Ret-Conning Trump: Populism, Year Two

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With the dawn of Year Two of the Donald Dynasty, the battle lines of the Deep State versus the Outsider revolution have both expanded and realigned. Some friends of the latter are felt to have become enemies (Steve Bannon, more on later), while many bitter never-Trump foes have seemingly come to terms with the billionaire, and he with them in order to get things done. Much of the harmonizing has happened to enable the passing of major tax cut legislation, and some of it is just opportunistic Republicans hitching a ride on President Trump’s rocket ship. So far, the economy has been roaring back due to the Trump tax and regulation reductions, although Peter Schiff warns of a pending downturn. The phenomenon of the establishment DC set adopting to his ascendancy has resulted in a bit of “ret-conning” of the Trump legacy, to make it more conform to “how the world works,” as far as Washington is concerned. That at times has involved persuading Trump to use the ring of power, or swamp-controlled government, in order to execute his policy goal to “Make America Great Again.”

The Taking of Populisim 1-2-3

“Ret-con” is defined as new information that imposes a different interpretation on previously described events. In Trump’s case, the elite is trying to recast his project to “drain the swamp” into traditional two-party partisan puppet show terms, where he is only seeking to drain Democrats (also known as Dems) from office. The promise to end regime change, interventionist quagmires in the Mideast has been retooled (for now) into mission creep projects of another sort (create a border defense in northen Syria, protect Israel’s interests, ensure ISIS doesn’t reconstitute itself, etc—anything but a “let’s WITHDRAW, already” stance. “America first” has been re-calibrated into more a catch-all phrase that often stands more for whatever policy or staff hiring Trump was talked into this month, than what he campaigned on.

These changes were most effectively accomplished from inside the Trump White House, through the personnel he brought in, he thought, to help him reform the government. The tactic has been performed to help the elite make up for the failure of the insiders to defeat Trump in head on battle, or by their originally disregarding him as a fluke. That establishment ended up fluking themselves into total defeat over the last two and a half years on this basis. They laughed when Trump came down the escalator, and didn’t take him seriously. Then they underestimated his ability to fight back and outmanuever them, when they mounted a late drive to try to keep him fom getting the nomination. And then they ignored the more honest polling done by IBD, LA Times and Rasmussen showing the election race was close. Trump was not a fluke, he simply picked (or broke) the lock the elite had on the election process, while they were too distracted by their arrogance to notice.

Having blown it the traditional way, the elite has gone to the infiltration route to undo the Trump agenda. The short version of the new Deep State plan could be to triangulate Trump by 1) infiltrating his Cabinet with neocons or Goldman Sachs white-shoe boys who butter up his ego, while 2) having the MSM deliberately act in the obviously asinine oppositional fashion they have, drawing the right in to defend Trump all the more earnestly. End result, Trump tends to accept the white-shoe/neocon/war party staff counsel as gospel (at best), or as a preamble to their attempt to outright depose him later (at worst). As the Donald would say, Sad.

Sound and (Fire and) Fury, Signifying…

One of the chief watchdogs who saw this trend emerging was senior advisor Steve Bannon, who left the Adminstration in mid-2017 to return to work at the Breitbart site, and to promote true non-swamp candidates running in 2018 to remove swampy Republican incumbents. For issuing this outright threat to the statist order, he received tremendous pushback, to which he at times responded in the same less-than-tactful, more-like-windbag fashion that Trump does. This culimated in Trump recently repudiating Bannon for comments he made to tabloid level author Michael Wolff in his book Fire and Fury, where he openly complained about mistakes made by Trump’s daughter Ivanka, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and even Trump’s son Don Jr. while working on the campaign, and in the early days of the Administration. To Bannon, these errors were dreadful, but being excused strictly because the staffers were relatives of Trump, and came at the expense of furthering the policies the base supported.

