U.S. Foreign Policy and the Campaign to Destabilize the Trump Presidency By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
6 January 2016 — Global Research
Obama has formally accused Moscow of interfering in the US elections on behalf of Donald Trump. These are serious allegations. Whereas the sanctions are directed against Russia, the ultimate intent is to undermine the legitimacy of president-elect Donald Trump and his foreign policy stance in relation to Moscow.
According to the US media, the sanctions against Moscow were intended to ”Box in President-elect Donald J. Trump” because Trump “has consistently cast doubt” that Putin was involved in the alleged hacking of the DNC. In an earlier report on Kremlin meddling, the NYT (December 15) depicted Donald Trump as “…a Useful Idiot”… an American president who doesn’t know he’s being played by a wily foreign power. (emphasis added)
But the accusations against Trump have gone far beyond the “Box in” Narrative. The unspoken truth pertaining to Obama’s Executive Order is that the punishment was intended for Trump rather than Putin.
The objective is not to “Box-In” the president-elect for his “unfamiliarity with the role of intelligence”. Quite the opposite: The strategy is to delegitimize Donald Trump by accusing him of high treason.
In recent developments, the director of National Intelligence James Clapper has “confirmed” that the alleged Russian cyberattack constitutes an “existential threat to our way of life”. “Whether or not that constitutes an act of war I think is a very heavy policy call that I don’t believe the intelligence community should make,” said Clapper.
That “act of war” policy seems to be have been tacitly endorsed by the outgoing Obama administration: several thousand tanks and US troops are being deployed on Russia’s doorstep as part of Obama’s “Operation Atlantic Resolve” directed against Russia.
Are these military deployments part of Obama’s “act of retribution” against Russia in response to Moscow’s alleged hacking of the US elections?
Is this a “fast-track” procedure on the part of the outgoing president with the support of US intelligence, intended to create chaos prior to the inception of the Trump administration on January 20th?
According to Donbass DINA News: “A Massive US military deployment [on Russia’s border] should be ready by January 20.”
Political Insanity prevails.
And insanity could potentially unleash World War III.
Meanwhile none of this is front page news. The mainstream media is not covering it.
Destabilizing the Trump Presidency
The ultimate intent of this campaign led by the Neocons and the Clinton Faction is to destabilize the Trump presidency.
Prior to the November 8 elections, former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leo Panetta had already intimated that Trump is a threat to National Security. According to The Atlantic, Trump is a “Modern Manchurian Candidate” serving the interests of the Kremlin.
Vanity Fair November 1 2016
In the wake of the Grand Electors’ Vote (in favour of Trump) and Obama’s sanctions against Moscow, the accusations of treason directed against Donald Trump have gone into high gear:
“Liberals are suggesting President-elect Donald Trump is guilty of treason after President Obama announced new sanctions against Russia and Trump praised Vladimir Putin’s response to the sanctions.” (Daily Caller, December 30, 2016)
“A specter of treason hovers over Donald Trump. He has brought it on himself by dismissing a bipartisan call for an investigation of Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee as a “ridiculous” political attack on the legitimacy of his election as president.” (Boston Globe, December 16)
Coordinated Operation to Destabilize the Trump Presidency?
Is Trump “in bed with the enemy”?
These are serious accusations allegedly backed up by US intelligence which cannot be brushed away.
Will they just be forgotten once Trump accedes to the White House? Unlikely. They are part of a propaganda campaign on behalf of powerful corporate interests.
What is at stake is tantamount to a carefully coordinated operation to destabilize the Trump presidency, characterized by several distinct components.
The central objective of this project against Trump is to ensure the continuity of the Neocons’ foreign policy agenda geared towards global warfare and Worldwide economic conquest, which has dominated the US political landscape since September 2001.
Let us first review the nature of the Neocons’ foreign policy stance.
Background on The Neocons’ Foreign Policy Agenda
In the wake of 9/11, two major shifts in US foreign policy were devised as part of the 2001 National Security Strategy (NSS).
