4/10/17, "Neocons Have Trump on His Knees," Robert Parry, Consortium News
"Exclusive: The Democrats’ Russia-made-Hillary-lose
hysteria has pushed a weakened President Trump into the arms of the
neocons who now have a long list of endless-war ideas for him to
implement, reports Robert Parry."...
"After slapping Donald Trump around for several months to make him
surrender his hopes for a more cooperative relationship with Russia, the
neocons and their liberal-interventionist allies are now telling the
battered President what he must do next: escalate war in the Middle East
and ratchet up tensions with nuclear-armed Russia.
Star neocon Robert Kagan spelled out Trump’s future assignments in a column on Sunday in The Washington Post, starting out by patting the chastened President on the head for his decision
to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles at an airstrip in Syria supposedly in
retaliation for a chemical weapons attack blamed on the Syrian
government (although no serious investigation was even conducted).
Trump earned widespread plaudits for his decisive action and his
heart-on-the-sleeve humanitarianism as his voice filled with emotion
citing the chemical-weapons deaths on April 4 of “small children and
even beautiful little babies.” The U.S. media then helpfully played down
reports from Syria that Trump’s April 6 retaliatory missile strike had
killed about 15 people, including nine civilians, four of whom were
However, for Kagan, the missile strike was only a good start. An
advocate for “regime change” in Syria and a co-founder of the Project
for the New American Century which pushed for the Iraq War, Kagan
praised Trump “for doing what the Obama administration refused to do,”
i.e. involve the U.S. military directly in attacks on the Syrian
“But,” Kagan added, “Thursday’s action needs to be just the opening
salvo in a broader campaign not only to protect the Syrian people from
the brutality of the Bashar al-Assad regime but also to reverse the
downward spiral of U.S. power and influence in the Middle East and
throughout the world. A single missile strike unfortunately cannot undo
the damage done by the Obama administration’s policies over the past six
But Kagan is already looking ahead. Having pocketed Trump’s
capitulation last week on Syria, Kagan has shifted his sights onto the
much juicier targets of Russia and Iran.
“Russia has…greatly expanded its military presence in the eastern
Mediterranean,” Kagan wrote. “Obama and Kerry spent four years panting
after this partnership, but Russia has been a partner the way the mafia
is when it presses in on your sporting goods business. Thanks to Obama’s
policies, Russia has increasingly supplanted the United States as a
major power broker in the region. Even U.S. allies such as Turkey, Egypt
and Israel look increasingly to Moscow as a significant regional
“Obama’s policies also made possible an unprecedented expansion of
Iran’s power and influence. … If you add the devastating impact of
massive Syrian refugee flows on European democracies, Obama’s policies
have not only allowed the deaths of almost a half-million Syrians but
also have significantly weakened America’s global position and the
health and coherence of the West.”
Yes, all that was Obama’s fault for not invading Syria with a couple
of hundred thousand U.S. troops because that’s what would have been
required to achieve Kagan’s “regime change” goal in Syria. And there’s
no reason to think that the Syrian invasion would have been any less
bloody than the bloody Kagan-advocated invasion of Iraq. But Kagan and
the neocons never take responsibility for their various bloodbaths. It’s
always someone else’s fault....
And now Kagan is telling Trump that there is still much he must do to earn his way back into the good graces of the neocons.
Kagan continued, “Trump, of course, greatly exacerbated these
problems during his campaign, with all the strong rhetoric aimed at
allies. Now he has taken an important first step in repairing the
damage, but this will not be the end of the story. America’s adversaries
are not going to be convinced by one missile strike that the United
States is back in the business of projecting power to defend its
interests and the world order. …
“The testing of Trump’s resolve actually begins now. If the United
States backs down in the face of these challenges, the missile strike,
though a worthy action in itself, may end up reinforcing the world’s
impression that the United States does not have the stomach for
And confrontation is surely what Kagan has in mind, adding:
“Instead of being a one-time event, the missile strike needs to be
the opening move in a comprehensive political, diplomatic and military
strategy to rebalance the situation in Syria in America’s favor. That
means reviving some of those proposals that Obama rejected over the past
four years: a no-fly zone to protect Syrian civilians, the grounding of
the Syrian air force, and the effective arming and training of the
moderate opposition, all aimed at an eventual political settlement that
can bring the Syrian civil war, and therefore the Assad regime, to an
“The United States’ commitment to such a course will have to be clear
enough to deter the Russians from attempting to disrupt it. This in
turn will require moving sufficient military assets to the region so
that neither Russia nor Iran will be tempted to escalate the conflict to
a crisis, and to be sure that American forces will be ready if they do.