This kind of thing explains why Bannon dared to challenge ‘Javanka.’ He knew it might come down to holding loyalty to the agenda, or to a Javanka/swamp/neocon-compromised Trump. To many populist voters, he was right—Bannon looks more on point in fighting the swamp than Trump, who appears to be currently brokering deals with the swamp. If this is the case, Bannon will be largely vindicated as events (and Trump compromises) go on. The populist agenda has become short-sighted, as it has no national leader in power if Trump goes away. Bannon was (at his best) pointing to the need to get more non-swamp people elected, to give the movement legs post-Trump. And he was showing people had to have the stones to be more loyal to the agenda than to the nepotism (that is, Trump standing behind his daughter Ivanka’s non-populist advice), or neocons and Goldman Sachs set corrupting the Trump WH, especially at crunch time for any controversy. We can only hope somebody takes up the organizational mantle for primarying swamp politicans (since the flap also resulted in Bannon being forced out of Breitbart, and losing some tycoon support for his primarying project). Bannon’s departure is a victory for the McConnell gang, not for populists.

A prime example of this difference between “agenda vs. vagina” priorities is Roy Moore’s loss in the special election in Alabama, where Majority Leader Sen. McConnell’s forces (Republicans, mind you, not Democrats) spent $30 million trying to defeat the GOP candidate. This loss was then blamed on Moore being a “flawed candidate,” and was used to put one of the nails on Bannon’s coffin (since he campaigned for him). What it actually signaled, for GOP voters in the Outsider era, is the umpteenth reason why the emphasis should be on DRAINING THE SWAMP, not merely “electing more libertarians and conservatives.” The swamp largely consists of swamp hack Democrats, AND swamp hack Republicans, who will cave to PC or to a statist liberal drumbeat whenever push comes to shove. Establishment fill-in Republican Sen. Luther Strange was just a fresh rookie swamp hack, who would have been folding under establishment pressure for decades to come. Pro-liberty populists should instead vote against new swamp GOP creatures from getting into office at every opportunity, even if that means letting a Democrat win instead.

Phony sex charges, and especially election fraud did in Moore. 92% Democratic turnout in AL, in an OFFyear, SPECIAL election? When has that ever happened, anywhere? And if one assumes the national attention the race got is responsible, how can there have been only normal offyear GOP turnout by comparison, for such a heavily covered campaign? The message of Alabama is that the swamp is going to cast ANY non-swamp person running as a “flawed candidate,” and subject them to last second sex smears. In truth, Moore was not a flawed candidate, he was a winning candidate who got smeared by fraudsters. The swamp intends to run this “last second sex lies” scam again and again on non-swamp candidates, just as they tried to with Trump last year. Many of us suspect that if Mo Brooks had won the AL primary instead of Moore, it would have been him who got suddenly beseiged with sex charges, from women swooping in out of nowhere. By dating several teenaged girls (to better ensure he would marry a virgin), Moore was acting as a Christian southerner who followed a legal and widely practiced habit of AL people of that time. Nobody even brought it up for 40 years, until just before he was going to be elected. With Moore, they took a guy who was ABOUT TO WIN, and who had no history of sex scandal, and made him look like a loser and a pervert. He won’t be the last to be so ambushed, so get ready.

These ambushers are the SAME exact establishment swamp people who, if Trump had lost in 2016 based on similar sex lies and rigged voting, would be babbling “Trump lost because he was a lousy candidate, Republicans should have never nominated him, and should never do anything like that again, blah, blah blah.” We all know the MSM had that talking point ready to launch on election night, but couldn’t do it, because he overcame the fraud and won. This is all about the crooked machinations of the never-Trumpers working in the case of Moore, with swamp pundits acting in their familiar role as get-away drivers for the election fraud. Real populists object to decent men being personally ruined by the elite’s machine. We’ll see how much of their reaction results in new non-swamp seats won in the 2018 mid-terms.

Who Owns Populism?

