Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Mon Jan 18, 2021 2:42 pm

<snip>
At the same time, there is a palpable relief that Donald Trump’s four years of policy improvisation, emotional instability, and outbursts of racial and gender animosity are now coming to a close. The idea that a person of Trump’s impulsiveness and shallowness had a hand in US foreign and military policy would keep any sane person awake at night. Sadly, it escapes most pundits’ and politicians’ short memory that previous Presidents, like Nixon, Reagan, and Bush, were equally, if not more, dangerous.

Where Trump’s self-delusion as a master in dealmaking led him to seek rapprochement with some of the establishment’s designated enemies, he was invariably thwarted by the establishment’s fail-safe mechanisms. If the four years of Trump taught us nothing, it was that the rules of the game were carefully protected by the mechanisms long established by the capitalist ruling class to contain politics within a narrow range of action. Trump’s unorthodox policies ran headlong into the firewall created by what Marx described as the “…committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.” They were stalled, ignored, or subverted by the system’s defenders.
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<snip>

A remarkable event occurred on January 6. Some call it an attack, an insurrection, even a coup attempt. In fact, with a little necessary distance from the sensationalist media, it was none of these. The motley, largely unarmed characters who broke through a thin blue line to mill around the Capitol waving flags, taking selfies, and generally disrupting business were hardly the stuff of revolution. They were not storming the Bastille, but taking an unsanctioned, trashy tour of Versailles.

The event began with an underwhelmingly attended rally that, if it had been organized by the left, would barely catch the attention of the media. A desperate, unhinged Trump, rocked by his intercepted plea to Georgia officials, the Democratic victory in Georgia, and the inevitability of his departure from the White House, made an incendiary speech urging the attendees to march on the Capitol.

No one disputes the fact that the Capitol Police force that they met was little more than a token, despite the hyperventilating claims of potential violence and the proximity of City police, and the National Guard in waiting.

Undoubtedly, commentators are also correct in pointing to the collaboration of some of the Capitol Police in the incursion, but they seem less interested in why the other available forces were not deployed. The decisions to neither call for help nor extend it remain a far more significant question in the events of January 6. It is worth noting that the Capitol Police are under the oversight of the Congress and not the executive branch. Therefore, the speculation that Trump left the door open does not seem plausible. Instead, there is plausible evidence from an unlikely source– The Washington Post— of Senate and House machinations.

But we do know that this Trumpite incursion was met with nothing like the extreme measures visited upon anti-war and anti-racism demonstrations. Any veteran of DC actions would not recognize the tepid preparation and execution of the defense of the Capitol, since we were seldom allowed within blocks of the building no matter how many of us were present. And there were always more than enough of them!

So who was responsible for the near-invitation to penetrate the Capitol and the bizarre rock concert-like antics of the unorganized mob? Was this a staged Reichstag fire operation to force Trump into his final submission?

https://mltoday.com/twenty-twenty-one-a ... ing-start/
Anybody remember Raygun 'joking', supposedly 'off mike', about nuking the Soviet Union? Now that was scary...

It matters not at all that the Capital Police are under 'Congressional oversight'. Cops, not the sharpest knives in the drawer at any time, are nearly unanimous in support of Trump and you can trust them as far as you can throw them. Two things are operational here: the racism embedded in cops and the power structure generally and a LIHOP moment wherein the cops were very poorly deployed on purpose, the few on hand couldn't have stopped that mob with guns blazing, would have all died and incited even greater violence. To speculate on this being anything like the Reichstag Fire is to throw brother Occam's razor out the window. (After all, we're talking about the Dems, the gang that couldn't shoot straight.)

There was this woman from DoJ on the radio last week, a purported expert on this sort of thing. She stated her opinion that she would not find any grand conspiracy but lots of little conspiracies. This is likely correct, as every little gang of these hoodlums had their own ideas about 'what is to be done' and set forth to execute the vision of their sect with the predictable result of a clusterfuck.
<snip>

Whether Trump intended to stage a coup was secondary to whether he could do so. The institutions of state power were aligned against him, as indicated by the last ten secretaries of defense who admonished no go. Too much attention has been wasted obsessing about what was, at best, a delusion.

The myriad maladies of the American body politic did not originate with Mr. Trump and will not terminate with his departure. He was unique, but not exceptional. His style was all his own, but the substance of the reign of 45 revealed a dreary continuity with his predecessors. And when Trump made feeble attempts to deviate, as with ending endless wars, the Democrats and the permanent state slapped him back into line.

In fact, Trump may not go away. And for that he will have the liberals to thank. Just like some Trotskyists have made a career of exorcising the specter of Stalin, who died in 1953, liberals will be doing the same with Trump.

https://mltoday.com/the-us-capitol-buil ... ion-to-it/
The first paragraph in this snip is the money shot.Trump will certainly be the Dem's 'bloody rag' and they'll try to get as much mileage out of that as they have out of FDR's 1936-1938 legislation which bears little to no resemblance to what came before or after. The difference though is that Stalin was a Good Guy.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:25 pm

Trump as Othello in a Corporate Theater
Glen Ford, BAR Executive Editor 21 Jan 2021

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Trump as Othello in a Corporate Theater

Trump the straw man has finally been knocked down, giving the Democrats a victory that costs their corporate masters nothing.

“If you are desperate to flush the stink of four years of Trump out of your brain, remember who put it there.”

Donald Trump has slunk off the national stage for the time being, but we must remember who made him a contender for president in the first place: the Democrats and their corporate media. As Wikileaks revealed , the Clinton campaign encouraged friendly media to boost Trump’s Republican primary prospects, hoping to set up a straw man that could easily be knocked down in November, 2016. By Election Day, the corporate press had lavished $5 billion in free media on Trump – more than Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and all of Trump’s Republican presidential competitors, combined. If you are desperate to flush the stink of four years of Trump out of your brain, remember who put it there, through constant, daily repetition.

How long will the Orange Menace stay gone? Not long; soon either Trump will make a comeback or the corporate media will inflate another racist straw man to run against. The only way the corporate Democrats can mobilize their base to eek out slim national victories while keeping Joe Biden’s promise to the rich that “nothing would fundamentally change ,” is to position themselves as the sole defense against the racist hordes. That’s how Bill Clinton succeeded in completing Ronald Reagan’s quest to “end welfare as we know it,” while vastly expanding the structures of mass Black incarceration (Sen. Joe Biden proudly “wrote the bill”), gutting safeguards against bankers blowing up the economy, and facilitating the exodus of good jobs to sweatshops overseas. Newt Gingrich and his Contract with America confederacy stampeded Blacks and “progressives” into the corporate Democratic corral, where they were politically neutered. The Democratic Party remained a safe vehicle for corporate agendas for the next 20 years – until an Orange Demon was conjured to scare the Democratic base back into the party’s corporate bosom, in 2016.

“If you are desperate to flush the stink of four years of Trump out of your brain, remember who put it there.”

The corporate Democrat/racist Republican symbiosis is simple, obvious and naked – yet it works every time, as the Democratic Party’s base – with Blacks at the core -- allows its own aspirations to be sacrificed in the interest of turning back the threat from the White Man’s Party (GOP).

If I have repeated myself over the years in these pages, it is because the oligarchy keeps using the same formula to defeat every popular revolt against the corporate Race to the Bottom and endless imperial wars. The dictatorship of the rich grows deeper, even as last summer saw the greatest popular mobilization in the history of the United States, under the Black Lives Matter banner. What should have been a re-emergence of an independent, people’s mass street politics outside the corporate kill-zone of the Democratic Party, was once again devoured by the duopoly.

All such victories are pyrrhic, meaning “won at too great a cost to have been worthwhile for the victor.” When Blacks and progressives rallied behind Bill Clinton to defeat Gingrich, the corporate rulers were enabled to plunge the society into a great leap backward that wiped out the last vestiges of the New Deal, condemned another generation of Black youth to the Gulag, and set the stage for two economic catastrophes that rivaled the Great Depression, while the U.S. military vastly intensified its rampages around the world, the national security state penetrated every digital device on the planet, and huge corporations perfected the tools of public self-surveillance.

“The dictatorship of the rich grows deeper, even as last summer saw the greatest popular mobilization in the history of the United States,”

Joe Biden’s call for “unity” is even emptier than Barack Obama’s “hope and change.” In response to the Trump-instigated racial hooliganism at the U.S. Capitol, we are expected to unify behind a 9/11-type expansion of the police state whose main mission has always been to repress non-whites and the left, while forgoing creation of a truly public health system and any respite from the accelerating Race to the Bottom – all because “Joe,” the Great Incarcerator, corporate stooge and warmonger, “saved” us from Trump. Too late for Hillary Clinton, but just in time for the equally loathsome Joe Biden, Trump the straw man has finally been knocked down, giving the Democrats a victory that costs their corporate masters nothing

The assent and subsequent dismantling of Trump, largely engineered at all stages by corporate Democrats and their media, created an alternative, artificial and mainly “fake” political landscape, in which “the Russians” teamed up with white nationalists to undermine “America” at home and abroad, only to be thwarted by an aroused electorate, with Black voters at the phalanx. In reality, Black voters have saved the corporate duopoly that has nullified and coopted every popular movement of the past three generations. And it couldn’t have happened absent the ineffable vileness of Trump.

Like some weird, orange Othello, Donald Trump can truly say: “I have done the [corporate] state some service, and they know it.”

https://www.blackagendareport.com/trump ... te-theater

Bingo!
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:26 pm

WAS THERE FRAUD IN BIDEN'S ELECTION VICTORY?

TIME REVEALS LARGE-SCALE OPERATION TO "SAVE DEMOCRACY" IN THE US
13 Feb 2021 , 9:11 am .

Time magazine recently published a self-reported "epic" of the US election, which in propaganda terms, could dictate a story for history to be written.

The eventful exit of Donald Trump from the White House, and now the impeachment against him, without any institutional impediment precisely for being carried out even though he does not have the presidential office (the only case recorded in American history), now has a narrative with the co-writing by Leslie Dickstein, Mariah Espada and Simmone Shah for said North American medium.

