by Eric Zuesse for the Saker blog


In order to understand Donald Trump’s foreign policies, a person must be totally open-minded to at least the possibility that the U.S. is the world’s most aggressive, war-mongering nation, so that when an international poll was taken of the publics in 65 nations in 2013 as to which country is “the greatest threat to peace in the world today”, the 67,806 respondents were correct to place the United States as being overwhelmingly in that position, “the greatest threat to peace in the world today” — far ahead of any other nation.

In other words: to understand Trump’s foreign policies, one must first recognize the reality of the broader background. There is, indeed, a very dark reality about the United States that is covered-up in virtually all ‘histories’ about this country except for the Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick masterpiece, Untold History of the United States. (See Chapter One here, and Chapter Two here.) One must be willing to get beyond the myths about America’s benevolence and ‘support of democracy around the world’, in order to understand this President’s foreign policy. After all, any American President is part of a tradition — and it goes beyond partisanship: there are some important things (especially in foreign policy) that both the Democratic Party (“liberal”) Establishment and the Republican Party (“conservative”) Establishment share.

For example: the Democrat Barack Obama did terrible things to Libya and Syria, and the Republican George W. Bush did terrible things to Iraq and Afghanistan. (And, before Bush, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Jimmy Carter started the radicalization of Afghanistan in order to weaken the Soviet Union. And what did LBJ and Nixon do to Vietnam and Laos? And to Chile. And to Argentina? And what did Eisenhower do to Iran, and to Guatemala? It goes on, and on, after World War II and the leadership by America’s last great President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.)

The reality about post-World-War-One America (except when FDR was President) is the opposite of the benevolent myth: it’s the nonstop control of this country by an increasingly voracious aristocracy, who destroy other nations and have utter disregard for those peoples’ welfare, and no real concern even for the American public (except as cannon-fodder for their conquests — and as taxpayers to pay for these foreign operations, too).

If the very possibility of this — of a voracious U.S. aristocracy — is peremptorily denied, then a truthful understanding of President Trump’s foreign polices will be impossible, and there would be no point in seeing the evidence that will be presented here, which is consistent with this broader history, and, according to which history, Trump is simply the latest incarnation of that deeper reality.

Specifically, the reality, I shall argue here, is as follows: The same people who were behind the George W. Bush regime’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, are behind Donald Trump’s planned regime-change-in-Iran policy. And this fact says a lot about Trump’s self-claims to having known in advance that Bush’s invasion of Iraq was based on lies. Trump’s claim there is a lie: he did not know in advance, about Bush’s lying, and he’s even being fooled now by the same people who sold invading Iraq; they’ve sold him, now, on a U.S. or Israeli or Saudi invasion of Iran; only the pretext for that invasion is lacking.

All of the Washington DC and NYC think-tanks are controlled by the U.S. aristocracy, who are united on a few things, of which above all is neoconservatism — an obsession to continue the Cold War against Russia even though the Soviet Union and its communism and its Warsaw Pact military alliance ended in 1991.

Their ultimate goal is conquering Russia — the world’s most resource-rich country. Psychopathic, crazy, but true: that’s the way they are. (It used to be called “imperialists” but now it’s called “neoconservatives.”)

Key to this aim, is regime-change in all countries whose leaders are friendly toward Russia (such as was the case with Saddam Hussein, and with Muammar Gaddafi, and with Bashar al-Assad, and with Viktor Yanukovych, and with Hassan Rouhani) — isolation of Russia, and then (unless another leader of Russia, such as Boris Yeltsin was, who is able to be controlled by the U.S. aristocracy, comes to power there) a blitz NATO invasion of Russia: World War III.

