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Some Thoughts on Why USA Cannot Win Cold War 2.0: Part 1

September 18, 2017 2 comments

One of the major undercurrents running through a number of current standoffs and conflicts involving the USA (supported by its west European vassal states) and a number of other countries such as Iran, North Korea, Russia, China etc can be stated as follows: USA is acting as if it can “win” all these conflicts in a manner similar to how, it believes, it “won” Cold War 1.0.

To put it another way, the establishment in USA believes that it can win conflicts against other countries (small and large) through a combination of economic policy and propaganda. A corollary of that is the widespread belief among establishment-types in USA that those conflicts will never reach the point where are an existential threat to the survival of USA.

While I have previously touched on this topic in some previous posts such as why comparing income across countries in USD is detached from reality, the focus was mainly on socio-economic effects of this disconnect rather than its strategic implications. I also wrote another post about why Russian military capability was far stronger than its GDP as measured in USD would otherwise imply.

The gist of my argument was that comparing the GDP of countries in USD dollars is quite meaningless if the costs of functionally equivalent products and services, as measured in USD, was substantially different. Furthermore, the ability to produce certain products (such nuclear bombs and ICBMs) are far more valuable than their cost in resources or manpower- especially if both are almost completely indigenous.

Anyway, getting back to the topic of this post- you might have noticed that establishment in USA is devoting a lot of effort in an attempt to start another Cold War by actions such as implicating Russian journalistic ventures as devious propaganda outlets, endless blathering about Russian interference in the 2016 election, arming Ukraine against Russia, economic sanctions on Russia for taking back Crimea, defaming Russian sport starts and Olympic athletes through western regulatory bodies, targeting Russian companies selling products and services in USA and more.

You might also have noticed that these measures have not really affected the resurgence of Russia as country since Putin came to power in 2000. Such behavior has, however, done a wonderful job of convincing even otherwise skeptical Russian citizens that they can never have good relations with USA. We can see a similar, if less public, conflict developing between China and USA on a number of issues such as maritime boundaries in the south china sea, trade disputes and many others. Yet, they do not address the central issue linking these seemingly unrelated conflicts- which is the irreversible decline of economic and military power of USA versus China and, more generally, the rest of the world.

It is no secret that the USA, in its current form, is a nation and system in terminal decline. While there have been a few years (like the mid to late 1990s) when things looked good for USA, the overwhelming long-term trend is towards decline and this has been especially obvious since the financial crisis of 2008. As I frequently pointed out in my older posts, the inability of USA to win (or even appear to win) wars in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan have not helped its public image.. to put it mildly. In fact, the USA has not been able to decisively win a single war since the end of WW2- which is a bit over 70 years.

The current standoff between North Korea and USA is another example of the huge gap between the projected public image of USA and the reality as seen by the rest of the world. As an example, consider the bullshit and propaganda spewed by american mainstream media about the capabilities of their anti-ballistic missile (ABM) systems. Now ask yourself- if american ABM systems were as effective as claimed by the establishment, why would USA give a flying fuck about DPRK developing and deploying ICBMs?

The thing is, american ABM systems “seem” to only work under highly rigged test conditions and are probably worse than useless against even a small-scale attack by IRBMs and ICBMs. China or Russia, both of whom incidentally border DPRK, are unwilling (and unable) to do anything about DPRK’s nuclear and ICBM program. In fact, all those missile launches and nuclear tests by DPRK have helped them humiliate USA on the world stage and expose its real-life weaknesses.

And this brings me to the central idea of this series of posts, namely that USA is incapable of winning Cold War 2.0.

But before we go there, let us quickly recap the reasons why USA thought it “won” Cold War 1.0. As many of you know, the establishment in USA believes that it was largely responsible for the collapse of USSR in 1991, which marked the end of Cold War 1.0. While this belief might sound pleasing to jingoistic ears, the reality is rather different as the USSR started experiencing serious socio-economic problems because of the rigid and unresponsive nature of their version of state communism as early as the late 1960s. It was these systemic problems, rather than american pressure, which ultimately led to the collapse of USSR in 1991.

China, on the other hand, was able to avoid all those problems because of systematic socio-economic reform during the same time period. These reforms have been so successful that China, adjusted for PPP, is the largest economy in the world today. The point I am trying to make is that the apparent “victory” of USA in Cold War 1.0 had more to do with the failings and sclerosis of one particular version of state communism in Russia and eastern Europe than the american system “winning” anything.