The first pertained to the “global war on terrorism” against Al Qaeda, the second introduced the preemptive “defensive war” doctrine. The objective was to present “preemptive military action” –meaning war as an act of “self-defense” against two categories of enemies, “rogue States” and “Islamic terrorists”:
“The war against terrorists of global reach is a global enterprise of uncertain duration. …America will act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed.(National Security Strategy, White House, 2002, http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html
The preemptive war doctrine also included the preemptive use of nuclear weapons on a “first strike” basis (as a means of “self-defence”) against both nuclear and non-nuclear states. This concept of a preemptive first strike nuclear attack was firmly endorsed by Hillary Clinton in her election campaign.
In turn, the “Global War on Terrorism”(GWOT) launched in the wake of 9/11 has come to play a central role in justifying US-NATO military intervention in the Middle East on “humanitarian grounds” (R2P), including the instatement of so-called “No Fly Zones”. GWOT also constitutes the cornerstone of media propaganda.
The military and intelligence dimensions of the Neocons’ project are contained in The Project for the New American Century formulated prior to the accession of George W. Bush to the White House. The PNAC also posits a “Revolution in Military Affairs” requiring a massive budget outlay allocated to the development of advanced weapons systems including a new generation of nuclear weapons.
The PNAC initiative was launched by William Kristol and Robert Kagan whose wife Victoria Nuland, played a key role as Clinton’s Assistant Secretary of State in engineering the Euro-Maidan coup in Ukraine.
The Neocon project also includes a menu of “regime change”, “color revolutions”, economic sanctions and macro-economic reforms directed against countries which fail to conform to Washington’s demands.
In turn, the globalization of war supports Wall Street’s global economic agenda: The (secretly negotiated) Atlantic and Pacific trade blocks (TPP, TTIP, CETA, TISA), coupled up with IMF- World Bank- WTO “surveillance” are an integral part of this hegemonic project, intimately related to US military and intelligence operations.
“The Deep State” and The Clash of Powerful Corporate Interests
Global capitalism is by no means monolithic. What is at stake are fundamental rivalries within the US establishment marked by the clash between competing corporate factions, each of which is intent upon exerting control over the incoming US presidency. In this regard, Trump is not entirely in the pocket of the lobby groups. As a member of the establishment, he has his own corporate sponsors and fund raisers. His stated foreign policy agenda including his commitment to revise Washington’s relationship with Moscow does not fully conform with the interests of the defence contractors, which supported Clinton’s candidacy.
There are powerful corporate interests on both sides, which are now clashing. There are also overlapping allegiances and “cross-cutting alliances” within the corporate establishment. What we are witnessing are ”inter-capitalist rivalries” within the spheres of banking, oil and energy, the military industrial complex, etc.
“The Deep State” is profoundly divided. These corporate rivalries are also characterized by strategic divisions and clashes within several agencies of the US State apparatus including the intelligence community and the military. In this regard, the CIA is deeply embedded in the corporate media (CNN, NBC, NYT. WP, etc) which is waging a relentless smear campaign against Trump and his alleged links to Moscow.
But there is also a countervailing campaign within the intelligence community against the dominant Neocon faction. In this regard, the Trump team is contemplating a streamlining of the CIA (aka purges). According to a member of the Trump transition team (quoted by the Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2017), “The view from the Trump team is the intelligence world [is] becoming completely politicized, … They all need to be slimmed down. The focus will be on restructuring the agencies and how they interact.” This project could also affect CIA operatives responsible for propaganda embedded within the mainstream media. This will inevitably create profound divisions and conflicts within the US intelligence apparatus, which could potentially backlash on the Trump presidency.
Continuity in US Foreign Policy?
Crafted in the late 1940s by US State Department official George F. Kennan, the “Truman Doctrine” sets the ideological foundations of America’s post-war hegemonic project. What these State department documents reveal is continuity in US foreign policy from “Containment” during the Cold War to today’s post 9/11 doctrine of “Pre-emptive Warfare”.
In this regard, the Neocons’ Project for the New American Century’s blueprint (cited above) for global conquest should be viewed as the culmination of a post-war agenda of military hegemony and global economic domination formulated by the State Department in 1948 at the outset of the Cold War.