In this work entitled "The Secret History of the campaign in the shadow saved elections 2020" , Time exposes details of an armed plot between factors of the corporatócrata, politician and American civil society apparatus to ensure the holding of elections presidential elections, move the country away from political risk and threats of a "coup" by Trump.

It is, as the media reports, "the inside story of the conspiracy to save the 2020 elections, based on access to the inner workings of the group, never-before-seen documents and interviews with dozens of people involved from across the political spectrum. It is the story of an unprecedented, determined and creative campaign whose success also reveals how close the nation came to disaster. "

POSTED BY TIME
The magazine gives part of a sophisticated compromise that had as its "architect" Mike Podhorzer, who is known for being the assistant to the president for strategic research of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO, for its acronym in English), a federation of 55 unions representing 12.5 million members in the United States. According to his public profile, he is co-chair of Catalist, founding president of the Analyst Institute, and a member of the boards of directors of numerous progressive organizations, including America Votes and the Committee on States.

Podhorzer would have anticipated months in advance, in congruence with other analysts of US politics, that Trump would be unaware of the adverse results against him and that the institutionality of his country would go to a breaking point.

In this way, Timerecounts the supposed work of the strategist as the articulator of a great behind-the-scenes movement that included the AFL-CIO union organization, the United States Chamber of Commerce, Silicon Valley businessmen, Wall Street firms, civil society organizations such as Protect Democracy , Democracy Defense Coalition, Working Families Party's, Black Lives Matters, volunteering in the states for the defense of the vote, Antifa, among several other organizations, as well as Republican and Democratic officials who are members of the institutional establishment in the executive, legislative and judicial apparatus, both at the federal level and in the states, all, with the purpose of containing the so-called "aspirations of Trump to snatch the elections and their result"and promote a political-institutional obstacle that would be a risk factor for internal security on a large scale.

In summary of what has been published by Time , these operators have worked at various levels and fronts to articulate the "safeguard" of democracy for months, consolidating practices such as:

The imposition of the organization of elections by voting by mail.
Delegate electoral challenges to state courts and release the Supreme Court of the power to resolve them (as happened in 2000 in the Bush-Gore crisis).
*Manufacturing public opinion to promote voting by mail and declare its invulnerability and transparency.
*Promote youth voting adverse to Trump and political interest in sectors of new voters duly cataloged and addressed using Big Data for this purpose.
*Run the elections and guarantee Biden's victory.
*Promote multi-union and civil society support for the electoral result.
*Promote the support of the business sectors for the result favorable to Biden.
*Promote, mitigate or dispense with street actions by factors more "to the left" of American society, activists and organizations, in a balanced and strategic manner. This in order to promote the rejection of US society against Trump, or on the contrary, strategically withdraw so as not to energize the reactions of Trump's followers and thus discourage confrontations. Basically, it was a planned use of street action.
*Institutionally resolve the vote counting processes in the states, through lobbying and calls to officials, so that they do not give in to any pressure from Trump.
*Promote the disclosure of the result favorable to Biden even if many key states were in the count.
*Dismantle the entire propaganda and narrative arsenal of Trump that would put the electoral result in question. Here they referred to the "calls" for social networks to apply their policies for use and disclosure of content.
*Consolidate all institutional support in all American powers, from Republican and Democratic officials, in favor of the electoral result, to discourage Trump from his strategy of discrediting the elections.
*Facilitate the fulfillment of deadlines and the adequate transit of the political routes for the development of the approval of the electoral colleges and the definitive proclamation of Biden on January 6 before the formal instances of the public power in the country.
*Apply and justify the communication veto of Trump for fueling ignorance of the elections and promoting civil confrontation, even after the closure of his accounts and in times of turbulence due to the events on Capitol Hill on January 6.
*Manage and handle the political crisis, clashes and takeover of the Capitol that followed the elections and the final proclamation of Biden. The text refers to the treatment of Trump as a "danger" to democracy even after his departure from office and refers to his impeachment.

The magazine is proud to report that all this movement of pieces was carried out even without some of the parties being clear about their role and what they were playing for. They also insist that the picture of political particularity (both by Trump's statements and by the framework of the pandemic) justified the singularities in the organization of the presidential election.

They also clarified the legitimacy and "validity" of the electoral result, thus "saving" American democracy. "Democracy won in the end. The will of the people prevailed. But it is madness, in hindsight, that this is what was needed to organize an election in the United States of America," the publication proclaims at the end, in a statement. " honest "that leaves new uncertainties.

NARRATIVE OF AN EPIC OR COVER-UP?
Although Time insistently refers to the fact that the entire plot was built to reaffirm democracy, in effect, this could be a more than interesting story to combine all the pieces that had to be joined, some of them extremely antagonistic to each other, to degrade institutional risk represented by the outgoing president.

It's basically a tale of the Empire saving itself, from itself.

Such a story, perhaps soon to win a Pulitzer for Leslie Dickstein, Mariah Espada and Simmone Shah, could be worthy of a script heading straight to Hollywood because it can serve as a point of reference for Trump's departure from the government to be written in proximity. historical. Also for describing, almost like a Homeric exercise, that American democracy has been saved by "the power of People" ( the power of the people ), as the text points out. An indispensable element to relaunch a democracy that looks clearly fractured.

However, this story also consists of the declaration of a polyfunctional force, which is the congruence of interests through the joint action of the factors of American society. A scaffolding structured in a common ideology of "freedom and democracy", but according to the same text, is clearly modulated by plutocratic factors who have servile elements in the instances of power, in a metabolism that does not recognize differences between parties and beyond. of them, a social fabric made up of NGOs. In America, it seems like anyone always works for someone else.

The text refers to the model "Open Society" ( open society ) in the relations and interests of civil society, an indispensable arm in the exercise of US soft power outside borders, but this time it aimed at the interior of the country, fixing social tensions with intelligence and political broadcasting.

Due to the complexity of the story and the actors involved, Time without intending it also seems to reveal and give as true many fears already proclaimed by Trump and his followers. Although Time washes their faces, it exposes them by revealing its existence. There are factors aligned in the political, economic and civil society establishments, which acted in coordination in the framework of the US elections.

This, according to Trump and his followers, through complex operations that were escalating in the areas of the flow of resources, in the electoral campaign, in the crisis due to the pandemic and in the economy, in the media, on social networks, in the organizations that mobilized in the streets (says Time , from the assassination of George Floyd to the celebratory reactions for Biden's victory), in the state and federal powers and even in both political parties.

Trump and an important segment of American society have considered that the elections were fraudulent, justifying such assertion by changing electoral rules with the incorporation of vote by mail, its counting mechanisms and the practical annulment of the usual legal stages to establish challenges , audits, recounts and delay of the proclamation to Biden, degrading the possibilities of a judicialization of the election and applying an automatic dismissal of the state courts of the resources introduced by the president and his legal campaign team.

Then Trump and his followers added to their speech argument, with many reasons to do so, the exercise of the "truth" of the parallel government and business of Silicon Valley and the veto to the accounts of the magnate-president as another piece of the "coup" on going.

Whether or not the demands of the then candidate were legitimate, Time's narrative to "save democracy" outlined in the aforementioned article, with just a few modifications in the text, could be identical to a story that narrates an electoral robbery or a coup de State by institutional means, as it had been analyzed and described by our columnist Diego Sequera in a report from the Samuel Robinson Institute for Original Thought.

The complexity of the scaffolding referred to in the text explains the existence of an articulated power structure, but that in the current circumstances they had to make exceptional use of many instances in an apparatus governed by the emergency, not that of the re-election of Trump or his proclamation regardless of the apparently favorable result for Biden; it was about the emergency of putting all the soft and intelligent power to place an establishment official in the Oval Office and provide the imperial governance structure with another episode of political normality.

In other words, the story explains how the American power structure itself struggles for a sense of regularity now lost and for elemental stability. Without intending it, the article looks like a portrait of a chronicler of ancient Rome recounting how the Empire fragments from within and celebrates winning one day at a time in the political times that await him.

Image
Trump supporters besieged the Capitol denouncing electoral fraud (Photo: AFP / Getty Images)

Although Biden relaunches power in the usual terms and the government structure seems to have crossed the bitter stretch of Trump's presence in power, just now that his political annihilation is being executed, nullifying his aspirations to return in four years, another story is the story. looming deep inside the United States.

Although political disenchantment has been a perennial factor in many groups in American society, as rarely in its history, such a clearly identified political sector has not been so notable, as is the case now with Trump's followers, who are today a large sector in political orphans and clearly criminalized by the US national security state.

For them, Trump was annihilated by the scaffolding of the State and the elite along with all its derivatives. And it seems that Time , albeit with another pretense, explains to those tens of millions of Americans how it happened.

https://misionverdad.com/globalistan/ti ... ia-en-eeuu

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They wuz out to get him all along, doncha know? Asleep at the wheel in 2016 through sheer arrogance, the bosses were not about to make that mistake again.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Tue May 18, 2021 1:34 pm

Episode 9: Trump's war with his generals
Axios
Jonathan Swan, Zachary Basu

Image
Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Axios' "Off the rails" series documents the end of the Trump administration, from election night 2020 through the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol.

One important piece is only now beginning to emerge: Former President Donald Trump's last-minute bid to pull U.S. forces from Afghanistan and swaths of the Middle East, Africa and even Europe ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration — and why he blinked.

John McEntee, one of Donald Trump's most-favored aides, handed retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor a piece of paper with a few notes scribbled on it. He explained: "This is what the president wants you to do."

1. Get us out of Afghanistan.

2. Get us out of Iraq and Syria.

3. Complete the withdrawal from Germany.

4. Get us out of Africa.

It was Nov. 9, 2020 — days after Trump lost his re-election bid, 10 weeks before the end of his presidency and just moments after Macgregor was offered a post as senior adviser to acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller.

As head of the powerful Presidential Personnel Office, McEntee had Trump's ear. Even so, Macgregor was astonished. He told McEntee he doubted they could do all of these things before Jan. 20.

