Bolton is a crafty behind-the-scenes operator within the bureaucracy, and has chosen one of his own allies to replace Mattis, with Trump's blessing.
The identities of Mattis and Bolton are simple to figure out from the blind item. But what about the new Defense Secretary ("Beardo")? Here are the hints, where Mattis is Smoothie and Bolton is Mustache:
Smoothie’s best bet is to simply resign himself to the fact that the end is near… and try to keep from making any big gaffes before it’s his time to leave!
You definitely know Smoothie and Mustache, as they are currently high-ranking officials.
Frankly, you would have to be a Washington insider to know Beardo. The general public will meet him in a few weeks, after the midterms. And then, if everything goes according to Mustache’s plan, you will not stop hearing about Beardo for the next two years!
I did an image search for "neocon beard," and Frank Gaffney came up. He's a close Bolton ally, insane hardline neocon, sucked up to Trump big-time about getting out of the Iran nuclear deal, and is certainly not a known name to the general public.
Re-reading those paragraphs, I got sick to my stomach upon noticing the give-away clue words -- "gaffes" and "Frankly". It's Frank Gaffney, no question.
As a so-called anti-Islamic anti-jihadist conspiracy theorist, will Gaffney use his position as head of the war department to invade jihadist ground zero, Saudi Arabia? Only a gullible MAGA-tard would think that at this point.
Having bad-mouthed the Muslim Brotherhood means nothing either -- Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood are sworn enemies, since the former favors direct militarist jihad while the latter prefers Islamist infiltration of civic institutions instead. Strategic differences, not ideological. The only way to tell if someone is against jihadism and Islamism is for them to want nothing to do with either Saudi Arabia or Qatar.
Generally speaking, the GOP aligns with Saudi Arabia, since the military controls the GOP and therefore aligns with the militarist approach to jihad favored by Saudi Arabia. Democrats are controlled by the media, finance, info tech, and intel sectors, and therefore align with the more financial and propaganda approach to jihad favored by Qatar.
The litmus test is Syria -- both of these fanatic Islamist nations want to destroy the secular nationalist government of Syria. If someone criticizes both Saudi Arabia and Syria, they are controlled by Qatar (liberals). If they criticize Al-Jazeera or the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as Syria, they are controlled by Saudi Arabia (conservatives). If they criticize Saudi Arabia and Al-Jazeera / Muslim Brotherhood, and defend Assad against the jihadists who want to replace him, they are controlled by no Middle Eastern nation, and they are the true anti-Islamists (anti-imperialists on the Left or Right).
Neocon garbage only uses their attacks on the Muslim Brotherhood and Muslim immigrants who bring their alien ways to this country, in order to further their own goals, not the goals of those who they dupe among the electorate.
Gaffney will not defend an anti-jihadist government like Assad in Syria or Hussein in Iraq or Qaddafi in Libya or Arafat in Palestine. That is what Trump promised during the campaign -- they're bad guys, but they're secular strongmen who keep the jihadist whackjobs in line, and that's the only alternative, so let's just leave the secular strongmen alone, unless we want more jihadism being spread all around the world. But Trump the candidate was not a neocon looking to prolong the Cold War in the Middle Eastern theater.
Gaffney, like all neocons including his ally Bolton, will use smokescreens about the Muslim Brotherhood in order to give a 100% free pass to Saudi Arabia, jihadist militias, and radical Islam as it truly exists and stems from our Saudi ally. He will instead try to attack a secular state like Syria, or the non-jihadist Muslim government of Iran, which is in fact the target of the jihadists. Absolutely nothing will change about the US military having as their #1 ally the jihadists and Zionists in the Middle East, and directing foreign policy in alignment with Saudi and Israeli goals, mainly against Iran.
The blind item says Bolton will try to make sure that we never stop hearing Gaffney's name for the next two years -- most likely an invasion of Iran, sponsored coup against Iran, something big to do with Iran. It's the only place the neocons have left to go against the original Axis of Evil, and one of the few things that strongly unite the Pentagon, the jihadists, and the Zionists.
Rationalizers have been saying, "It doesn't matter if Trump has bent the knee to the neocons on foreign policy -- at least he hasn't started another Iraq War". Famous last words. Bush Jr. didn't start his Iraq War until the start of his third year, 2003, after the midterms. Ditto for Bush Sr., in 1991 after the midterms.
I haven't brought that timing up for fear of jinxing it, but that doesn't matter now that we know an insane neocon is going to replace the relatively milder Mattis (still a deluded and failed imperialist, but at least realistic on Iran and the nuclear deal).
The only possible saving grace this time around is that we're about to plunge into a major recession or depression, thanks to the central banks of the world tightening their monetary policy. Our chief central banker Jerome Powell, popper of the Everything Bubble, is one of the few Trump appointees I actually like (naturally Trump himself hates his guts).
