My friend and business partner, Harmon Wilfred took $30 from me, when he won his bet that Donald would trump Hillary in the US election. I had gambled that the CIA, together with the embedded oligarchy, would never allow such an outcome and would if need be, fix the polls. They certainly fixed the media, both in the USA and abroad, so that the incoming president will start with the disadvantage of being generally feared and loathed at home and throughout the Western world.
However, having seen the overwhelming success of the anti-Trump media campaign, the CIA and allies must have become complacent and left any skulduggery with the voting procedure until it was too late. (I stress this is purely a personal surmise, unsupported by evidence, other than past form and capability, but it is the excuse I make for having lost my wager!)
The worm turned. The huddled masses of American voters dispossessed and disinherited by neo-liberalism and globalisation, were ready prey for a demagogue. The pollsters, who had only polled those, who had voted in previous elections, were disgraced. Trump made two promises to his supporters. The first was to improve their lot in terms of more available and better paying American jobs. The second was to punish the neo-liberal establishment, seen as responsible for the ever widening inequality and alienation in American society of which they were the victims.
Whether or not Trump will be able to fulfil the promises made to his supporters is questionable. At this stage one cannot even be certain that, having gained the Oval Office, he will seriously inconvenience himself in any attempt to do so. However, should he fail, America will be lumbered with a well-armed and seriously disgruntled proletariat. Should he look like succeeding, someone in the establishment oligarchy may well make arrangements for his disposal similar to those that were made for JFK.
Though the USA was ahead of the pack in its adherence to neo-liberal policies, the story of Trump’s rise must serve as a warning to all democracies pursuing neo-liberal economic policies. These seem inevitably, to divide society into ‘them and us’ and then to rely on those disadvantaged being too depressed to turn out on polling day. Come a suitable demagogue and they will turn out – BREXIT being a case in point. The two democracies most advanced along the neo-liberal track, the USA and the UK, have now both witnessed the potential consequences. Others may well follow.
It is early days and the extent to which Trump will turn American foreign policy on end, is not yet clear. The most immediate hopeful indication yet visible, is that following Trump’s recent meeting with Obama, Obama issued instructions to the Pentagon to abandon pursuit of the Syrian policy that was to be implemented by Hillary Clinton. Clinton’s announced intent was the overthrow of Assad and the humiliation of the Russians and Iranians. To this end the Pentagon had been offering increased support to the Syrian rebel factions despite the fact that they are totally dominated by al-Qaeda and other Jihadists of various stripes. https://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45832.htm
In similar vein, and in marked contrast to the confrontational approach that Hillary was eager for, Trump has already made peaceful approaches towards both Russia and China. However, there will be no ‘peace bonus.’ To the delight of his Republican colleagues, he has clearly stated his intention of major expenditure on upgrading the USA’s armed forces. Indeed, the American economy is so dependent on its arms industry that this is the most obvious area in which to extend the availability of well-paying domestic employment. The problem will come when, in order to keep the wheels of industry turning, he is forced to find ways in which to turnover stock! By changing the rules of free trade and tax regulations, we will no doubt ultimately bring back many of the American jobs which the neo-liberals had profitably off-shored, but that might be a process that takes many years. Defence expenditure can be boosted almost instantaneously.
What has given the outside world most cause for alarm, is the Trump policy on climate change. Trump seems to believe that fossil fuels are hard-wired to well-paying American jobs and that the prospect of them giving rise to accelerated global warming is a groundless rumour created by self-seeking conspirators. Worse, looking at the collection of weird neo-cons such as John Bolton, he is currently in discussion with regarding the allocation of positions in his incoming administration, Trump does not seem to be permitting anyone, who might convince him otherwise, into his inner circle.
In fact, he appears to be setting a course to dismantle the Paris Agreement on climate change. This exercise in last minute brinkmanship might in time bring about such dramatic climatic indications of the reality that Trump will be convinced of the need to change direction. In the meantime, the other signatories of the Agreement will have no choice but to redouble their efforts under the treaty to compensate for America’s back-sliding. Were they to express their outrage at the extra burden they were being forced to assume by imposing sanctions of some form, Trump might change direction that much sooner.
As for Trump’s promise to ‘drain the Washington swamp’ and punish those responsible for the sorry conditions of his voters, it remains to be seen what will happen. It is totally against the convention that any action be taken by an incoming administration against that which is outgoing. Obama refused a proper inquiry into 9/11 and refused to take steps against those responsible for torture of prisoners, etc. Perhaps Trump, with quite enough on his plate, will prove magnanimous in victory – but perhaps not. Certainly Jim Comey, head of the FBI, an ardent Republican, who is almost certain to retain his position, still has more than a hundred agents investigating the Clinton Foundation’s operations.
One of the interesting facts that will come to light in that investigation is that NZ Prime Minister, John Key, committed $13.5 million of tax-payer’s money to the Clinton Foundation prior to the election. Notoriously, the Foundation works on the basis that ‘if you want Hillary to play, you must pay.’ It is fair to assume Key’s payment was to firm up Hillary’s support for the TPP, the project closest to John Key’s neo-liberal heart. With Trump’s ascent, that bribe will have gone the same way as the other $11 million bribe surreptitiously paid by NZ to a Saudi sheep farmer in order to ease the way for an improbable free trade deal with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. https://uncensored.co.nz/2016/11/05/nz-taxpayer-funds-pledged-to-shady-clinton-charity/
The only mainstream media outlet to have reported the Clinton payment is the small circulation National Business Review. No opposition politician appears to have raised any questions on the subject. In marked contrast to the Clinton payola, the Saudi Sheep Deal has raised huge controversy in both the national press and the NZ parliament – but then sheep are a subject that New Zealanders understand!
That $13.5 million might not be the only cost to the NZ tax-payer of the Key Administration’s seeking favour with the Clinton family business. While bragging to the NZ electorate of its prioritising the interests of NZ businesses, Immigration New Zealand, at Cabinet behest, is doing all in its power to discourage a Canadian investor, with nothing adverse in her character record (but with knowledge of the Clinton misdemeanours that the Clintons wish suppressed) from investing up to $50 million in New Zealand owned small and medium sized businesses. https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1610/S00312/ombudsman-delays-investigation-of-department-of-immigration.htm
I have had several recent spells in hospital, which have disrupted my routines and have led me to reduce my writing of blogs from weekly to fortnightly. This is a pattern that I intend to continue after my recovery – unless the speed of global events dictates otherwise.
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