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Saturday, 21 January 2017

US government in Washington, rather than world government ترامب: حكومة أميركية في واشنطن بدل الحكومة العالمية

ناصر قنديل

– منذ حرب فييتنام والهزيمة التاريخية وأميركا تجاهد للخروج من العقدة والذهاب، كما فعلت في الحرب العالمية الثانية خلف المحيطات مرة أخرى، بعدما قال الشعب الأميركي كلمته برفض دفع الأثمان الغالية لتحقيق السياسات الإمبراطورية، وقد كافحت النخب الحاكمة في الحزبين الجمهوري والديمقراطي لاسترداد التفويض الشعبي الذي كان بيد الأسلاف بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية بخوض الحروب الإمبراطورية والتصرف كحاكم للعالم، واستبدلوا الإنفاق على الحروب بالإنفاق على سباق التسلح الذي لا يحتاج لدعم الإرادة الشعبية، طالما لا يكلف دماء المزيد من الجنود، حتى بلغوا وفقاً لخطط الثنائي الدبلوماسي الاستخباري زبيغنيو برجنسكي كمستشار للأمن القومي وجورج بوش الأب كمدير للمخابرات في مطلع الثمانينيات النجاح بالجمع بين استنزاف المقدرات السوفياتية في حرب النجوم واستنزاف الجيش السوفياتي بواسطة تنظيم القاعدة، كعنوان لما عُرف بالحرب الباردة، وصولاً لبدء انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي ولاحقاً نهاية الحرب الباردة، والنجاح باسترداد التفويض بخوض المزيد من الحروب في عالم لا عدو فيه ولا منافس.

– كانت حرب يوغوسلافيا أول التجارب للمرحلة الجديدة، واستدعى الأمر توظيف أو تصنيع أحداث الحادي عشر من أيلول بواسطة تنظيم القاعدة لمنح إرادة الحروب الإمبراطورية المزيد من الزخم، وخاصت النخب الحاكمة في واشنطن بفرعيها الجمهوري والديمقراطي حروبها بلا هوادة، بالجيوش الأميركية وتنظيم القاعدة معاً وبالتناوب والتشارك حيث تدعو الحاجة، ومنذ سقوط جدار برلين حتى تحرير الجيش السوري لحلب مرّ ربع قرن منحت خلاله التكنولوجيا للنخب الحاكمة في واشنطن فرصاً كثيرة لحساب نظرياتها الإمبراطورية، وربط أمن الأميركيين بالحروب الخارجية، سواء تحت شعار منع اسلحة دمار شامل مزعومة في العراق أو ملاحقة إرهاب خاضع للاحتواء المزدوج في أفغانستان، وصولاً لحروب الربيع العربي التي يقول مدير المخابرات الأميركية في إدارة الرئيس باراك اوباما جو برينان وهو يغادر منصبه أنها كانت حروباً للديمقرطية اقتضت تخيير رؤساء كالرئيس المصري حسني مبارك بين التنحّي أو ملاقاة مصير الرئيس معمر القذافي، لكن النتائج كانت سيناريو بدأ بالأخوان المسلمين وانتهى بداعش.

– فشل مشروع تحويل حكومة واشنطن إلى حكومة للعالم كلّه، هذه هي خلاصة ربع قرن، وفشلت محاولة استخدام تمويل من خارج الخزانة الأميركية عبر مشيخات وممالك الخليج، واستخدام جيش غير رسمي عبر تنظيم القاعدة، والاكتفاء بالاعتماد على المخابرات والإعلام الأميركيين، فقد أدّى صمود سورية بصورة خاصة إلى تغيير المعادلة جذرياً. وهي الحلقة التي كان يمكن لسقوطها أن يمنح للحروب الإمبراطورية مغزى النصر. وترتب على الصمود السوري فشل محاولات رسم خرائط شرق أوسط جديد، ونجحت سورية باستنهاض همّة روسيا وإيران على المزيد من المواجهة، والفوز بإنجاز تغييرات جيوسياسية في ملفات من حجم الملف النووي الإيراني، والإمساك الروسي عسكرياً بحوض البحر المتوسط بعد تركيع تركيا والسيطرة على البحر الأسود، وصولاً لنشوء حلف روسي إيراني سوري تتهيأ تركيا للتفاهم معه نحو معادلات جديدة كلياً في الشرق الأوسط.

