Debate Over Trump’s Military Powers Ignored As McResistance Focuses On Manafort

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This is an annotated, enhanced version of this essay.

Russiagaters, who judging by the tweets I saw all weekend were certain Trump would be in handcuffs today, are making a strained effort to appear vindicated after the notoriously corrupt Paul Manafort and two guys they’d never heard of found themselves in legal hot water while a Podesta brother resigned instead. They remind me of a guy who keeps trying to make sex happen long after losing his erection. It’s okay, McResistance, it happens to every guy. Let’s just order Chinese and watch Simpsons reruns and pretend we’re not both struggling with feelings of inadequacy.

Meanwhile, this is happening:


Hardly anybody is talking about it, but Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis both appeared on the Senate floor today to explain to legislators why it’s essential that the current administration’s war powers not be subjected to any limitations of space or time. I’ve got no problem with people paying attention to government corruption, and I can’t blame Democrats for hoping that the charges against Manafort, Gates and Papadopoulos will somehow lead to Trump’s impeachment (they won’t), but it seems pretty ridiculous to claim that someone shouldn’t be president while simultaneously granting him authority to wage endless, limitless acts of war.

Isn’t it funny how the purportedly anti-corruption, pro-social justice “Resistance” just so happens to always fall completely in line with the interests of the CIA and the military-industrial complex? For all their rainbow flag waving and Black Lives Matter supporting, for all their talk of speaking truth to power and sticking up for the little guy, what they end up actually doing is helping America’s unelected power establishment manufacture support for a new cold war with Russia, helping to censor anti-establishment voices on the internet, and propping up the agendas of the US war machine.

Two of the highest officials in the Trump administration appeared in the highest legislative body in the US government to argue in favor of what is arguably the most impactful single legislative measure still governing US foreign policy today, and I have readers telling me they’re struggling to find any reporting on it whatsoever. There’s more commentary than anyone could ever possibly read on the charges against three low-level Republicans which will have functionally zero impact on US affairs, but whether or not the president they claim is simultaneously (A) crazy, (B) dangerously incompetent, (C) a secret Nazi, and (D) a traitor should have limitless war powers authorization is going completely undebated.

Note by the editors—
Meanwhile, as part of the Trump witch-hunt, phony journos stoke the flames. (Don’t get us wrong, Trump is a scumbag himself and a dangerous maniac and war criminal now, but his Democratic party tormentors are not after him for the any principled or correct reason, or because they love democracy or peace, in fact quite the opposite. They are just as dangerous and just as corrupt). Here’s some examples of this nonstop Russiagate propaganda campaign aimed at removing or completely neutralising Trump (they’re easy to find since this is the deliberate obsessive chant of mainstream media right now, bolstered by the noise machine of the numerous shills that carry water for the Democrats and the older, established imperialist wing of the ruling class, outfits like the Daily Kos, Truthout, TrainDemocrats, MoveOn, etc.):

The below segments appeared on CBS This Morning on 10.31.17

And this accusation by innuendo (note this involves the Ukrainian government, not the Russian, but who’s to quibble over such petty details when there’s a lynching to attend to?):


How funny that Tillerson, himself a frequent Russiagate target, is being ignored now that he’s saying the war on terror shouldn’t be constrained by geographical boundaries or time (or the Constitution, or facts, or rationality, or international law, or ethics, or morality, or cost, or measure of effectiveness, or human empathy for that matter). Former Green Party vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka said it best:

“Opposition to Trump has been framed in ways that supports the agenda of the Democratic Party — but not the anti-war agenda. Therefore, anti-Trumpism does not include a position against war and U.S. imperialism.”

Anti-Trumpism is not revolutionary. It’s not even anti-establishment in any way that matters. America is like a big stadium full of fans screaming in support of their favorite pro wrestler like their lives depend on it, not realizing that the whole thing’s fake and the costumes are for show and they’re just buying Vince McMahon another private jet.

