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  • Trump Nato Comments Labelled “Appalling and Unhinged”

    And so it begins. Nine months still to go before the next US presidential election and already the Republican party favourite and former President Donald Trump is sending eyes rolling skywards with his seemingly outlandish statements.

    And yet they will delight many of his supporters.

    Suggesting at a rally in South Carolina that he would "encourage" aggressors (for example Russia) "to do whatever the hell they want" with Nato countries that fail to pay their dues has prompted an immediate slap down from the White House. A spokesman called the comment "appalling and unhinged", saying it was "encouraging invasions of our closest allies by murderous regimes".

    Nato Secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg has also responded forcefully, saying: "Any suggestion that allies will not defend each other undermines all of our security, including that of the US, and puts American and European soldiers at increased risk."

    Did Trump mean what he said? Probably not. This is typical Trump fare. Say something provocative, grab some headlines, outrage your critics and thrill your fans.

    Yet ironically, there is a grudging gratitude in some quarters of Nato for Mr Trump's threats when he was in the White House. Back in 2018, President Trump was so angered by the failure of several European nations to fulfil their agreed quota of spending 2% of GDP on defence that he threatened to pull the US out of the alliance altogether.

    Military chiefs throughout Nato were aghast. If a US president ever went through with such a threat, abandoning Europe to fend for itself, it would so severely undermine the alliance that it would cease to exist in its present form.

    But the shockwaves it sent, coupled with Russia's 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine, have had the effect of prompting some, notably Germany, to promise to raise their defence spending accordingly.

    For Trump supporters, and others too, his gripe about other nations not paying their way resonates strongly. According to statistics published by Nato themselves, US military spending in 2023 amounted to 3.49% of GDP. The UK spent 2.07%, but Germany, France, Italy and Spain all came in below the agreed 2% threshold.

    Tellingly, the countries closest to Russia's borders spent the most in percentage terms. There are voices in the US Republican party saying, "Why should we, America, carry the burden of defending Europe when it won't pay for its own defence?".

    Mr Trump's throwaway comments still constitute dangerous talk at a dangerous time, for Nato and for the Western world. Ukraine's summer 2023 offensive has failed.

    Russian forces remain firmly in place in the areas they have occupied and are slowly pushing back the Ukrainians in the Donbas. Moscow has moved its economy on to a war footing, allocating about 40% of national income to defence, churning out low-quality weaponry in vast numbers in the hopes of overwhelming Ukraine's defences.

    Poland and the Baltic states are convinced that once President Putin has achieved his war aims in Ukraine, then Russia will rebuild its army and make a move on their countries, perhaps as soon as within three years from now.

    Much faith has been placed in the long-standing deterrent value of something called Article 5. This is the part of Nato's constitution that stipulates that an attack on any member state calls for the collective defence by all.

    In other words, should Moscow decide to send tanks across its borders into, say, Estonia, then this would trigger a massive response by Nato, potentially triggering a Third World War. Under a Trump presidency, that certainty would not look nearly so certain.

    And thereby lies the danger in Trump's comments. If a future aggressor, be it Vladimir Putin in Europe or Xi Jinping in the South China Sea, begins to doubt Washington's commitment to defend its allies, then it risks a massive miscalculation. You don't have to look far for an example. Two years ago, President Putin's intelligence people told him the West would sit on its hands if he invaded Ukraine.

    They were wrong - and a catastrophic war has ensued.

    —————————————

    Comment


    • He has said so many despicable things but this may in fact be his worst.

      Since the formation of NATO only one country has asked for the activation of Article 5...the US in the wake of 9-11. And NATO responded with a strong response. Hell, when we turned our back, foolishly, on Afghanistan in 2003 it was Canada & the UK who carried the weight there on our behalf.
      “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
      Mark Twain

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
        He has said so many despicable things but this may in fact be his worst.

        Since the formation of NATO only one country has asked for the activation of Article 5...the US in the wake of 9-11. And NATO responded with a strong response. Hell, when we turned our back, foolishly, on Afghanistan in 2003 it was Canada & the UK who carried the weight there on our behalf.
        And his comments about Haley's husband:

        “What happened to her husband?” “Where is he? He’s gone. He knew. He knew.”

