What Trump should have said

Trump should have said something like the following:

There should be a Nato agreement that each country contributes at least 2% of GDP to the mutual defense. Those countries falling short in their defense spending must contribute the difference to a fund to assist those countries spending more than 2% of GDP.

That would have been a responsible approach to Nato reform, unlike his actual comments, which served to weaken the alliance.

But Trump doesn’t wish to save Nato, he’d rather see it destroyed. Trump doesn’t respect Putin despite his flaws; he respects him precisely because of his flaws. Trump respects power—the power to kill your political opponents and invade neighboring countries. He feels so passionately about this that he refuses to forcefully condemn Putin’s crimes despite the fact that it costs him votes. In contrast, Trump despises leaders that seek to cooperate with other countries, or those who advocate human rights, viewing them as weak.

People wonder why Trump keeps saying these awful things about Russia and Ukraine (and occasionally China). Even Trump’s critics cannot quite wrap their minds around the fact that he says them because he believes them. Trump really does believe that Putin should be able to kill his opponents and invade neighboring countries. He really does wish to see Nato destroyed. Ditto for the EU. These are not just slips of the tongue. We are not used to having candidates who are 100% pure evil, so we cannot see the truth when it’s right in front of our eyes.

In 2016, I pointed out that Trump had authoritarian tendencies, and commenters mocked me for it. After January 6th, those commenters look like complete fools, and the current iteration of Trump is far worse than the 2016 version. If anything, I greatly understated how bad Trump is.

Inevitably, commenters will tell me that the first Trump administration was staffed with some mainstream GOP officials who occasionally put sanctions on Russia. But listen to what Trump is saying now. He’s saying that in his second term he will not use any of those mainstream “RINOs”, and instead will staff his administration with authoritarian right-wing nationalists.

Maybe he’ll be too lazy to pursue that agenda. But if he does, don’t say that we weren’t warned.

PS. Can someone explain to me why Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea have not already been added to Nato? It seems like a no-brainer that would clearly make Nato even stronger. What are we waiting for?



35 Responses to “What Trump should have said”

  1. Gravatar of Peter Peter
    22. February 2024 at 21:02

    I mean I’m not a noted professor but I’m pretty sure Japan isn’t on the North Atlantic last I checked even tangentially like let’s say Italy.

    As for “Trump respects power—the power to kill your political opponents and invade neighboring countries.”, I’m pretty positive Trump only president since Carter whom didn’t invade his neighbor so that falls flat, I mean God forbid we not have a warmonger in office. And last I checked all presidents have killed, or attested on threat of, political opponents, at least in my living memory. Clinton and Obama even targeted their children

  2. Gravatar of BC BC
    22. February 2024 at 23:29

    “Even Trump’s critics cannot quite wrap their minds around the fact that he says them because he believes them.”

    The other thing that people can’t quite wrap their minds around is how much Trump’s support has dwindled to pure election deniers. Polls are pretty consistent in showing that 80-90 percent(!) of Trump’s supporters believe that Biden won in 2020 through voter fraud. Haley has won almost all the support of “normal” Republicans, those who recognize that Biden won fair and square. In NH, those voters turned to Haley by a 71-14 margin. Unfortunately for Haley, the election deniers have made up a majority of Republican primary voters, even in “independent” minded states like NH. When one sees mainstream Republican politicians bending the knee to Trump, it looks like he has the support of mainstream Republicans, even if begrudging support. Mainstream Republican voters, however, have abandoned him, leaving just the “wacko wing” (John McCain’s word) voting for Trump.

    Of course, some of those normal Republicans may return to the fold in the general election. But, the fact that Trump’s base is 80-90 percent conspiracy nuts, and that he can win primaries now with only negligible support from “normal” people, shows why he doesn’t think he needs to include any mainstream “RINOs” in his second administration. No one was more of a Trump lapdog/apologist than Mike Pence but, in the end, Pence (to his credit) chose the Constitution over loyalty to Trump. Trump has learned his lesson.

