Vladimir Putin, in his own words

In an May 29 interview with Le Figaro, Putin went out of his way to make the following statement:

“…[T}he NATO leaders spoke at their summit about a desire to improve relations with Russia.  Then why are they increasing their military spending?   Whom are they planning to fight against?”

Putin is saying, in effect, that the NATO countries have nothing to fear from Russia.  Would we be fools to believe him?

Any war pitting Russia against NATO would be calamitous for all concerned.  There hasn’t been a war between the major powers of the world since 1945 (excepting the 1960’s fighting between China and the Soviets in Siberia).  What is the casus belli today?  Ukraine?  Senseless.

A war with Europe would be a disaster for all concerned.  Just as it was in 1914.  The world went crazy 100 years ago.

I think we’ve learned since then.  The Europeans were all armed to the teeth before World War One.  There’s no reason to do it again.

After the Mueller investigation and report, proving all this anti-Russia hysteria is moonshine, the time will be ripe for a Russo-American summit.  Putin is looking forward to it, as is Trump.

In 1986, at Reykjavik, Gorbachev proposed banning ballistic missiles, and eliminating anti-missile defenses, such as Reagan’s Star Wars.  Reagan refused, and the greatest disarmament treaty in history didn’t happen.

What might happen at a carefully prepared meeting between Trump and Putin?  Big things, perhaps very big.  I, for one, am very hopeful.  Nuclear weapons are the work of the devil, and must never be used again.  Trump and Putin will have a whole lot to talk about.

For any number of reasons, this summit should take place in Anchorage, Alaska.  It’s a big tourist town, with lots of hotels, a major international airport, along with Elmendorf Air Force Base, and its squadron of F-22’s.

Alaska used to be Russian America, and Putin would receive a warm welcome there.  He’ll want to attend services at the St. Innocent Orthodox Cathedral.   The Russian Orthodox Church is cherished by many Alaska Natives, particularly the Aleuts.

Alaska’s Native people would give Putin a welcome he would never forget.

The dogs don’t bark as the caravan moves on

Trump’s been back in the States for just a few days, and he’s tweeting again.  Now he tweets that he wants to end the filibuster in the Senate.  Or something.  Tweets aren’t long enough for much subtlety.

He apparently didn’t get the memo.  You don’t need to “go nuclear” on the filibuster to get health care reform and tax reform.  You just have to use an expansive interpretation of what can fit in a reconciliation bill.  As I’ve been advocating for some time, you solve all your problems in one big Monster Reconciliation Bill of 2017.

Tax reform and repatriation, Obamacare repeal and replacement, the budget, an infrastructure package, and a debt ceiling increase can all be rolled into one bill, not subject to filibuster.  It comes to the floor of the House and Senate just as the fiscal year ends, on September 30th.  Either vote for it or shut down the government and run out of borrowing authority.

Voting no could cause an economic recession, and who wants to do that?

(The debt ceiling must be raised in July, but Congress could just kick the can down the road to the end of September by a stop gap increase.)


NATO was formed to keep the Russians out of western Europe, the Americans in, and the Germans down.   But we will no longer fight to keep the Russians out, or the Germans down, so NATO is obsolete.  When Trump pointedly refused to embrace NATO’s Article V in Brussels last week, the fat lady started singing.  The Germans understand what this means.

On Fox Special Report today, Charles Krauthammer said that we may rue the day when we allowed the Germans to assume their natural, leading role in Europe.  What, does he think Merkel wants lebensraum?  Does he think the German people, with their ramshackle military, are going to invade Poland?

History is starting over, and just because the Germans were ultimately responsible for the 20th centuries two world wars doesn’t mean they’re ready for a third.  Far from it, they don’t seem to really want a powerful  military at all.

I think the Germans have come to resemble the Swedes, who will avoid armed conflict if at all possible.  If they won’t defend themselves, no one else will.  Their choice.

The French understand all this, and are already cozying up to the Russians.  It’s a centuries long French strategy.  Peter the Great visited Paris 300 years ago, and Putin is there now in commemoration.  This is all natural and to be expected.  We’re getting out of Europe, and the Europeans are making adjustments.

