PREVIOUS FREE PAGES BLOG

PREVIOUS FREE PAGES BLOG
DIPLOMATIC FREE PAGES - click image

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Graham E. Fuller -- Where Donald Trump Makes Sense

Where Donald Trump Makes Sense
January 20, 2017


Many progressives so despise Donald Trump that they decry all his positions even those that make some sense, such as questioning NATO and the dangerous New Cold War with Russia, as ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller explains.
By Graham E. Fuller
With the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States, it’s hard to know where first to focus attention. Rage and righteous indignation on all sides are mounting. There is more than enough blame to go around for how the U.S. got itself into this situation. Where it will all go from here is beyond the imagination of the most lurid screenwriters of White House dramas.
Anti-Trump protesters at the presidential inauguration in Washington D.C. on Jan. 20. 2017. (Photo credit: Robert Parry)
Whatever the outrage du jour may be, we must not forget that history didn’t begin with the 2015-2016 presidential campaign/circus. To believe that is analytically lazy, an easy cop-out, even self-serving. Major elements of these deep domestic pathologies trace back at a minimum to America’s fateful actions from the very beginning of this disastrous American Twenty-first Century.
It was in 2000 that the Supreme Court, in an act of sheer partisanship, threw the contested Florida election to George W. Bush. This “decision” did two things: it demonstrated that the politicization of the Supreme Court had now touched the very pinnacle of the U.S. political order. The Court’s reputation would never recover from the event.

