This column was written for the Unz Review: http://www.unz.com/tsaker/is-donald-trump-really-only-a-showman-who-will-prepare-the-usa-for-war/
Let me begin by immediately say that I have the utmost respect for F. William Engdahl and that I consider him a person far more knowledgeable of US politics than myself. Furthermore, I want to also make it clear that I am not going to refute a single argument Engdahl makes in support of his thesis simply because I believe that his arguments are fact-based and logical. I strongly urge everybody to read Engdahl’s article “The Dangerous Deception Called The Trump Presidency” in the New Eastern Outlook and carefully consider each of his arguments. Of course, Engdahl only offers indirect, circumstantial, evidence and only time will really show whether he is right or wrong. What I propose to do today is to consider the other possibility, that in spite of all the evidence presented by Engdahl, Trump might not be a fraud and a showman. You will see that this conclusion is not necessarily more optimistic than Engdahl’s.
My main argument is much more primitive than Engdahl’s and even more circumstantial: I see clear signs of a *real* struggle taking place inside the US elites and if, indeed, such a struggle is taking place, then I conclude that Trump is not a showman who has been “selected” (to use Engdahl’s words) by the US elites but that quite to the contrary, his election is a nightmare for these elites.
My subsidiary argument is that even if Engdahl is right and if Trump is a showman, the ploy of the US elites to save the Empire and prepare for war will fail.
Let’s take them one by one:
The reality of the struggle inside the US elites
Frankly, I don’t believe that the imperial “deep state” was so devious and sophisticated to order the mainstream media to organize a year-long hate campaign against Trump because the “deep state” has calculated that only such a demonization of Trump would make him popular and get him elected. Why? I just don’t believe that the US propaganda machine is that flexible. You look at freaks like Rachel Maddows or Martha Raddatz and you can tell that they are for real, in the sense that they were never hired to parrot a specific political line but they were hired because they are the living embodiment of a specific political line. And that goes for 90% of the Trump-bashing media. Yeah, maybe some are cynical presstitutes, but most of them come from what I would call the “tribe of assorted minorities” which viscerally hates everything Trump stands for. Their hate is sincere, it is pure, it comes from their very identity.
Likewise, when I look at the fawning in lockstep before Hillary which the mainstream media carefully nurtured I can only conclude that this is the logical outcome of decades of brainwashing by the liberal propaganda machine. This machine was built around hating the “common” American, the “deplorables” in Hillary’s parlance, and this machine could not do anything but to worship her 24/7.
I am therefore convinced that Donald Trump got elected in spite of, and not thanks to, the “Patriarchy of loveless old men like David Rockefeller or George Herbert Walker Bush“. Furthermore, when I see the desperate efforts by Soros & Co to organize some kind of “color revolution” against Trump under the slogan “not my president” and the efforts by, again, Soros & Co. to get Jill Stein to get a recount only in the states were Trump won, I come to the clear conclusion that the Neocons have still not accepted their defeat and that they are still trying to prevent Trump from occupying the White House. In contrast, Engdahl writes that,
We should not imagine for one second that the Patriarchy– those loveless old men like David Rockefeller or George Herbert Walker Bush or unnamed others– were so overwhelmed by the political genius of candidate Trump emerging from every scandal more powerful than before, that they were surprised, out-foxed, and just groaned and let it happen. The Trump Presidency has been planned in minute detail by them and their think tanks
I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t get the feeling that what is taking place today is the result of something carefully planned. I fully agree that the US deep state did not just “groan and let hit happen“. But rather than letting it happen, I see the US deep state fighting against Trump with everything it has! I don’t think that the post-election anti-Trump hysteria has been planned by the likes of Rockefeller or Bush at all. What I see are the Neocons using every bit of “ammunition” they have to try to oppose and sabotage a Trump presidency.
Engdahl also brings some very strong arguments against the nomination of General Mike Flynn who not only is known for his rather crude anti-Islamic rhetoric, but who even co-authored a book with the notorious Neocon Michael Ledeen. That a man like Flynn could find no better co-author than Ledeen should set off “red alert” alarms in the minds of everybody who understands what Ledeen stands for and represents. And Flynn is most definitely one of the better people around Trump.
