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Can Trump Drain the Foggy Bottom Swamp?
Frontpagemag ^ | March 20, 2017 | Bruce Thornton

Posted on 03/20/2017 6:38:49 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo

Entrenched State Department interests will be tough to defeat

President Trump has proposed a 31 percent cut in the State Department’s budget, and the denizens of Foggy Bottom are howling. All the usual delusions about diplomacy, foreign aid, “soft power,” and “engagement” are being trotted out to rationalize the $47 billions of taxpayer money State spends. What we don’t hear about are examples of diplomatic successes that would justify maintaining an overfunded bureaucracy mired in internationalist received wisdom.

In fact, many of the defenses of “soft power” are positively surreal in their disconnect from reality. Here’s Stephen J. Hadley, national security adviser to President George W. Bush, talking to the New York Times: “We learned in both Iraq and Afghanistan that our military needs an effective civilian partner if victories on the battlefields are going to be converted into a sustainable peace.” So how’s that creating “an effective civilian partner” working out? For all the “three cups of tea” voodoo, fifteen years of war, repeated attempts at a “negotiated settlement” with the murderous Taliban, and $2.4 trillion in taxpayer money, Afghanistan still faces an existential threat from the Taliban, the most fearsome of some 20 terrorist groups who control 35 percent of the country. The Haqqani outfit, called the “Kennedys of the Taliban,” continues to perpetrate most of the spectacular terror attacks against civilian and military targets. Civilian deaths from such attacks set a record in 2016, including a 25 percent increase in children killed.

Not much peace there, sustainable or otherwise. Nor is the track-record of soft power very good elsewhere. Soft power and diplomatic engagement got us a nuclear-armed thug regime in North Korea, and is on track to turn Iran, ruled by an anti-Semitic apocalyptic cult, into a nuclear power. Nor did soft power stop the slaughter in the Balkans, in Darfur, in Congo, in Rwanda, and today in Nigeria and Syria.

Such magical thinking about using soft power to turn foreign governments into liberal democracies is based on flawed assumptions about our enemies’ motives. Here’s an example from another critic of Trump’s proposed cuts: Andrew Natsios, the former head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, which oversees the distribution of foreign aid in order to fulfill its mission “to partner to end extreme poverty and to promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing the security and prosperity of the United States.” According to Nasties,

We have radical Islamist groups that are threatening to destabilize our friends and allies in Africa and the Middle East. We need to deal with them. Now, part of that is a military solution, but it also is improving the school systems, improving public services, improving the health systems in these countries so that there isn’t an appeal from these radical groups. Governance improvement is not done through DOD. It’s not done through hard power. It’s done through soft power.

This hoary gospel was preached everywhere after the 9/11 terror attacks. Bill Clinton, on whose lax presidential watch al Qaeda flourished, said of the group, “These forces of reaction feed on disillusionment, poverty, and despair.” The Bush administration bought into the same narrative, making Wilsonian “democracy promotion” in Iraq and Afghanistan a primary goal of the wars in those countries. Fifteen years later, Afghanistan is still a Darwinian jungle, and Iraq has become a satellite of Iran. Its “governance improvement” withered the second Obama withdrew all American forces from the country. This collapse suggests that the political changes bought with American blood never put down roots in such culturally inhospitable soil.

The failure in Iraq points to a big problem with the belief that poverty or lack of freedom leads to terror. Billions of people, for example, who live in worse poverty or suffer under more brutal autocrats have not turned to terrorist murder and mayhem to the extent that Muslims have. Of global violent conflicts killing more than 1000 people a year, all involve Muslims except the Mexican drug wars. Clearly something other than poverty or bad governance must account for the prevalence of violence among Muslims.

Nor is there any better evidence showing the power of liberal democracy to create peaceful, tolerant societies. Consider Turkey. For nearly a century, under the regime created by Kemal Atatürk, Turkey tried to reduce the influence of Islam on politics and culture, and create a Western-style nation out of the ruins of the Ottoman caliphate. But under current president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, it has become increasingly Islamized and illiberal. A referendum scheduled for April of this year seeks to create a more powerful executive in order to accelerate this process. If it passes, the democracy on which our foreign policy wonks bestow such transformative power will be further weakened than it already has under Erdoğan, who crushes dissent and jails journalists. As he has recently said about democracy, freedom, and the rule of law, “For us, these phrases have absolutely no value any longer”––a sentiment shared by theorists of modern jihad from Sayyid Qutb to the Ayatollah Khomeini, al Qaeda, and ISIS.

