Wrathy wrath

I think the set of facts - Clinton is an untrustworthy politician and Trump is an untrustworthy non-politician - is something that perhaps a lot of people on both sides of the Clinton/Trump line agree on (obviously there are plenty of enthusiastic supporters on both sides as well). Clinton is stable, Trump is unstable. I think Clinton supporters (again, talking about this narrow subgroup) want that stability because they believe that without it things could go desperately wrong. The Trump supporters, on the other hand, want instability because they believe the current system needs to be disrupted.

So the same set of facts leads to these two very different conclusions.

That would not be my preference. If Russia took over Lithuania, that would be bad for Lithuania. Lithuania is, from what I can tell by reading a little bit, an okay place to live that would become a worse place to live under Russian rule. Lithuania is also an okay place to live that would be a worse place to live under Russian rule that would be an even worse place to live if it became the battleground for a war between Russia and the west.

If Putin for some reason decided to take over Lithuania, I think the idea response would be a soft spoken “What is going on? Why would you do this?” in Putin’s direction, along with passive resistance from Lithuanians who felt up to it. I think ultimately there could be a generation peacefully opposing Russian rule (but with roofs overhead and food in the grocery stores) or a generation rebuilding from a devastating war (if there was anyone left to rebuild).

Ultimately I don’t think Putin will really start taking over the EU because it would invite an all out war which probably isn’t in his interests. But apparently some people think he will, and some people think we need to be ready to respond with fighter jets and missiles. And people in positions of power keep proving themselves so stupid that maybe that’s where we are going.


More specifically than “a worse place to live,” there would be a large number of dead people, destroyed infrastructure, human rights violations, and probably an ongoing military resistance that would Ukraine-ify the place over time. There would also be a violation of national sovereignty in violation of multiple treaties, with the US (and Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Turkey, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, etc.) obligated to assist unless the US chose to back out and face the fallout for not honoring a treaty. There would also be the risk of emboldening Putin to harm more neighbors unless there was a response.

I don’t think Putin would really start too much, given the risks, though I think Putin would be far, far more restrained about expanding with NATO intact. Trump wants the US to exit NATO which would be very destabilizing, and could in itself be something that dragged us into military conflicts. I see Trump’s promises as likely to drag the US into war more than anything Clinton’s said.


NATO and USSR/Russia have avoided direct conflict because mutual deterrence works. With Clinton in charge, this status quo would remain: she can be counted on to use force when necessary, and that means the necessity would not come up. It may mean more war in the Middle East or wherever a local crisis of wider significance develops, but not with Russia, because nobody wants to see what that war would look like. As for Trump, well…

…pretty much this. If President Trump leaves NATO, or just lets his recent statement that he would not defend the Baltics stand, the consequences would be disastrous. The Baltics are NATO and EU (and Eurozone) members. An unopposed attack by Russia could quickly shatter both organizations, and then Putin could work at the individual countries - politically as well as militarily - to rebuild his dream empire along with a new buffer “Eastern Bloc”. It’s not so much a WW3 as a “watching the world burn” scenario.

ETA: Vox made a rather nice (and scary) flowchart mapping the possible outcomes of Russia trying the Ukrainian playbook in Estonia. It’s mostly focused on the question “how could this turn into nuclear war” and thus the earlier exits are not elaborated upon as much as I’d like (e.g. the first available exit for “Peace” would look much, much different than a “Peace” following a Russian surrender after a short conventional war), but it’s informative nonetheless. With things as they are, I think the premise is not worth worrying about, but with Trump in charge, all bets are off.


Can we please leave the silly feelings-inspired crap to Trump supporters? The record says that none of the various Clintons we’ve seen since she turned away from Goldwater would be willing to risk war with Russia, and even under severest provocation would not do it without full support of the largest countries in Western Europe. Which European leader would be ready to support such a conflict? Maybe Theresa May, but right now she has negative influence with her colleagues on the Continent.


How bout a new cold war? Here’s hoping it doesn’t get too hot.

