Now that the Trump Effect has worn off sufficiently to give the Congressional elections to the Democrats, many Trump fans are despondent. Paul Craig Roberts has written a commentary commiserating with them. However, PCR seems a little confused. He declares that Trump was originally an anti-Establishment candidate but then when elected, was pulled off course by his opposition. True, Trump sounded, for example, like he wanted to stop illegal immigration, but he never implemented plans to build the promised wall. And he presented as anti-Muslim and said he would keep Muslims from entering the country, but if you looked at the final version of his no-visa list, it exempts, and hence, welcomes, the most dangerous groups, such as Wahhabists from Saudi Arabia, while blocking the more harmless Christians and Shiites from Syria. It was not anti-Muslim, it was anti-moderate Muslim! Not what the voters had in mind, but most did not read the details because of their implicit trust in their hero. But because Trump put up a good talk, he was seen as infallible and his decisions became the new conservatism. Well, Neoconservative means new conservative. Why be surprised? He was a Neocon all along.
If you had listened closely to Trump, you would have seen that he was never anti-Establishment at all, although he spoke against the Establishment to garner votes during his campaign.
The big give-away was his anti-Iran rhetoric, which, as even PCR admits, was warlike and pleasing to the Neocons.
To understand why Trump could never have been deemed anti-Establishment by a wide awake observer, we need to look at the 4 most important markers, which are simultaneously the drivers, of Establishment policy, ie:
the arms manufacturers
Let’s examine these one by one:
Trump ran to Saudi Arabia as his first foreign visit as president and danced a fiendish looking sword dance with them. And he promised to sell them $400 billion worth of arms. The terror-sponsoring Saudis have been the most dangerous enemy of the American people — while also being the best friends of the US oligarchs. Trump was solidly pro-Establishment in this point, more so than most other presidents.
During his campaign, Trump spoke before AIPAC and told them he would always side with Israel. He kept that promise. Even though Israel fired 800 missiles into Syria in 2018 alone, killing soldiers who were fighting ISIS, and destroying infrastructure belonging to their anti-terror military. Worse, while Israel murdered hundreds of Palestinian protesters, Trump cheerfully moved the US embassy there to Jerusalem, tacitly supporting and even endorsing this murder and terror support.
In fact, Trump was solidly pro-Establishment in points 1, 2 and 3 because both Saudi and Israel hate Iran viscerally and would love to see the US attack the country. The dissolution of the Iran nuclear deal by Trump pleased both of these states, but it hurt the US because as a result of Trump's rupture, Russia, China and the EU, who wish to continue the deal, are now seeking ways to skirt the sanctions and the denial of SWIFT payment transfer rights to Iran. As a result they have come up with an agreement to create and use a SWIFT alternative, ie, the Special Purpose Vehicle. If this alternative can be implemented, all or most transactions with Iran and many other countries will be denominated in non-dollar currencies, which will tend to reduce the value of the US dollar. Other countries also have an interest in skirting US sanctions, including India, which just signed a deal with Russia to buy the banned S-400 air defence system. Payment will be in rupees.
The reader may ask why the Obama administration entered into the Iran deal that Trump and his supporters vehemently oppose. This is a question worthwhile looking into, but briefly we can state that while both Israel and Saudi hate Iran, the Democrat grassroots, though generally toeing the line on the bipartisan pro-Israel position, are also generally less Evangelical in their theology and not as inclined to accept dogmatic “Christian” Zionism. Therefore the Jews, while being loyal Democrat team mates, do not represent for the Democrats a sacred people anointed by God.
There is a great irony here in that while the Democrats base their platform on a less-Biblical view, and the Republicans tend to blindly support Israel, the fact is, a more-strict Biblical viewpoint would match the Democrat position better in real world terms than the Evangelical “Zionist” view, which is based on several misunderstandings and misinterpretations of the scripture, as explained here. Thus an atheist view is in fact closer to Biblical teachings than the stereotypical Evangelical view.
3.--The arms manufacturers
As for point 3, Trump’s sanctions on all Russian weapons sales are expected initially to foster their interests. What actually happens may, however, defeat their purposes, as the de-dollarization campaign gains traction and US arms are forced to compete with the often superior and cheaper Russian ones. But never expect the US to think long-term.
4.--The Federal Reserve
The sanctions mentioned above also benefit the Fed short-term. Further, Trump’s extremely pro-Saudi position benefits the Fed by implementing the US policy of propping up the USD under the petrodollar agreement concluded in 1973 between President Nixon and King Faisal. The myth of how this agreement supposedly benefits the dollar but may in fact be less beneficial than expected is explained here.
Thus in all 4 of these cardinal points, Trump has been the perfect Establishment candidate.
Paul Craig Roberts ends his commentary on a dour note, saying “My conclusion is that America is doomed. The people, with few exceptions, are not smart enough to continue to exist.”
He is right that Americans lack the intelligence to analyse their situation accurately and thus make rational decisions. For over a century, they have failed to seek solutions outside the established framework of the two-party system that keeps failing them colossally.
Yet while the US lacks the potential will and intelligence to solve its problems internally, it does not need to do anything on its own to make major changes in US foreign and military policy because Russia and China are changing the world’s political architecture drastically and bending international will to their own, and not through trickery, subterfuge or propaganda but by offering a better deal to their clients. In the 3 years since Russia entered the war in Syria, most terrorists have already been routed and the only terrorists still in the game are the ones enjoying US protection, eg, near the US bases at Deir Ezzor and Al-Tanf, near the Turkish border north of Manbij and in Idlib, where the US insisted on freezing a bad situation in place, although the Russians are prepared to defeat the terrorists there despite US efforts to protect their pals. De facto, Russia is well on the way to controlling the Middle East (with its eye on Lebanon next), and that means less war and more fruitful negotiations between factions, restoration of the will of the people in national politics and better guarantees of sovereignty for the nations there. As for China, it will continue to make loans and investments that target the prosperity of the nations of the region.
None of these positive changes will require input from the US people.