Needless to say, successive Democratic and Republican administrations, from Harry Truman to George W. Bush and Barack Obama have been involved in carrying out this hegemonic blueprint for global domination, which the Pentagon calls the “Long War”.
In this regard, the Neocons have followed in the footsteps of the “Truman Doctrine”. In the late 1940s, George F. Kennan called for building a dominant Anglo-American alliance based on “good relations between our country and [the] British Empire”. In today’s world, this alliance largely characterizes the military axis between Washington and London, which plays a dominant role inside NATO to the detriment of Washington’s (continental) European allies. It also includes Canada and Australia as key strategic partners.
Of significance, Kennan underscored the importance of preventing the development of continental European powers (e.g. Germany, France, Italy) which could compete with the Anglo-American axis. The objective during the Cold War and its aftermath was to prevent Europe from establishing political as well as economic ties with Russia. In turn, NATO largely dominated by the US has prevented both Germany and France from performing a strategic role in World affairs.
Trump Foreign Policy Realignments
It is highly unlikely that a Trump administration would depart from the mainstay of US foreign policy.
While the Trump team is committed to a socially regressive and racist right wing agenda on the domestic front, certain foreign policy realignments are possible including a softening of the sanctions against Russia, which could potentially have an impact on the multibillion dollar contracts of the military industrial complex. This in itself would be a significant achievement which could contribute to a period of Detente in East-West relations.
Moreover, while Trump has put together a right wing cabinet of generals, bankers and oil executives, which largely conforms to the mainstay of the Republican Party, the bi-partisan “entente cordiale” between Democrats and Republicans has been broken. Meanwhile, there are powerful voices within the GOP who are supportive of the “anti-Trump faction”.
The divisions between these two competing factions are nonetheless significant. With regard to US foreign policy, they largely pertain to US-Russia bilateral relations which have been jeopardized by the Obama administration as well as to the ongoing US military agenda in Syria and Iraq. They also have a bearing on the European Union, which has been affected by Obama’s economic sanctions against Russia.
The sanctions have resulted in a dramatic decline in EU trade and investment with the Russian Federation. In conformity with the “Truman Doctrine” discussed above, US foreign policy under the Neocons, particularly since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, had sought to dismantle the Franco-German alliance and weaken the European Union.
Of relevance in relation to recent developments in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, George F. Kennan explicitly pointed in his 1948 State Department brief, to “a policy of containment of Germany, within Western Europe”. What Kennan’s observations suggest is that the US should be supportive of a European Project only inasmuch as it supports US hegemonic interests. And that is precisely what the Neocons have achieved under the Bush and Obama administrations
“Today both Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel are taking their orders directly from Washington. The 2003 invasion of Iraq was a turning point. The election of pro-US political leaders (President Sarkozy in France and Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany) was conducive to a weakening of national sovereignty, leading to the demise of the Franco-German alliance. ” (Michel Chossudovsky America’s Blueprint for Global Domination: From “Containment” to “Pre-emptive War”. Global Research, 2014)
The more significant question is whether this realignment under a Trump administration will restrain the deployment of NATO troops and military hardware in Eastern Europe on Russia’s doorstep. Will it be conducive to nuclear disarmament?
While Trump’s foreign policy agenda has been the target of “dirty politics” by the Clinton faction, the new administration has powerful corporate backers who will no doubt challenge the Neocons including those operating within the intelligence community. It is worth noting that Trump also has the support of the pro-Israel lobby as well as Israeli intelligence. In December, the head of Mossad met up with the Trump team in Washington.
The Timeline of the Destabilization Project
- the media smear campaign against Trump, which has taken on a new slant in the wake of the November 8 elections (ongoing);
- the engineered anti-Trump protest movement across the US, coordinated with media coverage, petitions, with the objective to disrupt (ongoing);
- The vote recount in three swing states, (No longer relevant)
- The passing of H.R 6393: Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, which includes a section directed against so-called “pro-Moscow independent media”, in response to Moscow’s alleged interference in the US elections in support of Donald Trump;
- The Electoral College Vote on December 19 (No longer relevant)
- The Petition launched by California Sen Barbara Boxers on Change.org pertaining to the electoral College vote (No longer relevant)
- The ongoing “Disrupt” Campaign intent upon disrupting the January 20, 2017 Presidential Inauguration Ceremony.