“Let’s hope that the Trump administration is prepared for the next
move. If it is, then there is a real chance of reversing the course of
global retreat that Obama began. A strong U.S. response in Syria would
make it clear to the likes of Putin, Xi Jinping, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
and Kim Jong Un that the days of American passivity are over.”
On His Knees
To put this message in the crude terms that President Trump might
understand, now that the neocons have forced him to his knees, they are
demanding that he open his mouth. They will not be satisfied with
anything short of a massive U.S. military intervention in the Middle
East and a full-scale confrontation with Russia (and perhaps China).
This sort of belligerence is what the neocons and liberal hawks had
expected from Hillary Clinton, whom Kagan had endorsed. Some sources
claim that a President Hillary Clinton planned to appoint Kagan’s neocon
wife, Victoria Nuland, as Secretary of State.
As Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs under Obama,
Nuland oversaw the U.S.-backed putsch that overthrew Ukraine’s elected
President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, replacing him with a fiercely
anti-Russian regime, the move that touched off civil war in Ukraine and
sparked the New Cold War between the U.S. and Russia. [For more on Kagan
clan, see Consortiumnews.com’s “A Family Business of Perpetual War.”]
Clinton’s defeat was a stunning setback but the neocons never give
up. They are both well-organized and well-funded, dominating Official
Washington’s think tanks and media outlets, sharing some power with
their junior partners, the liberal interventionists, who differ mostly
in the rationales cited for invading other countries. (The neocons
mostly talk about global power and democracy promotion, while the
liberal hawks emphasize “human rights.”)
In dealing with the narcissistic and insecure Trump, the neocons and
liberal hawks conducted what amounted to a clever psychological
operation. They rallied mainstream media personalities and Democrats
horrified at Trump’s victory. In particular, Democrats and their angry
base were looking for any reason to hold out hope for Trump’s
impeachment. Hyping alleged Russian “meddling” in the election became
the argument of choice.
Night after night, MSNBC and other networks competed in their
Russia-bashing to boost ratings among Trump-hating Democrats. Meanwhile,
Democratic politicians, such as Rep. Adam Schiff of California, saw the
Russia-gate hearings as a ticket to national glory. And professional
Democratic strategists could evade their responsibility for running a
dismal presidential campaign by shifting the blame to the Russians.
However, besides creating a convenient excuse for Clinton’s defeat,
the anti-Russian hysteria blocked Trump and his team from any move that
they might try to make regarding avoidance of a costly and dangerous New
Cold War. The Russia-hating frenzy reached such extremes that it
paralyzed the formulation of any coherent Trump foreign policy.
Now, with the neocons regaining influence on the National Security
Council via NSC adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster, a protégé of neocon favorite
Gen. David Petraeus, the neocon holding action against the New Détente
has shifted into an offensive to expand the hot war in Syria and
intensify the New Cold War with Russia. As Kagan recognized, Trump’s
hasty decision to fire off missiles was a key turning point in the
reassertion of neocon/liberal-hawk dominance over U.S. foreign policy.
It’s also suddenly clear how thoroughly liberal Democrats were taken
for a ride on the war train by getting them to blame Russia for Hillary
Clinton’s defeat. The liberals (and even many progressives) hated Trump
so much that they let themselves be used in the service of
neocon/liberal-hawk endless war policies.
Now, it may be too late to
turn the train around."
News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.
Friday, April 14, 2017
Neocons have Trump on his knees, now won't be satisfied with anything short of massive U.S. military intervention in Middle East and full-scale confrontation with Russia and perhaps China. Neocons have regained influence on NSC via Gen. McMaster, protege of neocon Petraeus-Robert Parry, Consortium News, 4/10/17
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