Hopefully that will make it too untenable to undertake a massive war that must be financed by an insane amount of debt (trillions), knowing full well it will all be wasted rather than earning a return on the investment, just like all the other failed neocon wars ("Blood for no oil," in Greg Cochran's phrasing).
The choice will be between feeding America or fattening up the generals. Imperialism is necessarily globalist, sucking the core nation dry in order to fund the failures of its chessboard players on the other side of the world. This will weed out the mouth-breathers on the Trump supporter side, from those who genuinely don't want any more of our over-extended empire, especially in the Middle East, bankrupting the treasury and staining our honor with yet another pathetic failure, not to mention all the pointless death and destruction inside the targeted nation.
As we head toward the Second Civil War, an invasion of Iran could easily be for our neocon era what the Bleeding Kansas conflict was for the plantation slavery era. And unfortunately, that would not be solved by the next presidential election -- like the 1850s, we appear bound for two, not just one, terms of disjunctive, end-of-an-era rule. The opposition has collapsed just as much as the Whigs did back then, albeit in a less formal manner.
A war against Iran, like spreading slavery beyond its original boundaries, ought to ignite the opposition into finally re-aligning themselves into the dominant party and de-throning the party that has shaped society in its image for the past several decades. But just watch how many Democrats, liberals, and MSNBC anchors and talking heads are going to respond to a war against Iran with tepid annoyance at best, and eager war-mongering at worst, just like Hillary et al during the last major war in the Middle East. Gleefully joining in with the dominant party's major action was hardly what the opposition needed in order to win over voters in the upcoming election.
Whatever particular form these policies take, there can be no doubt that after the mid-terms, we're going to enter a truly dark phase of this increasingly neocon administration.
Can't agree, at least till I see it. Trump was long a critic of all our post-9/11 wars, and likely had some complaints about Clinton's actions in Somalia and Sarajevo.ReplyDelete
The opportunity with Syria was pushed mightily upon Trump, and he responded by sending a few missiles and then doing nothing more. He lowered the temperature significantly with North Korea, to the point we don't hear any more war talk with them.
A long, drawn-out neocon/neoliberal war really doesn't suit his temperament, either. Trump likes quick, decisive actions; he wants the building put up tomorrow, the skating rink frozen the next day, and people moving in the following day. The limited, quick missile strikes in Syria are about right; he's sick of the body bags.
Trump is not a character in a story, so his traits do not matter. ("Trump likes this" or "Trump's temper inclines him toward that".)ReplyDelete
Large-scale governance comes from institutions, factions, coalitions, etc. -- made up of largely interchangeable people who carry out certain roles, or they will get replaced by others who can.
That's why our trade deficit is widening far worse than under Obama, we have more troops in Afghanistan and Syria and everywhere else, and why illegal border crossings are worse than any of Obama's years other than the 2014 surge.
Trump's temperament, individual views, etc., led him to campaign against all of those things. But now that he's been president for two years, he hasn't accomplished anything on those issues -- in fact, they have all worsened.
That's because troop levels, trade policies, and immigration numbers are not like what movie a small group of friends is going to watch on Saturday night. Well, this guy likes comedies, that guy wants some action, they haggle this way, they compromise that way, and in the end, they see Beverly Hills Cop.
There are no stakes to what movie a small group of friends goes to see, so there's no real conflict, and no institutions that spring up in order to push for their collective interests on that matter.
Once you get to the real issues of the government, it is more about coalitions pursuing a shared goal, regardless of which individuals are enlisted in the battle.
That's why Trump hiring Gaffney to replace Mattis is so destructive -- Mattis and Bolton represent somewhat different factions within the imperial foreign policy apparatus, and Mattis has been able to keep the real psychos somewhat in check.
It is not Mattis' personality or character traits -- there are others exactly like him, in wanting to check the crazies like Bolton, of whom there are also a large number who would be equally crazy in his place.
Putting Gaffney in Mattis' place is not a switch of individual characters, but an unbalancing of the factional forces. Bolton's faction now gains, and the somewhat more realistic faction loses. That threatens to make our imperial military policy all the more insane after the mid-terms.
The time to worry is always before, not after. "Bolton has not officially been named as National Security Adviser, so quit worrying about neocons taking over the administration". Well, then he *was* named to that top position.ReplyDelete
Waiting until the bad thing has already happened is just fatalism, and rationalizing inactivity. You assume you can just "wait and see," and if it turns out a way you don't like, you can just tell Trump, and he'll change his decision to one more pleasing for you.
Sorry, not how it works. Once he names Bolton as NSA, that's it. When Gaffney is named Defense Secretary, that's it. Maybe in a year or so they'll be removed, but not because you or anyone else pressured him to. You lobby before the decision is made, not after.
But like I said, that's obvious, so when people say "Don't worry until it actually goes wrong," they're conceding that they can't affect anything, that Trump doesn't care how his hardcore fans feel, and so it's pointless to lobby him or anyone near him about hiring Bolton, Gaffney, and the rest.