"Then do as much as you can," McEntee replied.

In Macgregor's opinion, Miller probably couldn't act on his own authority to execute a total withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan because he was serving in an acting capacity. If this was for real, Macgregor told McEntee, then it was going to need an order from the president.

The one-page memo was delivered by courier to Christopher Miller's office two days later, on the afternoon of Nov. 11. The order arrived seemingly out of nowhere, and its instructions, signed by Trump, were stunning: All U.S. military forces were to be withdrawn from Somalia by Dec. 31, 2020. All U.S. forces were to be withdrawn from Afghanistan by Jan. 15, 2021.

What the fuck is this? Miller wondered.

A former Green Beret, Miller had directed the National Counterterrorism Center and was accustomed to following process. Trump had tapped him to run the Pentagon after his unceremonious firing-by-tweet of Mark Esper. It was Miller's third day on the job.

News of the memo spread quickly throughout the Pentagon. Top military brass, including Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, were appalled. This was not the way to conduct policy — with no consultation, no input, no process for gaming out consequences or offering alternatives.

A call was quickly placed to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone. In turn, Cipollone notified the national security adviser, Robert O'Brien. Neither Cipollone nor O'Brien had any idea what the order was or where it had come from.

Neither did the office of the staff secretary — whose job it was to vet all the paper that reached the president's desk. Yet the paper bore Trump's distinctive Sharpie signature.

The U.S. government's top national security leaders soon realized they were dealing with an off-the-books operation by the commander in chief himself.

Many would rally to push back — sometimes openly and in coordination, at other times so discreetly that top Trump administration officials had to turn to classified intercepts from the National Security Agency for clues.

Trump's instincts should have come as little surprise. He was frantically trying to salvage his own legacy while simultaneously trying to overturn the election results and block Biden's transition to power. The result was chaos.

Trump's calls to halt the "endless wars" could be traced back to at least 2011, when he was a real estate developer and reality TV celebrity. He'd sent scores of tweets railing against the U.S. military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan while mulling the idea of running for president.

Once in office, though, Trump's ambitions to withdraw from Afghanistan and other countries were subdued, slow-rolled, and detoured by military leaders.

Trump did not help his own agenda when he surrounded himself at the start with generals, many of whom had made their careers at U.S. Central Command. They fundamentally disagreed with the president's worldview. They were personally invested in Afghanistan. And several would come to see it as their job to save America and the world from their commander in chief.

By the spring of 2017, two generals Trump had installed in top positions — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in an interagency process run by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster — had begun working on an option to send 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan.

This became a fundamental policy battle that attracted a full array of civilian, military and political warriors — some assembling in the first flush of Trump's presidency, but leaving within a year.

The decision to expand troops in Afghanistan had also put the generals on an early collision course with Trump's chief strategist and provocateur, Steve Bannon.

Bannon had begun attending National Security Council meetings in early 2017 at the president's direction — alongside a team of pro-withdrawal allies, including Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who ultimately became the vice president's national security adviser.

Bannon insists that he frequently demanded the Pentagon answer basic facts about the U.S. presence in Afghanistan, including where billions of dollars in U.S. aid were going and how many troops and contractors were on the ground.

"They literally would not give you any information. And the information they gave you was bullshit. In every presentation, they say you're 18 months away from turning the war around. Always. You're always 18 months away."

Tensions came to a head at an NSC meeting in July 2017, when Bannon sought to portray the emerging consensus in Trump's national security team as a continuation of what he saw as a string of idiotic judgments that left consecutive presidents stuck in Afghanistan for 16 years. Bannon lobbed a wild idea: Replace America's troops in Afghanistan with private mercenaries.

Bannon was a maverick and accountable to no one, including Trump much of the time. And he had been doing an end run around the process — meeting on his own with Erik Prince, the private security entrepreneur behind scandal-plagued Blackwater. NSC staff became worried that Prince and Bannon might have lucrative ulterior motives.

McMaster sharply told Bannon he was welcome to bring his private army idea into the actual NSC process, but it never entered the official paper flow.

Trump blew up at his top national security aides in a Situation Room meeting on July 19, 2017, that was first reported by NBC. He declared that the U.S. was "losing" the war and suggested that Gen. John Nicholson be fired as the top commander in Afghanistan. Nicholson survived until September 2018.

By early August 2017 — in another round of the carousel — White House chief of staff Reince Priebus was replaced by another retired general, John Kelly. Three basic options for Afghanistan emerged: Withdraw, shift to a CIA-led covert counterterrorism strategy, or send in more troops.

The generals pushed aggressively for more troops, warning that pulling out could create a vacuum for terrorists to gain a stronghold like the Islamic State group, or ISIS, did when President Obama withdrew from Iraq in 2011.

The Don't-Be-Obama argument started to resonate with Trump, and hawkish allies like Sen. Lindsey Graham would continue to fire it as a political weapon even now.

Bannon rapidly lost influence after triggering a fusillade of aggressive policy initiatives that caused serious grief for the administration. Trump fired Bannon on Aug. 18, 2017, seven months into office.

That same day, at Camp David and worn down by their arguments, Trump signed off on his generals' favored option and became the third consecutive president to send troops into Afghanistan. He had changed his stance.

But he had not really changed his mind.

On the afternoon of Nov. 9, 2020, Douglas Macgregor, a decorated but highly controversial combat veteran, walked into the Presidential Personnel Office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, a historic and flamboyant building in the Second Empire style that once housed the U.S. Department of War.

It was six days after the election and two days since the networks had called the race for Biden.

Some staff had gone home early, while others had left to look for new jobs. Those who were still there were mostly Trump acolytes, remaining in a holding pattern as the president and his allies continued their ill-fated quest to overturn the results of the election.

Macgregor, 68, whose views on foreign policy and social issues had seen him excommunicated from the military establishment, had come to meet McEntee, who had become a controversial figure for his role in purging government officials deemed insufficiently loyal to Trump.

At 31, McEntee was a former college football quarterback who had worked as Trump's body man. He arrived about 10 minutes after Macgregor, having come straight from the West Wing. He ushered Macgregor into his office and closed the door behind them.

It was a spacious, light-filled room adorned with Trump campaign memorabilia. McEntee swung a chair around his desk to sit directly in front of Macgregor. "Colonel, the president wants to know if you'll come in and be senior adviser to the acting secretary of defense," McEntee said.

"Why is that?" Macgregor asked.

"The president thinks that you can help extricate us from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and potentially other places," McEntee replied.

Macgregor, a fluent German speaker, was at that point Trump's nominee to be ambassador to Berlin. It was a position he would never hold because of the election loss, not to mention his long history of incendiary remarks, which included advocating martial law at the U.S.-Mexico border and criticizing Germany for giving welfare benefits to "millions of unwanted Muslim invaders."

He had met Trump for the first time at an hour-long Oval Office meeting in April 2020. The two men bonded instantly. When the meeting ended, Trump told Macgregor, "I want you working for me. We will find a way."

Trump had warmed to Macgregor through his frequent appearances on Fox News, where the colonel blasted the U.S. military's presence overseas, called congressional leaders "idiots," and ridiculed Pentagon policies on diversity and transgender troops.

Appointing Macgregor to a senior Pentagon position would be like rolling a grenade into the building — particularly as Milley and Macgregor held each other in contempt.

"Only met him once, but he was arguably the least impressive in a series of underwhelming Army Chiefs of Staff since 1991," Macgregor told Axios about Milley. A source close to Milley said that Milley considered Macgregor "irrational edging on all-out lunacy."

It didn't take long for Macgregor to agree to McEntee's offer to come onboard. It was then that McEntee handed Macgregor the paper with Trump's electrifying instructions.

Trump had come to rue the August 2017 speech in which he had announced a new troop surge into Afghanistan. He thoroughly resented Mattis, McMaster and the others who had urged him to adopt a strategy that he considered a waste of time, money, and more American lives.

McMaster was replaced in March 2018 and Trump's third national security adviser, John Bolton, was a notorious advocate for U.S. military interventionism. But even he believed the generals had pushed their luck too far. That became clear when on Dec. 19, 2018, Trump tweeted out a video claiming victory over ISIS and announcing the unilateral withdrawal of all U.S. troops in Syria, another campaign promise he was itching to fulfill.

That move set off a firestorm in Congress and in the media, and led to Mattis' resignation the following day. Mattis thought Trump had contemptuously abandoned America's allies, and he said so with diplomatic understatement in his resignation letter. And yet for all the drama, Trump's demands would again be stifled.

Bolton credits Trump's visit to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on Dec. 26, 2018, his first overseas trip to a combat zone, as the single most important moment in preserving the U.S. presence in Syria. Generals there told Trump that the ISIS caliphate could be finished off in two to four weeks, and — at Bolton's urging — stressed the importance of retaining an outpost in southern Syria to deter Iran.

It took far longer — until late March 2019 — to destroy the caliphate. By that time, Pentagon leaders had convinced Trump that the U.S. would need to contribute troops to an internationally monitored buffer zone in northern Syria to prevent Turkey from launching an offensive against Kurdish fighters who had assisted in the war against ISIS. The drawdown was delayed.

Trump would grow more and more frustrated. He had become convinced that the Pentagon was working against him, boxing him into staying in countries that he broadly viewed as terrorist-filled gas stations in a desert.

He would rant about "deep state" subversion, but those talking him out of his instincts were mostly people that he himself had appointed.

Seven months later, Trump again ordered U.S. troops to withdraw from northern Syria, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan notified him that he would be launching a military offensive against the Kurds.

Again, the move set off a public frenzy, and again, Trump was ultimately convinced to leave behind a residual force — this time in eastern Syria, ostensibly to protect Kurdish-controlled oil fields from ISIS.

Hawks like Graham cynically used this argument — "stay there to protect the oil" — to convince Trump to keep forces in Syria. They were playing to Trump's long-held view that the U.S. should have taken the oil from Iraq after the 2003 invasion to subsidize the war effort. That would have breached international law.

But they knew that transactional arguments were more likely to resonate with Trump than human rights arguments about the plight of the Kurds or the fate of Afghan women. So they talked about the oil.

