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Monday, December 2, 2019

Expertendämmerung


Silverfiddle Rant!

The Infotainment Media Complex warns that President Trump doesn't listen to the experts.

I ask, what have the experts done for us lately?

What are our great foreign policy achievenments over the past decade?

Somalia?

Iraq?

Putin taking bites out of Georgia and Ukraine?

How much pro-American goodwill has the State Department experts drummed up over these past decades?

Bruce Thornton sums it up in his essay, Peggy Noonan Reminds Us Why Trump Won:
Indeed, when it comes to foreign affairs, generations of highly credentialed foreign policy mandarins have not compiled a record that would suggest those credentials contribute to success.

The two most consequential failures include misreading the Iranian Revolution as an anticolonial bid for freedom and popular sovereignty, rather than a religious revolution aimed at creating an Islamic theocracy; and failing to foresee and thus prepare for the collapse of the Soviet Union, something that was unthinkable to the big brains of our foreign policy establishment.

Moreover, the great foreign policy success in the postwar period was victory in the Cold War, which was the accomplishment of an ex-actor and foreign policy amateur looked down on by the government agency “professionals.” They contemptuously dismissed Reagan’s common-sense wisdom like “we win, they lose,” “evil empire,” and “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” The latter iconic phrase, by the way, was argued against by the State Department and National Security Council because it was too provocative and naïve.
What say you?

68 comments:

  1. Surely Iraq was an example of fools rushing in, rather than cool-headed experts prevailing?

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  2. It’s super easy to denigrate Iraq, and rightly so......but it’s worth considering that the public often doesn’t know when the “experts” (at least the Intelligence Community) gets it right.

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    1. Please inform us of the multitude of times that that has happened. I am waiting with bated breath.

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    2. Start breathing, since you missed the point. If it was unclassified and public knowledge, you might know about any instances. What you’re not seeing, and for good reason, are any successes that are sensitive to national security, and thus classified.

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    3. CI,

      With all due respect, the successes you reference are the equivalent of incompetent builders trapped in the collapse of their own making considering it a success that they've found an airhole to keep them alive.

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    4. SF, how would you know the breadth and scope of any successes, if they haven’t been released to the public?

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    5. I did not question your assertion of successes in Iraq.

      Going into Iraq was a mistake. Any successes after that do not undo the mistake or remove culpability from the "experts" who planned the debacle.

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    6. I wasn’t being specific to Iraq, which is why I questioned your response. Apologies if that wasn’t clear. In fact so much information has come to light over the years, that it seems to be impossible to point to even one notable success there.

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    7. I think that dear Peggy also dismisses the legion of 'experts' who did advise the Reagan team on his relative success during the Cold War. I'm not certain that the 'tier-ing' or definition of "experts" has been identified in a way to lend to the fullest extent of this discussion. How would you define them.....Cabinet level? Under Secretary? Lower?

      But I appreciate the cogent discussion points; it really highlights the disparity in comments between those who think about these things...and those who simply traffic in immature pejoratives.

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    8. I have in mind the admittedly nebulous "foreign policy establishment," which includes those in and out of government.

      Our foreign policy has been flaming wreck since the Berlin Wall fell. I only give the cold warriors some slack because they did keep us out of WW III, but we sure as hell stepped on a lot of smaller nations in the name of saving them from communism. The most charitable way I can look at it is cocksure arrogance and a lack of creative thinking.

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    9. There certainly is a Byzantine labyrinth of advocacy think tanks who our politicians and policymakers seem to rely upon. Those unelected and unaccountable entities deserve (in my opinion) more scorn than the foreign policy apparatchiks themselves, aside from the naivety of listening to them in the first place.

      The Iraq war may never have occurred if not for the influence of the Kagans and the Institute for the Study of War.

      The trend continues to this day.

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  3. Jez and CI,

    It's a collective effort by all the "experts" in government, and results are all that matter.

    What has the State Department done for us lately?

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    1. SIlver... we're in a unique situation. As CI mentioned, we don't get to see the successes out in public as they relate to national security. I assume that includes a certain amount of success from state.

      However, instances like WMD's in Iraq, become poster children for the excesses and failures of government.

      And then people use those failures that enter the public realm to argue that the government is incompetent.

      It's a vicious cycle.

      When do the views of the average citizen get taken into account? Like my friend in Mexico says all the time... "I don't care what party is in power, I just want the government to function."

      For him that means stuff like security, schools, city services, etc.

      For us?

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    2. Your friend has expressed a universal aspiration.