The “soft power” we have spent trillions of dollars on raises a big question: Do non-Western countries, particularly Islamic ones, really want what we want? Do they think democracy, human rights, sex equality, religious tolerance, separation of state and religion, and widespread affluence are the highest human goods? What is the evidence for this belief? Is it not the case that other peoples and cultures have very different beliefs about what comprises the highest good? Despite its long centuries of Western influence, including its liberation by the West from communist tyranny, Russia today is influenced by philosopher Alexander Dugin, who writes that liberal democracy and freedom are culturally specific to the West and thus inappropriate for Russia, and the West’s attempt to impose them through “soft power” like diplomatic criticism and economic sanctions are a form of imperialism.

It is arrogant for us to believe that our highest goods are self-evidently superior to other peoples’, or that they will accept them if we just intervene in their cultures, shower them with money, and show them the way. History shows that passionately held beliefs that conflict with our own will not be changed by such “soft power,” but rather by mind-concentrating force. Germany and Japan became democratic and free and tolerant not because of the Marshall Plan, but because they were utterly destroyed by hard power, the wages of their destructive ideologies visible in their ruined cities and mounds of corpses.

If we believe, as I do, that the Western way is the best social-political order possible for flawed humans, and if we feel it’s our duty––a more arguable proposition–– to bring that order to the rest of the world, then to achieve that end we will have to use sufficient force, and maintain a credible deterrence based on our proven willingness to use overwhelming force. And we’ll have to commit to an open-ended presence to monitor and defend these fledgling democracies.

The most obvious failure of this State Department gospel is our inability to defeat radical Islam, and the reason should be clear. The foundational beliefs of Islam, evident in fourteen centuries of history, are incompatible with Western liberal democracy. It bespeaks an arrogant, and dangerous, Western ethnocentrism to concentrate on poverty, autocracy, historical resentment, Israel, or all the other Western material and psychological rationalizations for Muslim jihadists, who are obeying as their ancestors did the clear-cut commands of Allah and the example of Mohammed.

Over fifty years ago Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis pointed out the centrality of Islam in the dysfunctions of the Middle East:

This much is obvious. Of all the great movements that have shaken the Middle East during the last century and a half, the Islamic movements alone are authentically Middle Eastern in inspiration. Liberalism and fascism, patriotism and nationalism, communism and socialism, are all European in origin, however much adapted and transformed by Middle Eastern disciples. The religious orders alone spring from the native soil, and express the passions of the submerged masses of the population. Though they have all, so far, been defeated, they have not yet spoken their last word.

In other words, traditional Islamic beliefs lie at the heart of the region’s problems, and no external ideology can change or discredit those cherished doctrines that came straight from the uncreated words of Allah. The greatest sin of the State Department’s “soft power” shibboleth has been its lack of self-criticism and failure of imagination, its stubborn refusal, under administrations from both parties, to confront this fact and accept the tragic consequences of it.

Trump’s budget cuts, no matter how necessary, are unlikely to survive Congress. And even if they do, they won’t spark a self-critical process to discard fossilized dogma. Too many Republicans share the assumptions of idealistic internationalism, the pretension that favoring talk over action is a sign of moral superiority and sophisticated thinking. And of course, every government agency has its lobbyists and promoters who will defend any bureaucracy to the last dollar of the American taxpayer. Foggy Bottom is likely to remain infested with bad ideas.


TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: draintheswamp; sostillerson; trump45; trumpcabinet; trumpstatedept
Foggy Bottom needs to be eliminated, not just drained. Same goes for more than a few other gov't debts and agencies.
1 posted on 03/20/2017 6:38:49 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: Mr. Mojo

Drain it or fill it, concrete it over.


2 posted on 03/20/2017 6:40:29 PM PDT by SkyDancer (Ambition Without Talent Is Sad, Talent Without Ambition Is Worse)
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To: Mr. Mojo

I think it could be done if the President had a political party on Capital Hill.


