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November 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization

Slightly skeptical view on the first anti-globalization mass movement in the USA: Will two Coke/Pepsi parties representing just different factions of neoliberals fool voters again?

 "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Or perhaps, as his critics might say, "Elect me once, shame on you. Elect me twice ... shame on you." (Times)

Neoliberal MSM and fifth column of neocons in Washington in panic: Neocon Hillary might lose to Paleoconservative Trump

Version 3.4 (Aug 14, 2016)

 

News Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Recommended Links Two Party System as Polyarchy Donald Trump Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Hillary health issues Anti Trump Hysteria Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention
Bait and Switch Neoliberalism Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism Paleoconservatism Non-Interventionism Trump foreign policy platform Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite The Deep State
"Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Obama: a yet another Neocon DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders and blaming Vladimir Putin Hillary Clinton email scandal: Timeline and summary "Clinton Cash" Scandal: Hillary Clinton links to foreign donors and financial industry Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Lock her up movement
Hillary role in Libya disaster Demonization of Putin New American Militarism  American Exceptionalism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Machiavellism Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Protestant church on danger of neoliberalism
The Iron Law of Oligarchy Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Myth about intelligent voter Pluralism as a myth Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme Demexit Perjury Investigation of Hillary Clinton
Principal-agent problem Corporatist Corruption Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism  Ethno-linguistic Nationalism Corporatism National Security State Predator state    
Betrayal by Bernie Sanders of his supporters Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention Jeb "Wolfowitz Stooge" Bush US Presidential Elections of 2012  Mayberry Machiavellians Politically Incorrect Humor Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

Introduction

Thirty six year of neoliberalism slow motion train wreck finally produced the revolt of lower 90% of population ("shmucks" in neoliberal jargon) in the USA. The elite of the USA like the nomenklatura of the USSR in 1970th suddenly realized that the ordinary people,  most of the population hate them and that ideological brainwashing (Marxism in the USSR, free market fundamentalism in the USA) no longer can serve as effective  "opium for the masses".  People became restless. For the USSR elite the solution was simple: they changed sides and joined neoliberal crowd (while being lavishly bribed by the USA for this accomplishment, while common people starved on the streets).  For the USA elite the situation is more complex.  Trump just served as a crystallization point for already preexistent anti-globalization political forces. The neoliberalism is starting to drown in its own filth, along with neoliberal ideology which successfully protected the elite looting of common people for 35 years or so.

And Hillary does represents "kick the can down the road" neoliberal pro-globalization camp. Actually her candidacy says a lot about the neoliberal rationality and the society that the USA became. And for any non-biased observer voting for a war criminal ("we came, we saw, he died" and thousands Libyan people died and continue to die due to destabilization of the country) is not  the lesser even that voting for a loose cannon. The level of hostility toward Hillary among activist-minded progressives reflect rejection of pro-globalization and neocons camps that dominate official Washington. Many people figuratively will be happy to throu a hand grenade at official Washington by voting for Trump. That means the war-style anti-Trump propaganda campaign unleashed by neoliberal MSM might not have a desired effect. This level of hate toward neoliberal establishment did not existed toward the shady figure Barack Obama in 2008, who during election campaign pretended to be a progressive candidate, but then quickly betrayed his voters.  And even in 2012 when everybody already understood that he is a corrupt "bait and switch" neoliberal (and neocon in foreign policy)  luring Democratic sheep for shearing.

Democratic party  which was sold by Bill Clinton to Wall Street based on the idea that blue collar voters have nowhere to go so let's f*ck them ( that what nickname DemoRats implies) is deeply split and Demexit is a real trend, although it is unclear how significant it is.  Dominant, neoliberal wing of party (Clinton wing) prevailed and managed to put their candidate, but the real question is: will the rank-and-file voters support Hillary?

That's why neoliberal MSM went into overdrive claiming the Trump is dangerous. self-absorbed maniac, the second incarnation of Adolph Hitler. This war-style demonization of Trump (as well as attempts of "red-baiting" -- to present him as friendly with already demonized Vladimir Putin)  reflects the level of fear of neoliberal establishment in the results of November elections. In other words the elite started to lose the control of the population and was forced to resort to dirty tricks like was revealed in recent DNC emails leak scandal, which further endanger Hillary credibility, but failed to derail her candidacy because Sanders deflated and betrayed his base.  

In reality Trump might be viewed as the last attempt to answer the challenge of the crash of neoliberal ideology (after which the crash of the US neoliberal empire is just a matter of time, like was the case with the USSR). The challenge that Hillary in incapable and unwilling to answer, preferring "kick the can down the road" approach. Here is one insightful comment from Crooked Timber discussion (Crooked timber, Aug 04, 2016):

Lupita 08.04.16 at 4:23 am 167

I think Trump is afraid the imperial global order presided by the US is about to crash and thinks he will be able to steer the country into a soft landing by accepting that other world powers have interests, by disengaging from costly and humiliating military interventions, by re-negotiating trade deals, and by stopping the mass immigration of poor people. Plus a few well-placed bombs .

Much has been written about the internet revolution, about the impact of people having access to much more information than before. The elite does not recognize this and is still organizing political and media campaigns as if it were 1990, relying on elder statesmen like Blair, Bush, Mitterrand, Clinton, and Obama to influence public opinion. They are failing miserably, to the point of being counterproductive.

I don't think something as parochial as racism is sustaining Trump, but rather the fear of the loss of empire by a population with several orders of magnitude more information and communication than in 2008, even 2012.

In this sense the November elections will be not about candidates, but more of the referendum on neoliberal globalization, much like Brexit was.  In this referendum Hillary means "Yes" (or more correctly "kick the can down the road"  with minor tweaks ) , and Trump "No" (or "let's try something else") to neoliberal globalization.   In this sense Trump has a chance, as Hillary represents the status quo, now hated by most of US electorate.  Hated after  years of outsourcing, offshoring, Wall Street financial machinations (which led to two crisis in 2000 and 2008 with the last almost taking the financial system down due to recklessness of major players), sliding wages and shrinking pool of salaried workers (with dramatic rise of contractor labor) people became sick-and-tired with.  Neoliberal arguments that people in the USA should be glad to lose employment at 50 so that people from other countries can have higher incomes (slightly exaggerated, but pretty precise depiction of neoliberal approach, see Over 50 and unemployed) now is ripe for a strong backlash.  People do not like to live in occupied country, unable to challenge the occupiers. That makes Hillary vulnerable and that why neoliberal press attacks Trump like a pack of rabid dogs.  Nothing personal, only business.

Good job disappeared, so people now understand that they were taken for ride, and the promise of neoliberalism that rampant, criminal enrichment of the top 0.1% will lift standard of living of everybody (trickle down economics)  much like communists promise of  "worker paradise" (but instead enriched nomenklatura and keep both blue and a large part of white collar worker of semi-starvation diet) is a fools gold.  In both case the elite lost legitimacy (trust in congress is in all time low) and became despised by population myth. A discredited ideology can no longer serve as "opium for the people", not it can keep the global neoliberal US-dominated empire intact.   Neoliberals are still very strong and they can still win this particular battle and crown Hillary,  but they are losing the war. Indeed, a Donald Trump loss is likely to fan the flames of population anger further.

Moreover,  while "bait and switch" tactics worked with Obama (neocons who pretend to be progressive during election campaign), it is unclear whether it will work with Hillary Clinton. Of course she will promise anything to be elected and then betray his voters. But are voters gulling enough to believe this spectacle after the same spectacle played (two times by Obama) and before him by Bill Clinton (who politically benefitted from  temporary bump up in economic growth from 1991 to 2000 caused by opening and devouring (buying asset for pennies on dollar) the xUSSR markets).

She is definitely trying to be the next Obama  (using Sanders as herder), but walkout of Sanders supported after Hillary nomination suggest that it would be difficult and success in luring of Sanders supporters "back in fold" (by rampant MSM propaganda campaign claiming that the "huge danger" of Trump, as if Hillary is less dangerous, or less reckless candidate) is not given.  While few people in the USA understand that Hillary is a war criminal and a more dangerous warmonger then Trump, they understand that she is lying and will betray her election promises. And that might be enough. In other words the fact that she represents "kick the can down road" pro-globalization candidates can't be hidden by MSM propaganda campaign. Also her  record such as Iraq war vote, destruction of Libya, Syria, (indirectly via her protégé Nuland) Ukraine,  and instrumental role (with Obama) in creation of ISIS speak for itself.

Neoliberalism is now a failed and discredited ideology. Masqueraded under posh phases about democracy and "free markets" (why not "fair markets?" neoliberalism promoted the "law of jungle" and destruction of the New Deal in order to enrich few, to redistribute the wealth up. And was very successful in this part.  Essentially it is about new methods of enslavements of people and creating a new type of aristocracy (the top 0.1%). The essence is methodical and quasi-scientific subjugation of people to the needs of transnational corporations.  And after 35 years of its dominance the fact the neoliberalism does not deliver, much like previously happened with communist ideology,  is no longer possible to hide.

It is impossible to hide from population the fact that Hillary Clinton is a Wall Street's dream candidate, a typical neoliberal crusader like Clinton, Bush II and Obama were, who will sell interests (and lives) of American people to Wall Street the say she entered White House. In this sense her election speeches mean absolutely nothing. This is just a smoke screen to deceive the people. She will definitely continues the policies of unlimited immigration and outsourcing of everything to enrich corporate brass in transnational corporations and Wall Steer financial oligarchy. But while those policies run unopposed for 35 years this situation can't last forever, because like a colony of bacteria of squirrel carcass, neoliberalism sooner or later  will run out of food.  And it is the US society that is this squirrel carcass in this case.

In this elections  I was initially impressed with Sanders. Actually I like the fact that in his youth, Sanders had lived in the kibbutz. He has real chances to get rid of delusion that complete equality is a solution to economic problems :-). But he, probably deliberately,  avoided punching Hillary too hard (remember how he tried to sweep "bathroom email server" scandal under the carpet) and then led to his defeat and then pretty despicable folding and betrayal of his supporters  (M of A , Jun 13, 2016)

Bernie Sanders folded. This without gaining any significant concession from Hillary Clinton on programmatic or personal grounds. (At least as far as we know.) He endorsed Clinton as presidential candidate even as she gave no ground for his voters' opinions. This disenfranchises the people who supported him.

In a sense this was another classic  "bait and switch" maneuver, similar to so skillfully executed by "Change we can believe in" fake progressive Obama. See Bernie Sanders: A turncoat socialist  for more.  In this sense Trump is more trustworthy candidate. Does not hide his intentions under posh and false phases. While he also probably will be assimilated GOP and forced to abandon some of most threatening to neoliberal order proposals, he at least represent some real threat to the neoliberal establishment and Washington neocons mafia that dominated the USA foreign policy for the last 35 years. That's why neoliberal MSM launches such a hysteric anti-Trump propaganda campaign, raising the pitch to the level of war propaganda with its simple rules (Falsehood in War-Time):

1. We do not want war. (Hillary is a candidate of peace; which accentually was instrumental in destruction of two countries (Libya and Syria and wrecking of another two :-)
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war (Trump is a war monger, that will unleash nuclear war if elected; while in reality the opposite is true)
3. The enemy is the face of the devil (attempt to red bait US electorate linking Trump and Putin)
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest (exaggerating facts like Trump University, but swiping under the carpet Clinton cash scandal and other scandal; linking Trump busness past to his opposition on globalization as hypocrisy Donald Trump’s Business Past at Odds With Rhetoric on Trade )
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary. (see Anti Trump Hysteria)
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons (Trump is proposing "collective punishment" on immigration. Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention )
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous (manipulation of polls, Trump meltdown cover and article in Times despite persistant rumors (supported by vedeos and photos)  of Hillary deteriorating health and onset of Alzheimer)
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause (Elisabeth Warren, a long line of stooges like Steven Colbert)
9. Our cause is sacred.  American exceptionalism as in "God bless America' is played by Hillary camp once again to the fullest extent possible."TIME
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors (Hillary is the lesser evil and election of Trump will lead to destruction of the USA)

In this sense the "Politburo-style" candidate in the current race is  Hillary Clinton, supported by full firepower of neoliberal MSMs and Washington establishment.  Especially her foreign policy agenda which can't be distinguished from Dick Cheney agenda even under very close examination.  This lady, who proved to be a staunch neoliberal crusader.  will definitely start a new war, if she come to power. Her record (voting for Iraq war, organizing 2012 failed color revolution in Russia, playing in instrumental role in destroying Ukraine, Libya and Syria) in this respect is pretty impressive indeed. She essentially made State Department a branch of CIA and Pentagon.  Her record in this position is a record of a real, undeniable neocon warmonger.  God forbid if it the next her target is Iran, with its 80 million population (which, in general, will play into the hands of Israel and, especially, Netanyahu). In any case, she is a real, certified neoconservative, not a Democrat. And you can expect jingoistic  "governance" is the best style of George W. Bush -- shoot first and think later (which, however, secured his re-election for the second term; as was planned in advance). First send the troops and play patriotism card to stay in power. Then try to sort out the resulting mess and estimate the resulting blowback and costs to the Treasury.

Outcome of the November elections by-and-large depends on how many people will realize that she will throw them under the bus of neoliberal globalization, and that the first thing she will do after gaining power is to forget about all her election promised (much like Obama did twice with his classic "bait and switch" maneuver from fake progressive to staunch neoliberal).  I hope the American voters this time will remember what Bush II uttered (TIME)

On Sept. 17, 2002, President Bush took the podium in Nashville to speak before a group of schoolchildren, parents and teachers. "There's an old saying in Tennessee," he began.

A series of awkward pauses followed. "I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee that says, 'Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me... You can't get fooled again!'"

For the record, the correct rendering of the aphorism is: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Or perhaps, as his critics might say, "Elect me once, shame on you. Elect me twice ... shame on you."

Here we can say "elect Clintons twice, shame on me" :-). We already saw how skillfully Slick Willi sold Democractic Party to Wall Street for 20 silver coins (sorry for twinty millions of annul speech fees).

Again, I think most of the US population now understands that  all her election promises will be in the trash the first day after the election. In this sense all her speeches mean nothing to most people. Just unpleasant hypocritical  noise. She, like Obama, Bush II, and Bill Clinton, before her,  is loyal only to Wall Street and transactional corporations, not to the rank-and-file electorate. Like any other neoliberal politician (including Bill Clinton, Bush II and Obama).  Neoliberal propaganda tries to demonize Trump and force the election of Hillary. We will see in November is this  unprecedented demonization was effective or not. Actually Obama broke all records (and diplomatic etiquette) when he blackmailed Trump in his speech in Singapore on Aug 2, 2016. This "constitutional scholar" forgot that the US presidential elections is an internal affair of the country and it is not advisable to enlist foreigners to support one or other candidates (Obama Says Trump ‘Unfit’ For Presidency (Video) Truth Uncensored)

According to CNN President Barack Obama strongly rebuked Donald Trump Tuesday, calling the Republican presidential nominee “unfit” for the presidency following his criticism of the family of a slain Muslim US soldier.

“The Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president,” Obama said at a White House news conference with the Prime Minister of Singapore. “He keeps on proving it.”

“The notion that he would attack a Gold Star family that made such extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our country, the fact that he doesn’t appear to have basic knowledge of critical issues in Europe, the Middle East, in Asia, means that he’s woefully unprepared to do this job,” Obama said.

Speaking alongside Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the White House East Room, Obama said there are now weekly episodes in which even Republican party leaders distance themselves from Trump.

“There has to be a point at which you say, ‘Enough,’ ” Obama said. >

In reality this DNC trap  on Democratic convention was specifically created to stem his growing popularity among blue color voters, which like sheep voted for Democrats the last 5 or six presidential election because as Bill Clinton put it "they have nowhere to go".

Trump is the candidate votes for whom symbolizes the same rejection of neoliberal globalization as votes for Brexit. That why the attacks of neoliberal press of Trump recently reached the pitch of Pravda campaign against "revisionists of Marxism-Leninism". In a way Trump is the "revisionist": he is the revisionist of the neoliberal doctrine. As such he is very dangerous candidate for neoconservatives, who rule the Washington DC and is somewhat dangerous for financial oligarchy (although much less then they are afraid of).

The November election will be a referendum on the US neoliberal establishment as much as the Brexit vote was for the EU. The Brexit vote showed that people are so fed up that they are no longer  listening to establishment fear-mongering and blackmail of alternative candidates.

