VOX POLICY AND POLITICS: We asked 6 political scientists if Bernie Sanders would have a shot in a general election

Updated by Jeff Stein on February 5, 2016, 3:00 p.m. ET

Bernie Sanders has gone from long-shot candidate to a real contender for the Democratic nomination for president.

Were Democrats to make the “democratic socialist” from Vermont their nominee, would he have a chance of winning a general election?

We posed that question to six of the country’s top political scientists, and their answers were broadly consistent: Under some unlikely circumstances, Sanders could win a general election. But nominating him would make it significantly more difficult for Democrats to keep the White House.

“[Sanders’s] political views are more toward the ideological pole than the average voter’s,” said John Sides, a professor in political science at George Washington University, in an email. “Absent a very favorable set of conditions, nominating a candidate like Sanders as opposed to a more moderate Democrat creates the risk of a penalty at the ballot box.”
The famous social science experiment that shows why Sanders would be easy to beat

But that in turn raises another (perhaps more obvious) question: What turns people off from extreme ideas? Why are voters less likely to support candidates who propose more radical solutions?

That question may be answered by a series of famous social science studies conducted several decades ago by Princeton University professor Daniel Kahneman, according to Bruce Miroff, a political science professor at the University at Albany.

The researchers found that people were much more upset by the prospect of losing some amount of their money than they were made happy by the prospect of gaining the same amount. The upshot: People have a strong psychological fear of loss — even when they know it might result in a better long-term outcome.

“If you offer people the opportunity for gain against the fear of loss, the fear of loss is twice as psychologically powerful as the hope for gain,” Miroff said.

This phenomenon is called “loss aversion,” and it holds true for political psychology as well as behavioral economics, according to Miroff.

There are many of good examples of this at work in our political system: the revolt against “Hillarycare” in the 1990s, the panic over George Bush’s plans to privatize Social Security in the early 2000s, and, more recently, the public souring on Obamacare. (Obama’s promise that people who liked their plan could keep it was dubbed the lie of the year.)

This dynamic could hurt Sanders, who proposes policies that promise a big upside — but only through serious disruption that the other side will portray as fundamentally dangerous and risky, Miroff said.

“Once the opposition starts saying, ‘That may help some people, but most of you are going to lose what you already got,’ the polls start plummeting,” Miroff said.

In a general election, for instance, Republicans could effectively (and accurately) portray Sanders’s single-payer health care proposal as one that would lead many people to lose what they already know and like. The long-term gains of reducing national health spending and increasing overall insurance rates would be abstract gains for many voters, and thus hard to sell against the fear of loss.

“Anyone who stakes out positions that will affect huge numbers of people — in that, the advantage goes to the opposition, because they can stoke fear,” Miroff said.
How voters decide who to vote for in elections

Fear of sudden, dramatic change could impede Sanders in a general election. But just as powerfully, Republicans could also successfully portray Sanders as out of step with the average American’s political views, according to the academics interviewed for this story.

There isn’t a lot of doubt that this would have a big impact in an election. Political scientists have had a pretty good idea since the 1950s of how voters tend to make their choices: by identifying which candidate fits closest to them on an ideological spectrum.

“They look and identify themselves on a liberal-conservative dimension, and they pick who is closer to them,” said Andrew Reeves, a professor of political science at Washington University in St. Louis. “From that perspective, Sanders is positioned fairly far out there on the left.”

There is some evidence that this year might be different, and that an unprecedented level of dissatisfaction with American government could lead the public to choose candidates who promise to break with the status quo. But even that force is very unlikely to override our most basic models for how voters act, Reeves said.

“Are [voters] going to abandon someone who is most close to them ideologically to go with someone who will shake things up?” Reeves said. “I don’t think there’s evidence to that effect yet.”

As Vox’s Matt Yglesias writes, President Barack Obama won in 2012 even though most voters found themselves more ideologically aligned with Mitt Romney. Sanders would have an even bigger ideological gap to close.

Chart from professors Lynn Vavreck and John Sides.
The history of “movement candidacies” in American presidential politics isn’t encouraging for Bernie fans

The social science research on voter tendencies is supported by modern American political history, which most of the experts referenced in expressing doubt with Sanders’s general election chances.

