2019/08/17

Unreliable partners

.
(I had nothing prepared for this Saturday, so I present you a text that was finished, but apparently not published in March 2017. I think it aged well. The rather pro-conservative but not pro-fascist Washington Post recently published that the lying moron had passed 12,000 falsehoods and misleading claims since inauguration.)

Trump made a speech that was hailed as this best in a long time, kind of "presidential", literally unpresidented.

The problem with this is that fact checking found him false on up to 51 of 61 claims made in 61 minutes.

examples:


There's a controversy about a few of those, so I play it safe and say he said 40+ falsehoods in one hour of speech to the legislative branch of government. That's the speech that was widely considered his best.
Now think about this for a while. 40+. Maybe you like Trump and are inclined to claim that there were maybe only 20+ or 10+ falsehoods. That would still be 10+ falsehoods in an hour. With previous presidents of the post-WW2 era (save for maybe GWB and Nixon) 10+ falsehoods would have been considered be outrageously much and the speech to be their worst - not the best as with Trump. That's how normal the constant lying has become in U.S. politics since Trump appeared on the stage.

It's difficult to come up with 40+ falsehoods of Chancellor Merkel over the entire course of her Chancellorship since 2005, and I write this despite disliking her and many CDU policies.

Thus it's established (once again, as if any further proof was needed) that the president of the United States is a liar, likely a pathological liar or what was called a "bullshit artist".



The conclusion is that the United States have a very powerful president whose statements are worthless because of the high frequency of falsehoods and who bases his policies on ideas that don't stem from reality, but from fiction.

The United States have essentially become an unpredictable random factor in global affairs.

It's pointless to talk to the United States' president unless the plan is to manipulate the president. Nothing he says can be considered a reliable statement of fact or a promise.

This is a stark contrast to the immensely stable 'Washington rules' establishment foreign policy which had its flaws, but rarely did anything unpredicted. Reagan's nuclear arms reduction negotiations were among the most unpredictable policies under the old paradigm, and they were a pleasant surprise.

Today, form a German perspective, the #1 partner in national/collective security should be France. I chose France over the UK because the UK hasn't made up its mind about whether it's a European or a North American country. The executive branch leadership of the U.S. is a near-worthless partner as of now, unpredictable and living in a fantasy world of "alternative facts".


S O
.

19 comments:

  1. Oh, fuck you and your biased bullshit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, sour snowflake, did I call your Dear Leader a liar after he lied 12,000 times in public in less than three years? Poor you and your cognitive dissonance!

      Delete
  2. It'll take at least decades to repair the damage this fucktard is doing to this country...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Everything written above is relevant and pretty much true. I do think you are somewhat exaggerating the importance of the individual though. The USA and the EU have divergent interests and "immagined worlds" conditioning their policy choices. The Americans are ahead of us in the political senility curve, so much so that they're painful to watch, but I don't think positive re-assessments of American Cold War behaviour is either justified or helpful in the current situation. Moreover, it is to dismiss the evolutionary development of this situation from the Cold War and the role played by all these "decent people" in precipitating the current decline. The problem appears to be systematic: where are the moderate voices in the US establishment? are there people in positions of power who do not publicly support the notion of American exceptionalism from which they derive their right to rule? N.B. a moderate policy of supremacy by the strongest power is different to insisting on total obeisance from all others.

    While I can understand the reasons for your and others' distress, I do not think the situation is as bad as implied. What military objectives do Germany and France have which require US support / leadership, if at all? (Apart from trying to economically and militarily annex the Ukraine by force - why? - which predictably failed catastrophically) Worries about (possible!)INF-range missiles aside, deterrence in Eurasia is stronger than ever: no large power has the strength (neither in front line ground/air units nor reserves/supply stockiples to launch a large war, economic integration even before nuclear arguments makes the thing very foolhardy and the current peace is by and large profitable for all.

    To sum it up: that the USA is a loose cannon led by incompetents is regrettable but hopefully not fatal, and probably not too detrimental to European interests compared to their more rational forefathers; after all the geniuses in charge beforehand managed to launch the Cold War, then by the 70's proceed to spectacularly lose it militarily (Vietnam, ICBM count, Soviet sub menace, etc. etc.) in the meantime gifting the Communists excellent propaganda to maintain power and disrupting the possibility for deep detente for decades. Trumpkins are too stupid to create such a complicated mess and sustain it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, these days the U.S. has begun to cast shadows on Denmark's sovereignty.

      Maybe in 2022 we consider the USN to be more of a threat to Europeans than the Russian Navy.

      I sure favour a rotation of European brigades into Iceland to protect Iceland's sovereignty in face of airborne threat(s) over an American presence by now.

      Delete
    2. Admittedly the recent Greenland business is worrying, even for Trumpkins. We're a few decades of rot from the situation becoming that dangerous though, hopefully. Maybe some "educational brigades" deployed to CONUS would be more helpful? ;)

      Delete
    3. I'd rather think of OECD election monitors.
      https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/how-to-become-an-election-observer

      Delete
    4. Not convinced this would be enough, given the widespread rot. If their political parties are broken, what difference will it make? Unfortunately, I see the latest President as a symptom.

      Delete
    5. That's both true and sounding like ugly Bothsiderism.

      I suppose their choice is between a return to a bearable normalcy of imperfection and a further descent.