As passionately as Trump apparently felt about pulling America out of the Middle East and Afghanistan, he avoided giving an order to force the military's hand.

When it came down to it, Trump was indecisive. In the view of top officials, he did not seem to want to own the consequences of a precipitous withdrawal.

This allowed the Pentagon to dismiss his tweets and rants and maintain the status quo. They stuck to the National Defense Strategy — a document they fully believed Trump hadn't bothered to read.

Some senior officials also deliberately deceived Trump. "What Syria withdrawal? There was never a Syria withdrawal," Jim Jeffrey, Trump's special envoy to Syria and the anti-ISIS coalition, told Defense One in a post-election interview in November 2020.

"We were always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had there," he said, adding that the real number of troops in northeast Syria is "a lot more than" the roughly 200 Trump initially agreed to leave there in 2019.

It was a stunning admission. But it was one that reflected the mindset of some of the national security leaders and savvy bureaucrats who had repeatedly thwarted the commander in chief's demands over four years.

McEntee's appointment to director of the Presidential Personnel Office in February 2020, nearly two years after he'd been fired and escorted from White House grounds over an issue with his security clearance, marked a turning point in Trump's relations with the Pentagon.

The president's behavior and the company he kept in these final months genuinely rattled the uniformed leadership. McEntee was the ultimate Trump loyalist, and one of the few powerful aides who fully agreed with the president's far-reaching aims of reducing the U.S. military presence around the world. With his elevation — and the departure of Bolton several months prior — the White House was working aggressively to hire personnel who shared Trump's vision.

One of the people McEntee identified was Charles Koch Institute's Will Ruger, a foreign policy expert, veteran, and vocal supporter of total withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. For months, Ruger quietly provided the White House with polling and other materials to bolster their case for total withdrawal from Afghanistan.

In May 2020, after Ruger penned an op-ed in the National Interest titled, "President Trump is Right on Afghanistan," McEntee worked to have him nominated as ambassador to Kabul. It was not supported by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who held Ruger in low regard, and his State Department slow-walked the Navy Reserve officer's nomination for months.

Staff purges dovetailed with McEntee's stepped-up efforts to surround Trump with advisers who would finally get Afghanistan done. At the Pentagon, Esper had begun losing favor with Trump almost as soon as he was nominated. Even before he was confirmed he offered his full-throated support to the NATO alliance and stressed the importance of America's role. He had pushed to release the Ukraine funds that ultimately became a focus of Trump's impeachment.

Esper — like Mattis — found he could not operate under the radar as easily as other Trump Cabinet secretaries, such as Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who did their jobs largely unbothered by the White House.

Trump had a deep fascination with military rank and prestige, and he initially held an image of both Mattis and Milley as unreconstructed 1940s generals. He based this image almost entirely on their appearance — "straight out of central casting," Trump would say — and in Mattis' case, his ill-fitting nickname "Mad Dog." In reality, these two four-star generals disagreed with Trump on everything from the morality of torture to the wisdom of sending active-duty troops onto American streets.

Trump snapped whenever he saw his Pentagon leaders take actions he perceived as weak or politically correct. In a recent interview with Axios, he criticized Esper for writing what he described as a "very woke" message to the military — where his June 19 memo focused on efforts to "improve diversity and inclusion" at the Pentagon.

Oddly, Trump at the same time viewed the Department of Defense as a lever he could push for his biggest goals: building the border wall, developing Operation Warp Speed, considering deploying troops to manage civil unrest, and ultimately contemplating seizing voting machines in a last-ditch bid to overturn the election.

In conversations with friends, Esper compared his experience of working for Trump to walking across a frozen pond. Small cracks in their relationship were appearing by the day.

The defining crack came when Esper publicly split with the president at a press conference on June 3, 2020. He said he did not know that Trump would pose for a photo op at St. John's Church after law enforcement forcibly cleared protesters from Lafayette Square.

Trump was infuriated by Esper's press conference, in which the Pentagon chief also came out against invoking the Insurrection Act to quell riots with active-duty troops. In Trump's view, what Esper should have said was that the military would be used without delay to deal with any riots in the city of Washington, D.C., or in any U.S. city — period.

The Lafayette episode was a turning point for both men. Esper concluded that Trump was willing to use the military to advance his election prospects and was concerned there were no boundaries. Trump concluded that his secretary of defense was weak.

Esper did his best to stay away from the White House through the rest of 2020, but his clash with the president over Afghanistan worsened as the election neared.

In response to a Trump tweet calling for serving troops to be home by Christmas, Esper sent the president a classified memo warning conditions in Afghanistan were not appropriate for a precipitous withdrawal. A rush for the exits, he argued, would break faith with allies, increase the likelihood of green-on-blue insider attacks, open the door to terrorism, embolden the Taliban, and undermine the government in Kabul.

Trump, with McEntee's encouragement, fired Esper on Nov. 9. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows called Esper to give him a heads up just minutes before a presidential tweet named Christopher Miller as the successor.

The relatively low-profile Miller had first met Trump as an NSC counterterrorism adviser on Oct. 26, 2019 — the night of the special operations raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. A request by the commander in chief to lead the Pentagon was not something that Miller, a U.S. Army veteran, felt he could turn down, despite pleas from his family and friends.

Miller told associates he had three goals for the final weeks of the Trump administration: #1: No major war. #2: No military coup. #3: No troops fighting citizens on the streets.

As the reality set in that Biden's election victory would not be overturned, McEntee accelerated his push to install people supportive of Trump's agenda at the top of the Pentagon.

They included Macgregor as Miller's senior adviser, former Devin Nunes aide Kash Patel as chief of staff, and Anthony Tata as acting under secretary of defense for policy. Former senior NSC intelligence official Ezra Cohen, who was chief of special operations under Esper, was promoted to acting under secretary of defense for intelligence and security.

For all the feverish media speculation about the president's secret agenda at the Pentagon, the ultimate goal was simple: Steamroll the generals and extract America from its foreign engagements, leaving behind a done deal that could not be easily reversed by the next administration.

As the new senior adviser to the new acting defense secretary, Douglas Macgregor was prepared for anything amid the fetid psychodramas of those post-election weeks.

He arrived to chaos at the Pentagon. His own decision to seek a presidential order for an immediate Afghanistan withdrawal had set off a bizarre round of bureaucratic make-it-up-as-you-go.

Late on Nov. 10, one of McEntee's subordinates drafting the memo for the president called Macgregor to say they didn't know how to do it: "We're trying to put this together but we don't have a model for this and we want to get the language straight."

Macgregor responded: "Go in and get a presidential decision memorandum out of the file cabinet, and that's what you model it on, and it will have all the authorities you need and the people specifically to whom the order has to go."

"Let's stick first with Afghanistan," he continued. "I think it should be midnight, 31 December 2020." In Macgregor's opinion this allowed Trump to fulfill a promise made when he ran for election: to get out of Afghanistan.

Macgregor heard nothing more from the White House and was astonished when he discovered two days later that the memo had not only been immediately signed by Trump on Nov. 11, but it had also been redrafted somewhere along the way.

The date for the Afghanistan withdrawal had been switched — either by accident or design — from Dec. 31 to Jan. 15.

Likewise a date included in the order for disengagement from Somalia — a smaller piece of Trump's demand to "get out of Africa" — had been changed from Jan. 15 to Dec. 31. Both dates were designed to get U.S. troops out of both countries before Trump left office on Jan. 20.

The memo did not contain instructions for Iraq and Syria — or Germany — aspirations that Macgregor concluded were unachievable in time.

The memo Macgregor asked for had been drafted by a staffer from PPO, brought to the president, signed, and then delivered to Miller within 48 hours. On it hung the future of Afghanistan.

It also meant a new war with all the powerful players in Washington.

Christopher Miller summoned Macgregor to his office and told him he had been fielding furious phone calls from officials who had gotten wind of the order, including an incandescent Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Miller instantly suspected Macgregor had a hand in this back-channel scheme. He respected it as a slick bureaucratic play — and considered himself a full-throated supporter of getting out of Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan — but also believed the order was dead on arrival.

He saw the timeline as logistically impossible and thought it risked leaving the incoming Biden administration with a dangerous situation. Relations between Miller and Macgregor would be cool for the brief remainder of Trump's term.

Over at the White House, it didn't take long for McEntee to be fingered as the main culprit of the scheme. McEntee played dumb and suggested he was just doing what Macgregor had instructed him to do.

Cipollone, the White House counsel, and O'Brien, the national security adviser whose reaction one source described as "torqued," marched in to see Trump — and put an immediate halt to the plan. They convinced him to wait to hold a full meeting with his national security team, which took place in the Oval Office within 48 hours.

There, O'Brien, Miller, and Milley all aligned against the plan. They painted a vivid picture of Kabul falling to the Taliban if U.S. forces withdrew precipitously in the final days of the Trump presidency.

In previous conversations with Trump, they had raised the specter of Saigon in 1975, where images of American helicopters evacuating people from rooftops as the North Vietnamese took control of the capital city would become engraved in the historical record of the Vietnam War. The unsubtle warning: This would be Trump's legacy if he rushed to the exit.

And, in a recent interview with Axios, Trump pointed out he also had concerns about leaving behind billions of dollars of equipment during a rushed, logistically complex withdrawal. "You remember those scenes [in Vietnam] with the helicopters, right, with people grabbing onto the gear? You don't want that. And I wouldn't have that," he said. Still, Trump had signed the extraordinary 'withdrawal in eight weeks' order.

In the Oval Office meeting, O'Brien reminded Trump that they'd already agreed on a more modest plan to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan to 2,500 by the beginning of 2021.

(When O'Brien had announced this in a speech back in October, Milley had set off a mild media controversy by suggesting that the national security adviser was merely "speculating." Senior Pentagon officials had been privately arguing it was unwise and unsafe to go below 4,500 troops. O'Brien shot back to Milley that when he spoke in public, he spoke for the president.)