Neocon Hillary vs. Paleoconservative Trump

Although neoliberal presstitutes are afraid to discuss real issues and are engaged mainly in demonization of Trump, there are two cardinal questions in which two candidates differ:

Some observers think that Trump may represent the last chance (unclear, if realistic or not) to avoid crash landing of the US neoliberal empire building process (crookedtimber.org)

Lupita 08.04.16 at 4:23 am 167

I think Trump is afraid the imperial global order presided by the US is about to crash and thinks he will be able to steer the country into a soft landing by accepting that other world powers have interests, by disengaging from costly and humiliating military interventions, by re-negotiating trade deals, and by stopping the mass immigration of poor people. Plus a few well-placed bombs .

Much has been written about the internet revolution, about the impact of people having access to much more information than before. The elite does not recognize this and is still organizing political and media campaigns as if it were 1990, relying on elder statesmen like Blair, Bush, Mitterrand, Clinton, and Obama to influence public opinion. They are failing miserably, to the point of being counterproductive.

I don't think something as parochial as racism is sustaining Trump, but rather the fear of the loss of empire by a population with several orders of magnitude more information and communication than in 2008, even 2012.

bruce wilder 08.02.16 at 8:02 pm

I think the U.S. Party system, in the political science sense, shifted to a new state during George W Bush's administration as, in Kevin Phillip's terms the Republican Party was taken over by Theocrats and Bad Money.

bruce wilder 08.06.16 at 4:31 pm

Watching Clinton scoop up bankster money, welcome Republicans neocons to the ranks of her supporters does not fill me with hope.

bruce wilder 08.12.16 at 7:47 pm 689

T @ 685: Trump is too incoherent to really represent the populist view.

There's always tension along the lead running between the politician and his constituents. The thing that seems most salient to me at the present moment is the sense of betrayal pervading our politics. At least since the GFC of 2008, it has been hard to deny that the two Parties worked together to set up an economic betrayal. And, the long-running saga of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also speak to elite failure, as well as betrayal.

These are the two most unpopular candidates in living memory. That is different.

I am not a believer in "the fire next time". Trump is a novelty act. He represents a chance for people who feel resentful without knowing much of anything about anything to cast a middle-finger vote. They wouldn't be willing to do that, if times were really bad, instead of just disappointing and distressing.

Nor will Sanders be back. His was a last New Deal coda. There may be second acts in American life, but there aren't 7th acts.

In any case after successfully deceiving the US population for 36 years, neoliberals (and neocons) have a problem: "The thing that seems most salient to me at the present moment is the sense of betrayal pervading our politics"; people want jobs back, and they do not want more wars for the expansion of the US-dominated global neoliberal empire, wars that benefit only global corporations and corrupt politicians who serve them (such as Clinton and Obama clans), but impoverish regular US citizens.

Vote for Hillary vs. Trump is essentially vote for/against neoliberal globalization (similar to Brexit vote in UK).  Or more correctly vote for Paleoconservatism (Trump) vs. Neoconservatism (Hillary). Personalities are much less relevant despite thick smoke screen produced by MSM, tremendous efforts to brainwash the public for another round of "bait and switch".

The second decisive question is whether Americans want more wars for the US-dominated neoliberal empire expansion.  Hillary and the Clinton clan history suggest that their political interests are the same as interests of the rat pack of neocon warmongers from Bush administration, who was instrumental in destroying several Middle East countries such as Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen. They also organized and financed a coup in Ukraine. 

Anybody who claim that Hillary is less dangerous option then Trump is iether on drugs or is well paid by neoliberal establishment. With her unhinged militarism, she really represent a danger of unleashing a new war, possible with Russia (nationalinterest.org, August 18, 2016). Readers discussion of the article by Ted Galen Carpenter  Hillary Clinton Could Easily Push America into Open Conflict with Russia in pretty informative in this respect and I would recommend to read it in full. Here is a couple of interesting and informative posts:

deadindenver a day ago

Those necon #@%*'s running those Trump is dangerous ad's, the same folks who brought us the endless middle eastern war are the same folks pushing Hillary. Really, who's more dangerous? I have far greater fear Hillary will confront a country that can actually fight back then the Donald.

Robert Willis • 18 hours ago

Excellent article. Hillary Clinton was instrumental in pushing for the Invasion of Iraq, which turned what was essentially a functional state into an ISIS hellhole. As Secretary of State, she was THE personality behind the destruction of Libya, now another Islamist breeding machine with a ruined economy & brutalized population. She has done everything in her power to destabilize Syria & has succeeded beyond her wildest dreams. Now millions of economic migrants are flooding into Europe, which will likely become a Caliphate under Sharia law within 100 years. Clinton's hands are soaked in blood of tens of thousands of men, women, & children. Her thirst for more is unquenchable. She is as much of a war criminal as her hero & good friend Henry Kissinger. All the media can do is scream endless unfounded accusations of Trump being a racist, yet they never mention a whisper of what Clinton has done & intends to do.

alan  -> JPH • a day ago

That's the tragedy of the situation. Trump has shown he is not a captive to the foreign policy consensus of the economic, social, and political elite of the New York-Wash DC beltway. He does not believe in intervention anywhere and everywhere. That I heartily endorse. On all other points he is totally unqualified and unacceptable. We are left with a war-mongering Neo-Con thug. When She takes office, begin the countdown---war is coming, a very big war.

That means that she can't be, by definition, lesser evil. She is an absolute evil much like absolute zero on Kelvin scale:  you can't go lower then that. In other words she is a war criminal, the most low and despicable type of politicians.  And in normal legal circumstances she might face something like Nierenberg tribunal, because all her deeds are not that different from deeds of the Third Reich brass.  Or for a change the leadership of former Yugoslavia (actually dismembered with active support of her husband -- Bill Clinton -- who managed to start serious of aggressive wars for neoliberal domination -- by bombing Serbia). Attempt of MSM to demonize Trump are connected with the simple fact that media is controlled by the same forces which push the USA into expensive and unnecessary oversees wars for opening markets to transnational corporations.  In this sense any Democrat voting for Hillary essentially became an accomplice of her war crimes.

But hopefully this neoliberal brainwashing gradually loses its effectiveness. MSM face now resistance because people are fed up with neoliberalism (aka casino capitalism), which destroys their wellbeing here at home. Jobs are moves oversees, wages drop, permanent jobs became rarity, factories are closed. Professionals over 50 are written off as useless, just because their salary is too high.   Many fine buildings stand empty. Many malls have entry storefronts (not the amount of vacant storefronts is reliable indicator of the health of the economy). What remains is financial speculation in stocks (looks at S&P500 behaviour since 2008), bonds and, the real love of Wall street,  derivatives. But how many day traders this country needs?   This contempt felt by elites for ordinary US people ("let them eat cakes") will eventually produce blowback, if not a revolutionary situation.  And it might well be that we are already in the first stage of this blowback. This is phenomenon known from the history of the USSR and is easy to understand. The US MSM and the elite live in a bubble of myths, delutions,  projections up to and including total loss of contact with reality. In other words in artificial reality. Blowing a kind of   "exceptionalism bubble" somewhat similar to financial bubble is typical for most empires ( political entities with vast, rarely challengeable power). In this sense  absolute power really corrupts absolutely.

Trump at least in some of  his position  looks like an adherent of Paleoconservatism so by definition he has more sound foreign policy and promote Noninterventionalism. That's why he are so hated by the US neocons -- they are afraid of losing their lucrative positions in Washington, DC and are good for nothing else.  Some like Kagan already switch party allegiance to Democrats. And Hillary is died in the wool neoliberal and neoconservative (actually neoconservative is just neoliberal with the gun). She prefer to act as in variation of Al Capone famous  maxim -- you can open more markets with the gun and kind word that with just kind word alone.  Who like Senator McCain never had wars she did no like. Actually her voting for Iraq war alone should already disqualify her holding any public office. But she has Libya, Syria and Ukraine, each county with thousands people, woman, children dead. And she wants new interventions. Voting for Hillary is voting for continuation of wars of neoliberal conquest of smaller countries, without nuclear weapons. At the same time her proven recklessness does not guarantee that she will not accidentally slide into nuclear war with Russia or China.

Of course nothing is given and power of neocons in Washington is such that they still can move Trump from his initial positions, but his initial position are definitely anti-neocon. That's why prominent neocons plan to vote for Hillary.

There is also question of Bill Clinton. Should the US electorate indirectly reward a shady, corrupt figure who sold Democratic party to Wall Street and abolished one of the most important New Deal legislation, directed on keeping financial oligarchy in check.  And that's only the beginning of the long list of his misdeeds.

On a more humorous  end (but not to female objects of Bill Clinton sexual drive), just imagine the result of wondering around White House Bill Clinton with too much free time in his hands  on new female white house interns and female office personnel. I think despite his age is still capable to entertain us with  new sexapades.

Crisis of legitimacy: the point when the neoliberal elite can't govern "as usual"  and 99% do not want to live "as usual"

Neoliberalism is self-destructive and lowering of standards of living of the majority of population due to redistribution of wealth up at some point is going to produce social unrest. We are probably pretty close to this point and rejecting on mainstream candidates during this election cycle is probably a writing on the wall

Hillary is probably most hated Presidential candidate in the US history. Fury over Hillary candidacy is connected not only with her ugly personality and semi-criminal past, but also with the very real concerns over the impact of neoliberal globalization on lives of ordinary Americans, including upper middle class. Lowly shmucks the US elite thought forever brainwashed and suppressed, recently start to show some signs of independent thinking and neoliberal MSM brainwashing suddenly lost at least 80% of its effectiveness. Unemployed programmers, system administrators, oil and gas drillers and trackers,  and other professionals (especially over 50) which fall from, say,  $120K to $20K a year  now are quite typical example of shrinking middle class. So the key tenet of neoliberalism which like socialism professed that the masses will get better with time, became another discredited illusion. And population became restless much like population of the USSR in 80th.  It may not be obvious to the political and media elites living in their hallowed, protected homes in privileged areas. But an increasing gulf between the  "establishment crowd" , and those who have to live at the sharp end of neoliberal globalization led to the situation, which probably can be called as a "revolutionary situation". The  blind rage that characterized the first days of the US anti-establishment movement now have given way to political awakening. Which represents direct danger to the current elite, but which this elite can do nothing to suppress. Genie was let  out of the bottle.  There are several sides of any revolutionary situation:

  1. The elite can not govern "as usual" and experiences the crisis of legitimacy. The rejection ob Jeb!, Cruz and Rubio by the Republican Party voters is nothing else but the crisis of legitimacy; the same is true for the number of votes that Sanders got in Democratic presidential contest against much better financed establishment candidate Hillary ( supported by the full power and the  bag of dirty tricks of Democratic Party establishment). GB population vote for Brexit is another illustration of the same trend. Despite deafening propaganda from MSM the elite failed to brainwash people in secure the desirable outcome. British voters delivered a stunning repudiation  of neoliberalism and austerity, the rejection of the legitimacy of their current political and economic elites A crippling blow to the neoliberal paradigm of globalization with its conversion of weaker nations into debt slaves, and huge speculative capital flows. With citizens reduced to consumers who have to fend for themselves in markets. And increasingly atomized, isolated workers at the mercy of employers who are determined to reduce labor costs and hoard the benefits of productivity gains for themselves.
  2. The lower 90% no longer want to live "as usual" and became politically active and not only refuse to support the establishment candidates, but also provide more and more active support for their own candidates.  They start rejecting "status quo" despite all the power of propaganda applied to quell them. And we are now in what can be called an “instable, dynamic situation,” in which national leaders, and key technocrats are scrambling to figure out how to respond and what to do next.
  3. The elite itself became split and form several competing groups with at least one group which wants to challenge the "people at the top" (Sanders in the Democratic Party, Trump in the Republican Party). See Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite and The Iron Law of Oligarchy. The last time such a revolt happened over "New Deal capitalism" was "Quite coup" period during which neoliberal elite took power and eventually managed to cement their dominance with the election of Reagan in the USA and Thatcher on the UK.  Now this elite find itself under the attack and the level of hate  toward Hillary reflects the level of rejection of neoliberal elite by the society.
  4. The ideology which brought the current elite to power became rotten.  This is just another side of the crisis of legitimacy of the elite mentioned in above. That happened with Marxism in the USSR which in late 80th became completely discredited, this is now happening with the neoliberalism in the USA (which actually became dominant only in 1970th, or  less then 50 years ago, so it will not give up without fierce fight; Marxism in the USSR lasted more then 70 years). The Global Financial Crisis, and the responses of the policy elite proved fatal to neoliberal ideology dominance.  The vacuum started to fill nationalism, and various nationalistic parties and movements emerged after 2008 both in EU and in the USA. The first such movement in the USA the "Tea Party" was cooped by neoliberals.

In addition to that:

Backlash against neoliberal globalization and connected with it level of unemployment due to outsourcing and offshoring of jobs

The social unrest caused by lowering of standard of living of the majority of the population (due to the redistribution of wealth up)  demonstrated itself in backlash against two tenets of neoliberalism: neoliberal globalization (and connected with it outsourcing and offshoring of everything, destroying domestic job market in the USA) and unrestricted immigration, designed to put a cap on wages of domestic workers.  It is clear that things have gone  wrong in the global economy. What is at play is a reaction to the failure of over-centralization that is inherent in neoliberal globalization. Over-centralization is too expensive: this one of the reasons of the USSR decline and collapse.  What is less clear is what can be done to fix it and how to get rid of excesses of neoliberal globalization.

It is important to understand that it is not sufficient for lower and middle class realize that they are robbed by neoliberal elite. It is also necessary that  the neoliberal elite experience a crisis of governance, the dramatic loss of legitimacy (which is the case in the USA with Congress approval in single digits). Despite its ideological dominance neoliberalism did not enjoyed broad support and relied on the ability of the elite to turn elections in its favor using the iron law of oligarchy. It mostly co-opted professional classes and upper management. For a while it managed to suppress the demand of lower 80% for higher level of equality, for a larger piece of national pie.  As a result those demand entered political discourse via violent protests, and the rise of nationalism. Civil disobedience movements like "Occupy Wall  Street" were crushed, but to crush nationalism is a much more difficult task. Here the elite failed. It lost control. In other words the elite faces a real "crisis of confidence" in American government, values, and way of life, as the public expresses doubt in a better future for their own children under the neoliberalism. Before that neoliberals relied on "verge issues" and votes of excluded groups to beef up their voting block. There why the same sex marriage spectacle was staged in the USA.

This is the time when a considerable increase in the political activity of the loser 90% usually sedated and poisoned with consumerism and neoliberal ideology. Opium of neoliberal ideology no longer words, or at least does not work as efficiently as before.  As neoliberal ideology entered a deep crisis in 2008 (much like Bolsheviks ideology in 1970th), it has been challenged by nationalism. That' the lesson Brexit that might repeat in the USA in the form of Trump winning the November election. The context of the British referendum was the choice between two evils: between the nationalism and the neoliberalism of both the Cameron government and the EU.  Brexit was supported almost everywhere outside London, a city more dependent than any other in the world on the global financial system. Brexit vote and by the rise of Donald Trump in the United States are two sides of the same coin. Nationalism provides a clear and wrong answer to the problems of neoliberal globalization. While the key problem is how to cut the power of financial oligarchy and reverse neoliberal globalization (or at least put it under more state control), it resorted to the rage against immigrants and racial minorities who benefit from neoliberal "open borders" policies designed to suppress wages for everybody. The natural response is to stop or restrict migration and, if possible, to force recent migrants, and particularly illegal migrants, to leave. While it can stem the wages decline, this does not provide a solution to the economic decline against which most of population is protesting. .In other words, while all popular modern nationalist movements -- Trump, Leave, Golden Dawn, etc -- are anti-neoliberal, instead of hitting the financial elite as the responsible party for their sufferings, they lashed out against immigration. 

The majority vote by Britons to leave the European Union was an act of raw democracy. Millions of ordinary people refused to be bullied, intimidated and dismissed with open contempt by their presumed betters in the major parties, the leaders of the business and banking oligarchy and the media.

This was, in great part, a vote by those angered and demoralized by the sheer arrogance of the apologists for the “remain” campaign and the dismemberment of a socially just civil life in Britain. The last bastion of the historic reforms of 1945, the National Health Service, has been so subverted by Tory and Labour-supported privateers it is fighting for its life.

... ... ...

The most effective propagandists of the “European ideal” have not been the far Right, but an insufferably patrician class for whom metropolitan London is the United Kingdom. Its leading members see themselves as liberal, enlightened, cultivated tribunes of the Twenty-first Century zeitgeist, even “cool.” What they really are is a bourgeoisie with insatiable consumerist tastes and ancient instincts of their own superiority.

In their house paper, the Guardian, they have gloated, day after day, at those who would even consider the European Union profoundly undemocratic, a source of social injustice and a virulent extremism known as “neoliberalism.”