  3. Gravatar of Ted Ted
    23. February 2024 at 05:38

    I agree with you on Japan etc. Just drop the “NA,” call it DNDA (Democratic Nation Defense Alliance) or something.

    But you occasionally see European nations really stressing the NA. It sort of makes sense from their perspective– arguably the core function of NATO is to ensure American protection of democratic Europe. Some in Europe don’t want to see that purpose diluted.

    (Not to mention the whole unanimous agreement nonsense, which we’ve just seen. What would we have to pay Orban and Erdogen to admit Japan?)

    So, I think that’s why. Again, I don’t *agree* with this, but it’s a reason.

    Also I don’t think New Zealand wants in. I’m no expert, so someone who knows more can correct, but seems like they have been distancing themselves from Australia and things like AUKUS on security matters, trying to stay more neutral, etc. Maybe that will change now under Nats, but who knows.

  4. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    23. February 2024 at 05:39

    Peter, Yeah, it’s not a North Atlantic country like . . . Turkey?

    As for invasions, Trump is literally campaigning on a promise to invade Mexico.

    BC, Good comment.

  5. Gravatar of stoneybatter stoneybatter
    23. February 2024 at 05:43

    The North Atlantic Treaty explicitly says (in Article 6) that the mutual defense provisions (in Article 5) only apply to territory in North America and Europe, above the Tropic of Cancer. It would require a wholesale change to the treaty, or an entirely new treaty, to allow Australia, New Zealand, Japan, or South Korea to join and benefit from Article 5. That would be worthwhile, but it would be much more difficult and politically painful than “normal” expansion to include countries like Sweden and Finland.

  6. Gravatar of MSS1914 MSS1914
    23. February 2024 at 07:16

    To add on to what stoneybatter said, article 10 explicitly states that member countries have to be in Europe (I guess Turkey got the nod because of its land across the straights?)

    A global defense alliance of democratic states would be ideal, but the political will to overhaul NATO like that doesn’t exist anymore. The best time to do that was probably in the 90’s right after the USSR’s collapse.

    As an aside, all this anger about Western Europe not spending enough on their militaries is odd. Here is a continent that was mired in extremely destructive wars for centuries and now, because of the security offered by NATO, they spend very little on their militaries. That’s a bad thing? We should celebrate the de-militarization of these countries. Put them under our military protection and remind any non-members that an attack on them is like an attack on the US. Nobody is going to risk attacking them.

  7. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    23. February 2024 at 07:20

    Agreed. But if there’s a will there’s a way. Criteria can be changed.

  8. Gravatar of Student Student
    23. February 2024 at 08:06

    💯. I don’t know people can’t see that his temperament is that of a bloody thirsty tyrant. He has the temperament of a Caligula, a Nero, a Stalin… insert any other notorious tyrant. The get high on power. They want to stay in power forever. They think they are smarter than everyone else. They create a cult of personality around themselves. They bully, they kill, they cheat and steal. They have many women (who don’t really love them as people). They have no morals. Trump identifies with Putin and Kim Jong Un because that’s how he would to lead himself. It isn’t hyperbole when he says things like we should execute drug dealers in the streets or leave NATO.

    I’ve never thought of Aquinas’ De Regno like I have in the Trump era… Just imagine Trump if you bother to read the excerpt. It screams Trump way back from the Middle Ages.


    “… if the government should turn away from justice, it is more expedient that it be a government by many, so that it may be weaker and the many may mutually hinder one another. Among unjust governments, therefore, democracy is the most tolerable, but the worst is tyranny.

