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Süddeutsche Zeitung vom 19.11.2019

"Trumps Zickzackkurs"


Hubert Wetzel konstatiert ein Hin-und-Her des US-Präsidenten in seiner aktuellen Iran-Strategie. "Im Umgang mit Iran legt US-Präsident Trump einen Zickzackkurs hin. Einerseits droht er mit militärischer Vergeltung, andererseits setzt er auf Wirtschaftssanktionen und lässt die Tür für Verhandlungen offen. Welche Sicht sich am Ende durchsetzt, hängt auch davon ab, welche Berater am meisten Gehör finden werden."

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung vom 16.11.2019

"Donald Trump begnadigt Kriegsverbrecher"


US-Präsident Trump habe sich gegen den Rat des Pentagons in Militärverfahren gegen drei Soldaten eingemischt, berichtet Andreas Ross. "Oberleutnant Clint Lorance trug seine Uniform, als er am Freitagabend das Gefängnis auf dem Armeestützpunkt Fort Leavenworth in Kansas verließ. Ein Militärtribunal hatte Lorance 2013 wegen Mordes zweiten Grades zu neunzehn Jahren Haft verurteilt. Er hatte im Jahr davor in Afghanistan Soldaten seines Zugs befohlen, auf drei Afghanen zu schießen, die auf Motorrädern unterwegs waren. Alle drei Männer waren unbewaffnet, zwei kamen ums Leben. Doch für Donald Trump war Lorance zu hart bestraft worden. Am Freitag begnadigte der Präsident und Oberbefehlshaber der amerikanischen Streitkräfte den Soldaten nach sechs Jahren Haft. Außerdem mischte er sich in zwei ähnlich gelagerte Fälle mutmaßlicher Kriegsverbrechen ein. Er begnadigte einen weiteren Soldaten und nahm die Degradierung eines dritten zurück. Nach übereinstimmenden Medienberichten hatten Verteidigungsminister Mark Esper und andere Vertreter des Pentagons das Weiße Haus vor dem Schritt gewarnt."

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NPR vom 14.11.2019

"A Legacy Of Torture Is Preventing Trials At Guantánamo"


Sacha Pfeiffer hält es für möglich, dass der mutmaßliche 9/11-Chefplaner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed und andere Gefangene in Guantanamo Bay aufgrund ihrer systematischen Folter durch die CIA nie vor ein Gericht gestellt werden. "If you travel to Guantánamo, interview attorneys for its prisoners, read its military court transcripts, and review unclassified government documents, this becomes clear: Torture is a major reason there has still been no trial — and may never be one — for alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other Guantánamo prisoners. It's an impediment to trial partly because evidence obtained through torture is rarely admissible in court, potentially weakening prosecution efforts. In addition, information that remains secret, such as the identities of the torturers, could become public at trial, and 'the CIA absolutely does not want that to happen,' said Rick Kammen, the former lead defense attorney for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who is charged with orchestrating the October 2000 USS Cole naval warship bombing and has been held at Guantánamo for 13 years. The prisoner abuse detailed in the Senate Intelligence Committee's 2014 report on the CIA's torture program 'probably represents 30% of the reality,' said Kammen, whose role representing a detainee gave him access to some still-classified details. 'The reality is far more brutal and far worse than what is known to the public.' 'As a criminal defense lawyer, I thought my ability to be shocked was pretty high,' he added, 'and yet some of the things I've seen and read are genuinely breathtaking and horrifying.'"

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Common Dreams vom 13.11.2019

"The So-Called War on Terror Has Killed Over 801,000 People and Cost $6.4 Trillion: New Analysis"


Das Costs of War Project des Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs hat einen neuen Bericht über die Kosten des amerikanischen "Kriegs gegen den Terror" veröffentlicht. "The so-called War on Terror launched by the United States government in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks has cost at least 801,000 lives and $6.4 trillion according to a pair of reports published Wednesday by the Costs of War Project at Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. 'The numbers continue to accelerate, not only because many wars continue to be waged, but also because wars don't end when soldiers come home,' said Costs of War co-director and Brown professor Catherine Lutz, who co-authored the project's report on deaths. 'These reports provide a reminder that even if fewer soldiers are dying and the U.S. is spending a little less on the immediate costs of war today, the financial impact is still as bad as, or worse than, it was 10 years ago,' Lutz added. 'We will still be paying the bill for these wars on terror into the 22nd century.'"

