The Trump-Clinton Dilemma

As buffoonish billionaire Donald Trump undergoes full-scale demonization, the political/media establishment is making Hillary Clinton the heroine of the stop-Trump drama, but who is really more dangerous, asks John Pilger.

By John Pilger

A virulent if familiar censorship is about to descend on the U.S. election campaign. As the cartoon brute, Donald Trump, seems likely to win the Republican Party’s nomination, Hillary Clinton is being ordained both as the “women’s candidate” and the champion of American liberalism in its heroic struggle with the Evil One.

This is drivel, of course; Hillary Clinton leaves a trail of blood and suffering around the world and a clear record of exploitation and greed in her own country. To say so, however, is becoming intolerable in the land of free speech.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama should have alerted even the most dewy-eyed. Obama based his “hope” campaign almost entirely on the fact of an African-American aspiring to lead the land of slavery. He was also “antiwar.”

But Obama was never antiwar. On the contrary, like all American presidents, he was pro-war. He had voted for George W. Bush’s funding of the slaughter in Iraq and he was planning to escalate the invasion of Afghanistan. In the weeks before he took the presidential oath, he secretly approved an Israeli assault on Gaza, the massacre known as Operation Cast Lead. He promised to close the concentration camp at Guantanamo and did not. He pledged to help make the world “free from nuclear weapons” and did the opposite.

As a new kind of marketing manager for the status quo, the unctuous Obama was an inspired choice. Even at the end of his blood-spattered presidency, with his signature drones spreading infinitely more terror and death around the world than that ignited by jihadists in Paris and Brussels, Obama is fawned on as “cool” (the Guardian).

On March 22 and later, my article, “Start of a New Cold War,” was published across the Web (including at

As has been my practice for years, I syndicated it to an international network, which included, the liberal American website. Truthout publishes some important journalism, not least Dahr Jamail’s outstanding corporate exposes. But Truthout rejected the piece because, said an editor, it had appeared on Counterpunch and had broken “guidelines.” I replied that this had never been a problem over many years and I knew of no guidelines.

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

My recalcitrance was then given another meaning. The article was reprieved provided I submitted to a “review” and agreed to changes and deletions made by Truthout’s “editorial committee.” The result was the softening and censoring of my criticism of Hillary Clinton, and the distancing of her from Trump. The following was cut:

“Trump is a media hate figure. That alone should arouse our skepticism. Trump’s views on migration are grotesque, but no more grotesque than David Cameron. It is not Trump who is the Great Deporter from the United States, but the Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama … The danger to the rest of us is not Trump, but Hillary Clinton. She is no maverick. She embodies the resilience and violence of a system … As presidential Election Day draws near, Clinton will be hailed as the first female president, regardless of her crimes and lies — just as Barack Obama was lauded as the first black president and liberals swallowed his nonsense about ‘hope.’”

The “editorial committee” clearly wanted me to water down my argument that Clinton represented a proven extreme danger to the world. Like all censorship, this was unacceptable.

Maya Schenwar, who runs Truthout, wrote to me that my unwillingness to submit my work to a “process of revision” meant she had to take it off her “publication docket.” Such is the gatekeeper’s way with words.

The Obama/Clinton Facade

At the root of this episode is an enduring unsayable. This is the need, the compulsion, of many liberals in the United States to embrace a leader from within a system that is demonstrably imperial and violent. Like Obama’s “hope,” Clinton’s gender is no more than a suitable facade.

This is a historical urge. In his 1859 essay On Liberty, to which modern liberals seem to pay unflagging homage, John Stuart Mill described the power of empire. “Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians,” he wrote, “provided the end be their improvement, and the means justified by actually effecting that end.” The “barbarians” were large sections of humanity of whom “implicit obedience” was required.

“It’s a nice and convenient myth that liberals are the peacemakers and conservatives the warmongers,” wrote the British historian Hywel Williams in 2001, “but the imperialism of the liberal way may be more dangerous because of its open ended nature – its conviction that it represents a superior form of life [while denying its] self righteous fanaticism.”