    [26] This same conclusion is also apparent if one considers the evils which come from tyrants. Since a tyrant, despising the common good, seeks his private interest, it follows that he will oppress his subjects in different ways according as he is dominated by different passions to acquire certain goods. The one who is enthralled by the passion of cupidity seizes the goods of his subjects; whence Solomon says [Prov 29:4]: “A just king sets up the land; a covetous man shall destroy it.” If he is dominated by the passion of anger, he sheds blood for nothing; whence it is said by Ezekiel: ‘ “Her princes in the midst of her are like wolves ravening the prey to shed blood.” Therefore this kind of government is to be avoided as the Wise man admonishes [Sirach 9:13]: “Keep far from the man who has the power to kill,” because he kills not for justice’ sake but by his power, for the lust of his will. Thus there can be no safety. Everything is uncertain when there is a departure from justice. Nobody will be able firmly to state: This thing is such and such, when it depends upon the will of another, not to say upon his caprice. Nor does the tyrant merely oppress his subjects in corporal things but he also hinders their spiritual good. Those who seek more to use, than to be of use to, their subjects prevent all progress, suspecting all excellence in their subjects to be prejudicial to their own evil domination. For tyrants hold the good in greater suspicion than the wicked, and to them the valour of others is always fraught with danger.

    [27] So the above-mentioned tyrants strive to prevent those of their subjects who have become virtuous from acquiring valour and high spirit in order that they may not want to cast off their iniquitous domination. They also see to it that there be no friendly relations among these so that they may not enjoy the benefits resulting from being on good terms with one another, for as long as one has no confidence in the other, no plot will be set up against the tyrant’s domination. Wherefore they sow discords among the people, foster any that have arisen, and forbid anything which furthers society and co-operation among men, such as marriage, company at table and anything of like character, through which familiarity and confidence are engendered among men. They moreover strive to prevent their subjects from becoming powerful and rich since, suspecting these to be as wicked as themselves, they fear their power and wealth; for the subjects might become harmful to them even as they are accustomed to use power and wealth to harm others. Whence in the Book of Job it is said of the tyrant [15:21]: “The sound of dread is always in his ears and when there is peace (that is, when there is no one to harm him), he always suspects treason.”

    [28]. It thus results that when rulers, who ought to induce their subjects to virtue,” are wickedly jealous of the virtue of their subjects and hinder it as much as they can, few virtuous men are found under the rule of tyrants. For, according to Aristotle’s sentence [ Eth. III, 11: 1116a 20], brave men are found where brave men are honoured. And as Tullius says [ Tuscul. Disp. I, 2, 4]: “Those who are despised by everybody are disheartened and flourish but little.” It is also natural that men, brought up in fear, should become mean of spirit and discouraged in the face of any strenuous and manly task. This is shown by experience in provinces that have long been under tyrants. Hence the Apostle says to the Colossians: “Fathers, provoke not your children to indignation, lest they be discouraged.

    [29] So, considering these evil effects of tyranny King Solomon says [Prov 28:12]: “When the wicked reign, men are ruined” because, forsooth, through the wickedness of tyrants, subjects fall away from the perfection of virtue. And again he says [Prov 29:2]: “When the wicked rule the people shall mourn, as though led into slavery.” And again [Prov 28:28]: “When the wicked rise up men shall hide themselves”, that they may escape the cruelty of the tyrant. It is no wonder, for a man governing without reason, according to the lust of his soul, in no way differs from the beast. Whence Solomon says [Prov 28:15]: ”As a roaring lion and a hungry bear, so is a wicked prince over the poor people.” Therefore men hide from tyrants as from cruel beasts and it seems that to be subject to a tyrant is the same thing as to lie prostrate beneath a raging beast.“

  9. Gravatar of John Hall John Hall
    23. February 2024 at 10:18

    Well said.

  10. Gravatar of Sara Sara
    23. February 2024 at 11:19

    NATO should be destroyed.

    It’s a cold war relic, desperately, and uncessarily held onto by those suffering from Russiaphobia.

    You can always tell who these people are, because whenever you want to engage in serious conversations about Donbas, the Minsk agreement, or the billions of dollars in aid that prolong suffering on both sides of a civil war, you always here the same nonsensical responses.

    1. Putin puppet.
    2. Putin lover.
    3. Communist (some still believe Russia is the USSR).
    4. Don’t you know about Putin. He’s bad.

    Everyone knows Putin is a killer. We certainly don’t need ignorant pundits, neocons and neolibs to tell us that.