In fact, a closer look at the folks around Trump reveals a lot of Neocons, Israelis and Judaics and all in key positions. There is a definite Likudnik smell to a lot of the people Trump has surrounded himself with. But that argument could also be reversed – if indeed Trump is “securely surrounded” by doubleplusgoodthinking Zionists, why their big panic? Could it be that these doubleplusgoodthinking Zionists have some very strong concerns about what Trump might do as a President once he is in full control?
Last but most definitely not least: not only has Jill Stein been used to trigger a recount in some states, but there are now rumors that some Electors are now being pressured not to give their vote to Trump, as the law says they should. Whether true or not, this kind of rumors clearly indicate that the Neocons are willing to do anything and everything to prevent Trump from getting into the White House or, if that is impossible, to maximally weaken him even if that puts the entire country at risk.
Why do I say that?
Because events have a way of getting out of control which makes the kind of reckless doubling-down the Neocons are currently engaged in extremely dangerous. Of course, nobody currently expects the Electoral College to refuse to nominate Trump. But the unexpected seems to be happening a lot these days. So what if something like that happens? Or what if some states accept Trump’s victory, but others don’t? What if the “not my President” slogan really goes viral and infects the minds of many more people than right now? Or even worse, what if this absolutely irresponsible rhetoric ends up in violence with either protesters or Trump himself being shot? We know that the very same US deep state which organized and executed 9/11 also used snipers in Vilnius in 1991, in Moscow in 1991 and 1993 and in Kiev in 2014 to bring about an insurrection. There are also report that such snipers were used in Libya, Egypt and Syria. Is there any logical reason to think that this time around the deep state would not use such snipers *inside* the USA?
While it is possible that the current situation has been triggered by the US deep state, it is equally possible that the US deep state is losing control of the situation which might now be developing a momentum of its own. Would the US deep state really take such a risk just in order to put “Trump the showman” into the White House?
According to Engdahl, Donald Trump was put into office to,
prepare America for war, a war the banks of Wall Street and the US military industrial complex are not presently in a position economically or industrially or otherwise, geopolitically, to win. His job will be to reposition the United States for them to reverse the trend to disintegration of American global hegemony, to, as the Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz Project for the New American Century put it in their September, 2000 report, “rebuild America’s defenses.” To do that preparation, a deception strategy that will fatally weaken the developing deep bonds between Russia and China will be priority. It’s already begun. We have a friendly phone call from The Donald to Vladimir the Fearsome in Moscow. Russian media is euphoric about a new era in US-Russia relations after Obama. Then suddenly we hear the war-mongering NATO head, Stoltenberg, suddenly purr soothing words to Russia. Float the idea that California Congressman and Putin acquaintance, Dana Rohrabacher, is leaked as a possible Secretary of State. It’s classic Kissinger Balance of Power geopolitics–seem to ally with the weaker of two mortal enemies, Russia, to isolate the stronger, China. Presumably Vladimir Putin is not so naïve or stupid as to fall for it, but that is the plot of Trump’s handlers.
If that indeed the plan, then I fully agree with Engdahl – Putin is not so naive or stupid to fall for it. In fact, such a possibility has been discussed many times by Russian experts on various Russian talkshows and they all agree that while Russia will definitely tone down its criticism of the USA if Trump appears to be interested in collaborating with Russia, there is no chance in hell that Moscow would in any way let the Americans weaken or otherwise affect the unofficial but extremely strong strategic partnership between Russia and China. Besides, the USA have nothing very interesting to offer the Russians anyway. Why would the Russians spend any capital on a clearly dying Empire when they have an extremely beneficial alliance with a growing superpower? Does anybody in Washington DC really think that two decades of rabid russophobia have suddenly been forgotten or that anybody in Russia will ever trust a word coming out of an American politician’s mouth? For the past two years Russia has been scrambling to prepare for war against the USA and NATO. Now that the danger of President Hillary has almost certainly passed, yes – the Russians are delighted that a thermonuclear war has become unlikely. But they will never forget how close it came and they will most definitely not stop their preparations. At most, they will somewhat slow down some programs, but that’s it. Fundamentally Russia will continue her rapid pace of military development which, considering the situation in the Ukraine and in the Middle-East, is a sound decision regardless of what the Americans do or say.