The aim of this extremism is to install a permanent, capitalist theocracy that ensures a two-thirds society, with the majority divided and indebted, managed by a corporate class, and a permanent working poor.

Neoliberal ideology which emerged from the economic crisis of the 1970s,  destroyed an earlier New Deal, which was based on Keynesian macroeconomic management and a social-democratic welfare state. It also buried the USSR, by co-opting (and directly bribing)  its elite.  The essence of neoliberal program was redistribution of wealth up and the dismantling of the welfare state and the associated mixed government/private social-democratic economy. This  trend was exemplified by the Clinton administration in the United States and the Blair government in the UK. Two political party were co-opted (in case of Democratic Party sold to Wall Street by Bill Clinton -- bribed)  into two somewhat different versions of neoliberalism: soft neoliberalism of democratic party vs. hard neoliberalism of Republican Party. Both parties adopted Neoconservatism as their foreign policy platform.  Later Bill Clinton betrayal of sola-democratic values was repeated by Tony Blair’s New Labor, which explicitly abandoned the traditional positions of the Labor Party and embraced neoliberal globalization and the financial oligarchy dominance -- the key tenets of neoliberalism. 

It is clear the Hillary is a quintessential neoliberal stooge, who will never voluntarily adopt any progressive, pro-middle class policy.  She is the same neoliberal sellout as her husband. Bill Clinton, who managed to switch Democratic Party platform (and ideology) from the policy of Americanism (or "America first" in Trump terms) – focusing on what’s good for America’s middle class – to a policy of globalism (to neoliberal ideology), focusing on how to make more money for large corporations who can move their wealth and workers to foreign countries all to the detriment of the American worker and the American economy. Essentially he sold Democratic Party to Wall Street (and due to "Triumphal March of neoliberalism" after dissolution of the USSR he was followed by several other politicians in other countries doing exactly the same thing, like Tony Blair in Great Britain).

While rise of Neoliberalism since the 1970s was partially a consequence of the deep, even "revolutionary" (Internet and global communications) changes in the world economy, it required stooges to dismantle New Deal mechanisms designed to protect workers and middle class from predation of financial oligarchy.  Bill Clinton was one of such stooges, probably the most highly placed one.   Neo-liberal counterrevolution lasted till 2008. At which point it proved to be a fiasco -- deregulated market failed to behave as a self-regulating organism. Even the most hard nose-neoliberals, such as managers of big banks as well as representatives of the Bush-administration were urgently infusing billions of taxpayers money to save neoliberals from themselves, from their reckless self-enriching via games with risky financial instruments such as derivatives. It is not accidental that the second popular name for neoliberalism is casino capitalism.   But Hillary, like many other neoliberals behave like  in famous Talleyrand quote about the restored Bourbon dynasty  "They had learned nothing and forgotten nothing". She remains a staunch neoliberal and, worse, a stanch neocon ready to put the US people lives and treasure at the service of transnational corporation, which attempts to "open" foreign markets and get access to natural resources of other countries.  Which is not surprising as her own wealth and "pay for play" deals via Clinton Foundation are closely connected and depend upon the success of neoliberal globalization.

In other words Hillary Clinton is the candidate the Republicans wished they had been able to field. A Kissinger protégé, a chickenhawk with very bad, disastrous instincts on the foreign policy front, who has no clue what is the security of diplomatic communications means to the country and ready to endanger people so that her petty financial enrichment schemes  where hidden from FIOA requests.  A woman who can’t wait to start a new war, who wants her sexually obsessed husband to continue to neoliberalize the US economy, who is more open to compromises with the Republican right then Obama. Despite the fact that Obama never put any fight and always preferred his classic  "bait and switch" approach, so it's really challenging to compromise with far right Republicans more then him.

Hillary is the candidate who called the TPP the gold standard of trade agreements. As such she is a dream candidate for Wall Street.  And she’s counting on the support of Republican refugees rejecting Trump to help her win in November. Which now became more difficult  as she might be stripped from security clearance and persecuted for perjury, but still possible. In any case she is now shaken by two major scandals, one of which theoretically should end in indictment (but never will under Obama administration, unless perjury changes will be presented to Congress before November elections):

By the way, 9/11 somewhat returned to the news. And not only because Hillary voted for the invasion in Iraq. The press corps recently reminded us about "dancing Israelis", the Palestinians, Saudi role in 9/11. Iran was charged by some NY judge with financial responsibility for 9/11 events. Several news agencies raised again question about "strange"  fate of building 4 which spontaneously collapsed without being hit. And somehow managed to collapse so neatly in its footprint (which is clearly visible from YouTube videos), falling almost at the speed of gravity.   Well, looks like we are close to the second phase of the debriefing  of those events :-). Trump promised to release secret pages from 9/11 commission report. Perspective, which, of course, did not excite Washington neoconservatives, especially those with dual citizenship.  See how Krauthammer screamed about that. Compare with the following  quote:

...recently Trump has decided to venture into the controversial territory of questioning the official story of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

Trump briefly flirted with 9/11 Truth in the past with his comments claiming he witnessed Muslims celebrating the attack but I personally saw that situation as more of a smokescreen. As many readers may know, it was not Muslims who were actually seen dancing and celebrating on camera but a group of dancing Israelis. Trump had many opportunities to clarify his comments and to call out the Israeli agents but instead chose to keep fanning the flames of Islamophobia.

Now Trump is making waves by discussing the “secret papers” and references to the Saudi government’s possible role in funding the 9/11 attacks. At a recent campaign event in South Carolina Trump called out former president George W. Bush for the Iraq war and referenced “very secret” papers about the Saudi government and 9/11.

... ... ...

The “secret pages” Trump is referencing is more than likely the classified 28-pages of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 (not the 9/11 Commission Report).  Although the final report amounts to over 800 pages, the 28 pages were classified by former President George W. Bush shortly after the report was released in 2002. The 28 pages make up the bulk of a section titled “Part 4: Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters.”

Sanders and Trump as a candidates raised to political Olymp by resentment against the current neoliberal elite

Obama and the political forces behind him (essentially the same as behind Hillary Clinton) probably was the last candidate who successfully applied "switch and bait" politics. This time this did not work all too well and Hillary despite all the power of the controlled by Bill Clinton political machine of the Democratic Party  barely overcome a challenge from poorly financed not well know senator from Vermont. 

Sanders seems to understand that people are tired of maintaining huge neoliberal empire and the Wall Street can't milk them any longer without the danger of some kind of revolt. Which is dangerous for the US elite despite full militarization of police and tremendous growth of repressive apparatus of the state after 9/11.

I think Trump represents a somewhat similar phenomenon within the Republican Party and also has some level of intuitive understanding of the danger of neoliberal globalization.  He obliterated 16 rivals, some of them rising Republican stars, on the way to winning 37 states and building a coalition broad enough to include secular moderates in Massachusetts as well as evangelicals in Mississippi. The fact is that he managed to defeat Tea Party candidate Ted Cruz, the hero of a disastrous for  GOP government shutdown of 2013.  That became possible only because the Tea Party in Washington no longer represents  an anti-neoliberalism insurgency of Republicans rank-and-file members from below.  It became just a realignment within the neoliberal Republican establishment  -- a shift to the right and commitment of the party leadership to a position of non-compromising position on most issues. "My way or highway" mentality.  (How Bush-Appointed Ivy Leaguer Ted Cruz Became A Tea Party Darling)

To understand Cruz’s role in 2016, one must recognize that the Tea Party in Washington today is a not an insurgency from below. It is a realignment within the Republican establishment that has committed the party to a position of extreme non-compromise. As Megyn Kelly pointed out yesterday, Ted Cruz has put himself at the vanguard of that strategy. The willingness to naysay, more than any policy position or connection to the conservative grassroots, is what distinguishes him from other Republican presidential hopefuls. 

Let’s remember: The Tea Party, more than an organization or even a movement, was a political moment. In early 2009, the person and the policy proposals of President Barack Obama galvanized grassroots conservatives. But, after the exceptionally unpopular President Bush left office, the Republican brand was toxic and the party leadership was in disarray. Encouraged by conservative media, rank-and-file Republicans built ad hoc local “Tea Party” groups to oppose the new president’s agenda. There was plenty of room at the top for any Republican who could seize the “Tea Party” momentum.

Trump like Sanders also represent probably a small, tiny part of the of the US elite which understand grave danger of kicking the can of neoliberalism down the road. And that it a time to purge the Washington elite from the "neocon warmongers" left over from the Bush administration. Otherwise the risks are twofold: one is that that the situation can spiral out of control and the other that the elite will try another "small victorious war" like the  war with Iraq was, to unite the population and quell the discontent (and therefore support Hillary).

Consider Mr. Trump’s remarks in Scotland following the Brexit vote. He has been ridiculed, as usual, for his slip-ups, but he also grasped the underlying symbolism of the referendum: its prideful call for national sovereignty and identity, heightened by the pressures of the global economy. “People want to see borders,” Mr. Trump said. “They don’t necessarily want people pouring into their country that they don’t know who they are and where they come from.”

In this sense Trump movement is somewhat similar to Peronism: hatred of elites combined with direct appeals to “the forgotten man,” “the silent majority” and “the moral majority”. The pillars of the Peronism ideal, known as the "three flags", are social justice, economic independence, and political sovereignty.

This make Sanders and Trump the only two viable candidates. In a sense of lesser evil voting.  Neither of them are perfect and chances of Sanders to get Democratic Party nomination are almost non-existent unless Hillary steps down from the Presidential race. That left Trump as the only potential challenger of  status quoi of neoliberal globalization.

Actually Sanders performance against Hillary was a big surprise to the Democratic (read neoliberal, as Bill Clinton sold the party to Wall Street) establishment this electoral season.  So the fact that Democratic Party was sold by Bill Clinton to Wall Street now start to backfire. They still hope that they will manage to fool the population like in 2008 with Obama ""bait and switch" trick, and by demonizing Trump. But with emailgate scandal and possible loss of security clearance, Hillary is a bad candidate for such a trick because the only way she can win is to get votes of moderate Republicans and independents. Which now is less likely. Also it is difficult to teach old neocon dog new tricks.  So we will see, if they can succeed this time.

It's no question that politically neoliberal forces  in the USA are still very powerful and that they will try their best to install their candidate. It says a lot about pro-Hillary Clinton political forces that even NYT columnist Maureen Dowd stated that "she seems well on her way to becoming Madam President because she’s not getting indicted. "(NYT,

In a mere 11 days, arrogant, selfish actions by the Clintons contaminated three of the purest brands in Washington — Barack Obama, James Comey and Loretta Lynch — and jeopardized the futures of Hillary’s most loyal aides.

Comey, who was then yanked up to Capitol Hill for a hearing on Thursday, revealed that instead of no emails with classified information, as Hillary had insisted, there were 110, of those turned over to the State Department. Instead of Clinton’s assurances that the server in the basement in Chappaqua had never been breached, Comey said it was possible that hostile actors had hacked Clinton’s email account. Among the emails not given to State, he said at least three contained classified information.

Hillary had already compromised the president, who feels he needs her to cement his legacy. Obama angered FBI. agents when he was interviewed on CBS’s “60 Minutes” last fall and undermined the bureau’s investigation by exonerating Hillary before the FBI. was done with its work, saying pre-emptively, “This is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.”

Hillary willfully put herself above the rules — again — and a president, campaign and party are all left twisting themselves into pretzels defending her.

But what should disturb Obama, who bypassed his own vice president to lay out the red carpet for Hillary, is that the email transgression is not a one off. It’s part of a long pattern of ethical slipping and sliding, obsessive secrecy and paranoia, and collateral damage.

Comey’s verdict that Hillary was “negligent” was met with sighs rather than shock. We know who Hillary and Bill are now. We’ve been held hostage to their predilections and braided intrigues for a long time. (On the Hill, Comey refused to confirm or deny that he’s investigating the Clinton Foundation, with its unseemly tangle of donors and people doing business with State.)

We’re resigned to the Clintons focusing on their viability and disregarding the consequences of their heedless actions on others. They’re always offering a Faustian deal.  

Support of Hillary candidacy by major neoliberal MSM no longer work, but tricks with election polls still do

  Fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again.

The key idea of polls is to influence electorate. Not to inform, but to influence.

 

Neoliberal MSM don't care if Hillary is mentally ill, dying, criminal or anything. Because it isn't about her, it is about The Neoliberal Agenda.

Hillary is supported by all major US MSMs (with the exclusion of Fox). Look how AP predeclared Hillary a winner, although none of the "super delegates" (apparatchiks, representing the Party Establishment and controlling the Party much like was the case with CPSU) voted yet. Such dirty tricks are typical when the elite start to worry about the outcome of election and their own stability at the top of the food chain.  In any case, I think that many realize that those elections have one interesting similarity with year 2000 elections: the economy in the second half 2016 and 2017 might decline. And decline of the economy in the second half of 2016 might undermine Democrat chances much like it undermined them in 2000.  But it is difficult to repeat with Hillary "bait and switch" trick that was so skillfully and successfully was performed with Obama.  Like unforgettable George W Bush quipped: "

There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again.

The real issue is not Clinton, or Sanders, or Trump. The real issue is the fight with neoliberalism (or Reaganomics) that destroyed the country. And already destroyed employment opportunities for millions of Americans pushing them into poverty, by encouraging unlimited emigration, including immigration of professionals and unlimited stream of China-produced goods.  In in such desperate battle all means are OK. Even Trump with his multiple warts. Later Twitter hashtags such as

  1. #CrookedHillary
  2. #NotFitToServe
  3. #LyingHillary
  4. #LiedUnderOath,
  5. #DeceitfulHillary

became important integrators of "anti-Hillary" news, effectively providing counterweight to fawning MSM presstitutes.

Again MSM in the USA tend to personalize the most important political issues (identity politics). That gives them opportunity to hide real issues facing the nation under smoke screen of personal invectives.  The real issue during this election is a referendum of neoliberal globalization. that's what MSM try to bury in the smokescreen of identity politics, Look how "Back life matters" movement was played.  

They try to hide the danger that yet another globalist war for opening natural resources and labor resources of other countries for transnationals which will be unleashed by Hillary. Who already managed to vote of Iraq war, and  royally rape Ukraine , Libya and Syria. This is a real issue, and it not about personalities involved.  It is about different factions of the US elite: globalist part that now dominant and smaller weaker nationalist part what is now on the upswing.

I doubt that democratic leadership (which are democrats only in name, being regular bought neocons at the service of Wall Street)  shared the voters opinion that we need slightly compress financial oligarchy in order to give people some breathing space :-). For a very simple reason: they all were bought by financial oligarchy during Bill Clinton term and as Mark Twain noted "An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought."

It is possible that "bait and switch" which so wonderfully worked with Obama will work again with Hillary (if people are foolish enough to believe her pre-election promises) although reading all sorts of "alternative press " forums (which are of course not fully reflect public opinion ). But I think now changes for this trick to succeed are much lower than the current neoliberal MSM honchos estimate. And after "emailgate" that Trump really has chances against her. I have an impression is that this time Republicans might "got" her like they got Bill with Monica. And disbar and strip her of security clearance at least.   And I am sure they will try their best now to remove her security clearance, which will be the major embarrassment.  If timing is right in election cycle that will be knockdown.

IMHO if the Democratic Party did not wake up to this danger and did not try to push Sanders -- they might well be done in November.   For Trump, who has no history in politics, Hillary now  is a perfect target for a negative "national security in danger" charged campaign in which he is a grandmaster to be envied by Karl Rove. He will wipe with her the floor, that's for sure. And from this point she can't even mention her stance as the Secretary of State without evoking contemptuous laugh.  specially if he picks up a retired general Pick Flynn,  the former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, as his VP

That why we now see such a brazen, classic Soviet style dirty propaganda campaign against Trump in major MSM. 

To some extent, the fact that Sanders and Trump "floated to the top" against the will of the establishment can be called a symptom of "pre-revolutionary situation" reminding the situation before WWI like depicted in famous 1905 song Warszawianka:

Whirlwinds of danger are racing around us
O'erwhelming forces of darkness prevail
Still in the fight see advancing before us
Bright flag of liberty that yet shall prevail!

In a way the internal situation in the USA have the level of complexity and level of hate of neoliberal globalist elite (represented by investment banks such as Goldman Sachs -- the vampire squid as Tabbi called it) remind my situation in pre-revolutionary Russia or Balkans.  And some reasons the whole world got into the situation somewhat resembling the one that existed before WWI.  Take Mid East. Is not this a new Balkans of 1914 ?

