So yesterday morning I checked the Drudge Report to see what non-Trump-worship articles might be trending there and I saw this one
It links to an article in ZeroHedge by (hahahahaha) Paul Craig Roberts (yeah, I know, right?) titled Is Trump Being Sabotaged By The Pentagon?
If you’ve been blogging (or in journalism, to the extent that the two are really separable today) you’ve come across Betteridge’s law of headlines. This says:
“Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”
The reason being “The reason why journalists use that style of headline is that they know the story is probably bullsh**, and don’t actually have the sources and facts to back it up, but still want to run it.”
Surprisingly, this story repudiates that law.
President Trump says he wants the US to have better relations with Russia and to halt military operations against Muslim countries. But he is being undermined by the Pentagon.
The commander of US forces in Europe, General Ben Hodges, has lined up tanks on Poland’s border with Russia and fired salvos that the general says are a message to Russia, not a training exercise.
How is Trump going to normalize relations with Russia when the commander of US forces in Europe is threatening Russia with words and deeds?
As it turns out, I know Ben Hodges. He’s stayed at my house. He’s a superb leader and soldier. His taste in whiskey and cigars is impeccable. You won’t find a guy anywhere with more respect for civil-military relations and less likely to freelance against the desires of the US government. His major flaw, other than being a West Point grad, is that he’s a Seminoles fan.
This is the exercise that has that blogger so, well, exercised. Notice that it is distributed on the NATO YouTube Channel, a place no one would ever think to find recording such a subversive act.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the brigade in this video is from Fort Carson, CO. No general in Europe wakes up in the morning and calls Fort Carson and tells them to get their asses on a plane and fly to Poland. That is not the way any of this works. Large deployments like this are planned a couple of years in advance because they have to be funded by Congress.
I think all of us would like a better relationship with Russia. It may be a Third World sh**hole kleptocracy with delusions of adequacy but it has lots of nukes and for that reason alone we should attempt to get along with them. On the other hand, Poland — and Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia — are NATO allies and we have a treaty obligation to protect them. The worst thing we could do would be to let Russia think that we would not uphold our obligations and lure the Russians into doing something really stupid, something for which they have a well established genetic propensity. Letting them see what an actual Army looks like as opposed to the incompetent, poorly trained and terminally alcoholic rabble Russia calls an army is good for stability in Europe.
What is more important to note is that is the Trump administration is not demonstrating the Putin love that many of Trump’s fans had hoped. Not only has US Ambassador Nikki Haley called out Russian aggression in Ukraine, on Friday she announced that US sanctions imposed over the annexation of Crimea will remain in place until Crimea is returned to Ukraine. It seems to have passed unnoticed to Roberts, who assures us he has attended the very best universities, that the UN Ambassador doesn’t make policy pronouncements like that without being directed to do so by the White House.
I expect we are going to see the love affair between guys like Roberts who look to Putin to make Russia into some kind of white and Christian bulwark against Islam and China come to an abrupt end, because the one thing that we know for sure about Trump is that nothing is more disposable that someone he no longer needs.