Leave it to the War Party to lose an election to a celebrity billionaire oligarch and then provide him with favorable conditions for a second-term.
“Trump can now say with confidence that he was the ‘victim’ of a witch-hunt.”
We are less than two years out from the end of Trump’s first presidential term. Since Trump was elected in 2016, coastal elites in Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and the military industrial complex have spent much of this period shrieking and howling accusations that Donald Trump is a puppet of Russia. The corporate media and spooks in the intelligence apparatus spent endless hours mulling over the possible scenarios in the conspiracy theory. Russia was in U.S. electric grids, social media websites,and voting machines.Former Bush II FBI director Robert Mueller was specially appointed to investigate the matter. His report found no evidence of “collusion” between Trump and Russia.
What the investigation did accomplish was to hand Donald Trump a powerful weapon in the 2020 presidential election. Despite being a vile billionaire of the ruling class (all members of which are racist to the core), Trump can now say with confidence that he was the “victim” of a witch-hunt. Indeed, the highest levels of the U.S. intelligence and military brass are implicated in attempting to depose of a sitting U.S. president through an evidence-free campaign. The Democratic Party’s most corporate-friendly politicians such as representative Adam Schiff led the way in the conspiracy and ignored the plight of the masses entirely. None of the corporate-giveawaysor war-mongering policiesof the Trump Administration received a fraction of the attention that Russiagate was given over the course of the presidential term.
“The highest levels of the U.S. intelligence and military brass are implicated in attempting to depose of a sitting U.S. president.”
Russiagate was never about mounting a resistance to Trump. Trump was never defensible as an individual. Politics, however, are not about individuals. Individualism is an American fable that Ho Chi Minh described as anathema to human existence itself. Politics is a struggle for power and that is what Russiagate was always about. The ruling class watched with fear as the electoral situation crumbled before them in 2016. Trump took down the Republican establishment and Sanders, were it not for the Clinton machine’s sabotage of his campaign, would have done the same to the Democratic establishment. Russiagate was devised to discipline Trump and the rest of the political apparatus in the correct way of ruling the planet amid a burgeoning crisis of legitimacy.
The plan has worked marvelously, at least for the time being. Donald Trump’s administration has been just as hostile toward Russia if not more so than his predecessor, Barack Obama.In less than one term, Trump’s administration renewed sanctions against Russia, continued the military encirclement of Russia along its border, and engaged in economic warfare with Russia’s biggest ally to the east in China. This is not to mention the repeated U.S. bombing of Syria, the U.S.’ ongoing hostilities with Iran (Russia’s primary allies in the Middle East), or the ongoing U.S. coup attempt against Venezuela; all of which have occurred under the Trump administration. While he condemned regime change wars during his campaign, the Trump administration has continued the Obama-Bush doctrine of full spectrum dominance by directing the ire of the military industrial complex toward Russia and its allies.
“Trump has been just as hostile toward Russia as his predecessor, Barack Obama.”
Russiagate was always designed to serve the aims of empire in the domestic sphere as well. Perhaps even more beneficial to Trump than the lie of “collusion” is the justification that Russiagate provided in suppressing critics of the neoliberal ruling elite. Scores of alternative media such as The Black Agenda Report, Venezuelanalysis, The American Herald Tribune, Telesur, CounterPunch, Nakedcapitalism, and MintPressNewshave seen their content rendered largely inaccessible by algorithm changesand their social media websites blocked periodically by an alliance between Silicon Valley and military industrial complex. Left political thought and action has been criminalized as “fake news” and lumped together with rightwing factions in the U.S. With nothing to offer the broad masses of people let alone the most exploited sectors of society such as Black America, Russiagate has justified the suppression of political analysis that runs counter to the agenda of empire.
There is no sign that the Muller Report will rid us of the Russiagate disease. That’s because the alignment between the Democratic Party and the U.S. intelligence apparatus is deep and binding. Trump’s re-election chances are strengthened not only by the outcome of Russiagate but also by the Democratic Party’s commitment to strangling all “leftish” elements in the party. The most popular politician in the country, Bernie Sanders, is a Democrat, yet the entire Democratic establishment has openly stated that it will do anything to “stop” him. Already top Democrats are contemplating how to deploy their ultra-rich superdelegates in the second roundof primary votes to cheat Sanders out of victory.
“Russiagate has justified the suppression of political analysis that runs counter to the agenda of empire.”
Early pre-election data indicates that up to twenty percent of the Sandernista votewill boycott the Democrats should Sanders not win the nomination. This means that Trump is likely to be presented with a very similar situation to the one he faced in 2016. Trump will possess the added benefit of being the target of a failed investigation into his alleged “collusion” with Russia. This is especially important since Trump has spent almost every minute of his first term breaking his campaign promises, whether by providing handsome handouts to the rich or bombing the planet more than his predecessor. Leave it to the War Party to lose an election to a celebrity billionaire oligarch and then provide him with favorable conditions for a second-term.
For Black America and most of humanity, Russiagate was an ideological weapon that further consolidated the project of endless war, austerity, and white supremacy. When Trump uttered his plan to achieve a détente with Russia, the Democratic and Republican parties found common cause with the most authoritative spooks in the intelligence and military apparatus. That cause was the resuscitation of an empire in decline. Neo-conservatives such as John McCain and Bill Kristol suddenly became friends of the Democratic Party. Alternative media and activism, especially those to the left of the Democratic Party, became instant “dupes” of Russia and censored online. The DNC was given an escape valve for its robbery of the 2016 election that led to the demise of Hillary Clinton. The ruling class was able to wage war on the planet, terrorize Black America, and continue the race to the bottom for eighty percent of the U.S. populationwhile conducting a search for a new, more effective evil than Trump.
“The Democratic Party is committed to strangling all ‘leftish’ elements in the party.”
That search has filled the Democratic primary to the brim with corporate candidates seeking to undermine Bernie Sanders. Whether it is Pete Buttigieg’s commitment to the U.S. intelligence apparatusor Joe Biden’s long record in helping to construct the mass Black incarceration state, there are plenty of reasons to believe that Trump can and will win the 2020 election. Russiagate has given the celebrity president a more gracious gift than the thirty million dollars that he has thus far received for the presidential race. Perhaps the left, especially those sick and tired of the Democratic Party, will learn that nothing good ever comes from aligning oneself with the mercenary activity of the intelligence apparatus. Perhaps not. The truth remains that this lesson has already presented itself in the millions of radical activists at home and abroad who were tortured, incarcerated, and murdered by the coordinated actions of the U.S. military and intelligence apparatus throughout the 20thcentury.
Of course, the problem goes back even further in history. There still has not been a true national reckoning of the original sin of slavery or indigenous genocide. It should come as no surprise, then, that Trump has filled the political vacuum of an empire which is rotting on top of the centuries-long worth of corpses that it has amassed from its endless wars for profit. The economic, political, and spiritual rot of U.S. imperialism will continue as the contradictions of the system become more and more unmanageable. The ruling class will cling to Russiagate in the same way that it clings to the War on Terror, the War on Drugs, and the Cold War. Notice that these wars never end on their own, they merely change form to fit the needs of the ruling class in a given period. We can thank Russiagate’s attempt to resuscitate the legitimacy of empire should Trump win in 2020. Through Russiagate, we also learn that only the power of the people can facilitate revolutionary transformation. The development of such power should be our primary focus as we move into another election period under the rule of two contending fascisms.
Danny Haiphong is an activist and journalist in the New York City area. He and Roberto Sirvent are co-authors of the book entitled American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News- From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror (Skyhorse Publishing). He can be reached at [email protected]
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