– وصول دونالد ترامب للرئاسة الأميركية لم يكن لصناعة تغيير، بل جاء فوز ترامب ثمرة لتغيير قد حصل، فقد نالت النخب الأميركية الحاكمة في واشنطن فرصة ربع قرن لبناء حكومة عالمية موّلتها ودفعت أثمانها أرواح أميركيين ودماءهم وأموالهم، من مكلفيها دافعي الضرائب والمتمولين والرأسماليين والمواطنين والجنود، إيماناً بأن النجاح في قيام الحكومة العالمية التي تصنع في واشنطن وتدير العالم هو عائد مشترك لكل الأميركيين. كما نالت التفويض الصامت لاستعمال مال الخليج ورشى حكامه ومسلحي تنظيم القاعدة للاحتيال على الرفض الشعبي والرأسمالي لرفد الحلقات الأخيرة من مشروع الحكومة العالمية بالدماء والمال اللازمين، حتى بلغت الأخطار درجة أعلى من العائدات المفترضة وصار الفشل، فتم سحب التفويض بالجملة لصالح العودة إلى خلف المحيطات والصراخ بصوت ترامب العالي نريد حكومة أميركية وبئس حكومتكم العالمية. لم ننل منها سوى انهيار صناعتنا وكساد بضاعتنا وبطالة عمالتنا وتدهور بنيتنا التحتية، ونشر قواتنا شرطة عالمية وركوب وهم تغيير الأنظمة بالقوة لتعميم ديمقراطية مزعومة أنتجت تسليم بلدان بأكملها لتشكيلات إرهابية ترتد علينا بحروب معولمة وتنشئ «خلافتها» العالمية على نمط حكومتكم وببركة نظرياتها.

– خطاب ترامب الرئاسي هو إعلان سقوط الحكومة العالمية في واشنطن وولادة حكومة أميركية مكانها، وإعلان حرب لن تهدأ بسرعة بين أصحاب التفويض الأصليين من أصحاب المال والدماء، من جهة، والنخب البيروقراطية التي يعبر عنها إعلام عملاق ومخابرات أخطبوطية وجهاز حزبي ممتد عبر الحزبين الكبيرين ونوابهما وقادتهما ومكاتب المحامين المستعدة لممارسة الشأن العام تحت شعارات وفلسفات منمّقة بلغة هارفرد وأكسفورد، حرب أهلية ضروس تدخلها أميركا ولا تبدو فيها الفرص محصورة بفوز فريق وهزيمة الآخر، بل يبدو خيار الفوضى السياسية والدستورية فيها وارداً، ومعه الضعف والتشوّش في الاقتصاد والسياسة.

– «إن الإمبراطوريات الكبرى عندما تسقط لا تبلّغ بموعد حدوث ذلك كما الطوفان والزلزال، إنها تسقط وحسب»، العبارة لغونداليسا رايس مستشارة الأمن القومي ووزيرة الخارجية في عهد جورج بوش الإبن في آخر الثمانينيات كباحثة جامعية تعقيباً على انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي .

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River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

PRESIDENT ASSAD BIDS A FOND FAREWELL TO WAR CRIMINAL OBAMA

Image result for bashar al assad
With a big heave-ho and a blowing of a big Bronx cheer, Dr. Bashar Al-Assad, gave the boot to the noisome and leprotic former president of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama.
He was the U.S. leader who always confidently stated that “Assad has no place in Syria’s future”.  Well, nimrod, where is your future?  Other than scamming institutions for speeches filled with empty platitudes, where is your place in Chicago’s sewers?  Obama has just joined the list of war criminals, imbeciles, genocidal freaks of nature – and with his entourage of inept spokesmen, “advisors”, secretaries and sycophants – in the twilight world of the accursed naysaying nihilists who populate that dimension of perjury somewhere in a sphincter that opens only for them.
Au revoir Sarkozy.  Arrivederci, Berlusconi.  Ta-ta, Cameron and Blair.  Auf Wiedersehen, Westervelle. Ma’ Al-Salaama ‘Abdullah, Hamad and Madame Banana.
And a good, rousing Bye to Rasmussen, George Sabra, Ghassan Hitto, Burhan Ghalyoon, Khaled Khoja, the ‘Alloosh Brothers, Zahraan and Muhammad, Ban Ki-Myun.  Hasta la vista, Zapatero.
And let’s not forget Mark Toner, Kirby, John Kerry and that nincompoop par excellence, Josh Earnest.
Fare thee well, Morsi, enjoy oblivion in an Egyptian prison.  Sayonara, Davutoghlu.  And, not to forget, Khalomoot Paaz, Simon Perske (Peres).
Image result for flipping the bird
And now, A BIG MIDDLE FINGER UP FOR THAT PSYCHOPATH WHO INFESTED THE WHITE HOUSE FOR 8 YEARS: BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA.  Good riddance to bad rubbish, we always say.  Burn in Hell!  Grrrrrrrrr. You swine.
___________________________________________
NEWS AND COMMENT:
Curious article by MIri Wood from Waf Halabi describing the odd coverage of Trump’s presidency in the Zionist Apartheid State and an historical list of Zionist misdeeds for those of you who are archivists:
Long, but excellent analysis of the brain-freeze in the MSM, the opponents of Syria and the established imperialist network.  Sent by Alexander Ajay, it Is a compelling and articulate analysis by Louis Allday:
Related Picture