    But Russian domestic policy is not our problem. Most Russians like Putin. I don’t really understand why they like him, but it’s not my country. It’s none of my business. Putin is not a serious threat to the world. All he cares about is preserving Russian (slavic) identity in the face of western imposition.

    Then, we hear ‘but what about crimea’?

    Look, I’ve been to Crimea.

    I’ve walked the streets, I’ve gone to the beaches. Nobody there wants to be part of Ukraine because it friggin sucks. It’s a shithole. It’s run by oligarchs. Don’t take my word for it. Go there. Ask people. They’ll tell you the exact same thing.

    Here is what happened in Ukraine in 2014.

    1. Yanukovych won the presidency. (maybe fraud, maybe not, who knows)
    2. Donbas overwhelmingly voted for Yanukovych.
    3. Protesters in Kiev, with U.S. funding(CIA), violently removed Yanukovych.
    4. Donbas seceded.
    5. A civil war broke out.
    6. France helped broker the Minsk agreement, designed to create autonomy in the Donbas region.
    7. For eight years Donbas was shelled intermittently. Perhaps by elements of the Azov battallion, or possibly at the direction of Kiev. It’s so corrupt, in Ukraine, that nobody knows. But what we do know is that American shells landed on the doorstep of Donbas residents. We have the receipts.
    8. For Russia, at this point, it’s matter of national security.

    Here is the U.S. equivalent to that scenerio.

    1. Trump wins presidency.
    2. Texas overwhelmingly votes Trump.
    3. New Yorkers get angry. They protest violently until Trump flees the white house.
    4. Texas secedes.
    5. Washington shells Texas into submission for eight years.
    6. Mexico gets involved because Washington won’t stop, and 30% of the Texas population is of mexican descent.

    That’s precisely what we’re dealing with here. And instead of seeking a peaceful solution, NATO wants to start world war three.


    Go swing your dick around at Putin. I’ll do something more productive.

    And while you’re swinging your dicks and flexing your old muscles at each other, keep in mind that Zelensky refuses to hold an election. So who are you really protecting?

    Hint: the oligarchs.

  11. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    23. February 2024 at 11:22

    Student, Good quotation. Unfortunately, people like Trump have been the norm throughout history.

  12. Gravatar of Student Student
    23. February 2024 at 12:33

    Indeed Scott. But it’s not easy to see them when they emerge not the havoc they reek.

  13. Gravatar of Student Student
    23. February 2024 at 12:34

    *It is easy to see…

  14. Gravatar of Ricardo Ricardo
    23. February 2024 at 13:35

    Sumner is just itching for World War III.

    Now this hombre loco wants to expand NATO to Korea and Japan, so that China and Russia are boxed into a little corner.

    Eres un idiota…

    You’re so tough that you’d never go to war yourself, but you have no problem sending me there. I’m just another expendable brown skinned guy to fight for your white banking wars, right?

    Btw, here is McConnell, the guy Sumner thinks is an amazing politician.


    The video is only one minute. Watch it, and tell me if you really believe this man, who stares blankly at the camera screen for thirty seconds, and who is then removed by an aid actually wrote any of the bills that he proposed, including the border bill.

    He doesn’t even know where he is. Our leaders are incompetent.

  15. Gravatar of MikeDC MikeDC
    23. February 2024 at 21:09

    > Can someone explain to me why Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea have not already been added to Nato?

    Beyond the other obvious reasons that have been put forth:

    1. Adding marginal countries to NATO invites challenge. The more countries we add, the more likely that NATO fails to make a strong, unified response.

    2. The countries you’re specifically talking about have, literally, very little military capability to support each other.

    Turning NATO into the 21st century Kellog-Briand pact serves very little purpose.

  16. Gravatar of Acebojangles Acebojangles
    24. February 2024 at 06:11

    I agree that Trump respects “strength” in autocrats, but I think he most admires their ability to rob their countries blind.

