• praxis
    2k
    at least we wouldn't have to put up with the ceaseless anti-Trump rhetoric.Janus

    I’ll miss the endless deluge of comedic Trump satire. So much material, so little time left, hopefully.

    Nose4 has corrected one misconception I’ve had, that he’s thin-skinned. Sociopathically immune to ridicule perhaps, but not thin-skinned.
  • Janus
    8.9k
    so little time left, hopefully.praxis

    I doubt it, but time will tell.
  • praxis
    2k
    It's not really "the left" holding these positions. Academia may, in general, be more left-leaning than other sectors of the economy, but that's not a new phenomenon. What looks like "the left" holding power is actually just the mainstream having shifted to the left, especially on social issues.Echarmion

    Now that I think about it, conservative speakers, even those as far right as Richard Spencer, routinely visit college campuses to influence young minds. So it’s not like there’s nothing direct and deliberate happening, to some degree.
  • StreetlightX
    4.9k
    The idea that main stream media and the entertainment industry have been taken over by "the left" is actually somewhat laughable.Echarmion

    "As of 2019, 90% of the United States's media is controlled by five media conglomerates: Comcast (via NBCUniversal), Disney, Viacom & CBS (both controlled by National Amusements), and AT&T (via WarnerMedia)" (cite)

    The revolutionary leftist takeover of the media, everyone.
  • praxis
    2k
    I said “supposedly,” but if all you can do is focus on that, fine.
  • Wayfarer
    9.5k
    There's nevertheless a fair degree of diversity of opinion throughout the US media. For instance, I don't believe that Jeff Bezos exercises editorial control over what the WaPo editors choose to publish. Even inside Fox, which is the most ruthlessly regimented of the America media outlets, theres' been on-air brawls between news and editorial commentators about Trump in recent weeks. And even if it's undeniable that there's corporate concentration, if you tried to step in and prise them apart through regulation and anti-trust, then there's no guarantee you'd end up with greater diversity of opinion.

    I think the real fault lies with the so-called 'conservative media' in the American media landscape. They're the ones promoting foil-hat conspiracy theories about the Deep State and Hillary Clinton running a pedophile network from a pizza shop.

    Hopefully, when Trump is forced to resign in disgrace as part of a plea-bargain, it will take the air out of a lot of their balloons.
  • StreetlightX
    4.9k
    ntwg8kd9qt80sgzj.jpg

    via internet people
  • Maw
    1.9k
    For instance, I don't believe that Jeff Bezos exercises editorial control over what the WaPo editors choose to publish.Wayfarer

    The Washington Post once ran 16 negative stories about Bernie Sanders within 16 hours.
  • StreetlightX
    4.9k
    Yeah WaPo is a bit of a joke.
  • Maw
    1.9k
    Yeah WaPo is a bit of a jokeStreetlightX

    Basically every publication is a joke in their own way. The key is to build a portfolio of trusted journalists and writers across publications.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.8k
    This is all Nancy Pelosi and the DNC's fault, and by now it may be entirely too late for impeachment proceedings to mean anything at all. Meanwhile, Trump is blameless in the same way that a toddler is blameless...

    The DNC rail-roaded Bernie in 2016 (and seem to be doing so again), which was one of the main cinches of Trump's 2016 victory...

    And when it became clear that Trump was categorically unfit for office, Pelosi's reaction was to increase the fervor of her 2020 hand-rubbing rather than to consider upholding democratic principles and American values...

    Now that she's finally flipped the switch just in time for the 2020 circus, all the damage has already accrued...

    I foresaw (and predicted) a mid term impeachment as a massive step toward sanitizing party politics and instigating badly needed reforms (superpacs, gerrymandering, and the electoral college to name a few). "It will be like A Christmas Carol" I thought; a cathartic return to reality and a moral center.

    Turns out that pretending your crow meat is a delectable cut of swan actually changes the flavor, and also that if you stand back and give someone enough rope, they just might hang us all...
  • Echarmion
    1.2k
    The perception is easily understood with celebrities appearing to be overwhelmingly liberal, and so many of the narratives expressing liberal values.praxis

    Artists of any kind are, historically, not known for their conservatism. But I think the "overwhelmingly liberal" messages are only slightly left of center of the mainstream. And if they didn't sell tickets, we wouldn't see them, either.

