Donald Trump Could Be the Military-Industrial Complex’s Worst Nightmare
The Republican front-runner is against nation building. Imagine that.
By William Greider
March 23, 2016
Let’s admit it. As political provocateur, Donald Trump has a dizzy kind of genius. He feints to the right, then he spins to the left. Either way, the hot subject for political chatter becomes Donald Trump.
This week, while people everywhere were fretting over his violent talk, the candidate came to Washington and dropped a peace bomb on the neocon editorial writers at The Washington Post and the war lobby. Trump wants to get the United States out of fighting other people’s wars. He thinks maybe NATO has outlived its usefulness. He asks why Americans are still paying for South Korea’s national defense. Or Germany’s or Saudi Arabia’s.
“I do think it’s a different world today and I don’t think we should be nation-building anymore,” Trump said. “I think it’s proven not to work. And we have a different country than we did then. You know we have $19 trillion in debt. We’re sitting probably on a bubble, and, you know, it’s a bubble that if it breaks is going to be very nasty. And I just think we have to rebuild our country.”
Will anybody give him an amen? Yes, lots of folks. People who read The Nation (myself included) have been saying something similar for a long time. So have libertarian Republicans on the right. But this sort of thinking is mega-heresy among the political establishment of both parties. The foreign-policy operators consider themselves in charge of the “indispensable nation.”
This new Trump talk is definitely career-threatening for the military-industrial complex. It was particularly playful of Trump to choose The Washington Post as the place to drop his bomb; after all, it’s the Post that has made itself such a righteous preacher for endless war-making.
The Donald, usually bellicose in style and substance, is singing, “Give peace a chance.” What does his detour portend for national policy? We can’t know for sure, since Trump also has a tendency to casually contradict himself before different audiences. Later on the same day, he addressed AIPAC’s convention and sounded like a warrior for Zion. He got thunderous applause after making the ritual promises that candidates from both parties always make at AIPAC meetings.
But Trump has, in his usual unvarnished manner, kicked open the door to an important and fundamental foreign-policy debate. It is far more profound than the disputes we usually hear between hawks and doves. He’s proposing a radical standard for testing US policy abroad, both in war and peace: Is it actually in America’s interest? Or has US global strategy become a dangerous hangover from the glory years, when Washington armed and organized nations for the Cold War?
Whatever happened in past decades, Trump insists that this US ambition always to be in charge is now actively damaging our country, wasting scarce treasure and drawing us into other people’s conflicts. The Post opinionators must have choked on his words.
“I watched as we built schools in Iraq and they’d be blown up,” Trump told the editors. “And we’d build another one and it would get blown up. And we would rebuild it three times. And yet we can’t build a school in Brooklyn.… at what point do you say hey, we have to take care of ourselves. So, you know, I know the outer world exists and I’ll be very cognizant of that but at the same time, our country is disintegrating, large sections of it, especially in the inner cities.”
Trump has thus shrewdly articulated what ought to be a vital subject for debate in 2016. Instead, I suspect, he will be inundated with lordly rebukes by the policy elites. And the editorial writers will explain how half-baked and dangerous his ideas are to the future of mankind.
We can imagine the labels they’ll haul out from history: Protectionist. Nationalist. Isolationist. America Firster. His challenging proposition reminds me of my childhood, because I grew up in idyllic small-town Ohio, where those skeptical views of “foreign entanglements” defined the Republican Party (there weren’t many Democrats in my home town, and they mostly kept quiet).
As teenagers, we grew up as Robert A. Taft Republicans and deeply suspicious of the “Eastern Establishment,” who looked down on us as Midwestern bumpkins. The decisive election was 1952, when Taft lost the GOP nomination to a genuine national hero, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower. We were heartbroken. In the Midwest we lived in the middle of a great big country and could reasonably feel that we should stay out of other people’s troubles. The Cold War pretty much destroyed that common sense.
Ike’s victory ratified America’s commitment to developing a new world order of global alliances and foreign military deployments. That order seemed like the right thing to do 60 years ago, but now it falls to an outsider named Trump to demand fundamental reconsideration.
I suspect most Americans would agree with Trump’s tough questions, but are not sure of the answers (neither, perhaps, is he). Plus, in these insecure times, people do not wish to sound unpatriotic. In my hometown, we quickly fell in love with Eisenhower the moderate Republican, who resisted the party’s hard right (who thought Ike was a commie).
At the end of his second presidential term, Eisenhower, the general who won World War II in Europe, was warning us about the dangers of something he called the “military-industrial complex.” I wonder what he would tell us today.
