Observations on the Insanity of American Politics
Commentary on “An Open Letter on Donald Trump from GOP National Security Leaders”
By Charles Sulka
The undersigned, all card-carrying members of the neoconservative movement, have signed a declaration of war on presidential candidate Donald Trump. The neocons are a powerful force in American politics, and pose a real threat to candidate Trump.
Trump is not afraid. (Trump is not afraid of anything.) Trump knows he can overcome all enemies with his bluster and his mouth. He can slay his critics in droves with nothing more than the jawbone of an ass. The man is armed and dangerous.
The neocons think that Trump is revolting. Trump is not sophisticated like they are. Trump speaks plainly, and says some crazy things. In doing so, he connects with the American people. Unsophisticated people, to be sure, and more than a few crazy people. There are lots of unsophisticated, crazy people in America.
Trump says some creepy things. His supporters just laugh. Maybe they don’t know that the things that Trump says are creepy? This whole business makes the neocons uneasy. The American spectators love it. They think this might be the time the Beltway Bandits get their just rewards… and Donald Trump might be the man to do to them what they have been doing to the American people.
Trump also says some truly disrespectful things — especially about immigrants, women, and people of other races (Trump thinks of himself as white although there are some decidedly colorful aspects to his persona.) But worst of all in their eyes, Trump says bad things about the neocons themselves. This really bothers them. The neocons are perplexed. They have accumulated all of the money while destroying the economy of the most productive nation on earth, reducing everyone else to lives of quiet desperation. And still, like Rodney Dangerfield, they can’t seem to get any respect. They certainly do not get any respect from Trump or his supporters. If Trump scares them, his supporters frighten them even more.
The truth is, the neoconservatives are afraid of Trump, afraid that he and his angry rabble might rise up in outrage and take back everything they (the neocons) have stolen. They are envious of his groundswell of popularity at a time when their politics is held in disrepute by a growing number of Americans fed up with business as usual in Washington. (And London, and Paris, and Rome….) Apparently many Americans find the neocons even more revolting than Trump. (Go figure.)
The neocons are also more than a little bit worried. Trump says that if he were president, he would string them all up by their … (whatever.) The neocons don’t know whether Trump would really try such a thing, but they are fairly certain that Trump’s followers would make not the slightest effort to stop him if he did. They can read the writing on the wall.
The neocons could go down in history as the big losers in this battle. (Let us hope so, for the sake of America and all that is good in the world.) The neocons’ attempt to claim the high moral ground is the epitome of hypocrisy.
A point-by-point examination of the neocons’ charges against the aspiring presidential candidate shows them to be blinded by appalling presumption and hubris…
a) Trump’s vision of America …
“His vision of American influence and power in the world is wildly inconsistent and unmoored in principle. He swings from isolationism to military adventurism within the space of one sentence.”
Valid point. Republicans, on the other hand, are consistent. Neocons never waver from advocating globalism coupled with military adventurism — both time-proven losing propositions. Everybody loses under the neocon agenda (except for the rich.) Globalism has all but destroyed the American economy (as well as many others) and America’s influence in the world with it. As to America’s military power, losing the past how many (?) wars in a row sends a strong message to the world — that America does not know when to quit. (Or, that America is not interested in peaceful co-existence with the other nations of the world. Or, that America does not know any other way to behave toward others. Or, that America is not really interested in ‘winning’ wars; rather America’s state of perpetual war is intended to keep the foundering economy afloat while boosting the revenues of the war profiteers.) The Republican attack on the candidate’s position is inane. The damage to America’s influence and power has already been done — and the neocons did it.
b) Trump’s talk of trade wars …
“His advocacy for aggressively waging trade wars is a recipe for economic disaster in a globally connected world.”
Trade Wars are coming. This is inevitable as the world economic order breaks down. The people of the world will see the inherent value in self-determination and self-reliance. Still, countries with productive economies will try to capitalize on foreign markets. America will lose; indeed, America has already lost. Wake up! America is no longer a productive economy. By the time America can get the factories up and running again, the rest of the world will have left this nation in the dust.
Wake up! Accept the fact that so-called Free Trade is nothing more than a veiled plan to undermine America’s sovereignty, making America a vassal state in the corporatist New World Order. One-world corporate governance (to protect the interests of the elites and subjugate the rest of mankind) is soon to be followed by one-world religion (materialism and a ‘god of fortress’ to use a Biblical term.) It’s all part of the neocons’ plan. The Republican program to undermine national sovereignty and enslave the human race to corporate masters is widely recognized for what it really is. The only ones being fooled are the neocons themselves, who think they have hornswoggled the rest of the world. As to the candidate’s plan being a recipe for economic disaster … it is hard to imagine how anyone could do more of a hatchet job on the American economy than the neocons have already done.
c) Trump’s embrace of torture …
“His embrace of the expansive use of torture is inexcusable.”