This inconvenient fact has not stopped the american establishment and its lapdog “intellectuals” from proclaiming ‘the end of history’ and ‘beginning of a new world order’ in 1991. Of course, things did not go as “planned” especially after 2001, Iraq War 2.0, Afghanistan War and then the financial crisis of 2008. Such setbacks have, however, not dimmed the ardor of establishment types in Washington D.C to re-establish a ‘new world order’ centered around USA. As many of you are only too aware of, the ground reality in USA for the 99% simply does not support the establishment belief that USA will be able to maintain its current position in the world.

In the next part of this series, I will explore how rapid industrialization in the rest of the world within the previous two-three decades (in combination with simultaneous un-industrialization of USA and the ‘west’) has fundamentally shifted the real power balance and possible outcomes for any Cold War 2.0-type strategies deployed by establishment in USA. Spoiler alert: real-life outcomes of such conflicts are heavily rooted in real-life capabilities and abilities rather than impressive but empty posturing and bullshit.. I mean propaganda.

What do you think? Comments?

The Next Likely Escalation in USA vs North Korea Conflict: Sep 12, 2017

September 12, 2017 13 comments

As regular readers of this blog know, I have written a few posts about the ongoing ‘situation’ between USA and North Korea over the previous year. For those who are relatively new to this blog, here are a few examples: On the Inability of USA to Stop North Korean Nuclear Weapon Program; Reports of Cyberwar against N. Korean Ballistic Missiles are Likely False; A Quick Analysis of the First North Korean ICBM Test: July 5, 2017 and most recently Continued Inability of USA to Stop N.Korean Nuclear Missile Program.

I have also written a few posts about the factors behind the genesis and continuation of this particular confrontation: The West Has Always Lost Against Determined Adversaries Since WW2; Why was USA Unable to Win Korean War in the 1950s: Apr 22, 2017 and How Racism and Magical Thinking Could Lead to War with North Korea.

To make a long story short, it is my opinion that a mixture of american ego, hubris, racism and magical thinking have been the main factor which created and then sustained this conflict. Now this does not imply that the North Korean regime (especially the Kim Dynasty) are great human beings, to put it mildly. But it is quite clear that their behavior and actions over the previous seven decades have been consistently and highly rational.

I should also point out that USA never had any qualms being super friendly with despots, assholes and mass murderers such as the Saudi dynasty and other Gulf Emirs, Saddam Hussein (before 1989) and Bin Laden (before 1993). In other words, the idea that USA cannot get along with the Kim Dynasty and North Korean regime because of personality cultism and totalitarianism is utterly ridiculous since there is tons of evidence that USA has no problems with despotic regimes, as long as those relationships are profitable to american corporations.

But back to the topic at hand. As you might have heard, yesterday the USA has gotten the security council to approve one more in a seemingly endless series of economic sanctions against the North Korean regime. Of course, these sanctions which were not vetoed by China and Russia were significantly diluted from the first drafts. They do however pose an open challenge to Kim Jong-un and the NK regime, in the wake of their successful hydrogen bomb test.

Based on how things have unfolded till now, I think that North Korean regime will respond in a somewhat unique way. To be more specific, they will test an ICBM at almost-full range such that its warhead will land in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of USA (or Mexico) just outside the Exclusive economic zone of either country. In other words, they will test an ICBM which will overfly Japan (something they have already done) to land about 250-300 miles of the west coast of USA- likely near its southern border with Mexico.

But it gets better.. I think there is a real chance that they will use a live nuclear warhead (likely a H-bomb instead of a A-bomb) and make it go off over the target area. Yes.. you heard that right. I think that there is a pretty good chance that North Korea will test a nuclear warhead tipped ICBM off the west coast of USA in a way such that it does not violate any of the maritime boundaries and zones of either USA or Mexico.

Here is why I think they will do it..

1] The North Korean regime understands that its survival is linked to the possession of a credible nuclear deterrent- specifically one that can wipe out at least a few large cities in USA. Perhaps more importantly, they know from their previous interactions during the Bill Clinton presidency that the USA cannot be trusted to honor any agreement, treaty or promise it makes with the North Korean regime. So far the USA has been able to bullshit and lie to its citizens that North Korean nukes cannot reach the mainland of USA.