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Assad speaking to Arab Leaders before the invasion of Iraq
Clinton: Assad must go
Aug 18, 2011


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River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

PRESIDENT ASSAD BIDS A FOND FAREWELL TO WAR CRIMINAL OBAMA

Image result for bashar al assad
With a big heave-ho and a blowing of a big Bronx cheer, Dr. Bashar Al-Assad, gave the boot to the noisome and leprotic former president of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama.
He was the U.S. leader who always confidently stated that “Assad has no place in Syria’s future”.  Well, nimrod, where is your future?  Other than scamming institutions for speeches filled with empty platitudes, where is your place in Chicago’s sewers?  Obama has just joined the list of war criminals, imbeciles, genocidal freaks of nature – and with his entourage of inept spokesmen, “advisors”, secretaries and sycophants – in the twilight world of the accursed naysaying nihilists who populate that dimension of perjury somewhere in a sphincter that opens only for them.
Au revoir Sarkozy.  Arrivederci, Berlusconi.  Ta-ta, Cameron and Blair.  Auf Wiedersehen, Westervelle. Ma’ Al-Salaama ‘Abdullah, Hamad and Madame Banana.
And a good, rousing Bye to Rasmussen, George Sabra, Ghassan Hitto, Burhan Ghalyoon, Khaled Khoja, the ‘Alloosh Brothers, Zahraan and Muhammad, Ban Ki-Myun.  Hasta la vista, Zapatero.
And let’s not forget Mark Toner, Kirby, John Kerry and that nincompoop par excellence, Josh Earnest.
Fare thee well, Morsi, enjoy oblivion in an Egyptian prison.  Sayonara, Davutoghlu.  And, not to forget, Khalomoot Paaz, Simon Perske (Peres).
Image result for flipping the bird
And now, A BIG MIDDLE FINGER UP FOR THAT PSYCHOPATH WHO INFESTED THE WHITE HOUSE FOR 8 YEARS: BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA.  Good riddance to bad rubbish, we always say.  Burn in Hell!  Grrrrrrrrr. You swine.
___________________________________________
NEWS AND COMMENT:
Curious article by MIri Wood from Waf Halabi describing the odd coverage of Trump’s presidency in the Zionist Apartheid State and an historical list of Zionist misdeeds for those of you who are archivists:
Long, but excellent analysis of the brain-freeze in the MSM, the opponents of Syria and the established imperialist network.  Sent by Alexander Ajay, it Is a compelling and articulate analysis by Louis Allday:
Related Picture

Related Videos
Assad speaking to Arab Leaders before the invasion of Iraq
Clinton: Assad must go
Aug 18, 2011
Related Articles

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Failed Anti-War Rallies and America’s Wars: Why I Am Not Joining This Weekend March in Washington (or Anywhere Else)