Hello? Who do you think is the world leader in torture? America. And who do you think advocates America’s war crimes and torture? Not to mention illegal wars of aggression, slaughtering millions? Republicans (especially the neocons), that’s who. Who do you think is behind the right-wing assassinations and civil rights abuses — including widespread torture — in Central and South America? Who do you think plans and supports the overthrow of democratically-elected governments throughout the world? America. Who supports the most repressive regimes and human rights violators, such as Saudi Arabia and Israel? America. The Republicans condemning the candidate’s advocacy of torture is blatant hypocrisy.
d) Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric …
“His hateful, anti-Muslim rhetoric undercuts the seriousness of combatting Islamic radicalism by alienating partners in the Islamic world making significant contributions to the effort. Furthermore, it endangers the safety and Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of American Muslims.”
Sucking up to the Saudis, are we? We would not want to offend a stalwart ally like Saudi Arabia, the most repressive religious dictatorship on earth, where women are property and political dissenters and those found guilty (in kangaroo courts) of trivial offenses are routinely beheaded. The shameful reference to respecting the religious freedoms of Muslims is particularly galling. Like Republicans have the slightest respect for Muslims and their culture. Under Republican leadership America has reduced the Muslim world to an uninhabitable wasteland while slaughtering millions of innocents. (And torturing the captives.) Accusing the candidate of anti-Muslim sentiment while pretending themselves to be concerned about human rights and civil liberties is the most egregious example of political bullshit ever written. Like Republicans believe in the Constitution and safeguarding civil rights? (My ass.)
e) Trumps’ admiration for Vladimir Putin …
“His admiration for foreign dictators such as Vladimir Putin is unacceptable for the leader of the world’s greatest democracy.”
Neocons have trouble with facts — they find facts bothersome. (And confusing.) It would seem they aren’t aware that Putin is not a ‘dictator’, but the democratically-elected president of a world power (formerly collectivist, now reformed politically). Russia has the potential of becoming one of the world’s economic giants, at a time when the American economy under neoconservative mismanagement is on the verge of collapse. Putin’s favorable rating among the Russian people (well over 80%) puts America’s leader to shame. The American people’s approval rating of Congress is in the single digits and the president’s approval rating hovers right around zero. Putin must be doing something right. The numbers show that most Russians think he is doing everything right. Why shouldn’t ‘the Donald’ look to the Russian president as a role model?
A number of other countries have democratically-elected presidents … or used to have, anyway. The number would be larger, but we (America) have killed them, or at least trained and financed those who did. Regime change is America’s preferred approach to foreign policy. Replacing democratically-elected presidents with military juntas and murderous dictators subservient to their corporate/CIA masters is the time-proven method of promoting America’s geopolitical interests. Intrusion into other countries’ affairs is good for business, as it usually leads to war. (And war is good for business in corporatist America.)
Just to set the facts straight, America is not a democracy, and never has been. America is a Republic. In reality, what passes for democracy in America is a farce.
f) Trump is fundamentally dishonest …
“He is fundamentally dishonest. Evidence of this includes his attempts to deny positions he has unquestionably taken in the past, including on the 2003 Iraq war and the 2011 Libyan conflict. We accept that views evolve over time, but this is simply misrepresentation.”
How is one supposed to respond to that without laughing? How can Republicans speak of others as being ‘fundamentally dishonest?’ The Republicans are liars, cheat, and thieves, one and all. Plus, they are arrogant bastards to boot. Their effrontery simply boggles the mind.
g) Trump (the deal-maker’s) presumed reluctance to use military force to resolve conflicts …
“His equation of business acumen with foreign policy experience is false. Not all lethal conflicts can be resolved as a real estate deal might, and there is no recourse to bankruptcy court in international affairs.”
What nonsense. America faces no threat of invasion or military action from any nation on earth. Any ‘lethal conflicts’ are either figments of the neocons’ imagination, or are responses to America’s own military aggressions, economic exploitation, or neoconservative ‘diplomacy’. Moreover, the candidate’s willingness to ‘carpet-bomb’ the Middle East surely demonstrates a suitably belligerent militaristic attitude. As to international affairs, every nation on earth is trying desperately to untangle its economy from the bankrupt American economy, which is seen by all as the greatest threat to the interconnected global financial system. Being realistic, there are no American interests to safeguard, as all American interests have already been acquired by multi-national corporations, international financiers, or corrupt dictators of the sort regularly seen at White house soirees — those more adept at waging economic warfare, in other words. If Republicans had their way, EVERY conflict would be resolved by sanctions, guns, and bombs. Its all bombast, is all it is.
h) Trump’s expansive view of the office of presidential powers …
“Mr. Trump’s own statements lead us to conclude that as president, he would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world. Furthermore, his expansive view of how presidential power should be wielded against his detractors poses a distinct threat to civil liberty in the United States.”