The two most frequently cited examples were the failed candidacies of George McGovern, the Democratic nominee who lost in a 24-point landslide to Richard Nixon in 1972, and Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee who carried just six states in 1964.

George McGovern speaks to many ILGWU supporters at an open-air campaign rally, Oct. 15, 1972

George McGovern at a campaign rally on October 15, 1972. McGovern’s defeat should give pause to liberals thinking Bernie Sanders could realign the electoral map overnight, political scientists say. (Courtesy of the Kheel Center at Cornell University)

None of the professors thought Sanders would, if nominated, lose by such huge margins. But they saw the historical comparison as telling of the steep odds facing anyone who breaks sharply from the political consensus, especially if the Republicans nominate a candidate — like Marco Rubio — perceived as within the mainstream.

“I think Sanders-Rubio is McGovern-Nixon,” said Seth McKee, a political science professor at Texas Tech University. “I think it’d be a blowout: I’d discount [Sanders] maybe 10 percent.”

Jedediah Purdy, a Duke University law professor who has written about American political identity, said that Sanders is trying to pull off something largely unprecedented in so quickly shifting his party’s platform.

Purdy framed it like this: Some presidential candidates really can transform the electoral landscape and capture the White House. But to do so successfully, these candidates are normally building on the groundwork laid by similar, prior campaigns.

“Goldwater’s movement campaign and the lessons mainstream Republicans took from it afterward made [Ronald] Reagan’s campaign possible in 1980 by rearranging the whole political landscape,” Purdy said in an email.

There’s not a lot of reason to believe Sanders could bring about this degree of change with his profoundly different platform, Purdy said.

“Sanders is trying to achieve realignment much more quickly than that,” Purdy said. “In terms of the suddenness and degree of his break with the mainstream, he looks like Goldwater in 1964 more than like Reagan.”
How much, exactly, would Democrats be hurt by nominating Sanders?

Let’s say you’re a Democrat who prefers Sanders to Clinton, but you worry that nominating Sanders would throw the presidency to a Republican. Is there a way to quantify the risk you’d be taking in rolling the dice with the less electable candidate?

Seth Masket, a political science professor at the University of Denver, said his best “ballpark estimate” is that Sanders would cost the Democratic Party 2 to 3 percentage points in a general election compared with a more conventional nominee.

“It’s not as big an effect as flipping a growing economy to one in recession,” Masket said. “It’s more like flipping a growing economy to a stalled one.”

Miroff, a political science professor at the University at Albany, said he thinks Masket’s estimate is likely too conservative.

“I’d say it’d have to be considerably higher than 2 to 3 points. I’m thinking the loss would be in the vicinity of 6 to 10 points,” Miroff said.

Republicans would find it easy to tie Sanders to the “socialist” label, Miroff said, adding that only 25 percent of the public trusts the government to carry out policies effectively.

“(Sanders) really has made radical, socialistic statements in the past about the redistribution of wealth and the expropriation of the oil industry,” Miroff said. “The full force of a Republican attack would find Sanders to be a convenient target.”

bernie sanders sentences

Bernie Sanders announces his campaign. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Why those head-to-head general election polls are “absolutely worthless”

In defense of their candidate’s electability, Sanders supporters have often turned to general election polls that show him doing well in head-to-head matchups with potential Republicans.

Sanders himself has recently embraced this argument, telling ABC News that he was the most electable candidate in part because of a poll showing him beating Donald Trump in a general election.

“Take a look at recent polls in which Bernie Sanders is matched with Republican candidates Trump on down [and] Hillary Clinton is matched with Republican candidates,” he said.

But it’s regarded as blindingly obvious among political scientists that these findings are essentially illusory, and that general election polls this far out are about as predictive now as a weather forecast for Election Day.

“The impressions people have of the eventual nominees months from now will be so different from today,” said McKee, the Texas Tech professor. “That’s a nice thing to point to, but what does a head-to-head poll mean in early February? … It’s worthless. It’s absolutely worthless.”
Was this article helpful?

