U.S. kills leader of Iranian Quds Force


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In response to Iran’s attack against the U.S. embassy several days ago, the U.S. today killed several key leaders in Iran’s Quds Force, central to that nation’s terrorist attack network.

Hajj Qasem, the “shadow commander,” Israel’s “most dangerous enemy,” has been killed in Iraq alongside his key disciple Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. An airstrike near or at Baghdad International Airport targeted a motorcade with the men in it just days after their followers stormed the US Embassy compound and scrawled “Soleimani is our leader” on its walls. US President Donald Trump approved the airstrike. The Pentagon confirmed the US killed the Iranian Quds Force leader. The US said Iran was responsible for killing 608 US troops during the Iraq war.

…Reports emerged after four in the morning, Iraqi time. A mysterious airstrike near the airport had led to rumors of its closure hours earlier. Two flights were inbound at the time. A Pegasus and Iraq airways flight. Three or four rockets impacted near the airport. US helicopters were reported buzzing in the distance.

It appears a cryptic tweet from US Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced the US policy to begin pre-emptive strikes against Iranian adversaries or their proxies. “To Iran and its proxy militias: We will not accept the continued attacks against our personnel and forces in the region. Attacks against us will be met with responses in the time, manner and place of our choosing. We urge the Iranian regime to end malign activities.”

The article at the link provides a lot of good information about who these men were and what they have done for the past few decades to initiate violence and terrorist attacks throughout the Middle East.

Here’s the deal: We are still struggling with these bad guys because George Bush Jr. was a disaster as president. Had he been in charge after Pearl Harbor in 1941 he would have invaded France, but then stopped at the German border and declared victory, allowing Hitler and the Nazis to remain in power.

The simple fact is that unless you intend total victory you will lose every war you fight, and Bush demonstrated this fact starkly.

He was then followed by Barack Obama, who’s loyalties were aligned more with Iran and the Islamic terrorists than with the United States and its allies.

I have no idea if Trump understands this. I doubt it. However, it does appear that he is willing to meet violence with violence in the Middle East, the only negotiating tactic these thugs understand.

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130 comments

  • Ian C.

    I guess Trump understands it. He dislikes half-baked pseudo victories. He will also prefer deals that address the main pain points (e.g., Iran’s role in Syria, Iran’s continued threats against Israel) over military solutions. We’ll see whether it will be a series of military and economic tit-for-tats to get Iran willing to make a deal or whether Iran escalates it so much that Trump has no other choice than to take them out. Iran’s best allies, the Democrats, already complain and accuse; the domestic front is thereby defined.

  • David

    I regret both Bush presidencies for various reasons, and the horrible failure to set and achieve a proper end goal in both Iraq wars ranks high among them. But to be fair, the rest of the middle east, and notably our main “allies” in the area, Saudi Arabia, were vehemently against taking Iraq all the way out the first time, and their reasoning proved entirely correct once we did it on attempt two: the aftermath was chaos, and Iran filled the void. We’re going to have to take Iran down hard sooner or later, and the longer we wait, the more likely that Saudi and Turkey are going to be in a state where the problems just migrate there. Of course, the horrible execution of the post-war Iraq and the interminable action in Afghanistan makes the concept of going into Iran for real laughable, it could be a generation before we have a combination of the executive, congressional, and popular will to do such a thing.

  • Lee S

    Even as a socialist I consider Iran to be one of the biggest threats in the world, and certainly the largest in the middle East. I just hope that Trump, or more importantly, his advisers have a good idea what they are doing….
    Iran won’t be a pushover like Iraq or Libya, an outright invasion would cost a lot of blood and treasure…. Fingers crossed that better minds than mine have a well thought out strategy.

  • Diane Wilson

    Let’s not forget that it was Jimmy Carter who set the standard of weakness in the face of Iran’s aggression. The mullahs have learned that they can get away with anything, and they’ve been doing exactly that for 40 years. After the Baghdad embassy invasion, they taunted Trump on Twitter, saying “You can’t do anything.” So he did something.

    It will take far more than this to change Iran’s behavior. The old line that “if you shoot at a King, you must kill him” applies here, just as much as it does in the impeachment of Trump. 2020 was already shaping up to be an “annus horribilis” in politics; it may well be one for the Middle East, too. We will see how much Trump’s tightened sanctions may or may not have limited Iran’s ability to strike, and how well that plays at home in light of the protests in Iran.

  • Phill O

    Arm chair politics: Limited critical information.

    Dianne, I think you have depicted the source of the weakness with J. Carter, in that the USA was shown to be ineffective in countering terrorism. However, those short comings were seen and there was action to remedy, in that, special forces were better integrated and significant practice in operations were put in place. Well, at least, as seen from this person with limited intelligence.

    Bob, you have many good arguments, but depicting the Bushes as total disasters might be overly critical. My wife was reading CR’s book,”No Higher Honer”, and asked the question “What Benghazi would have looked liked if Condi had of been secretary of state then?. History has shown that the invasion of Iraq was maybe not the best for the USA. However, reading the book “Germs” give a very clear view of Iraq’s hazard to the world at large, and the threat of other rouge nations or terrorist groups should they acquire the poor-man’s WMD.

    Bush Jr. took action after 9/11 and targeted the country housing Bin Laden. Bush senior kept a fragile coalition together and freed Kuwait.

    Regan confronted the USSR. Even B. Clinton took action to prepare America for the new age of biological weapons. When one considers the affects from nuclear and biological weapons, I see a scaringly similarity to biblical end time prophesy.

    Consider Obama’s entering a sovereign nation to take out Bin Laden. The MSM did not go after him, to as great an extent, for future escalation of hostilities. Yet, if one measures Obama’s stance on Iran, he seemed to me on Iran’s side, not America’s. I wonder how much of those Iranians funds ended up with him. The dems and their MSM seem to me to be unfairly criticizing Trump’s actions. Maybe there is much which goes on behind closed doors and the dems are secretly giving a thumbs up, but there rhetoric seems to be splitting the country more and more each day.

    Divide we fall! Trudeau is proving that with his attacks on Canadian oil and support of Saudi oil in terms of carbon taxes. He, like his buddy Obama, forcefully targets his political opponents in his own country while supporting foreign nations. Certainly both can be characterized as a divisive leader. Trump seems more interested in the welfare of his citizens than his pocketbook.

    One thing I am certain of is that WE do not have all the information.

  • Edward_2

    Lee S
    January 3, 2020 at 5:00 am

    > Even as a socialist I consider Iran to be one of the biggest threats in the world

    As a Socialist, you’re in good company with National Socialists and Soviet Socialists.

  • Lee S

    Edward_2,
    I’m not a nazi or a communist, as if you have ever read some of my comments you would realise.
    I don’t understand what baseless insults add to the conversation.

  • Lee S: What Edward_2 noted was neither baseless nor an insult. He was merely pointing out a fact, that the central policy positions of both the Nazis and the communists were proudly socialist, and that both movements had far more in common with the left than the right.

    That this disturbs you is good. You might want to think about it.

  • Steve H.

    I’m amused by the talking heads commentators asking: “What is the end game here?”

    End game indeed, as if the killing of a rabid dog requires an endgame!

  • Cotour

    “Trump is a morally bankrupt ego maniac”, So says Ron Howard, Hollywood director.

    https://dailycaller.com/2020/01/02/ron-howard-bashes-trump-golden-globes/

    What Ron Howard and most all others do not get is that to be successful in Washington D.C. that is exactly what you have to be. Many elected officials in Wash D.C. are without doubt egomaniacs, and their faux morality becomes what in the end makes them frauds, posers and liars and threatens our entire country and system.

    Mr. Howard has left out one key thing, that in Trumps “egomaniacal moral bankruptcy” Trump is unwaveringly and genuinely very pro American and American interests and that is what makes him a stand out related to other weak kneed politicians who bend to others agendas, its the absolute key to his success. And no apologies. That is how you connect to the core zeitgeist of the American people.

    And this has been my core point beginning the day Trump made that escalator ride and I understood he was serious. And it has taken a while for others to get that essential point, but many do now.

    I know this is counter intuitive to most, but when attempting to understand Washington D.C. and what really goes on there I have learned this is the proper way to view things and politicians. Pedestrian realm morality has no place in Washington, you deceive yourself when you apply your morality where it does not belong. And this is why phony posers like Hillary, Sanders, Warren, Booker etc. will never be president.

    Like calling an apple an orange, and your allergic to citrus.

    But you keep eating that orange anyway.

  • Lee s

    @ both Bob and Edward…. I’m have no inclination to start some kind of slanging match, but I have stated my position here many times…. and acctually agree with the consensus of this thread.
    It actually speaks to your ignorence to class me in the same group as Communists and Nazis. I advocate for higher taxes and more social welfare. This makes me neither Communist nor Nazi. You Bob, have expressed supprise every time I agree with you and most of the readers here, regarding my absolute advocation for free speech, and my belief in the free market.
    My politics are to the left of yours… This does not make me some kind of monster… And the clue to the actual meaning of socialism is in the word… Google “social”
    My grandfather died fighting Nazis, and I grew up during the cold war, much closer to the USSR than you guys…. I have zero love for either regime. You might like to have a good think yourselves regarding the fact that a more left wing society is possible without falling into either camp.
    Bob, You explicitly state that insults are not allowed here, and if being tarred with the same brush as Nazis and Soviet Communists is not an insult, you have a strange definition of insult. I am not triggered, I am not a snowflake, I am willing to defend my corner, politics and world view. I just don’t like being classed as something I am not.
    ( And really…. What the heck does all this have to do with an evil man getting blown up…. ?)

  • Lee S: You do not understand. No one was saying you are a Nazi or a communist. The point is that those movements had much of their basis in socialist concepts, and when you call yourself a socialist you have to recognize this fact, even if the socialism you advocate has little to do with what the Nazis or communists ended up doing.

  • Cotour

    The problem with fully realized Socialism which you seem to promote is that it knows no bounds and in time will descend into Communism. Plain and simple, Lee S.

    What exists to counter balance this absolute tendency of Socialism and Socialist doctrine? Nothing. And that is why to begin in the capitalist model where personal freedom is paramount is the better way to begin, and then you can decide degrees of Social policies and dial up or down as determined. But as determined by who becomes the issue.

    And that is why where you live is actually a Capitalist system that chooses degrees of Socialism and is not really a full blown Socialist doctrine model. There in lies your only hope when things tend to spiral out of control and the government must confiscate everything in order to fulfill the “equality” that you see as essential.

    Its a more dark and weak road ultimately.

  • Lee S

    @ Bob…. I see your point… And even agree with you in many respects…. I think the problem is once again a language problem…. My use of the words “socialist”, and “left” seem much more toxic and extreamists to you guys over there than they mean here.
    @Cotour….. I have already told you I don’t need a lecture in politics… I live in a much more “socialist” country than you do. I would much rather live here than in the USA. That’s it…. I understand the politics and advantages and disadvantages to both systems…. I choose this one… Yes it’s a capitalist based country… Yes everyone in a free country lives under an essentially capitalist system, but the country I choose to live and raise my children in is way to the left of yours…. Not the loony left, fascist society you have in your mind….
    I like it…. Feel free to like yours…

  • Lee S

    As a final word… Before I return to teaching my kids poker… ( It don’t get more capitalist than that…. Especially if I end up taking their pocket money off them!)
    Edward 2 said “As a Socialist, you’re in good company with National Socialists and Soviet Socialists.”….. If saying I’m in the good company of Nazis and Communists is not painting me with the same brush… Well I’m not as good at the English as we thought I will…
    ;-)

  • Cotour

    I was just drawing the distinction between a full blown Socialist model where the government is mandated to confiscate wealth and the peoples freedoms in the name of “equality”, and a model where degrees of Socialist programs and initiatives can be chosen. I the one will always descend into that dark place, and the other at least has a chance to my thinking.

