Ilhan Omar for Peace

Ilhan Omar is the second person this year to win a Democratic Party nomination for Congress in a Democratic Party district with a platform advocating peace in a way not seen inside the Beltway. The first was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York City, whose advocacy for peace I wrote about. Ilhan Omar has just won the nomination from Minnesota’s Fifth District.

I am making zero predictions as to whether having peace on a campaign website will, in the case of Ocasio-Cortez or the case of Ilhan Omar, translate into serious advocacy and action for peace in office. I’m well aware that our choices for Congress are usually either lifelong mediocrities or promising candidates who immediately become dedicated mediocrities. Omar’s predecessor in that seat, after all, is Keith Ellison, who wanted to impeach George W. Bush until the very moment he was elected and became Captain Humanitarian Wars. I’m also aware that any good cause in Congress would require a couple of hundred Congress members, not two.

But the evidence is overwhelming that you are more likely to get decent behavior out of someone who campaigned on it than someone who did not. Almost nobody now in or running for Congress has ever campaigned on the sort of platform put forward by Ocasio-Cortez or Omar. The two of them ought to hear our support and encouragement, our preferences for where they put emphasis. And other candidates ought to see that support every time they raise their eyes from their donor call lists.

Here’s Ilhan Omar’s platform:

Promote Peace & Prosperity

We must end the state of continuous war, as these wars have made us less safe. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed, entire countries have been destabilized, and we are currently in the midst of an extreme global migration crisis. Meanwhile at home, there have been increasingly cuts to spending on healthcare, infrastructure, education, and housing. We must scale back U.S. military activities, and reinvest our expansive military budget back into our communities. Once this happens, we can begin to repair the harm done, repair America’s broken image, and invest in diplomatic relationships.

She points out that the wars are counterproductive on their own terms, endangering rather than protecting. Servants of the weapons dealers do not do that, no matter how they vote on legislation. She begins with the central evil, the mass killing, and she gets the numbers right. And she cites the wars as a cause of the refugee crisis. That’s all almost unheard of, even in the peace movement completely outside of electoral campaigning, where the habit is to focus on financial cost or harm to U.S. troops. She notes the financial tradeoffs as well. I wish she didn’t say the money all needed to go to U.S. domestic spending. I don’t think she’ll see the sense in saying that once she finds out how much money it really is.

  • We spend by far the most on our military budget, and more than the next seven countries on the list of top spenders combined

  • In 2017, the United States spent over $700 billion dollars—well over half the country’s discretionary budget

  • The Pentagon has spent $400 billion dollars on the F-35 fighter jet program, and will eventually spend over 1 trillion dollars in costs and maintenance

  • American intervention in democratically-elected governments has contributed to the migration crisis

  • The executive branch has escalated U.S. involvement in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, with no authorization from Congress

That’s as close to accurate on the money as I’ve seen from any candidate. She also names a particular war, that on Yemen. The focus on Congressional “authorization” rather than immorality or illegality is disappointing from someone from the hometown of Frank Kellogg of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. But it’s a start. Now read this:

Vision and Policy Priorities

End funding for perpetual war and military aggression

We are currently engaged in a number of wars that have no end in sight—Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. These wars have destabilized regions, created massive humanitarian crises, and continue to hurt our image across the world. We must end these wars, and we must avoid military-use as a last resort in the future.

She just named six of the United States’ current wars and advocated ending all of them. And for serious honest moral reasons. That’s unheard of. One can tolerate the delusion that there can be such a thing as “military use as a last resort” from someone willing to help end its use in six actual current cases.

  • Reduce total spending on the military from its projected FY 2019 levels of $886 billion and reinvest that money into healthcare, education, housing, jobs, clean energy, and infrastructure

  • Cut the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) that has been called the Pentagon’s ‘slush fund’. In 2017, the OCO budget increased by 41% to $82.4 billion.

  • Eliminate wasteful military programs like the F-35 fighter jet program, saving taxpayers $1 trillion dollars total

  • Scale back the number of US military bases across the world

She’s got the right focus: cut the military funding. Just saying that is the rarest of rarities. It’d be nice if she’d say by how much, but it’s a heck of a start. Naming one particular weapon to eliminate is much more than most candidates offer. And proposing to close foreign bases is a terrific place to begin.

