World War III so she can reign as empress over whatever remains of humanity, I really think she's less likely to start a nuclear war than is an arrogant, temperamental ignoramus who thinks he can learn all there is to know about missiles in 90 minutes.
 
 
0 # Robbee 2016-10-17 18:24
Quoting ericlipps:
an arrogant, temperamental ignoramus who thinks he can learn all there is to know about missiles in 90 minutes.

- an arrogant, temperamental ignoramus who thinks he can learn all there is to know about missiles in 90 minutes?

that skims the surface - rump is rump and all being rump encompasses - a blemish on oligarchy
 
 
-2 # John Escher 2016-10-06 10:01
Quoting Littlebird:
Who will be first to cause the destruction of the human race? They would also be the last.


Do you take your own question seriously enough to make the decision? We certainly have enough information in front of us (at all times) to provide the necessary evidence. I bet on Hillary Clinton as the less likely of the two to destroy the human race-- a binary choice that every American ought to make. I'm not saying you have to agree with me, but do think that if you won't make a choice you aren't sufficiently aware of history, the end of powerful nations, the fragility of human existence. On the other hand I understand that most of you weren't born before the Cuban missile crisis-- the very reason you must, yes must immediately educate yourselves, viz., to avoid ending the world yourselves through careless negligence.
 
 
+1 # elkingo 2016-10-05 13:39
But isn't ANY nuke policy, given the existence of these "weapons" nuts? Sure "mutual assured destrction" - their only purpose being not using them. Hanna Aendt called this insane.

And please note that the very principle of American political discourse is changing the subjet, aka bullshit. The Great American Bullshit Machine, pervading every area of public life. Hillary was right on track!
 
 
0 # Robbee 2016-10-17 18:09
Quoting elkingo:
But isn't ANY nuke policy, given the existence of these "weapons" nuts?

- please don't jump ahead so far!

rm and lib are barely up to - isn't ANY policy, given the existence of these "weapons" in hill's hand nuts?

rm and lib are the vanguard of the put nukes only into rump's hands club - they are not ready for elkingo-thought - maybe after rump gets elected? they may be?
 
 
+1 # Depressionborn 2016-10-08 01:44
War is planned. I don't know why except to follow the money and assassinations. It cannot end well.
 

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