    In general, I think you’re too willing to ignore the wants of Republican voters. If we elect Trump again, it won’t be because Biden is old or Democrats are too “woke”. It will be because a sizable minority of voters want a fascist autocrat to take over.

    Republicans won’t just rationalize and turn a blind eye when American soldiers are patrolling US cities and Trump’s enemies are subject to bogus prosecutions – they’ll cheer.

  17. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    24. February 2024 at 09:19

    Scott, I spend a lot of time with GOP insiders, enough to be considered one… I supported DeSantis, but I love Trump bc he’s Rodney Dangerfield.

    My massive policy compromise on illegal immigration is buried in HR2- 2 competing mobile app pilots of my Biometric Guest Worker Visa in Ag sector (think Uber for guest workers).

    So let me try and explain the real Trump thinking on NATO/EU/UN:

    1. NATO is a non-free market boondoggle. It is US $ that does not get converted into something concrete like establishing new weapon systems and scaling manufacturing.

    2. UN is a progressive NGO funding that DIRECTLY harms US and Western Security

    3. BECAUSE OF #1… EU countries HAVE to move to 3 maybe 4% GDP for defense. 2% for “defense” does not matter if NATO countries do not produce MORE SHELLS, MORE TRAINED SOLDIERS, MORE DRONES than Russia etc.

    4. Amongst GOP, this 3-4% bc 2% is spent wildly inefficiently, goes hand in hand with this- THE EU TO DEFEND ITSELF FROM AN AGGRESSIVE RUSSIA WILL HAVE TO SPEND SO MUCH ON DEFENSE, THEY WILL HAVE TO CUT THEIR WELFARE STATE.

    5. REREAD 4, bc Trump’s famous dressing down of German bureaucrats on the pipeline and sending Putin $$$ (and being green) is slightly misunderstood….

    6. SINCE the cost of taking a hostile view to Russia means that the EU must become more like Texas ECONOMICALLY, there is good reason to try and get Putin/Russia under the US umbrella- this is core to Trumpism/MAGA… “we can’t fight everyone” – our 2 enemies are: CCP and Radical Islam (Iran).

    Ok let me pull even further back now to a the most macro view… for the most basic shorthand Texas (real America, or GOP Economics) requires $2 gas, and to have that we need:

    US, Saudi Arabia, AND RUSSIA all pumping at max.
    Iran is in a box. Israel is happy.
    This means Russia growing up into more than a Petro-state.

    SO AT THE MACRO LEVEL… the problem with the Texas/GOP view is that Democrat DC guys (Obama and 10K other guys) have no $$$ of their own…

    So they naturally find themselves being given $$ opportunities with Ukraine and Iran and China.

    So FOR THEIR OWN GREED, their foreign policy wants to expand NATO/UN, put Russia in the box instead of Iran (China is happy to have Russia be forced to sell them all their oil).


    It’s not that Democrats in DC (CIA/Sec State = Defense) are so anti-American that they want China to beat the US!

    It’s that if Trump/GOP/Texas view is in place- THERE IS NO REAL PAYBACK FOR DC INTERESTS- Ukraine continues to be a corrupt non-NATO buffer between Russia and EU…

    and EITHER- EU normalizes with Russia so they can keep doing their welfare state

    OR EU HAS TO ACT AS IF THEY MIGHT BE INVADED IN WW3 – this means massive number of new soldiers, massive new defense spending, probably legalizing guns, cutting back on their unions and regulations… getting tough on immigration, slashing welfare- in short

    DC Dems and the EU bureaucrats find themselves unable to make $$$ unless they become more Texas. ALL ROADS LEAD TO TEXAS.

  18. Gravatar of steve steve
    24. February 2024 at 10:17

    I would disagree with you (sort of) on the stuff you claim Trump believes. I am not sure that he really has man core beliefs. If you live in the NYC area and have heard him speak it was hard to figure out any real core beliefs. I think he mostly sees power for power’s sake, and money. His true genius, I think you regard him as an idiot, is in marketing. He is good at figuring out what his followers want to hear and he gives that to them. He also realizes that the GOP base is enamored with he tough guy image so he somehow successfully pulls that off, never mind that he has spent his life golfing and going to parties, is obese and old. Part of this is that he is very good at saying mean stuff and pissing off the liberals. That is now very important to conservatives.