        He's serving his country, deployed as a staff officer with the 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, in the Horn of Africa. Something that you have never done and wouldn't know anything about.

        No such thing as rock bottom.
        “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

        Comment


        • Originally posted by statquo View Post
          Trump Nato Comments Labelled “Appalling and Unhinged”

          And so it begins. Nine months still to go before the next US presidential election and already the Republican party favourite and former President Donald Trump is sending eyes rolling skywards with his seemingly outlandish statements.

          And yet they will delight many of his supporters........

          For Trump supporters, and others too, his gripe about other nations not paying their way resonates strongly. According to statistics published by Nato themselves, US military spending in 2023 amounted to 3.49% of GDP. The UK spent 2.07%, but Germany, France, Italy and Spain all came in below the agreed 2% threshold.

          Tellingly, the countries closest to Russia's borders spent the most in percentage terms. There are voices in the US Republican party saying, "Why should we, America, carry the burden of defending Europe when it won't pay for its own defence?".
          Apparently even GB falls short of the 2% commitment if you deduct the costs of maintaining its nuclear deterrent. The article below is from The Economist and makes for some pretty depressing reading.

          https://www.economist.com/britain/20...erilously-thin
          If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Monash View Post

            Apparently even GB falls short of the 2% commitment if you deduct the costs of maintaining its nuclear deterrent. The article below is from The Economist and makes for some pretty depressing reading.

            https://www.economist.com/britain/20...erilously-thin
            The Armed Forces of Great Britain are not even a shell of it's former self...it has less. Their commitments around the globe now have companies and platoons when they used to be brigades and battalions. And this is neither a Tory nor Labor issue...it is all. The one area where they still do heavy lifting and excel is in the arena of intelligence gathering and analysis.
            “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
            Mark Twain

            Comment


            • A former US Army general says Trump wants the US to abandon NATO because he's a 'mafia type' that 'hates alliances'
              • Donald Trump wants the US to abandon NATO because he "hates alliances," a former Army general says.
              • Ben Hodges said Trump was a "mafia type" who "doesn't want anybody restricting his options."
              • "He couldn't care less about moral obligations," Hodges said.
              A former US Army general says Donald Trump's animosity toward NATO has nothing to do with its members not spending enough on their own defense.

              "Trump hates alliances. He hates an obligation where he'd have to live up to something," retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, a former commander of US Army Europe, told the British newspaper The Times in a story published Monday.

              "Mafia type that he is, he doesn't want anybody restricting his options. He couldn't care less about moral obligations. He's willing to chuck the whole thing away," the retired lieutenant general added.

              On Saturday, Trump said at a rally in South Carolina that he'd encourage Russia to do "whatever the hell they want" to NATO members who weren't meeting their spending obligations.

              The former president has received backlash for his remarks on the military alliance. On Saturday night, the White House slammed Trump's comments, calling them "appalling and unhinged."

              While some Republican Party officials have downplayed Trump's remarks as a negotiating tactic, Hodges told The Times that he believed Trump was "absolutely prepared" to abandon Europe if he was elected president again.

              "We would be foolish not to take at face value exactly what he says," Hodges told the newspaper. "In his last term, he did have people around him who were able to moderate certain things, at least for a period of time."

              "He won't make that mistake again," Hodges said.


              Hodges isn't the first person to have likened Trump to the mafia.

              Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, told The Washington Post in June 2022 that his ex-boss was like a "mob boss."

              Cohen made the remarks after the committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot alleged that Trump's allies had intimidated witnesses.

              "Donald Trump never changes his playbook. He behaves like a mob boss, and these messages are fashioned in that style," Cohen told the Post. "Giving an order without giving the order. No fingerprints attached."

              Representatives for Trump and Hodges didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider sent outside regular business hours.
              _______
              “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

              Comment


              • Why won't people believe what he says? He regularly talked about turning his back on Allies during his Administration.

                Just ask the Kurds.
                “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                Mark Twain

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                  Why won't people believe what he says? He regularly talked about turning his back on Allies during his Administration.

                  Just ask the Kurds.
                  Cult45: "I love Trump because he SAYS what MEANS and he MEANS what he SAYS!!"

                  Also Cult45: "Trump didn't say that and if he did he didn't mean that and if he did you didn't understand it and if you did others have said worse and you're just suffering from TDS"
                  “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

                  Comment


                  • An interesting opinion piece in The Washington Post. Has Trump become a anchor for his party in 2024?