He had in mind a speech by Tony Blair in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, in which Blair promised to “reorder this world around us” according to his “moral values.” The carnage of a million dead in Iraq was the result.

Blair’s crimes are not unusual. Since 1945, some 69 countries — more than a third of the membership of the United Nations — have suffered some or all of the following. They have been invaded, their governments overthrown, their popular movements suppressed, their elections subverted and their people bombed. The historian Mark Curtis estimates the death toll in the millions.

With the demise of the European empires, this has been the project of the liberal flame carrier, the “exceptional” United States, whose celebrated “progressive” president, John F. Kennedy, according to new research, authorized the bombing of Moscow during the Cuban crisis in 1962. (As events unfolded, of course, the bombing didn’t happen.)

Indispensable Nation

“If we have to use force,” said Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State in the liberal administration of Bill Clinton and today a passionate campaigner for his wife, “it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.”

One of Hillary Clinton’s most searing crimes was the destruction of Libya in 2011. At her urging, and with American logistical support, NATO launched 9,700 “strike sorties” against Libya, according to its own records, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. They included missiles with uranium warheads. See the photographs of the rubble of Misurata and Sirte, and the mass graves identified by the Red Cross. Read the UNICEF report on the children killed, “most [of them] under the age of ten.”

In Anglo-American scholarship, followed slavishly by the liberal media on both sides of the Atlantic, influential theorists known as “liberal realists” have long taught that liberal imperialists – a term they never use – are the world’s peace brokers and crisis managers, rather than the cause of a crisis. They have taken the humanity out of the study of nations and congealed it with a jargon that serves warmongering power. Laying out whole nations for autopsy, they have identified “failed states” (nations difficult to exploit) and “rogue states” (nations resistant to Western dominance).

Whether or not the targeted regime is a democracy or dictatorship is irrelevant. In the Middle East, Western liberalism’s collaborators have long been extremist Islamists, lately Al Qaeda, while cynical notions of democracy and human rights serve as rhetorical cover for conquest and mayhem — as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Haiti, Honduras. See the public record of those good liberals Bill and Hillary Clinton. Theirs is a standard to which Trump can only aspire.

John Pilger is an Australian-British journalist based in London. Pilger’s Web site is:

28 comments for “The Trump-Clinton Dilemma

  1. Dave Dingo
    April 6, 2016 at 02:05

    Hillary has even got her new imperial wardrobe all figured out , but where will she keep it with so many skeletons in her closet?

  2. nada
    March 31, 2016 at 11:42

    Do like Pilger writings most of the time, but this not so good article. I see Trump for what he is, a potential dangerous fascist and dictator. I do hope he get’s elected and totally ruins the USA to the ground. Don’t wanna think or speak about the stupid bitch. Better things to do.

  3. Liam
    March 30, 2016 at 23:41

    Meanwhile in Germany regarding Mh17
    From Google translate: RAZZIA AT MH17-INVESTIGATORS
    March 29, 2016, Jens Brambusch

    In the case of MH-17 again comes movement. The attorney general has now raided the house of private investigator Josef Resch in a search for evidence. It’s about suspected war crimes

    Private investigator Josef Resch is in the news a lot these days. And that does not even incognito. For years, showed the 66-year-old, if at all, only with sunglasses and hat. Now he tingelt from interview to interview, are newspapers and magazines long interviews and chats in TV shows about his life. The man who for decades led a life in the shadows, is now pushing at the end of his career, into the public spotlight.

    The reason is banal. Resch has just put a book on the market. He calls himself “Germany’s most experienced private investigators” and promises to reveal all. About the drug lord Pablo Escobar, the former hedge fund manager Florian Homm and MH-17 the plane of Malaysia Airlines, which was shot on July 17, 2014 Ukraine. 298 people died then.

