He’s Just Not That Into You


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    Marlon Brando screentest 1951 I’m trying, I swear, to get into the fold, but I just can’t NOT find this hilarious. On the eve of his presidency, Donal
    [See the full post at: He’s Just Not That Into You]


    The situation between incoming prez Trump and the EU could be perceived as humorous, or it could be viewed at taking a 180 degree turn as it seems as though Trump intends to establish Russia as a US ally while walking away from the EU as an ally. That’s a rather dramatic turn of events if it comes to pass.

    If you think about it, Trump pivots to whomever puffs up his ego and goes on a tweet rampage against anyone with criticism for him. He’s that simple. What’s ironic, is the original statement by Putin about Trump was in Russian lingo a huge put down but Trump took what was said in an American context, which is different, and perceived it as a compliment. Putin at some point realized it was preferable to have an idiot leader of a superpower think he likes him and simply went with it because it was self serving.

    John Day

    It looks like Russia will be an entity 8 years from now.
    EU? What will bear that name in 8 years?

    Dr. Diablo

    There’s so much wrong, misleading, and opposite I’d have to go through it line by line — and every article one reads is like this. But I’ll spare you all: #Fakenews. Fake in this case because while it states some of the facts, it wildly mischaracterizes virtually all of them, while pointedly avoiding many others that wouldn’t support their narrow perspective.

    “Test of Trump’s loyalties”? What on the great green earth are you talking about? Is there a Soviet bloc somewhere? If the US trades with and neglects to nuke Russia does it necessarily follow that Trump must and will boycott and nuke Europe? Just last week we were talking to, trading with, and not nuking Russia and all was well back then. If the U.S. stops attacking 17 nations and pulls bases from a few of the 100+ nations they occupy, would the world end? Russia has the GDP of Italy and somehow they’re a threat to Europe and North America combined? What a strange and irrational insecurity worthy of a mental ward. Why would 28 united, proud, soveriegn countries give a hoot what the U.S. does or if Trump talks to them first or third or never? Are they concerned they can’t be slavish enough to please him? They have the GDP and currency equal to the U.S. And if they don’t like him and don’t want to work with him, don’t! Why the concern? Isn’t this their opportunity to follow and prove the merit their diverging values?

    As per yesterday’s chart, the EU has cruelly savaged all of Europe in service of Germany, yet they are the good guys, and Putin, who has barely pulled his nation out of the 3rd world despair is a cruel oppressor? All functional EU positions are appointed and the parliment has zero legal accountability yet Putin is undemocratic? At some point words fail me. He’s not exactly a hero, but then neither is Merkel, Obama, Bush, or Draghi, all with a dark, blood soaked history behind them. How did we get to a point where thought itself has been suspended? Was it the perpetual redefinition and hollowing of words where now war is peace, attacking is defending, right is wrong and falsehood is in the service of truth? I honestly don’t know, but it shows we need a change more than ever, and fast.

    Joe Clarkson

    <i>Meanwhile, watching the spectacle unfold from a distance, we find it impossible not to be highly amused</i>

    WW1, WW2, the Iron Curtain and the Cold War are all evidence of how dramatic and destructive widespread war (and its aftermath) has been on the European continent. There are many reasons why no further major conflicts have happened since WW2, including the Marshall Plan, the EEZ, the EU and NATO. Another good reason has been North Atlantic economic integration and trade. But by far the most important reason has been the rock-solid commitment of the US to European security. Pissing all over US and European mutual security commitments is hardly “amusing”, nor can European leaders simply “fade away” without real danger to everyone’s security.

    Even if another European war is avoided, as the world economy falls apart, Trump’s relationships with other European leaders must play an important part in mitigating the worst aspects of economic decline. I see all this squabbling contributing to a sense of great uncertainty and unease, not only for ordinary people like myself, but for the national leaders we depend on to keep conflict at bay. In war and peace, transatlantic cooperation is absolutely essential. Does Trump actually believe that? That the question can even be legitimately asked is definitely not “amusing”.

    So I find it hard to believe that anyone, except perhaps Putin, could find the deliberate ridicule of the underpinnings of European security as “amusing”. And the fawning over Putin, and Russia, who have little interest in cooperating with anyone in Europe outside of natural resource sales, are nothing to smile about either.

    Dr. Diablo might want to inquire with older eastern Europeans about the source of most of the, as he describes it, “cruel oppression” in their lives. No wonder European leaders worry that Trump will follow Putin’s lead. They remember what the Russians did not so very long ago.

    Dr. Diablo may be too young to know how anxiety inducing it can be to have massively armed nuclear powers jockeying for control of Europe, but those of us who remember “duck and cover” will always prefer that cooler heads prevail. That Trump has so far demonstrated little interest in keeping his cool should be terrifying rather than “amusing”. Like Queen Victoria might say, “I am not amused”. Nor should anyone be.