Repeal harmful sanctions and oppose all U.S. intervention into democratically-elected governments

Sanctions and economic blockades have been used to hurt the economies of countries outside of the U.S. sphere of influence. These measures hurt working people in other countries and foster animosity towards our government.

  • End sanctions and embargoes against countries, which ultimately only hurt the working families of those countries

  • Support diplomatic solutions to the conflicts in both North Korea and Iran, and avoid military conflict at all costs

  • Support the JCPOA, and advocate for a deal that does not disproportionately impose economic sanctions on the people of Iran.

This sounds like a Congress member willing to back some of the obvious steps to avoid new wars.

Renegotiate harmful free trade agreements

Free trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) were passed on the promise that they would help workers across the continent. However, the opposite happened. Jobs have left the United States, multinational corporations exploit working people and lobby against any labor and environmental protections.

  • Invest in a robust Trade Adjustment Assistance program that provides support for workers who have lost their jobs due to the impact of trade
  • Eliminate NAFTA’s investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) that empower corporations to attack environmental and public health protections
  • Add strong, enforceable environmental and labor standards to the core text of NAFTA’s agreement
  • Require governments to prioritize policies that minimize climate pollution by including a “climate impact test” for policy making

Fully fund programs to care for our veteran population

We must ensure that veterans who have returned home from conflict-zones are taken care of. It is unacceptable that politicians have send soldiers to fight in wars, and refuse to fund the programs they need when returning home. We must ensure that all veterans are housed, have access to healthcare, and mental health care services.

  • Eliminate homelessness among veterans by expanding the HUD-VASH program and Supportive Services for Veterans Families
  • Oppose the privatization of the Veterans Affairs healthcare system and expand funding for physical and mental healthcare for veterans

Support a peace that affirms the safety and rights of both Palestinians and Israelis

Stability in the Middle East depends on the establishment of a lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis. But without justice, there will never be peace. The United States must work with the international community, and not unilaterally, to work towards a solution. I will use my voice in Congress and work with communities on the ground to center the ultimate goal of self-determination and peace.

  • Fight against efforts from the Trump administration to undermine the peace process, and support the autonomy for the Israeli and Palestinian peoples to define what a solution looks like

  • Uplift the voices of Palestinians demanding an end to the occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and end the siege of Gaza

  • Oppose the killing of civilians in Gaza and the expansion of settlements into the West Bank

If that last position survives the first month in Washington D.C. we’ll know this is an incorruptible advocate for peace. I’m not predicting it. I’m not holding my breath. I’m suggesting that we do anything we can to try to help make it happen.

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Technocrats Rule: Democracy Is OK as Long as the People Rubberstamp Our Leadership

We are in a very peculiar ideological and political place in which Democracy (oh sainted Democracy) is a very good thing, unless the voters reject the technocrat class’s leadership. Then the velvet gloves come off. From the perspective of the elites and their technocrat apparatchiks, elections have only one purpose: to rubberstamp their leadership.

As a general rule, this is easily managed by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising and bribes to the cartels and insider fiefdoms who pony up most of the cash.

This is why incumbents win the vast majority of elections. Once in power, they issue the bribes and payoffs needed to guarantee funding next election cycle.

The occasional incumbent who is voted out of office made one of two mistakes:

1. He/she showed a very troubling bit of independence from the technocrat status quo, so a more orthodox candidate is selected to eliminate him/her.

2. The incumbent forgot to put on a charade of “listening to my constituency” etc.

If restive voters can’t be bamboozled into passively supporting the technocrat status quo with the usual propaganda, divide and conquer is the preferred strategy. Only voting for the technocrat class (of any party, it doesn’t really matter) will save us from the evil Other: Deplorables, socialists, commies, fascists, etc.

In extreme cases where the masses confound the status quo by voting against the technocrat class (i.e. against globalization, financialization, Empire), then the elites/technocrats will punish them with austerity or a managed recession.The technocrat’s core ideology boils down to this:

1. The masses are dangerously incapable of making wise decisions about anything, so we have to persuade them to do our bidding. Any dissent will be punished, marginalized, censored or shut down under some pretext of “protecting the public” or violation of some open-ended statute.

2. To insure this happy outcome, we must use all the powers of propaganda, up to and including rigged statistics, bogus “facts” (official fake news can’t be fake news, etc.), divide and conquer, fear-mongering, misdirection and so on.

3. We must relentlessly centralize all power, wealth and authority so the masses have no escape or independence left to threaten us. We must control everything, for their own good of course.