Had Milley not resisted the initial 2,500 plan, Trump might not have felt the need to sign the back-channel order. In the view of Trump's mistrusting inner circle, this was typical of Pentagon leadership: Delay key decisions by disputing that strategic meetings had led to consensus, insist the process was still ongoing, and leak apocalyptic scenarios to the media.

These were the tactics Trump allies believed military leaders had perfected to obstruct presidents over the course of decades.

Now — in the face of the Macgregor alternative — the drawdown plan Milley had once scorned was looking like a godsend to the generals. In addition to the 2,500 U.S. troops, there would be thousands of additional U.S. contractors, NATO troops and NATO contractors all remaining in Afghanistan, which was seen as a sufficient force to maintain counterterrorism capabilities.

O'Brien told the president that drawing down to 2,500 troops in Afghanistan was the closest Trump could come to fulfilling his campaign promise while protecting U.S. interests and maintaining leverage in peace negotiations with the Taliban. And he was putting the U.S. on the path to ending the forever war.

And with that, Trump folded on total withdrawal for the last time as president.

Trump administration officials did not brief congressional leaders or key U.S. allies ahead of a Nov. 17 announcement by Miller that the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan would be reduced from 4,500 to 2,500 by mid-January.

To America's allies and lawmakers of both parties this was a shocking break with protocol. But key Trump officials believed the decision would leak if they briefed in advance.

Even so, the plans appeared in the press on Nov. 16, one day before Miller took to the podium at the Pentagon. CNN, which broke the news, reported that the Pentagon had issued a "warning order" to commanders to begin planning the drawdown.

McConnell, livid, took to the Senate floor that day and said the move would "hurt our allies and delight the people who wish us harm" — comparing it to both Obama's withdrawal from Iraq and the "humiliating American departure from Saigon in 1975."

The next day, Miller had the unenviable task of briefing members of Congress and U.S. allies after the news had already broken, including his counterparts in Germany and the U.K. He also spoke with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who handled the matter graciously, thanking Miller for the sacrifice so many Americans had made over the past two decades.

While some lawmakers were furious that the U.S. was pulling out at all, Lindsey Graham called O'Brien and other Trump officials to thank them for the way it was handled, clearly aware that the outcome could have been much worse.

Weeks passed, and public attention largely shifted to concerns that Trump was not relenting on his baseless claims of a stolen election — and was in fact turning to even more extreme, conspiratorial voices for advice as he grew increasingly desperate.

The situation inside the senior levels of the Trump administration was also growing more fraught. The tension between the civilian leadership of the Pentagon and the generals was as bad as it had been in living memory.

Row of military stars to separate the story into pieces
In a remarkable and previously unreported incident in early December, top Trump administration officials reviewed classified intercepts from the National Security Agency that led them to believe Milley was undercutting the civilian leadership of the Pentagon, according to three sources with firsthand knowledge of the classified documents.

The intercepts included a conversation between an American who had spoken to Milley and a senior Afghan official. The American told the Afghan official that Milley had no confidence in the civilian Pentagon leadership that Trump had installed — a direct shot at Miller, his chief of staff Patel, and the rest of their crew.

Another intercept indicated that senior Afghan officials had been convinced that Trump's generals were going to defy the president's desire for a speedy draw-down and would slow-roll his orders.

The nature of these intercepts led to conversations among senior Trump officials about the potential undercutting of civilian control of the military — a serious, likely fireable issue, but one that took a back seat in the final, chaotic days of the Trump administration.

There was a general lack of interest in being the one who would take these intercepts to the president "because you didn't want to get sucked into some weird scandal and be testifying," said a source familiar with the internal discussions.

Spokesman Col. Dave Butler tells Axios that Milley, who remained Joint Chiefs chairman under President Biden, has approached his job by providing "timely and thorough advice" to civilian leaders, including costs, risks, and benefits.

"General Milley has been, and still is, dedicated to recognizing and following the laws and intent that govern civilian control of the military," Butler says. "He has consciously and deliberately supported civilian control of the military throughout his tenure and before."

On April 14, Biden announced he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

While Trump evidently regretted not pushing the generals harder in the early years of his presidency, he now unsurprisingly seeks credit for Biden's ability to carry out such a move.

The former president tells Axios that he "built a train that couldn't be stopped" — though Biden had long been a skeptic about the merits of remaining at war in Afghanistan.

Trump cites a March 2020 phone conversation with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar — believed to be the first conversation between a U.S. president and a Taliban leader — as the reason no U.S. troops were killed in combat in Afghanistan in more than a year.

Trump also claims he told Baradar that if the Taliban launched an offensive, the U.S. would return to Afghanistan and "hit you harder than you've ever been hit before" — a claim Taliban representatives reject out of hand.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid disputes that Trump raised any strongman talk of retaliation during his conversation with Baradar, telling Axios that the president "did not exert pressure nor issue any threats and warnings." He characterizes the phone call as "cordial and normal."

Mujahid also says that Taliban leaders have not spoken directly to Biden or Secretary of State Antony Blinken since the new administration took office, coordinating instead through U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.

The situation on the ground in Afghanistan remains desperate and tenuous. Amid escalating violence, dozens of Afghans are still being killed every week. A recent bomb attack targeted schoolgirls in Kabul, killing more than 80 people.

Looming over Biden's withdrawal is the serious possibility that the Taliban retakes full control of the country and returns it to totalitarian rule.

Rows of military stars to show the ending of the story
Editor's note: This story has been updated to identify NBC as the first news organization to report Trump's Situation Room meeting with national security aides on July 19, 2017, not the New York Times.

🎧 Listen to Jonathan Swan on Axios' investigative podcast series called "How it happened: Trump's last stand." A new episode on this particular topic will post soon.

📺 Watch "Axios on HBO" tonight at 6pm ET/PT on all platforms.

About this series: Our reporting is based on multiple interviews with current and former White House, campaign, government and congressional officials as well as direct eyewitnesses and people close to the president. Sources have been granted anonymity to share sensitive observations or details they would not be formally authorized to disclose. President Trump and other officials to whom quotes and actions have been attributed by others were provided the opportunity to confirm, deny or respond to reporting elements prior to publication.

"Off the rails" is reported by White House reporter Jonathan Swan, with writing, reporting and research assistance by Zach Basu. It was edited by Margaret Talev and Mike Allen and copy edited by Eileen O'Reilly. Illustrations by Sarah Grillo, Aïda Amer and Eniola Odetunde.

https://www.axios.com/off-the-rails-tru ... 3c6e2.html

Whatever his 'instincts' or whatever-the-hell, it was long clear that the only redeeming aspect of Trump was his apparent desire to curtail US occupations overseas. That it was likely a simple-minded rentier's view of cutting unprofitable financial losses matters not. But liberals and progressives, primed for Trump hate for any number of good reasons(and some stupid ones too), could not, in their idealistic conception, accept that the devil could do any kind of good. And so we got convoluted bullshit about it all being a dog&pony show, again and again, whenever Trump backtracked on withdrawal proposals after his top generals expressed 'concerns'. Sometimes, 'it is what it is'. He knew he was out of his depth from the gitgo, would bluster his way through as he had his entire life, but wouldn't take any chances that he thought might diminish his brand.
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Sun Aug 08, 2021 6:33 pm

Trump Campaign, GOP Have Refunded $135 Million After Aggressive Fundraising Tactics
BY DANIEL POLITI
AUG 08, 20219:50 AM

Image
Former President Donald Trump walks on stage before speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas on July 11, 2021. ANDY JACOBSOHN/Getty Images

The refunds keep coming. Former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party returned $12.8 million in donations in the first six months of the year, reports the New York Times. The figure illustrate how the aggressive fundraising tactics used for the presidential election continued to lead donors to demand money back. Overall, more than $135 million has been refunded to donors by Trump, the Republican National Committee, and their shared accounts in the 2020 cycle through June 2021, including around $60 million after Election Day.

The New York Times had revealed earlier this year that Trump and the RNC were being forced to return lots of cash after they used confusing pre-checked boxed that automatically enrolled donors into recurring donations. The Times investigation found that Trump’s fundraising operation was so confusing that it wasn’t just non-tech savvy people who got tricked but also veteran political operatives. At the time, the Times said that the $122 million in online donations that were returned in 2020 was sharply higher than the $21 million that President Joe Biden’s campaign refunded to donors.

(more)

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/202 ... ising.html

This is hysterical, a level of sleaziness associated with the worst of telemarketers who prompt you to say "yes" and then commit you to all sorts of abuse. The 21M for the Biden mafia ain't small change either. It boggles the mind, given the truckloads of dough these bastards rake in from the heavy hitters. But I guess more is better and these small change donations ain't gonna come calling for some reciprocal love either, free money.

And while giving money to a supposed billionaire(who originally boasted that he would self-finance ) might be the height of idiocy giving any money to either of these parties is damn near as bad cause you ain't gonna see a return on your 'investment', none, unless your gift(bribe) is at least in the mid-six-figures neighborhood.

They say that Donald Trump views all relationships as 'transactional' but that's just part of being The Avatar of the Capitalist Ruling Class.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Mon Dec 20, 2021 2:51 pm

Blood in the water....He's Back...

Trump: China Should Pay Trillions of Dollars for COVID Damages

Published 19 December 2021 (14 hours 44 minutes ago)

Former U.S. President Donald Trump estimated that damages of COVID-19 pandemic are around $60 trillion, and claims for China will pay for it.

Donald Trump, former U.S. President, claimed once again that China is responsible for the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. He calls for China to pay 60 trillion dollars for the damage caused by the epidemic worldwide.

"China has to pay, they have to pay reparations, and China does not have the money to pay those reparations," Trump declared during an interview with Fox News' Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo.

He argues that the origins of COVID-19 are very obvious, claiming that "they came from Wuhan lab." Trump stated that whoever disagrees with that is "just kidding themselves."


"But they have to do something to make up for what they've done. What they've done to the world is so horrible, it's been horrible, all over the world, and it does not stop," added the former President.


The Trump administration has supported the theory that the pandemic was caused by COVID-19 leaking out from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Then the former President used terms as "China Virus" and "Kung Flu," referring to the disease. There hasn't been tangible evidence to substantiate Trump's theory.

