Dec 082019
 December 8, 2019  Posted by at 9:04 pm Finance, Primers Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Saul Leiter 463 1956


Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev first met in Geneva in 1985, in a summit specifically designed to allow them to discuss diplomatic relations and the -nuclear- arms race. At the time, the Soviet Union had started to crumble, but it was still very much the Soviet Union. They met again in 1986 in Reykjavik, in a summit set up to continue these talks. There, they came close to an agreement to dismantle both countries’ nuclear arsenals.

They met once again in Washington in 1987. That was the year Reagan made his famous “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” speech about the Berlin wall. Then they held a next summit in 1988 in Moscow, where they finalized the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) after the US Senate’s ratification of the treaty in May 1988.

Reagan’s successor George H.W. Bush met with Gorbachev first in December 1989 in Malta, and then the two met three times in 1990, among others in Washington where the Chemical Weapons Accord was signed, and in Paris where they signed the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. They met three more times in 1991, with one of their meetings, in Moscow, resulting in the signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I).

One of the most interesting things agreed on during the Bush-Gorbachev meetings was that Russia would allow Germany to re-unite after the wall came down, in exchange for the promise that NATO would not try to expand eastward.


I’ve been re-researching this a bit because it feels like it’s high time that people should realize what US foreign policy was like not that long ago. Even as it involved Reagan and Bush sr., not exactly the peace-mongers of their times. The one thing that was clear to all parties involved is that it was crucial to keep meeting and talking. And talk they did. But look at us now. When was the last summit of a US president with Vladimir Putin?

This came to mind again when I read Elizabeth Warren’s piece in the Guardian today, which made me wonder if she’s for real, if she is really as ignorant as she appears to be when it comes to foreign policy, to Russia, to Trump and to NATO. It would seem that she is, and that makes her a hazard. Not that I see her as a serious candidate, mind you, but then again, I do not see any other one either.

In her article, which reads more than anything like some nostalgic longing for the good old times when she was young, just watch her get all warm and fuzzy over the success of NATO:


Donald Trump Has Destroyed American Leadership – I’ll Restore It

For seven decades, America’s strength, security and prosperity have been underpinned by our unmatched network of treaty alliances, cemented in shared democratic values and a recognition of our common security. But after three years of Donald Trump’s insults and antics, our alliances are under enormous strain. The damage done by the president’s hostility toward our closest partners was on full display at this week’s gathering of NATO leaders in London, which should have been an unequivocal celebration of the 70th anniversary of the most successful alliance in history.

The success of NATO was not inevitable, easy or obvious. It is a remarkable and hard-won accomplishment, and one based on a recognition that the United States does not become stronger by weakening our allies. But that is just what Trump has done, repeatedly and deliberately. He treats our partners as burdens while embracing autocrats from Moscow to Pyongyang. He has cast doubt on the US commitment to NATO at a moment when a resurgent Russia threatens our institutions and freedoms. He has blindsided our partners on the ground in Syria by ordering a precipitate and uncoordinated withdrawal.

[..] he has wrecked US credibility by unilaterally tearing up our international agreements on arms control, non-proliferation and climate change. This reckless disregard for the benefits of our alliances comes at a perilous moment, when we face common threats from powerful adversaries probing the weaknesses of our institutions and resolve. Longstanding allies in Asia are doubting our reliability and hedging their bets. Russia’s land grab in Ukraine has upended the post-1989 vision of a Europe “whole, free, and at peace”. The chaotic Brexit process has consumed our closest partners, while sluggish growth and rising xenophobia fuel extremist politics and threaten to fracture the European Union.


To start with that last point, no. That “post-1989 vision of a Europe “whole, free, and at peace” was destroyed by NATO’s eastward expansion, executed in spite of US, EU and NATO promises that it wouldn’t. Moreover, you can talk about a resurgent Russia, but the country has hardly recovered economically from the 1980’s and 90’s today, and it has no designs on countries to its west.

Just look at the military budgets of the respective countries, where Russia has maybe 10% of the expenditure of the US, let alone the rest of NATO, and you get the picture. Is Russia getting more bang for its buck, because it doesn’t have to maintain a long running Pentagon-Boeing/Raytheon link? Yes, it does. But a 10 to 1 difference is still way out there. It’s not as if they spend half of what the US does, they spend just 10%.

