This week Eric sits down with author and journalist Chris Hedges to discuss Trump, the Democrats, resistance, and more. The conversation begins with an assessment of the political and psychological impact of Trump on America in the early days of his administration. Eric and Chris touch on the nature of Trump’s regime, the fascist ideological and historical framework from which the politics emerges, and the seamless transition of Empire from one administration and party to the other. The second half of the discussion examines the attempt by Democrats to co-opt and commodify the resistance as they continue to serve the interests of Wall Street, the insidious role of the media in bolstering the Empire’s narratives, the emergence of the concept of “fake news,” the importance of defending independent media on the Left, and so much more. Don’t miss this week’s show!
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.
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.
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.
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.