Defeating Russia’s ally Iran is now key to this broader plan — the aristocracy’s wedge to weaken Russia further, without directly attacking Russia itself, yet. Instead of (like Obama) going simultaneously after Russia and three heads-of-state who are friendly toward Russia — Libya’s Gaddafi, Ukraine’s Yanukovych, and Syria’s Assad — they’re settling, right now, merely on overthrowing just one specific Moscow-friendly leader: the leader of Iran (that’s currently Hassan Rouhani, but also even above him, the Shiite clergy who determine who can and can’t run in Iran’s elections). Mattis, Flynn (until he was fired), Bannon, Pompeo, and perhaps even Trump himself, favor this: conquest of Iran. But like with Obama’s Presidency, there might even be multiple targets soon: especially, the Trump team has also been belligerent against China (another traditional American target after China had been a U.S. ally during the world war against fascism. On which side is the U.S., now — for, or against, fascism? Why isn’t that question even being debated in America? It should be, if the answer to it might explain today’s “perpetual war” — which is so profitable for the owners of firms such as Lockheed Martin, and so disastrous for the rest of the world, including even the American public.)


Anyone who was watching television news shows during the buildup to the catastrophic U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 remembers the many ‘experts’ who were speaking, and from whom the ‘news’media were publishing editorials, about how horrible Saddam Hussein was, and how much safer the American public would be if there were to be “regime change in Iraq.” Those propagandists never apologized, not even after the trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dead and injured that resulted from their and George W. Bush’s and the rest of the U.S. Establishment’s invasion there had produced an utterly destroyed country in Iraq, and so much PTSD etc. here in America — all on the basis of Bush’s lies. The result for Iraqis was vastly worse than it was for Americans: As I headlined on 29 September 2015, “GALLUP: ‘Iraqis Are the Saddest & One of the Angriest Populations in the World’.” The people who should be feeling guilty about that are not the U.S. troops who did what they were told and had been throughly lied to, but instead are the U.S. aristocracy and their paid agents in the think-tanks and ‘news’ media and government, who fooled the public into supporting that horrendous invasion.

A good example of such paid agents (propagandists for such evils) are Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack of the Brookings Institution, who shilled shamelessly for the Iraq invasion, and yet continued to be invited onto news shows etc., as ‘experts’, even after the general public came to realize that they’d been fooled into supporting the invasion (on the basis of those individuals’ lies and distortions). Why do people still watch those channels, and subscribe to those ‘news’papers and cable-‘news’ channels and magazines, etc.? But it seems that Trump himself does. And he’s also surrounded by people who are doing it, very assiduously.

Thus, on 13 January 2017, I headlined “Trump Team Targets Iran”, and I opened by stating the enigma, for which I then had no answer: “Saudi Arabia dominates above all other nations as a supplier of suicide bombers, and its royal family dominates as the world’s top financial backer of Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups, but incoming President Donald Trump has chosen to lead his national-security team, only people who blame Iran [which the Saudi royal family hate] and not Saudi Arabia [its government, the royal Saud family, who own the government], as being the main source of international terrorism.” But on 5 February 2017, the AP’s Jon Gambrell headlined, “Trump Cabinet pick paid by controversial Iranian exile group” and he provided some of the answer, numerous linkages between the entering Trump Administration and an anti-Iranian group of exiles from Iran, the MEK, Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, regarding which, wikipedia’s article opens:

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran or the Mojahedin-e Khalq … is an Iranian leftist political–militant [5] in exile that advocates a violent overthrow of the government of Iran while claiming itself as the replacing shadow government.[28][29] The group has no popular base of support inside Iran, but maintains a presence by acting as a proxy against Tehran.[30]

It is designated as a terrorist organization by Iran and Iraq, and was considered a terrorist organization by the United Kingdom and the European Union until 2008 and 2009 respectively, and by Canada and the United States until 2012. Various scholarly works, media outlets, and the governments of the United States and France have described it as a cult.[b] The organization has built a cult of personality around its leaders Massoud and Maryam Rajavi.[33]

Gambrell’s terrific article for the AP opened:

An official in U.S. President Donald Trump’s Cabinet and at least one of his advisers gave paid speeches to organizations linked to an Iranian exile group that killed Americans before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, ran donation scams and saw its members set themselves on fire over the arrest of their leader.

Elaine Chao [Mitch McConnell’s wife], confirmed this week as Trump’s transportation secretary, received $50,000 in 2015 for a five-minute speech to the political wing of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, previously called a “cult-like” terrorist group by the State Department. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani also was paid an unknown sum to talk to the group, known as the MEK.