This is because not only Russia doesn’t have to satisfy the desires and needs of Pentagon-Boeing/Raytheon, it’s also because they have no desire to conquer any territory that is not at present Russian.

Russia “annexed” Crimea through fair elections, and it knew that “we” knew that it would never let go of its only warm water port, Sevastopol. When “We” tried to take it away regardless, it did the only thing it could do. And it did it very intelligently. As for Eastern Ukraine, everyone there is Russian, whether by blood or by passport. And there are a lot of strong ties between them and Russians in Russia proper.

If Putin would have volunteered to let these Donbass Russians be shot to bits by the Ukraine neo-nazis that helped the US and EU in the Maidan coup, he would have had either a civil war in Russia, or an all-out war in the Donbass, with perhaps millions of casualties. Putin did what he could to prevent both. Back to Warren:


A mounting list of global challenges demand US leadership and collective action. As president, I will recommit to our alliances – diplomatically, militarily and economically. I will take immediate action to rebuild our partnerships and renew American strategic and moral leadership, including by rejoining the Paris climate accord, the United Nations compact on migration, and reaffirming our rock-solid commitment to NATO’s Article 5 provisions.

But we must do more than repair what Trump has broken. Instead we need to update our alliances and our international efforts to tackle the great challenges of our age, from climate change and resurgent authoritarianism to dark money flows, a weakening international arms control regime and the worst human displacement crisis in modern history.


Wait, what exactly has Trump broken in the foreign policy field? There have been dozens at the very least who have called for NATO to be disbanded, Ron Paul et al, because its sole purpose was to counter the Soviet Union, which no longer exists. In fact, when Emmanuel Macron labeled NATO “brain-dead” last week, it was Trump who defended the alliance.

And sorry, Elizabeth, but to hold Trump responsible for “the worst human displacement crisis in modern history” is just not right. That started way before he arrived at the scene. Obama and Hillary carry the burden and blame for that, along with Bush jr. and Dick Cheney. They shot the crap out of Iraq, Lybia etc. Trump only dumped a few bombs in a desert. He didn’t invade any country, he didn’t go “We Came, We Saw, He Died”. That was not Trump.

And before we forget, the military aid for Ukraine Trump allegedly held back for a few weeks had been refused by Obama for years. I’ve been wondering for ages now why the Democrats are so eager to make things up while ignoring simple facts, but I think at least it’s time to start pointing out these issues.

This is not to make Trump look better in any sense, but to try and make people understand that he did not start this thing. Though yeah, I know, it’s like talking to a wall by now. The political divide has turned into such a broad and yawning one, you can’t not wonder how it could ever be broached.

But, you know, it might help if people like Elizabeth Warren don’t ONLY talk about Trump like he’s the antichrist, or a Putin tool, if they engage with him in conversation. But sadly, it feels like we’re past that point. Like if she would even try, and I don’t know if she would want to, her party would spit her out just for trying to build a single bridge. Like Tulsi Gabbard seems to have tried; and look at how the DNC treats her.


This means revitalizing our state department and charging our diplomats to develop creative solutions for ever more urgent challenges. It means working with like-minded partners to promote our shared interest in sustained, inclusive global economic growth and an international trade system that protects workers and the environment, not just corporate profits. And it means reducing wasteful defense spending and refocusing on the areas most critical to our security in years to come.


Well, apart from the fact that we’ve seen some of those diplomats in the Schiff hearings, and they seemed like the least likely people to develop anything “creative” -other than their opinions-, and the boondoggle of “sustained, inclusive global economic growth”, it’s probably best to forget about that entire paragraph. It’s nicer to Warren too.


Alliances are not charities, and it’s fair to ask our partners to do their share. I will build on what President Obama started by insisting on increased contributions to NATO operations and common investments in collective military capabilities. But I will also recognize the varied and significant ways that European states contribute to global security – deploying troops to shared missions, receiving refugees, and providing development assistance at some of the highest per capita rates in the world.


The problem appears to be that the partners don’t increase their contributions. Just this March, Germany refused to do just that. And if Berlin refuses, why would other countries spend more?


The next president must tackle our common problems using the lessons of common defense. Together, we can counter terrorism and proliferation. We can make common cause in constructing new norms and rules to govern cyberspace. We can dismantle the corruption, monopolies and inequality that limit opportunity around the world and take on the increasingly grave threats to our environment. We can and will protect ourselves and each other – our countries, our citizens and our democracies.


