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Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #406 
Montenegro, a NATO ally, reacted to President Trump's statement about them by calling his statment "stupid".

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44877718

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The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #407 
On cue, Obama reminds everyone things could be, and were, worse:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-5963075/Obama-gives-Trump-sharp-rebuke-Mandela-address-values.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490

https://www.nationalreview.com/the-morning-jolt/obama-speech-south-africa-slams-habits-drove-career/

On Russia, Trump spoke like someone unhinged, as are his defences of his words, but there is some truth in the idea he is harsher on Russia than his predecessor. He has provided arms to the Ukrainians where the Obama administration wouldn't (I actually don't think America should get more involved in the Russia-Ukraine conflict), and increased sanctions.

On NATO, he should have stuck to his original idea and pulled out of it. It has little discernable raison d'etre today, except needlessly antagonising the Russias in their backyard. Why Montenegro, of all nations, has joined, I have no idea. I guess we should all be thankful Ukraine hasn't yet joined.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-zombie-policy-of-nato-expansion/
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #408 
Quote:
On Russia, Trump spoke like someone unhinged, as are his defences of his words, but there is some truth in the idea he is harsher on Russia than his predecessor



I beg to differ.  This president has been extremely weak on Russia.  He's been tougher on his own allies.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-bolton/u-s-will-not-push-for-deliverables-at-russia-summit-bolton-idUSKBN1K50M7

https://www.newsweek.com/putin-says-trump-discussed-sanctions-and-how-resolve-ukraine-crisis-1027851

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/15/world/europe/trump-putin-helsinki-summit.html

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/07/putin-triumphs-trump-russia-summit-180716183410461.html

This man should be an embarrassment to the party of Reagan.  His inexplicable deference to Putin while he guts Theresa May is perplexing.

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The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #409 
But that doesn't disprove what I wrote. Trump has supplied Ukraine with weapons that Obama wouldn't, to increase its capabilities against the Russians, and he has increased sanctions. I'm talking about actions, not his undiplomatic (but not entirely unjustified, considering the historic freeloading of many NATO members) words to his allies and bizarre comments about Putin. So there is a somewhat more complicated situation than the idea he is soft on Russia.
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #410 
And now yet another about face!  There really must be something wrong with this man!

https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/18/politics/trump-putin-election-interference/index.html

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The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #411 
I'm not sure about disbanding NATO but I'd be all for disbanding the EU. I believe in a Europe of nation-states, not dominated by an empire in Brussels or Moscow. Poland and other Eastern European nations would certainly prefer the same.

I would much prefer that we have associations of like-minded nations like the Commonwealth and the Visegrad Group, which have far more culturally-linked connotations than the EU.
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #412 
FBI Director Wray says in no uncertain terms that Russia had malign intent in interfering in American elections, and hinted that he was considering resignation at certain points in the past year.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5968775/FBI-Director-Wray-says-Russia-continues-sow-discord-US.html

Outrage is growing about an apparent "conversation" between Putin and Trump about allowing the Russians to interrogate former U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/07/19/trump-putin-conversation-about-russian-interrogation-of-u-s-diplomat-prompts-outrage-astonishment/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.cedcfef3d054

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The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #413 
Here are a couple of good articles on the wisdom of NATO expansion, or lack thereof:


http://thefederalist.com/2018/07/19/no-montenegro-not-essential-u-s-national-security-interests/

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/nato-expansion-and-our-lack-of-serious-foreign-policy-debates/

Larison makes a good point about the lack of discussion that is had on key aspects of US foreign policy. It isn't irrational to question whether NATO expansion actually makes the US and the world safer. And how many average Americans (or Brits) know their country is pledged to send its own people, to die of needs be, for the defence of Montenegro? Trump may have shown his classic lack of diplomatic discretion, but the question is not to be dismissed.
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #414 
I don't get the whole Montenegro thing either, but I think Montenegro should be a kingdom again. Yugoslavia was a terrible mistake resulting from Serbia's misguided Pan-Slavism.

I am a nationalist and believe each nation-state should be self-governing and defend its own institutions, symbols and identity. Poland and other Eastern European nations seem to be upholding Western Civilisation far better than Western Europe and North America.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #415 
Why so much bother about Montenegro? There really seems little reason to fear Russia crossing several intervening borders to invade it, and amphibious or aerial assaults also appear unlikely. If Russia decided to test Nato's resolve, I would expect it to be in the Baltics, where from its point of view there is something to be gained and which are right there on its land borders. But actually I do know why Montenegro. Trump thinks it's insignificant and, being a bully and unburdened by manners, picks on it to make his not particularly sound point.

