Monday, May 15, 2017

​Wilkerson on Impeachment, Pence, Destabilizing the State, and War with Iran


by Gaius Publius

We've written recently about the destabilization of the State under the pressure of the current situation (see "A Nation in Crisis, Again"). Lawrence Wilkerson, retired U.S. Army colonel, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, and frequent commenter on U.S. foreign policy, adds more. In the wake of Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey, Wilkerson gave a fascinating interview to Paul Jay at The Real News Network (click the video above to listen).

I want to present a few comments and send you to the video, or over to the transcript, for the rest. (I've edited the transcript slightly. All emphasis mine.)

On chaos, the American elites, the "permanent state," and Mike Pence. The first comments are from the interviewer.
PAUL JAY: ... I think we have far more to fear from a functional Trump administration than one in disarray, but with the firing of FBI head James Comey, the craziness has crossed a line. ...

The firing threatens the system of power in Washington where the permanent state, the deep state as some like to call it, can directly assert systemic power, and no president can defy it. The permanent state represents the basic interests of the billionaire class as a whole, and it's their job to maintain the empire. ... Even a president cannot be above it. He has to work within it. ...

If Trump continues this path, this chaos and megalomania will burn down his presidency, and rising from the ashes will be a phoenix. The face of this dangerous creature will be Mike Pence. Whether it's by impeachment, resignation, or simply de facto, Pence will be the real power in the White House. ...

The dysfunction, the clowniness, [has] within it the seeds, I think, of a lot of danger. What do you think?

LARRY WILKERSON: I think one of the things you just said in your lead-in, most of which I agree with — that the elite want or don't want a government that is unlimited in its power — is a little bit off. I think what they [the elite] want is a government that doesn't operate — either through chaos or design, and it's looking more like chaos — against their interests.

What we have here, of course, I think, is a display, repeatedly a display, of the potential, if not the actual already, [for] actions against that interest [of the elites].

You're right in the sense that this group is probably going to be the most formidable foe ultimately that Trump is going to face, and that it [the elite] might in some of its parts be more comfortable with a Pence than a Trump [presidency], and that that might be even more dangerous [to us] than the chaos we're seeing from Trump, is a worrisome point. The Comey debacle, as it were, sort of illustrates how profound that can be, even to the point of perpetrating a constitutional crisis, out of which one wonders what would come. ...

[T]he lunacy of the Trump administration, and the uncertainty and unpredictability which it emanates, is inimical to their interests any way you look at it. If you don't know what your clown, your puppet, is going to do in day-to-day operations, with the enormous power at his fingertips, then it becomes of grave concern [to them].
On the "systemic decay" of the American republic, which for Wilkerson, preceded Trump but is greatly exacerbated by his administration:
You have institutional decay, and that's systemic. You have the decay of diplomacy in the State Department. You have the decay of the government and its meritocracy, if you will, in general. You have the decay of the very republic that we supposedly represent, and ultimately the decay of democracy and liberty.

That's all happening at the same time we have this clown, this lunacy, in the White House, and as you pointed out, the prospect of something even more nefarious perhaps standing in the shadows behind it [a Pence reference].

No matter who I was as a billionaire, no matter if I were Charles and David Koch, or I were Robert Mercer, or anyone else interested in the goose continuing to lay my golden eggs, I would have some grievous concern over this bunch.
On the role of the Republican and Democratic parties in what's going on: have two political parties, both in, I would argue, complete disarray. You have the Republicans in possession of the White House and both houses of the legislature, and just excited as hell about that, salivating over it, and yet beginning to realize they're not going to get anything done because of the lunatic in the White House and what they've done to themselves in dividing up into this suicidal arrangement of parties within a party.

[And] you have the Democrats who are still stunned by their electoral loss and can't seem to get their act together, and could never be as ruthless and as strategic as the Republicans are. This is a disaster taking place in front of our eyes. And you have 300+ million Americans who are not aware of this disaster in any real way that they could do anything about.

You have the recipe here for a real problem in governance, a real problem in the continuation of this republic in any sort of significant and meaningful way.
The reaction of foreign leaders to what's happening now in the U.S.:
What you have big time right now, is leaders all around the world, including those of our allies, who are thinking hard about the United States in the way of it being distrustful [I think he means "untrustworthy"], mistrustful, even no longer reliable, questioning their [America's] commitments to things they've been committed to since World War II, thinking about what they [foreign leaders] might do to join forces [with each other] and balance the hegemon [U.S.] gone amok.

And increasingly, you're going to see signs of that actually happening. You're not going to just see Prime Minister Abe in Japan trying to grow Japan up as fast as it can to be its own security element. You're going to see other leaders all across the globe, both friendly and opposed, who are going to be doing things that are inimical to our interests and increasingly going to be doing them together.
On the military in Trump's cabinet:
The war power has devolved almost entirely to the executive branch. The cowardice of the Congress, the incompetence of the Congress, the fundamental interests of the Congress in fueling those who contribute to their campaigns from Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Grumman, Boeing, you name it, that is very conducive to what you just suggested.