4. Globalization must be presented not as a gargantuan fraud that has stripmined the planet and its inhabitants, but as the sole wellspring of endless, permanent prosperity.

5. If the masses refuse to rubberstamp our leadership, they will be punished and told the source of their punishment is their rejection of globalization, financialization and Empire.

Technocrats rule the world, East and West alike. My two favorite charts of the outcome of technocrats running things to suit their elite masters are:

The state-cartel-crony-capitalist version: the top .1% skim the vast majority of the gains in income and wealth. Globalization, financialization and Empire sure do rack up impressive gains. Too bad they’re concentrated in the top 1.%.

The state-crony-socialist version: the currency is destroyed, impoverishing everyone but the top .1% who transferred their wealth to Miami, London and Zurich long ago. Hmm, do you discern a pattern here in the elite-technocrat regime?

Ideology is just a cover you slip over the machine to mask what’s really going on. 

My new book Money and Work Unchained is now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition.

Read the first section for free in PDF format. 

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

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Beyond The DNC Leak: Hacks and Treason

Summary: People have been divided about the DNC hack-leak ever since the story began with the Chalupa-Isikoff article. These divisions run so deep they mark where people stand politically. Mutually exclusive positions range from whether or not Russians hacked the DNC or if the information was downloaded and then leaked, presumably by Seth Rich.  All three are different positions.

This article culminates what I’ve learned about the hack-leak and the Information Operation surrounding this. It presents a much different perspective.

There were multiple DNC hacks. There is also clear proof supporting the download to a USB stick and subsequent information exchange (leak) to Wikileaks. All are separate events.

Here’s what’s different in the information I’ve compiled.

  • The group I previously identified as Fancy Bear was given access to request password privileges at the DNC. And it looks like the DNC provided them with it.
  • I’ll show why the Podesta email hack looks like a revenge hack.
  • The reason Republican opposition research files were stolen can be put into context now because we know who the hackers are and what motivates them.

At the same time this story developed, it overshadowed the Hillary Clinton email scandal. It is a matter of public record that Team Clinton provided the DNC hackers with passwords to State Department servers on at least 2 occasions, one wittingly and one not. I have already clearly shown the Fancy Bear hackers are Ukrainian Intelligence Operators.

Continue reading

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“I Survived Because . . .”

“I survived because I was walking to a building that was behind a small hill that faced downtown. I was standing in such a way that the building was to my right and the stone garden was to my left. It was my daughter’s wedding day and I was pushing the wedding dresses in a wheelbarrow to the wedding hall. All of a sudden, for no obvious reason, I was just knocked to the ground. I never heard the bomb. . . I was about to get up when suddenly wood and debris fell from the sky and hit me on the head and back, so I stayed on the ground. . . . I couldn’t even hear the wood falling. . . . When I did start to hear, it was an odd sound. I ran to a hill area where I could look down to the city. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The whole city of Hiroshima was gone. And the noise I heard — it was people. They were moaning and walking like zombies with their arms and hands stretched out in front of them and their skin was hanging off their bones.”

Doves fly over the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in western Japan on August 6, 2012 during a memorial ceremony to mark the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Tens of thousands of people marked the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima as a rising tide of anti-nuclear sentiment swells in post-Fukushima Japan. AFP PHOTO / Kazuhiro NOGI (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/GettyImages)

Not everyone was walking. Not everyone was even so much as a prostrate corpse. Many people had been vaporized like water on a hot frying pan. They left “shadows” on the ground that in some cases still remain. But some walked or crawled. Some made it to hospitals where others could hear their exposed bones clacking on the floor like high heels. At the hospitals, maggots crawled into their wounds and their noses and ears. The maggots ate the patients alive from the inside out. The dead sounded metallic when thrown into trashcans and trucks, sometimes with their young children crying and moaning for them nearby. The black rain fell for days, raining death and horror. Those who drank water died instantly. Those who thirsted dared not drink. Those untouched by illness sometimes developed red spots and died quickly enough to watch the death seep over them. The living lived in terror. The dead were added to mountains of bones now viewed as lovely grass hills from which the smell has finally departed.