What a load of crap. As if anyone could do more harm to America’s standing in the world than has been done already by the neoconservatives and their Zionist controllers. As to the candidate’s ‘expansionist view of presidential power’ it is ludicrous to even suggest that his view of presidential power is anywhere close to the Republicans’ long-held expansionist view of presidential power (just so long as the president was a Republican, that is.) Disdain for the Constitution and the rule of law has always been central to the Republican worldview.
This is all too much.
(chs 01-19-2017 1716 -0500)
The ‘Declaration of War’ can be found at:
Rick Forno at INFOWARRIOR (.org) probably expresses the feeling of most sentient Americans in the introduction to the letter in his blog post (Thu, 3 Mar 2016):
“I’ve kept (and plan to keep) the insane, idiotic, pathetic antics of this election season off the list, but this letter, penned by many folks I have disagreed with in the past, is 90% spot-on in its assessment of the leading GOP presidential candidate’s foreign policy ideas. Putting aside this group’s own one-sided sentiment/actions following 911 and the run-up to Iraq II, it is cogently written and says what many (sane) people, Dem, Rep, and Ind, are thinking these days ….” — rick
Open Letter on Donald Trump from GOP National Security Leaders
March 2, 2016
We the undersigned, members of the Republican national security community, represent a broad spectrum of opinion on America?s role in the world and what is necessary to keep us safe and prosperous. We have disagreed with one another on many issues, including the Iraq war and intervention in Syria. But we are united in our opposition to a Donald Trump presidency. Recognizing as we do, the conditions in American politics that have contributed to his popularity, we nonetheless are obligated to state our core objections clearly:
His vision of American influence and power in the world is wildly inconsistent and unmoored in principle. He swings from isolationism to military adventurism within the space of one sentence.
His advocacy for aggressively waging trade wars is a recipe for economic disaster in a globally connected world.
His embrace of the expansive use of torture is inexcusable.
His hateful, anti-Muslim rhetoric undercuts the seriousness of combatting Islamic radicalism by alienating partners in the Islamic world making significant contributions to the effort. Furthermore, it endangers the safety and Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of American Muslims.
Controlling our border and preventing illegal immigration is a serious issue, but his insistence that Mexico will fund a wall on the southern border inflames unhelpful passions, and rests on an utter misreading of, and contempt for, our southern neighbor.
Similarly, his insistence that close allies such as Japan must pay vast sums for protection is the sentiment of a racketeer, not the leader of the alliances that have served us so well since World War II.
His admiration for foreign dictators such as Vladimir Putin is unacceptable for the leader of the world?s greatest democracy.
He is fundamentally dishonest. Evidence of this includes his attempts to deny positions he has unquestionably taken in the past, including on the 2003 Iraq war and the 2011 Libyan conflict. We accept that views evolve over time, but this is simply misrepresentation.
His equation of business acumen with foreign policy experience is false. Not all lethal conflicts can be resolved as a real estate deal might, and there is no recourse to bankruptcy court in international affairs.
Mr. Trump?s own statements lead us to conclude that as president, he would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world. Furthermore, his expansive view of how presidential power should be wielded against his detractors poses a distinct threat to civil liberty in the United States. Therefore, as committed and loyal Republicans, we are unable to support a Party ticket with Mr. Trump at its head. We commit ourselves to working energetically to prevent the election of someone so utterly unfitted to the office.
Robert D. Blackwill
Daniel A. Blumenthal
Eliot A. Cohen
Patrick M. Cronin
Richard A. Falkenrath
Peter D. Feaver
Christopher J. Griffin
Mary R. Habeck
William C. Inboden
Jamil N. Jaffer
Robert G. Joseph
Philip I. Levy
Mary Beth Long
Paul D. Miller
Andrew S. Natsios
Roger F. Noriega
Robert T. Osterhaler
Martha T. Rainville
Daniel F. Runde
Richard L. Russell
Gary J. Schmitt
Kalev I. Sepp
David R. Shedd
William H. Tobey
Frances F. Townsend
Jan Van Tol
Dov S. Zakheim
Robert B. Zoellick
The statement above was coordinated by Dr. Eliot A. Cohen, former Counselor of the Department of State (2007?8) and Bryan McGrath, Managing Director of The FerryBridge Group, a defense consultancy. They encourage other members of the Republican foreign policy and national security communities wishing to sign the declaration to contact them.