Second, it enraged many Democrats who felt that the election had been stolen from Al Gore, thereby tainting the presidency of George W. Bush from the outset. Bush’s incompetence, ignorance, and domination by dark neocon forces led us into a series of desperate wars in the Middle East that shaped the region down to this day — the Global War on Terror, the collapse of Iraq, Libya, Yemen, an Afghanistan on the ropes, the creation of ISIS on the smoking ruins of Iraq’s civil struggle and to the beginning of the Syrian agony whose impact has massively shaken even Europe, and pushed the nature of U.S.-Russian relations towards resuscitation of the Cold War.
Unlike other nations that have undergone terrorist cataclysms but succeeded in rising above it, the United States never survived the psychological shock of 9/11. It is still living with it. U.S. obsession with domestic security — in one of the world’s safer environments — even invented a new, Teutonic-sounding word “Homeland” to celebrate the birth of the security state; it also raised the corrosive specter of the “Muslim Other” in our midst.
It was this event that spurred Washington to massively expand the size and number of existing security and intelligence organizations, and create vast multiple layers of new ones. We see how they now compete and stumble around against each other; their very unmanageable size has arguably contributed to an overall deterioration in the quality of U.S. intelligence. A sober grip on the trajectories of world forces seems quite beyond Washington’s ken.
Whatever Donald Trump may think about the CIA — and how legitimate any of his perceptions may or may not be — his dissatisfaction is not entirely out of place; it would be prudent for him to undertake a close, zero-based review of the entire massive and redundant national security structure. More is not better; bigger is not better. The national security structure would be leaner, meaner, and more efficient were it immediately slashed by 50 percent at the outset.
All organizations work hard to preserve their individual corporate fiefdoms; when does a bureaucracy voluntarily ever downsize? Better intelligence is no longer even the real dynamic at work; institutional self-preservation is.
Militarized Foreign Policy
The militarization of American foreign policy grew special wings under the Global War on Terror. It is little wonder that so many of the key senior positions in the Trump cabinet and the White House are now being filled by military men: National Security Advisor, CIA chief, Director of National Intelligence, the NSA, the Secretary of Defense, etc. We narrowly missed a military Secretary of State.
President George W. Bush in a flight suit after landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln to give his “Mission Accomplished” speech about the Iraq War on May 1, 2003.
This is not to say that the military cannot produce significant competence at the top, but again the problem with the military — and a military budget that surpasses most of the rest of the world combined — has led to securitization and militarization of foreign policy. Defense trumps State every time. Global threats expand to meet and justify the military budget; military solutions become default approaches to world issues. Where would we be without our threats?
The new national security state has promoted the most dangerous security idea of all — the idea that international security is a zero-sum game; that among great powers everything takes on the character of a win-lose confrontation. Our think tanks earnestly scour the globe for “coming threats.” (I know, I’ve written many of them in my day.)
We cannot contemplate such a thing as a win-win relationship among great powers. Of course the massive resources consumed by the U.S. military (think of the staggering lost opportunity costs) are powerfully backed by the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower presciently warned us about half a century ago.
Now, coming to today’s real third-rail topic: Russia. The obsessive — virtually hysterical — narrative of Russia in U.S. domestic politics today is not really about a true threat to the national security. Russia hasn’t done anything that we don’t routinely do to ourselves (and others). Hacking abounds, it is the new growth industry.
“Blame Russia” instead is a convenient joint project for several unexpected bed-fellows: Clinton Democrats, embittered by Hillary’s defeat, seeking a scapegoat; Democrats who may detest Trump for quite understandable reasons, and seek to fully delegitimize his presidency at any cost and to refuse any constructive cooperation. What better device than to label him a Russian agent. End of discussion.
In addition, we have the military-industrial-security complex viscerally opposed to any kind of rapprochement with Moscow or talks with Putin; it’s simply bad for business. By all means investigate the Russians. But that is not basically why our nation is in a fix.
We are talking of sacred cows here. NATO is perceived as a God-given good in itself. Yet there are plenty of good, rational reasons for rethinking the place of NATO in the world. Try the views of the seasoned, beady-eyed conservative geopolitician George Friedman who does exactly that. Or my more critical blog of last July.
It constitutes neither treason nor ignorance to reconsider these foundations of our future place in a world that no longer resembles that of NATO’s founding. And of course by now NATO has its own priority of deeply-rooted institutional self-preservation at any cost, through promotion of ranges of new missions designed expressly to preserve its role. Serious debate with Europe about what NATO should and should not be is urgently due, but any such rational debate is not to be found in Washington, on this or so many other global strategy issues.
And finally, however emotionally satisfying, where does de-legitimization of the president take us? Rejection of the (highly flawed) electoral system entirely? Good luck at changing it. And who has the right to determine “legitimacy”? Our partisan Supreme Court? Determined citizens? This all represents exceptionally dangerous ground indeed. We’ve been down this de-legitimization route now against George W. Bush and Barack Obama (for differing reasons), and now Trump. It gets uglier with each iteration, but also exceedingly more dangerous to the nation as more and more people join the ranks of “he’s not my president.”
Draining the Swamp?
Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington had some allure during the primaries. The swamp goes back decades. Yet very little draining has yet taken place; instead we have a celebration of plutocracy in power as never before.
A sign supporting Donald Trump at a rally at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix, Arizona. June 18, 2016 (Photo by Gage Skidmore)
Money in politics has simply moved yet one further step up the rung, now foreshadowing a permanent future American corporatist governing structure. This deep, corrosive, bald presence of money in politics has grown by leaps and bounds in this century; no need to go to election 2016 to start bemoaning it.
It is self-deception if we let the coarseness of the Trump image lead us away from the thought that it has ever been much different. And the 90 percent left behind this time will be the chief victims of oppression, poor health, prejudice, discrimination.
The U.S. does not even seem capable of governing itself at this point, and the fault lines are sharpening. The specter of domestic political violence can hardly be excluded in this swirl of personalized politics of black hats and white hats. There is no debate, only vituperation, slander, vilification and demonization.
Drastic failures in U.S. foreign policies going back at least to 2000 have raised ongoing serious doubts in the eyes of the world about U.S. “leadership.” More and more countries, friends and rivals, are moving into damage limitation mode in dealing with us; their main task is to prevent the U.S. from dragging the rest of the world into dangerous confrontation.
Like so many others, I too am deeply disturbed at Trump’s style, manner, impulses, psychology, and policy preferences. Worse perhaps are their translation into dismaying top personnel choices. Trump himself may not be an ideologue but his appointments mostly are.
But don’t let the grossness of the immediate Trump symbol lead us to overlook the degree to which most of this goes back many, many years, and we all had a hand in it in one way or another.

Graham E. Fuller is a former senior CIA official, author of numerous books on the Muslim World; his latest book is “Breaking Faith: A novel of espionage and an American’s crisis of conscience in Pakistan.” (Amazon, Kindle) grahamefuller.com

No comments:

