Is Trump Really the Anti-Neocon?

Some American voters see Donald Trump as the only hope to break the neocon grip on U.S. foreign policy and to put U.S. interests ahead of the Israel Lobby, but that may not be so, says Chuck Spinney.

By Chuck Spinney

Pro-Israel neocons have said they will jump off the Republican ship and vote for Hillary Clinton, because she will continue business as usual with regard to our militarized foreign policy. Apologists for Donald Trump argue that he will pursue a more restrained and less warlike foreign policy, including a more balanced policy toward Israel.

But a recent report by Stuart Winer in the Times of Israel suggests Trump’s bombastic “art of the deal,” at least when applied to pol-mil policy, will turn out to be yet another politician’s distinction without a difference — to wit:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaking to the AIPAC conference in Washington D.C. on March 21, 2016. (Photo credit: AIPAC)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaking to the AIPAC conference in Washington D.C. on March 21, 2016. (Photo credit: AIPAC)

“A senior adviser to Donald Trump said Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should wait for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to win the White House before signing a military aid deal with Washington, because Trump would offer a better deal than the Obama administration.

“In an interview with Channel 2 television David Friedman said that a Trump administration would maintain Israel’s military advantage over its neighbors. He said Trump would not reduce defense aid to Israel but ‘in all likelihood will increase it significantly.’

“‘The aid package will certainly not go down in all likelihood it will go up in a material amount because Israel must maintain a technological and military superiority within the region,’ Freidman said. ‘I can’t give advice how Israel should bargain and develop its own strategy.’

“Friedman’s suggestion that Trump would increase aid to Israel apparently ran contrary to the GOP candidate’s call to make Israel pay back foreign aid. In March, Trump said he believed Israel should pay for defense aid it receives from the US.”

Could it be that the choice for President in 2016 will have no effect on America’s militarized foreign policy, and if so, would this be something new and different?

As with most political questions in Versailles on the Potomac, the pathway to answering this question is less one of Ivory-tower policy analysis than a gritty one of following the money  — in this case the money flowing through the triangular relations of the Military – Industrial – Congressional Complex.

It is a question that goes to the heart of President Eisenhower’s prophetic warning, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”

Chuck Spinney is a former military analyst for the Pentagon who was famous for the “Spinney Report,” which criticized the Pentagon’s wasteful pursuit of costly and complex weapons systems. [This article appeared previously at]

20 comments for “Is Trump Really the Anti-Neocon?

  1. dahoit
    July 2, 2016 at 10:46

    If he aint,they’ll be riots in the streets.Count on it!
    We’ve had enough of Zion destroying America.

  2. July 1, 2016 at 02:58

    It’s likely the Empire has pre-selected the Clintons for a third term.

    Rumsfeld and Cheney have endorsed Trump, even if other neo-cons have not.

    The US is top dog in the US – Israel military alliance. Sometimes Israel gets what it wants, sometimes it does not. The powers that be kept Israel (and the neo-cons) from attacking Iran – not out of a desire for peace but because Iran would disrupt the oil flow out of the Gulf

    Who had the power to put the neo-cons in and then taken them out? It’s not Israel’s Likud party.

  3. Abe
    June 29, 2016 at 17:16

    The Hidden Billionaires behind Trump:
    The Foreclosure King, The Three-Headed Dog from Hell and Goldman Sachs
    By Greg Palast with Dennis J Bernstein for Nation of Change

    Trump desperately needs to get his tiny hands on some cash to fund his presidential campaign. On TV, Trump may play the role of a gazillionaire, but the reality of his reality TV persona is that it’s all paid for with other people’s money. His self-funding pledge is going the way of all Trump’s promises — down the gilded crapper.

    This week on The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: Election Crimes Bulletin, Palast focuses on where and how Trump is going to get his campaign funds — and the deal he’s made with Wall Street’s devils in order to get it.

    • Abe
      June 29, 2016 at 17:25

      “Trump has stopped talking about this carried interest loophole. Clinton was forced into saying she’d close the loophole because of some guy named Senator Sanders — remember him? Sanders said he would close the loophole right away, and so Hillary had to jump in and say she’d close it too. Whether she will or not, we’ll see; because Obama promised that, and then, he didn’t even propose it after he got re-elected. He didn’t even propose closing the loophole!

