Sunday, November 22, 2020

Now what 2?

Interesting article @ regarding 10 things a President Biden could do immediately on foreign policy via executive order or reversing the lying-moron's most egregious executive orders.

1) End the U.S. role in the Saudi-led war on Yemen and restore U.S. humanitarian aid to Yemen.

2) Suspend all U.S. arms sales and transfers to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

3) Rejoin the Iran Nuclear Agreement (JCPOA) and lift sanctions on Iran.

4) End U.S. threats and sanctions against officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

5) Back President Moon Jae-in's diplomacy for a "permanent peace regime" in Korea.

6) Renew New START with Russia and freeze the U.S.'s trillion-dollar new nuke plan.

7) Lift illegal unilateral U.S. sanctions against other countries.

8) Roll back Trump policies on Cuba and move to normalize relations.

9) Restore pre-2015 rules of engagement to spare civilian lives.

10) Freeze U.S. military spending, and launch a major initiative to reduce it.

I'm good with all ten especially the first.  Regarding the second, I seriously doubt that Biden will suspend arms sales to the KSA and UAE.  

On the third item with Iran and JCPOA: Biden can end the sanctions but Tehran may not want to  rejoin.  Khamenei has been Iran's Supreme Leader for over 30 years and has seen the bipolar foreign policy of Washington first hand.  Why would he bet on a Biden second term?  

Number five I think Biden will do with one exception.   I don't see him ending Joint US/SoKo miltary exercises.  And that will kill the deal for NoKo's Haircut Boy.

And number six on renewing START depends more on Putin than on Biden.  But hopefully he can at least get his SecState (who will that be?) to begin horse trading with Lavrov.  

Item seven and eight, of course.  Sanctions rarely work unless backed up by blockade.  The only successful example I can recall was against apartheid in the RSA.  But those sanctions were endorsed and backed overwhelmingly by much of the world.

For item nine, ROE, we should be adhering to the San Remo Handbook and/or to NATO ROE.

Number ten, I don't think Joe is going to freeze mil spending.  He is definitely going to get major push from the house to reduce it..  But the Rent Boys in the Senate will have some pushback.  They are NOT friends of America.


  1. Add reinstating the Open Skies agreement.
    Reversing the WHO policy should might possible as well.

    And then of course - and Biden won't do that at all - he could once say the line "The government of Israel possesses nuclear arms, Israel is a nuclear power.", which would immediately turn all military aid to Israel illegal and thus stop it.
    Because, as you know, Prince Bonesaw isn't the only one spamming bombs on neighbouring countries.

    And then there's all the possibilities that not using UNSC veto power would open up in regard to resolving conflicts all over the world where the offender enjoys American cover.

  2. Sven -

    By Open Skies I take it you mean the Treaty that the Moron withdrew from today and not the civil aviation agreement. Not sure why he withdrew. It was first proposed by a Republican President (Ike) and later pushed by another Republican Pres (GHWB). And it was implemented with the advice and consent of the Senate.

    And why did the Idiot withdraw from the World Health Organization? The guy is a wrecking ball. Once they kick him out of office he should get work as a demolition contractor.

    I believe you are right about Biden (Bye-Don he should be called) not dropping support for Israel including giving up veto power to continuously save Israel from UN sanctions and reproach.

    Not sure though why saying Israel possesses nuclear arms would turn off military aid. It does not stop us from giving military assistance to both India and Pakistan.


    2. And it will be dodged like it has in the past.

  3. A commenter aliased as OMFUG adds some good ones:

    - "reinstate medical aid to the Palestinians living in the West Bank, cancelling that sort of aid was obscene."

    - "restore some sort of Trade deal with Asia, the TPP is a loss, but now this country is completely rudderless in the region, also cancel the absurd Trump trade war that has straggled American Farmers, Trump spent BILLIONS supporting them, even so suicide is up for farmers as is bankruptcy, and the aid given favored the big factory farms and not the little guy. Biden can do a lot to repair our International Reputation and hopefully he will get on it ASAP. John Donne said that "no man is an Island" and neither is a country as powerful as this one in the age of interconnectedness."

  4. Did the Israelis assassinate Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in order to make it harder for Biden to re-enter JCPOA? The last Israeli sponsored assassination of a scientist in Iran that we know of happened back in 2012. That slaying was just a few days after the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, spoke to President Barack Obama by telephone and addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations. And the two assassination attempts in late 2010 came soon after Obama said: "As part of our effort on non-proliferation, I offered the Islamic Republic of Iran an extended hand last year" in an address to the UN General Assembly.