    Look at it this way Scott. If you had claimed in your blog back in 2014 that a future US president would use as part of his successful tactics the kind of name calling kids use in grade school you would have been laughed at. Instead, it worked. He understands his base a lot better than you think.


  19. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    24. February 2024 at 10:42

    MikeDC, You said:

    “The countries you’re specifically talking about have, literally, very little military capability to support each other.

    That’s nonsense. For instance, South Korea has been extremely helpful to Ukraine.

    Steve, You said:

    “Instead, it worked. He understands his base a lot better than you think.”

    What makes you think I don’t understand?

  20. Gravatar of Michael M. Michael M.
    24. February 2024 at 20:46

    As for why Japan etc. have not come closer to NATO, the answer is French opposition. Japanese policymakers are quite upset at France about it.

  21. Gravatar of Matthias Matthias
    24. February 2024 at 22:35

    > . Can someone explain to me why Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea have not already been added to Nato? It seems like a no-brainer that would clearly make Nato even stronger. What are we waiting for?

    I don’t think they ever asked?

  22. Gravatar of Mike M Mike M
    25. February 2024 at 05:35


    Japan asked for a small liaison office in Tokyo, nothing big or really of any meaning. And France vetoed the idea. Therefore, Japan is currently reaching out to CEE nations for informal cooperation outside of NATO.

  23. Gravatar of Eharding Eharding
    25. February 2024 at 12:32

    “He feels so passionately about this that he refuses to forcefully condemn Putin’s crimes despite the fact that it costs him votes.”

    Sumner, Trump has plainly said “This is a — this is a holocaust. This is a horrible thing that’s happening.” ““And now add to that what’s going on in Ukraine. That’s a genocide.”” ““They’re killing all of these people, and they have to stop it, and they have to stop it now.”

    Do I think he means anything by this? No. Which is why I only judge Trump’s future actions by his past actions, not his words, either present or past.

  24. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    25. February 2024 at 20:55

    Harding, LOL, you haven’t changed a bit.

  25. Gravatar of Eharding Eharding
    26. February 2024 at 06:17

    That’s not quite true -I have moved to being less conservative on immigration and more conservative on abortion, as I have converted to Catholicism.

  26. Gravatar of foosion foosion
    26. February 2024 at 13:01

    Trump also likes Russia because Russia likes him, whatever Putin may claim.

    In the latest development, we find out that a major witness against Hunter Biden both lied and has ties to Russian intelligence services.

  27. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    27. February 2024 at 16:51

    I was glad to see these comments from Macron:


    Some NATO countries are stepping back from these comments, but at least now there’s open talk. We should consider direct involvement in the war.

    That said, this is potentially a very complex decision and potentially a trap. Fighting in Ukraine can be dangerous considering that Russia proper should probably be off-limits to attacks from NATO troops and weapons. That would provide some Russian operations with a sanctuary.

    I think it’s extremely important that Putin not be allowed to keep any of his ill-gotten gains, including Crimea.

  28. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    28. February 2024 at 04:36

    Can we possibly exaggerate more? Trump as Caligula?

    Who knows why NATO was created? I believe it had something to,do with the country formerly known as the Soviet Union. Haven’t things changed a little since 1949?

    Do we really need to force Japan, e.g,, by treaty to attack some douche bag country for attacking a member of Team NATO? Is that the kind of flexibility we want? Also, Russia is not the Soviet Union——-They re weak and dumb.

    As far as voting is concerned, how many of our readers like the current system of vote counting? It would be difficult to,create a system more open to corruption than the one created by Covid Democrats.