Also like before WWI there is at least one country which now have economic might that somewhat challenges the status of the  sole superpower.  Here we are taking about China. And another country which believes that the US has cut off too large a piece of the pie and want global redistribution of spheres of influence and does not want to march on the tune of Washington drummers. Here we are talking about Russia. While the elite in the USA are still adhere to the delusional idea of the total world domination, whose two countries present some obstacles, which might grow during the next decade. Moreover the people of the USA are tired to pay the costs for maintaining the Global Neoliberal Empire:

It is well known that the key idea of polls is to influence electorate. Not to inform, but to influence. In the USA, like in the USSR,  MSM are fully engaged in this dirty game.  The psychological mechanism behind this dirty game  is based on deeply rooted human tendency to side with the  (presumptive) winner.

MSM fake the desirable for the elite result (or at least distort actually picture) and that automatically conditions those who is still undecided to vote for "presumptive winner", or not to vote. The latter in the spirit of inverted totalitarism is preferable for  elite result -- making each elite voter (who always vote, as this is about their power) more valuable. Please note half of the US population does not vote.  But anger might brings them out.  John Pilger gave a good picture of behaviour of MSM in his recent article The Brexit Rejection of Neoliberal Tyranny ( Consortiumnews, )

Dismissing ‘These People’

On the morning after the vote, a BBC radio reporter welcomed politicians to his studio as old chums. “Well,” he said to “Lord” Peter Mandelson, the disgraced architect of Blairism, “why do these people want it so badly?” The “these people” are the majority of Britons.

The wealthy war criminal Tony Blair remains a hero of the Mandelson “European” class, though few will say so these days. The Guardian once described Blair as “mystical” and has been true to his “project” of rapacious war. The day after the vote, the columnist Martin Kettle offered a Brechtian solution to the misuse of democracy by the masses.
“Now surely we can agree referendums are bad for Britain,” said the headline over his full-page piece. The “we” was unexplained but understood — just as “these people” is understood. “The referendum has conferred less legitimacy on politics, not more,” wrote Kettle, adding: “the verdict on referendums should be a ruthless one. Never again.”

The kind of ruthlessness for which Kettle longs is found in Greece, a country now airbrushed. There, they had a referendum against more austerity and the result was ignored. Like the Labour Party in Britain, the leaders of the Syriza government in Athens are the products of an affluent, highly privileged, educated middle class, groomed in the fakery and political treachery of post-modernism.

The Greek people courageously used the referendum to demand their government seek “better terms” with a venal status quo in Brussels that was crushing the life out of their country. They were betrayed, as the British would have been betrayed.

Sophistication of the current MSM allows conditioning in a very subtle way. For example if electorate of one candidate is younger, you can run poll using landline phones. How subgroup is selected is also important:

3.14e-9  

Yes, how they ask the questions is important, and it’s also important to note which subgroups were asked the questions. Some questions were limited to respondents who had voted in a previous Democratic primary. That means the results don’t include Independents and Republicans who might cross party lines. Also, those who voted in a past primary are far more likely to be familiar with HRC than Sanders.

Lastly, confidence in Bernie rose for some questions. Interestingly enough, there was an increase in the number of people who thought he could competently handle a foreign crisis. Sargent’s bias is pretty clear. Entire poll here:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/11/12/us/politics/document-poll.html

Of course this election cycle much depends on how angry people really are with the establishment. I think many viscerally dislike Hillary Clinton creating what is called  "anybody but Hillary" voting block. Essentially they are voting not for, but against. 

I think not many understand that Dem and Repug are actually one neoliberal party representing its soft and hard wings, correspondingly. And both intend to harm or even destroy the country with their globalist neoliberal policies to serve interests on top 0.01% (note the intensity the campaign against Trump and the result of this complains).  And that the case with Dems since Bill Clinton sold the part to Wall Street. The vast body of American people wants change back to "New Deal" policies (and not Obama's fake "change we can believe in")  but they don’t have a place at the negotiating table…

Gaius Publius  provide a good analysis of now MSM sell establishment candidate to lemmings in his July 10, 2015 post in Naked capitalism blog (The Clinton Campaign Notices the Sanders Campaign, or How to Read the Media)

Taking Apart the Insider Game

The most important thing to consider when thinking about the Sanders campaign is this. Everyone else who’s running, on both sides, is an insider playing within — and supporting — the “insider game,” the one that keeps insiders wealthy and outsiders struggling, the one where the wealthy and their retainers operate government for their benefit only. What sets Sanders apart is his determination to dismantle that game, to take it apart and send its players home (back to the private sector) or to jail.

Two examples should make this clear. One is Fast Track and the “trade” agreements being forced upon us. The pressure to pass these agreements is coming equally from mainstream Democrats like Barack Obama, a “liberal,” and from mainstream Republicans, supposed “conservatives.” They may differ on “rights” policy, like abortion rights, but not on money matters. Trade agreements are wealth-serving policies promoted by people in both parties who serve wealth, which means most of them. People like Sanders, Warren and others, by contrast, would neuter these agreement as job-killing profit protection schemes and turn them into something else.

A second example involves Wall Street banks, in particular, a policy of breaking them up, reinstating Glass-Steagall, and prosecuting Wall Street fraud. Can you imagine any announced candidate doing any of these things, save Bernie Sanders?

In both of these cases, Sanders would aggressively challenge the insider profit-protection racket, not just give lip service to challenging it. Which tells you why he is so popular. Many of us in the bleachers have noticed the insider game — after all, it’s been happening in front of us for decades— and most of us are done with it. Ask any Tea Party Republican voter, for example, what she thinks of the bank bailout of 2008-09. She’ll tell you she hated it, whether she explains it in our terms or not.

And that’s why Sanders, like Warren before him, draws such enthusiastic crowds. The pendulum has swung so far in the direction of wealth that the nation may well change permanently, and people know it. People are ready, just as they were in 2008, prior to eight years of betrayal. People have been discouraged about the chance for change lately, but they’re ready for the real thing if they see it.

The Clinton Campaign Notices Sanders

There’s been an attempt to downplay the Sanders candidacy since the beginning, to sink his campaign beneath a wave of silence. That ended a bit ago, and the press has begun to take notice, if snippily. Now the Clinton campaign is noticing, if the New York Times is to be believed. I found the following fascinating, for a number of reasons.

The piece first along with some news, then a little exegesis (my emphasis):

Hillary Clinton’s Team Is Wary as Bernie Sanders Finds Footing in Iowa

The ample crowds and unexpectedly strong showing by Senator Bernie Sanders are setting off worry among advisers and allies of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who believe the Vermont senator could overtake her in Iowa polls by the fall and even defeat her in the nation’s first nominating contest there.

The enthusiasm that Mr. Sanders has generated — including a rally attended by 2,500 people in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Friday — has called into question Mrs. Clinton’s early strategy of focusing on a listening tour of small group gatherings and wooing big donors in private settings. In May, Mrs. Clinton led with 60 percent support to Mr. Sanders’ 15 percent in a Quinnipiac poll. Last week the same poll showed Mrs. Clinton at 52 percent to Mr. Sanders’s 33 percent.

“We are worried about him, sure. He will be a serious force for the campaign, and I don’t think that will diminish,” Jennifer Palmieri, the Clinton campaign’s communications director, said Monday in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Some of Mrs. Clinton’s advisers acknowledged that they were surprised by Mr. Sanders’ momentum and said there were enough liberal voters in Iowa, including many who supported Barack Obama or John Edwards in 2008, to create problems for her there.

“I think we underestimated that Sanders would quickly attract so many Democrats in Iowa who weren’t likely to support Hillary,” said one Clinton adviser, who like several others spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly share views about the race. “It’s too early to change strategy because no one knows if Sanders will be able to hold on to these voters in the months ahead. We’re working hard to win them over, but yeah, it’s a real competition there.”

I don’t want to quote the whole thing (well, I do, but I can’t). So I encourage you to read it. There’s much there worth noticing.

What to Look at When the Times Reports on Clinton

Now, some exegesis, meta-reading of the media, especially corporate media like the Times. My three main points are bulleted below.

"Hillary as lesser evil" attack on Trump

A vote against Hillary is not a vote for Trump any more than a vote
against the Iraq War was a vote for Saddam Hussein.

The Guardian

Shills for Democratic Party try to present Hillary as lesser evil then Trump. But Hillary is a war criminal of a type that in the recent past went to Nuremberg tribunal and as such she represents absolute zero (much like Kelvin scale absolute zero in temperatures) of evilness of politicians. You just can't be more evil. She (with her boss Obama) was instrumental in destroying three countries (Ukraine, Libya and Syria) and killing hundreds of thousand civilians by unleashing civil wars in those countries. Aggressive wars are simply, as Jackson said at Nurnberg, the supreme international crime. You can't go lower then this but neoliberal MSM try to fool the voters claiming the opposite (The Guardian)

MrWangincanada , 2016-08-02 11:34:46

Anyone but Clinton, I beg you, American voters.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama is one of the greatest war criminals in recent history, Clinton will only be worse.

Vote for Jill or Trump, never Clinton.

FTPFTP , 2016-08-02 11:30:03

There simply isn't any logic to this OMG Trump will be the worst thing ever. So one must then assume that the argument is created and perpetuated simply to manipulate and mislead.

Trump, a detestable person, would get very little of his extreme views passed. Clinton, a detestable person, would get very much of her extreme views passed.

Because Clinton is to the right of Obama (accurate provided you aren't a rabid partisan) she is far more likely to get every awful military action she wants. Since she's apparently the "pragmatic" one, how quickly do any of these policy proposals get watered down or gutted entirely in the name of compromise and political realities and "politics being the art of the possible"?

And of course, the useless, vapid, Democrat partisans will, for the most part, say nothing. See: 8-years of Obama as Bush 2.0.

ID7004073  -> bluelines , 2016-08-02 11:54:07
Get your facts straight. Those have been labeled FALSE!

However the corruption and neoLiberal war supporter that is hung on Clinton has been proven by her actions with "regime change" in Libya and coup support in Honduras. And then there is the corruption of weapons for charitable contributions for the Clinton Foundation! ...

FTPFTP  -> jamesmit , 2016-08-02 12:10:31
You are correct that Obama was different from Bush, you're just wrong about the direction.
  1. Drones/Illegal Wars: Expanded
  2. Wall St/Corporate Corruption: Went unpunished & expanded
  3. Domestic Spying: Expanded
  4. Constitutional Violations: Expanded
  5. War or Whistleblowers: Created

He has done nothing but act like climate change is important. He has not done anything meaningful except offer more hopeful rhetoric, the only thing the Democratic candidates seem to be good at lately.

This is what lesser evilism gets you.

 

The US President does have huge influence on in foreign policy and from this point Hillary Clinton should scare hell out off an average US voter (in this particular area she is a real devil as Trump rightly said :-) 

But this is not the case because an average US voter sees the US aggressive wars as defensive. Also MSM brainwashing is very strong and most voters just do not have all the facts in thier disposal, only those who read foreign press can have them. Is it fair to consider such US citizens as delusional? Probably not. But they definitly were merely massively and comprehensively brainwashed.

Is the Trump Campaign smart enough to sustain six months campaign of counter-disinformation warfare? Can they play the irony that Hillary camp is attacking Trump for his fear mongering, while Hillary is a real, certified warmonger and war criminal. Will they will be able to creating countervailing agenda for MSM fear mongering about what a monster Trump would be as the President. It's all about playing voters fear even when MSM pretend it's not, and that is sickening. They try to swipe the problem with neoliberal globalization under the rug.   Is Trump and his team smart enough  to "beat Hillary's teeth out of her mouth"  based on her certified warmonger status war criminal record? As well as the fact that she in the pocket of Wall Street, and will remain in this comfortable (for her) position for the rest of the political life ("Goldwater girl" is a quintessential neoliberal, and always was). Those are very interesting questions. The problem is the very few ask them  (sic_semper_tyrannis, July 29, 2016). 

Jack said in reply to Old Microbiologist...

OM,

"delusional citizens in the US see our aggression as defensive".

This is what happens when citizens have been propagandized for so long. And folks are inherently lazy. They'll buy into whatever whoever they trust say. Do you recall the majority of Americans believed that Saddam had WMD and was in cahoots with AQ and supported the invasion where we would be treated as liberators?

The first time in the recent past there is any dissonance in public discourse has been with Trump.

Trump campaign is making some right moves: (theguardian.com, Aug 2, 2016)

Roger Stone, a long time confidante of Trump, amplified these concerns in an interview with a far right wing radio show.

Stone said: “I think we have widespread voter fraud, but the first thing that Trump needs to do is begin talking about it constantly.”

Laying out a strategy for Trump to adopt, Stone added: “He needs to say for example, today would be a perfect example: ‘I am leading in Florida. The polls all show it. If I lose Florida, we will know that there’s voter fraud. If there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate, the election of the winner will be illegitimate, we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil disobedience, and the government will no longer be the government.’”

He also promised a “bloodbath” if the Democrats attempted to “steal” the election.

... ... ...

The statement came after Trump reiterated a frequent allegation of his on the campaign trail in recent days, that in endorsing the former secretary of state, Bernie Sanders made a deal with the devil. He went further this time, explicitly saying: “She’s the devil.”

But Hillary campaign has skillful propagandists and full support of neoliberal MSM (which all are neoliberal). They can create much ado about nothing (Melania plagiarism issue ;-). Looks how skillfully they played the propagated by Democratic strategist attack on Trump by the father of a fallen Muslim Army captain. Just look at NYT propaganda games around this sensitive subject:

They managed to inflate it into a major scandal effectively swiping under the rag Hillary Clinton war crimes and presenting Trump as insensitive to sacrifices make by US army (which includes tiny number of Muslims) in fight terrorism. This is a master play that should go into all propaganda books as the whole issue is completely artificial was create out of thin air by Clinton campaign propagandists. That also allowed them to raise questions about how Trump managed to avoid draft:

Another example odd skillfully amplifying not always politically correct (but in this particular case pretty reasonable) Trump remarks is anti-Russian hysteria around his words that Russians should give FBI those 30K deleted emails, if they have them. Now they start blaming him for wanting warmer relations with Putin, the person who stands against expansion of US neoliberal empire and was demonized for a decade (see Demonization of Putin). This is another master class in propaganda.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/02/us/politics/donald-trump-vladimir-putin-russia.html?ribbon-ad-idx=4&rref=politics&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Politics&pgtype=article

This time it looks like this time the working class voters vowed to take their revenge at the polls and do not buy neoliberal propaganda.  They now understand that they were taken for a ride by neocons and will never see promised by neoliberal propagandists "prosperity for all", only redistribution of wealth up at their expense.  They were disgusted with the neoliberal transformation of the country during previous three  administrations and, especially the most dishonest of them --  the king of "bait and switch", neoliberal in democrat cloth Obama, who betrays people who elected him twice in best Bill Clinton traditions.  Who now wants to became a venture capitalist himself. Such a "change we can believe in" ;-). 

 If you did not see Trump Ad Hillary Clinton Crooked Warmonger  (Youtube) I recommend you to watch it. It catches the main point:  Stakes are too high to elect warmonger like Hillary Clinton

Anti Trump propaganda resembles war propaganda

To understand the coverage of Trump in neoliberal MSM one needs to understand the mechanisms of war propaganda. The latter is guided by the following postulates well known since the WWI (Falsehood in War-Time):

1. We do not want war.
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
9. Our cause is sacred. "The ages-old 'God bless America' is playing once more."
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.

Essentially the task is to compare two candidates (and Trump platform hs many strong points which attacks large swats of voters) but to demonize him by whatever means possible. Often using prepared attacks (political gambits) to discredit him. Neoliberal MSM do not want to discuss real issues such as Hillary record as war party candidate, but try to disrult voter with so called "verge" issues. The classic example of verge issue is LGBT and "gay marriage".  Attacks like "Melania plagiarism", "Muslim solger father attack",  "Trump as Putin lover", anti-Russian hysteria belong to the same category. 

Deflection of an important issue is also successfully used. See for example attempt to drawn the proven corruption of Democratic Party primaries in the sea of anti-Russian hysteria.

To expect NYT, WaPo, CNN, and other neoliberal MSM to discuss dangers of neoliberal globalization and destruction of of US jobs during this election campaign, or, God forbid, ask related questions to candidate Hillary,  is like to expect that Mississippi reverses its flow.

The only hope is the neoliberal MSM are no longer trusted and the bite of neoliberal propaganda became weaker this time.

