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PeterWolf  Nov 3, 2015 • 6:38:30am

It’s a bit sad, but the US has a long history of supporting “compliant” dictators and military juntas. As long as they don’t mention things like “land reform”, things are all OK. Ask for example, the Somoza clan.

Dark_Falcon  Nov 3, 2015 • 7:02:26am

I disagree that Trump’s stance is simply posturing: He could well prefer to deal with a dictator one “big man” to another, not having to worry about what annoying members of a legislature might do to his big idea.

This is why I won’t support Donald Trump: He is not committed to America’s constitutional principals and he has what I perceive as a strong authoritarian tendency.

Mike R  Nov 3, 2015 • 9:34:42am

As much as I hate to say it, to a degree they are correct. The part they are correct about is that the thrashing around and knocking over repressive governments with no idea of what is next shouldn’t be policy. If they are criticizing the policy of the former Bush clan then hooray as those guys were just astoundingly incompetent. If as Dark Falcon states they are only interested in convenience then they are what they appear to be, power hungry ideologues who have no place near the levers of power. My guess, no firm belief, is they are just a couple of bozo’s who deserve to be relegated to the dust bin of history.

bratwurst  Nov 3, 2015 • 10:43:52am

re: #2 Dark_Falcon

I disagree that Trump’s stance is simply posturing: He could well prefer to deal with a dictator one “big man” to another, not having to worry about what annoying members of a legislature might do to his big idea.

I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with your assumption about Trump. However, you are missing the forest for the trees. Killing off the candidacy of Jeb! is pretty much the raison d’etre of the Trump campaign. Attacking W. is a way of reminding the public that Jeb! is content to surround himself with many of the fuckwits who played a role in the war against Saddam.

re: #3 Mike R

As much as I hate to say it, to a degree they are correct.

To a degree, yes. However, I remain 100% convinced that most or all of these people could just as easily be railing against support for dictators if they felt like it would be advantageous in demonizing the Obama/Clinton foreign policy.

jc717  Nov 3, 2015 • 2:52:35pm

I don’t agree with Trump on much, but I do agree on this. Iraq would likely be better off right now had we left Saddam in power. Libya would likely be better off right now if we had left Gaddaffi in power.
Just because Benghazi is the Whitewater of this decade doesn’t mean that the criticism of NATO’s actions in Libya should be dismissed as simply Hillary hate. We, along with our European allies, made a mess of the place.

‘Spreading democracy’ or some other such non-sense is not the reason that we knocked over those regimes. WMDs were not the reason we went into Iraq; that was a good sounding sales pitch to the public.

Saudi Arabia, our ‘ally’, is one of the most repressive and brutal totalitarian regimes on the planet; second only to North Korea. As long as our leaders (both parties) hug/kiss it out with Saudi Sheikhs, all their talk of spreading democracy or intervening for human rights is nothing but hypocritical BS.

cinesimon  Nov 3, 2015 • 2:53:49pm

re: #2 Dark_Falcon

Indeed, the posturing comes from Bush, Rubio and most ‘conservatives’ who pretend to advocate for democracy (sometimes with force), when they’re more than happy to supply intelligence, arms, and diplomatic cover when coups happen against democratically elected center-left or leftist governments. In fact Bush snr (along with Reagan) has been involved in not only supporting, but plotting, many a coup - in South America and Asia, in particular. And the younger Bushes are hardly better in this regard.
They, too, very much prefer to deal with dictators - as long as the dictators do what is asked of them when it comes to America’s ‘interests’(which generally have to do with oil, sugar, bananas(mostly in the past now), ore, precious metals, and fucking with America’s competition. If those conditions are met, republican policy is very much ‘dictate away’. None of them care about democracy, all of them would prefer to deal with a dictator than a center-left democratically elected leader.

cinesimon  Nov 3, 2015 • 2:57:19pm

re: #1 PeterWolf

Land reform isn’t their threshold for supporting military coups and dictatorships vs democracies of course - it’s holding large corporations to the same rule of law that everyone else must follow. The practice that birthed the term ‘banana republic’ is still a real problem in the world - especially when America has a republican president.

Dark_Falcon  Nov 3, 2015 • 7:38:52pm

re: #4 bratwurst

For me it was Trump saying that Saddam Hussein was the sort of “strong leader” Iraq needed that showed Trump at his worst. Because its entirely reasonable and defensible to argue that we should not have overthrown the Butcher of Baghdad as long as the person making the argument can admit that Saddam Hussein was a tyrannical monster who brutalized Iraq for decades and richly deserved to be removed from power and punished for his misdeeds.

To say Saddam should not have been removed is not the same as saying he did not deserve to be removed. But Donald Trump’s words don’t make that critical distinction and he came across as seeing the tyrants of Iraq and Libya as positive actors instead of as the ‘least worst option’ which the defensible point of view.

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