Defense Secretary James Mattis Contradicts Trump: There Will Be No Military Collaboration With Russia

The Associated Press reports:

The U.S. is not ready to collaborate militarily with Russia, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday, appearing to close the door for now on any effort to work more closely with Moscow in the fight against Islamic State militants in Syria.

His blunt rejection came after Russian President Vladimir Putin called for increased intelligence cooperation with the U.S. and NATO, and it makes such coordination less likely at least in the near future. Mattis followed his dismissal with a sharp assessment of Russia’s alleged election meddling, saying there is “very little doubt that they have either interfered or they have attempted to interfere in a number of elections in the democracies.”

His comments raised questions about the Trump administration’s policies on Russia. As a candidate, President Donald Trump repeatedly praised Putin, saying he wanted a new era of cooperation with Moscow. Speaking at a meeting of NATO defense ministers, Mattis said the U.S. will continue to engage politically with Putin’s government to try to find common ground.

  • Gustav2

    When your own Sec Def contradicts you, you might be in trouble.

    BTW, it is possible Putin wanted the US/Europe to sell them military EQ since most of theirs is falling apart.

    • BobSF_94117

      This is the sort of thing that happens when you pick someone you don’t know just because you like his nickname.

      • Gustav2

        What? You mean “Mad Dog” isn’t a nihilist but a very educated and careful man?

    • ByronK

      “When your own Sec Def contradicts you, you might be in trouble.”
      Is this the start of a possible riff on the “you might be a redneck” routine?

      • Gustav2

        We should start that!

        “When your own Sec Def contradicts you, you might be losing your presidency.” Or something better, I’m up for suggestions.

        • Steverino

          The perfect person to lead a military coup d’etat?

          • Gustav2

            Or at least keep the military safer and us safer.

  • Michael R
    • Mike__in_Houston

      Oops. You beat me to it.

  • BobSF_94117

    As I said the other day, if succession becomes an issue (we can only hope), he’s the only one in the 15-member chain who would be acceptable.

  • Why should we believe him? No one else in the white house tells the truth these days – could be ALTERNATE FACTS

  • crewman

    very little doubt that they have either interfered or they have attempted to interfere in a number of elections in the democracies

    How would the Defense Secretary characterize governments whose leaders were primarily chosen due to the outside interference of Russia? Would he say they were legitimate governments?

  • safari

    If Pence gets a few more on his side, he can invoke Amendment 25, section 4.

    • Jeffrey

      Now that is the kind of infighting Id like to see. You know that republicans hate Trump, but do they have the balls to actually try and dump him?

      • safari

        Once they get a few legislative “victories” under their belt to justify their usefulness to their base, sure.

      • geoffalnutt

        Republicans may hate him, but they’re all (pretty much) complicit. They’re dragging their feet because they’re guilty, too.

        • Jeffrey

          Until they feel that they cant cubically support him any longer and then they will have to explain to their constituents why they ever did. It is going to be a tough one for the Repubs, I predict. Chaffetz is going to have a hell of a time getting re elected after refusing to do his damn job. Here in Las Vegas we have already started gunning for Heller’s job for 2018. Educators are beyond furious over DeVos and they are a well organized crowd.

          • Palmer

            The Mormons will support Chaffetz no matter what if the Elders tell you them to.

          • Jeffrey

            But Mormons hate Trump.

          • Palmer

            They voted for him anyway.

          • Jeffrey

            No they didn’t. There were roughly a million votes cast in Utah. 500k went to Trump and 550k were split between Clinton and McMullin

          • Palmer

            Are you saying the 500,000 Trump votes were non-LDS? Cheetoh Mussolini took nearly 48% of the vote, McMullin less than 21%, so I think it’s fair to say that most Utah Mormons voted for Trump.

          • Jeffrey

            Go away, I’ve made my point and posted facts. That’s all that can be done. Fuck off.

          • Palmer

            And I politely countered with facts.

