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Pick your poison: Saudi Arabia or Iran

In yesterday’s post, I drew attention to the fact that we have a country with legit ‘concentration camps’ holding a million-plus individuals in them, with hardly a peep from the world.  Last night, I happened to be cruising Youtube and saw that President Trump and VP Pence, at a UN thing on religious freedom, actually mentioned China’s camps.  This pleased me.   There was one thing that did not please me, though, and that was that there was no mention of Saudi Arabia.

I do not mean their conduct in Yemen.  I mean their brutal suppression of non-Muslims.  In fact, one could say that in some sense, SA is not poised to incarcerate or slaughter non-Muslims, because they have already put their feet on the necks of non-Muslims so firmly, that none dare lift their head again.  Having watched my share of videos of people being beheaded or executed in SA, the metaphor seems apt.  Moreover, SA appears to be a nexus of human trafficking, with the dismal distinction of being a country where the state apparatus itself is facilitating it.

Notwithstanding the fate of Jamal Khashoggi, it would appear that MAYBE one of the goals of the newest strongman in SA is to turn the corner on such behavior, but I have my doubts.   Certainly, ‘extremism’ needs to be curtailed in SA, as history has already shown that the Saudi brand of ‘extremism’ can have a severe impact on the region and the world:  it was Wahhabi-style ‘extremists’ that formed the bulk of the 9-11 attack, which in turn led to a massive destabilization of the entire region after the American response–not that ‘stabilization’ is intrinsically good, when the stabilizers are the likes of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban, but my point is that it only takes 20 ‘extremists’ to set part of the world on fire, and such people have a home in Saudi Arabia.  If not leadership positions.

Probably the worst thing for the region and the world was the discovery of oil there.  These areas would be devoid of power and influence if they remained mere desert wildernesses.  The discovery of oil has made otherwise strategically useless parts of the world critical.  OPEC, et. al, has been able to hold the world hostage, meanwhile enriching a lot of ‘bad actors’ and financing the rise of Islam, which probably would have been well on its way into a decline without being propped up by oil profits.

This brings me to the question of America’s response to this situation.

Unlike with China, which I asserted in yesterday’s post would likely brush aside economic measures rather than change their conduct, my impression is that the Saudi’s know which side their bread is buttered.  This MIGHT be why bin Salman is turning the screws on the extremists.  At about the same time he came to power, Trump was solidifying America’s independence from Middle East oil.   Saudi Arabia needs the US more than the US needs Saudi Arabia.

My preference would be to walk away from the Middle East altogether, and just let them all fight it out.  We can’t solve all the world’s problems–we have to pick our battles.  It is extraordinarily difficult to find ‘good actors’ there:  even the ‘good actors’ are ‘bad actors.’  Unfortunately, behind the ‘bad actors’ usually stand even worse actors.  Iran is engaged in a proxy war with SA in Yemen, and behind Iran stands both Russian and China–and did I mention that China is locking up millions of people into camps?  Not cool.

Let’s be absolutely clear, though.  If Saudi Arabia goes down, the vacuum will be filled by Iranians and their malevolent friends.  So, unless you’re prepared to ‘walk away’ (as I discuss below), you’re going to have to choose between which ‘bad actor’ to support.

Per my advice in the last post, our best long term strategy is to become independent of it all, but I do think that in this case our independence gives us leverage that we would not otherwise have, and we should apply it.

In other words, we should use the fact that SA is dependent on us for its income in order to curtail its behavior.  We should continue to do business with them, but that business should come with strings attached.  Probably, you can’t make the strings too explicit, or that will drive them into a more belligerent state, but they should be as direct as possible while allowing them to ‘save face.’

It is one thing to let a country manage itself and have everyone else mind their own business, its another to actually give them your money.  Its the fact that people have been giving them money for a century that is part of the problem!

