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  • Originally posted by astralis View Post
    that's not a right characterization.
    And note not a single one of you quesetioned the intel. You all assumed it be true, "is it a stretch?" Red flags serviced to me as soon as I start reading it. Who leaked this? Why now? Western intel had it for months and no movement and all of a sudden the Guardian has it? A newspaper? What possible motive would a spook has to release it to a newspaper? If anything, it's another hint to the counter-spook guys to start hunting.

    Their spooks risks a hell of a lot more than our spooks when releasing intel. Whole families disappears. So what are the rewards for such a risk? I didn't read any high level defection lately.

    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    let's not give Putin more credit than he deserves.

    back then, he was at best a junior/mid-level KGB officer serving at a backwater post, monitoring comms. assumptions about his appetite for risk based on strategic-level thinking in the Cold War is probably not applicable, especially given his penchant for relatively risky hybrid war stuff that have, if anything, worsened Russia's strategic situation.
    Really? NATO expansion eastward has effectively stopped. The Siberian border is secured with China is now a defacto ally. Moscow has a defacto veto in the Middle East with her military presence. If anything, Putin is in a far stronger position than Yeltsin.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 18 Jul 21,, 18:38.
    Chimo

    Comment


    • Originally posted by astralis View Post

      yeah, none of which = "Trump stole the election and that she was the rightful President."
      No, it doesn’t kill me because he knows he’s an illegitimate president,
      And so I know that he knows that this wasn’t on the level. I don’t know that we’ll ever know what happened.
      Oookaaayyyy......
      In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.

      Leibniz

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
        No, we did not. If only to learn whom our friends are and whom our enemies are.
        I'm sorry Sir but that directly contradicts the memoirs of CIA officers like Tony Mendez.

        Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
        Clark went to Shinseki (who refused) and then Clinton (also refused) to insert an American task force into Pristina. The point is that had it been an American taks force instead of a Canadian Battle Group, there would have been shooting. Putin was aware of that fact and WOULD NOT commit to an operation as suggested by that article.
        Sir, I don't think we can say with such absolute certainty what Putin would or would not do.

        I'm going to leave this one alone now because we're just talking in circles....
        Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

        Comment


        • Originally posted by zraver View Post
          Anyway, I linked every claim with a valid media or edu source. I'm sure you will find some reason to reject them, cognitive bias is a bitch, but they are all supported by evidence most damningly that laptop.
          Contrary to what you have firmly planted in your head, I'm not an apologist or defender of Joe Biden or his family, unlike you and Donald Trump.

          But, let's review your sources:

          Frontpagemag:
          Reasoning: Propaganda, Conspiracy, Anti-Muslim
          Bias Rating: EXTREME RIGHT
          Factual Reporting: LOW
          Country: USA (44/180 Press Freedom)
          Media Type: Organization/Foundation
          Traffic/Popularity: Medium Traffic
          MBFC Credibility Rating: LOW CREDIBILITY

          Ouch. Well, we're off to a roaring start.

          The U.S. Sun
          *sigh* ffs...that's a supermarket tabloid

          Townhall.com
          Questionable Reasoning: Conspiracy, Propaganda, Numerous Failed Fact Checks
          Bias Rating: RIGHT
          Factual Reporting: MIXED
          Country: USA (45/180 Press Freedom)
          Media Type: Website
          Traffic/Popularity: High Traffic
          MBFC Credibility Rating: LOW CREDIBILITY

          The Federalist
          Questionable Reasoning: Conspiracy Theories, Propaganda, Failed Fact Checks
          Bias Rating: RIGHT
          Factual Reporting: MIXED
          Country: USA (45/180 Press Freedom)
          Media Type: Website
          Traffic/Popularity: High Traffic
          MBFC Credibility Rating: LOW CREDIBILITY

          LawEnforcementToday
          Bias Rating: RIGHT
          Factual Reporting: MIXED
          Country: USA (45/180 Press Freedom)
          Media Type: Website
          Traffic/Popularity: Medium Traffic
          MBFC Credibility Rating: MEDIUM CREDIBILITY
          These are your "valid media sources"....What, was InfoWars down?