3 posted on 03/20/2017 6:41:43 PM PDT by The Toll
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To: Mr. Mojo

debts = depts.


4 posted on 03/20/2017 6:42:01 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: Mr. Mojo

not now. the republicans just gave the NSA, FBI, CIA, etc lifetime employment. any attempt to fire them now while he is under investigation will be considered obstruction of justice. and he will be under investigation for the next 8 years.


5 posted on 03/20/2017 6:43:13 PM PDT by kvanbrunt2 (all your base are belong to us)
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To: Mr. Mojo

You have to have a state department, you just don’t need to be spending billions of dollars on it.


6 posted on 03/20/2017 6:48:21 PM PDT by McGavin999
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To: kvanbrunt2

not now. the republicans just gave the NSA, FBI, CIA, etc lifetime employment. any attempt to fire them now while he is under investigation will be considered obstruction of justice. and he will be under investigation for the next 8 years.


You are right.

One huge problem for the President is who can he trust or rely on. The corruption is thorough and the whole system has been compromised.

I hope I am proved wrong.


7 posted on 03/20/2017 6:49:00 PM PDT by laplata ( Liberals/Progressives have diseased minds.)
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To: Mr. Mojo

No he can not drain the swamp at Foggy Bottom; I am retired from the Department of State and still only 60. My resume to the Trump team was something like 2100+ and I espeically cited my experience as an Information Management Speicalist, former Army Inspector General, EEO for both agencies, as well as both a certifying officer and Contracting Officer w/warrant. Seems that all the Creature’s from the Black Lagoon moving into Foggy Bottom are politically connected problem children. Wife is still in DC at State - still a liberal cesspool.


8 posted on 03/20/2017 6:49:14 PM PDT by Jumper
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To: Mr. Mojo
I think after you see Neal Gorsuch go into his position, things are going to get changed real fast...

People haven't seen A.G. Sessions to much, he's busy getting things lined up...Comey and McCabe are almost out the door...

Tillerson is not one to be played a fool of, and showed that when he wiped out the 7th floor...

Mattis is doing his job, REALLY WELL...

Come summer, your going to see a whole new ball game in our government...the swamp is pretty dense right now, but President Trump is fishing and doing well to see sight of the plug that will be draining the swamp...a lot of House and Senate people will be going down the drain, along with a lot of government employees, and the movement will be taking Hillary, Obama and Soros with them...

God doesn't make mistakes, and He has His Hands on President Trump and America...

9 posted on 03/20/2017 6:51:12 PM PDT by HarleyLady27 ('THE FORCE AWAKENS!!!' Trump/Pence: MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!)
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To: laplata

Then that’s Trump’s fault for not getting rid of him immediately.


10 posted on 03/20/2017 6:53:32 PM PDT by stevio (God,Guns,Guts.)
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To: Mr. Mojo

Maybe, under Martial Law. Country is under attack from forces seen and unseen.


11 posted on 03/20/2017 6:54:26 PM PDT by Karl Spooner
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To: Mr. Mojo

Absolutely!

If he lives long enough...


12 posted on 03/20/2017 6:55:20 PM PDT by null and void (Drain the swamp! Get rid of the mosque-itoes!)
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To: Jumper

Would it hurt to keep trying/applying?


13 posted on 03/20/2017 7:01:32 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: HarleyLady27
the movement will be taking Hillary, Obama and Soros with them...

"the movement" = the resultant circular movement of the whirlpool, as the swamp is drained.

14 posted on 03/20/2017 7:03:56 PM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (The fear of stark justice sends hot urine down their thighs.)
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To: Mr. Mojo
Whether he wins this war with the Deep State members of the intel community, "The Company" and the "Feebs" first among them, is yet to be determined, but one thing is certain right now.

This is war. My money, hell, my whole farm, is on Trump.

15 posted on 03/20/2017 7:09:27 PM PDT by Gargantua ("Still not tired of winning---beeyotch!" ;^)
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To: stevio

Then that’s Trump’s fault for not getting rid of him immediately.


That’s a good point.


