I’m often asked “How can you claim President Trump is in any way supporting your antiwar agenda when he …” and this is followed by a reference to at least one of the places on earth where he’s violating his “no more regime change” pledge or otherwise supporting the unsupportable, as in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. I’ve always answered by saying that, in the long run, and in a general sense, his November 2016 win was a giant step forward in that the anti-interventionist principle has been victorious even if it’s being imperfectly implemented.
However, back in April I raised the possibility of an active “resistance” inside the White House that is specifically preventing him from carrying out his mandate for peace. In “A President Held Hostage?” I outlined the scenario an anonymous White House official described in a recent New York Times op ed piece, wherein he or she describes the forces out to destroy Trump’s presidency:
“The dilemma – which he does not fully grasp – is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.
“I would know. I am one of them.”
Although I have to admit that I never thought they’d come right out and say it, my April column anticipated the above-cited seditionist by several months. In citing a Washington Post article that described what appeared to be a “two-track” White House policy on Russia, I asked:
“But is it his policy, or is it being imposed on him by a White House staff that seems to be working against him and a Deep State apparatus that is actively seeking to oust him?”
“… Surrounded by liars, leakers, traitors, and saboteurs, President Trump has managed to minimize the damage done by the War Party, while he’s not entirely able to neutralize them. His Korean peace initiative is going ahead, as both North Korea and the South jointly declare the never-settled Korean war to be finally over.
“There’s a battle going on inside this administration, and as yet we don’t know who the victor will be. It’s Trump versus practically everyone else – which basically means the two sides are evenly matched. I know who I’m rooting for….”
These anonymous traitors, one of whom admitted to taking things off the President’s desk, pose as great patriots. The Times piece sounds almost as pompous and hypocritical as Max Boot – or even Bill Kristol – as it rails against this “undemocratic” President’s “amorality” even as the author and his fellow minions amorally (and illegally) undermine the very concept of democracy.
This person claims to be a loyal Republican who is merely defending the country against a chief executive who is seemingly against “free minds, free markets, and free people” – a phraseology that gives his polemic a somewhat Kochian air. Is it just a coincidence that this sounds very much like the slogan of Reason magazine, the editorial voice of KochWorld, or could our anonymous “patriot” be Mike Pompeo, who was a reliable cog in the Koch Machine until his elevation to the State Department? As a member of Congress, Pompeo was always a strong hawk despite the ostensibly dovish foreign policy views of the Koch family, which personally supported him throughout his political career.
Indeed, the whole thing reeks of a raving neoconservative: the aroma exuded by that species is uniquely noxious. After drawing a portrait of a presidency that is supposedly aimless, confused, and adrift, the seditionist spokesperson submits a litany of complaints all having to do with Trump’s preferred foreign policy:
“Take foreign policy: In public and in private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations.”
Here is the old neoconservative canard that dictatorships are inherently more aggressive – and therefore more dangerous to our interests – which is simply belied by history: our own, not to mention Europe’s.
Russia, the chief target of the neocon-liberal Popular Front, is a particular concern to this author, a country which the President pledged to get along with in the interests of international peace and cooperation. Naturally the neocons and their newfound allies on the “left” were having none of that:
“He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior. But his national security team knew better – such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable.
“This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.”
This “steady state” is an unelected cabal of self-serving self-satisfied subversives who lied to the President about the number of Russian diplomats to be expelled and are now boasting about their brazen perfidy in the pages of a traitorous rag.
What’s “steady” about this secret state – which is now coming out of the closet, so to speak – is its utter consistency when it comes to maintaining our foreign policy of global intervention. This is why they hate Trump. As I’ve been saying all along, he represents a mighty challenge to the Empire: his historic victory at the polls represents a sea change in the way Americans approach the rest of the world. His enemies call it “isolationism.” The real word for it is Americanism in the original meaning of that term, i.e. the foreign policy of the Founders of this country, who warned of the dangers of going abroad “in search of monsters to destroy.”
So please don’t bother me with objections like “But what about our Syria policy?” or “Didn’t he just impose new sanctions on Moscow?” whenever I point to Trump’s transitional role as the harbinger of a new foreign policy. Because the real culprits are the self-selected “officials” of the “steady state” set up by the coup plotters in the White House basement.
As President Trump pursues peace from the Korean peninsula to the blood-drenched mountains of Afghanistan, he’s overturning or threatening to overturn the rotted-out structures of the cold war: the architecture of alliances – tripwires – that were set up in the worldwide battle against the Soviets are splintering at the seams and the pests that have been living in them are pouring out, skittering at the very hint of sunlight.
Trump can’t fight them alone. He needs the help – the grassroots support – of the American people. That’s why it’s vitally important to speak out in favor of the Singapore Summit, the Afghan peace process, the prospect of a nuclear disarmament agreement with the Russians, and indeed on every front where the battle for peace is being fought.
NOTES IN THE MARGIN
You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.
I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).
You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.