                    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...s-republicans/


                    Opinion

                    Four signs Trump’s weaknesses are deepening


                    By Jennifer Rubin
                    Columnist|

                    February 15, 2024 at 7:45 a.m. EST

                    Four-times-indicted former president Donald Trump commands a strong majority of the Republican primary electorate, but signs point to his diminishing ability to control much beyond that. Results from the special election in New York’s 3rd Congressional District; Senate passage of the supplemental defense bill and Trump’s associated self-inflicted wounds; the flock of GOP House departures; and the progress of the Jan. 6 (federal) and the business-records falsification (New York state) cases collectively paint a portrait of the near-certain nominee and his party under stress.

                    The New York 3rd


                    ADemocrat’s convincing victory in the race to replace disgraced former congressman George Santos continues a string of defeats for Republicans in special elections, in off-year elections, in the 2022 midterms and in abortion battles. Former Democratic congressman Tom Suozzi trounced county legislator Mazi Pilip (R) 53.9 percent to 46.1 percent. When a GOP-held district goes from plus-7.6 points (Santos’s margin of victory in 2022) to minus-7.8 points, it might be time for Republicans to take their weakness at the ballot box seriously.


                    Suozzi deserves credit for taking on, rather than running from, “cultural issues,” a strategy some savvy Democrats, including those at Third Way, have urged. Far from changing the subject to the economy, he leaned into the immigration and abortion issues. And, lo and behold, the immigration issue blew up in Republicans’ faces. Suozzi turned the tables on Pilip by bashing her for opposing a tough, bipartisan border bill in the Senate. That should strike fear in the hearts of suburban Republicans such as Rep. Michael Lawler (R-N.Y.), who voted for the baseless impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and four other Republican members of Congress in New York districts President Biden won in 2020. In addition, the NY-3 race reminds us that abortion, a prominent issue that featured in the only debate between the candidates, remains MAGA kryptonite.


                    Trump’s self-inflicted wounds on Ukraine and the border


                    The impressive 70-29 Senate vote on aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan demonstrated that more than a few Republican senators will break with Trump on some issues. Even a couple of Republicans on the ballot this year (Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota) voted against the MAGA line. If Republicans join with Democrats to force the bill to the House floor, Trump’s aura of control will suffer further. (Voting against your own party’s rule would be a rare, serious breach of loyalty.)


                    The military aid vote came in the wake of Trump’s outrageous invitation for Russia to attack NATO countries. Biden underscored Trump’s betrayal in powerful remarks on Tuesday. “Can you imagine, a former president of the U.S. saying that? The whole world heard it. The worst thing is he means it,” Biden said. “No other president in our history has ever bowed down to a Russian dictator. … For God’s sake, it’s dumb, it’s shameful, it’s dangerous, it’s un-American.” It will be up to the Biden campaign to make sure voters understand that Trump, colloquially speaking, is a traitor, siding with a foreign dictator over our national security.


                    Though Trump was able to undermine the immigration compromise, he did so at the price of humiliating Republican Senate border security negotiators (e.g., Susan Collins of Maine and James Lankford of Oklahoma), damaging suburban Republican candidates such as Pilip and handing Biden a powerful talking point: Trump is perpetuating disarray at the border. Democrats will be happy to capitalize on another glaring example of the former president’s compulsion to put his own needs above the country’s.



                    A cavalcade of no fewer than 21 House Republican departures shows that some party members are not eager to run with Trump and serve should he get elected. Democrats’ increasing confidence about taking back the House from the utterly dysfunctional MAGA-controlled GOP should remind us that, with the exception of 2016, Trump has been ballot-box poison, dragging down-ticket Republicans to defeat (in 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2023). A party projecting disarray, radicalism and incompetence is not one suited to retain “soft” Republicans and independents.

                    Trump’s trials grow near

                    Last and certainly not least, Trump’s ability to escape a criminal trial before the election appears to be diminishing.

                    The Supreme Court most likely will deny Trump’s request for a stay on the Jan. 6 trial pending resolution of his immunity claim or, if it grants the stay, will also set an “expedited schedule for briefing and oral argument,” experts such as Steve Vladeck surmise. That “could lead to a decision by sometime in May or June that clears the way for trial.” If so, Trump would face the most serious charges, going to the heart of his attack on democracy, well before Election Day.

