yid blackmail war slackens momentarily after requisite warmongering from trump

Media to Trump: Don’t Cozy Up to Dictators Unless They’re the Right Dictators
Adam Johnson, FAIR, May 17 2017

After a series of friendly gestures by Pres Trump toward Filipino Pres Duterte and Egypt’s Pres Sisi over the past few months, Pindo media have recoiled with disgust at the open embrace of governments that ostensibly had heretofore been beyond the pale. The NYT‘s editorial position was that Trump was “Enabling Egypt’s Sisi, an Enemy of Human Rights,” (4/4/17), followed by “Donald Trump Embraces Another Despot” (5/1/17).

NYTTrumpDespot

A week later, Walnuts McCain lectured Rex Tillerson on the NYT op-ed page (5/8/17) on “Why We Must Support Human Rights.” WaPo columnist Anne Applebaum’s lament in the WaPo was entitled “How Trump Makes Dictators Stronger” (5/1/17). An upset Philip Rucker reported in the WaPo: “Trump keeps praising international strongmen, alarming human rights advocates.” (5/2/17). WaPo cartoonist Tom Toles added “Trump invites ruthless dictators to the White House.” (5/2/17). Trump had gone too far, was the media message, crossing a line with his enthusiastic outreach to brutal tyrants. So the Trump administration’s announcement of a plan for not just a friendly visit chez Toads, scheduled for May 20–21, but also the sale of up to $300b in weapons to the oppressive regime, must have provoked the same outcry from these critics, right? Actually, no. Thus far, the LA Times, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, ABC and CBS haven’t reported on Trump’s massive arms deal with the Toads, much less had a pundit or editorial board condemn it. The Toads’ war on Yemen has killed at least 10,000 civilians, resulted in near-famine conditions for 7 million people and led to a deadly cholera epidemic, all made possible with Pindo weapons and logistical support. Walnuts McCain, whose NYT op-ed was un-ironically shared by dozens of high-status pundits, aggressively backs the Toads’ brutal bombing of Yemen, and has called for increased military support to the absolute monarchy. The NYT hasn’t written an editorial about the Toads since Oct 2016 (10/1/16) when for the second time in a week, the paper defended them against potential lawsuits over their role in the 9/11 attacks. The first of the week’s headlines (09/28/16) was “The Risks of Suing The Toads for 9/11.”

NYTSuingSaudis

When the NYT does speak out on the topic of the Toads, it does so to run interference for their possible connection to international terrorism. Nice words to the wrong dictators unleash a torrent of outrage from our pundit class. Nice words to the right dictators, along with billions in military hardware, which unlike nice words will be used to continue to slaughter residents of a neighboring country and suppress domestic dissent, result in uniform silence. Not a word from Anne Applebaum, no condemnation from Philip Rucker, no moral preening from Walnuts McCain, no sense that any line had been crossed from the NYT editorial board. Pindostan’s warm embrace and arming of the Toads is factored in. It’s bipartisan, and thus not worthy of outrage. While the NYT’s news pages did note the $100b to $300b weapons sale to the Toads, they did so only in passing, in paragraph six of a broader article about Trump’s Middle East trip (5/15/17) though to his credit, reporter Nick Cumming-Bruce did note:

Criticism that Pindostan is supporting Toad military operations that have struck hospitals, schools, markets and mosques and inflicted thousands of civilian casualties.

The WaPo (5/17/17) reported on the arms deal in paragraph 12 of a story about Trump attempting to create an “Arab NATO.” The WaPo’s reporting on the Toads in the run-up to Trump’s visit echoed the “reformist” narrative advanced by WaPo columnist David Ignatius (4/28/17). “It seems promising,” Cairo bureau chief Sudarsan Raghavan (5/12/17) wrote of the Toad King’s “calls” for “reform.” Jackson Diehl (5/14/17) even suggested in earnest that Trump could “lead on human rights,” finishing off his sheepish semi-self-aware headline with “Really.”

WaPoTrumpHumanRights

In the piece, “human rights” is used as a placeholder for getting Pindo citizens out of foreign prisons, which is a perfectly fine suggestion, but more about Pindo rights than human ones. And, like the WaPo’s editorial board and the rest of the opinion section, Diehl’s musing on the topic of human rights entirely omitted Trump’s cozying up with the Toads. This isn’t to say that major Pindo media shouldn’t note when Pindo leaders glad-hand despotic governments. They certainly should. But their almost uniform silence on Trump’s ramping up ties with one of the world’s worst human rights offenders, and the material, physical act of selling them munitions to use on murder Yemeni civilians, speaks to the arbitrary and self-serving nature of Pindo media’s moral posture.

