Monday 10th of August 2020

the "loath-trump" republican-democrat alliance to vote for biden-the-warmonger...

presidend

After President Trump stated his desire to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, Germany and South Korea, the bipartisan war party sprang into action.

Veto-proof majorities in both houses of Congress approved a defense appropriations bill that authorizes $740 billion in military spending. Along with all the other dubious and downright awful provisions, the House’s version of the bill has included a measure designed to thwart the president from bringing troops home. House Democrats worked with Liz Cheney (R-WY) on an amendment putting several conditions on the administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, requiring the White House to certify at several stages that further reductions wouldn’t jeopardize counterterrorism or national security.

This episode captures why the Washington establishment loathes President Trump. Hint: it has nothing to do with the smears accusing him of racism or Russian sympathies.

Trump is the only president to challenge the internationalist interventionist orthodoxy that’s ruled Washington unquestioned for the last 70 years.

Let’s go back to 1949, to the creation of NATO and the initial deployment of troops to Europe.

Joe Stalin and world communism was on the march, we were told. Russia controlled half of Europe and would take the rest—along with Korea—unless we acted. President Truman demanded American boys be ready to fight Russia in Germany, Japan, Greece, Turkey, Korea, wherever.

But even in that climate of crisis, support for permanent war was not unanimous.

Senator William “Wild Bill” Langer (R-North Dakota), one of the eleven Republicans in opposition (along with just two Democrats) called NATO “a barren military alliance directed to plunge us deeply into the economic, military and political affairs of the other nations of Europe.”

We’re still plunging new depths, ever seeking new frontiers and new missions for the barren alliance.

When President Trump declared before the immobile faces of Mt. Rushmore, “A nation must care for its own citizens first. We must take care of America first,” he was channeling that original America Firster, Joe Kennedy.

The man who would father three senators and a president offered this advice in 1950 (none of his children took it): America needs “to get out of Korea” and “apply the same principle to Europe.” We must “conserve American lives for American ends, not waste them in the freezing hills of Korea or the battle-scarred plains of Western Germany.”

Or in the mountains of Afghanistan or the deserts of the Middle East.

When you hear President Trump ask NATO countries to up their defense spending, compare that to the words of Joe Kennedy: “We cannot sacrifice ourselves to save those who do not wish to save themselves.”

Nancy Pelosi and her ilk call Trump a Russian asset for daring to put the interests of this country before empire.  Nothing new there.  Today’s Russia-baiters are cut from the same cloth as an earlier generation of liberals.

In 1951, The Nation magazine accused “Herbert Hoover and a good portion of the Republican Party” of being captured by Moscow—that portion opposed to NATO, because Hoover doubted the effectiveness of deploying ground troops against the communist nations.

The New Republic seconded the motion: refusing to commit American troops to NATO “may lead Stalin to attack Western Europe” and keep advancing until his minions “would bring out in triumph the first Communist edition of the Chicago Tribune.” Mitt Romney and his fellow impeachment travelers remain convinced we must fight the Russians over there so we don’t have to fight them over here!

Back then, the bipartisan war party insisted the president could send troops abroad without asking Congress. Now when President Trump wants to bring them home, Congress claims it has the authority to stop him. Whatever it takes to keep the war machine properly greased.

Until Trump, George McGovern was the only candidate of a major party to call for drawing down troops in Europe and Korea. The sentiment in McGovern’s 1972 acceptance speech is pure America First: “This is also the time to turn away from excessive preoccupation overseas to rebuilding our own nation.”

The establishment has hated McGovern ever since for the same reason they hate President Trump.

The America First program would dismantle the imperial project that brought us NATO and has kept us on permanent war footing until today.

The foreign policy sachems built a “post-war rules based international order” on the premise the United States can and must remake the world. They stationed our troops abroad and launched wars with no end. They merged the American economy with that of the rest of the world, destroying America’s industries, high wage scales and standard of living in the process. They constructed a permanent national security state with unchecked powers to pursue anyone including the president.

The precious “rules based international order” is empire by another name. To those who support it—Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, neoconservative, academics, lobbyists and pundits—it is the One True Faith.

Anyone who opposes it is anathema. Even the elected President of the United States.

 

Read more:

 

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/nancy-pelosi-and-liz-cheney-unite-against-america-first-foreign-policy/

 

 

dracula did not self-destruct, but...