    No lecture.

    And another point, none of us are really free, we are “free” depending within which model we exist. Whether by choice or happenstance.

    I wish you and your family well in the coming year.

  • Calvin Dodge

    Robert, remember that you doubted Trump’s word when he promised to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. I think he has a better handle on this than you think he does.

  • Calvin Dodge: My skepticism of Trump fulfilling this campaign promise (to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem) was based on sad experience. No president since Eisenhower, from either party, has made much effort to do what they promised once in office. On this particular issue both Bushes lied when they said they would do it.

    However, Trump today ranks in a remarkable position. He has clearly made an effort to follow through on every campaign promise he made, from immigration to Israel to the EPA to regulation. This makes him unique as a politician in my lifetime.

    I still have doubts about his philosophical grounding. His practical grounding however is matchless, which is why his actiions in the Middle East have been overall so effective.

  • Ian C.

    Lee, you sound more like a social democrat (higher taxes and more redistribution). And poker isn’t capitalism, don’t tell your kids that nonsense. :)

  • Lee S

    I love this place…… I can get a real good natured argument with people I like…. ( I’m not sure about Edward 2… But I will give the benefit of the doubt..)…. ;-)
    I agree with the US’s taking out of an architect of violence against the west… I also like higher taxes and more social benefits.
    Call me what you like… ( I will take communist over Nazi…. I once punched a Nazi… He tried to intimidate me in his trench coat and swastikas… He didn’t know I am English, not Swedish..)
    I am what and who I am…. And I am pleased not everyone agrees with me.. life would be boring, and we would learn nothing if we were all the same…
    Let’s all hope for a happy and peaceful new year…. It’s a dubious start… But we can all hope!

  • Lee S

    Ian C….. Perhaps you have nailed it….
    “Social democrat”…. I have no idea regarding the difference between this and my “socialist” definition … But your comment seems to be along the lines I believe in.
    Thank you! Perhaps I have a better idea how to describe myself on USAcentric forums without being called a commie or fascist….

  • Lee S

    Thank you!

  • Cotour

    The term “Democrat Socialist” and the term “Progressive” in America are synonyms with little differences, they both are word and term manipulations of the Left that both mean Socialist. All focused on lulling the young and politically naïve and uninitiated into thinking they are somehow accomplishing something of value.

    And that is not in fact what those master manipulators who craft these terms mean at all, its just a way of indoctrinating the young and politically naïve and forcing those in the Democrat party to support their agenda and candidates. In other words both terms are frauds and lies.

  • Ian C.

    Cotour, “democratic socialist” and “social democrat” aren’t the same in Europe and I want to treat Lee’s positions with fairness. The first believes in a soft flavor of totalitarian collectivism with a mostly planned economy. The second is center-left with a mixed economy (i.e. market economy and state-owned businesses) and a focus on regulation and redistribution.
    Socialists and communists hate social democrats in the same way that vegans hate vegetarians. Lee is probably in many issues closer to us than the collectivist gulag gang.

  • Cotour

    Lee S said that he was confused as to how Americans defined the term “Democrat Socialist”. These terms are Alynskiesque and clandestine ways of manipulating the English language. In other words a political psyops in order to control a segment of the populous in regards to their proxy.

    Psyops: Psychological operations are operations to convey selected information and indicators to audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.

  • Ian C.

    Cotour, I missed Lee’s question regarding that. I agree, “democratic socialist” and “progressive” is practically the same (now).

  • Lee s

    Guys…. What is so hard to understand that I live in a democratic country, we pay more in taxes than you do, but we have much more of a social “safety net” as we call it, than you do. You can critisize it as much as you like…. I could call out all the problems with the US also… It’s not like your country is flawless.. but I like it here… It has a massively higher tax rate than you would ever expect to pay, but we have a massively higher standard of social care…
    What’s the problem? I like living here… You like living there… I don’t critisize your social system, so why do you hate mine so much… They both work well enough that we are all alive… ( And I like it here)
    I could critique the US system to the end of time, as you could the socialist system here in Scandinavia…. At the end of the day we all get the government the people voted for…… And the government I live under is ok by me…. I also think it’s both wrong, and a little egotistic from such a young country to think they have the perfect system…. Democracy has been bouncing around Scandinavia and Europe for over a thousand years… Your few hundred years seems like an eye blink…. Go to London and look where parliament was sitting before any European set foot on your beloved land.
    Please do me the favour of not thinking I’m some sort of idiot… I DO get the American mentality… I dated a girl from there for years… And have nothing but respect for her, and the residents of the once prosperous, but now poverty stricken city…. We can have different viewpoints… And we do… But please, do we have to both be wrong?….

  • Ian C.

    Lee, I now assume that you’re just a troll (I like trolls) who loves to play the “dumbo Mericans.” I bet you’re posting from mom’s basement in a Chicago suburb.

  • Cotour

    Sweden Government: The politics of Sweden take place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic constitutional monarchy. Executive power is exercised by the government, led by the Prime Minister of Sweden. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament, elected within a multi-party system. The Judiciary is independent, appointed by the government and employed until retirement. Sweden is formally a monarchy with a king holding symbolic power.

    Sweden Economics: Sweden is a competitive and highly liberalized, open market economy. The vast majority of Swedish enterprises are privately owned and market-oriented, combined with a strong welfare state involving transfer payments involving up to three-fifths of GDP. In 2014 the percent of national wealth owned by the government was 24%.

    Lee S: You live in a capitalist country / Democracy and the choices that are made as to social programs are more Liberal. You do not live in a Socialist country. There IMO is a distinction to be made.

    Socialism: Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership of the means of production and workers’ self-management as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership can be public, collective or cooperative ownership, or citizen ownership of equity. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, with social ownership being the common element shared by its various forms.

    The main difference being the private ownership of the means of production as opposed to Social ownership of the means of production. Norway I believe is similar, a Capitalist system that chooses Liberal Social programs. And there in lies your only hope of salvation when it all begins to run out of control.

  • Ian C. Nope, Lee S. is in Sweden, and of English birth. Has been posting here for awhile. He just doesn’t like it when people note the intellectual and historical links between his democratic socialism and hard socialism and communism and fascism, as real as they are.

    This is not to say that Sweden is any of those bad things. They have avoided those pitfalls, so far. The links however are real, and should not be ignored if one wants to guarantee that you will avoid those bad things, in the future.

  • Ian C.

    Bob, my comment was meant as a cheeky remark, at least the mom’s basement part. But honestly, how can this not be an intentional (funny) provocation? Knowing “the” American mentality from one data point (a girlfriend) and having visited some of America’s rural areas? Or the insistence that because Europe is longer settled by Europeans than America, that Americans have no mature ideas on how to run societies? Calling himself a communist (above), knowing how conservatives react to this? If all this is genuine, it’s so… so… Swedish!

  • Dick Eagleson

    Trump’s extermination of a few high-ranking Iranian and allied cockroaches was, in my view, an unalloyed Good Thing.

    As for what will come of that, the ball is pretty much back in Iran’s court. Iran may well choose to do little or nothing but spout the usual Death to America rhetoric in response. Should that prove true, the Iran problem, and all of its subordinate problems in the Mideast, will continue and Trump would, it seems, be most likely to accept this situation, at least until Iran nerves itself up to attempting another provocation – which it always eventually seems to do.

    It is unclear exactly how much latitude the leaders of Iran think they have to absorb this latest riposte from the U.S. without further consequential action. Iran is not in good shape and neither is its regime. Historically, it has often been when things are getting worse that dictatorial regimes choose to embark on aggressive external adventures as a way of distracting domestic attention from the decaying status quo. Argentina’s erstwhile ruling junta followed this script to their ultimate doom by provoking the Falklands War with the U.K. in the early 80’s.

    If Iran chooses to up the ante by, for example, striking a U.S. base with missiles and drones, then Trump will likely choose to smash the Iranian state apparat and military. This could be done quite thoroughly and comprehensively via a few day’s worth of heavy airstrikes. Perhaps that would weaken the regime sufficiently to allow its detailed overthrow and replacement by a domestic uprising. Or perhaps not.

    But if Trump should choose only to bomb from the air until Iran is reduced to a military nonentity and not to actually conquer Iran on the ground as well and stand on it, the can will have simply been kicked down the road. Absent continued U.S. presence, an overthrown Islamic Republic of Iran could easily morph into something even less appetizing – some form of Shia ISIS perhaps.

    Again, this is hardly unprecedented in history. ISIS, itself, is a very recent such example. The long-running messes in Somalia and Libya also come to mind. Reaching back into the 18th century there was the transition from the idealistic French Revolution into the Terror which gave rise to Napoleon.

    I’ve already outlined my preferred approach to actually fixing the Mideast via a quick conquest and a lengthy occupation/social transformation in a comment I placed a few days ago on ZimmerBob’s post about the attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. If the Iranians are so incautious as to do something additional that would provoke the U.S. to destroy its regime, one of the first necessary steps toward implementing my solution would result.

    But the U.S. has stupided away short-term victories before and Trump might well do so for an additional time even if for reasons rather different that those of his feckless predecessors. Given Trump’s undoubted allegiance to America’s best interests, however, there would be at least a modest chance he might be induced to see that America’s long-term interests require a long-term solution. Who knows?

    About other matters off the main topic here, but the subject of the majority of comments, I would first observe that the term Democratic Socialist as used by Americans who so self-identify is decidedly not equivalent to the term Social Democrat as used in much of Western Europe. American Democratic Socialists are, in the main, looking to use democracy to achieve power after which their program is mandatory socialism with democracy of any meaningful sort to be cast aside if its preservation would threaten the socialism – which it would. In Europe, Social Democrats support pretty much what our correspondent Lee S does – a democratic, free-market rule-of-law social order with high taxes and an extensive welfare state apparat. Some, including many in Europe and even more here in the U.S., tend to think of this as socialism, but it’s really not, even if, as in the Scandinavian countries, there is a certain amount of state-owned industry in the mix.

    As to Sweden, in particular, it can be fairly described, in many ways, as currently existing in a state of late decadence. It is a Blanche Dubois of a country, having long relied on the kindness of strangers. It can afford its welfare statism – more or less – for several reasons, none of which is compatible with its long-term survival as a nation-state:

    1) Declining and aging native population. As with the rest of Western Europe, Sweden is on a long-term slide to demographic oblivion. The declining younger population is just barely large enough to support the growing percentage that is older and retired, but both will continue to dwindle to whatever the ill-defined point is at which a population falls below the point where it can support the institutions of a nation-state.

    In recent years, Sweden has indulged a mostly disastrous policy of attempting to bolster its population via immigration. Unfortunately, Sweden’s experience with population shifts has mostly, historically, been as a supplier of immigrants elsewhere – mainly the U.S. It’s experiment with importing large numbers of unassimilated and unassimilable Muslim tribal barbarians from the Maghreb countries has been pretty much a complete disaster. The vast majority of these people are net consumers of Swedish welfare state benefits, not contributors to them. Crime, especially rape, has also skyrocketed. If Sweden doesn’t act to reverse this bit of well-intentioned but disastrous idiocy fairly soon, our ex-pat Brit, Lee S, may soon find himself a dhimmi in the Islamic Republic of Sweden. I don’t think he will like that anywhere near as much as he seems to enjoy his current circumstances.

    2) National defense has been de facto out-sourced. Even though not a NATO member, Sweden’s national integrity has been effectively guaranteed by the U.S. since the end of WW2. Trump is currently beating on the deadbeat nations within NATO to meet their obligations as they have mostly failed to do since the demise of the Soviet Union 30 years ago. Sweden, not being, and never having been, a NATO member, will continue to benefit collaterally while contributing little or nothing toward its own effective defense. What defense industry Sweden still has seems to exist mostly for the dirigiste social purpose of preserving industrial jobs rather than to materially defend the country.