The populist liberty agenda, and draining the swamp, is bigger than both Bannon or Trump, so separating the two is necessary to keep the movement from becoming just a personality cult of Trump. Ultimately, the issue is over fighting the deep state, not over choosing between the deep egos of Bannon or Trump. Steve Bannon did not create Trump’s victory, but it is undeniable that he and Kellyanne Conway helped him win the election campaign. Bannon guided Trump to stay in touch with his base and stay agenda focused, while Conway helped him on message discipline (e.g., persuaded him to repeat his main stump messages more, while conducting fewer side battles on Twitter). Trump did NOT win all by himself, give his senior people some credit. The point remains, the populist movement is the AGENDA (economic nationalism, controlling illegal immigration, less foreign intervention, draining the establishment swamp), NOT Trump or Bannon. That agenda existed before Trump became its leader. The problem is the tendency of movements to become too much of a personality cult around one figure, to the point that only what that figure does is treated as the center of everything, instead of what the thing was supposed to be about. We may be at that tipping point now, with Trump morphing into some of the same incoherencies (e.g., being pro-life at home, but defacto pro-war, and thus pro-death, on every front imaginable abroad) that are characteristic of swamp conservatives.

Bannon wants Trump to hold to the mark of the agenda, not defend every dumb action of Javanka, or neocon/Goldman Sachs staff in his cabinet, or to push a loyalty cult. Bannon, like Trump, is sometimes “sloppy” in how he expresses himself (or even in his physical appearance), hence the current flap. I tend to think he is “sloppy” like a prophet, in the way John the Baptist would not visually go over well in a boardroom. When a movement gets too consumed over appearance than substance, watch out, it may be going into free fall. Give me sloppy progress, over neat compromise. To those who object to Bannon attacking Trump’s family, by calling son in law Jared Kushner “treasonous,” or questioning Ivanka’s influence in the Trump White House, I would ask: So, John the Baptist shouldn’t have complained about Herod’s wife? If you knew what Ceasar’s “best friend” Brutus was plotting, or where things were heading, wouldn’t you risk ‘insulting’ Caesar by pointing it out? To Bannon, the message is more important than loyalty cult delicacies. It’s hard to talk about whether Trump’s advisers are deviating from the agenda without naming the main names. The stack of things Javanka have done that have made things worse for Trump, vastly exceeds the harm done to him by a few honest complaints Bannon made about it to an author.

Perhaps both guys have the courage to speak their mind about the truth as they see it, and sometimes that leads to clashes, as with everybody else. Trump’s ego is such that he imagines himself as singularly great, but it doesn’t follow that everybody else has to be described as flawed. In fact, given Trump’s frequent tendency of luring his critics into an embarrasing trap, including even “Rick rolling” them on one occasion, at least somebody should understand the jujitsu Trump may be doing to the swampers. He knows they can’t resist a Trump-bashing book, so he may have winked at Steve and said, “okay, feed them distracting nonsense, like laying bait for the insects to come and get at the roach motel.” I wouldn’t be surprised if Bannon was in on the gag, and had Trump disawow him, so as to reel in the Never-Trumpers. 

Perhaps Bannon sees the need for a “brand extension” of the movement (where more people get to gain power so as to “keep fighting” the swamp) before it implodes into a cult of Trump. Whether Trump is or becomes co-opted or not, it is not healthy for him to be the only national face of populist liberty, or for him to be getting the sole acclaim for the progress being made. I think that by making himself a pariah and getting Trump to disavow him, Bannon has positioned himself to get the full credit from this point on for any winning candidate he backs. As soon as even one of Bannon’s primarying efforts pay off this year, he gets to first base in building a durable infrastructure for populism, with or without Trump. These moves STRENGTHEN Bannon’s position as an independent national figure, and that’s a good thing. Right now the populist agenda is being sustained by a single heartbeat—namely, Trump’s. If he is removed from office unexpectantly, swamp Republican Pence takes over, and we are back to square one. Bannon is creating an “insurance policy” of our own, that the movement can continue post-Trump.