NO. I’d never vote for a president that lies, and has a shameful history in foreign policy, was involved in the Whitewater case [Memos show Hillary ‘guilty of criminal fraud’ in Whitewater.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/02/memos-show-hillary-guilty-of-criminal-fraud-in-whitewater/#xffBdd9Be6xRSWpP.99received millions of dollars from big corporations, while bodies of Americans like the ambassador to Lybia Chris Stevens who had a horrific death because Mrs Clinton didn’t respond to Stevens his request for more protection. / Laura Bilbao

NEW YORK – Washington-based watchdog Judicial Watch has released 246 pages of previously undisclosed internal memos from Ken Starr’s Office of Independent Council investigation in 1998 showing prosecutors had evidence that Hillary Clinton and her associate Webb Hubbell at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Arkansas, were guilty of criminal fraud in the Whitewater affair.

Judicial Watch said the newly released documents also show Clinton and Hubbell engaged in a criminal cover-up conspiracy that included destroying material documents and lying under oath to federal authorities.

Their efforts, Judicial Watch said, were aimed at preventing the Whitewater affair from denying Bill Clinton the White House in 1992 and from derailing his presidency in its first term.

The ‘Stop Hillary’ campaign is on fire! Join the surging response to this theme: ‘Clinton for prosecution, not president’

In an presage of the drama unfolding as the FBI investigates the private email server Hillary Clinton used as secretary of state, the newly released documents also show that Starr declined prosecution in 1998 only out of concern a jury would not convict the first lady.

“These new Hillary Clinton prosecution memos are damning and dramatic,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Hillary Clinton’s bank fraud, obstruction, lies and other fraud began in Arkansas, continued in the White House and actually accelerated because of the suicide of her friend Vincent Foster.”

The memos suggest that if Clinton weren’t first lady, she would have been successfully prosecuted in federal court.

“As we continue the court fight to get the actual draft indictment of Hillary Clinton we first uncovered in this investigation, Americans would do well to read these memos,” Fitton said. “If you want to understand the deplorable ethics and corruption at the Clinton State Department, these documents provide important background.”

Criminal scheme

An April 20, 1998, memo by the “HRC (Hillary Rodham Clinton) Team” addressed to “All OIC Attorneys” outlines the conclusions reached by the federal prosecutors:

Hillary Clinton’s legal work at the Rose Law Firm with Webb Hubbell included a criminal scheme to defraud a local savings and loan bank arranging fraudulent loan purchases in a real estate transaction known as “Castle Grande.”

The criminal fraud committed by Clinton and Hubbell was further complicated by a criminal cover-up scheme.
The criminal cover-up perpetrated by Clinton and Hubbell was accomplished by the following acts: (1) destroying legal files regarding the fraudulent transaction, (2) lying under oath to federal investigators, including the FDIC and Congress, (3) removing incriminating records from Vince Foster’s office after his death, and (4) destroying other records, including Rose Law Firm records that would provide incriminating evidence against Clinton and Hubbell in the Whitewater scandal.

The memo said that during the 1992 campaign for president, media inquires caused Hillary Clinton, Hubbell and Foster to collect additional Rose Law Firm records relating to Hillary Clinton’s work for Madison Guarantee Savings and Loan.

Judicial Watch noted Hillary Clinton, according to Starr’s federal prosecutors, drafted an option agreement that concealed from federal bank examiners a fraudulent $300,000 cross-loan in the Castle Grande transaction.

Judicial Watch said Clinton’s subsequent concealment of her role in the fraudulent transaction, including the hiding of her Rose Law Firm billing records concerning her legal work for Madison, were the subject of an Office of Independent Council, or OIC, obstruction of justice probe.

Finally, Judicial Watch found that the 1998 memo included substantial evidence Clinton and her former Rose Law Firm partners Hubbell and Foster – both of whom went on to senior positions in the Bill Clinton presidency – as complicit in activities that “facilitated crimes.”

Vince Foster’s office

The memo confirmed that when Foster died, on or about July 20, 1993, Hillary Clinton, most likely with the complicity of White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum, removed from Foster’s office Whitewater-related documents that Clinton did not want disclosed to the public.