Now we’re getting into entirely nonsensical territory, with words and sentences designed only to make people feel good about things that have no substance whatsoever. Anyone can go there, anyone can do that.

In the meantime, the neverending investigations into Trump, Russia, Ukraine, taxes, have had one major effect: he hasn’t had a chance to have a summit with Putin. And that, to go back to how I started out this essay, is the worst idea out there. If Reagan and Bush sr. did those summits all the time, then why do we now think such summits are the work of the devil?

And yeah, we get it, we got it again last week from alleged law expert Pamela Karlan in the House, who let ‘er rip on the dangers Putin poses to all of humanity, and of course she would never trust Trump to hold any such summit because he’s Putin’s puppet.

What Pamela, and all the MSM, and the Dems, and the FBI/CIA, appear to refuse to see, though, is that Trump was democratically elected by the American people to be the only one who can have any such conversation. Karlan again talked about how Russia would attempt to attack American soil unless “we” keep them from doing that.

Now I can say that is absolute bollocks, and it is, but how many -potential- Democratic voters will recognize that at this point? They’ve been trained to believe it. That Russia wants one US presidential candidate over another, or one UK one, or fill in your country, and therefore they want to invade the US, UK, etc. In reality, Russia has plenty problems of its own, and it’s slowly trying to solve them.

The two countries need to start talking to each other again, and the sooner the better. That it will happen under Elizabeth Warren, however, is very unlikely. First because she has her mind made up about Russia, and second because the likelihood of her becoming president is very low. What do you think, is that a good thing?

If for some reason -who can tell- she would end up winning 11 months from now, do you think she’s likely to establish a peace treaty with Russia? You know, given what she wrote here? And if not, why would you vote for her? Don’t you want peace? Do you think antagonizing Putin forever is a good idea? While Russia continues to outperform America in arms development, and in just about any field? While Russia only wants peace?

Good questions, ain’t they, as we move into 2020?!




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Home Forums Elizabeth Warren’s “Foreign Policy”

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  • #52037

    Saul Leiter 463 1956   Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev first met in Geneva in 1985, in a summit specifically designed to allow them to discus
    [See the full post at: Elizabeth Warren’s “Foreign Policy”]


    Spend 2%. Modernize. New technology. Buy USA.
    Don’t buy better stuff from the Russian, from China, from the enemy.
    Don’t do like Turkey.

    Maxwell Quest

    First, a couple thoughts about Elizabeth Warren: Her Guardian article looks ‘crafted’, of course, with lots of input by the DNC and a final review by HRC. It contains very little of “I’m just a player in the game” Warren’s actual core beliefs, if they exist at all. She looked ‘at home’ when she focused on financial matters years ago, but as a geopolitical performer she seems wholly inadequate and out of her league. Her touching on all the typical DNC talking point nonsense in the Guardian article should be taken as evidence.

    Also, in recent campaign incidents, when asked difficult (no-win) questions, she acted flustered, agitated and confused, almost as if there were no underlying principles at the helm… No rudder steering the ship. This lack of steel and moral courage would be disastrous in a real crisis… which we all know rarely happens once you take office.

    As for NATO, its expansion is driven by forces which now seem entirely out of our control… that banking cabal which dreams of a global Hunger Games <sup>TM</sup>, where all the world’s wealth flows into the Capital City (Wall St), while the subjugated Outer Districts suffer in poverty and violence. In this context, NATO acts as regional Storm Troopers who “keep the peace” by eliminating any dissension. Just ask the Yellow Vest protesters, who for the last year have been getting an education in how the New World Order works.

    Dr. D

    “Longstanding allies in Asia are doubting our reliability”

    What heavens! That sounds like a quid pro quo. Do we do favors and have favors done for us on a President’s direction?

    Waitaminit: there WAS a quid pro quo, to trade Germany for the Warsaw Pact and then they DIDN’T keep it. Make it, break it, seems like you can’t win. And about that “breach of trust in allies thing,” huh. America hasn’t kept her word since before she was born and isn’t going to now.

    I will recommit to our alliances – diplomatically, militarily and economically. I will take immediate action to rebuild our partnerships and renew American strategic and moral leadership,”

    So then she re-affirms and re-establishes empire that the (one part) of the military so arduously and expensively sacrificed. So the U.S. can –again– unify and take over the world, most particularly and especially Russia, the one true holdout.