    That does not seem to taste some people. As the Attorney General. On March 15, searched with eleven partly heavily armed officers at the homes and businesses of Resch in Lübeck. From the decision of the investigating judge of the Federal Court, which now exists with Capital, it hows that against “Unknown” is determined on suspicion of war crimes. It is about the “shooting down of the Boeing 777 of Malaysia Airlines as flight MH 17”. Resch had exposed in this case for an anonymous client who offered a million-dollar reward for clues. Now, the authorities seem to be interested in the information.

    The aim of the raid, so it is stated in the search warrant, was the “freezing of written documents and notes related to the crash of MH17” of notebooks and address books with “entries to possible contact person who can provide further information about the shooting, preferably those from Ukraine or from the Russian Federation “and disks and computers.
    And further: It is assumed that “blank documents, documents, addresses or for files that contain more evidence on the crime and possible Tatbeteiligte at the launch (…),” in the private rooms of Resch for truth is of considerable significance “.
    Private investigator Josef Resch © Jens Bold
    Private investigator Josef Resch
    Resch had initially awarded in September 2014 EUR 30 million reward on behalf of his clients for evidence to shoot down the MH-17th He later increased the total by a further 17 million euros for clues as to who hides the fact. Because of the continuous reading, which was also disseminated by the German Federal Intelligence Service, pro-Russian separatists have shot down the machine with a Russian BUK, Resch disbelieved the authorities.

    In June last year Resch told Capital that his client would get the information they wanted to receive. The reward was paid, his contract was terminated. “If the truth comes to the public, the conflict in eastern Ukraine would escalate very quickly,” Resch said at the time, without naming the information in more detail.


    But nothing happened. As in October, the Dutch Security vorlegten its final report, the case appeared to finally ticked. It was quiet around MH-17th For the international investigators established that a Buk missile had destroyed the aircraft. Who could, however, be responsible for the shooting, the Security Council left open.

    Resch, who was at the time of the raid in Bavaria, wonders: “If the attorney general believes he will find evidence for the shooting down of MH17 with me, then he dares not appear to the findings of the BND. Or he fears the informant comes from the environment of the BND. And should be revealed in the raid. ”

    In addition, Resch is urprised about the actions of officials. “You had to scare the whole neighborhood with this line-up? Could you not simply ring the doorbell with three people? I would have let them in naturally. I have nothing to hide. Also, I have of course no explosive materials in the house that can endanger our informants. “

  4. John XYZ
    March 30, 2016 at 23:11

    I would consider it very appropriate to equate Trump with Clinton, as Mr. Pilger is doing. Why Truthout would stand in support of a warmongering hack who panders to the undereducated and puts on airs of respectability is beyond me.

  5. Drew Hunkins
    March 30, 2016 at 12:43

    Trump’s much less likely to start WWIII than Hillary Clinton. Despite all his faults, Trump appears to be less of a warmonger than Clinton. Hillary’s a staunch ZIonist who saber rattles at Putin, soaks Libyan fields in blood, topples nominal populist leaders in Central America, was a cheerleader for NAFTA and will do an about face on TPP once she’s in office, encircles China, and desires a “no fly zone” in Syria. Ergo, Hillary’s a serious danger to the planet.

  6. Hillary
    March 30, 2016 at 09:49

    Thank you Consortiumnews & thank you John Pilger for this piece.
    “Hillary Clinton leaves a trail of blood and suffering around the world and a clear record of exploitation and greed in her own country. To say so, however, is becoming intolerable in the land of free speech.”

  7. Franks
    March 30, 2016 at 02:07

    Im throwing a Hail Mary and running to vote for Trump plus I like his changing the facade of the neoliberals trade policies as well. HRC is the real menace to our country.