    NATO and EU were one stabilizing forces for good. But they no longer are. They are the very ones who will cause the next warfare.

    Dr. Diablo

    Age may indeed be the critical factor here. Russia is the enemy, taking over all of Europe? Making Europe attack each other instead of cooperating? How clever they are to get Europeans to obey when none of them credit the Russian perspective and there are still no lines of influence between Europe and Russia! To believe Russia is the enemy you’d have to be over 50 years old, because half the population on earth doesn’t even remember the Soviet Union. They’re something in the history books, like the Napoleonic wars. At what point is persistence of vision finally updated?

    The older eastern Europeans may indeed remember Communism as the source of their cruel oppression, but the younger ones, who also matter, only remember the EU as the source of their oppression and despair. What has the EU done for Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Greece? They are overwhelmingly the poorest per-capita states yet they pay the EU bailouts for Germany and France. Decades of involvement that was supposed to turn them to modern states find them still treated as extractive colonial states, unimportant, unrecognized, disrespected. They are the catastrophe. And it’s not that the Warsaw era wasn’t an oppression, but that oppression ended long ago and we cannot go back. This oppression is happening RIGHT NOW, to honest people who are dying in Greece, Italy, Spain, even in France, Britain, and Sweden. This oppression and catastrophe we CAN do something about, because it’s happening right now, and like the Warsaw or Nazi eras, it is also being denied and supported by apologists of all sorts, who are happy to let the other guy die for the greater good. Well I say if the other guy dies, it isn’t good, greater or lesser, it’s unequivocally bad, it is unjust, and I won’t overlook it because there was once a time, long before I was born, that was worse. Tell that to the population freezing to death in unheated flats tonight how great the EU is, while their leaders take more pay and expenses, send another Trillion to the banks, and cut off more trade, more access to energy and raw materials, that would employ and feed them all.

    I don’t have to remember the anxiety of nuclear standoff, because I’ve lived the anxiety of the existing European war, in Serbia, in Ukraine, because I’ve watched the 20-50% unemployment stretch on for years while the people flee to nowhere and commit suicide in hopelessness and despair to support a handful of men in Davos who are already too wealthy. I’ve had the anxiety not of worrying about a mere standoff, but watching them attempt to cause pan-European nuclear war by proudly, openly attacking Libya, Syria, and Egypt, knowing Russia would get involved. I’ve watched them attempt to start a European nuclear war in Ukraine, over and over, month after month, to justify NATO and permit a counterattack, I’ve watched NATO member Turkey ambush Russian planes then shoot down the ambulance helicopter in defiance of all international norms. I’ve watched them assassinate 2, 3, 4 Russian diplomats, bomb Russian embassies, and call the Russians aggressive in the middle of multiple peace negotiations Russia alone was promoting.

    Why would I need to remember some far-off danger only old men recall? It was only this week Israel shelled Damascus, only this week Nuland was attempting to re-start the civil war in Cyprus, and only this week both the US and Germany set up an official ministry of truth that avows Russia — who no one talks to and everyone hates — is so influential that they fixed the elections in the U.S., Germany, France, Britain and Italy. Luckily, I don’t have to fear the past, because for better or worse, it is gone. However, when a new attempt to start WWIII with Russia occurs every day and twice on Sunday — which will inevitably make all Europe the nuclear battlefield — it would be foolish not to fear and oppose it. We are today’s men with today’s challenges. Now is the time that needs us. Let’s focus our efforts here.

    Joe Clarkson

    However, when a new attempt to start WWIII with Russia occurs every day and twice on Sunday — which will inevitably make all Europe the nuclear battlefield

    That statement’s well into tinfoil hat territory, Dr. Diablo. There are problems with the functioning of the EU and certainly with the Euro, but to assert that anyone is attempting to start WW3 is way over the top.

    WW3 will probably start by accident. Someone will make a serious mistake about another party’s intentions. Reaction and counter reaction will escalate until missiles fly.

    The specific event that will start it will be something like the annexation of Crimea or the Donbass, war spreading from the Balkans or a series of assassinations. But the underlying cause will be egregious misjudgment about what constitutes a real existential threat or what level of provocation can be gotten away with.

    I think Putin has pretty good judgement. He’s gotten away with some serious provocations without coming close to starting WW3, but I worry that he will misjudge what Russia is free to do with Trump in office (especially if there really is any kompromat). Say what you want about Obama, but WW3 didn’t start on his watch.

    I also worry what kind of lashing out Trump might do if he has a real falling out with Putin. Trump’s not a forgive-and-forget kind of guy.

    The last people to worry about are the oligarchs at Davos. They may wallow in their rentier riches, but the very last thing they want is WW3 destroying their outrageous comforts.

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