    3) Ability to benefit from medical research and advances developed elsewhere and paid for by the domestic U.S. market. It’s not true that all medical research and drug discovery of consequence takes place in the U.S., but even that done elsewhere does so mainly because the U.S. market allows virtually all the worldwide profits that drive this process to be generated here rather than in the various single-payer, price-controlled healthcare nations of Western Europe and elsewhere.

    As an American, I suppose I should resent this but I don’t because I hope to live longer as a result of the whole process and if I have to drag along a bunch of deadbeat Europeans too, it’s not too high a price to pay – especially given that there are fewer of them every year and more Americans.

    So I can afford to chuckle indulgently at the silly leftist ideas of our earnest Lee S. I don’t regard living in Sweden as much of a life, but it seems that someone has to do it and Lee S is at least a volunteer.

    I can’t afford to take quite such an indulgent attitude toward fellow citizens of my own nation who are similarly deluded and actually get to vote here.

  • wayne

    Dick–
    Great stuff!
    It’s an absolute pleasure to read your writing’s!
    (Har…”a Blanche Dubois of a country,” that sir, is pure genius!)

    Dinesh D’Souza
    “Socialism and the Scandinavian illusion”
    Chapman University
    December 3, 2019
    https://youtu.be/2uS8A0TVE9A
    1:32:46

  • wayne

    Jocko Willink / Rudyard Kipling / Akira the Don
    “IF”
    https://youtu.be/F5yQLOv3oPQ
    4:35

  • Andrew_W

    And what will America do if the propaganda war in Iraq results in American forces and interests being asked to leave the country by the Iraqi government?

  • Ian C.

    Dick E.,

    Couple of remarks. Perhaps useful.

    I see you talking about the US intervening in the Middle East, but if America is attacked (by Iran), wouldn’t that be a NATO case (and the NATO member states received their share of Iran-sponsored terrorism in the past, so its in their interest to solve that issue)? And what about the two other main states in that region with vital interests in a transformation of Iran, that is Israel and Saudi Arabia? Why only put American lives (and money) on the line for something all the others have an interest in solving as well? And wouldn’t it also send a message to Russia and China?

    Regarding occupying and transforming MENA states, we should take the demographic situations and projections of the individual states into account. Iran’s fertility rate is on Western levels and we can expect hostilities to shrink over time, an occupation and transformation could work. Instead Iraq’s fertility rate is double of that, in some areas even three times. The entire MENA region is rather young, has still high fertility rates, and thus a huge demographic pressure. The youth bulge (leading to internal conflicts/civil wars or expansionist wars) is predicted to either grow out or bleed out mostly in the 2030s.

    It makes little sense to occupy demographically virulent areas and risk Western single children (or single sons) soldiers (whose deaths mark the end of a family each time) while the local population can throw three or four brothers into the fight and their families continue to exist. Bad deal, not fair or useful. There’s no peace until population stock and (socioeconomic) carrying capacity are in harmony. That’s among the main reasons why the Arab Spring didn’t lead to peace and democracy and all that; whether they slaughter each other in the name of democracy or Islam makes no difference. We could rather aim to raise the (economic) carrying capacity by providing jobs and business opportunities while militarily containing the MENA states (so that their populations and conflicts don’t spill over) until they’re demographically more stable.

    Long-term occupations would also bind our resources for pacifying a difficult area while we need to prepare for the massive demographic expansion of central Africa, e.g. Ethiopia and Nigeria. We have yet to see what China’s involvement in Africa will mean for the West and need to remain flexible and responsive.

    And as Trump retweeted recently, the important battles of the future aren’t at the Turkish-Syrian border but the oceans, Asia, and space.

  • wayne

    I for one, don’t want to occupy any inch of the middle east, nor do I wish to enslave any of them, nor take their stuff, I do however, want them to Go Away.
    All the way.
    Back to the 9th century, by any means sufficient.
    First up, the ruling elite in Iran, need to all die, and their infrastructure needs to be turned into rubble.

  • Lee S

    Good morning guys. 9 am here in the terrible pinko commie land of Sweden… We have all had a sleep in after a late night of teaching the young ones poker…
    @Dick… quote “I can afford to chuckle indulgently at the silly leftist ideas of our earnest Lee S. I don’t regard living in Sweden as much of a life, but it seems that someone has to do it and Lee S is at least a volunteer.”
    You don’t regard living in Sweden as much of a life? Could you you be any more wrong and also condescending?
    I also live in a country with democracy and free speech… I live in an area with a high immigrant population… I am just one more.. and believe me, my kids are as safe here as anywhere in Sweden or your golden USofA. I respect the locals as people, they respect me, and coming from an area in the UK with a huge Indian population, I know it takes a generation before the population becomes fully integrated…
    You can all babble on about how I am wrong, and you are all right , but I have boots in the ground here… And I still like it… I have not just visited my ex-girlfriend in the US… I have also visited an old school friend several times… If spending time in North Carolina and west Virginia is not the genuine American experience, then please tell me where to go next?
    You all have a twisted idea about how it is to live in a more social democracy… It’s not that bad… I choose to live here… My children are getting a great education, and will not be burdened with a lifetime of debt when leaving said education system… Indeed, they will be prepared for a life anywhere in the world they should choose to live… Perhaps here, perhaps there, ( your country is, after all, built on immigrants… The lot of you are descended from immigrants) , but please… Do not try and tell me how bad the situation is where I live.. I acctually live here, and I’m telling you the truth. I would rather live here than in your wonderful, flawless, shining USA…
    If any one of you critics of the country I choose to live in has ever been here ( that includes you Bob) and can tell me why I am wrong, why Sweden is going to the dogs, why civilization is going to collapse, etc, etc… Then feel free to elaborate… I do not want your style of governance, this country does not want your style of governance, keep it over there, but please respect our “socialist” system…. You can live in your world, but what right do you have to criticize mine?

  • Lee S

    And to be fair… I still don’t understand how this thread descended into yet another attack on me and my country of choice, when I actually agree for once with your war mongering. The guy needed to be taken out, and you did it….
    Well done. You did the world a solid favour… Why this has all turned into a critique of me and where I choose to live is beyond me… But I’m very disappointed by being branded in the same boat as Nazis AND communists, and that you Bob, feel that that is ok. I am neither. It seems that the good people who comment here, including our host, feel it’s fine to sling mud, just as long as it’s not in your direction.

  • wayne

    {Parody Alert}
    {Some Adult Content}

    Sweden Welcomes Trump
    “America First, Sweden Second”
    https://youtu.be/KoVGB4l8Yqk
    3:52

  • wayne

    “Swedes in America”
    As Told by….Ingrid Bergman
    US National Archive
    https://youtu.be/FK6T4aaJoto
    17:17

  • Mike Borgelt

    ““Trump is a morally bankrupt ego maniac”, So says Ron Howard, Hollywood director.”

    Don John of America (h/t G. K. Chesterton) saw the coming disaster and decided to fight for his children, grandchildren and country.

    I wish we had his like in Australia.

    I’ve seen my last Ron Howard movie.

  • Questioner-2

    No more fallen American soldiers for wrong wars sparked by Neoconservatives.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KguRxcHpOL8&t=320s

  • commodude

    This war has been ongoing since 1979 in active form, and has its genesis long before that.

    This is the first President in a while who’s actually attacked the root rather than trying to prune the branches.

  • Lee s

    Soz…. But I rarely click on YouTube links … Life is too short for sitting through a video of someone else’s ideas to get a point of view across…. I prefer to express my own thoughts and ideas myself.

  • commodude

    Lee, Finally something we can agree on.

  • Cotour

    Once again, people are thinking incorrectly, unpredictability, as this French ambassador points out, is actually a powerful asset. (In reality they are just refusing to recognize something different that they must adapt to, real American leadership)

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/u-killing-soleimani-leaves-trump-050002273.html?guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9kcnVkZ2VyZXBvcnQuY29tLw&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAHYEjwtrnqD69ilL-3jWreG6e430YOALh9KLtGgBFFl13xuWiEyfgiClqcWvZj4LuMNCBwzhmYqOhxjqdeTmkxjd7mWD45c5sukUQ0avBbQeAFzCfwtwHbTTLj91PeNxW_osEIdZHKcXnepkC2AQ1HWAzrLJp5WOBEhb9k-Vr41z&_guc_consent_skip=1578165083

    “The Americans are now totally unpredictable,” Gerard Araud, a former French ambassador to the U.S. and the United Nations, said in an interview. “There was no response to Iranian attacks against oil tankers, a U.S. drone and Saudi oil fields, but out of the blue comes this surprising hit on Soleimani. We are depending on the unpredictable reaction of one man.”

    Yes, a Socialist / Globalist, French ambassador would want total predictability in all things American.

    Trump actually is very predictable. If he sees the potential that his fellow Americans lives might be at risk, military or otherwise, which he clearly understands is his sole responsibility, he is willing to take decisive and even deadly action. If you blow up a machine or some oil pipe lines and no American has lost their lives, its just stuff. Very clear, very predictable, Trumps message is simple.

    Trumps simple and uncomplex mode of operation, I.E. the carrot and the stick, is very different than the second guessing hand wringers who have in the past 30 years inhabited the White House and were willing to allow Americans to die without much consequence for those who acted against us. And it is effective.

    Trump who I have stated before is a savant of sorts related to these types of things has a little switch in his head, and its best not to monkey with it. If he perceives you as an active adversary or a threat and he can justify some kind of attack against you, gird your loins. Especially when he is the president of the United States and has at his finger tips the levers of real power. Instead of suing and not paying a contractor for a job he was not happy with, with justification he can have now have delivered a 1000 lb tomahawk missile from a thousand miles away through your bathroom window while your on the throne. It has to make those who wish violence and ill to America to become quite paranoid.

    Lesson learned hopefully.

    Is there risk? There is risk in all things. But when as the president of the United States you have clearly sent out to the world the clear message that there will be real and potentially deadly consequences to dark and deadly actions taken against our country then that IMO is a job well done. MAGA

  • commodude

    I still wonder why a an Iranian Terrorist felt secure enough to fly through Iraq.

    The question shouldn’t be why we killed him, the question that needs to be asked is why was he allowed in Iraq to begin with?

  • Questioner-2

    What America did is a clear act of war! Unlike the imaginary treason in Ukraine this is actually an act worthy of impeachment. NEVER was approved by Congress! Orangeman is now a war criminal!!

    The US just won’t let itself leave the Middle East. Too many interests making too much $$ off the military industrial complex….the US tax payer and boot soldier pays the price.

    Btw, if America do go to war with Iran, Ben Shapiro will be the first to enlist in the army!

  • pzatchok

    ” commodude
    January 4, 2020 at 1:25 pm

    I still wonder why a an Iranian Terrorist felt secure enough to fly through Iraq.

    The question shouldn’t be why we killed him, the question that needs to be asked is why was he allowed in Iraq to begin with?”

    The prefect question. And I have no answer.

    As for the reason Trump did nothing when Iran attacked our drones and shipping the gulf. Many civilian lives were at risk of Iranian retaliation if he over reacted. We only had a limited amount of ships in the area and would have needed to destroy a lot of land based assets of Iran to ensure civilian safety. That much destruction would have led to a definite war.
    Wrong place wrong time.

    This attack on the general of their secret insurgent service was a surgical hit that never broke Iranian boarders of sovereignty.

    This attack just told all the leaders of Iran “Don’t leave your nation unless you want the same.” And definitively don’t go into a war zone.

    There us nothing random about Trumps handling of the middle east.

  • pzatchok

    Questioner-2

    Trump or any president for that matter does not need congresses permission. Never did.
    the president had FULL right to send in 10,000 troops for up to 90 days before informing congress of his intentions.
    They can agree with him and declare war, or agree with him and keep funding his operation without increasing the forces or they can cut off ALL funding sources he has to continue the operation.

