Friday, June 23, 2017

The World Is Going Down With Trump by Paul Craig Roberts

The World Is Going Down With Trump



The World Is Going Down With Trump
Paul Craig Roberts
This is your site. Support it.
On June 21 the editorial board of the Washington Post, long a propaganda instrument believed to be in cahoots with the CIA and the deep state, called for more sanctions and more pressure on Russia.
One second’s thought is sufficient to realize how bad this advice is. The orchestrated demonization of Russia and its president began in the late summer of 2013 when the British Parliament and Russian diplomacy blocked the neoconned Obama regime’s planned invasion of Syria. An example had to be made of Russia before other countries began standing up to Washington. While the Russians were focused on the Sochi Olympic Games, Washington staged a coup in Ukraine, replacing the elected democratic government with a gang of Banderite neo-nazi thugs whose forebears fought for Hitler in World War II. Washington claimed it had brought democracy to Ukraine by putting neo-nazi thugs in control of the government.
Washington’s thugs immediately began violent attacks on the Russian population in Ukraine. Soviet war memorials were destroyed. The Russian language was declared banned from official use. Instantly, separatist movements began in the Russian parts of Ukraine that had been administratively attached to Ukraine by Soviet leaders. Crimea, a Russian province since the 1700s, voted overwhelmingly to separate from Ukraine and requested to be reunited with Russia. The same occurred in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
These independent actions were misrepresented by Washington and the presstitutes who whore for Washington as a “Russian invasion.” Despite all facts to the contrary, this misrepresentation continues today. In US foreign policy, facts are not part of the analysis.
The most important fact that is overlooked by the Washington Post and the Russophobic members of the US government is that it is an act of insanity to call for more punishment and more pressure on a country with a powerful military and strategic nuclear capability whose military high command and government have already concluded that Washington is preparing a surprise nuclear attack.
Are the Washington Post editors trying to bring on nuclear armageddon? If there was any intelligence present in the Washington Post, the newspaper would be urging that President Trump immediately call President Putin with reassurances and arrange the necessary meetings to defuse the situation. Instead the utterly stupid editors urge actions that can only raise the level of tension. It should be obvious even to the Washington Post morons that Russia is not going to sit there, shaking in its boots, and wait for Washington’s attack. Putin has issued many warnings about the West’s rising threat to Russian security. He has said that Russia “will never again fight a war on its own territory.” He has said that the lesson he has learned is that “if a fight is unavoidable, strike first.” He has also said that the fact that no one hears his warnings makes the situation even more dangerous.
What explains the deafness of the West? The answer is arrogance and hubris.
As the presstitute media is incapable of reason, I will do their job for them. I call for an immediate face-to-face meeting between Trump and Putin at Reykjavik. Cold War II, begun by Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama, must be ended now.
So, where is President Trump? 
Why is the President of the United States unable to rise to the challenge? Why isn’t he the man Ronald Reagan was? 
Is it, as David Stockman says, that Trump is incapable of anything except tweeting? http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47310.htm
Why hasn’t President Trump long ago ordered all intercepts of Russian chatter gathered, declassified, and made public? 
Why hasn’t Trump launched a criminal prosecution against John Brennan, Susan Rice, Comey, and the rest of the hit squad that is trying to destroy him?
Why has Trump disarmed himself with an administration chosen by Russiaphobes and Israel?
As David Stockman writes, Trump “is up against a Deep State/Dem/Neocon/mainstream media prosecution” and “has no chance of survival short of an aggressive offensive” against those working to destroy him. But there is no Trump offensive, “because the man is clueless about what he is doing in the White House and is being advised by a cacophonous coterie of amateurs and nincompoops. So he has no action plan except to impulsively reach for his Twitter account.”
Our president twitters while he and Earth itself are pushed toward destruction.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Corrupt US Senate Pushes America Toward War With Russia And Europe


Corrupt US Senate Pushes America Toward War With Russia And Europe
“The sleazy hypocrisy of US legislators is legendary, but it is their ignorance, greed and arrogance that are worrying.”