Subsequently, Clinton managed to move the documents to a hiding place adjacent to her White House office, where they were found two years after Foster died.

Regarding the removal of documents from Foster’s office after his death, the OIC prosecutors’ memo stated:

On the evening of July 22nd [1993], Thomas Castleton, an intern in the White House, assisted [Maggie] Williams [Hillary Clinton’s chief-of-staff] in carrying the box of personal documents [removed from Foster’s office] up to the 2nd floor of the Residence of the White House. Williams told Castleton that the documents were going to be given to the Clintons’ attorney, after they had been reviewed by Hillary Clinton and the President. Castleton placed the box in a closet in Hillary Clinton’s office, Room 323. That closet is approximately 30 feet from the table in the Book Room, Room 319A, where the billing records were found two years later.

The memo said two copies “of the most significant of these records, Hillary Clinton’s billing records for the work she did for MGSL, are known to exist – one set was discovered in a briefcase in Vince Foster’s attic in July 1997; the other set was the Book Room adjacent to Hillary Clinton’s office in August 1995 and publicly released in January 1996.”

The memo said Clinton and Hubbell committed perjury under oath, prefiguring the criminal offense that caused Bill Clinton to be impeached over the Monica Lewinsky affair.

A key paragraph reads:

Between January 1994 and February 1996 both Hillary Clinton and Hubbell made numerous sworn statements to the RTC [Resolution Trust Company], the FDIC, the Senate and the House of Representatives, and to OIC. Each of these reflected and embodied materially inaccurate stories relating to: how the RLF [Rose Law Firm] came to be retained by MGSL; Hillary Clinton’s role in the IDC/Castle Grande venture; Hillary Clinton’s role in representing MGSL before state agencies; Hubbell’s representations to the RTC and FDIC regarding Hillary Clinton’s role in the IDC/Castle Grande venture; and the removal of records from RFL.

Judicial Watch further said the newly released documents proved Hubbell received several “jobs” from Clinton supporters for which he apparently did little or no work.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/02/memos-show-hillary-guilty-of-criminal-fraud-in-whitewater/#xffBdd9Be6xRSWpP.99

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.


Sorry, Hillary: Women care more about their president than his (or her) gender


Hillary Clinton speaks in Washington. Photo: Getty Images


Hillary Clinton was counting on voters — particularly American women — to salivate at the prospect of shattering the highest glass ceiling by electing a woman president. She’ll need a backup plan. It turns out women aren’t nearly as gender-obsessed as Hillary thinks they are, or wants them to be.

Clinton’s strategy does make some sense. After all, President Obama was buoyed by the widespread sense that his election wasn’t just his personal triumph, but all of ours, in burying the vestiges of America’s racist past. Given that women were also once treated as second-class citizens, why shouldn’t Hillary expect a similar wave of excitement and sense of history?

Perhaps the string of female secretaries of state and Supreme Court justices, as well as presidential candidates like Carly Fiorina and Clinton herself, has made the idea of a female president seem less than revolutionary. The feminist movement — which appears unwilling to acknowledge women’s gains — may also have overplayed its victim status. Young men with few job prospects and a lifetime of being bested by female schoolmates may not be overjoyed to applaud yet another sign of women’s ascendance.

The person of Hillary Clinton herself undoubtedly helps dampen enthusiasm about the prospect of a female president, and not just among Republicans who disagree with her political philosophy. The media is currently pondering how the re-emergence of her husband’s brutal treatment of ex-lovers impacts voters’ opinion of Hillary.

But Mrs. Clinton’s role as the long-suffering first lady to a roguish leading man is just one of her problems; her reputation as a scandal-drenched, corporate-backed and largely failed public servant has always made her an awkward feminist heroine.

Regardless of the explanation, the simple fact is most voters aren’t particularly anxious to see a woman — let alone Hillary Clinton — in the Oval Office.

Pew Research Center’s new report explored attitudes about women in leadership, and found that most Americans see women as just as capable political leaders as men. Women scored about equally on some key leadership traits such as intelligence and capacity for innovation, and received higher marks on attributes such as honesty, ability to compromise, compassion and organization.

