The truth behind the Vietnam War | George Friedman Interview

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the Vietnam War is back in the news it’s
still a war that to this day there’s a
lot of controversy around why the United
States entered into it what is your
perspective on that the United States
went to war in Vietnam for multiple
reasons but the basic reason was Charles
DeGaulle the American strategy at the
time was to contain the Soviet Union
with a string of alliances swinging from
Norway all the way through ran and
blocked them through expanding charles
de gaulle came along and said you can’t
trust the americans because if they ever
attacked the Americans wouldn’t come and
they were a night to go to fight for you
you’re going to be left alone we have to
form our own NATO independent of the
United States during the Vietnam War
there’s a word that became incredibly
important credibility credibility meant
that how credible were the American
guarantees to this all-important
structure of containment how credible
was it that we would come to Germany’s
aid or Japan
‘s aid with everything we
had if they were a war and a terrible
fear that time was that these people
would lose confidence in us so part of
the reason we went to Vietnam had
nothing to do with Vietnam the fear was
that if we didn’t go to Vietnam our
credibility with our other allies would
be gone
and the entire American strategy
will collapse on that basis there was no
expectation we wind up 50,000 dead on
that basis the expectation was that we
would go into a small police action we
may win it we may lose it but the
Germans would know that our guarantee
means something
and to a very great extent in my opinion
worrying about how the Europeans react
if we didn’t go in it’s important now
the fact was the D Europeans criticized
the United States are going in but if we
hadn’t gone in they would have really
panicked they would have really
potentially said his NATO worth anything
is this Japan’s guarantees worth
anything and so we went in based on
something that was repeated over and
over him credibility it’s really hard to
be a superpower because one thing to
fight for your life in world war two but
to go to war for an abstract political
consideration having to do with strategy
elsewhere and send your your kids to
fight in a war like that is agonizing
particularly when you’re thinking this
war is about winning in Vietnam and it
really isn’t so we look at the war we
wonder why did we fight this war this
way half-heartedly not seriously well
and it got out of hand
but the reason basically was this was a
political war it had as his end not
protecting Vietnam and the Communists
that was important it was a side issue
it had to do with maintaining the entire
American lion structure
and keeping the
Soviets from using this as a basis for
unraveling our position okay so framed
within that context when I ask you a
very interesting question you know that
to this day there’s a lot of controversy
about the Gulf of Tonkin incident what’s
your analysis of what actually happened
there
whatever happened there the United
States had made the decision to conduct
an air war against North Vietnam we knew
that if we went in on the ground we’d be
fighting a land war in Asia which does
Martha had warned us against our
illusion was that we would use air power
to inflict so much pain on the North
Vietnamese that they would give up the
dream of national unification well that
didn’t happen in fact they picked up the
air operations in South Vietnam which
meant we had to send more troops and

Why senators claim to believe Ford — but still side with Kavanaugh

And finally there was Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), who told reporters Thursday afternoon, “I found no reason to find [Ford] not credible.”

.. As the strength of the year-old Me Too movement is put to its most public and crucial test yet, Republicans have the political savvy to recognize that they must pay lip service to it, even as they actively campaign against its aims. You could view these concessions as politically motivated to the point of being meaningless. But according to social science research into the complex interaction between social behaviors and privately held views, even self-interested nods at #MeToo may indicate some progress for the movement.

Recent, highly publicized cases of sexual harassment and assault have rapidly created a new norm in which it’s toxic to dismiss alleged survivors. Kavanaugh’s allies are responding to that norm, even if they don’t fully agree with its principles. Over time — and with some serious caveats — norms can influence private views, suggesting that even conservative beliefs on sexual harassment are likely to be shaped at least in the long term by #MeToo.

.. There are many, many examples of norms shifting, sometimes quite abruptly, as institutions tip in one direction or social movements come to fruition: same-sex marriage becoming broadly acceptable after the 2015 Supreme Court decision

.. people are more likely to recycle after they learn — through an article or in conversation — that many of their peers are recyclers.