With the rise of Putin there’s been an effective new Cold War in place since 2000 with smaller proxy conflicts as he’s worked to expand influence and just plain expand (note who owns Crimea now). He started in Chechnya, has moved to Ukraine, and now is building up military forces in the Baltics. The article you cited is sort of funny in complaining about US propaganda (which, granted, is ugly), while naively repeating Kremlin propaganda (if you read the transcript of the “Yats” call, it’s not at all what the article naively described it as, and the description of Anakonda, a NATO defence wargame preparing for a Russian attack on Poland is hardly as threatening as described unless Russia was considering invading Poland again). Russia is hostile, we shouldn’t pretend otherwise, nor trust Putin who’s already got a history of assassinations/false flag ops/and invasions that make Obama’s State under Obama look like a paragon of virtue in comparison.


You’re neglecting to account for the restraining influence that Obama had on Clinton as Sec State. Clinton wanted to charge into Syria; Obama blocked it.


The record contains plenty of evidence that Clinton would go to war with Russia. Clinton seems more cautious than other neo con war hawks, but she still thinks like them. Remember Obama’s talk about a red line in Ukraine? I was happy that was empty bluster, Clinton was not:

Clinton also criticized the Obama administration’s minimal efforts to contain Russia’s expansionist efforts in Ukraine since the 2014 annexation of Crimea. She put herself “in the category of people who wanted to do more in reaction to the annexation of Crimea,” adding that the Russian government’s objective is “to stymie, to confront, to undermine American power whenever and wherever they can.” [emphasis mine]

That how she saw the invasion of Ukraine - a Russian assault on American power. To her, Ukraine was part of the American empire (which it, kind of was after the US-backed a coup/revolution threw out the Russian-backed government).

If Russia decided to take over my province, I’d be really, really upset about that. I’d be afraid about a lot of things. But my #1 fear would be that the US would come to our military defense. It’s time for some of these Christian assholes to turn the other fucking cheek. We love Ghandi and Mandela, and the moment we are confronted with adversity we say, “Well, violence is the only way out of this problem.”


So well said. Thank you.


I agree that Clinton is not an isolationist, and her record includes a willingness to use military force in police actions. There’s substantial space between that and being ready to start a nuclear war.

There has been no US president since Carter who has been as committed to, or experienced in, diplomacy, or in working with our major allies. Clinton isn’t going to charge in anywhere alone, or even with a token list of allies (as GWB did in Iraq). She’s certainly not going to defend a country from a Russian incursion against their will, @Humbabella’s odd fear.


Some especially good wrathy wrath:

I don’t think I ever suggested she would defend a country against their will. I said that if Russia took over my home province I’d be hoping no one came militarily to our aide. I strongly doubt that my government (in exile) would feel the same way.

Then you should try to persuade your own government not to ask for help. You said there was “plenty of evidence that Clinton would go to war with Russia” and that made her a “neo con war hawk,” but coming to the military aid of an ally is SOP for governments, and if you are a leader who only does it after much discussion and cooperation with other major allies (or even - as was the case with Libya - at their behest) then you are not being especially hawky.


I think the problem people have when they see Clinton referred to as a hawk is that the go-to mental reference for a hawk is Dubya, which is not fair. I think the correct avian epithet for him would be a headless chicken: running at the nearest dung heap without a goal, plan or comprehension, but with enough force to send shit flying. It’s possible to value and use military force without sacrificing mental faculties.


That’s a fair reading. I guess I could clarify that I call her a hawk because of her stance on the middle east. But going to war to protect Lithuania at the behest of a government in exile could be argued as being unrelated to hawkishness, and it’s not unreasonable to guess that the majority of people opposed to such action are opposed to it because they lack courage rather than because they have principles. My standards are impossibly high.

That’s why I say that while I don’t like Clinton, I think a substantial amount of the backlash against her is misogynist. Because I have standards by which many world leaders ought to be in prison, but others demonstrably don’t. I think America is a sham democracy where rule of law has completely broken down, others see that as hyperbole. If you have a position of significant power, @Humbabella is going to think you are a monster for the way you are using it. You can’t win!

