You cannot make this stuff up.
This is not a photoshop, but a genuine pix released by the Saudi Press Agency, memorializing the moment when Donald Trump joined Egyptian dictator Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz at the opening of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology. Video, if you care.
Surely someone has noted by now that the first corollary of a putative Trump tilt towards Putin’s Russia is a tilt against China? For just as Kissinger and Nixon opened relations with China as a counterweight to the USSR, so today is a tilt towards Russia a way to push against China. In that context SecState nominee Rex Tillerson’s scary and bellicose words about denying China access to the islands it has built up in the South China Sea not only have a simple logic, they seem almost predictable.
If Vietnam gets a kind word, we’ll know for sure this is the strategy.
It is both crazy and not. The South China sea situation is perhaps the nastiest and likeliest to blow flashpoint in the US political-diplomatic landscape, with only the perennial middle east giving it competition. Yes, even Pakistan and North Korea are less scary right now. So if you think think China is problem #1 — ie that Putin will be satisfied with Crimea, or in any case can be deterred from Poland and the Baltic states, then allying with Russia to leash China might seem to make crude sense. Doubly so if you are thinking trade war.
If, that is, you are trigger happy.
Time to ratchet up the worry meter to ….
And it isn’t even directly about Donald Trump. Or then again maybe it is.
Across numerous countries, including Australia, Britain, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States, the percentage of people who say it is “essential” to live in a democracy has plummeted, and it is especially low among younger generations.
— Amanda Taub, How Stable Are Democracies? ‘Warning Signs Are Flashing Red’
This graph says it all:
I don’t know who this Democratic Coalition Against Trump is. I like their URL. But I don’t at all care for this web ad they’ve done — it strikes me as utterly ineffective. The issue of Trump being in the tank for Putin — or just a dupe — is a serious one. This doesn’t help.
Juan Cole lays it out. I’d say the case against HRC is first, foreign policy, second reliance on corporatist economic advisers. (And I’m tired of hearing about her damn emails.)
The second problem may be ameliorated by a need to avoid angering the Warren wing of the party. The first problem–hawkishness, adherence to the Villager consensus on use of force–isn’t going away, and probably can’t go away for a first female President lest she seem ‘weak’ to the foolish but dangerous. It was on full display on the agonizing and unwatchable NBC ‘Candidates Forum’ last night. Thank goodness for the fast forward button on my DVR.
Yes, Trump was very very very much worse. So?
Update: Bonus gloom–The Intercept, Hillary Clinton’s National Security Advisers Are a “Who’s Who” of the Warfare State.