Ever Closer to War
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY | 21.06.2017 | OPINION
Ever Closer to War
The Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has warned that the likelihood of a catastrophic nuclear war is closer than since 1953. As explained by the Bulletin, in 1947 it devised the Doomsday Clock «using the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero) to convey threats to humanity and the planet».
Each year «the decision to move (or to leave in place) the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock is made by the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 15 Nobel laureates». In 1953 the Clock was at two minutes to midnight. In the worst years of the cold war it was at 3 minutes to midnight when, in 1984 it was recorded that «US-Soviet relations reach their iciest point in decades. Dialogue between the two superpowers virtually stops. Every channel of communications has been constricted or shut down; every form of contact has been attenuated or cut off...»
And now, in 2017, it is apparent that channels of communication with Russia are being deliberately cut off — and the hands of the Doomsday Clock have been placed at just two-and-a-half minutes from midnight.
Disaster looms.
And as it looms, the United States Senate is heightening its global confrontational approach and announced that it intends to penalise Russia for a number of supposed misdemeanours.
Senator Lindsey Graham told CBS News that the Senate will «punish Russia for interfering in our elections» — concerning which allegation there has not been one shred of proof provided by anyone. All-embracing inquiries are under way, of course, but be assured that if there were the slightest, tiniest, most microscopic morsel of actual proof of any interference, it would by now have been leaked to the media and made headline news.
Senator Graham excelled himself by telling President Trump, via CBS News, that «You’re the commander in chief. You need to stand up to Russia. We’re never going to reset our relationship with Russia until we punish them for trying to destroy democracy. And that starts with more sanctions».
Then the CBS interviewer brought up the subject of the many inquiries into allegations of Trump-Russia plotting and mentioned that a Democrat had said the investigations were a «fishing expedition... What’s your response to that?»
The Senator replied «That’s not your, none of your business. We’re going to do what we think is best. The Russians interfered in our election. They’re doing it all over the world. No evidence yet that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. I don’t believe the president colluded with the Russians, just because of the way he behaves. There's zero evidence that President Trump did anything wrong with the Russians. There’s overwhelming evidence that Russia is trying to destroy democracy here and abroad. And if you forgive and forget with Putin, you’re going to get more of the same and you’re going to entice Iran and China to come in 2018 and 2020».
The US Senate believes there is «zero evidence» that President Trump had help from Russia in his election campaign — which is true — but also thinks there is «overwhelming evidence» that Russia is trying to influence voting in America, although there is not a shred of proof to that effect.
The Senator spoke with the authority, force and majesty of the US Senate, and the world has to accept that his pronouncements represent the wishes of the legislators of his mighty nation which is intent on imposing harsher sanctions on Russia. As observed by Forbes, the new Bill «punishes Russian oil and gas firms even more than the current sanctions regime... Russia has no friends on Capitol Hill».
It is intriguing that the sanctions focus on oil and gas production, and Bloomberg reported that Germany and Austria consider «the measures sought to bolster US economic interests and included an unacceptable intervention in the region’s energy sector». In an unprecedented expression — indeed, explosion — of disapproval, Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern said in a joint statement that «Europe’s energy supply is a matter for Europe, not the United States of America... instruments for political sanctions should not be tied to economic interests» and that the Senate’s amendment heralded a »new and very negative quality in European-American relations».
As London’s Financial Times reported, «the Russia sanctions outline opposition to Nord Stream 2, a pipeline that will double capacity for Gazprom... to supply gas to Europe under the Baltic Sea. The measures could affect European energy companies, including Shell, Engie and OMV, which are financing the pipeline. Shares in all four companies tumbled on Thursday».
Washington’s mission of lucrative destruction was partly achieved, but that’s where we come to the essence of the matter. The part of the Sanctions Bill involving Russia was an add-on to a series of vindictive measures against Iran, but it seemed a good idea to also sanction Russia’s oil and gas production, because nobody would benefit more than the oil and gas companies of the United States.
Bloomberg explained that the Nord Stream pipeline «would compete with US exports of liquefied natural gas to Europe». And the Senate made it plain that the US government «should prioritize the export of United States energy resources in order to create American jobs, help United States allies and partners, and strengthen United States foreign policy».
It’s difficult to see how the Senate’s arrogant dabbling might «help allies and partners,» but those in America who own energy resources and want to continue making vast profits continue to help their allies and partners in the Senate and the House. Without their financial support, many legislators would never have got to Washington.
As recorded by Open Secrets, companies closely associated with oil and gas production gave US politicians over fifty million dollars in 2015-2016 to help their democratic election:
Top Contributors, 2015-2016