Global Research, January 20, 2017

Women take part in a protest against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Chicago
On February 15, 2003, when millions reportedly filled the streets of U.S. cities to oppose the invasion of Iraq, I was in Mosul. Yes, the Mosul Iraqi forces are poised to retake, the Iraqi city adjacent to Nineveh, the ancient site trashed by ISIL.
For 12 years, from 1990 to 2002, it was evident that the U.S. and its chief allies, England and Israel, were bent on wholly destroying Iraq. Millions died (lives lost before 2003 are not figured into ‘Iraq body count’); millions more were stricken by one disease or another, fell into poverty, or fled. That war was carried out under the auspices of our global peace agency, the United Nations, in a multi-pronged U.S.-designed and policed blockade. So successful was that embargo, so intimidated or distracted was the public, that only a handful of individuals, mainly Europeans, dared to enter Iraq to document that onslaught, the resulting ‘humanitarian’ disaster, and the collapse of a remarkable modern society and an ancient civilization.
By 1998, after eight brutal years of punishment and deprivation, unexpectedly and wondrously, Iraq began to reverse its downward trajectory. And, when the enemy (U.S.A./U.K./Israel) saw its embargo was collapsing, they raised the WMD scare and activated their military option. Seeing their government preparing for a massive assault, the American public awoke in panic, afraid not for Iraqis but for their own sons and brothers.
Hoards unmoved by 12 years of Iraqi suffering and deaths suddenly erupted with anti-war fervor: “No blood for oil”, “Not in our name”, “We are the greater truth”. The largest rally in history would be remembered as “an incredible moment”—800 cities. Today liberals of all stripes boast of their anti-war devotions, their respect for Iraqi civilization, their opposition to violence. They all loved peace; they loved Iraqi people. (Later they would claim, “while we couldn’t prevent war, we proved it’s clear illegality”.)
It was sobering to be inside Iraq that February 15th in 2003. Together with my friends in Mosul I watched news of the purported millions rallying across the world on Iraq’s behalf. But no one inside Iraq was impressed. The protests had nothing to do with Iraqis. Where had these peace devotees been for the last decade? Those rallies were, we felt, disingenuous–just a panic attack by a naïve people who wanted to assure themselves that they are kind, moral, knowing.
Within Iraq we felt a confused sadness, and surrender. No one knew from where the enemy would descend. Their decimated forces could not defend Iraq’s borders. There was nowhere to run, to hide. To whom could they plead for intervention? People called their families– to gather loved ones near. Everyone prayed silently. Millions sat in a daze, waiting. Hearing about that impulsive interest in peace around the globe did not stir us, not at all. It was late, and childish.
How does that history bear on today’s rallies across USA? Like the righteous anti-war upsurge of 2003, this weekend’s march is a demonstration of liberal America’s panic—a belated attempt to redress a wrong, a mistake, a realization of having been coddled and misled, or misinformed. Those retreating to the street to shout “Not my president” are secretly admitting they goofed. It’s not Trump’s or Clinton’s missteps motivating them. It’s their own errors: their misunderstanding of how democracy works.
Week after week these ‘good guys’ used their (first amendment) freedom of speech repeating daily gossip generated over Facebook and the media, a deluge of funny, encouraging, or bizarre utterances by Sanders, Clinton, Carson or Cruz, and especially by Trump, while ignoring the senate races, state legislative elections, their own district politicians and neighbors with different ideas. Like-minded friends huddled in social networks agreeing that they knew best, that their single news source offered the truth.
There were so many clever quotes to relay, so many alarming things said, so much money spent, such good satire. Overwhelmed, liberals panicked and sought shelter with the familiar. Even those who foreswore network news couldn’t resist indulging crazy quotes and caricatures. When Nov. 8th arrived, perhaps many didn’t bother voting, as if only presidential candidates were on the ballot.
Some knew Clinton would win from their holy book, the New York Times. After all, Clinton was endorsed by a Nobel laureate, Michael Moore, and Noam Chomsky. And millions of feminists were determined that America must finally catch up to the rest of the world with its own woman leader.
We know what happened. And we see today, similar to Feb. 15, 2003 preceding the invasion of Iraq, these good guys find that they have been misled, misinformed, misguided, overconfident, and a minority—just plain out of touch. Some actually wept. When conceding defeat, Clinton addressed her distraught supporters as if they were children.
About the failed 2003 anti-war rally, one unapologetic organizer noted:
“While we did not prevent the Iraq war, the protests proved its clear illegality….” This weekend’s marches are expressing essentially the same message. As John Whitehead writes in his Rutherford Institute 01/19/2017 newsletter: “If those marches and protests are merely outpourings of discontent … with no solid plan of action or follow-through, then what’s the point?”
Some Republican TV presenters’ advice to despondent liberals is:
“You lost; get over it; suck it up”.
The only value of the marches and protests is to energize, rebuild networks, and identify new leaders. Meanwhile a rush of guidebooks, some humorous, for living in the new America have been rushed though the press. Among them is Gene Stone’s Trump Survival Guide. In a radio interview, Stone (http://wamc.org/post/trump-survival-guide) offers some solid counsel, invoking successful organizing strategies of the opposition. I would also advise liberals to dump their New York Times subscription   (although I’m dismayed to learn NYT readership rose after Nov 8th);
The major issue for liberals is: can you learn to cross the isle? America is smitten with a polarized two party system. And liberals thus far seem disinterested in either cleaning up the Democratic Party or building a new movement independent of it.
Just don’t take too long to figure out the way forward.  END
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Joint Russian, Turkish Bombing Campaign in Syria Deepens NATO Crisis

