Saturday, December 17, 2016

Actual fake news poses a nuclear threat

Before one jumps on the "other side" for being misinformed or misdirected by "fake news" - we need to remember that there is a distinction between non-factual information and partisan opinion editorials that are based on a selective reading of the factual news.

Both actually fake news and slanted oped have been a staple of political campaigning for a very long time now, what makes the entire recent episode stand out is the sheer volume of this stuff that seems to be directly sourced from Donald Trump himself.

There is no denying that Donald Trump shoots out a staggering amount of fake information. The brazen manner in which he gaslights people sitting in front of him makes him one of the most prolific bullshit artists I have seen in my lifetime.

This kind of behavior is dangerous to democracy - even if it looks like it bolsters your brand of partisan opinion.

Even the Trump voters at his Wisconsin rally had a moment of complete nausea when Donald Trump openly distanced himself from the "drain the swamp" posture by saying "it played well in the election but not now". The same kind of thing happened in an earlier rally on the topic of his campaigns most memorable "lock her up" chant, though in private conversations most Trump supporters had indicated that they didn't think he was actually going to do that and this was the libelous way that "Midwesterners talk". I guess saying something highly specific about the "Carrier company keeping its jobs in Indiana" is also just a Midwestern "euphenism".

One might mistakenly think - "Oh that is so smart of him, he said whatever he needed to get elected and now he taking a more pragmatic approach." That is not what is going on here.

What one is seeing here is a candidate gaslighting his own followers.

This speaks to a fundamental disconnect with reality itself. Taken together with the high volume of non facts coming from him directly - we see the outlines of a major trust issue.

I suppose it would be essentially fine if the desperate Midwestern folks that voted for him because he was the "last hope" were sold out in favor of his Wall Street friends but we can't have Russia of China distrusting him on critical stuff like nuclear issues. Unlike the disgruntled Midwesterners who won't be able to afford the expensive coastal lawyers they will need when Donald Trump inevitably shafts them.. the Russians and Chinese have countermeasures they can activate.

Donald Trump is entitled to his own opinions of course - but currently he seems to get away with completely making up stuff and passing it off as fact. The moment he does that a large crowd of supporters quickly surrounds him and chants MAGA drowning all the people who call bullshit on his claims. You don't have to take my word for this - go check out his twitter feed or any news items that favor him on Brietbart or New York Post.

So as things are - we do not have any barriers to Donald Trump simply inventing a "fact" that says "Russia is going to launch a nuclear strike on the US with its Kanyon submarine drone". If he said that on Twitter - the Russians would not have enough time to raise their defense condition.

The Russians for their part would have to assume the worst - that the US was going to conduct a sudden attack. They would be within their rights to respond as best they see fit.

Even if Donald Trump was able to somehow reverse himself and say "Only Joking"... the Russians might not be able to recall their drone submarine.

This would inevitably snowball into a major nuclear escalation and since we as a nation learn absolutely nothing from our own history - the process would repeat nudging us closer and close to a nuclear holocaust.

8 Comments:

At 10:17 PM, Blogger Wise_Ass said...

This is by far the stupidest hyperbolic article on this blog so far.In fact Trump has shown himself to be far mature in case of responding to big powers like Russia&China.

In case of Iran,he said he wants just a better deal that is Nuclear+"behavior modification" deal which is absolutely true.That is why Flynn calls Obama a "tactical guy" in AJE interview.Bcoz nuclear weapons are Iran's insurance policy to engage in "bad behavior".

In case of Russia,Trump got the most mature policy.Ditch useless NATO dead-weights East Europeans+Syria aka respect Russia's "sphere of influence"+ditch sunni jihadists. and pry open emerging Russia-China axis.Rather than whining about some abstract moral principles and breast beating on plight of Syrian civilians.

In case of China,China already launched itself past the deep-end and challenging all internationally accepted norms and bullying all and sun dry.The one-china policy is the most weakest signaling.Even for that establishment is crying Trump just started off a nuclear holocaust in motion..when in fact he already said he challenged one-china policy in lieu for a better deal with China.

Let's face it.Russia and China are incredibly mature and have a nuanced understanding of issues.

 
At 5:50 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Wise Ass,

Thank you for being 500000000000000 times clearer than Donald Trump on the issue of national security strategy.


