This is my deal-breaker. What’s yours?

torturediagram-300x222I think that torture is the ultimate evil.  To kill someone is to make something happen that was going to happen anyway sometime.  To torture someone is to try to destroy the mind and soul while leaving the body alive.

That is why I will not vote for any political candidate who advocates torture, no matter how bad the alternative candidate might be.

That is my deal-breaker.  What’s yours?


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6 Responses to “This is my deal-breaker. What’s yours?”

  1. williambearcat Says:

    My deal breaker is stating that President Obama is deliberately trying to destroy the country.


  2. S Brennan Says:

    I’ve see this same article elsewhere.

    The technique of gratuitously describing some imagined, future event, in horribly graphic detail [In this case torture, but in Pych-Ops propaganda, all is fair game], to generate sympathy to the current regime. Just about anything can be justified with this tried and true technique. Indeed, we Invaded Iraq using just this technique to quiet those who objected. Racists trying to get the same effect use the rape of white women by black men.

    Conflating an uncertain future event with present day evils is effective. Think about what this article justifies. Obama/Hillary have murdered 350,000 innocent civilians in “wars of aggression” in order to effect “regime change” to please their financial backers, we destroyed Libya, Syria, Ukraine and effected a coup in Guatemala that has led thousands to the torturers table, far more than countenanced here, but that is all forgivable, thanks to this little fable. Neat trick huh?

    Next time one of your friends tells you “I’ll kill you for that”, take him up on it and murder him on the spot. What’s that you say? You would “never do that, the guy wasn’t serious”, he just said that as rhetorical flourish. But in the case of Mr. Trump, he must be serious, huh, because you believe it when he says he’ll build a 50 foot tall wall for over thousand miles and have Mexico pay for it…yeah right.

    The guy is substantially to the left of Hillary and he’s about to pull off a coup of the Republican party. And all “liberals” can do is clutch their pearls as he tears the Republican party leftward to positions Democrats abandoned in their rightward march back in the 1970’s,

    You are a good blogger just as Ian Welsh is, but spare me this this Pych-Ops propaganda…it’s pathetic.


  3. sglover Says:

    Gratuitous, idiotic wars are a deal-breaker for me. Unless Sanders pulls it out, I’m relegated to third parties.

    I gather that S Brennan is trying to defend Trump, on the basis that it’s only speculation and hysteria that Trump will encourage the use of torture. The only (heh) problem with that is that I have **heard** Trump shouting for “worse” tortures — naturally, to the joyful howls of his followers.

    As debased and sewer-like as American politics is, this is a new thing. Anybody who thinks this is some kind of healthy, boil-lancing candor, all in good fun, is deluding themselves.


  4. S Brennan Says:

    This posted argument on torture is meant to help only candidate, Hillary. Sanders doesn’t need arguments that are based on imagined horrors, only Hillary does and that’s where this story began it’s dissemination, Hillary’s [& DNC] mouthpieces.

    Yes, Trump is talking smack in attempt to achieve a bloodless coup of the Republican party, if he said the crap that the “I’ll vote for anybody with a [D] behind their name” crowd would have him say, he’d have as much chance as Webb did against Hillary.

    On Major issues:

    “The guy [Trump] is substantially to the left of Hillary and he’s about to pull off a coup of the Republican party. And all “liberals” can do is clutch their pearls as he tears the Republican party leftward to positions Democrats abandoned in their rightward march to Wall Street back in the 1970’s”


  5. sglover Says:

    @ S Brennan:
    A clown who talks up mass deportations and, again, torture isn’t pushing anybody or anything “left” in any meaningful way.

    And frankly, as lousy as Clinton is — and she is very lousy — she at least is not playing to the very worst, lizard brainstem impulses.

    Do you know that you are the first person ever who has actually nudged me toward voting for HRC, instead of the Greens?


  6. S Brennan Says:

    S Brennan permalink
    February 29, 2016

    Why they hate Trump
    by Justin Raimondo, February 29, 2016
    Print This | Share This

    On June 14, 1918, a nineteen year old Italian soldier by the name of Bernardo Vicario was ordered by his commander, Carl Rigoli, to carry out a curious task. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Italian forces would soon be hit with a furious bombardment that would mean the death of most of them. Rigoli clearly knew this, which is why he told young Bernardo to write an inscription on the ruined wall of a home in the village of Fagare, where they were holed up:

    “Better to live one day as a lion than a hundred years as a sheep.”

    Rigoli perished in the battle: Bernardo lived to tell the tale. And almost a hundred years later, a researcher looking for ways to smear GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump stumbled across a reference to it and attributed it to Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator.

