Donald Trump Town Hall: Almost Live from Des Moines, Iowa

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The Metamodern: Politics. Donald Trump Town Hall, Des Moines.

“The basic realist orientation of U.S. foreign policy towards dictators in that era were sometimes encapsulated in the phrase, ‘he’s a bastard, but he’s our bastard’.”

By Allen Sands
Image (above) from iowastatedaily.com

I watched the Donald Trump Des Moines Town Hall Meeting on YouTube last night. Twice. So none of these observations are coming from soundbites. Within an hour and twenty minutes was about 50 minutes worth of bashing Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Now, I don’t know about you, but that’s old news to me. What I was interested in hearing were the details of how Mr. Trump would execute his foreign policy and the conditions under which his trade deals would be negotiated. Most of what I heard were vague innuendos that any uninformed voter would present, along with a plethora of accurate, if not redundant attacks on the disingenuity of the Democratic leadership.

I’m not your stereotypical liberal. I also dislike Obama and Clinton, but he wasn’t the president who invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s kind of like ignoring the fact that Truman nuked Japan and then publicly blaming Eisenhower for the Nuclear Winter that followed. Or invading two countries for oil and opium and then blaming Obama for all the corruption, fallout and destabilization that was set in motion during the Bush, Cheney years. Obama is just another encore to our sustainable geopolitical and economic destruction.

This is where I start offending some of my friends when I say – I agree with Trump’s stand on two things: Trade and the Wall. But the way the Wall’s being promoted is not very tactful, nor does he take into consideration the reasons why all of these people are fleeing to other countries. Immigration and mass migration are the results of two geopolitical causes: War and Globalized Trade. Which brings me to that.

The Japanese have a saying. “Business is War”. I tend to agree. But as Donald Trump implies, should “War also be Business”? And that’s what concerns me. He talked about Defense spending and how our military is falling apart. Falling apart? Tell me that during the seventies when every other plane we flew had flames and black smoke pouring out of the engines with the Master Chief on his knees praying for a landing we could walk away from. When Marines I knew were fixing their tracked vehicles with duct tape and paperclips. Kind of like the present – the guys that Bush sent into Iraq who were welding scrap steel to their fabric covered dune buggies – to survive the shrapnel, but then sending plenty of tanks to Mayberry, USA; while conservatives act like they’re the only ones leaping to our Veterans’ defense on their campaign soap boxes.

The fact that we spend a great deal of money to defend other nations and their military is ludicrous, and he’s absolutely 100% correct. And he mentions a couple other countries as examples. All except for Israel, that is. But, let’s capitalize on that. Let’s charge other countries a fee for our services. Don’t encourage any withdrawals from aggression. Instead, let’s commodify interventionism by leasing out our war machine. The geopolitical and economic implications are staggering.

Free-Trade with China and Mexico: If he’s going to call out China and Mexico on their shoddy practices and rightly so, why does he insist on doing business with them to begin with? Opening factories in America is what will make America great again, not kow-towing to China. Did he have to wait to run for president before taking the ‘nationalist’ stance to begin with? I see one more “businessman” exploiting NAFTA to his own advantage all through the great big sucking sound, and then coming out and saying what everybody wanted to hear from the beginning. A true politician.

And of course, taxes. Conventional conservative wisdom claims that tax breaks, handouts and subsidies to the wealthy create jobs. (Whatever doesn’t make it into their offshore accounts or tax-free foundations). Everybody’s hiring! Plenty of jobs waiting for all our highly trained college graduates. If you’re okay with $8-10 an hour that is; if they’re hiring. But Donald Trump is going to change all that. I’ve been waiting for that kind of change for thirty years worth of presidential candidates. Since that other businessman, Ross Perot? Where was the Tea Party then? Let me guess: You were throwing your broccoli off your high chairs when I was working for a living and voting to KEEP America great BEFORE we lost it.

Law Enforcement and supporting our police: I’m going come right out and say it. My nephew Chris is a Police Officer. He trained with the Marines and the Gurkha Mountain Forces and served his country with three tours in Iraq. I’m exceedingly proud of my nephew. Cop or not, I’ll always have his back. And this is the quandary in which our dysfunctional society and its leadership has left us. Historical state sponsored racism and segregation; weakening economy and let’s be honest; overpopulation. The root cause of scarcity in a global extraction/production/consumption economy.

“The number one purveyor of terrorism in the World is Iran”, says Donald Trump. I thought Saudi Arabia held the title, but I’m sure Iran’s a close second. It’s funny how Iran was probably one of the most democratized and westernized societies in the region, before we overthrew their democracy for oil in 1953 and put a maniacal despot in his place who did nothing but terrorize his own people for the sake of American and British oil interests. Any questions; any comments on that? The historical causes leading to the effects of fundamental extremism is conveniently ignored at every opportunity.

And finally, ISIS. The destabilization of Iraq was the impetus of ISIS. The countries we ally with are the impetus of ISIS. In 1979 Afghanistan was the impetus of ISIS. Smuggling arms to Syria, via Hillary Clinton, Christopher Stevens and the CIA Ratline are the impetus of ISIS. Both parties were the impetus of ISIS. Obama? He’s just carrying the same torch that was handed to him by the preceding Democrats and Republicans and expanding on it, like any dutiful establishment shill.

I’ll leave you with a couple of videos to ponder. The first is from 1979, an agenda starting with the Carter Doctrine of 1980, (pre-Reagan). Brzezinski goes to the Afghanistan/Pakistan border.

“I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war.” – Zbigniew Brzezinski

In the second, Dick Cheney, (Dick Cheney, no less) as he [wisely] foreshadows the “quagmire” that the Iraq invasion has morphed into. Not long before he totally contradicts himself – like any good state-capitalist/politician would. There you go; one for my Marxist friends who think I’m a Capitalist and my Capitalist friends who think I’m a Marxist. I love being an enigma.

“The basic realist orientation of U.S. foreign policy towards dictators in that era were sometimes encapsulated in the phrase, he’s a bastard, but he’s our bastard.” – from The American Anomaly: U.S. Politics and Government in Comparative Perspective, by Raymond A. Smith.

None of these guys are stupid. Including Donald Trump. Thinking that is always the first mistake.

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