Global Research, January 20, 2017
World Socialist Web Site 20 January 2017

Israel Claims Airstrikes on Damascus
The launching of coordinated air strikes by Russian and Turkish warplanes against Islamic State (ISIS) targets in northern Syria Wednesday has further exposed the crisis gripping Washington’s intervention in the war-ravaged Middle Eastern country, as well as the deepening contradictions plaguing the NATO alliance on the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration as US president.
The bombing campaign struck targets around the Syrian town of al-Bab, the scene of bloody fighting between Turkish troops and ISIS militants over the past several weeks.
From a political standpoint, the joint action by Russia and Turkey, a member of the NATO alliance for the past 65 years, is unprecedented. It stands in stark contradiction to the anti-Moscow campaign being waged by Washington and its principal NATO allies, which has seen the cutting off of military-to-military ties, the imposition of sanctions, and the increasingly provocative deployment of thousands of US and other NATO troops on Russia’s western borders. Just last week, the US sent 3,000 soldiers into Poland, backed by tanks and artillery, while hundreds more US Marines have been dispatched to Norway.
Turkey’s collaboration with Russia represents a further challenge to the US-led alliance under conditions in which Trump has severely rattled its European members with recent statements describing NATO as “obsolete” and charging its members with not “taking care of terror” and not “paying what they’re supposed to pay.”
The joint air attack was carried out under the terms of a memorandum reached between the Russian and Turkish militaries the previous week, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.
The document, signed on January 12, was designed to prevent “incidents” between Turkish and Russian warplanes, as well as to prepare “joint operations … in Syria to destroy international terrorist groups,” Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudoskoy said in a statement.
Russian-Turkish relations reached their nadir in November 2015 when Turkish fighter jets ambushed and shot down a Russian warplane carrying out airstrikes against Islamist fighters near the border between Turkey and Syria. The incident brought Turkey, and with it NATO, to the brink of war with nuclear-armed Russia. At that point, Turkey was serving as the main conduit for foreign fighters, weapons and other resources being poured into Syria to wage the US-orchestrated war for regime change, while Russia was intervening to prop up its principal Middle East ally, the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
In June of last year, Ankara sought to mend it relations with Moscow, which had retaliated for the shoot-down with economic sanctions. Relations grew closer in the wake of the abortive July 2016 military coup, which the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed on the US and its allies.
The turning point in bilateral relations between Turkey and Russia came at the end of last year, with the Russian-backed Syrian army’s routing of the Western-backed, Al Qaeda-linked militias in their last urban stronghold of eastern Aleppo. Turkey joined with Russia in brokering a withdrawal of the last “rebels” from the area and a nationwide ceasefire, which continues to prevail in much of the country.
Washington was pointedly excluded from the negotiations surrounding both Aleppo and the ceasefire. Only at the last moment has Moscow invited the incoming Trump administration—over the objection of Syria’s other major ally, Iran—to participate in talks aimed at reaching a political settlement over the six-year-old war that are to convene in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, next week.
The joint Russian-Turkish airstrikes around al-Bab came in the wake of bitter protests by the Turkish government over the refusal of the US military to provide similar air support for Ankara’s troops in the area. The Pentagon’s reluctance stemmed from the conflicting aims pursued by Turkey, which sent its troops into Syria last August in what the Erdogan government dubbed “Operation Euphrates Shield.”
Ostensibly directed against ISIS, Ankara’s primary target was really the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing, the People’s Protection Unit (YPG). The Turkish government views these groups as affiliates of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), against which it has waged a protracted counterinsurgency campaign within Turkey itself. The offensive against ISIS-controlled al-Bab is aimed principally at preventing it from falling to the YPG and at blocking the linking up of eastern and western Kurdish enclaves along Turkey’s border.
For its part, Washington has utilized the YPG as its principal proxy ground force in the US attack on ISIS, sending in US special forces troops to arm, train and direct these Kurdish fighters.
The US refusal to back Turkish forces around al-Bab with airstrikes led to angry denunciations of Washington by the Turkish president, who charged that the US was supporting “terrorists” instead of its NATO ally. Ankara also began delaying approval for US flights out of the strategic Incirlik air base in southern Turkey and threatened to deny Washington and its allies access to the base altogether.
It was likely these threats, combined with the Turkish-Russian agreement to conduct joint strikes, that led the Pentagon to reverse its previous refusal to support Turkish forces and launch limited bombing runs around al-Bab as well this week.
This crowded and geostrategically tense battlefield is likely to grow even more dangerous following Trump’s ascension to the White House.
Trump has reportedly called for the Pentagon to come up with proposals to deal a decisive defeat to ISIS in Syria and Iraq within 90 days. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Wednesday that he would “present options to accelerate the campaign” against ISIS to retired general James Mattis, Trump’s incoming defense secretary.
Citing unnamed Pentagon officials, CNN reports that “The Defense Department is prepared to provide the new administration with military options to accelerate the war against ISIS in Syria that could send additional US troops into direct combat.”
“One option would put hundreds, if not thousands, of additional US troops into a combat role as part of the fight to take Raqqa,” the Islamic State’s Syrian “capital,” according to the television news network. “… in the coming months, the Pentagon could put several US brigade-sized combat teams on the ground, each team perhaps as many as 4,000 troops.”
Plans are also reportedly being drawn up to escalate military provocations against Iran, which Mattis, in testimony before the Senate, described as the “biggest destabilizing force in the Middle East,” adding that the Trump administration must “checkmate Iran’s goal for regional hegemony.”
There is every indication, Trump’s rhetoric about improving relations with Moscow notwithstanding, that US imperialism is preparing for another eruption of militarism in the Middle East that will pose an ever greater threat of spilling over into a new world war.