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USA Today vom 13.11.2019

"As the deep state attacks Trump to rave media reviews, don't forget its dark side"


James Bovard stellt überrascht fest, dass der "Tiefe Staat", der vor wenigen Monaten von vielen Leitmedien in den USA noch als Verschwörungstheorie abgetan worden sei, in denselben Blättern nun als patriotische Bastion gegen Präsident Trump gefeiert werde. Dabei werde die dunkle Seite dieses "Tiefen Staates" bereitwillig ignoriert. "A year ago, the deep state was routinely reviled as a figment of paranoid right-wingers’ imagination. But much of the news media are now conferring the same sainthood on the deep state that was previously bestowed on special counsel Robert Mueller. (…) Former CIA Director John Brennan (…) declared, 'The reason why Mr. Trump has this very contentious relationship with CIA and FBI and the deep state people ... is because they tell the truth.' Much of the news coverage of the Trump impeachment is following that storyline — even though it is astonishing as an overheated Trump tweet. (…) It is worse than naive to expect the deep state to provide an antidote to the venality of American politics. The agencies now being exalted have some of the longest records of deceit and crimes. The secrecy that has shrouded U.S. intelligence, surveillance and military operations has done nothing to make former Boy Scouts and church choir members ascend to key policymaking positions. The Trump-deep state clash is a showdown between a presidency that has become far too powerful versus federal agencies that have become fiefdoms that enjoy immunity for almost any and all abuses. Regardless of the outcome of the congressional impeachment investigation, can the political system pull in the reins on imperious agencies? It is unlikely."

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The National Interest vom 13.11.2019

"What Impeachment Really Reveals About Ukraine"


Der erste Tag der öffentlichen Impeachment-Anhörung hat nach Ansicht von Hunter DeRensis demonstriert, dass es bei dem Verfahren weniger um persönliche Vergehen Trumps, als um die Ablehnung seiner sicherheitspolitischen Strategie gehe. Die Ukraine werde dabei als enger Verbündeter der USA im Kampf gegen Russland dargestellt, der vom US-Präsidenten durch die Zurückhaltung von Militärhilfe im Stich gelassen worden sei. "According to [William B. Taylor, acting ambassador to Ukraine], 'the security assistance we provide is crucial to Ukraine’s defense and to the protection of the soldiers I met last week. It demonstrates to Ukrainians — and Russians — that we are Ukraine’s reliable strategic partner. It is clearly in our national interest to deter further Russian aggression.' Maybe so, but how is that best accomplished? Is it better to pursue a modern-day version of détente with Russia, as Trump seems inclined to do, or is it better to engage in a standoff with Moscow? Taylor seems to believe that it’s not even permissible to debate this issue. What’s more, Taylor puts the onus on Washington to prove its bona fides to Kiev rather than the reverse. It’s quite remarkable that Trump should have to display his credibility to Ukraine instead of it showing him that there is a benefit to America assisting a country that has been riven by blatant corruption, infighting and intrigue for decades."

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Politico vom 13.11.2019

"Taylor's bombshell and 12 more big impeachment hearing moments"


Politico nennt zwölf bemerkenswerte Momente der ersten öffentlichen Impeachment-Anhörung gegen US-Präsident Trump und verweist dabei vor allem auf die Aussage des Diplomaten William Taylor. "U.S. diplomat William Taylor’s opening statement contained some startling new information he said he’d learned just last Friday from a member of his staff. The staffer was with Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, in Kyiv on July 26. That was the day after President Donald Trump held a key call with his Ukrainian counterpart. According to Taylor, the staffer told him that while at a restaurant, Sondland called Trump. 'The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone, asking Ambassador Sondland about 'the investigations.'' 'Ambassador Sondland told President Trump that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward,' Taylor recounted. 'Following the call with President Trump, the member of my staff asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden.'"