More than two dozen former U.S. officials, both Republican and Democratic, have spoken before the MEK, including former House Speaker and Trump adviser Newt Gingrich. Some have publicly acknowledged being paid, but others have not.

While nothing would have prohibited the paid speeches, they raise questions about what influence the exiles may have in the new administration.

Already, a group of former U.S. officials, including Giuliani, wrote a letter to Trump last month encouraging him to “establish a dialogue” with the MEK’s political arm. With Trump’s ban on Iranians entering the U.S., his administration’s call this week to put Iran “on notice” and the imposition of new sanctions on Friday, the exile group may find his administration more welcoming than any before.

This is somewhat reminiscent of the exile community from Ukraine (typical of which is Chrystia Freeland, who ardently favors crushing Russia), and the exile community from Syria (who likewise are rabidly anti-Russia, in addition to being anti-Assad) — and all other exile communities that the U.S. aristocracy’s CIA has nurtured, over decades, in order to weaken the leader of any country who is on favorable terms with the leader of Russia. (The CIA is expert at regime-change; they work all the angles.)

The MEK’s agenda is strongly supportive of the long-time U.S. Establishment’s program regarding Iran. For example, the Brookings Institution’s June 2009, 170-page, analysis, “Which Path to Persia?” in which both O’Hanlon and Pollack — along with four others of Brookings’s many rabid neoconservatives — described various strategies to conquer Iran.

Some of the paper’s sections were called, “Persuasion,” “Engagement,” “Military,” etc.; and, for example, “Military” is broken further down into “Invasion,” “Airstrikes,” and “Allowing or Encouraging an Israeli Military Strike.”

Part III was “Regime Change,” and included, “Supporting a Popular Uprising,” “Supporting Iranian Minority And Opposition Groups,” and “The Coup.”

Trump right now is not so much “Supporting Iranian Minority And Opposition Groups,” as he is: Supported by Iranian Minority and Opposition Groups — such as the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq.

The wikipedia article on the Mujahedeen e-Kalkh includes also the following relevant section:

Paid advocacy

MEK is known for its long-term lobbying effort, especially in the United States,[2] where it competes against the National Iranian American Council.[174] It spent heavily to remove itself from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, having paid high-profile officials upwards of $50,000 for each appearance to give speeches calling for delisting.[174] DiGenova & Toensing and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld are among the advocacy groups paid by the organization.[175] The actual sum paid is vague, but the total could be in the millions of dollars.[176][177]

According to investigative work by Scott Peterson and acknowledged by Scott ShaneGlenn Greenwald and Joby Warrick, some prominent US officials from both political parties have received substantial sums of cash to give speeches in favor of MEK, and have become vocal advocates for the group, specifically for removing them from the terrorist list. They include Democrats Howard DeanEd RendellWesley ClarkBill Richardson, and Lee Hamilton; and Republicans Elaine ChaoRudy GiulianiFran TownsendTom RidgeMichael Mukasey, and Andrew Card. There are also advocates outside the government, such as Alan Dershowitz and Elie Wiesel.[177][178][179][180]

How did those Mujahedeen (and do you remember that before Al Qaeda was called “Al Qaeda,” it was called the “Mujahedeen” in Afghanistan?) suddenly become so prominent and popular in America’s newsmedia, after having been, for so long, banned as terrorists? In order to understand that (and the aristocracy’s ongoing war against even their own country’s public), one has to understand how the aristocracy works, which is our subject here: it works by financing its agents (including not just the think tanks, but the newsmedia). That’s why it’s now called “the Permanent Government”: it’s agents for the ‘permanent’ aristocracy — which doesn’t change even when its individual members do (such as by births and deaths, and by changes in individual fortunes).

The Brookings report noted (in Chapter 7, “Inspiring an Insurgency”): “The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA ) could take care of most of the supplies and training for these groups, as it has for decades all over the world.” Was Mike Pompeo (Trump’s new CIA Director) listening? Apparently, he was even taking his instructions from them.