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

When Was America Great?

Donald Trump ran for President on the slogan “Make America Great Again,” implying that America had been great once, but no longer is.
True to form, Hillary Clinton’s rejoinder was clueless.  America is great now, she would insist every chance she got — indispensably great, “exceptional” even.
Could there be a more empty-headed exchange of views!
After all, Trump was neither asserting nor implying anything; he was pitching a line to a demographic that he, advertising himself, wanted to target.  Therefore, no rebuttal was called for; least of all, one as inane as Clinton’s.
But, of course, she was pitching a line too.
A cottage industry has lately sprung up analyzing the pathologies of Donald Trump’s personality.  His public persona is inscrutable, however; it defies analysis for the simple reason that there is no there there.
Trump is a con man for whom reasons and evidence matter only insofar as they serve his purposes.   He is whatever he needs to be at the moment.
Meanwhile, Clinton took her lead from the Ronald Reagan, “morning in America” playbook.  The Gipper sold his snake oil by projecting a shallow, but infectious, optimism.  However, for that to work, a sunny disposition is required.  Hillary isn’t a good enough actor to pull it off.
All she could do was scare a lot of voters – a majority of them, it turned out — with the specter of the orange haired monster.  As for promoting herself, she was hopeless.
Moreover, her take on the morning in America meme only fed the hostility of her detractors.   How could it not?  In their minds, she represented the “elites” behind the losses they felt.
They were right about that.
Meanwhile, Trump knew exactly how to play his marks by making them think that he could restore a past that they look back upon with nostalgia.
In reality, though, Trump cannot do anything of the sort, and wouldn’t if he could.
This is why, before long, “Make America Great Again” will stick in the craw of Trump voters in much the way that Obama’s “hope and change thingee,” as Sarah Palin called it, still plagues disillusioned Obamaphiles.
Obama was vague about what he wanted people to hope for, and what changes he saw coming.  Trump is vague as well.
But it is obvious enough what he wants people to hear when he speaks of making America great — again.
Since Trump’s target audience was comprised mainly of people who are at least middle aged, it would be fair to say that his goal was to get them to think of post-War America as their personal Paradise lost.
This is nonsense, of course; but, by now, the span of time between the late forties and early sixties is remote enough to be looked back upon in ways that Trump could and did successfully exploit.
***
The man is anything but subtle.
He wanted his marks to yearn for a Golden Age in which hard working white men could make a decent living doing honest, productive labor in jobs that were not about to go away; and in which everybody else knew his or her place: blacks in the back of the bus, women standing by their men, gays in the closet, Hispanics in Mexico or Central America.
The pundits tell us that “Make America Great Again” is a dog whistle slogan – meaning that its meaning is audible to Trump’s target audience and no one else.   Like so much else that liberal pundits tell us, this is nonsense.  What Trump wanted people to hear was audible to everybody.
It is a noxious message, and a false one: even white men didn’t have it so good back in the day.
Nevertheless, as with much else that Trump says, there is something to it – just not what he intended.
For one thing, the political scene really was better in the Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy years.  Republicans were pernicious, of course, but no worse than Democrats are today.  And the New Deal spirit still survived in sectors of the Democratic Party.
Democrats now, especially since Election Day, are many times worse than they used to be.  Cold War Democrats had at least some measure of common sense and proportionality; Democrats today, for no plausible reason whatsoever, are hell-bent on taking the world to the brink of destruction, or beyond.
Hillary lost, but, within the ranks of the party she led, her Russophobic, neoconservative warmongering has taken on a life of its own.   Can any sane person not be nostalgic for a time when Democrats were better than that?
It is all well and good to question the “legitimacy” of Trump’s presidency.   There are so many questions that could be raised about that: voter suppression topping the list.
But Democrats cannot find it in themselves to do anything more edifying than blame those damn Ruskies.
This is not only preposterous; it is criminally reckless because all it does is prepare the public for war.
On this, “progressive” Democrats are as bad as the others; as bad even as Republicans like that perennial miscreant John McCain and his sidekick, Lindsey Graham.
