Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Gilbert Doctorow — Trump’s frontal assault on America’s new McCarthyism

Gilbert Doctrow gives Donald Trump positive marks.

Une parole franche
Trump’s frontal assault on America’s new McCarthyism
Gilbert Doctorow | European Coordinator of The American Committee for East West Accord Ltd.


Andrew said...

This is the guy we're taking foreign policy advice from? He writes pages that say almost nothing.

One can be against neo-liberal interventionist foreign policy and still think Trump is a clueless idiot. It doesn't have to be drones or doofus. There are many options for foreign policy. Saying that there were problems with the policies of the last administration isn't really saying much. Make some concrete proposals of what to do about real problems facing the world, or suggest that we should withdraw and ignore it all. Also, to paint the Russians as blameless is naive.

To suggest Obama was a McCarthyite is insulting (although I'm not sure what Doctorow was really saying). While I didn't agree with many of his policies, Obama was a thoughtful and deliberate leader. One can be smart and end up with bad decisions, even with full information. Trump's BEHAVIOR suggests that he's no better than a roll of the dice, and probably worse than that.

But what they lack in intellectuality Donald Trump’s Tweets have made up for in moral strength and…feistiness, read courage.

Courage? Courage sometimes gets people killed for no good reason. And besides, what courage does it take to order people to do things when you're the president? One doesn't need to be an intellectual to at least communicate your policies in a reasonable way. Perhaps if he was less concerned about who liked him, it would be more assuring.

If the Yemen raid is an example of great Trump foreign policy, I'll take Obama any day.

Noah Way said...

The Yemen raid is an example of Obama's foreign policy.

MRW said...

Correct, Noah,

The Yemen raid is an example of Obama's foreign policy.

Tom Hickey said...

The Scale Of Trump's Yemen Botch

MRW said...


"This is the guy we're taking foreign policy advice from? He writes pages that say almost nothing."

You're British, aren't you? Even if you're not, you’re clearly unaware of the term “new McCarthyism” that esteemed Russian historian and analyst Stephen Cohen recently made popular on The John Batchelor Show (WABC-AM, NYC) and recorded afterward in The Nation. [Cohen’s wife is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Nation, hardly a right-wing rag.] Listen to the recording (December 6, 2016). I don’t miss a John Batchelor/Stephen Cohen weekly hour; it’s brilliant.

By every definition, Obama’s rantings against Putin were new McCarthyism.

Doctorow hits all the right notes, including Trump’s refreshing answer to Bill O’Reilly last Friday:
In response to O’Reilly’s asking how Trump could get along with Putin, given that the Russian was “a killer,” Trump famously replied: “We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?”  In a sound bite lasting less than a minute, the President dispatched the whole notion of American exceptionalism that has been riding high since the days of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright through the Obama era, as appropriate only to babes in the kindergarten.

Ryan Harris said...

We have even more killers than you knew.

MRW said...

I asked Colonel Pat Lang what he thought of the Yemen raid, and gave hime the link to the story you linked to, Tom. Colonel Lang worked with the Houthi soldiers in Yemen for a few years (which he has commented on over the years), and has a lot of respect for them.

This is what he replied.

The objective was AQAP [Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a militant Islamist organization], not Houthi (northern tribesmen). To criticize the CinC of the US Armed forces for a botched 50 man raid is just inane. He should never have been asked his opinion. The operation should have been executed within the operating authorities of JSOC. I an sorry for the dead sailor , his comrades and his family but this was a minor incident in a long war. Was the raid a failure? That depends on what they got.

Andrew, Colonel Lang’s CV and experience is vast and extensive. He was worldwide chief of covert operations for the DIA in the late 20th C. He was Military Liaison with Israel for years, chief planner for the Joint Chiefs of staff, among many things. The leader of the TV series, The A-Team played by George Peppard was based on what Lang did during the Vietnam War, sort of a Mission Impossible mission. He speaks fluent Arabic, and styled the courses in Islam and Arabic culture taught to officers at West Point.

Tom Hickey said...

Why don't you post that as a comment to Rosser's post at Econospeak. He is an economist but he also writes on affairs such as this.

MRW said...

The pro-bomb Pro-Israeli neocons and journalists are pushing that we fought he Houthis because they want the Houthi link up to Iran. 'Mad Dog' Mattis would have know all this, and what Lang knows as well.

GLH said...

I am sorry but about half way through I stopped reading the bull shit. I am not in favor of any war but I can tell when I am reading a partisan rant.

MRW said...

Why don't you post that as a comment to Rosser's post at Econospeak. He is an economist but he also writes on affairs such as this. Think I might.

Andrew said...


I'm very confused about what you are trying to say. Are you suggesting raid was good? Not good? We're at war when we shouldn't be? We're at war and that's just how it is? That Trump is trying to stop war but not very hard? That some clandestine operation colonel thinks that Trump is getting blame for something not his fault -- that the military itself is to blame? If he's linking to article provided, it sure doesn't seem like he disagrees that it was a cluster.

I think I was clear in my original comment that I had no love for drone strikes, though my opinion on such things doesn't count for much.

Bob said...

The Colonel is sounding like an apologist.

MRW said...

Andrew, I have no love for drone strikes either. In fact, I think they are immoral in anything other than a declared war, meaning a necessary response to a genuine threat to this country, not a Presidential Tuesday Hit List he chooses with his soft-boiled egg. I was appalled, as a small example, by what Bush and Obama did bombing Pakistan and killing 6,000 men, women, and children at funerals and weddings, then saying "oops."

Look at the numbers we've killed, not to mention displaced, to avenge 3,000 on 9/11. It’s fucking appalling, and all out of proportion to the stimulus, a sign when done by an individual of mental illness. When a country does it, it’s off its moorings, sick.

The new McCarthyism is a grand precursor to all that…again. Setting up phony enemies. The neocons did it when Russia fell. Read Leon Hadar’ s August 1992 account, The "Green Peril":
Creating the Islamic Fundamentalist Threat
. It’s long. 29 Pages. I don’t expect you to read it. But read the fist 2 1/2 pages, Andrew: the Executive Summary. Seriously, read it. Hadar, at least, has the good sense to be sarcastic about it. (Few are aware of this history; Americans were too busy electing a new president.)

Now that the war against Muslims is in full force—benefitting everyone from the defense contractors and neocons in position to gain from government/think-tank jobs, security equipment, and surreptitious investments—the next cash cow of the MIC is ‘let’s bring back the Red boogeyman’. Sabre-rattling Russia. For what? For what conceivable reason?

MRW said...

For got to include the Leon Hadar link:

MRW said...

Bob, an apologist? Hardly.