And the one power that the president has that is unlimited in that regard is the war power. That this president would use that to ultimately try to resurrect what is increasingly a failed administration is something to be worried about, something to be concerned about, and that the military, from H.R. McMaster to Jim Mattis, within his Cabinet would be supportive of that, if he picked the right place — and believe me they'll help him pick the right place — is also worrisome.

It could put us on a trajectory of even more war after 17 years and $2-3 trillion and so forth which could be empire-ending.
On Iran as the ultimate target:
Iran is the ultimate target [of our increased presence in the Middle East]. I have to think that. I have to feel that, because I know that's the strategic viewpoint of the military.

And if Iran is the ultimate target and we're talking about doing something, precipitating something, making something happen that either shows Iran as the culprit in violating the current nuclear agreement or that sort of approximates that in a way that they can excuse themselves as we did in 2003 when we invaded Iraq and start something. And that's very worrisome.

Of all the things that are out there right now from the South China Sea, Taiwan and China, to Russia, Ukraine, and elsewhere, to North Korea and so forth, the Iran business concerns me the most, because it offers probably the most satisfying and most immediate and most in-your-face sort of area for them to do this. And that's concerning.
On the Pentagon's search for new money and a "first-class war":
When you're on the money train [referring to the Pentagon], when you've got to have the money, and you need justification for that money, the tendency to search for a little conflict to make that money flow a little more abundantly is strong, very strong.

It's been some time since major troops were committed in Iraq, and we really don't have 8,900, 9,000, whatever the figure is now, that much committed in Afghanistan. We're going to beef it up a little bit. We've got some 24-30,000 contractors there. As I've said before, I think we're in Afghanistan to stay, but still, that is not a real satisfying commitment schedule, if you will, for lots of more dollars.

When I say lots of more dollars, I mean many more dollars, not the 54 or 60 billion or so plus up. I mean 100 or 200 billion dollar plus up. If you're going to get that, you're going to have to have a war. It's going to have to be a first-class war.
The role of Israel in the current push for war:
This affection for war with Iran is all about Israel. It's all about this strategic approach that Netanyahu and Lieberman and others like him have developed, and that Schumer and others have bought into. And that is that destabilizing all of Israel's enemies — and mind you, this includes ultimately Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt — destabilizing them and keeping them destabilized, and even maybe breaking them up into statelets or less, is a good strategy for Israel's security.

This has been bought into by much of the American sycophantic approach in the Congress and elsewhere to Israel's security, and it's certainly been bought into and even designed ... [the] principal architect of it is Netanyahu.
Their best guesses on what's coming:
PAUL JAY: This is the danger of people in "the resistance" against Trump, that if you let people like Schumer and Clinton into the resistance, then wait till this thing with Iran comes! Because these people are going to be for the war. ... Then where is the resistance going to be? ...

WILKERSON: Maybe you get the impeachment proceedings after the midterms in 2018, and you get the [big] war and you get Pence in the middle of all that. Let's just worry about where we go from there.


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At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, Wilkerson has been largely correct in his analysis SINCE his days as Powell's asslicker. If only he'd been as assiduous with facts, tactics and strategy when Powell was lying about Iraqi WMDs.

His analysis of the current clusterfuck here and the view of it all around the world is spot on, IMO, with one exception:

His autopsy of the democraps is simplistic, flawed and unforgiveable. The democraps ARE the party of the money (that is a little more socially left than the Nazis) and that certainly includes the CMIC. They are NOT is as much disarray as he says (he lies... he certainly knows what they are). They are doing the best they can at lying to the voters on the left while faithfully serving the interests of the money. As irrelevant minorities, their job is much easier. They can SAY all the things the voting left needs to hear without meaning any of it. They'll worry how it will look when they betray all those nice words (and they SHALL betray) when/if the time comes.

After the Russian cockholster betrayed classified info to the Russians, perhaps the deep state will take a closer look at their options. I don't think they view saint pence as being as problematic as Wilkerson (and I) thinks. After all, we've had 40 years of the assimilation of greed into Christianity... and that would be their dealbreaker... if the pence caliphate were to disapprove of greed. They won't.

The questions for pence:

who would jesus steal from, deprive, torture, kill, destroy and nuke?

Believe me... the pence Christian caliphate will have long lists for each.

At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As to the deep state, forget it. McMasters was in the meeting with the Russians, knew very well what was divulged, and then he went out and lied about it to the "media".

McMasters' lies were then betrayed when the nitwit with the orange muskrat on his head tweeted his admission that he betrayed classified info to the Russians... because he can.

McMasters must enjoy playing the fool, tool and footstool.

**THIS** is the caliber of asshat we have pretending to run things. An orange pinhead and a troop of servile asshole tools.


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