          You did manage to throw in some CNN, CNBC and MSN, which I do give you full credit for. As for the rest of it...why didn't Trump and his DoJ go after Hunter Biden?
          (That's the usual excuse thrown out by Trump's apologists: "If Trump did something wrong then why wasn't he arrested??")

          Here's something though that tells me that Joe Biden, whatever else his faults, is infinitely better than Donald Trump:

          Since taking office, President Joe Biden has left Weiss — a Republican appointed by Donald Trump on the recommendation of Delaware’s two Democratic senators — in place. That puts him in one of the most sensitive positions in the Justice Department, deciding how to proceed with an investigation of the president’s son that has proven politically fraught on several fronts.

          Whereas Donald Trump used the DoJ and AG Barr as his own personal obstruction of justice squad, Biden left a Trump-appointed Republican in charge of investigating his own son. Trump threw every last roadblock that he possibly could to prevent any investigation into his illegal affairs (more on that in a minute).

          Which means that if Hunter Biden (who, the last time I checked, isn't the President nor working for the President in any capacity) is seriously suspected of wrongdoing, an investigation will take place and if he's found guilty, he'll be prosecuted accordingly.

          Compare that with Donald Trump, who argued all the way to the Supreme Court (twice) that as president he was above all law, including committing murder, indeed was immune from so much as being investigated. But, assuming that you were even aware of that in the first place, that didn't really bother you did it.
          Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

          Comment


          • Originally posted by zraver View Post

            That does not make a bit of sense

            Clinton and the DNC via Perkisn Coie colluded via Steele as a cut out with Steele's "Russian sources" to fabricate the Russian dossier.

            Trump sanctioned Russia.
            Trump pushed NATO to spend more to defend against Russia.
            Trump deployed US troops to Poland.
            Trump thumped Assad twice despite Russian protection.
            Trump blocked Nordstream II and pushed for US energy exports to Europe to counter Russia.
            While Trump was POTUS, the US smacked the hell out of the Russian mercs in Syria.
            Trump pushed for modernization of both our nuclear arsenal and means of delivering it to counter Russia's Posieden doomsday weapons.
            Trump provided lethal aid to the Ukraine

            Trump was a disaster for Russia
            Another questionable Trump laundry list.

            Right off the bat you can take the Russian mercs battle off that list. That had exactly zero to do with Donald Trump. That was a U.S. military unit defending itself against imminent attack.

            But let's start another list:

            Who was it that stood next to Vladimir Putin and announced to the world that he believed Putin over U.S. intelligence agencies? That was Donald Trump. Let's try to imagine Ronald Reagan doing something like that. Or Barack Obama. I'm sure you'd be defending Obama, right?

            Who was it that met with Vladimir Putin in near-complete secrecy, even confiscating the notes of his interpreter and telling the man not to reveal anything of the meeting to other U.S. administration officials.
            Remember when we were absolutely disgusted about the "more flexibility" that Obama promised Medvedev? But Trump apparently gets a pass for saying god only knows what to America's number one geopolitical enemy, something that even now nobody knows what was said.