      Speaking of Mexico, the CIA and the State Department are directly responsible for the overwhelming hatred of the US in Latin America.

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    3. To be fair Dave, I’m proffering that there are failures not released to the public domain as well......not merely successes. Discussions such as these should at least bear in mind that the full scope of endeavors will not be known by the public - good and bad.

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    4. Silver... regarding Mexico, while that may be true, the populace I deal with does not seem to be connected to that... they are just folks who want to live a better life.

      Now, not trying to be political, I will say there has been an increase in animosity since the elections. It all seems to center on this theme...

      The US has every right to defend her borders. There's 100% agreement with everyone I deal with both within and outside of government. But, they say, you cannot and should not, publicly disrespect us as a nation.

      And they feel Pres Trump has done that.

      Even a good friend of mine, a multi million dollar business owner said this...

      "Dave, I hope Mexico gets a guy like Trump who fights for Mexico! And I hope," he said, "that privately he goes all out, and publicly, he speaks in a way that is professional and respectful."

      CI... I imagine that to be true, 100%.

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    5. Dave, no argument here. I am on the record criticizing the President's trash talking other nations that are not our enemies.

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    6. The TRUTH is never either "TRASH TALK," or "HATE SPEECH."

      Wherever did we get the notion that the only "Decent," "Fair," "Legitimate," "Acceptable" way to communicate publicly would be in EUPHEMISTIC CIRCUMLOCUTIONS?

      The language of innate HYPOCRISY is, perforce, the language of DECEIT, CORRUPTION, PUSILLANIMITY and TREACHERY.

      Why try to treat BLOOD and GUTS issues like a GAME?

      Being hnest and truthful rarely means just taking pains always to appear "NICE."


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    7. You can plainly describe and criticize our immigration failures without gratuitously insulting other nations.

      You confuse vulgar, boorish insults with candor and plain-speaking. You can have the latter without the former, and be more effective to boot.

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    8. You can have the latter without the former, and be more effective to boot.

      +1

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    9. Methinks the fulsome rhetoric expresseded here is redolent of the unmistakable fetid aroma of freshly made pasture pies.

      ];^}>

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  4. I say Trump ought to act more Reaganesque and less like the whiner by simply shutting his maw and go about doing his job QUIETLY.

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    1. Trump says what he says for a specific reason - to make the media and the left insane. If they were smart they would pay less attention to what he is saying (tweeting) and more attention to what he is doing, but they are not smart. He knows that, which is why he keeps distracting them from what he is doing by saying what he is saying.

      Were you able to follow that? If not, maybe it's because you have been paying too much attention to what Trump is saying.

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    2. Jayhawk said... "Trump says what he says for a specific reason - to make the media and the left insane."

      In that, you are 100% correct.

      And therein is the issue for many people on both the left and the right.

      For years ppl pillories Pres Clinton for his phrase "It depends on what the meaning of the word is, is." Folks arrayed against him and his presidency, decried his parsing as language and called him a liar for doing so.

      When his wife was shown to be pretty flexible with the truth, some would say a liar, again, conservatives slammed her as unfit for office because she lied.

      People like Jim Dobson, Bill Bennet, Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich and other partisan fighters on the right, flatly stated that someone, like either of the Clintons, with moral failings were unqualified to hold high public office.

      And the great majority of GOP voters agreed with those sentiments.

      I think many of us knew that was a sham back then, just something to use as a cudgel against the Clintons and others.

      When politicians, the Clintons included, lie to America, except in instances of great national security, it is a deal breaker for me.

      I wrote about and called for Pres. Clinton to resign back in 1998. Because his actions and his lies dishonored the office of the presidency. I did not support, or vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016, because I felt she was also not a truthful candidate. For that reason I also did not vote for Donald Trump and continue to believe that, like Pres Clinton, he has debased the office of the presidency and that in his official acts, lies.

      It doesn't drive me insane. It makes me sad for America.

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    3. Endorsement of POTUS bating and trolling becomes precedent and normalized.

      Cool.

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    4. I agree. As President he certainly should be more circumspect, but given the gratuitous abuse hurled upon him, I can't fault his conclusion that it's better to be pissed off than pissed on.

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    5. AMEN, Viburnum. Thank you. You seem to be the only one here besides me who understands that.

      Yes, the president uses VULGAR PARLANCE, but vulgarity is not a crime, and the airy, pretentious, quasi-erudite, limp=wristed phraseology espoused by the Poison Ivy League Establishment has been spectaculalrty ineffectual for decades.

