Dark Money – from my November 17 Facebook post.

Book review time. As our country wills itself deeper into the morass, I’d like to point out three books, among others, that provide insight into what is going on. I’ve previously noted Jane Mayer’s Dark Money, the nuts and bolts of how the ultra- rich – think Koch brothers, corporate money – think Citizens United, and the reactionary right, have waged a campaign to buy state and federal elections, appoint judges, and control or manipulate the media and academia to overturn the liberal humanistic impulses of the ’60s. I’m currently reading Andrew J. Bacevich’s America’s War for the Greater Middle East, which documents our egregiously failed military campaigns, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the Middle East, sewing chaos and sectarian violence as we go, all the while periodically exclaiming “mission accomplished.” Yeah, it’s a good read. Finally, I recently read (courtesy of my daughter Amy at McGill-Queen’s University Press) Invasion 14, Maxence Van der Meersch’s “lightly fictionalized” account of life in German occupied France during the first world war, a truly gripping and nuanced look at the complexities of what happens when one power occupies another and attempts to impose its values. The account resonates with the current day because people don’t change, whether it’s in France or Vietnam or Iraq and Iran. They don’t take lightly to being coerced or told what to do. And often what one gets is a lesson in unintended and often tragic consequences.

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4 thoughts on “Dark Money – from my November 17 Facebook post.

  1. Dave, I think we must part on this one. This is the first time ever that I agree with a Trump statement. Putin sent him a note telling him that he was going to expend on increased nuclear armaments.
    Trump´s was an immediate, unequivocal response

    . It`s not going to go anywhere. He has served notice to Putin that if he wants to get into a nuclear race, he´ll grind Russia`s economy into the dust just as Reagan did the same with Gorbachev. A nuclear arms race will stretch the Russian economy to the breaking point. If I recall correctly their economy has been shrinking by at least 2% for the past three years. An arms race will suck off so much government expenditure that Russia`s economy will tank.

    Politically, he has successfully pivoted. He got in with the backing and help of Putin, but Trump has no loyalty at all to anyone.Putin thought he could play Trump but it won´t happen. Trump turns on everyone. That´s the nature of narcissism.

    Putin will probably back down and Trump will have completed the humiliation that Obama has wrought on our Russian dictator.

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    • Geof. Thanks for the comment. Your analysis may well be accurate as a description of Trump’s motivation. It may also be that Trump wins the verbal exchange with Putin. It is also clearly correct that Russia can not afford an extended arms race. Nonetheless, I think I am also accurate in describing what is going on as a game of machoing up and double dare. That is a dangerous game at any time. In particular, the talk about nukes as if their use is seriously in play increases the chance that a deranged party, feeling threatened, will actually use them.

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