The Fall of FISA, FBI and Reputations

Bannon is, indelicately, alerting Trump about his weaknesses—as in when Bannon called Jared et al’s meeting with the Russian “treasonous,” he was not referring to treason against the US, but against Trump’s campaign and agenda. He felt they were sabotoging him, by opening up Trump to ongoing foreign influence or money laundering investigations later, which has turned out to be exactly the case. As is about to be exposed in a hotly argued over classified Congressional memo, it now appears everything related to how Trump came to be put under federal surveillance (and later, endlessly investigated over collusion) was dishonestly contrived, to weaponize the Obama Justice Department to go after the opposition candidate. This same crooked apparatus (including some of the same staffers), seems to be behind the cover-up of Hillary Clinton’s email and slush fund related crimes, along with the orchestrated attempts to get her off the hook over multiple Title 18 felony violations. The whole matter has deeply wrecked the reputatons of the FISA court, the FBI, the DOJ and specific senior officials including former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, and special prosecutor Bob Mueller, among others.

Comey made his famous July 2016 press conference remarks protecting Hillary, despite it NOT BEING HIS JOB to publicly make such comments at all about a pending investigation. The FBI Director was only supposed to quietly recommend indictments over any violations to the DOJ, making it THEIR job to announce a decision. He held his press conferences because, as the token Republican in the Obama regime, his judgment would put a ‘bipartisan’ veneer on dismissing the email charges. Comey’s entire high-profile status at the FBI was about being a shill for team Hillary, in order to whitewash away their scandals.

Mueller is playing a similar role, using his rep to legitimize the probe into “Russian collusion,” that so far has not come up with any evidemce. That precious “impeccable reputation” is the key to Mueller’s power, and his utility as a swamp functionary for the elite. Don’t fire him (that’s their main trap, as that would give Dems the pretext to stretch this out as an “obstruction of justice” crisis). Instead, announce Mueller is himself formally under investigation as part of a major conspiracy to obstruct justice, in the Uranium One and other swamp cover-ups. I think that “all of a sudden” Mueller would then wrap up his investigation like lightning.

On the merits, the president’s attorney Ty Cobb is right, the Russian collusion inquiry is a nothing burger, and should soon be over. But Mueller’s investigation is not being substance driven, but agenda driven. So Trump’s attorney should be, as a matter of legal competence, warning his client to prepare for the long haul. The Democratic opposition to Trump surely is playing things that way, and still seeks to undo his agenda by hook (the fall elections) or crook (screetching about ‘collusion’ or finding a pretext for impeaching him).

The Democratic plan cleanly interlocks with the Mueller investigation. The Washington Post earlier reported that Mueller intends for his probe to go on deep into 2018 or 2019–meaning at least, until the midterm elections. The party can use that to credibly run on the smoke and mirrors about “Trump-Russian collusion” fueled by Mueller. Then, if they win back the House on this basis, he will suddenly come forward with “findings” that the collusion took place, to give Democrats the pretext they need to go forward with impeachment proceedings. It’s all about providing political cover, not evidence.

The Justice department (under that otherwise authoritarian disaster, Jeff Sessions) is possibly playing “rope-a-dope,” and taking hits from both the left and the right while it is quietly conducting investigations over all this politicized self-dealing, dark money and corruption. He’s hiding that his DOJ has been on to Mueller’s entrapment plan all along, and has been quietly counter-investigating the swampers for months. There are said to be thousands of sealed indictments, awaiting a formal announcement about prosecutions to come. We will know one way or another by the end of this winter, whether Sessions is fully part of the compromised swamp, or else is done playing rope-a-dope. A huge data dump is supposed to happen soon (from the Inspector General’s office) showing the corruption the Sessions-led DOJ has quietly uncovered, that WILL lead to prosecutions. If this is true, it had to be done on the sly by Sessions to catch the swamp off-guard. Once again, the swamp believed they were outfoxing Trump, this time thinking they could goad him into “obstructing justice” (by shutting down the investigation, or falling into a Mueller perjury trap). They planned this only to find out he was letting the probe run on, in order to peter out on its own, and to discredit itself over and over. Once again, Trump has outwitted them.

