Better villains, please

 

If we’re going to be an evil empire, can’t we at least have more competent villains?

Take former Secretary of State, and recent unsuccessful presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. In an interview she bemoaned how the surge of immigrants to Europe was contributing to the popularity of right-wing populism.

What, perchance does Madam Secretary think caused the influx of immigrants to Europe?

Maybe it was the wars and regime-change operations directed by the US against Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq, while Clinton was Secretary of State?

And what of American fortunes in the wake of of our decades long Middle-Eastern misadventures?

I think that a complete and utter cluster-fuck would be a generous assessment. U.S. military actions since 9/11 have been poorly conceived, poorly enacted, poorly explained and produced clearly negative results both overseas and domestically. It’s difficult to find a part of the world where an actual American interest is being served by Washington’s foreign and global security policies. Going further, a national security policy that sees enemies everywhere has made nuclear war thinkable once again.

The fact that no one is the media or political class is even talking about that terrible danger suggests that war has become an acceptable foreign policy option for the White House, Congress, and the media. Which brings us to George W. Bush, and how this very same pro-war consensus has succeeded in returning the former president to respectability, while adding him to the pantheon of #Resistance hero’s, all the while airbrushing away the fact that Bush and his gang of neocons are largely responsible for much of the mayhem that we see in the Middle-East today.

And what discussion of incompetent villains would be complete without Donald Trump?

To be fair it wasn’t all Trump fault. He had a lot of help. Going back to the transition period between the outgoing Barack Obama and the incoming Trump, everything imaginable was done to poison Trump’s early days as President. Take Russia-gate. The idea that Trump and Putin could establish normal relations was anathema to the deep state actors that have dogged Trump’s presidency. He’s been bogged down ever since.

Making matters worse, Trump has retained the same crew of neocons who can’t-shoot-straight to mismanage his foreign policy, although at this point it’s become obvious that the neocons only have one move when confronted with failure–double-down. We’re witnessing this doubling-down with the recent adventures of Ukraine attempting, no doubt with ample neocon encouragement, to draw Russia into a shooting war in the Kerch Straight.

Luckily, the Commission on National Defense Strategy for the US has just released to Congress its report “Providing for the Common Defense”. The report’s co-chairs, Eric S. Edelman and Gary Roughead, say in their accompanying letter to Congress, that “the United States will soon face a national security emergency.” It doesn’t describe that emergency, but uses the report to argue that defense spending needs to soar while Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other entitlements need to shrink, so that  this so-called emergency can be dealt with. Essentially, what they’re saying is that the weapons-manufacturers and soldiers need more money, and that this military requirement is an emergency but other federal spending is not.

I’m sure you never saw that coming? I’m also pretty sure the expansion of empire, contra to Trump’s campaign promises won’t  go over well with the MAGA faithful.

For the rest of us the only thing providing any hope at all is the sheer incompetence of Trump’s crazy-train. With a cast of villains featuring John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and Nikki Haley, while starring Donald Trump in the role of a lifetime, this thing can’t go anywhere except down.

 

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