            Now fuck yourself sideways with a grapefruit spoon.

          • Jeffrey

            No, I gave you fact and you countered with non sequitur. Bye, grandpa.

          • Palmer

            I said Mormons supported Trump, you said they didn’t, you claimed that because 50,000 voted more voted for either McMillan or Clinton that proved your case. Take McMillan out and those 50,000 votes go to Trump.

            Now, if you like, we can go to a county by county breakdown of each county and their tallied votes and no matter how you try to spin it more Mormons voted for Trump than McMillan. They put aside their morals and voted for power.

            And it’s not a smart idea to make ageist remarks on Joe.My.God, twerp.

  • PickyPecker
    • safari

      There’s a lot of Americana going on there.

      • PickyPecker

        You know how kitties are about product placement.

        • Dawngwills

          Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj274d:
          On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
          !mj274d:
          ➽➽
          ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash274MarketBoxGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★:::::!mj274d:….,..

      • Now I want a Big Mac. Thanks, Picky!

        • safari

          I’ve read they now come in Mac Jr. size for a limited time only.

          • bzrd

            and if you’re not hungry now, put it on a shelf, it will be waiting for you for years and years

          • PERFECT for a certain small-handed world “leader!”

    • Daveed_WOW

      The cats clearly hate their hats and yet it’s still funny.

      • safari

        The black and white one looks kind of scared while the orange beauty looks angry.

        • Treant

          There Will Be Blood.

          • Bad Tom

            And Deep Scratches.

          • ZRAinSWVA

            Yeah, my tortoiseshell would never, ever let something so undignified happen to her. She’s only 8 pounds, but 20 claws and sharp teeth make her a handful when she’s pissed!

    • JT

      Does Amazon sell Big Macs?

      • safari

        Soon.

  • Tawreos

    It is good to know that their are still grownups in our government. At least until someone tells Trumpy.

    • Gay Fordham Prep Grad

      Mattis and Harward (the HOT new NSA pick) are clearly very smart men. They are laying the groundwork for the soon to come post Trump era. I don’t believe they are in it for personal gain or to advance their daughters’ line of crap clothing.

  • HeyYouKidsGetOffMyLawn

    Finally, a possible grownup appears on the horizon…..

    • Jeffg166

      No, not really. Expect another twitter tantrum for the decider.

      • Ragnar Lothbrok

        Does Bannon tweet ?

        • Chucktech

          No, he dictates them to Trump.

    • BlindBill

      perhaps Mattis does not have substantial holdings of Exxon stock in his portfolio and does not yet understand the trillions of dollars to be made by a russian/american hookup. Since the GOP reversed energy company transparency laws – Exxon is free to do as it pleases with minimal obligation and regulation by the US. I hope he is not as easy to purchase as the rest of the GOP was.

      • Gay Fordham Prep Grad

        He does not strike me as a grifter

  • Walter Maerlyn

    Off Topic: TN Lawmakers Filing Bill Against Marriage Equality Booed Out Of Press Conference

    http://newschannel9.com/news/local/tennessee-lawmakers-filing-bill-against-same-sex-marriage-booed-out-of-press-conference

    • Sam_Handwich

      and then Beavers locked her twitter account 🙂

      • GayOldLady

        I’ve emailed Mae 3 times, but not a peep out of her in response. I also emailed the TN legislator who wants to label children of artificial insemination “illegitimate”. She’s not responded either.

        I emailed Lamar Alexander 2 weeks ago concerning Betsy Devos and got a response from him the day AFTER her confirmation. It wasn’t a form letter, it was a personal response. He tried to assure me that since he was a former Sec of Education that he knew she would do the job. I emailed him back and literally said, “You know you’re not talking to your average constituent, so please stop the Bullshit Lamar. See you at the Polls.”

    • Marti386

      See, that’s how we handle these idiots. We turn up the heat. Don’t let up.