            And then there's this, but it's hardly exhaustive
            • During the campaign, Trump repeatedly praised Putin and downplayed objections to Russia’s seizure of Crimea. In one extraordinary campaign rally, he called on Russia to hack emails from former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who happened to be his rival for the presidency. (Russian hackers made their first attempt to do so that very day.) He hired Paul Manafort as his campaign manager, despite copious warning signs including his work as a lobbyist for foreign dictators and his offer to work for free. Manafort was one of several aides who in June 2016 met with Russians who the aides believed were bringing damaging info about Clinton. (Trump would later dictate a misleading statement about the meeting.)
            • Several Trump advisers, especially George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, had extensive contacts with Russians, which they have attempted to downplay. The Trump Organization also claimed that it had cut off discussions about building a tower in Russia, when in fact it remained in close contact with Russian government officials about the project.
            • Before and after the election, Trump dismissed the judgment of the U.S. intelligence community that Russia was interfering in U.S. politics. During the presidential transition, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner (who attended the June 2016 meeting), sought to set up a secret back channel with Russia that would bypass the federal government. Meanwhile, National-Security Adviser–designate Michael Flynn had conversations with the Russian ambassador, about which he lied to FBI agents and Vice President Mike Pence. Trump only fired Flynn when his lying was revealed in the press.
            • During a February 2017 interview with Bill O’Reilly, Trump dismissed concerns about Putin killing dissidents and journalists. In May 2017, he abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey, citing the Russia investigation as his motivation. The day after he fired Comey, he welcomed Russia’s ambassador and foreign minister to the White House—an arrangement that rattled some intelligence experts on its own—where he told them that firing the “nutjob” Comey had relieved “great pressure [on him] because of Russia.” Trump also disclosed sensitive classified information to the Russians.
            • During the summer of 2017, Trump continued to deny that Russia had interfered in the presidential election, despite a growing body of evidence. In July 2017, he met with Putin in Hamburg, with a tiny team of advisers; Trump greeted Putin warmly and, according to the Russians, Trump “accepted” Putin’s denials of election interference.
            • That meeting turned out to be only a warm-up for a disastrous meeting with Putin in Helsinki the following summer, in which Trump kowtowed to the Russian leader, openly took Putin’s side over U.S. intelligence on the interference issue, suggested allowing Russia to take part in the inquiry, and entertained allowing the Russians to question a former U.S. ambassador to Moscow.
            • More recently, Trump regurgitated a strange and bogus Russian assertion that the Soviet Union entered Afghanistan in 1979 to fight terrorists. According to the Times, the president has also discussed the idea of withdrawing the United States from nato, which would effectively destroy the organization and fulfill one of Putin’s greatest desires in geopolitics.
            Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

            Comment


            • Ex-Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen: 'Incredibly disturbing' that military leadership reportedly feared Trump coup
              Retired Adm. Mike Mullen, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Sunday that it was “incredibly disturbing” that reports detailed a top U.S. general’s fears that Donald Trump, in the waning days of his presidency, would attempt to use the military to stage a coup or take action against Iran.

              “I think the reporting, from what I understand, has been pretty accurate,” Mullen said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” according to the show transcript.

              “Particularly after the election and the two threats that you talked about,” he told host John Dickerson when asked about the reports. “The external one, and whether or not we would commence some kind of combat or conflict with Iran. And then the internal one in terms of where it might go, particularly with respect to how the military would be used by President Trump to somehow validate that the election actually was a fraud and keep the president in power. I think that’s all very accurate and obviously incredibly disturbing, literally in every respect.”

              The current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, had bluntly described his concern that Trump would use America’s armed forces to overturn the 2020 election, according to excerpts released of an upcoming book, “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.

              “They may try, but they’re not going to fucking succeed,” Milley told his deputies of a possible coup, according to CNN’s account of the book, which will be released Tuesday. “You can’t do this without the military. You can’t do this without the CIA and the FBI. We’re the guys with the guns.”
              ____________

              Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

              Comment


              • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                I'm sorry Sir but that directly contradicts the memoirs of CIA officers like Tony Mendez.
                I will counter Mendez with Alexander Lebed and the resulting panic he caused when he claimed that 85 out of 250 suitcase nukes are unaccounted for. What's more, these were KGB devices and thus, were not part of the SRF inventory and thus not part of any Arms Control Treaties. Yeah, we paniced for years trying to find them.

                Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                Sir, I don't think we can say with such absolute certainty what Putin would or would not do.
                Not following you. What Putin would do or would not do is a matter of history. He did what he did and no more, Any more as hinted by that article is not based on the actions that we have determined.
                Chimo

                Comment


                • MBFC is not a viable fact checker. But hats besides the point. I included a variety of sources with political bias, bias does not mean non-factual. CNN and MSNBC are horrible partisan and lie through ommission and even out right lies all the time. Doesn't mean the stories I linked too are wrong. And despite the fig leaf you give yourself, you are defending Biden by keeping your spot light on Trump who is not in office, and not on the dude who is. Its why I call you a liberal, you've made common cause with them.