  1. The "revolt of diplomats" gambit. On March 3, 2016  neocons staged 40 "national security leaders" (read dyed-in-the-wool neocons) open letter against Trump. Trump is ‘fundamentally dishonest,’ say GOP national security leaders in open letter - The Washington Post. This panic at neocons Jurassic park is pretty telling. Among 40 neocons who signed the letter we see only few diplomats. The list mostly composed of second rate "security establishment/foreign policy" players. There are some exceptions -- recognizable names -- such as Robert B. Zoellick (the eleventh president of the World Bank), Ken_Adelman (former deputy U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations),  Robert Kagan  (Counselor of the State Department appointed by Hillary Clinton, co-founder of PNAC), Eliot A. Cohen (Counselor of the State Department appointed by Rice), Daniel Pipes (famous Israeli lobbyist) Michael Chertoff (the second United States Secretary of Homeland Security under Presidents George W. Bush, co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act), and Dov S. Zakheim (Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Planning and Resources from 1985 to 1987).  The major neocon players in George W Bush administration such as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Elliott Abrams are not in the list. "The letter comes just days after Michael Hayden, the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, said the U.S. military might disobey orders if Trump becomes president. "

    We know that such letters are a standard part of "color revolutions" (including but not limited to Libya, Ukraine(The Revolt of diplomats) and Syria ), but in this case this trick was used preemptively against a leading candidate from Republican party. It was followed by Khan gambit.

    "Revolt of diplomats" from the perspective of propaganda is a very powerful weapon in the Arsenal of "soft coups". It can, if you want to ask Leonid Kuchma, that could confirm "the  Colonel Kaddafi", and Mr. Yanukovich. But in order for bomb to explode more powerfully you need that the revolt of diplomats  was (as in the era of Orange Revolution, in Libya and in Syria) is involve the diplomats of the highest rank, preferably the level of acting heads of diplomatic missions. In this case it produces an avalanche style affect de-legitimizing the current government. and then can serve as a starting point for the further de-legitimization.

     Looks like US neocons now use the color revolution playbook against Trump.  This is a technique of "soft coup".
     

  2. "Waving the flag attacks".  Typically they are switfboat style attacks. This is what this page is about.  Khan gambit opened Trump military record to investigation and blackmailing by neoliberal MSM.  It also facilitated the attacks design to put a verge between Trump and military voters.
  3. Creating a false image of Trump as a fascist authoritarian (with the goal of blocking voting for Trump of Sanders supporters after Sanders betrayal of his political platform)
     
  4. Fanning anti-Russian hysteria and accusing Trump of connections to Putin (Putin stooge gambit). This is a typical cold war trick that works very well because of demonization of Putin in neoliberal MSM.  Neocons, as former Trotskyites, were the propagandist warriors of Cold War and are very skilled in below the belt blows of this kind (searching for  "communists under each bed"). As such this can be viewed as a variation of  McCarthy-style attacks -- a witch hunt for Putin supporters within Trump close cycle of advisors. Anti-Russian and pro-Israel stance is a part of neoconservative ideology (and is shared by a large part of Washington elite), so for neocons (and neoliberal MSM) this type of attacks are as a natural as breathing. McCarthyism  painted liberals as soft on Communism, now neocon paint opponents of Warmonger Hillary,  as soft on Putin.  When in reality the main danger is not softness, but the danger of nuclear confrontation with Russia. Neocon demagogues, such as Robert Kagan managed simultaneously accuse Trump of being Putin stooge and a fascist.  It is well known that chickenhawks are rabidly jingoistic, so this theme also is played as a part of "waving the flag attacks" such as Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention
     
  5. Projecting on Trump accusations of racism ( a variant of Gaslighting) with the goal of eliminating Trump voters among minorities. In reality Bill Clinton, as a staunch neoliberal,  initiated the largest program of incarceration of black men in history.  He also substantially cut federal support to poor families.

     Indiscriminate killing of brown people (including many woman and children) supported (and in case of Libya pressed) by Hillary is not considered racist by neoliberal MSM, but Trump suggestion (note suggestion) to limit Muslim and Mexican immigration to the USA is the crime of the century, because such a measure limits inflow of cheap labor for transnational corporations. What is interesting in this "identity politics" attack deployed by Hillary camp is that often they misdiagnose the problems pretending that nothing, but racism matters and that this is automatically thee root cause. For example for excessive police violence against blacks. Sometime the root cause is different: it can be stereotyping, or that people are frightened, they can behave stupid, or they are evil. No, all such cases are automatically classified as racists. Police misconduct is not a problem solely about race and racism. Here’s a thoughtful blogpost about the problem of police misconduct in certain kinds of fatal shooting incidents and what can be done about it, both politically and in terms of reforming police training and administration: http://sociological-eye.blogspot.com/2016/07/can-war-between-cops-and-blacks-be-de.html
     

  6. Creating an image of Trump as an unstable maniac who can't be trusted with important assignments, such as control of nuclear button (and forgetting that Obama is a former cocaine addict and marijuana user, who might not completely abandon this habit in the White house) . An Bruce Wilder ( Crooked timber, Aug 13, 2016) aptly noted: "People, who argue Trump might start a nuclear war out of personal pique because he insults people on teevee might want to examine Clinton’s bellicose foreign policy record and positions on, say, Israel, Iran, Ukraine, NATO expansion or the South China Sea. ". Or, as Ian Welsh pointed out, her position on Syria is nothing but reckless. She seems to have advocated for a no-fly zone in Syria, which would presumably means shooting down Russian warplanes.
      
  7. Denigration Trump personality by constant using in neoliberal MSM coverage of Trump such epithets as "crazy, reckless, ignorant, ignoramus, unqualified, unhinged lunatic, nuclear weapons trigger happy, narcissist, xenophobe, anti-Muslim, misogynist, buffoon, chimpanzee-level " 
  8. Distorting his views, despite some of them have strong connection to reality. Please read 6 Problems With Media's Reaction To Trump's ISIS Comments by Mollie Hemingway. This is a very important article and I strongly recommend to read it in full to understand how neoliberal propaganda works. This is a nice example of how difficult is for an ordinary person to cut through media lies and get to the truth. So some level of brainwashing is inevitable unless you use only alternative media. Neoliberal MSM are disgusting and are lying all the time, but they are called "mainstream media" not accidentally. Unless you use WWW and foreign sources (like people in the USSR did -- substitute radio for WWW, as it did not existed yet) you will be brainwashed. Like Margaret Thatcher used to say "there is no alternative". They did the same dirty tricks with Bernie Sanders to derail his candidacy.

 

Attempt to court Jewish voters and thus Florida for Hillary

Slurs that Trump is closet anti-Semite are also successfully used to lure into Hillary camp the specific category of voters, which might decide the Florida election results (Hillary Clinton’s AIPAC speech was a symphony of craven, delusional pandering):

Here is the entirety of Clinton’s remarks about settlements: “Everyone has to do their part by avoiding damaging actions, including with respect to settlements. Now, America has an important role to play in supporting peace efforts. And as president, I would continue the pursuit of direct negotiations. And let me be clear—I would vigorously oppose any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution, including by the U.N. Security Council.”

She spent significantly more time railing against the “alarming” Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, which is gaining traction on college campuses nationwide. Pledging to “take our alliance to the next level,” Clinton said that one of the first things she’d do in office is invite the Israeli prime minister to the White House. That was a barely veiled rebuke to Obama, who never treated Benjamin Netanyahu with the deference the prime minister felt entitled to. Before the speech, some had hoped that Clinton might offer a word of solidarity or encouragement to beleaguered progressives in Israel. She gave them nothing.

It’s understandable that Clinton would want to widen the gulf between AIPAC and Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee. “We need steady hands, not a president who says he’s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday, and who knows what on Wednesday, because everything is negotiable,” she said to applause, out-hawking the man who is running on a platform of Middle Eastern war crimes. In doing so, she offered a bridge to #NeverTrump neoconservatives like Max Boot and Robert Kagan, who has already written that, should Trump be the nominee, “the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be.”

Anti-Trump neoconservatives, however, are a minuscule group of people. And in seeking their approval, Clinton has further alienated left-wing voters, particularly young ones. Polls show that Americans under 30 are far more critical of Israel than are older voters. Liberal Democrats sympathize more with the Palestinians than they do with Israel. There is already deep suspicion of Clinton’s foreign-policy instincts among Bernie Sanders’ supporters; Clinton doesn’t need to give them new reasons to distrust her.

Foreign Phrase On Bill Clinton's Lapel Pin Sparks Speculation

Former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday was subject to inquiries about his pin shortly after he arrived to watch Vice President Joe Biden’s address. The Forward’s Nathan Guttman shared a Twitter photo of the blue and white pin, which sparked some discussion regarding its potential significance.

“I know it’s Hebrew,” one commenter wrote, “but I can’t make out the letters. Tovah?”

A short time later, a representative of the National Jewish Democratic Council offered some clarity. Steve Rabinowitz explained both he and NJDC Chairman Marc Stanley gave Clinton one of the pins prior to Wednesday evening’s scheduled events. The lapel embellishment reads “Hillary” in Hebrew.

“He said he’d wear it,” Rabinowitz recalled of his encounter with the former president, “but I didn’t know whether or not to believe him and certainly didn’t think he’d do it tonight.” 

Rise of Deep State

My point is that in many ways, the current system  creates this false illusion that there are some politicians out there looking out for the interest of people, that the checks and balances from 18th century that were built into the system are operational, when in fact they're not.  And this no longer can be squared by propaganda in MSM, much like Soviet propaganda machine lost its effectiveness in 1970th. Which contributed to the collapse of the state in 1990th. Actually internal stability of the USA is a complex issue. For one plausible source of this additional stability some researchers see in the rise of The Deep State which actually come to power in 1963:

In a way the concept of  Corporatism and the concept of  "deep state' are very close, almost synonyms. Corporatism presuppose the merger of government and corporations. It can be done openly as was the case in Mussolini Italy or via back door, "revolving door" mechanism as it was done in the USA. In the latter case part of power of 'surface state" is preserved.

But there are agencies that get special status under corporatism. this is so called three-letter agencies (which actually is the backbone of Media-Military-Industrial Complex). Or national security establishment. This is new unelected aristocracy with huge financial resources that stands above law and can't be easily demotes from their positions (J. Edgar Hoover  is an excellent example here).  They now are a new incarnation of "royal court", which can like in old times is able to dismiss a monarch or even kill him.

So in a way the concept of "deep state" -- hypertrophied role of three letter agencies and their brass and certain corporations (aka military industrial complex) in national politics especially in formulating foreign policy is nothing new. But devil is always in details and some features of the USA deep state are different then our analogy predicts.

First of all "surface state" is still keeping some positions and even try to counterattack deep state in certain areas. Second, the merger of interests of three letter agencies like CIA/NSA and Wall Street can never be absolute as they have different worldviews on both the USA foreign policy priorities and methods of achieving them. They only partially coincide.  Also relations between three letter agencies are far from harmonious at all with CIA ('humint") very concerned about recent rise of status and capabilities of NSA ("sigint").  So in certain areas they are more like spiders in the cage with CIA perfectly capable attacking NSA and vise versa, and that gives us some hope. 

Two party system invented by elite of Great Britain proved to be perfect for inverted totalitarism type of regimes, including the US neoliberalism.  But there is second trend here which increase the elite control of the county:  this is dramatic transfer of power to institutions of "deep state", which in certain sense now like TBTF are beyond civil  control. As well as a secret alliance between Wall Street and CIA and other three letter agencies.

All those factors essentially make Presidential and Congress election in the USA truly optional, serving mostly ceremonial, decorative function. Yes elections still continue to exist and sometime provide good theater, within the strict rules of an emasculated "two parties, winner takes all" system, which if you think about it is not that different from one party elections in the USSR.

They still have a role in legitimizing the current rulers, although actual rules are not the same as those who were elected. This is especially true about the two recent US Presidents: George W Bush and Barack Obama.  And that explains why Barack Obama foreign policy is essentially a continuation of policy of George W Bush with minor tweaks.  Just the fact that neocon Victoria Nuland who worked for Cheney was promoted to the key role of the  Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs  tells that Obama controls very little in foreign policy area and that 'deep state" is functioning autonomously and without control of "surface state".

Many people now are starting to distinguish between blue pill and red pill views on the US society and political establishment. They start to understand that neoliberalism legitimizes far-reaching political inequality, because one’s economic capital is translated directly into one’s ‘political capital’. As  in one dollar one vote. The net result is that lower 80%  are disenfranchised, turned into apathetic, passive consumer-citizens, and made increasingly powerless to respond in any meaningful way to dictate of the of transnational corporations (effectively turned into debt slaves).

While it is the multinational corporations which became the primary political actors in what left of politics by deep state. So on one hand neoliberals recasting the persons as "mini-enterprise" a market player that need to compete for survival on the marketplace, but  simultaneously makes a "person" such entities as international corporations. In other words Neoliberal democracy as exists in the USA is a rule not by the people but by the largest corporation (democracy for S&P500, or as some call it "Democracy Inc").

What I am  seeing is a complete breakdown of traditional institutions including the Congress, the Supreme Court, the central government and the institution of general elections. Switch to unelected government called The Deep State is in my view complete on all levels. It happened objectively due to tremendous growth of the size of government bureaucracy (which is irreversible), ability to intercept communications (which gave a rise to NSA), growth  of the population of the country, tremendous growth of multinationals, and some other factors.

And functioning of the US state  really changed dramatically since the days when constitution was written. At this time State Department consisted of less then a dozen people including the Secretary of State -- And how many people State Department employs now. Thousands. That's a real army. And here size matters. That means that they can chew any Secretary of State that deviates from their established policies in no time. Which provides amazing continuity of the USA foreign policy despite changes of the government. And the presence and leading role of Cheney appointee Victoria Nuland in State Department of Obama administration is far from accidental. That's just a sign that Obama does not control the State Department or at least does not want to control it because his foreign policies are continue of Bush policies.  Another sign of the same situation when the tail wags the dog exists with Samantha Power who like McCain wants to bomb each second country on Earth to install democracy and protect women.

The Deep State won because it proved to be more efficient institution of governance then traditional state and it replaced it from within (via "quite coup").  In a way very similar to Bolsheviks take over. The means that traditional institution including general elections stop serving their primary role and became just instrument of legitimization of the rule of top .1%. Please Google "myth of intelligent voter" and "polyarchy" for additional information about those developments.  This slide to unelected imperial structures of governance started in early 60th. Now it is complete. In a way this is similar transformation that happened with the USSR where "nomenklatura" became the ruling class and later successfully privatized the state changing camps from communist to neoliberal (with gentle support of CIA and other branches of US government including generous cash infusions for key people in KGB and other key ministries).  BTW the USSR also has elections on all levels, Two Chamber Parliament, Supreme Court, etc.  In other words we now have the rule of unelected "nomenclature" in the USA too. And outside this narrow circle,  people simply do not have voice, nor any influence on governance, Sanders or no Sanders. Every traditional institution including general elections became just a facade for deep state (http://billmoyers.com/2014/02/21/anatomy-of-the-deep-state/). 

And that means that independently of the results you'll see the next government that continue to have policies that cater to the interests of the top one percent or the .1 percent -- to the detriment of everyone else and will definitely continue Bush-Obama policies because this is the policy .1% wants and need. Sanders or no Sanders.   As simple as that. Sanders is definitely better Presidential candidate for majority of American people then Killary but one robin does not make spring.  He has no staying power, being essentially a one man show. There is no party, not strong organization behind him and that's fatal. The fact is that "Dog and pony show" called general election can't challenge the power of deep state.  And that unfortunately means that he like Obama before him, at the end of the day he "does not matter".  He will forces to perform the will of the deep state. Obama might have some noble intentions are the beginning, but looking into his actual record he can well be called George Bush III.  And most people are now mocking enthusiasm of the country on the day of election and Obama famous slogan "change we can believe in" which should be translated into English as "business as usual after election "bait and switch" ".   Obama proved to be a turncoat who after the elections turned into Bush III with a slightly different color of skin.

That's the way the deep state works.  It will chew any politician. This is a the key lesson of 8 year governance of this week puppet with  "change we can believe it" slogan.  Who is most famous for his  democratizing drone strikes. I wonder how many people he manage to democratize this way ?

Still the  election of Sanders would  be a nice kick in a chin of the ruling elite. Just a kick.  It will not be  a knockout or even knockdown. But still it worth fight for. That will make some things for them slightly more difficult.