    • Clive Johnson

      Meanwhile, many conservatives apparently feel THEY’RE the ones who are discriminated against and are deserving of protection. I just saw this absurd political cartoon yesterday:

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b6439e861c950af671d67264d0da828156dfdba22ebf18ed7d7d13cc589ee136.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f0e12bfdf32e8a294680cb67865e9605c08642b02cc661b9a6d5037e67bdcfa8.jpg

      • Todd20036

        Except the young girl was born black.

        The cons think that it is their god given right to discriminate against others.

        You know, being conservative always meant being bigoted against one minority or another. It was never about merely less spending and small government.

        It’s just that now, the cons have pretty much given up on the ideas of spending or restraint.

        It’s all about hatred and bigotry

      • Marti386

        OMFG, this cartoon. I can’t even. o_0

        This assclown cartoonist is ACTUALLY comparing the understandable protesting of Devros with Ruby Bridges. Holy shitfvck. Facepalm.

        How utterly clueless do you need to be of historical context to come up with this? Good God.

        This makes me ashamed to be a white person, and worse, ashamed to be a cartoonist.

        • Clive Johnson

          Yeah. Both my s.o. and I were almost speechless last night after we saw it.

          • Ray Taylor

            I downloaded and titled it ComparisonUnworthy

      • Michael R

        This cartoonist is sickening , his brain is wired backwards .

        https://s2.postimg.org/5lgjryru1/glenn_mccoy_obama_abortion.gif

        • Paula
          • Chucktech

            Can you imagine Trump doing anything so decent and human?

          • MonochromeMouse

            trump would have demanded the baby’s nanny come get it, and then would insult the failing mother for not being able to afford a live-in nanny, sad!

          • Chucktech

            “Just kidding. Get that bay outta here…”

          • Chris Gardner

            Obviously you can see the hatred and loathing for white babies in Obama’s eyes. It’s so clear he has a secret agenda.. just look at the photo! /snark

            Seriously though, I miss the Obamas already… Trump has no class or empathy towards others.

        • Marti386

          Seriously, this is what passes for “humor” in republican circles?

          Conservative cartoonists are the lowest form of human scum.

          • Steverino

            False equivalencies are their stock-in-trade.

          • Chucktech

            Republicans in particular and Conservatives in general do not have the genetic constitution to do humor. It’s just not in their DNA.

        • Clive Johnson

          This guy lives in a fantasy view of the world for sure.

          • Michael R

            This is an ” I’m a good person anyone who doesn’t think like me is a bad person ” delusion .

        • DonnaLee

          Conservative humor… off and a complete lie.

        • Ray Taylor
      • MonochromeMouse

        It’s all part of their bullshit “White people are the real oppressed minority” shtick.

      • Chicago joe

        Strange fruit comes to mind…..if only life were as real as their sad fever dreams imagine.

  • CJAS

    Goodbye Defense Secretary Mattis.

    • Mike__in_Houston

      “YOU’RE FIRED!”

  • Rebecca Gardner

    Can we please finally impeach this motherfucker! How much more treasonous does he have to get before the fucking GOP does their job?

    Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia?
    “I have an outlier here that connects to Russia in a strange way,” he
    wrote in his notes. He couldn’t quite figure it out at first. But what
    he saw was a bank in Moscow that kept irregularly pinging a server
    registered to the Trump Organization on Fifth Avenue.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/cover_story/2016/10/was_a_server_registered_to_the_trump_organization_communicating_with_russia.html

    • Halou

      “A small portion of the logs showed communication with a server belonging to Michigan-based Spectrum Health.”

      The Betsy DeVos company. Wonder why such an unqualified woman was nominated to head the Education Department? She’s in on it too.

      • Rebecca Gardner

        His entire Cabinet is in on it.

        • BobSF_94117

          Except Ben Carson, cuz, well, …

      • Jon Doh

        I wonder if there is a connection with Amway and the huge business they do in Russia? I hope when it’s all over, Putin kicks Amway out of the country.