    None of these killings of scientists are effective at stopping research. Someone in Jerusalem's security apparat has been watching too many Hollywood spy thrillers about supposedly irreplaceable scientists being killed or kidnapped. There are no such unique scientific brainiacs. Even Oppenheimer could have been replaced. More probably the assassinations are done to keep the nightmarish headlines of Iranian nuclear missiles on the front page; to impede any rapprochement between Tehran and the West; and to keep the Mujahedin-e-Khalq in the struggle against the Ayatollahs.

    Another hint that Mossad is watching too much drivel from Hollywood is the remotely-contolled-machine-gun method of the latest assassination. A la Bruce Willis in 'The Jackal' and Bryan Cranston in 'Breaking Bad'.

    1. I generally caution against thinking that things that happen on some distant continent are about the U.S..

    2. I would also caution about underestimating the influence of Netanyahu in Wash DC and in European capitols. Israeli enmity towards and skirmishes with Iran is exacerbated in the west by the lobbying power of AIPAC in Wash DC and by FOII and other groups in Europe.

      That is not exaggerating US relevance. Just the opposite. It is facing facts.

    3. What's the point of an assassination / pushing into a corner move if If lobbying power was decisive, though?

      That dude was probably on a kill list for 15 years and only recently grew careless. Or maybe he was about to defect and got assassinated by Iranian intel itself. There are lots of plausible scenarios that are not about influencing U.S. foreign policy at all.

    4. Those lobbying efforts are amplified and propped up by any headlines that mention the words 'Iran' and 'nuclear'.

      Sure, there are lots of possible scenarios regarding the assassination. Name one that is credible.


  5. The "freeze military spending" is the one rock I don't see getting rolled. Even if we'd elected Sanders, the Congressional Dems have too many constituents with skin in the procurement game to really do anything substantive.

    Hell, I'd love to see a quadrennial review with a sensible analysis of actual military threats and budgetary requirements rather than the usual "OMFG what if space aliens give the Paraguayans advanced laser weaponry!!!!!"

    Cato (yeah, I know, but this particular essay is decent) has a good discussion of the sort of problem we're looking at here:

    Tl:dr? "Space Force" is a microcosm of the whole nutroll, a poorly-thought-out (or, really, not-thought-out) "answer" to a "problem" we haven't even really begun to think seriously about. It's a perfect storm of goody kludge that says as much about the currently bereft MICC as anything I can think of. The author contrasts the SF rollout with the last time the US set up a stand-alone service, the USAF in 1947 and makes the latter look like a work of genius (and the author has published a whole book about what a mistake that was!).

    The bottom line I see is that it's not so much the administration as the nation. Roughly a third of the US public is "sane" or close to it. Another third is functionally "insane" (in the sense that they cannot or will not act based on actual fact but whatever bats are flying out of the OANN belfry), and the final third is too disengaged, or too ignorant, or too indolent, to save themselves and the first third from the second.

    This administration will do what it can. But I'm not sure what you CAN do, faced with that.

    1. The Bozo-in-Chief dumped Quadrennial Reviews. Or did he just rename them? They are a thing of the past and have been replaced by the National Defense Strategy (NDS). That NDS is fed primarily by White House published National Security Strategy (NSS). It is due for a rewrite in 2021. I'm assuming with the adults in charge that 'climate change' will be put back in as a national threat. The long reach of the Koch bros had insisted it be taken out and they got no pushback from Donny Do-Wrong.

      I hope you are wrong about your three part division of the US public. Seems to me it is more 50% sane, with the remainder split between disengaged and politically insane.

    2. I did a little statistical analysis of just one race, the US senatorial election here in Oregon. It was a good indicator, because it pitted a conventional moderate Democrat against a truly whackadoodle QAnut.

      Here's my conclusion:

      "Oregon is listed (per Wikipedia...) as containing about 4.2 million people.

      As of this morning a total of 2,125,047 had voted in this race.

      That 's about 50.6% of the people in Oregon. Let's assume that about a quarter are underage, or otherwise unable to vote legally. That brings the total up to about two-thirds, 67%. Respectable, but, the most consequential election in our generation a third of the supposed "citizens" couldn't be arsed to request, or complete, a paper ballot.

      And of the group that did, about 835,000 voted for this loon. That's roughly 26% of the vote.

      And - as we've discussed here before - that's the Crazification Modulus. That was the "approval" percentage Dick Cheney was riding in 2008, after eight years of nonstop lies, bullshit, and fuckery.

      That's what this loon got twelve years later.

      I don't care how much you love your guns, or your God, or your tax cuts.

      This nitwit has no more business in the U.S. Senate that she does being the Dragon Queen of Bhutan. And if you think she does, YOU have no business being allowed to handle firearms, operate a motor vehicle, or vote in a democratic republic.

      You're demonstrably completely fucking unfit to associate with actual humans."