This is 100% consistent with a President who refuses to use the phrase “Islamic terrorism” to refer to Islamic terrorism, and who prefers to call it “workplace violence” instead.
Lynch: “Partial Transcript” Of Orlando 911 Calls Will Have References To Islamic Terrorism Removed
June 19, 2016
In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, Attorney General Loretta Lynch says that on Monday, the FBI will release edited transcripts of the 911 calls made by the Orlando nightclub shooter to the police during his rampage.
“What we’re not going to do is further proclaim this man’s pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups, and further his propaganda,” Lynch said. “We are not going to hear him make his assertions of allegiance [to the Islamic State].”
The Washington Post reported last week that the gunman made multiple phone calls while holding hostages: “The gunman who opened fire inside a nightclub here said he carried out the attack because he wanted ‘Americans to stop bombing his country,’ according to a witness who survived the rampage.”
Salon reported that: “Everybody who was in the bathroom who survived could hear him talking to 911, saying the reason why he’s doing this is because he wanted America to stop bombing his country.”
The Washington Post also noted that during his 911 call from the club, the gunman referenced the Boston Marathon bombers and claimed “that he carried out the shooting to prevent bombings, [echoing] a message the younger Boston attacker had scrawled in a note before he was taken into custody by police.”
FBI Director James Comey said at a press conference that the shooter’s past comments about Islamist groups were “inflammatory and contradictory.”
“We see no clear evidence that he was directed externally,” the president added. “It does appear that at the last minute, he announced allegiance to ISIL. But there is no evidence so far that he was in fact directed by ISIL, and at this stage there’s no direct evidence that he was part of a larger plot.” ISIL is another name for ISIS, or the Islamic State.
Loretta Lynch says the FBI will release: “A printed transcript [that] will begin to capture the back and forth between him and the negotiators.”
“We’re trying to get as much information about this investigation out as possible,” she said.
LORETTA LYNCH: What we’re announcing tomorrow is that the FBI is releasing a partial transcript of the killer’s calls with law enforcement, from inside the club. These are the calls with the Orlando PD negotiating team, who he was, where he was… that will be coming out tomorrow and I’ll be headed to Orlando on Tuesday.
CHUCK TODD: Including the hostage negotiation part of this?
LYNCH: Yes, it will be primarily a partial transcript of his calls with the hostage negotiators.
CHUCK TODD: You say partial, what’s being left out?
LYNCH: What we’re not going to do is further proclaim this man’s pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups, and further his propaganda.
CHUCK TODD: We’re not going to hear him talk about those things?
LYNCH: We will hear him talk about some of those things, but we are not going to hear him make his assertions of allegiance and that. It will not be audio, it will be a printed transcript. But it will begin to capture the back and forth between him and the negotiators, we’re trying to get as much information about this investigation out as possible. As you know, because the killer is dead, we have a bit more leeway there and we will be producing that information tomorrow.
Obama administration knowingly allowed Omar Mateen to murder 49 people because it didn’t want to offend Muslims
Multiple people had warned the federal government that they thought Omar Mateen was going to commit a terrorist attack, but the government dismissed these complaints because in the hierarchy of political correctness, not wanting to offend Muslims takes precedence over saving the lives of innocent U.S. citizens:
FBI Called Off Investigation Of Orlando Shooter Because They Thought His Coworkers Were Racist
2013: Orlando Terrorist Threatened To Kill Fla. Sheriff And His Family, FBI Dismissed Threat
Experts Insist Counter-Intelligence Stymied By Political Correctness In Mateen Investigation
FBI halted Orlando shooter investigation for infuriating reason–and it got 49 people killed
26% of Obama Supporters View Tea Party as Nation’s Top Terror Threat
June 27, 2013
Half of all voters consider radical Muslims the bigger terrorist threat facing the nation, but supporters of President Obama consider the Tea Party to be as big a danger.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters consider radical Muslims to be the bigger threat to the United States today. Thirteen percent (13%) view the Tea Party that way, and another 13% consider other political and religious extremists to be the larger danger. Six percent (6%) point to local militia groups. Two percent (2%) see the Occupy Wall Street movement as the bigger terrorist threat. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
However, among those who approve of the president’s job performance, just 29% see radical Muslims as the bigger threat. Twenty-six percent (26%) say it’s the Tea Party that concerns them most. Among those who Strongly Approve of the president, more fear the Tea Party than radical Muslims.