    The democrats saying he didn’t have permission know this full well and are just making political BS hay about it. And you fell for their lie.

    As for leaving the middle east. It wouldn’t matter to the radical Muslims anyways. Like Iran they want Jews and America to leave the planet not just the middle east. Nothing will stop their rhetoric and ginned up hatred.
    But go ahead and do what they want out of fear. Because if you do what they want now, you will forever be doing what they want.

  • pzatchok

    As for Sweden, in the grand scheme of things that nation is irrelevant to history anymore.
    If it went full Democracy or full Dictatorship what would matter? They refuse to have influence in the world anymore.

    Its the perfect place for people who are happy being in the middle, safe and in the middle. Never sticking their necks out by leading. No longer in the race even. Just claiming they are better than last place.

    Lead, follow or get out of the way.
    They got out of the way many many years ago. And are just to proud to follow.

  • Carl

    With the US no longer dependent on oil from the middle east, what are its interests in the middle east at this point?

    I remember once reading that American grand strategy calls for preventing any single power from dominating Eurasia. (Whether it be Germany, Russia, China, etc.)

    Other than that long term strategic need, does America have any short term interests in the middle east?

  • commodude

    Carl,

    Our continued dalliance in the Middle East is for two reasons:

    1)Israel, our one ally in the region

    2)Ensuring the continuous supply of oil for Europe, as Europe’s oil price affects the world’s prices.

    We have no “grand strategy”, as our political system eliminates strategy from our foreign policy vernacular with the exception of imminent, multi-generational threats like the Soviet Union.

  • Cotour

    At some point in the evolution of any civilization / culture I suppose you become too civilized, too refined and too Liberal to stoop to the dirty business of leadership. I suppose that is the Swedes of today, very nice people tough.

    The one problem however remains, there are others in the world who are not as refined and civilized as you and either want what you have or just can not tolerate your existence for a variety of reasons. And they, much like the Democrats of today, will do just about anything to take it away from you and kill you in the bargain.

    And that is fine, but you do not provide the means of your own extinction.

  • Questioner-2: Your one week suspension is over. I have removed the block on your old isp, as well as your original nickname. Please return to using those.

  • Edward

    Lee S,
    You wrote: “My use of the words “socialist”, and “left” seem much more toxic and extreamists to you guys over there than they mean here.

    “Left” means left of center. Socialist is a little more left than that. In America today, the Democrats, the usual left, have moved much farther left than socialism and are deep into communism — if not farther to the left than that. Even the NAZIs weren’t that far left. It is hard to keep up with how far the Democrats are on any given day, because they move farther left with greater speed each day. Which explains A.O.C. as well as this silly pseudo impeachment charade being used to overturn an election and our once-peaceful transition of power.

    I don’t critisize your social system, so why do you hate mine so much…

    You don’t criticize it, because you favor it. We criticize it because it is terrible.

    Well, I’m tired. I will comment more tomorrow.

  • wayne

    Hajj Qasem = Heinrich Himmler
    Quds Force = Schutzstaffel (S.S.)

    I have zero problem with reducing Iran to ashes.
    No boots-on-the-ground, no regime-change, don’t want their worthless stuff, nor do I wish to enslave them—I just want them all, to die.

  • Ian C.

    wayne, genociding an oppressed people instead of creating conditions for its liberation, isn’t that a bit un-American? I mean, at least in spirit?

  • Questioner

    Wayne said:

    “I have zero problem with reducing Iran to ashes. …. I just want them all, to die.”

    Who is the Nazi here? (Btw, I think this approach is the usual way of the US empire!)

    In addition, I believe that t is not in America’s interest to generate, by such dumb and illegal action as just seen, hatred and rejection in a large, important region that is dominated by Islam.

    From a geopolitical and a real-political point of view, I would even say that a good relationship with Iran (more as 3000 years of great history; a former huge Empire) should be more important for America as with any other country in region in the long run, despite who rules in Iran.

    The whole talk of “exporting liberal democracy and liberty”, which is expressed with a religious sense of mission, mostly presented by Neocons, is just too ridiculous and over the edge. It does not fit to real world. It reminds me very much of the Soviet Union, which wanted to put its ideology of an utopia on the rest of the world by force and deception, with similar devastating consequences.

  • Questioner: In the case of Wayne’s comments I heartily agree with you. The solution to any issue is never wholesale genocide, which is what Wayne here advocates. It discredits him for proposing it.

    As for what will happen in the Middle East, it remains unclear. I do know if Iraq asks us to leave, than we should do so, without a second thought. Let them stew in their own self-made disaster.

  • wayne

    Ian C–
    The Iranians have been at war with us since 1979. That’s 40 years of their endless, non-stop, crap-o-la. Its a made up country run by religious nuts, bent on acquiring nuclear weapons, and who chant death to America on a daily basis.
    Exactly which of them, are oppressed? Exactly which of them are willing to rise up and drag their ayatollahs into the street and shoot them in the face? None of them, apparently. Oh well.

  • wayne

    Q:
    Which of our enemies are we allowed to kill?
    How many of our enemies are we allowed to kill?
    How much infrastructure are we allowed to destroy?

    What exactly is the cut-off point, for killing our enemies and destroying their infrastructure?

  • Phill O

    To put things in perspective What would the dems do if Trump
    1 Took out Osama in a foreign country
    2 Acted like Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis
    3 Collaborated with Stalin during WW2
    4 Any other action taken by great leaders
    5 Attacked an occupied Falkland Islands
    Either the dems have PTSD {Post Trump Senile Disorder} (they hate him unconditionally)
    or they have financial ties to the Iranian regime fostered by the Obama admin.

    If one notices, the Trudeau regime has basically supported the assassination. Trudeau’s backing is eastern Canada which relies heavily on Saudi oil (at the expense of western Canada)

  • Phill O

    Wayne You forget the Iranian desire for biological weapons. They now have the expertise from Iraq to develop not just the “oldie moldies”, but the recombinant bugs (GMO).

  • Mitch S

    Yesterday my teenage daughter had an urgent question: “Dad, what’s a draft? Everyone is saying there is going to be a war and a draft”.
    I explained to her what is going on, and that Trump having Soleimani killed is not very different than when Obama had BinLaden killed. The difference is that Trump is a Republican so instead of the press praising and celebrating him, they criticize and sow panic.
    Why was Soleimani in Iraq? To plan further anti-American acts and consolidate Shia control of the country.
    “Why was he allowed into Iraq?”
    Because (as had been predicted in 2003 – and I have to give Biden some credit here) Iraq is mostly controlled by Iran leaning Shia groups.

    I disagree with Dick Eagleston regarding occupation and Westernization.
    It sounds great but it just doesn’t work.
    It’s that thinking that caused GW Bush and company to get us into this mess both in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    We confuse the Mid-East with WWII Germany and Japan but there are major differences.
    The Nazis and the military imperialists in Japan were new to their countrie’s culture. When those regimes brought their countries to ruin the people were quick to dump them and move on with a Westernization that had begun before the war.
    Islam has been following a path of dominance and conquest for centuries. If one Islamist regime brings the country to ruin, the people will dump the regime but will not give up on Islam.
    Any appearance of westernization in the Mid-East has been imposed by regimes (the Shah in Iran, Sadaam in Iraq, The Saud family in Arabia) – there is not a grass roots desire.
    So when we got rid of Sadaam Hussein we were not welcomed as liberators, there was no organized connected group of Iraqi “founding fathers” ready to lead the country as a united westernized democracy. The place just broke up into groups of Sunni, Shia and Kurdish tribes and the country became a battleground between Saudi Arabian backed Sunnis and Iranian backed Shias.

    Our policy should have been and should be simple. “Mess with us and we’ll smash you, otherwise do your thing”.
    We should have gone into Afghanistan and killed BinLaden (not leave it to Afghan forces in a silly attempt to establish a pro-western Afghan military). Then we should have left Afghanistan even though women are treated poorly and there is no gay marriage or transsexual rights.
    Regarding Iraq we should have followed the wisdom of GHW Bush and left it alone with the same warning.

  • Ian C.

    wayne,

    Iran killed plenty of its own people for deviation from the ideology, be it politcal opposition or just lifestyle. I remember the reports of various smaller protests and uprisings that were brutally oppressed in recent years. I remember plenty of reports from exile Iranians and messages on Internet forums (before Internet access was reduced or blocked for Iranian citizens in the course over the last 15 years) that showed a population that to significant parts is unhappy with the theocratic regime and practices day-to-day opposition and carves out little spaces of individual freedom. Below the veil of Islamic oppression lives a Persian culture of smart, educated, civilized people.

    I feel silly for pointing out the obvious, but not all Iranians are religious extremists who hate America and Israel. Not all Russians were Communists. Not all Germans were Nazis. But it’s so incredibly difficult for atomized individuals or groups to oppose a totalitarian police state that we rarely see successes. The Germans needed liberation. The Soviet Union imploded–with enough external push from the US. Now what are the options for Iranian liberation? (No, it’s not our responsibility to liberate Iran as such, but if the conflict gets hotter, those questions need to be asked. And your solutions looks a bit simplistic and unworkable to me.)

    Mitch,

    I hope that I’m right here, but I think that the MENA region was to large degrees Western-friendly in the 20th century, until their demographic pressure kicked in and violent thoughts started to emerge. Until then their flavor of Islam was rather moderate and many had secular (to Socialist) leanings. Radical Islam catched on in recent decades.

  • Questioner

    Dear America,

    you already own half a continent. Well, I don’t envy you. But please, that should be enough (if not, I have a suggestion later, see below).

    Please leave the rest of the world alone! No world policeman! No petrodollar! No more wars and military actions!

    Nobody needs your “help”. Certainly not your military, but also not your immeasurably superior “culture” (Hollywood, pornography, fast food, gay marriage, globo-homo-pop culture ….).

    But you know what, we are generous! We – the rest of the world – give you the entire planet Mars. Do what you want there, like testing some beautiful new weapons,, or detonate a nice nuclear bomb here and there (Elon Musk would be happy). Try out uncovered currencies and print money without end. But no export to planet Earth allowed!

    Who knows, you may find your destiny and missionary fulfillment there (you know, the thing with the shiny city on the hill and all that stuff). So get ready to go and release the world! You will get Mars for free from us. Elon Musk is already to start. Sorry, but asking for the Moon in addition would be a little too much, don’t you think?

  • Mitch S

    The MENA region in the 20th century was first controlled by the Ottomans, then the British and French, then split into various states that have been ruled by various monarchies, dictators, and strongmen.
    Post WWII the overarching power of the US and USSR dampened thoughts of greater conquest other than the goal to eliminate Israel. And some of those rulers were adept at playing the US and USSR against each other and making deals that suited them.
    I do have some hope that Iranians will kick out the mullahs and replace them with something better (Iran/Persia is a real nation unlike Iraq) but it should be remembered it was the Iranian populace who ejected the Western-friendly Shah.
    To think we could occupy the place and get them to accept a ruler(s) put in place by us or those seen as our puppets is unrealistic.

    Generally US MENA policy in the 20th century was to make deals with whoever ran the place to protect Western interests (the flow of oil) and block Soviet infiltration (until the end of the USSR).
    Not a perfect situation, or one that elevated the people in the region, but overall a policy that worked.
    A moral crusade is not a practical foreign policy (crusades were tried in the ME…).

  • Ian C.

    Questioner,

    Are you really sure you will and can exist peacefully in a post-American world? With “the rest?” I might add the “nice and peaceful” rest?
    And to grant someone Mars, you need to be able to own it in the first place, otherwise your generosity is empty. And asking for the Moon? Come and take it. Kek.