However,

1) that is not Donald Trump's strategy. He has made no such statements. You are juxtaposing some wishful thinking on top of his silence.

2) let me ask the total-behench*d-type question about this strategy. What is in it for USA?

In exchange for shopping out allies who go back almost a century and blowing away relationships we have expended decades building what do we get?

Are the Russians going to buy up our ten year bonds? All the ones the Chinese and Saudis and other allies throw away to spite us?

I like vodka as much as the next guy but is there anything besides the cheap shot I can by in Connecticut that this strategy gets us?

 
At 5:12 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Wise Ass,

Also there is the matter of practicality - if you want to change one big thing - such as a trade relationship with a single country - you typically need the better part of a decade to rearrange everything so that there are no catastrophes.

Examples of this can be found in the manner in which the Bush Administration pushed for energy independence from foreign oil. It took the better part of a decade to bring the fracking industry on line and it will take another decade before the US commodity market is completely isolated from whatever the fluctuations occur in the Middle East.

If one screws this up - one ends up with a situation like Tehran 1979. The pain and suffering from that kind of rearrangement typically burns for decades afterwards and leaves a lot of dead people.

If you try to change too many things too fast -- you end up running out of resources. Adolf Hitler ended up in this basket. He knew the had persistent health problems that would reduce his lifespan. He tried to get his dream of Nazi supremacy achieved as quickly as possible. In a decade he tries to do things that took most other empires hundreds of years to achieve. When you add up a war on two fronts, and a massive genocide inside the lands you hold - you are looking at a serious resource depletion rate. No one can sustain that level of outflow for long periods of time.

The policy you are proposing which involves re-writing the entire text of US foreign and strategic policy in the entire Middle East, Asia and Europe at the same exact time is all to reminiscent of Adolf Hitler's desire to see "everything change".

Even if we leave aside for a moment the horror of the holocaust and the terrible human tragedy that was WWII - I think we need to admit Hitler's idea was impractical in terms of the resources it required.

The same holds true for the Grand Plan you have stated.

If that is Donald Trump's plan - then we are in for a very short and bumpy ride to complete global annihilation.

If a plan of the nature you are proposing is set into motion using the tools available in the White House, we will see a major degradation in international security. Nations everywhere will start grabbing nuclear weapons and we will see a very large number of unstable nuclear deterrence regimes emerge. Any or all of these will likely collapse under the weight of their own contradictions and we will see complete hell-on-earth.

This may seem like a bogeyman to you - but I submit until the bullet actually pierces his skull no soldier on any battlefield knows for certain he is going to die.

Even if someone as eloquent and as communicative as you were running in place of Donald Trump - I would have trouble supporting this part of your agenda. I would ofcouse welcome a any candidate that was a better communicator on such issues - but then I also humbly point out that Donald Trump has set the bar unusually low.

 
At 12:08 AM, Blogger Wise_Ass said...

Ok.Let's us level on some things:

Obama was a community organizer.Zero FP or any qualification experience wise.But dangerously a know it all.Humiliated military leaders like McChrystal,Mattis,Petreus(this guy is a career climbing asshole though)and populated his advisors with ideologues like Samantha Powers& an SoS with poor judgment,HRC and created an echo chamber!Not to mention a failed novelist as a deputy national security advisor with zero natsec experience or even academic expertise!

Leadership style: micro-managing know it all even outside his domain expertize.Lacks bullshit detector when "winging it" on while taking advise from experts on non-domain issues.

Decision making style: too self-aware of his lefty-ideological constituency,too much contemplation&risk averse on time sensitive issues.that is everything is allocated too late with quarter of resources required:Iraq,Afghanistan surge,Syria,propping up Brotherhood/Gulen in Turkey,Egypt,Tunisia etc.


Double downs even when it is known he made a mistake.Ultimate wonk weakness.

Trump:Excellent bullshit detector while taking advise from experts on non-domain issues.
Totally non-ideological.Recruits fiercely independent minded advisors:Steve Bannon,Mike Flynn,Kellyanne Conway,Mad Dog Mattis,Tulsi Gabbard(de-facto advisor).Rex Tillerson.Thus ultimate delegator.

