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Salute the President
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I normally avoid patriotic events. They invariably remind me of the flag-waving idiocy that led to World War I.

In fact, I was even kicked out of the Boy Scouts in New York City after loudly commenting that their uber patriotic display of flags, drums, crashing music and paramilitary uniforms looked like the old Hitler Youth.

But watching the inauguration of President Donald Trump (that’s the first time I write these words) I must admit the ceremony moved me way beyond my normally cynical self.

Mind you, I’ve been observing presidential investitures since my father flew us down from New York City to observe President Dwight Eisenhower’s inauguration in 1953. I vividly recall being awed by the giant atomic cannon being towed down Pennsylvania Avenue. I remember reading a fine biography of Genghis Khan on our Eastern Airlines flights.

What I found most impressive this time was the reaffirmation of America’s dedication to the peaceful transfer of political power. This was the 45th time this miracle has happened. Saying this is perhaps banal, but the handover of power never fails to make me proud to be an American and thankful we had such brilliant founding fathers.

This peaceful transfer sets the United States apart from many of the world’s nations, even Britain and Canada, where leaders under the parliamentary system are chosen in a process resembling a knife fight in a dark room. The US has somehow managed to retain its three branches of government in spite of the best efforts of self-serving politicians to wreck it.

Each new president inherits a sea of problems from his predecessor. Donald Trump’s biggest legacy headaches and priority will be in the Mideast, a disaster area on its own but made far, far worse by the bungling of the Obama administration and its dimwitted attempts to put the US and Russia on a collision course.

Thanks to George W. Bush – who dared show his face at the inauguration – and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Obama, Trump inherits America’s longest war, Afghanistan, with our shameful support of mass drug dealing, endemic corruption and war crimes. Add the crazy mess in Iraq and now Syria.

This week US B-2 heavy bombers attacked Libya. US forces are fighting in Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan and parts of Africa. For what? No one is quite sure. America’s foreign wars, fueled by its $1 trillion military budget, have assumed a life of their own. Once a great power goes to war, its proponents insist, ‘we can’t be seen to back down or our credibility will suffer.’

Trump will struggle to find a face-saving retreat from these unnecessary conflicts and shut his ears to the siren songs of the war party and deep state which just failed to stage a ‘soft’ coup to block his inauguration. Waging little wars against weak nations is a multi-billion dollar national industry in the US. America has become as addicted to war as it has to debt.


If President Trump truly wants to bring some sort of peace to the explosive Mideast, he will have to reject the advice of the hardline Zionists with whom he has chosen to surround himself. Their primary interest is Greater Israel, free of Arabs, not in a Greater America. Trump is too smart not to know this. But he may also listen to his blood and guts former generals who lost the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Trump appears to have been gulled into believing the canard that Mideast-origin violence is caused by what he called in his inaugural speech, radical Islamic terrorism. This is a favorite device promoted by the hard right and Israel to de-legitimize any resistance to Israel’s expansion and ethnic cleansing. The label of ‘terrorism’ serves the same purpose.

Trump should be reminded that the 9/11 attackers cited two reasons for their attack: 1. Occupation of Saudi Arabia by the US; 2. Continued US-backed occupation of Palestine. Persistent attacks on western targets that we call terrorism are, in most cases, acts of revenge for our neo-colonial actions in the Muslim world, the ‘American Raj’ as I term it.

Unfortunately, President Trump is unlikely to get this useful advice from the men who now surround him, with the possibly exception of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Let’s hope that Tillerson and not Goldman Sachs bank ends up steering US foreign policy.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy, Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump 
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  1. Well said, Eric.

    Except I don’t think Goldman Sachs bank is steering US foreign policy. There are professional imperial strategists (a la George Kennan); government-employed professionals, sitting in some ‘policy planning’ office somewhere, writing their doctrines that then get implemented.

  2. Dan Hayes says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    Mao Cheng Ji:

    George Kennan may or may not have been an imperial strategist, but he was surely correct in predicting that our post Cold War policy of surrounding the former Soviet Union with NATO forces was the height of folly.

    And once again, well said, Eric.p

  3. Diogenes says:

    Well Eric, did you salute “President Trump”?

  4. Newbie says:

    You use the term “lost” very loosely. Part of the reason General Mattis is secretary of defense and even considered it to begin with is because of the lack of clearly defined objectives from his predecessors. The back and forth bureacracy in washington failed to give these Generals a true objective to “win” at.

  5. anon • Disclaimer says:

    My advice to Trump would be to stop all immigration from Muslim countries. I would also adopt a ‘hands-off’ policy towards the middle east.

    Nor do I think WW1 was caused by flag waving or patriotism. I think it was due to the frustration of these very goals by the moribund Habsburg and Romanov empires. Note how neither entity survived the war.

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
  6. Mark Green says: • Website

    Good essay. Trump has his work cut out for him. And Margolis is right to note that America has no fight with ‘Radical Islam’. That message is Zionist trope. That Trump would take the time to single out ISIS in his inaugural address is worrisome. Does this kind of rhetoric set the stage for another Mideast intervention?

    ISIS is a political Frankenstein born from Zio-America’s assault and destabilization of Iraq, Libya, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria. It is blowback. Even now, the US is not threatened by ISIS in any meaningful way. ISIS is a rag-tag regional menace only. As a global power, it is utterly insignificant. And ‘radical Islam’ is, more accurately, radical self-defense by a Muslim peoples.

    Among other things, ISIS represents a broad, regional resistance to imposed ‘modernism’ and Zio-American militarism. It has morphed into a total rejection of the West’s cruel and hypocritical campaign of alleged ‘democracy building’. This is not hard to understand. Just count the bodies.