  8. Herman Stotman
    March 30, 2016 at 01:34


  9. Zachary Smith
    March 30, 2016 at 00:47

    Mr. Pilger clearly doesn’t understand that Truthout was trying to make his article stronger by cutting out some mean things he said about Hillary. And by implication, the relatively kind things about Donald Trump. In fact, I now suspect a key part of the rejection was this – (In this case, the editor’s concerns included that the piece risked inaccurately equating Donald Trump with Clinton… When the election comes along Truthout is going to roll over and endorse Clinton over the unspeakable Trump. All the past and future sins of the horrible warmongering person will be forgiven. Speaking of bookmarks, I recently took down what I’d formerly seen as a good but “rude” read – the Rude Pundit. To him, Trump is the essence of evil, and the blogger has now endorsed the woman he thoroughly trashed back in 2008. Has Hillary gotten any better? Oh no, eight years later she’s even worse, but Trump is so unthinkable we must knuckle under and praise HRC to the heavens. Yes, Trump would be a disaster beyond measure, but compared to what?

    It is not unusual (and definitely not “censorship”) for a publication to reach out to an author and propose edits that the editors believe would strengthen an article by steering it toward increased accuracy, through the acknowledgment of nuances and the avoidance of false equivalences or sweeping claims made with an overly broad brush. In such a situation, if an author is unhappy with the proposed edits, the expectation is that the author will respond by making alternate changes of his or her own to address the concern raised by the editor, while still making the point that the author wanted to make.

    I can’t precisely say why I’ve never bookmarked the truthout homepage. Something about them rubbed me the wrong way, but I can’t recall what it was. One thing for sure and certain is that I’m going to pay more attention to the stories I read on a subsidiary of theirs – the formerly independent Buzzflash page.

    • March 30, 2016 at 13:26

      Mr. Pilger made 3 claims that can be considered facts…

      * “Truthout rejected the piece because, said an editor, it had appeared on Counterpunch and had broken ‘guidelines.'”

      * That even though Truthout has published a lot — — from Pilger, this was the first time he had received such a request (“I replied that this had never been a problem over many years and I knew of no guidelines.”)

      * The portion of the piece (quoted by Pilger) that Truthout wanted to cut.

      In Truthout’s response, they call Pilger’s piece “factually inaccurate” but don’t tell us what those innaccurate facts are. They take issue with Pilger’s subjective opinions (They think “calling the decision not to run it again censorship is inaccurate” and that “calling the decision politically-motivated censorship stemming from a desire to protect Hillary Clinton is wildly, maliciously inaccurate”) but it’s not surprising Truthout has a different subjective interpretation (aka opinion) of their actions.

      IOW, Truthout’s reponse makes claims but does not back up those claims. Unless Truthout refutes any one of the 3 factual claims Pilger made (listed above) then their claim that Pilger’s piece is “factually inaccurate” is itself “factually inaccurate”.

  10. March 29, 2016 at 22:51

    Thank you Mr. Pilger for your exceptional reporting and unrelenting truthspeak. I always read your article at CounterPunch, but good to see you here at Consortiumnews too. Excellent points. I thank the editors here for allowing us to have your whole article, unwatered down. Keep up the good work and godspeed.

  11. Bill Bodden
    March 29, 2016 at 22:40

    John Pilger has added his distinguished talents to the prosecution against Hillary Clinton, but our national problems go well beyond her and the Clinton family enterprise. Hitler was regarded as something of a crackpot when he was ranting on his soapbox in Vienna. It took thugs and opportunistic enablers to put him on the path that led to such monstrous catastrophes. Hillary Clinton is in a similar position with well-heeled enablers in Wall Street and corporate Amerika. Instead of thugs, she has the un-Democratic Party’s oligarchy and a variety of Judas Goats helping her to march to whatever destiny may be in the cards for her in November. We need to pay attention to these deceivers who may lead a sufficient number of sheep to the polls to elect Mrs. Clinton to the role of Judas Goat in Chief.

    By now it should be no surprise, as John Pilger revealed, that some in the “liberal” media have also signed on as Judas Goats. Truthout is not the only culprit. There are many others in the mainstream media, including those who may not be touting Clinton but are less than honest when it comes to informing the American public of her opposition in the form of Bernie Sanders. His success has caused Hillary’s scriptwriters to have her pose as a progressive. Some “progressive” attending the obscene fundraiser hosted by George Clooney where it will cost $345,400 for a pair of seats at the top table when millions of American children will go to bed hungry that night and many nights thereafter.