    Mitch,

    In general I agree. Just two things.
    (1) The fellas who kicked out the Shah were Islamists and (secular) Socialists (who, like today’s lefties, thought they could coexist with the Islamists) and that was 40 years ago; I don’t want to be naive and bleeding heart and all that, but I think there should be pragmatic considerations for non-hostile long-term relations. It would be good for the region I hope.
    (2) I’m not talking about moral or pushing Western value systems on them. But if the West has to occupy a country in the region, Iran’s fertility is low enough that no sustainable aggressive push should exist to repeat the disaster from Iraq. Other countries there are a no-go. Such an occupation, if it has to occur, would allow them to build a new government and to come to less hostile relationships with their neighbors.

  • Cotour

    Questioner:

    America with all of its warts and perversions is still vastly superior to what would certainly replace us. Vastly.

    And if the now Leftist oriented Democrats ever take control again you may get your wish. And then God help you and everyone else.

    Mars may begin to sound pretty good.

    But there is one point when I hear the likes of Musk going on about inhabiting Mars and even terra forming it. Mars has no magnetic field and that one thing as I understand it is why it no longer has an atmosphere of any consequence, all blown away by the solar wind. Earth without a magnetic field would be exactly like Mars, a waste land and no life could be supported.

    Literal pie in the sky.

  • Ian C.

    Cotour, I think to have read that the absence of the magnetic field would let the (newly) terraformed atmosphere escape over thousands of years. From a practical point of view, that would be quite okay for a start.

  • Questioner

    Cotour:

    Yes, not everything is bad in America. Some things are even very good. Mostly that which has nothing to do with politics and “religious missions”.

    Many of the “small” Americans (not the system or the elite) are great. This man in the following video who owns a small construction business is an excellent example. He is extremely imaginative and pragmatic when it comes to solving difficult practical problems. He can (almost always) help himself and his customers. He is an example of one of America’s strengths. By the way, enjoy his videos. Watching his videos is like meditation to me.

    Moving a building

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mm8wXuvKW4&t=262s

  • Cotour

    And where exactly does this “New” atmosphere appear from in some timely manner? How is it coaxed from the planet en masse?

    And still the UV radiation that an ozone layer would protect one from does not exist and it would continue to fall uninterrupted upon Mars, and the magnetic field that directs the solar wind around the earth does not exist on Mars.

    I just do not see what Musk proposes, terra forming, to be an attainable in any reasonable time frame, if at all. Other than habitats and possibly living underground.

    And I am certain that there is plenty that I do not understand here.

  • Ian C.

    Cotour,

    Living in habitats and underground will be in any case how it starts. Terraforming, I’m not terribly interested in it, though what I learned is that a human-compatible atmosphere would build in the lower regions only, thus most of the hills and mountains would still remain pure(ish) Martian. Predictions are from hundreds to several ten thousands years, my hand-waving guesstimate is that it can be done in less than 200 years (the lower regions thing). Never underestimate what future technologies can accomplish/amplify.

    There are proposals for artificial magnetospheres. But I’ve no clue and no certainty here.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terraforming_of_Mars#Protecting_the_atmosphere

  • Questioner

    Cotour and Ian:

    https://www.nasa.gov/pressemitteilung/goddard/2018/mars-terraforming

    We don’t have enough knowledge about Mars’ C02 inventory. It could not be enough there to build the required atmospheric pressure. See link above.

    Another problem: Mars lacks nitrogen, which could later be used as the main component of the atmosphere and also needs the flora. Large concentrations of CO2 are toxic to humans, even if sufficient oxygen is supplied.

    Another problem: the Mars axis of rotation is not stable, in a period over of millions of years. Its inclination can change significantly (up to about 60 degrees!).

  • Cotour

    Questioner:

    To my main point, the stability and freedom as it exists of the entire planet, like it or not, today depends on a full blooded America. As bad and obnoxious as we all are.

    Have no doubt, and take the good with the bad.

    Ask yourself who fills the void if there were no or was a neutered America? You answer that question and get back to me.

  • Questioner

    I forgot to add this important link, which contains that important, often forgotten fact, which I mentioned in my comment above.

    Changes in Tilt of Mars’ Axis

    https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia15095.html

  • Cotour

    That is one tall order for terra forming Mars, but never say never I suppose.

    And then again I would also suppose that in 50?, 100 years? 200 years?, there will be “humans” that will have no need for air or a magnetic field to protect them from any harsh solar winds or UV rays ?????

    Its just a waiting game then.

  • Questioner

    Cotour:

    I define the desirable word “freedom “negatively, namely as freedom from constraints by other forces. I’m sorry, but this can only be achieved through our own sovereignty. Own sovereignty is lowest for European (and some other) countries under the rule of the United States. I believe that in a multi-polar world that we are obviously heading for (US dominance is coming to an end), there are more opportunities for the peoples of Europe to maintain their own cultural and ethnic identity in this regard.

    Therefore, China’s gain in power in cooperation with Russia is good for European countries. As already said, unlike your country, China will not rule us and dissolve us in every respect. Of course, the European states that work together in a new alliance beyond today’s communist, dying EU, must have their own real military strength to replace US “protection”. NATO is obsolete.

  • Questioner: There is one unstated concept that permeates the video you link to which explains “America’s strengths.” It also permeates American culture so deeply that we incorporated it into our founding documents. I call it the forgotten word because we today take it so much for granted that we rarely refer to it directly. Yet that word remains fundamental to what this man was able to achieve, and it is what differentiates America from every other country ever founded anywhere else.

    That word is freedom. Europe has never understood it, a fact that explains why so many fled that place to come to America. Europe’s lack of faith in freedom is also why they had to come to us three times in the 20th century to save them from dictators, fascists, and communists.

    It is why the U.S. always leads in innovation and creativity. Our culture and laws still celebrate freedom and the idea that each person should be allowed to freely follow their dreams, with the only limitation being that dream should not limit or injury anyone else.

    Other cultures might have their nice aspects, but I will take freedom over those aspects anytime. And it appears that ordinary people worldwide agree, both in their desperate wish to come here and their strong desire to adopt American values in their own countries.

  • commodude

    Anyone who thinks that China and Russia (traditional, centuries old adversaries who both have cultural memories which go back as far as their enmity) will cooperate beyond surface cooperation to aid espionage between the countries is beyond naive.

    The United States doesn’t, and with the exception of brief moments after WW2, has never “ruled” other sovereign nations in Europe.

    Questioner is living in a fantasy world as false and vile as the antisemitic dog whistles which pervade his or her posts.

  • Cotour

    Questioner:

    I like this one ” Of course, the European states that work together in a new alliance beyond today’s communist, dying EU, must have their own real military strength to replace US “protection”.

    The EU could not put any tenable fighting force together without the leadership of the U.S., not for one second.

    You sound like a very nice man.

    Are we Americans obnoxious? Yes, I can’t stand myself sometime. But your interpretation of the reality of this situation is abysmal and is not rational, a childish dream.

    The Chinese are just waiting for the Globalists to take over and they will without doubt come to dominate and run your lives without the full blooded leadership of America, and that is the reality on planet earth today, and tomorrow and for the foreseeable future. Freedom, you say? Look into what freedom is like in China today, look up the “Social rating system” in China, now that is a freedom wake up call.

    ” the European states that work together in a new alliance”.

    That’s a good one. And who would lead this “New alliance”? Would it lead from Brussels? Sweden? Germany? Please.

  • Edward

    Lee S,
    You wrote: “ so why do you hate mine so much… They both work well enough that we are all alive… ( And I like it here)

    We dislike your system because it does not work without depending upon our hard work being taken from us and given to your system. From each according to his ability, and we have quite a bit of ability. To each according to his need, and you have quite a bit of need, because your system does not foster as much productivity as our system.

    You like it there because you do not have to work as hard or as smart as we do in order to get more for your work. We dislike your system because we could have lived better if we were allowed to keep more of what we produce rather than being forced to donate to your lifestyle.

    I keep telling you this, and you keep denying it, because you think that you work hard enough and that your high taxes pay for everything that you get, but your system is inefficient, so you don’t get as much for your money as we get for ours in our more efficient system. Our efficiency comes from the very improvements that cause the disruptions that you have complained about. Instead of everything here being static (everyone keeps his job forever), improvements result in changes that increase our productivity (people sometimes have to find jobs in which they are more efficient, unless they improve their efficiency in their existing jobs).

    Engineers, like me, tend to think that change is bad, but we acknowledge that change is good when something is either broken or inefficient. This is why free market capitalism continuously improves and socialism remains static and why each socialist country quickly becomes obsolete.

    And the government I live under is ok by me…

    You keep saying this, and I keep agreeing with you. Of course it is OK with you; you don’t have to work so hard, and your ersatz parents (the government) assure you that they will always take care of you. You need not become independent or take the scary step of leaving the safety of the nest, because the government likes you to stay dependent in their nest.

    Under socialism, there are two types of people, the parental-types who lead the populace, and the child-types who follow the leaders. However, the leaders do not have faith in your ability to run your own lives, so they run your lives for you.

    I could critique the US system to the end of time

    Oh. My. God. You mean that free market capitalism isn’t perfect? Who knew?

    Oh, yeah. We did. We live it and see the flaws and that the benefits outweigh the flaws. We also have live with creeping socialism taking the place of free market capitalism, and we see that the flaws of socialism outweigh the benefits. Unless you don’t want to grow up, in which case socialism is OK at taking care of you. The rest of us are better at taking care of ourselves, but then we have spent decades learning what we want and how to get it.
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1341188/quotes/qt1509902

    Lisa: So I was just wondering if there was one general thing that you’ve found over the years to be generally true in a general way that would help anyone in any situation?

    Psychiatrist: That’s a great question, yes, I would say figure out what you want and learn how to ask for it.

    Lisa: OK. Those are both really hard.

    Sure, it is hard, but being able and willing to do the hard things are what makes a grownup.

    I also think it’s both wrong, and a little egotistic from such a young country to think they have the perfect system….

    We think we have a perfect system rather than think we have a working system? Wow. Thank you for telling me what we think. Or are you merely projecting your own thoughts about your system onto us?

    Democracy has been bouncing around Scandinavia and Europe for over a thousand years…

    But isn’t that disingenuous on your part? Your system is younger than ours, so isn’t it a little egotistic to think that your system is perfect?

    Maybe yours is a thousand years old, but we have a republic (“if you can keep it”), and the republic government system over two thousand years old. So according to you, your democracy is the youngster. Especially since your Europe was ruled by monarchs for 90% of the thousand years that you claim that it was democratic. Once again, America’s Constitution is older than yours. You just refuse to get that fact, speaking of you not getting things, like the American mentality:

    Please do me the favour of not thinking I’m some sort of idiot… I DO get the American mentality…

    Virtually everything that you say demonstrates that you do not get the American mentality. Maybe you have some idea of what your ex-girlfriend thought, but you are missing what the rest of us think.

    But please, do we have to both be wrong?

    No. I am willing to allow you to be wrong while the rest of us are not. Your socialist system does not work, even when the right people use it. Our free market capitalism system works even when China’s communist government uses it or when India’s socialist government uses it.

    Your inability to get it suggests that either you do not use your head but use your heart (as in life is easy when others pay for it), or that Ian C. is right and that you just like to troll us. Either way, I am OK with your failed arguments, because I get your lifestyle and understand why you like it. I am OK with your possible trolling, because it helps me to firm up my position on the successful free market capitalism over the failed socialism. Thank you.

    If any one of you critics of the country I choose to live in has ever been here ( that includes you Bob) and can tell me why I am wrong, why Sweden is going to the dogs, why civilization is going to collapse, etc, etc… Then feel free to elaborate…

    We have. You refuse to listen to or accept our elaborations.

    I’m very disappointed by being branded in the same boat as Nazis AND communists

    As previously explained to you, socialism, communism, and the NAZIs (Nationalist Socialist German Worker’s Party) are all left wing. Some farther left than others. You are in the same boat, whether you want to be or not.

    And to be fair… I still don’t understand how this thread descended into yet another attack on me and my country of choice

    You brought it up by bragging that you are a socialist. No one here opened up his comment on Iran by bragging about being a free market capitalist, Democrat, or Republican.