So, Trump was right to allow the sales of US weapons in Saudi Arabia when it came up.  At the time, he stated the obvious:  if the US didn’t sell the arms to Saudi Arabia, it was still going to get the arms, only Russia and/or China would be the seller, not the US.  Would we rather it be the United States leveraging Saudi Arabia’s dependence or would we prefer that Russia and/or China leveraging that dependence?  Given those two options, in my mind it is a no-brainer.

However, that assumes that there is some leveraging being done.  And that is my problem.  That is my challenge to President Trump:  calling out oppressive regimes is awesome… but let’s add a few more to the list.  (Turkey probably needs to be added to that list, too.)  If their behavior does not change, then I submit to you, Mr. President, one of your negotiation principles:  always be ready to walk away from the table.

…………………

Yesterday’s post conclude with an aside for the individual.   More of the same, here.  The situation is intensely complex in the Middle East and there is no way to navigate it without getting some of the stench on you.  If you want to be engaged effectively there at all–and I mean effectively, not just in ‘feel good’ measures–you’re going to have to choose the better of bad options.  Individually, however, we can do certain things, and these ultimately depend on YOU becoming independent.  If you don’t want to start driving a horse and buggy, you can at least take the position that the United States should be driving with American-made gas.  But you can minimize your exposure to ‘bad actors’ in general, and potentially (if we all do it) curtail their behavior via economic pressures, by radically overhauling your lifestyle.  Buy local.  Live local.  Disentangle YOURSELF from the moral complexities of the world.

……………..

Mr. President, Saudi Arabia is not worth our people dying for.  If the proxy war with Iran escalates, as far as I’m concerned, let Russia and China just have it.  Per the saying “talk softly and carry a big stick,” let me submit that if the proxy war escalates, our response should be to make our stick EVEN bigger and make it clear that we will BEAT THEM SENSELESS with it if they get crazy.  This only works if we are energy independent, so I encourage you to continue that.  The region is so filled with ‘bad actors’ its already a veritable write-off, so lets not send my sons to war for a patch of sand possessed by rich nutjobs.

Meanwhile, I don’t think this would represent the kind of abandonment of the situation that it sounds like at first blush.  The people who ARE dependent on Middle East oil… the Europeans… will suddenly have to take responsibility for their own security, instead of allowing the United States to shoulder the burden as they have for almost a century.  Let the Europeans protect their own interests while striving to disentangle our interests from the region as much as possible.  And if the Europeans don’t step up?  Oh, I think a little realpolitick will be good for them, and they will.

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    • End Bringer on September 24, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    Agreed with most of this. I am however, a bit more wary of letting ‘Russia and China just have it’ though. Thanks to German fat-cats that Trump rightly called out as managing to drag most of Europe around in economic unions, and the U.K. still can’t divorce itself from (the perils of becoming too dependant on other nations that don’t have your interest at heart), Europe is already posed to hand itself over to Russia for oil, while simultaneously having the US citizens pay the bill to protect it from Russian aggression. Giving them even more control over Europe’s fuel needs, sounds like letting them have far more than just the Middle East.

    To say nothing of the need to nip Iran itself in the bud. As you said – China, North Korea, Russia, all these problems popping up now are due to the fact that people who could have cut off these bad actors before they became a major problem didn’t when they had the chance. Iran has long been on the same path with their pursuit of a nuclear weapon to turn them from an indirect problem with their funding of terrorists and proxy wars to a major direct threat. Especially to Israel.

    So while I agree, Saudi Arabia is not worth sending our children, family, and friends dying for; I’m not so sure the opportunity to neutralize Iran and curtail Russia and China’s influence isn’t, with SA just being the pretext and the bad actor we have to tolerate with the consolation it’s at least a bad actor we have major leverage over, rather than the bad actors we don’t.

    • Anthony on September 24, 2019 at 1:45 pm
      Author

    Very good comment.

    I wish I could say you are wrong, but it is a complicated matter that will be hard to extricate ourselves from, and I recognize that there is reasonable wiggle room… and the wiggle room is in the directions you mention.