Post a Comment

PUTIN FRENCH



2017 FSB Meeting - RO from Roberto Petitpas on Vimeo.

BOTH VIDEOS AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH,FRENCH, ROMANIAN, PORTUGUESE

PRESIDENT





Labels

A BRAMERTON A. Orlov Abayomi Azikiwe ABIZAID ABOGADOS ABOGADOS PROGRESISTAS DE ESPAÑA Acción secreta activism Ajamu Baraka AL-ASSAD AL-HUSAINI Aleksandar PAVIC alex gorka Alex Lantier Alexander Azadgan ALEXANDER DUGIN ALEXANDER KUZNETSOV Alexandra Bruce Alexandre Artamonov ALEXIS Ambrose Evans-Pritchard an Greenhalgh Ana de Sousa Dias ANA SOUSA DIAS ANASTASOV Anatol Lieven Andre Vltchek ANDREI AKULOV Andrew Griffin Andrew Korybko Andrew P. Napolitano Andrey Afanasyev animals Ann Diener Ann Wright Anne Speckhard Ph. D. Anne Speckhard PH. D aRABIC ARAM MIRZAEI Ariel Noyola Rodríguez Asaf Durakovic Asma Assad ASMOLOV ASSANGE Avelino Rodrigues AVNERY BAKER bankers BAOFU Bashar al-Assad Baxter Dmitry BECKER Before it's News BEGLEY BERGER BILL SARDI Binoy Kampmark BOGDANOV Brazilian BRENNAN BRIAN CLOUGHLEY BULGARIAN BUTLER CABRAS Carey Wedler CAROL ADL CARTALUCCI CATHY O'BRIEN cats Chelsea Manning Choice and Truth Chossudovsky Chris Cole CHRIS HEDGES Christopher Black CIA Claire Bernish clinton Collective Evolution Comunidad Saker Latinoamérica COOK Covert Action Craig McKee CUNNINGHAM Daniel Lazare Daniel McCARTHY Daniele Ganser DANSK Darius Shahtahmasebi DARK JOURNALIST DARK JOURNALISTt DAVID HOROVITZ David Lemire David STERN David Swanson DEAN Deena Stryker Deutsch DINNUCI DIPLOMACY Dmisa Malaroat DMITRIY SEDOV Dmitry Minin Domenico Losurdo Donald Trump doni DONINEWS Dr. Kevin Barrett DUFF DUGIN EDITOR'S CHOICE EDWARD SNOWDEN Eliason Eliseo Bertolasi EMMONS endgahl ENGDAHL Eric S. Margolis Eric Zuesse ESCOBAR EUROPE Evan at Fight for the Future F. William Engdahl FANG Farage farewell address FEDERICO PIERACCINI FERRIS Finian Cunningham FORBIDDEN KNOWLEDGE TV forbidden nowledge Foster Gamble four horsemen Fr. Andrew Phillips FRANCESCA CHAMBERS Francesco Colafemmina Freeman FRENCH FRISK FULFORD Fuller G20 SUMMIT GALLAGHER Gareth Porter GARY NORTH General Flynn George Gallanis GERMAN GERMANOS Gilad Atzmon Gilbert Doctorow Glenn Greenwald GLOBAL RESEARCH GORDON GORDON DUFF Graham E. Fuller GREENHALGH GREENWALD Greg Hunter Gregory Copley GRETE MAUTNER GUEST CONTRIBUTORS GUNNAR GUTERRES HAGOPIAN Hakan Karakurt Herbert McMaster HERMAN hill HILLARY CLINTON http://www.independent.co.uk/ http://www.northcrane.com/ http://www.salem-news.com/ http://yournewswire.com/ HUDON HUDSON ideeCondividi INAUGURATION Inform Clear House Internet IODINE ITULAIN Ivan Blot JALIFE-RAHME JAMES James Comey JAMES CORBETT JAMES GEORGE JATRAS James ONeil JAMES PETRAS Jane Grey Jay Greenberg Jean Perier Jean Périer Jean-Claude Paye JEFFREY SMITH JEZEBEL JILL STEIN Jim W. Dean Joachim Hagopian john McCain JOHN PILGER John Podesta John W. Whitehead JONAS E. ALEXIS Jonathan Marshall JONES Joseph Thomas JULIAN ASSANGE KADI Kadir A. Mohmand Kadyrov kalee brown Karen Kwiatkowski Karine Bechet-Golovko KATEHON KATHEON Katherine Frisk Ken O’Keefe Kenneth P. VOGEL KERRY BOLTON Kerry Cassidy Kerry Picket Kevin Barret. VT Kim Petersen KIMBERLEY KINZER KIRYANOV KOENIG Konstantin Asmolov KORYBKO KORZUN Krum Velkov Larry Chin Laurent Gerra