And that’s why I find myself arguing with the anti-Bernie-Supporter crowd. It’s as if they are pretending that there aren’t good reasons to think Clinton is awful. My #1 reason to dislike her is the year in which she came around on same sex marriage (2013). But, I think it could be very reasonably argued that a candidate who is an average American in terms of her progressiveness is a pretty good choice for president.


Fair enough. As you’ve probably noticed, I’m far from anti-Sanders, but I also don’t think Clinton is awful. She was on the wrong side (probably) of many issues until she wasn’t - this surely applies to all of us - but she has been on the right side of many issues for a very long time. I’m not enthusiastic about her, but a lot of smart progressives are, and they’re not stupid. It isn’t like the DNC deluded all the people who voted for her.


Agreed – If Trump wins it’ll be via the hubris of the DNC and faux-liberals that supported Hillary in the face of numerous polls that showed that Bernie would’ve handily beaten Trump with a huge advantage from independents and the millennial/youth vote in a national election.

Corporatist Democrat publications such as Mother Jones are only making things worse for Hillary by attacking millennials and blaming everyone except themselves for the situation they put themselves in.

This is what I’m talking about:


Unlike Jimmy Dore (whom I love) – I’ll be voting for Hillary, however I will not spend any of my time and energy supporting her. I am putting all my energy into fighting against the scumbag corporations that support her. I’m fighting them to acquire single payer health care in Colorado and lead rest of the United States afterwards. (Also climate change issues, etc.)

Hillary and her pompous minions have told me until they are blue in the face that our grassroots movement without corporate money is a fruitless endeavor. Therefore, Hillary doesn’t need my grassroots compatriots and myself. Let’s see how they do with corporate collusion against Trump.

If the corporatist machine and myopic HillaryBros that supported Hillary over Bernie can’t beat Trump, then they only have themselves to blame. It’s frankly becoming increasingly pathetic to watch people like Clara Jeffery make idiots of themselves trying to desperately blame others instead of looking in the fucking mirror.


While the DNC blows, I do think there are more serious issues than this time’s reiteration of the same party politics every election suffers from. Some people didn’t know how the sausage was made, but the existence of those people can’t explain why Trump is gaining. Nobody’s going to say, “gosh, behind the scenes the Dems play dirty politics, I guess I have to vote for Trump, since he’s clearly above that.” They’re more likely to fall in that tiny bloc that’s going Green.

I think Obama’s account does a better job explaining and also conforms well to my experience of current politics, polarization seen in various forms, and talking to Trump backers. Annoyingly the journo only posted in full to Twitter in an image:


Right, and I didn’t mean to imply that. What’s happening is younger Americans are getting rapidly exposed to the fact that the Democratic party does not represent them. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll vote for Trump, it means they’ll refrain from voting for Hillary.

People understand Trump is a dangerous buffoon and that’s why some will hold their noses and vote for Republican-Lite Hillary (like I will). However, many others will vote for a decent human being like Jill Stein and I really can’t blame them – even if I don’t agree with that tactic (except in some limited circumstances).

Meanwhile, if Hillary supporters keep denigrating and pompously insulting people who see the DNC for the corporatist machine it is – They’re just going to shove Democratic voters away like we saw in the disatrous mid-terms after Obama and most of the rest of the Democratic establishment flaked out on progressives.

The problem for the DNC is they’ve now been exposed for being anti-progressive corporatists. The media wall that attempted to hide that reality is coming down brick by brick. The charade is over as younger Americans no longer consume the poisonous corporate media that older (see many Boing Boing readers) still take as gospel (here’s looking at you, MSNBC).

Properly educated millennials (and others) who eschew corporate media mantras for alternative media such as The Young Turks and my beloved Humanist Report with Mike Figueredo are no longer fooled by the bullshit narrative that national Democrats give one shit about progressive causes that could hurt a corporatist bottom line for them.

Many Americans didn’t know just how conservative (and depraved) the Democratic party was until now. The problem for pseudo-progresssive corporatists everywhere is millennials (especially) are seeing through their bullshit in record numbers and acting upon this information.

The fact that Trump is even remotely a challenge for Hillary is a sign that BOTH corporatist parties are in dire decline.


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