A live nuke-ICBM test will show that all anti-ballistic missile systems deployed by USA are expensive boondoggles. Also, the american government and its “credentialed experts” will no longer be able to claim that North Korean ICBMs and Nukes are not technologically advanced enough to work reliably. After that, USA will not be able to hide behind “expert” techno-babble and other linguistic sophisms designed to minimize the nuclear capability of NK in the eyes of its citizens.

2] As long as the warhead explodes 50-100 km outside the exclusive economic zone of USA or Mexico, neither country can credibly claim that it was an act of war. A nuke going off over the ocean 50 km outside the economic zone of USA is legally no different from a failed satellite or spacecraft crashing into the same point on ocean. Also, the regime in NK has withdrawn from any international treaty which would limit its ability to conduct an atmospheric nuclear test. While the fallout from such a test might reveal some details about the nuclear device being used, it will only bolster previous claims made by North Korea about their nuclear capabilities.

At this stage, the government in USA will be in a pretty odd situation where they cannot really go to war over a test which did not violate the legal boundaries of their country while having to simultaneously face the majority of their angry and scared citizenry. Perhaps more importantly, its vassal governments in South Korea and Japan will realize that any military action by USA will result in the destruction of at least a couple of their major metropolitan areas (example – Seoul Capital Area and Greater Tokyo Area) and the death of tens of millions of their own citizens.

3] While China and Russia have tried to play both sides of the conflict, their recent willingness to vote for economic sanctions against North Korea (even if they are watered down) has pissed off the regime in Pyongyang. Conducting a live Nuke-ICBM test puts both countries in a situation where they have to choose sides. As far as China is concerned, unwillingness to respond to any unprovoked military action or attempt to occupy North Korea would be perceived as extreme humiliation by a western imperialistic country- something that would seriously screw up the public image of the ruling party in that country. Also China has no interest in a refugee influx from North Korea in the event of a war or, even worse, having an american puppet regime on their borders.

Russia, too, has appeared a bit too willing to please the USA even after all the attempts by the later to humiliate it and besmirch its name. The risk of a nuclear conflict and a potential american puppet state on their eastern borders would force them to choose sides. Basically, they are put in a situation where they, like China, would have to side with North Korea to protect their own interests. All that talk about international solidarity, arms control treaties and reestablishing normal relations with USA will mean squat once the moment of truth arrives. In other words, North Korea can force China and Russia to side with it by conducting such a provocative but legally acceptable test.

The clincher, in my opinion, is that it closes off every time delaying option used by USA to prolong this conflict and hope to win by economic attrition. The only option available to USA after such a test are as follows: declare war against North Korea and expose tens of millions of people in South Korea, Japan and USA to almost certain death, in addition to drawing China and Russia into the resulting conflict OR accept that North Korea is a nuclear power and start negotiating with it. The stark and binary nature of choice in the aftermath of such a test is precisely why I think Kim Jong-un and the regime will go for it.

What do you think? Comments?

Continued Inability of USA to Stop N.Korean Nuclear Missile Program

September 3, 2017 7 comments

Almost a year ago, I wrote a post about the main reasons behind inability of USA to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapon and missile program. The main points made were as follows: a] The technology for nuclear weapons is pretty old and not especially complicated, regardless of what old white men with degrees from ivy league schools say; b] China had no interest in stopping North Korea’s nuclear program since the pros of that country possessing its own nukes outweighed the cons of that outcome; c] The North Korean regime was very pragmatic and their desire to posses nuclear weapons and missiles was about self-preservation than any future imperial ambitions.

Since then, I have written posts on developments in that area- from the self-delusions of USA being able to “hack” NK missile launches to the role played by racism and magical thinking in response of USA to North Korea nuclear and missile program. As all of you know by now- NK conducted their sixth, and to date most powerful, underground nuclear test yesterday. While we are still in the zone of incomplete, and often contradictory, information- its is reasonable to assume that yesterdays test, which registered as an earthquake of Richter 6.3 is at least 10 times more powerful than their previous test at Richter 5.2-5.3. In other words, the output of yesterday’s device was at least 150-200 kt.

You might also have seen a series of photos, released a few hours before that test, of Kim Jong-un inspecting a peanut shaped device which looks like the exterior of a thermonuclear device suitable for delivery by a missile. While many “credentialed western experts” are still trying to push the idea that device on display was not similar to the one detonated later that day, I think otherwise. Why should you believe “western experts” who have not been able to make correct, let alone accurate, predictions about the North Korean nuclear and missile program? In my opinion, it is reasonable to assume that NK possess multiple 100-300 kt ‘two-stage’ thermonuclear warheads as well as road-mobile ICBMs with a range sufficient to target large metropolitan areas on the west coast of USA, at the very least.

