In January 2017, just days before his inauguration as President, Donald Trump shocked many officials in the Trans-Atlantic "Establishment" when he called NATO "obsolete." The problem, he said, is that "it was designed many, many years ago", and has not adapted to the new realities which he intended to address during his presidency. Chief among these is that NATO has been ineffective in dealing with the problem of terrorism, and that an adversarial posture toward Russia and President Putin is undermining the effort to defeat the terrorists, and keeps the west trapped in what he called "endless wars." He asked then, and many times since, "What's wrong with being friends with Russia? Why not work together where we have common interests?"
In posing these questions, as he had during the campaign, the establishment was convinced that his removal from office was an existential question for them. As he demolished both the Bush Republican establishment to win his party's nomination, and the Clinton-Obama forces in the general election, it was clear that a turning point had been reached among a significant section of the American people, against the status quo. The geopolitical doctrines enforced by those who controlled his predecessors, which resulted in the endless wars and provocative behavior toward Russia and China, and the neoliberal economic policies, which enriched the few at the expense of the many, while deindustrializing its once-productive economy, were no longer tolerable for an American population tired of war and austerity, meaning that "business-as-usual" would face a fundamental challenge from the new President.
As we now know, from the steady release of documents, with more being declassified daily, the reaction to Trump's election was the fabrication of the narrative of "Russian meddling" and "Trump collusion" with them, which supposedly led to his victory. At the center of this dense web of lies and slander was the intelligence establishment in the U.K., including GCHQ, MI6 and the diplomatic corps, and their counterparts in the U.S.; and the financial forces of the City of London and Wall Street, which were threatened by his rejection of the post-Cold War imperial paradigm, in which U.S. military power and financial resources were deployed to defend that collapsing, bankrupt empire. The latest release of documents provides evidence that top officials, including former CIA Director John Brennan and FBI chief James Comey, were working with President Obama, Vice President Biden and leading officials of the Democratic Party, to prevent Trump from breaking the U.S. out of these geopolitical constraints, by orchestrating his removal, if necessary.
Up to now, they have succeeded in containing him, even though he and his closest allies have waged a courageous fight against what he is now referring to as the "Military Industrial Complex" (MIC). After leaving the hospital on October 5, where he had received medical treatment for a bout with COVID19, he went directly after his enemies, including those within his administration. In a phone interview with Fox TV’s Maria Bartiromo, he attacked Democrats and the dirty elements in the intelligence community for initiating, and then covering up, the concerted campaign to overthrow his government over at least 3½ years. It is well past time, he said, for the appropriate officials to take action against those who carried out “the biggest political crime in the history of our country.” Among those he criticized was Attorney General Bill Barr, for not moving ahead with indictments of those running the attacks against him. "These people should be indicted," he stated, "and that includes Obama; it includes Biden.”
He went further, identifying British snake Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who parades around claiming to be a Trump loyalist, as another official stalling needed action against the coup operation. Hillary Clinton’s infamous deleted emails “are in the State Department, but Mike Pompeo has been unable to get them out, which is very sad, actually,” Trump said. “I’m not happy about him for that reason. He was unable to get them out. I don’t know why. You’re running the State Department, you get them out.” Pompeo was recently in London, where he revelled in the company of leaders of the notorious Henry Jackson Society, which includes key Russiagate instigators, such as former MI6 head Sir Richard Dearlove, who has repeatedly defended the dirty work of his former subordinate, Christopher Steele, whose false dossier against Trump was used by the FBI to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump campaign. While there, Pompeo offered a vigorous defense of the Anglo-American "Special Relationship", which the House of Lords claimed in a Dec. 2018 report was threatened were Trump to win re-election. This special relationship was strengthened under Presidents G.W. Bush and Obama, as a key instrument for enforcing the post-Cold War order, to "contain" Russia and China.
President Trump continued with this offensive, accusing Republicans in the Establishment of working against the interests of the American people. “Frankly, the Bush people, some of these losers that used to work for Bush, they’re worse than the Obama people.”
THE NATO ISSUE RE-EMERGES
With the U.S. election now less than four weeks away, those forces determined to remove Trump are escalating their attacks. In the U.S., there is nonstop proliferation of anti-Trump lies and slanders, as they continue to charge that he is Putin's puppet; make false claims he is contemptuous of U.S. armed forces; plant allegations in the New York Times that he is a tax cheat and corrupt businessman; and portray him as an ally of racist white extremist networks, to highlight just a few aspects of the intensifying narrative. Of these, the most significant remains the Russiagate narrative, which despite being thoroughly discredited, is repeated as though it has been fully verified—for the purpose of preventing any move by Trump to pursue a cooperative relationship with Russia.
A second target is China, which is portrayed as an enemy of America, an imperial aggressor which must be stopped now, before it eclipses the U.S. as an economic and military power. Trump has been pulled into anti-China rhetoric, blaming China for the devastation from the COVID pandemic in the U.S., in an opportunistic dodge to divert attention from his alleged failings in dealing with the crisis. A more aggressive tack is being taken by members of his administration, including the Secretaries of State and Defense, Pompeo and Esper, who are beating the drums of war against China, using "human rights" claims to incite chaos in Hong Kong, provocations regarding "independence" for Taiwan, and initiating efforts to build an "Indo-Pacific" defense alliance against China. Meanwhile, his Democratic opponents claim he has been too soft on China!
