Dictatorship

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Putin threatens life of leading opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, then arrrests him and others at demonstrations in Russia — Meanwhile, Tillerson is racing to Moscow

When the life of the leading opposition figure in Russia is directly threatened, we may safely assume that the action did not occur without the knowledge and direction of Russia’s all-powerful dictator, Vladimir Putin.

On March 19, 2017, Alexsei Navalny, that opposition leader, was attacked with a green chemical that turned ut to be benign. Following the recent assassination in Malaysia of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, by having a deadly chemical smeared on him, the threat and the lesson for Navalny could not have been clearer: Next time it could be a deadly chemical. Putin in the past has demonstrated that Russia has great mastery and experience in this area.

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The level-of-analysis problem in assessing and reacting to Trump’s assault on American democracy

The outlines and methods of President Donald Trump’s asault on the institutions of American democracy and their underling traditions and values are now clear.

First, he has conducted an all-out assault on the very concept of the truth.
Third, Trump not only lies about everything all of the time, but also engages in defamation of the leading news media in the United States on a daily basis, having labeled them “the opposition party” and “the enemy of the people.”
We face a dramatic situation.

We have a president who lies about everything all of the time.

We have a presdient and administration which reject the concept of accountability, dismissing criticism will lies and charges of “fake news”. The president openly defies the requirements of the Enmoluments Clause of the constitution…
We have a president who is under strong suspicion of colluding with the Russians in their intervention into the November 2016 elections in the United States, who has not criticized Putin or Russia directly in any significant way…
Given Trump’s ongoing assaults on the pillars of American democracy, and the values which underlie them, Democrats, Independents and Republicans need to start thinking, with great urgency, about how Trump and Bannon can be removed from office–at an early date.


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Trump, Russia and the betrayal of American heroes

Developing The worst case scenario, we wrote after the election on November 8, 2016, would be if Trump acted during the transition and his presidency like the Donald Trump we saw in the campaign, and…


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Russia as the great white power: Behind Trump’s affinity to Vladimir Putin

See Alan Feuer and Andrew Higgins, “Extremists Turn to a Leader to Protect Western Values: Vladimir Putin,” New York Times, December 3, 2016. Tom Hamburger, Rosalind S. Helderman and Michael Birnbaum, “Inside Trump’s financial ties…


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President-elect Trump, foreign policy, and the defense of core American values

Developing Given Donald Trump’s inexperience in foreign policy, he may not understand or appreciate certain fundamental principles and realities that are essential for the maintenance of international peace and security, on the one hand, and…


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REPRISE: Veterans’ Day, 2011: “Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?”

Originally published November 11, 2011 My uncle died in a field in northern France with a German bullet in his head. To him, and all the other veterans of America’s wars, I am immensely grateful…


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Vice-Presidential debate: Pence pushes Kaine and Clinton on military action in Syria

Developing In VP Debate, Pence Reveals Thrust of Foreign Policy Attack Against Clinton During the Vice-Presidential debate between Tim Kaine and Mike Spence, Spence revealed a powerful line of critique of Barack Obama’s foreign policy…



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With Obama having checked out, U.S. foreign policy is on auto pilot—“Do nothing”

As we have pointed out, President Barack Obama has effectively checked out of his responsibilities to vigilantly promote and defend the foreign policy interests of the United States. The country is on “Obama auto pilot”…


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Beyond Trump and the November elections: Is a coherent U.S. foreign policy possible?

2016 is a good year to be observing what people in the United States are saying about foreign policy. There are new and dangerous currents in U.S. politics which may affect foreign policy. To try…