The Voter Immigration Tango

The showdown in Congress on the DACA non-legal immigrants is not about high libertarian principle (on either the open borders or protected borders side), but about votes. Trump wants to fulfill a main campaign promise going into the midterms, and the pro-amnesty Democrat side (with RINO GOP allies) wants to ride an emotional issue into taking back over majority control of Congress. Making good on the Wall is also vital for Trump to show that his administration will not be a repeat of the one sided victories of the Reagan era, where the economic conservatives got their tax cuts, but cultural conservatives got nothing. And the Wall is no longer a strictly Mexico vs US thing, as the majority of immigrants coming across the southern border are not Mexicans.

Yet another reason why Democrats are so furious they lost to Trump is the census issue. It goes beyond loyalty to Hillary, or even to packing the Supreme Court with 9th circuit liberals.The master plan of Democrats was to fast forward the demographic hijacking of Congress and the electoral college, by counting all the illegals as Americans in the 2020 census. This would allow them to permanently gerrymander the GOP out of majority status in the House, while they kept working on turning states like Florida permanently blue by packing it with more illegals. But with Trump in the WH and the GOP running Congress, they can’t control the census or gerrymandering afterwards. So in the interim, they place their hopes on securing more amnesty for the Dreamers, who they expect to help them finish flipping key states blue by the 2020 elections.

Trump’s proposal to provide limited amnesty for the DACA population in exchange for getting funding for his Wall has been genius, because the top Democrats have already rejected it. That again shows they are not interested in a deal, but more votes in November, while Trump appears to have compromised in good faith.

It’s an empty gesture. Trump can sound sympathetic to Dreamers, knowing the votes are not there for amnesty (just as they haven’t been there for 12 years when this was debated before). So Trump is offering a DACA for the Wall etc deal, knowing the Dems won’t get amnesty even if they take the deal (which they won’t). In fact, they’ll keep countering with a “DACA, and DACA only, or no agreement on the budget.” Bottom line, Trump bet he would look reasonable, while the swamp would not in an election year, and they would even get the blame for the government shutdown for a change. This is exactly how things played out in mid-January (when Democrats blocked a “continuing resolution” (CR) to keep the government going. A lot of Democratic Senators caved once the shutdown was on, causing some radical Dreamers to protest at Minority Leader Sen. Schumer’s house—how long before one of them does something really stupid, that forces the moderates to disawow them? And the public (Dem and GOP) have agreed in polls that putting the illegal DACAs before funding services for legal citizens was wrong. Since we now have the vote on record of the Dems blocking the CR, so they now own the 2018 government shutdown.

Meanwhile swamp Republicans pushing for DACA (even in the context of Democrats not agreeing to immigration reform). will be vulnerable to being primaried by anti-swamp, anti-amnesty GOP voters. Come March, no DACA deal will have passed, so Trump can begin to deport the dreamers, having given Congress enough six months to provide them amnesty. White House aide Stephen Miller should have made it short and sweet in his pitch to Trump on this: “Sir, you won’t win on DACA or the Wall if you cave. Come March, announce you are beginning the deportations.” Because he is a compulsive “winner,” Trump has thus war gamed this out perfectly. OFFER a limited amnesty deal, in exchange for the Wall etc, knowing Democrats and RINOs will never go for the wall. So we don’t GET an amnesty deal, but Trump ends up better positioned as the one who was trying to deal.

I myself have been critical of an emerging Trunp cult when it comes to issues like the PR beat down Bannon got, but the DACA battle is the opposite of Trump caving. As I’ve noted before, life is more like a movie, than a snapshot. Trump offers a DACA deal, the swamp rejects it, so the DACA deal doesn’t pass. Trump gets DACA amnesty to fail, without getting the blame for it failing. Pay attention to the whole movie and its end game, instead of a scene you may not like. It’s been evident for months that Trump is playing out such a strategy, that puts the Dems in a corner on immigration, and it is working. The fact that immigration ‘hardliners’ like Miller and Sen. Tom Cotton are on board with it (remember, they have attended Trump strategy meetings) is an additional, objective indication that it is in fact his strategy.