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Los Angeles Times vom 08.11.2019

"The Berlin Wall fell and the U.S. learned the wrong lessons. It got us Donald Trump"


30 Jahre nach dem Mauerfall seien die falschen Lehren, die die USA aus dem Ende des Kalten Krieges gezogen hätten, immer noch spürbar, meint Andrew Bacevich. "In their preferred reading, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 had rendered a conclusive and irreversible verdict destined to shape the future, with the United States of America empowered to do the shaping. This led, once more, to politics decoupled from reason. We live today with the consequences of this decoupling: the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11, multiple wars that beg comparison with Vietnam in their folly, and, however obliquely, the bizarre presidency of Donald Trump. You won’t hear it from any of the candidates vying to succeed Trump, but we are still haunted by our false conception of the Cold War. On the stump, politicians get away with reciting comforting clichés about the imperative of American global leadership. Yet the time for believing such malarkey is long gone. An essential first step toward recoupling national security policy and reason is to see the Cold War for what it was: not a 'long, twilight struggle' ending in victory, but a vast and costly tragedy that inflicted needless suffering, brought humankind absurdly close to extinction, and from which U.S. policymakers have drawn all the wrong lessons. The anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall offers an occasion not for celebration but for somber and long overdue reflection."

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Foreign Affairs vom 07.11.2019

"America’s Original Identity Politics"


Charles King kritisiert die Konzeption des Nationalismus im Buch "The Case for Nationalism: How It Made Us Powerful, United, and Free" von Rich Lowry dagegen als "fehlerhaft". "The problem with nationalism, the British historian Eric Hobsbawm once wrote, is that it requires too much belief in what isn’t so. Lowry’s claims rest on a maddening evasiveness when it comes to definitions. At times he uses the word 'nation' to refer to a social group. At other times the word stands for a sovereign country or for the institutions and practices of a state. This slipperiness allows Lowry to make the strangest arguments, which collapse upon the slightest interrogation. (…) Lowry is eager to make the case for American exceptionalism, but his book is ample evidence against it. His nationalism is essentially that of every other contemporary demagogue — Viktor Orban, Jair Bolsonaro, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Rodrigo Duterte, and Donald J. Trump — repackaged as radical truth-telling."

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung vom 07.11.2019

"Twitter-Mitarbeiter sollen für Saudi-Arabien spioniert haben"


Zwei Twitter-Mitarbeitern wird vom US-Justizministerium Spionage für Saudi-Arabien vorgeworfen. "Demnach sollen die beiden Männer, ein Amerikaner und ein saudischer Staatsbürger, ihre Stellung bei dem Internetkonzern dazu benutzt haben, private Kontoinformationen von Regierungskritikern zu beschaffen. Es sei das erste Mal, dass die Bundesbehörden Saudi-Arabien offiziell Agententätigkeit vorwerfen."

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Voice of America vom 05.11.2019

"Trump Wants Mexican Drug Cartels 'Wiped Off the Face of the Earth'"


Neun Mitglieder einer prominenten Mormonen-Familie aus den USA, darunter sechs Kinder, sind in Mexiko bei einem Überfall erschossen worden. Steve Herman berichtet, dass US-Präsident Trump den Präsidenten Mexikos daraufhin zu einem offenen Krieg gegen die Drogenkartelle aufgerufen habe. "President Donald Trump says Mexican drug cartels must be 'wiped off the face of the Earth,' after suspected gang members massacred nine U.S. women and children in northern Mexico. The drug cartel members apparently mistook the victims' SUVs for those of a rival drug gang, the Mexican security minister believes. 'If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these monsters, the United States stands ready, willing & able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively,' Trump tweeted. He offered to help Mexico 'wage war' against the cartels. But Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrado rejected that approach, saying previous Mexican governments have tried a military solution and 'it didn't work.' 'The worst thing you can have is war,' he said."