    A reporter for Gawker, the notorious gossip site that’s been sued for libel more times than I care to discover, had set up a parody Twitter account named “Il Duce,” and the reporter, one Ashley Feinberg, tweeted the not-said-by-Mussolini quote at Trump, who promptly retweeted it. Shortly afterward, Trump was confronted by reporter Chuck Todd, who wanted to know why he was retweeting something said by Mussolini. Trump wouldn’t back down: “It’s a great quote,” he said, quite correctly. That refusal, and the content of the quote itself, underscores and explains why he is wining and why the hysterical smear campaign directed at him and his campaign is failing big-time.

    But why – why do they hate him with such ferocity? The accusations of “racism” and the way he speaks without regard for upper class niceties doesn’t explain the intensity of the hatred coming from the journalistic wolf pack and the Washington crowd. After all, shortly after Trump raised the issue of whether we should allow Muslims into the United States, the House of Representatives passed a bill – supported by libertarians like Rand Paul as well as mainline Republicans and Democrats – making it all but impossible for immigrants from Muslim countries to resettle here, or to even get a tourist visa. Yet we heard very little about that.

    So where is all this vitriol coming from? David Stockman, former chief of the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan, nails it:

    “To be sure, there is much that is ugly, superficial and stupid about Donald Trump’s campaign platform, if you can call it that, or loose cannon oratory to be more exact. More on that below, but at the heart of his appeal are two propositions which strike terror in the hearts of the Imperial City’s GOP operatives.

    “To wit, he is loudly self-funding his own campaign and bombastically insisting that America is getting a bad deal everywhere in the world.

    “The first of these propositions explicitly tells the legions of K-Street lobbies to take a hike, thereby posing a mortal threat to the fund raising rackets which are the GOPs lifeblood. And while the “bad deal” abroad is superficially about NAFTA and our $500 billion trade deficit with China, it is really an attack on the American Imperium.

    “The American people are sick and tired of the Lindsey Graham/John McCain/George Bush/neocon wars of intervention and occupation; and they resent the massive fiscal burdens of our outmoded but still far-flung alliances, forward bases and apparatus of security assistance and economic aid. They especially have no patience for the continued huge cost of our commitments to cold war relics like NATO, the stationing of troops in South Korea and the defense treaty with the incorrigible Japanese, who still blatantly rig their trade rules against American exports.

    “In short, The Donald is tapping a nationalist/isolationist impulse that runs deep among a weary and economically precarious main street public. He is clever enough to articulate it in the bombast of what sounds like a crude trade protectionism. Yet if Pat Buchanan were to re-write his speech, it would be more erudite and explicit about the folly of the American Imperium, but the message would be the same.”

    All this was on display during the Houston GOP debate, and yet its significance was lost amid all the histrionics. To begin with, look at this exchange between former AIPAC employee Wolf Blitzer, the moderator, and Trump:

    “BLITZER: You said this about the ongoing conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians – I’m quoting you now: ‘Let me be sort of a neutral guy. I don’t want to say whose fault it is, I don’t think it helps.’

    “TRUMP: Right.

    “BLITZER: Here’s the question. How do you remain neutral when the U.S. considers Israel to be America’s closest ally in the Middle East?

    “TRUMP: Well, first of all, I don’t think they do under President Obama because I think he’s treated Israel horribly, all right? I think he’s treated Israel horribly. I was the grand marshall down 5th Avenue a number of years ago for the Israeli Day Parade, I have very close ties to Israel. I’ve received the Tree of Life Award and many of the greatest awards given by Israel.

    “As president, however, there’s nothing that I would rather do to bring peace to Israel and its neighbors generally. And I think it serves no purpose to say that you have a good guy and a bad guy.

    “Now, I may not be successful in doing it. It’s probably the toughest negotiation anywhere in the world of any kind. OK? But it doesn’t help if I start saying, “I am very pro-Israel, very pro, more than anybody on this stage.” But it doesn’t do any good to start demeaning the neighbors, because I would love to do something with regard to negotiating peace, finally, for Israel and for their neighbors.

    “And I can’t do that as well – as a negotiator, I cannot do that as well if I’m taking … sides.”

    That is nothing short of remarkable, especially if one recalls the Mitt Romney-Barack Obama debate in which both competed with the other in proclaiming their absolute fealty to Israel and their refusal to even recognize that there are two sides to the issue. Marco Rubio was outraged by this unprecedented display of common sense, and launched into one of his robo-responses, repeating word-for-word some editorial he’d probably read in Commentary or the Weekly Standard. And in the course of it he said something remarkably stupid: “The Palestinians are not a real estate deal, Donald.”

    Now one assumes he meant the Israeli-Palestinian conflict isn’t about a real estate deal, but the reality is that’s precisely what it is – a real estate deal gone bad. It’s all about land. And it will take fair-minded negotiating and – yes – deal-making to solve that festering problem. Rubio cannot acknowledge this because his donors won’t let him. As a creature of Imperial Washington – where Israel is always right and the Palestinians are always wrong – Rubio can’t allow himself to say or even think that.

