Introduction by Kennedy Applebaum
The Campaign Circus
August 8, 2016
Former director of the Central Intelligence Agency Michael J Morell vilifies Republican candidate Donald Trump for minor personality traits while hailing Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for her drive to wage illegal wars, an irony elucidated in the first article below by geopolitical analyst Finian Cunningham.
Starkly contrasting Morell’s hawkish viewpoint, former Georgia Senator and Assistant Secretary General for Defense Support at NATO Mack Mattingly argues that Trump’s support for normalized relations with Russia is really the most reasonable stance, especially in view of the fact that NATO’s mandate evaporated at the end of the Cold War.
If the US 2016 elections appear to be a media circus, this is not the fault of Donald Trump, who advocates reason in world affairs. The neocon warmongers and their corporate-owned news agencies have made the election a circus by slandering Trump’s every word and deed. These champions of the global elite then falsely blame the Republican candidate for the diversionary spectacle they themselves have created.
Don’t fall for their nonsense. Look at what Trump actually says. A comparision of statements by Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin on US foreign policy, presented at the end of this post, shows both men share a truthful world picture. This is the road to peace.
Pentagon, CIA Form Praetorian Guard for Clinton
as Warmonger President
By Finian Cunningham
Strategic Culture Foundation
August 8, 2016
Former director of the Central Intelligence Agency Michael J Morell is the latest in a phalanx of senior US military-intelligence figures who are shedding any pretense of political neutrality and giving their full-throated endorsement to Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
In a New York Times opinion piece, Morell starkly backed Clinton as the most «highly qualified to be commander-in-chief… keeping our nation safe».
The ex-CIA chief’s op-ed piece also served as a blunt hatchet job on Republican presidential rival Donald J Trump. Morell said the New York billionaire-turned politician is «not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security».
The hoary, old scare-theme of «national security» is being rehabilitated as the criterion for electing Clinton. It also has the disturbing connotation of an increasingly militarized totalitarian regime that the United States is becoming.
While showering Clinton with glowing praise, the former CIA spymaster trounced Trump with a litany of flaws, including «self-aggrandizement, his overreaction to perceived slights, his tendency to make decisions based on intuition, his refusal to change his views based on new information, his routine carelessness with the facts, his unwillingness to listen to others and his lack of respect for the rule of law».
Morell’s «coup de grace» for Trump was that he was a «national security danger» owing to his alleged indifference towards the US-led NATO military alliance and European security, and unwillingness to confront Russia.
After accusing Trump of being «careless with facts», Morell makes this reckless, sensationalist claim: «In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr Putin had recruited Mr Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation».
This is a breath-taking interference in the nominally civilian sphere of US politics by unelected military-paramilitary elements, whereby a candidate for presidency is accused of being a foreign puppet. It is a throwback to the Cold War witch-hunting days of McCarthy and «Un-American activities».
This very public intervention by a top CIA figure in the US presidential election is an extraordinarily brazen affront to constitutional norms. Traditionally, the American military and intelligence apparatus has always been careful to assume a neutral relation with regard to Washington politics – at least in public.
In the 2016 election, however, the boundaries between civilian politics and the military powers are being flagrantly jettisoned. The military and the Deep State cabal are, in effect, moving to preordain the White House occupant. This situation has barely perceptible difference from a military coup appointing a civilian junta to administer.
At the Democrat National Convention in Philadelphia last week, the endorsement of Hillary Clinton by military top brass was conspicuous. One of the main Pentagon cheerleaders was Four-Star Marine General John Allen, who gave a bloodcurdling and ranting speech declaring how «our enemies will fear» an America led by Clinton.
This rush to partisan politics by the US military has even led to unease among certain Pentagon quarters. Only days after the DNC’s militaristic rally, General Martin Dempsey, who was formerly Chairman of the Joint Staffs, took the unprecedented step of publishing a cautionary article warning: «Keep Your Politics Private, My Fellow Generals and Admirals».