.. “If we understand that the wind is changing direction, we are likely to adjust our behavior — sometimes even when we don’t personally agree.”
.. There are plenty of signs that conservative beliefs on sexual abuse have barely shifted since the Clarence Thomas hearings of 1991, such as the apparent assumption among Republicans that Ford’s story would be just a “hiccup” that they could “plow right through.
.. Indeed, it may be like similar “evolutions” on racism, which find people eschewing the n-word in public while remaining as virulent as ever in private.
.. studied how people learn prejudices based on what’s socially acceptable within a certain group — and how they change their views once the group changes.
.. Crandall and his colleagues showed how white college freshmen, entering a new setting in which prejudice against black people was less socially acceptable than in their home towns, learned over the following year to question racist thoughts. “When norms change, or when people join groups that have different norms, there is conflict — with the outside world at first, and then a more internal struggle to fit in better,”
.. The often-jarring conflicts we’re seeing between the public behavior and apparent private beliefs of those who support Kavanaugh may represent this initial, college-freshman stage of adapting to a society with changed norms on sexual assault. As #MeToo continues to shape norms around believing survivors, more conservatives could come around as well — not merely when it comes to action but also in their attitudes.

.. Unfortunately, prejudices about gender appear to be especially intractable

.. In cross-cultural work examining prejudice, she has found less sexism in more-developed countries, suggesting that sexism diminishes along with development.

.. “People have women in their families, so changing stereotypic gender roles is more disruptive than for other biases,”

Trump Mocks Christine Blasey Ford at Mississippi Rally

Michael Bromwich, one of Dr. Ford’s lawyers, wrote on Twitter that Mr. Trump’s comments were “a vicious, vile and soulless attack,” adding: “Is it any wonder that she was terrified to come forward, and that other sexual assault survivors are as well? She is a remarkable profile in courage. He is a profile in cowardice.”

Last week Mr. Trump said he found Dr. Ford’s testimony was “very compelling” and that she was a “very credible witness.” His depiction on Tuesday of Dr. Ford’s testimony didn’t always keep in line with what Dr. Ford said during her Senate hearing.

Dr. Ford couldn’t recall certain details, but she testified that she clearly remembered that people were drinking beer in a small living room on the first floor of the house and that she went upstairs to use the bathroom and that she was pushed into a bedroom where the assault took place and that someone in the room turned up music. She testified that she was “100 percent” certain that Judge Kavanaugh was her attacker, an allegation he vehemently denies, and that he and a friend, Mark Judge, laughed. Mr. Judge has said in a letter submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee he has “no memory of this alleged incident.”

This Revolution, Too, Will Eat Its Children

Christine Blasey Ford’s credibility rests heavily on the fact that she vividly described details of the alleged assault, named witnesses, and told several people about them long before Kavanaugh’s nomination. It’s because she has been able to supply this level of corroboration that her claims deserve to be taken with the utmost seriousness, both by the media and the Senate.

But this is not nearly as true for Ramirez

.. Apply a presumption of guilt standard to the people you oppose, and a presumption of innocence standard to the people you favor. Hear something you like about someone you don’t — what used to be known as gossip — and repackage it as “news.”

.. Is it now fair game to draw moral inferences about a nominee because he went to an elite prep school, or was a member of a rowdy fraternity, or said something mean and dumb in his yearbook, or drank somewhat more than he would like to admit?

.. In an age in which our digital footprints are all-but unerasable, such an accounting will become increasingly easy to furnish, and hence to demand. There are advantages to this kind of radical transparency. But it’s hard to imagine who — except for the odd souls who are either morally stainless or utterly shameless — would want to be subjected to the ordeal.

.. To some, all this will be worth it if Kavanaugh is exposed as a sexual predator and stone-faced liar. That’s why today’s hearings are essential — and would have been helped by an F.B.I. investigation and sworn testimony from Mr. Judge. We need to get, as best as we can under imperfect circumstances, the truth of what happened between Kavanaugh and Blasey, two credible witnesses with stories to tell.

But this is not what the Kavanaugh nomination seems to be about anymore. To half the country, it’s about the future of a Supreme Court nominee, pure and simple. To the other half, it’s about that — as well as a paradigm shift in the culture, belated reparation for unequal treatment, and a battle in the service of a moral revolution.

.. it’s worth remembering that revolutions borne by high ideals have a habit of eating their children. If the price of this revolution is the subordination of ordinary fairness to abstract justice, the elevation of rumor over fact, the further debasement of journalism, the devaluation of the rights of the accused, and the complete toxification of public service, it will be a price too high.