    In any case, I’ve yet to see an explanation for why conservatives, with their power position prowess, have failed to dominate these areas.

    How did they lose the majority in the House of Representatives in the midterms, for that matter.
    praxis

    The fact that Republicans are in power in the White House and Senate at all is a sign of their prowess.

    In the last 10 presidential elections, Republican candidates won the popular vote 4 times, yet they had 6 terms. Since 1990, they have won the popular vote only once.

    There is also a majority support in America for many "left wing" policies such as public healthcare or increased gun control. Yet not only do republicans succeed in blocking such efforts, they also get re-elected regardless.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.8k
    Apparently Turkey has begun bombing of the Kurds in northern Syria, after Erdogan got the go-ahead from Trump...

    This will probably be Trumps single greatest failure...
  • Benkei
    2.7k
    Who gives a flying fuck about Trump when Kurds are dying because they've been betrayed by their ally?
  • StreetlightX
    4.9k
    To be fair, I think this does have bearing on Trump because this looks to be a decision unilaterally made on his part - most of the intelligence service seem to have been caught off-guard, and even the Republican party leaders seem to have turned on him, from McConnell to Lindsay Graham to Nikki Haley (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/oct/07/trump-syria-us-troop-withdrawal-turkey). This is probably one of the few instances in which people will die directly because of Trump's personal decisions - people who have been staunch US allies - and not due to 'just' US imperialist warmongering. In a better world, this ought to the the grounds from which Trump is truly thrown under the bus, and not some obscure phone calls that bear on the fates of some millionaires.
  • Echarmion
    1.2k
    In a better world, this ought to the the grounds from which Trump is truly thrown under the bus, and not some obscure phone calls that bear on the fates of some millionaires.StreetlightX

    In a better world, Trump would have been thrown under the bus when he refused to unequivocally state that he would concede a lost election. Peaceful transfer of power and all that.

    The problem with the Kurds is that it's difficult to see how they could end up in any other situation as long as Erdogan is in power and NATO wants Turkey as an ally. Of course, one could have at least negotiated a settlement instead of just giving Turkey carte blanche. The art of the deal strikes again.
  • Benkei
    2.7k
    People have been looking for Trump to "fail" from the get-go. It's never been a question of if but when as it was clear from the start he'd be a failure (with Hillary Clinton a close second). As I pointed out three years ago: https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/26121

    And no, you can't blame Trump for this unilateral decision, with all the unitary executive apologists out there. If there's anything the result of "the system" it is this. It's just surprising it took this long really.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.8k
    What did you expect when you clicked the thread? The betrayal is so obvious and monumental that there is no need to point out why it's hideous. As @StreetlightX notes, all available evidence indicates that this is the result of Trump's direct contact with Erdogan, and that this isn't just another typical Trump scandal: innocent people, allies even, are being killed violently, and Trump is the proximal cause. Take your pick: tactical stupidity, absolute ethical failure, abject betrayal; this one's got it all. Ought I make another thread?

    A thread on the Kurds and the history leading to their present predicament could be interesting. As far as I know, the Kurds had been systematically divided and conquered since the end of the Ottoman empire (their homeland exists over the shared borders of Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey). As far as I know they've never held formal political power in any of those modern nations, and have essentially been a second or third class minority. Turkey in particular has always been in conflict with the Kurdish people in some form (especially for their aspirations toward nationhood), of which there is a long a bloody historical record. Three or four years ago I was convinced that the Kurds would finally get a Kurdistan. They were helping the fight against ISIS like no other group, and they were eager and hopeful to have the west as an ally.

    And so, in one fell move, Trump may have just completely dashed what would have been the culminating victory of a struggle for freedom that has taken a century to unfold...

    Sure, we can blame the Pentagon and intelligence communities who failed to prevent this, or the party who hoisted him into office, or the pundits that keep him going, or the peons that voted for him (in fact we should probably blame them all according to their hand in it).