The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence stated, in a report in early 2021, that natural and a lab - incident when talking of the first case of COVID-19 "are plausible."

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Tru ... -0011.html

Preemptive damage control, even as Biden bleeds support the Donald licks his chops but must get some uncomfortable facts out of the way first. Trump's culpability for the disastrous handling of the covid pandemic is probably impossible to quantify relative to the structural failures of the capitalists system to address anything but profits. Suffice to say, something in six figures is probably in the ballpark. And so a scapegoat, a bit of misdirection, is in order and plays to this miserable weasel's strong suite. The federal agency under the Biden regime , reversing earlier assessments is grasping another shaft to shoot in the Cold War against China. But it must remain ambiguous, for Biden can neither support Trump nor China in this, both stances equally damaging politically. But for Trump it's cut and dry.

*****************************************

Donald Trump Shared Some Thoughts About “the Jews”
BY JORDAN WEISSMANN
DEC 17, 20213:25 PM

<snip>

Here’s the complete quote:

I grew up where my father was very close to many Jewish people because it was Brooklyn real estate, Brooklyn and Queens. Many Jewish friends. A great love of Israel, which has dissipated over the years for many people in the United States. I must be honest, it’s a dangerous thing that’s happening. I told Avi, I told others, people in this country that are Jewish no longer love Israel. I’ll tell you the evangelical Christians love Israel more than the Jews in this country. It used to be that Israel used to have absolute power over Congress. And today it’s the exact opposite. And I think Obama and Biden did that. And in the election, they still get a lot of votes from Jewish people, which tells you that the Jewish people, and I’ve said this for a long time—the Jewish people in the United States either don’t like Israel or don’t care about Israel. I mean you look at the New York Times—the New York Times hates Israel. Hates it. And they’re Jewish people that run the New York Times, the Sulzbergers.

(more...)

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/202 ... -jews.html

Shocked, I tell you...Massaging his most loyal base while engaging in an anti-Semitic rant which managed to have things both ways is some sort of gift, I guess. First 'the Jews' control the US, then the liberals control them(it's supposed to be the other way around, Donald). This despite the fact that in 2020 he did better 2016 or the recent average with Jewish voters. Not good enough, fealty is mandatory!(and yes, Netanyahu did play Trump and his equally dim son-in-law like a cheap violin). And 'hitting back harder' is Trump standard resort, regardless of who gets hit as long as it ain't him.
American Jews tend to favor Democratic candidates, with 71% of Jewish voters choosing Democratic candidates on average and 25% choosing Republicans since 1968.

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/je ... -elections
In 2020 it was roughly 60%/30% for Biden/Trump, and improvement over 2016's 24%.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Tue Feb 01, 2022 4:11 pm

POPULAR MYTHS ABOUT THE JANUARY 6TH CAPITOL BUILDING EVENTS
Posted by Roger Harris | Jan 31, 2022

Image

Popular Myths about the January 6th Capitol Building Events

By Roger D. Harris
Jan. 29, 2022

After over a year of incessant publicity, the Capitol building events of January 6, 2021, have taken on mythic proportions. While all myths are prone to hyperbole, not all are entirely false as the following accounting relates.

1. January 6 was an attempted coup

According to Noam Chomsky: “That it was an attempted coup is not in question,” likening the incident to Hitler’s failed Beer Hall Putsch of 1923. However, after storming the Capitol building and taking selfies, the demonstrators simply left after a few hours. Their attempt to influence the electoral process by disruption did not and could not have led to the seizure of state power.

“After a full year of a Democrat-led DOJ [Department of Justice] conducting what is heralded as ‘the most expansive federal law enforcement investigation in US history,’” journalist Glenn Greenwald points out no rioters “have been charged with inciting insurrection, sedition, treason or conspiracy to overthrow the government.”

Then on January 13, eleven were charged with “seditious conspiracy,” which according to the New York Times is difficult to prove. This raises the embarrassing question for the government of how some two thousand people could conspire in broad daylight to stage an insurrection and the FBI and other agencies didn’t know about it until after the fact.

Greenwald continues, “the Department of Homeland Security issued at least six separate ‘heightened threat’ warnings last year, not a single one of which materialized. There were no violent protests in Washington, D.C. or in state capitols on Inauguration Day; no violent protests materialized the week after Biden’s inauguration…Each time such a warning was issued, cable outlets and liberal newspapers breathlessly reported them, ensuring fear levels remained high.”

What did happen is that a sitting president unprecedently called for a march on the Capitol to contest an election, signifying a breakdown of bourgeois political norms. Quite unlike Al Gore, who took a hit for elite political stability rather than contest the 2000 presidential election, Trump flagrantly broke the rules of orderly succession.

2. Trump threatens “our democracy”

A recent poll indicated that 76% of US citizens believe domestic political instability is a bigger danger than foreign adversaries, while 58% believe our democracy is in danger of collapse. Both findings reflect the reverberations of 1/6.
The fact that a character such as Trump had a shot at becoming president, let alone got into the Oval Office, shows how much “our democracy” is threatened. Trump’s biggest political asset was his big assets. The ticket for becoming POTUS is great personal wealth or the backing of those who are so well endowed or, better, a combination of both. Any concern about “our democracy” might well begin with the present and growing influence of money in politics. Not to dismiss the perturbation of 1/6 abetted by the manifest transgressions of Trump, but the context of an electoral system predicated on raising huge sums of private capital should not be ignored when considering the threats to democracy.

3. January 6 ranks with Pearl Harbor and the terrorist attacks of 9/11

Vice President Kamala Harris (no relation to this author) solemnly proclaimed: “Certain dates echo throughout history…when our democracy came under assault…December 7th, 1941. September 11th, 2001. And January 6th, 2021.”
According to the US Senate report, seven fatalities are attributed to 1/6: one person was fatally shot by police, one succumbed to an overdose of amphetamine, and two others died of natural causes; all were Trump supporters. In the days that followed, Officer Brian Sicknick “died of natural causes” according to the coroner’s report, contrary to false news that his passing was due to injuries on 1/6. Two other police officers died of suicide.
In contrast, 2,390 perished in Pearl Harbor; 2,977 in 9/11. The former marked the beginning of active US military engagement in World War II, which took an estimated 70–85 million people. The latter sparked the “War on Terror,” claiming an estimated 1.3 to 2 million casualties.

4. Trump and his supporters are ignorant

Some suppose Trump and his supporters get by on crude cunning and animal instinct. An unfortunately pervasive left-liberal trope is that people who see the world differently from them must be “militantly ignorant,” otherwise they too would be Democrats. The self-flattering conceit is that if some half of the voting public, the “basket of deplorables,” were better educated, they would have better politics. Little wonder that Trump can play to the justified resentment to this class chauvinism.

5. Republican Party is the most dangerous organization in human history and the world has never seen an organization more profoundly committed to destroying planet earth

Noam Chomsky, citing 1/6, made the above claim, which is partially true. The Republican Party is part of the bad cop/good cop dyad, which is the political leadership of the US empire. And that empire is the greatest threat ever to humanity. But focusing all the animus of one component of the ruling duopoly tends to render the duopoly itself – that is, the two-party system of capitalist rule – invisible. Demonizing the bad cop does not eliminate the system, but only renders the presumptive “lesser evil” more cosmetically acceptable.

How different are the Republicans from the Democrats? Perceptions of reality are mediated by perspective. For instance, very small and near objects such as a house fly appear to be moving very fast. Very large and distant objects like the stars appear to be moving not all. The physical reality is the opposite. Likewise, the differences between the Republicans and the Democrats appear great or not much at all depending on one’s class and historical perspective.

From an historical perspective, the affinities between Obama and Reagan are greater than between, say, the neoliberal Obama and New Deal LBJ. For a true-blue Democratic Party partisan, the chasm separating the parties is huge. For the Venezuelan whose cancer medications are blocked by the bipartisan US sanctions, the differences are imperceptible.

After the Democrats lost the presidency in 2016 to as repugnant a figure as Donald Trump, they conjured up the alibi of Russian interference in the election and milked that for four years. Now the Democrats can no longer plausibly claim that Vladimir Putin is the pulling strings in the White House. So, the January 6th incident has become the ruse of convenience for retaining the presidency and congressional majorities without offending their donors by doing anything significant for their voter base. As candidate Joe Biden assured his wealthy supporters, “nothing would fundamentally change” if he’s elected.

6. Trump is the cause of rising white supremacy

The view is that our nation was a “shining city on the hill” until those “damn racist” working class people were stirred by the “fascist Trump” is based in American exceptionalism. A contrasting view is that our polity is, in fact, built on white supremist foundations. White supremacy didn’t originate with Trump, although he abets it.

Ask a Native American, whose ancestral lands were expropriated by the European settlers as part of a brutal process of displacement and extermination. Ask an African American, whose forebearers were brought here as chattel slaves and upon whose labor much of the wealth of the nation was accumulated. Ask a Japanese American about the internment of the West Coast Japanese, which was the project of the arguably most liberal president in US history.

As Ajamu Baraka of the Black Alliance for Peace comments: “fascism is nothing new for us, a colonized people, people who have been enslaved. It has typically been called fascism only when white people do certain things to other white people.”

Listen carefully to “our” national anthem, which celebrates: “No refuge could save the hireling and slave, from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave, and the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
White supremacy did not end with Trump’s departure from the White House but remains deeply embedded in the national DNA. Republican state legislatures continue to pass racist voter restriction laws. Likewise, the disproportionate incarceration of people of color, police brutality in the inner cities, and the failure of the current administration to end the Senate filibuster while deporting asylum seekers all expose the myth of a post-racial society.

However, the successes of anti-racist efforts like the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, which mounted the largestmass demonstrations in US history, must also be recognized. Part of the perception of the growing white supremacy is a commendable increased awareness and reporting of this national blight and a growing movement in opposition. A KKK bombing in the late 1960s of an Historically Black College in Mississippi, where I was a junior faculty, did not even get into the news. Earlier this month, seven Historically Black Colleges received bomb threats and that made national headlines.