But at the end POTUS now became more of ceremonial figure and less a real policymaker. Also any POTUS after JFK is afraid of CIA and NSA. According to retired CIA analysts Obama is.  Look at the O'Bomber State Department populated with Cheney people. Those people, not O'Bomber defined the USA foreign policy. It under the next president it will remain the same consistently highly militaristic and jingoistic policy like under O'Bomber.   Do you think Sanders will be able to change that ? And that's true about all three recent presidents, not just Obama, who were just especially helpless to challenge the power of deep state. As Jon Stewart pointedly asked him "Please baby one more chance". Although traditional institution do not give up easily and sometime stage back fights which now demonstrates in secessionist movement in states, such as Texas, Alaska, Wisconsin, etc.

See also

How the psychological warfare against the US population was won by neoliberal elite in 1980th

The psychological warfare against the US population was won by neoliberal elite which managed to poison the political discourse with their ideas and first of all the idea of establishment of the world neoliberal order (the New World Order) with the USA in the center. This was later got a name Quite coup. That means that the secret war against the American people launched in 1970th in not some bizarre "conspiracy theory" (CIA term for anything that threatens the deep state)  but a very real scientifically verifiable development of the US society. And rise of neoliberal think tanks like Heritage Foundation was not accidental. It was very similar with the mechanisms using which Bolsheviks created their party of "professional revolutionaries".  Then neoliberal infiltrated universities and first of all economic departments, which became the centers of spread of neoliberalism in the country. Bribes proved to be working extremely well in economic professors community :-). And this happened not only in the USA and GB. Much like series of communist revolution in 1920-1950th this repeated in many other countries. GB and Germany comes to mind first. In other words neoliberal revolutions were a worldwide phenomenon, although the center of it was and still is in the USA. See such books as

  • Bush II era is continuing under Obama

    In all crucial respects the Bush II era did not end Jan. 20, 2009 and unless Trump wins will continue after 2016. Obama presidency was just Bush III presidency in all major aspects of the US foreign policy. Deep state controlled a community organizer pretty tightly. According to Bacevich the key contributions of Bush II presidency can be summarized as following (What Bush hath wrought):

    And that's fit both Hillary political program as well as Jeb political program.  So independently "Jeb or Hillary",  the USA will get Bush IV. And appearance of clowns like Donald Trump of the arena only makes this analogy with "dog and pony show" stronger. 

    Another factor that might affect this election is voter suppression. It remain to be seen how effective this disenfranchisement is for minorities and woman. Low turnover favor Republicans. But low turnover is a key feature of neoliberalism that cultivates voter apathy. The mechanism is well described in the book Stealing Democracy The New Politics of Voter Suppression by professor Spencer Overton.

    The current frontrunner from the Democratic Party is a dyed in the wool neocon

    The current frontrunner on the democratic side Hillary We came, we saw, he died Clinton is a female warmonger, neocon chickenhawk with murky past (about her links with neoconservative such as Robert Kagan, see  Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton )

    Her major political achievement was and is the Libyan disaster. She demonstrated psychopathic qualities by gleeful reaction to brutal killing of deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_x04Gn3-2g

    A true psychopath if ever there was one...

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh with a television news reporter moments after hearing deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had been killed.

    "We came, we saw, he died," she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi's death by an aide in between formal interviews.

    Most probably Clinton will be the Democrat contender for the replacement for the teleprompter reader. Jeb Bush will probably be the Republican choice to play the political equivalent of musical chairs. Looks like the ruling elite has decided that  both are  OK. In a sense that any of those two will be able to execute their directives.

    Being a female, Hillary might be even preferable to the US elite, because the elite are keen on making sure all criticism and political activism is either marginalized or written off as hatred and thus not only dismissible, but worthy of a violent response by government. That was a neat trick they were able to play with the community organizer. Criticism of Hillary will be deemed sexist the same way serious criticism of Obama is now considered racist.

    In foreign policy Hillary Clinton is no different than your garden variety Republican, including Senator McCain or any of prominent neocons such as WolfowitzRobert Kagan and his wife. In other words she is another died in the wool neocon.  Probably to the right of Jeb "I like Wolfowitz Doctrine" Bush, who was among the signers of PNAC key document. So in a way Cold War II is guaranteed if she wins, because the elite needs an external threat to keep the nation united despite economic troubles connected with the sunset of neoliberalism as well as it hallmark -- ruthless looting of the nation by financial oligarchy, who is out of control and owns the government via "deep state" structures.

    For those who remember the Iraq War, Clinton was always a “warmonger” :

    "Bottom line: You can always count on Hillary to say the most politically resonant thing of the moment," said Ray McGovern, a former senior CIA officer turned antiwar protester who was arrested in 2011 (and he claims beaten) for protesting during a Clinton speech. "It's bad enough to have that kind of person as secretary of State; do we really want her to be the president of the United States? I don't think so. She's a menace."

    As secretary of State, Clinton represented the most hawkish wing of President Obama's Cabinet (and Barack "Kill them with drones" Obama is not a peacenik by any stretch of imagination). He made blue sky 'Completely Fucking Terrifying',

    Clinton supported not only Iraq war, but also air strikes in Libya and arms deliveries to rebels in Syria. Robert Kagan, the husband of Victoria Nuland and the veteran sage of interventionist foreign policy, recently gave a thumbs up to Clinton's foreign policy, telling The New York Times that it's "something that might have been called neocon."

    But in MSM you will not often see combination of words a "neocon" and Hillary.  She will be presented via rose grasses and her ugly personality features will carefully hidden. And her confrontational and psychopathic personality will be described as an admirable attribute indicative of a strong leader the same way the psychopathic personalities of her male counterparts are described as the attribute of masters of statecraft (the word itself under neoliberalism became synonymous with bombing small helpless nations and bailing out transnational banks).

    As everything we see on television, and increasingly on the internet, “often surpasses expectations of media subservience to government propaganda,” as Edward S. Herman noted nearly two decades ago.

    But Internet still gives us a chance with some effort to cut through the dense smoke of MSM propaganda.

    War as a natural state of the USA since 1945


    "...These rules have pushed the United States to a state of perpetual war. With enemies supposedly everywhere, the pursuit of security has become open-ended. "
    "...One is reminded of John Winthrop, who, in 1630, told the future residents of Massachusetts Bay Colony: "We shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us." Over subsequent decades, Winthrop's sermon became the American mission, fired by self-righteousness and fueled by self-confidence. From that mission emerged the idea of Manifest Destiny -- American ideals should spread across the continent and around the globe. Along the way, Americans lost sight of what Winthrop actually meant. His words were both inspiration and warning: Aspire to greatness, but remain honorable. Power lies in virtue. Winthrop envisaged a shining beacon, worthy of emulation. He saw no need to come down from the hill and ram ideals down the throats of the recalcitrant. "
    "...Back in 1963, the Kennedy administration was faced with a steadily disintegrating situation in Vietnam. At a turbulent cabinet meeting, Attorney General Robert Kennedy asked: If the situation is so dire, why not withdraw? Arthur Schlesinger, present at the meeting, noted how "the question hovered for a moment, then died away." It was "a hopelessly alien thought in a field of unexplored assumptions and entrenched convictions." The Washington rules kept the United States on a steady course toward disaster. "
    "...Barack Obama once promised that change was coming, but then quickly adhered to the old rules by escalating an unwinnable and certainly unaffordable war in Afghanistan. Failures, as Steffens hoped, have been illuminating, but after each flash of light, darkness has prevailed. "

    [Neocons] advocate permanent war for permanent peace

    Professor Basevich

     

    The foreign policy of the USA since the dissolution of the USSR was and is "open militarism". Recently  John Quiggin  tried to define militarism is came to the following definition (crookedtimber.org):

    100 years after the Battle of the Somme, it's hard to see that much has been learned from the catastrophe of the Great War and the decades of slaughter that followed it. Rather than get bogged down (yet again) in specifics that invariably decline into arguments about who know more of the historical detail, I'm going to try a different approach, looking at the militarist ideology that gave us the War, and trying to articulate an anti-militarist alternative. Wikipedia offers a definition of militarism which, with the deletion of a single weasel word, seems to be entirely satisfactory and also seems to describe the dominant view of the political class, and much of the population in nearly every country in the world.

    Militarism is the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively[^1] to defend or promote national interests

    This phenomenon of  New American Militarism was well analyzed by Professor Bacevich (who is a former colonel of the US army). Bacevich's book  Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War  describe the "sacred trinity" of:

     Professor Bacevich shows that neocons dominate the US foreign policy regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats are in power. They profess that the US in the only country uniquely qualified to take on the worldwide foes of peace and democracy, forgetting, revising, or ignoring the painful lessons of World War II, Vietnam, and beyond that might have taken the USA into periods of unprecedented peace, instead of numerous conflicts.

    Bacevich scores a direct hit on the foundations of the American national security state with this scathing critique, and demolishes the unspoken assumptions that he believes have led the United States into a senseless, wasteful, and counter-productive posture of nearly perpetual war. These assumptions take the form of the "credo" -- which holds that the United States has the unique responsibility to intervene wherever it wants, for whatever purpose it wants, by whatever means it wants -- and the supporting "trinity" of requirements for the U.S. to maintain a global military presence, to configure its military forces for global power projection, and to counter threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism.

    In other words they advocate permanent war for permanent peace. Lessons that the author shows President Obama is clearly in the midst of learning, using a modified sacred trinity. Written in engaging prose, his book Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War is an excellent peace of research with sections that some may find very troubling. Here is the summary:

    UFPPC (www.ufppc.org) Digging Deeper CXXXVII: September 27, 2010, 7:00 p.m. 

    Andrew J. Bacevich, Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War (New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company, August 2010).

    Thesis

    The Washington consensus on national security policy that constitutes convention wisdom in American foreign policy began with the Cold War and survived, remarkably, the Vietnam War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, no longer serves American interests, but the failure of the Obama administration to alter it shows that change can only come from the American people.

    Introduction: Slow Learner

    The author's faith in orthodoxy began to crumble when visiting the BrandenburgGate in Berlin in the winter of 1990-1991(1-4). In October 1990 a visit to Jenarevealed the backwardness of EastGermany (4-6). During his years in the Army, Bacevich had kept down doubts; after the end of the Cold War he retired, and his loss of status freed him to educate himself (6-10).

    "George W.Bush's decision to launch Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 pushed me fully into opposition" (10). "This book aims to take stock of conventional wisdom" (11). The past 60 years of American history shows continuity: a symbiotic "credo" (formulated by Henry Luce in 1941 as the "American Century") and a "sacred trinity" ("the minimum essentials of international peace and order require the United States to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of  global interventionism") together define "the rules to which Washington adheres" (11-15).

    In this book, "Washington" refers to the upper echelons of the three branches of government, the main agencies of the national security state, select think tanks and interest groups, "big banks and other financial institutions, defense contractors and major corporations, television networks and elite publications like the New York Times, even quasi-academic entities like the Council on Foreign Relations and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government" (15).

    This book aspires to

    1. trace the history of the Washington rules;
    2. show who wins, who loses, and who pays under them;
    3. explain how itis perpetuated;
    4. show that the rules have lost what utility they might once have had;
    5. re-legitimate "disreputable (or 'radical') views to our national security debates" (16).

    The American Century is ending, and it "has become essential" to devise an "alternative to the reining national security paradigm" (16-18).

    Ch. 1: The Advent of Semiwar.

    As president, Barack Obama's efforts to change the U.S.'s exercise of power "have seldom risen above the cosmetic"(20). He made clear he subscribes to the "catechism of American statecraft," viz. that 1) the world must be organized, 2)only the U.S. can do it, 3) this includes dictating principles, and 4) not to accept this is to be a rogue or a recalcitrant (20-21).

    It follows that the U.S. need not conform to the norms it sets for others and that it should maintain a worldwide network of bases (22-23).

    Imagine if China acted in a comparable manner (23-25). The extraordinary American military posture in the world (25-27). To call this into question puts one beyond the pale(27). James Forrestal called this a permanent condition of semiwar, requiring high levels of military spending(27-28).

    American citizens are not supposed to concern themselves with it (29-30). As to how this came about, the "standard story line" presents as the result of the decisions of a "succession of presidential administrations," though this conceals as much as it reveals (30-32).

    Eisenhower's 1961 Farewell Address on the "military-industrial complex" was a rare exception (32-34). More important than presidents were Allen Dulles [1893-1969] and Curtis Lemay [1906-1990] (34-36).

    Bacevich attributes the vision for an American-dominated post-World War II world with the CIA playing an active role to the patrician Dulles (36-43). The development of the U.S. military into a force capable of dominating the world, especially in the area of strategic weapons, he attributes to the hard-bitten Curtis LeMay, organizer of the StrategicAir Command (SAC) (43-52). Dulles and LeMay shared devotion to country, ruthlessness, a certain recklessness (52-55). They exploited American anxieties and insecurities in yin (Dulles's CIA) yang(LeMay's SAC) fashion, leaving the mainstay of American military power, the U.S. Army, in a relatively weak position(55-58).

    Ch. 2: Illusions of Flexibility and Control

    Kennedy kept Dulles and LeMay to signal continuity, but there was a behind-the-scenes struggle led by Gen. Maxwell Taylor to reassert the role of the U.S. Army by expanding and modernizing conventional forces that was "simultaneously masked by, and captured in, the phrase flexible response " (60; 59-63).

    This agenda purported to aim at "resisting aggression" but really created new options for limited aggressive warfare by the U.S. (63-66).

    McNamara engaged in a struggle with LeMay to control U.S. policy on nuclear weapons, but he embraced the need for redundancy based on a land-sea-air attack "triad" and LeMay et al. "got most of what they wanted" (66-72).

    In the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy instituted the morally and legally "indefensible" Operation Mongoose," in effect, a program of state-sponsored terrorism" against Cuba (80; 72-82 [but Bacevich is silent on its wilder elements, like Operation Northwoods]).

    U.S. recklessness caused the Cuban Missile Crisis, and to his credit Kennedy acknowledged this (albeit privately) and "suspended the tradition" in defusing the crisis (82-87).

    Bacevich rejects as a romantic delusion the view that in the aftermath of this crisis Kennedy turned against the military-industrial complex and the incipient Vietnam war and shows no interest in Kennedy's assassination itself (87-92).

    He sees a parallel between escalation in Vietnam and post-9/11 aggression as "fought to sustain the Washington consensus" (107; 92-107).

    Ch. 3: The Credo Restored.

    William Fulbright's The Arrogance of Power (1966) urged a rethinking of the Washington rules (109-15). A radicalized David Shoup, a Medal of Honor winner and former commandant of the MarineCorps, argued in "The New American Militarism" (Atlantic, April 1969) that the U.S. had become "a militaristic and aggressive nation" (120; 115-21). The 1960s Zeitgeist shift made LeMay "an embarrassment, mocked and vilified rather than venerated," which showed that the Washington rules had incurred serious damage in Vietnam; the Army was in dire shape (122; 121-27).

    Yet astonishingly, in the subsequent decade the "sacred trinity" (cf. 11-15) was "fully restored" (127). As in post-1918 Germany, élites looked for scapegoats and worked to reverse "the war's apparent verdict" (128). The Council on Foreign Relations 1976 volume entitled The Vietnam Legacy: The War, American Society, and the Future of American Foreign Policy is an expression of élite consensus that the Vietnam war was insignificant, an anomaly (129-34).

    By 1980, Democrats and Republicans were again on the same page (134-36).Reagan's election "sealed the triumph of Vietnam revisionism" (136; 136-38). Andthe end of the Cold War posed no challenge to the Washington rules, as Madeleine Albright's pretentious arrogance exemplifies (138-45).

    Ch. 4: Reconstituting the Trinity

     The period from 1980 to 2000 saw "not retrenchment but reconfiguration" (147). The 

    Except from Macmillan

    Introduction: Slow Learner Worldly ambition inhibits true learning. Ask me. I know. A young man in a hurry is nearly uneducable: He knows what he wants and where he's headed; when it comes to looking back or entertaining heretical thoughts, he has neither the time nor the inclination. All that counts is that he is going somewhere. Only as ambition wanes does education become a possibility.

    My own education did not commence until I had reached middle age. I can fix its start date with precision: For me, education began in Berlin, on a winter's evening, at the Brandenburg Gate, not long after the Berlin Wall had fallen. As an officer in the U.S. Army I had spent considerable time in Germany. Until that moment, however, my family and I had never had occasion to visit this most famous of German cities, still littered with artifacts of a deeply repellent history. At the end of a long day of exploration, we found ourselves in what had, until just months before, been the communist East. It was late and we were hungry, but I insisted on walking the length of the Unter den Linden, from the River Spree to the gate itself. A cold rain was falling and the pavement glistened. The buildings lining the avenue, dating from the era of Prussian kings, were dark, dirty, and pitted. Few people were about. It was hardly a night for sightseeing. For as long as I could remember, the Brandenburg Gate had been the preeminent symbol of the age and Berlin the epicenter of contemporary history. 