    But here is what I would say.

    First, I mentioned a ‘big stick.’ We should triple our military and harden our assets and ensure that our allies that are actually worthy of our alliance are satisfactorily equipped too. And then we make all parties know that we are willing to use that stick, such that if anyone takes a shot at us, we whack them so hard that they can’t even figure out from which direction they were kicked; we kick them in the nuts so hard that when their grandsons are born their first words are, “What the hell was THAT?!?!?”

    No more ‘wars’ where we pussy foot around. We make it so that there is zero doubt that our response is going to be total and utter annihilation with zero chance that they will achieve whatever it was they hoped to achieve.

    With this established, we let the world sort itself out. But if that is not established, then there is no question… after Israel and Saudi Arabia, we’ll be next.

    Secondly, as far as Iran goes, you didn’t mention their nuclear threat. To me, that represents the kind of thing where we wield the stick decisively. There is no sane universe in which we can hope that Iran is the kind of regime that would not use such weapons on their neighbors, our allies, or ourselves.

    But now, as far as China and Russia goes, I would say that China is too far gone. However, Russia is redeemable. Even more so than Saudi Arabia is. It is disturbing how comfortable certain segments of our population was with a soft coup attempt in our country, associating their efforts with Russia.

    These are the same people who joined Obama in mocking Romney when Romney said that Russia was our greatest threat, handed out silly red buttons, and was caught on a hot ‘mic’ assuring Russia that ‘after the election’ they’d have a ‘freer hand.’ They laughed, and were so stupid, partisan, and mal-informed that they didn’t recognize that Russia was indeed a threat. (I didn’t laugh, and I believe Russia is a threat, but I’ve believed China to be our greater threat for many years.) And suddenly Russia is Satan itself!

    This shift has sabotaged our hope that we could turn Russia towards goodness. Putin will not live forever, after all. But now the soft coup attempt here has poisoned the well there. No surprise, after years of Russia and China butting heads against each other, but now Russia and China’s military are doing exercises together. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. The abject stupidity of people boggles my mind.

    BUT. There might still be time to make Russia an ally. IF we strengthen ourselves significant, and IF we strengthen our allies, and IF we facilitate Russia into becoming an ally worthy of our alliance, the likes of Iran is hung out to dry. They will have China–but they will not have the resources or economic wherewithal to wage war.

    Thirdly, I’m with you on the stuff about Europe. I would submit that if we are energy independent and have hardened our capabilities, then the Middle East is basically Europe’s problem. They are so smart and moral, let THEM fix it.

    These days, I’m of the mind that if Europe needs saving again, we politely decline. Let’s see THEM show us how its done.

    • End Bringer on September 24, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    Sadly, the no more pussy footing around option, is likely no longer an option for the US; due to the bleeding-heart anti-Americanism of Liberals and their media allies. Handling Iran in the same way we handled Japan in WW2 would indeed remove them from being a threat likely for at least a century, but of course that would be too “mean” and “cruel” and would likely result in significant collateral from the civilian population, whom those brutal regimes would be more than happy to use as shields because bad actors have no qualms about such things.

    And that of course, would results in US citizens feeling bad, and undercutting our willingness to not pussyfoot around. And thus such bad actors are allowed to continue on to kill and torture and oppress people. Hooray for Liberal compassion!

    But as far as Russia is concern, don’t write off the opportunity for reconciliation just yet. For one simple and underlining fact – Democrats and the media are utterly unprincipled hypocrites. Just like Obama ignoring Romney’s warnings and being proven wrong, is utterly ignored by the MM and they and Democrats still carry on like they know best, don’t underestimate the possibility that as soon as Trump is out of office we won’t see a push to ‘turn the page, and forgive and forget’ with Russia…. so long as it’s a Democrat in office to benefit from it.

    And obviously the MM will be there to praise such efforts and ignore the last 3 years of constant hysteria as much as possible.