16 posted on 03/20/2017 7:18:17 PM PDT by laplata ( Liberals/Progressives have diseased minds.)
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To: kvanbrunt2

Sad state of affairs


17 posted on 03/20/2017 7:24:40 PM PDT by ptsal
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To: kvanbrunt2

Then his first YUGE mistake was to keep Comey the rat...there was no way in hell this a$$ was going to backstab his alliance to his party...no freakin way...he had a goal to protect the swamp so when trump retained him he must’ve been doing cartwheels all the way to his cesspool rat hole!! Whoever convinced trump to keep him made the biggest error ever in Trump’s presidency!!


18 posted on 03/20/2017 7:31:09 PM PDT by RoseofTexas
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To: Mr. Mojo

Shepard smith will be the most disappointed to learn, as one of many in a growing group, to not underestimate Trump


19 posted on 03/20/2017 7:34:48 PM PDT by stanne
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To: Mr. Mojo

20 posted on 03/20/2017 7:38:47 PM PDT by Grampa Dave ( Remember during Trump Tower Spydgate, there were No American fingerprints; just Obama's...!!!!:))
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To: Mr. Mojo
WOW!!! Found this bit of info on our pal Comey on breitbart ..read it and weep...WHY THE HELL DID TRUMP KEEP HIM!!!!

In the report, Comey is noted as receiving $6 million in one year along from Lockheed Martin, who is a Clinton Foundation donor, and became a donor in the same year Comey received those funds. Additionally, Mr. Comey became a board member, a director, and a Financial System Vulnerabilities Committee member of the London bank HSBC Holdings in 2013. HSBC has also partnered with The Clinton Foundation, where records indicate that the bank projected $1 billion in financing through the Clinton Foundation for "retrofitting" 1,500 to 2,000 housing units to conserve energy. Additionally, Peter Comey, James' brother, serves as "Senior Director of Real Estate Operations for the Americas" for DLA Piper, according to the report. DLA Piper is number five on Hillary Clinton's all-time career Top Contributors list. DLA also performed an independent audit of The Clinton Foundation in November. http://freedomoutpost.com/f... Demand Congress Impeach Obama's FBI Director Comey

21 posted on 03/20/2017 7:58:38 PM PDT by RoseofTexas
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To: Mr. Mojo
We need to cut off their income supply!

End drug prohibition, aka the CIA's monopoly.

22 posted on 03/20/2017 7:58:55 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (TETELESTI Read em and weep Lucy! Yer times almost up.)
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To: Mr. Mojo
Can Trump Drain the Foggy Bottom Swamp?

Not without bloodshed. This country is way too far gone for anything but.

23 posted on 03/20/2017 8:08:37 PM PDT by TTFlyer
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To: RoseofTexas
WOW!!! Found this bit of info on our pal Comey on breitbart ..read it and weep...WHY THE HELL DID TRUMP KEEP HIM!!!!

Trump attempted to "work with the establishment" in order to "bring the country together." And it cost him. Possibly a fatal mistake.

America is at the "Arabs vs. the Israelis" stage. Only an armed conflict where one side totally defeats the other can "make America whole again."

24 posted on 03/20/2017 8:13:53 PM PDT by TTFlyer
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To: Mr. Mojo
...civilian partner if victories on the battlefields are going to be converted into a sustainable peace.

sustainable peace comes when the other side does not want to fight anymore. Until we have the political will to win, that ain't gunna happen.
25 posted on 03/20/2017 8:27:48 PM PDT by stylin19a (Terrorists - "just because you don't see them doesn't mean they aren't there")
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To: TTFlyer

It took 44 presidents to fill the swamp. I doubt that #45 can drain it by himself.


26 posted on 03/20/2017 9:12:22 PM PDT by 353FMG (AMERICA FIRST.)
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To: laplata

ou are right.

One huge problem for the President is who can he trust or rely on. The corruption is thorough and the whole system has been compromised.

I hope I am proved wrong.>>> he can trust me and you and the people that voted for him. that is about it. the government in this country is against him because they are against us.


27 posted on 03/23/2017 12:46:33 AM PDT by kvanbrunt2 (all your base are belong to us)
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To: kvanbrunt2

“... the government in this country is against him because they are against us”.

And their loyalty is not to the United States.


28 posted on 03/23/2017 8:20:04 AM PDT by laplata ( Liberals/Progressives have diseased minds.)
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