A one-sided focus on white supremacy fails to credit the fightback by people of color, portraying them as victims without also celebrating their agency. Where there is oppression, there will be resistance. BLM, for example, was truly a national uprising against white supremacy, all the more remarkable because it involved significant white participation that reverberated internationally.

7. What is happening today is the same as Germany in the 1930s with Trump as the new Hitler

Analogies of Trump to Hitler can be misleading. While material conditions for many Americans are distressing, they are not as dire as Weimar Germany, following its economic collapse. Nor do the Proud Boys and company approximate the hundreds of thousands of trained and armed paramilitaries under Hitler’s direct command. Most important, the mass working class Communist and Socialist parties in Weimar Germany were positioned to contend for state power, while trade unions and third parties challenging bourgeoise rule are in decline in the US today.
Under fascism, the capitalist class voluntarily cedes a degree of economic decision making to a dictatorial state in exchange for guarantees of public order and promises to keep their profits. As long as any serious challenge to their power is absent, the US ruling elites have little incentive to resort to such measures.

The charges that Trump is “power hungry” are likely true, though that does not necessarily distinguish him from other politicians. But the force of even his big ego is insufficient to win over a sufficient faction of the bourgeoisie to support a fascist dictatorship when the theatrics of the two-party system are working so well for their interests and billionaire fortunes are skyrocketing.
Fixating on the “neofascistic politics that define the Republican Party under Trumpism” distracts from other threats. January 6 is being used by those currently in power to justify further expansion of the security state, which has and will continue to be used against the left.

8. January 6 is symptomatic of a body politic polarized as never before

Polarization is the meta myth that overarches all others. According to a Pew poll, “Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines – and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive – than at any point in the last two decades.” This dysfunctional disintegration takes place in the context of a body politic lurching to the right. One side of the political duopoly blocks progressive change; the other uses the excuse of the blockage for failing to make progressive change.

The palpable polarization of the Republican-Democratic hostilities serves as a distraction from the bedrock elite consensus on matters of state (i.e., which class rules) and economics (i.e., which class benefits).

The smoke of the wrangling over the minutia of Build Back Better obfuscates the fact that a world record “defense” budget, greater than even the Pentagon requested, passed in a heartbeat. The squabble over masking distracts from the failure of the world’s richest nation to provide universal health care in a time of pandemic. The issues that truly affect the future of humanity – militarization and global warming – are obscured in the fog of cultural wars that divide working people. Meanwhile state security and surveillance measures become more pervasive, with the nominally more liberal party of the ruling class championing the FBI, CIA, and NSA.

There are fault lines of class and fault lines of partisan politics. For now, those fault lines do not coincide. The narrow positing of the threat of the right around what happened on January 6 omits the larger issues of militarism, the surveillance state, welfare for the corporations, and austerity for working people. On these fundamental issues and despite sharp contention on other issues, there is a fundamental consensus between the ruling Republican and Democratic leadership.

Roger D. Harris is on the state central committee of the Peace and Freedom Party, the only ballot-qualified socialist party in California.

https://mltoday.com/popular-myths-about ... ng-events/

Nice summation.
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Mon Mar 14, 2022 2:12 pm

Succinct:

<snip>

In order to understand what happened, it’s important to understand that mass media in the US is not free in any sense of the word. The platforms that are the most prominent and widely consumed by the masses here—whether in print, TV, movies, or radio are tightly controlled by corporate monopolies that are themselves controlled by the global ruling class. For this reason, the messages that we are exposed to when we consume this media on a day to day basis represent, first and foremost, the interests and ideology of that ruling class. It doesn’t matter the identity of the talking head, nor their stated politics, nor the branding of the media platform, the agenda is the same. Another important thing to understand is that for the most part the ruling class and the petit-bourgeois class that comprises the media, politicians, policy makers, public intellectuals, and other ‘influencers’ within the United Snakes were not in any way seriously opposed to Trump or his policies.

When we saw the Daily Show or Rachel Maddow or SNL or Nancy Pelosi excoriating Trump (and helping to popularize and foment resistance against him) they were not doing so out of a moral objection to his policies. Indeed, Trump’s approach to immigration and most other things was simply a mask-off version of the explicitly white supremacist domestic and foreign policy that the US has had for hundreds of years. What these shows, pundits, and politicians were actually doing was expressing the antipathy of one segment of the ruling class towards Trump’s instability and irrationality. His inability to ‘play the game.’ Sure he handed them over $7 trillion in an upward transfer of wealth, passed a slate of tax measures that lowered their bills to Uncle Sam, and took a hardline position against the US empire’s official enemies like Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Afghanistan, and China. But he was also a deeply ridiculous and unpredictable leader with no capacity for emotional regulation and little sense of the long term consequences of his actions from moment to moment. Trump was easily pushed into action based on what he’d just watched or who he’d heard from last and also came with a political base that was increasingly radicalized and difficult to control. That meant that at decisive moments (like his entirely spite-motivated investigation into Biden’s dealings in Ukraine that almost exposed disastrous US intervention in that nation) Trump wavered from the overall agenda for capitalism-imperialism set by the ruling class. That, more than anything, is what sealed his fate and what drove the deployment of their propaganda apparatus against him.

(more...)

https://libya360.wordpress.com/2022/03/ ... f-empathy/
I remember the incredulity when I said that the press was out to get Trump. Of course they were, and of course he deserved it, if for reasons other than publicly stated.

Just like the current propaganda deluge we're suffering through, the whole Trump/Russia thing was small change, a foolish and inept attempt to trade on the prestige of office for paltry financial gain. On the same level as Joe Biden trading on the prestige of the office of VP to get his boy a good paying job.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Wed Mar 30, 2022 2:26 pm

Re-Visiting Russiagate In Light Of The Ukraine War

Caitlin Johnstone
Mar 27

Image

It's hard to believe that the last president spent his term pouring weapons into Ukraine, shredding treaties with Russia and ramping up cold war escalations against Moscow which helped lead us directly to the extraordinarily dangerous situation we now find ourselves in, and yet mainstream liberals spent his entire administration screaming that he was a Kremlin puppet.

A lot of anti-empire commentary is rightly going into criticizing how the Obama administration paved the way to this conflict in Ukraine with its role in the 2014 coup and support for Kyiv's war against Donbass separatists. But what's getting lost in all this, largely because Trumpites have been using their mainstream numbers to loudly amplify criticisms of the role of the Obama and Biden administrations in this mess, is what happened between those two presidencies which was just as crucial in getting us here.

Though it's been scrubbed from mainstream liberal history, it was actually the Trump administration that began the US policy of arming Ukraine in the first place. Obama had refused forceful demands from neocons and liberal hawks to do so because he feared it would provoke an attack by Russia.

In a 2015 article titled "Defying Obama, Many in Congress Press to Arm Ukraine", The New York Times reported that "So far, the Obama administration has refused to provide lethal aid, fearing that it would only escalate the bloodshed and give President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia a pretext for further incursions."
Max Blumenthal
@MaxBlumenthal
For years, neocons and arms industry darlings like @RepAdamSchiff have sought to re-arm Ukraine and escalate the conflict in Donbas. By stirring up Russiagate, they finally got their deadly deal. My latest:
truthdig.com/articles/russi…
January 8th 2018

292 Retweets343 Likes
It wasn't until the Trump presidency that those weapons began pouring into Ukraine, and boy howdy are we looking at some "further incursions" now. This change occurred either because Trump was a fully willing participant in the agenda to ramp up aggressions against Moscow, or because he was politically pressured into playing along with that agenda by the collusion narrative which had its origins at every step in the US intelligence cartel, or because of some combination of the two.

In all the world-shaping news stories we've been experiencing lately, it's easy to forget how the narrative that the Kremlin had infiltrated the highest levels of the US government dominated news coverage and political discourse for years on end. But in light of the fact that today's major headlines now revolve around that exact same foreign government, this fact is probably worth revisiting.

The most important thing to understand about the Trump-Russia collusion narrative is that it began with western intelligence agencies, was sustained by western intelligence agencies, and in the end resulted in cold war escalations against a government long targeted by western intelligence agencies. It was the US intelligence cartel who initiated the still completely unproven and severely plot hole-riddled claim that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to benefit Trump. It was a "former" MI6 operative who produced the notorious and completely discredited Steele Dossier which birthed the narrative that Trump colluded with the Kremlin to steal the 2016 election. It was the FBI who spied on the Trump campaign claiming it was investigating possible ties to Russia. It was the US intelligence cartel which produced, and then later walked back, the narrative that Russia was paying Taliban-linked fighters to kill allied occupiers in Afghanistan which was leveraged by Democrats to demand Trump escalate further against Putin. It was even a CIA officer who just so happened to be in the right place at the right time that kicked off the flimsy impeachment narrative that Trump had suspended arms deliveries to Ukraine.

Every step of the way the mass media was fed reports by intelligence operatives and by elected officials sharing pieces of information they'd been told by intelligence operatives about potential indications of a conspiracy between Trump's circle and the Russian government, which often faceplanted in the most humiliating ways as subsequent revelations debunked them. Day after day some new "BOMBSHELL" media report would surface tying some obscure Trump underling so some Russian oligarch in some way, the outlet which published it would be rewarded with millions of clicks, only to have it fizzle into a flat nothing pizza within a few days.
Caitlin Johnstone ⏳
@caitoz
25 Times Trump Has Been Dangerously Hawkish On Russia

My response to @CNN's ridiculous and profoundly dishonest article "25 times Trump was soft on Russia".
Image
25 Times Trump Has Been Dangerously Hawkish On Russia
CNN has published a fascinatingly manipulative and falsehood-laden article titled “25 times Trump was soft on Russia”, in which a lot of…
medium.com
November 18th 2019

195 Retweets365 Likes
Day after day mainstream liberals were promised major revelations which would lead to the entire Trump family being dragged from the White House in chains, and day after day those promises failed to deliver. But what did happen during that time was a mountain of US cold war escalations against Moscow, a very good illustration of the immense difference between narrative and fact.