    • Anthony on September 24, 2019 at 3:06 pm
      Author

    “And obviously the MM will be there to praise such efforts and ignore the last 3 years of constant hysteria as much as possible.”

    It’s a plot mechanism stolen right from “1984.”

    “Oceania is our enemy!”

    [We hereby order you to forget we said that.]

    “Oceania is our ally!”

    And so on, depending on the political needs at the time.

    But we are getting far afield.

    • Dannyboy on September 25, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    I agreed with the first four paragraphs.

    Is Trump pursuing energy independence? Apart from his fantasies about American coal I have obviously missed that. And he was completely suckered by SA over the Qatar incident. I guess if you hold all your diplomatic receptions in the President’s hotel chain and flatter him a bit then you get free reign to manipulate him on important geopolitical issues. Score!

    Providing SA with the weapons used to commit atrocities in Yemen on the basis that other people would provide them if America didn’t and with the tenuous hope that some strategic long-game benefits might result is…. well, tenuous. I’m not sure that if I was Yemeni I would appreciate the moral clarity of that position. Not sure that you would either.

    And I got some genuine Lols out of your challenge to Trump – “calling out oppressive regimes is awesome…”. When did he do that again? Venezuela and Iran are the only ones I can think of. Apart from that, your president loves oppressive regimes, and picks his stupid ego-driven fights almost exclusively with liberal democracies. That’s his ideological cards firmly on the table.

    Lovely shout out to your Mennonite peeps with the horse and buggy thing 🙂

    • Dannyboy on September 25, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    Also, just clarify something for me you two…

    Russia is “redeemable” and could be an ally (Tony) and has the possibility of reconciliation (EB), but is also America’s biggest geopolitical enemy as stated by Mitt Romney and Democrats were idiots for disagreeing with him about that?

    Maybe pick a side?

    • End Bringer on September 25, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    “Is Trump pursuing energy independence? Apart from his fantasies about American coal I have obviously missed that. And he was completely suckered by SA over the Qatar incident. I guess if you hold all your diplomatic receptions in the President’s hotel chain and flatter him a bit then you get free reign to manipulate him on important geopolitical issues. Score!”

    Not being from or in the US it’s not surprising you miss a lot going on here. Probably due to all your news coming from CNN, no doubt. But if all the hooplah about local efforts to oppose Trump’s increase of local oil production is any indication, to say nothing about how the attack on SA oil fields didn’t really send prices spiraling as it would have 10-15 years before, than it’s safe to say those coal plants which are largely the reason those electric cars are able to run at all, isn’t the sum total of this admin’s efforts for energy independence.

    “Providing SA with the weapons used to commit atrocities in Yemen on the basis that other people would provide them if America didn’t and with the tenuous hope that some strategic long-game benefits might result is…. well, tenuous. I’m not sure that if I was Yemeni I would appreciate the moral clarity of that position. Not sure that you would either.”

    As opposed to Europe pushing to provide Iran with money to fund terrorist organizations and proxy wars because it wants it’s oil with the hope it won’t develop a nuclear weapon to attack it’s enemies on a deal that is little more than a pinky-swear? I’m not sure if I was an Israeli I would appreciate that either.

    “And I got some genuine Lols out of your challenge to Trump – “calling out oppressive regimes is awesome…”. When did he do that again? Venezuela and Iran are the only ones I can think of. Apart from that, your president loves oppressive regimes, and picks his stupid ego-driven fights almost exclusively with liberal democracies. That’s his ideological cards firmly on the table.”

    Did it just recently at the UN meeting, where despite his amicable attitude with China’s leadership, did call them out as well. But again, since you only get your info through the filter of a painfully obvious partisan media, your ignorance is to be expected. Good of you to admit it though. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.

    “Russia is “redeemable” and could be an ally (Tony) and has the possibility of reconciliation (EB), but is also America’s biggest geopolitical enemy as stated by Mitt Romney and Democrats were idiots for disagreeing with him about that?”