Israeli Entanglements 2.0

On top of this, anti-amnesty hardliners like Ann Coulter have certainly been holding Trump’s feet to the fire on the issue, especially by also telling him “enough already” with going back into a ‘foreign interventionism first’ mode when it comes to international policy. Coulter certainly has the moral authority to call Trump on this latest drumbeat for still more long wars and confrontation in the Mideast, as she carried water for the interventionists throughout the GW Bush era. She also has been Trump’s strongest defender on immigration, and took a ton of derision from the MSM for predicting he would win very early on. Yet, spurred on by neocon White House staff, the more-war, more confrontation Generals in his cabinet, and the FOXhead commentators he listens to on cable each week, Trump has “ret-conned” himself on the matter of brokering a peace deal in the Mideast. Trump announced the US will recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, and will be movng the US capitol to that city by later in his term. The Palestinians view this move as patently a non-recognition of their sovereign claims to the area, an arrogant ignoring of international laws recognizing Jerusalem as shared territory, and as a repudiation of any notion that the US could be an honest broker in the dispute. The UN voted overwhelmingly to the same effect in late December.

To each side his own. If the US wants to implement its already voted for decision (by Congress, in the ’90’s) to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, regardless of the negative impact on solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that’s our business. If most of the nations of the world do not support it (as again evidenced by the recent UN vote), because it worsens the conflict and violates long standing international law recognizing Jerusalem as a shared city, that’s their business. The UN doesn’t dictate to the US, and the US doesn’t dictate to the UN. Just because the US wants everybody to automatically fall behind the Empire as it “leads,” doesn’t mean most of the rest of the world wants to be led by it (just as voters in 30 states didn’t want to be led by Hillary). It’s called democracy.

But here’s the thing, as the saying goes: Most Palestinians are NOT terrorists or enablers of such, and what they have wanted is STATE-for-peace (recognition of Palestininan statehood, independent sovereignty, defined borders and the tight to defend itself), just like Israel and any other self-determined people. Israel has not yielded an inch on those matters, and has taken more and more Palestinian land via settlements since 1967. So while Trump’s announcement is consistent with the law Congress passed in 1995 to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol, let’s not think that demonizing one side while taking an “only Israel’s claims matter” position is contributing to resolving the dispute. Most Israeli Jews polled last year believe in a two state solution, a shared Jersulaem, and an end to settlements. The US can promote a different view, but let us not imagine this decision is engaging the rest of the world, when in fact it is disengaging from it. US Interventionism is the real isolationism.

The “statehood” deal offered to Palestinians in 2000 was the classic swiss cheese arrangement where Israel controls and patrols all the checkpoints to, from and inside the territory, with no real INDEPENDENT sovereign control or property rights for the Palestinians. That’s not statehood, be it of the ‘one or two’ variety. Palestinians do not want a sham state where they continue to be controlled as a colony, and want one with fixed borders (i.e., no more Israeli settlements). To repeat, last year’s polls in Israel confirmed that most Palestinians AND Jews in Israel support a two state solution, and an end to the settlements. It is the Likud government that is holding up the progress. Could it be that the reason for some extremists in Gaza conducting (somewhat amateur hour) bombardments be that the present arrangement was NOT conveying a true state status to them? And that if the Palestinians did have recognized statehood and borders, there would be no motivation for the violence? (And please remember, at least some of those bombings were likely Mossad false flags, designed by controlled provocateurs to vilify the Palestinian side and thus justify Israel not recognizing statehood.)

It’s not as if Jordanians fire weapons over the Israeli border, despite Arabs and Muslims being on the other side in Jordan. Why not? Because, their statehood and borders are respected. Once statehood is mutually acknowledged and substantively delivered, peace will finally follow. The point remains that Jordan has had no border issues with Israel for decades, which establishes that peace with Arabs/Muslims and Israel is doable. If BOTH sides bilaterally acknowledge each other states’ right to exist, then negotiations can proceed. But one people UNILATERALLY demanding the other side recognize its sovereignty, while aggressively denying acknowledging the other people the same right, is clearly not working, and hasn’t worked for 70 years.