      “But Trump has now got to make amends to all these billionaires he’s having lunch with. So he’s agreed to wash their cars — with his tongue! So no more talk about greedy hedge fund managers who are just a bunch of gamblers. That’s his term. Rather he’s finding them to be upstanding citizens.”

      – Investigative journalist Greg Palast

  4. FobosDeimos
    June 29, 2016 at 14:44

    Here is the answer to your question:

    This guy is thrilled by torture. He is an outright fascist. Full stop.

    • Zachary Smith
      June 29, 2016 at 19:22

      Unfortunately, loving torture isn’t an exclusive with fascists. The soldiers of the US waterboarded in the Philippines and Vietnam. The CIA tortured a number of people to death after 9/11.

      IMO Trump is saying outrageous things like how he would order torture and how he would delegate to the Heritage Foundation selecting Supreme Court justices as a way to make himself obnoxious enough to Independents and Liberals that he can’t possibly win in November. That may not be true, but I sure can’t imagine any other reason for the man to be behaving like such an ***hole. For whatever reason (bought off, or insecure) he has been playing to lose.

      • FobosDeimos
        June 29, 2016 at 19:56

        I agree fully. Somehow a presidential candidate who goes on record as a torture fanatic leaves no doubt that he is a very dangerous character. But I do not think that he is “acting” or putting on a show. He IS a menace and that is his real nature.

  5. Erik
    June 28, 2016 at 16:39

    For voters who want something left of center:

    If Hillary appears likely to lose regardless of your vote, then a vote further left may move the Dems leftward as a result of their defeat. But a vote for Trump may move the losing Dems further right.

    If Hillary appears likely to win regardless of your vote, then a vote further left at least encourages them to move leftward.

    Only in case the outcome is not clear should one consider Hillary or Trump.

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 28, 2016 at 17:34

      Erik what you say makes sense, but a right leaning Trump in the White House could push more people to the left. This of course would depend on how well Trump’s policies would do. I don’t have much faith in persuading Hillary to move anywhere we would wish her to be. Hillary has a mandate which doesn’t come from the average citizen. She is using the everyday persons vote to suppress the competition, and then onward and upward to the Oval Office where she will serve her NWO masters with her upmost diligence. I honestly admire, but at the same time think that Bernie is barking up the wrong tree, trying to establish a left leaning Democratic platform. Although, more power to him, at least he is trying, and that should count for something. If America ever finds that left wing, and it no doubt will in time, it will have to be a strong left which will catch the attention of the average middle Americans attention. Bernie damn near did that, so it’s possible. I say watch Tulsi Gabbard. If she doesn’t become captured by the special interest, or the celebrity fame, she at least for now shows promise. Oh, and when the left does come back, it will be here for at least twent five to fifty years, so that’s good. This house cleaning will need to be a massive clean out, and it won’t be a pretty party, but a long overdue necessary job of shaking the rafters from attic to basement. Bring a broom!

  6. Mark Thomason
    June 28, 2016 at 13:31

    No, Trump is not an anti-neocon, but he’s the closest thing we’ve got. Otherwise, we elect an outright neocon and get outright attacks on Syria and Iran ASAP, likely Russia via Ukraine and/or Georgia to follow.

  7. Peter Loeb
    June 28, 2016 at 13:14


    I do not believe that Israel will starve whomever is elected President.
    This is a truth which must be acknowledged.

    The US and its politicos, media, public care nothing for the murder of
    Palestinians with help from the US. Most people now believe
    that it was necessary for Palestine, a Muslim area, to become
    Jewish-only, that it is acceptable to build and subsidize “settlements”
    for Jews-only, that Palestinians/”Arabs” must be transferred or
    removed from Israelis for the security of those superior beings,
    that for many this is God’s Will (Genesis 15, the Torah etc.).

    Few see the replication in Zionist racism of Nazi race-based
    separation and eventual extermination of inferior others

    It is in fact Zionists who should be removed for the security of

    It is acknowledged that US Southerners felt and feel that they were
    superior to persons to blacks, that they were in fact doing
    them a favor, that they were particularly blessed for these
    sacred feelings.