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The American Conservative vom 05.11.2019

"It’s Time for a Neo-Nixonian Foreign Policy"


Greg R. Lawson erinnert an die außenpolitische Kursänderung der USA unter Präsident Nixon, der sich 1972 mit seinem historischen Besuch in Peking von ideologischen Vorbehalten abwandte und die pragmatische Öffnung zu China einleitete. Nun sei es an der Zeit für eine geopolitisch begründete Abkehr von diesem Kurs, so Lawson. "First and foremost, China and Russia should not ally. This would be a geopolitical disaster for the U.S., which is why it has been a cornerstone for much of Cold War policy since the Nixon era. (…) This calls for recasting the American relationship with Russia at a fundamental level. Specifically, Russia should be split from China in a way not dissimilar from how President Nixon and Henry Kissinger worked to exploit the Sino-Soviet split to counterbalance the Soviets. At that time, China was clearly the weaker power in the triangular diplomatic gambit. Today, it is Russia. NATO should informally recognize that Russia would have what amounts to a sphere of influence. There will be a red line, but the red line will not be set in any former Soviet republic. Ukraine and Georgia will never be admitted into NATO and must remain essentially neutral entities between the West and Russia. If Russia’s western frontiers can be managed, the U.S. should actively encourage Moscow to shift its focus towards Central Asia."

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The Atlantic vom 04.11.2019

"Nationalism Is a Form of Love, Not Hate"


Rich Lowry verteidigt den Nationalismus in diesem Auszug aus seinem neuen Buch "The Case for Nationalism: How It Made Us Powerful, United, and Free" gegen seine vielen Kritiker. "The Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s 2016 victory, as well as the rise of nationalist governments in Central and Eastern Europe, have swept nationalism to the fore of the public debate, but have not necessarily led to greater understanding. Nationalism is still often assumed to be an inherently nefarious force. It is true that it can be abused for illiberal ends, but the basic impetus for it — for a self-governing people to occupy a distinct territory — is elemental. (…) nationalism isn’t just old, natural, deep-seated, and extremely difficult to suppress. It is also the foundation of a democratic political order. Regardless, anyone who believes that it can be easily repressed in favor of some other, supposedly more broad-minded loyalty is profoundly mistaken."

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Asia Times vom 04.11.2019

"5G policy 'biggest strategic disaster in US history'"


Ein Berater des US-Präsidenten hat David P. Goldman zufolge davor gewarnt, dass die USA bei der Weichenstellung für die kommenden 5G-Netzwerke vor dem "größten strategischen Desaster der US-Geschichte" stehen könnten. Der US-Regierung sei es nicht gelungen, China eine prominente Rolle beim globalen 5G-Ausbau zu verwehren. Hinzu kämen eigene Versäumnisse wie eine inkompetente Regulierung und Fehler von US-Unternehmen. "The adviser has urged President Trump to make a radical policy shift to ensure that the United States isn’t late to roll out 5G. The US president hasn’t yet made a decision, the adviser said. The US military controls most of the spectrum that civilian 5G broadband would use, and the major US telecom providers are holding back from a full commitment to 5G, the adviser added. (…) If President Trump backs away from the global campaign against Huawei championed by US intelligence agencies and focuses instead on accelerating America’s own 5G rollout, prospects for an early end to the US-China trade war will improve markedly. China doesn’t like American pressure to reduce the bilateral trade deficit but is willing to buy more US agricultural products and energy to placate a protectionist president. American attempts to stifle Huawei, though, are viewed by China as an existential issue: If the United States can’t accept the fact that China has taken leadership in an important field of technology, the Chinese believe, it means that America wants to stifle China’s development. In that case, China would hunker down for a long-term trade war."

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New York Times vom 01.11.2019

"Trump’s Opposition to ‘Endless Wars’ Appeals to Those Who Fought Them"


US-Präsident Trump hat den Rückzug von US-Truppen aus Syrien mit seiner grundsätzlichen Ablehnung der "endlosen Kriege" der USA begründet. Unter US-Veteranen stößt diese Position Jennifer Steinhauer zufolge auf große Zustimmung. "Nearly two decades after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, polls show that a majority of all veterans have grown disenchanted with the continuing wars, even if the national security elite in both parties continue to press for an American military presence in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The view is in stark contrast to widespread support for the wars across the military and veterans community — and the general population — when President George W. Bush first sent American troops to Afghanistan and then Iraq. The shifting attitudes of so many who served in the wars help explain why Mr. Trump has support among veterans as he brings troops home and has resisted military action against other nations. There is a slow but steadily increasing alliance of those on the left and the right on Capitol Hill to curb what Mr. Trump calls 'endless wars.'"

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