Donald Trump has fallen far enough behind in the polls as to raise the hopes of the world that it will soon see the back of him as US president come the election in 100 days’ time. Given his calamitous handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the decline in his popularity is scarcely surprising.

Yet Trump has always shown a Dracula-like ability to rise from the political grave. The writer and politician Conor Cruise O’Brien once wrote of the similarly amazing ability of the Irish taoiseach, Charlie Haughey, to survive scandals and crises. “If I saw Mr Haughey buried at midnight at a crossroads with a stake driven through his heart,” said O’Brien, “I should continue to wear a clove of garlic round my neck, just in case.”

The secret of Trump’s survival is his skill in using and manipulating the media to his own advantage. He may sound crass but he is expert at changing the topic of the hour so that today’s damning revelation becomes tomorrow’s old news. By outrageous antics he dominates the news agenda and, whatever his failings, he is never dull.

This latter skill may not seem politically significant but the news business is all about what is new, interesting and entertaining. Trump’s utterances and tweets may sound eccentric or crazed but they are really news headlines geared to giving him gigantic publicity, often from newspapers and television networks that loathe him. Journalists understand that they are dancing to his tune, but there is not much they can do about it.

Critics correctly attribute his supreme ability to stay centre stage to his 14 years in the role of an all-powerful business mogul in the reality-television show The Apprentice. Yet the tone of the criticism is dismissive, as if starring year after year in an immensely successful television show is easily done. Of course, nothing is “real” about reality television: a single hour on air of The Apprentice was edited out of 300 hours of footage, producing an artificial end product.

The reasons the producers cast Trump as a business genius – though his hotels and casinos had gone bankrupt six times – help explain his political success. Several years ago, Richard Levak, a psychologist who consulted for The Apprentice, gave an interview to The New Yorker magazine in which he explained why Trump’s personality was appropriate for the show. He said the traits that got Trump the job had been “the energy, the impulsiveness, the inability to articulate a complete thought because he gets interrupted by emotions, so when he speaks it’s all adjectives – ‘great’, ‘huge’, ‘horrible’.” But what made Trump so magnetic to audiences, according to Levak, and this remains true to this day, was Trump’s willingness to transgress and to break the rules.

His shambolic spontaneity and unexpectedness have hitherto made his television appearances compulsively interesting. “That somebody can become that successful while also being that emotionally undisciplined – it’s so macabre that you have to watch it,” said Levak. “And you keep watching for the comeuppance. But it doesn’t come.”

But maybe Trump’s comeuppance is with us now in the shape of the coronavirus. People find his political box of tricks less enticing when he suggests that they inject themselves with disinfectant to cure infection.

Not everything about Trump is distinct to America. Aside from his unique capacity to manipulate the media, he has most of the characteristics of populist, nationalist, and authoritarian rulers everywhere. There is the same xenophobic demonisation of minorities at home and of foreigners abroad; law and order are lauded when applied to others and ignored by himself and his lieutenants; elected representatives, experts and the well-educated are treated with similar disdain. Over everything, there is the same smell of corruption, militaristic bombast and willingness to use violence.

Trump is at his most dangerous when he is cornered and at risk of losing power. He seeks confrontation at every turn: in the US, his racism is more blatant, witness his willingness to deploy federal agents against protesters in Democratic-run cities like Portland, Oregon and Chicago, presumably in order to provoke clashes that will strengthen his law-and-order credentials. Abroad, the freshly brewed Cold War against China escalates by the day. Traditionally, US presidential elections on 3 November are preceded by dire warnings that the occupant of the White House is planning to stage ‘an October surprise’ by covertly provoking some game-changing crisis. These Machiavellian conspiracies have seldom actually happened, but on this occasion they might well do so.

Even a concocted crisis should not make a decisive impact in the face of the appalling reality of the pandemic, with 142,000 Americans already dead and four million known to be infected. Trump’s abrupt about-turn away from down-playing the illness as a hoax inspired by his enemies probably comes too late, as he wears a mask for the first time and cancels the Republican convention in Jacksonville, Florida, that was to nominate him for a second term.

Trump still has options. By resuming White House briefings about the pandemic, he will focus attention on himself and marginalise Joe Biden. He remains a ferociously effective campaigner and he is fighting in Biden, as in 2016, a lack-lustre Democratic Party candidate.

 

Read more:

https://www.unz.com/pcockburn/trumps-skills-in-media-manipulation-may-not-save-him-this-election/