                    And for all the criticism of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, he is likely on Thursday to get a firm trial date for a sound 34-count trial concerning falsification of documents to hide a sex scandal from voters. He has spelled out at least four grounds for elevating the crimes to felonies. (In its recent filing, the D.A.’s office explained: “Defendant caused his entities’ business records to be falsified to disguise his and others’ criminal conduct — which included violations of state and federal election law; the falsification of additional business records; and the mischaracterization, for tax purposes, of the true nature of the payments to [Michael] Cohen.”) Immunity and removal arguments failed in federal court. And perhaps most devastating, Bragg will have a Manhattan-only jury, about as receptive a jury pool as he might hope to get for a case scrutinizing Trump’s business shenanigans. Bragg might well prove wrong those pundits who looked askance at the district attorney’s charges — presumably comfortable with the notion that ex-presidents cannot be held accountable for crimes before they were president.

                    Trump is not the colossus that many in the media suggest. His iron grip on core followers does not diminish the significance of a rebellion in the ranks regarding Ukraine, his devastating blunders on that issue and the border, a parade of fed-up Republicans exiting the House and, crucially, the progress of serious felony trials. If Biden gets to face that guy, it will be the equivalent of drawing an inside straight.
                    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                    Mark Twain

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

                      Cult45: "I love Trump because he SAYS what MEANS and he MEANS what he SAYS!!"

                      Also Cult45: "Trump didn't say that and if he did he didn't mean that and if he did you didn't understand it and if you did others have said worse and you're just suffering from TDS"
                      It's PSY ops 101, reverse psychology. "Trump says what he means" is actually translated to "Trump says what we think". Well more fell than think but you will get the picture.

                      Comment


                      • It doesn't matter what the legal system says, the trust is broken between large swath of population and the govt. The more emphasis is placed on legal issues the more mistrust will be created. That is the US problem, its the problem of trust more than anything else. Trump is just a symptom not the cause. He articulates feelings and thoughts of many and that is why any attack on Trump is interpreted as the attack on common sense for that population and we all know what happens when the trust is BETRAYED, especially in the US case. That is not taken lightly.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                          An interesting opinion piece in The Washington Post. Has Trump become a anchor for his party in 2024?

                          https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...s-republicans/

                          Yes, but also a lot more than that.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Bloomberg
                            Thursday, 15 February 2024
                            Putin Steps Into US Race to Back ‘Old Style’ Biden Over Trump
                            (0 min, 47 sec)

                            Vladimir Putin praised Joe Biden as a more reliable alternative for Russia than Donald Trump, making his first public comments on the American presidential election.
                            ...





                            Last edited by JRT; 16 Feb 24,, 01:33.
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                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Versus View Post
                              It doesn't matter what the legal system says, the trust is broken between large swath of population and the govt. The more emphasis is placed on legal issues the more mistrust will be created. That is the US problem, it’s the problem of trust more than anything else. Trump is just a symptom not the cause. He articulates feelings and thoughts of many and that is why any attack on Trump is interpreted as the attack on common sense for that population and we all know what happens when the trust is BETRAYED, especially in the US case. That is not taken lightly.
                              Trust in the system has been eradicated through Trump and social media. But don’t confuse that with distrust in the institutions. They only dont trust them because they are not currently in control of them. If the legal system was prosecuting Hilary Clinton, or anyone opposed to Trump, they would be celebrating the system as delivering justice.

                              Trump’s grievance politics has manifested online and through right wing media and social media into an alternative reality where holding him accountable for crimes means the system is going after his supporters and their beliefs. Keyword: Beliefs. Not reality.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by JRT View Post
                                ...
                                That question was a 'no lose' situation for Putin. He could pick either candidate and massage his answer to appeal to Trump Voters and/or encourage naive undecided voters to vote for Trump. He chose to say Biden was a 'steady hand' because his advises probably told him that would push US voters who detested him towards Trump. But he could just as easily said something like 'Trump, because I think we can negotiate a fair outcome to this war' and have achieved the same end.
                                Last edited by Monash; 16 Feb 24,, 20:56.
                                If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

                                Comment

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