Donald Trump trusted Michael Cohen for years. Now his lawyer doubts Cohen’s credibility.

On July 8, ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos asked President Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani whether he was concerned that Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, might flip on the president.

“I have no concerns that Michael Cohen is going to do anything but tell the truth, and if he does, as I said, there’s no suggestion that anything happened,” Giuliani said at the time.

Now with Cohen reportedly prepared to flip on Trump less than two weeks later, Giuliani is singing a much different tune about a man he once called an “honest, honorable lawyer.”

This guy is a proven liar,” Giuliani told CNN on Thursday. “A year ago, when I wasn’t his lawyer, people in your profession told me this guy will flip because he is an inherent, pathological liar.”

.. the investigations into Cohen and Russian election interference could come down, in part, to Cohen’s credibility. Or at least Trump’s legal team seems to think so.

The grim desperation of Kirstjen Nielsen

If there’s one member of President Trump’s Cabinet who is the most embattled right now, it might be Kirstjen Nielsen. And the Department of Homeland Security secretary seems to be willing to say just about anything to get back on the president’s good side.

Behind the scenes, Nielsen is reportedly fighting Trump’s decision to separate migrant children from parents who cross the U.S. border. But on Sunday night, she took to Twitter to offer some pretty remarkable spin by arguing that no such policy exists.

“We do not have a policy of separating families at the border,” she said. “Period.”

.. While no specific policy says children must be taken from their families, the Trump administration has decided to interpret the law to put those who cross the border illegally in jail regardless of whether they bring children — and children cannot be placed in jail. The inescapable upshot of that is that the children must be separated from their families in a way they simply weren’t in the past two administrations.

.. Other members of the Trump administration have acknowledged this policy shift, which makes Nielsen’s contention rather strange. Nielsen seems to be trying to muddy the waters by arguing that asylum seekers coming to regular points of entry aren’t being separated from their families. There have been reports that they have been separated. And, regardless, this is decidedly a shift in practice.

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Nielsen’s testimony to Congress in January was also somewhat cringeworthy. After declining to confirm that Trump described Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” in a meeting she had attended, Nielsen was asked about Trump reportedly citing Norway as an example of a country with more desirable immigrants. Spotlighting a heavily white Scandinavian country in contrast to countries with heavy black populations led to plenty of inescapable conclusions — for just about everyone except Nielsen, it seemed.

Here’s the exchange with Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.):

LEAHY: What does he mean when he says he wants more immigrants from Norway?

NIELSEN: I don’t believe he said that specifically. . . . what he was specifically referring to is, the prime minister telling him that the people of Norway work very hard. And so, what he was referencing is, from a merit-based perspective, we’d like to have those with skills who can assimilate and contribute to the United States, moving away from country quotas and to an individual merit-based system.

LEAHY: Norway is a predominantly white country, isn’t it?

NIELSEN: I actually do not know that, sir, but I imagine that is the case.

Norway is 95 percent white.

What’s remarkable about the whole thing is that Nielsen has publiclyappeared to be one of Trump’s staunchest defenders. Yet he has privately berated her for an uptick in illegal immigration and apparently doesn’t trust her because she worked in the Bush administration.

If this is a motivational tactic, it appears to be working. But it also means Nielsen might be sacrificing her credibility for something of a lost cause.

You Can’t Be Pro-Life and Against Immigrant Children

What does “pro-life, pro-family” really mean?

.. being “pro-life, pro-family” is not a euphemism for opposing abortion and same-sex marriage. It acknowledges that protecting children, including ones not yet born, often requires protecting and supporting their mothers and families too.

.. He called the policies intrinsically evil. Because it regularly forces children into places where their lives are under threat, Bishop Flores argued, it is “not unlike driving someone to an abortion clinic.”

.. Where is the Susan B. Anthony List?

.. after his nomination, the group promoted him as someone its supporters should vote for. Going well beyond “the lesser of two evils” language, it even made Mr. Trump the keynote speaker at its annual gala last month.

.. This presents a real threat to the broader movement’s capacity to be taken seriously by young people and people of color.

.. If the traditional pro-life movement is to regain credibility as something other than a tool of the Trump administration, it must speak out clearly and forcefully against harming innocent children as a means of deterring undocumented immigration.

These groups have extraordinary access and influence in the White House. They have to use it.