    You have complained that we disagree with you, but you continue to argue your system’s benefit, which seems to be exactly one thing: you like it. That is nice, but it is hardly convincing, because we understand why you like it, and not only is it not for us, but your system relies heavily upon our system in order to remain as viable as it has been. We understand that, too. Even Karl Marx said that socialism’s very existence relies upon free market capitalism.

    Questioner
    You wrote: “Dear America, … Please leave the rest of the world alone! No world policeman! No petrodollar! No more wars and military actions!

    What? We are no longer allowed to protect our citizens, our embassies, or our country? Are you complaining that Australia owns an entire continent, not just half of one?

  • pzatchok

    A bit off topic. (half the thread is anyways)

    I was wondering a little today.

    Since a few people think the Russian government is as good as the American one.
    Equate the Central and Western areas of the early 1800’s US to the Russian step and Siberian tundra of today.
    If Russia opened up those vast areas to free settlement, who in this modern world world be willing to move there and homestead and if not, why?

    I have a few ideas of who would homestead and why but I will keep those ideas to myself until I get a few good answers.

  • pzatchok

    I got this idea from the TV show about those gold miners.

    They were having a year ending wrap up interview show and the host asked if any of them would like to go someplace other than Alaska to dig for gold.
    South America came up with severe reservations about the drug problems and the lower 48 was mentioned but they agreed to many regulations and water problems.
    When the host mentioned Siberia as possibly having huge amounts of gold to a man they all looked at each other and agreed no way. Not for all the gold.
    Now why would they turn down so much easy wealth?

  • Ian C.

    pzatchok,

    I investigated Russian business options years ago. Here are my findings.

    The Russian system provides no strong rule of law and property rights. What you have and do (once it crosses a threshold) needs to be “coordinated” with local, corrupt oligarchs in political power or their lower-ranking friends in the political/public administration and with underpaid and corrupt policemen who otherwise harass you for fun and profit. Russian business people work under the constant threat that the state will somehow tamper with them, close their business “for reasons” or make it hard for them until they “coordinate.” More so for foreign business people.
    You need to have connections for opportunities and protection. The whole thing is opaque and arbitrary. I’m perhaps overemphasizing the downsides though and most of the time nothing happens.

    So if this kind of rule extends to the new settlement areas (and even if only in spirit and as a threat that will get you later once things are developed), I’d rather not.

    Assume that we’d colonize the Moon, one half each under American and Russian administration. I’d choose the American one even if the on-site conditions were more difficult.
    Modulo the usual inefficiencies and injustices every developed system has (including being prone to regulatory capture and being used by political interests), I’d know that — in general — I can rely on property rights, rule of law, civil liberties. And a specific spirit or mentality shared by most of the fellas around me that emphasizes individual freedom and risk-taking. I wouldn’t expect any of this in the Russian parts.

    If things develop well, we’d see oligopolies and they’d use their might to protect their interests, but I could still challenge them. Most of the ingredients are under my control (I could freely associate with others, try to acquire the necessary capital, source suppliers, and find customers). If it fails, it would be rather caused by the natural difficulties of doing business, only to lesser degrees because of regulation and political protection. I would expect that most of this were way harder or outright impossible in the Russian parts.

    My hierarchy of which system I prefer (on Earth or beyond): America > (UK >) Europe > China > Russia. While China and Russia are both statist and collectivist, China is expanding while Russia is imploding, which makes it more nasty.

  • Phill O

    Salamader’s replacement has finally showed Iran’s end game in a recent statement; this, we all knew was true, just not as openly spoken.

    ““And we will continue our path towards a global rule by our Imam.””

  • wayne

    Phill O
    apparently, their so-called ‘constitution’ is filled with similar rantings, which have been state policy for 40 years.

    pivoting….

    Victor Davis Hanson –
    “Restoring American Deterrence” snippet
    Hillsdale College 2017
    https://youtu.be/ELNRzhdfwlA
    4:11

  • Questioner

    Here is a nice, compelling compilation of the logic of the US Empire’s foreign policy. A practical instruction.

    https://swprs.files.wordpress.com/2018/05/us-foreign-policy-hd.png

  • Cotour

    Questioner:

    And your point is?

  • pzatchok

    Ian C.

    The only large group of settlers I can see moving into Siberia would be the Chinese. But only if the Chinese government subsidized them and found a way to supply them from China instead of making them rely on Russia.
    Eventually this could turn into a “Crimea” situation for Russia with the Chinese moving in to protect Chinese peoples.
    Would Russia be able to stop China?

  • Lee S

    @Edward, just an idea, but you might get your point across a bit better if you condensed your posts into a few paragraphs.
    From what I can draw from skim reading your effort at war and peace length literature, I am wrong… Because USA, freedom, you paying for my lifestyle, I know nothing about the American mentality, and, erm… Socialism? ( That’s European, democratic socialism, not American NAZI socialism… There is a difference… Which should give you a clue something is wrong over there that isn’t wrong here).
    Keep repeating to yourself that your beloved USofA is so much better than any other country while the rest of us just shake our head at… Hmmm… The inaction over the Flint water supply.. ( they are poor and black, and it’s not the government’s job to help save the kids there from brain damage ), all the gun deaths, the massive rates of poverty, the need ( as you, or someone else here pointed out) of the church to supply social care… We are mostly athiest here, your readiness to drag more warlike countries than Sweden into unnecessary wars, ( although you will find Swedish medics in all war theatres, but they don’t carry guns, so they don’t count ), the lack of investment in areas that have lost industry, ( not the government’s job…. The people should look after themselves… See above…)…
    I have never claimed the socialist, or is it left wing, or is it liberal socialist?, Or social liberalism?, (Or whatever the heck you call our system which is to the left of yours, but WAY to the right of your FAR left idiots…) Is perfect … But neither is yours…. And I am just left scratching my head when we have a fair democratic system here… Which I thought you guys were all about ( you have started enough wars in the name of democracy), yet all you have is critisizem of the system I CHOOSE to live under….???

  • Lee S

    You may not like it, and you may enjoy living in your little USA bubble…. But most of the world would rather poke needles in their eyes than live under the same system than the USA. Harsh, and unfortunate for you… But true.
    And just to make you ( and most other readers, and probably our host) apoplectic, Finland is contemplating introducing a 4 day working week… Apparently trials so far have shown a net increase in productivity, and a reduction in sick days…
    Oh, I forgot to mention healthcare… Over the Yule period I’ve been diagnosed with my 3rd chronic sickness…. If I was over there I probably wouldn’t even be able to afford my insulin, let alone my heart and mental health medicine…. I know you believe it’s not your fault, or responsibly to support me, but my fellow countrymen and myself feel a social responsibility to support when we can, and take when we need… Higher taxes, higher social care… It’s not “free”, as your strange idea of health insurance is not free..don’t for one second think your premium doesn’t reflect the amount your not paying for the sick who have the same insurance company as you…. You are. It’s just we extend that to a country, that we love and are proud of.. not just those that can afford it.

  • Cotour

    Too funny, Lee S you in reality live within our very large American bubble.

    Without the U.S. you are done, and that is how flipped you have your interpretation of what in fact is going on. And why is it that you can think in these upside down terms? The freedom that America provides for you.

    Something to ponder, reality.

    Too, too funny.

  • Cotour

    Although Sweden is not a NATO member it still exists under its umbrella.

    “Summary and Definition: NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was formed at Washington, D.C. on April 4, 1949 and originally comprised of 12 member nations consisting of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States. NATO was established during the Cold War to create a mutual defense pact aimed at containing possible Soviet aggression and blocking Soviet expansion into Europe. NATO soon expanded its membership to include Greece, Turkey and West Germany during the Cold War which resulted in the Soviets forming its own defense organization known as the Warsaw Pact. Later members of NATO were Spain, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania and Croatia. NATO continues to play an important role in post-Cold War Europe.”

    From the end of WW11 to today most of the free world is as it is because of the “Little” Bubble of American leadership in the world.

    It is what it is, and you should edumacate yourself as to what it is that in fact allows you your freedoms and choices. And I wish you and your family only the best, no matter where you choose to live. And remember, that choice is again a function of the “Little” American Bubble.

    And remember, neither Russia nor China for that matter are for one second concerned about your freedoms and choices. Not for one second.

  • Questioner

    Cotour:

    You’re right. It’s pretty boring to show facts with dry charts. But I know help. I have something entertaining, a nice distraction song, but not without good content. That means “The Neocon Song”, easy to find on Youtube. It is very funny! Just detected it.

    Meanwhile, we may review the important question: “Will Trump give neocons their war with Iran?” together with the Ron Paul institute.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuYSY1GJh-E

  • Cotour

    I do not believe that this Solamani action will lead to formal warfare.

    What it may lead to is a surgical disassembly of the Iranian ruling class and its ability to launch war if they continue their aggressive ways. Which I do not believe that the majority of the people in Iran would be opposed to.

    Think about what Trump has transmitted to the enemies of America in the middle East. We can find and track you and neutralize you if we determine that you are a threat. Up close or from a thousand miles away. The Iranians have the ability to strike out with assassinations and such, but a full blown war with America? Not recommended IMO.

    The stark difference between the Obama administration and the Trump administration is dramatic.

    The one attempted to appease and bow down and bend over by giving Iran $150 Billions of dollars and even $1.8 billion in un marked U.S. cash on pallets in return for their “agreement” to the Iran nuclear deal. (Quid pro quo if there ever was) A deal / agreement that should have been a treaty but was never presented as such to the Senate by Obama and his Swift Boat Secretary Of State Kerry because it was soooo stupid and anti and un American that they knew it could never be passed. The deal guaranteed that the Iranians would in ten years have nuclear weapons, and America was to protect Iran if they were attack while they were developing them. WHAT?

    And the other that says very succinctly that there will be consequences for actions taken. And then delivers. Who wants to be on that list?

    And with that model its all up to Iran as to what actually goes down, choose wisely.

  • Questioner

    Cotour:

    It’s a bit of a shame that you didn’t listen to the statements from the director of the Ron Paul Institute in the linked video. I can hardly add anything there. Did you at least listen to the song? :-)

    Did you see the millions of mourners at the funeral? Such stupid actions, which Trump ordered on the advice of the three, well-known men who funded his election campaign at large, lead to solidarity within the Iranian people rather than a split. I do not see how the American people can benefit from this aggressive attitude towards Iran at all. This murder will help also strengthen the alliance between Russia, Iran, and China, as well as other countries that do not like being dominate by America.

    Please forget about this false and stupid, neo-conservative ideology of exporting Americas’ liberal system of “Globo-homo” to other grown and much older cultures that don’t need your kind support.

    Trump has forgotten his original main slogan: “America First”. His actions may only other countries in the region and America is only second.

  • Cotour

    America First means America first, and everything will follow as a natural function of that simple axiom.

    You forget that America is the evolution, the next step of the “Much Older” cultures that you cite, and you would all be speaking German (Wait, you already speak German) or Russian without Americas evolution and unique abilities as a function of our Constitution.

    Yeah, and if you did not show up in the streets of Iran it was noted, not a list you want to get on. Just like the Iraquis demand America leave their country, you don’t want to get on the list of those who do not want the Americans to leave either.

    On balance the world is a better place because America is what it is rather than it just go home and leave everyone to their own devices.

  • Cotour

    Millions of mourners?

    https://dailycaller.com/2020/01/06/msnbc-katy-tur-iran-soleimani-funeral/

    “Don’t take what you are seeing at face value”

  • wayne

    Himmler Commits Suicide
    May 23, 1945
    https://youtu.be/Sd7f2-ZyY28
    1:01

  • pzatchok

    Questioner

    When you use the term ‘neo-conservative’ do you mean the democrats who moved right and endorsed the civil rights movement, racial integration and Martin Luther King Jr. Basically finally got on board with the Republicans who since Lincoln supported equal rights.
    Or the democrats of the 50’s and 60’s who agreed in try to stop the expansion of communism?