Dempsey did not mention General Allen or others by name, but it was clear to whom he was referring and the jingoistic display in support of Clinton. And it was also clear that Dempsey saw the open embrace of partisan politics by the Pentagon as a worrying development undermining democracy in the US. He feared «the erosion of civil-military relations».
What is that qualifies Hillary Clinton for such support? Former CIA boss Morell listed these «attributes» as «her belief that America is an exceptional nation that must lead in the world for the country to remain secure and prosperous; her understanding that diplomacy can be effective only if the country is perceived as willing and able to use force if necessary; and, most important, her capacity to make the most difficult decision of all – whether to put young American women and men in harm’s way».
In other words, what is most appreciated is how Clinton is prepared and willing to take America into ever more wars. Despite the horrific legacy that she is already responsible as Secretary of State in the Obama administration (2009-2013) when she prosecuted wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and, covertly, in Syria and Ukraine.
And yet, ex-CIA chief Morell, who served alongside Clinton in these disastrous wars, has the gall to censure Trump for «his lack of respect for the rule of law».
By contrast, Trump, for all his flaws and awry views on immigration and race relations, has not espoused warmongering zeal to any comparable extent. Indeed, the Republican candidate has called for normalization of relations with Russia in particular and has notified that he would order a withdrawal of US forces from Asia, Europe and other regions in order to «rebuild America first». His views on not rushing into a hypothetical war to defend NATO Baltic nations from a far-fetched Russian invasion are seen by many ordinary Americans as a common sense position. For the Pentagon-CIA nexus, however, Trump’s views are anathema.
This is what it gets down to. Clinton is the candidate of choice for the US military-industrial complex because she will enhance corporate profits and a $600-billion annual budget that feeds the Pentagon-CIA leviathan.
Crucial to this role is reinforcing a belligerent foreign policy towards the world in general and towards Russia in particular. Or, as Morell puts it, Clinton’s «belief that America is an exceptional nation that must lead in the world for the country to remain secure and prosperous».
It is this exceptional, supremacist Washington ideology that has brought the world to such a dangerous precipice.
Hillary Clinton, ironically, far more than the maverick Donald Trump, is proving to be an exemplar of what can only be called the Neo-fascist ideology that is becoming increasingly extant in Washington.
The Pentagon-CIA Praetorian Guard that is being formed around Clinton is not only a harbinger of the militarized totalitarian state administered from Washington; it is also a signal that the United States is moving openly to a policy of unabashed, unrestrained permanent war against any foreign country it so deems.
Trump Is Right Again On NATO
Trump Official Website
(from Daily Caller)
August 8, 2016
Former Georgia Senator Mack Mattingly, wrote the piece below, published in the Daily Caller, “Trump is Right Again on NATO”
“In 1998, fifteen former colleagues and I — eight Republican and eight Democrat former U.S. Senators — co-authored a letter to the Senate, that was intended to dissuade what appeared at the time to be a post Cold War zeal to expand the NATO alliance, even as we were building new relationships with Russia. Along with the others who signed, I knew the subject well after serving from 1987-1990 as Assistant Secretary General for Defense Support at NATO.
To put that letter in perspective, both then and now, it should be noted that when the Cold War ended, the mission of NATO—a 16 nation alliance formed at the end of WWII specifically to provide collective security against the Soviet Union (Warsaw Pact)—was both successful and complete. NATO was no longer justified under its original mandate. The proper path would have been to create a new treaty outlining a new purpose for the alliance, not just to keep the club together. The EU, including its U.S. Ambassador, was already present in Europe, and some in the EU also had a military alliance created by the Treaty of Rome. Multiple layers of government doing the same tasks is nothing more than bureaucracy.
When Mr. Trump suggested earlier that he thought he “could get along well with Vladimir Putin,” many in the establishment media and even a number of our fellow Republicans took issue with the statement—as if it is an imperative that any presumptive president should reflexively denounce the Russian president, even when he could very well end up as a necessary partner in regional conflicts. As an email scandal has erupted at the opening of the Democratic National Convention, the official Democrat response has been to place the blame directly on Moscow.