As for those who disapprove of Obama’s performance, 75% consider radical Muslims to be the bigger terrorist threat. Just one percent (1%) name the Tea Party.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on June 22-23, 2013 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Interestingly, while the Occupy movement was allegedly targeting the “one percent”, upper income Americans are more likely than others to see the Tea Party as the bigger terror threat. Among those who earn six-figure incomes, 21% consider the Tea Party the bigger threat, while just two percent (2%) say the same of the Occupy movement. Among Americans who earn less than $30,000 a year, 12% see the Tea Party as the bigger threat, and seven percent (7%) say that description best applies to the Occupy movement.
The Tea Party received a boost in popularity earlier this year following revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted it and other conservative groups. Most voters believe the targeting was politically motivated and that the decision was made in Washington.
Conservatives overwhelmingly see radical Muslims as the greater terror threat. Liberals are fairly evenly divided between radical Muslims and the Tea Party.
Twenty percent (20%) of government workers see the Tea Party as the nation’s bigger terror threat. Twelve percent (12%) of private sector workers hold that view.
Most voters today believe the federal government is a threat to individual rights.
Sixty-seven percent (67%) of voters think it is at least somewhat likely that terrorist groups will soon gain access to nuclear weapons, including 34% who feel it is Very Likely.
However, 57% believe economic challenges represent the biggest threat to the United States. Half as many (27%) see terrorist attacks as the biggest threat.
Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.
Obama allowed a Clinton Foundation donor with no intelligence experience to be on a sensitive government intelligence advisory board
People are supposed to get on these kinds of government boards based on their relevant qualifications, not on their pocketbooks.
This, by itself, means that neither Obama nor Clinton has either the moral or practical qualifications for being President.
I’m genuinely surprised that ABC News had the decency to report on this before the election. I mean, if this was a Republican, then yeah, sure. But for the Democratic candidate? Before the election? A mainstream source such as ABC News? Wow!
With just this one article, ABC News has already done more vetting for Clinton before the election, than it did with all of its articles on Obama before the election combined:
How Clinton Donor Got on Sensitive Intelligence Board
June 10, 2016
Newly released State Department emails help reveal how a major Clinton Foundation donor was placed on a sensitive government intelligence advisory board even though he had no obvious experience in the field, a decision that appeared to baffle the department’s professional staff.
The emails further reveal how, after inquiries from ABC News, the Clinton staff sought to “protect the name” of the Secretary, “stall” the ABC News reporter and ultimately accept the resignation of the donor just two days later.
Copies of dozens of internal emails were provided to ABC News by the conservative political group Citizens United, which obtained them under the Freedom of Information Act after more the two years of litigation with the government.
A prolific fundraiser for Democratic candidates and contributor to the Clinton Foundation, who later traveled with Bill Clinton on a trip to Africa, Rajiv K. Fernando’s only known qualification for a seat on the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) was his technological know-how. The Chicago securities trader, who specialized in electronic investing, sat alongside an august collection of nuclear scientists, former cabinet secretaries and members of Congress to advise Hillary Clinton on the use of tactical nuclear weapons and on other crucial arms control issues.
Fernando’s history of campaign giving dated back at least to 2003 and was prolific — and almost exclusively to Democrats. He was an early supporter of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 bid for president, giving maximum contributions to her campaign, and to HillPAC, in 2007 and 2008. He also served as a fundraising bundler for Clinton, gathering more than $100,000 from others for her White House bid. After Barack Obama bested Clinton for the 2008 nomination, Fernando became a major fundraiser for the Obama campaign. Prior to his State Department appointment, Fernando had given between $100,000 and $250,000 to the William J. Clinton Foundation, and another $30,000 to a political advocacy group, WomenCount, that indirectly helped Hillary Clinton retire her lingering 2008 campaign debts by renting her campaign email list.
The appointment qualified Fernando for one of the highest levels of top secret access, the emails show.
And he continued to donate to Democrats, and to Clinton. He emerged as one of the first “bundlers” to raise money for Clinton’s 2016 bid. And in July 2015, he hosted a fundraiser for Clinton at his Chicago home. Fernando has also continued to donate to the Clinton Foundation. He now is listed on the charity’s website as having given between $1 million and $5 million.
Some Obama supporters seem to have trouble handling the truth about him. This is the most recent amazon customer review of my book on Obama:
1.0 out of 5 stars
Why do people who write and believe this crap exist?
ByVictor Varelaon June 6, 2016
God awful!!! Why do people who write and believe this crap exist?