Shame especially on “civil rights icon” and Clinton stooge John Lewis.  The guardians of the status quo now find it useful to place him on a pedestal, just as they find it useful to de-radicalize and then venerate Martin Luther King.
In exchange for the honor, he does them yeoman service – as when he conflated still unanswered questions about Russian hackers with the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s election.
Civil rights icon indeed; the man belongs in a museum.  Along with most of the rest of the Congressional Black Caucus, and nearly the entire membership of the incongruously named Progressive Caucus, he should just get out of the way.
Cold War Democrats were anything but “great,” but at least they didn’t make starting World War III their life’s work.
Trump obviously has no interest in transforming the Democratic Party for the better, and neither did voters who thought that a Trump presidency would make America great again.
Nevertheless, along with all the really bad stuff that Trump, and many of his fans, actually did have in mind, the nostalgia for the fifties and early sixties that he churned up does suggest a thought that is well worth taking on board — that neither Republicans nor Democrats need be quite as awful as they actually are.
Ironically too, Trump’s implicit appeal to post-War American values and norms helps sustain (small-r) republican ways of thinking about politics that are generally progressive and diametrically opposed to all things Trumpian.
From the sixteenth century on, there have been political thinkers in Western countries for whom ancient Sparta and the Roman republic served as political models.  What they esteemed was their egalitarianism (applicable, however, only to free male citizens) and their ideal of civic virtue, according to which the public good takes precedence over individuals’ private interests.
In the ideal world envisioned by republicans, small, mainly rural, largely self-sufficient households prosper together – with no one rich, no one poor, and everyone happy.
America’s founders were influenced by republican thought – Thomas Jefferson, most famously – and, early on, strains of republican thinking found a welcome home in the collective consciousness of the American people.
The fortunes of republican thinking have waxed and waned in the years that ensued, as has the appeal of republican values – in part because republicanism’s fortunes and capitalism’s are thoroughly intertwined.
(Small-r) republican societies may not be full-fledged capitalist societies, according to one or another account of what capitalism involves, but they are relevantly like mature capitalist societies in supposing private ownership of major means of production and market relations.  They therefore give rise to concentrations of wealth that undo the conditions for their possibility.
In this sense, their vision of ideal political-economic arrangements is utopian, unrealizable in real world conditions.  Full-fledged capitalism, on the other hand, is astonishingly resilient; and, as everyone nowadays understands, it is capable of sustaining enormous levels of inequality.
In the years that people in Trump’s target audience look back upon yearningly, the inegalitarian tendencies inherent in the logic of capitalist development were effectively held in bounds by circumstances that cannot now be reproduced, and by the sustained efforts of a political class for whom memories of the Great Depression of the 1930s remained vivid.  Those days are long gone.
Moreover, for nearly the entire post-War period, rampant, corporate and state sponsored consumerism has been militating against republican notions of civic virtue.
Even so, vestigial republican attitudes survive in the deepest recesses of the American psyche.   In recent years, there has even been a revival of republican political philosophy in respectable academic precincts.
Therefore, one plausible understanding of “Make America Great Again” would be to see it as a call for America to recover its republican roots – by building a politics around the notions of freedom, equality, and virtue associated with the republican tradition.
Needless to say, this is not what Trump was promising.   He stands for everything republicanism rejects.
Trump voters are obviously capable of believing almost anything, but it would strain even their credulity to see Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan as a call for equality, virtue, and the simplicity of manners and morals inherent in the republican ideal.
Perhaps this is why, to hear Trump and his defenders tell it, what has been lost that is worth restoring is not exactly the ways that American society accorded a semblance of homage to what republicans care about but something more pedestrian associated with it: the economic security that existed when manufacturing jobs abounded. That is what he claims he can restore.
But, of course, he cannot – not with what he is peddling.  He can only do what mountebanks generally do: sell crap to the gullible and the desperate, counting on the power of suggestion to keep them on board long enough for him not to be run out of town.