To put it another way, any attempt by USA to launch an attack (however limited) on North Korea is now as likely to end badly for people living in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco metro areas as it will for people living in Seoul and Tokyo metro areas. Of course, Trump and other american keyboard warriors can still attack North Korea and Kim Jong-un on Twitter by posting ‘spicy’ memes. The reality, however, is that North Korea has now exposed the hollowness of american bluffing about being able to attack it and ‘win’ any subsequent war. As it stands today, any serious war between the two sides will include many tens of millions of dead South Koreans, Japanese and Americans. Regardless of the outcome for North Korea, it is no longer possible for USA to ‘win’ a war against that country.

So will this new reality change the approach of USA in regards to North Korea? Well.. I am not sure that will happen any time soon. Here is why..

1] The vast majority of people occupying executive and administrative positions in the american government are racists who live in a make-believe world. They actually believe that they are an omnipotent and indispensable superpower, regardless of mountains of accumulating evidence to the contrary. It is very likely that they will find it hard to accept that North Korean nuclear warheads and ICBMs are real. Consequently, I expect the american administration to keep on acting as if all those nuclear and missile tests never occurred. We have seen other manifestations of this behavior in response to a number of severe setbacks such as the inevitability of defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the past- Vietnam. Maybe, they will never accept the new reality until a North Korean nuke goes off above one, or more, of their large cities.

2] As many, including myself, have repeatedly pointed out- ‘elites’ in USA retain their positions despite repeated and very public failures. Consequently, a host of amazingly stupid ideas and policies keep on getting implemented and promoted as gospel. In the case of North Korea, we have seen this manifested in the form of repeated and endless talk about “more sanctions”, repeated appeals to China and other assorted ritual behavior. I mean.. if something has not worked for many decades, what makes you think it will work now? But why do all the “serious people” and “credentialed experts” keep on repeating the same talking points? Well.. it comes down to lack of imagination and ideological conformity- with a big dash of racism. The elite in USA, you see, are incapable of imagining a situation where they have to accept the reality of North Korea being a full-fledged nuclear power and negotiating with as an equal nation state.

3] You might have noticed that North Korea has stomped on every single ‘red line’ drawn by successive american administrations. It does not take a genius to figure out that this has not escaped notice by rest of the world. The inability of USA to contain North Korea as well as its defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan merely confirm what many people outside USA have noticed for over a decade now- which is that the USA is somewhere in between an old champion boxer and paper tiger. The inability of USA to slow, let alone stop, the North Korean nuclear weapon and ICBM program makes it look sclerotic and impotent (which it kinda is) to the rest of the world. While this might not be a big problem for other large countries, it is a big one for the USA since a lot of american global influence is based on others believing all the hype, bullshit and lies about american ‘power’ and ‘capabilities’.

4] On another note, it is highly unlikely that China or Russia are going to help USA in containing the NKorean nuclear and ICBM programs. As far as China is concerned, the Nkorean program are a safe and inexpensive way to keep the USA off-balance in that region. It also allows them to constantly humiliate South Korea and Japan by showing their vulnerability to such weapons in spite of american assurances of protection. Furthermore, the Chinese government fully understands that USA will not keep its end of any bargain or deal made to stop the NKorean programs. As far as Russia is concerned, the NKorean programs provide yet another way to publicly humiliate the american establishment. As many of you know, the american ‘deep state’ is itching for a conflict with Russia and had provoked it on numerous occasions in recent past. As far as Russia is concerned, a nuclear ICBM armed NKorea is another tool to make american government look stupid and impotent. While both countries might make some polite noises about containing NKorea, you can be assured that they have no interest in helping the USA.

Will probably write more about this topic in the future..

What do you think? Comments?

On the Probability of Trump Completing His Term as President: 2

July 16, 2017 11 comments

In the previous post of this series, I wrote about how overt attempts by the establishment and its MSM stooges to invalidate Trump’s victory in the 2016 election by connecting him to a largely made-up “russian conspiracy” are not gaining support among the general population. Now.. this does not imply that Trump is becoming more popular. In fact, he probably has the worst levels of public support for a president in living memory. However, his low approval ratings are due to his general incompetence in combination with numerous poor policy and personnel choices, rather than most people seeing seeing him as a traitor or usurper.