These are the stories recounted in Melinda Clarke’s small and perfect new book, Waymakers for Peace: Hiroshima and Nagasaki Survivors Speak. For non-readers, there’s video. There almost wasn’t. The U.S. Occupation Force forbid speaking of the horror from September 17, 1945 to April 1952. Film of the suffering and destruction was confiscated and stashed in the U.S. National Archives. In 1975 President Gerald Ford signed the Sunshine Law. The Hiroshima Nagasaki Publishing Company was told it would have to buy the film, raised the money, and bought it. Donations from over 100,000 people liberated the footage found in The Lost Generation (1982). Show it to anyone not working to ban nuclear weapons and war.

“I don’t blame America for the bombing,” says one survivor, who has the modern conception of war, if not the law, down pat. “When war breaks out any steps may be used, even the most severe and cruel methods to secure victory. The issue, it seems to me, isn’t That Day. The real question is war. War is the unpardonable crime against heaven and humanity. War is a disgrace to civilization.”

Clarke concludes her book with a discussion of the significance of the Kellogg-Briand Pact and the utility of what I proposed in When the World Outlawed War (2011), the celebration of August 27th as a day for peace and the abolition of war. Clarke includes a copy of a proclamation of August 27th as Kellogg-Briand Pact Day issued by the Mayor of the County of Maui in 2017, a step taken in 2013 by St. Paul, Minnesota. This upcoming August 27th is 90 years since the signing of the Peace Pact. I’ll be speaking about it that day in Kellogg’s hometown, the twin cities of Minnesota.

If you’d like to learn about the case for abolishing war, I recommend this website or this newly updated list of books:

THE WAR ABOLITION COLLECTION:
Waymakers for Peace: Hiroshima and Nagasaki Survivors Speak by Melinda Clarke, 2018.
The Business Plan For Peace: Building a World Without War by Scilla Elworthy, 2017.
War Is Never Just by David Swanson, 2016.
A Global Security System: An Alternative to War by World Beyond War, 2015, 2016, 2017.
A Mighty Case Against War: What America Missed in U.S. History Class and What We (All) Can Do Now by Kathy Beckwith, 2015.
War: A Crime Against Humanity by Roberto Vivo, 2014.
Catholic Realism and the Abolition of War by David Carroll Cochran, 2014.
War and Delusion: A Critical Examination by Laurie Calhoun, 2013.
Shift: The Beginning of War, the Ending of War by Judith Hand, 2013.
War No More: The Case for Abolition by David Swanson, 2013.
The End of War by John Horgan, 2012.
Transition to Peace by Russell Faure-Brac, 2012.
From War to Peace: A Guide To the Next Hundred Years by Kent Shifferd, 2011.
War Is A Lie by David Swanson, 2010, 2016.
Beyond War: The Human Potential for Peace by Douglas Fry, 2009.
Living Beyond War by Winslow Myers, 2009.

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Swalwell a Major Contender for U.S. Presidency in 2020

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org

One of the most gifted politicians in the Democratic Party — and fastest-rising — is the 37-year-old Eric Swalwell, whose first elective office was as a member of the Dublin, California, City Council in 2010, and who stepped up from there to his current seat in the U.S. Congress, in 2013. His main financial backers are the military industries, including Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Wall Street — and the nonprofits and service-firms that represent them.

On Sunday, August 12th, Political Wire, which is the main news-aggregator for Democratic Party activists, headlined “Swalwell Travels to Iowa” and reported that,

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) — who was born in Iowa — told the San Jose Mercury News that his visit to Iowa “was focused on helping Democrats retake the House in 2018, including by winning competitive races,” but he also said he isn’t ruling out a presidential run in 2020.

Said Swalwell: “Right now my focus is to win at home, earn my way back to Washington to represent my constituents, help other candidates win so we can change the country, and then I’ll make decisions after November about my future.”

Swalwell is movie-star handsome; furthermore, his five-year record in Congress has shown him to be an extraordinarily resourceful career-builder and self-promoter, whose special leadership in the Party has been in their effort to impeach the Republican Party President Donald Trump and (though unmentioned) to replace Trump by the Republican Party Vice President Mike Pence, who is even more conservative than is Trump.

Typical in this effort to place Pence into the White House, is an MSNBC youtube titled “Rep. Eric Swalwell: President Donald Trump Is ‘Perilously Close’ To Obstruction Charge | MSNBC”, in which the issue of whom the President would be if Trump gets impeached is very skillfully ignored entirely, both by the interviewer and by the interviewee. Billionaires control both Parties; and the ones who control the Democratic Party (and MSNBC) are apparently convinced (perhaps by private polling) that the Democratic nominee in 2020 will have a much better chance of winning the White House if Pence is the President, than if Trump is. For whatever reason, almost all of the discussions about impeaching Trump, on Democratic Party sites, avoid even mentioning Pence.