WaPo and NYT urge pullback on calls for Trump impeachment
Patrick Martin, WSWS, May 22 2017

In editorials published simultaneously for their Sunday editions, the NYT and the WaPo called for caution in the anti-Trump campaign they have been spearheading with claims of nefarious connections between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government. The NYT editorial cites comparisons between the crisis of the Trump administration and the Watergate scandal of 43 years ago, only to suggest that impeachment or forced resignation is not yet the order of the day. After repeatedly slamming Trump as a stooge of Pres Putin and a threat to Pindo national security, including the publication last week of an editorial with comparisons to Watergate, the NYT now counsels the Demagogs to proceed cautiously and avoid “distraction.” It advises leveraging the official investigations into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, along with the continuing decline in Trump’s poll numbers, to “win back a majority next year in at least one house of Congress.”

The WaPo editorial similarly suggests that the anti-Trump campaign “will require time” for special counsel Robert Mueller and the various House and Senate committees investigating alleged Russian intervention into the 2016 election. The WaPo editorial demands that the Demoagogs “talk about something other than impeachment in the coming weeks,” and that the Thugs “face the task at which they have so far failed: governing responsibly.” The WaPo is more explicit about the social and class policies underlying the campaign over alleged Trump-Russia connections. It demands action on health care to reduce “uncertainty among the insurers upon which the system relies.” In other words, the two big-business parties must contain their mutual mudslinging and get on with the pro-corporate austerity measures demanded by the financial elite. Similarly, Congress must “pass a new budget and raise the debt ceiling.” It must carry through “tax reform,” which means cutting taxes for the wealthy and for corporations, while making sure that such actions “cannot result in higher deficits.” In other words, tax cuts for the rich must be paid for by slashing social programs for working people. Last but by no means least, the editorial cites concerns about Trump’s foreign policy in relation to North Korea, Syria, Daesh, Iran, Russia and “other hostile powers.”

Neither newspaper attempts to square the intensity of their onslaught against the Trump administration, particularly over the past two weeks, with their current declarations in favor of caution and biding one’s time. The situation could shift quickly, but the editorials from the NYT and WaPo reflect a broader pullback from immediate calls for impeachment and references to Watergate from within the media and political establishment. In recent days, prominent congressional Demagogs such as Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, and Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, have called talk of impeachment premature. These developments underscore the fact that there is no progressive content to the opposition to Trump from within the political establishment and the capitalist state. The Demagog Party and the media are not troubled at having a fascist-minded president and an administration packed with corporate CEOs and generals dedicated to waging war, tearing up social programs and organizing a further redistribution of wealth to the rich. On such matters, there is far more that unites the ruling class than divides it. What are the considerations driving the warnings about proceeding too rashly on the question of impeachment?

  1. Tthe central concern of Trump’s opponents within the ruling class since his inauguration has always been to force a shift in policy, particularly foreign policy. On the war in Syria, the maintenance of the NATO alliance, and above all aggression toward Russia, Trump was deemed to be not on message by the dominant factions of the military and intelligence apparatus. The president has already sought to appease such concerns by ordering a missile strike on Syria, followed last week by a bombing raid on a pro-Syrian government militia and approval of a Pentagon plan to escalate intervention in Syria, Iraq and North Africa. There are related concerns that a perpetual crisis at the center of the Pindosi state and a protracted impeachment process pose a threat to the international standing of Pindostan and the overall interests of Pindo imperialism.
  2. There are the concerns outlined by the WaPo that a full-scale impeachment crisis will derail the administration’s program of corporate tax cuts, deregulation and the gutting of social programs upon which Wall Street has been banking and is determined to see pushed through. This was the message sent by the financial markets in last week’s huge one-day sell-off. That the message was received was indicated by the announcement the same day of the appointment of a special counsel to take the political faction fight in hand.
  3. There are fears that a full-scale constitutional crisis and fratricidal struggle within the ruling class can create an opening for an independent intervention by the working class. Under conditions of mass disaffection from both political parties, rising social anger and a general discrediting of all official institutions of power, the destabilization of the political system has potentially revolutionary implications.

The appointment of Mueller, who headed the FBI for 12 years, under both Bush and Obama, puts the Trump administration under the effective receivership of the intelligence agencies, with the constant threat that if he steps too far out of line, he could quickly be faced with criminal charges. References to the formation of some sort of caretaker regime have begun appearing in the press. A WaPo op-ed by Dana Millbank devoted to celebrating the anti-Russian campaign as a heroic journalistic exploit, while acknowledging that it was made possible by systematic leaking from the military-intelligence apparatus, concludes by describing Mueller as “a regent, if you will, to protect against future abuses.” All of this underscores the completely reactionary character of both factions of the ruling class, whatever turn the crisis might take in the days and weeks to come. It demonstrates the political dead-end of subordinating the struggle against the Trump administration to the Demagogs, whose opposition to Trump is entirely different from and hostile to the concerns and interests of millions of workers. They must intervene on the basis of their own socialist program and perspective.

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