    I think you’ll note we didn’t comment on our personal positions on whether Russia qualify as the biggest geopolitical enemy, nor whether that ‘reconciliation’ being possible was inherently a good thing (at least with Putin still in power). We just note the blatant hypocrisy of Democrats dismissing it one moment, than crying Armageddon the next.

    • Anthony on September 27, 2019 at 8:07 am
      Author

    Just for the record, I did comment on my personal position. I said that I believed China was, and have so believed for a long time. But yes, the hypocrisy is blatant. Just one more example out of thousands piling up on each other revealing that they are merely Machiavellians seeking to gain and hold power, no matter what. If folks don’t see that now, they never will. I’d save your breath.

    • Dannyboy on September 27, 2019 at 10:31 am

    Hi EB!

    “Not being from or in the US it’s not surprising you miss a lot going on here. Probably due to all your news coming from CNN, no doubt.”

    There’s a couple of things wrong with that statement. Firstly, there’s this thing called the internet (you might have heard of it), which means that not being in a country isn’t actually a barrier to following that country’s national news. It could even be an advantage – with less potential bias from the partisan opinions of local friendship groups in terms of interpreting that news. Secondly, the fact that I’m not American means that your anti-First Amendment MAGA cliché slurs fall even more flat than they ordinarily would. I don’t watch CNN.

    Re: the US (and UK, incidentally) supplying Saudi weapons

    “As opposed to Europe….”

    So, no substantive response to my point then. Just feeble whataboutery? Ok.

    There was a similar lack of substance in your response to my mention of Trump’s visible boner for corrupt authoritarian leaders. Just naked assertions about my media diet, about which you have zero knowledge. Would it surprise you to know that I listened to the Ben Shapiro podcast this afternoon? I was looking for a conservative take (in between the underwear and home security adverts) on the Ukraine/impeachment issue. He made a couple of good points. My other source was the non-partisan Lawfare blog. Makes you wonder what else you’re completely wrong about. 🙂

    And re: Russia hypocrisy (Democrat and Republican). Politicians are like that, I guess. And so are people if they only take issue when one side does it.

    • End Bringer on September 27, 2019 at 11:52 am

    There’s a couple of things wrong with that statement. Firstly, there’s this thing called the internet (you might have heard of it), which means that not being in a country isn’t actually a barrier to following that country’s national news. It could even be an advantage – with less potential bias from the partisan opinions of local friendship groups in terms of interpreting that news. Secondly, the fact that I’m not American means that your anti-First Amendment MAGA cliché slurs fall even more flat than they ordinarily would. I don’t watch CNN.”

    *chuckles*

    Yeeeaaahh. And the people running those search engines used to look up information have displayed absolutely noooooooo signs of being partisanly biased to make sure the top sites that are found also lean towards a narrative they agree with before sites that don’t.

    Not sure where this ‘anti-First Amendment’ comment comes from, since I’ve never expressed any view of curtailling free speech or freedom of religion like liberal’s have (sometimes in the form of near-violent mobs to frighten public speakers from taking the public square, or intimidating the more timid school admins to cancel altogether). Nor have I advocated government cracking down on the press even with all their painfully biased, out-of-control rumor-mongering that gets passed as “news” these days.

    My opinion is pretty much for the private citizen to ignore them entirely, and to free up liable laws for individuals to sue them and hit them where it hurts most – their wallet. Seems like a pretty consistent less-government pro-First Amendment position to me.

    “So, no substantive response to my point then. Just feeble whataboutery? Ok.”

    SJ’s whole blog post is pretty much a substantive response to your point – it’s a complicated matter, muddled further by near everyone in the region being a bad actor. And since conservatives intrinsically know you can’t go to war with every bad actor, while liberals seemingly just excuse and ignore them being bad actors entirely (if not get in bed with them for mutual profit like the tech companies and China), there’s inherently not going to be a ‘perfectly good solution’ just solutions that are varying degrees of bad and/or tolerable.