    This is what Pelosi was saying that the world will fail if Trump wins, the world will never recover, all their plans and dreams will end. WHAT dreams, WHOSE dreams, Nancy? I’m not in on them. They MUST re-establish those alliances, they MUST get that outrageous military spending even if every citizen in the West goes hungry, and they MUST move forward and attack Russia NOW, like Hillary promised. It’s probably already too late, they needed to nuke Russia in the 90’s when they were helpless like Dick Cheney demanded, and he never forgave them for it. Ah, but poor Russia: fated to be the bad end of idiots and empires. Glad we’re not cursed with that fate. The young idiot perhaps, but not his end, rather his beginning.

    And hold on. I heard that migration was due to climate change, like every sparrow’s wings and every other raindrop that falls. Now after being responsible for the NHS and anitbiotic-resistant bacteria, Trump’s responsible for that too. Is there anything he’s NOT responsible for, in control of? According to you people, he’s the God-Emperor indeed. Their language, their perception is what give him his power. I certainly didn’t do it.

    You see from this diagnosis, based on decades of tiny data points, drip drip drip, that they MUST have war or lose all, and RIGHT NOW. That goes for both parties but Trump and the Marines have turned possibly half of the GOP now, with some on the short leash of a little black book, or rather a warehouse of tapes made in a certain Caribbean island and New Mexico ranch. That’s a strange twist of history it wasn’t the other way ‘round, but history is strange that way. Instead, turned out to be the Left to be the party of the CIA, to love and trust authority above all, to be pro-spying, pro-war, and anti-free speech. That’s because they’re throwing their little black book to the other side, and I suspect also to China and this Supra-state entity the CIA is merged with that works in MI6, in Saudi, in Ukraine, and in that little country of the east of the Mediterranean, all working together with tech billionaires to that one glorious, unified world under one government, with no more war…and no resistance.

    Now, what did I just say?

    “increased contributions to NATO”

    While typhus breaks out in Pelosi’s district and children can’t drink the water. While millions are homeless, tent camps expand every day, and 30,000 die of opioids. Yet THIS is their priority. And I ask you why. NATO? NATO what? “Operations” Where? Thousands and tens of thousands of miles away from the north Atlantic, continents away from Nebraska, Why and Why? There IS nothing but that NATO, funded by US though every last American dies, projects its military EVERYWHERE, throughout the whole PLANET, and right NOW, ten years ago when Brzezinski and Wesley Clark said. What else can she possibly be saying? NATO operations? NATO held back Stalin. He’s been dead for 60 years. The USSR has been dead for 30 years. There IS no threat, anywhere, anyone can point to, except for the very war-refugees they demand to import by the millions. Yet they, and Warren, demand we EXPAND operations. To where? To do what? The “Common Defense” against who? Are they deranged? Do they see ghosts? Genghis Khan? Napoleon? Saladin? What? Well apparently Neuromancer and F-Society, who will attack us in our dreams inside the cyberspace world of our VR Playstations. How will we ever? After that, NATO’s 10-fold budget will bomb water into Libya, bomb food into Yemen, and bomb snow into East Anglia (too late, sneak attack). Their non-carbon bombs will somehow offset the Pentagon being the largest user of Carbon on the planet, bar none, but we should expand them. Only then can we “protect ourselves”, presumably from our own psychosis and idiocy.

    To the end here, yes Russia would attack us, because we’ve surrounded her, made ourselves that big a threat, then credible Presidential candidates and the whole Ukraine State Department bragged about our intentions to destroy her immediately on national TV. But get a grip, ‘gov: Russia doesn’t have enough people to occupy RUSSIA, they can’t attack for real much less invade. It’s literally, physically, logically, logistically impossible. Which with #AntiLogos, the illogic of the world, dissuades them not a bit. Russia can literally, physically, logically, and logistically only DEFEND. That’s it, ever. So DON’T MAKE THEM DEFEND. Leave them alone for the love of Christ and everything holy if you love your mother and kittens-with-strings.

    So America, this is your time, this is your choice. Who are you? What do you stand for? Conquest and complete annihilation for no reason anyone can discern, or…something else?

    Dr. D

    *U.S. State Department tasked with Ukraine. e.g. Vindman, Yovanovitch, and Hill. And every think tank from the Potomac to the Bay.