    And since 1980 who are these ‘new’ conservatives your referring to and how are they new? I do not see any liberals turning conservative in any numbers.

    I think people for the most part just use it as an insult to try to keep defectors on the old plantation.

  • Questioner

    Cotour:

    Don’t be fooled by lies and overlook the obvious.

    LIVE: Burial of Iran’s Quds Force General Soleimani in his home town Kerman

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0i163LOKpg

  • wayne

    The Quds Force is the Iranian S.S.
    It’s been declared a terrorist organization by the United States. The provide security for the mullahs, run major sectors of the economy, and control the secret police.

    In the Alternate Universe, the town of Kerman, would be saturation bombed, and there would be no survivors.

    pzatchok — in this situation, what Questioner means by ‘neocons,’ is code for the Jews

  • Cotour

    Questioner:

    Trumps actions in this Solameini event are just a function of his read and judgement related to this particular situation, its one of the results of an American election. All elections have consequences in America. Trump or any president imprints their own interpretation on the job. Obama chose the path of weakness and to pander to and to grossly enrich these Iranian operators, and that has proven to have been a failure and possibly treason IMO. Trump chooses the path of strength.

    That being said, think about what the Mulahs are thinking right now. Trump has the power to surgically disassemble their infrastructure and has demonstrated that he is willing to use it in the extreme where none others were, and he is totally unpredictable. He is predictable in his unpredictability. But he clearly states what his goals and aspirations are. Trump communicates in no uncertain terms.

    Will the Mulahs take some form of action? Probably, but IMO it will be very measured and more symbolic than devastating designed to save face rather than to start an all out war. Why?

    See above.

    Love Trump or hate Trump he is without doubt a monkey wrench in the status quo politics that have been practiced in America and the world for the past 30 years. And that is a good thing, not a bad thing.

    I know it is difficult for the more Leftist / EU German mind to absorb these concepts, but there they are all the same.

  • wayne

    Victor Davis Hanson
    “Nationalism Good and Bad: Lessons from History”
    Hillsdale College
    October 2019
    https://youtu.be/h1o4BAyd7GU
    59:45

  • pzatchok

    Questioner

    ” lead to solidarity within the Iranian people rather than a split.”
    You must think that the whole of the USA is united every day you see a crowd at a sports game.

    Iran is the case of removing the head of the snake will work. You just have to keep removing each new head until no more pop out to take control.
    Until then each head just orders deserters and rebels to be killed.

  • Questioner

    Cotour:

    It’s really nice that you drop your mask here and reveal the ugly face of the imperial US superiority and arrogance of power behind it. Of course, I disagree with you, namely that US dominance has made the world a better place. No, on the contrary, the scale now tends to the negative side. I will explain this to you later using a lot of details (I don’t have much time today) in a comment. But I have already said something here about the apparent decadence and decay of Western civilizations, mainly due to the bad influences from America. But it doesn’t just affect the western one. However, other civilizations, such as the Islamic one, which is still vital, react more strongly against those bad influences than the life-weary European societies.

    Finally, I want to quote analogous the true conservative American Jew Paul E. Gottfried: It is a recipe for a universal and ongoing war if America tries to spread its praised universal values ​​to the whole world.

  • Cotour

    Mask? What mask? I think I am and have been exceptionally honest and forth coming in every post that I make here. I have been hiding nothing from you or anyone else. So your beginning premise is misleading and not based in truth. I can only imagine where you are going from here.

    And still, warts and all, Americas influence in the world is much more productive and from my point of view much better than the “Vital Islamic” civilizations point of view, however weary you become of it. Conclusion? Its just best not to find yourself on the wrong side of the equation, and I find nothing wrong with that kind of thinking. I am not obliged to accommodate you and your proposed chaos.

    Which I believe if you took a few minutes to think about it is the entire point of Mr. Gottfried, American, Conservative Jew’s point. Don’t SCREW with America. The first “Vital” Muslims to understand that reality were the Tripoli pirates, the ones that thought it a good idea to highjack American ships in 1801. And new president, Thomas Jefferson, thought much like Trump and sent a strong message to them by having the Marines sail over there and kill as many of them as they could find.

    Problem solved.

    Just another president who chose a different path. Just my personal opinion.

    I think we understand you much better now and from what perspective you come. And as long as you are sitting around a camp fire in the middle of the desert resting against your camel and complaining to your fellow travelers, I again have no problem with that. Its when you become empowered, and begin to think much like the Tripoli pirates and begin to attempt to export your particular brand of “Freedom” to the world, that is when I have a problem with it.

    At least with Trump we know what is what, and I appreciate that. Don’t you?

  • Edward

    Lee S,
    You wrote: “but you might get your point across a bit better if you condensed your posts into a few paragraphs. From what I can draw from skim reading your effort at war and peace length literature …

    Thank you for your suggestion. I have tried that in recent months, only to end up with people, such as you, confused as to my point. Counterintuitively, your suggestion is counterproductive. You may want to try reading more carefully rather than skimming. Your comprehension may improve.

    Because you are skimming, again, let me repeat that in hopes that you will get the point:

    You may want to try reading more carefully rather than skimming. Your comprehension may improve.

    Please go back and start reading again, more carefully this time.

    You have complained about being misquoted, so I include your quotes to make sure I do not do that to you. Unfortunately, this adds to my lengthy literature. Thank you for your complaint.

    I like the part where you are so disinterested that you only bother to “skim” my comments. Thank you for your attention. After all, I am responding to your own comments. One would expect that you made your comments in earnest and have enough faith in them to defend them from criticism. Unless you are just trolling and don’t actually like living where you have chosen to live and don’t really support socialism or democracy.

    American NAZI socialism…

    Very humorous. You complained when we noted that NAZIs are socialists, thinking that we compared you with them, but you turn around and actually call we Americans NAZIs. Thank you for your insult.

    Keep repeating to yourself that your beloved USofA is so much better than any other country while the rest of us just shake our head at… Hmmm…

    Hmmm. I have evidence that more people want to come to the U.S. of A. than want to go to your beloved Sweden. You may want to look up the immigration numbers. I would post them here, but you would likely just skim over them anyway. Or choose to not believe them. Also, if you have to look them up, you may find them more believable and may remember them better.

    Just because you chose Sweden does not mean that everyone else would choose it. You project your own feelings and thinking onto others without considering how they actuallyfeel or think.

    The inaction over the Flint water supply.. ( they are poor and black, and it’s not the government’s job to help save the kids there from brain damage )

    Flint is run by Democrats, who are very deep into socialism. Therefore, leftists are responsible for the problem, responsible for the inaction, and are the ones who think that it is not the government’s job to save the children. Another point against socialism. Thank you for bringing it up.

    all the gun deaths, the massive rates of poverty,

    These also are most common in Democratic run regions of America. Yet another point against socialism. Thank you for pointing it out.

    the need ( as you, or someone else here pointed out) of the church to supply social care…

    It is virtuous to voluntarily give charity to those who are unable to be productive, because it is in the best interest of all involved for the needy to become productive, and this type of charity encourages the needy to get back on their feet. However, charity that is forced by the government is not charity at all, and it ends up becoming a governmental empire that benefits from keeping the needy needy, and such empires are virtually impossible to remove. Government welfare breeds permanent poverty.

    Swedes not being charitable enough so that the Swedish government takes the role of ersatz parent is not a sign of a good attitude, over there. Perhaps your atheism is the reason for the lack of voluntary charity. Atheism is a faith (unorganized religion) I just can’t get behind, for this and for other reasons.

    I have never claimed the socialist, or is it left wing, or is it liberal socialist?, Or social liberalism?, (Or whatever the heck you call our system which is to the left of yours, but WAY to the right of your FAR left idiots…) Is perfect … But neither is yours…

    But wait. You talk to me as though you think I believe free market capitalism is perfect, yet I, too, never made any such claim. You talk as though socialism is perfect — not just better than any other system yet devised — which is why you choose to live there.

    I do claim that free market capitalism is better than any other system yet devised — and most definitely better than socialism. I have centuries of evidence proving it, including the attempt at socialism by the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony. Your system is a continuous failure, and my system is a continuous success. Marx admitted that socialism needs capitalism for its existence, but no one has even suggested that free market capitalism needs any other system in order to succeed.

    Indeed, I have shown how your socialism is a drag on my free market capitalism and how your lifestyle is improved by America’s contribution to it. You’re welcome. You just choose not to believe it. Thank you for your unwillingness to learn how your lifestyle drags down mine.

    And I am just left scratching my head when we have a fair democratic system here…

    I have been very specific about disagreeing with your socialist system, and I have not mentioned anything about disagreeing with any democratic system. Thank you for mischaracterizing me — especially after you complained about being misquoted.

    you have started enough wars in the name of democracy

    Actually, the United Nations or other countries request our help in stopping conflicts, then leftists declare that it is we Americans who are the aggressors. Sometimes we are attacked, so you seem to also think that we Americans are not allowed to defend ourselves or that defense by America is aggression by definition. Thank you for mischaracterizing the United States. But then, you couldn’t make many points without such mischaracterizations, so that is to be expected, I suppose.

    But if we are defending democracy, a system which you seem to favor, then why do you say that we should now stop defending it?

    If the United States is not allowed to defend democracy, is Sweden ready to take that role, or is Sweden’s democracy doomed due to lack of defense against all those who would destroy it?

    all you have is critisizem of the system I CHOOSE to live under….???

    Correct. You got one right. I have explained before why you make such a choice and that I understand your choice, but adding to the length of this comment, by reexplaining it, would only result in you skimming the comment (yet again), not getting it (yet again), and complaining about the length of my comment (yet again). Once again, you are welcome (for my country’s contribution to your chosen easy-living lifestyle). I’m glad that you enjoy living in your Swedish bubble. It makes America’s sacrifice worth something.

    But most of the world would rather poke needles in their eyes than live under the same system than the USA.

    Maybe so, but perhaps that is because they would rather receive the benefits of free market capitalism without the need to do the work. As I have mentioned, governmental welfare, such as the U.S. contributing to the rest of the world’s lifestyle, keeps those receiving the welfare as needy, not as productive. Productivity requires work. You like to brag about how easy your lifestyle is. You’re welcome.

    I feel like the student who does all the work on a group project, yet the rest of the group gets just as much credit.

    And just to make you ( and most other readers, and probably our host) apoplectic, Finland is contemplating introducing a 4 day working week…

    Americans call this “4-40.” Thank you for trying to take credit for something we already introduced here decades ago. Or is it the theft of the credit that is supposed to make us apoplectic?

    If I was over there I probably wouldn’t even be able to afford my insulin, let alone my heart and mental health medicine…. I know you believe it’s not your fault, or responsibly to support me, but my fellow countrymen and myself feel a social responsibility to support when we can, and take when we need…

    You are welcome (for our subsidization of your medication prices). Thank you for finally admitting that we contribute to your lifestyle and your lower medication prices at the expense of our own ability to afford the same medications, but please find the heart to one day thank the U.S. for its contribution to your enjoyable bubble.

    I have been telling you about our support, yet in all these months (or is it years?) you have yet to actually thank me or my fellow Americans for subsidizing you. Up to now you have denied our support. Now that you admit it, you forgot to say “thank you.” I am a little miffed about that.

    don’t for one second think your premium doesn’t reflect the amount your not paying for the sick who have the same insurance company as you….

    I think you said that wrong. Insurance premiums here reflect amounts that are paid to cover not only those insured by the same insurance company but also to cover some of the uninsured (others are able to afford healthcare, so they self-insure) as well as to cover those who skip out on their bills. (My auto insurance even breaks out the “uninsured motorist” amount as a line item on my premium notice.) Without that extra amount, our doctors, hospitals, and clinics would go out of business. Free market capitalism works differently than socialized medicine. Free market capitalism also encourages increased efficiencies and better services.