    “There was a similar lack of substance in your response to my mention of Trump’s visible boner for corrupt authoritarian leaders.”

    You mean his personally being friendly to leaders like China and North Korea when he meets them, while other times responding to them with how the US has a nuclear button that works (which I seem to recall got a brief bout of hysteria that Trump was going to start WW3, but never came about), and yet entering trade wars that simultaneously hurt their economies, and have the potential to undercut their economic advantages for decades?

    I fail to really see the problem. Trump’s way seems to be working much better on the world stage to affect real change; better than lying about the details of deals and secretly paying off billions of dollars to authoritarian regimes, as seen in the last administration anyway. Nor do I see any possibility he could go about it in a way that would please liberals, because as seen with the aforementioned WW3 example, if Trump confronts them hard, liberals go into end-of-the-world hysteria, and if he confronts them in a friendly manner, liberal’s throw out ‘visible boner for authoritarian leaders.’

    So DB, why don’t you just admit you and liberals in general have had a constant rage-stiffy with Trump for the past 3 years over anything and everything. Because there is literally no way he can win with you.

    “And re: Russia hypocrisy (Democrat and Republican). Politicians are like that, I guess. And so are people if they only take issue when one side does it.”

    Glad I’m not one of those people then.

    • Dannyboy on September 27, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    “*chuckles*”

    [Yawns]

    “Not sure where this ‘anti-First Amendment’ comment comes from…”

    Let me help you out. Your inaccurate cheap shot about CNN is straight out of the Trumpist anti-media rhetoric playbook that portrays any unwelcome reporting (which inevitably sometimes includes honest mistakes, as well as examples of biased or unfair journalism) as being not only inferior to blatantly partisan flattery of the Great and thin-skinned Leader, but as an actual assault on America. As an “enemy of the people”, if you will. Feel free to complacently categorise that sort of incitement by the President as no big problem, even though it has already been associated with violent attacks on the free press. Or you could (as you in fact do) dismiss it as being less of an issue than a few fringe far left groups who restrict free speech on college campuses. It’s the president, stupid (quoting).

    Jolly well done for “never expressing any view of curtailling [sic] free speech”, give yourself a medal. You know I think the first draft of that famous poem by Martin Niemoller started out as “First they came for the socialists, and I never expressed any view of curtailling the rights of socialists….”

    My opinion is that anyone attempting to deprive people of the right to free speech is firmly in the wrong, whether that attempt is made through thuggish violence or by exercising the power of the highest office in the land. What do you think?

    “And since conservatives intrinsically know you can’t go to war with every bad actor, while liberals seemingly just excuse and ignore them being bad actors entirely (if not get in bed with them for mutual profit like the tech companies and China), there’s inherently not going to be a ‘perfectly good solution’ just solutions that are varying degrees of bad and/or tolerable.”

    Lol, remind me – were you alive yet during the Iraq war?

    “So DB, why don’t you just admit you and liberals in general have had a constant rage-stiffy with Trump for the past 3 years over anything and everything. Because there is literally no way he can win with you.”

    You know what EB, I will partially give you that one. In very much the same way as conservatives for the previous eight years could never find anything positive to admit about Obama. I guess we live in a very polarised world. There are some clear and obvious differences between the man that liberals have chosen to oppose at any cost and the man that conservatives chose to oppose at any cost, however. In terms of nepotism, corruption, intelligence, competence, professionalism…. But maybe these are not important issues for you.

    • End Bringer on September 27, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    “Your inaccurate cheap shot of CNN…”

    BWAHAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Oh, DB. You are hilarious! But when you’re ready to take off your partisan blindfold, I’ll be waiting (watching every MM station repeating the same talking points by rote) to have a serious conversation.