    V. Arnold

    You ain’t gonna fix the problems of the U.S. by a vote!
    Hasn’t Trump already proved that?
    The U.S. is gone and life as you know it will continue to degrade until it can’t…
    My only question is; will the rest of the world survive the demise of the U.S.?


    Raul: When I read Warren’s statements, this what I read.

    I, Warren, as president, will faithfully restore all the corrupt foreign practices of the State Dept to ensure all members of Congress receive their fair share of all taxpayer money sent overseas as foreign aid that President Trump has so rudely been trying to cut.

    Any questions?


    The Afghan War has stated its nineteenth year. American troops are still in Syria and Iraq, and returning to Saudi Arabia. I didn’t realize until the Obama/Biden Kiev coup which restarted the Cold War that both parties are war mongers. Too many oligarchs and technocrats are dependent on military graft. The world is one mistake from global economic collapse and even a nuclear response from the looming war with non-compliant Iran. Even so, the ultimate cause of the forever wars is financialization. Wall Street and the US government rely on global trade being in dollars for income and to impose sanctions. Also, Africa’s “Big Men” and the like across the world cannot be allowed to develop safe national banking systems and move their money away from the West’s banking centers. Chaos insures offshoring of under developed world’s capital.

    To keep the money flowing democrat politicians gave rebirth to the Red Scare. Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (D-PA) said; “They don’t want to talk about a president holding up $391 million of congressionally appropriated aid to a country that is under attack, assault, and invasion by Russia. You will notice that what happens here is, it weakened their national security, it weakens our national security, because who benefited from that attempt to withhold aid, and, in fact, the withholding of aid? Putin and Putin’s Russia.” This is a Big Lie.

    Suffused with delusions, divorced from reality, robbing the lower classes to maintain their life-style, modern propaganda keeps a lid on the unrest in the current system; until it doesn’t anymore.


    I hope that all who understand (how the social/economic system has been organized by the enablers for the elites) that your circle of life think that you are crazy.
    Yep! Even my circle think I’m crazy and wrong.


    During his election campaign Trump promised to spend a trillion dollars to fix America’s crumbling infrastructure. A recent article suggested it would take at least 3 trillion dollars to fix America’s infrastructure. Any move to repair America seems to be strongly resisted.

    The fall of the Soviet Union is often put down to excessive military spending which drained the economy.

    Is the US on the brink of following this route?


    And to think I was considering Warren as possible candidate. She’s swallowed the DNC party line whole.

    Bernie hasn’t a chance in this time of Red scare polemics. So I guess I’ll stick to the Green Party vote with no real chance there.

    US politics is all about the corrupt Neo-liberal country we suffer under. If only CA could be it’s own country, but it too has been bought by the highest bidder.


    Almost all of what you say here is spot-on. As I read it, “talking” between the opposing parties is the most effective method for resolving conflicts. I apologize for over-simplifying what you have at greater length expressed so well. One would think that that common sense solution is obvious to everyone, experts and the ordinary citizen alike, but it’s mind-blowing that more talking and negotiating doesn’t get done.

    The problem with your argument arises when you say the Democrats and their forever investigations are preventing Trump from holding a conference with Putin. I’m sorry, but that is really funny. He’s the president. He can do whatever he wants, as he has demonstrated almost every day. He’s free to ignore the investigations just as he has been free to cooperate with them. But he can’t help himself. He’s unable to disengage from the attention and the spotlight.

    But even if he could rise above his twitter fits and really make an attempt to resolve any conflict, where do you get the idea that he can actually have an informed conversation with anyone about anything other than real estate and bankruptcy law?. He has demonstrated no knowledge about what is going on in the world and has no interest in using the expertise of anyone else to find out. He thinks he is the expert on everything and his idea of negotiating is my “way or the highway”. Also, unless he is reading from a script, he can only express himself through broad generalizations, slogans, and repetition. He has no capacity for the granular or nuance. We don’t want him at the negotiating table.


    Pocahontas speaks with forked tongue. Just like white man who promised Injuns land, then lied cheated and stole it back, ever expanding Westward.

    “46 % of US military families consider Russia an ally. ”

    NATO is not our ally. It is a trap like the WW I murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Imagine going to war to protect the Saudi Arabian monarchy. Or Turkey.

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