Pew found big differences between how Democrats and Republicans viewed the sexes as potential political leaders. But before liberals start lamenting sexist conservatives’ “war on women,” Republicans didn’t see women as less capable, rather Republicans “are more inclined to say there isn’t any difference between men and women,” while “Democrats are significantly more likely than Republicans to say that women do a better job than men.” In other words, Republicans were more likely to truly see women and men as equals, while Democrats see one sex — men — as inferior.

But just because Americans see women as just as qualified and capable political leaders doesn’t mean they’re eagerly awaiting a female president. Just four in 10 (38 percent) of all adults “say they hope the US will elect a female president in their lifetime,” while a majority (57 percent) “say it doesn’t matter to them.”

Women are more likely to want to see a female president, but even that doesn’t translate into big support for Hillary. Take New Hampshire, where the latest poll shows just 38 percent of Democratic women voters plan to vote for Hillary compared to 52 who favor Sen. Bernie Sanders. Clinton is losing women’s support not just in Iowa and New Hampshire: A nationwide poll just released by Monmouth University found that Clinton’s edge among women has fallen from plus-45 percentage points in December to just 19 now.

Feminists may take the lack of excitement as more evidence that the deck is stacked against women. But this phenomenon can also be seen as progress: Women have come so far that it’s no longer big news for women to advance to a higher level of power. People really are judging others based on the content of their character and the skills they bring to the position rather than as a representative of any particular demographic group.

This makes it more likely that when we get a woman president (and three out of four surveyed by Pew expect to see it during their lifetime) she’ll have reached that position based on her qualifications, not out of a sense of obligation among voters. Now that’s something to be excited about.

Carrie Lukas is the managing director of the Independent Women’s Forum and vice president for policy of the Independent Women’s Voice.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s).  Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

Middle East ‘Regime Change’ Madness. “Hillary Clinton’s Policies Has Turned the Middle East into a Killing Field”




hillary-clinton-400x225Hillary Clinton’s “regime change” policies as Secretary of State helped spread the chaos that has turned the Middle East into a killing field and might have done even worse if not for extraordinary obstructions from the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff regarding Syria, as Gareth Porter recounts at Middle East Eye.

Seymour Hersh’s recent revelations about an effort by the U.S. military leadership in 2013 to bolster the Syrian army against jihadist forces in Syria shed important new light on the internal bureaucratic politics surrounding regime change in U.S. Middle East policy. Hersh’s account makes it clear that the Obama administration’s policy of regime change in both Libya and Syria provoked pushback from the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

That account and another report on a similar episode in 2011 suggest that the U.S. military has a range of means by which it can oppose administration policies that it regards as unacceptable. But it also shows that the military leadership failed to alter the course of U.S. policy, and raises the question whether it was willing to use all the means available to stop the funneling of arms to al-Nusra Front and other extremist groups in Syria.

Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shortly before he was murdered on Oct. 20, 2011.

Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shortly before he was murdered on Oct. 20, 2011.

Hersh details a JCS initiative in the summer of 2013 to share intelligence on Islamic State and al-Qaeda organizations with other German, Russian and Israeli militaries, in the belief that the information would find its way to the Syrian army. Hersh reports that the military leadership did not inform the White House and the State Department about the “military to military” intelligence sharing on the jihadist forces in Syria, reflecting the hardball bureaucratic politics practiced within the national security institutions.

The 2013 initiative, approved by JCS chairman, General Martin Dempsey, was not the first active effort by the U.S. military to mitigate Obama administration regime change policies. In 2011, the JCS had been strongly opposed to the effort to depose the Muammar Gaddafi regime in Libya, a regime-change effort led by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

When the Obama administration began its effort to overthrow Gaddafi, it did not call publicly for regime change and instead asserted that it was merely seeking to avert mass killings that administration officials had suggested might approach genocidal levels. But the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which had been given the lead role in assessing the situation in Libya, found no evidence to support such fears and concluded that it was based on nothing more than “speculative arguments.”

The JCS warned that overthrowing the Gaddafi regime would serve no U.S. security interest, but would instead open the way for forces aligned with al-Qaeda to take over the country. After the Obama administration went ahead with a NATO air assault against the Gaddafi regime the U.S. military sought to head off the destruction of the entire Libyan government.