    But what of the blameless toddler in question? If anything will stick, this is it (we may not be able to actually pin it to Trump's own whim, and we almost certainly cant impeach him for it, but I'm betting that this will be remembered as the the most egregious failure of the Trump presidency).
  • Benkei
    2.7k
    It's not the first time I've posted in the thread. In light of what happened and then to focus on what a failure for Trump this was, seems to be totally misplaced or American-centrism at its worst.

    While you're hand-wringing that you can finally stick it to him I fail to see how that's going to help the Kurds.
  • StreetlightX
    4.9k
    Oh a much better world. I moderate even my fantasies, apparently.

    If there's anything the result of "the system" it is this. It's just surprising it took this long really.Benkei

    A stochastic tragedy, with Trump as attractor (@fdrake). I can appreciate that. Still, while in the long run this was of course prefigured by the lethal touch of long-running US foreign policy, I think it makes a strategic sense to lay this at the bloodied feet of Trump. With impeachment in play, anything that turns his allies against him - as it is doing - is worth exploiting.

    But yes. This leaves the Kurds exactly where they are. I don't have anything to say - it leaves one speechleess, miserable, and helpless.
  • Benkei
    2.7k
    I think a good think ought to be had about American interventionism and its role as "policeman" of the world.

    Before Trump you knew the US would run its own course, regardless of what other nations thought about it. But you could divine the course by paying attention to US newspapers, comedy and political statements. Under Trump the US became unreliable in trade and environmental policy. We can now also include security and military missions - although the Iran sanctions were already a prelude to it.

    If I were to describe the US political system in one word, it would be: unhinged. There's no guiding principle left on which others can rely.

    EDIT: actually, that's not entirely true. It's solely about internal US politics and how to retain or gain power. That's the principle that guides the US parties regardless of consequences.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.8k
    While you're hand-wringing that you can finally stick it to him I fail to see how that's going to help the Kurds.Benkei

    Nothing I can say will help the Kurds. You expect too much.

    However, the more expediently and effectively Trump is rebuked or removed, the more expediently we can get an administration that starts overturning these unfathomably bad precedents. Of course, by then it might be too late for the Kurds in Syria and South-East Turkey.

    The longer this is allowed to continue, the more likely this is to repeat (Trump has had a chilling effect on America's ability to deter dictators and violent regimes).

    The USA as world police has never been an ideal arrangement, but at least,as you say, they had some sort of guiding principle. And now that the chief of world-police can be bribed with mere compliments, is the resulting free-for-all really that surprising?

    In light of what happened and then to focus on what a failure for Trump this was, seems to be totally misplaced or American-centrism at its worst.Benkei

    I would like to understand how you came to this interpretation of my post. I don't understand how centrism could possibly relate to pointing out that abandoning the Kurds is Trump's most severe crime.

    I don't get what centrism has to do with either of my posts, let alone how it could be centrism at it's worst.

    It's not the first time I've posted in the thread.Benkei

    I was asking rhetorically, given the title of this thread and the fact that all conversation about Trump is ostensibly restricted to this single thread. How long before it's no longer taboo to point out that Trump just betrayed our allies and left them for dead?
  • Rolf
    23
    Hey! I like this post!
  • ssu
    2.4k
    A thread on the Kurds and the history leading to their present predicament could be interesting. As far as I know, the Kurds had been systematically divided and conquered since the end of the Ottoman empire (their homeland exists over the shared borders of Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey). As far as I know they've never held formal political power in any of those modern nations, and have essentially been a second or third class minority. Turkey in particular has always been in conflict with the Kurdish people in some form (especially for their aspirations toward nationhood), of which there is a long a bloody historical record. Three or four years ago I was convinced that the Kurds would finally get a Kurdistan. They were helping the fight against ISIS like no other group, and they were eager and hopeful to have the west as an ally.VagabondSpectre
    That the Kurds don't have their own independent state shows just how divided they are. That the states with Kurdish minorities (Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria) have been able to keep the Kurds in separate camps is quite astonishing.

    Besides, in truth they have had a semi-independent state in Iraq, even if they officially have been part of the post-Saddam Iraq.