    Just as Hitler was a product of The Great War and the Treaty of Versailles, ISIS is a product of immense wrongdoing by the West. And this grand injustice has gone unpunished.

    The countless victims of serial US interventions deserve now to be left alone. Washington’s moral authority has been lost. Does Trump sense this? It’s hard to say since his rhetoric is not consistent.

    If Trump truly believed in ‘America First, he would evacuate US troops from all Mideast hotspots, distinguish US interests from Israeli ones, and send in non-military aid to the victims of Zio-American malfeasance. Let Washington’s next Mideast offensive be a diplomatic and humanitarian one. That will get the world’s attention. And in the best way imaginable.

    • Replies: @KA
  7. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    African immigration is far worse.

  8. Let Washington’s next Mid east offensive be a diplomatic and humanitarian one. That will get the world’s attention. And in the best way imaginable.

    It will of necessity be a catch-up effort since China has made trade allies of most of the countries the US has been busy destroying for decades. Even in hot areas China has managed to do business while we dueled with adversaries at the same time. Therefore China is respected and we will be despised for generations. As will the US dollar when the smokescreen clears later this year and gold is seen as sovereign in the region.

  9. KA says:
    @Mark Green

    Either we evacuate ourselves or we would be evacuated by the myriad forces acting at different locations. We will come home We will. Be Britain of 1947 running away from India Greece Turkey Palestine Malay and Kenya . But for Britan ,there was a solace – the brethren ( America)will shepherd the nation and keep Britain clued to it leaving space for Britush elite to continue to grow. America will have none .

    The drawdown then will be blamed for what happens next Though what happens next is more related and caused by the interventionism than by drawdown . But it will be portrayed that way ,just the way Bush Jr was blamed for chaos in Iraq for not following the advice of the neocons to a tee. What happens next is refocusing of domestic attention to domestic problems and realization of the big extensive nature of the problems . It is already here somehow maintained out of conscious field . It is no different than the reality of Iraq war,ramifications both domestic and international , the domestic and foreign blowback – those were also kept out of consciousness by the neocons and by their enablers and by those profitting from association with them.

  10. HBM says:

    Does mandatory military service in Israel by young Jews remind you of Hitler Youth, Eric?

    Peaceful transfer of power is of dubious value if the power being enshrined is as treasonous as, say, Hillary Clinton.

    In that case, the violence would have been the moral choice.

  11. File this Article Under: Gatekeeper (Left Gatekeeper to be precise)

    What absolute swill is this dialectical con job. I refer to the author’s sophistry, a form of political commentary and interference that leaves in place the great lie as regards terrorism, where in this instance it is the inevitable rehash of the left’s favorite “Blowback” cop out as concerns the attacks on 9/11.

    Eric 9/11 was made by the CIA and various “columns”, count to five, that hijacked this nation, for in essence the 45 military drills on that day, some involving hijacked planes flying into buildings is the most compelling evidence of this “False-Flag” event. Read Tarpley’s book, no not “Where’s Melania?” but rather “Synthetic Terror: Made In the USA”

    Rather than a sophisticated understanding of history, including the long history of state sponsored terror, what we have here is perhaps a reflex that reflects a hall of mirrors known as the old, “anti-Semetic” bogey monster that was revved up with the “Dancing Israeli’s” and the identification of the Neocons, that the left went into overdrive, still with the foot to the floor, in full denial of any real investigation or connecting the dots. What if the ultimate insult was not that the Jews did it, but rather, they are just patsies like the CIA’s Jihadists. So typical of the left we get nothing but pathetic obfuscation which basically gave Bush and his replacement, Obama Bin Bush, what 15 years of fucking war and slaughter which could have been stopped if anyone had the moral fortitude to call out the f-ing traitors.

    Back in the late 1990′s a call was put out to have Great Britain put on the list of nation’s supporting the rise of “Islamic Terrorism.” The dossier on this is quite extensive and based upon a thorough understanding of the strategies of the “Home Office”. These are the same firm that set up the Zionists, as their agents for perpetual war, which of course required the cultivation of similar neurotic tendencies among the Arabs.

    It was the noted somatic pioneer, Israeli pioneer, and great martial artist, Moshe Feldenkrais who said that it was the British taught the Jews and Arabs to fight….and they have never gotten out of the monkey trap, because the circle of gets tighter as political analysis repeats the same old repeat, again and again and again….ad nausea

    “ISIS is CIA” something that Bernie Sanders had a meltdown about when I warned him, because it is true….and Trump dared to say it. To actually say no to war, something the left abandoned when the lay down with Obama and morally died.

    Think about it!

  12. @Mao Cheng Ji

    If they had the insight and intellect, hell, even half the insight and intellect, of George Kennan, that wouldn’t be so bad. Sadly, most of them are poorly educated, if overschooled, and incapable of putting America First in their formulation of policy.

  13. @anon

    Neither did the Hohenzollerns, at least in Germany; they hung on a few more years in Romania.

    • Replies: @anon
  14. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Diversity Heretic

    That is true, although Germany in 1914 was not really frustrating the aspirations of other nationalities by its existence. There were some French in Alsace-Lorraine, although Alsace was a German-speaking region and the area had been under German rule sine 1871. It should be remembered that it was ‘victimized’ France that declared war on Prussia in 1870. France lost this war, which it started. Then they whined about the loss of a province and a half until 1919. There were also a few million Poles in some of Germany’s eastern lands, but the great bulk of Poles lived under Habsburg, or more so, Tsarist rule.

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