      In the real world RESULTS are ALL that COUNT, and President Trump has achieved remarkably good results despite all the brickbats, tire irons and stinkbombs tossed at him every day since he began his run for the White House.

      Who would you rather have running the country –– an effective go getter like Donald Trump or a pompous, dilettantish ass like a John F. Kerry?

      Need i say more?

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    6. I can't fault his conclusion that it's better to be pissed off than pissed on

      I suppose that's fair, but when one's stock in trade is primarily immature, petulant pejoratives.....as opposed to speaking like not only an adult, but a leader....one invites much of the scorn.

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    7. The world is filled with endless woe
      By hidebound fools who THNK they know!


      ~ Old Circumcisian Proverb

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  5. From the frying pan to the fire.
    tRump has made a bad situation worse.

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    1. I understand your point and accept the validity of your opinion.

      Can you do the same for what I have stated?

      Please note this criticism of "the experts" is not a defense of President Trump's actions.

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    2. Whereas people of YOUR wretched political ilk scheme for years, then strive mightily 'round the clock to make good situations bad, Quackpot.

      Despite the undeniable truth of my assertion, Canardo, I'm glad you feel well enough at this stage of your recovery to be as much of a pain-in-the-ass as ever.

      Believe it or not, I do hope your Christmas will be genuinely merry, though it may be as much as six minths or more before you're feeling tiptop.

      I'm sure I'm not alone in having a sincere interest in what you might have to say about the way our beleaguered healthcare system has served your needs during this crisis?

      PERHAPS AOW WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU TO WRITE A GUEST ARTICLE ON THE SUBJECT WHEN YOU'RE FEELING STRNGER?


      At any rate, MERRY CHRIStMAS, DUCKY!

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    3. Poultry Get well soon

      You are still ignorant
      You make my points for me

      Socialism works asks Venezuelan
      Why didnt you go to Cuba for their expert medical car
      No more canibas after bypass
      Does Bernie make sense without pot

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    4. Looks like duck also wants millions of people put back out of work and return to the spending of 18 trillion over 8 years on nothing for America. Can you be a bigger loser because you don't like someone? Think about it.

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    5. I think the main problem re: foreign policy experts vs. Trump is that our foreign services usually presume that most foreign entities adhere to a rational actor model. Aside from a mostly contained set of Arab crazies, most understand mutually assured destruction or at least overwhelming force is not something they want to recieve when push comes to shove. That's all a given. But, for the first time in American history, we have a President that can't spell "rational actor" much less be one. The reason there are no scholarly defenses of Trumpian foreign policy to be found is the same reason mathematicians can't draw four-sided triangles.

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  6. The odor in any vomitorium never fails to be foul and repugnant.

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  7. Giving due consideration to illogical, inane, vituperative, frankly vile assertions born of maicious feelings of personal animus is the moral equivalent of Devil Worship.

    A persistent show of Bland Sweet Reasonableness in the face of gross indecency and manifest treachery often serves as a cloak for unspeakable wickedness.

    It doesn't matter whether that is the INTENT or not.

    In the real world RESULTS are ALL that COUN..

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  8. Well, it's not like anyone but dupes are going to Trump for advice on keeping a business out of bankruptcy 🤣

    The problem with Trump rejecting advice is that he presents no alternatives to analyze. What can be analyzed after the fact is that Trump has done quite a bit to raise the geopolitical status of... Russia.

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    1. Here's another loser that thinks success is putting massive numbers of people, mainly minorities, out of work, and spending 18 trillion on nothing for America over 8 years.

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    2. What does that say about Trump supporters and the massive spending spree and ballooning debt? Actual Conservatives have castigated the reckless spending....

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    3. Exactly. Trump can't run as a budget hawk, a champion of free trade, or someone that even takes the US Constitution seriously. The only mark in his favor (?) is he finally got the RINO Lindsey Graham to support a Republican President. Baby steps.

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    4. Republicans haven't been budget hawks for decades.

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    5. Among other transgressions against common sense.

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    6. I can overlook a lack of budget hawkery to a degree, given the United States is sitting on somewhere between 200 to 400 Trillion with a T in untapped natural resources if ever we needed to really leave the world in the dust economically. My point was what does a hypothetical 2020 Trump candidacy look like (other than Lyndon LaRouche campaigning from prison...)? The economy? What's the extra 3 Trillion in accelerated national debt "bought" us? Certainly not time, definitely not energy. No manufacturing jobs, no infrastructure. No appreciable technological advances. No medicinal breakthroughs. Trump's greatest economic achievement is that he's managed to grow the national debt faster than Obama did in 8 years in less than 3. Do we have any reliable allies anymore? Where?