    “Feel free to complacently categorise that sort of incitement by the President as no big problem, even though it has already been associated with violent attacks on the free press. ”

    Probably by the same people who decry liberal violence as not being associated by liberals like Bernie Sanders, or certain liberal politicians calling the opposition ‘Nazis.’

    “My opinion is that anyone attempting to deprive people of the right to free speech is firmly in the wrong, whether that attempt is made through thuggish violence or by exercising the power of the highest office in the land. What do you think?”

    I think you’re a Trump-hating liberal. Whose frothing rage has blinded him to the fact any objectively thinking person can see for themselves that between the Democrat party and the MM we are indeed in the midst of Orwell’s “1984.”

    Otherwise you’d be able to recognize that free speech has been deprived! You can’t yell ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater just for lols, and I’d kindly direct you to the little thing called “hate speech” that liberals love to push the envelope on what falls under that umbrella. Similarly, it’s become clear the liberal MM also needs some measure of check upon it, if not necessarily from the government, than by individuals able to take them to task financially (Because that’s not the government throwing the press in jail, and thus no First Amendment violation). I’d point the Covington case as a prime example of the kind of consequences of a press rushing to judgement before even a cursory check of facts just because the initial appearance fits their narrative.

    Which is far more of a common occurrence these days than ‘sometimes honest mistakes,’ and assumes far too much about the people making them.

    As such, if you can’t recognize, at minimum, that the press is indeed pushing the line between journalism and propaganda, and that they’re insatiable need for conflict in order to drive viewership is a major factor in driving this polarized climate, then we are simply at an impasse and have nothing further to discuss on these matters.

    “Lol, remind me – were you alive yet during the Iraq war?”

    Yeah. Why? Was there a conservative in the White House at the time?

    “You know what EB, I will partially give you that one. In very much the same way as conservatives for the previous eight years could never find anything positive to admit about Obama.”

    He had good oratory skills, and great teeth.

    Though I think if you’ll look back, you’ll find that most of the criticism from me and SJ had less to do with Obama on a personal level, aside from his egotism which indeed was as big as Trump’s but just more controlled, and more about genuine policy and methods.

    But even then, if you think opposition of Obama is anything close to the seething rage and over-the-top grand standing we see from liberals and Democrats to Trump today, then there’s little hope for you, and we are at an impasse, and have nothing further to talk about in this matter.

    • Dannyboy on September 29, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    EB,

    “Oh, DB. You are hilarious! But when you’re ready to take off your partisan blindfold….”

    Thanks. But – the fact remains – I don’t watch CNN, so what you said remains the inaccurate cheap shot I described it as. You can say whatever you like about CNN, and beyond noting if/when it crosses the line into the regrettably common contemporary conservative trend of dangerous incitement against the free press, I will have nothing to say about it. But you suggested that I get all my news from a channel that I have literally never watched, which is why I objected.

    Other than that, your response was just a deluge of whataboutery. I mention Trump soliciting attacks on the media, you talk about Bernie Sanders. I talk about the importance of free speech and how there are extremists on both sides attacking it, and you rant about Orwellian Democrats and the “MM”. Probably if I raise the subject of Trump’s likely-impeachable conduct re: Ukraine you will talk about Hunter Biden. As a tactic (not to mention a set of talking points), it’s a little obvious.

    I get that Trump is a difficult guy to defend, I do. But if the only way you can deal with him as a topic of conversation is through deflection and avoidance then maybe that tells you something which you ought to ponder about your political alignment and/or voting patterns?

    “But even then, if you think opposition of Obama is anything close to the seething rage and over-the-top grand standing we see from liberals and Democrats to Trump today, then there’s little hope for you, and we are at an impasse, and have nothing further to talk about in this matter.”

    Always a pleasure, EB. Always a pleasure ?

    • Dannyboy on September 29, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    Darn it. That last “?” was a typo. I didn’t intend to do anything to suggest that conversing with you isn’t always a genuine thrill and joy.

    I do hope that you will be able to find it in your heart to forgive me.

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