On June 15, 1998, however, Clinton calls Yeltsin specifically to discuss Kosovo. He makes it clear that nato is considering military action to stop Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević’s troops from terrorizing Kosovo.
.. Serbia is Russia’s traditional ally, and American military intervention will show that Moscow is helpless either to protect or influence it. It will serve as proof that Russia has lost its superpower status.
.. Yeltsin tells Clinton that he had invited Milošević to Moscow so that he can talk sense into him. At the same time, he is trying to talk sense into the American President. “Military action by nato is unacceptable,” he says.
.. Clinton tells Yeltsin that Milošević has broken his promise to Yeltsin: Serbian troops, Clinton says, have displaced two hundred thousand civilians.
.. Clinton talks about needing to take action before the harsh winter threatens displaced Kosovars, especially the estimated ten thousand who are hiding in the mountains. Yeltsin agrees.
.. Clinton calls Yeltsin to tell him that he, the leaders of France, the United Kingdom, Germany, “and the rest of the Europeans” have concluded that they must launch air strikes against Milošević. “As you know, Milošević has stonewalled your negotiator and Dick Holbrooke”—the American negotiator—“and he has continued to move his forces into Kosovo and to evacuate villages,”
.. Clinton begs Yeltsin not to allow Milošević to destroy their relationship—in his framing, it is all the Serb’s fault.
.. Yeltsin just gets sadder. “Our people will certainly from now have a bad attitude with regard to America and with nato,” he says. “I remember how difficult it was for me to try and turn the heads of our people, the heads of the politicians towards the West, towards the United States, but I succeeded in doing that, and now to lose all that. Well, since I failed to convince the President, that means there in store for us a very difficult, difficult road of contacts, if they prove to be possible. Goodbye.”
.. Nineteen years later, it seems clear that one President was being more honest than the other. Contrary to Clinton’s assertion, he and the other nato leaders certainly had a choice in the situation, and the choice they made—to launch a military offensive without the sanction of the United Nations—changed the way that the United States wields force. By bypassing the Security Council and establishing the United States as the sole arbiter of good and evil, it paved the way for the war in Iraq, among other things.
.. It also changed Russia. What was seen as a unilateral American decision to start bombing a longtime Russian ally emboldened the nationalist opposition and tapped into a deep inferiority complex. Sensitive to these sentiments, Yeltsin responded that May by celebrating Victory Day with a military parade in Red Square, the first in eight years. In fact, military parades took place all over the country that year, and have been repeated every year since. What was even more frightening were a series of nongovernmental Victory Day parades by ultranationalists. That these public displays, some of which featured the swastika, were tolerated, and in such close proximity to celebrations of the country’s most hallowed holiday, suggested that xenophobia had acquired new power in Russia. Later that year, Yeltsin anointed Vladimir Putin his successor and signed off on a renewed war in Chechnya. This offensive, designed to shore up support for the country’s hand-picked new leader, was both inspired and enabled by Kosovo. It was a dare to the United States, an assertion that Russia will do what it wants in its own Muslim autonomy.
We will never know whether Russian politics would have developed differently if not for the U.S. military intervention in Kosovo. And, of course, the new war in Chechnya and the emergence of Putin himself were symptoms of deeper problems, including Russia’s failure to reinvent itself as a post-Soviet, post-imperial state. For this, Yeltsin himself bears most of the responsibility. Still, these transcripts tell a tragic story of much more than a friendship gone sour.
To hear the Christian right tell it, President Trump should be a candidate for sainthood — that is, if evangelicals believed in saints.
“Never in my lifetime have we had a Potus willing to take such a strong outspoken stand for the Christian faith like Donald Trump,” tweeted Franklin Graham, the son of the evangelist Billy Graham. The Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress sees a divine hand at work: “God intervened in our election and put Donald Trump in the Oval Office for a great purpose.”
.. the nationalistic, race-baiting, fear-mongering form of politics enthusiastically practiced by Mr. Trump and Roy Moore in Alabama is central to a new strain of American evangelicalism. This emerging religious worldview — let’s call it “Fox evangelicalism” — is preached from the pulpits of conservative media outlets like Fox News. It imbues secular practices like shopping for gifts with religious significance and declares sacred something as worldly and profane as gun culture.
.. Fox evangelicals don’t back Mr. Trump despite their beliefs, but because of them.
.. Every one of Mr. Trump’s predecessors declared “Merry Christmas,” too — including Barack Obama, whose message at last year’s Christmas tree-lighting ceremony was virtually indistinguishable from Mr. Trump’s. What matters to Fox evangelicals, though, is not that Mr. Trump observes Christmas but that he casts himself as the defender of the Christian holiday.
.. From the beginning, the War on Christmas was a homegrown Fox News cause
.. Fox and allies like the American Family Association focused on getting more Christmas into stores and shopping malls
.. The regular Fox News viewer, whether or not he is a churchgoer, takes in a steady stream of messages that conflate being white and conservative and evangelical with being American.
