"The clubbishness and groupthink that critics deplore as flaws are features to those that are members in good standing. Holding all the same main assumptions about the U.S. role in the world is the way to gain entry and it serves as a marker of status for those that belong."

It ain't just the foreign policy establishment. Noam Chomsky famously chided an MSM journalist who insisted that she was never told what she had to write. "Because you don't have to be told, otherwise you wouldn't have the job you do."

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This quote struck out to me: "I remember one of my peers raising his hand to ask how we could convince the American public that it was worth going to war to defend Montenegro, as we are obliged to under Article 5 of the NATO treaty."

Another consensus point of the Blob is that Article 5 obligates the US to go to war against in defense of other NATO states. This isn't a normative policy position, it's supposedly just a statement about what the US is obligated to do under the terms of the NATO treaty.

It is incorrect and it is not supported by the actual language of the treaty. Here is what it says:

"The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security."

Look at the operative language of the text above. It does not obligate any NATO member to do anything concrete. It says a member state "shall take such action as it deems necessary" in response to an attack. This, in other words, leaves what measured to take totally at the discretion of each individual member state. It does *not* require a member-state to go to war on behalf of other member-states in the event that they are attacked.

You do not need to be a genius or gone to a highly ranked law school to see this. You just need to actually read the document that everyone references. This is not a case of obscure or ambiguous language. Article 5 simply doesn't say what everyone in the Blob thinks it says.

This is a reminder that the term "Blob" is truly apt, because the Blob is a group of people who truly cannot think for themselves. They just adopt the consensus of the group, even on an issue is that is as straightforward as actually reading the text of Article 5 and seeing that it doesn't say what they think it says.

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"Speak up too loudly against a consensus position, and you are liable to be attacked as a “regime apologist” or possibly even an agent of another government." The only edit I would make to that statement is to change "are liable to be attacked" to "can count on being attacked." Aaron Maté (as one example) learned just how vitriolic "The Young Turks" (and plenty of others) can be for his bird-dogging the Russia-gate narrative and the OPCW Syria chemical weapons report. He is labeled as "on Putin's payroll" and "an Assad apologist." Integrity comes at a price which I can only guess has something to do with TAC's dismissal of Daniel.

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Another point I must make: the phrase "rules-based international order" is misleading, because the international order we have is not based on "rules," it is based on a *ruler*: the United States.

In the international order that we have had since the end of the Cold War (and arguably before), the United States determines what the rules are, determines who has breached the rules, and determines how the deviant will be punished. The rules, of course, do not apply to the United States, and they usually do not apply to countries with whom the US has a close relationship like the UK, France, Israel, or Saudi Arabia. For these countries, every facial violation of "the rules" is automatically excused based on any defenses or justifications that these countries offer.

This is not how the rule of law works. This is how politics works. Let's just call it what it is: a political order where the United States is firmly and exclusively on top, where examples are made of America's opponents and excuses are made for America's supposed-allies.

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Short version: The system that delivers our foreign policy is un-reformable. That makes for a very/very limited set of alternatives.

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