        • Palmer

          Amway, like Scientology but with soap!

          • Ray Taylor

            Scientology is banned in Moscow.

    • Mike__in_Houston

      If and when 45 signs onto all of their agenda, they might consider impeaching him.

      • Chucktech

        THIS. They’re not done with their useful idiot yet.

        • Oh, Parker

          “All we have to do is replace Obama. … We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. … We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate. […]
          Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.” – Grover Norquist

        • Steverino

          He is the epitome of Grover Norquist’s “autopen,” or more accurately: “idiot with a pen.”

      • Earl

        As if Pence wouldn’t sign their fucking agenda. They don’t want to investigate or impeach him because Trump’ll try to take everyone with him when he is forced to go.

        They’re cowards, he’s a treacherous pile of rat-vomit.

        • Halou

          The long and the short of it is they want to get reelected. Whether it is to the US House and Senate, or to the Russian Duma, they don’t care just so long as they get reelected.

        • MonochromeMouse

          I think a big part of why they aren’t trying to impeach him is they know that once it starts trump will turn on them and try to sell them out to save himself, especially since the kinds of stuff he is doing normally carry long prison sentences if convicted.
          (BTW that analogy is bad because rat’s are physically incapable of vomiting, but the sentiment is dead on)

          • Earl

            Rat-biscuits. 🙁 I didn’t know they couldn’t puke.

            Learn something new every day. 🙂 thanks.

          • Ray Taylor

            And we learned it from a mouse.

    • Halou

      Tea Leaves and his colleagues plotted the data from the logs on a timeline. What it illustrated was suggestive: The conversation between the Trump and Alfa servers appeared to follow the contours of political happenings in the United States. “At election-related moments, the traffic peaked,” according to Camp. There were considerably more DNS lookups, for instance, during the two conventions.

  • Michael R

    There Will Be No Military Collaboration With Russia .

    ( This a purely political and financial arrangement )

  • Natty Enquirer

    Welcome to Amerika, the proud 86th subject of the Russian Federation.

  • Halou

    How long before he gets fired as well?

  • Todd20036

    The real story here is the chaos of the White House. Trump either doesn’t know what he is talking about, or his own cabinet members are ignoring him. It’s most likely both.

    • Gustav2

      Either the NYT or WaPo asked how do smart do stupid things in this administration? They are given orders from Trump?

      I think they are not that smart and given orders.

    • Jon Doh

      This is what Hillary meant by “Stronger Together”, Trump never did get it since he thought she was talking about his and Putin’s bromance.

    • Halou

      Trump only has one job, to make Russia great again, everything else is irrelevant fluff which is why he is haphazardly parceling out all the other responsibilities of his office to his minions and appointing eminently unqualified people to the various departments.

  • JT

    Defense Secretary James Mattis Contradicts Trump: There Will Be No Military Collaboration With Russia

    There will only be anal collaboration with Putin.

  • billbear1961

    Kurt Eichenwald: European Allies have intel on Trump, too

    “As part of intelligence operations being conducted against the United States for the last seven months, at least one Western European ally intercepted a series of communications before the inauguration between advisers associated with President Donald Trump and Russian government officials, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Our allies are willing to investigate. Our own Congress? Not so much.

    “The foreign agency is also gathering electronic and human source information on Trump’s overseas business partners, at least some of whom the intelligence services now consider to be agents of their respective governments. These operations are being conducted out of concerns that Russia is seeking to manipulate its relationships with Trump administration officials as part of a long-term plan to destabilize the NATO alliance.”

    Our President has business partners who are Russian agents seeking to destabilize NATO. But hey, what about the Clinton Foundation donors?