But the same is true also on Republican Party sites. Swalwell is being heavily pumped by virtually all media that cover national politics. For example, on 21 May 2018, Fox News posted to youtube “Calif. lawmaker makes his case for Russian collusion”, where Tucker Carlson debated Swalwell for 9 minutes, and though the actual subject was whether Trump should be impeached, none of the consequences of impeaching him (such as Pence replacing Trump) were even so much as mentioned. The billionaires in both Parties are apparently very taken with Swalwell, not only because he’s phenomenally gifted (as is clear from his ability to hold his own even against the formidable Carlson in that tough debate), but because if any Democrat replaces Trump in 2020, Swalwell would seem to be their dream for achieving that — and he’d probably be preferred by more of them in the general election than Trump would be.

Of course, both Parties claim to represent the public and not the billionaires; and, in this regard, while the standard Republican Party tactic to appeal to the ‘populist’ vote is to promise to “reduce waste, fraud, and abuse,” by eliminating or weakening the regulatory agencies (which the billionaires are determined to shrink or else eliminate if they can’t outright control them), the standard Democratic Party tactic to appeal to the ‘populists’ is to try to build a coalition of feminists, LGBT, Blacks, Hispanics, and other groups whom Republicans treat as being inferior to themselves. Consequently, in order to win the White House as a Democrat, Swalwell has joined the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the Congressional LGBT Caucus, neither of which minority-groups includes himself. Unknown, as of yet, is whether he has applied for membership in the Congressional Black Caucus, but according to Fact Check, as posted in 2008 and never since revised, the Congressional Black Caucus “has never had a white member in its 36-year history” (and, today, that would be never in its 46-year history), so that if he were to apply to join and then be turned down by them, and this were to become public, then the resultant bad publicity for that Caucus would likely reduce, instead of increase, Swalwell’s support by black voters. Consequently, he probably won’t apply to join that Caucus. But perhaps he will seek to join the Bipartisan Congressional Women’s Caucus. They have never had any men, but, between 1981 and 1995, their official policy was to invite male Representatives to join; so, if he were to give it a try, then perhaps they would allow him in, and he then would be able to say that he’s the first-ever man to join the Women’s Caucus. (In 2015, a Men For Women Caucus was formed in the House, but it still hasn’t announced an agenda, and it has done nothing.)

A prominent article on Swalwell’s House website is “Russia: Not Our Friend”, in which is provided a timeline, since 2007, of 13 events that he summarizes outside their context (so his brief accounts there constitute propaganda instead of history), events in which the Russian Government did or was accused of having done allegedly bad things. Typical is the most recent event listed, which is

Linked-to in that, is a New York Times article, from 8 December 2016, headlined “After a Cyberattack, Germany Fears Election Disruption”, and it provided speculation but no evidence, at all. For example:

“Based on the prevailing Russian strategy of hybrid influence and destabilization, which we have observed over time and for which we have facts, the government, officials and some political parties have become sensitized to this form of conflict,” said Wilfried Jilge, an expert on Ukraine and Eastern Europe with the German Council on Foreign Relations.

“Such suspicions are the result of observation and experience over the past year and a half,” Mr. Jilge said.