Contributor
Amount
Koch Industries
$9,501,803
Chevron Corp
$5,116,216
Ariel Corp
$4,809,612
Stewart & Stevenson
$4,127,231
Western Refining
$4,067,802
Petrodome Energy
$3,000,000
Chief Oil & Gas
$2,977,493
Hunt Companies
$2,709,917
Marathon Petroleum
$2,398,781
Edison Chouest Offshore
$2,198,872
Energy Transfer Equity
$2,164,853
Kinder Morgan Inc
$2,112,160
American Petroleum Institute
$2,085,345
Exxon Mobil
$2,065,787
Occidental Petroleum
$1,855,908
Devon Energy
$1,811,364
Otis Eastern
$1,733,017
Honeywell International
$1,461,284
Anadarko Petroleum
$1,343,741
Red Apple Group
$1,218,312
Source: By kind permission of the Center for Responsive Politics
And Senator Lindsay Graham was given a bundle by many commercial organisations, headed by Nelson, Mullins, whose $254,247 in 1993-2016 no doubt helped him along the way. Nelson Mullins, incidentally, has attorneys who «have experience in advising electrical and pipeline providers on legal matters». Then he got $175,605 from SCANA, which is «a $9 billion energy-based holding company, based in Cayce, South Carolina... Its businesses include... natural gas utility operations and other energy-related businesses». Another of Senator Graham’s generous sponsors is the Fluor Corporation ($94,801) which «understands the critical success factors driving onshore oil and gas production and terminal businesses, providing practical solutions to maximize project investment».
It doesn’t matter to these people, or to the legislators they’ve bought with their donations, that the Doomsday Clock has ticked closer to the midnight of Armageddon, and that the hostile approach of the United States is alienating a proud nation that can take only so much before it reacts against Washington’s aggressive confrontation. The sleazy hypocrisy of US legislators is legendary, but it is their ignorance greed and arrogance that are worrying.
While Senator Graham was dancing to the tune of his oil angels, the Washington Post reported that seven percent of American adults believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows. That is «16.4 million misinformed, milk-drinking people». The representative of FoodCorps which encourages sensible nourishment said this was unfortunate, and «We still get kids who are surprised that a French fry comes from a potato, or that a pickle is a cucumber. Knowledge is power. Without it, we can’t make informed decisions».

Just like the US Senate.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Another Step Toward Devastating War -- Paul Craig Roberts



