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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

 
Simply the best

by digby

























The Donald doesn't need to consult with anyone but himself, we know that. He has a very good brain. But he apparently does have a few people he bounces ideas off of on foreign policy. From TPM:
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump finally released at least a partial list of the people (other than himself) he says are advising him on foreign policy, the The Washington Post reported Monday.

The list of five men includes no heavyweights from any of the main schools of foreign policy thought.

Trump had been promising for months to make such a list public, but had delayed it repeatedly. He provided the list in a meeting with the Washington Post's editorial board.

Trump's admittance that he's receiving advice on foreign policy comes in advance of a scheduled speech Monday at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference.

Here's who Trump told the Post was advising him:

Walid Phares, who you probably know. Ph.D., adviser to the House of Representatives. He’s a counter-terrorism expert. Carter Page, Ph.D. George Papadopoulos. He’s an oil and energy consultant. Excellent guy. The honorable Joe Schmitz, [was] inspector general at the Department of Defense. General Keith Kellogg. And I have quite a few more. But that’s a group of some of the people that we are dealing with. We have many other people in different aspects of what we do. But that’s pretty representative group.
Trump said he'd be releasing more names of his advisers. He had said just last week when asked who his advisers were that he was speaking to himself "number one."

Right Wing Watch fills us in on the first person mentioned on his list:

It shouldn’t be that surprising that an anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist like Trump is taking advice from Phares, who believes that the Obama administration is “being advised and suggested to by Muslim Brotherhood either fronts or advisers or sympathizers” and “has decided to quit the ideological confrontation” against terrorist groups.

Adam Serwer reported back in 2011, when Phares signed on as an adviser to Mitt Romney, that Phares “was a high ranking political official in a sectarian religious militia responsible for massacres during Lebanon's brutal, 15-year civil war” and worked as “a close adviser to Samir Geagea, a Lebanese warlord.”

In 1978, the Lebanese Forces emerged as the umbrella group of the assorted Christian militias. According to former colleagues, Phares became one of the group's chief ideologists, working closely with the Lebanese Forces' Fifth Bureau, a unit that specialized in psychological warfare.



That ideology, some experts say, helped rationalize the indiscriminate sectarian violence that characterized the conflict. "There were lots of horrendous, horrendous atrocities that took place during that civil war, in part fueled by that fairly hateful ideology," says a former State Department official and Middle East expert.
It’s almost fitting that Trump would select a person with ties to a militia group that committed atrocities, as the GOP frontrunner has pledged to order the military to commit war crimes if he’s elected president.

But don't worry. Everyone says he's really an isolationist so it's all good. All that bellicose bombast about making the rest of the world stop laughing at us and building up the military and "bombing the shit out of 'em" is just talk.

And by the way, a reminder that his alleged Iraq war opposition is total bullshit. As the war was starting, Trump was quite excited about the financial prospects:

Trump, (March 21, 2003): Well, I think Wall Street’s waiting to see what happens but even before the fact they’re obviously taking it a little bit for granted that it looks like a tremendous success from a military standpoint and I think this is really nothing compared to what you’re going to see after the war is over.

Cavuto: What do you mean?

Trump: Well, I think Wall Street’s just going to go up like a rocket even beyond and it’s going to continue and – you know we have a strong and powerful country and let’s hope it all works out.

Cavuto: … Why are you so optimistic?

Trump: Well, I think a couple of things. I really feel that the key is that interest rates — beyond the war interest rates are going to have to stay stable and low. That’s going to be very important. And if you really look at Wall Street, Wall Street’s come down thousands and thousands of points over the last number of years. So really, I remember when we were sitting here saying two years ago that Wall Street is going to be double what it was two years ago and a lot of people didn’t believe that and I didn’t believe that, but there were plenty of very intelligent people who said yes. I think that Wall Street will be going up and the market will be going up and there’s great confidence in this great country.

Cavuto: You know there is a feeling abroad, Donald, that the French don’t like us, the Germans don’t like us. There were protests abroad still continuing around the globe today from Asia to Africa and that there’s going to be hell to pay that maybe some of these same people will prove their wrath by not investing in this country, by doing all sorts of nasty things, do you buy that?

Trump: Well, the I guess the French never liked us much except when we were bailing them out, to be totally honest with you. But certainly were going to have to work on our public relations because there’s no question there are a lot of countries right now that aren’t too fond of us. I think that can be solved and probably pretty quickly. The main thing is to get the war over with and just make it a tremendously successful campaign and it will be very interesting to see what kind of weapons they find.

Spoken like a true isolationist populist. You can see why so many people think he's "a different kind of Republican."


Update: At Trump's "press conference" yesterday he said today that unlike him, Hillary Clinton doesn't know anything about foreign policy and his "prognostications" have all been right.


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