    Then there are the people who will follow other Judas Goats such as and similar to Meryl Streep who can see some illusion of good in Mrs. Clinton while they are blind to her long complicity in major disasters. Meryl Streep claims she was sold on Hillary Clinton when three women from Central American credited her with saving their lives. What about the millions of women who suffered in Iraq under cruel sanctions and the regime changes in Iraq, Honduras, Libya and Syria, all of which were supported by Mrs. Clinton?

    The best we can hope for is that Bernie Sanders manages a triumph over the un-Democratic Party’s corrupt power and machinations in July, but the battle won’t end there. The party’s oligarchs will continue to gang up on him even if he is elected president, just as they did to Jimmy Carter.

    If it is a Clinton-Trump contest in November, Clinton may not get many Sandernistas to vote for her after her anti-Bernie attacks and perpetual pro-Wall Street ties. These young Sandernistas appear to be more alert than their parents’ generation. How can Sanders surrender them to Wall Street’s Queen of Chaos? In a Clinton-Trump contest a case can be made that Trump is the lesser evil.

  12. Brad Benson
    March 29, 2016 at 22:00

    Well, I’m glad I read this. I won’t be going back to Truthout. Thanks Mr. Pilger!

  13. Mike Strong
    March 29, 2016 at 21:53

    I haven’t thought the same way about Truthout since the Boston marathon bombing when W.R. Pitt was so happy to have Boston come under military lock down. He was practically waving flags.

  14. trump stumper
    March 29, 2016 at 21:09

    Obama’s Is Cool

    Kool Killer

    Killary Klinton is not cool

    Ain’t that America?

    Ah shut up, or they’ll Trump ya.

  15. michael lacey
    March 29, 2016 at 19:28

    Thanks John good article! It was interesting to note that Truthout did not want to print the article in its original form. I remember Chomski once saying that everyone whinges about FOX, but he added that at least what FOX writes about is predictable, that’s the way you expect them to behave. He added that the real problem was the so called other media outlets who proport to be fair and balanced and display outrage at FOX and their agenda but really are still running the corporate agenda in a more covert and subtle way!

  16. dahoit
    March 29, 2016 at 18:18

    Yes,TruthOut has recently told me I’m undesirable too.F*ck them,and that other TD garbage.illiberal holier than thou hypocrisy.They hate the fact that Trump gets so much support on their site,and hate the venom for HRC,the possessor of possibly the most failed resume for POTUS in American history,and only in the running because of her gender.
    Yes and the demonization of Trump and the machinations of the idiot neorepubs are most illuminating as to the reason for the hostility toward him by the Zionists.Neutrality,Nato dissolving,ending Russophobia,and America First are anathema to the borg.
    And yes Mr.Pilger is a shining light in a dark journalistic world of crummy propaganda.

  17. George Jason
    March 29, 2016 at 16:48

    Dear Mr Pilger,

    This is to thank you so much for your integrity, knowledge and expertise in presenting realistic views of our world about us. In spite of the political difficulties and harassment you have prevailed. Oddly, it is two Australians, you and Julius Assange that have done their best to inform the world of our dastardly deeds. Whatever is in Australian DNA, let it be sown across the world.

    I write many articles for friends and relatives and would like a larger audience. What would be the best way to open a web site or gain access to an open minded web site?

    Again, I have been reading your books and articles for years and find your videos very informative. Thank you so much for your efforts.

    • Dosamuno
      March 29, 2016 at 18:14

      I could not agree more strongly with Mr. Jason.
      I have nothing to add.
      Thank you Mr. Pilger for the”integrity, knowledge, and expertise” alluded to by Mr Jason.