The third target is Russia, which faces a new round of intense assault from imperial networks running NATO and the European Union (EU), which is tightening the encirclement of Russia in a more militant display of recklessness than at the height of the Cold War. There is the reinforcment of troops and weaponry in eastern Europe, in the Baltic states and Poland; involvement in the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, as NATO member Turkey is providing direct support for the Azeri forces in Nagorno-Karabakh—given that there are Russian forces in Armenia, this threatens to become a proxy war between Turkey and Russia; a NATO/EU intervention backing regime change in Russia's near-abroad in Belarus and Kyrgyzstan, through sanctions and support for Non-Governmental Organizations fueling discontent; and the Navalny affair, which, despite lack of credible evidence, is being used to blame Russia, and initiate a new round of sanctions agains Russian officials, including breaking relations between Germany and Russia, by targeting the North Stream II pipeline for sanctions against German and European participants.
THE END OF NATO?
A Trump re-election obviously terrifies the Atlanticist elites, as evidenced by a spate of articles about the fate of NATO if Trump serves another four years. In the French paper Le Monde, the former chief editor, Sylvie Kauffmann, a long-time partisan of the establishment, reports favorably that the word in Washington is that the "blob" is about to make a comeback. The "blob" was the name given by Obama Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes to the “Washington community of foreign policy experts,” the "permanent bureaucracy," which Trump called the "Swamp", and now more correctly identifies as the MIC. Kauffmann writes that, under attack by Trump, they took refuge at the think tanks. But with the perspective of an incoming Biden administration, they now fill pages with advice, and organize dozens of webinars, in which they warn of the danger of a Trump second term. Kauffman asks, What do they expect would result from a Trump II Administration? Her answer: “These experts see the U.S.A. leaving NATO, pulling troops out of South Korea and Afghanistan, China increasingly gaining more influence, and Europe, deprived from the American pillar (NATO), descending into chaos.
The same line is presented by War Hawk John Bolton, who gave an interview to Le Parisien about his book which trashes Trump. Bolton, who was fired by Trump over his constant efforts to sabotage his initiatives to pull the U.S. out of wars and prevent new ones, says that if “the damage” inflicted on U.S. national security by four years of Trump could be repaired very rapidly, eight years of the same would be quite different. Trump’s decisions, he says, are more motivated by fear of provoking negative reactions from his voters—who support Trump's efforts to end the U.S. role as the "world's policeman"—than from strategic considerations. “This was the logic that prevailed with pulling the troops out of Syria, but also out of Iraq, Afghanistan, or the Iranian or South Korean nuclear program,” he claims. If reelected, the safeguard would be lifted and Trump would be free of any political hindrance.
Asked about whether Trump would initiate a trade war against the EU, Bolton responded, “The most serious threat concerns NATO. In June 2018, he was close to pulling out of the Alliance. I’m not sure that on both sides of the Atlantic, people are quite aware of that.”
An article in Atlantic magazine, which has become a mouthpiece for anti-Trumpers, by Brookings Institute neocon Thomas Wright, extends this line of argumentation by identifying the "threat" to the imperial geopolitician's worldview, under a re-elected Trump, as the same that they would have faced, had President Franklin Roosevelt not replaced Vice President Henry Wallace with Harry Truman, for the 1944 election. Had Wallace not been removed, he would have become President upon FDR's death on April 12, 1945. Had this happened, Wright claims there would likely have been "no NATO, no Marshall Plan, no alliance with Japan, no overseas troop presence, and no European Union." While there is no evidence to support the claims made by Wright about the Marshall Plan or Japan, Wallace was a fervent supporter of FDR's view that the U.S. could continue the U.S. war-time alliance with the Soviet Union, to work together to rebuild nations destroyed by war, while ending the misery imposed by colonialism—particularly that of the British—in the southern hemisphere. This means that the U.S. would not have become the "policeman of the world", operating as an enforcer of a renewed British Empire.
With Trump, he writes, we would be "deprived of our Truman." Worse, we "would be saddled with our Wallace....With few remaining constraints and a vulnerable world, a re-elected Trump could set the trajectory of world affairs for decades to come." With this conclusion, Wright is expressing the same fear as that of the dysfunctional and dangerous imperial establishment, that Trump's re-election would put an end to the Anglo-American world order, its supranational power over nations ended, and the fortunes made through its savage, predatory practices, stripped away, as a community of principle among sovereign nation states could then initiate a new era of peaceful development and cooperation.
From the outset, the vicious campaign against Trump, and against the American people and republican constitutional order he was elected to restore, stems from their recognition that a return to the tradition of the American revolution, under Trump, would again turn the world upside down, if he were not stopped. And that is the origin of the furious, and escalating assault against him.