    “These operations reflect a serious breakdown in the longstanding faith in the direction of American policy by some of the country’s most important allies. Worse, the United States is now in a situation that may be unprecedented—where European governments know more about what is going on in the Executive Branch than any elected American official. To date, the Republican-controlled Congress has declined to conduct hearings to investigate the links between Trump’s overseas business partners and foreign governments, or the activities between Russia and officials in the Trump campaign and administration—the very areas being examined by the intelligence services of at least two American allies.”

    It’s the end of the world as we know it, and Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan feel just fine.

    There’s quite a bit more in the article; at least one of the three Baltic states is collecting intelligence on Trump and Tillerson because they view these men as possible threats to their continued sovereignty. And Tillerson has a longtime personal friendship with Igor Sechin, Putin’s #2 (to the extent he permits one to exist) and former head of the FSB (i.e., the renamed KGB).

    Even if Trump can somehow cow our media, the truth is likely to be revealed. At which point the Republicans who are presently aiding and abetting Trump in his coverup may, finally, pay a price. One can only hope.

    http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/2/15/1634141/-Kurt-Eichenwald-European-Allies-have-intel-on-Trump-too

    • Halou

      “the United States is now in a situation that may be unprecedented—where European governments know more about what is going on in the Executive Branch than any elected American official”

      Make America Great Britain Again!

    • bzrd

      all GrOPerz have forgotten their oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America
      shame
      shame
      shame

    • Chucktech

      What the Trump administration truly reveals is that the rest of the world can no longer trust the United States of America. If we are so unstable as to gyrate from Moron Bush to a true leader like Barack Obama, then careen wildly to a malignant narcissist mental defective like Trump shows us to be an alarmingly untrustworthy and unreliable actor on the world stage.

      What an abject shame the United States has become.

      • billbear1961

        I refuse to recognize the authority of a federal government that shits all over the Constitution.

        Such a government is ILLEGITIMATE.

    • The_Wretched

      Leak the tapes!

    • The entire presidential campaign was one of smoke screens designed to discredit Hillary to hide cheetolini’s nefarious power games with Russia. Because of the rank hatred of Hillary in the GOP it was easy for them to join the cheetolini band wagon, blinding them to all danger warning lights. At the beginning the GOP was a hoodwinked as the fools who voted cheetolini in. And now, its to late for the GOP, they are stuck with him or are left looking stupid for supporting him in the early days. They need to “man up” to their misguided support and do the right thing for our country, and possibly the GOP as well.

  • Halou

    Russia: We will bomb our ISIS friends for you if you start bombing a country for us.

    Trump’s politically compromised National Security Council: Can somebody please look into whether Poland sent combat units into Belarus? We need a justification to invade our own fucking ally!

    Military collaboration.

  • billbear1961

    Who Told Flynn to Talk to the Russians?

    The focus on Flynngate so far has been Flynn’s fall from grace so quickly, but a more substantial question is only starting to come into focus: Why did he talk to the Russian ambassador at all? Flynn is a three-star general whose experience is almost entirely in the Middle East and Afghanistan. He knows nothing about Russia or Europe. It strains credulity that someone who has so little knowledge of Russia would suddenly call the Russian ambassador five times on Dec. 29 on his own. He did accept a paid speaking gig in 2015 for a Russian television station, but that is hardly a reason to call the Russian ambassador a year later. It seems far more plausible that someone told him to do it. The question is: Who? And while we are at it: Why? Flynn himself has never been a Russophile. In mid-2016 a book he coauthored came out and listed Russia, along with China, North Korea, Syria, and a few others as countries the U.S. was fighting. In other words, his calls don’t seem the acts of a rogue staffer. Someone probably put him up to it. More investigations are surely needed here, and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle say that they are coming.

    http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2017/Pres/Maps/Feb16.html#item-3

  • billbear1961

    So, there’s ONE member of the Cabinet who isn’t frightened of the tyrant usurper?

    For now, anyway–maybe.

    • kevin vincent

      Guy is Miltary he is probably used to people like Trump but hilarious when someotcalled Mad Dog is the sane one

  • Jeffrey

    It would be disastrous for Trump to get rid of Mattis this early on after this week’s Flynn debacle. That is literally the only reason Kellyanne Cornhole is still around.

