The neocons and progressives have found common cause: screwing up other countries and getting rid of Donald Trump. From Philip Giraldi at off-guardian.org:
The Roman poet Ovid’s masterful epic The Metamorphoses includes the memorable opening line regarding the poem’s central theme of transformation. He wrote In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas corpora, which has been translated as “Of shapes transformed to bodies strange, I purpose to entreat…”
Ovid framed his narrative around gods, heroes and quasi-historical events but if he were around today, he would no doubt be fascinated by the many transformations of the group that has defined itself as neoconservative. The movement began in a cafeteria in City College of New York in the 1930s, where a group of radical Jewish students would meet to discuss politics and developments in Europe. Many of the founders were from the far left, communists of the Trotskyite persuasion, which meant that they believed in permanent global revolution led by a vanguard party. The transformation into conservatives of a neo-persuasion took place when they were reportedly “mugged by reality” into accepting that the standard leftist formulae were not working to transform the world rapidly enough. As liberal hawks, they then hitched their wagon to the power of the United States to bring about transformation by force if necessary and began to infiltrate institutions like the Pentagon to give themselves the tools to achieve their objectives, which included promotion of regime change wars, full spectrum global dominance and unconditional support for Israel.
The neocons initially found a home with Democratic Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, but they moved on in the 1970s and 1980s to prosper under Ronald Reagan as well as under Democrat Bill Clinton. Their ability to shape policy peaked under George W. Bush, when they virtually ran the Pentagon and were heavily represented in both the national security apparatus and in the White House. They became adept at selling their mantra of “strong national defense” to whomever was buying, including to President Obama, even while simultaneously complaining about his administration’s “weakness.”
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Government, History, Imperialism, Media, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Neocons, President Trump, progressives, US Interventionism
Few seem bothered that we may be hurtling towards extinction. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:
Stephen Cohen and I are branded “Russian dupes” and “Putin agents,” because we object to the highly orchestrated and false portrayal of Russia as a threat to the West, a portrayal that is leading to war. The purpose of this orchestration is to prevent President Trump or any future president from reducing the dangerous tensions between nuclear powers that have accumulated since the Clinton regime. The military/security complex has resurrected its Cold War enemy so necessary for its outsized budget and power and intends to keep Russia as The Enemy. The Democrats have an interest in the villification of Russia as “Russiagate” explains Hillary’s loss of the 2016 Presidential election and gives Democrats hope of removing President Trump from office. The media lacks independence, knowledge, and integrity and is the tool used by the military/security complex to control explanations, a prostitution of the media that has made the term “presstitutes” an accurate description. As strategic and Russian studies are largely funded by the military/security complex, the universities are also complicit in the march toward nuclear war. Republicans are as dependent as Democrats on funding from the military/security complex and the Israel Lobby.
All of this self-serving is driving America and its vassals to war with Russia, which might also mean with China. The war would be nuclear and be the end of the West, an act of self-genocide. The US national security establishment is so crazed that Trump’s efforts to get off the war track and onto a peace track are characterized as treason and a threat to US national security. See for example: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/23/opinion/trump-mattis-syria-afghanistan.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fopinion
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Media, Military, Politics, War
Tagged China, military-industrial complex, Neocons, Russia
Nobody knows why those who promote war are adults and those who promote peace are children. From Maj. Danny Sjursen at tomdispatch.com:
A Year of Forever War in Review
Leave it to liberals to pin their hopes on the oddest things. In particular, they seemed to find post-Trump solace in the strange combination of the two-year-old Mueller investigation and the good judgment of certain Trump appointees, the proverbial “adults in the room.” Remember that crew? It once included Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former ExxonMobil CEO, and a trio of active and retired generals — so much for civilian control of the military — including Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. Until his sudden resignation, Mattis was (just barely) the last man standing. Still, for all these months, many Americans had counted on them to all but save the nation from an unpredictable president. They were the ones supposedly responsible for helming (or perhaps hemming in) the wayward ship of state when it came to foreign and national security policy.