I am actually happy for the Baltics to be under the Nato umbrella, since I think they might quite possibly have already been re-engulfed otherwise. There is in fact a formal process ongoing between Ukraine and the alliance, which in the past has said Ukraine can join when ready. Can't say I'd be keen, not wanting to test Putin's resolve. Likewise with Georgia, which is in a similar situation to Ukraine. You know, David, that I do not consider xenophobia and repressive, regressive and fundamentally arbitrary morality to be hallmarks of Western civilisation, and therefore do not consider the current Polish and Hungarian governments to be upholders of same. But even though you know I thought I'd say it once again.
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #416 
I would rather the Eastern European nations form a closer alliance - Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Latvia, Estonia, ad infinitum - on the basis of shared values and experiences. Likewise the English-speaking nations, the Commonwealth and the rest, should also work more closely together on the basis of shared values and experiences.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #417 
A good article on the predictably hysterical overreaction to Trump's meeting with Putin and (admittedly bizarre) remarks at the press conference afterwards.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/07/democrats-reaction-to-trump-helsinki-summit-absurd-nonsense/

This passage sums up my thoughts on these events, as well as showing an a too familiar pattern of Trump and his critics:

"The Trump news conference with Putin was unhinged. But so is Democrats’ reaction to it."
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #418 
Frankly I'm tired of the hysterics from the media and celebrity class. No interest is shown in them for the Iran protest movement, the killings of farmers in South Africa, or the persecution of Christians in Nigeria and the Middle East. All of which are of far greater importance.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #419 
The issue with Montenegro is symbolic of the general issue with NATO: it's obsolescence and the fact it may not, and often doesn't seem to, make the world, or America (and Britain), safer.

Trump didn't bring Montenegro up, rather that was Tucker Carlson in an interview with Trump, so I don't think Trump is picking on Montenegro. Carlson brought it up because of the relatively unknown and recent membership of Montenegro. It brings very little to the alliance itself, so it would seem only to be a liability. Should Brits or Americans die to defend it? Yes, it isn't threatened now, but who knows what may happen in the future. Foreign affairs are notoriously unpredictable. Not many realise that Putin made a serious attempt at trying to bring about a couple in Montenegro to stop it joining NATO.

I too am glad the Baltic states are independent, and wish them to remain so. I don't much care who ends up with Crimea or the breakaway regions, but I would love to see Ukraine be an independent country whose sovereignty was fully respected by its neighbours. The problem is that, as the realist IR school eloquently reminds us, there are real limits about what can be achieved in international relations, and real costs to being too optimistic about what can be achieved. Russia sees itself as a great power and desires to make itself felt in its traditional sphere of influence. It is a source of extreme annoyance to Putin and the Russians that, at low ebb, the West encroached on this sphere, right up to the borders of Russia. Putin is an opportunist. He will try to increase Russian influence where he can, so it is necessary to project enough deterrence that he doesn't eye up prizes further afield. It seems to me we have to recognise these basic facts. Make it obvious to Putin there are limits to how far he can extend Russian influence, but it would be foolhardy to think we could, through pressure and force, get Russia to give up its attempt to exercise it's traditional sphere of influence. To risk American and British lives in a possibly catastrophic clash with Russia over Ukraine or the Baltic states or Georgia, would, to my mind, be one of the greatest foreign policy blunders those nations ever made.
jovan66102

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Reply with quote  #420 
But David, the farmers in S.A. are white Boer fascists, the Iranians fell off the radar of the chattering classes after the fascist Shah was deposed, and the Nigerians and Middle Easterners are Christian (and probably fascist as well). Didn't you get the memo?
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'Monarchy can easily be ‘debunked;' but watch the faces, mark the accents of the debunkers. These are the men whose tap-root in Eden has been cut: whom no rumour of the polyphony, the dance, can reach - men to whom pebbles laid in a row are more beautiful than an arch. Yet even if they desire equality, they cannot reach it. Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes or film-stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison.' C.S. Lewis God save Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, etc.! Vive le Très haut, très puissant et très excellent Prince, Louis XX, Par la grâce de Dieu, Roi de France et de Navarre, Roi Très-chrétien!
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