Time to Disentangle

Nor has the Israel-only propaganda line that “there is no Palestine” been accurate or helpful as that dogma has been thoroughly refuted as a matter of history, geography, and international law. It’s one thing for Israel to claim its right to the territory, but quite another to assert that any other claim is therefore illegitimate or fully superseded. Should the US return all land it “stole” from the Native Americans, who also controlled the land hundreds of years before us? Like it or not, controlling or occupying territory for centuries does give the US a legitimate sovereign claim to the land, so Palestinians have the right to the same. That right does not go away because another party is making a competing claim, it just makes it a dispute that should be RESOLVED, not ignored. Two thirds of the world’s nations agree—Palestine has the same sovereign right to exist, and to self defense as any other people.

Statehood is the issue. Balfour referred to Palestine as a real state in the declaration letter 100 years ago, and the UN referred to Palestine as a state the same time it declared Israel to be a state in 1948. In that context BOTH sovereign peoples have the right of self-determination to define their homeland. What matters is where a self-determined people say their home is. Palestinians say it’s Palestine, just as Jews said it was Israel. In both cases, that settles the matter. In addition, the vast majority of Palestinians and Muslims and Arabs are not terrorists or extremists, but keep getting lumped in with the latter (as if they share collective guilt about the violence) by the Israel-only advocates. The one-sided fixation with framing the dispute only from Israel’s perspective (“we’re the victims, they are the haters”), I repeat, shows why this matter is so intractable, as demonizing one side will not resolve anything. Until both sides of the conflict get their sovereign rights respected, there will still be a conflict.

Most Palestinians are peaceful, and the home they have a 1400 year history in and claim to is Palestine, not modern Jordan. The issue is the disputed territory that includes Jerusalem. To imply that the territory is NOT disputed, which is what the new policy will do, will not resolve the conflict. I.e., “facing reality” cuts two ways. Accordingly, the best way to a deal in the Mideast will come from giving BOTH sides what THEY say they want, not what Israel keeps saying the Palestinians want. The Palestinians have not accepted the swiss-cheese “statehood” deals they have been offered, because none of them came with providing the state true sovereignty,defined borders, and a right to defend itself, just like Israel. A “deal” that only recognizes Israel’s sovereignty, and control of all the checkpoints it wants in the Palestininan areas, is 100% not a deal. In all the past proposed agreements, Israel gets to treat Palestine as a defacto colony, not as a fellow country.That is why these bad deals were rejected. And characterizing all aspects of Hamas as “terrorist” runs counter to international conventions, that holds that a people under occupation cannot be demonized as “terrorists” if they fight their occupiers.

The US stays entangled in these squabbles because we choose to interject ourselves, by funding all sides of the Mideast, arming Israel to the teeth, and wanting to use our military clout to crowd out Russia, China or Iran from having an influence in that hemisphere. But what does all of this meddling have to do with defending our borders? Or with Congress declaring war, which is the only constitutional basis for our deploying force or military support anywhere? The intervention serves the aims of the Empire, not America the Free Republic the Founders imagined. The right libertarian answer is: Cut all foreign aid, period. No welfare to Palestine, Israel or anybody else. And let’s turn over trying to negotiate the Mideast conflict to an international body, rather than continue to act as both the referee, and Israel’s tag team partner in the same match. We are not supposed to have entangling alliances with ANY nation, according to the Founders, let alone give any other country ongoing welfare. The federal government is simply not supposed to be supplying ongoing foreign aid/welfare to dozens of countries.

“Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.” –Jefferson, Inaugural Address

“It is our true policy to steer clear of entangling alliances with any portion of the foreign world.” –George Washington

Iran Redux

But the drive to meddle is strong with the swamp, and Trump continues to succumb to its power trips on certain subjects, like occupying Syria, and ‘fixing’ the nuclear weapons deal with Iran. Because he chose to further solidify US entanglements with Israel, who want no rivals in the region,  Trump (and through him, the US hegemon) continues to pester Syria (with ongoing troop deployments, even after defeating ISIS) and repeated attempts to blow up the nuclear deal reached with Iran under Obama (and five other nations). The war party crazies advising Trump appear to want the US to have unilateral veto powers over a multilateral agreement. The key issue remains that Iran’s verified compliance with nuclear inspections has frustrated the neocons, who have no objective basis for asserting their usual “threat, threat, threat” rhetoric ahead of invading and bombing yet another country that has not attacked us.

