Neocon Hawk Michael Pence Twice Approved Iraq War
By Karl Pomeroy
July 16, 2016
Revised August 11, 2016:
Important New Conclusion
[The following is the article as it originally appeared with minor editing. My apologies to Donald Trump and his campaign team. Please see new conclusion at the end of this post. — Karl Pomeroy]
I hadn’t wanted to write this commentary, but I need to state this for the record. Today, I received in my email inbox a most arrogant request for donations from Team Trump, the Donald Trump campaign. I sent the following reply:
Hello Trump Team,
My apologies. But shame on Donald Trump!
His choice of Pence was a mistake. My disappointment is overwhelming, and I no longer support his campaign.
I have avidly supported Trump for the past year. I repeatedly praised his non-interventionist Russia-friendly foreign policy—which would help us avoid a needless World War—on my website Quemado Institute and in communication with other analysts. That Trump opposed the Iraq war was one of his strongest points.
Pence voted twice for the Iraq War. He’s a neocon hawk. That he failed to see the ethical and strategic folly of that illegal invasion means he lacks compassion, instinct, and critical intelligence. For an “evangelical Christian” to approve mass murder is profound hypocrisy. Pence neutralizes Trump’s best qualities.
Pence also accentuates Trump’s worst qualities. Trump is too harsh on crime. Many innocent people are convicted by our broken justice system. Capital punishment is an abomination. Discrimination against “felons” is grossly unfair. I’m afraid Pence will encourage Trump in the direction of domestic tyranny.
The global elite must have gotten to Trump somehow, and are using Pence to either destroy Trump’s campaign or to set him up for removal from office. Did the corporate elite threaten Trump’s family? Or did Donald just do something horrendously stupid to appease Republican insiders?
I still advocate Trump over Hillary as the lesser of evils. But the global elite will destroy the world one way or another.
Trump was my last hope.
Former avid fan,
Retired physicist, internet blogger
Now I know how Bernie Sanders supporters must have felt this week when he betrayed them and endorsed Hillary. I truly see no hope for the world. The global elite are willing to lie, murder and push us to nuclear war to keep their arrogant grip on world power. They eventually get to every opponent, one way or another, be it by trickery, bribery, threats, coups, assassinations, invasions, or God knows what. No tyrannical tactic offends their vacant conscience.
I watched Vladimir Putin, the most courageous of world leaders in his opposition to the Western aristocracy, gradually fold after the adoption of Crimea. The Russian President, in a most horrific betrayal of the Russian people, failed to come to the rescue of Donbass at the most critical juncture at the start of the civil war. In June 2014. Putin refused to send Russian troops to Slavyansk, abandoning the Donbass militias to fight for their own land. This betrayal resulted in the thousands of civilian deaths perpetrated by the Ukrainian battalions.
I watched Alexander Zakharchenko, the bravest of opponents to the global elite, fight valiantly to carve out the nation of the Donetsk People’s Republic, only to compromise all sovereignty in Minsk, fold on his promised October 18, 2015 elections, agree to the lunatic withdrawal of DPR troops from the entire contact line, and begin imprisoning outspoken Novorossiya supporters.
And now I watch Donald Trump, fearless critic of the neocon establishment, bow to that very establishment by choosing a flaming neocon for his running mate.
The problem with Mike Pence is, he neutralizes Trump’s best qualities and exacerbates his worst. Trump’s best quality was his reasonable foreign policy. Pence is his polar opposite, a champion of foreign intervention, at least in the cases of Iraq and Libya, which does not bode well for his record.
Trump’s worst quality, and one on which I was willing to suspend judgment, was his tendency toward police-state tyranny in his advocacy of the death sentence, his harshness toward convicted “felons”, and his unqualified praise for the police, who have dangerous jobs and need our support, but not on an unconditional basis.
Trump didn’t need an evangelical. Trump already had their vote. Pence brings nothing on that score. And yes, Pence boasts twelve years “experience” in Congress. But it was the nefarious experience of a neocon insider, exactly what Trump doesn’t need.
Pence is tyrannical on abortion, when reasonable compromise on early abortion is needed, especially for young unmarried women who lack the support of the child’s father and face a life of crippling hardship. Pence will also likely be tough on crime, when Trump is already too tough on crime. Our justice system is broken. Only 3% of cases go to trial due to corrupt deals signed under pressure that deny the accused the right to trial. Many innocent people are convicted. Those that become “felons” lose their rights. And those accused of murder may suffer that midieval torture called capital punishment—innocent or not—while our government commits mass murder daily in foreign countries with impunity, and Hillary herself as Secretary of State approved 2192 drone killings.
There is nothing about Mike Pince to reassure me he will not encourage Trump in the direction of domestic tyranny, and nothing to reassure me he will advocate friendship with Russia. Will Pence be sent to Kiev to repeat the appalling criminal collusion that Joe Biden initiated? And will Pence be truly respectful of Russia?
This begs the question: How could a Russia-friendly congressman vote for the assassination of Saddam Hussein, who, for all his brutality toward his domestic opponents, was a secular leader running a stable modern country that posed no threat to any nation. They couldn’t. I fear Pence will not be Russia friendly, no matter what he may say to cover his tracks so his VP appointment appears plausible.
I do not know all of the tactics of the global elite. But number one Russian geopolitical analyst Alexander Dugin suspects the ruling aristocracy would start a nuclear war rather than let Donald Trump be president.
Well, they don’t have to worry about that now. Pence is their man. His presence on the ticket will either make Trump lose, or set the billionaire up to be assassinated or impeached. Trump has been effectively neutralized.
Can Donald recover from this catastrophe? Not easily. He can’t drop Pence from the ticket, since Pence already notified his native state of Indiana that he will not be running for governer. The deadline for that notification has passed, so dropping Pence now could result in an ugly lawsuit.
Can Donald twist Pence around into a foreign non-interventionist, after he advocated intervention in Iraq and Libya? That would only show that the Indiana war hawk has 20-20 hindsight. Any aware observer at the start of the Iraq war knew the violent invasion was unfounded, dangerous and immoral. This holds for Libya as well—which means Pence was either stupid, immoral or both. Has he changed?
The Quemado Institute website has had, as its motive, hope for reason in the world. We lost that hope when Putin failed to defend Donbass, then again when Zakharchenko bowed to world pressure. And now Donald Trump has let us down.
Revised Conclusion By Karl Pomeroy
August 11, 2016
My concern about Donald Trump’s choice of Mike Pence as running mate was that it seemed to symbolize a policy turn toward neoconservative warmongering. In the four weeks since the announcement, however, Trump has not deviated from his original course of getting along with Russia, avoiding US foreign intervention, pulling back NATO, and refraining from “regime change” and the ensuing horrors of US-instigated foreign civil wars.
Trump may see in Pence a potential not evident to me. But it is clear Pence will not be a decisive factor in Trump’s foreign policy. Full support for a Donald Trump presidency remains the right way foward for peace-loving Americans.