Another Step Toward Devastating War


Another Step Toward Devastating War
Paul Craig Roberts
This is your site. Support it.
An idiot American pilot shot down a Syrian fighter that was attacking ISIS, thus confirming that Washington is not fighting ISIS, as Washington claims, but is protecting ISIS, its agent sent to Syria by Obama and Hillary to overthrow the Syrian government. General Michael Flynn revealed on a TV interview that Obama and Hillary had, over his objection as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, made the “willful decision” to send ISIS to Syria.
Washington’s pretense that Washington is fighting ISIS, rather than supporting it, is the excuse for Washington’s illegal presence in the Syrian conflict. Russia and Iran are in Syria legally, invited there by an elected government. The Americans are there uninvited as war criminals. Under international law established by the Americans themselves, it is a war crime to initiate aggression against a country that has not raised a fist against you.
So, to be in Syria, Washington has to pretend to be “fighting terrorism” rather than supporting it. The lie has been given to this claim many times, but now that an American pilot has proven that the US is in Syria to support its agent, ISIS, not even a Megyn Kelly presstitute can honestly claim to believe that Washington is fighting ISIS.
The Russians, Syrians, and Iranians have known this from the beginning. However, these official sources are all suspect in the presstitute Western media. So with the presstitutes’ complicity, Washington’s lie has stood until the idiot American pilot blew the lie out of the sky along with the Syrian fighter and its pilot.
Washington, of course, will lie through its teeth. It is the only thing Washington knows how to do. Washington will claim that it was a “coalition fighter,” that is, some one else was flying the US F-18. It wasn’t us. Or they will claim that the Syrian fighter was attacking women and children, or a transgendered compound or a maternity ward for women raped by Assad’s “brutal troops.” Washington will spin it in some way to make an aggressive war crime into an heroic defense of a victim group.
One question is: Did the idiot US pilot do this on his own, a hot shot playing Top Gun, or was this a planned provocation of the military/security complex outside of channels to begin a conflict between the US and Russia that would prevent any possibility of President Trump reviving his goal of defusing the high level of tensions with Russia? A $1 trillion, 100 billion annual military/secuity budget paid by American taxpayers is at stake.
We don’t know if the pilot acted on his own or on orders.
What we do know is that it did not go down well with the Russians. The Russian Defense Ministry said today that it regards the decision by “the US command as an intentional violation of US obligations in the framework of the memo on avoiding incidents and the safety of aviation flights during operations in Syria signed on October 20, 2015.”
Surprise! Surprise! The Americans broke yet another agreement Washington signed with Russia.
How many agreements with Russia does Washington have to break before the Russians finally understand that a signed agreement with Washington is meaningless? Will the Russians ever learn? The American Indians never did. There is a famous American T-shirt: “Sure you can trust the government: Just ask an Indian.”
Perhaps the Russians finally have learned that any agreement with Washington is worthless at best and a death warrant at worst. The Russian Defense Ministry announced today that Russia is halting all interactions with the US within the framework on the memorandum of incident prevention in Syrian skies. Additionally, the Russian Defense Ministry stated that Russian missile defense will intercept any aircraft in the area of operations of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria and: “In areas where Russian aviation is conducting combat missions in the Syrian skies, any flying ojects, including jets and unmanned aerial vehicles of the international coalition discovered west of the Euphrates River will be followed by Russian air and ground defenses as air targets.”
In other words, in Russia’s understated way, Russia has declared a no-fly zone over all areas of Syria in which Syrian and Russian forces are operating. Any intruder into that area will be blown out of the sky. American, Israeli, whoever, they are dead meat.
As it is Russia, not Washington, who has air superiority in Syria, all that is required is one more dumbshit American pilot, who will get his stupid ass blown out of the sky, and the utter morons in Washington will have to back off or make a mistake. As stupid as Washington is and as full of hubris, the morons will make a mistake.
There is no intelligence in Washington. Only arrogance and hubris. The quarter century I spent there was with the most utterly stupid people on the face of the earth.
I expect Russia to win this, because Russia has intelligent leadership, and Washington does not.
Nevertheless, perhaps mistakenly, as no one can know everything, I blame Russia for letting the Syrian crisis develop. Russia and Syria would have won the war long ago, except Russia kept declaring premature victory, pulling out, having to go back, always hoping to reach an agreement with Washington. Indeed, reaching an agreement with Washington was more important to the Russian government than winning the war or anything else.
Regardless of the evidence, the Russian government’s hope simply could not die that Russia and Washington could reach an agreement to fight terrorism together. What utter nonsense. The terrorism in the Russian province of Chechnya was instigated by Washington. The Russian government does not seem to understand that there are no independent terrorists. Terrorism is a Washington weapon. So how can the Russian government make a pact against terrorism with the country that is using terrorism as a weapon against Russia?
What does Russia think the neoconservatives’ plan to conquer Syria and Iran is about if not to bring more terrorism to Russia.
Vladimir Putin is a knowledgeable, strong, and able leader of a country. Perhaps he is the only one outside of China. Clearly there are none in the West, a wasteland of leadership.
Little doubt that Putin is a moral leader who is opposed to war and wants the best for all countries. However, by sacrificing the advantage every time he gains it to the nonsensical idea of making an agreement with Washington simply conveys to Washington weakness. Washington thinks Putin is just another person who Washington can walk over. This is a miscalculation, and it will result in war. It would be much better if Putin layed down the gauntlet and made it completely clear that “if you want war, it will be there in 30 minutes.” Suddenly, Russia would be taken seriously.
I admire Putin. But he is playing the wrong game. Instead of parrying Washington’s aggression, he should be aggressive and force Europe and Washington to come to him for a solution.
Putin, the leader of the free world, should not be on the defensive from a bankrupt, two-bit punk, washed up government in Washington that wallows in evil.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Democracy Is A Front For Central Bank Rule by Paul Craig Roberts