      Figure that this is Oregon, too; we have a LOT less of these whackaloons than most of the rest of the country.

      But figure that there's at least another 15-20 percent that aren't genuine wingnuts but are happy to vote with (and encourage and fluff) the real nuts to get their tax cuts and deregulation and all the Gilded Age goodies they want...

      So the 2627% is the crux of the biscuit, and they're not going away...

  6. "Figure that this is Oregon, too; we have a LOT less of these whackaloons than most of the rest of the country."

    To the contrary, considering that it was 'Oh-Ree-Gun', means you have a lot more whackaloons than the rest of the country.

    But that 15 to 20 percent you cite as not being genuine wingnuts is way too low. There is a hard crust out there that are not Qanon believers but will vote for anyone not in the Democratic Party. Dark money has programmed them to dislike Chuck and Gramma Nancy. Or that you and I are whackos that care more about looney political correct-isms than we do about history and tradition. Or modern day Elmer Gantrys are getting rich by shaping heads to believe god-hating Dems are going to force women to have abortions or shut down churches. Or gun-makers & sellers funneling billions via the NRA are making them think you are coming after their toys.

    They are not voting for Qanon. Most of Jo Rae's voters probably have no idea she is a QAnut. Or that she has been arrested, or that she has twice filed for bankruptcy. Or if they do they don't care as they are voting for what they perceive to be the lesser of two evils.

    experienced several financial and legal issues. A 2010 article in the Albany Democrat-Herald stated that Perkins had filed for personal bankruptcy twice, and she was fired in 2008 from her sales position at an investment company for violating its policy.[10] She first filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy along with her husband in 1997, although the records about that filing were destroyed in a fire. Perkins again filed for bankruptcy to settle $335,000 in debt in 2009, for which she was stripped of her Certified Financial Planner title in 2010 by that organization's board.[11]

    A 2013 article in The Oregonian noted that Perkins was arrested in December 2005 on charges of harassment and hindering prosecution. She was allegedly covering up for her son who had evaded law enforcement after they stopped him for speeding. Perkins later pleaded no contest to the charges.[8]

    1. The whole QAnut thing came up immediately when she won the primary (it had come up DURING the primary but in a little less urgent terms). It got play on all the major news outlets here. I don't recall the other stuff, but the QANut thing was her signature issue.

      Perkins' handlers had actually convinced her to walk the QANuttiness back a little when it surfaced during the primary, but as you note, she's an utterly worthless dirtbag and dumber than a bag of hammers, so when it came up again during the general she roared back loud n' proud. Her nutball-dom became central to her campaign, and so the roughly one-quarter of the registered voters who filled in the blank for her did so knowing that she would at least attempt to legislate as a complete and utter loon. That's not really acceptable.

      The only real reason she got as little traction as she did is that when I say we have fewer wingnuts here...our wingnuts have the strength of ten because their hearts are wingnutty-pure. We had a bunch of teabaggers come to prominence here long before the national teabagpalooza. Oregon wingnuts have been way out there for so long that they're kind of crossed the wingnut event horizon; if you're not a complete and utter "conservative" loon you're not an Oregon Republican. They're hardcore; abortion is actual literal legal murder, no taxes, period, guns are love, anything that isn't Gilded Age vulture capitalism is's the whole nutroll. They've managed to make themselves such a rump faction that can no longer legislate - that's why they run away every time the legislature is in session. They can't vote down any lefty bills, so they have to hide and deny a quorum. It's not a supportable political situation, but here we are...

    2. Oh-Ree-Gun whackadoodles are NOT reading, watching, or listening to major news outlets. They are tuned into OAN or logging onto The-Daily-Wire. All they know about QAnon is that their heartthrob, The Conspirator-in-Chief, said QAnon likes him even though he knows nothing about it.

      And it is like that in all 50 states, it ain't just Oregon.

    3. I've gotta say; it IS all across the nation. I don't think I've ever seen a political party go from "we're just your basic plutocrat-fluffing Tories with a side of pandering" to "OOGABOOGAWHAKKANOKKABOOGALOOOOO!!!!" so quickly.

      Seriously. The GOP is fucking utterly bugnuts. Crazy. Oop-shoobie. Flip City. I wouldn't trust them any further than I could throw them at this point; it looks like 90% of the entire goddamn party is completely off the rails and willing to overthrown the Republic to keep their Orange God-King on the throne.

      That's NOT what I warned about back in 2016. That's a whole new level of crazy, and I REALLY have no idea how the hell you run a popular republic with that. I don't think you can. It's like you have two partners, and one wants to make a nice soup and the other wants to do a human sacrifice and if their partner tries to stop them they'll shit in the soup-pot.

      There's really no way to make that work.