This is all he can do for much the same reason that social democrats, these days, cannot hold back the neoliberal tide: because capitalism cannot be transformed or even tamed by government fiat alone.
Marxists were spot on right when they maintained that far-reaching changes of the kind that are desperately needed nowadays can only come about through class struggle.  This is why, in the absence of a collective agent, able and determined to transform the underlying structure of capitalism itself, the broad contours of the status quo are regretfully secure.
Because neoliberal economic realities, and neoliberal state policies, have effectively reduced the labor movement to a shadow of its former self, leaving no functional equivalent in its place, this is indeed the situation we now find ourselves in.
Therefore, even if Trump wasn’t just blowing air – even if he really did want to restore manufacturing jobs — he would be unable to do anything of the kind.
Being both an opportunist and a showman, he will likely collude with a few of his fellow capitalists for a while — making them offers, at the taxpayer’s expense, that they cannot refuse.  But without a counter-systemic social movement leading the way, he cannot defy the inherent logic of the system.   No one can.
At this point in its development, that system has two major requirements, both of which militate against restoring anything like the conditions that, decades ago, created a large and secure middle class.  It requires consumers able and willing to spend enough to keep aggregate demand at acceptable levels; and it requires a domestic work force that that is insecure and poorly paid, and therefore quiescent.   These exigencies are at odds; precarious work situations and depressed wages depress consumption.
Neoliberals square the circle by transferring manufacturing jobs to low wage countries and then flooding the domestic market with goods that are so cheap that most Americans can still afford them.
Obviously, this “solution” doesn’t address any of the fundamental contradictions of neoliberal capitalism.  If anything, it exacerbates them.
Trump owes his election, in part, to the discontents it generates.  If those discontents continue, or intensify, he will have hell to pay.
Barring a radical change of course, the day of reckoning is sure to come; the only question is when.
If, in a vain effort to keep his supporters on board for as long as he can, Trump ratchets up more of the same – and what else could he do with the cabinet of dunces he has appointed, and without being a traitor to his class and to his own venality? – it could well come on his watch.
This will be wondrous to behold.
Had the Democratic Party not rigged the nomination process against Bernie Sanders, he would probably now be President, and he would find his efforts to restore the gains of the New Deal – Great Society era, and then to move beyond them, thwarted not just by the obstacles that (big-R) Republicans and rightwing Democrats (is there any other kind?) would put in his way, but by the same fatal contradiction.
The problem with Sanders’ “political revolution” was not just that it wasn’t radical enough or that it was too empire friendly; it was that, after the neoliberal assault on what little (small-d) democracy we had, there can be no fundamental changes at the political level without taking on capitalism itself.
But since Sanders was denied the nomination, that is a problem for another day.  Trump is the problem now.
Surely, at some level, many, maybe most, Trump voters have known all along that there is nothing he could do that would restore the economic security they crave.  They voted for him anyway, however.  That is how desperate they were.
And so, he won; and, as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow, the shit will hit the fan.
Notwithstanding the willful blindness that is so rampant in liberal quarters, the problem now, had Hillary not flubbed so badly, would be to keep her and her fellow Russophobic neocons and “humanitarian” imperialists from vaporizing the world.
But because he is such a loose cannon, and in so far over his head, what lies ahead with Trump seems even scarier than that – even on matters of war and peace.  If he does derail the War Party, then more power to him.  But he is no more to be trusted to use the American juggernaut, nukes and all, wisely than any normally immature adolescent boy chosen at random.
Expect turbulence ahead!  The time when it is still possible to postpone the inevitable choice between socialism – not the social democratic – Sanders version, but the real deal — or barbarism is fading fast.  Thank Trump for that.
ANDREW LEVINE is a Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What’s Wrong With the Opium of the People. He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park.  He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).
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