I think I can very accurately predict what Russia will do during the next four years: Putin will meet with Trump and try to work out with him as many of the outstanding issues between the USA and Russia as possible (that is, assuming the Neocons around Trump don’t torpedo it all before it even starts!). If Trump wants a reasonable solution for Syria and the Ukraine, he will get it from the Russians. If Trump is serious about forcing the CIA & Co. to stop using al-Qaeda & Co., that is to say if Trump is serious about smashing Daesh, the Russians will help him too. And if Trump wants the Russians to help secure a deal for Israel and Palestine, or help mediate some deal with the DPRK – the Russians will oblige again. But what will not stop is the massive re-armament of the Russian armed forces and the Russian efforts to politically decouple the EU from the USA. These are strategic goals of Russia which will not be affected by the USA. Furthermore, even if during the next four years the USA spends X billion dollars on “defense”, Russia will spend far less but get much more than the USA. Why? Because the entire US military-industrial complex is corrupt to the bone and the US armed forces in an advanced state of decay.
Contrary to what some Russian (and non-Russian) hurray-patriots think, Russia is still much weaker than the USA, but she is catching up at a rate which the USA is simply not able to match, Trump or not Trump, so the power ratio of the USA to Russia in four years will be even more favorable to Russia than it is now. If the Neocons really think that they can somehow reverse or even significantly affect this trend they are wrong. The USA are going down and Russia is going up, and nothing can stop this process.
The strongest argument in favor of Engdahl’s thesis is this: while the Neocons have always been clever and very driven, they are not very bright and they can only see as far as the immediate short term. Furthermore, their truly infinite arrogance always brings them to the same solution when presented with a crisis: double down. And if that don’t work, double down again. And again. And again. This is why all their grand plans first kinda work, but then inevitably come crashing down, over and over again.
Right now, there is nothing more stupid and self-defeating the USA could do than to double down on all their failures, miscalculations and mistakes. The smart thing to do is what Trump promises to do: to change course, “drain the swamp” in DC and save the USA by giving up on the AngloZionist Empire. I hope that this is what the slogan “make America great again” means: make it great by dumping the Empire.
My gut-feeling is that Trump is at least partially sincere, how could we explain the current Neocon panic otherwise? They seem to know something which really is freaking them out. Might that be that Trump is serious about kicking their collective rear-end back down to the basement from which they crawled out?
This being said, please don’t conclude that I am any more optimistic than Engdahl. I am not. It’s just that my fear is different from his. He thinks that Trump is a fraud while I think that the Trump is unlikely to have the right combination of intelligence, willpower, courage, abnegation and patriotism to purge the USA from the Neocon rot. Simply put – I don’t think that Trump will be the “American Putin”. Furthermore, I think that the choice of Pence as VP is indicative a deeply misguided hope by Trump that he can appease the Neocons.
Finally, let’s try to make sense out of Trump’s absolutely bizarre and, frankly, irrational phobia of Iran. Is that not his attempt at throwing the Neocons a bone to chew on in the hope that they will let him be if he “gives” them Iran?
One thing is absolutely certain: if the Americans attack Iran, any rapprochement with Russia will immediately go down the tubes. There is no way Trump can get some kind of partnership with Russia while threatening Iran. Yet another contradiction in the putative Neocon plan.
God knows I hope that I am wrong. And, of course, I hope that Engdahl is wrong too. Miracles do happen and sometimes seemingly mediocre or hesitant individuals end up showing a strength and willpower which can change the course of history. But I think that Engdahl is asking the right questions and sounding the right warnings. While it is legitimate to hope for a miracle, one must never forget miracles happen very rarely and that it is far more likely that they will not happen.