When I wrote the previous, and first, post in this series we still had not heard much about the latest development in this darkly funny shit-show. As almost every single one of you must have heard many times by now, one of his son (Donald Trump Jr.) had a metting with a mediocre but semi-connected Russian lawyer and a few other people who were supposed to provide some ‘dirt’ on HRC related to some of the Clinton families dealings with a few shady rich Russians. You might have also heard that the meeting in question, which occurred in mid-summer 2016, was attended by an odd cast of characters. Anyway.. as far we know, no money changed hands and very little of what was discussed concerned HRC.

Of course, the MSM is having a field day with this most recent “scandal”. In fact, they have gone so far as to greatly exaggerate the positions, abilities and power of the Russians who attended that meeting. For example- the MSM is portraying Natalia Veselnitskaya (the Russian layer) as some sinister genius when it well-known that she was, at best, a mediocre lawyer who happened to marry a semi-powerful prosecutor in her home country. Rinat Akhmetshin (lobbyist) is being portrayed as a “soviet” counter-intelligence sleeper operative while, in reality, he was just another semi-ambitious guy who joined the soviet army in late-1980s to get out of Kazakhstan and then moved to USA after the collapse of USSR in 1991.

My point is, the people attending that meeting were not especially smart or competent. I would go even further and say that this meeting and its cast of attendees had more in common with a sub-plot in “Arrested Development” than anything which could pass for half-competent espionage and skulduggery.

Nonetheless, establishment democrats are busy promoting this alleged scandal as the “smoking gun” which will finally allow them to impeach Trump and make him resign or remove him from office. Of course, doing so would result in an outwardly normal looking religious nutcase, also known as Mike Pence, becoming the President. Then again, establishment democrats have not displayed much ability to think strategically. I mean.. they have lost almost 1,00 state legislature seats and dozens of governor races in the previous 8 years, in addition to losing the house and senate at the national level. Their only major “success” has been stopping Bernie Sanders from winning the party nomination in 2016- though that one turned out to be a really bad idea.

Having said that, let us consider the short (weeks) and medium (months) term consequences of the establishment democrat obsession with somehow connecting Trump to Putin and Russia. Firstly, they seem to forget that the american electorate has heard this same basic fairy tale for almost a year now. Guess what.. Trump won the election even after democrats started pushing this story and his approval numbers, while low, are still a bit between than their own. Note to self- write a post on how democrats were able to achieve lower approval ratings than a reality TV star who has reneged on almost all of his electoral promises.

Secondly, their obsession with this made-up scandal has prevented them from focusing on his many real failures and fuckups. You would think that democrats would focus on Trump’s failures on issues such as preventing outsourcing or maintaining funding levels for popular government programs like social security, medicare and medicaid. But no.. democarts are busy pushing “Trump-Putin”, “Trump-Russia” and “Russia Hacked Our Sacred Elections” 24/7- regardless of the lack of solid evidence to support such connections and conclusions. Establishment democrat obsession with Trump-Putin-Russia (and simultaneous neglect of issues which most voters care about) is eroding their credibility with the broader electorate at an alarming rate.

Thirdly, making the MSM incessantly push this made-up scandal is corroding whatever residual credibility those outlets used to have- even six months ago. Think about it.. average people now know that CNN and MSNBC will spend multiple hours each day talking about the newest chapter of this obviously made up scandal while simultaneously ignoring their real and very serious concerns. They know that supposedly prestigious newspapers like the NYT and WP (and pretty much every other MSM paper) will almost certainly write a dozen pieces about this obviously made-up scandal every single day. Do you think they will care if and when they publish a genuine negative story about Trump?

Will write more about the general issue of credibility loss by establishment due to their numerous unsuccessful attempts at unseating Trump in a future post of this series.

What do you think? Comments?

On the Probability of Trump Completing His Term as President: 1

July 11, 2017 14 comments

One of the funny, if somewhat ironic, effects of persistent attempts by establishment democrats (and their media underlings) to delegitimize Trump’s victory in 2016 election by connecting him to some cartoon-ish “russian conspiracy” is that it has not increased their own popularity among the general population. It has, if anything, made them less popular than Trump- which is a most impressive feat. Curiously, the inability of establishment democrats to improve their approval ratings has occurred in spite of Trump doing his best to screw over the very people who voted for him by making a load of generally unpopular decisions on issues such as healthcare.