  • greenmanTN

    A Republican telling the Truth? Get me to my fainting couch and get he me my smelling salts!

  • GayOldLady

    The question is: Has Mattis gone rogue?

    Don’t forget that Mattis has only been retired from the military 4 years. He had to have a special waiver to be confirmed because his confirmation violated the waiting period of 10 years.

    • Mattis may be our only hope in keeping the Russians’ at arms length and keeping us from a major war.

      • The_Wretched

        We still have ground war in Syria and naval / air in the South China Seas and nuclear for North Korea to worry about.

  • HZ81

    Our Comrade-in-Chief is close enough with Russia as is, thanks.

  • Earl

    So, when’s Trump going to fire him? My bet is by evening, or he’ll come out and try to take his words back by then.

    • Jeffrey

      Both of those options will look very bad and will play poorly in the media. But Trumpster is now learning that everything associated with himself plays poorly in the media.

  • Tipsy

    Honest question: what has Russia done to combat terrorism? I keep hearing that Russia needs to be a partner in this fight against ISIS, but the only time I’ve ever seen Russia specifically go after terrorists is when dealing with Chechnya, and that is clearly in Russia’s own self interest vs. fighting against terrorism for the sake of humanity.

    • Halou

      They once sent a prestigious orchestra out to the ancient Palmyra theater where once people were beheaded for a post-liberation concert. All very propaganda.

      They don’t talk about it any more though since ISIS recaptured Palmyra almost unopposed, the ancient ruins were lost again and a Syrian army base was captured, packed full of Russian weapons and credit cards but curiously few soldiers.

  • BobSF_94117

    With Republicans urging him on, Obama tried a bit of cooperation with Russia and what we got was Russia bombing the crap out of Syria, including groups we were/are allied with. Yay, war crimes….

  • Paula

    I don’t want to say anything in Mattis’ defense. However, he was a military officer during the Cold War times.. He probably doesn’t trust the Russians at all.

    • Silver Badger

      Please remember, the Russian people and the Russian Government are two seperate entities. Just like the American Government and the American People.

  • billbear1961

    Traitor Trump should be ousted as the former president of Ukraine was.

    Yanukovych was elected President in 2010, defeating Yulia Tymoshenko. November 2013 saw the beginning of a series of events that led to his ousting as President.[5][6][7] Yanukovych rejected a pending EU association agreement, choosing instead to pursue a Russian loan bailout and closer ties with Russia. This led to popular protests and the occupation of Kiev’s Independence Square, a series of events dubbed the “Euromaidan” by young pro-European Union Ukrainians. In January 2014, this developed into deadly clashes in Independence Square and in other areas across Ukraine, as Ukrainian citizens confronted the Berkut and other special police units.[8] In February 2014, Ukraine appeared to be on the brink of civil war, as violent clashes between protesters and special police forces led to many deaths and injuries.[9][10][11] On 21 February 2014, Yanukovych claimed that, after lengthy discussions, he had reached an agreement with the opposition.[12] Later that day, however, he fled the capital for Kharkiv, travelling next to Crimea, and eventually to exile in southern Russia.[13]

    He is . . . wanted by Ukraine for high treason.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Yanukovych

    Traitor Manafort worked for Yanukovych before working for our tyrant usurper.

  • David

    The US is in the process of being annexed by the Russian Frderation.

    The wheels were sent into motion by the Dump camp during the campaign.
    The days of an independent USA are numbered.

    To quote Kosh from Babylon 5: “The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote”.

    • billbear1961

      A coup is underway which is destroying our democratic republic.

      We have no real leadership and cannot rely on a truly free press.

      We have only one another.

      All the forces of fascist evil are arrayed against us.

      The Trump Regime and the GOP are TRAITORS.