    Hence VagabondSpectre, it's not true that they haven't never held form political power in these countries: Jalal Talabani, head of the Patrioitic Union of Kurdistan, was the President of Iraq for 9 years during 2005 - 2014. Just to give one example.
  • Benkei
    2.7k
    How long before it's no longer taboo to point out that Trump just betrayed our allies and left them for dead?VagabondSpectre

    There is no taboo. It's just totally weird to me that your take away is what a failure for trump this is. As if that's what's important.

    Why are former GOP allies distancing themselves from him? Are they really concerned about Kurds? Or are they in the pocket of defense contractors? What does this mean for the Kurds?

    All things you could've raised in relation to Trump's decision but easily ignored because, my, my, what a (bloody predictable) failure for him. So yeah, the sole focus on him is misplaced from my point of view.
  • StreetlightX
    4.9k
    I think a good think ought to be had about American interventionism and its role as "policeman" of the world.Benkei

    The US has been a force of net ill in the world for a long time now. 9/11 had the effect of unleashing and amplifying that force in a way completely unhinged to any strategic vision other than a kind of need to claw back the decline of American empire with nothing but the weakness of sheer force. Trump was never going to be anything other than yet another multiplier of that nihilism on the international stage. Without the anchor of a Cold War Russia, the US has effectively been in a paranoic state, unable to trust any other world actor and in turn wreaking any trust it might have offered to anyone else. The time to rethink America's international role was at least present already back at the turn of the millennium. What's happened since has been nothing but a rear-guard action to stave off the recognition of degeneration, and great swathes of the world have had to pay the price in blood and misery while the US continues to adjust its spectacles.
  • ssu
    2.4k
    Why are former GOP allies distancing themselves from him? Are they really concerned about Kurds? Or are they in the pocket of defense contractors? What does this mean for the Kurds?Benkei
    It's not about the Kurds.

    It's the about the absolute train wreck that is militarily done in the Middle East.

    First and foremost, the US is losing totally it's credibility and leadership in the Middle East. The situation was bad when Trump started, but it has become worse. Erdogan and Putin can leer the US anyway they see it fit with Trump. One really should notice how Israel has approached Russia being in Syria. It's the new serious guy in the neighborhood.

    And look then at what are so-called "allies" of the US. Heck, Saudi-Arabia, it's main ally, was on the cusp to go to war and invade another smaller US ally with important US military bases. The US is not only lacking leadership in the region, it is showing non-existent leadership with it's allies. Actually Trump has just berated his allies and while in Europe this might not have problems, in the Middle East it creates huge problems.

    The thing is the US foreign policy in the Middle East is a total fiasco.

    We are far from the time of the Baghdad Pact, the Twin Pillars strategy or the time when the Syrians, Egyptians, Saudis, Moroccans, the Gulf States etc. all fought alongside the US to liberate Kuwait and after that the US heeded their advice NOT to advance further into Iraq.
  • Benkei
    2.7k
    It's not about the Kurds.ssu

    Any time people do the deciding that causes others to do the dying, it definitely is about those dying. I am in the end a naïve human rights proponent.

    That's not to say there aren't larger strategic ramifications.

    We are far from the time of the Baghdad Pact, the Twin Pillars strategy or the time when the Syrians, Egyptians, Saudis, Moroccans, the Gulf States etc. all fought alongside the US to liberate Kuwait and after that the US heeded their advice NOT to advance further into Iraq.ssu

    Yeah, arguably another mistake that could've avoided the Iraq war and caused a lot of deaths for those fighting against Saddam and then got gunned down by helicopters.
  • Echarmion
    1.2k
    The US has been a force of net ill in the world for a long time now.StreetlightX

    The advantage of a hegemonic US has been relative peace for North America and Europe, with conflicts being resolved via proxy wars in less stable regions.

    There have been signs for a while now that US hegemony is falling apart and we are returning to a multipolar world. Trump is accelerating that process. The major powers succeeding the US are unlikely to have more scruples than the US did, and a multipolar world comes with the danger of more direct military conflict between major powers. I don't really look forward to it.
  • ssu
    2.4k
    Any time people do the deciding that causes others to do the dying, it definitely is about those dying.Benkei
    But states that start wars for their reasons, and usually they don't care so much about those dying.

    I am in the end a naïve human rights proponent.Benkei
    Yet you likely do also understand how politicians think about these issues.
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