lavr LAVROV Le Saker Francophone LENDMAN Lionel Shriver LOFGREN LVOV MACMILLAN Makia Freeman Manlio Dinucci Manlio Dinucci - Manuel Ochsenreiter Marco Cassiano MARCUS WEISGERBER MARGARET KIMBERLEY MARIA ZAKHAROVA Mark Citadel Mark Taliano Markus Frohnmaier Martin Berger MARUSEK Matt Peppe MATTEO rRENZI MATTHEW COLE MATTHEW JAMISON MCLAUGHLIN MÉLENCHON MELKULANGARA BHADRAKUMAR MERCOURIS MEYSSAN MICHAEL AVERKO Michael Brenner Michael Hudson MICHAEL JABARA CARLEY Michael S. Rozeff Michael T. Klare Middle East MIG video Mike Whitney MINA Mint Press News MintPressNews MIRANDA Misión Verdad MKULTRA Mohamed Mokhtar Qandiel MOHMAND Montenegro MOON OF ALABAMA moonofalabama MOST DAMAGING WIKILEAKS NATO NEO NEWS DESK Nicholas Nicholaides Nick Turse NIKANDROV Nile Bowie NISSANI NOVOROSSIA novorussia obama obamas Olivier Renault ONU ORLOV OSCAR FORTIN PALESTINE PARRY Patrick J. Buchanan Patrick Martin PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS Paul Fitzgerald Paul R. PILLAR Paul Street PAYE PCR Pedro Bustamante PEPE ESCOBAR Peter Dale Scot Peter Dale Scott Peter Koenig PETER KORZUN PETRAS Ph.D Phil Butler PICCARD Pierre Farge PILGER PISKORSKI PODESTA Pope Francis PORTUGUESE PRAVDA prc PRESTON JAMES Prof Michel Chossudovsky Prof Rodrigue Tremblay Project Veritas PUTIN PYOTR ISKENDEROV Queen Elizabeth Rajan Menon Raphaël Meyssan rebecca gordon Redmayne-Titley RELAX réseau Réseau International Réseau Voltaire Réseau Voltaire: Revue Défense Nationale Ricardo Vaz RICHARD DOLAN Richard Galustian Richard Labévière Richard Spencer Rick Sterling Rob Urie Robert Bridge Robert J. Burrowes Robert J. O’Dowd Robert O’Dowd ROBERT PARRY robert steele ROBERTS rof. Mohssen Massarrat ROLAND Roland San Juan blog ROMANIA PROTESTS ROMANIAN Ron Aledo RON PAUL RT Rudolph Giuliani RUDY GIULIANI RUSSIA TODAY RUSSIAN Russian Insider Russie politics Russka RUSSOPHILE Ryan Dawson Ryan Gallagher Salman Rafi Sheikh sana sanders SANTOS SILVA SCAHILL SCOTT Scott Humor Sean Adl-Tabatabai SERGEY LAVROV Seth Ferris SHAKDAM Shawn Hamilton SHEIKH SIMON PARKES Smith & Wesson SNOWDEN SNYDER Sophie & Co Soros SOUTH FRONT SOUTHFRONT SPANISH speech GERMAN MP Speer-Williams Sputinik sPUTNICK SPUTNIK STACHNIO State of the Nation Stephen Kinzer Stephen Lendman Steve Pieczenik STEVE PIECZENIK: STONE STORM CLOUDS GATHERING StormCloudsGathering.com Strategic Culture STRATTON STRYKER Sunagawa Syria TAKEHON TALIANO TASS TEREHOV The Anti-Media THE INTERCEPT THE SAKER the true activist THERAPEOFJUSTICE Thierry Meyssan Third Presidential Debate Tillerson tom dispatch TOM ELEY Tom Engelhardt Tom Feeley TOM JOAD TomDispatch TOMGRAM Tony Cartalucci True Activist TrueActivist.com trump TSUKANOVA TTIP TURKEY TYLER DURDEN Udo Ulfkotte Ukrainian Deserter USA ELECTION USA ELECTIONS Valentin Vasilescu Van AUKEN Vanessa Beeley VASILESCU Vault 7 Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity VETERANS TODAY VETERNAS TODAY video videos VIETNAM VETERANS Viktor Mikhin VITALY CHURKIN Vladimir Chizhov Vladimir Safronkov VLTCHEK VT Waking Times WANTA Washingtons blog WAYNE MADSEN WESTBERG Westmoreland WHITEHEAD Whitney Webb WIKILEAKS Wikispooks William Blum WOODS world cup 2018 Xi Jinping YEMEN Youssef A. Khaddour ZAKHAROVA ZÉ GERALDO ZEROHEDGE ZUESSE