They also seem to want a nuclear “deal” where they get everything they want from Iran OUTSIDE of the nuclear issue (a complete end to any future missle plans it might have, inspections of all its military facilities, regime change, no more support of Hezbollah, etc). while Iran gets nothing in return (no lifting of sanctions, ever). The problem is no nation on earth would agree to such a one-sided deal. Meaning, what the war party really wants is war, not an agreement.

This goes likewise for declaring Iran (a country that has not launched a war against anyone in 200 years) to be an aggressor or enabler of terrorism (Saudi Arabia is the actual main exporter of terrorism in the region). Iranians vote in their governments, and have voted mostly for moderates in recent elections. Iran’s desire to remain independent is only a “problem” for globalists and interventionists who want the US to hold dominant influence in every hemisphere. The real beef is the one globalists supporters of a perpetual US Global Empire have with countries (like Iran) who want to remain independent from the US. Our country is not (or no longer) threatened by these nations, so we should withdraw from their region, period. The globalists do not want us to withdraw from intervening in these regions, because they want the Global Empire to dominate everywhere. “Sovereignty for me, but not for thee.”

The US has tried to overthrow the governments of about 60 countries in the last 60 years via overt or covert means, and succeeded about half the time. Iran was one of those nations (1953), until they overthrew the dictator the Empire saddled them with in 1978.  As a sovereign independent nation, it is entitled to decide to provide military or other aid to whatever nations it chooses to, despite attempts to de-legitimze any support it gives as “aid to terrorists” or a “threat.”

Saudi Arabia, a far worse country in every human rights, Muslim extremist, and anti-democratic respect, is by far the main or real exporter of terrorism in the region (to repeat myself). Yet we are taught to focus on Iran because it isn’t a puppet or client state of the Empire, like the Saudis are. Such selective and disingenuous demonization of nations is plainly being done because of their resistance to being client states of the US, not because their actual flaws. The neocon conflation of opposing US interventionist policy with “hating America” is part of the syndrome. Real Americans hate THE EMPIRE, not our country, and we want to take our country back from the globalists and warhawks. The neocon response to this traditional sentiment is to declare it “naive” or romantic, even as they self-servingly cast their empire-building efforts to control all nations as “fighting for our freedoms.” In short, while most governments of the world are dictatorial, the war party seems to be only obsessed with the ones that are not US client states, while utterly unconcerned about MUCH worse states so long as they play ball with the Empire. Iran is a poster child example of the war party’s hyper-inflation of yet another pseudo-threat, to create a pretext for yet another war.

This tendency needs to be called out for what it is—globalist, in wanting to describe the rest of the unaligned world as a threat, to justify the US having an ongoing global intervening military force. Iran’s ambition is simply to be free from being co-opted by the US, or anybody else. I am a realist, tired of the US engaging in an unconstitutional overreach that it cannot sustain. Believing it can is what is romantic, and what keeps leading us to one Mideast quagmire after another. To the extent Trump is leading the populist wave that he rode into office with, by increasingly embracing war party doctrine, he may be squandering it. Populism’s soft underbelly is becoming its incoherent foreign policy under the new, ret-conned Trump. It at times understands the damage done to America by the War Party, Israel Firsters, and the “regime change 24/7” crowd, yet at other times goes full neocon in pushing for belligerent ‘diplomacy’ and intervention. This concluding comment by John Gruskos at the American Conservative explains:

“A key issue with Both Bannon and Trump…is that they never fully embraced a logically consistent nationalism. They continued to flirt with neocon foreign policy, and never fully embraced a nationalist (which is to say, a non-interventionist) foreign policy. The movement was built on sand. It should have been built on a rock…”

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