Their fear is real, though. These people were told every day since 2015 that Trump is the next Hitler and for the last year that he’s the puppet of an evil foreign dictator as well, and now the Trump derangement syndrome that they have been psychologically brutalized into has them transfixed like a bullfrog under a flashlight. They can be led to promote any agenda no matter how psychotic and ignore any warmongering behavior no matter how dangerous, because all they care about is the fairy tale they’ve been fed that they can get rid of Trump by screaming about him enough.

In the comments of my recent article a reader used the words “extricate un-American elements from our politics” when describing her campaign to remove Trump via Russiagate, and it seriously freaked me out. The McCarthyist/HUAC language isn’t even being held back anymore, and people have stopped thinking. I don’t know how many Americans are that far gone, but it’s too damn many. It’s bad enough for comments which should be incendiary to come straight from the mouths of elite Trump administration officials and go completely unnoticed anyway.

Endless, limitless war is less concerning to these people than the money laundering sleaziness of some low-level Republican many years ago. That’s a problem.

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About the Author
Caitlin Johnstone
is a brave journalist, political junkie, relentless feminist, champion of the 99 percent. And a powerful counter-propaganda tactician. 
CAITLIN JOHNSTONE—Former Green Party vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka said it best: “Opposition to Trump has been framed in ways that supports the agenda of the Democratic Party — but not the anti-war agenda. Therefore, anti-Trumpism does not include a position against war and U.S. imperialism.” Anti-Trumpism is not revolutionary. It’s not even anti-establishment in any way that matters. CAITLI

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Parting shot—a word from the editors
The Best Definition of Donald Trump We Have Found

In his zeal to prove to his antagonists in the War Party that he is as bloodthirsty as their champion, Hillary Clinton, and more manly than Barack Obama, Trump seems to have gone “play-crazy” — acting like an unpredictable maniac in order to terrorize the Russians into forcing some kind of dramatic concessions from their Syrian allies, or risk Armageddon.However, the “play-crazy” gambit can only work when the leader is, in real life, a disciplined and intelligent actor, who knows precisely what actual boundaries must not be crossed. That ain’t Donald Trump — a pitifully shallow and ill-disciplined man, emotionally handicapped by obscene privilege and cognitively crippled by white American chauvinism. By pushing Trump into a corner and demanding that he display his most bellicose self, or be ceaselessly mocked as a “puppet” and minion of Russia, a lesser power, the War Party and its media and clandestine services have created a perfect storm of mayhem that may consume us all. Glen Ford, Editor in Chief, Black Agenda Report 


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2 thoughts on “Debate Over Trump’s Military Powers Ignored As McResistance Focuses On Manafort

  1. Democrats in Congress are definitely suffering from ‘battered democrat syndrome’. Kiss up and show love for your abusers by giving them unlimited, unaccountable ability to wage war. Then, may be, the abuse will cease. BTW, warmongering has always been bipartisan.

  2. “Amid levels of social inequality that eclipse even those of the Gilded Age, bourgeois democracy in the US is collapsing, replaced by direct rule by the oligarchy and its partners in the military”

    This accurate statement by Damon last week on WSWS well demonstrates the present chaotic political scene, whereby the declining bourgeois flunkies in the binary party system fight each other to the bone and even within each party. That means the total end of their cooperation in maintaining the status quo for the establishment which now steps in bolstered by the military. These fights are separate from any involvement or interest to the public, which is fed lie after lie by the politicized sellout media.

    The military have no use for democratic niceties because armies are always structured under patriarchal rules. They will do away with whatever freedoms are still available to the public and strictly obey the orders given to them. But their political sword is two-edged as is seen in history in that they will serve the establishment but also can form a catalyst for reform. The elites are fully aware of this and will not easily surrender their powers to the military. The uncomfortable balance slowly emerging is that of a continued harsh struggle by the ruling bourgeoisie for full control over the military.

    The pushed forward representatives of the elite such as the Koch brothers are but the outer shell of a financial ruling upper class and are used for deflecting attention from the true power holders. The tactic is to give the public figures to hate, while creating the artificial antagonisms which detract from any reality, namely an utter lack of input by the ruled who are engineered to react when told. But this system is very fragile and apt to turn back onto the rulers when the oppressive measures reach a breaking point. The rise of the army can only advance such a total political rupture.

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