                  Comment


                  • And note not a single one of you quesetioned the intel. You all assumed it be true, "is it a stretch?" Red flags serviced to me as soon as I start reading it. Who leaked this? Why now? Western intel had it for months and no movement and all of a sudden the Guardian has it? A newspaper? What possible motive would a spook has to release it to a newspaper? If anything, it's another hint to the counter-spook guys to start hunting.

                    Their spooks risks a hell of a lot more than our spooks when releasing intel. Whole families disappears. So what are the rewards for such a risk? I didn't read any high level defection lately.
                    oh, it could very easily be purposefully released "intel" that may, or may not, have elements of the truth. after all, Trump is gone now, and releasing bits and pieces of truth mixed with falsehoods would be just the thing to spin up the outrage machine.

                    but, the kicker is that overall nothing about the content jumps out as an outright lie, again, as I mentioned, with large elements of this previously reported on by US intel.

                    Really? NATO expansion eastward has effectively stopped. The Siberian border is secured with China is now a defacto ally. Moscow has a defacto veto in the Middle East with her military presence. If anything, Putin is in a far stronger position than Yeltsin.
                    after 2004, NATO could hardly expand eastward further. thanks to Putin's clumsy ham-handed response to Ukraine, he turned the wealthier section of Ukraine into a deadly enemy, and the poorer section of Ukraine into his own personal basket-case. the Siberian border is "secured" in the sense that the Chinese are just buying it wholesale. Moscow continues to expend resources rather meaninglessly in the Middle East (I am not sure what Syria and parts of Libya get them).

                    Putin is stronger than Yeltsin, but that's a pretty damn low bar to cross.

                    Putin's Russia in 2021 is hardly in a stronger position than Putin's Russia in say, 2009. that's not really an exaggeration-- the Russian economy of today is smaller than the Russian economy of 2008, and likely will need another 2 years of growth to get back to those 2008 levels.

                    so there's that Cold War strategic genius for you; took a bunch of stupid risks and shot his country for a generation and a half.

                    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by astralis View Post
                      but, the kicker is that overall nothing about the content jumps out as an outright lie, again, as I mentioned, with large elements of this previously reported on by US intel.
                      You know how these things work. Leave enough gtruth in there to make it credible and make you jump through hoops to verify the rest.

                      Originally posted by astralis View Post
                      after 2004, NATO could hardly expand eastward further. thanks to Putin's clumsy ham-handed response to Ukraine, he turned the wealthier section of Ukraine into a deadly enemy, and the poorer section of Ukraine into his own personal basket-case.
                      You're blaming the UKR's self inflicted wounds on Putin? If anything, Putin stopped us from inherriting that basketcase.

                      Originally posted by astralis View Post
                      the Siberian border is "secured" in the sense that the Chinese are just buying it wholesale.
                      That's reaching and you know it. The Chinese are buying Siberia like they are buying California. No one in Siberia nor California is paying property tax to Beijing and those are Russian tanks and Russian nukes in Siberia, not Chinese just as Beijing has zero say in American nukes and American aircraft carriers in California. If shit hits the fan, we have their money and they've got squat. The same goes for the Russians.

                      Originally posted by astralis View Post
                      Moscow continues to expend resources rather meaninglessly in the Middle East (I am not sure what Syria and parts of Libya get them).
                      You're joking? Control of Israeli skies.

