Three data points start today’s posting. I have just read carefully the piece in the New Yorker called Trump, Putin and the New Cold War, by its Evan Osnos, David Remnick, and Joshua Yaffa. And with greater pleasure I have read Fred Reed’s A Budget without Russians. We will get to them in a moment. My third piece of information came from a conversation with a senior counsel to Hillary’s campaign last August, 2016, when it was virtually certain that Hillary was about to win. Let’s just call him the Counsellor. He was purring like a cat at the prospect of power and his role in the new dispensation.
The Counsellor’s views seemed to me strange at the time, indeed they were scarcely credible. He seemed intent on a revival of the Cold War and, perhaps more strange, a pro-Iranian, anti-Turkish position. It seemed reasonable to infer that, if Hillary had won, and the Counsellor had a senior position in the Administration, then the Clinton administration would be playing geo-politics with these objectives in mind:
- keeping Russia small and weak;
- assisting the Iranians (Shiites) to dominate the Sunni Arabs;
- and doing their best to undermine Turkey, up to and including reducing its territorial extent.
What struck me about the Counsellor’s views, apart from the strangeness of pivoting in favour of Iran and against the Sunnis, was how belligerent this position was. It seemed bent on fomenting real trouble throughout the near and middle east. By contrast, Trump’s erratic behaviour seems little more than shaking the tree for a more favourable outcome to any bargaining that might go on. His apparent liking for a Putin – up to a point – seems no more than making nice with a guy from whom you expect to get something you want in negotiations.
Maybe I mistake the nature of the conversation with the Counsellor, and exaggerate his possible role in the Hillary administration that then seemed inevitable. But I am certain that he believed what he was saying at the time, and attribute this to my knowledge of this guy over many years, his ardent patriotism, his whole-hearted commitment to the Democrats and Hillary, and the sense that he was relaying to us what was a settled intention within circles of the Hillary regime even more Inner-Party than he was. He was talking as if communicating a Party Line.
So back to today. Fred Reed’s piece “A Budget without Russians” provides the essential illumination.
“Methinks the insane hysteria over Russia needs to stop. It probably will not. For reasons of domestic and imperial politics the American public is again being manipulated into a war frenzy by Washington and New York. It is stupid, without justification, and dangerous.
The silliness over Russia is, obviously, part of the Establishment’s drive to get rid of Trump. Yes, the man is erratic, contradictory, shoots before he aims, backs off much of what he has promised, and may be unqualified as President–but that is not why Washington and New York want to get rid of him. It is about money and power, as is everything in the United States. Wall Street, the Pentagon, the Neocons, and the Empire run America. Trump has threatened their rice bowls.”
- There is an Establishment drive to get rid of Trump
- because he threatens an outburst of peace.
What sense does this make–apart from money and power? Russia is an economically challenged nation of 145 million, less than half of Europe’s population and much less than half of America’s. Its economy is a small fraction of the combined economies of Europe and America. It is not on a war footing. It is not moving forces into position for an invasion. It is not mobilizing. To satellite photography, to NSA these things would be as obvious as leprosy on a prom queen. The Establishment would be screaming to high heaven if there were the slightest trace of preparation for war. The whole business is manufactured.
I have carefully gone over the Osnos, Remnick, Yaffa article on Trump, Putin and the supposed hacking of the democratic party’s email servers. Their conclusion:
No reasonable analyst believes that Russia’s active measures in the United States and Europe have been the dominant force behind the ascent of Trump and nationalist politicians in Europe. Resentment of the effects of globalization and deindustrialization are far more important factors. But many Western Europeans do fear that the West and its postwar alliances and institutions are endangered, and that Trump, who has expressed doubts about NATO and showed allegiance to Brexit and similar anti-European movements, cannot be counted on.
This is the conclusion of fact drawn by the authors, but you would be hard pressed to find it among all the heavy breathing and hand waving reported in the New Yorker article.
In short, the establishment believe that Trump is not politically reliable, and that, like Putin, he may be his own man, and for this reason they are setting out to destroy him, in the same way that Nixon was destroyed. I smell a judicial-political-media coup.
I keep wondering when some embattled US President will stage a coup and have a few hundred establishmentarians killed, just to get the attention of the rest of the Establishment that traitors never prosper. They play rough in the United States.