    Yet by the time I made it to the once and future German capital, history was already moving on. The Cold War had abruptly ended. A divided city and a divided nation had re united. For Americans who had known Berlin only from a distance, the city existed primarily as a metaphor. Pick a date— 1933, 1942, 1945, 1948, 1961, 1989—and Berlin becomes an instructive symbol of power, depravity, tragedy, defiance, endurance, or vindication. For those inclined to view the past as a chronicle of parables, the modern history of Berlin offered an abundance of material. The greatest of those parables emerged from the events of 1933 to 1945, an epic tale of evil ascendant, belatedly confronted, then heroically overthrown.

    A second narrative, woven from events during the intense period immediately following World War II, saw hopes for peace dashed, yielding bitter antagonism but also great resolve. The ensuing stand-off—the "long twilight struggle," in John Kennedy's memorable phrase— formed the centerpiece of the third parable, its central theme stubborn courage in the face of looming peril. Finally came the exhilarating events of 1989, with freedom ultimately prevailing, not only in Berlin, but throughout Eastern Europe.

    .... ... ...

    Although commonly depicted as the most advanced and successful component of the Soviet Empire, East Germany more closely resembled part of the undeveloped world.

    ... ... ...

    Briquettes of soft coal used for home heating made the air all but unbreathable and coated everything with soot. In the German cities we knew, pastels predominated—houses and apartment blocks painted pale green, muted salmon, and soft yellow. Here everything was brown and gray

    ... ... ...

    Bit by bit, my worldview started to crumble. That worldview had derived from this conviction: that American power manifested a commitment to global leadership, and that both together expressed and affirmed the nation's enduring devotion to its founding ideals. That American power, policies, and purpose were bound together in a neat, internally consistent package, each element drawing strength from and reinforcing the others, was something I took as a given. That, during my adult life, a penchant for interventionism had become a signature of U.S. policy did not—to me, at least—in any way contradict America's aspirations for peace. Instead, a willingness to expend lives and treasure in distant places testified to the seriousness of those aspirations. That, during this same period, the United States had amassed an arsenal of over thirty-one thousand nuclear weapons, some small number of them assigned to units in which I had served, was not at odds with our belief in the inalienable right to life and liberty; rather, threats to life and liberty had compelled the United States to acquire such an arsenal and maintain it in readiness for instant use.2 I was not so naive as to believe that the American record had been without flaws. Yet I assured myself that any errors or misjudgments had been committed in good faith. Furthermore, circumstances permitted little real choice. In Southeast Asia as in Western Europe, in the Persian Gulf as in the Western Hemisphere, the United States had simply done what needed doing. Viable alternatives did not exist. To consent to any dilution of American power would be to forfeit global leadership, thereby putting at risk safety, prosperity, and freedom, not only our own but also that of our friends and allies.

    The choices seemed clear enough. On one side was the status quo: the commitments, customs, and habits that defined American globalism, implemented by the national security apparatus within which I functioned as a small cog. On the other side was the prospect of appeasement, isolationism, and catastrophe. The only responsible course was the one to which every president since Harry Truman had adhered. For me, the Cold War had played a crucial role in sustaining that worldview.

    Given my age, upbringing, and professional background, it could hardly have been otherwise. Although the great rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union had contained moments of considerable anxiety — I remember my father, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, stocking our basement with water and canned goods — it served primarily to clarify, not to frighten.

    The Cold War provided a framework that organized and made sense of contemporary history. It offered a lineup and a scorecard. That there existed bad Germans and good Germans, their Germans and our Germans, totalitarian Germans and Germans who, like Americans, passionately loved freedom was, for example, a proposition I accepted as dogma. Seeing the Cold War as a struggle between good and evil answered many questions, consigned others to the periphery, and rendered still others irrelevant.

    Back in the 1960s, during the Vietnam War, more than a few members of my generation had rejected the conception of the Cold War as a Manichean struggle. Here too, I was admittedly a slow learner. Yet having kept the faith long after others had lost theirs, the doubts that eventually assailed me were all the more disorienting. Granted, occasional suspicions had appeared long before Jena and Berlin

    My own Vietnam experience had generated its share, which I had done my best to suppress. I was, after all, a serving soldier. Except in the narrowest of terms, the military profession, in those days at least, did not look kindly on nonconformity. Climbing the ladder of career success required curbing maverick tendencies. To get ahead, you needed to be a team player. Later, when studying the history of U.S. foreign relations in graduate school, I was pelted with challenges to orthodoxy, which I vigorously deflected. When it came to education, graduate school proved a complete waste of time — a period of intense study devoted to the further accumulation of facts, while I exerted myself to ensuring that they remained inert.

    Now, however, my personal circumstances were changing. Shortly after the passing of the Cold War, my military career ended. Education thereby became not only a possibility, but also a necessity. In measured doses, mortification cleanses the soul. It's the perfect antidote for excessive self-regard. After twenty-three years spent inside the U.S. Army seemingly going somewhere, I now found myself on the outside going nowhere in particular. In the self-contained and cloistered universe of regimental life, I had briefly risen to the status of minor spear carrier. The instant I took off my uniform, that status vanished. I soon came to a proper appreciation of my own insignificance, a salutary lesson that I ought to have absorbed many years earlier. As I set out on what eventually became a crablike journey toward a new calling as a teacher and writer—a pilgrimage of sorts—ambition in the commonly accepted meaning of the term ebbed. This did not happen all at once. Yet gradually, trying to grab one of life's shiny brass rings ceased being a major preoccupation.

    Wealth, power, and celebrity became not aspirations but subjects for critical analysis.

    History—especially the familiar narrative of the Cold War—no longer offered answers; instead, it posed perplexing riddles. Easily the most nagging was this one: How could I have so profoundly misjudged the reality of what lay on the far side of the Iron Curtain? Had I been insufficiently attentive? Or was it possible that I had been snookered all along? Contemplating such questions, while simultaneously witnessing the unfolding of the "long 1990s"— the period bookended by two wars with Iraq when American vainglory reached impressive new heights—prompted the realization that I had grossly misinterpreted the threat posed by America's adversaries. Yet that was the lesser half of the problem. Far worse than misperceiving "them" was the fact that I had misperceived "us." What I thought I knew best I actually understood least. Here, the need for education appeared especially acute.

    George W. Bush's decision to launch Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 pushed me fully into opposition. Claims that once seemed elementary—above all, claims relating to the essentially benign purposes of American power— now appeared preposterous. The contradictions that found an ostensibly peace-loving nation committing itself to a doctrine of preventive war became too great to ignore. The folly and hubris of the policy makers who heedlessly thrust the nation into an ill-defined and open-ended "global war on terror" without the foggiest notion of what victory would look like, how it would be won, and what it might cost approached standards hitherto achieved only by slightly mad German warlords. During the era of containment, the United States had at least maintained the pretense of a principled strategy; now, the last vestiges of principle gave way to fantasy and opportunism. With that, the worldview to which I had adhered as a young adult and carried into middle age dissolved completely. *

    What should stand in the place of such discarded convictions? Simply inverting the conventional wisdom, substituting a new Manichean paradigm for the old discredited version—the United States taking the place of the Soviet Union as the source of the world's evil—would not suffice. Yet arriving at even an approximation of truth would entail subjecting conventional wisdom, both present and past, to sustained and searching scrutiny. Cautiously at first but with growing confidence, this I vowed to do. Doing so meant shedding habits of conformity acquired over decades. All of my adult life I had been a company man, only dimly aware of the extent to which institutional loyalties induce myopia. Asserting independence required first recognizing the extent to which I had been socialized to accept certain things as unimpeachable. Here then were the preliminary steps essential to making education accessible. Over a period of years, a considerable store of debris had piled up. Now, it all had to go. Belatedly, I learned that more often than not what passes for conventional wisdom is simply wrong. Adopting fashionable attitudes to demonstrate one's trustworthiness—the world of politics is flush with such people hoping thereby to qualify for inclusion in some inner circle—is akin to engaging in prostitution in exchange for promissory notes. It's not only demeaning but downright foolhardy. This book aims to take stock of conventional wisdom in its most influential and enduring form, namely the package of assumptions, habits, and precepts that have defined the tradition of statecraft to which the United States has adhered since the end of World War II— the era of global dominance now drawing to a close. This postwar tradition combines two components, each one so deeply embedded in the American collective consciousness as to have all but disappeared from view.

    The first component specifies norms according to which the international order ought to work and charges the United States with responsibility for enforcing those norms. Call this the American credo. In the simplest terms, the credo summons the United States—and the United States alone—to lead, save, liberate, and ultimately transform the world. In a celebrated manifesto issued at the dawn of what he termed "The American Century," Henry R. Luce made the case for this spacious conception of global leadership. Writing in Life magazine in early 1941, the influential publisher exhorted his fellow citizens to "accept wholeheartedly our duty to exert upon the world the full impact of our influence for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit." Luce thereby captured what remains even today the credo's essence.3 Luce's concept of an American Century, an age of unquestioned American global primacy, resonated, especially in Washington. His evocative phrase found a permanent place in the lexicon of national politics. (Recall that the neoconservatives who, in the 1990s, lobbied for more militant U.S. policies named their enterprise the Project for a New American Century.) So, too, did Luce's expansive claim of prerogatives to be exercised by the United States.

    Even today, whenever public figures allude to America's responsibility to lead, they signal their fidelity to this creed. Along with respectful allusions to God and "the troops," adherence to Luce's credo has become a de facto prerequisite for high office. Question its claims and your prospects of being heard in the hubbub of national politics become nil. Note, however, that the duty Luce ascribed to Americans has two components. It is not only up to Americans, he wrote, to choose the purposes for which they would bring their influence to bear, but to choose the means as well. Here we confront the second component of the postwar tradition of American statecraft. With regard to means, that tradition has emphasized activism over example, hard power over soft, and coercion (often styled "negotiating from a position of strength") over suasion. Above all, the exercise of global leadership as prescribed by the credo obliges the United States to maintain military capabilities staggeringly in excess of those required for self-defense. Prior to World War II, Americans by and large viewed military power and institutions with skepticism, if not outright hostility. In the wake of World War II, that changed. An affinity for military might emerged as central to the American identity. By the midpoint of the twentieth century, "the Pentagon" had ceased to be merely a gigantic five-sided building.

    Like "Wall Street" at the end of the nineteenth century, it had become Leviathan, its actions veiled in secrecy, its reach extending around the world. Yet while the concentration of power in Wall Street had once evoked deep fear and suspicion, Americans by and large saw the concentration of power in the Pentagon as benign. Most found it reassuring. A people who had long seen standing armies as a threat to liberty now came to believe that the preservation of liberty required them to lavish resources on the armed forces. During the Cold War, Americans worried ceaselessly about falling behind the Russians, even though the Pentagon consistently maintained a position of overall primacy. Once the Soviet threat disappeared, mere primacy no longer sufficed. With barely a whisper of national debate, unambiguous and perpetual global military supremacy emerged as an essential predicate to global leadership. Every great military power has its distinctive signature. For Napoleonic France, it was the levée en masse— the people in arms animated by the ideals of the Revolution. For Great Britain in the heyday of empire, it was command of the seas, sustained by a dominant fleet and a network of far-flung outposts from Gibraltar and the Cape of Good Hope to Singapore and Hong Kong. Germany from the 1860s to the 1940s (and Israel from 1948 to 1973) took another approach, relying on a potent blend of tactical flexibility and operational audacity to achieve battlefield superiority.

    The abiding signature of American military power since World War II has been of a different order altogether. The United States has not specialized in any particular type of war. It has not adhered to a fixed tactical style. No single service or weapon has enjoyed consistent favor. At times, the armed forces have relied on citizen-soldiers to fill their ranks; at other times, long-service professionals. Yet an examination of the past sixty years of U.S. military policy and practice does reveal important elements of continuity. Call them the sacred trinity: an abiding conviction that the minimum essentials of international peace and order require the United States to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism. Together, credo and trinity—the one defining purpose, the other practice—constitute the essence of the way that Washington has attempted to govern and police the American Century. The relationship between the two is symbiotic. The trinity lends plausibility to the credo's vast claims. For its part, the credo justifies the trinity's vast requirements and exertions.

    Together they provide the basis for an enduring consensus that imparts a consistency to U.S. policy regardless of which political party may hold the upper hand or who may be occupying the White House. From the era of Harry Truman to the age of Barack Obama, that consensus has remained intact. It defines the rules to which Washington adheres; it determines the precepts by which Washington rules. As used here, Washington is less a geographic expression than a set of interlocking institutions headed by people who, whether acting officially or unofficially, are able to put a thumb on the helm of state. Washington, in this sense, includes the upper echelons of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government. It encompasses the principal components of the national security state— the departments of Defense, State, and, more recently, Homeland Security, along with various agencies comprising the intelligence and federal law enforcement communities. Its ranks extend to select think tanks and interest groups. Lawyers, lobbyists, fixers, former officials, and retired military officers who still enjoy access are members in good standing. Yet Washington also reaches beyond the Beltway to include big banks and other financial institutions, defense contractors and major corporations, television networks and elite publications like the New York Times, even quasi-academic entities like the Council on Foreign Relations and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

    With rare exceptions, acceptance of the Washington rules forms a prerequisite for entry into this world. My purpose in writing this book is fivefold: first, to trace the origins and evolution of the Washington rules—both the credo that inspires consensus and the trinity in which it finds expression; second, to subject the resulting consensus to critical inspection, showing who wins and who loses and also who foots the bill; third, to explain how the Washington rules are perpetuated, with certain views privileged while others are declared disreputable; fourth, to demonstrate that the rules themselves have lost whatever utility they may once have possessed, with their implications increasingly pernicious and their costs increasingly unaffordable; and finally, to argue for readmitting disreputable (or "radical") views to our national security debate, in effect legitimating alternatives to the status quo. In effect, my aim is to invite readers to share in the process of education on which I embarked two decades ago in Berlin. The Washington rules were forged at a moment when American influence and power were approaching their acme. That moment has now passed. The United States has drawn down the stores of authority and goodwill it had acquired by 1945. Words uttered in Washington command less respect than once was the case. Americans can ill afford to indulge any longer in dreams of saving the world, much less remaking it in our own image. The curtain is now falling on the American Century. Similarly, the United States no longer possesses sufficient wherewithal to sustain a national security strategy that relies on global military presence and global power projection to underwrite a policy of global interventionism. Touted as essential to peace, adherence to that strategy has propelled the United States into a condition approximating perpetual war, as the military misadventures of the past decade have demonstrated.

    To anyone with eyes to see, the shortcomings inherent in the Washington rules have become plainly evident. Although those most deeply invested in perpetuating its conventions will insist otherwise, the tradition to which Washington remains devoted has begun to unravel. Attempting to prolong its existence might serve Washington's interests, but it will not serve the interests of the American people.

    Devising an alternative to the reigning national security paradigm will pose a daunting challenge—especially if Americans look to "Washington" for fresh thinking. Yet doing so has become essential. In one sense, the national security policies to which Washington so insistently adheres express what has long been the preferred American approach to engaging the world beyond our borders. That approach plays to America's presumed strong suit—since World War II, and especially since the end of the Cold War, thought to be military power. In another sense, this reliance on military might creates excuses for the United States to avoid serious engagement: Confidence in American arms has made it unnecessary to attend to what others might think or to consider how their aspirations might differ from our own.

    In this way, the Washington rules reinforce American provincialism—a national trait for which the United States continues to pay dearly. The persistence of these rules has also provided an excuse to avoid serious self-engagement. From this perspective, confidence that the credo and the trinity will oblige others to accommodate themselves to America's needs or desires — whether for cheap oil, cheap credit, or cheap consumer goods—has allowed Washington to postpone or ignore problems demanding attention here at home.

    Fixing Iraq or Afghanistan ends up taking precedence over fixing Cleveland and Detroit. Purporting to support the troops in their crusade to free the world obviates any obligation to assess the implications of how Americans themselves choose to exercise freedom. When Americans demonstrate a willingness to engage seriously with others, combined with the courage to engage seriously with themselves, then real education just might begin.

    In their article ‘The American Century’ Has Plunged the World Into Crisis. What Happens Now?" Conn Hallinan and Leon Wofsy outlined important reasons  of the inevitability of the dominance of chicken hawks and jingoistic foreign policy in the USA political establishment:

    June 22, 2015 | fpif.org

    U.S. foreign policy is dangerous, undemocratic, and deeply out of sync with real global challenges. Is continuous war inevitable, or can we change course?

    There’s something fundamentally wrong with U.S. foreign policy.

