by William Skink
A few days ago I got a notice that my first annual subscription to Pro Tools was up and I had to renew. Its only been a year, but May 2016 feels very far away from where we are now.
For me, I feel like I’m in a particularly peculiar place. I didn’t stop being anti-war when Obama was elected like so many good Democrats did, relieved to be rid of Bush. I wasn’t easily lulled into complacency or manipulated into cheerleading regime change wars because the New York Times and SoS Clinton cried crocodile tears over half-baked humanitarian crises.
I really try not to get into it on FB, but a former local reporter shared this Atlantic piece bemoaning The Death Knell for America’s Global Leadership. After providing some recent examples of global leadership under the previous US regime, like the destruction of Libya and support of coups in Honduras and Ukraine, the former reporter said this:
Well, it’s certainly your right to criticize American leadership. But American political leadership is just part of how Americans can and should lead. Smart and active environmental groups leading by example on climate. Nonprofits doing the work that should and could be done by government. American scientists working around the globe on issues that affect the world, not just America. We are NOT our politicians, so I’ll take exception to your critique and continue to work with others who understand that America can and should be a part of global leadership. Finding the downside of everything gets you nothing.
Only an American could say this. I’m tempted to start using a term that’s been bouncing around in my head the last few days: American Supremacist.
The reality that seems to escape so many American somnambulists suddenly emerging from the last 8 years of sleep walking is that the illusion of collaboration with a global community has been shattered under the crude antics of Trump.
The notion that America wants to be “a part” of global leadership is ridiculous. The effort is still full spectrum dominance, an effort that was more politely pursued under Obama. But Trump has done away with all the slick PR doublespeak, and at least one non-American commentator appreciates the candor:
For decades the U.S. foreign policy elite and its presidents played the farce of an altruistic United States that acts for the global good and in the interest of humanity.
That was always a lie. Wherever one takes a deeper look the U.S. acted solely in its (perceived) self interests. But the rhetoric helped to drag others along. Tributary governments could pretend they worked for the “universal good” when they in fact just followed orders from Washington DC. U.S. pressure was applied behind the curtain – through bribes, threats of revealing private secrets or, if necessary, via well managed “democratic” coups.
Those times are over. Thanks to the honesty of the Trump administration the foremost positions of hard U.S interests and deadly threats are now openly declared fundamentals of U.S. foreign policy.
To drive home this point, the host of MoA’s whiskey bar cited a recent op-ed by H.R. McMaster and Gary Cohn in the Wall Street Journal that featured nuggets of naked aggression, like this:
The president embarked on his first foreign trip with a clear-eyed outlook that the world is not a “global community” but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage. We bring to this forum unmatched military, political, economic, cultural and moral strength. Rather than deny this elemental nature of international affairs, we embrace it.
At every stop in our journey, we delivered a clear message to our friends and partners: Where our interests align, we are open to working together to solve problems and explore opportunities. We let adversaries know that we will not only take their measure, deter conflict through strength, and defend our interests and values, but also look for areas of common interest that allow us to work together. In short, those societies that share our interests will find no friend more steadfast than the United States. Those that choose to challenge our interests will encounter the firmest resolve.
The American Supremacists who lean left are so horrified by Trump’s style that they can’t see how Trump has actually capitulated toward the kind of interventionism both Bush and Obama used, thanks in large part to the relentless corporate media information war against Trump.
Russia meddling in America’s election is the main thrust of the soft-coup effort to delegitimize Trump by “the resistance”, but that non-American blogger from Germany referenced an alleged Obama-era retaliation against a German politician who had the audacity to resist vassal status and opposed the effort to overthrow Gaddafi. Here is b from Moon of Alabama (the whiskey bar) responding to the above excerpt from the Wall Street Journal op-ed:
From now on the U.S. will only engage in selective, temporary friendships. “Where our interests align”, and only there, will the U.S. be friendly because it obviously serves U.S. interests. Wherever a country deviates from that, even partially, it will “encounter the firmest resolve.” That is as clear a threat as it can be.
The threat was there before but it was applied silently. When the then German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle voted against the war on Libya at the UN Security Council, the Obama administration launched a local media campaign against him (through U.S. stooges), that devastated his party in the following election. Most people in Germany did not recognize the campaign for what it was. It was hidden behind “human rights” talk, “democracy” fluff and “winning” in Libya. But the U.S. induced campaign against Westerwelle happened and was a lesson to other local party leaders to stay in line with U.S. demands.
The more honest Trump approach brings such threats out into the open. It is now clear that the U.S. follows only its interests – exclusively, and that it will apply the utmost pressure on whatever party disagrees with it in this or that case.
Now that it’s out in the open, left-leaning American Supremacists can’t handle it. They adored the illusory veneer Obama provided, even as that Nobel peace prize was bathed in the blood of drone strikes and Saudi-funded jihad.
Taking away that illusion reminds me of taking my first child’s pacifier away. Like then, all I can do is hope, at some point, the tantrum will stop.