The Brookings analysis also said: “The United States should expect to provide an array of assistance to insurgents, depending on their military skill and their degree of popular support. The more competent and popular the insurgents are, the less they would need American aid.”

Gambrell’s article mentioned a RAND report (for which he unfortunately provided neither a name nor a link, nor even a date, but we’ll provide all that below), which included the following passage (from which Gambrell quoted only the last two sentences), which indicated that the MEK and other such proxy-groups would need lots of “American aid” — lots of funding from U.S. taxpayers — in order to stand any chance of ever succeeding:

Prior to establishing an alliance with Saddam, the MeK had been a popular organization. However, once it settled in Iraq and fought against Iranian forces in alliance with Saddam, the group incurred the ire of the Iranian people and, as a result, faced a shortfall in volunteers. Thus began a campaign of disingenuous recruiting. The MeK naturally sought out Iranian dissidents, but it also approached Iranian economic migrants in such countries as Turkey and the United Arab Emirates with false promises of employment, land, aid in applying for asylum in Western countries, and even marriage, to attract them to Iraq. Relatives of members were given free trips to visit the MeK’s camps. Most of these “recruits” were brought into Iraq illegally and then required to hand over their identity documents for “safekeeping.” Thus, they were effectively trapped.

That 2009 RAND report was titled “The Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iraq”, and it had been prepared specifically for the ‘Defense’ Department; so, presumably, Trump’s ‘Defense’ Secretary, Marine General James Mattis, and Trump’s National Security Advisor (until February 13th), Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, both had read it. If they have also read the Brookings paper — which noted “and their degree of popular support. The more competent and popular the insurgents are, the less they would need American aid” — then they’d already have been duly warned that to rely upon such anti-Iran proxies as MEK (people such as Elaine Chou and Rudolf Giuliani and Newt Gingrich are being paid by), would be very dumb, because the more that those proxies (such as MEK) “would need American aid” (on account of those American proxies being increasingly despised by Iranians as their enemies). Proxies are supposed to be used in order to lower the costs — not to raise them. (And, the alternative to using proxies, which is to send in one’s own army, costs taxpayers lots of money, which can’t be kept off the books.) All that’s available to do this job is the proxies; so, the U.S. aristocracy hire them.

Apparently, Trump’s team are being swayed by Islamist Marxist enemies of the post-1979 Iranian regime, and of the pre-1979 Iranian regime, and of America, and who are hated as cheats and liars by many Muslims in countries throughout the world. Now, where would a group like that be getting its money, if not from the CIA and the other agencies of the U.S. aristocracy (and perhaps its allied aristocracies in Europe and the Middle East)? (And note, here, that, though this operation is serving the U.S. aristocracy, it’s being financed by U.S. taxpayers — the people who fund the CIA.)

But, if this is the way that the aristocracy can sucker one of its own dumbest members (Trump), to keeping up their long war, then perhaps the change from Obama to Trump has been merely a messier version of the same thing as before.

Is this the best that today’s America can come up with — dumber neocons?

Are we back, again, to George W. Bush, but just with a different face and name? Is Donald Trump merely a different Presidential cog, in the same old aristocratic machine? It does seem that way. And the deceived American public have overall a high regard for Bush, who destroyed Iraq, just as they have a very high regard for Obama, who destroyed Libya, Syria, and Ukraine.

Even if Donald Trump had been sincere about his intention to “drain the swamp” of the aristocracy and its agents, he’d be needing to outsmart them, and not merely to be just another one of their many suckers.

But where will Trump learn that he’s been fooled? Will he learn it in the New York Times? Will he learn it in the Washington Post? Will he learn it in Fox News? Will he learn it in Breitbart? Will he learn it in National Review? Will he learn it in Mother Jones? Will he learn it in TIME? They’re all (both the ones against him, as well as the ones for him) feeding his fantasies, the U.S. mainstream view, neoconservatism.

Where, among the ‘news’media he might follow, would he be apprised of realities such as you’ve seen documented here? He’s surrounded only by the aristocracy and its agents, who hide these realities.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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