The Wikipedia article about the “German Council on Foreign Relations” states “The association was founded in 1955 in Bonn. The model for the foundation was in many respects the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and the Chatham House in London.” Both of those groups, in turn, had been founded by, respectively, American and British billionaires and ‘nobles’ in order to advance the design by the 19th Century British aristocrat, Cecil Rhodes, for a reunification of the then-emergent U.S. empire, back into the then-declining British empire, for a joint U.S.-UK empire, including over Germany, and, ultimately, over Russia and the entire world. Consequently, both the CFR and Chatham House are pro-NATO, and this means that they support conquest of Russia, and this urge for global conquest extends even up to their rejecting the idea of Mutually Assured Destruction or “M.A.D.” that the function of nuclear weapons is in order to prevent World War III, and their replacing that by the idea of “Nuclear Primacy” that the function of nuclear weapons is instead to win WW III. This ceaseless nuclear buildup, of course, means ever-increasing U.S. military budgets, which also means soaring profits for firms such as Lockheed Martin and the rest of what Eisenhower called the “military-industrial complex,” such as had, in 2016, financed, above all other U.S. politicians, Hillary Clinton, to whom they donated three times as much as they did to Donald Trump. Trump as President has been trying to satisfy those companies; and, consequently, his biggest achievement yet has been the all-time-record-shatteringly huge $400 billion sale of U.S. weapons and training on how they’re used, to the Saudi armed forces. On 21 May 2017, I headlined “U.S. $350 Billion Arms-Sale to Sauds Cements U.S.-Jihadist Alliance” and reported that the day before, “U.S. President Donald Trump and the Saud family inked an all-time record-high $350 billion ten-year arms-deal. Then, on 21 March 2018, CNBC bannered “Trump wants Saudi Arabia to buy more American-made weapons. Here are the ones the Saudis want”, and reported what Trump had just negotiated with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud, which was a step-up in that record-shattering $350 billion arms-sale, to $400 billion. (Note: that’s “billion,” not “million.”) So: this is Trump’s American jobs-plan, and it probably tops what a President Swalwell would be able to achieve. Trump will push beyond any limit in order to overcome a possible competitive challenge.

If Rep. Swalwell does enter the 2020 Democratic Party primaries for the Presidency, the distinction between himself and Joe Biden would be his youth, handsomeness, and giftedness as a debater, versus Biden’s experience; but, otherwise, they both would be splitting the Democratic “centrist” vote in the primaries, since these two men would be competing for the same segments of the Party’s electorate — the segments who had voted in 2016 for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. Whereas Trump might be able to defeat Biden, I think that his defeating Swalwell would be considerably less likely. So: Republican operatives would probably prefer for Democrats to nominate Biden, over Swalwell.

Swalwell is the biggest rising star in the Democratic Party since Obama in 2004. Four years later, Obama became elected President. Swalwell’s prominence now is comparable to Obama’s in 2004, but 2020 is only two years away, not four. I think that as a public speaker, Swalwell is less skilled than Obama, but that as a debater, he’s more skilled than Obama. Perhaps billionaires will buy-off Biden to not enter the primary contests, so as to help ease the way for Swalwell to become the Democratic nominee. Maybe Swalwell’s challenge would motivate Trump to try even harder to please them. From the billionaires’ standpoint, Swalwell v. Trump would be just as much a win-win situation as was Clinton v. Trump.

Republican operative Bill Whalen, writing at The Hill, on May 23rd, listed 7 California Democrats who might be serious contenders to win the 2020 Democratic Party nomination, and Swalwell wasn’t on the list, which was: Kamala Harris, Eric Garcetti, Gavin Newsom, Tom Steyer, Ro Khanna, Oprah Winfrey, and Jerry Brown. Whalen titled his article “What’s wrong with the Democratic Party? Just look at California.” He closed: “Isn’t that what America expects from California? Entertainment?” Maybe he excluded Swalwell as being not sufficiently “entertaining” (even if better-looking than those he did list).

On 15 January 2016, early in the Republican primaries, Whalen, then writing at Fox News, had analyzed the contenders, and he said that the choice would ultimately come down to Trump versus Cruz, and: “A word of caution here for the Cruz Crew: Jeb Bush tangled with Trump; his candidacy cratered. The same is true of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Thursday’s lone debate holdout. Like falling into a black hole or marrying a Kardashian, the contact sport that is extended sparring with The Donald is a ticket to oblivion.” That was Whalen’s veiled endorsement of Trump. Whalen still prefers Trump.

Does Whalen not know that Swalwell is one of the top Democrats pushing for Trump to be replaced by Pence, and so belongs on his list of leading contenders from California? Likelier is: Whalen fears that Swalwell could handle the challenge of beating Trump — and thus of transferring control of America away from Republican Party billionaires, and toward Democratic Party ones. It’s all really just a feud amongst the aristocracy. It’s a bipartisan aristocracy, who fight ferociously between themselves. Everybody else is merely ‘collateral damage’; they don’t actually count.

The idea that Swalwell and his ilk peddle, that what has ended American democracy is ‘the Russians’ instead of America’s own aristocrats, isn’t merely false; it is proven false, as the former Democratic U.S. President Jimmy Carter has acknowledged.

Anything will be done to sell more weapons. Apparently, that’s the bottom line.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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