The bilge pump on the ship of state is working overtime, and starting to groan. A new kind of foul smell is permeating the halls of power, as if the festering boil of deep state interests just blew a pus-filled abscess. The rising tide of my old neocon bosses from the Pentagon is upon us!
The short-lived America-First non-interventionism that earned Trump the votes of working people and veterans all over this country has worried both the deep state and the neoconservative visionaries for nearly two years. Remember, only two years ago Trump was one of many Republican presidential hopefuls, and with Rand Paul was one of two or three being completely written off by both parties, and hated lavishly by neoconservative media and pundits. They had their candidates in both parties, several Republicans who would have made war famously and obediently, and Hillary would have out-bombed them all in her first 100 days.
Trump connected with people and what they wanted government to do more of, and what they wanted government to do less of. One of the things they wanted less of was to go out and look for monsters to destroy. They wanted troops and money to stay at home, and Trump voters – in a voting bloc never before seen – cheerfully shared his contempt for the state. Trump was the perfect candidate, and has been enjoyed by many as President, because he says out loud what we were all thinking.
Social media cheered last week after Trump stated that he would be withdrawing troops from Syria – that it wasn’t our fight, we weren’t winning it, and it wasn’t worth doing. Yesterday afternoon, Trump now speaks about a Syrian-Russian-Iranian axis and how we are going to rain fire and get justice, I’m paraphrasing but does it matter?
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Trump’s basic instincts were right, but his emergent staff choices tell a different story.
First of all, if Trump spent two solid hours listening to Doug Feith (or even five minutes) it reveals that he’s really not into time management like he once was. Unless he was also texting – which he wasn’t. You can check. Yesterday afternoon, Trump is talking about a Syrian-Russian-Iranian axis. Maybe it’s just cover for the Israel’s wars and attacks on Syria and others. To be fair, or to illustrate my point, not sure which – we find the flamingly stupid Senator Tom Cotton, speaking in verse with “As the sparrow cannot fall without the Father, so too Assad cannot launch chemical attacks without Iran and Russia. All three should pay for their barbarism.”
Reminds me of the turning aspens in the “Scooter” Libby letters to fellow fantasist Judith Miller. You can’t make this stuff up!
Who or what drives the US foreign policy – these days or at any time in modern history? We cannot know – but we do know that the White House staff that advises the President on such policy is increasingly familiar to those of us who have watched fiasco after fiasco roll out under their watch.
Afghanistan – FAIL. These same folks led an agenda that today is described as driving Kabul back into the arms of Moscow, as our former puppet Hamid Karzai now says, “I understand perfectly well [Russia] can help us. Not the Britons as we kicked them out of the country several times, not the Americans as they’ve been killing us for 17 years, but Russia only.”
Iraq – FAIL. These same folks manufactured intelligence and propaganda to gain popular support for a war that lasted from 2003 to the present, that created ISIS, strengthened Iran, and permanently fractured Iraq’s infrastructure and society.) Of course, there is this!
Libya – FAIL. A completely fractured country, terrorist hotbed, and disaster.
Syria – FAIL. Regime change, territorial conquest, fighting terror, nothing is working. Or perhaps that was the point.
Yemen – FAIL. State murder, by one of our best allies using US stuff to do it.
Tunisia – FAIL. Not on the list, but the once solid US ally in North Africa is reported to be planning to host a Russian naval base. Of course, when Libya offered this, see above.
Neoconservative foreign policy means not only war, but failure after failure, and accumulating losses of US influence and good will around the world. Trump is not going to like that.
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John Bolton – universally considered a neoconservative, and without a doubt a war-loving chickenhawk – has made a career of floundering all assigned posts. A 2015 article by David Corn asks whether Trump would want to ever hire someone who has screwed up so badly and has been dead wrong so often as John Bolton. A year ago Bolton was complaining that he was shut out of the White House – and now all that has changed.
Bolton, Feith soon – I’m still wrapping my head around a two hour interview of little Dougie and what that means for the future of life as we know it – and my old boss in 2002 and 2003, Bill Luti, expected to arrive in the White House just weeks from now, in May. We are putting the band back together it seems! The Wurmsers are also both back on staff, Meyrav and David.
Where’s Dick? Everyone is asking, but his stand-in, newly elected representative from Wyoming and Armed Services Committee member Liz Cheney reportedly is a frequent visitor to the White House. By frequent, I mean, it’s been noticed.
The connection between these characters, and US foreign policy, can be evaluated from several perspectives. Three such perspectives include 1) that none of these folks every wore a uniform, except for Trump who attended a military school as a teenager, 2) these individuals, and the many thinktanks and advocacy groups they are supported by, are well-known beltway advocates for Plunder, Intervene, Meddle and Propagandize (PIMP) school of foreign policy, with side investments in bombs, bullets and integration of banking systems, and 3) Many of the same people are still working hard to see the implementation of the Clean Break, written for Netanyahu’s 1996 campaign for office – which calls for, among other things, the termination of the Oslo Peace Process (Check!); the Saddam regime in Iraq should be toppled (Check); and Syria should be dragged into instability (Check).
Despite the achievement of many of the aims of the 1996 vision of a greater Israel surrounded by weak, divided, and resource-providing countries – not directly via the policies of Israel, but absolutely directly via the actions of the United States military – we cannot consider these new-old appointees to the Trump administration inner circles as successful.
Or maybe we can. As David Corn asks, “Would Trump have retained an apprentice who screwed up this badly?”
Certainly, one wonders, what might I have to offer? I mean last time I worked with these asshats I made fun of them and exposed some of their more obvious public lies. I assure you that this group is ultimately not going to make Mr. Trump very happy at all. His taste in people leans to the attractive, charming and well-presented – and with this bunch Trump brings new meaning to the concept of “settling.” There is so much left to make fun of, so many more lies to expose. My purpose is clear, and I feel like a real team member, I have to tell you!
Somebody call Yossi, I’m ready to report to duty! Kidding aside, there could be a simple explanation for all of this – the best way for a president to stay out of court and possibly jail is to start a war, or at least shoot some missiles, preferably at a place that won’t shoot any back at you. With the deep state reactionaries gunning nonstop for Trump, his lawyers, his businesses, and his family, he may be just following the well-worn path of those who went before him.
By the way, when the bilge pump starts to smoke, one might want to consider some sinking ship scenarios. Rose Sayer, speak to us in our time of need!