      The Executive and Legislative branches of our government are setting aside the Constitution and the Rule of Law and are, therefore, no longer legitimate.

      Their authority is FORFEIT.

      They are betraying EVERYTHING this country stands for.

    • Halou

      Once the USA is down they’re going to move on Europe bigly. Not long ago the White House queried the deployment of Polish armed forces in/around a Russian ally, it looks to me like America’s so-called government is looking for an excuse for soldiers to be sent off fighting and dying in Russia’s wars.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      First off, kudos for the Babylon 5 quote.

      Secondly, Putin is a long game player and this probably started long before the campaign started. I suspect Trump was pushed into it, to some degree, from the beginning. The best analogy I could offer is this: Putin was playing Chess while America was playing Checkers.

      • Friday

        I think he was just trying to mess up the board of other people’s games and got opportunistic when the idiotic things they were supporting actually *took* a couple of elections. Trump’s easy for them to manipulate but it doesn’t take master strategy, just persistent evil and incessant lying.

    • Friday

      I wouldn’t say ‘annexed,’ they just want their own interests and ideology to prevail, …they wouldn’t be supporting *incompetence and overt fascism* in free countries if they were really looking to take direct control any time soon. The Russian oligarchs and theocrats want what they want and that’s easier if everywhere else is *wrecked.* Kind of like Republican strategy in the Rust belt: they aren’t there to *win,* they’re there to ‘destroy hostile territory.’ And of course lot while they’re at it.

    • The_Wretched

      The Russian Federation doesn’t want to be in charge of us. They want us to collapse and fall apart. It’s cruel revenge not domination.

  • canoebum

    Step One to invoke the 25th Amendment removal of the President, due to his inability to perform his duties.

    • billbear1961

      I’ve read that if the president resists removal, it goes to Congress, where a two-thirds majority of BOTH chambers would be required to back up the vice president’s and Cabinet’s invocation of the 25th Amendment. Otherwise, the president would be reinstated.

      • Halou

        So it is impossible to do through legal means.

        • billbear1961

          The GOP Congress is betraying the republic.

          It is THEY who are behaving illegally by shoving aside the Constitution and the Rule of Law, not WE who must defend BOTH by whatever means proves NECESSARY.

          How can it be an illegal act to oust an ILLEGAL government??

          • bzrd

            Declaration of Independence

          • billbear1961

            Yes, a declaration of independence from a TYRANNY that is defying the Constitution.

          • Halou

            I didn’t want to say ‘nonviolent’ there because I din’t want to come across as inciting. But yeah. If there is a rebellion against the Trump regime I believe it will be morally justified.

        • billbear1961

          Both the Executive and Legislative branches are betraying us.

        • Jean-Marc in Canada

          Well, there’s always, you know, that amendment they love so much. Just putting it out there.

          • No, that never solves anything! And it would make him a hero to many. He needs to be tried and impeached by the GOP, that way their can’t be cries of it was the libtards who did this!!!

  • -M-

    What a concept, find common ground before agreeing to cooperate.

  • Dagoril

    So my take on this is that, finally, there is some push-back by the grownups against the idea of just allowing Putin to destroy NATO and the EU.

    • coram nobis

      Institutional memory. The current generation of generals and admirals (including the SecDef) started their careers with the Soviet Union as the main threat. We really HAVE been always preparing for war with Eurasia, and it’s a little hard to turn the carrier 180 degrees now.

  • andrew

    Unfortunately I don’t think that James Mattis will last long as Defense Secretary. He will be forced to oppose the insane ideas of Trump too often.

    • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson

      I don’t think they’ll touch him. The outrage it would cause would bring 45 down even faster. And it’s becoming pretty clear he’s going down. I’m sensing that the smarter Republicans are waiting for the right opportunity to jump ship. He’s a pariah, an untouchable. Yay!

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Umm, why the fuck would NATO ever work with the country it was created to defend against?