.. while one-quarter of Americans consider themselves to be “evangelical,” less than half of that group actually holds traditional evangelical beliefs. For others, “evangelical” effectively functions as a cultural label, unmoored from theological meaning... I was both astonished and troubled, as a fellow evangelical, by the visceral sense of fear that gripped these young adults... these students in a town with a population of some 1,200 saw the idea of a home invasion or an Islamic State attack that would require them to take a human life in order to save others as a certainty they would face, not a hypothetical... students around me agreed unreservedly with Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the National Rifle Association, who was seen in the film asserting that “in the world around us, there are terrorists, home invaders, drug cartels, carjackers, knockout gamers, rapers, haters, campus killers, airport killers, shopping mall killers.”.. One of the most consistent messages of the Bible is the exhortation “Do not be afraid!”
.. Fear,” says Mr. Schenck in the documentary, “should not be a controlling element in the life of a Christian.”.. Fear and distrust of outsiders — in conflict with numerous biblical teachings to “welcome the stranger” — also explain Fox evangelicals’ strong support for the Trump administration’s efforts to bar refugees and restrict travel to the United States from several majority-Muslim nations... “A pastor has about 30 to 40 minutes each week to teach about Scripture,” said Jonathan Martin, an Oklahoma pastor and popular evangelical writer. “They’ve been exposed to Fox News potentially three to four hours a day.”.. It’s meaningful, Mr. Martin says, that scions of the religious right like Jerry Falwell Jr. are not pastors like their fathers
Stephen K. Bannon has always been more comfortable when he was trying to tear down institutions — not work inside them.
With his return to Breitbart News, Mr. Bannon will be free to lead the kind of ferocious assault on the political establishment that he relishes, even if sometimes that means turning his wrath on the White House itself.
.. “In many ways, I think I can be more effective fighting from the outside for the agenda President Trump ran on,” he said Friday. “And anyone who stands in our way, we will go to war with.”
Among those already in Mr. Bannon’s sights:
- Speaker Paul D. Ryan;
- Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader;
- the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump and
- son-in-law, Jared Kushner; and
- Gary D. Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs who now directs the White House’s National Economic Council.
“The president was buoyed to election by capturing the hearts and minds of a populist, nationalist movement,” Alex Marlow, Breitbart’s editor in chief, said Friday evening. “A lot of it was anti-Wall Street, anti-corporatist, anti-establishment. And now we’re seeing that a lot of these guys remaining inside the White House are exactly the opposite of what we told you you were going to get.”
.. Most immediately, he has told associates that he wants to ensure that any spending resolution approved next month by Congress includes money to begin construction on the wall that Mr. Trump has promised to build on the southern border.
If Congress balks, Mr. Bannon has advised the president to issue a veto, which would trigger a government shutdown.
.. “You can’t play by the Marquess Queensberry’s rules,” he often tells colleagues, using a characteristically colorful historical analogy, in this case to the 19th-century code of conduct for boxing.
.. Mr. Kushner; Ms. Trump; Dina Powell, the deputy national security adviser; and Mr. Cohn have all been the target of unrelenting attacks by Breitbart and others on the right for their efforts to draw Mr. Trump to the political center. The site has routinely dismissed Mr. Cohn as a “globalist” and a “swamp creature”; in headlines, his name would sometimes appear bracketed by globe emojis, to underscore the point — also an allusion to the triple parentheses that anti-Semites on social media use to denote Jewish names.
.. “He will use Breitbart as a battering ram,” said Ben Shapiro
.. Unable to talk face-to-face with the president and sensing that his days were numbered, Mr. Bannon began to speak more openly with associates about how effective he could be if he returned to Breitbart
the public’s attitude toward big businesses and their chief executives was extremely negative. Just twenty per cent of Americans, Greenberg explained, had a positive opinion of C.E.O.s. Many people regarded the country’s top executives as members of a self-enriching élite, which lines its pockets by cutting wages and shifting jobs overseas.
.. “We thought we were running against trickle-down. We now find ourselves running against a nationalist message focussed on making work for people.”
.. Last week, its chief executive, Louis Chenevert, left the company with a retirement package worth a hundred and seventy-two million dollars, most of it in stock and options.
.. shutting it down and moving production to Monterrey, where workers earn about fifty dollars a week, would have juiced United Technologies’ earnings a bit. That, in turn, could have given a boost to the firm’s stock price—and further enriched the huge remuneration packages enjoyed by Chenevert and other top executives.
.. Carrier, however, is still planning to relocate six hundred jobs from the Indianapolis plant to Mexico, plus seven hundred jobs from a second plant in Huntington, Indiana, which will be shut down. Taking the two plants together, more jobs will go than will be saved.
.. “The free market has been sorting it out and America’s been losing,”
.. In his 2012 State of the Union speech, President Obama proposed a series of measures designed to discourage outsourcing. They included eliminating the tax deductions that companies can take when they shift jobs abroad, and expanding tax breaks for investment in domestic manufacturing.
.. the Obama Administration never suggested that it would be possible, or even beneficial, to stop offshoring entirely. Instead, it stressed the need to educate the workforce; develop industries of the future, such as clean energy; and retrain displaced manufacturing workers.
.. since the start of 2009, when Obama took office, the economy has created more than eight hundred thousand manufacturing jobs.