Democracy Is A Front For Central Bank Rule




Democracy Is A Front For Central Bank Rule
Paul Craig Roberts
Several years ago when the Federal Reserve had its Fed funds rate at zero to 25 basis points (one-quarter of one percent—0.25%), there was a great deal of talk, somehow presented as urgent, whether the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates.
RT asked me if the Fed was going to raise interest rates. I answered that the purpose of low interest rates was to restore the solvency of the balance sheets of the “banks too big to fail” by raising debt prices. The lower the interest rate, the higher the prices of debt instruments. The Fed drives bond prices up by purchasing bonds, and the Fed raises interest rates by selling bonds, or by purchasing fewer of them than previously.
I told RT that a real increase in interest rates would undercut the Fed’s policy of rescuing the balance sheets of the big banks whose balance sheets were loaded up with bad debt that desperately needed a rise in debt prices for the banks to remain solvent.
When shortly thereafter the Fed raised the overnight funds rate, it blew my credibility with RT. RT did not understand that real interest rates had not increased. Indeed, two days after the “rate increase” the nominal interest rate had not changed. It was still 18 basis points. The announced rate had gone from the old range of zero to 25 basis points to a new range of 25 basis points to 50 basis points. The former max was the current minimum.
Moreover, over the long time period in which there was such well marketed concern over whether such an inconsequential interest rate rise would occur, inflation had risen, making the real interest rate negative well below the 18 basis points official interest rate. By the time the Fed raised the nominal rate, the real rate was already more negative. Thus, there was no rise in real interest rates.
The financial press did not explain this, either from incompetence or collusion. RT accepted the fake news as reality and wrote off my credibility. I am often interviewed by RT, but no longer on economic matters, about which I know the most.
A couple of days ago, after a long period of waiting for another interest rate rise, an announcement from the Fed, amidst further indication of US economic decline, announced another 25 basis point increase in the target range for the Fed funds rate.
Inflation aside, in fact interest rates declined, as my sometime co-author Dave Kranzler reports. http://investmentresearchdynamics.com/has-the-fed-actually-raised-rates-this-year/ 
Despite this publicized “rise” of the Fed funds rate, the 10-year interest rate on Treasuries “has declined 30 basis points this year. Thus for certain borrowers, the Fed has effectively lowered the cost of borowing.”
Kranzler goes on to point out that “the spread between the 30-day Treasury Bill and the 10-yr Treasury has declined this year from 193 basis points to 125 basis points – a 68 basis point drop in the cost of funding for borrowers who have access to the highly engineered derivative products that enable these borrowers to take advantage of the shape of the yield curve in order to lower their cost of borrowing.”
Kranzler provides a chart that shows that the spread between the 30-day Treasury bill and the 10-year Treasury bond is narrowing. As the short-term rate rises, the long term rate is falling, and the spread between the long and short rate has declined 68 basis points from almost two percentage points to one and one quarter percentage point.
Clearly, this is not a rise in interest rates.
Clearly also, a rise in the Fed funds rate no longer signals a rise in all interest rates.
Why is the Fed raising short rates when the long rates are falling?
Why do “democratic Western democracies” have central banks that do nothing except protect big banks at the expense of the people?


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Politicians Regret Their Creation of the Federal Reserve

Politicians Regret Their Creation of the Federal Reserve


Politicians Regret Their Creation of the Federal Reserve




More from Guest Contributions

Today the Federal Reserve Is the Bank of the United States, and There Is No President Andrew Jackson

Today the Federal Reserve Is the Bank of the United States, and There Is No President Andrew Jackson


Today the Federal Reserve Is the Bank of the United States, and There Is No President Andrew Jackson
“Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin!

You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out!”
 — Andrew Jackson, shortly before ending the charter of the Second Bank of the United States.

(From the original minutes of the Philadelphia committee of citizens sent to meet with President Jackson (February 1834), according to Andrew Jackson and the Bank of the United States (1928) by Stan V. Henkels)


Saturday, June 17, 2017

“Global Order” Is An Euphemism for Washington’s Hegemony

“Global Order” Is An Euphemism for Washington’s Hegemony
June 16, 2017  “Global Order” Is An Euphamism for Washington’s Hegemony
Paul Craig Roberts
This is your site. Support it.
Colonel Andrew Bacevich, a professor at Boston University, served in Vietnam. His son was killed serving in Afghanistan. He comes from a military family. I know him. He is among the best that our country has produced.
As has occurred before, he has saved me from having to write an article by writing it himself. And he has written it better.
Bacevich points out that the orchestrated attack on President Trump is based on the assumptin that President Trump has launched an attack on the open, liberal, enlightened, rule of law, and democratic order that Washington has established. This liberal world order of goodness is threatened by a Trump-Putin Conspiracy.
Bacevich, a rare honest American, says this that this characterization of America is a bullshit myth.
For example, the orchastrated image of America as the great upholder of truth, justice, democracy, and human rights conviently overlooks Washington’s “meddling in foreign elections; coups and assassination plots in Iran [Washingtonn’s 1953 overthrow of the first elected Iranian government], Guatemala, the Congo, Cuba, South Vietnam, Chile, Nicaragua, and elsewhere; indiscriminate aerial bombing campaigns in North Korea and throughout Southeast Asia; a nuclear arms race bringing the world to the brink of Armageddon; support for corrupt, authoritarian regimes in Iran [the Shah], Turkey, Greece, South Korea, South Vietnam, the Philippines, Brazil, Egypt, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and elsewhere—many of them abandoned when deemed inconvenient; the shielding of illegal activities through the use of the Security Council veto; unlawful wars launched under false pretenses; ‘extraordinary rendition,’ torture, and the indefinite imprisonment of persons without any semblance of due process [the evisceration of the US Constitution].”  
In other words, Washington is the opposite of how it orchestrates its portrait. There is no such thing as “liberal internationalism.” All “liberal internationalsim” means is Amerian hegemony over the idiot countries that participate in “liberal internationalism.”
President Trump is in trouble, Bacevich says, because “he appears disinclined to perpetuate Amerian hegemony.”
American hegemony is the neoconservatives’ God, and “the Russian threat” is the savior of the military/security complex’s $1.1 trillion annual budget. President Trump is a threat to both.
The ‘Global Order’ Myth
Teary-eyed nostalgia as cover for U.S. hegemony
 
