Trump’s Russia Charm Offensive Is Meant To Isolate Iran, China

March 9, 2017 at 2:36 PM

NEW YORK — (Analysis) Donald Trump’s presidential campaign rhetoric was a cocktail of ostensibly nationalist economics and isolationist foreign policy that was viewed by much of the punditocracy as a sharp break from traditional U.S. policy. But while his words seemed to be filled with promise, his actual policies have, rather predictably, shown themselves to be hollow.

While the corporate media and Democratic Party apparatchiks have been foaming at the mouth about Russia’s role in torpedoing Hillary Clinton, few have bothered to examine the deeper political and economic motivations and policies underlying the Trump doctrine. In doing so, it should become apparent that rather than significantly breaking from the hegemonic worldview of previous administrations, Trump and his coterie of generals and strategists intend to use the same sorts of coercion and force that have formed the bedrock of U.S. foreign policy for the better part of the last several decades.

Russia, China and Iran each pose unique challenges to the new administration. When seen as a bloc, they represent a significant obstacle to continued U.S. hegemony. However, a sober analysis must deal with existing political forces and their agendas, rather than the fanciful ideas that are the stuff of speeches and politically biased punditry.

Russia and the Slippery Politics of Oil

The corporate media has been all agog with every new revelation about President Trump and his administration’s ties to Russia: the alleged hacking of the election, the purported sex tape and clandestine meetings, to name a few. But while such stories are good for ratings, they invariably obscure the far more critical aspect of the story – economic, political and geopolitical imperatives.

Examined from these perspectives, it becomes clear that while Trump, Steve Bannon and others in the administration may have sympathetic feelings for Putin and the Russian government, their actions are dictated by interests, not friendship.

And what are those interests? First and foremost is the tens (or hundreds) of billions of dollars at stake for ExxonMobil, the largest oil company in the U.S. and longtime employer of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.  With such vast profits at stake, it’s no surprise that Trump’s administration supports the idea of easing or even lifting sanctions on Russia, having gone so far as to float a plan to lift the sanctions that would’ve used former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn as an intermediary.

But even if Trump doesn’t end the sanctions, it’s clear that he and Putin are on the same page when it comes to mutually beneficial economic arrangements in the energy sector.  This raises questions about China and Iran, both of whom are major parts of the energy equation.

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Emery Wright on CounterPunch Radio (Ep. 77)

March 9, 2017 at 2:31 PM

Listen to Eric Draitser and Emery Wright on CounterPunch Radio 

This week Eric chats with Emery Wright, community organizer and Co-Director of Project South. Eric and Emery discuss the development of people’s assemblies across the US, and what that sort of organizing work means in the current political context. The conversation touches on structures, organization, and decision-making in grassroots movements, and how those movements are addressing both political and economic questions in oppressed communities. The second half of the conversation focuses on the urgency of organizing in the Age of Trump with racism, chauvinism, and fascism becoming ever more normalized. So many topics covered in this wide-ranging discussion on CounterPunch Radio.

Donald Trump and the Deep State

March 8, 2017 at 1:58 PM

Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org appears on CGTN’s “The Heat” to discuss the narrative of Trump versus the Deep State. Draitser explains the nature of the Deep State and why so many analysts and pundits get it wrong. He examines the manifestations of the Deep State in government, and the role that Trump has played in bringing the factional differences to the surface.

Trumpocalypse Now?

February 13, 2017 at 8:49 AM

Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org appears on Media Roots Radio with Robbie Martin to discuss the early days of the Trump Administration, and closely examine some of the actions, strategies, and tactics being employed. The conversation touches on everything from whether or not Trump and his inner circle are fascists, to the ideological framework through which they’re operating. Nothing is out of bounds in this in depth discussion: US and Russian propaganda, violence as a political tactic, white identity politics, rejecting the Democrats’ co-opting of resistance, and much more.

Obama’s Legacy In Africa: Terrorism, Civil War & Military Expansion

January 18, 2017 at 12:50 PM

obamas-7-billion-plan-to-power-africa-hasnt-delivered-power-yet

NEW YORK — (Opinion) The corporate media is predictably churning out nauseating retrospectives of Obama’s presidency, gently soothing Americans to sleep with fairy tales about the progressive accomplishments of President Hope and Change.

But amid the selective memory and doublethink which passes for sophisticated punditry within the controlled media matrix, let us not forget that in Africa the name Barack Obama is now synonymous with destabilization, death, and destruction.

The collective gasps of liberals grow to a deafening roar at the mere suggestion that Obama is more sinner than saint, but perhaps it would be useful to review the facts and the record rather than the carefully constructed mythos being shoehorned into history books under the broad heading of “Legacy.”

‘Africa’s future is up to Africans’

In the summer of 2009, little more than six months after being inaugurated, President Obama stood before the Ghanaian Parliament to deliver a speech intended to set the tone for his administration’s Africa policy. In addressing a crowd of hundreds in the Ghanaian capital, he was, in fact, speaking directly to millions of Africans all over the continent and throughout the diaspora. For if Obama represented Hope and Change for the people of the United States, that was doubly true for African people.

In that mostly forgettable speech, Obama declared:

“We must start from the simple premise that Africa’s future is up to Africans … the West is not responsible for the destruction of the Zimbabwean economy over the last decade, or wars in which children are enlisted as combatants.”

Building prosperity, shedding corruption and tyranny, and taking on poverty and disease, he said
“can only be done if you take responsibility for your future. And it won’t be easy. It will take time and effort. There will be suffering and setbacks. But I can promise you this: America will be with you every step of the way, as a partner, as a friend.”

Despite being the First Black President, Obama’s words and deeds with respect to Africa perfectly embody “the White Man’s Burden” — that desire to help those poor, lowly wretches whose poverty, corruption, disease, and violence must be the product of some natural deficiency. Surely, five centuries of colonialism, combined with Obama-style imperial arrogance, had nothing to do with it.

But let us take Obama’s words at face value and evaluate whether Obama was able to live up to those high-minded and idealistic goals throughout his two terms in office.

Obama repeatedly stressed African agency, arguing that the United States and the West cannot solve Africa’s problems for her. Instead, he argued that the United States will be a “partner” and a “friend.” And yet, within two years of the pledge to let Africans resolve their own problems, U.S.-NATO jets were dropping bombs on Libya in support of al-Qaida-linked terrorists who would topple and brutally assassinate Moammar Gadhafi, perhaps the single strongest voice for African independence and self-sufficiency.

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