Aside from a few old fogey Atlanticists like Krauthammer, who else is objecting to Trump’s implicit disavowal of NATO Article V?  A rabid militarist like John McCain, maybe, but who else?

I’ve been searching the internet since Trump spoke, or failed to speak, in Brussels, and I’m still waiting for a Democratic politician, anywhere, who is criticizing Trump for backing off from our military commitment to fight in Europe.  The silence is deafening.

And easily explained.  The American people are sick of war, in Afghanistan, Iraq, or anywhere else.  No American politician is going to win votes championing a greater willingness to fight in Europe.  Trump’s pivot away from Europe is bipartisan American foreign policy at its finest.

This is a very big deal, the most significant geopolitical development since the USSR imploded, but nobody seems to want to acknowledge it.  Trump has put his brand on this policy, so the media can’t celebrate it.  In my opinion, Trump’s Presidency heralds a profound revolution in American foreign policy  — bye bye globalism, hello American nationalism.   George Soros must be shedding a tear.


Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize because of his good intentions.  Trump should win it for getting his country on the way out of NATO.

If it wants, the rest of the world can go to war.  We’re going to sit it out.




Times change, so must policy

76 years ago the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.  Four years later we unleashed weapons against Japan that had never been seen in the world.  Weapons that have never been used since.

Yesterday Takuma Sako of Tokyo, Japan, took the lead on the 197th lap and became the first Asian to win the Indy 500.  Driving a Honda powered car by Michael Andretti.

The great mob that surrounded him as he emerged from the cockpit were all beefy, strong American men, the kind you see at Trump rallies.  I’m sure they all bleed red, white and blue.  And they’re ecstatic that their Japanese friend has won the greatest race of all.

On his victory lap Sato held high the Rising Sun, the flag on the fleet that attacked Pearl Harbor.  The 300,000 Americans who cheered him weren’t bothered.  Japan, and the Japanese people, are now our friends, and important allies and trading partners.  Times change.  We’re Americans.  We don’t blame the sons for the sins of their fathers.

And so it is with Vladimir Putin and his bloodthirsty tyrannical Communist predecessors.  He leads a vast, underpopulated and demographically dying country.  A country that is nonetheless one of the world’s great powers, one virtually surrounded by potential and historical enemies.

Putin is weak, and he knows it, but he’s going to punch above his weight, and we need to respect his position.  The Americans and Russians have every reason to get along, and no reason not to.

There seems to be some sort of cabal of Atlanticists, people who feel we’re obligated to fight for western Europe.  They’re hysterical over Trump, because he is puncturing their balloon.  This may explain most of this Russia garbage.

Jared Kushner might be a good back channel to the Russians, as I believe I advocated a few months ago, so what’s the problem?  These people are unhinged, desperate.  And they’ve got nothing.

I think America’s war days are over.  Memorial Day, for me, means never again.

The Germans get the message

If you think Peter Zeihan went a little overboard when he claimed NATO died in Brussels a few days ago, think again.  Earlier today in a Bavarian beer hall, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “The times when we could fully rely on others are to some extent over  —  I experienced that in the last few days  . . .  we have to fight for our own future ourselves.”  This is a watershed, in the view of Richard Haass of the Council of Foreign Relations, and “what the U. S. has sought to avoid since World War Two.”

We are doing what the Romans failed to do, which led to the fall of Rome.  We are withdrawing, in a timely strategic retreat.  The Europeans are just going to have to figure out how to get along without us.

Not that we are isolating ourselves, far from it.  In Brussels, Trump made every effort to strengthen his relationship with the British.  Great Britain and all the Anglosphere are our closest and most natural allies, which we want India to be part of, as well.

And in Sicily at the G-7, Trump met privately with Japanese Prime Minister Abe before seeing any other leader.  The Japanese-American alliance will only grow stronger.  They’re not part of the Anglosphere, but they might as well be.  They are a perfect ally.