    • Johnny Dillard
      March 30, 2016 at 01:39

      I can create a website for you at no cost, and can publish a link in a daily mailing to over 700 people having an interest in spiritual growth…Some are activists and some are not. If you want to talk, and explore compatibility just email me at [email protected].

  18. Brad Owen
    March 29, 2016 at 16:24

    The “demise” of the European Empires is vastly over-rated. From one colonist to another (American to Australian) we’ve been grabbed by the bollocks again, by the wonderful “British Empire” of Wall street and City-of-London. Europe has their own problems with the Synarchist Movement for Empire (SME). They, and the descendants of the RoundTable Grouping, represent a two-headed, Imperial Eagle facing east and west, much like the Western and Eastern Roman Empire of old…the more things change, the more they stay the same.

  19. Joseph
    March 29, 2016 at 15:51

    It is tragic that intelligent women fall for the Clinton-Obama “hope” gambit, so intent upon the hope that a woman will be better that they ignore all of the evidence and start infighting against men, even those who advocate choosing one of the many brilliant woman among those who agree with them, rather than a woman who completely disagrees with them. They are blinded by sexism. I can’t recall ever hearing a man argue against Hillary on the grounds of her sex.

    The same happened for decades in Maine, where female Repub senators could count on the solid support of women Dems who would have disagreed with them on every point if they had bothered to examine their intentions.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 29, 2016 at 16:37

      It’s as if the Hillary supporters became inflicted with the Maximilien Robespierre syndrome. Better yet, it’s like when you become what you are fighting against. I want a woman president, or even a woman vice president, but not Hillary. Tulsi Gabbard, or Elizabeth Warren come to mine, as being good choices. In fact, would a Hillary presidency survive the test time, and make us all proud of her? I mean would she do well enough to get elected for another four years? Why hell, would she even be able to survive an indictment? Being a Clinton maybe she could pardon herself. There already is a story out there (whether true or not) that claims a Russian celebrity hacker, had hacked her e mail server, and sold off this hacked information in regard to the Benghazi operation. And then there’s Bill. Woman president or not, does America really need this?

  20. Bob Van Noy
    March 29, 2016 at 14:00

    “At the root of this episode is an enduring unsayable. This is the need, the compulsion, of many liberals in the United States to embrace a leader from within a system that is demonstrably imperial and violent. Like Obama’s “hope,” Clinton’s gender is no more than a suitable facade.”

    Thank you for those lines, John Pilger, great summary of what many of us call The Deep State. Nothing ever changes, it is all rigged, always the same, as policies are carried forward. David Brooks, of all the clueless people; recently talked about a paradigm shift… Indeed, that is what we’re experiencing as this plays out. You’re in a good spot here.

    • R. Millis
      March 29, 2016 at 19:47

      Another “congratulations” goes to you, John Pilger.
      Clinton is not only part and parcel of the 1%, she’s even worse: seriously involved in the Honduros coup, then the Libyan coup and murder of Gaddafi because (giving one example here) he dare initiate a currency for his country and others in the region.

      Clinton has made many millions from speeches given to his buddies, Goldman Sachs and other bohemoth corporatists. She’s also a neo-con of the worst order. Chances increase in a US war against Russia if she is elected by a mass of illiterate, naive liberals and Democrats……………….

      I always voted Democrat, but 4 months into Obama’s first term the handwriting was on the wall: a mere puppet for capitalists/corporatists he placed on the board, and kow-towed to every wish of banksters, Big Pharma, lobbyists who wrote up Obamacare…………and oh, so much more. That was the last time I voted as a Dem. And Republicans aren’t a damned sight better, either.

  21. LondonBob
    March 29, 2016 at 13:43

    I am still gobsmacked that Trump continues to nonchalantly slaughter the sacred cows of the post war consensus. The stop Trump campaign is going full tilt though and I am still not sure he will quite be able to garner enough delegates. Whatever happens though that candidates like Sanders and Trump are running so strongly is testament to the fact many Americans have woken up.

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