  • Questioner

    This info may of interest for some reader of this blog.

    Gen. Wesley Clark Reveals Middle East Invasion Was Pre-Planned & Iran is NEXT

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGkSNAHqpJM

    Citation:

    Retired General Wesley Clark revealed to Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman in 2007 the ambitious imperial plans of the Bush-Cheney inner circle.

    … So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you! …

  • Cotour

    Then came Trump.

  • Ian C.

    And he just said in his address that he wants to make a deal. That’s his way. He prefers prosperity for all over violence and destruction. Best president.

    In the media they were calling Trump a loose gun, an isolated nut who’ll set the world on fire. How disappointed must they be now. Bet now they call him weak. Always switching the narrative, always hitting on Trump. Shameful.

  • Questioner

    Cotour:

    Trump can’t do much do, as we just hear , and he’s lying. It is a matter of fact that Iran (especially the murdered General himself) contributed a major part to the defeat of ISIS in contrast to America, which in the end only reluctantly took part in the fight against ISIS. It is a proven fact and is already known to many people that even America has played a major role in the creation of ISIS! McCain played a role in this. That is the truth!

  • wayne

    Victor Davis Hanson –
    “The Father of Us All”
    c-span book tv 2010
    https://youtu.be/ZXEUBmi_om8
    1:07:12

  • Cotour

    Questioner:

    This is the nature of power. (See: S.O.M., Strategy Over Morality)

    An American president and the people who surround him or her develop a policy and strategy to implement that policy, and then they attempt to execute it.

    McCain is dead, I learned to dislike the man, never trusted him because he was nasty and he became desperate. And apparently the Neo con agenda is also dead or dying, and so are some or all of their aspirations and agendas, we move on. And funny enough Trump may well accomplish a great deal of them by default.

    Lets look to a new future because we can to some reliable degree establish that there is now a new agenda, strategy and policy in place. And to be certain the new policy is the exercise of power in a reasonable, measured and benevolent manner. Trump is an example of true leadership in the White House and is not to be confused with the “Leaders” of the past 30 years who were executing other men’s political agendas, all IMO were on the road to delivering us all to the New World Order / One World Government. You know, the model where all “Climate change” is controlled and everything is utopian.

    Trump demonstrates true American leadership, you are just unable to recognize it for what it is.

    And PS, no apologies.

    And that is the path to success in 2020 and beyond.

  • Cotour

    Questioner: In addition, let me introduce you to reality in regards to Iran and the Mulahs.

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a30432841/f-35-elephant-walk/?source=nl&utm_source=nl_pop&utm_medium=email&date=010820&utm_campaign=nl19001903&src=nl

    Reality at an aprox. cost of $200 million a piece.

    These things and others come under the heading of “Things you do not want looking for you”.

  • Questioner

    Cotour:

    Let’s check the reality. In summary, America’s plan to take down that seven countries (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran) has failed. None of these countries are under actual US control today. This shows the limits of the American projection of power. The US empire had peaked and is now declining. A certain period of history comes to an end. No new weapon system can change that. We are witnesses to this process, which will be with Trump’s name forever in later times. Btw, Trump was defeated by Iran today.

    Now America’s moral and cultural corruption of other nations through the spread of sexual perversions, pornography, consumerism, bad food and even worse films should be ended. Btw, I am convinced that there are not many other peoples who are less free in their mind and more uniform than the American people, that is brainwashed and misinformed daily by the elite’s media and which is calmed down by cheap consumer goods, tons of sugar and fat products and by sometimes quite vulgar entertainment.

  • Cotour

    Questioner:

    Chose one power on the planet that you would prefer, perversions and all, to more or less lead the world. Like it or not someone must lead and if its not America it will be someone else.

    There are three choices, and Germany and the EU is not one of them.

    And America does not come to control other country’s it has issues with if you have not noticed, it initially “Interacts” with them and then strives to influences them, rebuild them in fact. Two very different things, make the distinction.

    There are many issues with America, I have issues with America, and still it is America that ensures in many ways your, mine and many others good lives. Sorry, but that is the reality check you are looking for.

    Do you believe that it is “Vital” Islamic leadership that the world needs? Do you really believe that that is where your freedom and good life exists? Really?

  • Edward

    Questioner,
    You wrote: “Gen. Wesley Clark Reveals Middle East Invasion Was Pre-Planned & Iran is NEXT

    Well, that explains the Bush-Cheney invasion of Iran, in 2007.

    Oh, wait. Clark must have been wrong, because Bush didn’t invade Iran.

    Huh. What else have you been wrong about?

    Perhaps you are wrong about “ America’s plan to take down that seven countries,” since we never even tried to do that. So much for “American projection of power” and your fantasy about “The US empire.”

    Btw, Trump was defeated by Iran today.

    Really? A bunch of missiles that blow up some sand is a victory for Iran? That seems pretty easy to do. Why did the Iran-Iraq war take so long? Or every other war, for that matter? Man, when Obama didn’t know what victory looked like, I never envisioned that victory looked like that. Why couldn’t Obama blow up some sand and win his war, too?

    the spread of sexual perversions, pornography, consumerism, bad food and even worse films should be ended.

    There is something we both agree upon. Especially the spread of bad food! Ew.

  • commodude

    Invasion of the Middle East was Pre-Planned?

    Somewhere on a dusty shelf in the Pentagon is a plan to invade Ireland, Moncao, and many other places. Why? Because planning is what the Pentagon DOES, and planning for actions against likely targets are on not-so-dusty shelves.

    We likely have a plan on a shelf somewhere for the invasion of the Bahamas.

  • Andi

    Heck, somewhere we probably have a plan to invade Alabama!

    “And we’ll try to stay serene and calm,
    When Alabama gets the bomb!”

    —- Tom Lehrer

  • wayne

    “ALL HAIL the messiah”
    2008
    https://youtu.be/ot2zahwXF4U
    1:22

    “All hail the messiah
    Obama, Obama.
    The path to the new socialist motherland,
    Our savior, our savior,
    Obama, Obama.
    The leader more famous than Lindsay Lohan.
    Bow down and praise the one,
    Give him your money and your guns.
    Give us a country
    That makes your wife proud.
    lord Barry heal the bitter ones,
    White and Clinging to their faith and guns
    Hope for the change of the hope of the change.”

  • Cotour

    Questioner, who initially thought a Chinese operative turns out to apparently be a transplanted Islamic that would up in Germany. And who looks to the “Vital” Islamic culture to take over and make all right with the world. (That is, only if you are Islamic).

    An idealistic and confused, probably very well indoctrinated child of Mohammad. Sounds much like an American Democrat when you step back and compare the two.

  • Questioner

    Edward:

    Of course, I don’t mean defeated in the direct military sense, but in the political-tactical sense. Iran has chosen its “retaliation” very cleverly. The missiles that were fired looked sufficiently martial to the other Islamic states and peoples, but were not militarily effective to inflict substantial losses on the United States and inciting America to a massive backlash. Iran didn’t want that either. On the contrary, even the United States and the other states that had deployed troops to Iraqi military bases there were warned by Iran, before the country has launched the missiles so that the foreign troops could bring their men to safety.

    Cotour:

    At least, despite the fact that the greatest world terrorist is America, you haven’t lost your sense of humor. I think there are even some points where we could agree. For example, regarding the existence of cultural Marxism (Dr. Gottfried calls him post-Marxism), which determines the thinking and acting of the ruling elite of the West for decades now. Now this cultural Marxism, which try to destroy central conservative values, and also controls the United States, is inevitably enforced in many (other) countries and nations by the (still existing) dominance of the United States. That is a big evil. Do you agree?

    This minister seems to be a very reasonable man and he is right!

    Iran’s foreign minister: Trump prepared to commit war crimes

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyH6QmFmeZE&t=323s

  • Cotour

    Questioner:

    You do not understand the nature of the exercise of power and who the holder of that power at what ever moment in time they hold it operates. They operate generally in their own interests, and that is how things operate in the rational world.

    You just want that power exercised in the interests of the “Valid” Islamic states and in the interests of Islam. Your words not mine. (You sound just like the Democratic party leadership)

    America is a fearsome enemy, but usually a very good former enemy.

    America has dominated the planet for the past 70 or so years, get over it. Why? Because it does not appear that that paradigm will be changing any time soon. And you, although it does not make sense to you, should accept that fact and be grateful for it. That fact has in many ways supported your good life in Germany and affords you your irrational opinion and interpretation.

  • Cotour

    PS: Iran commits war crimes every day of the week, who would pat attention such claims by a Mulah or anyone else in Iran? Again, they and you sound just like the Democrat leadership in America.

    Trumps rhetoric gets peoples attention, his actions however will adhere to the constraints of justifiable and the legal defense of America and American interests.

  • Edward

    Questioner,
    You wrote: “Iran didn’t want that either.

    No, they don’t. What they want is death to America. Or at least that is what they keep chanting. That Iran has missed so completely any objective toward this goal shows that you don’t understand who was defeated.

    despite the fact that the greatest world terrorist is America

    I know! Our terrorist military keeps blowing up school buses full of children, pizza parlors full of civilians, Charlie Hebdo offices, Jewish delis, etc.

    Oh, wait. Those are the bad guys. Our guys blow up the bad guys while they are safely away from innocent civilians.

    You haven’t lost your sense of humor, either.

    Iran’s foreign minister: Trump prepared to commit war crimes

    Yeah. That is the guy I believe without question.

  • Cotour

    TEO VERY DIFFERENT REALITIES

    Adam Shiff believes that Trumps taking out Solemeni humiliated the Iranians and therefore makes the Iranians more dangerous. I absolutely disagree.

    https://dailycaller.com/2020/01/12/adam-schiff-iran-more-dangerous-us-actions/

    The weak strategy: Obama takes the controls off of $150 billion Iranian dollars and essentially chose to enrich the Iranians with it in exchange for the Iranians agreeing to the Iran Deal. And in addition delivered $1.8 billion dollars in unmarked pallets of cash to them, and guaranteed that the Iranians would become a nuclear weapons power on a date certain. You just never enrich your enemy, you never do that, and so you must really step back and ask the question: What the hell was an American president and his Secretary Of State thinking? This emboldens the Iranians and makes them more powerful and more dangerous.

    Conversely.

    The strong strategy: Trump rejects the Iran Deal and says “Iran will never get nuclear weapons” and he also was presented with the opportunity to take out a very well known Iranian general who directed a terror program that consistently killed American soldiers and citizens. And he chose to strategically kill this what can reasonably be characterized as an enemy of America, general Solemini. This weakens the Iranians and makes them paranoid and fearful, and that is where you want your enemy to be, it makes them less dangerous.

    And now, today, Adam Shiff clearly and once again embrace the appeasement strategy as being the better way to peace. So weak, so wrong minded. Please Mr. Shiff point out one time in history where such an attitude towards ones enemy worked out as you propose. Don’t bother looking, it does not exist.

    And to be clear, its the ruling Islamic Mullahs that are the enemy of America, and not the people of Iran.

    If you understand the ability of the American military at this moment in time you would clearly understand that the Iranians do not want any part of any military confrontation with America. Not for one second. Which is not to say that they can not and will not be troublesome, they will be, but maybe not as troublesome with Trump as president. The Iranians want no part of a strong America with a strong president in place that thinks clearly about risks and rewards and is willing to unleash the potential of the American military when he believes it necessary. No one wants that.

    So, in conclusion, no Iranian Mullah, nor does Kim Jung un for that matter, wants the potential of that 1000 pound Tomahawk missile flying through their bathroom window when they are sitting in their throne on any particular morning.

    Two very different reality options, choose the one that you think is the better path, the weak path of appeasement or the path of strength? You know what the proper answer is even if you are not willing to admit it.

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