Too bad it was all such a fantasy. As Donald Trump wraps up his second year in the Oval Office, despite sudden moves in Syria and Afghanistan, the United States remains entrenched in a set of military interventions across significant parts of the world. Worse yet, what those adults guided the president toward was yet more bombing, the establishment of yet more bases, and the funding of yet more oversized Pentagon budgets. And here was the truly odd thing: every time The Donald tweeted negatively about any of those wars or uttered an offhand remark in opposition to the warfare state or the Pentagon budget, that triumvirate of generals and good old Rex went to work steering him back onto the well-worn track of Bush-Obama-style forever wars.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Imperialism, Media, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Afghanistan, forever wars, John Kelly, Neocons, President Trump, Syria
The Syria withdrawal announcement has enraged the crowd who sends other people’s kids to die in their wars. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:
President Donald Trump’s order to withdraw from Syria has been greeted, predictably, with an avalanche of condemnation culminating in last Thursday’s resignation by Defense Secretary James Mattis. The Mattis resignation letter focused on the betrayal of allies, though it was inevitably light on details, suggesting that the Marine Corps General was having some difficulty in discerning that American interests might be somewhat different than those of feckless and faux allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia that are adept at manipulating the levers of power in Washington and in the media. Mattis clearly appreciates that having allies is a force multiplier in wartime but fails to understand that it is a liability otherwise as the allies create an obligation to go to war on their behalf rather than in response to any actual national interest.
The media was quick to line up behind Mattis. On Friday, The New York Timesfeatured a lead editorial entitled “Jim Mattis was right” while neocon twitter accounts blazed with indignation. Prominent chickenhawk mouthpieces David Frum and Bill Kristol, among many others, tweeted that the end is nigh.
Nothing, in the view of President Trump, that the US could get in Syria was what the US would have to put into it. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:
Last Friday President Trump had another long phonecall with the Turkish President Erdogan. Thereafter he overruled all his advisors and decided to remove the U.S. boots from Syria and to also end the air war.
This was the first time Trump took a decisive stand against the borg, the permanent neoconservative and interventionist establishment in his administration, the military and congress, that usually dictates U.S. foreign policy.
It was this decision, and that he stuck to it, which finally made him presidential.
Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, his Secretary of Defense ‘mad dog’ Mattis and his Secretary of State Pompeo were all against this decision. The specialist working on Syria, the lunatic (vid) special representative for Syria engagement James Jefferey and Brett McGurk, the special presidential envoy for the global coalition to defeat ISIS, were taken by surprise. They had worked diligently to install a permanent U.S. presence in a Kurdish ruled proxy state in northeast Syria.
A lot of countries would like the US to fight their wars for them. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:
The biggest threats to America come from its “friends”
One of the local Washington television stations was doing a typical early morning honoring our soldiers schtick just before Thanksgiving. In it soldiers stationed far from home were treated to videolinks so they could talk to their families and everyone could nod happily and wish themselves a wonderful holiday. Not really listening, I became interested when I half heard that the soldier being interviewed was spending his Thanksgiving in Ukraine.
It occurred to me that the soldier just might have committed a security faux pas by revealing where he was, but I also recalled that there have been joint military maneuvers as well as some kind of training mission going on in the country, teaching the Ukrainian Army how to use the shiny new sophisticated weapons that the United States was providing it with to defend against “Russian aggression.”
Ukraine is only one part of the world where the Trump Administration has expanded the mission of democracy promotion, only in Kiev the reality is more like faux democracy promotion since Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is clearly exploiting a situation that he himself provoked. He envisions setting himself up as a victim of Moscow to aid in his attempts to establish his own power through a security relationship with Washington. That in turn will help his bid for reelection in March 2019 elections, in which his poll numbers are currently running embarrassingly low largely due to the widescale corruption in his government. Poroshenko has already done much to silence the press in his county while the developing crisis with Russia has enabled him to declare martial law in the eastern parts of the country where he is most poorly regarded. If it all works out, he hopes to win the election and subsequently, it is widely believed, he will move to expand his own executive authority.
Although Trump doesn’t always beat the neoconservatives, he apparently doesn’t buy into their American Empire dream. From Gareth Porter at antiwar.com:
More than any other presidency in modern history, Donald Trump’s has been a veritable sociopolitical wrecking ball, deliberately stoking conflict by playing to xenophobic and racist currents in American society and debasing its political discourse. That fact has been widely discussed. But Trump’s attacks on the system of the global U.S. military presence and commitments have gotten far less notice.
He has complained bitterly, both in public and in private meetings with aides, about the suite of permanent wars that the Pentagon has been fighting for many years across the Greater Middle East and Africa, as well as about deployments and commitments to South Korea and NATO. This has resulted in an unprecedented struggle between a sitting president and the national security state over a global US military empire that has been sacrosanct in American politics since early in the Cold War.
And now Bob Woodward’s “Fear: Trump in the White House” has provided dramatic new details about that struggle.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Government, Imperialism, Intelligence, Military, Politics
Tagged James Mattis, John Bolton, Neocons, President Trump, Rex Tillerson