Mr. Trump’s notably more diplomatic response reminded me of one of the 1998 letter’s more prescient lines: “we seem to take rather cavalierly the opportunity at long last to build a friendship with Russia.” There was a brief window after 1991 when the former Soviet Union opened up to the West. William Perry, who was President Clinton’s Defense Secretary from 1994 to 1997, recently recounted this opening during a speech in London: “In the last few years, most of the blame can be pointed at the actions that Putin has taken. But in the early years I have to say that the United States deserves much of the blame. Our first action that really set us off in a bad direction was when Nato started to expand, bringing in eastern European nations, some of them bordering Russia.”
When my former colleagues and I came together to write that bipartisan letter back in 1998, we could see that NATO had the potential to become less of a bulwark than a tripwire if it continued its trajectory of ill-advised expansion. Our question was, “How can we admit some and exclude others without creating instability and tensions?” If the goal was stability in Europe, how, we asked, “can there be stability if Russia is destabilized by expansion?”
Today, I find that the reluctance to question the role of NATO in its current form is far more dangerous and short-sighted than a pragmatic proposal to reevaluate its efficacy in light of changing conditions. In his autobiographical “Waging Peace, 1956-1961: The White House Years,” President Eisenhower, noting his own concerns, expressed to JFK during his transition that, “America is carrying far more than her share of free world defense.” Mr. Trump’s suggestions that NATO’s members share its costs more equitably and that its doctrine be adjusted to focus more on terrorism, where the U.S. and Russia’s threat horizons converge, seems more realistic and wise in the light of history.”
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin
Shared Views on US Foreign Policy
What Trump Says About American Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy Speech
April 27, 2016
“We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama’s line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper…. It all began with a dangerous idea that we could make western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interests in becoming a western democracy. We tore up what institutions they had and then were surprised at what we unleashed. Civil war, religious fanaticism, thousands of Americans just killed [and] lives, lives, lives wasted…. The vacuum was created that ISIS would fill.
“[T]he legacy of the Obama-Clinton interventions will be weakness, confusion and disarray, a mess. We’ve made the Middle East more unstable and chaotic than ever before. We left Christians subject to intense persecution and even genocide…. Our actions in Iraq, Libya and Syria have helped unleash ISIS, and we’re in a war against radical Islam, but President Obama won’t even name the enemy, and unless you name the enemy, you will never ever solve the problem.
“After Secretary Clinton’s failed intervention in Libya, Islamic terrorists in Benghazi took down our consulate and killed our ambassador and three brave Americans. Then, instead of taking charge that night, Hillary Clinton decided to go home and sleep…. Clinton blames it all on a video, an excuse that was … proven to be absolutely a total lie. Our ambassador was murdered and our secretary of state misled the nation.
“We desire to live peacefully and in friendship with Russia and China.”
What Putin Says about American Foreign Policy
Address to eighth meeting of Russian Federation ambassadors
June 30, 2016
“However, we see how some of our partners continue stubborn attempts to retain their monopoly on geopolitical domination. They put to use centuries of experience in suppressing, weakening, and setting opponents against each other, and turn to their advantage enhanced political, economic, financial and now information levers as well.
“By this, I mean, for example, the practice of intervening in other countries’ internal affairs, provoking regional conflicts, exporting so-called ‘colour revolutions’ and so on. In pursuing this policy, they sometimes take on as accomplices terrorists, fundamentalists, ultra-right nationalists, and even outright neo-fascists. […]
“The military intervention in Iraq and Libya are the most vivid examples of this irresponsible and mistaken policy that has led to a rise in terrorism and extremism. It is clear to everyone today that this policy has contributed to the emergence of menacing organisations such as the Islamic State (DAISH). Terrorists have tried to turn to their advantage, and not without success, the breakdown in state systems and the results of, frankly speaking, clumsy experiments in exporting democracy to parts of the Middle East and North Africa. Every man and his dog talks about this now. It would be funny if it were not so sad, and if it were not the cause of so many tragedies.”