      Delete
  4. "the #1 partner in national/collective security should be France. "

    Hint: no European south of Swiss Alps, or west of the Rhine is really going to fight a nuclear armed Russia to save Germany.

    You are on your own

    Bon chance!

    GAB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's no real threat to Germany. We could go neutral and reduce our military to a 50,000 personnel militia if we wished so, and nothing would happen to us.

      The Russians were barely able to hold the small Eastern German state under control into the mid-80's. Putin et al aren't stupid enough to try funny things with Germany. The current security issues of NATO in Europe are about the Baltic states and potentially Norway's Svalbard islands (though I'm not sure they are really covered by the treaty).

      Delete
  5. Trump is a weak President, so calling him powerful is odd. The only aspect of his agenda where he has success is his trade war against China. He's able to succeed here because institutional support for confrontation with China exists in the military-industrial complex and both political parties.

    As for Trump's falsehoods, he's a bullshitter. I agree with Scott Adams (the Dilbert cartoonist) that he's generally directionaly correct (the big picture) but factually wrong (the details). I find it difficult to get worked up over his trivial falsehoods when allegedly Very Serious people lie about the nature of reality itself and deny basic facts of biology.

    The US is likely to become more "random" as domestic political turmoil and unrest increases. Many of us no longer accept the legitimacy of American institutions or the foundational ideals of the country. More than a hundred million citizens in the country aren't really American either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The trade war is no "success". It's merely a policy area where he gets his will at least domestically.

      Delete
    2. I meant "success" in political terms. Compare to his campaign plank to build a wall with Mexico for instance. His own party prevented that from happening.

      It's too soon to say whether the trade war will succeed in economic terms, but I predict the ultimate outcome will be the bifurcation of the global economy into "American" (or "Western") and Chinese spheres. There will be no overall reduction in our current account deficit--just a shift to other low wage countries like Viet Nam, Thailand, and the Ukraine.

      Trump's style may be erratic or uncomfortable for foreigners, but fundamentally I don't see that America's foreign policy has changed. Our idiotic global empire keeps on going. That's unfortunate as it's one reason I voted for him in 2016, something I'm unlikely to repeat in 2020.

      Delete
    3. You have normalised his incompetence. There's no "success". Imagine Obama had done these trade wars and achieved practically nothing so far. The right wing and moderates would be exasperated.

      The defeat in the trade wars is almost guaranteed given the stern opposition by involved major powers, and there will be no Sino-Western economic spheres split. Europeans and Japanese aren't following the lying moron at all.

      Delete
    4. I don't know why you keep doubling down on "success". I specified political success now. His trade war is a political success because it's actually happening, unlike many other things he campaigned on.

      I lived under the Obama Presidency and don't recall any particular accomplishments other than his healthcare reform, which was not successful.

      But that's an American domestic issue that doesn't concern you. In foreign policy Obama was perhaps more predictable than Trump, but also more aggressive. Was that better from your point of view?

      As for whether or not we'll be "defeated" in our trade war with China, that's exclusively a domestic political issue. We're not Argentina or some other loser country where foreigners have the capability of changing our politics through economic pressure. And I think Trump has moved our politics sufficiently that it will never be abandoned. But we'll see.

      Delete
    5. What you're calling "success" is "action".

      ACA triggered a reduction of the share of uninsured Americans by seven per cent points (17% in 2013 down to 10% in 2016). The effect would have been greater without Republican states refusing it, but it largely did what it was meant to be. THAT is (partial) success.

      "As for whether or not we'll be "defeated" in our trade war with China, that's exclusively a domestic political issue."

      No, the Chinese have a say there, and they say no. Action is not the same as success. The U.S. cannot achieve what it supposedly wanted to achieve. It can only crash the direct bilateral trade.

      "We're not Argentina or some other loser country where foreigners have the capability of changing our politics through economic pressure."

      This is funny considering the overt corruption of your politicians and their overt advocating of foreign interests (Saudi-Arabia, Israel, Russia) over national interests. You're in a 'loser country' that gets its policies manipulated without even as much effort as economic pressure.

      Delete
    6. The ACA preserved the core flaw of the American healthcare system, which is its excessive cost relative to the other advanced countries. It also maintains the stressful cognitive burden of forcing people to navigate the confusing healthcare system (and made tax returns more complex to file). Obama's own party now appears to realize the ACA was an error as many leading Democrats now promote expanding the Medicare system to cover the whole country.

      But yes, it was action. The previous Democratic President (Clinton) failed in his effort to reform the healthcare system. From the Republican Party of course no meaningful healthcare reform could even be expected.

      True enough that foreign countries, especially Israel and Saudi Arabia, do wield a lot of influence in Washington. This also complicates the trade war with China.

      Delete
    7. There are two main issues with the American healthcare system; coverage and cost. The ACA was meant to only address the former because Obama et al had to strike an alliance with big pharma to overcome the political odds. They couldn't have passed a comprehensive reform that addresses both coverage and cost decisively. The Democrats are to date still focused on the coverage challenge.

      The American society is struggling with a challenge that practically every other OECD country solved decades ago. It's not the only case of such backwardness.
      America essentially compensates for its failures to get things done right by combining high workload, death soon after retirement, the sheer size of its home market and import of high potentials immigrants.

      The recipe of the 1950's and 1960's was more impressive.

      Delete