What is to be done about Syria is a question that has tormented serious policy people for 7 yrs now. Half a million people have died and 7 million displaced while the international community has debated the best path forward. Untold devastation and cruelty has continued unabated.
The Obama admin. was tormented by the lack of international support for intervention, by its own aversion to getting bogged down in another regional war, by the lack of "desirable" allies on the ground, by domestic politics in the U.S. For the most part, they chose inaction.
There was diplomacy that seemed promising but there was less to it than met the eye. The Trump administration has chosen limited action, spasmodic intervention and periodic deference to Russia. Neither has had a sound strategy for grappling with the problem.
I love all you brother and sister pundits and commentators out there. But those of you still stuck on the "genius" Trump analysis and the need to "understand what he understood" aren't paying attention. He runs on pure instinct. And is kind of stupid. And...
he can't run an organization to save his life. And many of his impulses are really self-destructive. What happened was he got very lucky. First, the system was rigged by gerrymandering so that the GOP could win the presidency with fewer votes than the Dems (as happened.)
Further, biases in the FBI and political games in the Congress undercut the Clinton campaign. And Clinton, while a good enough candidate to beat Trump by 3 million votes, did not mobilize voters as Obama had. And there was the small matter of having outside help.
For those who say Trump's congratulations of Putin is not newsworthy--that Obama or other leaders have done it--none of them are in the midst of a scandal in which Russia tried to tip election to them. Context matters. His loyalties are deeply suspect.
Also: his willingness to congratulate and discuss a Summit weeks after a Putin overseen terror attack on our closest ally, as Russia is currently working to undermine 2018 election sends a terrible message of tolerance of the intolerable to Putin and other such leaders.
Trump is President of the United States and has a responsibility to lead an alliance to be strong not only in defense expenditures but character. He has repeatedly cozied up to Putin despite massive reasons not too. Now, as his staff advises him not to congratulate Putin...
A couple days ago I saw a Tweet reiterating the U.S. Census Bureau's conclusion that by 2045 groups once thought of us as minorities--Asians, Latinos and African Americans would make up the majority of the U.S. population. This trend has been a long time coming.
In fact, by 2020, it will be true for all Americans 18 and under. It is a direct result of the embrace of diverse populations that has made the country so strong, our culture so rich and our workforce so well suite to an era of global competition.
Honestly, I thought it was just an anodyne data point, well-known to most, but worth reiterating. I commented that our diversity was our strength. Foolishly, perhaps, I thought that was a pretty uncontroversial statement--evident on its face.
For some reason this has gotten under my skin today. There is a private club in America that only the rich can join where as a member you are given special access to the president, pictures with the president, the president takes your advice & counsel & HE GETS PAID FOR IT.
Call me old school, but this seems to me so outrageously wrong that I can't even think about Russia right now. And there's a hotel in DC like that. And there are properties worldwide where you can pay to have access to the president's closest advisors (family)...
...and on top of that, the countries that have those properties in them and their leaders tend to get treated much better by the current administration than other countries even though they are often rule by autocrats and others with interests antithetical to the U.S.
I'm glad we can speak out against domestic abuse. That even our unfeeling president will mouth the words. But the slaughter of our children, of innocents, of tens of thousands by guns is not only sacrosanct but many "leaders" dare not speak of it, do anything about it...worse..
It is time to be brutally honest...as honest as the brutality we alone among nations have institutionalized. Tens of thousands of Americans die every year of gun violence not because our politicians are silent or inert. They die because those politicians are complicit.
They are on the payroll of a national organization, the NRA, that places profits about the safety and security of our citizens and has overseen a campaign to silence debate...despite the fact that gun deaths kill more than all the wars we have fought, more than all terrorists...
Every year on this date my Dad would send us a note reminding us not to forget that Kristallnacht occurred on this night in 1938. The last one he sent just had one word on it. "Remember."
He was 12. They lived in Vienna. His father disappeared and they did not know what happened to him. Later they found he had been arrested. In the meantime, my father searched and saw the brutality and destruction in their neighborhood.
My father's synagogue was burned...weeks before his bar mitzvah. A year later they escaped. He returned to fight as an officer in the US Army artillery by the end of the war. He then went to search concentration camps for lost relatives.