During the Age of Trump, Year One, a single word has emerged to capture the essence of the prevailing cultural mood: resistance. Words matter, and the prominence of this particular term illuminates the moment in which we find ourselves.  
All presidents, regardless of party or program, face criticism and opposition.Citizens disinclined to support that program protest. Marching, chanting, waving placards, and generally raising a ruckus in front of any available camera, they express dissent. In normal times, such activism testifies to the health of democracy.  
Yet these are not normal times. In the eyes of Trump’s opponents, his elevation to the pinnacle of American politics constitutes a frontal assault on values that until quite recently appeared fixed and unassailable. In such distressing circumstances, mere criticism, opposition, protest, and dissent will not suffice. By their own lights, anti-Trump forces are fending off the apocalypse. As in November 1860 so too in November 2016, the outcome of a presidential election has placed at risk a way of life.
The very word resistance conjures up memories of the brave souls who during World War II opposed the Nazi occupation of their homelands, with the French maquis the best known example. It carries with it an unmistakable whiff of gunpowder. After resistance comes revolution.
Simply put, Trump’s most ardent opponents see him as an existential threat, with the clock ticking. Thus the stakes could hardly be higher. Richard Parker of Harvard has conjured what he calls Resistance School, which in three months has signed up some 30,000 anti-Trump resistors from 49 states and 33 countries. “It is our attempt to begin the long slow process of recovering and rebuilding our democracy,” says Parker. Another group styling itself the DJT Resistance declares that Trump represents “Hatred, Bigotry, Xenophobia, Sexism, Racism, and Greed.”
This is not language suggesting the possibility of dialogue or compromise. Indeed, in such quarters references to incipient fascism have become commonplace. Comparisons between Trump and Hitler abound. “It takes willful blindness,” writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times, “not to see the parallels between the rise of fascism and our current political nightmare.” And time is running short. Journalist Chris Hedges says “a last chance for resistance” is already at hand.
In the meantime, in foreign-policy circles at least, a second, less explosive term vies with resistance for Trump-era signature status. This development deserves more attention than it has attracted, especially among those who believe that alongside the question that riles up the resistance—namely, what values define us?—sits another question of comparable importance: “What principles define America’s role in the world?”
That second term, now creeping into the vocabulary of foreign-policy specialists, is liberal, often used interchangeably with the phrase rules-based and accompanied by additional modifiers such as open, international, and normative. All of these serve as synonyms for enlightened and good.
So Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution, describing what he refers to as the “twilight of the liberal world order,” worries about the passing of “the open international economic system the United States created and helped sustain.” Donald Trump’s misguided emphasis on “America First,” Kagan writes, suggests that he has no interest in “attempting to uphold liberal norms in the international system” or in “preserving an open economic order.”
Commenting on Trump’s Inaugural Address, Nicole Gaouette, CNN national-security reporter, expresses her dismay that it contained “no reference to America’s traditional role as a global leader and shaper of international norms.” Similarly, a report in the Financial Times bemoans what it sees as “a clear signal about Mr. Trump’s disregard for many of the international norms that have governed America as the pillar of the liberal economic order.” The historian Jeremi Suri, barely a week into Trump’s presidency, charges Trump with “launching a direct attack on the liberal international order that really made America great after the depths of the Great Depression.” At the Council on Foreign Relations, Stewart Patrick concurs: Trump’s election, he writes, “imperils the liberal international order that America has championed since World War II.” Thomas Wright, another Brookings scholar, piles on: Trump “wants to undo the liberal international order the United States built and replace it with a 19th-century model of nationalism and mercantilism.”
In Foreign Policy, Colin Kahl and Hal Brands embellish the point: Trump’s strategic vision “diverges significantly from—and intentionally subverts—the bipartisan consensus underpinning U.S. foreign policy since World War II.” Failing to “subscribe to the long-held belief that ‘American exceptionalism’ and U.S. leadership are intertwined,” Trump is hostile to the “open, rule-based international economy” that his predecessors nurtured and sustained.