More than a few commentators on twitter have been baffled by the desire of establishment democrats to flog the dead horse of “russian conspiracy” while simultaneously ignoring issues which animate average people such as healthcare, jobs, education and other concerns based in real life. In my opinion, it comes down to the sad fact that they (and other “traditional” parties in the west) have become the willing and enthusiastic tools of multinational neoliberalism. In other words, supposedly “traditional” political parties have become intellectually bankrupt cults which lack the ability to perceive the world around them thorough anything other than a neoliberal filter.

But what about the question posed in the title of this post? Will Trump complete, or be able to complete, his four-year term as the president? Or will he be impeached before his term is over? Or will something, which will render both those options moot, occur before his term is over?

As many of you know, impeccably credentialed, coiffed and dressed presstitutes employed by main-stream media outlets (and their equivalents in the entertainment sector) have been busy trying to grab onto any piece of evidence and hearsay, ok.. mostly hearsay and fabrication, that Trump is a traitor who did something “bad” which will lead to his impeachment. As you know, I am no defender of Trump and expect his presidential term to be one giant shitshow. Having said that, I think it is incorrect to say that Trump’s behavior and actions are especially unusual for somebody who has been elected as president.

USA has had more than a few presidents who had behaved worse and done far more fucked up shit. If you don’t believe me, read a bit about people like Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Richard Milhous Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and yes.. even Barack Obama. Clearly.. being a child-fucker, genocidal racist, paranoid asshole, demented moron, corrupt piece of shit and obfuscating neoliberal is no barrier to getting elected and re-elected as president. Only a true believer in the dying cult of american exceptionalism would believe in the bullshit story that Trump is somehow uniquely damaging to the dignity of the “office”.

As things stand today, there is insufficient evidence that Trump did something illegal enough to make him resign or impeach him in a manner that looks impartial. Does that mean that Trump has not done anything illegal or made poor and questionable decisions? No.. it does not. For all we know he could be getting a blowjob from by his adult daughter under the table while eating well-done steak seasoned with tomato ketchup and accepting legal contributions from the Saudi crown prince. But you see.. none of those highly questionable decisions are sufficient to impeach him in an open trial.

If there was anything sufficient to impeach him in an open trial, we would have heard it on every mainstream media outlet by now.

So, what about the other establishment democrat plan- making him resign by harping on the alleged “russia conspiracy”? Well.. we kinda already know how that will turn out. As many of you might have noticed, most people in USA have tuned out of that farce. And why wouldn’t they? Every day brings yet more unsubstantiated claims about some connection between Trump and “Putin” that will definitely sink the former’s presidency and.. it all falls apart after a few days, or sometimes, even after a few hours. Meanwhile Trump is still president and playing golf on every single weekend.

I would go so far as to say that harping on the “russia conspiracy” now makes establishment democrats look like bungling idiots or bitter losers- depending on your viewpoint. There is therefore a better than 85% probability (my educated guess) that Trump will complete his term as a president. But what about the other 15%? What else could happen?

Here is where it gets a bit dark, but not in an unexpected manner. As many of you also know, some hyper-partisan democratic voters have bought into the narrative that Trump is somehow a traitor who is sullying the office of presidency. Given the secondary effects of many of Trump’s ill-advised policies and decisions, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that there might more than a few hyper-partisan democrats who will attempt to remove Trump from the presidency. We have already seen a teaser trailer of that particular movie, in the form of the recent shooting of Steve Scalise.

I would not be surprised if in a country of over 300 million people, more than a handful come to the conclusion that Trump has to be removed from office by any means possible. And one such attempt might actually succeed. Even more problematically, a successful attempt will result in lots of covert and not-so-covert celebration by establishment democrats and their hyper-partisan supporters. The point I am trying to make is that there is no good way out of this shitshow. Indeed, letting Trump complete his term might be the least worst option- especially for democrats. Will write more in a future part of this series depending on feedback from commentators.

What do you think? Comments?

How Trump has Screwed Himself Since his Inauguration: May 18, 2017

May 18, 2017 26 comments

A few months ago, I wrote a brief post about how the establishment would try to depose trump via a procedural coup. While I had initially planned to write a couple more posts in that series, the speed of unfolding events made me put that series on the back-burner. Well.. in the last few days, we have seen the first serious attempts to depose Trump via some combination of investigation committee and legal maneuvers. While it is too early to say where this series of interconnected clusterfucks will lead, one thing is for sure- this won’t be the last attempt by the establishment to depose Trump via less-than-democratic tactics.