                      Originally posted by astralis View Post
                      Putin is stronger than Yeltsin, but that's a pretty damn low bar to cross.
                      Which also showed how much more powerful he is

                      Originally posted by astralis View Post
                      Putin's Russia in 2021 is hardly in a stronger position than Putin's Russia in say, 2009. that's not really an exaggeration-- the Russian economy of today is smaller than the Russian economy of 2008, and likely will need another 2 years of growth to get back to those 2008 levels.

                      so there's that Cold War strategic genius for you; took a bunch of stupid risks and shot his country for a generation and a half.
                      How could ANYONE done better? The UKR imploded. Yelstin bankrupted Russia. Putin fought 5 wars (Georgia, 2 Chechen, Syria, and the UKR) and still stopped the economy from sliding further.
                      Chimo

                      Comment


                      • You know how these things work. Leave enough gtruth in there to make it credible and make you jump through hoops to verify the rest.
                        of course. the thing is, though, with any non-dipshit US President, if the Russkies claimed any of this they would have been laughed to the moon.

                        that it's even mildly plausible speaks volumes about the character of the preceding President.

                        You're blaming the UKR's self inflicted wounds on Putin? If anything, Putin stopped us from inherriting that basketcase.
                        with a more competent leader, Russia would have kept Ukraine-- all of it-- in its orbit without needing to bleed billions.

                        No one in Siberia nor California is paying property tax to Beijing and those are Russian tanks and Russian nukes in Siberia, not Chinese just as Beijing has zero say in American nukes and American aircraft carriers in California. If shit hits the fan, we have their money and they've got squat. The same goes for the Russians.
                        but China is getting exactly what they want from Siberia-- resources. "the Siberian border is secured" is a meaningless statement, has been meaningless after 1969 if you're talking about hostile Chinese presence, meaningless since 1989 if you're talking CIA listening stations.

                        "China as a defacto ally" is a meaningless statement, we both know it. if Russia decides to take the Baltics, PLA ain't gonna do squat to help out the Russkies. if China decides to take Taiwan, the Russian navy isn't gonna steam out.

                        they can do a bunch of dog-and-pony exercises together, no one is fooled.

                        You're joking? Control of Israeli skies.
                        who cares? the Israelis hardly seem to be nervous about the prospect, why should we?

                        Which also showed how much more powerful he is
                        Putin not being constantly drunk indeed helps, but again -- low bar.

                        Putin fought 5 wars (Georgia, 2 Chechen, Syria, and the UKR) and still stopped the economy from sliding further.
                        do you know who did better than Putin? let's not even say someone like Deng Xiaoping, Putin from 2001-2008 did better. then he bought into the whole "the US wants to bring us down via color revolution" conspiracy theory, and things went to hell.

                        so if he was a Cold Warrior, he sure didn't learn the lessons of the Cold War.
                        There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

                        Comment


                        • Well, to be fair, Putin apparently comprehensively hacked the 2016 US elections, getting Trump elected. Apparently that's impossible for anyone to do now though.
                          In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.

                          Leibniz

                          Comment


                          • What is beyond question is that the Russians indulged in a campaign of misinformation using social media to target potential US voters prior to the 2016 elections. What has not been proved at all despite various investigations lasting years is any direct election related collusion/conspiracy between the Russians and the Trump campaign. In this scenario, what do you think is more likely? That the Russians just carelessly let documentary evidence of such a conspiracy fall into the hands of western intelligence agencies and media or that this is yet another piece of misinformation designed to make Americans distrust their own political systems. Trumpists already believe the 2020 election was a lie thanks to Trump's histrionics and their own gullibility. Meanwhile the Russians can convince credulous democrats that their country couldn't possibly have elected a man like Trump into office if it hadn't been for those evil and omniscient Russian spooks. So the next time they are surprised again and Trump v2 gets elected all the disbelief and Russian collusion theories can be brought back.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by astralis View Post
                              of course. the thing is, though, with any non-dipshit US President, if the Russkies claimed any of this they would have been laughed to the moon.

                              that it's even mildly plausible speaks volumes about the character of the preceding President.
                              That says more about your people than it does of Putin. The very fact that you don't even question the intel and says "is it a stretch" instead of seeing red flags says how far the rabbit hole someone versed in intel has gone, that you ignored your own professionalism.