So Trump havent got his "foreign policy shit together" doesnt matter in absolute terms because that is not his style.He is big picture guy and delegate like crazy.

We know the Trump big picture:
1)Put Islamism(not just jihadism) as a problem front and square+attack it as a priority
2)Console Saudi Arabia,Bahrain,UAE(GCC) that he is going to put Iran back in the box and
they dont have to go nuclear ..provided quid pro quo in sincerely ending Islamism/jihadist menace sincerely
3)Console Israel from panicking as well.No needling on settlement issues and stop incentivising Palestinian lone wolf.
2+3) Trump here is looking for a Arab bloc+Israel+Palestianian grand bargain without Iran
4)Pry open China-Russia axis and rope in Russia to do dirty work(bombing civilians when necessary and where America cant do it w/o hurting snowflakes) in tackling jihadist menace for some negotiated geo-political price+business.
5)Target China front and square like Islamism by rattling cage from all directions.
Bully Japan into changing constitution.Bully South Korea into changing its military command structure to highly aggressive one(remove UN from command chain).
6)On Climate Change,wait for feasible technological solutions to appear than just engage in feel-good virtue signaling measures
7)Target Iran also by rattling cages until they stop bullying the Sunni Bloc.Parallely effect a regime change in Iran and take Mullahs of steering wheels of power.Enroll highly modern Iranin society back to Shah days as a US poodle
8)On India,continue Obama's plan for enrolling India as a willing US poodle along with Japan.
9) Ditch East European dead weights

 
At 7:14 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Wise Ass,

Umm.. where are you getting this? Has Donald Trump put out his plan for you to see?

Because he hasn't communicated this with anyone. Not even on his transition team. The landing team in the NSC who he has "delegated" to is facing a mass exodus at NSS. It will take years to to rebuild the NSS once these core people leave. He might as well import an NSC from Putin and alias the site to www.nss.gov.ru!

Do you get what I am saying?

0) There is no coherence in what Trump says. Whoever gets the last word in with him during the day becomes next day's tweet. Each tweet has no relation to knowable reality.
1) The "delegatees" have no idea what Trump really wants and they keep changing what they say to match what he spouts on Twitter every 20 seconds. The fact that they are willing to change their posture every 20 seconds reflects that these are "independents" with no moorings in actual policy work,
2) the "delegatees" to will be unable to complete their task because no one who actually knows their stuff wants to work with them.

You put the ideas you have listed before any of the NSS crowd and they will look at you as if you speaking in Chinese. No one has a clue how to turn that high level stuff you are describing into an actual policy with a head and tail.

That is what made Pres. Obama so attractive - he was able to do the translation quickly.

Since Trump can't make up his mind on anything and there are all these "independent minded" folks around him - no one can translate to anything actionable.

There are massive communication gaps at the highest levels here.

Usually a small gap results in a major theater war.

What impact do you think such massive holes in national policy will produce?

 
At 7:32 AM, Blogger maverick said...

And Wise_Ass in your criticism of Obama you forgot to include "Not actually born in the USA/ Fake Birth Certificate" and "secretmuslimactuallytheantichrist" (\sarcasm)

 
At 7:36 AM, Blogger maverick said...

I should give Trump transition team more credit - in a situation where the President is all about "delegating" and has no idea what he actually wants - the policy will be made by people like Wise_Ass.

For all we know - some 16 y/o dude on Twitter will get more likes than Wise_Ass' view here and then that dude will the be the big policymaking honcho.

Seeing all this - it is best to just link www.nss.gov to www.nss.gov.ru. In fact we should just go ahead and simply link all .gov sites to gov.ru and end all this.

 
At 7:38 AM, Blogger maverick said...

More this topic - the Landing Team memo for DOD

https://www.rt.com/usa/371055-trump-pentagon-priorities-russia/

No mention of Russia anywhere despite the fact the DoD treats it has number 1 threat capable of inflicting a mortal blow.

All attention instead focused on ISIS and now supposedly DoD is to come up with a strategy to end ISIS - wasn't that something Donald Trump had up his sleeve already? - that "super secret ISIS defeat" strategy he repeatedly hinted about?

So where is it?

Probably in the same place as promise to release his tax returns.

 

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