Thursday, April 28, 2016
Politics: David Stockman, “Anything Trumps Hillary”
by David Stockman
“It’s all over except the shouting. That is, the primary election season effectively ended last night and now the actual shouting match between Hillary and The Donald begins. This will surely be the most entertaining election in US history, and probably the most pointless, too. After all, Hillary wants to use government to make Government Great Again. And Trump promises to use government to make America Great Again.
But government doesn’t make anything great, including itself. It is a necessary evil that always and everywhere is driven toward self-aggrandizement and mission creep by the politicians and special interest lobbies which control its operations. What government actually does is thwart the capacity of the people to pursue their own vision of greatness by encumbering their economic lives with burdensome taxation, regulation, roadblocks to opportunity and monetary fraud while saddling their public lives with endless Nanny State impositions and encroachments upon their personal liberty.
And, most especially, what the central state does in its current incarnation as Imperial Washington is to sabotage national greatness, not foster it, and saddle the economically listing American nation with a debilitating $800 billion national security apparatus that is wholly unnecessary. The latter has long since morphed into a Warfare State leviathan. It pursues senseless and destructive foreign interventions that erode, not enhance, the safety and security of American communities. It impairs constitutional liberties at home under cover of exaggerated and often contrived threats of terrorism. And it breeds blowback and terrorism abroad wherever its drones, bombs, occupations and covert machinations intrude in matters that are none of our business.
But of course that is exactly what Hillary’s candidacy is all about. Namely, insinuating the American state even more deeply and destructively into matters which are none of its business, and doing so at home and abroad with equal similitude.
Hillary Clinton allegedly protested the Vietnam War before becoming a Republican summer intern in 1967, but to my knowledge that was the last war she didn’t embrace. She was an enthusiastic backer of Bill Clinton’s feckless military interventions in the Balkans during the 1990s and a signed-up hawk for George Bush’s catastrophic wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
As Donald Trump rightly says, her time as Secretary of State was an unmitigated disaster. The “peace candidate” actually won the 2008 election, but Secretary Clinton along with lifetime CIA operative and unabashed war-monger, Robert Gates, saw to it that peace never got a chance. From the pointless, bloody “surge” in Afghanistan to the destructive intervention in Libya to the arming and aiding of jihadist radicals in Syria, Hillary has proved herself to be a shrill harpy of military mayhem. Indeed, she brought a fillip to the neocon playbook that has made Imperial Washington even more trigger happy.
To wit, Clinton has been a tireless proponent of the insidious doctrine of R2P or “responsibility to protect”. No one in their right mind could have concluded that the aging, pacified, tent-bound Moammar Khadafy was a threat to the safety and security of the American people. Even the community organizer from South Chicago wanted to keep the American bombers parked on their runways. But Hillary’s infamous emails leave no doubt that it was she who induced Obama to embrace the folly that quickly created yet another failed state, hotbed of jihadism and barbaric hellhole in the middle east. Indeed, her hands are doubly bloody.
When Hillary bragged that “We came, we saw, he died”, it turns out that not just Khadafy but thousands of innocents have died, and not just from the chaos unleashed in Libya itself. The former dictator’s arsenals and mercenaries have now been dispersed all over North Africa and the middle east, spreading desolation in their wake. Indeed, the CIA annex in Benghazi was actually in the business of recycling Libyan weapons to the jihadists in Syria through the ratline to Turkey. Is there any possibility at all that this would have happened, and that Ambassador Stevens would have been murdered, had Hillary not put the shiv to Khadafy’s backside?
And then there is the ultimate proof that Hillary is an unreconstructed warfare statist who would bury America deeper in foreign quagmires and fiscal chains. To wit, she has become so blinded by the parochial delusions of Imperial Washington that she actually likened Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler.
C’mon. The man’s a monumental crook and no model citizen of the world, but he is no threat to American security whatsoever. He presides over a third rate economy no larger than the GDP of the New York SMSA that essentially consists of a complex of petroleum fields, grain farms and metal mines and a lethargic work force with a fondness for Vodka.
Until the constitutionally elected government of Ukraine was overthrown by a Washington funded mob of economically deprived citizens, disgruntled nationalists and crypto-Nazi agitators in February 2014, Putin was basking in the glory of the Sochi Olympics and having petty quarrels with the crook who took-over the tiny state of Georgia after the Soviet Union disappeared. The world disdained his oafish character, but no one claimed that he was fixing to invade Europe. At the same time, any one who knew the slightest thing about Ukraine’s history and its long co-existence in the shadow of Mother Russia understood that bringing it into NATO was a decidedly stupid idea, and that threatening Russia’s rented naval homeport in Sevastopol, Crimea was sheer folly.
Not Hillary. She was soon at the barricades justifying the folly of the NATO confrontation with Russia and the self-defeating economic sanctions against Putin. Even though she was out of office and in a position to recognize that the very same “partition” solution that had led to the severance of Kosovo from Serbia during the 1990s could have solved the Donbas and Crimea issues, she was having none of it. Instead, by her lights NATO, which should have been disbanded after 1991, needs to go to the brink with Putin over essentially a Ukrainian civil war. And that’s just for starters.
Hillary keeps advocating a “no-fly” zone in Syria, but the Islamic State butchers don’t even have an air force. So her so-called “humanitarian” no fly zone is just another way to confront Putin. Indeed, it’s designed to stop him from aiding the constitutionally sanctioned and secular government of Syria that has invited Russian help. Yet Hillary is so besotted by the beltway fatwa against Bashar al-Assad that she is oblivious to the fact that the Russian/Iranian/Syrian alliance has done more in a few months to weaken ISIS and its jihadist confederates than has Washington’s feckless bombing campaigns and futile attempts to arm “moderates” and organize a coalition of the region’s unwillings during the last two years.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Potomac, Hillary wants to make Big Government even greater. Indeed, her victory speech last night was more or less an ode to free stuff. Students who borrow hand-over-fist are going to be let off the hook, while social security beneficiaries who already receive far more than they paid in are going to get a raise.
So are workers who are desperately hanging on to entry level part-time jobs. Hillary is going to raise their wages to $15/hour, and presumably then supply them with unemployment benefits, food stamps and Medicaid when their jobs are off-shored or robotized. And when it comes to the most destructive “free stuff” of all, Hillary will surely be all-in. That is, she will not lift a finger to stop the Fed’s 88 month running gift of free money to the Wall Street casino.
Yes, she apparently did “Feel The Bern” and has a deck full of empty talking points about how a Clinton Administration will be there for main street, not Wall Street. No it won’t. Hillary Clinton has spent a lifetime milking and promoting the state. She has no clue that it is the state itself in the form of the rogue central bankers now ensconced in the Eccles Building that is creating the wealth and income mal-distribution and rampant unfairness which she denounces; and which is strangling American capitalism and the opportunities to advance for the traditionally left behind and the recently fallen behind that she so stridently voices from the podium.
If Hillary really wanted to stop Wall Street’s unspeakable windfalls and bring a modicum of economic hope back to main street, of course, she would demand Janet Yellen’s resignation and promise to clean house among the enablers of casino capitalism at the Fed. But as the Donald might say, “it’s not going to happen”.
So is there any chance at all that Trump will make America Great Again by erecting trade barriers, a Trump Wall on the Rio Grande and an end to America’s imperial beneficence and meddling abroad? Stayed tuned. There may be more to The Donald than meets the eye. And whatever it is, it certainly trumps Hillary’s deplorable purpose to make Imperial Washington an even greater menace both abroad and at home.”