                              Originally posted by astralis View Post
                              with a more competent leader, Russia would have kept Ukraine-- all of it-- in its orbit without needing to bleed billions.
                              Oh horse puckey. Someone was going to bleed $billions for that basketcase and you know it. Putin cut our losses as well as his. The UKR's horse pucks are its own doing and mismanagement and the only reason they tilted towards NATO and the EU is because they know Russia don't have that kind of cash.

                              Originally posted by astralis View Post
                              but China is getting exactly what they want from Siberia-- resources.
                              Yes, they're buying it, not taking it. And Russia got good cold hard cash for soemthing they can't get at and infrastructure paid for by someone else. I remind you that energy sales guarrantees by both Canada and Mexico to the US are written into NAFTA and the USMCA

                              Originally posted by astralis View Post
                              "the Siberian border is secured" is a meaningless statement, has been meaningless after 1969 if you're talking about hostile Chinese presence, meaningless since 1989 if you're talking CIA listening stations.

                              "China as a defacto ally" is a meaningless statement, we both know it. if Russia decides to take the Baltics, PLA ain't gonna do squat to help out the Russkies. if China decides to take Taiwan, the Russian navy isn't gonna steam out.
                              Oh for Pete sakes, you certainly are a worst Cold Warrior than Putin and even worst WWII historian. Japan's Non Agression Pact allowed Stalin to strip Central Asia of men and material. Without a hostile China, Putin got an extra 200,000 men he could thow to the Baltics. We're in no position to fight a defensive war against a 200,000 man onslaught in the Baltics, not without throwing nukes at Moscow.

                              Originally posted by astralis View Post
                              who cares? the Israelis hardly seem to be nervous about the prospect, why should we?
                              You see anymore Israeli adventures against Assad? And last I checked, Trump was the one who did that.

                              Originally posted by astralis View Post
                              Putin not being constantly drunk indeed helps, but again -- low bar.
                              And you forget the mess that Putin inherited from Yeltsin. Russian territorial integrety was under threat from Chechnya and Georgia. The UKR was defaulting on Russian loans while begging to the West for more money. Is anyone, Snapper and her ilk excluded, under any delusion that the UKR won't kick the Black Sea Fleet out of Crimea if she joined NATO? Is anyone under any dillusion that the original NATO members would even allow a Russian base in a NATO country?

                              Originally posted by astralis View Post
                              do you know who did better than Putin? let's not even say someone like Deng Xiaoping, Putin from 2001-2008 did better. then he bought into the whole "the US wants to bring us down via color revolution" conspiracy theory, and things went to hell.

                              so if he was a Cold Warrior, he sure didn't learn the lessons of the Cold War.
                              He learned it far better than you. If you can't defend your borders, you ain't a country no matter how mujch money you've got. If you can't defend your allies, you ain't a power no matter who you tried to bribe.
                              Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 19 Jul 21,, 21:31.
                              Chimo

                              Comment


                              • Oh for Pete sakes, you certainly are a worst Cold Warrior than Putin and even worst WWII historian. Japan's Non Agression Pact allowed Stalin to strip Central Asia of men and material. Without a hostile China, Putin got an extra 200,000 men he could thow to the Baltics. We're in no position to fight a defensive war against a 200,000 man onslaught in the Baltics, not without throwing nukes at Moscow.
                                hey, THAT'S the Cold war dinosaur we all know and love...:-)

                                none of that is going to happen.

                                Putin's not gonna throw 200K troops in the Baltics, friendly China or not.

                                in any case, I'm not sure what you're trying to argue here. your original point is that Putin is a Cold Warrior and will thus "assume the end result is a nuclear exchange anytime shooting occurs between the superpowers".

                                on the latter part of this point, we agree. Putin takes significant risks but not to the point where he's risking a nuclear war.

                                where we disagree is that in my book Putin was hardly a Cold Warrior, just a bureaucrat spook at what even HE considered a dead-end job. and while Putin is tactically good, he's not strategically good; otherwise, he would be in charge of a Russia that would be significantly wealthier and more powerful today, vs leveraging a high risk tolerance to bolster Russia's overall weakening power.
                                There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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