- The possibility of an impeachment procedure is already contemplated during the first year of his mandate.
The Catch Phrase is “Disrupt”. The Objective is “Disrupt”
In turn, the Disruptj20.org website is calling for the disruption of the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017:
#DisruptJ20 is supported by the work of the DC Welcoming Committee, a collective of experienced local activists and out-of-work gravediggers acting with national support. We’re building the framework needed for mass protests to shut down the inauguration of Donald Trump and planning widespread direct actions to make that happen. We’re also providing services like housing, food, and even legal assistance to anyone who wants to join us.
What are the Possible Outcomes?
The propaganda campaign together with the other components of this operation (protest movement, anti-Trump petitions, etc) are used as a means to discredit an elected-president.
This media propaganda campaign against an incoming president is unprecedented in US history. While the MSM routinely criticize politicians in high office including the president of the US, the media narrative in this case is fundamentally different. The incoming president is the target of an organized media smear campaign which will not subside upon Trump’s accession to the White House.
Concurrently, an engineered and coordinated protest movement against Trump has been ongoing since November 8. In fact it started on the evening of November 8 prior to the announcement of the election results. The protests have all the appearances of a “color revolution” style op.
The media also provides a biased coverage of the engineered protest movement. The organizers and recruiters are serving the interests of powerful corporate lobby groups including the defence contractors. They are serving the interests of the American people
It is unlikely that these various initiatives including the Disrupt campaign will have a significant bearing on Trump’s inauguration. Our assessment suggests, however, that the president-elect will accede to the White House amidst an aura of controversy.
Impeachment is the “Talking Point”
The propaganda campaign will continue in the wake of Trump’s inauguration intimating accusations of treason. The impeachment of Donald Trump has already contemplated, prior to his accession to the presidency. In the words of the Huffington Post (January 1, 2017):
“There is only one constitutional way to remove a president, and that is via impeachment.
What’s needed is a citizens’ impeachment inquiry, to begin on Trump’s first day in office.
The inquiry should keep a running dossier, and forward updates at least weekly to the House Judiciary Committee. There will be no lack of evidence.”
Change.org which organizes the engineered protest movement has launched a petition to impeach Trump:
Boston Globe, December 16, 2016
The American People are the Unspoken Victims: The Need for A Real Mass Movement
The American people are the unspoken victims of this clash between competing capitalist factions. Both factions are serving the interests of the elites to the detriment of the US electorate.
In turn, meaningful real grassroots opposition to Trump’s right-wing racist social policy agenda has been “kidnapped” by an engineered protest movement financed and controlled by powerful economic interests. The organizers of this movement are acting on behalf of powerful elite interests. People are misled. What is required in the months ahead is that the development of “real” social movements against the new Trump administration with regard to broad social and economic issues, civil rights, health care, job creation, environmental issues, foreign policy and US led wars, defense expenditure, immigration, etc.
Independent grassroots movements must consequently be divorced from the engineered protests backed and financed (directly or indirectly) by corporate interests. This is no easy task. The funding and “manufacturing of dissent”, the manipulation of social movements, etc. are firmly entrenched.
Ironically, neoliberalism finances activism directed against neoliberalism. “Manufacturing dissent” is characterized by a manipulative environment, a process of arm-twisting and subtle cooptation of individuals within progressive organizations, including anti-war coalitions, environmentalists and the anti-globalization movement. “Co-optation is not limited to buying the favors of politicians. The economic elites –which control major foundations– also oversee the funding of numerous NGOs and civil society organizations, which historically have been involved in the protest movement against the established economic and social order.” (Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, September 20, 2010)
Is America gearing Towards a Deep-seated Constitutional Crisis
At this stage it is difficult to predict what will happen under a Trump administration. What seems abundantly clear, however, is that America is gearing towards a deep-seated political crisis, with major social, economic and geopolitical ramifications.
Is the tendency (at some future date) towards the adoption of martial law and the suspension of constitutional government?
Note: This article relies in part on previous texts written by the author pertaining to the US elections.
Updated on January 5, 2017