General Carter Ham, the commander of AFRICOM, the U.S. regional command for Africa, gave the State Department a proposal for a ceasefire to which Gaddafi had agreed. It would have resulted in Gaddafi’s resignation but retain the Libyan military’s capacity to hold off jihadist forces and rescind the sanctions against Gaddafi’s family.

But the State Department refused any negotiation with Gaddafi on the proposal. Immediately after hearing that Gaddafi had been captured by rebel forces and killed, Clinton famously joked in a television interview, “We came, we saw, he died” and laughed.

By then the administration was already embarked on yet another regime change policy in Syria. Although Clinton led the public advocacy of the policy, then CIA Director David Petraeus, who had taken over the agency in early September 2011, was a major ally. He immediately began working on a major covert operation to arm rebel forces in Syria.

The CIA operation used ostensibly independent companies in Libya to ship arms from Libyan government warehouses to Syria and southern Turkey. These were then distributed in consultation with the United States through networks run by Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The plan went into operation within days of Gaddafi’s death on October 20, 2011, just before NATO officially ended its operation at the end of that month, as the DIA later reported to the JCS.

But the result of the operation was to accelerate the dominance of al-Qaeda and their Islamist allies. The Turks, Qataris and Saudis were funneling arms to al-Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, al-Nusra Front, or other closely related extremist groups. That should not have surprised the Obama administration. The same thing had happened in Libya in spring 2011 after the Obama administration had endorsed a Qatari plan to send arms to Libyan rebels. The White House had quickly learned that the Qataris had sent the arms to the most extremist elements in the Libyan opposition.

The original Petraeus covert operation ended with the torching of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in September 2012 in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed. It was superseded by a new program under which Qatar and Saudi Arabia financed the transfer of weapons from other sources that were supposed to be distributed in cooperation with CIA officials at a base in southern Turkey.

But “thousands of tons of weapons” were still going to groups fighting alongside the jihadists or who actually joined them as Vice President Joe Biden revealed in 2014.

By spring 2013, al-Nusra Front and its Islamic extremist allies were already in control of wide areas in the north and in the Damascus suburbs. The Islamic State had separated from al-Nusra Front and established its own territory south of the Turkish border. The secular armed opposition had ceased to exist as a significant force.

The “Free Syrian Army”, the nominal command of those forces, was actually a fiction within Syria, as was reported by specialists on the Syrian conflict. But despite the absence of a real “moderate opposition,” the Obama administration continued to support the flood of arms to the forces fighting to overthrow Assad.

In mid-2013, as Hersh recounts, the DIA issued an intelligence assessment warning that the administration’s regime change policy might well result in a repeat of what was already happening in Libya: chaos and jihadist domination. The JCS also pulled off a clever maneuver to ensure that the jihadists and their allies were getting only obsolete weapons. A JCS representative convinced the CIA to obtain much cheaper arms from Turkish stocks controlled by officials sympathetic to the CIA’s viewpoint on Syria.

But the JCS failed to alter the administration’s policy of continuing to support the flow of arms into Syria. Did the military leadership really use all of its leverage to oppose the policy?

In 2013, some officials on the U.S. National Security Council staff pushed for a relatively modest form of pressure on Qatar to get it to back off its continued supply of arms to extremists, including al-Nusra Front, by pulling out a U.S. fighter squadron from the U.S. air base at al-Udeid in Qatar. But as the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year, the Pentagon, obviously reflecting the JCS position, vetoed the proposal, arguing that the forward headquarters of the Central Command at the airbase was “vital” to U.S. operations in the Middle East.

The political implications of the episode are clear: bureaucratic self-interest trumped the military’s conviction that U.S. security is being endangered. No matter how strongly the JCS may have felt about the recklessness of administration policy, they were not prepared to sacrifice their access to military bases in Qatar, Saudi Arabia or Turkey to pressure their Middle Eastern allies.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for journalism. He is the author of the newly published Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. [This article originally appeared at Middle East Eye,http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/us-military-leadership-s-resistance-regime-change-1343405723#sthash.RtsyxSes.dpuf]