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Old Yesterday, 10:17 AM   #3586
sebastian_dangerfield
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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So Trump following Obama taught you nothing?
It’s possible we could see another radical pendulum shift. I just think she has a tougher road than Trump.

I’d actually like to see her get traction because she’s a fan of debt forgiveness and expansion and liberalization of bkcy law. I remain very much of the opinion these ideas provide the best ways to free up money for spending in the real economy while simultaneously skinning rentier capitalists.
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Old Yesterday, 10:59 AM   #3587
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Re: Khashoggi

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This story is turning into something out of a horror movie: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/sau...reports-137960
Trump has compared Bart Kavanaugh to MbS. He believes them.

Quite a ringing endorsement.
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Old Yesterday, 12:29 PM   #3588
sebastian_dangerfield
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Re: Khashoggi

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Trump has compared Bart Kavanaugh to MbS. He believes them.

Quite a ringing endorsement.
I wonder if this is an inflection point. It seems that we're going to elevate strategic and economic concerns over human rights here and play ball with MbS. That throws the ball to Europe. If they play ball as well, it may be the de facto start of what might be called the Trump Doctrine: An entirely transactional foreign policy based solely on leverage.
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Old Yesterday, 12:44 PM   #3589
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Re: Khashoggi

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It seems that we're going to elevate strategic and economic concerns over human rights
Or Trump and Kusher's economic interests? Who can tell?
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Old Yesterday, 01:53 PM   #3590
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Re: Khashoggi

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Or Trump and Kusher's economic interests? Who can tell?
I think they're aligned with US interests here.

But maybe not. Suppose we called the Saudis' bluff, sanctioned them, put pressure on the family to throw out MsB, and then, when they retaliated by slowing oil production, we responded by ramping up our domestic production? Could we break them in that fashion, or would that just deplete our limited oil supply and allow them to hold theirs a bit longer, extending their oil market dominance longer than it'd otherwise last?
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Old Yesterday, 02:19 PM   #3591
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Re: Khashoggi

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Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
I think they're aligned with US interests here.

But maybe not. Suppose we called the Saudis' bluff, sanctioned them, put pressure on the family to throw out MsB, and then, when they retaliated by slowing oil production, we responded by ramping up our domestic production? Could we break them in that fashion, or would that just deplete our limited oil supply and allow them to hold theirs a bit longer, extending their oil market dominance longer than it'd otherwise last?
We lost control of our interests, which included not having allies kill journalists, a long time ago. Having done that, it's whole lot harder to get them back.

But they need us way more than we need them, especially over the long term. Oil for energy should be fading fast (and we could speed it along if we wanted to) and we have our own. They need their weapons purchases for regional rivalry more than we need the sales.

Maybe we need their intelligence and defense cooperation more than I think, but that's hard to tell from the outside.

What they have is the power to hurt us acutely in the short term, while doing the same to themselves. That should not be enough to keep us from pushing back strongly.

Anyway, I think US interests include expecting less overtly authoritarian conduct by our allies. I do not think the Trump and Kushner family interest correspond with that at all, so, we disagree. They have personal financial reasons not to push back that we, as a nation do not.
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Old Yesterday, 02:33 PM   #3592
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Re: Khashoggi

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I wonder if this is an inflection point. It seems that we're going to elevate strategic and economic concerns over human rights here and play ball with MbS. That throws the ball to Europe. If they play ball as well, it may be the de facto start of what might be called the Trump Doctrine: An entirely transactional foreign policy based solely on leverage.
This would be easier if I thought either strategic or economic concerns benefited from the relationship with Saudi Arabia.

As the keepers of the Two Mosques, the Sauds have been the biggest force spreading radical Islam since, well, at least the the thirties. We no longer absolutely have to have their oil, and, indeed, if they stopped selling as an oil exporter we'd suddenly benefit enormously. Their attempts are regional dominance are inherently destabilizing and only made possible by their enormous arms purchases and their funding of other despots in places like Egypt.

We are screwing ourselves by supporting these lunatics.
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Old Yesterday, 04:40 PM   #3593
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Re: Khashoggi

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Originally Posted by Adder View Post
We lost control of our interests, which included not having allies kill journalists, a long time ago. Having done that, it's whole lot harder to get them back.

But they need us way more than we need them, especially over the long term. Oil for energy should be fading fast (and we could speed it along if we wanted to) and we have our own. They need their weapons purchases for regional rivalry more than we need the sales.

Maybe we need their intelligence and defense cooperation more than I think, but that's hard to tell from the outside.

What they have is the power to hurt us acutely in the short term, while doing the same to themselves. That should not be enough to keep us from pushing back strongly.

Anyway, I think US interests include expecting less overtly authoritarian conduct by our allies. I do not think the Trump and Kushner family interest correspond with that at all, so, we disagree. They have personal financial reasons not to push back that we, as a nation do not.
"The latest tale, regurgitated by President Trump—that Khashoggi was killed by government “rogues”—is belied by the evidence: among the fifteen members of the hit team that went to meet Khashoggi in Istanbul was a pathologist with a bone saw."

Dexter Filkins in The New Yorker.
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Old Yesterday, 05:23 PM   #3594
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Re: Khashoggi

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Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
I wonder if this is an inflection point. It seems that we're going to elevate strategic and economic concerns over human rights here and play ball with MbS. That throws the ball to Europe. If they play ball as well, it may be the de facto start of what might be called the Trump Doctrine: An entirely transactional foreign policy based solely on leverage.
If we were going to go this route, and internally decide that we don't have any concerns about morality, and only care about strategic and economic concerns, then it seems like the way to do that would be to pretend that we DO care deeply about these sorts of atrocities, and use the threat of sanctions or whatever that this fake moral high ground provides us, to extract diplomatic and/or economic concession from the Saudis. Instead, the crown prince sends a hit team to cut off the fingers, and then the head, of a troublesome journalist critic, the fucking Turks have it ON TAPE, and Mike Pompeo flies overseas to sit around giggling like a school child with his Saudi buddies, and then returns and basically tells everyone to look away as there is nothing to see here. Putting aside the complete absence of horror and outrage that this will inspire among Trump supporters on moral grounds, from a strategic and diplomatic standpoint, Trump is emasculating us (probably in order to protect his personal financial interests). But the Trump support base will be unaffected because THERE IS NOTHING HE CAN DO that will get them to actually try to think about these issues critically, even if they were capable of doing so, and the bottom line is they don't really care. And even the folks like the so-called Never Trump conservatives, who pretend to have a moral compass when convenient, will offer some tepid criticism to show that they are really against the gruesome torture and decapitation of political critics, and then will go back to blaming liberal whining for any problems our country is facing.
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Old Yesterday, 05:44 PM   #3595
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Re: Khashoggi

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"The latest tale, regurgitated by President Trump—that Khashoggi was killed by government “rogues”—is belied by the evidence: among the fifteen members of the hit team that went to meet Khashoggi in Istanbul was a pathologist with a bone saw."

Dexter Filkins in The New Yorker.
Jesus.
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Old Yesterday, 05:53 PM   #3596
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Re: Khashoggi

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Jesus.
Don't you bring bone saws to board meetings in case they get out of hand?
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