      Trump can say "at least I'm not a Democrat," but who among us non-crack smokers would accept that?

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    7. Well said (((Thought Criminal))). Well said!

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    8. Not well said. TC's claim of growing the national debt faster than Obama is not true. Neither is his claim of "no energy." We are damn near energy independent now. Also, the unemployment rate is at an all-time low.

      We also still have our reliable allies, unless NATO has declared war on us since I went to work this morning.

      Having said that I am in total agreement with CI that the annual trillion-dollar-per-year gusher of debt is abhorrent and very un-conservative.

      It is true that at this pace, Trump will end up adding more debt than Obama, so it's a minor quibble with wording.

      George Bush the Dumber was the last GOP President, and he should be jailed for what he did.

      Bush the Elder was OK, but no conservative, and even the Sainted Ronald Reagan saw unhealthy growth in the size of government and in government debt. Nixon?

      So, yes, it would be nice if this nation had at least one conservative party.

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    9. So, yes, it would be nice if this nation had at least one conservative party.

      Amen.

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    10. I don't think we get there by electing a President that has spent his entire life in the political sphere as both donor and politician championing the defeat of conservatism and libertarianism when he's not asleep. I hope impeachment will usher in a renewed interest in conservatism and libertarianism after we NeverTrumpers are done with our Told Ya So tour.

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    11. i.e. "You voted for Trump, it's too late for you to have principles now."

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    12. "Principles?" In politics???

      BWAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!

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    13. Awwww. I forgot it's okay to support gun confiscation without due process if Donald Trump does, but not okay if Beto O'Rourke does. I need a Bingo card.

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    14. You do need a scorecard. I never said any such thing.

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    15. To me, principles are binary. You either have them, or you don't. There is some room for compromise, and you can modify and change or adapt to new principles. It really just comes down to "what line you won't cross" or "where you won't go" to keep your sense of integrity intact. I simply refuse to subsidize Trump's assaults on my core ideology with approval. The Emperor is ugly naked.

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    16. I respect that. I'm still enjoying the cordite high from the incendiary grenade I threw through DC's windows.

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  9. If there are any experts, the media doesn't not expose them to us because everything that is presented to the population is absolute bullshit.

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  10. The State Dept is full of PhD'd psuedo-experts that would be lucky to successfully negotiate their own ransoms after ten years if ever captured by the FARC.

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    1. YUP! INTELLECTUAL MORONS [Thank you, Daniel J. Flynn!] are the Curse of Our Age.

      The Poison Ivy League is turning them out by the dozen every day.

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  11. The problem with the experts is that they are by and large nameless, faceless, bureaucrats who occupy positions of power well beyond the reach of the electorate. Hence the insistence of the nomenclatura that Trump is "disrupting the foreign policy of the US"

    And who, pray tell, is the arbiter of that policy?

    As the saying goes: "The boss may not always be right, but he's always the boss. Those of you, Silver, CI, et al, with military experience surely understand the concept of mutiny.

    We have undergone 3 years of #resistance to a duly elected President. I understand that the other party doesn't like him, but when are we going to insist the those feeding at the Federal teat are just going to shut the hell up and soldier?

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    1. The problem with the "experts," Viburnum, is that most of them don't know the difference between SCHIFF and SHINOLA.

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  12. The weird thing about the military is they swear to uphold and defend this piece of paper that makes Congress the arbiter of foreign policy. Congress supplies the budget, can invoke and revoke treaties with foreign powers, they can even declare war. And their ain't shit a mere President can do about it.

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    1. I would agree, where we are bound by treaty, about which only the Senate and the Executive have any say. Would you pleasebe so kind as to reference which Article of the Constitution gives the House any input, apart from declaring war, in say in the conduct of foreign affairs?

      Apart from that

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    2. And as for "declaring" war, Pray tell by what mechanism the House may compel the President to fight one?

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    3. Impeachment for dereliction of duty. That was easy.

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    4. What is going on right now, with Trump and his supporters, is the desire to diminish the congress and INCREASE power in the executive branch. An insidious and very dangerous agenda.

      Trump is partial to tyrants for a reason.

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    5. I don't know about all that. Congress punting / shirking their Constitutional powers and duties in deference to a President predates Trump. Trump is just the first Imbecile-American to hold the office, and that group gets no slack in any job.

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    6. As always it's demoralizing to be faced with the gobbledygook spouted by knaves and fools!

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    7. That usually doesn't stop you from posting, FreeThinke.

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