    Despite glimmers of hope — a tentative nuclear agreement with Iran, for one, and a long-overdue thaw with Cuba — we’re locked into seemingly irresolvable conflicts in most regions of the world. They range from tensions with nuclear-armed powers like Russia and China to actual combat operations in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa.

    Why? Has a state of perpetual warfare and conflict become inescapable? Or are we in a self-replicating cycle that reflects an inability — or unwillingness — to see the world as it actually is?

    The United States is undergoing a historic transition in our relationship to the rest of the world, but this is neither acknowledged nor reflected in U.S. foreign policy. We still act as if our enormous military power, imperial alliances, and self-perceived moral superiority empower us to set the terms of “world order.”

    While this illusion goes back to the end of World War II, it was the end of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union that signaled the beginning of a self-proclaimed “American Century.” The idea that the United States had “won” the Cold War and now — as the world’s lone superpower — had the right or responsibility to order the world’s affairs led to a series of military adventures. It started with President Bill Clinton’s intervention in the Yugoslav civil war, continued on with George W. Bush’s disastrous invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and can still be seen in the Obama administration’s own misadventures in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and beyond.

    In each case, Washington chose war as the answer to enormously complex issues, ignoring the profound consequences for both foreign and domestic policy. Yet the world is very different from the assumptions that drive this impulsive interventionism.

    It’s this disconnect that defines the current crisis.

    Acknowledging New Realities

    So what is it about the world that requires a change in our outlook? A few observations come to mind.

    First, our preoccupation with conflicts in the Middle East — and to a significant extent, our tensions with Russia in Eastern Europe and with China in East Asia — distract us from the most compelling crises that threaten the future of humanity. Climate change and environmental perils have to be dealt with now and demand an unprecedented level of international collective action. That also holds for the resurgent danger of nuclear war.

    Second, superpower military interventionism and far-flung acts of war have only intensified conflict, terror, and human suffering. There’s no short-term solution — especially by force — to the deep-seated problems that cause chaos, violence, and misery through much of the world.

    Third, while any hope of curbing violence and mitigating the most urgent problems depends on international cooperation, old and disastrous intrigues over spheres of influence dominate the behavior of the major powers. Our own relentless pursuit of military advantage on every continent, including through alliances and proxies like NATO, divides the world into “friend” and “foe” according to our perceived interests. That inevitably inflames aggressive imperial rivalries and overrides common interests in the 21st century.

    Fourth, while the United States remains a great economic power, economic and political influence is shifting and giving rise to national and regional centers no longer controlled by U.S.-dominated global financial structures. Away from Washington, London, and Berlin, alternative centers of economic power are taking hold in Beijing, New Delhi, Cape Town, and Brasilia. Independent formations and alliances are springing up: organizations like the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa); the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (representing 2.8 billion people); the Union of South American Nations; the Latin American trade bloc, Mercosur; and others.

    Beyond the problems our delusions of grandeur have caused in the wider world, there are enormous domestic consequences of prolonged war and interventionism. We shell out over $1 trillion a year in military-related expenses even as our social safety net frays and our infrastructure crumbles. Democracy itself has become virtually dysfunctional.

    Short Memories and Persistent Delusions

    But instead of letting these changing circumstances and our repeated military failures give us pause, our government continues to act as if the United States has the power to dominate and dictate to the rest of the world.

    The responsibility of those who set us on this course fades into background. Indeed, in light of the ongoing meltdown in the Middle East, leading presidential candidates are tapping neoconservatives like John Bolton and Paul Wolfowitz — who still think the answer to any foreign policy quandary is military power — for advice. Our leaders seem to forget that following this lot’s advice was exactly what caused the meltdown in the first place. War still excites them, risks and consequences be damned.

    While the Obama administration has sought, with limited success, to end the major wars it inherited, our government makes wide use of killer drones in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, and has put troops back into Iraq to confront the religious fanaticism and brutality of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) — itself a direct consequence of the last U.S. invasion of Iraq. Reluctant to find common ground in the fight against ISIS with designated “foes” like Iran and Syria, Washington clings to allies like Saudi Arabia, whose leaders are fueling the crisis of religious fanaticism and internecine barbarity. Elsewhere, the U.S. also continues to give massive support to the Israeli government, despite its expanding occupation of the West Bank and its horrific recurring assaults on Gaza.

    A “war first” policy in places like Iran and Syria is being strongly pushed by neoconservatives like former Vice President Dick Cheney and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain. Though it’s attempted to distance itself from the neocons, the Obama administration adds to tensions with planned military realignments like the “Asia pivot” aimed at building up U.S. military forces in Asia to confront China. It’s also taken a more aggressive position than even other NATO partners in fostering a new cold war with Russia.

    We seem to have missed the point: There is no such thing as an “American Century.” International order cannot be enforced by a superpower alone. But never mind centuries — if we don’t learn to take our common interests more seriously than those that divide nations and breed the chronic danger of war, there may well be no tomorrows.

    Unexceptionalism

    There’s a powerful ideological delusion that any movement seeking to change U.S. foreign policy must confront: that U.S. culture is superior to anything else on the planet. Generally going by the name of “American exceptionalism,” it’s the deeply held belief that American politics (and medicine, technology, education, and so on) are better than those in other countries. Implicit in the belief is an evangelical urge to impose American ways of doing things on the rest of the world.

    Americans, for instance, believe they have the best education system in the world, when in fact they’ve dropped from 1st place to 14th place in the number of college graduates. We’ve made students of higher education the most indebted section of our population, while falling to 17th place in international education ratings. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation, the average American pays more than twice as much for his or her education than those in the rest of the world.

    Health care is an equally compelling example. In the World Health Organization’s ranking of health care systems in 2000, the United States was ranked 37th. In a more recent Institute of Medicine report in 2013, the U.S. was ranked the lowest among 17 developed nations studied.

    The old anti-war slogan, “It will be a good day when schools get all the money they need and the Navy has to hold a bake sale to buy an aircraft carrier” is as appropriate today as it was in the 1960s. We prioritize corporate subsidies, tax cuts for the wealthy, and massive military budgets over education. The result is that Americans are no longer among the most educated in the world.

    But challenging the “exceptionalism” myth courts the danger of being labeled “unpatriotic” and “un-American,” two powerful ideological sanctions that can effectively silence critical or questioning voices.

    The fact that Americans consider their culture or ideology “superior” is hardly unique. But no other country in the world has the same level of economic and military power to enforce its worldview on others.

    The United States did not simply support Kosovo’s independence, for example. It bombed Serbia into de facto acceptance. When the U.S. decided to remove the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Gaddafi from power, it just did so. No other country is capable of projecting that kind of force in regions thousands of miles from its borders.

    The U.S. currently accounts for anywhere from 45 to 50 percent of the world’s military spending. It has hundreds of overseas bases, ranging from huge sprawling affairs like Camp Bond Steel in Kosovo and unsinkable aircraft carriers around the islands of Okinawa, Wake, Diego Garcia, and Guam to tiny bases called “lily pads” of pre-positioned military supplies. The late political scientist Chalmers Johnson estimated that the U.S. has some 800 bases worldwide, about the same as the British Empire had at its height in 1895.

    The United States has long relied on a military arrow in its diplomatic quiver, and Americans have been at war almost continuously since the end of World War II. Some of these wars were major undertakings: Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq (twice), Libya. Some were quick “smash and grabs” like Panama and Grenada. Others are “shadow wars” waged by Special Forces, armed drones, and local proxies. If one defines the term “war” as the application of organized violence, the U.S. has engaged in close to 80 wars since 1945.

    The Home Front

    The coin of empire comes dear, as the old expression goes.

    According Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, the final butcher bill for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars — including the long-term health problems of veterans — will cost U.S. taxpayers around $6 trillion. One can add to that the over $1 trillion the U.S. spends each year on defense-related items. The “official” defense budget of some half a trillion dollars doesn’t include such items as nuclear weapons, veterans’ benefits or retirement, the CIA and Homeland Security, nor the billions a year in interest we’ll be paying on the debt from the Afghan-Iraq wars. By 2013 the U.S. had already paid out $316 billion in interest.

    The domestic collateral damage from that set of priorities is numbing.

    We spend more on our “official” military budget than we do on Medicare, Medicaid, Health and Human Services, Education, and Housing and Urban Development combined. Since 9/11, we’ve spent $70 million an hour on “security” compared to $62 million an hour on all domestic programs.

    As military expenditures dwarf funding for deteriorating social programs, they drive economic inequality. The poor and working millions are left further and further behind. Meanwhile the chronic problems highlighted at Ferguson, and reflected nationwide, are a horrific reminder of how deeply racism — the unequal economic and social divide and systemic abuse of black and Latino youth — continues to plague our homeland.

    The state of ceaseless war has deeply damaged our democracy, bringing our surveillance and security state to levels that many dictators would envy. The Senate torture report, most of it still classified, shatters the trust we are asked to place in the secret, unaccountable apparatus that runs the most extensive Big Brother spy system ever devised.

    Bombs and Business

    President Calvin Coolidge was said to have remarked that “the business of America is business.” Unsurprisingly, U.S. corporate interests play a major role in American foreign policy.

    Out of the top 10 international arms producers, eight are American. The arms industry spends millions lobbying Congress and state legislatures, and it defends its turf with an efficiency and vigor that its products don’t always emulate on the battlefield. The F-35 fighter-bomber, for example — the most expensive weapons system in U.S. history — will cost $1.5 trillion and doesn’t work. It’s over budget, dangerous to fly, and riddled with defects. And yet few lawmakers dare challenge the powerful corporations who have shoved this lemon down our throats.

    Corporate interests are woven into the fabric of long-term U.S. strategic interests and goals. Both combine to try to control energy supplies, command strategic choke points through which oil and gas supplies transit, and ensure access to markets.

    Many of these goals can be achieved with standard diplomacy or economic pressure, but the U.S. always reserves the right to use military force. The 1979 “Carter Doctrine” — a document that mirrors the 1823 Monroe Doctrine about American interests in Latin America — put that strategy in blunt terms vis-à-vis the Middle East:

     “An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”

    It’s no less true in East Asia. The U.S. will certainly engage in peaceful economic competition with China. But if push comes to shove, the Third, Fifth, and Seventh fleets will back up the interests of Washington and its allies — Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Australia.

    Trying to change the course of American foreign policy is not only essential for reducing international tensions. It’s critically important to shift the enormous wealth we expend in war and weapons toward alleviating growing inequality and social crises at home.

    As long as competition for markets and accumulation of capital characterize modern society, nations will vie for spheres of influence, and antagonistic interests will be a fundamental feature of international relations. Chauvinist reaction to incursions real or imagined — and the impulse to respond by military means — is characteristic to some degree of every significant nation-state. Yet the more that some governments, including our own, become subordinate to oligarchic control, the greater is the peril.

    Finding the Common Interest

    These, however, are not the only factors that will shape the future.

    There is nothing inevitable that rules out a significant change of direction, even if the demise or transformation of a capitalistic system of greed and exploitation is not at hand. The potential for change, especially in U.S. foreign policy, resides in how social movements here and abroad respond to the undeniable reality of: 1) the chronic failure, massive costs, and danger inherent in “American Century” exceptionalism; and 2) the urgency of international efforts to respond to climate change.

    There is, as well, the necessity to respond to health and natural disasters aggravated by poverty, to rising messianic violence, and above all, to prevent a descent into war. This includes not only the danger of a clash between the major nuclear powers, but between regional powers. A nuclear exchange between Pakistan and India, for example, would affect the whole world.

    Without underestimating the self-interest of forces that thrive on gambling with the future of humanity, historic experience and current reality elevate a powerful common interest in peace and survival. The need to change course is not something that can be recognized on only one side of an ideological divide. Nor does that recognition depend on national, ethnic, or religious identity. Rather, it demands acknowledging the enormous cost of plunging ahead as everything falls apart around us.

    After the latest U.S. midterm elections, the political outlook is certainly bleak. But experience shows that elections, important as they are, are not necessarily indicators of when and how significant change can come about in matters of policy. On issues of civil rights and social equality, advances have occurred because a dedicated and persistent minority movement helped change public opinion in a way the political establishment could not defy.

    The Vietnam War, for example, came to an end, despite the stubbornness of Democratic and Republican administrations, when a stalemate on the battlefield and growing international and domestic opposition could no longer be denied. Significant changes can come about even as the basic character of society is retained. Massive resistance and rejection of colonialism caused the British Empire and other colonial powers to adjust to a new reality after World War II. McCarthyism was eventually defeated in the United States. President Nixon was forced to resign. The use of landmines and cluster bombs has been greatly restricted because of the opposition of a small band of activists whose initial efforts were labeled “quixotic.”

    There are diverse and growing political currents in our country that see the folly and danger of the course we’re on. Many Republicans, Democrats, independents, and libertarians — and much of the public — are beginning to say “enough” to war and military intervention all over the globe, and the folly of basing foreign policy on dividing countries into “friend or foe.”

    This is not to be Pollyannaish about anti-war sentiment, or how quickly people can be stampeded into supporting the use of force. In early 2014, some 57 percent of Americans agreed that “over-reliance on military force creates more hatred leading to increased terrorism.” Only 37 percent believed military force was the way to go. But once the hysteria around the Islamic State began, those numbers shifted to pretty much an even split: 47 percent supported the use of military force, 46 percent opposed it.

    It will always be necessary in each new crisis to counter those who mislead and browbeat the public into acceptance of another military intervention. But in spite of the current hysterics about ISIS, disillusionment in war as an answer is probably greater now among Americans and worldwide than it has ever been. That sentiment may prove strong enough to produce a shift away from perpetual war, a shift toward some modesty and common-sense realism in U.S. foreign policy.

    Making Space for the Unexpected

    Given that there is a need for a new approach, how can American foreign policy be changed?

    Foremost, there is the need for a real debate on the thrust of a U.S. foreign policy that chooses negotiation, diplomacy, and international cooperation over the use of force.

    However, as we approach another presidential election, there is as yet no strong voice among the candidates to challenge U.S. foreign policy. Fear and questionable political calculation keep even most progressive politicians from daring to dissent as the crisis of foreign policy lurches further into perpetual militarism and war. That silence of political acquiescence has to be broken.

    Nor is it a matter of concern only on the left. There are many Americans — right, left, or neither — who sense the futility of the course we’re on. These voices have to be represented or the election process will be even more of a sham than we’ve recently experienced.

    One can’t predict just what initiatives may take hold, but the recent U.S.-China climate agreement suggests that necessity can override significant obstacles. That accord is an important step forward, although a limited bilateral pact cannot substitute for an essential international climate treaty. There is a glimmer of hope also in the U.S.-Russian joint action that removed chemical weapons from Syria, and in negotiations with Iran, which continue despite fierce opposition from U.S. hawks and the Israeli government. More recently, there is Obama’s bold move — long overdue — to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. Despite shifts in political fortunes, the unexpected can happen if there is a need and strong enough pressure to create an opportunity.

    We do not claim to have ready-made solutions to the worsening crisis in international relations. We are certain that there is much we’ve missed or underestimated. But if readers agree that U.S. foreign policy has a national and global impact, and that it is not carried out in the interests of the majority of the world’s people, including our own, then we ask you to join this conversation.

    If we are to expand the ability of the people to influence foreign policy, we need to defend democracy, and encourage dissent and alternative ideas. The threats to the world and to ourselves are so great that finding common ground trumps any particular interest. We also know that we won’t all agree with each other, and we believe that is as it should be. There are multiple paths to the future. No coalition around changing foreign policy will be successful if it tells people to conform to any one pattern of political action.

    So how does the call for changing course translate to something politically viable, and how do we consider the problem of power?

    The power to make significant changes in policy ranges from the persistence of peace activists to the potential influence of the general public. In some circumstances, it becomes possible — as well as necessary — to make significant changes in the power structure itself.

    Greece comes to mind. Greek left organizations came together to form Syriza, the political party that was successfully elected to power on a platform of ending austerity. Spain’s anti-austerity Podemos Party — now the number-two party in the country — came out of massive demonstrations in 2011 and was organized from the grassroots up. We do not argue one approach over the over, but the experiences in both countries demonstrate that there are multiple paths to generating change.

    Certainly progressives and leftists grapple with the problems of power. But progress on issues, particularly in matters like war and peace and climate change, shouldn’t be conceived of as dependent on first achieving general solutions to the problems of society, however desirable.

    ... ... ...

    Conn Hallinan is a journalist and a columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus. His writings appear online at Dispatches From the Edge. Leon Wofsy is a retired biology professor and long-time political activist. His comments on current affairs appear online at Leon’s OpEd.

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