Trump supporters like to believe that the Deep State tried to remove their president because he was such a brave populist warrior leading a people's revolution against their Satanic globalist agendas, and surely there were some individual goons within their ranks who would have loved to see him gone. But in reality the major decision makers in the US intelligence cartel never intended to remove Trump from office. They'd have known from their own intel that the Mueller investigation wouldn't turn up any evidence of a conspiracy with the Russian government, and they'd have known impeachment wouldn't remove him because they know how to count Senate seats. Russiagate was never about removing Trump, it was about making sure Trump played along with their regime change plans for Moscow and manufacturing mainstream consent for the escalations we're seeing today.

And now here we are. Joe Lauria has an excellent new article out for Consortium News titled "Biden Confirms Why the US Needed This War" which lays out the evidence that the Ukraine invasion was deliberately provoked to facilitate the longstanding agenda to oust Putin and "ultimately restore a Yeltsin-like puppet to Moscow." The US could easily have prevented this war with a little bit of diplomacy and a few low-cost concessions, but instead it chose to provoke a war that could then be used to manufacture international consensus for unprecedented acts of economic warfare against Russia with the goal of effecting regime change.
Consortium News
@Consortiumnews
Biden Confirms Why the US Needed This War
Image
Biden Confirms Why the US Needed This War
In a moment of candor, Joe Biden has revealed why the U.S. needed the Russian invasion and why it needs it to continue, writes Joe Lauria. By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News The U.S. got its war in Ukraine. Without it, Washington could not attempt to destroy Russia’s economy, or
consortiumnews.com
March 27th 2022

64 Retweets93 Likes
Lauria writes:

The U.S. got its war in Ukraine. Without it, Washington could not attempt to destroy Russia’s economy, orchestrate worldwide condemnation and lead an insurgency to bleed Russia, all part of an attempt to bring down its government. Joe Biden has now left no doubt that it’s true.

The president of the United States has confirmed what Consortium News and others have been reporting since the beginnings of Russsiagate in 2016, that the ultimate U.S. aim is to overthrow the government of Vladimir Putin.

“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden said on Saturday at the Royal Castle in Warsaw.

This was all planned years in advance. Long before Biden's presidency, and long before Trump's. It is not a coincidence that we spent years being bombarded with anti-Russia propaganda in the lead-up to a massive confrontation with that same government. There's no connection between the discredited allegation that Trump was a secret Kremlin agent and Putin's decision to invade Ukraine, yet the mainstream anti-Russia hysteria manufactured by the former is flowing seamlessly into mainstream opposition of the latter.

This is because this was all planned well in advance. We're where we're at now because the US empire brought us here intentionally.

https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p ... ght-of?s=w

It was such an overt propaganda push that it could be recognized by anyone not afflicted by 'Trump Derangement Syndrome'. Trump's flamboyant denials only proved his guilt...(his shitty character had nothing to do with it...) Trump was and is a disgrace to Humanity but that should not prevent us from seeing the obvious, but that's what successful propaganda can do. The Imperial Program had to finesse a bit given his popularity for a large part of the public but it did so successfully, every attempt to disengage was walked back by a guy afraid of the consequences his military advisors assured him would happen if he followed through with his 'rash' statements. He never had a good reason but do you think that mattered to the people being occupied and bombed by the US?

Biden is easier for them to manage, while just as likely to say stupid things he really is 'with the program' and self-corrects effortlessly.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Thu Jun 30, 2022 5:50 pm

On the one hand...

***

Witness says Trump demanded to go to Capitol on Jan 6
By AI HEPING in New York | China Daily Global | Updated: 2022-06-29 10:52

Image
A image of former President Donald Trump talking to his Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is displayed as Cassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Meadows, testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee on the January 6 insurrection in the Cannon House Office Building on June 28, 2022 in Washington, DC. [Photo/Agencies]

US President Donald Trump attempted to grab the steering wheel of his limousine and lunged at a Secret Service agent, putting his hand on the man's throat, after he was told he wouldn't be taken to the Capitol on Jan 6, 2021, as rioters stormed the building, a former top White House aide testified during Tuesday's hearing before the House select committee investigating the riot.

The head of Trump's Secret Service detail, Bobby Engle, grabbed Trump's hand from the steering wheel and told him, "'Sir, you need to take your hand off of the steering wheel, we're going back to the West Wing, we're not going to the Capitol,'" recounted Cassidy Hutchinson.

"Trump then used his free hand to lunge toward Engle, and when Anthony Ornato, Trump's chief of operations, recounted the story to me, he motioned to his clavicles," she said.

"'I'm the [expletive] president. Take me up to the Capitol now,'" Ornato told her, Hutchinson said.

She said Engle was in the room when Ornato told her the story, and he didn't correct or disagree with the story and hasn't stated it was untrue since.

In a post on his social network, Truth Social, Trump called Hutchinson's story "fake," "sick" and "fraudulent''. He said he never complained about the crowd size at his Ellipse speech. "I hardly know who this Cassidy Hutchinson person is, other than I heard very negative things about her," he said.

She also told the committee that Trump was informed that the supporters he addressed on the morning of Jan 6 at the Ellipse in front of the White House had weapons, but she said that Trump demanded that his supporters be able to move around freely, objecting to the presence of magnetometers to detect weapons.

Hutchinson said that she was "in the vicinity of a conversation where she overheard the president use a series of expletives and said something to the effect of, "'You know, I don't care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me.'"

Despite the violence at the Capitol and threats to Vice-President Mike Pence, Trump refused repeated requests from his staff to intervene in the attack on the Capitol, she said.

As rioters stormed the building chanting "Hang Mike Pence," Hutchinson said Meadows said of Trump, "'He doesn't want to do anything,'" and "'he thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn't think they're doing anything wrong.'"

She added that Meadows did little to try to manage Trump on Jan 6.

Members of the president's Cabinet were so upset by the assault on the Capitol and Trump's encouragement of the mob and refusal to intervene that they quietly discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, Hutchinson testified.

When Trump learned on Dec 1 that Attorney General William Barr had publicly declared allegations of widespread voter fraud unfounded, Hutchinson said Trump slammed his lunch against a wall in his dining room in the White House, as she learned from the valet who cleaned up the broken china and ketchup dripping down the wall.

"There were several times throughout my tenure with the chief of staff that I was aware of him either throwing dishes or flipping the tablecloth to let all the contents of the table go on to the floor and likely break or go everywhere," she said of the president.

Meadows and Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and Trump's personal lawyer, sought pardons from Trump in case they were implicated criminally in any events leading up to Jan 6 or the assault on the Capitol, Hutchinson said. Neither was granted one.

Tuesday's hearing was unexpected because the Jan 6 panel had previously signaled it wouldn't hold any more hearings until July, after it evaluated additional testimony. But the committee held the meeting on Tuesday and called on Hutchinson to testify in person.

She recently sat for a fourth interview with the committee behind closed doors and, with new counsel advising her, informed the panel of previously unknown information that lawmakers felt needed to get out quickly, according to various media reports.

http://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/20220 ... 69414.html

**************

On the other hand...

***

Trump's Secret Service Detail 'Cheered on the Insurrection'—Carol Leonnig
BY GERRARD KAONGA ON 6/29/22 AT 8:48 AM EDT

Investigative journalist and author Carol Leonnig has claimed that members of Donald Trump's Secret Service detail cheered on the insurrection of January 6, 2021.

Leonnig spoke to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow following testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson in the Tuesday Jan. 6 Committee hearing. The video of their conversation has also been viewed over 100,000 times on Twitter.



Hutchinson made multiple claims regarding the former President's actions and insisted that he demanded to go to the Capitol after the riots began, getting into an altercation with his security detail.

Leonnig, who has written a book on the Secret Service, Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of The Secret Service, said it was "problematic" some of Trump's detail appeared to support the rioters on January 6.

"There was a very large contingent of Donald Trump's detail who were personally cheering for [Joe] Biden to fail," she said.

"Some of them even took to their personal media accounts to cheer on the insurrection and the individuals rioting up to the Capitol, as patriots. That is problematic.

"I am not saying that Tony Ornato or Bobby Engel did that but they are viewed as being aligned with Donald Trump, which cuts against them.

"However, if they testify, under oath, 'this is what happened,' I think that is going to be important."

Leonnig also reflected on the reputation of the lead agent on Trump's detail, Engel, and former deputy Chief of Staff Ornato and their relationship with the then-president. She also spoke about the credibility of Hutchinson.

"Cassidy Hutchinson presents as one of the most credible witnesses possible in this way," Leonnig said.

"She had detailed descriptions of what she heard, what people told her and what she heard herself, what she knew for surety and she was very clear about making distinguishing remarks about how she learned these things.

"The way she learned these particular things about an alleged altercation was allegedly from Tony Ornato, that is important to know.


"The second part I would stress is both of these individuals, Bobby Engel and Tony Ornato were very close to President Trump.

"Some people accused them of, at times, being yes-men and enablers of the President, particularly Tony Ornato.

"People who wanted to do what [Trump] wanted and see him pleased.


"That was frustrating to agents that were more focussed on security or being independent or good planning.

"So both of these individuals lose a little bit of credibility because of how closely they have been seen as aligned to Donald Trump.

https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-s ... ol-1720235

****************

On the 'gripping hand'...

When I heard of Ms Hutchinson's testimony I was surprised, I never thought Trump was afraid of his minions but have observed that Trump always leaves himself a back door, an escape hatch, for whenever he's approaching serious prosecutable territory. There is always a patsy, or at least interminable legal procedures, to keep him out of the bary place. Leading that mob would have been tricky to explain if the gambit didn't succeed. But the fact that he incited those yoyos and then sped off in a limo for a Mcsnack was not the mark of a Real Leader, which the dim thought they had. So then, Hutchinson's testimony let him have it both ways. But now we learn that this fable of Trump being prevented from leading his mob by the Secret Service was related to Hutchinson by a Trump partisan. Well, I think I know who the real 'useful idiot' in this affair.

I remain firm in my original opinion.
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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