    Another example of why Trump has roused the ire of the political class: in refuting Rubio’s misleading accusation that he did not change his position in August 2011 and come out publicly against the Libyan intervention and starting another war in Syria – both of which he has denounced in no uncertain terms – Trump said this:

    “If these politicians went to the beach and didn’t do a thing, and we had Saddam Hussein and if we had Gadhafi in charge, instead of having terrorism all over the place, we’d be – at least they killed terrorists, all right?

    “And I’m not saying they were good because they were bad, they were really bad, but we don’t know what we’re getting. You look at Libya right now, ISIS, as we speak, is taking over their oil. As we speak, it’s a total mess.

    “We would have been better off if the politicians took a day off instead of going into war.”

    I bolded the above because it succinctly sums up not only the Trumpian foreign policy but also Trump’s critique of the past twenty years. And to make things even scarier for the War Party, he wants us to pull back from policing the world to attend to business that must be attended to:

    “We can no longer defend all of these countries, Japan, Germany, South Korea. You order televisions, you order almost anything, you’re getting it from these countries. Whether it’s a Mercedes-Benz, or whether it’s an air conditioning unit. They’re coming out of these countries. They are making a fortune. Saudi Arabia, we are defending Saudi Arabia. Before Before the oil went down, now they’re making less, but they’re making plenty. They were making $1 billion dollars a day.

    “We defend all of these countries for peanuts. You talk about budgets. We have to start getting reimbursed for taking care of the military services for all of these countries.”

    Trump has called for pulling US troops out of Europe, where they’ve been sitting since the end of World War II: these countries are rich, he argues, and have to start defending themselves. He also questions what they have to be afraid of in Putin’s Russia, declaring he could get along with the Russian leader, with the implicit assumption being they could too.

    Indeed, Trump challenges every major new American incursion into regions where it doesn’t belong: Syria, where he wonders why we’re subsidizing “rebels” and “we don’t’ know who they are”; Ukraine, which he disdains as simply a backwater where we have no interests; and Libya, where he points to the chaos caused by Hillary’s war and where we’re getting ready to revisit.

    Trump represents a deadly challenge to the high command of the War Party – the neoconservatives who lied us into war in Iraq – and were called out for it by him. These people are the main driving force that is ideologically committed to maintaining Washington’s imperial pretensions even as we plunge further into bankruptcy. They are behind the vicious smear campaign that equates Trump with Mussolini, Hitler, David Duke, and the Devil himself. They see that they are losing control of the GOP – their pathway to power – and they are reacting like the cornered rats they are.

    If Trump gets the Republican nomination the neocons are through as a viable political force on the Right. That’s why National Review devoted a whole issue of their magazine to the theme “Against Trump.” That’s why the neocons’ allies in the media are going after him hammer and tongs. That’s why neocons like Robert Kagan are openly declaring they will support Hillary Clinton, while others – including the formerly libertarian network of organizations funded by Charles and David Koch – are financing a “Stop Trump” campaign. There is even talk of the (impractical) idea of running a third party candidate in order to take votes away from Trump.

    The rats are converging, squealing up a storm of abuse, and resorting to the most obvious smear tactics in order to keep their bread-and-butter on the table. Yet this, too, will backfire, just as all the other attempts to stop Trump have flopped – because people have had enough. They beyond angry – indeed, they’re happy! Overjoyed by the sight of the political class on the run – and determined to make them run even faster.

    I hear Trump wears a bullet-proof vest, and has done so for years. If I were him I’d guard my head – and watch my back.

    This is not to say I personally give one iota of political support to Trump – and doesn’t endorse candidates for any office, period. David Stockman’s piece, linked above, describes some of the pitfalls of Trumpismo, which I fully endorse. Yet that is not my purpose here.

    If Trump secures the nomination, the way is paved for transforming the GOP from the party of perpetual war to the party that honors the long-forgotten “isolationist” Sen. Robert A. Taft, who used to be celebrated as “Mr. Republican.” And if Trump actually wins the White House, the military-industrial complex is finished, along with the globalists who dominate foreign policy circles in Washington. While Trump is no libertarian, the effect of this sea-change in the foreign policy realm will be to objectively cut the dominance of federal power in our lives, first of all by saving us from bankruptcy and freeing up resources for the private sector, and secondly by reducing the blowback that has empowered terrorists.

    Don’t be fooled: GOP bigwigs aren’t afraid Trump will lose to Hillary. They’re afraid he’ll win.

    Trump, for all his crudity and contradictions, represents a populist uprising against the Empire and those who profit from our imperialist foreign policy. That’s why the political class hates him – and has vowed to destroy him.


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