    Regarding the above comparison of Hillary Clinton and
    Donald Trump appearances may differ. Both would support
    murder and injustice although their styles may differ. In both
    cases Israel would get massive amounts of military aid
    and other support.

    As Noam Chomsky has observed (THE FATEFUL TRIANGLE )
    ithe hypocrisy of blaming Israel for using arms which the US
    has so willingly provided.

    —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 28, 2016 at 17:15

      Peter, I always admire your comments, and how you defend the defenseless Palestintian’s. Good on you. When people debate me in conversation, and I tell them how I’am voting for Jill Stein, they usually come back at me with, well that’s a vote for Donald Trump. I really startle them, when I reply, well that’s okay because he is the lessor of two evils. Of course their argument is the Supreme Court appointments, well the Supremes held up Roe vs Wade recently didn’t they. The conservative needs Roe because without it, there goes the Christian Right vote. It’s always about the vote. But, Peter I’m with you of how our country’s support of Israel is without a doubt is very unscrupulous in it’s nature. Next year is the one hundredth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, and seventy years since Harry Truman recognized the state of Israel, and what good has come from it? Also, would a Trump presidency demand that Israel reimburse America for our implementation of their Yinon Plan? After all, isn’t that what we are doing for them? I would rather avoid going into detail about a president Hillary, since her well published name is ‘Queen of Chaos’. Thank you Diania Johnstone!

    • June 28, 2016 at 20:45

      Give “Defending White Democracy” by Jason Morgan Ward a read. The segre:ationists were cruel, godless (while claiming that God backed segregation and white supremacy was his design) and altogether unhinged.

  8. bobzz
    June 28, 2016 at 13:13

    There is a positive and a negative about Trump supporters. Positive: they have finally come to see that the Republican Party has duped them (the neoliberals actually). Negative: following Trump is jumping from the frying pan into the fire (Hillary too for that matter). America finds itself in the situation described in an old Chinese proverb:

    We are like a big fish that has been pulled from the water and is flopping wildly to find its way back in. In such a condition the fish never asks where the next flip or flop will bring it. It senses only that its present position is intolerable and that something else must be tried—(Lester Thurow who cites Perry Link)

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 28, 2016 at 17:40

      If Mickey Mouse were not a Republican I would vote for him. Oh, and your comment bobzz made me cancel the fish dinner, and have chicken instead…. Always enjoy your comments, you’ve been on this site forever, it’s always good to hear your opinions. JT

  9. Andoheb
    June 28, 2016 at 12:28

    If Trump proves to be a neo con in disguise, he will have little chance against HIllary. Lots of folks supporting Trump only because he is perceived as a peace candidate.

    • Roberto
      June 28, 2016 at 21:03

      Very true indeed.

    • dahoit
      July 2, 2016 at 10:52

      Know a man by his enemies,Zion.Every zionist msm has sharp blades out for the Donald.

  10. Zachary Smith
    June 28, 2016 at 11:19

    Could it be that the choice for President in 2016 will have no effect on America’s militarized foreign policy, and if so, would this be something new and different?

    That’s the way to bet your money. Trump might be less likely to start a war with Russia or China, but that’s a darned weak endorsement.

    To me, identifying Trump with the phrase “Let’s Make A Deal” is the way to do it. He has no core values except for enriching himself, and whoever throws the most money in his direction is going to get a lot of attention from the man.

    Unfortunately, Israel and the Neocons have a lot of money, most of which used to belong to the American taxpayers.

    More and more it looks as if Trump is merely going through the motions of running for President. I wonder if the big moneybags boys who normally finance these campaigns aren’t holding off because they can see they’d be throwing their money down a rat hole. These guys may have wised up since the 2012 election when it was obvious to everybody but them Romney and Ryan were going to be clobbered.

  11. exiled off mainstreet
    June 28, 2016 at 10:37

    Hillary is a known quantity: a threat of nuclear war hangs over her like a miasma from the landfill. Trump is undoubtedly less dangerous. Even the offers to Israel may only be calculated to neutralize the Israeli influence. Even so, throwing money at them is less dangerous than throwing bombs at Syria on behalf of el qaeda and creating the threat of nuclear war.

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