Note that this reviewer does not point out even one factual error in my entire book. Given that I make more than 1,200 criticisms of Obama in my book, and that the reviewer could not find even one factual error, I’d say that this reviewer dislikes my book not because it is wrong, but because it is right.
This is disgusting.
Apparently, in New York City, it’s illegal to defend your wife from the scumbag who is trying to rape her.
What was the husband supposed to do – call the police so they could fill out the paperwork after his wife was raped?
Husband facing assault charges for beating would-be rapist to death with tire iron
May 31, 2016
Bronx cabby Mamadou Diallo was looking for a parking spot outside his building when he got a call from his wife that filled him with shock and fury.
She said a stranger had just tried to rape her in their apartment — and was still upstairs.
Diallo grabbed a tire iron and did what most husbands in the same situation would do: He rushed to his wife’s aid and then bludgeoned the pervert.
The attack killed career criminal Earl Nash, 43 — and left Diallo facing assault and weapons charges Tuesday.
“He threatened my wife,” Diallo explained as he was led out of the 42nd Precinct station house in handcuffs.
“He threatened my wife,” he said again.
Nash first knocked on the Diallos’ apartment door in Claremont Village at about 9:15 p.m. Monday. The livery cabby’s wife, Nenegale — who was home with a female cousin — assumed it was her 16-year-old son.
When she saw it was a stranger, “she went to shut the door, and the guy pushed in the door and then punched her,” said Mamadou’s brother, Ibrahima, 52.
“I don’t want money — I’m going to rape you,” Nash told her, according to an account Nenegale gave to DNA Info.
Nash slugged her in the face several times before ripping off her clothes and tossing her to the floor, police sources said.
“Please, anything you want, I give you,” Nenegale remembered saying, while being pummeled by Nash. He even hit her with a chair, she said.
“He broke all of my clothes. I had no clothes at the time,” Nenegale explained. “[I was] very dizzy at the time.”
Nenegale’s cousin helped fight Nash off, and the half-naked woman called her husband.
“I took my phone and see my husband’s number first,” Nenegale said. “I pressed the number. I made a loud noise, screaming, ‘Please, help me! Help me! Call the police!’ Then he slapped me again. The phone [was] falling, but I was making noise so my husband could hear the noise.”
Mamadou Diallo — a native of Guinea and a longtime livery driver — was hunting for a parking spot on the street and ran inside with the tire iron, fearing for his wife’s life.
He took an elevator to the sixth floor — where he came face to face with Nash, who was shirtless in the hallway.
Surveillance footage shows Mamadou walk past Nash, but wheel around when Nenegale pointed him out as the attacker.
The enraged husband swung the weapon at Nash — driving him into the elevator. He followed with several more blows, in a beating that lasted up to two minutes, sources said.
Nash fought back with a belt, but the pounding left him with a fractured skull, sources said.
Emergency responders rushed Nash, who also had severe body trauma, to Lincoln Hospital, where he died from his injuries.
Diallo was initially charged with manslaughter by cops, but during his arraignment at Bronx Criminal Court, the charges were dropped to two counts of assault, harassment and criminal possession of a weapon.
“This was not an offense where the defendant committed an aggressive act,” defense attorney Anthony Michaels said. “This was an attack on his family, in his house under extreme circumstances.”
At the hearing, which was attended by more than a dozen members of Diallo’s family and mosque, prosecutors didn’t ask for bail, and instead said they would agree to whatever Judge Julio Rodriguez thought was best. He released Diallo on his own recognizance.
“It was self-defense,” said his 22-year-old son, who didn’t give his name. “Anyone would have done the same to protect their family. You’re going to defend them. Who wouldn’t do that to protect their wife or mom?”
Diallo’s brother agreed — saying he, too, believed his sibling’s actions were justified.
“I don’t think he’s going to be charged,” Ibrahima said. “Somebody comes to your house to kill you, what do you do? It’s your last minute — you do everything to survive.”
Diallo’s nephew described him on Tuesday as a devoted family man, saying he made a tragic mistake in the heat of the moment.
“My uncle, he didn’t intend to take anybody’s life,” the nephew said, refusing to be named. “Any one of us in that position would do the same thing to protect their family.”
A close friend of Diallo’s said he was a “good guy” who worked hard as a livery cab driver for 20 years.
“He’s been in this country 27 years and never had a problem with anyone,” said the friend, adding that Diallo is “innocent.”
Diallo’s neighbor said that “he did what he was supposed to do.”
“I saw him right after it happened,” he said. “He saw his wife with the blood and screaming for his help, and he did the right thing.”