To be clear, I have never been a supporter of Trump. However, I was able to accurately predict his victories in the republican primaries and 2016 presidential election many months before both events occurred. You might also remember about a subsequent series of posts which predicted that his administration would rapidly degenerate into some combination of dysfunction and towing the establishment republican line thus slowly destroying whatever popular support he had when he was elected in early Nov 2016.

As you also know, I am of the opinion that Trump’s connection with Russia is similar to the Clinton’s connection to China or the Bush family connection to Saudi Arabia. In other words, Trump is just another corrupt transnational plutocrat who will return favors to those who have funded his business ventures.. basically garden variety legalized political corruption. It is also telling that democrats have seized on such a banal issue to go after Trump when they could have done far better by opposing his various policies from a left-wing populist angle, but that is a subject best left for a subsequent post.

Coming back to the central theme of this post, let us talk about how Trump has screwed himself since his inauguration in late Jan 2017. Some of you might think that firing Comey was his biggest mistake. Others might think that Trump using Twitter after assuming office was his biggest mistake. Well.. I think otherwise. See, the biggest and most consequential mistakes Trump has made since his inauguration have nothing to do with single issues. To put it another way, his biggest and worst mistakes are systemic in nature.

1] Trump hired many establishment republicans and #nevertrump republicans in his administration.

A large part of Trump’s current problems can be traced to his decision to fill the ranks of his administration with establishment republicans including many #nevertrump types. People like Betsy Devos, Nikki Haley, H. R. McMaster and a host of ex- GoldmanSachs types and their underlings were never going to be loyal to Trump. If anything, most of them should be expected to actively undermine his presidency. And yet he hired them.. Frankly, hiring willing democrats would have been a safer option.

2] Trump also hired people who are despised by people other than his hardcore supporters.

Hiring highly unlikable people like Jeff Sessions, David Clarke and more than a few other law-and-order types was one of the other bad hiring decisions made by his administration. While such people might play to his shrinking core constituency, they have cost a lot of support from other groups who were previously ambivalent about his administration. The reality is that many who did not vote for HRC were quite OK with democratic policies and campaign promises. In other words, hiring people who really like persecuting women, blacks and hispanics is not a good branding decision.

3] Trump has been unable to give up on the MSM.

The relationship between Trump and the MSM is usually seen as one in which both parties hate each other. However, for most of Trump’s life, that was not the case. Indeed, the MSM (in all its forms) loved to cover Trump- often in a fairly positive light until he won the republican ticket. However since the late summer of 2016, the MSM has done nothing but attack Trump- often using made up “news”. While Trump has been able to counter that by, inadvertently, embracing alternative internet based news outlets- he has never been able to give up on the MSM. Consequently he is still trying to please what he still thinks is the “respectable” MSM.

4] Trump has hitched his wagon with unpopular causes promoted by republican establishment.

Trump has wasted too much of his political capital by promoting republican attempts to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something even more shittier, if you can imagine such a thing. As many of you know, Obamacare (previously known as Romneycare) was always a pretty shitty neoliberal attempt to solidify their grip on healthcare in USA. It was, however, an improvement over whatever existed prior to its passing in 2010. Repealing Obamacare, without replacing it something superior like single payer healthcare, therefore runs the risk of pissing of a lot of Trump voters- especially the non-traditional republican types who helped him win supposedly ‘blue’ and ‘purple’ states in 2016.

5] Trump has tried to become a boiler-plate republican.

One of the major reasons behind Trump’s victory in the republican primary and presidential election was his willingness to question traditional republican establishment positions such as “free” trade agreements, overseas military engagements and social conservatism. However he has flip-flopped on all those issues since he was elected. While voters expect politicians to break most (if not all) of their campaign promises, they expect them do so after pretending to try fulfilling them. Trump has simply acted as if he never campaigned on those positions in the first place. While pulling off such a reverse can work if your political future is secure, that is not the case for Trump. He needs continued popular support if he wants to complete his 4 year term in office.

In summary, Trump has been successful at making a series of mistakes whose combination is very likely to doom his presidency. Hiring back-stabbers and wildly unpopular assholes, attempting to make nice with MSM and screwing over the voters whose support led to his victory is not helpful when you want to win against an establishment campaign to get rid of you. Then again, the ability to think strategically was never his strong point.

What do you think? Comments?