Need more? Let Gen. David Petraeus have the last word: “To keep the peace,” the soldier-turned-investment-banker writes in an essay entitled “America Must Stand Tall,” the United States has established “a system of global alliances and security commitments,” thereby nurturing “an open, free and rules-based international economic order.” To discard this legacy, he suggests, would be catastrophic.
You get the drift. Liberalism, along with norms, rules, openness, and internationalism: these ostensibly define the postwar and post-Cold War tradition of American statecraft. Allow Trump to scrap that tradition and you can say farewell to what Stewart Patrick refers to as “the global community under the rule of law” that the United States has upheld for decades.
But what does this heartwarming perspective exclude? We can answer that question with a single word: history.  
Or, somewhat more expansively, among the items failing to qualify for mention in the liberal internationalist, rules-based version of past U.S. policy are the following: meddling in foreign elections; coups and assassination plots in Iran, Guatemala, the Congo, Cuba, South Vietnam, Chile, Nicaragua, and elsewhere; indiscriminate aerial bombing campaigns in North Korea and throughout Southeast Asia; a nuclear arms race bringing the world to the brink of Armageddon; support for corrupt, authoritarian regimes in Iran, Turkey, Greece, South Korea, South Vietnam, the Philippines, Brazil, Egypt, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and elsewhere—many of them abandoned when deemed inconvenient; the shielding of illegal activities through the use of the Security Council veto; unlawful wars launched under false pretenses; “extraordinary rendition,” torture, and the indefinite imprisonment of persons without any semblance of due process.  
Granted, for each of these, there was a rationale, rooted in a set of identifiable assumptions, ambitions, and fears. The CIA did not conspire with Britain’s MI6 in 1953 to overthrow Iran’s democratically elected president just for the hell of it. It did so because shelving Mohammad Mosaddegh seemingly offered the prospect of eliminating an annoying problem. In 1965, Lyndon Johnson did not commit U.S. combat troops to South Vietnam because he was keen to fight a major ground war in Asia but because the consequences of simply allowing events to take their course looked to be even worse. After 9/11, when George W. Bush and his associates authorized the “enhanced interrogation” of those held in secret prisons, panic rather than sadism prompted their actions. Even for the most egregious folly, in other words, there is always some explanation, however inadequate.
Yet collectively, the actions and episodes enumerated above do not suggest a nation committed to liberalism, openness, or the rule of law. What they reveal instead is a pattern of behavior common to all great powers in just about any era: following the rules when it serves their interest to do so; disregarding the rules whenever they become an impediment. Some regimes are nastier than others, but all are law-abiding when the law works to their benefit and not one day longer. Even Hitler’s Third Reich and Stalin’s USSR punctiliously observed the terms of their non-aggression pact as long as it suited both parties to do so.
My point is not to charge à la Noam Chomsky that every action undertaken by the United States government is inherently nefarious. Rather, I am suggesting that to depict postwar U.S. policy in terms employed by the pundits quoted above is to whitewash the past. Whether their motive is to deceive or merely to evade discomfiting facts is beside the point. What they are peddling belongs to the universe of alt facts. To characterize American statecraft as “liberal internationalism” is akin to describing the business of Hollywood as “artistic excellence.”
“Invocations of the ‘rules-based international order,’” Politico’s Susan Glasser rightly observes, “had never before caused such teary-eyed nostalgia.” Whence comes this sudden nostalgia for something that never actually existed? The answer is self-evident: it’s a response to Donald Trump.
Prior to Trump’s arrival on the scene, few members of the foreign-policy elite, now apparently smitten with norms, fancied that the United States was engaged in creating any such order. America’s purpose was not to promulgate rules but to police an informal empire that during the Cold War encompassed the “Free World” and became more expansive still once the Cold War ended. The pre-Trump Kagan, writing in 2012, neatly summarizes that view:  
The existence of the American hegemon has forced all other powers to exercise unusual restraint, curb normal ambitions, and avoid actions that might lead to the formation of a U.S.-led coalition of the kind that defeated Germany twice, Japan once, and the Soviet Union, more peacefully, in the Cold War.
Leave aside the dubious assertions and half-truths contained within that sentence and focus on its central claim: the United States as a hegemon that forces other nations to bend to its will. Strip away the blather about rules and norms and here you come to the essence of what troubles Kagan and others who purport to worry about the passing of “liberal internationalism.” Their concern is not that Trump won’t show adequate respect for rules and norms. What has them all in a lather is that he appears disinclined to perpetuate American hegemony.  