    Admittedly, I am old fashioned——-But I like Election Day counting and voting——we can have exceptions of course——-but counting before Election Day——-weeks after Election Day, etc., and various other absurdities seems ridiculous. Doesn’t it strike anyone as peculiar that we had a massive record number of “votes” counted in 2020? Do we really think that many people voted? I don’t.

  29. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    28. February 2024 at 08:43

    Michael Rulle,

    Yes, it was probably unfair to Caligula.

    Russia is prima facie dangerous, given their conduct.

    If you care so much about voting, why don’t you volunteer to monitor the vote counting for Republicans at your local polling place? All parties on the ballot have riight to have such a person present.

  30. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    28. February 2024 at 08:52

    @Michael Sandifer:

    It is a very bad idea for NATO to directly engage Russia in Ukraine. NATO is NATO, Ukraine is not NATO. You think US voter support for Ukraine is fading now? See what risking American lives does for that.

    Not to mention escalation of war in Europe is bad, m’kay? (South Park reference)

  31. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    28. February 2024 at 10:13


    It’s a better idea to let Russia win? We’re faced with a precedent here that we may face again if we fold. That is the precedent of allowing countries with nuclear weapons to invade their neighbors, because we self-deter, being afraid that any escalation might lead to a nuclear exchange.

    If we fail here, we may soon be challenged by China in Taiwan and perhaps elsewhere in Asia, and Iran in the Middle East, after the latter obtains nuclear weapons.

    Kuwait wasn’t in NATO either, but we liberated their country, and rightfully so. Ukraine should be a member of NATO, after we push the Russians out.

  32. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    28. February 2024 at 12:30

    @Michael S:

    If ‘winning’ is they basically keep what they got and that’s the new status quo that’s acceptable to me, because I very much oppose escalating this.

    Sucks for Ukraine. I had hoped our support of weapons and sanctions would be enough, and they did help keep Russia from taking over Ukraine entirely. But no, I’m not going to support direct involvement. And neither would the public. Like I said support is already fading, it would end if we put Americans at risk.

    Nukes matter. Russia is not Iraq. I would be surprised if either Iran or China engages in a direct war of conquest, any more than North Korea (they have nukes and they aren’t invading anyone). China needs the West more than Russia does, China has very little to gain and a lot to lose invading Taiwan.

  33. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    28. February 2024 at 17:15


    You make some fair points, but what if Russia eventually takes more of Ukraine? How much are you comfortable losing? Are you okay with the entire country falling?

    I would not be surprised by significant aggression by China or Iran. China under XI is increasingly an irrational actor, both in domestic politics and foreign policy. Xi, like Putin, appears to be in the latter stages of dictatorship in which perhaps little information reaches the top that will be deemed unwelcomed. China’s foreign policy simply doesn’t make sense from the perspective of their own interests.

    Iran is bold enough now, having their proxies attack the US and shipping in the region. How much bolder would they be with nuclear weapons, particularly since we’re unwilling to strike within Iran even now? Do you really think the Iranian regime is that rational?

    None of this nationalism makes any sense or is in the interest of any country, and yet here we are. Hitler’s aggression didn’t make sense either.

  34. Gravatar of steve steve
    29. February 2024 at 08:50

    “As far as voting is concerned, how many of our readers like the current system of vote counting? ”

    I do. It’s much more convenient. I have missed several votes over the years as my work is really a 24/7 kind of job and have been called in on emergencies that precluded my making it while polls were open. Also, we know, since we have been looking for it for many years, that wide scale fraud does not exist. My DMV has greatly improved, our post office is much better and now it is easier to vote.


  35. Gravatar of Eharding Eharding
    1. March 2024 at 12:21

    “Some day the Western world will wake up to the nature of the Russian threat. I hope that it’s not too late.”

    What is the “nature of the Russian threat”, Sumner? Also, the Western world is plenty anti-Russian as it is. It’s the BICS (or the poorer nations) that retain a policy of neutrality in the Russo-Ukrainian war -without them, Russia would be in deep trouble.

    Also, has Russia’s obvious incompetence in regards to its war with Ukraine updated your views on the extent of Russia’s threat to global peace?

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