    • The_Wretched

      We did to an appreciable degree during the post soviet fall period. It was an attempt to reach out and find commonalities or joint purposes like hedging China. Putin, however, isn’t looking to work with us or to regularize relations. His aims are nothing less than to cause the west to fracture “like we did to them”.

      • It’s easy to see the KGB director in his actions. His eyes are the coldest I’ve ever seen. His smile never reaches his eyes.

        • The_Wretched

          I was going to say that’s remarkably stupid but these days, that’s what flies.

    • Friday

      Well, that would be a different story if Russia weren’t being actively hostile to Western democracies.

    • coram nobis

      Si vis pacem, para bellum.

      • Raising_Rlyeh

        I like this phrase from the Aeneid
        Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo

  • Gerry Fisher

    Should we like him, a little?! (I’m wary.)

    • I’m beginning to think he might be an all right kinda guy. At this point, unless cheetolini tosses him out, he might be the only one of his cabinet who could rein him in, and possibly prevent us going to war.

      • coram nobis

        Indeed, and under the Goldwater-Nichols Act, the SecDef is, along with the President, the national command authority. Carries more weight than the usual cabinet secretary.

    • Friday

      His policies wouldn’t necessarily be what we want but he doesn’t seem to be the usual raving looney bent on doing the opposite of what his post is for that’s pretty standard for Trump appointees.

  • mjcc1987

    Well, Trump, meet a man with honor. Man with honor, I’m sorry, but this is Donald Trump…

  • Here is an idea –
    Convince Russia to give back Crimea to Ukraine and stop the proxy war or whatever.
    Get Russia to join NATO
    Redefine NATO as a bulwark of Western civilization against other civilizations, instead of “defending Europe against aggression from Russia and the Warsaw Pact nations.

    This would lower tensions among western powers and would include Russia as a Western power.

    I know, it’s a bit of a stretch to include Russia as a part of “The West.” The EU, Britain and the US are pretty much a civilization built from the ashes of the Western Roman Empire, and has the Roman Catholic Church in its background. Russia represents a civilization that has its “Western” roots in the Eastern Roman/Byzantine Empire, with Othodox Christianity in its background.

    Both relate back to The Romans and FWIW, to Abrahamic faith systems.

    Or maybe I’ve had too much exposure to Toynbee . . .

    • mjcc1987

      I’m not sure the “west” vs “east”, “pasty white vs. brown and black” is in our collective best interest.

      • Part of the problem is those Abrahamic faith systems – too much conflict resides in those roots.

        I was thinking more as regional unifications leading to a “one world.” – start by matching up along cultural lines, and then Make it easier to get to the next step.

        It isn;t always geographical – (Australia/New Zealand” fit in with “The West” while North Africa and the Middle East (depending on whether Arabs and Israelis can unite, (the best thing for the region, else Israel ends up with “The West” and that makes for a powder keg) make another group; Iran and the Stans another (plus Bangladesh) Islamic grouping of non-Arab/Berbers; China, Japan, Vietnam Indonesia and the Philippines another. India, Burma and Thailand yet another; Central and South America another, and Sub-Saharan Africa (with or without south Africa, though best a “with”). one more.

        I’m not really thinking about conflict, but rather in regional cooperations to lead to the next step of global unity.

        But those Abrahamic religions infect most of the regional groupings – the best hope would be for them to evolve into civilized cooperation.

    • Gianni

      Would anyone be ready and willing to trust the Russian government and Putin if some such joining NATO would happen? The only way Russia joins NATO is after it destroys NATO and rebuilds an alliance that Putin can rule – like the former Soviet Russia ruled Eastern Europe. If it’s all his way, we’ve got a deal.

      • A quote from the Glasnost era – “Trust, but verify.”

        You do make a point, though. I do remember science fiction author Jerry Pournelle creating a “future” history where the US and Russia establish something called the “Co-Dominium.” Put the EU in as a third party, and it would be more stable, like a tripod.