We want friends and allies all over the globe.  70% of this world is water, and we want the United States Navy to control it, and the air above it.  For this we need naval and air bases, which means we need friendly foreign hosts.  Since anyone in their right mind should want to be friends with the most powerful military and economic country in the world, this shouldn’t be a problem.

This strategic withdrawal means a reduction in the United States Army.  We really don’t need much of an army to protect ourselves from the Canadians and Mexicans.  And if we’re not going to send the army to Europe, or the Middle East, or Asia, where are we going to send it?  And if we’re not going to send it anywhere, why have it?

Who are we going to fight, if not the Russians?  The Chinese?  It will never happen.  That’s why we have a navy.  The USS Nimitz carrier group is about to join the Vinson and the Reagan in the vicinity of North Korea.  Even if China wanted to somehow interfere, it can’t.

We don’t need to station 25,000 soldiers in South Korea.  These three carrier groups send a far more powerful signal than they can.  They should be withdrawn.  And the same for the units in Germany.

As we withdraw from Europe and South Korea, we will become a less militarized society, and that is always conducive to freedom.  War and the state are one, in some sense, and as we become less war like we can reduce the central power, the federal government..

I just finished Robert D. Kaplan’s 2012 The Revenge of Geography,  which is a fabulous book, though rather dense.  Kaplan is a gifted writer, and thinks along the same lines as Zeihan.  I’m sure Zeihan is a student of Kaplan.

Kaplan says we’ll be getting out of Afghanistan and Iraq before long, thank God, and that this will give us the time and energy to deal with the one geopolitical problem we do have:  Mexico and its 110 million people.

The Mexican problem is one that we’re perfectly capable of solving.  Trump has already taken the first step, which is regaining control of our border.  Once this is widely understood and appreciated, his approval ratings will rebound.

The second step is the eradication of the Mexican drug cartels.  With the governments, federal and provincial, of Mexico, we can do this.  We want a strong and prosperous Mexico, and friendly relations with the government and people.

I’ve lived in California half my life, and have naturally had a lot of interaction with Mexican-Americans.  One of my good buddies in college was Frank Aranzubia, from Chula Vista.  Our family has intermarried with Mexican-Americans.  I feel as though I know these people.

We’re all going to get along just fine.  Eventually.



Our dragon slaying days are over

“Americans should not go abroad to slay dragons they do not understand in the name of spreading democracy.”  President John Quincy Adams.

According to Peter Zeihan, author of the excellent The Accidental Superpower,  NATO died yesterday.  His latest analysis on NATO is an epitaph to America’s century long plunge into globalism.  I urge you to read it.

He doesn’t give President Trump the credit, or the blame.  Our gradual disengagement from Europe has been evolving since the fall of the Soviet Union.  Trump is just being candid, where others have been coy.

We went to war in Europe 100 years ago, and we’ve been the great imperial power of the world ever since.  No more, according to Zeihan.  With Trump’s very public and intentional refusal to affirm American commitment to NATO’s Article V (all for one, one for all) our century of wars around the world is over.

No more Vietnams, or Koreas, no more fighting Germans, or Japanese, or Russians.  No more war.  What, really, is it good for?

Our world, America’s world, is devoid of natural, geopolitically preordained enemies.  We are the Lord’s most rich and favored nation, the only great power in world history with no natural enemy, and no fear of invasion.

In the 1960’s, when I was a young man, we were ready to go to war with the Russians, if it came down to it.  But it wasn’t because they were Russian.  It was perhaps they were communist, and the fires of crusading anti-communism burned brightly in this country.

Lyndon Johnson, a name that will live in infamy, took that flame of anti-communism into Vietnam, and it died there.  But we were still ready to fight the Russians if we had to.

But then down came the Berlin Wall, and from that moment forward to this, there has been no stomach in this country for another European war.  NATO, and Article V of its charter, are dead not because of Donald Trump.  They are dead because of American public opinion.  The mothers and fathers of America will simply refuse to send their children to die in a European war.

I got Zeihan’s emailed article after I posted yesterday, and I thought a lot about it.  He’s a tad exuberant, and this will all take time to play out, but he’s as right as rain.  NATO, and the American Imperial Century, are over.  Oh, happy day.