More fundamentally, Trump’s conception of a usable past differs radically from that favored in establishment quarters. Put simply, the 45th president does not subscribe to the imperative of sustaining American hegemony because he does not subscribe to the establishment’s narrative of 20th-century history. According to that canonical narrative, exertions by the United States in a sequence of conflicts dating from 1914 and ending in 1989 enabled good to triumph over evil. Absent these American efforts, evil would have prevailed. Contained within that parable-like story, members of the establishment believe, are the lessons that should guide U.S. policy in the 21st century.
Trump doesn’t see it that way, as his appropriation of the historically loaded phrase “America First” attests. In his view, what might have occurred had the United States not waged war against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan and had it not subsequently confronted the Soviet Union matters less than what did occur when the assertion of hegemonic prerogatives found the United States invading Iraq in 2003 with disastrous results.  
In effect, Trump dismisses the lessons of the 20th century as irrelevant to the 21st. Crucially, he goes a step further by questioning the moral basis for past U.S. actions. Thus, his extraordinary response to a TV host’s charge that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a killer. “There are a lot of killers,” Trump retorted. “We’ve got a lot of killers. What, you think our country is so innocent?” In offering this one brief remark, Trump thereby committed the ultimate heresy. Of course, no serious person believes that the United States is literally innocent. What members of the foreign-policy establishment—including past commanders-in-chief—have insisted is that the United States act as if it were innocent, with prior sins expunged and America’s slate wiped clean. This describes the ultimate U.S. perquisite and explains why, in the eyes of Robert Kagan et al., Russian actions in Crimea, Ukraine, or Syria count for so much while American actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya count for so little.   
The desperate exercise in historical revisionism that now credits the United States with having sought all along to create a global community under the rule of law represents that establishment’s response to the heresies Trump has been spouting (and tweeting) since his famous ride down the escalator at Trump Tower.  
Yet in reclassifying yesterday’s hegemon as today’s promulgator and respecter of norms, members of that establishment perpetrate a fraud. Whether Americans, notably gullible when it comes to history, will fall for this charade remains to be seen. Thus far at least, Trump himself, who probably knows a thing or two about snake-oil salesmen, shows little inclination to take the bait.  
Say this for the anti-Trump resistance: while the fascism-just-around-the-corner rhetoric may be overheated and a touch overwrought, it qualifies as forthright and heartfelt. While not sharing the view that Trump will rob Americans of their freedoms, I neither question the sincerity nor doubt the passion of those who believe otherwise. Indeed, I am grateful to them for acting so forcefully on their convictions. They are inspiring.
Not so with those who now wring their hands about the passing of the fictive liberal international order credited to enlightened American statecraft. They are engaged in a great scam, working assiduously to sustain the pretense that the world of 2017 remains essentially what it was in 1937 or 1947 or 1957 when it is not.  
Today’s Russia is not a reincarnation of the Soviet Union; the People’s Republic of China is not Imperial Japan; and the Islamic State in no way compares to Nazi Germany. Most of all, United States in the era of Donald Trump is not the nation that elected Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Dwight Eisenhower, not least of all in the greatly reduced willingness of Americans to serve as instruments of state power, as the failed post-9/11 assertions of hegemony have demonstrated.
The world has changed in fundamental ways. So too has the United States. Those changes require that the principles guiding U.S. policy also change accordingly.
However ill-suited by intellect, temperament, and character for the office he holds, Trump has seemingly intuited the need for such change. In this regard, if in none other, I’m with the Donald.

But note the irony. Trump may come closer to full-fledged historical illiteracy than any president since Warren G. Harding. Small wonder then that his rejection of the mythic past long employed to preempt serious debate regarding U.S. policy gives fits to the perpetrators of those myths.
Andrew J. Bacevich is TAC’s writer-at-large.  

PUTIN FRENCH

putin

VLADIMIR SOLOVYOV WORLD ORDER

PRESIDENT

lie we live

pt

xmas





“Glory to God in the highest,

and on Earth

Peace, Good Will toward men.”

This Christmas, Give Peace